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We Tried NYC's New Umami Burger, And It's Definitely Worth The Hype

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umami burger

In the most highly anticipated New York foodie news since the cronut's debut, beloved West Coast gourmet burger chain Umami Burger has finally opened its first New York outpost in Greenwich Village.

Since its doors opened Monday, the lines have been down the block, with wait times up to three and a half hours.

What makes the burgers so special?

"Umami" means "fifth sense," that indescribable taste that adds to every flavor.

The menu has something for everyone, from sweet and savory toppings to vegetarian options for non-meat eaters.

A fan of Umami Burger from my days living in Los Angeles, I knew I had to try the New York location the moment it opened. Here's how it stacked up against the original. 

I attempted to try Umami Burger on Monday, the first day it opened — but the wait ranged between 2 and 3.5 hours.



They don't take reservations and there were pages of names ahead of me, so I decided to try my luck at lunch the next day.



What do you know? The line was still down the block.



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Amazing Vintage Photos From The Glory Days Of Ford

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Ford Pie Delivery

When Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 — 150 years ago today — travel was largely confined to trains and horses.

Ford revolutionized the auto industry in 1913, when he opened the first moving automobile assembly line to build the Model T. He also doubled wages to $5 per day, setting a new standard for the time.

Today, the company is in the midst of a product renaissance. The cars look and drive great, and the automaker is coming back from years of lackluster product  it smashed earnings expectations in its most recent quarter, and is finding success with hybrid models.

But what were the early days like for the company?

Ford was founded in 1903 and the groundbreaking Model T was released in 1908. In the 1910s, Ford cars dominated the roads. Thanks to Henry Ford's stroke of genius, the assembly line, the Model T became the least expensive way to ditch that horse.

Travis Okulski contributed to this article.

This is what the Ford Motor Company looked like in the 1910s.



Workers in the plant still come in shifts. This is the four o'clock shift heading in.



The developing auto industry led to a need for people to sell the cars. Here are Ford's dealers gathered in Michigan in the early 1900s.



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Tiny Liberal Arts College In Kentucky Lands $250 Million Donation, One Of The Largest Ever

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centre college kentucky arts centerTiny Centre College in Kentucky lands $250M donation, among biggest higher ed gifts ever

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A tiny liberal arts school in rural Kentucky that hosted vice presidential debates in 2000 and 2012 announced a $250 million donation Tuesday, one of the largest single gifts in higher education history.

The all-stock donation to Centre College from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust ranks among the 20 biggest gifts ever to a U.S. college or university, according to a list maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is the second-largest such gift to a U.S. school since 2011, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, surpassed only by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $350 million donation to Johns Hopkins University announced earlier this year.

Centre will use the money to set up scholarships for students majoring in science, economics and computer science. Centre College President John A. Roush said the gift, which comes in the form of stock in Universal Computer Systems Holding Inc., represents a "fundamental transformation" in the school's ability to support students demonstrating leadership potential.

"The gift marks a fundamental transformation in center college's ability to support students whose hard work, character and intellect have demonstrated their potential for leadership," Roush said Tuesday. "The challenges and opportunities confronting our nation and world are increasingly complex, and the Brockman Scholars Program will empower talented young women and men with the knowledge, creativity and integrity necessary to address them."

Starting in fall 2014, 40 new Brockman Scholarships will be funded each year for students majoring in the natural and computational sciences and economics, with a total of 160 students receiving the full-ride scholarships plus more benefits by 2017, the school said. The merit-based scholarships will cover tuition, room and board, and fees — which will cost $45,100 for the coming school year — as well as money to support study abroad, summer research and internships.

Brockman formed the charitable trust in 1981. His son, Robert T. "Bob" Brockman, attended Centre for a time before getting his degree elsewhere and is a former chairman of the school's board of trustees.

Bob Brockman is also president and CEO of The Reynolds and Reynolds Co., an auto dealer services firm that merged with Universal Computer Systems in 2006.

The elder Brockman "saw firsthand the tremendous impact that Centre had on his son ... whose own drive and ambition were empowered by his experience as a Centre student," said Evatt Tamine, trustee of the Brockman Trust.

The leafy campus in Danville, a picturesque central Kentucky town of about 16,000, has found itself on the nation's political center stage twice, when it hosted vice presidential debates in 2000 pitting Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman and again in 2012 when Joe Biden and Paul Ryan squared off.

Centre expects enrollment of about 1,370 students for the fall semester. The school ranked 52nd nationally among liberal arts colleges in last year's ratings from U.S. News & World Report, but it ranked fifth in best undergraduate teaching and alumni giving.

A prior $19.5 million gift from the Brockman Trust went for construction of a dorm for upperclassmen that opened a year ago.

The latest gift comes amid the school's $500 million fundraising campaign leading up to Centre's bicentennial celebration in January 2019.

SEE ALSO: 25 Billionaires Who Are Giving Away Their Fortunes

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4 Simple Ways To Spot A Fake Rolex Watch

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Even if you're not a watch aficionado, chances are you've heard of the Swiss brand Rolex.

Rolex is a widely known status symbol, with over 700,000 of its timepieces pumped out annually. It's also one of the most counterfeited watch brands out there.

Bloomberg interviewed watch dealer David Duggan, who has been selling watches since 1975, to find out the best way to determine if a Rolex is fake or not. Here are some of his top tips:

1. The cheapest fakes are easy to spot because of their quartz dial movements. The second hand stutters along inside the counterfeit watch, whereas a real Rolex has a smooth second hand movement.

Rolex gif second hand

If you're still unsure about the difference between a "stuttering" second hand and a "smooth" one, listen closely — there should not be a ticking noise coming from a true Rolex.

2. The second way to spot a fake is by the heft of the watch. Fake Rolex watches are generally lighter, whereas a real Rolex is made of high-quality metals, and will weigh significantly more.

woman holding a Rolex watch

3. Next, take a look at the winder on the side. Usually, fake Rolex watches have rather basic winders to move the minute and hour hands. But a true Rolex will have a finely-crafted winder with engravings and grooves that are "quite a work of art," according to Duggan.

Rolex side view holding watch

4. Last but not least, the cyclops lens on the face of the true Rolex will magnify the date. It's hard to replicate, so most counterfeit timepieces will skip this step and the date will appear the same size.

rolex cyclops lens watch

The cheapest watches sold on the street are pretty easy to spot. Duggan cautions it's when the fake watch is sold for over $700 that you will need to take your purchase to a watchmaker so he or she can remove the back of the Rolex and view the inner movements to know for sure if it's a counterfeit or not.

And always remember: "If it's too good to be true, it ain't true," Duggan says.

SEE ALSO: The 24 Most Expensive Watches Ever Sold At Auction

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How To Choose The Right Sunscreen For You

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sunscreen Because sun protection isn't hard enough — what with all the reapplication and new regulations — we now must also consider the kind of sunscreen we wear.

There are two main types of SPF: physical and chemical. "A physical sunscreen physically blocks rays by sitting on the surface of the skin," explains dermatologist Dr. Bruce Katz of the Juva Skin & Laser Center in NYC.

"It usually contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. A chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin and degrades the sunlight when it hits it. They typically contain ingredients like benzines, cinnamates, and avobenzone."

There are pros and cons to each sunscreen type, and picking the right one can come down to how the SPF interacts with your skin.

According to Dr. Katz, chemical sunscreens are usually more popular, because they are easily applied and absorbed into the skin without leaving behind a greasy residue. They are "user-friendly," able to be applied in multiple ways like sprays, gels, or lotions.

He also notes that chemical filters often offer more coverage against UVA and UVB rays than physical, but that range of protection will vary depending on the types of activities you are doing throughout the day (read: activities where you sweat or get wet).

Some downsides of chemical SPFs are that they take at least 20 minutes to absorb into the skin and offer full protection; plus, they can be more irritating to those with sensitive skin. They also degrade and break down faster than physical sunscreens, meaning they won't last as long and you will need to reapply more often.

Physical sunscreens, says Dr. Katz, actually reflect or block UV light from entering the skin, so they can prevent exposure to a broader spectrum of UV light. There's also very little risk of your skin reacting to the ingredients, unlike with a chemical filter.

Those with acne or breakout-prone skin will benefit from a physical sunscreen, says Dr. Katz, as they are non-comedogenic, so they won't clog pores or aggravate acne. Traditionally, physical blockers have had a bit of a bad reputation for leaving behind chalky, white films, but Dr. Katz says that many companies have refined their sunblocks, so that they rub in well and do not leave behind any white traces.

So, which one is the best? That all depends on you. If you don't like to feel any sort of residue and aren't going to be doing anything too physical while outside, a chemical SPF is your BFF. If you are planning on being outside for a long time, will be doing something that causes you to sweat or be in water, or have very sensitive or acneic skin that is prone to burning, then physical is probably where you want to be.

SEE ALSO: The Best Sunscreens Aren't The Most Expensive Ones

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The Best Public Golf Holes In New York City

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golf course new york

NEW YORK CITY — Looking to head out to the links this summer? Fancy yourself as a recreational Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods?

No need to head east or north or even join a private club, because the Big Apple is dotted with public golf courses that cater to duffers and pros alike, no matter what your handicap.

We've spoken to high school golf coaches and golf pros and have come up with some of the most challenging and picturesque holes.

From the monstrous 619-yard par 5 second hole at Van Cortlandt to the 190-yard ninth at Kissena, widely considered the most difficult par 3 in the city, the city's public courses present a challenge to any skill level.

Prefer your golf with a view? How about the breathtaking 405-yard par 4 17th at Clearview with views of the Throgs Neck Bridge and Long Island Sound, or the 422-yard par 4 seventh at Dyker Beach in the shadows of the Verrazano Bridge?

Here's DNAinfo New York's list of the best 18 holes in the city:

1) Van Cortlandt Golf Course (Kingsbridge, Bronx) No. 2 (619 yards, Par 5)

Nothing like a 619-yard, par 5 on the second hole to shatter egos right away. Hit a long and accurate tee shot and just keep hacking away.

It is likely to be a good four or five shots just to get on the green. A par, even a bogey, is an accomplishment on a hole known as "The Babe."

"I named it after [Babe Ruth], the home run king," Van Cortlandt general manager Will Larkin said. "You have to hit the first shot to a slanted fairway so you only have about 10 yards to keep it in and then it will down to the left rough. Then your second shot, you have to play about 150 yards slight right or it will roll down to the left rough. I think it's one of the most challenging holes in the area."

2) Forest Park Golf Course (Woodhaven, Queens) No. 4 (475 yards, Par 5)

Accuracy is key throughout this incredibly tough par 5, arguably the most difficult and unforgiving hole on the course.

“There’s a 200-yard carry to another plateau and then it funnels in to a very tight green with woods on the left and right,” Forest Park manager Bob Smith said.

“It’s one of the toughest holes we have.”

3) Pelham Golf Course (Pelham, Bronx) No. 5 (432 yards, Par 4)

Ranked the No. 1 handicap hole on the course, this par 4 requires a long uphill drive and an accurate iron to an elevated green.

“What makes Pelham’s fifth hole so unique is it really requires a player to work the ball well off the tee,” said Jim Buonaiuto, general manager of the Pelham Bay and Split Rock Golf Courses.

In order to keep the hole manageable, the ball has to carry from right to left.

"Any drive off the tee that leaks right makes the hole incredibly long and almost impossible to reach in regulation,” Buonaiuto said.

4) Dyker Beach Golf Course (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) No. 5 (341 yards, Par 4)

Feeling lucky? Then go for it from the tee box of this slight dogleg left par 4 with a blind fairway, rolling hills and a tiered green. You could eagle the hole, but miss and you might as well get a blanket for all the time you’ll spend in the sand.

“It’s a short par 4, but it has a blind fairway so it’s a risk-reward hole,” Dyker Beach general manager James Hallquist said. “You can go for it and almost drive the green, but if you don’t, you’re in big trouble. If you get in the bunker, you literally need steps to get out of it. That’s the risk.”

5) Dyker Beach Golf Course No. 7 (422 yards, Par 4)

This difficult par 4 with views of the Verrazano Bridge requires a strong tee shot followed by a long-to-mid iron approach to an uphill, undulating green guarded by bunkers.

“It’s in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge and I would say it’s the hardest hole on the course,” general manager James Hallquist said. “It’s long with a narrow fairway and it’s brutally elevated. I’ve never parred the hole, not even close. I think I bogeyed it once.”

6) Split Rock Golf Course (Pelham, Bronx) No. 8 (441 yards, Par 4)

Ending what is commonly referred to as New York City’s “Amen Corner” is this beast of a par 4.

This hole is dogleg left and requires a blind tee shot to an iron shot over a creek to an elevated green. Right-handed golfers, draw your tee shot or else you will drive through the fairway or be blocked by trees.

Long hitters are forced to use either a 3 or 5 wood off the tee.

“A well struck drive may bounce off the down slope of the fairway and run into a wooded area to the left or a creek that bisects the fairway at about 120 yards from the green,” said the course's general manager Buonaiuto.

Even if you steer clear of the water hazard, you still have to contend with a massive approach shot.

“With bunkers left and right of the lay-up landing area off the tee, a perfectly placed drive only rewards the average golfer with a 220-yard approach shot into a bowl shaped green,” Buonaiuto added.

7) Clearview Golf Course (Bayside, Queens) No. 9 (430 yards, Par 4)

The good news is you don’t need to have the most accurate tee shot. The bad news is the same isn’t true with the other shots in a hole that gets more difficult as you approach a green protected better than Fort Knox.

From a bunker on the right to a marshy area on the left and a steep drop-off behind the green, this hole abounds with traps and stumbling blocks.

“The long par 4 offers a generous landing area from the tee, but tightens considerably as you approach the green,” said Joe Bischoff, the course's general manager.

8) Kissena Golf Course (Flushing, Queens) No. 9 (190 yards, Par 3)

Perhaps the most difficult par 3 in New York City, you have a narrow tee shot uphill to an elevated green. Hit it short, or long, and you’re in some pretty difficult rough. Hit it left or right of the green, you’re in the trees.

“It’s a bit of a hit off the tee and it's all uphill at a 30-degree incline to a postage stamp [green],” Kissena Park manager Mike Castle said. “I’ve played it a million times. I’ve birdied a couple of times, but as far as hitting greenies, a handful of times.”

9) Douglaston Golf Course (Douglaston, Queens) No. 9 (202 yards, Par 3)

There’s no good place to miss on this par 3 with an elevated green. There are two bunkers to the left and one on the right. A short shot means a tough chip and if you’re long you’re in jail with fast greens running back to front.

“It’s a very difficult par 3,” said Keith Kim, Douglaston Golf Course general manager. “You can see the city skyline and the clubhouse from the tee box. Either way you look, you have a good view. You make a par there, you’re happy.”

10) South Shore Golf Course (Huguenot, Staten Island) No. 9 (533 yards, Par 5)

Strong ball strikers can get a favorable roll off the tee into the downhill green and a quality second shot could mean a birdie or even an eagle to close out the front nine. There’s a water fountain and pond to the left of the green, making it an especially scenic hole.

“It’s a tough driving hole and the second shot has to be precise,” said Greg DeAngelo, who works in the pro shop. “With the water on the left, I would say it’s the signature hole.”

11) Marine Park Golf Course (Marine Park, Brooklyn) No. 9 (415 yards, Par 4)

The ninth hole at Marine Park poses the most unique challenge on this course. It's the only hole with a water hazard in play and has a green that's a little more than 50 yards and just 15 yards deep, making it difficult to hit.

"To carry the water on the left side of the hole from the blue tees requires a 250-yard shot," Marine Park golf professional Hunter Watkins said. "In the future you will have to carry over the water rather than miss the water on the left. It is my desire to see this hole become the 18th and not the 9th."

12) LaTourette Golf Course (New Springville, Staten Island) No. 10 (511 yards, Par 5)

Take a deep breath because this is no easy start of the back nine. You drive from an elevated tee to a valley where your next two shots will be uphill to a well-protected green.

Hit it left on the slight dogleg right and you’re out of bounds, hit it right and you’re in the trees.

13) Dyker Beach Golf Course No. 11 (160 yards, Par 3)

So you just finished the 400-yard 10th hole and you breathe a sigh of relief at the site of this downhill 160-yard par 3. Big mistake. The unique design of this green occasionally means an extremely hard pin placement, but the bunkers are a constant nuisance.

“It’s basically circled by a bunker so if you get in the sand, you’re in trouble. You won’t par the hole,” Dyker Beach general manager James Hallquist said. “It’s a nice hole, a typical par 3, but those bunkers are pretty nasty.”

14) Forest Park Golf Course No. 12 (435 yards, Par 4)

There’s a nice view of the Manhattan skyline looking back from the green that you’ll hopefully enjoy after conquering this difficult par 4, one of the more challenging holes at Forest Park.

“It’s over 400 yards straight up a hill with undulating greens,” Forest Park manager Bob Smith said. “It has a two-level green.”

15) Pelham Golf Course (Pelham, Bronx) No. 13 (441 yards, Par 4)

Trees line both sides of the fairway on this 441-yard par 4. Drive the ball too far and you’ll have a downward lie, over a creek, to an elevated green.

“Pelham’s 13th hole is a great example of a risk-and-reward par 4,” said manager Buonaiuto.

If you hit a driver off the tee, the golfer has to contend with a downward-sloping fairway that runs into a creek.

"Laying up leaves a golfer with a long iron or possibly fairway wood into a green that is only receptive to very high shots,” Buonaiuto said.

16) Forest Park Golf Course (Woodhaven, Queens) No. 15 (145 yards, Par 3)

If you shank your tee shot, your ball is getting wet on this deceivingly tough 145-yard par 3 with a kidney-shaped green.

“It’s about 148 yards over water to a kidney-shaped green with a bunker on the left,” Forest Park manager Bob Smith said. “It’s our signature hole.”

17) Clearview Golf Course (Bayside, Queens) No. 17 (405 yards, Par 4)

Looking for a hole with a view? It doesn’t get much better than No. 17 at Clearview, a downhill medium-length hole with breathtaking views of the Throgs Neck Bridge and the Long Island Sound.

“A relatively easy downhill par 4, a good drive will leave most players with a short iron into the green with bunkers protecting both sides,” Bischoff, Clearview Golf Course's general manager, said. “It is a beautiful hole with fantastic views of the Throgs Neck Bridge and East River.”

18) Douglaston Golf Course (Douglaston, Queens) No. 18 (533 yards, Par 5)

It’s just cruel to finish off a long day of golf, especially if you walk the 5,585-yard course, with a 533-yard par 5 on 18.

Blast a tee shot to a narrow, tree-lined fairway that has bunkers on the right and then try your luck with a blind second shot to an elevated green guarded by more bunkers.

“It has its undulations and a lot of times you have a blind shot into the green, which is a little more elevated,” said course manager Keith Kim. “From the tee box and all the way in you have a pretty wide view of the clubhouse. It’s pretty wide open and a nice way to finish.”

SEE ALSO: The Most Exotic Golf Courses In The World

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15 Business Etiquette Rules Every Professional Needs To Know

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coffee meeting

Professional social situations can be awkward.

The rules are slightly different from standard social settings, yet business schools rarely discuss professional etiquette topics.

In her new book "The Essentials Of Business Etiquette," Barbara Pachter writes about the specific skills professionals need to understand when presenting themselves in a business setting.

From how to introduce yourself to what to order at restaurants, these are the social rules you need to know when establishing relationships.

Pachter has given us permission to use these excerpts from her book.

Always say your full name.

In a business situation, you should use your full name, but you should also pay attention to how others want to be introduced.

If your name is too long or difficult to pronounce, Pachter says you should consider changing or shortening it. Or you should consider writing down the pronunciation of your name on a business card and giving it to others.

Source: "The Essentials Of Business Etiquette"



Always stand when you're being introduced to someone.

"Standing helps establish your presence. You make it easy for others to ignore you if you don’t stand. If you are caught off guard and cannot rise, you should lean forward to indicate that you would stand, if you could."

Source: "The Essentials Of Business Etiquette"



Only say "thank you" once or twice during a conversation.

"You need to say it only once or twice within a conversation. Otherwise, you may dilute its impact and possibly make yourself seem somewhat helpless and needy."

Source: "The Essentials Of Business Etiquette"



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Saudi Prince Alwaleed Ordered To Pay Millions For Selling His Private Jet To Col. Gaddafi

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prince alwaleed private jet sold to gaddafi

A billionaire Saudi prince has been ordered by the high court to pay $10m (£6.5m) in commission to a British-based Jordanian woman for selling his luxurious private jet to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, who owns the Savoy hotel in London, had given evidence in court playing down Daad Sharab's role in the $120m deal with the former Libyan leader in 2005.

The prince disputed her claim that any agreement was made for a "specific commission", saying she would have been paid at his discretion. He decided not to reward her because during the protracted sale she had "moved to the Libyan camp".

In his judgment, Mr Justice Peter Smith explained that the dispute turned on whose evidence he accepted. Both Sharab and Al-Waleed appeared in person but the judge said he had "overwhelmingly concluded" that he preferred Sharab's account.

The ruling is an embarrassment for the prince, who is a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. The prince has already attracted media attention by suing Forbes magazine in London over an article published alongside its coveted rich list, which he claims underestimated his fortune by $9.6bn (£6.1bn). He claims he is worth $30bn.

Through his Kingdom Holding Company, Al-Waleed owns significant stakes in Citigroup, News Corp and Apple, among other companies. As well as the Savoy in London, he is also the owner or part-owner of the Plaza hotel in New York and the George V hotel in Paris.

Sharab, 52, said after the ruling: "Today's decision has reinforced my belief in the fairness and impartiality of the English courts. I feel a great sense of relief … and thank Mr Justice Peter Smith for drawing a line under what has been a stressful seven years of litigation.

"However, it will be extremely disappointing if the prince fails to accept the decision of this court and yet again attempts to delay payment of the agreed fee of $10m."

She was represented by Clive Freedman QC and Richard Waller at TLT Solicitors.

Her daughter, Noor Allawy, said: "I hold Saudi Arabian citizenship and I am proud to be Saudi Arabian. However, it has been very sorrowful to see a Saudi Arabian prince fighting with my mother for seven years and standing against her in court."

The customised Airbus A340 at the centre of the dispute was fitted with a double bed, silver leather sofas and a whirlpool bath. It became a symbol of the Libyan dictator's private opulence and was put on display by rebel fighters after they captured it at Tripoli airport in 2011.

The court was told that Sharab was initially contacted by the prince from Cannes in August 2001. He informed her that he had two aircraft, an Airbus – built in 1996 and purchased from the Brunei government – and a Boeing 767, both of which he wanted to sell.

Later that month she met an accountant who was said to be his personal representative at Ayoush restaurant in Marylebone. Sharab said that the following year she was instructed by the prince to begin negotiations. She set about arranging an audience with Gaddafi, whom she had known since meeting him at a business conference in Tripoli in the late 1980s.

Sharab said that in April 2003 she flew to Libya and was present when Al-Waleed and Gaddafi met. Both planes had been delivered and Gaddafi chose the Airbus.

She testified: "The prince told me that if I could sell the aircraft for between $100m and $110m, he would pay me the $2m commission (which had been agreed previously) but that if I was able to negotiate a sale at above $110m, I could keep anything above that $110m."

In the end Gaddafi agreed to pay $120m. The final payment did not reach the Saudi prince until 2006. Sharab, who lives for part of the year in the UK, said she had received $500,000 commission from Al-Waleed for a previous deal.

Gaddafi subsequently fitted out the aircraft in the colours of his Afriqiyah Airways, and it became known as Afriqiyah One. It had red and grey carpets and nightclub-style spotlights on the ceiling.

In 2009 the personalised jet was used to collect the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was ill and had been released on compassionate grounds from prison in Scotland. It was also used by Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, on jaunts around the world.

Shortly before the case was originally due to be heard in 2010, Sharab visited Libya again. This time, after falling out with Gaddafi, she was arrested and held in a private compound. When Nato began bombing Tripoli in support of the uprising against Gaddafi's regime in 2011, she was transferred to prison. Eventually she was freed by rebels and allowed to leave the country. Returning to London, she had the case relisted.

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

SEE ALSO: Here's How Prince Alwaleed Spends His Billions

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This 'Moreo' Concept Completely Customizes Oreos

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A "Moreo" concept posted to Reddit has taken the internet by storm. 

"I've been trying to get ahold of someone at Nasbisco for years. I present to you, Moreo. Make this happen!," user EternallyXIII wrote on the site

The "Moreo" involves the classic Oreo sandwich cookies on each side, with cream stored separately in the middle. 

The concept cookies are the brainchild of Bear Silber, who explains on his blog:

"This design allows the eater to decide on the amount of filling per wafer ratio. This satisfies everyone, from the person who only likes the wafer to the person that like’s 5x creme filling, to the extremist who likes to add ingredients such as bananas, Nutella, peanut butter or ice cream."

Here are the pictures of his concept: 

The Internet is split on whether this is actually a good idea. 

While some bloggers endorse this new take on Oreos, others feel it's a little excessive

SEE ALSO: 19 Fast Food Hacks That Will Change The Way You Order

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7 Ways To Save Big On Luxury Travel

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luxury train

Think “luxury travel” and you’ll likely start seeing the dollar signs racking up. Splurging on luxury travel can be attractive – seriously, is there anyone that doesn’t like spoiling themselves? And even backpackers like to flashpack every once in a while.

We’re seasoned luxury travelers. We’ve stayed at five star hotels from Amman to Zurich, hung with the cool kids at design hotels, and had all five senses soothed at sophisticated spas in the world. But we enjoy nothing more than getting luxury for less.

So we always seek out ways to enjoy luxury trips without paying top dollar for them. Here’s seven ways to save that we’ve picked up along the way.

#1: PACKAGE YOUR OWN

DIY-packaging your own trip – searching for flights, hotels, car rentals, transfers, and more online and then booking them directly with providers or online agencies can lead to big savings.

Over the years we have DIY-packaged our trips saving thousands of dollars. You’ll often find that you can save up to 50% off the prices offered by traditional travel agents.

But it’s not just the savings you’ll make on your next luxury trip that make DIY-packaging attractive. The real beauty of it is that you get to choose the vacation you want – unrestricted to a travel companies’ pre-packaged deals. You get your choice of airport, airline and accommodation, on the day you want, for as long as you wish.

#2: WORK IT!

DIY-packaging takes a little persistence. And finding the best luxury travel deals requires you to look at more than just one or two websites. To really save while you splurge, you need to work at it.

But the results are worthwhile.

So treat your vacation planning as you would any other piece of work that requires research. Visit a number of sources, take notes of the best deals around, compare and contrast what one site is offering against deals elsewhere and you’ll find five-star deal.

#3: FLEX YOUR MUSCLE

Flexing your muscle means giving yourself every chance to find an affordable luxury travel deal by being able to bend as necessary. Flexibility is key to snagging a bargain. The more flexible you are when choosing a destination, travel dates, type of accommodation, and location, the easier it will be for you to find a great travel deal.

#4: FLIGHTS FIRST

Always book flights first. It’s easy to cancel a hotel or change bookings, but more difficult and often costly to change flights.

When checking prices it can be easiest to start with flight comparison websites like Kayak and Hipmunk but check airline sites too. An increasing number of scheduled airlines are trying to compete with low cost airlines by offering their most attractive deals on their own websites.

#5: DON’T HURRY A HOTEL

Hotels are easy to find, even at late notice. If you’re dissatisfied with the prices you’re finding, a web search for something like “New York hotels” will reveal sites you’ve never heard of often with very attractive rates.

As an alternative to hotels, apartment rentals are proving very popular, and some companies like onefinestay are leading in luxury home rentals in London and New York.

Or if you’re traveling in a large group you could consider a villa. Some of the world’s most luxurious properties can prove inexpensive when rates are shared by an entire group.

#6: BEING FLASH PAYS OFF

A good flash sale site will provide serious savings on your travel splurges, allowing you to squeeze even more luxury trips into your annual schedule.

Hotels publish deals with flash sale sites like Jetsetter and Voyage Prive to fill remaining rooms after they reach a certain occupancy level. This means you can find luxury hotels, and often hotels packaged with flights, at three-star prices.

Granted, the percentage off the discount quoted isn’t always as impressive as it may appear. Most of the prices are based on hotel rack rates, which are significantly higher than what you’d find listed with online travel agents. But with five-star hotels from around $95 a night, you can still make serious savings.

Keep abreast of the latest deals by signing up to a selection of your favourite flash sales companies’ email alerts and notifications on your smartphone or Facebook.

Don’t forget to read the fine print before purchasing. Flash sales can have restrictions such as black-out periods (stopping you from traveling on certain dates) and dates by which all travel must be completed.

#7: SEAL THE DEAL

A deal isn’t a deal until all aspects have been factored in. So consider the total trip price including accommodation, flights, any hotels needed during layovers, car rentals, transfers via taxi or public transport, and airport parking, before sealing your luxury travel deal.

Of course the tips here are not exhaustive, but offer a good start to helping you find luxury travel for less on every trip.

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There's A Simple, Unbiased Way To Figure Out Whether To Rent Or Buy

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guy and girl confused at lunch timeIf you are a renter and pondering whether it’s time buy a home, one thing that might be on your mind is a rent vs. own analysis. As you can imagine, this analysis will help you determine the financial benefits of owning a home vs. staying a renter.

Many online rent vs. own analysis tools are available, but a little caution is needed, as some of these tools are very biased and skewed. Some always find that it typically makes sense to buy, while others show that you should rarely buy. Most of them look at the difference between the monthly rental and mortgage payments and take into account tax benefits, equity earned, sales prices and other variables associated with home ownership.

The biggest problem with most of these tools is that they are way too complex for the average person to understand. And because this is the biggest financial decision you will ever make, it isn’t a smart idea to just trust, while not understanding, what’s behind the analysis.

But there is a simple way to do a rent vs. own analysis that will return the correct decision the vast majority of the time for the average home buyer. And it’s completely unbiased.

Long-term ownership

Ask yourself: Am I very confident that I will own the home at least five years?

If the answer is yes, it probably makes sense to buy because it will improve your net wealth.

If the answer is no, you should stay a renter because owning will most likely diminish your net wealth.

That’s it, the math is just that simple!

Why it works

When you sell a property, you pay about 10 to 15 percent of the sales price in costs. These costs are 5 to 6 percent in sales commission, 2 to 3 percent in escrow, title, closing and other costs, plus most likely a few percentage points in credits to the buyer, overlapping occupancy costs if you’ve already moved, plus extra costs of moving. It really does add up quickly, and your overall costs are always higher than you anticipate.

For example, if you bought a house for $200,000 and its value increased 3 percent per year, it would be worth about $232,000 at the end of year five. If you sold it for $232,000 and subtracted out 15 percent in sales costs ($34,800) you would net a little less than $200,000 on the sale.

Notice that $200,000 is the exact amount you paid for the property five years earlier. Now some people will think: Well if it cost less monthly to own than to rent, then it still made sense because you saved money along the way. But figuring the true monthly cost to own is more complicated than a simple comparison of your monthly housing expenses vs. what it would cost to rent. And a true analysis usually finds that it costs more to own than to rent, even with the purported “tax benefits of home ownership.”

The end result is that owning a home is much more expensive than people anticipate, plus the sale of a home is also much more expensive that most people realize.

And that’s why five years is about the breakeven period, in the vast majority of cases. If you don’t plan to keep a home for a long, long time, you’re better off financially by renting someone else’s property until you do find a place you plan to own for the long haul.

Related:

Leonard Baron, MBA, is America’s Real Estate Professor®. His unbiased, neutral and inexpensive“Real Estate Ownership, Investment and Due Diligence 101” textbook teaches real estate owners how to make smart and safe purchase decisions.

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Inside Marissa Mayer's Giant 38th Birthday Carnival Bash

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Two months ago, Marissa Mayer celebrated her 38th birthday. The queen of Yahoo has had a number of wild bashes in the past. This one took place on San Francisco's Treasure Island on May 26, four days before Mayer's actual birthday. The Theme: Beach Boardwalk, just a few feet from the water.

Inside a giant white tent sat a monstrous sand castle surrounded by colorful beach balls, balloons, tables, chefs and entertainment. Smaller, still massive sand castles were scattered both inside and outside the area. Surf boards lined the perimeter and robots guarded entryways. 

Guests could munch on dots candy or fair-type food like hot dogs from outside booths. They could also hop on the Ferris wheel and an assortment of other carnival rides. Caricature artists drew portraits of guests, games could be played for stuffed animal prizes, and alcohol was consumed. 

We tracked down a few photos of the bash from attendees. Better late than never!

Here's a view of the San Francisco skyline from Treasure Island that welcomed Mayer's guests.

Treasure Island San Francisco skyline

Guests could enjoy the Ferris wheel and other carnival rides.

treasure island marissa birthday san francisco

Anybots, 5-foot tall video-conferencing robots typically controlled by remote workers, lined the entranceway as guests filed into the tent (maybe left over from before the work from home ban?). The sign above the tent announced the theme in case it wasn't clear: Beach Boardwalk.

marissa mayer birthday robot

Inside, the largest sand castle you can imagine, decorated with real seashells, lights and surrounded by beach balls and giant pails of sand.

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The Best European Cities To Visit This Summer

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Planning a European getaway this summer?

These cities are some of our top picks for the summer months. Whether you’d rather chill on Barcelona’s beaches or explore Rome’s many outdoor ruins, warm weather makes all the difference in these spots.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, with hopping nightlife, excellent cuisine, and beautiful Gothic and Modernist architecture. But it also has a prime location on the Mediterranean sea, with beaches such as La Barceloneta accessible right in the city limits — making this a popular summertime travel pick.

Oyster’s Pick for Where to Stay: Ohla Hotel, for its stunning rooftop pool, great for a summertime dip

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

There’s a new pope in town, which means Rome is going to be even more of a summer hot spot than usual in 2013. But it’s great every year thanks to outdoor attractions such as the Villa Borghese gardens, the Coliseum, and the Roman Forum, which are much more enjoyable to explore in sunny weather. If it gets too hot out, just head indoors to the city’s fantastic museums, such as the Vatican. And don’t miss out on sampling the city’s splendid gelato.

Oyster’s Pick for Where to Stay: Villa Spalletti Trivelli, an intimate boutique with lovely outdoor gardens

London, England

London, EnglandLondon is famous for its rain and fog, which makes the summer, when the weather is best, a particularly attractive time to visit. The London Eye Ferris wheel is definitely best enjoyed on a sunny day, and the many famous parks (such as Hyde Park) are great picnicking destinations.

Oyster’s Pick for Where to Stay: The Milestone Hotel, for its exquisite luxury and location on the corner of Hyde’s Park

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, The NetherlandsA city steeped in history, Amsterdam is home to beautiful historic buildings, numerous parks, about 40 museums, and a system of canals and bridges that rivals (and in fact, is larger than) the one in Venice. Due to the city’s climate, most tourists descend upon Amsterdam in the spring and summer months. It’s a great season for bicyclists to enjoy this cyclist-friendly city.

Oyster’s Pick for Where to Stay: Canal House, located right on a canal in the Canal Ring District

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, SwitzerlandGeneva is a picturesque city, divided into two banks by Lake Geneva, and surrounded by mountains. In the summertime, the lake — and nearby beaches — become popular spots for swimming. But all year long, tourists can enjoy the city’s cafe culture (reminiscent of Paris), beautiful gardens, specialty shops (the city is known for its gorgeous jewelry and watches), fabulous restaurants, and many sights (such as the world’s tallest fountain in the lake).

Oyster’s Pick for Where to Stay: Hotel President Wilson, for it’s first-rate luxury and location overlooking Lake Geneva

SEE ALSO: 7 Places That Won't Get Hit By A Hurricane This Summer

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4 In 5 Americans Will Be Poor At Some Point In Their Lifetime

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poverty

Economic instability may be becoming the new norm in America.

A whopping 4 of 5 Americans will live on the edge of poverty in their lifetime, dealing with joblessness or living off of public programs for at least a year, according to an exclusive analysis for the Associate Press.

Poverty has been on the rise and the widespread unemployment triggered by the 2008 recession only made matters worse.

Thirty-five to 55-year-old Americans have the highest risk of falling into poverty, arguably the worst time in anyone's lives to fall on hard times. People are starting families, buying homes, and should be reaching the peak of their earning power.

Racial disparities in the poverty rate are becoming more blurred, as an increasing number of whites have joined the ranks of the poor today (40%). 

"More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation's destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks," the AP reports. 

The U.S. as a whole scores even worse when it comes to child poverty rates, ranking second-to-last of 35 countries analyzed. Government spending on child poverty has declined the past three years, removing kids from programs aimed to help them.

Even as the economy is on the mend, the survey predicts that by the year 2030, 85% of adults will have dealt with economic insecurity at some point in their lives. 

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Here's A Surefire Way To Check If An Avocado Is Ripe

Meet The Best-Dressed Men In The World

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Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z at the 2013 Grammy Awards in suits and ties

Vanity Fair just released their annual International Best Dressed List for 2013, and needless to say the fashion industry is abuzz with the top picks.

Making the cut this year were 15 solo guys (there were also couples on the list) who shined just as brightly as their female counterparts.

Some were obvious choices like Justin Timberlake, while others took us a bit off guard, such as CEO of Ferrari Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

Our British friends dominated, with seven of the 15 solo gents hailing from Great Britain. There was also a vast mix of professions: Entertainers, a human rights activist, athletes, CEOs, models — even a so-called "master of foxhounds."

You can check out the full best dressed list gallery over at Vanity Fair >

Miami Heat basketball player, Lebron James



English musician, Keith Richards



American entertainer, Justin Timberlake



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Wealthy Foreigner Investors Are Driving Up The Price On Brooklyn Townhouses

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new york city brooklyn brownstoneNew York City residents looking to buy in Brooklyn may have a tough time finding deals on townhouses thanks to an influx of foreign investors, according to Brooklyn real estate website Brownstoner.

These investors reportedly come with a lot of cash on hand, and are snapping up buildings across the borough, beating out families who require financing to afford the properties.

The investors often aren't looking to live in their purchased properties, but eventually rent them out and turn a profit, Brownstoner writes.

Of six real estate agents who Brownstoner talked to, four said they had spoken with investor groups looking to buy houses, including groups from Europe and Israel. They tend to purchase in more affordable neighborhoods like Bed Stuy, Crown Heights and Bushwick, and only occasionally head into Fort Greene or Carroll Gardens.

Investors have much lower expectations when buying homes, purchasing places with stop-work orders or foreclosures that other buyers wouldn't touch, according to Brownstoner. But the problem for families arises when investors purchase regular single or multi-family homes.

The normal home buyer doesn't stand a chance against a low, all cash offer from an investor backed by a larger firm.

According to a report by Douglas Elliman real estate, listings of condos, co-ops, and one to three family homes in Brooklyn were down 18.5% in the second quarter, leaving just 4,704 units up for grabs.

As the number of available spaces dropped, so did the number of sales, resulting in higher prices. The report stated home prices in the borough are at a 10-year high, increasing 14.7% year-over-year, with inventory at a seven-year low.

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The 10 Luxury Cars That Thieves Go After The Most

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car examination

The Highway Loss Data Institute recently reported on the Ford F-250 pickup's popularity among car thieves. But as nice as the F-250 can be, the National Insurance Crime Bureau knows that some brand-conscious baddies have a taste for high-end marques.

And so, it's published a list of the ten luxury rides that car thieves love.

To gather its data, the NICB looked at auto thefts reported over four calendar years: 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

According to the organization, 4,384 luxury vehicles were stolen during that period.

To add some nuance to its analysis, the NICB divided cars into three segments: compact luxury, mid-sized luxury, and premium luxury. Between 2009 and 2012, 2,150 compact luxury cars were stolen -- considerably more than the 1,734 mid-sized luxury cars and the 500 premium luxury cars that went missing. (Though the NICB doesn't say so, we'd guess that compacts were most popular with thieves because they're cheaper and thus, more numerous than mid-size and premium models.)

And so, the moment you've all been waiting for -- the 10 most-stolen luxury rides:

1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class (compact) -- 485 thefts
2. BMW 3-Series (compact) -- 471 thefts
3. Infiniti G-Series (compact) -- 405 thefts
4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class (mid-size) -- 381 thefts
5. Cadillac CTS (mid-size) -- 326 thefts
6. BMW 5-Series (mid-size) -- 256 thefts
7. Lincoln MKZ (mid-size) -- 226 thefts
8. Acura TSX (compact) -- 190 thefts
9. Lexus IS (compact) -- 177 thefts
10. Mercedes-Benz S-Class (premium) -- 163 thefts

 The NICB also released a list of the most popular states for car thieves to ply their trade. Chances are, you can guess the top four without looking, but just so you know:

1. California
2. Florida
3. New Jersey
4. New York
5. Michigan
6. Texas
7. Georgia
8. Illinois
9. Pennsylvania
10. Maryland

The NICB found that recovery rates on stolen luxury vehicles was fairly high -- at least compared to mass-market rides. On average, 83.7 percent of the vehicles stolen during the study period were recovered.

That said, some cars fared poorer than others. The Infiniti G-Series had the highest number of unrecovered vehicles (83 of 405). Two Mercedes-Benz models often went missing for good, too: the E-Class (80 of 381 unrecovered) and the C-Class (78 of 485). 

Curiously, though fewer premium models were stolen than others, premiums were far less likely to be recovered. Among compact and mid-size luxury vehicles, just 14.3 percent and 13. 5 percent remained unrecovered at the end of the study. With premium vehicles, the 34.4 percent remained at-large.

For the complete NICB report, check out this PDF

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Ellen DeGeneres And Portia De Rossi Are Selling Their Santa Monica Ranch For $11 Million

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Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi Hidden Valley Farm mansion

Notorious real estate addicts Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are once again selling a property, this time a lovely equestrian spread in the Hidden Valley area of Thousand Oaks.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 26-acre California estate has just gone back up for sale this week for $10.995 million. The couple previously bought the ranch back in 2009 for $8.5 million, and listed it in 2011 for $16.5 million before lowering the price and eventually taking it off the market.

But now after a recent April feature in ELLE DECOR, it seems they've decided to try their luck one more time.

Described to ELLE as Portia's "dream home," the contemporary farmhouse-style estate is near the Santa Monica Mountains, and has two barns, a "yoga pavilion," stables, and a tennis court.

The 26-acre equestrian property is made up of eight farmhouse cottages and two barns.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty



In this converted "art barn," Ellen hung an 18th-century Spanish wood ring.

Source: ELLE DECOR



The 17th, 18th, and early-20th century decor lends a polished, yet rustic charm to the beamed ceilings and white-washed walls.

Source: ELLE DECOR



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Travel Guides Won't Die — They'll Just Change With The Times

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woman reading travel guide

Earlier this week, Zagat rolled out a new website while quietly cutting publication of its guidebooks.

This comes on the heels of news that Lonely Planet laid off over 100 workers last week.

And just last year, Frommer's was acquired by Google, which also cut publication of the guides (Arthur Frommer has since purchased the brand back and is planning to publish the guides again.)

All this seems to be pointing to an obvious trend: the end of guidebooks.

Or is it?

Perhaps travel guides are dying in the form of physical books. But people still want trustworthy advice when traveling, and I firmly believe that the content will still need to exist. I travel the world, often, and while I enjoy getting lost in a new destination and wandering into some hole-in-the-wall shop or restaurant, I also want someone to guide me to quality places. It's all too easy to wander into an overpriced, mediocre tourist trap without that guidance.

Travel guides will just take a new form as books are translated into apps and eBooks.

These digital adaptations are often cheaper than the books ("Frommer's Italy," for example, costs $20 for the book and $17 for the eBook version) and they're certainly lighter ("Frommer's Italy" weighs a massive 2.4 pounds). But I still want an expert to guide me on where to go and what to see.

Nearly every travel guide publisher, including Frommer's, Lonely Planet, Fodor's, Rough Guides, DK Eyewitness Guides, and even Rick Steves, publishes their content in eBook form. eBooks are great because once they're downloaded onto a device, you don't need internet to access the content.

And many travel guides, like the Luxe City Guides, have excellent apps that combine the best of mobile technology—with GPS, photos, and internet for hotel and restaurant booking—while still providing expert advice.

I don't think traditional travel content will be replaced by crowdsourcing websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, either.

While these sites are great in many ways, they're not authoritative enough to rely on alone. People often only write into TripAdvisor when they have an incredible experience or an absolutely awful experience—there are few reviews in the middle. Just because one person has a bad experience at a hotel or restaurant doesn't mean that I'll have the same experience. And with all of those voices, how do you know which one to trust?

However, crowdsourced sites work beautifully when compared with solid advice from a reliable travel expert. I use both sources, and find that I have a richer travel experience for it.

SEE ALSO: 100 Trips You Must Take In Your Lifetime

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