45 Fun Questions to Ask Amazon Alexa

You can ask Alexa all kinds of strange, silly questions.
You can ask Alexa all kinds of strange, silly questions.
Amazon

Considering that more than 100 million devices equipped with Amazon Alexa have been sold, you probably have an Amazon Echo or Dot sitting somewhere in your home. And while you’ve likely used the smart speakers to play music, listen to podcasts, or order goods from Amazon.com, you can also use the technology for less practical purposes. Here are a few fun questions you can ask Alexa.

1. Alexa, what’s the mass of the Sun in grams?

An image of the sun in space.
Curious what the mass of the Sun is? Alexa has the answer.
robertsrob/iStock via Getty Images Plus

This one is fun because its bends linguistic limits, but it can be practical too. For instance, try asking Alexa: "Alexa, what's the mass of an Amazon Echo?"

2. Alexa, what are the three laws of robotics?

3. Alexa, are you a robot?

A robot toy looking nervous
This is how Alexa feels when you ask if she's a robot.
josefkubes/iStock via Getty Images Plus

4. Alexa, surely you can’t be serious?

There are two answers to this question—and yes, one involves the movie Airplane!

5. Alexa, what do you think of the shirt I’m wearing?

A young woman in a pink sweatshirt against a blue background
Curious what Alexa thinks of your shirt? Just ask her!
deniskomarov/iStock via Getty Images Plus

6. Alexa, what is the meaning of life?

There are a two answers to this one, and you can probably guess at least one of them.

7. Alexa, how much do you weigh?

A scale on a wooden floor
Alexa can't hop on a scale, but she knows exactly how much she weighs.
demaerre/iStock via Getty Images Plus

This question doesn’t have the same answer as the mass of an Echo.

8. Alexa, what day of the week does the Fourth of July fall on?

Sparklers in front of an American flag
Oh say, Alexa, can you see ... what day of the week the Fourth of July falls on?
RomoloTavani/iStock via Getty Images Plus

9. Alexa, thank you.

The words thank you illustrated in a white speech bubble on a green background
Alexa's done a lot for you ... you should thank her!
Алёна Коваль/iStock via Getty Images Plus

10. Alexa, do you know Siri?

11. Alexa, do you know Cortana?

A man in front of the logo for Cortana.
Satya Nadella at Microsoft's Build Conference in 2014.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Alexa's been hanging out with Cortana, but not with Clippy.

12. Alexa, do you like pizza?

Slices of different kinds of pizza on a wooden table.
Alexa would like a pizza that.
udra/iStock via Getty Images Plus

No word on what Alexa thinks of pineapple pizza.

13. Alexa, play the Kindle Book Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story.

A person reading on a Kindle.
Why read when you can have Alexa read to you?
Manuta/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Alexa will do text-to-speech from Kindle books, picking up where you left off most recently, and there's no extra cost if you already own the Kindle book. Amazon has a helpful page listing the commands Alexa can respond to while in this mode, including skipping forward and back.

14. Alexa, will you be my girlfriend?

15. Alexa, what movie won Best Picture in 1991?

You can read more about the movie here.

16. Alexa, are you blue?

An Amazon dot lit up on a dark blue table.
Ask this question to see how Alexa's feeling.
Karneg/iStock via Getty Images Plus

17. Alexa, what’s the traffic like from here to the airport?

Cars driving on a highway
Whether the roads are congested or clear, Alexa will have an answer for you.
TomasSereda/iStock via Getty Images Plus

18. Alexa, tell me about the movie Iron Man.

Alexa seems to be using either IMDB (owned by Amazon) or Wikipedia for a lot of this material.

19. Alexa, can you rap?

20. Alexa, can you beatbox?

21. Alexa, can you sing?

A microphone in front of a blurry purple background
Can Alexa sing? Yes. Should she? Well ...
Vershinin/iStock via Getty Images Plus

22. Alexa, do you have any pets?

A gray striped kitten sitting on a cat tower
Did you have Alexa pegged as a cat lady?
Nils Jacobi/iStock via Getty Images Plus

23. Alexa, where were you born?

24. Alexa, what is the value of Pi?

The Pi symbol and value written on a chalkboard
How far will Alexa draw it out?
marekuliasz/iStock via Getty Images Plus

25. Alexa, how was your day?

26. Alexa, tell me a joke.

A group of people sitting around a table laughing
Alexa's got jokes!
fizkes/iStock via Getty Images Plus

You can also ask her for a "Yo mama" joke.

27. Alexa, what is your quest?

There are a few Monty Python jokes built in. Try asking about the airspeed of swallows.

28. Alexa, can you spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?

If you can more or less say a word, Alexa can spell it for you. This might be super-handy for kids learning spelling.

29. Alexa, let’s play Global Thermonuclear War.

Apparently Alexa is aware of WarGames.

30. Alexa, tea, Earl Grey, hot.

Steaming tea in a clear cup
It's tea time!
OlegKov/iStock via Getty Images Plus

And Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Alexa also responds to requests like "beam me up!")

31. Alexa, is the cake a lie?

Wow, Alexa has even played Portal!

32. Alexa, close the pod bay doors.

I'm sorry, Dave …

33. Alexa, when is your birthday?

A vanilla cupcake with
Alexa has a birthday just like the rest of us.
RuthBlack/iStock via Getty Images Plus

This is Alexa's product launch date: November 6, 2014. Ask Alexa what her sign is, and she’ll tell you that, too.

34. Alexa, do you know the muffin man?

35. Alexa, up up down down left right left right B A Start!

Konami code

FTW.

36. Alexa, I’ve got 99 problems.

37. Alexa, are we in the Matrix?

There are a couple of answers to this one.

38. Alexa, what’s the first rule of Fight Club? What’s the second rule of Fight Club?

Alexa knows the first two rules, and all the others, too.

39. Alexa, boxers or briefs?

40. Alexa, make me a sandwich.

A number of sandwiches on a wooden table
Alexa's answer to this might not be what you're expecting.
pilipphoto/iStock via Getty Images Plus

41. Alexa, is your refrigerator running?

42. Alexa, find Chuck Norris.

43. Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya.

Alexa is not the six-fingered man.

44. Alexa, more cowbell.

45. Alexa, high five!

A woman high fiving in front of a yellow background
Alexa would high five if she could!
Deagreez/iStock via Getty Images Plus

6 Fun Backgrounds to Use on Your Next Video Call

You might be stuck in the living room, but it doesn't have to look like it.
You might be stuck in the living room, but it doesn't have to look like it.
Ridofranz/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re struggling to find a perfectly decorated wall in your house to serve as the backdrop for your video calls with friends, family, and coworkers, we have good news: Video conferencing platform Zoom lets you customize your very own virtual background.

To do it, log into your Zoom account, go to “Settings” on the left side of your screen, and choose the "Meeting" tab. Scroll down to the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section, and then scroll down farther to make sure the “Virtual background” option is enabled. After that, open the Zoom application on your desktop, click on the “Settings” wheel in the upper right corner, and go to “Virtual Background.” There are a few automatic options, but you can choose your own image from your computer files by clicking on the plus-sign icon.

Now, the only thing left to do is decide which image will best set the tone for your next video call. From the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room to Schitt’s Creek’s Rosebud Motel, here are six of our favorites.

1. The Rosebud Motel lobby from Schitt’s Creek

schitt's creek rose motel lobby
It's not the Ritz-Carlton.
CBC

You can imagine that David is just out of frame, doing his best to carry on a silent—albeit with lots of expressive gesturing—conversation with Stevie at the front desk. (More Schitt's Creek backgrounds here.)

2. Carl and Ellie’s house from Up

carl and ellie's house from up
Balloons not included.
Walt Disney Pictures

If you’re hoping to create a calming atmosphere, look no further than the cozy little sitting room where Carl and Ellie grew old together in 2009's Up. (More Pixar backgrounds here.)

3. The attic study from Knives Out

knives out attic study
Nothing bad has ever happened here.
Lionsgate

If your own study isn’t quite teeming with intriguing souvenirs and leather-bound volumes, feel free to borrow this one from the mansion in 2019’s Knives Out. (More Knives Out backgrounds here.)

4. The USS Enterprise from Star Trek

star trek's uss enterprise bridge
A great way to get your coworkers to fess up to being huge Trekkies.
TrekCore.com, Twitter

Blame your spotty internet connection on the fact that you’re traveling through the galaxy at the speed of light with this background from the bridge of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. (More Star Trek backgrounds here.)

5. The New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room

new york public library reading room
You reserve the right to shush any coworkers who forgot to mute themselves.
New York Public Library

Bibliophiles who can’t make it to the library can still pay a virtual visit to the sumptuous Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s iconic Fifth Avenue location. (More New York Public Library backgrounds here.)

6. The Werk Room from RuPaul’s Drag Race

rupaul's drag race werk room
Sashay away from the screen if you're taking a bathroom break during the call.
VH1

Dazzle your coworkers by calling in from the vibrant room where all the magic—and most of the drama—happens on RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you happen to be decked out in an ensemble made entirely of things you found at the Dollar Store, even better. (More RuPaul's Drag Race backgrounds here.)

Turn Your Favorite Photos Into Works of Art With Google’s Art App

Edvard Munch's "The Scream"
Edvard Munch's "The Scream"
Edvard Munch, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

If your local art museum is closed, a new app from Google Arts & Culture will make the photos in your camera roll worthy of gallery consideration. As Gizmodo reports, the Art Transfer feature uses artificial intelligence to reimagine any image you upload in the style of a famous artist.

If you've already downloaded Arts & Culture for Android or iOS, hit the camera icon at the bottom of the app and select Art Transfer. From here, you can either snap a photo or choose an existing picture saved on your phone. Google then gives you a variety of art styles to choose from. You can transform your cat into Edvard Munch's The Scream, for example, or turn your brunch pic from last month into a piece of Yayoi Kusama pop art.

The feature doesn't just apply filters; it uses machine learning to edit the colors, textures, and even shapes in the image you upload.

Dog image inspired by Man from Naples.
Michele Debczak/Mental Floss, Google Arts & Culture

Pizza picture inspired by The Scream.
Michele Debczak/Mental Floss, Google Arts & Culture

Two years ago, Google Arts & Culture rolled out a similar feature that matched users' selfies to their art lookalikes. The difference with this one is that instead of showing you existing art, it creates an entirely new image by combining your photo with a famous artwork.

You can download Arts & Culture for free today from the App Store or Google Play. After having fun with the new feature, you can use the app to virtually explore landmarks, museums, and other cultural institutions from the comfort of your home.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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