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Grist List: Look what we found.


How successful cities are like marijuana

Photo by Spreng Ben.

If you've got an acre of land, and a magical get-out-of-jail-free card, which cash crop do you grow -- wheat, soybeans, or marijuana?

That’s a good metaphor for a city's decision to invest in its downtown versus sprawl, says Joe Minicozzi, the new projects director at Public Interest Projects. Minicozzi uses the pot-vs.-soybeans hypothetical because people intuitively grasp the value of cash crops -- that an acre of high-grade weed throws off 10 or 20 times as much income as a food crop.


Maple syrup-pocalypse arrives 20 years early

Maple syrup farmers have "never seen a season like this," and as a result, maple syrup production has cratered. If you like the stuff, it's time to start stockpiling it.

Scientists have been saying that maple syrup production could be devastated in 20 to 30 years, but this season's warm temperatures are so extreme that we're getting a taste of that state of the climate now. Or maybe climate change is two decades ahead of schedule and we are even more screwed than we thought.

Read more: Uncategorized


Critical List: Pesticides are killing bees; North Sea gas leak only sort of dangerous

Pesticides are killing honeybees and bumblebees, two new studies show.

A chemist who reviewed the results of the EPA’s water testing in Dimock, Pa., says the levels of methane they found were dangerously high, despite the EPA’s statements that the water was safe.

The FDA has to decide by this weekend whether BPA is safe.

The North Sea gas leak might not be as dangerous as it could have been.

The Obama administration cut a deal on approving offshore windfarms for the Great Lakes.

Read more: Uncategorized


Mark Ruffalo on Colbert Report

Mark Ruffalo went on The Colbert Report to talk about fracking, and Stephen yelled at him -- even though he acknowledged later that it's probably a bad idea to yell at the Hulk.

Read more: Natural Gas


Jose Canseco schools Twitter on climate change

Jose Canseco knows as much about global warming as I know about Jose Canseco, which is to say, not much. I'm told he's "the total train wreck of baseball" and I'm willing to believe it, now that I've seen him take his Twitter followers to school on climate change.

Are you ready for this? You're not. You can't be. But at least he gave you fair warning.

Read more: Climate Change


Easy, reversible, 100 percent effective birth control is for men only

One of the best things we can do for the planet is stop putting new humans on it, which means promoting safe and effective birth control for people who want to keep their offspring levels between zero and "get that, would you, Deirdre." But hormonal birth control comes with side effects like weight gain, mood swings, blood clots, and Rush Limbaugh. Luckily, there's a birth control option that's safe, quick, easy, reversible, and 100 percent effective for 10 years. But back off, ladies: For once in our lives, this birth control's just for dudes.

Read more: Childfree, Population, Sex


Tim DeChristopher out of solitary

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher, who has been in solitary confinement since March 9 for confusing reasons that might have to do with a "threat" to give someone their money back, was released back into regular old prison Wednesday night.

Read more: Uncategorized


Wilderness therapist: Good job or BEST job?

If you're like me, when you're finished reading Noah Davis's interview with "wilderness therapist" Brad Reedy, you're going to be thinking "yeah, I could use a month or two of that."

Wilderness therapy involves taking kids out into nature. Which, some studies suggest, is not only beneficial for children with difficulties like ADHD, but might actually be necessary for most of us to remain productive and functional human beings.


How climate change is making the internet faster

This summer, icebreakers are going to lay the first ever trans-Arctic fiber optic cable, which will be used to carry voice and data communication directly from London to Tokyo, reports Sebastian Anthony at Extreme Tech. This new line will speed up the connection between Europe and Asia by 30 percent, and will reduce the cable distance between those two cities from 15,000 miles to 10,000.

What's making all this possible is climate change.


This house is so tiny, it’s practically two-dimensional

Oh, you live in 300 square feet? How nice for you. I mean, this house is only three feet wide, but I'm sure you're very committed to minimalist living too.

Read more: Green Home