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Scientists Have Feared This Day Ever Since Alexander Flemming Invented Penicillin

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Alexander FlemmingIf it burns when you urinate, then you probably have a urinary-tract infection (UTI).

Until recently, a short course of oral antibiotics would wipe out the bacteria causing the problem.

Now, though, the bugs are beating the medicine. In a growing number of countries most cases of UTI are resistant to the standard treatment.

Scientists have feared this day would come ever since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928.

Accepting his Nobel prize, Fleming warned that bacteria could evolve to beat antibiotics.

Recent years have seen repeated bouts of hand-wringing. But according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) published on April 30th, Fleming's fear is at last becoming reality.

The problem is global and affects common infections and many antibiotics. In China standard drugs are now ineffective over a third of the time against a bacterium that can cause severe lung infections.

In America a standard antibiotic for treating infected wounds fails to work over half of the time in hospitals. A commonly-used treatment for UTIs is now often ineffective in Cuba. Doctors are increasingly turning to what were once treatments of last resort.

But bacteria are cracking these, too.

Antibiotic resistance could set medicine back a century, to a time when infections often led to amputations, says Carmem Pessoa da Silva, a doctor involved with the WHO report.

Procedures such as heart surgery and organ transplantation, and the treatment of some cancers, would be far riskier without effective antibiotics. And the problem is already costing lives and money.

At least 2m Americans are thought to suffer antibiotic-resistant infections each year, leading to some 23,000 deaths directly and many more from complications to other illnesses.

A fast rate of reproduction, and the ability to pass genes among themselves, mean bacteria evolve quickly. Misuse of antibiotics is speeding things up further.

Patients often fail to take their full treatment course. That makes it less likely that their infections are completely cleared, which leaves alive the bacteria with greater resistance. As these bacteria breed, resistance gradually spreads.

Overuse of antibiotics--patients taking them for illnesses where they are ineffective, and farmers feeding them to animals to promote growth--increases the pool of resistant bacteria even more.

A recent move to cut farmers' use of antibiotics in America, where as much as four-fifths of all antibiotics (by weight) are fed to animals, should help--though exempting use for veterinary purposes leaves a loophole. And member states are expected to ask the WHO to develop a global plan to tackle antibiotic resistance at its annual meeting in May.

If such a plan is to work, it will have to monitor health systems in developing countries, where antibiotics are also commonly misused.

Better dispensing guidelines and diagnostic tools would also help, as would the greater use of some vaccines (preventing flu, for example, can cut the number of cases of pneumonia). Cleaner hospitals and better public sanitation are even more important: in defeating tuberculosis in western Europe, hygiene played a bigger role than drugs.

But as health officials struggle to keep old drugs working, the pipeline of new ones is running dry. No new class of antibiotics has been discovered since 1987.

This is partly because research has failed to make breakthroughs, but also because pharmaceutical firms have had little incentive to seek new treatments as long as the old ones were effective.

Joint public-private efforts in America and Europe, while promising, will take time to bear fruit. In the meantime, antibiotics are failing more often and medicine is moving backwards.

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Here's Two Signs That The Hamptons Economy Is Doing REALLY Well

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Sagaponack The Hamptons rural scene

You can stop worrying folks, it looks like economy is doing just fine for people who summer in the Hampton's.

First, the NY Post reports on a record real estate deal:

An 18-acre estate in East Hampton has been sold for $145 million, sources say, setting a new record for the highest priced residential sale in the nation. But the buyer remains a secret.

“Everybody out here is totally mystified,” one local told me.

The beachfront property on Further Lane — with formal gardens and a pond — was the dream house of Christopher H. Browne, managing director of the Tweedy, Browne Company investment firm, and his boyfriend, architect Andrew Gordon.

Brown died of a heart attack at age 62 in a Florida bar in December 2009, leaving almost his entire estate to Gordon, his partner of 10 years.

Meanwhile, on the anecdotal side, the must-follow Joe Schwenk, a handyman who goes by @hamptonsborn tweets:

And he also tweeted this, which is amazing

So again, you can stop worrying about how the Hamptons are doing this year. Seems everything is just fine.

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Unreal Photos From Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic Expedition

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antarctica

Beginning on Aug. 8, 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton led a crew of 27 Englishmen to Antarctica in an attempt to make the first land crossing.

The expedition almost didn't happen, as Shackleton offered his ships, stores, and services to his country the night before World War I began, but the Royal Navy and First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill wanted the journey to proceed.

Australian photographer Frank Hurley brought 40 pounds of color-photo equipment on the onerous journey and would have to dive into three feet of icy seawater to salvage cases of glass negative plates from their wrecked ship.

Good thing he did, because the expedition became one of the earliest examples of color photography.

Shackleton's ship, Endurance, departed from Buenos Aires for Antarctica on Dec. 5, 1914.

Source: Cool Antarctica



It battled through a thousand miles of pack ice over the next six weeks.

Source: Cool Antarctica



On Jan. 15, Endurance came to a glacier that formed a bay which appeared to be a good landing place.

Source: Cool Antarctica



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Storm Chaser Reveals His 16 Most Incredible Photos

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ei18

Storm chasing photographer Mike Hollingshead makes a living following the worst storms in America, from snarling tornadoes chewing up the Kansas farmland to supercell thunderstorms massing over the Dakotas.

A Nebraska-native, Hollingshead used to watch the Midwest's extreme weather from hills that overlooked his town. After seeing some "crazy storm photos" on the Internet, Hollingshead knew he had to track down the powerful storms. Armed with only a map and a video camera, Hollingshead drove his sedan out to Iowa, where he lucked into a tornado on his first day.

15 years later, Hollingshead is still chasing storms, often into danger. His style is to get right in the path of the storm. While he says it's less scary than you think — because most of the storm consists of heavy rain — it's still extremely stressful.

"Most storm chasers don't put themselves in the path [of the storm] ... but I like the view there the most," he says.

Hollingshead shared some of the most "beast" storms he's ever chased with us, but you can see more of his work at his blog, where he shares pictures and stories from the chases.

Hollingshead started chasing storms in 1999 as a hobby, before going full-time in 2004.



The storm chasing season begins in April, before dropping off quickly in July. He says the best months are May and June. This vivid double rainbow was captured in Kansas.



Hollingshead uses computer models to narrow down where storms, like this supercell in Nebraska, will be. Even with the models, its often impossible to know if a storm will be worth photographing before you get there.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






7 Ways To Make The Most Of Your 30s

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couple

Your 30s are typically a time of increasing responsibility. Many 30-somethings are busy settling down, raising a family, and building their careers. 

Working to pay a slew of new bills can take over your life and make it harder to be spontaneous. But those who've been there before say that focusing too much on work and money means you'll miss important moments, which you can never get back.

Quora users in their 40s and 50s discussed what they wished they had focused on in their 30s in the thread: "What do you regret not doing in your 30s?"

We've summarized some of the best responses:

1. Prioritize work-life balance.

Is a better job title worth it if you're not actually enjoying your life? Many Quora users write that they felt like they didn't spend enough time with their children in their developmental years, or that they neglected their relationship with their spouse. As Graham Jeffrey writes, "There's no point being driven to the point of being demented if you don't make time to share with others."

Jisun M. offers a quote from renowned author Haruki Murakami: "Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can't buy."

2. Maintain strong personal friendships.

As you get older, you may find that your time is increasingly spent at home or growing your professional network and less and less with your friends. But you shouldn't let those friendships die. "I would gladly give up a big chunk of my net worth to regain a couple of close friends," one anonymous poster says of those he drifted from in his 30s.

3. If you want to start a business, now's the time.

Your 30s are a great time to use your professional experience to pursue an enriching side job, the anonymous poster writes. And when it comes to starting your own business, the earlier you get moving, the better. Maybe that means creating an online business, becoming a landlord, or joining with your spouse or friends to pursue a shared passion.

4. If you want kids, don't wait.

Do not make the mistake of putting off having children because of money, says Barbara Gotsopoulos. No one is ever adequately prepared for the challenge of raising children, and waiting won't help. And if you do wait too long, you may lose the ability to have them. 

5. Focus on your health.

You're not in your 20s anymore, but you're still young! Don't give up working out or yoga just because you have more to do each day than you used to, writes Adam Dehner. The habits you maintain now will pay off in the future. "[A]t 41, I've got a list of physical complaints that might not have come about had I been healthier." 

6. Adjust your budget.

Hopefully you used your 20s to develop a debt-repayment plan for loans and you started saving. It may feel like the money you set aside for retirement won't amount to much as your financial obligations keep increasing, but it will only become harder to save in your 40s, says Brad Porteus, in a related thread on Quora

7. Have fun.

Too many people think maturing means giving up on having a good time. You're not too old to pick up your guitar hobby again or start going to more concerts, says Jeff Miller. Go on dates with your spouse, and play with your kids. Those are the things that matter most of all. 

SEE ALSO: 6 Ways To Boost Your Chances Of Success In Life And Business

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How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

A Women's Activist Group Created Ads Warning Prospective Students About Colleges' 'Rape Problem'

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Dartmouth rape ad

Aside from weighing a university's location, size, and cafeteria food, women's activist group UltraViolet wants prospective students to look at sexual violence on campus.

The group is launching an online campaign against several distinguished colleges and universities warning potential students about their "rape problem."

University of MichiganHarvard UniversityUniversity of California-Berkeley and Dartmouth College, are some of the schools under fire. They are all under federal investigation for their handling of past sexual assault cases.

Based on online activity and location of the user, the jarring ads from UltraViolet will appear in search results, mobile ads, and on Facebook.

And they're aiming where it hurts. The activist group is focusing specifically on prospective students to influence the school's "yield" rate  a number that's important for a college's PR. 

These advertisements came in light of the Department of Education's announcement that it will investigate 55 schools for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual assault and harassment complaints.

Harvard rape adUltraViolet Organizing Director Karin Roland told The Huffington Post it's important to raise these issues, because the information is difficult to find. The group also wants "college administrations to know the era of sweeping stuff under the rug is over," she said.

In the coming months, UltraViolet plans to spend "tens of thousands of dollars" on their campaign against college sexual assault.

University of Michigan spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald called the campaign "unfortunate," and said the university "meets or exceeds nearly all of the recommendations" announced Tuesday by the White House.

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An Incredibly Ambitious Time Capsule Was Sealed 75 Years Ago — Here’s What’s Inside

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Westinghouse_Time_Capsule

Seventy-five years ago today, the World's Fair came to New York, and with it came one of the world's first official time capsules. 

Called "Dawn of a New Day," the 1939 Fair adopted a future-focused theme, which would become standard in subsequent World's Fairs.

Electric giant Westinghouse took the theme to heart. The company created one of the most ambitious time capsules ever: a 7 1/2-foot tube, filled with items from the current era, for a part of its display. The capsule will remain sealed until the year 6939 — 5,000 years after its creation — along with its sister capsule made in 1964

Westinghouse Time Capsule

Although not the first to make a time capsule, Westinghouse was one of the first to approach it scientifically, locking items in a non-corrosive and considerably hard metallic alloy called Cupoloy, created especially for the exhibit. The compound was 99.4% copper, 0.5% chromium, and 0.1% silver.

The Westinghouse model might have drawn inspiration from the Crypt of Civilization —  a swimming-pool-sized time capsule sealed until 8113. Its creator, Thornwell Jacobs, started building in 1936, three years before Westinghouse. But he didn't close the room until 1940. 

The contents of the Westinghouse capsule include small, common items, like men's and women's grooming tools and children's toys; various textiles and materials used in manufacturing and technology; miscellaneous items, such as money and seeds; a microfilm essay; and a newsreel. Read the full list here »

The capsule also included a "Book of Record," which outlines its contents and purpose. The book describes the "key to English" to preserve our modern language and also asks that future generations translate it into whatever new tongues the future holds.

Westinghouse chose to bury the capsule in New York City not only because of the fairgrounds but also because the metropolis will likely become a place of interest for future generations, much like Athens, Rome or Troy now. Lowered 50 feet into the ground using a steel tube, the capsule now rests under Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.

Westinghouse Time Capsule

And there it will stay for another 4,925 years — though the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Penn. displays replicas of both the 1939 and 1965 capsules. These pictures from the museum show what the 1939 capsule contains. 

Westinghouse Time Capsule

Westinghouse Time Capsule

Read the full story in this eBook from the Internet Archive.

 

SEE ALSO: 15 Gorgeous Retro-Future Photos From The 1964 World's Fair

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Watch Warren Buffett Help A Couple Get Engaged At His Annual Shareholders' Meeting

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After the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting this weekend, Warren Buffett spent several hours at Borsheims  the jewelry mega-store he owns in Omaha  selling items to customers in a packed house.

He also helped one shareholder pull off a major surprise. According to Borsheims' blog:

Eric LaFante told his girlfriend he was buying a necklace from Mr. Buffett, but instead bought an engagement ring, dropped to his knee, and proposed to his girlfriend. Mr. Buffett handed the two glasses of champagne before toasting them with Borsheims President & CEO Karen Goracke.

Check out the video:

Borsheims also sold dozens of diamonds laser-inscribed with Buffett's signature. 

SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Restaurants On The Planet

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LG's Plans For A New US Headquarters Are Causing A Lot Of Controversy In New Jersey

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LG is in the process of building what it says will be one of the most environmentally sound buildings in the state of New Jersey, but not all of its neighbors are happy about it.

Residents of Englewood Cliffs are taking issue with the building's proposed height, which, at 143 feet, is significantly taller than the buildings in the surrounding area. 

The headquarters will be built along the Palisades, a stretch of green cliffs along the lower Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey and southern New York. The cliffs have been protected from development by builders and homesteaders for more than a century. Though the area's current zoning laws limit building height to 35 feet, LG obtained a variance in 2012 that essentially cleared the way for construction on the 490,000-square-foot building to begin. lg palisadesPlans for the headquarters show that the building will incorporate some highly efficient features. 85,000 square feet of solar panels will generate the building's electricity, while high-tech systems will be put in place to conserve water and reduce carbon emissions. According to LG spokesman John Taylor, it will be the largest LEED Platinum-certified building in New Jersey when it's completed.

The company also plans to plant more than 700 trees on the 27-acre property, which will actually increase green space by 50%.

LG is also touting the potential economic boost the new building could provide, claiming the project would create 2,000 short-term construction jobs while expanding LG's workforce from 500 to 1,600 by 2020. 

lg palisades

The company's building plans were approved by the Englewood Cliffs Zoning Board in 2011 and the New Jersey State Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection in 2012. Still, it's met been with plenty of opposition in the last year and a half. 

Last June, four former New Jersey governors — Thomas Kean, Christine Todd Whitman, James Florio and Brendan Byrne — wrote a letter to LG's vice chairman in South Korea, asking for the building's proposed height to be reduced to meet the current 35-foot limit, according to the New York Times.  

In the letter, they wrote that they were "concerned that this tower would not only interrupt the historic, natural vista enjoyed by millions, but would also set a precedent for greater building heights stretching northward along these iconic cliffs, eroding the unique American landmark of the Palisades."

Preservationist group Protect the Palisades is circulating a petition to preserve the hills' natural appearance. They've come up with renderings of how they imagine the area will look if other buildings of similar height were to be built near the Palisades. protect the palisadesAccording to LG, there are already several buildings in the area that are just as tall as the company's future headquarters. They have their own version of how the Palisades will look in the future, with the building in question appearing in the center of the photo. lg palisades"We've been proud members of the Englewood Cliffs community for 25 years," Taylor said to Business Insider. "We love the Palisades too. We believe they're an important part of the fabric of this community." 

Still, many opponents of the plan worry that LG's building will set a precedent for future construction near the Palisades. 

The tension came to a head last week when hundreds of environmentalists, trade union members, and Englewood Cliffs residents gathered in a high school auditorium for a hearing on potential changes to the borough's master plan. Proposed zoning changes would potentially allow for the construction of more buildings of similar height to LG's new headquarters.

According to Curbed, the meeting's atmosphere was incredibly tense, with anti-LG protestors holding signs bearing messages like "Don't Deface the Palisades" and one even singing "America the Beautiful" before being escorted out. 

The Englewood Cliffs Planning Board ended Wednesday's hearing ended without a conclusive decision on changes to the zoning laws.  

"We've listened to concerns and are open to dialogue with the community," Taylor said. "There's been a lot of unwillingness on the other side, which is frustrating." 

SEE ALSO: This Is What The Kitchen Of The Future Could Look Like

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10 Of The Best Oyster Bars In America

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eventide oyster co

Oysters are having a moment, and no wonder. They’re delicious, unpretentious, and, with their seemingly magical ability to filter the waters they grow in, sustainable, too.

When I see oysters on a menu, I have a hard time not ordering them. 

There’s just nothing like sitting at the bar with a frosty beer or a glass of Muscadet and slurping down a dozen.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of great oyster bars to do just that. Here are 10 of my favorites from across the country.

1. Eventide Oyster Co.; Portland, ME
The extensive selection at this bright, spare restaurant in the Old Port is broken down into oysters “From Maine” and “From Away,” all displayed atop the bar in a massive trough of Maine granite. The raw bar menu is the way to go, but if you’re not all oystered out after a dozen, be sure to give the roasted jumbo Winter Points a try.

2. The Walrus & The Carpenter; Seattle, WA
From the very first time you pull a stool up to the bar for a dozen of the freshest oysters on the West Coast, you’ll already feel like a regular (that’s why I named this one the Best New Restaurants in 2012, and why it remains one of my 20 most important). Go for some Hama Hamas, “Samish Sweets,” or any of the other offerings that are pulled from the Puget Sound less than an hour’s drive away.

grand central oyster bar3. Grand Central Oyster Bar; New York, NY
For all the oysters I’ve slurped from this classic restaurant in Grand Central Terminal, I’ve never once sat at a table.

Take a seat at one of the iconic U-shaped counters, and bask in the class and tradition of this New York landmark, and in the sheer number of bivalves shucked and served here over the past 101 years.

4. Casamento’s; New Orleans, LA
As a rule, I only ever eat oysters served on ice. But I’ll make an exception here, an old-school, no-questions-asked family joint that’s been serving super-fresh Louisiana oysters for 90 years. Just $12 gets you a dozen, and don’t miss out on their oysters other ways, too—charbroiled, stewed, and in the legendary oyster loaf, fried and packed between freshly baked and buttered pan bread.

5. The Ordinary; Charleston, SC
Hang out with pearled ladies and khaki-wearing men under the soaring ceilings of this former bank building and slurp down some local Caper’s Blades. Get there early for a seat at the bar, where you can see the shuckers in action and peer through the old vault to the kitchen; if you’re lucky, you’ll catch Clammer Dave himself making his delivery.

6. B&G Oysters; Boston, MA
At Barbara Lynch‘s tiny neighborhood oyster bar, there are always at least 12 different varieties of the freshest oysters on offer, delivered throughout the day. You’re given a checklist and a golf pencil to mark off the ones you want to try. I love this place at three in the afternoon, after the lunch rush and before it picks up again for dinner; there’s no better way to kill an afternoon than chatting with the shucker as he serves them up to you fresh.

swan oyster depot7. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, CA
Dare I say, my favorite restaurant in America? There’s always a line at the 18-seat seafood shop, but it’s more than worth it for the cracked Dungeness crab and the simple, sashimi-style scallops served with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. And of course, no meal here is complete without a dozen Drakes Bay oysters.

8. Hog Island Oyster Farm; Marshall, CA
There’s a Hog Oyster Bar in San Francisco, but it’s 49 miles north of the city at the Hog Island oyster farm itself that the best bivalve eating is to be found. The farm is open during the day so you can reserve a picnic table, unload the cooler of beer or wine you brought, and shuck your own oysters overlooking Tomales Bay. The good Hog Island folks will even give first-timers a lesson.

9. GT Fish & Oyster; Chicago, IL
I always end up here when I’m in Chicago, even when I don’t plan on it. The best seat in the house is at the bar, directly in front of the glass case teeming with oysters on ice, watching the shuckers at work. Follow up a dozen on the half-shell with the fish tacos, served with chipotle aioli and chicharrón.

10. Prime Meats; Brooklyn, NY
This Carroll Gardens restaurant makes the list as my local haunt; I’ve probably slurped down more oysters here than at any other place. Find me at the bar with a dozen oysters and a cold pint of Einbecker. (They even have a Mug Club for frequent drinkers—I’m #23.) Look up at the chalkboard to see the day’s offerings—always perfectly presented, perfectly shucked, and ice cold.

More From Bon Appetit:

25 Ways to Use Sriracha

Weird Food Obsessions of Pro Athletes

10 Snacks You Thought Were Healthy But Aren't

7 Ways to Ruin an Omelet—or to Cook It Perfectly

How to Reheat Leftovers, from Pizza to Pasta to Eggs

22 Recipes Everyone Should Know How to Cook

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This Deserted Shopping Mall In Ohio Is Incredibly Eerie [PHOTOS]

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Euclid Square MallLike hundreds of other shopping malls across the U.S., Euclid Square Mall in Euclid, Ohio, is now a shadow of its former self.

Nearly four decades after the 700,000-square-foot mall opened, there are no longer any retailers left. The mall now houses a handful of churches and religious organizations, while the rest of the retail space remains vacant.

We have compiled some recent photos of the mall. The photos were taken by Nicholas Eckhart, who has photographed dozens of dying malls and runs the blog Dead and Dying Retail.

Lights are still on inside the mall but the fountain, pictured center, is no longer in use.



Many of the stores and restaurants, like this former hot dog shop, are covered by tarps.



The seats are torn and dusty inside this former Beef Corral, which was more recently an Arby's.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






9 Surprising Facts About Under Armour — The Hottest Sportswear Company In The World

The 11 Best Mexican Restaurants In New York City

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Tortilleria Nixtamal

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we've pulled together the 11 best Mexican restaurants in New York City, based on Zagat food ratings. 

From small taquerias in Queens to Mexican institutions in Manhattan, here are the best Mexican restaurants in NYC.

#11 Toloache

Multiple locations

With locations on the Upper East Side, Midtown, and the Financial District, Toloache is the brainchild of well-known Mexican chef Julio Medina.

The food is upscale and the margaritas are killer at all three restaurants.



#10 Tacos Matamoros

4508 Fifth Ave., Queens

Authenticity rules in this Sunset Park taco joint, which offers a huge range of options at low prices. The New York Times called Matamoros' tacos some of the best in New York City.

Tacos Matamoros is BYOB, so pick up a six-pack of Pacifico before heading over.



#9 Pampano and Pampano Taqueria

209 E. 49th St., 805 3rd Ave.

Richard Sandoval is the culinary whiz behind nearly two dozen Mexican restaurants across the U.S. and abroad. At Pampano, he serves high-end contemporary Mexican cuisine at prices to match. Taqueria, a weekday lunch spot, is located in a "hidden" square in Midtown.



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Here's The Secret To Making The Perfect Margarita

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It's Cinco de Mayo, which means it's time to break out the tequila and limes and enjoy a cool margarita.

But not all margaritas are created equally. There are a couple of tricks to making the perfectly balanced, fresh tequila cocktail at home.

First, use high-quality ingredients. Shell out the extra dough for a tequila that's 100% agave, and pony up for fresh limes  even though their prices have skyrocketed in recent months.

Second, be careful about proportions. As Chris Hall writes in Bon Apetit, "balance accounts for the difference between a good drink and a bad one," and no one wants a margarita that's overly sweet or tequila-heavy.

Finally, keep the blender in the closet: Margaritas on the rocks taste much better than the blended variety. Shake with ice and serve in a classic margarita glass.

Check out our favorite margarita recipe, below:

Margarita Graphic

SEE ALSO: The 11 Best Mexican Restaurants In New York City

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9 Instagram Snapshots Of Daily Life In North Korea's Capital

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Travel website Fathom is instagramming from North Korea, and they've graciously allowed us to republish some of their photos here. 

Simon Cockerell, a Beijing-based Englishman who leads tours of North Korea for Koryo Tours, is posting pictures from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Fathom's account this week. Whether walking to school, taking the Metro, or picnicking in a park, these photos show that daily life in North Korea isn't so different than life elsewhere.

Here are 9 photos from Fathom's instagram account. We've included their captions here.

Statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang:North Korea statuesLocals reading the daily paper in the Pyongyang metro:North Korea Pyongyang MetroLocal kids on their way to water a park walking past the circus in Pyongyang:Pyongyang North KoreaPulling pints in the local version of a KFC:waitresses in North KoreaTaesongsan Park in Pyongyang. Today is mayday holiday. There's a folk festival going on here this morning:Park in North KoreaLocal kids playing a basketball funfair game at Taesongsan Park:kids playing basketball in north koreaPleasure boaters in front of the fancy part of Pyongyang:boats in Pyongyang North KoreaShooting range in Pyongyang:shooting range in pyongyang north koreaEast Pyongyang, a mostly residential part of the city. Shot from the Juche Tower (a 150m stone tower):Pyongyang North Korea

Now see the rest of the photos on Fathom's Instagram page >

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A Hedge Fund Manager Just Made The Biggest Home Purchase In US History

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18-acre browne mansion $147 million

A Hamptons property has just taken the title of "most expensive home ever sold in the U.S."

The 18-acre expanse in East Hampton just sold for $147 million to hedge-fund manager Barry Rosenstein of Jana Partners, according to Curbed Hamptons.

Rosenstein's new neighbors on exclusive Further Lane include Jerry Seinfeld, hedge-fund manager Jim Chanos, and art dealer Larry Gagosian. 

The home was previously owned by the late Christopher H. Browne, the managing director of a New York investment firm who bought it in the late 1990s, according to a 2007 profile in The New York Times. Browne and his partner of 10 years, architect Andrew Gordon, spent much of their time renovating and landscaping the property.

According to Page Six, when Browne died of a heart attack in 2009 in Florida, he left his entire estate to Gordon. However, legal disputes between Gordon’s and Browne’s families raged on until 2012, when Gordon — then dying of cancer — was allowed via a secret settlement to live out the rest of his life in the home he had shared with Browne.

When Gordon passed away this past fall, Browne’s family began quietly shopping around the mansion, according to Page Six. Ultimately, they sold the estate without using a broker, avoiding some serious fees and commissions (which is also why there are no listing photos of the property). 

Sources told The New York Post that brokers in the area were “crestfallen” and “furious” that no broker was hired, with one broker saying that the Browne family “closed ranks. It was all very hush-hush.”

The sale easily beat out Connecticut’s 50-acre Copper Beach farm, which sold a month ago for $120 million, and the $132.5 million working Montana Ranch bought by Rams owner Stan Kroenke in 2012.

SEE ALSO: The 20 Most Expensive Mansions For Sale In Los Angeles

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13 Money Secrets From The Amish

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Amish country farmerUnless you're a big fan of the TLC show "Breaking Amish," you probably associate Amish culture with a traditional, austere lifestyle.

But there's one thing you might not realize: The Amish are great with money. In fact, they're a lot better at managing their money than the rest of us.

"Some Amish do quite well and have a lot of success in business," Erik Wesner, founder of AmishAmerica.com, told us. "An Amish millionaire is not something unheard of."

We asked Wesner, along with Lorilee Craker, author of "Money Secrets of the Amish," to let us in on how the Amish have mastered their money.

1. The Amish value experiences more than material goods.

The Amish make sure they buy things that are built to last, and don't often buy something because of a splashy marketing campaign at the store, Craker said.

"They always have their eye on the big picture and the long-term," she said.

That's not to say they don't spend any money on fun. Many Amish enjoy going on hunting trips, for example, Wesner said. But for the most part, they spend their money on value-oriented purchases.

2. They're huge savers, often setting aside up to 20% of their income.

In contrast, the average American only saves about 6% of their income.

Craker met one man who had managed to stash $400,000 in the bank in 20 years while renting a farm and raising a family of 14 kids. He planned to use his savings toward a down payment on a farm and wanted to buy his children a trampoline during the summer.

Another man told Craker he's content knowing he wakes up a little richer every morning from interest accrued on savings, instead of interest accrued on debt.

3. They loathe debt and try to avoid credit cards.

Though there are some members of less traditional Amish communities who use credit cards, many are "absolutely phobic" toward debt, Craker said.

"They're literally horrified by it," Craker said. "When you and I might be awake at night thinking, 'Oh my gosh, I have so much debt,' they sleep very peacefully."

On the other hand, the average American carries three to four credit cards with an average of  $16,000 in total debt.

4. Rather than turn to credit, they'd sooner take up a side job when money gets tight.

Craker said the Amish will do whatever it takes to make ends meet and are a very resourceful bunch.

For example, a construction worker who lost his job during the recession might have learned how to build gazebos instead. Or a woman might gather flowers from her garden and sell them at a farmer's market to earn a few extra dollars if her family comes up short at the end of the month.

That kind of logic isn't as easy for everyone. The number of U.S. households with debt has dropped since 2000, but the median debt per household has risen.

"Their default is not debt," Craker said. "Their default is, 'Make it work.'"

amish family buggy5. And if they do take out a loan or have debt, they view it as a moral obligation to pay it back in a timely way.

Craker said Amish would be "standing on their heads" before failing to repay a debt on time.

"The Amish are an extremely good risk," Craker said. "I think bankers look at them and just cry for joy because it’s such a sure bet."

That means bankers are eager to lend to them when they need it — often when they need funds to buy farmland. Bankers also base Amish lending more on personal factors, like if a person's parents were good borrowers, rather than a long credit history, she said.

Nationwide, on the other hand, defaulting on debt has become more common. Although average American household debt has decreased in recent years, loan defaults — especially on student loans — have increased.

6. Many are experienced tradesmen and their quality wares are in demand.

Many of the Amish who choose not to farm go into skilled trades like furniture building, construction, and metal parts manufacturing, Wesner said. These products are often sold to those outside the Amish community.

The Amish aren't recession-proof and the recent economic downturn did hurt many of those working off the farms. But Wesner said Amish businesses benefit from an "in-born brand," since people appreciate the quality that comes with Amish products. And according to TODAY, these tradesmen are in demand, as skilled trades are some of the most difficult to fill nationwide.

"I don’t wait to paint them all as perfect — people have had complaints, bad experiences," Wesner said. "But yeah, they do good work and it kind of feeds itself."

7. They are extremely savvy small business owners with a 95% success rate.

Wesner has written a book about Amish small business and found that they have seen a 95% survival rate during the past five years. To compare, the five-year survival rate of all U.S. small businesses is about 50%.

Wesner said a key factor to Amish business owners' success is an emphasis on smaller-scale ethics and a willingness to work alongside the average employee. When you build positive relationships like this on the job, your business is likely to be more profitable, he said.

"Often, the owner is not off bossing everyone around — he's working there," Wesner said. "I think it builds credibility and they appreciate that."

amish plowing field8. They rarely waste a thing and take recycling to "unbelievable levels."

Once clothes can't be worn or passed down, many Amish will cut them into strips for quilts or rag rugs, Craker said.

Another example of resourcefulness: Craker chatted with one Amish woman who was baking 15 pies for a Sunday church service. The woman had bought jars of apple butter in bulk to use in the desserts. Afterward, she cut off the tops and bottoms and used them in her garden to protect young tomato seedlings from the elements.

This kind of thriftiness is key to push forward today's increasing emphasis on saving a buck by "going green."

"(They think), how can I get a second or a third use out of something?" Craker said.

9. They buy in bulk whenever possible.

Since the typical Amish household has six to eight children to feed, they have mastered the art of buying in bulk.

Wesner shared a profile of an Amish bulk foods store in rural New York on his blog. The shop carries 50-pound bags of oats, 400-pound bags of flour and 200-pound bags of sugar.

"Jasper is a rural area in Steuben County and most English and Amish folks live on little and have to make the most with what they have," he said.

Buying groceries in mass quantities isn't always easy for city dwellers short on space. But the average U.S. family can save about $25 a month by buying groceries in bulk.

10. They never pay retail and often shop secondhand.

Since families often have so many children, Craker said shopping at thrift stores and garage sales is a common trend for the Amish. 

"There’s something that I call frugal abundance, which is something that the Amish have in spades," she said.

She met one woman who often shopped secondhand when her daughters got married to find affordable place settings to give the couple as a wedding gift. The Amish also often give gifts that are homemade, like baked goods, instead of purchased in a store, she said.

Across the U.S., this is a trend that's catching on. Thrift shops have reported record sales since the recession as people hunt for frugal buys.

11. Those with money funnel their funds back into the community.

Although farming is viewed as the best job for the Amish, it's not easy to do. Farmland is increasingly expensive, and since families end up dividing their land among their children after time, the acreage gets split up fast.

Some Amish have turned to smaller-sized, intensive farming practices to combat this problem, Wesner said. But many Amish communities have low-interest loan programs to help young adults buy their own land and get their start in the business world, he added. Community members with money contribute to these funds and don't ask for high payoffs in return.

"That’s what some people do with their money – they funnel back into the community and provide low cost loans," Wesner said.

amish family field12. They eat like kings but they grow most of their meals themselves.

Craker said many Amish refer to themselves as "feinschmeckers," which basically translates to Amish foodies. They eat often and appreciate a good meal.

Many, but not all, also use traditional farming practices — which means growing food organically on their farms and gardens. That's become a profitable venture as the organic fad has taken off across the country, Wesner said.

Although many of us can't set up a garden in the middle of our apartments, Craker recommends shopping for groceries at farmer's markets and joining cow pools or community-supported agriculture shares (often called CSAs) to join in this Amish habit.

"They eat so extremely well," Craker said. "Everyone has a garden."

13. They avoid taking government handouts and are exempt from contributing to Social Security.

In 2006, officials in Ohio noticed that the food stamp participation rate was unusually low in a few of the state's counties. They eventually pinpointed the reason — the counties had high numbers of Amish, who are unlikely to use the government-sponsored program.

The Amish's refusal of government handouts stands in contrast to the philosophy of many other struggling Americans. Food stamp use reached a record in 2012, and though unemployment benefit claims are falling, the unemployment rate is still above 7%.

Some Amish did accept unemployment benefits during the most recent recession. But Wesner said that in conservative communities, many Amish families with seven or eight kids often live below the poverty line, based on the amount of income they bring in. And regardless, they don't like to turn to Uncle Sam for a hand.

"They're still surviving, they're still getting by," he said.

SEE ALSO: 13 Times Being Cheap Could Cost You More

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The Favorite Books Of Actors, Politicians, And Icons [INFOGRAPHIC]

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The books that people read often influence their lives.

So what is on the bookshelves of famous authors like "Game of Thrones" writer George R.R. Martin, politicians like President Barack Obama, TV personality Oprah Winfrey, musician John Lennon, TV characters like Sheldon Cooper from "The Big Bang Theory," and entrepreneur Richard Branson?

Bid4papers compiled reading lists from influential people to show which books have impacted their work. Check it out below:

You are what you read - bookshelves of famous people

 

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