Outdoor chefs are in for an unhappy surprise as the summer grilling season approaches: The cost to fire up a backyard barbecue is going up.
The price of wholesale beef hit an all-time high Friday and there is no indication it will decline this year. While the price of beef alone is up at least 5 percent, that summer cookout is going to feel much more expensive to any serious barbecue aficionado buying good-quality meat.
“His meat has gone up. His buns have gone up. Everything’s gone up,” said Jim Early, the founder and president of the North Carolina Barbecue Society. Once you count all the fixins – ranging from brisket and chicken to barbecue slaw and salad – the price has doubled from just a few years ago. “The only thing that stayed the same is cabbage,” he said.
There are many causes for the increase, which has been edging up slowly. On Friday, the wholesale price of a USDA cut of choice beef reached $201.68 per 100 pounds. The previous high, $201.18, was set in October 2003. That was when all Canadian beef imports were prohibited after its first confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also called mad cow disease. That peak turned out to be a short-term blip and the prices dropped by 30 percent by the end of the year.
In fact, in the first quarter of this year, more people bought a Tesla Model S than bought any of the similarly priced gasoline-powered cars from the top three German luxury brands, according to data from LMC Automotive. About 4,750 bought a Model S while just over 3,000 bought Mercedes' top-level sedan.
Yes, we understand that nobody gets a $7,500 federal tax credit for a buying an S-class or an A8. Also, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi each sell a full range of cars and SUVs while Tesla buyers have only one model to choose from.
Still, let's face it, Tesla'sone model is doing pretty well, especially for a start-up automaker with a limited dealer network.
Last week was a particularly stellar one.
On Wednesday, Tesla announced a profit that exceeded Wall Street estimates. It also raised its Model S sales estimates for this year from 20,000 to 21,000.
Then on Thursday Consumer Reports came out and called the Model S thebest car it had ever tested. (It's overall performance was "off the charts," according to the magazine's head of auto testing, but it only earned 99 out of a possible 100 points because it can't be driven extremely long distances without recharging.)
Even though its first flying car is still at least two years away, a Massachusetts aerospace firm has unveiled a new design for a future product after that, one more akin to a helicopter than a plane.
Like its winged Transition flying car, its first product that is now scheduled for delivery in 2015, Terrafugia's TF-X would drive like a car on the ground, then take to the air like a plane. But instead of requiring drivers to find a runway, they could merely head to the local helipad -- or a parking lot -- and take off using tilt-rotor technology.
The car would lift off nearly vertically using propellers on its stubby wings. The props would then rotate from a vertical to a horizontal position for regular flight. It's the same kind of technology that is found in the Marines' V-22 Osprey, a transport now in common use, though it got off to rocky start with a series of accidents during development. Plans are for it to use a "plug-in hybrid electric" powerplant.
"We felt this was our time to share our vision of the future," says Richard Gersh, vice president of business development for Terrafugia, based in Woburn, Mass. Though the new flying car design isn't likely to take off for another decade, "if you don't start today, it won't happen."
Already, Terrafugia has gotten further than a raft of others either dreaming or designing a vehicle that can be both driven on streets and flown from airports. The Transition, a car with wings that fold into its sides, has gone through two design phases and is about to go through another. The current prototype now has 50 hours of flight time and "quite a bit of driving on the ground," Gersh says.
The 2012 Stanley Cup® champion Los Angeles Kings will play host to the Anaheim Ducks in a regular-season NHL® game outdoors at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET, the National Hockey League announced today.
Part of the previously-announced 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™, a group of games planned for outdoor locations next season, the event will be the first outdoor regular-season NHL game played in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River, the southern-most outdoor NHL game ever and the first-ever in California.
"With their meeting in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the Ducks and the Kings will write the next chapter in the exciting story of NHL hockey in Southern California," Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "At a venue that represents so much glorious sports history, this match-up of Stanley Cup champions will raise our outdoor initiatives to bold new heights. We know the game will be a treat for our fans, and we thank the Ducks, the Kings, Coors Light, Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Dodgers for bringing it to life."
Venerable Dodger Stadium will provide the unique setting for the event. Opened on April 10, 1962, it is the third-oldest continually used ballpark in Major League Baseball. Dodger Stadium has hosted more than 147 million fans since it opened. The host for eight World Series and close to 4,000 regular-season games, this will be the first time Dodger Stadium will be the home of a hockey game. With its view of Chavez Ravine overlooking downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains, Dodger Stadium has been called one of the treasured cathedrals of baseball with one of the most picturesque settings in sports.
"Dodger Stadium has been home to many unique and special moments over the past 51 years," said Los Angeles Dodgers President Stan Kasten. "We'll add another first in 2014 when the Dodger Stadium infield turns to ice as we host our first National Hockey League game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks."
Further details on this special NHL event, including national broadcast information and specifics on ticket opportunities for the season-ticket holders of each team, will be released shortly. Fans interested in receiving more information on ticketing, news and special offers around the event should register at www.NHL.com/2014LosAngeles.
Since the advent of a second team in Southern California 20 years ago, the Freeway Face-Off between the Ducks and Kings has been among the most spirited NHL rivalries. While in 2007 the Ducks, the younger of the two franchises, became the first California-based and first West Coast club to win the Stanley Cup championship since NHL teams exclusively began competing for the trophy in 1927, the more senior of the pair matched that feat last season, becoming the first No. 8 seed to be crowned champion.
As the late author Norman Mailer put it, "The only thing you can depend on with condoms is that they will take 20 to 50 percent off your f***." In a conversation with Madonna on the topic, Mailer also condemned condoms for making people part of "the social machinery" and destroying "most of the joy of entrance." Madonna argued that condoms are "essential in the age of AIDS," but conceded, "they feel terrible."
If we're honest, many of us do see condoms as robbing us of pleasure, stealing some excitement and spontaneity from intimacy, and dulling the intensity of sexuality. It's okay to say that. These factors are the primary reasons that still only 60% of teens use condoms. These factors warrant acknowledging. From there, condom useage declines with age. The number one reason we have seen given time and again for refusal to wear condoms is the reduction of pleasure.
This time there was no final drama to clutch their guts, no walk offs to break their hearts.
Just a final indignation at the hands of the Giants, the Dodgers falling, 4-3, Sunday to be swept out of San Francisco.
Matt Cain, looking remarkably mortal against the rest of the National League, held what passes as an offense these days for the Dodgers, to one run in his 7 1/3 innings to earn his first victory of the year. The Giants won all three games of the series by a single run.
In five starts against every team that is not the Dodgers this season, Cain owns a 7.85 ERA. In two games against the Dodgers, it’s 0.67.
The evening’s story was fairly familiar. Mark Ellis (quad) missed his eighth consecutive game, though he has yet to be placed on the disabled list. Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the lineup for the third consecutive game, though he did drive in the Dodgers' first two runs with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.
Too often when the Dodgers did produce baserunners, as is their habit, they stranded them. They were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who had 12 strikeouts in his last outing, wasn’t dominant for the Dodgers, though neither was he exactly a mess.
But he could not get the awkward Hunter Pence out when he needed to, Pence driving in all four of the Giants’ runs.
The Giants scored once in the first on a Pence groundout, once in the third on a Pence double and twice in the fifth on another Pence double.
Ryu fell to 3-2 with the loss, both defeats coming against the Giants. Sunday he went six innings, allowing the four runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out two.
In his 7 1/3 innings, Cain (1-2) held the Dodgers to a run on five hits and three walks, with four strikeouts. He would have held them scoreless if he’d received better support from the bullpen.
Cain left with one out and a runner on in the eighth. But after left-hander Javier Lopez struck out Andre Ethier, right-hander George Kontos gave up a single to A.J. Ellis and walked – who else? – Juan Uribe to load the bases.
The Giants brought in Jeremy Affeldt to face Gonzalez, but he bounced a two-run single up the middle. After Dee Gordon beat out an infield hit to pull the Dodgers within 4-3, Jean Machi got Jerry Hairston Jr. to bounce out and leave the rally a run short.
Sergio Romo held the Dodgers scoreless in the ninth to pick up his 12th save.
Apple has for some time been working on a number of prototype iPhone designs which blast past the 4-inches of the iPhone 5 and head closer to today’s 5-inch sweet spot. This will apparently be housed in/on a new razor-thin casing that does away with all physical buttons and practically all bezels, while resolution will rocket past the 1080p standard and redefine Retina-busting quality.
Chances are Apple’s fingerprint security technology will have also become standard by then, as will a new camera with for competitive purposes at least must be around 13-megaipxels or higher. And then of course there’s Apple’s delayed entry to the world of NFC connectivity, meaning that the iPhone 6 could be the first to bring a fully-capable mobile wallet app with an upgrade of iOS 7.
And that’s where the buck stops right now – a prospect which although slightly less than mind-blowing in its own right is still leaps and bounds ahead of the iPhone 5S in terms of potential.
But then again, imagine what the likes of HTC, LG and Samsung might have come up with by summer 2014…
Beware of pizza you can chip a tooth on.
Four varieties of California Pizza Kitchen and DiGiorno frozen pizzas have been pulled from grocers' freezers after complaints of plastic fragments in the pies.
These aren't bits of plastic wrap but clear, brittle, sharp-edged pieces of plastic, according to the Associated Press.
As the Los Angeles Times' Ricardo Lopez reported earlier, it was a voluntary recall by Nestle USA. The products are CPK's crispy thin-crust white pizza and its limited-edition grilled chicken with Cabernet sauce. For DiGiorno, it was the crispy flatbread pizza, Tuscan-style chicken, and DiGiorno bianca/white pizza.
The recall was a result of consumer complaints about the plastic, which Nestle says was due to a single lot of spinach.
One customer reported that biting into a CPK pizza resulted in a chipped tooth, the Associated Press said.
The article mentions that the weight limit won't be strictly enforced—“I think people will be self-selecting, practical and safe,” Department of Transportation policy director Jon Orcutt told the tabloid. All of this is a far cry from stats reported by New York Magazine last year, which states that the bikes can accommodate riders up to 6-foot-8, and come equipped with "heavy-duty tires" and locks that are “pretty much bombproof.” For what it's worth, a website called "quickBMI" calculates that the ideal weight for a man standing 6-foot-8 is between 203 and 249 pounds, so tall Citi Bike riders had damn well better be in fighting form before even thinking about hopping on.
So will the weight limit ever be enforced? Will svelte patrolmen roam the streets armed with scales, prepared to wrestle cyclists from their Citi Bikes if they appear to be closer to, say 283 pounds? (For the record, the terms also state that nothing over 17 pounds shall be transported in the bike's cargo carrier. Not 15 pounds, nor 20. 17. But why?) We reached out to DOT in an attempt to demystify the seemingly arbitrary weight limit, and, more excitingly, to what extent any enforcement will be possible.
Update 2:06 p.m.: According to DOT, there are no plans for actual enforcement. Also, the weight limit of 260 pounds (not that it matters) was selected on the basis that everyone else is doing it.
"These technical specs are established by the equipment manufacturer and are the same as other bike share cities around the world and standard on commercially available bikes and components," said DOT spokesperson Seth Solomonow. "We expect people will use the bikes safely."
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