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Bees Get Some Much-Needed R&R in the 'Grand Beedapest Hotel'

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The bee population is up against a lot these days, including pesticides, parasites, and deforestation. With a hive of mounting troubles, the noble insect needs a place to blow off some steam. To that end, tea company Taylors of Harrogate built an elaborate hotel, which serves as a place for bees to relax, and a way to raise awareness of their many plights. The English company modeled the miniature after Wes Anderson's titular Grand Budapest Hotel.

The Grand Beedapest Hotel (see what they did there) has rooms dedicated to different flavored teas, and the company gives credit where credit is due, noting that there would be no tea without the buzzy brood. There's the "Lemongrass and Ginger Bar," the "Rose Lemonade Restaurant" and the "Sour Cherry Bedroom." Each vibrant space matches the flavor to a paint that, according to scientific research, helps to attract the bees.

"Bees are so important in helping to provide great flavor, but less attention has been paid to show how urban areas can be made more pollinator-friendly,’ said Kate Halloran of Taylors of Harrogate in a press release. "The aim of the bee hotel is to not only educate and entertain, but to also inspire action. from the peppermint leaf gym for a complete wing work out, through to the luxury sweet rhubarb suite with its decadent rhubarb sugar water bath and UV disco, their every need will be taken care of."

It isn't just for looks, though. The luxurious hotel has all the bells and whistles of a five-star hotel. Inside, bees can find bedrooms, a gym, a pool, and even a dance floor. Each has a bee-friendly spin, making them very inviting to the fuzzy yellow insects. For example, the rose lemonade restaurant serves pollen, while the peppermint leaf gym and spa has sugar water. The furniture is made from balsa wood and the bedrooms have hollow tubes for the bees to nest in. Best of all, there is some pretty great artwork on the walls. We spotted Magritte's The Son of Man, Van Gogh's Sunflowers, and a portrait of Beyoncé in the Sweet Rhubarb Queen Bee Suite. 

[h/t designboom]

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How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience
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If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

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Why Subliminal Messaging Doesn't Work (Unless You Want It To)
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Subliminal messages—hidden phrases in TV programs, movies, and ads—probably won't make you run out and join the Navy, appreciate a band's music, or start smoking. That's because these sneaky suggestions don't really change consumer behavior, even though many people believe otherwise, according to Sci Show Psych.

We say "don't really" because subliminal messages can sway the already motivated, research shows. For example, a 2002 study of 81 college students found that parched subjects drank more water after being subliminally primed with words like "dry" and "thirsty." (Participants who weren't already thirsty drank less.) A follow-up experiment involving 35 undergrads yielded similar results, with dehydrated students selecting sports drinks described as "thirst-quenching" over "electrolyte-restoring" after being primed for thirst. Experiments like these won't work on, say, chocolate-loving movie audiences who are subliminally instructed by advertisers to purchase popcorn instead.

Learn more about how subliminal messaging affects (or doesn't affect) our decision-making, and why you likely won't encounter ads with under-the-radar suggestions on the regular.

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