The Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Shopping Malls

Remember shopping malls? John Green and his Scatterbrained co-hosts do—and that's exactly where they're headed in this episode of Scatterbrained.

Follow along with them as they introduce you to Victor Gruen, the man who invented the modern shopping mall, then head back to ancient Greece to trace the history of the mall. You'll also hear some behind-the-scenes secrets about what it's like to be a mall Santa, and learn everything you ever wanted to know—and then some—about the world's most famous department stores. Of course, no trip to the mall would be complete without the arduous task of finding a parking spot; they've got some life hacks for dealing with that, too (unless you want your mom to drive you). We can practically smell the Auntie Anne's pretzels!

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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]

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Everything You Need To Know About Online Shopping

Mental Floss via YouTube
Mental Floss via YouTube

Thanks to online shopping, consumers no longer have to interact with other humans to get their holiday wish list taken care of. But there's more to e-tailing than simple misanthropy.

In the latest episode of Scatterbrained, presented by Discover, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy and friends uncover some of the most peculiar online purchases (haunted canes), how to find online deals, and the first time anything was purchased online.

Find out more in the full video below.

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