The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers There are a few monuments moments in American history: signing of the declaration of independence, the moon landing, and the unveiling of the 2015 Corvette Z06 here in Detroit.If you think I am overselling this debut, you might be right. If you have even a modicum of American pride pumping through your veins, you might well agree with me. Honestly, the now-unveiled Z06 is already a thing of legend and stamp on the history books.HighlightsLet’s start with the highlights – and one I think perfectly encapsulates the adroitness of the Z06. When fitted with the Z07 package, the Z06 – even during preliminary testing – has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the last-gen ZR1. Let that sink in for a second.How has it bested its older brother? It’s the first Z06 model to offer a supercharger. That’s right; Chevy wedged the all-new 6.2-liter LT4 V8 under the hood that makes over 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. Backing that up is either a seven-speed manual or an all-new eight-speed automatic developed in-house by Chevrolet. Z06 grips the road like never before thanks to its downforce-inducing body.And oh what a body it is. Look at the damn thing. With that massive carbon fiber splitter, it looks like evil incarnate. I joked when we saw a teaser image of the Z06 that it was slathered in ‘combat yellow’ paint. Seeing the Z06 in its full livery is truly awe-inspiring. I’d say that, even with that yellow paint, the Z06 looks less combative than it does ominous. It draws you in with its razor-edge beauty but makes you a bit nervous for what’s in store for you behind the wheel.Muscle to the nth degreeChevrolet has made supercharged pushrod V8s for decades. None, however, is like the all-new 6.2-liter LT4.Engineers were able to fit the supercharger and intercooler down into the valley of the motor, making it only about an inch (25 mm) taller than the standard, naturally aspirated LT1 V8 that powers the Stingray. Amazingly, for as compact as it is, the LT1 makes 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.Engineers didn’t just get tricky with the supercharger packaging; they also added cylinder deactivation, direct injection, and variable valve timing. The result is a hunk of American aluminum built in Tonawanda, New York that makes at least 625 hp and 635 lb-ft.Sending that power to the rear wheels is the standard seven-speed manual or the all-new 8L90 eight-speed automatic, which, as I mentioned before, was designed in-house by Chevrolet. Shifted manually with paddles behind the steering wheel, owners can enjoy the comfort of an auto without sacrificing the sportiness of on-demand shifting.Why did Chevy take on the challenge of making its own transmission? Simply, it couldn’t find an automatic that could handle the torque put out by the LT4 while also offering high-speed shifts. What does that look like in the real world, exactly? The 8L90 shifts up to eight-hundredths of a second faster at full throttle than the seven-speed dual clutch transmission in the new Porsche 911. When was the last time you thought you’d ever read about a Chevy out-doing a Porsche for precision?Don’t think that’s all the benefits offered by the 8L90. No, it also weighs eight pounds less than a six-speed automatic. Astonishing.DownforceYou know how some brand names become synonymous with a concept? Think about it, we don’t call them tissues; we call them Kleenex, which is a brand name.That same way, I think we ought to just start calling ‘downforce’ simply ‘Z07’. When the Z06 is fitted with the Z07 performance pack, it pushes the Michelin Sport Cup tires so feverishly into the pavement at high speed; it’s likely to tear up most track tarmac.When fitted with the Z07 package, which includes a carbon fiber front splitter with extended winglets and a see-through rear spoiler, the Z06 produces “the most amount of aerodynamic downforce of any production car that GM has tested.”In addition to the new front splitter and winglets, the Z06 also features a distinctive front fascia with a new mesh grille that not only looks menacing but also improves airflow over a blank opening. The Z06 designers explained this phenomenon to me like this: “It’s like the aerator on your faucet. Without it, water would just go every which way. Give it that disruption, and you can route it more efficiently.”It’s not just the front that’s been embiggened, the sides and rear-end of the Z06 are wider, too. The front wheel arches are 2.2 inches wider in the front and 3.15 inches winder in the rear. Designers stretched the rear fascia out to match, making the distinctive square taillights three inches further apart than they are on the Stingray.Stiff, open-top motoringWith the last Z06, buyers had to forgo open-top motoring in order to enjoy a rigid body structure. In the 2015 Z06, they won’t have to. Just like the Stingray, the Z06 will have a removable hardtop roof. Pop it out and the all-new Z06 will be an admirable 20 percent stiffer than the last-gen, fixed-roof model. Click the roof back I, though, and the new Z06 will be 60 percent stiffer than its processor. The C7 Corvette chassis is so firm and planted; it remained virtually unchanged in the C7.R racecar.American supercarI hope you now agree with me that the 2015 Corvette Z06 is not only an awe-inspiring Corvette, it’s carbon fiber nose to carbon fiber nose with number of European supercars that cost three times as much money.Ultimately, though, I can’t give my final diagnosis on the Z06 until I’ve driven it, which I hope will be later this year, as the 2015 Z06 goes on sale late this year.What do you think of the Z06? Tell us in the comments.Want to know what else is debuting? Make sure to check out our 2014 Detroit Auto Show for full details. Spectacular Failures Tells the Story of Businesses That Went Very, Very Wrong The Most Refreshing Sparkling Waters to Sip On Right Now The All-New 2020 Corvette Stingray Is a Mid-Engine Supercar for the Everyman Editors’ Recommendations 1. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 3. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 4. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 5. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 6. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene
This year, the National Park Service has reached an incredibly impressive milestone, and celebrated one hundred years as an agency on August 25 of this year. To help the NPS continue celebrating its centennial, The Manual has devoted a regular column to highlighting one of its spectacular parks each month. In addition to providing general information on the regions themselves, we’ll also catch up with park rangers, area advocates, and anyone who contributes to the preservation and operation of each park. Enjoy!Park name: Everglades National Park (Florida)Area: 1,508,538 acresAuthorized: May 30, 1934Average annual visitors: 997,903As we crack a bottle of proverbial champagne on our inaugural NPS Centennial column, Florida’s expansive Everglades National Park is where we’ll venture to first. Encompassing roughly 1.5 million acres of Florida’s southern tip, the Everglades is a treasure trove for avid adventurers looking to explore the region’s eclectic ecosystems, tropical hammocks, and mangrove swamps. Due in part to the sprawling nature of the park itself, it remains one of the rare national attractions that deserves an extended amount of visitation time to even feel like you’re scratching the surface of what it offers.With its wet season lasting from April to November and a (more desirable) dry season lasting from November to March, Everglades National Park is a constantly shifting environment that offers visitors a dramatically different experience literally every month. To get a true barometer of how exactly the park lives and breathes, we chatted with Everglades National Park ranger, Maria Thomson and Everglades National Park Chief of Public Affairs, Linda Friar.What is your favorite part about being associated with the park?Maria Thomson: I think what I like best is just how much wilderness there is. I believe the Everglades is something like 85 percent wilderness; it just gives people so many different opportunities for activities. The way in which it constantly changes with the seasons is exhilarating. Whether it’s the dry or wet season, the wildlife and scenery change so much and offer much to be explored. It’s also great to see people visit from all over the world just to enjoy the park.Are there any unknown facts you’d share with first-time park goers?Linda Friar: Perhaps to venture off the main park road and look small. Most of the time when people visit the Everglades, they are overcome by how big it is. It’s incredibly important to just stop and be still, be amazed by what’s around. The park as a real subtle beauty to it.MT: Yeah, I’d agree with Linda. Look small and be aware of your surroundings. It’s incredibly interesting to stay off the beaten path. Just explore everything around you and have a sense of adventure.Why is Everglades National Park so important to you? MT: Aside from the fact I’ve been working here for so long and it feels like a part of me, I absolutely love how expansive everything is. Whether you have just a day to explore or you visit for an entire week, there’s so much to do to fill your time. It’s just a really special place.LF: I’d add to that and say that even people who come from all over the country, or the world, to visit the Everglades don’t even realize the park is just one small part of what makes it so great. So much of the wilderness and waterways that make up a large portion of the Everglades are as equally amazing as anything the parks have to offer. What’s so great about working for the park is having the ability to actively preserve it for future generations. All photos courtesy of the National Park Service Editors’ Recommendations To Find Beauty In Yosemite, Just Whip Out Your (Honda) Passport The Best Men’s Trail Running Gear for Warm Weather Book a Last-Minute Summer Camping Trip Just About Anywhere With Pitchup On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip The Best Men’s Short-Sleeve Button-Downs Shirts Raise the Bar
Simone Falco was born in Naples on October 27, 1974, into a family of sportsman and entrepreneurs. When Simone grew older he become a rugby player and obtained a PhD from the University of Naples Federico II, one of the oldest Universities in Europe. Since he was very young, Simone has worked in the family company to learn the proper skills needed to run a successful restaurant business, leading into the launch and development of several new restaurant locations in Italy and abroad. Rossopomodoro in New York City’s West Village – an outpost location of the Rossopomodoro’s U.S. operations at Eataly New York (Flatiron & Financial District), Chicago, Boston, and San Paolo – has been carrying on the tradition ever since its opening in 2014.Falco, Chef & Owner of Rossopomodoro, has designed the restaurant’s menu to embody the brands manifesto and presents dishes that are simple, seasonal, straightforward, healthy and flavorful –and he goes way beyond just pizza & pasta. Simone’s personal passions include interests in health, wellness, and horseback riding. These passions inspired him to own a restaurant where he could eat several times a week and still feel as if he was eating at home. Simone would describe his personal style as classic Neapolitan.Jeans: When I wear jeans on the weekend, I also wear Balenciaga or Citizens of Humanity.Shirts: I either wear James Perse t-shirts or custom made button downs from Barba.Pants: I would describe the Brunello Cucinelli pants I wear old school meets new school.Suits: Neapolitan cut. The week day suits I wear are custom made suits from Napoli. I travel to Italy to get new suits fitted about every quarter. I like to have about 2-4 fresh suits a year.Shoes: I wear the Mister Casual shoes from Belgium Shoes about 320 days a year.Accessories: I wear Borsalino summer and winter hats. My favorite watches are Patek Phillippe. I also adore the cufflinks my wife gave me with my initials engraved on them.Outerwear: If it is very cold out I wear my Canada Goose. I also wear my trench coat from Barbour often.Favorite cologne: I wear both Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne and Extreme Tom Ford.Favorite app: My favorite app is NFL mobile. I am a big Giants fan.Favorite piece of technology: My outdoor speaker system. Next style/gear purchase: I have a few purchases on the horizon – I would love to start wearing pinned shirts, buy an Alfa Romeo Spider October 74 car (the month and date of my birthday) and another horse. Horseback riding is one of my favorite activities and passions. Iron Chef Morimoto Continues Building His Empire with Easy Cup Sake World Beard Champion Madison Rowley is Cutting His Beard to Fight Addiction The Burger Show’s Alvin Cailan Shares His Burger-Making Secrets Editors’ Recommendations NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski on Crashing, Winning, and Creating a Legacy Surf Legend Laird Hamilton Has His Own Natural Supplement Brand
Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktails You Can Master Editors’ Recommendations Cynar—pronounced chee-nar (not sigh-nar, chai-nar, or any of the other ways that the friend that always wants to be better than you has previously assured you of)—is an Italian amaro that is made with, among other 13 total herbs and botanicals, artichokes. The name Cynar comes from the botanical name for the artichoke, Cynar scolymus, and, since its creation in the 1950s by Venetian Angelo Dalle Molle, the spirit has been held in varying levels of esteem the world over.While it is made with artichoke leaves, Cynar is not an artichoke-flavored spirit (sorry, spinach and artichoke dip loving people out there). The overall flavor is bittersweet, making it somewhat easier to sip compared to other digestifs out there.When it comes to ABV, Cynar is on the lower side—a mere 16.5%–but if you are looking for the same flavor with a little more backbone, Cynar also has a 70-proof version (named, fittingly, Cynar 70 Proof) for your consumption.Below, we’re pulled together some of the best ways to enjoy Cynar. We’re big fans of it here at The Manual, and we think you will be, too.Drink it StraightAs with many amari, Cynar is best consumed—at least according to the Italians who first made it—straight. Pour yourself an ounce or two, and sip it. Adding an ice cube can’t hurt, either. Another fun thing to try with your straight Cynar is to add a few drops (3-4 is all you need) of saline solution. Just as with cooking, the salt will bring out the other flavors present in the spirit.If you want to extend your Cynar, you can also think about adding club soda, tonic water, or even orange juice, as they do in certain parts of Europe.Drink it in CocktailsCynar, especially in the last decade or so, has really come to be defined by its versatility in cocktails. Here, you’ll see two different types of cocktail that both work to highlight how the bitter flavors of the liqueur work well with a variety of other ingredients.Cynar Julep 1 ½ oz Cynar1 oz Apple Cider½ oz Cinnamon Syrup¾ oz Lemon JuiceGinger BeerMethod: Mix Cynar, cider, cinnamon syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a glass and top with ginger beer.Cheers! 6 Classic Gin Cocktail Recipes You Can’t Live Without 6 Essential Scotch Cocktails That You Need to Know 7 Fall Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy With Cooler Weather 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make 2 oz. Cynar1/2 oz. Simple Syrup1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice1/2 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice2 Dashes Angostura Bitters2 oz. Soda Water12 Mint LeavesMethod: In a tall glass, add mint and all ingredients except soda water and bitters. Gently muddle, add ice, then soda and top with bitters.Carciofi Shandy(Created by Sofia Present, August Laura, NYC, pictured above)
“I hate advertising and I hate everyone in it,” Steven Grasse, 52, says. When asked about the early stages of his career, it felt as though he was reliving some intense trauma. As a former ad-man and current small-batch liquor proprietor, Grasse couldn’t wait to be his own boss. At 23, he founded his own agency, then Gyro Worldwide, now Quaker City Mercantile, sparking an earth-shaking, two decades of evidently unsatisfying, advertising magic.“Once you get the account, you start losing it right away,” he laments. “It’s like renovating an apartment you don’t own.”At the helm of his agency, he sought permanence, investing in nearly invisible companies and pulling new ones out of thin air. Whether he was transforming Puma into a worldwide brand or revitalizing New England’s historic beer darling, Narragansett, Grasse was a force to be reckoned with.“I was most appreciative of his passion for rejecting the status quo,” says Lindsay Prociw, Category Director of Mixable Spirits at William Grant & Sons. As the Director of Innovation, she worked tirelessly with Grasse to put Hendrick’s Gin on the map. “His long history and experience [with Hendrick’s], combined with his thirst for staying modern and relevant in his interests…has made him someone I often go to directly for [perspective].”William Grant & Sons, needing a new gin and rum to add to its roster, approached Grasse. His rock ‘n roll sensibilities led to the rise of the whimsical Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. Grasse would later churn out Art in the Age, an experimental spirits and lifestyle brand catering to adventurous professional and amateur mixologists alike.A history buff above all else, Grasse’s love of Transcendentalism and disdain for advertising pushed him all the way into the spirits world. He essentially purchased the town of Tamworth, New Hampshire, lured there by its pure waters and history-steeped streets (Thoreau frequently summered there), and established the Tamworth Distilling. Though initially meeting some pushback from the locals (many of whom were alive during Prohibition), the distillery and its sprawling grounds has drawn many millennials to the rural locale and employed a bevy of local farmers.Blue Lion Chicorée Liqueur Tamworth Distilling“People want to know where their food comes from,” Grasse says. “But then they go home and order everything on Amazon.” He goes on to liken major tech corporations to “modern-day robber barons.” Though Grasse tries to capture the magic of Transcendentalist idols found in nature rather than industrialization, his penchant for pushing the envelope remains steadfast.With products like Von Humboldt’s Turmeric Cordial and Art in the Age’s Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial, Tamworth Distillery piques the curiosity of even the most habitual drinkers, but it doesn’t stop there. One of Grasse’s favorite liquors is an Art in the Age Beet Root Vodka which almost tastes like horse manure, so “you know it’s real.” Tamworth distillers are also playing with ideas for fermented goat’s milk which “smells like a dirty sock but tastes like perfume.” You know, your dream drink.Make no mistake, Tamworth is Grasse’s baby (an Arkansas satellite is still gestating). Utterly committed to his vision and supporting the town it resides in, Grasse is primarily interested in the happiness of the individual. Whether that’s just him, Tamworth residents, or fans of his niche alcohol, you can be sure of one thing:“It’s not for sale.”Berry Basil Gimlet2 oz Art in the Age Black Trumpet Blueberry1 oz gin½ oz fresh lime juice½ oz honeyFresh basil leavesMethod: Muddle honey, basil, and lime juice in cocktail shaker. Add ice, gin and AITA Black Trumpet Blueberry and shake. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with a basil leaf. Editors’ Recommendations 11 Best Gins for a Refreshing Gin and Tonic The Best American Gin 6 Classic Gin Cocktail Recipes You Can’t Live Without The Best American Liqueur 9 Best Spirits For Spiked Apple Cider
The glossy brochures for every travel destination promise “Something for everyone!” Yet, few deliver. Cape Town is a rare exception. As the oldest town in South Africa, the beloved “Mother City” is the hippest, most vibrant, most cosmopolitan urban center on the continent, book-ended by a dramatic, craggy mountain range to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west. Foodies, adventure-seekers, historians, culture-lovers, and hard-partiers — there’s something for every brand of traveler. Of the countless reasons to visit South Africa’s cultural capital, here are our favorites.Must-DoIt’s impossible to understate just how much South Africa in general and Cape Town, in particular, offer travelers. There’s a reason — many reasons, actually — that it’s among our top five favorite all-around destinations in the world. No matter what sort of traveler you fancy yourself, here’s what not to miss.For Thrill SeekersThe list of adventure experiences in and around Cape Town could fill an encyclopedia-sized tome. On the city’s outskirts, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head are home to some of the best paragliding opportunities in South Africa. Table Mountain, the city’s most famous natural icon, is a worthy round-trip by cable car or, for the more adventurous, via an ascent hike followed by abseiling 1,000 meters down on the world’s highest commercial abseiling adventure. The nearby beaches are an ideal spot to strap into sail-powered Blokarts which are capable of screaming across the sand at more than 60 miles per hour. If land-based adventures aren’t wild enough for you, Cape Town is among the world’s best destinations for caged shark diving. Cape Adventure Zone can hook you up with guided single- and multi-day treks just outside the city.For Nature LoversNot far from the city center, Boulders Beach is a tiny, protected cove with soft, sloped dunes dramatically dotted with massive granite boulders. The beautiful, turquoise water is pristine, but cold — making it a fine spot for beach-goers who aren’t that concerned with swimming. But, the “big get” is the beach’s large colony of endangered African penguins. Most visitors are surprised to learn that Africa is home to the notoriously cold weather creatures. But, thousands of the tuxedoed birds share the sand with plenty of wide-eyed human visitors. A series of wooden boardwalks wind through the boulders and the bird’s colony allowing for extremely close-up photo opportunities. For a quieter, more tourist-free alternative, head to Stony Point (en route to Hermanus). The beach there is a bit more rustic, but the larger penguin colonies more than make up for it.For Wine LoversThe numerous wine regions that dot South Africa’s countryside are set amid a perfect growing climate that makes for some of the best wine in the world. Grab a rental car and day trip around the peninsula. In particular, head south away from the city to the waterfront and Camps Bay to the beautiful gardens at Kirstenbosch. Along the way, pit-stop at the wineries along the Constantia Wine Route like Eagles Nest and Klein Constantia. The quaint seaside village of Kalk Bay is an ideal spot to break for lunch and stroll among its galleries and shops. The Winelands are another must-visit for vino lovers as the terroir in and around Stellenbosch makes for fantastic reds.Constantia Wine Route/FacebookFor HistoriansSouth Africa’s history is as diverse and fascinating as it is heartbreaking. For visitors to Cape Town, the most concise way to gain an appreciation for the country’s past is at Robben Island. Situated less than seven miles offshore in Table Bay, this notorious island prison once housed some of the country’s most notable prisoners including Walter Sisulu, Jacob Zuma (the country’s current president) and, of course, Nelson Mandela. A guided tour includes first-hand accounts from an ex-political prisoner who can provide keen insights into the harsh life of South Africans under the Apartheid regime.For FoodiesWithin just twenty years, Cape Town has become almost unrecognizable. The evolution from its dark and sordid past into an ultra-hip, cosmopolitan destination is due in some part to a thriving gourmet food and dining scene. The sheer number of new restaurants and diverse cuisines is dizzying. For comfort food done right, head to Constantia’s locally popular The Brasserie. Solid burgers, thin crust pizza, and a fantastic lamb shank & mash dish are all served amid a relaxed dining room with a whiff of rustic sophistication.Photo/The BrasserieIf it’s gourmet international fare you’re after, Mondiall Kitchen & Bar pulls inspiration from American, Italian, and French cuisines with daily specials that feature everything from Mexican to Japanese to South African. They pour a fantastic Paloma (el Jimador and grapefruit topped with soda), but the House Lassi (a non-alcoholic Indian refresher with live yogurt, cardamom, rose water, honey, and cinnamon) is worth a sample.For decidedly non-local fare, head to Addis in Cape. This Ethiopian eatery is as authentic North African as it gets, including communal eating and traditional entrees like homemade wot (stew) poured into large sourdough pancakes called injera.Ethiopian FoodWhat to SkipThe coast and beaches, like Camps Bay and the four Clifton beaches, around Cape Town are postcard-worthy. But, the important fact the tourism office neglects to convey to visitors is that the water is positively freezing year-round (there’s a reason all the sane beach-going Capetonians wear wetsuits, and the above-mentioned penguins find the water just delightful). Head instead to the Indian Ocean suburbs that line the False Bay coast where warm waters and the beautiful beaches at Muizenberg and Fish Hoek provide far better swimming opportunities (just beware of the “dinosaur-sized” sharks).Where to StayLike any world-class city, Cape Town has its fair share of chain hotels. But, it also boasts a solid collection of one-of-a-kind boutique and luxury alternatives. Situated along bustling Long Street, Grand Daddy Hotel offers some of the city’s most original lodging. While the interior floors feature lovely designer accommodations, it’s what’s on the hotel’s roof that’s most noteworthy. The Rooftop Trailer Park Experience is unlike any we’ve seen anywhere in the world. Guests take a vintage elevator to the hotel’s top floor and step into a purpose-built, rooftop trailer park. Seven pristinely restored Airstream trailers each feature a unique themed decor from the vineyard-inspired Winelands to Rooftop Safari to City Flights (adorned with the owner’s own aviation maps and inspired by their love of travel). All boast air-conditioning and a mini-fridge, plus an outdoor patio set and an actual USPS mailbox.The Silo Hotel Entrance/The SiloThe Silo hasn’t yet opened its doors. But, when it does in September, it will be among the most beautiful and uniquely designed hotels in Cape Town. Built on the top six floors of a once-abandoned, 90-year-old grain silo, the 28 rooms will feature stunning eclectic interiors with one-of-a-kind “pillowed” windows that billow gently outward like a glass and steel balloon. The rooftop will house a panoramic sundeck with a glass-sided pool and a gourmet restaurant. The silo’s reconstruction will also feature the brand new Zeitz MOCAA — Africa’s largest contemporary art museum. March: There’s no better month for event-lovers. The annual Cape Town Carnival brings the city’s own colorful, unique twist on traditional Carnival celebrations — all with a distinct focus on African heritage, culture, and diversity (tickets on sale each December). The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is among the top five events of its kind worldwide. In early March 2018, the festival will celebrate its near-twentieth anniversary with more than 50 local and international acts.May: March through May signifies the start of the annual grape harvest, when tourists can often participate in the gathering, juicing, and of course tasting process for the year’s vino. May’s Constantia Food & Wine Festival is one of the area’s largest celebrations, featuring scores of local wine and gourmet food vendors. Pack Your Bags (When to Go)The main consideration for North American travelers is that Cape Town’s seasons are reversed: the summer months correlate to our winter, and vice-versa. So, June and July are the coldest and often wettest months of the year. That said, there really isn’t a bad time to visit weather-wise. All of South Africa enjoys fairly temperate year-round weather.Budget travelers should keep an eye toward the March-May and September-November time-frames. During these “shoulder seasons,” the tourist crowds thin out, the weather is more mild and predictable, and prices are substantially lower than in peak season.If it’s specific events you’re after, here are Cape Town’s most notable: Editors’ Recommendations 11 Under-the-Radar Cities in Canada Worth Exploring The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Cities On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip Capetown Carnival 2017July Through September: After the winter solstice, whale watching season begins in the waters of the South Atlantic. Head to the charming fishing village of Hermanus (an easy day trip from the city) and witness southern right whales basking in the crystal clear waters of Walker Bay. The town boasts plenty of quaint restaurants, shops, and galleries as well, making it a worthwhile destination in its own right. The Hermanus Whale Festival in late September is a celebration of all things marine mammal with live music, art gallery installations, stand-up comedy shows, and a half-marathon.November: Cape Town might not top your list of “must-visit whisky destinations,” but it should. Every November, the annual Whisky Live Festival attracts more visitors than any similar event in the world. Over the course of three days, attendees can sample nearly 180 brands from Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Wales, and beyond.December: For 2017, the Ultra-Trail World Tour will make its debut in Cape Town. The rugged landscape surrounding the city makes for the perfect host for this brutally challenging landrace. Runners will travel between 35-100 kilometers (depending on their chosen track) across Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Table Mountain, the Constantia Winelands, and Devil’s Peak. The terrain is unforgiving and the weather can range from sub-freezing to more than 90 degrees in the heat of the day. An Introduction to the Fine Sport of Bouldering If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For?
The Opus OP15′ Is a Tricked-Out, Off-Road-Ready Travel Trailer Major Airline Admits to Monitoring Passengers Via Onboard Cameras Editors’ Recommendations Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App Hotels are never fully occupied, “sold out” concerts are often full of vacant seats, and car rental lots are rarely empty. Thankfully for last-minute folks like us, there’s Hotwire, StubHub, and Priceline, respectively. However, until recently, no one had yet figured out how to unload unsold airline seats at the last minute. Enter Air Ticket Arena.The premise of U.K.-based Air Ticket Arena is simple: to provide last-minute fliers the option to bid on unsold air travel. Taking part in the site’s auction process is straightforward. Simply download the free mobile app (currently Android-only) and register for free. After initial verification, you’re ready to bid. Select your departure and destination cities, your travel dates, and the number of tickets you’d like. You can optionally select specific airlines you’d prefer to fly, if any. Lastly, you’ll confirm how much you’re willing to spend on each ticket (prices are in euros, so remember to convert to U.S. dollars if that applies to you). Could You Handle a Marathon, 20-Hour Nonstop Flight? This Black Boathouse Is a Luxurious Retreat on a Small Island in Norway The only caveat is that you must bid within 14 days of your date of departure. The service also only works for trips which are 14 days or less in length. But who in the States is getting more than two weeks of vacation nowadays anyway?Approximately 48 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure, the airline will determine the number of unsold seats and the rock-bottom price they’re willing to accept for each. If your maximum bid meets their minimum sale price, you’re in. You’ll be automatically confirmed on that flight and receive an electronic ticket via email. Just keep in mind that you likely won’t be earning any frequent flier or status miles for any flights booked through Air Ticket Arena.Half-empty planes — or, in some cases, fully empty planes — are not uncommon, yet airlines are stubborn about not undercutting themselves. It seems like a matter of willful pride that they’ve been happy to fly with empty seats rather than auction them off to the highest bidder. Until now.Air Ticket Arena is available primarily through a free Android app and, secondarily, through a web-based interface. Be warned that the entire process feels a little “half-baked.” Nevertheless, we’re pretty stoked that mainstream airfare auctions are finally on the horizon.
The Ministry of Education is moving to implement a policy, to make it mandatory for schools to allow school-aged mothers to resume their education after childbirth.This was disclosed by Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, at the weekly Jamaica House press briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister, on June 6.Miss Falconer informed that Cabinet has approved the policy for mandatory re-integration of all teenaged mothers into the formal school system, following the completion of an intermediary education programme.She said the policy is intended to allow the girls to continue their education after the birth of a child and not be barred from the school system.“The schools will now be advised that places temporarily vacated by a student during a period of pregnancy should be retained for the student’s return to school, following the completion of an approved transitional programme,” she informed.The education regulations provide that a girl who becomes pregnant shall leave the formal school system during the period of her pregnancy.Under those stipulations, the Minister of Education has the discretion to facilitate the re-entry of such girls into educational institutions.Senator Falconer noted that no policy framework existed before the exercise of this discretion.“Instead, schools have, at times, misinterpreted the provision to treat the girls as absent from the school permanently,” she said.The Minister said the new policy will provide the same flexibility to students wishing to attend a different school after they have had a child.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has lauded the philanthropic work of the RuJohn Foundation, which targets the social upliftment of Jamaica’s youth.The Foundation was established 10 years ago in honour of Ruth and John Tulloch, the Jamaican grandparents of the Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bachelor and President, Christina Bachelor. Its mission is to provide the necessary educational tools for rural and inner-city schools throughout Jamaica and select U.S. cities, and stresses the importance of hard work and perseverance through athleticsOver the years it has provided scholarships and staged athletic celebrity sports camp for students, especially in western Jamaica and now Kingston. Additionally, the Foundation has provided school supplies, athletic gear, computer equipment and funding for educational programmes.Mrs. Simpson Miller, who was addressing the Awards Banquet of the Foundation at the Knutsford Court Hotel on June 23, applauded the sincerity and steadfast commitment of the Foundation in staging the annual camps and ceremonies, which have been inspiring young people in and around Kingston and Montego Bay.“Any contribution to the youth of the country is a contribution to the development of the country; and any contribution to education is a contribution to the present and future of the country, Mrs. Simpson Miller said.She welcomed and thanked the many sports stars, actors and actresses who are participating in this year’s staging of the celebrity camps.The event saw some 25 students and schools being awarded scholarships, cash, computers, sporting equipment and school furniture valuing millions of dollars.The top prize of the evening was the Simpson Miller Award presented to Miltonia Thompson, who received $500,000 and a mini iPad. Other awardees included: Paul Jerome Jackson and Sheena Campbell who copped the Bachelor Award worth $300,000 each and mini iPads; and Oleaq Richards, Shadai Miller and Louisa Anna Taylor, who received scholarships worth $150,000 each and mini iPads.The award for outstanding leadership in and out of school was presented to Joel Nomdarkham of Kingston College, who received $320,000 and a plaque. The youngster was stunned by the cash award which was only revealed on the night, and expressed his appreciation.“It’s really an amazing feeling to be here (on stage). All my life I have been helping people and to know that I am blessed in such a way is truly amazing. I am most appreciative of this award,” he said.Five other students received the RuJohn Foundation award of $20,000 each and lap top computers to assist in their studies at college. They are: Decodia Miller, Herbert Morrison Technical; Javanni Waugh, Kingston College; Sherdeana Brooks and Devonie Bernard of Rusea’s High; and Lij tau Thompson of Manning’s High School.Kingston College received a donation of US$2,000, presented by Byron Bachelor, a Director of the Foundation who attended the school.Some 13 other schools received furniture, sporting equipment and other gifts which were presented by several sports and television celebrities who are part of this year’s camp. Among the schools benefitting are: Whitfield Town All Age; Bridgeport High; Rusea’s High; Calabar High; Manning’s High; Waterford High; Copper Basic School; Mt. Nebo School; Excelsior High; Runaway Bay Heart Academy; Herbert Morrison High; Hope Fellowship and Spanish Town High.Among those attending the evening’s ceremony were: Jamaica’s Ambassador to the US, Stephen Vascianne; television stars, Raven Symone, Lance Gross, Robert Ri’chard, Jussie Smollett, Lamorne Morris, and Iman Crosson; model, Camille McDonald; American football stars, Darius Butler and Leonard Weaver; NBA players, Andray Blatche and John Salmon; and dancer, Amanda Robinson, among many others.Contact: Andrea Braham
The disaster resilience and risk mitigation capacities of four communities are being boosted, under a project to be implemented by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), at a cost of $6 million.The project, ‘Management of Slope Stability in Communities (MoSSaiC)’, primarily entails drain infrastructure improvement works, among other activities, aimed at reducing flooding, and improving slope stability to curtail the incidence of land slippage, and other occurrences resulting in dislocation for the residents.Approximately 20,000 residents will benefit from the undertaking in the targeted communities where the project will be undertaken as a pilot, beginning in the next few months. These are Harbour Heights, Melbrook Heights, and Bedward Gardens in St. Andrew; and Breastworks, in Portland.[RELATED: Bill to be Tabled to Boost Disaster Fund]Funded through the World Bank with financing from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), the project is slated for execution over 12 months by the National Works Agency (NWA).A contract for the work was signed by ODPEM’s Acting Director General, Richard Thompson, and NWA Chief Executive Officer, E.G. Hunter, during a brief ceremony at ODPEM’s Haining Road offices, in Kingston, on June 25.Senior Director for Mitigation, Planning and Research at ODPEM, Kareema Aikens-Mitchell, informed that the communities are the first beneficiaries of the programme, and outlined the rationale for their selection.“We had a number of criteria that we used to evaluate the need. Because (the undertaking) is looking at improving landslide risk in certain communities…you had to have high density, and we can clearly see that in the communities that we are working with. There has to be some element of social vulnerability. Also, we had to be working with a particular slope gradient, where landslide risk is prominent,” she explained.Mrs. Aikens-Mitchell said the work will see the construction of main drains, intercept drains, and feeder drains, among other features.“At the end of the project, we hope to replicate the methodology across other communities in Jamaica,” she said.For his part, Environmental Engineer at the NWA, Dr. Mark Richards, indicated that the agency has commenced surveys in the project areas and will shortly be “going into the design phase” for the project plans being drafted.“We expect to be in the communities within a few months, so once the designs are complete and we get contractors on board, then actual work will start,” he assured.[RELATED: Labour Minister says All in Place for Active Hurricane Season]In his remarks, Mr. Thompson pointed to ODPEM’s “role and responsibility” in ensuring that “our communities are more resilient.”He underscored that “this community-based landslide risk reduction project is part of a bigger framework as it relates to building disaster-resilient communities.”Mr. Hunter said the NWA welcomed the opportunity to partner with ODPEM in executing the project. Noting that the agencies are “usually united” in national disaster recovery efforts, he pointed out that “it is good to see that we are now engaged in a mitigation effort.”He assured that the NWA is committed to “delivering this project on time, within budget, and in accordance with stipulated specifications.”Contact: Douglas McIntosh