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A CNN Anchor Is On A Mission To Ban Babies From Business Class


baby on airplane

Richard Quest, the anchor of CNN's "Quest Means Business," tried to spark a Twitter campaign on Wednesday to encourage airlines to ban babies from traveling in business class.

"lets get #BIBB trending...Ban Babies in Business Class. Good on Scoot, Air Asia and others," he tweeted.

Quest's mission was linked to the news that Singaporean budget carrier Scoot is now offering a kid-free zone: Five rows in at the front of economy class where no passengers under 12 will be allowed to sit.

A ticket for the "ScootinSilence" section costs $14 extra, and includes four extra inches of legroom.

On Twitter, Quest argued that business class is a working space, so having young children there is problematic (he's fine with babies in first class).

Why It Won't Work In The U.S.

Could the idea of segregating babies and children from higher-paying passengers catch on the U.S.? Pauline Frommer, publisher of Frommers.com, said it might be popular, but wouldn't work for practical reasons:

"I think it would be a popular idea, but I don't know how they'd do it from a practical point of view, unless they can cordon off one entire section of a plane (bathroom area to bathroom area) for adults-only, which seems unlikely," she said.

richard quest cnn anchor"Here's why I don't think it will work: because if they make, say, the first four rows of economy adult only, someone who paid extra could STILL spend the flight listening to a toddler chatter in the row behind him (or worse, getting his seat kicked by that toddler)."

"With the way planes are now designed, I don't think it's possible to truly segregate in this fashion," Frommer added.

George Hobica, the founder of Airfarewatchdog, noted the "alliterative ring" of #BIBB, but agreed that it won't happen, partly for the practical reasons:

"Just like smoking sections on planes of old when the smoke would drift throughout the aircraft, child-free zones are hard to isolate from child-friendly zones," he said. "A wailing baby with strong lungs can be heard far and wide across many seat rows. So I don't see how they'd work, and they'd be a nightmare logistically."

He argued that American travelers would not want to pay a fee for the child-free zone, and that "segregating people because they've procreated is no better than any other type of segregation and would backfire, fee or no fee."

That is backed up by a survey commissioned by Skift, which found 64% of Americans would not pay extra to sit in a child-free zone.

So it's not surprising that Quest's Twitter campaign (whose hashtag probably should have been #BBIB, not #BIBB) gained little traction. Even Piers Morgan shot down the idea:

So unless you're flying Scoot, be ready for babies.

We reached out to CNN and Quest for comment, but did not receive a reply.

SEE ALSO: Flying On The WW2-Era Boeing Clipper Was Amazingly Luxurious

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A Complete Guide To Understanding The Warranties That Come With Nearly Everything You Own


broken tv television

What is a warranty?

Normally, when you make a big purchase, the manufacturer or seller makes an important commitment to stand behind the product. Both in the US and the UK, this is called a manufacturer warranty, however sometimes in the UK it's also called a guarantee (we’re going to use the term warranty from hereon).

In short, a warranty is a promise to provide repair, maintenance, replacement or refund of a product for a certain time period. How does a warranty work? Although not required by law, warranties come with most major purchases. Different manufacturers have different warranties, which also means that the extent of the coverage of warranties varies.

Simple answers to common questions about warranties

  • How long does a warranty last? It depends. Only way to find out is to check the warranty document to see when it begins and when it expires, as well as any conditions that may void coverage.

  • How do I enforce a warranty? It depends. It’s often the seller or the manufacturer who provides you with warranty. Check the contact information and enquire before buying if still uncertain.

  • What happens if a product fails within the warranty period? It depends. Go through the warranty to see whether the company will repair the item, replace it, or refund your money.

  • What parts and repair problems are covered by warranty? Again, it depends. Read to see if any parts of the product or certain types of repairs are excluded from the warranty. In some cases, warranties oblige you to pay for labour costs. Also, it’s worth keeping in mind to look for criteria that could prove costly or problematic to comply with, such as a requirement that you ship heavy or large objects to a distant address for service, or that you return the item in the very original carton.

  • Does a warranty cover "consequential damages"? In general, the answer is no. Most warranties do not cover damages that are caused by the product, or your time and costs for getting the problem repaired. To keep it simple, if your iPhone breaks down, the company will not pay for any lost information that was stored on it.

  • What is a limited or conditioned warranty? Certain warranties provide coverage only if you keep or use the product as directed. For example, a warranty may cover only personal uses—as opposed to business uses—of the product. As such, it’s important to check that the warranty will meet your needs.

  • How does an oral warranty work? If a salesperson makes a commitment orally, e.g. that the company will provide free repairs, make sure to get it in writing. If not, you may not be able to get the service that was promised.

What is an extended warranty?

Often when you buy e.g. a major appliance or gadget, you may be offered an “extended warranty. To be clear, the term “extended warranty” is marketing lingo and, legally, we are talking about a service contract. Service contracts, like warranties, provide repair and/or maintenance for a certain time period. Now, the difference is that warranties are included in the price of the product whereas extended warranties costs extra and are sold separately. To decide whether you need an extended warranty, consider:

  • if the manufacturer warranty already covers
    the repairs and the time period of coverage that you
    would get under the extended warranty 
  • whether the product is likely to need repairs and the likely costs of such repairs
  • the duration of the extended warranty
  • the standing of the company offering the extended warranty
  • the cost of the extended warranty vs. the cost of the product

What protection does the law give me if my product breaks?

In the U.S. and the U.K., consumers are protected to an extent by law. As you can imagine, different legislative systems will provide different statutory rights. Consumer Rights in the U.S. “Implied warranties” are created by state law, and all states have them. Almost every purchase you make is covered by an implied warranty.

Types of implied warranty

  1. Warranty of merchantability – the most common one. It means that the seller promises that the product will do what it was marketed to do. E.g. a coffee brewer will brew coffee.
  2. Warranty of fitness for a particular purpose – if you buy a product on the seller's advice that it is suitable for a particular use. For example, a retailer who recommends that you buy a certain jacket made for sub-zero degree weather warrants that the jacket is suitable for sub-zero weather. Again, get it in writing.

The exception that confirms the rule: If your purchase does not come with a written warranty, it is still covered by implied warranties unless the product is marked "as is," or the seller otherwise indicates in writing that no warranty is given.  The length of implied warranties vary from state to state, but could be as long as four years. If you aren’t sure, a consumer protection office or a lawyer can help you. Consumer Rights in the U.K. Consumers are well protected by default and a key rule is the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

In short, it says goods should be of satisfactory quality, fit to do the job intended and last a reasonable length of time.   The “6-month” rule When a good is faulty, you have the right to take it back within six months of your purchase and the retailer has to prove that it was not faulty when you bought it. Even after the first 6 months, you still have strong rights for six years, but the evidential burden has shifted to you, meaning you have to prove the good was faulty at the time you bought it.  If a retailer doesn’t agree with your claim and you believe you are still right, your only option is to take them to court.

Tips on how to minimize problems with your warranty

  • Read the warranty before you buy. When online, look for links to the full warranty or contact details to get it sent to you.
  • Save the warranty information. Almost always a copy of the warranty is available (at least online), save a copy and keep it with your records
  • Consider the reputation of the company offering the warranty. Look for contact details. If you're not familiar with the company or uncertain, ask a consumer protection office (US: Click here) (UK: Click here) if they have any complaints against the company.
  • Save your receipt and store it with the warranty. You may need it to document the date of your purchase or prove that you're the original owner in the case of a non-transferable warranty.
  • Follow instructions. Perform required maintenance and inspections and use as advised.

How to resolve disputes about warranty rights

If you have problems with a product and struggle to get the warranty service:

  • Read your product instructions and warranty carefully. Don't expect your product to do something that it wasn't designed for, or assume warranty coverage that was never promised in writing. A warranty doesn't mean that you'll automatically get a refund if the product is defective—the company is normally entitled to try to fix it first. On the other hand, if you made a warranty claim during the warranty period and the product wasn't fixed properly, the company must correct the problem, even if your warranty expires before the product is fixed.
  • Try to resolve the problem directly with the seller. If not possible, write to the manufacturer. Your warranty should list the company's mailing address. Send all letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep copies.
  • Contact a consumer protection office. (US: Click here) (UK: Click here)
  • Go to a small claims court (U.S.). If your disagreement is about less than $750, you can usually file a lawsuit in small claims court. The costs are relatively low, procedures are straightforward, and lawyers usually aren't needed.
  • Last resort, you may want to consider a lawsuit. You can sue for damages or any other type of relief the court awards, including legal fees. Contact a lawyer to assist you with your case.

As consumers, we could all save money and time from managing and enforcing our "warranty" rights that are either granted by law or offered by companies (that are competing for our attention in the market). With little thought and effort into understanding the warranty, saving the documentation and knowing how to make a claim you are well on your way to extend the lifetime of your products, reduce buy-throw behaviour, save money and get the most from your products. Happy organizing!

Unioncy is a free web app that automatically organizes your purchases with their documentation. Click here to learn more about Unioncy.

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Here's The $7,000 Master's Degree That's Scaring Colleges


georgia tech convocation speech nicholas selby

The Georgia Institute of Technology rocked the higher education world when it announced plans to offer a fully online master’s degree in computer science for roughly one-seventh the price of its on-campus equivalent – less than $7,000.

The project is powered by a joint venture with Udacity, an online higher-education course provider that stands to earn 40 percent of the tuition revenues. The AT&T Corporation, which is providing two-thirds of the estimated ramp-up costs, expects to funnel existing employees through the program and recruit new ones at the back-end of it.

Reaction to the news has been mixed.

Online education advocates are excited about what they see as an opportunity for broad access to substantially more affordable higher learning.

Others worry that the wholesale democratization of higher education will lead to deteriorating outcomes and the diluted quality of advanced degrees—particularly as a larger number of students are attracted to the courses. There is also a fair amount of academic carping about the competition—how joint ventures such as this will hijack resources that might otherwise be used to develop and deliver the staff’s own groundbreaking programs.

The notion of dot-edus teaming up with dot-coms isn’t novel. For years, schools have been pandering for corporate cash to bankroll special projects. (Lately the money is also used to bridge operating revenue shortfalls.) But as to the matter of diverted resources, I don’t buy it. In fact, I would argue that the requisite capital for transforming today’s schools into tomorrow’s cutting-edge academies has long been under foot.

Where Colleges Have Gone Wrong

The core mission of higher education is to deliver knowledge. However, in order to fund that mission, the schools have depended on a variety of sideline businesses. Not only is this unrelated and unrelenting pursuit of revenues a distraction, it also consumes capital that could have been used to improve educational content, modernize delivery systems and reverse the trend of escalating tuition prices.

An example is the cash that’s deeply buried in campus real estate. If one of the many hopes that parents have for their college-bound kids is for them to learn how to function on their own, shouldn’t the schools help? Dormitories, cafeterias and other holdings can be repurposed by others into independent apartments, grocery stores, bistros and even, conference centers and incubators for fledgling ventures.

Even more resources can be made available by consolidating the wastefully duplicative administrative functions that exist among local and regional schools. Hospitals moved in this direction when government reimbursement and private insurer payment rates decreased in the 1980s. Many of the institutions that participate in the healthcare systemswe know today—whether through strategicaffiliations or mergers—retain their individual areas of expertise.

It’s time for the schools to follow suit.

However, there is no sense in liquidating real estate holdings and eliminating redundancies unless institutional academia accepts the fact that times have changed and so too must they. Otherwise, all the asset and operational restructures in the world won’t amount to much more than burning the furniture just to stay warm.

This story is an Op/Ed contribution to Credit.com and does not represent the views of the company or its affiliates.

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We Tried A New Aerobics Class Inspired By Miami's Dance Clubs, And It's A Hell Of A Workout


sadie ((305)) fitness

"This is going to be a party, may as well get to know each other," our petite instructor shouts out while us students all shake hands. The live DJ in the corner blasts Shakira from the speakers while we all start jumping up and down and waving our arms.

It's 11:45 in the morning on a Saturday, and I'm trying out ((305)) Fitness, the aerobics dance class inspired by the Miami club scene (thus 305, for the city's area code). The firecracker instructor is the 23-year-old Sadie Kurzban, the founder and inventor of the high-energy work out.

"I was never a dancer," Kurzban tells me after class at a nearby cafe. "The first time I took a cardio dance class in my hometown of Miami, it changed everything. Instead of being on the treadmill and counting calories, I was focusing on how my body was moving and the people around me."

That vibe inspired Kurzban to start a similar class at her alma mater, Brown University. Soon, hundreds of students of all different sizes, backgrounds, and endurance levels were coming to the club-inspired fitness class. "At Brown, it's very intellectual and no one works out. It's actually very uncool to work out," she laughs.

"But this was a community and it was so much fun. I was able to help people feel good about their bodies in this fun setting."

Students working out at ((305)) fitnessInspired to start her own fitness business, Kurzban stopped taking classes on feminism and English and began to enroll in business and accounting courses. She even majored in Econ, much to her own surprise.

Then it was the moment of truth: Every year, Brown University has an Entrepreneurship Competition where the student with the best business plan can win funds to start his or her own venture.

"Fifty people enter this competition. 49 of them are guys with medical, science, and tech-based plans. And then I'm up there saying that I'm going to start this fitness thing in New York City," Kurzban tells me.

But after working long hours to make a unique and solid business proposal, she won the competition— and the prize money. Kurzban took her winnings, moved to New York City, and started doing one ((305)) Fitness class once a week in October 2012.

Not long after, it had exploded.

Today, Kurzban has seven other instructors and teaches around 15 classes a week at the Flatiron District dance studio where prices range from $18 for students to $24 for a single class.

And it's not hard to see why it's so popular. The ((305)) classes are high intensity, high energy, and highly motivating. There's a warm up with dance choreography, a toning section, dance sprints, and a cool down. Inspired by interval training, the dance moves work your arms, legs, and abs the entire time.

But it doesn't feel like interval training. Though ((305)) isn't easy by any means — Kurzban doesn't want students to plateau with her workout like they might with Zumba — it feels more like you're in a club than at an aerobics class. Girls in spandex shimmy, shake, and strut in front of the studio mirror as Kurzban spins around the room whooping it up. Neon lights and loud speakers don't hurt the ambiance, either.

Obviously, the class isn't for everyone. "Most of my clients, I would say, are in their late 20s," Kurzban says. "We don't get a lot of mommies."

It's a lot of jumping, turning, and squatting, so if you have sore joints or bad knees, this is probably not the fitness class for you.

But if you're in an exercise rut or just want to tone up while shaking (and sweating) to everything from Pitbull to Daft Punk, then welcome to ((305)).

To find out more about ((305)) Fitness  or to sign up for a class, click here.

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The 10 Best Gay Bars in San Francisco


Aunt Charlies

San Francisco has long been known for its vibrant gay and lesbian community, and it has the nightlife to prove it.

The city is home to a wide variety of bars and clubs featuring drag shows, costume nights, themed drinks, and wild dancing. 

With the help of our friends at Yelp, we compiled a list of the 10 best gay bars in San Francisco. They're spread out across the city and each offers something different, from a nautical theme to Monday Drag Nights. 

All 10 of the spots on the list get a single dollar sign rating from Yelp and offer great drink deals, proving that you don't need to spend a lot to have a great time in the Golden Gate City.

#10 Powerhouse

1347 Folsom St

Known for theme nights like a weekly Underwear Party and a liberal attitude towards pornography, Powerhouse makes for a rowdy night out in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood.

"The drinks are reasonably priced and fairly strong, although I'm mostly a beer drinker as well. It may smell like beer or piss from time to time but that's part of its charm. This bar is NOT for the faint of heart; but, that's why it's located in SOMA and not the Castro. Long live, Powerhouse!" Demetri M. wrote. 

#9 440 Castro (Formerly Daddy's)

440 Castro St

As its former name, Daddy's, might suggest, 440 Castro caters to a slightly older crowd, but that doesn't stop it from serving up hearty drinks from the hands of friendly, efficient bartenders. Yelpers call it a "bar for bears," and Tuesday is $2 beer night. 

"This Place is awesome! In the Heart of the Castro with no qualms of being a gay bar it rocks your socks off and much more if you let it!" Curtis C. wrote. 

#8 Gangway

841 Larkin Street

Gangway stands out as a nautically-themed dive bar with passion fruit martinis, $8 pitchers, and drag queens in full sparkling regalia. It's in the Tenderloin, one of San Francisco's more questionable neighborhoods, but Yelpers say that adds to the fun.  

"You often say that you'll start at Gangway, but you'll be there the whole night. Nice and friendly bartenders who remembers you after being there once. Cheap beers. And talk to the sometimes a bit strange costumers," Jesper H. wrote.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The Most Surprising Things About America, According To An Indian International Student


Aniruddh ChaturvediAniruddh Chaturvedi came from Mumbai to Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he is majoring in computer science. This past summer he interned at a tech company out in Silicon Valley.

During two years in the U.S., Chaturvedi has been surprised by various aspects of society, as he explained last year in a post on Quora.

Chaturvedi offered his latest thoughts on America in an email to Business Insider:

  • Nobody talks about grades here. 
  • Everyone is highly private about their accomplishments and failures. Someone's performance in any field is their performance alone. This is different compared to India where people flaunt their riches and share their accomplishments with everybody else.
  • The retail experience is nowhere near as fun/nice as it is in India. Because labor is cheap in India, there is always someone who will act as a "personal shopper" to assist you with holding your clothes, giving suggestions, etc. In America, on the other hand, even if you go to a Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, there is almost nobody to help you out while you're shopping. Shopping in America is more of a commodity / chore than it is a pleasurable activity 
  • This may be biased/wrong because I was an intern, but at least in the tech world, nobody wants to put you under the bus for something that you didn't do correctly or didn't understand how to do. People will sit with you patiently till you get it. If you aren't able to finish something within the stipulated deadline, a person on your team would graciously offer to take it off your plate.
  • The same applies to school. Before I came to the United States, I heard stories about how students at Johns Hopkins were so competitive with each other that they used to tear important pages from books in the library just so other students didn't have access to it. In reality, I experienced the complete opposite. Students were highly collaborative, formed study groups, and studied / did assignments till everyone in the group "got it". I think the reason for this is that the classes are / material is so hard that it makes sense to work collaboratively to the point that students learn from each other. 
  • Strong ethics — everyone has a lot of integrity. If someone cannot submit their completed assignment in time, they will turn in the assignment incomplete rather than asking for answers at the last minute. People take pride in their hard work and usually do not cheat. This is different from students from India and China as well as back home in India, where everyone collaborates to the extent that it can be categorized as cheating.
  • Rich people are thin/ well maintained, poor people are fat. This stems from the fact that cheap food is fatty, rich people don't eat cheap food — they tend to eat either home-cooked food which is expensive or eat at expensive / healthy places. Unfortunately, it is expensive to be healthy in America.
  • Fat people are not respected much in society. Being fat often has the same connotations as being irresponsible towards your body. If you're thin (and tall, but not as much), people will respect you a lot more and treat you better. You will also receive better customer service if you're well maintained. This extends my previous point which mentioned that if you're thin, you're statistically likely to be rich. Reason why I know this is that I went down from being 210lbs to 148-150lbs. The way people started treating me when I was thin was generally way better than the way I was treated when I was fat. As a small example, the Starbucks baristas were much nicer to me and made me drinks with more care / love. 
  • Girls are not very promiscuous, contrary to most Hollywood films
  • Almost every single person in America has access to basic food, clothing, water and sanitation. I haven't been to states like Louisiana and cities like Detroit, but from what I can tell, nobody is scrambling for the basic necessities required for sustenance. 
  • Dearth of African Americans in technical fields. This probably stems from the fact that they aren't given enough opportunity, broken families, etc. I'm pretty sure you can extend upon this if you'd like.
  • It's expensive to have brick houses in America, contrary to India where brick houses are the norm
  • Emphasis on physical fitness / being outdoorsy — this is more of a California thing but I noticed families going on biking trips, boat trips, hiking, camping, barbecuing, etc. Americans take pride in the natural beauty of their surroundings and tend to make the most of it
  • Americans waste a lot of food. It is very easy to buy in bulk because it's so much cheaper and as a result a lot of wastage occurs. 
  • Obsession with coffee — Starbucks, Dunkin' etc is crowded with office-goers and students every morning. I don't understand why they can't drink or make coffee before leaving for work. Such a waste of money! ($5/day * 5days / week * 52weeks/year)!
  • Split families, not having married parents, etc is not seen differently than the contrary. 
  • Support towards the LGBT community — it's fairly normal to be part of the LGBT community; it's not considered a mortal sin if you like someone in your own gender or if you aren't comfortable being male/female/etc. Proof of this is the LGBT Pride Day held in every city etc. 
  • Smoking weed is seen the same as smoking cigarettes. 

And here's some more things he found surprising about America, excerpted from his post last summer on Quora :

The way that stores price their products makes no apparent economic sense, and is not linear at all.

For example, at a typical store: 
 - 1 can of coke : $1.00
 - 12 cans of coke : $3.00
 - 1 Häagen-Dazs ice cream bar : $3.00
 - 12 Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars : $7.00

The return policy on almost everything: None of my friends back in India believed me when I told them that you can literally buy anything, including food, and return it within ninety days for a full refund even if you don't have a specific reason for doing so (most stores actually have a "Buyer's Remorse" category under Reason for Return options while returning the product).

The pervasiveness of fast food and the sheer variety of products available: The typical supermarket has at least a hundred varieties of frozen pizza, 50 brands of trail mix, etc. I was just astounded by the different kinds of products available even at small gas station convenience stores. 

Soda being cheaper than bottled water: It makes no sense that carbonated and flavored water with HFCS are cheaper than regular water, but hey, that's just how it is.

The fact that there are full service rest stops with decent chain restaurants and big supermarkets every couple of miles on interstate highways 

Fruit and vegetable prices, as compared to fast food prices:

- Bag of grapes : $6.00
 - Box of strawberries : $5.00
 - 1 lb tomatoes : $3.00

 - McChicken : $1.00
 - [McDouble] : $1.00

Unlimited soda refills:

The first time (and one of the last times...) I visited McDonalds in 2007, the cashier gave me an empty cup when I ordered soda. The concept of virtually unlimited soda refills was alien to me, and I thought there was a catch to it, but apparently not. 

Slightly digressing, I've noticed that the typical fountain machine has a huge selection, including Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Hi-C, Powerade, Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade (and/or their coca-cola counterparts)... The list goes on. This may not seem like much, but it is actually a lot more compared to the 3-4 options (coca-cola, sprite, fanta, limca) that most Indian soda fountain machines have. 

Serving Sizes: American serving sizes are HUGE! I've noticed that entree sizes are huge as well. I am by no means a small eater, but it usually takes me at least 1.5 meals to finish the entree. 

US Flag displayed everywhere: I was surprised to see that the US flag is displayed in schools, on rooftops of houses, etc. India has very strict rules governing the display and use of the national flag. Also, something that struck out to me was how it was completely normal to wear the US flag or a US flag-like pattern as a bikini. 

Over-commercialization of festivals: I'm not denying that festivals like Diwali and Eid aren't extremely commercialized in India, but America takes it to a whole new level.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc., and an almost year-round sale of Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc. items.

An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living.  Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth. 

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications.

Chaturvedi ended his post with a link to a video of "America F--- Yeah" from the movie "Team America." 

SEE ALSO: 17 crazy things that only happen in India

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Seamus Heaney Died Today: Watch Him Read Two Of His Favorite Poems


seamus heaney

Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney died today.

When the poet, who is also known for translating Beowulf, received the David Cohen prize for lifetime achievement in 2009, he read two poems to exemplify his body of work, according to The Guardian.

First, he read "The Underground," which he read "in gratitude for all that London and the people I have known in London have given by way of literary inspiration and confirmation."

Here's a video of him reading the poem:

Second, he read "A Drink Of Water," which he said was "about receiving a gift and being enjoined to 'remember the giver.'"

Here's a video of him reading the poem:

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Scientists Make A Big Breakthrough For Fighting Jet Lag


lawrence larry summers yawnA gene has been discovered which stops our body clock from resetting, paving the way for new drugs to combat jet lag.

The gene slows our body's adaptation to new time zones, the team from the University of Oxford found, acting as a safety mechanism to prevent our internal clock from getting out of synch, a process which is linked to chronic diseases.

However, turning the gene off could prevent the symptoms jet lag, tests on mice indicated.

Our bodies, like those of most life forms on earth, operate to the circadian clock, a natural 24 cycle which tells us when to sleep or wake up.

This responds to natural light - but when we rapidly move to a different time zone, such as on a long haul flight, it is thrown into disarray.

The circadian clock is governed by an area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), which in turn receives information from a specialised system in the eyes which detects environmental light, according to the report in the journal Cell.

This allows the body to synchronise with the night and day cycle. However, scientists were unable to explain why it took so long for the body clock to 'reset' to different time zones - sometimes as long as a day for each hour the actual clock shifted.

Now a team from the University of Oxford have identified a gene in mice which appears to stop the body clock from adjusting too quickly.

This is because it can take some days for the brain to be convinced the new data about the night/day cycle is reliable, they say.

Dr Stuart Peirson said: "We've identified a system that actively prevents the body clock from re-adjusting.

"If you think about, it makes sense to have a buffering mechanism in place to provide some stability to the clock. The clock needs to be sure that it is getting a reliable signal, and if the signal occurs at the same time over several days it probably has biological relevance.

"But it is this same buffering mechanism that slows down our ability to adjust to a new time zone and causes jet lag."

They studied gene expression in the SCN in mice, who were exposed to light and darkness.

They identified around 100 genes that were switched on in response to light, revealing a sequence of events that act to retune the circadian clock.

Amongst these, they identified one molecule, SIK1, that terminates this response, acting as a brake to limit the effects of light on the clock.

When they blocked the activity of SIK1, the mice adjusted faster to changes in light cycle.

Dr Russell Foster said that we were still a long way off from a jet lag cure, but added it was a step towards developing drugs for interrupted sleep cycles.

Disruptions in the circadian system have been linked to chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as weakened immunity to infections and impaired cognition.

More recently, researchers are uncovering that circadian disturbances are a common feature of several mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Dr Foster said: "We're still several years away from a cure for jet-lag but understanding the mechanisms that generate and regulate our circadian clock gives us targets to develop drugs to help bring our bodies in tune with the solar cycle.

"Such drugs could potentially have broader therapeutic value for people with mental health issues."

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An Entrepreneur Agonizing Over A Wedding Gift Started A Service To Solve The Problem


wantful gift bookA couple of years ago, John Poisson was struggling to find a gift for friends who are getting married. 

"I had no idea how to narrow down the options or decide what to get them," Poisson told Business Insider. "I realized how many people struggle with that problem and it seemed like a silly problem to have." 

In November 2011 Poisson launched Wantful, a curated gift-giving service. 

Wantful asks visitors a series of questions about who they're buying for, that person's interests, what their budget is, and the occasion.

Then, it generates gifts based on your answers that can be curated until you're satisfied. 

Finally, Wantful sends you a printed giftbook with up to 12 gift choices. The book is wrapped up like a present. 

"Suddenly, it's like your loved one created a pop-up shop just for you," Poisson said. 

john poisson wantful ceo

The recipient can then go to Wantful's website to redeem the gift of their choosing. 

Poisson said that his core customers are between ages 30 and 60, and that the service is especially popular with men. 

Wantful recently paired up with Nordstrom to make gift books with the department store's selections. 

Poisson said the service is also working to provide corporate gifts for events and anniversaries. 

SEE ALSO: New Company Claims It's Impossible For Most Men To Find Shirts That Fit

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7 Outrageous Backyard Amenities For Millionaires


These days, homeowners are going all out to personalize their outdoor spaces.

Patios and pools are just the tip of the iceberg.

As summer crawls to a close, we rounded up some of the craziest backyard amenities out there.

Pizza Oven

Forget the grill, the latest craze in outdoor dining is the pizza oven. Pick your favorite toppings and in 2 minutes you'll have a gourmet, restaurant-style pizza right in your backyard.

outdoor pizza oven

Available at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

Fire pit in the pool

Perfect for a chilly summer night. Float in the pool while a fire warms the air and savor some s'mores. This outdoor-only luxury lets you enjoy two of earth's elements, water and fire.

Fire pit

Custom pools available at Dreamscapes.

Cooling mist system

Never overheat again. Even the balmiest days will be tolerable with the misting heads that lightly spray the area you choose, instantly cooling you and your guests.

cooling mist system

Systems available at Mistcooling.com.

Outdoor movie screen

Don't feel guilty about watching a movie on a night night. Bring the movie outside with you. An indoor projector displays the movie on an outdoor wall so you can be entertained while soaking up the sun or taking in a perfect summer night.

outdoor movie screen

Outdoor movie projectors are available at Amazon.com.

Mosquito control systems

Bug bites begone. Now, you don't have to worry about waking up with numerous bug bites. This system attracts and traps the pesky bugs before they get to you.

mosquito control

Available at Amazon.com.

Swim-up bar 

A staple at luxury resorts can be yours. Don't get out and dry off to make yourself another drink, swim right up and pretend you're at your favorite beach resort, minus the plane ride.

swim up bar

In-ground trampoline

Kids won't fall off of this trampoline. A spin-off of the in-ground pool, the trampoline is flush with the ground so kids can jump to their heart's content.

in ground trampoline


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We Tried Exo — A Protein Bar Made With 25 Crickets


Exo is a protein bar made of all-natural ingredients like raw almonds, honey, and coconut. But there's one unexpected ingredient – cricket flour.

One Exo bar is made of 6% cricket flour, which amounts to about 25 ground-up crickets. We got some of our unsuspecting co-workers to try the Exo bar to see what they thought of the taste and how they would react to eating crickets.


Produced by William Wei

Music by Alas Media

SEE ALSO: We Ate Balut — The Absolute Strangest Food You Can Find In New York City

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Six Flags Great Adventure Is Launching A Terrifying New Ride Inside The Park's Tallest, Fastest Roller Coaster


six flags drop tower

If you have the need for speed — and heights — Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is launching a record-breaking new ride next year inside the tallest coaster in the world. 

Zumanjaro Drop of Doom will be built on the Jackson theme park's tallest, fastest coaster Kingda Ka dropping riders 415 feet at speeds of up to 90 mph.

Six Flags announced the ride in a press release saying it will be the tallest drop tower in the world.

The tower will consist of three eight-person gondolas. Once riders are shot up 415 feet in the air they'll overlook the parks other rides including wooden coaster El Toro. 

What's most terrifying — or awesome — is that simultaneously, the park's tallest and fastest coaster Kingda Ka will be shooting toward riders at 128 mph as it launches into the sky. 

 If you're not familiar with Kingda Ka, the ride debuted at Six Flags in May 2005. The coaster is absolutely massive. At the time it was built, it was dubbed the largest coaster in the world at 456 ft. Its known not only for its height but for sending riders from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Zumanjaro is inspired by the African theme of the park's Safari Off Road Adventure. 

Back in 2009, the Six Flags theme-park chain filed for bankruptcy claiming a debt of $2.4 billion. 

Less than a year later, the company emerged from bankruptcy, ridding of more than $1 billion in debt after a restructuring and cutting down heavily on interest expenditures. 

This year, the park in Jackson, NJ said it became the largest theme park in the world after combining its theme park with its Wild Safari ride which allowed riders an up-close experience with animals.

To make room for the new ride, the park will get rid of one of its oldest, classic wooden coasters, Rolling Thunder which debuted in 1979. The ride will close to the public September 8.

Watch a preview of the Zumanjaro Drop of Doom below along with some screenshots. We can't wait.

Here's how Zumanjaro will look. The three eight-person gondalas are in the center of Six Flag's Great Adventure largest coaster Kingda Ka.

six flags zumanjaroThe ride will take people up 415 feet in the air.zumanjaro six flags

The view from the top will overlook coasters including Bizarro (far left) and wooden coaster El Toro.six flags view zumanjaroThen it will plummet them back down at 90 mph in 10 seconds. zumanjaro drop of doom six flagsYou may get to see — or hear — Kingda Ka as it zooms by you at 128 mph before passing overhead.zumanjaro

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Here's The Artwork That JFK Saw The Night Before He Died


President Kennedy speaks to the crowd outside the Hotel Texas JFK exhibit

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy spent the last night of his life with first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in Suite 850 of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, surrounded by fine art specially chosen for their visit.

The art exhibit, drawn from local public and private collections, was a big deal for Fort Worth collectors.

It served to show "hospitality to weary travelers, to show off cultural competency on the part of the collectors, and to put Fort Worth a notch ahead of its rival sister city, Dallas, where the president was headed next," writes Wake Forest University art historian David Lubin, author of "Shooting Kennedy:  JFK and the Culture of Images."

All anyone remembers, however, is what happened the next day, on November 22, 1963, when Kennedy flew to Dallas and was assassinated while driving in a parade.

Now, 50 years after Kennedy's death, the Dallas Museum of Art has gathered the artwork from the president's suite for an exhibition running through September 15.

Curator Owen Day and others involved in the exhibit in Suite 850 based the artwork on the Kennedy's personal tastes and interests.

Living Area, Suite 850, Hotel Texas, Fort Worth Owen Day/Dana Day Henderson Papers Photo by Byron Scott

In Dallas, abstract art caused quite a stir, even causing the art museum there to split for a few years. By juxtaposing Picasso's sculptures with traditional Impressionism from Monet in the suite, Forth Worth snubbed its rival city.

Angry Owl, 1951 – 1953, Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Collection of Gwendolyn Weiner

Source: "Art Is Not A Form Of Propaganda; It Is A Form Of Truth"

An oil painting on canvas, Franz Kline's "Study for Accent Grave" symbolizes phonetics in the French language.

Study for Accent Grave, 1954, Franz Kline © 2012 The Franz Kline Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Extended Loan to the Palm Springs Art Museum from the Collection of Gwendolyn Weiner

Source: Cleveland Museum of Art

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This Is What It Looks Like When 68,000 People Build A Temporary City In The Nevada Desert


Burning Man, the annual arts, culture, and music festival in the Nevada desert, is well underway.

This year, as many as 68,000 people were expected to turn out to join the "experimental community," which is completely built from the ground up ever year.

Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart captured these stunning aerial images of Black Rock City, the city built by festival participants.

burning man aerial view

Here's a closer look at some of the temporary structures and trailers of Black Rock City:

burning man aerial

Some of the structures are incredibly elaborate, especially considering they're only meant to last a week:

burning man structures

The "Man," seen in the foreground of this photo, is burned in effigy at the end of the festival:

burning man

Here's what he looks like from the ground:

burning man

Festival-goers get around on bikes, and are largely cut off from the outside world.

burning man

At the end of Burning Man, participants are told to "leave no trace" of their weeklong party in the desert.

burning man

SEE ALSO: Federal Agents Are Swarming The Nevada Desert This Week

SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Cities For Nightlife

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Shanghai Made Its Own, Grimly Delicious Version Of The Giant Rubber Duck


We've called out Chinese cities for copying the giant Rubber Duck a Dutch artist recently made for Hong Kong, but Shanghai deserves credit for coming up with an original spin on the floating bird theme.

Several Chinese artists designed and remade a ferry on the city's Huangpu River to look like a duck, according to Reuters. But they added a grim twist.

It's a cooked duck.

Check it out:

shanghai ferry cooked duck skyline

The ferry will be around for a month, carrying passengers and hosting cultural performances, according to the AFP.

It looks delicious:

shanghai ferry cooked duck

Here's a look at the original, in Hong Kong:

Hong Kong Duck

SEE ALSO: Flying On The WW2-Era Boeing Clipper Was Amazingly Luxurious

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The Easiest Way To Core A Head Of Lettuce

Hawaiian Airlines Will Lend You An iPad Mini For $15 Per Flight


Hawaiian_Airlines_Boeing_767 300 jet

Economy passengers on some Hawaiian Airlines flights will have access to their own iPad mini starting this weekend, if they're willing to cough up some cash.

The airline has purchased 1,500 of the tablets, and will offer them on 14 routes between Hawaii and the US mainland, Asia, and South Pacific, on its Boeing 767 aircraft.

The iPads will replace the planes's portable entertainment systems, the airline announced this week.

Business class travelers will get the service for free. For those flying in economy, access to the tablet will cost $15 if reserved at the departure gate, and $17 if purchased in-flight.

The Apple products will almost certainly be a step up over the digEplayers Hawaiian currently offers, for the same price.

Hawaiian is not the first carrier to bring tablets on board. American Airlines pilots have exchanged paper manuals for iPads, and Australia's Qantas offers the Apple tablets on its own 767s, according to CNN Money.

SEE ALSO: Flying On The WW2-Era Boeing Clipper Was Amazingly Luxurious

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Remembering Princess Diana: 30 Iconic Photos Of The Princess Of Wales


princess diana

August 31 marks the 16th anniversary of the car crash that killed Diana, Princess of Wales and the "Queen of People's Hearts."

The year of her death, 1997, was highlighted by trips to Angola and Bosnia in her high-profile campaign against land mines, and Mediterranean holidays with her sons and companion, Emad Mohamed al-Fayed.

Nicknamed "Dodi," Fayed also died in the limo that fateful evening in Paris. The pair had just left the Ritz Hotel and were being pursued by paparazzi on motorcycles.

A 2008 inquest ruled that they were unlawfully killed, the result of "gross negligence" by their drunk driver and photographers. Conspiracy theories swirled for years, keeping the wounds fresh on British hearts.

Last week, BBC reported that the Scotland Yard was investigating new information, provided to the Metropolitan police by an Army source, suggesting that the military was involved in the crash.

Sixteen years after her death, Princess Diana is remembered for her compassion and commitment to her causes. These photos display her endless supply of charm and generosity.

Lady Diana Spencer as a toddler on the Norfolk, England property where she grew up.

Here she is in a stroller at Park House in 1962.

She kept a Shetland pony, named Souffle, at her mother's Scotland home in the summer of 1974.

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Here's What It Looks Like Inside The Temporary City That 68,000 People Built In The Middle Of The Desert


Burning Man is the annual art, culture, and revelry festival in the middle of the Nevada desert, where at least 68,000 "Burners" get together to create a temporary autonomous city.

Yesterday we showed you what the community looked like from above. Now let's look at what it's like on the inside.

Reuters photographer Jim Bourg took these fantastic pictures that give you a sense of the scene within.

The pictures don't need much in the way of description, we don't think.

burning man sculpture butt

burning man costumes

burning man red haired lady

burning man bird face decorations

burning man light sculpture

burning man freakshow

burning man sunset

burning man purple car

SEE ALSO: Aerial photos of Burning Man

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Yes, Talking On A Hands-Free Cellphone While Driving Is As Bad As Driving Drunk



I was on vacation in Scotland recently with some friends and we piled into a van for a road trip from Edinburgh to Loch Lomond. One of my friends — a well-known theater producer in London — got behind the wheel and put on her Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone earpiece, so that she could conduct some business calls along the way.

I protested that phoning while driving was as bad as climbing behind the wheel with a gin and tonic, but I was shouted down by my mates. It's just talking, and everyone talks while driving.

I thought everyone knew that talking on the phone is as bad, maybe worse, than drunk driving. But it turns out I'm in a minority — while everyone knows that texting while driving leads to accidents, most people believe that talking on a hands-free cellphone device is no different than chatting to the person next to you in the shotgun seat.

Most people, however, are wrong.

The available studies so far suggest that talking on the phone while driving, even hands-free, is as bad or worse than driving drunk. Indeed, hands-free talking may be worse than drunk-driving precisely because so many people are lulled into thinking it's safer.

Here's the research:

It is, therefore, especially scary that the Bluetooth company web site actively encourages hands-free talking-while-driving as a safety measure (because they are not hand-held devices).

It's not clear why talking on a hands-free is worse than chatting with a passenger. Theories floated so far suggest that talking to a person remotely requires greater cognitive effort than talking to a person sitting next to you. (Think about how much more effort you have to put into a cellphone conversation than a face to face one.)  Also, the person next to you can respond to your driving cues and alter the workload of the conversation based on the difficulty of driving conditions — the person on the other end of the cellphone can't help you with any of that.

My friend didn't crash our van in Scotland, luckily. She did, however, take directions from a person using a GPS app on a cellphone in the passenger seat — and she blew right through a "Dead End" sign within five minutes of setting off, forcing her into an embarrassing three-point turn at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Perhaps her performance would have been better if she had been drinking and driving alone.

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