Weekend Links: Comet Pan-STARRS Lights the Night

These time-lapse videos of the comet Pan-STARRS allow us terrestrial beings too busy to observe the night sky a chance to relive and appreciate one of the first great astronomical wonders of 2013. You’ll still have an opportunity to catch it in person: the comet will continue to shine on, though dimming gradually in brightness, through the end of March.


National Geographic is celebrating their 125th anniversary by releasing a series of images from their archives in a curated collection called FOUND, “showcasing photographs that reveal cultures and moments of the past.”


Cats through the ages: a new collection called Puss in Books proves that our love of cat pictures predated the internet, with images of the furry little balls of cute appearing on Egyptian tomb walls and the pages of medieval religious texts.


YouTube science vlogger Vsauce explores the burning question of “What’s the most dangerous place on Earth?” At 2:39, you can find out what would happen if you fell into a volcano full of molten lava, and why it’s even more terrifying than you would expect.


A Reddit post asking users to submit “the happiest facts you know” resulted in this uplifting list of information about exactly the subjects you’d expect: love, laughter, and baby animals.


Jay-Z has officially been named the executive producer of, and original music contributor to, the soundtrack for Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby.


This infographic provides a brief history of video game driving, from Gran Tak, the first car-based racing game released in 1974 to the upcoming fifth installment of the ever-popular and morally controversial Grand Theft Auto series. Drive safe.


Breaking science news: CERN says it was the Higgs boson!

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Wisconsin Corn Maze Highlights the Tardigrade—"The World's Most Resilient Animal"

Treinen Farm
Treinen Farm

On some farms, designing a corn maze is a chance to create larger-than-life art. There have been mazes modeled after flags, dinosaurs, and video game characters—but this tardigrade corn maze, spotted by Atlas Obscura, may be a first.

Tardigrades—also called "moss piglets" or "water bears"—are microscopic organisms that thrive in a variety of environments around the world. Real tardigrades are too small to see with the naked eye, but that's certainly not the case with the tardigrade maze at Treinen Farm; from the air, it's impossible to miss.

Angie Treinen owns the Wisconsin farm with her husband, and she was inspired to design a maze in the image of the tardigrade after learning about them at a science event a few years ago. Like much of the internet, she was instantly smitten with their stubby legs and roly-poly bodies. They also turned out to be the perfect mascot for 2020; water bears are some of the most resilient creatures on Earth, surviving in tundras, at the bottom of the ocean, and even in space.

"I think I stumbled upon the idea to do a tardigrade pretty early on, but I rejected it for a long time," Angie wrote on the farm's website. "As a huge nerd, I’d seen water bears at an event at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, and I thought they were fascinating and amazing and exactly what we needed: tiny, adorable, unbelievably tough."

The tardigrade corn maze took 120 to 150 hours to cut and covers 15 acres. Guests can experience the maze in person at Treinen Farm now through November 8, 2020.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]