TIME technology

This App Lets You Order a Pizza by Clicking Your Heels Together

"Dorothy" brings Wizard of Oz technology to life

It’s been 75 years since Judy Garland clicked her ruby red slippers in a desperate attempt to get home to Auntie Em. Now you can click your heels to do a whole lot more than travel the time-space continuum, and you don’t even need a pair of sequined shoes to do it.

Washington, D.C.-based digital agency iStrategyLabs recently unveiled a new device, aptly named Dorothy, which allows you to trigger certain actions on your iPhone by clicking your heels together three times. A micro-controller no bigger than a fun-size candy bar, Dorothy clips onto your shoe, relying on an internal Bluetooth chip and accelerometer to send signals to an app on your phone.

You can use Dorothy to help you escape a bad date by programming the app to generate a fake phone call. All you need to do is click your heels to indicate that you can’t listen to one more word about exchange-traded derivatives. It can send your exact location to friends, call a cab or even order a pizza. And the folks behind the technology are crowd-sourcing more uses for Dorothy, open to the limitless possibilities enabled by the concept of web automation service “If This, Then That.”

The Dorothy team is working on smaller models that would make the device more inconspicuous, especially for those not keen on adorning their shoes with a ruby-emblazoned piece of hardware. And DJ Saul, iStrategyLabs’ managing director, envisions greater customization in the future. He illustrated what this might look like, telling the Daily Dot, “One click is ‘call my phone,’ two clicks is ‘send a message,’ three clicks is ‘order an Uber,’ four clicks is ‘order a pizza,’ five clicks is ‘open my garage door,’ and so on and so forth.”

Eliminating a few taps on our phones by clicking our heels is either a sign of our supreme and irreversible laziness or the power of technology to simplify our lives. For now, let’s stick with the latter.

TIME celebrity

Brad Pitt is Zach Galifianakis’ Latest Victim on Between Two Ferns

Featuring a cameo by Louis C.K.

In another hilarious episode of Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis shows he is not afraid to ask Fury star Brad Pitt hard-hitting questions like, “Do you think people focus maybe too much on your looks and don’t even, you know, realize that you’re just a s***ty actor?” Watch closely for the brief cameo by stand-up comedian Louis C.K.

MORE: President Obama on Between Two Ferns: How Funny or Die Made It Happen

WATCH: President Obama on Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns

MORE: Obama vs. Galifianakis: Who Won Between Two Ferns?

 

TIME celebrity

The Situation’s Day in Court: Here’s How 5 Other Celebs Dealt With Tax Troubles

"Love, Loss, (Gym, Tan) and Laundry: A Farewell To The Jersey Shore" - 2012 New York Television Festival
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino attends "Love, Loss, (Gym, Tan) and Laundry: A Farewell To The Jersey Shore" during the 2012 New York Television Festival. Dave Kotinsky—Getty Images

A brief history of the IRS vs. famous people, from Lauryn Hill to Sophia Loren

Last month, Michael Sorrentino — better known as “The Situation” from MTV’s Jersey Shorewas indicted (alongside his brother Marc Sorrentino) for allegedly failing to pay taxes on nearly $9 million of income. Thursday, Oct. 23., the brothers head to court for their arraignment in Newark, N.J. (Please note: the original arraignment was set for Oct. 6, but the judge kindly postponed it so The Situation could go film a reality show called Marriage Boot Camp in Los Angeles. No, we’re not making that up.)

The Situation and his brother face one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, along with three and two counts, respectively, of filing false tax returns for 2010 through 2012. The Situation also faces an additional count for allegedly failing to file a tax return for 2011.

But Mr. Sorrentino is hardly the first celebrity to get into an, er, situation with the IRS. Here, a look back at some other stars who found themselves facing serious tax troubles:

Al Capone

What was it that finally brought down America’s most powerful mobster — who in this case we’ll consider a celebrity? Tax troubles. In 1931, authorities found Capone guilty of tax evasion and hit him with an 11-year sentence. By the time he was released, Prohibition was no more — and other mobsters had taken over his organization, as TIME reported. His health began to deteriorate too — a result of having contracted syphilis — and it was really just all downhill from there.

Lauryn Hill

In 2013, the legendary hip hop artist served a three-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to tax evasion. The Grammy winner was convicted for failing to pay nearly $1 million taxes, People reported. She told the judge she intended to pay the taxes eventually, but was unable to do so during the period of time when she dropped out of the music business. Shortly before her sentence began, Hill took to her Tumblr to post a sprawling open letter, where she connected America’s deep history of racism to her IRS troubles.

Willie Nelson

When somebody mentions the name Willie Nelson, a few things probably come to mind: a twangy voice, long gray braids, a deep love for marijuana — and a hellish battle with the IRS. In 1990, the country legend owed $16.7 in unpaid back taxes and had to hand over many of his possessions to keep himself out of prison. To help pay his debt, the country crooner even released an album called The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? in 1992. Nelson struck an agreement with the government that if the album sold 4 million copies, his debts would be cleared. That did not happen — but it did come close, pulling in $3.6 million. By 1993, Nelson finally settled his tab.

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes’ relationship with the IRS has been a tumultuous one. The saga began in 2006 when the actor was initially accused of tax fraud. Two years later, a federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for willfully failing to file his tax returns. Snipes began his sentence in 2010 and was released in 2013. He soon dove back into his acting career with a role in 2014’s The Expendables 3 and, now, with a rumored role in another Blade film.

Sophia Loren

Fun fact: film legend Sophia Loren served 17 days in prison in 1982 over a dispute with the Italian authorities over her 1974 tax return. Here’s what happened: she declared less income that year because her compensation for the film Il viaggio was deferred, thus moving her into a lower tax bracket. Officials, however, maintained that she should have paid a higher rate. She appealed the ruling but still ended up being forced to serve 17 days (of a 30-day sentence). But in 2013 — nearly 40 decades after the dispute began — Italy’s Supreme Court finally cleared her of the tax evasion charges. So yes, she paid the right amount after all.

TIME society

These Are the Safest Colleges for Having Sex

According to a new sexual report card by condom brand Trojan

Condom brand Trojan and researcher Bert Sperling, who is known for charting the best places to live in the U.S., have released what they call a “Sexual Health Report Card,” a ranking of universities based on factors like “condom availability, student health center hours of operation and the usability and quality of their sexual health website,” according to a statement.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Oregon State University
  2. The University of Texas at Austin
  3. University of Maryland-College Park
  4. University of Arizona
  5. Stanford University
  6. University of Michigan
  7. Brown University
  8. Columbia University in the City of New York
  9. Syracuse University
  10. University of Wisconsin

Student health centers were also graded on factors like services for victims of sexual assault, whether contraceptive availability and HIV/STI testing were free or at a cost and whether they permitted drop-ins or required students to make appointments.

The full list of schools is on Bert Sperling’s website.

(h/t Huffington Post)

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks’ New Chestnut Praline Latte Will Save Us From the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte Starbucks
Starbucks

Get ready for the coffee chain's newest seasonal beverage

Ladies and gentleman, take heart, the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s reign of terror is coming to an end.

Your knight in shining armor is the Starbucks’ new-nationwide Chestnut Praline Latte, slated for release at Starbucks locations across the country this fall.

The impending national release of the Chestnut Praline Latte (from here on out referred to as ‘CPL’) is consequential because, as an overly sweet, holiday-themed liquid dessert disguised as a coffee drink, the CPL is poised to displace the Pumpkin Spice Latte in the hearts of bros, basics and whoever else drinks those things everywhere.

The Chestnut Praline Latte has the advantage of being named for two actual ingredients — criteria the Pumpkin “Spice” Latte cannot claim to meet.

Lest the import of this news not resonate with you, consider the hysteria that has gripped America as we have grappled with life in the age of Peak Pumpkin. Just days ago in Washington, D.C., I spotted a sign for pumpkin mussels. Granted, the chef had the courtesy not to advertise “pumpkin spice” mussels, but my PSL-weary brain filled in the phrase nonetheless.

Rest easy, America. Hope is on the horizon. The CPL drops nationwide Nov. 12, reports The Huffington Post.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of what the CPL is likely to resemble, presumably taken last year when the CPL was released in selected test markets.

TIME relationships

Woman Spends Entire Week In KFC After Getting Dumped By Her Boyfriend

Col Harland Sanders founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. John Olson—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

"I just wanted some chicken wings."

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, a woman in China realized that only one person could help her in her time of need: Colonel Sanders.

Tan Shen, 26, accidentally on-purpose spent a full week at a 24/7 KFC in Chengdu, calling in sick to work, to mourn the loss of her relationship.

“I hadn’t planned on staying there long, I just wanted some chicken wings,” Tan told Yahoo. “But once I got in there and started eating I decided I needed time to think.”

But is KFC really where you’d want to spend your time of mourning? Are the chicken wings really that good?

After all, Tan herself admits that after a week, “I was getting sick of the taste of chicken, so there was no point in staying there anymore.” (That and local media started showing up to take photos).

Here are some places that might have been better week-long hideaways:

McDonald’s
Find a Play Place and start enjoying the little things in life again.

Walmart
If it’s good enough for a 9-month pregnant woman, as depicted in Where The Heart Is, it should be good enough for the lovesick.

Anthropologie
Just so aesthetically pleasing.

A make-your-own, pay-by-the-pound Fro-Yo shop
Because… cliches.

Maybe then Tan would have looked slightly more upbeat:

TIME photography

See Breathtaking Aerial Views of Fall Foliage

Autumn is here, and photographers everywhere are capturing the changing colors of the season. Poland-based photographer Kacper Kowalski captured the most unique views of all, opting to shoot his country’s fall foliage by paraglider (and sometimes gyroplane), creating these magnificent images of the landscape.

“I fly alone as the pilot and photographer,” Kowalski told TIME. “I use a regular reportage camera in my hand. [In this] way I can have control over the image, I can decide by myself where, how and when I will fly to take the image.”

The pictures are part of a larger body of work by Kowalski where he has captured both rural and urban parts of Poland over several years. “I work and live in Gdynia in the northern part of Poland . . . very close to Gdansk at the Baltic sea. The landscape is very rich. And the nature. It is absolutley amazing. Because of the climate in this geographical location it is different each week.”

You can see more of Kowalski’s work and read more about his process here.

TIME technology

This App Can Scan and Solve Math Equations Instantly

Doing math homework just got way easier

A viral video about a new app looks like a dream come true for anyone who struggles with math.

Based on the promo clip, PhotoMath, dubbed a “smart camera calculator,” appears to use smartphone cameras to scan a photo of a math equation in a textbook and display the answer instantly — similar to apps that scan barcodes and takes users to a link in a web browser. It looks like the app can also show step-by-step instructions for solving the problem.

PhotoMath’s parent company MicroBLINK launched the app this week at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in London, TechCrunch reports. It is available in the App Store on iTunes.

MORE: Really Hard Math Problems With Friends: A New Way to Prep for the SAT and ACT

Read next: 50 Best iPhone Apps, 2014 Edition

TIME viral

Dawson’s Creek Is So Much More Fun to Watch When Reenacted by Dachshunds

It's great, but their cry faces could use some work

How do you make a sappy, melodramatic ’90s teen drama better? You add dogs, obviously.

And that is why we now have Dachshund’s Creek, which is just like Dawson’s Creek, but with wiener dogs instead of people. It’s “a story about love, life and growing up” and stars pooches named Gandalf, Winnie, Mocha and Aurora as the show’s central characters: Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Jen. It’s got the teen angst, sexual tension and melodrama you expect — but it’s so much cuter.

Man, this is so beautiful it makes us want to cry.

TIME celebrity

Here Are Bill Murray’s Thoughts on Tinder

He doesn't need it to get a date

Bill Murray dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday to talk about his new movie St. Vincent — but ended up talking about Tinder instead.

Kimmel brought up the mobile dating app, kind of out of nowhere, asking Murray if he’d ever consider using it (or if he’d even heard of it.) Murray indeed knows about Tinder, but he has no interest in participation. “I feel like I’ve lived that life and I can live that life any moment,” he says with confidence. He then goes on to prove just how skilled he is at hitting on people without the help of an app, and things get a little weird.

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