Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is another one of Nintendo’s enhanced Wii U ports, and it still holds up. Its spectacular tracks, colorful karts, and the myriad of dirty tricks make it a marquee multiplayer experience on Nintendo’s hybrid console. A new smart steering option opens the game up to younger kids, too, giving them a way to play along without getting completely trounced. Whether drifting, hovering, or gliding around the scenic courses, you’re almost guaranteed to grin while playing it. [For 1-8 players]
As states and cities lift shelter-in-place restrictions, there’s still so much we don’t know about the coronavirus and how it spreads. Which has left a lot of people wondering: How safe is it, really, to start socializing again? Is wearing a mask a part of our lives for the foreseeable future—and is it possible to persuade stubborn family members to wear one, too? Are short flights safer than long flights? And, are single people destined to remain dateless in the time of coronavirus?
This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED science writers Megan Molteni and Adam Rogers come on the show to try to answer some of these pressing questions. The short answer, of course, is that there are no easy answers; each decision we make is now a complicated labyrinth of potential exposure, personal circumstances, risk tolerance, and macro concerns about public health. We’re here to help guide you through this crisis.
Read all of WIRED’s coronavirus coverage here.
Megan Molteni is on Twitter @MeganMolteni. Adam Rogers is @jetjocko. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.
Matt Jancer is a staff writer for WIRED who focuses on reviewing outdoor gear. Previously, he spent a decade as a freelance writer covering automobiles, motorcycles, and lifestyle stories for magazines. Some of his longest gigs were at Car and Driver, Outside, Esquire, Playboy, and Popular Mechanics.
Faced with the life-altering circumstances of Covid-19, people are switching things up. That can mean a lot of terrible things, like losing a job or having a loved one get sick. For those fortunate enough to still be employed (and healthy), you may be learning to work from home baking lots of bread, or getting an overwhelming urge to change your hair color.
The desire to change your hair may be about taking back some control, says Suzanne Degges-White, a professor and chair of the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. “There’s so little right now that any of us can control, but our appearance is one thing that’s still within our power.”
Whatever your reason, I’m here to help. I’ve been dyeing my hair wild colors at home for more than a decade, and this guide is my best advice on how to recolor your hair in temporary and more permanent ways.
First, Consider Temporary Options
Feeling impulsive, but not professional? Consider a temporary color change. These methods are cheaper and less invasive than attempting to dye your whole head. You’ll reap the benefits of fun hair color without the scalp sensitivity or regret.
Consider Extensions: You don’t have to get crazy with your own hair. You can add a streak of color to your locks with dyed extensions. (These have great reviews.) It can be tricky to match them to your natural hair texture, but if you’re willing to do some styling or flat-ironing, they will work fine.
Try a Wig: Amazon and other stores sell passable wigs, ranging from curly bobs to extra-long ombré options. For something more durable, try Insert Name Hair. The company offers clip-in ponytails, bright wigs, full-head extension sets, clip-in bangs, candy-colored space buns, and loose strands for feed-in braids. The hairpieces are pretty foolproof. I like everything I’ve tried from INH.
Try Temporary Hair Dye: These come in the form of sprays and styling products. They’re like makeup for your hair, so you can add color and wash it away in the shower. A temporary dye job won’t feel or look as sleek as one from the salon, but it’ll do job well enough. I recommend a few practice rounds to get used to the products. They’re typically better suited for small sections (like your roots, bangs, or ends) rather than full-head coverage. If you have long, curly, or dry hair, you might encounter some textural road bumps, particularly with products like waxes. Manic Panic Amplified Color Spray ($13) is easy to use, but if your hair is long, you might need a couple of canisters. Good Dye Young Poser Paste ($18) is a waxy styling pomade that’s incredibly pigmented and has a pleasant citrus smell. Use it in small sections of your hair for a bright pop of color.
Ready to Dye? Keep These Tips in Mind
Facebook Marketplace is built into the Facebook app for Android and iOS. It works well for local deals—especially if you’re trying to get rid of stuff that’s used or damaged somehow—but you can post items out to anywhere in the country as well. Again, be sure to read the advice that Facebook gives for sellers to keep yourself safe.
While they don’t have quite the polish and reach of eBay and Facebook, both Letgo (Android, iOS) and OfferUp (Android, iOS) make selling really straightforward (and Letgo has the option to just give away your stuff, if you really want to clear your home quickly).
Nextdoor (Android, iOS) is also worth a look as a locally-focused app for giving away or selling your unwanted items around the neighborhood. Of course, Craigslist is the elephant in the room when it comes to selling your stuff, and it has mobile apps as well (Android, iOS), and it’s definitely suited to mobile, in-person transactions.
Digitizing paper documents and getting rid of unwanted stuff are the two main ways you can declutter using your phone, but there are plenty of other apps willing to lend a hand too. Other tools are prepared to help you get organized, for example, whether that’s setting up a to-do list or making a searchable inventory of everything you own.
Google Keep (Android, iOS) and Notes (built into iOS) can put together records of just about anything, and offer intuitive ways of keeping your notes organized as well. Other options for keeping track of your work include the ever-popular Evernote (Android, iOS) and the more focused Todoist (Android, iOS).
Getting your home and your possessions in order is a lot easier when you know exactly what it is you’re dealing with, and Sortly for Android and iOS can help with this. You can add entries for all of your stuff, all tagged and categorized, attach pictures and specs, and even get estimated values for everything you own, which is especially useful for home or renter’s insurance, or replacing your items in case of a disaster.
How about turning decluttering into a game? A number of apps can “gamify” your to do list, adding challenges and rewards along the way, and a couple of our favorites are Habitica (Android, iOS) and EpicWin (Android, iOS)—both let you set yourself specific targets and compete against other people (so you could get your whole family involved in the decluttering process).
After almost two months of sheltering in place, it’s easy to start to feel more than a little stir-crazy. You might be looking for new ways to cope with, well, existing. Are you working on your mixology skills? We’ve got a guide to the Best Bar Accessories. Or perhaps you’re aiming to exercise more—our workout from home guide and advice on the Best Running Socks could be of some assistance. It’s also always a good time to play board games, and we have an explainer on how to do it remotely with your pals.
If you’re looking for deals, this weekend there are a few that might help make your new routines feel more stable—or at least tolerable. We’ve rounded up discounts on gear that’ll make your home office more efficient (even if that “office” is your bed). And as always, we’ve found some price drops on games and content to watch. No matter how you’re spending the weekend, we hope it’s a good one.
Streaming, Gaming, and Audio Deals
Battlefield 4 (PC Digital Code) for $3: If you’re on the hunt for a new PC game to add to your library, this price makes this title a no-brainer. There are still plenty of people playing it online, despite it being an older game, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding matches.
Overcooked 2 (Nintendo Switch Digital Code) for $15 ($10 off): This is one of our favorite Nintendo Switch games, and we especially like it for online co-op. Work with up to four players to cook in collaboration and defeat the unbread.
Parks and Recreation Complete Series for $30 ($20 off): Be sure to select the HDX option to snag this deal in the highest quality possible. While Parks and Rec is free to watch on a lot of streaming services, that doesn’t grant you ownership over the content. If you’re a die-hard fan, this deal is a good way to make sure you’ll always be able to rewatch.
Sling TV Happy Hour for Free (Select Markets): Sling is offering a Happy Hour promotion with no end date in sight (though we don’t expect it to last forever). If you live in an area where it’s offered, you can get free access to Sling Blue every night from 5 pm Eastern to midnight. That means more than 50 cable channels are up for grabs, and you can also pick from a large selection of free on-demand content. No credit card information is required—all you need to sign up is your name, zip code, and email address. You can stream on up to three screens, so the whole family can get involved. Channels include Fox, TBS, CBS, SyFy, and dozens more. If you’re in need of new stuff to watch, this is a great option.
Clothing and Outdoor Deals
The time has come to start covering your face. As we reported April 3, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends all citizens voluntarily wear a cloth face mask for essential trips out of the house to the grocery store, doctor, or other public places where the 6-foot …
If you’re anything like me, you spent your childhood dreaming of lights you could control by clapping. The Clapper’s premise was brilliant—no more getting up from your comfortable bed to hit the light switch! (You can still buy it.) But technology has come a long way since then. …
On a normal day, my kids don’t often get a chance to look at screens. They’re usually at school, going to the playground with friends, or walking with me to the library. Social distancing and shelter-in-place laws have taken all of that away from us, but that doesn’ …
If your kids are home because schools are closed, you’re probably scrambling to find ways to keep them occupied when they’re not being homeschooled. I’ve seen quite a few posts around the internet from well-meaning parents suggesting activities that are indeed fun for kids but are also almost guaranteed to …