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