Weekend Links: Journalism, in so Many Words

On April 1, The New York Times announced a new spinoff website called Times Haiku, featuring “serendipitous poetry” pulled from real articles published in the paper. There were suspicions the algorithm used to translate journalism into poetry was a joke, but certain lines apparently just lend themselves to Japanese-style verse: “To many, the Mets/ appear destined for a fifth/ straight losing season” and “For reasons he is/ not sure of, he also adds/ scallions at the end” are some good ones.


Sounds Just Like is a website that provides side-by-side comparisons of clips from songs that, well, sound just like each other. The comments section is rife with disagreement, naturally, but have a listen to a few and decide for yourself: for a start, ABBA’s “Waterloo” sounds just like The Foundations’ “Build Me Up Buttercup.”


If you’re traveling anytime soon, sites like TripAdvisor can be a great resource to scope out potential hotels, restaurants, and sights to see, with ratings from users who’ve been there before. If you’ve ever traveled in the past, you’ll be able to appreciate the compilation of terrible travel reviews compiled on TripAdvisaargh. If you’re interested, I know this place that has a “Recomendsble Hamburger very nice treatment and proper cleaning area very old but well chvjvghhnchxgvvnfjfvb.”


This list of 10 Hidden Places Around the World will restore the travel fever that the previous link may previously have snuffed out in you. Understandably, a lot of these lesser-known places are literally underground.


Even celebrities have to take their shoes off at airport security.


The articles on Discovery.com feature some surprisingly urgent-sounding questions; here’s hoping they at least try to provide some answers.


Speaking of urgent-sounding questions: if you’re the kind of person who carefully considers your survival rate from moment to moment based on such arbitrary factors as where you’re sitting on a plane, your odds are better in the back.


There’s a new trailer out for Baz Luhrmann’s screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby. It features lavish parties, tense facial expressions, period dress, and Leonardo DiCaprio trying very, very hard.

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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The World’s Last Blockbuster Has Been Transformed Into an Airbnb—and It Costs Just $4 Per Night

The Last Blockbuster on Earth is located in Bend, Oregon.
The Last Blockbuster on Earth is located in Bend, Oregon.

In March 2019, a Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon, became the last remaining Blockbuster on Earth. If you aren't satisfied just browsing the shelves and the candy selection of the rare '90s relic, soon you'll be able to book it for a night for the cost of a movie rental.

As CNN Travel reports, the last Blockbuster location will be available to rent on Airbnb for $4 a night beginning August 17. Sandi Harding, the manager of the video rental store since 2004, has set up the space to recreate the experience of renting a VHS tape and having an old-school movie night at home.

Settle in for an old-school movie night at The Last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon.Airbnb

A sofa in the makeshift living room features a pull-out mattress complete with retro Memphis pattern sheets. After getting cozy in bed, guests can enjoy their choice of movie from the store's robust VHS collection on a big, boxy TV. And naturally, popcorn and other movie theater snacks are available onsite.

Be Kind. Rewind.Airbnb

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Bend Blockbuster's opening. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having a big celebration was impossible, so Harding found a way to mark the occasion with a more intimate event. "With everybody being stuck at home and re-experiencing family time together, we thought it would be fun to enjoy some family time in a throwback '90s environment," she told CNN.

When the bookings open on Airbnb on August 17, guests will be able to reserve their one-night stay for September 18, 19, or 20. The space is limited to four people, with guests from the same household preferred.

[h/t CNN Travel]