The ‘Mannequin Challenge’ Trend Is Taking The Nation By Storm From High Schools To Pro Football Teams

We can’t keep up with all these Twitter challenges. It seems like there’s a new one blowing up the internet every day! The latest in this craze of crazes is the Mannequin Challenge, in which a group of people freeze entirely while the cameraman takes a video walking around and among them in an eerie way. It sounds simple but it comes out looking really cool… if you can pull it off.

We detected a bit of movement in the very first video, posted by some kids from Edward H. White High School in Jacksonville, Florida, but it was only for a second. Since that video, kids seem to have it down, sometimes getting what seems like their entire school to nail it together!

However, we think the most impressive videos are the ones with sports teams, because not only are they frozen in place while playing a game (as opposed to the fake fights that seem to be over-popular with the teenage crowd), but they’re using their muscle tone to pose in some really interesting ways.

The Buffalo Bills even got in on the trend, choosing for their venue an airplane that they must’ve completely taken over. Props to them for fitting in social media challenges to their busy schedule! Check out the other trending Mannequin Challenge champs and let us know who you think did it best!

Thrilled Woman Realizes Her Uber Driver Is The Original Voice Behind AOL’s You’ve Got Mail

When Brandee Barker got into her Uber on Saturday in Ohio, she didn’t recognize her driver. Why would she – Brandee is a Californian who had come to the swing state to canvas for Hillary Clinton. However, when she started chatting with the driver, she knew she recognized his voice somewhere, and after pressuring him a bit, she found out why.

Elwood Edwards, 67, is an Uber driver now, but he used to be a voice actor, and in fact is best known for a gig that only paid him a measly $200… He’s the voice of AOL’s notifications, something we all have ingrained on our brains from the ‘90s! Turns out his wife used to work for Quantum Computer Services, which later became AOL, and had her husband record the original sound files on a cassette tape in their living room. Ah, nostalgia.

Needless to say, Brandee freaked out and immediately requested that Elwood say his trademark phrase “You’ve Got Mail” for her, a request he gets a lot and one he’s only too happy to oblige. Brandee says she, “completely geek freaked and asked if he would do the video,” which has since gone viral.

Elwood gets a kick out of being called out for his famous voice – he even appeared on The Tonight Show last year to read funny phrases in that classic AOL way. So watch out, Ohioans, the next time you get into an Uber, you may have a huge bout of ‘90s nostalgia waiting for you in the driver’s seat!

Instagram’s New Feature Will Make You Completely Forget About Snapchat

If you’re tired about having to switch between all your social media apps, you’re going to be super excited about Instagram Live, which partially launched this week and combines the best features of several platforms, including Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat!

IMAGE SOURCE: INSTAGRAM

The update includes two new majorly awesome features. The first allows the user to take live video, something like Periscope or Facebook Live, but the video is never saved. You simply swipe right and tap “Start Live Video,” and anyone can watch. People looking for live videos can search for them on the search page, and can leave comments or “hearts” on the ones they’re watching.

Once the person recording is done filming, they close the window and it is gone forever, making it perfect for “exclusive” looks into people’s lives, or for making a video only for people, “in the know.”

IMAGE SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH

The second feature is also pretty close to Snapchat in that it’s pictures that disappear after a short time. In Instagram, it’s called direct messaging, and it allows you to send a private image or video to one specific person or to a specific group of people, and lets you make that image disappear after they look at it. You can check your “direct messages inbox” by swiping left!

The direct messages feature is already out, and Instagram Live should launch in a matter of weeks. All in all, we think this integration is a lovely Christmas present from Instagram!

 

A List Of The Best Air-Filtering Plants For Your Home According To NASA Study

In an increasingly post-industrial world, air quality is one of our chief environmental concerns. Most people keep their houses closed up when they feel like the air quality outside is low, but often unhealthy gases can get trapped in our homes and give us headaches, dizzy spells, or eye/nose/throat irritation. These gases include formaldehyde (famous for embalming but also used in paper bags, particle board, and synthetic fabrics), benzene (basically in all things plastic), and ammonia (in lots of cleaning products).

IMAGE SOURCE: LOVE THE GARDEN

However, NASA of all institutions has a solution for this – get a houseplant. No, seriously. Pick one or a few of the plants from this list, which are the best houseplants for filtering the air in your home, removing all those unwanted chemicals and providing you with better breathable air! Who knew! Some of these are quite pretty, and all of them are tiny little air purifiers in that they suck up chemicals in the air along with the CO2 they need to survive, and they exhale oxygen!

IMAGE SOURCE: LOVE THE GARDEN

Now, technically this study is quite old; NASA conducted it back in 1989 in partnership with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America. However, their research has been proven right 27 years later, and these 18 plants really are the best to have in homes. They actually recommend one plant per 100 square feet.

IMAGE SOURCE: LOVE THE GARDEN

However, don’t go right out and buy all of them. Note that some of these plants are extremely harmful to pets. Make sure to do your research before you bring home one of these leafy greens!

 

Social Dating Apps Like Tinder Are Ruining Restaurant Buisness

With the advent of apps like Tinder and Bumble, meeting new people to go on dates with is way easier and far less stress-inducing. Just swipe left or right, and before you know it, someone you find at least moderately attractive will probably suggest that you two meet up for a drink or two.

IMAGE SOURCE: TREND HUNTER

There are multitudes of studies describing how apps like Tinder have changed the landscape of dating by “oversaturating” people and making it easier to quickly judge someone and move on to the next. These studies suggest that making real connections with another human being more difficult, but there’s another unexpected effect of these apps, surprisingly, on the restaurant industry. Not only are these apps changing how we date, but they’re also possibly changing our literal dates.

In contrast to “old fashion” sit-down dates with a full meal and drinks, meeting up with a stranger from Tinder can be hit or miss. Many people who go on Tinder dates just meet up for a couple drinks or maybe a small plate or appetizer to test the waters of the person they’re meeting up with.

IMAGE SOURCE: SHUTTERSTOCK

These small scale dates result in small checks owed to the restaurants they meet up at. This has been affecting the bottom lines of many restaurants and changing how many of them are choosing to operate, according to a new article in The Washington Post.

Instead of having a leisurely dinner complete with a salad, steak, and dessert like how dates supposedly used to be, checks are smaller, but time spent at the tables are still the same. There’s no point in dropping $50 for dinner on an internet stranger that you can just block after the fact anymore.

IMAGE SOURCE: VANITY FAIR

However, there is no real “hard” data on this report put forth by The Washington Post, at least not from the National Restaurant Association. Many restaurants also admittedly don’t mind Tinder dates, and instead have opted for swapping out foursome booths for two tops to accommodate more of them. Business is business, right?