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This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

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This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

When Sarah Goer and her husband discovered a disused storage space attached to their son's room, they decided to convert it into a Secret Treasure Room. For years, they concealed the room's entrance with a dresser, waiting for the perfect moment – their son's fourth birthday – to reveal its existence. Here, Sarah describes how the Secret Treasure Room came to be.

When we bought our house two years ago The Boy was not quite 2 years old. The room that was to be his had a storage room attached to it. Our roof pitch is really steep next to his room, so it forms a triangular room 7 feet by 12 feet. The door is about 2 feet by 4 feet.

The storage room, aka "The Secret Room" had an old linoleum floor, a light with a switch, some wood paneling and some exposed insulation. At the time it was certainly not fit for the kids to use. And we didn't figure a 2-year-old needed an extra room, but we agreed it would make an awesome surprise for The Boy at some point. So the dresser was parked in front of the door and The Boy had no idea for over two years! Here's a peek at the before:

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

A view inside the unfinished Secret Treasure Room. Note the stodgy linoleum and exposed insulation

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

Above: On the left, the "ceiling" of the unfinished Secret Treasure Room; at right; a lengthwise view of the space, with exposed insulation

Sometime after his 3rd birthday we decided that The Secret Room would be his 4th birthday present. This meant getting it fixed up. We had our contractor, Steve, come work on it only during the hours that The Boy was at school. And I started talking excitedly about the project to friends and family. A lot of people were in on the secret. (Luckily, we never blew it before the big reveal on his birthday last month.) Steve ripped out the linoleum and wood paneling, then installed new drywall, wood laminate flooring, base molding and put on a fresh coat of paint. I decided to have him paint an accent wall, using a darker shade of the paint in The Boy's bedroom. Steve also installed a proper light fixture.

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

Then I got to work on decorating the space. Most of it was from Ikea or found around the house. I got a white Kritter table and two chairs to provide space for drawing, writing and small craft projects. I added a Bekvam spice rack, also from Ikea, on the wall to hold writing and drawing supplies, including note cards and stickers. The pencil holders on the table are two plant pots from Ikea, the same kind I use at the kids art table downstairs. I snagged the name banner that The Boy made at school to add to the wall.

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

I added the world map to the accent wall. The Boy has the US map from the Costco set in his bedroom, but I hadn't found an appropriate wall space to put up the world map anywhere yet. Similarly, I didn't have a great place for where to store dress-up clothes, so I knew I wanted to put them in The Secret Room as well. We have friends who use this Ikea box for dress-up and it was just the size to fit by the door. I added a rug from Ikea to the middle of the room and relocated a floor pillow and quilt from elsewhere in the house to provide a comfy reading area. (We've since added a backrest pillow as well.)

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

It was a hit! There was a treasure hunt around the house with clues on The Boy's birthday morning for him to find his gift. His last clue was to push on the dresser to slide it over. He needed a bit of help since it was "really, really hard." Then he could see the door. "What do you see?" I asked. "That door there," he declared.

Me: "What do you think we should do?"

The Boy: "I think we should peek inside it."

Me: "What do you think is in there?"

The Boy: "Some treasure is in there." He walked in wide eyed and asked, "where is my birthday present?"

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time

Me: "You are in your birthday present."

The Boy: "What is it?"

Me: "It is a whole room."

"A treasure room!" As he took it in he got very excited and declared that he would show it to everyone.

I gave him the tour of the room. "Oh, this is pretty cool, mother."

Then it really sank in. "A secret treasure room! I like this room so much," he jumped up and down. "Thank you father and mother."

Here he is enjoying his birthday bedtime story with dad in the secret treasure room.

This Secret Treasure Room May Be The Best Birthday Present Of All Time


This post by Sarah Goer has been republished with her permission. It originally appeared at her blog, Things I Make, where she writes:

I'm here to inspire others in their creative endeavors. I think hobbies fall into 3 categories: doing, making and collecting. I'm a maker. I sew, quilt, scrapbook, and I've recently started decorating cookies. (Even more recently I've started to dabble in computer coding.) Basically if it involves colors and shapes (and/or math), it might be a hobby for me! In the past I've knit, crocheted, done book binding and paper marbling… the list goes on.

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xmichelo
3590 days ago
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satadru
3594 days ago
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#parenting
New York, NY

Expensive Shoebox

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Expensive Shoebox

What would be the most expensive way to fill a size 11 shoebox (e.g. with 64 GB MicroSD cards all full of legally purchased music)?

Rick Lewis

A shoebox full of valuable stuff seems to top out at about $2 billion. Surprisingly, this turns out to be true for a wide range of possible fillings.

The MicroSD cards are a good idea. iTunes songs cost about $1 each, and MicroSD cards have a capacity of about 1.6 petabytes per gallon. A men's size 11 shoebox is about 10-15 liters, depending on the brand and type of shoe, which means it can hold up to 1.5 billion 4 MB songs (at about a dollar each). (That's about 20 times as many songs as the iTunes store offers, so you'll have to buy some of the songs more than once.)

Expensive software like Adobe®©™ Photoshop®©™ CS®™ 5™ has a slightly higher cost-to-megabyte ratio, since it retails for several hundred dollars and takes up several hundred megabytes of space. Or, at least, it used to, until Adobe moved to a cloud model.

Once you start considering software prices, you can probably crank the "cost" of things in a shoebox as high as you want by making unlimited in-app purchases. And while the resulting RPG character may technically represent the result of your spending that much money, it's hard to argue with a straight face that your character is in any sense worth a trillion dollars.

So let's think about actual objects.

There's gold, of course. 13 liters of gold is worth about $10 million as of this writing. Platinum is a little more expensive at $13 million/shoebox.[1]Not yet an SI unit, sadly. That's about 10 times the value of a shoebox full of $100 bills. On the other hand, a shoebox full of gold would weigh as much as a small horse.

There are more expensive metals. A gram of pure plutonium, for example, would cost about $5k. As a bonus, plutonium is even denser than gold, which means you could fit almost 300 kilograms of it in a shoebox.

Before you spend $3 billion on plutonium, take note: Plutonium's critical mass is about 10 kilograms. So while you could fit 300 kilograms of it in a shoebox, you could only do so briefly.

High-quality diamonds are expensive, but it's hard to get a handle on their exact price because the entire industry was built on a scam the gemstone market is complicated. One site quotes a price of over \$300,000 for a flawless 600 mg (3 carat) diamond—which means that a shoebox full of perfect-quality gem diamonds could be worth as much as \$20 billion—but \$1 or \$2 billion is more reasonable.

Many illegal drugs are, by weight, more valuable than gold. Cocaine's price varies a lot, but in many areas is in the neighborhood of $100/gram.[2]My search history after researching drug street prices would probably get me on all kinds of government watch lists, if I weren't on them all already for all the other things I've researched for this blog. Gold is currently less than half that. However, cocaine is much less dense than gold,[3]But wait—what is the density of cocaine? As usual, the Straight Dope Message Board folks are on the case; in this discussion, they consult the CRC Handbook and Merck Index, before giving up and deciding that it's probably about 1 kg/L, like most organic substances. They do, however, learn its boiling point and solubility in olive oil. so a shoebox full of cocaine would be less valuable than one of gold.

Cocaine is not the most expensive drug by weight. LSD—probably the most widely-consumed substance sold to consumers by the microgram—costs about a thousand times more than cocaine by weight. A shoebox full of pure LSD would be worth about $2.5 billion.

Some prescription drugs can be just as expensive as LSD. A single dose of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) can cost \$13,500, which—for the average patient—puts its shoebox value in the same \$2 billion range as LSD, plutonium, and MicroSD cards. Other drugs are even more expensive.

Of course, you could always put shoes in the shoebox.

Judy Garland's shoes from The Wizard of Oz sold at auction for $666,000, and—unlike the other things we've considered—may have, at one point, actually been placed in a shoebox.

If you really want to fill a shoebox with an arbitrarily large amount of money, you could get the US Treasury to mint you a trillion-dollar platinum coin.

But if you're open to leveraging our monetary system's legal authority to impart value into an arbitrary inanimate object ...

... you could just write a check.

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xmichelo
3590 days ago
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Skotte
3571 days ago
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Printing that check, and cashing it in immediately! He even signed it!!
Rochester, Earth
dc3
3592 days ago
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Great
Carlsbad, CA

Bill Murray Crashes Couple’s Engagement Shoot in South Carolina

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murray1

What started as a standard engagement shoot in downtown Charleston, SC turned into anything but for photographer Raheel Gauba of Fia Forever Photography.

Midway through what was turning out to be a beautiful shoot with soon-to-be-married couple Ashley Donald and Erik Rogers, the two lovebirds all of a sudden started staring past the camera as if they had seen a ghost. As it turns out they had seen a ghost… well, a Ghostbuster anyway.

When Gauba turned around to see what they were staring at, he saw none other than “[Bill] Murray standing there with his shirt pulled up and belly proudly on display which he is patting pretty loudly in an attempt to make the couple laugh.”

Needless to say I was stunned and I invited Mr. Murray to join the couple for a quick shot — He obliged and congratulated them and went on his way… leaving behind an extremely happy couple and this photo that will be forever remembered by this couple (and us!!!).

Gauba posted the shot to the Fia Forever Facebook page on Tuesday, and since then it’s gone viral as everyone from The Huffington Post to the NY Daily News picked it up to show off this fun moment of serendipity.


Image credits: Photograph by Raheel Gauba/Fia Forever Photography and used with permission

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xmichelo
3655 days ago
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Sneak Peek: A Useful Focus Selection Tool is Coming to Photoshop CC on June 18th

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A couple of weeks ago, we told you to mark June 18th on your calendars, because Adobe would be revealing “the next evolution of Creative Cloud.” Well, we’re still a few days away from the fateful keynote, but Adobe has given us a little teaser, showing us just one of the features that the Photoshop team has been working on for this major update.

They’ve dubbed the new feature “focus masks,” and it’s a new automatic selection tool that uses focus to determine what to select and what to leave out.

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 9.11.24 AM

From the demo, it looks to be a pretty powerful tool that will definitely come in handy for photographers. Simply open your image, go to the Select drop-down, and hit Focus Area. From there, the software will automatically recognize which pixels are in focus and select those, leaving out any part of the photo that is out of focus.

You can see the feature in action in the sneak peek above. Once you watch it, let us know what you think of this neat new tool in the comments down below, along with any other features or capabilities you hope Adobe will announce come June 18th.

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