Secrets of Hampton Court Palace

From Londonist:

Hampton Court Palace contains over 1,000 rooms. And though State Apartment Warden Christian Lax — who recently showed us around — has worked there for years, he has yet to visit them all.

This sprawling complex is about to celebrate its 500th anniversary, 1515 being the year when Cardinal Wolsey commissioned workers to construct a mighty home on the banks of the Thames. The stately pile was soon confiscated by Henry VIII, to become Hampton Court Palace.

The complex of buildings has been much-altered over the years, particularly by monarchs William and Mary, who decided to knock down the smelly old Tudor palace and replace it with their own Baroque apartments. Fortunately, they ran out of money and much of Henry’s palace survives.

A building of such history contains many surprises. Christian showed us a few areas normally off limits to the public, including a wine cellar, Jane Seymour’s bedroom, the glorious rooftops and the scene where a famous apparition has been spotted. Watch our video and take a look at the photos below to learn some of the secrets of Hampton Court Palace.

Cadbury Chocolates Can No Longer Be Imported to the US

It’s a sad day. I bought an extra suitcase when I was in London this past fall to bring back a good supply of British made Cadbury.

As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The company also agreed to halt imports on KitKat bars made in Britain; Toffee Crisps, which, because of their orange packaging, and yellow-lined brown script, too closely resemble Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; Yorkie chocolate bars, which infringe on the York peppermint patty; and Ms. Perry’s beloved Maltesers.

Jeff Beckman, a representative for Hershey’s, said L.B.B. and others were importing products not intended for sale in the United States, infringing on its trademark and trade dress licensing. For example, Hershey’s has a licensing agreement to manufacture Cadbury’s chocolate in the United States with similar packaging used overseas, though with a different recipe.

“It is important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress,” Mr. Beckman said in an email.

Christian Blogger Claims to Be Under Attack By Satan for Refusing to Wear Leggings

I saw this story pop up in the news when she first decided to not wear leggings but didn’t bother linking to it. She can wear whatever she wants of course but her reasoning is very Talibanish. Now she’s claiming that she’s under attack by Satan:

A Christian blogger under fire for saying women who wear leggings inadvertently risk tempting members of the opposite sex, says that she and her husband are under attack from Satan.

Oregon resident Veronica Partridge, 25, sparked a firestorm of criticism earlier this month when she said she had chosen to stop wearing leggings as pants in public to honor her Christian faith in a candid blog post that went viral.

While supporters have praised the married mother of one for promoting modesty, her Facebook page has been flooded with criticism from people who say that her post promotes gender stereotypes and sexism.

“I’ve had a lot of both positive and negative responses, probably more negative than positive … it’s definitely not what I was expecting,” Partridge told The Christian Post exclusively.

In her 500-word blog post, Partridge, who prides herself on having “your not-so-average Christian family,” shared that she made the decision to stop wearing leggings in public two months ago after having an honest conversation with her husband Dale. He admitted to her that for him it is “hard not to look” at other women in leggings.

For her, Dale’s admission validated her realization that skin tight stretch pants “may cause [men] to think lustful thoughts,” as is stated in her blog.

“I think my husband is happy and supportive of my decision, but because of the [media attention] I think that we’re under attack from Satan. We’re getting a lot of negativity,” she said. “But we’re staying strong and praying with one another and reading our bible. I think it’s brought us closer together.”

Any opinion that is contrary to yours is of course inspired by Satan. Religious fundamentalists have lives where everything is simplistic and either good or evil. Perhaps they need to read some other book besides the bible.

The Moses Brown School Announces Classes are Cancelled Due to the Blizzard

Some background from WBUR:

“Sunday morning we saw the weather report,” Adam Olenn explains, “and we said, ‘Oh, we’ve got to get this done.’ ”

So today, Moses Brown School in Providence posted a “School Is Closed” video to YouTube that’s already attracting national attention.

Educational institutions across the region have announced that they’ll be closing for the predicted blizzard via robocalls. Moses Brown spread the word that they’d have a snow day tomorrow with a parody of the “Let It Go” song from Disney’s 2013 animated feature film “Frozen.”

“The snow glows white on Route 95, not a tire track to be seen,” Head of School Matt Glendinning, outfitted in a striped knit hat and sweater, seems to sing at the beginning. “We could make you come to school, but that would just be mean.”

As Olenn, Moses Brown’s director of communications and community engagement, told me the story behind the video tonight, Time magazine retweeted the video and Good Morning America reached out for an interview. “It’s very exciting,” says Olenn, who takes credit for masterminding the video. “On the one hand, it’s surprising. On the other hand, I hoped it would happen.”

Reactions to Tesla’s Insane Acceleration Mode

Jalopnik has more on the Tesla Model S P85D:

Elon Musk concedes that “the Internet is very good at figuring out secrets.” So yes, the D in the Tesla Model S P85D stands for “dual” motor. Yes, it’s the same system coming to the all-wheel-drive Model X. But here’s what we didn’t expect: 687 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 MPH run of 3.2 seconds – a full second quicker than the standard P85.

Oh, and 1g of lateral acceleration. In other words, it’s obscenely fast.1

Before I get into what it’s like to be in one, here’s the breakdown on what’s been done and what’s on offer.

The top-spec Model S, the P85D, comes in at $120k (with both the performance and tech packs required). That gets you two motors: the same biggie-sized one out pack in the standard P85, and then a smaller motor fitted up front. That new motor packs an additional 221 hp into the S, with the rear motor dolling out 470 HP, for a combined 691 HP. Plus a quarter mile time of 11.8 seconds (down from 12.6).