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Grist List: Look what we found.


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These adorable kids are earning bikes by helping their community

The Rails to Trails Conservancy's Earn-a-Bike program lets these Baltimore youths spend four weeks learning about bike maintenance, healthy eating, and caring for the Earth and their community -- and at the end of it, they get a certificate and a bike. It's a win all around: The kids get their own bicycles, the community benefits from their newfound civic engagement, and Republicans have minor heart attacks about Socialist brainwashing. Yay!

Read more: Biking

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These light-up armbands make awesome turn signals for cyclists

As a responsible cyclist who does not want to die, I wear a helmet. The other night, I donned one of those reflective orange vests. (Do not laugh, please.) And I try, really I do, to hold out my arms and signal when and where I plan on turning. I do not like doing it, though, because I feel I am going to lose my balance and because I don't think that drivers notice half the time anyway. Especially not at night.

Lifehacker has turned up a wonderful DIY solution to this problem: bright, wearable turn signals.

Read more: Biking

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Crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen

The fact that this sea creature looks exactly like a rock with guts is not even the weirdest thing about it. It's also completely immobile like a rock -- it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms -- and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare element called vanadium. Also, it's born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together. Nature, you are CRAZY.

Read more: Animals

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A male birth control dudes might actually use

Photo by Matt Herbison.

You know what doesn't do a lot to help reduce unwanted births? Putting women in sole charge of contraception, then making it nigh-impossible for them to exercise any reproductive freedom. We could improve sex ed, affordability of birth control pills, and access to abortion -- but as long as there are Republicans around, we might be better off researching easy contraception for men. Which is why this new topical contraceptive gel, developed by researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, could be a big deal.

Read more: Population, Sex

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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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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