Grist List

Here is an otter that is smarter than Todd Akin

Like Rep. Todd Akin, Nellie the sea otter does not understand how human reproduction works. But she’s never said anything offensive about rape, plus she can stack three cups! She should probably run for Congress.

What did you do this weekend? Curiosity took pictures of itself and blew up a rock

It’s been a big weekend for the Curiosity rover. First, it took a new Facebook profile pic (with flattering shot-from-above camera angle, but thankfully free of duck lips). Actually, Curiosity shot this selfie on Aug. 7, but it was just released on Saturday. And somehow it’s even cooler, at least to me, than shots of the surface of Mars with no rover in sight. It’s like vacation snaps — if you don’t take at least one with you in it, then all you’ve got are a bunch of artsy shots of Wales or whatever, not memories. If I were Curiosity’s …

Climate & Energy

These dizzy cats would like you to turn up your thermostat to save energy

Kudos to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas — they really understand what the internet says about human psychology. Instead of even trying to use science, economics, or statistics to convince people to stop cooling their homes to 65 degrees while they’re at work, ERCOT is skipping all that nonsense and going straight to what motivates people: Cat videos and ladies in bustiers. The cat one is of course much more convincing, since people will always do what cats say, as evidenced by the popularity of cheeseburgers. (You guys I think that might not be a real cat paw though.)