Article by Lauren Power

“If This Then That” (or IFTTT—rhymes with “gift”) connects the apps that you use, and cuts out the middle man (you). This free web-based service lets you automate simple tasks, such as “If someone tags a photo of me on Facebook, then save a copy of the photo and email it to me” or “If it’s going to snow tomorrow at 6:00am, send me a text.” Want to get up with the sun? Your phone will ring 15 minutes before sunrise. The site was a simple start-up four years ago, but now it’s cross-platform capability is massive, including everything from Facebook and Fitbit to your iPhone or Android. It’s easy to get bogged down in all of the options, but the interface is slick and the process for setting up automations is smooth and simple, which makes it easy to create your own automations or use the thousands of ready-made user-created recipes.


On his blog, Pittsburgh resident Mike Neilson posts user-submitted photos of former Pizza Huts from all over the world, still marked by the signature trapezoidal “Red Roof” locations. The former Pizza Huts have been repurposed into everything from an adult video store to an evangelical church in Boynton Beach, FL (praise!). The “Red Roof” style was designed by architect Richard D. Burke, and though Pizza Hut has discontinued the design, there are still over 6000 standing. The architectural oddity can still be spotted throughout the world, including atop the current home of LASIK MD on Torbay Road.

MY 80’S TV!
In the era of HD on-demand everything, it’s nice to spend some time in the glow of cathode ray tubes, marveling at the staticky reception of the televisions of yesteryear. My 80’s TV culls the greatest selections of television from 1980-1989 (arranged by year), presented in a lo-fi interface that looks like an old tube TV. Of course there’s cartoons, sitcoms, and dramas, but there’s also commercials, music videos, and daytime TV, including old game shows, soaps, news, and sports. Sure, all of the clips are already available on YouTube (pressing ‘Y’ opens a new window that brings you directly there), but when you change the channel on YouTube, you don’t get that satisfying “clack” as you turn the dial.