Studies show that many young people just don’t care much about cars or driving these days — they’re more focused on things like smartphones and the latest portable technology. Though the supercar landscape is changing, the basic idea and fulfillment behind this dream car is not. Regardless of changes in the industry or the pressures of fuel economy, the supercar will not only survive, it will continue to thrive.
Weakness in numbers
We Americans. We’re proud, we’re tough, and we’re just not all that purposeful sometimes, are we? Cases in point: we wear work boots to nightclubs to be hip; we wear diving watches and sit at the shallow end of the pool. Most egregiously, perhaps, we drive big SUVs and trucks with locking differentials and barely manage to negotiate speedbumps at the local strip mall parking lot. We want our cake, but only so we can stare at it through the plastic wrap. It’s just the way we are. And it’s wrong.
Seeing through the smoke
Bismark calmed an angry crowd in Paris by producing a cigar and asking a Frenchman for a light. Mark Twain enjoyed smoking the most noxious cigars he could find out on his front porch. Churchill dipped his in cognac and smoked them so incessantly it’s a wonder he didn’t kill his political opponents with secondhand smoke.
I got into the cigar smoking game in search of sharp one liners, cool smoke rings and an emulation of the men I so wanted to be. Things have changed.
The sincerest form of flattery?
Within the watch industry there exists a thriving category of timepieces that is wholly unoriginal. This is the realm of the so-called “homage” watch. While legions of fans gratefully purchase these ersatz Grail timepieces, homages also have their detractors — those who write them off as mere derivative copies that don’t deserve attention.GP’s Jason Heaton dives into the debate.
It’s hard to keep a longstanding car model fresh and consistent over the course of decades. Cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette, the Honda Accord and the BMW 3-Series are a few models that have stood the test of time. Then there are those models that keep on keepin’ on as the rest of us wonder why. The Nissan Maxima is quite possibly the poster child of this category. I heave a sigh of disappointment every time I see a current model on the road.
Diving’s Identity Crisis
There’s a popular saying among nostalgic dive bums that reads, “Remember when sex was safe and diving was dangerous?” Times have changed, and while I won’t comment on the hazards of promiscuity and the risks of STDs, I will say that diving has gotten too safe. Or at least that’s the perception — and one that, ironically, is keeping people from diving. What diving needs is a re-branding campaign.
An encounter with speed listening
It was a rainy afternoon, and being but sixteen years old and still shackled to the dependent life of the unlicensed driver, I was waiting for my brother to pick me up at the train station. When he finally arrived and I stepped into the warm and dry shelter of his Jeep, I was greeted by a cacophonous sound. Blaring from the speakers was the voice of a man speaking at breakneck pace. A few dozen confused questions later, I deduced that we were actually listening to a book at 3x speed.
Lace up, own up
I recently sat in on a self-improvement lecture about the importance of changing our ways of thinking in order to improve life. The speaker quoted Einstein (or paraphrased, since there are multiple versions of this quote): “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. He was encouraging a particular way of thinking, one that emphasized taking personal responsibility for what happens in our lives. This got me thinking about running, and the way we’re reconsidering our fundamental ideas about the sport.
Thanks, Dr. Bose
Dr. Amar Bose passed away several weeks ago, after what can only be described as an incredibly productive life as an innovator, scholar, designer and mastermind behind some fantastic products that made lots of customers very happy.
At death's door
If driving at geologic speeds in the passing lane or shaving while driving weren’t bad enough, American drivers cemented their poor automotive tastes by killing the station wagon. Today, there are fewer than ten wagon models offered in the states. Cross-overs don’t count. This decline isn’t something new, but it is ever-worsening. It’s likely that in less than a decade, the station wagon will effectively be gone from showrooms here and as difficult as it is for us to stomach, it’s not hard to understand why once you take a look at the reasons.
A thoughtful look behind the case back
After Jason Heaton tells people that he writes about watches, the question inevitably arises: why do some watches cost so much? (This after the incredulity that one can actually make a living doing what he does.) The answer is not so simple. Good thing Mr. Heaton has the time to explain. Read on for his argument.
Look Ma, no brains
When smartphones, texting and social media start replacing people’s ability to actually socialize in a semi-productive manner, things are beginning to go wrong. Asking a pretty girl out on a date involves more work with your thumbs than it does with some semblance of charm. Soon, any kind of online video resume or social media site will supplant your ability to put on a spiffy suit, press the flesh with the powers that be and verbally convince them that you deserve bi-weekly pay.
So, what happens when, in turn, the automotive realm is peppered with all manner of high-tech driving aids? Does it make the world a better place or does it mean the loss of real skills? Granted, most drivers don’t really have what amounts to any skill aside from smiling with their eyes open at the DMV; but for those who don’t have ridiculously high insurance premiums, it matters.
Remember your first bike? We do too
Just why did GP decide to run a week about bicycling? Limits Editor Jeremy Berger explains — and hints at where we’ll go next.
Inside the head of a typical addict
I’ve heard that question answered a lot of different ways in 23 years of flinging sharp wire & feathers at the finned ones. For some, it borders on the mystical. People talk of otherworldly feelings or suspension of time (as in time spent fishing doesn’t count against your allotment here on planet Earth).
For others it’s a religious experience.
Remembering the important moments
Most of us have “remember the time dad…” stories. In celebration of Father’s Day (it’s coming up fast, you slacker) the GP staff decided to put their memorable father-son moments on paper for all the world to see.
One son's Take on an important tradition
Most of my friends growing up didn’t celebrate Father’s Day. I was always curious about that. Who were their dads, exactly, and why didn’t they care? I figured they must have been intellectual types (some of them were) or artists (some of them were) or dads who just had way too many neckties already and didn’t see the point. But in our house, we always celebrated Father’s Day. In fact, it was always kind of a big deal.
Why the wolf pack's third outing marks a bad day for comedy
This weekend, director Todd Phillips, who’s already set a new model for comedy success in many respects, will gain another distinction when his most popular film series joins a rare — and terrible — group of humor franchises that make it to a third outing. He hopes The Hangover: Part III avoids the doomed flight path flown by the others. I’m praying he fails.
Because things could get ugly quickly
Maybe you’ve heard about them — there’s no way you haven’t — but Google is pushing a new eyewear gadget poised to revolutionize(!) how we interact with technology. It’s called Google Glass, and its current form makes even the those Rec Specs wearers from your youth soccer days look like Steve McQueen. The internet backhanders have already made a Tumblr about it, god bless ‘em. But as awkward as they are today, chances are that tech’d up eyewear is here to stay. It’s up to us to deal with it. So we decided to show some initiative by drafting a few ground rules. And we’re counting on you to buy in.
A GP Report
More and more, men and women are looking online — not just for books and flat-screen TVs — for companionship. Much like they’re shopping online, these guys and gals scroll through page after page of potential partners. But we’re not talking about straightforward online dating here. On the sites we’re talking about, users are looking specifically for who’s rich, who’s hot and who’s able to keep a secret. In this special report, we decrypt the pay-to-play world of digital get-downs.
The tastiest kind of reminiscing
Malted Madness is a celebration of beer. Largely, we’ve glorified suds through our favorite medium: bloodthirsty head-to-head competition. Now, though, we pay homage to the most foundational of beer’s values… enjoyment. We asked our staff to remember the most memorable water, malt and hops they’d ever had and recorded their misty-eyed reminiscences. What we found — unsurprisingly — was that the true measure of beer is often when and where it’s enjoyed, and who with.
This Bud's For You
Editor’s Note: Malted Madness is a celebration of America’s craft beer. But what about the rest? Brandon Chuang feels… strongly about the everyman beer. We haven’t forgotten the good ole’ standbys either, so we let him vent.
By now, just a few short days into Malted Madness, you’ve taken in about as much as you can when it comes to beer. You’ve studied the bracket — our curated list of 64 of the best craft beers in the country — and you’re drunk with emotion. Why isn’t my beer in the tournament? How could that beer make it past the first round? Nothing brings out our passions more than competition, and nothing clouds our judgment more than the wants and desires of our own hearts. And in this boozy, passion-soaked attempt to find the best of the best, we’ve forgotten what “the best” truly means.
We’ve begun a coronation while the king still lives.
Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting?
There’s an assumption, fed by movies and a romanticized view of war, that every American military member is an e-lite hand-to-hand ninja, martial artist, and/or dynamo in the Octagon. While there are many men and women in the military with particular skill in close combat, that is a fact of prior interest, and rarely a result of training received in the military. It will strike many as odd, but the vast majority of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines possess no exceptional skill at close combat, despite Hollywood’s glamorized portrayals to the contrary.
The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have each struggled over the years to develop close range combative skills, both armed and unarmed, within their ranks. We’ll focus on the ground combat oriented services, specifically the Marine Corps, in our case study.
Turning a Dream Into a Sudsy Reality
You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to put on a 64 beer, single elimination, NCAA-style tournament. One minute you’re dreaming of all that hoppy, malty, chocolatey, fruity goodness in one place and the next… well, you’re trying desperately to get all that hoppy, malty chocolately, fruity goodness — in one place.
To be clear, this tournament isn’t about bitching. It’s about gathering 64 of the best beers in America together, matching them up, tasting them blindly (removing the pretense that so often surrounds our entrenched beery beliefs), and crowning a champion. It’s GP’s swing at a new way to enjoy, explore and appreciate damn good beer. It’s about one of the biggest movements in our country. It’s about a shared passion. It’s also about personal taste, the barroom argument you’ve had with your buddies many times: which beer is better?
A brief, rational treatise on going without
If I were to drink caffeine my torso would explode. My cardiologist, who I can only assume double majored in pre-med and “buzzkill” as an undergrad, told me if I didn’t avoid nicotine use (not an issue), moderate my alcohol intake (I had to look up what that meant) and completely curb caffeine intake, I’d end up re-staging the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique scene in “Kill Bill”, in which I would play both Uma Thurman and David Caradine. What I’m saying is it’d be coronary suicide to caffeinate myself.
A Coffee Roaster’s Memoir
I was in the back room bagging up some breakfast blend when I heard shouting from the café. At that same moment, I smelled smoke and knew that my batch of Sumatran had caught on fire. I dashed to the roaster, flicked off the gas burners and closed the vent. I knew the routine. This had happened before. The cloth and rubber belt had broken, the drum stopped rotating and the beans ignited inside, fanned by the air being sucked in through the vents. Now my hope was that the flames didn’t make it into the chimney and light up the chaff that had no doubt built up inside. If that happened, we’d have to evacuate the café and call the fire department.
Debating the film account of Osama bin Laden's demise
Is Zero Dark Thirty the year’s best movie or misleading sensationalism that advocates torture? The film’s recent Oscar snub has raised the debate. Now, GP’s own Scott Packard and Ben Bowers present intriguing discussion on morality in film, artistic license and “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Read on for point and counterpoint on these divisive issues.
Companions for the road most traveled
While we don’t expect the world to end this Friday, the possibility does make us think about how we’d want to face it.
As social animals entangled in our web of formal and informal, obligatory and optional, pleasant and painful, the question of who’s brain would we like to crack open (not in the zombie way) just before we’re done for good is a complicated one. Each of our proposed companions offers something in the face of terminal adversity — perspective, redemption, reflection, levity, pathos.
Mike Dacey is a young guy, but sadly a member of a dying breed. Mike’s a Press Man in the truest sense. That’s a job that has slowly faded away in the face of faster, cheaper printing alternatives, leaving artisans like Mike to keep this soulful art form alive. In a warehouse in Somerville, MA,…
With New Year’s nigh, one can’t help but notice the general relief in the air. There seems to be a general feeling that the pending year is chock-a-block with tones of hope and opportunities anew. 2009 has certainly been a memorable year, one filled with its fair share of ups and downs… perhaps more downs…
Beyond being a product review site, we at Gear Patrol have been striving to create a community of men that (for lack of a better term) help men. We don’t draw the line at simply hashing out the best insights into the products we cover, but we extend that mantra to life in general. We’ve…