Tools For Installing Quartz Countertops In Phoenix

How To Install Quartz Countertops And The Tools Used

new quartz countertops installed in phoenix homeQuartz countertops are created from walnut and resin binders, they are a popular option to solid rock countertops like granite and marble that are frequently utilized in high-end home settings. Quartz countertops are produced from a manufactured substance and are a lot more affordable than the marbles and granite you’ll find out there on the market. The resin on the counters provides additional waterproofing, reducing the requirement to seal the quartz countertops and reducing maintenance requirements. Installation of Quartz is a simple procedure requiring little cutting of the actual counter and some gluing and positioning. We buy the best Quartz countertops Phoenix sells in their local market, and no real special installation tools are needed, general contracting tools typically get the job done. For many DIY homeowners, this can be accomplished in a day or two depending on the size of the counters you are trying to install. Here are some tips of the trade to help you get your quartz countertops installed in a timely manner efficiently.

Four Basic Steps To Installing Quartz Countertops Phoenix

 


• First, like anything else you install, accurately measure the area where you would like to install the countertop using a measuring tape. Buy your quartz slab to match the dimensions as close as possible to prevent the need to cut the quartz countertop to match the space available. Make note of some backsplash ideas if you decide you want to install that also.

• Next, test place the countertop into the measured area by installing the counter as you will be doing permanently. Take into account any additional space for cabinetry. Leave space in the back to allow for the mounting brackets of the countertops. If trimming is necessary to match the space available, then mark cutting lines using a tape measure and carefully make your cuts. Be sure you double check the measurements before you start. Once you cut, you can’t go back. Fortunately, there are scrap yards that stock miscellaneous pieces of quartz countertops phoenix contractors dispose of.

• Spray the quartz with water to cool the saw blade. Wear a pair of work gloves and safety goggles to guard against potential quartz chips. Use a circular saw with a diamond blade attached to decrease the potential damage caused to the quartz countertops. Begin the cut out of the edge of the counter in a clockwise direction, pushing the blade across the line gradually with minimal pressure. Let the blade work it’s magic, just guide it, and let it cut through the quartz for you. Keep the surface of the countertop moist by spraying it with water as you move along till you have completed the cut you want. Examine the new cut against the space you will be installing it in. Make sure that the dimensions are accurate.

installing quartz countertops in az home• Mount the backsplash into the wall with construction adhesive brushed on the rear of the backsplash using a paintbrush. Examine the degree of the backsplash using a carpenter’s level and make any alterations necessary. Apply a coating of the building glue to the tops of the cabinets in which the countertop will lie and across the back of the countertop where it moves against the backsplash. Put the quartz countertop on the cabinets and slip it back from the backsplash. Fill out the seams between the backsplash and the countertop with silicone caulk and then wait immediately for the caulk and glue to dry.

Installing quartz countertops is not difficult if you take the time to do it right. Hiring a professional is always suggested, but you can do this yourself if you take the time to learn the process and have patience when completing the project. New countertops can turn an outdated kitchen or bathroom into a refreshing area in the home.

For more on DIY home, improvements subscribe to our newsletter. For home and garden tips check out this blog on pest control.

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Gardening Tips And Tools For Pest Control

10 Ways to Maintain Pest Control In Your Garden

pest and rodent control for your garden

There are plenty of rodents wondering amongst the shrubs in Arizona, so how do you keep your Garden free of them, and what tools should you use to accomplish proper pest control? Some of them are cute, but it’s not cute when they start munching on your freshly planted vegetables and chow down on your cactus root. Like it or not, these pests are not selective about what is yours and what is theirs. Your lawn and garden are a part of a bigger system, and it’s called the great outdoors. The animals were there first, now you need to eco-friendly ways of protecting your gardens from these Arizona pests.

While it’s not possible to make your garden 100% pest-proof, here are a couple of ways to minimize the nibbling and live peacefully with the wild rodents and pests of the Arizona desert. Here are some tips from our friends at Green Home (https://greenhomepest.com/) that has plenty of experience handling rodent and insect infestations.

#1 Find Out What The Pest/Rodent Is

Picking the right type of pest control will be easier if you know what is destroying your garden, maybe you need a trap and relocation mechanism, or maybe you need a trap that exterminates the rodent completely? Rodents that seem to create the fastest damage are rabbits, deer, and groundhogs. You can look for signs on the shrubs themselves to help better identify what it is that’s eating away at your garden. Deer can leave trails in the dirt and bite clean snips on crops or rip away at woody plants. Rabbits make sharp cuts on plants and might leave pellet droppings. Groundhogs leave big mounds of dirt 10″ to 12″ in diameter at the entry point of their burrows, typically eating greens, not woody shrubs. Birds peck holes in fruit or sneak it before you even know it is ripe.

#2 Fence The Garden In

Fencing is the most successful (and at times only!) way to keep unwanted rodents and pests out of your garden. Put a fence up from day one to keep them from discovering the food source at the first place. A fence that is a couple of feet tall will do the job for many rabbits, even, however, persistent bunnies and groundhogs may dig under. To stop that, bury it about 10″ deep. Chicken wire, hardware cloth, or bunny fencing would be the cheapest alternatives for smaller mammals. A stake post that is at least 4 ft tall will do the job for many deer looking to jump over and grub on your garden. However, if your area is overrun by deer, then you might need one that is 8 feet tall. Vinyl bird netting can be placed over trees with edible berries a few weeks before they ripen, to safeguard the fruit.

#3 Pick Plants The Animals Don’t Like

pest eating plant leafs in gardenEasier said than done. But if you know beforehand that there are roaming deer and rabbits wandering the property than a little research before planting your garden is highly recommended. When they are hungry enough and competition for food is large, animals will consume anything. But there are particular types of plants which are less attractive than others, particularly plants which are highly aromatic, fuzzy, or have prickles. Look around your area to find out what’s fared well, speak to nurseries, and consult some local farmers that have had success or battled the same pests in their gardens.

#4 Protect Your Plants

Those new nursery plants, that are pampered and fertilized until you purchased them, provide yummy, tender new growth. Whether a plant is yummy or a deterrent to creatures has to do with all the nutritional supplement and compounds a plant generates. Plants recently bought from a nursery are superior in quality and are a preference for roaming animals. The animals can sense those micronutrients, and they are naturally attracted to them. New plants can’t take as much grazing harm as established plants, so fence off your new plants to protect them from the rodents and insects that may sense the new crops. Having proper pest control in place will be important for the survival of your young plant life.

#5 Elevate Your Plants With Risers

At times you may be able to eliminate the nibbling from rodents by elevating containers or planting in raised garden beds. A raised bed two feet or taller will restrict rabbit damage, and stop most smaller rodents from jumping up into the raised containers. While this is not necessarily pest control, it does act as a deterrent.

#6 Do Clear Out The Surrounding Foliage

If you can, allow the grasses and shrubs around the borders of your lawn/yard to go a little crazy. When there are other varieties of plant life available, your garden won’t be as appealing. Animals will not be as inclined to come out to your garden and expose themselves to predators when they can find food to eat in the outer perimeter. They would rather eat sheltered than in the open, so give them the option.

#7 Keep Your Mulch Contained

Open mulch piles attract all sorts of animals that then find the other delicacies growing in your garden. Use an enclosed compost bin with a lid to keep rodents and pests away. And should you feed your pets outside, make certain to bring their bowls indoors after they eat so that you won’t attract unwanted rodents and pests to your property.

#8 Scare Them

Metallic streamers, or bird tape, or an old-fashioned scarecrow can keep birds out of your garden, even though you may need to relocate and adjust daily as the birds wisen up. You can not let it just sit there. Otherwise, as soon as they get used to it, this technique loses its effectiveness. Also, try motion-activated sprinklers or lighting to detour rodents from your yard.

pest control - rodent repellent#9 Repellants Work

Odor repellents are an option and can be sprayed on crops to keep animals away. Taste repellents can be sprayed on plants as well. When ingested these repellants create a foul experience and detour rodents from nibbling on your plants.

#10 Take It All In And Relax

The weather patterns change year to year, temperatures change, and life happens. Take a look around, make note of the changing earth that surrounds your property and understand it for what it is. Relax, don’t let pest control consume you, make an effort, move things around if needed, but don’t stress about it. After all, isn’t gardening supposed to be a stress reliever?

Want to move your existing Garden to your new home? Check out these tips on moving.

Plastic Surgery Procedures Performed On Celebrities

In today’s world, where social media rules and celebrities are emulated and worshiped, it is no surprise that many of us regular folk strive to look like our favorite celebs, even to the point of having plastic surgery to do so. Have you ever dreamed of having a more voluminous bust line or a perfect pout, on par with your favorite stars? Simulated perfection is as close as the nearest plastic surgeon.

So which famous people have the most coveted body parts, according to plastic surgeons? Well, much depends on who you ask, but the following celebrities are named most often when people decide they want to change a feature—or features—to improve their looks:

Jennifer Aniston’s name is often mentioned when women visit the plastic surgeon. Known for her youthful, girl-next-door look, many women ask for the “Aniston nose” as well as Natalie Portman’s nose and Nicole Kidman’s nose. A skilled surgeon can determine if the nose shape you request fits with the rest of your face, otherwise, no matter whose nose you have, you won’t be happy!

Men also request rhinoplasty, the technical term for a nose job. Men often request the noses of famoplastic surgeryus gents like Ben Affleck, and Ryan Reynolds but truth be known—a nose like theirs doesn’t suddenly transform you into a superhero!

So what’s it take to achieve a sniffer like your favorite actor or actress? Undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure can include removal or addition of bone or cartilage, skin grafting, and essentially ‘molding’ the nose to a new shape. Performed by a surgeon, the procedure can be complete either in an outpatient setting or in a hospital for more complicated procedures. Expect a nose job to set you back anywhere from $3000 to $6000.

With a steady rise in popularity, butt lifts and butt implants are all the rage. Which famous ladies have the best backsides, according to the inquiries received by plastic surgeons? It looks as if Kim Kardashian derriere has eclipsed that of beauties Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé—but just by a shadow. And how can you have your very own Kardashian? Either a Brazilian butt lift, where fat is transferred from another part of your body to your rear or with the insertion of butt implants. Both will enhance the roundness and fullness of your backside, but it comes at a cost: the procedures start at around $4000 not including additional fees.

Another very popular plastic surgery procedure is breast augmentation. Many women seek breast augmentation surgery to fill out their form or to even out their proportions. As far as celebrities with envied assets, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Simpson are oftentimes mentioned as having the perfect balance of fullness and firmness while not appearing too fake. The newest twist on breast augmentation is much like the Brazilian butt lift, where fat from another part of the body is siphoned off and injected into the new site. Expect to pay anywhere from $3000 to approximately $10000, depending upon the doctor’s experience, the type of materials used for the implant, and assorted costs, including anesthesia.

Want to have pillow-y lips like Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie or Kiley Jenner? Prepare to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars for lip augmentation fillers to several thousand dollars for synthetic lip inserts or fat grafting. Lip augmentation can be achieved by using any one of several dermal fillers such as the popular Restylane and Juvederm. These fillers can plump up your pout but not permanently. To achieve an everlasting look, you’ll need to go the lip implant route, like the silicone lip implant PermaLip, or to have fat grafted from another part of your body and injected into your lips. It is recommended that you try the fillers first to ensure you love the plumped up look before you decide to permanently change your appearance.

If you are looking for perfect cheekbones, look no further than superstars Jennifer Garner, Beyoncé, Ashton Kutcher or Will Smith—they are the celebrities with the most sought after cheekbones. Accentuating your cheekbones will give you a younger, more contoured appearance to your face. But be prepared: silicone cheek implants will cost you a few thousand dollars.

Want amazing abs but don’t want the hassle of working out? A few options can possibly give you a six pack like Janet Jackson, Fergie, or Channing Tatum, the most requested sets of abs on the planet. To achieve the envied abs, you can undergo an abdominal etching, a form of liposuction that gives you a flat, tight stomach with greater muscle definition. The surgeon removes excess fat, and then creates grooves in remaining fat layers to simulate the appearance of toned abs. The other option is abdominal implants that are designed to replicate the look of the six-pack, and they can provide an even more defined appearance than abdominal etching. Hopefully, you’ve been saving your pennies; the average cost for abdominal etching runs about $6500 while abdominal implants cost upwards to ten grand.

Obviously, many famous people have appealing physical features, ones that regular people pay good money to try to duplicate. Plastic surgeons everywhere caution their patients trying to mirror their favorite star’s look: these procedures will not change your life; just your appearance. Don’t expect to be starring in movies after receiving a nose like Jennifer Aniston’s or landing a promotion just because your breasts are as ample as Scarlett Johansson’s—it just doesn’t work that way. And recognize that while your doctor—while skilled and aptly trained, no doubt—is not a magician. Keep your expectations realistic. Take, for instance, people who were born with beauty, and decided to forge ahead with plastic surgery anyway. Heidi Montag, for one, was a gorgeous girl who opted to have ten plastic surgery operations in one day—and morphed into a Franken-babe. She regrets all her surgeries and says she will always feel like Edward Scissorhands from the movie of the same name. Kenny Rogers, of “The Gambler” fame, gambled on a facelift to look younger for his kittenish wife and wound up discontent with his outcome. Just goes to show you, you can have fame and money, but it doesn’t guarantee the outcome of your plastic surgery. Be careful; do your research and keep your expectations in line.

 

Questions To Ask a Moving Company

Just like trying to find a new job or a loved one’s passing, moving can be a really stressful period in an individual’s life. Many professional moving companies understand this and thus attempt to create their clients moving expertise stress-free and exciting. They eliminate each negative emotion by managing every intricate feature of the move. Moving mid-month, instead of the start or end of this month, can save you a significant quantity of money. The majority of the movers are incredibly active towards the start and end of this month. But prior to employing a plumber execute a background check to ascertain their reliability. A few of the questions to ask a plumber before hiring their support include:

Do they have testimonials?

It is very important to seek the services of movers from Lawton, OK which have over a dozen references. Additionally, the mover ought to be eager to provide you contacts of those references. When you get in contact with several of these, you may discover their expertise in the palms of the agency. You need to avoid as far as possible to employ services of unidentified businesses. Small businesses can be well worth the time in case you check them out. The ideal supplier ought to have offices in your region. Additionally, they need to have been operating for at least 5 year.

Can they tackle an in-house quote?

You shouldn’t select an organization which purports to provide cost estimates over the telephone or through email. In-house estimates permit the service provider to find out the quantity and weight of your products before making up a trusted price. Moreover, learn in the firm whether the cost quotes are binding or non-binding. Low prices don’t necessarily imply low closing bills with a flat-rate quote. Moreover, learn what the prices include to assist you consider alternative courses of actions to decrease the bill. You have to understand that a great standing equals to great rates because nobody gets excellent reviews and wins awards by overcharging.

Will the firm be tackling the movement or will it employ a subcontractor?

It is extremely important to understand who will be managing your merchandise to be able to take on a careful history check to the service supplier. When the movers use a subcontractor, request their name, contacts and location. The standing of this subcontractor is something which you might have to learn as you can’t afford to entrust your precious items to somebody that has a suspicious character. By studying the neighborhood small business agency and client testimonials, you may find out more about the support supplier.

Will the relocation need particular arrangements?

To browse the city roads, movers from Lawton are time to time needed to transport things from a bigger truck to the house. This often impacts the expenses of moving and raises the odds of precious items being ruined. For that reason, it’s very important to discover if any special arrangements are needed.

Advancement In Digital Hearing Aids Helping Seniors

Today everyone uses credit/debit card to make purchases online or in store. Same thing applies when someone is choosing to buy electronic hearing aids, be it middle aged people or seniors. People of this generation have the capability as well as the wish to use the internet easily, which enables them to study hearing-aid technologies on their own.

Back in the days, when patients required changes for their digital hearing aid, or discuss any problems concerning the hearing-aid efficiency, they had to travel to an audiologist’s or representative’s office. The audiologist would makes adjustments along with the patient would abandon the office, trying out the new options in the world out. Each time a change is needed, an individual would need to revisit the audiologist’s office and perhaps spend cash in an event the vendor limits the number of changes that are free, or could require a substantial amount of time.

However, hearing-aid technologies has transformed, and programming computer software is accessible that may be used by both the buyer or the audiologist. Patients can decide to plan the system themselves within their own properties utilizing customer-pleasant computer software, where the hearing aid could be altered for the individual, or else they can have the programming PC software deliver the results of queries through the internet to the audiologist’s office. This newest hearing-aid technologies, enables the software to be much more user pleasant and more intuitive than plans before.

earThis latest alternative in hearing-aid technologies is of excellent gain to several of today’s tech savvy middle-aged people. It allows them to be more earnestly a part of their electronic hearing aids – especially these fascinated in being capable to function with programming computer software that runs on their computers. Additionally, they will not have to take faraway from time function to visit an office for changes. Should they do have queries about changes or hearing-aid engineering, they are able to simply select up the telephone and contact the seller for mo-Re info.

Another big change in hearing-aid technologies is the support versions don’t require the same method that is fitting from the past. Older digital hearing aids at the same time as some that are nonetheless obtainable today require to be fit together with the development of a silicon mold. Today, seniors with gentle to average hearing reduction can make the most of new electronic hearing-aid engineering and and buy open-match and speaker-in-the-ear hearing aids. These gadgets may be placed on anybody’s ear with no need to get a custom ear mold. With really minor tweaks to the bodily human anatomy of the hearing-aid, an open match could be customized for the person. By enabling sound to to feed to the ear-canal unprocessed by the help, and after that combining it with indicators that are amplified, fit aids that are open block or don’t occlude the ear canal.

Unlike generations before them, middle-aged people are much more comfortable obtaining details about digital hearing aids on the web or on the telephone, other than face-to-face. Consequently, they might never go to the office of an audiologist at any given point in the getting method. Instead, they’re able to begin by studying articles that are educational and found on the internet talking about hearing support technologies. They’re also able to call different audiologists to request queries – equally particular and basic – before building a purchase.

That also might be done on the internet when it takes time to acquire electronic hearing aids. They finally make the purchase on the web or within the phone after which can get several costs before creating a decision. As formerly mentioned, today, buyers get tech support team on the phone, or can alter their electronic hearing aids online.

If you’re located in the Oklahoma City market- here’s direction for one of the best places to get your ears checked.

Foundation Repair Tools

Tools Needed For DIY Foundation Repair

foundation repair - injecting solutionsFoundation repair can consist of multiple processes and multiple tools. Depending on the severity of the damage done to the foundation, a simple fix could be required, or a more sophisticated approach may be needed. Having the proper to knowledge to repair cracked or damaged foundation is only part of the remedy, the other part is having the right tools. Below I will list 5 tools we recommend using when repairing your foundation. If you are not a DIY individual and do not intent on repairing the foundation yourself then consider hiring a foundation repair contractor.

• Low Pressure Crack Injector System

If there is a crack in the foundation, you will need to inject to properly fill the crack. It’s possible that while injecting you will notice that the injection solution is leaking out the other side of the wall. If this is the case you will need to seal that side up before proceeding with any more injections. Sealing the other side will also prevent water, insects, rodents, and any other exterior element from penetrating the wall barrier into the interior of the structure.

• Injecting The Proper Solution

Identifying what solution you want to inject into your foundation will be extremely important. Various solutions provide various results and depending on how you want the foundation treated this will be important to determine. Do you want a flex in the crack or are you looking for a more solid result that doesn’t allow that foundation to move? There are injection solutions on the market for everything. Some solutions will react with water, while some expand in water. Some will stop water, while some react and bond with it. Contact your local hardware store and ask an expert for assistance when purchasing your injection solution.

• Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiver is commonly used in foundation work, both for new structures and for the repair of existing structures. There is carbon fiber mesh material and carbon fiber sheets on the market for whole wall repair, and carbon fiber staples for crack repair. Carbon fiber is a great tool to have and works best in conjunction with other foundation stabilization products and systems.

• Wall Bowing Toolsfoundation repair - bowing walls in the basement

If you conduct business or live in a region with concrete block foundations, you will need to have a solution for bowing walls. There are several systems on the market that accomplish the same thing, however personal preference comes into play for most of it. Typically to repair bowing walls you will want to choose an interior steel beam system or an exterior wall anchor system you should have a solution to fix bowed walls.

• Underpinning

Underpinning is an important skill to have when repairing foundations. Make sure that if you are offering underpinning to your list of services that you have the proper training and certifications in place for you and your employees. Every manufacture offers proprietary installation instructions and training for their products.

Chris Pratt is not the Mario we need right now, but he’s apparently the one we deserve

Alongside a raft of other news, Nintendo used its Directs event on Thursday to announce the voice cast for the Super Mario animated movie literally nobody asked for, and it’s-a… weird.

Now let’s be fair, here: Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong is perfect.

But Chris Pratt as Mario?

Chris Pratt. As Mario.

Chris PRATT! As Mario.

The lovable Parks and Rec schlub turned permanently-grimy, fully posable action figure is a deeply weird choice to voice the plucky plumber. It suggests Nintendo and studio Universal might be hoping to ape the unexpected success and energy of The Lego Movie, in which Pratt voiced the everyman lead. (The script is also by Matthew Fogel, who wrote that film’s less-delightful sequel.)

It’s such a weird choice specifically because it feels like a cynical joke: Oh yeah, of course they would cast the Least Beloved Hollywood Chris as Mario. Total Hollywood move to hire the generically strapping guy from the Jurassic Park reboots as this pint-size tradesman.

So much so, in fact, that people did actually make this joke back in 2020.

Even though Mario was revealed in 2020 to be canonically Japanese, not Italian (yes, really) Pratt’s non-Italianness was a sticking point for some.

It’s worth noting that the late great Bob Hoskins, who played the plucky plumber in the soon-to-be-retconned-as-beloved 1993 live-action adaptation, is also neither Italian or Japanese, but that likely had no bearing on why the film was a critical and commercial flop. (Charlie Day, who’s playing Mario’s brother Luigi, does have one Italian grandparent, according to his IMDb bio. Representation!)

The film’s official title has not yet been confirmed, but it’s due in cinemas Dec. 21, 2022.

‘Foundation’ is Apple’s latest crack at prestige TV. I’m a fan.

If you’ve ever wondered where all that iPhone money went, just watch Foundation.

First impressions may not be everything, but they do matter. This new Apple TV+ series, a reimaging of an Isaac Asimov classic, makes a pretty simple and straightforward one: Holy cats, this show is expensive. It’s not even just the eye-popping visual effects, though they’re plenty impressive too. Every scene is beautifully staged, lit, and shot. Costumes and props are immaculately designed. This show is polished.

It’s not TV and it’s also not HBO, but Foundation‘s very existence seems to embody the spirit of the reigning cable network’s most memorable and effective marketing slogan. Apple tried to crack it first with a star-studded cast in The Morning Show, which premiered alongside Apple TV+. This new attempt leans more on visual razzle dazzle and an epic scope to set up what turns out to be a riveting story. That should sound familiar to the HBO squad: Foundation is space Game of Thrones.

It’s also very dense at the outset. The first two episodes, which both premiere Friday, Sept. 24, are heavy with introductions and exposition. That’s the overall vibe of the show, it turns out. It’s an unavoidable consequence of showrunners David S. Goyer (Watchmen) and Josh Friedman (the criminally underrated Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) tackling a story that, across its long arc, spans multiple millennia.

Plenty of characters come and, importantly, go over the course of the first season’s 10 episodes. But the first hours lay some important groundwork, starting with the introduction of Hari Seldon (Jared Harris). A brilliant mathematician, Hari has committed himself to a field of study known as “psychohistory,” which uses numbers and algorithms rooted in the past to predict the future. Those studies have led him to an alarming realization: The Milky Way-spanning galactic empire is soon going to crumble, setting off a period of war and strife that will last tens of thousands of years.


Visual razzle dazzle and an epic scope set up a riveting story: ‘Foundation’ is space ‘Game of Thrones’.

There’s no simple way for Hari to handle this. The galaxy’s rulers are a tribunal of clones — collectively and individually known as “Empire” to their subjects — who are all descended from the original Emperor Cleon I. Brother Dawn is the clone’s youngest self; Brother Dusk (Terrance Mann) is Dawn’s opposite, the oldest and ostensibly the wisest; Brother Day (Lee Pace) sits between them, an authoritative figure who has the final word on most matters.

Empire is none too pleased with Hari’s findings. Their rule depends on absolute stability, and so a prediction of chaos inherently implies a failure of leadership. Even with the findings back up by Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell), a math whiz from a backwater world who journeys to the galactic capital of Trantor after solving a psychohistory problem even Hari himself couldn’t work out, Empire remains unconvinced.

And so, Hari and Gaal are exiled to the hostile and barely habitable world of Terminus, in the distant Outer Reach, along with a small community of psychohistory true believers. The seeming act of mercy on the part of Empire has darker motivations, but suffice to say: Hari’s offered an opportunity to continue his studies on Terminus, just in case he’s actually right.

I couldn’t even begin to describe where things go next, and I wouldn’t want to. Seriously major characters don’t even enter the picture until the third episode or later. The story is clearly built to stand up as a weekly TV series, with episodes often ending on big, surprising revelations meant to keep viewers dangling on a hook from week to week. But for all the razzle dazzle of the overall production and compelling story beats, Foundation is a slow burn even after it really gets going.

That puts me in the mind of another HBO series: The Wire. Like David Simon’s acclaimed hit, Foundation is building something. The fantastical settings and epic scope make it closer in feel to Thrones, but the need for patience as things develop hews much closer to Simon’s snowballing exploration of crime, culture, and community in Baltimore. There’s a promise inherent in Foundation‘s slow burn: Stick with us and you’ll be rewarded.

That doesn’t make the opening two hours any less disorienting. Foundation is awash with proper names and nouns referring to fictional things, and lots of it gets introduced right up front. This is a show where you’ll benefit from keeping subtitles turned on. You may still struggle to connect with the story early on, but at least you’ll have a clearer idea of what’s going on.

The payoff for your patience and willingness to dive in is a grand adventure through outer space that’s an absolute joy to see in motion. There’s palace intrigue. There’s a seemingly supernatural tech mystery. Unexpected family ties, surprise saves, and deep explorations of character histories. It’s largely a bloodless spectacle, but the “space Game of Thrones” descriptor fits more and more as the season unfolds.

This show is just stunningly gorgeous at all times.

This show is just stunningly gorgeous at all times.
Credit: apple

It might come as a shock if you’re an Asimov geek, however. I don’t have the space here, or enough background with the source material, to run through every change. But Goyer and Friedman (and their writing team) take so many liberties. Genders get switched around. Entire planets and plotlines are manufactured. The tribunal of eternally cloned emperors, an increasingly fascinating source of important story beats, wasn’t even a thing in the books.

I can’t speak to which is better, but having watched the entire first season of Foundation I can confidently say I’m a big fan of this take. I hope it gets to play out in full; Goyer has said there’s a Game of Thrones-topping 80 hours in mind. That’s staggeringly ambitious for any modern TV series, and especially one that’s as expensive as this one seems to be, but Apple has seen enough success with TV+ at this point that it at least seems possible.

First impressions mean a lot, and the feeling that stuck with me after the premiere wasn’t terribly promising: “Extremely pretty but hopelessly dry.” But that’s also why I decided to forge ahead. Surely, I reasoned, there was something to justify this show’s existence beyond the visual splendor.

It’s there. You’ll need to have the patience to let that something unfurl, but it’s worth the wait. Much like Hari’s soothsaying math, there’s a deeper purpose at play in Foundation from moment one. This is no mere heavily polished bauble. It’s a true gem, a diamond that is forged to gleaming perfection over the course of 10 episodes. Stick with it, and be dazzled.

Foundation premieres Friday, Sept. 24 on Apple TV+.

NYC passes landmark bills to protect delivery workers

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays delivery workers from getting hungry New Yorkers their food, and now, the city is finally stepping up on their behalf.

The New York City Council passed six bills Thursday intended to improve pay and working conditions for delivery workers employed by companies like GrubHub and DoorDash. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio reportedly supports the bills, according to the New York Times.

The bills require that workers get paid at least once a week. They also prohibit companies from making couriers pay for their own delivery equipment (like insulated bags) and charging workers a fee for getting paid.

They mandate that restaurants let delivery workers use the freaking bathroom, and that apps let workers put limits on where and when they make deliveries. The apps will also have to be more transparent about who is actually getting the tip money paid by customers. The bills also call for a study to establish a standard wage for delivery workers.

Gig worker activists who worked with lawmakers on the bills tweeted in support of their passage.

While lawsuits around some of these practices are ongoing in multiple states, these laws are the first of their kind, and could set a new standard for gig workers and the companies who rely on their labor.

Everything coming to Disney+ in October

As we head into the spookiest season of the year, Disney+ is adding more originals to its catalog.

Some of the new titles coming our way include anthology series Just Beyond and NASA documentary Among the Stars. Disney+ will continue dropping episodes of its ongoing shows like What If…?, Turner & Hooch, and Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. Plus, you will no longer need Premier Access to watch Black Widow.

That’s just the beginning. Here’s everything coming to Disney+ in October 2021.

Top Pick: Muppets Haunted Mansion

Who wouldn’t want to spend Halloween with the Muppets? In this spooky special, the world famous daredevil the Great Gonzo takes on his greatest challenge yet: Spending one night in the Haunted Mansion. Inspired by Disney’s Haunted Mansion attractions and featuring the whole Muppet crew, Muppets Haunted Mansion looks like a fun time for the whole family.

How to watch: Muppets Haunted Mansion is streaming on Disney+ October 8.

Movies

Alvin and the Chipmunks (10/1)

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (10/1)

Black Widow (10/6)

Disney Junior Mickey’s Tale of Two Witches (10/8)

Just Roll With It: You Decide Live! (10/1)

Lost Cities with Albert Lin: The Great Flood (10/15)

Megacity of the Maya Warrior King (10/15)

Muppets Haunted Mansion (10/8)

Rookie of the Year (10/22)

The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular! (10/1)

Thumbelina (10/22)

Under Wraps (10/8)

TV

Among the Stars (10/6)

Apollo: Back to the Moon Season 1 (10/13)

Disney’s Magic Bake-Off Season 1 (10/20)

Drain the Oceans: The Mississippi River & Arctic War Season 1 (10/6)

Impact with Gal Gadot Season 1 (10/6)

Just Beyond (10/13)

LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales (10/1)

Muppet Babies Season 3 (10/6)

PJ Masks Season 5 (10/20)

Puppy Dog Pals Season 4 (10/6)

Secrets of the Zoo: Down Under Season 2 (10/13)

Secrets of the Zoo: North Carolina Season 1 (10/13)

The Ghost and Molly McGee Season 1 (10/6)

The Wild Life of Dr. Ole Season 1 (10/20)

The Wizard of Paws Season 1 (10/13)

Zombies: Addison’s Moonstone Mystery Shorts (10/13)

New Android accessibility features let users control phones with facial movements

The imperative to improve smartphone use for people with limited motor capabilities has resulted in some truly cool — and hopefully helpful — new features.

Thursday, Google announced an expansion of its accessibility settings as well as a new app that will let people navigate their phones with facial gestures.

The feature within the Android Accessibility Suite is called Camera Switches. Previously, Google let users who could not navigate phones with the touchscreens connect a manual switch device that let them scroll and select.

Now, the new “switch” is an Android phone’s camera and a person’s face. Users can assign facial gestures like look left or right, smile, or raise eyebrows to functions like click, back, scroll, and more. The phone’s camera will be able to recognize the gestures and translate them into action.

Camera Switches will be rolling out to Android phones (not just Pixels!) in the coming weeks.

The second feature requires downloading an app, but takes the idea of gesture control further. The app, Project Activate, will let people use their phones to send common messages or perform actions, or even verbalize on their behalf, by customizing gestures. An example Google gives is that the app can be programmed to have a gesture like looking left send a text to a caretaker that says, “Please come here.”

Google notes that, based on feedback from users and advocates, giving people the ability to customize both the gestures and the action taken by the phone was crucial for these features to be useful. With gesture control, it’s interesting to see how helping people with disabilities navigate the world with their smartphones pushes engineers to create innovative and, frankly, super cool products in their own right.

The best robot vacuum deals as of Sept. 23: Roombas and more on sale

Shop the best robot vacuum deals as of Sept. 23:

  • Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum — $219.99 (save $90)

  • Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo N8 Pro+ Robot Vacuum and Mop with Self Empty — $579.99 (save $220)

  • iRobot Roomba S9+ with Automatic Dirt Disposal — $1,099 (save $200.99)


Only three things are certain in life: Death, taxes, and a few days each month when you need to vacuum but just don’t have time. Whether you detest the chore or get a little bummed when you can’t have that satisfying dance with your Dyson, a robot vacuum is a universal lifesaver. Shop models on sale below.

Our top picks

Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum — $219.99 (save $90)

If you’re vacuum shopping on a budget, this basic Roborock packs serious sweeping skills for less than the cheapest Roomba. A suction level of 2000Pa beats the specs of similarly priced vacs and reliably combs carpets. Scheduled sweeps and spot cleanings can be set up through the app.

Save $90 at Amazon

Save $90 at Amazon

Buying Options

See Details

Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo N8 Pro+ Robot Vacuum and Mop with Self Empty — $579.99 (save $220)

Pro and plus feel like appropriate descriptors for a self-emptying vacuum and mop with an asserted 2,600Pa of suction. (That beats the Roomba s9+, which is almost double the price .) The Ozmo N8 Pro+ includes premium smart upgrades like laser-based mapping that can target specific rooms and sensors that dodge carpets while mopping. After nearly two hours of cleaning, the N8 Pro+ returns to its charging and self-emptying dock, which only requires emptying once a month.

Save $220 at Amazon

Credit: ecovacs

Save $220 at Amazon

Buying Options

See Details

iRobot Roomba S9+ with Automatic Dirt Disposal — $1,099 (save $200.99)

Multi-pet homes need a vacuum that won’t flounder on carpets doused in fur. The Roomba s9+ is iRobot’s current most intelligent bot, unleashing 2,500Pa of suction onto heavy shedding zones and using its flat edge to snatch hair from corners. But more debris collected doesn’t mean more emptying on your part — the automatic dirt disposal bin is good for 60 days at a time.

Save $200.99 at Amazon

Credit: irobot

Save $200.99 at Amazon

Buying Options

See Details

More great robot vacuum deals:

Under $300:

  • ILIFE VS3 Pro Robot Vacuum — $120 (save $39.99)

  • Eufy Robovac 11S (Slim) Robot Vacuum — $149.99 (save $80)

  • Eufy Robovac 15C Max Robot Vacuum — $175.99 (save $104)

  • Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum — $209.99 (save $90)

  • iRobot Roomba 614 — $224 (save $25)

Under $500:

  • iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum — $349.99 (save $50)

  • Shark AV1010AE IQ Robot Vacuum with Self-Empty Base — $449.99 (save $150)

Under 800

  • iRobot Roomba i6+ Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal — $699 (save $100.99)

Over $1,000 (but really nice)

  • iRobot Roomba S9+ with Automatic Dirt Disposal — $1,099 (save $200.99)

Robot vacuum and mop hybrids and dedicated robot mops

  • Coredy R750 Robot Vacuum and Mop — $199.99 (save $121)

  • Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum and Mop — $249.99 (save $130)

  • Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo N7 Robot Vacuum and Mop — $349.99 (save $150)

  • Bissell SpinWave Hard Floor Expert 2-in-1 Vacuum and Mop — $349.99 (save $50)

  • iRobot Braava Jet M6 Robot Mop — $399 (save $50.99)

  • Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro Robot Vacuum and Mop — $429.99 (save $120)

  • Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop — $459.99 (save $140)

Explore related content:

  • The best robot vacuums for every budget

  • iRobot’s Roomba S9+ self empties and tackles corners like a pro

  • Have a pet? You need a robot vacuum. Here are the best robot vacuums for pet hair.

5 iPhone apps for enhancing your old blurry photos with AI

If your pics aren’t quite as sharp or clear as you’d like them to be, you probably wish something existed that could fix that via artificial intelligence (AI). After all, not everybody is a top-tier photo editor with access to top-tier photo editing software.

Thankfully, it’s the 2020s, and you have access to plenty of easy photo editing applications not named Adobe Photoshop, if you know where to look. And even better: you don’t even have to look, because we did that for you. Here are five apps that can enhance your photos with AI.

1. Remini

Remini

Remini
Credit: Remini / app store

One of the most popular photo enhancers in the App Store is Remini. The app offers instant photo-enhancing to turn blurry or grainy photos into HD, along with other editing features, including “Colorize” and “Oil Painting”. Remini currently holds a 4.8/5 star rating with 21,000 ratings.

2. PicPlus

PicPlus

PicPlus
Credit: PicPlus / app store

Picplus markets itself as “the photo editor for both experienced users and those just getting started.” Aside from boosting the quality of your photos, PicPlus also offers aesthetic filters, animated filters, a layout builder to make collages, and more. With around 5,500 ratings, the app currently sits at a 4.7/5 star rating.

3. EnhanceFox

EnhanceFox

EnhanceFox
Credit: Enhancefox / app store

EnhanceFox boasts photo-enhancing features along with an “AI-powered colorizer, which can colorize your black and white photos to make them look better.” Interestingly enough, you can also use the app to animate photos by adding eye and mouth movements, making it seem as if your pics are actually alive. EnhanceFox as a 4.3/5 star rating with around 1,300 ratings to date.

4. Animatify

Animatify

Animatify
Credit: animatify / app store

Animatify uses AI to enhance your photos with the touch of a button. The app can also colorize black-and-white photos, add animation, and add various effects. Animatify holds a 4.7/5 star rating with 1,000 ratings.

5. Tingo

Tingo

Tingo
Credit: tingo / app store

Tingo is an AI-powered selfie enhancer that touts its ability to boost your selfie quality with autocorrection, eye bag remover, skin smoothen-er, and even a teeth whitener! So those of us with a coffee/tea addiction (myself included) can brighten our smiles without thousands of dollars of dental work. Though a bit less popular than the others, Tingo still has a 4.7/5 star rating with almost 100 ratings to date.

‘Knives Out’ is the perfect movie to get into the autumn spirit

Sweater Weather is coming, which means one thing: It’s time to watch Knives Out.

If you’re impatiently craving a brisk chill in the air, you can easily get in the fall mood by cozying up on the couch and watching Rian Johnson’s humorous murder mystery.

Though Knives Out is meant to be enjoyed year-round, the movie is set in the fall months, features a gorgeous autumnal color palette, and puts foliage on full display. It also showcases a wardrobe ripe with sweaters, scarves, pea coats, and other warm and snuggly styles. All of these components make it the perfect fall film, and thus, September will henceforth be known as the start of Knives Out season.

I mean, can you even look at these fresh fall outfits without feeling like crawling into a wooden restaurant booth, downing a beer, and eating a nice hot bowl of beans? I, for one, find it impossible!

Ransom Drysdale, god of sweaters.

Ransom Drysdale, god of sweaters.
Credit: mashable composite: Claire folger / lionsgate

Get us some beer and beans, now!

Get us some beer and beans, now!
Credit: CLAIRE FOLGER / LIONSGATE

I first saw Knives Out in 2019 on a perfect November night, and as some of you may recall, my major takeaway was that Chris Evans’ cable-knit sweater is the eighth wonder of the world. After a kind Twitter user, @mapleservo, reminded me that Knives Out perfectly embodies “sweater weather,” I knew it was time for a rewatch. And others agree that Knives Out has some of the biggest autumn vibes in cinematic history.

If all these screenshots from Knives Out were somehow not autumnal enough to inspire a movie night, perhaps these tweets that imagine the cast of film as adorable, sweater-wearing baby goats will do the trick.

The bottom line is this: If you’re looking to speed up the arrival of fall, I can think of no better way than to put on a sweater, drape a blanket over your shoulders, fill a “My House, My Rules, My Coffee!!” mug with tea, and watch Knives Out on Amazon Prime. And we guarantee that after the movie ends you’ll be inspired to “really start dressin'”.

This article was originally published in September 2020 and updated in September 2021.

Adorable ‘Muppets Haunted Mansion’ trailer conjures spooky shenanigans

The Muppets are descending on Disney in a creepy-yet-cutesy debut trailer for Muppets Haunted Mansion — the first-ever Halloween special from everyone’s favorite felted fiends that’s actually set inside the iconic Disney Parks attraction.

This killer crossover follows famous daredevil the Great Gonzo as he attempts to survive an entire Halloween night in “the most grim grinning place on Earth.” In the sneak peek, which is accompanied by narration that sounds just like what you hear on the ride, we see Miss Piggy reimagined as Madame Leota, Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew as possessed busts, and even Janice as the tightrope walker from one of the portraits in the stretching room.

Will Arnett, Yvette Nicole Brown, Darren Criss, Taraji P. Henson, Chrissy Metz, Danny Trejo, and more play alongside the Muppets as Haunted Mansion characters, and John Stamos makes an appearance as himself. Plus, we’re getting three new original Muppets songs and a Muppets cover of King Harvest’s 1972 hit single “Dancing in the Moonlight.”

Looks spooktacular! Muppets Haunted Mansion starts streaming Oct. 8 on Disney+.