The Top 100 Video Games, According to Time

Earlier today, Time unleashed its list of the All-TIME Top 100 Video Games. “Whether you’re into video games or not, they’re an integrally important part of our culture,” the magazine says in the introduction to the list. Organized by release date, the list is full of beloved retro games, like Pong and Space Invaders, and more recent hits—World of Warcraft, Wii Sports, and The Sims. Each entry includes a brief history of the game and why playing it was so much fun.

It’s hard to argue with putting Oregon Trail—a game that, for members of my generation, triggers both fond nostalgia and heated arguments about who was better at hunting bison—on the list. (Though based on this poll, some Time readers disagree.) “[Oregon Trail] was actually developed in 1971 by three student teachers at Carleton College in Minnesota as a teaching tool,” Doug Aamoth writes. “The game was refined and updated and eventually found its way to the Apple II in the early ’80s, where it gained in popularity before continuing on to multiple platforms between the ’90s and today.” If you're jonesing for an Oregon Trail fix, there are many options available to you: A slick update of the game for your phone, a zombie mash-up game called “Organ Trail,” and, with the right plug-ins, the original Apple II version is available on your new MacBook.

I also agree with the inclusion of SimCity 2000 (was there anything sadder than laboring over your city, only to have it destroyed by an alien monster?); Sonic the Hedgehog; and Super Mario Bros./Megaman/and every other NES game on the list. But where is StarTropics? SimAnt? Or my favorite game ever, Life and Death 2: The Brain, which confirmed that I should never, ever be a brain surgeon?

Do you agree with the Time list? What did they leave out? And what are your all-time top five favorite video games?

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Scientists Have Launched an Earthquake Emoji Design Competition
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iStock

There’s no denying that emojis have changed the way we communicate. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words—and sometimes a thumbs up or crying face emoji will suffice. But could an earthquake emoji help save lives?

A group of scientists thinks it certainly couldn’t hurt. As The Seattle Times reports, a self-proclaimed #emojiquake steering committee is hosting an open competition for emoji earthquake designs that could be used to swiftly spread news of an imminent earthquake to diverse populations.

“We need an emoji so we can communicate quickly with much larger groups of people,” Dr. Sara McBride, a disaster researcher who works with the U.S. Geological Survey, told The Seattle Times. “People can process pictures faster than words, and not everybody is fluent in English.”

As McBride pointed out on Twitter, there are existing emojis to represent other weather events—like tornados and cyclones—but none to depict an earthquake.

Social media has proven instrumental in alerting large populations about impending natural disasters, giving them time to seek shelter or take proper precautions. According to the BBC, Japan and Mexico both rely on earthquake alerts sent to their digital devices via early warning technology.

The winning design will be chosen by popular vote on Twitter, and the steering committee will work with Unicode Consortium—essentially the world’s emoji gatekeepers—to get the earthquake emoji approved for widespread use on phones, computers, and social media.

You don’t have to be a scientist or graphic designer to enter the contest. The committee has already received more than 40 submissions, but entries will be accepted until July 14. Designs can be emailed to emojiquake@gmail.com, but be sure to check out the guidelines and size specifications on the #emojiquake website.

[h/t The Seattle Times]

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New Plant-Based Coating Can Keep Your Avocados Fresh for Twice as Long
Apeel
Apeel

Thanks to a food technology startup called Apeel Sciences, eating fresh avocados will soon be a lot easier. The Bill Gates–backed company has developed a coating designed to keep avocados fresh for up to twice as long as traditional fruit, Bloomberg reports, and these long-lasting avocados will soon be available at 100 grocery stores across the Midwestern U.S. Thirty or so of the grocery stores involved in the limited rollout of the Apeel avocado will be Costcos, so feel free to buy in bulk.

Getting an avocado to a U.S. grocery store is more complicated than it sounds; the majority of avocados sold in the U.S. come from California or Mexico, making it tricky to get fruit to the Midwest or New England at just the right moment in an avocado’s life cycle.

Apeel’s coating is made of plant material—lipids and glycerolipids derived from peels, seeds, and pulp—that acts as an extra layer of protective peel on the fruit, keeping water in and oxygen out, and thus reducing spoilage. (Oxidation is the reason that your sliced avocados and apples brown after they’ve been exposed to the air for a while.) The tasteless coating comes in a powder that fruit producers mix with water and then dip their fruit into.

A side-by-side comparison of a coated and uncoated avocado after 30 days, with the uncoated avocado looking spoiled and the coated one looking fresh
Apeel

According to Apeel, coating a piece of produce in this way can keep it fresh for two to three times longer than normal without any sort of refrigeration or preservatives. This not only allows consumers a few more days to make use of their produce before it goes bad, reducing food waste, but can allow producers to ship their goods to farther-away markets without refrigeration.

Avocados are the first of Apeel's fruits to make it to market, but there are plans to debut other Apeel-coated produce varieties in the future. The company has tested its technology on apples, artichokes, mangoes, and several other fruits and vegetables.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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