Grist List

8-year-old gets rich off whale vomit and decides to open an animal shelter

Charlie Naysmith is the sort of kid who, when he unexpectedly finds a rock-like substance worth tens of thousands of dollars, donates it all to help animals.

Living

Wondering which condoms to buy? Science has the answer

Debby Herbenick knows how you feel about condoms. You know you need them, but you just want to go into the drugstore, get them, and get the hell out of there. (This is basically why they invented those self-service checkout things: As embarrassing as it is to buy condoms, imagine being the person on the other end of the transaction, thinking, “God, even this person is getting some?”) Herbenick thinks about condoms so you don’t have to, and she knows exactly which condom you should buy: Through scientific research that I conduct with my team at Indiana University about condoms, …

This cute kid is BFFs with a bunch of marmots

Marmots are not known for being particularly friendly. This famous scene in The Big Lebowski demonstrates quickly and comprehensively what humans can generally expect from marmots, i.e. they look nice and then they will fuck your shit up in a bathtub. But this little boy, Matteo Walch, is basically the Marmot Whisperer. He visits the Austrian Alps every year, and the marmots come out and hang out with him and have picnics with him and discuss the matters of the day.

Food

Vintage ads want you to eat vitamin donuts, put babies in cellophane, and spray everything with DDT

We don't think anything from our time period, besides possibly the Double Down, will cause as much consternation in the future as these vintage ads do now.

This weird biking/running harness is part transportation, part torture device

We were dusting off our “I” files today and came across this treasure under “inexplicable inventions.” What is this? Well. First of all, it’s called a Fliz, and it’s kind of like a bike, but you strap it around your shoulders like a harness and then power it with your feet. Basically, it’s a cross between a bike, a scooter, a lifejacket, and a Flintstones car.

Business & Technology

People think cloud computing involves actual clouds

We know that people often confuse weather and climate, but apparently a lot of people also confuse weather and weather-related metaphors.

Here’s a guy riding a bicycle the size of a shoe

This Russian video shows a man riding a teeny-tiny bicycle like he’s a bear in the circus. It is mesmerizing.

Politics

Mermaids are real and apparently don’t like taxes or universal health care

Angry Ron Paul delegates and racist peanut throwers were not the only strange attendees of the Republican National Convention. There were also mermaids present.

Cities

This nine-foot kinetic sculpture of San Francisco is made of over 100,000 toothpicks

Scott Weaver’s “Rolling Through the Bay” is nine feet tall and seven feet wide, i.e. both taller and wider than my bathroom. It’s got four different paths for ping-pong balls to roll through it, tracing “tours” of various San Francisco landmarks. It took 3,000 hours over 35 years to finish. And it’s made of nothing but toothpicks and Elmer’s glue.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×