Grist List

Critical List: U.S. carbon emissions on the rise; Japan without nuclear power

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have started to rise again. After May 5, Japan will be without nuclear power, at least until two idled reactors are started back up. New forecasting technology means fewer people die in extreme weather.

Food Safety

Scientists discover ancient antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Okay, nobody panic, but scientists have found a stash of bacteria that have never had contact with humans, but are resistant to antibiotics anyway. If this happened in a movie, this would probably end with everyone becoming dead. But I’m sure it’s fine!

Business & Technology

Walmart is bigger than Manhattan and richer than Norway

Mother Jones sized up the retail giant. Here's what they found.

Oil

Oil execs get monster raises after a ‘very strong’ 2011

How big was your raise last year? John Watson, the CEO of Chevron, got a 52 percent bump in his compensation. That’s a nice chunk of change for anyone, and in Watson’s case, it brought his total yearly take up to about $25 million. Which is nothing to complain about, unless Watson is comparing his raise to the raise of his rival giganto oil company. In that case, he might be feeling a little bit short-changed.

Energy Efficiency

Scientists build energy-efficient computer out of crabs

Here is an amazing example of humans piggybacking on a natural phenomenon to create an incredibly clever system: crab-based computing. A crab-based computer starts with swarms of crabs. These swarms include hundreds of thousands of crabs that, individually, run every which way but that, as a group, progress in one direction. Even more incredible — when two swarms collide, they merge and start moving along the vector of their combined velocity (hellloooo, high school physics!). So what does this have to do with computing? A team of researchers set up a system where crab behavior would provide the basic logic …

Politics

The neuroscience of why the GOP is like that

Here's Chris Mooney, who has made it his mission to chronicle and then explain why the GOP is resolutely anti-science, summing up his life's work rather succinctly.

Millennials love cities because they provide the one thing their boomer parents couldn’t give them

Why is Gen Y migrating to the cities? Because millennials are craving the things they didn’t get in their suburban upbringings, like connectedness and adventure.

Critical List: Emperor penguin population double previous estimates; a new fracking working group

A team using very high resolution satellite pictures counted twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than any previous study had. President Obama formed a new working group in Washington to coordinate federal oversight of fracking. Those earthquakes in Oklahoma and Arkansas could be caused not just by fracking wastewater disposal but by fracking itself.

Sustainable Farming

Farm-in-a-truck teaches kids about sustainability

Compass Green is a mobile greenhouse built into a truck, which runs on vegetable oil (natch). Handsome hipsters Nick Runkle and Justin Cutter retooled the truck, which was already fitted with Plexiglas display panels, to turn it into a biofuel-powered educational farm on wheels.

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