This $4.5M Maryland Mansion has a miniature cobblestone Main Street in the basement

Located in Potomac, Maryland, this 7 bedroom home with 8 full baths and 3 half baths comes with 4 acres of property including a tennis court, a heated pool, and a miniature town in the basement. And it could all be yours for just $4.5 million!

Looks nice, right?


Here's the official listing:

A unique, first time offering of a magnificent, gated estate on four acres featuring 7 bedrooms/8 baths in the Main house, a two bedroom/1 bath guest house with full kitchen, and a pool house with full kitchen and bath. Also on the property is a lighted, newly resurfaced tennis court and heated pool. The four acres is already divided into two separate parcels. A driveway can be added to access the guest house for a private entrance. Opportunity to purchase 2 acre parcel next door for a total of 6 acres.

But once you've scrolled through 54 photos (talk about burying the lede), you come across this:

The listing boasts 15 storefront facades, though it doesn't mention this creepy Stan Lee wannabe on the motorcylce:

The town also comes with "real working parked cars." I'm not sure if that means they "work" at being parked, or if you can drive them out of the town, or if there's even an escape route from this strange place.

11610 Highland Farm Road, Potomac Maryland

Very serious novel includes Nintendo fantasy ingredients in dye recipe

John Boyne is famous as the author of the holocaust fable The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, but his latest work is A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom, a generation-spanning history mystery in the vein of Cloud Atlas.

In one scene, a recipe for red dye is described:

"The dyes that I used in my dressmaking were composed from various ingredients ... almost all required nightshade, sapphire, keese wing, the leaves of the silence princess plant, Octorok eyeball... For the red I had used for Abrila's dress, I employed spicy pepper, the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms."

These are recipes from the Nintendo game Breath of the Wild, a sprawling open-world adventure featuring the company's house elf Link and a roster of fabulous fauna and fauna.

Dana Schwartz was among the first to notice, quoting a pseudonymous redditor and quickly figuring out how Boyne found his way to the bizarre concoction.

Boyne is taking it well...

... but perhaps got a shade shirtier ("I'm trying to block the entire thing from my mind.") as the thread took off.

Boyne's "first google result" research habits are not unknown to literary critics and have gotten him in more trouble than this in the past.

But it's his low opinion of video games that makes this one a classic.

"I am very embarrassed for him and this is my nightmare but it’s also very funny," Schwartz wrote.

The most prolific actor in Hollywood history

CNN profiles 91-year-old James Hong, whose imdb filmography counts 439 roles, making him a top candidate as the most prolific actor in Hollywood. Hong says the true count is even higher: he's to be seen in at least 600 movies stretching back nearly 70 years.

Realizing that Hollywood wouldn't be able to provide the roles Asian Americans deserved, Hong set out to carve his own space. Along with actor Mako Iwamatsu, Hong helped organize an Asian American acting group in Los Angeles. Their first production was "Rashomon," a stage play based on two short stories written by Japanese author Ryūnosuke Akutagawa and adapted into film by Akira Kurosawa.
"That started the industry noticing who we were," Hong said. "We weren't just extras, or gimmick people. We were in a play that we organized. We were the main, lead people. We were the actors. And we commanded attention."
That acting group turned into the legendary theater group, East West Players.
"East West Players were formulated to showcase works by Asians, who wrote the play, who designed the stage, who act in the play," Hong said. "It was all done by Asian people, professional people."

Get yer seized Fyre Festival merch — straight from a U.S. Marshals auction

The summer of 2020 is the PERFECT time to auction off seized merchandise from the infamous Fyre Festival fraud. Dumpster fyres powers activate — form of t-shirts, hats, "tokens" and other shite souvenirs! Just don't expect a bargain. This merch is going for top dollar.

CNN:

The 126 minor items up for sale were seized by the federal government from Billy McFarland, the 28-year-old organizer of Fyre Festival, the 2017 event in the Bahamas that has become shorthand for scams in the age of social media.

"This Fyre Festival-branded clothing and other items that were seized from Billy McFarland were originally intended to be sold at the Fyre Festival itself but were kept by McFarland, with the intent to sell the items and use the funds to commit further criminal acts while he was on pre-trial release," US Marshal Ralph Sozio said in a press release.

"The proceeds from the sale of these items, all traceable to McFarland's $26 million fraud, will go toward the victims of his crimes," he said.

(CNN)

image via Gaston&Sheehan

These architectural building kits are going to become your new obsession

Building blocks are among a child’s first, and arguably, most important, toys. Once they start stacking one tentatively on top of another, the blocks not only spark waves of creativity, but actual real-world understanding of scientific principles like engineering and physics. It wouldn’t even be a stretch to call blocks on of the first true STEM toys.

Of course, the wonder of blocks never really goes away as through adolescence and even into adulthood, constructing models and other miniatures is an engaging and even soothing pastime for many. 

Architect Damien Murtagh definitely still feels that desire, even going so far as pioneering an entire modular building system so users can create their own scale model homes and buildings. Thus were born the Arckits, various building sets that can help children and adults develop fundamental design skills and spontaneous creativity through actual hands-on model building with no cutting, glue or other messes.

Little Architect Kids Model City Building Kit, 130+ pcs. - $44 after code

This kid-friendly set starts with 32 unique pastel-colored components to start creating skyscrapers, roads, parks and more, each unlocking the fundamentals of architecture. The Little Architect kit also includes a starter guide to create some step-by-step builds — or just wing it and fashion a cityscape of your very own. By using the code BUILDINGKIT5 at checkout, you can save $5.99 off the regular price.

Go Colors 2.0 Architect Scale Model House Building Kit for Kids, 160+ pcs. - $53 after code

Go Plus 2.0 Kids Architect Scale Model House Building Kit, 160+ pcs. - $53 after code

These sets are also great for kids, including large floor plates and easy “click and connect” pieces to create model homes that could actually get built one day. Either follow the guides to build several pre-constructed home models or just take the pieces and make something completely new. You can also save $6.99 off your purchase of either kit by entering the code HOUSEKIT6.

ArckitPLAY Cityscape Architect Building Kit for Kids, 160+ pcs. - $52 after code

Time to take things up a notch, as this time, you construct your own modern mini-town or city. Why just be an architect when you can be the entire city planner? With a mix of white block structures and pastel-colored toppers, you can create physical communities that could fit in anywhere in the world. Right now, you can save $17.99 off the price by using the CITY17 code at checkout.

ARCKIT Architectural Scale Model Building Kit, 230+ pcs. - $89.99 after code

Yep, here’s where things get more serious with professional-grade design tools that would be right at home in the hands of an architect. Yet this set works off the principle as the kid-friendly sets, allowing you to quickly assemble, modify and apply finishing touches to an amazing scale model home. The price comes down to just $89.99 when you use the SCALE9 code during your purchase. 

Arckit Multi-Stadium Model Building Kit, 235+ pcs. - $137.99 after code

Here it is, the biggest challenge of all. With either of Arckit’s two sports packages, you’ll get all the components to build a perfect-to-scale sports stadium. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, you name it — with all needed templates, you can assemble your own perfect sports cathedral or follow the plans to recreate one of your favorites. When you enter the code STADIUM12 at checkout, you’ll save $12 off the total.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

This expert-led training can help you figure out how to work in any environment

Time management and self-motivation, the ability to stay on task and achieve in the office or when you’re working with home, is the true test of any person’s professional mettle. While that’s easier said than done, those skills can be taught and developed as you’ll find in The 2020 Work From Anywhere Hacker Bundle.

The collection brings together seven courses covering nearly 100 hours of material aimed at maximizing your abilities in core personal skills like time management, working remotely, writing, and more.

With courses like Time Management, Learn How to Get Stuff Done and 10 Soft Skills You Need, you’ll develop the skills that will enhance your productivity and efficiency, no matter where you’re working. The training will help you devise a personalized productivity plan to get your life in balance while you develop the people skills, communication, attitudes, and social and emotional intelligence to chart your own destiny professionally and personally.

With Critical Thinking and Communication Strategies, you’ll develop key innovations using analytical thought systems and creative thinking techniques to further your goals. With all that in place, Learn Advanced Writing Skills and Building an Online Business can help further sharpen your vision, push your goals forward and maybe even strike out on your own as a self-made, self-driven web entrepreneur of your own.

The training is regularly a $199 package, but right now, the entire path to understanding and working smart is available for only $29.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

 

The 2020 Work From Anywhere Hacker Bundle - $29.99

Get it now for $29.99

This dual Bluetooth speaker set is twice the power at less than half the price

It’s easy to be instantly dismissive about most Bluetooth speakers, especially small travel-sized units. Over the past few years, makers of every shape, size, and variety have started pounding out Bluetooth speakers, many barely able to sound much better than your smartphone speaker, let alone provide the bass and volume heft of legitimate portable speakers from name brands like Bose or Sony.

But buyers of the Earhoox Dual Bluetooth Speaker Set are usually so charmed by this cute little tandem that they don’t even realize the quality of this package until it’s blazing away on their favorite tracks.

And yes, this set includes two speakers, a pair of sound pumpers both equipped to trade-off solos and split the workload that can send lowlier speakers running. Crafted from brushed metal, PU leather and other premium materials, these six-inch powerhouses don’t look or feel like anything less than top-quality audio equipment.

Of course, it’s only after they’re synced to your smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled device that their true colors really come to the surface. Each built around a formidable double magnetic 16 core speaker with bottom passive vibration film design and enhanced bass capabilities, these units each come together to deliver their parts in a great surround sound tag team. While most portable Bluetooth speakers strain to deliver the full depth of the music, these two are perfectly synchronized partners, pounding out dynamic stereo audio separated as it should be.

With 3 watts of power and 80dB intensity, these speakers have enough juice to be serving up your music while sitting on a desk, or hanging from the handlebars of your bike while trucking through the great outdoors. 

With the Earhoox Dual Bluetooth Speaker Set routinely selling at its retail price of $69, now’s the time to load up on performance by getting both speakers now at almost two-thirds off. It’s on sale now for only $24.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

 

Dual Bluetooth Speaker Set - $24.99

Rock out for $24.99

Here's why you should consider changing your auto insurance

Did you know that you are free to change your auto insurance at any time? Maybe you do know that, but don't want to deal with the inconvenience of changing providers. Or maybe you simply already think you have a great deal.

The fact is that your car insurance is one of those expenses that should stay under constant surveillance. Company rates shift constantly, so the carrier you’ve been with forever may not be offering you the best deal anymore. 

And cost isn't the only reason to make a change. Online insurance provider Clearcover helps set you up with the best plan at the best rates available, all right from your phone, laptop, or favorite digital device. You read that right: no speaking to a soul over the phone.

And with their digital claims services, you can file a claim right through the Clearcover app immediately after an accident, expediting the process to resolve the situation and move on.

If you’re in one of the eight states that Clearcover serves (Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin — with several more to come in late 2020), all you have to do is go to the Clearcover website, enter some basic information and see what they have to offer.

As a company, Clearcover's mission is to serve low-cost premium policies with top-rated technology. So while there are no guarantees that Clearcover will beat your current provider, it’s not uncommon for new Clearcover customers to save $500 or more annually compared to their previous plans and get better coverage.

Clearcover’s growing base of customers agrees that it's worth making the change, earning them a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on sites like Google Business and Better Business Bureau, while also receiving 4.7 out of 5 stars on both their iOS and Google Play app.

Right now, you can find out what Clearcover can save you and get fully covered in minutes with a trip to their website

Restflix thinks it’s cracked the code to a good night’s sleep and is now on sale for 50% off

According to researchers, stay-at-home orders in the US and around the globe are helping those working from home grab an extra 15 minutes of sleep per night. For college students, it’s even up to 30 extra minutes each night.

Meeting your quality sleep threshold is actually one of the greatest indicators of your overall health. For those who find themselves struggling, the Restflix Restful Sleep Streaming Service might just present a path for solving those problems.

Restflix is just what it sounds like — it’s Netflix for sleep. They offer over 20 personalized video channels full of meditative music, bedtime stories, soothing sounds, and restful images to help users fall asleep faster and get a deeper, more restful sleep.

The Restflix formula centers on using binaural beats, an approach that brings together two slightly different sound frequencies that your brain interprets as a single new frequency tone.

The Restflix videos utilizing the binaural beat method can then alter the brain’s degree of arousal, with almost three out of four subjects experiencing higher levels of melatonin, the brain chemical that regulates your sleep.

Through guided meditations, bedtime stories, and peaceful and serene natural views and sounds, Restflix can reshape your sleep habits and stave off insomnia, ill-effects of sleep disorders like weight gain, memory and cognition issues, a weakened immune system, and heart disease, among others. 

Just launched last month, you can watch Restflix now on bedroom TV or mobile device via  Google Play, Roku, Apple TV, and other streaming options.

As part of their introductory rollout, you can get a full year of Restflix service for half off the regular $99 price, just $49.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

 

Restflix: Restful Sleep Streaming Service Subscriptions - $49.99

Get a good night's sleep for $49.99

Learn data analysis with this eight-course, 38-hour package of training

Businesses used to thrive on the instincts of entrepreneurs. Guile, moxie, and a conviction to trust the gut was often the driving force behind a business’s biggest successes.

Today, there’s too much on the line to leave anything to chance, including betting your future on a whim. Instead, the stat-heads have taken over, data analysts who can break down every scrap of available information, tell you what it means and give you the clearest path to success. They can’t make business a sure thing, but data analytics might just be the closest thing to a sure thing most businesses ever see.

The Exclusive Business Analysis Certification Bundle with Jeremy Achenbrenner is the training that just might help data analytics make sense to you and even put you in a position to get hired as a highly paid statistical mastermind.

This eight-course, 38-hour package of training is led by Jerry Aschenbrenner, a business analyst who’s plied his craft in a variety of industries, including everything from health care and communications to financial services, and food and beverages. Holder of a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from reviews offered by nearly 166,000 of his students, Aschenbrenner is the guide who can make the numbers clear and examine to you what to do with them to drive our business forward.

Your introduction begins with Business Analysis Fundamentals, a beginner-friendly guide to basic elements that drive any business analyst’s career. Learn what a Business Analyst does, understand the project methodology, and make the case to properly launch an impactful business project.

Next, Identify and Define the Problem with Business Analysis shows students how to properly identify the root causes of a problem before instinctively reaching for a solution, while Conduct a Strategy Analysis Using Business Analysis walks you through a five-step system for deciding which strategy can lead to that solution with the lowest potential risk.

Process Flowcharts and Advanced Process Flowcharts examines how to create practical process maps and process flowcharts that help you get to the heart of organizational issues, at the same time that it enables you to diagram even the most difficult business processes with intuitive, easy-to-understand flowcharts. 

Meanwhile, Plan the Project as a Business Analyst is where the theoretical meets the reality as students learn the project management techniques to put together a robust step-by-step plan that will not only lead to success but also save the organization both time and money.

Finally, Agile Fundamentals 2020: Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban digs into the Agile project management method; and User Story Masterclass: Your In-Depth Guide to User Stories looks at case studies called user stories, outlining how to frame those stories effectively to reach to the heart of each stakeholder’s need and address their issues.

Each course in this bundle is a $199 value on its own, but as part of this collection, all this training is available now for just $34.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

 

The Exclusive Business Analysis Certification Bundle with Jeremy Aschenbrenner - $34.99

Crunch the numbers for $34.99

Here’s a startlingly simple way to keep house painting from becoming a huge mess

We’ve all dealt with paint cans — and keeping all those metal buckets full of sloshing paint from turning into a giant mess is pretty close to impossible. But you stand a better chance of finishing your project without the entire room looking like a Jackson Pollock painting with the help of the ingeniously simple Grip Drips Paint Can Rim Cover.

The Grip Drips is a low-density polyethylene ring that easily slips over the rim of any standard open U.S. one gallon paint can.

The ring’s primary job is a simple one, keeping the rim of the can from filling with paint. That protection not only helps keep paint from dripping around the edges of the can, but more importantly, maintains a clean-edged seal when the lid is replaced, ensuring your paint remains fresh, secure, and untainted until the can is reopened.

With the Grip Drips in place, you can get a better handle on a full can while still being able to easily pour paint from the can into a pan or use it as a firm edge to help scrape excess paint off your brush. 

And while figuring out where to set your brush down always turns into an issue when it’s loaded with paint, the Grip Drips also features a magnetic brush holder that snaps on and holds your brush in place for a moment without leaving a mess behind.

Once you’re done painting, the Grip Drips slips right off and the acetone-free ring can be washed with simple soap and water so it’s always ready for your next painting project.

Right now, you can save $1 off a two-pack of Grip Drips Paint Can Rim Covers with this offer, on sale for only $17.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

 

Grip Drips Paint Can Rim Cover with Magnetic Brush Holder - $17.99

Keep it clean for $17.99

This is how you keep your energy costs under control

According to the World Energy Council, the typical American home slurps down about 11,700 kWh of electricity per year. That’s over three times the average global household consumption, far outdistancing  from France (6,400 kWh), the UK (4,600 kWh), and China (1,300 kWh).

Somebody’s gotta pay for all that power -- and often, it’s you, our dear American Homeowner. And with summer here, economic uncertainty, and the need to cut costs more critical than ever, those monthly power bills can be pricey.

But what many homeowners and renters don’t realize is that in several states, you actually have some real control over how much you spend for energy -- and even how that power is produced.

Arcadia is your weapon for leveling the playing field. It's a technology platform that matches your energy use to renewable energy sources like solar and wind. It even helps those states with open power markets look for better energy rates that can save you money on your monthly power costs while helping to save the planet. And unlike solar installation or other green energy routes, no one needs to come to your home. It all works through your existing power bill, so you don’t even need to call your power company.

After opening your free Arcadia account and linking your current power provider, just enter your ZIP code and Arcadia will show you what clean energy options are available in your area. That could include matching your power usage with wind energy, looking for a better energy rate, or joining a nearby community solar project. You choose your plan, and Arcadia gets to work to put more clean energy into the electric grid.

Arcadia is also a one-stop-shop for your monthly payments as well -- you add a payment method to your account and Arcadia pays your monthly power bill automatically. You never have to worry about missing a payment, and Arcadia lets you pay by credit card with no fees. So go ahead and earn those points! You don’t even have to change your utility company -- Arcadia handles the complete changeover for you.

Of course, in addition to the potential of saving you money, you’re also taking a proactive step toward encouraging the creation of renewable energy. That gives those sources more sway with your public utility to provide larger and larger portions of your community’s entire power needs. Arcadia even offers a dashboard to track your carbon footprint as well as your savings every month. It's the easiest way possible to start using renewable energy. 

When you sign up for a no-cost Arcadia account, they’ll even send you a free $20 Amazon gift card for joining. 

Prices are subject to change.

Alt-ending to Shel Silverstein's 'The Giving Tree': Tree sets boundaries

The tree sets some much-needed boundaries with the boy in this spot-on alternate ending to Shel Silverstein's kid's book, The Giving Tree. The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries is the work of playwright/screenwriter Topher Payne and it's part of his "fixed it" series:

Just read "The Giving Tree" as usual, right up to the point where the Boy comes hustling for a house. Then feel free to print these pages and paste them over everything that follows.

(Also look at how he hilariously fixed The Rainbow Fish.)

images via Topher Payne

(Digg)

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