TIME viral

Watch Flying Robots Play Musical Instruments

It won't be long before they're hired to play the national anthem at a sports game or something

Rock out as this band of flying robots made by KMel Robotics plays the “2001: A Space Odyssey” theme song, “Carol of the Bells”, and the U.S. national anthem the “Star Spangled Banner.” The group will be playing live this weekend at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington D.C.

TIME society

Girl Gets Kicked Out of Prom for Having the Nerve to Wear Pants

Shafer Rupard should have known better than to show up to a prom in 2014 wearing pantaloons

For whatever reason, prom season has become a marker both of how far we have come as a society and of how far we still have to go. Signs of advancement (a Massachusetts high school elected a transgender girl prom queen in 2013) are regularly met with opposition to progress (a group of Indiana high schoolers joined together to try to ban gay classmates from a “traditional” prom).

Today’s story that will make you feel right at home in your poodle skirt? A North Carolina senior was asked to leave her prom because she dared to wear… pants. And not just any pants. Skinny jeans. If you can handle this BSFW (barely suitable for work) photo, here’s how Shafer Rupard looked at her Cherryville High School prom:

There are many obvious problems with this situation, not the least of which is that Cherryville High School didn’t even have dress code requirements for its prom (which the school acknowledged to Rupard’s mother Shawn McQuaige, although never actually apologized for).

Beyond that, as McQuaige put it to WBTV News, wearing pants is just the way Ruparb “feel[s] comfortable in her own skin… We want to put out the message to all teenagers that you should be allowed to be yourself.”

(WBTV)

TIME celebrity

Kanye West Asked Seth Rogen and James Franco to Perform Their 'Bound 2' Parody at His Wedding

Michael Tran / FilmMagic / Getty Images

The rapper requested that the funnymen recreate their parody of his "Bound 2" music video

Back in November, Seth Rogen and James Franco decided to spoof the video for Kanye West’s “Bound 2,” which featured the rapper and his fiancée, Kim Kardashian, humping on a motorcycle. Apparently, Kanye loved it so much that he asked the duo to perform it as his upcoming wedding in France, Pitchfork reports.

The 36-year-old actor explained during a recent appearance on The View that Kanye called him and Rogen two weeks ago requesting a special wedding performance.

“It would have been awesome for about 20 seconds,” Franco said, “but then there would be Seth with his shirt off in front all the Kardashians.”

So yeah, let’s not get our hopes up. But it would be pretty great to see this happen at what’s sure to be an already ridiculous affair:

 

TIME NextDraft

Why We Live in a Sharing Economy and Other Fascinating News on the Web

April 23, 2014

nextdraft_newsfeed_v2

1. Don’t Touch My Junk

At the outset, the Internet looked like a panacea for misanthropic germaphobes. We could interact with the world without actually having to physically engage with its messy parts. But then the sharing economy emerged and everything changed. We went from happily hiding behind our screens to being expected to join in a new age of sharing in the physical world. Wired’s Jason Tanz describes the cultural shift: “We are hopping into strangers’ cars (Lyft, Sidecar, Uber), welcoming them into our spare rooms (Airbnb), dropping our dogs off at their houses (DogVacay, Rover), and eating food in their dining rooms (Feastly). We are letting them rent our cars (RelayRides, Getaround), our boats (Boatbound), our houses (HomeAway), and our power tools (Zilok). We are entrusting complete strangers with our most valuable possessions, our personal experiences—and our very lives. In the process, we are entering a new era of Internet-enabled intimacy.” Yeah. Gross.

2. Get of Jail Free Card?

“Older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today’s laws erode people’s confidence in our criminal justice system, and I am confident that this initiative will go far to promote the most fundamental of American ideals — equal justice for all.” That’s Deputy Attorney General James Cole explaining some of the reasoning behind a new program urging non-violent offenders serving excessively long (sometimes, ridiculously long) sentences to apply for release under new clemency guidelines.

+ Bars, schools, churches, airports. Those are just some of the places Georgia residents could be allowed to bring their guns thanks to a new law signed today.

3. Knock (it) Off

“Asking athletes to play on minimal sleep degrades their ability to get the most benefit out of training. They spend all this time practicing but never get to sleep.” Some professional sports teams hire Harvard’s Dr. Charles Czeisler as a consultant to help them win. His advice is always the same: The players need to get more sleep. (Stay tuned. Before long, your boss will be telling you to do the same thing.)

4. The New Things

Private smartphones, brain mapping, agricultural drones, and the Oculus Rift all made the list in Technology Review’s guide to the breakthroughs that will matter for years to come.

+ Somehow, the shoe insoles that tickle your feet to give you directions did not make the list.

+ Among cows, the biggest technological breakthrough has changed an entire industry. “Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand.” (Is it weird that I’m turned on?)

5. Bedroom Debts

The Washington Post takes a look at what you’d need to make in every county in America to afford a decent one-bedroom. (Or why you might want to consider looking for an apartment in Arkansas.)

6. Michael

“Twelve years ago, when he was 23, Michael killed a woman at her home in Renfrew, Ont. The victim, a 51-year-old nurse with a husband and four grown children, was no stranger to him. June Stewart was his mother.” The Toronto Star’s Amy Dempsey tells the story of how a family copes when one member — in the midst of a psychotic episode — kills another. What Michael Did.

7. Get Higher Baby

“You’re socially engineered every time you walk through the cereal aisle in the supermarket. The healthy stuff is down at your feet and the stuff with the most sugar and chocolate is at your eye level – or your child’s eye level.” In Vox, Ezra Klein and Michael Pollan talk about big food, and the influence Wall Street has over what we eat.

+ Want to keep your weight under control. Get high. Living in the mountains could prevent you from becoming obese.

8. The Beautiful People

People just named Lupita Nyong’o as the year’s most beautiful person. (No word yet on the year’s most handsome avatar).

+ “I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin … And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse.” That’s from a recent speech on race and beauty given by Nyong’o. It’s worth a listen.

9. Monkey See, Monkey Sue

“We’re definitely asking a judge to make a leap of faith here; what some might see as a quantum leap. My job is to make it seem as small as possible.” From the NYT Magazine: Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner? (Opposable thumbs. Lawsuits. They’re officially human.)

10. The Bottom of the News

“The phones are taking away the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that forever-empty thing … that knowledge that it’s all for nothing and you’re alone … The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off … You never feel completely sad or completely happy, just kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die.” GQ’s most excellent Andrew Corsello pays a visit to Louis C.K., America’s undisputed king of comedy.

+ It’s never too late to become an environmentalist. Welcome to the world of eco-friendly burials. (I’m still hoping to be recycled.)

+ On his 450th birthday, let’s take a look at 50 everyday phrases coined by the Bard. And here are 20 words we owe to Shakespeare.

+ The perks of being president. Obama got a reservation at the Jiro Dreams Of Sushi’ restaurant. I can’t wait to read his Yelp review.

nextdraft

TIME technology

Flappy48 Combines the Two Most Addictive Games Ever Into One

VIETNAM-SOCIETY-GAMES-INTERNET
HOANG DINH NAM—AFP/Getty Images

Like Girl Talk, but for Flappy Bird

When Dong Nguyen released Flappy Bird last May, I don’t think he—or, for that matter, anyone else—could have predicted the game’s spectacular rise and abrupt flameout. Even after Nguyen pulled Flappy Bird from app stores (because, remember, it “ruin[ed] his simple life”), the game lived on in an absurd number of clones. And life–somehow–went on, too.

The next game to similarly capture the public’s imagination was the game 2048, itself a sort of clone of the iOS title Threes!. Though 2048’s 19-year-old developer, Gabriele Cirulli, hasn’t so much as hinted that he wants to take the game down, someone’s had the bright idea to mash up the birds and the bricks. Enter Flappy48, the best of the unholy spawn.

The game takes Flappy Bird’s mechanics and adds a 2048 twist: you begin life as a 2 tile, and, as you flap through the course, you gather differently numbered tiles in a tail behind you; if the bricks are the right multiple of 2, they’ll merge to form a higher numbered one. Naturally, the challenge is keeping everything afloat until, presumably, you reach the 2048 tile. It’s addictive in all the right ways. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Personally, I think winning Flappy48 is impossible. But that wasn’t the point of Flappy Bird, either—like life, the glory, as it were, lies in the striving.

TIME

This Is the Most Glorious Way to Respond to Creepy Tinder Advances

Objectification is a two-way street, fellas

This is the beautiful story of how the Tinder creepers who begin their courtship with lines like “Your boobs are even nicer than my mom’s” learned that objectification is a two-way street.

After a few months of online dating, artist Anna Gensler quickly found out that the typical, 20-something, single gal Tinder experience largely consists of combing through inboxes full of blatant and often anatomically complicated requests. But rather than allow herself to become desensitized to the messages, she decided to capture this unacceptable socially acceptable phenomenon in a way that the world (and her potential suitors) could see.

And so, Gensler started drawing her creepers naked and posting them on (NSFW) Instagram. Gensler told Slate that her drawings are “all based off of these guys’ profile pictures, so their faces and their general positions are the same, but from there I tried to make them look a little chubbier or scrawnier or just not particularly well-endowed.”

Although she did warn potential matches on Tinder and OKCupid that she would draw them naked and post the pictures on the Internet if they sent her a rude message, suitors were undeterred. “I feel like the guys who are really creepy don’t even bother to read my profile at all,” she told Slate. “They’re just like, ‘This girl has two arms and two legs.'”

(Slate)

TIME

Paralyzed Woman Goes Surfing Thanks To Duct Tape

Everybody's gone surfing

They say duct tape can do anything. One man tested that theory by duct taping a paralyzed woman to his back and going surfing. It worked, too.

Pascale Honore was paralyzed in a car accident, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming of surfing, especially as she watched her sons learn the sport in the oceans of Australia.

“I’ve always been active, so I had to be active in a different way,” Honore, 51, told TODAY.com “S— happens and you get on with it. After rehab, I started to look at what I’ve got, [rather than] what I haven’t got.”

Tyron Swan, a now 24-year old friend of her sons and a professional diver, thought he could help.

Swan and Honore hit the beach with a roll of duct tape and an idea. Using a backpack and a roll of the strong tape, Swan was able to rig a harness for Honore that MacGuyver would be proud of. They hit the waves for the first time in December 2012, and have been heading out to the breakers together ever since.

They documented their journey in the 2013 short film, Duct Tape Surfing, and a follow-up is in the works as the duo take on bigger and bigger waves together.

[Via TODAY.com]

MORE: Man Fakes Own Kidnapping to Avoid His Girlfriend

MORE: Gerard Butler for Point Break Remake: Good Reason to Rewatch the Best Part

TIME celebrity

Ellen Page Is Renaming Everyone’s Dogs On Twitter, Including Lena Dunham’s

Our favorite names include Todd, Carrots and Helen Hunt

Yesterday, actress Ellen Page made a pretty nonchalant confession on Twitter:

Then everyone got really excited about this, and began asking the X-Men: Days of Future Past actress to grant their pups new monikers. She swiftly began to reply, doling out some truly perfect new dog names:

Even Lena Dunham got in on the fun:

Page also proved that she doesn’t discriminate by naming a cat, too:

Good job, Ellen Page. This is by the far the best thing any celebrity has ever done on Twitter.

TIME Food & Drink

Here’s What Your Favorite Coffee Drink Says About Your Personality

If you're a cappuccino drinker, you're probably creative, and if you take your coffee black, you're likely very straightforward

Sure, almost everybody likes coffee, but apparently how you like your coffee can reveal quite a bit about your personality. Coffee-crazed blogger Ryoko of I Love Coffee took the results from a recent study about the habits of coffee drinkers and put them into this infographic. It highlights the differences between those who opt for a simple black cup of joe versus those who spring for something a bit fancier.

These results might not be true for everyone, we know, so we recommend taking this with a grain of salt (or, uh, sugar.)

coffee_personality

 

TIME

Watch BASE Jumpers Set a New World Record by Diving Off The Tallest Building on Earth

A touching bro-ment

Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet set a BASE-jumping world record after hopping from the tip of the Burj Khalifa—all 2,717 feet of it—in a stunt sponsored by the skydiving resort Skydive Dubai. Along with a peculiarly uncredited cameraman, the bros share a bro-ment as they soar around the building like unusually large gliders, trailed by twin plumes of dramatic red smoke.

“People think that you BASE jump because you’re crazy, you like to get scared,” either Fred or Vince said. (From the video, it’s not clear whom.) “But, I mean, we like to fly.”

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