Man Quits Job, Converts Old Van Into Comfy Home to Travel the World

In the past, we’ve covered stories about tiny home building, alternative living spaces, and school-bus living. But living in a van to follow your dreams? That’s a new one. Meet Mike Hudson, a young English man who did what we all secretly want to do. In 2013, he decided to quit his job as a systems engineer and hit the road. First, he bought an old beat-up van on eBay, then he turned it into a comfortable space to live in for the next year.

Bringing the Forest into the Heart of New York’s Times Square

There is an exciting campaign on Kickstarter that has already met its initial goal and is close to meeting its stretch goal. Conservation biologist Marielle Anzelone loves the nature found in Manhattan and wants to help New Yorkers realize the valuable green space found throughout the city, so she has started a project to bring a lush green forest right into the heart of Times Square in NYC. 

Google X Is About to Test Kites That Will Generate Renewable Energy

In 2013, Google X bought the groundbreaking and innovative company Makani Power, which developed high flying kites that were able to generate clean renewable energy through wind power. The kites, which are a new type of wind turbine altogether, are comprised of lightweight electronics, advanced materials, and smart software that generate energy at a lower cost than the common windmill turbines. Now, Google X has announced that it will be finally testing the innovative kites this month in various parts of the Bay Area.

Photographer Captures Life on a Bench for a Year in Barcelona

Spanish photographer Gabor Erdely came up with a simple idea for capturing some of the life in the beautiful city of Barcelona: photograph a seaside bench for a year. In the Barceloneta area of the city, Erdely faithfully took photos from a bird’s-eye view to capture the many ways the locals use the bench.

This Boy’s Best Friend Is a Magpie, and It’s Adorable

A few years ago we covered a sweet story about the friendship between a Japanese Grandma and her cat. Now, we have another touching story about a young boy from Australia and his best friend—a magpie. The bird’s name is Penguin, and she was rescued as a baby by her owner, 10-year-old Noah Bloom. Cameron Bloom, Noah’s mother, is a professional photographer who has been capturing the relationship as it blossoms.

Cool “USB Mixtapes” Bring Back the Way People Used to Gift Mixes

Back in the day, we’d make mixes on cassettes and CDs for lovers (or people we wanted to be lovers), friends, and for ourselves. But with smartphones and streaming music, that tradition has gone by the wayside. Good news for those nostalgic souls who miss the mixtape: You can now have the best of both worlds. Meet the USB Mixtape designed by Tiffany Roddis.

The House of a Master Vertical Garden Designer

Vertical gardens have become more popular in recent years, with more and more people installing them in their homes and businesses. But one of the masters of vertical garden design, Patrick Blanc, has one of the most impressive gardens you’re likely to see. His French home is covered floor to ceiling with foliage that has grown into a veritable vertical jungle over the last 25 years.

A Single Day on the London Tube Condensed Into a 2-minute Visualization

Everyday an average of 3.5 million people ride the London tube. Where is everyone going, and when are the busiest times? Developer Will Gallia was curious to see it visualized, so he gathered a day’s worth of data and created a timelapse visualization. 

Is This the Most Amazing “Save The Date” Video Ever?

Some people call Tyler MacNiven the most interesting young man living in San Francisco. He has walked the length of Japan in search of the birthplace of his father, wrestled 100 worthy opponents in Mongolia, run across the country of Iran for peace, and even won the Amazing Race. Yet through all the adventures, the grandest of all might be his love for Kelly Hennigan, his bride to be.

Could You Live in an Internet Cafe? Japan’s “Cyber Homeless” Do

The cities in Japan can be challenging to live in. If you are not making a full-time salary, which typically involves long hours and high stress, then you are a temporary worker, which basically means you are on a short-term contract and making half as much as a “salary man.” With such low wages and rising rental costs, it’s tough to make rent.