Check out our innovative home and kitchen tools to make cooking and beverages more enjoyable

Style Switcher

Predefined Colors

Facebook to ban white nationalism and separatism content on platform


A Lin-Manuel Miranda follow is almost worth more than the presidency.
Image: emma mcintyre/getty images

Mayor Pete husband’s Chasten Buttigieg is a rare thing: a Twitter celebrity who deserves his fame. 

So it was a beautiful thing to see Lin-Manuel Miranda, an equally deserving Twitter celebrity, follow Buttigieg on Twitter. But it wasn’t just that Miranda followed Chasten. It was how Chasten responded that brought joy to the rest of the internet.

“Doing a quick bit of laundry. Hear loud scream. Run into kitchen terrified, expecting to see @Chas10Buttigieg in pool of blood,” Pete wrote on Twitter. “Am thereupon informed that @Lin_Manuel is following my husband, whose life is now complete.”

You would think that Chasten Buttigieg’s husband becoming president would be his life goal. But I get it. Lin Manuel Miranda is a nearly perfect human. Hamilton deserves the obsessive following.

A Miranda following is the approximate equivalent of ten thousand presidential endorsements, using social media math.

Folks on Twitter understood the feeling.

Congratulations to Chasten Buttigieg on nearly becoming president. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/chasten-buttigieg-lin-manuel-miranda/

Read More

These homes are proof that 3D printing could help resolve global homelessness


A man and his tiny home.
Image: picture alliance via Getty Image

An Ode to… is a weekly column where we share the stuff we’re really into in hopes that you’ll be really into it, too.


Tiny House Hunters fills me with a rage I cannot describe, and I absolutely crave it. 

The HGTV show, streaming on Hulu, is about people who are sick and tired of being able to stretch in their own home and instead choose to live in glorified mobile homes. It follows either a single person trying to move into the mountains, a couple on the verge of breaking up, or a family who doesn’t seem to get that children get bigger on their quest to find the perfect tiny house. 

Frequent quotes from the show include “Wow, this is tiny,” or “There’s not a lot of storage in here,” and my personal favorite, “A king size bed won’t fit in this loft!” 

These are all things you’d expect from a tiny house, but the people who end up on Tiny House Hunters seem to have deluded themselves into believing that tiny houses have some sort of TARDIS-like magic that makes an impossibly cramped 200 square foot space feel bigger on the inside. 

On a typical episode, an exasperated realtor will show contestants three different, but equally hellish, tiny homes. At the end of the episode, the contestant(s) will sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each house on camera, bitching about the lack of a full-size dishwasher and reluctantly accepting a composting toilet, before settling on the worst possible choice. The final scenes of each episode shows the contestants settled into their tiny homes and resigned to constantly stepping on their partners. 

And nothing brings me simultaneous hate and joy like yelling at the TV in my human-sized living room. 

Others on social media feel the same anger I do when I watch an episode of Tiny House Hunters. I love how furious other people get watching it — it validates my own unbridled rage. 

I am not hating on anyone who lives in a tiny house. Personally, I think they’re great, and love the idea of living somewhere with little impact on the environment. Given the chance, I would absolutely live in a tiny house. But would I live in a tiny house with three dogs, two sticky toddlers, and another fully grown human being? Absolutely fucking not. Tiny House Hunters is so rage-inducing because the contestants on the show manage to pick the worst houses and be in the worst circumstances for tiny house living. 

My most vitriolic reaction to the show was during an especially cursed episode, when a couple bought a literal burned down shack surrounded by garbage for a massive $155,000. In a Slate interview, Aubree and Jordan explained that land in Los Angeles isn’t cheap, and that the fact that the patch of trash dirt was already zoned for residential living saved them thousands of dollars on permits. 

To be fair, their reasoning does make sense. But in an infuriating follow-up interview published this year, the couple explained that after clearing the debris from the house and building a tiny guesthouse, they ran out of money and moved into the 18 by 18 foot guest house. Now they’re moving out of the property and into a full-size two bedroom home. 

When Slate asked if they ever watch Tiny House Hunters, Aubree responded with “No, it’s triggering.” 

As Roxane Gay wrote in Curbed, “When one aspires to own a tiny home, they have a corresponding tiny American dream.” 

While some contestants on the show will probably thrive in a mobile tiny house, like most of the single people with pets, many seem to be trying to fix a deeper issue — whether it’s a couple desperately trying to fix their relationship by literally getting closer or a growing family that’s low on funds. Buying a tiny house like slapping on a bandaid after being mauled by a bear. 

Like reading the worst posts on r/relationships or hate watching The Bachelor, I have a sick fascination with unpacking the characters of Tiny House Hunters. What makes anyone feel more alive than yelling at preventable disasters? You’ll probably love it, too. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/ode-to-hate-watching-tiny-house-hunters/

Read More

This timelapse of the South Pole’s aurora australis is absolutely magical

Northern lights, step aside. It’s the South Pole’s time to shine. 

Very few of us will ever get to witness the spectacular light show that is the aurora australis. With incredibly strong winds and temperatures below -95°F, it’s nearly impossible to film there, too.

Shot by Robert Schwartz, a technician at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, special equipment was created to keep the cameras running all night. The footage captured is a soothing and magical sight to behold. 

While you may not be able to localize these lights entirely in your kitchen, you can view this natural wonder online, anytime.

Read more: https://mashable.com/video/south-pole-aurora-southern-lights-timelapse/

Read More

What happens to your body when you eat spicy food?


Let the bloggers blog.
Image: Enrique Das / 7Cera / Getty Images

Every so often, someone will act very angry online because a recipe they clicked on has “too much text.” They wanted to make mushroom ravioli, but instead had to scroll through a bunch of words about what mushroom ravioli means to a blogger’s family. Boring!

It’s true that many (if not most) food bloggers write long narratives preceding their recipes. Sometimes, they explain how they developed the recipe. Other times, they share why they chose to post this particular food, or explain the modifications they’ve made to accommodate family members with dietary restrictions. They might share a story about the dish providing them comfort in a difficult time, or how cooking the dish with a loved one healed a broken relationship. Food is personal, after all; it comes with stories. 

So why do so many people rush to mock them?

Cadry Nelson, a food blogger who runs the vegan website Cadry’s Kitchen, includes narratives with her recipes regularly. (She’s also written an essay about recipe narratives.) This is partially because she wanted to document her transition to veganism, the context in which she developed much of her work. In doing so, she’d create a reference point for readers curious about going vegan themselves.

“I was trying a lot of produce I’d never had before, as well as re-creating old familiar flavors but without meat, dairy, and eggs,” she explained in an interview. “I didn’t have many other friends who were vegan at that point.”

Sharing this information doesn’t just benefit her readers, either. It also helps her secure a place in the saturated food blog realm. “Through these posts, I’ve gotten to know bloggers’ flavor preferences too,” Nelson said. By sharing stories on blogs, people get to know the types of foods [and] flavors that specific recipe creators enjoy. You figure out who is a good match for your own palate.”

So why do people have such an issue with people writing about their own food? It seems to come down to convenience. Generally, perturbed readers complain that it takes too long for them to scroll down to the recipe itself.

Historian Kevin Kruse, for example, tweeted his disdain for recipe narratives last weekend: “Hey, cooking websites?” he wrote. “I don’t really need a thousand words about how you discovered the recipe or the feelings it evoked for you … I’m trying to feed my family. No need to curate the experience for me.”

“GIMME THE RECIPE HON MY SCROLL FINGER HURTS,” tweeted Chelsea Peretti last November.

Admittedly, it is irritating when anything is difficult to find on the internet, especially when we’ve come to expect an easy-as-pie user experience from every app and every website. It can feel like a slog to scroll through paragraphs of text when all you want is a list of ingredients.

But the thing to interrogate here isn’t necessarily whether blocks of text are annoying — it’s why people think these particular blocks of text don’t deserve to exist.

Nelson thinks there’s an element of sexism to the critiques she sees about recipe writing. Home cooking is still a deeply gendered pursuit, and writers whose work centers on home cooking are still perceived as less professional, less valuable, and less worthy voices.  “The feeling seems to be that they don’t think these writers have something of value to offer,” Nelson said.

There’s been high-profile backlash to the backlash against recipe narratives. After Kruse’s tweet, Smitten Kitchen creator Deb Perelman tweeted a thread on the matter, encouraging recipe writers to “write as long and as in-depth as your heart desires about recipes and anything else they drum up in your mind and ignore anyone who says you shouldn’t.”

Like Nelson, she also called out detractors’ casual sexism. “Congratulations, you’ve found a new, not particularly original, way to say ‘shut up and cook,'” she tweeted. “I just don’t see don’t see the same pushback when male chefs write about their wild days or basically anything. Do you?”

“I wish more people who cooked got to tell their stories,” she added.

There’s also a more technical element at play where recipe narratives are concerned: search engine optimization (SEO). Recipe bloggers want to catch the attention of the illusive Google algorithm —  and, ideally, land their recipe on the coveted first page — so they must demonstrate “authority” in their field. This means more comprehensive content, which is really hard to pull off with a concise recipe alone. (Tons of people will be using the phrase “apple crumble,” for example, but only you can write your own story about it.)

“When I’m writing, I try to tell a story that has a hook as well as please[s] the Google algorithm,” Nelson said. “I do keyword research … I see what kinds of questions people have around the topic, and look for ways to anticipate their problems, and answer their questions, so that they will have a successful cooking experience. Lately, I’ve been adding more step-by-step pictures of how to make dishes, as well as videos, because Google says that readers want that.”

‘I wish more people who cooked got to tell their stories.’

Even though she’s noticed people criticizing lengthy posts, Nelson maintains that writing a lot — authoritatively, of course — is what’s going to get eyes on her recipes. “People say they want shorter posts, but Google values information,” she said. “It’s hard to give information without using some words along the way.”

SEO and marketing experts agree that Nelson’s approach is a smart one, especially in such a saturated landscape. “Because a recipe usually consists of a listing of ingredients and steps, it’s often very difficult for a search engine to discern what this article is trying to convey,” Pete Herrnreiter, who is the VP of digital strategy at The Motion Agency, explained via email. “By developing a richer upfront with background on the dish … it [helps to] define the post.”

Content strategist Abby Sanders, who works for Von Mack Agency, also emphasized the advantages of differentiating one’s recipe from the pack. “These days, search engines are pretty effective at determining whether a page can serve as an ‘expert source’ on a specific query,” she said. “So any additional content that includes certain keywords, as long as it’s coherent and well-written, will improve that page’s ranking.”

As a caveat, Sanders mentioned, there are “plenty of other factors that play a role in rankings, such as domain authority, links to that page, and the list goes on. But from a sheer content standpoint, it does make good sense for a food blogger to write some extra, interesting copy around their subject.”

So, fine. Finding a list of chili ingredients would be easier if we didn’t have to scroll. But recipe bloggers are writers, and they have stories to share that are poignant, funny, and valuable — even if you (and I) don’t love every single one you read. And if you really don’t like the narratives? There are plenty of places for you to find story-free recipes online, though you might have to pay for a subscription to see some of them. Also, cookbooks exist.

“My food blog is my own. It’s my creative space. I spend a lot of time testing the recipes, taking photographs, making videos, and writing my stories,” Nelson said. “If people aren’t interested in any aspect, so be it.”

“My blog is Cadry’s Kitchen. It’s literally the place where I cook,” she added. “I don’t know why I would write myself out of it.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/why-are-there-long-stories-on-food-blogs/

Read More

Snugglefest was the Valentine’s Day party you wish you’d gone to

A lonely guy pretended to get stood up on a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at Outback, wasted hours of a well-meaning but clueless server’s night, and went home with a free meal. Outback even offered him another free meal — provided he bring a real date. 

27-year-old Stephen Bosner spent Feb. 14 on a mission: To bring home a free steak. He made a reservation for two at America’s favorite Australian-ish fast casual steakhouse, donned a suit jacket, and packed some tissue paper into plastic bag as a makeshift “gift.” He walked in, dateless, and told the host that the 10-minute wait was fine because
“she said she was running a bit late anyway.”

But his date didn’t exist — Bosner was doing it all for a bit. He spent the night live tweeting the date that never was, documenting the reactions of his waiter and the Valentine’s Day revelers around him.

He started with a beer for himself and a glass of Chardonnay for his phantom girlfriend. He left classic “let me know when you’re on your way” voicemail as the waiter walked by. He picked through one loaf of starter bread, and then didn’t even bother to slice the second, choosing to stuff the sad loaf directly into his mouth.

Still parked at the table 15 minutes before the kitchen closed, Bosner chugged his date’s wine straight from the decanter as his waiter walked by. 

“I’ve never seen someone scoop glassware as smoothly as he took the untouched glass and empty decanter from the table,” Bosner tweeted. “Every single person within eye range has glanced at me at some point during the evening.”

Naming his date’s untouched silverware “Katherine,” Bosner pretended to call his wayward girlfriend loudly enough for everyone at the bar. 

“I take it you’re probably not gonna make it so …” he trailed off in the fake voicemail, adding enough of a pause for his audience to hear the sounds of people actually having good dates. “I guess I’ll talk to you later. Hope everything’s OK, hope nothing bad happened.”

It’s pathetic and hilarious, but a major dick move. Bosner made the waitstaff stay past their shift so he could forlornly stare at his steak 25 minutes past closing time. He started crying and ate dropped mac and cheese off the floor, eventually garnering enough sympathy for a nearby couple to pay for his meal for him. 

When the waiter came to clear the table, he tried to offer words of wisdom “like a father telling his son that Grandma died.” 

“Take care of yourself,” the concerned waiter told Bosner, clearly pitying the grifter. “Don’t let them get you down.”

To pay it forward, he left the waiter a $20 and donated $50 to the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Otherwise,” he told the Washington Post  “I’m going to have some real bad karma coming my way.” 

Once the thread went viral, Outback even reached out and offered to cover his next date. 

But some Twitter users didn’t find it funny at all, and  criticized Bosner for wasting the server’s time. In addition to keeping the staff late, the server could have made well over $20 in tips by turning the table to other paying customers. Instead, he had to awkwardly deal with a fake sad dude, who used his empathy for a Twitter joke. 

According to Vice, scamming his way into a free meal was better than Bosner’s original Valentine’s Day plans. 

“I figured, why not? It was better than sitting at home watching The Office again,” he explained. 

While the thread is funny to read, maybe don’t be a jerk to people who work in the service industry. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/guy-pretends-to-get-stood-up-valentines-day-outback-date/

Read More

These skeleton-like sculptures look remarkably alive

Image: Getty Images

Good morning, everyone. Apparently we’re mad about towels. 

Scrolling through Twitter on Monday, you might have seen a feed full of people arguing over the amount of towels you’re supposed to own. The Great Towel Debate started when Twitter user @Advil asked followers to settle an argument between him and his girlfriend. 

“We have zero frame of reference on the appropriate amount of towels in a household of two,” he tweeted. 

People understandably had hot takes, but the hottest of them all was from Huffington Post writer Yashar Ali, who claimed that couples should “own a minimum” of 50 total towels. 50! Where do you even store that many towels?

Ali added that couples should own “preferably more.”

He also clarified the difference between a bath sheet and a bath towel, which rightfully blew people’s minds. 

It was only a matter of time before people starting passive aggressively tweeting about towels. 

Even the dictionary weighed in. 

And searches for “bath sheet” spiked on Google. 

“As a couple, you should own a minimum of …” became a brief meme. 

Looks like everyone has an opinion on towels. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/twitter-towels-as-a-couple-you-should-own-a-minimum-of/

Read More

House hunting apps make me want to gouge out my millennial eyes


This interface will destroy me.
Image: john keeble/Getty Images

When I turned 33-years-old, I decided it was time for me to become a “real adult” and do things real adults do — eat meals at a table, learn what a stock is, and maybe even buy a house.

The former goals were what I could foreseeably accomplish, the latter was what I wanted most of all. All of my high school classmates did it, even the ones who couldn’t tell the difference between Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. As someone who has plenty of unresolved adolescent psychodrama, I refused to accept defeat.

So I downloaded multiple housing apps and did what I knew best: I swiped.

Swipe right to fail

There are dozens of real estate apps — Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, and Realtor.com to name a few — but there are infinite ways these apps have managed to consume every free moment of my time and every available neuron of my brain. I started off my house hunt by casually swiping “just to see what was out there,” before the apps became a soul-mutilating obsession.

I swiped before work, during lunch, and at all mealtimes. I swiped on my way up elevators and down escalators and on each and every one of my commutes. Books? Why read books on the train? Friends? Why talk to friends in real life? I was working on building my future, I was swiping damnit. 

After all, swiping had served me well in my twenties: swiping got me my girlfriend (on Tinder), my apartment (on Naked Apartments), my therapist (on ZocDoc), and hundreds of followers on Twitter, just by liking the right poisonous trash. 

There was nothing I could do, there was no way I could stop myself: Securing a house was the last milestone I needed to reach so I could secure my financial future and one-up all my frenemies on Facebook with photos of my newly polished softwood kitchen floors.

I just couldn’t swipe my way to a house, though. Housing prices were astronomically higher than my extremely dumb 20-year-old brain ever imagined. Even as I lowered my standards — a studio apartment for me, my girlfriend, and our future two kids, or a “fixer upper home” that included a collapsed toilet full of cat hair — it all felt painfully out of reach.

It became increasingly clear that I couldn’t afford anything I needed. If I wanted a home, I’d have to leave the city entirely and find a new career. I’d have to give up on having more than one child or find a way to monetize the cute one. To be fair, things could change for me and the millions of people in my generation in the exact same financial position. 

There’s plenty of housing apps but not enough housing

By now, the statistics about home ownership are familiar and exhausting. Home ownership for millennials is low: a full eight percent lower than Gen-Xers and baby boomers’ rates when they were at the same age. By this point, we should have 3.4 million more homeowners than we currently do.

For communities of color, these numbers are even smaller. Black home ownership has dropped far more dramatically than other comparably sized demographic since 2000, according to the Urban Institute.

Sure, in some parts of the country, home prices have been dropping. Yet home purchases have decreased as mortgage rates have gone up. Real estate brokerage firm Redfin recently found that the supply of homes middle-class families can buy has declined by 86 percent in 49 different metropolitan areas. 

86 Percent.  

The reasons for this crisis are well-documented, including spiraling inequality, flat wages, decreased housing supply, and rising school debt. In the case of the black community, you can add on decades of gerrymandering, subprime mortgage lending, and racial bias. 

It’s not like millennials have much of a choice about where they live, either. Many millennials move to urban centers where housing prices are highest because that’s where the best career opportunities are. If you’re queer, or trans, or a person of color, moving to rural or suburban areas where housing prices are often lowest isn’t always the best option. You need to move to diverse cities, where you can find other people just like you.

I would love to make a living as a writer who works out of her beautiful rustic queer commune in Northern California. Alas, I cannot.

In the cities, the dream of homeownership is even more distant. If I were to rely on only my and my partner’s salary alone, it would take us 45 years to buy a two bedroom apartment in New York. I would be eighty years old by the time I made my first down payment. My flesh will be falling off my face. My uterus will look like a California raisin. Even then, I won’t be able to write that check unless housing prices stay constant which, lol. 

The future is bleak for most of us. None of it stops us from swiping. 

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Swiping Help

Despite all of this crushing economic data working against me, I still haven’t deleted these apps. I love to pretend that with just the right amount of scrimping and saving and relatives dying, I’ll be able to secure a two bedroom apartment within an hour radius of my job. I also do love the swiping. 

To be clear: iI the economic environment  does change, home ownership is theoretically possible for me, which it isn’t for most people my age. That makes it an absolute privilege. Until that day comes, however, I’ll be window shopping on the internet, ooh-ing and aah-ing over granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and — because I live in New York — closets. 

Apps are designed to keep you clicking. Housing apps are built to make you desire. There are photos that you feel forced to swipe through, descriptions and data you feel compelled to analyze. Thanks to Trulia, Zillow, and StreetEasy, I can now picture myself in a 12′ x 25′ living room with an antique pocket door and an oversized window that overlooks a tree, not a rat den. 

I just can’t do much besides imagining. The apps won’t save me. Forgive me if I don’t stop hoping that one day, they will. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/house-hunting-apps-make-me-feel-awful/

Read More

This kid’s attempt to smuggle sugar out of a restaurant is like something out of a movie

Some children are clearly destined to go on to great things.

Journalist Peter Hartlaub’s child most definitely falls into this category. 

Just look at this tweet Hartlaub posted about his son’s sugar smuggling antics, and tell us you’re not impressed:

That is quite something.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter had questions.

Some chipped in with parenting stories of their own.

Mostly, though, people were all about the Shawshank quotes.

Andy Dufresne would surely be proud.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/08/23/kid-smuggling-sugar-restaurant/

Read More

YouTube celebrities totally worth following who aren’t Logan Paul

Image: mary clavering/young hollywood/Getty Images

There’s a whole world on YouTube that doesn’t involve terrible people, it just doesn’t feel that way right now.

The first week of 2018 wasn’t exactly a banner week for YouTube star Logan Paul, for example. Paul, known as the less offensive Paul brother (*&^@&#^?), kicked things off by releasing a tone-deaf video where he encounters a dead body in Japan’s suicide forest. The controversy sparked a debate about what’s suitable content for YouTube (hint: it doesn’t involve gawking at suicide), and prompted many older millennials and Gen-Xers to wonder, “Is there anyone not awful on YouTube?”

Fellow kids, I’m pleased to report there are.

If you’re not that familiar with the vlogging community, it’s likely you only heard about two YouTube personalities in the past year — Logan Paul, or a YouTube personality named “PewDewPie” who loves to make jokes about dead Jews.

Thankfully, there are (mostly incredibly young) vloggers out there making largely inoffensive, not entirely insipid, and sometimes even — get ready for it — good content. 

Here are just a few.

1. Liza Koshy

Just 21 years old, Liza Koshy is one of those incredibly successful young people who actually deserves everything that’s coming to them. She’s a skilled physical comedian who produces well-cut (i.e. not insanely choppy) videos, and her range of impressions is broad. It’s the kind of content you can be non-depressed that teenagers are watching.

2. Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh made $10.5 million in 2016 and she did it without capitalizing on a tragedy in a suicide forest. Instead, she relied on her natural comedic instincts, spot-on impersonations of her parents, and genuinely astute commentary on young adult life. 

3. videogamedunkey 

If you’re new to video game commentary, or mostly hate it but want to learn, videogamedunkey is where it’s at. Videogamedunkey doesn’t have the painful arrogance like others in his genre, and he’s actually capable of crafting engaging, well-constructed narratives. Who knew that such a thing was possible on YouTube?

4. Lindsay Ellis

For all you book learners out there, there’s Lindsay Ellis, a media critic who actually makes media criticism bearable. Ellis addresses everything from vanishing Disney villains to nostalgia, without ever sounding like your “Intro to Film Theory” TA/wannabe professor.

5. Bill Wurtz

Bill Wurtz is less of a YouTube personality than he is a producer of deeply weird animated videos, but he’s on this list because I like him so goshdarn much. You’ve probably seen at least one of these videos and thought, “I’m appalled by how much I love this.”

Sure, some of his more erratic material borders on twee, but we all need a little Wes Anderson in our lives.

6. Nathan Zed

Nathan Zed doesn’t vlog frequently, partially for personal reasons, and partially because he only speaks when there’s something that needs to be said. Zed is one of the more thoughtful ones of the bunch, addressing everything from body positivity to the responsibilities of YouTube personalities. (Yes! He actually thinks about this!)

7. Hannah Hart

You probably know Hart from “My Drunk Kitchen,” her weekly YouTube series where she cooks while intoxicated. Hart also makes videos that are more personal and specific to the LGBTQ community, whether it’s about the coming out process or managing queer relationships. 

8. Kingsley

Kingsley is another familiar, proudly out YouTube personality. Kingsley’s commentary about everything about Katy Perry’s betrayal of the gays to “Tragic Gingerbread houses” is like old-school Buzzfeed, modernized and made better for 2017. 

8. Evelyn from the Internets

Watch this video. Soak up all that magical content. Only then can you return to this post.

Evelyn from the Internet has done more than this viral video — including everything from makeup tutorials to cultural critique — but this is a YouTuber at the height of her form.

9. Bretman Rock

Known, accurately, as “The Internet’s most fabulously fierce makeup guru,” Rock rose to fame with his breakout “How to Contour” video series. 

10. Primitive Technology

Who would have ever thought that a video entitled “Reusable charcoal mound” would achieve over 10 million views? Not me, certainly, and not any person I know.

Still, Primitive Technology, who constructs devices cavemen would have built, has an insanely loyal following, with close to 7 million subscribers. 

Best of all? He barely talks. 

Apparently, the key to dominating a platform that constantly excretes verbal diarrhea is to embrace silence.

It’s a lesson for all of the bright, beautiful wannabe YouTube stars everywhere.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/06/youtube-celebrities-arent-logan-paul/

Read More

‘Forbidden fruit’ locked up as Tide Pods meme reaches epic proportions

You know a meme has gone too far when people start sharing images of Tide Pods locked up at their local store. 

Several retailers including Walmart, Walgreens, Ralph’s, and Food 4 Less have locked up Tide Pods in plastic blocks or behind glass doors, according to recent social media reports. The protective measure was noticed as the Tide Pods internet challenge and meme hit peak stupidity. 

While several people shared stories of the cleaning product being trapped in their grocery store’s version of a laundry aisle hoosegow on Monday, social media reports of such punishment stretch back to the beginning of January.

A manager at the Houston, Texas Walgreens pictured in the above tweet said over the phone that the Pods were secured in plastic boxes due to recent thefts. Other retailers, like Walmart and Kroger, also noted that thefts forced them to lock up the Tide Pods, but they did so prior to the internet hysteria. 

Tide Pods have caused a frenzy in recent weeks as teens dare each other to eat the toxic-filled plastic that looks like a colorful gusher. The pods have been dubbed “forbidden snacks” or “forbidden fruit” and videos of teens frying the soap-filled pouches or eating them raw have been circulating on YouTube and social media for weeks. Someone even made edible sushi shaped like the pods.

It’s gotten so bad that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the same government agency that recalled those fiery hoverboards, is pleading with the public to not eat laundry pods.

Eating the detergent can cause vomiting, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, and other very bad things. Tide Pods have been a concern for years, with parents being warned to keep the product out of reach of children who may mistake the poisonous cleaner for candy. But now people are willfully eating the packaged toxic goop. At least 10 deaths have been linked to detergent pods, according to CBS. Procter & Gamble, the makers of Tide, has warned against eating the pods since the government agency sounded the alarm. “They should not be played with,” the Tide manufacturer said in a statement to CBS. “Even if meant as a joke. Safety is no laughing matter.” 

Tide has even been running a PSA on social media featuring Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski sternly wagging his finger when asked if Tide Pods are OK to eat.

Here are some more witness accounts of the detergent prisons:

Update Jan. 15, 2018 at 9:20 p.m. PT:

A Procter & Gamble spokesperson said locking up Tide Pods was the stores’ choice: “Individual retailers decide how to shelve products, often making decisions on a store-by-store basis,” the spokesperson said in an email, adding, “We do know that some Tide products have been in secure shelving in some retailers prior to the recent social media conversations.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/15/tide-pods-meme-too-far-locked-up-in-stores/

Read More

Man makes 32-point Twitter thread about what it’s like to live with girls, goes viral

You’d think observations about what it’s like to live with the opposite sex would be pretty much old hat by now.

Surely, now that we’re in 2017, it’s all been said before at some point?

Well, maybe — but Roberto Carlos’ 32-point Twitter list about what it’s like to live with all girls for a week certainly seems to have struck some chord.

Here’s the thread in full:

That thread now has well over 100,000 retweets, and was recently made into a Twitter Moment.

Many of the responses are along these lines:

Surely it’s only a matter of time before the “living with just boys for a week” counter-thread goes live?

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/22/living-with-just-girls-viral-twitter-thread/

Read More

Your complimentary tote bag isn’t a gift, it’s a drain

Image: ambar del moral/mashable

Among America’s unforgiving recycling elite, no bag is more universally revered than the almighty canvas tote bag.

Once a demonized member of the bag community, the canvas tote has risen to prominence in recent years as a socially conscious sustainable alternative to plastic. Wherever you go, you’re bound to be circled by aggressive tote bag pushers, who offer the tote as a “complimentary gift” in exchange for your charitable contribution or participation in some boring-ass event.   

Alone, tote bags are benign. Together, they’re a malevolent force of nature. Overstocked American kitchen cabinets are struggling to breathe, suffocating under the weight of their tote bag mountain.

When will our romance end?

It’s easy to understand why we fell so hopelessly in love. There’s nothing more romantic than the American tote bag — washable, reusable, foldable, and very often font-conscious. And while stereotyping is bad, stereotyping about people who use tote bags has proven to be historically accurate, according to a recent study I conducted in my brain at Barnes & Noble.

For years, we’ve all lived under the same exhausted bag paradigm. The tote bag is considered to be far sexier than its inherently wasteful, bad boy plastic alternative. The story is in the data. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil to produce. Only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling (to be honest, I didn’t even know that was possible). Plastic bags are destroying our rivers, our oceans and this fugly tree outside my living room window. 

But who’s to say tote bags are that much better? Study after study has come to the same grating conclusion. Tote bags are being over, not under, produced in America. Many of us have more tote bags than we could ever dream of, and we’re not using them particularly efficiently. Take a look at your own collection. How long have you used the same tote bags for? Are you really using them all? How much is pure tote bag waste?

Whatever you think about plastic bags, they’re actually leaving less of a carbon footprint than totes, at least when it comes to manufacturing. The production of canvas totes generates 131 times as many emissions of plastic bags. In order to be just as effective as plastic bags, that means you’d have to use your tote bag at least 131 times. 

That’s obscene. I don’t think I’ve even left my house 131 times this year.

Anyways, enough book learnin’. What makes tote bags so devastatingly cruel to our home environments is how much space they take up in our vulnerable storage spaces. Tell me you don’t have a tote bag full of other totes. Maybe you have a closet full of nothing but totes, or maybe just a cabinet stuffed to the gills.

Don’t get me wrong — I love a good classic NPR or New Yorker tote, something that screams “I’m educated and pleasant.”

I don’t know the exact date the nonprofit machine started giving out complimentary totes for charitable donations, but it wasn’t always this way. Back in the carefree pre-recycling era, we used to get free mugs, free calendars, free T-shirts.

The good ol’ days are gone, baby, and I’ll do anything to get them back.

For nonprofits and corporations seeking to diversify their complimentary goodies, might I recommend eschewing totes and considering these undervalued potentially branded items:

  • Crew socks

  • Mugs

  • Wine glasses

  • Phone chargers

  • Tissues

  • Water bottles

  • Blankets

  • Nice dried meats

  • Cheese puff barrels

We don’t heave to live in fear of our tote bag landfills anymore. It’s time to cut off the supply. Once we’ve liberated ourselves from tote bag welfare state, we can learn how to tote like the responsible good citizens we believe ourselves to be.

It’s toteally within reach.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/18/complimentary-tote-bags/

Read More