GRAPHIC: G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCE By Paul VoosenJul. 6, 2017 , 2:00 PM Jason Yosinski sits in a small glass box at Uber’s San Francisco, California, headquarters, pondering the mind of an artificial intelligence. An Uber research scientist, Yosinski is performing a kind of brain surgery on the AI running on his laptop. Like many of the AIs that will soon be powering so much of modern life, including self-driving Uber cars, Yosinski’s program is a deep neural network, with an architecture loosely inspired by the brain. And like the brain, the program is hard to understand from the outside: It’s a black box. This particular AI has been trained, using a vast sum of labeled images, to recognize objects as random as zebras, fire trucks, and seat belts. Could it recognize Yosinski and the reporter hovering in front of the webcam? Yosinski zooms in on one of the AI’s individual computational nodes—the neurons, so to speak—to see what is prompting its response. Two ghostly white ovals pop up and float on the screen. This neuron, it seems, has learned to detect the outlines of faces. “This responds to your face and my face,” he says. “It responds to different size faces, different color faces.”No one trained this network to identify faces. Humans weren’t labeled in its training images. Yet learn faces it did, perhaps as a way to recognize the things that tend to accompany them, such as ties and cowboy hats. The network is too complex for humans to comprehend its exact decisions. Yosinski’s probe had illuminated one small part of it, but overall, it remained opaque. “We build amazing models,” he says. “But we don’t quite understand them. 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They can predict the best way to synthesize organic molecules. They can detect genes related to autism risk. They are even changing how science itself is conducted. The AIs often succeed in what they do. But they have left scientists, whose very enterprise is founded on explanation, with a nagging question: Why, model, why?That interpretability problem, as it’s known, is galvanizing a new generation of researchers in both industry and academia. Just as the microscope revealed the cell, these researchers are crafting tools that will allow insight into the how neural networks make decisions. Some tools probe the AI without penetrating it; some are alternative algorithms that can compete with neural nets, but with more transparency; and some use still more deep learning to get inside the black box. Taken together, they add up to a new discipline. Yosinski calls it “AI neuroscience.” Mark Riedl, Georgia Institute of Technology Like many AI coders, Mark Riedl, director of the Entertainment Intelligence Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, turns to 1980s video games to test his creations. One of his favorites is Frogger, in which the player navigates the eponymous amphibian through lanes of car traffic to an awaiting pond. Training a neural network to play expert Frogger is easy enough, but explaining what the AI is doing is even harder than usual.Instead of probing that network, Riedl asked human subjects to play the game and to describe their tactics aloud in real time. Riedl recorded those comments alongside the frog’s context in the game’s code: “Oh, there’s a car coming for me; I need to jump forward.” Armed with those two languages—the players’ and the code—Riedl trained a second neural net to translate between the two, from code to English. He then wired that translation network into his original game-playing network, producing an overall AI that would say, as it waited in a lane, “I’m waiting for a hole to open up before I move.” The AI could even sound frustrated when pinned on the side of the screen, cursing and complaining, “Jeez, this is hard.”Riedl calls his approach “rationalization,” which he designed to help everyday users understand the robots that will soon be helping around the house and driving our cars. “If we can’t ask a question about why they do something and get a reasonable response back, people will just put it back on the shelf,” Riedl says. But those explanations, however soothing, prompt another question, he adds: “How wrong can the rationalizations be before people lose trust?” Marco Ribeiro, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, strives to understand the black box by using a class of AI neuroscience tools called counter-factual probes. The idea is to vary the inputs to the AI—be they text, images, or anything else—in clever ways to see which changes affect the output, and how. Take a neural network that, for example, ingests the words of movie reviews and flags those that are positive. Ribeiro’s program, called Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations (LIME), would take a review flagged as positive and create subtle variations by deleting or replacing words. Those variants would then be run through the black box to see whether it still considered them to be positive. On the basis of thousands of tests, LIME can identify the words—or parts of an image or molecular structure, or any other kind of data—most important in the AI’s original judgment. The tests might reveal that the word “horrible” was vital to a panning or that “Daniel Day Lewis” led to a positive review. But although LIME can diagnose those singular examples, that result says little about the network’s overall insight.New counterfactual methods like LIME seem to emerge each month. But Mukund Sundararajan, another computer scientist at Google, devised a probe that doesn’t require testing the network a thousand times over: a boon if you’re trying to understand many decisions, not just a few. Instead of varying the input randomly, Sundararajan and his team introduce a blank reference—a black image or a zeroed-out array in place of text—and transition it step-by-step toward the example being tested. Running each step through the network, they watch the jumps it makes in certainty, and from that trajectory they infer features important to a prediction.Sundararajan compares the process to picking out the key features that identify the glass-walled space he is sitting in—outfitted with the standard medley of mugs, tables, chairs, and computers—as a Google conference room. “I can give a zillion reasons.” But say you slowly dim the lights. “When the lights become very dim, only the biggest reasons stand out.” Those transitions from a blank reference allow Sundararajan to capture more of the network’s decisions than Ribeiro’s variations do. But deeper, unanswered questions are always there, Sundararajan says—a state of mind familiar to him as a parent. “I have a 4-year-old who continually reminds me of the infinite regress of ‘Why?’”The urgency comes not just from science. According to a directive from the European Union, companies deploying algorithms that substantially influence the public must by next year create “explanations” for their models’ internal logic. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. military’s blue-sky research arm, is pouring $70 million into a new program, called Explainable AI, for interpreting the deep learning that powers drones and intelligence-mining operations. The drive to open the black box of AI is also coming from Silicon Valley itself, says Maya Gupta, a machine-learning researcher at Google in Mountain View, California. When she joined Google in 2012 and asked AI engineers about their problems, accuracy wasn’t the only thing on their minds, she says. “I’m not sure what it’s doing,” they told her. “I’m not sure I can trust it.”Rich Caruana, a computer scientist at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, knows that lack of trust firsthand. As a graduate student in the 1990s at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he joined a team trying to see whether machine learning could guide the treatment of pneumonia patients. In general, sending the hale and hearty home is best, so they can avoid picking up other infections in the hospital. But some patients, especially those with complicating factors such as asthma, should be admitted immediately. Caruana applied a neural network to a data set of symptoms and outcomes provided by 78 hospitals. It seemed to work well. But disturbingly, he saw that a simpler, transparent model trained on the same records suggested sending asthmatic patients home, indicating some flaw in the data. And he had no easy way of knowing whether his neural net had picked up the same bad lesson. “Fear of a neural net is completely justified,” he says. “What really terrifies me is what else did the neural net learn that’s equally wrong?”Today’s neural nets are far more powerful than those Caruana used as a graduate student, but their essence is the same. At one end sits a messy soup of data—say, millions of pictures of dogs. Those data are sucked into a network with a dozen or more computational layers, in which neuron-like connections “fire” in response to features of the input data. Each layer reacts to progressively more abstract features, allowing the final layer to distinguish, say, terrier from dachshund.At first the system will botch the job. But each result is compared with labeled pictures of dogs. In a process called backpropagation, the outcome is sent backward through the network, enabling it to reweight the triggers for each neuron. The process repeats millions of times until the network learns—somehow—to make fine distinctions among breeds. “Using modern horsepower and chutzpah, you can get these things to really sing,” Caruana says. Yet that mysterious and flexible power is precisely what makes them black boxes. A new breed of scientist, with brains of silicon Special package: AI in science Opening up the black box Loosely modeled after the brain, deep neural networks are spurring innovation across science. But the mechanics of the models are mysterious: They are black boxes. Scientists are now developing tools to get inside the mind of the machine. How AI detectives are cracking open the black box of deep learning First, Yosinski rejiggered the classifier to produce images instead of labeling them. Then, he and his colleagues fed it colored static and sent a signal back through it to request, for example, “more volcano.” Eventually, they assumed, the network would shape that noise into its idea of a volcano. And to an extent, it did: That volcano, to human eyes, just happened to look like a gray, featureless mass. The AI and people saw differently.Next, the team unleashed a generative adversarial network (GAN) on its images. Such AIs contain two neural networks. From a training set of images, the “generator” learns rules about imagemaking and can create synthetic images. A second “adversary” network tries to detect whether the resulting pictures are real or fake, prompting the generator to try again. That back-and-forth eventually results in crude images that contain features that humans can recognize.Yosinski and Anh Nguyen, his former intern, connected the GAN to layers inside their original classifier network. This time, when told to create “more volcano,” the GAN took the gray mush that the classifier learned and, with its own knowledge of picture structure, decoded it into a vast array of synthetic, realistic-looking volcanoes. Some dormant. Some erupting. Some at night. Some by day. And some, perhaps, with flaws—which would be clues to the classifier’s knowledge gaps.Their GAN can now be lashed to any network that uses images. Yosinski has already used it to identify problems in a network trained to write captions for random images. He reversed the network so that it can create synthetic images for any random caption input. After connecting it to the GAN, he found a startling omission. Prompted to imagine “a bird sitting on a branch,” the network—using instructions translated by the GAN—generated a bucolic facsimile of a tree and branch, but with no bird. Why? After feeding altered images into the original caption model, he realized that the caption writers who trained it never described trees and a branch without involving a bird. The AI had learned the wrong lessons about what makes a bird. “This hints at what will be an important direction in AI neuroscience,” Yosinski says. It was a start, a bit of a blank map shaded in.The day was winding down, but Yosinski’s work seemed to be just beginning. Another knock on the door. Yosinski and his AI were kicked out of another glass box conference room, back into Uber’s maze of cities, computers, and humans. He didn’t get lost this time. He wove his way past the food bar, around the plush couches, and through the exit to the elevators. It was an easy pattern. He’d learn them all soon. Gupta has a different tactic for coping with black boxes: She avoids them. Several years ago Gupta, who moonlights as a designer of intricate physical puzzles, began a project called GlassBox. Her goal is to tame neural networks by engineering predictability into them. Her guiding principle is monotonicity—a relationship between variables in which, all else being equal, increasing one variable directly increases another, as with the square footage of a house and its price. Gupta embeds those monotonic relationships in sprawling databases called interpolated lookup tables. In essence, they’re like the tables in the back of a high school trigonometry textbook where you’d look up the sine of 0.5. But rather than dozens of entries across one dimension, her tables have millions across multiple dimensions. She wires those tables into neural networks, effectively adding an extra, predictable layer of computation—baked-in knowledge that she says will ultimately make the network more controllable.Caruana, meanwhile, has kept his pneumonia lesson in mind. To develop a model that would match deep learning in accuracy but avoid its opacity, he turned to a community that hasn’t always gotten along with machine learning and its loosey-goosey ways: statisticians.In the 1980s, statisticians pioneered a technique called a generalized additive model (GAM). It built on linear regression, a way to find a linear trend in a set of data. But GAMs can also handle trickier relationships by finding multiple operations that together can massage data to fit on a regression line: squaring a set of numbers while taking the logarithm for another group of variables, for example. Caruana has supercharged the process, using machine learning to discover those operations—which can then be used as a powerful pattern-detecting model. “To our great surprise, on many problems, this is very accurate,” he says. And crucially, each operation’s influence on the underlying data is transparent.Caruana’s GAMs are not as good as AIs at handling certain types of messy data, such as images or sounds, on which some neural nets thrive. But for any data that would fit in the rows and columns of a spreadsheet, such as hospital records, the model can work well. For example, Caruana returned to his original pneumonia records. Reanalyzing them with one of his GAMs, he could see why the AI would have learned the wrong lesson from the admission data. Hospitals routinely put asthmatics with pneumonia in intensive care, improving their outcomes. Seeing only their rapid improvement, the AI would have recommended the patients be sent home. (It would have made the same optimistic error for pneumonia patients who also had chest pain and heart disease.)Caruana has started touting the GAM approach to California hospitals, including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where about a dozen doctors reviewed his model’s results. They spent much of that meeting discussing what it told them about pneumonia admissions, immediately understanding its decisions. “You don’t know much about health care,” one doctor said, “but your model really does.”Sometimes, you have to embrace the darkness. That’s the theory of researchers pursuing a third route toward interpretability. Instead of probing neural nets, or avoiding them, they say, the way to explain deep learning is simply to do more deep learning. If we can’t ask … why they do something and get a reasonable response back, people will just put it back on the shelf. AI is changing how we do science. Get a glimpse Researchers have created neural networks that, in addition to filling gaps left in photos, can identify flaws in an artificial intelligence. PHOTOS: ANH NGUYEN Back at Uber, Yosinski has been kicked out of his glass box. Uber’s meeting rooms, named after cities, are in high demand, and there is no surge pricing to thin the crowd. He’s out of Doha and off to find Montreal, Canada, unconscious pattern recognition processes guiding him through the office maze—until he gets lost. His image classifier also remains a maze, and, like Riedl, he has enlisted a second AI to help him understand the first one.
MSSA: Harsh fires Campion into final Emiliano Sala’s sister Romina Sala who was very close to the footballer, posted a picture of Emiliano’s dog Nala, staring outside the door, waiting for his master to return. The heartbreaking picture has taken the internet by storm and with football fans all over the world sharing the picture all over the internet. Earlier this week, British investigators said they had spotted a body in the wreckage of a plane that disappeared in the Channel two weeks ago carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot. The wreck was found on the seabed and closer inspection by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) confirmed both that it was the missing plane, and that a body was inside. “Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage,” the British government’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) said in a statement. “The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.” The AAIB also released a grainy image showing a part of the fuselage with the aircraft registration. The depth indicated on the image was 67.7 metres (222 feet). Local police called off the search after a few days. But Sala’s family launched a crowd-funding campaign for a private search, which raised over 300,000 euros. They hired shipwreck hunter David Mearns, whose vessel used sonar equipment to identify the plane wreckage on Sunday morning within a few hours of starting the search. “Based on analysis of ROV video footage, the AAIB investigators on board the vessel concluded that the object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft,” the AAIB said. Catch up on all the latest T20 news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates Tottenham Hotspur appoint Jose Mourinho as manager Promising footballer Emiliano Sala’s plane crash has shaken the football world. The Argentine footballer was on his way to join English football club Cardiff City to start a new chapter in his career. Emiliano Sala, 28, was flying from France to join his new club, when the light aircraft, carrying Sala and his pilot disappeared on January 21 north of the island of Guernsey.Related News Miquel Blazquez Font to emerge as a competent sports journalist in the sporting world
Embattled Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter will return to the track this weekend in his first meeting since he was stripped of his Beijing Olympics gold medal after a retroactive test uncovered a banned substance in his sample.Carter’s re-tested sample from 2008 was found to have traces of the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said last month.Jamaica’s 4×100 metres relay team that included Usain Bolt were stripped of their gold medals. Last year in Rio, Bolt completed a ‘treble treble’ of Olympic gold medals in winning the 100, 200 and 4×100 titles at three successive Games.Bolt has already returned his Beijing relay medal.Carter has said he would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.The 31-year-old Carter, who has not raced competitively for 17 months due to injury and then because he was notified of the positive test, will run at the Western Relays in Montego Bay, his manager Bruce James told Reuters.Carter has not been banned by world governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and correspondence between Jamaican athletics authorities and the IAAF seen by Reuters confirmed he would be clear to run until his appeal had been heard. (Life goes on for ‘disappointed’ Usain Bolt after losing gold medal)”Having consulted the IAAF Medical and Anti-Doping Department, it appears that Mr. Carter is not currently provisionally suspended,” IAAF chief executive Olivier Gers wrote in a letter in response to a query by Jamaican Athletics President Warren Blake.”He is eligible to compete in athletics competition pending the CAS proceedings.”advertisementCarter has until Feb. 15 to file his appeal with CAS.
“Had a great interaction with youth from Jammu and Kashmir who are touring different parts of India as a part of Watan Ko Jaano initiative,” the Prime Minister tweeted later. “We had a discussion on various issues like infrastructure development, sports facilities, education and employment opportunities in J&K,” he added. PTI AKK AKK
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were among some top India cricketers rested for the T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka also featuring Bangladesh.After an arduous tour of South Africa, where India won nine out of their 12 matches, it was thought best to give the senior pros some rest.Kohli, who had got a break from the limited-overs leg just before the South Africa tour, performed admirably again and amassed 871 runs from three Tests, six ODIs and two T20Is. He was rested from the final T20I due to a stiff back. In the process, Kohli scored the most runs by an Indian captain on an away tour. The previous most for India was by Rahul Dravid who made 645 runs on West Indies tour in 2006. Overall, It’s the second most by any captain behind Graeme Smith’s tally of 937 against England in 2003. Kohli scored 27 in the two first two T20Is, 558 in the ODI series and 286 in the three Tests.Pandya played all 12 matches on tour while Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah were rested at different times.Dhoni played all six ODIs and three T20Is.All these players will soon feature in the Indian Premier League which will be followed by a one-off Test against Afghanistan before India embark on their tour of Ireland and England.Not surprisingly then, India decided to rest their stars – Kohli and Dhoni among them. In Kohli’s absence Rohit Sharma was named captain of the T20I team and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan was named his deputy.advertisement Rohit Sharma will lead the Indian team in T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka (BCCI Photo)It’s not often India have played without either of Kohli or Dhoni over the last decade.The last time India took the field in a limited-overs tour without Kohli and Dhoni was 32 months ago – back in July 2015 for an ODI and T20I series against Zimbabwe.However, India did not miss their top guns against Zimbabwe – Ajinkya Rahane, who captained India in the absence of Dhoni and Kohli – oversaw a 3-0 whitewash of the hosts. The teams shared honours in the two-match T20I series with both winning one match each.Ambati Rayudu finished as the leading run-getter with 165 runs from two ODI matches while Kedar Jadhav (126) and Stuart Binny (120) also enjoyed a successful tour. Binny also finished with six wickets in the ODIs while Bhuvneshwar and Axar Patel grabbed five wickets each.Of course, neither Kohli nor Dhoni played in the final Test of the four-match series against Australia in Dharamsala in March 2017.Kohli had been rested following a shoulder injury he sustained in Ranchi while Dhoni had retired from Test cricket in December 2014.
Celtic and Rangers can lay claim to being two of the most dominant clubs in world football, having controlled the Scottish domestic scene in a duopoly for virtually their whole existence.Scotland’s two most popular clubs have gained a rivalry that few in world football can match, with their roots going deep and running strong.One of the great traditions in football, of course, is the nickname, and over the years a few have become popularised for Glasgow’s biggest sides. Here are some of the most commonly used and why they have come into being. 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 The BhoysCeltic’s most commonly used nickname is the Bhoys, which dates back to the foundation of the club in the late 19th century. Formed by Brother Walfrid in an attempt to improve living conditions for those in Glasgow’s East End, primarily an area where the large Irish Catholic population lived, the club took the nickname to reflect its heritage. The extra ‘h’ in Bhoys imitates the spelling system in Gaelic, which often sees the letter follow a ‘b’. The first known use of the term dates back to a postcard from the early 20th century that pictures the Celtic side of the time and is labelled ‘The Bould Bhoys’.The HoopsCeltic have not always played in their now synonymous green and white Hoops, adopting the look only in 1903 after initially playing in all white then in green and white stripes. It is unimaginable now that they would turn out in anything but their traditional shirt, with the club refusing to put numbers on the back of their players until 1994 so as not to disfigure the hoops. Indeed, one of the most popular replica tops was the 1992-93 edition, which did not feature a sponsor and, therefore, had unblemished hoops. Given the club has such a love affair with the pattern, it is little surprise that one of their popular nicknames is derived from it.The GersLike many of the best nicknames, Rangers’ most popular moniker comes from a simple shortening of their name. Ironically, fans often refer to the club as ‘Glasgow Rangers’, although the city in which they play has never formed part of their name officially. The Teddy BearsWhen Cockney rhyming slang became popular in the 1970s, the nickname of the Teddy Bears began to spread in popularity for Rangers. Said in a thick Glasgow accent, ‘Bears’ is pronounced ‘Berrs’ to rhyme with ‘Gers’, which is the simple explanation as to how the Ibrox club got their unusual name.The Light BluesRangers have played in blue since they were formed in 1872 and the nickname simply refers to their traditional colours.
Barcelona approach their La Liga match at Camp Nou against Villarreal on Tuesday under pressure to gain a positive result.Ernesto Valverde’s job is on the line as the Catalans sit with just seven points on the board through five matches, boasting just a couple of competitive victories this season and coming off the back of a humiliating 2-0 loss at Granada at the weekend.Villarreal actually make the trip sitting a point better off than their opponents, having scored back-to-back wins over Leganes and Valladolid. 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 Will Barca’s crisis amplify or can this be the beginning of a turnaround for the defending Primera Division champions? Game Barcelona vs Villarreal Date Tuesday, September 24 Time 8:00pm BST / 3:00pm ET Stream (US) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream beIN Sports / beIN Sports en Espanol fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the match will be shown live on Premier Sports 2 and Premier Player HD. UK TV channel Online stream Premier Sports 2 Premier Player HD Squads & Team News Position Barcelona squad Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Neto Defenders Pique, Lenglet, Semedo, Junior, Todibo Midfielders Busquets, Arthur, Roberto, De Jong, Vidal, Alena Forwards Griezmann, Fati, Suarez, Messi, Dembele Lionel Messi, newly anointed as FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player, is fully fit and after two appearances from the bench will be thrust into the starting XI in his side’s hour of need.Junior Firpo is set to continue at left-back due to the absence of Jordi Alba, though he had a difficult first start for the club at the weekend.Ousmane Dembele is available off the bench but Samuel Umtiti is out.Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Junior; Roberto, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann Position Villarreal squad Goalkeepers Asenjo, Fernandez Defenders Pena, Albiol, Torres, Quintilla, Funes Mori, Florin Midfielders Zambo Anguissa, Iborra, Chukwueze, Cazorla, Gomez, Ontiveros, Morientes Forwards Moreno, Toko Ekambi, Bacca Alberto Moreno misses out due to injury, while Bruno Soriano and Ramiro Guerra are also both on the sidelines.Sergio Asenjo will continue in goal, having started the season as second choice.Villarreal starting XI: Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Quintilla; Zambo Anguissa, Iborra; Chukwueze, Cazorla, Ontiveros; MorenoBetting & Match Odds Barcelona are strong 2/7 favourites to win this match with bet365 . Villarreal are an 8/1 outshot, while the draw is on offer at 11/2.Click here to see all of bet365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview The stakes are high as Barcelona host Villarreal at Camp Nou on Tuesday, with defeat likely to mean a premature end to Ernesto Valverde’s stay at the Catalan club.With seven points in five matches, Barca are already said to be in crisis, particularly as they were comprehensively outplayed in last weekend’s Champions League trip to Borussia Dortmund, a match in which goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen allowed them to secure a 0-0 draw.The hosts should feel fortunate that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid – their chief rivals for the title – have also stumbled out of the blocks and they are not already facing an intimidating deficit to make up as they seek to preserve their status as Spanish champions.Valverde is under no illusions as to his current job security.“It’s nothing new,” he argued. “There’s a huge demand on all of us coaches, even more so at Barcelona. I’m in a position where results matter. It’s time to get over this pothole.”Playing away from home has proven to be particularly problematic for Barca this season, with the Catalans having scored successive 5-2 victories over Real Betis and Valencia in their only previous outings at Camp Nou this season.Indeed, Villarreal boss Javi Calleja was at pains to point out that Barcelona’s problems have very much been a case of travel sickness.“It’s true they would have wanted a better start to the season, but it’s been away from home that they have been touched,” he said. “At home, they’ve shown their potential and their quality. They’re one of the best teams in the world. We’ve started well but we know what Barcelona are.”While the Yellow Submarine may have picked up a head of steam thanks to a draw against Real Madrid followed by wins over Leganes and Valladolid, Calleja predicts a very different type of match in store for his side.“They base their game on possession, with great individuals, and that demands that we’re perfect to get a positive result,” he said.If Villarreal do manage the perfect game, it will very likely be the end for Valverde at Barca. Even early in the season, there is much on the line.
Luis Suarez set Barcelona on their way to a first away victory of the LaLiga season as they won 2-0 at Getafe on Saturday.Forget the often hare-brained defending from the Catalan giants, Barcelona got what they came for: three points safely accrued ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Inter.For coach Ernesto Valverde, the pressure eases just a little, and the fact they notched this victory without Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele, both sidelined with thigh injuries, is another source of encouragement. 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 Suarez lobbed in the 41st-minute opener, and Junior Firpo tucked in Barcelona’s second from close range early in the second half for his first goal for the club. Getafe spurned first-half chances they might have gobbled up on another day and Clement Lenglet’s 84th-minute dismissal for two yellow cards came too late to give them any real advantage.Valverde fielded a front three of Carles Perez, Suarez and Antoine Griezmann. The game largely passed Griezmann by, not for the first time since his summer switch from Atletico Madrid.Getafe were unbeaten in their last eight home LaLiga matches; however, Barcelona had won on 10 of their 14 previous visits to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez in LaLiga, more than any other visiting side. What a beautiful sight! #ForcaBarça #GetafeBarca pic.twitter.com/1I3olRMxOU— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 28, 2019Perez tested David Soria in the Getafe goal early on, before Suarez stabbed a shot wide following a smart throughball from Frenkie de Jong.Barcelona’s defence was then picked apart too easily, with Angel allowed space to shoot from six yards, his strike blocked by the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.Jaime Mata had a close-range effort deflect wide off Junior at the other, with Barcelona increasingly shambolic at the back. Inter will have taken encouragement.But Suarez pounced to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute when a clearance from Ter Stegen turned into a great long ball for the Uruguayan striker to chase, and he lobbed Soria in style.Soria was culpable for Barcelona’s second four minutes into the second half, as he could only push a 25-yard shot from Perez back into play, and Junior had an easy finish.Suarez and Perez almost added to the lead, while Arthur nearly fired past Soria into an empty net after the goalkeeper went walkabout, but two was enough. What does it mean? Barca punish wasteful hostsIt means what we already knew: that Barcelona will typically have too much firepower, if the opposition fail to take their own chances. There was little liquid football on show from the defending LaLiga champions, but a big boot downfield from their goalkeeper and a composed finish from their arch predator defined this game. Sometimes such rudimentary football will do. At other times, they will need to find a greater finesse.Ter Stegen makes historyIncredibly, Ter Stegen’s long kick that set up Suarez resulted in a first LaLiga assist by a Barcelona goalkeeper in the 21st century. It was an altogether un-Barcelona-like piece of playing out from the back.1 – @mterstegen1 has become the first @FCBarcelona’s keeper to provide an assist in #LaLiga 21st Century. Pioneer#GetafeBarca pic.twitter.com/Lzxz9xkCXZ— OptaJose (@OptaJose) September 28, 2019No Messi, yet too messyMessi typically has little direct involvement in Barcelona’s defending, but whenever he is on the pitch the Argentinian hoists up the standards of those around him. Without him on Saturday, Barcelona lacked guile. It was nowhere more obvious than in their rocky rearguard where some laughable interplay played into Getafe’s hands. Inter are unlikely to be as sparing with their finishing as Getafe.Key Opta facts- Barcelona have won 11 LaLiga games at Coliseum Alfonso Perez more than any other side.- Junior has scored six goals in his LaLiga career, all of them against different opponents.- Barcelona have had 10 different scorers in LaLiga this season, more than any other side in the top five European Leagues. – Suarez has been involved in seven goals in his seven LaLiga games against Getafe (five goals and two assists). What’s next?A major test awaits Barcelona as they tackle Serie A high-flyers Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday. Getafe face FC Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday. read more
Travel Professional NEWS® speaks with Jamey Cagle, Senior Vice President of Alaskan Dream Cruises. First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to speak with us, we know that 2017 is showing promise as a GREAT year in the Travel Industry, can you give us some exciting things that are new with your line? The Alaska Native-owned, small-ship cruise line Alaskan Dream Cruises will offer guests a chance to combine their 2017 cruise vacations with land packages to Denali National Park and Preserve, Seward, Valdez, Anchorage and Fairbanks through a new partnership with John Hall’s Alaska. Passengers aboard Alaskan Dream Cruises’ “Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Island Adventure” itinerary spend seven nights cruising the famed Inside Passage between Sitka and Juneau on the Chichagof Dream. Now they can extend their stay in Alaska on one of two John Hall’s Alaska land itineraries: the seven-night “Denali Explorer” or the eight-night “Grand Slam Alaska.” Both the seven-night “Denali Explorer” and the eight-night “Grand Slam Alaska” travel by deluxe motor coach and the Alaska Railroad with a group of no more than 42 guests. Spending time deep within the wilderness of Denali National Park and Preserve, both trips explore Southcentral and Interior Alaska and offer a wide-array of premier excursions in Alaska’s larger cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks, as well as in small towns like Valdez, Seward and Talkeetna. Days are filled with activities, such as flightseeing over Denali, North America’s largest peak; visiting a dog mushing kennel; and taking a private jet boat tour into Devil’s Canyon. Meals are included, as well as accommodations at award-winning properties. A John Hall’s Alaska land tour manager accompanies guests on every adventure providing educational enrichment, a local’s point-of-view and assistance in searching for Alaska’s big five: moose, caribou, bear, Dall sheep and wolves. Both land packages begin and end in Anchorage and pair perfectly as pre-cruise tours. After the tour, guests can make a connecting flight from Anchorage to either Sitka or Juneau, where Alaskan Dream Cruises adventures begin. Guests who are looking for a post-cruise tour or who are on other Alaskan Dream itineraries can speak with an Alaskan Dream Cruises reservation specialist about trip coordination. These cruise and land tour combinations are available between June 2 and Sept. 3. Prices for the land tours start at $5,270 and include a hotel night and breakfast during the transition between land and sea. Rates for the seven-night “Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Island Adventure” cruise start at $3,990. Accommodations on the ship, all meals during the cruise, scheduled shore excursions, airport transfers, use of recreational equipment and standard onboard services are included. Detailed information on these land and cruise packages can be found at www.alaskandreamcruises.com/land. Alaskan Dream Cruises is also expanding its seven-night True Alaskan Family Cruises in 2017 with an overnight stay and second day of exploration in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The extra time in Glacier Bay allows families and multi-generational groups to spend more time bonding over wildlife watching, glacier viewing and exploring on foot. They will not only disembark in Bartlett Cove near the park’s visitor center, but also in Reid Inlet, near Reid Glacier, a more remote, wilderness area that cruise travelers typically only sail past. In Bartlett Cove, the only inhabited area of the park, adults and kids alike will marvel at “Snow,” the largest humpback whale skeleton exhibit in the United States. The newly opened Huna Tribal House, the first permanent clan house in Glacier Bay in 250 years, is also nearby. The clan house is a gathering place for tribal members, but it will also be a learning place for visitors interested in Tlingit history and culture. The 74-passenger Chichagof Dream will anchor for the night in the far reaches of Glacier Bay after guests spend the first day in Bartlett Cove and enjoying the scenery and wildlife around the Marble Islands, Gloomy Knob and Margerie Glacier, known for dramatic calving that brings everyone to the deck railing. On the second day, guests will cruise past Lamplugh Glacier and back out of the bay after the stop at Reid Inlet. A National Park Service ranger and a Native Huna Tlingit interpretive guide will be aboard to spend time with families and share unique perspectives on the park’s natural wonders and history as an Alaska Native ancestral home. Kids can even become a Junior Ranger. Family cruises are also staffed with a designated Youth Expedition Leader, who leads activities and educational programs specific for young cruisers. Other major highlights of the family cruises include searching for fossils in Saginaw Bay, whale watching in Frederick Sound, roasting s’mores at Orca Point Lodge and enjoying a DIB (Demaree Inflatable Boat) excursion in Tracy Arm Fjord. Families can also join the Killer Whale Club by taking a refreshingly cool dip in the ocean. There are two 2017 departures: July 9 and July 23. Cruise fares start at $4,390 for adults; children age 15 and under receive a 30 percent discount. Accommodations on the ship, all meals during the cruise, scheduled shore excursions, airport transfers, use of recreational equipment and standard onboard services are included. The family cruises are designed for multi-generational groups and families with children age seven and up, although all ages are welcome. When creating the itineraries, the Allen family, who owns Alaskan Dream Cruises and have raised generations of their family in Alaska, considered the experiences that resonated from their lives and needed to be shared with others. Their goal was to immerse families in the natural wonders and adventures of Alaska, surrounded by wildlife and indigenous cultures. What unique value proposition does your line bring to the consumer? For example, destination, culinary, onboard experience, etc. Alaskan Dream Cruises is the only Alaska-owned and operated cruise line. We offer “True Alaska with True Alaskans” because we specialize in providing guests with our insider’s view and arranging experiences sought out by locals. Itineraries combine not-to-miss destinations, like Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and Tracy Arm Fjord, with more remote natural areas and small Native villages. Wildlife viewing, wilderness exploration and cultural experiences are prioritized, with flexible itineraries allowing ship captains to alter plans when extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities arise. On each Alaskan Dream Cruises itinerary, guests can take advantage of daily educational presentations by naturalists and cultural heritage guides who share unique perspectives on the area’s natural wonders, culture and history. On board each ship, meals are prepared to highlight local ingredients and wild Alaska seafood, and can be paired with Alaska spirits. Even the soaps and shampoos in guest cabins are Alaska-made products. There is no doubt that one of the major benefits of Small Ship Cruising is being able to go to unique destinations and go where some other lines just cannot get to! What new and exciting destinations and or areas have you been exploring? In 2016, Alaskan Dream Cruises added a “True Alaska Exploration” feature to cruise itineraries. These are unscripted days for adventures, often a hike, wildlife encounters or wilderness discovery that the Allen family, the company’s founders, experienced during their personal explorations and asked staff to share with guests. Often these opportunities are in very remote bays, where guests can kayak or explore in shallow water expedition craft (DIBs). In addition, Alaskan Dream Cruises focuses on taking guests to smaller unique towns, where they can experience Alaska’s culture. These off-the-beaten-path communities include the Tsimshian community of Metlakatla; Thorne Bay, once the largest logging camp in the world; Wrangell, the only city in Alaska to have been under the jurisdiction of three flags and ruled by four nations; and Kasaan, home of the only remaining traditional Haida longhouse in the U.S. Are you seeing an increase in family vacation bookings? Alaskan Dream Cruises is offering two family cruises in 2017 and both are close to sold out already. With the demand of so many multigenerational groups traveling today, it’s not uncommon to have children on many of our regular sailings as well. Alaska is a fantastic destination for multigenerational and family vacations because there is so much to interest and entertain all ages. Do you offer enrichment themed cruises on cultural or other topics? Can you explain what makes these options unique for potential clients? Alaskan Dream Cruises has made cultural exploration a major focal point of every itinerary. Each cruise is staffed with a Cultural Heritage Guide, often an Alaska Native, who teaches guests about Alaska Native culture, including both historical and modern-day customs. Shore excursions often include cultural dance performances, historical walking tours, wood carving demonstrations and time with local residents in Alaska Native villages, like Kake and Metlakatla. Guests spend an entire day in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, cruising through the fjord to see wildlife and glaciers, including Margerie Glacier, known for dramatic calving that brings everyone to the deck railing. A National Park Service ranger and a Native Huna Tlingit interpretive guide both spend the day with cruisers onboard the ship and share unique perspectives on the park’s natural wonders and history as an Alaska Native ancestral home. With Travel Professionals on the rise, will you be offering any new training or incentives for Travel Professionals to focus on your offerings? Alaskan Dream Cruises is developing an agent portal on its website and schedules training webinars for agents on a regular basis. In addition, travel professionals are encouraged to take advantage of discounted 2017 FAM rates, which are available now and up to 80 percent off. The best way to understand a product and be inspired to sell it is to experience it for oneself! What three things would you like to share with our Travel Professionals to assist in selling your line? 1. Alaskan Dream Cruises is a single-destination cruise line with seasonal operations. That makes it easy to understand the product quickly and it’s a worthwhile investment to take one of our webinars.Alaskan Dream Cruises is a small team that works together to assist travel professionals. Our staff is very approachable and committed to working with each agent to get them what they need.3. Our team is service oriented and is always happy to entertain out-of-the-box requests. Small Ship Cruising has come a long way over the years. What do you see as the next advancement in this growing marketplace? As the market grows, there’s a much broader range of small ships and we see the smallest ships advancing. Last year Alaskan Dream Cruises launched the 60-foot Misty Fjord, a blend between a commercial Alaska maritime boat and a modern expedition vessel, with only five guest cabins and a beautiful teak salon. The small size allows us to take guests into these beautiful nooks in the Alaska coastline and maneuver in secluded bays where guests can revel in Alaska’s wild landscapes and get close to the wildlife. Do you have any additional information you would like to say before we end our conversation? Alaska is a bucket-list destination that travelers dream of visiting. As cruisers become more discerning about the companies they travel with and seek to find “locally sourced” products, Alaskan Dream Cruises stands out. We are the only Alaska-owned and operated cruise line. Our motto is “True Alaska with True Alaskans.” Our crew is local. Our guides are there to show you the insider’s view of this magnificent destination.
Boston, July 2018 – Travel agents sell trips by establishing good relationships with their clients and having a solid understanding of the travel product they are promoting. Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours believes that one of the best ways for agents to understand their fully-inclusive luxury travel products is to experience them for themselves. This firsthand knowledge can help elevate a travel agent’s sales pitch to a client from just describing the product to passionately promoting it. So Scenic is opening that ‘experience door’ by offering a free eight-day 2018 luxury Europe cruise for two to any travel agent who makes three 2018 Europe river cruise bookings between July 1 and August 31, 2017. The offer is restricted to one cruise per agent and is not applicable to group bookings. After making the three bookings, agents need to email the booking numbers, complete agent details and three preferred 2018 travel dates to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 5th. Additional details are available at www.scenicusa.com/agent-incentives. Scenic also offers a Scenic Specialist Course to augment the firsthand education of the travel agent. The Company’s insight into how best to sell travel draws upon a 30-year history of providing award-winning land tours and truly all-inclusive, five-star river cruises. And because Scenic is one of the only cruise lines to offer truly all-inclusive fares, agents receive commissions on all services except hair salon services, massage treatments and port fees. Even gratuities, alcohol and shore excursions are included in the commissionable fare. The 5-star Scenic Space Ships offer all-inclusive luxury experiences – from private butler service and unlimited complimentary beverages and spirits including mini-bar re-stocked daily, to full-size private balcony staterooms – all making use of Scenic’s unique Sun Lounge technology – where the walkout open-air balcony can convert to an all-weather lounge with a push of a button, expanding the living area of the stateroom. Plus, there is a vitality pool on the Sun Deck (on several Space Ships), a guest lift between decks, wellness area and fitness center. On board cuisine offers multiple dining options, including the French tradition of dégustation at Table La Rive, fine dining at Portobellos and the more casual fare at the River Cafe. As with all Scenic river cruises, guests will never have to reach for the wallet or purse as everything (except a haircut or massage) is included: tips and gratuities, expert local guides, all Scenic Freechoice activities that allow for a more personalized vacation, plus Scenic Enrich events which are exclusive to Scenic and its guests. Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has grown over its 30-year history to include award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours that take participants to many of the world’s most fascinating destinations; two award-winning river cruise lines – Scenic and Emerald Waterways; and, in 2018, the world’s first Discovery Yacht – Scenic Eclipse. Emerald Waterways’ seven Star Ships offer deluxe cruises in Europe, and the Mekong, while Scenic’s 15 Space Ships offer truly all-inclusive, five-star river cruises in the same destinations as well as the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Additional information on these and other cruises, brochures and reservations can be obtained via travel agents, or from Scenic: www.scenicusa.com; phone 844-788-7987; or email: email@example.com. Brochures can also be downloaded directly from the website.
NEW YORK, NY, July 18, 2018 — Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND; “Lindblad”, the “Company”), the global leader of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the building of a new polar expedition ship. This state-of-the-art vessel, which is anticipated to be delivered in 2021, will be the next phase of Lindblad’s fleet expansion following the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017, the addition of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018 and the delivery of the National Geographic Endurance in the first quarter of 2020. As demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel continues to accelerate, both through market expansion as well as from sustained investment in their marketing and sales infrastructure, Lindblad is committed to expanding capacity to provide a growing audience with the opportunity to explore the world’s most unique and remote locations. This will be the fourth polar vessel in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, joining the National Geographic Explorer and the National Geographic Orion, currently in operation, and the National Geographic Endurance, which is scheduled for delivery in early 2020. The new vessel will be designed as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on immersing our guests in these amazing geographies. Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “We are extremely excited to announce the further expansion of our expedition fleet. This is the next step of our long-term growth strategy to capitalize on the expanding demand for high quality adventure travel. By marrying additional capacity with a dedicated and growing loyal customer base and fifty years of experience, we will be able to build upon our proven track record of delivering unparalleled expeditions to the world’s most remarkable destinations.” About Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc.Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. is an expedition travel company that works in partnership with National Geographic to inspire people to explore and care about the planet. The organizations work in tandem to produce innovative marine expedition programs and to promote conservation and sustainable tourism around the world. The partnership’s educationally oriented voyages allow guests to interact with and learn from leading scientists, naturalists and researchers while discovering stunning natural environments, above and below the sea, through Forward Looking StatementsCertain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include the Company’s financial projections and may also generally be identified as such because the context of such statements will include words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” or words of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe the Company’s financial guidance or future plans, objectives or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those expected, including, but not limited to, the following: (i) changes adversely affecting the business in which the Company is engaged; (ii) management of the Company’s growth and its ability to execute on its planned growth; (iii) general economic conditions; (iv) the Company’s business strategy and plans; (v) unscheduled disruptions in our business due to weather events, mechanical failures, or other events; (vi) compliance with laws and regulations; (vii) compliance with the financial and/or operating covenants in the Company’s Third amended and restated credit agreement; (viii) adverse publicity regarding the cruise industry in general; (ix) loss of business due to competition; (x) the result of future financing efforts; (xi) the inability to meet revenue and Adjusted EBITDA projections; (xii) delays and costs overruns with respect to the construction and delivery of newly constructed vessels; and (xiii) those risks described in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Stockholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made herein are made only as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More detailed information about factors that may affect the Company’s performance may be found in its filings with the SEC, which are available at http://www.sec.gov or athttp://www.expeditions.com in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website.
The new video introduces The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands’ guests and audiences to the empowering Iraq al-Amir Women’s Cooperative BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 9, 2018 – The TreadRight Foundation – a not-for-profit supporting people, wildlife, and the planet for generations to come – has unveiled its newest video highlighting the organization’s recently added People project in Jordan; the Iraq al-Amir Women’s Cooperative. The TreadRight led experience was hosted by TreadRight Ambassador Céline Cousteau, who was joined by a group of influential storytellers on a journey of exploration and discovery in awe-inspiring Jordan. The central goal of their trip was to gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of the Iraq al-Amir Women’s Cooperative’s important work and future goals, as well as the struggles they might face as they look to achieve them. Unemployment for women in Jordan is at around 33% in urban areas and even higher than that in rural areas. The cooperative was founded in 1993 with the goal of making the women in the region financially independent as well as raise their standard of livingby increasing their income and preserving local heritage. Managed and run by local women, Iraq al-Amir has provided training projects on a variety of heritage handicrafts for more than 150 women from all villages of the Wadi Seer district of Jordan. The products are then also sold in the gift shop, as well as online. “The TreadRight Foundation is supporting the Iraq al-Amir Cooperative and together we’ll be working with this cooperative to upgrade the gift shop, as well as provide merchandising expertise, and allow the group to expand their food services, creating more income opportunities for the cooperative’s members,” explains Jordanian sustainable tourism consultant Muna Haddad. “We’re working together to help the cooperative to become a viable business.” “As an organization and with the support of The Travel Corporation (TTC) family of brands, we are working to make travel matter. The Iraq al-Amir Women’s Cooperative is a perfect example of the kind of initiative that can harness the power of travel and tourism and use it to make real, sustainable positive changes in people’s lives,” says Shannon Guihan, program director, The TreadRight Foundation. “It was a privilege to be so warmly welcomed at the cooperative and to hear the women’s incredible and powerful stories of lives transformed for the better through Iraq al-Amir. Now TTC has the honor of introducing our audiences to those stories through our new video and by taking guests to visit the cooperative in Jordan.” The TreadRight Foundation’s People pillar encourages the cultures, traditions, and arts of the communities TTC visits, seeking to enable these communities to experience the true benefit of travel and tourism through economic empowerment. This is achieved through support of micro-enterprises and community-based travel and tourism initiatives that build a positive future for community members and their families. TreadRight looks forward to helping TTC’s family of brands continue to make travel matter, working with influential storytellers, aligning with sustainability leaders, and partnering with meaningful projects across the planet For more details, please visit TreadRight.org. Join TreadRight’s social media community on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and follow the conversation using the hashtag #MakeTravelMatter About The Travel CorporationThe Travel Corporation (TTC) is a highly successful international travel group. Our philosophy is simple. To create enriching experiences for our travelers by combining an unbeatable mix of exceptional service and quality at great value. No matter what your taste, whether you are a family or a couple, a group or traveling solo – TTC offers something for everyone. Our multi-award-winning portfolio of 29 brands ranges from luxury hotels and boutique river cruises, to independent holiday package companies and a variety of guided travel experiences. As a worldwide travel expert with 40 sales offices and 10,000 team members serving 1.9 million travelers worldwide annually, we take our travelers to over 70 countries. Being a 4th generation, family-owned business that is financially independent, we pride ourselves on taking a long-term view, with an ethos of attention to detail in all areas of the company. About The TreadRight FoundationCreated as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit working to help safeguard the planet, wildlife & people for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has supported over 50 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The Foundation’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism through conservation, leadership and support for communities. The Foundation’s priorities are set by the Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid, The Travel Foundation and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include supporting various women’s social enterprises, the recently announced Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cat fund, WE.org and working with inspiring nature advocates like Céline Cousteau, Costas Christ and Terri Irwin. To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at treadright.org and follow us on Facebook , Instagram, and Twitterusing our hashtag #MakeTravelMatter.
Travel protection may not be the primary reason you are contacted by your clients, but it can be one of the most valuable services you offer them. There are many unexpected challenges your clients may face leading up to and during the trip. As their travel professional, you can help them prepare for the unexpected. MH Ross provides travel protection solutions to businesses throughout the travel industry: resorts, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, travel agents, OTAs, you name it. We wrote our first travel insurance program in 1961 and since then have been protecting travelers’ vacation investments, their personal belongings, and most importantly, the travelers themselves. In January 2009, we became a Trip Mate brand, joining one of the industry’s largest and most respected administrators of travel insurance programs. If you are not currently offering travel protection to your clients, consider these five possibilities and whether you’d prefer to have given them an option, such as an MH Ross plan. Nightmare 1: Illness in the Family – Trip Cancelled Plan Benefit: Trip CancellationVacation is just around the corner and the family couldn’t be more excited. Then, terrible news arrives. An elderly family member has been hospitalized. Of course, they cannot travel during such uncertain circumstances. Once they decided, they contacted each travel provider to cancel all of their arrangements. Without travel protection, this family could be facing severe cancellation penalties, or even lose their entire vacation budget. Fortunately, this family insured their trip costs, so they can recoup their losses. They file a Trip Cancellation claim, documenting the medical emergency and the expenses for unused and non-refundable travel arrangements. Even though this trip involved multiple airlines, hotels, and other travel arrangements, the family is paid the total amount for all of their pre-paid expenses that were not refunded. They don’t have to suffer a financial loss because of a family emergency, and you helped make that possible by offering them travel protection. Nightmare 2: You Arrive – Your Luggage Does Not Plan Benefits: Baggage Delay, and Baggage LossAs a travel professional, you are likely no stranger to stories about mishandled luggage. It can be extremely frustrating to arrive on vacation only to immediately be dealing with delayed bags. Let’s say it isn’t only delayed, but lost. The airline takes the travelers’ information and promises to deliver the luggage when (if) it arrives. Twelve hours pass, still no bags and they are still wearing the same clothes. If these travelers left for their trip without travel protection, they may find themselves at the mercy of the airlines, and can expect to incur some unplanned expenses. However, having purchased a travel protection plan, the Baggage Delay benefit can reimburse these travelers for necessary items while they are without their luggage: a change of clothes, toiletries, etc. They made sure to save receipts. The airline calls, the luggage cannot be located. It is gone for good. This bad news is somewhat alleviated because the travelers know that items permanently lost, stolen, or damaged may be covered by the Baggage Loss benefit. The trip is almost over anyway, and the travelers return home to file two travel protection claims. The Baggage Delay claim is submitted with documentation of the delay from the airline, as well as the receipts for the replacement items purchased. The traveler is made whole for those unexpected costs, up to the maximum benefit limit of the plan purchased. The Baggage Loss claim is filed with documentation of the lost luggage along with a list of what was lost and their replacement value. The traveler is paid benefits for those covered possessions that are permanently lost, up to the benefit limit. Instead of enduring the aggravation and unplanned expenses, they were able to overcome annoyance knowing their belongings were protected, and you helped them do so. Nightmare 3: Medical Emergency – Out Of Network Plan Benefits: Emergency Medical Expense, Emergency Medical EvacuationQuite possibly the worst case scenario for any traveler is a medical emergency while abroad. An unexpected illness or accidental injury is not something people typically consider. This could be a situation like a cruise passenger at their first Caribbean port-of-call, who took a taxi only to then be injured in a car accident. An ambulance takes the passenger to the hospital to receive immediate medical care. Depending on the medical need, this could involve a helicopter airlift from the scene, between medical facilities to receive specialized treatment, or medical transportation back to the hospital in their home city. Many people won’t know how much coverage their home medical insurance offers out of network, or out of state, much less out of the country. Would their coverage also include the expenses of a helicopter airlift and a medical jet, or will those be out of pocket? Since this cruise passenger had purchased a travel protection plan, those concerns didn’t pose a threat. Once the passenger was able, he placed a collect call to the 24 hour emergency assistance line. Emergency assistance service coordinated with him and the medical facility made sure the necessary treatment and transportation was provided. The passenger kept copies of all medical records from this event and filed two claims when he returned home: Emergency Medical Expense and Emergency Medical Evacuation. Without travel protection, how much more would this trip have actually cost your client? Nightmare 4: Cutting the Trip Short Plan Benefit: Trip InterruptionWe just left our cruise passenger under quality medical supervision and he’s on the mend, but we shouldn’t forget this happened on the first port-of-call for his cruise. He likely missed several other ports and most of the days of the cruise. Should those pre-paid costs be considered a loss, or will he come back to his travel professional to try and recoup the loss? Similar to the first scenario about Trip Cancellation benefits before the trip begins, because our passenger insured his trip costs, his plan included Trip Interruption benefits. Trip Interruption means the trip has started and is impacted by one of the covered perils listed in the plan. An unexpected injury that occurs during the trip is a covered peril. Since it caused his trip to end early, a Trip Interruption claim can reimburse the pre-paid trip cost that went unused and was not refunded. Had he not protected his cruise, the resulting financial loss would have added insult to injury. Instead, he’s grateful you offered him the chance to purchase travel protection. Nightmare 5: Anything You Choose Plan Benefit: Cancel For Any ReasonWe already discussed the Trip Cancellation benefit. This benefit pays when the trip is cancelled before it begins and the cause of the cancellation is one of the covered reasons listed in the plan documents. The list includes things that are out of your control and unexpected: medical emergencies, death in the family, weather delays, hurricanes, among other reasons. While this list covers many bases, it doesn’t include every conceivable reason a traveler may want to cancel. So what do you offer the client who wants more flexibility to be able to cancel? The solution is a benefit called Cancel For Any Reason. It means just that – you cancel and don’t have to explain why. There are some requirements to qualify and plans may vary. One such plan must be purchased within fifteen days of first paying a deposit on the trip, the full trip cost must be insured, and the last chance to cancel is two days before the trip. Cancel For Any Reason will reimburse 75% of the trip cost that was not refunded. So the next time your client is concerned about a bad hair day, the dog having puppies, the kid’s soccer playoffs, or any other reason under the sun that may cause them to cancel, you have a solution to offer. The importance of offering travel protection to your clients cannot be stressed enough. At MH Ross, we have decades of experience offering quality programs protecting generations of travelers. We hope you would choose us for the opportunity to discuss how to best serve your clients, but most important is that you make sure to give your clients the opportunity to protect their investment, belongings, and themselves. We know that you have many choices in selecting your travel insurance provider. When you select us, you have a team of experienced specialists and technical experts in the travel insurance industry working together to provide you with prompt and professional service. We strive to anticipate your needs and solve your problems before they occur. We value your business and promise that we will always provide you with the integrity and service for which we are known. Superior customer service is as important to us as it is to you. We promise to provide you with: People Who Care – Our staff listens to what you have to say.Prompt, responsive solutions – Our staff will answer your questions or solve your problems quickly.Returned calls within 24 hours – If our phones are busy and you leave a message, we will call you back within 24 hours. Generally, most calls are returned same day.Industry-leading plans – We provide you with coverage that is flexible, usable and affordable. Please visit us at www.mhross.com to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you.
Taylor Stitch Restitch The Gibson Jacket in Asphalt Utterly timeless and classic is the name of the game when it comes to Taylor Stitch’s outerwear and blazers, so this Restitch edition of the Gibson Jacket (a classic three-button blazer made for seasonal travel) is a winner, particularly when you pick up the “good-as-new” iteration. $38 from Taylor Stitch Restitch How to Transition Your Wardrobe to Fall Perhaps you’re well-acquainted with a wardrobe full of Taylor Stitch menswear, the San Francisco-based brand has been churning out expertly cut shirts and stylish chinos for men (plus plenty more) for years. If not, prepare to be because Taylor Stitch is taking an even bigger, eco-conscious step forward with the launch of Restitch, what the brand calls a “bold take-back program” to turn your well-loved Taylor Stitch essentials into stylish new gear. To launch the new program, Taylor Stitch teamed up with logistics company Yerdle, a business that excels at working with sustainable brands like Patagonia on developing “circular economy” programs that give old clothing new life. And true to form, the Taylor Stitch Restitch Collection lives up to its billing – stylish, sustainable and great for your wardrobe (more on our favorite picks in a second). The impetus behind launching Taylor Stitch’s Restitch program? “Restitch is our response to the clothing industry’s overproduction issue,” said Taylor Stitch CEO and Co-Founder Michael Maher. “85 percent of all apparel ends up in landfills, including what is donated. 100% has the ability to be recycled or upcycled. Through Restitch, and our partnership with Yerdle, we prove there is no end of life, only end of use.”Restitch itself is a two-part program, allowing customers to send in old Taylor Stitch clothes using a pre-paid shipping label (or visiting a Taylor Stitch store). The crucial second part of the program? The fact that Yerdle turns old Taylor Stitch garments into shoppable wares that range from good-as-new to slightly worn (or hardly at all). The Restitch Collection runs the gamut from classic Oxfords to tough work shirts, too. Similar to other programs created by brands like Marine Layer, Taylor Stitch tapped its community of loyal fans – many of whom love to pre-fund the brand’s iconic outerwear and short-run shirts and denim – to send back old garments. In the end, the resulting Vintage Collection features more than 40 “new” fan favorites available for purchase. But talk is cheap. What exactly should you buy from the Taylor Stitch Restitch Collection? Here’s what we love so far. Taylor Stitch Utility Shirt in Salt & Pepper ChambrayTake your pick from either lightly worn or “good as new” options of this durable, tough utility shirt – a mighty handy layer to keep around on your next camping trip or on a breezy summer evening. For more recycled fashion, shop the entire Restitch collection here.Looking for more environmentally friendly pieces to add to your wardrobe? Check out Marine Layer’s Re-Spun collection, which exchanges store credit for every five old tees you send in to be recycled. The Best Men’s Quilted Jackets Stitched for Every Occasion $47 from Taylor Stitch Restitch Editors’ Recommendations Taylor Stitch Restitch The Hyde Shirt in White Royal OxfordMade from organic cotton and featuring a crisp semi-spread collar, this might just be the perfect dress shirt (although it’s also the perfect length to wear untucked with a pair of the brand’s tan chinos). Take it from us: Taylor Stitch shirting is seriously high-quality. Why Your Desk Chair Matters and the 9 Best Ones to Boost Your Productivity The New Alex Mill Collection Is Packed With Your Fall Style Essentials $67 from Taylor Stitch Restitch You Definitely Need a Shirt Jacket for Fall
How to Make Loco Moco, a Hawaiian Staple Dish How to Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time How to Cook Steak in the Oven The Peached Tortilla’s Fried Rice Recipe Is Just Plain Delicious Pro Chefs Dish on the Perfect Seven-Layer Dip Recipes Editors’ Recommendations If anyone tells you they hate authentic Italian food, this should immediately set off a warning signal in your head. Something like a claxon, but louder. If you do come across one of these “people,” you’ll want to back away slowly because that is not natural human behavior (if you feel the need to call the CDC to have them quarantined, we’re not going to stop you, either). It is a proven fact that everyone loves an old-school Italian meal; from the red sauce to the meatballs to all the other specialties Nonna used to make, the plates of food bring about sheer joy in one’s soul. (Down a Nonna? Practice being your own by learning how to make your own mouth-watering meatballs here.) True Italian food like this doesn’t need any bells or whistles to make people come back for more, which is the simple philosophy at NYC’s Il Principe restaurant in Hotel Hugo.Il Principe is everything you could want a New York City restaurant to be. Designed by architect Marcello Pozzi, the space features floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the sidewalk for al fresco dining on warm days. The private dining room has a vertical garden wall and large skylight to bring the outdoors in anytime of year. The restaurant is a flawless match for its home in Hotel Hugo, designed with a mix of raw materials and modern finishes that fit perfectly into the neighborhood’s art-meets-industrial vibe.Il PrincipeBut back to the food. Chef Kristine Mana-ay was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, surrounded by a family that always loved to cook. She later moved to New York City and enrolled at the Art Institute, graduating with a degree in culinary arts. She has a passion for pastry arts as well as Italian cuisine, which is probably why her menu at Il Principe is so killer. We caught up with Chef Kristine to ask a little bit about her background and snag a lasagna bolognese recipe to make at home.The Manual: Il Principe’s menu is classic Italian, highlighting simple, delicious ingredients. What made you want to start cooking this type of food?Kristine Mana-ay: Italian cuisine is known for its simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. I love the variety, too, because ingredients and dishes vary by region. I rely on the quality of the ingredients, and when it comes to taste, the flavor in the food you cook is best when you use fresh ingredients, whether it’s succulent meat, fish, or fresh produce. All of them taste a lot better when fresh ingredients are used.TM: Are there any techniques you learned in your early years cooking for your family in the Philippines that you still carry with you today?KM: The values I learned are key. Growing up I was surrounded with family cooking together. Whenever we had an occasion, we worked as a team. Working in the kitchen today, I treat my guys as a family because I spend an enormous amount of time with them. I try to instill a teamwork environment where mutual support means having each other’s backs, establishing a foundation of trust and encouraging them to come together as one. When you love to cook, it shows in your food no matter what you make. Cooking is not only about creating food, it’s about sharing memories with those around you.TM: Many regions of Italy are represented on your menu. Could you break down a dish, talk a little bit about its history and why it’s an important part of Il Principe’s lineup?KM: Traditionally in Emilia Romagna, lasagna is a comfort food. It’s always served with ragu, a thick sauce made from onion, carrots, celery, ground veal, ground beef, tomatoes, and béchamel sauce, and a generous amount of grated Parmigiano–Reggiano before going into the oven. Lasagna embodies everything we love about pasta — it’s hearty, soul-warming, and comforting. Our lasagna has been on the menu since the beginning and is one of our most asked-for dishes.How to Make Lasagna BologneseFor the BologneseRepinanatoly/Getty ImagesIngredients:2.5 lbs ground chuck or brisket combination2 cups red wine3 cans (28 oz) peeled whole tomatoes3 ribs celery, diced3 cloves garlic, chopped finely3 bay leaves2 carrots, diced1 medium onion, dicedSalt and pepper to tasteMethod:Coat a large pan with oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.Bring the pan to medium-high heat and cook until vegetables become nice and brown — about 15 minutes. Add the ground beef and season again with salt. Let the beef get brown over another 15 minutes.Add the tomato and cook for about 5 minutes.Add the red wine. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, another 4 minutes.Toss in the bay leaves. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper if you need.Simmer for about 1.5 hrs.For the Béchamel SauceSergio Amiti/Getty ImagesIngredients:2 cups milk2.5 tbsp butter2 tbsp all-purpose flour2 tsp salt.5 tsp grated nutmegMethod:In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted.Add the flour and stir until smooth over medium heat. Cook the mixture until golden brown.Heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil.Add the hot milk to the butter mixture slowly, whisking continuously until very smooth.Bring to boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.Remove from the heat. Season with salt and nutmeg. Set aside until ready to useFor the LasagnaSergio Amiti/Getty ImagesIngredients:12 lasagna sheets (fresh or box)1.5 cup Parmesan cheese10 oz ricotta cheese10 oz béchamel sauceMethod:Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Cook the lasagna sheets (if box, 8 minutes; fresh sheets, 4 minutes).Drain the lasagna sheets and rinse with cold water.Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.To assemble, spread 1.5 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange lasagna sheets lengthwise over the meat sauce. Spread the ricotta cheese, béchamel sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layer and top it with Parmesan.Cover with foil, making sure the foil is not touching the cheese.Bake in pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 25 mins.Article originally published on March 6, 2017. Last updated June 18, 2019.
What is a lawnmower beer? You know exactly what it is, sir; you knew the answer to that question the first time you heard the term, I’ll wager. It’s just makes implicit sense: after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day, you want a cool, refreshing beer that’s on the low end calorie wise and won’t see you canceling the rest of the day’s activities based on a high alcohol percentage.Lawnmower beers are generally light in body and traditionally pretty light on flavor, too, but a crop of new brews that neatly fit the category are bucking that trend. There are also some classic beers that fit the category, boasting plenty of flavor without a heaviness of body or a river of alcohol. So while we hope to introduce you to a few new beers, if you find new love for the stalwarts, that’s just fine, too.Also, to keep things extra fresh, we’re covering a couple of brews that aren’t beer at all, but that certainly go down smooth after an afternoon of lawn care. Or a game of beach volleyball, a long hike, a grilling session, or … you know, you actually don’t need an excuse to drink these beers. Let’s get to it!Shiner Cerveza de VeranoWhen a beer has the gall to call itself the “Beer of Summer” as this new Mexican-style lager from the K. Spoetzl Brewery does, it damn well better go down smooth after a good lawn mowing. Goods news. It does. Cerveza de Verano features a light citrusy hop profile with flavoring from agave nectar adding a sweetness that brings out the fruity hop character. At 4.5% ABV, it’s the perfect hot-weather session lager or a great choice to safely suck down in about two minutes, as I did after the last mowing.26.2 BrewWe’ve covered this light wheat ale before, but it bears a second look in the lawnmower beer category, as — surprise, surprise — a beer brewed specifically for athletes looking to refresh themselves without piling on extra calories goes down just as well after yard work as it does after a distance run. The beer has a light breadiness and gentle orange notes as well as a bit of saltiness, which is just what you want after a good sweat.Helles in the TropicsI’m not sure if this is a problem or a silver lining, but to get a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s Helles in the Tropics beer, you need to buy a larger mixed pack. Which I tend to do at least monthly, so yeah. Helles-style beers are very mild on the hops and more malt-forward, with a light sweetness and great drinkability. And that’s exactly what you find here, except with a bit more hop than you’d get from a traditional pale German Helles, but that’s what you expect from Sierra Nevada.Mural Agua Fresca CervezaA collaboration between Colorado-based New Belgium and Mexican brewery Primus Cerveceria, this beer is bursting with flavor provided by hibiscus, watermelon, lime, and agave nectar, not to mention some malt and hops. It’s made in the style of a refreshing Mexican street beverage, this low ABV beer is a unique, fruity revelation.Trumer PilsTrumer Pils USA/FacebookTrumer Pils, a classic German/Austrian-style pilsner, has been brewed in Berkeley, California since 2004. But the same recipe has been followed for about 400 years at the Trumer Brauerei in Salzburg, Austria. This multi-award winning beer is crisp and refreshing, with a lively carbonation and an elegant simplicity. The hop profile is nondescript, and the malt even and balanced. The best way to describe this quaffable beer is as … beer. When you think of the taste of a brew, this is a fine standard-bearer.Shiner Ruby RedbirdYep, another beer from Shiner, because in the past year or so, this brewery has greatly expanded their catalog, and this new brew is a great summer sip. A bit of ginger spice balances the intensely sweet and bitter grapefruit flavors, with a light hop and malt background keeping things beer-y. At just 95 calories and 4% ABV, this is a guilt-free and daytime-safe beer good to have on hand in the garage fridge.Melvin Brewing Killer Bees American Blonde AleMelvin Brewing, out of Wyoming, is primarily known for huge, amazing, almost dangerous brews up in the 9%-plus ABV arena, and it’s well worth trying their fine, crazy-strong beers. But if it’s the middle of the day and you need flavorful refreshment that won’t lead to nap time, Killer Bees American Blonde Ale is the one to sip. It’s made with actual honey that sweetens up the light bread flavor and mild hops.Angry Orchard Spritz RoséThe first of our not-technically-beer lawnmower beers, this new cider from Angry Orchard just came out this summer. It’s so light yet delicious it would be a dangerous drink were it not for the low 4% alcohol by volume. Made from French red-flesh apples, it has as much flavor as any cider out there, and can be sucked down right out of the can or enjoyed more slowly over ice. In fact, I’ll wager adding a splash of liquor would make a fine non-lawnmower cocktail.Virtue Cider Mezzo SpritzMade with a blend of cider, sparkling water, and botanical flavoring, this light, easygoing cider just begs to be slurped down fast. And at just 3.8% ABV, you can go ahead and have a second one, too. If you’re looking for a super-safe daytime drink, stock the fridge with Mezzo Spritz. Or use this stuff as the sparkling component in a cocktail to kick the flavor profile up a notch.Strongbow Dry Pear Hard CiderIf you can get over the fact that it comes in a small can, then a can of Strongbow Dry Pear Hard Cider is a true treat on a hot day. It’s plenty sweet despite the word “dry” in the name, and the small bubbles of the carbonation create a lively mouthfeel and buoy the aftertaste. While a great lawnmower drink, this cider also pairs well with savory foods.Article originally published August 21, 2017 by Lee Heidel. Last updated July 5, 2019 by Steven John. 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Roger Dubois Excalibur SpiderIn a world of timeless pieces, there are few unobtainable for most but still enticing for all, and the Roger Dubois Excalibur Spider is most certainly that watch. Built from carbon fiber with a flying tourbillon, the Excalibur Spider is super light and claims ownership of any wrist it sits upon. It’s stamped by the Poinçon de Genève (official seal of Geneva of fine jewelry and timepieces). For purchase by appointment only, this skeleton will be nearly one of a kind in your possession. Inquire in Person Yes, You Can Wear Boots to the Office: Here are the Best Pairs $129 from Dappertime Caluola Automatic Skeleton WatchEverybody needs an everyday watch that isn’t going to distract or step into another realm of the space-time continuum. The stainless steel design with an anti-scratch sapphire crystal face makes this Caluola Automatic Skeleton Watch a perfect day-to-day. It’s a no-frills watch with refined simplicity, and the exposed nuts and bolts should ensure timely arrival. Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02Tag Heuer certainly boasts recognition all its own and when you offer a glimpse of the mechanics of Carrera Calibre Heuer 02, friends will be constantly asking for the time just to see the wheels turn. The Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 is made of polished steel, is water-resistant up to 100 meters, and presents its black skeleton through a front and back window. Pick a short-sleeve shirt to wear with this Tag Heuer because you’re going to want to show it off. 12 Best Seiko Watches for Men, From Flashy to Functional Bulova MaquinaAs Bulova watches are “Designed to be Noticed,” the Bulova Maquina never shies away from a red carpet appearance. With a gold-coated stainless steel finish and skeleton gears accented by black dials, this is a watch begging for exposure. The Maquina’s sapphire crystal face is water-resistant up to 100 meters and reveals every tick of the tock as you move through the day. Let’s face it, if your skeleton was gold, you’d want to show off your bare bones, too. $228 from HWEStore $612 from Amazon $476 from Bulova $290 from Amazon Dappertime KuroWith big bold numbers, a black alloy finish, and gold cranks, the Dappertime Kuro should be a welcome addition to any naked wrist — or the sponsored piece for The Bold and the Beautiful. The Kuro sits a little bigger than other skeleton watches, but out in the open, the black and gold combination will surely catch the attention of those you hoped it would, and even those you didn’t. $6,150 from Tag Heuer Agelocer Automatic SkeletonEvery watch tells time but some do it with a little more shock and awe than others, as does the Agelocer Automatic Skeleton. Sure, from the time-telling components there is nothing more than a big and little hand, but the brass tacks of this timepiece make it look like it could be a Magic Eye image waiting to expose a mystifying image. The strap is leather, the case is stainless steel, and the schematics of gears are a visually fashionable maze. $925 from Walmart Fiyta Photographer WatchThe Fiyta Photographer Watch is PVD-coated, has a butterfly clasp, and plays on the motto of less is more. The subtle highlights hiding under the face are reminiscent of red-painted brake calibers on a Porsche 911, adding to the elegance of the piece. It doesn’t show the date as it’s focused on the time at hand and will withstand your diving expeditions in up to 50 meters of water. The Fiyta Photographer watch is sleek and subtle and will demand that any outfit it’s paired with match its sophisticated appearance. $517 from Culture Kings $564 from Jaztock CaluolaNot all skeletons come out on Halloween or from within your closet. There is another descendant of the bare-bones variety that can be worn right on your wrist and help you get through the day. Skeleton watches do tell time, which is important, but they do it with a refined and trimmed appearance. At their roots, skeleton watches expose all the inner workings of the watch showing all the gears that are spinning to make your watch tick. And where other watches will talk to you, this breed of skeletons will give you and all onlookers something to talk about.If you don’t see what you like, check out our guide to the best watches under $500 and under $1,000. We’ve also got picks for the best smartwatches, dive watches, field watches, tactical watches, and more.Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart WatchThe Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart Watch offers a glimpse into time, past and future. Its mechanics are not entirely exposed like other skeleton watches, but its sleek design and “broken” face offer just enough to see the gears turn. The Hamilton Jazzmaster is versatile and will look great with a pair of wingtips, around the office, and even next to your gym bag as you enter the racquetball court. Its stainless steel body is water-resistant up to 50 meters. The Anti-Order Non-Skeleton WatchEven the strongest of bones need protection. The Anti-Order Non-Skeleton Watch it still a skeleton in design but adds the security of a removable stainless steel spider web to protect the innards and simultaneously add style points. It has all the class of a night on the town and would be perfect with a pair of Nike SBs and a 50/50 down the handrail. 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Previous TM: And for books, any favorite books lately?BK: I just got this new book from Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key.TM: Do you find stoicism and these kinds of ideas help you on the track?BK: I really like Holiday’s Obstacle is the Way concept. I hate to over-endorse stoicism, but I do like the concept of that which is your hardest to do is what you should double down on and appreciate. Obstacle is the Way is my favorite book from him. But that whole concept is really strong. Because a lot of people run from pain. Over time you start to realize that pain is your body flushing out weakness.TM: What track are you least excited for in the playoffs?BK: That’s interesting. Probably the Charlotte Roval. Yeah, a lot of wrecks there. That’s going to be a grueling race.TM: What was your first personal car?BK: 1994 Chrysler LeBaron. A hand-me-down from my mom.TM: If you could stick a quote or saying or something for everyone to see on a giant billboard somewhere, what would it be?BK: Oh, wow. I only get one quote? That’s a lot of pressure. “Good is the enemy of great.”Team PenskeTM: What’s it like with two teammates in the playoffs? How do you think that’s all gonna play out? Do you guys work together?BK: Yeah, there are definitely opportunities to work together. It’s co-op-etition. We’re stronger together than we are apart, although all three of us can’t win. So you come together, you come apart, we come together, you come apart. In the end, we’re better together.TM: Do you find it tough sometimes to get critiqued on social media, Facebook, blogs, wherever it is or do you put it in the back of your mind and keep driving?BK: I’ve gotten used to the point that no matter what I do, it’s wrong by somebody. So it’s not that you don’t care but you just build up some thick skin.TM: Any advice for kids around these days? For those looking to get into the sport, to start racing? How do you start?BK: First, don’t rush it. I see a lot of kids they get burnt out because they rush it too early. That’s probably my No. 1 piece of advice. Don’t forget your education. That’s 1a and 1b. E-sports is a good place to get started. Maybe that’s No. 2. Start in e-sports. Next Previous 1 of 3 Team Penske Editors’ Recommendations What It’s Like to Drive a NASCAR Race Car (and Where You Can Get Behind the Wheel) Ross Collicutt/The Manual Ross Collicutt/The Manual Next Team Penske TM: How’s the Checkered Flag Foundation going? Are you still actively involved with that?BK: Yes. So we’ve got a number of programs going on at any time. So many, I can’t keep up with them. In fact, I had a board meeting last weekend. We’re deciding on grants. We’ve got a number of great programs.It feels good. You know, I’ve been given a lot in life. And I feel like with that privilege comes some responsibility to give back. I try to do what I can when I can. No one can do it all. I believe that we all can do something. And that’s kind of my guiding light at least. The foundation has helped a lot of people and it’s something that makes me proud.TM: What’s your favorite part of that work?BK: Meeting the actual people it helps. I really don’t like the meetings. I don’t really care so much for fundraising. That’s a lot of work. I’d rather just meet the people. At the end of the day, they’re what it’s about. It’s easy to get lost in the noise of everything else.TM: Do you have any stories that really stick out to you from meeting people or anyone it’s helped or inspired?BK: Yeah. Meeting the quadriplegics. You know, when you think you’re having a bad day, go into a hospital and see someone with no arms or legs or both. You get some perspective real quick. I went into the hospital one time, I can’t really name names, but I met this soldier and he lost his arms and legs. And he was just clinging to life. His mom was there. And he was not conscious. But I’ll never forget, walking in there. And that person was about the same age I was and that hits your real quick, right? It’s pretty heavy stuff.You realize just how fortunate you are you do these [things] we get to do. At the end of the day, this is an entertainment sport. We’re not curing cancer. It’s quite a privilege to get to do things like this. I’m thankful for what we have. You know that that doesn’t come free.I like to support those that have or are willing to make sacrifices to allow us to do the things we do. It gets lost sometimes. We all get lost in the noise. Everybody gets lost in the noise of whatever’s going on.Things can be terrible. And don’t get me wrong, terrible things happen every day. But a lot of great things happen and they far outnumber the terrible things that happen every day and I’m thankful for that.Watch Brad advance through the final rounds of the NASCAR playoffs in the orange No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang. Ross Collicutt/The Manual 9 Best Tequilas (and 3 Mezcals) for Palomas, According to Bartenders Team PenskeLosing traction coming out of turn two at the Brickyard 400, Erik Jones starts to slide out of control. He hits Brad Keselowski in car No. 2 and sends them both slamming into the outside wall. Jones slides down the track backward without another impact but Keselowski isn’t so lucky.After the first impact, Keselowski careens across the track, narrowly missing two other cars. He slams into a narrow tire barrier in front of a concrete wall that sits nearly perpendicular to car two’s trajectory. The car ends up on top of the tire barrier nearly upside down. Keselowski is able to pop the window net and climb out.All in a day’s work for NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski.Team PenskeKeselowski is a professional NASCAR driver racing the No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang full time for Team Penske in the Monster Energy Cup and part-time in the Xfinity series, NASCAR’s “minor league.” Racing in the Xfinity series since 2004 and the Monster Energy Cup since 2010, Keselowski has won over 60 races between them. He’s one of only four drivers ever to win a championship in both.Autotrader, the massive car shopping website, is going into their sixth season sponsoring Team Penske (Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano) and is the primary racing sponsor for some of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races for 2019. When they offered the opportunity catch the first race in the playoffs in Las Vegas, we jumped.Lounging in the 100 degree heat of Las Vegas Speedway infield we chatted with Brad about racing, legacy, and his favorite shoes just before the Southpoint 400.The Manual: For physical and mental training, what’s your regimen? Does it change from race to race?Brad Keselowski: That’s a good but kind of funny question. And here’s why: I grew up watching basketball and when I was like five or six years old, Michael Jordan was like a god, not that he isn’t a god now to some people, but like that he was basketball, everything. Like LeBron is now.I grew up in the generation that if you believe it you can achieve it. I believed that one day, I was gonna dunk a basketball.And I practiced in my backyard. All summer long, one time, I didn’t get any closer to dunking a basketball. At some point in your life, you realize that there are things that you can train for. And there are things you either got, or you don’t got. Driving a race car, there’s some part of it, you can train for. Most of it, you either got it, or you don’t. And I can keep trying to dunk a basketball. It ain’t happening. And Michael Jordan one time tried to be a racer, and it didn’t happen.Ross Collicutt/The ManualSo there are certain things that I believe God’s given us and there are certain things I believe he hasn’t.Our calling in life is to find what those are and make the most of them. So I’d like to say, because it sounds cool, that I have the greatest workout program in the world. And you watch these hard knocks shows and they show Antonio Brown jumping in the water and doing all this crazy stuff. But the reality is at some point, you either got it, or you don’t. And the preparation mentally and physically that you do, it’s really more like housekeeping. You’re not going to build the house. You can keep it clean. And so I believe that from that perspective, that’s my guiding light to training. I don’t like to get into any specifics, because I feel like that’s always foolish to do. I don’t want to really teach my competition. I want to beat him. And so that’s my guiding principle.TM: Off the track, what are your hobbies and favorite things to do when you’re not driving?BK: Well, I like to read a lot. You’ll probably find me reading. I like video games a lot. I like boats. So I have those three things.TM: Powerboats, sailboats?BK: Ski boats.TM: Yeah, wakeboard or slalom?BK: So I’m a driver. I drive. Yeah, I don’t actually wake surf. I like to pull people, though. How to Buy a Suit: 6 Simple Tips to Keep in Mind How to Put Out a Fire Without Hurting Yourself in the Process 1 of 3 Team Penske A Breakdown of All the Major Types of Car Racing
Understanding Diets and Dieting with Shawn Wells An Astronomically Fun Chat About Space and Wine With a Winemaker and Former Physicist Learning All About Aquavit with Christian Krogstad The Manual Spirit Awards 2019: Redux Talking Rum, Cocktails, and Tiki with The Bamboo Room’s Kevin Beary Editors’ Recommendations If you ever have a question or comment for The Manual Podcast folks, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org — we’re always around! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can join the discussion.Further ReadingThe Best Fresh Hop Beers to Celebrate the Hop HarvestGet to Know 6 New Types of Beer HopsWhat Are Hops? A Deep Dive Into the Beer Essential with Jim Koch of Sam AdamsHow to Start Homebrewing, According to a Homebrewer Markus SpiskeWhich new bourbon are we pumped about? What does it take to be a master journeyman? Where are we excited to travel to next? Each week, The Manual Podcast invites an expert, artisan, or craftsman for a roundtable discussion on what’s new, exciting, and unique in their trade.For this week’s episode of The Manual Podcast, Nicole and Greg chat with Parker Hall, staff writer for The Manual’s brother site, Digital Trends.You may recognize Parker’s name from a previous episode of The Manual Podcast. Sure, Parker’s day job is writing about all the coolest new tech, but one of his passions is beer. Parker is a renowned homebrewer and expert on all things hoppy.The Manual is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, which is conveniently located in one of the richest regions for growing hops. This flowering plant, which produces deliciously the bitter little nuggets that are one of the main ingredients of beer, offers one coveted harvest in the fall. While the bulk of these hops will be dried and distributed to breweries around the world to use all year long, the harvest has big brewers and local operations alike scrambling to score the freshest batch to use in their next beers. The result? Well, it’s what Parker calls the “magic sauce” — fresh hop beers are seasonal delights that come in many different styles, from the somewhat obvious IPAs and ales to more interesting lagers.To learn all about fresh hops and how these flavor bombs are incorporated into beer, you’re going to have to hear it from Parker directly. The bottom line, though, is that you need to try a fresh hop beer ASAP.