TIME Television

Parks and Rec’s Cones of Dunshire Game Is (Almost) Real

“It’s about the cones. Never forget that.”

+ READ ARTICLE

From the lips of nerds to God’s ears: Cones of Dunshire, the amusingly complex fictional board game featured in Parks and Recreation has become a real-life game thanks to the company behind Settlers of Catan.

Parks and Recreation producers originally contacted Mayfair Games to create a loose concept for the game that Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) dreams up during time off between jobs, as Vulture reported last year. But while a commercial version of the game isn’t headed to stores, Mayfair did flesh out the concept and debut it at gaming convention GenCon, where 33 people paid $100 to participate.

“I don’t think that there was a plan to produce an actual game, and whatever cohesiveness there was to the content was almost an afterthought,” Alex Yeager of Mayfair told Nuvo, Indianapolis’ alt-weekly. “As we’ve moved forward with our planning for this charity event, we’ve come to regret that a little bit!”

Scott and Aziz Ansari, who plays Tom Haverford on the NBC comedy, even made an introductory video for the event. But no word yet on whether any of the lucky gamers followed it up with a round of True American.

TIME Crime

Bikini Coffee Shop Owner Hit With Prostitution Charges

Baristas at "Java Juggs" were allegedly serving up more than just cappuccinos

For the past few years, some coffee shops in Washington state have been taking the idea of customer service a little too far.

A former owner of a Seattle-area “bikini coffee shop” was charged with money laundering and promoting prostitution Thursday, after her baristas allegedly served up sex acts to customers as well as hot drinks, CBS News reports.

Documents claim the “bikini baristas” charged $14 to flash their genitals or breasts at customers, and more for sexual acts.

Prosecutors in Shnohomish County allege that Carmela Panico collected more than $2 million in three years through her illegal business offerings. Panico, a former erotic dancer, managed to skip out on paying her full taxes by operating largely in cash — officials found more than $250,000 during a home raid in 2013.

She may have also had some help from the inside: authorities allege that Darrell O’Neill, a sheriff’s sergeant, gave Panico and her employees the heads-up about police investigations in return for sexual favors.

The coffee stand, Java Juggs, was one of seven locations police busted for charges related to prostitution and lewd contact. According to court documents, Panico would dock employees’ pay if the women weren’t wearing high heels or adequate makeup.

An attorney for Panico said the 52-year-old, feeling a little burned by the coffee business, has left the industry for good.

[CBS News]

TIME Crowdfunding

This Smart Cooler is Now the Most Successful Kickstarter Project Ever

Coolest Cooler

Ice bucket meets challenge

Experts say wearable technology is the next big thing, but now the people have spoken. And the people don’t want smartwatches — they want a cooler that will make margaritas and charge their phones while blasting the latest Pitbull song.

The Coolest Cooler, which has a built-in blender, waterproof speakers, USB chargers, LED lights and other features, become the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever on Tuesday, the crowdfunding site announced. The project raised $13,285,226 from more than 60,000 backers in 52 days, beating previous record-holder the Pebble smartwatch, which raised more than $10 million in 2012.

The historic Kickstarter campaign marks the second attempt by creator Ryan Grepper to fund the cooler of the future. In 2013, his design failed to meet its $125,000 funding goal in time, so this year, he opted for a more modest $50,000 goal — that ended up raising $2 million in 24 hours.

Alas, the Coolest Cooler won’t be ready for any Labor Day bashes (Grepper is still finalizing the design and choosing a factory), but it is still coming to a pool party near you: backers who donated $165 or more are expected to receive the cooler in February 2015, and the item will likely retail for $299.

TIME animals

A Dog Started a House Fire By Turning on the Stove

A dog: man's best friend. A smart dog: firefighter's worst enemy

A dog is the culprit in a Friday night house fire in New Jersey that began when a pooch turned on a stove.

Local firefighters responded to a call in Lacey township and saw fire coming out of the roof of the home, the Asbury Park Press reports. The Forked River Fire Department entered the home and extinguished the fire.

The Ocean County Fire Marshal investigated the fire and found that a dog inside the house turned on the stove, which had then burned through a laptop that was sitting on the stovetop.

No word yet on whether the dog believed there were unattractive photos of it on the incinerated laptop.

[Asbury Park Press]

 

TIME Food & Drink

Watch This Evil Genius Use An Electric Screwdriver to Peel Apples Cause Nobody Got Time for That

If MacGyver had been a chef...

+ READ ARTICLE

It’s true, peeling apples can get really, really boring. But peeling apples with an electric screwdriver actually seems like more fun than not peeling apples at all.

Try this one at home, safely, the next time you’re peeling lots and lots and lots of apples.

TIME Photos

The 22 Most Surprising Photos of the Month

From dogs suckling tiger cubs to earthquake skaters, each photograph will surprise you as TIME shares the most outrageous images from August 2014

TIME Television

Saved by the Bell’s Dustin Diamond Seeking Redemption in Bell Biopic

"Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid" New York Premiere
Dustin Diamond attends the "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on January 24, 2011 in New York City. Jim Spellman—WireImage

The actor who played Screech is looking for a redemption story — but will Behind the Bell be it?

Dustin Diamond, best known for role as Saved by the Bell’s “Screech,” doesn’t understand why he has such a bad reputation.

Like why fans believe he’s actually the aggressive guy they saw on reality show Celebrity Fit Club. (“It was scripted on my end,” the 37-year-old tells TIME. “I had to outdo Gary Busey! I didn’t think the fans would think of everything being real.”)

Or why they were turned off by his self-released and allegedly staged adult film, pleasantly titled Screeched — Saved by the Smell. (“Paris Hilton made $14 million for her sex tape . . . As an opportunist, I thought I could easily fake it and get a stunt double,” he said. “But people just ran with it. Everyone has a sex tape, but I was making porn. And I wasn’t, it wasn’t me. My conscience is clear.”)

And then there was his book, Behind the Bell, that claimed to provide salacious details about cast hookups and drug abuse that even Diamond now admits were embellished. (“They gave me a ghostwriter who just talked to me for a few hours here and there on the phone” and then came up with a false, final manuscript he was “powerless” to change, although he did pose for the cover, Diamond says. While he didn’t say what the book got wrong about other cast members’ stories, he said that he never called anyone a douche-nozzle or had a sexual relationship with NBC Vice President of Children’s Programming, Lisa Mancuso, who died of cancer years before the book’s publication.)

But now, Diamond is ready for redemption, which he hopes will come in the form of the upcoming and unauthorized Lifetime biopic based on Behind the Bell, premiering Monday. Diamond says the film isn’t based on the “nasty and negative” lies told by his ghostwriter, but on Diamond’s own clarifications. Viewers will be “surprised” by the film, Diamond says. And apparently Diamond will be, too — because in spite of his Executive Producer title, Diamond admits that he hasn’t “actually read the script or seen the final product.” Or been on set, for that matter.

When informed that the teaser shows Diamond’s character punching someone in the face while shouting “I’m not Screech!,” he was surprised, because that incident, he says, never happened.

“No one who is writing this was there,” says Diamond, revealing his first signs of concerns over the film, to which he signed on in a hands-off capacity. “I didn’t talk to [the writers] really, so how did they research? I’m going to watch with very nervous hopes . . . if they butcher it and get it completely wrong, I’m just going to film a documentary of just me talking about the errors.”

All this uncertainty might be why Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Bell’s Zack), Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding), and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie) have all exhibited disappointment in Diamond and complete disinterest in watching a dramatized version of what they remember as a positive experience. A spokesperson for Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) responded to an email request for comment with a brusque single-word punctuated response of, “Nope.” Lark Voohries (Lisa), meanwhile, tells TIME that she will be watching because the movie’s release “was flattering all around, you know, that the excitement lives on.”

While Diamond and Voohries have kept in touch and worked together on independent film projects, Diamond says he hasn’t heard from the rest of the cast since he was 16, which was more than 20 years ago. Diamond was only 11 when filming of Saved by the Bell began, which socially isolated him from his mostly 14-year-old cast-mates.

“Some of [the cast] would go out to a bar or a restaurant, and I wasn’t invited,” Diamond says. “And at that age it hurts. And it was like, what am I? I haven’t earned my place?”

Diamond, however, says there are no hard feelings. “No one holds on to a grudge over two decades.” But, depending on the backlash from the Lifetime film, Diamond said that “maybe reaching out to the cast members after all this time would be a good thing.”

TIME Food & Drink

9 Surprising Uses For Bacon in Honor of International Bacon Day

international bacon day 2014
Getty Images

A meaty round-up

August 30 is the 14th annual International Bacon Day, a holiday which should be celebrated by waking up, making yourself some nice sizzling strips of bacon and spending the day properly appreciating all things bacon. And I mean all things.

Here are 9 uses for the comfort food that take bacon fanaticism to a whole new level:

Air Freshener

Want to keep that delicious bacon smell lingering long after breakfast? Now you can, with bacon-scented air freshener.

Toothpaste

This bacon-flavored toothpaste allows you to “practice oral hygiene [and] satisfy cured meat cravings” at the same time, according to its website.

Prayer

The patron saint of bacon is believed to be St. Anthony the Abbot, who was a healer and used pork fat to treat skin diseases.

Landscaping

Who knew bacon could be so picturesque? Photographer Carl Warner is known for his photographs of food landscapes, and he once made a world entirely out of bacon.

Vodka

According to its website, Bakon Vodka is “Pure. Refreshing. Bacon.” It even has a list of recipes, including a BLT Martini.

Shaving Cream

Here’s some bacon shaving cream, for all the guys out there who want their faces to smell like bacon.

Perfume

But don’t worry girls, you can wear eau-de-bacon as well with this bacon perfume.

Lube

For couples who want to incorporate bacon in the bedroom, here’s some bacon lube that “is sure to have the bacon lover in your life squealing with pleasure.”

Coffin

And for the truly die-hard bacon fans out there, here is the bacon coffin you’ve all been waiting for.

TIME animals

Florida Man Says He Ate 15 Threatened Tortoises and Planned to Eat 11 More

A gopher tortoise. Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute—Reuters

An officer found him in the woods, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Wildlife authorities say a Florida man confessed to killing gopher tortoises, a threatened species, for their meat.

On Facebook, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote that a member of the public tipped them off to tortoise shells that were being dumped in the woods in Citrus County, north of Tampa. Officer Thomas Reid went to the woods and found a container with 11 live tortoises. He stayed there until the man showed up, confronting him when he started to move the reptiles into a truck.

“The man told Reid that he had killed 15 gopher tortoises and dumped the shells in the woods and that he had caught the 11 that were in the container and was planning on eating them,” according to the Facebook post.

The officer freed the 11 reptiles. No word on whether the man was making turtle soup.

(h/t Reuters via WFTS Tampa Bay)

TIME NextDraft

Google’s Secret Drone Delivery Program and Other Fascinating News on the Web

August 29, 2014

nextdraft_newsfeed_v2

1. Let’s Just Wing It

My kids are much more amazed by snail mail than email. When I was kid, my friend Mordy used to live next to an old Pony Express stop, and we’d talk about the time and effort that must have gone in to delivering a package by horseback. There’s always been something magical about the process of getting an item from point A to point B. And it keeps getting faster; from next month, to next week, to next day. And now we want to get transit time even closer to now. The notion of receiving a package via a small aircraft seems almost ludicrous. But many big companies are totally serious about dropping a delivery at your doorstep via small, autonomous flying machines. (Now we just need a team of robots to get it from the front door to the couch.) The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal takes you inside google’s secret drone-delivery program.

+ WaPo shares some of the philosophy of Google’s Project Wing: “Think of the mom stuck at home with two sick kids, the hiker who’s met a poisonous snake, or the farmer out in the field with a sick animal. It could also open up new models for sharing goods rather than owning them — who needs a power drill for more than eight minutes a year?” For my sake, I hope these drones are strong enough to carry a power drill and someone who knows how to use a power drill.

2. Laptop of Doom

“Use small grenades with the virus, and throw them in closed areas like metros, soccer stadiums, or entertainment centers. Best to do it next to the air-conditioning.” Foreign Policy on what they found inside an Islamic State’s terror laptop of doom.

+ The U.K. has raised its terror threat level to severe.

+ Is waterboarding torture? The Islamic State seems to think so.

3. Weekend Reads

“Whenever a musical number comes on we all get up to sing and dance. People here have no inhibitions. We don’t have to worry about our kids feeling embarrassed by us.” Buzzfeed’s Alex French on the “boomers who want to spend their golden years with access to 11 a.m. happy hours, thousands of activities, and no-strings-attached sex.” (Eat your hearts out, Millennials). Seven days and nights inside the world’s rowdiest retirement community.

+ “Of all Motorola’s inventions, none were as transformative as the cell phone. A request from Orlando Wilson, Chicago’s police chief from 1960 to 1967, provided the impetus. Violent crime in the city was surging. Wilson wanted his patrol officers out of their cars and on foot, but he didn’t want them on the street without a way to stay connected.” Chicago Magazine on the rise and fall of a once dominant company: What Happened to Motorola?

+ “Almost 40 percent of the world’s population lives in countries, primarily in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Persian Gulf, where abortion is either banned or severely restricted.” So the abortion wars are getting more local. Down to individual homes. From NYT Mag: The Dawn of the Post-Clinic Abortion.

+ When people find out that I’m the nation’s first and only full-time barbecue editor, they tell me it sounds like the coolest job in the world. Then they ask me about my cholesterol.” From Texas Monthly: Confessions of a Fat Bastard.

4. Just Say Novorossiya

As tanks and soldiers crossed the border from Russia, Vladimir Putin compared Ukrainian soldiers to Nazi invaders in World War II and addressed remarks to Novorossiya or “New Russia, a politically loaded term used by the separatists for the part of eastern Ukraine that they want to become part of the Russian Federation.”

+ Quartz: The invasion of Ukraine, in maps, satellite photos, and video.

5. Can You Read Me Now?

A study out of UCLA found that kids who spend a lot of time in front of screens are less adept at reading the emotions of others. “Sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.” (Sidenote to my kids: The human emotion I’m trying to convey is Get the hell off the damn iPad.)

+ Syndicated from Kottke: “A plan used to be simple: you would agree to meet someone at a certain time and place and then you would meet them there and then. Now, a plan is subject to all sorts of revisions because “cellphones make people flaky as #%@*“.

6. Shabbat, Shalom

Where does the time go? It turns out that question is not rhetorical. The time goes into your job. According to Gallup, an average “full-time workweek” clocks in at about 47 hours a week.

+ 80% of Americans took a week’s vacation in 1976. Just 56% will in 2014.

7. Asked and Answered

If you want to maximize the odds of catching a foul ball, where should you sit in the ballpark? Where is America’s deadliest intersection? How do they make designer dogs? Find these answers and more in Time’s Answers Issue: Your guide to everything you didn’t know you need to know.

8. Commander in Chef

He is the ultimate first family insider. The president spent five hours at his apartment to celebrate his last week as a bachelor. And it all started when he stole their Cheetos. Meet the the Obama’s Foodmaster General.

+ NatGeo: Should we be eating like our ancestors?

9. What Does David Chase Know?

During the past week, the Internet has been obsessed with the identity of Hello Kitty, and the current health status of Tony Soprano. In Vox Todd VanDerWerff argues that both stories are “actually about the exact same thing: authorial intent.” It could actually be about something else: It’s more fun to talk about Hello Kitty than than Ebola.

+ I’m guessing something similar also played a factor in our nearly instant national obsession with Obama’s tan suit.

10. The Bottom of the News

“I thought he was pretty damn nice, because I thought I was gonna get fired.” The Daily Beast on Paul Shaffer’s life with Letterman.

+ Seventy-five percent of Ikea’s catalog is computer generated imagery (which means it probably lasts a lot longer than the real thing).

+ Bad news for tennis fans: Grunting may actually help players play better.

+ Take a look at the trailer for Jon Stewart’s directorial debut. Spolier alert: It’s not a comedy. Like, really not.

+ MSN Messenger is shutting down. Why’d I even bother reserving usernames for my grandkids…

nextdraft

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