Grist List

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.)

Excuse me but this butterfly can see with its butt

Animals get all the cool accoutrements — tails, wings, prehensile penises — and humans all know which one they’re most jealous of. If you want proof, ask any elementary schooler, most stoned college kids, and certain tags on Tumblr. But the one creature I’ll bet no human has ever, ever envied is the Japanese swallowtail butterfly. Okay, it has pretty wings, but it also has eyes in its butt. Pass.

Newly discovered owl frowns on your shenanigans

This owl, Ninox Spilocephala, is one of 10 new species of owl just discovered in the Philippines. (Researchers found them using recording equipment that can distinguish subtle distinctions between different species’ hoots.)  More importantly, though, he has scary human eyes, hates you, and was clearly born to be a meme.

Business & Technology

These floor tiles let you generate energy just by walking around

Great (literal!) strides in renewable energy are being made, by way of an emerging technology called footfall harvesting.

Climate & Energy

Farmers are dealing with corn shortages by feeding cows candy instead

If you worry about the fact that cows eat so much corn, you might be happy to know that cows are now eating expired candy.

Baby octopi look like cartoon characters

Did you have any idea that baby octopi (octopuses? Octopodes? I’ve actually seen a surprising amount of debate about this) were so goshdarn adorable? The top one even has little anime eyelashes!

‘Crash test cow’ video is like a low-budget Mythbusters

Farmers are often injured or even killed when cows crash into gates, which then slam, crush, or pinch any unlucky human standing behind them. So scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization developed a hinged gate which blah blah blah the point is CRASH TEST COW.

Food

This man knows when you’re lying about honey

Did you know that people sell fake honey? They take supermarket honey and try to pass it off as fancy stuff you get for $30 at a farmers market. Is nothing sacred anymore? Luckily they don’t always get away with it, thanks to honey detective Vaughn Bryant. By day, he’s an anthropologist, and a regular user of honey. By night, or maybe just some other days, he’s a melissopalynologist — an expert on pollen.

Cities

Impress all your air-breathing friends with a car that runs on air

Look, down on the ground! It’s an orange mole with no face! It’s a Weeble that says "air" on the side! It’s an M&M with wheels! No, it’s an Airpod -- a car that runs on compressed air.

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