5 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories


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139 seconds on the history of Super Tuesday

5 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories

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Freshmen in the hallways

5 Feb 2016 | Posted in Social & Online Media

Freshmen in the hallways

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Bennington Marine Group Acquires Nautic Global Group | Business Wire

3 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories

ELKHART, Ind.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Steve Vogel, Chairman, and Jacob Vogel, CEO of Bennington Marine and

James R. (Jim) Malone, Chairman & CEO of Nautic Global Group, have

announced that the companies have signed a definitive acquisition

agreement whereby Bennington Marine will acquire the brands and certain

assets and liabilities of Nautic Global Group. The deal is anticipated

to close on October 2.

Commenting on the deal, Bennington Chairman Steve Vogel said, “Nautic

Global Group is an industry pioneer and has some of the best known, most

trusted brands in the industry – brands that resonate strongly with

consumers and are well-positioned for future growth, while exceeding the

high expectations Nautic has continually set for its products and

services. We have always respected what the company has accomplished and

believe Bennington is the ideal partner to help take the Nautic business

to the next level. We look forward to working closely with Nautic’s

world class management team to make the transition as efficient and

seamless as possible for employees, vendors and dealers.”

Bennington Marine, family owned and operated by the Vogel family since

Steve Vogel founded the business in 1997, is the premier maker of

pontoon boats in the industry. Nautic Global Group is one of the leading

manufacturers of a broad line of some of the best-known brands in the

recreational boat industry including: Aqua Patio, Sweetwater, SanPan,

Hurricane, Rinker, Godfrey and PolarKraft. Both Bennington

Marine and Nautic Global Group are headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana.

“The entire Elkhart area community will benefit from the acquisition of

these great boat brands,” said Jim Malone, Chairman and CEO of Nautic

Global Group. “This represents a big win for our employees, dealers and

customers. We’re pleased that the company is being acquired by one of

the most highly regarded companies in the boating industry.”

Bennington is presently planning to operate the acquired brands and

businesses as a separate entity. The Nautic brands will be delivered

with the same world-class attention to quality and customer service that

dealers and customers have come to expect from Bennington Marine.

Bennington CEO Jacob Vogel added, “This represents an exciting

opportunity for both companies. By bringing some of the strongest brands

in the marine industry together in one corporate family, we will be able

to better provide dealers and consumers with the highest quality, most

innovative products and back them with the best services and warranties

in the industry. This is truly a historic transaction in the boating

industry. ”

The companies will distribute additional information, including

dealer-specific news, shortly after the closing of the transaction.

Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor to Bennington Marine.

Was doing one of the best things I’ve done in a while and quickly turned into the worst thing I’ve ever said

2 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories

Was doing one of the best things I've done in a while and quickly turned into the worst thing I've ever said

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Proof That Bill Clinton is Actually an Awesome Cowboy

2 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories


What’s Bill Clinton been up to in post-presidential life? Well, aside from founding the Clinton Global Initiative, it looks like he’s been working on a pretty great collection of cowboy boots.

Clinton gave the the keynote speech at Dell World, an annual technology conference, in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. The pics were snapped by Managing Editor of Dell Global Communications Stephanie Losee, who shared them with Mashable.

“If we want the world to work,” said Clinton before flashing his boots, “we have to create more non-zero-sum games.”

What do you think of Clinton’s boots? Share in the comments.

Image courtesy of EdStock

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Don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed.

2 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories

Don't know if I should be proud or ashamed.

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Bad Joke Eel

2 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories

Bad Joke Eel

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Top 10 Greatest Ballets

2 Feb 2016 | Posted in The Arts

As I was browsing through the many lists of listverse, i realized something. There has never been a list on Ballets. And I felt this was such a shame. Ballets have fallen off the cliff when it comes to popularity, especially here in America, where I live. The music in ballet is just as, if not more beautiful, than any piece of music ever written. When put together with flawless, graceful movements and wonderful spectacle, Ballets can be a sight and a sound that will move you to tears, to laughter and to emotions you have never felt before. Here is a list of the Ten Greatest Ballets.

Many different versions of this ballet exist, but the original was performed in 1945, in Moscow, Russia. Prokofiev is one of my favorite composers, with fantastic composing skills, and his Cinderella is no exception. Based on the fairy tale, the ballet is noted for its fantastic score and very humorous tone. The very beginning of the ballet, I think, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music and it’s virtually unknown.

Originally Performed in 1869, in Moscow, Russia, this beautiful ballet is based on the book “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes. The story follows Don Quixote on his quest of chivalry and the slaying of mythical beasts. Originally staged in 4 acts and 8 scenes, it is an immensely charming and fun ballet, with some great music.

No, not the Disney movie, but this beautiful ballet has some of the most beautiful music of all time. Originally performed in 1890, in St Petersburg, Russia, and based on Charles Perraults “La Belle au bois Dormant”, The story tells of Princess Aurora who is cursed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and sleep for 100 years. This, indeed, comes to pass until she is awoken by a Princes’ kiss. They are married at the end of the ballet. With soaring, beautiful musical numbers, this one jumps onto the list

The most recent ballet on the list, originally performed in 1962, most of the credit to this ballet actually goes to Balanchine, who put the whole thing together. Mendelssohn didn’t write the music to the ballet knowingly, it was mostly background music to the play version that was reworked into ballet music. The story is obviously based on the play of the same name, by the late great William Shakespeare, and has quickly become one of the most popular American Ballets of all time.

I admit, it took every fiber of my being to not put this one higher (closer to number 1). It is my personal favorite ballet, but I kept it low due to the fact that it is only about 30 minutes in length, but the importance, beauty, and emotion behind this ballet is enormous. It Premiered in Paris, in 1913, and it started a riot. When they went to see the performance, they were not prepared for the…ungrace of it? Being used to soaring melodies of Russian Ballet, audience members were shocked to find gritty harmonies, and less than graceful, and jarring movements. It is much better received by todays audiences. The story is that of a sacrifice of a young girl to the god of spring. She is killing herself through dance.

Originally performed in 1877, in St. Petersberg, Russia, this ballet in four acts is considered to be Petipa’s greatest work, by some. The story tells of Nikiya and Solor, who have sworn to be faithful to each other. In his jealousy, the High Brahmin wishes to have Solor the warrior killed, but his plan does not come to pass. Instead, Nikiya is killed by a snake set forth by a man named Rajah, who believes Solor should be with his daughter rather than Nikiya. Solor is about to marry Rajah’s daughter, but the gods, in their anger, kill everybody in the temple. Yes, that was a VERY short version of a rather deep plot line, but nonetheless, it has some of the most celebrated movements (such as the Kingdom of Shades scene) of any ballet.

This piece was almost universally panned when it premiered, in 1892, in St. Petersberg, but has since grown to be one of the most popular ballets of today, due to its ties with Christmas. Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, the story tells of a young girl, Clara, who gets shrunk to the size of a mouse, and her beloved nutcracker who goes to war, with other toys, against the evil Mouse King. He is later transformed into a beautiful prince and they go to the kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Confiturembourg) to rule forever after. With cherished music and wonderful dance, it has become the staple of poplar ballets in the 20th century.

One of the most sought after roles of all time for a ballet dancer is the title character in this classic. Based on the poem of Heinrich Heine, it is about a young peasant girl named Giselle, who meets a nobleman dressed as a commoner and falls in love with him, not knowing that he is of noble birth. When another man who loves Giselle, named Hilarion, outs the nobleman, Giselle realises that she cannot be with him, upon which she goes mad and dies of a weak heart. In the second act, when Hilarion goes to grieve at Giselles’ grave, he is greeted by spirits of dead women called Wilis, who throw him into a river and kill him. When the nobleman comes, the Wilis sentence him to death as well, but the spirit of Giselle saves his life, and she then departs at peace to the afterlife. A Ballet filled with emotion and beautiful dance, it is considered a classic among all forms of entertainment.

Another Ballet based on the works of William Shakespeare, the story is well know. Originally performed in 1938, in Czechoslovakia, it was significantly reworked and revised, and opened anew in 1940, in Leningrad, Russia. This Ballet is considered to be a the epitome of music and movement, and the masterpiece ballet of Prokofiev. This is a ballet that is truly too beautiful to be talked about, but must be seen and heard to be fully understood and loved. The movement, and the music, and the colors, I weep just thinking of it now.

Premiering in 1877, in Moscow, it was originally titled “The Lake of the Swans” but was shortened to just “Swan Lake” after it was drastically reworked by Marius Petipa and Riccardo Driggo in 1895, and this is how it is known to audiences today. When it first went up it was viewed with harsh criticism, it was believed to be too difficult and unmemorable. However, it has grown to be Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece work, and was also his first ballet. The story is that of Odette, a princess who is cursed by Von Rothbart to become a swan by day, but is human by night. A prince, named Siegfried, sees the swan form of Odette transform into a beautiful woman and falls in love on the spot. They go to a ball together, until morning when she leaves to transform back into her swan alone. The prince looks for her and finds another woman, named Odile (played by the same woman who playes Odette) who looks the twin of the swan queen Odette. This is planned, of course, by Von Rothbart, and when Siegfried falls for Odile, Odette is cursed to be a swan forever. Realizing his mistake Siegfried seeks forgiveness, but Odette is eternally bound to be a swan, so the Prince and the Princess kill themselves and ascend into heaven together. The powerful story is seen by modern day audiences in more ways than just the Opera. An Academy Award movie called “Black Swan” was released in 2010, and it is also the base of the story Shrek, the Disney movie “The Swan Princess”, and many other stories and legends. It is a true masterpiece of ballet, and is always considered one of the, if not the, greatest ballet of all time.

Notables not listed: Paquita, Coppellia (so badly wanted to put it in there), Spartacus, Peter Pan, Anastasia, and Firebird.

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Extreme Eastwooding: President evades press pool, goes golfing

2 Feb 2016 | Posted in Accessories

If what Politco’s Roger Simon reports is true, we suspect that both the president and the press were happy to have a break from each other. Over 150 reporters and photographers were on hand for Wednesday’s traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardoning, but President Obama managed to play golf today unseen by the media.

It’s 52° and sunny in DC. Pres Obama is at Joint Base Andrews for a day-after-Thanksgiving round of golf with aides.

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 23, 2012

Pres Obama back at the WH after about 4½ hours of golf, his 50th round at Andrews and 106th since taking office.

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 23, 2012

Obama returns from overseas trip,pardons a turkey,and heads to the golf course. Tough job.

— Sandi Provost (@Sandi_AE) November 23, 2012

Wonder if Obama made any headway on the golf course today in that Benghazi investigation.

— Razor (@hale_razor) November 23, 2012

Obama is good. Plays golf while wife/daughters put up Christmas tree and while his new buddy in Egypt seizes complete power #missyoumitt

— Gary Lotz (@gwlotz) November 24, 2012

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