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22 Jul 18:04

Chow Down on General Tso Chicken Pizza at Flying Crust in Buckhead

by Beth McKibben
Flying Crust Pizza & Wings

The Philadelphia-based pizzeria brings 14 wing flavors, po’boys, and lots of pizza to Roswell Road

Philadelphia-based Flying Crust Pizza & Wings is open in the former Genki Noodles & Sushi on Roswell Road in Buckhead, the AJC reports.

Flying Crust’s menu prides itself on offering 14 wing flavors, five “amazing” burgers, po’boys, and a variety of pizzas like General Tso chicken and a Hawaiian pie topped with pineapples and cashews.

The food truck-turned-restaurant in 2014, owned by Garis Eddington, also features two patios.

Some may remember Eddington from a viral video in May showing a car crashing into his Pennsauken Township, New Jersey restaurant. The car took out the front counter and injured three people, including Eddington.

In addition to Flying Crust, a speakeasy called Pierre’s Room should open downstairs in August.

Take a look at the menu for Flying Crust:

 Flying Crust

Flying Crust has locations in Philadelphia and in New Jersey. Eddington is also considering opening Flying Crust locations in Decatur and Conyers, 24 miles east of Atlanta.

Open Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

3186 Roswell Road, Atlanta,

17 Jul 17:34

How Justice John Paul Stevens Shaped—and Misshaped—American Law

by Damon Root

John Paul Stevens, the liberal justice who spent 35 years on the U.S. Supreme Court before retiring in 2010, has died at the age of 99.

Appointed by President Gerald Ford, Stevens played a central role in some of the biggest legal conflicts of the past four decades, from the clashes over gun control and eminent domain to the battles over free speech and medical marijuana. Unfortunately, he had a tendency to vote against the constitutional protections spelled out in the Bill of Rights.

Take the First Amendment. In Texas v. Johnson (1989), the Supreme Court held that burning the American flag in protest is a constitutionally protected form of free expression. The "bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment," declared the majority opinion of Justice William Brennan, is that "government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."

Stevens disagreed. Outlawing "the public desecration of the flag," Stevens argued in dissent, amounts to little more than a "trivial burden on free expression." He maintained that a ban on flag-burning easily passed constitutional muster.

And that was not the only form of political expression that Stevens was willing to ban. In his 2011 book, Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir, Stevens wrote that if he had not retired in 2010, he would have gladly joined Justice Samuel Alito's lone dissent in Snyder v. Phelps, the case in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of Westboro Baptist Church members to stage noisy and offensive protests outside of military funerals. According to the 8-1 majority opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts, "such speech cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or arouses contempt."

Stevens, like Alito, favored a more censorial approach. "The hate speech during the funeral" was rightfully prohibited, Stevens wrote, because "the speakers intended to use their speech to cause severe harm to a grieving family during a funeral."

Stevens had an equally deficient view of the Second Amendment. Dissenting in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), in which the Supreme Court recognized the Second Amendment as securing an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, Stevens asserted that the amendment should offer no protection whatsoever for what he called the "right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes like hunting." In other words, unlike most advocates of gun control, who typically concede that hunters should still have the constitutional right to own at least some weapons, Stevens' view of the Second Amendment did not even recognize that longstanding aspect of civilian gun possession.

Stevens' most controversial opinion is perhaps his 2005 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, which allowed a municipal government to bulldoze a working-class neighborhood and then hand the land over to a private developer. The Fifth Amendment requires that any taking of private property by the government be for "public use." But Stevens' Kelo opinion rested on the more lenient requirement of a "public purpose."

In response to criticism from myself and others, Stevens later defended Kelo on the grounds that it "adhered to the doctrine of judicial restraint" and was rooted in "Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' broad reading of the text of the Constitution—which allows the states the same broad discretion in making takings decisions that they possess when engaging in other forms of economic regulation."

Running a close second in controversy was Stevens' 2005 ruling in Gonzales v. Raich, which upheld the federal ban on medical marijuana even as applied to local medical marijuana patients whose use was perfectly legal under state law. The Controlled Substances Act "is a valid exercise of federal power," Stevens held, "even as applied to the troubling facts of this case."

Some Supreme Court justices serve for decades without ever really having any impact on the law. But that cannot be said about John Paul Stevens, who undeniably left his mark. His long, impressive record will be studied by judges, lawyers, scholars, and students for many years to come. Regrettably, that record includes a number of opinions that truly shortchanged the Bill of Rights.

15 Jul 14:30

Refurbished vs. Used vs. Certified Pre-Owned: Which Is Better?

by James Frew

Each year, we’re encouraged to buy new technology. Smartphones, TVs, laptops, and other gadgets are released annually. However, you may be worried about the financial or environmental cost of regularly upgrading.

If you do find yourself in the market for an item of technology, you could opt to purchase non-new devices. These items should be assumed to be pre-owned in some form. Many terms are thrown around: pre-owned, refurbished, used, and even certified pre-owned.

But what’s the difference between them all?

Refurbished Tech Hardware

People checking refurbished hardware
Image Credit: nd3000/DepositPhotos

A refurbished item is likely to have been used, and either returned as used or returned as faulty. The device will then undergo diagnostic testing and any necessary repairs completed. The item gets a thorough clean and is repackaged for sale.

To encourage you to buy a refurbished item, a new warranty will often be added. The warranty often won’t be as comprehensive as for a new item but gives peace of mind should anything go wrong. However, you should check the length and terms of the warranty as it will differ between retailers.

eBay has two categories of refurbished devices: manufacturer refurbished, and seller refurbished. Both styles should have restored the device to almost-new specifications, but the manufacturer has not approved a seller refurbished item. If this all sounds confusing, they do provide an Item Condition Look-Up Table to help you identify a product’s condition.

How to Shop Refurbished

Before committing to a refurbished device on eBay, it’s worth researching the seller. You’ll want to be looking at their ratings, how many products they have listed, and their refurbishment process. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, then ask the seller.

Many manufacturers have their own certified refurbished devices for sale too, often at a significant discount. There are a handful of places where you can buy a used or refurbished iPhone, for example, including Apple’s own website. Amazon even has a Certified Refurbished storefront for you to browse all available devices.

Amazon allows both manufacturer and seller refurbishment. However, the company can revoke the Certified Refurbished label if a seller is found to have an imperfect refurbishment process. These items are covered by the Amazon Renewed Guarantee, which provides a 90-day warranty in the US, and 12 months in the EU.

Smaller retailers may also offer refurbished items, but these often come with less protection should something be amiss. If you choose to purchase a refurbished item outside of a major store, then make sure that the terms of sale are laid out in writing before you pay, and that there is a warranty or return process.

Used Devices

A woman holding a broken smartphone
Image Credit: roxanablint/DepositPhotos

Depending on where you purchase the item from, there will be different definitions of used. eBay defines it as “[an] item [which] may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended.” By that definition, the item should work as expected but could be scratched or have a damaged screen.

Outside of a regulated site like eBay or Amazon, the term can take on any number of meanings. While sites like Craigslist are a great way to buy and sell used stuff online, there is no regulation of how items are described. Any sale is between you and the seller only, making complaints challenging to manage.

Some people are happy to accept the risks of buying a used device, especially since they offer far more substantial discounts than pre-owned or refurbished devices. However, if you don’t want the hassle of attempting to fix a broken item, or being out of pocket, then you may want to pass over used items.

Pre-Owned Hardware

An iPad covered in fingerprints
Image Credit: elnariz/DepositPhotos

Pre-owned is generally a bit of a gray area. While it technically refers to any second-hand product, in most cases it usually refers to a well-taken-care-of item. This category of device sits between Refurbished and Used, where it is in good, but not exactly new, condition.

In this sense, it’s similar to the vintage label being applied to clothing. Another term you tend to see intermingled with pre-owned is pre-loved. Those terms imply that they are in generally good condition even though they’ve been used. You would expect there to be nothing explicitly wrong with them outside some minor cosmetic damage.

However, it’s always best to be skeptical of terms like pre-owned, pre-loved, and vintage. They are words designed to evoke a feeling in you that the items have been taken care of, but this isn’t guaranteed. As there is no agreed-upon definition, it varies across stores, sites, and sellers.

As with other second-hand items, understand the risks of purchasing a used item, especially when it comes to electronics or high-value purchases. Before committing, make sure you know the seller’s return policy and any warranties offered.

Certified Pre-Owned

While pre-owned is primarily marketing speak for used, Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) actually has an entirely different meaning. CPO is a term in the used car industry that describes a vehicle that has been inspected by the automaker or dealer and returned to the original specifications. In this sense, it is very similar to a certified refurbished item.

The used car is inspected and, if found, faults are repaired, and parts replaced. The warranty is typically extended either based on mileage, the months of the original warranty, or a parts warranty. However, just as with Certified Refurbished, there is no hard-and-fast rule and the details will often vary between dealers and automakers.

Which Second-Hand Device Is Right for You?

In the majority of cases when buying a second-hand product, refurbished is the way to go. The device will have been returned to a close-to-original condition and will be cheaper than a new model too. Certified Refurbished products go a step further, adding a manufacturer’s warranty into the mix. There are even significant benefits to buying a second-hand computer instead of a new one.

However, you may well decide that a second-hand product isn’t right for you. That doesn’t mean you need to break the bank next time you choose to invest. If you’re prepared to shop at these online shopping sites for cheap electronics, there are deals to be found.

Read the full article: Refurbished vs. Used vs. Certified Pre-Owned: Which Is Better?

15 Jul 14:29

White Meat Just as Bad as Red Meat for Cholesterol, Finds New Study

by Dan Nosowitz

Red meat, bad for cholesterol. White meat—like chicken—is not as bad. It’s just something that’s drilled into diet-conscious Americans, like how whole wheat is healthier than white, or how sweet potatoes are healthier than regular potatoes. But this particular one might not be true.

Scientists at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute conducted a study to see how different proteins can affect the levels of various types of cholesterol. Those proteins were red meat, white meat poultry (like chicken breast), and plant-based proteins like beans. In a conclusion that seems to have shocked the scientists, they found that the effects on cholesterol were identical between red and white meat.

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the bloodstream. The liver produces it, and different foods can be made to trigger that production, but it can also simply come from food. There are, to really simplify things, two main types of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol contributes to the buildup of fats in your arteries; too much of it is extremely dangerous and can lead to heart failure. HDL cholesterol is sometimes known as “good cholesterol,” and actually serves to break down LDL cholesterol, shuttling it back to the liver to be broken down. So ideally, you want high HDL levels, and low LDL levels.

The study found that both red and white meat diets produced the same elevated levels of LDL cholesterol. The plant-based diet, on the other hand, showed significantly lower LDL levels than the meats.

There’s more work to be done in finding out exactly how diet affects cholesterol levels, but this is a major step forward. And, as always, eat more plants.

The post White Meat Just as Bad as Red Meat for Cholesterol, Finds New Study appeared first on Modern Farmer.

15 Jul 14:18

Q&A with James McSweeney

by Joan Bailey

For James McSweeney, compost is the new black — black gold, that is. McSweeney, a composting consultant, shares his passion and expertise for this soil-building, job-creating, local-food-growing and planet-saving material in his new book, Community-Scale Composting Systems: A Comprehensive Practical Guide for Closing the Food System Loop and Solving Our Waste Crisis. Modern Farmer talked with McSweeney about his book, the current state of compost and its future.

Modern Farmer: In your book, you describe 10 models of community composting programs. Why so many?

James McSweeney: A food-scrap recycling infrastructure is a new thing, and people are just going for it. This means that community composting programs form organically and under different circumstances. They adopt on-farm manure and municipal waste-management principles and customize tested methodologies to meet food-scrap handling requirements at different scales and costs. Many start small and learn as they go, hacking and innovating. Every system has the same components – generators, collectors, processors and end users – but each is unique.

MF: Can cities implement them, or is a more decentralized approach better?

J.M.: I think a public-private partnership is ideal, but right now, we’re seeing some decentralized systems, and that’s good. Small-scale processors keep organic matter in the community. They make a clean, high-quality product and ensure that it gets back to local soil.

MF: How does community composting have an impact on urban farms and local food initiatives?

J.M.: In urban areas and on vegetable farms that don’t have animals to generate manure, there is a demand for fertile soil, and compost meets that need. The animal composting side — feeding food scraps to animals — is also a fast way to convert waste to food.

MF: Are there other economic impacts?

J.M.: Community composters are, at the very least, breaking even, able to pay salaries and growing. It’s a hard business because we undervalue soil, and compost is an amazing tool for creating healthy soil and plants. The nutrient-rich food scraps that come in daily by the ton have value. The resulting compost captures water and puts carbon back into the soil. Photosynthesis converts it into food and creates jobs in landscaping and agriculture.

MF: What about the community side of community composting?

J.M.: Community composters create local partnerships and connect resource streams. They foster a sense of pride around composting, especially in schools, where the most important work happens. Composting becomes second nature for those kids: They grow up doing something for the planet every day and, over time, it becomes second nature, which can lead to a sustainable paradigm shift.

MF: What excites you about the current state of community composting?

J.M.: It’s growing. I get calls nearly every day from folks who want to start. What is exciting is that progress is being built right now. The framework, design and engagement around composting are all happening now. Most community composters are under 40, so it’s a young movement in every sense of the word. Some will come and go, but many will survive and grow.

The post Q&A with James McSweeney appeared first on Modern Farmer.

12 Jul 18:04

Sigma fp Camera

Measuring just 4.3" x 2.75" x 1.78" and weighing just 13 oz., the Sigma fp is the world's smallest, lightest full-frame mirrorless camera. Its 24.6-megapixel Bayer sensor is backlit for...

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12 Jul 18:03

Surf Air

Time is a finite resource. Don't waste yours waiting at the airport. Surf Air is a new membership-based way to fly. Two plans are available: the Express plan, which gives...

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12 Jul 17:59

How Costco gained a cult following — by breaking every rule of retail

by Zachary Crockett


On first impression, Costco makes no sense.

It is a place where you can buy, in the course of one trip, a 27-pound bucket of mac and cheese, a patio table, a wedding dress, a casket, a handle of gin, a tank of gas, a passport photo, a sheepskin rug, a chicken coop, prescription medications, life insurance, a $1.50 hotdog, and a $250,000 diamond ring.

Items sit on wooden pallets in dark, unmarked aisles. Brand selection is limited. And you pay a $60 annual membership fee just to get in the door.

The end goal: To cut the “fat” out of traditional retail and pass on the savings to loyal customers and employees.

This philosophy often anguishes Costco’s shareholders — but it has also earned the company a cult following around the world. At a time when brick-and-mortar retail is crumbling at the feet of e-commerce, Costco has experienced steady growth.

How did this nondescript chain of warehouses find success?

A brief history of Costco


In 1954, an attorney named Sol Price inherited a vacant airport hangar in San Diego.

He raised $50k in capital, stocked up on wholesale jewelry, furniture, and liquor, and launched Fedmart, a warehouse-style store where government employees could pay a $2 membership fee to access an assortment of deals.

By the time Sol sold Fedmart in 1975, he’d grown it into a $350m-per-year, 40-location chain — and ushered in a new age of “membership club” retail.

But Sol wasn’t done. The following year, he launched Price Club, a one-stop shop that offered everything from car tires to dishwashers at heavily discounted prices. Price Club went against the common grain of business school textbooks: It didn’t advertise. Its stores were ugly and bare-bones. And it refused to gratuitously mark up items.

Top: An old Fedmart warehouse (Wikipedia); Bottom: Fedmart employees (including Jim Sinegal, far left) break the tape at a new location (San Antonio Express, 1970s)

Among Sol’s protégés was a young whippersnapper named James (Jim) Sinegal.

Sinegal began his career in retail as a 19-year-old bagger at Fedmart and, over two decades, worked his way up to the company’s EVP of merchandising. He continued on to Price Club — and by the early ‘80s, he was well-steeped in Sol’s strategies and ready to branch out on his own.

In September of 1983, Sinegal and his pal Jeff Brotman launched the first Costco in Seattle, a giant retail warehouse modeled on Sol’s unique principles.

By 1993, Costco was such a looming threat that Price Club (its inspiration) agreed to a merger. The resulting company, PriceCostco, was short lived: Four years later, it was rebranded simply as ‘Costco,’ and Sinegal assumed the throne.

Today, Costco is one of the world’s largest retailers, boasting 770+ locations and 245,000 employees. Last year, it had more than $140B in sales.

But unlike many of its counterparts on Fortune’s Global 500 list, Costco has risen to the top by flying in the face of traditional wisdom.

1. It refuses to boost markups


“If [saving the customer money] doesn’t turn you on,” Sinegal, who retired as CEO in 2012, once said, “then you’re in the wrong business.”

Surely enough, Costco’s immense buying power allows it to finagle deep discount deals with vendors, and the savings are always passed down to its shoppers.

Costco has stated in the past that it caps its markups at 14% for brand-name items, and 15% for its in-house Kirkland brands — even wine, which is notorious for its 200% to 300% markups elsewhere.

But according to the company’s 2018 annual report, the average item in the store is only marked up 11%, compared to the 25%-50% often seen in retail.

Costco’s low markups and wholesale purchasing power often drive its prices far below those of its competitors (The Hustle)

That means that if Costco pays $100 wholesale for, say, a pound of Wagyu beef, it sells it to you for a mere $111. Because Costco buys in such large volumes, its purchase price is often lower than other retailers to begin with; add in the company’s reduced markups, and you’ve got yourself a much cheaper piece of meat.

In fact, Costco’s prices are so low that it barely breaks even on its merchandise sales. And despite pressure from investors over the years, it has refused to boost its markup.

Not long ago, Costco was selling Calvin Klein jeans for $29 a pop — already $20 less than almost anywhere else — when a change in its purchasing deal meant Costco could get them for even less from the vendor. Instead of keeping the extra profit from the improved deal, it lowered the jeans’ price to $22.

“Many retailers look at an item and say, ‘I’m selling this for $10; how can I sell it for $11?’ We look at it and say, ‘How can we get it to $9?’ And then, ‘How can we get it to $8?’” Sinegal later said. “It is contrary to the thinking of a retailer, which is to see how much more profit you can get out of it. But once you start doing that, it’s like heroin.”

So, how does Costco make its money?

2. It charges people to enter its stores


Forty years ago, most retailers would’ve considered it crazy to charge customers money for the right to wander through their doors and buy stuff.

Yet, Costco’s members gladly pay annual fees ($60 for “Gold Star” and $120 for “Executive”) because they believe that having access to the chain’s economies of scale and bulk quantities justifies the upfront cost.

Costco members carry their cards like a badge of pride (The Hustle)

As of 2018, 51,600,000 people pay Costco membership fees, good for $3.14B in annual revenue. More impressively, the renewal rate is a whopping 90%.

Unlike other discount chain customers, the majority of these cardholders are largely affluent ($100k+ income) and college-educated. They’re also, as it turns out, extremely cultish in their devotion to the wholesaler: There are Costco blogs, Costco forums, and Costco Facebook groups with thousands of followers.

“I love spreading the word of Costco to anyone who will listen,” writes one fan, who goes by ‘The Costco Connoisseur.’ “I have been to over 179 Costco Warehouses across 33 states and 5 different countries.”

Retail experts attribute this rabid devotion to the membership card, and the shared appreciation of frugality that it signifies.

“There is a certain exclusivity in the Costo card that makes you a part of a tribe,” says Pam Danziger, of Unity Marketing. “This built-in brand loyalty has carried them very far.”

Another byproduct of charging shoppers a fee upfront is that it preempts them to defeat the sunken cost fallacy: Since they’re out $60 before even setting foot in the store, they feel they have to indulge in as many deals as possible to make up for it.

At Costco, this often means buying products in much larger volumes.

3. It stocks massive volumes of few products


Prevailing retail wisdom tells us that excess choice is good — that shoppers want to walk down the chip aisle and be able to pick from 100 varieties and brands. Costco, on the other hand, acts as a bulk curator for its customers.

The average warehouse stocks just 3,700 SKUs at any given time, less than 1/10th of most supermarkets’ 40,000 to 50,000 items, and not much more than the average corner store. Often, Costco provides only one or two brands in a given category.

Top: Supermarket aisles; Bottom: A Costco aisles (Wikipedia)

“They know their customers very well,” says Danziger, “and this enables them to limit choices to things their customers are most likely to want.”

In doing so, Costco solves the paradox of choice — a conundrum consumers encounter when an abundance of options causes stress and delays decision-making.

There is also an economic incentive to stocking fewer items: With less selection, there is less labor. In retail, every hand that touches an item (stocking, organizing, rearranging) costs money. Costco’s supply chain is rigged to minimize contact: Items are removed from trucks and driven straight to the aisles on forklifts, where they sit in giant pallets, waiting to be plucked by shoppers.

But less, of course, is often more.

While Costco stocks less, it sells items in titanic quantities. If you want eggs, expect a 90 pack. Waffles? 60 to a box. Mayonnaise? 4-pound tub. And good luck finding a single bag of Hot Cheetos: They only come in packs of 64.

This is because the company understands that it makes more financial sense for a shopper to spend $400 once per month than $100 in 4 separate trips: It saves customers time, but also reduces Costco’s expended resources.

4. It reengineers products to be cheaper


Because Costco stocks limited inventory in massive amounts, it is extremely fickle about the vendors it chooses to work with.

When Costco comes across a product it likes, it often spends months working closely with the vendor and its factories to both reduce the price of an item and amp up its quality. 

Costco’s founding father, Jim Sinegal, inspecting his enormous empire of frozen chicken tenders (Wikipedia)

In the 2012 CNBC doc “Costco Craze,” a Costco buyer related one tale about a toy he found that retailed for $100. The company had the option of buying the unit for $50 wholesale and selling it for around $60 — but this wasn’t good enough.

Over a period of months, Costco ended up working with the vendor and its factory to redesign the toy from the ground up, analyzing every part of the process for ways to cut costs. In the end, Costco got the vendor to reduce the price by 50%, and sold it for $30.

The profit margin Costco made from the toy at $30 was the same it would’ve made at $60: The time and resources the company invested to lower the price were strictly for the benefit of their shoppers.

In another instance, reengineering a container of cashews from a circle to a square shape allowed Costco to stack more items in a single truck, reducing the number of shipments by 24,000 pallets per year. For shoppers, this meant cheaper nuts.

But Costco’s most important initiative has nothing to do with the products it sells.

5. It realizes the economic incentive for treating employees well


Retail workers are among America’s lowest-paid employees, earning an average of around $10 per hour. They rarely get full benefits, and their employers view them as expendable (turnover rates are as high as 65%).

But Costco realizes that it is more cost effective to retain happy employees and — brace yourself — actually pay them a livable wage, than it is to churn and burn

The average pay among its 245,000 workers (143,000 full-time, 102,000 part-time) works out to $21 per hour, double the national retail average and nearly 2x Walmart’s going rate. Moreover, 88% of Costco workers receive company-sponsored health insurance.

A Costco warehouse manager poses with his team (Costco)

This mentality that has earned the company some of the highest retention rates in the industry — and many employees stay at Costco for more than a decade.

“I don’t see what’s wrong with an employee earning enough to be able to buy a house or have a health plan for the family,” Sinegal once told the Los Angeles Times

Investors, however, haven’t always seen it that way.

6. It values its customers over its shareholders


CEOs of public companies often blame unpopular decisions — price hikes, layoffs, cutting corners — on their “responsibility to maximize shareholder value.”

In the last 30 years, the percentage of corporate profits going to stockholders has increased from 50% to 86%, resulting in fewer deals for customers and less money for employees. This investor-first mentality has, in many ways, harmed American industry.

Since the day Costco went public in December of 1985, investors have complained that the company has been “too generous” with its customers and employees. They’ve called for higher markups on goods, steeper prices, and reduced benefits for workers.

But Costco has always insisted that their policies aren’t just altruistic — they’re good for business: By sticking to their principles, stock has gone up 387% since 2000.

“On Wall Street, they’re in the business of making money between now and next Thursday,” Sinegal told the New York Times in 2005. “We can’t take that view. We want to build a company that will still be here 50 years from now.”

In other words, about twice as long as the shelf life on its 27-pound tubs of mac and cheese.

The post How Costco gained a cult following — by breaking every rule of retail appeared first on The Hustle.

12 Jul 17:58

Why does ramen rule the prison economy?

by Conor Grant

In jail, where inmates aren’t allowed to handle cold, hard cash, most people imagine the same stereotypical prison currency: cigarettes.

But, according to Carl Cattermole — the author of Prison: A Survival Guide — tinned fish and ramen are the most common currency in jails.

In prison, 2 soups are worth 1 sweatshirt

A few things make cigarettes, fish, and ramen good currencies: They’re nonperishable, come in standard units, trade easily, and have intrinsic value.

In some prisons, inmates can buy a sweatshirt (worth $10.81 in the prison commissary) for 2 “soups” — or 5 hand-rolled cigarettes for 1 soup.

But why did ramen and tinned fish replace cigarettes at the top?

Cost cuts and smoking bans gave rise to the ramen economy

After US federal jails banned smoking in 2004, cigarettes became a less reliable currency than ramen or tinned fish. But, more importantly, cost cuts have made high-calorie ramen extremely valuable to hungry inmates.

An inmate told the author of a 2016 study, “’You can tell how good a man’s doing [financially] by how many soups he’s got in his locker. ‘Twenty soups? Oh, that guy’s doing good!’”

Soup seems simple… 

But the ramen economy is surprisingly complex: Inmates can rack up debt with people who hold large ramen reserves, earn higher credit limits, and even refinance soup debts with different ramen reserve-holders.

The post Why does ramen rule the prison economy? appeared first on The Hustle.

12 Jul 17:56

“Amazon nomads” scour the country’s Walmarts to find things to re-sell

by Conor Grant

A small group of Americans are traveling to remote Walmarts and Targets to resell rare and odd items on Amazon. 

According to The Verge, they live in RVs and vans and move from store to store constantly, focusing on rural outposts. 

They look for limited-edition goods, like Game of Thrones Oreos, weird cleaning products and discontinued merchandise. One nomad has found discontinued 99-cent dental floss at Big Lots that fetches $100 online.         

‘Amazon is just an extension of my arm’

The nomad economy works because of Fulfillment by Amazon. The nomads resell products and send them to an Amazon warehouse.

Amazon then packages and ships items to the buyer. Another tool, a scanning app, allows nomads to see the estimated resale value of many items before they make a purchase. 

“It’s almost like I’m the front end of the business, and Amazon is just an extension of my arm,” Sean-Patrick Iles, a nomad, told The Verge

Lifestyle over profit

Most of the nomads aren’t getting rich — $40K yearly salaries aren’t uncommon. Instead, they’re anti-consumerists who don’t value possessions —  they’re doing it for the freedom and the ability to see the charms of small-town America.  

In Pomeroy, Ohio, for instance, nomad Chris Anderson was amazed to find the local McDonald’s had a pizza on the menu.

The post “Amazon nomads” scour the country’s Walmarts to find things to re-sell appeared first on The Hustle.

12 Jul 16:38

How to Pick The Right Kind of Fishing Line

by Staff

Not all fishing lines are the same. Use the wrong kind in the wrong situation and you will find it much harder to catch fish. There are three main types; braided line, monofilament line, and flourocarbon line. This guide will help you choose between them.

Braided Fishing Line

Braided fishing line is made from woven fibers and comes in a variety of colors. It is a low stretch, high sensitivity line with a much smaller diameter than monofilament or flourocarbon fishing lines of the same break strength.

KastKing makes <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=dcbace0963cf81f9a17b7f6e030f16ec&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">a good braided line</a> that costs less than the competition.
KastKing makes <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=dcbace0963cf81f9a17b7f6e030f16ec&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">a good braided line</a> that costs less than the competition. (KastKing/)


Smaller diameter lines give anglers a couple of key advantages. They are easier to cast long distances. You can also fit more smaller diameter line on the spool of a fishing reel. This makes them a great choice for fishing lures like topwater plugs, crankbaits, or other baits that benefit from long, accurate casts. Smaller diameter lines are also great choices for fishing near the bottom in wind and current, where the action of moving water creates drag on your line. The thicker your line, the more drag gets created, and the harder it becomes to keep your bait in the strike zone.

Another key characteristic of braided fishing lines is that they don’t stretch very much. Lower stretch lines help you feel the taps from striking fish much more clearly than higher stretch monofilament or flourocarbon lines. Low stretch lines also drive your hook into a fish’s mouth better when you set the hook on a strike.

<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=ecd8853860e3caf52c62ab65dbcfd2b7&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">Power Pro braid</a> is the go to line for experienced anglers in both fresh and salt water.
<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=ecd8853860e3caf52c62ab65dbcfd2b7&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">Power Pro braid</a> is the go to line for experienced anglers in both fresh and salt water. (Power Pro/)


Braided lines are not best for every type of fishing. Braid is more difficult to manage than monofilament or flourcarbon line. It tangles easily and is harder to untangle. It’s also harder to tie knots in braided lines than it is in other types of line. These characteristics make braided lines harder to use for beginning anglers.

Braided line is also more visible to fish than clear monofilament or flourocarbon line. Most anglers will attach a length of clear line (called a leader) to the end of their braid to help improve their presentation. Many anglers who fish in clear water for wary fish species avoid using braid altogether, preferring to spool their reels entirely with flourcarbon or monofilament.

Monofilament Fishing Lines

These lines are made from a single fiber of extruded nylon plastic. Most monofilament lines are clear, but most manufacturers also make colored or fluorescent varieties. Monofilament line is generally less expensive than most varieties of braided or flourocarbon line.

<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=a4397aaf9b10fedbd1f04ba29fd545b4&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">Monofilament line</a> holds knots well, has low memory, and is easier for new anglers to manage.
<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=a4397aaf9b10fedbd1f04ba29fd545b4&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">Monofilament line</a> holds knots well, has low memory, and is easier for new anglers to manage. (Stren/)


It’s easier to tie knots in monofilament line than it is to tie them in braided line, making these lines better choices for beginners, or for anglers teaching beginners how to fish.

In some fishing situations experienced anglers turn to monofilament line first. Big game anglers who troll at higher speeds often use monofilament line. Because these lines stretch more than braided lines they are better able to absorb the shock when a big fish strikes a fast-moving lure.

When big fish strike fast moving baits, the extra stretch in <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=f10c3eca4b5cc350ddbac92595e831de&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">a monofilament line</a> helps absorb the shock.
When big fish strike fast moving baits, the extra stretch in <a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=f10c3eca4b5cc350ddbac92595e831de&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">a monofilament line</a> helps absorb the shock. (Berkley/)

Some anglers also often prefer monofilament over braided line for use on small baitcasting reels, since monofilament line is less likely to dig into itself (which can cause a backlash the next time you cast) when reeled onto the spool under tension.


Monofilament lines will stretch under tension, which makes it harder to feel taps from fish striking your bait. They are also thicker in diameter than braided lines of the same breaking strength. This makes them harder to cast long distances. That larger diameter also makes fishing light lures or jigs near the bottom more difficult in moving water or windy conditions.

Flourocarbon Line

Flourocarbon fishing lines are used most commonly for targeting line-shy species that spook at the presence of more visible lines like braid or even clear monofilment. Like monofilament lines, flourocarbon lines are extruded in single strands. They are thicker than braided lines of the same breaking strength.

<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=850aab268bdc8640a8ab137284f590b9&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">Flourocarbon fishing line</a> has the same refractive index as water, which lets light pass through with less distortion, making the line harder for fish to see underwater.
<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=850aab268bdc8640a8ab137284f590b9&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">Flourocarbon fishing line</a> has the same refractive index as water, which lets light pass through with less distortion, making the line harder for fish to see underwater. (Berkley/)

Flourocarbon fishing line has the same refractive index as water, which lets light pass through with less distortion, making the line harder for fish to see underwater.


Flourocarbon lines are the least visible lines to fish underwater. They stretch less than monofilament lines, improving your ability to detect bites and to drive the point of your hook home when a fish strikes. Flourocarbon lines are more durable than monofilament lines. They don’t absorb water or degrade from exposure to sunlight and they are much more resistant to abrasion than monofilament line.

Flourocarbon lines also sink, which makes them a good choice for fishing light baits near the bottom, especially in places where moving currents won’t create drag on your line. This extra density can also help anglers retrieve lures like crankbaits or casting spoons at greater depths than is possible with floating lines like braid or monofilament.


Because flourocarbon sinks it’s not always the best choice to use with floating lures like topwater plugs, or for suspending lures or bait in the water column. Flourocarbon line is also more stiff, and has more memory than monofilament, which can lead to more tangles, especially if you try to spool too much on your reel. While flourocarbon lines stretch less than monofilament lines, they stretch more than braided lines, making them less sensitive for detecting strikes than braid.

Fishing Leaders

Most experienced anglers attach a leader to the end of their line before tying on a hook or a lure. A leader is a short length of clear, low visibility monofilament or flourcarbon fishing line.

<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=b50498b3e3e72556019ebfe3e0f0d2d5&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">This flourocarbon leader</a> is more abrasion resistant than more supple (and more expensive!) varieties, making it a good choice for fishing in heavy structure and for fish with big sharp teeth.
<a href=";linkCode=ll1&amp;tag=fsmag-20&amp;linkId=b50498b3e3e72556019ebfe3e0f0d2d5&amp;language=en_US" rel="nofollow" title="">This flourocarbon leader</a> is more abrasion resistant than more supple (and more expensive!) varieties, making it a good choice for fishing in heavy structure and for fish with big sharp teeth. (Seaguar/)

This flourocarbon leader is more abrasion resistant than more supple (and more expensive!) varieties, making it a good choice for fishing in heavy structure and for fish with big sharp teeth.

You use a leader for three reasons. First, it’s harder for fish to see a clear leader than it is for them to see braided line. Second, leader material has more stretch than braid, which helps absorb the shock caused by a striking fish. Last, most leaders do a better job of resisting abrasion than braided lines, which helps keep bigger fish from cutting the line with their teeth or by rubbing against sharp objects on the bottom.

Most fishing leaders are made from either flourocarbon or monofilament line. Monofilament leaders float, making them better for fishing floating lures like topwater plugs. Flourocarbon leaders sink, making them better for subsurface presentations. Flourocarbon leaders are also better at resisting abrasion.

12 Jul 16:32

21 of the Best Colleges for Hunters and Anglers

by Ryan Chelius, Jack Tien-Dana

We've all heard it from our parents a million times: School comes first. And, sure, while that bit of wisdom is true and well-intended—it doesn't mean that college has to mark a four-year hiatus from hunting and fishing. After all, everyone needs a break from the books now and then. And college can be a great opportunity to explore and discover new, exciting ground. After the spirited debate following our initial list of the 10 best schools for hunters and anglers, here are 21 more institutions of higher learning where sportsmen and sportswomen can enjoy phenomenal hunting and fishing—and, yes, Mom and Dad, still earn a great education.

1. Penn State

Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
Cost: $17,900 (state resident); $32,382 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 84,686 (undergraduates)

Josh Bowser (left) and Jason Zubris of the Penn State Bass Fishing Team on day two of the 2019 FLW National Championship on the Potomac.
Josh Bowser (left) and Jason Zubris of the Penn State Bass Fishing Team on day two of the 2019 FLW National Championship on the Potomac. (Penn State Bass Fishing Team/)

Penn State is home to one of the nation's only forestry-focused fraternities, but the campus's hunting-friendly culture extends beyond the Tau Phi Delta chapter room. During deer season, the university-owned land is open to public hunting. For anglers, the Penn State bass fishing club competes in various collegiate fishing tournaments and is sponsored by companies like Shimano and Bass Pro Shop. The school also has a flyfishing club that is over 80 members strong. —Jack Tien-Dana

2. University of Arkansas

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Cost: $24,916 (state resident); $40,162 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 27,558

The historic Old Main building at the University of Arkansas.
The historic Old Main building at the University of Arkansas. (Bobak (Wiki Commons)/)

Just Northwest of Ozark National Forest is the University of Arkansas, a great school for young hunters and anglers. The Razorbacks have a collegiate bass fishing club, and won the 2012 Bassmaster College National Championship. There are also numerous public hunting opportunities for whitetails, waterfowl, and small game in the surrounding area. Ozark National Forest, just a 30-minute drive from campus, offers small game, waterfowl, and big-game hunting. And for die-hard waterfowlers, the world capital of duck hunting, Stuttgart, Arkansas is a three-hour drive southeast. —Ryan Chelius

3. Boise State University

Location: Boise, Idaho
Cost: $7,080 (resident); $21,530 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 16,045

The Boise River winds through a canyon near campus at Boise State University.
The Boise River winds through a canyon near campus at Boise State University. (Tamanoeconomico/)

Although the school is in a big city, the Boise State Broncos are a fly cast away from fantastic trout streams. The Boise River, which runs through campus, has excellent fishing year-round. On the hunting front, opportunities are similarly plentiful, though some traveling may be required; the Sawtooth and Salmon-Challis National Forests are a short, day-trip away, and the mountains surrounding Boise are home to big-game species, such as elk, pronghorn, black bears, and mountain lions. —J.T.

4. University of Colorado

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Cost: $30,178 (state resident); $54,312 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 35,230

Welcome to University of Colorado at Boulder—home of the Buffaloes.
Welcome to University of Colorado at Boulder—home of the Buffaloes. (Sopotniccy/

The University of Colorado might be one of the best schools for the total outdoorsman. The school has its own flyfishing club where members can learn fly tying, fly casting, and stream ecology. The club takes trips to local rivers, as well as participates in competitions throughout the year. The state provides opportunities for big-game hunting, including deer and elk, as well as waterfowl, and upland hunting. Students can go just south to Ralston Creek State Wildlife Area for big- and small-game hunting. There's no shortage of hiking trails and slopes in Colorado, so bring the skis if you want. But whatever you do, don't forget your fly rod. —R.C.

5. SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Location: Syracuse, New York
Cost: $27,303 (state resident); $36,953 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 2,215

The co-author with a steelhead after a long morning of classes.
The co-author with a steelhead after a long morning of classes. (Ryan Chelius/)

There is no shortage of hunters and anglers at SUNY-ESF. Located in central New York, this small college has a strong focus on environmental and sustainable studies. Full disclosure: I'm a student here. I'll be a senior this fall, and the hunting and fishing possibilities are endless. The campus is only a short drive to many public Wildlife Management Areas and world-class fisheries; a 45-minute drive from campus is all that separates students from chasing steelhead on the famous Salmon River. Ducks and deer at the Cicero Swamp Wildlife Management Area are just 20 minutes away. There is also a Ducks Unlimited college chapter, collegiate bass fishing team, and flyfishing club. My college career has been filled with mornings spent shooting ducks followed by afternoons of landing steelhead. I might have missed a few classes here and there, but I don't regret it one bit. —R.C.

6. Florida Gulf Coast University

Location: Fort Myers, Florida
Cost: $20,390 (state resident); $38,527 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 14,983

Students can kayak on Estero Bay, just west of campus.
Students can kayak on Estero Bay, just west of campus. (Sharon23b (Wiki Commons)/)

If the warm weather and beaches aren't already enough to bring students here, the world-class fishing should be. Located on the southern gulf coast of Florida, FGCU is minutes away from some of the best sportfishing on the planet. A kayak can open tons of opportunities. Just a few miles west of campus is Estero Bay, which holds strong populations of snook, redfish, sea trout, jack crevalle, and tarpon. FGCU also has a fishing club that competes in both collegiate bass tournaments and saltwater tournaments, and the club welcomes anyone interested in fishing—beginner or expert. —R.C.

7. Hampden-Sydney College

Location: Hampden Sydney, Virginia
Cost: $42,962
Enrollment: 1,105

Hampden-Sydney’s Morton Hall, where you will hopefully spend some time—instead of hunting and fishing all day.
Hampden-Sydney’s Morton Hall, where you will hopefully spend some time—instead of hunting and fishing all day. (MorisS (Wiki Commons)/)

Hampden-Sydney might not be on the radar for many college-bound high-schoolers, but it's a hidden gem for outdoorsmen. For anglers, the nearby Briery Creek Lake and Sandy River Reservoir offer great bass fishing, and there are three on-campus lakes stocked with bass. For hunters, the campus' central Virginia location provides easy access to some great deer hunting and waterfowling. —J.T.

8. University of Iowa

Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Cost: $22,607 (resident); $44,251 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 32,166

The University of Iowa is located to some of the best deer hunting country anywhere.
The University of Iowa is located to some of the best deer hunting country anywhere. (Wyatt21matrix (Wiki Commons)/)

For the college student looking to tag a trophy whitetail along with a bachelor's degree, the University of Iowa is the place to enroll. South of campus lies some productive public ground where students can explore and have a chance to kill a buck. Students also have access to solid pheasant and goose hunting opportunities. Although intimidating at first, asking permission from landowners can increase success rates tenfold. Non-resident students can enjoy the benefits of residency and avoid costly Iowa non-resident tags. This goes a long way on a student budget. —R.C.

9. Kansas State University

Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Cost: $23,339 (resident); $39,696 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 22,795

The Flint Hills offer great hunting opportunities near the Kansas State campus.
The Flint Hills offer great hunting opportunities near the Kansas State campus. (Edwin Olson/)

Kansas State University is another prime location for chasing whitetails during the fall semester. The university also has a bass fishing team who have taken home multiple national championships—and there's a Ducks Unlimited collegiate chapter for waterfowl hunters and conservationists to join. There are many public hunting opportunities in the area where students can pursue deer, pheasants, ducks, and other small game. Visit the Kansas wildlife, parks, and tourism website to locate public hunting ground. —R.C.

10. Louisiana State University

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Cost: $10,814 (resident); $27,491 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 24,365

The Atchafalaya Basin near LSU is a nice spot to wet a line.
The Atchafalaya Basin near LSU is a nice spot to wet a line. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library/)

Louisiana State University, located in Baton Rouge, is a hotbed for hunters and anglers. The Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge is just 37 miles from campus and contains the Atchafalaya Basin, which is larger than the Florida Everglades and home to 250 species of birds and 100 different species of fish. If this all is not enough, Venice, Louisiana—home to some of the best deep-sea fishing in the world—is just a day-trip away. —J.T.

11. Montana State University

Location: Bozeman, Montana
Cost: $6,687 (resident); $23,186 (non-resident)
**Enrollment: **14,149

The landmarked Montana Hall is almost as central to campus culture as flyfishing.
The landmarked Montana Hall is almost as central to campus culture as flyfishing. (Leaflet (Wiki Commons)/)

The alma mater of Bud Lilly, the "Father of Flyfishing," Montana State University has assumed the moniker Trout U. And with good reason. To be sure, Montana State is certainly close to any number of trout hotspots, but even better, it offers the opportunity to transform your fishing obsession from a hobby into a career. In the ecology department, students can study Biology Teaching, Conservation Biology & Ecology, Fish & Wildlife Ecology & Management, and Organismal Biology. Trout U is proof positive of one of the world's oldest, cheesiest idioms: If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. —J.T.

12. Murray State University

Location: Murray, Kentucky
Cost: $8,400 (resident); $22,680 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 7,655

At Murray State, the ample hunting and fishing opportunities should have students racing outside. The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, where anglers can fish Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, is a half-hour drive from campus. What's more, the Land Between the Lakes is open to hunting 250 days a year. —J.T.

13. University of Nebraska

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Cost: $25,062 (state resident); $40,182 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 26,079

If your idea of the perfect study break is waterfowl hunting, you should consider the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
If your idea of the perfect study break is waterfowl hunting, you should consider the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (Hanyou23 (Wiki Commons)/)

Maybe one of the best places for a diehard waterfowler to attend school, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has one of the strongest collegiate Ducks Unlimited Chapters in the country. In May 2019, Ducks Unlimited named the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's DU club an All-American Gold Chapter in recognition of their fundraising and overall chapter strength. This isn't to say that ducks are the only type of game to pursue here; Nebraska has great deer hunting and plenty of public lands to explore. —R.C.

14. North Carolina State University

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Cost: $8,880 (resident); $26,399 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 22,390

The North Carolina State University Basspack is a national fishing powerhouse.
The North Carolina State University Basspack is a national fishing powerhouse. (NCSU Fishing Twitter account/)

There may be no better school for a young bass angler than N.C. State. The Basspack, as the fishing team is known, has won three national championships this century and are a national powerhouse. Even better, the team is open to any and all skill levels. Additionally, the university runs a sportfishing instructional program and organizes two excursions to the Gulf Stream every year. In terms of academics, N.C. State's agricultural school (ranked tenth in the country by US News & World Report) is nearly as renowned as the Basspack. —J.T.

15. Ohio University

Location: Athens, Ohio
Cost: $11,744 (resident); $21,208 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 23,334

Your parents will hope you spend as much time in the stacks at Alden Library as you do hunting and fishing.
Your parents will hope you spend as much time in the stacks at Alden Library as you do hunting and fishing. (Ed! (wiki commons)/)

At Ohio University, you cannot swing a bobcat without hitting a state forest. Burr Oak State Park and Wayne National Forest are both renowned big-game spots and are crawling with whitetails. Additionally, both parks offer hunter-ed classes and instructional courses for novice hunters. To be sure, fishermen have their fun too: The 421-acre Fox Lake is open to bass and catfish anglers year-round. The best part? All three of these locations are within a 45-minute drive of campus. —J.T.

16. Oregon State University

Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Cost: $26,046 (state resident); $44,706 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 30,896

The Oregon State University campus is close to some tremendous public lands.
The Oregon State University campus is close to some tremendous public lands. (Owen (Wiki Commons)/)

Oregon State University offers a great destination for all kinds of anglers. The school has a successful bass fishing club with a strong membership; the competitive team won the 2018 Yeti FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake Havasu. OSU is also close to some of the best wild steelhead rivers in the country. Hunters have a great opportunity for big game in the area, including whitetails, mule deer, black-tailed deer, and elk. Oregon also has a decent amount of public land. Visit the hunting access map on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website to locate areas. —R.C.

17. Paul Smith's College

Location: Paul Smiths, New York (Adirondack Park)
Cost: $44,551
Enrollment: 771

The dining hall overlooks a beautiful pond at Paul Smith’s College.
The dining hall overlooks a beautiful pond at Paul Smith’s College. (Mwanner (Wiki Commons)/)

Paul Smith's College is located in the heart of the Adirondacks. With a short drive to Lake Champlain or Lake George, students can get in some really good freshwater fishing. The numerous small lakes and ponds scattered throughout the Adirondacks are filled with bass, pike, and panfish. Hunting may be a little more challenging—the Adirondacks are notoriously tough for encountering deer—but there's always a chance to run into a big woods buck. Waterfowl hunters can also get in on the action, as Lake Champlain offers good puddle- and diver-duck hunting. Unlike most colleges, students may keep a firearm at the school armory during the fall semester. —R.C.

18. Sewanee: College of the South

Location: Sewanee, Tennessee
Cost: $42,400
Enrollment: 1,714

At Sewanee, there's a scant separation between your hunting day-dreams and your actual days spent on campus. During deer season, portions of the 13,000-acre campus (known as the Domain) are open to hunting, allowing you to step right from the dining room to a deer stand. Beyond the on-campus hunting opportunities (once more, with feeling: On-campus hunting!), the nearby Elk River is a prime flyfishing spot. —J.T.

19. University of South Dakota

Location: Vermillion, South Dakota
Cost: $22,274 (state resident); $25,521 (non-resident)

The University of South Dakota is close to some of the best pheasant hunting in the world.
The University of South Dakota is close to some of the best pheasant hunting in the world. (Ammodramus (Wiki Commons)/)

South Dakota's hunting and fishing need no introduction, and pheasants, ducks, and big whitetails are all on the table. With over 5 million acres of public land in the state, students shouldn't have a difficult time finding spots to bird hunt in the world's pheasant capital. The University is also a 15-minute ride to the Missouri River. This location makes it easy for sportsmen and sportswomen to also hunt and fish across state lines. If you fill your tags too quickly in South Dakota, head across the river and start your season over in Nebraska. —R.C.

20. Unity College

Location: Unity, Maine
Cost: $27,570
Enrollment: 712

The serene Unity Pond, found near the Unity College campus, could be Maine’s answer to Walden Pond—minus the pretension.
The serene Unity Pond, found near the Unity College campus, could be Maine’s answer to Walden Pond—minus the pretension. (DrStew82 (wiki commons)/)

Unity College is a small liberal arts school in Maine, and has plenty of nearby opportunities for hunters and anglers. In Maine, students are eligible to purchase hunting and fishing licenses for resident prices, and the school offers a bevy of related courses (including the adventure-based Environmental Education Program) to deepen your understanding of the outdoors. —J.T.

21. University of Wyoming

Location: Laramie, Wyoming
Cost: $5,055 (resident); 16,215 (non-resident)
Enrollment: 9,622

Laramie, Wyoming, home to the University of Wyoming campus, has some of the best moose hunting in the West.
Laramie, Wyoming, home to the University of Wyoming campus, has some of the best moose hunting in the West. (Library of Congress/)

Sharing a state with prominent national parks such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton, the University of Wyoming is perfect for wilderness lovers. Wyoming is the site of some of the best big-game hunting in the country—pronghorn, elk, and moose all populate the land around the Laramie campus. In fact, the area around Laramie is one of the premier moose hunting spots in the nation, granted that you receive a tag (non-residents have to apply, but most units in Wyoming virtually guarantee that you will draw a tag), giving you ample opportunity to mount a trophy on your dorm room wall. —J.T.

11 Jul 18:10

Paleo Grilling Recipes for a Healthy Summer

by Cialina TH

This post is brought to you by Paleo Magazine, which provided advertising support.

At its simplest, the Paleo diet is a return to the basics—it is the human diet that works with our genetics, not against it. Paleo looks to ancestral wisdom—whether from cave-dwelling Paleolithic ancestors or remote native populations untouched by Western disease—for guidance on what to eat and how to live. The foods that our great, great grandparents wouldn’t have recognized in our modern supermarkets shouldn’t be food for us in the first place, and Paleo offers guidance in avoiding those products that do more harm than good.

The Paleo diet advises the avoidance of grains, gluten, legumes, low-fat pasteurized and homogenized dairy, corn, soy and sugar. Instead, fill up on grass-fed meat from ruminants like cattle, bison, goats, lamb or wild game. Seek out pastured chicken, eggs and pork, and prioritize wild-caught fish and seafood whenever possible. You should also focus on organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.

By removing many of the causes of allergies and autoimmune disorders, as well as the processed food-like products brought about by modern manufacturing, the human body is able to detox from foreign substances and naturally reset those basic functions that make eating, breathing and moving so effortless in a healthy system. The modern human body is assaulted on all sides by environmental pollutants that are toxic to our basic chemical processes; avoiding these contaminants, in addition to the many additives found in foods, assists our body to reach vibrant wellness on its own, often without the help of medicine or invasive surgery.

Along with the diet component, the Paleo lifestyle provides a model for holistic, healthy living, with a focus on stress reduction, community engagement and support, fitness and play, exposure to nature and honoring the body’s circadian rhythms. All of which are key components in ensuring optimal health.

While the Paleo lifestyle encompasses so much more than just the food, the fact is, there are some amazingly delicious Paleo recipes—which can make getting, and staying, healthy all that much easier. Not to mention tastier! With these Paleo recipes you’ll find out just how flavorful eating healthy can be!


3 Paleo Grilling Recipes

1. Plank Grilled Salmon with Tomato-Fennel Relish

Plank Grilled Salmon with Tomato-Fennel Relish
Photo Credit: Savannah Wishart Photography

Click here for the recipe.


2. Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Guacamole Salsa

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Guacamole Salsa
Photo Credit: Savannah Wishart Photography

Click here for the recipe.


3. Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad
Photo Credit: Savannah Wishart Photography

Click here for the recipe.


Are you on the Paleo diet? What are your tried-and-true healthy grilling recipes? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the Barbecue Board!

The post Paleo Grilling Recipes for a Healthy Summer appeared first on

11 Jul 15:39

The Pragser Wildsee is a lake in the Prags Dolomites in South Tyrol, Italy

Tags: Pragser Wildsee, Dolomites

688 points, 101 comments.

09 Jul 18:20

The 10 Best Beer Festivals in America

If it's rare beer you're after, the local watering hole will only get you so far.

09 Jul 18:04

Finding the Best Finger Ratchet

by claudia
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Protect Yourself From Ticks by Understanding How They Hunt

by Elizabeth Yuko

Even just reading about ticks makes me immediately spot check my limbs and start feeling itchy. (Sorry in advance for what this story will do to you.) But at the same time, I’m so paranoid about ticks that I can’t help but click on anything that might improve my chances of avoiding those little suckers, even slightly.


28 Jun 15:34

Cook Egg Bites In Your Instant Pot With This $8 Tray

by Shep McAllister on Kinja Deals, shared by Ana Suarez to Lifehacker
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A Camp Counselor's Tricks for Motivating Kids

by Michelle Woo on Offspring, shared by Michelle Woo to Lifehacker

Summer camp: You might remember it as a place for making friends, braiding lanyards, eating s’mores, jumping in lakes and drenching your mosquito bites in calamine lotion. But for Jamie Lee Lardner, who spent years as a camper and counselor at Camp Pontiac in New York, it was also the ultimate training ground for her…


28 Jun 15:28

This Dominican Chimi Casserole Is a Hungover Person's Dream

by Carlos Matias on Skillet, shared by Carlos Matias to Lifehacker

I grew up like most other Dominicans I knew—with a large, social family that was never short on excuses for gatherings and last-minute visits. In my house, there was no such thing as cooking too much food, as it meant there would be leftovers for anyone who decided to drop by later that day. Or the day after. Or the…


28 Jun 15:23

How to Make the Crispiest Tortilla Chips

by Claire Lower on Skillet, shared by Claire Lower to Lifehacker

I have never met a single person who doesn’t like fresh tortilla chips and, if such a person exists, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know them. But for some reason, it never occurs to me to make them myself, even though they are one of the easiest, least splattery foods you can fry for yourself at home. It is,…


26 Jun 13:57

Google’s monetization of Maps is putting conniving cartographers on the map

by Conor Grant

If you’ve ever spent 37 minutes cursing at the wheel of your Kia Sportage in an empty parking lot where Google Maps said you’d find an exotic pets dealer — you’re not alone.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, 11m listings on Google Maps are fake at any moment. These false listings aren’t mere mistakes — they’re crafted by conniving cartographers to manipulate Maps users.

Con artists have a place to call their own

Unscrupulous business owners register strings of fake businesses across large areas, bumping their companies to the top of Google search results.

Then, these fake businesses get more calls than competitors that are actually closer to customers. Misleading mappers then charge customers higher prices, starving legit businesses of customers.

But Google is making Maps into MORE of a game 

Google recently enabled businesses to pay to prioritize their listings in Maps in a bid to diversify Google’s revenue beyond search. 

But since Google profits off these problems, it has little incentive to remove fake businesses — and so far the company has chosen to turn a blind algorithm to rampant map mayhem. 

For legitimate businesses, one of the best ways to avoid getting spammed is paying Google for ads.

Google reportedly removed more than 3m fake businesses from its Maps app last year — but search consultants say Google-funded research suggesting that Maps fraud is only a small problem is “bogus.” 

The post Google’s monetization of Maps is putting conniving cartographers on the map appeared first on The Hustle.

26 Jun 13:43

10 Stylish but Affordable Shotguns You Should Own

by Phil Bourjaily

There are certain used shotguns that I’ll pounce on like a bass hitting a topwater lure. Just twitch that walnut-and-blued form in front of me, low price tag dangling from the trigger guard, and I’ll blow up with my wallet wide open. It’s pure reflex.

The reason why many great old shotguns are so affordable is because they languish on the used rack, neglected by those seeking guns with dubious modern “improvements,” like plastic stocks and 31⁄2-inch chambers. Meanwhile, many bargain classics still perform well in the field.

True, some of the old guns predate choke tubes and steel-shot compatibility. You might need to open a bore or use bismuth. But it’s well worth it.

Below is a list of 10 irresistible classic shotguns. All sell for under $1,000, and most for under $500. Any one would catch me, and several already have.

The Browning B-80 shotgun.
The Browning B-80 shotgun. (Courtesy Rock Island Auction Company/)

Beretta 302 and 303/Browning B-80

Made from 1981 to 1996. Many shooters argue that the nearly identical 302 and 303 are the best gas guns Beretta ever made, and that's saying something. Browning was so impressed with these guns that it licensed Beretta to make a humpbacked 303 and called it the B-80. You are limited to heavy 23⁄4-and 3-inch shells or regular 23⁄4-inch ammo, depending on the barrel, but that's the end of these guns' limitations. Prices: $340 for Beretta 302 in 12 or 20; $375 for ­Beretta 303 in 12 or 20; $325 for B-80 in 12 or 20 (All prices are based on the latest Blue Book of Gun Values listing, in 95 percent condition, except where noted.)

The Browning Auto 5 shotgun.
The Browning Auto 5 shotgun. (Courtesy Rock Island Auction Company/)

Browning Auto 5

Made from 1903 to 1998. I started out with an Auto 5 and still regret the day I sold it. Fortunately, there were more than a million made, and plenty of good ones sit on used racks. Patented in 1900, the Auto 5 remains a great gun and is every bit as reliable as the newest semi-autos, albeit with a bouncy recoil sensation. Watch for cracked fore-ends, a common problem. If you want more for less, look for a Miroku-made (as opposed to Belgium-made) Auto 5, which costs less and shoots steel without a whimper. And keep in mind that the Remington Model 11 is practically the same as the Auto 5, and while not quite as well-finished, it's also a good find. Prices: $925 for Belgium-made Light 12; $775 for Miroku-made Light 12

The Fox Sterlingworth shotgun.
The Fox Sterlingworth shotgun. (Courtesy Rock Island Auction Company/)

Fox Sterlingworth

Made from 1910 to 1942. The A.H. Fox is known as the most trouble-free American double. The Sterlingworth was the bottom of the line, so it's not much on decoration, but inside it's the same as any other Fox. To stay under $1,000, look for a 12-gauge that's been around the block some. The older Foxes made in Philly are better finished; the newer ones (after 1929) from Utica, New York, have more modern stock dimensions. Price: $950 for 12-gauge (80 percent condition)

Ithaca Model 37

Made from 1937 to present. A friend who loves old doubles hunts with them until he really has to kill a grouse. Then he grabs his Model 37. Ithaca waited for the patent on John Browning's bottom-ejecting Remington 17 pump (another great find) to expire, then pounced, ­introducing a copy that became a classic. You need longish arms to pump a Model 37, and most used ones lack a 3-inch chamber. But it's a light and lively gun—​­especially in the ribless versions—​and even good ones go for a song. Price: $235 for Model 37D in 12 and 20

The Marlin Model 90 shotgun.
The Marlin Model 90 shotgun. (Marlin/)

Marlin Model 90

Made from 1937 to 1958. I am still kicking myself for passing on a 16-gauge Model 90 late last year. America's unknown o/u, the Model 90 was a rugged, simply finished workingman's gun with an iron receiver that often took a purplish cast. It was equally simple inside—​striker-fired and highly durable. Many have double triggers and no top rib. The .410s bring exorbitant prices, but the rest are easy to afford. Price: $375 for 12; $435 for 16 and 20

The Miroku Charles Daly shotgun.
The Miroku Charles Daly shotgun. (Courtesy Rock Island Auction Company/)

Miroku Charles Daly

Made from 1963 to 1972. My sporting-clays gun is a reworked Miroku Charles Daly trap model I paid $600 for. Would I trade it for a $13,000 Perazzi? Of course I would. I'm no idiot. But I'd miss owning one of the best affordable o/u's made in my lifetime. Miroku, the same vendor that makes Japanese Browning guns, also made guns for the Charles Daly brand that were essentially Browning knockoffs. They are a great buy, consistently below the price of a used Citori yet often with better fit and finish. Price: $825 for Field Grade 12 or 20

Remington 31

Made from 1931 to 1949. You don't need to visit a parallel universe to see how great a hand-fit-and-finished Mossberg 500 would be. Just pick up a Remington Model 31 and see for yourself. The eventual template for the Model 500, the 31 was made to compete with Winchester's Model 12, and some believe it's ­every bit as good. Famous for its smooth "ball bearing" action, the 31 can be had with a steel receiver or an ahead-of-its-time lightweight alloy version. Price: $300 for 12-gauge with a plain barrel

Read Next: A Refurbished Remington Model 58

Remington 870 Wingmaster Magnum and Special Field

Made from 1950 to present. If you only know the great 870 by today's Express versions, an old Wingmaster is a revelation: slick, polished, and deeply blued. Look for a magnum and you'll have a great duck gun. Three-inch chambers became standard for the 870 in 1985, and choke tubes followed shortly thereafter. The straight-gripped, short-barreled Special Field is another excellent gun from the Wingmaster's glory days to keep an eye out for. Prices: $460 for Wingmaster Magnum with vent rib in 12 or 20; $265 for Special Field in 12 or 20

SKB 100

Made from 1967 to 1977. Imported by Ithaca, this simple, reliable Japanese double weighs under 6 pounds in 20, and it is one of the best affordable grouse and woodcock guns ever made. The 100 was ahead of its time and one of the inspirations for the much pricier Connecticut Shotgun Mfg. Co.'s RBL. Cowboy-­action shooters buy 100s and cut them down, which is a shame. It's almost your duty to buy one and hunt with it. The gun tends to crack where the stock meets the receiver, but that's easy to repair with expoxy and is the gun's only shortcoming. Price: $795 for 12-gauge; $955 for 20

The Winchester Model 12 shotgun.
The Winchester Model 12 shotgun. (Courtesy Rock Island Auction Company/)

Winchester Model 12

Made from 1912 to 1964. There are a couple million Model 12s out there—every one an example of the slickest slide-action ever made. The gun points with a mind of its own, in a good way. The first four shots from my 1960 Heavy Duck were doubles on honkers and greenheads, and I have no memory of working the action. The 3-inch guns command a premium, but the 23⁄4-inch models are real bargains. Price: $450 for 23⁄4-inch plain Full choke 12-gauge; $725 in 20

24 Jun 17:21

Afraid Of Confrontation? 13 Useful Strategies For Approaching Your Boss With Negative Feedback

by Forbes Coaches Council, CommunityVoice
Coming to your boss with a problem can be intimidating for anyone--but especially if you don't do so well with confrontation. Boost your confidence before you walk in the door with these tips from Forbes Coaches Council experts.
20 Jun 17:34

Spy Tech: Tiny Spy Plane becomes Cold War Prize

by Al Williams

What looks like something famous, is much smaller, and is embroiled in a web of cold war cloak-and-dagger intrigue? It sounds like the answer could be Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies, but we were actually thinking of the D-21 supersonic spy drone. Never heard of it? It didn’t have a very long service life, but it was a tiny little unmanned SR-71 and is part of a spy story that would fit right in with James Bond, if not Austin Powers.

The little plane had a wingspan of only 19 feet — compared to the SR-71’s 56 foot span — and was 42 feet long. It could fly at about Mach 3.3 at 95,000 feet and had a range of around 3,500 miles. It shared many characteristics with its big brother including the use of titanium and a design to present a low RADAR cross-section.

The Spy Who Photographed Me

With today’s global economy and increased international cooperation, it is hard to remember just how tense the late 1960s were. Governments wanted to see what other governments were up to. Satellite technology would eventually fill that role, but even though spy satellites first appeared in 1959, they used film that had to be retrieved by an airplane as it fell from the sky and then processed. Not exactly real time. More effective satellites would have to wait for better imaging technology — see the video below for just how bad those old satellite images were. That left spy planes to do the bulk of the work.

The problem with spy planes is they can get shot down. This happened famously when Gary Powers was shot down while flying a U-2 over Russia. The best answer to that is getting higher than your adversary can shoot — and that’s the basic genesis of the famous SR-71 by Lockheed. However, Lockheed proposed several answers, including the D-21. This spy plane had no crew, so while having it shot down — as unlikely as that was — would have been embarrassing, it wouldn’t be as bad as having a pilot on the news confessing to espionage.

The Little Plane that Couldn’t

There were 38 D-21’s built. Lockheed skunkworks was responsible, so it is not surprising the craft looks a bit like a tiny SR-71 with swept back delta wings. In fact, the original plan was to launch the plane from a modified SR-71. The plane would streak over its target taking pictures, eject a film bucket — much like a satellite does — and then self destruct. A plane would either snag the film bucket or it could be recovered at sea by a ship.

In 1962, a full-scale mockup was ready, known as the Q-12. The CIA wasn’t very interested, but the air force wanted it not only as a spy plane but as a cruise missile. The 1964 initial tests carrying the thing aloft on a mothership were not promising. At first, the D-21 had aerodynamic covers put on its engines to reduce drag. They found there was no safe way to remove them at Mach 3, so they had to stop flying with the covers.

By 1966 they were trying to actually test launch the D-21. Flying at over Mach 3 at 90,000 feet, the plane was plagued with issues. A hydraulic pump failure took one plane. Another flight was successful, but the film bucket failed to eject.

It was the fourth launch that would convince Lockheed to stop launching from a modified SR-71. The video below shows disturbing footage of the result. The previous launches had the host aircraft make a loop to help separate the two craft. This time they tried from a straight and level flight path. The D-21 had an engine failure which caused it to strike the tail of the SR-71 host. The two crew ejected over the ocean, and the launch control officer, Ray Torrick, drowned before recovery.

The B-52s

This caused two major changes to the D-21 program. First, a solid rocket booster would push the plane off its carrier. Second, the carrier was to be a Boeing B-52 bomber. The drone would now attach from the top with the bottom carrying the rocket booster which was actually larger than the D-21 (now known as the D-21B).

These changes didn’t do much to change the drone’s luck. The first attempted launch in 1967 saw the drone fall off the carrier early due to a stripped nut. It would take five more attempts before there was a completely successful flight. Of the next five flights, two would be unsuccessful.


By late 1969, the D-21 started its brief operational life. The mission: spy on the Chinese nuclear test site at Lop Nor. The plan was the planes would launch from Guam, fly over Lop Nor, turn around, and fly back over the ocean to deliver the film and self destruct.

The first mission failed to turn and crashed in the Soviet Union. The second mission worked better but had a fault when trying to eject its film. While the third time was the charm for the D-21, the crew retrieving the film couldn’t say as much. The plane that should have snagged the film bucket in mid-air missed. The Navy destroyer sent to retrieve it in the ocean instead ran it over and the film sunk to the bottom of the ocean. The fourth, and mercifully final, flight crashed over China where it languished for years in a junkyard before going on exhibit at the China Aviation Museum.

By July 1971, the program was done. Satellite imaging was getting better and Nixon had been to China. Of the 38 built, 17 remain in storage at the Air Force boneyard. However, the really interesting thing is what happened to that very first lost D-21.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

That first operational flight crashed in what might have been the worst possible place from the United State’s perspective: the Soviet Union. As you might expect, the Soviets gathered up the wreckage and studied it.

The Tupolev Experimental Design Bureau opened project Voron to produce an imitation of the D21. It never flew, but the work provided valuable insights on materials and techniques for supersonic aircraft and missiles. However, by the time Voron would be something to build, the Soviets, too, were betting on spy satellites.

Spy vs Spy

It is amazing how much expense and trouble governments will go through to spy on each other. Of course, all of this was highly classified in its own time. Corona — the first spy satellites — were classified until 1995. Many of the D-21 records were classified until late last year. The last link on that page has some great pictures that are poorly scanned. There are other interesting tidbits including directions on how to deal with public sightings or a crash that is visible to the public.

We always find it interesting to catch up on recently declassified material, especially when it is high tech. Did you know the US stole a Soviet moon lander? But don’t worry, the Russians stole one from the US, too.

Photo credits:

All photos are public domain except for:

D-21 wreck in Chinese Aviation Museum by [N Ezov], CC-BY-SA-4.0.

17 Jun 17:24

6 Tips to Grilling A Perfect Steak

by Cialina TH

As is the case for so many of us, my first grill was a Weber kettle. Today, Weber grills and smokers occupy prized spots in my grill and smoker collection.  So when Weber talks about the best way to grill a steak, I listen. Here are six tips from Weber to help you take your next grilled steak over the top.

1. Salting early pays off

You might have heard the warning that you shouldn’t salt meat too far in advance of cooking because it can draw out moisture. It’s true that salt draws moisture towards itself, but over the course of 20 to 30 minutes that’s a good thing, because the salt begins to dissolve into that little bit of moisture.

When the steak hits the hot cooking grate, the sugars and proteins in the moisture combine with the salt and other seasonings to create a delicious crust. Any moisture you might lose is well worth the flavor of that crust.

2. Taking off the chill speeds up cooking

The goal of grilling a steak is to brown and lightly char the surface while also cooking the interior to a perfectly juicy doneness, right? If the steak is too cold, the interior might require so much cooking time to reach that perfect doneness that the steak overcooks deep below the surface, turning gray and dry.

Let your steaks stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. They will cook faster all the way to the center and stay juicer.

3. Searing equals flavor

One good habit that separates professional chefs from many home cooks is that chefs spend more time searing their steaks. They understand that searing develops literally hundreds of flavors and aromas on the surface of steak, so they let their steaks sizzle over direct heat until the surfaces are dark, dark brown.

Don’t let anyone tell you that searing “locks in the juices.” That’s a myth. But searing sure does make steak tasty.

4. Thicker steaks should slide over

Most steaks grill beautifully over direct high heat alone. The only time you might need to move them is if/when they cause flare-ups. However, some steaks are so thick that if you left them over direct heat alone, they would burn on the outside before they reached the internal doneness you like.

If your steaks are much thicker than an inch, consider the sear and slide approach. After you have seared both sides nicely over direct high heat, slide the steaks to a part of the grill that is not so hot, perhaps over indirect heat, and finish cooking them safely there.

5. You can’t put moisture back inside a steak

As steaks grill over high heat, they lose moisture. Fat and juices are literally pushed out of the meat. That’s the price we pay for making the steaks easier to digest.

Perhaps the most important part of grilling a steak is taking it off the heat before it has lost too much moisture. There is a short window of time, usually just a minute or two, when steaks go from medium rare to medium, or from medium to medium well.

Catching that window requires vigilance. Don’t walk away from a steak on the grill. And remember, it’s always better to take it off when it’s underdone and then return it to the grill than it is to let a steak overcook.

6. Time and Temperature

By monitoring your time and your temperature you avoid overcooking your food. Always have a good thermometer on hand such as an instant read thermometer for quick readouts for thinner pieces of meat or the iGrill for longer cook times or to monitor several pieces at once.


Did you know?

  • Meat continues to cook even after it comes off the grill. On average, it will raise around 5 additional degrees, so if you want your steak to be at 125˚F, take it off the grill when it reaches 120˚F.
  • As the old saying goes, timing is everything. It’s never truer than when you are trying to pull off a perfect meal at the grill. A rotary timer is adequate, but you can also use the timers in the Weber Grills app or on your mobile device, preferably one that can track multiple grilling times at once.
  • You only have to overcook a fine cut of meat once to learn the importance of a good digital thermometer. Small and relatively inexpensive, an instant-read thermometer is essential for quickly gauging the internal temperature of meat when grilling. To get the most accurate read, insert it into the thickest part of the cut and avoid touching any bone, because the bone conducts heat.


Find the Weber grill that’s right for you the and try these delicious steak recipes at your next barbecue:


Weber - Grill Brilliantly

The post 6 Tips to Grilling A Perfect Steak appeared first on

17 Jun 17:12

Canon EOS 80D Review

Canon EOS 80D Review

Photo by Cameron Kirby on Unsplash

The Canon EOS 80D was designed for enthusiast photographers. Since its release back in 2016, it has become very popular because of its versatile capabilities and strong build.

Although some of the camera’s features have become outdated because of new technological advancements, the Canon EOS 80D is still a powerful device that can make astonishing results in the right hands.

In this Canon EOS 80D review, we discuss if it is still worth buying in 2019.

Canon EOS 80D Specs

canon eos 80d front

The Canon EOS 80D revolves around a 24-million-pixel APS-C sensor and a DIGIC 6 processing engine. This combination provides very good image quality and satisfactory results when shooting images in low-light conditions.

The EOS 80D offers a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000, and it can be expanded to ISO 25,600, which is more than enough for most situations.

One of the reasons to buy a Canon EOS 80D is its superb autofocus system.

The camera sports Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology and offers 45 cross-type autofocus points. This autofocus system works great both for taking stills and recording videos as it is both fast and accurate.

Canon EOS 80D Specs

Sports and wildlife photographers will be happy to know that the EOS 80D offers burst shooting at 7 frames per second, and it can create either 110 JPEG or 25 raw files before the buffer fills up. If you add up the impressive autofocus system, you will understand why this camera is very popular among action photographers.

Although the camera does not offer 4K video capabilities, it has support for Full HD (1920 x 1080) recording at 60 fps. For this purpose, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and the Movie Servo AF jointly help to keep the focus on the subject, while you can have more control over the audio effects by attaching an external microphone and headphones.

Check out the Canon EOS 80D video test in the video above by DSI Pictures.

Learn more:

Canon EOS 80D Design

The design of this camera is very intuitive. Although there are many buttons and controls, it feels natural to handle and you will undoubtedly learn to operate the camera easily thanks to its smart design.

Canon EOS 80D Design

The Canon EOS 80D is made to withstand the elements as well. The camera works great in extreme weather conditions since it is weather-sealed and built of magnesium-alloy, which is well known to be a very durable (and lightweight) material.  



There are two LCD displays on the EOS 80D - one on the back and another on the top of the camera. The rear screen uses touchscreen technology which is very helpful for quickly adjusting focus while you are in the middle of shooting. The top LCD display is also helpful for checking and adjusting the camera’s settings in no time. 

Canon EOS 80D Design 2

The rear vari-angle LCD screen measures 3 inches and has a resolution of 1.04m-dots. For those who prefer framing shots using a viewfinder, the Canon EOS 80D has a pentaprism viewfinder with 100% frame coverage. 

Canon EOS 80D Design 3

Learn more: 

Canon EOS 80D Price 

Canon EOS 80D Price

This is a relatively affordable camera and you get a new Canon EOS 80D (body only) for as little as $899, but we might have a few tips on how to get this camera even cheaper.

Buying a Canon EOS 80D bundle can help you to save some money. For example, on Amazon, you can buy a camera with five different types of the Canon EOS 80D lenses, macro filter kit, 64GB memory card, and accessory bundle for only $1,199.00

Canon EOS 80D Price 2

Alternatively, another option is to buy a refurbished Canon EOS 80D or a used one.

You can get a used Canon EOS 80D in good condition for just $659. By visiting online platforms such as MPB, you can find a vast range of photo and filmmaking kit for good value, so if you want to upgrade your kit with an EOS 80D (or just about any other camera, for that matter), head over to MPB to check out their used inventory.  


We Recommend

17 Jun 17:12

How to Use Camera Lenses: Secrets for Becoming an Expert

How to Use Camera Lenses

photo by Pollyana Ventura via iStock

If you’re a new photographer, the chances are good that you’re spending a lot more time learning how to use your camera than you are learning how to use your lens.

That’s a bit of a mistake, though…

Don’t get me wrong - you need to learn how to use your camera. But neglecting a deep dive into your lens will only hurt your ability to capture the best shots.

That being the case, here’s a few tips on how to use camera lenses.

Mastering Your Lens Tip 1: “Zoom with Your Feet”

If you’re in the photography game long enough, you’re bound to hear the camera lens tip to “zoom with your feet.”

As Mike Browne explains in the video above, this means you need to be unabashed in your pursuit of the best photos. You can do that by getting as close to subjects as you need to get the shot as opposed to relying on your zoom lens to do all that work for you.

Sometimes, this means getting really uncomfortably close to the subject.

camera lens tips

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash 

Photojournalists are the ones who use this photography phrase most often because they oftentimes need to shoot horrific moments in a person’s life. A lot of times the person who is being photographed doesn’t want to have their picture taken.

But, it’s not just good advice for photographing the news. It’s also great advice for learning how to work with your new lens.

If you have an 18-55mm lens, then your subject will look much different at 18mm from five feet versus 18mm from 10 feet away.

camera lens tips 2

photo by Vesnaandjic via iStock 

You’ll never learn how to shoot the best portraits or landscapes or street scenes with your lens if you’re always shooting from the same distance from your subject. You’re not pushing yourself far enough and you’re not educating yourself about your lens, either.

So, rather than simply turning the lens barrel to frame up a different shot, get moving, interact with the subject, and zoom with your feet instead!

Mastering Your Lens Tip 2: Use the “Wrong” Subjects

If you have a telephoto lens it’s pretty easy to shoot portraits. If you have a wide-angle lens, there’s a ton of educational material for you to learn how to shoot landscapes. But, simply using the typical lens that everyone recommends isn’t necessarily how you get the most creative shots.

Here’s a good DSLR camera lens tip: When you Google your lens type, try to shoot the opposite subjects that most people tell you to shoot with that lens.

For example, try using the 100mm macro lens you bought for food photography to shoot portraits instead or use the wide-angle lens you bought for landscapes to shoot architecture photos.

Shooting the “wrong” subjects with your lens enables you to figure out why the lens is used for certain subjects, and you might have the added bonus of finding a new, creative way to examine your subjects through a different lens.

Get more details on using the “wrong” lens in the video above by Park Cameras. 


Mastering Your Lens Tip 3: Use Different Focal Lengths 

dslr camera lens tips

photo by RichLegg via iStock 

The great thing about having a lens in your camera bag is that you have many different focal lengths you can test out in one package.

Typically, kit lenses range from 18mm to 55mm, so that gives you a wealth of opportunities to test out different focal lengths. 

One trick professional photographers recommend is to think of your zoom lens as multiple prime lenses, just in easier packaging.

dslr camera lens tips 2

photo by MarioGuti via iStock 

So, head out with your zoom lens and restrict yourself to shooting with only one focal length, say, 24mm. No matter what you do, don’t zoom in or out with the lens and instead zoom with your feet to see what you can do with a single focal length.

Then, the next time you go out shooting, choose a different focal length, like 35mm, and see what you can create at that focal length.

Working your way through your lens’s zoom range in this manner is an ideal way to get more familiar with and comfortable with your lens, while also learning how different focal lengths impact the way your photos look.

Mastering Your Lens Tip 4: Don’t Forget Certain Apertures

camera lens tutorial 

photo by klerik78 via iStock 

Yes, your lens gives its optimal performance in its “sweet spot,” which is usually in the f/8-f/11 range. This is true for all lenses - even high-end professional ones.

But, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to forget about the widest and narrowest aperture settings on your lens. Just because the image is going to be softer at f/2.8 or f/22 than it is at f/11 doesn’t mean that those apertures aren’t useful to you and your photography.

If you take a lot of photos using small apertures, there’s an issue called diffraction. Diffraction makes your photos softer the further you step down in aperture. So, while you are getting more depth of field, your images won’t be as sharp.

camera lens tips 3

photo by asiseeit via iStock 

You can also use different apertures to create bokeh, or background blur, as shown above. If you set your lens to its widest aperture, say, f/2, you’re probably doing so to create more bokeh in your photos.

When you step down your aperture (to something like f/16), your image will get sharper thanks to a larger depth of field, as shown in the landscape photo below.

dslr camera lens tips 3

photo by Armastas via iStock 

You’ll need to experiment with the aperture on your lens to see how changing it changes the depth of field in your shots. For more details about this topic, consult our beginner’s guide to aperture and depth of field.

Learn More:

Mastering Your Lens Tip 5: Use Just One Lens for a Long Period of Time 

It’s no secret that practice makes perfect, but sometimes it’s really hard to practice as much as you need to with one lens. You might get distracted by different shoots and by the desire to add new equipment to your kit.

But, if you really want to master one lens, you need to commit to using it for a long period of time. This might mean using one lens exclusively for two weeks or a month or even longer. See how this challenge plays out over just 30 minutes of shooting video in the video above by Brandon Li

Doing so allows you to learn the specific idiosyncrasies of the lens, learn its strengths, and its weaknesses. It also allows you time to inspect the images you create with the lens in post-processing to see what apertures are the sharpest or softest, where aberrations might appear, and so forth.

This exercise is more difficult with a zoom lens, but as noted earlier, just select a specific focal length and run with it for a while.

Mastering Your Lens Tip 6: Try Using Vintage Lenses 

How to Use Camera Lenses 2

 Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

I always suggest that new photographers try using vintage lenses. The number one reason for this is because it saves so much money. 

Newer lenses can cost a ridiculous amount for someone who is a hobby photographer or is trying to figure out if this may be the right career for them.

Plus, older lenses have great personalities. A lot of my favorite photographers, and a lot of my most creative photographer friends, swear by vintage lenses because they’re able to fill up their whole equipment bag for what I might spend on one lens.

I’ve purchased my fair share of vintage lenses from Lensfinder, which you can think of a bigger, better, and safer version of eBay that is made for camera enthusiasts. 


Their website is easy to use, but more importantly, you can find pretty much any camera, lens, or filter you want being sold by another photographer who can answer any questions you might have.

When you find the lens you want, all of the fees are upfront and Lensfinder doesn’t make any money from you buying a lens. Instead, fees are collected from sellers.

You can also rate sellers and view sellers ratings so you don’t get scammed like you otherwise might off of eBay or Craigslist.

Another reason I use Lensfinder is because sellers on this website have some truly incredible vintage lenses.

Lensfinder 2

This Lomo 75mm from the 70s is one of the recent finds I found on Lensfinder. Not only would I definitely not be able to find something like this for sale in my city, but I think it’s a steal for the rarity of the lens.

Whether you use a vintage lens, restrict yourself to a specific focal length with your zoom lens, zoom with your feet, or one of the other tips I’ve outlined here, these tips on how to use camera lenses will help you learn more about your gear, learn more about photography, and help you develop a stronger creative eye. What’s not to like about that?

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17 Jun 16:07

Why Do We Procrastinate? 5 Science-Backed Sites to Understand and Overcome It

by Mihir Patkar

One of the biggest obstacles to productivity is our tendency to procrastinate tasks. In fact, research shows that some people’s brains are wired to make them procrastinate more than others. What is the science behind procrastination, and how do you scientifically beat it?

The internet, as usual, has all the answers. There are websites that sum up the science and research about procrastination in simple words. There are psychologists who publish articles on how to tackle it. And there are web apps based on these findings and advice. Once you have the knowledge and the tools, you are sure to stop procrastination in its tracks.

1. Solving Procrastination (Web): The Science Behind Procrastination

Solving Procrastination explains all the scientific research about procrastination in simple terms

Researchers have been studying procrastination for a long time, and there are several studies published on the topic. Solving Procrastination turns all those years of knowledge into one easy-to-understand guide.

Click the “Start Here” button to choose between different things you can learn about procrastination, such as the reasons behind it, effective science-backed techniques to stop it, and even a way to counter feeling overwhelmed. The guides take great pains to turn scientific studies into simple English, while at the same time adding clear citations so you can check the original study it is based on.

The first step to tackling any problem is to understand it, and Solving Procrastination is a master at helping you understand why the human brain likes to procrastinate. You can even subscribe to a newsletter that sends you research-based tips on how to beat procrastination.

2. Why Do I Procrastinate (Web): Use the Procrastination Equation

Why Do I Procrastinate is a web app that puts the Procrastination Equation into a fun quiz

Dr. Piers Steel came up with something he likes to call the Procrastination Equation. The core theory is that Motivation equals expectancy into value divided by impulsiveness into delay. You’ll need to read the book to understand how to measure all of that. Or you can use this handy app.

Procrastination Equation Procrastination Equation Buy Now On Amazon $2.99

Why Do I Procrastinate is a quiz based on Dr. Steel’s Procrastination Equation. The web app, which also works on mobile browsers, presents you a series of statements to determine why you are procrastinating on a specific task. Pick a value from one to five to determine how much you agree with each statement.

Based on your responses, the app determines which of the four factors of the Procrastination Equation (expectancy, value, impulsiveness, or delay) is the core reason behind your dilly-dallying. And it also offers helpful advice on what you can do to counter that factor so you get things done.

3. Procrastination Coach (Web): Psychologist-Approved Free Tools

Procrastination Coach psychologist Christine Li offers free resources to counter procrastination

Clinical psychologist Dr. Christine Li has been studying procrastination for some time. Her findings and advice can be found in one place at the Procrastination Coach, along with some helpful free resources to tackle the problem.

While the site serves as a way for Dr. Li to sell her coaching programs, the blog offers interesting insights into the roots of procrastination, and strategies to overcome it. It isn’t updated regularly but it already has plenty of posts to understand what’s been our need to put things off till later.

You should definitely check out the Free Resources page, which requires you to sign up for an email newsletter. There are 12 tools here for different strategies, including worksheets, task planners, road map guides, brain dump templates, and more. There’s also a free 5-day email course to beat the basics of this productivity killer.

4. Skip Procrastination (Web): Science-Backed App to Make You Act

Skip Procrastination is a science backed web app to make you act when you're stuck or dilly dallying

Skip Procrastination is a webapp to use when you are currently procrastinating on a task but want to get moving on it. Based on scientific findings about the subject, the app takes you through a series of steps whose end result is to make you act.

The steps help your brain turn a task from “I should do this” into “I want to do this.” It also clarifies the benefit of doing the task, as well as how much time it is likely to take. Based on the research that you are more likely to do something if you tell your friends you plan to do it, the app pushes you to tweet your goal. And finally, it adds a 25-minute time limit within which you have to take the first step to start your task.

All of these are principles you will likely learn about while reading about the science behind procrastination. Turning them into a single app, Skip Procrastination is the ideal tool to break out of that unproductive mindset when you are putting off a to-do list item.

5. Dr. Keelan’s Flowchart (Web, Print): Step-by-Step Process to Beat Procrastination

Dr. Patrick Keelan's step by step flowchart to overcome procrastination

Psychologist Dr. Patrick Keelan reckons that the key to beating procrastination is a step-by-step, logical approach. Based on science and his work with clients who struggle with the issue, Dr. Keelan created a flowchart that promises to help you push on.

The flowchart has four basic questions:

  1. Have I made an action plan?
  2. Are the actions in my plan small enough?
  3. Have I used the 5-minute rule when my motivation to take action is low?
  4. Have I addressed any rules driving my procrastination behavior?

It’s important to read the full article explaining the flowchart so that you know the correct approach to complete each of these steps before moving on to the next one. Dr. Keelan recommends using it as an actual flowchart, which means that if the first step gets you over procrastination, forget about the further steps. Otherwise, go in the order of the flowchart, and you will start acting by the final step.

Download: Dr. Patrick Keelan’s Flowchart to Overcome Procrastination (PDF)

Apps Help Beat Procrastination

A recent study by Cornell University found that anti-procrastination apps like focus boosters and distraction blockers are actually useful in beating the malady. Students who used the apps were more productive than those who relied on willpower alone.

With that in mind, try these new productivity apps to beat procrastination. It includes everything from reminders about resuming work to games that make you keep your phone away.

Read the full article: Why Do We Procrastinate? 5 Science-Backed Sites to Understand and Overcome It

17 Jun 16:07

How to Copy and Paste on a Mac

by Akshata Shanbhag

Wondering how to copy and paste on your new Mac? After all, it’s a basic action you’re bound to use daily. Fortunately, the action is quick and painless, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

As you might expect, you have multiple ways to copy and paste on a Mac. We’ll cover them all, and while we’re doing so, we’ll also share useful tidbits of related information. Let’s begin!

How to Copy and Paste on a Mac

Copy and paste menu options in Finder on Mac
The easiest way to copy and paste on a Mac is with the help of two easy-to-remember keyboard shortcuts:

  • Cmd + C to copy
  • Cmd + V to paste

You’ll appreciate these if you have switched over to macOS from Windows. The shortcuts are similar to the Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V copy-paste shortcuts that you’ve come to rely on there.

Not a fan of keyboard shortcuts? You might prefer to copy-paste using menu commands. In that case, after you select the item you want to copy, click on Edit > Copy to copy the selection to the clipboard.

Then, navigate to the location where you want to create a duplicate of the selected item. There, click on Edit > Paste. To paste copied text, ensure that you place the cursor in the exact location where you want the text to show up.

A third option that’s as easy as using keyboard shortcuts involves the context menu or right-click menu. You’ll find the Copy and Paste commands in this menu, and they work just like the menu commands and keyboard shortcuts do.

Copy and paste options in Finder's context menu on Mac

You can use the copy-paste commands with all kinds of content including text, images, and documents. Also, the commands work across all Mac apps (including Finder) unless the copy and/or paste functions have been disabled by an app or webpage.

Wish you could copy-paste text like you do on your iPhone? You’ll love PopClip—it gives you an iOS-like contextual menu for copy-paste and other actions.

How to Paste Without Formatting

Keep in mind that when you copy and paste text on Mac as we’ve described above, the pasted text retains its original formatting.

Want the pasted text to follow the formatting of the target document? You’ll need to use the Edit > Paste and Match Style command instead of Edit > Paste while pasting the text. When you paste with the keyboard, use the shortcut Option + Shift + Cmd + V instead of Cmd + V.

This new shortcut is a tough one to remember! If you plan to use it often, you can create a memorable keyboard shortcut for it. And if you’re sure you’ll never use the original Paste command, why not repurpose its shortcut to copy and paste text without formatting every time?

Copy-Pasting Faster With a Clipboard Manager

BetterTouchTool clipboard function on Mac

Chances are that you’ll find yourself copying and pasting several items from one location to another on your Mac every day.

Every time you want to paste something, you have to grab the relevant content from its original location to move it to the clipboard. That’s tedious, but it doesn’t have to be. A good clipboard manager app can fix this problem for you. It’ll stash away every item you copy to the clipboard and keep it searchable and accessible when you want to copy it again.

You can go for a clipboard app that manages only text entries or one that stores text, images, hyperlinks, documents, and other kinds of content. Our recommendations include CopyClip, 1Clipboard, Pastebot, and Paste.

If you use a Mac productivity app like Alfred, BetterTouchTool, or Keyboard Maestro, you don’t need to install a dedicated clipboard app. Such productivity apps often pack a clipboard management function.

How to Copy and Paste Between Your Apple Devices

Pasting on iPhone from Mac

Your Apple devices can share a single clipboard, which means you can copy data on your Mac and paste it on your iPhone (and vice-versa). To make this happen, ensure that you’ve enabled Bluetooth on both devices and that you’re also logged into the same iCloud account on them.

The next step is to enable the Handoff feature on both devices. To do this:

  • On Mac: Under System Preferences > General, select the checkbox for Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.
  • On iPhone: Open the Settings app and under General > Handoff, flip the toggle switch for Handoff to the right to enable it.

Now, copy-pasting between your Mac and iPhone is as simple as using the device-specific copy-paste commands as required. The shared clipboard is called Universal Clipboard. It’s part of Continuity, a set of features that let you use your Mac and iPhone together.

By the way, you can also copy and paste between your Mac and iPhone with Copied for macOS and iOS. To share a clipboard between your Mac and Android phone, install the Alt—C app on both devices.

Did you know that you can also sync your clipboard between macOS and Windows?

How to Cut and Paste on a Mac

Cut option in Edit menu on Mac

When you want to move data to a new location instead of copying it there, you need a cut-paste command instead of a copy-paste.

To use the command, all you have to do is replace the Cmd + C shortcut for copying with Cmd + X. In app menus and right-click menus, you must select Cut instead of Copy. The paste shortcuts and menu options remain the same as before. This intuitive way of moving data is new to macOS.

Previously, you had to copy data as usual and use the shortcut Cmd + Option + V in the target location to simulate a cut-paste action. The corresponding menu item (Move Item Here) showed up only if you held down the Option key while pasting.

This unusual way of cut-pasting still comes in handy with certain content, such as Finder files and folders. The new cut-paste command works fine with text, reminders, contacts, objects in documents, and so on.

Is Copy-Pasting the Best Way to Create Duplicates?

Now you know how to copy and paste on Mac. This allows you to create duplicates of selected items in various locations while leaving the originals intact.

We must warn you that while copy-pasting text is fine, duplicating objects like folders and images recklessly can leave your Mac short on space. After all, each copy you create takes up some space on your hard drive.

How can you keep copies of objects scattered across your Mac for quick access without running out of disk space, then? The answer lies in creating aliases to fight Finder clutter.

Read the full article: How to Copy and Paste on a Mac