Is It Worth It: Cuban Cigars

Have you ever wondered if Cuban cigars are worth their money? Part of the mystique about Cuban cigars is that they were hardly available in the US due to the embargo signed in 1962 by JFK. With the recent easing of restrictions, Americans can now buy Cuban cigars abroad and bring them into the country.

Cuban cigars are prestigious and with that, comes a higher price tag. So is it worth importing Montecristos or Cohibas into the US? Recently, a friend brought home Cohiba Robustos and Montecristo Edmundos so we had a chance to try them. Here is what we think.

Various Cuban Cigars

Various Cuban Cigars

Cuban Cigar Restrictions In The US

First of all, selling Cuban cigars in the US remains illegal. For the same reason, you can’t also buy them at online stores in America, however, you can bring back Cuban cigars from Cuba or from other third-party countries back to the US. The cigars you bring back are for personal consumption and for gifts only, you cannot resell them in the US. Interestingly, there are no dollar limits on how many cigars you can bring back. So if you’re now interested in bringing back Cuban cigars, please check out the FAQ section on the Department of Treasury website for more details. Please note that this is not legal advice.

Cohiba & Montecristo Cigars

Cohiba & Montecristo Cigars

Cuban Cigars vs Dominican Cigars

A Cohiba Robusto has a strength that is about four out of five. If you buy a box of 25, it breaks down to about 15 dollars per cigar. On the flipside, if you go with a Dominican Chateau Fuente sun-grown cigar, it costs about five bucks if you buy them in a case of twenty.

Young Cigar plants in the Dominican Republic

Young Cigar plants in the Dominican Republic

Both cigars have approximately the same strength yet the Cuban one is three times as expensive. In terms of flavor, the Arturo Fuente Robusto will give you notes of spices and chocolate. On the other hand, the Cohiba Robusto will have notes of wood, pepper, honey, and cocoa. Some also argue that it has some extra complexity compared to the Dominican cigar.

Sven Raphael trying out a Cuban cigar

Sven Raphael trying out a Cuban cigar

What Makes Cuban Cigars Special?

It’s definitely the strength and the flavor. A Cuban stogie represents, for most cigar aficionados, the ultimate experience. Known for their strength and flavor, they offer the smoker spicy, woody, and earthy tones that are just excellent. Sometimes, you can also have herbal notes but you’ll always enjoy a good intensity of the cigar. In blind tastings, the powerhouse cigars is usually a Cuban cigar. So yes, the big hallmark of Cuban cigars are strength and complexity. At the same time, there are also milder Cuban brands such as H. Upmann or Sancho Panza.

H. Upmann Magnum 46 Cigar Review

H. Upmann Magnum 46

The Secret Of Cuban Cigars

Cohiba Behike 54 cigars

Cohiba Behike 54 cigars

Ligero

Basically, it’s all in the Ligero which are the top leaves of the tobacco plant. More specifically, the medio tiempo leaves are smaller leaves that come up later in the plant and many growers don’t wait with the harvest until those medio tiempo leaves have developed and because of that, they are more sought after, more priced, and also more expensive to get. For example, some Cohibas such as the Behike line uses medio tiempo leaves.

 

Terroir

Terroir

Terroir

It is a French word that encompasses lots of different things. Just like with any other agricultural product such as grapes, the quality of tobacco leaves and the final Cuban cigar depend on many aspects. Specifically, it’s about the climate, the temperature range, the rains, the wind, the soil, as well as the human hand. All of these aspects together make up for the terroir so even in the most exclusive Cuban tobacco firms such as in the Vuelta Abajo, in the region of the Pinar del Rio, you will find differences in the quality of some growers compared to their neighbors. For example, the leaves on the Vuelta Abajo Vegas which is a tobacco farm, are much superior to the Robainas Cuchillas de Barbacoa in San Luis.

Cuba's tobacco regions

Cuba’s tobacco regions

Now there are also outstanding tobacco terroirs in Central or South America that are not in Cuba, for example, the tobacco used by Arturo Fuente for cigars like the Opus X, the Padron Aniversario, or the Serie 1926, or the Joya de Nicaragua are all of really top quality. Nevertheless, the fact remains that tobacco leaves from the Pinar del Rio region in Cuba remain the pinnacle of tobacco growing among the cigar aficionados in the world because they put out consistently good quality tobacco leaves.

Padron 1964 Aniversario Exclusivo Maduro Robusto_

Padron 1964 Aniversario Exclusivo Maduro Robusto

Cons Of Cuban Cigars

Cuban cigar makers

Cuban cigar makers

Cuban stogies are not always consistent in their quality and can range from year to year. Because the demand for Cuban cigars is so high, they are sometimes pressured to produce more quickly which in turn means that the cigars can’t rest as long and that has an impact on the flavor. Generally, the leaves are edgier in flavor and it’s not as round as it could be if it would have rested for longer.

Resting Cuban cigars

Resting Cuban cigars

Also, just like other luxury products like the Montblanc Meisterstuck or the Rolex watch, Cuban cigars are also highly counterfeited and likely the most counterfeited tobacco products in the world. For example, Cuban cigar experts have more than 25 checkpoints on the cedar box of the cigars alone and of course, they don’t reveal them because otherwise, counterfeiters would pick up on them and it would be even more difficult to determine the real Cuban cigar from the fake counterfeit.

Montecristo Cedar box

Montecristo Cedar box

By investing top dollar in Cuban cigars, you may actually end up with a fake that doesn’t taste like the original product. Keep in mind that fake cigars are not just thriving outside of Cuba but also in Havana. So because of that, Cuban cigars should only be bought from trusted sources. As I mentioned among the pros, Cuban cigars are typically full flavored and strong.

As a tobacco or cigar novice, that may be overwhelming and off-putting. So as a novice smoker, it makes sense to start with something milder and then slowly but surely transition to these stronger cigars.

 

 

Cohiba Robusto

Cohiba Robusto

Are Cuban Cigars Worth It?

The answer is yes! The reasoning behind it is that the price is not cost prohibitive. Yes, a Cuban cigar can cost three times as much but at the of the day, the difference between a fifteen dollar cigar and a five dollar cigar is just ten dollars which is quite affordable for most people out there. If you get a Cuban cigar from a reliable source, you will likely end up with a more robust flavorful and complex cigar experience than you would with other cigars.

Scotch and cigars is a great way to spend an evening

Scotch and cigars is a great way to spend an evening

There is a reason why Cuban cigars are so famed other than the embargo. Some people really like to pair their cigars with their favorite cognac, brandy, whisky, scotch, or even port wine.

If you’re in a position right now where you can’t get your hands on Cuban cigars, it’s ok, you will eventually get your chance and in the meantime, you can figure out what’s easily available in the US on the guides in our website.

What’s your take on Cuban cigars? Share your experience below!


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The specs of the only Samsung tablet worth buying this year just leaked

Galaxy Tab S4 Release Date

In a matter of days, we’ve seen two rounds of leaked images that showed us the only Samsung tablet you should consider buying this year if you’re into Android tablets. The leaks revealed the tablet will bring over a radical redesign, as Samsung removed physical buttons to increase the screen real estate and reduced bezels. The resulting tablet doesn’t look bad at all.

We now have the full specs of the Galaxy Tab S4, thanks to a new leak, and it’s almost as good as you may have hoped.

Continue reading…

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The specs of the only Samsung tablet worth buying this year just leaked originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 17 Jul 2018 at 08:48:50 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Why Shares Of Air Lease Corp. (AL) May Be Worth Watching?

Shares of Air Lease Corp. (AL) are 17% of their 52-week high of $ 50.7. With a diversified global customer base exceeding 90 airline customers in more than 50 countries, the commercial aircraft lessor seems well-positioned to benefit from a strong order book, robust asset base, domain expertise of the founder, consistent revenue growth, and upbeat long-term industry fundamentals.
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5 PC Games That Are Worth Replaying

These days, one significant factor in a video game’s success can come down to whether or not it’s worth replaying. No matter how good it may be, some games aren’t worth coming back to after a player completes it the first time. Other games, though, leave players hooked with anticipation for the next time they can play it. Whether it’s the different endings to the story or the freedom for creativity, these five PC games are the kind that will leave you saying “just one more turn.”

Kerbal Space Program


Impending Kerbal Doom
Things like this happen a lot in the game, but it’s still fun to watch!

Getting to space has never been as easy or as fun as it is in Kerbal Space Program. Developed by indie game developers, Squad, the secret to this space flight simulator’s high replay value boils down to the freedom of creativity it gives players. While your primary goal is to get your plucky aliens, the Kerbals, into space, the game lets you decide what you use by constructing spaceplanes and rockets from scratch.

If the base game doesn’t have the parts you want, no reason to worry — it’s supported by a thriving modding community that’s continually adding new mechanics, skins and spaceship parts for players to use. The passionate modding community, in addition to regular updates, ensures that Kerbal Space Program will keep players reaching for the stars for years to come. That or they blow up ships in a hilarious fashion.

Fallout 4


Fallout 4 Graygarden Overpass Settlement
Just an example of what people do with the settlement feature.

Bethesda raised the bar on the open-world RPG with Fallout 4, and it has enough content to keep players busy until the bomb drops. The base game itself is massive in size and scope, with developers loading every portion with items to hunt, locations to explore and legendary enemies to kill.

In a first for the Fallout series, Bethesda added a base building feature, allowing players to build the post-apocalyptic settlement of their dreams. Combine that with several factions-based endings, the game’s modding community, and the DLC packs adding more places to explore, and you’re liable to ignore the plot and wander the wastelands for eternity.

Civilization IV

Of the many PC games that developers have released over the years, Sid Meier’s Civilization series stands near the very summit, and Civilization IV is possibly the greatest out of them all. On the gameplay level, Civilization IV and its major expansion packs contain numerous scenarios based on historical events or historical fiction that players can immerse themselves in for hours on end.

What makes this game so addictive, though, is the sheer level of customization available, with the world builder tool letting players design a world from scratch and build it as they see fit. Throw in a theme song so good it won a Grammy and narration by Leonard Nimoy, and little wonder why people keep coming back!

Sid Meier’s Pirates!


Dancing Minigame in Pirates!
Pirate romances are optional, but fun.

Another creation of Sid Meier’s, Sid Meier’s Pirates! is the pirate game that refuses to grow old. A 2004 remake of the 1987 game of the same name, this is the go-to experience for those dreaming of life as a pirate. Sailing the waters of the 17th century Caribbean, the appeal of the game lies in its constantly changing scenarios.

While players can decide the difficulty, nationality, and starting era, the game randomly generates different situations involving a war between the four nations in the Caribbean for players to profit from, ensuring that no two games are alike. With the constantly changing variables, deep gameplay, and graphics that still look amazing even 14 years later, this is one game that you’ll want to replay dozens of times over.

Jurassic World: Evolution


Releasing a T-Rex into the par
Admit it, you’re in this for the T-Rex.

A recent release meant to coincide with the new Jurassic World film, Jurassic World: Evolution is the business simulator dinosaur lovers have wanted for years. The goal of the game is like the Zoo Tycoon series, only instead of lions and tigers, you have to worry about velociraptors and T-Rexes eating people.

The primary campaign on five unique islands presents a fun challenge as you adapt your build style, but its the sandbox mode on the original island of Isla Nublar where this game flexes its muscles, with unlimited funding leaving you free to make your dream dino park. When you’re bored with that, let the dinosaurs out and go nuts; that’s part of the appeal of the franchise, after all.

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The post 5 PC Games That Are Worth Replaying appeared first on FANDOM.

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Decoded: How Much Is Tiffany Haddish Worth

Tiffany Haddish is everywhere. Last week she served as the first black female host of the MTV Movie & TV Awards. She’s on newsstands on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter, on TV starring with Tracy Morgan in TBS’s The Last O.G., and this week she’s back in theaters with the release of Uncle Drew.

It’s only been a year since most of us learned who she was through her breakout role in Girls Trip. In that time, her fame has skyrocketed—and along with it, her net worth. It’s a true rags-to-riches story considering the entertainer was homeless for a time, sleeping in her car.

AOL recently broke down her reported $ 2 million net worth with a look at the ways she’s been banking her coin. (Hint: it involves more than getting the most bang for her buck by famously repeating THAT dress.)

She’s starring in everything

AOL rightfully points out that Haddish is keeping both her schedule and her bank account full with numerous roles in upcoming movies. But in addition to being the on-screen talent, Haddish has been making big business moves. She has a deal with Netflix that she said paid enough to “take care of her family” for a bit; MediaTakeOut put the payout at $ 800,000. She’s also got a two-year deal with HBO, and she spent the first four months of the year crisscrossing the U.S. on a 17-city stand-up tour.

She added author to her bio

And along with the new title, came a few more bucks. Haddish’s memoir, The Last Black Unicorn, came out in December 2017 and made it onto the New York Times bestsellers list. Haddish mines much of the pain of her past for the book; she even went on Good Morning America and thanked her childhood bullies for making her rich:



She stays ready, and stays selling

Haddish definitely employs her catchphrase “she ready” when it comes to making money. The endorsement deals Haddish has racked up as a rising star are impressive. She became the new spokeswoman for Groupon in January, which took her into the rare celebrity air of a Super Bowl commercial. And that’s after her provocative commercial for Method last fall. Take a look at all her commercials from the past year:



 

The post Decoded: How Much Is Tiffany Haddish Worth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Trump may be right about immigration — but pictures are worth a thousand words

In his spirited defense Tuesday of his immigration policies, President Trump was right about many things, including that America must control its borders and that Democrats have zero interest in stemming illegal crossings. With immigration bills taking shape in the House, the president insisted, “We have one chance to get it right.” Yet as he…
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China announces retaliatory tariffs on $34 billion worth of US goods, including agriculture products

In a quick response to U.S. tariffs, Beijing announced on Friday its own duties on American products, including agriculture products and automobiles.
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This is Why SPF 100 Sunscreen Isn’t Worth It (and What to Buy Instead)


Wear. Sunscreen.

This sound advice is the one thing Australian director Baz Luhrmann may be better known for than his Leonardo DiCaprio-inclusive interpretation of of “Romeo and Juliet” …nevermind the fact it was actually penned by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich.

Alas, fame may be a fickle beast — but ultraviolet radiation isn’t.

And now that summer is finally here, many of us are beginning to bare our winter-pale skin to the sun’s powerful rays.

We won’t even acknowledge the possibility that you’re not wearing sunscreen; who doesn’t take a classic ‘90s earworm to heart?

But still, your wise dedication to sun protection will require some decision-making, and the sunscreen aisle will be stocked full of SPFs ranging from 15 to 100, with price tags ranging right along with them.

Is it worth it to buy upgraded, super-high-SPF sunscreen? Does it actually offer that much more protection?

Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Is SPF 100 Worth It? What Does SPF Even Mean?

The quick answer to the SPF-100 question is “no.”

What’s more, no sunscreen on the market offers total skin protection. But to see why, let’s dig into what that sunscreen label actually means.

SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” which “refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays,” according to WebMD. These rays — the UVBs — are the ones that cause sunburns, but their UVA cousins can also hurt you. In fact, although both types contribute to the risk of skin cancer, UVA rays are “more closely linked to deeper skin damage.”

Fortunately, you can buy sunscreen that protects you from both kinds of radiation; it’ll say “broad spectrum” or “full spectrum” on the label.

But let’s go back to SPF itself for a moment, which refers only to UVB protection, even if your sunscreen offers both kinds. What does that number mean in the first place?

Although it seems as if SPF should align neatly with protection factor — (an SPF 30 sunscreen should offer double the protection than one labeled SPF 15, right?) — that’s apparently not the way it works. At all.

In fact, SPF 45 blocks only 1% more UV rays than SPF 30, which in turn only offers 3% more protection than bottom-of-the-barrel SPF 15. In other words, spending the extra cash on high-SPF sunscreen is a total waste of money.

Repeat: High-SPF sunscreen is not worth it.

Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

So, Which Sunscreen Should You Buy to Get the Best Deal?

Even one glance at the sunscreen end-caps popping up at Walmart and Target will tell you there’s more to this decision than SPF.

From facial lotions promising to ward off breakouts to sporty, spray-on versions that allegedly render their wearers sand-resistant beach ninjas, there are all sorts of sun protection options out there — and they come at every price point on the spectrum. (No pun intended.)

As with any other personal care product decision, your mileage may vary; maybe you decide the clear-face lotion is worth the upgrade.

But the one attribute you definitely want to look for — and pay extra for, if it comes to it — is full-spectrum protection. Water resistance is a pretty good feature, too. Whether you’re planning to swim or not, that hot sun can make you sweat, as well as burn.

As far as SPF, a fairly low figure will do it. Florida dermatologist James M. Spencer, M.D., recommends SPF 30 to his patients… with the caveat that they apply early (half an hour before you hit the beach), liberally and often.

“You just can’t put it on in the morning and forget about it,” he told WebMD. “I don’t care if it’s SPF 800,” he says: “after a few hours, it’s gone.”

That’s especially true if you’re getting wet, active, or both while you’re enjoying your day in the sunshine. Even water-resistant sunscreens should be re-applied every two hours.

If your skin and summer schedule are anything like mine, you’re probably going to be purchasing several bottles. Good thing we’ve already covered some easy sunscreen savings tips to keep both your skin and savings account safe from the sun.

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a Russian-Scottish Floridian whose skin is essentially fluorescent. She buys a lot of sunscreen.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Is It Worth It: Hunter Wellies

Let us thoroughly break down the Hunter Wellies rain boots, arguably one of the most well-known rain boots in the world. Some people also refer to them as Wellingtons but wellies is the common terminology.

Hunter Wellies History

Hunter today is a famous British heritage brand associated with all kinds of rain gear, they are based in Scotland. Originally, they formed as a North British Rubber Company in 1856 so they’re over 150 years old. Ironically, the company was founded by two American entrepreneurs. Actually, they went to Scotland looking to produce vulcanized rubber boots and overshoes or galoshes and at the time, there was a patent held by Goodyear. Yes, the same Goodyear from the tires.

By WWI, the company produced about 1.2 million rubber boots for the British Army and it is said that the German soldiers envied them for the boots. It’s even said it was directly connected to the successes of the British Army because it helped prevent the trench foot in the trenches, it was cold, it was wet, and because of that, the feet of soldiers actually started to decay.

Soldiers with trench foot in the background

Soldiers with trench foot in the background

With rubber boots and wooden planks on the floor, soldiers were able to prevent that from happening. On the other hand, the Germans didn’t have the vulcanized rubber boots and so they suffered more on their feet. Of course, Hunter also produced rubber boots for the British Army in WWII but once the war was over, they had become more acceptable for public wear which was great for the company.  The big advantage of the boots was that they were sturdy and very enduring. It was hard to cut them and so people who were used to rationing for food, clothing, and materials really enjoyed a sturdy boot that was hard wearing and would last them for a long time.

Hunter Wellies in black

Hunter Wellies in black

Today, the most famous rubber boot is the Hunter Wellies. It has been produced ever since 1955 and it still enjoys popularity especially with the country gentlemen in Britain, as well as people who would like to emulate their lifestyle. In 1976, the Duke of Edinburgh awarded a royal warrant to Hunter and the Queen followed in 1986. Obviously, it had an impact on British society and by the 80s, it became the quintessential British country boot and was part of every proper gentleman’s country attire.

In the following decades, the company changed hands a number of times and in the 2000s, it almost went bankrupt, however, some smart marketing people came in and decided to focus on the heritage brand as well as the fashion aspect and today, they’re once again very popular in Britain, as well as in the US, and around the world. Obviously, the number of country gentlemen is rather limited and so today, the target market for Hunter Wellies are gardeners, festival goers, or people who like outdoors a lot whether it’s fishing, or hunting, shooting, and all those kinds of activities.

A flashy logo

A flashy logo

Boot Breakdown

First of all, they’re made out of vulcanized rubber, the same material that Goodyear originally patented. Generally, rain boots are either made from vulcanized rubber or from synthetic materials. While a synthetic rubber is very resistant to oils, chemicals, and fluids, it’s not resistant to puncturing and cuts, however, synthetics are usually quite lightweight and insulating and because of that, they’re usually paired with a more cutting and puncture resistant material on the outside.

On the other hand, natural rubber resists pretty much anything except petroleum and oil-based solutions that may have an impact on its longevity. It’s extremely resistant to cuts and punctures and on top of that, it offers slip resistance. Because of that, I think vulcanized rubber still today is a very good material for rain boots.

Comes With A Cheap Lining

The Wellies feature a very thin inexpensive polyester lining on the inside, it also comes with an adjustable buckle on the top but if you have big calves, the buckle sits too far up so it really doesn’t help you to adjust the size very much.

The sole provides good grip

The sole provides good grip

Decent Grip

It has a nice treaded sole that provides a decent amount of grip as well as about an inch or two and a half centimeter heel. The rubber itself is quite comfortable.

Clunky & Inelegant

In terms of looks, they’re slightly different than what you can get at a home depot or an outdoor store but at the end of the day, they’re not that different. It also comes in green, I have the version in black.

Hunter Wellies packaging

Hunter Wellies packaging

What’s Great About Hunter Wellies?

Obviously,  Hunter Wellies have a great brand history, their branding is nice, it comes to you in a beautiful box, it makes you feel important, has a little logo inside the heel, you can see the hunter brand on top of the boot. Also in my experience, it gets the job done and protects you from outside wetness and it’s overall quite comfortable as long as you don’t go in areas where it’s very cold because the polyester and the rubber don’t insulate at all.

Comes with adjustable buckles that I find not too helpful for men with big calves

Comes with adjustable buckles that I find not too helpful for men with big calves

Hunter Wellies Cons

  • Rubber is inherently non-breathable so even though a rubber boot keeps out the water, it makes you sweat inside of your boot and so if you walk a lot, you may be just as wet if the outside water gets into your regular shoes.
  • Vulcanized rubber will also have hazing over time so you have to clean the boots. They will look old, while some people simply don’t care, it’s something that’s not necessarily more attractive in a boot.

  • The Hunter Wellies are quite large and so for most men, I’d say they’re overkill unless you live in the countryside where you stand in mud for more than a foot.
  • Compared to other premium brands like Le Chameau from France, this rubber boot is not well insulated and will make your feet cold when it’s very cold outside close to freezing.
  • The side adjusters are a nice addition to something you generally don’t find on most inexpensive rubber boots, however, they don’t let you adjust the width in the area where it’s most needed, especially for men with big calves.
  • The front cap of the wellies have a kind of a wing cap that makes you look almost like you have steel caps in your boots even though that’s not the case.

So looking at all the materials in detail, Hunter Wellies is definitely expensive for what you get especially considering that other brands offer the same materials at a lower price point.

Are Hunter Wellies Rain Boots Worth It?

In general, I’d have to say no. In my opinion, for the average man, it simply doesn’t warrant the price because there are not enough scenarios where you’d benefit from this boot. If you’re in a countryside, it’s a different ballgame and a pair of rubber boots makes sense. If you’re not though, I think it’s simply overkill. It seems to me that the price paid for Hunter Wellies is mostly built on brand reputation.

On the inside of the boot you will see the Royal Warrants and your info field

On the inside of the boot, you will see the Royal Warrants and your info field

So for $ 155, you get a fancy corrugated cardboard box with a little bit of history and a bright red interior. The boot itself has the Hunter logo at the bottom as well as the hunter logo on top. On the inside, you see that it has the Royal warrants as well as a field for your name and phone number in case you ever lose them, they’re so big that you will never overlook them. The boots are made in China from vulcanized rubber which is the same material cheap Home Depot boots use.

Home Depot boots you can get for a lot less

Home Depot boots you can get for a lot less

So I checked and you can find boots in the same material with the same lining in a very similar shape for around $ 40 and in terms of comfort, they’re pretty much the same. Yes, of course, you don’t get the cachet and the brand history with it but in my opinion, it’s not worth paying almost four times the price for that compared to other premium rubber boots like Le Chameau. I think the Hunter Wellies just don’t offer enough.

Le Chameau

Le Chameau

The Le Chameau Boots – A Better Option

The Le Chameau boots, for example, have different versions for around the same price or a little more for about $ 175, you’ll find a version that has a three millimeter thick neoprene lining which is the same material used for wetsuits when you go diving, for example, and it keeps your feet warm and absorbs moisture in a way. So I find that to be a much more comfortable boot. It also seems that the buckle on top is a little deeper and they even offer a version that is all leather lined. That being said, that costs five hundred dollars and it’s a different price range. Maybe we’ll make another video about that one in the future.

In recent years I’ve seen lots of women building outfits around their red or yellow Hunter Wellies. For men, on the other hand, I think it’s a lot more difficult and frankly, I’ve never come up with a good look that I was happy with.

SWIMS galoshes in brown

SWIMS galoshes in brown – a better alternative when it’s pouring.

Also, there many ways to deal with the wet weather. If it’s just a little bit of rain, regular leather shoes will be just fine. There are even suede leathers which have a durable water repellent coating on them so you can wear them when it gets really wet. If it’s pouring, rain galoshes are great if you wear business shoes regularly or even other shoes.

If you are a country gentleman or if you’d like to be in the outdoors and you walk in little creeks and mud, I think a pair of rubber boots is ideal but it’s up to you whether you want to spend $ 155 for the Hunter Wellies or about $ 40 for something comparable without the brand recognition. So personally for me, the Hunter Wellies are definitely not worth it. 

What do you think of Hunter Wellies?  Drop a comment below!


Gentleman’s Gazette

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What is Lil Kim’s Net Worth? Rapper Files for Bankruptcy

Back in 1997, Kimberly “Lil Kim” Jones famously rapped about being “all about the Benjamins.” But today, the platinum-selling hip-hop artist is singing a very different tune. According to The New York Daily News, Jones has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Jersey and has racked up more than $ 4 million in debt.

Jones, who had a net worth of $ 18 million in 2017, filed for bankruptcy protection on May 8, just three days before a bank foreclosed on her $ 3.1 million mansion in Alpine, New Jersey. Court documents show that she owes $ 664,474 in late mortgage payments for the $ 2.3 million loan she used to finance the property in 2002. The 6,000-square-foot home is scheduled to go up for auction on June 29.

In addition, the Queen Bee owes a total of $ 1,845,451 in back taxes after accumulating $ 1,469,105 in unpaid federal taxes and $ 376,346.74 in unpaid state taxes from 2004–2017. She also owes $ 186,000 in legal fees.

The “Get Money” rapper owns $ 2,573,300 in assets, which includes a 2000 Mercedes worth $ 4,200, a 2005 Bentley worth $ 52,600, $ 25,000 in jewelry, $ 25,000 in household furniture, $ 5,000 in electronics, and $ 5,000 in apparel, reports The Blast. Jones lists her cash on hand as $ 2,500.

Court documents show that the Brooklyn-born rapper’s income has dropped from $ 823,659 in 2016 to just $ 398,000 last year. She generates $ 18,286 each month through her company Queen Bee Entertainment. However, $ 12,784 goes toward monthly expenses that include $ 2,200 on wardrobe, while $ 10,410 is allocated toward travel and entertainment. She also has a monthly mortgage payment of $ 6,610.

The Blast reports that Jones offered to pay $ 5,500 to her creditors for the next 60 months in addition to selling her home to repay or modify her mortgage on the property in order to pay off her debt. However, the trustee for the bankruptcy has objected to her proposal.

Jones joins a list of other hip-hop stars who have filed for bankruptcy, including Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Earl “DMX” Simmons, and Stanley “MC Hammer” Burrell.

The post What is Lil Kim’s Net Worth? Rapper Files for Bankruptcy appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Howard University Graduate Was Treated Like She Wasn’t Worth A Damn At Victoria’s Secret

The list of racist retail incidents across the nation just got its latest addition after a Howard University graduate detailed the racial profiling horror — complete with handcuffs— that she was subjected to during a visit to a Victoria’s Secret in Tennessee this week.

Jovita Jones Cage previously bought a bra before bringing it back because its sensor wasn’t removed at the time of purchase. She went back to the store in the Carriage Crossing mall in Collierville Monday with her receipt, which an employee verified before removing the sensor. However, all hell broke loose when she then decided to do some browsing in the store before leaving, WREG Memphis reported.

A Collierville Police Officer decided to profile Cage while she was on her way to the store’s fitting room. Cage, who is a children’s tutor, was instantly accused of shoplifting and ordered to put both of her hands behind her back.

“The police officer walked straight up to me and slapped handcuffs on me. I think it was for the simple fact that I was black,” she said, adding that the store manager called the cops without speaking with her.

The horrific scene played out in front of store shoppers, which could have been friends or colleagues of Cage.

“I don’t know if one of the parents of the kids I tutor could’ve been there,” she added, touching on the stigma and embarrassment felt by people of color who are racially profiled. “I don’t know if one of my old professors could’ve been in there.”

The officer forcefully searched her purse before finally realizing that she hadn’t taken any merchandise. A crying Cage was escorted out of the store and banned from coming back. Really?

She later made a complaint to Victoria’s Secret corporate office, speaking with a representative who only offered a standard apology and a $ 100 gift card, which Cage turned down. The company later pulled out all the familiar stops: an executive’s phone call to Cage, investigation, termination of the employee involved in the incident and promise to better educate workers on the stores’ policies.

Cage was still dealing with the trauma over the incident, having reached out to the NAACP for help. The standard protocol for stores when employees are caught racial profiling doesn’t fully address the biases that prompt discriminatory behaviors.

“They’re going to have to do more,” Cage said. “I want justice not only for me, but for people everywhere. I hope after this, other victims of racial profiling will come forward. It’s solidarity. It’s not just about African-Americans. It’s about everyone being treated fairly.”

 

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Strong brands, better-than-expected quarterly results, and upbeat FY19 outlook make this stock a near-term must-watch. G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (GIII), which owns private label brands including Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, defied the loss estimates modeled by Wall Street analysts and raised expectations for the full year.
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Is It Worth It: Iconic Clarks Desert Boot

In this guide we discuss all about Clarks desert boot, the history, the style or construction, different materials, and whether it’s worth your money or not.

The History of Clarks Desert Boots

Nathan Clark

Nathan Clark

In 1941, Nathan Clark, who was the great-grandson of the founder James Clark, was deployed to Burma in Myanmar which is north of Thailand. Before he left, his family requested to keep an eye out for new shoe models or anything that might be advantageous for their company.

While abroad, Nathan noticed very simplistic chukka boots with a crepe sole that were worn by officers. When he inquired, he figured out that most of those came from a bazaar in Cairo, Egypt. He was immediately fascinated by that simplistic boot, with that innovative new sole that wasn’t really around in traditional menswear and he was convinced that would be a great idea for the company.

He sent sketches back home in the hopes that the company would pick up production. The desert boot was somewhat revolutionary in the sense that suede uppers and crepe soles were something associated with lower classes, not elegant gentlemen. Even though Nathan was really enthusiastic, the company board thought it will never sell.

Determined and convinced of his idea, Nathan crossed a pond to exhibit his shoe in 1949 at the Chicago shoe show. There he was able to show to influential editors and people, in general, liked it. It was a more casual boot alternative that had been unseen at this point in time. With all that positive feedback and encouragement, he went back to England and produced the first range of desert boots which were sold exclusively in the US.

In 1950, the original boot looked pretty similar to the photo above. It was a sand colored suede which he got from Charles F Stead which is an English tannery specializing in suede leathers that still exists today. He chose the color sand because it closely resembled the sand in Egypt and so the name desert boot really made sense, at the same time, the boot referenced its desert origins.

In the US, it was a successful boot and because of that, it eventually sold in the UK as well. It became popular in the pop cultures in the 60s and 70s and it was worn by famous movie stars such as Steve McQueen or others like Bob Dylan, even the Beatles wore them. While the original desert boot was made in England, made of English leather, it is now mostly made in Asia with a few exceptions of making it in Italy.

That being said, desert boot is still by far the most iconic and best-selling shoe in the whole Clarks lineup.

Clarks

Clarks

 

Are Clarks Desert Boots Worth It?

So first of all, there are three versions on the market today. Ironically, all of them are called original.

First, you have the original in a suede leather with a crepe sole that costs $ 130, it’s made in Vietnam just like the other original suede boots that use a waxed leather on top. It has a nice pull-up effect but it’s not quite the original.

In my opinion, for $ 190, you get an original Clarks desert boot that is made in Italy with a crepe sole and English suede leather from Charles F Stead, the same tannery that created the original boot.

$ 190 Clarks Desert Boot vs $ 130 Version

$ 130 version

Supposedly, the expensive version is more hard-wearing and luxurious. I have to say the leather is quite nice, it’s a soft supple suede leather and on the inside, you can find a scotch grain like texture. It simply means the suede is reversed which is very typical of a leather that you see from stead.

On the other hand, the less expensive version has a suede-like texture on both sides which means the smoother outside was sanded down and overall, $ 190 boot has definitely a more superior leather.

$ 190 version of Clarks Desert Boots – Made in Italy

Leather Differences

I’ve had other shoes with leather from Charles F Stead and it’s very durable, very nice leather. I think on the Clarks boots, they did a good job of not making it too soft.

I have a pair of boots with stead leather from Allen Edmonds which is quite soft and comfortable to wear but at the same time, it doesn’t keep its shape. Now, of course, the country of manufacturing is different. Vietnam likes the heritage tradition of England and Italy, at the same time, the labor costs are much lower which are passed on to you as a consumer.

Made in Vietnam vs Made in Italy

At the end of the day, they have skilled laborers in Vietnam who are eager to learn new skills and if taught correctly, they can turn out a very consistent product that’s very similar to what you’d find from England or Italy, at least, when we talk about a factory made shoe setting.

Construction – Very Similar

In terms of construction, the expensive and inexpensive boot is the same. Both have some kind of stitching, both have a crepe sole even though it’s different; the Italian made one has a more textured crepe sole which is typically what you find in crepe sole shoes, the less expensive $ 130 version has smoother crepe soles and it’s definitely a different crepe.

Personally, I prefer the $ 190 dollar. If you look at the last, it seems identical to me and there’s really no difference between a made in Italy and a made in Vietnam version. As I mentioned, the leather is quite a bit different.

The Stead leather is definitely the best and thus also on a more expensive shoe.

The waxed leather on the Clarks desert boot is quite a bit harder than the suede ones and because the original was a suede, I would personally always prefer to have a suede desert boot and skip the waxed leather one.  That being said, the waxed leather develops a nice patina, it has a pull-up effect, and you’ll see any kind of scratch you create on it. So if that’s something you will like, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Sewn Welt

When it comes to the welt, you see a higher stitch density on the Italian version than on the less expensive version. Normally, on a Goodyear welted shoe, a higher stitch density indicates a higher quality but in this case, the shoes are not Goodyear welted and I don’t think it matters in everyday life. Both versions have two rows of eyelets.

The less expensive version has metal rivets, the Italian version doesn’t have any rivets. The shoelaces on the Italian version are better, the waxed cotton on the other ones, they’re just regular cotton or a polycotton so you can tell there are slight differences. The original desert boot from Nathan Clark had orange contrast stitching on the boot which made it different.

None of the boots that I have here actually have that stitching which again, makes me wonder why they call it the original. Clearly, they must only refer to the style of the last. Inside of the shoe, you don’t find any lining as discussed before and there’s an insole that is slightly padded in the back. Interestingly, the made in Italy is highlighted versus the made in Vietnam is not.

Fit, Walkability, & Comfort

I find it to be all very similar. Not much difference, overall.

Sizing

I think the Clarks run true-to-size if at all, a little smaller. I got a US 11 or a UK 10, sometimes I wear UK 10 and a half so keep that in mind, otherwise, I think they have a very average fit. They’re a little wider in the heel but I have very slim heels. If you usually wear Goodyear welted dress shoes, the Clarks will feel a lot softer. If you are used to trainers, you might think you have to break them in. It’s all upon perspective!

The Final Verdict

I think the $ 190 version definitely wins on the quality front; it has nicer leather, nicer stitching, nicer details, better shoelaces, and definitely a better leather. In terms of value, I think the made in Vietnam version wins simply because these slight differences are not worth the $ 60 difference which is almost 50% based on a lower 130 dollar price point.

Are Clarks Desert Boots Worth It In General?

I would say yes, they are worth it if your wardrobe, in general, leans towards the casual end because the crepe sole of these boots are only suited for casual outings. They’re also not a winter boot or suited for colder weather at all. Because there’s no lining and just a single layer of leather, your feet would freeze very quickly.

I think Clarks desert boots are worth it if you appreciate the understated simplistic look of them and if you wear a lot of denim jeans, maybe chinos, they’re definitely not suited to your wardrobe if you wear suits, maybe dress pants, or other kinds of slacks, because they simply clash in terms of formality.

So if you plan to wear it frequently, I think they’re worth $ 130, if you want to splurge on $ 190 version you definitely don’t make a mistake but if you’re tight on money, you’re just fine going with $ 130 version.

What Color & Style Combination Should You Go For?

Well, the original one is a sand colored suede boot with a crepe sole and I think if you’re interested in authenticity, that’s the version I would buy. Of course, that light tone of leather also stains more easily, shows dirt and signs of wear very quickly, so if you prefer, you can go with darker suedes or if you’re not a fan of suede, you can also go with other colors. Overall, personally, I’d stick in the brown range.  If you want to be a little more flamboyant, you can go with blue or other bolder colors but at the end of the day, that limits you considerably in terms of flexibility and variety in your wardrobe because you can only wear it with very specific pants and outfits.

I think Clarks desert boots are not worth it overall if you like to dress up because in that case, I suggest you go with a leather sole it creates a nicer sound and it’s simply more elegant. Personally, I’m also not a big fan of the Clarks desert boot last, it’s very round boring and a bit clunky in my opinion. I prefer longer lasts maybe with a slight chisel.

So for myself, I don’t think a Clarks desert boot is worth the investment simply because I have other chukka boots that I like more. If I didn’t have a chukka boot at all, I would probably go for the $ 190 versions that are made in Italy simply because I appreciate the better leather.

Where To Buy Clarks Desert Boots?

You can find them at many retailers including places like Amazon, but for the largest selection (and sometimes higher prices) check out the Clarks website.

Which version would you go for? Do you have better Desert Boot recommendations?


Gentleman’s Gazette

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The Weekend Reset: Bad news for Bonobos, good news for your taste buds and new music that is worth the wait.

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.

 

READ: Is Bonobos now damaged goods?

If Wal-Mart believed snatching up one of the most beloved men’s fashion brands would be a good thing for both concerns, they were wrong. In fact, it would seem a couple of recent purchases have not played out well for all involved. Thanks to Dappered reader Bill N. for posting this in the threads. You know about threads, right?

 

STREAM: The beautiful game is not just a FIFA thing.

While most soccer fans are gearing up for the World Cup later this year, a different gathering of teams from around the word are gathering right now in London for CONIFA World Football Cup 2018. Conifa stands for The Confederation of Independent Football Associations. Or, basically, regions of the world and nations that don’t fit into FIFA’s framework. Places like: Tibet, Cascadia, Barawa and Cyprus. Soccer truly is a sport played around the world and it is always interesting learning about the different cultures that share a love for the game. The tournament kicks off this weekend in London and you can should be able to stream it here (not sure about US rights though?) and learn more here. Thanks to Joe for passing this my way.

 

EAT: Summer’s secret culinary weapon? It’s a condiment.

I just got back from a memorial Day Weekend excursion to my favorite mountain retreat. While we are off the grid, we always eat well. My host is a fantastic cook and I’m still thinking about the salads and grilled proteins we enjoyed. The common denominator in these dishes was a balsamic glaze that elevated everything it dressed. It makes a big impact on everyday dishes and while you can easily make it yourself, it’s readily available at most good grocery stores. This is a good place to start if you’re looking for a way to use it and make it for yourself.

 

LISTEN: Snow Patrol made us wait 7 years for this. It was worth it.

Gary Lightbody is Snow Patrol’s de facto front man. And he had a very bad stretch of years since the band released 2011’s Fallen Empires. He has been open with his struggles with alcohol and depression and it played no small role in the making of this album. Which, by the way, is nowhere near depressing. It is, however, grand in places, lighthearted in others, and absolutely stuffed with the elements which has brought the band so many fans.

 

WATCH: You should probably be afraid of the dark.

To this day Near Dark remains one of my favorite genre movies. Kathryn Bigelow would go on to directs movies like Point Break, The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty and her most recent, Detroit, but Near Dark was only her 2nd film. And it got noticed. The cast makes the movie, with attention stealing performances from Bill Paxton and Lance Henricksen, perfect 80’s period piece soundtrack from Tangerine Dream and a bona-fide love story to boot. Did I mention it’s one of my favorite vampire flicks? No? It is.

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s pretty sure he should lay off the horror movies but he’s afraid to. 


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9-year-old sells $6K worth of lemonade to help sick brother

GREENWOOD, S.C. — A 9-year-old South Carolina boy selling lemonade to help his sick baby brother raised nearly $ 6,000 in two hours Saturday. Andrew Emery wants to help his parents pay for the medical bills for his little brother Dylan. The infant suffers from Krabbe disease, a rare and often lethal neurological condition. So on…
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Are Pampers PURE diapers worth it?

by

Ashleigh Evans

posted in Products

As a mom with 4 kids, I know the ins and outs of diapers. When I had my twins 9 years ago, chlorine-free diapers were just starting to surge in popularity and we tried them, but just preferred Pampers. They were the only brand we found that didn’t leak.

However, our youngest, Liam, has sensitive skin. While I love Pampers for him, I’ve often wondered if a different, more natural variety would work better. So when I  heard about Pampers PURE, I knew I had to try them out, especially since I could easily pick them up during my weekly trip to Walgreens.

Pampers PURE diapers are made from premium cotton, and contain no latex, fragrances, parabens, or chlorine bleach. They’re a bit pricier than regular Pampers, but less expensive than similar premium environmentally friendly diapers, especially since they go on sale at Walgreens all the time, and Pampers offers many manufacturer’s coupons — I just saw some in the Sunday paper.

The diapers are so soft and don’t irritate Liam’s sensitive skin, and offer almost the same dryness protection as regular Pampers. After a few uses, I was so impressed by the quality. Never once did I have an issue with a tab ripping.

I did notice that the PURE diapers were a bit less absorbent than normal Pampers, so definitely hang on to the Pampers Overnights for bedtime. But we still didn’t have any issues with leaks, so during the day, they were perfect.

I know diaper patterns shouldn’t matter, but I do love cute ones for Liam, especially in the warmer months when I let him crawl around in his diaper. The pattern on the PURE diapers was more subtle than the regular Pampers, but super cute. They have nice gender-neutral designs like cute houses, quirky animals, and phrases.

The major test was to see if the PURE diapers could stand up to all of Liam’s movement. He’s currently crawling and pulling himself up, plus rolling all over the place. The Pampers PURE diapers didn’t chafe his skin or droop, and the tabs held tight. Two thumbs up on that front.

While we were trying the PURE diapers, we also tried Pampers water-based and fragrance-free Aqua PURE wipes — and now I’m a convert. They get everything clean, and I feel good about using them on Liam’s hands and face after meals, or in the car for quick cleanups for my older girls.

I am so happy we tried Pampers PURE diapers. They will be a staple in our nursery now, especially since I keep finding them on sale at Walgreens. I’ve connected my fitness watch to my Walgreens Balance Rewards plan, and I earn points for healthy behaviors like walking, exercising, or logging my sleep. Then I can use those points to purchase baby items. It’s a win-win!

Pampers PURE diapers

Let’s be honest, convenience and price are major factors when purchasing diapers. I am not going to join a special club for overpriced diapers, so Pampers PURE works for me.

Have you tried Pampers PURE diapers or wipes yet? Thoughts?

This post is sponsored by Pampers. All opinions are truthful and my own.

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Is ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ Worth a Second Look 20 Years Later?

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the ninth Star Trek film, Insurrection, the third outing for the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) following the universally-acclaimed First Contact. The film opened to mixed reviews and is not generally considered to be one of the franchise’s better instalments. But does it deserve this reputation? Let’s look back at this oft-forgotten entry in Star Trek canon.

The Morality Play

While Star Trek TV shows excel at delivering thoughtful commentary on current events, the movies often struggle to do the same. With the exception of The Voyage Home’s explicit “Save the Whales” message and The Undiscovered Country’s metaphor for the collapse of the Soviet Union, attempts to be overtly thoughtful tend to be less effective than simply integrating some subtext. Just consider the heavy-handed moralizing of Into Darkness versus the more casual approach of Beyond.


Star Trek: First Contact poster
‘First Contact’ gave itself less of a burden and succeeded because of it.

This explains First Contact’s success. While the movie had things to say about destiny, revenge, and humanity creating a brighter future for itself, it was primarily a fun action movie. Insurrection, on the other hand, sets itself up for failure by being all about the message. Not only that, but the message itself almost begs the audience to reject it. It argues that preserving the way of life for a mere 600 people is more important than helping billions of people in a time of war.


Data, Picard, Worf
Brent Spiner as Data, Patrick Stewart as Picard, and Michael Dorn as Worf in ‘Star Trek: Insurrection.’

Insurrection deserves credit for such a bold stance. Its core message is an indictment of some of the most horrific atrocities in human history, from the slave trade to the Trail of Tears. Some audience members and critics rejected the morality play, arguing that 600 people represent stakes that are too low to justify Picard’s rebellion. But Insurrection anticipates the criticism and gives Picard the ultimate retort. He questions the admiral’s reasoning, asking him how many people must be affected by his decision before it becomes wrong.

The Contrast With Deep Space Nine

One can gain a deeper appreciation for Insurrection‘s message by placing it in context with the rest of the franchise. In 1998, Deep Space Nine (DS9) was midway through its seventh and final season. The Dominion War had been raging for almost two years. Audiences had watched Captain Sisko and his crew fight on the front lines and make sacrifices that Picard and his people had never had to make.

The scene where Picard decides to violently resist the relocation of the Ba’ku is compelling because of a (likely coincidental) parallel to the worst thing Sisko ever did. Picard, alone in his quarters, slowly removes his rank pips, and when we see him next he’s in civilian clothes.

It harkens back to the seminal DS9 episode “In the Pale Moonlight” where Sisko slowly removes his uniform as he explains how he tricked the Romulans into joining the war. Whereas Sisko removes his uniform but ultimately declares that he can live with what he has done, Picard removes his uniform because he can’t live with the consequences of removing the Ba’ku.

Picard and Sisko represent two sides of a debate that Star Trek revels in. One could argue that Picard and his crew, who are never referenced during the war storyline in DS9, and don’t seem to be anywhere near the front lines, are making their choice because they have the privilege of not seeing how desperate things have gotten. Or you could say that it is Sisko who is wrong and that the Federation cannot survive if its surrenders its moral high ground. It’s a dichotomy that Star Trek keeps revisiting, and Insurrection carries on that tradition.

A Mixed Bag in the Execution


Ru'afo
F. Murray Abraham as Ahdar Ru’afo

The main “guest stars” of the movie — Donna Murphy as Anij, F. Murray Abraham as Ru’afo, and Anthony Zerbe as Admiral Dougherty — all turn in solid performances. So, too, does Gregg Henry, who does good supporting work as Ru’afo’s subordinate Gallatin.

And the film gives most of its principal cast material to work with, including a subtle, moving performance from LeVar Burton in a scene where Geordi sees his first sunrise. But it largely fails Marina Sirtis and Gates McFadden, who end up with very little to do. While it’s not as egregious a waste of talent as Nemesis, it’s still a letdown.

As for the action, it’s mostly pretty good. Some fans may find Riker’s “manual steering column” a bit ridiculous, but you’ll never convince us it’s not awesome.

Fans may also criticise the admittedly bizarre action sequence in which Picard defeats a malfunctioning Data by singing Gilbert and Sullivan. They shouldn’t, because the scene is fantastic, but they might.

But it must be acknowledged that some elements do not hold up well. Insurrection was the first Star Trek film to use CGI for all its visual effects, including the rendering of the starships. Unfortunately, in HD many of the space shots are noticeably computer-generated and look unfinished.

On top of that, some of the sets, particularly the bridge of Ru’afo’s flagship and the interior of the Son’a collector ship, look incredibly cheap. For a franchise that has always been able to maintain appearances even when budgets are tight, the aesthetic of Insurrection is a disappointment that sometimes takes you out of the experience.

The Verdict

Insurrection isn’t the best film starring the TNG cast — that honour definitely belongs to First Contact. But it’s better than NemesisGenerations, and even The Final Frontier (because all the other Star Trek movies are). For fans who loathed NemesisInsurrection is the perfect send-off for the TNG crew.

It shows them at their best — funny, thoughtful, and unafraid to deal with the complex themes that made the TV show so important. It deserves, on its 20th anniversary, a second look, and maybe some renewed appreciation from Star Trek fans.

The post Is ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ Worth a Second Look 20 Years Later? appeared first on FANDOM.

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Migraine prevention drug could be worth $1 to $2 billion over next five years: Wall Street analyst

Aimovig from Amgen and Novartis may become a $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion business in five years, say a Wall Street analyst.
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Jay Leno Is Worth $350 Million and Owns 181 Cars But Says He Still Lives Like Someone Who’s on Their Last Dime

Jay Leno got rich by being America’s class clown. The comedian has an estimated net worth of $ 350 million, largely thanks to his tenure as the host of The Tonight Show, which he left in 2014. He’s still cracking jokes, but now he does it on Jay Leno’s Garage, which started as a web series and is now in its fourth season on CNBC (airing Thursdays). It follows Leno’s one true splurge: collecting prized and pricey cars. We talked to him about the money tips he’s picked up from his auto obsession, how he started his standup career homeless, and the one thing he tells every comic who’s trying to make a buck telling jokes.

You were extremely scrappy when you started in comedy. In Leading with My Chin, you wrote about being homeless and telling jokes to police when they picked you up off the street.

[Laughs] Yeah, I did. I just got on a plane one day and went to Los Angeles. I looked in the paper for open houses, say, from noon to 4 p.m., and I would get there at 3:30, and then I would hide in the closet. The realtor would leave and lock the door, and now I had a place to stay. Sometimes I could stay in a house two to three days. I didn’t wreck anything. I did get picked up twice for vagrancy on Hollywood Boulevard. In fact, where I got my [Walk of Fame] star was where the cops picked me up. They’d put you in the back of the car, and they’d drive you around their entire shift, and then let you out in the morning.

They must’ve been used to that on Hollywood Boulevard.

I would tell the cops jokes, and most of the cops are pretty blue-collar guys. Once they realized you’re not dangerous, you’re not a crazy person… “You find a place to live yet? No? Okay, get in the back.” It was okay. They were nice guys.

How’d you become a car geek, anyway?

I grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, which was a pretty rural area when I was a kid. There were always broken tractors, lawn mowers, vehicles you had to fix. I remember somebody had abandoned an old Renault in a field when we were about 11 or 12. We would drive it around the backyard. Your mom would kind of watch through the window. Of, course now they’d call child services, and the parents would be taken away. Back then, it was seen as not a bad thing—it taught you how to fix cars and get things running. I never set out to collect cars. I just bought what I liked. The general rule of car collecting is if you’re reasonably astute and you understand how things work, if you like it, chances are other people will like it, too. My three things are: It should be of technical and historical significance. It should be fun to drive. And it should be attractive to look at. If an automobile has those three qualifications, then it’s probably something that would be considered collectible.

Jay Leno's Garage - Season 3
Walker Dalton—CNBCJAY LENO’S GARAGE Season 3

There’s a lot of speculation out there about your vast car collection. Exactly how many do you own?

About 181 cars, and about 160 motorcycles.

Do you have any idea what they’re all worth?

No. I know individual ones. I bought a McLaren F1 in ‘99 for $ 800,000, and the last offer I got was $ 17.5 million. They only built 64 of them.

Are there any cars you look back on and think, “I wish I hadn’t bought that”?

There’s this thing in the car world: “You didn’t pay too much, you just bought it too soon.” There are a couple there. I don’t really dwell on them too much. If you buy something that’s rare and valuable, it will always be rare and valuable.

Jay Leno with his car collection
Charlie Nucci—Corbis via Getty ImagesJay Leno in his garage with his McLaren F1

How often do you sell the cars?

I’ve never sold a car [Laughs].

Ever?

I will donate a car to charity. We’ve done that probably 10 or 15 times.

Your passion for cars is palpable. Is there anything else you don’t mind dropping serious dough on?

You know, there’s really not. It’s obviously not clothes. I’m not an experienced person. I know I’m pretty wealthy, but I live like someone who’s on their last dime. I take nothing for granted. I don’t take vacations. When you’re in show business, you get to go to vacation places. I enjoy doing philanthropy stuff. I like feeling like if I don’t work this week, I’m gonna go broke. People say, “Why do you work all the time?” I go, “What do I do on a Tuesday that’s worth this kind of money?” A job comes up, and I always feel like I was broke for so long, I never wanted to be in the position of, “Well, how much is that job? Oh no, I’m not…” It just seems so presumptuous to turn down.

You still have that hustler mentality.

Yeah, and I like being a piecemeal comic, the idea of write joke, tell joke, get check. I don’t do HBO or Netflix specials because I can make almost the same money doing a live show. Why not just do four or five live shows instead of giving something away on TV?

Jay Leno arrives in his 1909 Baker Electric car at "Revenge Of The Electric Car" Premiere held at Landmark Nuart Theatre on October 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Jeff Vespa—WireImageJay Leno arrives in his 1909 Baker Electric car at “Revenge Of The Electric Car” Premiere held at Landmark Nuart Theatre on October 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

So no eight-figure Netflix special for you.

It doesn’t interest me. I’m not saying that to be snobby. It just doesn’t appeal to me because once your joke is on TV, it disappears forever. I always think, “Did this person just hear me say this last night?” I always know where my act is. I control it.

You came into quite a lot of money as a famous comedian. What did you learn about spending money from that?

I never spent money before I had it. I never bought anything before I could afford it. I never bought anything on time. I don’t lease vehicles. Cash is king.

You’re not risky with your income.

I work and my money relaxes—that’s the way I look at it. I live pretty frugally. I’m a huge believer in low self-esteem. The only ones with high self-esteem are actors and criminals. I’m dyslexic. My mother would say, “You’re gonna have to work twice as hard as the other kid to get the same thing,” and that always seemed like a fair tradeoff. The nice thing about being dyslexic—people tend to focus on something and then that becomes their goal. That always worked pretty well for me. I’ve always had two jobs, and I lived on one job and banked the other. All through The Tonight Show, I never touched a dime of my TV money because TV money is fleeting money. When you’re a comedian, you can always generate income. You can always stand somewhere and tell jokes and get paid for it. In college I would go to what they used to call hootenanny night and I would put $ 50 on the bar. I would say to the bartender, ”Let me go up and tell jokes. If I do good, give me my $ 50 back. If I do bad, you keep the $ 50.” Eventually you could make $ 15, $ 20 bucks a night by doing that.

What do you say when you talk to a young comedian who’s coming up and reaching for the kind of career you’ve had?

My advice is just take the job. Don’t worry about how much it pays. I’m always astounded when I meet comedians who go, “I’m not going there for that kind of money,” and I go, “Who are you? You haven’t done anything. No one knows who you are.” If you’re any good, the money will come. Pay attention to your product. If you’re not making enough money, it’s ‘cause you’re not good enough.

I spent almost a year at the Comedy Store asking to go on after Richard Pryor. No one wanted to follow Pryor because he just blew the room out. He was really the best. After that, I realized I didn’t have an hour of material. I had about 18 minutes of really funny material. I just kept throwing out everything that wasn’t funny.

 


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Flyover state foods worth landing for

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Every state has a food that they are known for. We all know that Californians love their fish tacos, New Yorkers gotta get their chicken wings, and that Pennsylvanians simply can’t survive in an area without a Philly cheesesteak within three miles. While everyone may know these classics and staples of American cuisine, not everyone knows about the equally, if not more delicious delicacies from the middle of the country.

We decided to try them out, and here are the five most delectable dishes in the flyover states worth landing for.

Breaded pork tenderloin sandwich – Indiana

Sure, you’ve probably had a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich before, but you’ve probably never had one like the Hoosiers make it. Just like many other jewels hidden in the rest of the state, this sandwich appears normal and bland, but is a burst of flavor on the inside.

This is because this pounded flat pork tenderloin is marinated in buttermilk spiced with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. After marinating it, you take the cutlet and put it in flour, then an egg, then pan fry that puppy. The most important detail which separates this pork tenderloin sandwich from the rest however is the fact that the tenderloin itself has to be at least three times the size of the burger buns you’re putting it in.

Southern fried catfish – Arkansas

This southern staple is definitely done right and the best in Arkansas, home of the Arkansas River and where the confluence of immigrants from around the world each added their own touch to the mix.

The way to make this amazing, delectable, and juicy dish is to first sprinkle the catfish with both salt and black pepper before putting it in the flour. However, make sure to add some Hungarian paprika to that flour mix, otherwise you won’t be making true southern fried catfish. Pan fry both sides of the fish with the heat turned all the way up for 3 minutes on each side. Then that fish is ready to eat.

Kentucky hot browns – Kentucky

Coming from the bluegrass commonwealth of Kentucky (keep in mind, it’s a COMMONWEALTH not a state), the Kentucky hot brown is an open faced sandwich consisting of a slice of toasted white bread, roasted turkey, special Kentucky style Mornay sauce, and of course, bacon. There’s even a slice of tomato for y’all health conscious folks.

After roasting the turkey (or using leftovers which are just as good), toast the bread and cook the bacon. But the most important part of this state food is the mornay sauce, made by first mixing butter and flour in a pot on medium heat, whisking in milk on high heat, then adding in pecorino, cheddar, and nutmeg. Mmm Mmm delicious.

Buckeyes – Ohio

This state food of Ohio is just one of a plethora of things called buckeye in this buckeye state. A buckeye is a type of tree which has super hard, large, rock like seeds. Everything in Ohio – from the people to the sports teams to the state itself – are called buckeyes.

But to make this state food you can be anywhere. All you do is first make peanut butter balls from peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and melted butter, then freezing them. Afterwards, melt chocolate and shortening. Dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, leaving a small brown circle, and now you have a buckeye.

Funeral potatoes – Utah

Despite the sad name and the history of serving this dish at Mormon funerals, these potatoes are actually out of this world. Made with onions and garlic, what really makes this dish special is the crunchy cornflakes and tons upon tons of melted cheese on the top.

This casserole is made with both baked potatoes as well as hash browns, and includes everything from chopped onions and garlic, creamy melted cheese, unsweetened cornflakes, and tons of butter. This will soon become a family favorite.

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The post Flyover state foods worth landing for appeared first on Worldation.

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Is space-saving baby gear worth it?

by

Sabrina Garibian

posted in Products

Is space-saving baby gear worth it? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!

I’m so over the baby junk taking up half of my garage, my whole family room, and the baby’s room. I think I would have a million kids if it weren’t for the baby gear. And maybe how pregnancy wrecks my body. Anyway, I wish I had bought all space-saving gear from day 1, baby number 1. Sometimes it’s a little more expensive, sometimes a lot more expensive, but I bet it would have all been worth it.

I have four kids and a car that only fits them all with the third row up. That leaves a trunk about 12 inches deep. With a stroller in the trunk there’s isn’t room for even one bag of groceries.

I found the perfect solution and boy is it worth every penny! The Doona car seat stroller is an infant car seat that becomes a stroller.

doona car seat stroller

It is so innovative that it’s hard to explain or even understand. The future in baby gear is so cool it’s hard to believe it’s real. Check out this video here to see it in action:

I get stopped multiple times a day by people of all ages to ask about this car seat stroller combo. While the baby is safe and comfy inside and out of the car, the true benefit is for the parent. After lugging three babies around in their car seats my back hurts regularly.

With the Doona, I am never carrying a car seat for more than the few seconds it takes to snap it into the car base. The wheels pop out so quickly and effortlessly that I wheel baby Daniela around everywhere. The only strange thing I had to get used to is that the baby is not at hip height like in other strollers. Instead, the car seat sits about knee high. The plus side to that is that the stroller is fun for my kids to push too!

With the car seat and stroller in one piece, I now have a trunk free to fill up with my weekly groceries and the older kids’ sports equipment. Win/win for everyone.

Other space-saving baby gear I love?

* BabyBjorn Bouncer (Amazon, $ 199.95)
* Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat (Amazon, $ 34.99)

I have earned my wings as a wise old mom now that I have four babes, and as a wise old mom I say buy the space-saving gear. Buy it even if you have a big house. Buy it even if you think you’d rather have 5 baby swings instead of one perfect baby bouncer. When you have to store those things between babies, you will appreciate not taking up your whole garage with it. If you end up with four kids and basically no trunk, you will be thankful to have the space-saving car seat stroller. I wish I knew then what I know now.

The Doona car seat stroller solved one problem in this busy mom’s life. Now if only I could find a machine to wash, fold, and put away all my laundry for me.

BabyCenter Blog

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SpaceX is now worth $24 billion

SpaceX is circling an astronomical valuation. Elon Musk’s rocket company is raising $ 507 million in new funding, which will see it valued at nearly $ 24 billion, according to US regulatory filings from Lagniappe Labs. The new valuation — which different data services estimate at between $ 23.7 and $ 27 billion — is up from $ 21 billion…
Business | New York Post

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Is It Worth It: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

One of the most iconic watches ever, the Rolex Daytona became a collector’s piece and a must-have in every watch lover’s list. But we must ask – at $ 13,600 for the steel model to the $ 85,700 for the platinum version – is it worth it? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

The 1927 Rolex ad with Mercedes Gleitze

The 1927 Rolex ad with Mercedes Gleitze

Rolex started in 1908 producing fine watches, and since 1926 – when they released the first waterproof watch, the “Oyster”, made famous thanks to the famous English Channel crossing by the British swimmer Mercedes Gleitze –, they established the brand as a sports watch.

A Rolex Cellini

A Rolex Cellini

Yes, they have been producing a “social” model, the Cellini, since the 1970s, but let’s be frank – do you know anyone who owns a Cellini? If you do, congratulations! Almost everyone I know wants a Rolex Oyster, a water-resistant watch.

Vintage Rolex chronograph

Vintage Rolex chronograph

The "pre-Daytona" chronograph

The “pre-Daytona” chronograph

With the exception of the quartz models, Cellini and Oyster (produced until 2001), Rolex has always been renowned for their automatic winding models. The Cosmograph Daytona was a spin-off of their 1950’s chronograph and we talked about it here.

A poster of the Winning! movie

A poster of the Winning! movie

Created in 1963, it became an icon when Paul Newman wore it in the 1969 racing movie Winning!

The first Daytona chronograph

The first Daytona chronograph

One of the first Daytona ads

One of the first Daytona ads

The watch that became known as Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman” model got many versions, but the most famous were those with the so-called “Panda” dials – white dial with black subdials and vice-versa, resembling the “bear” eyes. (Rolex called them “exotic dials.”)

Rolex Daytona with "exotic dials" - the famous "Paul Newman" dials

Rolex Daytona with “exotic dials” – the famous “Paul Newman” dials

Nowadays, those Daytonas sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and their epitome was the recent sale of Paul Newman’s own “Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman” for the sum of US$ 17.8 MM. Yes, you read right, millions.

Daytona with PN dial and screw-down chrono pushers

Daytona with PN dial and screw-down chrono pushers

In some countries, however – such as in Brazil – the original Rolex Cosmograph Daytona did not sell well. The reason? Well, every Rolex fan was used to their “perpetual” automatic movement, patented in 1931. But the Daytona had a mechanical winding mechanism, a fact that made it stay unsold on dealers’ showcases. Nobody wanted to use a Rolex that had to be wound manually.

Some European collectors began to buy those “new old stock” Daytonas around the world and their prices began to rise in auctions. Small differences in the dials made a watch gain thousands of dollars over their plainer versions. And so the collector fever started.

The "new" Daytona in 2 versions

The “new” Daytona in 2 versions

Later, in 1988, Rolex redesigned the Daytona. First, they replaced the older Valjoux mechanism with a Zenith El Primero self-winding movement, one of the best chronograph mechanisms ever made. It was altered by Rolex to reduce the need for maintenance. Also, instead of the smaller case diameter of the first models (37 mm), now the watch had a 40 mm case, screw-down chronograph pushers and a sapphire crystal instead of a plastic window.

Ad for one of the most beautiful versions of the new Daytona

Ad for one of the most beautiful versions of the new Daytona

It was the time when the demand for chronographs took off: buyers would wait up to three years for a Daytona because the movement supply was limited by Zenith’s production. Rolex developed their own chronograph movement, the Calibre 4130, releasing the first Cosmograph Daytona with this mechanism in 2000. This decade also saw the launch of many new versions of the iconic watch, such as a steel/gold model (2000), a white gold one (2004), and the Everose pink gold, a metal developed by Rolex and released in 2008. In 2013, celebrating 50 years of the Cosmograph Daytona, Rolex created the Platinum with a ceramic bezel.

Presently, you will find many versions of this watch, with the metal of the case, dial, strap or bracelet making up the possibilities. It is water resistant to 100 meters, an important point for comparison purposes.

The Platinum Cosmograph Daytona with Cerachrom bezel

The Platinum Cosmograph Daytona with Cerachrom bezel

But now comes the $ 64,000 question – or, in the case of the platinum version, the $ 86,000 question: is it worth it?

The only thing you should not say is, “well, I have a satellite-controlled watch in my pocket and so I don’t need a wristwatch.” Yes, you do have that on your smartphone. But gentlemen should never be impolite by checking the time there during a meeting or at the table; it is too obvious and even offensive to anyone they may be talking to. A subtle glance at a wristwatch is a much better way to check the time.

If your primary reason for wearing a timepiece is that, well, you have literally thousands of options, and many are much cheaper than the steel Daytona. Even if your primary goal is using the chronograph per se at the horse track or at the men’s 100 meters event, you have hundreds of watch models to choose from. Should you go for the Daytona?

What would be the closest competitor for the Rolex Cosmograph? I would say that it would be another iconic watch, the Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch”. We talked about it here and here.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional "Moonwatch"

The Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch”

Presently, the original Moonwatch in stainless steel sells for $ 5,100 – less than half the Daytona in steel. Omega’s model is slightly larger, with a 42 mm case, but it is water resistant only up to a depth of 50 meters. In terms of chronography, both watches have the same functions: a large seconds hand, and subdials for minutes and hours. Both have luminescent hands and hour markers.

Daytona or Speedmaster?

Time to compare

Time to compare

Both brands have an excellent reputation, even though Rolex has a slight edge over Omega; so, if your motivation is looking for a status symbol, go to Rolex.

Both models have the same chronographic functions. You would have to be very picky to say that the Omega tachymeter goes up to 500 (units per hour) and Rolex’s goes only to 400. I bet you will never have to measure an average speed in excess of 300 mph.

In commercial terms, a Rolex seldom loses value, and sometimes even appreciates over time; if you ever think of selling it in an auction or on eBay, it will sell faster than the Speedmaster, even though this watch will not be as expensive as the Daytona.

If your primary use for the Daytona is a weekend, sports watch, fine. However, if you think of wearing it with a jacket or suit, it will not be as discrete as the Speedmaster, in spite of the latter being 2 mm larger. Actually, I would not endorse any chronograph with a business attire.

Finally, if your main concern is the impact on your budget, you should obviously go for the Omega Speedmaster, at less than half the price of the Rolex Cosmograph.

Conclusion

The final decision will depend on your own evaluation of the arguments we presented above. Rest assured, though, that whatever model you end up buying will be an excellent timepiece, that will give you many years of carefree service.

 


Gentleman’s Gazette

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What is Tristan Thompson’s net worth? He can certainly break the bank

What is Tristan Thompson’s net worth? He can certainly break the bank


What is Tristan Thompson’s net worth? He can certainly break the bank

In December 2017, after pregnancy rumors swirled around the duo for months, Khloé Kardashian announced that she was expecting with boyfriend Tristan Thompson. And now, just days before Khloé is expected to give birth to a baby daughter, cheating rumors have engulfed the couple after TMZ released footage of what appeared to be Thompson with several other women. Neither party has publicly commented on the situation as of yet, and at the end of the day we have no idea what goes on in the couple’s private relationship (nor should we). So we’ll avoid making any assumptions at this time.

However, many fans currently have questions about Thompson, one in particular being: What is Tristan Thompson’s net worth?

Thompson, the Cleveland Cavaliers center/power forward, signed a five-year contract with the basketball team back in 2015. According to ESPN, the deal was worth $ 82 million, meaning Thompson is earning about $ 16.4 million annually until 2020.

According to Spotrac.com, Thompson’s pay is expected to increase towards the tail end of this deal. He’s projected to earn around $ 17.4 million for the 2018-2019 season and $ 18.5 million for the 2019-2020 season.

The site Celebrity Net Worth pegs Thompson’s net worth at only $ 8 million. But with this new contract, it’s expected that his net worth has grown significantly since 2015. This information was most likely pulled and estimated from his previous four-year contract in which he was making about $ 4 to $ 5 million annually.

For comparison, Khloé Kardashian’s net worth is around $ 40 million. She compiled her earnings from her starring role and executive producer position on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Her spinoff series, Kocktails with Khloé and Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian, also contribute to that hefty number.

❥ Mom and Dad ❥

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Forbes reported in 2016 that the combined net worth of all the Kardashian leading ladies (Jenner sisters included) peaks at around $ 122.5 million. Due to the success of Kylie’s makeup line, Khloé’s Good American clothing line, among other Kardashian ad and brand deals, we can only expect to see that combined net worth amount increase as time goes on.

Happy Saturday loves!

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Net worths aside, we’re sending so much love to Khloé right now and can’t wait to meet her baby daughter.

The post What is Tristan Thompson’s net worth? He can certainly break the bank appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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What’s Worth Shopping for Online Versus in PersonBrowsing a site…

What’s Worth Shopping for Online Versus in Person

Browsing a site like Mr. Porter, with multiple, clear photos of nearly every item (on a model! with other clothes!), measurements, etc., it’s easy to forget that a decade ago e-commerce was still pretty clunky–infrequently updated stock, bad interfaces, bad photos, and limited product info. You no longer have to live in or visit New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, or Tokyo to see the coolest and finest men’s clothing or even great vintage.

But shopping in person is irreplaceable–you get the expertise of the staff (where you can find it), the serendipity of stumbling on something awesome you may not have been looking for, and most importantly, the ability to try something on and make sure it fits your body and style.

Living outside of the style meccas of the world, I’ve bought more than my share of gear online, and I’ve made many mistakes. Mistakes you can learn from, even if I have not. Some types of items I have a fantastic hit rate. I find cool stuff that I wear all the time, and often at a good price (that I may not have known was out there were I in a physical shop). For others, I have the Goodwill donation receipts to prove my high rate of failure.

image


The Best Things to Buy Online

Accessories: The number one reason stuff you order online doesn’t work out is that it just doesn’t fit you, so things that are broadly sized or not at all sized are lower risk to shop for on-screen. Socks. Jewelry. Scarves. Ties. Bags. If the shop has decent photos, you won’t often be returning these sorts of items. Hats, gloves, and sunglasses can be trickier–hats and gloves need to fit right and numbered sizes don’t always tell the whole story, and it’s nearly impossible to tell if sunglasses will work with your face and head shape without trying them on (although we have some tips). 

Sneakers: Although sneakers clearly don’t all fit the same (a size 10 is not a size 10 is not a size 10), within a single brand the fit usually has some consistency, and absolutely NAILING the fit is less vital to whether you’ll wear sneakers than it is for other things. I.e., sneakers are a little forgiving–if you have a good idea of your Brannock size you can pretty safely order some kicks. An added advantage is that sneakers from big brands are sold so broadly that it’s often easy to find sales or other discounts on major brand models. 

Knits: Just by virtue of having a little give, knits tend to be an easier item to get right, or at least right enough.  

Woven shirts: Measuring a shirt you own for which you like the fit is key when shopping for button front shirts online. They tell you a lot about the fit of the shirt. Many stores, like Mr. Porter and No Man Walks Alone, list measurements for  most of their items, and for shirts I find such measurements particularly illustrative (they can be less helpful for items that are more three dimensional in spirit, like suits). It’s also important to check whether a shirt has darts in the back, as that is usually a sign it will have a slimmer fit, even if the seller doesn’t provide a waist measurement.

T-shirts: Like woven shirts, I largely think of t-shirts as two dimensional; it’s pretty easy to tell from a chest and shoulder measurement if a shirt is going to fit. When buying vintage shirts, definitely insist on such measurements when you can, as shrinkage over time and broad changes in style mean a size large from the 1970s and one from today will fit very differently, even if a numerical size is also given (e.g., L/42-44).

image

Things Better to Shop for In-Person

Dress shoes: I’m fortunate in that I don’t have particularly hard-to-fit feet, but one of the things that bothers me the most is when I get a pair of dress shoes that isn’t quite right. First of all, different lasts and styles, even from the same maker, can fit quite differently. A closed lace shoe (like the Carmina bals pictured above) is less forgiving than an open laced shoe, for example. And it’s a challenge to try on ordered shoes to get an adequate feel for their fit without creasing them or marking the soles, which is like driving the car off the lot–the resale value plummets. An experienced shoe salesperson can help a lot with telling you what will and won’t fit and look right on your feet. 

Tailoring: Well-made suits and sportcoats are absolutely complex, three-dimensional objects, built with volume, seams, and darts intended to fit and move with you, and that, altogether, add up to a style–could be businesslike and square, sharp and modern, or soft and casual. Dimensions observable online, such as chest, shoulder, or sleeve measurements, can tell you whether a garment will actually fit over your body, but have a hard time communicating the true fit or vibe of a piece of tailoring. 

Now, I’ve bought a lot of tailoring online, new and vintage; and it helps that, after purchase, a tailor can make alterations, sometimes significant ones, to fit you better. But it’s much more satisfying, in my opinion, to be able to try on a couple of different sizes and find out which one is really right for you. It may not be the size you always wear.

Leather jackets: Likewise the fit and vibe of a leather jacket can be hard to discern from photos and measurements on a screen. Most leathers are designed to be worn close to the body, so sometimes the measurements will appear relatively slim even though the jacket will in fact fit. (E.g., a shirt you wear under the jacket will likely measure larger through the chest than the jacket.)

And like many of these items, vintage is a special challenge because styles have changed so much over time–a double rider jacket today may not fit like one from the same maker from the 1980s. And the market is littered with leathers from the 1990s that have low armholes and broad shoulders–a look to be sure, but not likely what you’re shopping for in 2018.

Jeans: It’s disappointing that jeans are a challenge to shop for online, because there are not a lot of stores offering really great, interesting denim. So outside of big cities, online is your only option. But again, fit is the factor that’s so hard to get right from the impressions you can get online. And the waist, seat, and thighs on a pair of jeans can be harder to alter successfully than on a pair of dress trousers, which are designed with alteration in mind.

Ways to Make Buying Online Work Better

  • Talk with a sales associate in advance: if you’re a natural introvert like me, part of the appeal of online shopping is not actually dealing with people. But when you’re not sure of the cut or feel of a piece of clothing, talking to someone who might be able to look at and handle it for you can be very helpful. If you can’t make it in to the store, give ‘em a call (or email, or tweet, or DM).
  • Order multiple sizes: I don’t particularly like running up charges I don’t absolutely need to, but in cases where I’m not sure of the size I’ll prefer, I’ll often order two or even three sizes in one item to see which fits best. Obviously there’s a cost here, as many stores don’t cover return shipping and some don’t have free returns, but if shipping is <$ 20 and the item is hundreds of dollars, it’s worth a little extra to make sure I made the right choice. See also tip #1, because some stores will waive return fees and even shipping if they know you’re ordering to compare sizes–can’t hurt to ask. (Apologies in advance to all stores everywhere.)
  • Support good stores: One of the benefits of shopping online is being able to compare prices very quickly and pick the best one. But the lowest price may not be the best long term value. Maybe you found the item initially at a local shop, or one that had a great lookbook that showed it in a context that appealed to you, or one that went through the trouble of measuring the item and/or communicating with you directly about it while you were making your decision. Reward those stores with your business, even if they don’t have the absolute lowest price.

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Investing In College: 4 Keys To Get More Than Your Money’s Worth

Investing in college: is it still worth it? Stagnant wage growth and the looming burden of student loan debt makes that proposition, once a foregone conclusion, more hotly debated than ever. However, the fact remains that a person with a college education, on average, still commands a higher income than a person without a college degree.

The difference, according to author, speaker, journalist and former college administrator Zach Rinkins, is that what was once practically automatic—that investing in college will pay off with a well-paying career and the American dream of middle-class success—now requires strategy and planning to realize, beginning in high school and during the college selection and application process. Rinkins is the author of a new book, I Am College Material!: Your Guide To Unlimited College, Career, And Life Success, which challenges college students to see themselves as emerging professionals and plan accordingly, in order to maximize their returns on investing in college. Rinkins says he was inspired to write the book by his experience as a college administrator at Florida Memorial University, watching students take on student debt, only to end up accepting jobs with salaries that offered little hope of them ever paying it off.

“When you work on a college campus, you are going to become attached to the students” Rinkins explains. “You see them come in as bright-eyed freshmen, and then you watch them leave as young adults ready to conquer the world. That’s a very thrilling experience. So every year around graduation time, I would converse with students.”

Zach Rinkins

“I’d ask them, ‘What’s next?’, and they’ll say they’re going to work at some car rental company or a mobile phone store,” Rinkins continues, “and it would often break my heart because I know these students spent $ 80,000 and they’re transitioning to a job that may pay them $ 28,000 or $ 30,000 a year, and I knew that they deserved better than that. Because I knew after that six-month grace period and that student loan starts kicking in, that they were going to be really hit hard. Those are some of the issues that the millennial generation is dealing with: Going to college, acquiring a lot of debt, and transitioning into careers that won’t provide them with the economic support to repay their loans and really get their start in life.”

I Am College Material! aims to equip college students and their parents with the tools, information, and resources necessary to succeed in college while maximizing their earning potential upon graduation and beyond. The book includes advice from experts on topics ranging from money management and campus entrepreneurship to health and college romance. (Disclosure: I and my wife Zara Green, as co-creators of Grown Zone Relationship Education, are included among the experts in the chapter titled “To Love or Not To Love: Realities In College Relationships.”)

Rinkins shares four key strategies necessary for students to get the most from investing in college while limiting the short and long-term financial burden on their families.

SET A TARGET FOR YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL UPON GRADUATION

Rinkins says that it is critical to consider the career paths and earning potential associated with any major you choose, with an eye on which jobs have the highest entry-level salaries and the best potential for income growth over time. Ideally, students should be researching their interests and options by their junior year in high school, so that they can make a smart choice by their second year in college, by which time most undergraduates have declared a major concentration of study.

“The decisions that you make in college, the career path you choose, the first salary you choose coming out of college, have a long-term impact,” Rinkins explains. “If you start off low, it is very difficult to get to a higher salary if you don’t make the right decision and create the foundation for it in college.”

INVESTING IN COLLEGE IS WORTH IT—IF YOU DO THE MATH

College students need to understand the earning potential of career paths associated with an area of study, and then choose the most affordable college option to minimize costs of investing in college and maximize ROI.

“I just read a study the other day by JPMorgan that said the average college student is leaving college with $ 30,000 in debt, and on top of that, their parents also acquire an identical, separate $ 30,000 in debt. That’s debilitating. This made me understand [student loan] debt in a family context. So it’s very important for families to choose the right college for their child.”

Rinkins offers a formula that can help you to make the right choice.

“In my book, you can find out how to choose a career, how to go to the U.S. Labor Bureau, how to go to various websites and resources to find out the starting salary of your child’s desired career path. Whatever that number is—$ 40,000, $ 35,000—divide that by five. That is your max annual budget for college; you can’t go over that.”

“Why is that important?” says Rinkins. “Because when you graduate from school, you want as little debt as possible. You have to be able to pay that back in 10 years. Because of compound interest, we want your child to be able to get rid of that debt before it doubles. Because we don’t want them to be contending with that debt in their 30s.”

BEFORE YOU START COLLEGE, PLAN YOUR EXIT STRATEGY

Don’t wait until your junior or senior year of college to discover that your chosen major will not position you to generate enough income to justify the money you’ve spent on tuition and other expenses associated with investing in college.

“Do your research,” Rinkins says with urgency. “Understand what the highest paying career paths of your major are. One thing I tell students is to look at the future output of your major, and also look at the employment rate. If you’re choosing a major that has a high unemployment rate, it’s going to be competitive and the salaries are going to be low. But if you choose a major with a low unemployment rate, the salaries are higher and there will definitely be more opportunities.”

“I use the national unemployment rate as a benchmark,” Rinkins continues. “Right now, the national unemployment rate is about 5%. Some of the popular majors, but they’re low-paying majors, many of the unemployment rates in those majors are 15%, 12%. So you don’t want to pursue a desired major with a career path that has double the national unemployment rate.

CONNECT YOUR SKILLS TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER

You also want to make sure that you’re connecting with the people who will pay the most for the skill sets you have, even if you choose a major with a relatively low-income career path. That may mean thinking beyond the jobs and careers typically associated with your desired major.

“If you decide that you definitely want to get a career in education,” Rinkins explains, “you may want to think about, ‘Well, I don’t just have to be an educator. Perhaps I can do training and development to the STEM community, to the tech sector. Or if you desire to be in public relations, for example, don’t just try to sell your services to anybody; try to connect with the highest paying industries so that you can get the best return on your investment. Your education is an investment.”

The post Investing In College: 4 Keys To Get More Than Your Money’s Worth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Is It Worth It? Gucci Horsebit Loafers

Gucci is an Italian high fashion brand and they usually move very quickly with the trends, however, they produced one thing ever since 1953, and it’s the Gucci horse bit loafer model 1953. Because they’ve been so popular over the years, there are many iterations and models, some are slippers with a soft heel, you can find them with different logos, but the original one has the classic horsebit and no logos that are visible. You might wonder, it’s just a loafer, isn’t it? Well, not quite.

If you have not already done so, please check out our other Is It Worth It articles about other iconic items such as the Fountain Pen or the Burberry Trench Coat.

History Of Gucci

First, let’s talk about the history of Gucci. Gucci is a company that was started in 1920 in Florence by a man named Guccio Gucci. Originally, they are a manufacturer of high-end leather goods including saddle wear. By the 1950s and 60s, Hollywood stars were wearing Gucci, and so it became very famous, and the focus changed. Now, it was more about consumer products and shoes, not so much about horse riding wear. The canvas GG with red and green detail appeared out of a leather shortage on WWII, but it instantly became synonymous with Gucci. The Gucci family almost ran the brand into a crown in the 1980s and was sold in 1988. By 1990, the creative director Tom Ford was installed, and he helped the brand to regain that old fame. Of course, he was very stylish himself and so he created his own brand.

Creative Director Tom Ford

Creative Director Tom Ford

After Ford’s success as creative director at Gucci came Alessandro Michele who was hired by Tom Ford himself. Under his reign, Gucci has turned away from traditional minimalism, and it has become much louder and bolder. In my opinion, he doesn’t have much in common with classic style anymore yet the Gucci horse bit loafer remains unchanged.

Gucci Horsebit Loafer 1953

Gucci Horsebit Loafer 1953

What Makes The Gucci Horsebit Loafer Special?

In 1953, Gucci opened their New York presence and offices. At that time, Gucci noticed the popularity of the loafer in the US in general. Gucci decided to change it up a bit, he refined the lines, he added a horsebit, after all, Gucci had been making saddles in the past, and he offered them in black even though most loafers at the time came in tones of brown. The result was a pair of shoes that was just formal enough to be worn with a suit, at the same time, it was more comfortable and more casual than most other black shoes on the market. The shoes became an instant success. By 1969, Gucci was selling 84 thousand pairs of the horsebit loafer in the US alone. People like John F. Kennedy and Gianni Agnelli helped the Gucci loafer become popular.

Today, it’s an iconic shoe, and in fact it’s the only shoe that is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and it has been so since 1985. Apart from the original 1953 style, you’ll also find many different others. One that is particularly popular right now is the Jordaan which is not like AirJordans, and the Brixton which is soft in the back, of course, you can also find the 1970s version with a much thicker sole and higher heel, but that’s a very special item. I like to stick with the originals.

In this article, we talk about the black classic 1953 style which currently retails for $ 670, that’s for a calf leather version. You can also find crocodile skins in brown, black, or navy, which retails for $ 2,600.

New vs. Old Version

New vs. Old Version

The Gucci Horsebit Loafer Hype

It’s a shoe that comes with a certain cache. It’s very recognizable and people can see it. If they do, they know that you spent six hundred seventy dollars in a pair of shoes. It’s a moccasin style construction which is hand sewn. It has this horse bit which is gold, not silver. The funny thing is the shoes have changed slightly. If you look at older models and the horsebit itself, it seems to have been gold-plated versus today which looks more like a cheaper zamac version without the gold. I wonder if they’ve cut some production costs there. It’s a shoe that has the character of Italian style. It’s more effortless than let’s say, a shoe from Allen Edmonds, and it can be worn with a suit, as well as more casual combinations. That being said, I don’t think it quite works well with a double-breasted suit because it is more formal than a single-breasted suit. Also with combinations, the color black is not super ideal for casual looks. I understand at the time, it was revolutionary. It worked then. In recent years, casual shoes are usually brown or navy, maybe sometimes green but never black.

Gucci Workmanship

Gucci Workmanship

Construction Of The Gucci Horsebit Loafer

Let’s look at the construction and workmanship of the Gucci horse bit loafer. First, when I looked at it on the website, I was quite disappointed because there wasn’t much detail. They just said black leather and horsebit, but they didn’t talk about what kind of leather, how it was tanned, how it was constructed if it was sewn, glued, what kind of construction it was. I was weary because I expected that it wasn’t a good shoe after all. Now, when I got the shoe, the actual first impression was much better. You could see the moccasin top was sewn by hand, that was quite obvious because of the different stitch density on the side and in the front which is a hallmark of handwork. You could also see little puckering along the edges which is typical for hand-sewn moccasins. The leather is very nice and has good quality. It is hand stained, but that makes more of a difference with brown shoes, not really with black. However, Italians are very good with leather especially around Florence so you can be rest assured that you get a quality hide on Gucci loafers.

Star Symbol

Star Symbol

Surprisingly, the sole construction of the shoe is sewn and not glued. It is a Blake stitch that is nicely channeled, meaning the sole is cut open then sewn and then the seam at the bottom of the sole is hidden because the sole is kind of shaped outwards. The edges of the sole are rounded nicely. There’s some edge painting down there. At the heel, you find little star symbols and that hasn’t changed from older Gucci horse bit loafers. The shoe has a nicely built flat heel with a rubber patch and two brass nails. I think they’re there for decoration because the whole thing is glued on. You also find some brass nails in the front toe area. They’re supposed to prevent premature wear. I don’t think it really works, but it can’t hurt the longevity of the shoe.

I wonder why they add the little star symbol, it may be something to help distinguish them from fake shoes, but I’m not quite sure about it. In general, the sole is very thin and extremely flexible which makes it very comfortable. At the same time, because it is so thin, you’re probably not going to get a super long wear out of it. That being said, you can always return your shoes to Gucci for repair, and they take them back as long as you don’t bring them to local cobblers in-between. Of course, they also charge more than the local cobbler would. Nevertheless, it is nice to know that there is a factory resoling option. Also, bear in mind that it can take two to three months to get your shoes repaired so either plan ahead or go local.

Another area that I was quite surprised by it was the lining of the modern 1953 version. Because it’s mostly a textile, you can see at the bottom of the shoe that it’s a textile. It doesn’t say whether it’s cotton or linen, I suspect it’s one of the other or a blend – could also be a poly blend but I don’t know because Gucci doesn’t provide any more information about it. The good thing is, it works well for summery weathers because when your feet sweat, no matter if you went on bare feet, or with no-show socks, or with regular socks, the cotton or the material will absorb more than the leather and it will be more comfortable. If you look at the older Gucci horse bit loafers, they were all leather lined in regular tan leather. Interestingly, there seems to be no foam pad underneath that leather insole in the heel area, and I wonder why they didn’t add that.

Canvas - GG

Canvas – GG

Is The Gucci loafer Worth The High Price?

Pros:

1. Not a Flashy Shoe

It’s an iconic shoe and this is an original. Unlike many other Gucci or designer products, it doesn’t have big visible logos on the outside of the shoe which in my book, is a huge plus.

2. Comfortable, Classic and Timeless Shoe

It’s a comfortable shoe made in a classic last, made in the same shape since 1953. It’s likely not going to go out of style anytime soon.

3. Hold Value Well

If you ever get bored with the design of the shoe, it’s very easy to sell them and you still get quite a bit of money for them. On eBay, a pair of 1953 horsebit loafers goes around 300 dollars which is not bad for a used shoe.

4. Good Quality

Honestly, I was a bit surprised about that because I expected less quality because I just assumed a fashion brand just charges more for the name. That being said, you’ll receive a decent quality shoe that’s not just garbage. It’s definitely much higher quality than Cole Haan loafers that sell for $ 120.

 

Cons:

1. Cost

$ 670 is quite a bit of money for an off-the-rack shoe. Now, I said that the quality is good and while that’s true, the value is not quite there. In my opinion, a shoe of this category should retail more for 250 to 300 dollars. But because it’s Gucci and because it is an iconic original piece, you’ll pay for the name and all the marketing that goes with Gucci.

2. Thin Sole

While some people like the soft construction others want something that’s a little sturdier and especially a sole that will last a little longer. Now that’s a choice that you have to make.

The Crocodile Versions

I think crocodile leather is always nice on loafers whether it’s a penny loafer or a horsebit loafer or even a tassel loafer.

That being said, crocodile leather is always more expensive and if you buy it from another brand, you probably have to pay $ 1200 or $ 1100. At Gucci it’s $ 2,600 because after all, it’s Gucci.

 

Is The Gucci Horsebit Loafer Worth It?

The answer is it depends! If you want an iconic classic style item that’s like an Eames chair for example, or the Barcelona chair, then yes. You would have to pay extra for the design for the originality. You just have to suck it up.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in classic style, in good quality, and a good value ratio, I don’t think the shoe is worth it simply because you can get two pairs of shoes of similar or better quality for the same price.

If you want a status symbol, the shoe is definitely worth the money because it’s very recognizable and it’s not a garbage quality. It’s a decent quality. You just pay a little more. And if the status is what you want, that’s what you get with this shoe.

Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the money for myself. Simply because I don’t need a status symbol. I look at the quality and the value I get and a black horsebit loafer is just not adaptable to my wardrobe. If it was in brown, I think it would be more versatile for my wardrobe. At the same time, $ 670 for the calf leather and $ 2600 for the crocodile version is simply over-the-top in my opinion.

Shoe Alternative

You like the look of the horse bit loafer, but you don’t want to spend that much money, which shoes should you buy? Well, it’s a little difficult because it always depends on your exact budget and what you want, right? You have the Cole Haan versions around $ 100. You can find more expensive versions such as the ones from Allen Edmonds which are with a thicker sole but otherwise look very similar. Then you can have something like Jay Butler which is a Mexico made version of the horsebit loafer with a shorter vamp which is more in line with the preppy style.

 

CONCLUSION

For six hundred seventy dollars, you can have custom horsebit loafers made exactly to your specifications and the colors in the leather with a sublime fit that is superior to an off-the-rack shoe.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Are Alternative Health and Beauty Treatments Worth It? Here’s How to Tell


An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Or does it?

Every family has its share of home remedies to deal with minor illnesses or injuries. My grandmother always put butter on first-degree burns to stop the sting.

It turns out Grandma was wrong.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, applying greasy products to burns traps heat and slows its release from the skin.

Today, hundreds of over-the-counter products on the market promise to fix myriad cosmetic and health issues.

They’re advertised on social media and television, in magazines and even sold by home-based sales consultants.

But for every legitimate ointment, lotion or potion, there are dozens of health and wellness scams that promise results they can’t deliver.

So how do you know which products work and which ones are just hype — or worse, harmful?

Even Water Can Be Dangerous

It’s hard to deny the benefits of drinking water to stay hydrated and healthy.

Clean tap water works perfectly well, but if bottled or filtered water is more your jam, that’s fine, too.

Municipal tap water is heavily regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and bottled water by the Food and Drug Administration, so what you drink comes down largely to a matter of choice.

However, companies like Live Water and Tourmaline Spring sell expensive, untreated water they claim promotes better health than ordinary water.

But Live Water has a disclaimer on its site that says its health claims haven’t been evaluated by the FDA, and it recommends that you “consult your health care provider before making a decision to switch your drinking water source.”  

Meanwhile, studies show untreated groundwater could be contaminated or exceed the maximum contaminant level allowed in drinking water by the FDA.

So, drinking untreated water isn’t just costly. It could end up making you sick.

Not all wellness products on the market could cause you harm. But when you’re talking about your health, the margin for error is pretty narrow.

Thinking Outside the Health and Wellness Treatment Box

Many people use non-mainstream medical products or treatments without, or in addition to, conventional medical intervention to prevent or alleviate health problems.s.

Non-mainstream options include homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture and reflexology.

People also spend a lot of money on creams, teas, supplements and other products that promise to make them look younger, slim down or deal with other cosmetic or health concerns.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness industry was a $ 3.72 trillion market in 2015, the latest year the institute studied.

People spent the most money — $ 999 billion — on beauty and anti-aging treatments, followed by healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss.

Consequently, these areas are particularly ripe for false claims. In fact, scams involving health, fitness and beauty are so prevalent that the Federal Trade Commission devotes an entire section of its website to protecting consumers.

“As much as we would all like magic bullets to cure or prevent disease, there are none,” Linda Ruescher, master trainer Self-Management Resource Center, said in an interview with The Penny Hoarder.   

“Late-night and weekend infomercials feed conspiracy theories that the medical establishment exists solely to make money, that they are invested in keeping people sick,” says Ruescher. “The newest diet book, supplement or health program is touted as a simple miracle cure that ‘they don’t want you to know about.’”  

Before you spend money on a new health or wellness product, Ruescher suggests you “put your emotions and conspiracy theories aside and bring your brain to the table.”

When deciding whether to invest in an alternative health or medical treatment, ask yourself these three questions first.

Note: This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a physician or other health-care provider to discuss any medical issue or condition you may have.

1. Should I Risk It?

If the product or treatment you’re considering could jeopardize your health or make a medical issue worse, the risk is never worth it.

On the other hand, if the impact will be minimal if the product fails to produce the results you’re looking for, it may be worth trying.

“Someone who’s suffering from chronic pain has a whole host of options available to them before they should do back surgery,” Charles Mendelson, a licensed acupuncturist at Seattle Holistic Beauty, told The Penny Hoarder. “Someone who is having a heart attack doesn’t.”

Mendelson says people should try the least invasive option first.  

Example: Diffusing essential oil to treat a minor headache before reaching for the aspirin.

2. Can I Afford It?

If you have room in your budget to try a low-risk alternative product or treatment, it might be worth a try.

“Someone who is comfortably well off can be far more experimental than someone who is financially squeezed,” says Mendelson.

But if the cost of the product you’re considering “means you have to forgo more conventional medical treatment, then you definitely shouldn’t do it,” he advises.

Example: Applying store-bought eye cream to your crow’s feet instead of an expensive prescription ointment.  

3. Can I Fact-Check Its Claims?

Mendelson says it’s important to evaluate the claims a company makes about its product to determine if they’re valid or potentially false.

Websites like the FTC, Nutrition.gov and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are good resources to help you evaluate the validity of a claim.

“Generally speaking, the broader the claims, the less I trust them,” he says. “Specific claims are easier to evaluate.”

Example: Choosing a supplement that makes claims supported by the National Institutes of Health over one that makes nonspecific statements like “results guaranteed.”

When in Doubt, Talk to Your Doctor

In the end, your physician is the best person to offer advice on whether you should try a product or treatment.

“If you are afraid to talk to your doctor, that is a huge red flag,” says Ruescher.

That’s probably an indication you should skip the idea altogether because it could cause you harm, she says.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Are LaVar Ball’s $500 sneakers worth the hype?

This summer, the Big Baller Brand started taking orders for the Zo2 sneaker — the signature kicks of Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball. But despite its eye-popping $ 495 price tag and a botched December rollout that earned the company an F from the Better Business Bureau, the sneakers, available only through the company’s website, are…
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10 Cheap Items Worth Their Money

Buying expensive items won’t always get you quality. Of course, some expensive items are definitely worth their money. In today’s guide we will share with you ourtop 10 low-budget finds that are simply awesome!

1. Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux – $ 12-$ 15

I know it is a mouthful but bear with me. Remember when we shot the video on Is it worth it, Dom Perignon champagne? In the comments, a viewer shared with us his favorite budget alternative which is the Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux from France and so I tried it and it’s a really amazing sparkling wine that tastes pretty much like a champagne but it only costs $ 12-$ 15.

Now you might wonder, isn’t it just a cheap knockoff? Now, usually you will argue against knockoffs and fakes; actually, Benedictine monks in the abbey of Saint Hilaire invented this sparkling wine over 450 years ago which was a hundred years earlier than champagne. Obviously, even though they were first, champagne did a much better marketing and today, it is much more well known and much more expensive but that is good for you because you can get a quality sparkling wine at a fraction of the cost.

Of all the sparkling wines I have tasted, the Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux is really a great price to value ratio and best of all, it all comes in vintages which means in specific years so you get a top-notch quality but different every time.

2. Bar Soap – $ 2-$ 25

Most people use shower gels today which is also cheap, it is basically just soap with water and so the cost per use is much higher with bar soap. A regular bar of soap will cost you anywhere between $ 2-$ 3 and maybe $ 20-$ 25 but even the lower priced models are oftentimes very good in quality, they have good fats like cocoa butter and shea butter and so I suggest you take a look at ingredients first.

You can find bigger bars or smaller bars; one soap that I have been using over and over again is the l’occitane verbena soap, it comes in a 3 1/2 or 100-gram piece and it cost about $ 14 in the US. It smells of lemongrass, it is very nice for your skin and I personally love it. Usually, a bar lasts our entire family for half a year.

3. Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – $ 15

It costs about $ 15 and if you remember, we recently did a video on IS IT WORTH IT? The Montblanc fountain pen. Now Montblanc is very well-known and you can easily spend over a thousand dollars. A lot of people complains that “Well, that’s crazy!” So with the Pilot Metropolitan, you get a quality made in Japan pen that is very balanced, with a nice ink flow and a nice nib in its price range, and it won’t break the bank and anyone can afford it.

You can also personalize it in many different colors including very popular black and silver colors, it also comes in two nib sizes; M for medium and F for fine and while M is the standard nib size in the fountain pen world, F is really fine in this case, even the fine in other brands I think and if you’re used to writing with a rollerball or a ballpoint pen that will be a good transitional pen for you.

4. Kai N5210 – $ 13

In my experience, a good pair of scissors is highly underrated. Personally, I get lots of packages when I design things, I have to cut fabrics and leather and so a good pair of scissors is always on my desk. In the past, I would use those scotch titanium blades which you can get in three packs for five or six dollars at Costco and they did the job, but once I had the Kai N5210, it was all different.

They really cut consistently better with less effort and they really just stay sharp for a long time. I’ve had it for over a year, I cut a lot with it, and it’s still great. It’s so good you can even cut the chicken bones with it and any other kind of meat in the kitchen which is really not something you can usually do with a pair of scissors.

5. Shoelaces – $ 12

They’re very inexpensive but it can really change the entire look of your shoe. As you know, buying new shoes, especially quality shoes, is very expensive, so if a new pair of shoes is not on a table for you right now, consider shoelaces.

You can get them in 15 or 20 different colors we have boot laces as well as shoelaces that are round and flat in quality waxed cotton and as you can see, on the same shoe, you create an entirely different look. Best of all, the look is versatile even if you have just one or two pairs of quality shoes and maybe four or even ten shoelaces, you can immediately create 10 or 20 different looks.

6. Rada Knife – $ 13

It’s a serrated knife and I bought it three years ago at an antique show in Brimfield. At first, it seemed too cheap, it was a new knife for just five dollars, made in the USA, and I figured how good can it really be? Because I was used to Japanese knives and German Wusthof knives, after using it for a little bit, turns out it’s a really excellent knife.

Originally, it’s called a tomato knife and you can slice Tomatoes excellently with it, but it also works for steak, it has a flexible blade and because of that, you can cut melons, anything with a curve, any kinds of vegetables, apples, fruits, it’s just a wonderful all-purpose knife and I strongly suggest getting it.

7. Tailor’s Ham – $ 12

It costs about twelve bucks and it’s a little pillow filled with sawdust. It’s much stiffer than a regular pillow that you may have on your couch, on your bed, and it’s used to iron trousers or jackets, especially all the round parts which wouldn’t quite work on a flat iron table.

By the way, if you’re into ironing and you want quality creases in your shirt on your pants or anywhere else, I suggest getting a clapper because it really helps to get perfect results. It’s a simple piece of oak wood that has no sap and no rough edges and if you buy it online, it cost about $ 25 but you can easily make it yourself.

8. Nivea Sensitive Shave Balm – $ 5 – $ 8

As you might know, I’m really into shaving and we created an in-depth shaving guide. I tested over 300 products and one item that I come back to over and over again is the Nivea sensitive shaving balm, it costs between 5 and 8 bucks, it’s widely available in drugstores all over the world, as well as online. Works for all skin types, it smells good, it leaves a smooth result, and I’ve been using it for so long that I can safely say it doesn’t harm your skin or is aggressive in any way.

9. Red Boat Fish Sauce – $ 12

People who like Thai food or Vietnamese food are very much familiar with fish sauce but it can also be used in any kind of other cuisines such as American, French, or European cuisine. It has this characteristic umami flavor which you can also find in meat, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. It’s that fifth sense of taste that we, in the Western world, are not so familiar with but it’s very prevalent in places like Japan.

Whenever they serve dishes to people that contain fish sauce ,they’re always like “mmm this is so good.” “wow how did you get this flavor?” and they can never tell it’s fish sauce but they always really like it a lot because it’s flavorful, strong, but not fishy at all. You don’t have to overdo it, a spot or two is enough to really boost the flavor of the dishes you create.

Another thing I also use a lot is Better than Bouillon. Basically, it’s reduced broth or stock that you can keep in your fridge. It’s very easy to use and you can concentrate the broth in the way you would like, so you can have a very strong flavor or light flavor.

It comes in many different varieties such as chicken, beef, vegetable, mushroom, or fish, and so you can create nice bouillabaisse for example, or other fish stews very easily without having to cook out any bones.

10. Gentleman’s Gazette eBooks – FREE

Right now, we’re giving away three of them FOR FREE. I mean, what’s better than free right? So it’s over 200 pages of in-depth content about classic men’s style such as black tie guides, white tie guides, or how to wear and combine shoes with socks and pants.

Head over to our shop now, add it to your cart and of course, if you want to buy something else we’re honored, but you don’t have to. Simply download them, enjoy them, and tell us what you think, maybe even leave a review, really appreciate it, thank you.

Feel free to share your highly recommended cheap but awesome finds below!


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Report Sheds Grim Details on Black Women’s Net Worth

A recent report from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, shed another dim light on the current wealth inequality gap in America by highlighting the current state of black women’s net worth. Some sobering takeaways include:

-Single black women without a bachelor’s degree ages 20–39 have a net worth of $ 0.

-Single black women without a bachelor’s degree ages 40–59 have a net worth range of just $ 1,000 to $ 2,000.

-Single black women without a bachelor’s degree age 60+ have a net worth of just $ 12,000.

-Single black women with a bachelor’s degree ages 20–39 have a net worth range of -$ 11,000 to $ 0.

-Single black women with a bachelor’s degree ages 40–59 have a net worth range of just $ 6,000 to $ 9,500.

-Single black women with a bachelor’s degree age 60+ have a net worth of just $ 11,000.

In Contrast, Single White Women Are Doing Better

The report shows that numbers for single black women are in stark contrast to that of single white women, especially those with a bachelor’s degree:

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree ages 20–39 have a net worth range of $ 3,400 to $ 7,500.

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree ages 40–49 have a net worth of $ 25,000.

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree ages 50–59 have a net worth of $ 117,500.

-Single white women with a bachelor’s degree age 60+ have a net worth of $ 384,400.

What’s Causing Black Women’s Financial Struggles?

The report attributes a portion of African American women’s economic woes to The Great Recession as well as to the significant pay gap between black women and white male workers. With the pay gap, research shows that black women had to work seven months into 2017 to be paid the same amount as white men for the entire year of 2016.

Additionally, the report also shows that neither a college education nor a lifetime of work has provided the true solution to closing the wealth inequality gap between single black women and single white women, as single white women have benefited far more from wealth being passed down to them from their families in contrast to that of black women. This leads white women to rely less on debts like student loans, in comparison to black women. A member of a white family is twice as likely to receive an inheritance in comparison to a black family member, and the inheritance received is usually three times larger than what the black family member would have received. For those families with inheritances to give, the white family’s wealth is likely to be 7.5 times larger than that of the black family’s wealth. For every dollar of wealth owned by a typical white family, the median black family owns just five cents.

The state of black women’s wealth and their role in politics and the workplace have been dominating subjects in 2018. Black women were lauded for turning out in droves to vote in the Alabama election to help Democrat Doug Jones defeat Republican Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate seat.

The recent Women’s March—a movement where people took to the streets across the country to mostly protest Donald Trump’s presidency—stirred debate over whether the march and mainstream feminism were inclusive enough about issues uniquely pertaining to African American women and girls. Black Enterprise’s Caroline Clarke took a look at this debate in her piece “#WOMENSMARCH: WHOSE MARCH IS IT, ANYWAY?”

And, there has been a ton of controversy over comedienne Mo’Nique’s call for the boycotting of Netflix, for what she says was an attempt to pay her less for a performance than white female and male comics received—sparking further debate about black women’s economic value. You can read the full coverage by Alfred Edmond Jr. in his piece, “MO’NIQUE VERSUS NETFLIX: FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE, NOT THE MESSENGER.” 

The post Report Sheds Grim Details on Black Women’s Net Worth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Four Weeks’ Worth of Work Outfit Ideas!

work outfit ideasWouldn’t it be great if you had several weeks’ worth of work outfit ideas — and if the ideas mostly used things you already have in your closet — and maybe even pushed you out of your comfort zone a few times? I’ve wanted to create something like this for YEARS, truly, but between all the other regular content the work outfit challenge just hasn’t happened. Last summer and fall I really committed to finalizing it, and I’m thrilled to say that it’s DONE and you can now subscribe here! I’m proud of the end result — I think these work outfit ideas reflect a smart, sophisticated way of dressing that can be dressed up or down for various offices, and my hope is that as you go through the challenge you’ll stretch yourself a bit and hopefully find some new ideas.  Every outfit idea in the challenge is appropriate for work, and 90% of them can be done using stuff you very likely already have in your closet. Because the ideas are more of “building blocks,” if you find a few of them that your really like you can turn the blocks into a work uniform. Because many of the building blocks ideas have examples of different bloggers from around the web wearing the outfits, you may even find a few new workwear personal style bloggers or Instagrammers to follow!

What It Is:

Four weeks worth of outfit ideas, with five days’ worth of outfit ideas emailed to you every Sunday for four weeks. (We were going to do it as a daily email, but after reader feedback we decided to do a week’s worth at a time!)

Who Gets the Work Outfit Ideas:

The work outfit ideas are free for anyone who subscribes to the Corporette email newsletter using THIS LINK. (You should get a confirmation email pretty soon after signing up — please check your spam filter if you don’t see it!)

When the Work Outfit Challenge Starts:

It starts the first Sunday after you sign up for the email!

Questions for this thread for you guys — what are YOUR favorite work outfit ideas, ladies? What outfits (or building blocks of outfits, such as black top + black pants + colorful/print jacket or cardigan) do you wear again and again to work? Have you (or anyone else you know) adopted a uniform or other concentrated way of dressing that has worked well for work?

Shutterstock/lithian

 

The post Four Weeks’ Worth of Work Outfit Ideas! appeared first on Corporette.com.

posts – Corporette.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Online graphic design startup Canva is now worth $1 billion

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Canva is Australia’s first unicorn of 2018, after raising $ 40 million (AUD$ 50.9 million) to push the design startup’s value over $ 1 billion.

Now available in 190 countries, with over 10 million users, the online design and publishing platform was launched in 2012 by CEO and co-founder Melanie Perkins — now the youngest female entrepreneur to have reached unicorn status. 

“It’s still extremely early days for us yet, and we feel like we’ve done one percent of what we believe is possible but it’s quite exciting to get to this point in time, and it’s been a huge journey,” Perkins told Mashable. Read more…

More about Business, Startups, Startup, Unicorns, and Businesswoman


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Is It Worth It? Dom Pérignon Champagne

Many people believe Dom Pérignon – a French Benedictine monk that lived in the 17th century – invented Champagne. We have already discussed this famous character, so it will not be necessary to comment on him again. Nevertheless, the fame stuck on him and Moët & Chandon used his name as the first prestige Champagne, initially released for sale in 1936.

This wine became synonymous with status and top quality. According to Wikipedia, “In 1971, the Shah of Iran ordered several bottles of the first vintage of Dom Pérignon Rosé (the 1959) for the 2,500-year celebration of the Persian Empire. A bottle of that champagne, from that order, was sold at auction for €24,758 in 2008.” And it was also “chosen for the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles. The magnums of Dom Pérignon Vintage 1961 served on that July 29 carried a special insignia created just for the ceremony.”

It must be stressed that Dom Pérignon is always millesimé, that is, produced from a single year and not in bad crops. But, is it worth it? Should you pay $ 150-200 for a bottle instead of the regular Moët & Chandon, at $ 39 each? Gentleman’s Gazette will discuss that.

Moët & Chandon

The Maison started as Moët & Cie. in 1743. Ninety years later, Pierre-Gabriel Chandon joined the company, becoming a partner of Jean-Rémy Moët. They merged with Hennessy, one of the four great cognac companies, in 1971; finally, in 1987, with Louis Vuitton, creating LVMH, the largest luxury group in the world.

LVMH

It is interesting to know that the LVMH group also owns Dom Pérignon, Krug, Mercier, Ruinart and Veuve Clicquot. Each year, Moët & Chandon produces 26 million bottles and Veuve Clicquot produces 10 million; together, they represent more than 12 percent of the Champagne production. If you consider 5 million as the production of Dom Pérignon, you have five bottles of Moët & Chandon for each bottle of the prestige cuvée.

The Difference Between a Regular and a Premium Champagne

This, we believe, is the main point one should ponder before spending almost four times more for a bottle. The production of Dom Pérignon is five times smaller than that of the NV (“non-vintage”) Champagne of the Maison.

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Remember, a Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial (a label created in 1869) is a non-vintage Champagne, meaning that it is produced with more than 100 different wines from 200 crus (villages), traditionally with 30-40% Pinot Noir (for the body), 30-40% Pinot Meunier (for suppleness), 20-30% Chardonnay (for finesse) and 20-30% reserve wines.

The Maison tries to maintain the house style every year: that is the spirit of the NV Champagne. The aficionado will return to the label to find the same set of characteristics that he/she grew fond of. In the case of the Brut Impérial, you will find honey, green apples, citric notes, white flowers, brioche, and a touch of gooseberry. It is considered a light, delicate wine.

As to the relative value of the Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial, if the ratings may help us, Wine Enthusiast gave it 89 points, saying that it remains “Unchallenged as the world’s best-selling Champagne… It has become slightly drier over the years, currently emphasizing the fruit quality with apple and lime flavors. The acidity and crisp texture make it immediately attractive. Light and fruity at the end, it is a good apéritif wine.” Cellar Tracker, a popular wine discussion and tasting website, gives it 87.7 points, based on 750 user reviews.

All in all, I would say that it is a good rating – not remarkable, but good enough to make me seriously consider the Brut Impérial next time I’m out shopping for French bubblies.

Dom Pérignon and its intrinsic value

Take a look at this great ad from Dom Pérignon with Christoph Waltz and you will begin to understand its allure.

First, we must remember that Dom Pérignon is a millesimé Champagne – its blend and thus its tasting characteristics depend on the vintage conditions: rain, cold, hours of sun, the maturity of grapes, etc. There will be good vintages and there will be outstanding vintages, and the price of the bottles will vary accordingly.

Dom Pérignon 2002

Dom Pérignon 2002

That said, most critics agree that the best recent Dom Pérignon vintage was 2002 and so we will focus on it. Even though it is a relatively rare Champagne, you may still find it for sale on wine-searcher.com for an average of $ 200. James Suckling gave it 97 points; Decanter and Wine Spectator, 96.

Moët & Chandon owns virtually all the vineyards from which Dom Pérignon is sourced – as many as 300 different vineyards, from outside Reims to the Marne Valley. They have access to all the 17 Grands Crus vineyards in Champagne, specially Aÿ, Bouzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Chouilly, Cramant, Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, as well as Hautvillers.

The selection of the grapes is rigorous, and the pickers wait for greater ripeness: thus, the Chef de Cave, Richard Geoffroy, may give more emphasis to pH (and acidity) than to sugars.

While a Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial ages on its lees for three years, a Dom Pérignon stays sur lie at least seven years, with a proportionally bigger depth of aromas.  The blend includes slightly more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir, and a Dom Pérignon demands long aging to show its best, sometimes unfolding in complexity over decades. (Robert Parker considers the 2002 able to keep standing up to 2032!)

Subjectivity

But one thing is to review the intrinsic qualities of a garment or of an object, as we already did with the Burberry trench coat and the Montblanc pens; another is to review the merits of wine, an evaluation that depends on the taster’s nose, palate and personal preferences, as well as experience. The more you drink, the more you develop a mental databank from which to extract notes such as previous tastings of that wine, who were you with, what did you eat with the wine, etc.

Dom Pérignon statue at Moët & Chandon

Dom Pérignon statue at Moët & Chandon

One thing we can tell you for sure is that a Dom Pérignon will not give you a tasting experience that will be five times better than the tasting of the Brut Impérial! It will surely be a different experience, and, to be honest, if you are not used to vintage Champagnes, in a blind tasting you may vote immediately for the non-vintage due to its vibrant, zesty nature. It is OK, for our preferences evolve as we gain mileage (or shall we say litrage) in the wine world.

We would recommend you to spend the extra bucks if (1) you are willing to enter the world of vintage Champagne, which many consider to include some of the best wines; (2) you want to celebrate a personal achievement or landmark with a great bubbly.

We would tell you not to spend on the Dom Pérignon if (1) it is only to impress someone (not a commendable attitude for a gentleman); (2) you have not tasted less expensive, but good, Champagnes before. If you don’t have the benchmark of these wines to compare a new wine with, you will not be able to develop your tasting abilities and enjoy the best wines. These come only with time and a hands-on (or better, a lips-on) attitude.

Conclusion

Whatever Champagne you ultimately choose, let’s make a toast to a great New Year to all!


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Is Amazon Prime worth it for you? Take this quiz to find out!

All year long, Clark.com’s Michael Timmermann is sharing quick and easy ways to save money as part of our Michael Saves series. Check in every Monday as he puts new and familiar savings strategies to the test. Sign up for our newsletter to have these stories delivered to your inbox!

Amazon Prime costs $ 99 a year, but is it really worth it? That’s a question many people will ask themselves before deciding to renew their membership — or sign up for one in the first place.

I’ve been thinking a lot about whether that $ 99 is money well spent or if I should cancel my membership.

So, I went through Amazon’s list of Prime benefits (free two-day shipping, streaming of movies and TV shows, the ability to borrow books, etc.) and created a 12-question quiz for myself.

I wanted to share the quiz with you in case you’re also struggling to determine whether Prime is worth it or not.

For some people, the shipping benefits alone make Prime a good value. “Amazon addicts” don’t need this quiz. It’s more of a tool for people who are on the fence about their membership.

Are you ready to find out if you’re getting your money’s worth with Amazon Prime? Let’s get to the quiz…

RELATED: The secret Amazon Prime perk you probably don’t know about

Amazon Prime quiz: Is a membership worth it? 

1. How often do you take advantage of Prime’s free two-day shipping?

  • All the time (15)
  • Most of the time (10)
  • At least once a month (5)
  • Very rarely (0)

2. Do you spend less than $ 25 on most Amazon.com orders?

  • Yes (5)
  • No (0)

3. Can you name three Prime-exclusive items you’ve purchased from Amazon in the past six months?

  • Yes (5)
  • No (0)

4. Based on your purchases, how are Amazon’s prices compared to other retailers?

  • Higher (0)
  • About the same (5)
  • Sometimes lower (10)
  • Lower (15)

5. Are any of your favorite shows on Amazon Video?

  • Yes (10)
  • Not really, but I still watch (5)
  • No (0)

6. Do you listen to Prime Music or Audible Channels?

  • Yes (10)
  • No (0)

7. Have you used the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Prime Reading or Amazon First Reads?

  • Yes (10)
  • No (0)

8. Do you store and organize your photos with Prime Photos?

  • Yes (5)
  • No (0)

9. How often do you use Prime Now or Prime Pantry?

  • At least once a month (10)
  • I’ve tried it once or twice (5)
  • Never (0)

10. Do you pay less than $ 99/year for your Prime membership? (Skip if on a free trial)

  • Yes (5)
  • No (0)

11. Have you received any one-time discounts or free extensions of your Prime benefits within the past year?

  • Yes (5)
  • No (0)

12. Do you use the Amazon Prime Rewards credit card for your purchases?

  • Yes (5)
  • No (0)

RELATED: Late Amazon Prime delivery? Here’s what you can get for free!

What’s your score?

Now that you’ve taken the quiz, add up the numbers listed next to your answers. What’s your score? The closer to 100, the more likely a Prime membership is a good deal for you.

  • 75 – 100: Definitely worth it
  • 40 – 74: Likely worth it
  • 25 – 39: Maybe worth it
  • 0 – 24: Probably not worth it

Reviewing your order history for the past year may help you determine if you should renew a Prime membership.

In addition, there’s a little-known way to find out the exact amount you’ve spent on the e-commerce site over the years. Read our step-by-step guide to calculate your total Amazon spending.

If you’re a Prime member, what makes it worth the cost? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

Team Clark’s guide to save more and spend less in 2018: 

clark.com

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Get Your Mind Right: The Budgetnista Talks Tips For Increasing Your Net Worth

Ready to increase your net worth this year? Believe it or not, improving your finances and building wealth is more about mastering your mindset than anything else. To help you get your mind right, we tapped Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, the award-winning founder of the Live Richer Challenge and leader of Dream Catchers, a massive group of people who are collectively working toward a better financial life together. In 2014, she initially launched the Live Richer Challenge with a focus on savings. Since then, the challenge has progressed from savings to credit and currently, the 2018 edition focuses on net worth. Below she details a few money mindset tips to boost your income as well as your wealth.

 

What are three mindset shifts people need to make when it comes to increasing their savings, improving their credit, and increasing their net worth?

  • The mindset shift for saving – Many people think of savings as missing out. But to save effectively, you have to switch that mindset from saving is depriving yourself to saving is a reward. Meaning, if you save, you can have more of the things you want.

 

  • The mindset for credit – You have to shift to one of empowerment. People think credit is something that you don’t have control over or once you make a mistake, that’s it, and that is not true. Credit is simply a series of rules; and if you know the rules, you can abide by them, and you can even tweak them to your benefit. Credit is actually one of the easiest things to fix. Make the shift to learning the rules so you can play a different game. Shift your mindset to empowerment and knowledge when it comes to credit.

 

  • The mindset for net worth – Shift away from this idea that more is more. True wealth is not just about income because your net worth is how much you own minus how much owe. So let’s just say you own a million dollars’ worth of things (woohoo you’re rich!): NO. If you owe $ 2 million, you have a net worth of $ 1 million minus $ 2 million, which is negative $ 1 million.

 

Make a shift that more is not more and that your net worth is truly about balance. Yes, we all want to earn more, but we also have to take care of what you have because it is earn versus owing.

The post Get Your Mind Right: The Budgetnista Talks Tips For Increasing Your Net Worth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Gourmet Getaways: Fantastic Food Festivals Worth Traveling to in 2018

If you’re a fan of delectable food and prominent chefs, plan your next trip around one of these fantastic (and flavor-filled) culinary events!

The post Gourmet Getaways: Fantastic Food Festivals Worth Traveling to in 2018 appeared first on Reader's Digest.

Reader’s Digest

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Get Inspired With a Week’s Worth of Great Celebrity Style

The holidays are in full swing, but that doesn’t mean a little fashion break here and there isn’t necessary, right? (Right.) While we totally condone uninterrupted horizontal time with Netflix and mom’s cooking, we’re also here for you should you choose to venture out of the house for a party, hometown reunion, etc. In need of an outfit? Peruse these five celeb looks that receive high marks from us.

Scroll to see and shop a week’s worth of great celebrity looks.

On Suki Waterhouse: Calle Del Mar Sparkly Lilac Long Sleeve ($ 215); Frame Cheetah Velveteen Flare ($ 415); Maryam Nassir Zadeh Olympia Wedges ($ 400, available in black). Similar Style: Charlotte Simone Rainbow Twist Scarf ($ 198)
On Kate Bosworth: Mansur Gavriel coat; Victoria Beckham dress; Jennifer Fisher jewelry; Gabriela Hearst bag
On Margot Robbie: Valentino dress
On Gigi Hadid: Carmen March dress; Rene Caovilla shoes

Which look is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

Celebrity Style and Fashion Trend Coverage | http://www.whowhatwear.com

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12 Expensive Products That Are Worth Their Price

If you follow gentleman’s Gazette on a regular basis, you know that we always encourage you to invest in quality items because quality items get better with age versus cheap items deteriorate over time.

Also, we encourage you to look at the cost per wear of an item, not just the upfront cost, because most of the time, a quality item is less expensive in the long run. That being said, not every costly thing has to be new, sometimes you can find quality items that used to be expensive but you buy them used that way you can enjoy the quality benefits without having to go all-in on the money.

Sven Raphael's Leather Weekender

Sven Raphael’s Leather Weekender

Leather Weekender

Most quality leather bags will likely run you around $ 1,000 or more simply because of the high-end leather. Ideally, you want it to be leather lined without having the extra weight.

I’ve received lots of compliments from my leather weekender because it has a beautiful leather, it’s a classic brown tone which is nothing special. However, it is chrome tanned in Italy and has a nice pull-up effect. What that means is if I pull on the leather, it creates a different effect. Also if I scratch it, I see a scratch mark but then if I rub on it with my finger, it secretes some oils, and the scratch mark is hardly ever visible. This kind of leather creates a beautiful patina over time that is lived in and unique to you and the experiences you had with your bag.

I can use it when I travel over the weekend or just as a carry-on, or as a bag that I bring to go to the gym. Because of the leather, this kind of bag will be unique. No one else will have one like you, and it’s just much more stylish and elegant than a nylon bag or a canvas bag. It will also last longer and therefore, the cost per wear is low.

Quality OTC Socks

At $ 40, it is relatively expensive, and if you go with materials like silk or cashmere, you go out to 75 or $ 100- $ 120. Apparently, you can buy a pair of socks for $ 1 less, the problem is, especially over the calf socks, is that they always slide down. On top of that, the material is cheap, the seams are thick, the socks are uncomfortable, and you have to wear them all day.

It’s probably no surprise you that I’m wearing $ 40.00 socks from Fort Belvedere because I designed them myself and was sick and tired of socks that would slide down, so I came up with a design of high-quality yarns with socks that stayed up with the right elastics. On top of that, I wanted two-tone colors because they make it much easier to combine the socks with your outfits and your shoes.

At the same time quality socks that are more expensive come in different sizes. For example, Fort Belvedere offers four sizes, so you get exactly the right fit for your foot. Because we use a very expensive high-quality long staple cotton yarns, they will last longer, and the cost per wear is as low or lower than a cheaper pair of socks.

Sven Raphael Schneider's Tweed overcoat

Sven Raphael Schneider’s Tweed overcoat and Burgundy Red Suede Unlined Leather from Fort Belvedere

A Classic Overcoat

Yes, you can find overcoats for less than 200 dollars but a quality overcoat from natural materials such as wool, or cashmere, will run you at least a thousand dollars or more. Not only does it keep you warm during the cold months of the year, but it’s also very stylish. You can wear it on top with a suit, a jacket, or just your regular sweater. If you buy a classic overcoat such as a duffle coat in Ulster, or maybe a paletot, you’ll get something you can wear for years to come.

In my opinion, the best value is a hundred percent wool overcoat out of a heavy wool. If money is no object for you, go with a cashmere blend which is softer, usually not as heavy, and it wears out more quickly. If you can just invest in one overcoat, I suggest going with a navy or dark blue overcoat, a paletot which is very simple with a peak lapel that is double-breasted because the extra layers keep you warm. If you’re on a budget, overcoats are a great item to buy second-hand because they don’t fit as snugly because of the heavy fabric, they drape better, and they’re just more forgiving than a suit would be.

Mainly, all the overcoats in my collection are vintage, and I was able to get quality pieces at very low price. It ranges from a vintage Chester Barrie paletot overcoat with a velvet collar to a British warm or just a Casentino style double-breasted navy overcoat that I have found at Bobby from Boston.

Well-Fitting Gloves

Usually price point wise, you have to invest between hundred fifty dollars, if you want to go with peccary leather, we’re talking more about three hundred plus dollars. First of all, your gloves should fit tightly, and it should be made of a soft glove leather that stretches with the movements of your hands. You also want quirks between the fingers because it increases the range of movement and makes it more comfortable. To learn more about the glove leathers, please check out our glove leather guide here. You want them to be finally sewn either by hand or by machine, and you want something that just gets better with age. For example, lamb Nappa is soft and very sweet, but it will wear out more quickly than peccary leather which is made to last.

For example, I’ve had a pair of peccary gloves for over 10 years. I would wear them outside in the winter, they got all wet, but I could wash them and dry them, and they’ve developed a patina over the years. They’re too big and don’t fit me well that’s why I decided to create my own but overall, the leather is top-notch, and that’s how a peccary glove will age over time.

Precious Metal Cuff Links

Price-wise, it can range all the way from 300 dollars up to $ 25,000. So why should you invest in a pair of cufflinks? It’s  one of those few jewelry items for men apart from a ring that looks very dapper, elegant, and classic. Most modern cufflinks these days are made in China, the not made out of precious metal, they look cheap, gaudy, and they’re quite loud. On the other hand, classic cufflinks, for example, knots or some with precious or semi-precious stones as well as cloisonné enamel cufflinks are made by real artisans and craftsmen that put all their knowledge into it, and because it is made of a precious metal, it will last you for a lifetime, and you can even hand it down to your children and grandchildren.

If you invest in a piece like Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, or Tiffany, you also pay for the brand name and their experience. How much you should invest in a pair of cufflinks is of course entirely up to you but just a comparison; on the one hand, you have a pair of Tiffany cufflinks in 18 karat gold, they’re hollow, they’re not solid, and they cost $ 2,700, on the other hand, we have a pair of monkey fist knot Fort Belvedere cufflinks, the shape was hand-carved and it’s an actual rope knot and you can see how it’s beautiful and twisted, they’re also solid and therefore much heavier than the gold cufflinks from Tiffany’s.

I think both of them can be worn for a lifetime and because the plating is so thick, it won’t rub. The Fort Belvedere cufflinks only costs $ 325 so whether it’s worth it to spend more than $ 2,000 for a gold version of a brand name is again up to you but what I am trying to explain to you is that you can find quality items that will last, and you don’t always have to go with a top dollar amount to get it.

Malachite Pinky Ring

Malachite Pinky Ring

Pinky Rings

They’re just an excellent addition to a classic gentleman’s wardrobe, and it’s not something a lot of other people will wear. The problem is, it’s challenging to find classic shapes in delicate materials such as sterling silver or gold on the market today. Either you have to go custom and spend several thousand dollars on the ring, or you go vintage, but it costs a lot of time, you often find lots of crappy rings.

Personally, all the rings in my collection right now are vintage, they range from sterling silver, all the way to solid 18 karat gold and everything in between. Because so tricky to find new ones we’re currently working on them so stay tuned. In the meantime, have a look at our signet ring guide.

Mont Blanc Fountain Pen Nibs

Mont Blanc Fountain Pen Nibs

Montblanc Meisterstück Fountain Pen

Of course, there are lots of other great manufacturers of fountain pens. Italian ones such as Omas, maybe Parker, or you name it. However, the Montblanc Meisterstück pen has been around for a very long time. It’s a very classic status symbol for many, but it’s also a perfect item that will not wear out prematurely. It has a nice gold nib, and it writes very beautifully. At one point in time, I owned over a hundred Montblanc fountain pens because I was a collector and fountain pens are actually what got me into men’s clothing.

Today, I reduced my collection a lot, and I only have three Montblanc fountain pens; one is a meisterstuck 149 which is their biggest flagship model, and it has a 3b nib which is quite broad, and I use it for signatures, another one has just a b nib, and I use it to write or take notes and then have a vintage piece which is very old, it was made out of celluloid, it had a solid brass telescope mechanism inside versus the modern meisterstuck fountain pens are made out of resin and inside is like a plastic lever mechanism.

That being said, the old fountain pen doesn’t work so well anymore because the seal is not tight because they used to have cork inside. The new ones seal very well, and they probably will last you for a lifetime. Interestingly over the time, the price has steadily increased to now almost a thousand dollars. When I started, they cost about half, but even then, you could find them used on eBay the problem is, there are lots of fakes out there especially for Montblanc, so I suggest you only buy from trusted sources.

Goodyear Welted Shoes

Which style you want heavily depends on what kind of lifestyle you live. A Goodyear welted pair of shoes is usually made from a higher-quality leather than a glued pair of shoes. It also has a more classic last that will stand the test of time and it can be resold which is less expensive than buying a new pair. Now price wise, you can spend under two hundred dollars or three thousand dollars on a pair of Goodyear shoes, of course, the difference is the quality of the leather, the patina, or the hand coloring, the finish, also the bottom and at the details are gonna be much more intricate on higher-end shoes.

More expensive shoes will probably have a hand-stitched good year welt, they’ll have a nice waist, and a lot more time went into your construction of that shoe. Of course, if you spend two thousand dollars or more, you also can get a custom Goodyear welted shoe, and that’s just an incredible experience because it is perfectly suited to your foot and your foot alone.

Is it worth spending $ 3,000 over two hundred dollars? I think it’s a very personal choice, but if you have a foot that works with most lasts of higher-end companies and they usually come in different widths and different shapes, you find something that works for you, it’s a much better value to go that route. That being said, it will never be as comfortable as a bespoke shoe.

High-Quality Belts with folded edges

High-Quality Belts with folded edges

Quality Leather Belts

I know belts are probably not something you might deem expensive because you can find them for $ 10 but you can also find some for $ 3,000. In my experience, a quality belt cost upwards of about a hundred and fifty dollars. The difference of course with quality belts is that they all have a high-end leather material on the inside, as well as on the outside, and also on the lining.

Now, most belts today including quality belts are edge painted which means the leather is cut on the edges and then burnished and painted to create a uniform look. The high-quality belts are thinned out at the edges which means you need more leather and then they’re folded and sewn together. It’s just a construction that lasts much longer than an edge-painted construction, and it’s a true hallmark of a quality leather belt. Another detail about the quality belt is its buckle. Most belt buckles on the market today are made of a material called zamak. It’s an alloy made out of the zinc, aluminum, magnesium, and copper, the problem is, it will age very poorly, and it scratches very easily so, over time, you have to throw your belt away even though the leather might not be worn out but the buckle just looks crappy. A higher-end buckle is a solid brass buckle. Over time, brass develops a patina and because of that, it’s often gold plated, or platinum, or palladium plated, for more formal dress belts that you would wear with a suit. Now the plating and thickness of the buckle can have a huge impact not only on the longevity of the buckle but also on the price.

In my opinion, a solid brass buckle with a nice thick coating either gold or palladium, is probably your best value for the money. If money is of no concern to you, you may want to look into solid 925 sterling silver buckles or solid 14 or 18 karat gold buckles. Now that’s a whole other level, and the buckle itself will be worth more than the entire belt itself. Is it worth it getting, a sterling silver buckle versus a solid brass and pay three or four hundred dollars more? It depends. It’s an actual luxury item, and silver just develops a patina that you won’t see on a plated brass buckle.

Professional Camera

I know most people today use cell phones, and they think they are pro cameras, but they’re not. A pro level camera has a large sensor; it allows you to get a razor thin depth of field which means the amount is in sharpness versus the out-of-focus areas; just creates a stunning look and in combination with the increased sharpness and the color rendition, it’s just a very different experience.

Personally, I use DSLR cameras such as the Nikon D850 or a Nikon D500. It has the advantage that it comes with interchangeable lenses, but overall, you need to invest between about five to ten thousand dollars to get a nice DSLR with a range of lenses that allow you to photograph everything you want. In my opinion, it’s worth it because with a business where I use it, but even for just personal use, I would recommend investing in a more upscale camera.

Of course, if you’re rich, you want the very best in quality, you have to go with a medium format digital camera such as a Hasselblad, however, bear in mind that these pictures oftentimes have a hundred megapixels, so you need a whole ecosystems of computers, cards, and everything that work together, so you can develop a workflow and actually get those pictures. It’s more something for a pro photographer, not something for an amateur.

Folded, double sided edges that go all the way to the edge with sewn card slots - 2 hallmarks of a luxury wallet

Folded, double-sided edges that go all the way to the edge with sewn card slots – 2 hallmarks of a luxury wallet

Luxury Wallet

A wallet is something you wear every day, you pull it out when you maybe pay for a business meal, and overall, it develops a nice patina if it’s made of quality leather. A cheap wallet on the other hand just falls apart, and it looks older. In my opinion, a portemonnaie should always be an attractive item that you like wearing, that has a nice touch, a nice feel, and it’s something that lasts. Let’s say you invest $ 285 in a Fort Belvedere wallet which is made of the highest quality leather there is in Germany, if you break it down to the cost per wear, you probably end up at 5 to 15 cents a day depending on how you treat it and how long it would last you.

Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2

Smartphone

Personally, I use my smartphone every day. I do lots of business dealings with it, and because of that, I always buy the top model when it comes out and then I’ll use it for two years. At that point, I can sell it for 200 bucks or pass it on to a relative. For example, just here today I bought the new pixel 2 XL phone; with taxes and everything included, it costs me over a thousand bucks, however, if I can use it for two years and I break it down, it costs me only about a dollar and 40 per day.

Personally, I’d love to buy a modular phone so I could do exactly what I want without creating too much waste because as you know, with the technological advances in the smartphone market, we’ve new things coming out every month almost, and because of that, we have a lot of old phones that are just discarded which is a huge waste and a big ecological problem. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a more eco-friendly option out there, so you have to stick with what it is.

Why do I go with a Google phone rather than iPhone? I’m just not part of the Apple ecosystem, we use a lot of Google products, and it simply works for us. Also, I like the fact that it doesn’t come with any kind of bloatware such as on Samsung, LG’s, or Huawei where security and other updates are necessary, Google phones usually receive them first.

What expensive items  are worth their price in your book? Please share in the comments below.


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Starbucks Is Giving Away $1M Worth of Gift Cards. Here’s How to Get One

The holidays are for giving –– but don’t worry. You shall receive, too.

This year, Starbucks plans to spread the joy of giving by handing out $ 1 million in gift cards.

What’s better than a hot cup of coffee during the festive season? One you don’t have to pay for. Listen up, Santa!

How to Get Your Share of Starbucks’ Give Good Initiative

The giveaway is part of Starbucks’ Project Give Good. During this initiative, the coffee chain will give away gift cards to local heroes in communities all over the world.

Starbucks representatives will hand out the gift cards at seasonal events, such as tree lighting ceremonies, caroling and other local events, Time Money reports.  

While Starbucks will hand out gift cards in major urban areas around the country, including Seattle, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on the deal if you live in smaller cities. Locations have yet to be announced, but check back on Starbucks’ website, or follow #GiveGood on social media for announcements.

But wait — the generosity doesn’t stop there! On Dec. 5, the coffee chain will bring back its Starbucks for Life sweepstakes. Winners can win free coffee for a week, month, year or even life, as well as other prizes, according to Delish.

Oh, and one more thing. During Project Give Good, Starbucks will grant automatic gold status in its rewards program for a year to anyone who uses the Starbucks app or a registered Starbucks card for a purchase in December.

Generally, members need to earn 300 stars in a 12-month period to get gold status. Members earn two stars per $ 1 spent.

With gold status, customers are eligible for exclusive perks, including a gold-colored Starbucks card, a free drink or food item for every 125 stars they earn and a double-star day each month. Gold members also share green-level member benefits, which include a free birthday reward, free in-house refills, the ability to pay by phone, exclusive member events and offers, and more.

How’s that for a gift this year? Thanks, Starbucks!

Kelly Anne Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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8 Enthralling Anime Vampires Worth Sinking Your Time Into

It’s no surprise that vampires are popular characters in anime. Anime vampires are among the most popular characters.

Authors like Bram Stroker and Anne Rice romanticized these undead creatures, imparting them with beauty, charm, and setting them against Gothic backdrops. These beautiful characteristics and aesthetics — as well as their monstrous, bloodthirsty, true forms — are vividly brought to life in anime.

Here are eight enthralling anime vampires to watch.

Saya from Blood+


saya blood plus

Don’t let Saya Otonashi’s small schoolgirl appearance fool you. She’s actually a Chiropteran (giant blood-sucking bat) queen. Saya and her twin sister Diva were awakened in the 1830s. The twins were separated, with Saya living among a human family. She aged to her teen years, but stopped after that. One of the most interesting things about Blood+ is that it is historically based; flashbacks show Saya experiencing the Russian Revolution and the Vietnam War. She’s not alone though — she turned her companion Hagi into her chevalier (literally, a knight) and together they hunt down Diva and other Chiropterans.

Alucard from Hellsing


alucard van hellsing

Alucard (Dracula spelled backwards) is the protagonist of the Hellsing anime and a more “traditional” vampire. Extremely powerful and nearly immortal, Alucard is the Hellsing Organization’s most formidable weapon in hunting down other vampires and monsters. His vampire background grant him many abilities, including superhuman strength, speed, and a very healthy ego. He does have some compassion though, offering to save the life of Seras Victoria.

Seras Victoria from Hellsing


seras victoria van helsing

Seras Victoria was a young police officer turned vampire. She was sired by Alucard after suffering a near-fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Afterwards, she opted to join her “father” in the Hellsing Organization. While she’s not as powerful as Alucard, she possesses many of the same extraordinary abilities. She retained one ability before her transformation: expert marksmanship. Her favorite weapon is a Harkonnen rifle she can snipe her enemies with.

D from Vampire Hunter D


vampire hunter d

D, the title character in the Vampire Hunter D series, is an enigma. He’s a dhampir, a mixed blood child of a human and vampire noble. Whereas Blood+ takes place in the past and present, Vampire Hunter D takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. Humans, vampires and mutants run rampant in the Frontier, and it’s D’s occupation (per the title) to hunt down the monsters.

Staz from Blood Lad


staz charlie blood

Like D, Staz Charlie Blood is a vampire comes from noble lineage, but his contains demonic blood. That gives Staz some remarkable magical powers, which manifest in a hand-shaped aura.

Unlike some of the entries on this list, Staz is a lot more easy going. Like many teens, Staz is an otaku, or someone obsessed with manga and anime, a wink-wink to the series fans. Manga and anime drive many of Staz’s decisions and choices in his quest to save his crush, Yanagi Fuyumi.

Moka from Rosario + Vampire


moka akashiya rosario vampire

Moka Akashiya is a beautiful Vampiress and star of the series Rosario + Vampire. Rosario in the title refers to the rosary she wears around her neck. In lore, crosses are meant to ward off vampires. The same holds true here … sort of. The rosary seals in Moka’s inner personality — the vampire one — and creates and external outer personality based upon her mother. The rosary lets both sides communicate to each other. It’s a constant internal struggle for the title character, as she literally battles her inner evil as well as feelings for Tsukino Aono.

Abel Nightroad from Trinity Blood


abel nightroad trinity blood

Another manga and anime vampire series set in a post apocalyptic future, Trinity Blood follows the adventure of Abel Nightroad aka Crusnik 2.

Interesting, Abel vampiric form is not triggered by a curse or being bitten. He was fused with Crusnik nanomachines (small sentient robots) that give him extraordinary (and frightening) powers, including a gigantic scythe formed by his own blood.

Trinity Blood is definitely a mature series full of religious and dark themes.

Sunako Kirishiki from Shiki


sunako kirishiki shiki

Sunako Kirishiki is a shiki, or corpse demon, in the series with the same title.

Outwardly, she appears as a young girl. She was human at one point, but her wealthy family offered lodging to a mysterious foreigner, who befriends and then bites her. Sunako awakens in a coffin, claws her way out, and notices something inside her has changed. She has a hunger she can’t quell, and is forced to separate from her loved ones.

Shiki is really a story about belonging, and how Sunako is trapped by her curse and her inability to age.

Who is your favorite anime vampire?

The post 8 Enthralling Anime Vampires Worth Sinking Your Time Into appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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Is It Worth It? – Mont Blanc Pens

Mont Blanc today is a status symbol; it is a recognizable luxury brand and so we ask, is it worth your money or not?

Let us delve into the intricacies and the differences between pen types such as a fountain pen, rollerball, & ballpoint pen, but also limited editions, Star Walker and the Meisterstuck Edition.

 

When I was a teenager, I started collecting fountain pens, particularly Mont Blanc fountain pens. At one point in time, I had over a hundred of them in my collection. Although they are mostly vintage, I learned a lot about the brand, the history, the materials, the nibs, and everything that goes into making a fountain pen. Over time, I lost interest in collecting and I sold most of them off, however, I kept a few of them simply because I really liked them and there were timeless pieces that were really worth it to me.

Putin signed law completing crimea annexation with a Montblanc Meisterstück

Putin signed law completing crimea annexation with a Montblanc Meisterstück

What’s So Special About These Pens?

Timeless & Classic Design

It has a torpedo shape and it was first introduced to the market in 1951. I also like it a lot because it’s the biggest pen in the Mont Blanc fountain pen range, and it’s very thick with about 13 millimeters at the grip. I find it’s a great fountain pen to take notes and especially for signatures because you can untwist it with just one rotation and quickly sign it, and if you have a nib with a certain width, you get a really characteristic look that is very hard to fake or copy. In combination with a green ink that I use with my fountain pens, it becomes very difficult to imitate my signature. Because the fountain is so big, it often doesn’t fit in regular cases. So if you look for one, make sure it fits and test it before you buy.

Large Gold Nib

I really like the 149 for its large gold nib. Mont Blanc has excellent nibs that have the right amount of springiness without being too boring, very comfortable to write, and because they’re made out of gold, they will easily adapt to your hand and to your writing and they will remain like that for years to come.

Why do I have three fountain pens of exactly the same model, you might wonder?

It’s because of the nib width. I have a vintage model from the 50s which an EF nib which stands for extra fine and it has a very different look than a broad nib which is what I usually use to write and take notes on an everyday basis; and that is even slimmer than a very wide O3B nib which means it’s three times as broad as a regular one, and it’s just a very wide look and I use it only for signatures.

The name 149 wasn’t just made up but back in the day, Mont Blanc had a system where one denoted the masterpiece which was the highest category of fountain pen you could get for them, they also had the second grade, and a third tier, however, they’ve discontinued those today.

The four-piston filler mechanism which meant you didn’t use cartridges but a lever that you would twist at the back. It’s the same today, you don’t use cartridges, you simply hold the nib into an inkwell and then turn the back knob. 9 is a nib size and a scale from one being the smallest and nine being the largest. A larger nib has more flexibility, a nicer springiness, and in general, when it comes to fountain pens, larger nibs are better.

Mont Blanc Fountain Pen Nibs

Mont Blanc Fountain Pen Nibs

Something all Mont Blanc pens had since almost the beginning is the hexagonal white shape on top of a black background. It’s supposed to resemble the snow on top of theMont Blanc mountain in France which is the highest mountain, and they chose it because supposedly they wanted to represent high quality and Montblanc pens were supposed to be the best in class. As you might notice, all Mont Blanc nibs have 4810 on it which is actually the height in meters of the Mont Blanc mountain.

Now if you like the design of the Meisterstuck 149 but you have smaller hands, I suggest to look into the 146 which means it has a smaller nib but also a smaller body; or if you have very small hands or if you’re a woman with likewise pretty small hands, maybe a 144 is right for you. Originally, you could find the 149 only in a yellow gold plating on a clip and on the bands. Today, you can also find it in platinum or rose-gold. The nib design has changed over time, sometimes it’s 14-karat gold, sometimes 18 karats, sometimes it has yellow gold, white gold, and yellow gold sometimes, it’s just yellow gold at the tip and then all platinum, or white gold. In any case, it always has an iridium tip which is a very hard material that keeps your nib from wearing without sacrificing on the comfort of writing with it. Even though the name Montblanc sounds like French, the company is, in fact, German which was founded in Hamburg.

Mont Blanc 149

Mont Blanc 149

Is The Mont Blanc Meisterstuck 149 Fountain Pen Worth Its Money?

When I bought the Meisterstuck 149 10 to 15 years ago, I paid about a quarter of what I would have to pay today. So to me, that’s a great investment even though if you consider inflation. Also, the Mont Blanc 149 is a very recognizable writing instrument, it’s used by several heads of states around the globe to sign certain things, it is made of a resin these days which is very scratch resistant and nice to the touch. So if you have large hands and you like a classic design that stands the test of time that will have a value that increases over time even though you use the pen, then it’s definitely worth it.

When I started collecting fountain pens, the retail price for 149 was about $ 400, today, it’s 935. If you don’t want to shell that much money but still want to go with that kind of a pen, you can go to the used market, there are lots of 149 available but there are also lots of fakes out there so rather than just going to eBay and buying any random pen, I suggest you go with a trusted seller for used fountain pens that nobody is selling that has a reputation to uphold because then you get a better pen. It also pays to look at the details such as the clip and look at the original, see how it’s made. The originals are finished very well, they are plated very heavily, so it won’t just come up and rub off, and they always have a laser imprinted serial number which cheaper versions oftentimes don’t.

Sven Raphael Schneider's signature green ink

Sven Raphael Schneider’s signature green ink

Now when you buy a fountain pen it’s important to remember that it needs to be written in and when you write in your fountain pen, it becomes better over time. Now if you hand it over to someone else to write it with, it will change the characteristic and will take quite a bit of time to rewrite it into your hand again, therefore, a fountain pen should only be written by you and if you buy a used pen, bear in mind that it has to be written in and it will take some time.

So At The End Of The Day, Is The 149 Worth It?

I think, yes, absolutely! If you have the money and if you can afford it. If you want a likewise big quality writing instrument without the cache of it, maybe a Pelikan m-1000 is right for you. In my opinion, the design isn’t as elegant, it usually comes in a dark green barrel, I think you can also get it with a black one, the nib is good, it’s working well, but it definitely lacks the status symbol of the Mont Blanc 149.

Pelikan M Series sizes

Pelikan M Series sizes



If you like a more modern aesthetic on a bigger fountain pen, I suggest you look into the Omas 360. It was recognized by the MoMA in New York, it has an outstanding unique design and such as the design classic, but I still think not as classic and timeless as the 149.

Omas 360

Omas 360

What About Other Mont Blanc pens?

No matter what Mont Blanc item you have, it will always be a recognizable status symbol. If that is too flashy for you, it’s maybe not the right brand for you. Also,  other Mont Blanc models have come and gone over time, but the one concept that has always been in their lineup is the 149.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of ballpoint pens because I associate it with a very cheap pen that doesn’t roll very easily, some very comfortable to write, and it sometimes leaks, and leaves ugly stains inside of your suit pocket. So if you want a mix, I suggest to always go with a rollerball because it uses ink and it has a ball just like a ballpoint pen but it rolls much more smoothly and it’s more comfortable to write.

Personally, I always go with a fountain pen even if I travel by plane because I think the look of my handwriting is just much superior and it has a very different character than if I go with a ballpoint pen where it’s always the same thickness.

MONT BLANC HEMINGWAY WRITERS SERIES FOUNTAIN PEN

MONT BLANC HEMINGWAY WRITERS SERIES FOUNTAIN PEN

My personal preferences aside, if you look at the value development of ballpoint pens and rollerballs, the fountain pen is always higher and appreciates more, therefore, I think the rollerball and ballpoints are not as worth it unless you really hate a fountain pen or you travel by plane a lot.

For collecting purposes, the regular Meisterstuck series is not limited by any means and therefore, you only have a certain degree of appreciation over time, however, if you go with limited editions from Mont Blanc, you can look at those as an investment just like maybe art, musical instruments, or stocks.

Today, Mont Blanc has lots of different limited editions; some are very high-priced, others are very low priced, but if you look at some of the very early editions such as the 1992 Ernest Hemingway pen, which was part of the writers edition and it was based on the 149 but it looked more like its predecessor the 139, it had a coral orange barrel with dark brown elements and today, if you want an unused version, you have to pay anywhere between three-three and a half to four thousand dollars.

At the time when it was launched, it cost just 10% of that and during that same time span, maybe the regular fountain pen only doubled, tripled, or quadrupled in price so investing in those limited editions is definitely worth it over time if you know what you’re doing. Also if you look at pens as an investment, you must never write them and just leave them in the original box with original papers and just keep them in the safe.

Now personally, I don’t like it very much. I like to use the quality items I own. Also, Montblanc also produces very small limited editions, sometimes made with solid gold and those are very expensive when you buy them but amongst collectors, usually the prices go up quite a bit.

The Starwalker Series

It’s a more modern pen, it’s a more streamlined design, it oftentimes speaks to younger people with a cleaner aesthetic or people who like mid-century modern stuff. Personally, I’m not too fond of the design and I think it will go out of style in 10 or 20 years. We had other Mont Blanc series and they ran out of favor. Now for collectors, that can be a nice thing because they’re not around anymore and that’s the price goes up, on the other hand, it can also mean there’s just not a demand for it and so people don’t like it anymore.

At the end of the day, when it comes to a pen, you always want to have a really wonderful nib that highlights your character of your handwriting because that what makes it unique and special. With the Star Walker series, I think you’re even more likely to get a fake product a used market so pay very close attention to where you buy, otherwise, you pay several hundred dollars for something that is worth nothing.

We’d like to hear from you! Let us know what other items you want to be reviewed by the Gentleman’s Gazette. Drop in your comments below!


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Every Black Friday Sale Worth Seeing (Stores N – Z)Looks like,…

Every Black Friday Sale Worth Seeing (Stores N – Z)

Looks like, as with last year, our platform can’t take as many listings as we’re including in this sales roundup. So, we’re breaking this into two sections. We’ll continue to keep things alphabetical, but you can find A-M listings here and N-Z in this post.

Again, check back every so often. We plan to update both posts throughout the weekend (check the timestamps at the end of the post to see when they’ve been updated). New sale listings will be italicized so you know what’s new.

Last updated: Friday 4:30pm PST

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Black Friday raised Jeff Bezos’ net worth to $100 billion

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Jeff Bezo$ made out like Scrooge McDuck on Black Friday after rising Amazon share prices lifted his personal fortune to more than $ 100 billion. 

That’s billion, with a “b.” His 78.9 million shares of Amazon got a boost thanks to investor optimism over Black Friday sales. Basically, your desire to buy cheap stuff from your couch made the richest man in America even richer. 

Now, that $ 100 billion estimate only comes from Bloomberg; Forbes still has him at $ 99.6 billion. Either way, he is worth around 1.7 million times the median household income in the United States. Read more…

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How Much Are Your Favorite Black Power Couples Worth?

Black Power Couples

In addition to being a leading example of the beauty of black love, these celebrity power couples have accumulated a massive combined net worth.

 

1. Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade

 

(Image: Instagram/GabUnion)

 

Gabrielle Union, 45, recently opened up about her marriage to NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, 35, in her new book, We’re Going to Need More Wine, revealing that the couple has been struggling to have a baby for years. In the process, they have suffered from eight or nine miscarriages. “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant —I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle,” she writes. However, despite enduring years of failed IVF cycles, the actress says she and her husband “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.”

Married Aug. 30, 2014

Gabrielle Union’s net worth: $ 20 million

Dwyane Wade’s net worth: $ 115 million

 


2. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Beyonce Knowles-Carter

 

(Image: Instagram/Beyonce)

 

With a combined net worth of $ 1 billion, Jay-Z, 47, and Beyoncé, 36, are one of the most powerful celebrity couples in the music industry. However, despite their accolades and global success, the couple has used their music to express the challenge of marriage. Queen Bey’s highly acclaimed 2016 album Lemonade centers on the themes of love, infidelity, and forgiveness. Likewise, Jay rapped about cheating on his wife in his 2017 album 4:44.

Nonetheless, the hip-hop mogul has also boasted about the benefits they have gained by fighting to stay together. “You know you made it when the fact your marriage made it is worth millions,” he raps on the 2016 remix of “All The Way Up.” 

Married April 4, 2008

Beyoncé’s net worth: $ 450 million

Jay-Z’s net worth: $ 900 million

 


3. Michelle and Barack Obama

 

(Image: Wikimedia/Commons)

 

Former President Barack Obama, 56, earned an annual $ 400,000 during his eight years in office. Now he and his wife Michelle, 53, generate revenue through speaking engagements, a large retirement pension, and book royalties, which has helped the couple amass impressive wealth.

Married Oct. 3, 1992

Barak Obama: $ 40 million

Michelle Obama: $ 40 million

 


4. Ciara and Russell Wilson

 

Image: Instagram/Ciara

 

 

After a series of public breakups throughout her career as a singer, Ciara, 32, tied the knot with NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, 28, in 2016. Known for her hit songs and killer dance moves, Ciara has also earned revenue as a model. In 2009, she signed a multimillion-dollar modeling deal with Wilhelmina Models. Last year, she signed a modeling contract with IMG and became a Global Brand Ambassador for Revlon.

Meanwhile, Wilson signed a contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks worth $ 87.6 million that included $ 61.5 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $ 31 million in 2015.

Married July 6, 2016

Ciara: $ 20 million

Russell Wilson: $ 45 million


5. Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith

 

(Image: Facebook/WillSmith)

 

In addition to having 20 years of marriage under their belt, Will, 49, and Jada Pinkett-Smith, 46, have accumulated an impressive wealth through multiple film projects and endeavors. The couple has also raised two teenage children.

Married Dec. 31, 1997

Will Smith’s net worth: $ 260 million

Jada Pinkett-Smith: $ 20 million

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

When Is a Lower Salary Worth It — And What Will You Put Up With For a Higher Salary?

When Is a Lower Salary Worth ItHere’s a fun question for today: when, if ever, would you take a job with a lower salary — when is a lower salary worth it to you, and to what extent? Put another way: what are you willing to put up with for higher pay? If a job paid 20% more but demanded nights and weekends regularly whereas your current job didn’t, would you make the switch? (What if there was room for advancement? What if the commute was better, or you were working with a good friend?) On the flip side — if a job paid 20% less but promised a 9-5 existence (with face time requirements) — would you take it? What if the new job was at a nonprofit or had another component of you doing “good” in the world, whereas your current job felt soulless — how much is the “doing good” component worth it to you?

(Do you believe in the idea that there’s a perfect salary for happiness, either in general or for you specifically? If a job paid $ 75,000 — the supposedly perfect salary — and it gave you more control over work-life balance than you have right now, would you run to take the job — or hesitate? Why?)

Psst: We’ve talked in the past about the person who took a flexible job even though she was overqualified for the job, how some of the worst career advice we’ve ever heard was along the lines of “follow your passion,” how much your career affects your happiness, and when to quit your career.

Pictured at top: Shutterstock / By Syda Productions.

 

The post When Is a Lower Salary Worth It — And What Will You Put Up With For a Higher Salary? appeared first on Corporette.com.

posts – Corporette.com

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Review: Is A Bad Moms Christmas worth a sitter?

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

The bad moms are back, y’all.

in A Bad Moms Christmas, Amy, Kiki, and Carla are struggling with the holiday season. They have gifts to buy, performances to attend, cookies to bake, houses to decorate. They reach a hilarious breaking point in the middle of the mall, and decide to stop with all the running about and enjoy quiet, stress-free Christmases at home.

And then their own moms show up, adding a whole new set of problems and expectations to the mix. Amy’s mom pushes her constantly to do more, Kiki’s mom has boundary issues (and a whole lot of clothing with her daughter’s face on it, which is marvelous), and Carla’s mom may just be after her money.

I loved the addition of the grandmas in this movie. Each one has her own challenges relating to her daughter, and Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon all play wonderfully over-the-top mothers in their own ways.

As is often the case, the sequel isn’t quite as good as the original. Everything is a little more outrageous. The raunchy humor of the first movie worked (and I loved it, by the way — if you had a filthy sense of humor before kids, why can’t you indulge it now?), but the jokes drag on too long this time and are too far-fetched. I’m willing to suspend disbelief, but a stripper dancing at a family Christmas dinner is a little much.

The movie is rated R for good reason: there’s plenty of swearing and lewd jokes. But it hits on things we moms do experience during the holidays. We do want to make them memorable for our children. We do worry about striking the balance between upholding important traditions and wanting to sit at home in our PJs and chill. And many of us have fraught relationships with our own mothers as well…which are hard to manage over the holidays with a houseful of people.

The plot may have been predictable, but A Bad Moms Christmas had plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. It’s a solid choice if you’re out for a night with friends and want some stress-relieving laughs that come with a bit of reassurance you’re not alone in this crazy mom struggle.

Are you going to see this movie?

BabyCenter Blog

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Is It Worth It? The Burberry Trench Coat

As you may know, we rank a trench coat to be one of the 10 must-have garments every gentleman should haveWe also filmed an in-depth trench coat guide, where we talked about the hallmarks, characteristics, the history, and everything you want to know about a trench coat.

Over the years, Burberry’s trench coats have changed, so let’s look at whether their new line of trench coats are worth it today.

The Burberry Trench Coat

Thomas Burberry wasn’t quite the inventor of the trench coat but his name became synonymous and he popularized it and therefore, today, if people think about a trench coat, the first thing that comes to mind is a Burberry trench coat. The company has been making trench coats for over 150 years, they’ve been around since 1856 and it’s just an iconic garment. It became popular because just like many other overcoats, it was a military garment and there was a surplus after World War II, and so they circulated in public and they became well known for every man and woman on the planet. Over the years, Burberry evolved and today, it’s much more of a lifestyle brand that you can see on catwalks and fashion shows, and not so much the original Burberry brand anymore that used to make a trench coat.

 

 

The classic Burberry double-breasted trench coat today costs $ 1,895 on the Burberry website. Yes, you should definitely go with a double-breasted version because that’s the original. They also have single-breasted ones but I suggest not to use those. The current heritage models they offer have the typical Novacek, they also added it underneath the collar which looks nice if you like it popped up, but also the lining is Novacek. Novacek is a name for a specific tartan that is usually associated with Burberry, although it’s also imitated by other companies. Unlike in previous years, this trench coat is made in England as the original one and it is made out of a hundred percent cotton gabardine which is a fabric Thomas Burberry invented, or at least became famous and well known for, and it’s the ideal material you want for a trench coat. Less expensive versions contain polyester in various amounts but 100 percent cotton is the highest quality you can get. Even though the lining is made of 100% cotton, the sleeves, unfortunately, are just made of viscose which is a really inexpensive artificial fiber made of cellulose.

Wool Liner & Burberry Trench Coat Tartan

Wool Liner & Burberry Trench Coat Tartan

The great thing about a modern Burberry trench coat is that it comes in four lengths as well as four fit styles. Now, the fit of all Burberry trench coats is slimmer than it used to be, it’s simply an adaptation to modern times which in my opinion, is not a bad thing because you want a trim look that flatters your body line. The relaxed fit is definitely the widest fit they offer and it’s made for layering, so if you wear jackets underneath a lot, maybe a sweater or a cardigan, this is the fit you should get. The classic fit is more tapered in the waist yet you can still wear a suit jacket underneath of it. The slim fit is the slimmest fit they offer and it’s not meant to be worn with something underneath but it creates a very nice if you shape. Last but not least, the tailored fit, it is somewhere between a classic fit and a slim fit.

Delon in Burberry Trench Coat

Delon in Burberry Trench Coat

In terms of a length, the original trench coat was quite long and ranged from ankle length, all the way up to knee length. Today, Burberry’s lengths are much shorter; with short being just ever so slightly longer than a jacket, the medium being what I would call short, and long being what I would call medium, even their extra long version just reaches the knee. In my opinion, it’s a classic length for a trench coat and if you want a classic look, I suggest to go with a relaxed fit, extra long. The armholes on modern Burberry trench coats are smaller than on the old ones which are nice because it allows for a better range of movement. While the original trench coat had Raglan sleeves and you can still get it from Burberry, most of them are in a more classic sleeve which means the sleeve is set in without a raglan. Personally, I own both styles and I like them. if I will just get one trench coat, I’ll probably up through Raglan simply it’s a traditional choice. 

There was a time when Burberry left out traditional hallmarks simply to be more in line with current fashion, they also offered the original one with a belt, with a chest flap, and with a throat hooks.

Burberry Kensington

Burberry Kensington

Is It Worth It To Get The New Burberry Trench Coat?

Every gentleman should have a trench coat but it doesn’t necessarily have to be Burberry. Fortunately, it won’t go out of style and Burberry is associated with the original. Even though almost 1900 dollars for a cotton overcoat is quite a bit of money, you’d consider the cost per wear as this garment can be worn in every transitional season between fall-winter, and spring-summer. Sometimes they even come with a liner which extends the range of when you can wear it. Overall, if you want original length Burberry trench coat, the new model is not worth your money because it’s simply not long enough.

On the other hand, if you want a flattering fit and you want to choose between the different lengths and the fits, and if you have the money, it’s definitely worth it. It’s a good investment, it won’t go out of style, and you won’t regret your purchase. Just make sure you get a camel or khaki color which is the original, at least if it’s your first trench coat. If you have multiple ones, you can also go with maybe a navy, or a black one which is more advantageous when you travel simply because it doesn’t stain as easily. Definitely also make sure you get the 100% cotton version that is made in England because of a higher quality than other models you can find from them.

In terms of the model, I suggest you get the Westminster extra long heritage because that’s the closest one but still has a very attractive fit. Now if $ 1,900 are simply too much for you, I hear you, gladly there is a wonderful option which is vintage Burberry trench coats and there are lots of them out there.

Burberry Westminster trench coat

Burberry Westminster trench coat

Are Vintage Burberry Trench Coats Worth It?

Yes, absolutely! No matter your budget everyone can afford that one. The problem is, fit can vary hugely. You can find some very big ones that are more like sac style, or some more contemporary fitted ones. You can find them at flea markets or maybe on eBay, just make sure you’re able to return them.

As always, it pays to know the measurements of the garment as well as your own so you’ll find something that fits. Make sure you get a made in England model, and if you want to compromise, you can get maybe a composition with 70% cotton and 30% polyester or something in that range.

Ideally, you want a hundred percent cotton. price-wise, they go from anywhere between $ 100 and $ 400 depending on the condition. I’d always go for a little higher condition because otherwise, you have something with worn out edges, maybe the buckles are worn out, and if you get something that’s a little nicer, it’s better. Bear in mind, you can always exchange buckles and buttons just like I did here which really helps to create a different look for your trench coat.

Trench Coat Hallmarks

Trench Coat Hallmarks

So At The End Of The Day, Is A Burberry Trench Coat Worth It?

New, it is not worth it if you want the original length, and the original width, and fullness, however, if you want the modern fit and if you have the money, it’s definitely worth it. if you go with a vintage trench coat, it is definitely worth it because it will never go out of style, you can always wear it. The cost per wear is low and it’s just a classic staple that every man should have. Personally, I have three different trench coats. The first one I bought was a non-Burberry one and it had a typical khaki color but once I got it, I realized it lacks certain features. Next up, I got the black trench coat, I actually was able to find it at a secondhand store in Hamburg and I was only able to afford it at the time, it cost I think 200 bucks because I just made money selling my Goyard suitcases. I was ok with the black because I already had the khaki color and I really like the fit of this trench coat. It has a nice white overlap, the armholes are slim, the sleeve length was right, and it just looked really dapper in me. The third trench coat is the most traditional one, it has the widest cut, it also has the Raglan sleeves. It already came with some really nice buttons and just left them on there simply because I liked it. It also has a storm hooks, the latches, and it comes with the detachable green wool liner. I think this one is buttoned in, sometimes you can also find some that are zipped in but I think the button is more original.

CONCLUSION

Today’s article is really just about the Burberry trench coat and we discuss whether it’s worth it or if you should invest your money in another brand. If you like this Is It Worth It video, we’ll do more like that, may be about the Montblanc Meisterstuck fountain pen, or the Gucci loafers, or any other iconic menswear item that we often hear about, but not sure whether it’s really worth the money.

Let us know what you think! Feel free to drop a comment below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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How a Formerly Homeless L.A. Publicist Uses Her Network to Increase Her Net Worth

Publicist Kiki Ayers

When looking at publicist Kiki Ayers, the last thing you would suspect is that she overcame homelessness, not once, but twice. This first generation college graduate of Howard University is a force to be reckoned with.

Photo credit: @thecanvas.jpg

 

Her hard work and determination earned her a career in Hollywood as an entertainment reporter. She has interviewed the likes of Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell, Ben Affleck, Nas, Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, and more.

While this accomplishment seems like the definition of ultimate success, she is not stopping there. With her connections in media, she was inspired to take a chance and start her very own public relations firm, Ayers Publicity.

She started the company a little over a year ago after Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital brought her on board to lead PR for their first movie, Major Deal. She officially got her L.L.C. and signed clients—including All Def Digital, Ellae Lisque, Haha Davis, DJ Duffey from Basketball Wives, Cash Money artist Sy Ari Da Kid, YouTube star “Megz,” and comedic actor Juhahn Jones—this February.

Black Enterprise caught up with Ayers to learn more about her career journey to becoming a publicist and her most recent chapter involving business ownership.

What education and experience did you need to prepare you for your public relations career?

I didn’t go to school for PR; I went for journalism. I’m a self-taught PR professional. I learned everything 100% hands-on.

As a journalist, the main people I work with are publicists so I learned by watching them. I learned how to draft a press release by reading over the 1,000 that have come through my email inbox. I learned how to get press on red carpets by reporting on hundreds of red carpets.

Being a journalist in addition to a publicist gives me a huge advantage because I don’t have to work hard to build “connections” with media. My best friends are all also journalists and reporters. It wasn’t until I started utilizing the people closest to me that I realized how much support I have. The range of publications is amazing too. I have friends at publications like The Shade Room and Complex and then I have friends at Forbes and Entertainment Tonight.

Were public relations always a part of your career plan?

Not intentionally. I recently realized for years I’ve been doing PR for friends but I wasn’t thinking of it as PR. I was thinking of it as genuinely helping my friends.

2016 was the hardest year for me because it’s when I made the transition from corporate to independent. Everything I feared happened. I told myself I would never be homeless again and in 2016 that happened. I told myself I would never be broke again and through all of 2016 that happened.

If you were to ask me a year ago if I planned on starting a PR company, I would have definitely said no only because it wasn’t in the vision and it wasn’t something I thought I could do.

How do you set yourself apart in such a competitive industry?

By focusing on quality, not quantity. I get literally hundreds of client requests every day but I don’t want to work with just anyone. I care about character and work ethic. Followers, fame, and money can go just as easily as it came. I look for people with star quality and help them get into publications on their wish list all in the first month.

I take the time to pitch everyone differently, and each pitch is catered to the publication I’m pitching to. A huge part of that is taking time to research the publication you’re pitching to. I spend hours on hours pitching clients. I really put in the work to take them to new levels.

I never want to take someone’s money unless I know I can do something for them. A lot of people tell me horror stories about PR all the time. I want every client to feel secure about having a publicist.

What advice would you give to others who are interested in a career in the public relations industry?

The best advice I can give is just to start. A lot of people won’t take that first step because of fear. There [are] so many days I want to quit but then something amazing happens. It’s definitely an industry that doesn’t work unless you do.

The biggest misconception is that you can only learn in a classroom. You can learn through Google, by being hands-on, and by researching but you can’t learn until you start.

What’s next for Kiki Ayers and Ayers Publicity?

More speaking engagements, bigger clients, and making dreams come true for current clients. I’m trying to spread the word as much as possible about my entrepreneurial journey. I’m on my way to making my first million by 2020.

Career – Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

A Third of Blacks in This City Have Zero Net Worth

net worth

A third of black households in Chicago have zero net worth. And almost as many—32% of black households—in Baltimore have zero net worth. That’s compared with 15% of white households in both cities.

At the same time, 65% of households of color in the Windy City and 66% of those in Charm City are “liquid asset poor.” They don’t have enough saved to sustain themselves for three months in the event of an income disruption such as a sudden job loss or medical emergency. And households of color in both cities are three times more likely to be unemployed and to live in poverty.

The troubling numbers about black net worth and other indicators of the wealth gap come from two new reports from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED): The Racial Wealth Divide in Chicago and The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore.

CFED will be working in Chicago and Baltimore to “build the capacity of local nonprofits led by people of color serving people of color, as these organizations are on the frontlines of addressing the most pressing needs” said Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED, in a press release.

Eleven nonprofits were selected in the two cities: Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Gads Hill Center, Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, North Lawndale Employment Network, and Spanish Coalition for Housing in Chicago plus Bon Secours Community Works, Center for Urban Families, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Inc., Latino Economic Development Center, Muse 360 Arts, and Urban Alliance in Baltimore. 

They join organizations in Miami and New Orleans, the two cities in the first phase of the “Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color” project. CFED is working with JPMorgan Chase and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. JPMorgan Chase provided financial support to develop the reports and to train more than 20 organizations working to improve wealth building in communities of color.

“Progress requires a strong infrastructure of local, trusted nonprofit leaders of color who have the resources to take on this difficult issue,” said Naomi Camper, head of JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Nonprofit Engagement, in a press release.

Added Alexis Bataillon, executive director of corporate responsibility and head of strategy for the Mid-Atlantic Region at JPMorgan Chase, “We work with local leaders to help develop strategies that bolster the long-term vitality of the world’s cities and expand access to opportunity for those people and communities left out of today’s economy.”

Money – Black Enterprise

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German police recover stolen artworks worth 2.5 million euros

BERLIN (Reuters) – German authorities have recovered a cache of stolen artworks by neo-expressionist painter Georg Baselitz worth 2.5 million euros ($ 2.97 million) after the thieves tried to sell some of them, police said on Tuesday.


Reuters: Arts

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What Shoe Brands Are Worth Their Money

Join us live for a discussion about shoe brands. You can ask Sven Raphael Schneider anything about men’s shoes.

Here is what we discussed:

00:41 Stacy Adams, several comments about a great value for the money (sub $ 100). Thoughts?
01:02 What do you think of Lottusse?
01:40 Fratelli Rosetti?
03:18 Prime Shoes?
03:22 Baldinini?
03:28 Acemarks?
04:18 Expensive heritage brands like Gucci, Ferragamo? Santoni?
05:45 JM Westons?
06:25 Best brands for loafers?
07:00 Any good brands for widths – wider or narrower feet?
07:38 Corthay?
08:44 Are Paul Evans shoes worth it?
10:03 Crockett and Jones? Bench grade?
10:51 Best brand for oxfords?
11:20 Allen Edmonds?
13:25 Shoepassion?
14:34 Loake L1 range?
15:07 Best brands under 200 Euro?
15:39 Meermin?
17:31 J Fitzpatrick?
18:14 Church’s? Are Church’s shoes worth the money? As good as crockett & jones?
19:24 Magnanni?
19:41 Cole Haan?
20:04 Tod’s?
20:34 Cheaney london shoes are they worth 500 pounds
21:04 John Lobb?
21:56 Borgioli?
22:04 Carlos Santos?
22:18 Herring?
23:12 How to buy quality shoes if you’re broke?
24:19 What are the most high end shoes you own? Were they worth the price?
25:19 El Corte Ingles?
25:38 Are Berluti overpriced?
26:28 What are your thoughts on Russel & Bromley? I found them to be great cheaper alternative to Church’s or Crockett & Jo.
26:43 Please How can we identify a good leather in a shoe?
27:58 Can you tell me what you think about R. M. Williams? I just bought my first 500€ Chelsea Boots from them.
28:45 How do you rate Johnston Murphy…..
29:03 How long do you suspect a shoe for $ 400 would last without shoe care?
29:50 Edward Green?
30:38 What can you tell me about R. M. Williams? Liebe Grüße aus Düsseldorf
30:44 Raphael what is your favorite shoe brand?I’m really curious!
31:33 CArly shoes?
31:35 Who do you get to resole your shoes? Do you always send back to the manufacturer or use a local cobbler?
33:30 St Crispin?
34:23 Thursday Boot Company? Are they really goodyear?
34:47 Peter Huber shoes?
34:52 Sperry boat shoes?
35:14 Alden?
35:56 OCHNIK leather shoes. They are from Poland and you can get them for a very good price and get top quality.
36:01 Are there any good Bespoke shoe companies in the US…What are they??
36:42 Describe your outfit today


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Is ‘No Man’s Sky’ Finally Worth Buying?

It has now been a little over a year since Hello Games released the polarizing (and many would say disappointing) No Man’s Sky. Even after drawing the backing of Sony and taking centre stage at E3, the game flopped, and it flopped hard. Fans turned their backs and many digital stores were forced to adopt interim refund schemes for the game.

Yet Hello Games kept to their word of free expansion updates and have recently released update 1.3, titled “Atlas Rises,” on the first anniversary of No Man’s Sky. But is it too little too late?

What Is “Atlas Rises”?


A home base built in the Foundation Update.

“Atlas Rises” is the third major update to No Man’s Sky. Previous large-scale updates, known as “Foundation” and “Pathfinder“, focused on the introduction of home bases and planetary vehicles. “Atlas Rises” focuses mainly on expanding the previously scarce lore and backstory. Economic and weapon systems have been added and upgraded with new mechanics and interfaces. Without changing the underlying design of their universe, Hello Games has made No Man’s Sky feel almost like a new game.

Main Features


Traveler Artemis

There are too many small edits to No Man’s Sky to list comfortably, but there are enough new significant entries to sink at least two pairs of teeth into. First and foremost is the new quest. Based on the Travelers, it offers a glimpse into the purpose of the player and their race in the game’s greater universe. Despite getting to meet two others of your race here, there is no certainty that either appearance will be the same in future multiplayer versions.

Then there are the new interfaces. Before the update, the galaxy map was simplistic and underwhelming. It displayed each solar system as a single dot of light and did little to make the player feel part of the experience. With “Atlas Rises,” the map now shows each planet in a selected solar system orbiting the central star, lists the dominant life forms, and even gives the option to identify life forms, economies, and conflicts.

Ships

Ships have also been upgraded to include crash freighters and S-Class ships. Both are rarities within the universe but welcome news to treasure hunters. In addition to the ships, weapons have been upgraded and new ones added.

Missions and Guilds


A mission broker.

Missions also provide a new direction for No Man’s Sky. Until the “Atlas Rises” update, the only missions available were those given by the Atlas and terminal experts. Both were dreadfully repetitive and offered little in the way of excitement. The latest update includes guilds and mission dealers, which can be found at all space stations.

Criteria for accepting missions and rising through the guilds are varied and wide. Merchants like a player who farms and earns units whilst the mercenary guilds look for players who have destroyed sentinels and pirate ships. More detail has also been added to the Traveler’s standings with the alien races.

Portals



And then you have the portals. If you have seen Stargate, skip to the next entry. If you haven’t, check out this groovy feature. No Man’s Sky now has portals which let you enter specific coordinates and warp there in seconds. “But what about warp drive?” I hear you cry. Well, that only gets you a few systems ahead. Portals take you a lot further, a lot quicker. Just use the dial home device to get back to Stargate Command — I mean “home base” — and continue your exploration of the galaxy.

The Downside

As with all updates, there come a few bugs. But when Hello Games “rebooted the universe,” it had the unfortunate side-effect of resetting planets. And that has caused a major problem within the community.

The Galactic Hub was a project that several thousand players created to live and work together within a single system. Hundreds of hours of work was erased in the blink of an eye. Many of the Galactic Hub veterans, including founder UniDestiny, scouted out a new set of systems to settle down in. Hundreds of players have left messages at the appropriately named “Legacy Hub” and departed for their new homes.

Check out this video to see some of the messages and how the current multiplayer appears.

Other players have also reported finding Atlas Entities who have no dialogue and become stuck in the questline.

Despite these setbacks, Hello Games has worked hard to iron out any problems and will doubtless continue to work on expanding and perfecting their game.

The Final Verdict

So now we reach the question once again: Is No Man’s Sky finally worth buying? Honestly, all I can say at this point is: maybe.

No Man’s Sky is like Minecraft but without the joy of an Ender Dragon challenge waiting for you. Players tend to be drawn into the same loops over and over again. Even as a game of exploration over action, the constant trudging to find minerals and identify animals can become boring.

Whilst this is not the game to pre-order and drool over, the “Atlas Rises” update has made it a good game and worth the price it has lowered to over the past year. Hopefully, we can expect another amazing update to push it from a “maybe” to a “yes.”

The post Is ‘No Man’s Sky’ Finally Worth Buying? appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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