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Grist List: Look what we found.


Origami furniture made from recycled cardboard

Recession got you living in a cardboard box? Take heart: That doesn't  have to mean missing out on stylish furniture. Karton's modular, foldable furniture is sturdy (the bed can support almost 2,000 pounds), assembles in minutes, and is made entirely out of cardboard.

Read more: Green Home, Living


Creepy-cool village where every house is a musical instrument

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The Music Box is a New Orleans art installation that makes regular artist's colonies look like Camazotz. In this tiny shantytown, every building is also a musical instrument, and the entire town can be played in a beautiful, spooky symphony that looks and sounds like something out of Coraline.

Read more: Cities


Sugar might make you stupid

At this point, the message about eating too much processed sugar is clear: That stuff screws up your body in serious ways. But a new study suggests that too much sugar could do more than that. It could mess up your brain, as well.

Technically, what this study found is that too much sugar can screw up rats' brains. The study let rats OD on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and found that it disrupted their ability to learn, think, and remember. Here's what Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, the UCLA neurosurgery professor who led the study, had to say about it:

Read more: Food


Solar-powered implants could help blind people see

We talk a lot about the wondrous benefits that solar energy can bring to the world, but a new research project from Stanford University bumps solar's do-gooder powers to a whole new level: Solar power could help blind people see.

Right now, retinal implants can restore some degree of sight to blind people. But the implants need to be wired to an outside power source in order to keep charged. Plus, they're big and unwieldy. New solar-powered implants could be much smaller and get power from light, eliminating the need for wires. These implants could also produce images with higher resolution than current implant technology can manage.

Read more: Living, Solar Power


Critical List: Last 12 months were the hottest on record; groups protest Arctic drilling

The national average temperature over the past 12 months was the hottest ever recorded.

Thanks to fracking, North Dakota now produces more oil than any other than state except Texas.

Environmental groups protested drilling in the Arctic Sea outside the White House yesterday.

Read more: Uncategorized


Wasted milk produces as much CO2 as 20,000 cars

Photo by Chelsea Phillips.

The time to start crying over spilled milk is NOW. According to researchers from the University of Edinburgh, wasted milk in the U.K. creates the equivalent of 110,000 tons of CO2 every year. That's equivalent to the emissions from 20,000 cars.  

Read more: Factory Farms, Food


Nonprofit teaches you how to save endangered species, then gives you a tattoo of one

Let me tell you about your generation, people in your 20s. You like brunch. You're not sure what you're doing with your life. You give a shit about the future of the planet. And you have tattoos. Shhhh. You have tattoos. I won't tell your grandma; it's cool.

Conservation nonprofit Tatzoo will not give you brunch (as far as I know), but it can help you with the other things. Apply for Tatzoo's training bootcamp, and the organization will teach you crucial skills for becoming a leader in conservation activism. Each team at the 10-week training camp will work to preserve an endangered species, gaining experience in fundraising, organizing, and communication along the way. And at the end of the program, you get a tattoo of the species you've helped work to save.

Read more: Animals


Chairs and tables that double as indoor gardens

Growing herbs in your backyard or on your roof is all very well and good, if you have a backyard or a roof. But what if you live in a shitty little apartment that doesn't even have a balcony? Well, assuming you have things like tables and chairs, you can take inspiration from these prototypes to turn them into thriving indoor gardens. (If you don't have things like tables and chairs, you are probably some kind of forest creature, and you should just plant seeds in piles of your own excrement until whoever owns the apartment comes home and shoos you.)

Read more: Green Home, Living


Elm caretaker to be buried in coffin made from beloved elm

Frank Knight spent decades keeping Herbie, New England's tallest elm tree, alive. The tree lived for 217 years and under Knight's care survived 14 bouts of Dutch Elm diseases.

Two years ago, the tree had to come down. At the time, Knight was 101. As the Associated Press reports:

"His time has come," Knight told The Associated Press at the time. "And mine is about due, too."

Read more: Green Jobs, Living


Infographic: The later it gets, the more crap we eat

Breakfast time (7 a.m. PST).

I don't have to tell you that people eat crappier food late at night than they do in the light of day. You probably figured that out when Taco Bell invented a fourth meal in the middle of the night. But according to Massive Health's interactive map of self-reported food quality, we're on a slippery health slope from the time we wake up in the morning. Food choices get consistently more lousy as the day wears on.

Lunchtime (12 noon PST).
Read more: Food