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House for Sale in Vermont Falls on Both Sides of the U.S.-Canada Border

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In Brian and Joan DuMoulin's household, it’s possible to take an international trip without stepping outside. As the Associated Press reports, the 7000-square-foot home has its foundation planted on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Now, the owners are looking to sell the property after inheriting it 40 years ago.

A merchant constructed the building on the border of Beebe Plain, Vermont, and Stanstead, Quebec in 1782 as a convenient way to sell goods to farmers in both places. The house's current residents have dual citizenship, but even so, navigating the space can be complicated.

U.S. and Canada border services, which both have outposts facing the house, have permitted the residents to move across the border as long as they remain in their house, front yard, and backyard. But going any further could lead to serious consequences: A hidden gate in the backyard had to be wired shut per U.S. agents’ request.

The DuMoulins are currently living in a different house in Vermont with plans to move to Ontario once the border house is sold. The granite-walled building is divided into five apartments and sits on a property spanning a little less than a quarter-acre. It’s going for an asking price of $109,000, but the dilapidated structure is projected to require $600,000 in renovations.

If the armed border agents and high repair costs don’t sound appealing, there are easier ways to experience the peculiar feeling of being in two places at once, including the Four Corners monument between Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona and a restaurant that straddles the Dutch-Belgian border.

[h/t ABC News]

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Most People Consistently Visit 25 Different Places in Their Daily Lives
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We move around a lot less during our daily lives than you might expect. Based on data from 40,000 people, a new study on human mobility finds that we tend to frequent only 25 places at any given time in our lives.

In the study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, researchers from City, University of London, the Technical University of Denmark, and Sony Mobile Communications found that people tend to have a maximum number of 25 places that they visit regularly, and if they begin frequenting a new place, they probably stop going to another, keeping their total number of haunts constant.

The researchers used several different datasets to understand how people move through their lives, including studies with college students and university employees, data from a smartphone activity tracker called Lifelog, and a Nokia research project that tracked the behavior of a group of cell phone users living near Lake Geneva in Switzerland between 2009 and 2011.

They found that people constantly face trade-offs between the curiosity that drives us to check out new places and the laziness and comfort that keeps us going back to our regular haunts. As a result, the number of locations we tend to visit stays relatively steady. People “continually explore new places yet they are loyal to a limited number of familiar ones,” the authors write.

Though that number may sound a little low to anyone with wanderlust, it makes sense. People don’t have infinite time or resources. Even the number of friends we’re capable of keeping up with is rather limited—anthropologist Robin Dunbar famously hypothesizes that humans can only sustain around 150 friendships at a time, and only five of those friends will be truly close ones. And if that’s our upper limit for connections we can technically maintain without ever leaving our computers, it makes sense that we would be able to sustain even fewer connections to places, which by nature require some amount of travel. If you find a new restaurant and become a regular, it’s probably at the expense of another restaurant you used to visit all the time.

However, the study found that the number of places you frequent can’t necessarily be explained only by the amount of free time you have. The researchers argue that “the fixed capacity is an inherent property of human behavior.” The 25-place rule held even if they adjusted for the time people spent at each location. They also found that the more social a person was, the more places they visited.

The researchers hope to continue their work by looking at connections between mobility and Dunbar’s work on social ties, figuring out how exactly your social life plays into how you move around the world.

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Interactive Map Shows Where Your House Would Have Been 750 Million Years Ago
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Your neighborhood traveled a long way over several hundred million years to reach the spot it occupies today. To trace that journey over the ages, check out Ancient Earth, an interactive digital map spotted by Co.Design.

Ancient Earth, a collaboration between engineer and Google alum Ian Webster and Paleomap Project creator C.R. Scotese, contains geographical information for the past 750 million years. Start at the beginning and you'll see unrecognizable blobs of land. As you progress through the ages, the land mass Pangaea gradually breaks apart to form the world map we're all familiar with.

To make the transition even more personal, you can enter your street address to see where it would have been located in each period. Five hundred million years ago, for example, New York City was a small island in the southern hemisphere isolated from any major land mass. Around the same time, London was still a part of Pangaea, and it was practically on top of the South Pole. You can use the arrows on your keyboard to flip through the eras or jump from event to event, like the first appearance of multicellular life or the dinosaur extinction.

As you can see from the visualization, Pangaea didn't break into the seven continents seamlessly. Many of the long-gone continents that formed in the process even have names.

[h/t Co.Design]

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