Happy Saturday, and a happy St. Patrick’s Day to y'all! We’ve got a great issue this week with a 3-D printed house for only $4,000, a race to Mars that heated up profoundly over the past 10 days, and the ugly truth about that printer on your desk.
Let’s get it on…
"I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth." - Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018
If there is anything that fills my wife and kids with dread, it’s telling me they need something printed out for school. That’s because I’m an insane person when it comes to the printer. This video captures my angst perfectly, and proves once and for all that we’re getting monumentally screwed by printer companies.
Printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids on Earth (right up there with cobra venom), yet a 55-gallon drum of it costs pennies to produce. If you’re anything like me, you’ll especially appreciate the way the printer cartridges are designed to register as “empty” and shut the printer down when they’re still half full. Or the way they mix a little cyan in with your black ink so you deplete a color cartridge even when you’re printing in black and white. Good times.
Ugh. I had so much hope for Elizabeth Holmes and her breakthrough technology. Now it appears none of it was ever real. She’s going down, and she’s taking some big names down with her - potentially even Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
Most of us can imagine the obvious ways that self-driving cars will change things: fewer accidents, more idle time in transit, etc. But how about the ways most of us haven’t considered? This is a fascinating exploration of the knock on effects of autonomous vehicles.
This is incredible. This 650-sq. ft, home can be produced in under 24 hours for less than $4,000 - and they just printed one at SXSW in Austin to prove it. The plan is to print 100 of them in El Salvador next year. It’s mesmerizing to watch this machine work.
Here is some chart and infographic porn for you around what it means to “make it” to the average American. Not surprisingly, some American notions of success are completely ass backwards (the whole car vs. house thing being the obvious one). Still, if nothing else this piece confirmed to me that I’m living the right region of the country, because I care little about wealth and fame, but I long for the days when I can just sit around and do nothing.
There’s just something about a rags to riches story that makes me want to cheer for the person who made it. Here is a list of billionaires who started with nothing in life and their incredible stories.
Welp, looks like we’re screwed. Our great, great grandkids are anyway. An asteroid named Bennu is the size of the Empire State Building and is on trajectory to hit Earth in 2135, which would cause an extinction-level event. Odds right now are somewhere around 1 in 2,700 that it hits us, which in astronomical terms is bordering on a certainty. We had a good run.
Anyone who has attempted (as I have on more than one occasion) to delete their social media accounts can attest that it’s not easy to do. Here’s how to do it if you’ve had it with the swamp social media has become.
The race to Mars is definitely heating up, with Jeff Bezos committing billions to accelerate his personal space program and Vladimir Putin claiming that there will be Russian footprints on Mars next year. For his part, Musk thinks his giant spaceship will be ready for testing in the next 12 months or so. All pretty exciting stuff.
Space changes a man, apparently in ways we hadn’t really considered. Scott Kelly and his identical twin brother Mark are both NASA astronauts. Scott went to space for a year while Mark remained behind on Earth so the changes could be studied upon Scott’s return. Scott’s DNA was altered by 7% after his stint off world, which is pretty wild when you think about it.