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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Beautiful chart tells you how to eat seasonal (in the U.K., at least)

This beautiful interactive chart from U.K. organization Eat Seasonably may not apply precisely to your climate, and it's pretty British in other ways too -- "courgettes" are zucchini, FYI. But I love the concept -- a handy calendar showing you what fruits and veg are in season at what times -- and I love the idea of having a star vegetable or three for every month.

Read more: Food, Locavore

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Teen makes prom dress out of 5,000 soda can tabs

Some people wear their commitment to reuse and sustainability on their sleeves; Regan Kerr wears hers to prom. The Colorado high school junior spent five months making her prom dress out of 5,114 soda can tabs (and no, before you ask, she didn't drink 5,114 sodas by herself -- she collected them over two years). When I was a kid we used to lace these onto our Chucks for some reason, but I've never seen anything this elaborate.

Read more: Living

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President Bartlet wants you to go for a walk

If you worked in President Bartlet's White House, you would not have to worry about dying an early death from sitting all day, because the West Wing staffers are always walking! And talking! And walk-and-talking! About things like how no one realizes that the president actually can't fix gas prices.

And after you watch this West Wing reunion video from Funny or Die, you too will want to walk. Because President Bartlet gave an inspiring speech that referenced Greece, and due to the President Bartlet magic, it's effective even though he is old now and Charlie has a gross mustache. But if you need a real reason … well, as the staff says, walking helps prevent diabetes, stroke, all sorts of cancer, and depression. (They said it very quickly, so maybe you missed it.)

Read more: Living, Transportation

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Humans and dolphins conspire to kill fish


Off the coast of Brazil, dolphins and humans have been working together to snare mullet since 1847. Ed Yong reports at Discover Magazine:

The dolphins drive the mullet towards the fishermen, who stand waist-deep in water holding nets. The humans cannot see the fish through the turbid water. They must wait for their accomplices.

As the fish approach, the dolphins signal to the humans by rolling at the surface, or slapping the water with their heads or tails. The nets are cast, and the mullet are snared. Some manage to escape, but in breaking formation, they are easy prey for the dolphins.

Read more: Animals, Food

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Meatpacking plant turns into net-zero-energy vertical farm

Photo by Plant Chicago.

Soon, a former meatpacking plant in Chicago will replace carcasses and rendering vats with bakers and brewers and fish farmers and mushroom growers. The Plant (ho ho, a double meaning!) is gathering together a bunch of food-makers to create a self-sustaining system in the 93,500-square-foot abandoned space. As Fast Company reports, a former meatpacking plant is the perfect place to start a food business of this kind: It already contains "food-grade materials" which are safe for food preparation.

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Critical List: Natural gas bigwig steps down as company chair; new coral reefs

Aubrey McClendon, chair of the natural gas company Chesapeake Energy, is giving up his role as chairman (but will remain CEO). McClendon faced criticism for mixing his personal finances with the company's business.

More Indonesian palm oil plantations are going on peatland, which means more intensive carbon emissions, which means … well, you guys know what that means.

In the Pacific, climate change could create some new coral reefs.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Awesome ‘bike hugging’ dog guards and rides his owner’s bike

Apparently this adorable bike-guarding dog lives in Nanning, China, where he's known as Li Li the Bike Hugging Dog.

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Drivers unable to use turn signals properly

Drivers are always complaining how craaaazy bike riders are, what with their wanting to "share" the "road" and "biking" in "bike lanes." Well, it turns out that drivers are really bad at using the roads, too. And especially at using their TURN SIGNALS.

According to a new study from the Society of Automotive Engineers, 25 percent of the time, drivers do not use their turn signals when turning. And 48 percent of the time, drivers do not use their turn signals when changing lanes. 

Read more: Transportation

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Your cell phone is killing millions of birds

I know that it is a tragedy when a person wants to check Twitter on her phone, and the service sucks and -- aaaaahhhh -- now she is bored. Bored, bored, bored, and AT&T is the worst, and why didn't you wait for the Verizon iPhone? Luckily for bored humans, there are 84,000 communications towers in North America intended to forestall this type of angst. Unluckily for birds, these 84,000 communications towers in North America often kill the birds as they are migrating each year.

The University of Southern California put a number on this massacre and it is large: 7 million bird deaths each year.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Urban carnivores have higher survival rates than their country cousins

I heard this weekend that there's at least one coyote living permanently in Central Park. Everyone's heard a story like that recently -- bears, coyotes, and other carnivores stalking through city streets and parks, right where we'd least expect them. But according to a new study, certain carnivores -- raccoons and coyotes -- do better in cities than in rural areas. Conservation Magazine reports:

One team found seven times more coyotes per square kilometer in urban parts of southern California than rural areas, and raccoons have reached an “astonishing” 333 animals per square kilometer in one Fort Lauderdale, Florida park, about four to 400 times their density in the countryside.

Read more: Animals, Cities