Grist List

Politics

Congressional staffers will stop betting on wildfire destruction

We here at Grist mock a lot of people. But we don't always manage to mock some sense into them. Which is why we're pretty psyched about the response to Sarah Laskow's feature story revealing that congressional staffers were making deadly wildfires into a fun office pool:  McKie Campbell, the [Senate Energy and Natural Resources] committee’s Republican staff director, said the contest has been stopped. “It will never happen again,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “It was in no way indicative of disrespect for any of the folks who put their lives on the line to battle the fires.”

Africa’s first green, locavore, gluten-free beer

In Mozambique, home brewing is big -- not because the country is full of mustachioed, fixie-riding expats from Portlandia, but just because it's less expensive. So when brewing giant SABMiller wanted to figure out how to sell beer to people who are already making their own, they had to do it on the cheap.

Climate & Energy

Scientists discover color of galaxy, can only describe it in poetry

We went back and forth on whether this would be relevant to your interests, but it's about the universe and the Earth is in the universe, right? I think that's a non-controversial scientific statement even Rick Santorum would agree with. (Maybe. Does Rick Santorum believe in the galaxy?) Anyway, astronomers have found the exact color the Milky Way galaxy would appear if you were standing outside it, and it turns out it is a color that can only be expressed in poetry.

Let’s make fun of Rick Santorum talking about climate change

Is it getting boring to make fun of Rick Santorum? I don't really care, because frankly the dude is both a menace and an ignoramus and that is comedy gold even if he didn't look like the love child of Ryan Reynolds and a turtle. (Yes, I recycled that joke, but it's TRUE.) It's all very well to talk about frothy mixtures and whatnot, but opportunities to mock Santorum go well beyond his Google problem. Although seriously, does anyone else feel sort of dirty when they type his name, like they should be writing "Sant*rum" or something? Anyway, Treehugger found a doozy of a quote from Sir Mixture-a-lot about global warming. Let's mock it! (Note to Rick and adherents: We are not in the "then they laugh at you" stage of Gandhi's, or whoever's, hierarchy. We are just laughing at you.)

Teeniest frog ever

Scientists thought they had found the world's smallest frog just a month ago, when a researcher announced he'd found coin-sized amphibians in New Guinea. But psych! Those weren't the smallest frogs. This is the smallest frog. In fact it's the smallest vertebrate known to man.

Go ahead, eat McDonald’s. Nobody will ever know

I’m told, by people with less finicky stomachs, that sometimes even the most well-intentioned foodies and factory-farm opponents really jones for an Egg McMuffin. If you can’t resist the occasional splurge — maybe it’s been a late and smokey night at college, if you know what I mean — then at least you can make sure you don’t see your picture splashed across the front page of Food Scold Daily or something.