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The 26 Coolest Cars At The Los Angeles Auto Show [PHOTOS]

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Mercedes-Benz 2015 SLS AMG GT Final Edition

The press days are over at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, and many wonderful new vehicles have been brought into the world.

More than 50 new cars made appearances at the show, as did some old classics and a few newcomers we've gotten to know over the past year.

For those who couldn't make the show — and those who are gearing up to attend but don't know where to start — we've rounded up the 26 coolest vehicles on display in Los Angeles this year.

From the final Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to BMW's electric sports car to the Maserati for the masses, here's the best from this year's LA show.

The Macan is a special car for Porsche, representing the brand's first SUV. Maria Sharapova showed up on stage for extra dramatic effect.



Lexus took an already impressive IS 350, then added Brembro brakes, tons of fender flares, a custom suspension, and a custom paint job. The design won a DeviantArt contest, so it's dubbed the DeviantArt IS 350 F Sport.



We were bummed out to find the new WRX doesn't live up to the excitement Subaru built up with an awesome concept a few months ago. But it's still a WRX with a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, so we can't complain too much.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






A Rare Leica Camera Was Sold At Auction For $620,000

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leica camera

An Asian buyer purchased a rare Leica camera, one of only four of its kind in the world, for $620,000 at a Hong Kong auction, auctioneers said Saturday.

The 1932 Leica Luxus II fetched HK$4.84 million ($620,000) late Friday in an auction where about 80 cameras and accessories went under the hammer in the southern Chinese city.

But the selling price failed to set a new world record for a camera, as some expected, falling short of earlier sale estimates of up to HK$9 million ($1.16 million).

The world record for a camera was set in Vienna last year, when a Leica camera prototype -- the 0-Series made in 1923 -- sold for 2.16 million euros ($2.79 million).

Only four of the Luxus II cameras were ever made, auctioneers Bonhams said. The whereabouts of the other three are unknown.

The camera, which is gold-plated and comes with a crocodile skin case, had previously belonged to a British amateur photographer who acquired it soon after the World War II, Bonhams said.

A spokesman for Bonhams said the buyer was Asian, but did not reveal the nationality.

Another rare camera, a 1930 Leica Luxus I, also sold for HK$4.84 million at the auction Friday, also below the estimated sale price.

The prices such cameras fetch are a barometer of the growing interest for early photographic materials.

"Bringing the camera sale to Hong Kong has once again been more than justified," Jon Baddeley, Managing Director of Bonhams Knightsbridge, London and Global Head of Collectibles, told AFP in an email.

The former British colony has become a hub for auctions of collectibles and rare items, ranging from diamonds to stamps, thanks to growing wealth in China and other parts of Asia.

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'Invisible Girlfriend' Startup Provides Fake Love For A Price

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invisible girlfriend

If you're having trouble in the dating game and dread those judgmental looks from friends and family, you can now fake it for a monthly price.

Invisible Girlfriend, a new company recently created at Startup Weekend St. Louis, has emerged as the solution for those without a significant other — providing potential subscribers with options such as text messaging, "emergency interaction," gifts, and a relationship status change on Facebook.

“Our audience might come from a variety of situations: maybe they’re in a same-sex relationship they’re hiding from disapproving relatives, are trying to avoid the unwelcome advances from a coworker, or have chosen to focus on their work instead of romance,” creator Matt Homann told BuzzFeed of who might actually use such a service.

The company, which is still pre-launch, offers three monthly subscription options: "Just Talking," which offers text messages, automated calls, and gifts for $9.99, "Getting Serious," with the previous options plus Facebook relationship change, and real voicemails and gifts for $29.99, and finally: "Almost Engaged," which offers 'custom girlfriend characterization' and live phone calls at $49.99.

"We're not trying to build a girlfriend they can believe in — that's a whole other level of technology," Homann told Riverfront Times. "We're giving them a better story to tell, even if the story isn't true."

Invisible Girlfriend was pitched for the first time at Startup Weekend more as a joke, but a 10-person team of developers and business experts teamed up to create a rough product in just 54 hours. 

They took home first place in the competition — along with $3000, according to BuzzFeed. There are also future plans to create an Invisible Boyfriend version.

"It went from, 'Let's have some fun. Let's make everyone laugh,' to, 'We have the making and talent to build something that works,'" Homann told Riverfront Times.

You can check out their website here.

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'Zombies' Take Over Mexico City

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zombie walk mexico city

More than 7,000 "zombies" crammed Mexico City's streets Saturday for the popular Zombie Walk Mexico, celebrating connections with the dead.

Decked out in masks and costumes, participants brought out their best fake blood and makeup for a tongue-in-cheek walk with fear, one of several such events internationally.

Mexico's Day of the Dead in November is one of the country's beloved holidays.

People honor their dead with pre-Hispanic traditions of bringing food and parties to their gravesides. It is not uncommon to see people in skeleton- and zombie-like costumes on those days.

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15 Incredible Views Of Cities From Space

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Rotterdam_as_seen_by_Envisat

In the past, we've posted some incredible views of Earth's most breathtaking natural features from the European Space Agency (ESA), which has been observing the Earth with satellites for decades.

It turns out that natural features aren't the only thing that the ESA has seen from space — they've turned their lenses on some of Earth's most iconic cities as well.

The ESA has launched some of the most advanced Earth-observation satellites ever, including the Envistat, which circled the Earth from 2002 until 2012.

Every week, the ESA releases a new image — plucked from the huge pool of Envistat and other satellite images — on their website.

This photo of Dubai, United Arab Emirates was taken in 2012. The blue mass at the center is the man-made Burj Khalifa "Lake." To its right is the Burj Khalifa tower, the tallest man-made structure in the world.

This image was taken by the French Pleiades satellite.



In this photo, this was taken by Envisat in 2005, you can see Manhattan nearly whited out by light pollution. It is the photo is colorized to show different terrains.



In this photo of the San Francisco Bay Area, you can see San Francisco on the peninsula in the center-left. The Golden Gate Bridge is just barely visible connecting the opening of the bay. The straight diagonal line running down the peninsula is the San Andreas Fault, responsible for the numerous earthquakes in the area.

This photo was taken by American satellite Landsat-7 in January. Landsat's goal is take cloud-free images of the Earth.



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The New Global Era Began With JFK’s Funeral

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jfk funeral kennedy jackie

Half a century ago, Canadian media philosopher Marshall McLuhan coined the term “global village” to describe the inevitable social transformation brought on by new forms of electronic communications. Hitched to satellites whirring through outer space, these technologies, he predicted, would create unities in a world of opposing cultural traditions, religious philosophies, and political ideologies.

The funeral of John F. Kennedy on Nov. 25, 1963, showed how that could be done. It was the first globally significant event to be globally televised. Dignitaries from around the world, on learning of the assassination, had rushed to America’s capital city on intercontinental jet airplanes, a relatively new travel technology — only about five years old — that, together with satellite telecommunications, had begun reorganizing humankind in McLuhan’s terms. Ninety-two nations were represented at the funeral by 220 high-ranking officials of what appeared to be every possible racial and ethnic configuration. Dressed in their finest formal attire, military or otherwise, medals bristling from their chests, the leaders (almost all of them male) marched side by side in silent dignity behind the horse-drawn caisson bearing the coffin of their slain counterpart.

If the true stars of this hours-long, commercially uninterrupted, live TV broadcast were the president’s family — his handsome brothers, his adorable children, and, most of all, his magnificent widow — these assembled world leaders were more than simply a cast of extras. They were as essential to the larger meaning of that day as the neoclassical government buildings that lined the funeral route.

We can deconstruct their presence in this city and beneath those buildings as a sort of latter-day ancient Roman procession, in which all nations come to pay tribute. Those who don’t risk imperial wrath.

But, from another perspective, the mixture of races and faces among the official mourners may well have inspired onlookers with a sense of hope — justified or not — for a new internationalism, multiculturalism, and global justice. 

At the very least, the funeral procession must have suggested to onlookers that new patterns were possible beyond those that had solidified into political dogma during the previous fifteen years of Cold War absolutism. One of the most memorable images from that chilly November day is the Mutt and Jeff pairing of the tall French president Charles De Gaulle, hero of the Free French Infantry in World War Two, with the small Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, the Lion of Judah, at the grave site in Arlington National Cemetery. Beamed around the world, this picture cannot help but have sent complicated messages about David and Goliath realities and realignments in the strange new world that Kennedy’s killing clearly marked.

JFK Jr. Salute Father's Funeral

Surely the most famous image of all from the Kennedy funeral is one that has had considerable staying power. It shows the president’s three-year-old son John Jr. — known affectionately as John John — saluting his fallen father, whose flag-draped coffin had been lowered onto the caisson [see that picture here; a similar one is on the right].

Whether shown in a full shot that includes his mother, sister, and uncles, or cropped to show him alone (as presented on the closing page of Life’s memorial edition, which appeared on newsstands a few days later), that single image probably did as much as anything else that weekend, or, indeed, the entire twentieth century, to pull together McLuhan’s global village.

The reason for this is simple: By capturing a moment of intense personal and private emotion that was also a public acknowledgment of filial love and respect, the image of John John saluting reached through television screens and magazine pages around the world to pull at human heartstrings. Regardless of the many cruel and unresolved divisions in race, religion, economics, and political ideology besetting the world on that day, individuals everywhere were unified by this heartbreaking glimpse into the tragedy of human existence. Unlike the funeral procession itself, which was long, slow, and emotionally distancing — which was perfectly appropriate, as the goal was to calm troubled emotions — this unexpected moment of universality was riveting. It made viewers everywhere feel connected. As so many later attested, it formed an instant, if temporary, bond.

Fifty years later, we are far too skeptical about media manipulation and much too inundated with news, advertising, and social media to have the capacity to respond to this photographic image with anything even remotely similar to the jolt it gave viewers around the world in 1963. In an era of smartphones and digital cameras, of Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Google Images, visual representations of reality seem to have lost their age-old power to bestir and bewitch viewers to the core. Image-glut cheapens the emotional worth of images; the more they wash across our eyeballs, the less able are those eyeballs to generate wonder or produce tears.

But in a very real sense, the changes we have undergone as a global culture are due in some significant measure to the televising of the funeral on that long-ago day in November, and to the glimmer of universality conveyed in one much-transmitted moment in particular, when a little boy in short pants, not quite understanding what was going on, poignantly saluted not only his father but, in effect, the entire world. It takes a village to make a child, but in this instance it took a child to make a global village.

David M. Lubin is the Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University and the author of the award-winning Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of ImagesAlso read his commentary on the Zapruder film and the last beautiful picture of JFK and Jackie.

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Watch These College Students Completely Botch The Story Of Thanksgiving

These 3 Slides Show How E-Cigarettes Are Shaking Up The Tobacco Industry

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Much about e-cigarettes remains to be seen — from the health effect to regulation to proper vaping etiquette.

One thing is pretty clear. E-cigarettes — already a billion-dollar industry — are really disrupting the tobacco status quo.

Barbarian Capital tweeted some lightly-annotated Lorillard research slides showing just how much the e-cigarette industry stands to grow.

First, e-cigarettes are already large enough to be negatively impacting U.S. cigarette trends

lorillard

There has been huge growth.

lorillard

Finally, some research suggests e-cigarettes may be "safer." It's important to remember that at one point, Marlboro Lights were "safe" cigarettes too. Then it turned out people were just buying more light cigarettes and taking heftier drags. Now, it's illegal to market a "light" cigarette, lest people think it is actually safe. Still:

lorillard cigarette

SEE ALSO: THE US 20: Twenty Huge Trends That Will Dominate America's Future

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Rumor Has It Angelina Jolie Bought Brad Pitt A Heart-Shaped Island For $12.2 Million

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petra island brad pitt and angelina jolieRumor has it that Angelina Jolie may have just bought Brad Pitt Petra Island, a heart-shaped island off the coast of New York that has been languishing on the real estate market for the past five years.

The unconfirmed sale, which The Daily Mail believes could be in honor of Pitt's upcoming 50th birthday in December, includes a home that was designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Pitt is known to be a big architecture buff (and a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright), so the $12.2 million purchase wouldn't be too surprising for the movie star. The sale would even be somewhat of a deal, considering that a little over a year ago the home and island were listed for $19.9 million.

The heart-shaped property is just a 15-minute helicopter ride north of New York City. It was completed in 2008 with a 5,000-square-foot main residence and a 1,200-square-foot guest cottage. Even if hasn't been purchased by Jolie, it's still worth taking a look around.

This is the heart-shaped private island designed by Frank Lloyd Wright located in Lake Mahopac in New York state.

Source: Google Maps



Petra Island is 11 acres and includes a guest cottage and main house, which you can see on the left.

Source: AHAlife



The house is surrounded by 200-year-old beech trees, and was built based on incomplete Frank Lloyd Wright plans.

Source: AHAlife



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9 Things Every Business Traveler Should Pack In Their Carry-On

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people waiting at the airport

Corporate jet-setters are all too familiar with frenzied trips through the airport: the checking in, security navigation, endless waiting, and eating on the go. And that's before they've even boarded the plane.

Since these road warriors have experienced it all, we wanted to know what they keep in their carry-on to make traveling easier, less expensive, and generally more enjoyable. 

A few frequent fliers helped us compile a list of the essential items they always keep conveniently packed in their carry-on bags:

Stop paying for airport WiFi, and stay connected with your own MiFi hotspot. 

Unless you're interested in shelling out up to $12 to use airport WiFi, it's a good idea to invest in a WiFi hotspot of your own. 

With its slim, credit card-sized package and simple access to 4G networks, personal MiFi hotspots like the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE MiFi are a personal favorite of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and David Rush, co-founder and CEO of Evzdrop.com.

"It is a huge time-saver because you always know you can stay connected regardless of your location," Rush told Busines Insider. "It also makes meetings efficient and gets you instantly online with a great connection."

Ditch the pricey GPS navigation system on your rental car, and bring your own. 

Car rental agencies are notorious for tacking on hidden fees on essential accessories like GPS navigation systems.

Save yourself some cash by bringing your own along (plenty are small enough to fit in your purse or carry-on bag). If you don't already own one, it's simple enough to turn your smartphone into a GPS device all on its own. 

Rig up a do-it-yourself smartphone stand for your dashboard, or invest in a ready-made mount for under $30.

Don't waste money on water bottles and purification tablets, and bring a reusable filtration bottle. 

"My number one tip is to invest in a water bottle with a filter," said Talia Salem, a communications rep for PlanetWildlife. "I have taken this all over the world and it has saved me hundreds of dollars."

There are dozens to choose from online. Salem is a fan of the Camelback Groove ($25), and we're crazy for AquaGear water filtration bottles ($29.99). 

They remove 99.99% of tap water contaminants and can save up to 600 plastic bottles over their lifetime. 

Pack a small kit with medicines, band aids, and first aid essentials.

If you've ever paid $10 for a minuscule bottle of aspirin at an airport kiosk, you'll appreciate this tip.

Stock up on essentials like pain reliever, band aids, vitamins, and cough drops before heading out on your flight, and be sure to pack them in your carry-on.

Survive the inevitable weather delay with a spare change of clothes. 

Salem learned the hard way to keep a spare set of business attire in her carry-on bag.

"I once had to go straight to a business meeting from the plane, even though I was supposed to arrive the day before," she said. 

If you keep a small lint roller on hand, too, you don't have to worry about getting your duds dusty in your bag. 

Freshen up on a dime with pocket-sized toothbrushes and facial wipes. 

In the three years Amy Lee spent traveling as a management consultant, the now senior travel analyst for TravelNerd said she never left for a flight without a pocket-sized toothbrush in her bag.

"Colgate Wisp is perfect for that 6 a.m. flight — post coffee drinking," she said. "[It] freshens up your breath and cleans teeth without having to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste." 

She's also a proponent of facial wipes, which are a quick way to freshen up if you've got to book it from the airport to a meeting.

Save time and money at airport coffee shops with instant java packs. 

No one expects frequent fliers to recover from a red-eye without a kick of caffeine, but that doesn't have to mean shelling out $5 and waiting in endless lines. 

Lee is a huge fan of Starbucks Instant Coffee packets, and just about every big coffee brand has their own version of insta-java on grocery store shelves. 

Keep a travel mug on hand, and you can easily fill up with a free cup of hot water from just about any airport eatery. 

Fuel up with snacks on the go. 

Business travelers usually have their meals covered by their employer, but that rarely means getting a blank check to restaurant hop before your flight. 

Keep within the confines of your daily food allowance by packing some quick snacks in your carry-on bag or purse.

Trail mix, small sandwiches, some fresh fruit, and cut veggies are all easy, healthy options for snacking on the go.

Always keep back-up cell phone and laptop chargers on hand. 

It's always nice when airports have charging stations for laptops and cell phones, but it's even nicer (and cheaper) to keep your own chargers on hand for emergencies. 

"Make sure you always have a back-up cell phone and computer charger that stays in your suitcase at home and on the road," said Roy Berger, president of MedjetAssist.

"Forgetting it will not only be expensive but can be very frustrating and time consuming in being able to locate the right kind while away from home."

SEE ALSO: 13 Fantastic Gifts For The World Traveler

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Here's What 'No Animals Were Harmed' REALLY Means

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luck HBO

Many people heard that filming of the HBO series "Luck" was canceled when four horses died.

The Hollywood Reporter just published a stunning investigation suggesting this is just the tip of the iceberg of animal abuses occurring in the film world. 

The American Humane Association (AHA) is the group that watches over animal welfare and awards films and TV shows the "no animals were harmed" moniker. They send representatives to watch over filming of movies and TV shows.

While the AHA once played a huge role in making Hollywood safer for animals, many recent incidents suggest that their work today in inadequate. Even those within the AHA who spoke to the Hollywood Reporter have lost hope in their role. 

But the problem, according to the article, is that the AHA's flexible application of the "no animals were harmed" credit leaves plenty of animals harmed. Notably, the credit doesn't apply during hiatuses in filming, when the harm wasn't intentional, or if the harm happened when the cameras aren't recording.

Here are some allegations made in the investigative report:

  • During New Zealand filming of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," 27 animals reportedly perished. According to the Hollywood Reporter, sheep and goats died from dehydration and drowning during a filming hiatus.
  • A trainer punched a Husky dog repeatedly in its diaphragm on Disney’s 2006 Antarctic sledding movie "Eight Below," starring Paul Walker, after the dogs got into a fight on set.
  • A chipmunk was fatally (and accidentally) squashed during the production of Paramount’s 2006 "Failure to Launch."
  • Potentially because crew members on Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" had taken no precautions to protect marine life when setting off special-effects explosions in the ocean, dozens of dead fish and squid washed up on shore for days.
  • In March, a 5-foot-long shark died after being placed in a small inflatable pool during a Kmart commercial shoot in Van Nuys.
  • Two horses died during the filming of Fox's "Flicka," which the AHA claims were accidents. This film didn't get a "no animals were harmed" credit but a credit that said the "American Humane Association monitored the animal action." So now you know what that means.
  • In 2010 during the filming of the Hallmark Channel's "Everlasting Courage," a horse named Glass was fatally injured when he was stabbed by a small broken part of a runaway wagon. He was euthanized. [See the somewhat disturbing injury on Glass's leg]
  • Four horses died during the Luck filming's between 2010 and 2012 Read the full story on Luck here »
  • During the filming of "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," many horses were removed from production because of injuries – up to 14 at one time. But, the production recieved a "No Animals Were Harmed" disclaimer.
  • A report on equine performers from 2001 to 2006 concluded that 82 horses had been adversely affected while working on sets during this period, including 58 injuries and eight deaths (from things like a "collision with camera car," "stepped on lead rope," and "impalement").
  • Multiple horses died from colic (potentially triggered by heatstroke) on the set of "There Will Be Blood" from Paramount Vantage. The AHA gave the film a modified end credit that stated that they "monitored the animal action.”

Read Animals Were Harmed at the Hollywood Reporter »

SEE ALSO: Scientists Want To Bring 24 Animals Back From Extinction

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Sex Survey Finds Dramatic Increase In Lesbian Activity Among The British

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The number of British women having lesbian encounters has quadrupled in the last 20 years, according to the largest-ever survey of Britain's sexual habits which was published on Tuesday.

The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, which quizzed more than 15,000 Britons about their sex lives, found that nearly eight percent of women had been with female partners, compared to just 1.8 percent in 1990.

In contrast, the number of men having gay sex has remained more stable over the same period, and now stands at 4.8 percent according to the findings published in the Lancet medical journal.

Professor Kaye Wellings of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which co-ran the study, said there had been a "remarkable" change in women's sexual behaviour since the first survey two decades ago.

"In some areas of sexual behaviour we have seen a narrowing of the gender gap, but in others we have seen women overtaking men in the diversity of their behaviour," she said.

The trends need to be seen "against the backdrop of the profound changes in the position of women in society, the norms governing their lifestyles, and media representations of female sexuality", she added.

British women have twice as many sexual partners over a lifetime as they did 20 years ago -- the figure now is 7.7 on average.

Men also have more partners than before -- around 12 over a lifetime, up from 8.6 -- but the smaller increase suggests "a narrowing of the gender gap", according to the study.

Elsewhere the survey found that Britons are having sex less often but are enjoying it well into their seventies.

The average Briton has intercourse less than five times a month, compared to more than six times a month a decade ago.

The study said the drop was explained partly by the fact that more Britons live alone than before, meaning they have "less opportunity to have sex" and by the economy.

"In a recession we find an association between unemployment and a low number of sexual partners, perhaps due to low self-esteem," explained Wellings.

Many older Britons, meanwhile, said their age had not stopped them from having sex -- some 60 percent of men and 42 percent of women aged between 65 and 74 said they had at least one sexual partner in the last year.

The new survey is the first in the project's 20-year history to question people aged up to 74.

At the other end of the spectrum, around a third of both men and women in Britain are having sex before the legal age of 16, the survey found.

While attitudes towards gay sex have become more liberal, Britons have become more disapproving of adultery than they were 20 years ago.

Around two thirds of Britons disapprove of non-exclusivity in marriage -- up from around half before.

"We tend to think that these days we live in an increasingly sexually liberal society, but the truth is far more complex," said Professor Anne Johnson of University College London, which also worked on the project.

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Michael Jordan's Outrageous 56,000-Square Foot Compound Is Still Up For Auction After A Last-Second Delay

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michael jordan house2

Concierge Auctions has delayed the auction of Michael Jordan's massive Highland Park, Illinois compound until December.

The auction was supposed to take place last Friday, but was pushed back hours before the scheduled start time after potential bidders wanted more time.

The house was originally listed for $29 million. The truly enormous compound has every bell and whistle you can think of. There's a pool with a grass island in the middle of it, a door from the Playboy Mansion, a table based on the streets of Baghdad, and MJ-branded golf flags.

Concierge Auctions released some great footage of the house.

It's outrageous in the best way possible.

The 56,000 square foot, seven acre compound from the air.



The gate to get in, fittingly.



The outdoor space is spectacular. There's a tennis court.



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The World's Longest Commercial Flight Has Been Cancelled

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On Monday, the world's longest commercial flight ended its run after nine years of shuttling passengers from Newark International to Singapore's Changi Airport.

According to the International Business Times, Singapore Airlines Flight SQ21 lasted 19 hours and covered nearly 10,000 miles. It operated on an Airbus A340 with only 100 seats, all of them business class.

The airline is canceling the once daily flight because it's unprofitable, partly due to rising fuel costs. 

It's exchanging those A340 planes for larger A380s, which are not designed to fly as far. Passengers who choose to make the trip with Singapore Airlines will now have a stopover in either London or Frankfurt.

In commentary, the Center for Aviation (CAPA) said the cancellation of two nonstop routes — Singapore-Newark and Singapore-Los Angeles in October — will "result in a 26% business class seat reduction for SIA in the US market."

Now that it does not offer the nonstop flights, Singapore will "compete head to head against about 20 carriers offering one-stop products in the Singapore-New York market and about 12 carriers offering one-stop products in the Singapore-Los Angeles market."

CAPA notes that the flights were unprofitable, but "had a high volume of corporate traffic and helped win corporate accounts in the US."

For reference, here's a map of the Singapore-Newark flight. You can see just how long it is, passing over the Arctic Circle:

Singapore Newark Flight Path arctic circle

SEE ALSO: 16 Awesome Photos From The Tremendous Dubai Airshow

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8 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Thanksgiving Dinner Healthier

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thanksgiving turkey dinner

Thanksgiving can be a real diet buster. According to an analysis by Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times last year, a typical Thanksgiving meal can add up to a whopping 2,500 calories, and that's not even counting wine or pre-dinner snacks. 

Before you dig into your long-awaited turkey feast, try these simple substitutions to make it a bit healthier this year. 

Start out with lighter appetizers.

A lot of binge eating can happen even before you sit down for dinner. Instead of chips or crackers, set out raw veggies and hummus for your guests to snack on while they wait for the main dishes to be ready. 

Pick white turkey meat over dark, and skip the skin altogether.

Both types of meat are a great source of protein, but white turkey meat has significantly fewer calories and grams of saturated fat. Turkey skin is crunchy and delicious, but unfortunately it's also packed with fat. Cooking your turkey with the skin intact will help preserve its moisture, but it's a good idea to take it off before you feast.

Use fat-free chicken broth for gravy and basting. 

Thick gravy can take your turkey dinner to a new level of deliciousness, but it has a ton of fat and can lead to high cholesterol. Substitute fat-free chicken broth for fat drippings and your gravy will be a much healthier addition to your meal.

Make fresh cranberry sauce instead of that jelly from the can. 

Though it's definitely a holiday classic, canned cranberry sauce is filled with high fructose corn syrup and has no nutritional value — it's a bit like eating a candy bar. Homemade cranberry sauce has a much more complex flavor and texture, and it uses real cane sugar instead of that artificial stuff. Food Network has a simple and delicious recipe for this natural alternative. 

Don't skimp on veggies. 

Eat plenty of vegetables before you get full on turkey and sweets. A good guideline: half of your plate should be vegetables, while one-fourth can be turkey and the last fourth can be any side dish you choose.

Make your stuffing a bit lighter.

Stuffing is a Thanksgiving must, but it can be packed with high-fat ingredients. Be sure to use whole wheat when your recipe calls for bread, and try using olive oil instead of butter. 

Hold the marshmallows, and try glazed sweet potatoes instead of candied yams. 

Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber and carbs, plus they have a decent amount of protein. Shape has a good recipe for sweet potatoes that substitutes natural honey and cinnamon for of all of the sugar and marshmallows you would find in your typical candied yam. 

You don't have to skip dessert, but there are a few substitutions you could make.

Calorie-wise, pumpkin pie is your best bet for dessert. Use natural sweeteners like honey or agave when you're baking, and try not to eat the crust since that part has the most calories and fat.  

For a light and elegant treat without a crust, try a pumpkin caramel mousse in a glass. This amazing flourless dessert really brings the calorie count down a notch. 

SEE ALSO: 12 Cooking Hacks For A Hassle-Free Thanksgiving

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How To Drink On Thanksgiving

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pumpkin beer keg faceBoozing on Thanksgiving. It's as American as football on Thanksgiving.

The problem is that most Americans do not pace themselves. And that's why, as Uncle Pat knocks back his third martini, you get all those cliches about Thanksgiving and arguing about politics.

But Thanksgiving need not debauch into alcohol-inspired name-calling or hippie-bashing. This is, after all, the chief holiday in which we gorge ourselves on food. Meaning, we coat our innards with the kind of complex carbohydrates that can keep your blood-alcohol content in the safe zone — even if there's a cocktail in your hand all day.

So here's how it's done (insert boilerplate disclosure about drinking responsibly, listen to your body, etc.). 

9:00 a.m., Mimosa

Good morning! Is the parade on yet? No? Time for a mimosa. The good news is that this is the easiest cocktail to concoct. Fun fact: There is no "recipe" for a mimosa, and anyone who tells you otherwise is pretentious. Just take orange juice (any will do) and champagne (or sparkling wine, again, any will do) and pour them together until the color seems right to your sleep-crusted eyes.

10:30 a.m., Thanksgiving Tom Collins

Now that you're awake, time to veer into the Thanksgiving theme. No, not a "pumpkin pie martini." That's just silly. But it doesn't mean you can't embrace the time of year. Here's a great recipe for a holiday-inspired Tom Collins (using the cranberry sauce waiting in your fridge): "Shake two ounces gin, one ounce simple syrup, one bar spoon cranberry sauce and half an ounce of lemon juice. Strain into a Collins glass with ice and top with club soda." Delicious.

12:30 p.m., Beer

When the Packers/Lions kicks off, that's your sign to switch to beer for the next few hours. The unfortunate truth in modern America is that many have a bad case of pumpkin fatigue by Thanksgiving. Consider avoiding the pumpkin ales you did not avoid during September and October. They are too filling, and you'll want to fill your pumpkin quota on the pie. Good beer options:

  1. Deschutes Jubelale. Earthy feel with fruit and spice. Will make you feel safe and thankful.
  2. Kelso Nut Brown Lager. Malty, crisp, with notes of chocolate and friendship.
  3. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Some beer snobs hate on America's second-largest craft brewer seemingly because other people know about it. But Sierra Nevada has great seasonal beers, and this one has the kind of citrus and pine flavors you'd expect from a strong IPA.
  4. Miller High Life. Simply the best cheap, poundable beer out there. They don't call it "champagne of beers" for nothing, folks. Pairs well with football.

5:00 p.m., The whiskey family

Back to liquor we go. A Manhattan with rye makes for a nice pre-dinner beverage. Here you just want to take your go-to drink and upgrade it slightly for the holidays. Maybe spring for a nicer bottle of scotch or get dad to bring one. Or if you're on a budget, Deadspin's Will Gordon has a great list of the 10 cheapest bourbons, ranked.

8:00 p.m., Wine with dinner

This is probably where you have the least amount of control. When you go to someone's house for dinner, you drink what's there. For the sake of argument, the Village Voice actually interviewed some sommeliers who had recommendations. Such as:

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault "Les Narvaux" 2011, Burgundy, France - 
This is one of the top young producers in Meursault producing wines with incredible clarity and minerality. The texture is full in the mouth, but the acidity is high, leaving your palate refreshed. This wine would be dynamite with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes and turkey, because it'll play on any baking spices used, any butter used, anything roasted, and will refresh the palate in between each bite! If only the pilgrims knew about Meursault!

Palo Cortado Sherry, Jerez, Spain or Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France (or both!)
 - With the main course, I have made it a habit to now serve both a Palo Cortado sherry and a Rhone red, usually Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I think it's great to go back and forth between the two wines. It also helps me introduce sherry to friends and family, which is selfish as I just want them to drink more sherry with me!

10:00 p.m., Coffee with booze in it

There aren't a ton of socially acceptable times to put booze in your coffee, but on Thanksgiving it's OK. Take advantage. Throw some bourbon in your decaf with a little cream. It will help you digest (maybe)!

12:00 a.m., Water

Repeat as necessary.

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Here's How To Groom The 10-Day Beard That Women Find Sexiest

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Click for sound.

 

A study recently conducted by the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre has taken the guessing game out of what beard style women prefer. We visited Astor Place Hairstylists, to get some tips on how to keep up the popular, yet subtly maintained 10-day beard.

To learn more about the story behind this popular downtown Manhattan barber where celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Stephen Colbert and Channing Tatum are regulars, check out the feature length documentary by Karen Gehres, "Astor Barber All Stars."

Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis

SEE ALSO: The Mystery Behind Dry Cleaning Revealed

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Japan Airlines Will Serve KFC On Flights To Tokyo

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japan airlines kfc meal

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced its winter menus today, and among the selection of beef filet, foie gras mousse, and lobster ravioli is something a touch less fancy.

It's "Air Kentucky Fried Chicken."

Yes, JAL will serve KFC on flights from Tokyo to Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Helsinki, from December 1 to February 28, 2014.

The menu includes Chicken Bites, salad, a biscuit with honey maple, coleslaw, and chocolate walnut cake. Not too shabby!

This is the second year in a row JAL has teamed up with KFC. JAL has brought in food from other popular restaurants for its flights before, including Yoshinoya.

SEE ALSO: The World's Longest Commercial Flight Has Been Cancelled

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You Can Thank Abe Lincoln’s 11-Year-Old Son For The Presidential Turkey Pardon

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Tad Lincoln

President Obama will continue the odd and heartwarming tradition of pardoning a turkey before Thanksgiving this week — a tradition the White House says may go back 150 years.

The White House's definitive history of the presidential turkey pardon says Abe Lincoln's son, Tad, may have started the tradition of sparing a bird every year.

In 1863, then-11-year-old Tad begged his father to pardon the turkey that the Lincolns planned to eat on Christmas. The story goes that young Tad said the turkey had every right to live, according to the White House.

Smithsonian Magazine has more details on young Tad's quest to save the family turkey. After the Lincolns got their live Christmas Turkey, Tad adopted it as his pet and named it Jack. The boy — the youngest of four who freely roamed the executive mansion — taught the bird to follow him around the White House grounds.

The story goes that Lincoln initially insisted that the turkey be eaten, according to the Smithsonian. From the magazine:

"Jack was sent here to be killed and eaten for this very Christmas,” he told Tad, who answered, “I can’t help it. He’s a good turkey, and I don’t want him killed."

Lincoln eventually relented, letting his energetic and emotional young son have his way.

It would be more than 100 years before a president would actually use the word "pardon" in connection with a turkey. Ronald Reagan made a reference to turkey-pardoning as a joke when he was asked whether he planned to pardon anybody involved with the Iran-Contra scandal, according to the Smithsonian.

If the spared turkey weren't already on its way to a petting farm, Reagan said, "I would have pardoned him."

President George H.W. Bush was the first president to pardon a turkey in earnest, according to the White House. From the White House history:

President George H.W. Bush was the first to actually offer a turkey pardon. On November 14, 1989, he announced that year’s bird had “been granted a presidential pardon as of right now.” He sent the turkey on his way to the perhaps unfortunately named Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia, and with that, a tradition was born.

Obama will continue the tradition on Wednesday when the National Turkey Federation presents him with a live turkey. This will be a rare event for Obama, who is notoriously stingy about issuing pardons.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Tad Lincoln was 8 years old when he asked for the turkey to be pardoned. The error has been corrected.

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This Cool Stop-Motion Video Shows That We All Take The Exact Same Photos On Instagram

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Any frequent Instagram user has seen their fair share of sunsets and airplane window shots. Instagram is a platform that makes it simple for users to upload their photos of the world around them, though it turns out many people continue to take the same pictures. 

French art director Thomas Jullien gathered 852 user-uploaded photos to create an incredible stop-motion tour of the world. The video takes viewers from the Champs-Elysees in Paris to New York's Washington Square Park to the Sydney Opera House, with plenty of shots of subway trains and new shoes in between. 

"Instagram is an incredible resource for all kinds of images. I wanted to create structure out of this chaos," Jullien said. "The result is a crowd source short-film that shows the endless possibilities of social media."

Check out the video below to see if one of your pictures made the cut. 

An Instagram short film from Thomas Jullien on Vimeo.

SEE ALSO: A Portrait Of Instagram's Users: Who's On The Service And Who's Not

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