Grist List

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.


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.


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.


Singapore’s terrible new rap video demands you have procreative sex tonight

If you can’t make it beyond the first 30 seconds of wretched rap in this public service ad campaign, here’s the basic gist: It’s Aug. 9! Happy National Night! Now please, please save Singapore’s flagging population by putting your genitals inside other people’s genitals or vice versa! You should really watch the rest, though, because it is lunacy:

Climate & Energy

These high-res photos of Deepwater Horizon will make you go ‘Holy $#*%!’

We've never seen pictures of the disaster that were anywhere near as staggering as these.


Make delicious popsicles out of booze, goat cheese, and jalapenos

We all loved the Good Humor ice cream truck, but let’s be realistic: Good humor is for children, children with a naive understanding of the world and its woes. What we need, as adults, is an Ennui Truck. And it would sell sophisticated, grown-up frozen treats like blackberry/goat cheese popsicles. In the absence of the Ennui Truck, though, NPR tells you how to make those goat cheese pops — and sangria popsicles, and lime-jalapeno popsicles — for yourself and your very worldly friends.

Climate & Energy

San Diego is seeing record numbers of weird black jellyfish

This black jellyfish (which looks a no-more-comforting blood red in this lighting, but black in the open water) can grow to the size of a trash can lid, and its sting packs a serious wallop. Normally these guys are a rare sight around the waters of San Diego; before this decade, they were spotted only about five times in 100 years. Since then, they’ve been seen an additional five times — i.e., still infrequently, but 10 times more often.


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:

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