Take Your In-Car Concerts to the Next Level With Carpool Karaoke, The Mic

Courtesy of The Singing Machine
Courtesy of The Singing Machine

In the summertime, there’s nothing better than driving fast with the windows down and your favorite jams turned up to 11 so you can sing along at the top of your lungs. Now, that experience is getting an upgrade thanks to Carpool Karaoke, The Mic.

Fans of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segment (and the series) can channel their inner Adele, Celine Dion, Bruno Mars, Cardi B, and Paul McCartney with the mic, which was created by The Singing Machine and is specifically made for use in the car. It connects to your car’s stereo through an empty FM station; once you’ve found a suitable station, you tune the transmitter on the mic to match the radio. (If you’re having trouble finding an empty station, there’s an aux cable to connect to the mic to your car stereo.) All that’s left to do is connect your phone to the mic via Bluetooth, cue up your playlist, and start singing.

You can adjust your volume and add echo effects directly on the mic so you sound just as good as Celine, and it’s equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides six hours of singing time.

Carpool Karaoke, The Mic
Courtesy of The Singing Machine

Mental Floss got the chance to test out Carpool Karaoke, The Mic for ourselves, and we can confirm it is a blast. Along with a colleague from our sister site 12up.com, we cruised around midtown Manhattan belting out tunes by Fleetwood Mac, Kelly Clarkson, Bruce Springsteen, Carly Rae Jepson, TLC, and Third Eye Blind, and duetted on Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from A Star is Born. The mic was easy to set up and adjust on the fly, and it sounded great. It was an excellent way to spend a lunch break—we had a total blast. And yes, there’s video, but … we’re not brave enough to post it.

Carpool Karaoke, The Mic is awesome, whether you’re out tailgating, on a long road trip with kids and want something to stop the cries of “are we there yet?,” or if you, like James Corden, just need some help getting to work. It retails for $60 and is available for pre-order from The Singing Machine, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and other online retailers. Pre-orders will ship July 15.

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The Hallmark Channel’s First-Ever ‘Christmas Con’ Is Comin’ to Town

macniak/iStock via Getty Images
macniak/iStock via Getty Images

Bookworms have Book Con, comic lovers have Comic Con, and now, courtesy of the Hallmark Channel, Christmas fanatics will finally get the gift they’ve surely written to Santa about more than a few times: Christmas Con.

News 12 New Jersey reports that the festive convention will take place at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison from November 8 through November 10.

If you binge-watch Hallmark Channel’s schmaltzy feel-good flicks faster than St. Nick scarfs down a giant gingerbread cookie, this is your chance to catch its biggest stars in one decked-out hall. Mean Girls (2004) alum Jonathan Bennett will emcee the convention, The Walking Dead’s Alicia Witt will perform a concert, and panels will include guests like Chad Michael Murray, Melissa Joan Hart, and Bennett’s former Mean Girls co-star Lacey Chabert (who will hopefully be showered with enough candy canes to make up for the time that her character, Gretchen Weiners, got none).

In addition to its celebrity events, Christmas Con will also include a Christmas market with gifts, handmade decorations, and holiday treats. You can also don your most lurid holiday sweater for a chance to win a $500 grand prize in the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest, or bake a gingerbread house fit for a prince in the Gingerbread Wars, which could win you $1000.

If you're hoping to attend, you might have to hunt for resale tickets on social media or third-party sites—the passes are already almost sold out on the official website. If you’re willing to shell out a little extra for a snapshot with romance royalty, most of the stars are offering photo opportunities for around $50.

Looking for a less intense way to welcome the holly, jolly holiday season? Watch the 20 best Christmas movies, Die Hard (1988) and all.

[h/t News 12 New Jersey]

Meet Holly: The Winner of Alaska's ‘Fat Bear Week’ Competition at Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park and Preserve via Flickr, Public Domain
Katmai National Park and Preserve via Flickr, Public Domain

It's that time of year when the air gets a little colder, the days get a little shorter, and the bears get much, much fatter. Every year, in celebration of the impressive, pre-hibernation transformations of its brown bears, Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve hosts a competition to determine which fat bear reigns supreme. As NPR reports, Holly (a.k.a. Bear 435) is the official winner of 2019's Fat Bear Week.

In order to build enough bulk to survive the winter, brown bears must eat a year's worth of food in six months. After gobbling as much salmon as they can find, their mass typically peaks in October, which is also when Katmai holds its annual competition.

This year, the park pitted 12 coastal brown bears against each other in a March Madness-style bracket. Images of the chunky contestants were shared on Facebook, and followers cast votes for their favorite fat bears by "liking" them.

A before and after shot of Holly, winner of Katmai National Park and Preserve's Fat Bear Week competition
Katmai National Park and Preserve via Flickr, Public Domain

Holly beat runner-up Lefty by nearly 14,000 votes. The before-and-after shot above makes it easy to see why: Between July 12 and September 22, 2019, she grew from a scrawny bear into a hulking beast. The preserve announced her win on Facebook, writing: "She is fat. She is fabulous. She is 435 Holly. And you voted her the 2019 Fat Bear Week Champion. All hail Holly whose healthy heft will help her hibernate until the spring. Long live the Queen of Corpulence!"

Holly's new body is good for more than making her an internet sensation. The fatter a bear is, the more likely it is to survive the winter. But other factors, like climate change waking hibernating bears earlier than usual, still pose a threat.

[h/t NPR]

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