Grist List

Politics

Activist group sends Obama a message by carving it into a cornfield

Hot tip from an ex-resident of D.C. to all you activists out there: If you want to get the president’s attention, standing outside the White House with some signs and bullhorns is not going to do it. Everyone does that. You have to get creative. Like these guys, who cut their message into a field of crops, in hopes that the president would see it from Air Force One as he flies into Grand Junction, Colo., on a visit:

Cities

In Brooklyn, even the factories are artisanal

Manufacturing is back in Brooklyn! But only in a Renaissance Florence sort of way, where skilled artisans produce craft-objects for wealthy patrons with finicky desires. The New York Times reports that there are, against all odds, still factories in Brooklyn, although they’ve morphed from behemoth plants stamping out assembly-line goods to smaller shops: This building, at 1205 Manhattan Avenue, has been sliced and diced into several dozen small factories, each with a niche clientele. One forges exhibits out of wood and metal for the city’s museums. Another makes props and models for advertisers of products like Absolut Vodka to use …

Business & Technology

The federal government wants to pay for your electric bicycle

Electric bikes and electric motorcycles are awesome. They help you go up hills. They help you reach your destination with a minimum of armpit sweat. And they do this while dumping less carbon into atmosphere than their gas-powered equivalents. (Yes, there is such thing as a gas-powered bicycle. Yah. It’s stupid. We know.) The only problem with e-bikes is that they’re expensive as hell. But it’s your lucky day, because the federal government wants to help you buy one. Technically, what the government wants to do is give you a break on your taxes for buying an e-cycle of any …