Grist List

Polar bears are dying of zebra herpes

There’s a well-known doctor saying: “When you hear hoofbeats in Central Park, don’t expect zebras.” The idea is that the symptoms you’re looking at probably don’t indicate a super-rare disease, even if you Googled them and Dr. Internet told you that you definitely have pernicious porphyria or whatever. But apparently that’s off the table for polar bears. If you’re a polar bear and you have a weird disease, go ahead and suspect zebras, because you’ve probably acquired zebra herpes. At least, that was the case in Wuppertal Zoo in Germany, where two captive polar bears started having seizures in 2010.


This Auto-Tuned tribute to Five Guys will make you want a fast food burger

Of course, you only eat organic CSA vegetables, beef you’ve been introduced to by name, and pork hand-reared by a little girl named Fern. But if you want to make a small anthropological study of how people who enjoy chain-restaurant burgers feel about perfectly cooked fries and bacon, well … here, for your enjoyment, is a pure distillation of fast food bliss. With Auto-Tune!


Freaky food sculptures will make you think twice about lunch meat

Artist Dmitry Tsykalov does some freaky things with meat. If you’re unlucky, his anatomical sculptures will make you feel pretty weird about eating things like lunch meat, shrimp, hot dogs, or spaghetti and meat balls. If you’re lucky, they’ll just make you feel weird about eating heads and feet. Lest you think you’ll be safe sticking to fruits and vegetables, let me assure you that Tsykalov has made those creepy too.


This video about GMOs is like watching your dad rap

If you’re against GMOs, but you don’t want to have to go through your full spiel every time you get in an argument, good news: You can now just subject your interlocutors to the equivalent of an 8th-grade biology teacher trying to get down verbally with the youth.


LEGO Brooklyn is just as cool as the real thing and has fewer obnoxious residents

Jonathan Lopes' 400-square-foot replica is accurate down to minute details and features landmarks like the Fairway in Red Hook, Fire Engine House 226, and the A train.


Former Twitter CEO’s dream home is SF neighborhood nightmare

Evan Williams wants to build a net zero energy home in a historic San Francisco neighborhood. Who could possibly object to an internet entrepreneur using his hard-earned cash to build an eco-friendly house?


Now you can buy organic air in a can

I’m pretty strongly against most of the ideas in Mel Brooks movies becoming reality, but this one seems like a winner: canned air from cities like New York, Paris, Berlin, and Singapore. Photographer Kirill Rudenko makes them, and they’re available in his Etsy shop for people who are nostalgic for their city’s smells, or who just worry that their planet will run out of air.

The baby beluga who inspired ‘Baby Beluga’ has died at the age of 46

Parents and nursery school teachers singing the beloved children’s song “Baby Beluga” by Raffi (a.k.a. Raffi Cavoukian) will have to wipe away a tear today after the final chorus: Kavna, the whale who inspired the song, died of cancer Monday at the Vancouver Aquarium at the age of 46. In other news, you are old. Update: Raffi is now saying that the song wasn’t “about” Kavna, simply “inspired by” her. This seems like a pretty academic distinction but okay?

Watch a guy pull off a sting operation to smack down a bike thief

A Portland man who is not named Simon Jackson identified his stolen bike when the thief put it up for sale on Seattle Craigslist. So he wrote an email offering to buy the bike, and traveled to Seattle with backup and cameras. When the thief showed up to sell him his bike back, “Simon” confronted him and chased him down.

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