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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Museum’s indoor mini-golf course lets you putt your way through a miniature city

This hole is inspired by development plans for D.C.'s Canal Park. (Photo courtesy of the National Building Museum.)

The National Building Museum may not be D.C.'s star attraction, but even if you don't love it, it loves you. You can tell, because the museum is giving sweltering District residents a nice, cool place to play indoor mini-golf this summer. And because it's the National Building Museum, this is no plaster-clown-head putt-putt course -- the holes resemble tiny cities, models of the Mall, and modernist architecture. There's even a hole shaped like a labyrinth.

A little city for golf balls to live in. (Photo by Alison Dunn Photography.)
Read more: Cities

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Cloned horses could compete in the Olympics

The highest body of equestrian sports, the Federation Equestre Internationale, is just a little obsessed with where horse babies come from. And not without reason -- have you seen the prices for champion horse sperm these days? (Man, you know this is a phrase that has actually come out of Mitt Romney's mouth. And we used to think arugula was elitist.)

In the past, the best way to propagate and improve a horse's line was the old-fashioned artificial insemination route. That’s expensive, and not a little messy, and it doesn’t work for champion horses that are also geldings (i.e., neutered). But now a few horse owners have had their champions cloned.

The FEI at first dismissed these freaks of nature, but now it's welcoming them into the fold, or at least "will not forbid participation of clones or their progenies in FEI competitions."

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This video proves we’re living in a disaster movie

This video was edited together from news footage by Peter Sinclair of Climate Denial Crock of the Week, and it could EASILY be the scene from a disaster movie showing a news footage montage right before everything goes to hell. (You know what I mean, right? The 21st-century equivalent of the spinning-headline shot? Like in Shaun of the Dead.)

Read more: Climate Change

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Watch a clam snarf salt off a table

Here’s a fun pastime, if you’re mildly sociopathic: Put a clam on a table. Sprinkle salt around it. Watch as it investigates with what looks for all the world like a gigantic creepy beige tongue.

Yes, we know it's not a tongue, but you know it looks like it's sticking out its tongue and very slowly licking its lips.

Alex Hern at the New Statesman captures the pathos of it all:

Read more: Animals

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Fox News thinks pollution is good for the planet

Not that it's a HUGE surprise that Fox News has beliefs about the environment that are the opposite of true, but just FYI, they are now apparently telling viewers that pollution is good for forests. That means the REAL pollution is CLEAN AIR! It's like you environmentalists don't even WANT trees to grow.

Read more: Media, Pollution

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These beautiful bridges are just for animals

Highway A50, Netherlands. (Photo by Niels Verheul.)

If we're going to keep putting roads in the middle of their habitats, animals are sometimes going to need to cross the road. But it's better for everyone involved if they don't have to push a button and wait for the light to change, because they don't have thumbs and nine times out of 10 they'll just careen into the side of your car. Which is why some highways have overpasses built specifically for animals like deer, elk, and grizzly bears.

Banff, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Joel Sartore.)
Read more: Animals

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The ocean’s tiniest, strangest creatures

Polychaeta. (Photo courtesy of Tara Oceans.)

The Tara Oceans is a 118-foot research ship that collects ocean zooplankton and phytoplankton -- microscopic marine organisms that we often know nothing about. These tiny critters have a crucial place at the bottom of the food chain, but global warming is killing them off at a rate of 1 percent per year. The Tara Oceans wants to chronicle these often-unstudied species before they're lost -- because they're important, because they're rare and mysterious, and also because they're SO WEIRD.

Read more: Animals

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If you promise not to panhandle, San Francisco will give you a puppy

Photo by: Jessica R.

San Francisco has an overabundance of dogs who need love and homes, and a large number of people who make their living by panhandling. This summer, the city's starting a program that could benefit both groups. The program, called WOOF (which, in a textbook example of why coming up with the acronym first isn't always a great idea, stands for Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos), will pay residents of supportive housing $50-75 a week -- about the same amount a panhandler might take in -- to foster adorable puppies who need to get accustomed to human companionship.

It's a great idea, but Atlantic Cities reports that some dog-loving San Franciscans worry about whether the dogs will be getting the best of care. I mean, whose dogs are these? How can anyone just sit there eating while they're tied up to poles? Who puts their dog on a pole like a stripper?

Not to worry, Portlandians San Franciscans, the organizers of the program are on it:

Read more: Animals, Cities

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Chinese police save 3,600 endangered crocodiles from being eaten by humans

In southern China, police intercepted three foreigners trying to sneak over the border with precious cargo -- more than 3,600 crocodiles. By the time police arrested the smugglers, 42 of the Siamese crocs (an endangered species) had died of dehydration and overheating. But if the police hadn't intervened, the rest would have met an equally gruesome fate, as dinner for the culinarily adventurous in Guangdong province.

This was a particularly large load: The crocodiles weighed more than 17 tons in all. But according to the Guardian, environmental watchdogs like Zheng Yuanying, southern China program director for Green Eye of China, say that smugglers are slipping smaller shipments of reptiles over the border all the time:

Read more: Animals, Food

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June’s 3,282 heat records, in one handy chart

In the U.S., June heat broke 2,284 daily maximum temperature records and tied a further 998, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Here's what that looked like for the lower 48 states: basically, a horrible case of heat rash.

Read more: Climate Change