An inside peek at The Hustle

July 13, 2020

The latest tiny home? A $50k prefab shipping container. What it lacks in space, it makes up for in environmentally friendly features.
July 13, 2020
The Hustle

There’s been a (small) mutiny. The Hustle’s editor, Nick, is on vacation. And that means — for a few glorious days — the staff writers are unchaperoned. 

So, we’re trying some new stuff. If you like it, hit big ol’ smiley at the bottom. If you don’t… we swear our editor will be back soon.

— Caroline and Michael, Staff Writers

The Big Idea

Holy shi — pping containers! Look at these tiny houses

Caroline: I love real estate for the same reasons I love sports. It’s cut-throat competitive and completely unpredictable. And just like I don’t play sports, I like to stay out of the real estate scrum: I’d much rather watch someone else house hunt than do it myself. Lucky for me, Michael is on the market for an apartment.

Michael: I’d be lying if I said this story about VMD, a startup that converts shipping containers into 1- and 2-bedroom houses, didn’t move me at least slightly. Those shipping containers are each 4x the size of the NYC apartments I’ve looked at. 

Caroline: And cheaper. A basic model starts at $49k, and it ticks off a lot of boxes on my “green dream house” bucket list, with solar panels, rainwater tanks, and more. 

Michael: People have had it with their family talking over their Zoom calls. I just read that Atlanta’s seeing a 150% bump in backyard tiny house construction.

Caroline: One of my friends just built one. She calls it her “she-shed.” She goes there to get work done while her husband wrangles their wild children.

Michael: We should buy one of these and expense it to The Hustle. Think Sam would notice? 

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☄ The zero-gravity doctor will see you now. The Conversation considers a dilemma for the not-so-distant future: How will we conduct surgery in space? Read on for floating intestines, 3D-printed medical tools, and the delightful job title “surgeonaut.” 

🍹 A devastating sign of the times: For the last 20 years, 7-Eleven has held a free Slurpee promotion on its namesake day, July 11. This past Saturday, however, National Free Slurpee Day was canceled. 

🥃  An elegy to moonshine. “Mountain people are action seekers. They live episodically and they live for adventure. Moonshining is for some of them the ultimate adventure.”

🔧  Welcome to the “grey-market” of ventilator repairs. To beat the shortage, DIY technicians are buying old ventilators on eBay, fixing them up, and shipping them off to hospitals.  

🎥  Remember Waterworld, the bizarre Kevin-Costner-led film that dramatized a global warming future? It was a flop in the US, but its overseas success quietly changed how Hollywood thinks about the world box office. 

Internship, schminternship

With millions laid off, teens find jobs in unusual places

Job prospects for high school and college students are in the toilet right now — only 23% of 16-to-19-year-olds will work this summer — but a few cities and states are embarking on a massive summer hiring spree. 

Teens and 20-somethings in Connecticut, Maryland, and Chicago are about to become part of the official COVID-19 response

They’re monitoring public spaces for social distancing, checking in with at-risk populations, and promoting safe health practices like mask wearing on social media.

Are we in for an explosion of public health TikToks? 

I sure hope so. But localities are also hiring teens for more than just their Savage dance savvy.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, “Covid Corps” tasks include distributing meals to food-insecure families and giving tech tutorials to older people. 

Didn’t get your Covid Corps draft card? 

No worries: some kids are finding their own side hustles, like the Texas 13- year-old with a LEGO rental service.

Which made us wonder: What are other creative ways kids are making money this summer? We’re talking DJing-for-an-Animal-Crossing-party type of weird.  

If you’re a middle school, high school, or college student — or you know one who is up to something interesting — please tell us here. We’ll highlight the most interesting stories.

(And if you’re in the Covid Corps and have more to say about it, please email me directly: [email protected].) 

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No Sweat

Can you get the benefits of exercise without the burn?

Science says maybe.

Turns out, exercise is good for the muscles and the mind. As Psychology Today reports, there’s a special protein that seems to make it all work.

Dude, I’m going to eat a thousand steaks

Easy, tiger. Not that kind of protein.

Produced in the liver, GPLD1 hits the bloodstream after you do cardio. This protein appears to trigger new neurons to form in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory and learning.

So scientists wondered if increasing the amount of this protein in the body could counteract the effects of aging on the brain. To find out, they gave a group of older “couch potato mice” transfusions of GPLD1.

These mice showed an improvement in cognitive function that mimicked that of mice that took a spin on an exercise wheel. 

I’ll have what they’re having

Not for a while, you won’t. There’s still a lot more research that needs to happen before Big Pharma gets the go-ahead to give us magic exercise pills. 

Until then, see you at the HITT studio.

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Hustle Hot Takes

Elon Musk’s ‘short shorts’ are the perfect meme

Elon Musk recently announced a limited edition release of Tesla “short shorts.” Tesla’s stock ($TSLA) gained nearly 30% in the trading week that followed, helping Musk surpass Warren Buffett in the billionaire rankings.  

Based on rigorous quantitative research, our Trends analyst Trung Phan found that $TSLA stock has climbed in the first trading day after each of Musk’s absurd merch drops (*correlation is not blah blah blah*).

Tweet image

The Tesla “short shorts” is a culmination of many of Musk’s greatest hits:

  • Hilarious merch drops (e.g., flamethrower, Boring Hat)
  • Trolling short sellers
  • Tesla car models spelling “sexy” (S3XY)
  • The number 420
  • The number 69

The second episode of Hustle Hot Takes explains why this is the perfect meme and — in honor of Musk’s meme-ing genius — the video is exactly 489 seconds long (420 + 69). 

Watch →
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This Swedish company’s newest watch just dropped, and it’s making a statement.   


What a wonderfully ironic way to describe a watch… but take one look at Daniel Wellington’s Iconic Link Lumine, and you’ll quickly realize how true it is.

With a two-tone link bracelet and Swarovski crystals on the dial, the Iconic Link Lumine takes all the things you love about a Daniel Wellington watch — handcrafted Swedish design and premium-quality materials — and raises them to a whole new, utterly-timeless level. 

Don’t call it an accessory. It’s more like the star of the show.

Make a statement →

“Noise cancelling headphones for the internet”

That’s how 250k of Shane Parrish’s subscribers describe his weekly newsletter. 

Shane is the founder of Farnam Street, amongst the most loved blogs on the internet. Farnam Street focuses on the one thing that changes everything: sharpening your mind. Instead of teaching you what to think, Shane teaches you how to think… allowing you to make better decisions, operate more effectively, and live a more fulfilling life. 

Shane has interviewed Naval, Jason Fried, Annie Duke, Howard Marks, Ben Thompson, Patrick Collison, Adam Grant, Ryan Holiday, and many more on his podcast, The Knowledge Project. But this week, we’re flipping the script and bringing in Shane for our own 45-minute Q&A. No longer, no shorter. Come prepared with your questions!

Join us on Thursday 7/16, at 3pm ET (12pm PT).

Grab your spot →
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