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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Amazon announces its Black Friday deals, which go live this week

Amazon has already kicked off its Black Friday deals early this year and has just announced a selection of upcoming offers that will run from November 20th. Discounts can be found on everything from electronics and video games, to fashion and kitchen appliances.
New Black Friday deals will be arrive “as often as every five minutes” and there are a number of Gold Box Deals of the Day to keep an eye on as well. For example, today you can already grab a Fitbit One for $74.99. Amazon Prime members will be given a 30 minute head start on most of the limited Lightening deals. There will also be a number of other exclusive sales that are only available through the Amazon Mobile Shipping App. These will be released daily from 3 PM PT to 11 PM PT, starting Thanksgiving and running through to December 9th.
When it comes to electronics, our favourite Amazon category, there’s a big selection of deals to be had. Amazon is offering discounts on its selection of Kindle readers and tablets, its Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick. A number of Samsung Galaxy Tablets will also have a 20 percent saving applied in the week, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
There also are discounts on a huge range of TV and speaker products. A 15” ASUS laptop can be bought for just $129, while there’s 50 percent to be saved on the Sennheiser HD 598 over-ear headphones. If you need more space in your smartphone or tablet, there’s up to 70 percent off select SanDisk memory cards and USB flash drives too.
That should be everything you need to keep an eye on the best Amazon deals later this week. To see the full range of discounts revealed so far, click the press release button below.
Show Press Release Announces Eight Days of Holiday Deals
Enjoy new deals every five minutes starting Friday, November 20 through Friday, November 27
Effortlessly keep tabs on top deals from anywhere with new “Watch A Deal” feature
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 18, 2015– (NASDAQ:AMZN)— today announced holiday deals start on Friday, November 20, with new deals added as often as every five minutes for eight straight days at Customers will have access to 10 coveted Deals of the Day starting at midnight on Thanksgiving, and up to 10 more on Black Friday. Customers can also shop limited-time Lightning Deals on thousands of sought-after products per day throughout the eight days of deals. Plus, Prime members will get 30-minutes early access to the majority of these Lightning Deals.
This year, Amazon will introduce more than 150 hand-picked Lightning Deals on everything from electronics to kitchen gadgets only through the Amazon Mobile Shopping App available on Android, iOS, and Fire OS. These deals can be found on the “App Only Deals” tab and will be released daily from 3 PM PT to 11 PM PT starting Thanksgiving through Wednesday, December 9. In addition, Prime members in 20 metro areas can use the dedicated Prime Now mobile app to enjoy free two-hour delivery on select Deals of the Day throughout the holiday season.
Last year, total holiday sales from the Amazon Mobile Shopping App doubled in the U.S. and Black Friday had the most rapid growth in mobile shopping. This year, it will be even easier to spend time with loved ones thanks to “Watch A Deal” which allows holiday shoppers to pick the deals they’re most excited about and receive a notification to their mobile device when the deal is live. With this new feature, Amazon customers can effortlessly take advantage of deals throughout the day and while on-the-go.
“Customers can truly sit back and relax with their family and friends this holiday season knowing that they will be notified as soon as the products they’ve had their eye on are about to go on sale,” said Steve Shure, Vice President, Amazon Consumer Marketing. “Year after year, more and more customers shop for deals on Amazon from the comfort of their own home, and we continue to make that process even more convenient for them. And with App Only Deals, customers will have plenty of options when it comes to scoring great deals from Amazon.”
Following are examples of some of the top deals that will be available at various times between November 20 and Black Friday at
  • Kindle Paperwhite, $99.99
  • $30 off Kindle and Kindle for Kids Bundle
  • Fire, $34.99
  • Fire Kids Edition, $84.99
  • $25 off Amazon Fire TV
  • $15 off Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote
  • Up to 45% off select Samsung and LG TVs, including Samsung 32” 1080p LED TV for $177.99, LG 49” 1080p LED TV for less than $370, and Samsung 75” 1080p Smart LED TV for less than $2,000
  • Top-selling 60” 4K LED TV, $799.99
  • TCL 55” Roku Smart LED TV, $348
  • Hisense 55” 4K Smart LED TV, $448 (App Only Deal)
  • 50” 1080p LED TV, $149.99 (App Only Deal)
  • 40” 1080p LED TV, $145
  • TCL 32” Roku Smart LED TV, $125
  • 32” LED TV, $75
  • Acer Home Theater Projector, $299.99
  • VIZIO 38” 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar, $79.99
  • $49 off SONOS 2-Room Streaming Music Starter Set
  • Save 40% on Polk Audio Omni S2 Wireless Speaker
  • Up to 25% off Denon HEOS 1 Wireless Speakers
  • 50% off Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones
  • Save more than 50% on Sennheiser HD 598 Special Edition Over-Ear Headphones in Black (Amazon Exclusive)
  • More than 50% off top-selling point-and-shoot camera
  • Jawbone UP3, $99
  • Save $100 on an Intel-Powered Dell 2-in-1 Laptop
  • ASUS 15” laptop, $129
  • Up to 40% off select Acer desktops, monitors, chromebooks, and tablets
  • Save more than 20% on select Samsung Galaxy Tablets
  • Save up to 70% on select SanDisk memory cards and USB flash drives
  • Top-selling mobile printer for less than $100
Baby, Toys & Pets:
  • Save 30% or more on select Graco Car Seats and Strollers
  • Up to 60% off select Disney apparel, toys, and more
  • Save 50% on select best-selling wooden preschool toys
  • 40% off select Fisher-Price Musical Instruments
  • Up to 50% off select toys from favorite brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and more
  • Save 50% on select construction toys from K’NEX, Lincoln Logs, and Tinkertoys
  • Up to 50% off select Lionel Train Sets, including Polar Express
  • 50% off select wearable technology products and robotic toys for kids
  • 45% off UDI R/C Falcon Drone with HD Camera
  • LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Figurine Alarm Clock, $15.99
  • Up to 60% off select Nylabone dog treats and chew toys
  • Save more than 50% on select Outward Hound dog toys
  • Up to 50% off select PetSafe pet products
Home & Kitchen:
  • Save $50 on Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit
  • Save up to $200 on select Dyson vacuums
  • Save 40% on Silhouette Cameo Starter Bundle
  • $25 off with select DEWALT purchases of $100 or more
  • $20 off select orders of $100 or more in Porter-Cable tools
  • DEWALT 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver Kit with Two Batteries, $89
  • More than 45% off Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Ultra LED Indoor Garden with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit
  • Up to 60% off select products from FoodSaver, Oster, Krups, Nespresso, T-fal, Wilton, and more
  • More than 55% off select Imprint Cumulus Comfort Mats
  • More than 50% off select Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cookers
  • Save up to 40% on select cookware from Circulon and Rachael Ray
  • More than 40% off Rabbit 6-Piece Wine Tool Kit
  • Save 20% on Soma Sustainable Carafe and Plant-Based Water Filter, available through the new Amazon Launchpad program for startups
Sports & Travel:
  • 34% off Skywalker 15-Feet Jump N’ Dunk Trampolines
  • Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump – Queen, $87.99
  • BARSKA Starwatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope, $49.50
  • 30% off Reebok Professional Deck Workout Bench
  • 25% off Nautilus T614 Treadmill
  • STIGA Triumph Table Tennis Table, $299.99
  • 25% off select Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bags
  • 25% off select Under Armour fleece
  • adidas Originals Men’s Sport Essentials Tee, $19.99
  • Save up to 50% on select adidas footwear for men, women, and kids
  • Save 70% or more on Samsonite Two-Piece Spinner Sets
  • Up to 45% off RV and camping supplies, including select products from Camco and Valterra
  • Up to 55% off select Automotive D-I-Y items
Fashion & Beauty:
  • Up to 70% off select clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and watches for men, women, and kids
  • 30% off select clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and watches with promotional code 30BLACKFRI
  • Up to 70% off select diamond jewelry gifts
  • Up to 50% off select luxury watches for women
  • Select Levi’s Jeans for men, $39.99 or less
  • 45% off select New Balance shoes for men, women, and kids
  • 50% off select Steve Madden shoes for men
  • 50% off select Steve Madden and Madden Girl shoes for women and kids
  • 50% off select Stride Rite shoes and more for kids
  • Select baby and kids’ coats, fleece, hats, and more, $14.99 or less
  • Save up to $30 on Oral Care, including Oral-B electric toothbrushes
  • Up to 25% off select skin care products, including Dove, Olay, and more
Books, Music & Video Games:
  • 80% off Transformers: The Covenant of Primus
  • Save more than 50% on Deathstroke Volume 1 Book and Mask Set
  • Save on more than 10 autographed CDs, including Kenny Rogers, Megadeth, and more (Amazon Exclusive)
  • Save 15% or more on select vinyl records
  • Save $20 on Need for Speed
  • Save $30 on Rock Band 4 Wireless Guitar Bundle
  • $50 off Xbox One Consoles
  • $50 off PlayStation 4 Uncharted Bundle
  • $25 off Metal Gear Solid V
  • Hundreds of PC download deals up to 70% off
All prices available at select times and while supplies last.
Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 20 million items and unlimited Free Same-Day Delivery on more than a million items in 16 metro areas. In addition, Prime members in 20 metro areas receive one- and two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of everyday essentials with the dedicated Prime Now mobile app. To become a member, visit Amazon also offers free shipping on millions of items every day, year-round, on eligible orders of $35 or more.
About Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit

Tom Brady Is the Greatest Quarterback of All Time. Period.

Tom Brady Talks to Chuck Klosterman About Deflategate (Sort Of . . .)


Tom Brady Talks to Chuck Klosterman About Deflategate (Sort Of . . .)

Photographs by Inez + Vinoodh
Tom Brady is . . .
A) The greatest of all time
B) A slow man with a strong arm
C) A cheater
D) The quarterback we deserve
E) None of the above
F) Some of the above
G) All of the above. Chuck Klosterman provides the answer

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
That’s just my opinion, and that opinion is fungible. If someone else had made the same claim five years ago, I would have disagreed; five years ago, I didn’t even think he was the best quarterback of his generation. But the erosion of time has validated his ascension. Classifying Brady as the all-time best QB is not a universally held view, but it’s become the default response. His statistical legacy won’t match Peyton Manning’s, and Manning has changed the sport more. But Brady’s six Super Bowl appearances (and his dominance in their head-to-head matchups) tilt the scales of hagiography in his direction. He has been football’s most successful player at the game’s most demanding position, during an era when the importance of that position has been incessantly amplified. His greatness can be quantified through a wide range of objective metrics.
Yet it’s the subjective details that matter more.
America’s fanatical, perverse obsession with football is rooted in a multitude of smaller fixations, most notably the concept of who a quarterback is and what that person represents. There is no cultural corollary in any other sport. It’s the only position on the field a CEO would compare himself to, or a surgeon, or an actual general. It’s the only position in sports that racists still worry about. People who don’t care about football nevertheless understand that every clichéd story about high school involves the prom queen dating the quarterback. It serves as a signifier for a certain kind of elevated human, and Brady is that human in a non-metaphoric sense. He looks the way he’s supposed to look. He has the kind of wife he’s supposed to have. He has the right kind of inspirational backstory: a sixth-round draft pick who runs the 40-yard dash in a glacial 5.2 seconds, only to prove such things don’t matter because this job requires skills that can’t be reliably measured. Brady’s vocation demands an inexact combination of mental and physical faculties, and it all hinges on his teammates’ willingness to follow him unconditionally. This is part of the reason Brady does things like make cash payments to lowly practice-squad players who pick off his passes during scrimmages—he must embody the definition of leadership, almost like a president. In fact, it sometimes seems like Brady could eventually be president, or at least governor of Massachusetts.
But this will never happen.

When I ask if it’s something he’s ever considered, he responds as if I am crazy.

“There is a 0.000 chance of me ever wanting to do that,” says Brady. “I just think that no matter what you’d say or what you’d do, you’d be in a position where—you know, you’re politicking. You know? Like, I think the great part about what I do is that there’s a scoreboard. At the end of every week, you know how you did. You know how well you prepared. You know whether you executed your game plan. There’s a tangible score. I think in politics, half the people are gonna like you and half the people are not gonna like you, no matter what you do or what you say.… It’s like there are no right answers. If there were, everyone would choose the right answers. They’re all opinions.”
Had Brady given this quote as a rookie, it would have meant nothing. It would have scanned as a football player with relativist views on politics. But the events of the past year imbue these words with a stranger, deeper significance. After last season’s AFC Championship game, the Patriots were accused of deflating the footballs below the legal level. What initially appeared to be a bizarre allegation against a pair of anonymous locker-room employees spiraled into a massive scandal that seemed to go on forever, consistently painting Brady as the conversational equivalent of a Person of Interest. This even applied to his own coach, Bill Belichick. During an uncomfortable January 22 press conference, Belichick said, “Tom’s personal preferences on his footballs are something that he can talk about in much better detail than I could possibly provide. I can tell you that in my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player, [or] staff member, about football air pressure.”

In May, Brady was suspended by the NFL for four games. He appealed the suspension and was re-instated in time for the opening of the 2015 season. Days later, an intensely reported ESPN The Magazine story outlined how the NFL bungled the Deflategate investigation and leaked false information to reporters. But the article was more damaging to the Patriots as an organization. It reported commissioner Roger Goodell purposefully over-penalized Brady and the Patriots on behalf of the other league owners, essentially as retribution for a decade of unproven institutional cheating (potentially including the first three New England Super Bowl victories, three games that were decided by a total of nine points).
Brady has never admitted any wrongdoing. He beat the suspension without conceding anything (and in the four games he was supposed to miss, he completed 73 percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions). His résumé remains spotless. But things are different now, in a way that’s easy to recognize but hard to explain. Even though he’s said absolutely nothing of consequence in public, there is a sense that we now have a better understanding of who Tom Brady really is. And it’s the same person we thought he was before, except now we have to admit what that actually means. I’m interviewing Brady at a complicated point in his life. There are several things I want to ask him, almost all of which involve the same issue. I’m told Brady’s camp has agreed to a wide-ranging sit-down interview, where nothing will be off the table. The initial plan is for the meeting to happen in Boston, and it will be a lengthy conversation. Two days before I leave, Brady’s people say that the interview can’t happen face-to-face (and the explanation as to why is too weird to explain). It will now be a one-hour interview on the phone.
Brady calls me on a Tuesday. He’s driving somewhere and tells me he has only 45 minutes to talk. I ask a few questions about the unconventional trajectory of his career, particularly how it’s possible that a man who was never the best quarterback in the Big Ten could end up as a two-time league MVP as a pro. He doesn’t have a cogent answer, beyond classifying himself as a “late bloomer.” We talk about the 2007 Patriots squad that went 16-0, and I ask if wide receiver Randy Moss was the finest pure athlete he ever played with. He begrudgingly concedes that Moss was “the greatest vertical threat,” although he goes out of his way to compliment Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, too. He never brags and he’s never self-deprecating. He never offers any information that isn’t directly tied to the question that was posed. Everything receives a concise, non-controversial answer (including the aforementioned passage about his lack of political ambition). Realizing time is evaporating, I awkwardly move into the Deflategate material, citing the findings of the official report published by the NFL’s investigating attorney, Ted Wells.

The remainder of the interview lasts seven minutes.
There’s one element of the Wells Report that I find fascinating: The report concludes that you had a “general awareness” of the footballs being deflated. The report doesn’t say you were aware. It says you were generally aware. So I’m curious—would you say that categorization is accurate? I guess it depends on how you define the word generally. But was that categorization true or false?
[pause] I don’t really wanna talk about stuff like this. There are several reasons why. One is that it’s still ongoing. So I really don’t have much to say, because it’s—there’s still an appeal going on.
Oh, I realize that. But here’s the thing: If we don’t talk about this, the fact that you refused to talk about it will end up as the center of the story. I mean, how can you not respond to this question? It’s a pretty straightforward question.
I’ve had those questions for eight months and I’ve answered them, you know, multiple times for many different people, so—
I don’t think you have, really. When I ask, “Were you generally aware that this was happening,” what is the answer?
I’m not talking about that, because there’s still ongoing litigation. It has nothing to do with the personal question that you’re trying to ask, or the answer you’re trying to get. I’m not talking about anything as it relates to what’s happened over the last eight months. I’ve dealt with those questions for eight months. It’s something that—obviously I wish that we were talking about something different. But like I said, it’s still going on right now. And there’s nothing more that I really want to add to the subject. It’s been debated and talked about, especially in Boston, for a long time.

Do you feel what has happened over these eight months has changed the way the Patriots are perceived?
I don’t really care how the Patriots are perceived, truthfully. I really don’t. I really don’t. Look, if you’re a fan of our team, you root for us, you believe in our team, and you believe in what we’re trying to accomplish. If you’re not a fan of us, you have a different opinion.
But what you’re suggesting is that the reality of this is subjective. It’s not. Either you were “generally aware” of this or you weren’t.
I understand what you’re trying to get at. I think that my point is: I’m not adding any more to this debate. I’ve already said a lot about this—
Tom, you haven’t. I wouldn’t be asking these questions if you had. There’s still a lack of clarity on this.
Chuck, go read the transcript from a five-hour appeal hearing. It’s still ongoing.
I realize it’s still ongoing. But what is your concern? That by answering this question it will somehow—
I’ve already answered all those questions. I don’t want to keep revisiting what’s happened over the last eight months. Whether it’s you, whether it’s my parents, whether it’s anybody else. If that’s what you want to talk about, then it’s going to be a very short interview.

So you’re just not going to comment on any of this? About the idea of the balls being underinflated or any of the other accusations made against the Patriots regarding those first three Super Bowl victories? You have no comments on any of that?
Right now, in my current state in mid-October, dealing with the 2015 football season—I don’t have any interest in talking about those events as they relate to any type of distraction that they may bring to my team in 2015. I do not want to be a distraction to my football team. We’re in the middle of our season. I’m trying to do this as an interview that was asked of me, so… If you want to revisit everything and be another big distraction for our team, that’s not what I’m intending to do.
But if I ask you whether or not you were generally aware of something and you refuse to respond, any rational person is going to think you’re hiding something.
Chuck, I’ve answered those questions for many months. There is no—
Were you not informed by any of the people around you that these questions were going to be asked?
[sort of incredulously] No. I was—
This is ongoing litigation.
Okay, well I appreciate you taking—
I appreciate it.
—the time to talk to me. Sorry, man.

So what did Brady say during his June 23 appeal testimony, in response to a question about whether he authorized the deflation of the footballs? “Absolutely not.” When asked if he knew the footballs were being deflated (even if he never specifically requested that this happen), he said, “No.” This was the answer I obviously assumed he would give when I posed the same question to him in this interview. I did not think he would contradict any statement he gave under oath. But I still needed to establish that (seemingly predictable) denial as a baseline, in order to ask the questions I was much more interested in. Specifically…
• At what point did you become aware that people were accusing you of cheating?
• Do you (or did you) have any non-professional relationship with Jim McNally and John Jastremski, the Patriots employees at the crux of this controversy?
• Do you now concede some of the balls might have been below the legal limit, even if you had no idea this was happening? Or was the whole thing a total fiction?
• Do you believe negligibly deflated footballs would provide a meaningful competitive advantage, to you or to anyone else on the offense?
• How do you explain the Patriots’ fumble rate, which some claim is unrealistically low? Is that simply a bizarre coincidence?
• If you had no general awareness of any of this, do you feel like Bill Belichick pushed you under the bus during his January press conference? Were you hurt by this? Did it impact your relationship with him?

These questions shall remain unasked, simply because Brady refused to repeat a one-word response he claims to have given many times before. Now, I’m not a cop or a lawyer or a judge. I don’t have any classified information that can’t be found on the Internet. My opinion on this event has as much concrete value as my opinion on Brady’s quarterbacking, which is exactly zero. But I strongly suspect the real reason Brady did not want to answer a question about his “general awareness” of Deflategate is pretty uncomplicated: He doesn’t want to keep saying something that isn’t true, nor does he want to directly contradict what he said in the past. I realize that seems like a negative thing to conclude about someone I don’t know. It seems like I’m suggesting that he both cheated and lied, and technically I am.
But I’m on his side here, kind of. Yes, what Brady allegedly did would be unethical. It’s also what the world wants him to do. And that may seem paradoxical, because—in the heat of the moment, when faced with the specifics of a crime—consumers are programmed to express outrage and disbelief and self-righteous indignation. But Brady is doing the very thing that prompts athletes to be lionized; the only problem is the immediacy of the context. And that context will evolve, in the same direction it always does. Someday this media disaster will seem quaint.

The Oakland Raiders of the 1970s broke every rule they could, on and off the field, sometimes for no reason. They were successful and corrupt, and fans living outside the Bay Area hated what they represented. But nobody hates the ’70s Raiders now. In fact, we long for those teams, nostalgic for the era when their sublime villainy could thrive. It’s widely assumed Red Auerbach bugged the opponents’ locker room when he coached the Celtics, an illicit subterfuge retrospectively re-imagined as clever and industrious. When former Tar Heels basketball player Buzz Peterson talks about the greatness of his college roommate Michael Jordan, he sometimes recounts a story of the evening Jordan tried to cheat Peterson’s mother in a card game, an anecdote employed to reinforce how MJ was so supernaturally competitive that even middle-aged women got sliced. The defining memory of Kansas City Royals legend George Brett involves the illegal use of pine tar on his bat, an unambiguous infraction that was ultimately reversed on appeal, just like Brady’s suspension.
“I’m the pine-tar guy,” Brett would say years later. “And it’s not a bad thing to be remembered as.”
In the present, we overvalue the rules of sport and insist that anyone caught breaking ,those parameters must be stopped, sanctioned, and banned. But as the decades slip away, such responses tend to invert. Who won and who lost got hurt and nobody took drugs and nothing was fixed by gamblers, a little deception almost becomes charming. A deficiency of character adds character, somehow. It proves that the cheater cared.
The Patriots are the Raiders of now, despite the fact that the Raiders still exist. They push the limits of everything, and that’s how they dominate. Sometimes that limit-pushing is lawful and brilliant: When Belichick placed seven “eligible” receivers on the field against the Ravens in last season’s divisional playoff, it was a stroke of strategic genius. Sometimes that limit-pushing is (perhaps) significantly less than totally legal. But it’s all philosophically essential to what makes them who they are. They don’t need to cheat in order to win, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. I mean, how do rich people stay rich? By avoiding all the taxes specifically designed for rich people. How does a football franchise sustain a dynasty within an NFL system designed to instill parity? By attacking the boundaries of every rule in that system, at every level of the organization. And in both cases, the perception of those actions does not matter to the individuals involved. Perception is other people’s problem. Brady does not hide from this: “I don’t really care how the Patriots are perceived. I really don’t.”
There is nothing more attractive than a person who does not care if other people find him attractive.
These are all just games. Within the grand scheme of existence, they have no intrinsic value. A game can matter only as much as the involved players believe it to matter. This is why no one watches the Pro Bowl. It’s also what makes Brady di≠erent from normal people, and from other quarterbacks: He will do whatever it takes to win, regardless of what that win represents. He is, by definition, a winner. Which is what everyone has always said about him. We always knew this. He is precisely the man society demands him to be. It’s just that society doesn’t like to think about what that means in practice.
Before I asked Brady about Deflategate, I asked him about playing golf with Donald Trump. He explained how this is an amazing experience, and how you never really know what the actual score is, and that there’s always some sort of side bet, and that Trump always goes home with the money. I ask him if this means Trump cheats, as it’s hard to imagine how someone could always win, particularly since Golf Digest estimates Brady’s handicap as an 8.
“Nah,” says Brady. “He just—he doesn’t lose. He just doesn’t lose.”
The scoreboard is the scoreboard is the scoreboard. Everything else is just, like, your opinion, man.

Chuck Klosterman (@CKlosterman) is the author of eight books, most recently I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined).

Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat

By: Andrew Liszewski
Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat

After already conquering demographics including kids, teenagers, and those technically considred adults, Hasbro is reaching out to that last frontier of consumers: seniors, with a new toy line featuring lifelike robotic companion pets that only need affection, not feeding or bathroom breaks.
The company’s new Joy For All line might sound a little depressing, almost like a robotic substitute for visiting your grandparents. But you grew up with Tamagotchis, Pokemon, and other virtual pets that never needed much maintenance; why shouldn’t your aging loved ones also be able to enjoy some virtual companionship too?
Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat
The first animal in the Joy For All line, the $99 Companion Pet Cat, is now available and comes packed with motion and light sensors so that it can realistically respond to being petted, held, and hugged. Hasbro hasn’t gone into too much detail about how it works, but the cat apparently has new vibration technology that allows it generate responsive purrs that both sound and feel incredibly realistic.
Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat
But it doesn’t just purr. Pet the companion cat on the head and it will automatically move it towards your hand, demanding more attention—or at least appearing to. And if you continuously pet its back, eventually it will roll over so you can give it a belly rub.
There’s no word on how long the cat will, well, live, on its included set of four C-sized batteries. But if left alone for a few minutes it will automatically close its eyes and fall asleep to help extend battery life for as long as possible.
Other companion animals are soon to follow in the Joy For All line, but Hasbro will have an even bigger hit on its hands as soon as it perfects a Companion Pet Grandchild with chubby cheeks perpetually in need of cleaning, a messy mop of hair that always needs straightening, and a genuine appreciation of hard candies. [Joy For All]
Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat
Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat
Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat

Whatever Happened to the Waterbed?

In the 70s, that swinging decade of key parties and shag carpets, waterbeds were the epitome of sexy. They were coveted by free-love hippies, randy bachelors and senior citizens alike. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner reportedly had two waterbeds, one clothed in green velvet, another in Tasmanian possum fur.
Kids today don’t remember them firsthand, but they’ve seen them featured in movies and even lampooned on SNL:

When waterbeds went mainstream in the 1980s, children pleaded for them:
And grandparents looked to them to cushion arthritic joints and relieve back pain:
By 1986, waterbeds made up 20 percent of the bed market and swelled to a $2 billion per year industry by 1989.

Was it really such a novel idea?

Not really. As it turns out, Hef’s marsupial mattress cover wasn’t far off from the first waterbeds. More than 3,000 years ago, ancient Persians filled goatskins with water and warmed them in the sun. No one is exactly sure about their earliest purpose, but speculation ranges from luxurious rest for royalty to comfort for the sick and elderly.
Waterbeds made their next appearance in the 70s and 80s. The 1870s and 1880s, that is. In 1832, Scottish physician Neil Arnott invented Dr. Arnott’s Hydrostatic or Floating Bed, filled with water to supportbedridden patients’ bodies evenly so as to prevent bedsores.
By 1871, when Mark Twain wrote an article for The New York Times about plans for Park Church in Elmira, NY, under the supervision of pastor Thomas Kennicott Beecher (brother to famous abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe), waterbeds had made their way to the United States. Twain reported that the church’s infirmary would have two “water-beds [for invalids whose pains will not allow them to lie on a less yielding substance]” and that the current waterbeds were “always in demand, and never out of service.”
When Sir James Paget introduced Arnott’s waterbed to St. Bartholomew Hospital in London in 1873, waterbeds were able to ride a wave of good PR. A decade later, Dr. William Hooper of Portsmouth, England, patented his version of the waterbed to treat arthritis and rheumatism patients.
Yet, because they didn’t offer a way to regulate the water temperature, they eventually fell out of fashion.

Who solved the temperature problem?

In 1968, a San Francisco State University student named Charles Hall created a mattress filled with water for his senior thesis project. More importantly, he found a practical way to heat it. Hall’s intention was to create comfortable furniture that would use heat to relieve muscle pain and the water flotation to reduce pressure points. But, as he told the New York Times, when he invited his classmates over to his Haight-Ashbury apartment for a demo, they ended up “frolicking” on his creation. And voila, man, a sex symbol was born.
In a Washington Post article, Hall shared his memories of a “typical early waterbed dealer” — a seedy fellow who also sold something called “orgy butter.” An early waterbed model advertised in Playboy called the Pleasure Pit, and it was “surrounded by leather and covered in furs.” The tagline of a 1970 waterbed ad read: “Two things are better on a waterbed. One of them is sleep.”

Hippies, figures. What about the east coast?

New York City was actually the worst market for waterbeds. One bedding retailer told the New York Timesin 1986 that New Yorkers were too “urbane” and “sophisticated” for the trend. But manufacturers blamed something else — restrictions by landlords and the impracticality of moving heavy, unwieldly bags of water into small apartments. That being said, while it was on display at Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, the waterbed was, according to a 1971 Time article, reportedly a hot meeting place for hopeful singles.
Slow sales figures notwithstanding, waterbeds permeated popular culture from every side, from sitcoms toart installations. In a Whitney Museum of American Art catalog published in the mid-80s, architecture critic Martin Filler wrote that the waterbed was one of the “most evocative furniture types of the time.”
Someone who was less impressed with waterbeds? Pope John Paul II. On a 1987 visit to Miami, the pontiff declined to sleep on an archbishop’s waterbed, opting instead to rest his holy head on a traditional mattress.

So what happened?

As waterbeds went mainstream, they naturally became less hip. The selling points shifted from sex appeal totherapeutic purposes as doctors recommended them for older patients, and they were sometimes spotted in nursing homes.
At any rate, these behemoths had their shortcomings. Waterbed installation was a real pain in the ass. They are very heavy, their parts require maintenance; oftentimes they were left behind after a move since it was such a pain in the ass to drain the mattress. Occasionally, apartment renters were required to purchase waterbed insurance in case of leaks or damage.
Verified horror stories include collapsed balconiesworm infestations and a mattresses punctured by cats’ claws. Before Snopes (and the internet, for that matter), an urban legend circulated that water from a waterbed had put out a house fire while the occupants were away. In fact, it was the waterbed heater that started the fire in the first place.
Ultimately, the waterbed lost its appeal even as a therapeutic solution as new, lower-maintenance bedsdesigned for comfort became available.

Does anyone still buy them?

In recent years, waterbeds have accounted for less than five percent of the bed market. While many retailers no longer carry the beds or components, there are still plenty of waterbed specialty stores. And, of course, they’re available online
At the very least, there are still enough out there for this cat-meets-waterbed video compilation: