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Baby pulled alive from rubble after nearly 24 hours trapped in Nepal wreckage

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kathmandu1aA four-month-old baby in Nepal trapped for 22 hours under the rubble of the devastating earthquake was pulled out alive – a story that came to light after photos of the rescue circulated today.
 
The infant, Sonit Awal, was pinned beneath the collapsed debris of their home near the historic site of Bhaktapur and was feared dead by his parents Shyam Awal and Muldhoka, according to a report in the Kathmandu Today website.

The Nepalese military tried to search for the baby hours after the earthquake on April 25, to no avail.

When the army men left, Shyam Awal said he heard his son cry, renewing hope that he was alive.

The rescuers returned the next morning and pulled him out through a narrow opening in the concrete, as the distraught parents watched and waited.

Finally, at around 10am on Sunday, the baby emerged, his face caked with dirt but unscathed – as his mother wept tears of joy.

Still swaddled in his bonnet and mud-stained clothes, the baby was sent to hospital and cleared of any injures, Kathmandu Today reported.

Sonit’s story is among a few stories of survival coming out of Nepal after the quake that claimed more than 5,000 lives and injured over 10,000 people. The United Nations launched an appeal for US$415 million in aid from the international.

On Thursday, rescuers pulled a 15-year-old boy from the ruins of a collapsed building in Kathmandu, a rare moment of joy as relief coordinators warned it could take five days to reach some of the worst hit areas, accessible only by foot.

Grainy broadcast footage showed a crowd of rescuers trying to bring the youngster out of the rubble of a guesthouse in the Gongabu district of the ruined capital before police confirmed he had been pulled out.

“A 15-year-old boy has been rescued from the rubble of a lodge called Hilton Guesthouse,” said police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam. “We are awaiting more details.”

Local media reports said that the unnamed teenager had been taken to hospital for treatment.

 

Another man was rescued after spending more than 80 hours trapped in rubble, so thirsty that he drank his own urine.

The news was likely to reinvigorate the efforts of rescuers who have had to contend with regular shocks and rain which makes it harder for sniffer dogs to work out if anyone is alive below the mountains of concrete. The mood in Kathmandu has become increasingly grim since Saturday’s quake, the deadliest in Nepal for more than 80 years.

After desperate Nepalis clashed with riot police and seized supplies of bottled water on Wednesday, the government acknowledged that it had been overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis.

The UN said there were “significant logistical challenges” in responding to such a large-scale crisis in hard-to-reach, mountainous areas.

Many of the communities worst affected by Saturday’s quake are in remote areas of the Himalayas that rescuers have not been able to reach.

Around 70,000 houses have been destroyed and another 530,000 damaged across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts, the UN said.

The latest official toll from Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Centre put the number of dead at 5,489 and more than 10,000 are known to have been injured.

The impact also caused death and destruction in neighbouring countries such as India and China where more than 100 people were killed.

Although the number of aftershocks since Saturday’s quake has subsided, fresh tremors were felt in the capital Kathmandu overnight.

Some people who had spent the past four nights camped out in the open for fear of aftershocks spent their first night back home.

kathmandu2a (1)But a significant number are still living on the roadside or open ground in Kathmandu, which is normally home to some 2.5 million people, including many migrant workers.

“I don’t know how long we are going to do this. How long can we live on the street?” said Rajina Maharjan after another night camped out in a tent outside her house with her husband, in laws and a four-year-old son.

“We might return home in a few days, see how we can fix it and feel safe it in. It is raining on and off, we have old people and a child to take care of,” added Maharjan, a shopkeeper.

Hundreds of thousands of residents have fled the city since Saturday, fearing aftershocks and wanting to inspect the damage back in their families’ villages.

Signs of normal life were returning Thursday to Kathmandu, with shopkeepers opening, some for their first time since the quake, and vegetable vendors laying out bags of produce before dawn at devastated Durbar Square.

The government acknowledged it had been overwhelmed.

“The disaster has been so huge and unprecedented that we have not been in a position to meet the expectations of the needy people,” Communications Minister Minendra Rijal told Nepal’s Kantipur Television. 

SEE ALSO: The post-earthquake tragedy in Nepal keeps getting worse

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 3 classic tie knots every modern gentleman should know

11 extremely wealthy tech executives who choose to live frugally

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david karp

While some tech executives are quick to splurge on yachts and mega-mansions, others aren't so flashy with their riches.

Biz Stone, for example, says he's too embarrassed to drive anything more flashy than a dented Volkswagen Golf, while Sergey Brin likes to buy things in bulk at Costco.

We've rounded up 11 tech executives who have made millions or even billions with their companies yet have chosen lives of frugality and charity.

David Cheriton, Stanford professor

Net worth: $2.9 billion

Cheriton, a professor at Stanford and cofounder of Arista Networks, became one of the first investors in Google after Larry Page and Sergey Brin did a demo of their project on his front porch in 1998. That initial $100,000 check has obviously paid off, but Cheriton dislikes the thought of being a billionaire.

"I'm actually quite offended by that sort of thing," he told the Edmonton Journal in a 2006 interview. "These people who build houses with 13 bathrooms and so on, there's something wrong with them."

He drives a 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon, has lived in the same Palo Alto home for the past 30 years, cuts his own hair, and even claims to reuse his tea bags. He did, however, splurge on a Honda Odyssey for his kids back in 2012.



Charlie Ergen, founder and CEO of Dish Network

Net worth: $17.8 billion

Ergen is notorious for being a frugal leader and micromanager — up until about 10 years ago, he insisted on signing every check that came out of Dish. 

He packs a lunch of a sandwich and Gatorade before work every day, and until recently, he shared hotel rooms with colleagues during travel.

"My mom grew up in the Depression," he told the Financial Times. "I don’t have a mahogany desk."



Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba

Net worth: $22.8 billion

Ma is one of the wealthiest men in China, but he's made few splurge purchases and prefers to keep his personal life out of the spotlight. Ma grew up poor in communist China, failed his college entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs.

Even though he has become a bit of a celebrity in China, he still enjoys quiet meditation in the mountains and playing poker with friends.

"Ma Yun's lifestyle is very simple and modest. His hobbies are still tai chi and kung fu novels," Chen, his friend and assistant, said to USA Today. "I don't think he has changed much, he is still that old style."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






Use a cobbler's simple rule to determine whether your shoes are worth the money to repair

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men's shoes

Recently, I walked into Danel Shoe Repair in midtown Manhattan with a pair of shoes whose heels had completely imploded.

Alex Plishtiev, the owner, took one look and quoted me a price: $20.

I hesitated. The shoes had only cost $20 to begin with.

Was it worth it?

"It depends if you like the shoes," he said, and then explained his simple rule:

"If the upper part of the shoe dries out or starts cracking, then it's not worth repairing. But if the uppers are fine, the bottoms can always be fixed."

The same thing holds true if you're talking about a $100 pair of shoes.

Once the uppers — meaning anything that isn't the sole — go, that's a sign that the shoes have truly reached the end of their life.

You may think that you're saving money by paying $50 to repair them instead of buying a brand new pair, but they'll likely need more, equally expensive repairs before long. 

If the soles are ruined, on the other hand, that's easy to fix.

A repair in the range of $20-$30 can give them several extra years of life, and leave you feeling like you have a brand new pair of shoes. That's why finding a good shoe repair shop is a simple and easy trick for saving money. You can see Business Insider and Yelp's ranking of the best shoe repair shops in New York City here.

Of course, some people choose to ignore this rule and repair old, broken-in shoes for sentimental reasons. Plishtiev showed me a pair of cowboy boots that he'd patched up to hide giant holes in the leather. "The repairs on these cost $125," he said. "But the owner loves them so much that he wanted to keep them."

SEE ALSO: 8 Money-Saving Tricks That Will Leave You Feeling Richer

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How people actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

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Cinco de Mayo clothing In America, Cinco de Mayo has become an excuse to eat Mexican food and drink margaritas. 

But in Mexico, it's celebrated a bit differently. 

The holiday actually commemorates a military victory, when Mexico defeated the French in 1862. And instead of being celebrated across the country, the only place that really celebrates the holiday is Puebla, where the battle actually took place.

From historical reenactments and parades to mouthwatering meals, here’s what you’ll see happening in Mexico on May 5th.

The largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations take place in the city of Puebla, the site where the original battle took place. Not only is the city a UNESCO World Heritage Centre thanks to its preserved 16th and 17th century cathedrals, it’s also considered Mexico’s gastronomic capital.



There's a massive parade in Puebla, where thousands of locals gather and dress as French and Mexican soldiers to reenact the war. After the Mexican troops win, celebrations begin with music, dancing, and food.



There are dozens of brightly-colored floats in the parade.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






After a near-death experience, a Bank of America VP started the charity that Wall Street is talking about

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Noah Cooper ECMO

One minute Noah Cooper was jogging on the treadmill in his apartment complex's gym, the next he was passed out with an arrhythmia — a condition causing his heart to beat irregularly — while a neighbor performed CPR.

And that wasn't even the worst of it. Cooper, then 27 years old and a vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, encountered severe complications during his recovery at Bellevue Hospital — and in the end, only a little known, underfunded technology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital saved his life.

That was two years ago, and now Cooper is on a mission to promote the treatment that saved him — "extracorporeal membrane oxygenation," or ECMO.

Cooper teamed up with close friend Rob Sanzillo, a lawyer at Herrick Feinsten in New York, and founded Hearts of ECMO to raise money for research and to help spread the technology to hospitals around the country.

Essentially, ECMO technology works as an external, mechanical lung and heart to help oxygenate someone's blood when their organs stop working. It pumps blood out of the patient's body through a tube, oxygenates the blood in a machine, and then returns it to the heart through another tube.

Here's an explainer from Hearts of ECMO's website:


In Cooper's case, his lungs were seriously damaged when doctors induced a coma and put him into "therapeutic hypothermia" after the treadmill incident to minimize damage to his organs. They had him breathing on a respirator, but then couldn't take him off of it until his lungs had healed. That's why he needed the ECMO treatment.

Sanzillo's story

Throughout Cooper's month-long hospital stay, Sanzillo, who'd met Cooper back during their college baseball days (Sanzillo played for Johns Hopkins University and Cooper for Columbia), visited him nearly every day.

Then, just weeks after Cooper's treatment, Sanzillo's father suffered complications from a heart transplant and suddenly needed ECMO treatment too.

At the time, Sanzillo didn't realize how rare ECMO treatment was. But its effect, for him, was obvious.

"Without it, I would have lost my dad and my best friend," he said.

He and Cooper set a $25,000 fundraising goal for 2015, but already they've raised closer to $80,000.

To do more (and to celebrate what they've done so far) they're holding a Spring Benefit at 404 in Manhattan on Saturday, with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and dancing. Expect young Wall Street to be there en masse.

"ECMO is something that doesn’t receive the proper attention and receive the proper funding," Cooper said. "We thought that starting something to help a cause that’s so meaningful to us would definitely be rewarding."

Check out their Saturday event or the Hearts of Ecmo website for more information on how to get involved.

Join the conversation about this story »

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The company that made Chairman Mao's limo has built an SUV to take on Range Rover

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Hongqi LS5

In Chinese, the words "红旗" (hong qi) means "red flag." It's an enduring symbol of the Chinese communist revolution that led to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. 

First established in 1958 to build luxury limos for high-level Communist officials, Hongqi has now become China's first indigenous ultra-luxury car marque — finding its niche as the purveyor of high-end cars to the country's newly-wealthy. 

At the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, Hongqi debuted its long awaited LS5 SUV. It represents the brand's take on the Range Rover — the official vehicle of English landed gentry. 

Obviously, it's ironic that a Chinese automaker closely associated with the communist party is now constructing a vehicle inspired by the preferred transportation of the Queen of England.

CarScoops, citing local news, has reported that the 17-foot long LS5 will be powered by a 381 horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 engine paired an 8-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. 

Hongqi LS5

This setup is expected to allow the 6,300 pound beast to hit 62 mph in 8.1 seconds, with a top speed of 137 mph. Although those numbers are not spectacular, they do indicate that the LS5 could be a very capable vehicle. 

Hongqi's entry into the luxury SUV market is indicative of China's demand for high-end executive transport – and evidence that China knows the level of competition it's up against globally.

In fact, the world's luxury SUV masters have all doubled down on China with BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Audi, and Cadillac all pushing for more share in the Chinese market. Heck, even Volvo has jumped into the fray with its new XC90 Excellence SUV.

Hongqi LS5

The brand — now a subsidiary of Chinese automotive giant FAW Group — has experienced a renaissance over the past decade. While Hongqi can still count of the Chinese Government for its presidential limousine orders, private owners have also stepped up to buy the car. 

Last year, Hongqi made waves when a Chinese businessman ordered one of its V12-powered L5 luxury sedans for a whopping $800,000.

Hongqi Limo

No word when the LS5 will hit showrooms or what kind of price tag the luxury SUV will command. But we do know that a 2015 Range Rover LWB V8 Supercharged retails for a jaw-dropping $590,000 in China. 

SEE ALSO: Check out these 23 incredible cars from the Shanghai Auto Show

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Amazing photographs juxtapose Vietnam yesterday and today

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vietnam, Khánh Hmoong

Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

Vietnam has been a country rich with heritage, before, during, and after the war. Today, we look back at a bit of that history.

Photographer Khánh Hmoong blends past and present by superimposing historic photographs from Vietnam over the exact location where they were taken from in present day.

While some of the elements of the landscapes have changed to reflect modernization in the country, some architectural features remain unchanged.

Hmoong has given us permission to feature photographs from his project "Vietnam: Looking Into the Past," giving us a unique look of his country's history and present at the same time.

Street life in Nha Trang, 1966-1968



Street life in Nha Trang, 1966



Nha Trang, 1968 (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt)



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






Here are the real best things to do in New York City, according to locals

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dim sum asian jewels seafood restaurant in flushingVisiting New York City can be overwhelming.

There are thousands of things to do in this massive city — whether it's your first or 15th time visiting.

To help narrow down the long to-do list for every trip, we asked locals for insider tips on the truly best things to do in the city.

Spend an afternoon searching for treasures at the Brooklyn Flea. Locals love shopping for one-of-a-kind vintage finds from the 100-plus vendors who gather at the market, which takes place in a few neighborhoods around Brooklyn.

For more information, click here

 



Sip a cocktail at Raines Law Room, one of New York's most infamous speakeasies, in the Flatiron. The bar is hidden behind an unmarked stairwell and you must ring a bell to be let in.

See more of the best speakeasy bars in New York City here



Picnic in Sheep Meadow in Central Park.

Learn more about Sheep Meadow »



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






Models, athletes, and actors took over BTIG's trading floor and surprised a lot of clients

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hannah davis.JPG

Clients of equities trading firm BTIG received some unexpected calls this Tuesday, April 28, as celebrities like Alex Rodriguez and Padma Lakshmi worked to "make a call, make a trade, and make a difference."

There for the firm's 13th annual Charity Day, 50-plus A-listers helped raise over $5 million for philanthropic causes around the world.

Among the "celebrity guest traders" was model Hannah Davis, New York Giant Eli Manning, "Sex and the City" star Kristin Davis, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, chef Geoffrey Zakarian, and, towering above them all, retired NBA-star Shaquille O'Neal, who has been working the event since its inception in 2003.

Alex Rodriguez's commission went to Boys and Girls Club of America.



Hamptonite Beth Stern's commission went to the North Shore Animal League.



Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian's commission went to New York's City Harvest.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






These are a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander's favorite books

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AP09081207333

Admiral James Stavridis, a former leader of the US Southern Command and once the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, has shared some of his favorite books in an interview with Marcia Desanctis from The Millions. 

Stavridis, who is now the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, is a voracious reader with broad literary tastes. For a person who was once one of the most important figures in the world's most powerful military, books serve as a crucial way to make sense of a complicated world. 

"Reading is integral to my life ... And I think, in the end, we solve global problems not by launching missiles, it’s by launching ideas," Stavridis told The Millions. 

Here are some of Stavridis' favorite books, along with his favorite naval movie. 

"My Life In France" by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme

"My Life In France" is a memoir documenting Child's move to France with her new husband, Paul. The book follows the culinary icon's growing career as a chef and author, and captures all of her successes and failures.

The book left Stavridis in tears. 

"This is an incredibly quirky, wonderful book about discovering yourself and discovering your life," Stavridis said. "The voice in the book is so authentic and so beautiful, so wonderfully rendered."

"The Circle" by Dave Eggers 

"The Circle" is a disconcerting look at the future of online privacy. Imagining a world in which transparency is valued more than privacy, Eggers evokes a world that may not be too far off in the future.

"In the largest sense, by one of our most creative contemporary writers, David Eggers, it is a story about what we hold to ourselves, what is privacy, and what transparency can provide but take away from each of us," Stavridis told The Millions. "It’s a profoundly important novel that helps us deal with this collision between privacy and transparency." 

"Gulag: A History" by Anne Applebaum

"Gulag: A History" documents the rise of the Soviet prison camp system from the Russian Revolution through its collapse during glasnost towards the end of the Cold War. Applebaum's research documents both the details of individual camp life and the greater significance of the gulag system for the USSR and its leaders. 

"It's a brilliant book," Stavridis said. He also featured the book on the reading list at the end of his autobiography, "The Accidental Admiral." 

"Generation of Winter" by Vassily Aksyonov 

"Generation of Winter" is a novel that follows the saga of the fictional Gradov family from 1925 to 1945. With a vast range of characters and settings, the novel shifts from Moscow to the frontlines of WWII battles in Poland and Ukraine, capturing the difficulties of Russian life during that twenty year time period. 

"It’s a beautiful novel," Stavridis said. "It’s also, I think, a portrait of a really interesting period in Russian society that transitioned from the World War II generation and how they were effectively betrayed." 

"The Caine Mutiny" starring Humphrey Bogart

Without further explanation, Stavridis said "The Caine Mutiny" was his favorite movie about the Navy "by a country mile." 

You can read the entire interview here»

SEE ALSO: 10 works of fiction every US service member should read

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Research reveals the 3 unexpected reasons why men cheat

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As long as monogamy has existed, so has cheating. What makes people stray from the ones they love? We wanted to find out specifically what drives men to be unfaithful.

We talked to a leading expert on the topic, M. Gary Neuman, a psychotherapist and the author of "The Neuman Method" and "The Truth About Cheating." Through his research, Neuman found that the main reason men cheat has little to do with sex or physical attraction.

Produced by Graham Flanagan. Camera by Devan Joseph.

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People are raging at startup ClassPass for a blog post about meeting women at the gym

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ClassPass offensive post

ClassPass, the startup that offers users a selection of workout classes from various gyms, has apologized for a post it published earlier this month encouraging "single bros" to join the service and use it to hit on women taking classes.

"We're sorry if our blog post about finding a date was offensive," ClassPass tweeted. "We've edited it & we hope you use ClassPass to find new workouts & friends!"

The blog post in question was written by Brian Levine, a member of the ClassPass customer experience team. Levine described attending a ClassPass class and overcoming anxiety about his "red-in-the-face, wring out your t-shirt, two-towels-needed" sweat tendencies in order to ask a fellow fitness freak out on a date.

But the post's second paragraph rubbed many people the wrong way. Its contents have since been edited, but it originally read:

"... for you single bros out there, where better to meet a lady than at a fitness class? Between the sweat, endorphins and the potential for less clothing than usual, the stage is set for us guys to make your move."

The remainder of the post was a personal recounting of his experience with asking the woman out and receiving a response of, "Sure, why not?" It ended with Levine acknowledging that he was glad he'd joined ClassPass because it "allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, both in terms of physical fitness and social interaction," he wrote.

Twitter users who stumbled on the post felt either perplexed or offended.

Well, except one or two...

Shortly after we contacted ClassPass for comment on the post, the apologetic tweet was sent out and the offending paragraph removed mention of skimpy clothes and single bros. It was switched to this:

"... if you’re single, it’s an opportunity to meet other singles who might be in your class. I decided to go for it in a class I took recently – here’s what happened[.]:"

In addition to their tweeted apology, a spokesperson from ClassPass clarified with us that the point of the blog post was for one member to share their story. It was not part of an effort to encourage men to join so they could hit on the women, she said.

ClassPass issued the following statement:

"At ClassPass we've built a like-minded community of people that enjoy getting fit and discovering new and exciting ways to work out. Often, members in our community have established friendships with other members and in some rare cases, romantic relationships. The blog post was not part of a concerted marketing effort, it was merely a personal story from one of our team members about his experience. We are sorry that it came off as insensitive and want to reiterate how important it is for us that all of our members feel comfortable and at ease in our classes." 

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Outdoor drinking season is back! Here are the best wines to open on your patio

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wine drinking outdoors

As the weather heats up, I find my wine tastes start to change. The hearty, rich wines that complement stews and roasts so well can feel heavy and overbearing as the temperature rises, especially if you’re outside.

When you find yourself on a patio or porch or heading to a park or beach, look to some different sections of the wine shop for the perfect wine.  

There are a few things I look for in general in a warm weather wine: acid, low/medium alcohol levels, and minimal oak. The acid stimulates saliva and conveys a brightness that is extremely refreshing. The lower alcohol content makes for a lighter wine that complements the warmer weather nicely and leaves you feeling much lighter than the big, bold wines you enjoy indoors. 

If you typically drink BIG wines like Cabernet Sauvignons or Malbecs, try a lower-alcohol version of those grapes or experiment with other low-alcohol varietals. 

Finally, wines aged in oak pick up flavors from the wood that can add a lovely complexity, but also make the wine a bit heavier and less refreshing. I love a note of oak on my wine, but tend to steer to wines aged without oak or with minimal oak when summer approaches. 

Here are some of my favorite, easy-to-find types of wines for warmer weather. 

A crisp Sauvignon Blanc. 

The Sauvignon Blanc grape contains a lot of acidity, and typically contains no oak.  You can find Sauvignon Blancs from most parts of the globe. Some of my favorite areas are New Zealand and France, but I enjoy many other areas as well.  

kim crawford winesThese wines are meant to be drunk young – typically within two years — so do go looking for newer vintages and screw top bottles, which are especially great on picnics. A really solid Sauvignon Blanc found virtually everywhere is the New Zealand standby made by Kim Crawford Vineyard. The price is right (typically under $15), and it's consistently good. 

In France, look for a Sancerre or a Pouilly-Fume. Both wines grow in the Loire Valley, which is ideally suited for Sauvignon Blanc. A very good, relatively common Sancerre I often recommend is the Pascal Jolivet Sancerre.  You can find recent vintages for under $20. 

If you're looking for similar types of crisp white wines for summer, try a Vino Verde from Portugal or Spain, or a Gavi di Gavi from Italy, or a Chenin Blanc from South Africa. 

Bubbly. 

We often save sparkling wines for celebrations. I say that opening a bottle of bubbly is itself a celebration! The carbonation and acidity make for a perfect warm weather drink. 

Polo Nacho Figueras champagneOf course, the most famous type of sparkling wine is Champagne. Yes, Champagne can be quite expensive, but a good bottle can be worth it. If you want to go upscale without breaking the bank, I recommend a non-vintage Pol Roger ($40 to $50) but you can certainly go big with great vintage bottles well north of $250. (As an aside, Winston Churchill drank a bottle of Pol Roger at lunch every day. Now that’s a lunch!)

But sparkling wine is made all over the world.  What’s more, these sparkling wines can be delicious and are typically much more affordable.  Some of my favorite easy-to-find sparklers are:  

  • US sparkling wines: Roederer Estate Sparkling wine (Napa - $20), Gruet Brut (New Mexico! - $23), and Iron Horse Sparkling - especially their “Wedding Cuvee” (Napa - $30.)
  • Italian Sparkling wines: Belle Casel (Prosecco - $17), Nino Franco Rustica (Prosecco - $15), Banfi Rosa Regale (Red, sweet sparkling - $18), and Lini 910 (Lambrusco - $15.)
  • Spanish Sparkling wines: Augusti Torello Mata Brut Gran Reserva (Cava - $15) and Rovellats Gran Reserva Brut Nature (Cava - $25.) 

Rosé.

Rosés are my favorite warm weather wines. Perhaps it’s the pink color or the memories of your parents’ syrupy white zinfandel, but many people steer clear of rosé wines — and that's a mistake. Typically made from grape varietals that produce red wines, the wine makers reduce the amount of time the grape skins are in contact with the juice of the grape. 

rose wineThis reduced contact reduces the tannin levels and intensity often found in red wines. The darker the pink, the longer the grape skin has been in contact with the juice. I love rosé slightly chilled on my patio with or without food.  

Nearly every part of the wine-producing world makes some type of rosé, but some easy-to-find, tasty options are:   

  • Spain: Las Rocas Rosé (made from Grenache, $10)
  • France: La Terre de Agnes Rosé (Sancerre, made from Pinot Noir - $18), and La Vielle Ferme (Rhone, made from Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault - $18.)
  • US: Vallin Rosé (made from Syrah - $22) 

Beaujolais.

Often overshadowed by its more famous wine-making neighbors, the Beaujolais region of France produces some great, light red wines that are wonderful summer options for people who prefer red to white or pink.beaujolais wine

There are 10 sub-regions in Beaujolais, and without going deep into the wine classification laws of France, I suggest you look for a Beaujolais from one of these specific sub-regions rather than look for a specific wine maker. 

screen_shot_2015 04 08_at_10_52_20_am

Some are easier to find than others, so I suggest you search out a Beaujolais from Morgon,  Bruilly, or Fleurie.  Winemakers typically reserve their best grapes for their “Cru Beaujolais” bottling.

To qualify for the “Cru Beaujolais” label, the grapes must all come from the same sub-region, and they typically demand a higher price than the Beaujolais or Beaujolais-Village classifications. 

Unlike Cru wines from other French regions, these wines won’t break the bank, and typically cost less than $25.  

No matter what you choose, don’t over-chill any of these wines. As the temperature of wine (or any beverage) approaches the freezing point, humans lose the ability to discern the flavors of that beverage. That’s why a really cold beer is so refreshing right out of the cooler, but may not be so great 15 minutes later.  I like my wine cool but not cold. Try it. You will taste much more at 50 -55 degrees Fahrenheit than you will at the 38 degrees of a typical refrigerator. 

While I encourage you to let your whites warm up slightly, I also think most of us are drinking our red wines too warm. Take that bottle of Beaujolais or Lambrusco and cool it for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, or put it in a bucket of ice water for 5 minutes.  

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I went to summer camp for adults and it was like a frat party on steroids

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club getaway rock climbing

What do you get when you combine campfires, s'mores, and sing-alongs with "flip cup" tournaments and a bunch of singles dancing to house music?

The answer is Connecticut's Club Getaway, a summer camp for adults, one of many in the US. Those looking to relive their childhood memories (or experience this rite of passage for the first time) can pay more than $500 for a weekend of summertime traditions and friendship-making.

Last summer, I joined the 1 million adults who attend summer camp for grown-ups each year. It's an experience I won't soon forget.

I never went to sleepaway camp as a child. Every June, my lucky classmates left for northern New England and returned two months later with macramé bracelets, tanned skin, and endless stories about “camp friends.” I felt as if I were missing out on this whole other world.



Last summer, I had the opportunity to attend summer camp for adults, which was a lot like how I imagine kids' summer camp is — except with booze, sex, and gossip.



I spent the weekend at Club Getaway, an all-inclusive sports and adventure resort nestled in the Berkshire Mountains of Kent, Connecticut. While the camp hosts corporate retreats, school groups, and children’s camps during the workweek, weekends are reserved for adult programming. Over 10,000 grown-ups come every year.



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This new startup wants to make you the laziest person ever and have someone pack your suitcase for you

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DUFL3

Dufl, a startup that launched Thursday, aims to eliminate the pain of packing by removing the traveler from the equation almost entirely.

Here's how it works:

  • Download the Dufl app and sign up. After you request a special Dufl suitcase, it will arrive at your door ready to pack.
  • Pack the suitcase with anything you think you might need on your forthcoming trips.
  • Mail the packed suitcase to Dufl's central storage facility. Dufl has partnered with FedEx, which will pick up the suitcase. Once it arrives, Dufl will take inventory of all of your clothes and take photographs for your own reference on their app.
  • Request a suitcase when you book your trip. The app lets you pick which clothes you want on a particular trip, which will then be expertly folded and is guaranteed to be waiting for you in whatever city and hotel you're staying.
  • Return the suitcase to Dufl via FedEx. Your clothes will be transported back to Dufl's facility, where they will then be washed or dry cleaned and stored for your next trip.

DUFL

Your clothes won't, however, be returned to you. You'll only see them on your next trip. Dufl CEO Bill Rinehart doesn't foresee much separation anxiety between Dufl users and their wardrobe, however.

It is "soon outweighed by the convenience," Rinehart says. 

Rinehart notes that Dufl allows a lot of flexibility, letting users to remove or add any piece of clothing to their Dufl wardrobes at any time via a suitcase shipped to their home.

 "A user doesn’t have to be away from his clothing any longer than he wants to be," Rinehart says.

DUFL 2

The storage service runs $10 a month, and each bag sent to your destination costs $99 roundtrip – including the cleaning and repacking.

Rinehart envisions Dufl's users to be people who travel by plane, most often for business. Dufl is a solution for users who already have clothes they only wear on the road. Rhinehart said some customers are actually buying special clothes just for their Dufl wardrobe.

He notes that when you take into account things like dry cleaning and checked bag fees, that $99 roundtrip fee doesn't look too bad.

Rinehart is no startup newbie. He's launched several projects. He created Dufl because he was fed up with the demands that packing and dealing with luggage placed on him when he was traveling. The company has already raised $2.5 million in seed funding from private investors and expects to raise more capital this year, according to Rinehart. 

SEE ALSO: 20 places you should visit before they disappear

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Today is Email Debt Forgiveness Day! It's your day to respond to all those old emails you've been ignoring

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Thursday is Email Debt Forgiveness Day. 

What's Email Debt Forgiveness Day? It's the day when you are allowed to respond to those weeks or months (or years?!)-old emails that are sitting in your inbox, still waiting for a response, without shame. 

You don't have to apologize. You don't have to agonize over what the receiver will think about getting a response embarrassingly late. Just respond, and you will be forgiven.

The idea came out of Gimlet Media's Reply All podcast. They've even set up a page that explains what is going on, so there's no need to try to stumble through it yourself. Just respond and include this link.

If this doesn't work for you, I'm declaring tomorrow Email Bankruptcy Day. Just go ahead and delete everything that's unread. If anyone asks why you didn't respond, send them the link to this post.

 

SEE ALSO: This store charges women 24% less than men for a reason

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9 luxurious Mother’s Day gifts you can pick up at the beauty counter

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skin care gloves

Ask any mom what she’d like for Mother’s Day and she’ll say, “For us to be together” or “I don’t know, just surprise me.”

It’s sweet, yes, but it's no help in the quest for the actual perfect Mother's Day gift.  

To save you time and guesswork, here are nine beauty gifts that strike a chic balance between safe bet and wow-factor.

Give her a pair of gloves she’ll never want to take off.

Price: $50

If she’s a fan of "Sex and the City," she probably knows all about these Borghese gloves--they were featured on the show. Enriched with natural oils and brightening acids, she can slide these on over her favorite hand cream while she’s watching T.V.

Get it at most Lord & Taylor stores or right here



The gift of actual beauty sleep.

Price: $315

Sleeping masks are hugely popular in Korea, where 24/7 hydration is touted as the key to anti-aging. Swiss brand La Prairie offers a Rolls-Royce version with its Skin Caviar Luxe Sleeping Mask, which harnesses omega-3 fatty acids and collagen plumping botanicals. Brushing the mask on before bedtime will be her new favorite ritual.

Get it at Saks Fifth Avenue or right here



Treat her to a luxury salon treatment in a box.

Price: $65

First off, it’s pink and it comes in a nice box. So we’re halfway to the Mother’s Day finish line already. Philip Kingsley’s Pamper Time Collection brings the salon hair treatment experience to her bathroom. The spray bottle dampens hair, the treatments condition and strengthen, and the plush cotton wrap ensures product absorption.

Get it at Philip Kingsley New York or right here



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This longtime Starbucks fan is losing faith in the brand

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"What is a flat white?" I asked the barista.

"It's like ristretto coffee, that's strong coffee, and whole milk."

"What's the milk like?"

"It's like whole milk and there's supposed to be a white dot on the top."

"How's it different from a cappuccino?"

 "Uh ... I don't know. There isn't ..." she trailed off, looking to the other barista. "What's the difference between a flat white and a cappuccino?"

"It's got whole milk and a cappuccino is 2%," the second barista said, "and it's ristretto coffee.

"But people can get different milk with a flat white," the first one said uncertainly.

I ordered a flat white and what they made tasted good, with sweet, rich coffee and lightly steamed milk, but they made it wrong, the milk too liquid, not the velvety microfoam it should be; and their explanation of a flat white compared to a cappuccino was way off.

Here's how Starbucks describes the drinks:

starbucks flat white

starbucks cappuccino

 

I pay attention to the things Starbucks gets wrong because I used to work there, and for years I was an ardent defender. Is Starbucks slipping? Probably, though it could be just that I am adjusting my once overly positive opinion to reality.

I became a Starbucks believer after working at the chain in 2009, impressed by the careful training I received, the strict coffee-making test I had to pass, and how we were instructed to throw out coffee if it sat longer than 30 minutesFor years after, I praised Starbucks for getting espresso drinks right while other chains screwed them up.

Yet time and again, and perhaps recently more than ever, the chain has disappointed me.

To start, many baristas don't know what a flat white is. Although the first time I ordered the chain's famous new drink it was made perfectly, the second time I ordered it they made something with far too little foam, and when I asked the barista the difference between a flat white and a latte, she shrugged and said she didn't know.

Too often I've ordered a cappuccino and been served a latte (which has more milk, less foam), and too often it's been scalding hot.

It amuses me how many baristas don't know what you're talking about, at least not at first, when you ask for a short (a size from the early days of Starbucks that every store keeps by the other cups and which makes for the best cappuccino).

And then there's how long it takes to get in and out of some Starbucks. While the chain has always prided itself on efficiency — and my team could be wonderfully efficient — it seems to take awfully long to get in and out these days, especially if you or anyone else orders one of the pastries they now insist on heating up.

Such inconsistency and slippage is a risk for a connoisseur brand as it expands, and Starbucks is still expanding fast, with 1,600 stores added last year and more than 20,000 worldwide. While revenue climbed 11% to more than $16 billion last year, the ubiquitous chain is losing a once devoted fan in me.

I'll still go, of course — the coffee is decent and the locations are convenient — but I won't get my hopes up.

SEE ALSO: The best coffee shops in America

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