Our favorite gear based in the Blue RidgeWe all do our best to go local when we’re picking our beer and veggies (nothing beats a local IPA/beets pairing), but you can also go local with your outdoor gear. The Southern Appalachians has a strong manufacturing tradition, and today, that tradition continues as some of the most innovative gear on the market is designed here and made here. Here is some of our favorite local gear.Watershed McKenzie From $130Asheville-based Watershed has been making industry standard dry bags for decades, but with the McKenzie, the brand is breaking into the bike category. The McKenzie is a 10.5-liter handlebar bag built for bikepacking or just cruising around town that’s fully waterproof thanks to the Zipdry closure and roll-top design. There’s no better way to keep your gear dry and safe when you’re on the bike.Simple Shot Scout $40 Simple Shot, based in Western North Carolina, takes a childhood staple and reinvents it for adults. The Scout has a nearly-indestructable polycarbonate handle with textured imprints for your forefinger and thumb and an ergonomic grip that creates a sturdy slingshot platform. Take this puppy camping with you and spend all of your downtime revisiting your childhood.Eagles Nest Outfitters Sublink Shelter System $250Asheville-based ENO changed the way we camp (and nap) when they introduced the Doublenest hammock 20 years ago. Since then, their hammock systems have become the industry leaders. The Sublink is their best yet, matching their lightest hammock (the 9.8oz. SuperSub) with the Helios suspension and Sil Nylon Rain Tarp and Guardian SL Bug Net. Put it together, and it’s the lightest complete hammock system on the market.Blue Ridge Chair Works $155 Former raft guide turned woodworker Alan Davis makes a variety of camp furniture that looks great in your Instagram feed. The original Blue Ridge Chair is still our favorite, though. It’s a two-piece design that slides together, sits low to the ground, and is made with American timber in Western North Carolina. It’s a no-waste factory too, so spare pieces of wood are turned into bottle openers.Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight Solo Bivy $175 Virginia-based Mountain Laurel Designs makes a variety of tents, tarps and packs for the ultralight set, but this solo bivy takes minimalist freedom to the ultimate level. The Superlight Solo uses cuben fiber for a featherweight, water-resistant sack you can use on its own or under a tarp.Diamond Brand The Great Day ($250) and The Double Take ($79)Asheville-based Diamond Brand is best known as a gear store, but they’ve been making gear for the military for years. Recently, they reintroduced a line of gear for the rest of us that ranges from dome tents to day packs. And they’re all made in the US. The Great Day is a retro-inspired day pack made from water resistant canvas—it’s your everyday carry thanks to the laptop sleeve and straps that convert from backpack to over the shoulder style. The Double Take is our favorite from the new line. Made from waxed canvas and 1000D nylon, this carry all is durable as hell and converts into a cooler with the inner Chilly Bag insert. Carry it over the shoulder or attach it to your bike.Castelli Inferno Bibshorts $200Designed to help riders handle the heat, the Inferno has perforated fabric on the side panels and mesh-like Giro Air leg bands, and the fabric on the front of the short actually includes titanium dioxide (the active ingredient in sunscreen) to help reflect UV rays and keep you cool.On Cloudventure Trail Running Shoe $149The rubber profile of this Swiss-manufactured shoe offers four distinct layers of grip, which enables it to perform in the toughest alpine conditions. Featherlight and comfy yet ultra-durable, it’s intelligently built for mountain running.Jumper Peppermint Tech Underwear $28Why peppermint? Peppermint leaf yarn is naturally antimicrobial. Everybody needs fresh undies, and these deliver. They’re soft, breathable, and super-comfy. You’ll feel even better knowing that the undies are also eco-sourced and organic.PrAna Pillar Printed Legging $79The prAna Pillar Printed Legging is made with recycled polyester performance stretch jersey and moisture-wicking technology. The design features a mid-rise fitted legging with a wide waistband, hidden key pocket, active stitch construction, and a triangle gusset for added comfort and reinforcement.Osprey Ozone Duplex $220This lightweight, carry-on-size travel pack is two-in one: one harness, two packs, and better overall load-carrying ability. The daypack frame supports and distributes the pack’s load through the comfortably padded hipbelt while the adjustable shoulder straps provide an excellent fit. Laptops, heavier essentials, valuables and everything you need on the plane stay close at hand in the daypack. The detachable cargo bag conveniently fits in the overhead, maximizing carry-on capacity.YEVO Air Wireless Headphones $129Experience total freedom of movement without any wires. The YEVO Air provides reliable Bluetooth connection with lightweight, high-performance earbuds with outstanding sound quality.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard dead against Champions League expansionby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard is dead against the expansion of the Champions League.Lampard – who lifted the trophy in 2012 – does not think that more matches will fit into the calendar.A proposed reform of the Europe’s elite competition – led by Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli – seeks to expand from 17 to 21 matches for the finalists.”The feeling is that you’re in the ultimate club competition, and the reason for that is because you have the best teams from each league, and the best team from the year before that deserve to be there,” he said.”The year we won the Champions League we came second the year before. We know the format, we know what it is, but whenever you play in the Champions League you know you’re playing against the best and for me that is the format and the beauty of it.’ “As a manager I actually feel weight of games more than I did as a player, even though I was running around as a player,’ he explained. “As a manager you’re thinking about how can you keep the team fresh, and it’s a challenge with all the competitions we have now.”I have a soft spot for the League Cup because we won it a couple of times at Chelsea, and it was the first competition I ever won. Domestically it gives teams a feeling you can compete on a level in a cup at home, which is important.”If you ask me can we play more European games, I personally don’t believe you can fit them in amongst our busy schedule. “I would find it hard to keep the quality level and the freshness within the players. If you did do that there would be a lot of discussion about how that would work practically. At the minute I think the level is about right. I like the format personally.”
Aaron Connolly grateful to Brighton boss Graham Potterby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAaron Connolly is grateful to Brighton boss Graham Potter for his first team chance.Potter seems committed to blooding academy graduates, fielding nine in the recent EFL Cup game against Aston Villa.Connolly told the Daily Mail: “The previous manager [Chris Hughton] gave me my debut against Barnet and I will never say a bad word about him. But this new gaffer is a breath of fresh air. “He has looked after me and Steve. We were hoping for that chance to impress. He showed a lot of faith in us by letting other players leave the club. It’s all about repaying that trust now.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Man Utd No2 Phelan offers explanation for form slideby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United assistant Mike Phelan has argued it was inevitable that the club’s form would dip last season.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as caretaker manager in December brought about a run of 11 wins from 11 games.However, after Solskjaer’s permanent appointment, the Red Devils were unable to win any of their last six matches.”We’d taken them from nothing to sky high, but they bottomed out because it was just too much, they weren’t prepared for it,” Phelan told The Athletic. “So we had a lot of things to work on.”Ole relates well with the players, he understands what Man United is. It is definitely a difficult moment, but Ole hasn’t got his team yet.”He’s had three players (signed), you need more than three to be the manager of your own team.”We can build on something, I think. Ole just needs that opportunity to create the culture again.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Director for Sports Policy Development in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Suzette Ison, told JIS News that the conference will promote conversations on intellectual property rights in sport, the infringement of rights relating to sport, the sport marketing industry and athletes support framework. Story Highlights Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony at 9:00 a.m. Jamaica will host a two-day regional conference on the ‘Strategic Use of Intellectual Property in Sports’, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Jamaica will host a two-day regional conference on the ‘Strategic Use of Intellectual Property in Sports’, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown, Kingston, beginning on September 19.The conference, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, is being held in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO).Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony at 9:00 a.m.Other presenters will include President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda; Executive Director of JIPO, Lillyclaire Bellamy; Vice-President of the Calgary Flames of Canada, Mr. Jim Bagshaw; Head of the Caribbean Section, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean and representative of WIPO, Carol Simpson; Head of Copyright and Content Affairs at the International Olympic Committee, Carlos Castro; and Jamaican Olympian, Veronica Campbell-Brown.Director for Sports Policy Development in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Suzette Ison, told JIS News that the conference will promote conversations on intellectual property rights in sport, the infringement of rights relating to sport, the sport marketing industry and athletes support framework.The conference will also look at strategies for developing sponsorship and merchandising agreements, and how athletes’ support personnel and business advisors can manage their brand.Miss Ison said the Ministry is seeking to enhance and leverage the sport component of brand Jamaica, listed as one of the priorities of the country’s National Sport Policy.“As a country, we don’t want to be left behind with what is happening in sport and the economic benefits to be derived in sport. The Ministry is staging this conference as one of the activities that we believe will achieve the required outcomes,” she said.The Director for Sport said that although a few Jamaican athletes have been benefitting from Sport, it does not necessarily mean that the country is benefitting.“What we want to do is to be able to provide opportunities to facilitate discussions at this point, bringing all stakeholders together in the sport sector and talking about how we can make sport an important contributor to what we call brand Jamaica,” she added.
The Frank J. Selke Award is given to the NHL forward who most demonstrates a high level of proficiency at both ends of the ice — responsible in his own zone, productive in his opponent’s. Boston Bruins center iceman Patrice Bergeron has won three of the last five Selkes, effectively taking the torch from Pavel Datsyuk as the league’s best two-way forward.Bergeron is not going to win the Selke this year. It’s not because he’s shirking responsibilities on defense — he’s a plus-1 on a team that can’t score — he has simply stopped being productive on the other end. More than a quarter of the way into the season, Bergeron has just eight points (four goals, four assists). But point production doesn’t tell the whole story — Bergeron is actually having a very good season. He just can’t seem to put the puck into the other team’s net.Among NHL players who’ve taken more than 400 faceoffs this season, Patrice Bergeron’s 58.6 win percentage ranks fourth. His Corsi For Percentage of 63.1 percent — a score above 50 implies a player’s team controls the puck more than 50 percent of the time that player is on the ice — is the best in the league among skaters who take a regular shift. His Fenwick For Percentage of 62.4 percent — Fenwick is another proxy for a team’s puck possession against a given player’s ice time — is third only to his linemates Brad Marchand (63 percent) and David Pastrnak (62.7 percent). And yet despite downright sterling possession metrics — faceoff percentage included — Bergeron is scoring at a historically low clip.Bergeron’s eight points in 23 games is good for an anemic .35 points per game — not great for a guy who’s used to scoring points in three of every four games he plays (entering the 2016-17 season, Bergeron had notched 618 points in 820 games). Somewhat bizarrely, linemates Marchand and Pastrnak are each having historically great seasons. Marchand is on pace to notch around 70 points — this would be a career high — and Pastrnak is on pace to tally close to 50 goals, which would shatter his previous high of 15. How is it that the wingers of the Bruins’ top line are each scoring at a hellacious pace while their centerman is struggling to find the stats sheet?It’s not like Bergeron isn’t getting his shots. Entering this season, Bergeron had averaged 2.8 shots per game for his career — in 2016-17, he’s taking 3.5. (It’s hard to tell exactly where those shots are coming from because, somewhat confoundingly, no one is doing a great job of keeping up-to-date shot charts, but it’s hard to imagine that Bergeron, who’s a centerman, is taking the bulk of his shots from outside his preferred slot/high slot region.) Bergeron’s four goals on 80 shots is good for a career-low shot percentage of 5. For reference, he entered the 2016-17 season with a career shot percentage of 10.3. While that’s not the shot percentage of a world-beating sniper, it’s still pretty damn good.Bergeron’s shots-per-goal ratio is necessarily up, too. He usually scores on every 9.9 shots he takes — this season, that number has swelled to 20. His power-play scoring percentage is also down from last year — 25 percent this season vs. 37.5 percent from last. He scored more than a third of his 32 goals in 2015-16 on the man advantage but is only on pace to net just under four on the power play this season.Something is amiss. But what?Part of Bergeron’s scoring dearth might be because of hot goaltending. In the seven games, Bergeron has taken five or more shots and not scored, opposing goalies have a combined save percentage of .931. Take Jake Allen’s .909 and Robin Lehner’s .921 out of the mix, and that combined save percentage rises to .940. If that were an individual goalie’s stat line, it would be good for the third-best mark in the NHL. Some of Bergeron’s drought must be related to the quality of goaltending he’s faced — and some of it could just be due to that beast the hockey gods call “puck luck.”The law of averages and his historical performance and his league-best possession metrics all dictate that Bergeron will right the ship. But the Bruins go as their alternate captain goes, and for a team that’s struggling to score this season — they rank 23rd in goals scored per game — it’s imperative for Bergeron to right that ship sooner than later. Otherwise, they risk missing the playoffs for a third consecutive year, which is something that hasn’t happened since a dismal stretch between 1959 and 1967 saw them miss out on postseason hockey for eight straight seasons.Some second-year guy named Bobby Orr helped end that eight-year slide in 1967-68. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they don’t currently have the second coming of Orr in their system. For now, it’s on their beloved alternate captain to start appearing on the stats sheet.
Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. November 25, 2013 5 min read Economists and others who warn of the business impact of excessive regulations are often derided as Chicken Littles and proto-anarchists who put corporate profit over public safety. I should know, since I’m often on the receiving end of such screeds.But it isn’t Laissez-Fairy-dust dreams that drive such vigilance. Rather, it is people like Rep. Albio Sires.Last week showed why some regulatory schemes can be downright scary – and need to be killed in the crib.During the first congressional hearing over autonomous cars, much of the regulatory concern surrounded the issue of liability. In the event of a fender-bender or worse, who is on the hook to pay? It is a legitimate issue for these cars, now being developed by a range of companies, from Google to Daimler-Benz. After all, most regulations come down to who has to pony up cash when a violation occurs. With autonomous, of self-driving, cars, is it the driver (who isn’t driving, by the way), the auto manufacturer, or the creator of the SkyNet computer that is behind the wheel?All good questions, which no doubt will be resolved, and are being handled on a state-by-state basis.Related: A 3-D Printed Electric Car That Can Drive Across the U.S. on 10 Gallons of GasYet, autonomous cars may crash and burn for other reasons. Here’s one: Will driverless cars be so advanced that they will put people out of work?Yep, that question was actually raised at last week’s hearing, by Sires, a New Jersey Democrat. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute points out, Sires is afraid that today’s hard-working auto mechanics just won’t be up to the job of fixing these darned newfangled things that the kids today are making.“You’re going to have to send these cars back to the shop,” he said. “I can’t see anybody doing work on these things. I mean, you have to be so sophisticated. And I guess that’s where we’re headed. So can anybody tell me if we’re going to put people out of work?”Um…There are a number of problems with this view. First, all technology implements change of some kind. The flat-panel television made obsolete the need for someone who knew how to swap out vacuum tubes in the back of your TV. Advances in slot-machine technology went from the mechanical to the digital, requiring a whole new breed of service technicians. Video killed the radio star. Why is it worth any conversation that someone more comfortable to an ’80 Malibu be protected against this big, bad menace of a job destroyer?Second, it fails to understand workplace dynamics and the resilience of the American worker. We adapt pretty well to new technologies, which almost always create, rather than destroy, jobs. Sires need only talk to his mechanic friends in West New York to see this. Cars themselves have become so advanced that the way we fix them has changed dramatically. You don’t tinker with an engine anymore. Instead, you do a precision diagnostic check, aided by computers that monitor what works and what doesn’t. Rather than put people out of work, it has attracted a whole new breed of auto-repair technicians, less grease monkey than tech junkie. Advances like a self-driven car are an opportunity, not a challenge. Mechanics can and — if past be prologue – will adapt, and they probably would cringe if you suggested they were somehow not “sophisticated.”Related: Mind Control Technology, Elon Musk’s James Bond Submarine and a Real-Life Bionic ManLastly, and perhaps more scarily, is the idea that regulations, rather than protecting safety, can have different purposes from a policy perspective. Given the horrendous state of employment right now, Congressmen like Sires want to “do something.” So, hey, we’re sitting in this hearing, let me throw out the jobs card. The folks back home in Hudson County will love me for it. (One should probably be thankful that, given Hudson County’s political-criminal record, Sires didn’t inquire whether an autonomous car would be allowed to vote, and how much that vote would cost.) When you throw out a completely unrelated issue like jobs, and suggest you may want that included in whatever laws come out of the hearing, you are adding needless complexity and burden to an issue that may well need some legislative oversight, opinion and guidance. You might as well have asked whether the self-driving technology could be used to save Obamacare.Autonomous cars, whenever the hell they get here, will be here to stay. And they will benefit the economy in huge ways. Morgan Stanley recently said autonomous cars would create $1.3 trillion in savings to the U.S. economy alone. That amount of money will no doubt trickle down into jobs for people.There is no evidence that this exciting and disruptive technology will make legions of folks be tossed out of their jobs. All Sires’ musings do is ensure that I get to keep mine.Related: Options for Deducting Your Company’s Auto Expenses
Enroll Now for Free July 5, 2016 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now When it comes to making new friends, sometimes mother really does know best. Such was the case with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.Gates didn’t want to meet Buffett at first, but his persistent mom, Mary, eventually wore him down and convinced him to. “I’m a technology nerd,” the Microsoft co-founder reflects on his blog. “[Buffett’s] an investor who doesn’t use email. In fact, I never expected to be friends with him.”The power duo’s billionaire bromance kicked off 25 years ago today. On that fateful day, July 5, 1991, Gates was determined to spend “no more than two hours” with Buffett. But then the “Oracle of Omaha” fired off a flurry of clever questions, one after the other, that no one had ever asked Gates before. “We were suddenly lost in conversation and hours and hours slipped by,” Gates recalls in a touching blog post commemorating the anniversary today.Related: The Top 25 Self-Made Billionaires In the WorldThey laughed, they related, they bonded, and an “unexpected friendship” was born. “It was a deep friendship from our very first conversation,” Gates writes. Despite their differing styles (Buffett likes Oreos for breakfast and Gates prefers Cocoa Puffs), the mega moguls were soon thick as thieves. They eagerly swapped book recommendations, battled it out at bridge and stitched up starring roles in each other’s sweeping spheres of influence. Sure enough, Buffett is a Gates Foundation trustee and Gates sits on the board of Berkshire Hathaway, because of course they do. That’s what friends are for.Certain connections have their benefits, especially ones of this caliber. After all, billionaire BFFs stick together like birds of a feather.To celebrate their friendship’s silver anniversary, Gates and Buffett created a photo album and virtual reality video together. No worries if you don’t have a VR headset. You can still watch the clip from a web browser, just as you would any video. Check it out here. Sorry, bub, you might never see your bestie the same. 2 min read