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Grist List: Look what we found.


Stand by for baby eagles on webcam!

Hey, remember the Decorah Eagle Cam? If you don't, you probably never saw a baby eagle hatch on live streaming video, you poor fool. But now you have another chance! The mom eagle at the Decorah, Iowa fish hatchery is ... pregnant? Do birds get "pregnant"? Anyway, let's say she has a frittata in the oven. And she's going to lay those eggs any day now, at which point you can begin obsessively monitoring them for signs of wee tiny eaglets.

Read more: Animals


One weird old trick for population control: Aspirin

You may have heard that Rick Santorum financial backer Foster Friess proposed one weird old trick for birth control: an aspirin between the knees. (If you don't get it, try holding an aspirin between your knees, and then imagine that you only knew one sex position and it was missionary.) We found some file photos of Friess explaining his theory, which he put forth on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Read more: Politics, Population, Sex


Obama budget raises oil drilling royalties 50 percent

Public lands belong to all of us, so when the federal government decides to lease them out to oil and gas drillers, those companies have to pay for depriving taxpayers of environmental and recreational benefits. And the Obama administration has decided that they're not paying enough. So the Interior Department's budget includes a proposal to raise royalties for oil and gas projects by 50 percent.

Read more: Oil


Kazakhstan, Mongolia to rescue us from China’s rare earths monopoly

Germany just signed agreements with Kazakhstan and Mongolia to mine rare earths in those countries, in an effort to break China's monopoly over these 17 elements, which are essential to clean technology like solar panels and electric vehicles.


Let’s ban toilet paper

Maybe you've heard that we're now using more trees for toilet paper than for newsprint. (Not least because the newspaper industry is even more in the toilet than toilet paper.) But did you know that because of Americans' demand for super-soft TP for our bungholes, 98 percent of the pulp used to make the stuff comes from virgin wood? 


Critical List: House passes drilling bill; turning grass into plastic

The House passed a bill expanding oil drilling in ANWR and oil shale drilling. Revenues are meant to fund the transportation bill, which won't be considered until after the President's Day recess.

Mexico City shut down a giant landfill, but will capture methane that the landfill exudes and use it as a power source.

A new technique could turn grass into plastic.

Read more: Uncategorized


World’s worst elected official makes the case for sprawl

"Well, let me state it unequivocally: I love sprawl," says L. Brooks Patterson, county executive of Oakland County, Mich. "I need it. I promote it. Oakland County can't get enough of it," he continues, in an essay posted to the Oakland County website. Why should any of us care? Well, Patterson appears to be in a position of power, especially if you live in southeast Michigan. And unlike other people in positions of power who make absurd sprawl-feeding, bike-busting laws -- ahem Congress -- he’s laying all his reasoning out on the table.

Read more: Cities, Politics, Sprawl, Urbanism


Fair Trade gasoline

You know where your coffee beans come from -- so why not your gasoline? Did your $3.50 a gallon go to prop up our tar-sands-addicted frenemies in Canada? Perhaps that tank of gas was originally shipped out of Venezuela and is propping up Hugo Chavez.


Hillary Clinton is tackling climate change whether you like it or not

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with EPA's Lisa Jackson and a handful of international diplomats, has had enough of climate inaction. She announced a new initiative Thursday morning to start attacking "short-lived climate pollutants" -- otherwise known as "everything except carbon dioxide." Recent research has shown that decreasing these pollutants, which include methane, soot, and HFCs, could actually pull back climate change by as much as 0.9 degrees F. That won't solve the problem, but it could buy the world some time while diplomats continue squabbling over carbon.

There's also a win-win-win angle to attacking pollutants like soot and methane.

Read more: Politics



Adorable video will make you feel bad for power plants

This video of collapsing power plant cooling towers is supposed to make you want to celebrate the victory of renewable energy over large power companies that run on fossil fuels. And it does! Sort of. But the cooling towers are so adorable that you feel kind of bad for rooting against them. Couldn't they have put some cute moustaches on the turbines, too?