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Brit Lit (Wit)

Hello Goodbye Hello

Oh, the Brits. They’re funny, they like tea, they just finished hosting the Olympics — and if you’ve sunk your teeth into Brit Lit, then you know they write decent books. Craig Brown’s Hello Goodbye Hello is [in our best accent] bloody well clever. The book is, simply, 101 daisy-chained true encounters between the rich,…

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No longer Unobtanium

Avatar Blu-ray 3D Collector’s Edition

If you’ve made the jump to 3D TV, the visually stunning Avatar Blu-ray 3D Collector’s Edition ($28) should be on your must-have list. This edition gives you all three dimensions of the the Pocahontas remake, which is finally available outside of Panasonic 3D TV bundles this October. Unfortunately, the visual orgasm comes only in the…

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Briefings: Tony Scott, High-Frequency Trading, Pappy Van Winkle, Mobile Phone Throwing, and the Oglala Lakota

We’re off to Ironman this week. There’s plenty to keep you occupied, though: a great director needs to be mourned, rare bourbon consumed, and mobile phones hurled. All in a days work. It’s a big and complicated world. We’re at tips [at] gearpatrol.com if you think there’s something we should know about.

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No fluency required

Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing

While there are endless options for flexing your culinary muscles, making your own dry cured meats is one of the best ways of calling out those hacks on Iron Chef that we can think of. Using the secret ingredient? Try making it b$^&*$#s. Authors Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn know a thing or two about…

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Briefings: Obesity, Barneys Private Label, Facedeals, Huntington Beach, and the Pussy Riot Trial

Off the top of our heads, what’s most important in the world at this very moment is finely tailored menswear, Facbeook surveillance cameras, and three young women standing trial in Moscow. We cast a wide night. We’re doing our best. It’s a big and complicated world. We’re at tips [at] gearpatrol.com if you think there’s…

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The end of buyer's remorse?

YBUY

YBUY.com is a new Netflix-like service for gadgets that lets members “try” an array of home electronics before committing to purchasing them. Simply sign up for the $25 per month subscription service and then pick any product offered on the site. YBUY will then mail it to you free of charge, and allow you to…

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Nowhere to hide

Spy The Lie

It’s estimated that — on average — a person tells a lie anywhere from one to ten times per day. That’s hard for us to believe, since we always speak the truth. In Spy the Lie ($16), former CIA officers Philip Houston, Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero explain how to spot the difference between truth…

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Tour de Brute Force

The Raid: Redemption

America is no stranger to epic blockbuster action movies — hell, we invented the genre. But one viewing of the Indonesian film The Raid: Redemption ($20) left us questioning Hollywood’s chops as the king of adrenaline. Its premise is beautifully streamlined: an elite squad of 20 SWAT members is sent in to take down Jakarta’s…

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Get 'er Done

The Art of Fixing Things

The best handymen acquire their skills over a lifetime of tinkering, but if you’re all thumbs 365 days of the year consider The Art of Fixing Things ($11) by Lawrence E. Pierce a crash course in honey-do-list competence. Its 168 pages provide easy-to-follow tips supplemented by helpful photos in areas like automotive, appliances, household and…

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Not lost in translation

Guide to the Foreign Japanese Kitchen

Traditional Japanese cooking can be incredibly daunting if you’re not, well, Japanese. Moé Takemura helps confused Westerners and Japanese expats alike in her Guide to the Foreign Japanese Kitchen ($49), which thoroughly and simply details the necessities of Japanese cuisine from ingredients to silverware. Each of the 30 meals in the book is laid out…

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Briefings: Private Languages, Kitajima Kick, Jamaica, 24 Hours with Tim Ferriss, and Finding Ultra

Inevitably, in the wake of big events with major accomplishments, the instinct of writers and reporters is to look for the hidden stories, the secrets of the trade, the explanations for The Way Things Work. Our Briefings this week is roughly about that, both in the Olympics and in things and events more generally. Sometimes…

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It's still not safe to go in the water

Jaws Blu-Ray Edition

Real, life-affirming creations of art that come along at the right place at the right time to transform culture as we know it are… well, rare. Jaws is such a masterpiece, and one that has captivated audiences for nearly forty years. The film struck a chord through cutting edge effects, a genius score, and of…

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Briefings: Medal Count Predictions, Photos of Olympians, Sherlock Holmes, Japanese Robot Cabaret, and a Huge Tomato Fight

During the Olympics the geopolitical world seems relatively simple, cultural stereotypes prove true, and we’re all basically friends if the teevee is tuned in to an NBC affiliate. It’s the USA v. China in the medal count. Great Britain’s pommel horse savant looks like a DJ. Kazakhstan wins gold in weightlifting. Cherish these simple times….

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The master, remastered

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection

Hitchcock’s role in the evolution of film needs no introduction, but his movies have been in desperate need of a little TLC in the age of high-def. Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection ($299) is poised to be the damn-near-definitive Hitchcock release, updating the previous DVD version to glorious 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio. Specifically, the…

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Responsible Read

The Responsible Company by Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley

Pathos — that’s relevant experience and credibility for you non-rhetorically adroit folk — is everything when it comes to how-to books. That’s why The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years ($20) gets two green thumbs up from us. Written by Patagonia’s founder and owner Yvon Chouinard and the co-editor of the…

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Briefings: Olympian Sex Feats, London Street Art, Gummy Bears, Old Spice Training, and Marathon Mischievousness

Four long years have bitten the dust since we were last this excited for the (summer) Olympics. Beijing’s opening ceremony knocked our socks off with a terrifying army of perfectly drilled drummers, a crazy high-wire act and a photoshopped fireworks display that was as entertaining as San Diego’s 15-second, shoot-your-wad-early fusillade. London’s got a tough…

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Briefings: Fictitious Dishes, Bale in at 27, Monocle Radio, Arab Women in Sport, and Lady Brett Ashley

It’s been a strange and unsettling week in America. We’re trying to keep our heads about us by spending time with friends and family and keeping up with other, more light-hearted news. We left out the videos of watermelons wrapped in rubber bands exploding, but there’s some other good stuff, like softcore food porn and…

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The escape artist's handbook

Work Your Way Around the World

Ever felt the urgent need for an extended change of scenery? It can be done. If you are looking to drop off the grid but aren’t Bruce Wayne rich, you’ll need to figure out how to eat along the way. That’s where Work Your Way Around the World ($17) can help. Already in its 15th…

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The best watch site just got better

Click: Hodinkee

If you like your watches as much as we do then you’ll want to point your browsers over to the new HODINKEE. A drastic departure from the previous design, the daily dose of all that’s great in wristwatches has introduced an all-new site complete with magazine-style cover images, beautiful typography (glad to see someone still…

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Still talking about nothing. This time, on the road.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

With the trappings of pure genius — coffee, interesting cars, and Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David — Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, is such a refreshing take on comedy that we think it might just be one of the best things we’ve watched since the first season of Louie. Entirely free of plot, of course,…

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Briefings: More from San Fermin, Manliness, What Carl Sagan Read, the Hyperloop, and a Shop in Maine

Maybe next year one of us will run with the bulls in Pamplona. (Any takers, guys?) Until then, we’ve got more accounts from the festival, plus a battery of other man-related things: a debate about manliness, Carl Sagan’s reading list, Elon Musk’s latest venture, and a shop in Maine where you can get cool vintage…

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Put that summer heat in perspective

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms

We’ve already spoiled you for choice with summer reading choices, but we’re generous when it comes to quality literature. A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa ($20) by Steve Kemper catalogues the real-life epic of Heinrich Barth, a 19th century explorer who ranks among Stanley and Livingstone but is virtually unknown outside of…

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"Sic Semper Tyrannis! Whoops"

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln

Historical fiction, especially “re-imagined” historical writing, runs the risk of coming off pretty damn awful. “What if Hitler had survived the war and opened a coffee and donuts shop?” all writers have asked themselves, and the lucky ones have been slapped by their peers and continued their cup of coffee, careers still intact. Stephen L….

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Briefings: Jack Reacher, NYC Housing, Running of the Bulls, Creative Spaces, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Next Book

It’s funny, we were just reading John Jeremiah Sullivan’s essay about the coming battle between humans and animals, “Violence of the Lambs,” when we realized the bulls are running in San Fermin. A few cuts and bruises, a few people gored — but this has been going on since Medieval times, so nothing to get…

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A Master, re-mastered

A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition

Remember the tedium of English Comp 101? Outline, rough draft, working draft, final draft, and final copy—all for a lousy B-. Now, imagine 47 rewrites. Papa admitted to revising the ending of A Farewell to Arms 39 times. His grandson, Sean Hemingway uncovered nine more attempts while perusing the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John…

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50 Ways to Toast America

The American Cocktail

Looking for a way to celebrate Merica’ year round? The American Cocktail: 50 Recipes That Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast ($13) should do the trick. This helpful bartender companion, written by the trustworthy purveyors of liquid culture over at Imbibe Magazine, covers a unique selection of 50 favourites from master…

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Capitalism Hold 'Em

Monopoly Deal

Unless you’re ready to while away an entire three-day weekend over beer, chips and fiduciary fisticuffs, the game of Monopoly is just about the most impossibly non-ending game out there, besides GameBoy Tetris. Does anyone actually finish Monopoly before a frustrated player chucks the board aside? Enter Monopoly Deal ($8), a fast-paced version of the…

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Well read? TED well.

TED Books

Five years ago, Mexicans who sold tacos out of the back of a van were targets of the health department. Now, kids from suburbs buy trucks, sell mashup tacos, and get their own TV shows. How did they do it? The inspiration they received from TED. Building on the millions who have absorbed the ideas…

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The Holy Grail of anthologies

Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray

If you’ve ever dreamt of being Short Round and yelling “Docta Jones, Docta Jones!” to an adoring Indy (everyone has that recurring fantasy, right?), then Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray ($75) should be on your pre-order list like Henry Jones, Sr. on that Nazi knockout Dr. Elsa Schneider. Modern-day films just don’t make male…

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Briefings: The World Tri, Depressing Internet Behavior, The Dream Team, Fourchu Lobster, and a Poem by Bolano

The internet is a great place to wander around and read stories about guys like Charlie Wittmack, who conquer imagine impossible physical and mental challenges and then conquer them. It’s a good place to watch documentaries about the ’92 Dream Team and to read great poetry. It’s also a good place to incubate your depression,…