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Good talks, bad hours

Introducing: Late Plates

We love breaking bread with exciting people, and a pint of good beer never hurt a conversation. It’s in this spirit that we’re launching a new series, Late Plates, presented by Miracle Whip, in which we interview great minds, talents and professionals over America’s best late-night eats.

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Today in Gear: April 18, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Philips’s laser-guided beard trimmer, a transforming Raven lawn mower, Arnette prescription frames, organic whey powder, a Chrome remote desktop for mobile and an easy solution for popped tires.

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Today in Gear: April 17, 2014

Today in gear, we examine the “edgier” new Camry, Nocs’ improved earbuds, charred moonshine, Google’s stand alone camera app, reusable BBQ sheets, and Sonic Edition’s new print collection with Freemans Sporting Club.

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The fitness tracker that refuses to fit in

Tested: Misfit Shine

What makes a good wearable? Comparing a laundry list of features is one way to start the conversation. The Misfit Shine proves, however, that there’s still something to be said for keeping it simple.

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Today in Gear: April 16, 2014

Today in Gear, we examine a shaving solution to end razor burn woes, the app your coffee addiction’s been waiting for, a gear brand for the greater good, Anker’s five port charging solution and Artifox’s take on a better desktop experience.

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Today in Gear: April 15, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Land Rover’s new Discovery concept, an app for commission free trades, TwelveSouth’s BookArc Möd, the emasculating smart grill of the future, Pentax’s impressive new medium-format rig and a table you can take anywhere.

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Today in Gear: April 14, 2014

Today in Gear we examine a new book for Cub’s fans, your iMac’s new wood friend, Lexus’ sharp crossover, barrels for homebrew and “The Rhino”.

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Sampling the Core Expressions

Highland Park 12 to 40 Year Old, We Try Them All

Learning about the process of whisky-making is one reason to take a distillery tour, but we all know that the real name of the game is the post-tour tasting. Any day spent sampling a range of whiskies is a special one in our books. Throw in the chance to try 25-, 30- and 40-year-old expressions, and you’ve got a once in a lifetime drinking experience.

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Finding 'the best whisky in the world' on the Scottish Island of Orkney

True Norse: A Visit to Highland Park Distillery

Highland Park has officially been making whisky in Kirkwall since 1798. The distillery requires no introduction for rabid fans of single malt. F. Paul Pacult, known as one of America’s foremost experts on spirits, heralded the 25 year old expression as the “Best Spirit in the World” in 2013; it’s an honor he’s also bestowed on the 18 year old twice before. For more casual imbibers, noting Highland Park’s relationship as the sister distillery to The Macallan generates a good number of nods. Our managing Editor Ben Bowers took the journey to the northern Scottish islands of Orkney to learn first hand how some of the world’s finest single malt is made.

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This Scotish archipelago has no shortage of history

Photo Essay: The Orkney Islands

Orkney, as it’s called by the locals, is an archipelago of 70 islands off the northern tip of the Scottish mainland. At one point or another, Vikings, Norwegians and Scots all listed the Old Red Sandstone outcrops as their home. The Neolithic monuments of these ancient inhabitants are one of Orkney’s biggest draws; another, of…

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The Handiest of Tools for Under $350

Everyday Carry Essentials: The Knife

A man’s everyday carry (or “EDC” in web-speak) is a fascinating window into the soul. Seeing what someone keeps close at hand can speak in obvious ways to their lifestyle, interests and values. Everyday-Carry.com is the leading community for all things EDC-related, so when it came time to find an expert on the best pocket knives to own under $350, the answer was obvious. If you’re in the market for a new blade without blowing your inheritance, their guide on The Best Pocket Knives Under $350 is an excellent resource worth checking out.

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Today in Gear: April 10, 2014

Today in Gear we examine small survival kits, the perfect living room keyboard, LunarGrands for the office, Amazon’s Dash scanner and Dropbox’s organizing gallery app.

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Small size, big sound

Tested: Klipsch X11i In-Ear Headphones

The typical beef with earbuds is that they sound worse than similarly priced over- or on-ear headphones. That’s not to say audio engineers haven’t figured out how to squeeze spectacular sound out of a diminutive package, there’s just usually a hefty premium for having your cake and eating it too. Klipsch’s X11i are the company’s top of the line offering in-ear offering. We spent the last few weeks with a pair to see if they were capable of producing the high-end sound worthy of their high-end price.

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A Weekend at the Big Dance

Photo Essay: The 2014 NCAA’s Mens Final Four

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is a full-blown cultural phenomenon, complete with its own vernacular and pseudoscience. We headed down to Dallas to experience this year’s finale and and snapped some photos in between occasional showers, shortages of $9 Miller Lites and gridlocked crowds.

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Today in Gear: April 8th, 2014

Today in Gear: April 8th, 2014. We check out Sony’s new full frame compact, the hangars of the future, tear-inducing poems and more.

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Today in Gear: April 7, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Cobra’s iRad 230, Dodocase’s Leathercraft collection, TruFuel’s lawn pre-mixed mower solutions and the PackPoint packing list app for Android.

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Producer and Director

30 Minutes With: Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson may not be a household name, but his resume speaks for itself. As the producer behind films like Dances with Wolves and The Bodyguard, he developed a reputation for making films whose cultural impacts belied their modest budgets. His upcoming film 50 to 1, which tells the story of 2009′s unlikely Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, is no exception. Jim carved out a window from a hectic promotional tour to talk about making this film a reality, working with his longtime friend Kevin Costner, and even his thoughts on Avatar.

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Today in Gear: April 4, 2014

Today in Gear, we examine McIntosh’s first dedicated headphone amp, clear planters for the modern green thumb, Longines’s latest vintage-inspired beauty and a GoPro housing built for black-ops.

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Today in Gear: April 3, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Amazon’s assault on the living room, Jack Spade’s new line of sunglasses, Burberry’s linen ties for spring and Tag Heuer’s Carrera CH80.

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Today in Gear: April 1, 2014

Today in Gear we examine simple fly fishing gear, minimal adidas, a thermometer on the fly and much more.

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Today in Gear: March 31, 2014

Today in Gear we examine the return of the “Pepsi bezel”, Office’s move to mobile, an off-roading bumper built for Wranglers, a new escapement from Nomos and a modern take on the Super 8.

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Today in Gear: March 28, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Barbour & Landrover’s first collaboration, DSPTCH’s new spring bags, coffee from the Berkshires and your new guide to moonshining.

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Today in Gear: March 27, 2014

Today in Gear we examine quieter lawn mowers, a book on quail hunting rigs, Bamboo bicycles and winey Glenmorangie.

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Today in Gear: March 26, 2014

Today in Gear we examine a vintage military bag revised for 2014, Marmot’s first dance with Polartec Alpha, La Sportiva’s advanced Vapor Nano Skis and the mother of all iPhone camera accessories.

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Today in Gear: March 25, 2014

Today in Gear we examine the world’s fastest external drive, Bell’s throwback helmets, your guide to aging beer and a ladder accessory that lends a helping hand.

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RACING WITH LEXUS F AT FUJI INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

The Arrival of the New Lexus F Line

From the Archives: Lexus, when it was created in 1989, was itself a halo brand. Today Lexus is pushing its own groundbreaking products — that is, incredible vehicles — to reach new automotive heights. We were recently invited to experience those new halos, several of the company’s latest F models, this time at the very same proving grounds on which they were first developed: Fuji International Speedway.

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Today in Gear: March 24, 2014

Today in Gear we take a look at Nike’s fanatical socks, the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera, miner lighting & a book with all the answers to the question “what if?”

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Part Craftsman, Part Caveman

30 Minutes With: Jimmy Carbonetti

Jimmy Carbonetti, Caveman band member and the proprietor of Carbonetti Guitars located on New York’s Lower East Side, still has plenty of life to live before he churns out the next self-help best seller. But if a Carbonetti’s Rules for Success ever does surface, the lessons should seem familiar: do what you love and find mentors. Getting both lined up didn’t take long in his case. We caught up with the musician and luthier ahead of his next appearance in Austin to chat about everything from the origins of his “Cobra” nickname to his musical heroes and a few of his latest projects.

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Today in Gear: March 21, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Sony’s take on virtual reality, Porsche’s new Cayman and Boxster GTS, Ghurka’s Norwalk collection and more.

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Today in Gear: March 20, 2014

Today in gear we examine a fine pot stilled Irish Whiskey, the manliest unicycle ever, a varsity jacket turned shirt, Merc’s new glorious S-Class coupe and more.