Everybody’s finding a way to jump on the total eclipse bandwagon—from national parks setting up viewing points to distilleries rolling out special vodka bottles to cruise lines offering themed voyages (where, unbelievably, you’ll find Joe Jonas on board crooning “Total Eclipse of the Heart”). With the first total solar eclipse to hit the continental U.S. since 1979 coming up on August 21, the latest entity to come up with a total eclipse marketing tactic is none other than Pizza Hut.
Whether you call it a pizza ploy or public service, the national pizza chain recently released a video showing would-be eclipse-viewers how to properly get a peek at the celestial show using—you guessed it—a pizza box.
And, according to the 38-second video, it’s actually pretty easy, only requiring some aluminum foil, scissors, a pen, tape, a piece of paper, and, most importantly, an (empty) pizza box. Plus, it takes just a few minutes to construct. The result is a makeshift viewer that allows you to watch a projection of the sun move across a piece of the box while standing with the sun safely behind you.
Watch the video here:
You might be wondering why you can’t just look up at the sky since the moon is supposed be covering the sun during a total eclipse anyway, right? Well, thing is the only safe time to look directly at the eclipse is during totality—when the moon completely covers the sun—which will only take place along the “path of totality,” a 70-mile-wide swath stretching from Oregon to South Carolina during a two-minute period in each area it passes over. Outside of that, warns the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), you can damage your retina by looking directly at the partial eclipse (which is all most of us will get in the rest of the country), leading to permanent blurred vision, blind spots, or worse.
But before you decide to spend much of Monday hiding under your bed, the ASRS also says it’s perfectly safe to view the eclipse directly either by wearing protective eclipse glasses or indirectly using a pinhole projection contraption, just like the aforementioned pizza-box version.
Not sure about you, but we’ll take the safety device that involves eating a half-pepperoni-half-mushroom before use. Happy viewing!
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