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Monopoly boots 3 classic pieces from lineup

Three classic game pieces in the game of Monopoly have been given the boot — including the boot.

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The wheelbarrow and thimble are also out, thanks to an online vote in January by Hasbro, the parent company of Monopoly, CNN reported.

They will be replaced by a T-Rex, rubber ducky and penguin, which will join the five classic tokens: Scottie the dog, hat, car, cat and battleship. The boot, wheelbarrow and thimble won't appear in the game starting this fall. The iron, another classic piece, was dropped in 2013 in favor of a cat.

Monopoly fans from 146 countries cast a total of 4.3 million votes during the contest, Hasbro told The Huffington Post. Game piece options that didn’t make the cut include smiley face emojis, a cellphone and aviator sunglasses.

The boot and thimble have been part of the board game since Parker Brothers introduced it in 1935, while the wheelbarrow has been a fixture since 1956.

In the online vote, Monopoly fans were asked to choose their favorite eight tokens from 64 different possibilities, CNN reported. Fifty-six choices were brand new, including smiley face emojis, a cellphone and aviator sunglasses, The Huffington Post reported.

"While we can't say why these exact tokens were chosen or who exactly chose them, we know they represent the voices of our fans — young and old — from around the world," Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming, told CNN.

Still, he said fans of the now rejected boot, wheelbarrow and thimble did rally hard to keep them around longer.

"We saw a lot of passionate fans out there, including Singer Sewing Co., who rallied their fans on their social pages to keep the thimble token," Berkowitz told CNN. Hardware chain Ace Hardware used social media to drum up support for the wheelbarrow.

"I imagine that the thimble, boot, and wheelbarrow tokens don't resonate as much with today's fans," Berkowitz said.

How not to get attacked by a shark

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Just in time for the July 4 holiday, the New York Times has released an explainer piece on just how prevalent shark attacks are (not very), and where they mostly take place (where the food is).

But just as helpful as these tidbits of knowledge is a short synopsis of what you, a swimmer in the ocean, can do to NOT be attacked by a shark.

Here they are:

1. Don’t go swimming at dusk, night or dawn, when sharks are more likely to be active and feeding.

2. Avoid murky water, where sharks are more likely to mistake you for shark food.

3. Bleeding? Don’t go swimming in the ocean.

The experts say shark attacks are no more prevalent than they usually are this time of year, and point out that this summer conveniently coincides with the 40th anniversary of the release of “Jaws,” so there might be some media hysteria at play, ahem.

However, it’s true that the seven shark attacks along the North Carolina coast are more than the state has recorded in a single year since 2000.

What should you do if you are bitten by a shark?

When you see it coming, try to exit the water slowly, facing the shark, says shark expert Andrew P. Nosal. If you can’t escape, and it attacks you, fight back by grabbing the gills or striking the eyes.

For more about sharks, click here and here.

Potentially deadly jellyfish wash up on NJ shore

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Local beach patrol are warning folks who frequent New Jersey beaches that a rare (for them) and potentially deadly jellyfish is washing ashore.

Beachgoers began reporting what they first thought was very colorful beach trash. Upon closer inspection though, they realized the blobs were not plastic bags, but Portuguese man-of-war. The bright purple jellyfish sport tentacles that grow to about 6 feet in length but can extend  outward up to 165 feet, and are extremely painful when they sting.

The New Jersey jellyfish appear to have washed up without its venomous tentacles. They can be deadly, but that's rare.

Experts say the jellyfish are washing ashore there because they are being carried north by the Gulfstream. The same creatures washed ashore there a year ago, DNA tests confirmed.

Top 10 countries for retirement in 2015

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Thanks to the relatively high cost of living in the U.S., more and more retirees are opting to spend their golden years and hard-earned cash abroad. Currently, an estimated 3 million Baby Boomers plan to move overseas after retirement.

But where in the world is the perfect retirement haven? Each year, expat-focused magazine International Living seeks to answer that question by ranking the best countries for retirees.

The magazine pulls data from their network of correspondents and international organizations to rank countries by cost of living, healthcare, infrastructure and other factors.

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The top 10 countries on their list cover a variety of regions around the globe. While most of the countries on the list remain fairly static over the years, the exact standings did get a bit of a shake-up this time around.

Once again, Central and South America dominate the rankings, accounting for nearly half of the top ten list.

Ecuador and Panama, the two top destinations, feature attractive discount packages to bolster their already low costs of living. Both nations are tourist-friendly, have excellent infrastructure, and boast a variety of entertainment and sightseeing options.

But if you'd rather spend your twilight years in Europe, it's still worth brushing up on your Spanish. Spain remains the top European retirement destination on the list, thanks to cheap prices, beautiful locales and a top-notch healthcare system.

Asia's look-in on the top 10 is mostly thanks to Malaysia and its robust economy, which allows expats to enjoy a high-quality lifestyle at a comparatively low price. 

If you are planning to take advantage of these or any other retirement destinations, the U.S. State Department has a checklist to help anyone looking to retire overseas set their affairs at home in order first. 

The full list of all 25 countries recommended by International Living can be found at their website.

This video includes images from Getty Images and music from Risey / CC BY NC 3.0.

Photos: Top 20 travel destinations for 2015

A look at the best sunscreen for your money

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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A May 2014 study from Consumer Reports has ranked sunscreens and found that you don't have to pay big bucks to protect your skin from harsh UV rays.Here's what so funny: The highest rated sunscreen that got a Best Buy recommendation turned out to be the cheapest one per ounce they tested!

Want the best sunscreen for your money? Check out these options

Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, which is a Walmart storebrand lotion, clinched the Best Buy trophy with a score of 80 from Consumer Reports. It costs only 56 cents an ounce, which represents a 9-cent increase in price since last year. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (13%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), and Oxybenzone (4%). The only sunblock to score higher in the lotion category was Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50. This lotion got a score of 81 and costs $1.38. The active ingredient list mirrors that of Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, with the exact same concentration of active ingredients.When it comes to sprays, longtime Consumer Reports favorite UP & UP Sport SPF 50 got a 90 -- a full 10 points higher than last year's showing for this Target housebrand. Amazingly, the cost per ounces has dropped to 80 cents, down from $1.16 last year! Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (4%), and Oxybenzone (5%).

>>Company claims it has developed drinkable sunscreen

>> Special Section: Your Guide to Summer FunThe historical favorite in this annual tally has been NO-AD Sport SPF 50 with Avobenzone, Aloe, and Vitamin E SPF 45. The NO-AD lotion scored a 69 this time out -- up 20 points from last year. The cost per ounce is 63 cents. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (2.0%), Homosalate (15.0%), Octisalate (5.0%), and Oxybenzone (5.0%).I was talking with a dermatologist last week and she said the real problem is too many people apply sunscreen too sparsely. You need to put gobs of it on your kids. My kids are conditioned to know that it's a five-minute ordeal while we slather them up before they can go out into the sun. It's a necessary precaution. But don't forget yourself either.If you're like me and grew up in the generation when nobody wore sunscreen, we're a ticking time bomb for skin cancer and melanoma. In many cases, early skin cancer detected is just a little aggravation that's easily treated. But undetected, it can grow into melanoma and cost you your life.Whatever sunscreen you get, be sure it says "broad spectrum" on the label for maximum protection.

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The story behind the Kentucky Derby's $2,000 cocktail

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It's Kentucky Derby weekend and that means breaking out the big hats, betting on the horses and ... paying up to $2,000 for a drink. Wait, what? 

Ah, yes. The infamous mint julep. Just one of these puppies might empty out your wallet, though there is the cheaper option: it's only $1,000. (Via Kentucky Derby

So what's the deal with the steep price? Well, for starters it's that cup. This year they feature a gold-plated medallion of a horse and a garland of roses. But like I said, that's just the beginning. (Via Twitter / Matthew Willinger

Of course you have the basics fresh mint, crushed ice, Early Times Kentucky Whisky and the sweetener ... (Via SB Nation

Master distiller Chris Morris says to get the sweet taste, "We have candied rose petals, actual rose petals that we’ve soaked in sugar water... It has the mint, but now it has the rose hint to it.” (Via USA Today

"And then a golden sipping straw. There it is, it's part of the package. 

That's an actual straw?

An actual gold sipping straw. There it is, with a gold dusted mint garnish."

Yes, a golden straw. So, do you think it's worth it? Well, apparently plenty of people do. 

Every year about 120,000 of the cocktails are sold at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We'll leave that math up to you.  (Via Kentucky Derby

Now, not every mint julep at the derby is served in a golden cup with candied rose petals — there are affordable ones, too. The drink has actually been a staple among derbygoers since the races started in 1875. But the drink is much older — dating back about 200 years. 

"Virginians started mixing the version drink around 1803 ... The concoction made its way to Kentucky, the home of bourbon, whiskey and Kentucky colonel mint." (Via Yahoo!

The perfect mixture and the drink's popularity grew wildly. As far as the more expensive version — much of money raised reportedly goes to charity for aging horses.

American Craft Beer Week

The Brewers Association is happy to assemble American Craft Beer Week, the mother of all beer weeks, each May. This celebration, coordinated by the Craft Beer Program, is an exciting opportunity for craft brewers to commemorate their art and tradition with enthusiasts across the country.

The Atlanta area is no stranger to craft beer, with nearly 27 local breweries in the Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas. You no longer have to seek out a large distribution liquor store or an imported beer menu to quench your thirst for a fine brew either, growler stores and brew pubs focusing on local offerings have been cropping recently up in the suburbs as well.

So it will be easy to celebrate American Craft Beer Week by supporting local businesses.

Here's some of the newest breweries in the Atlanta area - look for their offerings on tap at area restaurants and bars

  • Blue Tarp: Opened in December 2012 in Decatur, they offer 5 signature brews and are open for tours and tastings. Take a tour
  • Creature Comforts: The second brewery to open in Athens, Georgia began producing beer last month.
  • Eventide Brewing: Atlanta's newest brewery, Eventide prides themselves on simple beers done well.
  • Jekyll Brewing: Located in Alpharetta this brewery's name pays tribute to the location of the first brewery in Georgia originally opened in 1738.
  • Monkey Wrench Brewing:  According to their website, 2014 beer release schedule includes IPAs, belgians, stouts,  plus a couple other surprises.
  • Omaha Brewing: Coming Soon. Omaha, GA is located near the Georgia/Alabama border.
  • Orpheus Brewing:  Coming late Spring 2014 will be located near Piedmont Park and the Beltline.
  • Three Taverns:  This Decatur brewery has a penchant for Belgian-style brews and a new tap room open for tours.  Tour Info

More Atlanta Area Breweries to Tour:

Red Brick Brewering Company  - Atlanta's oldest brewery founded in 1993 as Atlanta Brewing Company, the now re-vamped brewery offers bold new flavors as well as their flagship Laughing Skull Amber Ale.  Tours: Wednesday - Sunday

Sweetwater Brewing Company - named after Sweetwater Creek which is a tributary to the Chattahoochee River, this brewery was founded in 1997 and has seen continued success. Tours: Wednesday - Sunday

Terrapin Beer Company - actually located in Athens, Georgia, was founded in 2002 by John Cochran and Brian Buckowski who named the brewery after his favorite Grateful Dead album Terrapin Station. Tours: Wednesday-Friday

Monday Night Brewing - located in West Atlanta, and according to their site,  the idea for Monday Night Brewing grew out of a small Atlanta Bible study. Tours Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Red Hare Brewing Company - located in Marietta, Georgia - this was the first brewery in Georgia to offer their selections in cans. Tours Thursday-Staurday

Jailhouse Brewing - located in Hampton, Ga Tours on Thursdays and Saturdays

Get a Growler right around the corner!

The Beer Growler has several stores located in the area - Alpharetta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Jon's Creek Sandy Springs, and Suwanee.

The Stout Brothers - Smyra Beer Market 1265 West Spring St, Suite D;  Smyrna, GA    30080

Hop City's GrowlerTown is located in West Midtown Atlanta. Look for Growlertown To-Go at festivals around town.1000 Marietta St., Suite 302; Atlanta, GA 30318

New Restaurants in the ATL February 2014

New and exciting openings from the Atlanta restaurant scene!  Dig in and see why these are some of the most buzz-worthy spots to open in recent memory!Stillhouse—While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the mainstream-ization of old Appalachia in the forms of bluegrass music and primitive southern cooking, I have to admit I didn’t see moonshine cracking the bourgeois code.  But sure enough, here is ole’ white lightning showing up (legally) in liquor stores and in respectable bars in respectable neighborhoods.  Stillhouse Craft Burgers & Moonshine, a recent opening in the East Andrews Entertainment dojo, puts this mystical elixir as its raison d’être both at the bar and in the kitchen.  Saddle up in the homey, saloon-like space featuring antique tin ceiling tiles and hi-tops resting on empty whiskey barrels, grab a rawhide-covered menu and get down to business!  Front and center in the extensive bar are the moonshine cocktails, some infused with flavors like watermelon mint brown sugar, roasted apple Vidalia onion jalapeño and even caramel Krispy Kreme.  Throw a twist into your hooch by having the barkeep burn some aged pecan, cherry or peach wood smoke into the glass, infusing it with some smoky goodness.  The menu revolves around gourmet bar/comfort food and behemoth burgers.  These things are a carnivore’s dream, stacked nearly a foot tall and “upside down” with the cheese and sauce baked into the inverted top bun.  14 burgers, all completely original and ridiculously decadent include grass-fed beef, duck confit, crab cakes, fried oysters, bacon and eggs and much more.  They range in price from $9-$12 and can easily feed two.  And absolutely put the Krispy Kreme bread pudding on your sweet-tooth bucket list.  It’s one of the best desserts in the city.  But whatever you do, don’t dismiss Stillhouse as a novelty just because it associates with such notorious cultural beverage; it’s the real deal.  Even Urban Spoon listed it as a top 100 new restaurant in the US last year.  www.stillhouseatl.comSt. Cecilia—Spoiler alert:  Ford Fry has done it again.  After back-to-back show stoppers with The Optimist and King + Duke, St. Cecilia (the patron saint of music in case you were wondering) completes the stunning trifecta in less than 18 months.  In restaurant terms that’s a Usain Bolt-fast clip to churn out three of the most unique, stylish and groundbreaking restaurants that the city has ever seen.  Taking over the former Bluepointe space across from Phipps, Fry’s team stripped down what had previously been a dramatic room and now lets the drama of the architecture speak for itself.  50-foot ceilings  tower over the space but now instead of the luxe fabrics, rich colors and fancy lighting, the new space has gone organic with simple walnut floors, walls of books, bric-a-brac and taxidermy and a muted, soft earth-tone palate.  The result is a soothing, bright milieu that creates a perfect accompaniment to the cuisine—northern Italian with a focus on the Ligurian coast.  Picture yourself at a table in Santa Margherita (OK, the view is of Phipps but work with me here) and sit back while fresh crudos like cobia tartare, hamachi and chilled oysters; antipasti like fried salt cod beignets and hearth-roasted octopus; melt-in-you-mouth pastas like the pansotti stuffed with roasted beet and the ravioli with apple and mascarpone and Maine Lobster; and mains like triggerfish with wood-roasted calamari and the Block Island Swordfish arrive at your table. Benissimo!  Indeed, St. Cecilia’s continues to push Fry’s high bar even higher—make room on the trophy shelf for more awards and gushing from national press.  And with 3 more concepts in the pipeline looking to open in 2014/15, one simply has to marvel at Fry’s team’s seemingly endless well of ideas, talent and design. Ink and Elm—Sexy.  Creative.  Delicious.  Adjectives which, aside from some winsome co-eds, were never uttered to describe anything within walking distance of the Emory campus.  Until now.  Ink and Elm, a name that pays homage to landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (builder of both NYC’s Central Park and ATL’s own Druid Hills), eschews the pizza/burrito/noodle fare associated with the Emory village and now offers some of the most elegant comfort-food dining and sexiest build outs in the city.  Local restaurant architects ai3 have nailed it again with a space that is warm (dark woods), relaxed (transitional furniture) and infectiously stylish (floor to celling up-lit curtains).  A wall of brown liquor—over 100 different types of scotch, bourbons and ryes—located next to a burning fireplace and a lounge of leather and brass rivet  chairs frames up one of the most intriguing bar set-ups in town.  On the food side Marietta’s own Stephen Sharp mans the kitchen and sends out a menu of approachably-sophisticated, locally-sourced, seasonally-inspired southern grub.  OK, OK I know this is now a jumble of annoying hyphenated restaurant cliches but Sharp executes with so much confidence and measured risk that the result is anything but cliched.  With the pork loin, he tops it with a crunchy seeded mustard, a sweet Vidalia onion gravy and Georgia apples.  Very southern and by its ingredients but the combinations of crunchy and soft, salty and savory, sweetness and acidity was unlike anything I’ve had with that dish before; a true revelation.  The NC Flounder on the other hand is prepared anything but traditional:  with matsuake (a Japanese pine mushroom), pac choi (Chinese cabbage) and a dashi broth (a Japanese kelp soup stock).  And the “brick-cooked” chicken made with local muscadines and collards (again, local and essentially traditional) elicited a “best chicken dish ever” from my dining buddy.  I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention their skilled selection and shucking of cold water oysters as well as a gorgeous weekend brunch starring fried chicken brined for 6 days before frying.  Yeah baby. www.inkandelmatlanta.comKimball House—Named for two historic hotels that served Atlanta in the early 1900s, Kimball House is a remarkable project that came together over 6 years led by 7 mixologists coming from two Decatur mainstay joints, Leon’s Full Service and the Brick House Pub.  Housed in the former Decatur Train Depot, a building built in 1891, it would be a home run just for the decor; a living museum of all things vintage.  Reclaimed materials accentuate an already fascinating structure including the towering bar which is made from the original floors of the train depot (that had previously been repurposed as tables by an earlier tenant), an antique belt-driven fan system, antique light fixtures and shelves of old books and 1000+ pieces of vintage glassware.  But besides the righteous digs, Kimball House perhaps has set the new standard for mixology in the city.  Like alchemists working with laboratory beakers, apothecary droppers and spray bottles to sprtiz aromas into the glasses, the army of mixologists are simply elixir gods. Drawing from a multitude of fresh ingredients, fist-sized perfect cubes of ice and a bottomless well of cocktail mastery, the drinks, served in vintage lowballs and stemware, are simply a delight to see, smell and taste. And if only the decor and the drinks were all-world, you’d forgive mediocre food…but it’s anything but.  Kimball House puts out an oyster selection and presentation that belongs in the bivalve hall of fame.  I ordered two dozen mixed east and west coast raw beauties, Fed Ex'd in fresh that day, presented on a manhole cover-sized platter, perched on perfect ice pellets like tiny one-carat glistening diamonds.  Glorious.  From there I enjoyed several of the most beautifully plated small dishes I’ve had in some time—the little neck clams and a tuna crudo with blood orange.  Then the house-made lemon herb sausage with farro was wonderfully complex but also extremely hearty.  And for dessert the Cake and Ice Cream, a small pineapple upside-down cake, pineapple ice cream with passionfruit and blood orange sorbets possessed deliriously explosive flavors.  Kimball House is something truly special.  Very indie.  Very local.  Very Decatur.  But remember—while open seven days a week there are no reservations so it’s first come, first served.  And they are serving many. www.kimball-house.comBetter Half - One of the most memorable meals I have had in years was at a table full of strangers in an exposed brick loft in an old factory that served as a set for the Hunger Games.  I am totally serious.  I am talking about the Push Start Kitchen, a former underground supper club founded by Zach and Cristina Meloy out of their own home in The Goat Farm in midtown west.  And as I predicted at the time couple of years ago, it would not be long before a proper brick-and-mortar kitchen would be necessary to showcase Zach’s cooking talents.  So after a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds, Better Half now serves dinner Tuesday-Saturday on 14th Street near Georgia Tech.  The couple met when Zach visited Cristina’s native Costa Rica and that Latin influence runs throughout each of the dishes. The roasted beet tart with horseradish and crispy pig ear comes plated beautifully and carefully mixes sweet and spicy.  The sopa negra (blackbean soup), thick, salty and delicious comes to life when the perfectly poached egg, upon piercing with a spoon, runs it’s gooey innards into the concoction for a savory addition to the salty soup.  For the main course I had the pork loin with parsnip mustard, roasted turnip and pickled apple.  It, too, looked beautiful and showed a range of flavors that Meloy has been crafting since his time at Push Start.  For dessert the cocoa sponge with smoked cajeta (a Mexican-style sweet syrup made from caramelized milk) and buttermilk ice cream demonstrated Meloy’s well-rounded talents as a pastry chef.  Better Half rocks as a sophisticated neighborhood destination.  It’s uncomplicated in a good way, with the food easy to enjoy but just challenging enough with the Latin accents to keep you on your toes.  At press time the liquor license was in progress but for the time being BYOB and just enjoy the food.

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