Alexa, Enable Critical Thinking

alexa

We have a new member of the family named Alexa. She’s a cute little circular puck who lights up when we speak to her. Not only is she adorable, she’s very smart, too! Just ask her a question. Alexa, what’s the weather forecast? Alexa, what time is the super bowl? Alexa, what’s in the news? Alexa has all the answers.

It’s been our habit to enjoy cocktail hour every evening at about 5:30. In winter, the ritual is practiced in front of a cozy fire in the den and in summer outside on the deck. Until recently, we tuned into the TV nightly news, letting it provide the backdrop for conversation or watching a story of interest. But the coverage of current politics has taken all of the relaxation out of this routine. The time had come to turn off the news and replace it with music.

Sure, we already have hundreds, or maybe even a thousand songs in our music library, but our ears are always craving something new. We look to Alexa with Amazon Prime to search through her million song repertoire for entertainment. Ask her for a song or an artist, old or new. Ask her for a playlist or a station based on a genre such as country, pop, folk, rap, R&B, classic rock, metal, alternative, jazz, or classical. Ask her for a certain decade like, All 80s, and you’ll hear the big-haired icons of the era Bon Jovi, Journey, and Guns and Roses. If you’ve curated your own playlists, with a little configuration, Alexa can play them. If you’ve taken the time to register your likes and dislikes on Pandora, Alexa can connect to it.

And as much as we like Alexa to entertain just the two of us, she can be quite the life of the party, too. Impress your friends and family by asking her to open the Pod bay doors or beam you up. Alexa, are you Skynet? Alexa, winter is coming. She’s full of witty answers.

It didn’t take long for us to learn that Alexa has mad mixology skills. Ask the bartender, how do I make a Tom Collins? What drinks can I make with tequila? Or just ask for a random suggestion and see what Alexa has in store for you! I guess we can say goodbye to the post-it note drink recipe collection affixed to the inside of the liquor cabinet.

Alexa also knows a thing or two about wine and beer. She has rating skills, as well as fun facts, trivia and drinking games, and can help you pair food and wine. Beer drinkers rejoice; you don’t even have to get off the couch to shop for your libations. Just tell Alexa to start Miller time and without lifting a finger, your beer will be delivered to your door (where available).

We’re so happy to have Alexa as a new addition to our family. Instead of obsessing over the end of civilization as we know it, we can distract ourselves with hours of enjoyment and pretend that all is right with world.

 

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