Grist List

Business & Technology

10-year-old’s petition convinces Jamba Juice to stop using styrofoam

Fifth-grader Mia Hansen collected over 130,000 signatures, and the smoothie giant agreed to phase out styrofoam by 2013.

Climate & Energy

Man, the Mississippi River looks like HELL right now

You know how sometimes you overdo it at a party, but you don’t think it’s a big deal, until someone uploads pictures and you’re like “holy CRAP I looked like a hobo all night”? That’s probably how the Mississippi River feels right now. Sure, we all knew there was a drought and that the river was lower than normal, but jeez, Earth Observatory satellite, did you have to take photos and tag them? That’s just rude. Here’s EO’s picture of the Mississippi last August, looking robust and healthy (and, in fact, unusually high to the point of overflowing): And here’s …

What would happen if everyone on Earth jumped at the same time?

Michael Stevens of internet thingy VSauce investigates the foremost question in the minds of people who care about the Earth: How worried do we need to be that everyone on the planet is going to travel to Los Angeles and jump simultaneously? Would that cause an earthquake? Would it knock Earth off its axis? And how weird is it that the entire population of the planet could fit in L.A.?


Honda Miimo is basically a Roomba for your lawn

Can you imagine just being able to sit around and watch television all weekend on your massive energy-sucking flat screen while someone else niftily, sustainably, mowed your lawn? Someone you didn’t have to pay? Someone you didn’t even have to talk to, because they’re a little tiny automatic lawn mower, which is, when you get down to it, so much more useful than a person anyway?

Climate & Energy

New clean energy plant will run on used cooking oil

In Shoreham, on the south coast of England, they’re building a clean energy plant that will operate on basically the same fuel as your biodiesel-retrofitted Jetta. The plant will burn used cooking oil, tall oil pitch (whatever that is), animal tallow, and waste vegetable oils to potentially provide as many as 20,000 Brits with power for their tellies, their electric kettles, and their weird little heating units that don’t really make you very warm.

Swiss can now brag about neutrality, cheese, and a tree museum

If you were a tree, could you think of a better life than living with 2,000 other trees on the grounds of a 14th century Swiss monastery? Well, I have no idea what trees like, so maybe not — but if that sounds good to a tree, it is now possible. The Tree Museum, which opened this week outside of Zurich, is the creation of Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea.

Artist makes apple orchard into a giant living battery

Photographer Caleb Charland takes pictures of batteries made out of power sources like stacked coins, fruit, and vinegar. But maybe his most impressive trick was wiring up this apple-powered battery using fruit that was still on the tree.

Carpooling bird hitches a ride on a moving vehicle

I always assumed that the reason normal, non-rich-people cars don’t have hood ornaments is that a) tiny car sculptures are not for plebeians and b) Bart Simpson might steal them. But it turns out there’s another reason: Without a hood ornament, you have more room for birds.

Business & Technology

This robot has the most swagger of any robot you’ve seen

Yeah, I think I’m comfortable with this country’s research funding going towards developing android swaggerbots. As far as I’m concerned, this could be DARPA’s greatest achievement since the internet.

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