If you thought IKEA’s horse meat scandal was scary, you don’t know what the Swedes are capable of. Their new ad, inspired by the famous tricycle scene from “The Shining,’’ will give you chills. Watch it on today’s BDC Now, and read more about the continued scourge of the selfie, a wedding anniversary gift you’ll never beat, what to do when an elephant charges, and the new app that does your homework for you.
All Work and No Play Makes IKEA Into Nightmare Fuel
IKEA, the world’s foremost provider of all the wooden pegs needed to build a dresser except one, wants your business. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to understand how to do that. Yes, October is the month of all things scary and yes, “The Shining’’ is a classic piece of cinema, but no one in his right mind is going to wander into his local IKEA after seeing this modern-day Danny Torrance peddling around the store on his tricycle. The flickering lights, the eerie music, and more than eight stunningly accurate references to the film is just too much. We’d love to pop into the nearest Swedish furniture peddler and pick up some PAX wardrobes and HEMNES coffee tables to spruce things up around the house, but something tells us we’ll probably to busy whimpering in the fetal position to do any shopping.
“The Gift of Data’’
Alice Zhao is not normal. The self-described “data scientist’’ and “blogger’’ could have deferred to Hallmark when it came to getting her husband a gift for their sixth anniversary, but that would be too easy. Instead, she set a standard that pretty much none of us are going to be able to meet. She looked at two years’ worth of text messages she exchanged with her husband, one from their first year of dating and the other from the past year, during which they were engaged and then married. Using that data, she generated word clouds, bar graphs, and even a plot that showed the time of day during which they texted. Her “gift’’ is thorough, to say the least. And despite the yawning you’re doing over the word “data,’’ it’s actually a cool and thoughtful way to look at how she and her husband have grown over their six years together. So forget the traditional candy-, iron-, or wood-based gift for your sixth anniversary. You’ve got bigger shoes to fill now. Thanks, Alice.
Got Homework? There’s an App for That
At risk of sounding a bit curmudgeon-y, we have to ask: Where was this app that solves math problems when we were in school? It’s called PhotoMath and apparently all it requires is a smartphone with a camera. Point your camera at your homework, press a button, and voila, you have your answers and a step-by-step guide of how your phone solved the equation. This clearly has some educational value, but let’s do some math of our own. What is the value of X in the following equation:
X = (total number of PhotoMath users) – (number of PhotoMath users who are just using the app to cheat on their homework)
That’s right! X = 0 because everyone is cheating!
Elephants: More Afraid of You Than You Are of Them
Before today, if you asked us what to do when a giant elephant is charging at you, we would have only two pieces of advice: Throw a handful of peanuts in the opposite direction or, if you don’t have peanuts, run away as fast as you can. Surprisingly, neither of those things is right. Based on this video of a bull elephant charging at some tourists at Kruger National Park in South Africa, the appropriate response in that situation is to stand your ground. It sounds like you would have to be crazy to do that, but apparently elephants are just big babies. They wouldn’t hurt a fly! Oh, but if we’re truly following this guy’s example, you should stand your ground with a rifle in hand. You know, just in case “plan A’’ doesn’t work.
The Scourge of the Selfie Continues
It’s been a while since we had a really good round of selfie-related stories, but it probably won’t shock you to know that people are still taking them and they all look stupid doing it. Thankfully, most selfies end without doing much harm beyond contributing to the erosion of a reasonable society. This is not one of those selfies. This is a selfie that ends in a water-damaged camera, a disrupted newscast, and one man’s irreparable shame. Those are all the things that happen when a man tries to take a selfie on a dock, falls into the water because he isn’t looking where he’s going, and a MTV Lebanon News camera is there to capture it all. Now play this video back a few times and learn from his mistakes. Do not take selfies.