Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a product or industry that a new e-commerce startup hasn’t tried to remake already, from slippers to mattresses, from luggage to lipstick.
Yet two childhood friends in New York have seemingly struck on a fresh idea: taking on the stodgy and often expensive world of cookware, where one’s options out of college are usually limited to a few pieces of Calphalon or Farberware or, in the best-case scenario, some Le Creuset, the premium French cookware manufacturer founded back in 1925 and known for its vibrant colors, including Marseille, Cerise, and Soleil.
In fact, what the pair are building with their 10-month-old startup, Great Jones, appears to be a Le Creuset for the next generation: a handful of cookware items, including a cast-iron Dutch oven, that come in an array of colorful, if comparatively more muted, tones. Think Broccoli and Mustard.
The cookware is also more affordable than Le Creuset, which charges upward of $300 for a similar Dutch oven, compared with $145 for Great Jones’s new product. Notably, Great Jones’s full collection, which also includes a stainless steel stock pot, a stainless sauce pot, a stainless deep saute and a ceramic nonstick skillet, retails for $395.
Cookware is a smart sector to chase. According to the market consultancy IBIS World, the so-called “kitchen and cookware stores” industry has been growing steadily, reaching revenue of $17 billion last year.
One of the big questions for Great Jones will be whether its offerings hold up, and whether its customers find them compelling enough to recommend to others. After all, the old adage tends to hold up that you get what you pay for. And most new products take off because of favorable word of mouth, not merely because they’re Instagrammable.
Great Jones’s 28-year-old founders — Sierra Tishgart, previously a food editor at New York Magazine, and Maddy Moelis, who worked in customer insights and product management at a variety of e-commerce companies, including Warby Parker and Zola — seem to have thought these things through. Indeed, in a recent Forbes profile, they say they conducted extensive interviews with chefs and cookbook authors in their network in order to establish, for example, how to design a comfortable handle.
They also smartly made certain that their introductory offerings come in a range of metals. As even so-so cooks know, stainless steel is ideal for browning and braising; durable nonstick coatings make preparing delicate foods, including eggs and pancakes, less nightmarish.
In the meantime, Great Jones has easily captured the press’s imagination with what they are cooking up — a sign, perhaps, that the industry is ready for a refresh. In addition to Forbes, Great Jones also received recent coverage in The New York Times and Vogue — valuable real estate that most months-old startups can only dream of landing.
Great Jones has also raised outside funding already, including $2.75 million that it closed on last month led by venture capital firm General Catalyst, with participation from numerous individual investors.
Now the company just needs to convince its target demographic that it should ditch the older, established brands that may not feel particularly modern but are known to be durable, easy to clean, dishwasher safe and not insanely heavy (among the other things that keep people from throwing their pots in the garbage).
Great Jones also has plenty of newer competition to elbow out of the way if it’s going to succeed.
As the Times piece about the company notes, just a few of the other startups that are suddenly chasing the same opportunity include Potluck, a five-month-old, New York-based startup that sells a $270 “essentials bundle” that features 22 pieces, including utensils; Misen, a four-year-old, Brooklyn-based startup that sells cookware and chefs knives; and Milo, a year-old, L.A.-based startup that’s solely focused on Dutch ovens, to start.
According to Crunchbase, Misen has raised $2 million, including through a crowdfunding campaign; Milo has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding.
If I’m being very honest, there’s been more than once in our marriage when I’ve felt very alone. Times when I stood unaccompanied in my kitchen staring at the cabinets thinking, “Ok, God. It’s just you and me now.”
During these times, I knew that I had given my word to stay married to my husband until the end of my life, and I had all but resolved that from here on out, I would just have to live with the choice I made. I figured I could either be depressed, constantly wishing things were different and allow my disappointment to control my feelings, or, I could place my hope in Christ alone and live in the joy that only He can provide.
I decided to do the latter. I decided to go on about my life, living peaceably with my husband, not starting the same fight again and again. At first, although we weren’t fighting anymore, I would often feel resentment for the lack of change I wanted to see. See, during those times, I was angry that Josh wasn’t the husband I had imagined I’d be with one day. Instead, I found out the hard way that he was a real human being just like myself. A flawed, and sometimes selfish human being.
During that time, instead of finding what I so desperately wanted from my husband, I learned what it truly meant to be content in Christ. Eventually, my anger with my husband subsided. Eventually, I began to pray for him. And eventually, God humbled me.
One of the things God taught me was that I had expectations for Josh that he never actually had for himself; and when my expectations weren’t met, it showed in my anger and bitterness towards my him. Something I didn’t realize was that I never even communicated these expectations with Josh until I was already angry that he wasn’t fulfilling them.
For example, I never communicated with Josh that I simply expected him to have an extremely strong work ethic. That’s what I had seen in my dad growing up and I simply expected any husband to be like that. And while Josh has always worked hard at his job (he’s received several promotions and ’employee of the month’ awards), he always had the mindset that home was for rest and family. My fault was in never appreciating the fact that Josh wanted to spend time with his family instead of rushing onto the next project. Something my father-with-a-strong-work-ethic could have been better at if we’re being honest.
As I more and more surrendered my marriage to Christ, God taught me to hold my expectations with an open hand. Josh wasn’t a horrible person just because he didn’t meet my expectations. Not even that, but when I looked deeper, I realized that my expectations for him were often ones I didn’t even have for myself! When I worked full-time hours, I also liked to come home and relax for a while.
God has taught me to start appreciating the differences between Josh and I. I took it upon myself to learn more about his love language and his personality type. It helped me to understand more about why he did the things that he did. Guess what Josh’s love language is? Quality time! So you can also guess how he felt when he came home from his job and I tried to put him to work? He also felt alone and like I didn’t want to spend any time with him!
There could be a hundred different reasons why you might one day wake up and feel completely alone in your marriage. It could be that your husband broke your trust or constantly fails to live up to your expectations. I want to ask you to evaluate your expectations. Are they the same expectations that God would have for your husband? Look deeper into the psychology of why your husband makes the choices he does. Make an effort to take a short walk in his shoes, give him the benefit of the doubt, and ask God to open your eyes and allow you to understand your husband.
Of course, it could very well be that your husband is dropping the ball. In that case, start with prayer. Pray for change in your husband’s life, but also ask God to give you an accurate view of yourself and remember the times when you drop the ball. Do your best to communicate your expectations without any ultimatums attached. Let him know that you love him no matter what, but you know he can do better.
Then, be content. Encourage him and say thank you when he makes an effort to change. But, keep in mind that he is not perfect and he will make mistakes. Don’t nag him when he does! We all need room to fail and as frustrating as it might be, showing him grace (rather than nagging) when he fails after communicating your expectations will only make him appreciate your support that much more.
In the end, if our joy is founded in Christ, we put much less pressure on our husbands to be Mr. Right. Showing grace will ultimately be so much easier because you will remember the grace that Christ first showed you.
A British couple allegedly forced a Polish man to work in exchange for food and held him captive against his will inside their garden shed for more than four years, authorities say.
Pritpal Binning, 56, and her spouse Palvinder, 54, were arrested Tuesday by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) following a raid at their home in Chilworth, near Southampton. They are accused of modern slavery.
Officials said a “frail Polish man” in his 40s told officials that he had been forced to sleep in a plastic chaise inside the garden shed and given out-of-date food to eat.
“He also said that he had no flushing toilet and that his kitchen was a fridge and barbecue,” a spokesperson for GLAA said in a statement.
The spokesman said the victim was accepted into a government program that helps victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.
“We are pleased that the man is now receiving the help and support he so desperately needs. In the 21st century, no one should be forced to live in such degrading and disgusting condition,” said Tony Byrne, a senior investigating officer with GLAA.
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, your mind is likely occupied with recipe research, house cleaning, family travel logistics and kitchen prep. But before you embark on a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal, there’s one very important thing you need to do: Make a recycling plan.
People often recycle incorrectly or fail to recycle at all, said Rebecca Benner, the director of science and strategy at The Nature Conservancy in New York. And Thanksgiving certainly presents the opportunity to create a lot of waste.
“The consequence of not recycling is that your waste ends up in landfills and produces toxic gases that harm the planet and lead to more climate change, which in turn has huge numbers of consequences,” said Benner. “It’s also really important to check with your local agency to see what they do and don’t recycle because you can contaminate an entire batch of recycling if you stick something in there that can’t be recycled.”
Look Up Your Community Guidelines
Before Thursday, look up your community’s recycling information. Not every municipality accepts the same recyclables, so it’s important to learn which items are accepted in your area. You can also find options for responsibly disposing of less common types of materials, though they may require driving to a specific location or coordinating a pickup.
Some things to keep in mind around Thanksgiving include the importance of scrubbing food grease off aluminum pans and tins, removing wood or plastic accents on otherwise recyclable items and repurposing things that can’t be recycled like stained napkins and tablecloths. If after consulting online resources, you’re still not sure about what you can and cannot recycle, try calling your local recycling service ahead of Thanksgiving Day.
“It’s easier to do recycling the wrong way than it is to do it the right way,” Benner said, noting that recycling companies often change the rules around what is and isn’t accepted and don’t always communicate these changes very well. “Sometimes, it just takes a lot of conscientious research or contacting your local recycling company to make sure that you’re actually putting in the things that they take.”
Of course, you can take further steps toward having a sustainable Thanksgiving. “Obviously the best thing you could do is minimize the number of things you even need to recycle because recycling still takes energy,” said Benner.
One positive step is using real plates, cutlery, cookware and serving platters. Investing in a large roasting pan that you don’t have to throw away is a great way to save yourself from having to buy new disposable ones, especially if you think you might host Thanksgiving again in the future or want to roast a chicken at some point during the year.
“As a working mom who has lots of people over for Thanksgiving, the idea of washing my dishes is sometimes more than I can handle, but I always try to use reusable dishes,” Benner noted. “And if you have a dishwasher, even better because that actually saves on water as opposed to hand-washing the dishes.”
If you do end up using disposable aluminum pans, you can wash them and try to reuse them again or even convert them to foil covers for leftovers (while following health guidelines of course).
If you can’t go with reusable dishes, Benner recommends compostable forks, knives, plates or cups rather than the single-use plastic options.
“Plastics end up in our oceans, they end up in animals, and they kill off water systems. It’s great that we’re capable of recycling some plastics because at least we can do something with the stuff that can’t break down,” said Benner. “But it’s still very energy-intensive. So in my house, everything is at least semi-compostable, and there’s a plethora of options out there now that are more sustainable in nature so they break down more readily.”
The Food Waste Issue
Another way to be more eco-conscious around the holiday is to calculate your Thanksgiving travel carbon footprint and offset it by contributing to a program like Carbon Fund or Terrapass. And then of course, there’s the food waste component.
Benner also recommends being realistic about how much food your guests actually will need, cooking with local, organic ingredients whenever possible, minimizing meat (and going free-range with your turkey), turning your cooking scraps into soups or other easy dishes you can freeze, and of course, embracing the leftovers game.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that we waste 30 to 40 percent of the overall food supply ― that’s about 133 billion pounds of food a year and that’s the singular biggest source of waste to our landfills which produce tons of methane, which is a major factor in climate change,” said Benner. “So if we can lower food waste, eat our leftovers, make the portion sizes more reasonable for the number of people coming, we can do a huge amount toward having a more sustainable Thanksgiving.”
This series is funded by SC Johnson. All content is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the company.
Life as an adult can be tricky, and we’ll pretty much embrace anything that makes it easier. Here are a few low-key genius hacks that will solve those everyday problems you didn’t even know had solutions.
Use this plastic wrap travel hack to save your luggage from leaky bottles.
There’s no horror equal to that of unzipping your suitcase and find a puddle of shampoo at the bottom. Avoid that scenario by using this clever travel hack: unscrew a bottle top, place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening, and screw the cap back on. Done.
Make your own tablet display with a few Command hooks
You don’t need an expensive wall-mount system for your tablet. All you need is a handful of Command hooks, according to some Reddit users. Simply attach two of the non-destructive hooks to your wall to support the bottom of your tablet and another one above — and upside down — to keep your device from falling forwards. Slide your tablet in from the side and you’re ready to go.
This Band-Aid hack will make your life so much better.
You probably know the struggle of trying to wrangle a Band-Aid around the tip of your finger. This hack, outlined by 5-Minute Craft, solves the problem by cutting the side tabs lengthwise. They can then overlap and stay more securely on your finger. Perfect for those nasty paper cuts.
Use a piece of spaghetti to light hard-to-reach candle wicks.
When you can’t quite reach the wick of a candle that has burned low, light up the end of a piece of spaghetti. You’ll then be able to bring the flame to the wick with ease and without burning your hand on an upside down lighter or match.
You’ve been peeling Post-Its wrong your whole life
Hate the way Post-its tend to curl at the ends after you peel them from the stack? Instead of grabbing the bottom of a note and pulling it upwards, grab the note from one of the top corners (on the sticky end) and pull sideways, according to Reddit. The note will leave the stack smoothly and be perfectly flat.
Don’t throw out those mini liquor bottles when they’re empty.
Chill your wine in the glass with a few frozen grapes.
Don’t want to wait for an entire bottle of wine to chill in the fridge but can’t stand the thought of watering down a glass with ice cubes? Plop in a few frozen grapes and you’re all set. If you don’t have frozen grapes on hand, other frozen fruit like strawberries or blueberries work as well.
Use towel racks to keep your pot lids tidy
If storing your pot lids on your pots isn’t an option, use this towel rack hack to keep yourself from losing your mind every time you open your kitchen cupboards. Just mount one or two racks on the inside of your cupboard doors to secure the lids and keep them organized.
Keep kids happy in the shade with a DIY sandbox
Fill an old tent with sand and toss in a few shovels to keep your kids (or yourself) occupied for hours. The tent provides protection against the sun and keeps the sand contained without the need to nail together an actual wooden box. And when the fun’s over, cleanup is a breeze.
Always know if your eggs are fresh with this hack
Never throw out perfectly good eggs again. Just place your eggs in a bowl of water and notice how they behave. Very fresh eggs will lie on the bottom fully on their sides. One-week-old eggs will sit at an angle on the bottom of the bowl. Stale eggs that are two to three weeks old will rest on the bottom of the bowl with their rounded ends towards the surface. Very old eggs will float.
Flat irons work on more than just hair
You can spruce up a wrinkled collar, cuff, or dress hem without an iron. Set your straightening iron on its lowest setting and use it to smooth away fabric wrinkles. You may want to test the iron on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first.
Use a bobby pin to help you save money on toothpaste.
Take a photo of your luggage before you leave for the airport
If your stuff is lost or damaged by the airline in transit, this will make it easier for officials to identify your bag or help you prove that the damage was not there before your flight, according to Lifehacker. Be sure to take photographs of the contents as well.
If you ever find a lost wallet or drivers license, just put it in a mailbox to return it
The postal service will return any motor vehicle license or government issued ID that has an address on it. Simply stick it in any mailbox, no envelope or postage required, according to Lifehacker. However, the person on the receiving end will have to pay the cost of postage to get it back.
This also works for wallets, though you might want to check in with the local police department first to see if anyone has reported it missing.
Keep your dog’s paws safe with the five-second rule.
It’s smarter to order one large pizza rather a couple mediums
If you do the math, an 18-inch pizza is actually more pizza than two 12-inch pizzas, according to this mind-blowing thread on Reddit. Spend a few more bucks on a large instead of doubling your expense on two 12-inch pies.
If you have to use a hotel iron, test it on a towel first
LAS VEGAS – An armed group intent on gang-related retaliation opened fire on the wrong house in suburban Las Vegas, killing an 11-year-old girl in her kitchen, police said Friday.
A neighbor on his way to work saw the gunfire late Thursday on a quiet residential street and shot with a legally owned handgun at the car as it drove away, apparently wounding a passenger, North Las Vegas police Officer Eric Leavitt said.
“The girl and her family are innocent victims in this,” said Leavitt, describing a scene with bullet casings littering the street.
A 17-year-old getaway driver was arrested when the car broke down a few blocks away, Leavitt said. A 19-year-old in the front passenger seat was hospitalized in grave condition with a head wound. Authorities were searching for three shooters who fled.
Leavitt said the vehicle stopped in the street and three people stepped from the backseat to open fire with handguns and shotguns at the two-story stucco home.
The girl was struck by at least one bullet that Leavitt said entered through a window or wall. She died at a hospital in Las Vegas. Her parents and two other children in the house weren’t injured.
The 53-year-old neighbor who saw the violence unfold fired at the car from his open garage. Leavitt said the man was interviewed by police and was not charged with a crime.
Police believe the shooters intended to target another house in the area in retaliation for an earlier gang dispute. Leavitt said officers did not find anyone at that house but were seeking the residents for questioning.
The driver was being held as a juvenile and was expected to face multiple felony murder, attempted murder and conspiracy charges, Leavitt said.
The shooting happened in a neighborhood of large four- and five-bedroom single-family homes, some with swimming pools, built in 2006 about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of the Las Vegas Strip.
Sitting down on Heart Breakfast radio talk show, on which Emma Bunton is a co-host, the girls had nothing but lovely things to say about their missing bandmate. Melanie C explained to host Jamie Theakston:
“It is tough because obviously she’s a huge part of the band — she still is… there were times when I was unsure [about reuniting], and we really support each other and the decisions we make. She’s really supporting us. That’s a big part of our ethos… She’s very excited for us.”
Spices supporting Spices. That’s what it’s all about!
Of course, Mel B couldn’t help but throw in a joke, adding:
“She’s joining us at Wembley on June 14.”
Scary’s comedic quips didn’t stop there. When asked if fans could expect new material from the band during next summer’s tour, she replied:
“Yes, we’re recording an album. We’re going into the studio next week.”
Sadly, the rest of the group quickly noted the America’s Got Talent judge was “fibbing.” Mel C then added:
“Obviously we’re going to play all of our hits. We’ve got some really interesting creative ideas, but we’ve want our fans from back in the day to come and enjoy.”
The girls said they’re only reuniting because they, too, get pure enjoyment out of it. When asked if they were touring for the money, they all gave a resounding “no,” before Geri Halliwell added:
“When you chase money that’s the wrong way round. We actually love doing it. Two nights ago we were in my kitchen… we all had this group hug, it got a bit teary.”
But when jokingly asked who “needs the money the most,” Mel B answered:
“Me, because I’m divorced.”
Ha! Forget the reunion tour, we want to see Scary’s stand-up set!
She later clarified though:
“Can I just rectify something? Actually I don’t need the money. I’m quite rich. I’m just doing it because I love you girls.”
As we reported, the girls will be joining forces for six shows in the United Kingdom starting June 1 — but the band has put some additional stadiums on hold, according to BBC Radio 2 host, Chris Evans.
When the girls appeared on Evans’ show earlier Wednesday, Mel B denied that the group’s Wembley Stadium gig would be their last show. Geri then teased that there might be more tour dates “if Mel B behaves herself.”
In early November, 2017, I built my wife a small shelving rack for the kitchen. With the extra pieces of scrap wood, I spent the better part of an afternoon making a stool so that I could sit down and tie my shoes. And the next morning, when I sat down and did so, I broke down crying.
We often don’t give thought to the small choices we make each day, or how closely our health affects every aspect of our life, and I was no different. I faced one stunning and painful realization after another over the next few days. I didn’t have a “big frame”, I wasn’t a “burly guy”, my thick beard and open buttoned flannels weren’t an attempt at style but to try and hide myself. It wasn’t “always hot” in everyone else’s car and house, I was just fat and overdressed. I was now 5’7″ and 300lbs and it was severely effecting my health and lifestyle.
But I didn’t give up. I resolved to change this and fix it, once and for good, for the benefit of myself and everyone I know and love. Not after the holidays, not next Monday, NOW. I knew that ten years of complete negligence could not be undone in a week.
I knew that no miracle berry, supplement, tea, superfood or “detox” could lighten anything but my wallet. I knew no extreme diet like keto or paleo could provide anything but temporary results. And most of all, I knew that I couldn’t realistically change all of my bad habits overnight.
I started with a small change every new week. First, I stopped eating fast food. Then, I committed to do some form of exercise three days a week. Next, I decided to try smaller portions of only home cooked food and avoid any product with added sugar. Shortly after New Year’s, I was astonished when I weighed myself again and saw I had lost 24 lbs already.
So I kept pushing, I started counting calories, taking my exercise more seriously, tracking my progress weekly, cutting out diet soda, and most of all, staying dedicated and consistent no matter what life threw at me. Nothing would halt my journey. If a week went by without progress, I tried something different or made a change.
At the start, it was only about losing weight, the number on the scale, and something physical. But as the months went by, I began to learn more about myself than I ever imagined. I learned that my weight gain was merely a symptom of a larger problem of self neglect. I learned not to take excuses, not from myself or anyone else. I learned that the path to a better life lay in my attitude and choices, not my body.
Through the journey of losing 150 pounds, I gained countless new things. My clothing went from size 3XL to S. My waist from 44 to 28. My glasses, shoes, and wedding band no longer fit.
But it wasn’t the physical benefits that I was most happy to gain. It was when I suddenly had the energy to go through my normal day, the confidence to speak with conviction and sincerity at my brother’s wedding, when I no longer needed to hide from photos, and the newfound clarity to forgive the shortcomings of others and focus on inspiration and improvement, rather than jealousy and malice. My son and wife can now behold a man, rather than a mess. And I can tie my shoes wherever I want!
It is at this point I no longer refer to it as weight loss, but as life gain. It isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. There is no end to this journey, because it will be a lifelong endeavor. I am instilled with a new spirit, confidence, and happiness which is beyond words, and I am humbled by the experience.
Owner Mohammed Abdul Kuddus, 40, and Harun Rashid, 38, denied manslaughter by gross negligence.
After the verdicts, Megan’s father Adam warned takeaway owners: “Do not play Russian roulette with precious lives.”
Manchester Crown Court previously heard the teenager suffered an acute asthma attack after eating food from the takeaway on 30 December 2016, which her friend had ordered with a note reading “prawns, nuts” to show her allergies.
She died two days later having suffered irreversible brain damage.
Judge Mrs Justice Yip released Kuddus and Rashid on bail to return for sentencing on 7 November.
The judge said: “The fact that I am granting bail should not be taken as an indication that there will be a non-custodial sentence.
“You need to prepare yourselves for a custodial sentence but I am allowing you to go home for now.”
During the trial Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, described Megan’s death as a “disaster waiting to happen” because of a “litany of failings” in the kitchen, including poor hygiene and no records of ingredients kept.
The meal, which included an onion bhaji, a seekh kebab and a Peshwari naan, was later found to have the “widespread presence” of peanut protein.
Following her death a police inquiry was launched and on 6 January the restaurant was immediately closed down by Trading Standards and environmental hygiene officers.
It later reopened under new management.
The eight men and four women on the jury took about six hours of deliberations to reach their verdicts.
Members of Megan’s family were in tears in the public gallery as the two men were found guilty.
In a statement read outside court, her parents Adam and Gemma Lee said: “Our lives will never be the same. The loss of our beautiful daughter has completely devastated us.
“Megan’s positive presence and infectious smile will forever be missed.
“It breaks our hearts that Megan didn’t get the chance to sit her GCSE exams, something she had worked so incredibly hard for, to celebrate her 16th birthday or go to the school prom with her friends.
“Megan didn’t get the opportunity to fulfil her ambition of working in musical theatre, to explore the world, fall in love or have children of her own.
“It’s these thoughts that cause great sadness, because nobody deserved it more than Megan.”
Rashid, of Rudd Street, Haslingden, who had claimed he was merely a delivery driver at the restaurant at the time, was also found guilty of failing to discharge a general duty of employers, contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act, and another count of failing to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures in contravention of European Union food safety regulations.
Kuddus, of Belper Street, Blackburn, had already pleaded guilty to those two charges on behalf of himself and Royal Spice Takeaway Ltd.
The men made no comment as they were approached by media while leaving court.
‘Tragedy waiting to happen’
Det Ch Insp Mark Vaughton of Lancashire Police, said there had been a “casual disregard for customer safety” that was “blatant and widespread” at the takeaway.
He added: “This was a tragedy waiting to happen, and one to which these defendants had given little or no thought.
“Tragic as the circumstances are, they are circumstances that could have been prevented. The working practices in the Royal Spice takeaway were such that it was only a matter of time.
“I can only imagine how difficult it has been for Megan’s parents, brother, family and friends. My thoughts are with them and will continue to be.”
Lancashire County Council deputy leader Albert Atkinson said: “I would like this to be a warning to all food businesses to make sure they do everything in their power to get food safety right.”
Gift guides are taking over again — gift ideas for him, gift ideas for her, and suggestions for every ultra-specific person in between seem to be everywhere you look. But one thing that’s often left until the last minute? The beloved stocking stuffer.
Whether you’re gifting on a budget, have a spending limit within your gifting circle, or need a tiny-but-expensive gift to add as a surprise, small stocking stuffers are a necessity.
But let’s be clear: Just because stocking stuffers need to be small in size doesn’t mean they should be dinky and worthless. Fake poop or an emergency clown nose are technically cheap and technically fit in a stocking, but we doubt anyone was dying to open those. Sure, it’s funny for a minute and you’ll be the class clown for the day, but you know it’ll end up in their junk drawer. Your friends and family will appreciate a Bluetooth tracker or wine stain remover way more.
We’ve asked around and done some research to pull together 50 of the best *useful* stocking stuffers out there. Some will be limited by price, some will be pricey but small enough to fit in a stocking, and some will be a mixture of both — while all will be sure to please.
Having the menacing-looking Keith Flint perform in a disused London Underground tunnel in anything but black and white seems unthinkable now, but Liam promises it wasn’t a conscious decision.
“This is how these things happen with our band, they’re very spontaneous. None of it is pre-conceived or contrived in any way. We go with the flow of what feels good and what feels real.”
After a four-day shoot for the original, the new video was shot in one day: “We all moaned, everyone was whingeing we’re gonna get asbestos poisoning from the tunnel – from being down there sweating [like crazy] – but the result is great. It’s one of the greatest videos ever.”
Fortunately, the 47-year-old didn’t get his way over the controversial and groundbreaking Smack My Bitch Up video. He admits to falling out with the video’s Swedish director Jonas Akerlund because he didn’t like it.
“I saw it before it had any of the effects on it – it was just a guy – or a girl, as it happens – walking around with the camera – and it didn’t have any of the drugged-out effects on it yet.
“But when I saw it in the end, I was like… this is amazing.”
‘We’re not a retro band’
The Prodigy are back with their seventh studio album, No Tourists, which relies heavily – some may say too heavily – on the group’s old sound.
To listen to the album brings a comfort and familiarity – perhaps a strange achievement for the abrasive electronic sounds the band are renowned for.
“We’re not a retro band – we don’t want to ever be retro,” Howlett insists. “Songs have to have a freshness about them. Even though I’ve utilised that early rave sound quite a bit, it’s still welded to the violent beats of right now.
“It just makes me ill when bands jump on the latest craze and they do whatever the latest thing is now. We’re not a band that are embarrassed of our roots,” he continues. “We own that sound, we created it.
“We’re not interested in reinventing ourselves, because we’re happy with ourselves – we don’t need to.”
Collaborations are for ‘weak artists’
The group, which first emerged in the 1990s underground rave scene, have used a number of guest vocalists on previous tracks. Artists to have lent their voices to Prodigy records range from Liam Gallagher to Juliette Lewis, but Howlett says he hasn’t the slightest intention of working with other producers or DJs.
“You don’t put Gordon Ramsay in a kitchen with Jamie Oliver, do you? It’s just pointless. They’d just get in my way – and don’t get in my way,” he warns sternly.
“I think when you’ve got this producer, that producer, two vocalists and a rapper it just looks like it’s just for money. It annoys the [hell] out of me – and I’ll never stop being annoyed about it.
“It’s like a load of weak artists put together to try and get one good one,” he adds.
‘We don’t mix politics and music’
Surprisingly, for a band that has represented a counter culture in the UK over three decades, the producer says The Prodigy is not openly political.
“We’re not a political band, we’re an escapism band,” he says.
“We don’t ever want to stand on stage and preach our beliefs to people – I personally don’t like that. We try not to mix politics in our music.”
Howlett does, however, go on to add that No Tourists is about the “current climate”.
“It’s about not getting drawn into this so-called tourist path. People have got a bit lazy with that and they need to jump off the path and explore a bit.
“It’s really important that people still go manual and go ‘Hold on a minute,’ and look over there and see what’s going on.”
So is there anything off the beaten path that is on his to-do-list?
Howlett, who has been married to All Saint Natalie Appleton for 16 years, goes back into confessional mode and admits to being a massive fan of horror films – appropriate given we’re talking on Halloween.
“I feel like at some point I’m going to be doing a soundtrack to one – I’ve just gotta find the right one. Gotta do that – it’s definitely on the list,” he adds.
A collaboration with his wife’s band, perhaps? Funnily enough, “It’s never come up,” he says.
But in the spirit of how we started, he leaves me with one more snippet: “I’ll let you into a secret, though,” he says. “My wife did do the opening vocal on Spitfire.
“Not many people know that.”
The Prodigy are touring their new album No Tourists now.
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Latest on a drive-by shooting that killed an 11-year-old girl in Nevada. (all times local):
A police official is asking for the public’s help finding the killers of an 11-year-old girl in the kitchen of a suburban Las Vegas home who was misidentified as the target in a gang retaliation shooting.
North Las Vegas Assistant Police Chief Pamela Ojeda said Friday the girl, her parents and two sisters, who were all in the house, were innocent victims.
The parents and sisters, 14 and 6, weren’t injured by gunfire.
Ojeda says people with information about the case should contact police.
Police say three shooters stepped from a car Thursday night and opened fire on the house with a shotgun and handguns before a neighbor returned fire with a legally owned handgun as the car drove away.
Ojeda says a 19-year-old passenger was wounded by the neighbor and is hospitalized in grave condition.
The neighbor was questioned by police but has not been charged with a crime.
A 17-year-old identified as the driver of the car is in custody.
Police say a drive-by shooting that killed an 11-year-old girl was gang-related and targeted the wrong house in suburban Las Vegas.
North Las Vegas police Officer Eric Leavitt said Friday that a neighbor who saw the shooting opened fire at the car as it drove away with a legally owned handgun.
He says a 19-year-old passenger is hospitalized in grave condition with a head wound and a 17-year-old identified as the driver of a getaway car is in custody. Three other shooters are being sought.
Leavitt says the group got out of a car and opened fire Thursday night on the house about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of the Las Vegas Strip.
Leavitt says four other people in the house weren’t injured.
Police in a Las Vegas suburb say an 11-year-old girl is dead after being shot in her home during a drive-by shooting Thursday night.
North Las Vegas police say the girl died at a hospital after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
Police say a 19-year-old man described as a suspect also was shot during the incident and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Police spokesman Eric says investigators are trying to locate other suspects and to determine circumstances of the incident, including whether the drive-by shooting was random or targeted.