Columbus Day Quiz

This year Columbus Day is Monday October 12. Test your knowledge of Columbus with the answers below.

5 daily exercises that will make you a better communicator

business meeting
Sandra Mu/Getty Images

The most successful people listen more than they speak.

That’s according to legendary industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who passed the lesson on to Napoleon Hill for his 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich.”

He meant that people who excel use conversations to learn from others rather than inflate their own egos.

Speaker and author Julian Treasure gave a popular TED Talk in 2011 about the ways in which we are more distracted and worse at listening than ever before.

Studies have found that about 40% of one’s time spent communicating is spent listening, and by a wide margin more time is spent listening to others than reading, writing, or speaking.

Treasure recommends practicing focused listening as much as any other communication skills. He offers five simple exercises to become a better listener.

Immerse yourself in silence.

Treasure says the brain develops filters for sound so that it doesn’t become overwhelmed by stimuli. For example, if you’re at a noisy party, you’ll still likely be able to recognize someone shouting your name.

In order to “re-calibrate” your ears, Treasure recommends a period of meditation in complete silence, even if it’s only a few minutes each day. You may as well use the opportunity to quiet the cacophony of thoughts in your head, too.

Break soundscapes down.

Treasure recommends taking a moment to think of your mind like an audio mixer, breaking down every sound you hear in a setting in the same way a producer would isolate different instruments and vocals when working on a song. You can try selecting different channels of sound in a café, the office, or even in a song itself.

The exercise will allow you to enhance your selective listening.

Enjoy the mundane.

Focus your mind on sounds you would normally ignore, like your washing machine or a car driving by. This can help you break a habit of drowning out sounds around you when you become distracted.

Adjust your listening positions.

Treasure says this exercise is by far the most effective.

In the same way you imagined your mind as a sound mixer, practice jumping among each of the sound channels around you. If you’re listening to a song, try listening only to the drums before listening only to the bass line, for example.

Similarly, practice jumping among different perspectives. Try listening to a speech from a critical perspective, rapidly processing the validity of statements and their meaning, and then try listening from an empathetic perspective, focusing more on the emotion of the words and how the speaker is delivering them.

Practice engagement with another person.

And finally, learn how to be a better conversationalist.

Treasure says to remember the acronym “RASA.”

“Receive” by making eye contact with and focusing on the other person; “Appreciate” by giving indications of acknowledgment through cues like head nods or short vocal replies; “Summarize” by getting the other person to clarify the point of anything that doesn’t register; and “Ask” by giving follow-up questions to whatever you just learned.


Reflections on Autumn: Literary Quotes for the Fall Season

Scenic autumn landscape

Stefan Isaksson/Folio Images/Getty Images

By Adam Burgess writing for Thoughtco.

As summer turns into autumn in the northern hemisphere, as the leaves start to turn brilliant shades of red and orange, as sweaters come out of storage and steaming hot cocoa is poured into ceramic and children (and the young at heart) begin to think about the thrills of Halloween, we turn to classic authors for their inspired words about this magical season.

British Writers

Autumn permeates British writing with beautiful passages that depict the seasons turning in the countryside. 

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the RingHe found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.

John Donne, The Complete Poetry and Selected ProseNo spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.

Jane AustenPersuasionHer pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn–that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness–that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.

Samuel Butler: Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.

George Eliot: Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

American Writers

In the United States, autumn has an especially tangible cultural importance.

Ernest HemingwayA Moveable FeastYou expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.

William Cullen Bryant: Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.

Truman CapoteBreakfast at Tiffany’sAprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.

Ray Bradbury: That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.

Henry David ThoreauI would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Nathaniel HawthorneI cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.

World Writers

Writers around the world have long been inspired by the turning of the seasons from summer towards winter. 

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green GablesI’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

Albert Camus: Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on CezanneAt no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.


Best Healthy Carbs You Should Have for Breakfast

By Eat This, Not That! Editors

Coffee sure does perk you up in the morning. But if you’re pairing it with sugary cereal, bagels, or donuts, you’re likely going to be feeling sluggish for the rest of the day. These empty carbs may be tasty on the tongue, but they aren’t going to do anything for your body’s satiety. Instead, filling your morning meal with healthy complex carbs for breakfast will leave you feeling energized! It’s all about picking carbs that are full of good nutrients for your body—like fiber.

Here are a few of the best healthy carbs for breakfast:

Slide 2 of 11: All hail the mighty oat! Oats have 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving and your fiber-packed bowl will slow down the metabolism of the sugar from these carbs. No wonder they are The One Breakfast Food To Eat for a Longer Life!"Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbs that fuel the body and fiber to decrease the risk of heart disease," says nutrition and fitness expert Jim White. He suggests pairing oatmeal with blueberries, walnuts, and milk for a filling, nutrient-rich morning meal. Or try one of our overnight oat recipes!

1. Oats

All hail the mighty oat! Oats have 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving and your fiber-packed bowl will slow down the metabolism of the sugar from these carbs. No wonder they are The One Breakfast Food To Eat for a Longer Life!

“Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbs that fuel the body and fiber to decrease the risk of heart disease,” says nutrition and fitness expert Jim White. He suggests pairing oatmeal with blueberries, walnuts, and milk for a filling, nutrient-rich morning meal. Or try one of our overnight oat recipes!

Slide 3 of 11: We're not usually into recommending cereal since most boxes are belly bombs and blood-sugar-spiking nightmares. But this healthy cereal is made with just whole-grain wheat and wheat bran—two of our favorite complex carbs. In addition to serving up a decent share of hunger-quelling protein and fiber in every bowl, a bowl of Wheat Bran also provides 20 percent of the day's phosphorus, a mineral that plays an important role in how the body uses carbs and fats. So grab the shredded wheat, and steer clear of these toxic cereals on grocery shelves.

 © Shutterstock

2. Shredded Wheat

We’re not usually into recommending cereal since most boxes are belly bombs and blood-sugar-spiking nightmares. But this healthy cereal is made with just whole-grain wheat and wheat bran—two of our favorite complex carbs. In addition to serving up a decent share of hunger-quelling protein and fiber in every bowl, a bowl of Wheat Bran also provides 20 percent of the day’s phosphorus, a mineral that plays an important role in how the body uses carbs and fats. 

3. Chocolate Milk

If you want to lose the gut, you’ve got to exercise—no surprise there. One of the best way to lose your gut is to exercise, and it’s important to fuel your muscles before and after. Did you know drinking chocolate milk can improve your gains?

In a study published in The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, subjects given chocolate milk before hopping on the stationary bikes were able to ride 49 percent longer than subjects given a generic carbohydrate-replacement beverage. And on top of that, they pedaled even harder. Total work performed by the chocolate-milk group was greater than the work performed by subjects drinking carbohydrate-replacement drinks or electrolyte-fortified sports drinks. The reason? Milk has naturally occurring electrolytes that keep you hydrated—more hydrated than water, in fact—and its natural sweetness helps push more energy into your muscles. Drink up!

4. Mango

Can you believe that mango has more carbs than a bowl of pasta? We know, it’s kinda crazy! But there are 50 grams per mango (!) and just a half fruit packs an entire day’s worth of vitamin C, a nutrient that wards off fat-storing cortisol spikes. If mangos typically make an appearance in your daily smoothie, add a scoop of protein powder and a handful of raw oats to increase your drink’s protein and fiber content, which slows the digestion of the fruit’s sugars.

5. Sprouted Bread

It’s official: You can stop fearing bread! Ezekiel bread is a nutrient-dense bread is loaded with sprouted lentils, protein, and good-for-you grains that keep you going. Top it with avocado, peanut butter, or a tiny bit of honey for a healthy and craving-crushing breakfast.

6. Quinoa

Whether you use it as the base for your banana quinoa muffins (yum!) or throw it into your omelets, this ancient grain is a solid start to your day. Quinoa is higher in protein than any other grain, and it packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats.

7. Apples

Yes, apples are carbs, but they are also one of the very best sources of fiber—which means you should eat them at every opportunity. A study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, belly fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years. And a study at the University of Western Australia found that the Pink Lady variety had the highest level of antioxidant flavonoids (a fat-burning compound) of all the apples.

8. Greek Yogurt

Packed with protein, crammed with calcium, and popping with probiotics, Greek yogurt has all the makings of the best weight loss foods. But here’s an easy tip to remember: Some of the carbs come from a yogurt’s naturally-occurring sugar, but they can also come from if there are added sugars. The Greek yogurt you choose really shouldn’t have more than 5 to 11 grams of carbs per serving; if you’re in the 20-ish range, your yogurt is most likely not the best for your body because of all that sugar.

9. Blueberries

A cup of blueberries has 21 grams of carbs, but they couldn’t be better for you. These little blue bullets are loaded with polyphenols—chemical compounds that prevent fat from forming—and they actively burn belly fat. It’s theorized that the catechins in blueberries activate the fat-burning gene in belly-fat cells. In one study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, blueberries were found to decrease lipids by 73 percent! 

10. Bananas

Last but certainly not least, the beloved banana is indeed a carby fruit. But these are complex carbs and bananas do a ton of great things for you, like instantly debloating a puffy tummy. Not only does the fruit increase bloat-fighting bacteria in the stomach, it’s also a good source of potassium, which can help diminish water retention. Bananas are rich in glucose, a highly digestible sugar, which provides quick energy, and their high potassium content helps prevent muscle cramping during your workout.


The Crown Season 4 Debuts

By Krutika Mallikarjuna  for TV Guide

Netflix released stunning new images of The Crown Season 4, which premieres on Sunday, Nov. 15, and we can already give you two reasons why the drama’s next run is the most highly anticipated one of the whole series to date. 

Stephen Boxer, Gillian Anderson standing in front of a building: Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, The Crown Season 4 | Photo Credits: Netflix

© Provided by Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, The Crown Season 4 | Photo Credits: Netflix

First, on the political side, loyal fans finally get to see one of England’s most notorious politicians in action. The fourth season kicks off in 1979 with Gillian Anderson playing Margaret Thatcher as she takes on the mantle of Prime Minister and begins her controversial 11 year reign over Parliament. Then, on the domestic side, the series delves into the whirlwind romance of Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) in the 1980s — and the catastrophic fallout of their marriage’s eventual dissolution. Considering Diana became not just official royalty, but the people’s princess, before her accidental death in 1997, Season 4 of The Crown might be the most emotionally gutting one yet. 

First-look images of Anderson as the Iron Lady at 10 Downing St. and Corrin as Princess Diana dealing with paparazzi are below, but maybe take a moment to prepare yourself for how uncanny and unsettling the resemblance between Corrin and Diana is. Thankfully Netflix went easy on us and didn’t release a first-look image of Diana in her wedding dress — but you can catch a haunting glimpse of that memorable moment in the teaser trailer for The Crown Season 4.

The Crown Season 4 premieres Nov. 15 on Netflix.


The Food In Your Fridge You Need to Throw Out

When you think about the foods that are in your refrigerator and which are the best and worst, you’re most likely thinking in terms of which foods last the longest compared to those you need to eat fast as they spoil quicker. And whether or not the containers they’re being stored in is actually toxic for you. But have you ever stopped to think about which foods are just the worst for you to have in your refrigerator for another reason? As in, they’re simply unhealthy for you.

So what is the one food you should get rid of? Well, the worst food in your fridge is…

Flavored Yogurt

We know—this one might be a bit hard to believe. But here us out.

See, yogurt is often thought of as a solid weight-loss food option. Research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville even found that regularly eating yogurt as part of a healthy diet can lead to slimming down faster. It’s high in protein, which means it will keep you full, and it’s a food that helps keep your digestive tract working properly too, as it increases your probiotic intake. Clearly, there are tons of benefits to eating yogurt, even daily! But it all depends on the type of yogurt you are buying and stocking your fridge with.

You might not realize it, but there are tons of yogurts out there that are drowning in added sugar and artificial colors and flavors. And that is what’s instantly stripping all the “good” that comes with eating yogurt. Take a look at the nutrition labels, and it’s as if you’re eating a bowl of ice cream!

So just be sure you’re keeping an eye out for those pesky added sugars and when in doubt, go for plain Greek yogurt. You can always add fresh fruit to your yogurt to add natural sugars to it. It’s now a snack that won’t completely sabotage your weight-loss goals! But it’s not the only trouble that’s on your fridge shelves. Read on to uncover which other foods you should rid your fridge of for good!

Slide 1 of 6: When you think about the foods that are in your refrigerator and which are the best and worst, you're most likely thinking in terms of which foods last the longest compared to those you need to eat fast as they spoil quicker. And whether or not the containers they're being stored in is actually toxic for you. But have you ever stopped to think about which foods are just the worst for you to have in your refrigerator for another reason? As in, they're simply unhealthy for you.See, there are plenty of foods out there that you might think are good for you to have that just aren't. You most likely have a few sitting in your fridge, too! We've gone ahead and found the biggest culprit—the one food that's most likely in your fridge that you need to throw out. It's not doing you any favors. (Along with any of the 108 Most Popular Sodas We Ranked By How Toxic They Are!)So what is the one food you should get rid of? Well, the worst food in your fridge is…Flavored YogurtWe know—this one might be a bit hard to believe. But here us out.See, yogurt is often thought of as a solid weight-loss food option. Research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville even found that regularly eating yogurt as part of a healthy diet can lead to slimming down faster. It's high in protein, which means it will keep you full, and it's a food that helps keep your digestive tract working properly too, as it increases your probiotic intake. Clearly, there are tons of benefits to eating yogurt, even daily! But it all depends on the type of yogurt you are buying and stocking your fridge with.You might not realize it, but there are tons of yogurts out there that are drowning in added sugar and artificial colors and flavors. And that is what's instantly stripping all the "good" that comes with eating yogurt. Take a look at the nutrition labels, and it's as if you're eating a bowl of ice cream!An example that comes to mind? YoCrunch's Strawberry with Oreo Blended Yogurt, which might seem like a better dessert option. One small container is packing 180 calories and 26 grams of sugar. Even the yogurts that don't have chocolate in them and are fruit-based can be dangerous, too. Dannon's Low-Fat Fruit on the Bottom yogurt has 21 grams of sugar and has sugar listed as the second ingredient before you even get to the mention of any actual fruit. Yikes.So just be sure you're keeping an eye out for those pesky added sugars and when in doubt, go for plain Greek yogurt. You can always add fresh fruit to your yogurt to add natural sugars to it. It's now a snack that won't completely sabotage your weight-loss goals! But it's not the only trouble that's on your fridge shelves. Read on to uncover which other foods you should rid your fridge of for good!Read the original article on Eat This, Not That!
© Shutterstock

1. Fruit Juice

Sure, it’s natural and overflowing with vitamin C, but it’s loaded with sugar—and totally void of any nutrients like fiber or protein to help slow the sugar spike. An average glass packs 36 grams of sugar—or about what you’d get from popping 4 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts into a blender. What’s more, most of the sweetness in orange juice, for example, comes from fructose, a type of sugar associated with the development of belly fat.

2. Flavored Coffee Creamer

“I avoid flavored coffee creamers because they are filled with fake ingredients that can do more harm than the flavor is worth: trans fats, artificial sweeteners, carrageenan, and artificial coloring,” says Gina Consalvo, MA, RD, LDN, Pennsylvania-based owner of Eat Well with Gina. “Over time, your morning shot of non-dairy creamer can raise dangerous LDL cholesterol levels and increase the risk of blood clots and heart attack. “Lighten your coffee with a half and half that only lists milk and cream as ingredients,” she says.

3. Soy Milk

“I avoid soymilk,” notes Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas, MD, sports medicine specialist and assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. “Yes, the horror stories linking overconsumption of soy products to estrogen-like effects–like the development of enlarged breasts in otherwise healthy males–are exceptional. However, the fact is that soy mimics estrogen and activates estrogen receptors in the body. Do you want to take that risk? There are plenty of other milk substitutes—like almond milk—that don’t carry the same potential side effects.”

4. Bottled Smoothies

Grab-and-go smoothies seem great in theory. They’re a convenient and tasty way to get your fruit in for the day, but sugar keeps ruining so many good things. And here, that is the case yet again with the average smoothies containing anywhere from 30-60 grams of sugar. You’re much better off making your own!

5. Soda

This one should come as a no-brainer by now, but sodas (including diet sodas) should really never be in your fridge. Between the astronomically high amount of sugar, which makes it hard for the body to maintain healthy glucose and insulin levels, to the fact that drinking soda can lead to weight gain (thanks to all that high-fructose corn syrup), according to a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there really is nothing redeeming about the fizzy stuff.


12 most common English idioms

See the source image
Cambridge Dictionary Of American Idioms at Amazon® – Amazon Official Site

A blessing in disguisea good thing that seemed bad at firstas part of a sentence
A dime a dozenSomething commonas part of a sentence
Beat around the bushAvoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortableas part of a sentence
Better late than neverBetter to arrive late than not to come at allby itself
Bite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitableas part of a sentence
Break a legGood luckby itself
Call it a dayStop working on somethingas part of a sentence
Cut somebody some slackDon’t be so criticalas part of a sentence
Cutting cornersDoing something poorly in order to save time or moneyas part of a sentence
Easy does itSlow downby itself
Get out of handGet out of controlas part of a sentence
Get something out of your systemDo the thing you’ve been wanting to do so you can move onas part of a


Road Trip: The Most Historic Small Towns in the U.S.

By Jessie Fetterling for Far & Wide

@iwillbikerideforchocolate / Discover Bisbee/Facebook

We know travel plans are impacted right now. But to fulfill your wanderlust, we’ll continue to share stories that can inspire your next adventure.

The U.S. is filled with fascinating small towns that each have their own unique story to tell. Havens for artsy free spirits. Mining sites that once yielded a ton of gold. Sites of infamous military battles. Stomping grounds of storied pirates.

These small towns offer history buffs a glimpse into our nation’s past, while also remaining just as relevant today as they were years ago. Learn the histories of these small towns, and plan a visit that will encourage you to travel back in time.

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Population: 12,019

What was once a secret military town is now the fifth-fastest-growing city in the state. Its claim to fame is what’s now called the Los Alamos National Laboratory, operated by the Department of Energy. 

This was the creation site of the world’s first atomic bomb as part of the infamous Manhattan Project. During World War II, all incoming truckloads to the area were mislabeled, and it wasn’t revealed until after the bombing of Hiroshima what residents here were really up to.

What to Do

History buffs will want to head straight to Manhattan Project National Historical Park, where you can tour the Manhattan Project’s historic Los Alamos site and the lab’s Bradbury Science Museum. Visitors can engage in the museum’s more than 40 interactive exhibits.

Long before physicists moved to the area, though, the four mesas of the Pajarito Plateau (on which the town sits) was home to Puebloans, and you can visit ruins of their cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument. Climb ladders and visit small carved rooms at this archaeological site that features more than 70 miles of trails.

Beaufort, North Carolina

Population: 4,452

Beaufort was established in 1709, making its historic district alone worth visiting because several buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But this town is one with a pirate history. In fact, it’s where Blackbeard spent most of his days, and in 1996, an archaeological crew found the remains of his flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, in what is now called Beaufort Inlet. Blackbeard ran the ship aground in May 1718.

What to Do

For all things Blackbeard, a stop at the North Carolina Maritime Museum is a must. It features all the artifacts found from Blackbeard’s flagship.

The small town’s Old Burying Ground is equally intriguing, with graves that date back 300 years, including one of a child who died at sea and was buried in a keg of rum.

Sitka, Alaska

Population: 8,493 

With 22 buildings and sites on the National Register of Historic Places, Sitka is another small town with history to boot. Its name comes from “sheet-ka,” which means “people on the outside of Baranof Island” to the Tlingit people who settled here more than 10,000 years ago. 

When Russian explorers took over the area in 1804 after winning the Battle of Sitka against the native people, the town was designated the capital of Russian America.

What to Do

The 107-acre Sitka National Historical Park interprets the famous battle between the Russians and Tlingit people and features artifacts from the two groups. It also features a collection of Haida and Tlingit totem poles moved from the Louisiana Exposition in St. Louis.

This being Alaska, there is also plenty to do in terms of outdoor activities, from fly fishing to kayaking to wildlife boat tours that will get you up close and personal with the area’s majestic humpback whales.

Columbia, California

Population: 2,297

If only Columbia was as fruitful as it was during its heyday! From 1850 to the early 1900s, $150 million in gold was mined here, earning it the nickname, “Gem of the Southern Mines.”

What was once California’s second-largest city is now home to a few thousand residents who keep its gold rush charm very much alive.

What to Do

Columbia State Historic Park is a living gold rush town and is home to California’s largest single collection of existing structures from this era. Visitors can pan for gold, ride the stagecoach and explore exhibits that tell the history of the California gold rush.

Better yet, a visit to this historic town is free, but you’ll likely want to purchase some sweets at the authentic ice cream parlor or order a pint at the local saloon.

Woodstock, New York

Population: 5,823

Believe it or not, the epic Woodstock music festival that attracted some 400,000 people to the area for “three days of peace and music” was not held in Woodstock, New York. It was actually held about 60 miles away at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York. 

Festival organizers originally wanted to host the concert just across the Woodstock town line in Saugerties, where a series of Woodstock Sound-Outs concerts had been held years prior, earning the area a reputation as a popular summer art colony. But the town wouldn’t approve a permit. Whether or not the festival was actually held here, though, the name stuck, and music and art remain ever-popular here.

What to Do

A stroll down Tinker Street will take you back to the town’s bohemian roots, where quirky mom-and-pop shops sell crystals and Tibetan trinkets to visitors. There’s also a handmade candle shop, indie bookstore and a place where you can get tarot card readings. And don’t miss the Mower’s Flea Market or Woodstock Farm Festival held weekly during the summer and fall seasons.

Of course, the town is also filled with art galleries and music venues, such as Levon Helm Studios, where you can check out local acts. In the summer, the Maverick Concerts series, founded in 1916, takes place in a rustic concert hall in the woods, where the acoustics are exceptional.

Deadwood, South Dakota

Population: 1,293

Gold, prostitution, gunslingers — you name it, Deadwood had it in spades in the late 1800s. In fact, the settlement of Deadwood itself began illegally because the land was originally granted to the Lakota people in 1868. By 1874, however, Colonel George Armstrong Custer brought people here as part of the Black Hills Gold Rush. And by 1876, there were more than 25,000 people in this lawless community where murder was commonplace.

Even gun showman Wild Bill Hickock was killed here, and he and his associate, Calamity Jane, are buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery, which is open to visitors.

What to Do

Looking to get a taste of the Deadwood experience? The entire city is designated a National Historic Landmark District because of its well-preserved architecture.

But the Days of ’76 Museum features more than 50 historic wagons, stagecoaches, firearms, clothing and other memorabilia that celebrates the town’s early pioneering days. Or you can experience those early days first-hand via the 1876 Mystery Dinner Theater, where you can help solve a murder.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Population: 7,724

This small town needs little introduction to history buffs, but we’d be remiss not to include it. 

After all, it’s where the Battle of Gettysburg took place in July 1863, marking a significant turning point in the Civil War and inspiring President Abraham Lincoln’s famous “Gettysburg Address” speech.

What to Do

The town’s highlight, of course, is Gettysburg National Military Park, where you can learn all about the history of the battle and even witness reenactments. You can also take walking tours to visit some of the historic churches that were used as hospitals to care for soldiers.

After a day of history, you can check out the area’s craft wine, beer, cider and spirits trail and take in the beautiful farmlands.

Well that’s all for today. I’ll post more small town America in days ahead. Be sure to check in.


Best Men’s Parkas For Winter 2020

By Harvey James for /SPY

It is an undeniably cool jacket style. But what exactly is a parka? Essentially, it’s a long weatherproof jacket with a hood. The hood is usually, but not always, lined with fur or faux fur. The best men’s parkas have a thick, insulating inner lining and are made of water-resistant material to keep away the winter snow. As a result, parkas can be quite bulky. Many parkas make use of drawstrings and a fishtail hem at the back of the jacket. All of these traits converge to define the modern parka jacket.

How to Wear a Parka

Thanks to its hood, its waterproof material, its many pockets, and its bulky shape, it is by nature a more casual article of clothing than an overcoat or a trench. But in northern parts of the country, parkas are absolutely indispensable when winter arrives. In recent years, parkas have had a major resurgence, and many top men’s fashion designers now produce incredible parkas. But whether you have $250 to spend or $2,500, we’re here to help you find the best men’s parkas for winter 2020.

The Best Men’s Parkas to Buy in 2020

Below, we’ve put together a broad range of styles, price points and brands to push the boundaries of what a parka can bring to your wardrobe. Keep reading to find the best men’s parkas available right now.

1. Woolrich Arctic Parka with Genuine Coyote Fur Trim


This is the complete definition of a traditional parka. However, this Woolrich coat executes these traditional elements luxuriously and with panache. There is the silky coyote fur trim to protect you and keep you warm in icy cold crosswinds. The Teflon-coated water-resistant shell will protect you and the effortlessly cool blue color matches the fur so well. It is the complete men’s winter parka package.

Woolrich Mens Parka

Courtesy of Woolrich  

2. Canada Goose Emory Slim Fit Genuine Coyote Fur Trim Parka


Canada Goose is having a bit of a moment. The brand has long been popular in certain areas of the country, but in the last couple of years the company has become widely known for its durable winter parkas. The Emory Slim Fit parka with genuine coyote fur lining is one of our favorite looks from the company. This line comes in a variety of stylish colors, but the blue “Northern Night” is our top pick. This slim fit, thigh-length jacket is filled with white duck down and nylon lining. It will keep your core warm without restricting your movement. This isn’t the cheapest parka available right now (it’s not even the cheapest from Canada Goose), but people don’t buy these coats because of the price. They buy them because when it comes to the best men’s parkas, Canada Goose has been producing long-lasting and reliable winter coats for a long time.

canada goose mens parkas

Courtesy of Nordstrom

3. Herschel Supply Co. Woodland Camo Fleece Lined Fishtail Parka


This coat is a winter wardrobe essential. Despite being of humble design, it boasts angled pockets and a colorful fleece pattern lining which extends into the hood, making it a stylish, cozy jacket. The classic fishtail hem at the back comes with a drawstring, giving you the option of tying up or letting it nonchalantly swing behind you. The 60% cotton, 40% polyester exterior is water-resistant, making it ideal for those long and dreary winter months.

Herschel Best Parkas

Courtesy of Herschel Supply Co.

4. The North Face McMurdo III


Some guys just love their North Face. Whether you prefer the jackets, sweatshirts, or outdoor gear, this brand has some pretty committed loyalists. If that sounds like you, then you’ll want to check out the McMurdo III parka from the popular outdoor brand. At $200, this is an affordable parka from a dependable clothing company, which means it will last through the end of this winter and beyond.

best men's parkas

Courtesy of The North Face

5. UNIQLO Blocktech Parka


This parka takes the regular design and minimizes it way down to create a sleek, fitting, layer-friendly look. The surface of the coat is water-resistant and windproof, and the back wicks moisture so you stay dry no matter the conditions. If you’re looking for something a little lighter for cold and sunny days heading into spring, consider adding this look to your closet. At $80, it’s so worth it.

Uniqlo Mens Parka

Courtesy of Uniqlo

6. Patagonia Men’s City Storm


No list of the best men’s winter parkas would be complete without an entry from Patagonia. While the popular outdoors brand doesn’t match everyone’s style, the company is known for high-quality products that last for years. This year, we like the look of the men’s city storm down parka, designed to keep you warm and stylish. Perfect for winter camping and urban commuting, this sleep parka has a slimmer profile than other bulky jackets. It’s insulated with 100% recycled down and is Fair Trade Certified sewn, which also makes it a sustainable winter coat. With a price tag of $499, it’s also the best men’s winter parka under $500.

patagonia men's parka

Courtesy of Patagonia

7. Prada Technical Parka


At the top end of the spectrum, there’s the Prada Technical Parka — the epitome of chic. Moreover, it is woven in a Prada signature technical fabric and comes with a completely separable inner quilted jacket. Put these two dynamic pieces together and you have on your hands a very well insulated, weatherproofed and smart parka jacket.

Prada Parka

Courtesy of Moda Operandi

8. Kenzo Printed Logo Panelled Parka


This is one of the trendier parkas we’ve found that doesn’t sacrifice coverage. With multi-color panels, pockets and a sleek design — you don’t need to compromise style when donning this for months on end in the winter. The drawstring hood gives you the options you need on a rainy day, all you need is your to-go coffee and you’re ready to take on whatever comes your way.

Kenzo Mens Parka

Courtesy of Farfetch

9. Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka


Look, there are parkas and then there are parkas, this is the latter. When it’s cold (like, icicles forming from your breath) and you want to be as warm as possible, reach for this parka. CG made it for the purpose of commercial work, so if you see someone in snow patrol rocking one of these, well, you’ll know why. This parka has a temperature rating of 22 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that whatever you come face to face with in the harsh winters of your day to day, you’ll be well protected.

best men's parka

Courtesy of Canada Goose

10. Fjallraven Barents Parka


Fjallraven rules. The Swedish company regularly cranks out quality garments, from their ever-popular Kanken backpacks to outerwear of all types. This is why it comes as no surprise that their take on the men’s parka is well done. With an adjustable fuax-fur hood, adjustable cuffs and a water-resistant shell, you can feel confident that light or heavy showers won’t stand in your way. For some, a parka is used to keep warm, but if you find that you’re often battling rain and snow, this is the parka for you.

best men's parkas

Courtesy of Backcountry

Save the Duck Minimalist Parka


Parkas solve a lot of problems, to be sure. However, if you’re on the shorter side of the height spectrum, the average parka will look more like a dress for you. And that, well, that can sort of suck. If you want to stay warm but also stay on style (without looking like you borrowed your dad’s coat), opt for this minimalist parka from Save the Duck. Not only is it warm and water-resistant, but it won’t reach your ankles. What’s more, it’s straightforward and streamlined. Forget the fur or faux fur. This is a city-dwelling parka and one that will keep you warm and dry in cold and wet conditions.

best men's parkas

Courtesy of Save the Duck

12. Howler Brothers Spellbinder Parka


The standard parka (as you’ve likely noticed by now) has a tougher outter shell and is rather streamlined. If you want that quilted look in your parka, though, Howler Brothers make a great option. Though still offering protection from the cold and damp, this men’s parka injects a built more style. Not only are the shoulders reinforced to help keep you extra warm where you need it, but the entire body utilizes 100 gram PrimaLoft Gold insulation to make sure you are extra cozy, even if this parka doesn’t go below the belt.

Also, we appreciate the color options. While blue, black and red are classic colors, sometimes you want something a bit different. If you fall into that category, go ahead and pick this parka up in Hideout Green (pictured below) or Oatmeal/Khaki.

best men's parkas

Courtesy of Huckberry

13. Everlane The ReNew Long Parka


Leave it to Everlane to do more with their men’s parka than just keep you warm. While all of these coats on this list will last a lifetime with proper care, Everlane goes a step further by building their ReNew Parka with 100% recycled polyester. After all, if you can stay cozy while also doing right by the planet, why wouldn’t you, right? Especially when going green is so affordable, it almost seems like a no-brainer.

Though it’s not recommended to rock this parka when temperatures go below 0, for most of us, that’s totally fine. A clean-looking coat, this parka will do you right during most winter days and nights.

best men's parkas

Courtesy of Everlane

OK guys. Get one before the “Hawk” blows cold and snow upon your body!


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