Grist List

Living

Giant snow art turns the ground into a canvas

Sometimes it’s nice to stop worrying about the fate of the planet and just appreciate it for its beauty — and it doesn’t hurt if its beauty is slightly enhanced by being part of a massive environmental art project. Sonja Hinrichsen’s snow drawing looks like it could be a Marimekko fabric design, but it’s actually a large-scale arrangement of snow crop circles that took five people three hours to complete.

Food

Activists get Amazon to stop selling whale meat

Weird things available on Amazon.com in the U.S. include wolf urine, fresh rabbit, canned unicorn, deer butt, and (fake) horse heads. But until yesterday, the company’s Japanese subsidiary was selling something a lot more grisly: whale bacon, whale stew, whale jerky, and canned whale meat. Now, only a day after the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) put out a call to action to boycott Amazon, whale meat products have disappeared from the site. 

Biking

Here’s what a crowdsourced bicycle looks like

This combination bike and scooter is nominally the work of fancypants designer Philippe Starck, but that’s partly because “everyone in Bordeaux, France” doesn’t have as much label cachet. (More than “everyone in Normal, Illinois” or something, but still.) Before Starck got his hands on the brief for the bike, which will be part of Bordeaux’s bikeshare system, the city government solicited comments from more than 300 citizens on how their ideal bike would look and function.

Food

Test tube burger will cost more than $331,000 to produce

Sometime later this year, a yet-to-be-named guinea pig very lucky culinary pioneer will take the first bite of the first hamburger grown in a lab. At that point, the cost of making that burger will have totaled more than $331,000 (an estimated 250,000 euros). The meat will be grown from bovine stem cells that produce muscle and fat — and if that sounds less than appetizing, keep in mind that the burger will be prepared by famed chef Heston Blumenthal.

Cities

Ultimate tiny house is suspended 40 feet in the air

Via the Dish, this art installation in downtown San Francisco is the ultimate tiny house. It’s seven by eight by 11 feet, and it’s suspended 40 feet in the air. Plus, it’s recycled AND green: It’s made of 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood, and powered by off-grid solar. Among other ideas, the project is meant to communicate “a new home front in the remaining voids of San Francisco” and “the arrogance of westward expansion,” according to designboom. While we now think it’s awesome and perhaps necessary to inhabit tiny spaces, for pioneers, it was just practical.

Critical List: Court upholds local fracking ban; New York could ban shark fin sales

A New York state court upheld the town of Dryden’s ban on fracking. Republicans are trying to pin rising gas prices on President Obama. Apple could allow independent environmental reviews of two factories in China. Chinese air pollution is visible from space.