TIME animals

This Ad Featuring Pets Eating With Human Hands Is Terrifying

Isn’t it every pet’s dream to be able to eat at the dining room table alongside humans? This ad for pet food company Freshpet replaces the heads of 14 humans sitting around the dining room table with the heads of 13 dogs and one cat. The animals use their human hands to do what many humans do at dinner, play with their iPhones at the table or sneak a sip of booze from a flask underneath the table. The one thing they do not do is talk. Frankly, people watching this spot who have to have dinner with chatty relatives over the holidays might envy that part.

TIME Arts

Here’s What Happens When Two Male Coworkers Try to Recreate Famous Paintings

The fun's at the Squarespace office in New York City

Francesco Fragomeni and Chris Limbrick, coworkers at the web design platform Squarespace, became every cubicle jockey’s heroes this week with their now-viral depictions of famous paintings the duo creates using only objects from their New York City office. “The only rules are that all props must be things found in the office and all editing must be done on a phone,” according to their Tumblr for the project “Foolsdoart.” A few examples of their creations, which are also on Instagram:

Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665):

"The Girl with the Pearl Earring" Johannes Vermeer, 1665

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

René Magritte’s The Son of Man (1964):

"The Son of Man" Rene Magritte, 1964

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

Frida Kahlo’s Thinking About Death (1943):

"Thinking About Death" Frida Kahlo, 1943

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1503-1506):

"Mona Lisa" Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-1506

A photo posted by @foolsdoart on

TIME technology

This 3D-Printed Wristband Will Sense When You Fall Asleep During a TV Show and Record the Rest of It

If such a device ever comes to market, then you'd never have to miss the end of late-night TV shows again

Ever try to watch television late at night before bed, but struggle to stay awake during the shows? Virgin Media says it is interested in developing a wristband that can sense when sleepyheads drift off in front of the small screen and then set a TiVo box to record the rest of the program.

According to a news release, the company is testing a 3D-printed wristband called KipstR, which “uses a pulse-oximeter to sense if the wearer is asleep or awake and then mimics the users’ TiVo remote control to pause, record or resume a show appropriately.”

The company says it has been developing the device with teenagers Ryan Oliver, 15, and Jonathan Kingsley, 14, from Manchester Creative Studios, a school for teens interested in careers in the creative and tech sectors.

Virgin Media has set up a website where people can sign up to be part of a trial of the device.

MORE: How Wearable Tech Will Change Your Life

TIME society

Watch an Insanely Cool Star Wars-Themed Holiday Lights Display

We recommend waving glowsticks—er, lightsabers—as you watch this video

An intricate lights display at a Newark, Calif., home features a 17-foot guitar, a 19-foot piano, all choreographed to songs from the Star Wars films.

According to the YouTube description, this design was orchestrated by Tom BetGeorge, a music teacher at Oakland’s Conservatory of Vocal and Instrumental Arts.

He writes, “If you look closely (especially during the Cantina song) the instruments are playing the real notes!”

If you cannot see it in person, it is supposed to be featured on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight, in which families compete to put on the best Christmas lights display.

TIME celebrity

Apparently Weird Al Does Magic Now

The floating orb is a mystery. Or is it?

In a 16-second video “the mysterious floating orb,” singer-songwriter “Weird Al” Yankovic looks like he is making a metal orb float. He makes “ooooh ahhhh” sounds while he shows off the trick, then reveals that he has been playing with an oversized soup ladle stuffed up his shirt sleeve the whole time. The description of the video on YouTube says he learned the trick from magician and comedian Justin Willman.

Still, if you can get a hold of one of these things, it will probably a fun trick to show off to relatives during the holidays.

TIME Internet

This Honest Trailer for The Hobbit Shows Just How Repetitive the Film Trilogy Is

"A nearly three-hour movie with the plot of one-third of a children's novel "

The YouTube channel behind the viral, snarky commentary for Love Actually and Guardians of the Galaxy is out with an equally cynical take on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), the second film in the Hobbit trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, who directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s books.

In a fake trailer for the movie, the comedians, known as “Screen Junkies,” argue the film is too long, describing it as “a nearly three-hour movie with the plot of one-third of a children’s novel that will have audiences everywhere saying, ‘oh my god, it’s STILL going,'” while saying “tiny sections of the book” are “stretched into hours.”

The video is pegged to the release of the last installment of The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies this week.

TIME society

Watch a Quiz Show Contestant Get a Ridiculously Easy Question Wrong

Schadenfreude

A contestant on the Australian quiz show Millionaire Hot Seat is going viral because she had trouble answering one of the easiest game show questions one could possibly get.

The question: “Which of these is not a piece of jewelry commonly worn to symbolize a relationship between two people?”

Possible answers included engagement ring, anniversary ring, wedding ring, and burger ring (a snack food) and she chose “anniversary ring.”

She seemed to have overlooked the “not a piece of jewelry” part of the question because when the show’s host Eddie McGuire slowly repeated that key clause, she immediately realized that she should have said burger ring.

TIME animals

Watch a Dog With No Front Paws Learn to Run With 3D-Printed Legs

He was also born with small forearms

In a heartwarming promotion for 3D systems, a 3D printing company, a dog named Derby tries out a pair of 3D-printed prosthetic legs. The dog has “a congenital deformity characterized by small forearms and no front paws,” according to a statement.

Before Derby got his new legs, he could only move around on soft surfaces indoors, so the new legs are supposed to help him get around on hard surfaces like sidewalks without injuring himself. His owner Dom Portanova says, “He runs faster than the both of us.”

As CEO of 3D Systems Avi Reichental summed up 3D printing’s influence to TIME earlier this year, “This is one of those technologies that literally touches everything we do.”

LIST: 25 Best Inventions of 2014

TIME society

The ‘Little Drummer Boy’ Challenge Will Ruin You This Holiday Season

Drum roll, please

Ever walk through the mall and see people rushing towards the doors, or break down sobbing, when “Little Drummer Boy” comes on the stereo system? Or maybe you’ve seen people talk about it on Facebook?

Turns out they are participating in “The Little Drummer Boy Challenge” (LDBC), a game going viral on social media. Between midnight on Black Friday and midnight on Christmas Eve, participants are challenged to avoid the popular Christmas carol. If it plays on the radio somewhere—or you heard Ricky Gervais and Jimmy Fallon sing it on The Tonight Show—then you’ve lost. You’re out. Puh-rum-puh-pum done. The only ground rule is that someone can’t trick you into listening to it, that is, play it deliberately to get another person out.

The most visible Facebook group for the challenge was drummed up in 2010 by Michael Alan Peck, a content strategist in Chicago, who says friends started doing it among themselves as an inside joke. He decided to set up a Facebook page for the game after his wife complained about how early the holiday season must be starting if she had already heard the “Little Drummer Boy” on the radio before Thanksgiving.

Recently, participants have started sharing selfies of the “horrified” expressions on their faces the moment they lost the game. Or they shame the people who accidentally played the song by sharing photos of them. They also note where they were when they heard the song, and which version it was.

Based on the approximately 700 people who reported whether they “won” or “lost” through his website last year, Peck says 25% “won” and 75% “lost.” Bing Crosby’s and David Bowie’s duet trips seemed to trip people up the most, while Peck argues Vince Guaraldi’s version in A Charlie Brown Christmas tends to sneak up on people because they forget it’s in the movie.

While there seem to be several private and public Facebook groups supporting the effort in the U.S. and Canada, it’s hard to know exactly how far and how quickly it has spread. Anyone could just start playing it right now, and they may not necessarily be reporting the moment they “lost” through Peck’s website or the game’s official Facebook page. But Peck says 2014 is the year it has taken off on Facebook, as more and more people have recruited friends to play by tagging them, so the number of Facebook page fans has grown from a little more than 1,800 at the start of the season to more than 2,500 at the time of publication.

Some have taken their participation to extreme levels. “I’ve had people tell me they won’t leave the house, or they shop only online,” says Peck. “One woman said she abandoned a full shopping cart in Target because they were playing Christmas music, and then all of a sudden, she was so sure it was going to play that she flipped out and left.”

That’s why some players wear headphones and listen to their own playlists everywhere and crank up the volume to drown out the holiday music. Or, they take matters into their own hands as Peck did one year. “I was going to go out to dinner, but I knew the place was playing holiday music, so I called ahead of time and asked them to make sure that song wouldn’t be played,” he says. “You get a little nutty that way.”

Peck insists he doesn’t hate “Little Drummer Boy” in any way and is not trying to start a boycott. He just claims it works well for the challenge because “you hear it a lot, but not so much that the game is impossible.” That said, he does think “it’s a goofy song. I don’t know why anyone thinks a newborn baby would want to hear a drum being banged by [his] head.”

TIME celebrity

Watch Jimmy Fallon and Oprah Get Auto-Tuned in a Soap Opera Parody

Digitally-altered voices make the dysfunctional couple's problems sound even more ridiculous

On Monday night’s The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon and Oprah Winfrey parodied 80s soap operas by reliving the time they “starred” on “Midnight Meadows.”

Playing characters named Broderick and Valentina Kensington, the two speak in digitally-altered voices that make them sound like extraterrestrials, which only makes the melodrama even more unbelievable.

In October, he pulled the same schtick with Carol Burnett. The two starred in a parody of a 90s soap opera, “Tensions,” in which mundane moments in life—walking the dog or asking what time it is—escalate into violent episodes and staring contests.

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