Grist List

Food

Coming soon: Non-vegan, non-kosher bananas

Food scientists have come up with an evil plan to make bananas off-limits to strict vegans, people keeping kosher, and anyone with an iodine allergy: They want to coat the fruit with shellfish. Specifically, they’d douse them with a spray derived from shrimp and crab shells. And while I have had some perfectly yummy curries featuring fruit and seafood, I will go on record saying that this is a weird idea. Of course there is a justification for this craziness. The ultimate goal isn’t to piss off vegans — it’s to make bananas that last longer. According to Take Part, …

Another day, another animal stuffed down a man’s pants

The slender loris has endured a mighty struggle to survive. This struggle generally involves things like poaching by crazy people who think lorises can cure things like impotence and asthma, but on Monday, that struggle involved a lone loris’ attempt to breathe while inside of a man’s pants. The man in question was attempting to smuggle the loris out of India by sticking it in his underwear. Nothing would delight us more than to tell you this incident, at New Delhi International Airport, was unusual. Unfortunately, as long as there have been rare animals, there have been humans stuffing rare …

Politics

Ahmadinejad says Iran’s enemies are destroying the rain clouds

Rush Limbaugh will be pleased* to know that he and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have something in common: They’re both so balls-to-the-wall bonkers that they think their enemies can control the weather. Or well, OK, maybe Limbaugh only thinks Obama controls the weather FORECAST — which means that, as unlikely as this seems, he’s still losing the Totally Unmoored From Reality Olympics. Because Ahmadinejad actually thinks that Iran’s enemies are destroying the rain clouds.

Climate & Energy

If you’re sneezing right now, it is climate change’s fault

More climate change = more hay fever, according to the Guardian: Hay fever sufferers face longer pollen seasons and highly allergenic new strains from invasive plants, a new report on the health effects of climate change on the UK warned on Tuesday. Global warming will cause earlier flowering, possibly extending the hay fever season by six weeks, and enable new species to grow in the UK. Pollen is also getting more potent, packing more allergen into each grain.

Business & Technology

This is what air pollution sounds like

One of the terrifying qualities of modern pollution is that you can’t always see it. In old pictures of industrial cities, the pollution was disgustingly apparent. But today, pollution is often invisible, even though it’s no less dangerous. Aaron Reuben and Gabriel Isaacman have come up with a way for people to feel pollution more viscerally: They’ve made it audible. At the Atlantic, they explain how they worked that magic: We created sounds from air samples (atmospheric particulate matter collected on filters) by first using gas chromatography to separate the thousands of compounds in the air (try it with markers …

Cities

This awesome athlete used a bikeshare bike to compete in the Nation’s Triathlon

Over the weekend, Jefferson Smith, a 42-year-old triathlete, competed in the Nation’s Triathlon in Washington, D.C. He did not come in first or second or third in the race, perhaps because his ride for the 25-mile cycling portion was not exactly a top-of-the-line racing bike. But he gets the blue ribbon for First in Awesome in our book, because the bike he raced on came from D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare. This was not the most competitive strategy; compared to super-aerodynamic, super-light carbon frame machines, the Capital Bikeshare bikes are clunkers. They have only three speeds and are designed not for speed …

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