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Seven Worlds Of TRAPPIST-1 May Host Alien Life (Again)

Forbes News Feed - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 10:47
There might be life in the TRAPPIST system after all, according to a new study of the atmospheres of the seven exoplanets. In the search for alien life on exoplanets, perhaps no system has provoked as much conjecture as the seven planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 just 40 light years away...
Categories: Business

The Best Airport in the World Is About to Get Even Better

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 10:33
<p>Singapore's Changi Airport is already <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/best-international-airport-singapore-changi" target="_blank">the World's Best</a>, and it has no plans to give up the title. An enormous dome-shaped facade made of glass and steel, called Jewel Changi, is due to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2018, opening to the public by early 2019.</p><p>Clad in 9,600 pieces of glass and with indoor gardens, walking trails and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/jewel-changi-airport" target="_blank">mazes</a>, Jewel Changi will feature 340 species of planets, including a dedicated Avenue of Trees.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/airport-carpets" target="_blank">Here's Why Airports Have Carpet</a></p><p>It's an attempt to keep Singapore's already <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/best-international-airport-singapore-changi" target="_blank">famously green</a> airport at the top, though Jewel Changi will also feature stores, restaurants and a Yotel hotel, as well as a SkyTrain, bridges and travelators to link to the passenger terminals. However, the highlight of Jewel Changi will be a five-story Forest Valley area.</p><h2>Forest Valley</h2><img alt="A World Class Retail Experience at Jewel Changi Airport "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513791267/a-world-class-retail-experience-at-jewel-changi-airport-3-JEWEL1217.jpg?itok=lSoZv2SP"><p>At the core of Jewel Changi will be Forest Valley, an enormous indoor garden featuring about 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs from countries including Brazil, Australia, Thailand and the U.S.</p><p>At its center will be Rain Vortex, the world's biggest indoor waterfall at 40 meters (about 131 feet), surpassing the 35-meter indoor waterfall at <a href="http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en.html" target="_blank">Gardens by the Bay</a>, an urban nature park also in Singapore. Using rainwater collected by the building’s dome-shaped roof, light shows will make Rain Vortex glow in different colors.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>Canopy Park</h2><p>Elsewhere in Jewel Changi will be Canopy Park, a 150,000-square-foot, 10-story, dome-shaped structure on the roof of Jewel Changi. Inside will be a glass bridge and “sky nets,” suspended three storeys above ground, that visitors can bounce on.</p><p>There will also be a couple of mazes — one of them a “mirror maze” that will create illusions — several tube slides, and even bowls of mist for bored kids (and kid-ults) to amuse themselves between flights.</p><h2>Why You'll Want to Visit Jewel Changi Airport</h2><p>For a country of 5.6 million people squeezed onto an island bigger than Manhattan, but smaller than the five boroughs of New York, Singapore's expanding of its Changi Airport may seem like overkill. After all, according to the Airports Council International (ACI), Singapore is the only Asian airport in the world's top 20 busiest airports that is not already operating at capacity.</p><p>However, it's got a reputation for being a fast and easy airport to travel through, and it wants to stay that way to attract in-transit and layover passengers.</p><img alt="A World Class Retail Experience at Jewel Changi Airport "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513791267/a-world-class-retail-experience-at-jewel-changi-airport-JEWEL1217.jpg?itok=Ptn52bwl"><p>In addition to being named the World's Best airport by <em>Travel + Leisure</em> readers, Changi Airport was been voted Skytrax World's Best Airport by air travelers at the 2017 World Airport Awards for the fifth time running (though runner-up Tokyo's Haneda airport scooped 2017's prize for being the world's cleanest).</p><p>In an effort to retain that status — and increase Changi's reputation as a hub airport — there are already plans to build a fifth terminal ready for 2030, which could increase the airport's handling capacity from the current 82 million passengers a year to 150 million.</p><img alt="A World Class Retail Experience at Jewel Changi Airport "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513791267/a-world-class-retail-experience-at-jewel-changi-airport-4-JEWEL1217.jpg?itok=-c2UUNAY"><p>The Jewel Changi was designed by architect Moshe Safdie, who designed the the Salt Lake City Public Library and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. His work on Changi Airport is no fluke; Safdie Architects designed the Marina Bay Sands resort that was completed in 2011 on the Singapore waterfront. Comprised of three 55-story towers connected by the Sands SkyPark, the hotel has become an iconic Singapore sight, and the firm's best-known work by far. Safdie Architects is now also now working on a two residential towers in Singapore linked by three tree-lined bridges, and topped with a “sky pool.”</p><p>It's that kind of flair that Changi Airport is hoping will help it keep its reputation as the ultimate layover airport. Most savvy travelers already know about its cheap pay-per-use showers in every terminal, and Terminal 3's free 2.5 hour Singapore tour for those with five-hour layovers.</p><h2>Other Airport Openings to Watch for in 2018</h2><p>New airports tend to pop-up in places experiencing a surge in tourism, which at the moment is wherever middle class Chinese tourists want to go. That's certainly true in Japan, which is having to add a swish new terminal at Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport, which gives arriving passengers an unparalleled view of the iconic mountain.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/airports-international" target="_blank">The Top 10 International Airports</a></p><p>Meanwhile, Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt, a forever-delayed $7 billion new airport being constructed adjacent to the current Schönefeld Airport south of the city, is due to open in August 2018.</p><p>However, the biggest new airport for 2018 will be the opening in Istanbul, Turkey of the world's biggest airport. Istanbul New Airport, 20 miles north of the Turkish capital, will have an annual passenger capacity of 200 million passengers. The new home for the ever-expanding Turkish Airlines, it's scheduled to open in October 2018.</p>
Categories: Travel

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T First Drive Review

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 09:00

Even among enthusiasts, confusion about the new Porsche 911 Carrera T continues to roil.

Let’s cut right to the heart of it: It’s got nothing to do with the underpowered stripper touring model from 1968, nor does it have anything to do with the 911 Turbo (though it does have two turbos). Here’s the thing: Porsche wanted to name it “Clubsport” after its spiritual predecessor, the 1987 911 Carrera 3.2 Clubsport, but BMW owns the trademark on that name these days. “T” is what they had left. They say it stands for “Touring,” but only if you use the autocrosser’s definition of touring.

Frame it in the context of the limited edition 3.2 Clubsport, though, and it makes a lot more sense. Unlike the original T, which was a base model with a much less powerful engine, the new T follows the Clubsport playbook to the letter. Less weight, sport suspension, manual transmission, mechanical limited-slip differential, and no increase in power. (PDK and rear steering are optional. The former is discouraged.)

Its mission is to be the best-driving street 911, which requires its own explanation. Although all Porsches are track-ready according to the company, only GT models developed by the motorsports division are considered track-prepped. You can absolutely track the 911 T, but what you really ought to do is what we did: drive the best parts of the Rallye Monte Carlo route.

On exceedingly narrow mountain roads with many times more curved miles than straight ones, you don’t for a minute pine for the extra 50 hp of a Carrera S and certainly not the 130 extra horsepower of a GT3. I’m extra certain about that last part because we also had a new GT3 Touring (aka rear wing delete) on hand, and it was more often than not too much car for the road.

That’s the beauty of the 911 T. On your favorite back road, you can use every inch of the car. You can absolutely whale on it, burn through the tires, and punish the brakes for all they’re worth without automatically putting yourself and your car at grievous risk of harm. Not too much or too little, the 911 T has just the right amount of power to feel like you’re getting everything the car can give you.

As our favorite roads, and incidentally our test route, tend to be in the mountains, there’s quite a bit to be said for the turbos on the latest Carreras. With their rear engines, 911s put down power exceptionally well, and the low- to midrange torque the turbos afford you allows the 911 T to leap off hairpin corners even at high altitude. A shorter final-drive ratio exclusive to manual transmission Ts makes the powertrain even more responsive.

More than just making the best of its power, the 911 T is about limits: finding them, testing them, exceeding them, and dancing on the edge of them. They’re more than high enough to have a ball on public roads but low enough that exceeding them leaves you room to recover. A GT3 on roads like these has limits so high by the time you’ve found them, it won’t end well.

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring leading a 911 T

The degree of precision and control Porsche has dialed into the T with just a sport suspension package, limited-slip diff, and rear steering is legitimately impressive. It’s as if it was set up from the factory for autocrossing. The car feels alive, desperate to tackle a turn the minute you set off. Every crack of the downsized steering wheel is met immediately with an aggressive tack into the corner, every routine maneuver an invitation to turn your commute into a race. The only thing this car wants is to be driven hard by someone who enjoys driving for driving’s sake.

Porsche will tell you some of this is thanks to weight savings, but take it with a grain of salt. Thinner rear glass and nylon straps for interior door handles do indeed save weight, but not much. Opting for the $5,200 carbon-fiber bucket seats will save weight, too (partly by removing the rear seats), but not a large amount. The best thing you can do to keep weight down is the same thing you can do to keep the price down: don’t add features. Sure, you can tart it up with adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled leather seats, a premium stereo, and more, but at that point you might as well just get a 911 GTS.

No, what makes the 911 T special is its lack of conveniences. It’s an enthusiast’s blend of semi-exclusive performance features at a price you can’t match playing with base Carrera build sheets. Even the carbon-ceramic brake option is up for debate. Unfortunately, unlike with some previous stripped-out Porsches, things like the stereo and A/C aren’t. On the former, the U.S. regulation requiring all cars to have reverse cameras beginning in 2018 prevents Porsche from ditching the infotainment system like they do in Europe, and if it’s there, you gotta keep the speakers, too, so it works. For the latter, Porsche simply decided an A/C delete was a bridge too far for a car nominally named “Touring.”

The good news is that none of that really matters. The T drives like a GTS for 20 grand less, which is to say it drives brilliantly. More so because the GTS has tricks such as Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, and Sport Chrono with adjustable drive modes. The T does it all natural. That’s really saying something; six months ago when I reviewed the GTS, I wrote, “If you want a properly sporty 911 with all the performance goodies and none of the coddling luxury bobbles, the GTS is the way to go (and it’s hardly a stripper, either).” The T has taken it a step further, stripping out the remaining luxuries of the GTS and just giving you the pure performance stripper we enthusiasts are always telling automakers we want.

Also while reviewing the GTS, I noted the shifter on the seven-speed manual could be a bit better, more like the one on the GT3. The T gets a shortened shifter, and Porsche has taken time to refine it a bit in the process. The gates are still close together, but I found myself missing many fewer shifts despite using the shifter a lot more. The shorter final drive ratio also had the welcome effect of shortening the gears, making you use the shifter more often, and that’s always a good thing. We buy manuals because we enjoy shifting them, after all.

Climbing behind the wheel, you won’t think the T is more raw just because I said so, either. The thinner rear glass and loss of some sound deadening provided by the now-absent rear seats (provided you upgrade to the bucket seats, which you should) will make you look over your shoulder to make sure a window isn’t cracked open a bit. The steering is quick and more talkative than the GTS’ through the smaller steering wheel. The damping is one size fits all, and it stands on a middle ground between a full GT3 and an actual grand touring model like the standard Carrera. The bucket seats don’t recline, but they’re comfortable on a long drive. They’re leather and Alcantara, but the standard seats are cloth with leather trim—aside from the steering wheel, dash cover, and center console, the only bit of leather that comes standard on the car (which is basically nothing for a Porsche that offers optional leather-wrapped vent slats).

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring

Here’s the kicker: Because it had recently snowed on the Col de Turini, our car wasn’t equipped with its standard Pirelli P Zero summer tires. Rather, it was riding on Sottozero winter tires. The road was clear but cold and still wet in some places, so it was a wise decision, but you already know winter tires don’t grip like summers. Braking performance was most notably diminished, and understeer was more likely. The T left all these favorable impressions despite the handicap.

All of this is provided, of course, you show some restraint. Porsche will happily load the T up with leather-wrapped vents and power heated and cooled seats and adaptive cruise control and on and on if you’re willing to pay for it. If you want all that, just get a GTS. It’s already a great balance of performance and luxury. The 911 Carrera T is the performance-parts-only stripper we enthusiasts claim we want, but it only delivers the magic if you let it. Yeah, $103,150 is a ton of money for a “stripper,” but if you’ve got it and you’re serious about buying the best-driving no-frills street 911 you can, there’s no better choice.

The post 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T First Drive Review appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Why the World's Best Airport Will No Longer Do Final Boarding Announcements

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 08:24
<p>Singapore’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/singapore-jewel-changi-airport" target="_blank">Changi Airport</a>, one of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/resort-hotels-in-southeast-asia" target="_blank">Southeast Asia</a>’s largest transportation hubs, will no longer broadcast final boarding announcements.</p><p>The move was made to reduce <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports" target="_blank">terminal</a> noise and help passengers focus on more essential announcements, <a href="http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/changi-airport-to-stop-announcing-final-calls-for-boarding-paging-for-late" target="_blank">according to the <em>Straits Times</em>.</a></p><p>"With more flights and passengers, maintaining the present frequency of announcements will mean noisier terminals and more interruptions in time to come," Changi Airport Group spokesman Ivan Tan said, <a href="http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/last-call-final-boarding-announcements" target="_blank">according the <em>New Paper</em></a>, a Singapore-based publication.</p><p>"One concern is that passengers may pay less attention to the announcements made over the public address system, crowding out the more critical announcements," Tan added.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The decision means that passengers will need to keep an eye out on departure boards and watch the clock. Announcements will be used to page passengers directly with news on emergencies, lost children, recovered passports, flight delays and gate changes, the <em>New Paper</em> reports.</p><p>Changi’s terminals currently average one announcement every five minutes, Tan said, according to the outlet.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Simple Move That Keeps Mark Wahlberg in Shape While He's on Vacation

Travel and Leisure - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 07:24
<p>When you’re a Hollywood star whose career relies on looking good, you can’t afford to miss a workout just because you’re traveling.</p><p>Although he’s on vacation with family in Barbados, Mark Wahlberg is continuing training for the filming of his upcoming movie, “Mile 22.”</p><p>He posted video proof of his workout to Instagram with the hashtag #nodaysoff on Thursday. In his workout, Wahlberg balances on an exercise ball while leaning back to catch a medicine ball.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/yoga-wellness/class-pass-subscription" target="_blank">How to Use an Exercise Class Subscription to Work Out on the Road</a></p><p>And, as any athlete knows, body building extends to the kitchen. It’s safe to assume that Wahlberg is not pounding Wahlburgers while on vacation — although he did share a video of his personal chef cooking up meatballs while on the golf course.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>However Wahlberg’s full-on workout and eating lifestyle may not be attainable for every gym rat who’s on the road. Those who are inspired by Wahlberg’s traveling commitment to fitness but would prefer something more low-key can swap the gym and personal trainer for a pair of sneakers and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/free-travel-fitness-apps" target="_blank">a free fitness app</a> and learn how to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/best-healthy-plane-snacks" target="_blank">balance their meals on the road with healthy snacks</a>. Prepare to come back from vacation looking better than when you left.</p>
Categories: Travel

Mental health: 'I restrained my son from killing himself'

BBC Health News Feed - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 07:03
A mother describes the affect her 12-year-old son trying to kill himself had on her own mental health.
Categories: Health

Biggest Headline Makers of 2017

Aces Show Biz News Feed - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 07:00
From the biggest scandals in Hollywood to an engagement news from the U.K., these celebrity stories graced the headlines of various media outlets this year.
Categories: Celebrity

Wisconsin Vs. Miami: Orange Bowl Odds And Expert Picks For 2017-18 College Football Bowl Games

Forbes News Feed - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 07:00
The 2017-18 New Year's Six bowl games continue on Saturday night with Wisconsin taking on Miami in the Orange Bowl. Be prepared for this Big Ten vs. ACC battle with a comprehensive preview that includes the schedule, start time, TV info, latest odds and an expert pick from a Vegas betting pro.
Categories: Business