The Machine Trailer (by RedandBlackFilms)


No caption necessary.

Wouldn’t be great if the Disney-Muppet-Marvel convergence produced something like this? It might actually be cool.


No caption necessary.

Wouldn’t be great if the Disney-Muppet-Marvel convergence produced something like this? It might actually be cool.

Anyone else notice … ?

That TV subtitles label any pre-recorded club music “electronica” even when it’s not remotely electronica? Unless it happens to be something like a country bar.

BBC ceefax music Can you identify it? What a funky tune! (by ooey Lastb)

From the predecessor to weather channel reports.

(via PLOS ONE: Structural Transition from Helices to Hemihelices)

As described on metafilter, a shape previously unknown, except to kids playing with rubber bands.

(via PLOS ONE: Structural Transition from Helices to Hemihelices)

As described on metafilter, a shape previously unknown, except to kids playing with rubber bands.






Did you know that you can make houses out of plastic bottles? By filling them with sand, and molding them together with mud or cement, the walls created are actually bullet proof, fire proof, and will maintain an comfortable indoor temperature of 64 degrees in the summer time.

And it’s not like there is any shortage on used plastic bottles out there. Here are some statistics from

“The United States uses 129.6 Million plastic bottles per day which is 47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year. About 80% of those plastic bottles end up in a landfill!”

To build a two bedroom, 1200 square foot home, it takes about 14,000 bottles.

The United States throws away enough plastic bottles to build 9257 of these 2 bedroom houses per day! That’s just over 3.35 million homes, the same number of homeless people in America.

Many people in third world countries have taken up building homes out of plastic bottles, from Africa to Asia. Perhaps the trend will catch on in America and all of those bottles will stop ending up in the landfills. Wouldn’t they be better off housing the homeless? Kinda like all those empty houses scattered all over the country?


Why aren’t we doing this?

Because in most of the first world we have building codes which don’t allow for this kind of construction. Those building codes were put in place to protect people from shoddy practices, which is hugely important — but they also make it difficult to build using alternative construction techniques, as the codes are quite specific. Areas without enforced building codes are a great experimental playground — they’re also likely to be more impoverished areas where a lot of the buildings aren’t structurally sound and able to withstand environmental dangers.

(If you’d like to check out a place in the US where cool things have been done with very lax building codes, check out the Rural Studio. It’s an undergrad architecture program in Alabama, and when I was still considering architecture school I daydreamed about it).

Probably a bigger issue than building codes is that in the US we don’t have a housing shortage. We have an exteremely complicated money/class/healthcare problem, and just building more houses — however cheaply! — won’t solve it. There are LOTS of vacant houses, but little money/will/support to get people off the streets.

a lot of the places that NEED housing in the US are urban or suburban areas where the price for the LAND and the ZONING is the controlling factor on what’s built. Where I am, an unbuilt acre costs between $50-$100K depending on how buildable it is.  (so you might but an acre, but 1/2 of it is maneating swamp) NO HOUSE. NO SEWER. NO WATER. that’s just somewhere to put a house.

Zoning for new areas tends to heavily favor single use zoning. Residential, commercial, industrial with no crossover. which makes sense on the face of it, you don’t want a smelter directly next to families with kids.  But in practice means zoning tends favor sprawling developments that go to the largest lot sizes they can force into a zone to keep the median price up.  Meanwhile downtown districts tend to be forced to be JUST retail/office with no residential. so everybody shops/works there but nobody lives there.

Old cities/towns tends to be largely mixed use.  Retail/office on the bottom floor or two, residential the rest of the way up.  which is largely what is needed because there’s insufficient entry level apartments to get people off street. ‘cuase you sure as shit ain’t buying even the smallest house here… ($200K AND UP)

My business actually IS in an old school mixed use building (its a converted victorian and the barn behind was also converted) and we’ve got four businesses in it and eight apartments.  All the businesses have been here ten years or more and the apartments turn over very rarely. and when they do the landlord almost never advertises because he has so many apartment inquiries ANYWAY, its filled within two weeks of a move out. 

The business all have restrictions on hours of operation in the lease (9-9) so we don’t bug the residents when they’re home. meanwhile residents are pretty well best security you could buy as there’s ALWAYS someone here.

ALL the mixed use residential units downtown are similar. they’re almost always full occupancy as they’re very desirable, affordable, and the housing market is so tight.  Nobody wants to build cheap apartments when the land and zoning is against them.  

Conveniently mixed use buildings also work really well for hours of operation.  There’s a lot that goes with this building and its rarely full as the residents need the lot at different times.  The residents leave and return when most of the business are closed.  the business need the parking when the residents are out. so its actually extremely rare that the lot is jammed, despite the number of business and units at the location.

Imagine if you would, that mixed use was the default zoning for retail/office development.  Imagine if when one of the big box stores came in, it had the option to build a second floor for apartment stock.  They already put in all the utilities they need, built parking and only need to access those at different peak times. Not all of them would take option, but a good number just might because they can then get a lot more money back out of skyhigh land price with only a minimal jump in cost of construction.

Even just REzoning large amounts of current commercial mixed use would do a lot to open up apartment market because the US currently has a massive overstock of OFFICE space that’s going unused due to shifts in how we work. (outsourcing, computers, etc)  so there’s large amounts of office stock standing empty.  Allowing rezoning of many of those areas to mixed use would let the company retrofit some of the office space to apartments.  and in many cases if you slotted apartment into those, they tend to be newer construction, so they’d be ADA compliant.  So not only would you bring apartments onto the market, you’d bring WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE apartments onto the market.

TLDR: actual construction and materials cost aren’t the issue with the US housing market, its land price and zoning that are the things that really drive up costs and prevent adding to the bottom end of the housing market.

Reblogged for more information/analysis. I live on the opposite side of the country, but the numbers are about the same — you can’t buy land for under $50k, and that’s undeveloped land without utility hook-ups.

Because there’s more profit in keeping the land fallow in the hopes of selling it to developers than supporting affordable housing.

Sting - Desert Rose (by StingVEVO)

Hector Xavier Monsegur, the hacker known as “Sabu,” became a confidential FBI informant following his 2011 arrest. But he continued to direct other hackers to attack more than 2,000 Internet domains in 2012, including sites operated by the Iranian, Syrian, and Brazilian governments.

The Plesk bug was the same one used by hackers claiming to be members of Anonymous in an attack on a Federal Trade Commission website in February of 2012 and was not disclosed by the software’s developer, Parallels, until February 15. That means that the FBI, through Monsegur, would have been aware of the exploit of the bug for a month or more before its disclosure.

David Bowie Andy Warhol (by TheSecondComing1789)