Texas Tech engineering students are testing out Building Blox, cinderblock-style construction materials that are basically bulletproof papier mache.

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

The blocks are made from a slurry of recycled newspapers, phone books, and lottery tickets, but they're twice as strong as cinderblocks despite weighing a third as much. They also improve a home's energy efficiency by insulating better than cinderblocks — not to mention being fire-resistant and strong enough to absorb the energy from a bullet. Who knew paper houses could be so badass? Someone go tell the three little pigs!

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.