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Heroes

Elon Musk's energy company is making glass shingles that double as solar panels.

We all know the feeling. Looking at your energy bill can be a lot like this:

How the heck did I use $30,000 worth of electricity? Was it all my Tesla coils? Photo from iStock.

Electricity is expensive. Renewable energy could help, but the technology has its hurdles to overcome, including cost, availability, and infrastructure.


There's also another psychological barb: A lot of renewable energy tech is kind of goofy-looking.

So Elon Musk has a new plan. He wants to make solar power super pretty.

Image from Tesla.

On Friday, Elon Musk announced that his company would make glass roofing shingles that double as solar panels.

There have been solar shingles before, but what makes Tesla's different is they're incredibly pretty. Compared to those big, bulky, blue ping-pong tables we probably normally think of, these are downright artistic. Musk hopes by making the panels visually attractive, they'll entice more homeowners to add them to their roofs.

They showed off four different types of tiles: terra cotta, slate, textured glass, and smooth glass.

They work like thousands of little solar panels all hooked together.

Image from Tesla.

They're basically mini-solar cells covered in a durable glass coating that will protect them from the elements. They can be designed to match different shapes and styles to fit the house.

The shingles will likely be out of reach for most homeowners at first. Tesla hasn't announced a price, but a similar product by Dow costs about $20,000 for a small patch of 350 shingles. Tesla's websitedoes suggest that with the lower utility bills they'd end up paying for themselves, however, and government incentives could help too.

All that said, for now, they'll probably be similar to Tesla's first electric cars — a cool device for people who are really into new technology. But they could end up becoming more popular: Think of all the people driving electric cars now. And we have seen solar power in general get massively cheaper in the last few years, a trend that is likely to continue.

This is a neat example of how renewables could end up integrated into everyday life.

Right now we depend on just a few huge power plants, but in the future inventions like this — combined with more affordable energy storage options — could turn our homes, offices, and garages into mini power plants.

This could not only help us transition away from fossil fuels and toward more green energy, it could also be a lot cheaper and make the market more dynamic.

Which would probably make everyone more like this:

FEED ME ELECTRICITY, SUN, MNOM MNOM MNOM MNOM MNOM. Photo from iStock.

It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.

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Science

Should we wear shoes in the house? Experts weigh in and turns out we should stop immediately.

It's a common practice in the west that may be grosser than we realize.

Experts seem to agree that shoes shouldn't be worn inside

Growing up nearly everyone knew of one house that didn't allow people to wear shoes inside. It didn't matter if you accidentally wore your socks with the hole in them, there were no exceptions–shoes off. For many folks it was just seen as a quirk for that particular family and there wasn't much thought given into why they were adamant about enforcing the rule.

But it turns out that wearing shoes inside is more of a western culture thing than a global one, which makes Americans a minority in keeping outside shoes on while inside the house. It would seem that other countries may have had a bit more of an understanding on why it's a bad idea to wear shoes inside.

Common sense tells us that wearing shoes inside means you'll be sweeping and mopping more often than you'd like. Of course you track in dirt but there are apparently hundreds of bacteria and fungi that you're tracking in that can cause your family to get sick.

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A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

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Photos by Daniela on Unsplash (left) and Rens D on Unsplash (right)

Peeling garlic is notoriously challenging.

If you ever cook with fresh garlic, you know what a challenge it can be to remove the cloves from the skin cleanly, especially if you're starting with a full head.

There are various methods people use to peel garlic, with varying levels of success. Doing it by hand works, but will leave you with garlic-smelling fingertips for the better part of a day. Whacking the head on the counter helps separate the cloves from each other, but doesn't help much with removing the skin.

Some people swear by vigorously shaking the skinned cloves around in a covered bowl or jarred lid, which can be surprisingly effective. Some smash the clove with the flat side of a knife to loosen it and then pull it off. Others utilize a rubber roller to de-skin the cloves.

But none of these methods come close to the satisfaction of watching someone perfectly peeling an entire head of garlic with a pair of tongs.

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Modern Families

‘Hard pill to swallow’: Mom shares why some adult children don’t talk to their parents

"How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

Parent and child deal with the pain of estrangement.

Even though humans are biologically hard-wired to form strong attachments to our parents, in many cases, these relationships become estranged as the children age. A recent poll found that nearly 1 in 4 adults are estranged from their families.

Six percent are estranged from their mothers and 26% have no contact with their fathers. It’s believed that these days, more children are comfortable distancing themselves from their parents because it’s good for their mental health.

“I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships,” Rin Reczek, a sociology professor at the Ohio State University, said, according to The Hill. “There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family.”

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Pop Culture

Loretta Lynn's granddaughter wows 'American Idol' judges with raw original song

Emmy Russell's original song "Skinny," featuring lyrics about body image and eating disorders, nearly brought everyone to tears.

America Idol/Youtube, Promotional image of Loretta Lynn/Wikipedia

Emmy Russell (left) and her grandmother Loretta Lynn (right)

Emmy Russell, granddaughter of country music icon Loretta Lynn, proved that she was an artist in her own right during a recent episode of “American Idol.”

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Nashville auditioned in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan during the show's Feb. 25 episode, during which she opened up about wanting to not live in her grandmother’s shadow.

"She's one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she's just Grandma," she said, adding "I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice. That's why I want to challenge myself and come out here."

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