Grist List

Animals

This 1933 video of the last living thylacine is a haunting look at a now-extinct species

We tend to think of extinct species as creatures from the distant past, whose habits and physiology we can only guess at from fossil evidence. But that doesn’t take into account how relentless humans are about wiping out entire categories of animal! We’ve definitely deep-sixed a few since the invention of video, meaning that we have animated visual reminders of what we lost. For instance, this 1933 video of the last thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, in captivity.

Transportation

Sidecar lets drivers rent out their empty backseat

In theory, Sidecar is about sharing. Here’s how it’s supposed to work: You’re headed downtown in your car, but before you leave you check your Sidecar app. A user a few blocks down is looking for a ride in the same direction. You swing by, pick her up, and drop her off. Everyone wins by sharing — she gets to her destination, and you get to feel good that the gas you just burned went towards transporting more than one human being. (Plus, Sidecar suggests that she “donate” a little cash to you for your trouble.) In practice, Sidecar seems …

Cities

Mayor Bloomberg uses a full-sized room A/C unit to cool his SUV

It really would be interesting to find out what moral calculus goes into Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s environmental decisions. It must go something like “I’m a big city mayor, working hard to draw down emissions on a municipal scale. Therefore, it is 100 percent justifiable that in my personal life, I fly regularly to the Bahamas and use A/C units intended for a whole apartment to keep my SUV a comfortable temperature.” Because that’s what he had his staff do this week: take a standard room air conditioner and try sticking it into the window of an SUV. The New York …