How to Make the Case for Social Media

first_img Remember: This isn’t a crusade, it’s a learning experience for everyone. Make sure there IS a good case for your initiative and if it does fail, share and learn from what went wrong. There is no shame in gaining knowledge from mistakes – for you, or your boss. 1. Change the subject. If you’re having a debate over the value of social media, you’re having the wrong discussion. The discussion should be about your organization’s goals – with social media being the means, not the end. 2. Make it about what your boss already wants. Don’t position your idea as a social media initiative; frame it as your initiative to support your boss’s goals, in your boss’s language. Is donor retention a big concern for your Executive Director? Highlight how social media can help keep donors engaged. Does your board want more success stories to showcase? Underscore how social media can help make that happen. 3. Make it about the audience. A good way to depersonalize the debate over social media is to make it about your target audience’s preferences rather than a philosophical tug of war between you and said boss. 4. Sign your boss up to listen.Set up Google Alerts and TweetBeep (email alerts for Twitter mentions) for your boss, so she or he can see that there are already many discussions about your organization happening online. Once this apparent, two things are likely to happen. First, it will become clear that your organization no longer controls your message online – so worrying about social media causing a lack of control is not worth fearing. That day is already here. Second, it will be hard not to want to join those conversations online – which is what social engagement is all about. 5. Set some ground rules. Set a social media policy for your organization, so it’s clear how to respond to what you’re hearing – and what types of initiatives have internal support. 6. Start small. If you’re going to start a social media initiative, start small. Pinpoint where your supporters are and branch out from there. You don’t have to be an overnight social media expert – you just need to be a part of the conversations about your cause. 7. Set a clear goal.Just as with any other marketing effort, establish a specific, measurable goal so you can identify success. 8. Measure and report.Once you’ve identified your approach and have set a goal, ensure that you can track and measure your progress. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics and you can also track Web traffic back to your site through Google Analytics. Be sure to tie your results back to your social media efforts where possible with careful tracking. (This could mean using tracking codes on your donation pages, Google campaign tags or landing pages created specifically for your social media outreach.) Share every little bit of progress and give your boss credit for it! It’s clear that social media is an effective channel for establishing your nonprofit’s brand identity, championing your cause and engaging with current and would-be supporters. So, how do you make sure your organization is on board — especially your boss, executive director or board members? Here are eight tips for making the case for your next social media initiative: center_img Photo Source: Big Stock Photo Adapted from Nonprofit Marketing Blog.last_img read more

How to Use Your Data to Get Closer to Supporters & Prospects

first_imgReach Broader to Fine-Tune Messages, Channels, and TimingDon’t stop with your donor database. Your organization will find equally valuable insights in sources as like your email system, volunteer database, Facebook and Twitter analytics, and online survey findings.These sources provide priceless clues about donor habits. The most reliable way to reach your donors or prospects will always be:Where they already are (For example, in their email inboxes or Facebook accounts).At the times and on the days they tend to be there (when they open or click emails, sign your online petition, or retweet a recent tweet from your organization).You can also use these sources to sharpen your insights into your donors’ passions and values, so you can ensure your campaigns reach and resonate with them. For example, use your volunteer data to find out: How many current or recent donors were volunteers first (and whether they still are or not)? If there’s a significant percentage of donors who entered the organization as volunteers:Consider launching a donor recruitment campaign to current volunteers that features profiles of existing donors who are or were volunteers.If you need to build your volunteer corps, cross-promote those opportunities to similar donors who are not current volunteers.When it comes to data, there’s SO much power in the information that’s already at your fingertips. I can’t wait to hear what you do with it! As a fundraiser, one of the toughest parts of your job is finding (and keeping) loyal donors. This is an especially difficult task in the face of uncertain economic times. Mix in our crazy presidential election ramp up, and you’re left with a foolproof recipe for widespread anxiety and skepticism.I know that these barriers are hard to transcend, but there is a way to build deep and lasting connections with your targeted donors and prospects. And that way is paved with data that you already have. Let me tell you what I mean.Use Giving to Date to Shape Your Future Approach The easiest place to start is with what you already know. Dig into your donor database and focus on donors from the last two years, especially those who are high-ticket givers or have given three or more years in a row.  Retaining these folks is your absolute priority!Don’t have a donor database that can get the job done? Learn more about Network for Good’s newest product for small to mid-sized nonprofits: a donor management system that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Learn more.Next, look for trends or patterns to help you deliver the strongest possible ask to each donor (or, more realistically, to small groups of donors). Here are two questions you can answer with data you’re likely to have on hand:What do your monthly donors look like? Get a clear picture of your monthly donors, especially those who are newly committed to monthly giving. These folks are loyal and most likely to become long-term supporters.See if other prospects share some of the same characteristics, and then launch a campaign to convert them into monthly donors. Who’s made a significantly larger gift than ever before within the last six months?Make a personal thank you calls (a personal note otherwise), and ask what spurred the latest gift. There may be more donors about to experience the same situation and likely to respond to a focused ask. Plus, these folks may be ripe for major gift prospecting.last_img read more

Developing World Gains Open Access to Science Research, but Hurdles Remain

first_imgPosted on November 2, 2012August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Recently, the Guardian’s Global Development Network posted an article, Developing world gains open access to science research, but hurdles remain, that describes the rise in commitments from various groups to ensure that their research is openly accessible to all. The article also explores the many persistent barriers to increasing open access publications around the world.From the story:These are heady days for supporters of open access (OA), who argue that the results of publicly-funded research should be made freely available to all, not just those who can afford subscriptions to the scientific journals in which they are published.Earlier this year, the World Bank announced that it would adopt an open access policy for all its research outputs and “knowledge products”, which will be entered into a central repository to be made freely accessible on the internet.Last month, the British government said that, in future, it will require all the research it funds in British universities to be made openly accessible, with authors paying publishers a fee (funded out of research grants) to make this possible – a position already adopted by the influential Wellcome Trust. The move was rapidly followed by an announcement from the European commission that the same rule will apply to all commission-funded research.The UK’s Department of International Development recently announced all its research will be made freely available. And publishers such as BioMed Central are pioneering open access journals in developing regions such as Africa.Read the full story here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

5 New Year Resolutions Every Fundraiser Should Make

first_imgYou know what takes a lot of inspiration and a truckload of guts?  Fundraising.I learned this the hard way when I started a nonprofit in the living room of my apartment with just $500 and a credit card.  There were days when I second guessed myself but ten years later we raised over 10 million dollars and have been featured on Oprah, CNN, and the Today show.  Last year, Girlstart turned 20.  I’ve learned a lot since then, including how to get the absolute best fundraising results in the shortest possible time using scientifically proven methods.So what tips do I have for you to make 2018 your best year ever?  Lots!  Are you ready to ring in the new year raising more?  Here are 5 New Year resolutions I want EVERY fundraiser to make:1. Resolve to learn more about your donors.Why did they give to your organization – what connected to them? What programs do they care about?  What motivated them to give in the first place?  What was the best gift they ever gave and why?  Of all the organizations they support which one does the best job engaging them?  What are their top three philanthropic priorities?  What do they love about what they do?  How do they prefer to be communicated with?  You can ask some of these questions when you call them to thank them just for being a donor and others in a visually rich donor survey.2. Resolve to learn from your data.Do you know what your donor retention rate is? If you don’t know how you’re currently performing, setting goals to improve is meaningless. You can examine retention overall or narrow it down to first-time donors and/or major donors. You can calculate retention by the number of donors or gift value.  I personally recommend examining by gift value so you know exactly what your retention rate is costing your organization.  To run your numbers, decide on your 12 month date range (a calendar year or your fiscal year) and add the donor gift amounts by annual “class” i.e. the class of major donors giving $1,000 or more in 2017 (or the class of all 1st time donors in 2017) and then divide that amount by what those same donors gave to you the previous year, in 2016.  In other words, if you had 1,000 first time donors in 2016 and only 200 of those made another gift in 2017 your new donor retention rate would be 20%.  Why does retention matter so much?  Acquiring those donors cost you money, time and effort.  As Roger Craver, author of Retention Fundraising, advises, “Taking actionable steps to reduce donor losses is the least expensive way to increase your fundraising income.”3. Resolve to make your donors FEEL something.This is one of my biggest pet peeves in fundraising. Giving is such a joyous experience but so much of our communications can feel bland and lifeless. Does your appeal or acknowledgment make your donor feel great about themselves? It should. What we feel is irrelevant. What our donors feel is the only thing that matters. While we’re busy trying to educate our donors, or boasting about how awesome our programs are, our donor might be tossing our letter in the trash. Communicate in a warm, friendly, personable tone. Make the donor feel like gushing over what they made possible. If your autoresponders sound like a robot wrote them, it’s time for a rewrite in 2018!4. Set a revenue goal for every donor in your portfolio.Base your appeal goals on your donor’s capacity, inclination, prior giving, and interests.  Now you’re ready for your best fundraising year ever!  What’s more, when your CEO walks in and tells you about a budget shortfall you’ve got solid ground to push back on unrealistic goals.5. Resolve to dedicate 30 minutes a day to call and personally thank donors.Don’t start with the biggest and then fall off the wagon on this goal come February.  If you can, include new donors to your call list.  Be prepared with a few great discovery questions and opportunities for them to engage with you deeper.  Before you know it, your lower level donors will be major gift prospects.  The secret is you have to STICK WITH IT.  Put it on your calendar as a recurring appointment when your energy levels are at their peak.  Don’t forget to smile while you’re talking or leaving a message.I’d love to share more of my secrets with you – Download the NFG Masterclass Webinar Fundraising Strategy Series with “The Secrets of High Performing Fundraisers”.  Want more help?  I have OODLES of guides to make your fundraising EASIER.Here’s to 2018!Learn more about our guest blogger:Rachel Muir, CFRE transforms individuals into confident, successful fundraisers through workshops and retreats.  When she was 26 years old, Rachel Muir launched Girlstart, a non-profit organization to empower girls in math, science, engineering and technology in the living room of her apartment with $500 and a credit card.  Several years later she had raised over 10 million dollars and was featured on Oprah, CNN, and the Today show. Learn more about Rachel at www.rachelmuir.com or follow her at facebook.com/rachelmuirfundraising and on Twitter @rachelmuir.last_img read more

Martial: Rashford rivalry helps Man Utd ‘terrorise’ defences

first_imgAnthony Martial believes his training ground scoring competitions with Marcus Rashford are helping to give Manchester United an extra edge this season.Romelu Lukaku’s departure to Inter has placed an extra onus upon Rashford and Martial, who have two goals apiece in the Premier League after United’s opening games against Chelsea and Wolves.Martial has regained the club’s number nine shirt and is revelling as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attacking spearhead, with Rashford operating to the left of the France international and linking pleasingly. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “At training, we have this competition between us about scoring goals,” Martial told Sky Sports. “We measure who does the best finishing and who scores the most.”Who’s winning? Well, that depends… Sometimes it’s him, sometimes it’s me. In games, Marcus likes to play in the middle, like me. I don’t mind dropping off, dropping out, we interchange during games.”It doesn’t bother me to let him take the lead occasionally. It helps us to terrorise opposition defences and I hope we can keep it up over the course of the season.”Martial joined the ranks of players expressing solidarity with Paul Pogba, after his countryman was subjected to online racist abuse in the aftermath of his penalty miss in the 1-1 draw at Molineux.”It’s something you can’t really eradicate from society,” he said. “Out there on the pitch, we can’t do anything about it per se.”As players, we are there among white people, black people, people of all colours.”The French expression is ‘we’re all the same’. Bans should be brought about for people who give out this hatred.”People go to football stadiums to have a good time and enjoy the game, and there’s no place for it. I’m in favour of the love, not the hate.”United are set to meet representatives from Twitter over the coming weeks to discuss possible solutions with regards to players being abused on the social media site. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Gascoigne: ‘Scary’ Man City can’t be stopped

first_imgTottenham legend Paul Gascoigne says no club can stop Manchester City winning a third straight Premier League title due to their strength in depth.Spurs held Pep Guardiola’s side to a controversial 2-2 draw in north London earlier this month, but Gascoigne says that City’s fearsome squad will win them the title over the course of the season.While he backed his old side’s academy prospects to shine when needed, the former England international thinks an injury to one of Spurs’ star players could put them out of the title race. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream “I have seen the players in Spurs academy and they have some unbelievable players coming through,” he told football.london.“But the big question is going to be what happens if Harry Kane gets injured? Who is going to replace him? Based in the UK? Grab a Sky Sports Day Pass for just £8.99!”Man City have got players to replace every position on the field. Tottenham don’t. Mauricio Pochettino needs to buy again in the next window and get a couple of players in.”While Spurs started the season with a win against promoted Aston Villa and the draw with City, last weekend’s disappointing home defeat to Newcastle provided something of a wake-up call to Pochettino’s side.Emil Krafth Newcastle Son Heung-Min TottenhamGoing back to last season, they have now lost five of their last ten in the league and there is some pressure on them ahead of the North London Derby on Sunday.Liverpool are the only side to have played three and won three so far in this campaign and, while Gascoigne admitted Jurgen Klopp’s side can provide a challenge, he thinks City are well placed to secure a hat-trick of titles.”Liverpool are looking strong as well but I cannot see anyone stopping Man City,” he said. “They are just going to keep on buying and it’s quite scary.”I think it will be Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United. I think Arsenal are playing good football as well.”City had been hamstrung last year by the mid-season injury to key midfielder Fernandinho, losing games to Crystal Palace and Leicester in his absence.In new signing Rodri, City appear to have found a more than capable long-term replacement, underlining Gascoigne’s point.Meanwhile, with a five-point gap already opening up between Spurs and early leaders Liverpool, Pochettino’s side must find a way to arrest their sliding league form in the coming weeks or they could find themselves out of the title race before it properly begins. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Pique suggests Neymar saga may not be over

first_imgGerard Pique has suggested that the Neymar transfer saga at Barcelona may not be over, with the long-serving defender saying “you never know” when quizzed on the Brazilian’s future.A summer of speculation saw the 27-year-old heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou.After two years in France with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar has made no secret of his desire to return to Spain. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that the South American made a retracing of his steps to Catalunya a top priority in the latest window, with several rounds of talks held.No agreement was reached, though, and Neymar remains at PSG for now.Bartomeu insists the option of re-signing a former favourite will not be reviewed again in January, but Pique admits anything could happen another 12 months down the line.He told Cadena Ser: “There’s been a lot of drama, and that’s normal because of who he is, but we have to turn the page“I wish him the best. I spoke with him and I said I hope things go well for him this season and that you never know, each year brings a new opportunity, so we will see.”Gerard Pique Barcelona 2019-20The rumours surrounding Neymar proved to be an unwelcome distraction for those at the centre of the discussions at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.Pique admits that he would like to see leading divisions across Europe take a leaf out of the Premier League’s book and bring the transfer deadline forward to before the season starts.The World Cup winner added: “It should close before, that there are still rumours doesn’t help. The Premier League has the advantage over us in that sense.”Neymar is currently putting domestic matters to one side as he focuses on getting his first minutes of the season with the Brazil national side.Pique no longer has to concern himself with international commitments, with the 32-year-old adamant that he made the right decision in removing himself from the Spain fold after the 2018 World Cup.A man with 102 caps to his name said: “It was the decision I made at that moment. It’s time to focus on Barca. I hope Spain win the Euros.”Spain edged out Romania 2-1 in their latest Euro 2020 qualifier and will be back in action against the Faroe Islands on Sunday.last_img read more

Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool looking to be relentless

first_imgTrent Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool must be “as relentless as possible” in order to carry on winning matches.Jurgen Klopp’s side picked up a 15th consecutive Premier League win with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Sunday, extending their unbeaten run in the league to 23 games.Alexander-Arnold scored the opener from a well-worked free-kick in their latest win, which helped Liverpool maintain their 100 per cent record this season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career A Roberto Firmino header made it 2-0 against Frank Lampard’s outfit, with the away side holding on for all three points after N’Golo Kante had reduced the deficit.The Reds made it six wins from six to stay five points ahead of champions Manchester City, and Alexander-Arnold believes that their form will only continue if they remain ruthless.”We are just trying to stay as fit as possible and be as relentless as possible to carry on winning and competing on all fronts,” the right-back told the club’s official website.”It’s all about the mentality of the team.”Obviously 15 wins in a row is something to be proud of, but we know we need to keep on going and keep pushing ourselves even further.”The England international also pointed to the importance of squad depth in maintaining their successful start to the season, with several key fixtures arriving in the coming weeks.Klopp’s side travel to MK Dons on Wednesday evening in a Carabao Cup tie, before returning to Premier League action with an away fixture at Sheffield United on Saturday.The Reds then host Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League, with difficult league games against Spurs, Manchester United and Leicester all scheduled for next month.“We are a strong enough side and we’ve got the squad depth that we need,” added the 20-year-old.”Players can come in, come out and rotate, so we are showing how good a side we are, how good a squad we are. And as a club this is where we need to be.”A lot of players will be disappointed that they haven’t had that much game time so far this season.“But the fixtures are coming thick and fast now over the next few months and there will be opportunities for everyone.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

I was crying when I sacked Ancelotti – Rummenigge

first_imgBayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed his emotional reaction at having to dismiss Carlo Ancelotti.The Italian was in charge at Allianz Arena from 2016-17, replacing Pep Guardiola, and was sacked after a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League amid rumours of him having fallen out with the dressing room.Despite the fractious nature of the current Napoli coach’s departure, Rummenigge said he was saddened to let him go and impressed with his reaction. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “I can remember that when I had to dismiss Carlo Ancelotti, I was crying,” the 64-year-old executive told a Gazzetta dello Sport event in Trento.”Carlo understood the situation and hugged me, saying, ‘It’s okay, you’re not my boss anymore, but we’re still friends.’ I had to cry,”He is a great character and a great coach, in the second season the results were not what the club expected.“Carlo is a friend, an incredibly calm person even in the most difficult moments. Perhaps we should have waited a little longer before we let him go. He proved to be a great man.”Rummenigge spent three seasons in Serie A with Inter after a decade leading the line for Bayern, and though his time in Italy was marred by injury, he remembers the period fondly.He says that former Inter president Ernesto Pellegrini, who brought him along with countrymen Lothar Matthaeus, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme to the club, serves as an inspiration.“My idol is President Pellegrini,” he continued.  “Talent helped me with the ball, but as a manager it is more complicated.“No one can teach you anything, you can only observe leaders like Pellegrini.“When you lose and you are criticized, you have to manage difficult moments. The president invited us to dinner, made us feel part of the team.“Inter is undoubtedly special, Bayern is also special in Germany totally different from other Bundesliga clubs. In Milan they told me: Inter fans are born not made.”“When I left Milan, my family had changed. Money and comfort are not everything”There is also humanity that in our world is not seen very often. Here is what I bring back from your country. Being good, available and open to the people.”last_img read more

10 Excellent Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Men

first_img How to Cook Steak in the Oven Editors’ Recommendations 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States 8 Great and Useful Housewarming Gifts Ideas 7 Fall Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy With Cooler Weather Valentine’s Day approaches, people, and that might mean roses, chocolate, and charming little Moët Mini Champagne bottles for some, but for the rugged yet refined gent for whom you need a gift, you’ll have to look elsewhere.Whether you are looking for an intimate gift for your special guy or a great gift for dad, we’ve got you covered this February. Below, we’ve put together a great list of Valentine’s Day gift ideas for men.SteakAmy Ellis PhotographyMost men love steak, so steak makes a great Valentine’s Day gift for a man. Logical, right? And when you order the World-Class Valentine’s Day Feast package from Omaha Steaks, the gift-buying process is easy. Included in the box are two ribeye steaks, two lobster tails, four servings of potatoes, a cheesecake, and some savory seasoning — not bad for $80.If you want to go big, consider the Wagyu Ribeye Lover gift box from Snake River Farms. Yes, you’ll pay almost $240 for five steaks, but you will be ordering some of the tastiest meats you (or your giftee) has ever tried.Curated Gift BoxMan CratesMan Crates offers a broad range of awesome gift boxes, from a Knife Making Kit to a Coffee Roasting Kit to a Personalized Whiskey Crate, so whatever your man is into, you’re going to find a fitting gift here. Not only are all the carefully selected items included in each order of fine quality, but the packaging of the crates themselves will delight any gentlemen; the kits arrive in actual wooden boxes.UnderwearSaxxSaxx knows men’s underwear intimately if you will; aside from a few pairs of shorts, swim trunks, and shirts, men’s underwear is all they make. And make them well they do, to talk like Yoda for no good reason. The brand’s Volt series of boxer briefs come in wild patterns, including a colorful print of a coral reef and a jungle-themed boxer, so they’ll immediately catch the attention of any who see them on or off. But for the wearer, the print is secondary; Saxx Volt boxer briefs have a proprietary feature called the Ballpark Pouch that, as the name suggests, forms a sort of cocoon around the jewels, preventing chafing, maximizing support, and keeping everything cooler and more comfortable down there.MapAwesome MapsThe Awesome Maps Hiking Map is a colorful rendering of the entire world on which hundreds of superlative hikes are indicated. The map highlights the 69-mile, seven-day El Cucoy National Park Circuit in Colombia; the 96-mile, four-day Sierra de Atlanta trek in Spain; and so many others that your outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list will swell at once. The map is re-writable when a whiteboard marker is used, so the hiker can mark his future plans, make notes, and check off past conquests.Shave KitAkamaiThe Akamai Shave Kit comes with a handsome and handy razor, a fine bar of shave soap, and a soothing oil to be used when the shearing of those whiskers is over. Better yet, both the soap and oil do triple duty; the bar is suitable for use as body soap and shampoo while the oil works as a moisturizer for your face and hair and as a great aftershave lotion. The razor itself features a lightweight beechwood handle that allows for deft maneuvering and the handle can be outfitted with a classic Gilette Mach 3 blade.BoozeSure, a fine bottle of wine might come to mind first when you think of Valentine’s Day. But I say whiskey and gin make great gifts for Valentine’s Day, and for two good reasons: the first is whiskey, the second is gin. If you have yet to try Bushmills Red Bush Irish Whiskey, add that fittingly red bottle to the V-Day shopping list. The liquor is aged in bourbon barrels, making it a best of both worlds blend. And the stuff produced by Aviation American Gin? It’s surprisingly good. Though frankly aviation and gin probably shouldn’t mix.Hot SauceCholula/FacebookIf you are looking for a gift for a man who loves to spice things up when he’s eating, then a hot sauce sampler is always a great gift. Consider going beyond basic hot sauce and getting him something more unique, like Kumana Avocado Hot Sauce. As odd as it sounds, given the usually finicky nature of the ripe avocado, this is a shelf-stable sauce made with genuine avocados that adds rich, sweet, and spicy flavoring perfect for burritos, burgers, omelets, and more.BiltongStryveGot a beef jerky lover for whom you need to get a gift this Valentine’s Day? Sure, you could go with the same boring old beef, or you could introduce him to something new and exciting. Stryve biltong is a jerky-style snack made in traditional South African style. Biltong is prepared using steak dry aged for 21 days and then seasoned with blends like green chile, zesty garlic, and mesquite barbecue. It’s packed with protein and almost devoid of sugar and carbs.SmartwatchJulian Chokkattu/The ManualThe Samsung Galaxy smartwatch can track heart rate, time runs, calculate calories burned, and even monitor its wearer’s stress level. It also displays text messages and can take calls, and it pairs with both iOs and Android devices. Coolest of all, the face of the watch can also be set to look just like an analog chronometer and the style of the band is subtle and sleek, so no one will even know it’s a smartwatch until it lights up with an incoming message or fitness report. If that’s not your style, here are some of our other top picks for men’s smartwatches.KayakYes, that’s right, Oru Kayak makes boats that can fold up and fit into a backpack (a large backpack, but still) and are lightweight enough for you to carry around the city, onto the subway, or to check along with your luggage. Unfolded, they are seaworthy, capable craft that can ply the waters almost as well as any solid body yak. The Beach LT Foldable Kayak costs about $1,400, but that’s actually a comparable price to many regular ocean kayaks — boats that may weigh three times as much and definitely can’t be stored in a closet.last_img read more

BMWs M850i xDrive Is Perfect for When the Road Is Long and

first_img Next Inside, the 8 glistens with a crystal gear selector, metal mesh trim, Bowers and Wilkins speakers, and vivid digital displays. A duo-tone leather cabin affords the right amount of intrigue for a refined coupe. Though layout and material quality is shared with other BMW models, the 8 Series’ superior details are befitting a $112,000 halo product.America’s only taste of the 8 Series (thus far) is a twin-turbo V8 delight. The 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque are sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. With sufficient thrust to leave the Lexus’ LC (and most other road cars) for dead, the M850i snaps through its gears without a hint of drama. Road and wind noise within the cabin is minimal, letting us appreciate the burbles and pops of overrun in Sport Plus driving mode. What It’s Like to Drive a NASCAR Race Car (and Where You Can Get Behind the Wheel) A Breakdown of All the Major Types of Car Racing 1 of 11 Grand Touring is a rich man’s game and it’s played poorly. Cars like the Aston Martin DB11 and Bentley Continental GT serve a restrained purpose — namely looking beautiful and consuming large quantities of petrol. The likelihood of owners taking such ornate vehicles on extended drives is slim. Rather, their immense powertrains and sumptuous leather seats are utilized for occasional jaunts in and out of the city, where a critically acclaimed play or restaurant promise some cultural “awakening.”Back on planet Earth, prospects for a comfortable, engaging two-door are scant. Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class Coupe is dauntingly large and lacks the finesse of a corner carver. Only Lexus’ LC500 combines extraordinary design with respectable athleticism. Still, the aspirational yet attainable GT niche is underdeveloped and begging for playmates.BMW has been out of the grand touring game for some time. Following the retirement of the 8 Series in 1999, the German automaker revived its 6 Series moniker as a placeholder two-by-two coupe. The later four-door coupe introduced an element of visual flair, but the two-door was far from the sort of aspirational model BMW needed.News of the 8 Series’ rebirth stirred some cautious optimism in enthusiasts’ hearts. The original car was truly special, after all, with sleek styling, V8 and V12 engines, and BMW’s characteristic “ultimate driving” dynamics. The successor looks promising too. Longer, sharper, and far more potent than the now-dormant 6 Series coupe, the 8 Series (in M-Sport guise) could give the GT segment new life.The Barcelona Blue Metallic vision before us is a well-optioned case for BMW’s fortitude. Fetching from every angle, the M850i xDrive’s standout features include a set of striking LED headlights, sharp 20-inch wheels, and muscular rear haunches. This coupe has presence, yet doesn’t overwhelm its own aesthetic grace with angles and ridges. The exterior design is so successful, in fact, that we’ve already erased the underwhelming 6 Series coupe from our memory. Editors’ Recommendations center_img Vanderhall’s 2020 Carmel GT Is a Race-Ready, 3-Wheel Go-Kart 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now Previous Aided by a sophisticated rear wheel steering system and robust brakes, the 8 Series slips through curves and scrubs speed with nimbleness incongruous to its 4,500-pound mass. At moseying speeds, the adaptive suspension softens ride quality to fulfill the other requirement of a GT: comfort. The 8 Series’ letterbox visibility through narrow windows does create a few blind spots, but a complete suite of driver assistance features restores driver confidence.There’s a just-right feel to the 8 Series that not only helps define BMW’s “performance lite” M-Sport brand but also renews the GT segment for driving enthusiasts. Leave the pomp for the Brits; this German has purpose. The Fine Art of Restoring a 1974 Range Rover Classic last_img read more

Need a New Bed This Promo Code Drops Prices on Casper Mattresses

first_img The Best Latex Pillows for Neck and Back Pain Wake Up Rested With the Best Down Pillows of 2019 The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers Editors’ Recommendations How to Choose the Best Organic Mattress for Greener Sleep The Manual may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.Getting a good night’s sleep is no easy feat. You can endlessly cycle through new pillows, sheets, and blankets, but if you still find yourself tossing and turning, you may need to invest in a better mattress. If you’ve ever been bed shopping before, though, you may be hesitant to go through the whole shebang again. So to avoid haggling with your local sleep slinger, a discounted Casper memory foam mattress may be exactly what you need in your life right now.The idea of a bed in a box is nothing new, but Casper has been in the space for quite some time. With multiple bed options available, there’s a lot to love about the brand. You can choose between affordable comfort, an award-winning balance of softness and support, and the more expensive luxury option. What’s more, from now until April 8, you can use the limited-time promo code WELLSLEPT to save 10 percent on any order with a mattress included. Here are all of the choices Casper has available:The Essential: Built to be affordable and comfortable, this mattress is made with 3 layers of memory foam. Coming in at just 8.5 inches thick, the Essential uses open-cell hybrid foam to help you sleep cool.The Casper: If you want to stay in the affordable range without sacrificing support, the classic Casper mattress is an excellent choice. At 10 inches thick with 4 layers of memory foam, it incorporates zoned support and an overall comfort upgrade to the design.The Wave: Need all the luxury you can get? The Wave comes with 5 luscious layers of memory foam, hyper-targeted support, and enhanced ergonomic spinal alignment.While this online mattress brand may boast a lot of impressive features, you don’t need to rely on reviews or testimonial to find out if one of these memory foam options is right for you. Casper gives you 100 nights to decide whether or not you want to keep it. With free shipping and returns on your order, it’s far too easy to test a mattress out in your home without much risk to your wallet. The addition of a 10-year warranty is really just the icing on the cake.See MattressesLooking for more ways to upgrade your sleep? We’ve found the best mattresses for side-sleepers, the best pillows for stomach-sleepers, and the best mattresses according to experts. How to Sleep Outdoors: Bring the Best Gear for a Good Night’s Sleeplast_img read more

How to Fold Your Clothes Like Marie Kondo the Queen of ModernDay

first_img How to Shave With a Straight Razor Everlane Wants You to Have a Daily Uniform to Make Dressing Easier Editors’ Recommendations Moodboard/Getty ImagesEven if you haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or watched her insanely popular Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, chances are you’ve at least heard of Marie Kondo. After all, she’s everywhere these days, and for good reason: her organizational tips and strategies are helping folks around the world declutter their lives. And though she’s got plenty of tricks up her sleeves (mostly involving boxes on boxes on boxes), the internet’s been particularly captivated by her unique style of folding and storing clothes, which is at once super effective and deceptively simple. Curious to learn the KonMari method but don’t have time to check out her show or book? Never fear! I’m here to break it down for you so you’ll finally be hip to everyone’s favorite obsession.Obviously, before you fold your clothes, you have to wash them well. Learn all about that here and once you’ve mastered the art of laundering, come back and gain these exceptional folding skills.How to Fold Your ClothesShirts Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:11Loaded: 0.00%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:11 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenKeep in mind that all of these tips are intended for clothes you’d normally store in a chest of drawers, so when I say “shirt,” I’m referring here to T-shirts.  The process is pretty straightforward, and typically involves the following steps: Start by laying out your shirt flat on a bed or couch. Make sure the edges are crisp and straight. Imagine a straight line running down the center of your shirt. Grab the right side of the shirt and fold it across the center of the line. Before the right sleeve reaches the left, fold the sleeve in on itself so it forms a long rectangle. Repeat this fold on the other side, leaving the left side to fall atop the right until your shirt has been transformed into one long rectangle. Fold the entire rectangle in half, leaving a little space at the bottom. Fold the shirt in half again or in thirds depending on its size. If your folds have been crisp and precise, your shirt is now folded and ready to be stood upright in your drawer like files in a cabinet.In her book Spark Joy, Kondo says the best way to approach folding is to treat it like origami, so make sure you’re making sharp and purposeful creases with each fold. PantsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:11Loaded: 0.00%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:11 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenOnce you get the shirt-folding technique down pat, you can easily apply it to pants — I’m talking joggers, sweats, athletic wear, and even dress pants.Start by laying out your pants on a flat surface. Fold one leg on top of the other, lining up the seams perfectly. You can use creases to ensure rigidity and uniformity. If the seat of your pants sticks out, fold it onto one of the legs to create a clean line. Fold the legs upward from the cuff all the way to the waistband. Leave a small gap at the top. Now, repeat the fold until you’ve run out of pant. Then, perform the same stand-up test we did for the shirts — if it can be filed in a drawer, you can store it, if it doesn’t, you’ll need to try again. Dress ShirtsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:21Loaded: 0.00%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:21 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenThough Kondo suggests hanging items like dress shirts, she does have a general method for folding them if you’re pressed for closet space or simply want to store seasonal ware in a container or drawer. Lay the shirt button side down on a flat surface, straightening out the fabric so it’s nice and crisp. Fold each side of the shirt much like you did the T-shirt (over and back) until you’ve formed the two sides into an even rectangle. Take extra care with the collar! Kondo says one of the biggest mistakes people make with dress shirts is wrinkling the collar, so make sure you’re not losing its structure as you fold. With your rectangle fully formed, fold the top half over the bottom half to make a single square, with the buttons now on top as if the shirt were being displayed in a department store.Place the shirt flat in your drawer and feel free to stack others on top of it. UnderwearVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:11Loaded: 86.02%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:11 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Yes, Marie Kondo even knows how to fold underwear better than you. While the tried-and-true practice of balling up your briefs and boxers is technically fine, the Netflix star prescribes the following method. Lay your underwear on a flat surface. Pick up bottom of legs (or crotch for briefs) and fold it toward the waistband. Fold each side over the crotch until you get the approximation of an even, uniform shape. Roll from the bottom up until the underwear is neat and compact. And that’s that on that! While Kondo obviously goes into more detail about total bedroom organization in her show and books, these are the basic steps you’ll need to get started on your tidying journey.Happy folding! How to Make Loco Moco, a Hawaiian Staple Dish The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers Pro Chefs Dish on the Perfect Seven-Layer Dip Recipeslast_img read more

Dive Deep with Atlantis Adventures – Selling Hawaii

first_imgWritten By: Annika Seavey, Director of Brand Management, Atlantis Adventures Atlantis Adventures is Hawaii’s premier marine tour operator offering daily submarine tours off Waikiki, Lahaina, Maui, and Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island, along with sunset dinner cruises along Oahu’s south shore using the high-tech Majestic cruise vessel. Atlantis Submarines – Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii IslandAtlantis uses the world’s most technologically advanced passenger submarine for its tour operations. Its passenger submarines feature spacious, air-conditioned cabins that offer large viewing portals for each seat and lots of leg and headroom. Atlantis provides a safe and eco-friendly undersea tour experience of Hawaii’s marine world. Each submarine is battery-powered and emits no pollutants as it moves quietly through the water without disturbing surrounding fish or marine life. A highlight of the Lahaina, Maui submarine tour is seeing the Carthaginian, a replica whaling brig and former tourist attraction, serving its new purpose as an artificial reef for the marine environment. Atlantis acquired the Carthaginian and used it to create an artificial reef in December 2005 to help support the propagation of marine life and fish in the area. The Kona, Hawaii Island submarine adventure begins in historic Kailua-Kona town where the Malama Kai shuttle carries guests to the dive site, as they enjoy a picture-perfect view of the sweeping Kona coastline with Mount Hualalai in the backdrop. Atlantis’ Kona crew guides the submarine on its quiet descent to depths of more than 100 feet and above the abundant coral reef garden growing on the ancient lava flow. At the Waikiki, Oahu dive site, Atlantis’ trained and experienced crew transfers guests from the shuttle boat into a spacious, air-conditioned submarine cabin. As the pilot guides the submarine into its journey, the results of Atlantis’ artificial reefs can be quickly seen. A vibrant self-sustaining eco-system is constantly teeming with schools of colorful indigenous fish and other marine life, including green sea turtles, moray eels, stingrays, and reef sharks. Atlantis Cruises – OahuOn May 27th, 2016 Atlantis Cruises introduced the Majestic, which is Hawaii’s next generation of cruise vessel to enjoy sunset dinner cruises and special events in the waters off Oahu. With its sleek, yacht-like design the 150-foot Majestic is Atlantis’s newest state-of-the-art cruise vessel, offering a multitude of options to host couples, families, tour groups, and private functions. Appealing features of Majestic include two classy, but expansive air-conditioned decks lined with panoramic windows and high ceilings, a huge open-air top deck for viewing outdoors, and cutting-edge technology to ensure a comfortable ocean cruise. Atlantis acquired Majestic early this year and shipped it from Long Beach to Hawaii in late April. Majestic has been inspected and approved by the Coast Guard for tour operations and is currently undergoing final preparations. A blessing ceremony will be held May 26, with Majestic offering its inaugural sunset dinner cruise on May 27. “Majestic is a significant upgrade in quality of experience and being able to customize what we can offer guests seeking a luxurious ocean cruise tour in Hawaii’s waters,” said Ronald Williams, president and CEO of Atlantis Adventures, parent company of Atlantis Cruises. “Majestic is larger than our Navatek cruise vessel. Its spaciousness, floor plan design and interior décor makes it much more comfortable for guests to move about, enjoy the spectacular views and be entertained.” Williams added that the layout and amenities of Majestic’s three decks, which includes roomy dining areas, a large dance floor, bar and lounge, and space to host a private reception, will provide Atlantis with the flexibility to create new tour experiences and fulfill special requests. Private parties and special celebrations can be held without being interfered by guests enjoying the sunset dinner cruise. About Atlantis AdventuresAtlantis Adventures has been offering ocean tour experiences in Hawaii for over 25 years. Atlantis Adventures is committed to being sustainable with its tour operations and a responsible steward of Hawaii’s marine environment. The Hawaii Ecotourism Association recognizes the company as a Certified Sustainable Tour Operator. For more information on Atlantis Adventures, visit www.AtlantisAdventures.com or call 800-548-6262 Atlantis Adventures Sales TeamPlease don’t hesitate to contact our sales team with any specific questions you may have about our marine tours! MARGIE LEHMANDirector of Oahu SalesTel: (808) 973-1281mlehman@atlantisadventures.com BRENDA BAROSOMaui Sales ManagerTel: (808) 667-6604bbaroso@atlantisadventures.com YUKI KLAHRKona Sales ManagerTel: (808) 326-7939yklahr@atlantisadventures.com MARGIE LEHMANDirector of Oahu SalesTel: (808) 973-1281mlehman@atlantisadventures.com MARGIE LEHMANDirector of Oahu SalesTel: (808) 973-1281mlehman@atlantisadventures.comlast_img read more

How to Host a Bottle Share 5 Tips for Planning Your First

first_img 9 Best Fall Beers to Drink This Year, According to the Brewing Experts Getting to Know the Lithuanian Beer Scene Sip On the Original Stormtrooper Beer While You Wait for the Next Star Wars Movie Editors’ Recommendations Natalie Jeffcott/Getty ImagesWith thousands of amazing breweries spread across the globe already open (with more on the horizon) and a constantly expanding range of styles from which to choose, it’s impossible to drink all of the world’s great beers. Attending beer festivals or ordering flights from breweries are great ways to expand your knowledge and palate. These opportunities provide several small pours of beer instead of the traditional method of ordering full-size glasses. More variety for the same quantity, if you will.An alternative to festivals and flights is organizing a bottle share, otherwise known as your own mini beer festival.Bottle shares socially engage your local beer community (and help make room in your beer cellar). Many craft beer lovers become collectors, hoarding away favorite bottles for aging or special occasions. Calling up a few like-minded friends to engage in a weekend beer tasting is a perfect excuse to intermingle and tick a few new beers off your own must-try list, as every attendee brings some of their own personal stock to pour.If you’re interested in organizing your own bottle share, here are five tips for planning your first event.Make It a PartyWhile your initial instinct may be to keep your tasting group small, expanding the number of participants means that you’ll have more beers to try. Different attendees will have different passions. That forces you out of your comfort zone as you try beers that you typically might not search out on your own. A larger group of attendees also increases the number of rarities or beers acquired from regional travel and trades.Hydration, Hydration, HydrationDrink water. Drink lots of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink a full glass of water for every sample pour. This staves off the symptoms of dehydration such as headaches and stomach issues, as well as the ever-dreaded next-day hangover.In addition to water, palate-cleansing snacks like unsalted crackers and mild fruit allow you to taste the next beer with a fresh tongue and something solid in your stomach.Mix It UpKeep things interesting by cultivating a bottle list that spans styles and geography. As the organizer, ask everyone what they plan on bringing in advance. That way you can help prevent duplication of bottles or too many beers representing the same style or the same brewery. The exception to this rule would be planning a themed party, such as Russian Imperial Stouts or beers from Oklahoma, for example.Sequence is ImportantWhen determining the drinking order for the beers, think about each beer as a song in an epic playlist. While traditional logic may indicate you should save the “best” or rarest for last, the fact of the matter is that your taste buds aren’t going to be as fresh at the end of the night. Start off with something exciting, put another big beer in the middle and, yes, finish strong. In between those key bottles, mix up the styles to keep everyone guessing.Slow and SteadyA bottle share is not a race. Depending on the number of bottles being shared and the size of the pours, you will probably want to allot the majority of a day to slowly drinking through your supply. The goal here is to taste and enjoy these different beers. You do that by sipping slowly, taking notes and discussing the flavors with your peers.When all is done, be sure to say thank you to both the newbie who brought a shelf warmer and the seasoned collector who busted out a rare, 10-year barleywine. We all have to start somewhere, and bottle shares are a great way to grow your local group and expand everyone’s knowledge.Article originally published September 17, 2016. Why Tea and Beer Go Well Together (and 5 Tea Beers to Try) The Ultimate Brewery Tour of Austin, Texaslast_img read more

Demeter Fragrance Library May Be the Natural Solution to Cheap Colognes

first_imgPrevious Demeter Fragrance 1 of 9 Demeter Fragrance Demeter Fragrance Demeter Fragrance Hardworking Gentlemen Offers American-Made Grooming Goods for the Everyday Man Demeter Fragrance Whether you’re a fan of men’s fragrance or strictly against it, there’s no denying that colognes, body sprays, and the like have suffered a long time under terrible product names. It’s hard to take a guy seriously when he’s drenched in scent, but it’s even harder to take him seriously when that scent is named for a concept, an emotion, or (God help us) a mall retailer.If you’ve Marie Kondo-ed the bottles of Calvin Klein Obsession, Axe Body Spray, and Abercrombie Fierce out of your life, you may find yourself wondering whether there’s a men’s fragrance that won’t eventually embarrass you. It’s time you made the acquaintance of Buy at Demeter Fragrance Library . A little less crunchy than essential oils, and a lot more classy than scented deodorant, these handmade fragrances are derived from 100% natural sources and free of phthalates, artificial colors, and emulsifiers. The company, founded by former Kiehl’s perfumer Christopher Brosius, specializes in what they call “single-note, linear-experience fragrances,” meaning that they smell like actual things.Demeter FragranceDemeter’s three debut scents — Dirt, Grass, and Tomato — presented a radical novelty when they entered New York City department stores back in 1996. At the time, Armani’s Acqua di Gio was the top-selling men’s fragrance on the market. In contrast, a cologne that smelled like a thing in nature was viewed as nothing short of revolutionary. Once the brand gained a following, including a celebrity fan base from Clint Eastwood to Kate Moss (both of whom, incidentally, wear Dirt), the brand went from a novelty to a must-have. Eventually, their “smells found in nature” focus expanded into other lines, with scents like Paperback, Thunderstorm, and Holy Water (to name but a few) joining the collection. These new categories of scent maintained the company’s emphasis on fragrance grounded in common human experience.Company manager Mark Crames explains the appeal this way in an interview with Fragrantica: “There is so much evidence that our strongest emotional responses are to our sense of smell … it is just the way we are wired. Consequently, smelling idealized versions of even everyday objects like Dirt or Tomatoes can bring back intense feelings. When the associations with those objects are positive, the feelings evoked by those scents will be both positive and intense.”Demeter’s business model is as democratic as its scent collections — fragrances can be found everywhere from fine department store counters to chain drugstores to Urban Outfitters. Even marketing is unashamedly for the people. A great way to get to know the vast Demeter library is by following their Fragrance of the Day feature on social media, where the company spotlights a given scent based on its association with a holiday, cultural event, or historical touchstone. And if you consider yourself too complex for a single-note fragrance, don’t turn up your nose just yet — Demeter recommends blending your very own custom cologne from up to 12 different scents among their collections. Buy at Demeter Fragrance Library  to get you started. Editors’ Recommendations Demeter Fragrance center_img Demeter Fragrance Sprint Through Airport Security With These TSA-Approved Men’s Grooming Kits Demeter Fragrance Why You Should Skip the Suave and Try Custom Hair Care Products Next Demeter Fragrance The Best New Men’s Grooming Brands You Need to Know About 10 Best Beard Balms: The Secret to a Tamed and Tangle-Free Beard Demeter Fragrance last_img read more

Escape the City and the Roads with the 2020 Subaru Outback

first_img Kia Telluride Is the Perfect Road Tripper for All Two- and Four-Legged Friends SubaruWhen things got real slippery we turned on X-Mode, which is not a tights-wearing superhero, but just an option in the onboard infotainment center that better controls wheel slip and hill descent speed. Hooking the wheels in a muddy ditch on a steep climb just sprayed the car with mud. With X-Mode enabled, more power was re-routed to wheels with traction and we climbed through. Dual-mode X-Mode (available on the Onyx Trim) has additional options for sand and snow.X-Mode also enables the Hill Descent Control. After a quick coffee break 800 feet above the surf, we headed down a wicked steep dirt track. At angles you’d have to be careful walking, the car drove itself. Hill Descent Control automatically brakes and detects wheel slippage, and adjusts accordingly. I had to hit the gas at times as it was so controlled.Cruising Highway 1Cars successfully covered from muddy ditches and rocky dirt track, we headed south on Highway 1 to Mendocino. The stiffness of the Subaru Global Platform was apparent in every corner with little body roll. It’s hard to remember this tight handler is a lifted off-road wagon. The lower center of gravity of the boxer four engine helps here as well.SubaruUpdated suspension soaked up any bumps or potholes we could find; MacPherson struts with new internal rebound springs, aluminum lower L-arms and new 23 mm hollow stabilizer bar on the front with a double-wishbone setup with subframe, coil springs, and new 19mm hollow stabilizer bar on the back.Accelerating out of a corner, merging, or passing is where the turbo really spins up. At higher revs, there’s a noticeable difference between the two engines. For better towing and more entertainment, I suggest the turbo in the XT trims.Adventure TechThe 2020 Outback isn’t just a stripped-down metal bucket ready for off-roading. It’s packed with creature comforts inside to make long trips safer and more comfortable.All but the base trim come with an 11.6-inch portrait screen for the infotainment center (base gets two 7-inch displays). Heating, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto tunes, TomTom navigation, and driving options like X-Mode are all controlled through the easy-to-navigate touchscreen. Entertainment and climate options each get their own processor behind the scenes for faster response times. So you don’t have to fiddle with a touchscreen while driving, volume, and temperature get physical knobs. The New Land Rover Defender Is Just as Glorious as We Expected Editors’ Recommendations The Maserati Quattroporte: Luxury You Can Sort of Almost Imagine Affording SubaruThe Outbacks aren’t just pretty, they’re smart, too. EyeSight Driver Assist and DriverFocus systems come standard on all trims. EyeSight includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Centering, emergency front braking, a heads-up display with collision alerts, a front-facing camera, and many others.The DriverFocus system recognizes your face when you get in the car and can remember 5 drivers. It can set your seat position and temperature options for you. It also keeps an eye on your face while you drive and chirps if your eyes are closed or off the road for too long. Subaru expects the Outback to get top safety ratings when it’s tested but they’re trying hard to prevent those crashes in the first place.When packing up all your gear, the Outback has you covered. Hover your elbow or hand in front of the rear Subaru logo and the power gate opens up itself. The wide back door opens to 75.7 cubic feet of cargo space (78 if you use the old style of measurement). With the seats folded down, you get 78 inches to stretch out and sleep or pile in the dogs.What Does the 2020 Subaru Outback Cost?So what’s this all-in-one city-to-adventure-mobile cost? Base price starts at $26,645 with dual 7-inch touchscreens, 2.5-liter boxer-four engine, EyeSight and X-Mode. Limited, Premium, and Touring add other features like Nappa leather upholstery, the 11.6-inch touchscreen, the DriverFocus system and others bringing the Touring up to $37,345.The XT trims, Onyx, Limited, and Touring come with the 2.4-liter turbo engine with 260 horsepower. The star of the show, the Onyx XT starting at $34,895, rocks 18-inch alloy wheels and badging in black. Included is the water-repellent StarTex material, front view monitor, hands-free power rear gate, and dual-mode X-Mode.The top of the line Touring XT starts at $39,695 including everything mentioned here but the kitchen sink. Ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, 11.6-inch touchscreen, Nappa leather upholstery, and the 2.4-liter turbo engine will keep you comfortable on your adventures for years to come.See more about the new 2020 Outback at here. SubaruCrawling our way up the steep northern California dirt roads, I hooked the front wheels over an uphill, off-camber ditch full of mud. Our lead driver made it look easy. After two attempts the tires were still just slinging mud. We needed some intelligent assistance. We flipped into X-Mode and crept through, continuing up the narrow, over 13-degree dirt road.At a recent Subaru media event, we traversed steep mountain track and nausea-inducing coastal road in the latest generation of Subaru’s best-selling adventure-mobile, the 2020 Outback.This Outback, with its off-road ability and plenty of storage room, promises to be one of the best ways to get out of the city and to the adventure. We were on our own adventure to find out if it lived up to the hype and tried not to get lost in the redwoods of northern California.Turbo UpgradeThe standard engine is a 2.5-liter boxer-four with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque paired with a continuously variable transmission mimics an 8-speed auto. Almost 90% of the parts are new compared to the previous version. One tank can take you over 600 miles with 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Towing is rated for 2,700 pounds.SubaruThe fun begins with the 2.4-liter turbo boxer four-cylinder with 260 horsepower with 277 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy takes a slight hit with 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, but towing is increased to 3,500 pounds.All trims sit on the Subaru Global Platform which is a stronger, stiffer frame. It can absorb 40% more energy in a front or side collision. Front and side pillars can be thinner because of higher strength steel. Body roll, noise, vibration, and harshness are all reduced. The back doors even have a metal pin on the bottom that mates with a notch on the body.Off-RoadCrawling around in the dirt and mud, the turbo doesn’t have much chance to stretch its legs so both engines feel similar. But it’s here the rest of the Outbacks standard features get a chance to shine.Our lead driver left the road and went up into the hills of California’s Lost Coast. Rough dirt road took us through two streams and up 13-degree inclines without breaking a sweat. Deep drainage ditches are easily conquered with the 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Approach and departure angles are less than an off-road SUV but certainly enough for the rough roads that take you to most adventures. 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now A Breakdown of All the Major Types of Car Racinglast_img read more

Shinjo Matsuri Join One of Tōhokus Vibrant Summer Festivals

first_imgCome and join the parade! Visitors to Shinjo are welcome to participate and help pull the floats, shouting “Wasshoi! Wasshoi!”.Shinjo city, the capital of Mogami, one of the four districts of Yamagata prefecture, has a long history as an administrative center. Located at the crossroads of important north-south and east-west routes, it is a former castle town.Especially in August, there is a festival around every corner in Japan. Among all of these, one of the most colorful and lively is the Shinjo Festival, designated as an important intangible folk cultural property in 2009.Read Also:  Four Tohoku Festivals You Should Not MissShinjo MatsuriThe Shinjo Festival takes place every year towards the end of August and is the main annual event that brings the city together. The festival is exciting for children and it also marks the end of summer before farmers begin the rice harvest and autumn sets in. Music can be heard all over town, even in supermarkets, and tension mounts as float makers stay up all night to finish details in time.Neighborhoods vie with each other to construct the most dramatic floats and funding for the materials comes from public donations. Other neighborhoods without floats practice hard to provide the best musical accompaniment.Out of about twenty floats, two floats are displayed at the local Historical Center until the following year and one more is on view by the ticket office inside Shinjo Station. They are large, about 7 meters long and almost as high.The Festival was initiated in 1756 by the feudal Lord Tozawa Masanobu of Shinjo Dewa domain during a sustained period of poor weather. Tradition has it that the festival was started to deflect blame for the harsh conditions from the Tozawa clan and raise everyone’s spirit by working together on a common project that would take people’s thoughts away from the prevailing famine, disease and misery.The formal castle site is now Mogami Park, a cherry tree bordered park, with three shrines and the remnants of a moat. At 8:30 AM on the morning of August 25th, the parade of the portable shrines (mikoshi), accompanied by Shintō priests, starts here and moves around the city, returning at 3:30 PM.Vassals carrying hasamibako (ceremonial lacquer coffers) make a dramatic impression with their faces hidden by wide straw hats. Floats join the parade and the whole procession follows the main roads of the city.The floats represent historical, kabuki or traditional mythical stories and characters. Each float is hand constructed by volunteer groups in the neighborhoods. The floats have to stay within a height that permits them to pass under overhead electrical wiring and there are people equipped with special long pushing-wires-out-of-the-way sticks who are supposed to ensure that snags do not occur.Highlights of the FestivalThe night procession on August 24th is when the floats are at their most theatrical. Lights emphasize the vividly painted colors and the giant creatures and characters supported by wires appear to bounce around more than in the daytime. The horrible serpents, wild animals and oni (evil monsters) look like they’re coming to get you, and because of their great size you can feel that you are part of the scene.Each float is accompanied by paired neighborhood musical groups vying for volume and impact. They play flutes, hand cymbals, drums and occasionally shamisen.Prior to the initial night parade, which starts at 7:00 PM on the 24th, you can enjoy the ladies’ bon odori dance performances near the station. The smell of grilled foods from stalls selling all kinds of hot food permeates the air, and there are plenty of toys, goldfish, crafts and plants to buy.Horsemeat sashimi  (basashi) is one of the local delicacies, eaten with grated garlic and soy sauce. It can be ordered at izakayas. Otherwise, motsu ramen (chitterlings ramen) from I-Chawan Shiten, tori motsu ramen (chicken chitterlings ramen) from Umeya, and katsudon (rice with pork cutlet) from Ichiyo are very popular choices.On the morning of the 26th dance performances called Shishi odori, dedicated to the Tenman, Tozawa and Gokoku Shrines take place from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. These dances, inspired by the movements of the Japanese serow (kamoshika) are prayers for the coming harvest, as well as a tribute to the fallen in the feudal wars at the end of the Edo era.Before dying of old age, there used to be a live deer by the Tozawa shrine, which was said to have the role to help relieve or absorb some of our pain. Even when we are not stressed, it’s nice to have an empathic moment with a gentle creature. Now, a ceramic cow by the Tenmangū Shrine will help cure physical ailments if you touch the corresponding part that is bothering you … And back to the festival!ConclusionShinjō city is not large, so walking around the center of town is easy. It is also possible to rent bicycles for 300 yen a day from the information office at the train station.Mogami Park in Shinjo city, Yamagata PrefectureAccess: From Tokyo – Yamagata Shinkansen (Shinjō Station), by air (Sakata Airport or Yamagata Airport), by bus.Recommended articlesFour Tohoku Festivals You Should Not Miss Four Festivals You Should Enjoy In Chugoku And Shikoku Hokkaido Exclusive: 5 Must See Festivals 4 Festivals You Should Experience In Kyushu And Okinawa Enjoy The Japanese Summer Festivals From June To Augustlast_img read more

Centres move on Kashmir a murder of democracy DMK

first_imgChennai: The DMK on Monday strongly condemned the Centre’s move to revoke Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was a “murder of democracy”. DMK president M K Stalin said the measures should be held back till a democratically-elected government assumed office in the state. Speaking to reporters at the party headquarters here, Stalin said the Centre had gone ahead with its proposal without getting the concurrence of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called it a “murder of democracy.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The DMK leader strongly condemned the bifurcation bid as an “anti-democratic” step. Stalin also hit out at the AIADMK for supporting the Centre’s move in Parliament. Later, in a statement, Stalin accused the BJP-led Centre of being only concerned about implementing its ideological agenda and not respecting the sentiments of the people of J&K, who stood behind India. Earlier in the day, the Centre revoked Article 370 and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two Union territories. “This move is seen as an attempt to divert (the) people’s attention from basic issues and is a cause for concern and shocking,” Stalin said. “When a voice for more powers to States strongly echoed across the country, dividing an existing state into union territories showed that the PM Narendra Modi-led government was raring to go against the path of democracy,” he said.last_img read more

UN SecretaryGeneral calls on Basque group to honour permanent ceasefire in Spain

Welcoming a decision by the Basque organization ETA to declare a permanent ceasefire, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on Thursday for the honouring of this commitment so as to put an end to years of bloody violence in Spain.“The Secretary-General welcomes the permanent ceasefire declared yesterday by ETA. He urges that this commitment be honoured, thus ending the violence which has caused so much suffering over so many years,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. ETA is the Basque acronym meaning “Basque Homeland and Liberty.” read more