• Rekindle your love for creative writing with over 50% off Daily Prompt

    We know your job may be pretty rough and has very little room for any artistic license, and that's something you miss about having free time. College was a great place to get in some creative writing classes and put the strange world into words, but those days are long gone and the novel you dreamed of penning is still sitting rent-free in your head. Put virtual pen to virtual paper and get back into the writing game when you freshen up those skills with a lifetime subscription to a Daily Prompt Premium Plan.

    Time to get your creative juices flowing, here's what you get with Daily Prompt. Not only will your writing rut be absolutely cured, but you'll also score new writing prompts every day to keep the content coming for all of your fans (or just you and your diary, same thing). Not ready for a daily prompt change? You'll also have full access to a library of over 1,000 prompts you can browse through at your leisure. No more waiting for inspiration to find you, it's all right there.

    If you're feeling a bit shy and not ready to bring your art to your circle of friends, you can post it and receive feedback from the community and other writers, so you can perfect your craft in no time. Beyond just chatting with other novices, you'll also get professional tips from authors who have been around the (writer's) block for a time or two.

    While you may think this is just a fun way to explore your writing chops, you can also make a few bucks on the side. If you're ready to submit it, your writing can be entered into various writing competitions offered through the app where you can win some serious prize money. And, because this is a lifetime subscription, you can continue submitting until you score a bounty (or just lots of admiration from strangers across the globe, the next best prize).

    Right now, you can get a lifetime subscription to a Daily Prompt Premium Plan for $39.99, or 57% off.

  • Enjoy this stunning 1,000 piece 5-puzzle set for under $100

    Jigsaw puzzles have been around forever and serve us in a variety of ways. From providing us a unique form of artistic entertainment to helping us keep our minds sharp, they serve as a multi-function intellectual and artistic tool. There never seems to be an end to their allure as we can tear them down to be built up again, or solidify the final product as a reminder of what we've accomplished.

    Now, you can enjoy a completely unique set of jigsaw fun with the Puzzledly 1,000-Piece Collection: 5 Jigsaw Puzzles. Puzzles from Puzzledly will challenge your mind while appealing to your eyes. This collection includes five unique repeating patterns that are all high-gloss and sturdy in their design. Little Boxes on the Hillside will have you strolling through a trendy neighborhood village. Fruit Lover's Dream is for those who love the aesthetic of fresh from the tree fruit. You'll even be wandering through lush flora with Tropical State of Mind.

    Once you make your way through those, you can enjoy the design and culture of Chinese Lanterns, as well as Genie in a Bottle. There is no shortage of vibrant imagery in this bundle. Additionally, all of the boxes and puzzles are crafted from 100% recycled material.

    Each puzzle is a finished size of 29" x 20" and comes with a poster of the image for your help in solving it. As a bonus, with the purchase of each puzzle, $1 is donated to Hilarity for Charity. HFC is a nonprofit movement led by Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen, which aims to care for families facing Alzheimer's disease.

    Right now, you can own the Puzzledly 1,000-Piece Collection: 5 Jigsaw Puzzles for 28% off. So, for only $88.99, you'll be enjoying the mental and visual stimulation of all five of these stunning jigsaw puzzles.

  • Watch: Butoh dance cofounder Kazuo Ono performing "My Mother"

    My Mother is a breathtaking Butoh style dance by Kazuo Ono from 1998. You can watch the 45-minute performance here on youtube: Kazuo Ohno – My mother

    Ono was one of the founders of Butoh, which is a form of dance theatre which arose in 1959 during post-war Japan. The name Butoh means "darkness dance." My Mother truly conveys a spirit of darkness and intense emotion, and I can only imagine how fascinating it must have been to watch in real life.

    Butoh encompasses playful and grotesque imagery, taboo subject matter, and extreme or absurd environments. The performers traditionally wear white body makeup and move in a slow and hyper-controlled way.

    Here's an interesting article about Butoh if you're interested in learning more about it: Performance Study: Dark Dance – the Origins of Butoh

  • This giant glob of worms looks like a pulsating sewer monster

    Unknown Lifeform in North Carolina Sewer! Is a video that reveals what a tangle of tubifex worms inside a sewer looks like.

    Tubifex worms are related to the earthworms you can find in your yard. They are commonly found near bodies of water, sewers, and other waterways. They eat detritus and are known as sludge worms or sewage worms.

    When a large number of these worms become intertwined, they look like one giant fleshy mass. When one of the worms decides to wiggle around, they all begin moving, causing the blob to look like it's writhing around and pulsating.

    Next time I go frolicking around inside of my local sewer, I'll be sure to keep an eye out for one of these delightful worm-blobs.

  • The turn signals on these new Minis are insanely stupid

    The turn signals on the Mini are confusing. The left signal blinks an arrow pointing to the right, and the right signal blinks an arrow pointing to the left.

    Did not a single person at Mini notice this? It's baffling.

    Drivers who are behind a Mini with this "Split Union Jack" design will be especially confused if the can see only one of the lights.

    Jason Torchinsky of Jalopnik called Mini to get their thoughts:

    A Mini representative spoke to me on the phone, and this was the gist of our conversation:

    Mini has chosen the Union Jack lights to highlight Mini's British heritage, and has been using them for a while. With regard to the turn indicator light pattern, there should be no trouble at all for a driver to understand, when seeing the full rear of the car, which direction is being indicated.

    Mini has not heard any concerns from customers regarding the rear turn indicators, and has in fact received positive feedback about the taillight design.

    -> <-

    [via Jalopnik]

  • Someone made a map of every Internet-connected cable under water

    This globe was created by Tyler Morgan-Wall using GeoJSON, an open source format for visualizing geographic features, using data from the Submarine Cable Map.

    A little more helpful context, courtesy of Vice:

    According to TeleGeography, there are 426 active submarine cables in the world. The cables are mostly the diameter of a garden hose and filled with filaments the width of a human hair.

    The cables lie on the ocean floor and are believed to span more than 807,000 miles. Some are very short, linking islands across a few miles like the one that runs between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Others, like one of the cables connecting Asia to the United States, are more than 10,000 miles long.

    Some people believe that sharks are eating the underwater Internet, though that's probably less of an issue than all the man-made problems we bring upon ourselves. Beavers are definitely chowing down on submerged fiber optic though.

  • This cordless stick vacuum could be your hardwood or carpet's saving grace

    Messes happen and they happen often both in life and in the home. And, while we can't help you with your personal problems, those floors look like they could use some TLC, and we can offer just the thing. Grab the Orfeld H01 Cordless Stick Vacuum and make your home look brand new.

    Designed with two gear modes to meet different cleaning needs, as well as an upright design, swivel steering, and low profile head, you can use the baby in almost any instance for any mess on any floor. It runs for up to 30 minutes a charge, so even if you do try to throw a huge house party, no one will know the wiser once you get a hold of this sucker. The included H11-level 0.3-micron HEPA filter (you know, the same filter they're using on airplanes to help fight COVID-19? Yeah, those filters) helps get rid of dust, hair, and other common household dirt in a jiffy.

    Need to clean while everyone's taking a midday snooze? No sweat, this baby is ultra-quiet, super lightweight, and only runs at about 63db, ensuring everyone either stays asleep, unperturbed, or just plain zen. Once you're done with all of that noise-free fun, just release the trapped dirt from the dustbin with one finger operated button, no mess necessary right before kicking your feet up and announcing a job well cleaned to the whole family who couldn't even be bothered to fluff a pillow while you took your new baby for a spin. Afterward, just throw your new BFF on the wall-mount charger to save space and revel in your clean floors.

    Get the Orfeld H01 Cordless Stick Vacuum, which includes two spare washable HEPA filters, a 2-in-1 LED motorized brush, crevice nozzle, combination nozzle, 2000mAh battery, wall mount charging station, 100-240V AC power adapter, and user manual for $129.99.

  • It's almost Fat Bear Week, when online voters decide which bears have best prepared for hibernation

    From September 29th to October 5th, Katmai National Park in Alaska conducts a competition to determine the fattest bear in the park, relying on voters like you to judge the fattest of the fat.

    What originally began in 2014 as a one-day event (Fat Bear Tuesday) has since grown into a much-anticipated international event. About 55,000 voters participated in Fat Bear Week 2018. In 2019, that number grew to 250,000, and in 2020 it ballooned to 650,000.

    Mental Floss

    According to the Fat Bear Week website, there's a fun twist this year. A new category has been announced: fattest bear cub! I absolutely love the lineup of chubby cubs, which include both photos and backstories.

    Katmai National Park's media ranger Naomi Boak spends months preparing for the competition.

    "I start as soon as I get [to the park] in May taking pictures of skinny bears," she says. "Because in Fat Bear Week, we juxtapose a skinny picture with the fattest picture we can get at the end of the season, so people can see really what a great accomplishment it is for the bears to get fat to survive six months of famine."

    Mental Floss

    While you wait for voting, check out the park's livestreams to watch the park's bears catch salmon in preparation for the competition (and hibernation, of course). Here's a striking scene I witnessed on the livestream this morning.

    https://explore.org/livecams
  • How a math trick helped one band made 500% more in streaming music royalties

    Pitchfork recently reported a game-changing accounting revolution in the music industry:

    Under SoundCloud's "fan-powered" royalty model, unveiled in March, a listener's subscription or advertising revenue goes directly to the artists to whom they listen in a given period of time; that's instead of the "pro-rata" model typically used by Spotify and other streaming services where money is pooled and divvied up to rights holders based on their market share.

    Put another way: you pay $10 a month for Spotify. Under a "user-centric" or "fan-powered" accounting system, your $10 would get divvied up between all the things you actually listen to. Let's say you really, really love my band, and one month you use Spotify to exclusively listen to the Roland High Life (which would be pretty cool of you). We would get your full $10. If you listened to some other stuff, too, those artists would get a proportional cut of that money, and we'd make a little less. That sounds fair, right?

    Under the "pro-rata" system used by most music streaming platforms, however, your $10 goes into a large pot. And even though you, personally, listened to our new single 100 times this month, everyone else listened to Taylor Swift's new version of "Wildest Dreams" (and nothing else) 15 million times. In this accounting system, we would get paid 0.000006667% of the total money in the pool for that month relative to our proportion of all streaming activity. Taylor Swift would get the rest.

    Working-class musicians have been advocating for this kind "user-centric" approach to accounting for a long time, as studies have shown it to be more equitable to than the "pro-rata" system, which tends to only benefit artists who already massively successful.

    Case-in-point: when SoundCloud made this switch with royalty payments, the trip-hop group Portishead ended up making 500 percent more money for the same number of plays.

    I know what you're thinking: what the ever-loving fuck?!

    As Dada Drummer explains, the pro-rata accounting system actually rewards the use of bots:

    If you google "Buy Spotify plays," you'll find any number of offers that are variations of this one:

    "Starting at 1,000 plays for $4 and going up to 500,000 plays for $745, you can take a pick according to your budget and needs."

    I have no idea which if any of these offers are real and which are scams, but the going rate does seem logical, at least as a come-on. At the lower end, you lose money ($4 for 1,000 streams on Spotify will earn back about $3 in royalties). And at the higher end, you double your money ($745 for 500,000 streams will earn back about $1500). Does it really work? I'm not going to spend any cash to find out.

    But let's say it does – and some variation of click farms is what Van Vugt successfully uses to boost his playlists of rain to rival even Spotify's most popular ones like Rap Caviar. Wouldn't that explain the difference between what Portishead's song earned from user-centric accounting, which registered actual listeners to the track, vs pro-rata, which credited the band with a proportional share of all streams, including any fraudulent ones?

    Dada Drummer also points out, that curiously, when pressed on the possibility of enacting user-centric accounting, Spotify says:

    A shift to user-centric payments would not benefit artists as much as many may have originally hoped… the change would result in 'at most a few euros per year on average' for artists outside the top 10,000.

    Curiously, artists outside the top 10,000 are explicitly left out consideration here. Convenient, that! And that's because — as WIRED recently explained — the three major music labels essentially share monopoly power over the whole damn industry, and this payment system works for them:

    Three major record labels produce two-thirds of all music consumed in America. They are the most powerful buyer of music and talent, and they use that power to prioritize a handful of mega-stars and pop hits. They pitch music into massive radio conglomerates and streaming platforms that control how music is consumed, and they collect an ever-growing share of industry revenue.

    […]

    As streaming rose to prominence, so too did the outsize corporate power that has come to control nearly all music distribution and revenue. Spotify and Google's YouTube account for three-quarters of all streams globally. Along with streaming services of tech monopolists Apple and Amazon, four companies have a near-total stranglehold on the market. "The level of control in those few large companies is very dangerous," says Louis Posen, head of legendary punk label Hopeless Records. To him it's no different than elsewhere in an increasingly monopolized economy, and no different than a century ago, when monopolies in railroads, oil, steel, and other essential goods controlled American commerce. "When just a few companies control the power, bad things happen."

    If we can't enforce anti-trust for the music industry, then at least the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers has a streaming committee dedicated to trying to bring more equity to royalty payments, through methods like user-centric accounting. Because it makes a huge difference.

    SoundCloud Says Portishead Song Earned 500% More Under New Royalty Plan [Marc Hogan / Pitchfork]

    Tears in Rain: Do Androids Stream Electric Sleep? [Dada Drummer / Substack]

    Big Music Needs to Be Broken Up to Save the Industry [Ron Knox / Wired]

    Image: Public Domain via Pixabay

  • Netflix announces Tiger King 2. Does anyone want it?

    During the early weeks of quarantine, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin gripped the nation. Netflix said that it "attracted 64 million households in the first four weeks after its March 2020 premiere," lightening-in-the-bottle popularity. Cooped-up families found an escape in the wild world of exotic animals as the rest of the world seemed to slow to a stop. The show, with its odd cast of characters and relentless drama (murder rumors, animal abuse, polygamy, etc), clawed its way into the March 2020 zeitgeist.

    A year and a half later, as the pandemic dredges on, Tiger King 2 promises "just as much mayhem and madness as Season 1." But does anyone want Tiger King anymore? Wired ran a column titled "Please, no more Tiger King."

    The series will premiere on November 17th, joining other recently-announced Netflix programming that seems to ride on the coattails of Tiger King's popularity: many new releases feature stories about con artists, hunts, and true crime.

  • Video by teenager on TikTok disrupts 4,600 survey studies Picture of someone filling out survey with three options: smiley face, neutral face, unhappy face

    Lots of social scientists use Prolific.co to conduct massive surveys, by paying randos — Amazon-Turk-style — to give their responses to prompts.

    But this summer, they started to notice something was weird — they were suddenly getting a wildly disproportionate amount of responses from young women. (This researcher found 91% were women.) What was going on?

    Welp, on July 23 a teenager named Sarah Frank had posted a TikTok video telling her viewers how they could make some extra dough by doing Prolific.co surveys — and it went viral, racking up 4.1 million views, mostly with young women.

    Boom: They all headed over to Prolific.co, suddenly and decisively tipping the demographics of who was answering questions.

    As the Prolific.co CTO Phelim Bradley told The Verge

    According to Bradley, about 4,600 studies were disrupted by Frank's TikTok, around a third of the total that were active on the platform during the surge. Of those, he said, the vast majority should be salvageable.

    Prolific has refunded researchers whose studies were significantly impacted by the surge in women survey takers and introduced a new suite of demographic screening tools. The company announced these steps a month after Frank posted her video. The company has now re-organized, putting a team in charge of demographic balancing in order to more quickly recognize and respond to this sort of problem in the future.

    "Honestly, we were somewhat caught by surprise, and we didn't predict how large the impact was going to be," Bradley said.

    Frank's influence has some upsides, as some researchers note: The surge of TikTok young women is beginning to fade, but some will stick around in a way that might help diversify and invigorate the population of folks who tend to answer surveys online.

    (Public-domain photo via Pxhere)

  • With a 75-mile range, this indoor 4K TV antenna always has a clear reception and is under $45

    With all the gizmos and gadgets you have around these days, your home is looking more like a wire jungle than a stylish abode. But if you want to live amongst some of the best technology todays' world has to offer, like stellar TV reception as you watch your favorite channels, wires are simply a part of the deal — or are they?

    You may not be able to get rid of all the cords and plugs around the house, but with this 4K HD Indoor TV Antenna, you'll have one less unsightly electronic to look at every day. That's because this antenna has an excellent receiving ability, allowing you to hide it behind your TV, on surrounding furniture, or sleekly against the wall without leaving behind long, ugly cords. 

    In addition to its clever design, this indoor antenna lets you enjoy 26 HD and regional TNT channels, all in crystal clear picture. That means you'll get 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and 4K channels directly on your TV. Thanks to the device's signal amplifier, you'll experience improved reception along with clearer and low-noise images. And with its impressive 75-mile range, you never have to worry about being able to catch a signal. 

    Before you write this antenna off because you don't want to deal with the installation process, cool your jets. Even if you've never set up anything like this before, the 4K HD Indoor TV Antenna couldn't be easier to install. Simply plug the antenna into the "ant / in" port on the back of TV or TNT set-top box and connect the USB cable to any USB port in order to power up the amplifier. Then all you have to do is scan through the channels to begin watching. That's it.

    With over 48 million homes using antennas to watch their favorite TV shows, it's clear that this setup is the way to go. And while many antennas can cost a pretty penny, the 4K HD Indoor TV Antenna is currently 30% off, making it just $41.99.

  • Go from zero to hero as a professional Java programmer for $30

    Computer programming is how the future is being built. With the tech industry advancing at record speeds, there's always someone behind the scenes making it all come together. With a bit of training, that someone could be you! Learn how to code like a pro with The Premium Java Programming Certification Bundle and take the first step to enter one of the largest and fastest-growing career fields in the world.

    This bundle includes eight courses, comprised of 606 lessons that will help you master the fundamentals of Java programming. Across 70+ total hours of content, you'll learn all the tips, tricks, and theory behind the language. You'll also receive a certificate of completion and have a portfolio full of exciting original projects to showcase by the end.

    You'll start at the very beginning with Java: A Complete Tutorial from ZERO to JBDC Course 2021. Once you've laid the groundwork, Java Programming: Learn Core Java & Improve Java Skills and Java Foundations courses will have you practicing real-world skills instead of listening to boring lectures, and beginning to build your soon-to-be robust portfolio. In these, you'll establish the building blocks and concepts necessary to have a lucrative career working with Java. You'll expand on those skills and learn expert workflow with Introduction to Algorithms in Java and Clean Code with Java Examples 2021.

    Additionally, Java Interview Questions: Data Structures and Algorithms and Complete Java Tutorial Step by Step – Become a Programmer courses will prepare you for the big questions you may face in job interviews. Lastly, for anyone interested in Android development, Complete Java Masterclass – Become an Android App Developer will get you where you want to go.

    The Complete Java Developer Course is aimed at beginners and intermediate coders alike and is taught by certified experts, such as Lawrence Decamora, a former Java trainer at Sun Microsystems and a current computer science instructor at the University of Santo Tomas, so you know the education in these courses is coming from industry professionals.

    Right now, you can grab the Premium Java Programming Certification Bundle for only $29.99 — you can go from zero to hero as a professional Java programmer for just $3.75 per course!

  • 25 deals you definitely don't want to miss out on this weekend

    If you could make an adult wish-list, you'd probably burn your way through two or three notepads. While everything you need these days may not be within your budget, we have deals on 25 must-have gizmos and gadgets that definitely won't break the bank, giving you an excuse to treat yourself.

    Check out these deals on 25 must-have items! 

    AtomXS 3+ Hour Emergency Keychain Charger – $34.99; originally $49

    Thanks to this charger's 1,300mAh battery capacity, you can give your phone more than three hours of power when there's no outlet in sight. You can fit it right into your pocket or hang it on your keys. 

    HumBird Bone-Conducting Speaker – $26.95; originally $44

    Deemed the world's smallest and most versatile bone conduction speaker, you can create a unique listening experience no matter where you are. And at a price like this, you can easily use two of them to create real surround sound, and they'll last up to three hours per charge.

    Crave Curve Mini 5W Bluetooth Speaker – $34.99; originally $49

    At just three inches tall, this little speaker packs a powerful punch, providing you with 10 hours of continuous play that you can connect to any device via Bluetooth. You can even use it to take calls, hands-free, thanks to its built-in microphone.

    Artisan Citrus Juicer – $81; originally $90

    Enjoy fresh juice, free of pulp and seeds, with this exquisite artisan device that brings a touch of class to any countertop. Featured on MICHELIN Guide, Wedding Wire, Parade, and more, this thing can take your morning beverage, cocktail, and whatever else up a notch.

    Shyn Sonic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with 8 Whitening Brush Heads, Charger, and Travel Case (Midnight Black) – $59.95; originally $170

    An award-winning electric toothbrush, this gizmo has been proven to effectively remove plaque and prevent gingivitis, complete with whitening care brush heads with unique diamond-shaped bristles that buff your teeth to shiny, white perfection. 

    BITE HELPER® Itch Neutralizer – $24.95; originally $39

    A fantastic alternative to chemical-heavy sprays and medications, this gadget uses heat and vibration technology to safely remove the sting and itch from pesky bug bites, and it's completely safe for everyone in the family to use. 

    VentiFresh Plus: Next Generation Germ & Odor Eliminator – $58.99; originally $84

    388% funded on Indiegogo, this little guy uses the same technology NASA uses to kill stinky odors without ever letting out any chemicals into the air. And thanks to its small, portable design, you can stick it in your gym locker, refrigerator, car, or wherever else odors wreak havoc.

    Wireless Charging Dock for iPhone, Apple Watch, & AirPods – $101.99; originally $146

    Get rid of unsightly clutter with this clever charging dock that can juice up your smartphone, AirPods case, and Apple Watch in one go. And since it charges your devices wirelessly and boasts a sleek, solid walnut exterior, this thing can make any tabletop look good. 

    The Original 16 Color Moon Lamp™ – $48; originally $55

    Whether it's an at-home movie night or a birthday party, this moon lamp lets you illuminate the room in any of its 16 programmed colors, even allowing you to dim it, all with the touch of a button. It's even safe to use in kids' rooms.

    Stori™ Cannabis Storage System – $164.95; originally $220

    Take pride in your cannabis with a set that you can easily display around your home, just as you would a wine or figurine collection. It features air-tight containers and vials and uses a color-coded system along with an accompanying app to help you stay organized as ever.

    RoboKiller Spam Call & Text Blocker: 2-Year Subscription – $39.99; originally $79

    Unless you want to find out more about your "car's extended warranty," this subscription thwarts spam calls instantly using a predictive call blocking algorithm. It even blocks up to 95% of annoying spam texts.

    BelkaVPN: Lifetime Subscription – $39.99; originally $719

    Thanks to this highly-rated VPN's more than 120 servers around the world, you can get complete online protection for life from just about anywhere, never worrying about speed or bandwidth limits.

    ZENLET 2 Plus Minimalist Wallet – $131.95; originally $164

    Considered "the most elegant aluminum quick access wallet on the market," this gadget can store up to 12 cards, almost entirely flat. And thanks to the fact that it's RFID blocked and splash-proof, you can bet your cards will be safer than ever.

    VDownloader: Lifetime Subscription (Windows) – $29.99; originally $129

    This award-winning software designed just for Windows lets you download content from YouTube, Vimeo, Flicker, Twitch, or any of the 10,000+ video hosting sites in 4K and 8K ultra-high definition. The program also lets you sync footage, schedule downloads, add watermarks, and so much more.

    MiHIGH Heated Sauna Blanket – $424.99; originally $499

    Enjoy the many benefits of body detox without ever leaving your bed thanks to this sauna blanket that uses deep far-infrared heat to cleanse the body and burn anywhere from 300 to 600 calories per session. And its fabrics are completely toxin-free, ensuring a safe, peaceful experience.

    Pure Bamboo Soft White 4-Piece Sheet Set (Queen) – $94.99; originally $136

    Hit the hay in a hotel-worthy bed adorned with 100% bamboo viscose sheets, softer than cotton blends of the highest threads. Completely breathable and free of dangerous toxins, these sheets ensure better sleep, keeping you cool and comfortable. 

    Revolutionary Cognitive Sports Training Software: Softball Player (3-Yr Subscription) – $97.99; originally $315

    Used by MLB organizations, Olympic teams, and more than 130 colleges, this athletic training software helps you perfect your swing like nothing else, all from the comfort of your phone, tablet, or computer. You'll get access to hundreds of specialized HD videos and immediate feedback, just like having a real live coach by your side as you practice. 

    Send Your DNA to the Moon with LifeShip's Moon Kit – $89.99; originally $99

    You can't live forever, but this service collects and stores your DNA in a time capsule, ensuring your story lives on as humanity speeds into the future. You can even watch it launch into space, where it will be sent to the moon on a lunar lander!

    Orboot Earth: Augmented Reality Interactive Globe for Kids – $54.99; originally $59

    This award-winning educational toy takes your child on a journey around the world, learning about different animals, cultures, music, and more, complete with fun quizzes, games, and even a pretend passport.

    Missed Global James Humidifier – $139.99; originally $190

    Take a deep breath and enjoy up to 48 hours of continual misting, covering as much as 500 square feet. From its zeolite water treatment system that ensures pure, clean mist to its built-in light mode for nighttime use, this thing is a must-have during the dry months.

    The EVE – $599.99; originally $699

    Don't have room for a garden at home? Thanks to this modern hydroponic vertical garden system, you can grow your own food, pesticide-free, inside your home, no matter how little space you have.

    Artesia 14-in-1 Grill/Air Fryer Combo – $179.99; originally $219

    Whether you want to air-fry, grill, roast, bake, or even dehydrate, this gadget lets you cook just about anything with its eight cooking functions and air-fryer lid. Easy to operate and clean, you can prepare healthy meals the entire family can enjoy, never needing to use much butter or oil.

    Airflow Video Streaming: Lifetime Subscription – $15.99; originally $19

    Stream full 4K HDR HEVC files to Chromecast, Apple TV, and AirPlay 2 enabled TVs, all at the best possible quality. Even if videos aren't compatible with your device, the system will handle it, no problem, with hardware-accelerated transcoding.

    Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow with Cover – $105.99; originally $134

    Designed to give side-sleepers the best night's sleep possible, this pillow conforms to your head and neck, effectively preventing chronic pain. It even contains a cooling gel to ensure you sleep comfortably throughout the night.

    A.Brolly Tube: World's Lightest Umbrella – $18.99; originally $40

    Weighing only 3 ounces, this umbrella is lighter than your phone — yet it's over 17 times stronger than steel! Capable of protecting you from UV UPF50+, the umbrella can also repel water faster than Teflon and can withstand some seriously harsh winds.

  • Your home is your most valuable asset. Protect it with these 5 critical steps

    There's no more helpless feeling than the moment you realize you've been robbed. The mix of anger, fear, and a sense of violation are enough to turn your stomach. And in addition to stolen items, there's usually clean-up and repair needed since 95 percent of burglaries involve a forced entry.

    As horrible as it feels, it's even worse when you consider that it likely didn't need to happen. Crooks say only about 1 in 10 burglaries are pre-planned. Most are just spur of the moment crimes of opportunity.

    Of course, that also means you can take some simple steps that can quickly and effectively deter a criminal from deciding your house is an easy score. We recommend these five steps for securing your most valuable possession.

    1. Update locks and reinforce doors and windows

    It's simple … Solid doors, well-secured windows, and thick, sturdy locks can often be more than enough to send lazy crooks in the other direction. Do a quick survey around your house, checking for any signs of vulnerability. Take note of all damaged or easily jimmied locks, doors that don't shut securely, unprotected windows — if you see 'em, fix 'em. Upgrade to some staunch deadbolts where you can. And if extra keys are floating around with too many friends, neighbors, exes, and more, it may be time to rekey too.

    2. Don't hide a key under the plant

    We aren't saying don't leave a key somewhere near your door in case of emergency lockouts. We're just saying be smart about it. Sliding a key under the doormat or lodging it about your door frame is practically the same as leaving your door wide open. Crooks are lazy, but they usually aren't stupid (unlike this fellow). Rotate your hiding places in unconventional places or even install a combination lockbox for some added security.

    3. Get to know your neighbors

    You may not be home at all times, but if you're on good terms with your neighbors, you've got a 24/7/365 security force helping watch your place and valuables. Neighbor watches are great, but simply knowing other residents near you, getting friendly, and letting them know you can pay big dividends. And if you keep an eye out for your neighbor's homes and let 'em know about it, they'll likely return the favor.

    4. Get a home security system

    Look, those other measures are definitely critical cautionary steps, but in the event of a thief deciding your place is their target, you need defenses. Strong defenses. A security system like a Vivint Smart Home System can instantly make your house a very formidable opponent to any criminal. 

    Their smart-enabled system is packed with Smart Deter, a web of doorbells, remote cameras, and sensors that intelligently spot potential intruders around your home, scares them away, or contacts Vivint's 24/7 monitoring support staff if they persist. 

    And be sure to post those Vivint Smart Home Security stickers outside your place too. Just seeing and knowing your house is protected is a strong deterrent for opportunistic crooks.

    5. No seriously. Get a home security system with a brain.

    Vivint's home protection array extends well beyond the perimeter of your home as well. The Vivint system is entirely controllable through your web-enabled smartphone or tablet, allowing users to check the cameras, lock doors, activate lights, and more, all from anywhere at any time.

    And while money should never be the biggest consideration in protecting your castle, it doesn't hurt that a Vivint system can result in lower home insurance rates. And since it can also control your home temperature, it can even shrink your energy bills as well. 

  • Make this tortilla press the star of your next Taco Tuesday

    Okay, so you're not the best cook, but we all have our flaws. And at least your creations are edible, right? Sure, that recipe for peanut butter and jelly chicken wasn't the best option to feed a dinner party, but it surely could have been worse than just a mild case of the runs after.

    That said, we probably should instead just try a whole new approach to cooking. How about a fun Mexican-themed night? Try this XL Aluminum Tortilla Press and start the healing process between you and all of your buds who got food poisoning the last time they were fed by you.

    Featuring a Verve Culture flare and colored with FDA-friendly, lead-free paint that prevents rust, here's the rundown on the XL Aluminum Tortilla Press. Long gone are the days of buying store bough tortillas or using smushed bread as an alternative (admit it, you've been that desperate before), because now tortillas are fresh and ready for your next big meal straight from home.

    Because this is an extra-large tortilla maker, you can use it for everything from taco night to burrito bowls and everything in between. Kids only eat cheese quesadillas? No sweat, these are the perfect tortillas for that as well. Need some inspo? This maker also comes with a list of recipes for tortillas and the ways you can use them, in case you want to break out of the mold and do something crazy for dinner (or have just run out of ideas, we get it).

    The XL Aluminum Tortilla Press is made in Mexico from recycled aluminum, so you're not only getting it straight from the experts, but you're also saving the planet while chowing down. Think of it as a delicious authentic reward for doing this planet well. Look at you, saving trees and enjoying fresh tortillas daily. good work!

    Get the XL Aluminum Tortilla Press, which includes a swing tag with history, recipes, and instructions for $54, or 10% off.

  • Attention egg throwers: The Chicago Egg Hunters are coming to find you

    Who Is Egging Chicago? A Hard-Boiled Detective Story is a recent episode of the podcast ICYMI about the Chicago Egg Hunters, a dedicated online group of over 700 people who formed to do some detective work.

    Lately, people walking around in Chicago have been getting hit with raw eggs from an anonymous egg thrower. There is a distinctive mark of graffiti at the scene of each egg crime, which makes the situation even weirder. This podcast episode reveals how an online community can track down information together to solve a mystery. 

    From the episode webpage:"Somebody has been hurling raw eggs at people in Chicago. On today's episode, Rachelle and Madison try to crack the case of these egg attacks, and speak to the man who created the Chicago Egg Hunters Facebook group that has been on the hunt for the culprit ever since.

  • Get a full rundown on what's causing your pet's tummy troubles with this food tolerance test

    We as humans run the gamut in super weird food allergies, from gluten to seafood (and, consequentially, cicadas apparently), but your precious pet may also be allergic to a host of other foods you're unknowingly feeding them. Everything from proteins to wheat could be causing your critter distress unbeknownst to you, and that's pretty scary. It's not your fault Spot can't give you the rundown on everything that makes his tummy rumbly, but this 5Strands Pet Food Intolerance Test sure can.

    If your good boy or girl has terrible allergies and you can't pinpoint why, you're going to want to give this kit a try. Using this food intolerance test, you'll collect a tiny sample of fur to send to 5Strands' high-tech lab using the included postage. In just about 7-10 days after the processing center receives the hair sample, you'll get a good look at what your fluffy friend can and can't withstand, including proteins, grains, vegetables, fruits, fats, seafood, additives, and preservatives (sorry Fido, your fast food leftover days may be over, but it's for your own good.)

    The test uses bio-resonance technology to scope out temporary imbalances in the body that may be causing symptoms like upset stomach, constant scratching, hair loss, hot spots, and paw biting. Utilizing a three-level intolerance response test to figure just what the heck is giving Fluffy the fits, the test creates a comprehensive report of over 250 items to check out if there's something sketchy going on in the food you're providing to your pet. If there's something out of sorts, the kit will suggest a 6-8 week elimination guideline after you get the results. Check out the kit in action here:

    Find out why this kit received 4.3 stars on Amazon for yourself. Get the 5Strands Pet Food Intolerance Test, which includes a hair sample collection kit, return envelope, prepaid postage stamp, and instructions, for just $77.99.