Grist List

Cities

Book lovers make mini public libraries out of trees

These hollow-log bookshelves were erected in Berlin a few years back to help encourage the reuse of books. The German team behind the project explains: The project adopts the idea of putting up a bookcase in a public space, in which people could release their used books to be picked up by others. This way of free dissemination, called ‘bookcrossing’, is by now a worldwide movement organised in a central database (www.bookcrossing.com). Registration of books enables following their travels through the world and communication about the books. In other words, books DO grow on trees! If you want something to …

Biking

You can help make this bike-in movie theater a reality

Coworkers Jason Anello and Anna Boyarsky set up a bike-in movie theater in Brooklyn last year, and now they want to do it again — but bigger, better, and bicoastal. They’re raising funds on Kickstarter for permits and licensing, because the show itself won’t make any money: The plan is for tickets to be completely free, so that everyone in the community can enjoy.

Animals

Baby gorillas have figured out how to dismantle hunting snares

In the forests of Rwanda, mountain gorillas sometimes get caught in snares that were intended for game like antelopes. Adult gorillas can often escape; younger ones aren’t always so lucky. But staff at the Karisoke Research Center recently observed young gorillas finding and dismantling the traps before anyone could get caught, reports National Geographic News: On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vecellio said. Suddenly two juveniles — Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a …

Living

This kid is Grist’s new hero

This photo is from 2011, but we just saw it going around the internet, and we kind of want a poster to hang up in the office. 

Climate & Energy

Holy crap, iceberg tsunami!

If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like to almost get flattened by a collapsing glacier, now you can find out. This boat was right in the line of fire — er, ice — so this video is the next best thing to being there. Actually, it’s the first best thing, because being there looks like it was terrifying.

Climate & Energy

Here’s what lightning looks like in 3-D

From our vantage point on the ground, lightning usually looks like a forked line from the sky to the ground. But it's way more complicated and cool, as this model of lightning from the D.C. derecho shows.

Living

Spectacular image of the Southern Lights from space

If you need an excuse to love the planet, just hang around NASA’s site for a while — the images they post make it kind of hard not to feel awed about the Earth.

Living

‘Water cafe’ sells filtered bottled tap water and nothing else

Bottled water is often just tap water in a bottle. A new store is basing their entire business plan on that concept: They sell nothing but bottled tap water.

Animals

Here is a very, very gross picture of mayflies

My first thought when looking at this photo (posted by Reddit user ILikeWhereThisIsGoin, who probably doesn’t) was “oh, a lawnmower must have exploded! Look at all those grass clippings. All those perfectly innocuous, not-alive grass clippings.” But no, that’s just thousands and thousands of mayflies. Still perfectly innocuous, in the sense that they won’t hurt you, but WOW a lot more gross.

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