So THAT’S Why Men Never Use The Second Button On Suits 

JIM WATSON VIA GETTY IMAGES

It’s a well-documented style rule that men should never button the second button of a two-button suit jacket. It’s considered appropriate to button the top one when standing, sure, but never the second.

So if no one’s supposed to use the bottom button, why does it exist?

As with many fashion curiosities, history reportedly factors in. Legend goes that Britain’s Edward VII ― a king with several famous appetites ― grew too large for his suit and had to stop using the second button as a result. Not wanting to embarrass him, others followed. The tradition stuck.

Other theories include dandies who wanted to show off multiple layers of clothing, the comfort of horse-riding in a suit, and the favored style of an exclusive club at Eton. But GQ’s UK fashion director Robert Johnson said he favors the Edwardian theory, correctly pointing out “there is nothing so weird as court etiquette.”

Nowadays, men’s suit jackets typically have two or three buttons, though some are made with one. The “sometimes, always, never” rule for three-button jackets states that you should sometimes button the top button, always button the middle one and never use the last button. On a two-button jacket, you should always use to the top button and never use the second.

Whether Edward VII was the true inspiration for this or simply makes for a convenient tale, modern suits are now tailored to fit with the last button unbuttoned ― using it makes them both look and feel too tight.

“It induces a tension in the jacket that feels restrictive,” Clive Dilnot, a professor of Design Studies at The New School, told HuffPost.

Many men choose to leave their buttons undone altogether, Dilnot added. In the official style playbook, it’s acceptable to undo all the buttons before sitting to avoid pulling and tugging the fabric, according to menswear site Black Lapel.

Ahh, sweet release. Thanks, King Ed!

Via: So THAT’S Why Men Never Use The Second Button On Suits 

This designer clothing line is stylish … and bulletproof 

This tailor makes bulletproof clothing for presidents
This tailor makes bulletproof clothing for presidents

Miguel Caballero isn’t your typical boss. He’s shot at every one of his employees — and they’ve all survived.

He wants them to believe in the product they make. Not the gun, but bulletproof clothing he produces in Bogota, Colombia.

“Several times I’ve shot my wife, I’ve shot my lawyer, my brothers, and I’ve shot myself,” Miguel Caballero told me, pointing to his abdomen. “It’s in order to get a good quality product.”

For 25 years Caballero has been outfitting the world’s VIPs with his stylish, bulletproof clothing line that shares his name. His client list includes Michael Bloomberg, Steven Seagal, King Fernando of Spain, and it’s rumored he made bulletproof attire for President Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

“We can say in the past, that many presidents are using our clothing, yes,” said Caballero. “But we have a restriction [on saying] the name of many presidents in many countries.”

Caballero makes everything from formal wear to raincoats and leather jackets. The presidents of Kenya, Nigeria, El Salvador, Paraguay, Panama, Guatemala, and Uruguay currently wear his threads. His tank tops, which retail for $1,500, are the most popular item with world leaders.

“In the case of our VIP clients, like the presidents, they need to reduce risk but also be discreet,” said Caballero. “They don’t want to show to anyone they are using this type of clothing.”

The U.S. Secret Service wouldn’t comment on whether or not any U.S. president has worn Caballero’s clothing. But former secret service agent and security expert Bob Babilino says U.S. presidents have worn bulletproof vests on occasion. According to the Secret Service, there have been assassination attempts on more than a dozen sitting U.S. presidents, and four have been successful. Babilino warns that compromising comfort for safety can be dangerous.

“The biggest challenge has always been a balance between comfort and protection and concealment,” said Babilino. “If it’s uncomfortable, they are not going to want to wear it.”

Caballero’s designs are certified by the National Institute of Justice — which means the U.S. government has signed off on their effectiveness. The bulletproof tank top can withstand twelve bullets — six in the back and six in the front, from 9mm or .357 magnum rounds. And the tanks are only 7 millimeters thick. His jackets and thicker vests can withstand a more powerful firearm like an MP5 submachine gun.

Heads of state are most vulnerable in large public crowds, and even more so when they’re interacting with the public.

“You pray that he doesn’t walk to the side and start shaking hands with the crowd,” said Babilino. “That’s the biggest area of concern.”

Caballero’s custom pieces for VIP clients can run up to $4,000. He has three retail stores with a new one set to open in Iraq. There, he’ll face a new challenge.

“We have to adapt the tunic for them, with bulletproof protection.”

Via: This designer clothing line is stylish … and bulletproof 

This Man Speaks 32 Different Languages.

This Man Speaks 32 Different Languages.
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Ioannis Ikonomou works for the European Commission as a translator. It’s a prestigious position, and yet it still sells him short. You see, Ioannis speaks 32 living languages. He belongs to a very small and special group of people called hyperpolyglots who have the extraordinary ability to attain fluency in many different tongues. According to Ioannis, there’s no special trick or easy way to become a hyperpolyglot, but the best way to start is to boldly put yourself out there and SPEAK.

Via: Great Big Story : This Man Speaks 32 Different Languages.

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Titanic: Diving tours of wreck site to begin 2018

By Maureen O’Hare

(CNN)In 1912, a trip on board the Titanic was the ultimate in luxury travel.

More than a century later, it still is.
Deep-pocketed tourists will once again get the chance to glide along the Titanic’s deck when London-based travel company Blue Marble Private begins dives to the wreck site in May 2018.
Interest in the 20th century’s most famous maritime disaster has remained high since Robert Ballard and his team discovered the remains of RMS Titanic almost 32 years ago.
However, this could well be one of the last opportunities to visit.
A 2016 study claimed that a recently discovered “extremophile bacteria” could eat away what’s left of the famous shipwreck inside 15 or 20 years.

$105,129 per person

Blue Marble Private’s eight-day journey sets off from Newfoundland, Canada, and will transport visitors in a titanium-and-carbon-fiber submersible to the mighty vessel’s final resting place, more than two miles below the surface of the Atlantic.
The trips are in collaboration with OceanGate Expeditions. OceanGate Inc created the purpose-built submersible which will carry the crew and guests.
The first voyage is already fully booked, despite the experience costing $105,129 per person.
Blue Marble Private declares in its press release that this is the equivalent (after inflation) to a first class passage $4,350 on RMS Titanic’s inaugural — and only — voyage from Southampton, England, to New York.
Which makes for a nice irony, but is almost twice as much as the $59,000 Deep Ocean Expeditions charged when it last brought tourists to the site in 2012.

Mission Specialists

So what do you get for your dollars?
A fancy title: Clients are known as Mission Specialists and will learn to assist the expedition team in the submersible and aboard the expedition yacht.
Three potential days of diving, with dives lasting three hours.
The opportunity to spot weird and wonderful bioluminescent critters during the 90-minute descent.
Three hours exploring the remains of the 269-meter-long ship, taking in the deck, the bow, the bridge and the cavern where the grand staircase was once located.
There’ll also be the opportunity to “explore Titanic’s massive debris field, home to numerous artifacts strewn across the ocean floor, nearly undisturbed for over a century,” says Blue Marble Private founder Elizabeth Ellis.
“During the dive, your crew may conduct 3D and 2D sonar scans or search for one of the ship’s giant boilers, enormous propellers, and other landmarks of this famous vessel.”
Ellis says further missions are already planned for summer 2019.
Blue Marble Private might face some competition.
Los Angeles-based luxury concierge firm Bluefish is also taking reservations for Titanic expeditions for 2018-19, but has yet to confirm itinerary and price.
That’s all very well for deep-sea divers, but what if you’re a hardcore Titanic enthusiast who’s afraid of seawater?
Not a problem.
China is currently building a life-size replica of the doomed ship in landlocked Sichuan province, more than 1,200 kilometers from the sea.
The multi-million dollar project will include reproductions of the original Titanic’s features, including a ballroom, theater and swimming pool, and will be permanently docked in a reservoir in the Qijiang River.
More ambitious plans by an Australian tycoon, Clive Palmer, for a full-size, seaworthy replica have reportedly been delayed. It was originally scheduled for launch in 2016, but this was moved to 2018.
For shipwreck fans with a more modest budget, there’s also Northern Ireland’s Titanic Museum.
The vessel was built at Belfast’s shipyards before hitting the water for the first time on its journey down to Southampton.
The Titanic Museum has welcomed nearly 3.5 million visitors since opening in 2012, and was named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards in 2016.

Via: Titanic: Diving tours of wreck site to begin 2018 

A Future Farming Industry Grows In Brooklyn 

BROOKLYN, New York ― Tobias Peggs is already cultivating leafy vegetables out of purple-lit shipping containers in the parking lot of an old Pfizer factory, just blocks from the projects where the rapper Jay-Z grew up.

What he needs to grow now is an industry.

Eight months ago, Peggs co-founded Square Roots ― a startup that coaches and equips would-be urban farmers with growing materials in repurposed 320-square-foot metal crates. He launched the venture with food and tech entrepreneur Kimbal Musk, the younger brother of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Now, 10 farmers are enrolled in Square Roots’ Brooklyn farming program, Peggs and Musk have launched a new delivery service for home-grown salad greens, and they’re deciding where to expand next.

“If we have a campus like this in every city, everyone can buy food from a local farmer,” said Peggs, 45, said as he showed The Huffington Post around his operation.

Located in the shadow of the Marcy Houses, a public housing complex in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, the former pharmaceutical plant that houses Square Roots now also provides office space for scientific research ventures and startups that ferment kombucha and kimchi, make high-end slushies and Madagascan chocolate, and even grow live oysters.

Peggs is Square Roots’ chief executive, and he has lofty plans to topple the industrial giants that dominate grocery aisles. “This is a very long-term play, to bring real food to everyone and unleash, basically, the next generation of leaders in food.”

“Ambitious,” he added with a laugh.

ALEXANDER C. KAUFMAN/THE HUFFINGTON POST
Ten shipping containers like this house Square Roots’ local farming initiative in Brooklyn, New York.

Square Roots was launched under the umbrella of The Kitchen LLC, Musk’s equally ambitious chain of farm-to-table eateries that he hopes will one day take over the food industry sector that TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s currently dominate.

Musk, 44, draws his inspiration from Chipotle Mexican Grill, where he serves as a board member. Chipotle leveraged its use of fresh, non-genetically modified ingredients to become a major rival of McDonald’s, despite charging higher prices. The Kitchen, which has three different restaurant concepts, operates primarily out of the American heartland, with nearly a dozen locations in Chicago, Memphis and throughout the state of Colorado. Another restaurant is slated to open in Indianapolis this year.

Musk and his colleagues are looking at all of those cities as the next possible site for a Square Roots campus.

“My heart is in Memphis, so if it were up to me, that’d be our next city,” Musk told HuffPost on Thursday, stressing that it’s ultimately up to Peggs. He wants to see Square Roots expand rapidly. “We are planning on doing this with thousands of kids a year within a few years.”

If we have a campus like this in every city, everyone can buy food from a local farmer.Tobias Peggs, chief executive of Square Roots

In Colorado, where The Kitchen is headquartered, it’s easy to get local produce, meat and alcohol. But that’s not true in a lot of major cities. That’s the niche Square Roots wants to fill. The company is the country’s first major indoor farming “accelerator” ― Silicon Valley parlance for firms that offer educational training, space and capital to bootstrapped entrepreneurs.

Enrollees complete an eight-week boot camp before setting up shop in one of Square Roots’ 10 shipping containers. They then have the next 10 months to grow vegetables and come up with novel ideas to sell them. Square Roots makes money by taking a cut of the revenue. If an idea takes off, Square Roots buys a stake in the company and introduces the farmer to other investors.

“I visualize opening Fortune magazine in 2050, and there’s a list of the top 100 food companies in America,” Peggs said. “No. 1 is Square Roots. And the other 99 have all been set up by folks who graduated from Square Roots.”

Indoor and vertical farming, essentially a techy subset of greenhouse agriculture, has recently attracted entrepreneurs competing to develop new hardware and the most energy- and water-efficient growing systems.

The benefits of growing indoors are numerous. Farmers don’t need pesticides or herbicides to ward off unwanted pests. They evade droughts, temperature shifts, whipping winds and flooding rains, all of which are becoming more destructive and erratic as greenhouse gases warm the planet and alter the climate. They are free from environmental contaminants ― a big plus in places like Japan, where, since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, people fear radiation poisoning from food grown outdoors.

And on a baseline level, vegetables grown indoors under precise conditions can be bred to taste better. Peggs said one Square Roots farmer who is cultivating shiso, a red-leafed mint, used data on the climate in Hokkaido, Japan’s breadbasket northernmost island, to replicate conditions there. Instead of raising crops in one country and shipping them to another to be eaten, farmers could cut out the financial and environmental costs of transportation and grow even exotic produce in the dead of a New York winter.

“Let’s say the best basil you ever had was on vacation in Italy in 2006,” Peggs said. “You could look up the data on rainfall, temperatures and weather and grow basil in those exact same conditions.”

In September, Square Roots began working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to rewrite criteria for government-backed loans, making them more accessible to indoor, urban growers.

The USDA postponed a meeting with Peggs scheduled for Thursday afternoon, hours after agriculture secretary nominee Sonny Perdue testified before a Senate hearing. The USDA did not respond to questions on Friday about the status of changes to the loan applications.

“We want these kids to know they’ll be getting a loan, and they’ll have to pay it back and have to build a business and make money for themselves all in the space of one year,” Musk said. “It’s a loan, not a grant. It’s not a handout; these are real businesses.”

ALEXANDER C. KAUFMAN/THE HUFFINGTON POST
Lettuce and arugula grow on long, vertical trays in the glow of purple LED lights.

For now, the nascent industry struggles with the challenge of hiring from a puddle-deep pool of trained talent. There’s just one serious graduate program in the country focused on indoor farming, at the University of Arizona, says Dickson Despommier, an emeritus professor of microbiology at Columbia University who hosts a podcast on urban agriculture.

“For every one that graduates, there are 10 jobs waiting for them,” Despommier told HuffPost by phone. “Demand is high, and production of qualified individuals is low.”

After two months of training, Maxwell Carmack took his engineering degree from Stony Brook University and his passion for building recording studios and applied them to indoor farming. Now, the 22-year-old from Long Island spends his mornings plucking lettuce and arugula from long, vertical grow trays before setting off across Brooklyn to deliver baggies stuffed with greens to the Williamsburg offices of Vice Media and the ad agency Huge’s headquarters in Dumbo.

“It’s my farm,” Carmack said after turning down the music blasting through his narrow container farm. “I have some volunteers that help me, but I make all the decisions on planting.”

It’s going to require a lot more than just people to shake an industrial farming business worth trillions of dollars globally. Critics say Square Roots’ model still doesn’t resolve key issues that limit indoor farming’s potential, like the steep electricity bills that drive up prices of the greens. After all, sunlight is free for outdoor industrial farms.

Stan Cox, a lead scientist at the Salina, Kansas-based research nonprofit The Land Institute, is among the more vocal vertical farming skeptics. Among other things, he criticizes the high energy costs, the high price point associated with vertically grown produce and the limited selection of crops — like leafy greens and tomatoes — that can effectively be grown this way. Cox believes the reliance on artificial light severely limits indoor farming’s output compared to that of a reasonably productive traditional farm.

“Calling a shipping container a ‘farm’ is like calling a hospital’s intensive care unit a ‘health club,’” Cox told HuffPost.

ALEXANDER C. KAUFMAN/HUFFINGTON POST
Maxwell Carmack, 22, one of the inaugural enrollees in the Square Roots accelerator program.

And the lofty price of Square Roots’ greens — $7 for just one “nanobite” — reflects those high energy costs and means their appeal will be limited to a “boutique” market rather than a more inclusive one, Cox said. Each nanobite varies in weight, depending on that day’s yield, but is about the size of a bag of chips.

Square Roots, to its credit, is trying to find ways to make its greens available to low-income buyers. One enrollee, Paul Philpott, is working on a service that charges one set of customers extra to underwrite deliveries to customers who live in public housing in Hunts Point, a Bronx neighborhood where fresh produce is so scarce that the area qualifies as a food desert. Ironically, three of New York City’s biggest produce distributors are located in Hunts Point.

“He’s *right* at the beginning stages of the model, so is still figuring out specifics,” Peggs wrote of Philpott in a follow-up email. “However, it’s likely to be something like a $2 premium if you can afford it, which allows him to sell to a family living in a [New York City public housing] development for a $2 discount.”

Still, even skeptics see that a niche market of consumers willing to pay more for locally grown, vertically planted produce may have the potential to support operations like Square Roots.

Carl Zulauf, an agriculture professor at Ohio State University, said sustained interest from ambitious entrepreneurs like Musk and Peggs could be a sign that a viable model might not be that far off.

“Vertical farming can find a role if it can provide a high enough value to consumers relative to the price charged,” Zulauf said. “I think the window remains open for experimentation and market exploration.”

Via: A Future Farming Industry Grows In Brooklyn 

Astronaut who walked on moon says he knows the truth about aliens 

He was an astronaut on the second manned mission to the moon and the fourth man to walk on its surface.

Alan Bean, 85, is one of only 12 people to have taken “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind” on the moon.

The lunar module pilot was one of three crew members onboard Apollo 12 who walked on the moon 10 days after it launched on Nov. 14, 1969.

Apollo 12 astronauts (from left) Charles “Pete” Conrad, Richard Gordon and Alan BeanGetty Images

The crew’s primary mission objectives included an extensive series of lunar exploration tasks by the lunar module and the deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package to be left on the moon’s surface to gather seismic, scientific and engineering data.

Bean has logged 1,671 hours and 45 minutes in space — 10 hours and 26 minutes of that were spent on the moon and in Earth’s orbit.

His experiences in space have led Bean to develop some interesting theories about the possibility of alien life.

“I do not believe that anyone from outer space has ever visited the Earth,” Bean told news.com.au from his home in Houston, Texas.

“One of the reasons I don’t believe they have been here is that civilizations that are more advanced are more altruistic and friendly — like Earth, which is better than it used to be — so they would have landed and said, ‘We come in peace and we know from our studies you have cancer that kills people, we solved that problem 50 years ago, here’s the gadget we put on a person’s chest that will cure it, we will show you how to make it.’”

“Just like some day, say 1,000 years from now, when we can go to another star and see a planet, that’s what we would do because we will know how to cure cancer, cure birth defects, so we would teach them.”

One of the Apollo 12 astronauts lowers himself onto the moon.Getty Images

Bean doesn’t doubt for a second that we are not alone.

“There’s so many billions of stars and these stars have planets around them, so there must be statistically many planets around many stars that have formed life,” he said.

“Maybe some of them are like our life was 100,000 years ago, and some of them are like we are now, and there are probably some out there that are 10,000 years in the future from where we are now.”

Bean resigned from NASA in 1981 to become an artist. In his paintings, he depicts the experiences of astronauts, including himself, who have walked on the moon. It’s a small club, but it’s also one from which he draws never-ending inspiration.

“Even if I lived to 185 years old, I wouldn’t run out of ideas of things to paint on this topic,” he said.

He uses textured and lunar tools, “sprinkled with bits of Apollo spacecraft and a touch of moon dust” to create his masterpieces, which sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each via his website.

“I’m the only person on Earth who can do these paintings (from a firsthand perspective),” he said.

“I work seven days a week painting to this day.”

Via: Astronaut who walked on moon says he knows the truth about aliens