IKEA-Style Home Can Be Built in 4 Days Using Only a Screwdriver

French architecture firm Multipod Studio has come up with a revolutionary housing prototype – the PopUp House. This unique dwelling comes in the form of stackable blocks that anyone can put together IKEA style, using only a screwdriver. It’s supposedly as easy as building with Legos.

The company unveiled their PopUp House design in 2014, but was once again picked up by several media outlets last month, and since we missed the initial launch two years ago, we decided it was a good opportunity to include this amazing concept in our Architecture collection.

The PopUp House prototype, located in Aix-in-Provence, is a 1,614-square foot structure with an open layout – the living room is connected to a kitchen, dining area, and terrace. It also includes two bathrooms, an office, a master bedroom, and two smaller bedrooms. It doesn’t sound any different than a conventional house, but what really makes the PopUp House special is the construction process, which only takes four days and only requires an electric screwdriver.

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Welcome to Ropoto, the Abandoned Greek Village Literally Going Downhill

The deserted Greek village of Ropoto, in northwestern Thessaly, is slowly but steadily slipping out of existence. Located 15 miles from Trikala city, the hilltop settlement was once home to a charming and bustling community, but everything changed in 2012, when a landslide caused several homes and buildings in the village square to slide down the hillsides. As many as 300 families were displaced from their homes, turning Ropoto into the ghost town it is today.

Ropoto’s tragic story is narrated in detail by former village council president Yorgos Roubies, in a 12-minute documentary produced by GreekReporter.com. Roubies lead the film crew through the sinking village, pointing out to ruins – including a crumbling hotel and school, the site where a tavern used to stand, and the wreckage that used to be his home. Recalling the terrifying day that altered the fate of the villagers forever, he said: “The first major disaster occurred early on April 12, 2012. Every autumn we were pushing the waters out of the village, to the big stream, but in 2011 there were no machines to push the rainwater away. We also had groundwater and that’s how it happened.”

“The churches, everything was gone, there’s not even a cafe here. If someone gets sick, they won’t even be able to find a glass of water. We had never seen such a disaster.”

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Bicycle Washing Machine Will Clean Your Clothes While You Exercise

Laundry workouts might soon be the new fitness trend, thanks to a new invention by a group of students at China’s Dalian National University. They’ve created a washer that’s powered by a stationary bike, and they’re calling in ‘b.w.m’ (short for Bike Washing Machine).

“Riding a bike is a popular exercise, washing laundry is something that you might do on a daily basis or at least once a week, so why not combine them into a single useful equipment/appliance,” the makers wrote on Tuvie, a blog dedicated to tech innovations.

The clothes fit into a large drum positioned at the bottom of the stationary exercise bike “When you ride this bike, the pedaling motion causes the drum of the washing machine to rotate, at the same time, the superfluous electricity is generated which can be used to power the display screen or stored for future use.”

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Staffless Store in Sweden Allows Customers to Scan and Buy Items Using Smartphone App

We’ve seen unmanned restaurants in the past, but this is the first time we’re hearing of a completely staff-free convenience store. The shop, located in the Swedish village of Viken, is open 24×7, all year round; its doors can be unlocked at any time using a simple smartphone app. It’s pretty much like a physical version of an e-commerce website – customers walk in, pick up merchandise, and scan their purchases through the app. The entire transaction is completed within minutes.  

The futuristic store is the brainchild of Viken resident Robert Ilijason, who came up with the idea when he ran out of baby food and had to drive 12.4 miles to find the nearest open shop. That’s when he realised that his village needed a 24×7 store for emergencies and developed an app called Näraffar (shop nearby) that can be used to manage such a place. The app was approved by Apple in January, and Robert launched the store in an old post office building. He claims that it has been running smoothly with no hiccups so far.

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Scottish Company Launches Made-to-Measure Bulletproof Furniture

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris an other parts of the world, Scottish company Osdin Shield has come up with a new bespoke range of bulletproof sofas and chairs. These made-to-measure pieces will come with armor-plating sewn into the cushions, ensuring ballistic protection during a shooting.

“Unexpected gun attacks are becoming more and more frequent all over the world,” founder Darren Osdin said. “We designed the furniture with the natural human reaction to unexpected gunfire in mind: to duck and hide behind a barrier.” So in the event of a firearm attack in a hotel or any other indoor public space, people can immediately dive behind Osdin Shield sofas for cover.

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Mysterious Boiling River in Peru is So Hot It Boils Animals Alive

There is a mysterious river flowing deep through the Amazon rainforest in Mayantuyacu, Peru, that can literally boil small animals almost instantly. While water temperatures along the 6.4-km-long river range between 50 and 90 degrees Celsius, in some parts almost reaching the boiling point of 100 degrees. That’s hot enough to cause third-degree burns in a matter of seconds.

The local Asháninka people have known about the mysterious Boiling River for centuries, referring to it as ‘Shanay-timpishka’, which translates to ‘boiled with the heat of the sun’. Ancient legend has it that the hot water is unleashed by a giant serpent named Yacumama (mothers of the waters) and a large boulder shaped like a serpent’s head lies at the river’s headwaters, as a testimony to the primitive tale’s veridity.

For the rest of the world, however, this natural oddity was just that – a legend. Apart from a few references dating back to the 1930’s there was no scientific documentation of the boiling river and most geologists simply dismissed its existence based on the fact that it would take huge amounts of geothermal heat to boil entire sections of a river, which would be impossible because the Amazon basin is located 400 miles away from the nearest active volcano. Except for a few tourists who visit Mayantuyacu each year to experience the traditional healing methods practiced by the Asháninka people, the civilized world was oblivious to the existence of a real boiling river.

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Floral Designer Creates Living Jewelry That Grows While You Wear It

Designer Susan McLeary is taking the jewelry world by storm with her incredibly stunning accessories made from living plants. She uses real succulents hand-picked from her family-owned greenhouse to craft intricate headpieces, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and other pieces of  bio-jewelry that literally grow on you.

Each piece from McLeary’s ‘Passionflower’ collection can be worn for two to four weeks before the plants begin to grow off their metal base. When this happens, wearers can simply remove the succulents from their metal base and re-pot them to keep in their homes. The brass jewelry bases can still be worn on their own. If the pieces are worn for special occasions like weddings, the potted succulents become all the more significant.

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Loyal Dog Spends Two Weeks on Doorstep of Owner Who Will Never Come Home Again

A German Shepherd recently won the hearts millions with a stunning display of love and loyalty reminiscent of the legendary Hachiko. According to eye-witnesses in his Houston neighborhood, the dog spent weeks at the front gate of his apartment complex patiently waiting for his owner, not knowing he had been killed and would never return.

54-year-old Hatem Abuharbid was killed on February 7, when the convenience store where he worked was robbed. He was shot in the thigh by the two robbers, and the bullet pierced through an artery in his leg. He died later at the hospital due to heavy bleeding. Meanwhile, his German Shepherd back home kept waiting for Abuharbid to come back, as he did every evening.

“Of course he’s confused because he doesn’t know what’s going on,” said Cassandra Eubanks, a neighbor. “He hadn’t seen his owner in two weeks. You could just tell that he was a lost dog. He would follow the cars and when he would realise that it was not his owner’s car, he would just stand there and look helpless.”

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Chinese Claw Machine Expert Grabs 3,000 Toys in Six Months, Scares Arcade Owners

Chen Zhitong is an ordinary guy with an extraordinary hidden talent that he only discovered last year – he’s a master of arcade claw machines. You might think it’s a rather useless skill, but get this – he’s grabbed a whopping 3,000 toys in just six months, making him the ‘claw machine god’ of Jianghu shopping mall in Xiamen. He’s so good that claw machine owners actually invite him to dinner and try to convince him to stop using their machines!

“The first time I played was last year in July,” Chen told local media. “I saw the machine in the entrance of a supermarket. I didn’t think much of it, it was just a way to kill time.” He enjoyed himself, so he kept playing whenever he visited the mall, and within a month he got pretty good at it – so much so that people would gather around to watch him play. It wasn’t long before he cleared out an entire machine, and that’s when he knew he was gifted. His house is now filled with all the toys he’s won, over 3,000 of them. They’re all over his bed, couch, floor, dining table, and even in his kitchen.

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World’s Cheapest Smartphone – Indian Company Launches $3.67 Handheld

Indian company Ringing Bells is making waves in the tech industry with its latest product, the ridiculously cheap ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone priced at an unbelievable 251 rupees ($3.67).

Despite the phone’s low price, the company is promising a host of swanky features like 8GB storage, 8MP and 3.2MP primary and secondary cameras, pattern lock with face detection, 5-inch touch screen, 1080p video support, bluetooth, and of course, 3G support. “We will be the first Indian company to offer an incredible smartphone at a highly affordable price,” the Ringing Bells website states, adding that the phone will work on a “no-frills” platform that’s a “minimalistic and lightweight take on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system.”

According to a Ringing Bells spokesperson, the company believes that the phone – strongly resembling Apple’s iPhone 4 – will “bring a revolution” in the industry. While the initial promise was to price the phone under 500 rupees ($7.3), the actual cost was revealed at the launch event last Wednesday, creating a global stir. The high profile event conducted in Delhi was attended by members of the Indian Parliament and other state level leaders. The website went live for pre-orders the next day, but with 600,000 hits per second their website crashed within a few hours and they were forced to close bookings. The company later revealed that they received 37 million orders on Day 1 and 24.7 million on Day 2. They are now promising to deliver the devices to all their customers within four months.

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Restaurant Owner Bans Bankers after Being Denied Loan

A restaurant owner in Paris is thoroughly miffed with bankers, so much so that he’s banned them from entering his establishment. A sign outside the place reads: “Dogs welcome, bankers banned (unless they pay an entry fee of €70,000).”

Alexandre Callet’s obvious displeasure towards bankers stems from the fact that many of them turned down his request for a loan of €70,000 ($77,273) to open a second restaurant. He said that he felt humiliated because the amount he asked for is “nothing” compared to the €300,000 turnover of his Michelin-ranked restaurant, Les Ecuries de Richelieu. In fact, most of the bankers who turned him down know Callet and have actually dined at his place.

“I believe in reciprocity,” the 30-year-old said. “They have treated me like a dog, so I have denied them access. As soon as I see a banker that I recognise I won’t let them enter my restaurant. This is not just a kebab shop. My restaurant is in the Michelin guide and film stars come in.”

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Turkish Husband Sues Wife for Insulting Country’s President, Changing TV Channel When He Came On

In a rather extreme display of patriotism, a Turkish truck driver is suing his own wife for insulting the nation’s president. He told reporters that she would say “unspeakable obscenities” whenever President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appeared on television, despite knowing that it bothered him.

The latest incident occurred a few days ago during one of Erdoğan’s televised speeches. Ali Dinç repeatedly warned his wife Gülcan not to curse the man, but she did it anyway and even dared to change the channel, earning his wrath.

The wife apparently went ahead with the insults, telling Ali to “record and lodge a complaint” if it upset him so much. So he did just that – he recorded the insults as evidence and then lodged a complaint with prosecutors in Izmir city. “I kept on warning her, saying why are you doing this?” he said, speaking to Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak. “Our president is a good person and did good things for Turkey.”

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16-Year-Old Russian Gamer Wins a Month Living with an Adult Film Star in a Hotel

Ruslan Shchedrin, a teenage gamer from Russia, has won a bizarre prize for being the 100,000th visitor to a website that sells in-game weapons and gear. He is being rewarded with a month-long stay at a Moscow hotel in the company of an X-rated film star!

The unusual contest was held in celebration of Defender of the Fatherland Day, a Russian holiday held every year, on February 23rd. Young Ruslan turned out to be the 100,000th person to visit the website that day, hitting the jackpot. “At first I did not believe it, but when I realized that this is true, I thanked the site,” he said. “I am overjoyed and my friends are also happy for me, although there is some envy.”

His family, however, is furious. They believe he’s already wasted too much time on the video games and this prize will now be another colossal waste of his time. “I am totally against it,” said his mother, Vera Shchedrin. “He has exams, what do you mean a month with a porn star? Even a week is too much! They should just give him 100,000 rubles instead, we would be happy with that.”

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The $400,000 a Year Small Town Doctor Job That Nobody Wants

We’re used to reading about people struggling to find a decent job, or any job, really, but this story is about a small town clinic that has been unable to attract any applicants for a job that pays over $400,000 a year.

While the people of Norman Wells are struggling to find a hairdresser willing to move in and tend to their needs, another small town halfway across the world is dealing with an even more pressing problem. Tokoroa, town in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North island, is finding it hard to attract young doctors willing to work for a salary most people would kill for – $400,000.

Dr Alan Kenny, co-owner of Tokoroa Family Health clinic, has been trying rather desperately to fill the position of GP, but he hasn’t received a single application in four months despite the huge salary he’s offering. He’s also promising no weekend or night duties and co-ownership of the clinic, but that hasn’t gotten anyone interested either.

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Adventurous McDonald’s Fan Travels the World to Try Fast Food Chain’s Regional Dishes

Canadian software engineer James McGowan is so passionate about McDonald’s that he’s traveled to 53 different countries just to sample their regional dishes. In the past four years, he’s reviewed over 300 items from the chain’s wide-ranging regional menus on his blog, Traveling McD’s.

James started his McDonald’s tasting trips in 2005, sharing pictures of every meal with friends and family and posted his first review of a McD’s regional treat in October 2011, when he wrote about a taro and Oreo McFlurry he had tried in Macau. Since then he’s reviewed exotic McDelicacies from countries like Russia, Malaysia, Tahiti, Greece, Germany, and Qatar. Interestingly, he doesn’t always have to wait until he travels to a country to try their McD’s menu, as fans of his blog sometimes send him food to try to Bangkok, where he currently resides. 

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