Jason's out this week, so we called in a worthy substitute to whip up this week's Friday Happy Hour. Below is a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else’s reply, whatever you want. Very casual. On to this week’s topics of discussion. Take it away, Brett!
1. My favorite scene from an episode of Parks and Recreation a few weeks back was when Ben started reading his Star Trek: The Next Generation fanfic to April... READ ON
If you watched The Office (the original), you know how everything ties up at the conclusion of the "documentary." But how many details can you remember? What's David Brent up to these days? Did Tim return to University? Has Gareth gotten more or less creepy? Let us know what you know.
Take the Quiz: The Office Christmas... READ ON
Reading today about the Audi A2 concept car unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show provoked an invitingly distracting mid-day thought experiment about cars of the future. (At left, the Audio A2 Concept via Autoviva.com's Flickr)
The car comes equipped with a new feature called "Semi-Autonomous Drive," which assumes driving responsibilities when motorists find themselves caught in traffic. No doubt a practical solution designed to tackle an annoyingly commonplace problem—and, in places as calamitously... READ ON
A promising series of tests of a new antiviral drug has researchers so jazzed up about its potential success that they're throwing around wild mythology-inspired comparisons to herald its ingenious lethality. If the drug's daunting name—DRACO—isn't enough to unnerve pesky viruses, sending them scurrying to the darkest recesses of your outermost extremities in search of safe haven, then Bucknell University molecular virologist Marie Pizzorno's explanation of how it mimics the attributes of a centaur... READ ON
In a 1997 episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Junk Mail," Kramer, disgusted by receiving an inordinate number of Pottery Barn catalogs, attempts to cancel all postal delivery to his address. Postal employee Newman asks Kramer how he expects to continuing communicating without the reliable benefit of the postal service's efforts. In response, Kramer tacks off a list of alternative methods of communication he believes had rendered the Post Office obsolete—"e-mail, telephone, fax machine, FedEx, Telex,... READ ON
With incidents of severe water scarcity expected to rise substantially as the global population grows and fresh water supplies diminish, scientists are scrambling to come up with effective solutions to the pressing problem of increasingly limited fresh drinking water.
Over the past few decades, desalination has been all the rage. The most common method of desalination utilized today is reverse osmosis. Salt water is filtered through a semipermeable plastic membrane, which separates the ion particles... READ ON
We have a little saying around here—If the Hamburg Data Protection Authority doesn't like it, we don't like it either. What the HDPA doesn't like these days is the new facial recognition feature embedded in Facebook's new photo-tagging software, which is creepily known as "suggested automatic tagging." They claim it violates privacy laws because it's too invasive and collects data without proper authorization (i.e.—automatically). What they should be more concerned about, perhaps, is people posting... READ ON
Remember when Verizon's slogan demanded very directly that you "Join In"? It wasn't that long ago, before that annoying guy started asking everyone under the sun if they could hear him now. How 'bout when McDonald's proclaimed, "We Love to See You Smile"? That was before some disembodied voice admitted, "I'm Lovin' it." "It," we were left to assume, referred to every product McDonald's offers the consuming public. The trick to coming up with a good slogan is, well—it's still kind of a mystery.
An... READ ON
Back in the early 1970s, when Americans were just plain wild about the (seemingly) imminent reality of living in space, a NASA design study attempted to conceptualize just how such an idea could be brought to fruition. The illustrations created to describe how these colonies would look, and what living accoutrements they would contain, represent some pretty funky art from a pretty heady time. Remember, this was a time when it wasn't remotely bizarre that a political neophyte named Ronald Reagan proudly... READ ON
When I was very young, I overheard one of my dad's friends telling him about a swimmer he had witnessed get attacked by a Portuguese Man o' War. In my youthful naivete, I pictured a Portuguese man in a military uniform coming out of the water and randomly attacking someone at the beach. When I asked my dad why such a thing would happen on a random summer day in Duck, North Carolina, and not somewhere in Europe during wartime long ago, he cleared a few things up for me. Portuguese Man o' War was just the... READ ON
The plastic pink flamingo is the official city bird of Madison, WI.