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The 15 Coolest New Gadget...
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  The Best Sports Cars for 2019-2020
Posted by: 309Media - 10-06-2019, 04:59 PM - Forum: Sports - No Replies

Chevrolet Corvette and Corvette Z06

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At the top of the sports-car heap is the mighty Chevrolet Corvette—we think it's the best sports car on the market today due to its irresistible combination of terrific performance with a price tag that doesn't reach to the stratosphere. We think it's so great we named it to our 10Best Cars list for 2019. Available as either a coupe or a convertible, a 455-hp 6.2-liter V-8 throbs under the hood; a seven-speed manual transmission is standard, while an eight-speed automatic is optional. In our testing, a Vette with the automatic ripped to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Believe it or not, the Vette is impressively fuel efficient, achieving 27 mpg in our real-world fuel-economy test. Should you require more power, the Corvette Z06 adds a supercharger to the 6.2-liter V-8 and cranks out 650 horsepower.
Review, Pricing, and Specs
Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman

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We named the Porsche 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman to our 10Best Cars list for 2019 for the way it blends its superlative handling, powerful turbocharged engines, and good looks. The Boxster is the convertible and the Cayman is the hardtop coupe; both offer engines ranging from 300, 350, or 365 horsepower and match up with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. With its mid-engine layout, the Boxster and Cayman feel balanced and stable through corners, and their steering responses are quick and accurate. The driving position is perfect, but the interior is tight and cargo room is lacking. These are fairly picky criticisms, because the Boxster and Cayman are still two of the best sports cars around and two of the best sports cars for under $100,000.
Review, Pricing, and Specs
Mazda MX-5 Miata

[Image: 2019-mazda-mx-5-miata-1558364231.jpg?cro...size=480:*]
Light, lithe, and lovely, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is—in our humble opinion—the best affordable sports car ever. With deliciously light steering and nimble handling, the Miata responds eagerly to driver inputs in an almost telepathic manner. The engine loves to rev, and the six-speed manual is a joy to shift. Even the six-speed automatic is a willing partner, with quick shifts and sporty programming. Available with a soft top or a retractable hard top, the Miata is fuel efficient, too: The softtop saw 36 mpg in our real-world testing, while the hardtop got 37. The interior is a bit snug, and the trunk is tiny, but that's the price you pay for all this greatness. It's a price we'd willingly pay and why we named it to our 10Best Cars list for 2019. And speaking of price, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best sports car for under $30,000.
Review, Pricing, and Specs
Honda Civic Type R

[Image: 2019-honda-civic-type-r-1558364334.jpg?c...size=480:*]
Despite its controversial looks, the Honda Civic Type R is an amazing performance bargain. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 306 horsepower; a six-speed manual is the sole transmission choice. In our testing, it went from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and gripped the pavement with the tenacity of a bulldog. Its brakes are incredible, too, hauling the Type R down from 70 mph in an amazingly short 142 feet. It gets good fuel economy, too; we recorded 29 mpg in our real-world testing. The only drawback is that the Type R doesn't offer any driver-assistance tech such as blind-spot monitoring or automated emergency braking. Still, we think the 2019 Honda Civic Type R is one of the best sports cars around, which is why we named it to our 10Best Cars list for 2019.
Review, Pricing, and Specs

[Image: 2019-bmw-m2-1558364552.jpg?crop=1.00xw:0...size=480:*]
The BMW M2 is the distillation of everything that BMW knows about making the best sports cars: a creamy-smooth turbocharged inline-six engine, stellar handling, and incredible brakes. That engine makes 405 horsepower and teams up with a six-speed manual transmission; a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. We took an M2 with the automatic transmission to our test track and went from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. The ride, however, can be punishingly harsh. Although the M2 is a four-seater, the back seat is too tight for taking adults on long trips. Overall, though, the M2 is one of the best sports cars you can buy today and one of the best sports cars for under $100,000. It's on our 10Best Cars list for 2019.
Review, Pricing, and Specs
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

[Image: 2019-ford-mustang-shelby-gt350-155836475...size=480:*]
Think of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 as a Mustang that has been spending time at the gym—a whole lot of time. Its sheetmetal curves and flexes in a way that we find irresistible. A rip-roaring 5.2-liter V-8 is under the hood and cranks out 526 horsepower; a six-speed manual is the only transmission available, and the clutch effort is minimal. In our testing, we rocketed to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 118 mph. The GT350 stops as good as it goes, braking from 70 mph in 153 feet and pulling 1.02 g's on the skidpad. It's one of the best sports cars made in America and one of the best sports cars for under $100,000.
Review, Pricing, and Specs
Porsche 911

[Image: 2019-porsche-911-1558364892.jpg?crop=1.0...size=480:*]
To drive the Porsche 911 is to drive one of the best sports cars of all time. It has retained all of the traits that have made it iconic since the 1960s, with a rear-engine, flat-six-cylinder layout, and a shape that is unmistakably linked to the original 911. You have your pick of coupe, convertible, or Targa (Porsche-speak for a retracting top) as well as twin-turbo engines that make 370, 420, or 450 horsepower. A seven-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive are optional. The 911 may be expensive, but this is an instance where it is worth every last pfennig. The base 911 is one of the best sports cars for under $100,000.

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  Best Jobs in 2019
Posted by: 309Media - 10-06-2019, 04:55 PM - Forum: Jobs and Careers - No Replies

1. Software developer
Last year's rank: 1
Projected job growth: 24%
Median salary: $101,790
2. Statistician
Last year's rank: 6
Projected job growth: 33%
Median salary: $84,060
3. Physician assistant
Last year's rank: 3
Projected job growth: 37%
Median salary: $104,860
4. Dentist
Last year's rank: 2
Projected job growth: 19%
Median salary: $151,440
5. Nurse anesthetist
Last year's rank: 22
Projected job growth: 31%
Median salary: $165,120
6. Orthodontist
Last year's rank: 5
Projected job growth: 19%
Median salary: $208,000
7. Nurse practitioner
Last year's rank: 4
Projected job growth: 31%
Median salary: $100,910
8. Pediatrician
Last year's rank: 7
Projected job growth: 13%
Median salary: $172,650
9. Obstetrician and gynecologist (tie)
Last year's rank: 8
Projected job growth: 13%
Median salary: $208,000
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon (tie)
Last year's rank: 8
Projected job growth: 19%
Median salary: $208,000
Physician (tie)
Last year's rank: 8
Projected job growth: 13%
Median salary: $196,380
10. Prosthodontist
Last year's rank: 16
Projected job growth: 19%
Median salary: $126,050
11. Occupational therapist
Last year's rank: 11
Projected job growth: 24%
Median salary: $81,910
12. Anesthesiologist (tie)
Last year's rank: 13
Projected job growth: 13%
Median salary: $208,000
Surgeon (tie)
Last year's rank: 13
Projected job growth: 13%
Median salary: $208,000
13. Nurse midwife
Last year's rank: New this year
Projected job growth: 31%
Median salary: $100,590
14. Mathematician
Last year's rank: 25
Projected job growth: 30%
Median salary: $103,010
15. Cartographer
Last year's rank: New this year
Projected job growth: 19%
Median salary: $63,990
16. Registered nurse
Last year's rank: 18
Projected job growth: 15%
Median salary: $70,000
17. Physical therapist
Last year's rank: 12
Projected job growth: 28%
Median salary: $85,400
18. Clinical laboratory technician
Last year's rank: New this year
Projected job growth: 13%
Median salary: $51,770
19. Podiatrist
Last year's rank: New this year
Projected job growth: 10%
Median salary: $127,740
20. Speech-language pathologist
Last year's rank: New this year
Projected job growth: 18%
Median salary: $76,610
21. Accountant
Last year's rank: New this year
Projected job growth: 10%
Median salary: $69,350
22. Financial manager
Last year's rank: New this year
Projected job growth: 19%
Median salary:  $125,080

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  The 15 Coolest New Gadgets to Come Out This Year
Posted by: 309Media - 10-06-2019, 04:54 PM - Forum: Technology - No Replies

[Image: index-1563882791.jpg?crop=0.502xw:1.00xh...size=640:*]
At this point, we are about two steps away from becoming cyborgs. Once we can upload our consciousnesses to the cloud and get rid of our pesky bodily functions, we'll be there: fully integrated with technology. In the meantime, it seems we're getting closer every day. At the massive CES electronics convention in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year, a gathering of elite brands showed off their best new tech, trying to win us over with products we immediately wanted to buy and put in our houses and on our bodies. And as the year's moved on, more new stuff has been teased and released. Fortunately, you can purchase most of these goods right now. Unfortunately, some of them will cost you serious money. But not all of them.
Whether you want cool new wearable tech or an impressive new-age television for your living room, 2019 has produced something you'll really covet. These are the 15 new gadgets that we hope will make life more electronically engaging—and easier, too.
Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant
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We're no strangers to interactive screens in the home, between Facebook Portals and Amazon Echos and Google Hubs. The beauty of Lenovo's new Smart Clock, then, is its simplicity. It won't video conference or stream TV, but it covers all the bedside bases: It tells times, charges phones, and gently wakes you up with a clock face that gradually brightens before your alarm goes off. By connecting it to Google Assistant, you can instruct it to do a whole lot more. Small and stylish with its heather gray case, it's an unobtrusive and helpful addition.
Withings Move Activity and Sleep Watch
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Withings Move, the new smartwatch from Withings for 2019, monitors your activity and your sleep. It has a GPS tracker and syncs with the Health Mate app. It only costs $69.95. Most impressively, it works for 18 months without requiring a battery charge. That, and its understated design with an analog clock face, makes it more timeless than a lot of trackers on the market. The customization options are plentiful too, so you can easily get it to fit your look.
Mophie Juice Pack Access
[Image: 1563831070-mophie-juice-pack-1563831063....size=480:*]
$71.41 (29% off)
This is one of the most practical gadgets to come out this year: a portable charging case for Apple iPhones that doesn't use or cover up the Lightning port. Meaning, you can charge your phone while listening to wired headphones. Mophie's Juice Pack Access gets its power from any Qi wireless charging pad or its included charging cable, giving you up to 31 hours of battery life. And despite its rather sleek design, it's strong enough to protect your phone. It fits Xs Max, Xs/X, and XR iPhones.
Waverly Ambassador Translator
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Many of us have the misfortune of being cursed with monolingualism. Blame the public school system in America. But for those who want to travel regardless of language boundaries—or easily converse with people who speak different languages in their own neighborhood—Waverly Labs invented an audio device that translates on the spot. There are many situations in which to use it, but perhaps the most useful setup is to attach one to your ear, hand the other to someone who doesn't speak the same language to strap onto their own head, and talk away. The correct translation will play in both of your ears. The technology is still in the Indiegogo stage, but it might be worth it to you to get your hands on an early version.
Ember 14 oz. Temperature Control Mug
[Image: 1563832169-ember-14-oz-mug-1563832164.jp...size=480:*]
$104.95 (19% off)
This mug is a godsend to people who can't function without morning coffee (as in, a large segment of the population). All it does is use internal heating technology to keep your caffeinated beverage hot—for an hour. You can nurse coffee without repeated trips to the microwave, or steep tea to the ideal temperature (all controlled via a Bluetooth-connected app). And that's all it needs to do. While Ember debuted these mugs awhile back, the 14-ounce version is new to 2019, and extremely helpful to your morning routine.
Moodo Smart Diffuser Bundle
[Image: 1563829575-moodogo-1563829570.jpg?crop=1...size=480:*]
Moodo makes aroma diffusers for the home that can be personalized thanks to four interchangeable scent capsules and smart technology you can control from afar; this diffuser has been around for more than a year. Now, Moodo has introduced the MoodoGo device, which is easy to cart around because it's tiny. All you need is a USB power supply for it to start dispensing good smells. The MoodoGo only holds one scent capsule, but it's a perfect fit for car cupholders and cramped desk spaces. You can't pre-order it yet, but you can sign up for updates on the Moodo website. In the meantime, the OG Moodo diffuser (pictured) might tide you over with a variety of scent packs to choose from. 
Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses
[Image: 1563831777-bose-frames-1563831771.jpg?cr...size=480:*]
Bose debuted an audio gadget this year that combined two things you love dearly into one: cool sunglasses and wireless earbuds. If you throw a pair of these Bose Frames on during a sunny day spent outside, the frames themselves will play music, streamed from your phone via a Bluetooth connection, exclusively for your ears. We promise, no one else will be able to hear your music playing. The speakers are that good. If you don't love this frame shape, check out the Rondo style, with rounded edges.
Nanoleaf Modular Light Panels
[Image: 1563832581-nanoleaf-1563832576.jpg?crop=...size=480:*]
For a futuristic kind of home decor, take a look at these customizable light panels from Nanoleaf. Connect a string of them into whatever design you'd like on your wall, then control them from the app. The color options are vast, as are the modes—set the light panels to react to your music playlist, assist with your concentration, or mimic a rising sun in the morning to wake you up. You can buy triangular panels now, but if you wait until the end of the year, Nanoleaf is adding hexagonal panels as well.
GilletteLabs Heated Razor Starter Kit
[Image: 1563816013-gillette-razor-1563816002.jpg...size=480:*]
Gillette's innovation branch debuted this heated razor with an Indiegogo campaign last year, and it was wildly popular—probably because a razor that mimics the barbershop treatment sounds pretty nice. In less than a second, the razor heats up to 122 degrees, warming soap and skin for an upgraded shave. Gillette Heated Razors ordered during the Indiegogo campaign have already shipped, and Gillette now has a commercial version available. You can also sign up for automatic blade refills for however often you think you'll need 'em.
Beats Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones
[Image: 1563832413-powerbeats-pro-1563832407.jpg...size=480:*]
The market is crowded with wireless sport headphones, but this is a pair worth noting. Released this spring, Beats' Powerbeats Pro earbuds combine clear audio with workout-worthy durability. The battery life is extremely nice, and the controls are seamless. As in, when you put them on, they automatically start playing wherever your music or podcast last let off. And they come with a charging case to take with.
Nreal Light Mixed Reality Glasses
[Image: nreal-light-1547486383.jpg?crop=1xw:1xh;...size=480:*]
Learn More
Mixed reality glasses can be used to take what you're seeing of the real world and overlay it with virtual content. At CES 2019, Nreal, a Chinese start-up, showed off a pair that almost looks like normal glasses you could wear on the street. Hey, it's a step in the right direction. Nreal's ready-to-wear Light glasses are designed to give wearers an immersive experience with spatial sound, voice control, and a widescreen display at 1080p—without the bulky headset. If you're into mixing realities, it looks like you'll have to wait until spring 2020 for the consumer version to go up for sale. However, a Developer Kit ($1,199) will be available in September.
KitchenAid Cook Processor Connect
[Image: kitchenaid-cook-processor-1547487482.jpg...size=480:*]
Learn More
KitchenAid gave U.S. consumers a new kitchen counter appliance to lust after this year: the Cook Processor Connect, a do-it-all machine that automatically stirs veggies as they sauté, chops ingredients to your preferred size, kneads dough, steams food, measures weight, and more. It also comes programmed with 100 recipes with step-by-step instructions accessed through an app. It's like an Instant Pot, but pretty (and expensive). Release date and price were not announced, but expect it to cost well over $1,000.
Samsung 55" The Frame QLED Smart 4K UHD TV
[Image: 1563831458-samsung-frame-1563831452.jpg?...size=480:*]
$1,097.99 (31% off)
Samsung updated its Frame TV to QLED quality for 2019. When you aren't watching TV, the Frame displays high-def paintings and pictures so that wall space isn't wasted. It's definitely a classy take on a 4K TV-watching experience.
This year, Samsung also beefed up its QLED 8K line to include 65-, 75-, and 82-inch screens, which you can shop now if you have a bundle of cash to blow.
LG Signature OLED TV R9
[Image: 1563828938-lg-roll-tv-1563828899.jpg?cro...size=480:*]
Learn More
This television rolls up. Seriously. LG is coming out with a new, disappearing OLED TV, with a screen that can stretch to 65 inches and then roll back into a compact box, with a launch date for the second half of 2019. There's no price yet, but you'll get a 4K HDR Smart TV-watching experience like none before it, with Google Assistant and Alexa. That, plus a decluttered view when you don't want a screen hogging your living space.
Harley-Davidson LiveWire Motorcycle
[Image: 1563829927-harley-1563829920.jpg?crop=1x...size=480:*]
Harley-Davidson made waves last year when it previewed its all-electric motorcycle, called the LiveWire. Harley gave us a delivery date and price, too: August 2019, starting at $29,799. The LiveWire targets a new demographic of motorcycle riders, one that appreciates a quiet machine for urban street riding that runs clean. It isn't manual either, meaning no clutch or gear-shifting to accelerate. This is the first in a new generation of bikes meant to get young folks excited about motorcycles again.

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  8 Top Technology Trends for 2019 and the Jobs They’ll Create
Posted by: 309Media - 10-06-2019, 04:52 PM - Forum: Technology - No Replies

[Image: 8-Top-Technology-Trends-for-2019-and-the...Create.jpg]
Technology is now evolving at such a rapid pace that annual predictions of trends can seem out-of-date before they even go live as a published blog post or article. As technology evolves, it enables even faster change and progress, causing the acceleration of the rate of change, until eventually, it will become exponential.
Technology-based careers don’t change at that same speed, but they do evolve, and the savvy IT professional recognizes that his or her role will not stay the same. The IT worker of the 21st century will constantly be learning, out of necessity if not desire.
What does this mean for you? It means staying current with technology trends. And it means keeping your eyes on the future, to know which skills you’ll need to know and what types of jobs you want to be qualified to do.
Here are eight technology trends you should watch for in 2019, and some of the jobs that will be created by these trends. Because the time to train yourself for one of these emerging jobs is now.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has already received a lot of buzz in recent years, but it continues to be a trend to watch because its effects on how we live, work and play are only in the early stages. In addition, other branches of AI have developed, including Machine Learning, which we will go into below. AI refers to computers systems built to mimic human intelligence and perform tasks such as recognition of images, speech or patterns, and decision making. AI can do these tasks faster and more accurately than humans.

    AI has been around since 1956 is already widely used. In fact, five out of six Americans use AI services in one form or another every day, including navigation apps, streaming services, smartphone personal assistants, ride-sharing apps, home personal assistants, and smart home devices. In addition to consumer use, AI is used to schedule trains, assess business risk, predict maintenance, and improve energy efficiency, among many other money-saving tasks.

    AI is one part of what we refer to broadly as automation, and automation is a hot topic because of potential job loss. Experts say automation will eliminate 73 million more jobs by 2030. However, automation is creating jobs as well as eliminating them, especially in the field of AI: Pundits predict that jobs in AI will number 23 million by 2020. Jobs will be created in development, programming, testing, support, and maintenance, to name a few. Artificial Intelligence architect is one such job. Some say it will soon rival data scientist in need for skilled professionals.

    To learn more about potential jobs in AI, read about building a career in AI or why you should earn an AI certification.
  2. Machine Learning
    Machine Learning is a subset of AI. With Machine Learning, computers are programmed to learn to do something they are not programmed to do: They literally learn by discovering patterns and insights from data. In general, we have two types of learning, supervised and unsupervised.

    While Machine Learning is a subset of AI, we also have subsets within the domain of Machine Learning, including neural networks, natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning. Each of these subsets offers an opportunity for specializing in a career field that will only grow.

    Machine Learning is rapidly being deployed in all kinds of industries, creating a huge demand for skilled professionals. The Machine Learning market is expected to grow to $8.81 billion by 2022. Machine Learning applications are used for data analytics, data mining and pattern recognition. On the consumer end, Machine Learning powers web search results, real-time ads, and network intrusion detection, to name only a few of the many tasks it can do.

    In addition to completing countless tasks on our behalf, it is generating jobs. Machine Learning jobs rank among the top emerging jobs on LinkedIn, with almost 2,000 job listings posted. And these jobs pay well: In 2017, the median salary for a machine learning engineer was $106,225. Machine Learning jobs include engineers, developers, researchers, and data scientists.

    Learn more about Machine Learning.

    Check out this video that talks about 2018’s Top 10 Technology Trends and compare the similarities to this list or scroll on to continue reading about what’s in store for 2019:

  3. Robotic Process Automation or RPA
    Like AI and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is another technology that is automating jobs. RPA is the use of software to automate business processes such as interpreting applications, processing transactions, dealing with data, and even replying to emails. RPA automates repetitive tasks that people used to do. These are not just the menial tasks of a low-paid worker: up to 45 percent of the activities we do can be automated, including the work of financial managers, doctors, and CEOs.

    Although Forrester Research estimates RPA automation will threaten the livelihood of 230 million or more knowledge workers or approximately 9 percent of the global workforce, RPA is also creating new jobs while altering existing jobs. McKinsey finds that less than 5 percent of occupations can be totally automated, but about 60 percent can be partially automated.

    For you as the IT professional looking to the future and trying to understand technology trends, RPA offers plenty of career opportunities, including developer, project manager, business analyst, solution architect, and consultant. And these jobs pay well. SimplyHired.com says the average RPA salary is $73,861, but that is the average compiled from salaries for junior-level developers up to senior solution architects, with the top 10 percent earning over $141,000 annually.

    If you’re interested in pursuing a career in RPA, the Introduction to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) course is the place to start.
  4. Blockchain
    Although most people think of blockchain technology in relation to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain offers security that is useful in many other ways. In the simplest of terms, blockchain can be described as data you can only add to, not take away from or change. Hence the term “chain” because you’re making a chain of data. Not being able to change the previous blocks is what makes it so secure. In addition, blockchains are consensus-driven, as explained in this Forbes article, so no one entity can take control of the data. With blockchain, you don’t need a trusted third-party to oversee or validate transactions.

    This heightened security is why blockchain is used for cryptocurrency, and why it can play a significant role in protecting information such as personal medical data. Blockchain could be used to drastically improve the global supply chain, as described here, as well as protect assets such as art and real estate.

    And as the use of blockchain technology increases, so too does the demand for skilled professionals. In that regard, we are already behind. According to Techcrunch, blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing category of jobs, with 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer. A blockchain developer specializes in developing and implementing architecture and solutions using blockchain technology. The average yearly salary of a blockchain developer is $130,000.

    The job of a developer is not the only one available in the blockchain space, however. Employers are also looking for software engineers, consultants and project managers. Jobs are available at financial institutions, but also in retail and healthcare, and soon probably manufacturing as well.

    Learn more about becoming a blockchain developer.
  5. Edge Computing
    Formerly a technology trend to watch, cloud computing has become mainstream, with major players AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud dominating the market. The adoption of cloud computing is still growing, as more and more businesses migrate to a cloud solution. But it’s no longer the emerging technology. Edge is. Move over, cloud computing, and make way for the edge.

    As the quantity of data we’re dealing with continues to increase, we’ve realized the shortcomings of cloud computing in some situations. Edge computing is designed to help solve some of those problems as a way to bypass the latency caused by cloud computing and getting data to a data center for processing. It can exist “on the edge,” if you will, closer to where computing needs to happen. For this reason, edge computing can be used to process time-sensitive data in remote locations with limited or no connectivity to a centralized location. In those situations, edge computing can act like mini datacenters. Edge computing will increase as use the Internet of Things (IoT) devices increases. By 2022, the global edge computing market is expected to reach $6.72 billion.

    As with any growing market, this will create job demand, primarily for software engineers.

    Read more about edge computing vs. cloud computing.
  6. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
    Virtual Reality (VR) immerses the user in an environment while Augment Reality (AR) enhances their environment. Although VR has primarily been used for gaming thus far, it has also been used for training, as with VirtualShip, a simulation software used to train U.S. Navy, Army and Coast Guard ship captains. The popular Pokemon Go is an example of AR.

    Both have enormous potential in training, entertainment, education, marketing, and even rehabilitation after an injury. Either could be used to train doctors to do surgery, offer museum-goers a deeper experience, enhance theme parks, or even enhance marketing, as with this Pepsi Max bus shelter.

    According to an article at Monster.com, the demand for job candidates with VR knowledge is up 37 percent, but the potential employees are in short supply. That demand will only increase. There are major players in the VR market, like Google, Samsung, and Oculus, but plenty of startups are forming and they will be hiring—or trying to, in light of the shortage. Getting started in VR doesn’t require a lot of specialized knowledge. Basic programming skills and a forward-thinking mindset can land a job, although other employers will be looking for optics as a skill-set and hardware engineers as well.
  7. Cyber Security
    Cybersecurity might not seem like emerging technology, given that it has been around for a while, but it is evolving just as other technologies are. That’s in part because threats are constantly new. The malevolent hackers who are trying to illegally access data are not going to give up any time soon, and they will continue to find ways to get through even the toughest security measures. It’s also in part because new technology is being adapted to enhance security. Three of those advancements are hardware authentication, cloud technology, and deep learning, according to one expert. Another adds data loss prevention and behavioral analytics to the list. As long as we have hackers, we will have cybersecurity as an emerging technology because it will constantly evolve to defend against those hackers.

    As proof of the strong need for cybersecurity professionals, the number of cybersecurity jobs is growing three times faster than other tech jobs. However, we’re falling short when it comes to filling those jobs. As a result, it’s predicted that we will have 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021.

    Many cybersecurity jobs pay six-figure incomes, and roles can range from the ethical hacker to security engineer to Chief Security Officer, offering a promising career path for someone who wants to get into and stick with this domain.
  8. Internet of Things
    Although it sounds like a game you’d play on your smartphone, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the future. Many “things” are now being built with WiFi connectivity, meaning they can be connected to the Internet—and to each other. Hence, the Internet of Things, or IoT. IoT enables devices, home appliances, cars and much more to be connected to and exchange data over the Internet. And we’re only in the beginning stages of IoT: The number of IoT devices reached 8.4 billion in 2017 is and expected to reach 30 billion devices by 2020.

    As consumers, we’re already using and benefitting from IoT. We can lock our doors remotely if we forget to when we leave for work and preheat our ovens on our way home from work, all while tracking our fitness on our Fitbits and hailing a ride with Lyft. But businesses also have much to gain now and in the near future. The IoT can enable better safety, efficiency, and decision making for businesses as data is collected and analyzed. It can enable predictive maintenance, speed up medical care, improve customer service, and offer benefits we haven’t even imagined yet. However, despite this boon in the development and adoption of IoT, experts say not enough IT professionals are getting trained for IoT jobs. An article at ITProToday.com says we’ll need 200,000 more IT workers that aren’t yet in the pipeline, and that a survey of engineers found 25.7 percent believe inadequate skill levels to be the industry’s biggest obstacle to growth.

    For someone interested in a career in IoT, that means easy entry into the field if you’re motivated, with a range of options for getting started. Skills needed include IoT security, cloud computing knowledge, data analytics, automation, understanding of embedded systems, device knowledge, to name only a few. After all, it’s the Internet of Things, and those things are many and varied, meaning the skills needed are as well.

    Although technologies are emerging and evolving all around us, these eight domains offer promising career potential now and for the foreseeable future. And all eight are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, meaning the time is right for you to choose one, get trained, and get on board at the early stages of the technology, positioning you for success now and in the future.

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  The Top 15 Historical Sites in the World in 2019
Posted by: 309Media - 07-27-2019, 10:02 PM - Forum: History & Humanities - No Replies

Favorite Historical Site #1: Machu Picchu
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Located in southern Peru, this ruined city lies on top of a mountain that’s only accessible by train or a four-day trek. Rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, it was an important cultural center for the Inca civilization but was abandoned when the Spanish invaded the region. (It is famously referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” though that is actually Vilcabamba). The location was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, and it was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Concerns over growing numbers of tourists have led to limitations on how many people can enter the site, though only by a fraction of what is necessary. Hopefully, they will limit it even more so this site can last for hundreds of years more.
How to get there
Machu Picchu is open year-round. The easiest way to get to from Cusco to Machu Picchu is to take the train to Aguas Calientes (the town located a few miles from the site). It’s a scenic 3.5-hour trip each way along tracks that run right along the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley, with dramatic canyon walls on either side. The other way to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu is to walk as part of a multi-day Inca trail tour, which is the far more scenic and rewarding way. My preferred tour company for that is Intrepid.
Favorite Historical Site #2: Tikal
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This Mayan city-state is one of the largest and best-preserved ruins of that civilization and was a dominant force in the Mayan world during the Classic Period (200-900 AD). Located in Guatemala, this place lets you experience your inner Indiana Jones early in the morning or late at night when the tourists go home and it’s just you and the jungle. It is very serene, and that made for one of the best travel memories I have. Be sure to spend the night in the park, as you then really get to see it without the crowds. I particularly enjoyed seeing the sunrise from atop the temples. (Random trivia: The city at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope? Tikal!)
How to get there
Tour companies have mini-buses that will pick you up from your hotel in Flores and cost 100 GTQ return or 70 GTQ without the guided tour. Regular public buses leave from the Santa Elena bus station every 30-60 minutes and take two hours. They do not run on Sundays. If you’re coming from Belize, you may find a bus at the border for 100 GTQ per person. Otherwise, the best way to get there from Belize is to do a tour from San Ignacio or drive yourself (watch out for border officials overcharging you for visas!). The park’s main gate opens at 6 am and officially closes at 6 pm. Adult tickets for foreigners are 150 GTQ.
Favorite Historical Site #3: The Pyramids at Giza
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They’re over 3,000 years old, and we still don’t have a good idea as to how they were built or how the Egyptians made them so precise (were aliens involved?). The three pyramids align to the stars and the solstices and contain tons of chambers that still haven’t been (and cannot be) opened. I mean, how did they create those little chambers where people can’t even crawl through? The largest one, called the Great Pyramid, was built by the Pharaoh Khufu and has limited access to it. The Pyramids are truly a marvel of human engineering that was fit for kings. (You will also find the Sphinx nearby, another historical site whose mysteries baffle researchers and are the subject of many conspiracy theories.)
How to get there
Take a bus from Midan Tahrir. The large buses that go to the pyramids are #800 and #900. The small bus that makes the trip is number 82. When you arrive, you can take a ride on a camel or horse to the pyramids themselves. They are open Monday to Sunday from 7am to 5pm. General Admission is 60 EGP. To go inside the pyramids, it’s an extra 100 EGP.
Favorite Historical Site #4: Angkor Wat
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This ancient city in Cambodia was the center of the Khmer Empire that once ruled most of Southeast Asia. This empire fell into decline, but not before building amazing temples and buildings that were later reclaimed by the jungle for hundreds of years.
Though Angkor Wat is packed with tourists, it’s still breathtaking to see. And the temple regions to the north and south see far fewer tourists than the main temple grouping. (Though admittedly, some of them are simply piles of stone rubble now.)
The most popular temples are Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom, and they always have crowds. In order to really experience the temples, you’ll need to purchase the three- or five-day pass. The best time to visit is early in the morning before the big tour groups arrive and stay late after they have gone.
How to get there
The temples are about a 20 minute drive from Siem Reap. A 1-day pass is $37 USD, 3-day is $62 USD, and 7-day is $72 USD. There’s no real need to carry the local currency, Cambodian Riels (KHR), unless you paying for really small things on the street. You can rent a tuk-tuk driver for about $20 for a day to take you around or bike around yourself. The area is too big to walk.
For more travel tips on Angkor Wat, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #5: Petra
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Carved into a canyon in Arabah, Jordan, Petra was made famous by the third Indiana Jones film when he went to find the Holy Grail. The site was “discovered” in 1812 by a Swiss explorer who followed some local tribesmen there; prior to that, it had been forgotten to the Western world. Though its founding is unknown, it appears this place had settlers as early as the 6th century BC. Under Roman rule, the site declined rapidly and was abandoned by the late 4th century. In 1985, Petra became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
How to get there
Tour companies run full day tours that include entrance fees, horse ride, and an English speaking guide. Intrepid also offers multi-day tours. If you are driving, Petra is a 3-hour drive from Amman. The site is open from 6 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee is 50 JD.
Favorite Historical Site #6: Stonehenge
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Located near Salisbury, this megalithic structure is over 3,000 years old, and its stones come all the way from Wales. Scholars still are not sure how the builders got the stones there and have tried to replicate the feat, with dismal results. Moreover, we only have a vague idea of its purpose (we’re basically just guessing). Stonehenge is now fenced off, and you can no longer go into the circle; visitors can only walk around the attraction. But it’s worth visiting for the mystery behind it and an excellent and detailed audio tour.
How to get there
Trains leave from London to Salisbury every thirty minutes from 6.30am. Stonehenge is open from 9:30 am to 7 pm from March 30 – May 31, 9am-8pm from June 1 – August 31, 9:30am-7pm from September 1 – October 15, and 9:30am-5pm from October 16 – March 29. Prices start at 17.50 GBP for adults, and 10.50 GBP for children.
For more travel tips on England, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #7: The Colosseum and Forum
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The Colosseum and the Forum are right next to each other in Rome, so I included them together. Remnants of a civilization that once controlled the known world, these sites are breathtaking not only for their beauty but also for their history and age. You’re standing in the spot Caesar walked and gazing into the arena where gladiators battled to the death. The Colosseum has slowly crumbled throughout the ages, and much of it is restricted now, especially the floor and basement where everything was organized. The Forum is great to walk around (and it’s free), though a ticket is required for Palatine Hill. I would definitely get a guided tour because the information presented by the authorities doesn’t go into much detail.
How to get there
Take “B” line Metro station Colosseo. Bus lines 51, 75, 85, 87 and 118 go to the Colosseum as well. You can also take tram line number 3. The Colosseum opens at 8:30 am year-round and closes depending on the season. Admission is 12 EUR. There is free entry on the first Sunday of the month so expect long lines.
For more travel tips on Rome, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #8: The Parthenon
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Though it’s currently (and seemingly has been forever) getting a face-lift, the Parthenon is still astounding and breathtaking. This ancient temple to Athena stands as a symbol of the power of Athens and a testament to Greek civilization. Moreover, it provides a sweeping view of Athens and nearby ruins, whose temples and buildings are equally as wondrous. Over the centuries, much of it and the surrounding structures have been destroyed by war and thieves. Luckily, the structure still stands… at least for now. Note that there is scaffolding along the right side of the structure; considering it has been there for over five years, I doubt it is going anywhere anytime soon. They do things slowly in Greece.
How to get there
The easiest way is to follow Dioysiou Aeropagitou, the large pedestrian street that starts near Hadrian’s Arch and goes around the north of the Acropolis. You can also take the metro line 2 to “Akropolis” and when you get out of the station walk to your right and follow the people. Many bus routes service the area. You can also take trolleys 1, 5, or 15. Admission is 13 EUR for adults, and children enter free.
For more travel tips on Athens, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #9: Easter Island
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Located out in the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island, a special territory of Chile, is home to Moai statues that are the only thing left of a culture that once lived here. These gigantic and impressively carved heads are just another reminder that primitive people were not really all that primitive. The stones that attract visitors to this island are made out of volcanic ash; many still remain in the quarry, left behind by the inhabitants as diminishing resources on the island left their tribes doomed to wars that finally killed them off.
How to get there
The island is accessible by regular commercial air service from Santiago. Easter Island is relatively small so it is possible to get around fairly easily.
For more travel tips on Chile, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #10: Taj Mahal
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Built in the 1600s, this building in Agra, India, is a testament to undying love. This white marble tomb built for Emperor Shah Jahan’s deceased wife is a must-see for everyone. In 1983, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, and also has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The Taj sees between two and four million tourists annually, so there have been recent restrictions on tourism in an effort to help protect the site. However, the greatest threat is the air pollution that is destroying the marble.
How to get there
The site is open from 8am-5pm from Saturday-Thursday and closed Fridays. Adults cost 1,000 RS. Children are free.
Favorite Historical Site #11: The Alhambra
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The Alhambra is Granada’s — and Europe’s — love letter to Moorish culture, a place where fountains trickle, leaves rustle, and ancient spirits seem to mysteriously linger. Part palace, part fort, part World Heritage site, part lesson in medieval architecture, the Alhambra has long enchanted a never-ending line of expectant visitors. During the Napoleonic occupation, the Alhambra was used as a barracks and nearly blown up. What you see today has been heavily but respectfully restored. This is a beautiful site with so many various gardens and buildings, and its view of the historic area of Granada is second to none.
How to get there
Using public transport take line C3 and get off Generalife. The site is easily walkable from the downtown area of the city too. It is open daily from 8:30am – 8pm (April 1-October 14), and 8:30am-6pm (October 15-March 31). Due to high demand and visitor restrictions, I highly recommend booking in advance. Adult tickets are 14 EUR. Children under 12 are free.
For more travel tips on Granada, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #12: The Great Wall of China
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The Great Wall of China actually consists of numerous walls and fortifications. It was originally conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (ca. 259–210 BC) in the third century BC as a means of keeping out the Mongol hordes invading the country. The best-known and best-preserved section of the Great Wall was built in the 14th through 17th centuries, during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Though the Great Wall never effectively prevented invaders from entering China, it’s still a massive engineering and construction feat and human accomplishment.
How to get there
From Beijing, you can access the wall at Badaling, Juyongguan, Mutianyu, or Jinshanling. Badaling is just 47 miles from Beijing. You can easily take the public bus there for just 12 CNY. It takes less than 2 hours each way. Ticket prices for the wall are be.tween 30-60 RMB. Visiting hours vary depending on which part of the wall you visit.
For more travel tips on China, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #13: Chichén Itzá
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Chichén Itzá, meaning “at the mouth of the well of Itzá,” is the second most visited archeological site in Mexico and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It’s one of the most important Mayan historical structures in the Americas and has been restored greatly in the last few years.
How to get there
Chichen Itza is located 125 miles from Cancun and 75 miles from Merida. It can be visited as a day trip from either location. The admission fee is 188 MXN per person and free for children 12 and under. The site is open daily from 8am-5pm.
For more travel tips on Mexico, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #14: Volubilis
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A major trading center and the southernmost settlement during Roman times, Volubilis in Morocco is one of the best preserved (and least frequented) ruins of its kind in the world. I found it empty of tourists, not built up, and open in a way that really lets you get up close and see the structures without being behind ten feet of barriers and jostled by crowds. Most of the city is still unexcavated, so the site has a very raw feel to it. I’ve been to a lot of Roman ruins in my travels, but I love this one the best. It’s a lovely day trip away from the crowds and noise of Fez. Entrance is 20 MAD (Moroccan dirhams), or about 5 USD.
How to get there
Volubilis is located about 19 miles north of the city of Meknes. It can be reached from Meknes by taxi, by car, or by organized tour. My preferred tour company is Intrepid. Volubilis is open daily and costs 20 MAD to enter.
For more travel tips on Morocco, check out this detailed planning guide.
Favorite Historical Site #15: Sukhothai
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Located in a beautiful in north-central Thailand, Sukhothai was the capital of Thailand for a couple hundred years. This is site is often overlooked by travelers, as few stop there on the way to Chiang Mai. The central area contains 21 temples enclosed by a moat. Its many temples showcase the unique Sukhothai style of decoration, which incorporates Khmer (Cambodian) and Sri Lankan influences. It’s a huge, huge site and takes a good day or two to see. Most of it is exposed to the sun, so bring sunscreen or you’ll get massively sunburned.

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  9 Female Politicians To Watch In 2019
Posted by: 309Media - 07-27-2019, 10:00 PM - Forum: Political Power - No Replies

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Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If the wave of success that carried women candidates to elected office this year continues, female politicians will rise through the ranks like never before. From city council to Congress, countless women spend their days tackling public policy, and there are multiple female politicians you should look out for in 2019.
A record number of women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives last week, but women actually made major gains across all levels of government. Nine women were elected governor, matching the previous record, women helped Democrats flip seven legislative chambers in six states, and multiple firsts were made for women elected to statewide office.
Despite the progress, though, men still dominate state politics, just as they do on the national level. But local representatives are the ones deciding many of the policies that affect people's day-to-day lives — whether it's funding for public schools, the quality of local infrastructure, or access to abortion. These women holding elected office at the state level have already made names for themselves at home, but it probably won't be the last time their names come up on the national stage. You'll want to pay attention to what they do over the next few years regardless of where you live.
Gretchen Whitmer
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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Gretchen Whitmer won a closely watched governor's race in Michigan. As a former Democratic state representative and state senator, she's no stranger to politics in the Great Lakes State, but she catapulted herself into the national spotlight by successfully flipping the governor's mansion from red to blue. On the campaign trail, she promised to be a fierce champion for reproductive rights and work with the state legislature to protect access to abortion.
London Breed
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Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Elected San Francisco's first black woman mayor in June, London Breed stepped in to lead the city after former Mayor Ed Lee died suddenly. She previously served as the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and her story of growing up in poverty, her brother going to prison, and her sister dying of a drug overdose, makes her political rise that much more inspiring. Since becoming mayor, she has vowed to make the city's housing market for affordable, as she's a renter herself.
Kim Reynolds
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Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has found allies in the Trump family, as both the president and Ivanka publicly endorsed her in the 2018 election. She took over as governor of Iowa last year when POTUS appointed former Gov. Terry Branstad as the U.S. ambassador to China and then won last week's election to keep her seat. In May, she signed the nation's most restrictive abortion ban into law, which was temporarily blocked in court the following month.
Vi Lyles
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vilyles on Twitter
A few cities have elected their first black woman mayor in the last year, including Charlotte, North Carolina. But on top of making history, Bloomberg Cities notes that Democrat Vi Lyles is "among the most qualified for the job" after serving as Charlotte’s budget director, assistant city manager, and a city council member. Like Breed, she's focused on increasing affordable housing options by proposing more government subsidies for the construction of low-income housing.
Letitia James
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
New York Attorney General-elect, Democrat Letitia James, doesn't shy away from a fight. In her role as New York City public advocate, she sued the city over tenants' rights, the foster care system, and a lack of air conditioning on buses for mentally disabled children, The New York Times reports. She was previously the first black woman elected to citywide office in NYC, and this year became the first black woman elected to statewide office in the Empire State.
Michelle Lujan Grisham
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Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The current Democratic U.S. House representative will leave Congress in January to lead her home state of New Mexico. She'll be the state's first Democratic Latina governor and previously served as New Mexico's Health secretary, working to expand the number of school-based health centers and establishing teen pregnancy prevention programs, according to her Emily's List endorsement.
Peggy Flanagan
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Stephen Maturen/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The next lieutenant governor of Minnesota, Democrat Peggy Flanagan, will be the state's first Native American and first woman of color to serve in statewide office. A current member of the state House, Flanagan previously worked for a a nonprofit child-advocacy organization and co-chaired a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Minnesota, according to her campaign website.
Juliana Stratton
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Joshua Lott/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Another state will soon have its first woman of color serving as lieutenant governor after Democrat Juliana Stratton won her election in Illinois. The lawyer has served in the state House since 2017 (President Barack Obama notably endorsed her 2016 campaign), making her ascent to statewide office particularly quick.
Safiya Wazir
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wazirnh on Twitter
Safiya Wazir's family fled Afghanistan when she was 6-years-old and moved to New Hampshire as refugees when she was a teenager. Now a U.S. citizen, she was elected to the state House last week after unseating a four-term incumbent in the Democratic primary. The 27-year-old currently works with local organizations that provide assistance for low-income families and advocate for programs to help families and children.

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  Best National Parks (2019)
Posted by: 309Media - 07-27-2019, 09:58 PM - Forum: Animals & Nature - No Replies

#1 Yosemite National Park
Towering slabs of sticky granite towering 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Rivers and epic waterfalls galore. Alpine trekking and world-class rock climbing routes. Giant Sequoia trees. This. is. Yosemite.
Yosemite Park in north-central California has been inspiring people for centuries. This national park is one of the most popular national parks in the US, but for a damn good reason.
The park can be very busy in the summer, though escaping the crowds is easy if you explore the interior of the park on foot. With hundreds of miles of maintained trail, plus Yosemite wilderness, you can trek around Yosemite for months on end and not see it all.
Yosemite is defined by its almost impossibly large walls of granite; the result of millennia of glaciation and erosion. The grandeur of the park is hard to put into words. It is truly magnificent.
A visit to Yosemite is a must if you are visiting the California national parks, plain and simple.
Once you stand at the base of El Capitan, you can not fully fathom how Alex Honnold climbed it without a rope in under 4 hours. Much respect…
Best time to visit: All year round
Closest Major City: San Francisco (Click the link for my guide to the best hostels in San Francisco)

  • Half Dome
  • El Capital
  • Yosemite Falls
  • Tuolumne Meadows
  • Cathedral Peak
  • John Muir Trail
[Image: yosemite_sunset_cloud_tree_sky-138276.jpg.optimal.jpg]Yosemite is one of the most incredible place in the world.
#2 Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is best known for its massive Sequoia trees: the biggest trees in the world. For me, the feeling one gets when you are standing in a grove of ancient Sequoias must be close to something like attaining enlightenment.
It is humbling to be in the presence of some of the oldest living creatures on earth.
The air smells different. There seems to be more available oxygen than normal. In addition to the huge trees, rugged peaks, sunshine-filled canyons, awesome hiking trails, and abundant wildlife… the cave systems are something unto themselves. The underground Crystal Cave features cool streams and impressive rock formations.
Due to its close proximity to Kings Canyon Nation Park and Yosemite National Park, you can really pack a lot in between these three parks if you only have four or five days to explore.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Fall
Closest Major City: San Francisco
  • General Sherman (the largest tree in the world)
  • Crystal Cave
  • Buckrock Lookout
  • The drive-through-tree
  • The Giant Forest
  • Moro Rock
[Image: sunset_nik_sequoianationalpark_ptgui_con...ptimal.jpg]Sequoia National Park is easily one of the best national parks in the USA. Those trees! Photo: PXhere
#3 Joshua Tree National Park
Yucca trees (Joshua trees) have always fascinated me, and Joshua Tree National has them in abundance (obviously). This national park is the gem of the Southern California desert. J-Tree is one of the few places in So-Cal where you can find yourself in a true desolation wilderness far from the bright lights of humanity.
Though if you do find yourself in LA en route to Joshua Tree, be sure to check out my Los Angeles travel guide.
Joshua Tree National Park straddles the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, the latter of which is higher and cooler. The landscapes of Joshua Tree are dotted with massive granite boulders, rugged mountains, hidden oasis’, cactus, abandoned mine shafts, and desert-dwelling creatures.
If you like mountain biking or rock climbing, Joshua Tree is perfect for that. If you visit during the winter, keep in mind that it can snow here!
Closest Big City: Los Angeles (Ontario and Palm Springs airports are closer)
Best Time to Visit: Spring, Fall, and Winter
  • Jumbo Rocks
  • Keys View (great sunset/sunrise spot)
  • Lost Palms Oasis
  • Cholla Cactus Garden
  • Lost Horse Mine
  • Star Gazing
[Image: night_sky_stars_desert_landscape_cosmos_...ptimal.jpg]The Star-gazing can be pretty insane in Joshua Tree!
#4 Grand Canyon National Park
If the Grand Canyon were a book, it would be the geological story detailing millions of years. Prior to colonialization of Europeans, Native Americans had been coming to visit the area in and around the Grand Canyon for eons.
Evidence of a past Native American presence can be found throughout the park. The incredible, endless red rock canyons make up an area of roughly 277 miles (446 km) long with the Colorado River flowing the very of it all.
The quintessential Grand Canyon experience is actually descending into the canyon itself. Miles of superb hiking trails, mind-blowing vistas, and far-flung wilderness areas make up just a part of the draw to Grand Canyon National Park. When it comes to impressive desert landscapes, the Grand Canyon is king.
Keep in mind there are two entrances to Grand Canyon National Park – the north rim and south rim – and they are hours apart since you have to drive around the canyon… South Rim is more popular, and North Rim is at a higher elevation, so it is not accessible for parts of winter.
Best Time to Visit: Winter, Spring, and Fall
Closest Major City(s): Las Vegas and Phoneix
  • South Rim
  • Hiking Rim to Rim
  • Tonto Trail
  • Colorado River
  • Grand Canyon Flight/helicopter tour
[Image: IMG_3386.jpg.optimal.jpg]There is a reason Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best national parks in the USA…it’s almost unbelievable.
#5 Zion National Park
The first Utah national park on my list is the epic Zion National Park. Zion distinct desert landscape features plenty of steep red-walled canyons, beautiful rock formations, emerald pools, slot canyons, rivers, and waterfalls.
If you are making a national park road trip of the USA, arguably one of the most scenic drives in the west is on the road going through the center of Zion.
On foot, you can explore paths that Native Americans used for countless generations. The trails weave through impressive slot canyons, hidden swimming holes, and jaw-dropping landscapes. It is no wonder 3 million visitors a year come to Zion National Park.
Zion is filled with rich history, biological diversity, and plenty of “wow”. There are lifetimes worth of hiking and exploring to be done here. Get to know some of the trademark rosy-amber canyons and waterfalls that make Zion one of the best national parks in the USA.
Best Time To Visit: Spring and Fall
Closest Major City: Salt Lake City
  • Cathedral Mountain
  • Zion Canyon
  • East Zion Tunnel
  • The Grotto
  • Court of the Patriarchs
  • Great White Throne
  • Temple of Sinawava
[Image: unnamed-1.jpg.optimal.jpg]Take in the Emerald Pools of Zion National Park… Photo: Ralph Cope
#6 Bryce Canyon National Park
The mystical Bryce Canyon National Park is a sight to behold. The park is famous for its orange-red hoodoo rock formations punctuated by outlying pine forest. What’s a hoodoo? Basically, they are spire/pillar-shaped rock formations jutting out from the canyon floor. The artistic touch of mother nature has left Bryce Canyon with one of the most iconic landscapes in America.
Bryce Canyon is a top national park filled with microclimates primarily due to the vast elevation differences found throughout. Wildlife lovers can enjoy looking out for more than 100 species of birds, dozens of reptiles and mammals, and more than 1,000 interesting plant species.
Watching the sunrise cast its shade over the crimson-colored walls of the canyons is a surreal experience.
Of course, the best way to see the park is on foot. Tackle the 37-mile circuit trek and really experience what the hidden geological gems of Bryce are about.
Best Time to Visit: Spring, Summer, and Fall
Closest Major CitySalt Lake City and Las Vegas
  • Sunrise to Sunset Point Hike
  • Swamp Canyon
  • Natural Bridge
  • Bryce Point
  • Mossy Cave
  • Rim Trail
  • Navajo Look Trail
  • Fairyland Loop
[Image: DSC00637.jpg.optimal.jpg]Bryce Canyon sunrise | Photo by Ana Pereira
#7 Arches National Park
Arches National Park isn’t just a Utah highlight, it is high on the list of best national parks in the USA, without a doubt.
The park gets its name from the more than 2,000 sandstone arches scattered throughout the park. Natural elements and time have gouged out some truly spectacular natural bridges and rock formations here.
The world-famous Delicate Arch certainly won’t be around forever. As the natural effects of erosion take over, more and more arches are toppling over every year. Such is life.
Arches truly is a red-rock wonderland. Enjoy hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails. Camp out under the desert stars as the creatures of the desert come out of their daytime retreats. Due to the sensitive nature of many of the arches found with the park, be respectful and don’t contribute their destruction. Expect blazing desert sunsets.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and Fall
Closest Major City: Denver and Salt Lake City
  • Fiery Furnace Hike
  • Devils Garden Trail
  • Petrified Dunes
  • Double Arch
  • Delicate Arch
  • Windows Loop Trail
[Image: arches_national_park_utah_sky_clouds_sun...ptimal.jpg]Arches National Park is loaded with iconic landscapes that define the American Southwest.
#8 Canyonlands National Park
Utah truly is the state that keeps on giving to my best national parks in the USA list. Made famous by James Franco’s self-amputation in the movie 127 Hours, Canyonlands is an adventurer’s wonderland. Don’t worry, you should still have both of your arms by trip’s end.
Canyonlands is another magnificent marvel of the power of natural erosion. Dramatic desert landscapes take over all of your senses from the moment you step foot in the park. Native American rock paintings offer up glimpses of the past. Towering pinnacles of sandstone jut up into an endless desert sky.
The turquoise waters of the Colorado River strike a great contract with the orange and red shades of the Canyon walls. Canyonlands is up there with the most epically beautiful desert national parks in the USA for sure.
I got two words for you: Horseshoe Bend.
Best Time to Visit: Spring, Summer, Fall
Closest Major City:  Salt Lake City
  • Island in the Sky
  • The Needles
  • Mesa Arch
  • Grand View Point
  • Green River Overlook
  • Elephant Hill Trail
  • Horseshoe Canyon
  • Horseshoe Bend
[Image: unnamed-1-1.jpg.optimal.jpg]Love red rock canyons? Canyonlands National Park is certainly one of the best national parks in the USA for that. Photo: Ralph Cope
#9 Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best national parks in the USA because of its awe-inspiring mountains.
The park is a vast sprawling landmass of protected alpine tundra, forests, lakes, and some of the highest mountain peaks in the country (Alaska excluded).
Open grasslands down in the valley are home to a large population of elk and deer species. The rivers are teaming with trout. The alpine lakes and associated scenery are truly breathtaking.
There are enough backcountry trails to keep you busy for a lifetime.
Best Time to Visit: All Year Round
Closest Major CityDenver
  • Longs Peak
  • Trail Ridge Road (highest paved road in the US)
  • Bear Lake
  • Emerald Lake Trail
  • Estes Cone
  • Tonahutu Creek Trail Loop
  • Hallet Peak
  • Mountain Biking
[Image: rocky_mountains_canada_mountains_nature_...ptimal.jpg]Towering snow peaks dominate the skyline in Rocky Mountain National Park.
#10 Grand Teton National Park
A hiker’s paradise. The fisherman’s dream. A skier’s heaven. The photographer’s playground.
Whatever you want to call it Grand Teton National Park has got it all. From high mountain lakes to pristine rivers in the valley below, Grand Teton National Park is a feast for those who love the mountains. There is documented evidence of Native American habitation of the area dating back at least 10,ooo years.
This is the land where the buffalo used to roam en masse in the north-west corner of Wyoming.
The park encompasses the Teton mountain range, the 4,000-meter Grand Teton peak, and the valley known as Jackson Hole, a popular ski-resort town.
Whether you want to hike, ski, or float the snake river with a beer in hand, there is something for every backpacker in Grand Teton National Park.
Best Time to Visit: Year Round
Closest Major City:  Salt Lake City
  • The Snake River
  • Grand Teton Peak
  • Jenny Lake/Cascade Canyon
  • Hidden Falls Trail
  • Holly Lake Trail
  • Paintbrush Canyon Trail
  • Paintbrush-Cascade Loop
  • Skiing in Winter
[Image: grand_teton_national_park_mountains_dest...ptimal.jpg]Grand Tetons National Park is loaded with amazing outdoor adventure potential…
#11 Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone might just be the most famous park in my best national parks in the USA list. The park receives a staggering 4 million+ visitors every year.
People come from the world over to take in the spectacular geothermal activity that has transformed Yellowstone’s landscapes into something otherworldly. Yellowstone is basically one giant pressure cooker. Experts estimate that when the “supervolcano” that Yellowstone National park sits on top of erupts, it will likely be the most devastating natural event in US history.
Take in the bubbly sulphuric hot pools (don’t try to swim whatever you do). Bask in the glory that is the Old Faithful geyser. Hike along the gorgeous Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Take a dip in Yellowstone Lake.
Yellowstone National park is home to a variety of large mammal species. Grizzly bears and American Buffalo are among the most legendary. Both are VERY dangerous to humans.
Don’t be that tourist that gets seriously injured or killed by a buffalo. How to avoid this? Don’t be so foolish and selfie-greedy that you get within a few feet of the buffalo just to take a good picture. Every year without fail, some aloof tourist is sent to the hospital due to general stupidity and lack of common sense.
Exploring the park on foot is the only way to escape the crowds and flashing cameras. Yellowstone has massive wilderness areas, so that shouldn’t be too difficult.
Best time to visit: Anytime that is not the middle of summer.
Closest Major City: There is no major city close by, but large-ish towns include Jackson Hole, West Yellowstone, Gardiner, and Island Park.
  • Old Faithful
  • Grand Canyon on Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone River
  • Hayden Valley
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Noris Geysers Basin
  • Lower Geyser Basis
[Image: yellowstone_national_park_geyser_usa_nat...ptimal.jpg]Yellowstone National Park is basically one giant super volcano.
#12 Glacier National Park
Tucked away in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park is probably the most truly wild park on my best national parks in the USA list (within mainland America). A backpacking trip here is bound to be the adventure of a lifetime.
Miles and miles of glacier-carved mountains, untouched lakes, wildflowers, snow-capped peaks, deep forests, and meandering rivers. That is what Glacier is about.
Being that Glacier National Park is in the far reaches of Northern Montana, it receives a fraction of the visitors Yellowstone does. The crowds that do gather here have a different vibe as well. There are more hikers/backpackers and fewer buses packed with tourists.
Glacier National Park is a biosphere reserve, a World Heritage Site, and one of the world’s first international peace parks, in addition to being a US National Park. Bottom line, this place is an important ecological treasure.
Love hiking and photography? Glacier is your dream destination. I love this park because it reflects an America that once was: wild, untamed, radically beautiful, and isolated. Please come here and experience it for yourself.
Glacier is a bit off the beaten track but, I promise you that the journey to arrive here is well worth it.
Best Time to Visit: Mid-Spring, Summer, and Early Fall
Closest Major City: No major cities nearby. Closest towns are Whitefish and Kalispell, Montana.
  • Going-to-the-sun road
  • Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Cracker Lake Hike
  • Two Medicine Lake
  • Logan Pass
  • Bird Woman Falls
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Fly-Fishing
[Image: lake_mcdonald_glacier_national_park_mont...ptimal.jpg]Glacier National Park at sundown.
#13 Mt. Rainier National Park
Mt. Ranier National Park is one of the many gems of the Pacific Northwest region of the USA. The park encompasses a 370 square mile chunk of Washington State (not DC!). Mt Rainer is the park’s highest peak (5th largest in the USA, excluding Alaska) at 14,400 feet.
It might be a fair bet to say that more locals or at least Pacific Northwest locals visit Mt. Rainer than tourists, which totally changes the feeling of a national park.
The wet, foggy climate of Washington state means that Mt. Rainer National Park is prone to be very green throughout the year. The park is home to glaciers, forests, stunning wildflower explosions in the spring/summer, and plenty of activities for outdoor junkies. Any time of year though bring a good jacket!
There is some excellent skiing and winter-related sports to be had here too.
Best Time to Visit: All Year
Closest Major City: Seattle
  • Nisqually Vista Trail
  • Lakes Trail
  • Bench and Snow Lakes Trail
  • Skyline Trail
  • Skiing
[Image: washington_odyssey-222995.jpg.optimal.jpg]Mt Rainier National Park gets a lot of rain so the park is eternally green.
Finding the Ultimate National Park Road Trip
Thinking about visiting a bunch of national parks across the USA in one go? For more inspiration, check out these epic USA road trip itineraries:
West Coast road trip itineraries
East Coast road trip itineraries
California road trip guide
Budget Alaska road trip guide
Utah National Parks road trip
Oregon road trip itineraries
Florida road trip itineraries 
Colorado road trip itineraries
New England road trip itineraries

Best National Parks in the USA: East Coast
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#14 Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National park is certainly one of the most important national parks in the USA.
Surprisingly,  GSM is the most visited national park in the US. This is primarily due to its relative proximity to many east coast states. Hordes of people seeking a holiday in the great outdoors flock to the Smoky Mountains every year.
The park itself is quite large, making up a total area of more than 500,000 acres of protected land.
Smoky Mountain National Park is is a biodiversity powerhouse. From vast variety of plants/tree species to the animals that call the Smokies home; the park is teaming with life. To name a few, bear, rattlesnake, deer, and bird populations are abundant.
This part of the USA is very rich in cultural heritage. Between the Native Americans and the early Anglo settlers of the area, the park was at one time an important place for human settlement. The structural remains of old houses and cabins can be found hidden throughout the park.
If you come in the fall, you will see the world-famous colors of the leaves as they change on deciduous trees. Really, it is like a great sea of orange, yellow, red, brown, and all of the shades between.
Best Time to Visit: Spring, Summer, and Fall
Closest Major City(s): Knoxville, Asheville, Charlotte
  • Cades Cove
  • Clingmans Dome
  • Mt LeConte
  • Cable Mill
  • New Found Gap
  • Appalachian Trail
[Image: great_smoky_mountains_gsmnp_national_par...ptimal.jpg]After hiking the length of the park on the Appalachian Trail, I can say that the Great Smoky Mountains NP is one of my favorite national parks in the USA.
#15 Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains: one of my favorite places in the whole country.
The park features a vast network of hiking trails including a section of the long-distance Appalachian Trail. Mostly forested, the park is home to soggy wetlands, murky rivers, crisp waterfalls and craggy peaks like Hawksbill and Old Rag mountains.
Shenandoah National park is simply the pride of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is not to be missed if you find yourself in this part of the USA. One of the best parts of the park is when you get high up on a ridge above the tree line. View for miles and miles of a sprawling ocean of green (depending on the time of year) reward every keen hiker.
Located surprisingly close to Washington D.C., one can easily escape the city (and its filthy politicians) in a short period of time.
Whilst internationally, Shenandoah National Park might not be super famous, it is still one of the best national parks in the USA.
Best Time to Visit: All Year Round
Closest Major City: Washington D.C.
  • Traces Trail
  • Hightop Summit Trail
  • Loft Mountain
  • Dark Hollow falls
  • Appalachian Trail
  • Corbin Cabin Cutoff
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
[Image: sunset_landscape_scenic_clouds_sky_timbe...ptimal.jpg]Shenandoah National Park is easily accessible from major east coast US cities.
#16. Acadia National Park
When it comes to National Parks in the northeastern corner of the US, Acadia sits atop the throne.
Blessed with rugged, wild coastline dotted with lighthouses and a range out craggy, high mountains, it is no wonder that Acadia attracts millions of visitors each year.
Acadia is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails that take you through marshland, forests, mountains, and wave-battered coastal stretches.
Whilst trekking through the marshland, keep an eye out for moose! They can be quite aggressive during the mating season. The fall colors here are truly incredible.
Best Time to Visit: Spring, Summer, and Fall
Closest Major City: Boston
  • Cadillac Mountain
  • Sand Beach
  • Jordan Pond Shore Trail
  • Thunder Hole Cave
  • Precipice Trail
  • Lighthouses
  • Sieur du Monts
  • Schoodic Peninsula
  • Isle au Haut
[Image: 16435193761_c16c3603f3_b.jpg.optimal.jpg]Fall color explosion in Acadia National Park.
#17 Mammoth Cave National Park
You don’t have to be the most famous park to make it onto my best national parks in the USA list.
For those who love thinking about and exploring caves, Mammoth Caves National Park is the ultimate destination. Mammoth Caves is the longest known cave system in the world, with roughly 400 miles that have been explored and mapped.
As a UN World Heritage Site and international biosphere reserve, Mammoth Caves is one of the most unique national parks in the USA.
Most of the attraction of the park lies below the surface of the land or the surface of it anyway. A vast network of sprawling limestone caves await. If ever there was a window into a different world, it can be found here. There is also some fantastic river rafting and hiking to be had in the area as well.
Best Time to Visit: All year round
Closest Major City: Louisville / Nashville
  • Wild Cave Tour
  • Kayaking the Green River
  • Violet City Lantern Tour
  • Backcountry campsites
  • Frozen Niagara
[Image: Mammoth_Cave_National_Park_01.jpg.optimal.jpg]Mammoth Caves National Park is something once you get underground…
#18 Everglades National Park
There is a reason why this World Heritage Site exists as it does today. I am sure if politicians and developers had their way, the Everglades would have been developed into hideous strip malls long ago.
But nature has a way of protecting itself. Fact is, Everglades National Park is so swampy and so wild in places, that it is virtually impossible to develop it!
Everglades National Park is one of the most biologically diverse destinations on my best national parks in the USA list. From alligators and poisonous snakes to rare orchids and bizarre insects… Everglades NP is simply a nature lovers dream come true. The fact that Native Americans lived here for millennia blows my mind given just how rough and wild this place can be.
I’d say that Everglades National Park is best explored by boat, as hiking in the “backcountry” here is not an easy endeavor. That said, there are a few awesome hiking trails here too.
Best Time to Visit: All year round
Closest Major City: Miami
  • Anhinga Trail
  • 10,000 Islands
  • Canoeing the Everglades
  • Alligator spotting
  • Biking trails
  • Shark Valley Trail
  • Coastal Prairie Trail
*Note that as of July 2018 many of the backcountry campsites have still not been repaired or cleaned up after last year’s devastating hurricane season. Enquire at the visitor center regarding their status before setting off on a hike.
[Image: usa_miami_everglades_crocodile_swamp_flo...ptimal.jpg]Yep, these guys live in the Everglades National Park.
#19 Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is an ecological wonder located at the very bottom of the Florida Keys.
Given its location in the Gulf of Mexico, this national park has a colorful history. Many a smuggler, pirate, migrant, and sailor have passed through these turquoise waters at some point in time.
I don’t think it is too far a stretch to say that Dry Tortugas is one of the best national parks in the USA to enjoy some scuba diving.
Spot sea turtles, sharks, manta rays, and a multitude of other wildlife creatures by day, and sip rum on the beach by night. Sounds pretty damn good.
Dry Tortugas National Park is part of the Everglades & Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve, established by UNESCO in 1976.
Best Time to Visit: All year round
Closest Major City: Miami
  • Fort Jefferson
  • Windjammer shipwreck
  • Little Africa
  • Texas Rock
  • Pulaski Shoals Area
  • Long Reef Key
  • Moat Wall night snorkeling
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  The Best Movies of 2019 (So Far)
Posted by: 309Media - 07-27-2019, 09:55 PM - Forum: Television & Film - No Replies

25. The Art of Self-Defense

Masculinity gets a beatdown in Riley Stearns’ The Art of Self-Defense, a scathing satire about the fragile and toxic variations of modern manliness. After nearly dying from an assault by helmeted motorcyclists, wimpy Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) finds empowerment at the karate dojo of Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), a martial-arts guru who helps him become that which he most fears. Stearns’ off-kilter script is defined by awkward conversations and absurd twists, and its droll approach to its material generates considerable black humor. As he becomes more devoted to the dojo, Casey is drawn deeper into a demented space marked by homoeroticism, sexism, and devious criminality. What he learns, ultimately, is that violence has the power to both transform and corrupt — a lesson that Eisenberg brings to amusingly wacko life via a performance in which Casey’s seething anger and resentment at his own powerlessness lies just beneath his placid surface, ready to erupt at a moment’s notice in a flurry of kicks and punches.
24. Toy Story 4

Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of Pixar’s animated toys are back in Toy Story 4, and though their return engagement may not be wholly necessary — considering 2011’s ideal franchise-capping Toy Story 3 — it proves a charming, funny and deceptively weighty saga about independence, purpose and loyalty to both loved ones and, just as importantly, to one’s self. Now the property of kindergarten-bound Bonnie, who’s disinterested in playing with him, Woody finds meaning in life by protecting her newest plaything: Forky (Tony Hale), a makeshift weirdo crafted from trash. Their ensuing road-trip odyssey leads Woody to Bo Peep (Annie Potts), now enjoying her freedom as a “lost toy.” Director Josh Cooley and writers Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom pepper their material with the usual barrage of sharp jokes, and the voice cast — including Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as a conjoined bunny and duck — is, as always, top-notch. Plus, it has Keanu Reeves stealing every scene he’s in as Duke Caboom, the greatest Canadian motorcycle daredevil to ever grace the silver screen.
23. The Dead Don’t Die

Jim Jarmusch crafts an undeadpan comedy of apocalyptic proportions with The Dead Don’t Die, a Night of the Living Dead riff played for bleak satire. In the “nice” town of Centerville, chief Cliff (Bill Murray) and officer Ronnie (Adam Driver) are forced to contend with a zombie outbreak caused by…well, maybe it’s the polar fracking that’s knocked the Earth off its axis, or the MAGA-type insanity peddled by local farmer Frank (Steve Buscemi), or simply good ol’ fashioned American materialism. “This isn’t going to end well,” warns Ronnie at regular intervals, which he knows because he’s read Jarmusch’s script — just one of many instances in which the film indulges in goofy self-referentiality. A stellar cast that also includes Chloë Sevigny, Larry Fessenden, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez, and Tom Waits (looking like a reject from Cats) go through their end-of-the-world motions with laid-back confusion and panic (they’re barely animated themselves). Meanwhile, Jarmusch stages scenes of gruesomeness with a shrug-ish good humor that belies this simmering-with-anger critique of a world going, perhaps deservedly, to hell.
22. Fast Color

“If something’s broken, it stays broken,” intones Bo (Lorraine Toussaint) at the outset of Fast Color, which then proceeds to show that things — and people — can be mended through the power of family, love, and connection to the past. Director Julia Hart’s sophomore feature (co-written with Jordan Horowitz) is an unconventional superhero saga about Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who in a near future decimated by lack of rain, flees government agent Bill (Christopher Denham) while trying to control her extraordinary abilities, which manifest themselves as seismic seizures. Ruth’s flight takes her to her childhood home and her mom Bo and daughter Lila (Saniyya Sidney), both of whom have the capacity to wield swirly-colored constructive/deconstructive energy. The volatility of youth and the vitality of kinship (with present and former relatives) serve as sturdy thematic undercurrents for this low-key genre tale. Far more subdued than its summer-blockbuster brethren, it’s a showcase for Hart’s vibrant visuals and Mbatha-Raw’s heartfelt performance as a woman finding strength not from independence but, instead, from bonds of blood.
21. Greta
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Focus Features
The kindness of strangers is exploited for demented purposes in Greta, Neil Jordan’s playfully bonkers thriller about the trouble that befalls young Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) after she finds a pocketbook on a New York subway and returns it to its owner, lonely Greta (Isabelle Huppert). Courtesy of that humane act, Frances –grieving the death of her beloved mom, as well as adjusting to her new Manhattan environs with the help of her wealthy roommate (Maika Monroe)—nets herself a surrogate mother figure. Their friendship, however, is eventually revealed to be predicted on a lie that turns the proceedings cockeyed. Jordan laces the film with erotic undercurrents but otherwise refuses to unduly embellish his material, instead content to keep it on steady ground even as it grows loopier. It’s Huppert who truly elevates this story about twisted maternal obsessiveness, her Greta a cunning predator who uses sophistication and solitary sorrowfulness to mask more devious desires. Sad, elegant and extremely unhinged, she’s a stalker to remember.
20. Avengers: Endgame
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Marvel saves the best for last—at least in terms of this phase of its sprawling cinematic universe—with Avengers: Endgame. This entry is the culmination of its decade-plus run of interconnected films, which offered not only surprising twists and electric superhero spectacle, but also routine chances for its illustrious cast to actually act. Helmed by Joe and Anthony Russo with the same juggling-multiple-strands craftsmanship they brought to their prior franchise installments, this latest saga finds Earth’s Mightiest Heroes trying to undo big bad Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) population-halving “Snapture.” To discuss plot particulars would be to spoil some of the fun, although the real enjoyment derived from this extravaganza comes from its self-referential fan-service nods, its ability to embellish every portentous moment with character-specific humor, and its satisfyingly seamless and cohesive conclusion. It’s a superior piece of tentpole cinema, thanks in large part to A-game performances from stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo.
19. The Mountain

A hallucinatory nightmare of loneliness, alienation, and Oedipal desire, Rick Alverson’s The Mountain boasts shades of Stanley Kubrick and Yorgos Lanthimos even as it carves out its own peculiar, penetrating identity. Set free from the company of his remote skating-instructor father (Udo Kier), miserable Andy (Tye Sheridan) — desperate to reconnect with his institutionalized mother — sets out on a trip with Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum), who wants Andy to photograph the psychiatric patients he treats with his unique electroshock-and-lobotomy procedures. Set during the 1950s, theirs is an expedition marked by disintegration and yearning for escape and deliverance, and it ultimately leads to the home of a French healer (Denis Levant) who wants Fiennes to perform his technique on his daughter Susan (Hannah Gross), with whom Andy develops a connected-by-disconnection relationship. Aided by unnervingly stoic, expressive turns from his leads, Alverson dramatizes this off-kilter madness via painterly compositions of figures trapped in cramped, confining architectural spaces, set to ominous audio tones and blowing wind. In this surrealist landscape, humor and horror are almost indistinguishable, epitomized by Levant’s unforgettable dance of the deranged.
18. Plus One

Weddings can be a torturous drag for singles, so longtime friends Alice (Maya Erskine) and Ben (Jack Quaid) decide to spend their overbooked nuptials season tag-teaming events as platonic dates. Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer’s romantic comedy is, per formula, bound to have its seemingly opposite protagonists discover their attraction for one another, yet predictability is of no concern when the amorous action is as consistently funny and charming as it is in this jaunty indie. Be it stumbling their way through one ceremony and party after another, or embarking on their own unlikely relationship while dealing with their troublesome parents, Alice and Ben prove to be exceptional company. She uses booze and a sharp tongue to cope with her loneliness, and he clings to high standards as a way to avoid commitment and stave off potential abandonment. Erskine in particular is a revelation—a charismatically uninhibited riot, she seems destined for Hollywood’s A-list.
17. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

John Wick dispatches adversaries in a frantic knife-throwing fight, on horseback through the streets of New York City, and with a library book (!) in Chad Stahelski’s latest go-round—and that all happens in the first 20 minutes. No franchise delivers more crazily choreographed violence than John Wick, in which savagery is carried out with both concussive force and dancer-like grace. In Parabellum, Wick teams up with Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, and Halle Berry (and her two crotch-fixated German shepherds) in order to stave off death at the hands of the world’s assassins, all of whom seek a bounty on his head. Improving on Chapter 2, director Stahelski stages his set pieces as exercises in vicious physicality. Through it all, Keanu Reeves strikes a dashing pose as the increasingly harried (and bloodied) Wick, his trademark designer suits and walk-softly-and-carry-a-big-gun demeanor once again employed to expert effect in a series that continues, like Reeves himself, to improve with age.
16. High Life
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Fertility and desolation, creation and destruction, isolation and togetherness all intermingle in hypnotic fashion in High Life, Claire Denis’ entrancing sci-fi reverie. Indebted, spiritually if not narratively, to Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Denis’ story concerns a space ship on which a doctor (Juliette Binoche) attempts to successfully conceive children through experiments with convicts as they all hurtle toward a black hole whose energy they seek to harness. One of these passengers is Monte (Robert Pattinson), who’s introduced caring for an infant, alone, in what’s soon exposed as a flash-forward. Barren spaces abound, and the French auteur infuses her material with a sense of ominous hollowness, born from longings—for purpose, conception, and reinvention—that remain unfulfilled. No clear-cut answers await those who make it to the end of this mesmerizing journey, only a mood of enigmatic ennui, bursts of sexualized violence and hunger (the latter coming via Binoche’s unforgettable visit to a room known as the “f--k box”), a superbly cagey Pattinson turn, and a finale of cautious optimism.
15. Birds of Passage

Capitalist modernity, taking the form of the marijuana trade, corrupts a local Colombian culture in Birds of Passage, an ethnographically rich crime drama from Embrace of the Serpent director Ciro Guerra. Split into five sections spanning 1960-1980, and set in the country’s northern La Guajira region, Guerra’s film (co-directed by his wife and producing partner Cristina Gallego) details the disintegration of a Wayuu community thanks to enterprising Rapayet (José Acosta), who marries the daughter of terrifying matriarch Ursula (Carmiña Martinez) and transforms everyone’s fortunes by smuggling weed procured from relatives. The tension between tradition and progress is almost as taught as that between mercy and brutality, as the clan’s rise to drug-running prominence comes at a catastrophic cost. Interjecting their verité tale with doses of hypnotic dreaminess, Guerra and Gallego capture the insidious ways that greed spreads like a poison, cutting people off from their heritage, their morality, and ultimately, from their loved ones and themselves.
14. Ash Is Purest White
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Cohen Media Group
Love is fractured and the past is torn asunder in Ash is Purest White, another remarkable saga from Chinese auteur Jia Zhang-ke about individuals trying to plot a course through a rapidly developing nation. Employing expansive and boxy aspect ratios to denote different time periods, and embellishing his action with pop songs (including the theme from John Woo’s “The Killer”), Jia dramatizes the romance between gangster Bin (Liao Fan) and girlfriend Qiao (Jia’s wife and favorite leading lady, Zhao Tao). This abruptly ends after the latter is imprisoned for using a firearm to save her beau during an attack. Upon release, Qiao strives to acclimate herself to a modernizing world that doesn’t care about the collateral damage left in progress’ wake. From young upstarts looking to take Bin’s position, to work along the Three Gorges (which will ultimately submerge towns), change is afoot. Divided into three sections, it’s an epic vision of sacrifice and tenacity in a tumultuous age, led by Zhao’s commanding performance as a woman whose cunning resourcefulness is matched by her devotion.
13. Her Smell
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Donald Stahl
Elisabeth Moss gets her riot-grrrl on in Her Smell, delivering a tour-de-force performance of rampant egomania and self-destruction that galvanizes Alex Ross Perry’s film. A mid-‘90s Courtney Love-type who resides in the center of a tornado of her own making, Moss’ Becky Something leaves only chaos in her wake, much to the chagrin of her bandmates (Agyness Deyn and Gayle Rankin), ex (Dan Stevens), young daughter (Daisy Pugh-Weiss), mother (Virginia Madsen), collaborators/rivals (including Amber Heard and Cara Delevingne), and heroically loyal manager (Eric Stoltz). Split into five chapters that are interlaced with flashback home videos of happier early times, Perry’s tale traces Becky’s journey from apocalyptic drugged-out collapse to cautious resurrection. Throughout, his handheld camera is exactingly attuned to his protagonist’s scattershot headspace. There’s a vicarious thrill to watching this rocker spiral into the abyss and pull herself back out. While Moss doesn’t hold back in depicting Becky’s ugliness, she taps into the underlying hurt and vulnerability fueling her firestorm heart, peaking with a heart-rending single-take piano rendition of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven.”
12. Shadow
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Well Go USA
As evidenced by Hero and House of Flying Daggers, Zhang Yimou is no stranger to dazzling martial-arts action. Still, Shadow is an aesthetic wonder, drenched in ash-gray hues and wielding serpentine cinematography to enhance its tale. The film follows a military commander’s “shadow” (Deng Chao)—i.e. double—who, when not falling in love with his superior’s wife (Sun Li), attempts to incite a war with a rival kingdom against the wishes of his self-serving king (Zheng Kai). Epitomized by the yin-yang symbol on which many battles are fought, dualities (masculine and feminine, light and dark, real and imitation, mortal and ghostly) are rampant throughout. Romance and court intrigue are also part of this stunning package, yet far more exhilarating than the stock story is the director’s precisely choreographed wuxia combat, highlighted by Zhang’s signature slow-mo shot—in which his camera trails behind a running fighter’s blade as it scrapes against the ground, casting water skyward—and often carried out with the most badass umbrellas ever committed to film.
11. Diane
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IFC Films
Diane (Mary Kay Place) is always looking out for others, be they her good friends, her older relatives, or her son Brian (Jake Lacy), who can’t get his drug habit under control. Kent Jones’ Diane is a character study of this solitary Massachusetts woman, filled with telling details and sharply observed moments that speak to her Christian altruism, her tough love, and the secrets that continue to torment (and, perhaps, drive) her. Revelation, resurrection, abandonment, and mourning all factor into her haunting story. In his debut, the critic-turned-writer/director cuts efficiently. No gesture or expression is wasted, and yet he also tends to linger—on a notepad’s to-do list, or a face trying to hide the reality behind a recent utterance—in order to evoke greater unspoken truths. Buoyed by a script attuned to the sorrowful rhythms of older age (and New England), Jones’ film rests on the shoulders of Place’s stellar, lived-in performance as Diane, a fallible woman whose selflessness is colored by anger and regret.
10. Long Day’s Journey Into Night
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Kino Lorber

Kaili Blues director Bi Gan concludes his sophomore feature with a 56-minute single-take sequence shot in 3D, his camera trailing alongside (and above, and behind) his protagonist, Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue), as he navigates a rural dreamscape that he’s travelled to while sitting in a movie theater. The past, memories, and the cinema are inextricably intertwined in Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The story—about Luo’s return to his Kaili hometown, where he remembers an old comrade and looks for former love Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei)—comingles today and yesterday in poignant fashion. Motifs involving broken timepieces, dripping water, starry skies, flight and fire all pepper Gan’s latest, which is bookended by telling images of rotating colored ceiling lights and a room spinning around blissful lovers. As beguiling as it is gorgeous, his oblique film charts Luo’s experience in a world at once real and imagined, along the way spying him in, and through, numerous mirrors and glass filters until he resembles a displaced ghost in search of home.

9. Apollo 11
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The term “awe-inspiring” may be overused in critical circles, but it roundly applies to Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, a definitive documentary about the United States’ first trip to the moon. Premiering on the 50th anniversary of that momentous event, it utilizes a treasure trove of recently discovered 65mm footage and audio recordings to offer an up-close-and-personal view of the preparations for launch, the men and women toiling behind the scenes to ensure its safety, the crowds gathering to witness history, and the outer-space flight itself, shot by cameras accompanying (and sometimes manned by) Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. That imagery boasts breathtaking scale, conveying the literal and figurative enormity of everything involved with the Apollo 11—making it ideally suited for IMAX. Nonetheless, in any format, Miller’s curatorial effort is a work of thrilling enormity, presenting this pioneering triumph as the byproduct of myriad individuals, immense ingenuity, and the colossal bravery of three men who dared to venture to the stars.
8. The Souvenir

Young love is a vehicle for self-definition in Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, the writer/director’s finely calibrated coming-of-of age drama. Aspiring London filmmaker Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) falls for older, cultured Anthony (Tom Burke), who has a habit of making every compliment sound self-serving. Hogg depicts their affair with little concern for superfluous in-between stuff, cutting pointedly to the couple’s most crucial incidents together, and in the process she strikes an assured balance between realism and impressionism. A semi-clandestine drug habit eventually becomes a complicating factor for the duo, but the real heart of this enthralling film is Julie herself, whose interior state is brought to vivid life by the director’s intimate, aesthetically diverse approach. Awash in talk about movies and moviemaking, Hogg’s feature is elevated by Byrne’s star-making turn as a young woman caught between genuine love, her recognition that her relationship is perhaps doomed to fail, and her desire to find her voice—personally and artistically—on her own.
7. An Elephant Sitting Still

Kim Stim
Tragedy comes from rejection, resentment, alienation, rage, and sorrow in An Elephant Sitting Still, an intimate epic about Chinese citizens who view themselves as powerless and worthless. The outstanding debut feature from Hu Bo (who died shortly after production was completed) concerns a collection of individuals whose lives intersect during the course of a single day. This includes Wei Bu (Peng Yuchang), an angry high-school student who accidentally commits a catastrophic crime; Yu Cheng (Zhang Yu), the guilt-stricken gangster brother of Wei Bu’s victim; Huang Ling (Wang Yuwen), a classmate of Wei Bu’s who’s involved with her vice dean; and Wang Jin (Liu Congxi), a grandfather being coerced by his son and daughter-in-law to move into a nursing home. Hu shoots each protracted scene in long, unbroken takes, habitually foregrounding his subjects in shallow focus while staging key action in the fuzzy background. At nearly four hours, the film imparts an overpowering sense of its characters’ despair, and the misfortune that befalls them whether they remain alone or try to engage with others—a despondency only amplified by its empathy.
6. Gloria Bell

Growing old isn’t easy for Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore), the single heroine of Sebastián Lelio’s outstanding English-language remake of his 2013 Chilean drama. Between friends being laid off, concerns about retirement, and adult children navigating their own fraught romantic paths, Gloria makes her way through middle age with a brave face, finding temporary solace on the dance floor and, for a time, in the arms of Arnold (a magnificent John Turturro), a recent divorcé struggling to break free from his ex-wife and two needy daughters. With a light touch that allows for instances of escapist lyricism (none better than recurring shots of Gloria spinning amidst swirling colors), Lelio fashions a tender, incisive, heartbreaking ode to the myriad complications of adulthood, where efforts to move forward are burdened by regrets, entanglements, and longing for connection. Led by a tour-de-force turn by Moore, whose expressive work is some of her finest to date, it’s a small-scale story marked by a profound understanding of life as it’s actually lived, and felt.
5. Hagazussa
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Doppelganger Releasing
Dark, demonic power courses through Hagazussa, a legitimately evil folk story of inheritance, corruption, and damnation. In the Austrian Alps circa the 15th century, young Albrun (Celina Peter) tends to her mother (Claudia Martini), a supposed witch, in their remote log cabin. Years later, adult Albrun (Aleksandra Cwen) cares for her infant daughter in that same abode, whose only visitor is Swinda (Tanja Petrovsky), a neighbor who, like the local priest, seems concerned with saving ostracized Abrun’s soul. Light on dialogue but heavy on black-magic mystery, writer/director Lukas Feigelfeld’s fable casts its spell via slow-burn plotting and malevolent imagery, culminating with a kaleidoscopic underwater visual orgy of blood, roots, bone, tendrils, and mutating shapes. Like the mist that covers the mountainous region’s treetops, suggestions of profane forces are everywhere—in the sight of Albrun milking her goat, or a shrine for a skull—and they burrow under one’s skin, much like the unholy whispering and thunderous bass heard on a soundtrack that heralds madness, doom, the end.
4. The Beach Bum
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Matthew McConaughey is the king of bongo-drumming laissez-faire cool, and in The Beach Bum, he assumes the role he was born to play. That would be Moondog, a South Florida “bottom feeder” who, having set aside his once-illustrious poetry career, is now content to coast through his beachside town’s many imbibing establishments. He's looking for his next toke, drink, and beautiful woman to bed. Writer/director Harmony Korine’s shaggy-dog saga follows the bedraggled Moondog from one absurd adventure to the next (with, among others, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence, and Jonah Hill), channeling both his gift for taking life as it comes, and his ability to derive sensualist pleasure from each new encounter. With long hair and a fanny pack permanently affixed around his waist, McConaughey is a magisterial stoner hedonist, and if his rollicking escapades aren’t enough to deliver a potent contact high, Korine and cinematographer Benoît Debie’s rapturously colorful portrait of Florida’s posh and downtrodden landscapes more than do the delirious trick.
3. Climax
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Gaspar Noé’s cinema routinely traces the line from harmony to chaos, and that’s once again true in Climax, the inspired-by-real-events tale of a dance party descending into hellish madness. Beginning, portentously, with interviews seen on a television set surrounded by the director’s favorite VHS horror films, the French auteur’s latest is arguably his least provocative to date. Regardless, it’s still an escalating nightmare scored to thumping electronica and populated by a raft of potential monsters. Even during its more serene early scenes, his characters’ choreographed numbers exhibit a frightening intensity, and once these artists unwittingly drink some LSD-spiked punch, their emotional equilibrium and interpersonal relationships spiral terrifyingly out of control. Often executed in long single takes, Noé’s swirling, floating, slithering camerawork is as dexterous as his physically agile subjects. The result is an aesthetic performance piece that feels like the psychosexual underworld dance freak-out that Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria wanted to be, replete with a finale that takes up residence in some hallucinatory ninth circle of Hell.
2. Under the Silver Lake
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There are codes within codes within codes in Under the Silver Lake, David Robert Mitchell’s deliriously shambolic neo-noir about stoner sleuth Sam (Andrew Garfield, never better) traversing a Lynch-ian L.A. landscape in search of a mysterious missing beauty (Riley Keough). Also channeling the spirit of Robert Altman, Brian De Palma, Alfred Hitchcock, and Hollywood golden-age classics (set to a Henry Mancini-esque score), Sam’s cine-odyssey is a quest for meaning in an overstuffed pop-culture world. Movies and myths collide, both mirthfully and mournful, as Sam strives to uncover the knotty conspiracy-theory connections linking everything and everyone. From Super Mario Bros., new-age cultists, pirates and bomb-shelter tombs, to masturbatory porn patterns, dog killers, comic books (Spider-Man, wink wink) and song lyrics scribbled on pizza boxes, secret world-governing ciphers are ubiquitous. Mitchell reveals them through an adventure that’s witty, aesthetically dexterous, and laced with dark disillusionment about the puppetmaster powers-that-be and their covert machinations. Reconfiguring noir’s fatalistic heart for our tangled modern condition, it’s a portrait of the surreal new bleakness, with everything part of a grander whole that offers no substance or solace—leaving only that eternal desire for truth, and togetherness.
1. Transit
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Music Box Films
In a Europe that simultaneously resembles today and 1940, German expat Georg (Franz Rogowski) endeavors to escape Paris before the arrival of encroaching Nazi-esque fascists. Arriving in Marseilles, he befriends the African son (Lilien Batman) and wife (Maryam Zaree) of a former comrade. Through circumstance, he also assumes the guise of famous writer Weidel, whose possessions he acquires and whose documentation permitting travel to Mexico await him at the port city’s embassy. So too does Weidel’s wife Marie (Paula Beer), who repeatedly mistakes Georg for her husband, and who longs for reunion even as she continues an affair with a man (Godehard Giese) whose obsessive amour prevents him from departing. Borders to cross and barriers impeding passage are omnipresent in Transit, which like so much of writer/director Christian Petzold’s transition-fixated oeuvre, is a forlorn romantic reverie about identity, regret, trauma, and rebirth. Moreover, it’s another of his masterworks to confront issues of personal and national consciousness through a distinct cine-filter, with Casablanca and The Passenger proving two of its many spiritual touchstones. It’s an entrancing and inherently mysterious ghost story that’s both timeless and, sadly, of our particular moment.

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  20 Music Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss in 2019
Posted by: 309Media - 07-27-2019, 09:54 PM - Forum: Music - No Replies

Shaky Knees Music Festival

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Dates: May 3-5
Location: Atlanta, GA
Nearest Airport: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
Why We’re Excited: Shaky Knees is just the beginning of the springtime music festivities in Atlanta’s Central Park, which also plays host to the EDM-focused Shaky Beats the following weekend. Before the DJs descend, come for headliners like Beck, Incubus, Tame Impala, and Cage the Elephant, but stay for Tears for Fears; Shaky Knees marks one of only two American festival appearances by the recently reunited new wave legends before they head back across the pond for a summer of European dates.
Buy: Pick up Shaky Knees tickets here and Shaky Beats tickets here.
Just Like Heaven
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Dates: May 4-5
Location: Long Beach, CA
Nearest Airports: Long Beach Airport (LBG), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Why We’re Excited: In music, as in all things, time marches forward, turning the underground discoveries of yesterday into the nostalgia acts of today. In 2019, that means it’s time to rediscover the heady days of blog rock at Long Beach’s inaugural Just Like Heaven. Sew up the holes in your old Said the Gramophone t-shirt and head to SoCal for sets by still-prime indie acts including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, and The Rapture, who’ll be making their first live appearance since 2012.
Buy: Pick up Just Like Heaven tickets here.
Rolling Loud
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Dates: May 10-12
Location: Miami, FL
Nearest Airports: Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL)
Why We’re Excited: What do you get when you combine the biggest names in hip-hop with the beachy bacchanal of Miami’s world-renowned party scene? This is not a (very dope) riddle; it’s the recipe for Rolling Loud, the festival that’s become America’s hip-hop fest of note in just five short years. Organizers will celebrate the fest’s fifth birthday with another blowout at Hard Rock Stadium, this year featuring the likes of Cardi B, Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, and many, many more.
Buy: Pick up Rolling Loud tickets here.
Corona Capital
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Dates: May 11 (Guadalajara), TBA (Mexico City)
Location: Guadalajara and Mexico City
Nearest Airport: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport (GDL), Mexico City International Airport (MEX)
Why We’re Excited: We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a nod to some of the stellar music festivals taking place throughout the rest of North America. If we had to pick just one, we’d go with Corona Capital, Mexico’s now-twin festivals that take place in Guadalajara in the spring and Mexico City in the fall. While the fall edition is still taking shape, Corona Capital inaugural spring outing comes with a formidable lineup, which includes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, and Tame Impala alongside crowd-pleasers from Chromeo to The Chemical Brothers. Oh, the Goo Goo Dolls will also be there, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Buy: Pick up Corona Capital tickets here.
Sonic Temple
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Dates: May 17-19
Location: Columbus, OH
Nearest Airport: John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
Why We’re Excited: Cleveland may get most of Ohio’s allotted rock-and-roll attention (thanks, opening theme to The Drew Carey Show!), but don’t sleep on Columbus. This year, Ohio’s state capital will crack open a dark portal and summon Sonic Temple, a three-day celebration of all things heavy and metallic. The festival’s inaugural edition fairly staggers; where else will you be able to see sets by Foo Fighters, Disturbed, and System of a Down in a single weekend without making some sort of otherworldly blood pact? No place comes to mind.
Buy: Pick up Sonic Temple Tickets here.
Boston Calling
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Dates: May 24-26
Location: Allston, MA
Nearest Airport: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
Why We’re Excited: If your Memorial Day weekend isn’t already spoken for, we’d recommend fortifying yourself with a few lobster rolls and heading to the Harvard Athletic Complex for another innovative edition of Boston Calling. What makes the festival different, you ask? This year, it’s the arena component; when you’re not scoping out sets from Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, and Travis Scott outside, you can head in for comedy from Michael Che, Jenny Slate, and Melissa Villaseñor, lectures from Imogen Heap, and even performances from the Boston Ballet. Let’s see Coachella top that.
Buy: Pick up Boston Calling tickets here.
Governors Ball
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Dates: May 31-June 2
Location: New York, NY
Nearest Airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Newark International Airport (EWR)
Why We’re Excited: To quote Hamilton Bohannon: New York is red hot. Unlike Indio or Manchester, there’s more than enough reason to visit NYC with or without a music festival in play. Fortunately, Governors Ball isn’t your average festival; it’s a destination within a destination. Set against the idyllic backdrop of Randall’s Island, the festival that helped put the northeast back on the festival map returns stronger than ever in 2019, helped along by can’t-miss acts including Tyler, the Creator, Florence + the Machine, SZA, and The 1975.
Buy: Pick up Governors Ball tickets here.
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Date: June 13-16
Location: Manchester, TN
Nearest Airport: Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Why We’re Excited: When we decided not to attend Bonnaroo in 2018, we thought our sabbatical might last a few years. In 2019, we’re already prepared to declare it over. This year’s Bonnaroo lineup strikes an excellent balance between the festival’s jammy roots and its more eclectic future, reflected in the headliners by Phish and the Grand Ole Opry sharing top-line space with Childish Gambino, Post Malone, and Odesza. Welcome back, Bonnaroo. Let’s never spend another summer apart again.
Buy: Pick up Bonnaroo tickets here.
Essence Festival
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Dates: July 5-7

Location: New Orleans, LA

Nearest Airport: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

Why We’re Excited: There are anniversaries aplenty at this year’s Essence Festival; created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the legendary magazine Essence, the fest now celebrates its own 25th birthday in 2019. In addition to conferences and exhibitions highlighting achievements in black fashion, beauty, and business, the fest also features some serious musical heavy hitters; led by Mary J. Blige, the lineup includes mainstage legends from Pharrell and Brandy to Missy Elliott and Morris Day, as well as “superlounges” dedicated to classic R&B and hip-hop, Afrobeat, and more.
Buy: Pick up Essence Festival tickets here.
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Dates: July 12-14
Location: Louisville, KY
Nearest Airport: Louisville International Airport (SDF)

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  15 food trends for 2019
Posted by: 309Media - 07-27-2019, 09:52 PM - Forum: Food & Cooking - No Replies

1. Sri Lankan cuisine
Restaurants such as London’s Hoppers, mini chain The Coconut Tree and the success of the M&S Taste Asia range have put Sri Lankan food on the brink of a breakthrough. Think hoppers (bowl-shaped rice flour pancakes), kottu roti (fried veg, eggs, shredded roti and curry, as sold by street stall Kottu Lanka) and pol sambol coconut relish.
‘Before, Sri Lankan was lumped in with Indian cuisine but now, we’re not having an “Indian” anymore. It’s recognised in its own right,’ says Emma Weinbren, food trends editor at retail magazine The Grocer.
2. Burmese cuisine
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Restaurant analysts are tipping Burmese food – check out London’s Lahpet and the @RangoonSisters supper club – or try our recipe for tohu jaw, Burmese fritters. Coming this year from the same author, MiMi Aye, Mandalay, a Burmese recipe book. 
3. Meat-free
Britain’s attitude to meat is changing dramatically. When Marston’s pubs are serving a ‘bleeding’ burger, and restaurants as varied as Gauthier Soho and the Hackney chippy Sutton & Sons are in various stages of turning vegan, clearly something seismic is happening.
According to data seen by M&S (poised to launch a new range of vegan ready meals and on-the-go options), 3.5 million people now identify as vegan, 20% of under-35s have tried veganism, and 25% of our evening meals are now meat-free. ‘It’s no longer niche,’ agrees Weinbren. ‘And this isn’t just committed vegans but people saying, ‘I want to cut down my meat intake.’ This growth in plant-based eating, says Good Food wine guru, Victoria Moore, is also causing major retailers to increase the number of vegan wines they stock. ‘It’s all down to the fining agent,’ explains Moore. ‘Some are derived from fish or dairy products.’
4. Kefir
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Sales of Lakeland’s kefir kit are ‘flying’ along with M&S’s kombucha. ‘As customers come to understand the positive in influence of bacteria on gut health, the global fermented drinks market is in huge growth,’ reports M&S food trends insight manager Helen Arpino.
Want to get next-level? Try the coffee bean kombucha at London’s Little Duck Picklery
5. Ugly fruit & veg
Ocado buyer India Moore says, ‘We’re seeing exciting products made using misshapen fruit and veg that would otherwise go to waste, such as crisps and hummus. Eco-friendly searches on ocado.com leapt 93% last year, and we can see this “rescued food” trend gaining momentum in 2019.’ Get inspired with our ideas for homemade vegetable crisps
Good Food also loves the bars pushing ‘green’ drinks, including cocktail expert Ryan Chetiyawardana’s ‘explorations in sustainability’ at London’s Cub and Dandelyan and barman Jack Wakelin’s use of ‘tasty garbage’ at Sheffield’s Public – for instance, cordials made from used citrus. 
6. Hidden vegetables 
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Gato & Co puddings (that use vegetables to reduce refined sugar content) and Dr Oetker’s new Yes, It’s Pizza vegetable-dough bases are indicative of how many people are keen to cut down on carbs and increase their intake of vegetables – but without forgoing life’s indulgences. You can expect to see more hidden vegetable products in 2019. 
If you're looking to sneak more vegetables into your child's diet, see our best hidden veg recipes for kids
7. Rum 
Rum is coming up fast. Millenials are particularly partial to barrel-aged, small-batch craft rums, fine rums from traditional Caribbean makers and now, British rums from, for instance, Essex’s English Spirit. ‘Whether you like it strong or sweet, prefer the harshness of white spirit, or dark rum sipped neat with ice, or a golden rum and coke, it’s one of the most accessible spirits,’ says Nicholas Robinson, food and drink editor at bar magazine, Morning Advertiser. 
8. Food halls 

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Fittingly, given that it kick-started the craze for communal dining halls serviced by multiple kitchens, Altrincham Market House (@MarketHouseAlty)
 – which also runs the Mackie Mayor in Manchester – will open a third food hall in Macclesfield this year. In London, Market Halls are set to open Britain’s biggest on Oxford Street, in the former BHS building, while others are being developed in Stockport, Sheffield, on the Wirral and beyond. 
9. Eating where you shop
We’re increasingly eating and shopping in the same place, from butcher-bistro hybrids, 
such as London’s Hill & Szrok and Tom Kerridge’s Butcher’s Tap in Marlow, to spaces that blend deli-shopping with bars and dining, like Bowland Food Hall in Clitheroe and Eataly, opening in London in 2020. 
10. Low or no alcohol
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From sub-0.5% ABV craft beers (check out Big Drop Brewing Co.) to serious mocktails (try the Dry Monsoon Martini from Dishoom), younger Brits are dialling-down their alcohol intake. No- or low-alcohol is set to grow in sophistication. 
11. Going cashless 
Bars, coffee shops, casual restaurants and even food stalls are increasingly (and controversially) going card-only. In Manchester, Takk and Öl are cash-free, as are Bristol’s The Athenian and Aberfeldy’s Habitat Café. This could become a huge surge in 2019. 
12. Goat 
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Last year’s Goatober campaign – aimed at stopping the waste slaughter of male billies in the goat dairy industry – went global. The solution? Get more goat meat on menus. Try it at London’s Gymkhana or Manchester’s Creameries, and expect to see more of this versatile meat. 
Try making our Jamaican-inspired goat curry.
13. On the grapevine 
Good Food wine writer Victoria Moore says, ‘For 2019, I’m tipping zweigelt as an easy-drinking, light-bodied red from Austria.’ 
14. Recyclable or lower impact packaging 
[Image: carlsberg-snap-packaging.jpg]Waitrose & Partners are stocking two new organic Chateau Maris wines in recyclable cans, while Carlsberg is gluing its cans together to create an easily snap-able bond, which, it says, will remove 1,200 tonnes of plastic waste annually. Walkers crisps have joined with Terracycle to start a recycling scheme for all crisp packets while they work on making new types of packaging. Crisp packets are not collected by any recycling scheme at present

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