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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown more terrifying than we thought

In a new report, Tokyo Electric Power company has revealed that the Fukushima meltdown probably did more damage and was more dangerous than anyone realized at the time. The report's based on a simulation, but that simulation indicated that the entire ration of fuel inside one reactor could have turned into a pile of molten goo. Molten nuclear goo has only one thought -- DESTROY -- and could have pulverized two-thirds of its concrete containment base. The simulation indicated that the situation wasn't quite so bad in the other reactors. Only 60 percent of the fuel dropped through the concrete …

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Adorable video defends public transportation

Here's a sweet 30-second plea for the improvement of the public transportation used by 35 million Americans every day. Because there should be many tens or hundreds of millions more of them, but at the rate we’re going now, that’s not looking likely. Eighty-four percent of transit systems have raised rates or cut service. Is this any way to handle the inexorably increasing price and environmental consequences of our ever more desperate quest for oil?

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Airport to increase safety by gassing birds

Last year, a Royal Air Maroc plane made an emergency landing at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport after it was hit by a flock of geese. They've been trying everything to get rid of the birds, they say, including "luring them away" (presumably with irresistible offers from Groupon). Incidents like these have been increasing at the airport, so its directors are seeking permission from Brussels to shoot the birds as well as gas them with CO2. Birding groups are not happy.

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Critical List: A small fracking victory; fracking still sucks

In New York, government officials are extending the public comment period on fracking rules. In Pennsylvania, a judge gave Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. permission to stop supplying fresh water to families whose well water was tainted by fracking operations. And the Chesapeake Bay Foundation used infrared video to document emissions pouring out of natural gas drilling sites all over the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Melting permafrost is going to dump carbon into the atmosphere faster than anyone expected. The clean energy standard is staging a comeback, thanks to Sen. Jeff Bingaman. Republicans are bringing unions and TransCanada execs to the …

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The wrong way to recycle your fluorescent bulbs: Eating them

This video is bananas. But fluorescent bulbs are not bananas. So don't eat them, like these guys do, and also don't do any of the other things in this video. Criminey. If you do have mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs that need to be disposed of, the EPA has a guide to what you need to do to recycle them. Your options include contacting waste-collection agencies, bringing them to local retailers that collect them, or sending them in to mail-back services. There is nothing about stacking them on some kind of rack and then jumping through them.

Read more: Living

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‘Human centipede’ business model saves 39 million tons of CO2

One company's trash can be another's treasure -- for instance, a server farm produces excess heat, making heat a waste product, but a greenhouse runs on heat and considers it a necessity. The U.K.'s National Industrial Symbiosis Program (NISP) helps match up companies that produce waste with companies that need it. Essentially, it's a Human Centipede for industry. NISP is the world's most successful "industrial symbiosis" facilitator, and it's linked up more than 1,000 industrial centipedes in the last five years. That's kept 43 million tons of junk out of landfills, and saved 39 million tons of CO2. All this …

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Infographic: The metals that make our technology are running out

This infographic by Camden Asay (click to embiggen) shows that we're fast running out of the stuff that powers our vehicles and our weaponry. But we've got even less time left with our gadgets. Yttrium and indium, two of the rare-earth elements that enable us to have TVs, computer monitors, and touch screens -- oh, and solar panels -- are on a fast track to complete depletion. At our current rate of use, we have less than 15 years' worth left. Of course, we'll probably become a little more efficient at deploying these resources ... but at our modern levels …

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Anonymous vigilantes clean up Bangalore

The Indian city of Bangalore is not the cleanest, apparently. So a group of young Bangaloreans is cleaning up the city, a block at a time. And they're doing it anonymously.  After a year of "spot-fixing," the group -- they call themselves the "Ugly Indians" -- has managed to clear more than eight miles of Bangalore's streets of garbage dumps, missing paving slabs, urine smell, and betel-leaf stains (a similar urban ill to that gray ground-in chewing gum you see on city sidewalks). And they're challenging other cities to do the same. The Ugly Indians work anonymously, and often don't …

Read more: Cities

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Electric car ad from 1912

Matt Novak of the always worthwhile blog PaleoFuture just stumbled across this ad for an electric car -- from 1912. The Columbus Buggy Company once employed 1,000 people in a factory that produced horse-drawn carriages, and at the dawn of the automobile it attempted to make the leap to motorized versions. At the time, there was nothing odd about electric cars, given that no one had any preconceived notions about how a car should operate. Then Henry Ford rolled out the Model T and the rest is history. 

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How transit and smart growth are saving Cleveland

Cleveland is one of those ailing American cities constantly held up as an example of the country's decline. But The New York Times has taken a look at a revitalization plan the city's been working on and found that, in one uptown area at least, the city is actually growing. And the drivers of that expansion are (drumroll, please) transit and smart growth. One of the first projects the city invested in when it was starting out was a bus rapid transit line from the city's downtown to the uptown University Circle. With 12 million riders in three years, the …