Monthly Archives: November 2018

30Nov 2018

Pokémon Go has legendary trios as December's big research rewards – Polygon

Pokémon Go players have another chance to receive two sets of popular legendaries in December, in case they missed out on them in the past. That is, if you’re good about doing your daily research tasks — as the legendary bird and legendary dog trios will be exclusive rewards for anyone who completes their seven-day research breakthrough streak.

The Pokémon Go Twitter account confirmed that December will bring the following Pokémon to gift boxes awarded to players who fill out their quest checklists for the entirety of December: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres (the birds), and Raikou, Entei and Suicune (the dogs). It sounds like which one you get is random, however, so all you can do is cross your fingers and hope you’ll get the exact legendary you’re looking for.

All six of these legendary Pokémon have been available during Raid Battles before, and the whole set entered the game more than a year ago. In April, Moltres was even available for players to capture after completing the first-possible research breakthrough, which they unlock after seven straight days of questing. But it never hurts to get more of some of the most powerful Pokémon in the game, right? In December, there will be no Raiding required to have a chance at collecting these legendaries, either.

Also coming soon, and perhaps more excitingly, is a mega-reprisal of 2018’s community days. Niantic will bring back every Pokémon it celebrated for its weekend events for a large celebration where players will be able to catch each of these popular Pokémon once more. On the list are Charmander, Chikorita, Larvitar, and Pikachu, among many others. This special campaign begins this Friday, Nov. 30, and will conclude next Monday, Dec. 3.

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30Nov 2018

15 Places You Need to Go in 2019, Recommended by Travel Experts – Reader's Digest

Get ready to fill your travel bucket lists to brimming for the upcoming year with our swoon-worthy selection of destinations to visit in 2019, hand-picked by the top experts in the travel world. Buckle up for a year filled with terrific travel adventures.


JapanPhuong D. Nguyen/Shutterstock

As Tokyo gears up for the 2020 Summer Olympics, all eyes are on this fascinating country full of amazing food and well-preserved arts and culture, yet as modern as modern gets, says Larry Olmsted, author of Forbes column “The Good Life.” There is simply no other place on Earth that boasts this side-by-side duality of tradition and cutting-edge. Tourists are starting to look beyond just Tokyo and Kyoto, and skiing in Japan has emerged as the hottest winter sport destination on earth, while more and more visitors are following culinary routes to Hokkaido, Osaka, and the Noto Peninsula. “The thing about Japan is that while it surprisingly spread out and varied, the excellent high-speed rail infrastructure makes it easy to explore,” adds Olmsted. Don’t miss these 10 under-the-radar hidden gems you can only find in Japan.

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Lisbon, Portugal

Famous National Pantheon in Lisbon, Portugal (View from Tagus river)Carlos Neto/Shutterstock

There’s a reason Portugal keeps making all the best-of lists, says Laura Begley Bloom, a senior contributor at Forbes and chief content officer at It’s affordable, loaded with culture, and beautiful, too. Its capital, Lisbon, is one of the world’s oldest cities—and one of the sunniest spots in Europe. For families, there’s no better destination in 2019, especially if you’re staying at the new Martinhal Chiado, which was built with little ones in mind. There’s a baby concierge who will set you up with anything you need (crib, baby bath, safety gates), plus all the rooms are marketed as apartments, complete with kitchens and washer-dryers, which is always a welcome amenity when traveling with children. Most city hotels have a business center. Not here. Instead, you’ll find a free kids’ club for ages six months to nine years. And it’s open late, so mom and dad can take a night (or two or three) to go out and experience Lisbon’s red-hot food scene. It’s easy to reach Lisbon, too, with direct service on TAP Air Portugal from an array of U.S. cities, which will be rolling out brand new Airbus A330neos, the first airline in the world to fly these advanced aircraft. Lisbon is also one of our favorite 11 most affordable cities in Europe.

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Kaş, Turkey

Istanbul city skyline in Turkey, view from Golden Horn, houses in Beyoglu district with Galata tower in the midlle.Artur Bogacki/Shutterstock

Turkey is back! According to Darshika Jones, director of North America for Intrepid Travel, the country is currently the travel company’s fastest growing destination, showing a 214 percent increase in global bookings over the last year. The renovated Ataturk Cultural Center is slated to open in 2019 and will house the new Istanbul Opera House, designed to serve as a multi-venue performing arts center with a 2,500-seat capacity. The newly opened Troy Museum commemorates the naming of Troy as a UNESCO site. Given the recent developments in the Turkish economy, the exchange rate is very favorable right now for travelers. Additionally, Turkish Airlines serves the most countries in the world and the new Istanbul Airport just opened, which is set to be the biggest airport in the world by completion. Where’s best to visit in Turkey? According to Intrepid, the city of Kaş is a less crowded alternative to the Greek islands; it’s a hub for sailing, diving, and exploring the Mediterranean vibrant sea life.

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30Nov 2018

Amesbury man admits stealing checks, credit card – The Daily News of Newburyport

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Amesbury man admits stealing checks, credit card
The Daily News of Newburyport
According to police reports, Crooks used a credit card belonging to the Salisbury landscaping company that hired him and used it three times on July 24 and July 25 in Ipswich and Amesbury. The first withdrawal was for $202 from an Ipswich Cumberland …

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29Nov 2018

The Surprising Rewards of Meal Kits – Wall Street Journal

The complete pre-packaged makings of a home-cooked meal of Shrimp with Farro, from HelloFresh.


F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas

Cooking is a slog—or so we are often told, not least by the manufacturers of processed foods who would be quite happy if we never picked up a wooden spoon. Many commentators, including Michael Pollan, have warned that the home-cooked dinner is practically obsolete, a domestic activity that could soon seem as antiquated as darning socks. But here’s a puzzle: If cooking is really on the way out, how do we explain the popularity of meal kit services such as



In the U.S. alone, there are now more than 150 meal-kit businesses, with estimated total sales of $2.2 billion in 2017. These kits give the lie to the idea that all we care about when eating is convenience. Sure, it’s way more convenient to buy a meal kit than it is to go to a farmers market and pick out each ingredient by hand, before lugging them home, consulting a cookbook and finally cooking dinner. But meal kits are still a far less convenient way of creating a meal than either takeout or microwavable frozen dinners. Users of these kits are paying good money simply to experience a little of the joy of cooking.

Meal kits deliver boxes of raw ingredients and recipes and leave the customer to cook up a dinner of curry-spiced cauliflower and squash, say, or sriracha lime cheeseburgers. The kits deliver everything you need down to the last sprig of thyme or teaspoon of smoked paprika. All you usually need to provide is an oven and your own olive oil, salt and water, plus a little light chopping and stirring. “We do the prep. You be the chef” is the slogan for Amazon Fresh. It remains to be seen whether the business model actually works—the high costs of packaging and shipping all those fiddly sprigs of thyme mean that many meal-kit companies have yet to make a profit. Blue Apron, for instance, is struggling with layoffs and a plunging stock price. Yet the idea clearly appeals to an awful lot of people, judging from the fact that meal-kit spending is growing three times faster than other food sales. According to Nielsen data, 9% of Americans have tried a meal kit, which is huge considering that such services have only been around since 2012.

Critics of meal kits say that they are so dumbed-down that they hardly count as cooking at all. This is cooking for millennials, who lack the calloused fingers or grit of an old-time cook. After all, how hard is it to measure out a teaspoonful of paprika or to go to the store and buy your own onions? In an article in this newspaper in 2017, Jane Black and Brent Cunningham wrote that the Amazon Fresh slogan should really be “We do the prep. You pretend to be the chef.” Black and Cunningham argued that meal kits were yet more proof that “Americans don’t want to cook and never really have.”

The hard part of producing dinner isn’t the cooking—it’s staring into an inadequately stocked fridge wondering what on earth to make.

I disagree. To me, the success of meal kits is a sign that more people than ever—including quite a few men, whose fathers never cooked at all—want to cook more passionately than ever before. It’s just that some feel they can only make cooking part of their lives if all the usual obstacles are removed. Few of us, men or women, want to cook like a 1950s housewife any more, churning out dutiful meatloaf. Meal kits give us the chance to cook like children, mixing up mud pies.

I didn’t expect to like meal kits. As a cookbook addict who actually enjoys pounding fresh spices in a mortar, I feared that the meal-kit recipes would be mediocre and that the produce would be out of season. Too often, I was right on both counts. Yet to my surprise, when my family tried a meal kit for a few weeks as research for a book I was writing—first we tried HelloFresh and then a British meal kit firm called Gousto—the whole experience made me look at cooking afresh.

Meal kits taught me once again that the hard part of producing dinner every night isn’t the cooking—it’s all the shopping and schlepping and staring into an inadequately stocked fridge wondering what on earth to make. Cooking is as much about organizing ourselves as it is about applying heat to food. More than half of dinners cooked in the U.S. are planned an hour or less before they are made, according to the Hartman Group, a food consulting firm. The very first week we tried HelloFresh—a dish of Moroccan meatballs—I found myself unexpectedly crying in the kitchen at the wonderful realization that the burden of planning dinner was off my shoulders for once.

Another transformative thing about meal kits is that they tell you exactly the sequence of steps you need to create a whole meal: precisely when to turn on the oven and when to boil a kettle to blanch the green beans. This makes cooking a far more serene process than it usually is. Most recipes in books are great at explaining ingredients but not so great at telling you which pans you will need and when (Julia Child being the exception that proves the rule).

More ‘Table Talk’

  • Eating Should Feed All of Our Senses
  • The Future of Food Is Better Tools and Techniques
  • No, A Salad Doesn’t Make that Burger Healthier

Meal kit cookery taught me that I wasn’t as indispensable in the kitchen as I had arrogantly believed. Like most cooks, I have control freak tendencies and find it hard to relinquish my chopping board. But by following the colorful meal kit recipe cards, my husband and teenage children were able to cook dinner as well as I could. Almost as well.

I was also reminded of how great it feels to have company and encouragement in the kitchen, even if it’s only from a recipe card. My 15-year-old daughter said she loved the cheery support she got from those cards as they urged her to “tuck in and smile” or congratulated her on cooking a meal containing three portions of vegetables. The meal kits made cooking seem so aspirational to my teenagers that they would squabble over whose turn it was to cook. I’ve noticed that even now when we’ve stopped using the kits, they still cook more than they ever did before. It occurred to me that meal kits could be a great way to deliver cooking skills to households where no one knows how to boil an egg.

I’m still not convinced that meal kits are the future of cooking. One problem is the sheer waste of the packaging. At least the cardboard can be recycled, but what gets me is all the plastic freezer packs to keep the food cold and the tiny doll-sized cartons of tomato purée or cream. Another problem is that the flavors and ingredients are not as good as they could be, at least in the versions that I’ve tried in the U.K. The sauces tend to taste a little raw, because the recommended cooking times are too short. When I complained about this to Patrick Drake, the co-founder of HelloFresh in the U.K., he told me that most of his customers don’t want to spend more than 27 minutes cooking.

My own household has mainly returned to cooking the old-fashioned way, although I’ve started trying to make it feel more like a meal kit by coordinating my grocery shopping and recipe planning so that I can actually enjoy making dinner. I’m grateful to meal kits for reminding me that, far from being a slog, cooking is one of the great human pleasures.

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29Nov 2018

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann: My First Big Travel Splurge – Forbes

Known worldwide as the “First Lady of Nails,” OPI Co-Founder & Brand Ambassador Suzi Weiss-Fischmann emigrated from Hungary in 1966. She made her mark on the beauty industry in 1989, when she created the first 30 OPI nail lacquers. She is a co-founder of OPI,  which began as a small dental product supply company 40 years ago. The name actually stands for Odontorium Products Incorporated. She and her brother in law George Schaeffer recognized that “making dentures was similar to making acrylic nails.” Long story short: “A chemist put together three products for us, to create artificial nail extensions.” She rubber-banded them together, and walked up and down Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles, to all the nail salons. All the technicians raved about “the rubber band special” and the rest is history. “It’s the American Dream story but it’s for real,” Suzi told me. While at the helm of OPI, I’m Not Really a Waitress, one of her best-known colors, was heralded as the perfect shade of red by women across the globe. Allure inducted this lacquer into its Beauty Hall of Fame in 2011, after it won the Best Nail Polish award nine times.

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, founder of OPI (which was sold to Coty for about $1 Billion) always travels with her Hermes scarves and Rimowa luggage.OPI

OPI was sold to Coty eight years ago for “alot of money,” she says humbly. (The New York Times reported that Coty bought OPI for $1 Billion.)  Suzi traveled constantly for OPI, to trade shows, sales meetings, public relations events — and more. Now she travels solely for pleasure. From her home in Los Angeles, she shared her luxury travel tips with me.

What was your first big travel splurge?

I never felt that “I made it” and I’m gonna buy a boat. It was never that kind of feeling. We live comfortably. I never had that specific “aha” moment.

Our first big travel splurge? We went to Hawaii — My husband and the two kids. We stayed at the Grand Wailea hotel on Maui. All those slides! That was our big first vacation, for a week. I loved the hotel — it was amazing. It had anything and everything kids could want. I’m an ice-cream-aholic, and I loved the Dots ice cream that they serve by the pool at the hotel. We first went in 1996. We’ve gone back many years, many times, when the kids were little.

The Hibiscus pool at the luxurious Grand Wailea hotel on Maui, which has separate pools for kids and adults.Grand Wailea

As they got older, we stayed next door at the Four Seasons Maui. Love everything about it. When I go for long walks in the morning, I get up early, go for my walks, and it’s so tranquil, it’s so peaceful, and the food and service is amazing and great. Nothing not to love about the Four Seasons Maui – or any Four Seasons in the world. At Spago, we get the little cones with spicy tuna. And the staff is so nice. I always said, “It doesn’t matter what you do, you need to be passionate about your work.” And that’s what the staff is like at the Four Seasons hotels. You can tell when someone feels like that.

What’s your favorite airline and why?

It’s the one where I can get an upgrade. It’s huge. My goal when traveling is to get an upgrade. Delta, American. Best first-class experience was on Air France. They take you by car to the plane, and it’s amazing. At Charles de Gaulle, in Paris, the Air France lounge is like going to a first-class restaurant and you can have any food you want. I love the bread and butter, and a cup of coffee and I’m so happy. And give me a potato every which way you can imagine. I sleep on the plane — something happens to me when I fly. I’m very lucky. It has really allowed me to travel and not be exhausted. I don’t need to take any sleeping medicines.

The first-class cabin on Air France offers that “je ne sais quoi” that takes all the “travail” out of travel at 35,000 feet.Air France

What’s your favorite luggage?

Rimowa — that’s my luggage. And I always try to do carry-on whenever possible. That’s the goal. I can get by on one pair of black heels if I’m just going for three or four days.

What are your must-haves when traveling?

I collect Hermes scarves — ever since high school. I got one as a gift when I was 18, and I fell in love with the scarves. When I could afford it, I started collecting them. I always travel with Hermes scarves. I love to tie then on my back, around my neck, on my coat. It’s my favorite accessory. And I always have ChapStick, eye drops, and moisturizer. I love Sisley products. And I get a manicure every week.

Where’s your next trip?

We’re actually going to Singapore and Hong Kong, on my son’s next spring break  Last spring break we went to Japan. I love Japan and everything about it — the service, the people, the respect, the food. We flew Delta and it was great. No matter what airline, if the crew is great, the experience is better. In Kyoto we stayed at the Ritz, and in Tokyo we stayed at the Aman. We loved the view of the city from our room, and the service, the shower, and amenities. There were slippers by the door. That was the special touch — they were always lined up by the door. …Life is all about experiences, and each trip adds to the experience of different food, cultures and people. The human interaction is very special, when you actually meet and talk to people in different countries. It’s so different than social media.

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29Nov 2018

Charged up: Compass is giving agents credit cards – The Real Deal Magazine

Charged up: Compass is giving agents
credit cards

Agents can pay off bills with commission payments

November 29, 2018 01:00PM

Robert Reffkin and Robert Lehman (Credit: Compass and iStock)

Over the past year, Compass has offered agents business loans and the option to buy company stock. Now, it’s launching a Compass-branded credit card.

The residential brokerage announced the “Compass Card” on Wednesday at a biannual retreat in Los Angeles, which attracted some 2,500 agents.

Chief Growth Officer Rob Lehman described the card as a solution “for all your business needs,” Inman reported. Agents who use the card will pay back charges on their “own timelines,” he said.

Compass offered few other details about the card — such as who will be eligible, which bank is issuing the card and what interest rates will apply. It’s also unclear if the card has any restrictions.

Launched in 2012, Compass has raised $1.2 billion from investors to date. The company was valued at $4.4 billion following an investment in September by SoftBank and Qatar Investment Authority.

Over the past year, Compass has launched a slew of products and services, including illuminated brokerage signs; a health insurance offering; and an equity program that lets agents invest in Compass stock options. Compass also launched a business loan program for agents that is on track to lend $100 million by the end of 2019.

It’s also expanding geographically at breakneck pace. Compass started the year with 30 offices and will finish the year with 150. By next year, it will have 300, Lehman said. [Inman] — E.B. Solomont

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29Nov 2018

American Airlines makes move to add Asian market share – Dallas Business Journal

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Dallas Business Journal

American Airlines makes move to add Asian market share
Dallas Business Journal
The broadened partnership between two of the world's largest airlines calls for a significant increase in codeshare cooperation and the launch of reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and lounge access. Codesharing allows an airline to place its
China Southern Airlines, American Airlines to expand codeshare cooperationChinadaily USA
China Southern and American Announce Partnership Following SkyTeam
American Airlines partnership opens up access to more cities in ChinaDallas News
Airline Ratings
all 17 news articles »

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29Nov 2018

Tapatalk To Add Crypto Rewards with KIN – Crypto Briefing

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Crypto Briefing

Tapatalk To Add Crypto Rewards with KIN
Crypto Briefing
Reddcoin and Dogecoin have both targeted online communities, with easy-to-use tip-bots and social wallets for easy peer-to-peer rewards. And the Brave Browser, which incentivizes content creation with the Basic Attention Token, has also announced plans …

and more »

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29Nov 2018

TSA says the post-Thanksgiving Sunday was its busiest travel day ever – USA TODAY

As expected, the Thanksgiving holiday was a record-setter for air travel.

The Transportation Security Administration confirmed that the 2018 Thanksgiving travel period was the busiest in the agency’s 17-year history. TSA says it screened more than 25.6 million passengers and crew members during the holiday travel period, a 6 percent increase from the same period in 2017.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25) was the busiest day during the period. More than 2.7 million travelers passed through TSA screening, “making it the busiest travel day in TSA’s history,” the agency said in a statement.

USA TODAY TRAVEL: Love TSA PreCheck and Global Entry? Check your expiration date

“It was all hands on deck during the Thanksgiving holiday week,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said via the statement. “I thank our entire TSA team and industry partners for their work and attention to detail during a very hectic time, ensuring safe and secure travel for all passengers.”

Overall for the period, TSA says screening wait times were kept in check despite the record crowds. 

Nationwide, the agency says “95 percent of all passengers waited less than 20 minutes in a checkpoint line and 99 percent of passengers who were in a TSA PreCheck lane waited less than 10 minutes in a security checkpoint line.”

For those flying on this year’s post-Thanksgiving Sunday, however, Mother Nature did not cooperate. A winter storm brought blizzard conditions to a large swath of the Midwest and snarled flights at busy airports like Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway and Kansas City, Missouri. Nationwide, nearly 1,300 flights were canceled and more than 4,700 delayed. Monday proved even worse, with more than 2,800 cancellations and 7,000 delays.

That rough ending to the holiday period came after a week of mostly calm weather leading up to the holiday.    

Scroll down for a list of what the TSA says are the 10 busiest days in its history:

TODAY IN THE SKY: The world’s 20 busiest airports, 2017 (story continues below)

1. Nov. 25, 2018: 2,729,770 passengers/crew screened; Sunday after Thanksgiving

2. Nov. 28, 2004: 2,713,864 passengers/crew screened; Sunday after Thanksgiving

3. July 20, 2018: 2,676,487 passengers/crew screened; summer Friday

4. June 29, 2018: 2,676,198 passengers/crew screened; Friday before Fourth of July week

5. July 26, 2018: 2,672,136 passengers/crew screened; summer Friday

6. June 22, 2018: 2,668,474 passengers/crew screened; summer Thursday

7. July 8, 2018: 2,658,707 passengers/crew screened; Sunday after Fourth of July week

8. Nov. 19, 2004: 2,652,347 passengers/crew screened; Friday of the week before Thanksgiving

9. July 27, 2018: 2,649,067 passengers/crew screened; summer Friday

10. June 30, 2017: 2,647,852 passengers/crew screened; Friday of Fourth of July week

More: Boeing’s centennial: A look into the photo archives

TODAY IN THE SKY: United’s Boeing 747 farewell flight was one to remember

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29Nov 2018

Man sentenced for leading group that installed credit-card skimmers … –

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The head of a group of people who installed credit-card skimmers on gas pumps in five states, including many cities in Northeast Ohio, was sentenced Wednesday to more than six years in federal prison.

The sentencing of Ranset Rodriguez, a Miami resident, to 81 months in prison is the culmination of a prosecution against 12 people who stole personal information from thousands of people, according to federal court records. Of the dozen indicted, 10 pleaded guilty to federal charges. Two remain at large, including a Parma man.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the defendants worked to install skimmers that steal credit-card information at gas stations in Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Utah and other states between August 2014 and July 2017. They used that information to make counterfeit credit cards.

The skimmers stole information from thousands of people, prosecutors said. They were found at gas stations in Cleveland, Rocky River, Solon, Stow, Hudson, Fairview Park, Medina, Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton and Austintown, among other cities, prosecutors said.

Members of the group traveled from Florida to install the skimmers and worked together to distract gas station employees while installing them, prosecutors said. Members then used the fraudulent credit cards at stores.

Rodriguez, 41, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan. Also sentenced Wednesday were Jose Manuel Iglesias, and Eddy Pimentel-Vila, both of New Jersey. Iglesias, 52, was sentenced to 81 months in federal prison, while Pimentel-Vila, 46, got a two-year sentence.

One of the defendants, Lester Castaneda of Hialeah, Florida, was charged in a similar case in federal court in Ohio. He pleaded guilty in both cases and was sentenced most recently to six months in prison, followed by six months’ house arrest.

Juan Carlos Banos of Parma, and Carlos Rodriguez Martinez of Aurora, Colorado, are still at large, prosecutors said Wednesday.

If you would like to comment on this story, please visit Wednesday’s crime and courts comments section.

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