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Grist List: Look what we found.


This image of the Colorado wildfire scar will blow your mind

This image from NASA (click to embiggen) shows the scar from the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado. It's a false-color image -- the fields aren't actually running red with blood out there, yet -- but the size of that burned patch is no illusion. Compare it to the city of Colorado Springs in the lower right corner, or the Air Force Academy airfield in the upper right.

Read more: Uncategorized


Cute bushy-tailed fossil suggests most dinosaurs had feathers

The dinosaur shown in this new fossil, which is so great it almost looks fake, is called Sciurumimus albersdoerferi -- Sciurumimus means "squirrel mimic." That's undoubtedly because of its lush, bushy tail, perfectly preserved in fine-grained sediment. But that's not a furry squirrel tail you're looking at; it's all feathers, and the discovery of S. albersdoerferi suggests that most dinosaurs had them. The smooth, scaly dinosaurs you remember from your childhood pajamas are a myth.

Read more: Animals


I Am Not a Virgin makes cute clothes out of beer bottles and yogurt cups

These are maybe the most attractive "green" clothes we have ever seen:

They’re trendy, they make your ass look good (or at least they make her ass look good), and they’re made in part from recycled glass bottles.


Seaweed toothpaste can kill bad plaque bacteria

Researchers in England were studying seaweed enzymes to see if they could clean bacteria off the hulls of ships, when they were suddenly struck by inspiration. We imagine it went something like this:

Bob: Dick, your breath stinks!
Dick: Sorry.
Bob: It smells like the hull of a ship that's been out to sea too long!
Dick: Bob!
Bob: …
Dick: Oh my god!
Bob: We're going to be rich!

In short, the seaweed enzymes also are good at neutralizing the bad, tooth-decaying parts of dental plaque. And although we're sure that there's a healthy market for seaweed-based hull cleaners, we're pretty sure that market for toothpaste with natural ingredients is much larger.


Antarctic moss eats 8,000-year-old penguin poop

Earlier this year, a slightly horrifying factoid made its way around the internet: Penguins poop so much that piles of their poop can be seen from space. But take heart, people who don’t like thinking about mountains of bird guano: It turns out that today's penguin dung heap could be tomorrow's source of nutrition for beautiful, fuzzy moss.

A team of Australian researchers were looking into the source of nutrients for these Antarctic plants, the BBC explains, and had narrowed it down to "nitrogen that's gone through algae, krill and fish." That food chain leads to seabirds -- penguins -- but the researchers were puzzled:

Since no penguins live on the elevated lakeside site in East Antarctica, the researchers had to work out where the mysterious seabird poo came from.

They realized that their moss beds were growing on the site of an ancient penguin colony.

"Between 3,000 and 8,000 years ago, on the site where the moss is now growing, there used to be [Adelie] penguins," said Prof Robinson.

Read more: Animals, Biofuel


Staggering video of a family returning to their destroyed home after Colorado fires

"I'm convinced that this planet is warming and that this is part of the result of that," says Colorado wildfire victim Hani Ahmad while looking at the ruins of his house. "The West is a tinderbox ... I'm terrified for everybody in the West."

Read more: Climate Change


San Diego set off all its fireworks at once, and HOLY CRAP IT LOOKED AMAZING

San Diego accidentally set off 20 minutes' worth of fireworks simultaneously last night, with results that were probably a) more powerful than strictly safe for an urban area, b) really irritating/disappointing for people who expected a full fireworks show, and c) HOLY BALLS AMAZING.

Read more: Cities


Ultimate green car drops your carbon footprint to zero, by killing you

As usual, leave it to the Onion to tell us about the really innovative green breakthroughs, the ones so-called "real" news sites won't report on simply because they are fake and also morally reprehensible.

Read more: Green Cars


List of presidents’ favorite foods is surprisingly fascinating

I would not expect a list of favorite White House breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to be all that interesting, but Sarah Marshall has posted one on The Awl and it's actually endlessly entertaining. Here's some of what we learned:

  • Some presidents favored exactly the food you'd expect (George W. Bush: "grilled cheese sandwiches made with Kraft singles and white bread").
  • Others were more surprising (Richard Nixon: wheat germ).
  • Presidents from the 1980s and 1990s were not big on vegetables.
  • Presidents seem to enjoy foods that sound like fetishes. Eisenhower liked "prune whip." Andrew Jackson ate "leather pants." James Buchanan wanted "calf's head dressed as terrapin," which is kinky.
Read more: Food


Artist turns abandoned home into human-sized dollhouse

Photos by Heather Benning.

Abandoned buildings tend to make a community feel sketchy, whether it's an urban area or the town of Sinclair, Manitoba, Canada. So when artist Heather Benning found this dilapidated farmhouse in 2005, she set to work turning it into a 1 to 1 scale dollhouse.

Read more: Cities