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Grist List: Look what we found.


What’s inside a school lunch burger? 26 ingredients, and only one is meat

What will you see when NPR's Tiny Desk Kitchen takes you inside a school lunch burger patty? Some pretty startling colors -- blue copper gluconate, red cyanocobalamin -- and some 10-dollar names like thiamine mononitrate and pyridoxine hydrochloride.



Car-centric neighborhoods linked to childhood obesity, finger-wagging

Photo by Jym Ferrier.

It should come as no surprise that children who live in neighborhoods that aren't walkable, lack playgrounds, and are full of fast food joints are twice as likely to be obese as kids in pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods with access to healthy foods.


GOP’s worst nightmare: Green Muslims

The Quran is full of "lessons about water conservation, avoiding the wasteful consumption of resources, proper land use, stewardship of trees, and compassion for animals and birds," reports John Wihbey at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

This can mean only one thing: The entire environmental movement has aligned itself with our Muslim president to enforce an eco-Sharia -- especially in red states, whose general intransigence about environmental regulation is the last bulwark in that brewing global war of civilizations that Newt Gingrich keeps going on about.

Read more: Climate Change, Politics


Karl Rove’s super PAC attacks Obama for preventing oil spills

Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove's super PAC, is spending $1.7 million in six swing states to attack Obama's energy policy. Here's what Rove wants swing voters to think about Obama:

We're not really sure that it's the best political strategy to remind voters that the Bush administration existed at all, let alone that it passed policies that are still having an impact. But we’ll assume Rove knows what he’s doing. It’s not like Crossroads GPS has ever gotten two Pants On Fire ratings from Politifact or anything.

The ad also says that drilling's gone "down where Obama's in charge." Now, why did that happen? Not because Obama hates oil and gas interests: From an environmentalist's point of view, he's been rather friendly to those industries. Since Crossroads relied on Greenwire for its citation of the 14 percent drop in oil production on federal lands in 2011, we'll go to Greenwire to explain why:

Read more: Politics


Your new offshore energy source: Floating algae farms

Forget offshore oil drilling. NASA's working on a project that would generate clean, renewable offshore energy, by growing algae in floating plastic bags.

These floating algae farms would take in wastewater from treatment plants. For algae, wastewater is like the nectar of the gods: The ammonia and phosphates act as a fertilizer. So the algae would float happily contained in the baggies, getting fat with lipid oil, and cleaning up the wastewater in the process. Eventually, the algae farmers would harvest the oil, recycle the plastic and start all over again.

Read more: Biofuel


Why going green during a recession actually creates jobs

Economists have long known something that politicians apparently do not: If you need to impose expensive environmental regulations, there’s no better time than during a recession. Or so says macroeconomist Josh Bivens, writing in New Scientist.

In fact, says Bivens, when the economy is sucking wind, environmental regulations actually create jobs, for three reasons:


Critical List: Earthquake off the coast of Indonesia; Tennessee anti-climate teaching bill now a law

An 8.6 earthquake off the coast of Indonesia has triggered a tsunami warning across the Indian Ocean region. (UPDATE: The warning has been lifted.)

Remember that bill in Tennessee that would allow public schools to teach climate denialism? Welp, now it's a law.

An energy company called Oneok Partners wants to run an oil pipeline from the North Dakota shale to Oklahoma.

Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS is attacking Obama on oil policy and gas prices, which most people think Obama is not addressing promptly enough, according to a new poll.

Read more: Uncategorized


This is the coolest-looking, least practical bike helmet we’ve ever seen

Photos by Natalie Walsh.

Have you ever wanted to have a stunningly beautiful bike helmet that would shatter into dangerous splinters if you ever actually fell on your head? Well, you're in luck, because Instructables user Natalina has posted step-by-step procedures for making a helmet that looks like a disco ball. (She emphasizes that it's meant as a costume piece, since it's, you know, covered with glass -- but you could do it with acrylic mirrors instead for a safer ride.)

Read more: Biking


Chris Christie’s strategy for killing public transit: Lies, lies, and lies

You may remember that Chris Christie -- our most favoritest governor of New Jersey -- ripped the beating heart out of a N.Y.C.-Jersey transit project that public officials had only been planning for since, oh, 1995. At the time, he said the project would cost New Jersey too much. But guess what? He lied about the costs, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO called Christie out on making up his "facts." Christie said state transportation officials had revised project costs upwards to more than $14 billion. But nope, their estimates were under $10 billion, just like they always had been. He also said New Jersey would shoulder 70 percent of costs. The actual number? 14.4 percent. And Christie also claimed his state would have to pay for 100 percent of cost overruns. The actual deal hadn't been closed yet, and the federal government had made offers to take on some of the costs.

Read more: Transportation