Grist List

Cities

New perfume lets you smell like New York City, because THAT sounds great

I don’t know about you folks, but when I think of the “essence and spirit” of New York City “in an olfactory memento” … well, if it’s summer, I mostly think of quickly rotting trash. If we’re talking Queens, I’ll give you the smell of Indian spices in Jackson Heights. Brooklyn smells like the sea in some places, though that may just be the roving gangs of artisanal picklers. But never, never would I think of the scene that Gerald Ghislain and Magali Senequier chose for their Scent of Departure fragrance line: A lovely sunny day in the Big Apple …

Animals

Lonesome George, the last Pinta tortoise, dies at age 100

George was the world’s rarest tortoise and a symbol of the Galapagos.

Animals

These weed-eating goats make more money than you

Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, a former landfill that’s being transformed into a public parkland and “laboratory for green practices,” is engaging in job creation — for goats. Twenty Anglo-Nubian goats are nibbling away at invasive weeds called phragmites, as one step of the wetlands restoration process that will turn Freshkills less killy and more fresh. And what are the goats getting for the privilege of eating tasty weeds, which they would probably do anyway? Oh, only $3,437.50 a week, which would work out to $178,750 a year.

Animals

This video might ruin cute animal videos for you forever

Hey, remember that video with the slow loris being tickled? The one that used to make me laugh until I peed? Yeah, well, get ready to never want to watch it again, after you watch this video of a Jakarta animal market selling lorises and other exotic and domestic pets.

Insane bird’s-eye view of the Colorado wildfires

A National Guard member who was called in to tackle the wildfires currently raging in Colorado shot this amazing aerial view, and a member of the unit posted it on Reddit, where he and some other firefighting experts answered a few questions as well.

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.

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