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Butternut Squash Soup

“At South on Main, our approach is seasonal and local. This recipe started with farmers Sue and Rusty Nuffer, who own Armstead Mountain Farm in Jerusalem, Arkansas, 70 miles northwest of Little Rock. One season they gave me 150 pounds of a specialty butternut squash, and I thought, We could use a lot of it in a soup. Butternut squash soup may not be uniquely Southern, but we make it our own. The honey, spices, and whipped cream deliver that Southern pumpkin pie moment, and the smells and flavors of the season transport you back to childhood. We
serve it as a first course, but I’ve developed dinners around it by adding andouille sausage, which turns it into a heartier dish.”

Who Matthew Bell, chef/co-owner

Where South on Main   


    2    medium butternut squashes, halved lengthwise and seeded

    1/8    cup honey

    1    teaspoon nutmeg

    3    tablespoons light brown sugar

    2    cups whole milk

    1    cup heavy whipping cream

    1    teaspoon cinnamon

    ¼    cup peanut oil

    1    sprig sage


1. Season squash with salt and pepper, place cut-side-down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Scoop out squash. Blend in a food processor with honey, nutmeg, and sugar. Add 1/2 cup milk, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a pot. Stir in remaining milk, and simmer over medium heat.

2. Using a mixer, whip cinnamon into cream until stiff peaks form.

3. Heat oil in a small pan. Add sage, and fry 1 minute. Flip, and then fry 30 seconds. Garnish soup with whipped cream and fried sage. 
Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Time to Shine

Queen of clean 
Melissa Maker offers tips for freshening
up commonly
 overlooked items.

1. Stuffed Animals
“For a safe and gentle clean, put plush toys in a plastic bag with a half-cup of baking soda,” Maker says. “Seal the bag, and shake for a minute. Then let the toy sit in the sealed bag for 30 minutes. Afterward, use a soft-bristle brush to remove any baking soda, and then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away dirt.”

2. Washing Machine
“It can develop mildew and unpleasant odors if not cared for properly. Every three months, add 2 cups of baking soda to your empty machine, and run a long hot-water cycle. When it’s done, add 2 cups of white vinegar, and run it again.”

3. Leather Shoes
“Refresh them by first brushing off dirt with a soft-bristle brush. Then dampen a clean cotton cloth with white vinegar, and wipe. Vinegar removes things like dirt and salt that may harm the leather while bringing out its natural shine. Keep in mind this is only for regular leather, not suede, nubuck, or patent.”

4. Workout Clothes
“Technical fabrics must remain porous in order to wick moisture away from the body; using fabric softener on such garments clogs the fibers. If you’re having trouble getting rid of odors, presoak your gear for 30 minutes in five parts cold water to one part white vinegar. Then launder in cold water with regular detergent, and hang to dry.”

5. Earbuds
“If your earbuds aren’t working as well as they should, they may need a good cleaning. Gently brush buds with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Then, use an alcohol wipe to remove dirt. In addition to killing bacteria, alcohol dries fast, meaning it won’t damage electronic components.”

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“Punch was really popular in the 18th century. It was a communal thing: People would sit in punch houses and talk about politics and local happenings. It’s actually a Hindi word that means five. That’s why five ingredients—spirit, spice, citrus, sugar, and dilution—are the basis of a good punch. I start with brandy and then add Byrrh, a wine-based spirit that’s aromatized with spices and quinine. Honey adds sweetness, and lemon, astringency and brightness. For dilution, I use The Tea Spot’s Red Hot Chai. My mom is German, and when I was young I heard about Krampus, the beast who punishes bad kids at Christmastime. So when I was trying to think of a name for this punch, I thought Krampus’ Provocation was just perfect.”

Who Brendan Dorr, head bar chef

Where B&O American Brasserie


   2    cups Osocalis Rare Alambic Brandy

   2½    cups Byrrh Grand Quinquina

   ½    cup orange blossom honey syrup

   ½    cup lemon juice

   3    cups chai tea

1. Make honey syrup by mixing ¼ cup honey with ¼ cup hot water. Cool.

2. Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl. Add a few cups of chipped ice to chill and dilute, and then a large ice block to maintain chill. Garnish with clove-studded orange wheels.

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You should spend 6 hours a 
week with your boss.

Rethink your watercooler strategy. Extra QT with 
el jefe will leave you more inspired, engaged, and motivated than colleagues who only hang with their manager for one hour a week, according to a study by consulting firm Leadership IQ. “Your boss is your most important client,” says workplace expert Lindsey Pollak, author of Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders. But authenticity is key, so don’t just talk shop. In other words, watching Monday Night Football might earn you that promotion. Score!

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On New Year’s Eve, 3,000 pounds of confetti is dropped on Tımes Square.

And all of it is tossed by hand. Stationed in nine buildings throughout the square, the crew of 80-plus confetti 
dispersal engineers unleash the tissue-paper blizzard precisely 20 seconds before 12 a.m. “We do so because the live feeds from around 
the world tune in right at midnight, and we want them to see the ball and lots of confetti,” says Treb Heining, who has orchestrated the confetti drop since NYE ’93. Once airborne, the feather-light pieces stay aloft for up to 20 minutes. An uplifting start to the year, indeed.

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Tony Robbins
Life strategist and best-selling author

What’s the secret to success? “Anyone who is able 
to consistently achieve success has a strategy. 
They’re doing something smarter, faster, and better than everybody else. If you uncover those strategies
and sow the same seeds, you can reap the same rewards. I have spent nearly four decades examining experts in all areas to extract, curate, and codify what makes them so effective. The key to converting what I learn into something useful to others is simplicity. Early on in my career I realized that complexity is the enemy of execution. If I can distill an idea down, people know the game is winnable. That’s the essence of what I do: I live for the strategies and insights that can turn somebody’s world around in an instant.”

Robbins’ latest book, Money: Master the Game, was released last month.

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Cats have 32 muscles in each ear.

We humans only have six. That explains why, even after hours of practice, some of us still can’t wiggle our ears, while felines can swivel theirs nearly 180 
degrees. Cat ears act as mini satellite dishes, letting them precisely pinpoint a sound’s location. But don’t expect Kitty to react to your every call. These domestic
companions prioritize sounds based on survival needs, says Dr. Louise 
Murray, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital in NYC. “If a cat responded to everything it heard, it would be overwhelmed,” she says. Try as you might, your voice  will never win out over 
the sound of the can opener.

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A Mutual Feast The sharing economy hits the dinner table.

By Amy Klein

The idea first came to tech guru Guy Michlin three years ago. He traveled to Crete with his wife and daughter and “fell into every tourist trap” for the first several days. But everything changed when a Cretan friend sent him to eat with a local family. The authentic cultural immersion was “the best thing on our trip by far,” Michlin says. He
 resolved to build a business around that 
“magic,” and in 2012 EatWith was born. Just two years later the San Francisco–based company now operates in more than 150 cities in 
32 countries around the world.

Michlin aims to create a third category of dining: Rather than eating at home or at a restaurant, EatWith creates a hybrid experience. Hosts offer a home-cooked tasting menu of a specific cuisine, set their prices, and welcome patrons into their homes. Customers sign up on EatWith.com, and the company profits by skimming 15 percent. U.S. cities currently include Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, 
L.A., and New York, with Austin and Portland, 
Oregon, soon to come. EatWith has shown no signs of slowing: The company just raised $8 million in capital and is the pacesetter among similar companies like Feastly and Cookening.

The breakneck growth of this travel-inspired enterprise makes it the latest in a slew of thriving businesses that have successfully tapped into the sharing economy. It’s now commonplace for people to rent 
out their apartments to travelers 
on Airbnb and employ their own cars to ferry customers with Uber. (CEOs Brian Chesky of Airbnb and Travis Kalanick of Uber recently tied for first place on Forbes’ list of the most influential business leaders under age 40.) Now you can 
dine in a stranger’s home thanks 
to EatWith.

A Foodie Hideaway
For my first EatWith experience, I shuffled into a factory turned apartment in Brooklyn, wedged myself onto a couch, and surveyed my bizarre surroundings: Vine-covered light fixtures hung from 30-foot ceilings, and custom-made, $5,000 bicycles were propped nearby. Two long tables were set for 15 people, folks like me who paid $53 for the seven-
course dinner at the Ajito (“hideaway” in Japanese) dinner club. After moving to the dining room, we uncorked our BYOB wines, and I wondered if the “home restaurant” would be something I tried once for fun,  or if it would become one of my go-to dining options. As in, “Honey, should we order in or go to a stranger’s house for dinner?”

Or would sharing a meal with four Indonesians in town for a United Nations conference, two retired Swedes, a pair of New Yorkers, and a local Israeli couple and their visiting parents send me running back to a restaurant in dire need of 

More importantly, as our host, Ai, unveiled beautifully presented courses from the vegetarian Japanese menu—including homemade tofu with miso tamari, a fall vegetable salad, corn miso risotto, and kabocha squash custard—I questioned whether hosts could make enough money to ensure the company’s sustainability.

Ai’s husband, Mathew, who builds the custom bikes, told me she does make a small profit, but only if you don’t figure in her time—she spends three days prepping the meals. For now she doesn’t mind because she aspires to be a professional chef and uses this as her test kitchen. But 
how many others are willing to do the same?

To solve this problem, some hosts have turned to simpler fare, such as $28 brunches. Rebecca Williams from San Francisco tried hosting a $55 sake supper with a sommelier to lecture on the wine pairings but found it more cost-effective to host a $38 vegetarian Lebanese dinner, which was also less of a time investment (around seven hours). In the end, she makes a few hundred dollars, a nice side income for the ESL professor, who also used to work in the restaurant business and misses serving people.

“We’re working with the hosts to improve their economics,” says CEO and co-founder Michlin, who notes that a number of chefs in Barcelona, one of the company’s first cities, have been able to make a living off hosting. And although EatWith is often compared to Airbnb, he says they’re different economic models. “If you’re all about the money, we would screen you out.”

This would seem to dampen
interest in hosting, but there’s no shortage of people waiting in line. EatWith has a strict vetting process for certifying hosts, including interviews and site visits to inspect for quality and ensure it’s a “trusted environment.” This thoroughness may explain the 10,000 pending applications compared to the 500 verified hosts. The five-person vetting team hopes to approve thousands of hosts in the next two years. “It’s important to us to find people who are passionate about cooking and hosting,” Michlin says.

Curating the Experience
Passion is what My Le Goel looks 
for when she embarks on her travels from Seattle. When visiting Barcelona she searched 100 different EatWith profiles to find something other than the usual come to my home and make paella or tapas. “I knew the rest of the trip I’d be eating Spanish cooking,” she says. “I was looking for someone who would be great in terms of conversation and travel.” She found an older couple who had traveled to 50 countries and had artifacts and tales to go with their Persian cuisine; since she’s from Vietnam, they all had plenty to talk about.
Goel’s intimate meal in Spain—just six people—sounded far different than mine in Brooklyn, which is one of the most popular
offerings in New York City. I found it challenging to follow the multiple conversations among the 15 guests. The Swedes talked about their homeland, the Israeli parents discussed the holidays, and one New Yorker explained his Pebble, a smartwatch that displays his emails. (“Because sometimes I don’t have time to pull my phone out of my pocket.”)

Mostly, though, everyone disc-ussed food, either the exquisite courses presented to us or the best local restaurants for tourists.

Perhaps this was because the experience was curated so that the focus was on the meal itself, and the chef remained in the kitchen. (Hosts can indicate on their profiles if they will be joining the guests.)

For some the act of hosting—making guests feel welcome and cultivating camaraderie—is of utmost importance. “I love having strangers in my home,” says 29-year-old Sarit Wishnevski of Astoria, Queens. “It’s been really interesting learning how to balance serving and cooking—making sure everyone’s glasses are filled and their needs are being met—and how to facilitate conversation at the table all at the same time.” Given Wishnevski’s background in nonprofit management and interest in food—in addition to volunteering at a soup kitchen, she works both as a personal chef and in a prep kitchen—hosting helps her focus on her long-term goals, which she hopes will involve a cross section of social services and food.

But the key to her successful meals might be their structure. She and her husband typically offer a Friday night dinner celebrating the Jewish Sabbath. Despite not being very observant themselves, they introduce traditional customs throughout the meal, such as lighting candles, making a blessing on wine, and serving challah bread. “We serve family style, so people have to pass the food around, which starts conversation, and they get to know each other,” she says. “If there’s a lull I might find a way to engage everyone at the table. With the structure of Shabbat, it makes my job a lot easier.”

Dinner with Dungeons 
& Dragons
This might be a refinement that EatWith needs in order to attract more customers and improve the experience: themes to make the dinner parties gel. In some ways, they’ve begun to do that, instituting the Chef Series in New York, where professional chefs cook in their homes. Williams,

in San Francisco, is hosting a singles dinner with aphrodisiac foods. And what about an EatWith book club? Or a meal for entrepreneurs? Perhaps a sports team watch party, or something for Dungeons & Dragons aficionados?

In some ways the guests are already a self-selected breed. “These are people who are well-traveled, sometimes foodies and sometimes not, but they’re open-minded and they want to try new things,” Michlin says. “If you’re new to the city or traveling a long way, you’re going to meet like-minded people.”

Yet for Williams the beauty of the meals is the eclectic mix of people—a recent dinner had a printmaker sitting next to a techie. “We’re so used to sticking to our very manicured social life through social media,” she says. “We’re told who to be friends with, and we only do things that have been cultivated 
for us. So I think this teaches people to go out of their comfort zone in 
personal relationships. I love connecting and seeing people who would not normally be in touch leave with an understanding of 
who the other person is.”

Amy Klein is based in New York City. She writes for Salon, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

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Quvenzhané Wallis, if you could give your 21-year old self some advice, what would it be? Never give up, always be confident, and don’t listen to the negativity of others.

If you were to name the three biggest differences between your hometown of Houma, Louisiana and Hollywood, what would they be? 1. Tall buildings; 
2. A lot of people; 
3. A lot of traffic. 

If a picture paints a thousands words, what are you doing in that picture? Picking flowers.

If you could have any meal delivered to your doorstep right this second, what would it be? A boiled seafood feast.

If you’ve had a hard knock life, what’s the hardest knock and how did you handle it? Sometimes things don’t go the way I would like, but then time passes and it’s OK.

If you could have the answer to any question, what would you ask? How many pets will I have?

If your life were a novel, what would be the title and how would it end? Mysterious: To Be Continued…

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Whiteface Lodge

Abutting the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park, this all-suite resort is wistfully reminiscent of the sumptuous
Great Camps that dotted the area in the 19th century. All 94 rooms are havens of relaxation, thanks to cast-iron fireplaces, jetted tubs, and warm cookies at turndown. By day, ice-skate on the lodge’s private rink, or indulge in an apple cider mask and massage. In the evening, feast on buttery
pork tenderloin at Kanu, the resort’s stately dining room, and then snuggle up under the stars in a lean-to outfitted with rustic furniture, warm blankets, and a direct line to the concierge.

AIRPORT Albany International (ALB) RATE From $279



Ski Olympic slopes at Whiteface Lake Placid, two-time site of the Winter Games. It’s home to the greatest vertical east of the Rockies, plus terrain parks and a gondola. whiteface.com

Shop local at Owls Head Mountain 
Rustic Furniture Gallery. The log cabin shop sells handmade quilts, lavender bath products, and classic Adirondack chairs. ohm

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Spicy Mule

“I love working with jalapeño peppers. They’re just so versatile, and they really enhance the flavor of 
a cocktail by adding a little kick. Moscow mules are very popular right now, and I wanted to do something different with them. It’s as simple as muddling a few jalapeño slices with the limes. This drink is a real crowd-pleaser any time of year, and it’s just so simple to make.”

WHO Kara Graves, manager

WHERE Hair of the Dog

    3     lime wedges

    5     seeded jalapeño slices

    ½    ounce simple syrup

   1½  ounces Deep Eddy Vodka

    4     ounces Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer

    1     dash Angostura bitters

In a shaker, muddle lime and jalapeños with simple syrup, and then top with vodka and ice. Shake, then pour into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with ginger beer and bitters, and garnish with a jalapeño slice.

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“We started Hola Arepa three years ago as a food truck focusing solely on arepas. Rather than making them the traditional Venezuelan way with simple fillings, we treat them as a vehicle to serve up really good braised meats, cheeses, sauces, and pickled vegetables. In May we opened a restaurant, and now we’re able to serve small plates like these arepitas. We wanted to show the versatility of arepa dough and that it could be fried to make a gluten-free fritter. The results were something like a cross between a Venezuelan tequeño and a jalapeño popper. It’s molten goat cheese encased in a very thin layer of dough, with a little bit of jalapeño for spice and a quince-paste dipping sauce to cut the richness and add some fruit.”

WHO Christina Nguyen, co-owner

WHERE Hola Arepa

    ⅔    cup lukewarm water

    ½    teaspoon salt

    ½    cup P.A.N. arepa flour

    4     ounces goat cheese

    3     tablespoons finely diced seeded jalapeños

           canola oil for frying


1. To make dough, combine water and salt, and then mix in flour by hand. Let rest for 10 minutes. Form into balls slightly larger than a rounded teaspoon. To make filling, mix together cheese and jalapeños. Form rounded teaspoons into spheres, and freeze until firm.

2. For each arepita, flatten a dough ball, and wrap around goat cheese. Coat with arepa flour, and deep-fry at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.


   1     700-gram tin La Costeña quince paste

   ¾    cup cider vinegar

   ¼    cup water


1. To make sauce, blend above 
ingredients in a food processor. Serve arepitas on top, and garnish with bull’s blood microgreens.

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Stacked for Success Are speed-reading apps the cure 
for info overload?

By Melinda Mahaffey Icden


President John F. Kennedy was said to be a natural speed-reader who could devour 1,200 words per minute. He even sent his aides to study the skill, as did Presidents Richard
Nixon and Jimmy Carter.
All three relied on the same woman, a Utah schoolteacher named Evelyn Wood, who developed a popular technique in the 1950s and eventually opened outlets across the country to impart her methods—grouping words and scanning up and down rather than left and right.

Wood herself could consume an astounding 2,700 words per minute, at least according to The New York Times; the Los Angeles Times posits she could race through novels at rates of anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 wpm.

How fast can you read? The average person clocks in at 200 to 400 wpm. Intrigued, I decided to test my own speed. As a lifelong bookworm, I assumed I would land at the upper end of the scale. The results? Mixed, to say the least.

Using the app Acceleread, I scanned a passage on chewing gum and came in at 249 wpm. A test on Staples.com, which featured a short excerpt from H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, scored me at 368 wpm. And a ReadingSoft.com test calculated my speed at 296 wpm but also pointed out that, since we read more slowly on screens, that equates to 400 wpm on paper.

While the inconsistency calls into question the reliability of these tests, it inadvertently demonstrates a truth about the process—your reading speed is dependent on both what and how you’re reading. Are you skimming emails or fully invested in learning about next year’s health plan benefits, relishing a great novel or grazing a few points off that memo?

Interest in speed reading has resurfaced several times since Wood introduced her technique six decades ago, but enthusiasm may be at an all-time high. In the past year, we’ve seen the launch of new technologies, online software, and apps that promise to double or triple your reading speed while maintaining, or even improving, comprehension.

What’s the rush? In a world saturated with ever-increasing amounts of information to process—there are now hundreds of millions of active websites—such tools may sound like a godsend. The average person spends more than a quarter of their working hours reading and composing emails, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. But are these new technologies a panacea or a passing fad? Is there any validity behind the claims? Will words per minute someday be something you point out on your résumé?

Not Your Mother’s RSVP

A quick search for “speed read” on my iPhone yields more than 100 results, including best-selling Acceleread, which offers training tools and also tracks your progress over time, and QuickReader, an app created for e-books—a yellow box highlights groups of words to “expand the number of words you can read in a single fixation.”

Similar apps for Android users include Speed Reading Trainer and A Faster Reader, which utilizes rapid serial visual presentation, the technique upon which most new speed-reading apps are based: Words are flashed one at a time in the middle of the screen at a pace determined by the reader. (This supposedly eliminates subvocalization, or silently speaking along as you read, and enables you to read faster than your inner voice can keep up.)

Looking for a business-friendly version? RapidReader Pro enables you to scan PDFs, Outlook emails, and Word documents.

While there’s no shortage of options, one problem remains: Independent scientific studies
generally don’t support their claims. “There are natural constraints on the visual system,” says John Henderson, a psychology professor and director of the Institute for Mind & Brain at the University of South Carolina. “Stare at a word, and try to read the word three or four words to the right without moving your eyes. You’ll see that it’s just a blur.”

When we read, under normal
circumstances our eyes hop quickly from word to word and then stop—or fixate—on one 
location for about a quarter of a second. During those pauses, we take in information about that word and the next, and then our eyes move quickly to the next spot—a process we repeat again and again.

“But it’s a little more complicated than that,” Henderson says. “Sometimes we look at a word more than once; sometimes we skip words, so occasionally the movements are longer, and we’ll pass over a word and land on the word that comes after. And sometimes we go backwards to look at a word we’ve already looked at or maybe one we’ve skipped over.” We fixate on about 80 percent of the words in a text, according to Henderson, and on some words multiple times, while we might skip short or predictable words.

This means we can only get information from the words that we directly fixate on. Not surprisingly, therefore, research has 
demonstrated that rereading is essential to understanding. Along with colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, post-
doctoral psychology scholar 
Elizabeth Schotter asked 40 
students to read a series of sentences and then answer a simple comprehension question after each. When students wanted to reread more complicated senten-ces but were blocked from doing so, their comprehension was the lowest, at 50 percent—the same as guessing. Similarly, a Finnish study from 2006 discovered that “the amount of time spent looking back in text also correlated positively with the relative success in recalling the main points expressed in the text.”

This raises serious questions about the efficacy of RSVP-based apps (those that rapidly flash one word at a time), and may also be why, as I tried out various tools, I couldn’t help feeling like I was running a race—and losing, badly.
But not everyone shares my view. “I haven’t noticed any decline in comprehension,” 
writes Slate contributor Jim Pagels, who uses the free online software, Spreeder. “If anything, I’m more focused on the material,
because I know I can’t allow my mind to wander or I’ll lose my place, similar to how a runner on a treadmill can’t just stop whenever they get tired.”

Getting Back to Basics

The new release that has garn-ered the most attention is Spritz. And while the startup’s home-page makes the claim that you can increase your speed while maintaining the same level of comprehension, co-founder Maik Maurer says his aim wasn’t to promote speed-reading but rather to enhance the experience of mobile devices.

“As a product developer, I realized there was an innovation gap in reading,” Maurer says. “Spritz is not meant to be a replacement of conventional or traditional reading methods. It was always planned as an extension, as a further possibility to bring reading to more situations. You become faster, but this is a side effect.” He doesn’t imagine someone curling up on their couch with Spritz, but he does think it’s a solution for those times when, say, you’re killing time while in line at Starbucks. And with the barrage of information that comes our way every day—and more and more frequently on smaller devices—we do need new solutions for reading on the go. Perhaps you’re unable to effectively read your emails at 1,000 wpm, but having the words presented one by one on your new Apple Watch may enhance your productivity. And if the abundance of gushing comments on their Facebook page is any indication, Spritz has legions of supporters.

Thus, when deciding whether to give any of these new apps a try—there are myriad free options that allow you to test the waters—the first question you should consider is what you’re hoping to gain from the text. Do you need to know the finer details of that report, or are you only trying to get a basic overview of a proposal? Are you wading through a 10-page document or your emails?

If you find that you’re still frustrated by your limited reading speed, here’s something else to consider: You’re already faster than you think. “While reading takes a long time, we can generally read faster than we can speak,” Schotter says. “It varies by person, but speaking rates can be 150 to 250 words per minute. If you think about it that way, we’re already very fast readers.”

And there is one guaranteed
way to improve your reading speed. “What I always tell people—and this never satisfies them—is that in order to become a better reader, just read more,” Schotter says. For example, the more you read and encounter unfamiliar words, the more familiar they are the next time you see them, allowing you to process them more quickly.

“Reading is something that takes effort, and you have to pay attention and think about what you’re reading,” Schotter says. “And this notion that just sitting there passively and having words flashed at you is going to be sufficient belies how beautifully complex the reading process is.”


Melinda Mahaffey Icden is a freelance writer based in Dallas. She’s proud of her average reading speed.

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Laurie Holden, if you 
could give your 10-year-old self one piece of 
advice, what would it be? Trust your instincts. Honor your boundaries. And never let your 
ego get in the way.

If you were in a band, what would it be called, what would you be playing, and what’s the song? I’d be the lead singer in The Sugar Mamas. Our first single? “Will You Be My Happy Meal?”

If you had to choose only one book for your library, what would it be and why? The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I feel such peace when I read it, and I get something new and insightful out of it each and every time.

If you were to connect your work in academia and human rights with 
your work as an actor and artist, how would you describe it? 
I strive to be—and to portray—a woman with integrity, dignity, and grace.

If your life were a novel, what would its title be and how would it end? I Survived. I Conquered. And it would end with me walking toward a beautiful white light, happy 
and at peace.

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each other’s 
calls for 
more than 20 years.

Elephants aren’t the only ones who never forget: Even after two decades of separation, bottlenose dolphins recognize the whistles of their former tank mates. According to Jason Bruck, a zoology professor who researched the animals’ behavior as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago, the sea mammal’s memory is integral to its community life: “They have a fission-fusion social system, meaning they disband and reform social groups.” Dolphins often team up with a companion or join a large pod to hunt and feed, gravitating toward familiar faces. Feasting on fish: It’s always better among friends.

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The Giver

Skip the lines and cross off 
everyone on your list when you shop these specially curated online emporiums.

mouth.com Handmade, small-batch edibles abound here. Grab a themed gift set, or pick your favorites among the variety of cookies, 
salami, savory spreads, and more.

Style Maven
ofakind.com Featuring everything from classic shift dresses and edgy jewels to weekender bags, this sartorial treasure trove specializes in limited-edition offerings from emerging designers.

Cool Kid
babyccinokids.com Browse the wares of indie children’s boutiques in London, Paris, and other au courant cities for an all-ages selection of uncommon clothing and toys.

leifshop.com Founded on a love 
of small things with a large capacity to inspire, Leif offers décor items and accessories that are as pretty as they are practical. Think handwoven textiles, copper planters, soy candles, and leather coasters.

Tech Lover
The pros behind this site do the cool hunting for you, scouring the Web for innovative items for work and play and posting their finds for your perusal.

Fancy Fellow
Specialty brews,
an electric bike, a stylish cooler—everything you’ll find here has the discerning male in mind. And with new gear added every weekday, there’s plenty to choose from.

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Timmy fell down the well 0 times.

Lassie’s leading lad was 
a magnet for close calls with hazards like raging 
rivers, forest fires, and wild animals—but his famous fall wasn’t among them. 
If a character asking a barking dog, “What’s that? Timmy’s in the well?” sounds familiar, that’s because sitcoms, comic strips, and even Super Bowl ads have riffed on it. But the situation never actually occurred during Lassie’s 20-year TV run. Still, “it’s probably the scene that 
everyone ‘remembers’ from
 the show,” says Ace Collins, author of Lassie: A Dog’s Life, who suspects it came from a forgotten stand-up routine. So who really coined the catchphrase? It’s a doggone mystery.

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Our eyes are shut for 10% of our waking hours.

If all that time spent blinking
has you worried you’ll walk into a pole, close your eyes and take a deep breath: Each flutter only lasts about 400 milliseconds. Plus, we have great timing, says bioscience professor Tamami Nakano of Japan’s Osaka University. By recording test subjects’ eye and brain activity as they viewed videos, Nakano found that we wait for natural pauses in action or conversation before closing our eyelids. “People subconsciously control the blink time so they don’t miss important information,” she says. 
Eye-opening, isn’t it?

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Downtown México

While it’s housed in a former royal resi-dence built in the 17th century, this new hotel by boutique firm Grupo Habita is a
welcome splash of contemporary two blocks from the Zócalo in downtown Mexico City. On the roof, travelers can dip into a pool surrounded by sunny yellow loungers or sip on a mezcal cocktail in an open-air lounge. After a night of cantina hopping, retire to one of 17 minimalist rooms with amenities
à la C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries. Book an Independence or Revolution suite for 
a balcony and impeccable views of Casino Español de México, a Beaux Arts beauty across the street.

AIRPORT Mexico City International (MEX) RATE From $165 


Explore Mexican art at the Fomento Cultural Banamex, housed in the Baroque-influenced Palace of Iturbide, built in 1779.

Sample street food on a guided tour with Eat Mexico. You’ll taste tacos al pastor and tlacoyos, black bean–filled corn patties topped with queso blanco and salsa.

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Idina Menzel
Tony Award–winning singer and actress 

How do you define success? “There are about 
3 million notes in a two-and-a-half-hour musical; being a perfectionist, it took me a long time 
to realize that if I’m hitting 75 percent of them, 
I’m succeeding. Performing isn’t only about
 the acrobatics and the high notes: It’s staying in the moment, connecting with the audience 
in an authentic way, and making yourself 
real to them through the music. I am more than the notes I hit, and that’s how I try to approach my life. You can’t get it all right all the time, but 
you can try your best. If you’ve done that, all 
that’s left is to accept your shortcomings and have 
the courage to try to overcome them.”

The Frozen star’s Christmas album, Holiday Wishes, was released last month.

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30% of parents have “borrowed” from their kid’s piggy bank.

Although the vast majority of moms and dads surveyed this year by T. Rowe Price said they want to be regarded as sound financial role models, nearly a third of them fessed up to swiping cash from their children. “Some kids might feel empowered: ‘Mom borrowed money from me; that must mean I’m rich!’” says Crystal Paine, founder of MoneySavingMom.com. But others may not be as pumped to play banker, especially 
if they didn’t volunteer. Even if you only ask the youngsters for the occasional loan and are quick on the payback, Paine suggests considering what kind of example you’re setting. Meanwhile, kiddos, you might want to devise a better way of protecting your precious pennies—or start charging interest!

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James Marsden, if you wrote a letter to your kids, what would it say? I hope that my actions as their father are a lifelong letter to them. They learn more by observing than by being told.

If you could have created any great work of art, what would it be and why? Every Beatles song ever written. Just because.

The Best of Me was shot in New Orleans. If you had to take us out for a night on the town, what would we do? There’s no place on Earth like New Orleans. I’d start 
with dinner at Pêche, a great seafood restaurant, then go to Frenchmen Street for some live music and drinks. On the way home, we’d have to stop at Café Du Monde for a beignet.

If you could give your 10-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Never stop smiling. But get braces first. 

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why? Ah yes, the proverbial question. I would want to fly. Sorry, Southwest!

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Kip Tindell
Chairman and CEO, The Container Store  

What is essential to being a leader? “While I certainly value intellectual intelligence, a capable leader 
must also possess emotional intelligence. I think that’s the key to being really successful. These individuals keep their egos in check and remain sensitive to 
the needs of others. Instead of being driven by deep-seated insecurities, emotionally intelligent leaders are comfortable surrounding themselves with people who are better than they are in certain areas, 
and they rank high on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where self-esteem, awareness, honesty, and 
objectivity are concerned. Business is not a zero-sum game. In other words, someone else doesn’t have 
to lose in order for you to win. The best leaders both understand and embrace that type of thinking.” 

Tindell’s book, Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives, comes out this month.

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Jersey Jewel

“Our chef, Justin Severino, is a renowned butcher, so a lot of the focus of the food is on preservation through curing. By doing a lot with vermouth, liqueurs, tinctures, and bitters, the cocktail program echoes that approach. This drink is our vision of New Jersey in the 1920s: The ingredients are representative of the time and place. Instead of minute measurements, the recipe uses ratios, and that’s really quintessential of the ’20s and ’30s too. You don’t have to have a jigger, and there’s no muddling or shaking. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make. You get a lot of extracted apple flavor from this cocktail, and with the touch of nutmeg it’s just quintessentially fall.”

WHO Colin Anderson, bartender


    3    parts Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy

    2    parts sweet vermouth

    1    part Cherry Heering

    1    dash Boker’s Bitters


Build over ice, and stir before straining into a coupe glass. Garnish with apple slices, nutmeg, and a cherry.

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Change of Space In the 
office of the future, 
adaptability is everything.

By Melinda Mahaffey Icden


The image of conventional workplace drabness is one we’re all familiar with—whether you’ve worked within it or seen it portrayed in TV and on film, from Parks and Recreation to Office Space. Beige walls. Fluorescent lights. Utilitarian carpet. And lots and lots of cubicles.

In other words, a
millennial’s nightmare. As the largest generation in history, millennials are projected to be the majority workforce by the year 2020, and the desires of this group—loosely defined as people currently in their teens, 20s, and early 30s—are expected to reshape the modern workplace. In fact, it’s a process that’s already begun.

In the last decade or so, the idea of what an office is—and more importantly, can be—has undergone a radical shift. Only 8 percent of us work in a bull pen–style arrangement (a room full of desks without cubicle walls), according to the International Facility
Management Association’s last
survey on the subject, but the perception is that modular walls are falling away, paving the way for truly open offices that trade the C-suite for casual meeting areas with couches, and personal desks for communal work tables. The most drool-worthy spaces, often associated with technology companies like Google, boast amenities like state-of-the-art fitness
centers, cafés and coffee shops, health clinics, and Lego play spaces. And while the details may differ, these modern workspaces share one very important commonality: They’re “cool.”

“Tech campuses and the amenities they offer take up a lot of airtime in the media, but those are actually few and far between,” says Nikil Saval, author of Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace. “What we are really likely to see is office space per employee shrinking because technology is enabling a lot of employees to work off-site and companies are increasing the number of employees they have working on contract.”

According to a CoreNet Global survey from 2012, an office worker, who averaged 225 square feet of space in 2010, now has 176 square feet. That number is expected to continue to drop, and more than 80 percent of respondents said that their companies had shifted toward more open office arrangements, which generally require less physical space.

This sort of downsizing allows
corporations to take a bite out of
their real estate budgets, certainly, but the goal of these modern workplaces is also to create a high-tech environment that, at its most basic, promotes collaboration and is stylish,
comfortable, and even fun—all things millennials are after. In the most elaborate versions, the workplace becomes a place you never want or have to leave.

“If people can now work anywhere, why do they want to come to the office?” says Kylie Roth, director
of workplace strategy at Knoll, the 76-year-old furniture design and manufacturing firm. “That’s a
question we hear. But the workplace isn’t just real estate.”

Building for Change

Hold off before drawing up new floor plans, though. “Corporations will simply say, ‘Let’s do a cool-looking space with no cubicles and no offices,’” says Kristine Woolsey, a behavioral strategist and the director of +Culture at Carrier Johnson + Culture, an architecture firm in San Diego. “But if they don’t understand the fundamental behavioral changes taking place, the design won’t be effective.”

According to Woolsey, there are four main changes shaping workplace behavior. Technological advances have allowed for asynchronous communication, meaning we no longer have to be together to work together. The speed of change has given rise to the perception that anything is possible, fueling entrepreneurship. Additionally, layoffs have increased the number of people working for themselves. And lastly, research has started to illuminate the positive power of collaboration, prompting companies to rethink the standard conference room in favor of more informal meeting spaces and areas that provoke spontaneous

“You can read the culture of an office the minute you walk into the lobby,” Woolsey says. “The reason we’re going to office designs that read as less hierarchical—whether the company is less hierarchical or not—is that when the younger generation walks in and it looks like there’s more access to leadership, more transparency, and more opportunity for growth, they’re going to be more motivated.”

However, the open-space layout may not be for everyone. “You really have to look at your business and ask if these four behaviors are even relevant.” Woolsey says. “Perhaps three of them are but not the fourth. Once you do that, you can start to build your own version of the office of the future rather than simply copying the trend.”

There are other factors to consider
too. Studies have shown that the No. 1 complaint of workers in both cubicle and bull pen arrangements is the level of noise coming from neighbors, and that employees who work in some form of shared space take more sick days than their peers who have private offices.

That’s not to suggest that open plans don’t work, or that private offices are the way to go. The key is that there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint when it comes to office design. The workplace of the future is one that meets the specific needs of your company, uses space efficiently, and is built for adaptability.

It’s important to note, too, how quickly things are changing. According to Knoll’s research, a corporation undergoes organizational changes about every three years and sees its workforce turn over about every eight. Technology changes about every 18 months, yet an office design typically lasts a decade; a building, about 40 years. All of which is to say, you can’t build for today and forget about tomorrow—especially as it grows less clear what tomorrow will bring. “The belief at Knoll is that there is no one office of the future; there’s only change,” Roth says.

Freedom of Choice

But the perception certainly exists that companies need fancy, newfangled workspaces to attract and retain the brightest of the bunch. “A friend of mine in HR always says, ‘Baby boomers complain; millennials just leave,” Woolsey says, an observation that plays out statistically. But who doesn’t want choice—whether that’s having the freedom to ergonomically adjust your assigned workspace, selecting where to work within the building, or choosing when and where to work?

When GlaxoSmithKline opened its U.S. headquarters in the Philadelphia Navy Yard in April 2013, the pharmaceutical giant opted to go without assigned workstations. Instead, the 1,350 employees there received a laptop, a locker in which to store their belongings, and the choice of where to work within the four-story building throughout the day. While CBS News labeled it a “slightly insane plan” that would allow the company to “torture” its employees, Ray Milora, GSK’s head of design and change management, says their Smart Working program brings freedom. “If you were here right now, we could be having this conversation in this conference room, in another conference room with lounge seating, in the atrium, up on the roof, or out front,” he says. “It’s really up to the individual to pick and choose, and your personality and personal preferences come into play, along with the style and type of meeting you’re trying to have. You’re in control of the built environment, and it allows you to work the way you want to work.” Research suggests they’re on the right track: A University of Exeter study found that employees with some control over their workspace are not only happier but 32
percent more productive.

And despite all the fuss over
millennials, personal preferences don’t seem to have much to do with age. As a 2013 report from Deloitte on the workspace of the future points out, generations may have different
work styles, but they’re in agree-
ment when it comes to wanting
more flexibility. Most millennials say that

it’s a top priority, while baby boomers say it motivates them to 
put in more effort.

Milora says he’s found no measurable difference between age groups (or gender or race, for that matter) in how employees have responded to the new space. “It comes down 100 percent to personality,” he says. “There are some people who simply
don’t want to work out in the open, while we have some long-term employees who wish we’d made the switch 30 years ago.”

Getting in the Zone

You’ve probably heard the phrase “That’s why they call it work.” It’s meant to indicate, of course, that your job is not intended to be fun. And while it may not be the responsibility of a company to make its
people happy, it’s certainly something smart organizations are
taking more seriously.

That’s because an employee’s feelings are directly tied to his or her productivity and company loyalty. Job satisfaction numbers are dismally low, with 18 percent of Americans in a Gallup poll released last year reporting they’re actually “actively disengaged” with their work. So in reality, the office of the future is one that’s adaptable and efficient—and that more heavily considers, and caters to, the needs and desires of employees.

After all, workers report that it’s the interest and challenge in their jobs that make them happy and that they feel most satisfied when they’re “in the zone”—something a workspace is particularly able to assist with. They also feel better when they work with friends. “I didn’t even know who sat on the floor below me [in our former office],” Milora says, “I got in the elevator, and I went to my area, my cube. Now you see everyone, and we’re more interconnected.”

So why, as Kylie Roth of Knoll asks, come to the office when you can work anywhere? With the right workspace, you’ll want to. The biggest challenge is creating a space that attracts valuable people and is a factor in their job enjoyment. “We’re often asked whether the workplace is going away,” Roth says. “It may be changing, but it’s still a place where people want to come to connect with each other and the organization’s culture. And they need that.”

Which leads to another famous saying, this one from Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”—something made infinitely easier by a workspace designed to help you do your best.


Melinda Mahaffey Icden is a freelance writer based in Dallas.

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Braised Roots

“Sacramento is an agricultural hub, and chefs are starting to take note. There’s a lot of creativity coming in, and a lot of camaraderie. At Grange, we’re all about locality and sustainability. Living in this bountiful area, it’s not hard to do, because even in the winter we’ve got an abundance of local produce. This recipe can be used with root vegetables of any kind, from celery root to radishes. I like to use baby turnips. They’re firm and peppery—really pleasant on the mouth—and farmers like growing them because it’s good for their soil. They’re so tender that you can just wash them, keep the greens on, and give them a quick braise. Since it’s fall, 
I add some apple cider vinegar and maple syrup too.”

WHO Oliver Ridgeway, executive chef

WHERE Grange 


    6 to 8 small root vegetables  

    2    tablespoons canola oil   

    1    tablespoon unsalted butter   

    2    tablespoons maple syrup

    1    tablespoon apple cider vinegar

    1    tablespoon pecans, toasted and chopped

1. Halve vegetables lengthwise, leaving stems attached. Season with salt and pepper,
and cook in oil over medium-high heat for 
4 to 5 minutes or until lightly brown, tossing to avoid burning. Add butter, syrup, 
and vinegar, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with toasted pecans and a pinch of sea salt.

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The World Series has been canceled 2 times.

There are 90 years and plenty of differences between those Fall Classic cancellations. In 1904, the New York Giants refused to play the championship because of a feud between their management and that of the upstart American League. (The Giants’ owner saw the AL—25 years theNational League’s junior—as a “minor league.”) They resolved their differences by the next year, and the tradition continued until 1994, when baseball commissioner Bud Selig called off the series on account of a player strike. Thankfully, cancellations are harder to come by today. “There’s more of an alignment of interests between players and owners than ever before,” says John Thorn, the official historian of the MLB. So, for now, play ball!

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The Guesthouse Hotel

Urban vacation rental meets high-end hotel at this stylish setup in the northern Chicago neighborhood of Andersonville. Suites start at 700 square feet and sport balconies and modern kitchens.
(Book one of the fourth-floor penthouse units for a furnished rooftop patio all your own.) A gas-burning fireplace and chester-
field couch in the lobby’s sunlit Club Room invite unplugging, while
a savvy concierge is available when you’re ready to venture out. The hotel partners with The River Valley Farmer’s Table, a nearby locavore restaurant, to provide room service. So if you don’t want to fire up the range in your room, settle in with grass-fed steak frites or vegan mushroom tacos and an incredible view.

AIRPORT Chicago Midway International (MDW) RATE From $200


Get your fill of 
Swedish pancakes and lingonberry jam at no-frills diner Svea, a beloved vestige of the neighborhood’s Scandinavian roots. 773-275-7738

Raise a glass at Hopleaf, Chicago’s home base for rare-beer lovers. Its array of Belgian and American craft beers is revered nationwide.

Find live jazz at the Green Mill, a Chicago institution since 1907. Nab the banquette where Al Capone used to sit, and plan to stay late.

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Live It Up

Success without sacrifice? It’s achievable, says Stewart Friedman.

Is there such a thing as work-life balance?

“The notion of balance is misguided. Instead, think in terms of harmony. You don’t have to neglect all other parts of your life in order to be successful at work. In fact, the opposite is true. The more you integrate family, community, and 
self—your mind, body, and spirit—the more purposeful and focused you become, which actually makes you more valuable professionally.”

Where do I start?

“Identify the roles you play in your life. Are you a spouse? A parent? A community leader? Then think about how each role contributes to your idea of a meaningful life. Every week, take 15 minutes to ask yourself, ‘What am I not doing that I should be?’ This increases perseverance, improves your ability to plan, and reduces anxiety about the future.”

How can I impact my 
day-to-day life?

“Identify one simple action you can do every day that will create harmony in your life, like taking a walk or reading to your child. Be sure that goal is reasonable, and then commit to it for 30 days. You’ll probably begin to notice that it becomes habitual and that you need less reminding. Then, start on another goal.”

What about those times when it all goes wrong?

“Think about the bigger 
picture. Every day will not 
be perfect, and striving for 
that is unrealistic. Instead, do everything you can to get closer to a life that integrates the values that matter most 
to you and to the people you love. When it doesn’t go as planned, practice forgiveness, and keep experimenting.”

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39% of people nap at work.

Looks like the Sandman has been pulling day shifts. According to a study by recruitment firm Accounting Principals, nearly two-fifths of American employees take workday siestas. But don’t be so quick to call them lazy. They’re reaping benefits like improved memory, creativity, and cognitive ability. Those new to napping should set a 20-minute alarm to avoid returning to their stations in a fog, says sleep researcher Sara Mednick, the author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. That’s because the deepest type of sleep, aka slow-wave, sets in after half an hour. “If you wake up in the middle of it, it’s hard to acclimate back to the real world,” Mednick says. Just tell your boss that snoozing enhances your job performance. Or whatever helps you sleep at, um, work.

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43% of us have assigned seating in the living room.

When settling in for some R & R, are you laissez-faire or attached to your La-Z-Boy? If you’re like nearly half of those who took part in Ikea’s 2013 study on U.S. homes, you’ve staked an iron-clad claim on your living-room throne. The survey found that baby boomers are most likely to be sat, err, set in their ways. “As people age, they get more ingrained in their habits,” says Nathan Richter, a partner at Wakefield Research, the firm that conducted the study. But those with children at home tend to be more flexible, possi-bly because trying to enforce seating assignments can be an uphill battle. Can you blame the kiddos? If we’d been confined to car seats and strollers for years, we’d want some options too.

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Golden Arrow

“I love the direction craft cocktails are going with fresh juices and handmade syrups, but at Proof + Pantry, we look to the spirits themselves for flavor. Our goal is to show people that you can achieve complexity without a complicated list of ingredients. The sweetness in this cocktail comes from the vermouth, which also adds some herbaceous notes and gives the drink body. A lot of times you drink a cocktail and get an initial flavor that finishes really quickly. This one has a start, a middle, and a finish, and that’s what I look for in drinks.” 

Who Michael Martensen, co-founder Where Proof + Pantry


1 ounce apple brandy

1 ounce Dolin blanc vermouth

½ ounce London dry gin

½ ounce lemon juice

3 dashes celery bitters

Ginger ale


Combine first five ingredients in a shaker. Add ice, and shake. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with ginger ale, and stir. Garnish with a celery leaf and fanned apple slices.

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A coffee tree produces 1 pound of beans per year.

The annual output of a single specimen of Coffea arabica (about 4,000 beans) keeps the average java drinker wired for only two weeks. But what goes into the grinder isn’t quite what you see on the branch. Coffee trees yield fruit called cherries, which, when ripe, resemble cranberries in shape and color. Removing the outer flesh reveals two beans per cherry, which are washed, dried, and then roasted. The U.S. drinks more coffee than any other nation, and since only two places within our borders (Hawaii and Puerto Rico) have the tropical conditions needed to cultivate the crop, we fuel our coffee habit by importing 3.3 billion pounds each year. That’s a latte joe!

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Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker and Webby Awards founder 

What’s essential to your creative process? “There are times when I’m working on 12 films at once; I’m also a very involved mom to two young girls, so I have to be incredibly efficient. I’ve learned that, for me, that means not only maximizing the times when I’m feeling creative, but understanding the rituals that allow me to be creative. My family and I are on our fifth year of what we call our ‘technology Shabbat,’ in which we completely unplug for one day a week. Having that day is one of  the single greatest things I’ve done in my life to be  more productive. I avoid burnout because I know that, no matter how crazy things get, there’s always an end. There’s always going to be a point where I’m just hanging out with the people I love the most. It’s like pressing the reset button on my energy level each week.”

Tiffany Shlain has premiered four films at the Sundance Film Festival, including the acclaimed documentary Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology. The second season of her Emmy-nominated AOL web series, The Future Starts Here, begins next month. 

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Stana Katic, if a picture paints a thousand words, what are you doing in that picture? I’m drawing myself into being and filling in the colors as I go.

If you could have created any one great work of art by another artist, what would it be ? “Jambi,” by Tool. Or the Trevi Fountain.

If you had to choose the most beautiful sentence ever written, what would it be?  I underline, highlight, and write all over my books. That being said, choosing “the one” is impossible. The poem “You Were Brave in that Holy War” by Hafiz is a deep and dear friend.

If you had to name the three biggest differences between you and Castle’s Detective Kate Beckett, what would they be? 1. Beckett has waaaay more trench coats than I do. 2. I’m faster in heels. 3. My weapon of choice would be the bow and arrow.

If you were in a band, what would it be called, what would you be playing, and what’s the song? The band: Arkhipov Saved the Planet. The instrument: accordion. The music: rock. The song: “Everything Makes Sense in France.” 

If you could have any meal delivered to your door right now, what would it be? My mom’s schnitzel, my brother’s bread, my uncle’s wine, and a cucumber salad. 

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Spicy Tuna Bowl

“At Bonefish Grill, we use fresh ingredients that enhance the flavors of fish. The Spicy Tuna Bowl, part of our new menu, is a great example of that. We started with premium-grade ahi tuna and built the dish around it. Fruit and fish have always gone well together, and pineapple is the perfect counterpoint to tuna. This is how we serve it in the restaurant, but at home you could recreate this dish in a bite-size version atop mini rice cakes. It’s perfect for a cocktail party.”

Who Mark Adair, executive chef Where Bonefish Grill  


2 cups chopped pineapple

1 tablespoon diced jalapeño 

½ cup diced red bell pepper 

¼ cup diced red onion 

1 tablespoon each lime juice, chili powder, and brown sugar 

Cilantro to taste


1. Make fruit salsa by tossing above ingredients together in a bowl.


6 ounces sushi-grade ahi tuna

¼ cup untoasted black and white sesame seeds

1 cup cooked basmati rice, blended with chopped cilantro 

6 tablespoons fruit salsa 

1 avocado, quartered

Cilantro, crispy wontons, and julienned carrots


2. Coat tuna in sesame seeds. Lightly sear, slice, and then assemble on a plate with rice, fruit salsa, and avocado. Garnish with cilantro, wontons, and carrots. Serve with soy or chili-garlic sauce. 



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Our national anthem has 4 verses.

O say, can you sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” all the way through? If so, patriot points for you! Even though the song has four verses, most of us only sing the first. The unsung stanzas elaborate on a battle scene that Francis Scott Key witnessed 200 years ago this month: the defense of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry against the British in the War of 1812 (which actually lasted until 1815). Key, an attorney and amateur poet, penned the ballad after watching U.S. soldiers defiantly raising a 30-by-42-foot flag over the fort the morning after. Baltimore commemorates the bicentennial with the Star-Spangled Spectacular, September 10–16. Among the planned festivities: a special exhibit at the Fort McHenry visitor center featuring Key’s earliest known manuscript. 

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Companies who do good now have a safety net.

By Stacy Cowley


When Marlene England and her husband, Tom, decided to start an independent bookstore in Frederick, Maryland, they did something many business owners do: They pledged to donate a percentage of their proceeds to charity. Then they did something unusual: They enshrined that social mission in their incorporation documents to make it legally binding. 

The Curious Iguana bookstore, which opened last September, is a benefit corporation—a new kind of corporate structure for companies that choose to hold themselves to strict standards when it comes to things like environmental impact, charitable giving, and employee welfare. The movement’s aim is to create accountability and legal protection for the growing number of companies who pursue good corporate citizenship goals. 

“My husband and I love the products we sell and the customers we serve, but we also feel strongly that giving back should be a component,” England says. “Becoming a benefit corporation gave us the opportunity to put that philosophy front and center. It helps us keep our priorities straight and also helps our customers see what their purchases are helping to achieve.” So far, Curious Iguana has given $10,000 to charities ranging from the World Food Program’s typhoon relief operation to Cambodia Reads, a child literacy program.

But it’s not only about charity. For benefit corporations, social considerations range from employee benefits to environmental impact. And in the age of globalization, even small businesses can create ripple effects across several continents. For a clothing company, this might mean audits to prevent the use of sweatshops; for a restaurant, the use of responsibly sourced ingredients.

The concept of a corporate class specifically for companies with a conscience is a relatively new one. Four years ago, Maryland became the first state to pass benefit corporation legislation. To be eligible for the state’s statute, companies must create a “general public benefit” and publish an annual report on their work, measured against “a third-party standard.” The aim is to ensure that profit isn’t the sole driving force behind a company’s decision-making process.

Today, 27 states have passed similar bills, and lawmakers in at least a dozen more are pursuing them. The 1,000 or so companies nationwide that are registered as benefit corporations range from small shops and sole proprietors to national brands like Patagonia and King Arthur Flour. 

A legislative wave like that doesn’t happen without a powerful lobbying push. The instigator here is B Lab, a nonprofit formed eight years ago whose founders have not only an evangelical belief in the power of motivated entrepreneurs to improve the world but also a skeptical insistence on seeing the results of such efforts disclosed and analyzed. Companies looking to meet the requirements of a benefit corporation can choose any third-party standard set by any organization they like. B Lab has a wide-ranging set of standards applicable to a variety of industries. Other popular options include the Sustainable Agriculture Network’s certification program or the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 26000 guidance for socially responsible enterprises. The incorporation framework is intentionally flexible so that businesses can customize their charter to their own industry and needs.


The Start of a Movement

Like many of the entrepreneurs B Lab appeals to, Jay Coen Gilbert, one of the organization’s founders, is a savvy businessman with a gonzo streak. He started his career at McKinsey & Company and then launched the basketball apparel company AND1, which at its peak grossed $250 million in annual sales. 

In 2005, he sold it, and when he and his business partner, Bart Houlahan, regrouped a year later to plan their next venture, they decided that what excited them most about AND1 was its corporate culture. “We wouldn’t have self-identified as a green or sustainable or responsible company—it was a pretty testosterone-driven team sports mentality—but we tried to be a force for good,” Gilbert says. The company audited its supply chain to avoid sweatshops, funded a variety of employee wellness programs, and donated a share of its profits to youth development and education programs. “We thought, What if instead of starting a single company, we could support thousands or tens of thousands of companies who were doing that?” 

B Lab set out to solve a few problems that socially conscious businesses frequently encounter. First, if you tell the world that your company is committed to goals like environmental responsibility and treating workers well, how do you prove it? And how do you know how effective your practices actually are? 

B Lab’s response was a benchmarking tool it calls the B Impact Assessment. The free, online quiz presents business owners with a series of detailed questions on topics like supply chain, energy use, compensation structure, community involvement, and internal transparency. By taking the quiz, companies get feedback that includes two numerical scores: one for themselves and a median for comparison that aggregates all the organizations that have completed the assessment. 

It also has a certification program for those that meet its standards and are willing to undergo audits, and pay fees, to prove it. Such companies are called B Corps. B Lab’s goal: Someday the distinction will be as recognizable and impactful as USDA Organic, Fair Trade, and LEED. Essentially, a stamp of approval that consumers can trust. 

More than 1,000 companies have become B Corps, undergoing B Lab’s assessment and audit and paying yearly dues that range from $500 for companies with under $1 million in annual sales to $25,000 for those that gross more than $100 million a year. Certified companies must also publish a biennial report, available on B Lab’s website, revealing their assessment score and how it compares to others. 

Kristofor Lofgren was among the first to sign up. Bamboo Sushi, his small chain of restaurants in Portland, Oregon, is dedicated to serving sustainable seafood and educating the public about it. Going through B Lab’s assessment was eye-opening: “You think you’re treating your em-ployees well, and then you see all the things you could do better,” he says. “We’ve implemented new practices because of it. We now have maternity and paternity leave, which is pretty unique in the restaurant business, and we improved our health care benefits. We also made it easier for team members to give anonymous feedback to management.” 


To Protect and To Serve

B Lab’s exacting standards have yet to filter into state legislation. Lawmakers have shied away from being too specific about what benefit corporations should be doing or how they should be audited. So why have so many states created this nebulous corporate structure, and why are so many companies interested in it? 

Part of it is that benefit corporation status provides assurance to business owners who fear that existing corporate law doesn’t sufficiently protect companies that prioritize social goals. 

Consider the case of Ben & Jerry’s, the poster child that inspired the movement. The 36-year-old ice-cream maker is famously dedicated to environmental responsibility and community investment, but in 1984 it went public, transferring control from its founders to investors. In 2000, Unilever launched a takeover bid. Because its offer far exceeded the stock’s trading price, the board of directors felt compelled to accept the deal “despite the fact that they did not want to sell,” co-founder Ben Cohen told NPR in 2010. 

The disaster many feared in the acquisition’s wake didn’t come to pass—Unilever operates Ben & Jerry’s as an independent subsidiary that still pursues its ideals. Still, it spooked many business owners who worry that their altruistic initiatives might disappear in the event of a transfer of ownership. “We realized there was a problem here that needed to be solved if this movement was going to scale,” B Lab’s Jay Coen Gilbert says. 

Most states give the directors of a benefit corporation leeway to do anything they reasonably believe to be in line with the company’s mission. It explicitly allows them to consider broader impacts on employees, customers, and the community, whereas the traditional model only considers fiscal performance. In the case of Ben & Jerry’s, the idea is that benefit
corporation status would have given the directors greater protection against shareholder lawsuits if they turned down Unilever’s bid—or, if they still chose to take it, would have provided a legal structure to ensure that the company’s social ideals, in addition to its sales figures, were passed on to Unilever.


The Double Bottom Line

Some investors are embracing the concept because they believe that, over time, it’s healthy for a company.

Albert Wegner, a partner at the influential technology venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, is a fan. One of the most prominent companies in his portfolio, the online marketplace Etsy, is a certified B Corp. “We have a financial system right now with an obsessive focus on short-term performance,” he says. “My partners and I think the businesses that will provide the best benefits for both investors and society are those that focus on being good long-term stewards.” 

But because the concept of benefit corporations is just a few years old, and because the vast majority of its participants are tiny, private companies, it hasn’t yet faced a high-profile legal stress test. In theory, benefit corporation status offers protection; in practice, however, a company’s leadership team—or its new owners—always has the option of re-incorporating. A company can stop being a benefit corporation just as easily as it can become one. 

In the case of baby food maker Plum Organics, though, it worked. The company opened in 2007 and grew its annual sales to $90 million before agreeing last year to be acquired by the Campbell Soup Company. So far, the transition has gone smoothly, with Campbell’s supporting Plum’s B Corps certification and the transparency and philanthropic projects it requires.

“This is not the classic ‘big company buys small company, value goes away’ deal,” says Neil Grimmer, Plum’s co-founder and president. “Campbell’s really got that our values and mission are a core part of what we provide consumers, and that translates into good business.”

B Lab’s top priority right now, Gilbert says, is to convince many more companies of the link between values and profit. It encourages businesses of all sizes to try its free assessment quiz (bimpactassessment.net) to see how they rate. 

“We want every business to have the tools to make and measure a positive impact on workers, their community, and the environment,” he says. “The objective is not just to grow the community of B Corps or benefit corporations. Those people will lead, but they’re leading a much broader movement.”


Stacy Cowley is a journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Follow her on Twitter @StacyCowley. 



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The Scarlet Huntington

This historic property, a 1922 apartment building turned hotel, recently got a floor-to-ceiling redo. Its traditional Georgian exterior belies what’s now behind its walls: Subdued taupe furnishings have been swapped for lavish fabrics and whimsical fittings in vibrant reds, purples, and golds. Some iconic original elements remain, including the lobby’s crystal chandelier and the ornate crown molding in the guest rooms. The sumptuous hotel has long been known for its high service, and many devoted staffers, including doorman James Hudson, have been there for decades. Indulge in a treatment at the luminous spa, then claim a teakwood lounger on the fireplace-equipped patio, where you can soak up city views from the top of Nob Hill in your robe.

AIRPORT San Francisco International (SFO) RATE From $459


While You’re There 

WALK THE LINE at Grace Cathedral. This stunning church is known for the giant labyrinth built into the stone floor of its nave. 

PLAY A ROUND at Urban Putt, a new high-tech mini golf course housed inside a Victorian-era building in the Mission district. Pregame with craft cocktails at two sunlit bars. 

EAT ARTFUL FARE at Verbena on nearby Polk Street, where inventive NorCal dishes are a treat for the eyes and the palate. 



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Music Box If cloud speakers are the way of the future, this one sets the bar sky-high. 

Listen up, audiophiles: Wireless, cloud-connected hi-fi has arrived, and it comes in a 10-inch cube. The small but mighty OD-11—designed to release sound from the top so that it bounces off walls, ceilings, and other objects to single-handedly fill a room—is a reimagination of Stig Carlsson’s 1974 classic of the same name. This new-and-improved speaker is making a sonic boom thanks to its 100-watt amplifier, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4 LE technology, and ability to stream tunes from the cloud via Spotify Connect or AirPlay. You control the listening experience down to the bass and treble with the free companion iOS app or browser-based equivalent. Hear, hear! $900



Five Degrees Why pen introductory emails when you can send a short video that accomplishes the same thing? That’s the thinking behind this networking tool. Simply select two contacts from your address book and tap record to break the ice. When you’re finished, Five Degrees will email the clip and respective contact info to both parties as well as cc you. Free; iOS (Android coming soon)

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RiverPlace Hotel

You’ll feel worlds away from the city on the porch of this modern lodge on the Willamette River, but the fact is downtown is only a mile away. A recent renovation left this 84-room property with a decidedly Portland identity: Now, yoga mats and Pendleton pillow shams are standard room accoutrements, and there’s a fleet of bicycles for guest use. Right outside your door you’ll find Tom McCall Waterfront Park, a giant, green lawn adjacent to a riverfront hike-and-bike trail, and the Hawthorne Bridge, the gateway to some of Stumptown’s coolest up-and-coming neighborhoods. At the end of the day, the hotel’s fire pit–equipped patio makes for a prime place to unwind. 

AIRPORT Portland International (PDX)

RATE From $365


While You’re There 

Sip Some Suds at Hair of the Dog. Located just across the Hawthorne Bridge, this brewery specializes in bottle-conditioned and barrel-aged beers.

Take a Ride on the Portland Aerial Tram, which offers outstanding views of the city skyline and Mt. Hood. 

Treat Yourself to a brioche donut at Blue Star. The shop is convincing disciples of famed purveyor Voodoo that in this town, you can never have too much fried dough. 

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Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams  

What’s one piece of advice that’s stuck with you? “Not long after I started the company, I was talking with my uncle about buying a computer, and he asked me why I needed one. I said something to the effect of ‘to keep track of business and bills.’ Then he asked me if I had made any sales. At this point, all the distributors in Boston had turned me down. When I told him I hadn’t sold anything, he said, ‘I’ve seen a lot of businesses go broke, and they all had plenty of computers. Sounds like you better put some cold beer in your briefcase and go out and make some sales.’ And that’s what I did. For the first six months, not only did we not have a computer, we didn’t have an office or a phone, either. We focused on the essentials: making great beer and working our tails off to sell it. Thirty years later, our strategy is the same.”

Koch spearheads the company’s Brewing the American Dream program, which assists small businesses in the food and beverage industry through mentoring and financial assistance. Samuel Adams is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary.  

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Chris Pratt, if you were a guardian of the galaxy in real life, what would you protect most fervently? Well, I am, and the thing I protect most fervently is my family.

If you could have the answer to any question, what would you ask? Is this thing on?

If you could give your 10-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Time heals all wounds.

If you know one thing about romance, what is it? Flowers are nice on days that aren’t Valentine’s Day.

If a picture paints a thousand words, what are you doing in that picture? Do I get a thousand words to describe the picture?  

If you’ve learned anything from being a father, what is it? Getting up early in the morning doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

If you had to choose between living your life as Guardians of the Galaxy’s Peter Quill or Star-Lord, which would it be and why? Well, Peter Quill is Star-Lord. Trick question! I would take them both!

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The Hamptons

“I wanted to create a summer keg cocktail—one that we mix ahead of time and serve using a tap—using the flavors of an Arnold Palmer. It looks super boozy, but it’s actually light and refreshing. The Punt e Mes, an Italian sweet vermouth, allows for a nice complexity, and the mezcal rinse adds a hint of smoke. At home you can make a pitcher of this: Just multiply all the ingredients by 10, throw it over ice, and serve it at a summer party like you would iced tea.”

Who Chris Neustadt, bartender

Where Jimmy, at The James Chicago



1 cup water 

1 cup sugar 

peels & juice of 1½ lemons



1. Make the lemon cordial: Bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir, then remove from heat. Add lemon peels. When cool, add juice. Refrigerate overnight, then discard lemon peels.



1 ounce lemon cordial

ounces Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka

½ ounce Punt e Mes 

¼ ounce El Buho mezcal



2. Combine lemon cordial, vodka, and Punt e Mes in a mixing glass. Add ice, and shake. Rinse a rocks glass with mezcal. Add an ice sphere, and pour cocktail over it. Garnish with a lemon peel.

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Zenefits From payroll and 401(k) to PTO, it’s all here.

Here’s how Parker Conrad, co-founder and CEO of Zenefits, describes the online HR management system: “There were about 30 employees at my last company. We never had an HR person, so my co-founder and I were the ones setting up new hires. We were constantly updatingall these different systems, so I said to myself, ‘What if they were all integrated?’ That’s what Zenefits does. By connecting systems like payroll, commuter benefits, compliance, 401(k), vacation tracking, and health insurance, we give employers and employees a single site to manage everything, and we do it all for free. We make commissions from benefit providers, so we don’t have to charge for our service. And because we work with everyone, we’re not pushing any particular vendor on you. As a business you say, ‘I want to hire this person,’ and we take it from there, creating everything from offer letters to confidentiality agreements. Your employees fill everything out online. Businesses spend a lot of time focusing on paperwork instead of people. Our goal is to free them from that. When we got our first round of financing, most of our customers were tech companies. Now we have manufacturing companies, school systems, architecture firms, even a circus.” 

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39% of hiring managers say Tuesday is the most productive workday.

Does your task list runneth over? Tackle it on Tuesday. Nearly two-fifths of managers polled by staffing firm Accountemps deemed it the day to get things done. But beware of hump day, which grabbed just 14 percent of the vote. To avoid a midweek nosedive in efficiency, take a look at the big picture when planning your workweek, and truly recharge over the weekend, advises time management coach Jan Yager. “Too many of us fall into the trap of doing chores and running errands instead of spending quality time with loved ones,” she says. The laundry can wait—until Tuesday. 

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The Big Reveal In a world of viral successes, how do you unearth hidden gems?

By Adam Hunter

Anyone can find out who’s popular on the Web—but how do you find Laney Boggs? If you have to ask, “Who?” then you must not remember the hit teen comedy She’s All That, a 1999 Pygmalion adaptation sadly overlooked by the Oscars. A well-liked high school jock, played by an at-his-peak Freddie Prinze Jr., transforms invisible art geek Laney Boggs (Rachel Leigh Cook) into a dazzling beauty, mostly by suggesting she remove her glasses and trade her paint-spattered overalls for a form-fitting red dress. Maybe it’s because I was a bit of a dork in high school, but I identified with Laney’s obvious desire to escape obscurity and be embraced by the in-crowd.

The movie came to mind when I heard about Forgotify, a new website that plays songs that have not had a single listen on the wildly popular music-streaming service Spotify. Creators Lane Jordan, Nate Gagnon, and J Hausmann came up with the idea when they learned that 20 percent of the tracks on Spotify—which adds up to more than 4 million songs—had gone unstreamed. Imagine that: 4 million-plus Laney Boggses out there, sacrificing clean overalls for the sake of their art, only to be ignored in favor of the Justin Biebers and Miley Cyruses and Katy Perrys. Can Forgotify be their Freddie Prinze Jr.?

If the viral successes of “dorks” like Star Wars Kid and Rebecca Black are any indication, it’s not always the real-world superstars who get invited to sit at the cool kids’ table online. But in a world where Google algorithms heavily weigh popularity to decide the most relevant search results, and your Facebook newsfeed is mostly recycled clickbait published by best-of aggregators like Buzzfeed and Reddit, the average Internet user can have trouble finding content that hasn’t already been touted, promoted, and shared to death. And given that today’s social media landscape means there are more content sharers and producers than ever, that’s a problem. There may be a Rachel Leigh Cook hiding among unwatched Netflix movies or YouTube videos, unfollowed Twitter accounts, unread Laney, er, blogs. To everyone who matters, right now they’re vapor, they’re spam, a waste of perfectly good Internet space. But to paraphrase Freddie Prinze Jr. in She’s All That: Give them the right look, the right friends, and bam! In six weeks they’re the prom queen—of the Web.

The Thrill of Discovery

In a sense, we’re all Freddie Prinze Jr. Who doesn’t want to find a hidden gem and make it shine? That desire, as it turns out, was the prime motivation behind Forgotify. “The discovery aspect is what most interested us—the thought of finding a diamond in the rough,” Lane Jordan says. “People want to discover things. Just the notion that ‘I know something you don’t know’ is appealing.”

Forgotify is not the first attempt to provide an online tool for digging through the also-rans. In 2010, Brooklyn writer and artist Colin Fitzpatrick created a Tumblr account, Zero Views, which posted YouTube videos that, when he happened upon them, held the “0 views” distinction. Ironically, Zero Views went viral after being written up by CNN and The Huffington Post and gained thousands of views for the videos Fitzpatrick linked to. In an interview for NPR’s On the Media podcast, he said the site showed “how people commonly try to reach out and share their lives and just fail.” But when exposed to the right audience, these Laney Boggses blossomed. “These kids who had made a music video about their library card … a lot of effort had gone into this, and nobody was watching it. And as soon as I posted it, everybody was reblogging it, and it got tons of notes and likes,” Fitzpatrick said.

The Zero Views method for finding these videos, however, only highlights the problem Web searchers still encounter. On YouTube, there’s no easy way to find videos that have been online for a while but haven’t been watched. Fitzpatrick’s “complicated algorithm” involved typing a dull word or phrase—like “chillin’” or “so tired”—into YouTube’s search box, then sorting by upload date. 

Forgotify proves that such a discovery engine isn’t that difficult to build. “We put this together really fast—from concept to completion in about a month,” Jordan says. J Hausmann, a Web developer, helped him formulate his original idea and solved the technical issues. Gagnon, a copywriter, came up with the name. “We launched on a Wednesday, and after it got picked up by Reddit it kinda blew up,” Jordan says. “Thursday it was on Time.com, and on Friday it was picked up by the BBC.” The initial spike in traffic caused site outages shortly after Forgotify’s late-January launch, but when I tried it the service worked perfectly. I discovered “Jamie,” a song by Canadian ’80s rock band M.T.L. that sounds as if it could be from the She’s All That soundtrack. After listening, I checked out M.T.L.’s album on iTunes. How’d listeners rate it? “We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.”

Worth the Bet?

Forgotify is not currently configured to make any money off the service it provides, and it’s too soon to say whether it will uncover a future No. 1 hit. Can it be more than a neat gimmick? “Nothing has climbed up the charts yet that I know of,” Jordan says. “But the potential is certainly there.”

Curated content companies like Birchbox have proved that introducing consumers to even a small sample from an obscure or new brand can lead them to make big purchases. In 2013, Buzzfeed reported that Stila Cosmetics, which pulled out of retail outlets years ago amid flagging sales, sent a sample eye shadow palette to 7 percent of Birchbox’s subscribers and saw 11.2 percent of that group purchase the full-size product—more than 10 times the average conversion rate for the beauty industry. Just as Birchbox takes a cut of sales in return for playing matchmaker, a service like Forgotify could strike deals to receive a small percentage anytime one of its users purchases a song. Alternatively, by getting users to rate or comment on previously unheard, unseen, unwatched content, Forgotify and its ilk can gather reams of useful data on consumer likes and dislikes—and that’s worth dollars to marketers.

Click with the Right Clique

So how about it, entrepreneurs? In what corner of this digital high school we call the Internet will your service help locate a worthy obscurity? While Jordan believes the Forgotify concept is best suited to professionally produced music,  he sees potential for other online media too. “The obscure is what’s cool these days,” he says. “The Internet gives everyone a chance to connect with their own cliques.”

How about joining the AV club with Neverflix, which turns movie buffs and couch potatoes on to rarely- or never-before-streamed movies and series. Using Netflix’s freely available API, the site would randomly screen videos unknown to even the most frequent binge-watcher—such as High Risk, a CBS reality show developed during the writers’ strike of 1988, currently queued by six out of 33 million subscribers. 

Wanna hacky-sack with the hipsters? Give them Invisigram, and highlight those sepia-toned snapshots that have gone unhearted and unhashtagged. You might help connect aspiring Annie Leibovitzes with a legion of online admirers or unearth the next Grumpy Cat. Using Zero Views’ method for finding unnoticed content, I searched #filecabinets on Instagram and discovered a post with only 7 fans—a breathtaking shot of the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet, an outdoor sculpture in Burlington, Vermont, that I never knew existed.

More of a class clown? Why not collect quips of 140 or fewer characters that haven’t yet earned a retweet with your new site, UnTweeted. Bookworm? Develop Wikineedy, which pulls up rarely accessed Wikipedia entries. 

Not everyone who’s undiscovered deserves to be seen. But if you turn a crowd’s eyes away from the blinding stars and point them toward those treasures in overalls and glasses, you just might help a weary Internet user encounter that special someone he or she has always hoped to find.

Haven’t seen She’s All That? Spoiler alert: Laney Boggs doesn’t end up being prom queen. But Freddie Prinze Jr. falls in love with her anyway.


Adam Hunter is a New York City–based editor and writer. Follow him on Twitter @adamhuntr.

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28% of us are afraid of green juice.

Despite the dread, even more of those polled in a January survey commissioned by Jamba Juice think the color is a hallmark of the healthiest fresh-squeezed refreshments. It’s ironic, perhaps. But surprising? Not so much. “We are used to seeing green on a plate; green in a glass pushes most people out of their comfort zone,” says nutritional expert and dietitian Kate Geagan. If you like liquefied produce but have a strong distaste for vegetal flavors, fear not. “You can mask the bitterness of greens by blending in a little fruit, which is harder to do when you’re eating a salad,” Geagan says. We’ll drink to that.

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Blackberry Ginger Sorbet

“I studied architecture for seven years, and at times I found the industry to be elitist. I wanted to make design more accessible, and I thought, What better way to do that than ice cream sandwiches? We launched our first food truck in 2009, naming our sandwiches after famous architects. Now we have trucks in New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and, most recently, Dallas. In May, we published a cookbook that also includes design facts. The blackberry ginger sorbet has a rich flavor because of the depth of the fruit, and the ginger gives it an unexpected twist. Pairing it with a double-chocolate cookie makes it taste like a chocolate-covered blackberry. We call it the Non-Dairy Frank Behry.”

Who Natasha Case, co-founder

Where Coolhaus



1 cup water 

1¼ cups sugar 



1. Make simple syrup: Bring water and sugar to a boil, stir until dissolved, then refrigerate.



2 cups simple syrup

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

pinch of kosher salt



2. Make sorbet base: Combine above ingredients with 1/2 cup water. Stir well.



3 cups blackberries

¼ cup peeled, chopped ginger



3. Make sorbet: Puree blackberries and ginger. Blend in 2 cups sorbet base. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, then freeze for at least 2 hours.


Double Chocolate Cookies

Makes 20 to 24 cookies


2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

2 cups sifted pastry flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (we like Guittard or Ghirardelli)



1. Mix wets: Place butter in a saucepan and set over low heat, until just half is melted. Cool for 5 minutes.

2. Pour cooled butter into a large bowl. Add sugar and whisk. Whisk in egg and yolk, one at a time, then whisk in vanilla. Set aside

3. Mix dries: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.

4. Add dries, one third at a time, to wets, mixing with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

5. Wrap bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in lower and upper thirds of oven. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper.

7. Form dough into balls about the size of whole walnuts and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are light brown and centers are still wet—don’t overbake.

9. Immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.


Reprinted with permission from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt from The Coolhaus Ice Cream Book by Natasha Case & Freya Estreller with Kathleen Squires. Copyright 2014.

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The largest volcano on Earth spans 120,000 square miles.

Though it nearly matches New Mexico in area, the geologic giant known as Tamu Plateau can be easy to overlook. That’s because it’s inactive—and located underwater, 1,000 miles eastof Japan. Evidence suggests that its most recent spurt of activity took place about 145 million years ago and consisted of massive eruptions, says Dr. William Sager, a professor at the University of Houston who published a 2013 article about the vast volcano in Nature Geoscience journal. Sager says Tamu Plateau formed relatively swiftly: “We’re thinking 1 to 2 million years as opposed to tens of millions—that’s short to a geologist.” Speedy: It’s in the eye of the beholder.

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Liza Landsman, Chief Marketing Officer at E*TRADE  

What does it take to be a great marketer? “You need to have a really crisp sense of your business objectives. It sounds obvious, but it’s not. The question I always ask myself and my team is ‘In service of what?’ What is it that we want a consumer to do, think, believe differently, or believe more fully after they’ve been exposed to our message? If we can’t express that as a business objective, then we probably haven’t done a good job. You also need to find the right balance between the data and your gut. I happen to be a very quantitative marketer, but I try to balance that with being able to anticipate the unexpressed consumer need. Research gets you to the front door, but it’s your gut that’s going to decide whether there’s a tiger or a lady behind it.”

The marketing guru oversaw the implementation of E*Trade’s new “Type E” advertising campaign, which features Kevin Spacey in a much-anticipated follow-up to the popular talking baby spots.



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Garden Panzanella

“The Square is a comfortable gathering place in the North Beach neighborhood. As with our other two restaurants, Sons & Daughters and Sweet Woodruff, we source as much produce as we can from our 83-acre farm in the Santa Cruz mountains. Traditionally, panzanella—a bread-and-tomato salad popular in Tuscany—is served with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but to set ours apart we created an herb vinaigrette with marigold greens from the farm. They have a refreshing, passion-fruity flavor that really makes the salad come alive.”

Who Duncan Holmes, executive chef

Where The Square



1 leek

olive oil


1 loaf day-old bread, torn into pieces 

3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped

½ cup halved cherry tomatoes 

2 Japanese cucumbers, sliced

1½ ounce shaved pecorino romano



1. Season the white part of the leek with olive oil and salt. Grill over medium heat until blackened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, discard outer layers, cut into slices, and toss with remaining ingredients.



½ cup finely diced shallots

red wine vinegar

1 bunch each dill, mint, and marigold greens 

2 cups olive oil



2. Cover shallots with red wine vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes.
3. Destem herbs. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, then shock in ice water. Using a blender, combine with 1 cup red wine vinegar, then mix in oil.
4. Dress panzanella with vinaigrette.

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Ruby Red, White & Blue

“Sometimes in our business, we overcomplicate things. A lot of cocktails nowadays require obscure spirits or aperitifs, but not this one. I initially set out to combine Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka with ginger beer, but after seeing tons of our blueberry champagne cocktails being served on the patio during a busy weekend brunch, I decided to go a sweeter, fruitier route. The result is a light and refreshing summer drink that’s easy and good, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Who Frank Miller, director of food and beverage

Where Southpaw Social Club



lemon wedge


fresh blueberries

2 ounces Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka 

club soda



Use the lemon wedge to moisten the rim of a tumbler glass, then dip in sugar. Fill with ice. In a mixing glass, muddle 5 blueberries, top with vodka, and shake. Strain into the tumbler glass, then top with club soda. Stir, then garnish with additional blueberries.

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Astronaut ice cream went to space 1 time.

In 1968, long before it became a staple of museum gift shops, a vanilla version of the freeze-dried treat accompanied the Apollo 7 crew into orbit. Those bite-size cubes served a practical purpose: “It was a high-calorie food,” says John Knight, a former volunteer curator for the historical archives of Whirlpool Corporation. (The appliance company developed the technology used to preserve the ice cream.) Logistically, the lightweight yet energy-dense dessert was ideal for space travel. But its chalky texture left much to be desired, which is why its maiden voyage was also its last. Thanks to onboard freezers, any ice cream consumed in space since then has been enjoyed in its earthly form. 

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Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

Set on a coveted stretch of sand, this debonair resort, open since November, ups the ante on Aruban refinement. All 320 guest rooms face the sea and are outfitted with private balconies, so you can revel in ocean views before exploring the four restaurants, two pools, 24-hour casino, and 15,000-square-foot spa, the island’s largest. Thanks to servers who scoot around on Segways, service is top-notch, even when you’re lying on the beach. Opt for an Aperol-tinged Oranjestad Swizzle, and rest assured your glass won’t stay empty for long.

Airport Queen Beatrix International (AUA) Rate From $649


While You’re There 

Indulge in the spa’s Aruba Honey Harvest body treatment, a nearly two-hour experience that incorporates local honey into a rejuvenating exfoliation, body wrap, and massage.
Learn how to prepare dishes like ceviche, guacamole, and risotto during a chef-led cooking demonstration, offered five days a week at the on-site Divi Bar & Lounge. 




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Pop-Up Culture Temporary shops can have lasting effects, on more than just business owners.

By Stacy Cowley

When Tom Daguanno and Max Schmidt launched their custom menswear business last year, they expected it to remain a virtual one. Customers would visit the website—1701Bespoke.com—to book an appointment for a fitting at their home or office, and Daguanno and Schmidt would use the measurements to create a wardrobe of suits and fine garments for them. It was a truly minimalist venture: No inventory, no office space.

Until a client suggested that Detroit, where 1701 Bespoke is based, could really use a high-end menswear store. What if he helped the two find a vacant storefront where they could open up temporarily to test the market?

“He knew someone at a local real estate firm that had this amazing empty space right in the heart of downtown,” Schmidt recalls. “We opened on October 21, and within 24 hours we were booked solid for two weeks.”

The shop they had planned to run for six days instead lasted three months, and it changed the company’s trajectory. Daguanno and Schmidt began hunting for a permanent brick-and-mortar location—and in the process became part of a growing wave of business owners using short-lived “pop-up” ventures to test out new concepts. 

Such stores were once primarily a seasonal phenomenon. Christmas decoration shops and Halloween-costume merchants would rent space and vacate it after the holiday. Those kinds of operations still proliferate, but entrepreneurs in a wide variety of other industries are realizing how valuable limited-run shops can be. 

So are big brands. Walmart used a pair of pop-up stores to test potential locations in California, and makeup seller Sephora created temporary shops in New York City and Los Angeles to promote a new color line. Some retailers get especially creative: Shipping containers, Airstream trailers, and igloo-shaped tents have all been used to house transient endeavors.  

“It’s definitely a growing trend,” says Megan Donadio, a retail strategist with Kurt Salmon, a consulting firm that specializes in consumer products. “It’s a low-overhead way for retailers to test a new product or geographic market, and it often generates marketing buzz.” Temporary ventures can also turn vacant real estate into something profitable that brings new traffic to areas in need of an economic boost. 

One of the biggest experiments with the “test new concepts and see what sticks” approach is happening in West Dallas, an economically struggling area that investors and city officials have long targeted for revitalization. Nearly a decade ago, Phil Romano,
the founder of Macaroni Grill, began buying up real estate there with the help of two business partners. In late 2012, he launched phase one of his plan for spurring development: a 15-acre restaurant park called Trinity Groves that is centered on what Romano calls a “restaurant concept incubator.”

For aspiring restaurateurs, Trinity Groves offers a unique opportunity: It funds ventures it deems to have the potential to expand nationally. In return, it owns a 50-percent stake in the business. 

LUCK (an acronym of “Local Urban Craft Kitchen”) is one of 10 restaurants Trinity Groves picked for its initial wave of openings. Run by a trio of first-time business owners, it pairs regional American comfort food with a rotating selection of craft beers, all sourced from breweries within 75 miles of the restaurant. 

“One of the reasons we named the restaurant LUCK is we fell into this out of dumb luck,” says chef and co-owner Daniel Pittman. He and his partners had long talked about opening their own place, but the financial and logistical obstacles seemed insurmountable. When one of them heard a radio story about Trinity Groves, the group scrambled to apply. One year later, in November 2013, LUCK poured its first pint. 

Trinity Groves gives its tenants a $500,000 build-out budget and handles all of the back-end processes like obtaining building permits, recruiting workers, and managing the accounting and payroll. It sounds like a dream setup for fledgling entrepreneurs, but there’s a Darwinian catch: “If you don’t do $1.5 million a year in sales, you’re out of there,” Romano says. “We have a profit matrix. If they take a swing and miss, we’ll put somebody else in there who should get a chance.”

So far, Trinity Groves is succeeding at its two major goals: Its restaurants are making money, and they’re sparking interest in a part of the city that has long been overlooked. On a typical Friday night, the eateries—ranging from Chino Chinatown, a Latin-Asian concept by Uno Immanivong, a past contestant on ABC’s The Taste, to Kitchen LTO, a “permanent” pop-up that features a new chef every four months—draw as many as 10,000 customers to the complex. 

Jeff Herrington, communications director for the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce, says the crowds at Trinity Groves are catalyzing a fresh wave of residential and commercial development interest. They’re also generating employment opportunities: “This is an area that needs jobs, and Trinity Groves creates them,” he says. “It hasn’t just been, ‘Here, come be a server at minimum wage.’ They’ve involved people in the neighborhood in midlevel management jobs.” 

Herrington’s is just one of many organizations nationwide that are paying greater attention to the role pop-ups can play in strengthening neighborhoods. The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, a collaboration between the city government and local partners, offers fledgling designers a yearlong residency with mentors and the chance to sell their collections at pop-up events. In New York City’s Lower East Side, the Storefront Transformer project, established by a group of real estate– and design-minded citizens, provides artists and entrepreneurs with a six-by-six cube filled with supplies needed to transform empty and underused spaces into temporary businesses. And in Oakland, California, Popuphood, which matches new merchants with vacant storefronts, has become an important part of the city’s economic development strategy. 

Out of a storefront in downtown Detroit, the nonprofit D:Hive runs a year-round business incubator featuring a rotating cast of establishments. Each gets two months of free rent, marketing support, and a $1,000 build-out budget. 

“People have this romantic idea of what it’s like to have a store, but they don’t have the experience of running it 24/7,” says April Boyle, D:Hive’s director of small business initiatives. “Pop-up is the trend of the moment, but it’s really as old as retail itself when you think about things like mall kiosks and art fairs. It’s a lower-overhead way of testing your idea, building your brand, and getting real-time customer feedback while actually making money.”

Revolve Detroit, another development program, commissions artists to transform vacant spaces. It then finds innovative retailers for the redesigned spaces and stages events meant to bring crowds to districts that have the infrastructure and density to support new businesses long-term.  

It can be a tricky transition. Detroit Fiber Works opened this past fall as one of a dozen businesses selected for Revolve’s revitalization project on Livernois Avenue, once one of America’s premier luxury-shopping districts. Devastated by the 1967 riots that tore Detroit apart, Livernois had became a stretch of boarded-up storefronts broken up by the occasional hair salon. 

Artists Mandisa Smith and Najma Wilson initially envisioned their store as a cooperative: a place where local designers, painters, jewelry makers, and other artisans could sell their wares. 

That approach didn’t work. “We couldn’t find enough artists that were interested in paying a fee and working in the gallery,” Smith says. 

So, like many pop-up operators, they tossed out their original plan and made a new one, turning Detroit Fiber Works into a boutique and gallery stocked with handmade products, supplemented by a schedule of fiber-arts classes and special events that bring in guest speakers and artists. In December, when the Revolve installation ended, Smith and Wilson negotiated a three-year lease and turned their temporary store into a permanent one.

A brutal winter made their first few months tough, but there have also been serendipitous surprises. The artist chosen by Revolve had created an eclectic space nothing like the minimalist, all-white shop Wilson and Smith had imagined. It turned out to be a stroke of genius: The setting has become an attraction of its own. Whimsical painted squiggles and embellish-ments adorn the walls, while lacquered-down brown paper bags cover the floor—a twist on the idea of fiber arts. A giant chandelier filled with charms, tassels, vintage knickknacks, and glass globes is the centerpiece. “People come in, and they’re just mesmerized by the chandelier,” Smith says. “We’ll never get rid of it.”

As the snow thawed, foot traffic picked up again, and Detroit Fiber Works acquired one of the best boosts a new store can get: neighbors. The street’s recent arrivals include an organic pastry shop, a children’s apparel retailer, and an eco-friendly housewares store. 

While Smith and her partner focus on reviving their block, Pittman and his team at LUCK in Dallas are already thinking about how to scale up the business they began as an experiment into a brand that can spread across America. “Our concept lends itself to anywhere there’s craft beer,” he says. “Opening more is definitely something we’re interested in.”

The notion of establishing structured programs to foster retail experiments is also poised to go national. Trinity Groves’ restaurant incubator is unique for now, but it might not stay that way much longer: “We’re giving talented young people the opportunity to own their own businesses, and we’re creating jobs,” Phil Romano says. “We have people from all over the country coming to look at this, saying, ‘We want to understand how you’re doing it.’” 

Stacy Cowley is a journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Follow her on Twitter @StacyCowley.

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20% of people name their cars.

If you cruise around town in a ride dubbed something like Stella or Big Red, you’re not alone; a survey by marketing firm DMEautomotive found that one-fifth of drivers play the name game with their wheels. According to Adam Waytz, a Northwestern University psychologist who studies why we anthropomorphize objects, we tend to think our autos resemble us—just look at the smile on that grille!—so naming them is only natural. It also helps us make better sense of how they work. “We see cars as humanlike because that provides an understandable framework,” Waytz says. So next time you get a flat, forgo angry epithets, and call your car by its “real” name. It’ll be humanizing—for both of you. 



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Allison Janney, if a picture paints a thousand words, what are you doing in that picture? I’m laughing.

In Tammy, you’re sandwiched between Susan Sarandon and Melissa McCarthy, playing Sarandon’s daughter and McCarthy’s mother. If you had to name that sandwich, what would it be called? The McJandon.

If there is one advantage to being 6 feet tall, what is it? I can see above the maddening crowd.

If you had to choose only one book for your library, what would it be? A dictionary/thesaurus. I always feel my vocabulary could use improvement.

If you could have created any one great work of art, what would it be? Joni Mitchell’s Blue. She has one of the most soulful voices; I wish I could sing like her.

If you had coined one phrase of wisdom, what would it be? This too shall pass.



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Lollipuff An online auction site that snuffs out knockoffs.

Here’s how Fei Deyle, founder and CEO of Lollipuff, describes the scam-free source for pre-owned couture: “A few years ago, I started a blog about my obsession with Herve Leger dresses. United by a mutual interest in fashion, my readers and I eventually began selling our gently used designer items to each other. That’s when I got the idea for Lollipuff. It’s a marketplace for secondhand women’s luxury apparel and accessories that uses an in-depth screening process to ensure authenticity. We require a minimum of eight highly specific photos per item, which help us identify, for example, if the serial number on a Chanel handbag is in the correct font and what the hardware should look like for that year. Sellers publish listings for free and receive payments through PayPal, with Lollipuff taking 7 percent. Buyers can purchase items immediately at a set price or place a onetime bid that only the seller can see. Our collection includes Céline, Herve Leger, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, and others, sometimes at more than 90 percent off retail value.”

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Men are contacted 31% more when they use “whom” in online dating profiles.

When Wired staff analyzed data from Match.com and OkCupid to find out which words correlate with top response rates between men and women, they found that dudes who dig a particular pronoun are most popular with the ladies. One possible explanation: “Grammar is often seen as an indication of your socioeconomic background, which can say a great deal about where you’re headed in life,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, the chief scientific advisor for Match.com. Wired’s findings also show that the “hottest” profile pics feature toothy smiles as opposed to tight-lipped ones. So if you’re soul mate–searching, better brush up on syntax and your pearly whites.

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The speed of Heinz ketchup is .028 miles per hour.

If it comes out of the iconic glass bottle at any other rate, the company won’t sell it. But lucky for you—and your fries—science can help speed things up. “Ketchup is a Bingham plastic, meaning it behaves like a solid under low stress and a liquid under high stress,” says Michael Graham, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and editor of the Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics. The trick is to shake the bottle and then smack it—the glass will exert force on the re- liquefied ketchup and help to “push” it out. Heinz won’t reveal its speed-calibrating methods. For now at least, they remain saucy secrets. 

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We switch between tech devices 21 times an hour.

That’s according to a study by OMD UK, a London-based media agency, that asked 200 people to record how many times they toggled between mobile phones, laptops, and the like. It doesn’t surprise Dr. Larry Rosen, a professorof psychology at California State University–Dominguez Hills, whose research has found that students focus on schoolwork for about three minutes before giving in to digital distractions. “If you’ve got a limited time to study,” hesays, “you’re staying up later, and you’re probably not as functional because you’re stressed.” Multitasking clearly takes a toll on nonstudents, too. We’re all subject to the many distractions of—wait, what were we saying?




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Rancho Valencia

This sumptuous spa resort, 25 miles north of San Diego, has long been a haven for honeymooners and wellness buffs. Now there’s extra enticement to enter into its pampered seclusion: A recent $30 million renovation breathed new life into all 49 guest casitas and added a gleaming, open-air yoga pavilion and a destination restaurant, Veladora, that epitomizes modern California cuisine. A revamped fitness program brings in top instructors to lead classes on everything from Power Sculpt to Pilates—a great excuse for a post-workout steam, scrub, and massage at the adobe-swathed spa. At the end of the day, there’s no reason to leave your fireplace-equipped patio. But if you must venture out, there’s only one way to do it: behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 convertible, available to guests via the resort’s complimentary test-drive program. 

AIRPORT San Diego International (SAN) RATE From $650


While You’re There 

Eat local at the Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market. The crepes and croissants from Francophile purveyor Oh La Vache make for a fine start to the day. Open Sundays

Play ball on one of the resort’s 18 newly resurfaced tennis courts, ranked No. 1 in Southern California for the past six years by Tennis magazine.

Tailgate at the San Diego Polo Club, where matches happen Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m. Seersucker suits and wide-brimmed hats are encouraged.

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Consult with wellness pros from the comfort of home.

Here’s how Ingrid Sanders, founder and CEO of PopExpert, describes the online self-improvement source: “Oftentimes, we are so consumed by achieving success in our careers that we forget to invest time in other areas that add value to our lives. I started thinking about the abundance of health and wellness professionals in the world and how to make them more accessible. The answer was PopExpert, which connects people with specialists in a variety of fields through live video chats. Users can choose from three categories: Life, Work, and Play. Life covers topics like meditation, relationships, and nutrition, while Work includes career mentoring and productivity. Things like music, language, and style are housed under Play. You can learn more about the experts in their profiles, which also show their availability and rates, and, in just two clicks, you can schedule a time to talk. Sessions typically last 50 minutes and cost anywhere from $30 to a few hundred dollars. There are 3,000 experts on the site, including celebrity chef Mikaela Reuben, renowned birthing coach Latham Thomas, and many more.”

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El Grito

“I thought it would be fun to create a margarita that gets spicier as you drink it, so I made ice cubes infused with Sriracha. For the cocktail itself, I use añejo rather than blanco tequila. Corralejo makes its añejo with a bow toward bourbon—it rests in charred oak casks for a year—so the flavors of wood and smoke are really integrated into the spirit. Most margaritas have salt on the rim; instead, we put it in the drink. Just like in food, it wakes up and rounds out all the flavors. I’ve always said that the culture in Tulsa outweighs its population. We’re just one example of the bars here that are doing cool things with cocktails.”

Who Aaron Post, owner

Where Valkyrie



1 ounce Sriracha 

3 cups water

2 ounces Corralejo añejo tequila

1¼ ounces Cointreau

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1 pinch kosher salt

4 Sriracha ice cubes


1. Stir together, and freeze in an ice cube tray. 

2. Shake ingredients with ice, and serve in a Collins glass over Sriracha ice cubes. Garnish with a lightly massaged rosemary sprig.



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Mind Over Chatter
Conversationalist Judy Apps simplifies small talk.

Spirit: Is talking different than conversing?

Judy: Most people prefer talking to listening, but conversation involves both. It goes two ways, like a game of tennis, and both people get something out of it, whether it’s pleasure, information, or a connection.

S: How can you get over a fear of making small talk?

J: Taking a big breath gives you confidence as well as some air to talk with. In fact, any sort of movement helps. Look outside at something. Wiggle your toes. It gets you out of your head and keeps you from being so self-conscious.

S: How should you frame questions?

J: The general advice is that you should only ask open questions, ones that can’t be answered without a full sentence. But some people are quite daunted by them, so a comment often works well because it gets the other person to open their mouth and make a noise, which for some is a start.

S: What makes people bad at conversation?

J: They think it’s only about having something to say. Books talk about finding the right topic and being entertaining, but you’ll get more out of it if you’re relaxed and curious. There are a million opportunities for small talk, and we shouldn’t treat each one as if it’s a matter of life and death.

S: Is it something you can practice?

J: Once you’ve convinced yourself to be lighthearted about it, practice all the time. When you’re shopping, don’t just silently hand over your change; make a comment about something in the shop. And it’s OK if not every encounter is successful. Not everyone is going to want to talk that day, and that’s fine.”


Judy Apps is a communication coach and the author of The Art of Conversation.



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Joe De Sena, founder of Spartan Race  

How do you overcome obstacles? “Whether you’re running 100 miles or running a business—and I would argue that running a business is a lot harder than running 100 miles—it’s all about being in the right frame of mind. Often, it’s not a matter of if things are going to get ugly; it’s a matter of when. The way I get through those pain points is bytreating every situation as a learning opportunity and reminding myself that it could always be worse. If you keep things in perspective and leave your ego out of it, then it just becomes a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.”

The endurance-racing veteran recently released his first book, Spartan Up! A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life

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Hummingbirds consume 2 times their weight daily.  

Hovering over flowers at 3,000 wing-beats per minute takes a lot of energy, even when you weigh less than an ounce—which is why, despite the aggressive eating, these teensy fliers maintain a steady mass. “A hummingbird’s diet is mostly sugar-loaded nectar, which its body quickly converts to energy,” says Ross Hawkins, founder and executive director of the Sedona, Arizona–based Hummingbird Society. The mini creatures consume anaverage of 6 calories daily; to put it in perspective, if a 170-pound man had the same metabolism, he’d need to chow down on 2,900 Oreos a day to stay the same size. How’s that for eating like a bird?



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Trout Cakes

“The Grey Plume’s menu is seasonal and driven by local farmer supply. We get our groceries from growers in Nebraska and Iowa, and we make everything from scratch—from pickling veggies to churning our own butter. This is Nebraska’s version of a crab cake. The trout comes from a sustainable aquaculture farm in the Ogallala Aquifer, two hours west of Omaha. The recipe is simple and easy to replicate using other ingredients, so you can try it with seafood that’s specific to your region. Pair it with spinach salad and bacon vinaigrette or put it atop a simple Caesar salad. It normally pops up on our bar menu, so it would be a fun snack for a cocktail party.”

Who Clayton Chapman, chef/owner

Where The Grey Plume



2 6-ounce steelhead trout fillets 

4 tablespoons crème fraîche

1 egg 

1 egg yolk

zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons minced chives

1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley

4 tablespoons bread crumbs  

¼ cup all-purpose flour 

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup bread crumbs 

3 tablespoons grapeseed oil



1. Dice fillets into 1/4-inch pieces. Add remaining ingredients plus salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, and form into 2 to 4 patties. 

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dredge patties in flour, then in beaten eggs. Coat in bread crumbs. Pour oil in a hot sauté pan. Sear trout cakes until golden brown. Flip, and repeat. Place on a baking sheet, and bake 8 to 12 minutes. 



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Gabrielle Union, if you could give men one piece of wisdom about women, what would it be? You don’t have all the answers.

If you could rid yourself of one deeply personal fear, what would it be? Bees. Only because I look so stupid when I’m running away from them. 

If a picture paints a thousand words, what are you doing in that picture? Laughing. At the person running away from bees. 

If you could give your 10-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Orthodontia is your friend. 

If you were doing a photo shoot right now, what would make you smile biggest and brightest? A cheeseburger. Or maybe some chicken and waffles from Roscoe’s. 

If you had a personal motto, what would it be? Bad things happen to people every day. Your pain is not unique. It’s all how you choose to deal with it. 

If you were actually Kristen in Think Like A Man Too, what’s the first thing you would do to build amazing relationships? Stop talking so much.

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Reach of Confidence A slew of new companies are banking on an age-old concept: trust.

By Melinda Mahaffey Icden

On a trip to Amsterdam two years ago, my husband and I decided to skip the traditional hotel stay and give Airbnb, the popular accommodation booking site, a try. Two sets of friends had recently used the service, which matches travelers with individuals looking to temporarily rent out their living spaces, and had nothing but rave reviews for the San Francisco–based “community marketplace” that’s fostered 11 million bookings since its founding in 2008. 

But despite the fresh strawberries laid out in the sunny kitchen and a specially made guidebook listing the owner’s favorite local spots, I never really warmed to the idea of staying in a stranger’s apartment. I touched as little as possible, I used as little as possible, and I nervously encouraged my husband to do the same. 

So I was blindsided when, upon our return home, we received an irate email from the owner, who accused us of scratching her floors. She was mad about the alleged damage to the expensive bamboo, certainly, but what she was really angry about was something far less quantifiable: She felt deceived because we had left without saying a word about it.

The situation we found ourselves in ultimately boiled down to an issue of trust. She felt betrayed that we would attempt to shirk our responsibilities; I was hurt that she was accusing us of something that, to the best of my knowledge, we hadn’t done. It seemed we both felt that the other person had violated the Golden Rule of the arrangement: Treat the other person (and their stuff) the way you would like to be treated.

But let’s stop for a moment at seemed and felt. Trust is not quantifiable; rather, it’s a judgment, a perception, a feeling. Despite the innate fuzziness, it’s also an essential human trait, one that’s been around since the dawn of civilization. “The reason we trust is because we can accomplish more by working together than we could on our own,” says Dr. David DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern University and author of The Truth About Trust. “By the division of labor, human society has flourished.”

We need trust to prosper, even if it can feel risky at times, so it should come as no surprise that a host of startups are banking on just that. These new companies are off to a good start—but how will an age-old concept hold up in a postmodern future ruled by the Internet?


When people use the term “sharing economy,” also called the collaborative or gig economy, they’re referring to a revolutionary batch of businesses that allow you, the user, limited use of a stranger’s possessions—things like homes, cars, and power tools—while that individual makes some extra cash off something he or she already owns.

Airbnb, for example, offers ac-commodations for rent, from extra apartment bedrooms to castles and backyard tents. Car services like Uber and Lyft provide rides, while Spinlister facilitates the shared use of bikes, skis, and snowboards. On NeighborGoods, you can borrow a ladder, hammer, or drill, and DogVacay supplies a home away from home for your pooch.

The sharing economy also encompasses more amorphous concepts like time and expertise, allowing people to put their “extra” hours and skills to income-generating use. On TaskRabbit, you can hire able hands to build your IKEA furniture; your Homejoy housekeeper will tidy up your pad; and Postmates links you up with a courier who will purchase food or merchandise and have it to you in less than an hour. The common thread between all of these ventures? They each facilitate, via the Internet, the exchange of goods or services from one individual to another. 

“These are really old market behaviors that are being reinvented through technology,” says sharing-economy expert Rachel Botsman, co-author of What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. “We used to trade in villages. Now we live in a global village, and we can use this in ways and on a scale we’ve never experienced before.”

Indeed, the scale is large: Although these companies are often termed startups, some are not all that new—or financially precarious. RelayRides partnered with General Motors in 2012 and has raised $19 million from backers such as Google Ventures (which was also behind a significant portion of the funding that pushed Uber past a $3 billion valuation last year), and Lyft, already worth $700 million, recently garnered another $250 million. As this issue was going to press, Airbnb was reportedly in talks to raise more than $400 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firms, which would value the company at $10 billion, making it worth more on paper than entrenched brands like Hyatt and Wyndham despite not owning any actual lodging properties. 

Beyond those outsized valuations, the sharing economy has earned a nice chunk of change for the little guy, too. In January 2013, Forbes estimated that the industry would collectively generate more than $3.5 billion that year alone for its participants—people like you and me. And this way of doing business shows no sign of slowing down: There’s news of money raised or initiatives launched seemingly every day. “The collaborative economy is representative of a deep socioeconomic shift,” Botsman says. “It’s what I call distributed power, and that’s only going to move forward.”

Evaluating Trust

Trust is not the only issue facing the industry—various states are currently navigating the legality of apartment and ride sharing, for example, and the regulations and taxes that come with it—but it’s arguably the linchpin to its continuing ascension.  

For the millions of successful transactions that have already taken place, you usually only hear stories about the traffic accidents and trashed apartments, which have a greater effect on public perception than tales of success. Think about hitchhiking. Once upon a time, it was associated with the freedom of the open road, but it fell out of favor after the general public began to perceive it as scary. Today, critics point to the legitimate dangers and insurance issues of car-sharing, but it raises a question: Why do we so willingly get into cabs? Isn’t that driver also a stranger you know absolutely nothing about? We do it because we assume—we trust—that the driver and company have been properly vetted by the appropriate authorities and are following all rules and regulations.

But in the early days of any Internet endeavor, a lot of those built-in security systems don’t exist, especially when it comes to peer-to-peer transactions. When you buy something on eBay, for example, you don’t have an opportunity to judge body language, and a rating system is only a small—and potentially flawed—window into the seller’s past behavior. With the sharing economy, that risk only gets heightened because the consequences of a failed transaction can be much more serious. When you buy online, you’re risking a thing; if that pillow looks cheaper in person than it did in the photo, annoying as it may be, you’re only out a bit of money. More importantly, you’ll always have a buffer because no matter how acrimonious the situation may get, you’re never going to physically meet the seller. When you share online, however, you’re potentially risking yourself; if the car doesn’t arrive or that apartment doesn’t exist, you could be left out in the cold—literally.

Reinforcing Trust

Thinking about the risks that come with trust can send you careening down the rabbit hole. The power players in the sharing economy know that, and they’re proactively working to create policies to protect their users. 

“This is a brand-new experience for a lot of people, and trust is central because we’re at the forefront of creating online-to-offline interactions,” says Phil Cardenas, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer who now heads Airbnb’s 80-person Trust and Safety team. “It’s the lens through which we think about all of our projects.”

The company already has a no-fee, $1 million guarantee against property damage for its hosts in a number of countries, and it recently began offering safety devices like first-aid kits and smoke detectors to U.S. hosts. In 2013, Airbnb rolled out its Verified ID program to make sure that users’ virtual profiles line up with their real-world identities. “When you check into a hotel for the first time, you give a credit card and a copy of your ID,” Cardenas says. “We’re trying to create a sharing-economy version of that kind of verification.” 

This sort of program isn’t limited to one company: A number of enterprises, including Traity, Virtrue, and Fidbacks, have popped up to provide solutions for establishing and verifying user identities.“I truly believe the value of being anonymous in these kinds of Web marketplaces is ending,” Botsman says. “You will come to value your identity and want to build that profile because otherwise you won’t be able to enter into these new venues. Your reputation will become a commodity.”

The current verification options may not yet be perfect—DeSteno’s research has found that an individual’s trustworthiness is situational and based on his or her assessment of short-term versus long-term risk, making the past a poor indication of future behavior—but they’re a start at creating new protocols for how we as consumers, and, more importantly, as people, comport ourselves online. 

Will verification push us toward an online Age of Aquarius where we all become better people? It’s easy to be your worst self when you’re not publicly accountable for your words or deeds, but to thrive in an economy built on trust, we all need to be on our best behavior. Research suggests that people are more likely to trust someone like themselves, a tendency that’s on the rise. Future verification systems might help remind us that the people behind the screens are individuals just like us, not just avatars or funny usernames. And then, when we actually come together, face to face, because we’re sharing a car or a living space or a bicycle, we’ll remember how much we have in common—perhaps discovering, as we navigate an ever-changing digital age, that we’ve actually been brought closer together.

Melinda Mahaffey Icden is Spirit’s contributing senior editor.


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Melissa Cookston, restaurateur and World Barbecue Champion   

What’s your secret sauce? “A good sauce has a lot of different ingredients, as does a successful business. For starters, never sacrifice quality to turn a dollar. At my restaurant, we don’t ever take shortcuts. Another ingredient of success is culture. I’m from Mississippi, the Hospitality State, and I treat every guest as if she were sitting down at my own dining room table. Lastly, don’t ever forget where you came from, no matter how successful you become. I firmly believe in paying it forward. I get a lot of questions from people who want to start a barbecue business or enter a competition. I’m not necessarily going to send them my sauce recipe, but I’ll always tell them, ‘This is what’s worked for me. It may not work for you, but I’ll be glad to share what I know.”

The co-owner of Memphis Barbecue Co. and vice president of the National Barbecue Association recently released her first book, Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room

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3,800 pounds of fresh mint are used at the Kentucky Derby.  

Aromatic abundance is essential to the 120,000 juleps served over the course of Derby weekend, and all that spearmint is grown less than 10 miles from Churchill Downs, giving spectators a true taste of Kentucky. “Most of the mint you see in bars is Israeli mint; depending on what time of year it was harvested, it can be overly oily,” says Fred Minnick, a contributing bourbon expert at the Kentucky Derby Museum and the author of Whiskey Women. “Kentucky mint is extremely vibrant, and its oils are less intrusive.” A homegrown ingredient for a signature thirst-slaker? How refreshing.

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You can grow 11 miles of hair in a year. 

If you took every strand on your head—all 100,000 to 150,000 of them—and laid them end to end, after a year of growth you’d have anywhere from 7 to 11 miles of hair on your, er, hands. While each strand’s average output is roughly a centimeter per month, its lifespan is only about four years, which explains why most manes don’t fall longer than mid-back. But you can maximize growing potential. “Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in protein and iron is a good way of maintaining hair health,” says Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist in Vallejo, California, who specializes in hair disorders. In that case, we’re throwing another steak on the grill.

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The Lodge on the Cove

As the saying goes, “Everything old is new again.” That’s never been truer than at this boutique hotel, a Classical Revival–style mansion from 1900 that opened this past fall after a six-month renovation. Located a few blocks west of The University of Texas at Austin, the property—which landed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975—was built by Dr. Goodall Wooten, the son of one of UT’s original regents. Legend has it that his wife, after whom the hotel was named, chose to add the stately exterior columns in 1910 instead of taking a trip around the world. Today, the handsome hideaway boasts 47 rooms, 10 of which are tucked inside the original home. (You’ll find the other 37 in a sleek, art-filled annex.) From the carefully executed old-timey cocktails—think “prescriptions” and “cures”—at Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar to the decidedly modern pool area, we think you’ll agree that this freshly polished grand dame is indeed ready for her reemergence.

AIRPORT Portland International Jetport (PWM) RATE From $169


While You’re There 

Take a ride on the Rugosa, a 1960s wooden lobster boat, to try your hand at harvesting Maine’s most famous export. The 90-minute jaunt doubles as a scenic tour.  

Eat oysters and locally sourced organic fare like gorgonzola-and-spinach egg rolls at long-running hot spot Bandaloop.

Trace history at First Families Kennebunkport Museum, which details the lives of Kennebunkport locals ranging from sea captains to summer residents George H.W. and Barbara Bush. 



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“At Dead Rabbit, which is named after a legendary Irish gang that existed in Lower Manhattan in the 1850s, we celebrate ingredients that were prevalent at the time. One of those is absinthe. This drink is a riff on Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon, and the recipe you see here is our reincarnation of the one that appears in Daly’s Bartenders’ Encyclopedia, written in 1903. Parfait amour is basically a more complex orange curaçao. The sweetness of that and the celery cordial combine with the anise flavor of the absinthe, and it’s all balanced out by champagne. Even though I’m partial to Irish whiskey, it’s one of my favorite drinks on the menu.”

Who Jack McGarry, head bartender 

Where Dead Rabbit



¼ cup superfine sugar

¼ cup celery juice

¼ cup water

½ ounce celery cordial 

ounce Pernod absinthe ½ ounce Marie Brizard parfait amour

dashes Bittermens Orchard Street celery shrub

ounces Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut champagne



1. Make celery cordial: Combine ingredients. Heat until sugar is dissolved, then cool.

2. Combine first four ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice, then stir. Top with champagne. Strain into a sling glass. 

3. Release the oils of a lemon peel over the drink. Garnish with a lemon peel.



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Fried Broccoli

“Rather than jamming as many tables as we can into Pinewood Social, we provide things to do. There’s a coffee shop and six bowling lanes, and this summer we’re adding a pool, an Airstream turned tiki bar, and bocce ball. When we were creating the menu, Randall Pruden, one of the sous chefs, asked if I had ever had fried broccoli. ‘Not battered, just fried, so it’s caramely and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside,’ he said. He added sea salt and lemon juice, and it was just awesome. We wanted to have a vegan appetizer, so we came up with the dipping sauce. People are always impressed by how simple—but how good—it is.” 

Who Josh Habiger, culinary director 

Where Pinewood Social 



canola oil 

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets

zest of 2 lemons 

sea salt 

½ cup raw almonds

¼ cup golden raisins

tablespoons red wine vinegar

1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

shallot, chopped

clove garlic, chopped

½ cup olive oil

½ cup water

juice of 1 lemon half 



1. Fill saucepan with 2 inches canola oil. Heat to 375 degrees.

2. Fry broccoli until edges appear crispy, about 30 seconds. Remove, and set on a paper towel. Top with lemon zest and sea salt.

3. Using a food processor, puree ingredients until smooth. 

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Sarah McLachlan, if we listen to your new album, what can we expect? Oh, you know, love, lust, betrayal, loss, mourning, resurrection. Typical stuff!

If you had a personal motto, what would it be? Be mindful and proceed with kindness, and don’t burn bridges, for someday you will surely have to walk back over them.

If you could rid yourself of one deeply personal fear, what would it be? Any fears I have seem to be legitimate, as recognizing fear has saved me from harm on more than one occasion. So I would rather hold on to them.

If you’ve learned one parenting tip with your two young daughters, what would it be? Take a breath, count to 10, and don’t engage in the argument. 

If you could give your 10-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Know your worth and stand up for yourself and others. Also, it will get better.



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Candy Crush has been downloaded more than 500 times.  

The addictive app—where colorful treats are pulverized with finger-swipes—scored the most mobile downloads in 2013, an achievement that Marcos Sanchez, VP of global corporate communications at mobile analytics company App Annie, attributes to the game’s recipe of risk and reward. The intuitive gameplay pulls people in, “but it’s difficult enough that players feel a sense of achievement when they finish a level,” Sanchez says. Candy Crush is free, but gamers hungry for goodies like extra lives and power-ups shell out about $650,000 daily, making it thetop grossing app of 2013, too. Talk about sweet success.

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Laughing Matters

Psychologist Peter McGraw explores the intersection of science and humor.

What’s the value of humor? “Most obviously, it’s something that makes us and others feel good,” McGraw says. “But a shared sense of humor can also be an indicator of a successful relationship. If you and I laugh at the same things, it says we see the world in a similar way, and we’re likely to get along in other, non-humorous situations.”

What makes things funny? “It starts with the realization that a negative or threatening situation is actually acceptable or safe. In scenarios like this, which are wrong yet OK, we laugh to indicate to others that the violation is benign—so laughter serves a social purpose.”  

Do you have to be born with comedic talent? “Everybody’s funny in their own way, but some people do seem to have an advantage at being broadly funny. They tend to think it’s innate, but it can’t be, in the same way that any other complex skill isn’t. Your ability to play the piano or hit a tennis ball is improved through practice, coaching, and experimentation. That’s why the best comedians are older—they’ve taken years to hone their craft.” 

How can you tell a better joke? “Test it out in advance. Great comics make a joke seem spontaneous, but they know it’s going to land because they’ve told it before. If you tell a joke and it doesn’t go so well, don’t be afraid to apologize. My standard apology is, ‘This is what happens when someone who studies what makes things funny tries to be funny.’ I know that if my first joke doesn’t get a laugh, my apology will. I’ve had to say it enough times that I know it works.”


Peter McGraw is co-author of The Humor Code and runs the Humor Research Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

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The sound level in the world’s quietest room is -13 decibels. 

A pin-drop is nothing. Idle for a while in the anechoic (non-echoing) chamber at Minneapolis’ Orfield Laboratories, Inc., and you might pick up on the sound of your own heart beating. As strangely cool as that is, not everyone can tolerate the average half-hour needed for their ears to acclimate to the eerie sensation of negative sound levels. “People normally walk into our minus-decibel chamber [from] a 60- or 70-decibel world,” says Steven Orfield, the research firm’s founder. The unsettling lack of auditory cues sends some folks packing in minutes. Good thing the room’s usual occupants are inanimate—the space is used for acoustic tests on items like washing machines and cellphone displays. Sounds fascinating, but we’ll seek our peace and quiet someplace louder.



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Hotel Ella

As the saying goes, “Everything old is new again.” That’s never been truer than at this boutique hotel, a Classical Revival–style mansion from 1900 that opened this past fall after a six-month renovation. Located a few blocks west of The University of Texas at Austin, the property—which landed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975—was built by Dr. Goodall Wooten, the son of one of UT’s original regents. Legend has it that his wife, after whom the hotel was named, chose to add the stately exterior columns in 1910 instead of taking a trip around the world. Today, the handsome hideaway boasts 47 rooms, 10 of which are tucked inside the original home. (You’ll find the other 37 in a sleek, art-filled annex.) From the carefully executed old-timey cocktails—think “prescriptions” and “cures”—at Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar to the decidedly modern pool area, we think you’ll agree that this freshly polished grand dame is indeed ready for her reemergence.

Airport Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Rate From $339 


While You’re There 

Stroll the Bremond Block Historic District to admire its 11 Victorian-era homes on a free weekend walking tour courtesy of the city’s CVB.

Eye the 17,000-piece collection of European, American, and Latin American works at The Blanton Museum of Art, located on UT’s campus. 

Sip craft cocktails at Freedmen’s, an upscale barbecue joint housed in an 1869 building constructed by George Franklin, a former slave. 



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Russell Simmons, author and hip-hop/fashion mogul  

How do you maintain a sense of calm under pressure?
“Early in my career, I believed that the stress I was feeling—and the worrying and the insomnia—was part of being successful. Yet, the minute I started making a conscious effort to let go of those things, I became more productive. Relieving the anxiety in your life is essential to being a good businessperson. If that’s gone, the mind is calm, and from a calm mind comes creativity. Every morning when I wake up and every evening before I go to bed, I sit still for 20 minutes and let my thoughts settle. Those moments of stillness are where my greatest ideas come from—every creative thought, every innovative business plan. If you can eliminate the outside noise, you’ll find that the answers are inside you.”

The co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and founder of Phat Fashions recently released his fourth book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple.

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The Decoy

“It’s fun to introduce people to something cool and new, but we also like creating cocktails using flavors that are familiar. While these ingredients may not be typically found together, they’re all easily recognizable—and might remind you of a punch or lemonade that you had in your backyard as a kid. The name of the drink comes from its appearance. Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka is dark red, and the hibiscus syrup deepens that. The cocktail’s color makes it look a little imposing, as if you’re getting a Negroni up, but it’s actually smooth and sweet. You don’t expect it to be fruity—it looks a lot different than it tastes.”

Who Lou Charbonneau, bar manager 

Where Sonsie



2½ ounces Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka

¾ ounce hibiscus  syrup

½ ounce lemon juice

3 dashes Angostura bitters

ginger beer



Combine vodka, hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice, then shake. Add a splash of ginger beer. Strain into a martini glass.






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It used to take 27 hours to make a peep.  

In 1953, Bethlehem, Pennsyl-vania–based confectioner Just Born Inc. was planning to buy another candy maker, Rodda, which was famous for its jelly beans. On a factory tour, Just Born’s owners found out that Rodda also produced bird-shaped marshmallow treats called Peeps. “They looked at each other and said, ‘This is a gold mine,’” says Matt Pye, Just Born’s VP of Corporate Affairs. At the time, the chicks were hand-sqeezed through pastry tubes and needed hours to firm up. From mixing to final packaging, the whole operation took more than a day. But within a year of the acquisition, Just Born had automated the process,  paring it down to six minutes. The factory now produces 5 million chicks a day. It might be the only time it’s OK to count them before they hatch.

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Shakespeare invented more than 1,600 English words. 

Feeling at a loss for words? Then take a page out of the Bard’s book. “English simply couldn’t accommodate all of the things Shakespeare needed to say,” explains Felicia Londré, a theater professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. “So he borrowed words, changed words, and gave new meaning to words,” in addition to conjuring up his own. While you have Will to thank for terms like bandit, laughable, and zany, not all of his contributions have survived. Among the many casualties: John-a-dreams (an idle muser) and disliken (to disguise). A lost lexical legacy? We’re speechless. 



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Hey Little Spender 

Father-daughter duo Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze share tips for raising money-wise kids.


Spirit: Why teach children money management? 

Dave: Parents should adopt the idea that teaching a kid about money is a life skill. We teach them to brush their teeth and drive a car, so we should teach them about personal finance. Your economic strata, the neighborhood you live in, and your race don’t enter into it; it’s something anyone can do. 


S: Where to start?

D: The first step is to get your own act together because your kids are observing you. It’s going to be very difficult to motivate them to do things you’re not willing or able to do yourself. You don’t have to be perfect, though. I don’t have to have gotten a 4.0 to require my children to study, but I do have to make the effort.

RACHEL: The idea is that more is caught than taught, and your kids are watching.


S: If parents shouldn’t try to turn a spender into a saver or vice versa, what should they do?

R: Since people are generally wired one way or the other, you’re trying to find a balance between the two. If you live your whole life as a saver, it’s going to be pretty boring, but if you’re a spender, you’ll have no money left. Your goal is to teach your kids to find the balance between enjoying money when they make it and being responsible and saving up for things like retirement.


S: What’s one tip parents can implement today?

R: We recommend using a commission system: kids work for their money, and then you divide it up into three envelopes: “give,” “save,” and “spend.” But don’t make the mistake of holding on to those earnings yourself—then you get 16-year-olds who don’t know how to write a check or swipe a debit card. And when they’re 18 and they go out into the world, they have no foundation for managing their own finances. I encourage parents to let kids experience money on their own—but with Mom and Dad’s guidance.   


Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze are the authors of Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money.

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Golden Idea
Bitcoin’s getting a lot of buzz. But how does it really work?

By Jill Coody Smits


By now you’ve probably heard of Bitcoin. But what is it: an innovative, universal form of money that will alter the way we live, or an unstable, unchecked hoax? How on Earth does it work, and why should you care? While not simple, the answers (at least to some of those questions) do exist.

In the simplest terms, Bitcoin is a global, Internet-based currency that is available to everyone. Bitcoin with a capital “B” refers to an overarching payment system, while bitcoin with a lowercase “b” refers to a monetary unit. It is the most prominent of many cryptocurrencies—digital systems of money that use encryption to secure transactions. It’s also important to note that Bitcoin is in its infancy, and while it may not be ready for prime time, many believe it will eventually change the way we all pay for goods and services.


The Virtual Buck Starts Here

In 2009, working under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, a still-unknown person, or people, released a software system that allowed individuals to securely and directly pay one another with a digital currency. It’s worth reiterating the “securely and directly” part because in computer science, there had been a long-standing problem called “double spending” that made it impossible to know whether someone duplicated and double spent electronic cash unless a third party (e.g., a bank) verified it. 

Bitcoin solved that problem by using an “open source distributed system,” which means you can, in theory, recoup bitcoins loaned to a co-worker during lunch without waiting for the bank to confirm she’s good for it. That’s because the system simply won’t allow her to spend a bitcoin she doesn’t have. 

As bitcoins are spent, transac-tions are grouped into blocks and entered into a sort of giant, virtual bank ledger called the “blockchain.” Those blockchain transactions are verified by a huge network of people called “miners.” 

In order for a miner to verify a block of transactions, he or she must first gain access to it. Each block is locked behind an extremely complex password, and miners use high-powered computers to run the complex calculations that lead to correct passwords.

When a block is unlocked, a new bitcoin is released into circulation. So miners act as both bookkeepers and currency producers, and they’re compensated in bitcoins (about 25 for every block they unlock). 

There is a finite supply of bitcoins—21 million—and the complex passwords miners are required to break in order to hatch new ones are designed to be increasingly complicated. Nakamoto created it that way, so that the supply increases gradually. (Nakamoto also designed the system to produce a maximum of 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes, another control measure.)


Bitcoin and You

Now that you (kind of) understand the Bitcoin system, perhaps you want to use it. First, you have to buy bitcoins, much like you’d need to buy pesos if you went to Mexico. In this case, rather than hitting the airport exchange booth, you’ll need to purchase a bitcoin wallet—computer software that allows you to store, spend, and receive bitcoins on your mobile device or computer—from a site like Blockchain.info. Then you’ll need to fill it with bitcoins purchased from a site like Coinbase.com. Or, if you’re in Austin, Texas, where America’s first bitcoin ATM is located, you could exchange your cash for bitcoins much like you would withdraw funds with your debit card. 

However you acquire your bitcoins, once you’re flush, you may want to spend them. Via an encrypted code, you can transfer funds from your wallet to someone else’s. It’s akin to sending someone an email, only the message is in bitcoins. 

Keep in mind, though, that only a small number of merchants currently accept bitcoins. Even in Austin, if someone stocked their wallet at that ATM, they’d be hard-pressed to spend it locally. (They could, however, shop on Overstock.com, which began accepting bitcoins in January.)


A Bitcoiner’s Point of View

Paul Snow is president of the Austin-based Texas Bitcoin Association. In 2011, he impulsively bought some bitcoins for around 77 cents each and all but forgot about them until 2013, when he watched the price skyrocket from $34 to $1,200 over the course of the year. In November, the 54-year-old quit his job as a software developer to focus his attention on Bitcoin.

Snow says he was drawn to Bitcoin in part because “economically, we want a system that keeps score fairly, transparently, and in strict accordance with rules that are applied equally to all involved.”

While acknowledging some shortcomings, like an insufficient infrastructure, he expects that Bitcoin will have the corner on the virtual currency market—at least in the short term. “Bitcoin is going to be a hugely disruptive technology, and there are people who will make a phenomenal amount of money from being in on it early on.”


Security, Controversies, and Regulation, Oh My!

While there are plenty of winning Bitcoin stories like Snow’s, many experts believe it should be approached with caution. 

Mark Williams, a risk management expert and finance lecturer at Boston University, says questions about Bitcoin’s security, as well as its tarnished reputation, volatility, and troubled infrastructure, are all reasons to be skeptical of it. Pointing to the drawn-out collapse of Mt. Gox (in late February, the company, once the largest bitcoin exchange, shut down, resulting in the loss of a speculated $400 million worth of bitcoins), Williams says Bitcoin “rests on a false belief that self-regulation, untraceable currency, and transactions outside of well-tested and established banking channels can be done safely with little risk to customers.” 

Jerry Brito, a researcher at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, agrees that Bitcoin might be a risky investment, but says the high-profile incidents are simply growing pains of a young industry. “A lot of these first-generation companies started by hobbyists are failing and being replaced by very serious companies backed by prominent venture capitalists.”

Despite interest from investors, some experts view Bitcoin as a scam or pyramid scheme, in part because only a handful of people own half of all bitcoins in circulation. In response, Brito says, “Whatever you think of their motives, whether it was for profit or ideological, they solved the double spending problem. They deserve to profit, as they’ve accomplished a technological feat.”

Finally, there’s the fact that Bitcoin is a decentralized currency with no connection to a government. Williams has fundamental issues with this point, and in his testimony at the New York State Department of Financial Services’ hearings on the regulation of virtual currencies held in January, he emphasized how the dollar took centuries to earn respect and still relies on a sound central bank, regulation, and enforcement, while Bitcoin has none of that. “Economies are driven not by math models and equations, but by people,” he says. “Bitcoin still has a long way to go before it should be relied upon as a mainstream means of transaction or even for investment speculation.”

It does appear that regulation is inevitable, and there are moves to clarify how both state and federal rules apply to virtual currency. In that vein, Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, recently announced plans to “adopt enhanced consumer disclosure rules, capital requirements, and a framework for permissible investments with consumer money.”


Don’t Blink

As Williams says, “In Bitcoin world, a week is equivalent to a decade in real life.” To illustrate that point, consider what occurred over several weeks in early 2014. There was the perplexing disappearance of Mt. Gox; Charlie Shrem, founder and CEO of early Bitcoin player BitInstant, was arrested for laundering money for users of an Internet black market called Silk Road; Russia followed in China’s footsteps by declaring Bitcoin illegal; and the price of 1 bitcoin dropped from around $1,000 to about $550. 

The instability, coupled with its unheard-of price spike (the price of 1 bitcoin this time last year was roughly $34), has convinced Williams that Bitcoin is in a soon-to-burst bubble. 

But Brito says the volatility will subside as more people engage with it. “It’s volatile because it’s a small economy; one trade or a news story can send the market moving.” He says it’s important to remember that Bitcoin is a platform, and soon “someone will build a killer application” for it and the technology “will be wide-spread,” in part because it’s cheaper and faster than debit and credit cards.

Imagine the money to be saved if merchants didn’t have to pay transaction fees, for example, or if you could circumvent a bank when sending money to your Dutch uncle. As for other potential uses, some believe there are many, though it’s too soon to know exactly what will pan out.

Maybe Ben Bernanke sums it up best. In a November letter to Congress, he wrote, “while these types of innovations may pose risks related to law enforcement and supervisory matters, there are also areas in which they may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.” That we can buy into.


Jill Coody Smits is an Austin, Texas–based journalist. Find her online at blueseedcommunications.com.


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Tracy Morgan, if you were an animal, what would you be?

A lion. He’s the king of the jungle, man. 

In Rio 2, your character’s motto is “Drool is cool.” If you had a personal motto, what would it be? Cool is cool. 

If you had a time machine, where would you go and why? I’d go all the way back to the beginning of time just to see how it all went down. 

If you could give your 10-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Keep doing what you’re doing. 

If you could have created any work of art by another artist, what would it be? Everything Michael Jackson ever did. He was just awesome.  

If you ruled the world, what’s the first thing you would change? I would get rid of hate. 

If you had a superpower, what would it be? I’d be invisible so I wouldn’t have to explain anything to anybody. 

If this were the last day of your life, what would you be doing? Chilling with my kids, surrounded by love. 

If we take our kids to see Rio 2, what can we expect? A lot of love. A lot of laughs. It’s a great movie, and I thank God that I’m a part of it. 



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Salt and Pepper Ribs

“I grew up in Memphis, and we cooked a lot on wood. I like to incorporate my history into the restaurant—we’ve got a wood-burning grill where we burn whatever local wood we can get at the time. These ribs have a light, smoky flavor, and the basic salt-and-pepper blend gives them a little kick—but nothing too spicy. Saba is made from a wine byproduct and adds a hint of earthiness. It’s the only crazy ingredient in this recipe; most everything else you’re already going to have lying around the house. I made this for a 60-person cocktail dinner, and doing all of the ribs was a cinch.”

Who Cullen Campbell, chef/owner 

Where Crudo



2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 three-pound pork rib racks

2 ounces each parsley, rosemary, and basil

6 ounces saba



1. Mix dry ingredients together, and coat rib racks. Place in a baking pan, cover with foil, and cook in a 250-degree oven for 2 hours. Remove, then grill over low to medium heat for 1 hour. 

2. Roughly chop herbs, mix together, and set aside.

3. Place ribs on a serving platter. Brush with saba, then garnish with chopped herbs.

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42% of husbands have lied to their wives about dinging the car. 

Not only have they concealed the minor mishaps—they’ve pinned the blame elsewhere. Wives aren’t angels in the driver’s seat, either: In a survey by Insure.com, 27 percent said they’d fabricated the same falsehood. Moreover, 24 percent of folks are hiding accidents from their mates. But the truth can have a pesky way of surfacing. “Some people will find out that a spouse has done something wrong when they see their car insurance rates have gone up,” says Amy Danise, an Insure.com spokesperson. Other times, sidestepping consequences is a snap: “It’s really easy to blame someone else for a ding,” Danise acknowledges. Apparently honesty isn’t always seen as the best (insurance) policy.



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Ties That Bind Psychologist David DeSteno untangles matters of trust, from some common misconceptions to questionable cues

What are some of the myths surrounding trust?

Oftentimes, we assume someone is trustworthy or not based on his or her reputation. If that were such a great predictor then we wouldn’t be surprised so often. Science tells us that everyone has his price—whether he knows it or not. We each have two types of mechanisms: those that favor short-term gain and those that favor long-term gain. If you’re thinking short-term, you’ll take whatever you can get and run. However, long-term gain requires you to be more community-oriented to get what you want in the end. Whether you are trustworthy or not in any given moment is determined by which of these two urges is motivating you. 

What traits should you look for when determining if someone is trustworthy?

We tend to think about trust in terms of integrity, but there’s another component that’s equally as important: competence. When you’re deciding whom to trust in a certain situation, consider what might be required of that person. For example, I trust my best friend, but I wouldn’t want him operating on me because he’s not a surgeon. Ask yourself not only if the person is honest and fair, but also if he can competently do what you need him to do. My friend may have every intention to help me, but without the competence to do so, the end result will still be failure. 

Can I trust my boss?

People in positions of power—socioeconomically or otherwise—are more likely to be untrustworthy because they can be. Trust involves making yourself vulnerable to others. The more power you have, the less you rely on others and the less vulnerable you are.

Is it possible to base trust on body language?

Yes, it is possible, but in the past we’ve been looking for a single telltale marker, like shifty eyes or a fake smile, neither of which is telling on its own. Recent studies suggest that only when four particular cues are used in sequence do they predict when a person is going to be untrustworthy. Those are crossing one’s arms, leaning back (or orienting yourself away from someone), touching your face, and fidgeting with your hands. When used together, they say, “I’m probably going to cheat you.”


David DeSteno is the author of The Truth About Trust: How It Determines Success in Life, Love, Learning, and More



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You have 250 milliseconds to catch a fall. 

That’s the minimum time the brain needs to register that your body’s off-kilter and to do what it takes to avoid a tumble. “Anything less than 250 milliseconds—you’re probably not going to catch yourself,” says Daniel Ferris, a University of Michigan professor of kinesiology. In a recent study on balance, Ferris’ team homed in on the left sensorimotor cortex, an area of the brain thought to be responsible for coordinating motion. When you realize you’re falling, this region responds first, sending out the neural signals that set your body in motion to (ideally) restore stability—all within a quarter-second. Now that’s what we call quick thinking.

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35% of parents don’t understand what their adult child does for a living. 

Mom and Dad no doubt remember your childhood ambitions—but chances are they’re fuzzy on the details of your grown-up gig. A recent LinkedIn survey found that more than one-third of parents worldwide are in the dark about their kid’s daily responsibilities. (Americans are slightly ahead of the curve; only 29 percent find their child’s work mystifying.) Blame it on ambiguous job titles like UI designer, social media manager, and data scientist. “These jobs may not have existed when some of the parents were in the workforce,” says Catherine Fisher, director of corporate communications at LinkedIn. Still, 94 percent of folks are proud of their child’s professional accomplishments. Whatever they are.

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Togarashi Cheesecake

“I grew up in Brooklyn and we always went to Junior’s for cheesecake. It’s one of my favorite things to eat, but there’s a lot of mediocre cheesecake being served across the country. We wanted to come up with a version that was inventive and more elegant. At MilkWood, we’re always messing around with spice—I’m a chili-head, so the spicier the better. For this cheesecake, we used a Japanese chili spice blend called togarashi to offset the tartness of the goat cheese in the recipe. Togarashi is not melt-your-face-off spicy, but it’s just spicy enough to tickle the back of your throat. In Japanese food, it’s like adding salt and pepper.” 

Who Edward Lee, owner/chef

Where MilkWood



14 ounces fresh goat cheese

6 ounces cream cheese

½ cup buttermilk

½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon togarashi 

4 eggs

1 graham cracker crust

1 tablespoon sorghum syrup



1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

2. Whisk together goat cheese, cream cheese, buttermilk, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon togarashi. Beat in eggs one at a time until smooth. 

3. Pour filling into graham cracker crust. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon togarashi. 

4. Bake in a warm water bath for 80 minutes. 

5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, drizzle each slice with sorghum syrup.




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Nizuc Resort and Spa

Located on the site of a former Mexican presidential retreat, the 29-acre luxury resort—which officially debuted in September 2013—nestles along a secluded stretch of coastline just 20 minutes south of Cancún. But why go into town? Nizuc’s six restaurants serve up an international sampler platter, from contemporary Mexican fare to Asian fusion, while the beachfront Bar A-Kan, one of three resort lounges, offers one of the region’s largest tequila and mezcal collections. Adventurous travelers will enjoy guided sunrise paddleboarding, snorkeling above the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, or kayaking through the mangroves that front part of the property, while kids can frolic on the private family beach or indulge their artistic sides with cooking classes and crafts. Just want to relax? With 274 suites spread through three separate residential areas, there’s space for everyone—plus an adults-only beach and a 30,000-square-foot spa.

AIRPORT Cancún International (CUN) RATE From $380 


While You’re There 

Dive in to explore the Cancún Underwater Museum, featuring artist Jason deCaires Taylor’s 400-plus coral-encrusted statues. You can snorkel, but you’ll get more up close and personal with a scuba tank. 

Explore the Yucatán Peninsula’s history on a day tour to Chichén Itzá or Tulum, the sites of Mexico’s most famous—and, arguably, most spectacular—Mayan ruins. 

Shoot for par at the Jack Nicklaus–designed Riviera Cancun Golf Club. Opened in 2008, the 18-hole course is the area’s newest spot of greens. 

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Growing a culture of generosity can pay dividends down the line.

By Jill Coody Smits


In business, the long view—the one where you keep your eyes on the future and on the world beyond your office door—isn’t always an easy gaze to hold. What with profits to make and salaries to pay, keeping your eyes anywhere but on your wallet and the challenge at hand can feel impossibly idealistic.

But there’s a growing business case to be made for the long view, whether you’re opening a new store, writing a strategic plan, or networking at happy hour. It requires that you renounce short-term thinking, fly your generosity flag, and eschew the “whatever it takes” mentality found in boardrooms big and small. It’s a kinder, gentler way of doing business, and it may be the surest route to the top.


The Tao of Burger Joints

For years, Patrick Terry daydreamed about opening a burger stand, a vision that is still laced with idealism. He says, “I like the idea of a burger, fries, and a milkshake; I like the exchange of that, and think it’s really pleasant.” 

After reading the decidedly unpleasant book Fast Food Nation, Terry and his wife, Kathy, decided to make his dream a reality, but to do it atypically. In 2005, the first P. Terry’s Burger Stand opened on a busy corner in Austin, Texas, with a mission to reinvent the fast-food industry depicted in Eric Schlosser’s 2001 best seller. 

From quality ingredients and fair wages to good customer service and earth-friendly practices, Terry says, “The mantra has always been ‘do the right thing.’ We mumble that to ourselves when making decisions.” Moreover, Terry says his strategy from the outset was “to build something of substance, something that would be around for a long time.”

Nine years later, P. Terry’s is working on its ninth stand. They pay their 300-plus employees well above minimum wage, offer Spanish-speaking employees English lessons, give interest-free emergency loans to help people get into an apartment or a car, and always promote from within. Employee bonuses totaled up to more than $65,000 in December 2013.

In addition to taking good care of employees, P. Terry’s uses all-natural beef and healthy ingredients, recycles all paper and cardboard from the back of the house, and has donated more than $332,000 to local causes. Terry says the stands themselves are designed to be places that make the street nicer for years to come.

All of that investment—in structures, healthy products, employees, and sustainability—is costly. Especially when you consider that their burger goes for $2. Still, Terry says the effort is both essential and worthwhile. There’s gravy, too, in the form of happy customers. 


Make Way for the Commons

As Terry suggests, success doesn’t have to come at the expense of the greater good. In fact, it’s a karmic philosophy that’s seeping into the psyche of future leaders via a surprising source—business school. 

Leo Burke, director of the Global Commons Initiative at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, says all businesspeople should be mindful of the outside world, because “business exists for the good of society, not the other way around.” (Take THAT, Wolf of Wall Street.)

A former Motorola executive, Burke launched the GCI in 2012 with the goal of educating students about the commons “so that they can make better business decisions that contribute to the greater good.” The “commons” in Burke’s initiative are an ancient concept he explains as the “tangible and intangible resources that sustain and enhance life that must be collectively governed by users for the good of current beneficiaries and future generations.”

It sounds like heady stuff, but the commons are just the shared things that make life good for all of us and should be there for us way down the road. There are natural-resource commons like mountains, cultural commons like customs, and even digital commons like the Internet. No one owns them, but we all use and benefit from them, and we are all responsible for them. 

It’s a compelling idea, but why should the commons be integrated into a business school curriculum? Burke makes it sound like a no-brainer. “It’s critical for future leaders to understand that, in addition to the private sector and public sector, there are resources we hold in common, and they need to be protected.”

According to Burke, the market is not yet beginning to demand that perspective, at least not in a mainstream way. However, “people are beginning to understand that if we don’t protect the common good, there won’t be healthy markets.” 

So, what is a well-intentioned company to do? “A very narrowly defined view of business is you grab the input resources at their cheapest and maximize profits by unloading at any cost,” says Burke. A better way, he insists, is to take a hard look at your business and ask whether anyone or anything is being exploited along the way. Do you ship using eco-friendly materials? Are you paying a fair wage? Do you give back to your community in some meaningful way?

Of course, it’s not always simple to factor in the greater good, particularly after a troubling quarterly meeting. But, Burke says even small positive steps are valuable.


Good Guys (and Gals) Finish First

Terry understands the complex decision-making that often goes into doing the right thing. He says there are times when monthly budgets and good intentions collide, “then you step back and tell yourself that you do this 12 months a year, so don’t put this one under the microscope and reevaluate what you think is right.” 

Recycling at P. Terry’s is one example of a complicated and evolving solution. The stores started with recyclable food packaging, then added a dumpster to each location so all materials from the back of the house get recycled. While trash from the front of the house represents a small percentage of the store’s waste, space and logistics issues make recycling it an unresolved but nagging concern. Terry says, “We have an ongoing conversation with ourselves on how to improve, and I’m confident there’ll be a time when we will recycle more.”

These efforts matter, Burke says, and from bond ratings that factor in sustainability practices to customers with high expectations, they will likely have more and more impact on success. It’s a natural progression. Many companies, like Patagonia, are already holding themselves to a higher standard, and they make a profit. Terry says the connection between the “do good” mantra and the success of their burger stands is undeniable. “I get too many customer comments to think otherwise.”


Give a Little, Gain a Lot

Even on an individual scale, there is evidence that generous people are more successful than selfish ones. 

In his book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Wharton professor Adam Grant contends that most people fall into one of three categories: givers, takers, or matchers. Givers give with no expectation of return, takers are only in it for themselves, and matchers give based on an assumption of reciprocity. 

Motivation, skills, and opportunity being equal, guess who tends to be the most successful? 

While all types can and do succeed, Grant found that givers tend to be especially successful more often, in part because they create a large network of people who happily reciprocate their “no strings attached” generosity. In addition, once you’re known as the helpful guy, people begin “rooting rather than gunning for you,” and new doors begin to open. 

There’s a fine line between “supreme giver” and “doormat,” however, and a pile of givers can be found at the bottom of the ladder. Grant says the key to supremacy is giving in a way that doesn’t compromise your goals and success.

Successful givers tend to be generous with givers and matchers, but cautious of takers. Failed givers respond to everyone, which can result in a “jack of all trades, master of none” problem. A more effective way, Grant says, is to focus giving in a few areas you enjoy and are uniquely qualified for, which makes the giving feel “energizing and efficient rather than distracting and exhausting.”

Do so and—voilà. You’ve just carved out your niche, which means folks won’t come knocking every time they need a random favor. 

Most of us are matchers, however, and Grant says we tit-for-tat masses make a few mistakes. The first is giving off a transactional vibe. (Conversely, givers make favors “feel like an investment in a meaningful relationship.”) The second is that matchers only help people who can pay it back—a shortsighted view of networking.

As for takers, well, they win some and lose some, but they’re bad for business. “When you get groups of employees willing to give, you have more innovation from shared knowledge,” Grant says. 

Leaders can encourage a giving culture by engaging in giving behaviors themselves. Things like putting organizational interests first (i.e., the corporate jet is not a personal chauffeur), sharing knowledge, and providing feedback have a way of trickling down. 

Operating with the greater good in mind may not always be easy, but research suggests it can be a winning business strategy. So do successful business owners. “Once the philosophy gets implemented, it takes on a life of its own,” Terry says. “You connect with a high caliber of people, and it’s all just working in tandem.”

Who knows, if you do it right, you may just give your way into giving a Giving Pledge. 


Jill Coody Smits is an Austin, Texas–based journalist. Find her online at blueseedcommunications.com.


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Puncher’s Chance

“A lot of my inspiration for cocktails comes from food. I had a dish some months back at a Burmese restaurant that used coconut and black sesame seeds, and I knew I had to make a cocktail geared toward that combination. So when we held an event this past October called the Mission Margarita Brawl, where 10 bars in the neighborhood had to make their take on a margarita, I thought to myself, What if I got black sesame seeds, ground them up, and added some salt to make the salt rim? This punch-style cocktail works well because, on the front, you’ve got the smokiness from the mezcal, and on the finish, the driving acidity with the coconut. We won the brawl.”

Who Dominic Alling, bar director
Where Beretta


2 cups sugar

2 cups water

2 ounces loose black tea

3 vanilla pods

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

black sesame salt

2 ounces mezcal

¾ ounce lime juice



1. Make puncher’s mix: Combine sugar with 2 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Add loose tea and vanilla pods, and let steep for 7 minutes. Strain. Add coconut flakes, then let sit for 30 minutes, stirring periodically. Strain and cool.

2. Rim a Nick & Nora glass with black sesame salt, and fill with ice. Combine mezcal, lime juice, and 1/2 ounce puncher’s mix in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake, then strain into glass.


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Cesar Millan, celebrity dog behaviorist and best-selling author 

What is the key to a functional workplace? “This is one particular area where we can learn a lot from animals. In a pack of dogs, there are essentially three groups: those in the front, those in the middle, and those in the back. While each plays a significant role, no group is superior. The dogs in the front, typically referred to as alphas, give direction and offer protection; these are your leaders. The dogs in the middle of the pack keep order and ensure that things run smoothly. Those in the back are the cautious ones, responsible for alerting the others to potential threats. When building a team, adopt a pack mentality. Recognize that it’s just as important
to find people who are happy being in the back as it is to identify strong leaders. And maintain a balance of these respective personalities to promote cohesion.”

Cesar Millan’s new series, Cesar 911, premieres on Nat Geo Wild on March 7.



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Tony Goldwyn, if you were involved in a scandal, what would it be? Hmm. An affair with the First Lady? 

If you were actually the POTUS, what’s the first thing you would do? Go sit quietly alone in the Oval Office. It would be my last quiet moment for the next four years!

If you could give your 10-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Listen to your gut. Don’t look to others for your identity.

If you had to choose only one book for your library, what would it be? The Complete Works of Shakespeare

If you could rid yourself of one deeply personal fear, what would it be? None. It’s through facing our fears that we grow and thrive. 

If you could have created any one work of great art—a song, a painting, a movie, etc.—by another artist, what would it be? The Graduate. 

If you had a superpower, what would it be? Flight. 

If this were the last day of your life, what would you be doing? Holding my wife and two daughters. 

If you had coined a single phrase of wisdom, what would it be? “Do.” 



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