Grist List

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 …

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 …

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 …

Pollution

Here’s what Pittsburgh looked like before smoke control

Vintage photos of Pittsburgh, from before it passed a smoke-control ordinance in 1941, are so hazy that some of them look like they've been hit with some kind of artsy-grunge Instagram filter.

Transportation

Flash mob proves conclusively that cars are the most annoying ever

Flash mob factory Improv Everywhere stages weird, transcendent little moments of cooperation, synchronicity, and pantslessness (they’re the ones behind the No-Pants Subway Ride). But their latest effort, the Car Alarm Symphony, doesn’t do much besides …

Transportation

The best subway map tattoos

There are people who like public transportation, and then there are people who want to rub public transportation all over their body parts — or at least get it permanently inked on them. Here are …

Business & Technology

Four innovations that will make the future less wasteful

The New York Times Magazine has a lovely list of “innovations that will change your tomorrow.” Many of these innovations will give people fabulous new ways to consume more: New coffee! More screens! Underwear that …

Animals

Spacecraft could be killing endangered antelope

Add these two factoids to your store of knowledge about Kazakhstan, which, admit it, consists mostly of “It’s on the Risk board?” (it’s not! You’re thinking of Kamchatka) and “Borat is from there.” The central …

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