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Grist List: Look what we found.


Watch plants swallow up tiny houses in this weird living artwork

Artist Rob Carter is interested in the relationship between the built environment and nature, and his newest exhibition, which opens tomorrow in New York City, features mini replicas of three homesteads -- Charles Darwin's, Henry David Thoreau's, and Sir John Bennet Lawes'. The miniatures live in a garden of dandelions, bush beans, and corn, which over the course of the exhibit will take over the houses:

Viewers are invited to witness as the garden overcomes the estates in Carter’s controlled but fragile ecosystem in three distinct ways: time-based video projections, peepholes cut into the sides of the garden, and from an elevated viewing platform.

Read more: Green Home


Dude singlehandedly finds homes for 500 unwanted trees

O'Brien, on the right, is a one-man Humane Society for trees.

Members of a group called Plant Amnesty are kind of like real-life Loraxes (Lorices?), if the Lorax actually did something to save the Truffula trees instead of just wagging his finger like some kind of pre-internet concern troll.

Exemplifying their ethos is Bernie O'Brien, a resident of Seattle who has saved at least 500 trees, digging them up by hand -- including arboreal monsters that weighed up to 400 pounds, reports the Seattle Times.

Read more: Cities, Living


Critical List: Nebraska legislature kickstarts Keystone XL planning; NASA’s climate skeptics

The Nebraska legislature passed a bill that'll kickstart planning for the rerouted Keystone XL pipeline.

Turns out a bunch of former NASA employees are also climate skeptics.

Canada's unlikely to meet its 2020 goal for carbon emissions cuts.

Read more: Uncategorized


9-year-old builds the world’s cutest recycled cardboard arcade

Nine-year-old Caine didn't build his home arcade out of cardboard because he wanted to recycle -- he did it because he likes arcades, has access to a lot of boxes, and is a DIY genius. But you can't help but be inspired by his innovative remaking. And you definitely can't help but be a little thrilled when a local filmmaker drums up a huge flash mob to come make Caine's arcade dream a reality.


What’s inside a school lunch burger? 26 ingredients, and only one is meat

What will you see when NPR's Tiny Desk Kitchen takes you inside a school lunch burger patty? Some pretty startling colors -- blue copper gluconate, red cyanocobalamin -- and some 10-dollar names like thiamine mononitrate and pyridoxine hydrochloride.



Car-centric neighborhoods linked to childhood obesity, finger-wagging

Photo by Jym Ferrier.

It should come as no surprise that children who live in neighborhoods that aren't walkable, lack playgrounds, and are full of fast food joints are twice as likely to be obese as kids in pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods with access to healthy foods.


GOP’s worst nightmare: Green Muslims

The Quran is full of "lessons about water conservation, avoiding the wasteful consumption of resources, proper land use, stewardship of trees, and compassion for animals and birds," reports John Wihbey at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

This can mean only one thing: The entire environmental movement has aligned itself with our Muslim president to enforce an eco-Sharia -- especially in red states, whose general intransigence about environmental regulation is the last bulwark in that brewing global war of civilizations that Newt Gingrich keeps going on about.

Read more: Climate Change, Politics


Karl Rove’s super PAC attacks Obama for preventing oil spills

Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove's super PAC, is spending $1.7 million in six swing states to attack Obama's energy policy. Here's what Rove wants swing voters to think about Obama:

We're not really sure that it's the best political strategy to remind voters that the Bush administration existed at all, let alone that it passed policies that are still having an impact. But we’ll assume Rove knows what he’s doing. It’s not like Crossroads GPS has ever gotten two Pants On Fire ratings from Politifact or anything.

The ad also says that drilling's gone "down where Obama's in charge." Now, why did that happen? Not because Obama hates oil and gas interests: From an environmentalist's point of view, he's been rather friendly to those industries. Since Crossroads relied on Greenwire for its citation of the 14 percent drop in oil production on federal lands in 2011, we'll go to Greenwire to explain why:

Read more: Politics


Your new offshore energy source: Floating algae farms

Forget offshore oil drilling. NASA's working on a project that would generate clean, renewable offshore energy, by growing algae in floating plastic bags.

These floating algae farms would take in wastewater from treatment plants. For algae, wastewater is like the nectar of the gods: The ammonia and phosphates act as a fertilizer. So the algae would float happily contained in the baggies, getting fat with lipid oil, and cleaning up the wastewater in the process. Eventually, the algae farmers would harvest the oil, recycle the plastic and start all over again.

Read more: Biofuel