Life Redefined? Scientists announced this week that they grew a microbe using arsenic instead of one of the six elements considered essential for life. Such a breakthrough could forever change our understanding of the conditions under which other types of life can flourish, both on Earth and in the larger universe. E.T. may be closer than we think!
Robo-spooking? As news broke that Fannie and Freddie will begin to sell foreclosures after a hiatus in place since September, Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance released a survey that found 14 percent of potential buyers refused to consider distressed properties. Homebuyers likely have been frightened away by the fear that previous owners will prevail in imminent lawsuits — even years from now — and win the property back with claims of faulty paperwork leading to their evictions.
Going from McMansion to McModest? Sixty percent of new home buyers say their ideal home is less than 2,000 square feet. However, buyers are opting for more upgrades, often paying more than those in larger homes.
Or how about going McMiniscule? The Small Housing Movement is spreading across the country. These miniature homes, built with high-quality materials, can fit inside the living rooms– or sometimes closets– of many traditional homes. Check out images here. (Speaking of non-traditional houses, can I interest you in a lighthouse or army barrack?)
There is something about the crackle of a fire burning on a cold winter’s night. But most homeowners know that fireplaces are one of the most inefficient ways to heat the home. However, a new breed of fireplaces offers some energy efficient alternatives. An increasing number of homeowners are replacing their drafty hearths with updated appliances or stand-alone alternatives. Santa Clause may be a little confused come Christmas Eve, but the lower electricity bill will be a gift in itself.
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? How about the HMS Invincible, a U.K. decommissioned aircraft carrier that the country is selling?