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Dave Bautista Builds a Fire With Bear Grylls


During his career, Dave Bautista has dominated the WWE, saved the universe in Guardians of the Galaxy, and helped take down Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. But even with all that experience, Bautista found himself in some unknown territory in the latest episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

“Dave Bautista is a giant of a man, and he was out of his comfort zone,” Grylls told Men’s Journal ahead of the new season. “He’d never done anything like this before. He said, ‘I’m big and muscular, but I’m really terrified.’ He was amazing. We were on seriously massive cliffs in the Grand Canyon and freezing water of the Colorado River. He’s one of the humblest, strongest people I’ve ever met and we had an amazing experience out there.”

Grylls took the actor out into the Arizona Mountains and the Colorado River for the new episode, and in the course of the expedition, the duo climbed a canyon using a log ladder, scaled down a cliff and built a raft with sticks. But there was also something the two did that Grylls had never done before in his travels: He started a fire using urine. (Yes, you read that right!)

In an exclusive clip from the new episode, Grylls and Bautista teamed up to make a fire using a bag of their own urine: “We’re both dehydrated Dave,” Grylls says in the clip. “So we’re going to dilute this, use some of our precious drinking water, make it clearer, and make fire.”

“I’m not good at scaling down mountains, I’m not good at rafting, and apparently I’m not very good at peeing,” Bautista says. “I’m a bit dehydrated today.”

“Then what we do is, we hold it above the sun, and get it angled well and find where the light is coming out of it,” Grylls explains, showing how they’re going to make the fire. “And then you hold it, and you let that light concentrate the sunlight into a beam. And you let that heat up and see if we can get fire from it. And this is one of the rare times you’re grateful for the heat of the desert sun. This is going to be my first pee fire,” Grylls adds.

Here’s a look at the clip:

Men’s Journal also has an exclusive photo of Bautista and Grylls from the episode:

Running Wild With Bear Grylls / National Geographic
Running Wild With Bear Grylls / National Geographic

The Bautista episode of Running Wild airs on December 10 at 10/9c on National Geographic.

Here are a few more clips from the episode:


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10 Under-the-Radar Places Wine Lovers Need to Visit Now


Sonoma Valley California Vineyard and Winery

YinYang

The world’s most lauded viticultural destinations are steeped in time-honored traditions, a strong sense of community, and—most importantly—wines whose flavors are unique to a certain region.

That overriding sense of geography is at the heart of every bottle of Locations, a brand of expertly blended wines featuring ingredients from states and countries known for their storied wine culture (think France, Spain, Italy, California, and New Zealand). Thanks to their expansive network of growers, each bottle conveys all the history and nuance of the area from which it cultivates its grapes.

Here, we rounded up 10 under-the-radar wine regions which have been blended in five of Locations’ namesake products, putting the spotlight on their respective local winemaking skills, high-caliber grapes, and striking landscapes.

1. Ribeira Sacra, Spain

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At first glance, you might mistake the vineyards of Galicia’s little-known Ribeira Sacra region for the lush hillsides of the Rhône Valley. But this ancient Roman settlement has been producing vino since the 12th century, and its dramatic landscape has birthed some of the most delicious wines on the planet.

Isolated by its rugged terrain until only recently—it’s nearly a four-hour drive east from the more renowned Rías Baixas, north of Portugal on Galicia’s western coast—the area’s mineral-rich terrain produces godello, treixadura, and albariño grapes, which are popular in white wines thanks to their crisp freshness. The region’s red wines are dominated by aromatic and floral mencía grapes, often likened to pinot noir.

2. Tenerife, Spain

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The high-elevation volcanic soil that cultivates the grapes in Tenerife—the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, off the Moroccan coast—provides an ideal breeding ground for unconventional wines characterized by a smoky mineral taste, citrusy acidity, and good balance.

Vineyards here have pioneered an unusual system of braided grapevines (some as old as 300 years!) that produce rare fruit in five distinct wine appellations influenced by the island’s unique microclimates. The predominant grapes are listán negro and blanco, but lesser-known varietals include white muscatel, diego, malvasia, red baboso, vijariego, and tintilla, and the terroir is one of the world’s most unique.

3. Campania, Italy

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Historically, Campania has produced forgettable table wines that earn little fanfare, but the “shin” of Italy’s boot has two big things going for it: the limestone-rich volcanic soil, which was resistant to the phylloxera that destroyed much of Europe’s viticulture in the late 19th century, and the fact that it was never replanted with international grapes, making it fertile ground for ancient varieties such as aglianico.

In regions like Irpinia, the reigning king is Taurasi, a red wine whose black cherry notes and tannins earn it the nickname “Barolo of the South,” though whites like greco di tufo and fiano di Avellino are also worth a try.

4. Sicily, Italy

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Until recently, Sicily’s wine industry was focused on providing filler for light-bodied wines in Europe and beyond; its most noteworthy product was associated more with cooking than with drinking (i.e., marsala wine). But indigenous grapes are making a comeback in appellations like Vittorio and Mount Etna, where the local viticulture has been in place since as early as 4,000 BC, and the mineral-rich volcanic soil transfers strong terroir.

The superstars of the movement are tannic, fruit-forward red nero d’avola, frappato, and nerello mascalese, though the white carricante grape is also making inroads into the international wine scene.

5. Alsace, France

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Many consumers are oblivious to this small wine-producing region on the German border of France, but ought to take a closer look. Nestled between the Black Forest and the Vosges Mountains, the area is a storybook landscape dominated by medieval villages with colorful timber-framed houses, romantic canals, and winding cobblestone streets.

It’s also the capital of French riesling and gurwürztraminer, which tend to be drier and more acidic, aromatic, and complex than the cloyingly sweet contenders produced elsewhere. The other draw is crémant d’Alsace, a hand-harvested, tightly structured sparkling wine that is made with pinot gris grapes and is generally more affordable (though no less enjoyable) than Champagne.

6. Occitanie, France

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It’s hard to imagine that the world’s largest wine-producing area is actually France’s best under-the-radar destination, but that’s true of Occitanie, a southern region formerly known as the Languedoc that grows just about every grape you can think of, from international favorites like syrah to indigenous ones like carignan.

Thanks to a viticulture that’s generally considered less stuffy than that of, say, Bordeaux, the unremarkable, mass-distributed wine produced during the First World War has been replaced over the last few decades with creative takes on traditional methods. The most interesting is the recent trend in biodynamic, certified-organic wines. And the sheer size of the region means that varietals vary widely by microclimate and soil composition, yielding an always-surprising diversity of distinctive terroirs.

7. San Luis Obispo, California

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The robust cabernets and zinfandels of Paso Robles may be SoCal’s claim to fame, but a much less heralded homegrown wine scene is budding farther south in San Luis Obispo County. About 95 miles north of Santa Barbara, the cool-climate growing regions of the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys excel at producing pinot noirs and chardonnays that rival some of California’s best. Many vineyards are also experimenting with less expected (for these parts) Rhône grapes, from grenache blanc and viognier to syrah and roussanne.

Many of these remain unoaked, fermenting instead in stainless-steel vats on account of their fruit-forwardness and juicy acidity. Farther north, wineries in the sleepy villages of Cayucos, Cambria, and Morro Bay are also emerging.

8. Mendocino, California

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Just an hour north of Sonoma and bordered by age-old redwood forests, Mendocino County’s vineyards have provided grapes for Napa and Sonoma wines for generations (the wine industry here dates back to the 1800s). Today, a handful of boutique operations are helping this backstage scene steal the spotlight.

The Anderson Valley is making a name for producing outstanding red fruit-flavored pinot noirs and Alsatian-style aromatics that are bright and crisp. Even more exciting is the creativity with which these bottles are being produced; from dry farming to foot treading, everything is fair game.

9. Martinborough, New Zealand

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Just across the Cooke Strait from the South Island powerhouse region of Marlborough, which produces two-thirds of New Zealand’s wine, the Wairarapa offers a complex red alternative to the country’s cult of sauvignon blanc.

Pinot noir grapes thrive in the dry climate, and the rugged landscape’s low humidity and extreme temperature shifts create ideal conditions for structured tannins, age-friendly red-fruit flavors, and herbal notes. A focus on sustainability and organic farming principles also set this region apart, as do the strong sense of community and the close-range, bike-able vineyards.

10. Nelson, New Zealand

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South Island’s most vibrant artistic scene also happens to be its most unsung viticultural destination. Secluded from the large-scale operations of their now well-established neighbors in Marlborough, the family-run, boutique-style vineyards of the Nelson region—bordered on three sides by mountains and the pristine waters of Tasman Bay—enjoy some of the country’s sunniest days, perfect for pinot noir and chardonnay, as well as aromatic grapes like riesling, chenin blanc, albariño, pinot gris, and gurwürztraminer.



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Runner Captures Video of Close Call with a Massive Avalanche in Banff


Bryon Howard was out for a recent run in Banff National Park that quickly escalated beyond ordinary workout.

On Friday evening, the Canadian realtor was running near the Fairmount Chateau in Lake Louise when he heard a loud “BOOM” behind him, reports CBC. He turned to see a huge avalanche careening toward him.

“I looked over my shoulder, I kind of heard something, and there was an avalanche heading my way,” he tells CBC.

With his camera already in hand to capture footage of the storied park’s surrounding scenery, Howard filmed the entire event before being completely engulfed by a white cloud of snow. Thankfully, Howard was untouched and walked away unharmed. His wife, daughter, and son were also on the trail behind him. They too, were unharmed by the avalanche, according to CBC.

“I felt as if there was no way that avalanche can get me, because you know, it has to come off the side of the mountain onto the lake on the other side—which is about 100 meters from where I am … but as it was coming closer and closer I thought, ‘Oh, I’d better run,’” he tells CBC.

His son stated that he also heard the sound of the avalanche nearby, and initially thought it was a controlled avalanche, but quickly realized that it was not. “I heard this huge cracking sound and then watched the avalanche fall down and was like, ‘Oh, no, I hope my parents aren’t under there,’” he tells CBC. “It was crazy. It just kind of filled the area with snow.”

At the end of the video, a relieved Howard can be seen struggling to catch his breath, exhaling repeatedly in relief. Once the situation had settled down, he simply described the whole experience as “Wild.”


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Kamala Khan Character Revealed in Marvel’s Avengers Game Trailer


Few games drummed up as much excitement at this year’s E3 video game conference in June as the new Marvel’s Avengers title. But besides some early gameplay shots, there’s been practically radio silence from Marvel and Square Enix since. That is, until this epic reveal timed to New York Comic Con. We got a wealth of new details about the 2020 game, the most exciting of which was a first look at our badass protagonist, Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel.

Kamala, who is only about six years young in Marvel time, threw us for a Snake/Raiden loop when it was announced that she is the sixth playable character in Marvel’s Avengers—and for all intents and purposes, the story’s main protagonist. Her origin story is heavily integrated into the events of the game’s narrative, giving us a lot of background to the character.

When Marvel’s Avengers debuted a three-minute-long trailer at E3, we learned that following the traumatic events of “A-Day,” which leave San Francisco in ruin, the Avengers (presumably) lose Captain America (even though we’re really not buying that) and disband. Then the heroes all get outlawed by evil comic mainstay A.I.M., a network that hates superheroes and believes the world can be saved with science and tech; you know the drill by now. What we now know is that at A-Day, Kamala, a noted superhero nut and Captain Marvel’s number-one fan, gets exposed to a mist, thus granting her elasticity and shape-shifting powers. Kamala then proceeds to work to reunite the shambled Avengers and take down A.I.M.

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Kamala Khan is a Marvel fan girl turned Marvel superhero.

Square Enix

Kamala, a Pakistani-American teen, was introduced as Ms. Marvel in 2013, and she rapidly won fans over with her mix of extremely relatable fan-girl nature, coupled with her superhuman passion for criminal and social justice. Her late addition to the Marvel universe really could have felt like an artificially woke, “how do you do, fellow kids” moment, but it was handled with such grace and dignity that it’s hard not to absolutely love her. While Kamala did appear in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 for Switch earlier this year alongside a huge cast, Marvel’s Avengers will really give her the star role she deserves. (And there are reports that she’s getting her own live-action TV show on Disney+.)

‘Marvel’s Avengers’

amazon.com

Aside from the promising origin story, Ms. Marvel plays great in the video game. Actually, the whole game plays great. I got hands-on time playing with all six heroes—Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, and Ms. Marvel—and I’m honestly blown away. The amount of depth with each character feels nearly as flushed out as it was with Insomniac’s excellent Spider-Man game from last yet. And in addition to these six, Square Enix plans on adding more DLC heroes, all for free, post-launch, along with further customization options, including a Joe Fixit Hulk costume and retro Avengers outfits.

Roughly eight months before its release, Marvel’s Avengers led by Kamala Khan is already showing a hell of a lot of promise—even considering that controversy over the visuals.



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Expert Tips on How to Prevent Knee Injuries While Hiking


Meet Jenna Nodding. She is an Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) hiking guide and physiotherapist. She has had six different surgeries on her own knees—two ACL surgeries, a posterior lateral reinforcement, and a couple arthroscopics thrown in. (Needless to say, she has some personal experience.)

She has hiked all over the world from the Arctic to China. She guides 150 days a year and can gain and descend thousands of meters a day. When she isn’t guiding, she works as a physio with athletes and recreationalists, getting them healed and strong from various injuries.

Here are some tips on how to prevent injuring your knees while out on the trail.

hiking tips
Courtesy of Mitch Hamilton

Heavy packs: Seems obvious, but having a too heavy of a pack can do damage on your knees. Whatever you can do decrease your pack weight will certainly help your knees.

Poles: For backpacking trips Jenna recommends using poles—but with a word of caution. Many people make the common mistake of leaning too far forward when using poles. This can actually place more stress on the knees. Instead, it’s important to sit back in your hips and use the poles for extra balance and to help lower your body when going over steps.

Not sitting back in your hip going downhill: Unlike skiing, when going downhill, sitting “in the backseat” is actually good for your knees. So many people don’t use their glutes to slow them down and they have their knees too far forward, which puts too much pressure on the backside of their knee cap. This may lead to knee pain.

Protect your knees
Courtesy of A.V. Wakefield

Jenna can’t say more about this: Knee injuries are rarely about the knees, instead they stem from weak hips.

Classic clamshell exercise: Laying on your side with your knees bent 30 degrees and ankle stacked. Lift the top knee away from the bottom knee while keeping the hips perfectly still. Commonly, people will let the hips rock backward allowing them to cheat. Don’t take the easy road, work the right muscles and get yourself strong.

Bridges: Perform laying on your back, bend your knees so that your feet are on the floor and close to your buttocks. Contract your core, squeeze your bum, and lift your hips up off the ground so that your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. To make this more difficult, straighten one knee so the foot is off the ground and perform single-legged. Focus on keeping your hips level throughout the movement.

For a more challenging exercise, try single leg squats: The key here is to focus on keeping your knee from wobbling from side to side and sticking your bum out and back as you bend your knee.

Hike right and prevent injury
Courtesy of A.V. Wakefield

A dynamic warm up: “People tend to underestimate hiking, it is always good practice to do a little warm up prior,” Nodding tells ASN. “Just take the joints their there available range. What this does is lubricate the joints, activates your nervous system and then wakes your body up for the activity that it is going to do.”

Some examples are just doing ankle circles. Leg swings—forward and back and side to side. High-steps and butt kicks are simple and easy, too.

Sit back: When hiking, start like a squat. This allows the first of your hips to relax so that your hip flexors aren’t over-engaged. This allows for your glutes to contract which stabilizes your upper leg.

hiking tips
Courtesy of Mitch Hamilton


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Hyperice’s Hypersphere Mini Massage Therapy Ball Review


Buy $99, rei.com


Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.


Have you ever wanted to give yourself a neck massage, but you can’t because you’re only human and not a particularly long-legged octopus? Same. Instead of harassing your partner or friend into helping you out, you could invest in a device that’ll do the work for you. And not only the neck massage work, but other muscle tightness or soreness you might have slowing down your body. The device I’m referring to Hyperice’s Hypersphere Mini high-intensity vibrating massage ball. You’ll want to take it everywhere with you, and you should.

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The rubber texture makes the Hypersphere Mini easy to grip.

Timothy Mulcare

It works out tension in your muscles.

As you may have noticed, massage rollers and percussive therapy guns are all the rage these days in the wellness world. Stretching is great and all, but it’s not high tech, and it doesn’t target deep muscle tissue. So machines step in to do the work. The Hypersphere Mini is a ball that fits into the palm of your hand. It vibrates at three different intensities—low, medium, and high—and you roll it over your muscles, wherever they need some loosening up. The vibrations are designed to ease tension. Tension is bad. Your muscles will feel good.

Buy $99, rei.com

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The Hypersphere Mini is only three inches in diameter.

Timothy Mulcare

It travels well.

You can use this vibrating ball wherever you need to. Really. Because it’s so small, it won’t take up space in your car—for neck massages when the road trip gets too long—or your workout bag—if you’d rather do all your fitness-related activities at the gym. The TSA will even let you carry in on an airplane for long flights. As for charge, it’ll hold two hours worth of it and automatically shut off after 10 minutes of use so you don’t overdo it. (That’ll also give your hands a rest from holding onto it.) Before you take it out at your desk, at the airport terminal, or near you gym locker, keep in mind that it isn’t a silent device. The vibrations make noise. But given the choice between tight muscles and muscle relief, we’ll take the relief.

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The lights on the Hypersphere Mini indicate how much battery is left and which setting the vibrations are turned to.

Timothy Mulcare

It’s cheaper and smaller than most other options.

Carting around a foam roller is a pain in the ass—those things can get massive—and besides, they don’t always come with a vibrating machine inside to really get deep into your calves, shoulders, quads, and whatever else. Spending big on a percussive therapy gun isn’t smart for everyone. A deep tissue massage is expensive and only offers a one-time fix. And even Hyperice’s regular-sized Hypersphere vibrating massage ball is quite large. The Hypersphere Mini can be your answer to all; it’s small, it’s much more affordable, and it works as long as you keep it charged up. If stretching alone won’t get your muscles feeling right, then this might.

Buy $99, rei.com



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Gear Essentials for Winter Car Camping


At first thought, winter car camping makes little sense. For a true ski bum, however, the juice of an unforgettable mountain experience is worth the squeeze. 

Living out of a vehicle is a tight and tricky endeavor. There’s no way around that truth. Add in below-freezing temperatures, snowy roads plus short days, and the game becomes that much more difficult. A few key items can make all the difference to making the journey memorable for the right reasons. There are a few different lists published about gear essentials for van life, but these articles are too often sponsored with expensive gear or written by someone who hasn’t lived in his or her vehicle full-time. 

So here we are. Written from personal experience after living in a truck for a Canadian winter, this is an unsponsored and nonaffiliated list of items most useful for a regular weekend warrior to take life on the road during the winter.

 

Skiing is fun!
The author, enjoying the spoils of winter life based in a truck. Emma Renly

1. Paco Pad 

Imagine sleeping on a cloud of heavenly fluff. Now imagine the next best thing: a Paco Pad, equivalent to being embraced by a dozen angels at once. Western river runners have long sworn by the rugged all-weather sleeping pads made by Jack’s Plastic Welding in Aztec, N.M. Constructed with heavy-duty PVC and a layer of soft foam, these prototypical inflatable, waterproof pads (and similar versions from raft manufacturers like AIRE and NRS), have a cult following as the most durable and comfortable options for camping, cold car or hard ground alike. Paco pads self-inflate, are thin enough to fit in minimal space and are easy to clean – unlike a regular mattress. Once the snow melts, they’re perfect for summer camping down by the river. 

2. Three-pronged Campstove

There’s no question that a dual-burner stove is the embodiment of a successful car-camping rig, only to be outdone by the rare wood-burning stove. This doesn’t mean that classic Coleman is the best! In the winter, the metal regulator of the dual-burner stove freezes and becomes miserable to assemble for each meal. The three-pronged burner (like MSR’s venerable 25-year-proven WhisperLite) is the perfect answer for cold hands since it connects directly to the fuel bottle without extra pieces. With limited space, the three-pronger can also be used inside vehicles with a window cracked open. Plus, you play the endlessly fun game of ‘will this catch on fire?’  

3. Large Pee Bottle

There will be times that a small pee bottle will not be enough. Trust me on this.

4. Down Sleeping Bag

The best insulation is nature’s insulation (well, assembled by human-made machines). Down sleeping bags are created with goose or duck feathers, which capture and hold heat more efficiently than synthetic material. While expensive, the investment will be worth every penny in the harsh winter conditions. 

Icy windows
Icy windows

5. Garbage Container (at all times) 

Trash adds up fast. Without a designated garbage bag, it ends up taking over the entire car. Empty potato sacks or snack boxes are the perfect, recyclable solution to a garbage bin. Realistically, any container works as long as it’s easy to throw out at a gas station 

6. Light Source

Daylight hours become scarce in the winter. It means late sunrises, early sunsets and high-potential for seasonal depression. Wondering what to do once the sun goes down? An external light source will be the light in the darkness for cooking, reading or merely existing. 

7. Mug

The worst way to start a day is without a mug. There’s no container to hold coffee, tea or other liquors. Don’t start the day on the wrong foot, get a great mug now. 

Kate Sabo and her styling mug
Emma Renly

8. External Battery

The only thing more miserable than being confined to a sleeping bag during a cold night is not having a smartphone to endlessly scroll through for entertainment. An external battery can change that. It offers a way to charge not only a phone but other electronics throughout the night without spending hours hogging the outlets at libraries and coffee shops. 

9. Roof box 

Find yourself crammed in-between boxes of gear, inches from the ceiling? Want to add some early morning yoga to your routine? Have no room for sleepovers? A roof box is the game-changer for space, it’s like a little attic for your home-on-wheels. 

If bought new, roof boxes and racks are overpriced pieces of gear. If bought used, they’re still pretty overpriced, but still a lot less expensive and worth it.

Snowy Mountains
Emma Renly

10. A friend with a couch 

Living in a car during the winter months means that friends with normal housing situations will be the unexpected heroes of the season. Bring them beer, wash their dishes, play endless fetch with their dog. Tell them you love them and that they’re the best skiers on the mountain. In return, you’ll be offered the couch to sleep on and a hot shower in the morning.

If you’re lucky, they’ll offer some coffee in the morning to pour into that useful mug (see No. 7).

 


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Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless Headphones on Sale at Amazon


The Powerbeats Pro truly wireless earphones from Beats by Dre are a serious investment. There’s no way around it. But for your investment, you get a pair of headphones that will honest-to-god raise the bar for all other headphones to unheard of heights. They’re that good. So good, we endorsed them as our favorite wireless headphones. And in a truly lucky break, that investment just got a little less hefty: Amazon has the Powerbeats Pro on sale for $50 off right now.

Normally, Beats’ Powerbeats Pro are priced at $250. And from where we’re sitting, paying that price is worth it. These wireless headphones were built for workouts and long commutes. They have incredible audio quality, like you’d expect from Beats, as well as intuitive controls. When they’re fitted into your ears, the AutoPlay feature automatically prompts your music, podcast, or TV show to start playing wherever you last left off. They won’t constantly pair and unpair with your phone either, like some other, cheaper headphones do.

As for comfort, the Powerbeats Pro come with four sizes of ear tips, and the ear piece is adjustable, so you won’t get that awful ear hole ache from wearing them too long. And you’ll be able to wear them for a long time. The battery life is superb, giving you nine hours on one charge, plus 24 more hours in the portable charging case. Because yeah, they come with a charging case. If you need juice fast, it’ll give you an hour-and-a-half of playback after just five minutes of charging.

We don’t know how long Amazon’s limited-time deal on the Powerbeats Pro earphones will last. But we do know that we’d buy them full-price. That 20 percent discount just sweetens the pot. Get ’em now for 200 bucks, and never futz around with crappy Bluetooth earpieces during your workout or commute again.



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Sony PS5 Gets 2020 Release Date with No Load Times, New AI Controllers


ePremier League Finals 2019

Alex PantlingGetty Images

Back in July, Microsoft unveiled its plans for the so-called “Project Scarlett,” its follow-up console to the Xbox One. As expected, it will boast some unprecedented specs, allegedly running four times faster than any console ever released. Rumors have been swirling around for months about Sony’s answer to Project Scarlett, and in a new report from Wired, we finally got some clarity on the PS4 successor.

PlayStation 5, as Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan confirmed, is the official title for the upcoming console. The system will debut in the 2020 holiday season, and like Project Scarlett, the technology packed in the PS5 sounds absolutely wild. As Wired writes, both consoles will have “a CPU based on AMD Ryzen line and a GPU based on its Navi family; [they] will ditch the spinning hard drive for a solid-state drive.” What this means is, you probably won’t have to anticipate much, if any, load times on Sony’s next-gen console. But that’s not the only thing to be excited about here.

The PS5 will allegedly be able to support ray-tracing. This means we may finally get a home console that allows for, as Wired says, “complex lighting and sound effects in 3D environments.” So you can expect video games to get a lot more immersive and atmospheric come winter 2020. And since the console will be running off a solid state drive, everything will be faster, too. Booting up games and waiting around on long, complicated menu screens will be a thing of the past.

Sony reps also told Wired that players will now be able to jump right into “joinable activities in real time.” So instead of logging into Star Wars Battlefront II, loading up the main menu, navigating to the multiplayer menu, then waiting around again to be dropped into a session, the PS5 UI will have you simply hop right into a game.

Sony is plugging in an AI assistant into its new console, too. The forthcoming DualShock controller, which as of now is still unnamed, reportedly has a spot for a “voice-driven AI assistant.” It also was reported that the controllers will have more complex haptic feedback, in addition to triggers with programmable tension, to make a “machine gun feel far different from a shotgun.” This gives developers a world of new experiences to explore for players.

From support for machine learning to real-time UI, the PS5 seems like a huge leap into unexplored territory for the industry of gaming. If you compare gaming to the medium of cinema, which itself is only about 130 years old, video games at this current moment are just barely stepping out of the black-and-white era. With only about half a century of gaming so far, forward-thinking consoles like the PS5 could push the industry into artistic worlds both exciting and unknown. (For reference, Citizen Kane came out just a little more than 50 years after cinema was invented.)

With the PS5, we could be arriving upon a new golden era for the video game industry. Hopefully, the console lives up to the anticipation.



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Sardel Cookware Makes the Best Stainless Steal Pans from Italy


Buy From $80-$495, sardelkitchen.com


Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.


That nasty old stainless steel pot. Everybody’s got one. Whether it originated in your brother’s off-campus college dorm or dates back to your grandmother’s wedding registry, it seems virtually impossible to have a kitchen cabinet without at least one ancient, scratched-up pot inside. There’s a reason the generations before us invested so much in this kind of cookware—it’s reliable. Unlike a lot of today’s cheap teflon crap, stainless steel pots can take a beating, they distribute heat evenly, and you never have to worry about weird chemicals leaching into your foods. But that’s not to say it’s worth resurrecting your danky mystery pot for your next stir fry. New stainless steel cookware is out there. And it might be time to graduate from your beginner’s level non-stick pan and adopt the kind of cookware preferred by chefs all over the world.

Sardel was founded by three brothers who partnered with small businesses in Italy to create authentic, no-nonsense cookware. These aren’t Olive Garden Italians either. Sardel’s stainless steel products hail from a family business in Italy that’s been in the steel game for over a century. In an industry dominated by lifeless, impersonal product lines from huge corporations like Amazon and Ikea, Sardel’s old-fashioned approach is endearing. But that’s not to say the cookware isn’t modern. With a five-ply build—that’s five layers of metal for superior heat distribution—Sardel’s cookware looks as elegant as it is useful on the stove. I tried out a saucepan, skillet, and stock pot, which you can purchase piecemeal starting at $80 or get as a set for just $290. That’s a fantastic deal, especially considering that these pots could last generations.

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Stainless steal is preferred by serious chefs for its durability, even cook, and very good looks.

Timothy Mulcare

Stainless steel is for grown-ass cooks.

You’re someone who loves to cook. You’ve been using the same non-stick saucepan for everything from teriyaki to tuna steak since college, but the teflon is starting to deteriorate. Sure, you could invest in another non-stick pan that’s going to fall apart in a few years. Or, you could get yourself in a longterm relationship with stainless steel. Sardel’s cookware takes a bit of patience. You have to become more mindful about your cooking if you want to use it for more than just homemade popcorn. This means taking the time to heat up the pots (not too hot), season them correctly (don’t overdo it with the oil), and clean them up properly (you better not throw these in the fridge with leftovers like Tupperware). But if you play by the rules, your steaks are going to cook way more evenly than that $40 non-stick pan you found on the discount rack at Marshalls. And unlike a lot of stainless steel cookware, the handles on these Sardel pots are hollow, meaning, if you fuck up, you’re not going to be icing a burnt hand for the rest of the night. If you’re a grown-ass adult, get yourself a grown-ass pan.

Buy From $80-$495, sardelkitchen.com

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Kitchen pan or home decor? The answer is, of course, both.

Timothy Mulcare

They’re downright beautiful.

When you live in a confined apartment, you know that the pots and pans you purchase need to serve as much more than just cookware—they become pieces of furniture in your cramped little kitchen. Sardel’s saucepans, skillets, and stock pots look so elegant that, if they weren’t already so capable for cooking, you could leave them on your stovetop all year round just for the decoration. The curvaceous, sculpted build of these pans is reminiscent of the refined craftsmanship for which Italian culture is so revered. They look so nice that you’re never going to forget to clean them—you wouldn’t dare let these pretty pots go to waste.

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Non-stick stainless steal is both elegant and dead useful.

Timothy Mulcare

The non-stick pan is the best of both worlds.

Included in Sardel’s collection is a 10-inch skillet that has—believe it or not—a non-stick surface! With a distinctive honeycomb pattern that is similarly elegant and nice to look at, the non-stick skillet is the remaining ingredient for a well-rounded combination of cookware that can conquer almost any stovetop cooking task. What I really like is the size of this skillet. Not so big that it’s unwieldy to lift up and shake around, but also big enough to house a few chicken breasts, it’s the kind of pan that you’ll end up using as much as you can. With the shiny metal handle and bottom (you can also get it with a lid, if you prefer), the skillet has all the perks of non-stick pans, enhanced by the elegance and family-made craftsmanship of the Italian stainless steel. Perfetto!

Buy From $80-$495, sardelkitchen.com



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