Grist List

Business & Technology

These wind turbines were modeled after stegosauri

Generally, gigantic engineering companies don’t truck with whimsy. But Siemens, which makes many of the wind turbines popping up on horizons around the world, has created a suite of new products that makes turbines more powerful and is inspired by dinosaurs. It’s like something a 5-year-old thought up, but better.

Dumpster gardens make your block look prettier because trees, and uglier because dumpsters

A Brooklyn man wants to beautify Brooklyn with dumpster gardens that aren't really that beautiful.

Climate & Energy

New eBay for recyclable oils makes it way easier to power your biodiesel car

It's cheap and easy to use but hard to get, but possibly getting easier, with the first ever online marketplace for recycled oils.


Ingredient-delivery services let you make ‘home-cooked’ food without picking up a knife

For those who crave a home-cooked meal but find the process of making food entirely from scratch … unnecessary, new services are springing up to combine the benefits of delivery and home-cooking, all in one neatly tied package. In D.C., for instance: The food comes wrapped in a box with twine, and each ingredient has its own container: A salad of grape tomatoes, red onion, and organic blue cheese are already mixed together with balsamic and olive oil on the side. The raw flank steak is cut and marinated in a plastic Ziploc bag. The potatoes come whole with a …

Why yes, this IS a music video about climate change featuring Bill Nye and Isaac Asimov

The song features Bill Nye dropping some science, with guest vocalists Isaac Asimov, scientist Richard Alley, and David Attenborough.

Male killer whales need their mommies to survive

Girl humans tend to go all gooey when a guy loves his mama — like tipping well, it’s an indicator of good boyfriend material. Girl orcas, though, might just sneer and say “oh, of course you’re nice to your mom. You’re just trying to not die.” A new long-term study of about 600 orcas showed that orcas are the ultimate mama’s boys — when male orcas’ mothers die, their own chances of survival drop sharply. ScienceNow explains: Young males were three times more likely to die the year after their mother’s death than were males whose mothers were still around. …

Northern Virginia seems to have a rabid beaver problem

If you don't want to get bitten by a rabid beaver, best to avoid Northern Virginia, where there have been a spate of attacks.

Climate & Energy

Four decades of BS coal ads has amassed quite a collection of misleading coal ads, misrepresenting coal’s safety, its abundance, its environmental impact, and how likely it is to save us from totalitarianism. Here we present samples of ads by coal companies and coal industry front groups from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s — showing that the more things change, the more coal executives just keep lying like weasels. Is this guy supposed to be a hippie? Is that what hippies looked like in 1974? Anyway, looks like the “green energy kills jobs” canard has a long pedigree. And look — bonus Scary Arabs …

Exposed: Manufacturing conglomerate’s plan for moving humans off of Earth

Sean Ragan of MAKE magazine just posted this amazing graphic, which he tracked down after being mildly obsessed with it for more than a decade. It’s an “Integrated Space Plan” drawn up by Rockwell International, a conglomerate of manufacturing companies in the aerospace, electronics, and truck component industries. The plan was created in the ’80s, and is supposed to be a detailed flow chart for establishing a permanent human presence in space. And it. Is. Amazing.

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