Grist List

Green Home

Energy monitoring device lets dad bust up rager from 500 miles away

If this were a movie, hardware and software developer David Rowe would look like a sitting duck for teen shenanigans — I mean, we don’t know the dude, but we’re pretty sure he’s a dweeby dad (or as close as you can get in Australia). The man describes himself as “kind of a power geek” — and he is talking about home energy use, not imperialism. But in fact, Rowe’s power geekiness has now translated into powerful hardass parenting: He busted up his daughter’s New Year’s bash from 500 miles away, thanks to his home energy monitoring device. Over New …

Biking

Need a ride? Check out London’s mobile bike library

A bus and a library make most people think of boring days locked inside a school — unless that bus holds an AWESOME mobile bike library! Meet London’s Bicycle Library: This roving bike provider lets Londoners “check out” a bike, just as they might check out a book from a public library (although the bike library requires a small deposit, too). The librarians provide on-site expertise to teach you about the art and science of bicycles. There’s even a bicycle matchmaking service where a librarian can match you with your true love on two wheels. Given that you can choose …

Critical List: Happy vernal equinox, Alec Baldwin calls Inhofe an ‘oil whore’

Happy spring! Check out the Google doodle celebrating the vernal equinox. A new survey shows that fewer Americans consider alternative energy development a bigger priority than oil, coal, and gas production. Air emissions from fracking contain pollutants that pose health risks to those living nearby, a new study confirms.

Climate Change

Engineer wants to stop Arctic warming with a cloud-whitening machine

Painting your roof white can (maybe) reflect enough heat to save a year’s worth of emissions. So painting the clouds white should be able to reflect enough heat to stop global warming, right? At least, that’s the theory recently put forth by an eminent U.K. engineer who wants to “whiten clouds” to prevent Arctic ice loss. Engineer Stephen Salter wants to build massive “cloud-whitening” towers in the Faroe Islands or on islands in the Bering Strait in order to keep Arctic temperatures from climbing.

Animals

Cloned baby goat is a super-adorable terrifying monster of science

The Kashmir region of south Asia is economically dependent on cashmere (the homophonic name is not a coincidence). But populations of pashmina goats, which produce the expensive wool, have been dwindling. So scientists at Sher-i-Kashmir University decided to hurry the process along, cloning a pashmina goat named Noori with little more than a microscope and crossed fingers.

Living

Low doses of BPA are worse for you than high doses

The pesticide and plastics industry have a lot invested in the safety of chemicals like bisphenol A and atrazine. Such “endocrine-disrupting” chemicals mimic human hormones, and research has tied them to health problems like cancer and infertility. But these industries have always held up studies that look at exposure to huge doses of endocrine disruptors. In massive quantities, the industries point out, these chemicals don’t cause problems. Therefore, they must be safe. But those huge doses may actually obscure the chemicals’ effects, a new study argues. Endocrine-disrupting compounds “can have effects at low doses that are not predicted by effects …

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