Weekend Links: Everyone is Beautiful

In the latest social experiment from the Dove Real Beauty team, women were asked to describe their own facial features to a forensic artist as he drew them. A stranger was then called in to provide a second, more objective account of the woman’s appearance, and those drawings came out drastically different. The women then viewed the two sketches of themselves side-by-side, and their reactions were unsurprisingly emotional.

*

Live fast, die young: the saying holds true if you’re famous and successful, as a recent study found that successful people who were also famous, e.g. athletes and artists, tend to die sooner than their successful but less well-known counterparts in business or politics.

*

The rich and famous might not just want to watch their health, but their wallets as well: these five historical spendthrifts could make anyone think twice about how much they really need that 3001st pair of shoes.

*

TIME just released its 2013 list of 100 Most Influential People. This year’s covers feature rapper and record producer Jay-Z, actress and charming interviewee Jennifer Lawrence, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, and entrepreneur Elon Musk.

*

The American Library Association’s list of Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2012 includes Fifty Shades of Grey, but the erotic novel was beaten out for top billing by three works of children’s literature, including the Captain Underpants series in the number one spot. So…what are kids reading these days?

*

It might be a little late to pack up and take a road trip this weekend, but with this warm weather, it could be a good time to start planning a few mini-vacations to the 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013.

*

How British is your English? If you’re anything like me, you’ve been speaking like the Queen for years and never realized it. Cheeky, innit?

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.
Allwood/Amazon

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]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

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]