With a $30 million investment, this gas-guzzling airline is betting big on biofuels.

Just like the planes they power, biofuels are taking off.

Last year, United Airlines purchased 3.9 billion gallons of fuel.

And it cost them nearly $12 billion (and you wonder why they charge you for a little more leg room).


And can I get another bag of pretzels while we're at it? Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

But starting this summer, select United flights will run on fuel made from animal fat and farm waste.

In 2013, United agreed to purchase 15 million gallons of fuel from AltAir, an alternative fuel, or biofuel, company.

AltAir's fuel, made from farm waste and natural oils, will power flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco in select test runs over the next three years.


Watch where you step, that could be your jet fuel. Photo by Micolo J/Flickr.

While this is the first time alternative fuel is being used to fly the friendly skies, the technology is nothing new.

Biofuel can be made using vegetable oils or cooking oils leftover from restaurants and is available at filling stations across the country.

But this is the first time commercial airlines have gotten in on the act in a major way.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

In June 2015, United announced a $30 million investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy, a California-based alternative fuel company.

This is a big deal for two reasons: One, this is the largest investment in alternative fuels by a U.S. airline, and two, unlike other biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy makes their product out of household garbage.

Yep, they make their fuel out of garbage. Gross, disgusting garbage.

Garbage is actually perfect for fuel because it contains large stores of carbon and hydrogen, which are the building blocks of jet fuel. Not to mention garbage is cheap and can be found literally everywhere.

As landfills rise, cities are scratching their heads to come up with a waste management solution. Fulcrum stepped in, making agreements with waste companies across North America.

Today, hot and smelly trash. Tomorrow, hot and smelly jet fuel. Photo by woodleywonderworks/Flickr.

About 4% of garbage landfilled annually in the U.S. winds up in Fulcrum's care.

The fuel they produce costs companies like United less than $1 a gallon — which is a great deal, considering the average cost for a gallon of non-biofuel fuel is around $2.11.


Fulcrum Bioenergy is chipping away at North American landfills. Photo by Bill McChesney/Flickr (altered).

And while news of the investment is exciting, the timing isn't that surprising, given the EPA's recent announcement about regulating aircraft emissions.

United may have seen the writing on the wall, but they're not alone.

Southwest, Alaska Airlines, and British Airways have also purchased biofuels or biofuel refineries.

Alternative fuels are a way for airlines to better their bottom line and help the planet.

Biofuels make it possible for companies to save money and cut emissions, which means it's really just a matter of common sense meets business sense.

Just like the planes they power, biofuels are ready to take off.

Bon Voyage, Big Oil. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

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Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

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via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

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Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

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