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The Cheapest Real Estate Markets In The United States

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most affordable real estate markets

The housing market in Michigan was slammed during the recession and while it's starting to make a comeback, the state is still home to some of the most affordable housing in the country.

Four of the 18 most affordable housing markets identified in Coldwell Banker's new home price listing report were located in the state. And Redford, near Detroit and Ann Arbor, was named the most affordable housing market, with an average listing price of $60,490.

For context, the average 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in the United States is listed at $292,152. The most expensive housing market is Los Altos, Calif., where the average home is listed for $1.706 million.

To come up with the list, Coldwell Banker looked at 72,000 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom properties for sale in 2,500 U.S. markets.

#18 WARREN, MICH: The average listing price of a home is $96,349.

This house is on sale for $98,000 in Warren, Mich.

Note: To compile its list of the most expensive real estate markets, Coldwell Banker looked at 72,000 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom properties for sale in 2,500 U.S. markets.



#17 TERRELL, TEXAS: The average listing price of a home is $96,329.

This house is on sale for $99,000 in Terrell, Texas.

Note: To compile its list of the most expensive real estate markets, Coldwell Banker looked at 72,000 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom properties for sale in 2,500 U.S. markets.



#16 LEHIGH ACRES, FLA: The average listing price of a home is $92,819.

This house is for sale for $90,000 in Lehigh Acres, Fla.

Note: To compile its list of the most expensive real estate markets, Coldwell Banker looked at 72,000 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom properties for sale in 2,500 U.S. markets.



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19 Gifts For The Science Geek In Your Life

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Pretty woman scientist, lab, science

Whether they're obsessed with space, crazy about chemistry, or can't get enough of dinosaurs, it can be difficult to find gifts for science geeks.

We're here to help.

From kits that turn making cocktails into chemistry to genuine specimens of martian meteorite, we've found the best science-themed gifts out there.

Turn cocktail-making into a chemistry project.

Make all of your favorite cocktails while feeling like a chemist with this awesome cocktail chemistry set.

It contains a shaker, beaker and glass stir stick, and four test tube shot glasses.

Price: $35



Order a unique piece of art based on your DNA.

DNA 11 is a company that turns your DNA into artwork.

After you receive a DNA collection kit in the mail, swab the inside of your cheek and mail it into the lab. The portrait, which depicts your genetic code, comes in the mail in under a month.

Price: Starting at $199



Combat the effects of jet lag with hi-tech sunglasses.

Combat the effects of jet lag with these futuristic shades by Re-timer.

The sunglasses emit a soft green light that resets the body's 24-hour clock. The special eyewear can also help brainiacs who suffer from insomnia or fatigue.  

Price: $286



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What To Pack For An African Safari Trip

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game drive Before taking off on a 10-day press trip to visit safari camps in Tanzania, I worried about having to pack for such a long trip in such a small bag.

Since I was traveling on small charter planes, I had to limit my luggage to a 10 x 12 x 24-inch bag that weighed no more than 33 pounds.

The packing list provided by the Africa Adventure Company, which organized my tour, was pretty comprehensive, and you can find it at the bottom of this post.

There were a few items I was thrilled I had with me, a few I wished I'd thought to bring, and a couple that I probably should have left at home.

Things to pack:

Socks and underwear  most safari camps offer daily laundry service, but bring enough socks and underwear for the entire trip, especially if you are jumping from camp to camp and don't have time to wait for laundry.

Zip-off pants they may not be stylish, but they're incredibly practical in the plains, where temperatures fluctuate widely. There were days where I'd start off wearing a fleece and hat at 6 a.m., and change into shorts and a tank top by lunch.

Light hiking boots most of the packing lists I consulted said to bring an old pair of sneakers, but I was glad I wore a lightweight pair of hiking boots. They covered my ankles, were comfortable during walking safaris, and hid the dust nicely.

Detergent travel packs  for religious reasons, some camps won't wash women's undergarments, so don't get caught off guard.

High-SPF sunscreen I normally max out at SPF 15 on the beach, but the sun in Tanzania was strong, even under the roof of a safari vehicle. I used half a tube of SPF 50 and wished I'd brought an even stronger sunscreen.

Insect repellent most safari camps are well-stocked with bug spray, but I'd recommend a small bottle of repellent with 100-percent Deet, especially for people traveling in the rainy season.

Headlamp or flashlight handy for navigating to the bathroom at night, or for reading in bed. Once I was safely in my mosquito netting at night, the last thing I wanted to do was jump out of bed to turn off the light.

A paperback book or e-reader you won't have much downtime for reading during the day, but it was nice to have something to read at night before I fell asleep  you probably won't find a TV at any safari camp.

Camera-cleaning kit make sure you pack a lens wipe and cleaning fluid in your camera bag. Your equipment will get dusty in no time. And throw in some spare camera batteries too. The last thing you want is to run out of juice on a game drive.

Things to leave at home:

Sandals flip-flops are OK if you want them to wear in your room, but I never unpacked my sandals. I wore my hiking boots during the day, and at night it was too cold for open-toed shoes.

Make-upand dresses leave them home. Make-up is heavy to carry around, and no one at a safari camp dresses up, even at dinner time. Plus, the nights are cold and pants are a better bet.

Bright-colored clothing I'd read before leaving that I should pack neutral colors like tan and khaki, and I was glad I did. Bright colors attract animals during game drives, and dark colors attract bugs.

Snacks I always travel with a box of granola bars, but that was a mistake on safari. Snacks  even packaged ones  attract animals, and they'll sniff them out in your luggage.

Here's the complete packing list from the Africa Adventure Company (click to enlarge):

dnu safari packing list

SEE ALSO: 18 Adorable Baby Animals In Tanzania

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It Stinks To Be A Grandparent During Christmas

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grandparentsGrandparents draw the short straw when it comes to family Christmas presents, with people spending half the amount on their granny or grandpa’s gift than they spend on their mother’s present, research has found.

The typical Brit spends just £16.67 on a Christmas present for a grandparent compared to £32.65 on their mother.

The findings are contained in a report into spending habits by Sainsbury’s, the supermarket.

Meanwhile people spend £27.68 on their fathers. When it comes to siblings, people on average spend £20.98 on their brothers and £20.42 on their sisters.

The survey found that – unsurprisingly – people lavish the most money on their own children when it comes to Christmas presents. The typical Briton with children will spend £104.40 on presents per child.

One in five parents said they plan to spend over £200 on presents for each child this year, almost 12 times the amount they spend on their grandparents.

The survey found that after children the second most money that people spend goes on their partner. People on average spend £78.54 on their other halves.

Family pets and work colleagues are not left out. People with pets spend an average of £8.21 on presents for the animal, while they spend an average of £8.86 on work colleagues.

The cost of ‘Secret Santa’ – a game in which a group of people give presents to each other anonymously – is around £8.36 per person, the survey found.

Sainsbury’s also said that four in ten people are likely to buy a gift for someone they know will not buy them one in return.

Sarah Warby, marketing director at Sainsbury’s said that people appear prepared to spend this Christmas despite the sluggish economy.

She said: “This research shows that although pressures on household budgets continue, customers are still able to enjoy moments of indulgence and treat their friends and family.

The survey also asked people what makes a memorable Christmas.

Six in ten people said that spending quality time with friends and family gets them most excited. For a quarter of people, going for drinks with friends on Christmas Eve is one of their top three favourite moments.

Meanwhile a third of families said that playing games was their favourite activity.

The survey was carried out for Sainsbury’s by YouGov, which polled over 2,000 people.

SEE ALSO: Business Insider's Ultimate Gift Guide

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In Ten Years We'll All Agree That Damien Hirst Is A Joke

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Damien Hirst Shark

Damien Hirst – artistically talentless but a showman and salesman of genius – has been asked to design (or “reimagine”) the statuette for the 2013 Brit Awards. (For readers who live a sheltered life, that’s the annual pop music awards of the British record industry.)

Before I sound off, I’m declaring my interest. I’ve just published a novel ridiculing Hirst and his world and of course I want everyone to read it. I think you’d like the jokes as well as the savagery.

Ever since the 1970s when I first saw an exhibition of dirty nappies reverentially displayed in the Oxford Museum of Modern Art, I’ve been incredulously watching how the art establishment embraced the self-evidently absurd notion that if a so-called artist says a turd is art, it’s art. (I’m not exaggerating. The likely winner of this year’s Turner Prize is, we’re told, displaying ‘a dystopian world where people become turds and turds become people’.) This led to the destruction of art education and the promotion of the Young British Artists (the YBAs)– self-promoters who spotted that to succeed you just had to shock. Hirst did maggots and smelly meat, Tracey Emin did dirt and stains, Martin Creed did lights switching on and off in an empty room and so on and on. Such people flourished, while original, creative and talented young artists – whose brushes the YBAs are not fit to clean– were ignored, derided and left starving in their garrets.

Hence my Killing the Emperors, a satire on the whole cynical, money-grubbing, sensationalist world of conceptual art, presided over by Sir Nicholas Serota of the Tate empire and the Turner Prize, who puts great paintings in storage to make room for the garbage his indoctrinated curators laud to the skies in laughable language that the brave, dissident Jackdaw magazine rightly calls “art bollocks”.

But back to the latest example of useful idiots bowing to fashion. David Joseph, industry supremo and Brits chairman, explained that Hirst "is truly one of the most important British artists ever, and his unique vision will make winning a 2013 Brit an even more special proposition".

The most recent shock-horror production from the artisans Hirst hires to do the work he’s incapable of doing (the poor chap can’t draw, paint or sculpt) is Verity, a 65 ft, 25 tonne statute of a hideous pregnant woman with her insides on display now dominating the hitherto inoffensive harbour town of Ilfracombe. She’s a larger version of Virgin Mother, which Hirst displayed in the Royal Academy courtyard in 2006. For good measure, Hirst’s equipped her with a sword and scales and trumpets her as “a modern-day allegory for truth and justice”.

Since no town council in its right mind would buy anything like this, Hirst has kindly lent it for twenty years. His objective is to bring visitors to the town, not least to his sea-front restaurant. Apparently he also has a vision of building there a large ‘eco-estate’ of expensive houses. He’s thoughtfully made Verity ten inches taller than Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North, so that’ll be a draw for day-trippers who like gigantism.

Whatever he produces for the Brit Awards will no doubt be hailed by Joseph and his gullible chums as a work of genius. The bad news, Mr Joseph, is that Hirst’s prices are tumbling as people begin to grasp that his work is repetitive, cynical, pointless and mostly extremely ugly. His reputation is diminishing steadily – if too slowly – but with a fair wind, in a decade or so the nakedness of him, most of his fellow conceptual artists and the whole rotten art establishment will be visible to everyone.

Read all Ruth Dudley Edwards' Telegraph Blog posts here

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Taking A Gap Year Could Ruin Your Life

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sailboat-sunset-gold

Gap year students are more likely to have skipped school, smoked cannabis and earned less by the age of 30, research suggests.

The study found those who took a gap year before university were more likely to indulge in risky behaviour but less likely to have faith in their own abilities and feel in control of their own destiny.

The Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions study covered several thousand gap year students. It took data from two surveys; one of people who took a gap year in 2008–09 and another of people born in a particular week in April 1970.

The study found that more than 20 per cent of gap year takers had played truant by 16, compared with just under 14 per cent of those who went straight to university.

One survey also suggested that more than 8 per cent of gap year students had tried cannabis by the time they were 16, compared with under 6 per cent of those who went straight to degree courses, the report said. By 30, gap year takers tended to be earning less, it added.

The report identified two gap year types, those who planned to take a year out and had typically accepted a place at university and those who took an unplanned break, who did not have a degree place.

Both types had lower ability beliefs, felt less in control of their destiny and were more likely to engage in risky behaviour.

SEE ALSO: North Carolina Teen Goes On The Ultimate Gap Year Trip

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Five Christmas Presents That Could Change Your Life

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hovdingA chair with no back; a helmet that’s not really there; a ‘Star Trek’-style replicator. The Christmas gifts of the future are already here.

Cast your mind back to the beginning of 2010. A certain groundbreaking product was about to change the world. “Still no one is certain what the hell this creation is actually going to be for,” wrote the technology journalist Charles Arthur, “nor even what it will be called.” The Telegraph’s then technology correspondent, Claudine Beaumont, called it the “so-called iTablet”. She was far from convinced. “People might not know what they’ll use the tablet for,” she wrote somewhat grudgingly, “but they know that they need one.”

She was right. By Christmas 2011, the iPad was already being described as a true “game-changer”. In just a few years it has transformed the way we play, do business, socialise and learn. Will we ever see its like again? In this age of hyper-creativity and rapid technological advancement, it is impossible to tell. In the meantime, however, here are some recent innovations hoping to change how we travel to work, drink, and even the way we sit:

The Intelligent chair

When I meet Roger Golten for a coffee, he is sitting in an upright yet relaxed fashion on the chair he has brought with him. It’s an odd sight; he is able to swivel, tilt any which way, and – strangest of all – spread and raise each leg independently.

“As a race, we are transforming from homo sapiens to homo sedens,” says Golten, a therapist specialising in posture improvement and this chair’s sole UK importer. “We’re not designed to sit all day, yet most of us have incredibly sedentary lifestyles. It causes all sorts of health problems.”

The “Limbic” chair is designed to eliminate those problems, and looks nothing like a chair at all. It comprises a pair of carbon-fibre wings, curved to accept the precise dimensions of the thighs of the owner. Each of these moves independently on a complex system of hydraulics. There is no back, and no cushioning to speak of. “It’s very comfortable once you get used to it,” says Golten. “It makes sitting a dynamic process rather than a fixed, static position. You can move whenever you like, and pause in a fixed position as well. It also keeps the brain stimulated.”

The chair was invented by a Swiss doctor called Patrik Künzler at MIT, in collaboration with engineers from Formula One. “Chairs have been around for 4,000 years,” he says, “but we still haven’t adapted to them. Our bodies are essentially asymmetric – when our right foot goes forwards, it is accompanied by our left hand, and vice versa. A regular chair forces us into strict, static symmetry, and prevents us from the micro-movements of the sort that we naturally make when stationary, for example in sleep.” According to Künzler, small, regular movements are essential to keep nutrients and blood flowing, and to keep the back’s vertebrae lubricated.

“This chair,” he says, “allows you to make asymmetrical micro-movements whenever you like.” I climb on. It’s a strange experience, like being cradled by a robotic hand. Instantly, however, I can understand the benefits. The chair adjusts to me. There’s an immense feeling of freedom at being able to move in any direction at will. It’s almost like floating.

Just 50 of these chairs have been sold in the world, and only two currently exist in Britain. They cost £6,500, plus VAT. Golten says it particularly suits people who have to work in a fixed position for long periods. “My ideal client,” he explains, “is someone who sits all day, and makes a lot of money doing so.” golten.co.uk

The ‘invisible’ bike helmet

In Spring 2005, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, two Swedish industrial designers, were studying at Lund University when they became interested in cycle safety. The catalyst for their thesis project – the “Hövding” invisible bike helmet – was the introduction of new tough laws in Sweden that made bicycle helmets compulsory for children under the age of 15.

According to their research, 40 people die and 30,000 are injured each year in cycling accidents in Sweden alone, but the vast majority of cyclists do not wear helmets. The reason?

“Bicycle helmets are bulky and impractical to carry around when you’re not on your bicycle,” says Haupt. “People think bicycle helmets look hideous and make them look silly. They ruin your hair and you can’t get a hat on underneath.”

Their “invisible” solution has to be, well, seen to be believed. It takes the form of a scarf-like collar that zips up around the neck and is available in different coloured and patterned sleeves. When sensors pick up “abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident”, an airbag hood pops out instantaneously, protecting the head.

Amazingly, the Hövding complies with safety requirements. It is, according to the designers, “a practical accessory [that] will save your life”. It is available now, for the price of ¤499 (£400). Sleeves cost an additional ¤59 (£47.50). hovding.com

The cardboard BiCYCLE

Izhar Gafni, an Israeli inventor and cycling enthusiast, is also an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. These skills and interests came together in the invention of the cardboard bicycle, which will last for years, costs as little as £10 and, to answer everyone’s first question, can indeed withstand the rain.

“It has always excited me to take old raw materials and then turn it into something completely different, something useful,” he says. “The idea is like Japanese origami. You fold it once and it doesn’t gain twice the strength, but three times the strength.” The initial inspiration came when he heard about a man who managed to build a canoe from cardboard. “I thought, why not make a bicycle out of cardboard?”

The initial prototype looked like “a hybrid between a packaging box and a bicycle – a package on wheels”. It was only when he realised it needed to look like a serious bicycle that “the real challenges started”. Part of the design’s success is the special coating, made of an undisclosed combination of organic materials, which rendered the bicycle waterproof and fireproof. To finish the product, a layer of lacquer is applied.

Although Gafni is prevented by patenting issues to reveal the precise details of the design, he says the bicycle will contain no metal parts at all, not even in the brakes, chain and pedal bearings. All will be made of recycled and recyclable materials.

Gafni believes that his cardboard bicycle will be a game-changer in Africa. Plans are already under way to produce child-sized versions, as well as a cardboard wheelchair. Grants will cover the cost of production in Africa, and the product will be free on delivery. His latest prototype has reached the requisite standard, and mass production will begin in the next few months.

The wine-enhancing glass

According to Château Baccarat, the French wineglass manufacturer, it’s all in the shape. The company’s signature glass has a wide, heavy bowl that tapers into a cylindrical funnel. It looks rather odd, but there is method in the madness; this, it says, could be the wineglass of the future.

The shape of the Baccarat glass – which has different iterations for reds, whites and bubbles – has three features. The concave bottom and wide base prevents the alcohol from climbing up the glass when swirled, and keeps the aromas contained. The sharp, closed angle of the walls condenses the alcohol’s “volatile matter” and allows the aromas to billow around the glass as it is rotated. The vertical chimney acts to reunify and consolidate the aromas. The result is a punchy hit on the nose, which acts as a potent precursor to the wine and influences the perception of taste.

Put simply, it makes great wines taste even better, and not so great – i.e., cheap – wines taste good.

Hugues Lepin, the head sommelier at The Connaught Hotel in London’s Mayfair, now uses Baccarat glasses exclusively as they “open the potential of the wine”. Whereas most wines are “unlocked” when they are decanted, he says with the Baccarat glasses it is unnecessary; these are “decanting glasses”.

This radical design, Lepin says, is “the ultimate sommelier’s glass”. baccarat.com

The HAND-HELD 3D scanner

The Go!SCAN 3D portable scanner may look like a hairdryer, but it’s in fact the closest science has come to producing a Star Trek-style “replicator”. Created by a Canadian company, Creaform, it makes an exact, three-dimensional image of an object on a computer screen, which can be spun around through 360 degrees and manipulated at will. Then, using a 3D printer, a copy can be made.

3D scanning isn’t exactly a new technology, but professional-quality scanners have long been prohibitively costly and cumbersome. This portable version can go anywhere, and theoretically scan – and copy – any object you can point at. The applications for the scanner are wide ranging. Museum curators, restorers and archivists will be able to digitise and archive artefacts online. Archaeologists and palaeontologists may use the gadget to assemble the parts of a fossil or ancient site. Or, if you’re a car enthusiast who can afford the £16,000 retail price, you’ll have access to an infinite supply of spare parts without ever needing to bother the manufacturer. The American talk-show host Jay Leno demonstrated this with the valve of a rare 1907 steam car. It was broken, and getting a replacement was impossible. So he scanned it and printed a plastic version of the valve with a 3D printer; this was used as a mould to produce a metal version.

The Japanese company Omote 3D scans human beings, prints a statue of them, and paints it to look lifelike. This, they say, will be the family photograph of the future.

Nick Allen, founder of 3D Print UK, admits that the process is “expensive and slow, so will not replace traditional mass-production methods. But for bespoke objects it is ideal.”

New possibilities for using this technology are still being discovered, not all of them good. Allen, for example, was once asked to scan and print multiple ATM skimmers, which could record card details. He immediately informed the police.

According to Simon Bradshaw, a barrister who has made a detailed study of the intellectual property issues of 3D printing, copying an object purely for private use isn’t strictly illegal – yet. “What I expect will happen is that there will be growing pressure to regulate this area,” he says. The case, as they say, continues. goscan3d.com/en

This article also appeared in SEVEN magazine, free with the Sunday Telegraph. Follow us on Twitter@TelegraphSeven

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20 Gifts For The Movie Fan In Your Life

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Movie themed giftsGifting in general is difficult enough, but pinning down the perfect present for a film fanatic is like Mission: Impossible.

What do you get someone who has literally seen it all?

Zimbio.com — a top five leader in online entertainment news — scoured the web for the coolest, most unique items that your movie manic (and your wallet).

Pipcorn

Few things are as well matched as popcorn and movies, but if you hate the way it gets stuck in your teeth, you might want to try Pipcorn. It's about half the size of normal popcorn, comes in flavors like Lemon Truffle and Rosemary, and is less likely to require post-snack flossing.



Mockingjay 'Hunger Games' Brooch

Maybe you won't be shooting a bow and arrow through the forest like Katniss, but you can wear a Mockingjay pendant like the fearless Hunger Games character. And you don't even have to go shuffling through the Hob to get it. 



The 'Feminist Ryan Gosling' Book

The book inspired by the meme inspired by the REAL sexiest star in Hollywood can now be the perfect gift for the lady in your life who unabashedly displays her copy of The Notebook at the front of her DVD home library.



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Billionaire Rams Owner Stan Kroenke Buys $132.5 Million Montana Ranch + 4,500 Cows

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Eleven months after it hit the market, Montana's Broken O Ranch has sold to billionaire St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, according to The Wall Street Journal.

At $132.5 million, the spread was one of the most expensive ranch properties ever to ever hit the market. The sale price has not been disclosed.

The ranch covers 123,000 acres of land touching three counties in Montana, and more than 20 miles of the Sun River flow through the property, according to Bates Land Co., which had the listing.

It had previously belonged to William and Desiree Moore, the late founders of the Kelley-Moore Paint Company.

Broken O comes with 4,500 cows, including heifers and range bulls, as well as Montana's largest block of irrigated land. It also comes with a house with river views and an indoor swimming pool.

Kroenke, whose Kroenke Sports Enterprises also includes the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche teams, is married to Wal-Mart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke.

broken o ranch

broken o ranch

broken o ranch

SEE ALSO: The 25 Biggest Landowners In America

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The Brand New XFR-S Is Jaguar's Fastest, Most Powerful Sedan Ever

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jaguar xfr-s los angeles auto show debut

Going into this week's Los Angeles Auto Show, Jaguar had revealed only a teaser shot of the XFR-S, its fastest and most powerful sedan ever.

At its press conference on Wednesday, the opening day of the show, we were on scene for the big reveal.

While the XFR-S does not have Jaguar's hallmark elegance, it delivers a huge 550 horsepower, and an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph. It will hit to road next summer with a base price of $99,000.

After introducing the F-Type for the first time in North America, Jaguar rolled out the XFR-S.



As soon as the press conference ended, journalists crowded on stage to take a closer look.



From the rear, it looks somewhat clunky, nothing like the iconic E-Type and new F-Type.



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The Bacon-Themed Gifts Fad Just Got Even More Ridiculous

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Bacon Shaving CreamJ&D Foods, the company that specializes in all things bacon, recently announced their latest gift promotion, Bacon Shaving Cream.

According to NPR, the shaving cream contains no meat products but is the "highest-quality meat-scented shaving cream on the market today" and is available for all skin types.

Self proclaimed "Bacontrepreneurs" Justin and Dave, the founders of J&D Foods in Seattle, said that the product will only be available for a limited time. 

Only 2,500 jars of what the company calls the "pork-scented lather of the gods" are available for purchase at $14.99 a pop.

Bacon crazy customers have also been buying up J&D Foods' Ultimate Bacon Lovers Gift Pack which includes a jar of Baconnaise, a selection of original Bacon Salts, and Bacon Scented Lip Balm. 

Other popular bacon products include bacon flavored envelopes, candles, and scratch and sniff stickers.

DON'T MISS: Why Tory Burch Is Accusing Her Ex-Husband Of Copying Her Style >

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Tokyo Still Has More 3-Star Michelin Restaurants Than Any Other City In The World

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Japan Michelin 2013

The 2013 Tokyo, Yokohama, and Shonan Michelin Guide came out this week, and shockingly the Japanese capital has lost two of its three-star eateries.

The 6th edition of the guide includes a total of 250 establishments, including 286 restaurants, 52 hotels, and 12 ryokans (a style of Japanese inn). Out of those 286 restaurants,15 are three-star Michelin eateries, a drop from last year's 17.

However, Tokyo still remains the city with the most three-star restaurants in the entire world despite the minor setback. To put Tokyo's 15 three-star establishments in perspective, France trails with 10, New York with seven, and London with two.

The two critical darlings that fell from grace with the French tire company were Japanese sushi restaurant Araki and Nihombashi eatery Hamadaya. Hamadaya only lost a star, but Araki, once renowned for its fantastic sushi and fresh tuna, has disappeared from the list entirely.

According to The Wall Street Journal, this is the first time since the Tokyo Michelin Guide launched back in 2007 that the city has lost any of its three-star establishments.

A total of 22 new restaurants were added this year to Tokyo's Michelin Guide, and 6 new establishments were promoted to the two-star category. The one-star category saw 15 new restaurants and one ryokan join the rankings as well.

This year's selection featured a steakhouse, a Chinese restaurant, and three French contemporary establishments, in addition to Japanese, Japanese Sushi, Japanese Soba, Japanese Tempura, and Japanese Yakitori restaurants.

View the full list of three-star Tokyo eateries below:

  • Azabu Yukimura (Japanese)
  • Esaki (Japanese contemporary)
  • Ishikawa (Japanese)
  • Joël Robuchon (French contemporary)
  • Kanda (Japanese)
  • Koan (Japanese)
  • Koju (Japanese)
  • Quintessence (French contemporary)
  • Ryugin (Japanese contemporary)
  • 7chome Kyoboshi (Japanese tempura)
  • Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten (Japanese sushi)
  • Sushi Mizutani (Japanese sushi)
  • Sushi Saito (Japanese sushi)
  • Sushi Yoshitake (Japanese sushi)
  • Usukifugu Yamadaya (Japanese fugu)

SEE ALSO:  Horrible Yelp Reviews Of New York's Michelin-Starred Restaurants

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5 Simple Tips For Staging Your Home During An Open House

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Home For Sale

We just got our hands on the new book "Inside The Sell: Top Agents Reveal Unspoken Secrets and Dangers of Buying and Selling Your Home," by real estate agents Hans Wydler and Steve Wydler.

The duo have appeared on The Wall Street Journal's list of Top 100 Real Estate Agents.

The book is full of useful tips, including a bunch on how to stage your home so that it sells more quickly.

Here were five of our favorites:

  • Make sure your furniture matches the lifestyle you are trying to sell. Any couches from Grandma should be discarded or stored.

  • No closet should be more than 50 percent full. You want closets to look bigger. Wood hangers are also a good investment.

  • Don't leave any room empty. At the very least, put in lamps and art work.

  • Find another place for your pet during the open house. And after you do, erase all evidence he ever lived there. Clear out toys, bowls, and especially pet hair. 

  • Make sure all the doors can swing fully open with out hitting any furniture.

SEE ALSO: 10 Of The Tackiest Homes For Sale Right Now

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PETA Accuses A California Restaurant Of Violating The Foie Gras Ban

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foie gras

Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach, Calif. describes itself as "surfer meets sophisticate" and serves guests more than 50 kinds of tacos.

It has also supposedly been serving a foie gras burger, and PETA is not too happy about it, since it violates the statewide foie gras ban that went into effect this summer.

"A little-known restaurant in Hermosa Beach, California, must have thought it was being sly," PETA says on its blog. "After the [California ban on the sale of foie gras] was in place, the restaurant continued to serve the foie gras burger but tried to be crafty by changing the menu to read that people who purchased the burger would receive a free side of foie gras."

Get it? Hot's Kitchen isn't selling anything, it's merely offering the delicacy as a complimentary side.

But the people at PETA weren't going to take the attempt to circumvent the ban on selling foie gras lightly. After contacting the local Hermosa Beach Police Department, they've now filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court against the restaurant for engaging in unlawful business practices.

But Hot's Kitchen does not seem worried.

"Publicity stunts such as the filing of an outrageous, baseless lawsuit, followed by the issuance of press releases are nothing more than an attempt to exploit the media by stoking controversial flames and are designed to line the pockets of profiteers," the restaurant's spokeswoman, Kelly Coughlan, told Reuters.

Hot's Kitchen is not the first California eatery to defy the July 1st ban, and it most likely won't be the last. A number of restaurants have attempted to find a work-around to the new health code law, from serving foie gras for free to finding a loophole by residing on federal property and not California land.

Foie gras, the engorged liver of a duck or goose that has been excessively force fed, is considered a delicacy. PETA has done undercover investigations into the cruelty of the foie gras farms in the past, including with Kate Winslet where the film team witnessed feeding pipes forced down the birds' throats, causing internal bleeding, tissue damage, and sometimes even puncturing the neck.

Foie gras production has been banned in 15 countries, including the U.K., Germany, and Australia. If Hot's Kitchen is found guilty of breaking the ban, it could face fines of up to $1,000 per violation per day.

DON'T MISS: Hey Californians: Here Are The 11 Weirdest Foie Gras Dishes That Are Now Illegal To Put In Your Mouth

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10 Glass Houses You Can Buy Right Now

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glass housesGlass walls and floor-to-ceiling windows are a staple in many modern homes.

In rural settings, this hardly causes a privacy problem. But glass homes have become a growing trend among urban homeowners who are "starved for light" and often don't seem to mind the peeping Toms, according to The Wall Street Journal's Nancy Keates.

Some worry that with glass walls come a greater risk of danger, whether it be from natural disasters or vandalism. Regardless, you have to admit these homes are beautiful.

For $13.9 million, buy this Santa Barbara mansion known as "The Glass Pavilion."

Click here to see more photos of the house >



The house has five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. It sits on 3.5 acres, so there's plenty of privacy.

Click here to see more photos of the house >



This $1.19 million home in Costa Rica is known as "The Glass House."

Click here to see more photos of the house >



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The North Face Patrol Avalanche Airbag Pack

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This is the North Face's Patrol 24 ABS Avalanche Airbag Pack.

Why We Love It: If you're going backpacking, skiing, or snowboarding in the backcountry, this is the bag for you. Avalanche deaths are particularly terrifying because they can occur on any slope, and though the percent of people who die in avalanches is relatively low (284 people have died in avalanches in the United States over the past 10 winters), that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared.

The Patrol Avalanche Airbag Pack has a 95% success rate in real-world use, and uses compressed nitrogen to inflate 2 large airbags to keep wearers on the surface of an avalanche. Simply pull the handle on the left shoulder for quick deployment.

North Face backpack avalanche

 

North Face backpack avalanche

Where To Buy: Available through REI.

Cost: $1,179.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

SEE ALSO: The Kohler Moxie Wireless Speaker Showerhead

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These Are The 10 Best States To Make A Living

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Washington DC monument

Where is the best place to make a living?

In today's tough economy, it's an especially relevant question.

A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 44 percent of workers said they'd be willing to relocate for a job opportunity.

Check out the states >

For the second year in a row, MoneyRates.com sought to answer this question through a state-by-state look at four things:

  • Average income
  • Cost of living, based on the ACCRA Cost of Living Index
  • State income tax rate (based on the bracket for the state's average income)
  • Unemployment rate

To determine rankings, this study uses an adjusted average income figure based on these factors.

This figure is intended to provide insight into the earning environment of each state, and determine which places fare best — and worst — when all four variables are taken into account.

The 2012 winners

When compared to the 2011 results, the 2012 rankings reveal a high degree of consistency in the top 10 states. Seven states from last year's top 10 repeated that feat this year.

However, the analysis did yield a new champion: Virginia jumped from fourth place in 2011 to first place this year, while last year's number one, Illinois, swapped places with Virginia, falling to number four.

10. Massachusetts

Adjusted average income: $38,793

Another state that benefits from high incomes but is also experiencing a rapid rise in cost of living, Massachusetts slipped from the sixth position in last year's standings.



9. Delaware

Adjusted average income: $38,802

Ranked fifth last year, Delaware slipped a bit this year, but still hung onto a top 10 position.

Delaware benefits from a high average income, though over the past year the state's cost of living grew faster than the national average.



8. Utah

Adjusted average income: $39,250

Another newcomer to the top 10 this year is Utah, which climbed 13 places from last year.

Utah benefits from having cost of living and unemployment figures that are well below the national averages.



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50 Incredible Holiday Gifts For $50 Or Less

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With less than a month of holiday shopping left, shoppers will be in a mad rush to snatch up last-minute gifts for friends and family.

If you decided to cut your losses and skip the Black Friday/Cyber Monday frenzy this year, there's some good news: There are plenty of great gifts out there to choose from.

In fact, you'd be amazed at what $50 can buy.

Click here for the full list >

Or, find the right section for you: 

For everyone on your list > 

For gadget lovers >

For the ladies > 

For the guys > 

GREAT GIFTS FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST....



Show off your photos in 3-D with the Image 3-D View-Master

Kick back and enjoy photos like it's 1989. Image 3-D is making customizable View-Masters online. 

Each set costs $24.95 and comes with a reel of your photos, a viewer (in red, black, blue or white), and a gift box.

Price: $24.95



Keep credit card scammers at bay with the ID Sronghold Wallet

It's disturbing to think how simple it is for thieves to walk off with our credit and debit card information without them ever leaving our wallets.

They use tools called RFID scanners, which anyone can pick up on Ebay, that scan credit cards through purses, wallets, etc. and store them without the card's owner ever realizing it. 

Unless your credit card is equipped with an encrypted EMV chip (they can't be scanned by these tools), then a specialty wallet made to block RFID scanners is an excellent idea. 

Price: $40



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Car Reporters Went Crazy For The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series

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mercedes-benz sls amg black series los angeles auto show

Earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz released photos and specs for the SLS AMG Black Series, the incredibly powerful production spinoff of the SLS AMG GT3 race car.

At the LA Auto Show on Wednesday, the Black Series made its first public debut during the Mercedes-Benz press conference. First, the crowd of auto journalists heard the 6.3-liter V8 engine (which produces 622 horsepower). Then, it drove onto the stage.

Everyone stayed back while Steve Cannon, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, heralded the car's 196 mph top speed and 0 to 60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, and went over the different packages available.

Then he stepped out of the way, and the car was surrounded by excited reporters.

During the press conference, the crowd waited eagerly to see the Black Series.



Everyone jostled to get a good view as the car rolled into view.



Then Steve Cannon and Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, showed it off in all its glory.



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10 Gifts Your For The Sports Fan In Your Life

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Game Watching

Sports paraphernalia like jerseys and signed balls are fine for holiday gifts — but you're better than that.

This year, get the sports-obsessed person on your list something they'll actually use and thank you for.

We have the perfect gift ideas for the sports fans in your life. 

So stop searching on eBay for a signed Manning jersey (you won't find a real one anyways), and take a look at our list instead. You're welcome.

The fan-gamer will love EA Sports Games.

Sometimes watching your favorite sport isn't enough. EA Sports has Madden NFL, NCAA Football, FIFA Soccer, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NHL, NBA Live, and even more.

There's something for every game- and sports-lover here.

Price: Varies by game ($39.99-$79.99), see more details at the company website.



Get them access to premium online sports content with ESPN Insider.

If your friend is constantly on ESPN and checking player stats, consider buying him or her an ESPN Insider membership.

It gives the sports fan access to insider-exclusive expert analysis, predictive tools, and much, much more.

Price:Monthly $7.95; 1-year $39.95; 2-year $59.95



The sports historical buff will love the 'In the Moment' photography book.

This coffee table book is a collection of works by Tom Jenkins, an award-winning British sports photographer who has been making headlines since 1990.

Jenkins has taken incredible sports photos from Wimbledon, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the World Cup Finals. 

Price:$34.50



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