See 8 photos of the floating house that could save lives someday.

The world's sea levels are rising, so this architect built a floating house.

News flash: Our sea levels are rising at an unprecedented rate, and low-lying cities are already ankle-deep in the effects.

Case in point: Venice, Italy.


Photo by Chris Chabot/Flickr.

While levees and drainage channels may help in the short term, a long-term solution will likely involve some major changes to our habitats.

Thankfully, there are architects like Matthew Butcher who have been thinking about this issue for years.

Unlike other architects, most of whom are looking for ways to combat rising sea levels, Butcher has taken a different approach: working with the rising seas.

He believes that adapting to our changing environment is perhaps the only way we’ll survive.

That's why he built a floating house.

Photo by Brotherton-Lock, used with permission.

Pretty cool, right? Here’s how he came up with the idea:

“For the last 10 years, I have been exploring architectures that might exist within a flood-prone environment. At the core of this is an exploration around the relationship our buildings form to the environment and how they negotiate the differential between an inside and outside condition,” Butcher told Upworthy.

Butcher is a professor at the University College London's Bartlett School of Architecture and co-founder of the architecture practice Post-Works.

He’s been exploring architectural concepts on paper that respond to flooding landscapes for years, but thanks to a commission from Radical Essex, a year-long architecture program, one of his text-based projects became a reality.

This is what his floating house idea originally looked like in its infancy:

Photo via Matthew Butcher, used with permission.

And here's a more advanced version:

Photo via Matthew Butcher, used with permission.

Since April 18, 2016, locals have seen the Flood House, as it was appropriately christened, bobbing along in the Thames Estuary.

While the design is quite modern, Butcher took a great deal of his inspiration from the surrounding water-based community.

“The house references the fishing huts, concrete bunkers, the marine infrastructures and the industrial structures along the East Essex coastline. I have come to understand these structures as a kind of Estuary Vernacular, of which I have tried to make the Flood House respond,” he told Upworthy.

Photo via Brotherton-Lock, used with permission.

But don’t let the fancy exterior fool you. Inside, the house is stark.

That, too, is purposeful. The interior is basically a shelter from the elements, and nothing more. The house is not meant to help us live the comfortable lives to which we’ve become accustomed, but rather to survive if continuous flooding forces us to become completely nomadic.

And you thought "Waterworld" was just a movie.

Photo via Brotherton-Lock, used with permission.

“Life in the Flood House would have to be very simple, almost primitive. There is no access to electricity or running water,” Butcher explained.

And yes, these utilities might be implemented if this prototype were to ever become a real, functional house. But for now, Butcher said, it’s simply meant to demonstrate how architecture could cater more to an environment that’s literally ebbing and flowing.

The house does, however, possess one fancy ornament.

It's a weather vane with the word "Level" written on it, commissioned for the house by artist Ruth Ewan.

Photo via Brotherton-Lock, used with permission.

According to a press release, the title of the work was taken from a speech by the 14th-century priest and political activist John Ball and refers to the concept of social equality as well as the rise and fall of the tides.

Butcher hopes the Flood House will help other architects realize that the way they're currently building isn't about working with our surroundings, but against them.

“We continue to construct buildings to be these things that are at great cost to the environment. We seal our houses up from the weather, heating and cooling them mechanically," Butcher said.

"This puts massive pressure on natural resources used in supplying the energy for these operations. The Flood House instead presents the idea of a nomadic architecture that is subservient to the environment in which it exists. It rises and falls with the tide and travels with the currents.”

He says this isn't meant to be seen as a solution, but rather a warning that it could be our future if we don’t start reevaluating the way we live and adapt.

Photo via Brotherton-Lock, used with permission.

Rising sea levels are our reality now.

So considerable changes in how we interact with the seas must be made as we sail further into the uncharted waters of the 21st century.

Photo via Brotherton-Lock, used with permission.

Thanks to innovative thinkers like Butcher, constructive conversations about how we'll survive are already underway.

Heroes
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family