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Grist List: Look what we found.


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This red panda is STUPID cute

Here's your gobsmack of cuteness for today:

Read more: Animals

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In New York City, stealing a bike is easy

If a bike gets stolen in the middle of New York City, does it make it a sound?

With his own bike, a bunch of doomed locks, and a variety of tools, Casey Neistat (who you may remember from this video) proves that nope, it basically doesn’t.

The film above is a 2005 version of this experiment. On a busy Tuesday, at well-trafficked locations like Union Square, Astor Place, and 14th Street, Casey and brother Van steal their own bike using a bolt cutter, hack saw, power tools, and a hammer and spike. They act as suspicious as possible. Sometimes, passersby turn their heads and watch. But no one bothers the "thief."

Read more: Biking

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Meet the worst Senate amendment that ever lived

It’s ba-aack -- the Keystone XL pipeline, that is. The Senate is set to vote tomorrow on an amendment created by Big Oil wearing a Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) mask. The amendment would revive everyone’s favorite pipeline -- and, while it was at it, greenlight all the other oil-hungry environmental ruination that Republicans go in for.

The Senate defeated Keystone yet again last week, but Sen. Roberts included the pipeline in amendment #1826 of the Senate transportation bill (S. 1813). And that’s not the only Big Oil party favor he stuck in this grab bag of evil:

It would mandate drilling off of every coast in our nation and in the Arctic Refuge, allow oil shale development on millions of acres in America’s west, and allow the already-rejected Keystone XL pipeline to go forward.

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Indoor farm in Brooklyn helps feed hundreds of families

In Bedford-Stuyvesant, an increasingly hip but historically low-income Brooklyn neighborhood, one food pantry is also an indoor farm. The New York Daily News visited the Child Development Support Corporation, where every Thursday morning clients harvest lettuce, bok choy, and collard greens that help feed hundreds of families.

Right now the greens are all grown hydroponically indoors, but the farm has plans to expand, adding a rooftop garden with cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. It will also be offering hydroponics workshops and cooking demos.

Read more: Urban Agriculture

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Critical List: How red meat will kill you; Bo Obama photobomb

Eating red meat is really, REALLY bad for you, according to a study conducted by cows. I mean researchers at Harvard Medical School.

Twin Creeks Technologies can make thin, bendable layers of silicon just 20 microns thick. So what? So cheaper solar panels, that’s what.

In northern states, the amount of land covered in forest is increasing.

Read more: Uncategorized

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5 stories about the Fukushima anniversary that you really need to read

This weekend marked the one-year anniversary of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear accident. While thousands of residents fell victim to the natural disasters, countless others are still living in fear of radiation poisoning from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s triple meltdown.

There’s a cornucopia of news in light of the March 11 anniversary, but lucky for you, we’ve broken it down into digestible morsels. Here are five stories about the Fukushima anniversary that are not to be missed:

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Watch mildly offensive national stereotypes promote biking

The Dutch are not always bastions of political correctness (cough cough blackface Christmas). So it's kind of a relief that when they chose three national stereotypes to feature in this mid-1980s pro-bike campaign, they went with the proper English lady, the American cowboy, and the horndog Italian. Coulda been worse.

Read more: Biking

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This train can launch you into space

Getting into space via shuttle is difficult and expensive. So why not take a train? Startram is a magnetic levitation train that could -- theoretically -- launch people into orbit for a fraction of the cost.

Read more: Transportation

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Instead of hacking the planet, should we hack our babies?

S. Matthew Liao, a philosopher and bioethicist, has some incredible ideas about how to deal with climate change. Instead of resorting to geoengineering, he suggests, why not consider engineering humans to cause less damage to the planet? Ross Andersen interviewed Liao, and one of the most fascinating ideas that they discussed is the possibility of selecting embryos that will grow into "smaller, less resource-intensive children." Here's Liao's argument:

It's been suggested that, given the seriousness of climate change, we ought to adopt something like China's one child policy. There was a group of doctors in Britain who recently advocated a two-child maximum. But at the end of the day those are crude prescriptions---what we really care about is some kind of fixed allocation of greenhouse gas emissions per family. If that's the case, given certain fixed allocations of greenhouse gas emissions, human engineering could give families the choice between two medium sized children, or three small sized children. From our perspective that would be more liberty enhancing than a policy that says "you can only have one or two children." A family might want a really good basketball player, and so they could use human engineering to have one really large child.

That starts sounding a little too dystopian a little too fast for my taste. But geoengineering ideas -- spraying the sky with chemicals that turn it white and reflect more heat back into space, for instance -- can fit just as easily into the creepy sci-fi "the robots are taking over" genre. Here are some of Liao's other ideas:

Read more: Living

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Study: Even a small temperature increase will obliterate Greenland ice cap

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

If you’ve been enjoying the recent unseasonably warm weather, prepare for a buzzkill: A study published on Sunday by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research found that even a teensy global temperature increase could turn the Greenland ice sheet into the world’s largest puddle.

Previous research has suggested it would need warming of at least 3.1 degrees Celsius (5.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, in a range of 1.9-5.1 C (3.4-9.1 F), to totally melt the icesheet.

But new estimates, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, put the threshold at 1.6 C (2.9 F), in a range of 0.8-3.2 C (1.4-5.8 F), although this would have to be sustained for tens of thousands of years.

Just to put things into perspective, obliterating the Greenland ice cap would create about 23.6 feet of sea level rise, flooding areas like Western Europe, New Orleans, and Manhattan.