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Best of TreeHugger: The Dark Power of Carbon Nanotubes, How Not to Get Killed on a Bike, and the World's Shiniest New Subways

As a U.K. court rules that belief in global warming is akin to a religious or philosophical conviction, Jaymi worries about the implications of...


As a U.K. court rules that belief in global warming is akin to a religious or philosophical conviction, Jaymi worries about the implications of thinking of environmentalism as a belief (but not in a preachy way). In other news, Lloyd reports that climate change denial is on the decline, at least among business leaders.The 10:10 campaign, a big U.K. effort to get ministries and companies to cut their CO2 emissions 10 percent by 2010, recently got an application from the country's third largest airport, which is creating power with biomass grown and burned on site, installing energy efficient lighting, and buying all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. So why did 10:10 turn them down?The darkest substance in the world is also capable of cleaning up organic pollutants from the surface of water (such as oil and solvents) by absorbing up to 180 times its weight (without absorbing water), we learn from researchers at Beijing's Tsinghua and Beijing Universities. And once it's full of toxic liquids, the best part is that you can just wring it and start again. Really, what's not to love about carbon nanotubes?In one of the odder charges against the now-bipartisan climate bill, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has taken to saying that it includes a provision that "...requires President Obama to act like Venezuelan strong man Hugo Chavez" and assume emergency powers if a 'climate emergency' is declared by the EPA." We (and a big conservative blog) are left scratching our heads.Just as we were getting all excited about carbon nanotubes, we almost puked up our organic breakfast over these photos of Paris Hilton's $325,000 two-story, air-conditioned, designer furniture-decorated, heated, and black crystal chandelier-boasting McMansion-for her dogs.For all the new bicyclists in New York City-there are 26 percent more this year -we offer a useful guide to how to get killed on a bike. For instance, try not to ride against traffic, and beware of cars that break traffic rules.Imagine reducing fuel consumption, traffic, and accidents on the highway-all while taking your hands off the wheel. Brian Merchant looks at the awesome Road Train idea, which is now getting tested in Europe. Will we go for this kind of thing? Or rather, when will we?The most wasteful season is upon us. We're already offering up our green holiday guides. And our friends at Planet Green have some tips on how to take back the holiday season, including starting new traditions, making memories of the fun you had rather than all of the shopping you did, and making real choices about to spend your time and resources.Fresh from the brand-new underground rails of Beijing, Alex Pasternack looks at some of the world's shiniest, newest subways in the world.On the anniversary of the fall of the Wall, we checked out the Gorbachev-founded charity Global Green USA's 10th Sustainable Design Awards gala in New York, where six groups and people were toasted for their contributions to "tearing down this carbon!" And we interview Matt Petersen, the group's president, about teaming up with Brad Pitt, the sexiest green man there is, to green a neighborhood in New Orleans.We got excited (and a bit hungry) reading about the Pop Up Lunch project, which is giving street-eaters a place to stop, lunch, munch, and linger-and in the process, giving them a new way to enliven and enjoy public space, build community, and maybe even think more carefully about what they're eating. When we slow down, actually stopping to eat, we spend more time considering what it is we're putting in our bodies and might make better food choices. (And when we're done eating, Lloyd suggest we might take a space-efficient afternoon nap on the Vertical Bed.)
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Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

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One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.



It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

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via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

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