Unlock Your Diner Chef Dreams With a Colossal Outdoor Griddle

Once the giant propane-powered griddle was assembled on the porch of my parents’ house, friends and family members passed by in succession, many confused about what you would do with such a vast cooking surface. Not my sister, though. She got the idea right away.

“I want to cover that thing with bacon.”

The magic of the Cuisinart 36-inch Four-Burner Gas Griddle (CGG-0036) is the feeling that you can cover it with a metric ton of food. Perhaps along with all the bacon, you’d like to make pancakes for a group, all at once instead of one or two at a time in a skillet on the stove. Later, you could also cover it with vegetables of all sizes—there’s no grate for them to fall through—or spread everything to make dinner for four across the top.

Cooking on this thing, flipping chops on one side and a big pile of onions on the other, put me in mind of Argentine chef  [...]  read more

MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX Tent Is Solid, but I Hate the Zippers

I’ve found that Mountain Safety Research (MSR) tends to arrive at an impressive iteration of a product and then stick with it. Most outdoor gear companies tend to gradually ruin their best products with incessant cost-cutting and penny-pinching, but they should take a page from MSR’s book. 

That said, when you refresh your products, it’s a good idea to look at what your peers are doing. MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX backpacking tent, which was redesigned for 2022, could’ve used a few more minor changes to keep it from feeling outclassed by its increasingly strong competition. 

Blowin’ in the Wind

The Hubba Hubba NX is available in one-, two-, and three-person versions. I tested the two-person version and took it out for a week of hiking in Texas’ Big Bend National Park, from chilly forested mountains to 95-degree desert hikes. 

MSR cut 10 ounces—a significant amount of weight—off the two-person, pre-2022 Hubba Hubba NX. It now weighs only [...]  read more

BMW’s Slick E-Motorbike Is Scary Fast

The Tron Lightcycle? That bike from Akira? A Stormtrooper with two wheels? First impressions of the CE 04 are of a motorbike sent back in time from the future. A radical aesthetic sketched in the 1980s for riding in the 2080s. 

It’s still relatively rare for vehicles to make it into production closely resembling their design-forward prototypes, but eagle-eyed moto geeks will recognize the CE 04 from BMW’s 2017 Motorrad Concept Link and its updated 2020 tease, the Definition. Very little appears to have changed on the final production bike: the modular plastic panels, “floating” board-like seat, a raked-out looking fork, and that long stretched profile … it’s all there. Unencumbered by the need to accommodate traditional restraints like a fuel-combustion engine, air-box, and exhaust system, BMW has been able to throw out the rule book.  

Riding the CE-O4 (the “04” references a 400-cc equivalent combustion engine size) requires a full motorbike license, but [...]  read more

Are TikTok Algorithms Changing How People Talk About Suicide?

A number of those surveyed raised concerns regarding the complete avoidance of the word “suicide.” One participant said it was “dangerous” and “isolating” to avoid the word, while another said, “My brother committed suicide and my sister attempted suicide. I don’t think we should be scared of using the word.”

“Overall, respondents indicated a preference for terms that were perceived to be factual, clear, descriptive, commonly used, non-emotive, non-stigmatizing, respectful, and validating,” Padmanathan says. Further research is needed to determine whether “unalive” could potentially be stigmatizing, but she notes that words can and do affect the way we think about suicide, citing a 2018 study.

The study—led by a communication scientist at the University of Munich—presented participants with news reports about suicide which were identical except for the word used to describe suicide itself. Some of the reports included the neutral German term [...]  read more

An Autonomous Car Blocked a Fire Truck Responding to an Emergency

On an early April morning, around 4 am, a San Francisco Fire Department truck responding to a fire tried to pass a doubled-parked garbage truck by using the opposing lane. But a traveling autonomous vehicle, operated by the General Motors subsidiary Cruise without anyone inside, was blocking its path. While a human might have reversed to clear the lane, the Cruise car stayed put. The fire truck only passed the blockage when the garbage truck driver ran from their work to move their vehicle.

“This incident slowed SFFD response to a fire that resulted in property damage and personal injuries,” city officials wrote in a filing submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission. The city wrote that the fire department is concerned that Cruise vehicles stop too often in travel lanes, which could have a “negative impact” on fire department response times.

It’s the most unnerving of a handful of incidents involving Cruise vehicles alleged by the city of San Francisco, [...]  read more

Become a Telegram Master With These 10 Tips and Tricks

Telegram checks just about every box when it comes to a modern-day messaging app: It’s available on multiple platforms, it offers end-to-end encryption, it supports stickers and media files, and it enables group and channel chats that can have hundreds of thousands of people in them (if you have that many friends).

Part of the app’s appeal is that it’s so simple to set up and use—if you’ve used a messaging app before, you can use Telegram—but there are so many features and options packed into the software that you might not have come across all of them. That’s where these tips come in.

Tidy Up After Yourself

Maybe you don’t want years and years of conversation to build up inside the Telegram app, particularly for chats that hold very little sentimental value. The app’s auto-delete feature will erase messages once they reach a certain age, making your conversations less cluttered and adding an extra level of digital privacy.

To turn [...]  read more

Elon Musk’s Twitter Plans Would Mean Less Free Speech for Many

In March 2021, a Turkish court ordered the news site Diken to remove a critical story about an ally of the country’s president, Recep Tayip Erdogan. Yaman Akdeniz, a Turkish lawyer and digital rights activist, posted a tweet urging his followers to read the story before the decision went into effect. Then the court ruled that his tweet also needed to be removed. But for more than a year Twitter has defied the order, allowing the tweet to remain up.

If Elon Musk had owned Twitter then, Akdeniz might have been out of luck. Though the SpaceX founder’s purchase of the company has been  [...]  read more

A Father-Son Team Solves a Geometry Problem With Infinite Folds

After their 2015 success, the researchers set out to use their flattening technique to address all finite polyhedra. This change made the problem far more complex. This is because with non-orthogonal polyhedra, faces might have the shape of triangles or trapezoids—and the same creasing strategy that works for a refrigerator box won’t work for a pyramidal prism.

In particular, for non-orthogonal polyhedra, any finite number of creases always produces some creases that meet at the same vertex.

“That messed up our [folding] gadgets,” Erik Demaine said.

They considered different ways of circumventing this problem. Their explorations led them to a technique that’s illustrated when you try to flatten an object that is especially non-convex: a cube lattice, which is a kind of infinite grid in three dimensions. At each vertex in the cube lattice, many faces meet and share an edge, making it a formidable task to achieve flattening at any one of these spots.

“You wouldn’t [...]  read more

Let’s Get Our Shit Together—Literally

It’s time to give a crap about crap. To save animals, we need to save their poop. If a bear shits in the woods and a scientist is there to collect it, where will it be stored? The Poop Ark!

A space of functional beauty, the Poop Ark would preserve droppings, chips, turds, pies, frass, scat, guano, and dung from the whole animal kingdom, waiting to be probed and studied. Scientists could make deposits or check out specimens from a diverse collection of casks and vials—the world’s most comprehensive collection of preserved poo. Its walls would be smooth and cool, and its visitor log would read like a who’s who of biological science. It would be in parts a museum collection, library, time capsule, and monument.

As of today, the Poop Ark is only my (clogged) pipe dream. But we need to start building it soon. Each year as more of Earth’s animals drop their species’ last deposit, its potential collection diminishes.

Poop is much [...]  read more

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