Grist List

Animals

It’s Penguin Awareness Day! Please be aware of these penguins

So apparently today is Penguin Awareness Day? I’d be inclined to think that any species that’s been the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary AND an Oscar-winning animated feature film wouldn’t really need an Awareness Day, but whatever, it’s not like anybody’s asking you to post some crazy crap about your bra color on Facebook. All you have to do is look at these pictures of penguins.

Election 2012

Newt Gingrich thinks riding the subway is for fancy people

Not that this is the most ridiculous Gingrich news in the last few days or anything, but it’s pretty amusing: Evidently “metro-riding” is the Gingrich equivalent of “arugula-eating.” “Those who, you know, live in high-rise apartment buildings writing for fancy newspapers in the middle of town after they ride the metro, who don’t understand that for most Americans the ability to buy a home, to have their own property, to have a sense of belonging is one of the greatest achievements of their life, and it makes them feel like they are good solid citizens,” he told the crowd.

Food

‘Antibiotic-free’ pork has the same rate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

We really do try to Pollan it up and do the whole “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” bit. But “mostly plants” obviously means “sometimes bacon.” And maybe the farmers’ market wasn’t open, so we bought that bacon at the store. Oh, but it was good bacon! “Raised without antibiotics” bacon! That’s something, right? Nope, not really, according to a new study from a group of University of Iowa scientists. This group tested 395 samples of pork from 36 stores in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. Of those, 6.6 percent had creepy, drug-resistant staph bacteria (shorthand: MRSA) on them. …

Climate & Energy

A Farmville-style game that helps save wetlands

This student-created Farmville-type game benefits real wetlands conservation groups.

Climate & Energy

Critical List: Vermont can’t shutter nuke plant; microbes turn seaweed into biofuel

The EPA will test water in Dimock, PA, and is delivering drinking water to four homes there. Silly Vermont. You wanted to shut down a nuclear plant? Only the federal government can regulate nuclear power! For biofuels, seaweed could be the new corn.

Food

‘Just Label It': New video from the Food, Inc. guy

Food, Inc. filmmaker Robert Kenner has a new project about labeling of GMO foods. This one's a short video, not a feature film, so it'll only take three minutes of your life to check it out.

Green Home

‘Cabin porn’ fuels your Thoreau fantasies

If you’ve been daydreaming about packing up and moving off-grid, maybe to Walden Pond or the Lake Isle of Innisfree, the Free Cabin Porn Tumblr will help give shape to your fantasies. If you haven’t, well, you just might now.

Living

Here’s what the inside of a tree sounds like

Installation artist Bartholomäus Traubeck’s new work, “Years,” uses some kind of optical dealie to translate a tree’s age rings into piano music.

Climate & Energy

Buckle up for more weather weirdness, America

Last year, the climate phenomenon La Niña messed with everyone’s heads. La Niña conditions mean that the ocean temperature in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean are colder than usual, and this was responsible for (among other things) the uncannily warm winter that the Northeast has been having. Sorry, can’t blame that on climate change! Yet. NASA’s climate-tracking satellites have picked up indications that this round of La Niña is peaking.

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