Well, maybe we can temporarily relax our crotchety notion that we are overconsuming unthinking pigs and we're going to murder ourselves with our own greed and complete lack of respect for the planet. Because very smart, resourceful, and caring high school students in India took it upon themselves to do something pretty amazing: They helped set up a plant that uses solar power to treat more than 1,300 gallons of brackish water every day. The water will be used by around 750 families living in poor areas around the school.
America, you are slipping. Why do I keep having to write about horriblemutantfoodstuffs that are not from you? Are you depressed, America? Are you uninspired? Are you feeling like you've just run out of ways to bang two kinds of junk food together until they meld into something that is worse than the sum of its parts?
Well, don't be like that, America! I believe in you! And there are so many combinations we've never tried -- burger lollipops! Gummi Oreos! Fried chicken with whipped cream! Taco cake!
But not pizza dough Kit Kats. It's too late for you to pioneer those, because Pizza Hut Middle East has gotten there first.
PayPal founder Elon Musk is getting sick of waiting around for someone to build a bullet train. So he's come up with an idea he calls the Hyperloop, a sort of mega-fast Futurama people-tube situation that would get passengers from L.A. to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
The Hyperloop would move people at speeds up to 900 miles per hour, well in excess of the fastest maglev train speed ever recorded (361 mph). So on the one hand, it seems pretty implausible. On the other hand, Elon Musk is pretty implausible -- he's a billionaire entrepreneur rocket scientist genius who was reportedly the model for Robert Downey Jr.'s version of Tony Stark. So probably if anyone can pull it off, he can.
Read any "NYC on the cheap" guide ever, and it will let you in on a little "secret": It's fun to ride the ferry to Staten Island. There’s a pretty good view of the Statue of Liberty from the boat, and it is FREE.
Upon reaching Staten Island, though, most people turn around and go back to Manhattan immediately, as Staten Island is mega-boring and it's impossible to get anywhere without a car or a really confusing bus ride. So the city has decided to give tourists a reason to stay in the borough for longer than the time it takes to catch the next ferry. And that reason will be The Biggest Ferris Wheel In The World.
And man, if you think the view of the Statue of Liberty is good from the boat, imagine how good it will be from this monstrosity:
The New York Wheel will be built just to the north of the ballpark and be 625 feet tall -- 84 feet higher than the Singapore Flyer, currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. It will also be taller than the planned ‘High Roller’ wheel for the Las Vegas Strip, which is set to rise to 550 feet.
Call Steven Spielberg! We have the perfect pitch for him. OK, so there's a meteorite. It falls to Earth in the desert sometime, oh, 10 or 20,000 years ago. Later, locals use the rock to carve it into a Buddha statue. THEN THE NAZIS TAKE IT. But Indiana Jones finds it! And the descendants of the aliens who rode in on it use it to finally connect to the internet on their home planet, and everyone lives happily ever after with Abraham Lincoln.
Here is the best part: It is based on a true story. There is an iron Buddha statue, just under 10 inches high, that has now been confirmed to be made from a meteorite.
Since the invention of photography, there have been 35 animal photobombs that were rated the most passionate, the most pure, the most likely to make me pee myself a little bit. This one leaves them all behind.
You already know not to eat the yellow snow, but if you like to go skiing or snowboarding on slopes that provide perfect powder, you might want to just avoid eating all snow entirely. Because in the future, all the ski slopes will be doing what Arizona Snowbowl is doing this season: making snow out of sewage effluent.
In February, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the ski resort’s upgrade plans, ending a legal saga fought by a coalition of environmental groups and 13 American Indian tribes, which consider the mountain sacred and view the wastewater snow as a desecration.
This coming ski season, the resort, Arizona Snowbowl, will become the first ski resort in the world to use 100 percent sewage effluent to make artificial snow.
This is one of those issues where there are two ways to see it. Either a) this is an environmental disaster in the making or b) this is an environmentally sensitive compromise that limits waste.
So, assuming you don't believe that we came from Adam and Eve and that we were in some way descended from non-human primates, it should not come as a huge shock to you that we have some of the same laughing habits as apes. No, it's not that apes can't wait for Anchorman 2 to come out either or are also sad that Phyllis Diller died. But a recent study published in Evolution and Human Behavior indicates that they do laugh at practical joke-type stuff, such as someone slipping on a banana peel (which is much more common among apes anyway). And the way that we laugh -- making sort of weird animalistic honking sounds -- is how apes laugh too.
The study didn't figure out every damn thing about people, laughter, and apes -- gotta leave something for the next study, so you can get more of those sweet, sweet tax dollars. But it suggests that laughter predates language, and, ergo, humans. In fact, laughter plays a social role that may have helped early human communities emerge.