Grist List

New startup measures your home’s efficiency just by taking a picture

Forty percent of energy in the United States is used to heat buildings and homes. Only some of that goes to actually sparing your whiny ass from getting up and putting on a sweater, though. The rest — billions of dollars worth — just leaks out your windows and doors. But a new company could help you figure out where you’re losing energy and money, just by taking a snapshot of your house. It’s pretty important that we step up our  heating/cooling efficiency — because man, you weenies waste a LOT of energy while trying to ensure that the ambient …

Gaza’s first electric car is made of recycled materials and cost less than $1,000

It’s always heartwarming when someone who lives somewhere completely fucked manages to do something useful to improve their circumstances, and, in turn, to make the place they live slightly less fucked. Gaza resident and taxi driver Munthar al-Qassas was tired of waiting in the hot sun to buy gas during the region’s ongoing gas shortage. But did the 32-year-old former political science major just throw up his hands and sit around reading Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling? He did not. Instead, he created an electric car — Gaza’s very first — from all recycled materials, at a cost of under $1,000. 

These tiny plants can live for 300 years with the help of their friends the ants

The herb Borderea chouardii is like the Disney heroine of plants

Living

Your CD collection is greener than Spotify

A new report crunched the numbers on your Spotify habit and concluded that it's terrible for energy consumption.

Food

Chinese McDonald’s selling a very chic, weird, possibly political black/white burger combo

These black and white burgers might have a political message, which seems like a really cumbersome way to communicate.

New species of monkey can see into your very soul

The lesula is a new species of monkey, and he knows your pain. Just let him gaze at you.

See-through frog could revolutionize biology class

Man, how much easier would high school biology have been with the glassfrog? Instead of having to dissect a dead animal, you could have just peered through its naturally transparent belly. It’s quicker, cleaner, and has a seriously reduced chance of some douchebag putting a spleen in your hair. io9 talked to an evolutionary biologist to figure out why something like this would even exist, given that making 10th-graders’ lives easier is not normally considered an adaptive trait.

These guys made $2 million last year selling chicken diapers (and other stuff)

The founders of My Pet Chicken did not plan on starting a gigantic business. They didn't know what a chicken-obsessed nation we were about to become.

Cities

New walkability scoring site factors in safety, attractiveness, and hills

Walk Score is a wonderful thing, but it is not perfect. Therefore, it now has some competitors. The newest would-be Walk Score killer is Walkonomics, a site that tells you more than just how close you are to shops and restaurants and other places to which you might want to walk. FastCoExist explains: Ideally, you also want to know things like how safe the streets are, whether the sidewalks are wide enough, how clear the signage is, and also — less tangibly — how clean the street is, and whether it’s relaxing and fun. Distance, in other words, is not …

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