Get Excited for Fall With This Interactive Peak Foliage Map

Kirkikis/iStock via Getty Images
Kirkikis/iStock via Getty Images

The season of scarves, sweaters, and pumpkin spice everything is almost upon us. No matter how you feel about the end of summer, it's hard not appreciate the colorful foliage when it reaches its peak in autumn. Those red, orange, and gold leaves may be visible outside your window sooner than you think; the interactive map below from SmokyMountains.com shows you exactly when to expect them.

Fall foliage normally peaks sometime after the autumnal equinox, which falls on September 23 in 2019, but exactly when depends on variables like rainfall and temperature. Each year, the tourism website SmokyMountains.com looks at weather forecasts and historical trends from NOAA and puts together an interactive map showing when foliage is predicted peak across contiguous U.S.

Warmer temperatures have led to peak foliage occurring later in the season. In 2019, Northern New England, a place famous for its leaf-peeping, will see the brightest leaves around October 5. Peak foliage won't reach the rest of New England until October 12. Around October 26, parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, and Illinois will be treated to the most spectacular leaves of the season, and in Southern states like South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, peak foliage won't begin until November 9. By November 30, the fall foliage will have passed its peak everywhere but along the Gulf coast.

By sliding the scale beneath the map, you can see when foliage is expected to peak in your part of the of the country. You can also use the tool to plan trips around the changing leaves.

"We believe this interactive tool will enable travelers to take more meaningful fall vacations, capture beautiful fall photos, and enjoy the natural beauty of autumn," Wes Melton, the site's data scientist and CTO, said in a statement. "Our nationwide fall foliage prediction map is unique—it is one of the only fall leaf tools that provides accurate predictions for the entire continental United States."

If you can't pick just one destination to take in the foliage this fall, you don't have to—a train ride or a road trip are some of the best ways to see as much of it as possible.

Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit

Flyxbrix/FatBrain
Flyxbrix/FatBrain

Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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The Most Popular TV Show to Binge-Watch During Quarantine in Each State

Is this the face of a man watching The Vampire Diaries? If he's in Montana, the answer is probably yes.
Is this the face of a man watching The Vampire Diaries? If he's in Montana, the answer is probably yes.
gpointstudio/iStock via Getty Images

With few places to go and even fewer people to see, many of us are spending our time in quarantine baking bread, taking virtual tours, and sitting in front of the television for hours. To find out what everyone’s choosing to binge-watch, CableTV.com surveyed almost 7000 viewers across the nation, analyzed the search volume for their responses with Google Trends, and used all of that data to create a map that reveals each state’s most-watched show.

While Netflix’s bizarre true crime docuseries Tiger King and reality dating competition Too Hot to Handle did appear in some surveys, neither they—nor any other new short-lived series—landed in first place for any state. Instead, most people appear to be indulging in nostalgic sitcoms or catching up on critically acclaimed dramas from the recent past (or present).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Friends is the clear winner, coming in first in 13 states in just about every corner of the country, including Texas, California, Florida, and New York. Not only can 10 seasons with Rachel, Joey, and the rest of the gang keep you busy for 121 hours, but the upcoming Friends reunion makes this an even better time for a full rewatch. It’s not the only sitcom on the map: Gilmore Girls, The Office, and Rick and Morty all earned a handful of states each.

map of most watched TV shows in quarantine
Apparently, all it took to make Delawareans finally decide to watch Game of Thrones was a months-long quarantine.
CableTV.com

Other people seem to be using quarantine as an opportunity to commit to TV shows that their friends have probably been begging them to watch for ages. For residents of Washington, D.C. and New Mexico, it’s Breaking Bad, while people in Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, and West Virginia are finally pressing play on The Walking Dead. Based on this study, it looks like most states were already all caught up on Game of Thrones before quarantine—and some people probably rewatched the series just last year to prepare for the final season—but it did rank first in Delaware.

The map isn’t without a few surprises. Missourians, for example, are split between bingeing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Ozark; and folks in Washington and Oregon are apparently all in on Star Trek.

You can see the full list and find out more about the study here.