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These homes are proof that 3D printing could help resolve global homelessness


A man and his tiny home.
Image: picture alliance via Getty Image

An Ode to… is a weekly column where we share the stuff we’re really into in hopes that you’ll be really into it, too.


Tiny House Hunters fills me with a rage I cannot describe, and I absolutely crave it. 

The HGTV show, streaming on Hulu, is about people who are sick and tired of being able to stretch in their own home and instead choose to live in glorified mobile homes. It follows either a single person trying to move into the mountains, a couple on the verge of breaking up, or a family who doesn’t seem to get that children get bigger on their quest to find the perfect tiny house. 

Frequent quotes from the show include “Wow, this is tiny,” or “There’s not a lot of storage in here,” and my personal favorite, “A king size bed won’t fit in this loft!” 

These are all things you’d expect from a tiny house, but the people who end up on Tiny House Hunters seem to have deluded themselves into believing that tiny houses have some sort of TARDIS-like magic that makes an impossibly cramped 200 square foot space feel bigger on the inside. 

On a typical episode, an exasperated realtor will show contestants three different, but equally hellish, tiny homes. At the end of the episode, the contestant(s) will sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each house on camera, bitching about the lack of a full-size dishwasher and reluctantly accepting a composting toilet, before settling on the worst possible choice. The final scenes of each episode shows the contestants settled into their tiny homes and resigned to constantly stepping on their partners. 

And nothing brings me simultaneous hate and joy like yelling at the TV in my human-sized living room. 

Others on social media feel the same anger I do when I watch an episode of Tiny House Hunters. I love how furious other people get watching it — it validates my own unbridled rage. 

I am not hating on anyone who lives in a tiny house. Personally, I think they’re great, and love the idea of living somewhere with little impact on the environment. Given the chance, I would absolutely live in a tiny house. But would I live in a tiny house with three dogs, two sticky toddlers, and another fully grown human being? Absolutely fucking not. Tiny House Hunters is so rage-inducing because the contestants on the show manage to pick the worst houses and be in the worst circumstances for tiny house living. 

My most vitriolic reaction to the show was during an especially cursed episode, when a couple bought a literal burned down shack surrounded by garbage for a massive $155,000. In a Slate interview, Aubree and Jordan explained that land in Los Angeles isn’t cheap, and that the fact that the patch of trash dirt was already zoned for residential living saved them thousands of dollars on permits. 

To be fair, their reasoning does make sense. But in an infuriating follow-up interview published this year, the couple explained that after clearing the debris from the house and building a tiny guesthouse, they ran out of money and moved into the 18 by 18 foot guest house. Now they’re moving out of the property and into a full-size two bedroom home. 

When Slate asked if they ever watch Tiny House Hunters, Aubree responded with “No, it’s triggering.” 

As Roxane Gay wrote in Curbed, “When one aspires to own a tiny home, they have a corresponding tiny American dream.” 

While some contestants on the show will probably thrive in a mobile tiny house, like most of the single people with pets, many seem to be trying to fix a deeper issue — whether it’s a couple desperately trying to fix their relationship by literally getting closer or a growing family that’s low on funds. Buying a tiny house like slapping on a bandaid after being mauled by a bear. 

Like reading the worst posts on r/relationships or hate watching The Bachelor, I have a sick fascination with unpacking the characters of Tiny House Hunters. What makes anyone feel more alive than yelling at preventable disasters? You’ll probably love it, too. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/ode-to-hate-watching-tiny-house-hunters/

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‘Westworld’ cast and creators tease what to expect in the new season

Image: hbo

The first season of Westworld was a wild ride full of twists, thrills, and existential mysteries, but it looks like that’s nothing compared to what Season 2 will be when it airs on April 22.

Entertainment Weekly spoke with the cast of Westworld and some of the people behind the scenes about what we can expect in the reality-bending Westworld and beyond. According to Jeffrey Wright, the actor behind Bernard Lowe, Season 2 goes in hard in really big ways.

“The scale of Season 2 is just nuts, literally right out of the gate,” Wright told EW. “It’s so much more expansive, it makes the first season look like a genteel kitchen drama.” 

As fans of Westworld know, the first season was pretty far from anything resembling a genteel kitchen drama so we know that Season 2 is probably going to blow minds. Wright and others gave a little insight into what that is going to look like and what their characters are up to in the new season.

Warning: mild spoilers ahead for Westworld Season 2 and not-so-mild spoilers for Season 1

For Season 2, the focus will be on the uprising that kicked off in the first season, and at least some of the show’s head-scratching mysteries will be solved, showrunner Jonathan Nolan said.

“We don’t like to endlessly build mystery; we like to settle our debts by the end of the season,” Nolan said. “We want to feel like the show is rocketing ahead. The first season was a journey inward; this is a journey outward. It’s a search for what else is in the park, and what else is beyond the park.”

Nolan also shared that the show will take a deeper dive into the minds and points-of-view of the hosts.

“So as the hosts learn more about their world — and other worlds, and the real world — the audience is doing the same thing,” he said.

Evan Rachel Wood shared how her character Dolores has evolved and what she’s doing with her newfound power.

 “She’s playing the chess master,” Wood said. “She has access to all of her memories, but now she’s in control. There are some scenes where she’s three different people in the span of a minute.”

In terms of expansiveness, the new season is likely to head to new parks outside of Westworld, including the park that was teased at the end of Season 1, called Shogun World.

Ed Harris, who plays the hardcore Man in Black, told EW that Season 2 will be enjoyable to watch, although he’s not sure he totally understands where everything is going.

“It’s a pretty trippy second year, man, I gotta tell you that,” he said. “Hopefully somebody can explain it all to me after it airs. But it’s going to be tremendously watchable.” 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/03/21/westworld-season-2-details/

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What you need to do to prepare for Jack’s death on ‘This Is Us’

Image: nbc

The big day is coming. The day we’ve been waiting for. The day that we watch Jack Pearson burn to death on This Is Us.

At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe: A fire started by a slow cooker caused a full-on house blaze, and potentially led to the fiery demise of America’s favorite dead dad Jack Pearson (played by Milo Ventimiglia). This Is Us has been teasing his death since early on in the first season, and now it seems like millions of viewers will finally watch it happen right after the Super Bowl on Sunday.

If everything goes as expected on the next episode of This Is Us, it will be a lot to handle. There will probably be tears. Maybe even screaming. Maybe even death.

Here’s what you need to do to not die during the post-Super Bowl episode of This Is Us, appropriately titled “Super Bowl Sunday.”

1. Gather your loved ones

Like any good American holiday, it’s imperative to be around the ones you love during the Super Bowl and the This Is Us headliner that follows. This could be a pet, some friends, a This Is Us Slack group with your coworkers, a favorite box of tissues, or your closest family members.

Even if a few staples can’t make it such as, say, your three children who all seem to have other last-minute plans, that’s OK, as long as you leave a note telling your rudest son that you love him but he still owes you an apology.

Image: nbc

As long as you have someone or something to hold onto as you watch the Pearson family go through one of the most traumatic experiences imaginable, you may be able to keep it together. If that’s not enough, it may help to turn the dark situation into a money-making opportunity.

2. Place some friendly bets

There are a lot of theories floating around the internet about how exactly Jack Pearson dies on This Is Us because it hasn’t been made 100% clear that he dies in the house fire. Why not turn that into a fun game to lessen the blow of Jack’s horrific death?

Just like some Super Bowl parties include friendly bets around things like which team is going to win or who’s going to take the first kickoff, you could start a pool on whether or not Jack runs back into the fire to save Kate, the dog, or maybe even to look for Kevin. Some postulate that Jack won’t even die during “Super Bowl Sunday” and may actually make it to the next episode — another fun mystery to put a few dollars on.

Image: nbc

There’s a chance that you could get really invested in your bets which could make the situation even more stressful. In that case, make sure you have some food on hand to stress eat.

3. Make snacks

One of the most important things to remember while gearing up for a big night of television is sustenance.

This Is Us starts after the Super Bowl, so it may be a bit of a long night. On average, Super Bowl games tend to go on for nearly 4 hours, so from a 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff, we’re looking at digging into This Is Us at around 10:15 p.m. or even later on the East Coast. 

Image: nbc

A simple dinner alone won’t sustain most people, especially if you’re watching the Super Bowl and taking in a constant barrage of advertisements for nacho cheese-flavored chips and cheap beer. You’re going to need snacks.

How about some dip, chicken wings, or maybe some fresh corn muffins? You know what would go great with corn muffins? Chili — an American classic that pairs just as well with football as it does with tears. Just fire up your Crock-Pot (or other brand of slow cooker) and let some tomatoes, beans, peppers, spices, and maybe some meat stew all day for a delicious and hearty centerpiece for your evening.

4. Don’t forget to clean up

At the end of the night, after you’ve powered through all your chili, lost a bit of money, and covered your area rug in tissues, cleaning everything up can bring some peace of mind and give you time to reflect on Jack’s final (possibly screaming) moments.

Take a little once-around through the kitchen and living room, tidy up the little messes that you or other people made. Maybe play a song while you do it, like “To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra.

Last of all, turn off the slow cooker and head up to bed.

Image: nbc

Now repeat to yourself over and over: “The Pearsons are not real. They are a fictional family. The Pearsons are not real. This Is Us is a fictional TV show.” 

Go to sleep.

Wait … have you checked to make sure your fire alarm works recently?

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/02/this-is-us-super-bowl-survival/

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