Grist List

Food

Heritage wheat could let gluten-sensitive people eat bread again

One of my greatest fears in life is that I’ll find out I’m gluten-intolerant, because there is almost nothing I love to eat more than really good bread. (I know that there is bread made with non-wheat flour, but … it’s just not the same.) But it turns out, according to Pacific Standard, that there’s a strain of heritage wheat that even gluten-sensitive people might be able to digest. It’s nutty-tasting, and it has an excellent name: “einkorn,” which I’m going to roughly translate as The One True Grain. Einkorn was apparently the first cultivated wheat, and it has an …

Climate & Energy

This 11-year-old environmental activist is oil companies’ worst nightmare

If we were Big Oil, we'd definitely be scared of this kid.

Cities

Mind-bending chart shows population growth in 590 cities

This chart, showing population growth in almost 600 cities worldwide, is basically too complicated to understand with the naked eye. You’ll want to click through to the original, which allows you to highlight cities from Tokyo at the top to Ta’izz (Yemen) at the bottom, and see their population trajectory from 1950 to a projected 2025.

Living

Giant fish made of plastic bottles make Rio+20 look like Burning Man

What does the Rio+20 conference have in common with Burning Man? Apparently, the fact that you might encounter weird, large-scale art made of recycled materials. These fish, made from discarded bottles, grace the Botafogo beach near the conference. From certain angles, they look like they’re humping, but we’re sure that’s not artistic commentary on the fact that the environment is boned.

Animals

Loud, grumpy parrot is back from the brink of extinction, and it wants to have sex with your head

The kakapo is probably the best parrot. It has the face and personality of Walter Matthau and regularly tries to get it on with human heads. What's not to like?

Food

Giant water balloon mosaic shows how much water it takes to make a burger

This video from European nonprofit Generation Awake illustrates how much water it takes to produce a burger, by laying down the equivalent amount in water balloons.

Media

Newly discovered mushroom is actually a rubber vagina

Well here’s a story that sounds like an urban legend: Villagers in China unearthed a mysterious plant that they thought might be some type of mushroom. It’s described as “fleshy and meaty,” with “something that looks like lips” at one end, and on the other end there’s a hole with a shaft in between and … look, you see where this is going. It’s an artificial vag.

Animals

Finally, a good use for drones: Catching poachers

Conservationists are taking a page from the U.S. government in the fight against poaching — they’re sending in the drones. Already in use in Indonesia and soon to be in the air in Nepal, the drones can monitor protected areas where endangered species are hanging out. If they see a poacher, they leap into action. Unlike the U.S. government’s drones, though, they do not send quantities of explosives down to blow up a wedding destroy the enemy. They merely alert humans to go check out the situation.

Animals

Flock of 5,000 ducks stops traffic in city of 6 million people

Taizhou lies 190 miles south of Shanghai and has 6 million people, putting its size at “somewhere in between Los Angeles and New York City” on a U.S. scale and “just some town” on a Chinese one. One day recently, though, the streets were filled not with cars, scooters, or pedestrians, but with ducks. Thousands upon thousands of ducks:

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