"Doctor Who" Fan Builds TARDIS-Inspired Free Library in Detroit

Courtesy of Dan Zemke
Courtesy of Dan Zemke

Just like the TARDIS from British TV show Doctor Who, books transport readers through time and space. So it’s fitting that a fan of the series constructed a free community library that looks like the Doctor’s fictional time machine/spacecraft.

As The Verge reports, Detroit resident Dan Zemke wanted to make use of an empty lot that sits across the street from his house. Inspired by his workplace, which runs a reading program that distributes free books to kids, Zemke—who had already planned on building a replica TARDIS—decided to turn the blue police telephone box into a mini-library for his neighborhood.

Zemke teamed up with his father and Tardis Builders, an online forum for hobbyist Dr. Who prop-makers, to construct his TARDIS library. "I thought this was going to be a weekend project at first, but it quickly ballooned into this massive, awesome adventure," Zemke told Mental Floss. "We spent just about every weekend working on the TARDIS since last Labor Day weekend."

The final product stands nearly 10 feet tall and weighs close to a ton. "When you open the doors of the TARDIS, it reveals a large mural [painted by local artist Jennifer Maiseloff] that shows the inside of the TARDIS from the TV show," Zemke explains. "It looks like the inside of a large spaceship, more or less. I wanted to give the person coming to the library a sense that they're looking inside the TARDIS. When you slide open the mural panels, it reveals a collection of books that anyone from the neighborhood can take or leave a book of their own."

Just in time for summer, Zemke’s TARDIS library is now open. If you live in Detroit, you can swing by the corner of Vermont Street and Warren West Avenue to browse its book selection.

"It's been awesome to see an empty lot in the city transform into a place where kids and families want to spend time," Zemke says. "I love that we're getting more books in the hands of our neighbors and the schools nearby. Plus, we get to see just how many Whovians are in Metro Detroit too!"

[h/t The Verge]

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.

These “Wonder Women” Bingo Cards Feature Amelia Earhart, Greta Thunberg, and 46 Other Inspiring Icons

You could even shout "Wonder Women!" instead of "Bingo!" if you want.
You could even shout "Wonder Women!" instead of "Bingo!" if you want.
Laurence King Publishing/Amazon

The original numbered version of bingo dates back to 16th-century Italy, but gamemakers have recently begun to realize that there’s no reason the classic game has to be quite so classic. Now, instead of numbers, you can find cards with pretty much any set of images or words you can think of (or you can simply make your own online).

This edition from Laurence King Publishing features illustrations of 48 incredible women who all, in some way, embody the name of the set: Wonder Women. There are sports champions like gymnast Simone Biles and tennis player Serena Williams alongside young living legends like climate change activist Greta Thunberg and education activist Malala Yousafzai. While you might recognize many of the names from history classes—Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks, for example—or your own iTunes library (yes, Beyoncé is part of this game), others may be unfamiliar. Did you know about Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space?

In other words, Wonder Women Bingo is a great way to celebrate your favorite trailblazers and get introduced to some new ones, too. And since the rules are simple—just pick a chip and see if your card has an image to match—it can also double as a learning opportunity for kids.

The illustrations were created by artist Laura Bernard.Laurence King Publishing/Amazon

The game is available for $35 on Amazon and $20 on Laurence King Publishing's website (though it's currently unavailable on Laurence King's site). And if bingo isn’t really your thing (or even if it is), there’s a Fantastic Women card game available for $13 on Amazon, where players try to top each other’s highest-scored cards using ones from their own hand.

While you’re waiting for your games to arrive, learn about 100 women who changed the world.

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