Grist List

Biking

This 90-year-old on a tricycle is a total badass

You go, grandpa. I think we can overlook a little sidewalk-riding for a guy who was born before television.

Critical List: Warmest March on record for 25 states; LEGO hermit crab shell

A round-up of the news of the day.

Renewable Energy

How butterflies are teaching scientists about better renewable fuels

What do the latest hydrogen fuel production technology and your tramp stamp have in common? They both take inspiration from butterfly wings.

Living

Biodegradable slippers are the new creepy toe shoes (we hope)

I’m pretty sure this is the ultimate eco-product: a biodegradable shoe modeled after the Amazonian practice of painting resin onto one’s feet to protect them. Should you invest in these lovelies? Let us examine the advantages and disadvantages. Advantages: You can dispose of them in a compost bin. (Pre-shredding required.) You can get rid of the weird foot smell by washing them. They roll up really tiny! They are less weird-looking than those creepy shoes that look like gloves for feet.

Living

Indian man single-handedly plants hundreds of acres of forest

In the northern Indian province of Assam, there's a forest named after one man — not a politician, or a historical hero, but a guy who lives there today. It's named after him because he planted most of its 1,360 acres.

Scary Food

Why you should be glad there are bugs in your Frappuccino

Okay, yes, everybody — especially vegans, corporation-haters, and bloggers who like writing about gross things you just put in your mouth — got a little excited over the news that Starbucks’ Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino derives its red color from crushed bugs. But here’s what you didn’t know: That’s actually a good thing.

If fossil fuel subsidies were distributed to every person, we’d each get $58/year

Every year fossil fuels get six times as much money in subsidies from the U.S. government -- i.e. you, the taxpayer -- than renewable energy.

Incredible NASA images of Saudi Arabia’s careless use of water

NASA released satellite images showing that the Saudis are irrigating the desert in order to grow food -- with fossil water that accumulated during the last Ice Age and will be gone completely in 50 years.

Wind Power

Mesmerizing wind map is the coolest-looking weather map ever

Data visualization wizards Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg have devised a real-time map of wind speeds in the U.S., and it beats the pants off spiky cold fronts, happy suns, and whatever else they’re putting on weather maps these days. It’s simple, elegant, and crazy hypnotic — watch it together with the lava lamp ocean currents, and you might just go into a turbulence-inspired trance and start making noises like Osborne Reynolds. (Look it up, jerks.)

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