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Matt Jung: Comfort Research & The Ultimate Beanbag

A beanbag chair, two college friends, and an out of this world experience — literally. Some say getting out of your comfort zone makes for a better life but ask Matt Jung and Chip George, owners of Comfort Research, and they’ll tell you keeping things comfortable is how they became successful. When the dynamic duo were undergraduates at Hope College in Michigan in 1996, they were looking for a better way to lounge. Tired of bruised elbows and sore tailbones from their woefully uncomfortable beanbag chairs, Jung and George were determined to change dorm life from roughing it to comfort zone. Their creation was the Ahhsome Fuf — part beanbag, part mattress, part couch, and 100% comfortable. Initially, the sales of the Ahhsome Fuf were just as remarkable as its name. The two began selling the product out of the trunk of their cars during college welcome weeks. They managed to get a few into a local furniture store, which were sold out within days. As they expanded, distributors ordered larger quantities. The rest is history. Fast forward 22 years,

Tony Blauer: Hacking the Science of Self-Defense

He’s developed the only behaviorally based self-protection method in the world. Know Fear Imagine taking an afternoon walk around your neighborhood and an unfamiliar face suddenly attacks you. You can’t run away, and your adrenaline is rushing, there’s a ringing in your ears, and your heart is beating through your chest. What would you do? Would you replay a scene from a Bruce Lee movie in your head or would you know what to do to make it out alive? We can hypothesize, but the truth is that many of us don’t know how we would react in the face of fear. We’ve heard of fight or flight, but would we know what to do in that crucial moment? When running is not an option, we may freeze, go into shock, or make critical mistakes that give our attacker an advantage. Putting our personal safety and that of our loved ones first is our duty in situations like this. That’s why combat extraordinaire, Tony Blauer, is helping millions of people achieve confidence in self-defense through training offered by his company,

Steven Raichlen: Ultimate Pit Boss

Back to School  “I spent a lot of time attending school in my younger days.  After graduating high school, I went to college for four years, graduating from Hofstra University on Long Island.  As if that wasn’t enough, I attended Brooklyn Law School for another three years after that! Honestly, after those experiences, I never wanted to see another school again and was ready to start my career.  But now, around 40 years later, I’m ready to go back to school!  Yes, I’ve re-acquired “the bug” to go back to school. “Barbecue University, here I come!”  Barbecue University?  Seriously? Yes, as a matter of fact, Steven Raichlen, the world’s foremost authority on live-fire cooking, is the professor at this esteemed university. Mastering His Fiery Craft A passion for primal flavor in food cooked over a live fire ignites a backyard grill mania. Known as the man who reinvented modern barbecue, Steven Raichlen is an accomplished author, journalist, cooking instructor, and TV host. As inspiration for his books, he has traveled the world in search of all things barbecue and considers cooking

Chef John Moeller: A Recipe for History

After three first families enjoyed his culinary expertise, he has the perfect recipe for life beyond the White House. The ability to transform one’s passions and interests into a prominent business is an achievement that most people work towards their entire life. However, for John Moeller, that passion was identified early and blossomed into a thriving and prestigious career. He served as a chef for three first families and their many guests, the presidencies of Bush 41 and 43, bracketing 42, the presidency of Bill Clinton. After initially joining the White House as a sous chef in 1992, he later transitioned into the role of acting White House Chef in 2005. While serving the first families, he also prepared meals for world-renowned leaders including Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela, as well as celebrities such as Julia Child and Sophia Loren, to name just a few. There’s no pressure cooking for the likes of Mandela and Child, I’m sure. So what if the souffle collapses? Cultivating a Culinary Art Raised in the heart of Amish County in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Moeller realized

The Wonderful Green World of TerraCycle

Creating a More Sustainable Planet by Eliminating the Idea of Waste The Problem Since the end of World War II, economic growth and prosperity in most corners of the world has been nearly miraculous, raising the quality of life for billions of inhabitants to historic heights. But it has come at an extremely high cost to our environment. One of the most disgraceful consequences of such affluence has been the unintended effects of ‘disposable consumerism,’ as starkly evidenced by the massive field of floating plastic waste and chemical sludge dubbed the “Great Pacific garbage patch.” Also called the “Pacific trash vortex,” it is a gyre of discarded marine waste located about halfway between California and Hawaii. First described in a 1988 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) paper, its scope is now estimated to range between the sizes of Texas and Russia, and it contains 1.8 trillion pieces of debris in the consistency of a toxin-thickened soup. A July 2017 study conducted by the University of Georgia, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and others, concluded that more than 8.5

Darren Jew: Master Photographer

Behind the lens of one of the world’s top photographers. Darren Jew is an Australian underwater, wildlife, and nature photographer whose technical mastery of photography is well known among his peers. Wanting to convey the beauty of nature, he pushes the envelope in practice of the medium. His creative visualization of a subject and translating that into a photograph has earned him a justly deserved reputation. He has captured perfect moments like the ethereal ballet of a 50-ton humpback whale with her calf, a dizzying whorl of thousands of fish, and pods of playful dolphins. His stunning photos of underwater subjects surrounded by sun rays or emerging from the dark abyss leave us breathless and filled with wonder. One of his most memorable underwater adventures was to photograph in mosaic panels the entire length of the shipwreck, SS Yongola, which was caught in a storm and sank off the coast of Queensland, Australia in 1911. Although Jew specializes in underwater photography, he has also photographed landscapes and animals in some of the world’s farthest reaches from Russia to Antarctica to

Tim Kennedy: Living Legend

He’s a special ops soldier, world-class mixed martial arts fighter, top UFC middleweight champion, TV star, entrepreneur, and family man. Brave, tough, fearless, and heroic seem inadequate in describing Tim Kennedy who lives every day to its fullest. His compulsive nature turned him into a UFC Champion and a Ranger qualified, Green Beret, Special Forces Sniper. Now retired from his UFC career, he currently serves as a Senior Special Forces Weapons Sergeant assigned to a Special Operations Detachment Unit. Pianos to Punches Kennedy, the middle child of three, from San Luis Obispo, California, is of Irish-American descent. Prior to his journey in becoming a fighter, Kennedy enrolled in piano and cooking classes as his mother desired. After some time, Kennedy wasn’t fond of the choices his mother made for him and decided to follow his father’s guidance instead. During his early teenage years, his father enrolled him and his brother for lessons in boxing, wrestling, and jujitsu. Adding to the plate of hard-hitting sports and a schedule that would seem overwhelming to a teenager, Kennedy was also encouraged by his

Karina Hollekim: The Exhilaration of Fear

Doing your personal best is an understatement for this high-stakes achiever. Norwegian athlete Karina Hollekim is an accomplished BASE jumper and free skier. She is no stranger to the intoxicating adrenaline rush that comes from free-falling. She became the first woman to successfully complete a ski-BASE jump. BASE is an acronym for the types of perch jumpers use to launch into their jumps: building, antenna, span, and earth. Since its inception in 1981, there have been over 300 people who died attempting a BASE jump. Why Hollekim was attracted to this extreme sport that’s 43 times more dangerous than skydiving from a plane, is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it was because she had defied death before or maybe she wanted to amp up the fear factor for its adrenaline rush, maybe both. Whatever the case, she has succeeded in garnering our admiration and landing safely into the history books. A Fateful Day She was at the top of her game. In 2006, as she hurtled through the air at 60miles per hour, she had an epiphany. She realized that one moment

Wayne Toups: Zydecajun Legend

Man, is it steamy out here this afternoon. And why not? It’s late summer in the deep south’s marshy lowlands. There’s been a blessed weeklong dry spell allowing the floodwaters from the latest vicious storm to recede. I’m swatting away another ravenous, hummingbird-sized mosquito and keeping an eye on the raggedy thicket of brown grasses off to the left. If that isn’t the perfect home to a horde of gators, then I’ve never seen one. The iced beer goes down like life-nourishing holy water. A palpable sign there’s a God after all. I’ve changed shirts twice and I’m soaking through a third. Most of the guys don’t even wear shirts. Of course, most of the guys aren’t sixty. I misplaced my six-pack decades ago. A few too many six-packs, I suppose. The girls aren’t wearing much either. Their glistening contours are everywhere I turn. Milton was right about ‘silver linings.’ The energy is picking up in the joint, the crowd thickening, the din intensifying. The tall pole lights emit their wavelike, flickering beams through the stifling heat. A fog has

Steven Sashen: The Barefoot Epiphany

The Man and the Barefoot Epiphany, or Cavemen Didn’t Wear Sneakers The most beautiful and genius things are often the simplest. The natural world strives for efficiency. Occasionally, an idea comes along that is so simple, so obvious, that only a great mind could have conceived it. This is the story about an idea and the man, Steven Sashen, who would conquer the barriers between him and success. Every year, a few triathletes stand around and talk shop behind a footwear store after an annual race that takes over the town. Something wasn’t the same this year. They had the most peculiar things on their feet. It looked like jewelry that went from their toes to their ankles. But it had some sort of leather sole. Runners swear by the improvement that going nearly barefoot has done for their performance. They weren’t wearing just any footwear, these are Xero Shoes, a brand that has been thousands of years in the making. Where did they come from? A sprinter, a book, and an idea A native of Bethesda, Maryland and living