Mysterious Orbs Fly Over Kansas City, Stumping National Weather Service

iStock/chrisp0
iStock/chrisp0

Today’s weather: cloudy with a chance of … UFOs?

KMBC 9 News reported two unidentified spheres spotted hovering over Kansas City, Missouri on the evening of June 20. Located close to Kansas City International Airport, the mysterious rotund shapes perplexed locals in the area, including the regional National Weather Service office.

That didn’t stop others from drawing their own conclusions; the internet erupted in a memes-torm welcoming our potential alien overlords. Sports fans even conducted a poll to see who would be more interesting to our extraterrestrial voyeurs: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, or the local barbeque. (The consensus? Mahomes.)

But some didn’t believe the encounter was anything out of this world. Locals speculated that the orbs were nothing more than weather balloons taking barometric measures; others suggested they were Google Loon balloons—stratospheric technology that provides internet service to rural and remote areas. Still others claimed they might be part of a test flight launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. military’s research sector.

The latter suspicion was boosted by KMBC-TV reporter William Joy, who tweeted the objects were most likely DARPA balloons hailing from Maryland. According to MIT Technology Review, the agency is testing high-altitude satellites similar to the Google Loons, which would allow for unhindered communication in remote or disaster-hit areas.

Unlike Google Loons and other stratospheric orbs before it, DARPA’s models utilize sensors that read wind speed and directions at greater distances. These sensors allow for the balloons to adjust their position to remain in one spot, explaining why the Kansas City orbs were steadily hanging in place as opposed to bobbing around like apples in a tub.

UFO believers might be disappointed, but there are plenty of other X-Files-worthy stories still to be solved.

[ht KMBC 9 News]

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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Cheesy Like Sunday Morning: Kraft Declares Mac and Cheese a Breakfast Food

Your morning routine just got cheesier.
Your morning routine just got cheesier.
Business Wire

If you take a moment to think about so-called “breakfast foods,” you’ll realize that most of them are just slightly different iterations of foods that aren’t limited to morning meals. Muffins are basically cupcakes with less frosting, and Canadian-style bacon looks a lot like pork loin (it is). Once you’ve broken down these breakfast barriers in your mind, you’re just one small step away from eating macaroni and cheese at 7 a.m.—which, according to Kraft, is totally acceptable.

As CNN reports, Kraft is releasing boxes of its classic mac and cheese with the word breakfast written where it usually says dinner. It’s a way to make parents feel better about deviating from societal expectations as they try to keep their cantankerous kids fed and happy during the current pandemic.

“As a brand loved by the entire family, we’ve learned Kraft Mac & Cheese isn’t just for dinner,” Kraft Heinz spokesperson Kelsey Cooperstein said in a press release. “A Kraft Mac & Cheese breakfast is a win-win for families at a time when they need all the wins they can get.”

Apparently, quite a few people have already mentally removed dinner from the box: in a survey of 1000 parents, Kraft found that 56 percent of them had whipped up morning mac and cheese more often during lockdown. And if they felt a little guilty for not breaking out the waffle iron, Kraft is hoping to make sure they don’t anymore.

Macaroni and cheese lovers can try to snag a breakfast box by tweeting with the hashtags #KMCforBreakfast and #Sweepstakes, and you’ll see a reply to your tweet with a link that’ll reveal if you’ve won. The campaign is running through Friday, August 7, and Kraft will donate 10 boxes of mac and cheese to the nonprofit organization Feed the Children for every entry (winner or not).

Even if you don’t win a designated breakfast box, there’s no reason you can’t appropriate a dinner one for daybreak. In fact, why limit yourself to classic Kraft? Cheetos-flavored mac and cheese is coming to shelves, too.

[h/t CNN]