Grist List

This rescued baby manatee is so cute we can’t stand it

There's nothing cuter than a baby manatee with a sad story that has a happy ending.

Climate & Energy

Here’s what record low sea-ice levels look like

I hope Santa has a swimsuit, because this webcam picture from the North Pole shows pools of meltwater opening up as sea ice reaches a record low. Ice coverage is predicted to drop to unprecedented levels as early as this weekend (if it hasn’t already — it takes a while to compare and collate all the data).

Glow-in-the-dark cockroaches look like Jawas

These South American fluorescent cockroaches use their glowing spots — really pits of bioluminescent bacteria — to mimic the markings of a toxic beetle, so predators will pass them by. More importantly, though, they look exactly like Jawas. Look, it’s even wearing a little bandolier!

Indonesia’s solutions to ‘train-surfing’ include concrete balls and electrocution

Trains in Indonesia are so crowded that frustrated commuters often climb on top, where it’s also crowded but at least you get some fresh air. Rather than run more trains, authorities are dealing with the “train-surfing” epidemic using methods stolen straight out of Home Alone. In the past, they’ve covered train roofs with oil, or hung concrete balls over the tracks; now they’re lowering electrical lines to make train-surfing even more dangerous than it already is.

Politics

Vote for Mulvar, the true green candidate (also comes in 200 colors)

Mulvar may not be the highest-profile candidate, but he has the best media strategy we’ve seen (now involving bird chirp site!), and quite possibly the most convincing green platform.

Cities

Super-freaky train station design looks like a spider laying eggs

The proposed structure for a Vienna train station looks like a mutant pregnant insect depositing its egg sacs.

Climate & Energy

Not satisfied with destroying crops, the drought is now ruining quaint local traditions

Prepare yourself for the sort of sad, super-local news that makes the fact that the world is ending such a bummer. A flower show in Butte County, S.D., sucked this year because there wasn’t enough water to grow any really good flowers. We all know climate change is ruining the Earth in general, but ruining small-town flower shows just seems mean.

Climate & Energy

Crude oil made out of pig poo is totally going to save our bacon

One pig produces about eight pounds of manure a day. (Try not to think how many Reader’s Digests it might go through if it eliminated sitting on a toilet — you’ll just gross yourself out.) Anyway, that’s a lot of waste. But now, thanks to scientists at the University of Illinois, it might represent a lot of precious, vehicle-propelling, revenue-producing crude oil.

Cities

Out of room on the ground? Go build a house on top of a mall

No matter how much evidence we trot out about how dense living is superior, someone’s always going to demur because they want a big house with a big yard. And you can only get those in the suburbs, right? Well, not if you build them on top of other buildings, like this neighborhood on top of a shopping mall in Zhuzhou, China.

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