Grist List

Living

New SUV sales technique: Add a little Posh Spice

In this age of high gas prices, auto executives have caught on that the only way to sell people on a gas-guzzling SUV is … hey, look over there! It's a Spice Girl!

Pollution

Top 10 U.S. cities with the worst air pollution

About 127 million Americans endure pollution levels that make it dangerous to breathe. Check out the top 10 regions with the dubious distinction of having the most year-round particle pollution.

Oil

Ex-BP employee deleted 300 texts about oil spill’s true size

The Department of Justice filed criminal charges against an engineer who deleted messages containing sensitive information about the extent of the spill, just before lawyers were going to collect that sort of information from him.

Living

Nature trail rigged with terrifying booby trap

On a nature hike, as a rule, the dangers you want to guard against are dehydration, getting lost, and bears. But of all of nature’s creatures, the most terrifying might be a duo of teenage boys without much to do. In Utah, two such young men were arrested on suspicion of setting up trap that consisted of “a 20-pound spiked boulder … rigged to swing at head-level with just a trip of a thin wire — a military-like booby trap set on a popular canyon trail,” according to the Associated Press.

Living

TP execs: Americans don’t create enough waste in the bathroom

It takes tens of thousands of trees to create the amount of toilet paper that’s used every single day. But in the minds of corporate executives, Americans, at least, aren’t using enough paper during their bathroom routine. In particular, we’re not using enough Cottonelle Fresh Care — “the leading flushable wipe.” These executives, being corporate executives, know that if they could just convince us that we need dry and wet paper to clean our bums, they could sell sooooo much more product. Right now, ashamed of the wipes, people are hiding them under the sink. But people who keep the …

Critical List: Mad cow disease in California; first arrest in BP oil spill investigation

The USDA found a case of mad cow disease in California. Federal prosecutors charged a former BP engineer with deleting text messages in order to keep information about the true size of the Deepwater Horizon spill from investigators. The three cities with the most air pollution in the country are all in California, but L.A. only comes in third. A couple of inland metro areas come in first and second.

Pollution

Scientists use glow-in-the-dark fish to track hormone-disrupting chemicals

Imagine if your body could tell you where and when a certain chemical is impacting your health. Scientists at the University of Exeter have done just that – with green-glowing zebrafish, that is. Researchers genetically engineered young zebrafish to produce a fluorescent glow in the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol-A. By exposing fish to endocrine disruptors and observing when individual body parts light up, researchers can learn exactly how and at what concentrations these chemicals impact various organs and tissues. They can then make certain inferences on how endocrine disruptors impact human health. For instance, observing the glowing fish …

Animals

Adorable alert: Live BABY PANDA cam!

What’s black and white and so cute you’ll want to squeal like a Bieber-obsessed tween? A baby panda. And now you can see one any time you want.

Living

New research shows Big Tobacco targets black kids

Big Tobacco agreed way back in 1998 to stop marketing cigarettes to kids. Turns out cigarette companies are still up to their old tricks -- they’re just being slightly more stealth about it.

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