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Here's A Horrifying Video Of Richard Branson Dressed As A Female Flight Attendant

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Last month, Sir Richard Branson dressed in drag for an Air Asia flight from Perth, Australia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Virgin tycoon had lost a bet to Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes over whose Formula One race team would rank higher, and as the loser, wound up working as a flight attendant in a red skirt and false eyelashes on the six-hour flight.

Branson served drinks, demonstrated how to use a life vest, and signed autographs. He probably also terrified passengers onboard the flight, considering how disturbing he looked in full makeup and fishnets.

We finally have some video from this epic flight  thanks to our friends at NowThisNews for sharing.

SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Airlines In The World

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Oscar-Winner Jennifer Lawrence Lives A Surprisingly Frugal Lifestyle

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jennifer lawrence

Fame and fortune often makes us think of the usual celebrity artifice that goes hand in hand with anyone big-name in Hollywood: An endless cash flow, million-dollar bank accounts, extravagance, excess, prime real estate, luxury cars — maybe a little bankruptcy thrown in for good measure.

Not every star and starlet out there lives up (or down, however you look at it) to this stereotype. In fact, many well-known A-listers are actually some of the most financially responsible people … even more than regular people. One star that’s continually pointed to as a perfect example is Jennifer Lawrence. Though the Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook star’s financial wealth is climbing, she’s known for staying frugal.

At just 22 years old, Lawrence has been thrifty and realistic right from the start, making her a good role model for younger people who haven’t yet developed good money habits yet.

Jennifer Lawrence: Oscar Winner and Frugal, Too

“J. Law” was born into a middle-class family in Louisville, KY, in 1990. She’s credited her mother, a camp counselor, and her father, a former construction firm owner, for instilling in her good financial values from the start.

“I was raised to have value for money, to have respect for money, even though you have a lot of it,” she told the U.K. magazine Fabulous last month. “My family is not the kind of family that would ever let me turn into an a**hole or anything like that, so I am fortunate to have them.”

What kinds of frugal banking habits does Lawrence practice? For one, she lives in the same 3-bedroom apartment since she moved to Los Angeles several years ago, and hasn’t rushed out to buy a house yet.

Lawrence has no personal assistants to do her shopping and she won’t be found frequenting any uber-high-scale stores, preferring to clip coupons like the rest of us.

She’s also cautious to use valet parking, but she compensates by driving an economical car. Lawrence still has the same Volkswagen she’s owned for years now — unlike other rich stars, she hasn’t run out to buy a Bentley or Bugatti. Since her Best Actress win for The Silver Linings Playbook, she has been spotted in a new Chevy Volt, but at a $39,000 price tag, it’s 10 times cheaper than what most other celebrities get behind the wheel of.

“I still look for bargains when I go to the market,” she said in another interview. “What I am doing now is allowing someone to park my car but for that I have to pay four bucks.”

Lawrence also said that she can’t envision spending lots of money on frivolous purchases — think $6 for a Snicker bar. Frugality is so ingrained in her lifestyle, she apologetically admitted that a $500 order of Gummy Bears while hanging out with Lenny Kravitz was, in fact, an accidental purchase.

Top of the A-List

Her thrifty lifestyle is impressive for anyone, but it’s made more remarkable for the fact that Jennifer Lawrence’s net worth is in the millions of dollars … soon to be the tens of millions. As of this year, the actress’ total worth is estimated between $2 million to $7 million, according to several sources, and will soon grow with a number of upcoming film roles.

For Jennifer Lawrence, salary growth has happened at a meteoric pace since her film career started blossoming in 2010. She was only paid a scale rate for her role in 2010′s Winter’s Bone. Despite receiving an Oscar nomination for that film, many people criticized Lawrence’s modest $500,000 pay for the first Hunger Games installment last year, considering how the movie grossed more than $691 million.

“Seeing as the movie has surely beaten any and all goals … we expect Lawrence should be receiving her payout,” said Kirsten Acuna of Business Insider upon the film’s release last year.

According to publication Screen Rant and other sources, Lawrence will be getting her due, after her Best Actress win and past X-Men success: For the Hunger Games’ upcoming sequel, Catching Fire, she’ll earn $10 million, placing her on the fast track in a few years to become one of the world’s highest paid actresses.

A Silver-Lined Financial Future

Combined with her smart financial choices, Lawrence is one of Hollywood’s rare figures, commanding high earnings through pure talent — and using them to good measure. The actress isn’t an older star who learned her financial lesson after years of money problems. She’s also not a ticking time bomb like the Lindsey Lohans of the world. She’s someone who can afford the best, but chooses to spend only enough to get by.

Lawrence is part of a new generation of financially literate celebrities (like Zooey Deschanel), smart with the money choices they make in life. Anyone young or old can take several cues from her on striking a good balance between earning and spending — proof that not all million-dollar celebrities are wasteful with their finances.

SEE ALSO: 17 things you should always buy new >

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Rupert Murdoch Bought A $29.5 Million Vineyard In Los Angeles

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rupert murdoch vineyard

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is the new owner of a 16-acre vineyard in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The property, called Moraga Vineyards and Winery, comes with a large residence. We don't know the final sale price, but it had been listed for $29.5 million.

The estate previously belonged to former Northrop Grumman CEO Thomas Jones, who owned it for three decades and started making wine there, according to Curbed. Murdoch first checked out the place after reading about it in The Wall Street Journal, according to the LA Times.

The tycoon tweeted about his purchase Friday, saying, "About to celebrate buying beautiful small vineyard right in LA. Great wine, Moraga, owned by great Angelino, Tom Jones. Time cover,1961!"

Welcome to Moraga Vineyards and Winery in Bel Air.



The 16-acre property comes with a working winery and 5-bedroom residence.



It's located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, in an area with a microclimate that's great for winemaking.



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A Woman Was Kicked Off A Plane For Belting Out Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You'

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An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York's JFK Airport was forced to make an emergency landing in Kansas City after a woman refused to stop singing Whitney Houston's famous ballad "I will always love you."

A video taken by another passenger on the flight shows police escorting the woman off the flight while she continues to sing out loud and off-key.

The man who took the video said that the woman was "screaming and singing" for an hour, according to KMBC.com.

"The woman was being disruptive and was removed from the plane for interfering with the flight crew," airport spokesman Joe McBride told KCTV. "There was a federal air marshal on the aircraft, who subdued the woman and put her in cuffs and removed her from the plane."

KMBC reported that the woman said that she is diabetic and "her behavior was a result of her condition." After she was interviewed, the woman was released without charges, but McBride said that American Airlines refused to fly the woman to her final destination.

Watch the full video below:

SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Airlines In The World >

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Lamborghini Created A Completely Ridiculous Supercar For Its 50th Birthday

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lamborghini egoista team

Over the weekend, the first photos and details for a brand new Lamborghini concept cropped up.

We now have all the official details for the concept, which goes by the name “Egoista” and was developed as a tribute to Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary by a team led by Volkswagen Group design boss Walter De Silva.

The concept’s name, which is Spanish for “selfish,” has been applied because of the single-seat design. But rather than signify a potential for single-seat racing, the design was picked to allow its driver the ability to express their individual personality to the maximum.

“This is a car made for one person only,” De Silva explained at the unveiling of the Egoista at Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary Grande Giro drive, which took place in Italy during the past week.

The Italian designer also used the words “hedonism,” “four-wheeled UFO” and even “Never Never Land” in describing the car.

While the Egoista is a pure design concept, Lamborghini has said in the past that it never builds a concept without the intention of production. But this one is a gift from Lamborghini to itself, so we doubt it will be sold to the highest bidder.

lamborghini egoistaIt does present some interesting technology we may see in the future, however. Namely, lightweight construction, new design language and a 592-horsepower version of the Gallardo’s 5.2-liter V-10 engine. Materials used in the construction include aluminum and carbon fiber.

The upper part of the vehicle also features active flaps integrated in the bodywork that move depending on the driving conditions, providing a balance between drag and downforce. Two rear flaps activate automatically at high speeds to increase stability, while a series of air intakes on the back of the engine hood provides the cooling air flow to the V-10 engine.

New features of the Gallardo successor perhaps?

Inspiration for the concept’s design came from an Apache helicopter, whose ejecting cockpit design was borrowed for the Egoista. The profile, meanwhile, is said to represent a charging bull with its head down and horns pointed forward.

“The cockpit represents a sort of survival cell, allowing the driver to isolate and protect themselves from external elements,” De Silva explained.“We kept an eye on the future when designing the Egoista, with the idea that its cockpit could have been taken from a jet aircraft and integrated into a road vehicle.”

Inside, there is a racing seat with a four-point seatbelt, airbags, and the bare minimum of instruments. The focal point of these is a head-up display, typical of jet fighters. To get out of the vehicle, the driver must remove the steering wheel and rest it on the dashboard, open the canopy, stand up and then sit down on a precise point of the bodywork, then swivel 180 degrees. At this point, he or she can finally set their feet down and stand up.

Hedonism, indeed.

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stephan winkelmann in lamborghini egoista

SEE ALSO: The Ridiculous Supercars Of The Dubai Police Force

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Celebrities Share Photos From Their Mother's Day Celebrations

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Selena Gomez mom pregnant twitter

Countless celebrities Tweeted, Instagrammed, Vined and Facebooked photos from their Mother's Day celebrations on Sunday, while others posted throwback photos of their moms.

Selena Gomez even used the day to announce her mother's pregnancy, making her a big sister at age 20.

Ryan Seacrest flipped frittatas, Cindy Crawford hit the beach, and a few showed off funny faces.

Check out personal photos from the stars.

Britney Spears' sons showed off funny faces.

"I've got the two cutest boys in the world! Hope y'all are having as nice of a as I am!"



Even her dog wished the singer a Happy Mother's Day.

"Awww thanks sweetheart! RT I must confess is the best mommy ever!! Happy Mother's Day!"



Nicole Richie sent well wishes with her signature humor.

"The one day I year I forgive her for this. Happy Mothers Day!"



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The Chef Sleeve Keeps Your iPad Clean In The Kitchen

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This is the Chef Sleeve.

Why We Love It: iPads and iPhones allow us to easily take our recipes, How Tos, and videos into the kitchen. But convenience comes at a price — liquids or powders could always spill onto your device or be transferred from your fingers while you're cooking.

The water-resistant Chef Sleeve protects your electronics in the kitchen. It is resealable, reusable, and disposable, and comes in packs of 25.

The sleeves are also eco-friendly and recyclable, and offer a tailored, touch-sensitive surface for you to view your iPad or iPhone screen flawlessly.

iPad chef sleeve

 

iPad chef sleeve

 

iPad chef sleeve

Where To Buy: Available through the Chef Sleeve website and Amazon.

Cost: $20 for a pack of 25.

SEE ALSO: Make A 'Pizza Cone' With This Nifty Baking Set

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IKEA Infographic Shows Just How Disorganized American Homes Are

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closet, organizer, housecleaning, clutterSpring is all about starting anew, breathing fresh life into the old, and mixing up the routine.

So, now that we're more than half way through the season, you've thoroughly cleaned out your homewardrobe, and/orbody, right?

Wait, what? You haven't gotten to it yet? You're not alone, friend.

In honor of National Home Improvement Month and National Moving Month (yes, these exist), IKEA has released an infographic, based on a national survey, of "the state of storage and organization in U.S. homes."

And among the pretty obvious findings (the majority of Americans want more storage space), there are a few very surprising tidbits. Ahead, the most interesting and telling stats of the bunch. 

More clutter equals precious time wasted. While almost half of Americans consider themselves disorganized, we, the average Joe or Joan, spend almost an hour a day looking for something. 

What happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom. Slightly more Americans use their bedroom (27%) as a storage hot spot than their basements (25%), attics (24%), or hallways (14%).

The money pit. There's an estimated $15 billion in unused tech gadgets in junk drawers worldwide, according to IKEA. That's $2,200 per drawer or attic!

Consign us up! The average woman has 27 pairs of shoes; the average man has 12. And, men and women both have on average 88 articles of clothing each. Of these wardrobes, 25% is typically unworn.

The American dream. When looking for new homes, a whopping 93% of Americans want a laundry room, 90% want linen closets in their bathrooms, and 85% want a walk-in pantry.

Basically, you haven't made it until you have your own laundry room and linen closet.

IKEA_Storage_Infographic_zps6b528b11

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Where To Eat, Sleep, and Play During The Cannes Film Festival

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Cannes

It's festival time in Cannes, so whip out your shades—and your platinum card—and head to La Croisette to bask in the rays of the Riviera sun and the Hollywood glitterati, who descend from the firmament for the annual Cannes International Film Festival (May 15-26).

For those who won't be attending the pro's-only fest, there's still plenty to do around town, along with lots of opportunities for stargazing—after all, that is what Cannes is all about.

Ritzy Retreats

For maximum celebrity exposure, head to the luxurious Hotel Martinez, Cannes' designated hotel-to-the-stars. A high-society playground since the roaring twenties, the Art Deco hotel's sumptuous décor, palm-enclosed pool, and private beach provide a picture-perfect backdrop for Hollywood's A-list. Mere mortals can't go wrong at the sleekly modern Five Seas Hotel. Just off the Croisette, and convenient to everything, the hotel's ravishing interiors, spacious rooms, and superb infinity pool assure a stylish crowd. If money is an object, Hotel Cezanne offers 28 ample rooms, and a spa, all done up in 50s-style glamour at a price that's reasonable by Cannes standards.

Ritz Carlton CannesEat, Party, Shop

If you can't snag a reservation to the Hôtel Martinez's Palm d'Or restaurant—considered the best in town—never mind, elegant dining is in no short supply. With two Michelin stars in his toque, chef Bruno Oger's Villa Archange proffers lavish French haute cuisine. Just next door, Oger's Bistrot des Anges sports a light-filled dining room, terrace, and a reasonable 29€ fixed-price menu. For more prosaic fare, the ultra-popular Le Pastis café offers an updated French brasserie menu, fast and friendly service, and a prime location just off the Croisette. With no phone and no email address, the ever-crowded Aux Bons Enfants (80 rue Meynardier) can rest on its laurels and an excellent Provençal menu served to a mostly local crowd (note: cash only). The bustling Forville market, just around the corner, is your best bet for picking up a fresh baguette and a cornucopia of regional delicacies for a do-it-yourself picnic on the beach.

Cannes' club scene runs the gamut from disco beats to plush cocktail lounges and everything in between. Pass muster with Le Baoli's burly doormen to gain access to the inner sanctum of the hottest spot in town, where the international jet set swills champagne while lounging among cabanas and palm trees. The theatrical Da Da Da Club's cabaret-meets-disco scene and trendy lounge draw a fashion-conscious crowd. If dropping a cool €20 per cocktail leaves you undaunted, it doesn't get more glamorous than L'Amiral piano bar at the Hotel Martinez.

This year, Cannes' open-air Cinema de la Plage joins in the Cannes Classics celebration, with screenings of lavishly restored roster of iconic films, including 50 Years of James Bond, with the best of 007 alongside classics like Jaws. Movie buffs can revel in the greats from lounge chairs on the beach in one of Cannes more democratic moments.

Shoppers need look no further than the rue d'Antibes for top designer boutiques, smaller French fashion chains, and one-off shops. Nearby rues Meynadier and Hoche pick up where d'Antibes leaves off. For the kind of local products that are easy to pack and please just about anyone—olive oil, soap, tapenade—the Marché Forvil in Le Suquet old town is your best bet (Tues-Sun) and the antiques market, on the same spot, happens every Monday.

Get Out of Town (Antibes, Grasse, and Beyond)

First and Foremost: Just 15 miles from Cannes, in a picturesque setting among tall trees and lush gardens, the Maeght Foundation, one of Europe's leading modern arts centers, presents works made specifically for the foundation—including the Miró labyrinth, Giacometti's courtyard, stained glass by Braque, and murals by Chagall

A glittering jewel in the Rivera's crown, Antibes' maze-like streets and inspiring natural setting are well worth the short 7-mile detour. Gateway to the Cap d'Antibes, the resort town was a favorite haunt for artists like Picasso and Matisse. Stroll through the botanic gardens or visit the superb Musée Picasso, testament to the artist's devotion to his one-time home.

Make like a millionaire and check into the sublime Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, contender for most splendid hotel in France, and a celebrity paradise. Baz Luhrman's Cannes opener, Gatsby, might have been filmed on the sublimely manicured 22-acre estate, where F. Scott Fitzgerald set "Tender is the Night" in the hotel's heyday as a watering hole for international elites. Spectacularly renovated in cool, subtle hues, the palatial estate shimmers like a mirage and boasts a guest list that reads like a Who's Who of the 20th and 21st centuries.

One of the more modern inland hill towns, Grasse is home to acres of lavender, jasmine, rose, and sweet orange that fuel the world's perfume industry. Legendary houses Guerlin, Chanel, and Dior, to name a few, all have their laboratories here, and the soaring Musee Internationale de la Parfumerie gives a fascinating glimpse into the 3,000-year-old art.

Halfway between Antibes and Grasse, the Le Mas Candille rests splendidly among ten acres of cypress and olive groves. Expanded from an 18th-century farmhouse, the Provençal-style hotel is a far cry from the relentless bustle of Cannes. Breathtaking views over the Mougins valley are restorative, as is the Shiseido spa, where the famous Qi treatments are said to erase tension—and wrinkles.

SEE ALSO: 15 Hotels For The Trip Of A Lifetime >

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The World Trade Center Is Having A Tough Time Finding Tenants

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One World Trade Center

The three buildings at the World Trade Center site have massive vacancies, and with over 5 million square feet of space in the complex on or due to hit the market, landlords are racing to secure tenants at the $14 billion development, Crain’s reported.

No office lease has been signed at the site since publishing giant Condé Nast took 1.2 million square feet at 1 World Trade Center two years ago. At the time, the deal was hailed as a sign of the area’s hot office prospects, but the site has since been unable to compete.

Time Warner, the biggest tenant currently shopping for Manhattan space, has set its sights on Hudson Yards, and has already spoken with several developers to ink a potentially 1.3 million-square-foot deal.

And Jones Day, which many real estate players believed would become the anchor tenant at the stillborn 3 World Trade Center, is instead close to a 400,000-square-foot-deal at nearby Brookfield Place.

“It’s definitely disappointing,” Christopher Ward, former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the World Trade Center site, told Crain’s. “Jones Day should have been the deal that 3 World Trade Center landed.”

The situation has led to a duel between developers to lock in tenants.

“There’s only one 1 World Trade Center,” Douglas Durst, chief executive of the Durst Organization, which co-owns the 3.5 million-square-foot tower with the Port Authority, told the Journal. “Those who want to be in the best building will come here.”

But Silverstein Properties, which is behind the 75-story, 2.5 million-square-foot 4 WTC, is confident that the building would be a better bet. “We have a building that’s going to feel like a tower on Park Avenue,” Janno Lieber, president of Silverstein’s World Trade Center Properties, told Crain’s. [Crain’s]

More from The Real Deal:

1. Steve Witkoff revealed as “friend” of indicted Russian mobster 
2. Manhattan renters: get ready for a cutthroat summer
3. “Million Dollar Listing New York” season debut: The real story

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This Flying Car Concept Takes Off And Lands Like A Helicopter

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terrafugia flying car tf-x

Flying cars have long been a staple of futuristic fantasies, but the mainstream auto industry has made a lot more progress toward vehicles that drive themselves than those that can take to the skies.

Fortunately for those who don't want to be confined to the road, one American company has made impressive progress toward that dream.

Terrafugia, based in Boston, has already started taking orders for its FAA-approved Transition "flying car," which takes off and lands like a plane, with wings that fold up for trips on land.

Now Terrafugia has introduced a new vehicle with significant improvements. The TF-X model takes off and lands vertically (like a helicopter) so it doesn't need a runway.

The plug-in hybrid vehicle exists only in renderings for now, but given how far Terrafugia has taken its first model, it's not crazy to expect to see this on our roads someday.

This is the Terrafugia Transition, the "street-legal airplane." It needs a runway to take off and land.



For driving, its wings fold up.



The TF-X uses two 600 horsepower electric propellers to take off and land vertically, so it does not need a long runway.



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Cash-Strapped Portugal Sells Its Swanky Spread At The Dakota For $11.5 Million

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dakota

Mired in an economic crisis, Portugal is selling off its assets, including an eight-room co-op at the Dakota at 1 West 72nd Street that the country has owned for 40-plus years, according to the New York Post.

John Burger and Guida De Carvalhosa had the listing, while Jason Haber, the founder of Rubicon Property, represented the buyer.

The asking price was $12.95 million, though it was purchased for $250,000 in 1971, the Post said.

The Upper West Side apartment, used for formal parties hosted by ambassadors, features three fireplaces and a 12-foot ceiling on the Dakota’s seventh floor.

In March, a three-bedroom unit at the Dakota went into contract, after several price slashes, for $11 million, a far cry from its listing price of $19.5 million. [NYP] 

More from The Real Deal:

1. Steve Witkoff revealed as “friend” of indicted Russian mobster 
2. Manhattan renters: get ready for a cutthroat summer
3. “Million Dollar Listing New York” season debut: The real story

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13 Bizarre McDonald's Locations Around The World

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McDonalds taupo new zealand

McDonald's is the world's largest restaurant brand.

And it doesn't hesitate to throw up its chains everywhere — whether its in the middle of a desert or inside a decommissioned plane.

Here are 13 of the fast food chain's most bizarre locations. Some are quaint, and some are just crazy.

Near the Palace of Versailles in France

Maybe what Marie Antoinette meant was, "Let them eat cake... and a Big Mac, too." 

This location is situated right next to the train station that brings in visitors from Paris. The restaurant looks pretty plain. But it's a convenient place for tourists to get a snack even a peasant could afford before touring a destination that was once home to some of the most lavish royalty in the world. 



Close to the Guantanamo Bay Prison

This one may win the award for the bleakest McDonald's location. And if Obama's newest push to close the high-security prison is successful, it might not last much longer.

The restaurant is one of the few dining options near Guantanamo. And there have been reports that detainees are rewarded with Happy Meals if they cooperate during interrogation sessions.



Next to ancient sites in China

McDonald's invasion of China is nothing new. But the international chain has started targeting some of the countries more exotic locations, and it has chains springing up everywhere from scenic Chinese pagodas to historical temples.

The location pictured here is in the mountains near Yangshuo, China, one of the country's most beautiful outdoor locations and a tourist haven.



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The New Daft Punk Album Is Going To Change Your Life

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Daft Punk billboard in NYC

Maybe you haven't been paying attention to the longest, most epic album roll-out in music history, and maybe you have — either way, Daft Punk's long awaited new album "Random Access Memories" is almost upon us.

It's out next week officially, but you can stream it on iTunes now.

For weeks mysterious leaks (both legitimate and illegitimate) have teased fans around the world. To ease some of the suffering, the faithful have been playing the single, 'Get Lucky' on repeat and watching video interviews with the album's illustrious producers in a video series called 'Daft Punk: the Collaborators.'

Slowly, posters announcing the coming of 'The Robots' (as the French duo are often called) started appearing in cities around the world.

That's all well and good for the dance heads and beat detectives that have been waiting for this for years — It's even better for everyone else. Daft Punk is about to change all our lives, or at least our weekends.

Think about it: Now that the album is out, it's going to be everywhere. It will be in bars that play Rhianna and at sporting events to get the crowd clapping.

You'll hear it right after a Taylor Swift track while you're waiting in line at the drug store, it will be recommended to you on iTunes and Spotify.

Everyone will be talking about it and debating its merits. To compare it to Daft Punk's older work, the old hits will start playing too. It's inevitable.

This is going to be a global discussion. No one will be safe from The Robots.

And that's probably a good thing. The concept behind 'Random Access Memories' is to get away from the electronic dance music production that has gotten so ubiquitous. Yes, Daft Punk is an electro duo, and the album will keep their sound, but for this installment, the Robots were looking for live instruments and classic production.

To do that, they stacked the album with some of the most brilliant minds in popular music today. Producers include Pharrell, Giorgio Moroder, and the great Nile Rogers.

If you're not familiar with Moroder, you should know that he is the mind behind some of disco queen Donna Summer's greatest hits like 'I Feel Love' and 'Love to Love You Baby.'

As for Nile Rogers, his work is IMPOSSIBLE not to recognize. He's one of the most powerful, hidden forces in pop music. His sound is all around you. He's the founder of Chic, Sister Sledge and a number of other inescapable disco acts.

Rogers is also responsible for a number of classic albums, including Madonna's 'Like A Virgin' album and David Bowie's 'Let's Dance,' to name just a few.

In other words, Daft Punk brought in the big guns.

So whether you're a fan of dance music or not, prepare for an onslaught of Daft Punk. The Robots are coming, and they are welcome.

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We Checked Out The Daytime Pool Party At Bagatelle Beach In Las Vegas

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bagatelle beach

With nightclubs and day clubs, Las Vegas is a 24-7 party. Day clubs (some with pools, some without) make it easy for you to get your daytime debauchery on.

You’re in Vegas, after all. Why wait ‘til the sun goes down to start drinking and dancing?

Recently, we were invited to visit one of the newer additions to the day and pool club scene, Bagatelle Beach at Tropicana, for some al fresco fun.

Our party had a great time, but not without a few downsides. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros

Easy Access: Bagatelle Beach has its own entrances, both on the Tropicana Avenue-facing side of the building and just off the east end of the parking lot. No maze-like, five-mile hike here.

Open Layout: The high ceilings inside the adjacent supper club and stadium-style set up of its booths (which overlook the pools) make for nice, open walkways with plenty of wiggle room. We appreciate all the elbow room, especially during Vegas’ triple-digit summers.

Volleyball Courts: You don’t see volleyball courts very often on The Strip and Bagatelle has two. Though we didn’t play, we loved watching hunky guys and bikini babes get in some action on the sand.

Tasty Cocktails: We can’t remember every drink we had (we consider that a success!) but we do remember them being tasty and refreshing! Fruity fufu cocktail fans will love the El Diablo!

Small Pools: Our party members referred to the pools at Bagatelle as a couple of watering holes because, well, they aren’t exactly made for a large capacity of people. But, we like it that way. Have you seen what huge dayclub pools look like after a few hours of hundreds of people wading in the water? It’s a sea of sunscreen, spilt drinks and lord knows what else.

Cons

Food: Our party ordered a shrimp cocktail, chicken quesadilla and the Bagatelle Burger. The shrimp cocktail was a little heavy on the seasoning, but yummy, anyway. We liked our chicken quesadilla best as it was loaded with chicken, cheese and all the fixings. The biggest disappointment was the Bagatelle Burger. We think we’ve had better at Burger King. For being named after the place -- and costing $18 -- we were unpleasantly surprised to bite into a stale bun and a flavorless beef patty.

Slow Service: First, let us say that our servers were very accommodating. When the sun started shining too bright over our table, they gladly found us another booth in the shade. To avoid this problem all together, book a cabana or request a table on the mezzanine level overlooking the entire beach club. The problem we experienced? The table touches were few and far between. And, the wait for our order? More than 30 minutes. Sigh.

While Bagatelle Beach isn’t the ideal place to dine or swim, it is a great spot to lay out in the sun, day drink, and play volleyball while a DJ blasts a bumpin’ party track.

Bagatelle Beach is open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $30 for men, $20 for ladies. Locals get in free with Nevada ID. For more info or to book a cabana, call 702.701.0200.

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Here Are Some Of The Biggest Brands That Make Clothes In Bangladesh

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Bangladesh garment factory fireAs the death toll in the Bangladesh factory collapse climbs past 1,000, major retailers that do business in the country are facing calls for accountability.

Deadly factory accidents are relatively common in Bangladesh, where government safety standards are rarely enforced.

Foreign companies met earlier this month to discuss improving worker safety, despite having refused to fund safety improvements for factories just months ago.

Bangladesh has said it will discuss raising the minimum wage from $38-a-month, currently the world's lowest.

The garment industry in Bangladesh accounts for about $20 billion in exports. Of those exports, about 59 percent go to the European Union, 26 percent go to the U.S. and 5 percent go to Canada.

Below is a list of some of the biggest brands that produce merchandise in Bangladesh:

H&M: Bjorn Claeson, senior policy advisor for the International Labor Rights Forum, told Business Insider that H&M is one of Bangladesh's biggest buyers. A section of H&M's website is dedicated to explaining the company's commitment to improving working conditions in Bangladesh, and the company has also posted its code of conduct for suppliers. But Claeson says retailers need to go beyond that. 

He said: "[Brands] have codes of conduct for suppliers they audit, which includes basic safety standards. The problem is that brands are not willing to make anything else but voluntary, non-binding commitments to worker rights and health and safety standards. … They are under no obligation to fix the problems, to make the factories safe or to tell workers of the dangers they face."

Just this week, H&M agreed to a factory safety accord that is legally binding and requires a financial commitment from retailers to improve safety in Bangladesh factories.

Walmart: Claeson names the retail giant as another major buyer in Bangladesh. Walmart has issuedstatements about fire safety in Bangladesh and instituted a "zero tolerance policy for unauthorized subcontracting" to dangerous factories. But the company refused to compensate victims of last year's Tazreen factory fire that killed 112 people. Walmart was among the retailers that met with unions and NGOs last month to discuss improving worker safety.

J.C. Penney: Representatives from the struggling department store were also at the worker safety meeting last month. Joe Fresh clothing that was slated for sale in J.C. Penney stores was found amongst the rubble of the collapsed factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The company that owns Joe Fresh has said it will pay reparations to family members of victims.

Benetton: Some clothing from Benetton was also found in the collapsed Dhaka factory. The company initially denied that the factory was producing clothes for the retailer at the time of the collapse, but recently admitted that one of its direct suppliers had subcontracted orders to New Wave Style, which operated factories in the Dhaka building. Benetton's CEO told The Huffington Post that the company will continue to use factories in Bangladesh.

Gap:ABC News says Gap is "one of the largest American retailers producing clothing in Bangladesh." Claeson also cited the brand as a major player in the country's garment industry. The company will be the target of union protests this weekend in the U.S. Gap recently launched a safety program that provides financial assistance for factories, but the company declined to sign a workers' safety agreement that would have been more binding.

Zara: The parent company of the popular fast-fashion brand also has suppliers in Bangladesh. Inditex, which Bloomberg calls the world's largest clothing retailer, cut ties with two subcontractors in the country after a factory fire that killed seven people in January. The company joined the Bangladesh factory safety accord at the same time as H&M.

SEE ALSO: Fast Fashion Trends Are Helping To Drive Dangerous Conditions At Factories

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A Beginner's Guide To Salt Block Cooking

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salt blckThis post originally appeared at The Pursuitist.

Preparing food with salt blocks, massive rosy-hued slabs of Himalayan salt, is a culinary trend that has been millennia in the making but is completely au courant.

Salt blocks, the large pinkish blocks mined in Pakistan, can be used to cook, cure, freeze, brown, and of course, present food.

Mark Bitterman, author of the book Salted, is one of the leading authorities on cooking with Himalayan salt blocks.

He sells them through his shop, The Meadow. His latest book, Salt Block Cooking is designed to inspire any culinary adventurer to start experimenting.

There’s a lot to love about cooking with salt blocks. Because the blocks have very little porosity or residual moisture they can be heated and cooled to extreme temperatures. Blocks come in a variety of colors, sizes, and grades for different uses. The salt imparts flavor to the food rested on it in a way that is utterly unlike any other food prep technique. In the book, Bitterman breaks down the ways the blocks and be used.

Cooking–For cooking, blocks need to be at least an inch thick and preferably two inches. Once you cook with a block it loses its softly lustrous color forever. Cooking with blocks requires industrial-strength oven mitts, a ceramic trivet, and some precautionary measures. Blocks with flaws can crack or pop.

Heating blocks in incremental stages can minimize potential problems but gas ovens can be risky, ranges and grills tend to work best. Meat and fish cooked on a salt block has a unique flavor and retains its moistness. A pink salt block makes a dramatic sight on an outdoor grill. Blocks can also be used for things you would normally bake, you can even use them to make cookies as Bitterman shows with arecipe that is a new take on the classic chocolate chip cookie.

Serving–Serving on a salt platter is a gentle form of alchemy. Certain foods take on more of the block’s flavor. Place watermelon on a block and you have a limited time before the intriguing mixture of salt and sweet begins to shift. On the other hand, butter’s fat content means it can sit on the block longer without absorbing too much flavor.

Curing–One of the most amazing uses of salt blocks is for curing. The combination of the weight of the block and the salt speeds up the process. It works on anything from salmon to vegetable pickles or even strawberries. Bitterman includes a recipe for a beautiful cured watermelon, wrapped prosciutto-style around honeydew melon.

Warm Serving–Blocks can also be used warmed to serve food. The blocks retain heat well. Salt bowls are also available and create a very unique presentation for dips or fondue.

Chilled Blocks–Making ice cream with chilled salt blocks is a little more complicated than just throwing ingredients in an ice cream maker but the resulting confections hit the perfect spot between salty and sweet.

Drinking from Salt Cups–do you love a shot of tequila with a lick of salt? Bitterman’s shop sells salt cups that can be used to serve all sorts of cocktails. You will need to drink them quickly and some recipes call for pre-chilling the glasses. The result is stunt drinking at its best.

To order the book and browse Bitterman’s wide selection of salt blocks for sale visit AtTheMeadow.com.

This post originally appeared at The Pursuitist.

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The 20 Most Expensive Hotels In New York City

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St. Regis NYC

New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It's costly to live here and to visit. Hotel rooms are astronomically expensive, with an average room rate of $277 in 2011. 

NewYorkHotels.org compiled a list of the most expensive luxury hotels in New York City

They looked at about 150 4- and 5-star luxury hotels in New York City, and calculated the average room rate for the most affordable double room in each hotel from May 2012 to April 2013.

Guests paid an average of $765 per night at the Four Seasons (the third-most expensive hotel) and $814 per night at the Mandarin Oriental (the second-most expensive hotel), but neither of those wase the most expensive hotel in the city.

The hotels that made this list are all equipped with luxury amenities, stellar service and fine dining options, but are they worth the cost?

20. The Pearl (233 West 49th Street ): $479



19. The Mark (Madison Ave at 77th Street): $563



18. The Towers at The New York Palace (455 Madison Avenue): $574



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Depressing Lives Of China's Porn Inspectors

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Pornography Inspector

Despite China's ongoing sexual revolution, pornography is still illegal. Under Chinese law, anyone found to be producing and distributing obscene material can get three years in jail.

The country requires many pornography censors to find and censor content considered obscene, and it's not always easy work.

70-year-old Liu Xiaozhen is one such censor, employed at Hunan province's "eliminate pornography and illegal publications" office. The office had to watch and classify 700 DVDs confiscated in April alone.

Over the weekend Liu granted a rare interview to ND News, describing the stresses and perils of his job.

The interview is in Chinese, but well worth watching even if you don't understand:

"You have to watch even if you don't want to watch," Liu says, according to the South China Morning Post. "But when you're in this job, you have to watch very closely, and once you've watched, you classify."

Recalling his first day, Liu said that it was "awkward, my face and ears turned red and my heart skipped a beat."

The requirements for the job don't seem high, the SCMP notes — candidates must be married and undergo training.

Recently, a job posting seeking a "chief pornography identifier" for internet company Anquan.org went viral, eventually reposted at least 125,000 times on the microblogging site Weibo. The position was said to pay 200,000 yuan ($32,280) a year.

While some observers dismissed the job posting as a publicity stunt, online companies do have their own censorship programs in place — one study found that pornography was "almost universally" censored on Weibo.

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The Ex-Premier Of Bermuda Thinks I'm A Racist Because I Criticized His Ad Spending

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Ewart Brown

Ewart Brown, the former premier of Bermuda, emailed me recently to accuse me of being a racist simply because I questioned the way the Caribbean archipelago nation paid the ad agency handling its tourism account.

If this sounds weird, that's because it is.

"I do not know you, but my experience has taught me that people who write like you do are usually committed to a Racist agenda," Brown told me in an unprompted email. "I pray that you will stop practising Racism." (I've reproduced our email correspondence at length, below.)

The context is this: A few years ago, when I worked for CBSNews.com, I wrote a series of stories questioning the way that Bermuda awarded and paid for its tourism advertising, handled at the time by Globalhue in Detroit. Bermuda's auditor general found the government was overbilled by $1.8 million.

My stories caught the attention of the Bermuda press (even though they were developed largely from the local press), and the scandal surrounding the tourism ad contract repeatedly came back to haunt Brown until he retired in October 2010. 

At least one civil servant was forced out of his job after he questioned the expenditures. At one point, a dissident group within Brown's own party moved against him, in part due to the tourism ad fiasco, and he suppressed it by requiring his cabinet to sign loyalty oaths.

Since then, I have not given the issue much thought.

Brown, apparently, has been dwelling on it.

The background is that Bermuda's $6 billion GDP economy is almost entirely dependent on tourism, largely from the U.S. Its tourism ad budget is one of the island's most closely watched government expenditures.

Thus, when Brown was Bermuda's premier (2006 - 2010), he also took the cabinet position of tourism minister. During that period, Bermuda spent $41 million on tourism advertising.

Don ColemanOn Brown's watch, the government signed Globalhue to handle the account from 2006-2011. Brown and Globalhue CEO Don Coleman are longtime friends. Coleman has given Brown a ride on his private jet. The contract was renewed without a competitive bid in 2009, I noted at the time.

During that period, the number of tourists arriving in Bermuda declined 35%, according to the Royal Gazette, the island's newspaper. A lot of that was due to the recession, of course. But it was also due to Globalhue's counterintuitive media strategy, which involved spending $200,000 for ads on a gospel music TV channel that few watch, but only $45,000 in bridal magazines (where the honeymoon market is).

Throughout the period, Brown denounced his critics as racists. Brown is black, Globalhue CEO Coleman is black, and a majority of the island's voters are black. Brown's position seemed to be that anyone asking questions about whether the country's money was being spent appropriately was motivated by racial animosity.

I'm not a racist, hopefully. I was gratified when in 2012 Bermuda's Public Accounts Committee reviewed the Globalhue billing and confirmed that the agency's handling of invoices was inappropriate. The spending was looked at twice, by two successive Bermuda auditors general. Both concluded spending on the account was questionable. The first auditor happened to be white, the second black.

The last time I wrote anything substantive about Bermuda's tourism advertising was in 2011. Since then, Globalhue has moved on. It's best known today as Jeep's lead agency.

And then, this month, out of nowhere, Brown emailed me and we began this discussion:

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From: Ewart Brown
May 2
To: Jim Edwards

Re: GlobalHue

Hello Sir,

How are things?

I trust that you saw GolbalHue's [sic] Superbowl [sic] Jeep ad and loved it.

Since your inaccurate  writings on GlobalHue, there are two facts that you should know.

1. There have been at least three investigations of the allegations about GlobalHue while the agency was doing a terrific job for Bermuda. Not one person has been charged with ANYTHING.

2. Bermuda Tourism arrivals have never been as high in this decade as they were in 2007, the second year of GH's contract.

I do not know you, but my experience has taught me that people who write like you do are usually committed to a Racist agenda.

I pray that you will stop practising Racism.

Also, if you ever wish to debate these issues in Bermuda, I will cover your expenses to do so.

Dr. The Hon. Ewart F. Brown

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From: Jim Edwards
May 3
To: Ewart Brown,

Hello,

Thanks for the note.

Globalhue's contract ran from 2006 through 2011. At the end of Globalhue's tenure, arrivals were down 35%:
http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20110311/NEWS04/703119985

The most recent information I'm aware of about Globalhue is this: The Public Accounts Committee found that Globalhue's CEO wrote an email to you in an attempt to destroy the career of a tourism official who did not want to pay the agency without receiving proper invoices:
http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20120723/NEWS01/707239935

Of course, Globalhue was replaced by a new agency in 2011:
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/bermuda-tourism-selects-fuseideas-aor-139229

Surely, at this late stage, you're willing to look back and honestly admit this was a huge failure?

Jim Edwards / Business Insider

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From: Ewart Brown
May 3
To: Jim Edwards

Hello,

No, I am not willing to call the GlobalHue engagement with Bermuda a failure.

After the 2007 record numbers, the arrivals, especially from the US, began to decrease and we concluded that until the US economy improved there would be no significant recovery in the Bermuda numbers. That has proven to be the case.

Bermuda's challenge is product, not agency.

1. As long as you rely on the Royal Gazette as your source of facts, you will be inaccurate. Do you not know that the RG is in fact an organ of the anti-PLP sector? Please find a credible, non-racist source.

2. The email to which you refer was one in which GlobalHue wrote to me with an opinion that an individual in our NY office was incompetent and obstructionist. That was many months before the employee reported that GH's assessment of him was connected to invoices! He WAS incompetent and is no longer able to find a job in the hospitality industry.

You never said if you liked GH's Super Bowl ad.

Btw, do you think that a non-white agency can win a contract without crooked dealings?

Also, I noticed that you eventually corrected the lie about Don Coleman and I being longtime friends who went to Howard University.

Have you ever figured out why that mistaken report sounded so plausible to you?

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From: Jim Edwards
May 3
To: Ewart Brown

The Royal Gazette reported you and Coleman are friends:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-42743603/bermuda-politician-censored-for-criticizing-globalhue-the-islands-tourism-ad-agency/

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From: Ewart Brown
May 5
To: me

Sir: The RG is not a reliable source, especially when it comes to reporting on Black people.
Fyi, I was introduced to Don Coleman around 2005. He BECAME my friend after he did excellent work for Bermuda on the PR for the launch of the Miami-Bda flight.

Anyone who worked well on behalf of Bermuda became my friend....including some White people who didn't attend Howard either !

The implication was that GlobalHue won the contract because of our friendship. That is untrue but it is consistent with Racist thinking which says that Black folks always make forward progress via devious means while White people win contracts thru their intelligence and hard work. Remember when Blacks weren't smart enough to be quarterbacks in the NFL?

The link that you sent merely shows that a Bermudian politician was censored because he made unfounded allegations about GlobalHue. He was censored by the House, not by me.

You should also know that the Auditor General is not considered a "neutral" player in Bermuda. She has made numerous allegations and has raised frequent questions about "possible criminal conduct" but NOTHING ever came of her scaremongering.
In fact, even the new Government has not seen fit to follow-up on her wild allegations.

I challenge you to come to Bermuda and SEE ALL the documents pertaining to your conclusions. Then, I will sit down and look straight into your eyes and determine for myself why you appear to be so anti-GlobalHue.
 
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From: Jim Edwards
May 6
To: Ewart Brown

The black female auditor general (Heather Jacobs Matthews) AGREED with the white male auditor general (Larry Dennis) she replaced that GH's billing was highly dubious. She even recommended in 2012 that contracting regulations in Bermuda be tightened to prevent the situation happening again.

Is she also a racist?

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From: Ewart Brown
May 7
To: me

No sir, by definition, she cannot be a racist.

She can, however, cooperate with racists or obey the commands of racists. ( See Django Unchained...the Samuel Jackson character).

What GlobalHue did with the billing was simply a creative way to get us more bang for our relatively small budget.

Surely, you must believe that if there one iota of criminal conduct, charges would have been filed against GlobalHue and possibly me. There are many people who believe as you do and they pray every day for people like me (counter-racists) to be put UNDER the jail.

I support the tightening of all government regulations that lead to greater efficiency but I reject "tightening" of regulations because Black people learned how to do things that Whites did for years under the same regulations.

My teacher once told me to remember that Whites embezzle and Blacks steal!

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From: Jim Edwards
May 8
To: Ewart Brown

Please explain to me why criticizing a contract awarded without a bid is racist. Two Bermuda government auditors both separately had the same criticisms of the way the Globalhue contract was handled. I don't understand why pointing this out makes someone a racist.

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From: Ewart Brown
May 8
To: Jim Edwards

I haven't called you a racist...and I won't until I have observed further. I did say that you were supporting the positions of Racists.

The initial GlobalHue contract was won through a tendering process. Their contract was renewed by a Govt. Committee, based on their performance. Actually, the Tourism contract has been renewed many times (J. Walter Thompson) in the past without any review. But then the contractors were "normal" people!

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