EasyJet Starts Work on a Cheaper, Cleaner Plane That Runs on Electricity

Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images
Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

To get a plane from Point A to Point B, airlines need jet fuel, and lots of it. But soon, there may be an alternative that would take fossil fuels out of the equation. As The Guardian reports, the British airline easyJet is working with a U.S. company called Wright Electric to make electric planes for short-distance flights a reality within the next decade.

The proposed battery from Wright Electric could power flights up to two hours long, making it fitting for quick trips between cities like London and Paris, or for domestic flights within the UK. According to easyJet, about 20 percent of their current flights fall within the 335-mile range this new technology aims to cover.

The benefits of electric planes would extend beyond decreasing fossil fuel consumption. The battery-powered aircraft would be half as loud as easyJet's current planes. The new planes would also be 10 percent less expensive to purchase and fly, a cost reduction that could end up bringing down ticket prices.

EasyJet isn’t the only company working to get electric planes off the ground. Earlier in 2017, Eviation Aircraft unveiled a prototype for their Alice Commuter plane, an all-electric jet designed for private air travel. But if easyJet’s new planes are runway-ready within the planned timeline, they could be among the first electric planes for commercial flights. Wright Electric already has a two-seat prototype built, and their long-term goal is to make a battery strong enough to run a 120-passenger plane.

A fossil-fuel-free airplane would be a major development for the aviation industry, which currently produces hundreds of millions of tons of carbon emissions each year. And easyJet already provides a great example to companies looking to reduce their footprints: Between 2000 and 2016, the airline reduced its carbon emissions per passenger-kilometer by 31 percent.

[h/t The Guardian]

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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An Illinois School District Has Banned Fully Remote Students From Wearing Pajamas While Learning

The great thing about Zoom is that it's almost impossible for people to tell if you're wearing pajamas.
The great thing about Zoom is that it's almost impossible for people to tell if you're wearing pajamas.
August de Richelieu, Pexels

Having most of your interactions via video chat can be a little exhausting, but it does come with a few perks—like being able to wear your pajama pants without anybody knowing or caring. For students facing remote learning in Illinois’s Springfield School District, however, PJs are against the rules.

WGRZ reports that the dress code for Springfield’s learn-from-home plan includes a ban on pajamas, which a number of parents aren’t too happy about.

“I don’t think they have any right to say what happens in my house,” parent Elizabeth Ballinger told WCIA. “I think they have enough to worry about as opposed to what the kids are wearing. They need to make sure they’re getting educated.”

Aaron Graves, president of the Springfield Education Association, doesn’t actually appear to disagree with Ballinger.

“In truth, the whole pajama thing is really at the bottom of our priority scale when it comes to public education,” Graves told WCIA. “We really want to see kids coming to the table of education, whether it’s at the kitchen table with the laptop there or whether it’s the actual brick and mortar schoolhouse. Raising the bar for all kids and helping them get there, whether they’re in their pajamas or tuxedo, is really what’s important.”

Though the pajama prohibition was part of the regular in-school dress code [PDF], imposing it from afar will definitely be more difficult. Fortunately, the administration’s enforcement policy is pretty vague; a statement shared with WCIA explained that “there are no definitive one-to-one consequences” for wearing your pajamas to online school, and teachers will decide what to do about any given violation.

In other words, it looks like kids with easygoing teachers (and parents) will get to stay in their nightshirts, while others might have to learn their multiplication tables in tuxedos.

[h/t WGRZ]