Grist List

Animals

Tiny squid may be killing themselves by having too much sex

Marathon three-hour sex sessions may SOUND like a good idea, but if you’re a 2.8-inch long southern dumpling squid, it may tire you out so much that you can’t feed or protect yourself, says a new study.

Cities

19th-century London had a train line just for dead people

Back in mid-19th century England, public transportation was popular enough that even dead people had their own railway. P. D. Smith writes: The London Necropolis Railway station was constructed by the London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company, specifically to serve their Brookwood Cemetery, 25 miles away in Woking, Surrey. The Company’s logo was, somewhat ghoulishly, a skull and crossbones. The railway transported the deceased, in their coffins, to the cemetery, as well as some living people — the mourners headed to the cemetery for the funeral. In the late 19th century, the train ran every day, a “daily funeral express.” …

Business & Technology

Travel to the South Pole via Google Street View

There may not strictly be streets in Antarctica, but that hasn’t stopped Google from trekking its Street View cameras through some of the continent’s most impressive landmarks. Now you can visit penguin rookeries, the South Pole Telescope, and the actual (ceremonial) South Pole without leaving your desk.

Climate Change

The highest low temperature ever recorded: 107 degrees

Not that I was under any illusions that Death Valley, Calif., is a temperate place to live, but this is nuts: The overnight LOW on July 11-12 was 107 degrees F. That ties for highest-recorded daily minimum. (The previous 107-degree night was last year, in Oman.)

Climate & Energy

Watch the formation of an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan

These images from NASA’s Earth Observatory show Greenland’s Petermann Glacier calving an iceberg — watch the lower right quadrant of the image to see the split go from a hairline crack to a visible break. The resulting iceberg is twice as big as Manhattan.

Business & Technology

Reusable coffee cup collapses to fit in your pocket

Switching from disposable to reusable coffee cups lets you avoid a ton of trash — but it often means you’re left carrying an empty reusable coffee cup, which can’t be thrown away and is cumbersome to cart around. It’s a First-World problem, sure, but why have problems you don’t need to? The 16-ounce Zip Cup is as big as a standard disposable coffee cup, but collapses small enough to fit in your pocket. Much better!

Business & Technology

Boy, I sure could go for some battery-powered air conditioner pants

Is that a tiny air conditioner in your pants, or do you just feel lukewarm about me? These cargo pants from Japan have a built-in battery-powered fan that sits in an exterior pocket, blowing cold air on the outside of your thigh. This is maybe not the most effective option, since ideally you want to cool major blood vessels, but it would be pretty awkward to sling the fan closer to your femoral artery. Also, you’d have to worry about shrinkage. Anyway, they probably keep you colder than pants with no thigh-fan at all.

Cities

City takes your collected trash, gives you fresh food in return

A growing number of cities in Central and South America are giving residents what may be the best deal ever made: You give us trash, and we give you food.

Cities

Bus driver catches 7-year-old girl when she falls from a window

Keyla McCree, an autistic 7-year-old, pushed a panel out of the new air conditioner in her Brooklyn apartment and climbed through it, out a third-story window. But she doesn’t even have a scratch, thanks to New York bus driver Steven St. Bernard, who lives in the same apartment complex. St. Bernard managed to catch Keyla before she hit the ground. Man, sometimes your city community really comes through. (Or, I guess, sometimes people are amazing. Either moral will work here.) This video includes some grainy cell-phone footage of the incident. (The video at the New York Post has a hilarious …

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