Grist List

School Lunches

9-year-old’s lunch blog shames school into making changes

Martha Payne had some sad-ass lunches at her school in Scotland -- unsatisfying food that sometimes had more hair than vegetables. So the 9-year-old decided to start a blog with photos and vital statistics about her meals.

Climate Change

Giant snake and giant turtle were besties

Researchers from the University of Florida announced they've found an eight-foot-long prehistoric turtle in the same Colombian mine where the one-ton "Titanoboa" snake was discovered.

Climate Skeptics

The Great Billboard War of 2012

Heartland’s crazy billboard featuring crazies was quickly pulled down, but climate groups are fighting fire with fire — or, in this case, billboard with billboard. Forecast the Facts came up with this lovely specimen: But Clear Channel, which apparently controls the billboard system in Chicago, was having none of it, and would not approve it. The company did, however, give its blessing to a sign from Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, which asks, more tamely, “Who to believe on climate? Heartland … or EVERY National Scientific Academy in the world?” Zing.

Critical List: Massive tariffs for Chinese solar panels; Bike to Work Day

The Commerce Department announced that the U.S. could put tariffs of up to 250 percent on Chinese solar panels imported into the country. It’s Bike to Work Day! First the Arizona Congress wanted crazy legislation to ban all government work on sustainability, now it’s the New Hampshire Congress. So trendy!

Biofuel

The answer to our fuel woes might be monster sweet potatoes

Corn ethanol is a good idea in theory — what’s more renewable than a fuel source you plant and harvest every year? But corn is such an inefficient energy source that if we wanted to meet our biofuel goals with corn ethanol alone, they’d have to shoulder out every other crop. You know what yields more ethanol per acre than corn, though? Sweet potatoes. And you know what yields more ethanol per acre than sweet potatoes? GIANT MOTHERFUCKING SWEET POTATOES OF DOOM.

Biking

The only real way to save on car insurance

Oh sure, you could hang around with lizards and cavemen and pink-haired spy chicks and that irritating “Fran” woman, trying to save a few bucks. Or you could cut to the chase.

Transportation

Butt-driven scooters are like Segways, but lazier

The Segway wasn’t always just the transportation of choice for out-of-shape mall cops and tourists who can’t be bothered to walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. When it was introduced, the idea was that it would render cars obsolete, making “walking” so quick and effortless that urban planners would be forced to start building cities at human scale. Instead, a decade later, we’re asking “hey, is there any way we could have a similar technology, but even lazier?” Honda has your answer. Its Uni-Cub is battery-powered and balance-controlled like a Segway, but instead of steering by shifting weight …

Pollution

Reagan denied disaster funds for cleaning up teenager’s room

The fabulous blog Letters of Note has been delving into the letters of Ronald Reagan, and posted this gem on Twitter. Just look at that disregard for the environment, denying federal relief funds for what is clearly a disaster area!

Animals

This lazy harp seal is a drain on society

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