The Tetris Pumpkin Is Still the World’s Greatest Gourd Game

This guy built an eerily cool, fully functional LED Tetris game inside a squash.

Every year around this time we see the pumpkin craze whip back into effect, a tidal wave of orange crap and assaultive seasonal products we’re already sick of by Columbus Day. It’s a dilemma as old as time: It’s fall and we have all these pumpkins! Got to find something to do with them. So there’re pies, and foamy, spiced sugar-milk drinks, jack-o’-lantern contests and pumpkinbräu beer. But beyond the usual slate of gourd-til-you’re-bored offerings, each Halloween brings us trailblazers who take the pumpkin bump into new, uncharted territory and help us remember the real meaning of autumn (or something).

Nathan Pryor, of design project HaHa Bird, is one of those trailblazers. Back in 2012, he built a working Tetris game into a pumpkin, carving an LED-lit grid into the squash and fashioning a makeshift joystick from the stem.

At the time, Pryor wrote on his website:

“One of my habits is to write down all the crazy, fleeting ideas I have, then go back to review later … Earlier in the month I was looking through that idea notepad and found ‘Make Tetris Pumpkins’ from sometime last year. My original plan had been to make forms to shape pumpkins into Tetris pieces as they grew, then stack them together for Halloween. Since Halloween was only a few weeks away and it was too late to start growing pumpkins, I thought ‘Why not make a pumpkin you can play Tetris on instead?’”

Pryor not only made and documented the amazing Tetris pumpkin, but also included a pretty detailed guide to how he did it, so enterprising seasonal tinkerers could follow in his footsteps. Sure, this is a few years old and there are still exciting new breakthroughs happening in the pumpkin innovation space—but even though the original Tetris pumpkin has surely rotted to compost by now, I for one have yet to see anything more inventive made from a gourd since.

Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less