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Children’s Dressers Sold Exclusively at Rooms To Go Recalled Due to Tip-Over and Entrapment Hazards; Violation of Federal Regulation for Clothing Storage Units; Imported by LFN Limited

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Children’s Dressers Sold Exclusively at Rooms To Go Recalled Due to Tip-Over and Entrapment Hazards; Violation of Federal Regulation for Clothing Storage Units; Imported by LFN Limited

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Name of Product:

Mill Valley Jr. six-drawer youth dressers

Hazard:

The recalled dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in injuries or death to children. The dressers violate the performance requirements of the STURDY Act.

Recall Date:

May 02, 2024

Recall Details

Description:

This recall involves Mill Valley Jr. six-drawer youth dressers in either white or cherry with model numbers C2192Y-N04 and C2193Y-N04. The dressers are approximately 57 ½ inches long by 18 inches wide by 35 inches high, and weigh about 132 pounds. They have a white label on the rear panel with either “C2192Y-N04” (White) or “C2193Y-N04” (Cherry).

Remedy:

Consumers should stop using the dressers immediately, keep children away from them, and contact Rooms To Go for a free replacement dresser. Rooms To Go will schedule a free delivery of the replacement, and remove the recalled dresser. Rooms To Go is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Sold At:

Rooms To Go stores nationwide and online at www.roomstogo.com from December 2023 through January 2024 for about $450.

If you are experiencing issues with a recall remedy or believe a company is being non-responsive to your remedy request, please use this form and explain the situation to CPSC.

About the U.S. CPSC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

For lifesaving information:

Report an unsafe product

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Polaris Recalls Prostar S4 Titan Adventure Snowmobiles Due to Fire Hazard

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Polaris Recalls Prostar S4 Titan Adventure Snowmobiles Due to Fire Hazard

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  • Recalled Polaris Model Year 2024 Prostar S4 Titan Adventure 155 ES Snowmobile

  • Recalled Polaris Snowmobile VIN/Model Number Location

Name of Product:

Model Year 2024 Prostar S4 Titan Adventure 155 ES Snowmobiles

Hazard:

The snowmobile can leak fuel at the pump flange assembly, posing a fire hazard and risk of serious injury to the rider or passenger.

Recall Date:

May 02, 2024

Units:

About 240 (In addition, about 290 were sold in Canada)

Recall Details

Description:

This recall involves certain VINs of Polaris Model Year 2024 Prostar S4 Titan Adventure 155 ES Snowmobiles. The recalled snowmobiles were sold in black and custom color combinations. “POLARIS” is stamped on the front side panel of the vehicles. The VIN and model number are located on the right side of the vehicle’s frame.

Remedy:

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled snowmobiles, and contact an authorized Polaris dealer to schedule a free repair to replace the pump flange assembly gasket. Polaris has issued a Stop Ride notice to consumers, and is contacting registered owners directly about the remedy.

Incidents/Injuries:

The firm has received three reports of fuel leaking from the recalled snowmobiles. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:

Polaris dealers nationwide from August 2023 through March 2024 for about $16,100.

Manufacturer(s):

Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minnesota

Manufactured In:

United States

If you are experiencing issues with a recall remedy or believe a company is being non-responsive to your remedy request, please use this form and explain the situation to CPSC.

About the U.S. CPSC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

For lifesaving information:

Report an unsafe product

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Dixon Ticonderoga Recalls Creativity Street Foam Pattern Rollers Due to Violation of Federal Lead Content Ban

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Dixon Ticonderoga Recalls Creativity Street Foam Pattern Rollers Due to Violation of Federal Lead Content Ban

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  • Recalled Creativity Street Foam Pattern Rollers in packaging

  • Location of model number and lot code on packaging

Name of Product:

Creativity Street Foam Pattern Rollers

Hazard:

The recalled foam pattern rollers are intended for children and contain levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban in the rollers’ handles. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Recall Date:

May 02, 2024

Units:

About 2,880 (In addition, 24 in Canada)

Recall Details

Description:

This recall involves Creativity Street Foam Pattern Rollers with model PAC5170, which are intended for children to use when painting. Lot codes “02142080423” and “02142230523” are included in the recall and are printed on the back of the packaging. The foam pattern rollers come in four assorted patterns, with yellow, green, blue, and red handles.

Remedy:

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled foam pattern rollers and take them away from children. Contact Dixon Ticonderoga to receive a pre-paid label to return the recalled product. When the foam pattern rollers are received, consumers will receive a full refund. All known purchasers are being contacted directly by the firm or retailer.

Sold At:

Online at Amazon.com, StaplesAdvantage.com, MacPhersonsArt.com, ADASales.com and Walmart.com, and at the Teacher’s Edition store in Brooklyn, New York, from September 2023 through January 2024 for about $15.

Importer(s):

Dixon Ticonderoga Company, of Appleton, Wisconsin

If you are experiencing issues with a recall remedy or believe a company is being non-responsive to your remedy request, please use this form and explain the situation to CPSC.

About the U.S. CPSC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

For lifesaving information:

Report an unsafe product

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The insect farmers turning to AI to help lower costs

The insect farmers turning to AI to help lower costs

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Founded in 2019, Full Circle now employs 14 people, and supplies 49 farms across Thailand. It wants to increase this, but faces a hurdle – soybean-based feed is currently substantially cheaper.

Soybean feed is presently around 460 euros ($490; £400) per tonne, compared with €1,400 for insect-based, according to one European comparison earlier this year., external

To try to reduce the price of its feed, Full Circle is now turning to AI to help maximise production at a lower cost. To do this it is training an AI system to study all available past and present data on insect farming to determine and then continuously fine tune the best methods.

This can include everything from temperature to food quantity, the optimum space that the larvae need, quickly and accurately counting thousands of flies, and whether to introduce new strains or species.

“AI can help us speed up the process of trial and error, helping us overcome obstacles, and develop a thorough enough understanding of insect production, to be reasonably confident that our production is optimised,” says Mr Collins.

“AI can help us process, record and understand every attempt at insect farming to date, and expand the potential for a larger and more nutritious crop every time we grow one.”

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Explore India : Five incredible holiday experiences

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Explore India : Five incredible holiday experiences

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River rafting across the waters of the Ganges in Rishikesh

River rafting across the waters of the Ganges in Rishikesh
| Photo Credit: RAJATK/ Getty Images

The curious case of the breathing bridges

I still remember trying to catch the monsoons in the wettest place on Earth, Mawsynram in Meghalaya. That was a couple of years before the pandemic when climate change hadn’t overturned our seasons. But it was not just the monsoons that we were there for, but a century-old manmade natural wonder- the root bridges of Meghalaya. The north-east State is known for its dramatic and lush landscapes, heavy rainfalls, and breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls. But it is the root bridges that set the state apart. Walking across a living, breathing bridge made up of tangled roots, as you get hemmed in by forested hills, can make you feel as if you have stepped into a fairyland. There are many such living breathing bridges in the rural villages of Meghalaya. These are built using the aerial roots of Ficus elastica, a species of fig tree. These bridges help one navigate across the water bodies in the deeper reaches of the forests of the north-east State.

A double-decker root bridge in the north-eastern State of Meghalaya.

A double-decker root bridge in the north-eastern State of Meghalaya.
| Photo Credit:
REUTERS

Propelled some 50 to 100 feet up in the air, the bridges comprise the tangled roots of two trees that are woven together and “coerced” to grow to form pathways or bridges. These bridges are made by planting rubber trees on either side of the river and then merging, guiding, and weaving the secondary aerial roots together to form the bridge. The roots grow thicker and stronger as the years pass by until they form a bridge and can support the movement of people. There are some 100 living root bridges across different villages and new bridges are being made even now.

Embark on a perfume trail

Attar kept in fancy, stylish, decorated glass bottles, in Kannauj, which is also known as the ‘perfume city of India’ or ‘ïttar Nagri’

Attar kept in fancy, stylish, decorated glass bottles, in Kannauj, which is also known as the ‘perfume city of India’ or ‘ïttar Nagri’
| Photo Credit:
SANDEEP SAXENA

Remember the smell that wafts in when the first rains arrive after a long spell of hot weather? It is the distinct smell of the earth that arises when the rain hugs the parched earth. It is called petrichor. Now what if you can bottle the smell? In the town of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, generations are involved in bottling a myriad range of fragrances. They are the ittar makers. They carry forward this centuries-old tradition of ittar making following the traditional method of hydro-distillation. They are famed for ‘mitti attar’ in which they have bottled the smell of the earth after the first showers. The ittars are pure and natural and are available in a host of fragrances. The ittar makers have their secret formula and bring out a multitude of fragrances such as those of flowers, grasses and herbs and spices. The holidays can be an ideal time to explore this quaint town. Embark on this heady trail exploring the many exquisite fragrances and the centuries-old technique in perfumery.

River rafting

River rafting at Rishikesh.

River rafting at Rishikesh.
| Photo Credit:
MEETA AHLAWAT

What’s common among “Sweet Sixteen”, “Roller Coaster”, “Double Trouble”, “The Wall”, and “Three Blind Mice”? They are all some of the majestic rapids in the waters of the Ganges. If adventure is your forte, then river rafting might just be one of the activities to indulge in. And one of the best locations to experience the sport is in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Catching the rapids and riding them in a raft in the Ganges is one of the most adventurous and thrilling activities. While the sport is challenging, one can always choose a stretch that is comfortable and mild. The rapids are classified into categories such as grades I, II, III and IV. This adrenaline-packed watersport lets you sail through the untamed waters, as the raft tosses and turns when it rides a rapid. Another site famous for river rafting is the Brahmaputra which is popularly called “The Everest of Rivers.”

Explore the ruins of Hampi

A view of the ruins of Hampi

A view of the ruins of Hampi
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Ever heard about musical pillars? These are the columns at the Mahamandapa pavilion in Hampi that can create musical notes. It is not just these “sa-re-ga-ma pillars” that astound one at the ruins of Hampi, Karnataka. But the property looks like an art exhibit with centuries-old stone ruins. The UNESCO World Heritage site includes more than 1000 surviving remains of an ancient empire such as royal complexes, temple complexes, pillared halls, forts, riverside features, mandapas, and so on.

The ancient structures are architectural masterpieces and incorporate elements of Indo-Islamic architecture. From the 14th to 16th Century, the region was the capital of the South Indian Hindu Vijayanagara kingdom. The empire fell in the Battle of Talikota in 1565. The surviving structures at the site feature intricate and ornate craftsmanship. The holidays can be the ideal time to learn a bit about history and heritage. So step into an ancient era and soak in the grandeur of the architectural and colossal structures at Hampi.

Spot tigers in Sundarbans

A Royal Bengal tiger prowls in Sunderbans, at the Sunderban delta.

A Royal Bengal tiger prowls in Sunderbans, at the Sunderban delta.
| Photo Credit:
AP

Being in the wild and spending time watching animals can be a thrilling and adventurous activity. And there is no better place to experience the magic of the wilderness than the Sundarbans National Park. The Sundarbans mangrove forest is the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans is part of the Gangetic Delta and is formed from sediments deposited by the three rivers— the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna. Part of it lies southeast of Calcutta in West Bengal while the rest is in Bangladesh. Here one gets to catch a glimpse of the most magnificent cat, the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Bengal tiger is an endangered species. What sets the animal apart is that it is adapted to an almost amphibious life, swimming and thriving in the mangrove forest. The site is also home to threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile, Irrawaddy Dolphin, and the Indian python, along with other rich and diverse flora and fauna. One can indulge in a boat safari to experience the region in all its splendour.

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Gut Health Supplements in NZ: Nurturing Your Digestive Well-being – My Site

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Gut Health Supplements in NZ: Nurturing Your Digestive Well-being – My Site

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Gut health has gained significant attention in recent years as growing research highlights its importance in overall well-being. In New Zealand (NZ), individuals are increasingly turning to gut health supplements to support digestive health and promote a balanced microbiome. This article delves into the significance of gut health, the benefits of supplements, popular options available in NZ, and considerations when choosing the right supplement for you.

 

Understanding Gut Health

 

The gut, often referred to as the “second brain,” plays a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. A healthy gut is home to trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms collectively known as the gut microbiome. When the balance of these microorganisms is disrupted, it can lead to various digestive issues, inflammation, and even impact mental health. That’s why many people seek to buy gut health supplement in NZ to help restore and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

 

Benefits of Gut Health Supplements

 

Improved Digestion

Gut health supplements often contain probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that support digestion. These probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut, promoting smoother digestion and reducing symptoms such as bloating, gas, and constipation.

 

Enhanced Immunity

A significant portion of the body’s immune system resides in the gut. By supporting a healthy gut microbiome, gut health supplements can help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of infections and illnesses.

 

Reduced Inflammation

Chronic inflammation in the gut can contribute to various health issues, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and autoimmune conditions. Gut health supplements containing anti-inflammatory ingredients can help reduce inflammation and promote gut healing.

 

Balanced Mood

The gut-brain connection is well-established, with the gut microbiome playing a role in mental health and mood regulation. Gut health supplements may support mental well-being by promoting a balanced microbiome and reducing inflammation, potentially alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

 

Popular Gut Health Supplements in NZ

 

Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for digestive health. They can be found in various forms, including capsules, powders, and fermented foods. In NZ, popular probiotic supplements include those containing strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

 

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that serve as food for probiotics, helping them thrive in the gut. Common prebiotic supplements in NZ include chicory root, inulin, and oligosaccharides.

 

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzyme supplements help break down macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. NZ offers a variety of digestive enzyme supplements formulated to support specific dietary needs.

 

Fiber Supplements

Fiber is essential for maintaining regular bowel movements and supporting overall gut health. Fibre supplements, such as psyllium husk and glucomannan, can help increase fibre intake and promote digestive regularity in NZ.

Considerations When Choosing a Gut Health Supplement

 

Quality and Potency

When selecting a gut health supplement, prioritize quality and potency. Look for products manufactured by reputable companies that adhere to strict quality control standards. Ensure the supplement contains an adequate dose of active ingredients to deliver therapeutic benefits.

 

Strain Diversity

For probiotic supplements, consider the diversity of bacterial strains included. A broad spectrum of strains can provide comprehensive support for gut health and microbiome balance.

 

Additional Ingredients

Some gut health supplements may contain additional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, or herbal extracts. Consider whether these ingredients align with your health goals and dietary preferences.

 

Potential Allergens and Sensitivities

Check the ingredient list carefully for potential allergens or sensitivities. Avoid supplements containing ingredients to which you are allergic or intolerant, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

 

Delivery Method

Consider the delivery method of the supplement and choose one that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle. Capsules, powders, and liquids each have their advantages, so select the option that is most convenient for you.

 

Conclusion

 

Gut health supplements play a vital role in supporting digestive well-being and promoting overall health and vitality. In NZ, individuals have access to a variety of supplements formulated to address specific gut health needs. Whether you’re seeking to improve digestion, boost immunity, or support mental well-being, there’s a gut health supplement available to suit your preferences and lifestyle. By prioritizing quality, diversity, and personal considerations, you can make informed choices to nurture your gut health and enhance your overall quality of life.

 

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The 10 Best Harry Potter Tours in London

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The 10 Best Harry Potter Tours in London

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Though you won’t find Eeylops Owl Emporium, Flourish and Blotts, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes or Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions in London‘s streets, that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the world of “Harry Potter.” Knowledgeable witches and wizards lead themed tours that discuss not only filming locations for the beloved Potter films, but also the wizarding world’s most famous individuals like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Consulting Muggle traveler opinion as well as expert input from the top witches and wizards, U.S. News & World Report found the best Harry Potter London tours on offer.

Note: These tours take place on foot, by bus or on trains, so it’s best to leave your brooms and Floo powder at home.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Price: From 53.50 pounds (around $67) per person
Duration: 3.5 hours

For Potterheads, no trip to London is complete without a stop to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, which explores how the “Harry Potter” films were made. During the self-guided visit, travelers will wander the Diagon Alley set, board the Hogwarts Express, view props and costumes and much, much more. Visit around Halloween for the Dark Arts or the winter holidays for Hogwarts in the Snow; the tour is decked out in seasonal décor for both events.

“As both a filmmaker and ‘Harry Potter’ fan, I was absolutely blown away by this tour,” says Leilani Osmundson, senior digital producer at U.S. News Travel. “The sets, props and costumes were incredible and very well-maintained, and there were written explanations for almost everything.” Osmundson suggests staying at the back of the group when entering the Great Hall for a chance to snag photos with fewer people in the shot when the group moves on. Keep in mind, this great experience comes with equivalent fees: Travelers warn of high ticket prices and expensive souvenirs. To avoid crowds, get to the studio early.

The tour is self-paced and you can explore as long as you wish. The tour is located in Leavesden, Watford, which is about 20 miles northwest of central London. Take the train to Watford Junction then board the complimentary shuttle to the studio.

Check prices & availability on:

Evan Evans Tours – Harry Potter Film Locations Walking Tour

Price: Adults from 30 pounds (about $38); kids from 25 pounds (around $31)
Duration: 3 hours

Along this walking tour, you’ll see the telephone booth that takes you to the Ministry of Magic, the Millennium Bridge and King’s Cross Station, among other top filming locations. Tour-takers say the guides share fun Potter facts along with information about London.

Tours depart at both 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day. You will need a valid travel card for the Underground, as part of the tour is on the Tube. The outing is not wheelchair accessible. Evan Evans tours also runs an outing that buses trip-takers to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.

Check prices & availability on:

group of people in withces hats and wands

Courtesy of Tour for Muggles

Tour for Muggles

Price: Adults from 17 pounds (about $21); kids from 15 pounds (around $19)
Duration: 2 hours

“Harry Potter” fans praise the witches and wizards who lead this tour, saying they are full of fun information and are passionate storytellers. A few note that if you’re traveling solo, this is a great tour to take. The walking tour takes travelers throughout London – including across the Thames – and tells stories about Harry, Ron and Hermione along the way.

No more than 20 people will be on the tour. You’ll meet your guide near the Monument Tube station. Tours generally depart at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily, though additional times may be available. You can also book this as a private tour.

Check prices & availability on:

See Your City – Original Harry Potter Locations Tour

Price: Adults from $20; kids from $15
Duration: 2 hours

During See Your City’s jaunt, you’ll not only learn about the filming of “Harry Potter” (including the bridge destroyed in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”), but guides will also quiz you along the way so you can earn points for your house. Travelers praise the guides for their fun and informative delivery, saying that there are several spots on the tour that they wouldn’t have seen by themselves.

Tours run mornings at 10:30 a.m., and afternoons at 2 and 7 p.m. In addition to English, See Your City conducts tours in Italian, German, French, Spanish and British Sign Language. The company runs other “Harry Potter”-themed tours, including one that explores London by boat and one that runs at night.

Check prices & availability on:

International Friends – Small Group Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter & Oxford

Price: Adults from 194 pounds (roughly $243); kids from 189 pounds (about $237)
Duration: 11.5 hours

This daylong tour begins with a visit to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London to see the sets (including the Forbidden Forest, Hagrid’s Hut and the Great Hall), costumes and props from the films. After spending about four hours at the studio, the coach will whisk you away to nearby Oxford where guides will take you on a walking tour of the university buildings and city streets. Tourgoers call this an excellent way to spend the day and appreciated the stop in Oxford.

Trips depart from central London around 8 a.m. and return around 7:30 p.m. In addition to “Harry Potter” outings, International Friends runs “Downton Abbey” tours.

Check prices & availability on:

group of tourists in front of Palace Theatre, London

Courtesy of London With a Local

London With a Local – Free Harry Potter Wizarding Tour

Price: Free
Duration: 2 hours

Tourgoers routinely encourage “Harry Potter” fans to take this tour, saying the guides and stories shared are both fantastic. The walking tour meets at Palace Theatre, where the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” performs. (While seeing the play isn’t part of the tour, you may want to grab tickets to the show while you’re in London.) From there, guides will lead you down Diagon and Knockturn alleys (aka Charing Cross Road) and past buildings that inspired the Gringotts Wizarding Bank and the Ministry of Magic. Be sure to refresh your trivia knowledge, too, as guides quiz travelers for the Hogwarts Trivia House Cup.

Tours depart at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., but daily availability can vary. The tour is free, though tips for the guide are appreciated. London With a Local runs other movie- and book-based free tours, including James Bond and Sherlock Holmes tours.

Brit Movie Tours – Wizards London Bus Tour

Price: Adults from 32.50 pounds (about $40); kids from 21 pounds (roughly $26)
Duration: 3.5 hours

Hop on an air-conditioned bus to see spots in London that served as a backdrop for the eight “Harry Potter” films. Sights tourgoers will see include the spot used for the Leaky Cauldron, the spot where the Knight Bus squished itself through traffic and more. Along the way, guides will quiz you about the books. Plus you’ll see a few spots from the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. Many travelers say the bus tour is a bargain and praise the guides. A few others note they could have found the stops by themselves.

Tours run year-round on Sundays (usually at 9:30 a.m.) as well as Wednesdays in the warmer months. Availability can vary, however. Brit Movie Tours also runs a walking version of this tour.

Check prices & availability on:

London Top Sight Tours – J. K. Rowling & Wizard Walking Tour

Price: Adults from 20 pounds (about $25); kids tour free
Duration: 3 hours

This tour focuses not only on the books and movies but also the woman who created them: J.K. Rowling. Along the tour, you’ll see locations that inspired Rowling and visit the graphic design firm that created design for all the movies. Additionally, this walking tour stops a “Harry Potter”-themed shop. London tourists say the guides do an excellent job.

Tours depart from King’s Cross. Tours run at 10 a.m. and 1:30 and 4 p.m. daily. The company runs a variety of other London tours, as well as private tours.

Check prices & availability on:

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

City Wonders – Fully Guided Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Price: Adults from $312; kids from $299
Duration: 6 hours

As the name implies, City Wonders conducts fully guided excursions to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Guides meet the tour group – of no more than eight individuals – at the Euston War Memorial before boarding a train to get to the studio. Upon arrival, a trained guide will lead your group through the Studio Tour. You’ll view props, costumes and sets like Ollivander’s, the Gryffindor common room and more. Along the way, guides will share interesting tidbits about the movies. Travelers say the tours are excellent and the guided portion through The Making of Harry Potter is extra special. They also say that sampling Butterbeer or other magic foods is a must, but warn of long lines for concessions.

The tour departs at 11:05 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. daily. City Wonders runs a variety of tours, including outings to the British Museum and the Tower of London.

Check prices & availability on:

Free Tours by Foot – Harry Potter Walking Tour London

Price: Free
Duration: 2.5 hours

If you’re hoping to save some knuts, sickles and galleons on a London trip, this could be a great tour option. As the name implies, Free Tours by Foot runs pay-what-you-wish walking tours. The “Harry Potter” tour will go by Westminster Tube station (as seen in “The Order of the Phoenix”), Godwin’s Court (Knockturn Alley), St. Paul’s and Trafalgar Square, among other top sites. Travelers say it is a wonderful tour, as guides share information about both the boy wizard and London history.

Tours run daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Though tours are free, reservations are required and there is a $3 booking fee. Additionally, part of the tour takes place on the Tube, so make sure you have plenty of money on a travel card.

Harry Potter Tours in Scotland

London isn’t the only place in the United Kingdom to get your Potter fix. Scotland – where you’ll find the real-life Hogwarts Express and Hogwarts castle – is another must-visit destination for fans. Here are some tours to consider:

  • Free Harry Potter Tour: Explore Edinburgh on foot to hear about the influence the city had on the books. Book on Free Harry Potter Tour.
  • The Magical Highlands Tour (Includes Steam Train Journey): See the Scottish Highlands and take a ride on the Jacobite steam train (aka the Hogwarts Express). Book on GetYourGuide.
  • Harry Potter & the Hogwarts Express: Visit filming locations in the Highlands including the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Book on HAGGiS Adventures.
  • J.K. Rowling’s Edinburgh: Traverse city streets to learn about the Potter stories and their creator. Book on The Potter Tour.
  • The Potter Trail: Grab a wand and explore Potterific sites around Edinburgh on this free tour. Book on The Potter Trail.
  • J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Walking Tour in Edinburgh: Find out where He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is buried and the namesakes for some of the characters. Book on Viator.
  • Jacobite Steam Train Experience. Take a ride on the Hogwarts Express and snap photos of Cairngorms National Park. Book on Scottish Tours.
  • Immersive Harry Potter Tour. Get quizzed on your magical knowledge while walking through Edinburgh. Book on: Viator | Get Your Guide.

You may also be interested in:

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Twitch’s TikTok-like discovery feed is rolling out to all users | TechCrunch

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Twitch’s TikTok-like discovery feed is rolling out to all users | TechCrunch

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Twitch is officially rolling out its new TikTok-like discovery feed to all users this week, the company announced on Tuesday. The new feed, which is launching as a tab within the Twitch iOS and Android apps, allows viewers to scroll through bite-sized bits of content to discover new streamers. The official launch follows Twitch’s earlier tests of the feed that started in August 2023.

With this launch, Twitch now joins numerous other popular apps that have launched their own short-form video feeds following TikTok’s rise in popularity, including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Uber Eats and LinkedIn to name a few.

There are two tabs within the feed: a live feed and a clips feed. The “live” feed displays livestreams from both streamers users already follow and streamers that Twitch thinks they would like. The “clips” feed showcases top moments from streamers across Twitch, allowing viewers to discover content from streamers even when they’re not live.

While people typically go to Twitch when they have enough time to watch a livestream, the new clips feed is designed for moments when users only have a few minutes to spare.

To better personalize what you see in the feed, you can click the thumbs-up or thumbs-down button on a livestream or a clip to signal what type of content you want to see more or less of.

The new feed’s arrival comes as Twitch streamers have long called on the company to introduce new features to help them reach new audiences. Since Twitch isn’t a fully algorithmic platform like TikTok, Twitch streamers haven’t had many ways to attract new viewers outside of promoting themselves on other platforms or teaming up with fellow streamers. With this new discovery feed, small and medium streamers have the potential to reach new audiences.

Twitch says that all livestreams and clips are automatically eligible to appear in the feed if they meet the platform’s content guidelines. While streamers can’t directly upload content to the discovery feed, Twitch encourages them to create and feature clips of their content for a chance to be included in the feed.

What’s next for Twitch? A big app redesign and more social sharing



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What’s next for World of Warcraft after 20 years?

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What’s next for World of Warcraft after 20 years?

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World of Warcraft is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, but it’s just cancelled its biggest party.

Fans of the online game have gathered in Anaheim, California, every year since 2005 for BlizzCon.

The convention was a place to meet fellow fans of the series, dress up in your best cosplay and get a first look at what was coming next in the huge fantasy world of Azeroth.

But game maker Activision Blizzard has announced it’s called off the 2024 edition of the popular event.

It’s assured disappointed fans that the event will return in future, but hasn’t said when, and promised a series of smaller-scale events instead.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some fans were quick to point the finger at Warcraft’s new owners, Microsoft. The tech giant bought Activision Blizzard last year for $69bn (£56bn) in the biggest acquisition in gaming history.

Among gamers there’s been speculation about what the Xbox owner might do with its newly owned titles, which also include household-name franchises Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

Most of the talk has centred around whether Microsoft would bring some of its new titles to Game Pass – its Netflix-style subscription service seen as an increasingly important part of its gaming business.

The other major development since the buyout was the announcement that Microsoft had laid off 1,900 of its 22,000 workers in its gaming division.

These were reported to have largely affected Activision Blizzard staff, and the developer also cancelled work on a survival game project widely known as Odyssey.

But when BBC Newsbeat spoke to two of World of Warcraft’s most senior bosses earlier this month – and before the BlizzCon announcement – they insisted they weren’t expecting any major changes for the franchise.

Vice president and executive producer Holly Longdale said that “so far” the developer had Microsoft’s “full support to do everything we’ve got to deliver for our audience”.

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Archie Cooley, Football Coach Known as ‘the Gunslinger,’ Dies at 85

Archie Cooley, Football Coach Known as ‘the Gunslinger,’ Dies at 85

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Archie Cooley, the exuberant architect of a passing-crazy offense at Mississippi Valley State University in the 1980s that featured the wide receiver Jerry Rice, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, died on April 18 in Fort Worth. He was 85.

His son, Dwight, said that his father died in a hospital but that he did not yet know the cause.

Cooley — whom a sportswriter nicknamed the Gunslinger for the cowboy hats he wore and the offense he masterminded — was hired in 1980 as the head coach at Mississippi Valley State, a historically Black school in tiny Itta Bena. But it was not until the 1984 season that what he called his “Satellite Express” offense exploded.

With Willie Totten at quarterback, the Delta Devils lined up receivers in various configurations — among them double slots, five wideouts and all receivers on one side of the field — that dared defenses to catch up to Rice and his fellow receivers.

“We feel we have the best receivers in college football,” Cooley told The New York Times early in the 1984 season. “People aren’t going to be able to double-team Rice near as much this season.”

Cooley denied that he was running up the scores; it was just, he said, that his players, whether they were starters or reserves, were highly talented.

“If we’re talking about records,” he told The Times, “I could have left people in there and set records that would never be broken.”

It was a prelude to a spectacular offensive season, in which Mississippi Valley set N.C.A.A. Division I-AA (now the Football Championship Subdivision) records for, among other categories, points per game (60.9) and yards per game (640.1). Totten averaged a record 455.7 yards a game, and Rice set a record by averaging 168.2 receiving yards.

Totten and Rice connected on 27 touchdowns that season, a record for the most between one quarterback and one receiver. Rice caught 102 passes in 1983 and followed that in 1984 with 103. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1985.

Writing on the social media platform X after Cooley’s death, Rice called him “a great friend, coach, mentor and father figure, just like Bill Walsh,” his coach with the 49ers.

The Delta Devils finished the regular season at 9-1 but were trounced by Louisiana Tech, 66-19, in the opening round of the division playoffs.

“They whipped us good,” Cooley said afterward, “like we usually do to people.”

Before the 1985 season, there were reports that Cooley would be the subject of a CBS television movie, with Fred Williamson, the Kansas City Chiefs defensive back turned actor, in the lead role.

The film was never made. But when it was still a possibility, Cooley told The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss.: “Maybe it’s the way I carry myself. They say I’m flamboyant, outspoken and all that junk. If they spend millions on a movie, I have to be something.”

Archie Lee Cooley Jr. was born on March 18, 1939, in Sumrall, Miss., and grew up in a government housing project in Laurel, about 40 miles away, with his father; his mother, Bernice; and six siblings. His father worked at a Masonite factory, and his mother worked in an elementary-school cafeteria.

“We were fortunate people,” Cooley told The Clarion-Ledger. “In the projects you had a refrigerator, a stove, a bathroom with a shower.”

At Jackson State University, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1962, he played center and linebacker. After serving in the Army, he started his coaching career at a high school in Heidelberg, Miss., working with the football and girls’ basketball teams. In 1971 he was hired as a defensive coach at Alcorn State University, and in 1974 he joined Tennessee State’s defensive staff.

He coached at Mississippi Valley for seven seasons. After ending his tenure with a 4-4-1 record in the 1986 season, he resigned to take the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

After his best season there, in 1990, when the Golden Lions were 9-1, Cooley resigned as coach and athletic director when an investigation found that the football team had committed more than 40 rules violations, including player eligibility infractions. Cooley had stepped away from coaching for several games during the investigation.

The team received the so-called death penalty: It was suspended from playing for two years by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The ban was later cut to one year.

Cooley denied the allegations against him and defended his stewardship of the football program to the school’s student newspaper.

“When I arrived in January 1987, Archie Cooley promised the university four things,” he said in 1991, using the third person as he sometimes did. “One, to make the university nationally known; two, to put more emphasis on education; three, to bring more revenue to the school; and four, to have players drafted in the N.F.L. And I feel I’ve reached my goals.”

Cooley resurfaced in 1992 as the offensive coordinator at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La., and the next year as the head coach of Norfolk State University in Virginia. But he left after leading the team to a 3-7-1 record in his only season, saying he was exhausted.

He later worked as the offensive coordinator at Texas Southern University in Houston and Carter-Riverside High School in Fort Worth, before taking his final head coaching job in 2000 at Paul Quinn College in Dallas. He stayed until 2006, the final year of the team’s existence before the school disbanded it for financial reasons.

Like his other stops as a head coach, Quinn was a historically Black college.

In addition to his son, Cooley is survived by his wife, Georgia (Reed) Cooley; his daughters, Lisa Cooley Thomas and Trayce Jasper-Monagan; six grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; his sisters, Betty McCarthy, Lois Ellis and Ruth Harris; and his brothers, Richard and Larry.

One of Cooley’s proudest moments was Mississippi Valley’s 49-32 victory over his alma mater, Jackson State, during the 1984 season — its first over its rival in 30 years. As the game ended, he joyfully paraded along the sideline, waving a school banner.

“Jackson State said they had to score 30 points to win,” he said after the game. “They had to score 50, because we scored 49. I’m going to talk now ’cause they’ve got to live with it for a year.”



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Jouer de cet instrument garderait votre cerveau en bonne santé

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Jouer de cet instrument garderait votre cerveau en bonne santé

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Le piano compte de nombreux adeptes dans le monde. Rien d’étonnant puisque la pratique de cet instrument peut être bénéfique, surtout chez les personnes âgées. Une étude apporte un nouvel éclairage sur la manière dont les seniors apprennent à jouer du piano. Elle montre à quel point cette activité entretient leurs fonctions cognitives et leurs capacités motrices sur le long terme.

• À lire aussi: Des solutions pour réduire la consommation de sucre chez les jeunes

• À lire aussi: Le nombre de cas de cancer du sein en hausse chez les Canadiennes de moins de 50 ans

Les auteurs de cette étude parue dans le journal Brain Sciences sont arrivés à ce constat après avoir mené une expérience auprès de 86 volontaires, d’un âge moyen de 72,5 ans. Ils étaient tous en bonne santé et ne présentaient aucun problème neurologique ou moteur significatif. Certains d’entre eux avaient déjà joué du piano dans le passé, mais ils restaient des débutants.

Les chercheurs ont évalué la mémoire de travail et la capacité d’apprentissage des participants en leur demandant de réaliser plusieurs séquences d’actions. Au cours de l’expérience, les volontaires ont dû appuyer sur des touches de piano dans un ordre précis, qui s’affichait sur un écran. Ils devaient réaliser cette tâche le plus rapidement et le plus précisément possible, sans s’arrêter.

Les résultats ont fait apparaître deux faits marquants. Les participants s’amélioreraient rapidement, avant de plafonner. Cela suggère que leurs compétences s’affinaient à mesure qu’ils s’exerçaient. 

«Le niveau d’exigences cognitives et motrices dépend de la phase d’apprentissage. Avec notre expérience, nous avons montré que les exigences augmentent de manière exponentielle au cours du processus d’apprentissage et finissent par atteindre un plateau», a déclaré Florian Worschech, chercheur postdoctorant à l’université de Hanovre et cosignataire de l’étude, à Psypost.

Par ailleurs, Florian Worschech et ses collègues ont remarqué que le comportement visuel des volontaires évoluait en fonction de leur niveau de maîtrise de la tâche qu’ils devaient effectuer. Leurs yeux se déplaçaient de moins en moins au fur et à mesure de leur entraînement, ce qui suggère qu’ils avaient besoin de moins d’informations visuelles en progressant. 

«Au cours du processus d’apprentissage, les séquences de mouvements sont de plus en plus consolidées dans la mémoire procédurale [la mémoire des automatismes, ndlr.] et les informations explicites perdent de leur importance. Au bout d’un certain temps, les participants ne sont souvent plus capables de se rappeler explicitement la séquence motrice», expliquent les chercheurs dans leur étude.

De manière générale, cette étude montre à quel point l’apprentissage d’une habileté motrice comme le fait de jouer du piano sollicite notre cerveau. Et ce, même quand on atteint un certain niveau de maîtrise. Les tâches rendues automatiques par l’apprentissage nous stimulent sur le plan cognitif, même si l’on a tendance à penser le contraire. C’est pourquoi il est important d’encourager la pratique du piano à un âge avancé pour repousser la survenue du déclin cognitif. Cette activité requiert, non seulement, de faire attention aux sons, mais aussi de promener son regard sur une partition et ses doigts sur des touches précises. Rien de mieux pour offrir une cure de jouvence à son cerveau.



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Des solutions pour réduire la consommation de sucre chez les jeunes

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Des solutions pour réduire la consommation de sucre chez les jeunes

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Les jeunes consomment trop de sucre et cet apport est associé à des risques pour la santé. Cette semaine, je donne mes trucs pour réduire la consommation de sucre en toute simplicité !

Consulter le tableau de la valeur nutritive et la liste des ingrédients

L’ajout d’un pourcentage de la valeur quotidienne (% VQ) pour les sucres totaux, qui regroupent les sucres ajoutés, les sucres libres et ceux naturellement présents dans les aliments, dans le tableau de la valeur quotidienne permet de mieux comparer la teneur en sucres de différents aliments et d’identifier plus aisément les options sucrées à limiter.

Un % VQ de 5 % ou moins, indique que l’aliment contient peu de sucres. Un % VQ de 15 % ou plus, signifie que l’alimente contient beaucoup de sucres.

La nouvelle liste des ingrédients permet également de mieux identifier la présence de sucres ajoutés ainsi que d’avoir une meilleure idée de leur quantité par rapport aux autres ingrédients. En effet, dans la nouvelle liste des ingrédients, tous les sucres sont maintenant regroupés entre parenthèses en ordre décroissant selon le poids après le nom « sucres ».

  • Écoutez la rencontre Huot-Durocher avec Isabelle Huot, docteure en nutrition via QUB :
Vérifier la présence du nouveau symbole nutritionnel sur le devant de l’emballage

Ce nouveau symbole est obligatoire pour les aliments préemballés dont la teneur en sucres, mais aussi en sodium et en gras saturés, atteint ou dépasse 15 % de la valeur quotidienne. Toutefois, bien que certains produits présentent déjà le nouveau symbole nutritionnel sur le devant de leur emballage, l’industrie alimentaire a jusqu’au 1 janvier 2026 pour s’y conformer.

Réduire la consommation de boissons sucrées

Les boissons sucrées regroupent les boissons gazeuses régulières, les boissons et eaux aromatisées sucrées, les jus, les boissons énergisantes sucrées, les boissons pour sportifs sucrées, les thés et cafés chauds ou froids sucrés, les laits sucrés et les boissons végétales sucrées.

Les boissons sucrées sont une source importante de sucres dans l’alimentation des enfants Canadiens. En 2015, les boissons sucrées représentaient 21,8 % de la consommation quotidienne de sucres totaux chez les enfants âgés de 2 à 8 ans et 29,8 % chez les enfants âgés de 9 à 18 ans.

L’eau devrait être la boisson de choix pour s’hydrater au quotidien. Y ajouter des herbes fraîches (ex. : menthe, basilic) ou des fruits (ex. : citron, bleuets) et des légumes (ex. : concombre, tomate) peut faciliter sa consommation et la rendre plus ludique auprès des enfants.

Privilégier les aliments naturellement sucrés aux aliments contenant des sucres ajoutés

Santé Canada recommande d’adopter une alimentation où la plupart des sucres proviennent de fruits, de légumes et de produits laitiers non sucrés. Dans les recettes de gâteaux, de muffins ou de biscuits, les sucres ajoutés peuvent être remplacés en partie ou en totalité par de la purée de fruits bien mûrs (ex. : dattes, bananes, pommes, etc.).

Cuisiner

Cuisiner est une des meilleures façons de réduire sa consommation de sucres ajoutés. En cuisinant soi-même ses repas, il est possible de diminuer la quantité de sucres utilisés. De plus, l’utilisation de fines herbes et d’épices permet d’apporter du goût sans nécessiter l’ajout de sucres.

10 exemples de bonnes collations

La collation est un précieux allié pour aider les enfants à maintenir leur énergie et répondre à leur faim entre les repas. Les enfants sont en croissance et leur estomac est petit, ils ont donc besoin de manger régulièrement, environ aux trois heures.

Une bonne collation est généralement composée d’une source de glucides (ex. : fruits, légumes, craquelins, etc.) et d’une source de protéines (ex. : yogourt, noix, fromage, etc.). Les glucides apportent de l’énergie rapidement et les protéines soutiennent sur le long terme.

Les rayons des épiceries regorgent de collations destinées aux enfants. Malheureusement, comme la plupart des aliments hautement transformés, elles sont souvent riches en sucres ajoutés.

Voici 10 bonnes options pour composer les collations des enfants.

Source de glucides et/ou de protéines | Bonne option

Barre tendre aux pépites de chocolat | Barre tendre aux brisures de chocolat, Boîte à lunch, Val Nature

1 barre de 26 g apporte 4 g de sucres, 5 g de fibres et 2 g de protéines. Chaque barre fournit également 9 g de grains entiers.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Val Nature

Yogourt à boire | Yogourt à boire sans sucre ajouté, Yop, Yoplait

1 bouteille de 93 ml apporte 3 g de sucres et 2 g de protéines.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Yoplait

Biscuit aux pépites de chocolat | Mini biscuits, brisures de chocolat et bananes, Praeventia, Leclerc

1 sachet de 30 g fournit 8 g de sucres, 2 g de fibres et 2 g de protéines. Chaque sachet apporte 9 g de grains entiers.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Leclerc

Rouleau de fruits | Rouleaux de fruits sans sucre ajouté, Bear

1 rouleau de 20 g contient 8 g de sucres et 2 g de fibres.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Bear Snacks

Céréales | Cheerios 1 gramme de sucre par portion, General Mills

250 ml (1 tasse ou 27 g) de céréales fournissent 1 g de sucres, 3 g de fibres et 4 g de protéines. L’avoine entière est le premier ingrédient sur la liste.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Cheerios

Yogourt | Yogourt ferme aux fraises, réduit en sucre, Riviera  

1 contenant de 120 g fournit 8 g de sucres et 5 g de protéines. 



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Riviera

Yogourt | Yogourt grec à la vanille, 30 % moins de sucre, Oîkos

1 contenant de 100 g fournit 7 g de sucres et 8 g de protéines.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Oîkos

Compote de fruits | Compote de pommes sans sucre ajouté, Gogo Squeez

1 gourde de 90 g apporte 10 g de sucres et 1 g de fibres.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de GogoSqueez

Pouding au chocolat | Dessert végétal au chocolat, Belsoy

1 contenant de 125 g apporte 12 g de sucres, 2 g de fibres et 4 g de protéines.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Belsoy

Brownie | Barres gruau, Brownies, Go Pure, Leclerc

1 barre de 35 g apporte 7 g de sucres, 3 g de fibres et 2 g de protéines. Chaque barre contient 11 g de grains entiers.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Leclerc

Barre de fruits | Barres fruits et avoine, fraises, Go Pure, Leclerc

1 barre de 28 g fournit 10 g de sucres, 2 g de fibres et 1 g de protéines. Chaque barre contient 8 g de grains entiers.



Child, sugar cubes. Problem of excessive


Photo tirée du site web de Leclerc

La semaine prochaine, on poursuit le dossier sur le sucre et je vous présente des alternatives gagnantes en termes de collations.

Pour d’autres conseils en nutrition, visitez : www.isabellehuot.com



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Le café et le cancer colorectal

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Le café et le cancer colorectal

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Selon les résultats d’une étude clinique néerlandaise, la consommation régulière de café réduit du tiers le risque de récidive et de mortalité chez les patients en rémission d’un cancer colorectal.

Le cancer colorectal représente la deuxième cause de mortalité par cancer au Canada, ayant provoqué près de 10 000 décès en 2021, soit deux fois plus que la mortalité due aux cancers du sein et de la prostate (environ 5000 décès chacun annuellement).

Un des facteurs qui contribue au caractère létal du cancer colorectal est le taux relativement élevé (20-30 %) de patients qui subissent une récidive de ce cancer dans les années qui suivent la fin des traitements.

Ces récidives sont de mauvais augure, car elles sont souvent plus résistantes aux traitements et réduisent donc la probabilité de survie des patients. La découverte de moyens de réduire l’apparition de ces récidives est donc extrêmement importante pour améliorer l’espérance de vie des personnes touchées par la maladie.

Survivre au cancer

Comme pour l’ensemble des cancers, la diminution du risque de récidive du cancer colorectal commence par adopter certaines habitudes de vie qui freinent la progression des cellules cancéreuses.

Un des facteurs les plus importants est le maintien d’un poids corporel normal, avec un indice de masse corporelle situé entre 19 et 25 kg/m2 : le surpoids est souvent associé à une inflammation chronique et une résistance à l’insuline, deux importants facteurs de risque de cancer.

Ces deux facteurs de risque sont également fortement influencés par l’exercice physique régulier et il est donc important de faire régulièrement de l’activité physique, tout en évitant les longues périodes complètement sédentaires (position assise ou allongée).

Enfin, puisque le côlon est directement en contact avec ce que nous mangeons, il va de soi que la qualité de l’alimentation peut grandement influencer le risque de cancer ou de récidive. En ce sens, il est clairement établi qu’une diminution de l’apport en viandes rouges (en particulier les charcuteries), combinées à une hausse de celui en végétaux représente une combinaison gagnante qui minimise à la fois l’exposition aux cancérigènes tout en créant des conditions optimales pour que les défenses anticancer puissent freiner la progression tumorale.

Café en renfort

Si les grandes lignes d’une alimentation anticancer sont connues, il est toujours intéressant d’identifier des composantes additionnelles qui peuvent ajouter une protection supplémentaire et réduire encore plus le risque de cancer. Selon une étude récente, la consommation régulière de café pourrait représenter un de ces ajouts intéressants1.

Dans cette étude menée aux Pays-Bas auprès de 1719 patients atteints d’un cancer colorectal, les chercheurs ont observé que ceux qui buvaient 4 tasses de café et plus par jour avaient un risque de récidive et de mortalité réduit de 32 % comparativement à ceux qui en buvaient moins de 2 tasses par jour.

Ces résultats sont en accord avec des études précédentes qui avaient montré que la consommation de café était associée à une diminution du risque de cancer colorectal2 de même que d’autres études qui ont noté une diminution du risque de certains cancers chez les buveurs réguliers de café, en particulier celui du foie.

Le café est un breuvage complexe, contenant plusieurs centaines de molécules phytochimiques bioactives, et il est de plus en plus clair que ses effets anticancéreux sont une conséquence des propriétés anti-inflammatoires, antioxydantes et antiprolifératives de ces molécules.

Il semble aussi que le microbiome intestinal transforme ces composants du café pour produire des métabolites bioactifs supplémentaires dotés de propriétés anticancéreuses.

Globalement, il n’y a donc pas de doute que le café représente une addition intéressante à une alimentation anticancer, en particulier pour diminuer les probabilités de récidive chez les survivants d’un cancer colorectal.

1 Oyelere AM et coll. Coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer recurrence and all-cause mortality. Int. J. Cancer 2024 ; 154 : 2054-2063.
2 Grosso G et coll. Coffee, caffeine, and health outcomes: an umbrella review. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 2017 ; 37 : 131-156.



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RPG Cast – Episode 721: “Skyrim Helmet Sleep Mask” – RPGamer

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RPG Cast – Episode 721: “Skyrim Helmet Sleep Mask” – RPGamer

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RPGamer has been covering RPGs since 1998, with the current version of the site launched in 2018. Due to the wholesale change in our back-end and systems only certain content created from 2018 onwards has been carried over to our new site. However, all of our older content can still be found at archive.rpgamer.com.

Streaming Schedule

Watch live on twitch.tv/rpgamer (all times Eastern)
Times and content are subject to change.

Monday
6:30pm — HeroHarmony

Tuesday
11am — TAM in the AM
1:30pm — HerrFrog Plays
6:30pm — Scar Plays Classics

Wednesday
6:30pm — HeroHarmony

Thursday
11am — TAM in the AM

Friday
1:30pm — HerrFrog Plays
6:30pm — Scar Plays Classics

Saturday
8am — Dungeon-Crawling for Spare Parts
12pm – RPG Cast

Sunday
8am — Sundays with Scar
1:30pm — HerrFrog Plays

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The 12 Best Beach Hats of 2024, According to Reviews

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The 12 Best Beach Hats of 2024, According to Reviews

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As wonderful as it is to get outside for your dose of vitamin D – especially on a day at the beach – protecting your skin from the sun is extremely important. While sunscreen and sunglasses seem to get all the attention, another key component of summer sun safety is a beach hat.

U.S. News editors researched dozens of review sites, including Amazon, online retailers, travel industry pages and more, to come up with this selection of the best beach hats. Even if you don’t typically wear beach hats or have previously struggled to buy one you like, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect fit.

(Note: Prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to demand or other factors.)

What sets this hat apart: Features like UPF 50+ sun protection, a wide brim and packability make this beach hat our top overall pick. You can wear it casually to the beach or use it to accessorize a dressy outfit to meet your friends for lunch. The straw and polyester material make it comfortable, breathable and soft. What’s more, this hat is available in around 20 color combinations, ranging from classic khaki to light pink, as well as two different sizes.

Travelers appreciate: This hat is a hit with beachgoers because of its trendy, flattering look and affordable price.

San Diego Hat Company's Women's One Size Ultrabraid Visor in tan against white background.

Courtesy of San Diego Hat Company

What sets this hat apart: For a packable style with plenty of color options, the classic One Size Ultrabraid Visor from San Diego Hat Company checks all the boxes. The visor rolls up easily for packing and can be worn when your hair is up or down, making this hat perfect for beach vacations. The 4-inch brim and UPF 50+ protection ensure your face is safe from the sun’s rays. Given nearly 20 color options, including bright styles like hot pink and orange or aqua lime, you’ll be able to match this summer hat to your cover-up.

Travelers appreciate: Users love the extra protection your face gets, as well as the hat’s ability to easily roll up.

Quiksilver Men's Pierside Lifeguard Beach Straw Hat in tan against white background.

Courtesy of Quiksilver

What sets this hat apart: Made with straw, this sun hat from Quiksilver is a must-have at the beach, in the garden or whenever you venture outside. This classic style has a wide brim to ensure full protection, and the chin strap provides security in windy weather. This lifeguard hat is available in three sizes including XXL, which is perfect for anyone with a hard-to-fit larger head. It also comes in three neutral colors.

Travelers appreciate: Recent beachgoers love the extensive coverage they get from the wide brim, but as it is a real straw hat, they caution not to smash it into your bag or suitcase.

FURTALK Women's Beach Straw Hat in tan against white background.

Courtesy of FURTALK

What sets this hat apart: This quintessential straw hat is always a good idea for a day at the beach. The foldable and packable UPF 50 sun hat has an adjustable interior band, a removable chin strap and a moisture-wicking sweat band so you won’t have to worry about sweat dripping into your eyes on the hottest of days. It is made of 90% paper straw and 10% polyester. Available in several neutral colors and two sizes, the large hat can fit over a head of thick curly hair.

Travelers appreciate: Several wearers of the style say they love having finally found a hat that fits their bigger heads.

Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Compact Shapeable Poolside Hat in tan against white background.

Courtesy of Coolibar

What sets this hat apart: This oversized floppy hat will be the talk of the beach this summer. Made with a lightweight, breathable polyester weave that will keep your head cool under the hot sun, it also has a chin strap to keep it from flying off your head on windier days. The 7-inch brim offers maximum UV protection, and the wire rim makes adjusting easy so you can create shade no matter where the sun is coming from. This hat comes in black or tan.

Travelers appreciate: Reviewers love how this floppy beach hat rolls up for simpler packing, making it an ideal choice for a seaside vacation.

What sets this hat apart: Look fashionable while keeping the sun off your face, neck and shoulders with this oversized beach hat that features a nearly 10-inch brim. Made from 100% raffia straw, this hat is breathable, keeping your head cool on hot summer days at the beach. The wire rim allows you to style it the way you want and helps it keep its shape.

Travelers appreciate: Reviewers love the ample shade this hat provides, not to mention the dramatic flair it adds to any beach outfit.

Getaway Hats Pack Light Hat 2.0 Ultrasuede in black against white background.

Courtesy of Getaway Hats

What sets this hat apart: The new and improved version of this hat features an interior headband that is not only comfortable but also resistant to odors and stains. When you unpack this hat, you’ll be happy to see that it retains its look and shape, due to a crushable, pliable brim and wrinkle-resistant fabric. Better yet, it only weighs 2 ounces. Not only will this hat protect you from the sun, but its durable water-repellent coating will also keep your head dry in the rain.

Travelers appreciate: Many customers praised the comfort of the hat and liked that it was lightweight.

What sets this hat apart: This cute and comfortable bucket hat is made of a lightweight, quick-drying fabric with UPF 50+ sun protection built in. It is adjustable via a toggle on the back. Keep this hat in your beach bag to protect your face from the sun’s harmful rays. It comes in two sizes and several colors, including blue and yellow.

Travelers appreciate: Reviewers on Amazon and the retailer’s website loved that this hat is lightweight and easy to pack.

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Sunday Afternoons Kids' Play Hat in green and blue pattern

Courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods

What sets this hat apart: The Sunday Afternoon Kids’ Play Hat keeps toddlers and young kids safe from the sun while they play outside, whether it’s at the beach or in front of their water table in the backyard. The UPF 50+ hat provides total protection from the sun, and its breakaway chin strap releases under tension, preventing choking and injury. The hat is also resistant to water and stains, and it can be wiped clean or thrown in the laundry.

Not only is this Sunday Afternoons hat available in multiple sizes for ages 1 to 12, but its adjustable fit ensures your child can wear it for a long time. This hat comes in more than 30 solid colors and fun prints, such as butterflies or dinosaurs.

Travelers appreciate: Parents love the durability of this hat, noting it lasts more than one summer and for multiple family beach vacations. “I love that this hat can grow with my son, and I appreciate that it’s machine-washable,” says Amanda Norcross, a mom and senior content strategist at U.S. News. “It’s also just plain adorable!”

Green Sprouts Flap Sun Protection Hat in aqua against white background

Courtesy of Green Sprouts

What sets this hat apart: Infants aren’t typically supposed to wear sunscreen until they are 6 months old, and many babies don’t have much (if any) hair, so protecting their little heads and faces is extremely important. This hat from green sprouts is lightweight, extends down the neck for added coverage, and has an adjustable toggle so it can grow along with your baby. A chin strap adds extra security, and a wicking liner keeps your child cool. This sun hat is available in three sizes and several colors, including white, pink and aqua.

Travelers appreciate: Parents appreciate that it’s adjustable, so babies can continue wearing it even as they rapidly grow bigger.

Wallaroo Hat Company's Catalina Cowboy hat in tan against white background.

Courtesy of Wallaroo Hat Company

What sets this hat apart: This Wallaroo cowboy hat, constructed from 100% natural raffia, is breathable and lightweight, keeping your head cool in the sun. The 3-inch wire-edge brim keeps the sun off your face and can be styled to your liking. The hat features an internal drawstring for adjustability and is available in three colors. Packing this hat may affect its shape, so you may want to wear it on your journey instead of squeezing it into your bag.

Travelers appreciate: Traveler-favorite features include the adjustable drawstring and the ability to shape the hat to fit your style.

Dalix's Two Tone Trucker Hat in navy and white against white background.

Courtesy of Dalix

What sets this hat apart: If you’re looking for a basic trucker hat to keep cool (and look cool) while soaking up some rays at the beach, this Dalix trucker hat is just what you need. Its poly-foam front, mesh sides and snap closure on the back make it comfortable to wear. This cap comes in more than a dozen color combinations, such as blue and white or red and black.

Travelers appreciate: Many reviewers said that the hat was good quality at a great price. Some commented that the white front on most of the color options makes it perfect for DIY projects or customization.

How to Pack a Beach Hat

Whether you plan to bring your hat for a day at the beach or a weeklong tropical vacation, you’ll want to know how to pack it so that it keeps its shape. Depending on the hat’s material and durability, if you pack it properly, it should come out of any bag with little maintenance needed to make it look wearable. Here are the best tips for a crush-free hat in different styles:

  • For straw hats: If the hat is fragile, pack it upside down in your suitcase and fill the crown of the hat with clothes. Then, pack clothing around the hat to cushion it.
  • For “packable” hats: Typically, hats that are made with polyester can be rolled and securely stored to prevent creasing.
  • For canvas hats: A canvas hat can usually be folded – unless it has a stiff brim. If creases appear, use a steamer to remove them. For baseball caps or trucker hats, fill the hat with clothing and lay it flat in a suitcase.
  • Hang your hat: Another alternative is to purchase a magnetic hat clip that can be attached to a purse for hands-free carrying.
  • Wear your hat: If you don’t want to take the chance of your hat getting crushed in your bag, wear it on the plane.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Sharael Kolberg is a U.S. News & World Report contributor. Having lived in Hawaii, Southern California and Australia, she has spent countless days trying to keep the sun off her face at the beach. Kolberg has extensive experience testing beach hats at the beach, at the pool and in her garden, as well as packing them in her suitcase for tropical vacations. To curate this list of top beach hats, she used her own experience with hat options such as the FURTALK Women’s Straw Foldable Hat as well as her research skills.

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Most Beautiful White Sand Beaches

Tropical white sand beach under a blue sky.

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Composer Vipin Mishra rides to Zanskar Valley with friends to record nomadic music

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Composer Vipin Mishra rides to Zanskar Valley with friends to record nomadic music

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Composer Vipin Mishra always dreamt of combining his two passions — music and adventure activity. Though he grew up on classic rock bands, over the years, he developed a liking for Indian music. It led him to come up with the docu-series Folkroad, which has Vipin and his team travel to Zanskar Valley in Ladakh in search of nomadic music. Riding his Honda Africa Twin Adventure motorcycles, the composer is joined by actor Satyadeep Mishra and professional photographer Abhay Singh, as they travel on bumpy dirt tracks, stay in freezing tents, visit remote monasteries, witness flashy wedding functions and discover new sounds.

Folkroad was recently premiered at the Red Lorry Film Festival in Mumbai. Says Vipin, “ Two episodes, which represent the basic theme of the series were screened. I plan to release it on YouTube after it airs on BookMy Show’s platform for a month.”

Artistes playing the Surna and the tabla-like percussion instrument.

Artistes playing the Surna and the tabla-like percussion instrument.
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The team chose to travel to Zanskar Valley, which is located at a high altitude as they wanted to do something challenging. “We had not drawn any schedule. We took things as they came. The terrain was rough, and the music, raw,” says Vipin about the experience.

The series was shot by two cameramen, Prabhdeep Singh and Ashish Sasane. The actual journey began at Manali in Himachal Pradesh, where friends helped them with the logistics. “There were people who helped us with tents and food. From the musical point of view, we went there truly as seekers, with the hope that we’d eventually find something. I didn’t want to create content set up earlier. One of the recordings came from a wedding party, which we came across during our travel. So we just recorded music as we discovered it.”

According to Vipin, two kinds of instruments are prominent in the region. “One is the Surna, a piped instrument like the shehnai. The other is a percussion instrument called Daman. It resembles the tabla, but is played with sticks. They often wet the drum to get the right tone. It is made of yak skin and copper.”

The Music of Zanskar - Surna played to the accompaniment of Daman.

The Music of Zanskar – Surna played to the accompaniment of Daman.
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The challenge was to use these sounds and make them accessible to listeners. “Nomadic music is free-flowing. They don’t play in large ensembles, at least in Zanskar. The music doesn’t have a consistent tempo or structure. The singer may sing in one pitch but the Surna or Daman may be on another. But there are some brilliant compositions in these recordings. In the studio, I had to pull out those parts and place them in such a way that they came across like a song.”

Without tweaking the sound much, Vipin added some synthesisers in the studio. He says, “I didn’t want to use acoustic instruments, which is what often happens with folk music. I wanted to give a fresh flavour. It isn’t entirely electronic, but has a fair amount of synths. The music will be released on streaming platforms.”

For recording, Vipin carried his MacBook Pro, Shure microphones, cables, microphone stands and some hard drives, but it was the Zoom H6 portable recorder which came in really handy. The Manali logistics company looked after their food and stay, carrying rations, tent material, thermal wear and other necessities in a jeep.

Vipin with Satyadeep.

Vipin with Satyadeep.

Satyadeep enjoyed the experience thoroughly. He recalls, “I was the last man to be part of this series. Vipin and Abhay had put things in place. I was just looking for a window when I was not occupied with my regular work, and this suited me. Any trip that involves riding motorcycles is fun. And this was Zanskar and there was the added element of discovering new music.”

Naturally, such an adventure would involve some interesting anecdotes. Satyadeep talks of Lingshed, which has a monastery. “We reached there before sunset and realised there was no place to stay. Finally we found a house with an open space outside. There was nobody there. Later, the owner came with her kids and was shocked to find our motorcycles. She allowed us to stay. The next day, her brother-in-law, who was a monk at the monastery, found us a place.”

Vipin mentions another incident when they trekked five to six kilometres to the Phuktal monastery, hoping they would find some musicians. “The entire place was deserted. There were just two boys, who said an annual holiday happens at that time, and people would return only after 10 days. But we were happy just to be in that beautiful monastery all on our own.”

Sounds of the Himalayas

Sounds of the Himalayas

Having finished Season 1 of Folkroad in Zanskar, Vipin plans to head to Arunachal Pradesh for the next round of musical discovery. He says that may take time, as it requires funding. At the moment, music lovers can discover some fabulous sounds from the Himalayas, with scenic mountain locales adding to the atmosphere.

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‘Challengers’ Stars Put New Spins (and Slices and Volleys) on the Love Triangle

‘Challengers’ Stars Put New Spins (and Slices and Volleys) on the Love Triangle

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GUADAGNINO And yet you have an incredible capacity of observational reality. You know reality in a beautiful way, and you use it a lot in the way you then portray it.

ZENDAYA While that’s true, I think I overly do it. I’m overly conscious of everything else around me.

GUADAGNINO Because Z is a director. I told you many times, and I repeat it now to The Times.

ZENDAYA I love being on set because it is not just creatively stimulating, but it’s one of the few places where I feel free. Whatever that thing in my brain is where it’s overly critical and self-conscious, that is the one place where I can be spontaneous and exist for the purpose of just creating something with other people and feel no guilt about it. But I’m not at the place where I’m quite confident enough to step into directing.

I’m still blown away when I watch people like Luca: There’s five people coming up to you, asking you, “This or that?” or “What’s next?” and he has to have an answer. I’d find myself like, “I just want to make everybody happy, what do you need?” Once I feel more confident in my assertiveness or decision-making, then I feel like then I’ll be able to take that step.

Denis Villeneuve said that of all the actors who worked on “Dune: Part Two,” you were the likeliest to stay on set and ask the questions that a director might.

ZENDAYA I get to be with the greatest around me all the time, and I’m like, “Let me sponge and get as much from this as possible.” For many years, I was embarrassed to ask questions — I was like, “I don’t want to waste people’s time.” But you’d be surprised at how many people are like, “Oh my God, come on in. This is this film stock, this is the reference for this shot.” People love sharing what they do, and I’m lucky to be in a place where I can absorb it.

And like I said, sets are places I feel safe because everybody already knows who I am and I can just walk around and go talk to everybody. It creates this community, and I’ll see Bianca [Butti, camera operator] and be like, “Hey. How was your night? Did you sleep all right?” or go up to Kim, our AD, and we can chat. You create these little families and these little bubbles, and I can walk around and eat snacks and do whatever, and I feel like I’m just another person who’s making this thing with everyone else. So hopefully one day that confidence will kick in, but until then, I’ll just keep learning.

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The 13 Best Florence Tours: Wine, Museums & More

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The 13 Best Florence Tours: Wine, Museums & More

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Beloved for its food, wine, art, rich history and alluring landscape, Florence, Italy, consistently draws travelers throughout the year. Seeing all of Florence’s attractions by yourself can be daunting, so having a knowledgeable local guide show you around will help you make the most of your trip. U.S. News identified the following tours as the best available by analyzing both expert and traveler opinion. Whether you want a broad overview of Firenze or a deep dive into a particular facet of the city (like its food), these tours have you covered.

Caf Tour & Travel – Chianti Authentic Experience

Price: Adults from 49 euros (about $52); kids from 21.50 euros (about $23)
Duration: 5 hours

This daylong bus tour takes you to two Chianti wineries with views of the world-famous Tuscan countryside, where vineyards, olive groves, churches and castles pepper the landscape. Patrons laud the guides and drivers for their professionalism and insights. However, others note that the trip seems a bit rushed at times.

Tours depart the Piazzale Montelungo once or twice daily, year-round. (It runs on an abbreviated schedule in the winter.) If you want more privacy, you can also book semiprivate and private tours of the region with Caf Tour.

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CityWonders – Uffizi Gallery Semi-Private Renaissance Art Tour

Price: Adults from $68; kids from $63
Duration: 1.5 hours

No visit to Florence would be complete without a trip to the Uffizi Gallery to see works by masters like Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. Taking CityWonders’ guided tour of the museum allows you to bypass the entrance line and gain insights from experts as they lead you through the collection. Another bonus? You’re welcome to stay in the gallery until closing after the tour concludes. Audio headsets are provided so you don’t miss a word of the commentary. Tour-takers consistently praise the English-speaking guides for their passion and knowledge.

Tours depart at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Ticket prices vary depending on the season. Groups are limited to nine participants. CityWonders runs other tours in Florence, including a skip-the-line tour of the Duomo.

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Fat Tire Tours – E-Scooter: Panoramic Tour of Florence

Price: From 65 euros (about $70)
Duration: 2 hours

Highlights of this electric scooter tour include Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, the Arno River and Santa Croce. Tour-takers describe this as a fun way to see the sights and say the guides are friendly and informative. What’s more, reviewers appreciate that groups are capped at eight participants.

Tickets include use of an e-scooter and a helmet, as well as instruction for using the vehicle. Participants must be at least 14 years old. Tours depart at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday to Monday as well as Wednesday. Fat Tire also offers biking and walking tours.

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Best Florence Tours

Courtesy of Taste Florence Food Tour

Taste Florence Food Tour

Price: From $119
Duration: 3.5 hours

These food-focused walks take participants around the city to sample local specialties like wine, cheese, bread and olive oil. Over the course of the tour, you’ll stop at six or more locales, including the Mercato Centrale, for delectable bites. Food connoisseurs tend to appreciate both the quality of the fare provided and the knowledge and humor of the guides.

Tours depart at 9:45 a.m. nearly every day (except Sundays) during peak months. The company offers a limited schedule in the offseason. Tickets include food and beverage samples. If you’re an oenophile, check out the sommelier-led wine tasting offered by Taste Florence.

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Tuscany Bike Tours – Tuscany Bike Tour

Price: From 95 euros (about $102)
Duration: 6 hours

Before climbing on a bike for a guided tour of Chianti, you’ll depart Florence via van and view enchanting scenery. Then, you’ll get a safety orientation followed by a bike ride. You’ll also enjoy an olive oil tasting and a glass of wine, plus a light lunch (which takes place in a villa). Cyclists enthuse about both the glorious views as well as the helpful, personable guides.

Tours occur almost every day at 8:30 a.m. from March through November. The cost includes lunch and a glass of wine, as well as use of a bicycle and helmet. Vespa and e-bike tours of the Tuscany region are also available, as are private bike tours of Florence.

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Walks of Italy – Florence in a Day with David, Duomo, Uffizi & Walking Tour

Price: From $126
Duration: 5 hours

If you only have a day to see Florence’s top sights, consider this walking tour, which combines visits to Florence’s must-see artistic and religious landmarks all in one outing. In between stops at the tour’s main highlights, you’ll see other top spots in the city like the Ponte Vecchio. You’ll also get a break for lunch (at your own expense). Along the way, guides offer insights regarding the art and architecture on view. According to reviewers, the tour leaders are informative and personable.

Tour departure times and ticket fees will vary by season and day. Fees include skip-the-line access to the Galleria dell’Accademia (home of Michelangelo’s David) and the Uffizi. Walks of Italy also offers food tours and a tour to Tuscany, among others.

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Florencetown/Towns of Italy – Wanna Be Italiano: Florence Cooking Class & Market Tour

Price: Adults from 119 euros (about $128); kids from 101 euros (around $108)
Duration: 5 hours

Travelers rave about this class, saying the recipes are spectacular and the teachers are capable and attentive. The experience starts with a trip to the Mercato Centrale, Florence’s principal food market, to gather provisions for your meal. Once you’ve bought food, you’ll make your way to the kitchen where a chef teaches you to make traditional Italian fare. Menus vary, but you’ll likely prepare bruschetta, fresh pasta, sauces and a dessert during the class.

Experiences are offered daily, starting at 9 a.m. (Note: Mercato Centrale is closed Sundays and bank holidays, so classes on those days include additional instruction and food tasting instead.) The cost of class covers the food that will be your lunch as well as two glasses of wine per person. Keep in mind that fees are slightly higher during peak season. Still hungry? Florencetown offers a wine tour of Tuscany, as well as other cooking classes.

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Best Florence Tours

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La Bussola Free Tours – Morning Free Walking Tour

Price: Free
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours

While La Bussola’s morning walking tour does feature some of Florence’s major landmarks, it mainly focuses on the Medici family’s influence and rise to power (it was the Medici family, after all, who owned, financed or commissioned many of Florence’s landmarks). You’ll also hear about Michelangelo and his works. Over the course of the 1 1/2-mile outing, guides share details of local history and tips for making the most of your Florence visit. Guides are regarded as informative, friendly and helpful.

Tours depart daily at 10:30 a.m. Tours are free, though tips for your guide are appreciated. La Bussola also conducts a slightly shorter evening tour, focusing on artistic greats like Donatello and Da Vinci.

Grape Tours – Wine Time

Price: From 170 euros (about $182)
Duration: 5.5 hours

Grape Tours’ Wine Time excursion departs at 10:15 a.m. from Florence and proceeds to Chianti for visits to two family-owned wineries. You’ll learn about the history of the region and the process of making Tuscan wine. At each stop, you’ll taste three or four different wines; at the second winery you’ll also enjoy lunch. Tour-takers report learning a great deal about the wine-making process from entertaining guides. They also say lunch is delicious.

Participants must be at least 16 years old to join. Tours take place year-round daily. If you like to pair cheese with your wine, try Grape Tours’ Chianti and Cheese tour.

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Tuscany Cycle – Tuscany Vespa Tour

Price: Drivers from 169 euros (about $181); passengers from 99 euros (around $106)
Duration: 5 to 6 hours

Explore the Tuscan countryside in quintessentially Italian fashion with this Vespa tour, which earns enthusiastic reviews from travelers. Tuscany Cycle’s tour departs Florence (via van) at 10 a.m. daily for an excursion through the Chianti region. After reaching Chianti, you’ll be taught how to ride a Vespa and follow your guide through the region before stopping at a winery for lunch and wine. You’ll also have plenty of photo opportunities along the way, according to reviewers.

The fee includes lunch, wine, use of a Vespa and round-trip transportation from Florence. You must have a valid driver’s license, but no prior experience operating a Vespa is necessary. Tourgoers applaud the driving lessons from the guides and the overall safety of the experience. Tuscany Cycle offers a variety of Vespa tours in Tuscany, as well as bicycle tours.

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Best Florence Tours

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Walkabout – The Best of Tuscany Tour

Price: Adults from 135 euros (around $145); kids from 120 euros (about $129)
Duration: 12 hours

After getting your fill of Florence attractions, take some time to explore the surrounding region of Tuscany. This tour combines a bus trip with walks through places like the medieval city of Siena and its art-filled Duomo, the hilltop town of San Gimignano and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Guides, generally considered equally insightful and entertaining, provide information regarding the architectural, artistic and historical points of interest seen along the way.

Tickets include lunch and wine at a Chianti vineyard; if you’d like the tour without lunch and wine, you can get a discounted ticket. The tour departs Florence at 8 a.m. Walkabout offers a variety of other tours in and around Tuscany as well as day trips to Cinque Terre.

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Italy on a Budget Tours – Pisa & Cinque Terre Day Trip

Price: From 139 euros (about $150)
Duration: 13 hours

Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa and three of the five villages comprising Cinque Terre on this tour. After a 90-minute stop in Pisa, the tour proceeds to Riomaggiore (where travelers may opt to buy lunch). The next stops are the seaside villages of Manarola and Vernazza, where, weather permitting, participants can swim or lounge on the beach. Tour-takers find this guided experience a great way to pack a lot of sightseeing in to a single day.

Travel between the destinations is by train. Tours depart Florence at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (and on Sunday from June through September). Know that Italy on a Budget gears its tours to participants ages 18 to 39, and is therefore not suitable for children. The company also runs various other tours in Florence.

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Curious Appetite – Progressive Tuscan Dining Crawl of Florence

Price: From $149.50
Duration: 4 hours

Handmade pasta, Tuscan wines, gelato and the city’s take on porterhouse steak, bistecca alla Fiorentina, are the focus of this leisurely culinary walk, which visits four eateries. Throughout the evening, experts offer commentary on regional cuisine, which participants describe as insightful and helpful. Some past patrons acknowledge that they wouldn’t have found the visited restaurants on their own.

Tours depart Thursday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Sunday crawls are slightly more expensive than Thursday outings. Group size is limited to eight diners. In addition to its dinner crawl, Curious Appetite operates several other wine- and food-related tours in Florence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A guided tour can be a great way to orient yourself around Florence, especially if it’s your first time visiting. A tour can also be helpful if you want to see areas around Florence without the hassle of having to drive yourself.

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For Detroit, the N.F.L. Draft Is Like a Super Bowl

For Detroit, the N.F.L. Draft Is Like a Super Bowl

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When the N.F.L. took its college draft on the road a decade ago, its first stops were Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas, three of the league’s biggest markets.

The concept was an instant hit, turning a show cloistered for a half century in hotels and theaters in Manhattan into a free, three-day football festival that drew hundreds of thousands of fans, many driving long distances to attend.

Soon, more than a dozen cities were raising their hands to host the event. Unlike the N.F.L.’s marquee event, the Super Bowl, the draft does not require extensive public subsidies, hotels and security. It is also held in late April, when weather is less of a concern, even in cities with harsh winters. This allowed the N.F.L. in recent years to award the draft to Cleveland, Kansas City, Mo., and other cities that have never, and may never, host a Super Bowl.

Detroit hosted the Super Bowl in 2006, as a reward to the Lions for moving into a new stadium. But city officials expect that being the site of this year’s draft, which begins on Thursday, will provide an economic jolt, though how much of one is unclear. They also hope the three days of exposure on television showcases the city to fans who might not otherwise visit. Detroit, they say, is not the Detroit of a decade ago, when the city was bankrupt, tens of thousands of homes had been abandoned and the automobile industry was pulling out of a long slump. Since then, new hotels, businesses and residents have flooded downtown; unemployment has fallen; and the city’s debt has returned to investment grade.

“We have a chance to reintroduce ourselves to America,” Detroit’s mayor, Mike Duggan, said in an interview. “The last time this country paid any attention to us was 10 years ago when we were in bankruptcy. We haven’t had anything of this magnitude in a long time. We’re just looking to greet America and give our visitors a good experience.”

The draft as movable feast started partly out of necessity. Radio City Music Hall, which hosted nine consecutive drafts dating to 2006, had a scheduling conflict in 2015, so the N.F.L. moved the event to Chicago. The draft that fans watched on television, with top college players walking onstage when their names were called, was held in a theater on Michigan Avenue. The real surprise was across the street in Grant Park, where 200,000 fans from around the region attended what amounted to a pop-up N.F.L. theme park.

The mix of team colors and the family-friendly vibe was proof of concept for the N.F.L., which created a process for other cities to apply to host the event. Teams and civic leaders in their markets raised their hands, seeing the event as a kind of football Woodstock that attracts lots of visitors. In 2016, Rod Wood, the president of the Lions, began lobbying the league to bring the draft to Detroit. The next year, the Lions and the Detroit Sports Commission applied, but were passed over as the draft traveled to cities like Nashville and Las Vegas. Detroit was finally tapped in 2022 to host this year’s event.

Like other cities, Detroit worked with the N.F.L. to find a location that met the league’s requirements for issues like security and transportation. The N.F.L. chose Campus Martius Park downtown and a four-block stretch on Woodward Avenue leading to the Detroit River for the stage and fan zone. To fuel businesses outside that narrow footprint, the Downtown Detroit Partnership created fan viewing sites in nearby parks. Block associations in the Corktown, Greektown and Eastern Market neighborhoods will host their own viewing parties.

Bob Roberts, the president of the Corktown Business Association, runs McShane’s, a sports bar in the area. He said he expected to triple his normal sales during the draft. Visitors, he said, can visit a market for local artisans and the Detroit Police Athletic League down the street, where the N.F.L. is hosting activities for youngsters. The association will run shuttles to nearby parking facilities and the draft site downtown.

“It’s going to be a huge shot in the arm,” Roberts said. “We expect that we’re going to be busy from the time we open until the time we close.”

The Michigan Black Business Alliance used the draft to persuade small, minority-owned businesses to register to work at big events. Britney Hoskins, who runs the Top Pic Collective, which rents chairs, tables and other furnishings, said that after she was certified, the N.F.L. selected her company to outfit V.I.P. rooms, a beer tent and other areas. Having the league on her résumé, she said, is validation that she hopes will help her win other business after the draft has left town.

“We’ve never been in the room before,” Hoskins said. “We are on all of these major-scale event radars now, so to me the impact is long lasting.”

Cities and tourism bureaus often promote the economic benefits of hosting large events like the draft. The Kansas City Sports Commission, for instance, said the event generated $164 million last year. Most sports economists, though, dismiss these estimates as manufactured to suit agencies trying to justify the use of taxpayer funds to host events for for-profit organizations like the N.F.L. The estimates often fail to account for expenses like police overtime and road closures, or the money raised by host committees from sponsors and local corporations.

Jordan Kobritz, who teaches sports management at the State University of New York at Cortland and has owned and operated minor league baseball teams, is skeptical of the projections, but said publicity from the event could be a positive, even if it was ultimately intangible.

“There is benefit at the end of the day because one thing that is very hard to analyze is the publicity that the community gets out it,” he said. “Look at where Detroit is. True or not, there is a public perception that downtown is a disaster area. They’re hoping that all this positive publicity will help attract people who want to live there or do business there.”

Detroit has not created any estimates on the potential boon in part because no one is sure how many people will show up and from where. Detroit is within a five-hour drive of six N.F.L. markets and just across the Detroit River from Canada. Officials hope the recent success of the hometown Lions and the University of Michigan’s football team, which won the national championship this year, will boost local attendance. But the weather and other factors can affect whether fans arrive from out of town.

“That’s the thing: When it’s not necessarily a ticketed event, how many people are going to show up?” said Dave Beachnau, executive director of the Detroit Sports Commission.

After the draft ends, a ceremonial football will travel to Muskegon, Mich.; board the Lake Express ferry; cross Lake Michigan to Milwaukee; and then head north to the site of next year’s draft, Green Bay, the smallest N.F.L. market but a singular one.

“I have a feeling people will make the pilgrimage” next spring, said Gabrielle Dow, vice president of marketing for the Green Bay Packers. “You’ll get to see your favorite team’s picks and check the box of seeing Lambeau Field. You’ll kill two birds with one stone here.”

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Playruo lets you try game demos from your web browser | TechCrunch

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Playruo lets you try game demos from your web browser | TechCrunch

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It’s still unclear whether cloud gaming will ever become the next big thing. The appeal is clear: The game you’re playing runs in a data center near you, and the video output is directly streamed to your local device. When you interact with the game, everything is relayed back to the data center.

When it works, it’s an amazing experience. It’s a flexible, easy way to play games across multiple devices without buying new hardware. That’s why many companies have launched services that let you play games remotely — there’s Nvidia’s GeForce Now service, Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, Amazon Luna, and Google’s now-defunct Stadia cloud gaming service.

But the vast majority of people still play video games on their own, local devices. A French company called Shadow tried something different by bringing your entire computer to the cloud: It isn’t just cloud gaming; it’s cloud computing. You can access Windows in the cloud and install anything you want. But Shadow hasn’t become a mainstream service either.

Fergus Leleu, Jean-Baptiste Kempf and Yannis Weinbach — three former employees at Shadow — decided to leave the company and try something different with their new startup, Playruo. Instead of letting you play your games in the cloud, their new company lets you play game demos in the cloud.

Click on a link to launch a game demo

In many ways, Playruo delivers on the original promise of Google’s Stadia: It lets you launch and play a video game from your web browser without having to install anything. Just like people share Google Docs links to share a document, game publishers can turn a game demo into a shareable link.

Behind the scenes, Playruo’s streaming technology is based on Kyber, a bidirectional streaming technology created by Kempf, the CTO of Playruo. Kempf is also better known as the president of VideoLAN, the organization behind the popular open source video player VLC. He has also worked on various video encoders and decoders used by some of the largest video platforms, including Netflix and YouTube.

Playruo relies heavily on open source software components, such as FFmpeg to encode the audio and video streams, and libVLC to decode the stream on your local device. The company uses QUIC for the transport layer network protocol.

I tried a couple of demos in Google Chrome on macOS, and the service worked as expected. You can start playing just a few seconds after clicking on the demo link, and on a solid fiber connection via Wi-Fi, it felt like I was playing a game locally.

How to make a viral game

There are thousands of games released on PC and game consoles every year. Unless you have a gigantic marketing budget, it’s hard to stand out.

Even worse, game publishers are also competing with old games. Some of the most played games of 2023 have been around for more than a decade — think Minecraft, Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto V, or League of Legends. It’s arguably one of the reasons why there have been so many rounds of layoffs in the games industry recently.

Playruo’s pitch is that it can be used by game publishers as part of a launch campaign to maximize their chances of success. For instance, at the end of a video trailer, a publisher could embed a thumbnail on YouTube with a link to the demo so you can try out the game easily.

Playruo links can also be integrated in game launchers. Imagine a popular Twitch streamer sharing a link to a multiplayer game demo so that viewers can team up with their favorite Twitch content creator.

Unlike traditional cloud gaming services, Playruo’s client here is the game’s publisher, and they pay the startup to offer a demo. Chances are that a demo that becomes viral will lead to increased game sales. Playruo is already working with Old Skull Games to promote Cryptical Path.

“We know the cloud gaming business model pretty well from our past experience. The big pitfall is that the various platforms do everything they can to prevent you from using the service too much,” Playruo’s co-founder and head of product, Weinbach, told me.

“It’s a bit ridiculous and counterintuitive. So we thought about a business model where it’s interesting for us that people stay for a long time,” he said. In other words, a viral demo could be considered as a success for a game publisher.

Playruo will have to make sure that it can quickly scale its fleet of servers (up and down) based on demand. The company relies on public cloud companies that offer virtual machines with GPUs, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Scaleway.

This will be a critical part of Playruo’s model. If the startup has too many servers running without anyone launching demos, it’ll lead to an expensive hosting bill at the end of the month. If the startup doesn’t have enough servers, many gamers will receive an error when they try to launch a demo.

But if it works well, Playruo can act as the top of the funnel for game purchases. After a 15-minute demo, players can get a link to add a game to their Steam wishlist, join a Discord server, or enter their email address to get more information. And they may not even realize that they played a game that wasn’t installed on their system.

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