Grist List

Cities

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James use public transit at the Olympics

If the American men's Olympic basketball team can use public transportation, so can everybody else.

Living

This couple moved all their worldly possessions using only bikes

Moving is stressful, and most of us deal with it by renting a ginormo truck, dumping our stuff in it (or bribing our buddies to dump our stuff in it), and hoping that nothing in our newspaper-packed boxes breaks. But Anthony and Jess Reiss decided to take a chance on a potentially really, really stressful alternative: They recruited a bunch of a friends and moved by bike. The Washington Post reports: Bicyclists from the community offered to help. A church group offered to help. A bike messenger from the District offered to help — a big coup because he had …

Q&A with ‘Mohawk Guy’ Bobak Ferdowsi, the new face of science

I love the fact that NASA’s dishy mohawked flight director Bobak Ferdowsi is now basically a household name, putting a human (and handsome) face on the Curiosity mission and space exploration in general. If we’re going to survive as a civilization or a species, we need to get excited about science, and it helps when we see scientists who don’t just look like the White Knights of the Ivory Tower. A cool, young, kinda punk NASA guy with a funny name? Yes please. The Washington Post’s Ideas@Innovations blog had a Skype chat with Bobak (we’re not technically on a first-name …

Cities

São Paulo has been invaded by giant brains

Apparently São Paulo, Brazil still has public phone booths — or at least it did. Now, thanks to the Call Parade public art project, it has giant brains, disco balls, can-can dancers, and miniature cities. One hundred artists have transformed 100 phone booths to add some whimsy to the city, and/or attract zombies.

New NASA time-lapse video makes Earth look almost as cool as Mars

Mars is the star of the news cycle right now, but this new time-lapse video of Earth from the International Space Station kind of gives the Red Planet a run for its money.

For this cat, learning to surf is a survival skill

I’m really hoping this is a glimpse of evolution in action — like, over thousands of years, the cats that know how to work surfboards will be more likely to survive dog attacks and live long enough to breed, and in a few millennia we’ll have a race of semi-aquatic feline surfer dudes.

Cities

New walk-scoring tool finally acknowledges that walking in the suburbs sucks

At Atlantic Cities, Sarah Goodyear puts her finger on a truth universally acknowledged by everyone in the world except WalkScore: “A mile in an American suburb is a lot longer than a mile in Rome.” In other words, walking 10 city blocks is very different from walking a mile up the side of a highway with intermittent sidewalks. A new tool, Walk Appeal, is trying to take that very real difference and quantify it. Steve Mouzon, the tool’s creator, explains that distance is only one of the factors that determine how far people are willing to walk. Imagine, for instance, …

This Olympic cycling video is basically TRON

If you couldn’t tell from the robot voice intoning “VEL-O-DROME” for nearly a minute and a half, this is the welcome video for the Olympic velodrome, where the cycling events take place. And as far as I can tell, it was produced in 1982 and just held in a vault for the last 30 years.

Cities

9-year-old’s lemonade stand raises over $3,000 for Detroit parks

Due to Detroit's budget gap, the park in Joshua Smith's neighborhood was full of tall grass and trash. Instead of moping and watching TV, the 9-year-old took matters into his own hands.

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