Grist List

Climate & Energy

16-year-old scientist could turn Egypt’s plastic problem into a biofuel boom

What have you done for your country lately? Sixteen-year-old Azza Abdel Hamid Falad has figured out a way to make Egypt $78 million worth of biofuel each year. The key: an inexpensive catalyst that will turn plastic into fuel.

Climate Change

In 2012, 90 percent of record temperatures were record highs

According to this chart from Climate Central, record lows are about to be an artifact of the past. This year, 90 percent of daily record temperatures in the lower 48 states were record highs. In the absence of global warming, you’d expect a 50/50 ratio between record highs and record lows.

Natural Gas

Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Jimmy Fallon perform ‘Don’t Frack My Mother’

Here’s Sean Lennon, deliberately looking just like his father and singing just like Bob Dylan for some reason, performing a slightly naughty anti-fracking song with his mom on Jimmy Fallon’s show.

Food

7-11’s mashed potato Slurpee machine in action

I’ve often said that the only real problem with mashed potatoes is that you can’t get them extruded out of a machine in a 7-11, in the form of a spookily liquid glop with gravy. I mean, what even is the point? Luckily, 7-11s in Singapore are finally making this right, with Slurpee-style machines that poop mushy potato goo into a cup. Here’s what it looks like in action:

Green Home

Amazing tiny apartment has a bathtub under the dining table

This Barcelona flat might be our favorite tiny apartment yet.

Animals

Mayor Stubbs, cat, celebrates 15 years in office

Talkeetna, Alaska, isn’t going to the dogs. It’s going to the cats — or really, one cat, which has been mayor of the town for 15 years. Mayor Stubbs was voted in by a write-in effort when locals got fed up with their human rulers.

Business & Technology

The Department of Defense wants to put out fires by yelling at them

Much to pundits’ disappointment, you can’t solve most environmental ills just by yelling at them. But, as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has discovered, it does work for one thing: fires. DARPA’s “Instant Fire Suppression” program uses sound to put out flames — and it doesn’t even need to be that loud.

Living

This truck travels the country collecting stories about seeds

Seeds are natural beginnings for stories: From a small start, they grow into a larger world and eventually end. They’re also good subjects of stories: Where did they come from? Who loved them enough to keep them around? How’d they reach the person who planted them in the ground? What happened when they went viral on the internet? (Wait, does that not happen to most seeds?) The Seed Broadcast Station, a converted bread truck manned by the Fodder Project Collaborative Research Farm, is traveling the country, gathering those stories: Come and share your personal seed stories. We would like to …

Cities

New York’s newest street, 6 ½ Ave., is just for pedestrians

For years, 1,200 people an hour have been seeing this six-block stretch of street in secret. But finally, New York City is bringing these back-alley relationships into the light, and giving them the official municipal seal of approval. Now the street can announce to the world: “I’m here. I’m part of the city. I’m not an unnamed pedestrian walkway you’d be ashamed to walk your mother down. I’m 6 ½ Avenue.” The newly named avenue runs from 51st to 57th Street. It’s primarily a pedestrian walkway, and as Transportation Nation says, that makes the city’s official approval more significant: In …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×