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Space tech meets aviation: The hypersonic revolution

(CNN)London to Melbourne in 90 minutes? Paris to San Francisco in under an hour?

That’s travel at 25 times the speed of sound — or barely enough time to take in an in-flight movie.
Few areas of aviation generate wilder predictions than hypersonic flight — but a team in Germany might just have cracked it.
Hypersonic means speeds of Mach 5 or over, or more than five times the speed of sound. Supersonic is Mach 1, or the speed of sound.
Since the withdrawal of the Concorde in 2003, commercial aviation has remained purely subsonic, but that could change in the coming decades.
Take new aircraft concepts like the Japanese HYTEX, capable of speeds of Mach 5, or the European Lapcat-II, expected to reach Mach 8.
Then there’s the nascent space tourism industry, with companies such as Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace hoping to take a select few on leisure trips to the edge of space.
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are taking their own approach.
A team has applied space technology principles to propose what is possibly the world’s most advanced hypersonic airliner concept to date.

The SpaceLiner

The result of 10 years of ongoing research by the Space Launcher Systems Analysis (SART) department at the Institute of Space Systems in Bremen, the SpaceLiner is a revolutionary hypersonic spaceplane concept capable of flying some 50 passengers across the globe at speeds of up to 25 times the speed of sound.
It’s based on a two-stage concept, not unlike the Space Shuttle, where both the booster and passenger stages start in an upright configuration.
Propelled by 11 rocket engines during launch (nine on the booster stage and two on the passenger stage) the system accelerates into the mesosphere using traditional cryogenic rocket propulsion.
Once the booster stage is empty, the smaller passenger vehicle separates from the booster stage and continues accelerating, flying autonomously, just like an aircraft — except that it does so while reaching astonishing speed of up to Mach 25.
After reaching a maximum altitude of about 80 kilometers, the passenger stage commences a gliding descent towards its destination.
Not only is the SpaceLiner concept incredibly fast, it’s also environmentally friendly.
It uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen (LOX/LH2) propellants so only water vapour is produced.
Most of the flight processes will be fully automated, but there would still be two pilots to monitor all onboard and flight procedures — and to provide reassurance to passengers.

Re-usability is key




The hypersonic flight market

Even if costs can be brought down, hypersonic flight is likely to remain a premium product, at least at the beginning.
The number of potential routes flown by the SpaceLiner would be limited to intercontinental distances of more than 9,000 kilometers, where the time-saving would be most beneficial.
Potential routes could include Australia to Europe, as well as linking destinations in the Far East, Europe, America’s West Coast and the Trans-Pacific market.
The SpaceLiner would need space ports to be strategically located close to main population centers and business hubs in order to capture business traffic, while at the same time being sufficiently removed from densely populated areas in order to minimize noise issues during take-off.
Coastal locations are the most desirable so that the starting phase can occur over water.
SART has already identified several suitable launch sites in Europe, Australia and the U.S. that meet these criteria, with the Netherlands’ north coast being a particular favorite.

It will take some time to fly hypersonic

According to SART’s own estimates, SpaceLiner flights are still a few decades away, maybe as much as 30 years.
If it’s ever to become a reality, the SpaceLiner will need the involvement of the aerospace industry as well as investors with deep pockets.
Dr. Trivailo estimates that the SpaceLiner would require an initial investment of 28 to 30 billion euros ($30 to 32 billion) to make it to the prototype stage.
But there’s a lot more to the SpaceLiner than flying passengers faster across continents.
By designing a fully reusable space system for regular passenger traffic, SART researchers hope that their work will make space travel more cost-effective.
If their space hardware went into serial production, costs might be brought down and space travel would be more accessible to more people.
Don’t pack your suitcase just yet, but affordable space tourism could be that little bit closer to reality.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/24/aviation/spaceliner-mach-25/index.html

New evidence shows conservatives are warming up to climate change

(CNN)Global warming isn’t as divisive in the United States as it used to be.

The percentage of conservative Republicans (not just Republicans but conservative Republicans) who believes climate change is happening has jumped 19 percentage points in the last two years, to 47%.
Overall, three-fourths of registered voters say global warming is real, with that figure up 7 percentage points since spring 2014. And a majority of Americans — 56% — say, correctly, that they think climate change is caused mostly by human activities.
“Republicans are not a monolithic block of global warming policy opponents,” the report says. “Rather, liberal (and) moderate Republicans are often part of the mainstream of public opinion on climate change, while conservative Republicans’ views are often distinctly different than the rest of the American public.”
Even those “distinctly different” views are shifting, this evidence shows.
True, there remains a significant knowledge gap on this subject, and it’s one we in the news media must do a better job of closing. Only 16% of American voters understand that more than more than 90% of climate scientists — it’s actually at least 97% — are convinced global warming is real and we’re causing it. And while conservative Republicans are warming to the idea that climate change is happening, only 26% of them acknowledge it’s mostly humans who are causing the problem by burning fossil fuels and chopping down rain forests.
Those gaps are persistent and troubling.
But I take this survey as cause for optimism.
Politicians should see it as a mandate to do something about the crisis.
A whopping 84% of registered voters, including 75% of Republicans, support funding research in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, the data show. Three-quarters of voters, and 61% of Republicans, support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. And 68% of voters support a carbon tax on fossil fuel companies if the money collected from taxing pollution is refunded to the people in the form of tax cuts. (There’s a proposal kind of like this up for a vote in Washington state, by the way, which will be a fascinating test.)
Voters are also more likely to choose a presidential candidate who “strongly supports taking action to reduce global warming,” according to the survey of 1,004 registered voters, which was conducted in March.
“Asked if they would be more or less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who strongly supports action to reduce global warming, or if it would make no difference, registered voters are three times as likely to say they would be more rather than less likely to vote for such a candidate,” the report says.
What accounts for the shift among conservatives?
Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, which released the report Monday, told me by email that it’s not exactly clear.
But here are a few news events he suspects are at play:
Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, which made a moral argument for action, saying that people who have done nothing to cause warming will suffer its effects.
The Paris Agreement on climate change, which has drawn international media attention and has restored a sense of hope that the world is united in fighting this problem.
And a frightening string of temperature records, which also have gotten press.
Furthermore, he told me, the climate rhetoric among prominent Republican politicians appears to be softening somewhat — or is simply less constant than it used to be.
“In the past several years Republican leaders consistently attacked climate change as not happening, a hoax, or worse,” he said. “But with the primaries, the issue has faded away.
… It’s possible that this absence of anti-climate discourse has actually made it easier for at least some conservatives to start thinking about the issue outside of the political box. This is speculative, but makes some sense, as we know that many people take their cues on this issue from their own trusted leaders.
“So if conservative Republicans aren’t talking about it, that’s actually a more positive climate of discourse than when they were actively hostile.”
There are certainly counterexamples. The two leading Republican presidential candidates more or less have said climate change isn’t real or that we shouldn’t do anything about it or that China is to blame, anyway.
“Obama’s talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, OK? It’s a hoax, a lot of it,” Donald Trump said in a December interview, according to the site PolitiFact. Ted Cruz said last year that climate change is a “pseudoscientific theory.”
But something is changing in the minds of conservative voters, and for that I’m thankful.
When I took a trip last year to the most climate-skeptical place in the country, Woodward County, Oklahoma, I realized there’s much more agreement on this issue — and particularly on solutions to climate change — than we tend to think. The county with the highest rate of climate skepticism, I found, is also home to a booming wind industry, and a world-class wind power jobs training center.
I hope politicians will start taking note of these shifts as well.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/29/opinions/sutter-conservatives-climate-election/index.html

30+ Engineers Who Totally Fixed Things

Ever seen those “Trust me, I’m an engineer” memes? Well, now we know where they got their inspiration from.

We’re all guilty of a little DIY now and again. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes it’s just plain disastrous. But when it isn’t TOO disastrous, it can often be pretty funny. Which is why Bored Panda have compiled this list of amusingly creative DIY solutions to pesky everyday problems. So take a look at the pictures below. You might just find a good way to fix something. Or you’ll discover the best way NOT to do things. Either way, it’s probably best if you don’t try these at home. But if you have already then feel free to send us your pictures!


#1 My Laptop Charger Kept Falling Out

#2 Roommate Punched A Hole In His Door. I Fixed It

#3 Never Drop A Book On The Bath Again. My 8-Year-Old Daughter’s Invention

#4 Don’t Have The Money To Fix It? Improvise!

#5 Wanted To Watch The Game On Tv. Didn’t Have An Adaptor


Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/trust-me-i-am-an-engineer-funny-repairs-fails/

Kitty Planes? Sprout Pencils? Earth Day’s Strangest Gifts

Earth Day is officially April 22, but protecting the planet is something we should do every day of the year.

A lot of crafty entrepreneurs have taken the concept of renew, reuse and recycle to weird lengths.

How so? How about a kilt made from recycled soda bottles? Or pasta made from crickets? How about a bottle opener made from bullets or bike chains?

Check out these products. If someone says, “Saving Planet Earth isn’t weird,” just tell them, “No, but this way is more fun.”

It’s like Captain Planet said back in the 1990s: “The power is yours!”

  • Airplane Cat House
    Snoopy the beagle isn’t the only pet who is a flying ace. Your cat can be one, too, thanks to this lovingly-recreated cardboard model of a P-47 plane. Not only does the propeller spin, but there are other cool details, including a “taped photo” in the cockpit that shows kitties in bikinis stretched out on lawn chairs next to a plastic pink flamingo. Oh, and it’s made from 100 percent recycled paper stock. (UncommonGoods.com, $35)
  • Kilt Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles
    These kilts made from recycled plastic bottles will definitely make a jogger “kilt” for speed. And if you decide to go commando underneath, you will definitely be forced to run faster than normal (if only to avoid arrest). (JWalkingDesigns, $62)
  • F Bomb Paperweight
    No, dropping f-bombs at the office isn’t always a good thing, but having this paperweight of recycled steel nearby will remind your irritating co-workers why they should stay on your good side. (UncommonGoods.com, $45).
  • Pasta Made From Cricket Flour
    Eating bugs still turns some people off, even though they are more environmentally sustainable than beef. This pasta made from cricket powder and wheat flour is lower in carbs than regular pasta, while high in protein, non-dairy calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and Omega fatty acids. Plus, it’s worth it just to see the expressions on people’s faces when you tell them they just chowed down on bugs. (Bugsolutely.com, $6.40)
  • Climate Change Coffee Mug
    Nothing beats a nice cup of coffee while lamenting the effects of climate change on the world. When filled with hot liquid, this coffee mug illustrates global warming by showing which areas of the world are liable to become deserts in the coming years. Mmmm, that’s good coffee. (AlwaysFits.com, $14.99)
  • Worn Jean Stool
    This stool made from worn out jeans is the true epitome of reuse, renew, recycle. The jeans are coated with resin and formed into a sturdy piece of furniture that can hold 450 pounds. It costs $640, so you can expect the creator is making a lot of green. (UncommonGoods, $640)
  • Bike Chain Bottle Opener
    Usually, old bike chains are just allowed to rust away, but a group of artisans in Moradabad, India, have turned them into something every socially conscious beer drinker needs: A bike chain bottle opener. No, the chain isn’t long enough to allow it to double as a weapon. Can’t have everything. (tenthousandvillages.com, $10)
  • Sprout Pencil
    Writing is a dirty job. So is gardening. The Sprout Pencil combines both activities. A capsule of seeds comes in place of an eraser. When the pencil becomes too short to write with, it’s planted and the seeds in the capsule eventually become flowers or herbs. Sorry, Colorado: The herbs are strictly things like basil or coriander. (SproutWorld.com, $7.45)
  • Captain Planet Costume
    Back in the early 1990s, Captain Planet taught young kids about the dangers of pollution. With this authentic costume, you can teach the next generation the dangers of bad fashion. The power is yours. (HalloweenCostumes.com, $59.99)
  • Bullet Bottle Openers
    “Shoot! This bullet casing has already been fired so I can’t load it.” “Shoot! I can’t find a bottle opener.” And so begins a truly bizarre salvaging attempt where old bullet casings are turned into bottle openers. As openers go, these are truly high caliber. (Bullets2Bandages.org, $18.99)
  • StopinTime Shower Timer
    It’s important not to waste water, but when you’re in the shower and that hot water is pouring down, you can lose track of time. The Stop-In-Time Shower Timer uses the same technology that brought the world the hourglass and adapts to the heated environment of the shower. The low-tech product saves energy, but you might forget to look at it to see if you’re done. It happens. (SimplyConserve.com, $3.33)
  • Billboard Bag
    Usually when a billboard is done being used, it gets thrown away, even though the material is made to withstand all sorts of weather. These billboard bags, which are made from the recycled signage, are a perfect way to advertise your willingness to help the environment. TheMakeHappy.com, $30)
  • Kali Tampons
    Feminine hygiene and saving the environment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Kali Tampons are biodegradeable and 100 percent organic. The perfect product for a woman who wants to save the planet a few days every month, not just once a year on Earth Day. (KaliBoxes.com, $6 for sample pack)
  • Lobster Rope Doormats
    Looking for an Earth-friendly way to get the dirt off your shoes? These doormats are made from ropes previously used to tether lobster cages off the coast of Maine. There’s no “claws” for alarm: The lobsters have been removed. TheNewEnglandTradingCompany.com, $39.95)
  • Leashpod
    Anyone who has stepped in dog poop knows it’s one of the scourges of this planet. Trying to walk your dog and clean up after it can require a whole bunch of juggling. The Leashpod makes that easier by putting a baggie dispenser and a poop holder onto the leash. It should do the trick until someone invents something better: A dog that doesn’t poop. (LeashpodUSA, $34.95)

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/04/18/weird-earth-day-products-you-cant-refuse_n_9757498.html

Less Is More: How Growing Up With Nothing Teaches You Everything

No one deserves to be born into poverty. In a perfectworld,we’re all given the same amount of money in the game that is life. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t as fair or logical as a board game. And as disappointing as it may be, over the years we come to find that life is more like Mouse Trapthan Monopoly.

Much like Mouse Trap, life can cage us in different ways — but the biggest cage of all is debt.

Debt keeps us shackled to disadvantage. Sadly, lacking money often means lacking security in life: The impoverished are more vulnerable toabuse,mental illnessanddangerous situations that harm brain development.

But no matterhow deep your debt is, you can know that you have more knowledge and experience than people whose toes have never touched poverty’s swell.

I know all too well what it’s like to have alack of moneybreak you down. Since the age of 10,Ive lived in places that have not exactly been legal. Ive known what its like to not have any windows to look out or stoves to cook on. And for two years, I shared a roomwith my father that was smaller than a prison cell.

An upbringing like this stays with you.It wasn’t easy, but Iwas somehow able to surface againstronger and smarter than ever. Because as Maya Angelou oncesaid, “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Empty pockets don’t equal empty minds. In fact, I’ve found thatpeoplewho grew up with little are often theones who have gained the most from what life has to offer.

Overtime, life might dim the lights on the dreams of peoplewho can barely afford the electrical bill. But with the skills they learnedwhile struggling, these same people overcome anything with all of the lessons money can’t buy.

You learn how to shape-shift.

Dave Chappelle has performedhilarious skitsin whichhe pretends to be a white anchorman. He embodiesthe mannerisms of a completely different person. And because of the ways you’ve tried to fit in, you do this sort of thing in real life.

You learn how to tone down your accent when necessary or to make your voice more Anglo-Saxonon command. Its not right or fair, but its society — at least for now.

Maybe you can help change it once you are in power. But until then, you force yourself tobecome acultural chameleon.

Youve learned who you cantell certain things — and who you can’t.You have a different vocabulary with everybody you encounter. You alsoknow how to dress up in suits during the workweek and switch back totojoggers and a Snapback on Saturdays.

You develop an open mind.

Difficult times have trainedyouto think on your feet. When youve lived in rough neighborhoods or encountered dangerous situations, improvisation becomes your superpower.

If your spaghetti strap rips, for example, you know that a hair tie will keep it together until you can buy a new shirt. Youve been trained to use your head instead of your wallet. Youve been trained to survive.

While the privileged tend to lose it when their pathderails, you’ve gained the braveryto paveyour own path.

You learn how to treat and respecteveryone.

When you grow up with nothing, you encounterpeople from all walks of life. And you learn to treat them with the respect you wish people would show you.

You may have been exposed to the world of exclusivity and silver spoons.You’ve probablyseen images of the high life on TV shows and movies, and youve probably babysat for socialitesto help pay off your mortgage. And you respect people who live so luxuriously.

But on your way to babysit in that rich person’s apartment building, you might cross paths with the doorman. And while everyone else rushes in and out of the door,you stopto respect and acknowledge him.

You stop to ask him how his day is going because you can relate tohis struggle. Because even if you have just been paid $20 an hour for babysitting, a part of you will always be that doorman.

To you, a garbage man might as well be a CEO. Both have families, feelings and bills to pay. There is no difference between the two, and you treat themthe same.

You learn street smartsandbook smarts.

On top of your usual classes, you learn from your city. You learn where to avoid and where to go. You learn what’s safe and what’s not.

Unlike people who can afford cab rides, you are used to having strangers intrude on your comfort zone. You’ve had strangersfall asleep on your shoulder, crazy people whisper things inyour ear and other people’s tearsfall inyour lap.

Being thrust into strangers’ close quartersmakes you immune to almost everything.You don’t fear people.

Since youve been overly exposed to strangers, you can approach anyone without hesitation. To your benefit, speaking to people has made you bold about finding solutionsto your problems and questions.

You learn how to read people.

Just like a deaf person learns to read lips, poverty allows you to read souls.

Because you’ve beenraised in diverse communities and encountered language barriers, you probably haven’t been able to understand everyone. But being constantly aroundothers teaches you to seeinsidepeopleeven if they never open their mouths.

Accents, dialects and languages take a back seat to body language.

You know how different communities work from the inside out.

If your parents were absent during your childhood due to long work hours (or any other reason), you probably spent a lot of time with friends families. And in doing so, you grew to understand how different cultures function — and you gained a million different families in the process.

When your friends’ parents made them go to tutoring after school, you tagged along. When your friends parents made you real, home-cooked meals, you learned about the delicacies of different cultures.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Thefamilies who contributed to your safety, well-being and development were that village for you.

You learn to make the most out of what you have.

You learn how to make things last, whether it’s a bar of soap or a box of mac and cheese. You’ve learned how to use your resources to the fullest and spend your money wisely.

Fromthis,you masterskills like budgeting,planningand rationing.

You learn to appreciate every little thing, both given and earned.

Once you finally make it in life, you can afford better food and a better lifestyle. But you still remember your roots — and how you used to count your quarters to get something off the Dollar Menu.

Those memories stay with you. You never allow yourself to become spoiled by your newly-gained riches. You only become further nourished by them.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/impoverished-money-smart-life/1309153/

Welsh home installs UK’s first Tesla Powerwall storage battery

Battery could revolutionise UK energy market by enabling people to store excess energy generated from rooftop solar panels

The setting is decidedly modest: a utility room in a red-brick house at the end of a cul-de-sac in Wales. But if the hype turns out to be right, this may be the starting point for an energy revolution in the UK.

Householder Mark Kerr has become the first British owner of a Tesla Powerwall, a cutting-edge bit of kit that the makers say will provide a missing link in solar energy.

Like many owners of solar panels, Kerr and his family have a basic problem. They tend to be out at work and school when the sun is shining and the 16 solar panels on the roof of their home in Cardiff are producing power.

The excess they miss out on is fed into the grid and they make a return on it but it does not seem right that they do not get to use the power from their panels.

However, from now, energy produced but not used during the day will charge the Powerwall and can then be used to provide them with the energy they need when theyre at home and their lights, music centres, computers, televisions and myriad other devices need feeding.

A self-confessed tech-head and an electrician by trade, Kerr could hardly contain his excitement when the Powerwall arrived. This is the future, definitely, he said. For me this is the logical next step. We have the solar panels but we need a way to make best use of the power they produce.

Me and my family are all out in the day, and we are not making use of the enormous amount of clean energy that our solar panels produce. The battery will allow us to store the energy we dont use in the day to use when we need it in the evenings.

There are other battery systems on the market, but since its launch in California last year by Teslas billionaire founder, Elon Musk, the Powerwall has gathered something of a cult following.

Elon Musk unveils Teslas Powerwall in May 2015 – video

Kerr is clearly a disciple: Its a gorgeous-looking piece of technology, its design is very sleek and minimalistic and something you can hang on the wall like a piece of art, definitely nothing like some of the other clunky looking batteries. If Kerrs partner, Lyndsey, finds him missing one evening, it sounds like she may find him gazing at his new gizmo.

There is a growing school of thought that 2016 could be the year of energy storage. At one end of the scale are large schemes such as Highview Power Storage project, due to start generating power next month by turning air to liquid and back again, driving a turbine in the process. At the other end of the scale is Kerrs utility room.

The 7kWh Powerwall is a lithium-ion-battery system invented by the company that has popularised electric sports cars. Not one to underplay his products, Tesla CEO Musk heralded the battery as a fundamental transformation [in] how energy is delivered across the Earth.

A company called Solar Plants, based in Port Talbot, south Wales, has installed Kerrs Powerwall. Its managing director, Oliver Farr, said it had e-mailed 3,000 customers about the device. Of the 1,500 who opened the e-mail, 600 said they wanted one. There is a lifestyle element to it, said Farr. Its like people who have an iPhone wanting an Apple Watch.

Kerrs is a freebie. Farr said he wanted to check how it worked before he sold it to other customers. He is not putting a price on it yet either. At the launch event, Musk said it cost $3,500. But this does not take into account the cost of the switchgear needed to make it work, and installation costs. Some experts both in the UK and Australia have suggested it could be more than a decade – the length of warranty – before the Powerwall pays for itself.

The number-crunchers will not put Kerr off. He believes that his solar panels have already reduced his electricity bills by 20% and thinks the addition of the Powerwall might lead to a total reduction of 80%. But its not just about the money. Were environmentally minded and this seems the right thing to do.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/05/welsh-home-installs-uks-first-tesla-powerwall-storage-battery

She Glues Brown Paper Bags To The Floor. I Thought It Was Odd Until I Saw The End Result

Want a unique and inexpensive way to transform your floors? Check this out.

This technique employs brown paper bags! Now hold on, this technique will indeed create fabulous flooring and as mentioned it will cost you next to nothing!

First remove the molding. Next, you rip the paper into sections. You can use builders paper or paper bags without print. Crumpling the paper can create a leather texture that can look great.


DIY Imperfection

Domestic Imperfection blogger, Ashley, wanted to revamp her son’s floor but in an affordable yet awesome manner.Using a tutorial she found using paper bags to make a plywood floor, she took it one stepfurther for her concrete floors. With just $80, Ashley she obtained all the supplies necessary for her son’s 10 x 12 ft room.


Gathering The Goods

To start making this, here is what you will need:

  • Roll of brown paper (Ashley recommendsbuilders paper from Home Depot)
  • Water-based floorpolyurethanes
  • Oil based stain (she recommendsMinwax, in provincial)
  • Gallon of Elmer’s glue
  • Deck pad or mop to apply the stain andpolyurethane
  • Small amount of concrete to patch holes from carpet tacks
  • Pole sander and sandpaper


Demo Begins

The first step is to completely clear the room and get rid off all the trim along the walls. it’s so easy and fun even Ashely’s toddler helped in the process, with proper parental supervision naturally. Next, you will need to prep the floors by patching any holesand then sand the concrete floors.


Ripping Time

After the floors are ready, you will start ripping the paper. Ashley suggests pieces measuring about 12-inches in diameter. Don’t worry about them being perfect in size or shape! Also, crinkling the paper will help give the floor a more distressed leather look.


Gluing For Grown Ups

You’re now ready to make the glue mixture! This will consist of a 1:1 ratio of Elmer’s glue to water. Don’t mix the entire batch at once, because it will dry out if not used fast enough.


Time To Get Dirty

Begin gluing each piece by scooping some glue onto the paper and spreading it over both sides. Then lay the piece of paper down on the floor and smooth it out to get rid of any bubbles. Make sure to overlap the paper since it will shrink as it dries.


Floor In Distress

Once the floor is completely dry, you are ready to start staining! You can leave the floor its natural color or add on the stain.Remember that it is supposed to look distressed. So, some discoloration is what you want.


Stained The Right Way

Make sure to “feather” the stain on to ensure no lines or blemishes. After the stain has dried, roll on the poly to seal the flooring. You will need to do multiple coats and let it dry in between each one. This will give it a great shine and ensure that it is kid-proof!


The Finished Product

Wait about a week before moving any furniture back in to ensure the flooring is set. Now, it’s time to enjoy your hard work. The project is time-consumingbut worth the great detailed results!


Home Improvement

The best part is this DIY project can be is fast, affordable, and a fun project to do alone or with your family and friends. It can be used in ANY room in your home and it’s a great alternative to carpet or tile, and will leave your friends scratching their heads wondering how you did it! Next time you’re looking to redo the look of a room, don’t forget a brown paper bag. I know I’ll never look a brown paper bagthe same way ever again.

Read more: http://damn.com/brown-paper-bag-floor/

50 Home Upgrades That Cost $1 Or Less

Spring cleaning shouldn’t only lead to a tidy home. It should lead to a better home that looks and feels brand spankin’ new.

Lucky for you, help is on the way. We found the ultimate guide that not only breaks down the big clean sweep into five, easy-to-follow sections, it includes super affordable upgrades that cost $1 or less.

With genius cleaning hacks, cheap (and free) DIY upgrades, and insanely simple design tricks for your home and garden decor, the infographic below, created by the experts at Vibrant Doors, covers all the basics while saving you some serious cash.

Master the art of the spring home cleanse by trying these 50 home improvement hacks. You’ll turn your home into a cozy, immaculate and freshly styled sanctuary without ever breaking the bank.

Courtesy of Vibrant Doors

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/04/12/cheap-home-improvement-hacks_n_9668914.html

Why are we so bored?

We live in a world of constant entertainment but is too much stimulation boring?

It amazes me when people proclaim that they are bored. Actually, it amazes me that I am ever bored, or that any of us are. With so much to occupy us these days, boredom should be a relic of a bygone age an age devoid of the internet, social media, multi-channel TV, 24-hour shopping, multiplex cinemas, game consoles, texting and whatever other myriad possibilities are available these days to entertain us.

Yet despite the plethora of high-intensity entertainment constantly at our disposal, we are still bored. Up to half of us are often bored at home or at school, while more than two- thirds of us are chronically bored at work. We are bored by paperwork, by the commute and by dull meetings. TV is boring, as is Facebook and other social media. We spend our weekends at dull parties, watching tedious films or listening to our spouses drone on about their day. Our kids are bored bored of school, of homework and even of school holidays.

There are a number of explanations for our ennui. This, in fact, is part of the problem we are overstimulated. The more entertained we are the more entertainment we need in order to feel satisfied . The more we fill our world with fast-moving, high-intensity, ever-changing stimulation, the more we get used to that and the less tolerant we become of lower levels.

Thus slower-paced activities, such as reading reports, sitting in meetings, attending lectures or studying for exams, bore us because we are accustomed to faster-paced amusements.

Our attention spans are now thought to be less than that of a goldfish (eight seconds). We are hard-wired to seek novelty, which produces a hit of dopamine, that feel-good chemical, in our brains. As soon as a new stimulus is noticed, however, it is no longer new, and after a while it bores us. To get that same pleasurable dopamine hit we seek fresh sources of distraction.

Our increasing reliance on screentime is also to blame. Although we seem to live in a varied and exciting world with a wealth of entertainment at our fingertips, this is actually the problem. Many of these amusements are obtained in remarkably similar ways via our fingers. We spend much of our work life now tapping away at our keyboard. We then look for stimulation (watching movies, reading books, catching the news, interacting with friends) via the internet or our phone, which means more tapping. On average we spend six to seven hours in front of our phone, tablet, computer and TV screens every day.

All this is simply becoming boring. Instead of performing varied activities that engage different neural systems (sport, knitting, painting, cooking, etc) to relieve our tedium, we fall back on the same screen-tapping schema for much of our day. The irony is that while our mobile devices should allow us to fill every moment, our means of obtaining that entertainment has become so repetitive and routine that its a source of boredom in itself.

Does any of this matter? Research suggests that chronic boredom is responsible for a profusion of negative outcomes such as overeating, gambling, truancy, antisocial behaviour, drug use, accidents, risk taking and much more. We need less, not more, stimulation and novelty.

It seems paradoxical, but feeling bored in the short term will make us less bored in the long term.

The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom is Good by Dr Sandi Mann is published by Robinson, 13.99. To buy a copy for 11.19, go to bookshop.theguardian.com

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/24/why-are-we-so-bored