Grist List

Tick bites can make you deathly allergic to meat

If there weren’t enough reasons to be totally terrified and grossed out by ticks (they drop on your head from the trees, they suck your blood, they burrow into your skin, they transmit a terrible disease you’ll never be fully rid of), the bite of a lone star tick can trigger allergies that mean eating a hamburger can lead to anaphylactic shock. Helen Chappell writes in Discover Magazine about her experience with this relatively unknown danger, and her account is pretty dire: Tick saliva is “a really good provocateur of an immune response, even outside of an infection,” Commins told me, …

Food

Gummi bear bratwursts are a crime against nature (but apparently taste sort of OK)

This should be a rule about food: If you wouldn't put two things in your mouth at the same time, they should not be combined into a single food.

Politics

Meet the 82-year-old nun who just committed the worst nuclear security breach in U.S. history

Turns out nuns have more up their habit sleeves than knuckle-rapping rulers and twee songs for Austrian children.

Floating island the size of New Jersey discovered in South Pacific

The New Zealand Navy discovered the 7,500-square-mile slab of buoyant rock, which an Australian officer described as "the weirdest thing I've seen in 18 years at sea."

Climate & Energy

Bears will eat you because of global warming

Bears don’t want to eat you — they just want to be left alone to ride unicycles, eat porridge, and be depressing in John Irving novels. But what with the droughts and heat waves, their normal food is scarce and they’re being forced to break into houses and eat chocolate, candy, and beer. Eventually, they’re going to eat you. I’m sorry. I wish I could say they wouldn’t, but they will.

Business & Technology

The Gates Foundation just bought 50 gallons of fake poo

Bill Gates is into scat. His foundation is hard at work on a new space-age toilet, and to test the prototypes, it just bought 50 gallons of soybean-based fake feces from a soybean-based fake feces company. That’s some of it up above, sitting a lot closer to a dude’s hand than I’d want it to sit to mine.

Cities

This miniature city is made of 100,000 staples

This is significantly more creative than we've ever gotten with office supplies.

Sperm whales sleep standing up

Sperm whales spend most of their time sailing lazily through the deep, only occasionally stopping to have a terrifying penis. (The ones in the video are right whales, but I assume the sperm whale is much the same.) Basically, their normal activity looks not unlike you and me sleeping. But it turns out their sleeping looks like you and me standing up! Oh, that crazy backwards undersea world.

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.

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