This Belgian Food Pyramid Is a Handy Cheat Sheet for Healthy Eating

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There are many ways to eat healthy, but most experts would agree that candy, french fries, beer, and bacon are things to be kept to a minimum. Belgium’s new food pyramid puts those items in time out, while veggies and whole grains get the spotlight.

The result is a “realistic model that fits perfectly into the Flemish food culture” but it could work pretty well for Americans, too. (Our own version of this, MyPlate, sidesteps political issues by not naming any specific foods.) The biggest section of the Belgian pyramid is a playground for vegans: fruits and vegetables, beans, tofu, whole grain breads and pasta, nuts and seeds. Oil is in this category too. The website is in Dutch, but it kind of works to watch this video and switch the captions to Auto-Translate/English:

The next stripe includes fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs. And the point of the pyramid—still fine to eat, but “minder” (less) than the others—contains butter and red meat. And then all the stuff that you already knew was not so great for you is off in another section. Don’t think of these as part of your healthy diet, the graphic seems to say, but you know where to find them if you really can’t resist.

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The SEO Competitive Analysis Checklist

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Posted by zeehj

The SEO case for competitive analyses

“We need more links!” “I read that user experience (UX) matters more than everything else in SEO, so we should focus solely on UX split tests.” “We just need more keywords on these pages.”

If you dropped a quarter on the sidewalk, but had no light to look for it, would you walk to the next block with a street light to retrieve it? The obvious answer is no, yet many marketers get tunnel vision when it comes to where their efforts should be focused.

1942 June 3, Florence Morning News, Mutt and Jeff Comic Strip, Page 7, Florence, South Carolina. (NewspaperArchive)

Which is why I’m sharing a checklist with you today that will allow you to compare your website to your search competitors, and identify your site’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities based on ranking factors we know are important.

If you’re unconvinced that good SEO is really just digital marketing, I’ll let AJ Kohn persuade you otherwise. As any good SEO (or even keyword research newbie) knows, it’s crucial to understand the effort involved in ranking for a specific term before you begin optimizing for it.

It’s easy to get frustrated when stakeholders ask how to rank for a specific term, and solely focus on content to create, or on-page optimizations they can make. Why? Because we’ve known for a while that there are myriad factors that play into search engine rank. Depending on the competitive search landscape, there may not be any amount of “optimizing” that you can do in order to rank for a specific term.

The story that I’ve been able to tell my clients is one of hidden opportunity, but the only way to expose these undiscovered gems is to broaden your SEO perspective beyond search engine results page (SERP) position and best practices. And the place to begin is with a competitive analysis.

Competitive analyses help you evaluate your competition’s strategies to determine their strengths and weakness relative to your brand. When it comes to digital marketing and SEO, however, there are so many ranking factors and best practices to consider that can be hard to know where to begin. Which is why my colleague, Ben Estes, created a competitive analysis checklist (not dissimilar to his wildly popular technical audit checklist) that I’ve souped up for the Moz community.

This checklist is broken out into sections that reflect key elements from our Balanced Digital Scorecard. As previously mentioned, this checklist is to help you identify opportunities (and possibly areas not worth your time and budget). But this competitive analysis is not prescriptive in and of itself. It should be used as its name suggests: to analyze what your competition’s “edge” is.

Methodology

Choosing competitors

Before you begin, you’ll need to identify six brands to compare your website against. These should be your search competitors (who else is ranking for terms that you’re ranking for, or would like to rank for?) in addition to a business competitor (or two). Don’t know who your search competition is? You can use SEMRush and Searchmetrics to identify them, and if you want to be extra thorough you can use this Moz post as a guide.

Sample sets of pages

For each site, you’ll need to select five URLs to serve as your sample set. These are the pages you will review and evaluate against the competitive analysis items. When selecting a sample set, I always include:

  • The brand’s homepage,
  • Two “product” pages (or an equivalent),
  • One to two “browse” pages, and
  • A page that serves as a hub for news/informative content.

Make sure each site has equivalent pages to each other, for a fair comparison.

Scoring

The scoring options for each checklist item range from zero to four, and are determined relative to each competitor’s performance. This means that a score of two serves as the average performance in that category.

For example, if each sample set has one unique H1 tag per page, then each competitor would get a score of two for H1s appear technically optimized. However if a site breaks one (or more) of the below requirements, then it should receive a score of zero or one:

  1. One or more pages within sample set contains more than one H1 tag on it, and/or
  2. H1 tags are duplicated across a brand’s sample set of pages.

Checklist

Platform (technical optimization)

Title tags appear technically optimized. This measurement should be as quantitative as possible, and refer only to technical SEO rather than its written quality. Evaluate the sampled pages based on:

  • Only one title tag per page,
  • The title tag being correctly placed within the head tags of the page, and
  • Few to no extraneous tags within the title (e.g. ideally no inline CSS, and few to no span tags).

H1s appear technically optimized. Like with the title tags, this is another quantitative measure: make sure the H1 tags on your sample pages are sound by technical SEO standards (and not based on writing quality). You should look for:

  • Only one H1 tag per page, and
  • Few to no extraneous tags within the tag (e.g. ideally no inline CSS, and few to no span tags).

Internal linking allows indexation of content. Observe the internal outlinks on your sample pages, apart from the sites’ navigation and footer links. This line item serves to check that the domains are consolidating their crawl budgets by linking to discoverable, indexable content on their websites. Here is an easy-to-use Chrome plugin from fellow Distiller Dom Woodman to see whether the pages are indexable.

To get a score of “2” or more, your sample pages should link to pages that:

  • Produce 200 status codes (for all, or nearly all), and
  • Have no more than ~300 outlinks per page (including the navigation and footer links).

Schema markup present. This is an easy check. Using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, look to see whether these pages have any schema markup implemented, and if so, whether it is correct. In order to receive a score of “2” here, your sampled pages need:

  • To have schema markup present, and
  • Be error-free.

Quality of schema is definitely important, and can make the difference of a brand receiving a score of “3” or “4.” Elements to keep in mind are: Organization or Website markup on every sample page, customized markup like BlogPosting or Article on editorial content, and Product markup on product pages.

There is a “home” for newly published content. A hub for new content can be the site’s blog, or a news section. For instance, Distilled’s “home for newly published content” is the Resources section. While this line item may seem like a binary (score of “0” if you don’t have a dedicated section for new content, or score of “2” if you do), there are nuances that can bring each brand’s score up or down. For example:

  • Is the home for new content unclear, or difficult to find? Approach this exercise as though you are a new visitor to the site.
  • Does there appear to be more than one “home” of new content?
  • If there is a content hub, is it apparent that this is for newly published pieces?

We’re not obviously messing up technical SEO. This is partly comprised of each brand’s performance leading up to this line item (mainly Title tags appear technically optimized through Schema markup present).

It would be unreasonable to run a full technical audit of each competitor, but take into account your own site’s technical SEO performance if you know there are outstanding technical issues to be addressed. In addition to the previous checklist items, I also like to use these Chrome extensions from Ayima: Page Insights and Redirect Path. These can provide quick checks for common technical SEO errors.

Content

Title tags appear optimized (editorially). Here is where we can add more context to the overall quality of the sample pages’ titles. Even if they are technically optimized, the titles may not be optimized for distinctiveness or written quality. Note that we are not evaluating keyword targeting, but rather a holistic (and broad) evaluation of how each competitor’s site approaches SEO factors. You should evaluate each page’s titles based on the following:

H1s appear optimized (editorially). The same rules that apply to titles for editorial quality also apply to H1 tags. Review each sampled page’s H1 for:

  • A unique H1 tag per page (language in H1 tags does not repeat),
  • H1 tags that are discrete from their page’s title, and
  • H1s represent the content on the page.

Internal linking supports organic content. Here you must look for internal outlinks outside of each site’s header and footer links. This evaluation is not based on the number of unique internal links on each sampled page, but rather on the quality of the pages to which our brands are linking.

While “organic content” is a broad term (and invariably differs by business vertical), here are some guidelines:

  • Look for links to informative pages like tutorials, guides, research, or even think pieces.
    • The blog posts on Moz (including this very one) are good examples of organic content.
  • Internal links should naturally continue the user’s journey, so look for topical progression in each site’s internal links.
  • Links to service pages, products, RSVP, or email subscription forms are not examples of organic content.
  • Make sure the internal links vary. If sampled pages are repeatedly linking to the same resources, this will only benefit those few pages.
    • This doesn’t mean that you should penalize a brand for linking to the same resource two, three, or even four times over. Use your best judgment when observing the sampled pages’ linking strategies.

Appropriate informational content. You can use the found “organic content” from your sample sets (and the samples themselves) to review whether the site is producing appropriate informational content.

What does that mean, exactly?

  • The content produced obviously fits within the site’s business vertical, area of expertise, or cause.
    • Example: Moz’s SEO and Inbound Marketing Blog is an appropriate fit for an SEO company.
  • The content on the site isn’t overly self-promotional, resulting in an average user not trusting this domain to produce unbiased information.
    • Example: If Distilled produced a list of “Best Digital Marketing Agencies,” it’s highly unlikely that users would find it trustworthy given our inherent bias!

Quality of content. Highly subjective, yes, but remember: you’re comparing brands against each other. Here’s what you need to evaluate here:

  • Are “informative” pages discussing complex topics under 400 words?
  • Do you want to read the content?
  • Largely, do the pages seem well-written and full of valuable information?
    • Conversely, are the sites littered with “listicles,” or full of generic info you can find in millions of other places online?

Quality of images/video. Also highly subjective (but again, compare your site to your competitors, and be brutally honest). Judge each site’s media items based on:

  • Resolution (do the images or videos appear to be high quality? Grainy?),
  • Whether they are unique (do the images or videos appear to be from stock resources?),
  • Whether the photos or videos are repeated on multiple sample pages.

Audience (engagement and sharing of content)

Number of linking root domains. This factor is exclusively based on the total number of dofollow linking root domains (LRDs) to each domain (not total backlinks).

You can pull this number from Moz’s Open Site Explorer (OSE) or from Ahrefs. Since this measurement is only for the total number of LRDs to competitor, you don’t need to graph them. However, you will have an opportunity to display the sheer quantity of links by their domain authority in the next checklist item.

Quality of linking root domains. Here is where we get to the quality of each site’s LRDs. Using the same LRD data you exported from either Moz’s OSE or Ahrefs, you can bucket each brand’s LRDs by domain authority and count the total LRDs by DA. Log these into this third sheet, and you’ll have a graph that illustrates their overall LRD quality (and will help you grade each domain).

Other people talk about our content. I like to use BuzzSumo for this checklist item. BuzzSumo allows you to see what sites have written about a particular topic or company. You can even refine your search to include or exclude certain terms as necessary.

You’ll need to set a timeframe to collect this information. Set this to the past year to account for seasonality.

Actively promoting content. Using BuzzSumo again, you can alter your search to find how many of each domain’s URLs have been shared on social networks. While this isn’t an explicit ranking factor, strong social media marketing is correlated with good SEO. Keep the timeframe to one year, same as above.

Creating content explicitly for organic acquisition. This line item may seem similar to Appropriate informational content, but its purpose is to examine whether the competitors create pages to target keywords users are searching for.

Plug your the same URLs from your found “organic content” into SEMRush, and note whether they are ranking for non-branded keywords. You can grade the competitors on whether (and how many of) the sampled pages are ranking for any non-branded terms, and weight them based on their relative rank positions.

Conversion

You should treat this section as a UX exercise. Visit each competitor’s sampled URLs as though they are your landing page from search. Is it clear what the calls to action are? What is the next logical step in your user journey? Does it feel like you’re getting the right information, in the right order as you click through?

Clear CTAs on site. Of your sample pages, examine what the calls to action (CTAs) are. This is largely UX-based, so use your best judgment when evaluating whether they seem easy to understand. For inspiration, take a look at these examples of CTAs.

Conversions appropriate to several funnel steps. This checklist item asks you to determine whether the funnel steps towards conversion feel like the correct “next step” from the user’s standpoint.

Even if you are not a UX specialist, you can assess each site as though you are a first time user. Document areas on the pages where you feel frustrated, confused, or not. User behavior is a ranking signal, so while this is a qualitative measurement, it can help you understand the UX for each site.

CTAs match user intent inferred from content. Here is where you’ll evaluate whether the CTAs match the user intent from the content as well as the CTA language. For instance, if a CTA prompts a user to click “for more information,” and takes them to a subscription page, the visitor will most likely be confused or irritated (and, in reality, will probably leave the site).


This analysis should help you holistically identify areas of opportunity available in your search landscape, without having to guess which “best practice” you should test next. Once you’ve started this competitive analysis, trends among the competition will emerge, and expose niches where your site can improve and potentially outpace your competition.

Kick off your own SEO competitive analysis and comment below on how it goes! If this process is your jam, or you’d like to argue with it, come see me speak about these competitive analyses and the campaigns they’ve inspired at SearchLove London. Bonus? If you use that link, you’ll get £50 off your tickets.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Stephen Colbert on gun control after Las Vegas: ‘Doing nothing is cowardice’

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On Monday night, Stephen Colbert opened The Late Show as much of his television compatriots did by addressing the shooting massacre in Las Vegas.

And like his fellow talk show hosts, Colbert also called for something, anything to be done on gun control.

"Terrible things happen in the world. Sometimes like today, where we feel things have risen to a new level. But we cannot accept that as the new normal," he said.

Colbert also challenged Trump to prove himself as a president "who doesn’t care about how things have always been done in Washington D.C." Read more…

More about Culture, Stephen Colbert, Las Vegas, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and Las Vegas Shooting

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The secret to Steve Jobs’ and Elon Musk’s success, according to a former Apple and Tesla executive

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George Blankenship knows a thing or two about innovative companies.

Now an independent consultant, Blankenship was previously a vice president at Tesla Motors from 2010 to 2013, and a vice president of real estate at Apple, working closely alongside Steve Jobs to launch the first 165 Apple Stores worldwide before that.

Blankenship recently sat down with Business Insider deputy executive editor Matt Turner to discuss the visionary leadership of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, and how they set their companies up for success from the beginning.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Matt Turner: I want to start by asking what innovative companies, particularly Tesla and Apple, which today carry so much weight, have in common?

George Blankenship: They had a focus on the future that didn’t matter what other people saw. They saw a future of — how can you make communications simple, easy, and handheld? It becomes an iPhone.

At Apple, we looked around at what was going on in the world at the time, and the technologies that were available that weren’t in phones of the time. If you went back 10 years ago and you looked at a Motorola flip phone — one of the hottest phones — or the Palm, Nokia, et cetera, they worked, but there was so much more potential. Steve just saw so much more opportunity for what this device could be.

Steve just saw so much more opportunity for what this device could be.

They had a phone, which then enabled the real disruptive part of that technology, which was the app store. Think about it, for two, three, four years, Apple never advertised the phone; it was "there’s an app for that." If you step back, what would Uber be today without a smartphone? What would Facebook be? What Steve saw were opportunities with existing things that other people just didn’t see.

With Elon, it’s very, very interesting talking to him because everything really does have a bigger picture to it. You think about Tesla. Well, when I first met with him six or seven years ago, he had this vision, and the vision was to move the planet away from fossil fuels and into renewable resources. Tesla is a part of that, but it’s not the whole picture. It’s moving people to electric vehicles, but what else could you do? Well, if you’re building an electric car you have to have a lot of batteries, so you go to a battery factory. Well, if you’ve got these batteries what else could you do with them? You could do a battery wall, a battery pack that hangs on the wall — you charge it up and run your house and car off of it. And then what’s missing is solar, so a year ago they merged with Solar City.

solar panels in american cityNow you can take this energy from this great big fusion reactor in the sky, put it in batteries and run your car and your house. It’s a bigger picture than what other people are doing. You might ask, well, why don’t other car dealers do this? Or why don’t other manufacturers do this? It’s because they just don’t see things the way a Steve Jobs and an Elon Musk do — and they have the conviction to make it happen.

Turner: How alike are those two people, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk? They’re almost iconic now. What similarities do they share, and what was it like to work with them?

Blankenship: They share a lot of the same qualities. They have a conviction and a belief that the direction they’re going is right. Regardless of what anybody else says, the direction is right.

When you have that conviction and you share it with an entire team of people, then you take that conviction you’ve embedded in a whole group of people and enable and expect them to do more than what they thought they were capable of.

When you have that conviction and you share it with an entire team of people, then you take that conviction you’ve embedded in a whole group of people and enable and expect them to do more than what they thought they were capable of.

Then you’ve got this whole group of people who are doing things that individually they wouldn’t have done. Individually, even if challenged, they might have done them, but when you take it and you put it into another level where you’ve got a whole group of individuals doing something they never thought they could do, together, pretty incredible things happen. It’s an experience that’s hard to describe because when it’s happening around you, you get caught up in it.

At Tesla, I was there up until Q1 of 2013 when we became profitable, and the bets were against us. I sort of came to work every day knowing that there was probably an 80% chance the company was going to fail. But you came to work with a group of people every day who would never say never. They would do extraordinary things that ended up turning into what it is today.

Turner: How much of those companies are tied up in the individual? Clearly, Apple exists after Steve Jobs, but how much of the culture that’s there was really the Steve Jobs culture? How does it survive on after he’s no longer there? What would you make of Apple today?

Blankenship: When you put together the group of people I just described, those people have a can-do mind-set, that nothing’s impossible: "We’re doing something bigger than making an electronic device; there’s a bigger purpose here." Look at what the results have been of Apple. Yes, Steve passed away in 2011, but look at the way the company has continued to evolve as a service company: How many millions of iPhone X’s do you think they’re going to take on order for over the next couple of weeks? It’s going to be massive. The company today isn’t going through the product innovations on an every three-year basis that it was in the 10 years between 2000 and 2010, but I think it’s finding ways that the device has become more personal and more embedded in what you do and how you do it, which aligns you to the platform in an incredible way. Tim [Cook] has done a really good job of doing that.

Turner: Turning to Elon Musk, obviously Tesla is a pretty young company, relatively speaking, still in the early stages, what do you make of where it is now and where do you think it’s headed?

Blankenship: Elon’s just getting started. Tesla’s still in many ways in its infancy. It’s the first successful US car company since the 1950s. Ford went public in 1956, so Tesla’s the first US car company to be successful in 50 years. He’s just getting started.

tesla model 3The Roadster was kind of proof-of-concept, then Model S, then Model X — basically a $100,000 car. But now you’ve got the Model 3. If you start to step back and say, OK, impact-wise, what does this do? Well, Model 3 is the one Elon always wanted to get to. It was always the goal. We opened stores so we could start developing people to want model 3 back in 2011.

Elon announced the car a year ago, on March 31, and 115,000 people reserve a car before he even launched it; 325,000 people reserved the car in the first week. They delivered 30 of them on July 31. He tweeted out they were taking 1,800 reservations a day, for a car most people have never seen. Combine that with the battery factory in Reno, Nevada — 10 million square feet of battery production — and the Tesla power wall, with Solar City and Tesla becomes a get-you-off-the-grid company. It becomes a car company that’s got different cars (and they’ll have more coming), the battery company, battery technology being very important. And Solar — now they’ve got the solar roof.

There’s going to come a point in time where the solar roof, to the battery, to the car, becomes affordable so that when you’re replacing the roof on your house, your accountant will be the one telling you, instead of paying $60,000 to replace your roof, pay $60 to $70 and don’t have an electric bill anymore — and go get an electric car while you’re at it. The company is just in its infancy at this point on where it’s actually capable of going.

Turner: If you had to bet, how far away do you think that moment is?

Blankenship: It’s a combination of multiple things. I would never bet against anything that Elon has going on in the background. Right now, the last thing I read said they have the most efficient solar panels. You don’t necessarily need the same battery technology in the power wall as you need in the cars. It could be second, third generation, like a chip in a computer. You take those cost savings, and a little bit more efficiency, and who knows? Could it be five years, and suddenly you’re in a place where people are starting to say, this is starting to make a whole lot of sense, and when the time comes to make the big leap you’re going to do a roof anyway, might as well?

Elon MuskIn the meantime, you can still do the solar panels and, depending on where you are on electricity cost, it makes sense to do now. There’s going to be that watershed moment when the efficiency of the panels and the battery technology and the cost of batteries gets to a point where it just makes all the sense in the world. I just don’t know how much he has going on right now to know when that’s going to be.

Turner: There’s still the Tesla bus being talked about, and autonomous driving, and everything else. What do you see as being the future of Tesla with regard to those things? A Tesla bus could revolutionize logistics and transportation, and Tesla is amassing data for autonomous cars all the time with the number of cars it already has on the road. Do we get to a point where every car and truck is Tesla and they’re all powered by Tesla solar panels? How big does it become?

Blankenship: It doesn’t need to be Tesla. Just so you know, that was never Elon’s goal was for everything to be Tesla. What he wants to do is advance the adoption of electric vehicles. So the Nissan Leaf is good! The BMW i3, that’s good! Is it a competitor? Not really. You could say it is, but not really. The more electric cars the better.

When you start talking about other technology, there are a lot of people racing out there for autonomous cars, and I think they have a different motivation. They’re doing it because others are saying they need to do it. They’re saying, "I can’t be behind the curve; we’ve got to do this because we have to." With Elon, it’s a different reason: It’s about safety. When you have a different mind-set like that: It is safer to be in an autonomous car. In fact, if you want to see an interesting video, there’s one on YouTube of a driver in the Netherlands in a Tesla Model X and he’s on the highway and the car is auto driving. Up ahead there’s a car that goes to pull out around another car, and the Tesla actually warns that there’s an accident about to happen one second before the accident even connects. That’s safety. Yes, it’s cool; it’s a neat technology with lots of applications; but it’s safer. When you have that type of motivation you do things in a different way. That’s the way Elon thinks about things. It’s safer, and that’s what he would focus on.

 Turner: What you’ve described at both Apple and Tesla with Steve Jobs and Elon Musk is a mission at the heart of the company and its strategy. Are there any other companies or people you see out there that when you look at them you say, that’s the same thing?

Blankenship: I think there are different types of missions. Yes, Elon and Steve had their missions. If you look at Amazon, Amazon’s mission, without a doubt, is the customer: What can we do for the customer? What can we do to make the experience better for the customer? How do we have the best customer experience on the planet? That’s a mission.

If you go to their recruiting page on their website, they say, here are the 10 guiding principles of the company. No. 1 is the customer. When you join Amazon, you better know that the customer is what you’re there for.

When you join Amazon, you better know that the customer is what you’re there for.

I think they do an incredible job with that mission, whether it’s Amazon delivery, and if that’s not fast enough, there’s Prime in two days. Prime Now, in one hour will deliver to your home. "Alexa, order me a pizza," and a pizza shows up at your house in 30 minutes. "How do we embrace a customer and make it special for them?" I think there are different kinds of missions. It doesn’t have to save the planet or communication or simplicity. Amazon does a really good job of it.

Turner: We hear a lot about the retail apocalypse and Amazon’s part in that. You obviously were very involved with the Apple retail strategy. What hope is there for traditional brick-and-mortar stores? What do they have to do to survive and prosper in this environment?

Blankenship: I think this whole apocalypse thing is ridiculous. What’s happened in the United States is there’s more retail space than there needs to be. Depending on who you talk to, there are about 1,200 regional, mall-type shopping centers out there. I think there’s about 800. About 400 of them are going to survive, and I think about 300 of them are going to thrive. They’re going to redefine that shopping because it’s going to get down to where the right amount of square footage is out there.

empty mallThen what’s going to happen, is you’ve got this experience generation coming up: Millennials, Gen-X’ers, they want to experience things. You can buy it on the web and pick it up in the store. How many people bought an iPhone 8 and picked it up in an Apple store the other day? I don’t know, but I’m sure it was a bunch. Where did they go to do that? To the Apple store in the shopping center that everybody says is going to be dead. They’re putting in grocery stores into it, they’ve got the theatre. As developers start to step back and put more technology in the centers and have the best, fastest WiFi, easy shopping, and then delivery, the shopping center has a bright future, just in a different way. I know some of the developers out there and they’re doing a good job looking ahead and identifying what can be done. They’re moving toward that direction to make the shopping mall an experience place where you want to go. When you get there, what you wanted to do, is there to do.

Turner: One last question for you. What’s the next big thing? I know it’s a big question, but you’ve seen firsthand iconic people, been involved in auto, retail, tech, and have a pretty broad view of what’s going on in innovation. What do you think is the next big thing?

Blankenship: That’s a really good question. I think that some of the outgrowths of virtual reality is going to be a really big thing. Not necessarily for gaming and that kind of stuff, but I think what you can do with 3D renderings — what impact could that have on the medical community?

I think that some of the outgrowths of virtual reality is going to be a really big thing. Not necessarily for gaming and that kind of stuff, but I think what you can do with 3D renderings — what impact could that have on the medical community?

On healthcare? What advantages could you identify ahead of time? What if you combine it with a little bit of AI? Suddenly you’ve got something that’s totally unemotional; it just has a prime directive, and it’s going to go out there and it’s going to figure out the best way to do something. What if you can do something with some visualization and 3D modeling and put it together to do something extraordinary that scientists today maybe just can’t get to?

I think there’s an AI component maybe with some virtual reality and 3D rendering that sort of ends up leading to a place that advances things that we would have still gotten to, but maybe we get there quicker. When it comes to healthcare and things like that, that’s a big impact on humanity, so I’m looking forward to those things happening.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Seth Meyers wants Congress to admit they’re not going to do anything besides ‘thoughts and prayers’

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Seth Meyers is tired of being tired that yet another mass tragedy happened and Congressional Republicans will do, as is their wont, nothing.

“It would so much more honest if you would just admit that your plan is to never talk about [gun control] and to never take any action," Meyers said on his show last night.

Watch and take your first sad exhausted sigh of the day. Read more…

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Tom Petty’s Youngest Daughter Commemorated His Life With Incredible Photos, Heartbreaking Memories

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As Tom Petty’s youngest daughter AnnaKim Violette sat in the hospital with her dad after he had gone into cardiac arrest she paid an amazing tribute to her dad with a series of incredible photos and heart-wrenching comments on Instagram.

AnnaKim Violette, 35, shared many memories of her life with her legendary father as well as the feelings she was going through, commenting at one point, “I feel grateful for having the greatest rock star as a dad. These shows healed people.”

Indeed they did, AnnaKim. Indeed they did. We, along with thousands of others also mourn your loss.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

“As a child mtv was my news I woke up to my parents in bed me sleeping on a sheep skin rug on the floor this video was always on it was surreal to see I love you mad hatter.”

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Instagram Photo

“My dad had matching stage clothes made for me as a kid this jacket still fits me made by glen Palmer from granny takes a trip when I got the call to come to the hospital I grabbed this jacket and I’m still wearing it.”

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Instagram Photo

“Band is here with my dad sweetest coolest people 💜🇺🇸💜we are one.”

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“One week ago today I was watching my dad play💚we showed up rushed to our seats💚I got stoned had a beer the lights went dark💚sat watching realizing I grew up on these songs💚everyone grew up on these songs💚🇺🇸this is real American Art made from the roots of real people who deeply love life💚🐛my father loves music more than anything and always put music first💚it’s going to be healing to know I will never go a day without hearing his music💚I love his class honesty and how strange and funny he is💚Tom Petty is an American Icon because his heart has always put human rights first. We are one💚I love you dad your songs are dreams manifested 💌⚡️.”

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RIP Tom Petty. Hope you’re jamming away with Prince and David Bowie somewhere right now.

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“We Have No Idea” Police Struggle With Motive Behind Vegas Shooting

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As the investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history enters its second day, local and federal law enforcement agencies are struggling to answer one of the most fundamental questions about the shooter, 64-year-old Mesquite, Nevada resident Stephen Paddock:

Namely – why would a millionaire real-estate investor with no known affiliations to controversial religious or political groups commit such a horrifying act?

Here’s Reuters:

The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, left no immediate hint of his motive for the arsenal of high-powered weaponry he amassed, including [42] guns, or the carnage he inflicted on a crowd of 22,000 attending an outdoor country music festival.

 

Paddock was not known to have served in the military, or to have suffered from a history of mental illness or to have registered any inkling of social disaffection, political discontent or radical views on social media.

Police have said they believed Paddock acted alone, but have been at a loss to explain what might have precipitated the shooting, which left nearly 60 people dead and more than 500 people injured after the shooting sparked a stampede and the 20,000 attendees at the Route 91 Harvest festival rushed for the exits.

The shooter’s brother, Eric Paddock

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters. “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath.”

No one knows what inspired Paddock to inflict such mass tragedy. But based on what authorities have found, he may have been planning something even worse. Police discovered several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, in Paddock’s car.

Another angle popularized by some conservative media organizations was that Paddock was motivated by far-left groups like Antifa, amid rumors that Antifa-related "materials" were found in his hotel room.

Initially, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Paddock converted to Islam months ago. However, federal law enforcement officials said they haven’t uncovered evidence of any links between Paddock and Islamic State, or indications that he was affiliated with any terrorist organization, or Antifa.

According to WSJ, It wasn’t immediately clear what Paddock, who had once worked at a predecessor firm to Lockheed Martin, most recently did for a living. His brother described him as a wealthy, millionaire retiree who made some of his money through real-estate investments. His brother, Eric Paddock, added that Paddock had no known political or religious affiliations, and that he “was just a guy who liked to go to Vegas and play video poker.”

Police in Mesquite, Nevada, where the shooter lived prior to the attack, had no prior knowledge of the gunman – neither did authorities in a Texas town near Dallas where Paddock had once lived.

"I don’t know how it could have been prevented," said Sheriff Lombardo.

Paddock was divorced with no known children.

Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Florida, said he was stunned to learn his brother was responsible, insisting that he must’ve “snapped.”

"We’re still just completely befuddled. Dumbstruck."

He described his brother as having "no history of violence. No history of anything couldn’t give a s— less about politics, religion, pointy hatted people etc, etc. He just wanted to get a freaking royal flush." Eric Paddock insisted that he was unaware that his brother had accumulated such an extensive arsenal, and said he’d only ever known him to possess a few handguns, and maybe a rifle, which he had kept in a safe.

Several vigils were held Monday night to honor the victims of the shooting. Community members gathered in Reno, Las Vegas, the Nellis Air Force Base and at the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Perhaps more will be revealed in the coming days – though it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the public may never learn why Paddock did what he did.

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How to Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs, No Matter How You Like Them

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Photos by Claire Lower

Scrambled eggs are easy to make, but they’re kind of difficult to make perfectly. Rubbery, dry curds are no good, but runny scrambles can be just as offensive. Don’t worry though, we’re going to show you how to make perfect scrambled eggs every time, no matter how you like ‘em.

This is part of The Grown-Up Kitchen, Skillet’s series designed to answer your most basic culinary questions and fill in any gaps that may be missing in your home chef education.

First of all, no matter what kind of egg-y outcome you’re aiming for, you’re going to need the right equipment. For your pan, you’ll want something of the nonstick variety, and you’ll need a silicone spatula with which to perform the act of scrambling. You’ll also need some eggs (I use three per person), along with an (optional) tablespoon of dairy (I like half & half), a big pinch of salt, and some pepper. I always add my salt before cooking—the salt works on a molecular level to give you more tender curds—and pepper them after.

For Large, Fluffy Curds

The main factor that affects the consistency of your scramble is heat—the higher the heat, the larger the curds. For big, fluffy curds that are still tender, you’ll want to cook these huevos on medium-high. You’ll also want to pump ‘em up with a little aeration.

You could whip ‘em the old fashioned way—using your own brute strength—but I like to use my immersion blender. You don’t need to blend them long, just long enough to get a bit of froth on top.

Melt a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat and, once it starts to foam, add the eggs. let them sit for just a few seconds, then quickly move your silicone spatula around the pan in sweeping motions, until you have a glorious pile of large, fluffy, not-wet-but-still moist curds. Get them on a plate—preferably one you’ve been keeping warm in the oven—grind on some pepper, and serve immediately.

For Small, Creamy Curds

If you like super custardy eggs that taste cheesy without any added cheese, you’re going to need to cook them low and slow. Even though the eggs pictured above look extremely different from their fluffier counterparts, the only thing I changed was my whipping method—I just used a fork and manually whipped them until the yolks and whites were combined—and the cooking temperature.

To make these yolk-forward wonders, you simply melt a tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat (don’t let it foam), and then decrease the temperature to low and pour your fork-whipped egg mixture into the pan. Let them hang out, stirring occasionally, until small curds start to form. (This will take a while.)

Continue stirring until you have a pile of custardy, creamy curds. Transfer them to a (warm) plate, grind on some fresh pepper, and eat them with buttery toast.

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Here are 5 of Tom Petty’s iconic last performances

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Here are 5 of Tom Petty’s iconic last performances

Tom Petty performing in San Diego just a couple weeks before his death.Tom Petty performing in San Diego just a couple weeks before his death.

Image: Gary Miller/Getty Images

The world continues to mourn the death of rock legend Tom Petty after he died in Los Angeles on Monday night at the age of 66.

But as family, fellow musicians, and fans alike grieve, Petty leaves behind several iconic performances to remember him by.

Just weeks before his death, Petty had actually been on his Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary Tour, performing his timeless hits to audiences in the U.S., England, and Canada for the past several months. Petty wrapped up the tour just last Monday, Sept. 25, at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles. 

Here are five of this American bard’s last performances of his most beloved songs, now iconic in the light of his sudden passing.

American Girl — Wrigley Field, Chicago, June 29, 2017

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (with Stevie Nicks) — Hyde Park, London, July 9, 2017

I Won’t Back Down — Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, NY, July 26, 2017

You Wreck Me — Greek Theater, Berkeley, CA – You Wreck Me, August 22, 2017

Free Fallin’ — Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, Sept. 25, 2017

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