Grist List

Population

A male birth control dudes might actually use

You know what doesn’t do a lot to help reduce unwanted births? Putting women in sole charge of contraception, then making it nigh-impossible for them to exercise any reproductive freedom. We could improve sex ed, affordability of birth control pills, and access to abortion — but as long as there are Republicans around, we might be better off researching easy contraception for men. Which is why this new topical contraceptive gel, developed by researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, could be a big deal.

Business & Technology

This gigantic hybrid ship can run on a battery

Although gigantic ships are relatively efficient — compared to, say, transporting massive amounts of stuff by airplane — they do use an astounding amount of fuel. The shipping industry is working on this problem. In particular, a Norwegian shipping company and a marine energy company are partnering to work on a hybrid ship, the Viking Lady. The Viking Lady (how awesome is that name?) already has a fuel cell installed that helps reduce its energy impact. Next year it should be getting a battery. Together, those features will mean it won’t have to burn gas while it’s hanging out in …

Business & Technology

Power your laptop with your butt

Swedish designer Eddi Tornberg has turned the plight of modern workers — sitting like lazy larvae in front of computer screens all day — into a form of renewable energy. He uses the heat of our rear ends to create electricity. You’ll still die from sitting, but at least your energy bills will be lower!