80-Square-Foot Cabin took 3 weeks for only $700

Ever wanted to get away for a weekend in the woods, but without bugs or bad weather to ruin your three day vacation? Well, you’re in luck – we found the cutest tiny home that can cost less than a thousand dollars with recycled or repurposed material. Even better, it’s the perfect side hustle, as you can rent it out through Airbnb or a similar site when you’re back home. Sound like something you’d be interested in exploring? Here’s the information we gathered:

This cabin plan was designed by Derek Diedricksen and he built the original for $1,200. A couple from Montana decided that they wanted their own version and sought out repurposed materials, including lumber, frames, and hardware. Over three weeks, the couple put together the most adorable tiny vacation home we’ve ever seen, complete with one wall that doubles as a fold out sunroof, a spacious patio, and enough room for a cozy couple retreat, all for $700. If you know someone who has scrap lumber, or tools, or old window frames they don’t mind donating, you can build this cabin for less than a grand and have your own vacation home in just under a month.

While it doesn’t have running water (which also means no kitchen or bathroom), arrangements can be made such as an addition, an outhouse, a solar shower, and a propane stove for cooking. Part of the adventure, is of course, ‘roughing’ it, as opposed to what some would call ‘glamping’. Nevertheless, this little place provides plenty of comfort and coziness, no matter the season. Nestle this tiny nest in a grove of trees, or at the edge of a meadow, or on a hill and create your perfect getaway.

If you want to build a tiny home but don’t know where to start, Diedricksen has a website and YouTube channel where he shares his blueprints, tours, and information regarding tiny home projects, including this cabin. You can also read up on what others have done with this cabin at DIY Bit of Everything.

Bubble tents for the back yard, or the beach!

Bubble tents for the back yard, or the beach

The one thing about camping out in a tent is that you can’t see through them, right? So you’re laying out relaxing in your tent, whether out in the wilderness or just in your backyard on a warm (or for some people, cold) day, and you can only look out the door flap, which may or may not be letting in the cold from outside or the summer insects.

So they came up with a clear tent. Not only clear, it’s a bubble.

The tent inflates via an air pump that fills it with air. The manufacturer recommends that you leave the pump running to keep a steady pressure of air inside the bubble tent, but you can place the pump outside to reduce noise.

Product details:

  • 0.45mm thickness of PVC material
  • 3 meter of the tent + 2 meter tunnel
  • Double side zipper to open the tent inside
  • pump put outside of the tent to achieve low noise

You can buy bubble tents on Amazon (click here).

Bubble tents for the back yard, or the beach

Fossilized Insect Discovered Not in Amber, But in Opal

This is an ultra-rare fossil find: an insect preserved in not just amber, but opal. It was purchased by an American Gemologist from the island of Java in Indonesia, and he remarked at how much of an unusual gem item this one was.

As you can see in his photo, the insect inclusion seems to have its mouth wide open and be well-enough preserved that you can see even the physical connections between the limbs.

In order to find out how this insect wound up encased in opal, though, research is underway, and there are two main theories. In one possible scenario, the insect was trapped in tree sap resin as you might see happen anytime. Over time, the sap turned to amber and the amber itself opalized. However, there is a rarer possibility, too, where the conditions of the amber changed! and this caused it to opalize. Berger is not only doing research to find out which was the case, but he’s also open to working with experts on insect fossils to find out more about the bug inside. Photo by Brian Berger.

How Opalised Fossils Form

Have you ever found a fossil in real life? It’s a super fun find, right? But do you know how they form? Basically, the space where bones or other organic material once lay, covered by rocks and debris, fill with another material that has hardened by the time the fossil has been found, so it’s a different color from its surroundings, making it visible.

But while you might have seen a lot of brown and white fossil color combinations, you might have never seen (or even thought about) fossils made from opal. Opals are highly valuable, highly sought-after precious stones admired for their rainbow colors. They usually form as fossils when some buried bones, plant life, or shell disintegrates leaving an underground cavity to fill. The most common type is when silica in water floods the cavity left by one of these bones or shells. This can be though of as a kind of jelly mold that hardens, and these types of fossils don’t usually have a lot of details preserved.

However, there is a more uncommon type, where the bone or wood (most common types) hasn’t completely wasted away, but the silica and water starts coming in. and it soaks into the bone or wood and hardens that way. This leaves a lot of detail intact when the fossil gets found. Photo by Peter Cuneo.

Restaurant Uses Pickles Instead of Bread

Restaurant Uses Pickles Instead of Bread1

Who doesn’t like pickles? Actually, even just the word pickles makes peoples’ mouths water with anticipation of the sour taste of vinegar! And in a burger or sandwich, the pickle makes a huge difference.

So this restaurant is taking pickles on step further. And actually, using pickles instead of bread isn’t new – Here’s an article on some options for replacing bread in sandwiches which includes “pickle-bread.” The restaurant we’re talking about today, though, is Elsie’s in Haddon Township, New Jersey. They’re using giant pickles. If anyone knows of any other pickle-option restaurants for those of us in other cities, let us know in comments.

The restaurant doesn’t just use any pickles though. They have their own signature recipe that their customers really like, so it could be said that not all “pickle-bread” is the same and you can try out different types at different spots. In order to keep this substantial sandwich together, they use toothpicks (just like a lot of bread sandwiches, actually).

Science says: Self-driving cars will just ‘cruise’ to avoid paying parking

They say self-driving cars are here to stay, and as time goes on, a large percentage (if not all) cars will be replaced with self-driving machines that use alternative fuel sources. But since we haven’t really seen them implemented on a large scale yet, we don’t know the issues that will come up. Science has something to say about them though, particularly about how they will behave when faced with expensive paid parking (and even cheap parking).

In this case our authority is transportation planner Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He says that the main reason people don’t all drive in cities is the cost of vehicles, mainly the cost of trying to park them downtown. So when self-driving cars arrive, those cars can just cruise around and that will be more cost effective. Worse yet, because driving slower is even cheaper than just driving around waiting, autonomous cars will “cruise” around the city at very slow speeds. Imagine this at airport pickup spots?

He wrote a report on his research called the “The Autonomous Vehicle Parking Problem” which was published in the current issue of Transport Policy.

Self driving cars will cost around 50 cents per hour when cruising at low speeds, he estimates.

He also noted that it will take only a small amount of cars doing this to cause widespread problems. He estimated that 2000 such autonomous cars in downtown San Francisco could slow all traffic in the area to under 2 miles per hour. He used game theory and micro simulation models to figure this out.

So if we’re definitely getting autonomous cars, what further laws and regulations can we expect from our local governments? Well, Millard-Ball points toward a “congestion pricing” implementation for all cities with any traffic, largely because regulation of driving behavior is seriously hard to regulate and enforce. This means that cities will charge a rate just to drive a car within their bounds. This will of course have to be regulated with monitoring (which of course will have to be funded somehow) of driving behavior everywhere. Cars might be charged around $15 to be inside of a city per day, or different streets might have different rates for access.