Book Your Flight: Canada’s International Hair Freezing Competition Is Here

Takhini Hot Pools
Takhini Hot Pools

If you're looking to instantly transform your hairstyle, head to Takhini Hot Pools in Canada's Yukon Territory. The natural hot springs there make it possible to bathe outdoors in extreme freezing weather, resulting in some impressive 'dos when people get their hair wet and let it harden. As Smithsonian reports, the practice has become so popular that there's now an annual competition to see who can freeze their hair into the most impressive shapes.

The International Hair Freezing Contest started in February 2011 as a spin-off of the local Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. After competing in winter sporting events all day, athletes from the rendezvous would head to Takhini to take a mineral bath in one of the pools fed by the area's natural hot spring. The manager at the time turned the relaxation session into another competition when he asked bathers to sculpt their wet hair into frozen works of art. Whoever ended up with the best selfie won the contest.

What began as a fun activity among a small group of people has grown into a major event. Each winter, people from around the world visit the hot pools hoping to take part. The Hair Freezing Contest is unique in that it doesn't take place over a set stretch of dates. Rather, guests compete whenever it's cold enough outside to achieve the desired hair-styling effects, e.g. when -4°F or colder. Throughout winter, competitors can sign a form proving they were really there, and if it's cold enough to shape their hair in the pools, they can snap a selfie and submit their work to Takhini. Winners are announced in March, with Best Male Photo, Best Female Photo, Most Creative Photo, and Best Group Photo each receiving $750 and complimentary 30-soak memberships.

For those worried about their hair falling out, the business promises that hair freezing isn't harmful, and dipping your head into the pool quickly thaws it back to normal.

Check out some of the star competitors from years past below.

People with frozen hair in hot tub.
Takhini Hot Pools

Person in hot tub with frozen hair.
Takhini Hot Pools

People with frozen hair in hot tub.
Takhini Hot Pools

People with frozen hair in hot tub.
Takhini Hot Pools

[h/t Smithsonian]

Vlasic Is Working on Pickle Chips Made Entirely of Pickles

iStock.com/bigacis
iStock.com/bigacis

It's easy to find pre-sliced pickle chips in a jar, but if you prefer to eat your snacks out of a bag, your pickle options are limited. Both Doritos and Lays potato chips have released products where pickles are used as flavoring and not the main ingredient. Now, the experts at Vlasic are developing bags of chips that don't just taste like pickles, but are made from real pickle slices, USA Today reports.

Vlasic's parent company Conagra Brands confirmed during a recent investor event that crunchy, snackable chips made entirely of pickles are in the works. Instead of struggling to open a jar every time you crave pickles, you'll be able to eat these chips straight from a bag. They will be vacuum-fried, making them dry and crispy like potato chips.

Vlasic hasn't revealed when the pickle chips will be released, or where they will be available to buy. But according to USA Today, Conagra co-chief operating officer Tom McGough did reveal that they "taste absolutely fantastic."

Can't wait to for Vlasic's pickle chips to arrive in your local grocery store? Here are some products that taste and smell like pickles to try in the meantime.

[h/t USA Today]

The Helvetica Font Has Been Revamped for the First Time in Decades

Monotype
Monotype

The Helvetica font family is everywhere. It’s used on everything from subway signage to federal tax forms to advertisements for a diverse group of companies, including Harley-Davidson, Oral-B, and Target. Job seekers are also likely familiar with its clean, sans-serif characters, which make it one of the best fonts for a resume.

“If it's me, [I’m using] Helvetica,” Matt Luckhurst, a graphic designer, told Bloomberg in 2015. “Helvetica is beautiful. There is only one Helvetica.”

Until now. As Wired reports, the typeface has just been revamped for the first time in decades by Monotype, which boasts the world’s largest type library and owns the rights to Helvetica. The new and improved version, called Helvetica Now, aims to better serve modern users while also working out the kinks associated with the old design.

The new Helvetica font
Monotype

While Helvetica is still ubiquitous, several major companies—including Google, Apple, IBM, and Netflix—have dropped the typeface for branding purposes in recent years. Issues related to kerning, punctuation sizes, and scrunched characters are all common gripes with the old version.

By contrast, Helvetica Now comes in three versions to suit different needs. There’s a Micro version for small screens, a Display version for larger type sizes, and a Text version that makes use of white space to offset visually “demanding” designs. Companies will need to buy the license to the new Helvetica, but the font’s creators are hopeful that everyone will be making the switch in due time.

“Helvetica Now is the tummy-tuck, facelift, and lip filler we’ve been wanting, but were too afraid to ask for,” graphic designer Abbott Miller, a partner at design consultancy Pentagram, said in a statement. “It offers beautifully drawn alternates to some of Helvetica’s most awkward moments, giving it a surprisingly, thrillingly contemporary character.”

The original Helvetica was invented in 1957 by two Swiss designers who dubbed their typeface Neue Haas Grotesk. It wasn’t until 1961 that the typeface was renamed Helvetica, and the font’s last major facelift came in 1982 with the release of the desktop-friendly Neue Helvetica.

Of course, that was pre-internet, and Monotype’s director, Charles Nix, says everyone's font needs have changed a great deal in the intervening decades. “Neue Helvetica was the first digitization of Helvetica,” Nix said. “That was a long time ago, and so much has happened in our world since then.”

[h/t Wired]

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