Cannabis is having its ‘smartphone’ moment

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PAX / Quang Le

“It’s very similar to having a phone, you wouldn’t want just one or two apps on it. You’d want to be able to have a wide selection,” Bharat Vasan, CEO of PAX, told me in his company’s downtown San Francisco office. He’s referring to the range of “pods” available for the PAX Era weed vaporizer, likening fewer weed options to only having Instagram or Twitter on a phone.

PAX makes some of the best-known cannabis vaporizers in the industry. But during our interview, Vasan doesn’t mention the words “high,” “stoned,” “weed,” “doobie,” “blaze” or “dank” once. Instead, he talks about “platforms,” “apps,” “experience” and “updates.” PAX is one of a handful of technology companies making weed accessible to a generation that doesn’t want to roll their own. A generation that wants, even expects, to customize its experience via an app on their phone. A user that’s more likely to update their firmware than clean out a pipe.

Today is 4/20, the Christmas of cannabis, and PAX is using it to launch a limited edition Era vaporizer with a celebrity endorsement from weed-friendly electronic duo Thievery Corporation. The Era uses “pods” of cannabis oil, which snap into place on the pen-like device; the user only needs to inhale and enjoy. The launch also includes a new pod from Blue River called “Lebanese Blonde” (a meta reference to a Thievery Corporation track, itself named after a variety of cannabis) and a new album from the duo.

The cannabis oil in these pods requires a high-tech, convoluted extraction process. JJ O’Brien, VP of the Era product line, told me “the [new] pod is really incorporating as close to a traditional Lebanese hash-making as possible. So there’s no CO2, there’s no ethanol, no butane.” In technology terms, it’s an attempt at authenticity, reminiscent of when iOS apps tried hard to look like the analog items they replaced.

It’s not just PAX that is bringing cannabis into the mobile age. Bloom Farm’s range of “Highlighter” vape pens come in rose gold and space gray-esque colorways. The pens include a capacitive tip on one end so you can navigate your work email while you casually stick it to the man by supping on the other end. Just this week I received a product release announcement from another company that espoused a new vaporizer’s spec sheet, complete with 64Kb of memory and pass-through charging. No wireless charging or contactless payments yet, but I am sure they’re coming.

It’s a cliche, but PAX is often likened to “the Apple of vaporizers.” Its products are slick, with soft glowing lights, seamless Bluetooth connectivity and strong cosmetic design. They also come at a premium (the Era is only $30, but the pods are pricey compared to the same weight in “flower”). The flagship PAX 3, which works with any flower or concentrate, costs $250.

The Era’s pod system is a proprietary format, something Apple is also very fond of using. On the other side, companies like Bloom Farms or ABX use generic connections, meaning you can often pick and choose which hardware to use with which cartridge of oil. PAX’s closed system is going for the “it just works” approach, but it also locks you into its products.

Showtime

“Originally, we had some Afghan Black, and were going to call the song that.” Rob Garza from Thievery Corporation told me backstage at the launch event. Apparently someone else that day was from Lebanon, and said that they had a type of hash called Lebanese Blonde. The group decided that sounded better, and the title of their song was born. In turn, kicking off a chain of events that would, years later, find that name etched onto the side of a vape cartridge. Which beats an iPod with U2’s signatures on the back in my opinion.

The new strain is made by Blue River. PAX does not make any cannabis-based product, only a means to enjoy them. Tony Verzura, Blue River’s CTO (yes, cannabis manufacturers have CTOs too), was enthusiastic in explaining the process. But mostly he talks in metaphors about the importance of layers, comparing weed making to music and its “transition from analog to digital.”

In a transition that Samsung would have been proud of, Verzura and Garza later took to the stage while O’Brien introduced them. Like a well-groomed PR machine, they repeated the exact two anecdotes they told me in an interview moments prior. When the presentation finishes, the music takes over and the atmosphere lifts gently upward with every subtle wisp of Lebanese Blonde exhaled in the room.

If PAX is the Apple, and everyone else is the Android, then there’s another challenge in store for weed’s digital update: copycats and clones. Much like there are endless wannabe iPhones, connected cannabis could end up saturated with inferior “me too” devices before too long, and the audience for cannabis might not be large enough to support them. The e-cigarette and nicotine vape market is already plagued by cheap devices with ridiculous features that are endlessly iterated. Weed vapes could end up going the same way.

Since cannabis culture started embracing technology, there has been the natural split between purists and progressives. It’s vinyl versus digital all over again. But, like MP3s and ebooks caused their respective industries a headache, they also democratized their enjoyment. Now, there’s a new wave of consumer that thinks digital is best, apps are better and sure, throw in some fancy LEDs for good measure. That is to say, that much like some people only know a phone with apps and a camera, soon a whole generation of weed consumers won’t know what to do with a grinder and papers.

Modern weed is for a modern user though. Vaporizing is discreet and (almost) smell free, devices like the PAX 3 or PAX Era have Bluetooth, mobile apps and child locks. The PAX 3 even has games on board. I asked Verzura if vapes with features like this have somehow legitimized cannabis to a new generation, and he told me about how he was now able to consume it at a baseball game. “People might smell it for a second” he said, “but no one really notices.”

And that, perhaps, is the important change that smarter weed devices can offer. A way to consume that’s much easier for everyone, much more convenient and much more culturally acceptable.

I asked Vasan: If the current PAX devices do their job well, then why don’t they just leave it at that, and retire on a beach? “You know, I’d love that. That’s not how the consumer space works. I feel like there’s a lot more that PAX can do to make the experience like other mainstream experiences in your life” he responded. “There are other mainstream products like Rings and Dropcams and August locks in your life. This experience should parallel the best of those.”

Better make sure you keep your vape’s software up-to-date.

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Car-Friendly Camp Trailer Triples in Size

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Meet the modular, mobile, lightweight pod that goes from tow mode to camp mode at the push of a button.

Tipoon trailer camper

Whether you like simple camping or luxury glamping, somewhere out there is a pull-behind that meets your needs. We’ve seen inflatable trailers, super light tiny trailers – even massive $80,000 trailers you can pull through a river.

Tipoon expandable modes

And now there’s an expandable pod you can perch on its own or tow on a trailer. The Tipoon, launched commercially in March, transitions between three modes and has a modular interior you can tailor to your space needs.

Plus, its polyester-composite construction means you don’t need a truck to tow it.

Tipoon: Modular Expandable Trailer

While its primary use is as a mobile unit, the Tipoon doesn’t move on its own. It’s a stationary pod with stabilizing “crutches,” so you’ll need to pop it on a trailer. The manufacturer recommends a trailer with a gross weight rating of 2,425–2,866 pounds.

Tipoon prototype sleeping area

But whether you’re taking it into the wilds or leaving it in your backyard, the Tipoon’s features remain the same. It comes with a remote control that allows you to switch between three configurations: closed, half open, and full open. According to Tipoon, transformation happens in seconds.

Tipoon dining setup

Closed, the Tipoon measures about 5.5 feet high by 5.5 feet wide. Depending on the length of the drawbar for the trailer, it will sit 13.5–14.7 feet long. Use this configuration for towing or stowing Tipoon for the winter.

On the road, the half-open position is meant for pitstops. Here, the Tipoon rises to its full 8.3-foot height (6 feet 2 inches inside), while one wing bumps out to 8.2 feet. According to the brand, the Tipoon will still fit in a standard-width parking spot.

Tipoon trailer with gera

Once you get to camp, push the button to activate full mode. The Tipoon will self-stabilize and expand to its full 10.5-foot width.

Tipoon Camper: Modular Interior

Tipoon full size sleeper

Inside, the Tipoon undergoes similar transformations. The brand advertises four layouts: single sleeper, two-bed sleeper, king-size sleeper, and dining area, in addition to a bathroom with shower.

Tipoon dining area

Similar to tiny home designs, the Tipoon possesses various stowaway cushions and pullout platforms. As a single sleeper, you can rest on an elevated full-size mattress. Pull out the cubby below the bed and access a second full-size bed.

Remove the lower bed’s center cushions, pull out a tabletop, and you have the dining area. Or, raise up the second bed to turn the top bunk into a king-size sleeping area.

Tipoon king sleeper

The Tipoon runs off of a rechargeable battery the brand says will be compatible with solar panels in the future (but not yet). It comes with options like a chemical or dry toilet, 50-liter compressor or thermoelectric fridge, Wi-Fi reverse camera, and LED lighting.

Plus, if you drop the remote in a lake, the Tipoon can be crank-operated to adjust between all modes. The base price for the Tipoon is $29,472, and you can reserve one now for delivery beginning in June.

The post Car-Friendly Camp Trailer Triples in Size appeared first on GearJunkie.

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High Tech. High Life.

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xseries_desk_layout

After months spent meticulously adjusting technical parameters, testing and selecting materials, the X-Series workstation was brought to life. It carries a form that is inspired by cybernetics and science fiction, this is a truly visually exciting and modular place to work.

As well as having a highly ergonomic working position for when the user is sat down, it also offers the option of being a standing workstation in order to reduce the burden on the spine from a long stay in one position. Svyatoslav Zbroy, X Series’ designer, recognized that we all love a tidy and uniform desk, so integrated into the design is an electrification system that is hidden on the underside of the table to ensure efficient cable management.

The geometric, utilitarian and aggressive aesthetic creates a bold statement and makes this workstation a truly great feature in any room.

Designer: Svyatoslav Zbroy

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Here’s a Crash Course in Westworld Before the Season Two Premiere

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Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores.

Usually we title these kinds of guides “everything you need to know about XYZ show.” But HBO’s Westworld isn’t easily summed up or explained. A huge part of its appeal is that it’s so enigmatic, dropping clues and teasing out mysteries as its story builds. To fully appreciate season two, it’d be best to watch season one first—preferably twice—but if time is an issue (or if you just need a season one refresher), here’s a crash course.

Jeffrey Wright as Bernard… or is it Arnold?

What it’s about

Westworld is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film, though the scope of the TV show goes way beyond the movie. Still, the basics are the same: it’s about a futuristic, fully immersive amusement park, run by a company called Delos, that completely recreates the Wild West with perfectly lifelike robot “hosts” that can be killed by human “guests,” but not vice versa. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be, until the hosts suddenly start going off the script—mirroring the chaos that’s going on behind the scenes at the sleek facility that (supposedly) controls everything in the park.

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That’s the plot on its simplest terms. But in just 10 episodes, Westworld delivers a narrative as twisty and layered as the “maze” that some of its players become obsessed with. There are big, shocking moments: A main character who appears to be human is actually an robot; and two more main characters are actually the same character, just at different ages, a reveal that also exposes the fact that not all of the show’s storylines are taking place at the same time. In addition to being a mystery that shares only what it needs to about its world filled with violence, romance, and some very deep questions about what it means to be human, it’s also stunningly gorgeous—part panoramic John Ford Western, part high-tech thriller, it’s filled with clever stylistic touches, like a player piano that plinks out great, old-timey covers of unexpectedly modern songs. And it’s one of the most impressively-acted TV shows of all time, drawing incredible range from its performers.


Who’s who

The hosts

Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood)

The oldest android in the park, Dolores is a golden-haired farmer’s daughter who lives on the outskirts of Westworld’s main settlement, Sweetwater. As the series progresses, her programmed story “loop” veers off course, or seems to, and her perception of reality becomes heartbreakingly confused. Eventually, we learn how special she was to Arnold, Westworld’s co-founder, who died before the park opened. Decades ago, she was the key component in his quest to understand artificial consciousness, and when he realized that a) he wasn’t able to make her truly conscious and that b) the hosts would inevitably be horribly abused by the future guests, so he decided Westworld should never open to the public. His plan to prevent that from happening, which obviously failed, was to manipulate Dolores into killing him. Dolores is also a huge part of Westworld’s later storylines, going on an extended journey with first-time guest William to the far reaches of the park, and playing one of the starring roles in the final tale woven by Arnold’s former partner, Robert Ford.

Thandie Newton as Maeve.

Maeve (Thandie Newton)

The madame of Sweetwater’s Mariposa Hotel brothel is a tough dame, but she’s haunted by nightmares of her “past life”—really her previous storyline—when she witnessed her young daughter’s brutal murder. She also keeps having visions of the biohazard suit-wearing Westworld techs that hustle in to restore order once a host has been killed, something no host should ever be able to register. Maeve is one of a handful of hosts in the park (like Dolores) who slowly become more and more self-aware; once she figures out who she really is, she convinces a tech to enhance her skill set, making her the smartest and most powerful android in the park. Her grand plan is to ditch Westworld in favor of the outside world, though on the brink of freedom, she turns back to look for her “daughter,” who’s still operating somewhere in the park. In another shocking story twist, we learn that Maeve’s apparent autonomy—which we’re led to believe is organically manifesting—is actually 100 percent part of park co-creator Ford’s latest storyline, filed under a subplot titled “escape.”

Teddy (James Marsden)

Poor Teddy. The handsome cowboy gains a slightly interesting, war-themed backstory halfway through the series, but he’s basically there to woo Dolores and/or chase after her to rescue her from Westworld’s various bad men, and inevitably gets horribly killed in the process every time.

Clementine (Angela Sarafyan)

The prettiest girl in Maeve’s brothel, Clementine gets pulled off the floor as part of a demonstration to show how Ford’s mysterious new update has the tendency to turn hosts violent. Though the display is actually a thinly-veiled power play, hatched by the Delos board of directors to discredit Ford, Clementine still gets lobotomized and tucked into the basement with all the other unused models. A replacement Clementine is rushed back to Sweetwater, a switch that nobody notices in-world except an increasingly “awake” Maeve.

Lawrence (Clifton Collins, Jr.)

He’s an outlaw who appears in multiple storylines, helping (sometimes against his will) the Man in Black as well as William and Dolores.

Hector (Rodrigo Santoro)

He’s another outlaw; his loop has him forever riding into Sweetwater with guns blazing, hellbent on robbing the Mariposa’s safe, which is eventually, and appropriately, revealed to be empty. His highly-charged relationship with Maeve leads to her roping him into her escape plan, so while he’s not initially among the crew of self-aware hosts, he eventually has his mind expanded more than Lawrence or Teddy ever do.

“Wyatt”

The MacGuffin of Westworld. Though we do seem to glimpse him in one of Teddy’s flashbacks—his narrative is that he’s a military man who goes berserk and massacres an entire town, then takes to the hills as the leader of a gang of eerily masked outlaws—it’s ultimately revealed that Wyatt is more of an idea-turned-legend than a physical presence. Really, he’s part of Dolores, thanks to Arnold, who merges their personalities together as part of his violent, statement-making scheme to ensure the park would not be able to open.

James Marsden as Teddy and Ed Harris as the Man in Black.

The guests

The Man in Black (Ed Harris)

Cruel and vicious, the Man in Black is mega-rich and mega-powerful in his real life, where his spoils include being the majority stakeholder of Delos. As for his personal life, it’s very bleak: His wife recently committed suicide, and his daughter hates him. A longtime Westworld visitor, he’s seen everything and done everything and probably killed everyone in the park at least once. When we meet him on the show, he’s obsessed with solving what he thinks is Westworld’s final frontier: a mysterious experience/storyline/location simply called the maze, which he’s determined to find no matter how many times he’s told “the maze isn’t meant for you.” At the end of his frustrating journey, with no actual maze in sight, he provokes Dolores—with whom he has a long history—into fighting him. But his search for deeper meaning really advances once Ford announces to the Delos elite that his new story comes with a twist: hosts are now able to harm guests, the same way the guests have been harming them for decades. Real consequences have come to Westworld at last, a realization that makes every human scream and run… except for the Man in Black, who looks delighted, in keeping with one of the show’s other repeated phrases: “These violent delights have violent ends.”

William (Jimmi Simpson)

We meet William as he arrives at Westworld for his very first visit; though he’s initially very reserved, he soon gets completely drawn into a story with Dolores—an emotionally devastating (yet liberating) experience that helps him discover his true self. Too bad his true self is so sadistic. Just as we see William, who’s acquired a fresh taste for slaughter, exchange his white hat for a black one, we learn that William is the younger version of the Man in Black, and his scenes have been set in the past all along—an easy thing to miss, since the hosts never age.

Logan (Ben Barnes)

William’s future brother-in-law comes to Westworld with no adventures in mind beyond killing, fucking, and just generally behaving like an oversized asshole. The extreme circumstances he and William get into make the pre-existing bad vibes between them even worse. There’s no mention of Logan in the Man in Black’s present; the last we see of him is when William sends him off into the Westworld wilderness with a horse and literally nothing else.

Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and his masterpiece.

Delos

Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins)

Westworld’s brilliant co-founder and creative director is very aware that the Delos board of directors is plotting to remove him, intent on yanking away his more intricate stories in favor of a more simple guest experience. But he’s got much bigger plans for the place, which he’s been working on for over 30 years since his partner Arnold’s death. The park was able to continue over the years thanks to William/the Men in Black’s investment, and while Ford and Arnold didn’t always see eye to eye, Ford eventually achieved Arnold’s goal of helping Dolores achieve true consciousness, making her realize the voice in her head belonged to nobody but herself. He also came around to the idea that humans are garbage and should start making way for what’s next: “a new people and the choices they will have to make… and the people they will decide to become.” His final narrative unleashes total chaos in the park, and Dolores shoots him, just like she shot Arnold.

Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright)

Bernard is a host made precisely in Arnold’s image, though he doesn’t know it—for most of the season, only Ford knows the truth. He heads up Westworld’s programming department, and we later learn he was specially created by Ford as an Arnold replacement to help program realistic emotions into the hosts. His true identity is revealed in one of Westworld’s most shocking moments, when Ford orders him to kill Theresa Cullen, the park’s head of Quality Assurance, with whom he’d been romantically involved—an order Arnold can’t disobey, since he’s a host himself. (There’s also a flashback revealing the fate of a co-worker who’s gone missing after asking too many questions; turns out Bernard apparently killed her, too.) Later, Ford tries to convince Bernard to rejoin him as his partner, but Bernard resists; he’d rather set the sentient hosts free like Arnold wanted, which Ford believes would never work because humans would never allow it. (As we see in the finale, he has another plan afoot to “set the hosts free,” by letting them make their own choices.) He forces Bernard to shoot himself—though he’s later brought back by the Westworld techs who are helping Maeve escape.

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson)

The aggressive, calculating representative of Delos’ corporate board of directors, she’s there to rid the park of Ford and what she views as his needlessly complex stories—roping in Westworld’s sleazy head of narrative, Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman), to help smuggle Ford’s precious technology out of the park. At the Delos gala, after Ford announces his final story, she looks thrilled—until Dolores shoots Ford and a posse of menacing hosts emerges from the forest.

What’s next—and why you should watch

Considering that Westworld showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have already cheekily trolled fans who were hoping for some substantial season two spoilers, it’s not totally surprising that we don’t know a ton about what to expect this season. It will be themed “The Door” (season one was “The Maze”), and the most recent trailer offered some juicy clues as to what went down after Ford’s robot rebellion. These include a possible peek at a new character (played by Gustaf Skarsgård) who’s called in to help clean up Delos’ mess; Bernard’s ongoing struggle with his conflicted identity; Maeve’s continuous quest to find her daughter; a flashback looking at how William took control of Delos; the possible return of Ford (maybe in host form?); and maybe even a hint about what happened to Logan. Here’s our full, shot-by-shot breakdown of that trailer.

As for why you should watch—the real question is, why aren’t you watching already? Westworld isn’t just an exceptionally well-made scifi TV show; it’s a puzzle box that’s launched a thousand fan theories, and as its universe expands, so will its mysteries. We can’t wait to dive back in.

Westworld returns Sunday, April 22 on HBO.

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Astronomers are out looking for the sun’s long-lost siblings

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The sun has siblings out there, and astronomers are looking for them.

Astronomers have surveyed and collected the “DNA” of more than 340,000 stars in the Milky Way, which will help them understand how galaxies formed and evolved over time.

Dubbed GALAH, the group of Australian and European researchers have been working on the project since 2013, and on Wednesday they publicly released data for the first time. By the end of the project, they anticipate to investigate more than a million stars.

Each star has its light analysed by the HERMES spectrograph, which is hitched on a 3.9 metre telescope at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO).

To figure out a star’s “DNA,” HERMES analyses the light to build a spectrum resembling a rainbow. Based on the length and locations of dark lines that appear in that spectrum, researchers can figure out the chemical composition.

“Each chemical element leaves a unique pattern of dark bands at specific wavelengths in these spectra, like fingerprints,” Daniel Zucker, from Macquarie University and the AAO, explained in a statement online.

It takes about an hour to collect enough light from a star, but GALAH researchers can observe 360 stars at time with the help of fibre optics. Despite that, it took researchers 280 nights at the observatory since 2014 to collect enough data.

A high resolution version of the spectrum of our Sun.

A high resolution version of the spectrum of our Sun.

So how do researchers figure out if a star is related to the sun? Well, like the sun, each star was born in a massive cluster of thousands of stars. 

Each of those stars will have the same “DNA,” or chemical composition. The Milky Way has been pulling these stars apart, leaving them scattered across the galaxy.

“The GALAH team’s aim is to make DNA matches between stars to find their long-lost sisters and brothers,” Sarah Martell, from the University of New South Wales School of Physics, said in a statement.

While there are a number of ongoing large-scale archaeology studies of our galaxy, GALAH researchers are compiling a larger and more comprehensive data set as part of their survey. 

“No other survey has been able to measure as many elements for as many stars as GALAH,” Gayandhi De Silva, from the University of Sydney and the AAO, added.

“This data will enable such discoveries as the original star clusters of the Galaxy, including the Sun’s birth cluster and solar siblings. There is no other dataset like this ever collected anywhere else in the world.”

The GALAH announcement comes ahead of the massive release of data from Europe’s Gaia spacecraft on Apr. 25, which is set to reveal the positions of 1.3 billion stars.

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You need fast-drying bath towels and here’s why

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You need fast-drying bath towels and here’s why

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Ditch your old scratchy towels.
Ditch your old scratchy towels.

Image: Montage brand

You might’ve gone through life without putting too much thought into your bath towels, but that’s all about to change. Truth is, the type of towels you buy matters. Sure, it’s important that your super plush towels feel soft against your skin and absorb all the excess water from your hair and body, but it’s also crucial they dry quickly.

Why? When towels stay wet for hours, they’re more susceptible to housing mold and other microscopic bacteria. And if you use the same towel a few times before throwing it in the laundry, all that mold and bacteria can transfer onto your freshly cleaned body. Um, ew. 

The good news is plenty of brands are now offering high-quality, quick-drying bath towels that will give you the peace of mind you deserve. Montage is one of them, and they’re currently on sale for nearly $30 off.

The company’s bath towels are made of a soft, 100 percent cotton and boast fast-drying technology. We haven’t specifically timed it, but they dry considerably faster than many options on the market. They’re also lightweight and breathable, making bath time feel like a luxurious affair. Available in two serene colors — white and gray — they’re versatile enough to look good in any space.

A set of two Montage towels normally costs $90, but for the next few days you can snag them for $62

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The Rarest Type Of Beef In The World Is Now On Sale In The U.S. For The First Time Ever

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wagyu beef

Shutterstock / hlphoto

Here in America, we have some of the best beef in the world. We probably treat our prized cattle better than any other country around and our steakhouses in America are truly second to none. You can get a world-class steakhouse steak in every major city across the United States but there’s one type of beef we can’t (regularly) get here in America…Genuine Wagyu Beef.

You’ll find certain types of Wagyu Beef on steakhouse menus here in America but it’s rare, and when you do see it you don’t know for certain if it’s Wagyu-style beef that’s been grown in America mimicking Japanese style cattle raising or if it’s imported…But there’s one specific type of Wagyu beef that has NEVER before been available in America until now, Olive Wagyu.

The unbelievable fat content and marbling in Olive Wagyu beef come from the cows in Japan eating spent olives used in olive oil production. For the first time, Olive Wagyu will be available in the United States but there’s a slight catch: you’ll need to be a Crowd Cow member.

Existing members of Crowd Cow will get the first crack at purchasing the Olive Wagyu, according to their website:

How do I access the event?
— For a chance to purchase Olive Wagyu, be sure to sign up for Crowd Cow and become a Steak Holder (i.e., make your first purchase) before it goes on sale again this summer.
— That’s right: all of our existing customers get first dibs on this exclusive beef. All those — — Steak Holders will get access to the event once it goes live.

If there is any left, the event will open to the public the next day. Last time we sold out in minutes!
What is Olive Wagyu?
Olive Wagyu is raised on a handful of farms in and around Shodoshima Island in Japan’s smallest prefecture, Kagawa. Olive Wagyu brings everything you’ve come to love about Wagyu, but is far, far rarer and packs a more powerful umami flavor. Only a small amount of Olive Wagyu is harvested per month, because only a few farmers on the planet — all clustered in coastal Kagawa — raise it. Crowd Cow sources from three small farms in Kagawa that upcycle wasted olive pulp from olive oil production as feed for their cows, which results in exceptionally high levels of oleic acid (that’s the health fat that gives the beef its extraordinary softness and melt-in-your-mouth feel).

This release of rare Olive Wagyu will sell out within minutes. So if you want a crack at purchasing the rarest beef on the planet you’ll need to click here to become a Crowd Cow member. If you want to learn more about Olive Wagyu you can check out this video:

(h/t CoolMaterial)

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‘Almost everyone’ in a photo of Southwest’s emergency landing wore their oxygen masks ‘wrong,’ says a former flight attendant

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Southwest Flight 1380

  • A Southwest Airlines airplane suffered a major engine failure during a flight on Tuesday.
  • Engine shrapnel pierced the airplane’s fuselage, blew out a window, caused the airplane to lose cabin pressure, and left one passenger dead.
  • Some passengers wore their oxygen masks incorrectly during the emergency landing, according to a former flight attendant.
  • Not breathing enough oxygen at high altitude can lead to loss of consciousness and hinder evacuation procedures.

Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 suffered a major engine failure on Tuesday, forcing its pilot to make an emergency landing.

Shrapnel reportedly pierced the airplane’s fuselage, blew out a window, and caused the cabin of the airplane to depressurize. The incident left one passenger dead. Tammie Jo Shults, the pilot of the flight (who used to fly US Navy fighter jets), guided the Dallas-bound airplane to a safe landing in Philadelphia. 

Oxygen masks dropped from the cabin ceiling during the incident, according to a public Facebook post shared by Marty Martinez, a passenger on the flight.

oxygen mask airline passengers bobbie laurie twitter marty martinez facebook

Bobby Laurie, a former flight attendant and TV show host, shared one of Martinez’s photos on Twitter along with a public service announcement reminding people to cover both their noses and mouths with oxygen masks during an emergency.

"PEOPLE: Listen to your flight attendants!" Laurie said. "ALMOST EVERYONE in this photo from @SouthwestAir #SWA1380 today is wearing their mask WRONG."

Why you need oxygen if an aircraft cabin loses pressure

Flying at high altitudes with a hole in an airplane is, to put it lightly, dangerous. At altitudes above 15,000 feet, people struggle to breathe and keep enough oxygen in their blood. They can lose consciousness within minutes — a condition called hypoxia.

Symptoms of hypoxia include "nausea, apprehension, tunnel vision, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, tingling sensations, numbness, and mental confusion," according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

The percentage of oxygen in the air at high altitudes isn’t the issue, since that stays relatively constant at about 21% until about 70,000 feet. The problem is the lack of air pressure.

oxygen mask airplane flight emergency shutterstock_488518795

High pressure makes air dense, which helps force oxygen through lung tissue and into the bloodstream. Insufficient  pressure lowers air density, thereby decreasing the amount of available oxygen.

Adding a flow of 100% oxygen helps counter this physiological problem. But you have to wear and use an oxygen correctly.

If you don’t cover both your nose and mouth with the mask, not enough oxygen may get into your bloodstream, putting you at risk of losing consciousness.

How correctly wearing an oxygen mask could save your life — and those around you

The Southwest flight’s engine failure happened when the plane was around 31,000 feet in the air, based on passenger reports.

Shults descended the crippled airplane to an altitude of 10,000 feet within minutes, according to flight-tracking data provided by FlightRadar24.com, and landed the aircraft about 12 minutes after an emergency was declared.

According to an AOPA chart on "time of useful consciousness" (below), SWA1380 passengers had about 30 seconds to get their masks on after the window blew open:

hypoxia time useful consciousness chart aircraft owners pilots association aopa

That flow of oxygen is crucial in emergencies, since a plane full of passed-out passengers won’t evacuate itself . And if there’s any kind of fire or smoke condition, an unconscious neighbor slumped in an aisle could mean the difference between life and death. That’s why masks are designed to deploy immediately.

According to Quizlet.com, Southwest passengers get the following instructions before every flight takes off :

"If needed, four oxygen masks will drop from the compartment overhead. To activate the flow of oxygen, pull down on the mask until the plastic tubing is fully extended. Place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally.

"Secure the mask with the elastic strap. Although oxygen will be flowing, the plastic bag may not inflate. Continue wearing the mask until otherwise notified by a Crew member. If you are traveling with children or anyone needing special assistance, put on your mask first."

Southwest Airlines did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s questions about the use of oxygen masks on SWA1380.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

Although a fear of flying and concerns about airplane safety permeate popular culture, it’s many times safer to travel by airplane than in a car. In fact, SWA1380 is the first fatal US flight in over nine years. Almost 100 million US flights carrying billions of people flew during that time without a death, according to Bloomberg.

SEE ALSO: A Southwest jet suffered an eerily similar engine failure in 2016

DON’T MISS: 49 ‘facts’ about health we often believe that are misleading, inaccurate, or totally false

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