Grist List

Climate & Energy

No place is safe from fracking, not even graveyards

No place blessed with an abundance of natural gas is safe from the possibility of fracking — not even cemeteries. In Texas, the president of the cemetery association has already been selling the gas underneath his graveyard, the Centre Daily Times reports: [John] Stephenson leased mineral rights under two of his cemeteries within the past three years, he said. Each is about a century old and populated with 75,000 graves. Revenue from the leases — he wouldn’t say how much — has allowed him to pave roads, repair fences and make other improvements during economic hard times.

Food

Finally, a pizza you can eat three times a day

Dreams do come true: Eating pizza for every meal could be perfectly healthy. Only catch: You’d have to be eating the “first nutritionally balanced pizza.” A pizza that has seaweed in the crust. Which is to say, not exactly the pizza you’d want to eat if you were going to eat pizza every day. Created by a Scottish nutritionist, the pizza contains a third of all the vitamins and minerals an adult is supposed to need and a third of daily recommended calories, protein, and carbs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it looks like it doesn’t have all that much cheese on it.

Politics

Texas GOP officially comes out against critical thinking

Who needs book larnin': The Texas GOP’s platform is explicitly opposed to critical thinking skills in education.

Food

Here’s why the prettiest tomatoes taste the worst

It turns out it's genetic -- the gene that makes tomatoes ripen uniformly also ruins their taste.

Watch an engine take itself apart, clean itself, and put itself back together

When your stuff breaks, the world is usually better off if you can fix or refurbish it rather than throwing it out and buying a new one. But that’s hard and not everyone knows how to do it, especially with complicated stuff like engines.

Media

The news pays almost 50 times more attention to Kardashians than to ocean acidification

It’s probably not a huge surprise that ocean acidification, a carbon-induced chemical change that poses a huge threat to sea life, gets way less media coverage than the Kardashians, a family of prancing ninnies that poses a huge threat to intellectual life. But Media Matters has quantified just how much the coverage differs, and it’s pretty sobering. Between January 1, 2011 and June 26, 2012, the Kardashians were mentioned 25 times more often than ocean acidification in newspapers, and a staggering 270 times more often on TV. In total, that’s almost a 50-fold lead for shapely ladies over environmental threats. …

Living

These amazing lamps are made of salt

If Daniel McDonald’s Shio lamps didn’t cost $475 and up, they could do double duty seasoning your food or attracting deer. At this price point, you probably want to preserve them, unless you’re Tony Stark or something — but the point is, the lamps are made of salt crystals, grown on a fabric base like stalagmites in a cave.

Renewable Energy

Spray-on solar windows use teeny tiny solar cells to capture energy

If the Internet has taught us anything, it is that everything is better when it is smaller. Kittens are better than cats. Cake pops are better than cakes. LEGO models of anything are pretty great, even if the full-sized version is pretty iffy (say, a meth lab). Thus: Solar panels? Good. Teeny tiny solar cells? BETTER. Solar cells so tiny they can be sprayed onto windows? SO COOL.

Biking

These adorable kids are earning bikes by helping their community

The Rails to Trails Conservancy’s Earn-a-Bike program lets these Baltimore youths spend four weeks learning about bike maintenance, healthy eating, and caring for the Earth and their community — and at the end of it, they get a certificate and a bike. It’s a win all around: The kids get their own bicycles, the community benefits from their newfound civic engagement, and Republicans have minor heart attacks about Socialist brainwashing. Yay!

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