11 Insane Aquatic Toys You Can Buy

Forget pool noodles and squirt guns—these aquatic accessories will help take your water activities to the next level (provided you can afford them...).

1. Lake Trampoline, $1800 - $3700

Get real height on your cannonballs with this lake trampoline, which comes in three sizes: 12, 15, and 20 feet.

2. The Inflatable Water Shooting Float, $60

Bring the carnival directly to your pool with Space Shootout, which is equipped with two squirt cannons that draw a steady supply of water from the pool via flexible tubes. The goal is to displace the balls by shooting water into the cylinder; the first person to eject all six balls from their cylinder wins.  

3. Floating Tiki Bar, $160

Why leave the water to make a drink when you can buy this 7.5-foot-tall inflatable tiki bar and whip up cocktails in the pool? The bar has six drink holders and two ice storage bins; we suggest serving drinks in these floating glasses.

4. Aquaglide Rockit, $2300

This 14 foot wide, 5.5 foot high water rocker promises to provide “unlimited fun” for two to eight people. The goal is to work together, or against each other, to balance and tip the rocker.

5. Texas Hold ‘Em Inflatable Poker Set, $66

Set this table up in your pool and find out who the card shark really is. The nearly 4.5 by 4.5 foot table comes with 200 poker chips, a deck of waterproof cards and a dealer button, and has four chip storage areas, four cup holders, and four floating lounges. The lounges aren’t attached, so you can use them on their own, though one Amazon reviewer noted that “it's a bit difficult to sit in the ‘chairs’ and play cards. Everyone has to hold on to the table with one hand to keep from floating away from it.”

6. Giant Rubber Duckie, $230

The pool is your bathtub—or Florentijn Hofman display—when you buy this 8-foot-tall inflatable rubber duckie.

7. Yoga Watermat PoolFloat and Lake Raft, $600

Test your balance in tree pose/look like you're practicing Vinyasa on a magic carpet on this floating yoga mat, which can hold up to 175 pounds.

8. Floating Obstacle Course, $13,500

If you’ve always dreamed of making like your favorite GUTS contestant and running an obstacle course—on water, no less—then this raceway is for you. The 42-foot-long by 32-foot-wide raceway can handle up to 60 people at a time and sounds intense: 

Four raised, webbed rebounding platforms at each corner require nimble negotiation to avoid ejection into the water. One length of the course tests balance while walking over a 2'-wide "beam" ... while another encourages players to jump over a two-section water "pit" or descend and climb out. Twin climbing obstacles require participants to decide if climbing over their inflated beams is quicker than crawling through a handful of arches. 

Of course, to truly get that GUTS experience, you’ll need to pair it with ... 

9. Rave Iceberg Inflatable Climbing Mountain, $8000

… this 14-foot-high inflatable climbing mountain, which is basically a mini-Aggro Crag.

10. StarFighter Inflatable Squirter Float, $60

This “alien spaceship,” which can hold up to 140 pounds, comes complete with a sunroof and a water blaster—perfect for squirting unsuspecting sunbathers. 

12. Aquaglide SuperVolley Floating Volleyball Court, $11,000

Volleyball, on the water, with bounce—perfect for executing a killer spike. As a bonus, the ball is attached to a bungee so it won’t go flying, then floating, away.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Pop Culture
An AI Program Wrote Harry Potter Fan Fiction—and the Results Are Hilarious
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

“The castle ground snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind.”

So begins the 13th chapter of the latest Harry Potter installment, a text called Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. OK, so it’s not a J.K. Rowling original—it was written by artificial intelligence. As The Verge explains, the computer-science whizzes at Botnik Studios created this three-page work of fan fiction after training an algorithm on the text of all seven Harry Potter books.

The short chapter was made with the help of a predictive text algorithm designed to churn out phrases similar in style and content to what you’d find in one of the Harry Potter novels it "read." The story isn’t totally nonsensical, though. Twenty human editors chose which AI-generated suggestions to put into the chapter, wrangling the predictive text into a linear(ish) tale.

While magnified wind doesn’t seem so crazy for the Harry Potter universe, the text immediately takes a turn for the absurd after that first sentence. Ron starts doing a “frenzied tap dance,” and then he eats Hermione’s family. And that’s just on the first page. Harry and his friends spy on Death Eaters and tussle with Voldemort—all very spot-on Rowling plot points—but then Harry dips Hermione in hot sauce, and “several long pumpkins” fall out of Professor McGonagall.

Some parts are far more simplistic than Rowling would write them, but aren’t exactly wrong with regards to the Harry Potter universe. Like: “Magic: it was something Harry Potter thought was very good.” Indeed he does!

It ends with another bit of prose that’s not exactly Rowling’s style, but it’s certainly an accurate analysis of the main current that runs throughout all the Harry Potter books. It reads: “‘I’m Harry Potter,’ Harry began yelling. ‘The dark arts better be worried, oh boy!’”

Harry Potter isn’t the only work of fiction that Jamie Brew—a former head writer for ClickHole and the creator of Botnik’s predictive keyboard—and other Botnik writers have turned their attention to. Botnik has previously created AI-generated scripts for TV shows like The X-Files and Scrubs, among other ridiculous machine-written parodies.

To delve into all the magical fiction that Botnik users have dreamed up, follow the studio on Twitter.

[h/t The Verge]

Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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