Worn Out Wednesday – Topper Luciani

first_img SNL’s Kyle Mooney Never Had a Real Job and He’s Cool With That The Burger Show’s Alvin Cailan Shares His Burger-Making Secrets Understanding Diets and Dieting with Shawn Wells 10 Refreshing Labor Day Cocktail Recipes to Salute the End of Summer Editors’ Recommendations Topper is one wild dude from Connecticut who now lives in New York and runs a well respected women’s online second hand goods store (show this to your gal for major style credit). Don’t worry, he will be working on a men’s site soon. Here he talks about his company and his personal style.I started Niftythrifty.com in 2012 by selling used neck ties on eBay. Then I realized the real business is in vintage women’s clothing. I’m trying to make it a giant web department store for secondhand goods and so far so good. We will be launching men’s down the line, but focusing on women’s for now.As for my own personal fashion, one of the most influential factors in creating the style I have today was a girlfriend I had when I was young who was more turned on by my not giving a fiddlers fart how I dressed. From then on I started really getting shlubby. It’s leveled out over the years since I couldn’t go into every situation wearing Umbros, Crocs and a flannel shirt but that is still basically my uniform.Jeans: Levis 501 blue or basic black denim from Uniqlo.Shirts: Ralph Lauren or Uniqlo oxfords all the livelong day.Pants:  I’m rarely not wearing denim.Suits: if I have to wear a suit I rock a vintage Oxxford that I bought at an estate sale. It makes me feel like Prince Charles.Shoes: Vans to make her dance. Also,  Nike Free’s changed my life. I run in them and love them soooo much!Accessories: I usually sport a Bob Hope charity golf tourney Timex, a G-Shock or a Blancpain Léman. I’ve been wearing the fancy one more often after I spotted Vladimir Putin wearing it! I love my Bamboo rolling papers baseball hat that I had to send 100 empty packages in to redeem. Sometimes I rock blue glass beads that everyone thinks are religious. I just wear them to make myself look like more of a nut.Outerwear: I’m pretty Normcore so lots of Patagonia but this past winter I rocked a vintage Barbour and a vintage Bogner.  Being in the vintage business ensures that lots of amazing gear passes through my doors. I try to never get high on my own supply but occasionally I take a bump if you will.Your favorite App: This is gross and I hate myself for admitting this because I’m kind of over it but I use Instagram the most of all my apps.Favorite piece of technology: Elance.com has changed my life. It’s allowed me to outsource my entire existence. I actually outsourced this interview and these responses are actually from a boy in Bangladesh.Next tech purchase:  I’ve ripped through so many iPod minis because I lose them so I am buying another one of those today. But my next big purchase is going to be an early 90s Ferrari. Not really techy except I picture Larry Ellison burning rubber out of some West Coast dealership in the early 90s and that is certainly a steeze I want to endorse and emulate. Long Hair for Men: Tips for Growing and Maintaining Your Style last_img read more

New Music Monday: The Decemberists

first_img 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now In the music video for “Make You Better,” the lead single from The Decemberists’ new album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, Parks & Recreation‘s Nick Offerman portrays a TV host in the middle of a fraught relationship with one of his coworkers. This change in role for Offerman, from rugged Ron Swanson to the vulnerable Franz, is indicative of a larger change in The Decemberists’ tone on their new album.What a Terrible World… is more direct than the band’s older catalogue. “Make You Better” deals plainly and openly with the burdens lovers place on one another, while tracks like “12/17/12” feature vocalist Colin Meloy singing on his own experiences rather than narrating stories about fictional/mythical characters (cf. The Hazards of Love and The Táin).That said, and even considering the band’s shift in lyrical style, What a Terrible World… is unmistakably a Decemberists album. “The Singer Addresses His Audience” includes sly references to the listener as it takes a serious look at issues of fame and artistry, and in another life “Philomena” could have been the most suggestive track The Hollies ever recorded.Meloy’s use of more personal lyrics is a rejuvenating move for the band. What a Terrible World… points toward a new way forward for The Decemberists. The band is exploring new lyrical territory as well as digging further into its roots and inspirations.What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World came out last Tuesday, January 20th, on Capitol Records and is available on Amazon, The Decemberists’ official site, and iTunes. William Grant and Sons Launches New Single Malt Whisky Brand Editors’ Recommendations How 2 Noma Alumni Brought Their Flavorful Spirits Line to the United States The Rise of Taiwanese Food Chain Din Tai Fung What You Need to Know About Sherry, According to an Expertlast_img read more

New Music Monday: The Velvet Teen

first_img Hops and Terroir: Why the Beer World is Embracing the Wine Term Editors’ Recommendations The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date Watch This Bugatti Chiron Shatter a World Speed Record at More Than 300 MPH Nine years after the release of their third full-length, Cum Laude!, The Velvet Teen are back with a new album on Boston’s Topshelf Records, All Is Illusory. The record drops on June 30 and sees the band return in fine form.Even from their beginnings, The Velvet Teen have experimented with a variety of sounds. The band was able to switch its sound from fragile pop to heavy feedback and return easily. Even as The Velvet Teen’s music evolved over the course of three albums, the band kept a mind to explore different aspects of their sound. Elysium in 2004 saw the group abandon guitars for keyboards, strings, and horns. Cum Laude!, in 2006, saw the band embracing elements of noise rock in their sound.The various sounds The Velvet Teen has explored over the band’s sixteen year life coalesce on All Is Illusory. Opening track “Sonreo” kicks off with a jolt of energy that the rest of the album carries through. Songs like “Eclipses” and “You Were the First” keep the flow moving, but the band shows they can slow the music down, too. The title track, “Manifest,” and the eleven-minute “Taken Over” reveal a patience that the group has developed over the years. When the slower tracks come up on the record, they are a welcome change and the sign of a band that appreciates faster is not always better (though as many of the other tracks show, faster is often better).The Velvet Teen’s All Is Illusory is available for preorder through Amazon, iTunes, and Topshelf Records. Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App last_img read more

400 Bottles of Liquor on the Wall: Chestnut Club

first_img 8 Best Rums for Piña Coladas America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App 9 Best Spirits For Spiked Apple Cider Editors’ Recommendations Banksy’s Gross Domestic Product Is a Pop-Up Shop Unlike Any Other If Don Draper were real and around in present-day Los Angeles, he’d be drinking at The Chestnut Club. This Santa Monica bar is sophisticated without being pretentious and has one of the most impressive cocktail menus in town. The Chestnut Club is the brainchild of LA heavy hitters Mario Guddemi, Sal Aurora, and famed mixologists Pablo Moix, and Steve Livigni, who gave us Black Market Liquor Bar among others. With over 400 specifically chosen liquors, including fortified wines, they have almost endless possibilities to choose from when developing their cocktail menu. The Blackberry Honey Sour is the perfect summer night choice: Bourbon, Blackberries, Lemon and Honey. The Chestnut Cup is absurdly drinkable, using Gin, Campari, Lemon, Orgeat [a type of syrup] and Bitters. The cocktails are garnished beautifully and simply and are infinitely Instagram-able. They haven’t forgotten about their beer drinkers, though, and offer a comparably small, but fantastic, list of craft beers, largely from Southern California brewers.The incredible collection of spirits is on display, taking up almost an entire side of the bar, and many are going to be new to you, but that’s the best part. The bartenders know their stuff and are excited to pass on the knowledge, unlike some other bartenders who can be intimidating. Order off the menu, order a classic cocktail, or shoot the shit with the staff and come up with something new: they will be able to guide you to new favorites. And if you love whiskey in particular, you cannot miss The Chestnut Club.They don’t expect you to drink on an empty stomach though. Their menu is classic bar food, but elevated. Olives marinated in orange, garlic, and herbs, whole grain pretzels dipped in spicy aioli, smoked trout, peel and eat shrimp, and even oysters. If you’re a meat lover, do not skip the BBQ Short Rib Sandwich.It has a relaxed vibe with a relatively upscale design, almost like a modern twist on a 1960s cocktail lounge: exposed brick walls wood beam ceilings, and plenty of seating. There is a dress code, but it’s not egregious, no baseball hat, flip-flops or shorts (men only), but honestly, who is trying to pull off flip-flops in a bar? Arriving on the early-side during the weekends is key or you risk waiting in line, plus you get the benefit of talking to the bartenders when it’s still quiet.last_img read more

Nurture Your Beard & Mane With Grooming Products from Decoded Artisans

first_imgMustache Wax – $12.99 Set of 4 Coasters – $74.99 Beard Oil – $12.99 Editors’ Recommendations Classic Belt – $149 Denim Apron – $299.99 Talking Food Trucks and Fusion Cuisine with The Peached Tortilla’s Eric Silverstein All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked Here at The Manual we love a good beard oil or pomade. They’re great for moisturizing, adding shine to your hair, and taming an unruly beard or wild head of hair.One of our new favorite brands for grooming and skincare products is Decoded Artisans in Southern California. These guys are rightfully called artisans because everything they make is made by their very own pair of hands.Decoded Artisans owner and founder Marcus Asmar began building the brand in 2013 and has seen success ever since. It started out as just a regular hobby for Asmar but obviously it has transformed into much more. All of the countless hours spent on projects, photo shoots, product development, and testing finally paid off. Now men like us and you are treating their manes and facial hair with luxury grooming products like oils, pomades, and mustache waxes made by the hands of a true artisan and creative. According to Asmar, “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” It’s the best or nothing for a brand that prides itself on craftsmanship and staying true to their name.Decoded’s latest chapter of their journey was just released last month in the form of a promotional video for their new pomade line (Check it out below!). It’s a pomade that gives your hairdo a max hold that won’t crumble in the heat of the California sunshine.It’s fast-drying, water soluble, and can either have a matte or shine finish depending on the amount of water you add when styling. It’s also made with a fresh scent labeled as “Morning Dew” – a fresh cucumber and honey dew scent that will keep you hair smelling clean and fresh through the entirety of your day.Pomade isn’t the only thing cooking up at Decoded’s shop. As we said before, Decoded also crafts a line of beard oils and mustache waxes. They’re both made to moisturize and mold, but they also come with a variety of fresh scents. You can choose from Atlantic Chill, Citrus Redwood, Dark Forest, Earth Tones, Meadow Breeze, and Morning Dew. All are as manly as the other with burly scents and sweet undertones of fruit and citrus.Decoded also makes some really great home products and accessories for men. You can buy a set of four coasters to rest on your coffee table or an art print made by one of Decoded’s very own artisans to hang on your bedroom wall. You can also wear Decoded around your waist in the form of a leather belt or as a key ring for your car keys. One of their coolest products aside from their grooming line is the selvedge, denim apron. It’s made to order, durable enough for any project, and practical enough to wear in the kitchen.With that said, Decoded Artisans is ready to get back to work. According to the brand, “The thing we lose patience with the most is the clock… Its hands move too fast.“Freebie Alert – Decoded Artisans is giving away FREE pomade! It starts today at 4pm PST on their Instagram, @decoded-artisans. You just have to follow these three steps:1.) Follow Decoded Artisans on Instagram and tag two of your friends.2.) Click online shop link in Instagram bio – www.decoded.la/shop3.) Add pomade to shopping cart and apply promo code: FREEYour chance at free pomade ends January 22nd at 6pm PST so hurry while supplies last.Check out Decoded Artisan’s product list below.Member Crate – $69.99 10 Best Beard Balms: The Secret to a Tamed and Tangle-Free Beard Classic Key Ring – $19.99 Max Hold Pomade – $17.99 Classic Band – $24.99Money Clip – $49.99 If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For? 11 Best Gins for a Refreshing Gin and Toniclast_img read more

Coast Flashlights: The Only Flashlights or Headlamps You’ll Ever Need

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The Best Leg Exercises for Sculpted Calves, Quads, and More Portion Control: The Best Meal Prep Containers on the Market Picture an older gentleman considering the purchase of a fine automobile. He takes his time considering every aspect of the vehicle, for he knows this may well be the last car he ever buys; the last automobile he pilots down open road, around tight turns, and through the bright lights of the city. He know this may be the last car he tunes to a favorite station, rolls down the windows to feel the crisp morning breeze, or washes and shines with patience and pride. In short, he’s probably going to choose wisely.When you buy a flashlight or headlamp from Portland, OR-based Coast Products, Inc. you are going to want to take your time and choose wisely, just like that venerable vehicle buyer, for there’s a good chance you’re going to own your Coast light for the rest of your life, whether you’re in your sixties, forties, or twenties. They don’t throw in that lifetime warranty for kicks, you see; they offer a lifetime guarantee for their products because they’re pretty damn sure said products will last a lifetime.I’ve only owned and been using my Coast flashlight, penlight, and headlamp for a few weeks now, so I can’t personally speak to the lifetime of it all, but I can surely say this: these are bright, durable, and intuitive lights, and there’s nothing much more to ask for than that.Let’s start off with the little guy. The…Coast A8R Rechargeable Pen LightThe A8R is about the same size and weight as a standard ballpoint pen, thus the whole “pen light” name of it all. Unlike most ballpoint pens, and in fact unlike many penlights, this pint-sized flashlight casts a beam for more than sixty feet in dim light conditions. At closer range, you’ll be impressed not only with the brightness of the LED light, but with the intense focus of the beam. The A8R is technically an inspection light, and its tight, crisp circle of light certainly makes it easy to inspect anything from a network of overhead wiring, pipes in a crawl space, the engine block of your car, or the unspeakable horrors of a crime scene. The $50 A8R is recharged simply by sliding the head of the unit into a charging dock that plugs into an outlet or into your vehicle. It will provide you with its crisp, bright beam for about an hour of continuous use when it’s fully charged. (Note that this light is not ideal for the hiker or camper, given the narrow area it illuminates, but that’s not what it was designed for anyway.)Coast FL75 LED HeadlampThe Coast FL75 headlamp is something of a contradiction: there are a few things about it I absolutely love and which set it above many other headlamps I’ve owned and used (and I’ve been through about a half dozen units, so I can speak with some authority here). Its beam can be focused to a sharp, crisp circle that makes it easy to see all the details of the trail ahead or the objects and surfaces in a work area, as the need may be. The quality of the light, in terms of brightness, focus, and color, are all superb. Yet the lamp can only be set to three brightness intensity levels, whereas most high-quality headlamps can be dimmed or brightened for a customized intensity. The headlamp also features a pair of small red lights that are good for nighttime reading or for making it easier to see in the dark, but neither the red lights nor the main bulb offers a flashing setting, another feature that tends to be standard in many headlamps. Given the durable design and comfort of the $60 FL75, I recommend it for people who need a headlamp for work, but for outdoor recreation, it just doesn’t get quite dim enough for those quiet moments around the fire, or for when you’re trying to maintain some night vision while on the move.Coast Polysteel 600R Focusing Rechargeable FlashlightSay, friend, do you need to shine some light on an object that’s about 800 feet away? Or do you need a light that can continuously operate at its lower output setting for almost a day and a half? And do you frequently drop your flashlights from head height and/or often submerge them in nine feet of water, yet still expect the light to work perfectly afterward? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then Coast’s Polysteel 600R flashlight belongs in your glovebox/camping kit/first responder bag, sir. While I’ve (oh so cleverly) already covered a lot of the main sales points of this unit, note that perhaps the best thing about this rugged flashlight is the fact that it can be powered both with a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack or with four AA batteries, so with a bit of planning, you’ll never be left in the dark when you have a 600R. The focusing beam of this flashlight is truly impressive, by the way: its 530 lumen output creates a bullseye spot at great distances when dialed in, and the light illuminates a broad swath when in its most diffuse setting. You can use the $100 600R to light up a campsite or a large room, to search for a diminutive fallen object, or to study the Paleolithic paintings adorning the wall of a cave your team stumbled into while on a routine search for a talc deposit. Or… something like that. 5 Most Expensive Coffees in the World This Black Boathouse Is a Luxurious Retreat on a Small Island in Norway The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now last_img read more

House of Marley’s Smile Jamaica Earbuds are here to make Captain Planet proud

first_imgShareVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:06Loaded: 0%0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:06 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For? Editors’ Recommendations What to Wear on a Red-Eye Flight: Fashionably Comfortable Apparel for the Long Haul Have you ever bought a pair of earbuds and immediately thought “These are wasteful and ecologically irresponsible?” Probably not, but you wouldn’t be wrong — most are made from plastics and metals that don’t biodegrade.House of Marley preaches sustainability, utilizing recycled materials to craft audio equipment and honor the late reggae icon’s memory. The company’s newest offering, the Smile Jamaica wireless earbuds, reflect that philosophy while adding a few awesome features to boot.The Bluetooth earbuds are built with “regrind” silicone, recycled aluminum alloys, and sustainable Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods. They represent House of Marley’s first stab at workout earphones, weighing in at just 26 grams and featuring IPX4 certification for sweat-resistance. Nine-millimeter dynamic drivers and noise-isolating eartips make sure you get the best listening experience possible. The Smile Jamaica are available in four attractive colorways — black, copper, denim, and brass — each of which boasts durable, woven in-ear cables and wood-grain accenting on the monitors and control bands.  Speaking of the neckband, it’s ultra-flexible and built for comfort during long periods of exercise. A noise-isolating inline microphone means you can take calls on the go, and the simple three-button controls are easy enough to master.Since its inception, House of Marley — founded by the descendants of Bob himself — has espoused ecological responsibility and a commitment to charitable causes worldwide. Purchases of House of Marley products support the 1Love Foundation, a global nonprofit started by members of the Marley family to honor Bob’s vision of a better tomorrow.The company offers a wide gamut of in-ear and on-ear headphone selections, but that’s not all — from speakers to turntables, House of Marley’s got a litany of eco-friendly audio tools to choose from. Their Stir It Up entry-level turntable, for example, is built largely from recycled bamboo, hemp, and organic cotton, and it actually sounds pretty great.Invoking Marley’s legacy is a tactic many companies have used alongside product releases with charitable causes; Ben & Jerry’s recently rolled out a Marley-themed “One Love’ ice cream flavor , and Snapchat even debuted a Marley filter last year on April 20th (to mixed reviews, despite the support of the Marley estate). House of Marley has also partnered with reforestation nonprofit One Tree Planted for the Project Marley initative, aimed at helping plant 75,000 new trees across the planet.The Smile Jamaica are available now for $60 via House of Marley’s website; you can also find them in select brick-and-mortar stores across the United States.A version of this post was published on our “brother site,” Digital Trends.center_img House of Marley’s Smile Jamaica Earbuds are here to make Captain Planet proud Close The Best Wired and Wireless Headphones for Travel Smart Practices for Drinking With the Environment in Mind Allbirds and Just Water Collaborate on Sneakers to Save the Amazon Rainforest last_img read more

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Cuffing Season and Gift Guide Episode

first_img The Manual Spirit Awards 2019: Redux Editors’ Recommendations Why Fresh Hops Are Essentially the Magic Sauce of Craft Beer Learning About Finger Wrestling, Mountain Cheese, and More Fun from Germany Learning All About Aquavit with Christian Krogstad What new bourbon are we pumped about? Which hiking trail are we exploring? Why is the next supercar so cool? The Manual is dedicated to helping men live a more engaged life. Each week, our editors and guests get together for a round-table discussion about what’s new, exciting, and unique in the men’s lifestyle world. So pop open your favorite brew, step into your man cave, and start streaming. Shout out to Portland-based No Kind of Rider for our intro/exit music.This week’s Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Manual Podcast spends some time thinking about the holidays and the holiday season. We mention the season in general, because first up on this episode is Editor-in-Chief Cator Sparks discussing Cuffing Season, what the hell it is, and what the hell do you need to prepare for it? Hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with shirt or pant cuffs. Stream the episode to hear more about this mysterious, but all-too-common seasonal condition.The round-table transitions from cuffing season directly into gift guide and giving season with Associate Editor, Chase McPeak giving us the low-down on all the best gifts for bearded boys and men and follows up with all the best Star Wars gifts out there ahead of the release of “The Last Jedi” on December 15 (even though he hasn’t seen any of the new films).Spirits Editor, Sam Slaughter gives the group the rundown on the best whiskeys, wines, and other spirits to give for the holidays and also talks his personal favorites.And the group, including Managing Editor, Nicole Raney, wrap up the episode with a feisty discussion about the worst gifts they’ve received, gifts they never want to receive, and live-wrote an Anti-Gift Guide article (which you can check out on the site later this week).Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Cuffing Season and Gift Guide EpisodeFurther ReadingWhat is Cuffing Season and What Do You Need to Survive It?: Writer Jennifer Jones gets to the bottom of this newly acknowledged phenomenon.Spirits Gift Guide, Wine Gift Guide, and the Whiskey Gift Guide: More booze than you can handle? Why not give a few to a friend?Star Wars Gifts and Columbia Star Wars Jacket Giveaway: Check out the latest and best Star Wars related gifts and enter for your chance to win a limited edition, Columbia Luke Skywalker Echo Base Jacket. A Rev-ealing Conversation About IndyCar Racing with Takuma Satolast_img read more

Lost Highways: How to Survive a Road Trip Breakdown in the Desert

first_img Take the Ultimate Desert Road Trip with Lamborghini’s Serata Dubai Editors’ Recommendations Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App Why Your Desk Chair Matters and the 9 Best Ones to Boost Your Productivity Johannes Plenio/PexelsRoad-tripping season is upon us. With a bevy of always-connected technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to get too complacent when it comes to packing the right emergency gear. Stranded aside a major freeway, you’re likely just a phone call away from help. But, what if you get caught out far from civilization and, worse yet, in the desert? Here’s a primer on what to pack to ensure you don’t become a statistic.Check and Double-check the EssentialsIt’s easy to overlook the essentials. While you can survive weeks without food, dehydration kills much, much faster anywhere, but especially in the desert. First and foremost, pack twice — even three times — as much water as you think you’ll need. For desert trips, carrying a gallon of water per person per day is ideal. If your ride completely craps out even a few miles from the main road and you’re without cell service, you could be staring down hours or more in the desert heat. Without shade or AC, things are likely to get very hot very quickly. Electrolyte tabs (like these from nuun) are a great way to have key nutrients on hand whenever and wherever you need them. Don’t forget a proper first aid kit too!Prep for Frigid NightsJust as dangerous as dehydration from the heat is the bone-chattering cold temperatures you’ll face when the sun goes down. Many people are surprised to learn that those triple-digit temperatures during the day can easily drop below freezing once the sun goes down. Pack accordingly. Think: warm pants, multiple top layers, gloves, and a winter hat in case you need to spend considerable time in your car waiting for daybreak.Take a Hard Copy BackupTechnology fails — often when you need it most. If you’re planning to get far, far off the beaten path, take a detailed paper map book or fold-out map with you. Modern GPS systems work just about anywhere, but batteries die, signals can become inexplicably lost, or they can otherwise simply crap out because … who knows why? A paper backup never fails. Plus, when you’re finally able to signal or call for help, it won’t do you any good if you can’t accurately describe to rescue workers where in the hell you are.Tell a FriendIt’s common knowledge for backcountry hikers: map out your route and send a digital copy to someone you trust. Let them know where you’re headed and how long it should take you to get there. Then confirm once you arrive safely. Let them know that, if they don’t hear from you by a certain time, it’s cause for concern.Consider Packing an SOS BeaconThat always-connected technology I railed against earlier? Well, it turns out it can still help save your life. Most smartphones are useless in the desert. But, today’s SOS beacons rely on GPS technology to ensure you can send out a distress call from quite literally anywhere on the planet. There’s a lot to like about those from SPOT and ACR including long battery life, little to no subscription cost, and global coverage. The most basic versions feature a simple push-button design that’s meant to be depressed if things go south. Some even allow you to send simple text messages to family and friends to provide more detailed updates. But, consider these are meant as a last-ditch effort when all else has failed. They’re not an excuse to go out unprepared and rely on expert search-and-rescue workers (who could be saving people in real peril) to save you because you were too boneheaded to heed the rest of the advice here and pack accordingly.And if your road trip is already planned out, make sure to download our playlist for the best Road Trippin’ songs. The Opus OP15′ Is a Tricked-Out, Off-Road-Ready Travel Trailer 9 Best Spirits For Spiked Apple Ciderlast_img read more

PM Cites Clarendon as Catalyst for Expansion of Sugar Cane Sub-Sector

first_imgPrime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says Clarendon has the greatest potential to serve as a catalyst for the expansion of Jamaica’s sugar cane sub-sector, particularly among small farmers. Addressing Wednesday’s, February 6, contract signing and ground-breaking ceremony for the Springfield Sugar Barracks Relocation Project in the parish, the Prime Minister pointed out that Clarendon has over 2,000 acres of “idle” cane lands, owned by small farmers, which are ready to be “engaged” in cultivation. Mrs. Simpson Miller said $300 million has been earmarked for cane road improvement in the parish, pointing out that the tender process is currently being prepared with a view to the undertaking being completed and implemented during 2013/14 fiscal year Additionally, she advised that two agro parks are being developed at Ebony Park and Spring Plains at a cost of approximately $114 million and $145 million, respectively. “The agro parks development, initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, is a key element of my Government’s Growth Inducement Strategy in the medium term. This (agro parks) initiative seeks to elevate agricultural production, diversify our agricultural outputs, and address every single facet of the agriculture value chain, from production to market, and (provide) support for our food security programme,” she outlined. Noting that sugar cultivation provides “seasonal” employment for farmers and other small stakeholders, Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that there was very little “meaningful” activity outside of this engagement during the “out of crop” season. This situation, she said, poses challenges for families dependent on the crop for their livelihood.“In response, the Government is also working towards economic transformation of southern Clarendon through other strategic investments in agriculture. In the Vernamfield area, we are investing $65 million to rehabilitate the irrigation system to expose our farmers to modern drip irrigation technology,” she stated, while disclosing that the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA)-managed Cane Expansion Fund, another resource option, currently stands at $1.5 billion.The Prime Minister noted that concerns have been raised about the sector’s overall viability and sustainability, with arguments being advanced that the administration should “abandon” the industry.In response, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the Government embarked on a transformation programme that sought to address social, economic and environmental imperatives “in a comprehensive way”.“Among the initiatives are: our focus on maximizing sugar cane production, particularly among small farmers. Under the Sugar Adaptation Strategy, which became operational in 2005, we began the privatization of the sugar estates. This is now complete. The government provided some 1,300 grants valuing some $156 million in this area to help dislocated sugar workers cope with the fall-out from the divestment,” she said.Additionally, the Prime Minister said the European Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has voiced support for an extension of the current quota provision for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar exporters to 2020.“We, therefore, have every opportunity to put this industry on a sustainable path. We have to grow ourselves out of our economic difficulties. There are available markets, available lands, and available hands. You have it within you, we have it within ourselves to do it; let’s do it together,” she urged. Approximately 209 sugar workers residing in sugar estate barracks in Springfield, Clarendon, will benefit from 88 houses earmarked for development at a cost of just over $160 million under the Government’s Sugar Barracks Relocation Project.The project, to be executed over eight months by the firm, Seal Construction Company Limited, is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Sugar Transformation Unit (STU), under the Sugar Area Development Programme (SADP). Funding is provided under the European Union (EU) Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP).last_img read more