Grist List

Food

Faux-vintage ad shows you where you can shove that celery

I was kind of gutted when I took a second look at this ad and realized it couldn’t possibly be for real (as far as I can tell, it’s from a comic called Devil Chef), but it’s still kind of hilariously disgustingly awesome.

Pollution

Pollution makes carnivorous plants go vegetarian

Acid rain apparently has one benefit: It gives carnivorous plants so much nitrogen that they no longer need to eat meat. A new study has determined that sundews in Swedish bogs are cutting back on their insect consumption, which is good news if you’re an insect or a human concerned about a Little Shop of Horrors scenario. Unfortunately, it’s actually bad news for the sundews.

Solar Power

Solar-powered lasers could save us from asteroids

There are a few key facts to know about Earth being potentially hit by an asteroid, which could happen in about 25 years (so yes, if you’re reading this, you will probably be alive to see it): It’s best to try not being a dinosaur. Bruce Willis will save you. Robert Duvall won’t. And our best hope may be solar-powered lasers.

Animals

Catch of the day: Weird blue lobster!

A fisherman in Nova Scotia named Bobby Stoddard has been catching lobsters for decades. And in early May, he had a catch unlike any he had seen before: a bright blue lobster. Blue lobsters are not cold. Well, they might be cold, since they live in the water in Nova Scotia, but that’s not why they look like that. Instead, they are in possession of a genetic variation that makes them a much more exciting color than normal greenish-brown lobsters. (They still turn orangey red when cooked, though.) One in 2 million or so lobsters is blue.

Living

Google is making a Street View for hiking trails

Lucky Google employees get to hike around all day with a camera and call it work, so that you can know what to expect when you get out on the trail.

Animals

Giant dog adopts baby chimpanzee

A zookeeper brought an abandoned baby chimp home to live with her mastiff and her mastiff puppies, at which point the chimp decided he was a dog. Here's a day in the life of the chimp and his adopted family.

Climate Change

‘Himalayan Viagra’ is going extinct

A parasitic caterpillar fungus that grows in the Himalayas has many names, according to Scientific American — yarsagumba, yarchagumba, yartsa gunba, yatsa gunbu. But we are only going to remember one name: Himalayan Viagra. This fungus, which leeches off of Tibetan ghost moth larvae, is said to get the fellas going when boiled and consumed in tea or soup. Oh, it also cures cancer and fights fatigue. Miracle drug! (Scientific American — always with the science! — notes, “These medical claims have not been borne out scientifically.”) As a result of its awesome properties of making everything sexy and cancer-free …

Animals

1915 document shows that penguins are extremely sexually depraved

England’s Natural History Museum at Tring recently rediscovered a 1915 report about penguin behavior that had been buried for almost 100 years — because it was considered too X-rated to be suitable for publication. Which, okay, yes, people from 1915 were prudish, but also, penguins are getting up to some freaky shit.

Cities

Giant Truth or Dare game turns New York into a middle-school party

A lot of people (celebrities, misanthropes, the funny-looking) cherish New Yorkers’ studious lack of eye contact. But designer and copywriter Chelsea Davison wanted to make the city a friendlier place for a day. So she printed up 300 cards offering a “truth” question and a “dare” action, posted them around Washington Square Park, and waited for passersby to be transported back to junior high — with hopefully all the playfulness of a spirited Truth or Dare game, and less of the painful self-consciousness. Perhaps surprisingly, it worked.

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