Showing posts with label LifeStyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LifeStyle. Show all posts

Monday, 6 November 2017

Texas woman suffers from ‘broken heart syndrome’ after her dog dies

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Texas woman suffers from ‘broken heart syndrome’ after her dog dies Onlinelatesttrends
 Losing a pet can be heartbreaking — literally.

A Texas woman suffered “broken heart syndrome” after the death of her dog, Meha.

According to the case study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Joanie Simpson woke up experiencing chest and back pain she thought might be a heart attack. Doctors later realized that rather than a heart attack, Simpson was experiencing a literal broken heart, also called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

The condition mimics the symptoms of a heart attack: the chest and back pain Simpson experienced, shortness of breath, and an elevated cardiogram and cardiac enzymes. It doesn’t, however, include clogged arteries consistent with a heart attack.

Simpson, 62, told the Washington Post that Meha died of congestive heart failure not long before her hospital visit. Without her children in the house, she said, the dog had become like another daughter, and Meha’s death was not peaceful.

“It was such a horrendous thing to have to witness," Simpson said. This, combined with other family stressors pushed Simpson’s heart over the edge.
The New England Journal of medicine
Pictured are scans of Joanie Simpson's heart upon the onset of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. When she first arrived at the hospital, doctors thought she was experiencing a heart attack. But after Simpson, 62, was catheterizehed they discovered her arteries were not blocked and diagnosed her with 'broken-heart syndrome.

"When you're already kind of upset about other things, it's like a brick on a scale. I mean, everything just weighs on you,” she said.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, the case study says, “typically occurs in postmenopausal women and may be preceded by a stressful or emotional event,” which is why it is called broken heart syndrome.

Harvard Heath Publishing says that more than 90% of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is seen in women aged 58 to 75. Most people recover with no lasting heart damage.

After a year of medical treatment, Simpson’s physical pain has resolved. She even has a new pet, a cat named Buster, saying the emotional pain of losing Meha isn’t going to stop her from having more.

“They give so much love and companionship that I’ll do it again. I will continue to have pets.”
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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Film made using only public surveillance footage

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Film made using only public surveillance footage Onlinelatesttrends

This movie takes “The Truman Show” to a whole other level.

Chinese film, “Dragonfly Eyes” by Xu Bing, was created using only surveillance footage he found online. An indie film, “Dragonfly Eyes” has been making the international film festival circuit, debuting in the United States at the New York Film Festival in early October, after which it will head to Colorado for Denver International Film Festival.

The film, in its trailer, claims to be the first feature film without actors, actresses, or a camera crew. Instead, Xu uses voice actors to dub over the silent surveillance footage from live streams, webcams and CCTV footage to tell the story — bringing the idea of a (dragon)fly on the wall to life.

According to the YouTube description, ‘the “plot” of the film centers on a female protagonist named Qing Ting, which means dragonfly, who undergoes cosmetic surgery. Meanwhile, her love interest gets jailed trying to please her, and when Qing Ting changes into someone else, he changes into her.

In order to craft the story, Xu and his team poured over about 10,000 hours of public surveillance videos to make the 81-minute movie. The screenplay was written by poet Zhai Yongming and writer Zhang Hanyi.

Xu, who is the vice-president of the Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts, isn’t a filmmaker and this is his first film. He is a printmaker and installation artist who was born in Beijing but lived in America for 18 years before heading back to China.

The film includes many of the horrific events often caught on security tape: cars falling into sinkholes, people committing suicide, car crashes and even someone getting struck by lightning, using many of these moments to emotionally connect with the presented narrative.

The film deconstructs the ideas of Big Brother, constant surveillance, plastic surgery, privacy and internet fame while exploring a new way of making a film.

‘Amityville: The Awakening' grosses just $742
Some of Xu’s previous work includes his most well-known work, "A Book from the Sky," an installation featuring books and hanging scrolls using faux Chinese characters.
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Monday, 30 October 2017

Swiss Alps are a magical mix of cheese, chocolate and stunning scenery

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Swiss Alps are a magical mix of cheese, chocolate and stunning scenery Onlinelatesttrends

 Switzerland — a land of medieval castles, snow, and passionate artisans — is home to the Swiss Alps, one of the most scenic mountain ranges in the world.

While adventurers ski, climb, and hike the steep slopes, Switzerland’s Alpine region also offers myriad experiences, such as truffle hunting, fondue parties, chocolate tastings, and riding motorcycles through the Central European country’s pastoral landscapes.

The castle-guarded town of Gruyères, population 55, begs a day trip or an overnight stop on the way to the Alps (Gruyères is considered “Pre-Alps”). Here, travelers are rewarded with locally made chocolate and cheese fondue. La Maison du Gruyère, a commercial cheese cooperative, invites guests to sample cheeses from Gruyères cows that graze on bluebell plants, clover, thyme, and violet, giving the Gruyère cheese its distinct taste. Local master chocolatier Richard Uldry owns Chocolaterie de Gruyères, where he makes his sweets, bean-to-bar, in the village. Reserve a demonstration and education in fine Swiss chocolate with Uldry and feast on treats afterwards.

Dairy farmer and artisan cheesemaker Gerard Biland, who comes from a long lineage of dairy farmers, and his wife, Ann, own Buvette des Invuettes, a charming gourmet café between Gruyères and the village of Gstaad. Here in Val-de-Charmey, one side of the street speaks German, the other side, French, a signature of Swiss culture.

Biland, who fulfilled a 19-year apprenticeship to be able to invent his own cheeses, spends his summers with his cows in the high Alpine meadows. “The higher the mountain, the sweeter the grass, the better the cheese,” Biland said. In autumn, Ann, awarded the region’s “Best Cook” award, makes pumpkin soup and croûte aux champignons — local mushrooms on toast — at Buvette des Invuettes in the valley surrounded by verdant mountains.

Gstaad, one of the poshest ski towns in the world, provides travelers with days on the slopes, afternoons in the village, and nights in the saunas after nourishing feasts. One of the best hotels in Gstaad is the grandiose yet playful, Le Grand Bellevue.

At Bellevue, guests have access to mint-condition Harley Davidson motorcycles, a chauffeured Bentley, ski rentals, a curated library, a private cinema with full staff, and a 30,000-square-foot spa with eight saunas and hammams. Basement discotheque Bouquet features a cigar lounge, a private dining room, and booths made from kilims. The Grand Bellevue is in the heart of Gstaad, so Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Ralph Lauren are just a stroll away.

Lake Geneva on the Swiss Riviera is where Henry James’ “Daisy Miller” begins, and where Ernest Hemingway and Henry Miller sipped drinks. Vevey, the luxurious French-speaking Swiss lakeside town, has a view of the French Alps and was home to Charlie Chaplin (the silent film star’s home is now a Vevey museum called Chaplin’s World). Shop in town in Vevey’s brocantes, markets that carry gently worn luxury goods at lower prices.

The Hotel des Trous Couronnes is a five-star hotel on Lake Geneva with one of the most beautiful views in Vevey. Rent bicycles and head down the promenade along the lake to the carousel, the Nestle headquarters, and the Vevey food museum, Alimentarium, which has a seasonally-focused café.

The chalet is iconic of Switzerland. Mountaintop hidden gem Le CouCou, built in this architectural style, overlooks Lake Geneva and serves rustic fare and a hunting menu, sourced locally. Enjoy a feast of cheese fondue, roasted lamb, wild black boar, and hot apple pie, served next to the roaring fireplace, candles, and shearling blankets on each chair.

Lavaux, an 11th century vineyard and UNESCO World Heritage Site, rests on the hillside of Lake Geneva. The main wine grape variety grown here is the Chasselas. Lavaux is a must-see, since Switzerland mainly drinks, rather than exports, the wine it cultivates.

Zermatt is a tourist town at the foot of the snowcapped Matterhorn mountain, one of the highest summits in Europe straddling Switzerland and Italy. Tucked into Zermatt is Spycher, a flambé restaurant set in an old store house replica (17th century store houses are just steps away). The restaurant, built in 1964, serves steak, deer, lamb flambé, tuna carpaccio with avocado, and Swiss beef tartar black truffles and quail egg, among other dishes. For dessert, try Spycher’s signature chocolate fondue and the lavender saffron crème brulee.

While in town, stay at the cozy, classic Alps chalet La Ginabelle in the village or hike one-mile up the Matterhorn and stay at Haus Edelweiss, a bed and breakfast on a carpet of Alpine wildflowers.

In Obersteinberg, hike the Alps, then stay at the Mountain Hotel Obersteinberg, the classic, old-style mountain chalet. At the property, there is no electricity, so rooms are lit by candlelight and gas lamps. Outside the hotel are three waterfalls cascading down the mountainside. Next door, a quaint dairy farm provides cheese which the hotel serves each morning for breakfast.

If travelers aren’t prepared to traverse the Alps alone, Alpenwild Tours provides bespoke active tours of Switzerland paired with superior taste. “We like to take our guests immediately out to the farmland and the mountains; this is what the charm and personality of Switzerland is all about,” said Greg Witt, who founded Alpenwild with his wife, Elain, in 2004. An all-access guide to Switzerland, Alpenwild’s staff knows the country’s finest trails, herb farms, truffle hunts, hotel rooms, and chefs, and curates trips based on travelers’ wishes. Experience a dog-led truffle hunt on the slopes of the Jura Mountains where guests make fresh truffle butter after the hunt, and taste herbs and sip wine with a local herb farmer in the Rhone Valley. “Hike like a goat, eat like a king, and sleep like a baby,” Witt said.

“We’ll hike all day with our guests in Switzerland’s most picturesque mountains and then go to the chalets with down comforters and luxury showers, where your luggage and a delicious, hot meal await,” Elain added.

While gallivanting through the Alps, be sure to duck in to several chocolate stores to satisfy chocolate cravings. The Swiss, who invented the chocolate bar and milk chocolate, mastered the art of crafting the treat. From bean-to-bar chocolatiers to artisanal confectioners to global factories, chocolate, like the Alps, is a hallmark of Switzerland.

Fly direct to Zurich Airport in the historical city of Zurich, or Geneva Airport in the more cosmopolitan city of Geneva. Both airports are gateways to the Swiss Alps. Flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport start at $600 roundtrip.

Alpenwild Tours offers 18 different small-group tours, such as the “Best of the Swiss Alps,” “Cheese, Chocolate and the Scenic Alps,” “Tour du Mont Blanc,” and “Scenic Alps by Rail,” as well as custom tailored tours.

- In Gruyères, Café-Restaurant Des Remparts is a restaurant famous for its fondue and overlooks the ramparts and the valley Rue du Bourg.

- Le CouCou is one of the Swiss Alps’ best mountaintop chalets.

- Try Zermatt’s flambé restaurant, Spycher , set in a replica old store house.

- When in Gruyere, stay at Hotel De Gruyères , a country inn on the hilltop adjacent to the village wall.

- Le Grand Bellevue is one of Gstaad’s premiere hotels.

- The Hotel des Trous Couronnes is a five-star hotel on Lake Geneva with one of the most beautiful views.

- Stay in a hotel by candlelight and Gaslamp at the Mountain Hotel Obersteinberg .
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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Paul Newman’s Rolex auctioned for $17.8 million

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Paul Newman’s Rolex auctioned for $17.8 million Onlinelatesttrends Time is money.

A Rolex Daytona that used to belong to "Hud" star Paul Newman sold for $17.8 million, which set a new world record for a wristwatch sold at auction, according to New York auction house Phillips.

The vintage watch with an art deco-inspired dial was given to Newman by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward. She gave it to him after he made the 1969 auto racing movie “Winning” and took up the sport himself.

Paul Newman's Rolex was called "arguably the most iconic collector’s wristwatch of the 20th century" by the auction house.

Newman’s use of the watch set off a craze for watch fans, who lent his name to that particular style of Rolex.

The auction house described Newman’s Rolex, which the actor is said to have worn daily between 1969 and 1984, as “arguably the most iconic collector’s wristwatch of the 20th century. Demand skyrocketed for all models of Daytona, making it perhaps the most widely sought after collectors’ watch up to the present day,” said Phillips.

The auction house declined to identify the buyer, who bid by phone.
The loving inscription from Joanne Woodward to husband Paul Newman: Drive Carefully Me.

The watch came to Phillips earlier this year through James Cox, who used to date Newman’s daughter, Nell. "The Color of Money" Oscar winner gave Cox the watch in in 1984.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Rolex will go to a charitable foundation founded by her called the Nell Newman Foundation.

At $17.8 million, Newman’s Rolex is the most expensive wristwatch ever auctioned off, but not the most expensive timepiece. A pocket watch made by Patek Philippe in 1933 sold for $24.4 million at Sotheby’s in 2015.
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Massachusetts wants to ditch Daylight Saving Time

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Massachusetts wants to ditch Daylight Saving Time Onlinelatesttrends
 Massachusetts wants to get ahead of the rest of the East Coast, by switching time zones.

A committee in the New England state wants to end Daylight Saving Time and move into the Atlantic Time Zone, which is an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. According to International Business Times, the committee is set to vote on Nov. 1, four days before Daylight Saving Time ends this year, to hopefully get lawmakers on their side.

After Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, places in northern New England see the sunset before 4 o’clock hits — moving to Atlantic Time would give them an extra hour of light in the evening.

Maine is anxious for Massachusetts to bite the bullet. The northernmost state on the East Coast passed a bill through the state legislature earlier this year but the state Senate said the state can only move to Atlantic Time and forgo Daylight Saving if neighboring Massachusetts and New Hampshire agree. New Hampshire also isn’t far behind, the state had a bill in a Senate Committee in May.

Other places that lie in the Atlantic Time Zone include New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and parts of Quebec in Canada, many tropical islands like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Brazil and Chile in South America. Many of these countries and islands already do not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time (which is singular) is the period in the summer when we lose an hour in March/April and gain it back in October/November. Ending it would mean less groggy confusion in the spring when we lose the hour, and more evening daylight in the fall — many states consider the earlier darkness a nuisance. Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa already do not observe Daylight Saving.

The time jump, which doesn't have anything to do with farming, is quickly losing what little popularity it had. Finland also recently submitted a petition signed by 70,000 Finns who want to end Daylight Saving. The only problem is the entire European Union would have to follow suit. Alaska, California, Oregon and Montana are also on the list of states who want to make Daylight Saving a thing of the past.
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Southwest Airlines forces passengers to listen to live in-flight music

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Southwest Airlines forces passengers to listen to live in-flight music Onlinelatesttrends

 The definition of a captive audience.

Southwest Airlines has sealed a deal with Warner Music Nashville to provide in-flight live music to their airline because air travel isn’t torture enough.

New country music artist Devin Dawson helped Southwest make the announcement, appearing in a video on the site for the series called “Live at 35,” referring to the plane’s altitude at 35,000 feet.

The video shows a cramped band performing between the first two rows of the cabin, while the audience records with their phones, apparently proving the series will lead to what Billboard called a “sure-to-go-viral performance.”

Country music artist Devin Dawson performs aboard a Southwest Airlines flight

Southwest has had live performances on their flights occasionally since 2011, which Billboard said had only “only grown in popularity over the past six years,” but based on the reaction of Twitter users, they may have overestimated.

“I often wish I could be strapped to a bad chair listening to someone else's favorite genre of music while hermetically sealed in a sky tube,”

Icelandair recently featured an interactive three-act play called “Ahead of Time” experience on one of their transatlantic flights from London to New York.
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The 7 most outrageous Halloween treats for sale this year

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The 7 most outrageous Halloween treats for sale this year Onlinelatesttrends

 Too old to go trick-or-treating? All the better. These creepy sweets and sips are far cooler than anything you’d earn going door-to-door in your neighborhood. So hurry up and snag these wondrous Halloween treats before they’re killed off for the season.

It’s hard to figure out which is scarier — the bloody-looking skull atop this dessert or the fact that it’s actually on the pizza menu. Called “The Skull,” this candy-based pie is available through Halloween at Industry Kitchen (70 South St.), the modern pizza restaurant in the South Street Seaport. Piled on top of an orange crust is Nutella sauce, toppings ranging from marshmallows to smoked cotton candy and gummy worms, and a caramel skull. The best part: once it’s served, staff members pour hot red chocolate onto the skull as you watch the caramel concoction melt. The chilling confection sells for $21.

It’s both a trick and treat. Offer a sliver of these milk chocolate thins called Sparkles to a friend — or your kid — and watch their expression as the tiny popping candy hidden inside set off mini explosions in their mouths. They’re like Pop Rocks coated in cocoa. Grab them year-round for $7.90 a box at Max Brenner (841 Broadway) in Union Square.

Perfect for the office or a small, upscale Halloween party, these bonbons are cute and classy. The 12-piece “Halloween Specialty” box ($21) from Jacques Torres packs three different designs and flavors: Monster Mash (apples with maple syrup in milk chocolate); Bite Me (pumpkin spice in white chocolate); and Bloody Boo (blood orange in dark chocolate). Various other Halloween bonbons are available in 25-piece sets for $39, or 50-piece sets for $75, at Jacques Torres locations ( and online.

They’re crunchy, creepy and hard to come by. Fine, you can’t get them in time for Halloween, but their one-day-only availability makes these treats even more appealing. The skulls — a collaboration between vegan eatery By CHLOE and the crispy rice artists at Misterkrisp — will only be sold at Sweets by CHLOE (185 B Bleecker St., next to the flagship location) in Greenwich Village on Wednesday, Nov. 1 to mark the Day of the Dead holiday. Score the skulls for $4.95 each.

From the coffee chain that brought us the Unicorn Frappuccino, meet the Zombie Frappuccino. Starbucks will blend the undead delight through Halloween, or until supplies run out. The green base of the frozen treat is Frappuccino Crème infused with tart apple and caramel flavors. It’s then topped with pink whipped cream that’s meant to resemble brains and drizzled with red mocha. A tall size (12-ounce) Zombie Frappuccino ranges from $4.75 to $4.95, depending on location.

This will really shake up your lunch. The Pumpkin Vanilla Shake at Bill’s Bar & Burger crams several fall favorites into a single glass. It’s topped with salted caramel sauce, whipped cream, and a pumpkin pie slice. And for a feast for the eyes, the glass is rimmed with chocolate frosting and candy corn. The shake is sold at all three Bill’s locations for $6.95 through the end of November.
Tequila Cazadores has partnered with tattoo artist Mister Cartoon to create a limited-edition Dia de los Muertos bottle.

Impress guests and hosts at Halloween and Day of the Dead parties by bringing this festive bottle. Tequila Cazadores partnered with tattoo artist Mister Cartoon (whose work can be found on celebs like Beyoncé, Kanye West and Justin Bieber) to create a limited-edition Dia de los Muertos bottle. It's decked out with illustrations of a skull to honor memories of lost loved ones and a rose to welcome new beginnings, among other designs, and costs $29 nationwide.
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Monday, 23 October 2017

How The Indian Air Force Fighters Scared The Pakistani Planes Away During Kargil War

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How The Indian Air Force Fighters Scared The Pakistani Planes Away During Kargil War Onlinelatesttrends
While the Indian Army fought the enemy to the last bullet in the Kargil War, it was the support from the air that really turned things in India’s favour. Operation Safed Sagar by the Indian Air Force was important in the context of Indian victory in what could otherwise have been a long drawn out war.

The Indian Air Force began its operations with reconnaissance sorties to actually figure out how well entrenched the enemy really was. By May 25, the then Prime Minister asked the IAF to ‘step in without delay’, although the permission to cross the LoC wasn’t given.

A whole range of IAF planes were pressed into service including strike aircraft like the Mig-21, Mig-23 and the Mig-27 that started bombing the enemy positions on May 26. They targeted supply routes, material dumps and camps. The Canberras and Mig-21M variant were used to conduct damage assessment in near real-time.

Unfortunately, two Mig-27s were lost in quick succession and another, a Mig-21 was lost because of a surface-to-air missile hit. On the third day, a Mi-17 helicopter was lost to a Stinger missile hit. All this was a result of lack of protective flare dispensers on the aircrafts. The IAF learnt the lesson and the planes were equipped with countermeasure suites.

The IAF also had to think on its feet and develop tactics on the go. For example, Mirage-2000s were used to bomb enemy bunkers using the Paveway Laser Guided Bombs. This is probably the most high altitude use of such weapons anywhere in the world.

Indian Air Force also kept the Pakistan Air Force at bay. While strike aircraft were out on bombing sorties, air superiority fighters, namely the Mig-29 were put on CAP (Combat Air Patrol) duties. Nicknamed the Fulcrum by NATO, the 29s with their BVR (Beyond Visual Range) R77 missiles spooked the F-16s. It’s said that Indian Mig-29s locked on to the F-16s, dissuading them from engaging any IAF planes.

With the PAF nullified, the IAF attacked the enemy positions with impunity, giving India the upper hand and ultimately the victory.
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15 Handy Tips To Arm Yourself With Before, During And After A Flood Hits

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15 Handy Tips To Arm Yourself With Before, During And After A Flood Hits Onlinelatesttrends
Floods one of the most common and destructive natural disasters. Over the past few years, India itself has experienced some of the most calamitous floods that destroyed thousands of lives and property worth crores.

So what should one do when flood warnings are sounded? The first and foremost step is to arm oneself with the knowledge about how to exit a potentially hazardous situation. Today, we discuss the many safety tips one can take before, during, and after a flood strikes.

Anyone thinking about building in a floodplain should reconsider this option unless the house is elevated and reinforced. A floodplain, as the name suggests, will get flooded and there will be nothing one can do after the water starts rising.

This is an essential step to follow while preparing for the worst. One should put up barriers such as levees and floodwalls to prevent water from flowing inside a home. Walls in the basement should also be sealed with waterproofing elements.

One should stay clued into the information being given on the news and the radio. This goes a long way in preparing for an imminent disaster threatening to strike at any time.

A flood watch has a different definition from a flood warning. While the former means that a flood is possible, the latter defines the situation that is definitely coming or has already arrived.

Stocking up essential items - food and medicines - goes a long way in case an evacuation becomes imminent.

One should evacuate if the authorities say so. Before leaving, one should shut all electrical appliances and switch off the mains to prevent a house from being gutted. Also, one should not leave pets behind as they will be affected worse by floods than humans.
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Friday, 9 June 2017

The New York Public Library is offering free e-books for commuters

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The New York Public Library is offering free e-books for commuters
 It's free and you have nothing better to do - read a book, people!

The New York Public Library announced Thursday on its website that it is launching "Subway Library," a new initiative between the New York, Brooklyn and Queens Libraries, the MTA and Transit Wireless that provides straphangers with free access to hundreds of e-books "for all ages."

To access the e-books, subway riders underground will connect to the free TransitWirelessWiFi on their smartphones, or other internet-able devices, and then click on the prompt. They'll then have access to the "e-books, excerpts, and short stories - all ready to read on the train."

To celebrate Subway Library, there will be one train decked out on the inside with a design that mimics the interior of the NYPL's Rose Reading Room in the Main Branch. The train will alternate operation on the E and F lines through Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Titles available right now to commuters include "Open City" by Teju Cole, "The Nest" by Cynthia d'Aprix Sweeney and Patti Smith's memoir, "Just Kids."
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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tamal Ray’s foraging recipes: wild garlic pesto and tart; elderflower creme brulee

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Tamal Ray’s foraging recipes: wild garlic pesto and tart; elderflower creme brulee
There was a phase, a few years ago, where you couldn’t get away from foraging. All the TV chefs were obsessed; catching their own crayfish and smoking wild mushrooms over moss. It was infectious.

I’d always been a nature nerd so the prospect of not only admiring the British countryside but being able to eat it too was irresistible. I spent a day with a friend, trudging through the woods with a bucket and a pocketbook of fungi without finding so much as a scrap of a worm-infested toadstool. We eventually found one wild mushroom in the middle of his garden lawn which I was 95% sure was edible. We took a picture, in the belief that this would somehow be of help to the paramedics who might need to attend to our potential liver-poisoning, and proceeded to fry it up in a little butter. After all that effort, the results were a tad underwhelming; if damp were a flavour, this would be it.

In hindsight, mushrooms were a rather ambitious quarry for a first time forager. What my little handbook neglected to mention was that there are hundreds of species endemic to the British Isles, only a fraction of which are edible. Some are potentially fatal.

It would have been far better to set my sights on something more common: wild garlic. Every spring, succulent shoots burst through the leaf litter in our woodlands to create vast swaths of lush green. You might smell them before you see them; a slight breeze is enough to scatter their unmistakably garlicky aroma into the air. Though all parts of the plant are edible, it’s the leaves that are usually eaten rather than the bulbs. We’re now at the very end of the season, so any plants you find will either be in bloom or about to set seed. The usual advice is that they are past their best at this point; the younger early-spring leaves are said to have a subtler flavour. Though these late-season leaves might be too harsh to go in a salad, for a garlic fan such as myself they are delicious made into a pesto or baked in a hearty tart.

Elderflower is another great target for a junior forager, being even easier to find than wild garlic. While you’ll have to make a trip to woodland to find wild garlic, elderflower springs up seemingly everywhere there is a scrap of unattended land. The palm-sized heads of tiny, cream-coloured flowers bloom on small trees which can often be found in public parks. They also have a fondness for growing on the edge of old industrial land; I seem to pass endless supplies of it every time I get on a train. The classic use is to boil the blossoms with sugar, water and a bit of lemon juice to make elderflower cordial. However, they can also be used to infuse creams and custards, or in an early-summer creme brulee.

‘Though late-season leaves might be too harsh to go in a salad, they are delicious made into a pesto.’

Sunflower seeds make a tasty and cheap alternative to overpriced pine nuts in this pesto.

(Makes one jar of pesto)
80g sunflower seeds
2 large handfuls wild garlic leaves
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/4 tsp salt
40g grated parmesan (or other hard cheese)
150ml olive oil

Toast the sunflower seeds in an oven at 180C (360F) fan for seven minutes. Tip the cooled seeds into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a fine paste. You may need to add a little more olive oil to loosen the mix.
Wild garlic, feta & walnut tart
Foraged wild garlic, feta and walnut tart.

(Makes one, 10 inch tart. Serves 8)
For the pastry
150g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
125g unsalted butter
1/2tsp table salt
1 large egg

For the filling
3 large eggs
150g natural yoghurt
50ml milk
40g grated parmesan
4tbsp wild garlic pesto
1/4tsp salt
1/4tsp ground black pepper
1 handful wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta
40g walnuts

First make the pastry. In a food processor mix the flours and salt with the cold butter cut into cubes. Pulse until the mix has the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add in the yolk of the egg with a little of the white until the mixture comes together into a dough.

Knead the dough a few times; it should hold together without feeling sticky. You may need to add a little more egg white if it feels too crumbly and dry.

Form into a round, cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile roast the walnuts in an oven set to 180C for seven minutes and set aside to cool.

Rub butter around the inside of a 10 inch metal tart tin. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick, roll up around the rolling pin and lower it over the greased tart tin. Ensure the pastry is pushed into the edges and leave a overhang over the edge. Prick the base all over with a fork and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Make the filling by whisking together the eggs, yoghurt, milk, parmesan, wild garlic pesto, salt and pepper. Then stir in the chopped garlic leaves.

After 20 minutes, place the tart tin on a baking sheet. Line the pastry with a sheet of baking parchment and then cover it with something to keep the pastry weighed down (eg baking beans, dried pulses or rice). Bake for 11 minutes then remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans. Brush the pastry with the reserved egg white and return to the oven for three minutes. Then remove from the oven.

Pour in the filling, crumble over the feta and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Finally, chop the walnuts and scatter over the top of the tart.

(Makes 4-5 creme brulee, depending on the size of your ramekins)
4 heads of elderflower
350ml double cream
150ml creme fraiche
30g caster sugar + extra for the topping
6 large egg yolks

Separate the blossom from their stalks by running over them with a fork. Place them in a saucepan with the cream and creme fraiche and bring to just under a simmer. Let the mix stand for 30 minutes to infuse.
Britain's native plants put the taste of spices in easy reach
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Strain the mix through a fine sieve, then measure the volume again and top it up to 500ml with some more cream.

Whisk in the sugar and egg yolks, then transfer the mix to your ramekins.

Place in a deep baking tray into an oven at 150 degrees. Pour boiling water into the tray until it comes just over halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes. They are ready when the centre is just set but there is still a slight wobble. Remove, and once cool place in the fridge to chill.

To make the caramel topping, add two teaspoons of caster sugar to the top of each ramekin. Smooth it out with the back of a spoon and caramelise using a blowtorch or place under a very hot grill.
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Monday, 5 June 2017

David Delfin, Spanish fashion designer, dead at 46 after cancer battle

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David Delfin, Spanish fashion designer, dead at 46 after cancer battle
 David Delfin, a Spanish fashion designer, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 46.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed his condolences for Delfin's death on Sunday.

Rajoy said in a telegram sent to Delfin's family published on the Spanish government's website that Delfin "was one of the most charismatic and creative fashion designers in Spain" who "leaves an incomparable legacy."

Born in Malaga, Delfin co-founded a studio in Madrid in 2001. A year later he made his mark as one of Spain's most provocative designers by covering models' faces with hoods and putting nooses around their necks at the Pasarela Cibeles fashion show.

He went on to win several international awards and earned Spain's National Award for Fashion Design in 2016 for "developing his own avant-garde universe."
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McDonalds launches delivery service in New York, tri-state area with UberEATS

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McDonalds launches delivery service in New York, tri-state area with UberEATS
 Get your Big Mac on demand.

McDonalds is launching delivery service in New York and throughout the Tri-State area on Wednesday, the Daily News has exclusively learned.

The burger chain teamed up with UberEATS — an online meal order and delivery service that partners with restaurants around the world — to bring faster food from more than 300 select Mickey D’s locations to homes in New York City, Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey .

“Customers have been vocal that they want the added convenience of delivery to make enjoying their favorite McDonald's meal even easier,” McDonald’s spokesman Bill Garrett told the News in a statement.

Customers can simply place orders for McDelivery on the UberEATs mobile app or website,, using the same account as you would to request an Uber car ride.

The closest location will prepare the order, and an Uber driver will pick it up for a flat booking fee and deliver it on demand.

McDonald’s has been testing the delivery service at restaurants in Florida since last year, and other chain restaurants are jumping on the fast food trend as well. Denny's announced on Tuesday it's partnering with digital ordering company Olo so eaters can order pancakes, milkshakes and burgers from their smartphones. They've also implemented special carry-out containers to prevent food from getting soggy. Taco Bell and Wendy's also now deliver to select areas.
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Estate tax changes make this a good time to update your will

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Estate tax changes make this a good time to update your will
 If you are like many people who have a will, chances are it's been quite a while since you last looked at it. The birth of your first child or the first time the entire family flew on a plane together are some of the more common events that trigger the preparation of a will, which for some could have been years ago.

The problem with not reviewing your will is that not only do tax laws change, but so do individual circumstances which can make your will outdated. Since the will is a legal document, its language needs to be followed by your executor which could in some cases cause unintended consequences.

A simple example would be the creation of a trust to hold money for the benefit of a spouse or child. With changes in the federal, New York and New Jersey estate tax laws recently, some wills may either mandatorily create a trust when one is no longer desired, or may not create one when a trust is still desired — even if it may not be needed to save estate taxes.

Tying up money in trust can make it time consuming and costly for a beneficiary; meanwhile, eliminating the trust gives complete control over the money to the beneficiary, where the risk of spending it all too soon becomes a possibility.

Another example could be the naming in the will of someone to be a trustee or executor of your estate when that person is no longer a part of your lives.

People tend to name their contemporaries. This is fine when you are 35 years old, but as you age they may not be the best people to name, especially for a trust which can last more than one generation.

However, not naming successor trustees or executors is not good either, and can result in the court appointing someone. Even worse, it can lead to assets left directly to a minor and being managed by the state until the minor reached the age of majority.

A review of your will should begin with reviewing the people you have named as executors, trustees and guardians for your minor children. Include in the review those you have named to successor roles for executor, trustee and guardian. Be sure they are still appropriate to assume the roles you have chosen for them.

Even better, notify the people you have chosen and let them know of your desire to name them. This will give them a chance to politely decline, should they choose, allowing you to name a replacement now rather than in your will.

Next, you should review how the will disposes of your assets upon your death. This may not be so simple, as language in the will can be difficult to interpret. If it is not clear, you should not assume the disposition will go a certain way. Better to reach out to your estate planning attorney to help you.

A financial planner may be able to help as well — just be sure they understand these documents. Many people call themselves financial planners, but either do not get involved in or only superficially oversee the non-investment pieces of a financial plan.

You may be tempted, based on current estate tax law, to remove any trusts your existing will creates to help reduce estate taxes. While under current tax law you may not owe any estate tax, laws can and do change — sometimes often to better to include language in the will which gives the executor the ability to create a trust if need be, rather than rely on revising the will again should laws change.

The more flexibility you can put in the will the more likely it can adapt to changing tax laws without a complete redo.

Reviewing your will every few years, or as laws and circumstances change, is something you should commit to doing. Most of the time there will be nothing to change. However, if you do come across something that needs to be changed, you'll be glad you took the time.

Howard Hook is a Certified Financial Planner and CPA with the wealth management firm EKS Associates in Princeton, N.J.
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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Almost half of all kids killed in car accidents aren't properly buckled up

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 It's no wonder car crashes are the leading cause of pediatric injury: 95 percent of parents install their newborn's car seats incorrectly.
Almost half of all kids killed in car accidents aren't properly buckled up
A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics showed that 43% of child deaths in vehicle crashes could have possibly been prevented if they were restrained correctly or at all. Almost 75% of families face their kids' seats in the wrong direction and, as they age, many kids aren't sitting in the recommended booster seats. And, some of them sat in the front seat way too soon.

The report, supported by data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, demonstrates that these factors increase the likelihood of a child dying in an accident. It also showed that geography played a surprising roll.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends toddlers stay rear-facing in a car seat until they're 2-years-old.

"The majority of children involved in a fatal crash lived in the South (52%), with 21% in the West, 19% in the Midwest, and 7.5% in the Northeast," the Journal noted.

For every 100,000 children, 0.25 died in Massachusetts while 3.20 died in Mississippi. And while 20% of kids killed in crashes across the country were either strapped in incorrectly or totally unbuckled, 38% of all child mortalities in Mississippi car accidents occurred this way.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published specific guidelines for the strongest and most reliable means of protecting young passengers. They recommend toddlers stay rear-facing in a car seat until they're 2-years-old.

But, the study noted, "Although these recommendations have been implemented in part by some states, no state has implemented them fully."
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Five pro-tips to come down from a marijuana high quickly

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Five pro-tips to come down from a marijuana high quickly
 More American people than ever have access to legal cannabis, and you can expect that a lot of people are going to Maureen Dowd themselves into a blanket burrito. This is what many call rookie syndrome, when you just get too stoned to function normally. Here’s how to come down from a marijuana high quickly.

Whether smoking a high-THC strain for the first time, or eating something more potent than what you're used to, getting too stoned is something that happens to many people at some point. Proper dosage greatly affects an experience, and that becomes hard to do when you’re smoking or eating something particularly tasty. Beginners are most susceptible to getting too stoned, but one thing is for sure, you won’t die - no one has yet!

Getting unhigh is not exactly as easy as you think, but there are certain things that can definitely help you out of a corner. Like many intoxicants, it's really a waiting game, as you have to allow time for your body to metabolize the THC just like you would with alcohol. That’s also why edibles can be dicey, the effects take more time to fully present, and longer to die down as they travel through your system. Edibles and dosage in general can work on everyone differently, so if you don’t have a firm idea of your tolerance, caution is your best bet.

If somehow you find yourself glued to a couch or hiding in your covers imagining the FBI busting through the door, try one of these five ways to chill out.

This can seem like a “duh” piece of advice, but it really isn’t easy to remember if you’re coughing up a lung or starting to hit an anxiety plateau. Deep belly breaths are important to do throughout the day for optimal oxygenation of your blood, but they can also get you out of a jam if things are starting to feel too fuzzy.

If you have a smartphone, a free app can prompt you to do this throughout the day, or whenever you need to check in. Just one minute of focused breathing is usually enough to undo a nosedive from a too-deep bong rip.

Science is slow to give us bedrock guidelines about not only dosage of cannabis, but how to alter, extend, or end a high. Right now what we know is based on “the entourage effect,” which is how cannabinoids and terpenes work together to create different intoxication effects. From what we know about terpenes, lemon and pepper share more than a few chemicals with cannabis.

It is these chemicals, piperine and limonene that help to create an active, less anxious cannabis experience, and this can help fish you out of a pothole too. Simply squeeze a lemon and crack some pepper into water, or waft peppercorns under your nose (but not up it). Essential oils would also work great for a quick fix. These terpenes help mitigate anxious or paranoid feelings, helping to center your stone.

Three: Hydrate
In fact, being the basics of self care, eating, bathing, and sleeping could be just what you were missing, and can snap you out of a downward spiral so you can go about your business.
In fact, being the basics of self care, eating, bathing, and sleeping could be just what you were missing, and can snap you out of a downward spiral so you can go about your business.

Water has a way of undoing plenty of life’s mishaps. Chugging a big glass of water is not a silver bullet, but generally helps take the edge off of any type of excess. Being dehydrated can also make you feel lightheaded to start, and mixing that with any substance is pretty much not ideal. Being hydrated before you even smoke is a great way to prevent drama.

Having a cuppa or a nice mid-afternoon coffee can’t make you unhigh, but it can help you re-focus. If you find yourself too sleepy or foggy, caffeine is key to keeping the wheels on. Caffeine is one of the most consumed substances in the world and it's because our brains work harder on it. Coffee or tea can give you a few minutes to get it together, and if you’ve not eaten or had a pick-me-up in the afternoon, caffeine could be the tipping point between medicated and messed up. Just make sure the coffee does not contain cannabis as well.

These are all interchangeable to suit the situation you may find yourself in while too high. Taking a shower or simply hitting the pillow are last-ditch efforts to settle down an overzealous experience. In fact, being the basics of self care, eating, bathing, and sleeping could be just what you were missing, and can snap you out of a downward spiral so you can go about your business.

Getting too high can suck regardless of you doing it on purpose or by accident. Using the above tactics can help you take a breather from being too up in the clouds.
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Trader Joe’s Simpler Italian Sparkling Wines — worth $1 a can?

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                                                                            Can do.
Trader Joe’s Simpler Italian Sparkling Wines — worth $1 a can?
Trader Joe’s took that attitude for its new Simpler Wines Italian Sparkling Wine, a low-cost cousin of the chain’s signature dirt-cheap Two Buck Chuck.

TJ’s Vino Frizzante (that’s the fancy name on the simple pink and green packages) comes in rose and white. Each sells for $3.99 for four 6-ounce cans.

This pop-top portable party is available at all wine-selling Trader Joe's stores nationwide, including New York's Union Square location, where a sign for the new vinos boasts “crisp, bright, bubbly, great with BBQ!”

What is it like to eat all the pumpkin food at Trader Joe's?

Wine in a can is a thing — and it’s growing. With 80-plus temperatures on deck for the weekend, barbecues beckon, along with your backyard, so we sampled Simpler Wines to find out if they’re worth sipping. Here are the results.

White Promised: “Enjoy notes of honeydew and fresh cut herbs. Pair with bread, olives or delicate tea cookies.”

“Totally harmless. I’d put it in my cooler and bring it to the beach.”

“It tastes a bit tinny — probably from the can — but I'm willing to overlook it for its lightweight packaging and for discreet drinking on the beach or in parks.”

“Picnic worthy.”

“It tastes like the $13 bottle of white I’d usually buy.”

Rose Promised: “Elegant mineral notes and fresh red fruit flavors. Pairs well with pasta, seafood and sweet desserts.”

Daily News Sippers Said:



“I’m all for rose all day — but I can't even stomach a sip of that one.

“It tastes like a nickel.”

Which to choose? The answer couldn’t be Simpler.
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