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Supermodel prom dates, cronuts and gluttony gadgets in this week’s Staff Picks

Staff Pics 06_01_2013 header

amir iliafarAmir Iliaiafar: DIY car repair just got easier

Cars are pretty complex beasts to the uninitiated. Pop the hood and it’s a maze of hoses, wires, and big metallic-looking things that I think are called engines. However, a nifty new AR app from Inglobe Technologies could make a car’s rusty innards a little less scary. (Side note: Am I the only one who thinks that names sounds like some evil corporation from a 80s action flick?)

Through the magic of AR, balloons pop up in real time to show names for various vehicle components straight on an iPad. It even gives demonstrations of routine engine maintenance such as topping off washer fluid, or checking engine oil.

While I doubt Inglobe’s not-so-evil-after-all app will turn us into hardened grease monkeys, the idea of using AR to help make vehicle maintenance a little more palatable for the average driver is a pretty clever one. Especially if that means being able to go along your merry way in the event you get stuck on the side of the freeway.

Down the road, we might even be able to forgo trips to the mechanic’s altogether, which is fine by me. My old 1988 Nissan Pulsar gobbled up plenty of dollars and forced me to shake enough greased-up hands to last a life time.

caleb-denisonCaleb Denison: Kids have it so easy these days

Jake Davidson is one seriously lucky bastard. If you aren’t a routine connoisseur of Teen Spirit Mag online or you don’t hang out in the “Annoying Youth Videos” section on YouTube all day, you may have missed Davidson’s prom proposal to superhot supermodel Kate Upton. It was a cute video, I suppose, but I’m pretty sure it was Davidson’s massive cojones that got him noticed, because it certainly wasn’t his acting skills. Awww, what am I saying? He’s so cute!

Apparently Upton thought so, too (that or maybe her publicist knows a potential landmine when they see it), because even though she wasn’t able to attend Davidson’s prom as his date, Upton phoned in her fellow supermodel, Nina Agdal, as a pinch prommer. Below, you can watch the highlights of the date, from the awkward corsage-boutineer exchange all the way through the official declaration that Davidson resides firmly in the friends zone (no kiss for you, buddy!). It’s all so congenial and sweet, it makes me want to puke. Where was YouTube when I was in high school, dammit?

molly mchughMolly McHugh: Gadgets for gluttony

I’m a normal human being (right? RIGHT?!) who eats food, sleeps between five to eight hours a night, and exercises an appropriate amount. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a trip into some serious glutton territory every once in awhile – and thankfully, Burger King is making my next trip down inner-fat-kid-avenue that much better! Introducing, the hands-free Whopper. Yes, no more awkward limbs getting between you and your burger! Have you ever wanted to play Portal and eat a Whopper at the same time? No? Who are you? Why are we friends? I don’t even …whatever.

OK so I don’t actually know if this thing is real or some cruel marketing-move-meets-joke. I seriously hope not, because that would break the heart of the overweight forever-alone kid living inside of me.

I’m already brainstorming all of the things I would do once I got my hands (or, neck, really) on this thing: I would eat a Whopper hands-free while making a healthy second dinner; I would knit; I would work; I would … well I’d probably just wear it and eat as if it were one of those things horses wear around their necks with hay in them. (For the record, I tried to find out what this thing is called for about 30 seconds and then realized how little I cared.)

Anyway, I take care of myself 99 percent of the time, and I want that one percent to be disgustingly sloth-like. Also, I would for sure use it with other, non-BK burgers, from you know … real restaurants. What am I, an animal!? (…says the girl who just compared herself to a horse).

bill-robersonBill Roberson: Making your Prius look spacious

With more enviro-worshipping hybrids, EVs and super-mini-sub-sub-compact cars (looking at you, Smart) coming to market, its important to remember these micro people movers got their start somewhere, and if you’d like to own one of those “starts,” now’s your chance. One prime example of the search for ultimate mobility just came to auction: a faithful replica of the infamous Peel P50 microscopic motorcar from the 1960s.

How small is the petite Peel P50 three-wheeler? Small enough to be pegged by those Guiness World Record folks as the “World’s Smallest Production Car.” It makes a MINI look positively spacious, and as safe as an armored car.

So what’s it like to drive one? The irascible Jeremy Clarkson (all 6 feet 5 of him) from the BBC’s TopGear car comedy show took the P50 for a terrifying spin on London’s busy city streets – and then literally drove it into work. It’s a video that must be seen to be believed and is 9 minutes well-spent. And how does he not get fired for saying the things he says?

natt garunNatt Garun: Cronuts craze plagues New York City

New York City is a pretty trendy place, especially in the culinary field. We’ve got chefs here doing crazy things like coffee ramen, spicy ginger or Arnold Palmer slush, and now… the cronut. Cronuts are a cross between a croissant and a donut, and it’s driving everyone in the city insane. Pastry chef Dominique Ansel only makes 200 of these babies a day, and even at $5 a pop, people are lining up as early as 6 a.m. to get their hands on the sugary goodness. Despite the six-cronut-per-person limit, Ansel sells out of the product by 9:30 every morning. “It is not okay to flip off our baristas because we are out of cronuts,” Ansel tweets.

The cronut is in such high demand that, unsurprisingly, it quickly spawned a Craigslist black market. We’re seeing people attempting to sell and deliver these cronuts at $20 a piece! You don’t need to know math to understand how impossibly ridiculous that markup value is. “I am willing to pick up and deliver them to your door,” one Craigslister writes. “Of course the max you can have me deliver is 5 Cronuts as I will be eating one myself.”

We’d be lying if we said we didn’t want to try some ourselves, but we’ll just wait a few weeks for the craze to trickle down to imitators and mall franchise versions. That’s what happened with cupcakes and frozen yogurt – is the cronut any different?

jeff-van-campJeff Van Camp: I’m still catching up with the rest of the Internet

Okay. Yes, it’s a cat video. So sue me.

Yes, I’m posting a cat video for my Staff Pick this week. And not only is it a cat video (not even a GIF), it’s a cat video that was posted more than a year ago. But hey, back off, man. I just saw it today, so … throw me a bone here (or a laser pointer or whatever the hell cats like to catch). I don’t have to defend myself. You’re not my mom. Lay off.

I know you all want tech news or something really cool, but sometimes, somedays, there’s nothing quite like a cat moving to the beat of Sail by Awolnation. I’ve been watching it on repeat, and I can’t stop laughing. Get a sense of humor, join me, and may God have mercy on our souls.

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