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Grist List: Look what we found.


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This gigantic hybrid ship can run on a battery

Although gigantic ships are relatively efficient -- compared to, say, transporting massive amounts of stuff by airplane -- they do use an astounding amount of fuel. The shipping industry is working on this problem. In particular, a Norwegian shipping company and a marine energy company are partnering to work on a hybrid ship, the Viking Lady.

The Viking Lady (how awesome is that name?) already has a fuel cell installed that helps reduce its energy impact. Next year it should be getting a battery. Together, those features will mean it won't have to burn gas while it's hanging out in port -- not only saving energy, but keeping down emissions.

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Power your laptop with your butt

Swedish designer Eddi Tornberg has turned the plight of modern workers -- sitting like lazy larvae in front of computer screens all day -- into a form of renewable energy. He uses the heat of our rear ends to create electricity. You’ll still die from sitting, but at least your energy bills will be lower!

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Incredible underwater sculptures turn into living reefs

Artist Jason deCaires Taylor's work wouldn't look out of place in a gallery, but that would defeat the purpose. Taylor mounts his exhibitions underwater, leaving his sculptures on the ocean floor to be colonized by algae, seaweed, and coral.

Read more: Living

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video

Amazing things happen when you yell at baby pigs

Guys. GUYS. Just look what happens when you yell "ice cream!" and/or sing Amy Winehouse at a stack of baby pigs.

Read more: Animals

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Could this 5-by-5 inch piece of paper reduce food waste by 25 percent?

Photo courtesy of FreshPaper.

Whether people's eyes are too big for their stomachs or just too ambitious for their cooking skills, we're all constantly buying fruit and veg that gets left to grow fuzz in the crisper. All told, spoiled food accounts for 25 percent of all food waste. But supposedly, this tiny sheet of paper will end all that.

It's called FreshPaper, it's 5 inches on a side -- about the size of a dryer sheet -- and it's infused with botanical extracts that supposedly make produce last up to four times longer. You just throw one little sheet in your crisper drawer, and it inhibits bacteria, fungi, and degrading enzymes for two to three weeks. 

Read more: Food

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video

This 1933 video of the last living thylacine is a haunting look at a now-extinct species

He does have four legs, he's just scratching himself with one of them.

We tend to think of extinct species as creatures from the distant past, whose habits and physiology we can only guess at from fossil evidence. But that doesn't take into account how relentless humans are about wiping out entire categories of animal! We've definitely deep-sixed a few since the invention of video, meaning that we have animated visual reminders of what we lost. For instance, this 1933 video of the last thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, in captivity.

Read more: Animals

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Sidecar lets drivers rent out their empty backseat

In theory, Sidecar is about sharing. Here’s how it’s supposed to work: You're headed downtown in your car, but before you leave you check your Sidecar app. A user a few blocks down is looking for a ride in the same direction. You swing by, pick her up, and drop her off. Everyone wins by sharing -- she gets to her destination, and you get to feel good that the gas you just burned went towards transporting more than one human being. (Plus, Sidecar suggests that she “donate” a little cash to you for your trouble.)

In practice, Sidecar seems to work something like a taxi. There's no meter, and in beta trials, the suggested donation for longer trips beat actual car services -- but it's not clear that the people giving rides are just average Joes who happen to be going someplace. Instead, this might be their side business. Sidecar screens all the drivers, and the one example of a driver that Wired offers is a laid-off bank employee who uses the service to supplement his income.

Read more: Cities, Transportation

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Mayor Bloomberg uses a full-sized room A/C unit to cool his SUV

It really would be interesting to find out what moral calculus goes into Mayor Michael Bloomberg's environmental decisions. It must go something like "I'm a big city mayor, working hard to draw down emissions on a municipal scale. Therefore, it is 100 percent justifiable that in my personal life, I fly regularly to the Bahamas and use A/C units intended for a whole apartment to keep my SUV a comfortable temperature."

Because that's what he had his staff do this week: take a standard room air conditioner and try sticking it into the window of an SUV. The New York Post reports:

If the strange plan gets a green light, the units would be plugged into electrical outlets and cause less pollution than running the vehicles’ own A/Cs on an idling engine.

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Magical tree tunnel was carved out by a train

In Klevan, Ukraine, this two-mile long tunnel of trees was formed when the vegetation grew around the path of a regularly passing train.


Locals calls this beautiful and romantic place the Tunnel of Love.

Even without the green, leafy border, it's haunting.

Read more: Living

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200 naked Germans buying groceries

When a grocery store in Süderlügum, Germany offered $276 in free groceries to anyone willing to shop naked, they expected maybe 10 brave souls. They got more like 250, including folks from nearby Denmark who cross the border to shop for cheaper alcohol. This video is, I hardly need to tell you, not really safe for work -- although there's nothing all that titillating about it. (That said, if you're headed to comments to make shitty cracks about people's bodies, please evaluate your life.)

Read more: Food