Grist List

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 …

Critical List: Climate change could reduce plants’ power output; Texas power prices could triple

Power plants depend on river and lake water to keep their operations cool. Climate change is going to make that water warmer and keep plants from making as much power. Power prices in Texas may …

Food

Beverage industry to NYC: Ignore the mayor. Soda’s totally cool

Well, that didn’t take long. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that NYC would be banning sugary drinks if they came in containers bigger than 16 ounces. And today, the American Beverage Association is pushing back …

Food

Queen of England to eat invasive species pie

Enemies of invasive species have been advocating for a diabolical solution to doing away with unwanted species: Eat them! And while most people are not down with eating sautéed iguana or lionfish ceviche, on the …

Living

Galaxy, right ahead! The Milky Way’s on course for a head-on collision

One day, this is what the night sky will look like. Yup, that’s a galaxy (Andromeda, to be specific) headed straight for … our galaxy! Andromeda’s rushing towards us at the crazy fast speed of …