TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: April 7

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. It’s time to give up the uniquely American institution of the network anchorman.

By Frank Rich in New York magazine

2. On Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday, her “spiritual endowment” endures.

By Wynton Marsalis in Time

3. How to save crowdfunding from scammers and flakes.

By Klint Finley in Wired

4. Here’s how Putin could lose power.

By Amanda Taub in Vox

5. What if the secret to racial harmony is more uplifting internet videos?

By Katie Jacobs at Penn State News

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Appreciation

Watch The Matrix Lobby-Fight Scene Re-Enacted With Legos

A Redditor spent at least 160 hours re-creating this scene

Matrix franchise aficionados and Lego geeks can revel in a new YouTube re-enactment of the famous lobby-fight sequence from the original 1999 sci-fi action film. Shot scene-for-scene with Legos plastic toys, Reddit user Snooperking animated every minute detail from Trinity running up walls and Neo cartwheeling while volleys of plastic bullets knock cubic chunks out of the walls.

On Reddit, Snooperking said he toiled for approximately 160 hours to re-enact the iconic scene over three months. “I could only do like up to two hours a day before I got sick of it and had to play Battlefield,” Snooperking said. He selected the complex fight sequence to challenge himself to improve his animation skills, after creating a Star Wars Lego video in 2014.

To get a sense of the sheer patience required to reconstruct the Matrix scene with plastic Legos, Snooperking also offers a behind-the-scene video.

TIME Food & Drink

See Why ‘Kawaii Cooking’ Has Become the Hottest Food Trend

Stop everything you are doing and look at these tiny dishes!

It’s the cutest culinary trend ever: videos of tiny meals are exploding online.

Old collectible miniature stoves, pots, pans and other cooking utensils, that wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian dollhouse, are used to create mini edible cuisine, in an art form known as kawaii cooking. (Kawaii is the Japanese word for cute.)

The recipes use real-life ingredients and are cooked over a small candle or flame so you can actually eat them.

The craze started in Japan but has caught on worldwide, with thousands of followers posting videos of their creations and a host of YouTube channels dedicated to the pastime.

It won’t fill you up, but it sure is satisfying to watch.

[Daily Dot]

Read next: This Machine Is Surprisingly Great at Playing the Violin

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME viral

This Puppy’s Devotion to a Broom Will Sweep You Off Your Feet

Watching him squeeze the cleaning tool through the dog door will make you feel even worse about slacking off on chores

If Monday is getting the best of you, and you find yourself out-of-sorts and struggling to make it through your inbox, then let this 10-week old Dutch Shepherd puppy help you get through the day.

In this video YouTube video, a little dog named Tex struggles to solve a big problem. The adorable fluffball must have watched a few too many Disney films, because this puppy really wants to help clean house. (What’s next, tying a ribbon in his owner’s hair?)

To get in on the housecleaning action, he grabs the broom and heads inside until troubled strikes: The pup quickly realizes that the broom will not fit through the doggy door. Luckily, Tex is a clever little dog whose helpfulness is only matched by his resourcefulness.

After solving that problem, the only question left is whether Tex’s housecleaning services are for hire.

TIME Media

3 Ways ‘YouTube Kids’ Will Be Better For Your Children

New app has a streamlined interface and parental controls

If you’ve hung around kids at all in the last few years, you know they love YouTube, even though the video site is only supposed to be for people 13 and up. Now, Google is planning to roll out a YouTube app specifically aimed at kids.

The new app, which launched Monday, is the first in a suite of kid-friendly versions of Google services that the search giant is planning to launch. Here are the child and parent-friendly features of YouTube for Kids that Google has revealed thus far:

A more streamlined interface (and no comments!)

Regular YouTube has at least a dozen different channel categories across a broad variety of topics. YouTube Kids has just four: Television shows, music, educational content and exploring top videos. Comments are also stripped out of the videos, according to USA Today, and images and links are larger than on regular YouTube to make them easier for kids to tap.

Mobile-first design

With more than a third of children under two years old now using smartphones or tablets, it makes sense that Google is building this service for mobile devices instead of desktops. YouTube Kids is available on Android and iOS.

Parental controls

Parents can make sure YouTube doesn’t become a timesink by setting time limits on how long the app can be used. When the limit is reached, the user has to enter a parent-set password to reopen the app. The app will also automatically censor words like “sex,” prompting the child to input a different term.

YouTube Kids will have advertising at launch, but the commercials will be vetted by YouTube’s policy team to ensure they are family-friendly. The app won’t be tied to Google accounts, so kids’ personal information won’t be collected and stored.

TIME viral

This Beck/Beyoncé Mashup Is What Really Should Have Won a Grammy

Screenshot Soundcloud

It was inevitable

One of the biggest upsets at this year’s Grammy Awards was when Beck’s Morning Phase beat out Beyoncé’s self-titled tour de force for Album of the Year. Kanye West was so shocked by the upset that he almost pulled another “Imma let you finish” Taylor Swift moment, going so far as to wander onstage before thinking better of it.

While the Internet continues to debate whether Beck or Beyoncé deserved the award, one clever sound engineer has taken the matter into his or her own hands. Working under the moniker “Beckyoncé,” the song blends Beck’s “Loser” with Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” into an Internet-worthy earworm.

Wonder if Kanye has heard this yet.

[via Stereogum]

TIME viral

Dr. Phil Without Dialogue Is Extra Dramatic

His looks say it all

If a picture says a thousand words, then one of Dr. Phil’s trademark real-talk looks says a million.

A new YouTube video posted by Bill Smith has removed all of the dialogue from an episode of Dr. Phil, yet somehow the high drama remains. The lack of context as the famed TV counselor helps a family navigate the turbulent emotions that came from their honor roll student daughter dating a controlling bad boy who got her pregnant makes the face-off seem even more tense.

Every shake of a head, every dead-eyed stare, every pursed lip and slow nod telegraphed many emotions. By the end of the video it seems clear that they accomplished a lot, even without uttering a single sound.

Read next: Judge Judy Without Dialogue Is Just One Big Staring Contest

 

TIME viral

The Only Thing That Makes Fifty Shades of Grey Sexier Is Steve Buscemi

Buscemi dominates the new trailer

Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has a few things going for him — smoldering eyes, chiseled jaw, sizzling intensity and the ability to speak in a flawless Scottish accent. It’s easy to believe author E.L. James had someone similar in mind for the character of Christian Grey while she wrote the novel that became a global phenomenon. The only person who could, ahem, dominate Dornan as the buttoned-up business man with singular tastes is, of course, Steve Buscemi.

Luckily Internet heroes BooYa Pictures have taken it upon themselves to improve the original Fifty Shades movie trailer by replacing Dornan with the Boardwalk Empire star. In the vastly superior clip, perky college grad Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) comes to interview the CEO of Grey Enterprises and can’t help but fall in lust with the man behind the desk, who now played by Buscemi. Can you blame her?

Read next: This Fifty Shades of Grey LEGO Spoof Gives a Whole New Meaning to the Words ‘Sex Toy’

TIME Comedy

Watch Louis C.K. Take On Babies and Gay Marriage in His New Stand-Up Special

The comedian has a few thoughts about babies.

Louis C.K.’s new stand-up special isn’t available yet, but you can watch the first four minutes of “Live at the Comedy Store” now.

The four-minute clip revolves around everyone’s favorite airplane companions: babies. After a recent travel experience, C.K. finally figured out why so many babies spend their time on airplanes crying. The cause? According to C.K., “they are upset because gay people are getting married.”

To be clear, C.K. doesn’t agree with their temper tantrums, because love is love and babies are selfish. “I think if people are in love, they should get married,” he clarified. “But they can’t accept that. They’re just being babies.”

As he has done for the past few years, the comedian is making his latest comedy hour available to stream and/or download on his website for just $5.

[Via Uproxx]

TIME Videos

Watch Rowlf Sing Biz Markie’s ‘Just A Friend’ to Miss Piggy

Even Muppet dogs get put in the friend zone.

Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date, but she was smitten with your little green friend Kermit? Welcome to the friend zone, Rowlf.

Biz Markie’s 1989 riotous rap classic “Just A Friend” gets a Muppet-themed remix video by Mylo the Cat and it’s the perfect thing to watch on a Monday afternoon (or if you’re snowed in thanks to winter storm Juno).

In the video, Rowlf, the piano-playing Muppet dog, sings about his love for a certain blonde pig, who has a thing for a frog, but swears he’s just a friend.

By the end of the song, though, it’s clear that Rowlf tragically learned his lesson to never talk to a pig who says she just has “a friend.”

[via Laughing Squid]

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