Living

to-go, please

Do you prefer your green space pre-packaged?

This enlightened group of Spanish nightstalkers are fed up with shrinking urban green space. Worried that the most greenery people see nowadays comes in plastic containers with a sell-by date, they decided to prank up the limelight on an ugly corner of Madrid with their Packaged Vertical Garden. We think their style packs way more of a lunch punch than the way others just vine and moan about these sorts of problems. Gustavo Sanabria, Luzinterruptus Luzinterruptus via inhabitat —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this, …

She dwells on seashells

Ask Umbra dives deep with ocean advocate Sylvia Earle

Water, water everywhere, but is it on the brink? Not if oceanographer Sylvia Earle has anything to do with it. Dearests, meet Ms. Earle, an aquanaut, author, and one of today’s greatest advocates of the ocean—also, I suspect, a direct descendant of Poseidon. (I’ve asked for funding from Grist for a DNA test to be sure. Stay tuned.) As the head of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration in the early ’90s, her fierce protection of the blue part of the planet landed her the title Sturgeon General. She’s also a female Buzz Aldrin of sorts (minus the Dancing with the …

holy hole-in-the-ground

Weird and wonderful places to live

The New York Times Magazine did a photo spread of some rather extreme conversions of churches, shipping containers, water towers, and even caves. We do our own roundup of TreeHugger favorites: A chapel converted to residence by ZECC Architects. Churches ZECC Architects, beloved of their conversion of a water tower into a residence, are at it again with this conversion of a Dutch chapel into a single family residence. In some ways it is a bit sad, when formerly public spaces get converted to private residences, but not every church can be converted into a bookstore or other public use, …

You get what you Palin for

Sarah Palin’s spendy nature documentary dreams to become reality TV — on TLC!

UPDATE: Discovery’s TLC has officially signed Alaska’s most famous former official. However, Discovery would really like everyone to stop calling it a reality show, and acknowledge it for what it really will be: a “documentary series about the remarkable Governor Palin and her home state of Alaska.” Will the network’s aspirations to keep it from becoming a “political program” be successful? Perhaps only with an airhead filter. Sarah Palin attracts more drama than Jersey Shore, so it’s only natural for her to guide us to the natural reality-TV shores of Alaska. Rumors say Palin’s asking Discovery Communications to coffer up …

bugging out

First came superweeds; now come the superbugs!

The current crop of superweeds plaguing farmers who rely on Monsanto’s RoundUp pesticide represents by now a well documented crisis. But watch out, world! Here come the superbugs. That’s right, Monsanto’s other flagship product, its “Bt” line of genetically modified seeds which emit their own pesticide in the form of a naturally occurring toxin, is now under threat from resistant insects. Science Magazine ($ub req’d) has the details: Monsanto has revealed that a common insect pest has developed resistance to its flagship genetically modified (GM) product in India. The agricultural biotechnology leader says it “detected unusual survival” of pink bollworms that fed …

Twinkie, Twinkie, little star, how I wonder what you are

Stuff your own Twinkies, then stuff your face

Editor’s note: In his book Food Rules, Michael Pollan declares, “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” The idea is that by cooking at home, you’ll avoid all the unpronounceable chemicals found in store-bought junk. And even though you might gorge on it, you can only eat as much as you made—and it takes hands-on effort, not just a trip to the supermarket, to procure more. In that spirit, we offer DIY Junk Food, the recipe column for those who want to get their hands dirty in the kitchen before enjoying some sublime …

Telly something I don't know

Love your mother: Vote for Grist’s MILF video in the Telly Awards

Remember last year when Grist said, Screw Earth Day? (What with every day being Earth Day, yadda yadda yadda.) Well, our fine and funny MILF video celebrating, er, loving your mother the right and wrong way, has been nominated for a Telly Award, which honors the “very best in video, film, and commercials.” Thanks, Telly, we like to think we’re the very best too. Why? Because we have the very best readers who will vote for us, of course. (Nudge, nudge.) You know the drill, baby, drill. Go here: http://www.youtube.com/tellyawards and search for “Grist.” Click on that hot pair of …

If the Rocket Man made love to a jet ski

The JetLev indulges your wettest dreams of low-carbon flying

Are your arms tired of holding up frequent-flyer guilt? Don’t like the hassle of gassing up a personal blimp? Doubtful about the pie-in-the-sky eco-claims of recreational space tourism? Same here. That’s why we’re on cloud nine over the launch of JetLev, which allows you to fly by the seat of your wetsuit with the ease of a rocket and the carbon emissions of a small motor boat. It’s personal transportation for the wet jetsetters. Via James Fallows of The Atlantic. —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this — …

You can go back home

Egger’s Head: The prodigal generation

Robert Egger has a lot going on in his head. Just ask him.  As a nonprofit entrepreneur, a serial searcher for ordinary people doing extraordinary things, a deeply deep thoughts kind of guy, Egger gives us something to ponder every week. We ask. He yaks. We listen. And now you can, too. Listen to Egger’s single-breath exposition on the Prodigal Generation. Trust us, it’s the most entertaining few minutes you’ll spend today. Egger is founder and President of the D.C. Central Kitchen, the nation’s first “community kitchen,” where unemployed men and women learn marketable culinary skills while donated food is …