Weekend Links: Journalism, in so Many Words

On April 1, The New York Times announced a new spinoff website called Times Haiku, featuring “serendipitous poetry” pulled from real articles published in the paper. There were suspicions the algorithm used to translate journalism into poetry was a joke, but certain lines apparently just lend themselves to Japanese-style verse: “To many, the Mets/ appear destined for a fifth/ straight losing season” and “For reasons he is/ not sure of, he also adds/ scallions at the end” are some good ones.

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Sounds Just Like is a website that provides side-by-side comparisons of clips from songs that, well, sound just like each other. The comments section is rife with disagreement, naturally, but have a listen to a few and decide for yourself: for a start, ABBA’s “Waterloo” sounds just like The Foundations’ “Build Me Up Buttercup.”

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If you’re traveling anytime soon, sites like TripAdvisor can be a great resource to scope out potential hotels, restaurants, and sights to see, with ratings from users who’ve been there before. If you’ve ever traveled in the past, you’ll be able to appreciate the compilation of terrible travel reviews compiled on TripAdvisaargh. If you’re interested, I know this place that has a “Recomendsble Hamburger very nice treatment and proper cleaning area very old but well chvjvghhnchxgvvnfjfvb.”

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This list of 10 Hidden Places Around the World will restore the travel fever that the previous link may previously have snuffed out in you. Understandably, a lot of these lesser-known places are literally underground.

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Even celebrities have to take their shoes off at airport security.

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The articles on Discovery.com feature some surprisingly urgent-sounding questions; here’s hoping they at least try to provide some answers.

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Speaking of urgent-sounding questions: if you’re the kind of person who carefully considers your survival rate from moment to moment based on such arbitrary factors as where you’re sitting on a plane, your odds are better in the back.

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There’s a new trailer out for Baz Luhrmann’s screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby. It features lavish parties, tense facial expressions, period dress, and Leonardo DiCaprio trying very, very hard.

Disney’s Steamboat Willie Has Been Immortalized in LEGO

LEGO
LEGO

Mickey Mouse recently turned 90 years old, and soon, you’ll be able to celebrate with LEGO. Steamboat Willie, the classic Disney short film that introduced Mickey Mouse to the world in 1928, has now been recreated in a LEGO set that will be released on April 1.

The 751-piece LEGO version of the S.S. Willie features grayscale bricks that recreate the original black-and-white aesthetic of the original film. The 10-inch-long LEGO boat features moving steam pipes and paddle wheels and comes with new Mickey and Minnie minifigures. It’s also equipped with a ship’s wheel, a life buoy, a buildable bell, and a working crane that can lift the vessel’s potato-bin cargo.

LEGO's Steamboat Willie set
LEGO

The Steamboat Willie set was born out of the company’s fan-generated LEGO Ideas initiative several years ago. Creator Máté Szabó submitted the idea to LEGO in June 2016, then LEGO designers John Ho and Crystal Marie Fontan worked to adapt the set for retail sale, creating decorative elements and the new Mickey and Minnie Mouse minifigures.

LEGO's Steamboat Willie set
LEGO

Buy the kit on the LEGO Store website for $90 starting April 1. If you can't wait to get your LEGO fix, check out the company's other Mickey Mouse-themed products here.

Start Your Morning Right With the Alarm Clock That Makes You Coffee

For those who can't function in the morning, a cup of coffee is key. For those who can't even function enough to make that cup of coffee, there's the Barisieur. This innovative alarm clock (now available at Urban Outfitters) awakens the sleeper with the smell of coffee and the gentle rattle of stainless steel ball bearings as the water boils.

Take sugar or milk? There's a special compartment for milk so the liquid stays fresh and cool until you're ready to use it in the morning. On the front, there's a drawer for sugar. The whole tray can even be removed for easy cleaning.

Not a coffee fan? The Barisieur also brews loose-leaf tea.

The milk vessel of the coffee alarm clock
Barisieur, Urban Outfitters

The gadget also has an actual alarm that can be set to sound before or during the coffee making process. 

This invention was thought up by product designer Joshua Renouf as part of his studies at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Though the idea started as just a prototype for class back in 2015, Renouf managed to make it a reality, and you can now buy one of your very own.

At $445, the alarm clock is quite an investment, but for coffee lovers who have trouble forcing themselves out of bed, it might be more than worth it. Go ahead, picture waking up slowly to the smell of roasted coffee beans and only having to sit up in bed and enjoy.

Buy it at one of the retailers below:

[h/t: Design-Milk.com]

A version of this article first ran in 2015. It has been updated to reflect the product's current availability.

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