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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Larry David Is Selling His California Compound For $15 Million

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larry david house for sale

Larry David of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fame is unloading his estate in Pacific Palisades for $14.99 million, according to Trulia.

The mansion, described as a "fairytale home" in the listing, has seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. There's a separate guesthouse and fantastic ocean views from the backyard.

For a guy with a curmudgeonly reputation, David's decor is sweet and homey (photos courtesy of Estately).

The listing describes the house as a "fairytale home." It's not too far off.



Those views are unbeatable.



Plenty of places to enjoy them from.



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10 Items Every Guy Needs For Spring

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stylish man sunglasses

Spring is finally here, and warm weather should be right around the corner.

From rainy-day accessories to trendy footwear, we've come up with 10 items every guy should add to his wardrobe for the season.

An umbrella.

The snow is gone, but the rain is here. Don't be the guy who shows up drenched because he didn't want to carry an umbrella around.

The London Fog Auto Open Close Umbrella will keep you dry in times of need, and fiberglass ribs ensure it won't bend out of shape in the wind.

Price: $25



A pair of fashionable sunglasses.

With the nice weather, people will spend more time outside.

Every guy needs a pair of sunglasses not only protect his eyes, but also to make him look good.

We like Ray Ban's RB3025 Aviator Sunglasses, which have 100 percent UV protection for your eyes in addition to Ray Ban's sleek style.

Price:$145



A lightweight blazer.

It is time to put the winter coat away.

Spring calls for new outerwear and a lightweight blazer is the perfect look.

The Original Penguin Men's Chambray Blazer is stylish and will keep you comfortable in a slight breeze.

Price: $139



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12 States Where Homeowners Are Deep Underwater

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florida foreclosure

Despite the housing recovery, 10.4 million or 21.5 percent of all residential properties continued to be underwater at the end of Q4 2012, according to latest data by CoreLogic.

The value of negative equity – when homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their home is worth – fell to $628 billion, from $670 billion the previous quarter.

The Sandy states in particular continue to struggle.

1.7 million moved to positive equity in 2012, and the trend should continue into 2013. But some parts of the country will recover faster than others.

Using CoreLogic data, we ranked the 12 states that had the most underwater mortgages as a percentage of all mortgages i.e. negative equity share.

Note: Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio is a measure used by financial institutions to gauge risk before approving a mortgage. The higher the LTV ratio, the higher the risk and the more expensive the loan.

Idaho

Negative equity share:
21.0 percent

Total mortgages:
247,000

Average loan-to-value ratio:
73.3 percent

Source: CoreLogic



Mississippi

Negative equity share:
22.7 percent

Total mortgages:
48,000

Average loan-to-value ratio:
77.7 percent

Source: CoreLogic



Maryland

Negative equity share:
23.5 percent

Total mortgages:
1,362,000

Average loan-to-value ratio:
70.0 percent

Source: CoreLogic



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Your Complete Guide To Men's Spring Fashion, 2013

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men's color jeansClick here to access AskMen's Spring Fashion Preview 2013.

Andy Warhol once said, "When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it." The theme of change is amusing, because we're always working toward some form of it (or talking about it, anyway). Eating better, drinking less, quitting smoking, finding another job, dating more, moving to another city -- sound familiar? But it often takes external change, like a new year or, say, a change in season, to get us going.

We had this in mind when putting together our annual spring fashion preview. In here, you'll find the best new gear for all areas of your life -- at the office, date night, on your downtime, dressing up, at the gym -- like always. But you'll also find two new things that launched this month that puts all of this into action.

Know the feeling of putting on your suit or dressing for a date only to be defeated by your hair? It's kind of absurd how much power our hair has over us. That's why we launched The Hair Manual, a book that finally answers all of your hair questions (and we know you got 'em). No one’s excluded. Our readers are as diverse as the hair on their heads, so whether you’re clueless on the subject or are a hairstylist, whether you have curly hair or are balding, there’s takeaway value for all.

Next, we launched Dress Your Best, a web series in which our readers receive style consultations at some of the best (and coolest) men's stores in New York City. Two of the episodes are featured here -- one on how to dress for the all-important job interview and the other on how to clean up for a date. From the most imperceptible change, like parting your hair on the opposite side, to a more impactful one, like changing jobs, our spring fashion preview gives you the tools to move your life forward.

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Chinese Shoppers Have To Fork Over $482 To Try On A Gown At Vera Wang

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most expensive wedding dressVera Wang's Chinese boutique is charging shoppers $482 to try on a gown. 

Charlotte Cowles at NYMag's The Cut first tipped us off to the policy, which also imposes a 90-minute time slot in the dressing room. 

The newly-opened boutique also advises shoppers to make appointments weeks in advance, reports the China-based paper The Global Times

The policy is supposed to dissuade counterfeiters, but has "incensed" shoppers, according to the Times. 

Shoppers get the $482 deducted from the cost of the gown if they decide to buy it, according to the report. Otherwise, it's a sunk cost. 

Luxury brands cracking down on counterfeiting in China. 

In November, Chinese authorities teamed up with the U.S. to shut down counterfeiters of popular brands like Coach and Hermes. 

Still, Vera Wang is the first designer to impose a try-on fee. 

SEE ALSO: 15 Hot Brands Vying To Be The Next Lululemon >

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Producer Jerry Weintraub Has Finally Sold His $42.5 Million Malibu Estate

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jerry

Jerry Weintraub, producer of box office hits like The Karate Kid and Oceans 11, has finally sold his 6.25-acre Malibu complex after nearly two years on the market, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It was apparently purchased by fashion mogul Serge Azria. The home had been listed for $42.5 million, but the sales price has not been disclosed.

Weintraub bought the property in two pieces, four acres in 1978 for $950,000, and 2.25-acres in 1980 for $450,500. Several years ago, he listed it for $75 million before lowering the price.

The beautiful property is located just south of Paradise Cove and features private beach access, two guest homes, a deluxe equestrian center, tennis courts, and a pool.

Here's the main home, with 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms



Tons of property and plush green grass



The equestrian stables



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See A Former Yahoo Executive's $3.45 Million Home In Menlo Park

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Brad Garlinghouse

The outspoken CEO of YouSendIt, Brad Garlinghouse, just put his Menlo Park house on the market.

He's asking $3.45 million.

Garlinghouse first landed in the limelight in 2006 when he was a Yahoo exec. That's when he penned the famous memo known as the "Peanut Butter Manifesto" that accused Yahoo of being unfocused and spread too thin.

He's been the CEO of file-sharing service YouSendIt since May 2012. Revenues about doubled from $35 million in 2011 to about $55 million in 2012. To celebrate, Garlinghouse bought every employee an iPad Mini as a holiday gift.

Menlo Park is very close to AOL's West Coast office in Palo Alto, Calif., where Garlinghouse worked until late 2011. But YouSendIt is based in Campbell, Calif., south of San Jose, which is a solid 30-minute drive from Menlo Park.

According to property records, Garlinghouse bought another house in Atherton, a leafy suburb favored by Google executives, in 2010.

 

The house is in the upscale Felton Gables neighborhood, known for its Craftsman-style homes.



The entryway reveals the home's Craftsman aesthetic, with wood-coffered ceilings.



The gorgeous ceilings extend into the formal living spaces.



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15 New Cars We Can't Wait To See At The New York Auto Show

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2012 New York INTL Auto Show Poster

The New York International Auto Show kicks off in Manhattan next week, opening to the press on Wednesday and the public two days later.

We'll be among the thousands of journalists on the scene — NYC is our home turf — and are excited for what the auto industry is bringing to the Big Apple.

To get your blood flowing, here's a quick look at the 15 rides we're most pumped to see, from the new Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac sedans, to the Corvette-Viper battle, to the very exciting Range Rover Sport.

The 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray was the star of the Detroit Auto Show in January, and GM is following up with the convertible version.



But Dodge isn't ready to let GM win this round of the never-ending Corvette-Viper rivalry. It's bringing the 2014 SRT Viper Time Attack, a special ride made to be a beast on the track.



This teaser image is of the 2014 Chevy Camaro SS. Little is known about the refreshed look for the model, the first full changeup since the car debuted in 2009.

[Source: Christian Science Monitor]



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The 24 Best Craft Beer Destinations Around The US

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fire island brewery beer

With St. Patty's barely behind us and March Madness underway, the season for beer drinking is here.

The craft beer scene has exploded in the last few years, and this week in each of our blog markets, we've rounded up the best craft beer destinations (be it bars, halls or breweries) in a town near you.

Next up, you'll find the top three picks from each town in our slideshow.

PHILADELPHIA AREA: Monk's Cafe

264 S. 16th St.

Food: 24
Decor: 19
Service: 20
Cost: $28

If you find the multi-page “beer bible” at this Center City brew mecca somewhat intimidating, take heart. All of the bartenders at Tom Peters and Fergus Carey’s tiny, two-bar gem are experts, and will happily recommend something to suit your palate.

As the proprietors like to say, “If you enjoy Scotch whiskey, port or Bordeaux, we have a beer for you!” (p.s. Do not miss the frites - the bourbon mayonnaise dipping sauce is good enough to drink on its own.)



PHILADELPHIA AREA: Standard Tap

901 N. 2nd St.

Food: 23
Decor: 18
Service: 19
Cost: $27

It’s all local, all the time at William Reed and Paul Kimport’s Northern Liberties original. On two floors throughout multiple wood-filled rooms, 20 taps pour a rotating selection of the best area brews, and everything’s as fresh as can be, since there are no bottles offered.

Opened in 1999, credit this spot with defining what a gastropub could and should be. For good local beer alongside good local music, visit the partners' Johnny Brenda's, just up the street in Fishtown.



PHILADELPHIA AREA: Alla Spina

1410 Mt. Vernon St.

Food: 25
Decor: 25
Service: 22
Cost: $28

Italian drink is no longer just about wine. At this Vetri Family birreria on North Broad, a gorgeous custom tap system pours 20 drafts, including unique European finds and specially created house brews.

General manager and beverage director Steve Wildy goes wild with another 50 classy options in bottles and cans, best enjoyed next to pork-filled kitchen bites in the spacious, graffiti-filled room.



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British Tourist Describes 'Rape' Ordeal That Led Her To Jump Out Hotel Window

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Hotel india rape

A British woman who jumped from a hotel balcony in India fearing a sexual assault said on Sunday she shouted for help for more than an hour before she fled.

Jessica Davies, 31, from London, said she had barricaded the door of her hotel room in Agra with furniture to stop two men from entering.

"I held my key in the lock and I could feel them turning it from the other side," she told the BBC.

Davies, a dental hygienist, injured both legs in the jump but said her ordeal could have been a lot worse.

The manager of the hotel and another member of staff appeared in court on Wednesday accused of harassing Davies, with their lawyer saying they denied the charges.

Davies said she wanted to talk about her experience "because the shame of sexual assault makes many people too scared to speak out".

She also said it was "disgusting" that her fellow hotel residents had failed to help.

The incident came just days after a Swiss cyclist was allegedly gang-raped in the central state of Madhya Pradesh by a group of villagers, while on a cycling trip with her husband that was meant to include a stopover in Agra.

Davies, who is now back in Britain, told the BBC her ordeal began when she was "surprised" by a knock at her door at 3:45 am.

She denied claims by the hotel manager's lawyer that she had asked for a wake-up call, saying she had set her phone alarm for 4.30am to catch a taxi for a train to Jaipur.

She said she was still wearing pyjamas when she opened the door to find the hotel manager asking if she wanted to take a shower and offering a massage. "He was showing me this oil he had," she said.

When he refused to go away, she barricaded herself inside her room. For the next hour and a quarter "I was kicking the door and screaming hoping someone would help", she said.

"By hook or by crook this person -- or persons -- were going to get into my room. I'm 100 percent certain. And there was only one way out, to jump two floors."

Davies said that when she hit the ground she heard a shout but "I didn't look back and just ran", hardly noticing her injuries as adrenaline took over.

She said a passing rickshaw driver took her to a police station where he stayed with her for hours and acted as translator.

"He was amazing," she said, but added: "I don't know his name and I don't know how to thank him."

She also praised the police in Agra.

Davies insisted she had been "exercising a lot of caution and wearing appropriate clothes" after hearing about recent cases.

She said she had not been put off from returning to India, but was "never going to travel alone again".

Prakash Narayan Sharma, lawyer for the hotel manager Sachin Chauhan, told AFP his client was being framed and claimed Davies had invented the story.

He also claimed it was a conspiracy concocted by tourism authorities in New Delhi to tarnish the image of Agra, which is home to the Taj Mahal, a major tourist attraction.

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ENTREPRENEUR: Soon Everyone Will Be Able To Afford A 'LifeEdited' Apartment

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LifeEdited Guest Room

Graham Hill, founder of minimalist design firm LifeEdited, recieved a lot of attention for his recent Op-Ed in The New York Times encouraging readers to pare down their lives and rid themselves of the chains of consumerism.

"I have come a long way from the life I had in the late '90s, when, flush with cash from an Internet start-up sale, I had a giant house crammed with stuff — electronics and cars and appliances and gadgets," he wrote. "Somehow this stuff ended up running my life, or a lot of it; the things I consumed ended up consuming me."

Hill changed his life to fit inside a 420-square foot apartment and gave a popular TED talk in 2011, "Less Stuff, More Happiness," where he previewed the concept of the LifeEdited apartment. The idea is to fit 700 square feet into 420 square feet with the creative use of space, featuring fold-up beds, hidden cabinets, removable walls and more. Hill's Soho apartment can be transformed from a living room to bedroom, workspace, dining room and entertainment space.

However, the catch is that while it's "small living," it cost upwards of $500,000 — not a price tag that most can afford ... in New York City, no less. Which is why readers criticized him for being out of touch with the average American, and therefore not in a position to advise on how to live frugally. 

We reached out to Hill and asked him whether his popular LifeEdited-style apartment will ever be affordable for the average person. He said yes, when built on a larger scale: "We truly believe that this is not only a middle, upper-class type thing. We can absolutely do this on a cheaper basis."LifeEdited ThinBike

Hill started downsizing his life because he realized he wasn't happy with everything being "unnecessarily complicated." In 2009 and 2010, he bought two apartments in an old Sullivan Street building and held a design competition for the larger of the two, which is now the popularized LifeEdited apartment. The space cost about $300,000, plus an extra $250,000 to $300,000 in renovations.

Since it's a prototype, he and the LifeEdited team intended to make it a high-end space and didn't build it in the most efficient manner. There were some "mess-ups" during construction and he was particular about the design because he wanted to get the first one done right.

"Our apartment was a one-off prototype and as such was much more expensive than it could have been — we went a bit over the top and there were numerous delays and changes that affected the price considerably," David Friedlander, who handles communications for LifeEdited, told us. "We are working on bringing this to a much larger scale, which would make it considerably less expensive."

Hill explains that costs are bound to come down once similar small apartment spaces are made in volume. The LifeEdited team is in talks with partners interested in creating apartment buildings in urban settings that stress a minimalist lifestyle, with a lot of shared systems. They're focusing on San Francisco and New York City, but they're also in talks with Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project in Las Vegas.

He envisions the apartments to have "product libraries" where residents can rent out items they don't use that often and take up space, such as tents, coolers and ladders. There also may be bike or car sharing systems and an area with spare beds that can be rented out online when a resident has guests come to stay. 

"It’s about efficient living, trying to do more with less. The apartment doesn’t have to be tiny, but you have to get a lot out of it," says Hill. In a place like New York City, such an apartment might cost $50,000 more, but could save a resident hundreds of thousands in the long-run.LifeEdited Resource Furniture Swing Bed 2

"The really important thing, with these spaces is you need to look at them differently. The cost of a square foot is quite possibly going to be a little higher because you're doing a lot with it. It gives the functionality of an apartment twice the size."

Many people in the world's largest cities already live in tiny apartments, and one way to save on costs for a space similar to Hill's is to cut down on the number of alternatives needed, says Lloyd Alter, managing editor of Treehugger. For example, Hill's apartment has a dining table that seats 12 and bunk beds to sleep two guests. "The fewer options you need, the less it costs," he says. 

And after an apartment has been converted to a small space, the resident is bound to save money. Energy bills will be lower and they won't spend as much money on "junk" since there isn't any extra room to put it.

Hill says defeating the consumerist culture is central to his mission: "We just live a much bigger lifestyle and what it’s brought with us is a lot of debt, higher environmental footprint and made our lives more complicated. If you’re smart in how you apply design and technology, you can build really compelling lifestyles."

SEE ALSO: How Tony Hsieh Is Spending $350 Million To Change Las Vegas

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Tilda Swinton Slept In A Glass Box At The Museum Of Modern Art

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tilda swinton the maybe

Museum visitors were surprised to see actress Tilda Swinton live at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). 

The "Moonrise Kingdom" actress was on display at the MoMa in New York City Saturday as part of an exhibit.

"The Maybe" showcased Swinton sleeping in a glass box for the day with a mattress, pillow, linen, water, and spectacles.

The Gothamist reports Swinton has been talking with the MoMa about showcasing this exhibit since 2005, and that it will run several more times throughout the year, "each unannounced and in a different location in the Museum."

This isn't the first time the 52-year-old Academy Award winner has slept in public. 

Swinton first performed "The Maybe" in 1995 at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

tilda swinton moma

tilda swinton the maybe

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Florida Gulf Coast's Campus Looks Like A Tropical Resort

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fgcu sailboatsFlorida Gulf Coast is the breakout story of the NCAA Tournament.

The school didn't even exist 23 years ago, and now its in the Sweet 16.

There are a ton of reasons to love FGCU.

Chief among them: their campus is insanely awesome. It is located in Ft. Myers, Florida, and the dorms are literally steps from the beach.

If you went to a cold-weather college, this photos from the school's website and Instagram account will knock your socks off.

A great photo from the school's official website. Those are dorms in the background



Student housing is right on the beach



A typical day on the beach



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25 Places You Need To Visit In Australia

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surfing australia byron bay

Australia is known for many things extraordinary landscapes, laid-back cities, beautiful beaches.

It would be impossible to see the country and experience all it has to offer on a single trip.

But these 25 places and activities should be at the top of any traveler's bucket list, whether he's a foreign tourist flying in from afar or a native Australian looking to explore his own country.

Enjoy a drink at the Opera Bar before seeing a performance at the Sydney Opera House.



Journey to the remote outback town of Birdsville for its annual horse racing weekend.



Drive by the 12 Apostles — a collection of limestone stacks — on a trip along Great Ocean Road in Victoria.



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Cars Keep Smashing Into A 7-Eleven In New Jersey

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7-elevenA 7-Eleven location in Somerville, NJ, keeps getting smashed by moving vehicles, according to Meghan D. Hodgin at NJ.com.

Over and over again.

In fact, it has been hit six times, costing thousands in repairs.

Last Thursday, a car slammed through the front door of the 7-Eleven. The driver had apparently hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

Why does this store keep getting its front door destroyed?

Danny Batel, the manager, told NJ.com that he has been in the store every single time it has been hit.

He said that it's likely happening because the 7-Eleven doesn't have any yellow poles separating the parking lot from the building.

They should probably install some yellow poles.

SEE ALSO: Sears Once Ruled The World From This Decaying Office Tower In Chicago >

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AMERICAN INDIAN: Here's What People Don't Understand About Living At Wind River

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Wind River Sunrise

After we published a bleak photo essay on life in Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, I received hundreds of angry emails from readers who said I was ignoring the positive side.

The most compelling response came from Northern Arapaho tribeswoman Mary Rose Goggles, who offered to tell me the best parts of reservation life as well as her own story.

Skip to the best parts of Wind River >

Mary Rose takes an optimistic view on her life and her community, though both have seen plenty of misfortune.

A 54-year-old woman who lives just off the reservation in Riverton, Wy., she joined the U.S. Army when she was 21 years old. During her time with the U.S. Signal Corps at Fort Detrick, Maryland, she was exposed to toxic chemicals. She says she still feels the effects of this exposure but takes it in stride:

I have come to terms with my health issues and remember I served for our freedoms...our Freedom of Religion, so as Native People we can worship our Creator through our Ceremonies handed down through generations since the beginning of time, and we can hold on and cherish our Culture...our Identity. And to keep speaking our own language.

Mary Rose cherishes the ideal of freedom, though she recognizes its downside too. She writes:

Sad to say, because we live in a Multicultural World...and each one of us has that ultimate "freedom of choice," a lot of our younger generations experiment with other cultural ways of living, hence alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, corruption, gangs, etc.

Eventually some of our people who made those detours, myself included, we come back full circle to our original teachings and our sacred way of life. After all isn't that what life is about? Live and Learn! I can honestly say I know of two of my great grandparents who did not taste alcohol...

English was their second language, my paternal grandmother Christine Frances Friday Goggles' mother Zoe Friday...and my paternal grandfather Lloyd Paul Goggles, Sr.'s father John Baptiste Goggles, Sr. Now we have the medical field diagnosing a lot of our children as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE)...yet other cultures used alcohol since when? Roman and Greek days...wine and grapes!

Mary Rose's surname, Goggles, is another mark of her family's encounter with the U.S. government: 

Why Goggles....? Well when the government put us on reservations and developed the census for us...they used my Great-Great Grandfather's Indian Name translated into English "Iron Eyes" as our family's surname. Time came along, the government building burned, records were destroyed, and they had to redo their census.

They [whites, Americans, religious leaders, everyone non-tribal] and shortened a lot of names from what they had been. Instead, they gave out a lot of common names such as 'Brown', 'Smith', etc. As a matter of fact, some names they had a hard time translating...anyway our name was shortened to 'Goggles'.

When our ancestors were put into the Catholic or Episcopal Boarding Schools...they had to pick English names....some called them Baptismal names, or the Nuns and/or Priests gave them English first names. Through all that we survived through historically. We still have our Traditional Naming Ceremonies, which are very, very important.

This is where an authorized Elder can pass on previous Indian Names or give out Indian Names. It is our belief that this is how our Creator...God...recognizes us...as Indian....as Northern Arapaho... The English name given to our Tribe... is 'The Blue Sky People' not what we call ourselves, and we do not want the creator to forget who we are..."

When I mentioned to Mary Rose that I was en route to Florida to visit my mother, she wrote back to tell me of the importance of family:

Have a great day also especially with your mother...you are fortunate to have her yet, my mother passed on to the Happy Hunting Grounds last year on August 21, 2012...she was born August 27, 1933...the Doctors couldn't believe she never had any surgeries...lol...she would tell them 'the only thing missing is my teeth'....she had dentures.

I miss her and love her, but I know she is happy where she is and I will see her one of these days...meanwhile I have my children and grandchildren....my brothers...extended relatives who I have to look out for and be here for when they need me.

That warm embrace of family hinted at one of the good thing about life on the rez, at the sense of continuity and community that survives centuries of struggle.

In our last communication, I told Mary Rose that I hoped this piece would bring positive attention to Wind River. She replied:

Well, hopefully some positive changes will evolve from all the controversy your article raised... Maybe it will instill a sense of Pride in our youth and they will seek out their Identity and make the right choices in their journey of life...

Maybe it will awaken the Northern Arapaho Business Council and the Eastern Shoshone Business Council to make our Language and Cultural Programs a priority on their agendas...especially when it comes to Budgets. And most importantly, no matter what, everything you've done is educating all people Nationwide of our existence ... of our SURVIVAL!!

In the meantime, Mary Rose offers the following reasons why she loves life on Wind River.

Wind River's Mary Rose Goggles says "the beauty of the mountains ... Mother Earth" are among the best parts of life on the Wyoming reservation.



"The fresh air we have, the beauty of clear blue skies, free from pollution ..."



"The quality of drinking water we have, water of life ..."



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The Winning Designs For The Skyscraper Of The Future

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Organized in 2006 by eVolo Magazine, the Skyscraper Competition recognizes outstanding ideas for vertical living.

After reviewing more than 600 projects from 83 different countries, the winners for the eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition have just been announced.

First place was awarded to Derek Pirozzi from the United States, currently an intern at Olson Kundig Architects

Second place went to Darius Maïkoff and Elodie Godo, from France. And third place was awarded to Ting Xu and Yiming Chen from China.

1st Place / Derek Pirozzi / Project Umbrella

513f81afb3fc4b33b0000007_evolo 2013 skyscraper competition winners_0480 polar umbrella 0 600x414 1

During the last decades of global warming, the polar ice caps have experienced a severe rise in temperature causing the northern and southern ice shelves to become thin, fractured, and melt into the ocean. Rebuilding the arctic layers is the primary objective of this proposal which cools down the Earth’s surface by reducing heat gain in vulnerable arctic regions.

The Polar Umbrella’s buoyant super-structure becomes a statement for the prevention of future depletion of our protective arctic region.

Through its desalinization and power facilities, this arctic skyscraper becomes a floating metropolis equipped with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) research laboratories, renewable power stations, dormitory-style housing units, eco-tourist attractions, and ecological habitats for wildlife. A series of these structures would be strategically located in the most affected areas.

Salt water is used to produce a renewable source of energy through an osmotic (salinity gradient power) power facility housed within the building’s core. In addition, the structure’s immense canopy allows for the reduction of heat gain on the arctic surface while harvesting solar energy. The umbrella’s thermal skin boasts a series of modules that are composed of a polyethylene piping system that pumps brackish water. Finally, the Polar Umbrella also regenerates the ice caps using harvest chambers that freeze the ocean water.

2nd Place / Darius Maïkoff and Elodie Godo / France

513f81a7b3fc4b231400000f_evolo 2013 skyscraper competition winners_0201 silverlining cloud 0 600x406

The Phobia Skyscraper is a new form of modular suburban residential development for Paris, France. It is located over the “Petite Ceinture”, a former industrial site with excellent views of the city and an extensive transportation network.

Two main ground slabs and an empty tower structure, constructed of recycled industrial materials, hold prefabricated units that are stacked to utilize the same plumbing system but are rotated to open to outdoor spaces. The units are grouped around outdoor common green spaces.

These common areas, or “nuclei centers,” are equipped with displays that provide real-time feedback for residents on societal issues within the community, occupancy rates of the structure, and messages. It also contains water-collection equipment and solar power panels.

Despite its solid skeleton, the Phobia Skyscraper and its modular units are designed to evolve as does society itself. Its materials are the byproducts of abandonment and recycling; the building itself could be abandoned and once again revitalized, depending on the desires and needs of its residents.

3rd Place / Ting Xu and Yiming Chen / China

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The rapid increase of population within the major cities around the world has led to poor development and serious urban design problems, including the lack of infrastructure, housing, and recreational areas. In Beijing, a large portion of the historic center has been demolished.

One way to make scarce green and recreation space available to residents of this crowded city is a skyscraper that floats above the land, taking new development to the sky. The Light Park stays afloat thanks to a large, mushroom cap-like helium-filled balloon at its top, and solar-powered propellers directly below. Programmatic platforms that host parks, sports fields, green houses, restaurants, and other uses are suspended from the top of the structure by reinforced steel cables; the platforms fan in different directions around the spherical vessel to balance its weight. These slabs are also staggered to allow for maximum exposure to sunlight on each level.

Translucent solar panels cover the top of the vessel to power the uses below, and water collectors, also located at the top, direct precipitation towards filters that send clean water throughout the structure.

Though it doesn’t completely solve Beijing’s serious traffic and overpopulation problems, the Light Park can return valuable green space to the public, and also help mitigate the pollution that comes with increased development – with parks and plants floating in the sky above the city, the air is partially cleaned.

SEE ALSO: The 65 Best New Buildings In The World

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The Aerotropolis Could Be City Of The Future

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“The rapid expansion of airport-linked commercial facilities is making today’s air gateways anchors of 21st century metropolitan development where distant travelers and locals alike can conduct business, exchange knowledge, shop, eat, sleep, and be entertained without going more than 15 minutes from the airport. This functional and spatial evolution is transforming many city airports into airport cities.” - Dr. John Kasarda

Major international airports have developed over time into key nodes in global production and enterprise systems through speed, agility and connectivity.

These transportation hubs are able to dramatically stimulate local economies by attracting a wide range of aviation-related businesses to their peripheries and resulting in what John Kasarda, a US academic who studies and advises governments on city planning issues, has dubbed the “Aerotropolis.”

The Aerotropolis, like any other traditional city, consists of a central core with rings of development permeating outwards; unlike a traditional city, however, the city’s core is an airport and all neighboring development supports and is supported in turn by the airport industry.

Several airports around the globe have organically evolved into these airport-dependent communities, generating huge economic profits and creating thousands of jobs, but what Kasarda is arguing for is a more organized and purposeful approach to the development of these Aerotropolises – what he believes to be the future model of a successful city.

Looking back on city development, it quickly becomes clear that cities have almost always been an outcome of and had a strong relationship with the form of transportation that was relevant during the time of their establishments. In the US, the first modern cities developed around seaports (BostonCharlestonNYC) and then towns popped up along rivers and canals (BuffaloPittsburghDetroit).

Next the invention of the railroad opened up previously hard-to-reach inland areas to manufacturing and distribution (AtlantaOmahaKansas City). In the 20th century, highways facilitated the greater dispersion of people and companies by creating suburbs, and most recently, the world’s airports have turned into “primary drivers of urban growth, international connectivity and economic success.”

Kasarda claims that the cities that will thrive in the 21st century will be those with airports and their centers, for “efficient, large, well-connected airports matter to prosperity above everything else” and “the fastest, best-connected places will win.”

These words certainly have not fallen on deaf ears. Airport cities have already appeared in Amsterdam Zuidas, Las Colinas, Texas and New SongdoSouth Korea‘s International Business District. Dubai is currently considered to be the world’s largest aerotropolis, connecting the East and West primarily through international air travel and commerce; however, OMA has just revealed masterplans for a competitive airport city in Qatar.

Plans for a China Southern Airport City by Woods Bagot are underway, as well – in fact, China is reportedly building a total of 100 airports to be completed by the year 2020. Nearby Taiwan has allocated $8 billion for just one airport while the US allocated a similar amount – $9 billion – for all transportation infrastructure in 2008. With this kind of indifference towards its airports, Kasarda warns that America’s economy runs the risk of falling behind these other developing nations.

A nation’s airports are undeniably vital contributors to the economy. Chicago‘s O’Hare International Airport is the 2nd largest office market in the Midwest and Washington Dulles’s airport area alone has more retail sales than any other American city besides Manhattan. Detroit, a city that is seriously considering a new airport development to stimulate its struggling economy, would generate $10 billion in annual economic activity, $171 million in annual tax revenue and would create and sustain 64,000 jobs after 25 years. Why would anyone living in Detroit today frown upon a proposition like this?

Well, while the economic effects of the Aerotropolis are clear, its effects on an existing urban fabric and its people are much less so. This is evident in the current issues facing London and its new major airport in southeast England, a task that has drawn many of the world’s leaders in business, planning and architecture.

After considering the Aerotropolis city model, Rowan Moore of The Guardian finds it “chilling: a model of a city driven by a combination of business imperatives and state control, with the high levels of security and control that go with airports. Under the dictatorship of speed, individual memory and identity are abolished. An airport shopping mall is, actually, not like a town square [as Kasarda suggests], for the reason that everything there is programmed and managed, and spontaneity and initiative are abolished.”

In addition, he notes that Kasarda’s model envisions the Aerotropolis being constructed on “virgin greensward,” which is simply impossible for London and most existing metropolitan areas. It turns into a challenge of reorienting an entire city to focus on its airport – a monumental effort when working with a metropolis that has hundreds if not thousands of years of history and urban growth. The model could work seamlessly where there’s a blank slate, but there just aren’t enough of those left in the world.

While the Aerotropolis vision is an economically enticing one and has already set many gears in motion around the globe, we need to stop and consider the bigger picture: how will this model change the way we experience cities? Will individual culture and character be lost to the fast-paced, constantly-connected and homogenized aura of air travel or allow for a greater cultural exchange? How will it affect the human psyche and will the preoccupation with money and control eventually replace all other knowledge or will it create new knowledge as a result?

What do you think?

SEE ALSO: The 65 Best New Buildings In The World

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How These 10 New Fast Food Items Fared In A Taste Test

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dennysbitesThe last few months have given rise to tons of new and sometimes shocking fast-food items, including Cool Ranch Doritos Locos from Taco Bell, Pizza Hut's new Pizza Sliders, McDonald's FishMcBites and, most recently, Denny's BBQ Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese Bites.

Clearly we've tasted them all.

Before you try any of these new items, check out what we had to say about them in our slide show.

Denny's BBQ Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese Bites

Served by the half dozen, these golden-fried balls are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and ours were perfectly cooked - the outer breading wasn’t too thick or heavy. It easily cracks open to reveal soft macaroni and oozing cheese, and the BBQ sauce on the plate is tangy and only slightly sweet, making a great dipping sauce.

Speaking of dipping, the ramekin of pepper jack sauce on the side should be ignored entirely. “It’s just a bowl of calories!” exclaimed one diner. There’s already plenty of cheese inside each fried sphere, and the sauce has no discernable taste - whether there's actually pepper jack in it is anyone’s guess. Certainly the few stingy pieces of bacon sitting on top of the bowl do nothing to enhance the flavor.

But . . . do they really belong on the Baconalia! menu? In our batch, there definitely wasn’t much bacon in those balls. When one guest ran into a piece, he almost spit it out - “What’s that chewy thing I just bit into?” - until reminded that bacon was in the title of the dish.

Still, that shouldn’t stop you from ordering them. Served on a different plate, these mac ‘n’ cheese bites would easily be at home at a hip Williamsburg bar, where you’d likely pay triple the $4.59 price tag. Just get your bacon fix elsewhere, like the pepper-bacon-avocado omelet or the sourdough BLT, and you’ll be fine. As long as you avoid the “pepper jack” dip.



Hazelnut Macchiato at Starbucks

So what exactly IS a macchiato, technically speaking? For those not in the know, it's an espresso drink with a very small amount of foamed milk dotted on top (macchiato means "marked" as in marked with a small amount of milk).

Starbucks' popular caramel macchiato has been on the menu for decades, but they've just now add another flavored variation to the mix.

We recall the former to be a sugar bomb, as it's topped with caramel sauce, but we were pleasantly surprised to find the new hazelnut drink not too sweet at all. In fact, it wasn't much of anything - not too heavy on the hazelnut or sugar and not carrying that trademark "over roasted" Starbucks flavor. It basically just tasted like a latte with a hint of hazelnut. And can you have that much foamed milk and still call the thing a macchiato? The drink is available both hot and iced at locations around the U.S.



Pizza Hut Big Pizza Sliders

Pizza Hut recently added Big Pizza Sliders to their menu, so naturally, we had to check them out. We ordered them via a very cool and user-friendly mobile site to schedule a delivery for later in the day. (Did you know that was even possible? We didn’t.) A box of nine sliders showed up at the door exactly on time, holding a trio of plain cheese, three topped with pepperoni and three with sausage, peppers and mushrooms.

The first thing you notice is that Big Pizza Sliders are not big. They’re little. Much smaller than a even a personal pan pizza. Maybe they’re big if you’re feeding them to your cat? A cat would probably love batting these around, but the dough pucks would leave trails of grease all over your floor, so we don’t recommend it. However, that could be the reason they’re also called sliders - otherwise these have nothing to do with sliders as we know them. Sliders are cute mini hamburgers or pulled pork sandwiches in little adorable buns. These are pizzas.

Getting past the name, Pizza Hut tells you that “the circle is the new slice.” The idea is if you’re sharing with a group, you can customize the little pies in many different ways, and not be forced to eat toppings your friends love but you hate. Great plan. But: circles are most definitely not bite-friendly like the tip of a slice. At least not when they have inch-high crusts. You could cut your gums on these things. We decided to cut them in half for easy eating.

Cut in half, you can see Big Pizza Sliders are mostly dough. The crust is like Pizza Hut’s pan pizza crust, which is airy on the inside and buttery-crusty on the edges, in a good way. Except that sliders have much more “edge” than a regular pie, so as greasily tasty as the dough is, there's too much of it. The batch we got had hardly any sauce at all, though the toppings were super fresh - the pepperoni wasn’t burnt, and the green peppers even had snap.

Were they better than Pizza Hut pizza? If you hate a soggy bottom pie, just order some extra sauce on the side, and possibly extra cheese, and these will make you happy. They were actually a lot like focaccia, and we had the idea that if you put a few slices of American cheese in the middle of two of them, you could make a killer grilled cheese sandwich. Or maybe even use them as a bun for a burger - now THAT would be a Big Pizza Slider, for reals.



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This New Golf-Tracking System Will Enhance Your Game

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This is Game Golf from the San Francisco-based developer Active Mind Technology.

Why We Love It: There are a ton of golf apps on the market that can keep track of your stats. But the Indiegogo.com-funded Game Golf goes a step further by accumulating the data for you and breaking it down into helpful statistics and feedback.

It works by attaching a data-collecting sensor to each of your golf clubs. Before you take a swing, you touch the top of the handle to a different sensor you wear around you belt. The Game Golf will then keep track of your swings, how far your shot went, the score, and your driving accuracy.

After you get home, upload the data to your computer or smartphone to see the statistics, compare them to past games, and share with your friends. It lets you compete with people around the world, and even compare your stats to the pros.

Game Golf app sensor

 

Game Golf app sensor

Where To Buy: Available through the crowd-funding website Indiegogo.com.

Cost: $189.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com

SEE ALSO: Step Up Your Grilling Game With A Cedar Plank

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