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This Toothbrushing App Was Reprogrammed to Be Less Addictive

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Getting kids to brush their teeth can be challenging. Philips Sonicare recently released an app-enabled toothbrush that not only does this, but also encourages them to brush better and for longer. Unfortunately, an early version of the app was so effective that it had the unintended side effect of keeping enthusiastic players awake past their bedtimes.

The new Philips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush connects to an app that rewards little ones for brushing each of the four quadrants of their mouth for up to two minutes. An adorable, computer-generated fluff ball called Sparkly is the star of the game, and when children brush their teeth they can see Sparkly brushing along with them. Brushing earns them points, which they can then use to customize and feed their Sparkly.

Boon Lai, VP of marketing for Philips Health and Wellness compared the app to Tamagotchi, the addictive digital pet from the '90s. Ninety-eight percent of parents said the app made it easier to get kids to brush better and longer versus using a toothbrush alone.

The downside: some young players just couldn't tear themselves away from Sparkly, even after they'd finish brushing. To address this, Philips reprogrammed the app so that Sparkly now collapses in exhaustion shortly after the brushing is compete.

Philips is now planning to develop an app-connected toothbrush designed for adults. Sounds like the perfect antidote to our Candy Crush addiction.

[h/t: Gizmodo]

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A New Roller Coaster is Whizzing Through Colorado's Rocky Mountains
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There are plenty of ways to explore the majestic Rocky Mountains, but few offer the adrenaline rush of the Rocky Mountain Coaster, a brand-new roller coaster that sends riders soaring along the range’s natural twists and turns.

As Urban Daddy reports, the Rocky Mountain Coaster recently opened at Copper Mountain, a mountain and ski resort that’s located near the tiny town of Frisco, about 75 miles west of Denver. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the vacation spot is ideal for hikers, skiers, and mountain bikers. Now, visitors looking to enjoy the surrounding scenery without breaking a sweat can cruise for roughly a mile down to the resort’s high alpine Center Village.

The ride’s raised track “runs along the natural curvature of the mountain, with zigs, zags, dips, and 360-degree turns for guaranteed thrills,” according to a press release. Each personal car is equipped with manual hand brakes to control the ride’s pace, but the coaster does feature a 430-foot drop, so be careful with your phones while Instagramming the view.

The Rocky Mountain Coaster is open-year round, though it will initially mostly only be open on weekends. Solo rides cost $25, and a two-ride pass can be purchased for $35. (Resort guests get an exclusive discount.)

[h/t Urban Daddy]

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Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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Pop Culture
How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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