As the weather gets warmer, you’re probably itching to get off your couch and spend as much time as possible outdoors. While it’s nice to get away from your home for a while, it’s sometimes even nicer to have an oasis in your own backyard to turn to. You definitely don’t need to have a large outdoor space in order to transform it into something cozy, comfortable and enjoyable — you just need to have the right decor and setup.
A great outdoor space requires some comfortable seating, versatile lighting, shade for extra sunny days and some greenery (real or fake). Add in some decor that you like, such as funky planters, a colorful rug or some whimsical string lights, and you’ve got a space you’ll want to return to each day (or night). Here are some of our favorite products you can buy from Amazon to make this a reality.
This doubles as a small table and a hidden cooler all in one. You can choose to keep the lid lower when you want to only use it as a table, or you can elevate the lid to show off the hidden cooler underneath (and still use the lid as a tabletop). It’s 7.5 gallons and can hold up to 40 cans, and it’s made of a water-resistant resin so it can withstand the elements.
Add in some sun and bug protection with this pop-up gazebo that can go over a table and chairs set or a couch on your patio. It provides 121 square feet of coverage, and has an air vent on top to keep you cool inside. You can let down the mosquito netting when necessary, or keep it open for a breezier feel.
Adirondack chairs are a versatile and comfortable seating option that makes for a nice piece of accent furniture, but can also stand alone. This one is extra convenient since it folds for easier storage. The classic design means it will never go out of style.
String lights are a popular outdoor accent lighting option for a reason: they instantly make any space feel a little bit more magical. These globe string lights are the perfect size and shape, they’re easy to set up, and they give off just the right amount of light for when you’re hanging outside in the evening or night.
Outdoor furniture can get really pricey, but if you don’t want to drop a lot of money on something you’ll only use for a few months, this set is proof you don’t have to. This modern sectional sofa comes with thick, comfortable cushions, as well as a glass top table. You can keep it together to use it as a sofa, or separate it into two chairs.
Give your space a luxurious feel with this super comfortable daybed that encourages all of the lounging and sunbathing. It has a retractable canopy for shade, and can comfortably hold up to four people at a time. The seats can be left combined or separated, and the cushion is thick and comfortable.
To see more of this article written by Jessica Booth for Good Housekeeping, and see more idea’s for your backyard, click the source below.
Virginia mom Abby Doble’s five- and seven-year-old are ready for some noisy visitors. “They still have old exoskeletons they collected last year,” she says. But those exoskeletons were from annual cicadas. What’s coming now is bigger … much bigger.
Think: trillions of insects. This is “Brood X” (as in “Brood 10”), a regional group of periodical cicadas that emerges just once every 17 years. If you live in one of the states that’s expecting the bevy of bugs, your kids are likely feeling the excitement. Here’s the buzz on what’s up with these visitors—and ways their arrival can help teach children some six-legged STEM.
The periodical cicadas you’ll see this spring and summer are actually the grown-up insects that hatched 17 years ago, when their parents emerged. After spending most of their lives tunneling underground, these cicadas will be aboveground for about a month.
“Their sole purpose when they’re in that stage is to mate, lay eggs, then die,” says Megan Abraham, division director and state entomologist in Indianapolis.
But while they’re here, they’re loud—at least the males are. “They have something called a tymbal in their abdominal cavity, and it acts like a drum,” Abraham says. “They have tiny muscles that pull on this drum, and that calls the females.”
That makes one big bug party that in some places can sound like a running freight train is nearby. In Indiana, one of the Brood X “epicenters,” as many as 1.5 million buggers per acre are expected to emerge.
With a three-inch wingspan, these red-eyed buggers might look alarming. But they’re more like the golden retrievers of the insect world—mostly harmless and a little clumsy. “They don’t bite or sting,” Abraham says. “But they’re not very good about flying, so they’ll be hitting cars and running into people.”
The swarms aren’t like locusts, which eat and destroy crops. In fact, they’re good for local wildlife, which feed on the bugs. After the cicadas come and go, “there will be quite a boom of fat squirrels and raccoons,” Abraham says. And barring unusual allergies, even your dog or cat can munch a few. (Humans have been known to eat them, too—they’re said to taste like shrimp.)
Cicada STEM activities for kids
Best of all, kids can learn a lot from cicadas that will inspire them to explore science and nature. “Having first-hand experiences with the cicadas sets kids up to really understand more complex scientific concepts later,” says Rebecca Haverstick, an elementary school science teacher in New York. For instance, a young child who hears a cicada’s calls traveling long distances now might easily grasp a lesson on sound waves years later.
Here are some fun (and—sh!—educational) activities for this season of cicadas.
Guess their stage. When Brood X first emerges, the cicadas go through several different developmental stages that kids can observe. The emerging nymphs look light brown “to blend in with the soil,” Abraham says. Right away, they start climbing the nearest tree, then pop out of their exoskeletons. “As soon as they come out of their molt, they’ll be a white color,” Abraham says. Their wings will be light white and soft. Over the next few hours, their wings will open and firm up as their bodies turn golden and, finally, jet black. Then they are called adults—and it all happens in about a day.
Be a cicada detective. Cicadas leave telltale signs where they emerge and lay eggs. Checking below a tree, kids might find little tube-shaped mounds of earth that the cicadas created when they first came out from underground. Children can also look for “egg scars”—little slits on young branches where the cicadas have laid their eggs.
Do a sound experiment. Periodical cicadas are famously noisy—a single bug can be about as loud as a lawnmower! Kids can see just how loud the bugs are with a sound wave experiment. Tightly stretch plastic wrap atop a bowl and attach with a rubber band. (Save the wrap for later!) Put crumpled snips of tissue paper on top of the wrap. Then take it outside and set it on the ground beside a loud cluster of cicadas. The bits of paper should jump and move. “Sound is vibration traveling through air,” Haverstick explains, noting that the cicadas’ vibrations are strong enough to move the pieces of paper.
Feel cicada “honeydew.” Kids who stand under a tree full of cicadas will feel a few drops of liquid falling. Its official name is “honeydew,” but it’s better known as cicada pee! “It can kind of feel like a shower sometimes, depending on how many are in the tree,” Abraham says. Gross as it might seem to grown-ups, it can get kids talking about the fact that cicadas need to pee and poop, just like we do—and that’s the start of understanding digestion.
Attract a cicada. Females let males know they’re interested by clicking their wings in between male cicada songs—and the clicking sounds a lot like a kid snapping fingers. “Female wing flicks are sometimes placed between song phrases or within the last part of the song phrase,” explains Chris Simon, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at University of Connecticut, and a specialist in cicadas. “If a kid can get close to the cicadas, then they can hear individual songs and try clicking to them,” she says. That gives kids the chance to closely see, hear, and even feel the weight of a cicada. (Just make sure to let it rest on your body, then fly away when it’s ready.)
The schedule for the movie and TV titles coming to NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock in May 2021 has been revealed, which you can now check out below! This includes the series debut of Emmy-winning producer Tina Fey’s newest comedy series titled Girls5eva, which features Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Phillips and Paula Pell.
The first three Matt Damon-led Jason Bourne films will be available for streaming this month, along with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings prequel films, The Hobbit trilogy, which starred Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman. Superhero movies such as Catwoman, Green Lantern, Kick-Ass 2, and David Harbour’s Hellboy are also heading to Peacock this May.
NEW EPISODES & SERIES HIGHLIGHTS
May 2: WWE Untold: Two Dudes with Attitudes
May 6: Peacock Original Girls5eva, Season 1
May 9: WWE Chronicle: Damien Priest
May 10: American Ninja Warrior Women’s Championship (NBC)
May 11: The Best of WWE: WrestleMania Rematches
May 13: Peacock Original Intergalactic
May 16: WWE Icons: Rob Van Dam
May 17: WWE Wrestling Challenge
May 18: Best of WWE: Rob Van Dam
May 20: Peacock Original Comedy Special Carmen Christopher: Street Special
May 20: Def Comedy Jam, Season 7
May 23: Best of WWE: Andre the Giant
May 26: Café Con Aroma (Telemundo)
May 27: Peacock Exclusive Madagascar: A Little Wild, Season 3
TITLES COMING TO PEACOCK IN MAY
*Exclusive to Peacock
Available May 1
Along Came Polly, 2004*
Alpha Dog, 2007*
An American Tail, 1986*
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, 1991*
The Bourne Identity, 2002*
The Bourne Supremacy, 2004*
The Bourne Ultimatum, 2007*
Boy Erased, 2018*
Crank 2 High Voltage, 2009*
Dazed and Confused, 1993*
Elizabeth: The Golden Age, 2007*
Evan Almighty, 2007*
Green Lantern, 2011*
Half Baked, 1998*
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2012*
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, 2014*
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 2013*
Kick-Ass 2, 2013
King Kong, 2005*
Leap Year, 2010*
Lord of War, 2005*
Miami Vice, 2006*
Mystery Men, 1999*
National Lampoon’s European Vacation, 1985*
National Lampoon’s Vacation, 1983*
October Sky, 1999*
Public Enemies, 2009*Tales from the Hood, 1995*
Top Five, 2014*
Vegas Vacation, 1997*
White House Down, 2013*
The Wood, 1999
The World’s End, 2013
Available May 2
WWE Untold: Two Dudes with Attitudes
Available May 3
Available May 6
Girls5eva Season 1 – Peacock Original*
Available May 9
WWE Chronicle: Damien Priest
Available May 10
American Ninja Warrior Women’s Championship (NBC)
Available May 11
The Best of WWE: WrestleMania Rematches
Available May 13
Intergalactic – Peacock Original*
Available May 14
Dateline Collection: Courtroom Drama
Available May 16
American Dreamz, 2006*
The Chronicles of Riddick, 2004*
WWE Icons: Rob Van Dam
Available May 17
WWE Wrestling Challenge
Available May 18
Best of WWE: Rob Van Dam
Available May 20
Carmen Christopher: Street Special – Peacock Original Comedy Special*
Def Comedy Jam Season 7
Available May 23
Best of WWE: Andre the Giant
Available May 26
Café Con Aroma (Telemundo)
Available May 27
Madagascar: A Little Wild Season 3 – Peacock Original*
Now part of Fox Corp., the free, ad-supported streaming service plans to debut a slate of more than 140 hours of original feature-length movies and TV series in the fall of 2021. Fox closed its $440 million deal for Tubi in April 2020.
Tubi didn’t announce specific projects but said the originals will include documentaries, animation, and “independent minded” titles across Black cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance and Western genres. The company, a division of Fox Entertainment, is expected to provide more details at its NewFronts online presentation next Monday, May 3.
The Tubi original documentaries, from Fox Alternative Entertainment, will “reflect audiences’ passions,” including true crime, the Royals, paranormal and “the compelling sinking of the Titanic,” the company said. Animated titles will be produced by Fox Entertainment’s Bento Box Entertainment animation studio.
Tubi Originals also will be incorporated into seasonal and tentpole programming franchises, such as the “Hot Christmas” and shark event programming later this year.
“At Fox Entertainment, we’re engaging every part of the company, including Fox Alternative Entertainment and Bento Box, to develop original titles for Tubi,” Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, said in a statement. “Working together as one, we are combining all of our skills and talents with Tubi’s data-driven technology, to produce original content that speaks directly to Tubi’s passionate streaming audience.”
According to Massoudi, Tubi’s originals strategy “super-serves audiences with smart and sensible content by tapping into what they are consuming, and the genres that are most popular on Tubi.”
Tubi is a top player in the AVOD sector competing with the likes of ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV, Roku Channel, NBCUniversal’s Peacock (free tier) and Amazon’s IMDb TV.
During the pandemic, Tubi’s viewing boomed and it says it has seen usage continue to surge. In the first quarter of 2021, Tubi set a record of 798 million hours of total view time, up 54% from the year-ago period. For full-year 2020, the service streamed more than 2.5 billion hours of content.
According to Tubi, the median age of the platform’s viewers is 37 — roughly 20 years younger than the average across traditional linear TV. In addition, according to the company, 39% of its audience identifies as multicultural and 68% say they do not watch other ad-supported streaming services.
To be sure, the vast majority of Tubi’s lineup will continue to be licensed programming. Currently, the service has more than 30,000 movies and TV series from more than 250 content partners, including every major Hollywood studio. It also offers live-streaming local and national news channels.
A new month means new titles arriving on Netflix. It’s always exciting to see which shows and movies will pop up on the streaming service next, but there’s also a downside—all the departing titles. In May 2021, Netflix will be saying goodbye to 17 Again, Saving Private Ryan, and more. Here’s everything leaving Netflix next month:
17 Again (2009)
Atomic Puppet (1 Season)
Batman Begins (2005)
Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
Den of Thieves (2018)
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (2003)
How to Be a Latin Lover (2017)
I Am Legend (2007)
Japanese Style Originator (1 Season)
Jumping the Broom (2011)
Kingdom (Seasons 1-3)
Knock Knock (2015)
Mystery Men (1999)
Palm Trees in the Snow (2015)
Runaway Bride (1999)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
The Art of War (2000)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Green Hornet (2011)
The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)
The Spy Next Door (2010)
The Wedding Planner (2001)
Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018)
Two Graves (2018)
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011)
No estoy loca (2018)
War Horse (2011)
The Little Prince (2015)
P. King Duckling (1 Season)
Prince Jai Aur Dumdaar Viru (1 Season)
House at the End of the Street (2012)
The Chosen Ones (2015)
Antar: Son of Shadad (2017)
Lion’s Heart (2013)
The Bulbul’s Nest, aka Ush El Bulbul (2013)
Chhota Bheem Aur Kaala Yodha (2018)
Chhota Bheem Ka Romani Adventure (2018)
Chhota Bheem Ka Troll Se Takkar (2018)
Ha Unlimited (Seasons 1-2)
The Beginning of Life: The Series (2016)
Love is Blind (2019)
Scandal in Sorrento (1955)
The Sign of Venus (1955)
BBC’s Sherlock (Season 1-4)
Learning Time with Timmy (Season 1)
Monster Math Squad (Seasons 1-2)
Twirlywoos (Seasons 1-2)
Disney’s Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2014)
Netflix is refreshing your queue in the month of May. Some new TV shows and movies are hitting the streaming service for your continued watching enjoyment even as the weather gets warmer.
The Back to the Future movies, Zombieland, and 2005’s Fun With Dick and Jane are among the titles to kick off the month, as May 2021 continues with the second seasons of both Selena: The Series, and Who Killed Sara? Additionally, in a bit of a surprise, the third season of Master of None is set to hit Netflix as well (Watch the Master of None season 3 trailer here) four years after season 2.
Read on below for everything new you can watch on Netflix in May.
May 1, 2021
Aliens Stole My Body Angelina Ballerina: Season 5 Angelina Ballerina: Season 6 Back to the Future Back to the Future Part II Back to the Future Part III Barney and Friends: Season 13 Barney and Friends: Season 14 Best of the Best Dead Again in Tombstone Due Date Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Green Zone Hachi: A Dog’s Tale JT LeRoy Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted Mystic River Never Back Down Notting Hill Open Season Resident Evil: Afterlife Resident Evil: Extinction S.M.A.R.T Chase Scarface Sitting in Limbo Stargate State of Play The Land Before Time The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure The Lovely Bones The Pelican Brief The Sweetest Thing The Whole Nine Yards Under Siege Waist Deep Your Highness Zack and Miri Make a Porno Zombieland
May 2, 2021
Hoarders: Season 11
May 4, 2021
The Clovehitch Killer Selena: The Series: Part 2 Trash Truck: Season 2
May 5, 2021
Framing John DeLorean The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness
May 6, 2021
Dead Man Down
May 7, 2021
Girl from Nowhere: Season 2 Jupiter’s Legacy Milestone Monster
May 8, 2021
May 11, 2021
May 12, 2021
Dance of the Forty One Oxygen The Upshaws
May 13, 2021
Castlevania: Season 4 Layer Cake
May 14, 2021
Ferry Haunted: Season 3 I Am All Girls Jungle Beat: The Movie Love, Death & Robots: Volume 2 Move to Heaven The Strange House The Woman in the Window
May 16, 2021
May 18, 2021
Sardar Ka Grandson
May 19, 2021
The Last Days Sabotage Small Town Crime Who Killed Sara?: Season 2
May 20, 2021
Hating Peter Tatchell Special: Season 2 Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
May 21, 2021
Army of the Dead Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Season 3 The Neighbor: Season 2
May 22, 2021
Sam Smith: Love Goes — Live At Abbey Road Studios
May 23, 2021
Master of None: Moments in Love
May 25, 2021
May 26, 2021
Baggio: The Divine Ponytail High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America Nail Bomber: Manhunt
May 27, 2021
Black Space Blue Miracle Eden Soy Rada: Serendipity
May 28, 2021
Dog Gone Trouble Lucifer: Season 5, Part 2 The Kominsky Method: Season 3
May 31, 2021
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story The Parisian Agency: Exclusive Properties
No Date Yet
AlRawabi School for Girls Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir Halston Mad for Each Other Racket Boys Ragnarok: Season 2
On Monday, Apple is rolling out a long-awaited privacy feature for iOS. The latest version of the company’s mobile operating system, iOS 14.5, will prompt iPhone and iPad users to opt out of tracking in apps that monitor their behavior and share that data with third parties.
This new feature is a significant step for user privacy, as it gives people more control over their mobile phone app data and how it’s used by companies, like Facebook and Google, to target ads. At the same time, the move has frustrated app developers and tech companies that have relied on the reservoir of user data for years, and who fear they’re likely to be cut off from it in the near future.
Since 2012, apps developed for iOS have used an Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) to conduct tracking across different websites and apps. Apps usually collect this identifier so they can connect the information about the user gathered through the app to information about that user gathered elsewhere, like on the web, in order to better target ads. Before 14.5, Apple mobile users were able to limit ad tracking through toggles deep in the software’s settings, but this newest update directly prompts users to approve and disapprove this tracking for every app.
With the App Tracking Transparency feature, however, apps will need users’ permission to access a user’s IDFA before conducting tracking, which could include collecting user data to sell to data brokers or linking a user’s app data with third-party data that was collected in order to target ads. These new rules, Apple has said, will also impact other app processes, including sharing location data with data brokers and implementing hidden trackers for the purpose of conducting ad analytics. Some ad industry experts believe a large number of users will opt out of tracking when the new app tracking transparency feature goes live.
The iOS 14.5 software update is considered a major win for user privacy and is expected to give iPhone users a much greater sense of the type of tracking that takes place in their devices (in fact, privacy advocates were frustrated that the tool wasn’t rolled out earlier). While Apple users had some control over ad-tracking in the past, it’s easier than ever for users to opt out of being tracked.
“They’ll see a simple pop-up that basically prompts them to answer the question of, are they okay with being tracked or not? If they are, things move on,” Apple CEO Tim Cook explained in an interview with Kara Swisher earlier this month. “If they’re not, then the tracking is turned off for that individual with respect to that specific app.”
At the same time, this new Apple feature has frustrated other technology companies that rely heavily on this data to support their web advertising businesses. Google has announced a number of changes to its Google ads systems following the announcement of the new Apple privacy features. The update has also led to a rather public fight between Facebook and Apple. Facebook has run a months-long media campaign claiming that Apple’s changes will hurt the personalized ads that support small businesses. The change is actually more likely to hurt Facebook, assuming many Facebook users opt out.
Apple has been running a campaign of its own, touting privacy and security as key features of its products, for years. Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, has long emphasized that Apple is not in the data business, a position that has increasingly put him at odds with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. App Tracking Transparency isn’t even the only big privacy update in iOS 14, which also includes “privacy nutrition labels” that encourage apps to provide explanations of their privacy that are easier to understand.
Aside from its privacy features, iOS 14.5 offers a few other reasons to update your software. For instance, you will now be able to set your phone to automatically download security updates, rather than remembering to do this yourself. New emoji options are available. You also now have the option to unlock your phone using an Apple Watch if the device’s Face ID cameras see that you’re wearing a mask.
The App Tracking Transparency tool won’t necessarily mean an end to all tracking, and Apple is already playing whack-a-mole trying to find and stop other workarounds for identifying your device. Still, this newest feature is a new and in-your-face way to remind users about the kind of data apps are seeking about them.
Open Sourced is made possible by Omidyar Network. All Open Sourced content is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.
If you don’t live near the sea or just can’t travel this summer because of COVID-19 restrictions, there’s one more way to get your beach vacation — bring it to your own backyard.
A Spanish company called Piscinas de Arena NaturSand is offering just that. Well, kinda. Piscinas de Arena NaturSand specializes in “sand pools” — custom pools that are as close to real beaches as it gets. And if people already have a pool of their own, the company can simply convert it into something straight out of a Mediterranean paradise.
Piscinas de Arena NaturSand says that it can “provide an environment similar to that of a piece of natural beach” and judging by their product photos, that’s not an exaggeration.
“Our patented sand finish for pools is grainy but solid,” a Piscinas de Arena NaturSand spokesperson told Bored Panda. “It is not made out of loose sand, it’s completely attached to the concrete surface of the pools’ structure with binding agents.”
However, it does not make the maintenance of these pools more difficult than that of regular tile pools.
Piscinas de Arena NaturSand makes its sand pools with a special concrete mix that’s covered with compacted sand
Damian Lewis penned a touching tribute to his wife, Helen McCrory. The piece was published by The Sunday Times, following McCrory’s death earlier this week.
The actress — best known for her roles as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise and Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders — died of cancer. She was 52.
“Many people have spoken about her career and many more will, so that’s where I’ll leave it, because it strikes me that two things are happening this weekend: an outpouring of grief and shock, and a celebration of Helen McCrory the actress from fans everywhere, and of Helen the person,” Lewis wrote. “And that’s who I want to talk about.”
“Helen was an even more brilliant person than she was an actress,” he continued. “She was a people person, sure. ‘I’m much more interested in who I’m with than where I am,’ she would say, and innately wanted to share. But she also lived by the principle of kindness and generosity. That you put these things out into the world to make it better, to make people feel better.”
Lewis and McCrory had been married since 2007 and shared two children together — 14-year-old daughter Mannon and 13-year-old son Gulliver. The actor said on Friday that his wife had died peacefully at home.
In his piece for The Sunday Times, Lewis remembered how McCrory “spread happiness.” “Even when dying in her last few days, when talking to our wonderful carers, she repeatedly said, ‘thank you so much’ in her half delirious state,” he wrote.
Lewis said he already missed his wife, who “shone more brightly in the last months than you would imagine even the brightest star could shine.”
“I’m staggered by her,” he added of McCrory. “She’s been a meteor in our life.”
McCrory will be remembered by both those who worked alongside her and those who admired her work. On Saturday, Tom Felton, who played McCrory’s son in the Harry Potter films, said goodbye.
“So sad to say farewell so suddenly – I never took the chance to tell her, but she helped shape me as a person so much – on & off screen,” Felton expressed. “She was always relentlessly herself- razor sharp wit – silver tongued – kind & warm hearted – she suffered no fools yet had time for everyone – thank you for lighting the way forward & holding my hand when I needed it xx.”