Airport libraries, sprayable energy, and (one of) the world’s oldest professions
A real estate broker sounds like a modern profession, right? Not really, according to a new exhibit at Chicago’s Oriental Institute. “This stone I was photographed with has these beautiful carvings that represent real estate transactions,” said real estate broker Margie Smigel. “To think that 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, they were keeping track of who got what — it’s such an interesting concept.”
In order to save the local independent bookseller, Quebec is considering regulating the price of new books. Who thinks that is a bad idea: independent booksellers, among others. Studies predict it will only hasten the decline in spending on books in the province.
Summer travel season is winding down, but did you happen to stop by any airport libraries recently? Books – either physical or electronic – are making a comeback at airports. It’s a natural location. You have time to kill, and most other options aren’t cheap. Local libraries are partnering up with airport authorities to offer some low-cost options.
Echoing a story from earlier this summer, some homeowners in Connecticut are raising their homes to avoid future flooding to save on flood insurance. The amount of damages to flooded houses required that the home be built higher. “The Ekvalls in Old Greenwich are a typical example. Sandy’s tidal surge sent water up to the kitchen countertops of their 1930s cottage, which was 6.5 feet above sea level. They decided to raise the first level to 15.5 feet, higher than the 14 feet required by the town under the federal maps. Now the roof is 43 feet high, so tall that the family needed a variance on a different Greenwich ordinance: one restricting roof heights to 35 feet.”
Don’t have time for that morning cup of Joe? Tired of the caffeine withdrawal headaches when you skip a day or two? Does Red Bull give you heartburn? Well, coming soon: sprayable energy. An odorless, colorless, topical caffeine spray that promises all the benefits and none of the pitfalls of other energy products.
Now breaking: Double Stuff Oreos only have 1.86 times the stuff.
And in other sad food news, scientists are testing a beer that doesn’t cause a hangover. I thought that’s what O’Doul’s already was for…?
Disney house, Facebook changes, and money matters
Notorious for copyright protection, Disney surprised a developer and architect in Utah when it agreed to allow them to build a replica of the house from the Disney-Pixar movie ‘Up’. According to the New York Times, although over 27,000 people have paid to tour the property, it’s still for sale. It can be yours for $400,000.
The Washington Post reports that Facebook is making some sweeping changes when it comes to how you share content with friends, and many look to be inspired by some of Google+’s more robust features.
In these tough times, the last thing we need is to replace a major appliance. Yahoo! Finance’s Financial Fit column tells how to prolong the life of some major appliances.
You’ve probably seen the commercial where a certain bank will round up purchases you make on your debit card and place them in your savings account for you (and therefore pocket a slightly higher fee from the merchant), but sometimes you need a more robust savings plan to build a rainy-day fund. Yahoo! Finance has some suggestions for building up your own nest egg.
Wired is impressed with Third Rail’s new iPhone 4 charging case.
Housing & the recovery, tweeting, and real estate advice from Vanilla Ice
The collapse in housing construction was caused by overactive building, right? Only partly. While single-family construction soared during the boom, multi-family construction remained relatively stable before falling even further with the downturn. The Atlantic looks at current household formation statistics, population growth, and construction data and postulates that a housing construction boom may just be around the corner.
NPR posts three interactive maps on foreclosure, unemployment and household income using current data that can be drilled down to the county level. And on Friday, NPR’s Morning Edition ran an interesting piece on shadow inventory, foreclosed properties or properties in the foreclosure pipeline that will further impact the recovery for several years.
Post tweets with hot hash tags and you might find yourself being followed by twitter bots, programs that automatically follow real users based on keywords. Wired discusses what to do if you’re followed by bots (hint: don’t follow back).
The family that tweets together, goes a bit bonkers together. Says the son: “I try to refrain from reading [mom's] blog because then we don’t have anything to talk about.”
Libraries are getting short-changed in the Great Recession. While it’s easy to cut their funding, libraries serve a valuable role in connecting people to jobs, improving schools and helping to build community. Support your local library!
If you can stand all the pop-up ads, Time has an interesting collection of photos from a behind-the-scenes book on the filming of Jaws.
Just in time for the summer music festival season: a shirt that charges your mobile phone based on sound.