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TRX® Suspension Trainer + Door Anchor

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:00:29 Z

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Real strength comes from the inside.

We're not talking about your strength of character. We're talking about muscles inside your body. Strength comes from those. Go ahead and be a good person if you want. Think about how your actions affect others. That's all great. But also be an actual strong person with big muscles, because then you can smash stuff, and that's a lot more fun than going around doing the right thing all the time.



The Debunker: Is New Orleans Located Below Sea Level?

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:00:00 Z

On August 28, 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine, a Spanish admiral named Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted land in Florida. His men founded a settlement there which is still called St. Augustine, making it the oldest European-founded city in the United States. This August, we've asked Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings to cast his keen, cosmopolitan eye on American cities coast to coast, the better to debunk some misinformation about them that's as old as the hills, almost as old as St. Augustine itself. The Debunker: Is New Orleans Located Below Sea Level? When the levees broke in New Orleans in 2005, I heard more than one person (thousands of miles away and unaffected by the disaster, of course!) note, with a smirk and a shrug, that, hey, that's what happens when you build a major coastal city below sea level. But I was shocked when this actually became a political talking point in the post-Katrina conversation. When House Speaker Dennis Hastert (recently in the news again doing prison time after accusations of being a serial child molester!) was asked about rebuilding New Orleans, given its low elevation, he replied, "I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me." Leaving aside the silly notion that elevation should determine how disaster relief funds are spent, there's a factual problem here. A 2007 Tulane University study found that most of urbanized New Orleans—51 percent of the city's land area, and over half of its pre-Katrina population—actually lies above sea level. In fact, the entire city was above sea level for most of its lifespan. It was only during the last century that soil subsidence lowered much of the city below the level of the Gulf of Mexico. But that's beside the point, politicians of a Hastert-esque bent might reply. The half of the city above sea level isn't the problem—it didn't flood! But the geographic facts don't bear this out. Many New Orleans neighborhoods devastated by Katrina, including the famously low-lying and flood-prone Lower Ninth, are actually largely above sea level—and certainly higher than nearby neighborhoods like Lakeview, where rebuilding was never in question. Those neighborhoods, in a shocking twist, are whiter and more affluent. Unfortunately for New Orleans, sea level isn't a fixed quantity. A paper published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicted that New Orleans will be one of the coastal cities hit hardest by global warming, with seas rising over six feet in the century to come. If the city is going to survive, it needs a vastly more reliable flood-control system than the Army Corps of Engineers one that failed in 2005. Quick Quiz: The U.S. state with lowest mean elevation is not Louisiana or Florida, but what state in the Northeast? Ken Jennings is the author of eleven books, most recently his Junior Genius Guides, Because I Said So!, and Maphead. He's also the proud owner of an underwhelming Bag o' Crap. Follow him at ken-jennings.com or on Twitter as @KenJennings. [...]



Diono Radian R100 All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:00:55 Z

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Grows with your child! But if they're still happy with it in high school, maybe intervene.

Ronald, now, buddy, we talked about this, right? You knew that one day we'd be at this point. Yes, your father and I are glad you like your car seat, but it's time to be a big boy and move forward. That's right, Ronald. It's time to get a job. You're thirty-five.



Microsoft Surface 3 10.8" 64GB Tablet

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:00:54 Z

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On the surface, it looks like a pretty good tablet. But under the surface, it also looks like a pretty good tablet.

We gathered a panel of experts to evaluate the Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet, here's what they had to say...

EXPERT 1: Wow, look at this...is this a computer?

EXPERT 2: Excuse me, how long will this take? You said you have some information about my lost dog?

EXPERT 3: I am a dinosaur fossil expert, I don't know why I'm here.

 




Wise Company 104-Serving Variety Bucket

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:00:36 Z

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In a world gone mad, a bucket of food looks sane.

What if that day comes. What if your worst nightmare becomes reality. What if the movies were right all along. What if you're down there for days, which turn into weeks, which turn into months. At the very least, you want some food on the shelves, right? Also maybe put some money into drone-delivered pizza and you can sell to the other survivors.




Pioneer PL-30-K Audiophile Stereo Turntable

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:22 Z

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Throw on some wax and drop the needle

("wax" = records / "needle" = needle / "throw on" = smash / "drop" = eat)



Mortimer and Monte's Weekend Adventures

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:00 Z

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2-Pack Rocketbook Smart Notebooks

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:25:41 Z

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Write. Microwave. Repeat.

In the old days paper was such a scarce commodity that people would erase what was written on it and reuse sheets of it. Luckily, paper isn't such a scarce commodity these days, but it's still a good idea to use less of it. Enter these notebooks. Fill 'em up, pop 'em in the microwave, and they're suddenly blank and ready to be reused. Luckily, microwaves aren't a scare commodity these days either.



Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:25 Z

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Fitness is better in bits.

There are a lot of ways to get fit. You could run a whole marathon! That's a big ol' chunk of fitness right there! But that's also a lot of work. An easier method is to get your fitness in bits. Walk 10 steps from your bed to your couch? That's one small bit of fitness. Take the stairs instead of the elevator? That's another bit of fitness. Before you know it, you'll have accumulated enough bits of fitness to equal a whole marathon! It'll just be in five step increments, spread out over the course of months.



The Debunker: Did Peter Minuit Pay $24 for Manhattan?

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:00:00 Z

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On August 28, 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine, a Spanish admiral named Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted land in Florida. His men founded a settlement there which is still called St. Augustine, making it the oldest European-founded city in the United States. This August, we've asked Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings to cast his keen, cosmopolitan eye on American cities coast to coast, the better to debunk some misinformation about them that's as old as the hills, almost as old as St. Augustine itself.

The Debunker: Did Peter Minuit Pay $24 for Manhattan?

It's hard to walk around the densely crowded canyons of midtown Manhattan, home of the world's most expensive commercial real estate, and imagine the island as a primeval forest wilderness, purchased by Dutch colonist Peter Minuit from local Native Americans for just $24 in beads and trinkets. Twenty-four dollars! You can't even get into the Museum of Modern Art today for that!

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The $24 number comes from an 1846 calculation by American diplomat and historical scholar John Romeyn Brodhead. A 1626 letter from a West India Company merchant in the Dutch National Archives records that his countrymen "have purchased the Island of Manhattes from the savages for the value of sixty guilders." When Brodhead converted that from Dutch silver to nineteenth-century dollars, he got $24, but his math doesn’t hold up. Today, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences estimates that sixty seventeenth-century guilders were worth about a thousand dollars in modern money. Other scholars, using contemporary sales of Dutch beer and brandy to establish a historical consumer price index, think the real value could actually be as high as $15,600. Oh, and there's no historical evidence that this was an all-wampum transaction. When the Dutch bought Staten Island from the Munsee Indians four years later, the deal included tools, muskets, cloth, farm implements, and even a "Jew's harp" or two.

Now, obviously $1,000 and even $15,000 are still good prices for thirty square miles of prime real estate. But that doesn't necessarily mean than the Indians got rooked, because we don't even know who Minuit did his deal with. Some accounts suggest that Minuit gave his guilders to members of a Long Island tribe who were just passing through and decided to sell some other tribe's land to make a quick buck. Even if the deal did involve the local Lenape tribe, they may have just been following their custom of trading away hunting rights, not realizing that the Dutch were settling in for the long haul.

Quick Quiz: Today, the National Museum of the American Indian is located at the northeast corner of what park on the southern tip of Manhattan?

Ken Jennings is the author of eleven books, most recently his Junior Genius Guides, Because I Said So!, and Maphead. He's also the proud owner of an underwhelming Bag o' Crap. Follow him at ken-jennings.com or on Twitter as @KenJennings.