Donald Trump’s TelePrompter Is Trying To Tell Us Something

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Neo-fascist candidate for president Donald Trump speaks at a rally in High Point, North Carolina on Tuesday (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

When the robot uprising happens, I don’t know which side Donald Trump’s TelePrompter will be on. But I can’t help but think that at the very least Trump’s TelePrompter is currently trying to tell us something. This photo was taken earlier today at a rally in North Carolina.

What are you trying to say, little TelePrompter? Is it a warning? A message from the future? Spit it out. Should we be concerned?

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Accessory for prosthetic limbs lets users interact directly with digital media

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When someone has lost a hand, particularly the dominant one, it can be a real challenge to do the simple clicks and drags that all of us take for granted on our desktops and laptops. A German design team has created a device to remedy this, detecting signals from the user’s remaining muscles and translating them into common digital gestures.

Even the best prosthetics lack the fine motor control that allows for efficient operation of mice made for smaller, more pliable digits. And forget about holding a mouse steady between thumb and finger while using a third to scroll.

This isn’t just an annoyance; with computer use critical to practically every job now, having a prosthesis entails a great deal of retraining or workplace accommodation, neither of which many employers are likely to relish (equal opportunity hiring notwithstanding).

shortcut-prosthesis-2

Shortcut — you’ll forgive these Germans their dark sense of humor — removes the necessity of physically performing those tiny movements. Instead, the user equips the inside wrist of their prosthesis with a watch-like wristband. This has an optical sensor in it, and acts like a wireless mouse when the user moves their prosthetic around.

But further up the arm is the clever bit. Some prosthetics use a muscle signal detection wristband akin to the Myo to identify a number of gestures — making a fist, raising the hand up, pointing — that the user still remembers the “feel” of. They can activate that gesture by attempting to do it, and the latent muscle signals created as their limb attempts to do so are detected and passed on to the prosthetic, which will itself recreate that motion.

The Shortcut team instead maps these movements to mouse gestures while the accessory is active. Imagine making a quick pinching motion, and the muscles in your arm will twitch in predictable fashion, which the software sends on to the computer as a click. Pinch with your second finger and it’s a right click. Scroll up and down by bending your wrist.

These motions are familiar; at the tips of our fingers, so to speak. They simply have no fingers to act on. So repurposing them in this way is both ingenious and practical.

The team prototyped the device with a 3D printed case and wired Arduino, but the final product should be wireless — who wants to plug in their arm while they work? The designers, David Kaltenbach, Lucas Rex and Maximilian Mahal, are design grad students at Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin. Shortcut won them the STARTS prize, awarded by Ars Electronica. I’ve asked the team for a little more information on where the project is going, and will update this post if they get back to me.

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Did An Unknown Hiker Just Break Every A.T. Record?

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Her story seems inconceivable. She has no GPS tracking and is an unknown in the world of record-breaking thru-hikes. But this weekend, on the heels of Karl Meltzer, Kaiha Bertollini trekked to the top of Springer Mountain at the southern end of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and proclaimed a world record time of 45 days, 6 hours, and 28 minutes.

Kaiha Bertollini

And she says she did it self-supported.

kaiha bertollini at record

If her claims hold up, Kaiha “Wildcard Ninja” Bertollini just broke every record ever set on the Appalachian Trail. Not only would this be the fastest self-supported through-hike of the A.T. (beating Heather “Anish” Anderson’s 2015 record of 54 days), but it even tops every supported hike (beating ultra-running legend Karl Meltzer’s day-old record of 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes).

We reached out and spoke with Bertollini today, and she provided some insights into her endeavor. While the verdict is still out among the A.T. community as to the veracity of her claims, her story is incredible, and it begins with a sexual assault in 2010.

Meltzer trains for his second attempt at the Appalachian Trail thru-hike speed record / Red Bull Media House
Ultra-Runner Karl Meltzer Breaks Appalachian Trail Record

It took 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes, but today (Sunday, September 18, 2016) ultra-runner Karl Meltzer broke the record for the fastest supported thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Read more…

No GPS Tracking

Why would a hiker with the goal of setting a through-hike record not carry a GPS? In her own words, Bertollini said she didn’t know she needed one. Her goal at the outset was 53 days (as she posted on Facebook on August 2). That time would have beaten Anderson’s and opened her FKT attempt to public scrutiny.

hoka on the at

But finishing faster than Meltzer was not in her original plan, and her hike will certainly raise more eyebrows, and questions, as the world begins to peer into her undertaking.

Bertollini did not leave the virtual trail of breadcrumbs marking her path. What she may have left is a trail of evidence, the stops at shelters and hostels along the way, and her meetings with other hikers on the path.

She also leaves photos posted to social media – some marked with geolocations – that record her existence along the trail this summer.

Hiking Against Sexual Assault

Record or not, Bertollini’s story is interesting.

It all starts in 2010. According to Bertollini’s blog, Hike for Our Lives:

In 2010 while I was serving in the military I was sexually assaulted by multiple men in my unit while stationed at Fort Stewart Army Base in Hinesville, GA. The events of that night forever changed the way I connect with the world around me. However, with time the events from that night also lead me down a path of self-empowerment, self-love, and self-respect that no one will ever be able to take from me again. Although, some things will never be the same. I am no longer afraid to speak out against sexual assault and oppression of any kind. Standing up for all of our rights to exist.

She was discharged from the Army on March 2, 2012. She then continued to battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on by the sexual assault, she said.

“That whole part of my life, trying to work, moving to Atlanta from Savannah. Dealing with PTSD. I was arrested twice, but the charges were dropped. It was a dark time for me,” she said on Monday.

Then she hit rock bottom.

“In 2015, it was a shitty year,” she said. “I lost my dog, lost my job. I’d worked hard to become financially secure, but when I lost my job, I lost everything.”

And then, on New Year’s Eve, she met a thru-hiker for the first time.

“A friend introduced me to another friend who had just done a SoBo hike,” she said. “We talked all night about the trail. He had that trail sparkle that most thru-hikers do. I had nothing holding me back. I asked my mom if she’d watch my dog. My friend held onto my clothes, which was all I had.”

“Told the bank to repo my truck, and left it in Pearisburg, VA.”

And that was the start of her journey.

A Hike South, Then North, Then South Again

From there, she hiked to the A.T.’s southern terminus for the first time, covering 180 miles of Virginia.

Kaiha Bertollini hiker

“I was just going to walk to Georgia,” she said. “As I was hiking, I was like, I want to finish! I get disability, but it’s not enough to live on at home. It is enough to live on on the AT.”

She reached the southern terminus in early March, then headed back north after catching a ride with a trail angel named Sparky up to Pearisburg, where she’d originally started, to finish the rest of the miles to the terminus in Maine.

“I was going north and there was nobody out there. I was by myself for like 9 days,” she said.

She arrived at the top of Katahdin in Maine on August 4. She said those five months on the trail hardened her for the return south in which she made this proclaimed record time.

“That was mile-zero for myself,” she said of the turn around from north to south that through-hikers call a Yo-Yo. “I just turned around and went for it.”

What’s This AT Record Hoopla, Anyway?

For the uninitiated, the Appalachian Trail is a 2,190-mile trail that stretches from the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia.

While most hikers take several months to hike the length of the trail, called a thru-hike, each year a few folks set out to dash the trail as fast as possible.

It’s important to note that the ATC, the management organization of the trail, does not recognize any speed records. These are unofficially kept by hikers and fans. Those who do try for records tend to build evidence of their achievements in a variety of ways. They often list their intentions on bulletins like Fastest Known Times billboard and carry SPOT or similar GPS tracking devices through the trips.

Photos taken on the route, and eyewitness accounts, add to the credibility of the story.

Bertollini is now relying on those who met her on the trail to verify her claims.

“Hostels that did mail drops can verify that I did it,” she said. A friend who’s hiked the AT previously sent mail drops to Bertollini, who used that food, and food purchased along the way, to complete the southward trek.

Little Outside Help

In the world of thru-hiking, most do it on their own, in “self-supported” fashion, by shipping food to drop points. Others — mostly athletes hoping to set a record or run a super fast pace — hike with a crew who brings their food and gear. That method is considered “supported.”

Bertollini hiked self-supported, which makes her blistering pace all the more remarkable, and also questionable. Her only outside help came from trail angels, people who pass out small items or favors to anyone hiking the big distances.

kaiha bertollini appalachian trail
Topless in celebration at the southern terminus of the trail

“I had some trail angels leave things along the way like trail magic,” she said. People who knew where I would be by my mileage and left stuff. Calamine lotion for poison ivy. I had stinging nettles, which I thought was poison ivy.”

She claims to have hiked steadily, sleeping only when exhausted. This equates to just a few hours a day, in two- to three-hour segments.

“Walking all day or night on very little sleep, after so many days and nights, I just couldn’t sleep. I’d walk until I was literally so exhausted that sleep took over,” she said. “I did it by myself. Hoka donated four pairs of shoes. Zpacks donated a shelter, because I didn’t have one on me.”

On Meltzer’s Heels

Ultra-running legend Karl Meltzer was just a day or two in front of Bertollini as she made her way down the trail, and she said she was very aware of his presence.

bertollini

“I’ve been trying to catch that S.O.B. the whole time,” she said. “I had this fantasy that I would catch his crew. He summited a day before me” at the southern end.

Bertollini never did catch Meltzer, but if her time holds up, she did beat him, even though she had no crew to speak of.

We reached out to Meltzer, and to Scott Jurek, a renowned ultra-runner who set the previous A.T. supported record and served on Meltzer’s crew, for comment. Neither men had responded by the time of publication, but we will update this story with comment if they respond.

Heather “Anish” Anderson did respond to our email, as Bertollini said she did to her email as well:

I don’t know anything about her, so I can’t really comment on the authenticity of her claims. However, it would be quite an incredible feat to hike the AT unsupported in a faster time than Karl Meltzer’s current supported time (45 days 22 hours). GPS documentation is pretty essential for situations like this.

Indeed it is. Furthermore, Fastest Known Time guidelines followed by many athletes have been in place for some time. They include stating intentions publicly, and with current record holders, inviting public participation, and meticulous record keeping.

Bertollini did state her intention, on her website.

On August 4, 2016 after completing a Northbound hike from Georgia to Andover, ME, I will turn around and complete a Southbound thru-hike in less than 90 days, but also attempt to break the record and fastest known time of fifty-four days and seven hours set by Heather “Anish” Anderson last year. This will be the hardest thing I have ever attempted to do physically and mentally. I hope my story gives others the courage and strength to speak out publicly against sexual assaults, rape culture, and gender inequality. I want to create a bridge that connects these victims to the positive benefits of fitness as a lifestyle and permaculture and the tools offered to them while they seek their own paths towards self-empowerment, love, and respect.

Thus, some elements of Bertollini’s are easily verifiable. Others, most notably her specific track through GPS hard data, are impossible.

“Hostels that did mail drops can verify that I did it,” Bertollini said.

Lonely On The Trail

appalachian trail record

While well-known athletes like Meltzer and Jurek meet fans on the route and are supported by sponsors like Red Bull and Clif Bar, respectively, Bertollini was mostly alone out there.

“I’m an introvert. I have a hard time with attention, I really do. I was hoping to deflect it to the bigger issues,” she said, meaning to her Hike Of Our Lives project. “But this was loneliness that I’ve never felt before. The loneliness was really hard. I walked and cried a lot of the time. My emotions are everywhere. I’ve never felt this way before.”

End Of The Trail

Now that the hike is completed, Bertollini faces the new challenge of defending her FKT claims.

She’s put the call out on social media to ask those who saw her along the trail to come forward and validate some of her claims. With such short time between her finish and the time of publication, GearJunkie cannot verify or refute her record.

Regardless how history washes out, and whether her feat is regarded as a record, carries an asterisk, or is outright rejected, her mission to give victims the courage and strength to speak out publicly against sexual assaults, rape culture, and gender inequality appears well intentioned.

“I don’t view myself as a professional athlete, this is something I did to raise awareness of a bigger issue,” she said, adding that she thinks the community of people she met on the AT will verify her claims. “I’ve never felt so supported in my life. I feel like everybody has my back for the most part. Everything is as documented as I could get it and still be able to walk.”

We’ll be following Bertollini’s story, and we hope to hear from others with insights into the endeavor.

The post Did An Unknown Hiker Just Break Every A.T. Record? appeared first on GearJunkie.

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The 25 coolest new businesses in New York City

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2x1 coolest new businesses in nycSpacious is a coworking startup that makes use of New York’s abundance of empty restaurants.Hollis Johnson/Samantha Lee/Business Insider

New York City is known around the world for its diversity in food, culture, shopping, and recreation. But what truly makes it a standout city are the small businesses that bring its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to life.

We’ve scoured the city to spotlight some of the coolest small businesses founded within the last three years.

From a pencil collector’s paradise to a hip coworking community space to a chromotherapy spa, here are 25 of New York’s coolest new businesses:

App of Joe

Select locations around Manhattan

What it is: An app for scoring $1 coffee around the city.

Why it’s cool: Frequent visits to your local coffee shop for a $2 or $3 coffee can add up — especially if you’re ditching the commercial chains for indie spots. The folks behind App of Joe, an iOS and Android app that launched in June, offer a membership-free solution: You can order tea and drip coffee for a flat fee of $1 and “fancy drinks” like a latte, macchiato, or cappuccino for $2 from indie coffee shops — currently about 20 — around Manhattan.

Archestratus

160 Huron St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn

What it is: A combination cafe and bookstore that only sells books about food.

Why it’s cool: Inspired by her Sicilian grandparents, Paige Lipari, a former rare-books seller, wanted to open a shop that combined her love of books and food. In fall 2013, she opened Archestratus.

The book selection at Archestratus — named after an ancient Sicilian poet — includes cookbooks as well as fiction and nonfiction books inspired by food. Its cafe offers Sicilian-inspired pastries and dishes like rice balls. Archestratus also holds a number of workshops, cooking classes, and other weekly events.

Common

Williamsburg and Crown Heights, Brooklyn

What it is: A co-living community with full amenities.

Why it’s cool: Common opened its first shared living space — dorm-style living for working adults — in Crown Heights last fall and has since opened two more locations in Brooklyn as well as one in San Francisco. In the past year, the company has received over 5,000 applicants looking for a room in one of its community-minded residencies.

Rent commonly runs upward of $1,500, though that includes all fees and utilities. The houses also come fully furnished and fit anywhere from 19 to 50 people.

But it’s not just about finding a living space — Common encourages its members to build a strong community and get to know their roommates. Each household has member-led events like potlucks, wellness events, and book clubs.

CoolMess

137 E. 62nd St., Upper East Side, Manhattan

What it is: A make-your-own ice cream shop.

Why it’s cool: Marguerite Loucas came up with the concept of CoolMess after struggling to find something fun to do with her three kids. She wanted something interactive that they wouldn’t get sick of. Already in the restaurant business — her family owns the 70-year-old burger mini-chain Burger Heaven — Loucas opened CoolMess in January 2016.

At the ice cream machine on their table, a customer chooses a liquid ice cream base, then adds toppings — anything from cookie dough to cherries to pound cake — and mixes it all in the machine for eight minutes to produce their concoction. If you’re feeling lazy, you can choose from the shop’s predesigned “Messipes.”

CW Pencil Enterprise

100A Forsyth St., Lower East Side, Manhattan

What it is: A carefully curated pencil shop.

Why it’s cool: Established as an online store in late 2014, CW Pencil Enterprise opened a brick-and-mortar shop in 2015 to cater to the quiet but mighty pencil-loving community.

Caroline Weaver — a pencil connoisseur and the shop’s millennial founder — is as invested in the design and functionality of pencils as she is the stories behind them, from the traditional Ticonderogas to replicas of John Steinbeck’s favorite writing utensil.

Dank Banana Bread

Based in Brooklyn, available throughout New York

What it is: Preservative-free, vegan banana bread.

Why it’s cool: Caitlin Makary started Dank Banana Bread as an accident. As an avid rock climber, Makary would make her own banana bread to bring on climbing trips. Her friends loved the bread, so she decided to start a business.

Dank Banana Bread is made out of a kitchen in Bushwick but is available at a number of coffee shops around the city. To eliminate waste, the company uses bikes to make deliveries, and the banana bread is stored in reusable bakery boxes. It comes in two flavors, original and chocolate, and is made without preservatives — the ingredients are all listed on the company’s site.

Freehold

45 S. 3rd St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn

What it is: A coworking playground modeled after a hotel lobby.

Why it’s cool: Opened in August 2015, Freehold is a multiuse community space that comprises a restaurant and bar, coffee shop, and workspace that’s a hotspot both day and night.

The space is designed to look and feel like a hotel lobby with couches, tables, a concierge desk, and a bar, but there’s also ample outdoor space, complete with AstroTurf and a ping-pong table.

French Cheese Board

41 Spring St., SoHo, Manhattan

What it is: A cheese concept shop.

Why it’s cool: A cheese-lover’s paradise, French Cheese Board doesn’t only sell cheese — everything in the store is inspired by cheese, from the art to the cookware to the books. The space was engineered by two French designers, Ich&Kar, and is both a boutique and event space.

Customers can stop by to pick up a piece of its rotating selection of French cheeses like Brie or raclette for $8 to $10. It also hosts a number of events, like wine and cheese pairings and Sunday brunches.

Heatonist

121 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn

What it is: A hot sauce shop with a tasting room.

Why it’s cool: Heatonist founder Noah Chaimberg loves hot sauce so much, he wanted to open a place where people could try it before they buy it. Heatonist was founded in 2013, when Chaimberg would have tastings at local events. He created a web presence, and in April, Heatonist opened its first storefront.

Heatonist offers hot sauces from more than 20 makers in four intensities, ranging from mild to hottest. Those looking for something a little more exotic can find hot sauces in flavors such as pineapple, carrot, and blueberry.

HigherDOSE

21 E. 1st St., NoHo, Manhattan

What it is: A spa treatment with benefits that may make you feel “high.”

Why it’s cool: HigherDOSE — DOSE stands for dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins — offers an infrared spa treatment that’s described as a workout, facial, acupuncture, and massage all in one.

The offerings include 30- to 60-minute sauna sessions that help burn calories, detoxify, reduce inflammation and pain, and enable antiaging. Some say the combination of these benefits makes them feel “high.”

Each glass-and-wood sauna has six colors of infrared light to choose from — a form of chromotherapy — and a spot for charging your phone and playing music. Individual sessions start at $45.

Hometeam

Online, available throughout New York City

What it is: An online service that pairs elderly patients with skilled caretakers in the area.

Why it’s cool: The company’s vetted team of caretakers charge $20 to $27 per hour and aim to make patients feel comfortable while enabling them and their families to monitor their health through simple, easy-to-use technology. Hometeam’s streamlined software records and tracks clients’ health plans and mood via iPads, and it enables caretakers to send text and photo updates to family members.

Ice and Vice

221 E. Broadway, Lower East Side, Manhattan

What it is: An innovative ice cream shop that’ll introduce you to flavors you didn’t know existed.

Why it’s cool: A playful addition to New York’s dessert scene, Ice and Vice opened its storefront last year after garnering a loyal following as a mobile vendor.

The shop’s rotating seasonal flavors are delicious, if not bizarre, including Rose Jam (crème fraîche and rose-petal jam) and Tico Time (pink guava and chili-lime plantain chip). Even its “basic” flavors are funky, like the Basic B (Mexican vanilla and black lava sea salt) and Tea Dance (Nilgiri tea leaf, lemon charcoal, and salted caramel).

ImaxShift

127 Plymouth St., Dumbo, Brooklyn

What it is: A spinning class taught in front of an Imax screen.

Why it’s cool: ImaxShift offers 45-minute classes in front of a huge Imax screen. Riders can pedal through space or glide over the Hawaii coastline and feel like they’re truly there. The visuals match the beat of the music, which is played through surround-sound speakers.

The 50-seat studio opened in May 2016, and classes cost $34 each. If a particular musical artist or type of music gets you pumped to work out, ImaxShift also offers themed rides, like the Beyoncé Ride or Music Video Ride.

Momofuku Nishi

232 8th Ave., Chelsea, Manhattan

What it is: David Chang’s first restaurant on Manhattan’s West Side.

Why it’s cool: Momofuku Nishi opened in January, serving up adventurous dishes that take inspiration from both Asian and Italian cuisines. But its buzziest offering is the Impossible Burger, a faux-meat hamburger made of plants that’s distributed by a company called Impossible Foods and available exclusively at Nishi.

Chang also recently launched a Momofuku food delivery app called Ando, named after the man who invented instant ramen noodles.

Outdoor Voices

199 Lafayette St., SoHo, Manhattan

What it is: An activewear company that strives to be different.

Why it’s cool: Outdoor Voices is doing things — at least that’s what the company’s bright blue baseball caps say.

Founded by Tyler Haney, a former Parsons School of Design student, Outdoor Voices wants its customers to be at ease while working out in its clothes — not like other athletic brands that advertise stronger, better, faster workout performance.

Though Outdoor Voices originally opened in Austin in 2014, the company set up shop in NYC last year. The clothes come in subdued colors like black, gray, and navy, and are meant fit into the wearer’s everyday wardrobe. Outdoor Voices collaborated with the French ready-to-wear brand APC on a collection featured during New York Fashion Week.

Overnight

Mobile app, available in New York and other select cities

What it is: An Airbnb-like app that allows people to rent rooms last-minute.

Why it’s cool: For travelers who find themselves needing to book a room quickly, Overnight’s app aims to help. The app debuted this year in Austin but has since become available in New York and San Francisco. The options range anywhere from a shared accommodation (like a couch or a futon) to a private room to an entire house.

It’s simple to use: A guest finds accommodations based on their location, and once they send a request, the host has 10 minutes to respond — if they don’t, the next available rental is shown. Guests are able to pay within the app, and all of the hosts are verified by Overnight. The rates are pretty cheap, too — private rooms can go for $70 to $80, and houses can go for $150.

Pintrill

231 Grand St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn

What it is: A pin collector’s paradise.

Why it’s cool: Pintrill started as a website in 2014 but opened its first store this spring. Its owner, Jordan Roschwalb, started the business hoping it would be a place for pin collectors to meet and share their enthusiasm about the tiny trinkets.

But these pins at Pintrill aren’t your average brooches. Some are cheeky, like the For Prez pack, an ode to a theoretical Kanye West bid for presidency. Pintrill also collaborated with companies like Shake Shack and Levi’s to create designs. A single pin can cost about $15.

Rialto Jean Project

206 Front St., Lower Manhattan

What it is: A charitable denim brand.

Why it’s cool: Rialto Jean Project’s “Denim Doing Good” platform creates stylish, vintage jeans. The best part?  A portion of the sales from the South Street Seaport concept shop — which relocated to New York after it was founded in Los Angeles in 2013 — and other high-end retailers around the city go to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and New York Presbyterian Child Life Services.

Saint Seneca

799 Cypress Ave., Ridgewood, Queens

What it is: A gift shop featuring items curated from local designers and craftmakers.

Why it’s cool: Jewelry and clothing designer Yuka Anziano opened Saint Seneca because she wanted to shine a light on the talent the Ridgewood area has to offer. The store opened in fall 2015 and derives its name from the two avenues it’s located between.

At Saint Seneca, you can find a gift for just about anyone — babies, parents, friends, or significant others. The boutique has handmade products from over 40 artists that include leather-bound books, pillows, toys, jewelry, and even pet products.

Spacious

Select locations in Manhattan

What it is: A startup that partners with “beautifully designed” restaurants to rent their unused space to independent workers.

Why it’s cool: Users can get daytime access to coworking spaces — restaurants that don’t open until the dinner hour — for $95/month or $29 for a one-day pass. Each setup includes Wi-Fi, gourmet coffee, tea, refreshments, and charging stations. Soon those restaurants will offer small eats and a lunch menu.

Ultimately, the startup aims to improve food culture by helping restaurants with high rents and by allowing chefs to innovate and experiment, while also offering freelancers a reprieve from the city’s crowded coffee shops.

Strong Rope Brewery

574A President St., Gowanus, Brooklyn

What it is: A taproom pouring 10 exclusive brews.

Why it’s cool: Strong Rope Brewery owner Jason Sahler started brewing beer 13 years ago just for fun. After he won a home brewing competition in 2011, he decided to open a brewhouse in a former pickle factory in Gowanus.

Strong Rope has 10 beers on tap — eight of which are Sahler’s own concoctions and aren’t available anywhere outside of the taproom. Strong Rope believes it’s important to support the New York community, so the brewery gets all its ingredients from farms and malthouses in the state. Those who want to visit the brewery on a Saturday can do a tour and tasting for $5.

Syndicated

40 Bogart St., Bushwick, Brooklyn

What it is: A laid-back bar, restaurant, and movie theater.

Why it’s cool: Tickets are just $3 for a movie showing at Syndicated, which screens new and old indie hits and cult favorites three times a day.

The space also serves elevated pub fare made with local and seasonal ingredients. Guests can order finger food in the theater or eat in the dining area or bar, which also has two large projectors.

Tasting Collective

Select locations throughout Manhattan

What it is: A private membership community for attending chef-led dinners around the city.

Why it’s cool: For $199 per year, plus discounted meals, members have access to bimonthly, closed-restaurant dinners with a multicourse menu curated and presented by each restaurant’s chef. Members also get benefits and discounts at partner restaurants and select food-related brands.

The Last Word

31-30 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, Queens

What it is: A speakeasy hidden behind a hardware store.

Why it’s cool: Don’t be fooled by the entrance to The Last Word. If you can get past the hammers and rakes, you’ll find a 1920s-inspired speakeasy. The bar is filled with antique leather couches and huge red velvet curtains. Though there’s no sign of the bar’s name anywhere on the outside, it’s slyly etched into ice cubes and branded on orange peels.

The Last Word’s drinks menu is split into four sections — House Words, Easy Drinking, Feeling Adventurous, and Know Your Spirits — and offers a bevy of drink options made with gin, bourbon, whiskey, and rum.

Tornado Crepe

1808 Weirfield St., Ridgewood, Queens

What it is: Easy-to-hold crepes.

Why it’s cool: At Tornado Crepe, the French pancakes are served in cone-shaped containers and filled to the brim with sweet or savory fillings. Sweet crepes like The Tornado are filled with ingredients like crushed Oreos and marshmallows, while savory crepes bear names like The Shrimp Avocado or The Sausage.

Owner Mike Zhao puts his own spin on the crepes by including popular Chinese ingredients like sesame and green tea. Tornado Crepe also serves bubble tea, milkshakes, and slushies. For lunch, it offers a crepe and bubble tea for $7.50.

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Graphene key to promising treatment for spinal cord injuries

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Graphene seems to have almost limitless potential, from making better batteries to night-vision windshields and microscopic sensors. And now, a team at Rice University has shown the material could be key to a promising new treatment for severe spinal cord injuries.

Previous work has shown graphene can stimulate the growth of neurons, while polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been used with limited success to heal damaged spinal cords in animals. Building on this, researchers at the university used their chemistry knowhow to combine graphene nanoribbons (stripped from larger carbon nanotubes) with PEG to produce Texas-PEG. The amazing thing about this new material is that it acts as a much more potent "conductive scaffold," promoting the two ends of a severed spinal cord to repair and reconnect. Importantly, this isn’t just theoretical.

In an animal study involving a rat with a severed spinal cord, treatment with Texas-PEG restored some function within just 24 hours. After two weeks, the same rat was well on its way to a full recovery, displaying "almost perfect motor control." We’re still aways from translating this early research into an available treatment for spinal cord injuries in humans, but as the Rice release describes it, Texas-PEG’s potential "is too promising to be minimized."

There is already a heap of incredible work being done by doctors, researchers and engineers to restore the function of paralyzed limbs and improve the quality of life of patients — implants, electrical stimulation, exoskeletons and virtual reality therapy being a few examples. And, if new treatments come along that can help repair spinal cord damage soon after injury, all the better.

Source: Rice University

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The house in ‘Ex Machina’ is actually a stunning hotel in Norway — take a look inside

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Juvet 25_architecture_©.jpg

In the 2015 film "Ex Machina," a neurotic tech billionaire creates an artificially intelligent humanoid robot inside his mansion in the woods.

In real life, the mansion isn’t even a home at all — it’s the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldal, Norway.

The surrounding nature is an integral part of the experience of staying at Juvet, which is tucked inside a rural village surrounded by mountains and a river.

Keep scrolling for a tour of the hotel, which costs about $200 a night.

SEE ALSO: A woman built this charming ‘Hobbit house’ inspired by ‘The Lord of the Rings’

The Juvet Hotel is made up of nine wood-paneled pods scattered throughout the woods, owner Knut Slinning tells Business Insider. Two guests can stay in each pod.

To reach some of the pods, guests need to traverse this curved, steel bridge that hovers above the rapids.

Every room (except the bathroom and bedroom) in the pods has floor-to-ceiling windows. The transparent walls are angled in different directions, maximizing privacy.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Bro With Balls The Size Of Mars Straps On A GoPro And Jumps From 5th Story Balcony Into Tiny/Shallow Pool

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If you were to come to me on a Saturday and be like ‘Hey Cass, let’s grab the GoPros and go jump off a bridge’ I’d most likely be on board, assuming that the bridge isn’t high enough that impact on the water would break my legs and/or kill me. I’ve always been into jumping off cliffs, bridges, rope swings, whatever. But if you were to come to me and be like ‘Yo! Cass! I’ve got this 5th floor balcony we can jump off into a tiny ass pool and the deep end really isn’t deep at all!’ I’d probably tell you to fuck right off, because I have zero interest in fracturing my coccyx or breaking my ankles, depending on how I landed.

Here’s another one from the same jumper just to give you a clear picture of how insane this bro is:

I don’t know what the aftermath of these videos are, if the jumper sustained any injuries, but he did stick the landing and he climbed up there with relative ease. According to the video’s description, this pool is somewhere in Laguna Beach, California, one of the most picturesque towns in America. Beyond that, I really don’t have any concrete details to share with you bros.

…For more ‘Laguna Jump’ videos you can head on over to The Daily Dot!…

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New research shows turmeric’s potential health benefits

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Just as kale emerged from produce-aisle obscurity and wound up in seemingly every salad, smoothie and snack on the planet, turmeric is enjoying a gourmet breakout moment all its own.

The raw plant, which looks like a ginger root, is often ground into a brilliant yellowish-orange powder to add colorful pizzaz to South Asian dishes, such as vegetable curries or chicken tikka masala. 

But health-conscious (and trend-obsessed) diners are increasingly adding the spice to their lattes, cold-pressed juices and other edibles to tap into turmeric’s purported anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.

A recent experiment by the BBC’s Trust Me, I’m A Doctor TV series — conducted with Britain’s leading health researchers — suggests some of the health claims around turmeric may hold some weight.

Turmeric has been used in non-Western medicine for thousands of years to improve blood circulation and digestion. But the scientific evidence supporting how turmeric (and its color-giving compound curcumin) actually boost human health is still relatively new. 

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that may help fight cancer, at least in rodents.

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that may help fight cancer, at least in rodents.

Image: ob Fila/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images

Studies pointing to turmeric’s cancer-fighting properties have mainly been conducted with rodents, using unrealistically high doses of the spice.

Researchers found that "in rats exposed to cancer-causing substances, those that were treated with turmeric were protected from colon, stomach, and skin cancers," according to a summary of turmeric’s potential health benefits by Memorial Sloan Kettering, one of the top U.S. cancer centers. 

"Turmeric also stops the replication of tumor cells when applied directly to them in the laboratory, but it is unknown if this effect occurs in the human body," the summary said. 

Few experiments have been done on humans with real-world doses, according to the BBC report.

Working with the top researchers, the hosts of the BBC program recruited 100 volunteers for their turmeric test, then divided participants into three groups. 

Whole turmeric in the spice market, Old Delhi, India

Whole turmeric in the spice market, Old Delhi, India

Image: Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

One group was asked to consume a teaspoon of turmeric every day for six weeks, ideally mixed within their food, such as warm milk or yogurt. The second group was asked to swallow a supplement containing a teaspoon of turmeric. A third group took a placebo pill.

To analyze their results, the BBC team turned to Dr. Martin Widschwendter, who heads the women’s cancer department at University College, London and is studying how cancers form.

In previous studies unrelated to the turmeric research, Dr. Widschwendter and his team  compared tissue samples taken from women with and without breast cancer. They found that a change happens to the DNA of a person’s cells well before the cells turn cancerous. The process, called DNA methylation, acts like a "dimmer switch" that turns the activity of a gene up or down, the BBC reported. 

Turmeric also has a religious connotation and has been used for centuries in India as a purification agent.

Turmeric also has a religious connotation and has been used for centuries in India as a purification agent.

Trust Me, I’m A Doctor asked Dr. Widschwendter to test the DNA methylation patterns of the 100 volunteers’ blood cells at the start and end of the turmeric experiment, to see if it would reveal any change in their risk of cancer, allergies and other diseases.

The doctor reported that, perhaps unsurprisingly, no changes occurred in the group that took the placebo pill. The group that took the turmeric supplement pill also didn’t show any difference.

"But the group who mixed turmeric powder into their food — there we saw quite substantial changes," Dr. Widschwendter told the BBC. 

"We found one particular gene which showed the biggest difference," the doctor said, adding that the gene is thought to be involved in a handful of diseases, such as depression, asthma, eczema and cancer. 

"This is a really striking finding,” Dr. Widschwendter said.

The experiment by Trust Me, I’m A Doctor is far from conclusive, and more research will be needed to confirm their findings.

Still, the program suggests that steeping turmeric root for some tea or dashing the bright powder on your eggs won’t be totally for naught. 

Patients undergoing chemotherapy, however, should ask their doctor before taking turmeric. Recent lab findings suggest it could inhibit the anti-tumor action of chemotherapy drugs, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

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Here’s MakerBot’s bid for the future

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The other week, I spoke with the new CEO of 3D Systems. He told me that he believes the consumer 3D printing business “is not real.”  That’s not exactly the vote of confidence one is looking for when talking to the head of the company that more or less created the space three decades back.

And indeed, it’s been tough going, of late. The once hyped technology has taken a pretty big hit recently, and MakerBot, its self-stylized poster child, has absorbed a lot of that blow. The last couple of years have been peppered with stories about bad earnings reports, layoffs, and a parent company that seemingly paid for the company at its peak.

This morning, CEO Jonathan Jaglom (who took the helm of the company last February) headed up a press conference at the startup’s downtown Brooklyn offices to layout MakerBot’s plan for the future. The list features two new printers, the MakerBot Replicator+ and MakerBot Replicator Mini+ — though, interestingly, in its own press material, the company didn’t exactly focus on its new devices, as evidenced by the header, “MakerBot Launches New 3D Printing Solutions for Professionals and Educators.”

That marks something of a shift for a company that has traditionally been hardware focused, born out of the hackerspace RepRap project. The Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ names are indicators that the new printers are more upgrades that full refreshes – but there are some pretty interesting enhancements on board that offer some indication of the direction in which the company is headed.

The Replicator+ has the sorts of upgrades one would expect – it’s got a 25-percent larger build volume and a 30-percent increase in print speeds. The printer is capable of finer prints than its predecessor and adopts the Smart Extruder print head that was announced in January as an upgrade to its 5th generation products, bringing more reliable prints to what has traditionally been a key failure point.

The Replicator Mini+, meanwhile, maintains the company’s focus on education. Along with the standard Replicator, the new Mini is quieter than its predecessor – 58-percent in this case, definitely a key upgrade for the classroom setting. The new Mini is also 10-percent faster than the last version. The printer will be coupled with a new educational vertical in the company’s Thingiverse online print community.

The other key aspect to all of this is price. The Replicator+ is $1,999 and the Mini+ is $999 (at least through the end of October, at which point prices will jump by a few hundred bucks) suggesting that the company is looking to stay competitive with players like XYZ, which have drastically undercut the consumer 3D printer price point.

Here’s Jaglom on today’s news, “We have gone through a cultural shift here at MakerBot over the past year, where listening and understanding the needs of our customers are cornerstones of our company. As a result, we’ve gained an in-depth understanding of the wider needs of professionals and educators that has informed our product development process.”

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These new charts show just how strongly pro-Brexit the UK press was in the run-up to the referendum

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Jack Taylor /
Stringer


UK newspapers had a “dominant pro-Leave bias” during the EU
referendum campaign — with The Daily Express carrying the most
partisan Brexit coverage — according to a study from the Reuters Institute for the
Study of Journalism (RISJ)
.

The study analysed 3,403 articles from nine national newspapers
over a four-month period until the June 23 European vote.

RISJ found that 41% of the articles analysed were
pro-Brexit, while only 27% were in favour of remaining in the
European Union.


Newspaper Brexit
Reuters Institute for the Study of
Journalism

The study also provided a breakdown of how each individual
newspaper performed during the EU referendum campaign.
Unsurprisingly, UKIP-supporting newspaper The Daily Express was
most heavily in favour of Brexit, with 76% of its articles
championing this cause.

The Daily Mail, The Sun, and The Daily Telegraph all came out in
favour of Britain leaving the EU, so again, it was no surprise to
see their output dominated by pro-Brexit articles. The Daily
Mirror, The Guardian, and The Financial Times were all on the
opposite side of the debate.

The Times came out in support of Remain, but RISJ found that
it had a “slight preponderance” to pro-Leave articles. These made
up 36% of its coverage, compared to 22% in favour of Remain.


Newspaper Brexit
Reuters Institute for the Study of
Journalism

RISJ, which conducted its study in association with PRIME
Research, also uncovered evidence that will play into theories
that the Remain camp deployed “Project Fear” during the
referendum campaign.

It concluded that pro-Remain articles “adopted a generally very
negative tone” and provided “pessimistic forecasts of a
pro-Brexit future.”

By contrast, “pro-Leave articles adopted a more positive
tone, balancing criticism of the status quo with hopeful messages
for a pro-Brexit future.”

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