A new direction in housing at freight container size – Vertical!

German architectural studio Slawik has created a portable home that fits into the size of a standard shipping container. Dubbed HomeBox, the multi-purpose home has been designed so it can be easily transported to various locations for temporary or permanent use. Due to its compact size and transportability the home can also double as emergency housing.

Though we’ve seen various homes made out of shipping containers, the idea of a house designed to fit inside a container is rather different.

“The bearing construction is from wood and measures to fit into an international standard freight container,” Slawik’s leading architect Prof. Han Slawik told Gizmag. “Therefore after the first use you can easily transport and re-use the HomeBox to other places around the world.”

With a small base footprint of just 75 ft2, the HomeBox differentiates itself from traditional container homes by being positioned upright and not on the longer side. The base measures approximately 9.5 ft by 7.9 ft and thus the home is reminiscent of a small tower, requiring significantly less space than regular compact homes.

“There are many gap sites within cities which can be used for temporary small removable houses,” said Prof. Slawik. “Furthermore you can configure the modules to create a container village or even a container city…”

HomeBoxes will soon be available for purchase with a starting price of approximately US$32,500. Bulk purchases of 10–15 HomeBoxes can be bought at a discounted rate.

I’ll have to check with my old construction mates and see if this meets code. I’ve done a bit of work with converted shipping containers; but, never with the module size turned on end.

Looks interesting to me.

Manchester coppers haven’t a clue about computer security

The ultimate guardian of Manchester Police data

A police force has been fined £120,000 following the theft of a memory stick containing names of members of the public who gave statements in drug investigations.

The unencrypted device with no password protection was stolen from an officer’s home and had details of 1,075 people with links to serious crime investigations stored over an 11-year-period.

The USB drive, belonging to the Greater Manchester police drugs squad detective, is also understood to have included details of police operations, potential targets for arrest and names of officers.

It has not been recovered following the burglary at his home in July 2011 when his wallet, containing the stick, and his car keys were taken from his kitchen table.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said the consequences of the security breach “send a shiver down the spine”…

The Greater Manchester force suffered a similar security breach in September 2010 but failed to comply with a direction to order all staff to use encrypted memory sticks…

A further 1,100 memory sticks were recovered when the force offered an amnesty to staff with personal or unencrypted devices to hand them in.


Smith said: “This was truly sensitive personal data, left in the hands of a burglar by poor data security. The consequences of this type of breach really do send a shiver down the spine.

“It should have been obvious to the force that the type of information stored on its computers meant proper data security was needed. Instead, it has taken a serious data breach to prompt it into action…

It is understood the force took disciplinary action against the detective and that all those whose names appeared on the device have been contacted.

Yup. If there’s one thing the truly incompetent develop is a well-practiced ability to close up the barn after the horses have been stolen.

Folks – treat your personal data, important information, as if you were a bank. Don’t leave the family jewels out on a kitchen counter.

HPV shot doesn’t result in increased sexual activity in girls

Young girls who receive a vaccine to protect against the virus that causes cervical cancer do not become sexually promiscuous after the shot, new research finds.

Two versions of a vaccination against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical and some other forms of cancer, are available and recommended to all girls aged 11 to 12.

But less than half of girls eligible for the shot have received it, apparently due in part to concerns that it might encourage sexual activity.

Concerns firmly rooted in the minds of ignorant people.

This study goes beyond girls’ own reports that the vaccination would not alter their sexual behavior, instead using medical records to examine the connection…

“We’re hoping that this will offer some validation to what we’ve seen in the past, where girls and young women have indicated that they wouldn’t change their sexual behaviors if they got the vaccine,” said Robert Bednarczyk, lead author of a study appearing in the November…issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. Joanne Mortimer, director of the Women’s Cancer Program at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., said this study should put “to rest any concerns that kids who know they’ve been vaccinated are safer [from the virus] and can have more sex.”

Poisonally, I think the truth this study will illustrate is that generally religious people with what passes for an average American education haven’t a clue about science, the results of scientific study – and they will continue on down the yellow brick road guided by a few pastors, pundits, and politicians of the Kool Aid Party flavor.

They will stick with all the systems that guarantee failure and increased likelihood of cancer for their daughters. They will prattle about abstinence, prayer and family values.

Bumble Bee Tuna plant worker cooked to death in oven

Police say that a 62-year-old employee was cooked to death in an industrial accident at a Southern California Bumble Bee Foods seafood plant.

Authorities say that it is still unclear how Jose Melena ended up in the plant’s cooking device, which was referred to in coroner documents as a “steamer machine”.

The police were reportedly called to the seafood plant at 7 a.m. Thursday morning and found Melena, who had worked for the plant for 6 years, in the oven. Police had pronounced him dead at the scene.

An initial investigation concluded that Melena had been fatally injured when he was cooked in the industrial cooker, according to Erika Monterroza of California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Authorities will visit the tuna-canning plant, conduct extensive interviews and review the company’s safety documentation.

If investigators find any violations, Bumble Bee Foods could be charged with civil penalties and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office could decide whether criminal charges are warranted.

I’ve worked in some pretty dangerous factories. Places where deaths weren’t at all uncommon. Still, I have to wonder what the investigation will turn up.

This is a truly bizarre industrial death.