Off-grid Minim House imaginative addition to tiny living

The tiny house movement continues to build momentum, and the latest small home to catch our eye with a clever space-maximizing design is the Minim House. The trailer-based mobile micro-home is capable of operating on or off grid, and boasts some comforts often associated with a larger home…

Inside the 210 sq ft home, an open-plan interior offers a generous 10 ft wide kitchen area, with multi-use surfaces, refrigerator, and ample storage space. Owing to this layout, the main lounge area is on the larger side for a self-styled “micro-home,” and Levy reports that the couch will seat five adults, with room for several more guests on seats placed around the home.

The usual range of off-grid technology makes an appearance in the home, including an optional compostable toilet and 960 W roof solar array with integrated battery storage system. LED lighting, and rainwater collection and filtration are also on-board, and the house mostly uses the kind of low-power appliances often seen in small boats, but also has a hookup for full mains.

Minim House was constructed using standard SIPs (structural insulated panels), with a cypress facade that will eventually age to a light grey color. According to Levy, the simple construction and standardized materials allow a crew of two people to construct the house within just five days.

The price for materials was just under $31K. Labor provided by just 2 reasonably handy amateurs and was completed in under 5 days.

Sugary drinks tied to cancer risk

A new study has found that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk for endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women.

Previous research has found an association between sugary drinks and Type 2 diabetes, but this is the first to find the same association with a specific type of endometrial cancer…

The study, published online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that all sugars increased the risk for Type 1 endometrial cancer, but sugar-sweetened drinks had the greatest effect. After controlling for other factors, those in the highest one-fifth for sweet drink consumption had a 74 percent higher risk than those in the lowest one-fifth.

“I don’t want anyone to change their behavior based on these findings,” said the lead author, Maki Inoue-Choi, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health. “We need to do more study to confirm this association. But I would advise people to follow dietary guidelines and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.”

The researchers go on to speculate about the mechanism which may be causing the relationship with cancer. The predictable scientist’s conservative voice offers the opinion that they aren’t certain enough about cause-and-effect relationships to aggressively suggest you knock off the sugary drinks.

I ain’t that conservative. Do it.

The worst that can happen is that ongoing studies don’t confirm a link and, in fact, researchers may then reverse their findings. In the meantime, you lost a couple pounds and reduced all the other negatives that can result from excess consumption of sugar.

Guess whose government is paying a $50 million fine for software piracy?

The US government has agreed to pay $50 million after it was said to have pirated “thousands” of copies of military software.

Apptricity, based in Texas, has provided logistics programs to the army since 2004…The company said it had discovered last year the software had been installed on many more machines than had been licensed.

The Department of Justice has not commented on the settlement.

The Dallas Morning News reported a DoJ spokeswoman had confirmed the agreement, but would not give more details.

Apptricity’s software allows the military to track the movements of soldiers as well as key supplies…

According to court documents filed in 2012, the deal with the military meant up to 500 named users could access the software.

Apptricity later estimated that 9,000 users were accessing the program, in addition to the 500 that had been paid for.

The unauthorised copying only came to light after a US Army official mentioned “thousands” of devices running the software during a presentation on technology.

Apptricity called for $224 million to be paid to cover costs…The settlement of $50 million falls some way short – but in a statement the company said Apptricity would spend the sum on expanding the company…

In recent years, the US government has stepped up efforts to combat piracy, announcing a wide-ranging strategy for clamping down in 2010.

Piracy is theft, clean and simple,” remarked vice-president Joe Biden at the time.

Don’t you love it when the crooks don’t read the script. Like – if you’re an officer it somehow ain’t theft. The same holds true for the folks under your command.

The rest of us poor SOB’s not only get to pay retail – we pay the salaries of the brass hats who boosted the software.

Thief says he stole truck to escape from the zombies

A Minnesota man accused of stealing a newspaper delivery truck from a gas station told police he took it because he was running from zombies according to criminal charges filed this week.

Garrett Howard Hurlbut, 23, of Apple Valley was charged with stealing a motor vehicle during the September incident, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

A police report said officers found Hurlbut near the truck, several blocks away from the gas station where it was reported stolen.

Hurlbut told police he had “jumped or fell from the truck” and was “running from zombies,” the report said…

Hurlbut had a blood-alcohol level of 0.198, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for cuts on his head.

It’s beginning to feel like zombies are the standard excuse for anything. We need something new – and stupid, of course.