When people camp, they often turn into even bigger slobs than they are in real life. Between the beers, flashlight batteries, water bottles, and marshmallow packaging, they generate and leave behind a lot of crap. So, the people at Glad, who make trash bags, thought to themselves, "How might we enhance the camping experience, encourage people to pick up after themselves, and also, let's be honest, promote our brand?" The result: a tent that can be turned into a garbage bag.
Brooklyn Police descended upon a Lefferts Avenue apartment building this Wednesday, responding to a report that there were marijuana plants on the building's roof. The report came from the building's superintendent, but the cops didn't check it out first. They should've, because the plants in question were not pot plants but tomato plants. For the curious:
I was 9 years old when the political first became personal. Swayed by stories of kids not much older than me stitching together soccer balls and sneakers, my sister, mom, and I made a pact to never wear Nike. In a sea of Air Jordans, I held my own in uncool shoes* against neoliberal arguments I could tell were bullshit years before I hit puberty.
Sixteen years later, I found myself sneaking stories about sustainable fashion into Grist. Why clothing? Why this issue, so often associated with vanity, and not another, more worthy topic? What about the local food movement? Or the multifaceted battles over renewable and dirty energy? The world is burning, and you want to write about jeans? Really?
That’s all important, but it wasn’t until I tried to write about the recent collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh that I made the connection as to why this stuff matters so much to me. By last count, more than 1,000 people have died in Rana Plaza, making it the most deadly accident the garment industry has ever seen.
One-thousand. For comparison, the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire, which spurred safety and labor laws across the U.S., killed 146. Last November, 117 people died in the Tazreen Factory fire in Bangladesh. And while they were still pulling bodies out of Rana Plaza’s rubble, another Bangladesh factory went up in flames on Thursday, killing eight.
As a former New York City dweller (I won't risk the ire of people who feel like you need to live there since birth to be called a New Yorker) now living in relatively inexpensive, spacious, and rural splendor in NorCal boy, oh, boy did I chortle my way through this blog of thoroughly shitty, almost uninhabitable New York City rooms. Seriously, only look at these if you're feeling kind of stable or in a good mood. Definitely do not look at them if you're a dancer/writer/actor/urban farm intern trying to make your dreams come true in the Big Apple. …
Plants talk to each other. They don't use their words, like our moms and dads taught us to do instead of making faces and grumping around. But when they need to -- particularly when they're under threat -- they let each other know. Scientists have known for a while that plants will send out chemical signals in the air as a warning system, but now they've discovered that plants have a secret underground network of communication, too.
Many plants grow in partnership with mycorrhizal fungi, and, as the BBC reports, a new study found for the first time that those fungal systems transmit messages for the plants whose roots they grow on. When aphids attack one plant in the network, the fungi let the other plants know, and those plants start mounting their defenses.
It works just like any alliance, explains the BBC. Each party gets something out of it:
The good news just keeps flowing -- like electricity from a renewables-infused grid -- for electric-auto maker Tesla Motors.
Consumer Reports just gave the Tesla Model S Sedan its highest-ever score for an automobile. The glowing review and sky-high score of 99 out of 100 came in the same week that the 10-year-old auto manufacturer enjoyed its first profitable quarter.
This electric luxury sports car, built by a small automaker based in Palo Alto, Calif., is brimming with innovation, delivers world-class performance, and is interwoven throughout with impressive attention to detail. It’s what Marty McFly might have brought back in place of his DeLorean in “Back to the Future.” The sum total of that effort has earned the Model S the highest score in our Ratings: 99 out of 100. That is far ahead of such direct competitors as the gas-powered Porsche Panamera (84) and the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid (57).
Here is what Subaru thinks of the subway: It's smelly, full of (horrors) people, and slow. You don't even want to know what the car company has to say about subway commuters. But it's willing to tell you. While you're on the subway.
A Streetsblog reader alerted fellow transit nuts to this ad that the car company ran in Metro, that free newspaper you're handed while headed into the station each morning:
It promises an “odour free ride to work," the end of “obligatory transit conversations with coworkers," and “half off arbitrary and inexplicable transit delays.” Or, as the ad puts it:
While you’re sitting on public transit, just imagine your commute in a new Subaru Impreza. No weird smells, no overhearing awful music, and nobody asking you for spare change.
Many zero-energy, efficient green homes look like boxes. Maybe they're repurposed shipping containers, or maybe they've just got those clean, straight lines that zip off into the future and are so popular today. Either way, they're rarely cozy. But this one, built in Romania, is cozy enough and woodsy enough that we can just see Bilbo Baggins making a spot of tea through its large, high-efficiency, let-the-natural-light-in windows.
Modern, hip Bilbo, obviously. He would wear a scarf and Warby Parkers.
Electric-car pioneer Tesla just reported its first ever quarterly profit, jolted into the black by strong sales of its all-electric sedans and by a form of carbon trading under California's clean-cars program.
And with that achievement under its belt, the Californian company is moving on to conjuring another type of magic. Tesla is in talks with nearby Google to develop a car that can run not only without any gas in the tank, but without anybody in the driver's seat.
Climate change is fixing to make potatoes and wheat and rice plants less productive, but we were supposed to be able to count on cassava. If you're not familiar, cassava is that tree-branch-looking thing that usually gets grouped near the hot peppers, tomatillos, and other ingredients you might need for "Mexican night" in higher-end grocery stores. This one:
It can double for potatoes as a staple crop, and it's less sensitive to heat changes. But now, even this alt-tuber is being snatched away from us. The Associated Press reports that cassava crops are dying: