Grist List

Living

The coolest images and video of the transit of Venus

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured terrific footage of Venus' path across the sun.

Green Home

16-square-foot apartment is a vision of tiny housing taken too far

We love tiny housing — it’s less wasteful, and so adorable! But there’s a limit to how small a space you can live in and still not go insane. We butted up against it with the 78-square-foot apartment, but this video about a (fictional, but plausible) Hong Kong apartment called King’s Cube plunges past the way-too-tiny event horizon. The room in the video is 16 square feet, just big enough for a smallish bed.

Clean Air

Obama wants to give white children asthma, says blogger

You might think that air quality controls are about mitigating the health effects of breathing in pollution. If you’re a staunch Republican, you might think they’re about destroying capitalism. But blogger (and birther) Daren Jonescu knows what air quality controls are really about: Giving white children lung diseases. (And destroying capitalism.) Jonescu wrote a piece in the ironically named American Thinker laying out the problems with big government trying to legislate our children’s lungs, and he did it by picking apart the language of an Obama administration report about childhood asthma.

Food

Mesmerizing video of flattened food

Filmmakers Hugo de Kok and Kay van Vree say they “where curious about de forms and shapes food makes when you flatten them.” (They’re Dutch.)

Scary Food

Taco Bell sold 100 million Doritos tacos in 10 weeks

The Doritos Locos taco is now Taco Bell's most popular product launch ever.

Solar Power

A solar-powered cell phone charging station inspired by Occupy Wall Street

Tommy Mitchell wasn’t an Occupier, but when he visited Occupy Wall Street, he found out that OWSers were charging their cell phones at a hot dog vendor’s gas-guzzling generator, The New York Times reports. “I was like, ‘Well that’s awful,’” he said. That’s when he began thinking about inventing a device that could harness renewable electricity in a public space without outlets. “It’s so practical that you can see it,” he said. So Mitchell whipped up a solar cellphone charger, then brought it back to Occupy, where everyone loved it and declared him a hero of the people.

Living

Today in astronomical weirdness: This is your last chance to see the transit of Venus

Manhattanhenge is cool, but it happens twice a year. Ditto Supermoons. Solar eclipses are less common, but nothing like today’s astronomical weirdness. This afternoon and evening, Venus will pass in front of the sun, for the last time in your lifetime unless you are a robot or a Time Lord. Here’s why you should try to watch it, and how.

Food

Disney bans junk food ads from kids’ programming

Disney will no longer broadcast or post advertisements that promote unhealthy food. The company is also branching out into food policing, with the "Mickey Check" -- a Disney seal of approval on a packaged food's nutritional value.

Critical List: Northeast cap-and-trade program dropped emissions; World Environment Day

It’s World Environment Day — bring out your green-minded celebrities! In the Northeast, power plants’ carbon emissions fell an average 23 percent during the three years of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s cap-and-trade program (compared to the previous three years). By 2050, Latin American and Caribbean countries could be racking up $100 billion in damages from climate change each year.

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