Taco Bell for Foodies

Taco Bell/Yum Brands

Taco Bell revealed its secret fast casual project that will take on Chipotle with $7 tacos and a hip décor, starting this summer

Taco Bell is testing out a fast casual restaurant called U.S. Taco Co and Urban Tap Room. The clandestine concept—it was even hidden from Taco Bell employees—was developed over the course of the past year in Taco Bell’s Irvine, California headquarters, according to USA Today. The first U.S. Taco is scheduled to open this summer in Huntington Beach, California.

And this won’t be your pot-smoking uncle’s Taco Bell: The tacos at Taco Co. will sell for as much as $7. There will be 10 soft-shell, open-faced tacos initially available on the menu—one of which has lobster, another of which has brisket.

Taco Bell hopes to take on fast casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera and profit from a key demographic: Millennials who fancy themselves foodies with change to spare. “We realized that at Taco Bell we weren’t reaching all of those who want Mexican food,” says Jeff Jenkins, senior brand manager. “Everyone in the U.S. has become a foodie. The first thing young people do in a restaurant is take out their camera and take a picture of their food — and post it on Instagram.”

Taco Bell/Yum Brands

If they were aiming for an Instagram-able look, the restaurant’s logo certainly makes a statement: it’s a bright pinks Day of the Dead sugar skill. Indeed, the company has gone to great pains to redefine its image with this project. The name Taco Bell won’t even appear in the restaurant. “This is an entirely separate brand,” says Jenkins. “You will not see Taco Bell.”

[USA Today]

 

 

technology

There’s Now a Wax Statue of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, But Are You Allowed to Poke It?

Not that you'd want to, as it's a bit creepy

Next time you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to say hi to Mark Zuckerberg. Or at least, say hi to this new, rather realistic wax statue of him.

Soon, the figure will be on display in San Francisco at the new branch of the famed Madame Tussauds wax museum opening June 26, NBC Bay Area reports. The replica features the Facebook creator sitting barefoot and cross-legged in his trademark casual attire, peering off into the distance with a Macbook balanced in his lap.

Zuck made his debut Wednesday alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Rihanna as part of a sneak preview for the new attraction. Check out this handsome trio:

The Zuck replica took three to four months to create and is apparently accurate down to each freckle, Mashable reports. So clearly that makes it even creepier. Anyway, hopefully everybody who goes to see it this summer will post long, overwrought Facebook statuses about it. Can’t wait!

NextDraft

How The FCC Plans to Save The Internet and Other Fascinating News on the Web

April 24, 2014

nextdraft_newsfeed_v2

1. Strife in the Fast Lane

According to several sources, the FCC is set to propose new net neutrality rules “that would allow broadband providers to charge companies a premium for access to their fastest lanes.” That’s decent news for deep-pocketed companies that can pay for faster connectivity and even better news for broadband providers that can charge more for a speedier service. It’s bad news for everyone else. Faster service for some means slower service for others. Many of today’s big internet companies got that way because they had access to a level playing field. The Internet let the little guy become the big guy. And now the big guy wants to have an unfair advantage with faster pipes. The hell with that.

+ Ryan Singel: The FCC plans to save the Internet by destroying it.

+ Tim Wu in The New Yorker: “It threatens to make the Internet just like everything else in American society: unequal in a way that deeply threatens our long-term prosperity.”

Arts

If Wes Anderson Directed Forrest Gump, Here’s What You’d Get

Thanks for sorting this one out, Internet

+ READ ARTICLE

Imagine if Forrest Gump got the oh-so-twee Wes Anderson treatment — it would totally change the entire aesthetic of the movie. Well, filmmaker Louis Paquet decided to reproduce the iconic film’s opening credits, retitling the work A Chocolate Box Kind of Life. He pretty much nails it with the music, camera angles, typography and props, and now we kind of wish we could see the entire movie. First, we just need to find a role for Jason Schwartzman.

(h/t Mashable)

animals

The Bronx Zoo Welcomes 2 New Adorable Baby Gorillas

Tutti
“Tuti,” a female Western Lowland gorilla looks down at her sleeping baby at the Bronx Zoo in New York. With the addition of two new baby gorillas recently born at the zoo, the Bronx Zoo'’s Congo Gorilla Forest is now home to 20 gorillas. Julie Larsen Maher—WCS/AP

The babies are the first in 8 years

The Bronx Zoo got two new additions this spring: a pair of baby gorillas. One was born on March 10, the other on April 17. Though they have two different mothers, Julia and Tuti, they share the same father, Ernie. Zookeepers haven’t determined the sex of the two babies yet because they have not been able to get close enough to examine them, the New York Daily News reports.

Newborn gorillas weight between 4 and 5 pounds, though they will grow to be between 350 and 450 pounds if male or 150 to 250 pounds if female.

The babies are the first newcomers to the zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest in eight years. Western lowland gorillas, native to equatorial Africa, are critically endangered.

[New York Daily News]

technology

This Gadget Makes Gallons of Drinking Water Out of Air

A U.S. Army member pours water generated by Water-Gen's Atmospheric Water-Generation Unit during an exercise. Courtesy Water-Gen

An Israeli startup is selling its atmospheric water generators to several countries, but it may be a while before a consumer version hits the shelves

Water is in the air nearly everywhere on earth, even in the most parched desert. But that doesn’t help much when you’re thirsty because most of that H20 is in its vaporized form, not its handy liquid state.

To solve that dilemma, an Israeli startup based in Rishon LeZion has developed a portable water generator, which extracts water from the air by sucking it in and cooling it down, much like an air conditioner, but a lot more efficient. “We bring the water in the air to the dew point and recycle the cold air so we can reuse it to cool the water even more,” Water-Gen CEO Arye Kohavi told TIME.

Courtesy Water-Gen

Called the Atmospheric Water Generation Unit, the generator-powered device can produce up to 450 gallons of clean water a day for as little as eight cents a gallon. (It needs about 310 watt-hours of energy to make a liter — just over a quart — of drinking water.) Available in either ground or vehicle configurations, the units are no lightweights, weighing in at about 1100 and 175 pounds, respectively. Prices start at $18,000 for the Gen-40 vehicle model and $30,000 for the larger, Gen-350 ground unit (shown at left).

Ok, so chances are you won’t be hauling them around on your next camping trip. But the units are quickly gaining traction in the military sector and are currently being tested by armed forces from seven countries, including the United States, India, France and Mexico.

Water-Gen isn’t the first company to market such a device, but Kohavi says his units are more energy efficient because they reuse the cool air generated while converting water vapors to liquid to create even more water. He’s also working on adapting the technology for personal use in clothes dryers and dehumidifiers that could speed drying time by as much as a third.

Body Image

Beyoncé Wants You to Tell the World What ‘Pretty’ Means

Beyoncé is pretty great at inspiring people to start hashtags —just think #serfbort and #iwokeuplikethis — but with the announcement today of her inclusion in this year’s TIME 100 and the exclusive premiere of the official video for “Pretty Hurts” on TIME.com, she’s decided to mint her very own. The superstar is asking fans to define the word pretty by posting photos that represent what the word means to them using the hashtag #WhatIsPretty.

Check out a few choice submissions below (if you like selfies and Beyoncé photos, you’re in luck).

Sports

You Will Never Know Joy Like This Adorable Little Kid at a Hockey Game

He is positively giddy when player Jordin Tootoo gives him his stick

+ READ ARTICLE

Hockey player Jordin Tootoo failed to make the Detroit Red Wings’ playoff roster and was recently sent to the team’s AHL affiliate, but he seems to be maintaining a pretty good attitude nonetheless.

While walking to the locker room during a recent game, Tootoo spotted a young fan and completely made the kid’s night (or week, or probably his entire life) by letting him keep his hockey stick. Seriously, has anyone else ever known euphoria like this?

Meanwhile, though, another young fan (who you’ll notice in the top right corner of the video) is just looking for a high-five, and Tootoo totally leaves him hanging. That boy’s complete and utter despair kind of cancels out this other kid’s unadulterated joy, reminding us once again that the world is a dark place and life is ultimately pointless and nothing really matters. Bye.

Appreciation

This Is the World’s Most Accurate Depiction of IKEA

And now we just want some meatballs

If you’ve ever set foot inside an IKEA, then you know that this is a spot-on representation of the store’s layout:

Blueprint of Ikea

 

This Weatherman Can’t Stop Laughing

Yes, the weather is laughable

+ READ ARTICLE

For certain parts of the country, the weather this year has been completely laughable. (Avert your eyes, Los Angeles dwellers.)

Between the unseasonable cold spells, unending downpours and serious lack of spring weather, it should come as no surprise that the meteorologists are starting to crack up a bit under the pressure of reporting rain, rain, snow in April, and then some more rain.

At least that’s why we assume WGRZ’s weatherman Andy Parker broke into a three-minute long giggle fit while trying to report the weekly weather forecast on Tuesday.

If you can’t laugh at the terrible weather, what can you laugh at? Oh right, this.

MORE: The 10 Best Viral Weather Forecast Videos

MORE: Watch This Weatherman Get Tricked Into Wishing ‘Hugh Janus’ a Happy Birthday on Live TV

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