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Secret Beach House Inside Box Truck

This guy, Scott, built what many might consider the ultimate recreational vehicle (RV), all in an 18-foot box truck. His whole home is in just a bit less than 144 square feet. He estimates the cost, including buying his used Isusu truck, at $85,000. That’s high, but as you can see, he spared no expense.

By building his own motorhome, he avoided many of the problems associated with typical RVs.

Many motorhomes are problematic because the manufacturers attempt to keep costs down by building on truck or van chassis that aren’t really up to the job. Then, the household appliances, plumbing and electrical systems are not really equipped to be shaken all the time as the vehicle drives down the road. By the time they are 60,000 to 65,000 miles (100,000 km) old, they are so broken down they are not cost-effective to keep running.

For instance, running an automotive V8 engine full out while going up hills warps the exhaust manifolds, tends toward overheating, blows gaskets, and may even burn the valves.

The ordinary household plumbing fittings will vibrate apart, resulting in gallons of water being pumped out across the carpeting, warping the cabinetry near the floor, and setting off irreparable mold growth.

Whereas manufactured homes (formerly called ‘mobile homes’) have to be made with proper and safe materials, it is legal to build motorhomes and trailers with just about any kind of cheap materials. There have been numerous reports of new RV owners having ongoing flu-like symptoms from out-gassing of formaldehyde from the paneling, cabinetry and upholstery. We don’t even want to consider the long-term effects.

Many RVs come with labels that say ‘not for full-time use.’

You might think you’re covered with a nice warranty when you buy a new RV. Unfortunately, you may discover that the dealer has had you sign paperwork stating that the dealer is not responsible for warranty work. That’s left to the manufacturer. But who is the manufacturer? If the refrigerator breaks, it’s the company that made it. If the paneling starts coming apart, it’s the coach builder. If the roof leaks, is that the coach builder or the chassis maker? You may find you have to drive a thousand miles to have the warranty work done by the manufacturer.

Worse, especially if you buy a half-million dollar diesel pusher (a large motorhome with a diesel engine in the rear), that repairs are not only expensive, but you may not easily find a shop willing to do the work. For instance, if the shifter quits working, it might be the push-button panel in the dashboard, but it might be the transmission, or it might be in the ten meters of wiring somewhere under the floor between the front and back. It is not uncommon for repairs, even on a new unit, to take literally months to have completed.

Maybe you should buy a used RV and using some of the money you saved to fix it up. That’s a good idea in general until you find out how much some of the repairs may cost. For instance, replacing a transmission in an RV can be twice as costly as in a car because it is so much more difficult to reach. Then, you might also discover that many RV parks will turn down anyone with a rig older than 15 years.

There have been numerous cases of motorhomes and trailers falling apart on the road, leaving the owner stranded without even a tow truck large enough to move it. Sometimes that straps that hold in tanks under the floor fail. In some cases, the paneling that makes up the sides of the vehicle has been known to work loose then blow off in the wind.

Among the most significant breakdowns from a practical point of view are slide out sections that won’t slide back in, or hydraulic levelers stuck in the down position. Your RV isn’t going anywhere when this happens.

Enough with the negativity already! On the plus side, you are living a lighter footprint on the earth if you’re a full-time RVer. Instead of commuting many miles to and from work, you can park your RV near to where you work. Instead of heating a 4,000 square-foot McMansion, you’re only heating a couple hundred square feet. So, even though the insulation is much thinner in an RV, you’re still leaving a smaller carbon footprint. If you’re not connected to city services, you have very little water, electricity and propane on board. You can learn to make these supplies last weeks, again reducing waste and pollution. Because you have limited storage, you’re less likely to buy and consume things.

Finally, there’s expense. If you’re in a financial bind, you might consider buying an older RV, knowing you’ll probably have to fix things from time to time, then find a good RV park or private property, where the rent is only a few hundred dollars per month.

Many of the RV parks need managers. The manager checks people in and out, offers a bit of security, and maintains the facilities such as mowing the lawn and helping people back in their trailers. This is in trade for free living.

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Cats and Cucumbers

Why are cats so afraid of cucumbers? The common theory is that cucumbers look like snakes, and cats have evolved a natural fear of snakes. Cats see only in black and white with red, so the green color of a cucumber does nothing to de-worry the cats.

Another factor worth considering is that the cucumbers are often placed while the cats are obliviously eating or sleeping. When the cat suddenly sees the cucumber, all they know in that instant is that something possibly ominous has appeared that they were not expecting.

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Volcanoes are vents or openings in the Earth’s crust that allow molten rock, gases, and ash to escape from beneath the surface. That and molten iron is the stuff this whole earth is made of, and it’s right under your feet, although very far down in most cases.

The word “volcano” is derived from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

There are approximately 1,500 active volcanoes worldwide.

The largest volcano on Earth is Mauna Loa in Hawaii, which is also the largest shield volcano. It rises about 13,678 feet (4,169 meters) above sea level and extends about 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) below sea level.

The tallest volcano in the solar system is Olympus Mons on Mars, reaching a height of about 69,841 feet (21,287 meters), almost three times the height of Mount Everest.

Volcanoes can form on land or underwater, with some of the most spectacular volcanic activity occurring beneath the ocean surface.

The eruptions of volcanoes can vary widely, ranging from peaceful lava flows to explosive eruptions that can eject ash, gases, and pyroclastic materials into the atmosphere.

When the Krakatoa volcano erupted in 1883, the sound could be heard 3,000 miles (4,800 km) away.

Volcanic ash can travel long distances, carried by wind currents. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland disrupted air travel across Europe for several days due to the ash cloud it produced.

Volcanoes are responsible for creating new land, as the lava cools and solidifies over time.

Volcanic eruptions can produce pyroclastic flows, which are fast-moving currents of hot gas, ash, and volcanic materials that rush down the slopes of a volcano.

Your author and his wife had the privilege of walking on brand new real estate that hadn’t existed the day before on the Big Island of Hawaii. We were advised to bring face masks in case the wind direction shifted, wear winter-like clothing to shield us from the heat, and wear boots. Of course most of that clothing isn’t available on Hawaii, but we did dress in layers. As we walked across the dry lava, we could see cracks leading 2 inches (5 cm) down still glowing red.

We came to a river of lava, a pyroclastic flow, and were able to poke 6-foot (2-meter) ohia sticks (a straight hardwood) into the molten lava and pull some out on the instantly flaming sticks. It turned into smooth, hardened glass, with long streamers as drips froze in mid-fall. Our sneakers were smoking, and when we returned, we found that tho soles had slightly melted into new shapes.

The famous volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, preserving them remarkably well.

Some volcanoes exhibit a lava lake, a pool of molten lava that can be observed within the volcano’s crater.

Volcanic lightning, known as “dirty thunderstorms,” can occur during volcanic eruptions due to the electrical charges generated by ash particles colliding in the plume.

The largest volcanic eruption in recorded history was the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815. It caused the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816, resulting in widespread crop failures and unusually cold temperatures.

The volcanic activity on Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, is the most intense in the solar system. Its surface is covered with hundreds of active volcanoes.

Volcanic eruptions can create unique geological formations, such as volcanic cones, calderas, and lava tubes.

Some volcanoes have produced massive eruptions in the past, known as supervolcanic eruptions. The most recent one occurred about 74,000 years ago at Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Underwater volcanoes, also known as seamounts, can form islands over time when they emerge from the ocean surface.

The deadliest volcanic eruption in history occurred in 1815 on Mount Tambora, killing an estimated 71,000 people.

Some volcanoes, known as “stratovolcanoes” or composite volcanoes, are made up of alternating layers of lava, ash, and rock.

The Hawaiian Islands were formed by a series of volcanic eruptions over millions of years, as the Pacific tectonic plate moved over a hot spot in the Earth’s mantle.

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Earthquakes can occur on any continent, including Antarctica.

Earthquakes have been recorded in every state in the United States.

The largest recorded earthquake in history was the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960, with a magnitude of 9.5.

Earthquakes can trigger other natural disasters, such as tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions.

The point within the Earth’s crust where an earthquake originates is called the hypocenter or focus.

The point on the Earth’s surface directly above the hypocenter is called the epicenter.

Earthquakes can happen at any time, but they are more likely to occur in the early morning hours.

The instrument used to measure earthquakes is called a seismometer.

Earthquakes can be caused by tectonic plate movements, volcanic activity, or human activities like mining or reservoir-induced seismicity.

Many are saying the recent flooding in California and other places put more weight on the tectonic plates, and could hasten the next earthquakes.

The study of earthquakes is known as seismology.

The Earth experiences thousands of small earthquakes every day, but most of them go unnoticed by humans.

The Richter scale, developed in 1935, is used to measure the magnitude of earthquakes.

The largest earthquake ever recorded in the United States was the 1964 Alaska earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.2. The picture below was taken after the Alaska earthquake.

After the Alaska earthquake

The Ring of Fire, a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Earthquakes can cause changes in the Earth’s rotation, leading to slightly shorter or longer days.

The speed of seismic waves generated by an earthquake can range from a few hundred meters per second to several kilometers per second.

The San Andreas Fault in California is one of the most well-known and studied earthquake-prone areas in the world.

Earthquakes can occur underwater and are often responsible for creating new landforms, such as islands.

The deadliest earthquake in recorded history occurred in 1556 in Shaanxi, China, estimated to have claimed the lives of approximately 830,000 people.

The term “aftershock” refers to smaller earthquakes that occur after a major earthquake.

Earthquakes can cause liquefaction, where saturated soil temporarily loses its strength and behaves like a liquid.

Some animals have been observed displaying unusual behavior before an earthquake, possibly sensing the seismic activity.

Earthquakes can generate a variety of wave types, including primary (P-waves), secondary (S-waves), and surface waves.

Deep earthquakes, those occurring at depths of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles), are associated with subduction zones.

Earthquakes can be felt over long distances, and some large earthquakes have been reported to shake buildings thousands of kilometers away.

The largest recorded intraplate earthquake (occurring within a tectonic plate) was the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes in the United States.

The term “seismic gap” refers to an area along a fault line that is locked and has not experienced a significant earthquake in a long time, potentially indicating increased seismic hazard.

The study of historical seismicity helps scientists understand patterns and recurrence intervals of earthquakes in different regions.

Earthquakes can be monitored and early warning systems can provide a few seconds to minutes of advance notice before the shaking reaches a particular location.

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Both Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were assassinated on a Friday while seated beside their wives. Both JFK and Abe Lincoln reported having dreams about being assassinated shortly before their deaths.

The Royal Synchronicity: Queen Elizabeth II was born on the same day that King George V, her grandfather, died.

The Unsinkable Woman: Violet Jessop, a stewardess, survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, the sinking of the HMHS Britannic in 1916, and the collision of the RMS Olympic in 1911.

On December 5, 1664, a ship sank off the coast of Wales. The only survivor was a man named Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1785, another ship sank. One man survived, another Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1860, yet another ship went down with only one survivor – you guessed it – his name was Hugh Williams.

Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet: Mark Twain was born in 1835 when Halley’s Comet appeared, and he died in 1910 when the comet returned.

The Triple Lightning Strike: In 2006, Roy Sullivan, a park ranger, was struck by lightning for the seventh time, making him the person with the most recorded lightning strikes.

Jonathan Swift wrote a classic book called Gulliver’s Travels that borders on science fiction. It was written before ‘science fiction’ was what you called such books. In this book he wrote about two moons circling Mars. His descriptions of their size and orbital distance weren’t perfect but surprisingly accurate. He did this one hundred years before they were described by astronomers.

The Reunited Brothers: Two brothers, separated at birth, named Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, coincidentally named their sons James Alan and James Allan.

The Train Crash Prediction: In 1895, author Morgan Robertson wrote a novel titled “Futility” about an unsinkable ship named the Titan that hit an iceberg and sank. Fourteen years later, the RMS Titanic suffered a similar fate.

In 1979, a man named Frane Selak survived a train crash, a plane crash, a bus crash, and a car crash, and then won the lottery.

The Converging Paths: In 1975, two women with the same name, both traveling from England to the Canary Islands, wearing identical clothing, and carrying similar bags, ended up sitting next to each other on the plane.

The Identical Twins: In 2002, two unrelated identical twin brothers, separated at birth, named Jim Springer and Jim Lewis, coincidentally reunited and discovered they shared the same first name, occupation, and hobbies.

The Bridge Collapse: In 1940, a worker named Harold C. W. Keevil fell off the unfinished Tacoma Narrows Bridge but survived. A year later, he was on the same bridge when it collapsed, but he survived again.

The Struck by Lightning Brothers: In 2018, two brothers, aged 5 and 7, were both struck by lightning on separate occasions within the span of a year.

The Separated Sisters: In 2007, two sisters named Samantha Futerman and Anaïs Bordier, who were adopted from South Korea, discovered they were identical twins after one saw the other in a YouTube video.

The Winning Lottery Numbers: In 2003, the winning numbers of the Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 game were 6-6-6-6, causing a record number of winners and resulting in the lottery having to pay out millions of dollars.

The Mysterious Subway Meeting: In 2008, two strangers named Laura and Laura, who had the same birthday, height, hair color, and were both wearing a black coat and a red scarf, accidentally bumped into each other on the London Underground.

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The world’s oldest known candy is a honey-based treat from over 2,000 years ago.

The word “candy” comes from the Arabic word “qandi,” which means “made of sugar.”

The first form of candy was created by ancient Egyptians over 4,000 years ago.

The first mass-produced candy in the United States was the candy corn, created in the 1880s.

The largest candy store in the world is Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City, spanning over 15,000 square feet (1,393 square meters, or a third of an acre).

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York City, world's largest candy bar

Dylan’s Candy Bar

The average American consumes about 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of candy each year.

The world’s largest chocolate bar weighed 12,770 pounds (5,792 kilograms) and was made in Armenia in 2010.

The first chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry.

M&M’s were originally created for soldiers in World War II since they could carry them without the chocolate melting.

The world’s most expensive chocolate bar is the “Amedei Porcelana,” which can cost up to $90 per bar.

The largest lollipop ever made weighed over 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms).

The largest candy cane ever made was 51 feet (15.5 meters) tall.

The Snickers candy bar was named after the Mars family’s favorite horse.

Cotton candy was invented by a dentist named William Morrison.

The world’s longest gum wrapper chain measured over 62 miles (100 kilometers).

The Tootsie Roll was named after its creator’s daughter’s nickname, “Tootsie.”

The chocolate-covered insect industry exists, with companies producing candies like chocolate-covered ants and scorpions.

There are more than 400 different flavors of Kit Kat in Japan, including unique options like wasabi and green tea.

The first candy bar to be taken to space was a Milky Way bar in 1982.

Hershey’s Kisses got their name from the machine that produces them, which makes a “kissing” sound.

The world’s largest candy necklace was made in Canada and measured over 1,000 feet (304 meters) long.

The popular candy Pez was originally marketed as an alternative to smoking.

Candy canes were originally straight, and the curved shape is said to represent a shepherd’s crook.

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A Japanese priest set a kimono on fire in Tokyo because it carried bad luck. The flames spread until over 10,000 buildings were destroyed and 100,000 people died. (Year: 1657)

When you burn copper, the flames are green.

When you burn cobalt, the flames are purple.

Alcohol flames can be clear or invisible.

Fire requires three elements to exist: fuel, oxygen, and heat. This is known as the “fire triangle.”

Fire spreads more rapidly uphill than downhill due to the preheating of fuel ahead of the flames.

Lightning strikes cause a significant number of wildfires. In fact, lightning is responsible for about 10% of all wildfires worldwide.

Fire tornadoes, also known as fire whirls, are a rare phenomenon that occurs when intense heat and turbulent winds combine to create a spinning vortex of flames.

Firefighters often use controlled burns, also known as prescribed fires, to manage ecosystems and reduce the risk of larger, uncontrolled wildfires.

The world’s longest-lasting wildfire, known as the Burning Mountain, has been burning underground in Australia for thousands of years.

Fire can move faster than you might expect. In certain conditions, wildfires can travel at speeds of up to 14 miles per hour (23 kilometers per hour).

Fire can create its own wind, known as a fire-induced wind or “firestorm.” This occurs when the intense heat causes the surrounding air to rise rapidly, pulling in cooler air and creating strong winds.

Flames always burn upwards due to the effects of convection. The hot gases and flames rise, drawing in more oxygen and fuel from below.

Ben Franklin’s original ‘Franklin stove’ was not what we think of as a Franklin Stove these days. Franklin stove has come to mean a woodstove with full-width metal doors. However, the original Franklin stove was a very weird thing that looked like a large egg on a pedestal. Air was sucked in through holes in the top, down through the fuel on a grate inside the egg, then passed through pipes under the floor, and finally up a chimney on the far side of the room. The hope was extreme efficiency not to mention warm flooring. However, this was a very difficult stove to light and maintain. Ben Franklin would not admit that his design was flawed. He said servants were ‘too stupid’ to work his stove.

Fire can cause the release of harmful pollutants and toxins, including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter, which can have severe health effects.

Some plants and trees have evolved to depend on fire for their survival. They have thick bark or cones that require the intense heat of a fire to release their seeds and regenerate.

Firefighters often use fire shelters, which are small, portable tents made of fire-resistant materials, to protect themselves from intense heat and flames.

Fire can produce different types of smoke, depending on the fuel and conditions. Smoke can be thick and black, indicating incomplete combustion, or white and billowing, indicating a well-ventilated fire.

Fire can melt certain metals, such as aluminum and copper, at relatively low temperatures. This property has practical applications in metalworking and welding.

The temperature of a typical house fire can reach up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit (593 degrees Celsius) or higher.

The concept of “stop, drop, and roll” was developed to teach people how to extinguish flames on their clothing if they catch fire. The famous drummer and entrepreneur Travis Barker was told to stop, drop and roll by yelling bystanders when the airplane in which he was a passenger overshot the runway and burst into flames. Because of this, although he was severely injured, he did not die.

Firefighters use special thermal imaging cameras to locate hotspots and hidden fires by detecting the infrared radiation emitted by flames and heat.

Silly Laws Involving Fire

These are legal offenses, still on the books.

Do not burn “offal” in New York City.

In Oregon, it is illegal to go hunting for big game while it is on fire (Oregon Revised Statutes Section 164.305).

In Massachusetts, it is illegal to explode a nuclear device within city limits, except on Sundays (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 22C, Section 6).

In Michigan, it is illegal to keep an alligator in a fire hydrant (Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.49).

In Ohio, it is illegal to disrobe in front of a man’s portrait, except in cases of fire (Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.09).