AK-47 – The Gun that Changed the World

The Colt Single Action Army holds a place in history as “The Gun That Won the West”. The combination of reliability and power enabled the American settlers in the West to bring law an order to a wild, dangerous place.

Since then the only other gun with that kind of distinction is the AK-47. Ranking #26 on Businessweek’s The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History, the AK-47 brought tremendous firepower and reliability at a low cost to both freedom fighter and government thug.

The Low-Tech Gun That Changed Everything

26_politics_ak50_970…the strangest irony of all, given that it was produced by the Soviet Union, which could barely design a toaster: It almost never breaks. AKs made in the early 1950s are still in use in Afghanistan in the 21st century.

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Why Occupy Supporters Should Hate Uber

I have a cousin who is a emphatic Occupy supporter. He is constantly discussing why companies that want to profit are bad and minimum wage and other government regulations are good.

Today he shared a post about Uber. His Brother-in-law (who I suspect also slants liberal) is driving for them.

Uber is a wonderful service. If you aren’t familiar, Uber is a ridesharing company that uses the Internet and mobile apps to let people use their personal cars and drive others around. It’s a great opportunity for individuals who want to make a little extra cash and a great service that’s probably cheaper and more accessible than a taxi. Brilliant idea.

The thing is, Uber is completely capitalist and flies in the face of years of government regulation of the transportation industry. Taxi drivers have unionized and helped passed laws to protect their artificially inflated wages. The government has adopted these laws and transportation is one of the most highly regulated sectors of American industry.

This makes Uber the EXACT OPPOSITE of what every democrat, liberal, socialist or Occupy supporter wants! It is a total libertarian/conservative/tea party idea. Power to the people, no government regulation, freedom to do what you want with your car and your time.

Anyone who is liberal and loves Uber must either reconsider their position on Uber classic car insurance UK or reconsider their politics because they don’t mix.

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What $9k Dome Home Would Cost in America

Thai-Dome-Home-by-Steve-Areen-04It’s been all over Facebook. A guy named Steve Areen in Thailand built a “dome home” for about $9,000 in six weeks. Everyone is raving about how cheap, awesome and sustainable it is.

Why Can’t We Build Like This in America?

Steve’s house was cheap for a few reasons. He got the land for free, he’s in Thailand where materials are cheaper, Thailand doesn’t have the government regulation we have, Thailand has a tropical climate, he was able to do the work himself and not hire expensive skilled labor and finally the house is small with only two rooms and no garage. Steve is currently working on acquiring some land in Oregon to try and build another house. It will be interesting to see what kind of costs are involved there.

What Would This House Cost in Colorado

I’m in Colorado, and this is the area I know the most about, so here are some rough estimates of what the house would cost in Colorado just to pass inspection for occupancy.

Lot The best lot price I found in the area was $12,500 with water and sewer taps. That’s probably the cheapest you could get buy. There were some unimproved lots out on the prairie for $10,000, but they had a $9,500 water tap fee with them.

Foundation The dome home doesn’t appear to have any kind of foundation. That wouldn’t be legal here. You need soil testing and footers poured at a minimum. Probably another $10,000.

Permit Permits vary by city or county and by value of the dwelling. We are up to about $30k already and will top out above that. Looking at Weld County fees with Road Impact and Facility Impact fees, the total is going to be at least $3,600, over 1/3 of Steve’s original cost.

HVAC Code is going to require certain insulation values for construction materials and windows. Colorado also gets cold in the winter, so some kind of heating system will be required. Steve’s structure didn’t look like it had any heating or cooling. We should probably add another $10,000 for that.

Safety Steve’s rooftop patio, while awesome, wouldn’t meed any kind of US building codes. No railing on the stairs, no railing around the patios. Thatch roof construction could easily catch fire. There are multiple safety regulations that would need to be considered. Let’s budget another $10,000 for that.

HOA Requirements In Colorado all new subdivisions have to have an HOA. Most existing HOAs wouldn’t allow something like this house. Most HOAs specify that houses would have to include a garage or be a certain size. It’s hard to put a number on this, and it’s possible you might be able to find a lot without an HOA, but for large scale adoption of this type of construction it would be very difficult to abide by all the rules set by your neighbors.

Total House Costs

So to total it up:

Lot: $15,000
Foundation: $10,000
Permit: $3,500
HVAC: $10,000
Code Compliance: $10,000
Original cost: $9,000

Estimated Total: $57,500

These are only rough numbers, and you now have a house with no garage for your car and a location out in the middle of nowhere so you will need that car pretty badly. Building it in a city where you could actually walk to work and the grocery store and not need a care would likely cost $20k more, if you were allowed to build it at all.

$9k homes are amazing, but the same building would cost 8x as much or more here in Colorado, primarily due to the large number of rules we have created for ourselves. There are still places in this country that have more relaxed rules and allow for tiny homes, but for most of us we are better of with more standard construction.

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Best Financial Advice Ever

Great article with some great financial advice from some very successful people.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-financial-advice-ever-got-231000077.html

The best one was Scott Adams.

Scott Adams, creator of ‘Dilbert’ and author of ‘How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big’

The best financial advice I ever got was “Price yourself high and see what happens.” Humans aren’t good at knowing their market value. When I started doing paid speaking engagements I had no idea how to price myself. A mentor told me to quote an absurdly high price. The client accepted it without hesitation and offered to pay my travel expenses as well. I no longer underprice myself.

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