Grist List

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!

Biking

These light-up armbands make awesome turn signals for cyclists

As a responsible cyclist who does not want to die, I wear a helmet. The other night, I donned one of those reflective orange vests. (Do not laugh, please.) And I try, really I do, to hold out my arms and signal when and where I plan on turning. I do not like doing it, though, because I feel I am going to lose my balance and because I don’t think that drivers notice half the time anyway. Especially not at night. Lifehacker has turned up a wonderful DIY solution to this problem: bright, wearable turn signals.

Animals

Crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen

The fact that this sea creature looks exactly like a rock with guts is not even the weirdest thing about it.

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!

Living

Incredible underwater sculptures turn into living reefs

Artist Jason deCaires Taylor’s work wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery, but that would defeat the purpose. Taylor mounts his exhibitions underwater, leaving his sculptures on the ocean floor to be colonized by algae, seaweed, and coral.

Animals

Amazing things happen when you yell at baby pigs

Guys. GUYS. Just look what happens when you yell “ice cream!” and/or sing Amy Winehouse at a stack of baby pigs.

Food

Could this 5-by-5 inch piece of paper reduce food waste by 25 percent?

FreshPaper claims their botanical-infused 5-by-5-inch sheet can make produce last five times longer, cutting down wasted food. But does it work?

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