While it’s not the cheapest on the market, the Anker PowerCore 26800mAh Portable Charger is your best bet for portable chargers if you want maximum power. It can charge most phones 7 times and tablets 2 times. This means you could travel with it and charge your phone for a week! It includes 3 USB ports so everyone can charge at once.
Get it on Amazon for $59.99.
Since 2013, Tom BetGeorge has been one-upping himself, turning his house and lawn into an unbelievable stage for his perfectly synced light shows. This year he designed and programmed a light show to the song ‘This is Halloween’ from the film Nightmare Before Christmas.
From the singing pumpkins to the giant piano and guitar, this is a light show the whole neighbourhood can appreciate!
Cardboard is one of the last materials we’d ever expect to offer safe, durable, and weather-resistant housing. It’s pretty much the definition of “flimsy” and the constant butt of jokes about low standards of living. So would you ever imagine that it could represent a more sustainable future for architecture? Hard as it may be to believe, cardboard can be used as the basis for ultra-strong lumber that will last up to 100 years.
The “Wikkelhouse” (which literally translates to “Wrapper House”) is made up of corrugated cardboard that has been glued together with an eco-friendly adhesive, and the construction process is pretty cool. Each house consists of interlocking cardboard segments, each weighing about 1100 pounds (500 kilograms) and measuring about four feet long. Each segment is composed of 24 layers of cardboard and wraps around a house-shaped mold to create a gabled form. The overall house is just under 15 feet (4.5 meters) wide.
These layers of cardboard and glue create a kind of insulation, which in turn is protected by a breathable waterproof film called “Miotex” and covered by wooden cladding boards on the exterior. Inside, the house is lined with plywood for a minimalist but cozy effect, and it’s full of optional built-in features that slot into the frame, including shelves, desks, kitchen counters, and showers. You can add extra segments or change the floor plan whenever you want, making the Wikkelhouse unusually adaptable. Imagine being able to add an extra bedroom to your house for your growing family or insert new space for a home office or studio, all in a matter of hours.
“Each Wikkelhouse is tailor-made by our specialized craftsmen,” says Fiction Factory, the group of Dutch artists who created the home. “Extra windows, different finishings, or your own color scheme — tell us your ideas and make Wikkelhouse even more to your liking. Since Wikkelhouse is sustainably produced and made of materials that have minimal impact on the environment, it is three times more eco-friendly than traditional housing. Forever, the segments can be reused over and over again and are 100 percent recyclable.”
“A one-of-a-kind holiday home, guest house, or office space — Wikkelhouse can be whatever you want it to be. With its friendly design and premium finishings, Wikkelhouse brings comfort in many ways. Even its acoustics are unequaled.”
Each Wikkelhouse is built at the company’s Amsterdam workshop and then transported to the location of the buyer’s choice, requiring no foundation. It takes just a single day to set it up. Each individual module costs $4,500 USD, with the minimum size of three modules totaling $29,000 once delivery and assembly fees have been added on. A complete house with a kitchen and bathroom starts at around $80,000.
Currently, the Wikkelhouse is only available in select European countries and the United Kingdom, and it’s proven so popular, there’s already a waiting list for it. Only twenty can be made at a time in the factory. But between its portability, modularity, and sustainability, it seems safe to say that the Wikkelhouse could be the beginning of an exciting new way to design and erect housing all over the world.
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Once again I was on the phone to my friend, sobbing. She’d put up with my tears every day since I left the hospital. Two or three daily meltdowns were the norm.
Many of my tears were over things that would have merely irritated me before: misplaced scissors, dirty socks in the middle of the living room, a brief computer glitch.
I have cavernous angiomas, tangles of malformed blood vessels, scattered throughout my brain. Two of them — one larger than a golf ball in my right parietal lobe, and the other, smaller, in my brain stem — had bled, and I underwent brain surgeries to remove them.
The bleeds and surgeries led to side effects including loss of balance, vertigo, nystagmus, trouble with sensory overload, and a number of cognitive deficits. My emotions also seemed volatile. I expected that my emotions would settle down as my brain healed. They didn’t.
After putting up with about a month’s worth of meltdowns, my friend spoke up. “I think you need meds.”
I was shocked. The possibility of psychiatric medication had not occurred to me. The people I knew who needed it had major issues: a cousin whose mother had died when she was ten years old, a friend who had been suicidal, a student with bipolar disorder. I wasn’t depressed. I just got really upset too easily. I was just fragile, and, given what I’d been through, that was understandable.
I wasn’t in denial over my emotional state. Aware of my extreme vulnerability, I’d been proactive: I’d started seeing a psychotherapist regularly within days of my return home from the hospital. I had things under control.
I knew that brain injury can cause chemical imbalances, which can lead to clinical depression. In one account I read, a patient lamented not having gone on antidepressants sooner. Feeling fortunate that I wasn’t in that bad of shape, I sympathized with those who were.
I didn’t need meds.
Over the next few weeks, as the tears flowed more often and more freely, my friend grew more insistent. I continued to resist, explaining away my vulnerabilities. It was normal to grieve over losses. I blamed really bad days on my menstrual cycle.
But as the severity and frequency of my meltdowns increased, I had more trouble rationalizing.
I spiraled into the abyss and finally reached the bottom. I felt desolate. I knew I was a burden on everyone around me and that my life wasn’t much of a life. Suicide seemed logical, perhaps the only solution.
I kept my suicidal thoughts secret—I didn’t want my friend or my therapist to try to talk me out of it.
Weeks later, when I began to emerge from the abyss, I kept my silence because I felt ashamed, and later still, I added guilt to the shame—I had betrayed the trust of both my friend and my therapist.
I tried to rationalize my lie-by-omission: I told myself that I could never really take my life, that I didn’t have it in me.
But in some corner of my mind there must have been doubt mixed with the rationalization because a few days later I decided to discuss antidepressants with my therapist. She agreed with my friend: it was time to consider meds.
Until the brain bleeds, I was averse to pill popping. I took painkillers for my migraines and antibiotics for bacterial infections—no other medications. After the bleeds, I started taking blood-pressure meds (Verapamil) to cut back on the chances of another bleed and anti-seizure meds (Lamictal). I was concerned about messing with my body chemistry, and worried about drug interactions—I wanted to avoid medications that listed seizures as a possible side effect. Given my concerns, my therapist sent me to a psychiatrist who specialized in psychopharmaceuticals.
I wasn’t sure whether there was a viable solution within my comfort zone, but the answer turned out to be straightforward: the psychiatrist suggested simply increasing my daily dose of Lamictal. Anti-seizure meds not only prevent seizures; they also act as mood stabilizers and are often used to combat depression and bipolar disorder.
My psychiatrist conferred with my neurologist, who, concerned about adverse reactions to the Lamictal, was firm about capping my daily dose at 600 milligrams. My psychiatrist, determining that my depression was severe, decided to increase the dose directly from the 400 milligrams I was on to 600 milligrams, instead of ramping up in increments, which is the standard procedure.
I responded well to the increase. Feeling like myself once again, I realized just how badly off I’d been. Like my cousin, my student, and my friend, I too had major issues. Except that I really wasn’t like them—my issues were temporary. Once my brain healed, my depression would be over, and I’d be able to get off the meds.
It took a good four years and a couple of trial runs with lowered dosages before I managed to fully shrug off that piece of denial.
A decade later, I’m still on antidepressants, for good reason.
This depression isn’t “situational.” Good friends and therapy help me survive, but they aren’t enough. The bleeds and surgeries changed my neurochemistry. These changes are real, and they’re here to stay. The meds are here to stay, too.
This guest article originally appeared on the award-winning health and science blog and brain-themed community, BrainBlogger: In and Out of the Abyss: Depression After Brain Surgery.