Grist List

Cities

Awesome idea: Require a cycling test to get a driver’s license

As a cyclist, sharing the road with cars is scary, for obvious reasons: They’re gigantic metal objects moving fast enough to kill you. But as a driver, sharing the roads with cyclists is also kinda scary. Most drivers are good people who don’t want to kill anyone while they’re out doing errands, but they don’t really understand the logic of how cyclists behave. At the Guardian, Tom Richards has a simple suggestion to ameliorate this problem and to make the roads safer: Make sure that people driving cars on the road have had experience biking on the road, too.

These bands are ditching tour buses for tour bikes and tour trains

Tour buses are basically synonymous with sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, and also that scene in Almost Famous that guaranteed you’ve still got “Tiny Dancer” in your head. But now some bands are ditching buses altogether. It doesn’t matter if you’re just a guy with a guitar who wants to get up on that stage and sing your heart out or if you’re a 10-piece band with the show to match — you can pull off a whole tour minus the gas-guzzling groupie machine. Ben Sollee and his band, for example, are on a Ditch the Van tour this …

Meet the internet’s newest sexy science star, Mohawk Guy

Sure, ostensibly you stayed up to watch Curiosity land. But you just couldn’t keep your eyes off the handsome specimen with the star-spangled ‘hawk. Seven minutes of terror? Try seven minutes of HELLO, NURSE. As always, the internet means knowing you’re not alone in whatever you’re into, even if what you’re into is Inspector Gadget/Pokemon slash fic or something. And you were definitely not alone in swooning over Mohawk Guy, who is in fact awesomely named Bobak Ferdowsi (Bobak and Ferdowsi: coincidentally also the two stars of my Pokemon slash). In fact, by the time the East Coast woke up, …

You will not be able to stop looking at this penis snake

Seriously, Nature, what are you ON?

Climate & Energy

It’s so hot in Oklahoma that this squirrel melted

The squirrel decided it would be a mistake to drink ice water without first lying around on top of it for a while. Basically, this is a reverse sauna for squirrels.

Living

2-year-old girl’s bionic arms are the world’s best use of 3D printing

Emma has a congenital disorder that means she doesn't have the muscle strength to lift her arms by herself. But hey, no big deal -- this 3D-printed robot exoskeleton can do it for her.

Rangers rescue adorable seal in thong bikini

Losing your bikini bottoms in the ocean isn’t just embarrassing/sexy — it’s also a potential ecological hazard, apparently. Just ask this young seal, except he WON’T ANSWER because he’s got his THROAT stuck in a G-STRING. (Also seals can’t talk.) A local man spotted the seal on a New Zealand beach, hanging out near a natural arch called Lover’s Leap — so I guess it’s no mystery where the unattended thong came from. He called the Department of Conservation, and marine rangers hurried to the afflicted animal’s side. Ranger Jim Fyfe says it’s not clear the seal was in serious …

Cities

Here’s an Olympic gold medalist taking public transit

Here’s fencer Ruben Limardo of Venezuela, hours after winning top honors in men’s epee, toting his medal home on the London tube. Dude may have been working his ass off all day, and he may be sporting $600 in solid gold, but he’s not too good for public transportation. I never want to hear you saying “I’m too tired, let’s just drive” again.

Cities

Crowdfund your community project with Brickstarter

Bryan Boyer and Dan Hill may be saints, sent down on high by the God of City Planning. They have come up with a tool that may actually make the process of improving a neighborhood less tedious, less difficult, and less prone to 10-hour-long community meetings in which everyone has to say what they think. It’s not finished yet, but if Brickstarter, a crowdsourcing tool for community projects, does what it promises, starting a community garden or a co-working space may no longer take years off your life, both in time and in stress. Wired explains: People can propose projects, …

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