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The Current MLS Landscape: Driving Progress and Innovation

In the wake of the Burnett decision, copycat lawsuits are popping up across the country. There’s no denying that organized real estate is being challenged, but looking ahead, our motto is clear: Disruption only happens to the unprepared.  While the future of compensation hangs in the balance, being able to clearly and concisely communicate your… The post The Current MLS Landscape: Driving Progress and Innovation appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Source:  rismediaCategory: realestate~25 min. ago Related News

ERA Real Estate Announces 2023 Hall of Fame

Above, from left, Peter Hunt, Pat Hirsch and Pat Williams ERA Real Estate has announced three inductions into the ERA® Hall of Fame Class of 2023. The induction ceremony took place recently at the ERA brand’s Fuel 2024 International Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  Established in 2013, the ERA Hall of Fame honors affiliated individuals and… The post ERA Real Estate Announces 2023 Hall of Fame appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Source:  rismediaCategory: realestate~25 min. ago Related News

Century 21 Announces New Colorado Affiliation

Century 21 Real Estate LLC. has announced its latest affiliation in Colorado’s Front Range, CENTURY 21 Prosperity.  Based in downtown Denver, the firm was founded in October of 2022 by the entrepreneurial duo of William Lawrence and Kelvin Caiati, according to a release. In only a year, the firm managed to close hundreds of transactions… The post Century 21 Announces New Colorado Affiliation appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Source:  rismediaCategory: realestate~25 min. ago Related News

Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Bill Ackman, Tom Steyer, Brevan Howard Asset Management, Elliott Advisors, Cantab Capital Partners, Highwoods Properties Inc (HIW), Flex Ltd. (FLEX), and More

Brevan Howard Broadens Horizons with Tekmerion Macro Hedge Fund Integration (BNN Bloomberg) Not Nvidia Or Meta: Hedge Fund Titan Bill Ackman Sees Lucrative Opportunity In This ‘Magnificent 7’ Stock (Benzinga) Currys Rejects Second Bid from US Hedge Fund Giant Elliott as Rival Bid Looms (This is Money) 5 Key Investing Lessons from Tom Steyer that […] Brevan Howard Broadens Horizons with Tekmerion Macro Hedge Fund Integration (BNN Bloomberg) Not Nvidia Or Meta: Hedge Fund Titan Bill Ackman Sees Lucrative Opportunity In This ‘Magnificent 7’ Stock (Benzinga) Currys Rejects Second Bid from US Hedge Fund Giant Elliott as Rival Bid Looms (This is Money) 5 Key Investing Lessons from Tom Steyer that Underlines His Success at Farallon Capital (Mint) UK’s Curbs on International Students, Foreign Workers will Backfire, Thinks a Top Hedge Fund Founder (The Economic Times) Rawpixel / shutterstock.com SS&C GlobeOp Hedge Fund Performance Index and Capital Movement Index (PRNewswire) Fourth Straight Week of Inflows Take Digital Assets Funds to Over £5.7bn YTD (Hedge Week) Tuesday 2/27 Insider Buying Report: HIW, MITT (Nasdaq.com) eBay, Alphabet And 2 Other Stocks Insiders Are Selling (Benzinga) Subscribe to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter and Join 100K+ Readers or Subscribe with Google We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy......»»

Source:  insidermonkeyCategory: top~25 min. ago Related News

5 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now

In this article, we discuss 5 best performing dividend stocks to invest in. If you want to read our detailed analysis of dividend stocks and their performance over the years, go directly to read 13 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now.  5. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: […] In this article, we discuss 5 best performing dividend stocks to invest in. If you want to read our detailed analysis of dividend stocks and their performance over the years, go directly to read 13 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now.  5. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 26.18% The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is a multinational home improvement retailer. The company pays a quarterly dividend of $2.25 per share, having raised it by 7.7% in February this year. This marked the company’s 14th consecutive year of dividend growth. The stock’s dividend yield came in at 2.41%, as of February 26. The stock delivered a return of 26.18% in the past 12 months, which makes HD one of the best performing stocks on our list. As of the end of Q4 2023, 70 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey reported having stakes in The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD), compared with 76 in the preceding quarter. These stakes have a consolidated value of nearly $6 billion. Follow Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) Follow Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) or Subscribe with Google We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy......»»

Source:  insidermonkeyCategory: top~25 min. ago Related News

13 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now

In this article, we discuss 13 best performing dividend stocks to invest in. You can skip our detailed analysis of dividend stocks and their performance over the years, and go directly to read 5 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now.  For investors focused on dividends, there’s an ongoing struggle to find the right […] In this article, we discuss 13 best performing dividend stocks to invest in. You can skip our detailed analysis of dividend stocks and their performance over the years, and go directly to read 5 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now.  For investors focused on dividends, there’s an ongoing struggle to find the right balance between dividend growth and dividend yield. While many experts caution against falling into yield traps, historical data suggests that high-yield stocks have performed well. However, combining both dividend growth and high yield can be a powerful strategy to maximize returns. One example is the S&P Sector-Neutral High Yield Dividend Aristocrats (HYDA) index, which aims to blend dividend growth with higher relative yield while maintaining sector weights similar to the S&P Composite 1500. This index is noted for its defensive characteristics. According to a report from S&P Dow Jones Indices, it has historically provided a buffer against market volatility. On average, the index has outperformed the benchmark when the VIX level, a measure of market volatility, was above 20, with the strongest outperformance seen when the VIX level was above 30. The report further noted that from January 31, 2005, to July 31, 2023, the index’s overall return was nearly the same as the benchmark. That said, the S&P Sector-Neutral HYDA showed lower volatility throughout the entire period compared to the benchmark, resulting in better risk-adjusted returns. Moreover, the maximum drawdown experienced during that time frame was reduced by around 5%, indicating a more resilient performance during market downturns. Given investors’ preference for dividend-paying stocks and their track record of returns, numerous companies are striving to initiate, sustain, and enhance their dividend payouts. In a notable recent development, Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) has commenced paying a quarterly cash dividend to its shareholders. This move underscores the increasing popularity of dividends in the market. Notably, Morningstar analysts have observed a significant rise in the funds targeting dividend-paying stocks, with the total amount reaching $1 trillion. This figure has been growing at a rate of 10% annually since 2018, indicating a robust and expanding interest in dividend investments. Dividend stocks have consistently gained traction due to their resilience and strong performance during previous periods of inflation. Over time, dividends have been a significant contributor, comprising approximately 40% of the total return of the S&P 500 since 1930. However, during decades characterized by high inflation rates, such as the 1940s, 1970s, and 1980s, where inflation averaged 5% or more, dividends accounted for an even larger portion, generating 54% of the total return. Naveed Rahman, co-manager of the Fidelity Equity-Income Strategy, highlighted this trend. He also emphasized that while seeking the best-performing dividend stocks today, investors may need to look beyond the traditional industries or sectors that have historically dominated such investments. The report further noted that companies that consistently pay dividends that are both sustainable and increasing have the capability to expand their cash flows over time, thereby enabling them to stay aligned with inflationary pressures. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) are some of the most prominent dividend stocks as these companies have raised their payouts for decades. However, in this article, we will take a look at some of the best performing dividend stocks to invest in. Our Methodology: For this list, we looked at the list of stocks with their 52-week high and focused on dividend-paying stocks that have shown significant growth in their share prices during this period. We began with a pool of fifty companies, narrowed it down by considering their share price increases, and ultimately selected the top 13 dividend stocks with the highest share price gains as of February 26, arranging them in ascending order of performance. We also mentioned hedge fund sentiment data for these stocks using Insider Monkey’s database of Q4 2023. Hedge funds’ top 10 consensus stock picks outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). 13. ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 8.54% ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE) is a diversified energy company primarily operating in the midstream sector of the natural gas industry. On January 17, the company declared a 3.9% hike in its quarterly dividend to $0.99 per share. This was the company’s second consecutive year of dividend growth. The stock’s dividend yield on February 26 came in at 5.35%. With a 12-month return of 8.54%, OKE is one of the best performing stocks on our list. At the end of Q4 2023, 27 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey reported having stakes in ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE), compared with 36 in the previous quarter. The overall value of these stakes is over $593.2 million. Among these hedge funds, First Eagle Investment Management was the company’s leading stakeholder in Q4. 12. Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 9.87% Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF) is a Canadian leading international financial services organization that offers a wide range of insurance products, including life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and critical illness insurance. On February 7, the company announced a quarterly dividend of C$0.78 per share, which was in line with its previous dividend. Overall, it has been growing its dividends for the past eight years, which makes SLF one of the best performing stocks on our list. The stock’s dividend yield on February 26 came in at 4.31%. As of the close of Q4 2023, 13 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey reported having stakes in Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE:SLF), up from 12 in the previous quarter. The consolidated value of these stakes is over $98.6 million. 11. MPLX LP (NYSE:MPLX) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 13.01% MPLX LP (NYSE:MPLX) is a diversified energy infrastructure company primarily engaged in the transportation, storage, and distribution of energy products. With a 12-month return of 13.01%, MLPX is one of the best performing stocks on our list. The company currently offers a quarterly dividend of $0.85 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.62%, as of February 26. It has been growing its dividends consistently for the past 10 years. At the end of December 2023, 9 hedge funds in Insider Monkey’s database reported having stakes in MPLX LP (NYSE:MPLX), the same as in the previous quarter. The collective value of these stakes is more than $56.8 million. Appaloosa Management LP owned the largest stake in the company in Q4. 10. Energy Transfer LP (NYSE:ET) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 15.13% Energy Transfer LP (NYSE:ET) operates a vast network of natural gas pipelines and storage facilities. These pipelines transport natural gas from production areas to market hubs, distribution points, and end-users such as power plants, industrial facilities, and residential consumers. The company has been raising its payouts for nine consecutive quarters and it currently pays a quarterly dividend of $0.315 per share. As of February 26, the stock has a dividend yield of 8.57%. Energy Transfer LP (NYSE:ET) was a part of 34 hedge fund portfolios at the end of Q4 2023, which remained unchanged from the previous quarter, as per Insider Monkey’s database. The stakes owned by these hedge funds have a collective value of more than $824.3 million. 9. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 16.67% Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is next on our list of the best performing stocks with a 12-month return of 16.67%. The American diversified financial services company offers a quarterly dividend of $0.35 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.56%, as of February 26. Insider Monkey’s database of Q4 2023 indicated that 72 hedge funds owned stakes in Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), compared with 77 in the previous quarter. The consolidated value of these stakes is over $5.54 billion. With more than 23 million shares, Harris Associates was the company’s leading stakeholder in Q4. 8. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 19.08% Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) is a global healthcare company that operates in several segments of the healthcare industry. The company pays a quarterly dividend of $0.55 per share, having raised it by 7.8% in December 2023. This marked the company’s 52nd consecutive annual dividend hike. The stock delivered a return of 19.08% in the past 12 months, which makes ABT one of the best performing stocks on our list. The stock has a dividend yield of 1.85%, as of February 26. According to Insider Monkey’s database of Q4 2023, 64 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey reported having stakes in Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), compared with 69 in the preceding quarter. The total value of these stakes is nearly $2.5 billion. 7. Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 20.3% Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) is one of the largest railroad companies in the US, operating an extensive network of railroads primarily in the western part of the country. The company offers a quarterly dividend of $1.30 per share with a dividend yield of 2.05%, as of February 26. With a 12-month return of 20.3%, UNP is one of the best performing stocks on our list that pay dividends. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, 90 hedge funds in Insider Monkey’s database held stakes in Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP), which remained the same as in the previous quarter. These stakes have a total value of more than $6.66 billion. Among these hedge funds, Soroban Capital Partners was the company’s largest stakeholder in Q4. 6. CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) 12-Month Returns as of February 26: 23.6% CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) ranks sixth on our list of the best performing stocks. The leading transportation and logistics company primarily operates in the railroad industry. It also offers intermodal transportation services, which involve the movement of freight containers and trailers by a combination of rail and truck. On February 14, the company declared a 9.1% hike in its quarterly dividend to $0.12 per share. Through this increase, the company achieved its 19th consecutive annual dividend hike. The stock’s dividend yield of 1.27%, as of February 26. Insider Monkey’s database of Q4 2023 showed that 61 hedge funds owned stakes in CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX), compared with 62 in the previous quarter. These stakes are worth $3.7 billion.   Click to continue reading and see 5 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now.    Suggested articles: 12 Best Medical Stocks to Buy Under $10 14 Best S&P 500 Dividend Stocks To Invest In 2024 12 $10 Stocks That Will Triple Disclosure. None. 13 Best Performing Dividend Stocks To Invest In Now is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Source:  insidermonkeyCategory: top~25 min. ago Related News

5 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees

This article takes a look at the 5 Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees. If you wish to check out our detailed analysis on retirement challenges, you may go to 13 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees. 5. Marco Island Insider Monkey Score: 37     Median Home Price: $1,300,000      1-Year […] This article takes a look at the 5 Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees. If you wish to check out our detailed analysis on retirement challenges, you may go to 13 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees. 5. Marco Island Insider Monkey Score: 37     Median Home Price: $1,300,000      1-Year Percentage Change: 17.5% 5-Year Percentage Change: 116% Cost of Living Index: 113 Marco Island has become increasingly exclusive for retirees, with a current median home price of $1,300,000. The real estate landscape has seen a remarkable 17.5% surge in the past year alone, along with an astounding 116% increase over the last five years. This upward trajectory in home values reflects a substantial shift, making the island a more expensive retirement destination to even consider. The Cost of Living Index stands at 113, which signifies that living expenses here are 13% higher than the national average......»»

Source:  insidermonkeyCategory: top~25 min. ago Related News

13 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees

This article takes a look at the 13 Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on retirement challenges, you may go to 5 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees. Retirement Challenges Drive Americans to Florida Despite Rising Costs Americans anticipate outliving their […] This article takes a look at the 13 Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on retirement challenges, you may go to 5 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees. Retirement Challenges Drive Americans to Florida Despite Rising Costs Americans anticipate outliving their retirement savings by a decade. A whole decade. According to a new survey report by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS) in collaboration with Transamerica Institute®, only 17% of Americans are confident that they can maintain a comfortable lifestyle in their retirement. Meanwhile, an alarming 50% express concerns about the possibility of outliving their savings. The apprehension intensifies with the fear that Social Security benefits may diminish or vanish altogether in the years to come. While it’s not entirely accurate, it’s worth noting that some of these concerns, to a certain extent, are grounded in plausible considerations. This is because, over the years, Americans have been having fewer children and enjoying longer lifespans. This has led to an aging population, with baby boomers now officially entering the Peak 65 period — the phase where they are reaching the age of 65 at a rate unprecedented in history. Since there is a lower working population to support these aging boomers, Social Security funds are projected to deplete as well. When is that going to happen? Also within a decade. That’s right: 2034 is the year retirees may get fewer benefits than they’re entitled to. This has led to a growing trend, driven by both the lack of substantial retirement savings among Americans and the aforementioned reason, where more and more individuals are opting to move to more affordable places to retire. As such, an increasing number of potential retirees are showing interest in the Sunshine State of Florida. According to a study by U-Haul Holding Company (NYSE:UHAL), Florida was the second most popular destination to move to in the year 2022. The state took the same spot in 2023 as well, leveraging on factors such as low cost of living, lack of taxes on retirement income, and sunny weather. “There are many other reasons why people are coming to Florida and have come in previous years. We have a lower cost (of living) than other states. There is no state income tax – that’s a huge factor. The warm weather. Basically, we have summer weather all year long. Attractions. Our beaches. The activities. There’s just so much to do”. Mario Martinez, U-Haul Holding Company (NYSE:UHAL) Area District Vice President of Southern Florida Last year, Redfin Corporation (NASDAQ:RDFN) conducted a similar study to assess migration and relocation trends. Based on the searches of more than two million Redfin Corporation (NASDAQ:RDFN).com users, the study reveals that 26% of homebuyers are looking to move to a different part of the country, up from 24% a year ago. Even though these migration trends aren’t shocking, what is surprising is that these homebuyers are looking to move to affordable areas that come with increased climatic risks. For example, Las Vegas and Sacramento face severe heat risk, Tampa and Cape Coral have an extreme risk of flooding, while places like Orlando and North Port Sarasota have extreme wind and hurricane risk, notes Redfin Corporation (NASDAQ:RDFN). Considering these risks, these may be some of the worst places to retire in Florida, yet homebuyers looking to move here are lured by lower-than-median home prices. As the Sunshine State continues to attract retirees and individuals alike, the growing influx of people has gradually elevated the cost of living and reduced housing affordability in various areas across Florida. Many cities are not as cheap as they once used to be, which is why retirees are fleeing Florida instead. Scott Prokop / Shutterstock.com Methodology To compile the list of Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees, we have ranked the most expensive cities as reported by Finance Buzz, Go Banking, and Business Insider, to name a few. Next, we ranked these Florida cities based on their cost of living index, as well as their 1-year and 5–year percentage changes in median home prices. Scoring on these factors, we summed up individual scores to generate a unique Insider Monkeys score. Places were then ranked in ascending order from the lowest to the highest scores. By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders. Here are the Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees: 13. Orlando Insider Monkey Score: 20     Median Home Price: $369,000         1-Year Percentage Change: 7.6% 5-Year Percentage Change: 53.75% Cost of Living Index: 106 Contemplating a move to Orlando with Disneyland in mind may indeed be enticing, especially considering the added joy it would bring to visits from your grandkids. However, Orlando is indeed getting expensive for the average retiree. The cost of living is now 6% higher than the national average, and the median home price has witnessed a 7.6% hike since last year. Back in January 2019, the median home price of a home in Orlando stood at $240,000 only, signifying a 54% percentage increase. According to the Redfin database, over 34% of homebuyers in Orlando searched to move out of the area between November 2023 to January 2024. 12. Tarpon Springs Insider Monkey Score: 20     Median Home Price: $440,000         1-Year Percentage Change: 11.4% 5-Year Percentage Change: 56.02% Cost of Living Index: 102.8 Tarpon Springs may be beautiful; full of charm and culture, but it’s number 12 on our list of Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees. Over the past year, median home prices in the area have experienced a notable increase of 11.4%. Considering the broader picture, the 5-year percentage change reveals a growth of 56%. Between the period November 2023 to January 2024, 30% of homebuyers searched to move out of the area. Sarasota has been the most popular destination for those looking to move out of the area. 11. Boca Raton Insider Monkey Score: 26     Median Home Price: $629,000         1-Year Percentage Change: 1.1% 5-Year Percentage Change: 44.12% Cost of Living Index: 114.1 While Boca Raton experienced only a 1.1% percentage change in median home price since last year, it is still getting expensive for retirees considering its high cost of living and long-term price hike in home prices. The cost of living in Boca Raton is 14.1% higher than the national average. Moreover, the area has experienced a 44% price hike in home prices over 5 years. In Nov ’23 – Jan ’24, 26% of homebuyers searched to move out of the area, with Cape Coral being the most popular destination they were looking to move to. 10. Tampa Insider Monkey Score: 28     Median Home Price: $391,000 1-Year Percentage Change: 0.5% 5-Year Percentage Change: 34.87% Cost of Living Index: 104.2 Next on our list of Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees is Tampa. Even though the city is still comparatively affordable for the average retiree as compared to other places in the Sunshine State, retirees are still complaining that it’s not as affordable as it once used to be. The cost of living in the city is now 4.2% higher than the national average, while the median home price has increased by 35% over five years. 9. Naples Insider Monkey Score: 30     Median Home Price: $780,000         1-Year Percentage Change: 4%        5-Year Percentage Change: 53.84% Cost of Living Index: 113 Naples is no longer the affordable retirement haven it once used to be. Over 5 years, the median price of a home in Naples has witnessed a spike of 54%. Moreover, the cost of living in the city is now 13% higher than the national average. During the period between Nov ’23 – and Jan ’24, 39% of Naples homebuyers searched to move out of the area. The most popular destination for these homebuyers was Sarasota, followed by Knoxville and Jacksonville. 8. Miami Insider Monkey Score: 35     Median Home Price: $599,000         1-Year Percentage Change: 13% 5-Year Percentage Change: 55.62% Cost of Living Index: 118.9 Those retirees thinking of flocking to Miami for their golden years should think again. Miami is one of the top South Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees. The primary reason an average retiree may not be able to live a comfortable life in the city is its high cost of living, which is an estimated 19% higher than the national average. Median home prices have also spiked considerably in the past year as well as over 5 years. 7. Weston Insider Monkey Score: 35     Median Home Price: $765,000         1-Year Percentage Change: 23.4% 5-Year Percentage Change: 82.14% Cost of Living Index: 110.5 Weston is another Florida city that is getting quite expensive for retirees. This city has experienced one of the most substantial increases in home prices, evident over both a one-year and five-year period. The cost of living is also 10.5% higher than the national average. In Nov ’23 – Jan ’24, 26% of Weston homebuyers searched to move out of Weston, and Cape Coral is the most popular destination they are looking to move to. 6. Palm Harbor Insider Monkey Score: 35     Median Home Price: $445,000         1-Year Percentage Change: 48.8% 5-Year Percentage Change: 39.1% Cost of Living Index: 102.8 Next up on our list of Florida cities that are getting too expensive for retirees is Palm Harbor. The cost of living in this picturesque locale has steadily risen, posing a financial challenge for those seeking a tranquil retirement. Today, it stands 2.8% higher than the national average. The allure of Palm Harbor’s scenic beauty and amenities now comes at a premium, making it a less affordable option for retirees compared to previous times. Click to continue reading and see the 5 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees. Suggested Articles: 12 Worst Cities in the Southeast for Retirees 15 Best Retirement Cities for Dog Lovers 20 Best Cities to Retire for 2024 Disclosure: none. 13 Florida Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

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Police release footage showing moment a woman opened fire at Houston church

Police release footage showing moment a woman opened fire at Houston church.....»»

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Schumer pressures Johnson to pass Ukraine funding bill: "It"s in his hands"

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Ranch for sale in Texas comes with a unique something — actually, 54 unique somethings

Ranch for sale in Texas comes with a unique something — actually, 54 unique somethings.....»»

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This State Has the Worst Bridges in America

Several bridge closures and collapses made the news in the past year. For example, the Washington Bridge in East Providence, Rhode Island, was closed in December following an inspection that revealed damages. Similarly, the Route 20 bridge over Twenty Mile Creek in North East Township, Pennsylvania was closed due to safety concerns in January. And […] The post This State Has the Worst Bridges in America appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Several bridge closures and collapses made the news in the past year. For example, the Washington Bridge in East Providence, Rhode Island, was closed in December following an inspection that revealed damages. Similarly, the Route 20 bridge over Twenty Mile Creek in North East Township, Pennsylvania was closed due to safety concerns in January. And in southern Montana, a bridge collapsed and a train carrying hazardous materials derailed into a river last June. Of course, how safe bridges are differs by state. To find the state with the worst bridges in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Libertarian Reason Foundation’s 27th Annual Highway Report, listing the states by their percentage of structurally deficient bridges, ranking from the lowest to the highest percentage. The overall rank of the state’s highway system is from 1 — the best, to 50 — the worst and is a measure of 13 categories, including urban and rural pavement condition, deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, spending per mile, and administrative costs per mile of highway. All data is from the report except for each state’s most impressive bridge, which came from Love Exploring. The Reason Foundation report found that nationwide, the condition of highway bridges improved slightly in 2021 from 2020. Of the 617,008 highway bridges considered, 7.02% were rated structurally deficient for 2021. (Also see: This State Has the Worst Highways in America.) While the best states — Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Delaware — reported less than 2% of their bridges as structurally deficient, West Virginia reported a whopping 20.37% of its bridges as structurally deficient. Close behind were Iowa, Rhode Island, and South Dakota with over 17% of their bridges structurally deficient. In all, nine states reported over 10% of bridges structurally deficient. On the plus side, 39 states reported at least some improvement in the percentage of structurally deficient bridges between 2020 and 2021. It is important to note that the measure capital and bridge disbursements — or the costs to build new, and widen existing, highways and bridges — is ranked by the adjusted ratio, which is the disbursement per lane-mile divided by the expected disbursement per lane-mile. 50. Arizona Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 1.38% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $68,623 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $44,429 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.54 — 5th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 30 State-control highway miles: 20,046 — 20th lowest Famous bridge in Arizona: Glen Canyon Dam Bridge 49. Nevada Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 1.40% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $51,121 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $37,692 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.36 — 7th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 21 State-control highway miles: 13,509 — 11th lowest Famous bridge in Nevada: Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge 48. Texas Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 1.43% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $48,485 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $44,236 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.10 — 20th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 19 State-control highway miles: 198,465 — the highest Famous bridge in Texas: Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge 47. Delaware Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 1.94% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $49,325 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $82,074 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.60 — 10th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 35 State-control highway miles: 11,998 — 9th lowest Famous bridge in Delaware: Delaware Memorial Bridge 46. Utah Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 2.06% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $58,599 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $45,052 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.30 — 11th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 10 State-control highway miles: 16,023 — 14th lowest Famous bridge in Utah: Hite Crossing Bridge 45. Georgia Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 2.13% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $31,611 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $56,314 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.56 — 8th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 4 State-control highway miles: 49,497 — 11th highest Famous bridge in Georgia: Tallulah Gorge Bridge 44. Vermont Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 2.40% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $32,497 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $26,905 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.21 — 16th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 38 State-control highway miles: 5,998 — 3rd lowest Famous bridge in Vermont: Silk Covered Bridge 43. Florida Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 3.62% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $144,620 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $108,485 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.33 — 8th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 8 State-control highway miles: 45,013 — 12th highest Famous bridge in Florida: Seven Mile Bridge 42. Alabama Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 3.63% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $46,715 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $45,858 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.02 — 24th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 15 State-control highway miles: 29,707 — 20th highest Famous bridge in Alabama: Edmund Pettus Bridge 41. Virginia Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 3.79% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $11,862 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $42,748 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.28 — the highest State’s highway system overall rank: 1 State-control highway miles: 128,989 — 3rd highest Famous bridge in Virginia: Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel 40. Tennessee Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 4.14% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $31,058 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $52,898 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.59 — 9th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 3 State-control highway miles: 37,746 — 17th highest Famous bridge in Tennessee: Walnut Street Bridge 39. Minnesota Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 4.58% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $41,049 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $36,827 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.11 — 18th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 12 State-control highway miles: 29,176 — 22nd highest Famous bridge in Minnesota: Lowry Avenue Bridge 38. Oregon Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 4.64% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $50,073 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $38,506 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.30 — 12th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 37 State-control highway miles: 18,460 — 18th lowest Famous bridge in Oregon: Astoria-Megler Bridge 37. Maryland Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 4.65% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $101,839 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $94,042 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.08 — 21st lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 24 State-control highway miles: 14,928 — 12th lowest Famous bridge in Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Bridge 36. Washington Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 4.80% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $97,951 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $46,867 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 2.09 — the lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 46 State-control highway miles: 18,450 — 19th lowest Famous bridge in Washington: Fred G. Redmon Memorial Bridge 35. Ohio Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 4.91% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $39,661 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $56,700 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.70 — 16th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 17 State-control highway miles: 49,681 — 10th highest Famous bridge in Ohio: Roebling Suspension Bridge 34. Kansas Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.12% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $18,545 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $27,958 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.66 — 13th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 22 State-control highway miles: 24,037 — 24th lowest Famous bridge in Kansas: Keeper of the Plains Bridge 33. New Mexico Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.17% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $14,794 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $26,872 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.55 — 7th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 36 State-control highway miles: 29,430 — 21st highest Famous bridge in New Mexico: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge 32. Idaho Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.22% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $49,130 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $26,779 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.83 — 3rd lowest State’s highway system overall rank:34 State-control highway miles: 12,272 — 10th lowest Famous bridge in Idaho: Perrine Bridge 31. Arkansas Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.25% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $24,155 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $35,260 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.69 — 15th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 13 State-control highway miles: 38,078 — 16th highest Famous bridge in Arkansas: Beaver Bridge 30. Colorado Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.29% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $45,663 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $43,457 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.05 — 23rd lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 43 State-control highway miles: 23,022 — 23rd lowest Famous bridge in Colorado: Royal Gorge Bridge 29. Connecticut Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.30% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $94,435 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $147,085 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.64 — 12th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 5 State-control highway miles: 9,827 — 7th lowest Famous bridge in Connecticut: Arrigoni Bridge 28. South Carolina Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.31% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $21,016 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $45,109 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.47 — 5th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 6 State-control highway miles: 90,552 — 4th highest Famous bridge in South Carolina: Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge 27. Indiana Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.60% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $54,635 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $44,368 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.23 — 14th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 23 State-control highway miles: 28,445 — 23rd highest Famous bridge in Indiana: Cataract Falls Covered Bridge 26. California Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 5.80% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $86,801 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $71,250 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.22 — 15th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 47 State-control highway miles: 52,004 — 9th highest Famous bridge in California: Golden Gate Bridge 25. Kentucky Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 6.87% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $20,742 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $30,817 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.67 — 14th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 7 State-control highway miles: 62,346 — 8th highest Famous bridge in Kentucky: Big Four Bridge 24. Wisconsin Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 6.90% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $46,455 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $43,833 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.06 — 22nd lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 33 State-control highway miles: 29,806 — 19th highest Famous bridge in Wisconsin: Cedarburg Covered Bridge 23. Montana Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 6.93% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $20,961 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $19,047 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.10 — 19th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 25 State-control highway miles: 25,211 — 25th lowest Famous bridge in Montana: Koocanusa Bridge 22. Mississippi Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 6.99% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $25,031 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $33,554 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.75 — 17th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 18 State-control highway miles: 28,310 — 24th highest Famous bridge in Mississippi: Old Vicksburg Bridge 21. North Carolina Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 7.02% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $27,897 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $44,381 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.63 — 11th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 2 State-control highway miles: 173,653 — 2nd highest Famous bridge in North Carolina: Mile High Swinging Bridge 20. New Jersey Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 7.09% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $344,386 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $225,160 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.53 — 6th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 44 State-control highway miles: 8,551 — 5th lowest Famous bridge in New Jersey: Pulaski Skyway 19. Wyoming Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 7.39% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $23,697 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $23,913 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.99 — 25th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 16 State-control highway miles: 15,792 — 13th lowest Famous bridge in Wyoming: Fishing Bridge 18. Hawaii Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 7.49% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $98,120 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $99,817 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.98 — 25th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 48 State-control highway miles: 2,477 — the lowest Famous bridge in Hawaii: Anahulu Stream Bridge 17. New Hampshire Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 7.68% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $32,313 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $37,664 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.86 — 19th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 14 State-control highway miles: 8,453 — 4th lowest Famous bridge in New Hampshire: Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge 16. Alaska Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 8.21% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $65,303 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $31,277 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 2.09 — 2nd lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 50 State-control highway miles: 11,754 — 8th lowest Famous bridge in Alaska: Hurricane Gulch Bridge 15. Nebraska Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 8.34% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $21,452 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $22,276 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.96 — 24th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 26 State-control highway miles: 22,541 — 21st lowest Famous bridge in Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge 14. Massachusetts Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 8.69% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $91,830 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $207,833 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.44 — 3rd highest State’s highway system overall rank: 20 State-control highway miles: 9,556 — 6th lowest Famous bridge in Massachusetts: Bridge of Flowers 13. Illinois Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 8.96% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $74,606 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $63,747 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.17 — 17th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 29 State-control highway miles: 42,169 — 13th highest Famous bridge in Illinois: DuSable Bridge 12. Missouri Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 9.02% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $10,364 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $30,406 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.34 — 2nd highest State’s highway system overall rank: 11 State-control highway miles: 77,693 — 6th highest Famous bridge in Missouri: Chain of Rocks Bridge 11. New York Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 9.52% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $103,205 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $65,611 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.57 — 4th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 49 State-control highway miles: 38,157 — 15th highest Famous bridge in New York: Brooklyn Bridge 10. Oklahoma Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 9.89% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $44,728 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $33,958 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.32 — 10th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 45 State-control highway miles: 30,407 — 18th highest Famous bridge in Oklahoma: Skydance Bridge 9. Michigan Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 10.99% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $53,110 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $60,894 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.87 — 20th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 27 State-control highway miles: 27,366 — 25th highest Famous bridge in Michigan: Mackinac Bridge 8. North Dakota Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 11.23% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $21,820 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $17,458 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.25 — 13th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 9 State-control highway miles: 17,245 — 15th lowest Famous bridge in North Dakota: Hi-Line Bridge 7. Maine Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 12.64% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $27,840 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $29,198 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.95 — 23rd highest State’s highway system overall rank: 32 State-control highway miles: 17,467 — 16th lowest Famous bridge in Maine: Penobscot Narrows Bridge 6. Louisiana Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 12.76% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $22,084 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $44,370 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.50 — 6th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 40 State-control highway miles: 40,154 — 14th highest Famous bridge in Louisiana: Lake Pontchartrain Causeway 5. Pennsylvania Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 13.80% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $43,217 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $47,341 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.91 — 21st highest State’s highway system overall rank: 41 State-control highway miles: 88,322 — 5th highest Famous bridge in Pennsylvania: Sachs Covered Bridge 4. South Dakota Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 17.30% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $13,696 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $18,126 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.76 — 18th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 28 State-control highway miles: 17,955 — 17th lowest Famous bridge in South Dakota: Chamberlain Rail Bridge 3. Rhode Island Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 17.46% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $124,081 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $132,030 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.94 — 22nd highest State’s highway system overall rank: 42 State-control highway miles: 2,870 — 2nd lowest Famous bridge in Rhode Island: Claiborne Pell Bridge 2. Iowa Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 18.87% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $44,132 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $33,116 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 1.33 — 9th lowest State’s highway system overall rank: 31 State-control highway miles: 22,918 — 22nd lowest Famous bridge in Iowa: Kate Shelley High Bridge 1. West Virginia Percent structurally deficient bridges, 2021: 20.37% Capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $12,820 per lane-mile Expected capital and bridge disbursements, 2020: $28,193 per lane-mile Adjusted ratio: 0.45 — 4th highest State’s highway system overall rank: 39 State-control highway miles: 71,054 — 7th highest Famous bridge in West Virginia: New River Gorge Bridge URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored) Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side. Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom! The post This State Has the Worst Bridges in America appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

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Colonies of the United States: Past, Present (and Future?)

Most Americans don’t think of the United States as a colonizing country. After all, we fought a revolution to overturn the colonial system, right? Well, as it turns out Americans didn’t like being colonized but that doesn’t mean we don’t like having colonies! In this article, we’ll explore where and why the United States took over and settled […] The post Colonies of the United States: Past, Present (and Future?) appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Most Americans don’t think of the United States as a colonizing country. After all, we fought a revolution to overturn the colonial system, right? Well, as it turns out Americans didn’t like being colonized but that doesn’t mean we don’t like having colonies! In this article, we’ll explore where and why the United States took over and settled new territory, what happened to its colonies, and what new places the U.S. might still colonize in the future. Why Did Countries Want Colonies? “God, gold, and glory” pretty much summarizes the reasons European countries sent out explorers like Christopher Columbus to claim new colonies. The simplest definition of a colony is that it is a geographic area controlled and settled by people of another country. In ancient times the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans all built colonial empires around the Mediterranean. European powers took control of other countries around the world from the 15th-20th centuries. Whether in ancient or modern times, the motivations for colonization are similar: Increasing a country’s power and strategic position to get ahead of rivals. Taking control of raw materials and creating captive trading partners for exports. Spreading their “superior” culture and civilization. Allowing leaders with grievances or ambitions to make a place in history. The First States and Their “Colonies” Betsy Ross shows off her handiwork on the first United States flag with 13 stars representing the original states of the new country. The United States started as 13 British colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America. Mismanagement and authoritarian government led to the American Revolution and freedom for the new United States of America. The original states were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The country also controlled unorganized territory east of the Appalachians and west of the Mississippi. Many of the states claimed parts of this territory. For example, Virginia laid claim to what is today Kentucky while North Carolina claimed Tennessee. As settlers proliferated in these areas, separate territorial governments were organized that one by one became full-fledged states. Even though western territories were not called “colonies” per se, that’s really what they were: geographic areas with indigenous populations that were controlled by people of another culture, and settled by them. How Did the United States Acquire Its First “Colonies?” Settlers from the original 13 states moved west, colonizing territory that later became new states. Below is a list of the first 37 “colonies” of the United States (all states other than the original 13) along with the date when they became full-fledged states and how the United States acquired the land. 1 Vermont 1791 Territory disputed between New York and New Hampshire. It declared itself the Vermont Republic before becoming a state. 2 Kentucky 1792 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 3 Tennessee 1796 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 4 Ohio 1803 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 5 Louisiana 1812 Purchased from France. 6 Indiana 1816 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 7 Mississippi 1817 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 8 Illinois 1818 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 9 Alabama 1819 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 10 Maine 1820 Separated from Massachusetts. 11 Missouri 1821 Purchased from France. 12 Arkansas 1836 Purchased from France. 13 Michigan 1837 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 14 Florida 1845 Purchased from Spain. 15 Texas 1845 Gained independence from Mexico in a revolution and later joined the United States. 16 Iowa 1846 Purchased from France. 17 Wisconsin 1848 Acquired from Britain in the Revolution. 18 California 1850 Acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War. 19 Minnesota 1858 Purchased from France. 20 Oregon 1859 Lewis and Clark expedition and negotiation with Britain. 21 Kansas 1861 Purchased from France. 22 West Virginia 1863 Separated from Virginia 23 Nevada 1864 Acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War. 24 Nebraska 1867 Purchased from France. 25 Colorado 1876 The western part was acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War; the eastern part was purchased from France. 26 North Dakota 1889 Purchased from France. 27 South Dakota 1889 Purchased from France. 28 Montana 1889 Purchased from France. 29 Washington 1889 Lewis and Clark expedition and negotiation with Britain. 30 Idaho 1890 Lewis and Clark expedition and negotiation with Britain. 31 Wyoming 1890 Purchased from France. 32 Utah 1896 Acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War. 33 Oklahoma 1907 Purchased from France. 34 New Mexico 1912 Acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War. 35 Arizona 1912 Acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War. 36 Alaska 1959 Purchased from Russia. 37 Hawaii 1959 American settlers overthrew the government and applied for admission to the United States America’s Former 3 Colonies The new states that were added to the country starting in 1791 were not the only colonies the United States had. Here are three U.S. colonies that went on to become independent countries: Liberia Liberia today is a mixture of tradition and technology. The West African country of Liberia wasn’t a formal possession of the United States. However, we’ve included it on this list because it was founded by the American Colonization Society, a private organization dedicated to resettling former slaves in West Africa. Thousands of African Americans settled there, taking American culture with them. Liberia declared its independence in 1847. Philippines If the Philippines became a U.S. state, Manila (population 1.7 million) would be the 5th largest city of the United States. The United States went to war with Spain in 1898 to assist Cuba in getting its independence. In the process, the Americans took control of some of Spain’s Pacific and Caribbean colonies. The largest of these was the Philippines. Americans got a mixed reception there, spending decades fighting insurgents, but making a favorable impression on other Filipinos. Some Filipinos wanted the country to achieve U.S. statehood, and there are still a few proponents of this idea there today. This has never been a realistic possibility. Adding a country of 114 million people to the United States would give the Philippines control of 25% of the House of Representatives and of the Electoral College. This would create a profound cultural shift and social upheaval in both countries. The Philippines achieved independence in 1945. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands The independent states of the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands administer enormous areas of the ocean with teaming, diverse marine life. Micronesia is a cultural/geographic region of about 2,100 islands in the western Pacific. Ownership of them passed from Spain to Germany to Japan. After World War II, the United Nations commissioned the U.S. to administer them as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until they were ready for independence. Three independent countries emerged from this temporary American colony. All of these remain in a Compact of Free Association with the United States, which makes the U.S. responsible for their defense: The Federated States of Micronesia 1979 The Marshall Islands 1986 Palau 1994 America’s Current 5 Colonies Today the United States continues to administer 5 colonies known as commonwealths or territories. The people of these regions have different levels of rights without the full benefits of statehood, such as full voting rights. American Samoa American Samoa is the southernmost U.S. territory. In 1899 a conference of world powers divided up disputed territories and awarded a group of 7 islands in the South Pacific to the United States. This remains today the unincorporated territory of American Samoa. This is not to be confused with the nearby Independent State of Samoa, a separate country. Guam Guam is the westernmost American territory and is a significant part of U.S. defense strategy in the Western Pacific. Guam is a western Pacific island seized by the United States from Spain in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War. It is a strategic military base for the United States to deter the ambitions of China and North Korea. Polls show that the residents of Guam favor U.S. statehood rather than independence. Northern Mariana Islands Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands played a significant role in World War II. The Northern Mariana Islands were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Unlike the other three regions that opted for independence, this region voted to remain a part of the United States as a commonwealth. Incidentally, this means the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench, is part of U.S. territorial waters. Puerto Rico Puerto Rico has a rich and diverse culture, with Afro-Caribbean, Spanish, and American influences. Puerto Rico is a large Caribbean island the United States acquired from the defeated Spanish Empire in 1898. It is officially termed a “commonwealth.” Residents have American citizenship and can travel freely to the mainland. As a matter of fact, two-thirds of Puerto Ricans live on the mainland. In recent referenda, 52% of the islanders preferred statehood. Political rivalries in Washington and concerns about cultural assimilation and the costs of extending social services to the islanders have complicated and slowed down the path to statehood. United States Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands attracts more than half a million tourists a year. The Virgin Islands are divided into two colonies, one belonging to the United States and the other to Great Britain. Both use the U.S. dollar as the local currency. Americans acquired the United States Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917 for $25 million. Today, the islands host over 500,000 tourists a year, who bring in average revenue of about $29 million every month! Will the United States Claim More Colonies? It’s safe to say the United States does not have an interest in physically taking control of well-populated countries along with responsibility for defending, policing, developing them, and taking care of the social needs of their people. The U.S. can pursue its national interests through trade and defense agreements with other independent countries rather than taking full responsibility for them and their internal problems. That having been said, future American governments might very much have an interest in colonizing land with little or no population but valuable resources. Here are some potential candidates: Antarctica The Antarctic Treaty forbids territorial claims on this frozen continent, but will that change as melting ice caps reveal natural resources? The Antarctic Treaty forbids countries from seizing land in Antarctica, but seven countries have registered claims anyway: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The United States does not recognize these claims but reserves the right to make its own claims in the future. If valuable raw materials are revealed by the melting ice caps, the U.S. might become much more assertive about claiming its piece of the pie . . . or the whole thing! Greenland The United States has tried several times to purchase Greenland for its strategic location and potential mineral wealth. Greenland is currently administered by Denmark as an autonomous region that may seek independence one day. Its 50,000 people make their living mainly in the fishing industry. However, as the enormous ice pack on the island melts, more of the island may become open to settlement, and rich untapped sources of minerals may become more practical to exploit. The island is also in a strategic location for monitoring and deterring Russian adventurism in the Arctic and the North Atlantic. The American government floated the idea of purchasing the island most recently in 2019, but that wasn’t the first time. Denmark had already rejected similar offers in 1867, 1917, and 1946. Neither Greenland’s people nor Denmark’s leadership have shown any interest in changing the status quo. However, if the Americans did manage to make a deal sweet enough to acquire the island, the United States would surpass Canada as the second-largest country in the world by land area. Space Colonies The United States has already taken the early steps of colonizing the moon. It’s safe to say that as technology advances, spacefaring nations will begin colonizing extra-terrestrial bodies. Space colonies could include enormous space stations or even 100,000-foot-tall skyscrapers suspended from orbit into the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA is working toward establishing a working U.S. base on the Moon that could become the nucleus of a growing lunar colony. This is viewed as a stepping stone to future human exploration and colonization of Mars. The asteroid belt contains millions of chunks of rock and metal that could be harvested and brought to Earth or used for the construction of space megastructures. So perhaps rather than thinking the age of colonization is over, it would be more accurate to say that it has only begun. Sponsored: Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit. The post Colonies of the United States: Past, Present (and Future?) appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

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30 All-Time Best 4-Cylinder Sports Cars Ever

Creating a list of the 30 all-time best 4-cylinder sports cars ever is a bit subjective, as opinions on what makes a sports car the all-time best ever vary. Our criteria were fairly straightforward: 1. Does the car have a 4-cylinder engine, and 2. Did viewing an image of the vehicle elicit ooohs and ahhhs? […] The post 30 All-Time Best 4-Cylinder Sports Cars Ever appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Creating a list of the 30 all-time best 4-cylinder sports cars ever is a bit subjective, as opinions on what makes a sports car the all-time best ever vary. Our criteria were fairly straightforward: 1. Does the car have a 4-cylinder engine, and 2. Did viewing an image of the vehicle elicit ooohs and ahhhs? Though the 4-cylinder engines of the past weren’t often thought of as suitable for sports cars, the advent of turbocharged 4-cylinder engines in the 2010s marked a significant evolution in automotive engineering. Transforming smaller engines in terms of both power and efficiency, turbocharging involves forcing additional air into the engine’s combustion chamber, allowing for more fuel to be burned which generates more power. This technology has allowed automakers to downsize engine displacement without compromising performance. Turbocharged 4-cylinder engines have become commonplace in the sports car sector. This shift reflects an industry-wide commitment to meeting stricter emissions standards. Prepare to be wowed by what 4-cylinders gets you these days, as 24/7 Wall St. presents our list of the 30 all-time best 4-cylinder sports cars ever. Due to the subjective nature of our list, it is presented alphabetically. Acura Integra Type R The Acura Integra Type R is celebrated as a great sports car for several reasons. Its 1.8-liter 4-cylinder DOHC VTEC engine is but one. The Type R variant is further distinguished by its lightweight design, responsive handling, and a close-ratio 5-speed manual transmission that contributes to its appealing driving experience. The car’s meticulous steering, sport-tuned suspension, and limited-slip differential enhance its on-road dynamics, making it a favorite for its ability to combine performance, agility, and reliability. The Acura Integra Type R’s success lies in its well-balanced engineering, providing a thrilling ride. With a base price of 31k for the 2024 model, the Integra is also accessible. Alfa Romeo 4C Spider The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider was a splendid car due to its combination of Italian styling, lightweight carbon fiber construction, and impressive performance. The Spider’s  1.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivered 237 horsepower to the rear wheels, providing exhilarating acceleration. Its mid-engine layout, paired with a responsive dual-clutch transmission, contributed to sharp handling and pinpoint cornering. The open-top design allowed for a dose of wind-in-your-hair excitement, as you cruised along in style. Introduced in 2015, the 4C Spider was retired in 2020. Alpine A110 The Alpine A110 combines lightweight construction, faithful handling, and a winning driving experience in a sleek package. Its mid-engine layout, powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, produces a potent 288 horsepower. The lightweight aluminum chassis and agile suspension setup contribute to exceptional handling. The car’s responsive dual-clutch transmission creates a harmonious connection between the driver and the road. With its elegant design, dynamic performance, and focus on driving pleasure, the Alpine A110 presents a compelling and enjoyable 4-cylinder option. With a base price of just over $100k, the Alpine A110 is not as accessible as some of the other cars on our list. Audi TT The Audi TT has a reputation for performance, efficiency, and refinement. Audi has equipped the TT with a 4-cylinder engine that delivers a balance of power and fuel efficiency, catering to different preferences and driving needs. The use of turbocharging technology in many TT models enhances power output, providing strong acceleration. The TT’s 4-cylinder engine showcases Audi’s commitment to delivering a dynamic driving experience without compromising fuel economy or technological sophistication. At 84k for the basic model, you’ve really gotta want those Lambo doors. BMW z4 2.0 The BMW Z4 is considered a superb sports car for several reasons. First and foremost, the Z4 boasts a dynamic and well-balanced chassis that, when paired with BMW’s engineering prowess, delivers an engaging and spotless driving experience. The 4-cylinder engine options, often turbocharged, provide a blend of power and fuel efficiency. BMW’s commitment to performance is evident in the Z4’s responsive handling, while features like sport-tuned suspension and aerodynamic design contribute to its overall efficiency. The 2024 BMW Z4’s price tag of $70K doesn’t seem terribly unreasonable in the present climate. I can’t believe I just typed that. Chevy Camaro Turbo 1LE The Camaro Turbo 1LE was a compelling variant that demonstrated Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering efficient, environmentally friendly, turbocharged driving machines. Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Camaro Turbo 1LE balanced performance and efficiency, generating 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Its track-focused upgrades, including performance suspension, Brembo brakes, and a sportier appearance package, offered an exciting entry point into the Camaro lineup. Chevrolet discontinued the 4-cylinder option in its Camaro line in 2023 and will be retiring the Camaro altogether with the 2024 model. Dodge Charger: Fifth Generation The fifth generation Dodge Charger, produced from 1982 to 1987, represented a significant departure from its predecessors. During this era, the Charger transformed into a subcompact hatchback with front-wheel drive. This generation was notable for offering 4-cylinder engines, reflecting a focus on fuel efficiency and adapting to changing market demands. Emphasizing practicality and affordability over the traditional muscle car persona, the fifth-generation Charger was marketed to a completely different demographic. The Dodge Charger nameplate was retired in 1987, not to return until the sixth -generation was introduced in 2006. Fiat 124 Spider Abarth The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth was a captivating Italian roadster, combining style and performance in a compact package. With its turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir 4-cylinder engine, the Abarth variant delivered an impressive 164 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, providing ample acceleration and a responsive driving experience. The Abarth’s lightweight design and rear-wheel-drive layout contributed to its responsive handling. The convertible top allowed for the thrill of open-air motoring. Retired in 202o, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth captured the essence of Italian flair and performance, making it a compelling choice for those seeking a blend of style and driving enjoyment in a modern roadster. Ford 2024 Mustang Ecoboost The Ford Mustang EcoBoost is the newest foal in the iconic pony lineup. The Mustang Ecoboost embraces both performance and fuel efficiency. Fitted with a turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine, the EcoBoost variant generates a solid 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The Mustang EcoBoost provides exhilarating acceleration while its sleek and muscular design retains the classic Mustang aesthetic. The Mustang EcoBoost appeals to drivers seeking the Mustang’s iconic style and driving experience with the added advantage of a more fuel-efficient powertrain. With a base price starting at $30k, the all-new 2024 Mustang Ecoboost is destined to be a success. Honda S2000 The S2000 was the result of Honda’s commitment to creating a lightweight, reliable sports car. Introduced in 1999, the S2000 gained a reputation for its high-revving and responsive performance. The 4-cylinder engine was a pivotal component of the S2000’s appeal, with a focus on precision and balance. The S2000 is lauded for its engaging handling, open-top design, and the distinctive howl of its 4-cylinder engine. Retired in 2009, rumor has it that Honda is on the cusp of releasing an all-new, all-electric S2000 model. Hyundai Veloster N The Hyundai Veloster N is a hot hatch that has garnered attention for its blend of performance, style, and affordability. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Veloster N delivers crisp, responsive handling. The Veloster N embraces its sporty character with distinctive exterior styling, including a unique asymmetrical three-door layout. With its competitive pricing and dreamy driving dynamics, the Hyundai Veloster N has earned its place among the ranks of affordable yet high-performance sports cars. Hyundai discontinued the Veloster in 2022, replacing it with the Elantra N and the Kona N. Lotus Exige A precision-engineered sports car that demonstrated Lotus’ commitment to lightweight performance and razor-sharp handling, the Exige is an exhilarating ride. Powered by various 4-cylinder engines over its production history, the Exige’s race-inspired suspension, agile chassis, and aerodynamic styling contributed to its pleasurable handling. Retired in 2021, Lotus replaced the Exige with the Emira. Mazda Miata Heralded as one of the supreme 4-cylinder sports cars, the Mazda Miata’s 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine does not boast overwhelming horsepower figures, but its responsive and rev-happy nature contributes to its reputation. The well-balanced chassis, rear-wheel-drive layout, and near-perfect weight distribution provide superb handling. Mazda’s commitment to the Jinba Ittai philosophy, which emphasizes the harmony between car and driver, is evident in the Miata. With a base price of under 30k, the Miata is one of the more affordable models on our list of the 30 all-time best 4-cylinder sports cars ever. Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 43 The Mercedes-Benz AMG M139 is a remarkable turbocharged inline-4-cylinder engine that has garnered attention for its exceptional performance and efficiency. Introduced in 2019, this powerplant is employed in various high-performance Mercedes-Benz models, including the Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 43. The AMG SL 43, released in the U.S. in the summer of 2023, boasts an impressive 375 horsepower.  The twin-scroll turbocharger, direct fuel injection, and advanced engineering contribute to its remarkable responsiveness. The AMG SL 43 illustrates Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is achievable with a 4-cylinder engine. With a base price of $111k, the AMG SL 43 is not the most accessible car on our list. MG Midget The MG Midget earned its reputation as a decent little 4-cylinder roadster through its charming simplicity, engaging driving dynamics, and timeless design. Produced between 1961 and 1979, the Midget’s lightweight construction, lively handling, and engaging performance informed its stellar reputation. The compact dimensions, responsive steering, and rear-wheel-drive layout contributed to the Midget’s enjoyable driving experience. Powered by a modest yet reliable 4-cylinder engine, the Midget had a top speed of 93 mph. Its affordability (approx. 20-25k in 2024 U.S. greenbacks), combined with classic British roadster styling, made it a popular choice among those looking for an accessible driving experience in a compact and charismatic package. Mini Cooper S The perfect blend of retro charm and contemporary flair, the Mini Cooper S is a fabulously fun and well-rounded 4-cylinder car. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine known for its peppy performance, makes the Mini Cooper S a joy to maneuver in urban environments as well as winding roads. The car’s fuel efficiency and compact size further contribute to its practicality. Still in production, the 2024 Mini Coopers offer a 3-cylinder engine. However, the rumor mill is saying that the 3-cylinder option will be discontinued for 2025. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, affectionately called the Evo, is recognized for its rally-bred roots and dynamic capabilities. Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and an advanced all-wheel-drive system, the Evo delivers exceptional power and handling. The Evolution series has a rich history in rally racing, and this influence is evident in its exact steering and impressive traction on various road surfaces. Produced between 1992-2016, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII (2003-2005) was the first Evo model available in the U.S. Nissan 240SX (S13) Produced from 1989 to 1994, the 240SX S13 is celebrated for its lightweight chassis, rear-wheel-drive configuration, and well-balanced dynamics. Powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, the S13 provided a solid foundation for aftermarket modifications, earning it popularity among those who sought to customize and enhance its performance. The 240SX S13’s affordability (original base price of $13.5k), coupled with its potential for modification and drifting (aka rolling donuts), has solidified its status as a cult classic. Opel GT The Opel GT, was a captivating sports car produced between 1968-1973 and 2007-2009. Known for its sleek, distinctive design and sporty performance, the Opel GT was inspired by the Chevy Corvette. Featuring a distinctive fastback style with pop-up headlights, the GT housed a variety of 4-cylinder (and 3-cylinder) engines, under its hood. Its low-slung stance and incredible handling, coupled with its eye-catching aesthetics have rendered the Opel GT a classic, exhibiting Opel’s ability to blend style and performance in a compact sports car package. Pontiac Solstice GXP With its striking design and engaging performance, the Pontiac Solstice GXP is the epitome of the American roadster. At the heart of the Solstice GXP is a potent turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, delivering an exhilarating 260 horsepower to the rear wheels. The distinctive clamshell hood and pronounced fenders, capture the nostalgia of a bygone era.  While the Pontiac brand is no longer in production, the Solstice GXP is celebrated for its blend of style and performance. Produced from 2005-2010, the Soltice shared a platform with the Saturn Sky. Porsche 718 Cayman Of the 30 all-time best 4-cylinder sports cars ever, Porsche is one of the most unlikely entrants. Though the idea of a 4-cylinder Porsche is not the first thing to enter one’s mind, with its 4-cylinder engine, the 718 Cayman, is a dynamic and precision-engineered sports car in the Porsche lineup. The turbocharged 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine options deliver a remarkable combination of power and efficiency. Its mid-engine layout provides exceptional balance and handling, allowing drivers to navigate corners with confidence, and turning any linger doubters into believers. Yes, Virginia, 4-cylinder Porsches exist- and they’re amazing! With a base sticker price of $70k, the 718 Cayman is remarkably affordable – for a Porsche. Renault Megane RS The Renault Megane RS, is a dynamic hatchback, powered by a  4-cylinder engine. The Megane RS delivers impressive power and torque for the ultimate driving adventure. Its sport-tuned suspension and all-wheel steering make the Megane RS a joy to maneuver, in tight urban settings as well as on long, leisurely country drives. A prominent rear spoiler, alloy wheels, and an exquisitely appointed interior emphasized the Megane RS’s fusion of performance and comfort. Production of this incredible vehicle ceased in 2023, edged out in favor of Renault’s new e-car models. Saab 9-2X Aero The Saab 9-2X Aero, a unique collaboration between Saab and Subaru, resulted in a sporty compact with distinctive Scandinavian design cues and Japanese engineering expertise. Essentially a rebranded version of the Subaru Impreza WRX, the 9-2X Aero reflects Saab’s design influences through its distinctive front grille and interior details. Under the hood, the Aero variant housed a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, blending the practicality of a compact hatchback with a touch of Saab’s characteristic styling and driving dynamics. Thanks to its unconventional styling, in concert with its limited production (2004-2006) have created a niche following for the 9-2X. Subaru BRZ The Subaru BRZ is the result of a collaboration between Subaru and Toyota. Powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, the BRZ’s rear-wheel-drive layout and lightweight design contribute to its exceptional handling and balance. Its sporty design complements the performance-oriented nature of the car. Whether on the track or the open road, the Subaru BRZ captivates drivers who seek a well-balanced, driver-focused 4-cylinder Sports car. A. 2024 MSRP of $30k makes the BRZ even more captivating. The BRZ shares a platform with the Toyota 86. Subaru WRX STI The Subaru WRX STI, a high-performance variant of the iconic WRX, commands attention with its rally-inspired pedigree and exhilarating performance. Powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, the STI generates potent power and torque, channeled through Subaru’s renowned symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. Renowned for its rally-bred capabilities, the WRX STI excels in dynamic driving situations, with its sport-tuned suspension and impressive traction. Whether on the rally stage or the open road, the Subaru WRX STI captivates those who crave a combination of performance and rally-ready style. At a mere $32.7k the 2024 WRX STI is priced to sell. Toyota MR2 The Toyota MR2 is a compact, 4-cylinder sports car that was immediately embraced for its mid-engine layout and lightweight design. Over its three generations, the MR2  delivered a blend of performance tempered with efficiency. The MR2’s distinctive pop-up headlights and responsive handling contributed to its sporty aesthetic. Produced from 1984 until 2007, the Toyota MR2 remains a beloved classic, cherished for its role in bringing affordable mid-engine sports cars to a broader audience. Toyota GR Supra 2.0 The Toyota GR Supra 2.0 is a perfect balance of performance and accessibility. Fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the GR Supra 2.0 delivers an amazing 255 horsepower. The rear-wheel-drive configuration, precise steering, and well-tuned chassis contribute to the Supra’s tight handling.  With a base MSRP of $47.5k, the 2024 GR Supra caters to drivers seeking an exciting and accessible entry into the world of sports cars. Triumph TR4 The Triumph TR4 is a classic British sports car that exudes timeless charm and performance. A sporty roadster, the TR4 featured a  2.1-liter inline-4 engine that delivered a combination of power and agility. The TR4’s responsive rack-and-pinion steering and well-tuned suspension provided a smooth, comfortable ride. With a focus on open-top motoring, the TR4’s convertible design added to its allure. A collector’s dream, only 71,000 TR4s were produced between 1961-1965 Volkswagen Golf GTI The Volkswagen Golf GTI, a pioneering hot hatch (aka sporty hatchback), has become an automotive icon, celebrated for its perfect blend of practicality and performance. The GTI (Grand Touring Injection)  supplies the everyday usability of the Volkswagen Golf in a sportier package.  Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the GTI’s precision steering, well-tuned suspension, and slick handling make it a joy to navigate through city streets or down long and winding roads. The GTI’s distinctive exterior, featuring a signature red stripe on the grille and alloy wheels, adds the sporty touch Introduced in 1975, at the Frankfurt (Germany) International Motor Show, the Volkswagen Golf GTI was an instant sensation. With a base price of $32k, the VW Golf GTI is one of the more accessible all-time best 4-cylinder sports cars ever. Volvo S60 Polestar The Volvo S60 Polestar represents a collaboration between Volvo and Polestar, Volvo’s performance partner. The S60 Polestar is powered by a twin-charged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine, tuned by Polestar to produce an astounding 455 horsepower and 523 lb-ft torque. The front-wheel-drive hatchback features sport-tuned suspension, providing an agreeable ride. The S60 also reflects Volvo’s commitment to safety, incorporating advanced safety technologies alongside its sporty attributes. Introduced in 2012, the 2024 Volvo S60 Polestar can be yours starting at $52k.   Sponsored: Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit. The post 30 All-Time Best 4-Cylinder Sports Cars Ever appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Source:  247wallstCategory: blog~28 min. ago Related News

The Most Popular Revolver Companies in the US, Ranked

Revolvers were once the standard-issue firearm for law enforcement for many years. From police departments to the U.S. military, revolvers were once the more popular weapon of choice, with manufacturers like Colt, who made the Official Police and Trooper models (the chambered .38 Special and the .357 Magnum respectively,) and Smith & Wesson who made […] The post The Most Popular Revolver Companies in the US, Ranked appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Revolvers were once the standard-issue firearm for law enforcement for many years. From police departments to the U.S. military, revolvers were once the more popular weapon of choice, with manufacturers like Colt, who made the Official Police and Trooper models (the chambered .38 Special and the .357 Magnum respectively,) and Smith & Wesson who made the Model 15 (formerly known as the K-38 Combat Masterpiece). Revolvers are much slower to reload and don’t have the same magazine capacity as semi-automatic pistols, which is why in recent decades, semi-automatic pistols have all but replaced revolvers in professional spheres, from law enforcement to the military. Yet, revolvers are noted for their reliability and simplicity, and as such, they remain popular with civilians in the United States – and consumer demand appears to be rising. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), revolver production in the United States topped 830,800 by July 2022, and it would appear that production is headed towards similar numbers of the previous year when more than 1.1 million guns were manufactured. While there are thousands of licensed gunmakers in the U.S., only a small handful of them cater to the growing market for revolvers. (These Americans own the most guns: every state ranked.) The market for revolvers is controlled by only a handful of companies, more than any other type of firearm. 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s top revolver companies by using data from the ATF. Companies are ranked by total domestic revolver production in 2021. The companies listed here were the only gun makers to produce at least 1,000 revolvers in the U.S. in 2021. The top three brands listed – Heritage Manufacturing, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson – account for over 85% of all domestic revolver manufacturing. (Here is a look at the most powerful handguns.) For some of these top companies, revolvers represent only a small share of their overall firearm production. While Heritage focuses almost exclusively on pistol production, for brands like Ruger and Smith & Wesson, semi-automatic pistols and rifles account for the bulk of total manufacturing output.  Here are the most popular revolver companies in the U.S. 10. Nighthawk Custom LLC Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 1,110 (0.1% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): Mongoose, Ranger, NXR, Callahan Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Berryville, AR Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 4,526 9. Magnum Research Inc. Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 1,833 (0.2% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): BFR Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Pillager, MN Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 14,586 8. Automated Finishing Company Inc. Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 2,053 (0.2% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): N/A Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Attleboro, MA Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 7,651 7. Standard Manufacturing Co. LLC Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 11,602 (1.0% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): S333 Thunderstruck, Single Action Revolver Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): New Britain, CT Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 26,630 6. Kimber Mfg. Inc. Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 16,975 (1.5% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): K6XS, DASA, DCR Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Troy, AL Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 294,750 5. North American Arms Inc. Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 57,142 (4.9% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): Sidewinder, Ranger, Black Widow, Hogleg, Earl, Companion Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Provo, UT Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 57,836 4. Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 65,062 (5.6% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): Python, King Cobra, Anaconda, Single Action Army Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): West Hartford, CT Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 151,771 3. Smith & Wesson Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 232,476 (20.0% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): Model 27, Model 686, Model 29, Model 639 Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Columbia, MO, Springfield, MA Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 2,317,792 2. Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 276,999 (23.9% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): LCR, Wrangler, Bearcat, Redhawk, GP100 Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Newport, NH, Prescott, AZ, Mayodan NC, Southport, CT Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 2,078,013 1. Heritage Manufacturing, Inc. Revolvers manufactured domestically in 2021: 492,584 (42.5% of all U.S.-made revolvers) Popular revolver model(s): Barkeep, Rough Rider Domestic revolver manufacturing location(s): Bainbridge, GA Total domestic firearm production in 2021: 505,601 Sponsored: Attention Savvy Investors: Speak to 3 Financial Experts – FREE Ever wanted an extra set of eyes on an investment you’re considering? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help guide you through the financial decisions you’re making. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free. Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions. The post The Most Popular Revolver Companies in the US, Ranked appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Source:  247wallstCategory: blog~28 min. ago Related News

I spent $150 on a 30-minute "power nap" designed to improve my health. I"d actually do it again.

I visited the Fairmont Century Plaza spa in Los Angeles to experience a 30-minute "power nap" treatment. I think it actually worked. I spent $150 on a "power nap," and I don't regret it. Molly O'BrienI paid $150 for a 30-minute "power nap" at Fairmont Century Plaza's spa in LA. The nap was designed to help me feel more well-rested and refreshed, and I feel like it worked.I thought the price was worth it because the treatment came with a day pass to the spa, too. I recently visited the Fairmont Century Plaza's 14,000-square-foot spa and well-being center in Los Angeles to experience a 30-minute "power nap" treatment.This power nap would involve making a series of incremental changes to my body that, according to the spa's site, could either help me feel more relaxed or more energized.I paid $150 for my 30-minute "power nap" session, which is also offered in increments of 60 and 90 minutes for an additional cost.The spa felt relaxing and the treatment was, tooThe spa felt cozy and peaceful inside. Molly O'BrienBefore my power nap, I felt tired and worn down.It was a dark, rainy day outside in LA, but since the hotel's spa was nestled underground, the weather didn't matter.I felt like I was in a different, cozy world. After entering the spa, I headed into a private treatment room.The technician got me settled on a special mat. Molly O'BrienThe first thing the technician did was apply a NuCalm Disc to my left wrist.The sticker-like device was supposed to activate my parasympathetic nervous system, blocking cortisol to slow my heart and breathing rates and help me feel more relaxed. I'm not sure if it did anything, but I didn't mind having it there.The NuCalm Disc looked sort of like a fancy sticker. Molly O'BrienThen, I reclined on an anti-gravity bed to relieve pressure on my body's joints using a special HigherDose mat. It's supposed to enhance my body's "natural recovery process" using magnetic-field therapy, heat, and healing crystals.Magnetic-field therapy is typically used for pain management, though there haven't been many studies on it. It's hard to say if it "worked," but I really liked how the mat felt warm and cozy while I was lying on it.The HigherDose mat looked like it was filled with crystals. Molly O'BrienThe technician then zipped me into a pair of NormaTec Lymphatic Drain boots designed to help ease muscle tension, boost circulation, and detoxify the muscles in my legs.I'm not sure if the boots did all of those things, but the massage was my favorite part of the treatment. The boots applied perfect levels of pressure on my legs.I also wore a soft black-out eye mask to block out the light and headphones that played therapeutic binaural-meditation sounds, like falling rain and tweeting birds.The sounds blended different frequencies designed to make me feel less anxious and sleep better. My technician said she loves to listen to these types of sounds at night to wind down.During the treatment, I felt like I was being enveloped in a warm cocoon, on a journey into pure bliss.I'd do this again, and be open to trying other similar treatmentsAfter the treatment, I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the rest of the day and like I could think more clearly.When comparing the before- and after-treatment selfies I took, I even thought my eyes looked brighter. Either way, I definitely felt more well-rested and recharged.To me, the treatment was worth the price because it also came with access to the spa's other amenities, including the fitness center, sauna, aromatherapy steam room, and more.A day pass for the spa without any treatment would've cost $100, so my nap kind of only cost $50. It was amazing to spend the rest of the day relaxing at the spa and using the amenities as long as I liked.I'd definitely like to explore other special spa treatments in the future, like The Spa at Beverly Wilshire's black-diamond cryofacial, which is supposed to use chilled air to "stimulate circulation and enhance conditions for optimum collagen production."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~40 min. ago Related News

Plans to seize Russian assets "undermine" trust in the dollar and euro, Kremlin official says

Western plans to potentially use Russia's frozen assets to fund aid for Ukraine will be met with a similar response by Moscow, Anton SIluanov said. Contributor#8523328 Using Russia's frozen assets is undermining Western currencies, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said, per Bloomberg If the West targets the funds, Russia will respond in a similar manner, he said. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen argued the funds' use is a "moral case." The potential seizure of Russia's frozen assets is eroding global trust in key Western currencies, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told a state-run news service, per Bloomberg. "The Chinese are reducing their participation in American securities — this is a consequence of what is happening," he originally said in an interview with RIA Novosti. "The reliability of the dollar and euro has been undermined."His comments were a response to ongoing Western deliberations about the $300 billion in overseas Russian assets, funds that were seized in retribution for Moscow's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.Alongside a broader wave of sanctions from the US and its allies, the freezing of Russian assets has long been a cited factor for a growing de-dollarization trend. That is, to avoid Russia's fate, countries have diversified their reserves away from the US greenback, and have instead turned to alternatives such as gold.In that same time, Russia's frozen reserves have sat untouched, but leaders in Europe and the US are now voicing support to use them for Ukraine's financial needs. Despite worries that this could undermine financial stability, the assets are considered a useful solution to waning international support for Kyiv.Ideas have ranged from only using the taxes accrued on the funds, while others have pushed for seizing the assets as a whole.On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued an appeal to her Group of Seven counterparts to make use of the immobilized funds, noting that there is a "strong international law, economic and moral case for moving forward."The most decisive action so far was taken by the European Union, which this month adopted a law to set aside any windfall profits accumulated by the reserves.Without specifying, Siluanov told RIA that Russia has its own frozen assets belonging to the West, and can respond symmetrically to any Western actions. In late 2022, Moscow froze funds in accounts belonging to non-residents from countries it deemed "unfriendly," Bloomberg reported. As of then, these accounts held around $3 billion.A Russia spokesperson has previously pushed back on a G7 debt scheme that would use the assets as collateral, noting that Moscow would respond with legal actions if this occurred.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~40 min. ago Related News

Nancy Mace is introducing a resolution expressing support for IVF — but it doesn"t do anything to actually protect the procedure

Nancy Mace is introducing a resolution expressing support for IVF — but it doesn"t do anything to actually protect the procedure.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~40 min. ago Related News

Looks like there won"t be an Apple car after all

Apple is ending its electric car project its been working on for about a decade, sources told Bloomberg. Apple is ending its electric car project that was about a decade in the making. Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez/Getty ImagesApple is ending its electric car project about a decade in the making, sources told Bloomberg. Executives at the tech company broke the news to nearly 2,000 employees on the EV team. Some will be moved to different roles focused on generative AI. Others may get laid off. Apple is reportedly abandoning a decadelong effort to manufacture its own electric car, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.As of Tuesday, Apple executives Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch internally broke the news to nearly 2,000 employees working on the EV team known as the Special Projects Group.They said many of the employees involved in the project will be moved to the company's artificial intelligence division to focus on its generative AI projects.Several hundred hardware engineers and car designers part of the team may be able to apply for other open roles at Apple, per Bloomberg. An undisclosed number of layoffs is imminent.Check back for more information. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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Kevin McCarthy says there"s "a real concern" about Biden"s ability to lead and interact with foreign leaders: "That would be on top of everything else"

McCarthy while on CNBC said at one point he had hoped that Biden didn't interact with world leaders in a similar manner as their personal interaction. Then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden meet to discuss the debt limit.Alex Brandon/APKevin McCarthy said he saw concerning behavior from President Biden while interacting with world leaders."There is a real concern here," McCarthy said as he remarked on Biden's ability to effectively lead.As the 2024 race heats up, the advanced ages of the leading presidential candidates have become a major issue.Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a Tuesday interview said he had "a real concern" about President Joe Biden's ability to effectively interact with foreign leaders, shining another spotlight on the debate around the president's age ahead of the 2024 election.During a discussion on CNBC's "Squawk Box," McCarthy, who last December retired from the House following his ouster as speaker in October, painted a less-than-stellar picture of Biden's presidential abilities at the White House."I have personally been in situations where I walked out not telling the press what has transpired but was deeply upset as an American of what I saw just transpire," the California Republican said. "Just hoping that he doesn't have any interaction with another world leader with the interaction I just had with him.""So yes, there is a real concern here and I think that would be on top of everything else," he added.As Biden has ramped up his reelection campaign, he's had to contend with questions about his mental acuity given that he'd be 82 years old at the start of a second term and 86 at the end of said term.The questions were amplified after a special counsel report on Biden's handling of classified documents didn't recommend charges against him but described his memory as "hazy" and "poor." After the report was released, Biden firmly pushed back against that characterization in a fiery speech the White House.Vice President Kamala Harris leapt to the president's defense, blasting the special counsel's claims regarding Biden's memory as "inaccurate and inappropriate."Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah earlier this month told The Huffington Post that while age would be a "huge issue" in the expected rematch between Biden and former President Donald Trump, he hadn't witnessed a situation that was overly concerning regarding the president's mental acuity."I've worked with the president, and I haven't seen anything that's abnormal before," Romney, who was a key player in crafting the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill, told the news outlet.Trump's age has also been raised as an issue, as the 77-year old has sometimes made rambling remarks on policy issues and mixed up the names of prominent figures.Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Trump's remaining major Republican primary opponent, has said that American voters want to move beyond a Biden-Trump rematch, pointing to her candidacy as one that represents a new generation of GOP leadership.But so far, GOP voters remain solidly behind Trump, as he's won every major statewide primary or caucus since January.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~40 min. ago Related News

Where to watch Doctor Who for free online from anywhere

You can watch Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer if you live in the UK. We'll show you how to access it from anywhere in the world via a VPN. When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreDoctor Who lineup from 2005 to 2023.BBCIt's finally 2024, which means that the long-awaited new season of Doctor Who is almost here. Viewers got a glimpse of the new Fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, in the Christmas special at the end of last year, and he is expected to return for a full new season later this year. Gatwa is just the latest regeneration of the Doctor and marks 60 years of TV history.The recent 60th anniversary specials also brought back the beloved former Doctor and companion duo played by David Tennant and Catherine Tate, sparking quite a wave of nostalgia for past seasons. If you're looking to rewatch your favorite Doctor's seasons or binge the entire series for the first time, we've got you covered. BBC iPlayer has all seasons of Doctor Who available to stream for free, and Max and Disney Plus also have some regional offerings. If you're not in the UK, we'll show you how to watch all seasons of Doctor Who live for free using a VPN.How to watch The Bachelor Season 28 | How to watch Echo online | How to watch Vanderpump Rules Season 11Where to watch Doctor Who quick linksUnlock free UK option internationally via ExpressVPN (try it risk-free for 30 days)Watch 1963-2023 seasons in UK: BBC iPlayerWatch modern-era seasons in USA: MaxWatch 60th anniversary specials in USA/Canada/Australia and more: Disney PlusHow to watch all seasons of Doctor Who in the UKAll seasons of Doctor Who are available to stream on BBC iPlayer. This means that UK viewers can watch the modern seasons, the classic series, and the recent 60th anniversary specials all in one place. BBC iPlayer is free and just requires that you sign in, so you'll have access to more than 800 episodes for free in no time at all. A few episodes from the classic series, including those that make up the "An Unearthly Child" story, are missing due to a licensing dispute. Doctor Who lineup from 1963 to 1996.BBCHow to watch modern seasons of Doctor Who in the USUS viewers have a much more limited selection of Doctor Who episodes than the UK library. All modern (revived) seasons, from the Ninth Doctor to the Thirteenth Doctor, are available to stream on Max. A Max subscription starts at $9.99 per month. How to watch the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specialsThe four 60th anniversary specials are available on BBC iPlayer in the UK. For many other countries – including the US, Canada, and Australia – the specials are available to stream on Disney Plus. Disney Plus plans start at $7.99 per month. We expect the next season to land on the Disney service in those countries later this year, too.How to watch all Doctor Who seasons for free from anywhereIf you're not in the UK and want to watch all seasons of Doctor Who for free, you can use a VPN (virtual private network). VPNs are helpful because they unlock various streaming options where permitted and also help boost your online privacy. VPNs work by changing your device's location to a country with different servers, allowing you to access various websites and apps.We recommend ExpressVPN, a straightforward VPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you want to find more information, take a look at our ExpressVPN review and read on to learn how to use it.How to watch Doctor Who episodes with a VPNSign up for a VPN if you don't have one.Install it on the device you're using to watch the movie.Turn it on and set it to a UK location.Go to BBC iPlayer.Sign up for an account with a local postcode.Enjoy watching Doctor Who.When does the new season of Doctor Who start?The longtime wait for the next season of Doctor Who is almost over. The new season will premiere in May 2024, according to the BBC. The series will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Disney Plus almost everywhere else. Check out the action-packed teaser trailer below: How to watch Doctor Who spin-offsMultiple Doctor Who spin-off series are available to stream on BBC iPlayer, including The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood. These two series are available to stream on Max in the US. Note: The use of VPNs is illegal in certain countries, and using VPNs to access region-locked streaming content might constitute a breach of the terms of use for certain services. Insider does not endorse or condone the illegal use of VPNs.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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10 TV shows to start watching before Black History Month ends

"Lawmen: Bass Reeves," "Kingdom Business," and "The Ms. Pat Show" are just some of the best shows starring Black talent. David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves in "Lawmen: Bass Reeves."Lauren Smith/Paramount+Black History Month is a great chance to watch and support Black TV."Lawmen: Bass Reeves," "Kingdom Business," and "The Ms. Pat Show" are all worth watching.Here are 10 shows to start supporting Black actors, writers, and producers.Black History Month is a time for intentionally supporting the Black arts — whether through donations, time, or highlighting artists' standout work across genres.We identified 10 TV shows for viewers to start this week before the end of Black History Month. The shows are led by Black talent, created by Black artists, or give glimpses into Black history or experiences. Some have multiple seasons, and some are only one season long, but they're all worth a watch.From comedy to murder mystery, here are 10 shows to watch this Black History Month."Black Cake"Image of Mia Isaac as Coventina in the Hulu Original "Black Cake."Hulu/James Van Evers"Black Cake" is a murder-mystery drama based on the book "Black Cake" by Charmaine Wilkerson. The Hulu Original tells the unique life story of Eleanor Bennett, a half-Jamaican, half-Chinese girl.After Eleanor dies from cancer, it's up to her children to find out who she really was and to put together the pieces of her life with the clues she has left them. Oprah Winfrey and Marissa Jo Cerar produced the show, which initially aired on November 1, 2023.The series has been nominated for multiple awards this year, including for outstanding limited or anthology series at the GLAAD Awards, and for outstanding drama series and outstanding writing in a drama series for Cerar at this year's NAACP Awards."Black Cake" is streaming on Hulu."The First Wives Club""The First Wives Club."BET+"The First Wives Club" depicts the story of college friends who have entered a new phase of life. Navigating kids, marriage, divorce, and friendship, the three leading ladies — played by Jill Scott, Michelle Buteau, and Ryan Michelle Bathe — must lean on each other.This show, which was inspired by the original 1996 movie, "First Wives Club," highlights the realities and difficulties of being a "first wife." So far, it's proven popular with BET viewers.According to Klein Felt from The Direct, "Across its three seasons, [The] First Wives Club has averaged 0.52 million viewers per episode. This number may not look like much, but BET's viewership peak for 2023 came during the annual BET Awards ceremony with a meager 2.8 million viewers (per Yahoo). ""The First Wives Club" is streaming on Netflix and BET+."The Vince Staples Show""The Vince Staples Show."Netflix"The Vince Staples Show" is a series about the life of a semi-celebrity rapper, Vince Staples, who is navigating the twists and turns of life in his hometown of The Beach.It stars Staples, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Andrea Ellsworth, with Staples doubling as a producer.The New York Times' James Poniewozik called the show, which was released on February 15, "mordantly funny and visually arresting.""The Vince Staples Show" is streaming on Netflix."Kingdom Business""Kingdom Business."BET+"Kingdom Business" is a peek behind the scenes at the gospel-music industry. It follows an exotic dancer turned singer who transitions into the gospel genre, revealing corruption in the music industry and the church.Between murder, attempted suicide, and secret children, there's no shortage of drama in the show, which stars Yolanda Adams, Serayah, Chaundre Hall-Broomfield, Michael Jai White, and Michael Beach."'Kingdom Business' isn't only fun to watch, but the smooth soundtrack is sumptuous too," wrote Nadja Sayej for Shondaland.Two seasons are available on BET+ and through premium subscriptions on other streaming platforms."Lawmen: Bass Reeves"David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves in "Lawmen: Bass Reeves."Lauren Smith/Paramount+Paramount+ describes this Golden Globe Award-nominated Western drama as "the untold story of the most legendary lawman in the Old West: Bass Reeves."David Oyelowo plays Reeves, who transitions from enslavement to law enforcement as one of the first Black US Deputy Marshals west of the Mississippi. The show takes inspiration from the real-life story of Bass Reeves, who was born in 1838 and died in 1910."David Oyelowo gave an unimpeachable performance as Reeves, focused and intense and emotionally true," wrote Mike Hale of The New York Times. "And the show's creator, Chad Feehan, and his directors, Christina Alexandra Voros and Damian Marcano, put onscreen a notably handsome and visually credible evocation of the American West in the 1870s."This show is available on Paramount+."50/50 Flip""50/50 Flip" team with demolition tools.HuluThe reality series follows real-estate investors and married couple Krystal and Dedric Polite, who flip houses in Burlington, North Carolina, with the goal of creating affordable housing. They flip homes with less than $50,000 in under 50 days — what they call their "50/50 flip strategy.""Unlike any other 'flipping' show, the Polites share valuable insight on how to acquire property at a discount, secure funding and determine whether to hold or sell the homes they've bought and renovated," according to an A&E press release when the first season was released in 2022, People reported."50/50 Flip" is in its second season, which isn't readily available on A&E, but Hulu released all episodes on February 7, 2024.Streaming is available on A&E and Hulu."The Ms. Pat Show""The Ms. Pat Show."BET+The Emmy-nominated series "The Ms. Pat Show" stars actor and stand-up comedian Patricia "Pat" Williams in a fictionalized version of her life in suburban Indiana.Now in its third season, the show's first season has a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "For anyone who's ever watched classic sitcoms and felt like their family wasn't represented on TV, 'The Ms. Pat Show' is here to highlight your experiences, while making you hysterically laugh out loud," wrote Stephanie Holland for Tell-Tale TV.Some critics have warned the jokes might not be for everyone — Decider likened it to "Roseanne," "if 'Roseanne' were uncensored."Although "The Ms. Pat Show" is a BET+ Original, it's available on the Roku Channel, DIRECTV, Apple TV, or Prime Video, as well as BET+."Survival of the Thickest"Michelle Buteau in "Survival of the Thickest."Netflix"Survival of Thickest" is the portrayal of bouncing back after a bad breakup. Mavis Beaumont, played by Michelle Buteau, is an eager stylist who faces the struggle of being plus-size in an industry that is not kind to curvier women, but she finds the opportunity to start over in life, love, and redefine her happiness."At first, it seems as though Survival will be a rom-com chronicling how Mavis gets her groove back. As comfortable as she is in her skin, Mavis understands all too well how much of the world sees plus-size women," wrote Judy Berman at Time.The show is also inspired by Buteau's 2020 book, also titled, "Survival of the Thickest."It's available for streaming on Netflix."Family Reunion"The cast of "Family Reunion."NetflixIn this sit-com, the McKellan family moves from Seattle to Atlanta after Anthony Alabi's character Moz McKellan's football career ends. In Atlanta, they live with his mother and navigate their new life under her traditional household rules.Also starring Loretta Devine and Tia Mowry, the show tackles many big issues, including racial profiling."'Family Reunion' is definitely old-fashioned in many ways," wrote Joel Keller for Decider. "But it's also got some fine performances, occasionally smart writing, and it discusses issues that will make you and your kids think between the laughs."The show had a total of five seasons and is rated TV-PG."Family Reunion" is streaming on Netflix."The Other Black Girl""The Other Black Girl."HuluThis Hulu Original thriller tells the story of how an editorial assistant, Nella, portrayed by Sinclair Daniel, is sick of being the only Black girl at work. She's delighted when Hazel is hired, but as Hazel has success on the job, Nella spirals out and figures out something bad is going on at the company.In addition to Sinclair Daniel, the show stars Ashleigh Murray and Brittany Adebumola.This series, which Variety called "deliciously unhinged," is based on the 2021 book "The Other Black Girl" by Zakiya Dalila Harris.Streaming is available on Hulu.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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Hyundai"s Georgia EV plant gets new production start date

Hyundai is moving the start date at its Georgia electric vehicle plant......»»

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110 East offers tenants a Class-A gateway to Charlotte’s most exciting neighborhood

Located in the heart of Charlotte’s vibrant South End submarket, 110 East set out to create a unique workplace experience that seamlessly blends into the fabric of a rapidly growing neighborhood steeped in rich history. The story of South End dates back to the mid-1800s when the district played home to the nation’s first gold rush, which partially inspired the construction of Charlotte’s first railroad in 1852 and ushered in generations of industry and innovation. Many who flocked to the….....»»

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Wells Fargo plans to shed more real estate as part of "methodical" cost-cutting

Wells Fargo CFO Mike Santomassimo said the bank wants to take its time shedding real estate to avoid taking more big losses......»»

Source:  bizjournalsCategory: top~40 min. ago Related News

Constellation expects energy demand, data centers to boost business

CEO Joe Dominguez said the company still has "room to run" after a record-breaking 2023......»»

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See inside OBJ"s 2024 Mentoring Monday event (PHOTOS)

See inside the event, which was held Feb. 26 in downtown Orlando's Citrus Club......»»

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Clorox pulls out of expansion plans in Durham

Clorox joins a growing list of companies asking the state to cancel incentives after being unable to meet hiring milestones amid the era of remote work......»»

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KeyBank executive recruited to be CFO at Columbus-based Northwest Bank

Northwest Bank has named Douglass Schosser as its next CFO, recruiting him from KeyBank......»»

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Longtime local architecture firm plans East Austin test of city"s new HOME Initiative

Three homes are set to rise on a 7,000-square-foot lot in East Austin under the city's new HOME Initiative. This article details the company utilizing the new program that aimed at increasing housing inventory and affordability in the city. At the end of this report, check out a list of custom homebuilders in the Austin metro......»»

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Charlotte’s latest Class-A tower transcends the traditional office with a hospitality-inspired experience

110 East, a new, 23-story office tower in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood promises to offer the city’s booming workforce a bold new destination, meticulously curated for the new era of corporate users. Representing the latest chapter in a rich legacy of office assets pioneered by Stiles, Shorenstein Properties and the Nashville-based Hastings Architecture, the building, located at 110 East Boulevard, features 370,000 square feet of Class-A office space within the Queen City’s hottest district. Construction….....»»

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"I"m Done With Google": Wholesale Loss Of Trust After "Unbelievably Irresponsible" Racist AI Goes Mask-Off

"I"m Done With Google": Wholesale Loss Of Trust After "Unbelievably Irresponsible" Racist AI Goes Mask-Off.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: deals~56 min. ago Related News

Houthis Deny Israeli Media Reports They Sabotaged Internet Cables Under Red Sea

Houthis Deny Israeli Media Reports They Sabotaged Internet Cables Under Red Sea Update(1440ET): The Houthi military spokesman has explicitly denied any intention to knock out undersea regional internet cables in a fresh Tuesday statement, however, he reiterated that the Iran-linked group's top goal is to block commercial shipping and supplies to Israel.  The full statement is as follows, cited in Al Mayadeen news: "We are keen to spare all cables and their services from any risks and to provide the necessary facilities for their maintenance. The decision to prevent the passage of Israeli ships does not include ships belonging to international companies licensed to carry out marine cable work." Over the past two days there were widespread reports that up to four undersea telecoms cables in the Red Sea area between the Saudi city of Jeddah and the state of Djibouti were damaged. As we reported below, the operator Seacom reported connectivity problems, following reports which originated in Israeli media sources. Sky News Arabia had also picked up on the reports Monday. For months there has been speculation that Red Sea waters, which has been scene of daily Houthi attacks on international shipping as well as Western coalition warships, could be subject to sabotage of global fiber optics lines. However, such a sabotage campaign would be difficult to carry out, given it would likely require submarine or deep water equipment and capabilities, which the Houthis likely lack. Israeli media such as the Jerusalem Post - which was among the first to report the alleged sabotage of several cables - could also be anticipating such an Iran-backed covert campaign. The reports quickly spread to US media, including in the New York Post. * * *  There are new reports saying Yemen's Houthis have knocked out several underwater telecommunications cables linking Europe and Asia, however, some of the accounts of the extent of damage remain conflicting. Multiple Israeli publications are reporting Monday that four underwater communications cables between Saudi Arabia and Djibouti have been damaged in recent months - the result of Houthi sabotage. The reporting appears to have originated in Israel's financial daily outlet Globes. But one industry publication cautions, "One cable operator has confirmed damage to a cable in the region, but said it didn’t know the cause yet." Reportedly only the Seacom operator has issued confirmation that it has had cable issues at Djibouti. According to the Israeli media report: Three months after the Houthis began attacking merchant ships, the Yemenite rebels have carried out another one of their threats. "Globes" has learned that four submarine communication cables have been damaged in the Red Sea between Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Djibouti in East Africa. According to the reports, these are cables from the companies AAE-1, Seacom, EIG and TGN. This is causing serious disruption of Internet communications between Europe and Asia, with the main damage being felt in the Gulf countries and India. Other impacted cables are operated by the companies Tata, Ooredoo, Bharti Airtel, and Telecom Egypt, but these did not issue immediate comment or confirmation as to the reported damage or outages. But the Seacom outage is now being confirmed by NetBlocks... ⚠️ Confirmed: Metrics show a disruption to network connectivity at the Djibouti Data Center which connects the country's landing stations; the incident comes as Israeli media report four submarine cables across the Red Sea including SEACOM have been targeted by Houthi rebels ✂️ pic.twitter.com/tjlBLAgYd4 — NetBlocks (@netblocks) February 26, 2024 Israel's Globes says repairs could take up to eight weeks, but the waters in the region remain high risk due to what are now daily Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping. The Houthis have lately made veiled threats they could take out the underwater fiber optic cables. "The repair of such a large number of underwater cables may take at least eight weeks according to estimates and involve exposure to risk from the Houthi terror organization," the report says. "The telecommunications companies will be forced to look for companies that will agree to carry out the repair work and probably pay them a high risk premium." Analyst Alberto Rizzi has explained that "at low depths, trained divers/ship anchors are enough to damage them" and that "Bab-el-Mandeb/Aden is a chokepoint where damage can impact multiple cables at once." Tyler Durden Tue, 02/27/2024 - 14:40.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: deals~56 min. ago Related News

What Happens When The VIX Spikes, But Traders Aren"t "Actually" Worried?

What Happens When The VIX Spikes, But Traders Aren't "Actually" Worried? SpotGamma invites readers to please join them tonight at 8pm EST for a free webinar on the VIX and the coming March option expiration, to learn how the fear gauge actually works - click here for the Free VIX Webinar The S&P500 looks like it is entering into a digestion phase into the key March OPEX, which could result in the VIX breaking back down to year-to-date lows.  Into Thursday’s (2/22) record SPX close near 5,100, 1-month SPX skew showed that upside strikes (i.e. calls) had relatively higher IV's than at any time vs last several months, as shown by the skew plot (below, green line) being above the shaded cone (red box).  However, the IV's for upside strikes did not increase into Thursday’s 2% SPX rally, which is shown by the current skew (green line) staying flat to Tuesday's close (gray line). This signals that S&P call buyers didn't chase strikes >5,100 into Thursday’s record move. Clearly Wednesday nights NVDA’s earnings bolstered concerns about right tail risk, and trader’s feared missing upside. To this point the magnitude of yesterday's move held up ATM vols (i.e stock up/vol up & the VIX didn't really "crush"), but the left tail (OTM puts) - we'll that is getting crushed. You can see this in "indexified" measures like VVIX, or SDEX, shown below. The SDEX measures the relative IV of a put 1 standard deviation move lower in the SPY, which is now back near all-time lows. We think that SPX call skews are now likely to flatten, with the VIX likely to start sinking as the pace of higher S&P500 prices slow down.  To this point, both Monday & Tuesday’s 0DTE ATM SPX straddle was just $20, or a scant 39bps! We can't recall having seen the 0DTE straddle priced at such tight levels in the recent past, and it suggests a broad level of complacency and trust in the current market paradigm.  In regards to a 39 bps straddle, we refer to this as "priced for perfection", as there is nearly no edge for a straddle seller. Any slight market movement, in either direction, can force the seller offsides and cause a cover trade that exacerbates local, jumpy volatility. Jumpy volatility works both ways, and so if traders were still worried about upside SPX performance its not reflecting in short dated straddle prices. Despite these low 0DTE prices, and to the concept of “stocks up, vol up”, the VIX has only recently pushed back below 14, after holding higher into all time SPX prices. This relatively higher VIX has been supported by 13.8% 1-month SPX realized vol (green) and 15% 5-day SPX realized vol (red) which are up near highs last seen in November. Recall that over the last month the SPX is ~4.5% higher, and so volatility is increasing as a result of higher SPX prices.  What is now interesting about this dynamic is that a VIX of ~14 implies ~88bps daily SPX moves, which is a stark contrast to the 39bps priced into the 0DTE SPX straddle. This divide between the SPX implied move (88bps) from the VIX and the 0DTE pricing "perfection" (39bps) is likely the result of Thursday AM's PCE reading, which is the big data point this week. The 0DTE crowd does not have to worry about that print for 3 more sessions, whereas the VIX is pricing in some higher volatility. Assuming the PCE is not some type of hot tail print, we think the VIX and SPX volatility will now likely start to move lower into March OPEX (3/15). We can get a sense of volatility shifts via the SPX term structure, which shows relatively higher short term IV’s due too both Thursdays PCE print, and Friday’s ISM print (red box). However, following this print, at-the-money SPX IV’s sink to ~9.5% (red arrow). Assuming that PCE and ISM do not produce tail prints, we think that options positioning will likely build around the 5,100 level, which will constrict realized volatility. This will in turn serve to drag down forward volatility measures, like the VIX. Accordingly, we highlight the 3/15 OPEX time frame as a potential place for volatility to tick back up due to large options positions expiring and rolling across both the index/equity landscape, but also the VIX.  The plot below highlights the current size of call delta notional (orange) and put delta (blue) for the S&P500 - and as you can see the positions are quite substantial. To hear more of SpotGamma's thoughts on upcoming volatility - join us tonight at 8pm EST for a webinar on the VIX - Free VIX Webinar Tyler Durden Tue, 02/27/2024 - 15:00.....»»

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What To Know About Today"s Michigan Presidential Primaries

What To Know About Today's Michigan Presidential Primaries Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Michigan is holding its Republican and Democratic presidential primaries today. (L) Former President Donald Trump at a Get Out The Vote rally at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., on Feb. 23, 2024. (R) Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., on Feb. 23, 2024. (Win McNamee/Julia Nikhinson/AFP via Getty Images) The primary comes after early voting, which lasted from Feb. 17 until Feb. 25. Early voting is now enshrined in Michigan’s constitution thanks to Proposal 2, a ballot measure that passed during the 2022 general election. Michigan’s presidential primary is an open one per the National Conference of State Legislatures. Voters need not be registered with a specific party to get that party’s ballot. On Feb. 27, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Even as incumbent President Joe Biden competes in the Democratic presidential primary, more eyes are trained on the Republican presidential contest in the state. Although that race is more competitive than its Democratic counterpart, it is still expected to end with another big win for former President Donald Trump, after a streak of support put him well ahead of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in delegates, including in her home state Feb. 24 primary. Polling also shows President Trump with a commanding lead in Michigan. Sandy Sikorski, an early voter for President Trump who spoke with The Epoch Times in Southgate in Michigan’s Wayne County, had a simple message for Ms. Haley. “Go back home,” she said. Her husband, Douglas, made a goodbye gesture to drive the point home. The national press has been particularly interested in the dueling Republican caucuses on March 2 that will follow the Republican primary, threatening the perception of Republican unity at a point when the party has begun to consolidate around President Trump as a likely presumptive nominee. Meanwhile, tension over the Israel-Hamas war has led to a campaign from the left wing of the Democratic Party that could prove a challenge to President Biden. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) at the UAW National Training Center, in Warren, Michigan, on Feb. 1, 2024 as UAW president Shawn Fain looks on. (Mandel NGAN / AFP) GOP’s Dueling Conventions, Democrats’ Protest Vote More of Michigan’s 55 delegates to the Republican National Convention (RNC) will be awarded through the caucus process than through the primary vote—39 as opposed to just 16. State Republicans’ use of caucusing is downstream of a 2023 vote by the state’s Democrat-dominated Legislature that rescheduled the state’s primary in line with Democratic National Committee (DNC) priorities. That conflicted with the RNC’s calendar, leading to objections from Michigan state legislators at the time, who worried that the scheduling would disempower voters by stripping them of delegates. “If this becomes law, no Republican candidate for president is going to come to Michigan to campaign,” Republican State Rep. Andy Beeler predicted at the time. Ms. Haley campaigned in Troy, Michigan, on Feb. 25 and Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Feb. 26. President Trump was in the state for a rally in Waterford Township on Feb. 17. President Biden visited Michigan in early February with a view to the general election. The United States’ backing for Israel in its war with Hamas has undermined the president’s relations with Democratic and other leaders of Arab and Muslim communities, key blocs in what could prove to be a crucial battleground state. He faced protests over U.S. support of the war during the trip. Some ceasefire activists, including the sister of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), are campaigning for Democratic voters to vote “uncommitted” over President Biden in the Democratic presidential primary, as a protest against the administration’s Gaza policy. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (right) with Rep. Cori Bush during a rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 20, 2023. (Ali Khaligh/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, predicted that the number of protest votes against President Biden will be “sizable.” The Republican plan to hold a caucus at their March 2 convention marks a compromise over its calendar. The lack of such a conflict is why Democrats in the state aren’t staging their own caucus. All 139 delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be awarded based on the results of that primary. But, confusingly, the official state convention in Grand Rapids will be competing with a convention in Detroit. Former Michigan GOP Chairwoman has maintained that she still leads the party even after an RNC vote affirmed that former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the man endorsed by President Trump, is in charge. She contends that an earlier Jan. 6 vote that initially stripped her of her title was illegal and not organized under official auspices. A lawsuit by Ms. Karamo’s opponents to enforce her removal is ongoing. Early Voters Share Thoughts “This is the first statewide election in Michigan’s history in which voters have had the option to cast a ballot in person at an early voting site,” the Michigan Department of State website notes. On the afternoon of Feb. 25, citizens weren’t exactly storming the Southgate Senior Center to take advantage of their last chance for early voting before Feb. 27. Southgate City Clerk Jan Ferencz told The Epoch Times there had been 178 early voters at the site thus far. Ms. Ferencz said that while she was at first opposed to the idea of early voting, she is now starting to appreciate it. “I think it’s going to catch on, I really do,” she said. The few early voters who showed up included members of the Kessler family, three of whom planned to assist the vote as precinct workers on Feb. 27. Like the other election workers who spoke with The Epoch Times in Southgate, they’ll get what Scott Kessler, the family father, described as “a stipend.” He and his son Jude, another election worker, told The Epoch Times they voted in the Democratic primary. While Jude declined to share his choice, Scott explained that he chose President Biden. “I believe he’s a much better candidate than other choices,” he said. He agreed that some Democratic-leaning Michiganders could end up participating in the Republican primary as spoilers. His son, Jude, defended the openness of Michigan’s presidential primary. “I just don’t think the system should cater to the two parties, because I think we should have a multi-party system or no parties at all, ideally,” he told The Epoch Times. Entrenched, team-like parties are “bad for democracy,” Scott added. “I played a political game with my vote just now. I took a Republican ballot and voted for the least likely Republican candidate to try to keep Donald Trump off the ballot,” Jane Kessler, Scott’s wife and another future election worker, told The Epoch Times. In her view, that was Vivek Ramaswamy, who suspended his campaign after losing in the Iowa Republican caucus and is now campaigning for President Trump. Mr. and Ms. Sikorski, the early voters for President Trump at Southgate, were more concerned about crossover voting in the primaries. “It’s concerning for sure,” Mr. Sikorski said. Haley Rallies Then Heads to Minnesota Ms. Haley’s rallies in Michigan come amid a whirlwind schedule following her South Carolina defeat. Her plans after that contest encompass ten private fundraising events as well as public rallies. Ms. Haley’s Grand Rapids stop was at the Amway Grand Plaza, the same hotel where the state GOP will hold its official convention March 2. That was followed by a rally in Minnesota. On Feb. 27, the day of Michigan’s primary, she is scheduled to speak in Colorado. An event in Utah follows the day after. One attendee of her Grand Rapids speech, economics instructor Ron Cipcic, was under no illusions about the likely outcome of the upcoming Republican presidential primary. “The probability is low that Nikki’s going to be elected,” he told The Epoch Times while standing beside his wife, Kim. “From a conscience stance, we need to vote our conscience, and so, my wife Kim and I did vote,” he said. Moses Milan was holding a sign for Ms. Haley when he spoke with The Epoch Times. But he isn’t a supporter of Ms. Haley—“not at all.” “They handed this to me. I didn’t really have a choice,” he told The Epoch Times. Mr. Milan works on political campaigns for Turning Point USA’s Campus Victory Project. After clarifying that he was speaking for himself and not on behalf of Turning Point, he said, “Trump is not just running against the Democrats. He’s running against the uniparty in Washington, who are backing Nikki Haley.” “They try to keep real estate in both parties, and Nikki Haley is real estate within the Republican Party. Is she going to win? Not likely. But I sense there’s a need to at least keep an avenue open so that it’s not completely up in the air should something happen to Trump,” he said of the challenges President Trump is facing from actors within the DOJ. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Tyler Durden Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:40.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~1 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

After 16 Years, Apple Abandons Work On Electric Car

After 16 Years, Apple Abandons Work On Electric Car.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~1 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

Stock Bull Market Might Just Be Getting Started, But...

Stock Bull Market Might Just Be Getting Started, But... Authored by Simon White, Bloomberg macro strategist, The rally in equities might have much further to go, based on the positive outlook for liquidity. It might not seem like it after a seemingly relentless advance and fevered speculation, but the new bull market is comparatively mild versus the postwar past. Yet that could change. Excess liquidity - the difference between real money growth and economic growth - shows that the stock rally could have much further to go, turning a so-far historically below-par bull market into one that’s above the past average. There are many reasons why this might not transpire... As a natural cynic, I’m more comfortable when the outlook is pessimistic (no room for disappointment) versus when it is optimistic (plenty of opportunity to end up with egg on your face when things do go wrong after all). But sometimes the data just isn’t there to support a downbeat view. That’s the case today. One of the best medium-term drivers of stock returns is excess liquidity. It’s an intuitive measure: when money, which is created by banks and central banks, is growing faster in real terms than GDP, liquidity is left which is “excess” to the needs of the real economy, and which thus tends to find its way into risk assets. After beginning to rise in the first half of last year, and supporting the equity rally that began in March, excess liquidity has continued to rise. It is difficult for markets to sell off significantly when there is plenty of risk-asset-supporting liquidity sloshing around the system. Fiscal and monetary policy are conspiring to keep excess liquidity climbing despite the cumulative impact of higher rates coursing through the economy. First, what has been driving excess liquidity so far? It has three main elements: inflation, economic growth and narrow money, with the latter responsible for most of the measure’s rise over the last year. But that’s not the full picture. Excess liquidity is a global measure, made up of the money and economic growth of countries in the G10, in dollar terms. That means a weaker dollar boosts non-US excess liquidity. As the chart below shows, it’s the weaker dollar - down over 9% from its September 2022 highs - that has been the biggest driver of excess liquidity.  We can blame fiscal policy here. The US’s expansive deficit has been one of the most important longer-term negative influences on the dollar. There is little sign the deficit is about to improve by much, based on (no doubt conservative) Congressional Budget Office forecasts. Government finances are also unlikely to be straitened whoever the next president is, meaning the primary trend in the dollar (DXY) is likely to remain down. We can also blame monetary policy for the dollar’s malaise and excess liquidity’s buoyancy. The latter looked like it was about to start turning lower last year, but was saved in the nick of time by the Federal Reserve’s pivot in December. How? On a shorter-term basis (6-9 months), the dollar is led by the real yield curve. The US currency is driven at the margin by the real return of foreign investors in long-term US assets. In the latter months of 2023, the real yield curve had been steepening, as longer-term real yields were rising more than shorter ones.   Then the Fed came with its still unfathomable pivot. Shorter-term real yields fell, but their longer-term counterparts fell by more, and the curve re-flattened. What was a strong supportive sign for the dollar returned to being a weight on it – and thus a continued tailwind for excess liquidity. It’s not just liquidity that could charge the bull market further. The absence of a US recession, which continues to look off the cards for the time being, also bolsters the case that equities should not soon face a steep selloff. Traditional recession indicators have been misleading in this pandemic-addled cycle, but it has become increasingly clear a downturn in the US is now less likely than not. Furthermore, the rally might be on shakier legs if sentiment and technicals were overly bullish, but they are not yet historically stretched. The net number of stocks making new 52-week highs, the number trading above their 200-day moving average or their upper Bollinger band, and the advance-decline line are all high but have been higher. Moreover, sentiment is net bullish but not at extremes, while retail allocation to stocks is only at its 5-year average. Leadership is narrow, with only a handful of stocks driving the advance, but there is little historically to show that this leads to sub-par returns. And when markets eclipse new highs, as the S&P did a few weeks ago, it acts as a psychological all-clear that we are indeed in a new bull market. Whether you agree that’s justified or not, the catch-up money that floods the market creates its own momentum. No bull market comes without risks and this one is no different. The biggest is a recession. While, as mentioned above, that does not look likely in the near term, a sudden and unanticipated economic slump (either endogenous or due to an exogenous shock) would decimate returns. Also, a bull market that does not begin either during a recession or within 18 months of one is unusual, with only one postwar example (1966). Equities experience their largest drawdowns in recessions, and given there is little ex ante to indicate one is coming in the current environment, it would likely be particularly devastating. A blow-off top is another risk. Even then, despite the upset one would cause, it might not be enough to kick-start a new bear market. Inflation, too, will pose a risk to stocks, but to their real returns, unless price growth’s revival is particularly abrupt or steep (bull and bear markets are, sub-optimally, based off nominal returns). A persistent bear-steepening of the yield curve would be the sign the rally is at risk. To misquote John Templeton, bull markets are born on pessimism, but they grow on liquidity. As long as excess liquidity is supported, the market is primed to keep grinding higher, regardless of how cynical you might be. Tyler Durden Tue, 02/27/2024 - 14:40.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~1 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Heads for Second Consecutive Day of Over $1B Volume

Spot bitcoin ETFs had their best day since their debut on Monday, recording $2.4 billion in daily trading volume coupled with strong inflows......»»

Source:  coindeskCategory: forex~1 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

401(k) millionaires grew in late 2023: How to save like one

401(k) millionaires grew in late 2023: How to save like one.....»»

Source:  yahooCategory: top~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Russia says Ukraine lost an M1 Abrams tank after it was picked up by a pervasive threat making battlefield movements a nightmare

Russia says Ukraine lost an M1 Abrams tank after it was picked up by a pervasive threat making battlefield movements a nightmare.....»»

Source:  yahooCategory: top~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Research links: information and noise

Tuesdays are all about academic (and practitioner) literature at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s edition including a look at... ResearchWhat factors matter for bond returns? (klementoninvesting.substack.com)How to combine top-down and bottom-up aggregate earnings estimates. (papers.ssrn.com)Private equity returns are but a guess until all capital is returned. (wealthmanagement.com)Why biotech stocks are like lottery tickets. (alphaarchitect.com)How to trade Bitcoin without trading Bitcoin. (optimalmomentum.com)Is there a 'Protestant retirement ethic'? (klementoninvesting.substack.com).....»»

Source:  abnormalreturnsCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Tuesday links: a love/hate relationship

MarketsCommunications and health care are leading the U.S. market in 2024. (capitalspectator.com)A closer look at Europe's answer to the Magnificent Seven stocks, GRANOLA. (biopharmadive.com)StrategyWhat happens when you invest right before a bear market? (awealthofcommonsense.com)The case for, but mostly against, dividend-focused ETFs. (ofdollarsanddata.com)Why it's so easy to get sucked into trading too much. (newsletter.rationalwalk.com)CryptoThe successful launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs means people are looking to other cryptocurrencies. (wsj.com)Vanguard still wants no part of crypto. (msn.com)Fund managementWarren Buffett could have continued running investment partnerships with high fees, but he didn't. (wsj.com)How AI could help investors vote their proxies. (morningstar.com)RedditReddit's business was built on the back of unpaid labor. (mostlymetrics.com)Reddit is heavily dependent on advertising revenue. (honest-broker.com)Online advertisingWhy Walmart ($WMT) decided to go head-to-head with Amazon ($AMZN) for TV ads. (hollywoodreporter.com)You can blame the big companies for why online ads are only getting worse. (msn.com)Political ads are coming to your favorite streamer. (axios.com)EconomyHome prices are still ticking higher. (bonddad.blogspot.com)Apartment rents are a mixed bag. (axios.com)Real wage growth is headed higher. (econbrowser.com)How immigration is helping the economy. (wapo.st)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsResearch links: information and noise. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Monday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Adviser links: zero engagement. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaTed Gioia, "In an overly digitized world, people embrace with intensity the few remaining ritualistic activities available to them." (honest-broker.com)People are turning to apps to find friends, not just dates. (on.ft.com)Why getting older is hard; bad stuff just piles up. (artofmanliness.com).....»»

Source:  abnormalreturnsCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

EverQuote Stock: A Deep Dive Into Analyst Perspectives (8 Ratings)

Latest Ratings for EVER DateFirmActionFromTo Feb 2022NeedhamMaintainsBuy Feb 2022Raymond JamesMaintainsOutperform Dec 2021JP MorganDowngradesNeutralUnderweight View More Analyst Ratings for EVER View the Latest Analyst Ratings read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

RxSight"s Earnings Outlook

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Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News
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Earnings Outlook For DocGo

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Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News
Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Wrapped Bitcoin"s Price Increased More Than 6% Within 24 hours

Wrapped Bitcoin's (CRYPTO: WBTC) price has increased 6.46% over the past 24 hours to $56,961.00. Over the past week, WBTC has experienced an uptick of over 10.0%, moving from $51,458.89 to its current price. As it stands right now, the coin's all-time high is $70,643.00. read more.....»»

Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News
Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Earnings Preview: FIGS

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Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News
Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News
Source:  benzingaCategory: blog~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Macy’s to close 150 namesake stores as sales slip, pivot to luxury with new Bloomingdale’s locations

Macy’s to close 150 namesake stores as sales slip, pivot to luxury with new Bloomingdale’s locations.....»»

Source:  chicagotribuneCategory: top~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Why does the US government think a Kroger-Albertsons merger would be bad for grocery shoppers?

Here’s what to know about the proposed merger, what it might mean for shoppers — and why the U.S. government opposes it. By DEE-ANN DURBIN (AP Business Writer) Kroger and Albertsons — two of the biggest grocery chains in the United States — had hoped to complete the largest supermarket merger in the country’s history this year. But their plan to compete with big-box retailers by combining forces faces legal challenges that make it look far less likely, at least any time soon. On Monday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint against Kroger’s $24.6 billion deal to acquire Albertsons and a federal lawsuit that asks a judge to block the merger for now. Attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia joined the lawsuit lodged in Oregon. Here’s what to know about the proposed merger, what it might mean for shoppers — and why the U.S. government opposes it. Most Americans have filled a basket at an Albertsons or a Kroger store even if the sign out front had a different name. Kroger, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, operates 2,750 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s 19 brands include Ralphs, Smith’s, King Soopers, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Mariano’s, Pick ’n Save and Harris Teeter. Albertsons, based in Boise, Idaho, operates 2,273 stores in 34 states. Its 15 brands include Safeway, Jewel Osco, Vons, Acme and Shaw’s. Together, Kroger and Albertsons employ around 700,000 people. Cities where Kroger-owned and Albertsons-owned stores now vie for customers include Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago and the District of Columbia. Some labor unions and consumer advocacy groups predict the merger would result in store closures, leaving communities with fewer grocery options and giving Kroger-Albertsons fewer incentives to keep prices down. “A merger of Kroger and Albertsons would dramatically decrease competition within an already consolidated food retail market, which would result in fewer grocery stores and higher food prices, with predictable adverse consequences for food and nutrition security for consumers across the country,” Peter Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in a statement applauding the FTC’s action. Kroger says no stores would close as a result of the merger. It also promises to invest $1.3 billion to update Albertsons’ existing outlets. But in some places, stores would get sold to a new owner. To stave off monopoly concerns from federal regulators, Kroger and Albertsons agreed to sell 413 stores and eight distribution centers in locations where their operations overlap. The buyer would be C&S Wholesale Grocers, a grocery supplier that also owns the Piggly Wiggly brand. But the FTC says the divestiture deal is “inadequate” and the proposal doesn’t contain enough stores or other resources to replicate the competition that currently exists between Albertsons and Kroger. Kroger and Albertsons agreed to merge in October 2022. The companies said a merger would help them better compete with big retailers like Walmart, Costco and Amazon, which owns Whole Foods, because they would have more power to negotiate prices and could save on distribution and administrative costs. Together, they would control around 13% of the U.S. grocery market; Walmart now controls 22%, while Costco controls 6%, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman. The FTC says the deal would eliminate the competition that now exists between Kroger and Albertsons, and without competition, buyers would see higher prices, lower quality and fewer shopping choices. In a separate lawsuit filed earlier this month, Colorado’s attorney general gave a specific example. The city of Gunnison, Colorado, has two groceries: Kroger-owned City Market and Albertsons-owned Safeway. The merger would make Kroger the only chain operating in this area, and a Gunnison resident would have to drive 65 miles to a non-Kroger store. Consumers also would see fewer deals if the stores merged since Kroger and Albertsons currently use promotions to lure shoppers away from the competition, according to the FTC. The agency also foresees less incentive for stores to add or improve services. When Albertsons executives saw unstaffed deli counters at Kroger’s Fred Meyer stores, for example, they added counter staff at their stores. In the same way, Kroger improved its grocery pickup services in some markets to compete with Albertsons. The FTC says competition at supermarket pharmacy counters also benefits consumers. When Kroger went out-of-network with a major pharmacy benefits administrator last year, for example, Albertsons offered consumers a $75 grocery coupon to transfer their prescriptions. Kroger says it wouldn’t, and that it would invest $500 million to lower prices across its stores once the deal goes into effect. GlobalData, a market research firm, said discount chains like Aldi and cost-conscious competitors like Walmart would help keep prices in check even if Kroger and Albertsons combined. But the FTC isn’t convinced. In a 2012 study, FTC economists found that prices increased more than 2% when grocers merged in places where they had little competition. Prices only decreased or stayed the same in markets where grocers had more competitors. Kroger promised to boost wages and benefits by $1 billion if the deal goes through. C&S Wholesale Grocers said it would honor all collective bargaining agreements with Kroger and Albertsons workers if it takes over QFC, Mariano’s, Carrs and other stores. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents most workers at both companies, voted last year to oppose the merger, saying the companies hadn’t been transparent about how it would impact workers. Not all workers are opposed to the deal, however. UFCW Local 555, which represents grocery workers in Oregon and Idaho, said earlier this month that it supports the Kroger and Albertsons merger because it trusts C&S to operate the stores in its area. The attorneys general of Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Wyoming and the District of Columbia filed the federal lawsuit along with the FTC. The attorneys general of Colorado and Washington previously filed their own lawsuits seeking to block the merger. Kroger and Albertsons can file a response to the FTC’s administrative complaint within 14 days. A hearing has been set for July 31. While the case winds its way through the agency’s legal process, the FTC wants a federal judge to issue a temporary injunction barring the merger. Kroger and Albertsons have said they will appeal any adverse rulings......»»

Source:  chicagotribuneCategory: top~1 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Mega-cap stocks are a ticket to "purgatory," and the market is headed for a bad ending, veteran investor says

The stocks most popular with investors risk plunging as much as 70% in value, market veteran Bill Smead warned. Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images Putting cash in the market's biggest stocks could be a big mistake, investing vet Bill Smead said. Smead pointed to comparisons between the current AI mania and the dot-com bubble of the 2000s. The most popular stocks on the market could plunge as much as 70%, he previously warned. Betting on the biggest, most popular stocks in the market could be a mistake, and the boom in artificial intelligence stocks probably won't end well for investors.That's according to Bill Smead, a 40-year market veteran and the founder of Smead Capital Management, who's been warning that the stock market faces a major risk of "failure" as investors get carried away by their excitement for AI.Those risks appear to be lost on market bulls, who have been plowing their cash in the Magnificent Seven stocks and riding the S&P 500 to record highs. Investors appear to be comfortable with the idea that the stock market now is different from previous bubbles, but that's always that rationale that precedes a major correction in the market, Smead warned."It is always different this time and it is the rhyme with prior manias and top ten lists that sends you to purgatory. How did the Go-Go 1960s and Nifty 50 stocks work over ten years? How have Cisco and Intel done since 2000?" Smead said in a note on Tuesday.The Nifty Fifty, a group of large mega-cap stocks that dominated the market in the 60s and 70s, ended up plunging in the 1973 market crash. Similarly, Cisco and Intel, two of the hottest stocks during the dot-com craze, ended up wiping out more than half of their value when the dot-com bubble burst in the 2000s. Cisco did not fully recover until 2019. Other market commentators have been warning of the similarities between Wall Street's AI mania and the dot-com bubble, which eventually sent the Nasdaq falling 78% peak-to-trough. Even if markets currently aren't as overpriced as they were during the dot-com bubble, they could still be in for a significant fallout, Smead suggested."This comparison is like a fraternity brother feeling comfortable drinking 14 beers because his best friend knocked out a whole case," he said of the parallels between 2024 and 2000.Smead has been one of Wall Street's loudest bears. Previously, he told Business Insider he saw the most popular stocks on the market plunging as much as 70% in value over the coming years."We have no urge to go through purgatory with popular stocks that lead to long-term heartache. This mania appears to be headed to a bad ending. As always, fear stock market failure," he added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: world~1 hr. 56 min. ago Related News

Russia says Ukraine lost an M1 Abrams tank after it was picked up by a pervasive threat making battlefield movements a nightmare

Ever-present reconnaissance drones have made it difficult to hide and have complicated vehicle and tank movements on the battlefield. A M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank in 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division fires at a prop target during a live fire exercise on Feb. 17, 2023 in Petrochori Training Area, Greece.US Army photo by Pfc. Matthew WantrobaRussia says it knocked out an M1 Abrams tank near Avdiivka, a first the US-made armor in service with the Ukrainians. Pictures showed the aftermath of the attack, which Russia says came after a recon drone spotted it.The reported details highlight how drones are making battlefield maneuvering more difficult, even for higher-end systems.Russia says that a US-made Abrams tank fell in Ukraine after it was picked up by a threat that has been a hassle for ground forces throughout the war.Russian state media reported the tank was spotted by a reconnaissance drone before being knocked out. Some reports say it was struck by a one-way attack drone and then finished off by a grenade launcher.It's unclear to what extent the Russian reports are accurate considering their track record on things like this, but the reported details of the incident speak to how ever-present drones are complicating maneuver. This emerging technology is able to track and attack just about anything that moves in battle, posing a challenge for troops and equipment alike.On Monday, photos and videos surfaced on social media of what appeared to be a damaged, burning Abrams tank. Those images were followed by reports that Russia had defeated its first Abrams in the war. Business Insider was not able to independently verify the imagery or reports.In the picture, it appears that the tanks blowout panels on top of the turret helped vent the force of an explosion up and away from the crew, preventing a chain explosion of the ammunition stored in the tank.The first confirmed loss of a US-supplied M1A1 Abrams main battle tank in service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.The tank caught fire after being hit by the Russians near Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. pic.twitter.com/Uuk3bvtSil— Status-6 (Military & Conflict News) (@Archer83Able) February 26, 2024 Russian media reported it as a kill, citing a Kremlin-backed governor in the occupied Kherson region who said that troops with an element of Russia's 15th Motorized Infantry Brigade located and destroyed the tank.No information was given on whether the crew of the tank survived or if the Abrams was recovered by the Ukrainians or captured by Russia after the attack.According to a post on Governor Vladimir Saldo's Telegram channel, the tank was first detected by a reconnaissance drone and then subsequently destroyed somewhere near Avdiivka, which Russia just recently captured. He said the Abrams "burns even brighter than the Leopards," referring to a German-made tank.US Marines with Alpha Company, 2nd Tank Battalion prep the track on an M1A1 Abrams main battle tank in order to remove the front road wheel aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 29, 2016.US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin T. UpdegraffThe Russian defense ministry also reported the kill, and on Monday Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that "from the very beginning, our soldiers said that these tanks would burn just like any others."The Russian explanation of events, which can be questionable, highlights how drones are a pervasive challenge as surveillance and attack assets.They've been a problem for tanks across the board. The first German-made Leopard tank destroyed in Ukraine was apparently lost to artillery fire suspected to have been directed by a drone, and the first British-made Challenger tank defeated in the country hit a mine and was finished off by a Lancet drone.And numerous Soviet-era tanks on both sides of the war, as well as more modern Russian tanks, have also fallen to drones.When the US announced the transfer of 31 M1A1 Abrams to Ukraine last year, questions arose about how the tanks would fair against the prolific drone threat.The American-made M1 Abrams was considered by experts and officials to be the strongest, most durable tank Ukraine had received from the West. There is always a chance something gets through, but "as tanks go, it is as good a protection as can be provided," one expert said of the tank's armor.DJI Matrice 300 reconnaissance drones, bought in the frame of program 'The Army of Drones' are seen during test flights in the Kyiv region on August 2, 2022, prior to being sent to the front line.SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty ImagesIf the M1 Abrams tank was struck and defeated after being detected by a reconnaissance drone, as Russian reports say, the incident speaks to the continued difficulty troops and vehicles face in hiding or moving on the battlefield.One drone expert said last fall that effectively anything that moves is at risk. "Welcome to the future. It sucks," they said.Recent reports have said that troops are sometimes hiking miles to the front lines because they cannot safely get vehicles close enough due to the drone threat.Earlier this month, US Army Pacific top generals told Business Insider they were taking notes on drone usage in the war in Ukraine, seeing that at no time are troops "not under observation by some sort of method," whether that is visual or electronic signaling and detection, and that makes things more challenging.Russia's claimed kill of an M1 Abrams tank comes just days after Ukraine published what it said was the first video of an Abrams tank in action. The video, published by the 47th Mechanized Brigade, showed the powerful tank on the move near Avdiivka and striking a few Russian positions.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: world~1 hr. 56 min. ago Related News

Viking Therapeutics soars 104% after its GLP-1 weight-loss drug posts impressive results in Phase 2 trial

Viking's GLP-1 drug candidate showed faster weight loss compared to drugs that are already on the market. Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesViking Therapeutics stock soared as much as 104% on Tuesday after a successful drug trial.Viking's GLP-1 weight loss drug led to a significant reduction in body weight among patients.The drug could ultimately compete with weight loss drugs from Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk if its Phase 3 trials prove successful.Shares of Viking Therapeutics soared as much as 104% on Tuesday after it reported positive results for its Phase 2 trial of a GLP-1 weight loss drug.Viking Therapeutics saw its market valuation soar to $7.5 billion from less than $4 billion on Tuesday. The stock was trading at $82.61 at 1:39 p.m. in New York. The drug, dubbed VK2735, is a GLP-1/GIP dual agonist drug that targets significant weight loss in patients with obesity. The drug is administered via an injection, similar to GLP-1 drugs from Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.In a Phase 2 trial, VK2735 showed a statistically significant 13.1% body weight loss compared to the placebo group after 13 weeks. That data represents faster weight loss when compared to competing GLP-1 drugs that are already on the market.Shares of Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk both fell about 1% on Tuesday.The data also observed no plateau in weight loss, suggesting that patients could lose even more weight the longer they take it."Robust weight loss compared with placebo was observed early across all doses evaluated in the VENTURE study, and continued throughout the treatment period in all treatment groups. No evidence of a plateau was observed at Week 13 for any VK2735 dose, suggesting further weight loss might be achieved from extended dosing periods," Viking CEO Brian Lian said.One element of the drug trial showed that Viking's GLP-1 weight loss drug could have more tolerable side effects than other GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro. Most of VK2735's reported side effects were considered "mild" or "moderate.""Across the combined VENTURE study arms, the weekly rate of nausea did not exceed 5% at any point after the first week of treatment," Viking Therapeutics said. Viking's positive results could set the biotech up for a partnership or buyout by a large-cap pharmaceutical company that doesn't have exposure to the budding GLP-1 drug market, especially considering that Viking generates no revenue and still has to fund a Phase 3 trial of the drug. Pfizer abandoned its GLP-1 weight loss drug late last year poor tolerability among trial participants, while experiments from Amgen have yet to conclude that it has a winner in the GLP-1 space.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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A vegan cosmetics maker has actually outperformed Nvidia over the past 5 years

E.l.f. Beauty is up 2,639% since early 2019, outpacing red-hot chipmaker Nvidia's 1,987% gain over the period. elfcosmetics/Instagram Vegan makeup brand E.l.f. Beauty has outperformed AI king Nvidia over the past five years, Bespoke pointed out in new research. E.l.f. is up 2,639% over the period, while Nvidia has returned 1,937%. While they are very different companies, both firms regularly turn in blockbuster earnings reports and forward guidance. A vegan makeup brand that makes products like facial putty has outperformed the king of AI over the past five years.E.l.f. Beauty has seen its stock rise 2,639% since early 2019, outpacing Nvidia's 1,937% return over the same period, Bespoke Investment Group pointed out in a research note on Tuesday.Bespoke Investment GroupWhile the two companies are very different, they have one big thing in common: regularly turning in outstanding earnings reports, said Bespoke.Given the moniker "earnings triple plays," both companies usually beat analyst earnings-per-share estimates, beat consensus revenue forecasts, and raise forward guidance.Bespoke highlighted that E.l.f. Beauty has turned in seven triple plays in a row, dating back to August 2022, beating Nvidia, which has seen five straight.E.l.f.'s strong performance can be partially explained by their savvy marketing on social media platforms like TikTok, Roblox, and Twitch, Business Insider's Lauren Johnson wrote in November 2023. Meanwhile, Nvidia has gotten an immense boost from the recent AI boom that some experts are calling a return to the Roaring 20s.To be sure, comparing historical returns is not an exact science, as E.l.f.'s stock was trading around $8.50 at the start of February 2019, while Nvidia was at about $36 per share. The lower starting price means any subsequent gains are reflected by comparatively inflated percentage returns.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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CEC expands with second Mass. office in Peabody

Pittsburgh-based Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. has been in Massachusetts since 2012 when it opened an office in Raynham. The Peabody location is the firm's second in the state......»»

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Hundreds turn out for BBJ"s 11th annual Mentoring Monday

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Big Brokerages Shift Gears in Latest Commission Suit Response

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Mac and Cheese Brands You Should Avoid

If there is one thing that can be certain, it’s that Americans of all ages love their mac and cheese. Typically easy to make, with few ingredients, mac and cheese is generally rather tasty and is considered one of the top comfort foods in the U.S. The cheesy dish is so popular, that Kraft Foods, […] The post Mac and Cheese Brands You Should Avoid appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. If there is one thing that can be certain, it’s that Americans of all ages love their mac and cheese. Typically easy to make, with few ingredients, mac and cheese is generally rather tasty and is considered one of the top comfort foods in the U.S. The cheesy dish is so popular, that Kraft Foods, found on this list, sells more than one million boxes daily. It’s a dish that has been around for centuries, believed to have been popularized by Thomas Jefferson, who discovered many wonderful pasta dishes while traveling in France. Although the version that he created was most likely not the processed version conveniently doled out at dinner tables today, it gave root to the dish we all know and love. There is something about mac and cheese that is simply fantastic. Whether it’s the versatility of mac and cheese or the comfort memories it brings back, it’s a dish that continuously pops up in our kitchens, and while there might be an exact science as to how our body reacts positively to comfort foods, there will always be something magical about mac and cheese. But not all varieties are created equal and it’s with this in mind that we can turn our attention to the mac and cheese brands you should avoid. The last thing you want is a warm bowl of mac and cheese with an awful taste. Ever since Kraft first boxed up mac and cheese dinners in the early 1900s, competition has slowly been introduced. Today, with dozens of mac and cheese dinners available, there are brands you shouldn’t look at twice. It should be noted that the reviews here are all subjective and what one person likes, another may not. In our opinion, these are the mac and cheese brands you should avoid. 15. Velveeta Shells and Cheese Velveeta mac and cheese would be a whole lot better if it wasn’t drowning in cheese. There is no question that including Velveeta Shells and Cheese on this list will cause some controversy. Rest assured Velveeta isn’t on this list because of its taste, as it’s pretty great. The problem with Velveeta is that among mac and cheese favorites, it’s the least healthy option. The conundrum here as you continue reading is that healthier mac and cheese options taste poor to downright awful. This leaves Velveeta in a difficult spot as its cheese is delightfully creamy but also one box feels like it equals a few extra pounds at the waist. 14. Annie’s Annie’s has a lot of promise if it can figure out how to give the cheese more taste. This is a tough addition to this list as Annie’s is traditionally very good with organic alternatives. Unfortunately, its mac and cheese meal doesn’t rank as high as everyone hopes it would. While not awful in taste, what has been discovered about Annie’s is there is very little taste. The cheese just doesn’t give you any type of aftertaste you would otherwise long for with mac and cheese. This makes Annie’s a big disappointment as you would hope this brand would knock it out of the park. 13. Banza Banza ranks higher on the list because it’s the healthiest of the gluten-free mac and cheese options. Universally regarded as a mac and cheese brand to avoid, Banza is derided due to its overall taste. Banza’s popularity stems from its gluten-free approach to mac and cheese, which is welcomed, but the result is a disappointing taste. Specifically, a chickpea flavor is mixed in with the cheese and it doesn’t win rave reviews. What’s worse is that Banza’s actual noodles have an overriding taste of being wheat-based, which may or may not win you over. There’s a good reason to try Banza if you have gluten sensitivities which is why it doesn’t appear lower on this list. Health reasons aside, there is little reason to look at Banza twice. 12. Great Value Walmart’s house brand just doesn’t give you the comfort you want with mac and cheese. When it comes to Walmart, there is a reasonable expectation some of its house brands will taste like the real thing. Unfortunately, for Great Value fans, mac and cheese is not one of the items you add to your shopping cart. Outside of being on the inexpensive side, there is not a whole lot that helps Great Value Mac and Cheese redeem itself. At the very least, good luck trying to find the cheese packed in the box, as it feels like Great Value decided to play a game of hide and seek. With so many alternative brands available for mac and cheese, settling for Walmart’s house brand just feels wrong. While the taste won’t completely throw you off, the Great Value flavor just never pops. 11. Kroger As is the case with other brands, Kroger mac and cheese suffers because of poor cheese taste. Kroger-branded mac and cheese attempts to create something magical. What can best be said about Kroger’s offering is that it tries to replicate the Kraft formula. The reality is that Kroger doesn’t get anywhere close to Kraft’s magic and, instead, makes an appearance on this list. What hurts Kroger’s mac and cheese is that the cheese doesn’t have much of a flavor. Everything about the mac and cheese revolves around cheese flavor and without that, it’s not worth recommending. The color of the Kroger after cooking doesn’t match that of Kraft and it feels like some ingredient is missing that would have Kroger tasting just right. 10. Stouffer’s It’s hard to recommend Stouffer’s mac and cheese, especially with its small portion size. For a lot of people, Stouffer’s is a popular meal that requires little time and almost no energy to prepare. Unfortunately, in the case of Stouffer’s mac and cheese, this may be one of its only redeemable qualities. In the land of frozen mac and cheese options, Stouffer’s might have the biggest name but it doesn’t have the biggest taste. Ultimately, Stouffer’s mac and cheese suffers from looking like it sat in a box forever. Watery cheese combined with too few macaroni pasta noodles is a combination worth forgetting. Stouffer’s won’t harm your love for mac and cheese, but you won’t put it on your shopping list again. 9. Marie Callender’s Bread crumbs help Marie Callendar’s mac and cheese out, but not nearly enough to overlook other issues. Frozen mac and cheese like Stouffer’s isn’t for everyone, and Marie Callender’s, which is a direct competitor of Stouffer’s, is a meal you can microwave in only 5-7 minutes. As quick as it is to make, you won’t worry about timing as it’s just not overly tasty. Something is missing from the flavor and it doesn’t excite your taste buds like mac and cheese should. Sure, you can heat it for over 55 minutes in the oven. However, this is bad for two reasons. First is that it takes far more time than the conventional Kraft style and two, the reward isn’t any better. Bread crumbs do help provide a little more flavor over Stouffer’s, but soggy pasta because of too much cheese is Marie’s ultimate downfall. 8. Lean Cuisine Lean Cuisine suffers from a Vermont-tasting cheese that just doesn’t taste all that great. Another entry into the frozen prepared mac and cheese continues with Lean Cuisine. Ironically, Lean Cuisine is a sister brand to Stouffer’s (both owned by Nestle), so its appearance on this list isn’t surprising. The best that can be said here is to save your money. Not only do you not get enough mac and cheese to satisfy, but what you do get doesn’t wow you with taste. The Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is the best Lean Cuisine offers, but it’s still not very flavorful. It’s the antithesis of conventional mac and cheese, but without being able to satisfy. Simply stated, something is missing that could bring this mac and cheese to life. 7. Cheetos Cheetos mac and cheese is one food combination you may wish you never knew existed. There are some brand combinations the world never needs to know about. Cheetos mac and cheese is one of these combinations. Understandably, there is some appeal over combining two popular comfort foods, but just because you can make something doesn’t mean you should. At first, you may be able to look past just how orange Cheetos mac and cheese feels. Thankfully, the regular mac and cheese isn’t nearly as bad as the flamin’ hot mac and cheese. The only good news is that both are relatively inexpensive. Beyond price, there isn’t much here to say that doesn’t make you think about trying any alternative available. 6. Upton’s Naturals Upton Naturals is a local brand worth supporting, but oh the poor smell of the cheese. There is no other way to say it other than to scream that you should avoid Upton’s Naturals mac and cheese. Focusing on the vegan mac and cheese lover, Upton’s Naturals comes pre-boiled, which is super strange. There’s something enjoyable about this being a brand that came out of a local Chicago restaurant. However, having a box with a one-minute result is somewhat disconcerting. Among the reasons to avoid this brand are complaints about the smell, which doesn’t remind anyone of mac and cheese. More importantly, concerns over flavor are among the most prominent reviews wherever Upton’s Naturals is sold. Unfortunately, the cheese substitute simply doesn’t come close enough to real cheese to provide the comfort flavor mac and cheese fans long for. 5. Daiya Daiya is a mac and cheese brand that would do well to reconfigure the taste of its noodles. Yet another plant-based mac and cheese option, Daiya’s inclusion on this list starts to indicate something of a theme. Attempting to use fake cheese may be one reason you might want to skip Daiya mac and cheese. Outside of Amazon reviews indicating happiness with how much “cheese” is included, Daiya’s not winning many fans elsewhere. There’s something about Daiya’s approach to saving animals that’s endearing, but it doesn’t translate into good taste. The noodles, in particular, are nothing to jump up and down about. Without the cheese, you would likely struggle to eat them and that’s not a good recipe for a complete mac and cheese product. 4. Simply Nature While healthy, Simply Nature mac and cheese is anything but simple with its disappointing taste. Aldi is currently riding high with a wave of happy grocery-shopping customers and for good reason. Aldi’s unique system makes it a joy to shop and you can save money while doing so. Unfortunately, Aldi’s Simply Nature mac and cheese is worth skipping the next time you shop. The pasta elbows are not only tiny, but they have difficulty holding on to the “real cheese” Simply Nature claims it uses. As a GMO-friendly option, the healthy nature of this meal ensures you skip the cheese flavor altogether. Mac and cheese should provide an immediate cheese taste and without that, Simply Nature is simply forgettable. 3. Organic Original 365 Whole Foods would quickly rank higher on this list if they cut out a good amount of salt from its recipe. Whole Foods hits a lot of home runs across many food categories, but it strikes out with its homegrown mac and cheese. Where this meal falters is with too much salt. So much salt there is a widely believed notion it’s difficult to finish an entire box. For a comfort food you want to lick the plate on, not being able to finish a box because of salt is a real downer. You can rightfully expect Organic Original 365 to bring organic goodness, and it does in some regard. You can feel good about buying a better-for-you mac and cheese with this brand, but you won’t want to finish the meal. If Whole Foods can reconfigure the recipe to introduce less salt/sodium, there is a good chance it would find itself ranked higher. Otherwise, skip it for now. 2. 8 Myles Myles mac and cheese just isn’t all that great, it’s really in need of some help with its recipe. A relatively unknown mac and cheese brand, 8 Myles doesn’t have much in the way of street cred and that’s probably best. Rest assured you can go ahead and skip reading about 8 Myles just as well as you can skip this boxed mac and cheese. Perhaps the biggest reason to overlook 8 Myles is the noodles just don’t taste good. As disappointing as the noodles are, the cheese can’t redeem 8 Myles. Breadcrumb toppings save 8 Myles from being number one, otherwise it would rank lower. That’s it, there is just nothing else to add about 8 Myles that will convince you to give this a try. 1. Good Food Made Simple The joke with Good Food Made Simple mac and cheese is that it should cut off the first two words. While the name Good Food Made Simple might have you thinking this is the ultimate mac and cheese meal, that’s not the case. Instead, this frozen dish is actually in line with the likes of Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine, but with less taste. The taste is so lacking that online jokesters have taken to calling the mac and cheese meal just “Made Simple” and dropping the Good Food portion. This is a strong message that avoiding this frozen white cheddar meal is the only path forward. URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored) Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side. Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom! The post Mac and Cheese Brands You Should Avoid appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

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Where to watch Vanderpump Rules season 11 from anywhere

The Bravo reality series is back for an 11th season. We'll show you where to watch Vanderpump Rules from wherever you are. When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreLisa Vanderpump, Tom Sandoval, Tom Schwartz, Raquel Leviss at the "Vanderpump Rules" Season 10 reunion.Nicole Weingart/BravoIt's been almost a year since the "Scandoval" broke on Vanderpump Rules, and the latest season of the Bravo reality show has all of the dramatic aftermath. The series, which follows former "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump and the staff members of her restaurants, is currently airing its 11th season. New episodes air live on Bravo on Tuesdays and are available to stream at your leisure the next day.For those who can't bear to wait until the next day, there are a variety of ways to watch Vanderpump Rules on Bravo. The network is available via live TV apps like Fubo and Sling TV for those who don't have cable. New episodes are also available to stream the next day on Peacock in the US. If your region blocks access to those apps, we'll recommend a VPN (virtual private network) service and teach you how to use it. It's also handy for other live streaming opportunities, as seen below:How to watch The Bachelor Season 28 online | How to watch Love Island All Stars for free | Free Oscars live streamWhere to watch Vanderpump Rules quick linksAccess internationally: ExpressVPN (try it risk-free for 30 days)USA: Fubo (free trial), Sling TV (first month is half-price)Canada: Global TV / HayuUK & others: HayuNext new episodes:Episode 5, Tuesday, February 27 at 8 p.m. ETEpisode 6, Tuesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. ETEpisode 7, Tuesday, March 12 at 8 p.m. ETHow to watch Vanderpump Rules live stream in the USVanderpump Rules airs weekly on Bravo. For those without cable in the US, Bravo is available to stream live on a variety of live TV options, including Fubo and Sling TV. Plans for Sling TV start at $40 per month, with a current offer of half off your first month at just $20. Fubo plans start at $79.99 per month (with an introductory month at $20 off). Fubo includes a one-week free trial if you're still on the fence or only looking to watch one episode live.Where to watch past episodes of Vanderpump RulesIf you don't mind waiting a day to watch new episodes of Vanderpump Rules or you're looking to catch up on the past 10 seasons, you have two main streaming options. In the US, every season of Vanderpump Rules is available to stream on Peacock. Plans start at $5.99 per month. Other regions — including most European countries, Canada, New Zealand, Iceland, The Philippines, Singapore, and Hong Kong – can watch past Vanderpump Rules episodes on Hayu for a low monthly fee. How to watch Vanderpump Rules live from anywhereIf your region – like the UK – blocks live streaming options like Fubo and Sling TV, but you're still hoping to watch new episodes of Vanderpump Rules live, you can use a VPN to access the streams. A VPN allows you to change your device's location to another country so that you can use the servers in that new country to access apps and websites. For Vanderpump Rules, you'll want to use US servers to sign up for live television options like Fubo or Sling TV. Outside of the US, Hayu is a very affordable service, that you could also use a VPN to sign up for if it's not available in your country. We recommend ExpressVPN, an easy-to-use VPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In addition to its streaming capabilities, a VPN is a helpful way to increase your online security. Looking to learn more about the product? Check out our ExpressVPN review and learn how to use it below.How to watch Vanderpump Rules episodes with a VPNSign up for a VPN if you don't already have one.Install it on the device you're planning to watch Vanderpump Rules on.Turn it on and set it to a US location. Sign up for one of the streaming services mentioned above.Select the Bravo channel and enjoy the new episode.Note: The use of VPNs is illegal in certain countries, and using VPNs to access region-locked streaming content might constitute a breach of the terms of use for certain services. Insider does not endorse or condone the illegal use of VPNs.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

I spent $150 on a 30-minute "power nap" designed to improve my health

I visited the Fairmont Century Plaza spa in Los Angeles to experience a 30-minute "power nap" treatment. I think it actually worked. I spent $150 on a "power nap," and I don't regret it. Molly O'BrienI paid $150 for a 30-minute "power nap" at Fairmont Century Plaza's spa in LA. The nap was designed to help me feel more well-rested and refreshed, and I feel like it worked.I thought the price was worth it because the treatment came with a day pass to the spa, too. I recently visited the Fairmont Century Plaza's 14,000-square-foot spa and well-being center in Los Angeles to experience a 30-minute "power nap" treatment.This power nap would involve making a series of incremental changes to my body that, according to the spa's site, could either help me feel more relaxed or more energized.I paid $150 for my 30-minute "power nap" session, which is also offered in increments of 60 and 90 minutes for an additional cost.The spa felt relaxing and the treatment was, tooThe spa felt cozy and peaceful inside. Molly O'BrienBefore my power nap, I felt tired and worn down.It was a dark, rainy day outside in LA, but since the hotel's spa was nestled underground, the weather didn't matter.I felt like I was in a different, cozy world. After entering the spa, I headed into a private treatment room.The technician got me settled on a special mat. Molly O'BrienThe first thing the technician did was apply a NuCalm Disc to my left wrist.The sticker-like device was supposed to activate my parasympathetic nervous system, blocking cortisol to slow my heart and breathing rates and help me feel more relaxed. I'm not sure if it did anything, but I didn't mind having it there. The NuCalm Disc looked sort of like a fancy sticker. Molly O'BrienThen, I reclined on an anti-gravity bed to relieve pressure on my body's joints using a special HigherDose mat. It's supposed to enhance my body's "natural recovery process" using magnetic-field therapy, heat, and healing crystals.Magnetic-field therapy is typically used for pain management, though there haven't been many studies on it. It's hard to say if it "worked," but I really liked how the mat felt warm and cozy while I was lying on it.The HigherDose mat looked like it was filled with crystals. Molly O'BrienThe technician then zipped me into a pair of NormaTec Lymphatic Drain boots designed to help ease muscle tension, boost circulation, and detoxify the muscles in my legs.I'm not sure if the boots did all of those things, but the massage was my favorite part of the treatment. The boots applied perfect levels of pressure on my legs.I also wore a soft black-out eye mask to block out the light and headphones that played therapeutic binaural-meditation sounds, like falling rain and tweeting birds.The sounds blended different frequencies designed to make me feel less anxious and sleep better. My technician said she loves to listen to these types of sounds at night to wind down.During the treatment, I felt like I was being enveloped in a warm cocoon, on a journey into pure bliss.I'd do this again, and be open to trying other similar treatmentsAfter the treatment, I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the rest of the day and like I could think more clearly.When comparing the before- and after-treatment selfies I took, I even thought my eyes looked brighter. Either way, I definitely felt more well-rested and recharged.To me, the treatment was worth the price because it also came with access to the spa's other amenities, including the fitness center, sauna, aromatherapy steam room, and more.A day pass for the spa without any treatment would've cost $100, so my nap kind of only cost $50. It was amazing to spend the rest of the day relaxing at the spa and using the amenities as long as I liked.I'd definitely like to explore other special spa treatments in the future, like The Spa at Beverly Wilshire's black-diamond cryofacial, which is supposed to use chilled air to "stimulate circulation and enhance conditions for optimum collagen production."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

3 reasons why your spouse shouldn"t be your best friend

Your spouse shouldn't be your best friend. Your romantic relationship will be happier with fewer expectations, and you'll have more growth potential. Expecting your spouse to be your best friend is a recipe for disappointment.FG Trade/Getty ImagesPartners are often referred to as "best friends" in wedding vows and Instagram posts.Author Rhaina Cohen argues that puts too much pressure on one person to be everything.Making your partner your best friend is a new phenomenon in human history.Whether you've just been to a wedding or your Instagram feed, you've probably encountered someone's significant other being referred to as their best friend.While close friendship is a core part of all healthy romantic relationships, it's also really important to have friends — including your best friend — be separate from the person you share a bed, mortgage, or child with.In her new book "The Other Significant Others," author Rhaina Cohen argues that centering your life around friendships rather than solely romantic partners won't just make you happier — it'll safeguard you from loneliness should you split up.Cohen said a formative experience was watching a relative keep entering long-term relationships where the romantic partner "was a confidant and career coach and intellectual conversation partner and roommate," only to be left mostly alone when those relationships dissolved."That illustrated one of the real risks of putting everything on one person and not having other kinds of connections," Cohen said. "If things go south, as romantic relationships can, then you put all of your eggs in one basket."She shared the reasons everyone should have all kinds of meaningful friendships and relationships outside of their romantic partner.1. It's how people have lived for most of historyCohen said that viewing partners as best friends is a relatively new phenomenon that's been popularized over the past 50 or so years.Historically, people "found some of their greatest emotional intimacy in their same-sex friendships, partly because they weren't expecting to find that in marriage, which had been much more of a practical relationship," Cohen said.Investing in close relationships isn't just scientifically proven to help you live longer: it's what your ancestors did, too.2. You have more potential for growthWhen long-term couples were asked for their best-kept marriage secrets, having separate lives (including friendships) helped keep the relationship fresh.Much of that has to do with the novelty and new experiences that friendships offer outside a romantic partnership."Having more close relationships in your life opens you up for more people to learn from and to influence you," Cohen said. A friend might introduce you to a new hobby, influence your career, give you life-changing advice, or even become family."There's a lot of growth and discovery and connection that's possible when you are looking toward multiple close relationships in your life," she said.3. Your romantic relationship will be happierHaving high expectations of a partner to be your best friend, closest family member, and a hot lover can create more conflict in your relationship — especially if you're always around each other.But investing in community actually strengthens your bond to your partner. "Having more people in your life can create more space to be excited to see each other," Cohen said.At the same time, she said it can "also reduce the pressure for one person to always be the right person for every kind of need and desire that comes your way."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Walmart says hackers took over some Spark drivers" accounts and had access to their Social Security numbers

Walmart said hackers had access to about 200 Spark gig worker accounts over the course of two months. Hackers reportedly got access to about 200 Walmart Spark accounts.SIDDHARTH CAVALE/ReutersHackers got into about 200 Walmart Spark accounts, the retailer said. The attackers also had access to Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other personal information on drivers.Some Spark drivers previously said that other people appeared to be delivering orders with their accounts.Hackers got access to some Walmart Spark drivers' accounts and personal information, including Social Security numbers.The hack happened between December and the start of this month, trade publication Cybernews first reported on Tuesday. The attackers gained access to about 200 accounts, Walmart told Cybernews.Walmart said that the hack was "an account takeover event (either through phishing or credential stuffing) – not a hack of Walmart systems," according to Cybernews. Hackers also had access to personal information on the drivers, including their Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, dates of birth, names, and contact information.Walmart notified the people whose accounts were affected by the hack, according to a copy of the letter it sent those drivers. The retailer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider."With access to the profile, the unauthorized party may have also viewed documents related to your driver verification, tax information, and background checks," the letter states. Walmart will provide free identity monitoring for affected drivers, according to the letter. It also suggests in the letter that drivers change their Spark passwords.Walmart has had multiple issues with security and identity verification on its Spark app, which relies on gig workers to make deliveries for the retailer.Some Spark drivers said other people were using their accounts to deliver orders, BI reported earlier this month. The drivers said they only figured out that their accounts had been compromised after someone at Spark's driver support line told them their account had claimed more orders than they had actually delivered.Drivers who use multiple Spark accounts with names other than their own appear to be common on the app, BI reported last year.In response, Walmart has rolled out new security measures. Last fall, it started using a facial recognition tool to verify drivers' identities while they were using the app, for instance.But the verification tool kicked some legitimate Spark drivers off the app, BI reported earlier this month.Do you work for Walmart or Spark and have a story idea to share? Reach out to this reporter at abitter@businessinsider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Biden says a Gaza cease-fire could happen by Monday

After President Joe Biden appeared on "Late Night With Seth Meyers," he hinted at a cease-fire in Israel by "the end of the weekend." After President Joe Biden appeared on "Late Night With Seth Meyers," he hinted at a cease-fire in Israel by "the end of the weekend."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

The 4 best airline-approved cat carriers of 2024, tested and reviewed

We tested airline-friendly pet carriers for flying with a cat. Our top picks for the best airline-approved cat carriers include stylish and budget options. When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreYou'll need one of the best airline-friendly pet carriers to keep your cat safe and comfortable while flying.Amazon; Sleepypod; Chewy; Diggs/Business InsiderAir travel with a cat is stressful, but one of the best airline-approved cat carriers can make it easier. When a cat is flying at your feet in the plane cabin, a durable soft-sided carrier with some key features will ensure your pet's comfort and safety, and your peace of mind.To select the best carriers for flying with a cat, we spoke with a veterinarian and pet travel experts and tested 24 different airline-friendly pet carriers. Our top pick, the Sleepypod Air, is as durable as it is comfortable for pets and humans alike. If you're looking for a more affordable airline cat carrier, the simple Frisco Premium Airline Compliant Quilted Carrier Bag will keep your kitty comfortable from the beginning to the end of your journey.Keep in mind that carrier size requirements vary by airline. Delta, American Airlines, and United allow pet carriers up to 18 inches (L) by 11 inches (W) by 11 inches (H). Some airlines have smaller maximum sizes, so make sure to check the airline's website before embarking with your pet.Read more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches pet products.Our top picks for the best airline-approved cat carriersBest overall: Sleepypod Air - See at ChewyBest expandable: Mr. Peanut's Gold Series Expandable Carrier - See at AmazonBest stylish: Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier - See at AmazonBest budget: Frisco Premium Airline Compliant Quilted Carrier Bag - See at ChewyBest overallOur cat testers weren't shy about expressing their clear preference for the Sleepypod Air. During a recent trip to the vet, they both piled into the carrier, opting for its cozy sanctuary over their other carrier. The Sleepypod Air's plush bedding, just-right ventilation, and spacious interior proved calming and comfortable. For skittish fliers, the carrier includes a privacy screen you can slide through the mesh top, though this significantly reduces your cat's access to fresh air.The carrier stands out for its innovative design and commitment to pet safety — it's certified by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that researches and crash-tests pet carriers to ensure their safety. Rather than doors, it features one continuous zipper that runs end to end. With one pull of the zipper, the carrier transforms into an open bed, converts into a car seat, or rolls up for convenient storage. It's also designed to fold in approximately 2.5 inches at each end, meeting the size requirements of most major airlines. We recommend practicing compressing the bag before your trip. The padded cross-body shoulder strap felt supportive, and the carrier rested comfortably against the body without collapsing inward. With the luggage strap, the carrier easily stayed balanced on a suitcase when rolling over curbs and rough sidewalks.The Sleepypod Air isn't cheap. However, given its versatility, comfort, and impressive safety features, we believe it's well worth the investment. You can return it, used or unused, within a year, and Sleepypod guarantees a replacement if it's damaged in an auto accident.Best expandableOn long travel days with time spent in airports, Mr. Peanut's Gold Series Expandable Carrier offers jet-setting cats extra space to stretch out. It includes a zippered panel on its right side that unfolds into a mesh atrium that nearly doubles the carrier's interior space. While the expandable section can't be used in flight, this feature makes it the best airline-approved cat carrier for cross-country flights with layovers and extended stays away from home.The spacious carrier is front- and top-loading with a roll-up privacy flap over the top door, and it offers plenty of ventilation to keep a cat from overheating. Inside, there is a soft plush bolster bed and safety tether. Outside, it has an adjustable padded shoulder strap and a faux leather carry handle. There is one 10-inch by 4-inch mesh pocket on the backside. With sturdy mesh screens and smooth zippers, Mr. Peanut's carrier excelled in our testing. It was easy to spot clean, and although the bed is labeled hand-wash only, it came out of the washing machine looking nearly new after air-drying.When we tested the luggage strap, the carrier remained mostly balanced on our suitcase, slipping only about an inch to one side. Carrying it on the shoulder was comfortable, and the strap was easy to adjust to the correct length.Best stylishThe Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier not only looks great but also prioritizes safety. Like the Sleepypod Air, it is crash-test certified by the CPS. It also has an interior safety tether and a zipper-locking mechanism to prevent unintentional openings during transit.  The cushy interior mat provides maximum comfort for your kitty copilot while the padded cross-body and secure luggage straps ensure that your precious cargo has a smooth journey from point A to point B. We also appreciate the thoughtful conveniences for human travelers, including three pockets for storing your or your cat's belongings, including a large 16-inch by 6-inch front zipper pocket. There's a D-ring to clip your keys too. In case of accidents, the carrier comes with one custom-fitted pee pad (more sold separately) that you can access via a side panel to minimize disturbing your pet. The nylon fabric carrier has a moisture-resistant quality that causes liquids to bead up on contact, so bigger messes won't readily adhere. However, the mat has a bolstered edge where gunk can get stuck, so you'll want to thoroughly spot-clean the interior cushion once you reach your destination. Despite the carrier's 20-inch length, each side compresses by an inch, ensuring it meets most in-cabin airline regulations. Despite the carrier's 20-inch length, each side compresses by an inch, ensuring it meets most in-cabin airline regulations. The width of the carrier also exceeds airline regulations by a half inch but as long as you don't overstuff the side pocket, it can compress. Best budgetAlthough this carrier is a fraction of the price of our other picks, it still performed well in durability testing. At home, it was also the carrier our tester cats consistently chose to lounge in time and time again. Simply put, the cozy Frisco Premium Airline Compliant Quilted Carrier Bag is an excellent budget airline cat carrier.Susan Nilson, a cat and dog trainer and behavior specialist, recommends leaving a carrier with the doors open at home so your cat can get accustomed to it before travel. We did just that, and the carrier quickly became one of our cats' favorite spots to nap. Even after machine washing the interior fleece mat, it didn't lose its softness or cat appeal.The carrier has two doors, top and side, and two storage pockets: a secure Velcro pocket to stash your keys and phone and a mesh pocket to keep your cat's treats and travel documents easily accessible. The included collapsible silicone bowl and ID tag ticks two essentials off your packing list.The adjustable shoulder strap and carry handle lack padding and may become uncomfortable on longer journeys. Similar to pricier options, the Frisco carrier includes a luggage strap designed to attach the carrier to the telescopic handle of your suitcase. However, the strap doesn't keep the carrier well-balanced on curbs and sidewalks, so you'll want to have a free hand for added support. What to look for in an airline cat carrierCat carriers come in many different styles at varying price points. To ensure you get the best value for safety and comfort, our experts recommend considering the following factors when shopping.Safety: Unlike child car seats, there are no universal safety standards or inspections for cat carriers. However, some brands go the extra mile by subjecting their carriers to rigorous testing by reputable third-party or nonprofit safety organizations. Among our recommended picks, the Sleepypod Air and Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier have been crash-test certified by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that studies the safety of pet products. Currently, CPS studies do not extend to air travel and flight safety. Despite the absence of standardized air travel safety tests, crash-test certification remains the gold standard. As Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of CPS, points out, you'll want to consider your entire journey, including driving from your home to the airport and transportation at your destination. Wolko says carriers are most susceptible to failure at seams where the mesh connects to the carrier body. She recommends inspecting carriers for any signs of loose threads, weak spots, or faulty zippers to ensure their overall safety and reliability throughout transit.Size: A carrier should be roomy enough for your cat to comfortably turn around and lie down while still being compact enough to fit under the seat in front of you. Carrier size requirements vary by airline, so double-check your airline's specific requirements.  Fortunately, size isn't usually a limiting factor for cats. More often than not, they prefer to curl up in a small ball and hide during the trip, says Dr. Jo Myers, a veterinarian with Vetster. She says extra room for playing, eating, drinking, or using the litter box during the flight is typically unnecessary. However, if you anticipate a long layover and want extra legroom for your cat, an expandable carrier like Mr. Peanut's Gold Series Expandable Carrier is a good choice.Weight restrictions: Many in-cabin cat carriers are suitable for cats weighing up to 15 or 18 pounds. If your cat is on the heavier side, double-check the weight limit for the carrier you're considering purchasing and make sure your cat has room to comfortably move around in the carrier. Ventilation: Most carriers are designed with enough ventilation (at least 16%) to meet the International Air Transport Association (IATA) minimum requirement. Some carriers may have less or more, so the amount of ventilation you choose depends on you and your cat's preferences. Since Myers says most cats prefer to hide in stressful environments, carriers with privacy walls and flaps may be beneficial. Alternatively, she recommends bringing a towel or blanket that you can place over the carrier if your cat becomes stressed. "Even if you cover the carrier with a towel, it's far from airtight," she says. "Simply check on your cat occasionally, without disturbing them any more than necessary."How we tested airline-approved pet carriersOur cats had plenty of time to explore the cat carriers we tested.Janelle Leeson/Business InsiderWe developed our selection and testing criteria for this guide to the best airline-approved cat carriers with advice from our experts. The 24 carriers we evaluated underwent the tests described here.Feature comparison: After conducting interviews with our experts, we created a point rubric for scoring each carrier based on the following features:Shape and designInterior matLoading doorsCarrying straps and handlesPocketsVentilationPrivacy flapsInterior safety tetherID tagLuggage strapDimensions and in-cabin airline capabilitySafety certificationsEase of storageScrape test: We scraped a mesh section of each carrier 50 times with a fork to test its durability, noting any damage or discoloration. Zip test: To test the durability of each carrier's zippers, we completely zipped and unzipped one of its loading entrances 50 times. In the process, we observed changes in the zipper's ability to smoothly run its course.Luggage test: If a carrier included a luggage strap, we evaluated how well it remained balanced on top of a suitcase. We placed a 10-pound weight inside and attached the carrier to a suitcase handle so it rested on top of our luggage. Then we rolled it over a curb, up a ramp, and along the sidewalk and street of a city block. Ventilation test: According to Wolko, ventilation is important to prevent a cat from overheating during travel. We measured the dimensions of each carrier's mesh panels and calculated the percentage of the total surface area they comprised. We favored bags with more ventilation. According to IATA live animal regulations, pet carrier bags must have a minimum of 16% ventilation. Walk test: We took each soft-sided carrier containing a 10-pound weight on a 15-minute walk around a neighborhood. Each was carried using the shoulder strap and held at the front of the body the way a person would if they had a real cat inside. For the last block of the walk, we switched to using the hand-carry straps. The backpack carriers were taken on the same walk but were not carried by hand. With each one, we paid attention to how comfortable it was to carry, how much it bounced, and whether it collapsed inwards.Goop test: We devised this test to determine how easy it would be to clean the carriers if a cat vomited or defecated in transit. We mashed together cat kibble, canned food, and water with a mortar and pestle to make the goop, then spread a tablespoon on an exterior wall and interior mat of each carrier. After 48 hours, we wiped the goop from the exterior using dish soap and water and cleaned the mats in the washing machine. Drop and stomp tests: We brought the carriers to a local park, loaded each one with a 10-pound weight, and threw them off of a 10-foot play structure, looking for any damage that occurred upon landing. We then rolled the bags several times on the ground with the weight still inside, looking for damage to the stitching, mesh, or zippers. Later, at home, we placed each carrier on a rug and stomped on it a dozen times with bare feet, noting whether its frame changed shape or the bag suffered any other damage.Airline cat carrier FAQsWhat is considered an airline-approved pet carrier?To fly with a cat in the cabin of a plane, you'll need a soft-sided carrier that fits within the allowable dimensions of the airline, which vary a little from airline to airline. Regardless of the carrier you use, Wolko says to make sure your cat has enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Additionally, there should be at least 2 to 3 inches of clearance from the top of their ears to the interior roof of the carrier.How much does it cost to fly with a cat? Fees for flying with a pet in the cabin of a plane vary between carriers. At United Airlines, a one-way flight for your cat adds $125 to your ticket price. At Delta, there is a $95 fee for domestic flights. Flying a cat in the cargo hold on a domestic flight is typically about $300 per trip. Sending a cat on an international flight can cost up to triple that amount.How much ventilation should a carrier have? For soft-sided carriers, Wolko says mesh ventilation should be on at least three sides of the bag. In cargo, airlines require that a kennel is ventilated on all four sides. According to the IATA live animal regulations, both soft- and hard-sided pet carriers must have a minimum of 16% ventilation. Do cats need to go to the bathroom on a flight? Unless a cat has a medical condition, they will be fine without access to a litter box for the duration of a flight. "Just based on the physiology of cats, they could probably go from Boston to Hawaii without needing to void," says Dr. Bob Murtaugh, a veterinarian and chair of veterinary medicine for the National Academies of Practice.In the cargo hold, kennels cannot be outfitted with a litter box or anything other than an absorbent liner and a soft bed or blanket. "If the travel day will be more than eight hours, during a layover pet owners can arrange a comfort stop for cats to be let out of their carrier," says Elaine Mathis, pet travel specialist and project manager at Happy Tails Travel. When you let your cat out of their carrier, you'll want to make sure your cat is safely secured with one of the best cat harnesses attached to a leash.Do cats need food and water on a flight? On shorter in-cabin flights, it's unlikely your cat will require food or water. However, if you're flying your cat in cargo, Mathis says a food bowl and water bowl should be in the carrier regardless of the flight length. She recommends using dishes that fasten to the crate's door and can be refilled easily from the outside, such as Lixit's Quick Lock Crock 10-ounce bowls.What are the signs that my cat may be in distress in flight?According to Murtaugh, a few obvious signs may indicate your cat is in distress during a flight, either due to fear or excessive heat. A cat that is panting, restless, and vocalizing could be experiencing significant anxiety or overheating. If the membranes in their gums turn bright red, the latter is most likely, and it's important to cool them off quickly. If a flight attendant approves, placing the carrier on your lap so they can feel the air blowing from the vent above your seat or wiping them down with a wet cloth may help lower their body temperature. Before your travel, Nilson recommends lightly spraying the carrier with calming pheromones. How to prepare a cat for flyingIn the weeks before their trip, introduce your cat to their carrier or kennel in a positive way. "Make the carrier feel like a cave or a home or something that's comfortable, something that they're not just jammed into the first time they're on their way to the airport," says Murtaugh.Place the carrier in an area of the home where your cat spends a lot of time and encourage them to explore it by placing catnip and treats inside or by playing with them in and around the space. Murtaugh says that taking your cat on a car ride or other forms of transportation while in their carrier may also be helpful in the weeks before the flight. He recommends placing a bed or blanket that smells like home inside the carrier and using a pheromone spray or collar to help take the edge off. If your cat has a history of experiencing debilitating stress during travel and will be flying in the cabin, you can speak to your vet about prescribing an anxiety-relieving medication. However, it's important to test medication out before your flight. "Make sure there won't be any untoward side effects," says Murtaugh. "Your vet can help you tailor that to your cat's needs."The IATA recommends against sedating a cat before flying in the cargo hold. It can be fatal for older, chronically sick, or highly stressed animals. Nilson says calming pheromones such as Feliway or Pet Remedy are safe alternatives.Best soft-sided: Wild One Travel CarrierWild One makes the best airline-approved cat carrier that's both stylish and durable.Shoshi Parks/InsiderDimensions: 17.5" L X 11" W X 10" HTotal ventilation: 31%Folds flat for storage: YesAvailable colors: Spruce, black, tanWarranty: Limited one-year warrantyPros: Three ways to load, unzips into a bed, machine-washable mat, secure luggage strap, padded detachable shoulder strap converts into a leash, folds flat for storage, comes in three colors, limited one-year warrantyCons: No padded carry handleThe innovatively designed Wild One Travel Carrier converts from an easy-to-transport bag to a comfortable, open pet bed in just a few zips. With a detachable padded shoulder strap that doubles as a leash and a cushioned machine-washable interior mat, this carrier is an ideal home-away-from-home at the airport and your destination.The Wild One Travel Carrier has two important safety features: an interior tether and snaps on the zippers that prevent them from opening in transit. On the outside, there are two wide zipper pockets on one side and two small pockets on the other. The front and back doors both have zip-out privacy screens. A pet can also be loaded through the zippered top.Wild One's carrier shined in testing among the best airline-approved cat carriers. It earned the highest scores in our scrape, zip, and goop tests, and its wide luggage strap kept the bag completely balanced on a rolling suitcase. It also has the most ventilation of any bag we tested.It is comfortable enough to carry this bag by hand, but it lacks a padded carry strap. While it's among the pricier carriers we tested, for the wide range of features included in its modular design, it's well worth the extra cost.Get $25 off each carrier you purchase from Wild One with code INSIDER20 at checkout.Best expandable: Mr. Peanut's Gold Series Expandable CarrierThis expandable airline pet carrier gives your cat room to stretch out at the airport.Shoshi Parks/InsiderDimensions: 18" L X 10.5" W X 11" HTotal ventilation: 18%Folds flat for storage: YesAvailable colors: Platinum gray, deja blueWarranty: NoPros: Front and top-loading carrier, expandable compartment increases carrier's size by more than 50%, secure luggage strap, padded detachable shoulder strap, washable interior plush bolster bed, comes in five colors, folds flat for storageCons: Limited pocket space, expandable section can't be used in flight, no warrantyOn long travel days with endless time spent in airports, Mr. Peanut's Gold Series Expandable Carrier offers jet-setting cats extra space to stretch out. When unzipped, a panel on its right side unfolds into a mesh atrium that more than doubles the interior space.The spacious Mr. Peanut's Gold Series Expandable Carrier is front- and top-loading with a roll-up privacy flap over the top door. It has plenty of ventilation to keep a cat from overheating. Inside, there is a soft plush bolster bed and safety tether. Outside is an adjustable padded shoulder strap and a faux leather carry handle. There is just one 10-by-4-inch mesh zip pocket at the back. When not in use, this bag folds flat for storage.Mr. Peanut's carrier excelled in testing. The mesh remained intact in the scrape test, the zipper moved smoothly in the zip test, and the bag's interior and exterior came completely clean in the goop test. Although the bed is labeled hand-wash only, it looked nearly new after machine washing and air drying. On one side, this carrier has a luggage strap for slipping over the handle of a carry-on suitcase. It remained mostly balanced on luggage as we walked, slipping only about an inch to one side. Carrying on the shoulder was comfortable, and the strap was easily adjusted to the correct length.While the expandable section of Mr. Peanut's carrier can't be used in flight, this feature makes it the best airline-approved cat carrier for cross-country flights with layovers and extended stays away from home.Best budget: Elite Field Soft-Sided Airline-Approved CarrierIt's not perfect, but this $35 carrier is easy to carry, rides smoothly on a carry-on suitcase, and has great comfort and safety features.Shoshi Parks/InsiderDimensions: 17-inch carrier: 17" L X 9" W X 12" H19-inch carrier: 19" L X 10" W X 13" HTotal ventilation: 27.5%Collapses flat for storage: YesAvailable colors: Black, pink, purple, sky blue, charcoal gray, sapphire blueWarranty: NoPros: Padded detachable shoulder strap, padded carry handle, secure luggage strap, multiple pockets, washable interior mat, collapses flat for storage, comes in six colors and two sizesCons: Not top-loading, seam of interior mat ripped in washing, no warrantyThe cozy Elite Field Soft-Sided Airline Approved Carrier is an excellent budget airline cat carrier. The bag not only has many of the features of our pricier picks for the best airline-approved cat carriers, but it also scored well in testing.The Elite Field carrier has a soft fleece mat and safety tether inside and five different pockets outside, one of which unzips to convert into a luggage strap. The strap kept the carrier well-balanced on curbs and sidewalks. An adjustable padded shoulder strap and carry handle are comfortable to use. When carried on the shoulder, the bag flexes inward somewhat.A whopping 27.5% of the Elite Field is covered in mesh ventilation, which earned the highest scores in our scrape and zip tests. While the bag's exterior and interior mat came completely clean in our goop test, a seam along the length of the mat split open in the washing machine. It still fits over its interior panel, and because that panel is covered in polyester, the tear doesn't compromise the mat's utility. It collapses inward to store flat.The only significant features the Elite Field lacks are a top-loading door and a warranty. The carrier comes in two sizes and is flexible enough that even the longer version fits in a box measuring 18 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 11 inches high.Best backpack: Mr. Peanut's Backpack CarrierMr. Peanut's Backpack Carrier is a convenient way to get through the airport with your cat.Shoshi Parks/InsiderDimensions: 17" L X 10.6" W X 11" HTotal ventilation: 17.5%Folds flat for storage: YesAvailable colors: Platinum gray, charcoal ash, deja blue, purpleWarranty: NoPros: Comfortable padded back and straps, plush wrap-around interior mat, fits under seat in most airlines, several exterior pockets, locking zippers, folds flat for storage, available in four colorsCons: Backpack straps are not removable, no warrantyIf you aren't traveling with a rolling carry-on suitcase, a backpack carrier may be a more comfortable way for you and your cat to navigate the airport. Convenient, durable, and comfortable for both you and your cat, Mr. Peanut's Backpack Carrier is ideal for use before, during, and after a flight.The carrier has adjustable padded straps, padded back panels, and an adjustable chest strap for you. For your cat, it has a luxurious plush mat that wraps around the interior for a soft ride on the back and when laid flat beneath an airline seat.This backpack has two important safety features: an interior tether and buckling safety zippers. A roll-up privacy flap over the top panel serves as the front-loading door when the carrier is laid flat. There is a 7-by-7-inch zipper pocket on one side, and on the other, a mesh water bottle holder and two smaller pockets. At the end of the journey, the carrier folds flat for storage. Mr. Peanut's Backpack Carrier did well in testing, earning the highest scores in our scrape, zip, and goop tests. It also has more ventilation than the other backpacks we tested, with 17.5% of its surface area covered in mesh. The interior mat is labeled hand-wash only, but it held up well in the washing machine with air-drying.Best for cargo: Gunner G1 Medium Dog KennelThe durable Gunner G1 Kennel is a worthwhile investment for frequent fliers who travel with their cat in cargo.Shoshi Parks/InsiderDimensions: 29.5" L X 20.5" W X 23.5" HTotal ventilation: 7%Folds flat for storage: NoAvailable colors: Gunmetal, tanWarranty: Limited lifetime warrantyPros: Five-star crash-test rating, extremely tough, escape-proof, lifetime warrantyCons: Expensive, heavy, does not fold for storage, limited ventilationIf you want to be sure that your cat will reach their destination safely when flying in cargo, Gunner's G1 Kennel is our top recommendation among the best airline-approved cat carriers. With double walls, a reinforced aluminum door frame, and a welded nylon and aluminum door, Gunner's G1 Kennel is the toughest crate we've ever seen. In crash tests conducted by the Center for Pet Safety in 2018, the Gunner G1 Medium Dog Kennel earned a five-star safety rating for pets up to 45 pounds, and it was the only kennel to withstand our drop testing. The Gunner G1 Kennel's door is escape-proof with a built-in key lock and a door that can be hung to open from the left or the right. At the bottom of the crate are elevated nonslip feet, and there are two extra-sturdy handles and built-in stainless steel tie-down pins on the top. The interior floor is recessed, so if your cat goes to the bathroom or spills their water in flight, the liquid will be funneled away from their bedding. At 38 pounds, the Gunner G1 Medium Kennel is the heaviest of those we tested, but that weight lends itself to the kennel's durability. It did not suffer any damage after being dropped 10 feet with a 10-pound weight inside, and when a bag of 30-pound weights was dropped on it from 10 feet above, it left behind only a small exterior divot.The Gunner G1 Kennel does not have much ventilation or fold down for easy storage. Starting at $550, it's also the most expensive carrier we tested by far. Despite these downsides, there's no stronger, safer crate on the market. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty. How we tested airline-approved pet carriersShoshi Parks/InsiderWe developed our selection and testing criteria for this guide to the best airline-approved cat carriers with advice from our experts. The 20 carriers we evaluated underwent the tests described below.Feature comparison: After conducting interviews with our experts, I created a point rubric for scoring each of the 17 soft-sided carriers based on the following features:Shape and designInterior matLoading doorsCarrying straps and handlesPocketsVentilationInterior safety tetherNo-escape petting holeID tagLuggage strapDimensions and in-cabin airline capabilitySafety certificationsStorageScrape test: I scraped a mesh section of each soft-sided carrier 50 times with a fork to test its durability. When complete, I noted any damage or discoloration. Zip test: To test the durability of each carrier's zipper, I completely zipped and unzipped one of its loading entrances 50 times. In the process, I noted any changes in the zipper's ability to smoothly run its course.Luggage test: Each soft-sided carrier with a luggage strap was attached to a suitcase handle, then rolled over a curb, up a ramp, and along the sidewalk and street of a city block. Inside the carriers, I placed a 10-pound weight and watched to see how well they remained balanced as we traveled.Ventilation test: According to Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of Center for Pet Safety, ventilation is important to prevent a cat from overheating during travel. I measured the dimensions of each carrier's mesh panels and calculated the percentage of the total surface area they comprised. I favored bags with more ventilation. Walk test: I took each soft-sided carrier containing a 10-pound weight on a 15-minute walk around my neighborhood. Each was carried using the shoulder strap and held at the front of my body the way I would if I had a real cat inside. For the last block, I switched to using the carrier's hand-carry straps. The backpack carriers were taken on the same walk but were not carried by hand. With each, I paid attention to how comfortable it was to carry, how much it bounced, and whether it collapsed inwards as I walked.Goop test: I devised the goop test to determine how easy the carriers would be to clean if a cat vomited or defecated in transit. I mashed together cat kibble, canned food, and water with a mortar and pestle to make the goop, then spread a tablespoon on the exterior wall and interior mat of the contenders. After 48 hours, I wiped the goop from their exteriors using dish soap and water and washed the mats in the washing machine. Drop test: This test was designed for hard-shelled cargo kennels. I brought the candidates to a local park and, with the help of my partner, loaded each kennel with a 10-pound weight and threw it off of a 10-foot play structure, looking for any damage that occurred upon landing. In the second test, we dropped a bag of 30-pound weights on top of the kennel from the 10-foot play structure to test for structural integrity.Airline cat carrier FAQsWhat is considered an airline-approved pet carrier?To fly with a cat in the cabin of a plane, a soft-sided carrier must fit within the dimensions allowed by the airline, which vary a little from company to company. Within their parameters, make sure your cat has enough room to stand up, turn around, and comfortably lie down inside, says Wolko. Additionally, there should be at least 2 to 3 inches of clearance from the top of their ears to the interior roof of the crate.How much does it cost to fly with a cat? Fees for flying with a pet in the cabin of a plane vary between carriers. At United Airlines, a one-way flight for your cat adds $125 to your ticket price. At Delta, there is a $95 fee for domestic flights. Flying a cat in the cargo hold on a domestic flight is typically about $300 per flight. Sending a cat on an international flight can cost up to triple that amount.How much ventilation should a carrier have? For soft-sided carriers, Wolko says mesh ventilation should be on at least three sides of the bag. In cargo, airlines require that a kennel is ventilated on all four sides.Do cats need to go to the bathroom on a flight? Unless a cat suffers from a medical condition, they will be fine without access to a litter box for the duration of a flight. "Just based on the physiology of cats, they could probably go from Boston to Hawaii and without needing to void," says Dr. Bob Murtaugh, a veterinarian and chief professional relations officer at Thrive Pet Healthcare.In the cargo hold, kennels cannot be outfitted with a litter box or anything other than an absorbent liner and a soft bed or blanket. "If the travel day will be more than eight hours, during a layover pet owners can arrange a comfort stop for cats to be let out of their carrier," says Elaine Mathis, pet travel specialist and project manager at Happy Tails Travel.Do cats need food and water on a flight? On shorter in-cabin flights, your cat will unlikely require food or water. However, if you're flying your cat in cargo, Mathis says a food bowl and water bowl should be in the carrier regardless of the flight length. She recommends using dishes that fasten to the crate's door and can be refilled easily from the outside, such as Lixit's Quick Lock Crock 10-ounce bowls.What else does my cat need to fly?Most airlines require a health certificate provided by a veterinarian to prove that a cat is safe to fly in the cabin or cargo hold.What are the signs that my cat may be in distress in flight?According to Murtaugh, a few obvious signs may indicate your cat is in distress during a flight, either due to fear or excessive heat. A cat that is panting, restless, and vocalizing could be experiencing significant anxiety or overheating. If the membranes in their gums turn bright red, the latter is most likely, and it's important to cool them off quickly. Placing the carrier on your lap so they can feel the air blowing from the vent above your seat or wiping them down with a wet cloth may help lower their body temperature.How to prepare a cat for flyingThe best way to combat a cat's flight anxiety is to tackle it before getting on the plane.Shoshi Parks/Insider In the weeks before their trip, introduce your cat to their carrier or kennel in a positive way. "Make the carrier feel like a cave or a home or something that's comfortable, something that they're not just jammed into the first time they're on their way to the airport," says Murtaugh.Place the carrier in an area of the home where your cat spends a lot of time and encourage them to explore it by placing catnip and treats inside or by playing with them in and around the space. Murtaugh says that taking your cat on a car ride or other forms of transportation while in their carrier may also be helpful in the weeks before the flight. He recommends placing a bed or blanket that smells like home inside the carrier and using a pheromone spray or collar to help take the edge off. If your cat has a history of experiencing debilitating stress during travel and will be flying in the cabin, you can speak to your vet about prescribing an anxiety-relieving medication. However, it's important to test medication out before your flight. "Make sure there won't be any untoward side effects," says Murtaugh. "Your vet can help you tailor that to your cat's needs."Sedating a cat before flying in the cargo hold is not recommended by the International Air Transport Association. It can be fatal for old, chronically sick, or highly stressed animals.Rules for flying with a cat in cargoWhile working with an animal shipping professional can help make preparing your cat for travel less stressful, it is not required in the United States. International destinations may have other regulations for air-shipping pets. Always confirm your airline's requirements well in advance of your pet's flight. To air-ship a cat, the kennel must meet the following standards established by the International Air Transport Association:Crate size: The interior width of a crate or kennel must be at least two times the width of a cat. The kennel's length must be at least the length of a cat plus half their height. The height of a carrier must be at least as tall as the animal's natural height in a standing position from the tip of the ears to the floor. Mathis recommends using a medium-size crate for cats that is at least 2 to 3 inches taller than this minimum. If you have a cat with a snub nose or smooshed face, the kennel must be 10% larger than for non-brachycephalic pets.Crate material: A crate must be made from rigid plastic, wood, or metal with a solid roof containing no doors or ventilation. There should be only one metal door that closes securely. "If the crate looks cheap and flimsy, it's not suitable for air travel," says Mathis. Crate extras: Crates in cargo cannot have wheels, plastic doors, or plastic latches. They also cannot be collapsible or have a door in the roof.Crate interior: The only items allowed inside an animal crate during a flight are an absorbent liner or potty pad, a soft pad or blanket, and clip-in water and food bowls that attach to the crate doorRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

A third of young voters said they wouldn"t want to be friends with someone who voted for a different presidential candidate: poll

A similar Monmouth University poll from 2016 found that 7% of voters reported friendships ending due to the election. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries hugs newly elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy after he was elected on the 15th ballot at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 7, 2023.OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty ImagesThe US has increasingly become politically polarized in recent decades.A third of respondents in a recent poll said they can't even be friends with rival party supporters.A similar poll in 2016 found that 7% of voters reported friendships ending because of the election.As the 2024 presidential election quickly approaches, a large number of young adults say they're unwilling to be friends with someone voting for the presidential candidate of the opposing political party.The poll, conducted between February 3 and 14 by The Generation Lab and Axios to 1,073 young adults, revealed that 33% of respondents said they would "definitely not" or "probably not" be open to being friends with someone who voted for the opposing party's presidential nominee (selecting Republican former President Donald Trump or Democratic current President Joe Biden, specifically).Monday's survey comes around seven years after a Monmouth University poll found that 7% of voters said they ended friendships over the vitriolic race between Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Those friendships ended, the poll found, as 70% of respondents said the presidential campaign "brought out the worse in people."Finding increased political polarization in the country isn't particularly new — researchers have reported the country's rapidly increased polarization for decades, with one poll even finding in 2022 that 43% of US adult respondents predicted a civil war erupting within the next decade. The US also, of course, went through an "actual" civil war between the nation's northern and southern regions in the 1860s.Though the presidential primary season is still underway and neither party has yet to formally pick a nominee, Biden and Trump are leading their respective party's race by large amounts. Trump's campaign recently predicted the former president could clinch the nomination as early as mid-March.Recent national polling from Morning Consult found that support for Biden among registered voters is almost on par with support for Trump, though independent-leaning voters appear to lean more toward the Republican. Nevertheless, presidential elections are decided via the electoral college votes of each state — not the popular vote — meaning small amounts of voters in a handful of swing states are set to potentially be a key deciding factor in November.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Source:  nytCategory: smallbiz~2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

The 4 best cast iron skillets for 2024, tested and reviewed

The best cast iron skillets offer unparalleled heat retention and actually get better with age. Here are our top picks for searing, roasting, and more. When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreThe best cast iron skillets get better with time, building up seasoning and becoming nearly nonstick.Lily Alig/InsiderCast iron skillets are like a fine wine: they get better with age. These pieces of legacy cookware can do everything from sear steaks to bake upside-down fruit cakes. The best cast iron cookware is an investment — if not in price, then in maintenance and maneuvering the heavy pan.I spoke with three chefs to find the best cast iron skillets and tested nine pans by cooking steaks, cornbread, and sunny-side-up eggs. The Field Cast Iron Skillet won the top spot and now lives on my stovetop. It heats evenly and became seasoned in less than a week. For a budget-friendly option, the Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet is a steal and performed nearly as well as the best overall.Our top picks for best cast iron skilletsBest overall: Field 10.25" Cast Iron Skillet - See at Field CompanyBest value: Lodge 10.25" Classic Cast Iron Skillet - See at AmazonBest enameled: Le Creuset 10" Signature Skillet - See at AmazonBest lightweight: GSI 10" Guidecast Fry Pan - See at GSIBest overallAny new piece of cookware takes some getting used to — how fast and evenly it heats or how much fat it needs to prevent sticking. Cast iron can be particularly intimidating, but I immediately felt comfortable using the Field pan. Overall, the best cast iron skillet is lighter than most of the other pans we tested and cleaned easily.Like many of the skillets, the Field arrived pre-seasoned. In our first test, the cornbread did not turn out when flipped, but it was easy to remove individual pieces without any crust sticking to the bottom. The seasoning, and therefore nonstick quality, became even better throughout our testing. When I later cooked the egg, it slid right off the surface without a trace stuck to the pan. Of course, nothing will be as effective as using the best nonstick pan, but the Field comes pretty close.After searing the steak and cleaning the Field skillet, I could feel the surface become smoother.Lily Alig/Business InsiderThe steak cooked evenly and seared quickly in the Field pan, allowing a great crust to develop without overcooking. The cornbread had an even brown exterior and smooth, risen top.The other consideration for the top spot was the Stargazer 10.5-inch Skillet. The cornbread in this pan was well-risen and had the most evenly browned crust I've seen in testing cast iron pans. Plus, the steak had a nice, dark brown sear. However, Stargazer did not replace our top pick because I found it more unwieldy than the Field pan. Both the main and helper handles are longer on the Stargazer. While that does keep your hands further away from the contents of the pan, it makes it more difficult to store and move from the oven to the stovetop.Best valueNothing stuck to the Lodge 10.25" Cast Iron Skillet. The cornbread turned out perfectly, without a crumb left on the bottom, and the eggs slid off the surface without breaking. In part because it turned out unblemished, the bottom of the Lodge cornbread was the most evenly golden brown of those we made.The shallow pour spouts were very helpful when pouring out grease and oil from cooking the steak. The handle is shorter than that of our top pick, but both got hot to the touch quickly. The Lodge Cast Iron passed our tests and is cheap enough that you could buy two.Lily Alig/Business InsiderIt was a close call for the best cast iron skillet overall between this pan and Field. Lodge fell out of the top spot because of the searing test: a crust did develop on the Lodge steak, but it took longer to achieve a darker brown. This could lead to overcooking in an effort to get a better crust. The Le Creuset and Field skillets produced thicker crusts in shorter amounts of time.Ultimately, you'll get basically the same performance with the Lodge pan as with pricier options. Lodge cast iron even beat our Le Creuset in our guide to the best Dutch ovens. Another budget-friendly brand is Victoria. By a fair margin, the Victoria 10" Cast Iron Skillet produced the tallest cornbread. It is not one of our top picks because while it did well, it did not outperform the others in the steak or egg test. It is a solid choice for a low-cost cast iron skillet.Best enameledIf you can't cook outdoors, searing on a good cast iron pan can be a substitute for grilling, said Pasternak. While you can't mimic the smokiness of open-flame cooking, the heavy bottom and heat retention of cast iron pans can sear and char your food. The Le Creuset Signature Skillet produced the most even and crispiest sear of all the best cast iron pans we tested.Many of the steaks I made ended up with crispy and deep brown crusts, but it was quicker in the Le Creuset. For me, this made it easier to achieve the medium-rare cook that I prefer; I didn't have to keep the steak on the pan past when it was done to my liking in an effort to achieve the sear. The steak cooked in the Le Creuset had a beautiful sear within the first few minutes of cooking.Lily Alig/Business InsiderThis was notably heavier than the other skillets, almost impossible for me to lift and keep level with one hand. Additionally, the Le Creuset did produce a low risen cornbread that stuck to the bottom of the pan. If you're loyal to DTC cookware, the Our Place Cast Iron Always Pan was like most of the pieces we've tested from Our Place: attractive, came with useful accessories, and heated evenly. The cornbread I made in this pan had an even rise and browned crust — it was not as fluffy as that from other pans. This is a solid piece of cookware, but for the price, I'd splurge for the Le Creuset.Best lightweightI wasn't convinced that a lightweight cast iron with a high level of performance existed until I tried the GSI Guidecast Fry Pan. At three pounds, the Guidecast Pan is 1.5 pounds less than the next lightest pan I tested, and it performed well in all my tests. Due in part to the pan's flared sides, the cornbread came out with a pinched edge. This was more than made up for by the evenly browned bottom crust, thick enough to provide a satisfying crunch with each bite. Similarly, the steak developed a thick crust without overcooking the middle. Cast iron is notoriously heavy, so the Guidecast pan is a good alternative for those with less grip strength.Lily Alig/Business InsiderThough the seasoning wasn't fully developed (there was some sticking with the sunny-side-up egg), I could see it starting to build up. The surface became shinier and smoother, a tell-tale sign of cast iron seasoning.  The other cast irons pans we've tested are described as skillets, but most of them are shaped more like a saute pan, with deeper and straighter sides. The GSI, however, is distinctly a skillet with flared sides and a smaller cooking surface. In using the pan outside of testing, I found the shape paired well with the lighter weight; I naturally started using it to toss and saute contents like I would in an aluminum-core pan.What to look for in a cast iron skilletSeasoning and coating: The best cast iron pans come pre-seasoned, bare, or enamel-coated. Pre-seasoned pans are immediately ready to cook with, while bare pans need to be seasoned before use. With any bare or pre-seasoned cast iron, you'll have to keep an eye on the seasoning layer and re-season when necessary.Enameled cast iron is easy to spot; it has a smooth interior with a slight sheen and often comes in bright exterior colors. These pans are less reactive and don't require seasoning. However, the heat conductivity is slightly dulled due to the coating and these pans do not have the "get better with age" quality of uncoated cast iron.Size: In our research, we found that 10 inches was the standard for cast iron skillets. That is what we recommend for most home cooks. If you're regularly cooking for larger groups, most of our top brands offer 12-inch skillets, but those will be heavy and difficult to move around. An 8-inch cast iron works just as well as a 10-inch, but larger cuts of meat will hit the edges of the pan.How we tested cast iron skilletsFor consistency, we only tested 10 to 10.5-inch sizes of the best cast iron skillets.Lily Alig/Business InsiderAll cast iron pans are heavier than aluminum or even stainless steel. We compared the weight of these skillets to each other and found minimal differences. All of the skillets had one extended handle and one helper handle. However, we preferred pans with helper handles that you could fit your fingers in, as opposed to just extended grips. I spoke with three chefs to get tips and tricks on how to use and maintain cast iron: Chef Robyn McArthur of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas, and Atara Bernstein and Ariel Pasternak, co-founders of Pineapple Collaborative.Cornbread: We used Mark Bittman's NYTCooking Cornbread Recipe to evaluate the heat retention and distribution of each pan. We measured the height (and therefore the rise) of the cornbread at the edge and middle. We looked at the browning and crust on the edges and underside of each cornbread.Steak: We based our steak testing on this recipe from Serious Eats. We seared New York strip steak by heating canola oil until smoking, placing the steak in the center of the plan, and flipping repeatedly for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak. The best seared steaks have a deep brown crust that is visible from the side of the steak when you cut into it. Eggs: Our last test was to make a sunny side-up egg in the middle of the pan with less than half a teaspoon of butter. We did this last to give the skillets a chance to develop a bit of seasoning. We looked for the egg to slide off the pan without breaking or sticking.Maintenance: Before and after each cooking test, we cleaned the skillets according to the manufacturers' instructions. We noted if it was difficult to remove stuck food and if the texture of the surface changed after scrubbing. Seasoned cast iron is smooth and semi-glossy; after all three tests, we evaluated each pan for these qualities to indicate a well-seasoned surface.Cast iron skillet FAQsAfter you wash cast iron, all three experts we spoke with recommend coating your completely dry skillet with cooking oil to preserve the seasoning.Lily Alig/Business InsiderHow do you clean cast iron?You can use soap on cast iron, but it should be sparingly. Most importantly, do not soak your pan, and make sure it is completely dry when you store it. McArthur says she will heat the pan up over a low light to make sure there is no moisture before putting it away. This can prevent rust, as suggested by Bernstein, Pasternak, and multiple manufacturers of the pans we tested. Always consult the cleaning instructions that accompany the skillet, and you can also read our article on how to clean cast iron to learn more.How do you season cast iron?You season the best cast iron skillet by using it, initially with a fair amount of cooking oil. The process of oil becoming cooked into the pan's surface (seasoning) is called polymerization, McArthur said. The more you cook on the pan, the more oil is absorbed by the surface, making it more nonstick. Even if the pan is pre-seasoned, we found most will still take a few cooking sessions to become truly nonstick. Check out our full guide on how to season cast iron for more tips and tricks.Is cast iron compatible with an induction stovetop?You can place your skillet on the grill, in the oven, or on an induction stovetop. One of the beauties of the best cast iron cookware is that it can be used almost anywhere. Always consult the manufacturer's instructions before using your cookware, especially regarding oven-safe temperatures.What shouldn't you cook in cast iron? While chefs have differing opinions on which foods affect cast iron, you can be extra careful by avoiding simmering acidic dishes and cooking fragile pieces of fish. Some cooks find that strong flavors or odors linger on their skillets, even after washing and re-oiling. You can entirely avoid this by having separate skillets for sweet and savory dishes, but we don't think that's necessary unless you are cooking with extremely delicate flavors.Best overall: Field 10.25" Cast Iron SkilletAfter searing the steak and cleaning the Field skillet, I could feel the surface become smoother.Lily Alig/Business InsiderPros: Even heat retention, great sear on the steak, quick to develop seasoningCons: Helper handle is not very helpful, no pour spoutsAny new piece of cookware takes some getting used to — how fast and evenly it heats, or how much fat it needs to prevent sticking. Cast iron can be particularly intimidating, but I felt comfortable right away using the Field pan. The best cast iron skillet overall is lighter than most of the other pans we tested and cleaned easily.Like many of the skillets, the Field arrived pre-seasoned. In our first test, the cornbread did not turn out when flipped, but it was easy to remove individual pieces without any crust sticking to the bottom. The seasoning, and therefore nonstick quality, became even better throughout our testing. When I later cooked the egg, it slid right off the surface without a trace stuck to the pan. Of course, nothing will be as effective as using the best nonstick pan, but the Field comes pretty close.The steak cooked evenly and seared quickly in the Field pan, allowing a great crust to develop without overcooking. Additionally, the cornbread had an even brown exterior and smooth, risen top.The other consideration for the top spot was the the Stargazer 10.5-inch Skillet. The cornbread in this pan was well-risen and had the most evenly browned crust I've seen in testing cast iron pans. Plus, the steak had a nice, dark brown sear. However, Stargazer did not replace our top pick because I found it more unwieldy than the Field pan. Both the main and helper handles are longer on the Stargazer. While that does keep your hands further away from the content of the pan, it made it more difficult to store and move from the oven to the stovetop.Best value: Lodge 10.25" Classic Cast Iron SkilletThe Lodge Cast Iron passed our tests and is cheap enough that you could buy two.Lily Alig/Business InsiderPros: Fully nonstick after a few uses, useful pour spouts, even heatingCons: Slower to heat up Nothing stuck to the Lodge 10.25" Cast Iron Skillet. The cornbread turned out perfectly, without a crumb left on the bottom, and the eggs slid off the surface without breaking. In part because it turned out unblemished, the bottom of the Lodge cornbread was the most even golden-brown of those we made.The shallow pour spouts were very helpful when pouring out grease and oil from cooking the steak. The handle is shorter than that of our top pick, but both got hot to the touch quickly. It was a close call for the best cast iron skillet overall between this pan and Field. Lodge fell out of the top spot because of the searing test: a crust did develop on the Lodge steak, but it took longer to achieve a darker brown. This could lead to overcooking in an effort to get a better crust. The Le Creuset and Field skillets produced thicker crusts in a shorter amount of time.Ultimately, you'll get basically the same performance with the Lodge pan as with pricier options. Lodge cast iron even beat our Le Creuset in our guide to the best Dutch ovens. Another budget friendly brand is Victoria. By a fair margin, the Victoria 10" Cast Iron Skillet produced the tallest cornbread. It is not one of our top picks because while it did well, it did not outperform the others in the steak or egg test. It is a solid choice for a low-cost cast iron skillet.Best enameled: Le Creuset 10" Signature SkilletThe steak cooked in the Le Creuset had a beautiful sear within the first few minutes of cooking.Lily Alig/Business InsiderPros: Heats up quickly and stays hot for as long as you're cooking, even heat distribution Cons: Not good for baking, heavyIf you can't cook outdoors, searing on a good cast iron pan can be a substitute for grilling, said Pasternak. While you can't mimic the smokiness of open flame cooking, the heavy bottom and heat retention of cast iron pans can sear and char your food. The Le Creuset Signature Skillet produced the most even and crispiest sear of all the best cast iron pans we tested.Many of the steaks I made ended up with crispy and deep brown crusts, but it was quicker in the Le Creuset. For me, this made it easier to achieve the medium-rare cook that I prefer; I didn't have to keep the steak on the pan past when it was done to my liking in an effort to achieve the sear. This was notably heavier than the other skillets, almost impossible for me to lift and keep level with one hand. Additionally, the Le Creuset did produce a low risen cornbread that stuck to the bottom of the pan. If you're loyal to DTC cookware, the Our Place Cast Iron Always Pan was like most of the pieces we've tested from Our Place: attractive, came with useful accessories, and heated evenly. The cornbread I made in this pan had an even rise and browned crust — it was not as fluffy as that from other pans. This is a solid piece of cookware, but for the price, I'd splurge for the Le Creuset.Best lightweight: GSI 10" Guidecast Fry PanCast iron is notoriously heavy, so the Guidecast pan is a good alternative for those with less grip strength.Lily Alig/Business InsiderPros: Even heating, lightweight, easy to cleanCons: Smaller cooking surfaceI wasn't convinced that a lightweight cast iron with a high level of performance existed until I tried the GSI Guidecast Fry Pan. At three pounds, the Guidecast Pan is 1.5 pounds less than the next lightest pan I tested, and it performed well in all my tests. Due in part to the pan's flared sides, the cornbread came out with a pinched edge. This was more than made up for by the evenly browned bottom crust, thick enough to provide a satisfying crunch with each bite. Similarly, the steak developed a thick crust without overcooking the middle. Though the seasoning wasn't fully developed (there was some sticking with the sunny-side-up egg), I could see it starting to build up. The surface became shinier and smoother, a tell-tale sign of cast iron seasoning.  The other cast irons pans we've tested are described as skillets, but most of them are shaped more like a saute pan, with deeper and straighter sides. The GSI, however, is distinctly a skillet with flared sides and a smaller cooking surface. In using the pan outside of testing, I found the shape paired well with the lighter weight; I naturally started using it to toss and saute contents like I would in an aluminum-core pan.What to look for in a cast iron skilletSeasoning and coating: The best cast iron pans come pre-seasoned, bare, or enamel coated. Pre-seasoned pans are immediately ready to cook with, while bare pans need to be seasoned before use. With any bare or pre-seasoned cast iron, you'll have to keep an eye on the seasoning layer and re-season when necessary.Enameled cast iron is easy to spot; it has a smooth interior with a slight sheen and often comes in bright exterior colors. These pans are less reactive and don't require seasoning. However, the heat conductivity is slightly dulled due to the coating and these pans do not have the "get better with age" quality of uncoated cast iron.Size: In our research, we found that 10 inches was the standard for cast iron skillets. That is what we recommend for most home cooks. If you're regularly cooking for larger groups, most of our top brands offer 12-inch skillet, but those will be heavy and difficult to move around. An 8-inch cast iron works just as well as a 10-inch, but larger cuts of meat will hit the edges of the pan.How we tested cast iron skilletsFor consistency, we only tested 10 to 10.5-inch sizes of the best cast iron skillets.Lily Alig/Business InsiderAll cast iron pans are heavier than aluminum or even stainless steel. We compared the weight of these skillets to each other and found minimal differences. All of the skillets had one extended handle and one helper handle. However, we preferred pans with helper handles that you could fit your fingers in, as opposed to just extended grips. I spoke with three chefs to get tips and tricks on how to use and maintain cast iron: Chef Robyn McArthur of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas, and Atara Bernstein and Ariel Pasternak, co-founders of Pineapple Collaborative.Cornbread: We used Mark Bittman's NYTCooking Cornbread Recipe to evaluate the heat retention and distribution of each pan. We measured the height (and therefore the rise) of the cornbread at the edge and middle. We looked at the browning and crust on the edges and underside of each cornbread.Steak: We based our steak testing on this recipe from Serious Eats. We seared New York strip steak by heating canola oil until smoking, placing the steak in the center of the plan, and flipping repeatedly for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak. The best seared steaks have a deep brown crust that is visible from the side of the steak when you cut into it. Eggs: Our last test was to make a sunny side-up egg in the middle of the pan with less than half a teaspoon of butter. We did this last to give the skillets a chance to develop a bit of seasoning. We looked for the egg to slide off the pan without breaking or sticking.Maintenance: Before and after each cooking test, we cleaned the skillets according to the manufacturers' instructions. We noted if it was difficult to remove stuck food and if the texture of the surface changed after scrubbing. Seasoned cast iron is smooth and semi-glossy; after all three tests, we evaluated each pan for these qualities to indicate a well-seasoned surface.Cast iron skillet FAQsAfter you wash cast iron, all three experts we spoke with recommend coating your completely dry skillet with cooking oil to preserve the seasoning.Lily Alig/Business InsiderHow do you clean cast iron?You can use soap on cast iron, but it should be sparingly. Most importantly, do not soak your pan, and make sure it is completely dry when you store it. McArthur says she will heat the pan up over a low light to make sure there is no moisture before putting it away. This can prevent rust, as suggested by Bernstein, Pasternak, and multiple manufacturers of the pans we tested. Always consult the cleaning instructions that accompany the skillet.How do you season cast iron?You season the best cast iron skillet by using it, initially with a fair amount of cooking oil. The process of oil becoming cooked into the pan's surface (seasoning) is called polymerization, McArthur said. The more you cook on the pan, the more oil is absorbed by the surface, making it more nonstick. Even if the pan is pre-seasoned, we found most will still take a few cooking sessions to become truly nonstick. Is cast iron compatible with an induction stovetop?You can place your skillet on the grill, in the oven, or on an induction stovetop. One of the beauties of the best cast iron cookware is that it can be used almost anywhere. Always consult the manufacturer's instructions before using your cookware, especially regarding oven-safe temperatures.What shouldn't you cook in cast iron? While chefs have differing opinions on which foods affect cast iron, you can be extra careful by avoiding simmering acidic dishes and cooking fragile pieces of fish. Some cooks find that strong flavors or odors linger on their skillets, even after washing and re-oiling. You can entirely avoid this by having separate skillets for sweet and savory dishes, but we don't think that's necessary unless you are cooking with extremely delicate flavors.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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