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Articles by Katy Balatero

Katy Balatero is Grist's editorial intern.

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  • CBS airs final segment of Antarctica series tonight

    CBS has been televising a series this week on climate change impacts in Antarctica. Monday's broadcast spotlighted how climate change has affected Adelie penguin populations. The segment last night focused on scientific research in Antarctica and what it might mean for our understanding of global warming (see video below). You can tune in tonight at 6:30 pm EST to find out about waste and recycling issues in our least-inhabited continent.

  • Obama takes the stage in Seattle to rally support for Saturday’s state caucuses

    Barack Obama's speech in Seattle today made this 26-year-old feel positively old. I and a few other Gristers hopped a bus over to the rally in Key Arena and were greeted by a stadium overflowing with supporters, many of them high school and college students. I overheard an usher say "I dont see this kind of support for [Seattle's basketball team] the Sonics anymore." (The venue holds 18,000 people: by speech time it was over capacity, with people crowded on the floor, spilling into the aisles, and climbing up the walls into off-limits box seats; several thousand had been turned away at the door.)

    The Obama rally at Key Arena, Seattle, Wash.
    Photo: Ashley Braun

  • Birds die in Portland neighborhood after alcohol binge

    This story from The Oregonian gives new meaning to the term "dead drunk":

    It's a case fit for wildlife CSI: 55 robins from the Mount Tabor neighborhood -- all dead within a few nearby backyards.

    Toxic spill?

    Mystery virus?

    Maybe not. The leading theory is that the birds were fatally intoxicated, said Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society of Portland's wildlife care center, where the birds ended up last week.

    That's right: The birds drank themselves to death.

    Not from a bottle, though. The birds' bellies were chock full of holly berries, skins and seeds. Sallinger isn't dismissing other explanations yet, but the current thinking is that the birds ate aged and fermented berries that killed them.


    The robins travel in flocks this time of year, so they could have gobbled the berries together last week. They may have died from ethanol poisoning directly or dropped into such a stupor they died of exposure.

    "Certainly a drunk bird in the rain is pretty vulnerable," Sallinger said.

    Maybe they were just depressed.

  • Another reason to procrastinate about my Christmas shopping

    From the producers of "The Meatrix" and "Grocery Store Wars" comes "The Story of Stuff," a short video about production and consumption, just in time for the holiday shopping binge. Click here for the full movie (sample clip embedded below).