American Heritage has just published the sixth issue of volume 58. In this month’s magazine are articles on the Kennedy assassination, Abraham Lincoln, and Wall Street’s first collapse in history.

Did Castro OK the Kennedy Assassination?
On September 24, 1964, a copy of the official Warren Commission Report was delivered to President Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office. Its conclusions were, in hindsight, as accurate as possible, given the commission’s impossibly short investigative calendar and its utter lack of foreign intelligence. It named, correctly, Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone shooter, hypothesizing that in shooting John F. Kennedy he had been lashing out for reasons only he knew. The report found “no evidence of a conspiracy.”

A few weeks later, President Johnson’s hidden tape recorder captured a phone conversation with Senator Richard Russell, the old Dixiecrat whom he had pressured to be on the Warren Commission.

“I don’t believe it,” Russell said about the report’s conclusions. “I don’t either,” admitted the president.

Around the same time, Johnson was on the phone with his old friend Mike Mansfield, the majority leader of the Senate. The president divulged what few in Congress had been briefed about: “There’s a good deal of feeling that maybe the Cuba thing. Johnson’s voice trailed off for a moment. He was always careful not to be too definite on the subject. “Oswald was messing around in Mexico with the Cubans.”

Johnson had handpicked the members of the Warren Commission and directed its focus. Could it be that he and his attorney general, Robert Kennedy, believed there might be details that should remain hidden to keep the American public calm in the wake of the tragedy in Dallas? The fact was, Lyndon Johnson never would believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission Report. His staunch contention would always be that “Oswald was a Communist agent.” A year before his death, in 1972, Johnson finally started revealing his secret to people outside his close circle, telling George Weidenfeld, publisher of his autobiography, that one day he would prove the Oswald-Castro connection. But there weren’t enough days left at that point for Johnson to expose the truth.

Lincoln’s Legacy
As we approach the bicentennial of his birth, leading historians look at the man and his achievements

During the campaign of 1860, and throughout what Henry Adams would justly call the “Great Secession Winter” that fell like a shadow after that year’s momentous presidential election, a convincing case could be made that Abraham Lincoln was totally unprepared to assume the nation—s highest office, particularly at the hour of its gravest domestic crisis.

At best a dark horse, Lincoln had won his party’s nomination only when more seasoned stalwarts such as William H. Seward and Salmon P. Chase faltered at the raucous convention. Not only was Lincoln the least experienced candidate that year of any political origin, but as the Republican presidential candidate he also represented the youngest and least tested political organization in the country.

Though largely unknown outside his home state, Lincoln nonetheless refused to barnstorm on his own behalf during the six long months between his designation and Election Day. Insisting that he had said all he needed to say on doctrinal issues, and proclaiming only that he stood by the Republican Party platform affirming opposition to the spread of slavery by any means into new national territories, he remained calmly ensconced in Springfield as the opposition splintered. His few private letters show astounding poise and confidence—or was it “the valor of ignorance”?—as he presciently estimated votes.

Though his formidable foes included a thrice-elected member of the U.S. Senate, the nation’s sitting vice president, and a former senator and cabinet secretary, Lincoln—merely a one-term ex-congressman who had failed in every election since his service in the House a decade earlier—handily prevailed.

Even so, his victory—in which he amassed less than 40 percent of the popular vote, the smallest total ever to go to an outright winner—did little to reassure Northerners, particularly Democrats. And it did nothing to placate Southern fears that he would use his slim margin to destroy the slave power. The stock market plummeted, the timid demanded concessions, and several Deep South states proclaimed that they would secede from the Union. If ever an orderly transfer of power to a new president seemed open to question, it was then. Adams had grounds to lament the nation’s failure to select a more seasoned statesman to face such troubling times.

Lincoln & Douglass
The prairie lawyer president and outspoken abolitionist formed an unusual friendship

At dusk in early April 1866, a large crowd filed into Representatives Hall of the imposing Illinois Capitol in Springfield. Just 11 months earlier, President Lincoln’s rapidly blackening body had lain here in state as thousands of townspeople had filed past to say goodbye.

Now many of the same people gathered to hear a lecture entitled “The Assassination and Its Consequences,” delivered by the country’s foremost abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. For several months the powerful black orator had given the same speech across the nation, but this venue, more than any other, lent extraordinary gravity to his words. In the great room Lincoln had accepted the 1858 Republican Senate nomination and delivered his controversial “House Divided” speech. Though the obscure Illinois lawyer would lose that contest to his longtime rival Stephen A. Douglas, he found himself unexpectedly propelled to the presidency. Lincoln had also argued in front of the Illinois Supreme Court more than 200 times in this building.

Standing on the podium, Douglass immediately commanded attention with his splendid mane of graying hair swept back from his broad forehead, his blazing brown eyes, deep regal voice, and overwhelming physical presence. “Prior to the Civil War,” he began, “there was apparently no danger menacing our country, but a few farseeing men foresaw the calamities that have come upon us, and their warnings were treated as idle talk . . . The few listen and the many pass on, unheeding the precipice over which they are being hurled.”

Lincoln the Orator
Our most talented writer-president always wrote his own material and sweated hours over it

On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln stood before a crowd of 1,500 at Cooper Union Hall in New York City. Until he had declared his candidacy for President of the United States, the former one-term Congressman had drawn little attention outside his home state of Illinois. Now the rail-thin prairie lawyer attracted a sizeable audience, including the “pick and flower of New York culture,” along with an army of journalists eager to record and reprint his words.

“Let us have faith that right makes might,” Lincoln challenged his listeners, “and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” Here was no stump speech, but rather a powerful argument that extending slavery to new territories was not only wrong but also counter to the intent of the founding fathers. His delivery was eloquent, the argument carefully reasoned and fact-filled.

Had Lincoln not delivered such a triumphant address before the sophisticated and demanding audience that night, it is possible that he would not have been nominated, much less elected, to the presidency the following November. And had Lincoln not won the White House in 1860, the United States—or the countries it might have fractured into—would probably look very different today.

How Lincoln crafted this brilliant and critical delivery has remained the topic of some debate over the years in part prompted by an interaction he had the following month. Lincoln had traveled from Springfield to Chicago to appear in what turned out to be his last big trial: the famous “sandbar case,” a complex civil dispute in which he represented his most important client, Illinois Central.

While in the city, Lincoln also agreed to sit for a wet-plaster life mask at the studio of sculptor Leonard Wells Volk. Chatting in the studio, their conversation turned to Lincoln’s nationally noticed appearance in New York a few weeks earlier. As Volk remembered it, Lincoln told him the astonishing fact “that he had arranged and composed this speech in his mind while going on the cars from Camden to Jersey City.”

Lincoln and the Navy
The president takes charge and directs a successful amphibious landing at Hampton Roads

In May 1862, two months after the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) fought to a draw in Hampton Roads, Virginia, President Abraham Lincoln traveled south from Washington on a revenue cutter to visit the Army of the Potomac, intending to prod his recalcitrant general, George B. McClellan, into action. The president took with him Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, and Gen. Egbert Ludovicus Viele, who had recently returned from the capture of Fort Pulaski off Savannah.

Lincoln’s destination was Fort Monroe, the largest and most powerful of the forts constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers between 1819 and 1834 as part of the Second System of coastal fortifications. The fortress had remained in Union hands despite its location in Virginia because Maj. Gen. John E. Wool had quickly reinforced it while the lame- duck James Buchanan administration had dithered over Fort Sumter. Since then the massive fortress at the tip of the peninsula formed by the York and side of the Confederacy, for it protected the Union anchorage in Hampton Roads.

Lincoln and his party spent the night aboard the USS Minnesota, flagship of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, from whose broad deck the next morning, May 7, 1862, he viewed the fort and the half-dozen imperious warships at anchor, plus the intriguing form of the Monitor’s “cheesebox on a raft” stump of a turret. That turret, only 22 feet across, was the only part of the Monitor that showed from a distance, making the warship seem insignificant next to the others, including the huge side-wheel steamer Vanderbilt, recently reinforced with an iron-plated ram to enable it to contend with the feared rebel ironclad that Lincoln and all other Union officials continued to call the Merrimack. That vessel’s rampage on March 8 had destroyed two Union warships and greatly frightened the capital, leading some (including Secretary Stanton) to believe that the dreaded ironclad would steam unchallenged up the Potomac and lay waste to Washington.

If Lincoln hadn’t died….
Would the disastrous Reconstruction era have taken a different course?

What would have happened had Abraham Lincoln not been assassinated? Every time I lecture on Lincoln, the Civil War, or Reconstruction, someone in the audience is sure to pose this question—one, of course, perfectly natural to ask but equally impossible to answer. This has not, however, deterred historians from speculating about this “counterfactual” problem.

The answer to the question depends in part on one’s opinion of Reconstruction, which for many decades historians viewed as the lowest point in the saga of American democracy— a “tragic era” of corruption and misgovernment brought about by the decision of the victorious North to give the right to vote to the South’s freed black men, who were allegedly unfit to exercise it properly. In this interpretation, Lincoln, before his death, had envisioned a quick and lenient reuniting of the nation, centered on forgiving most Confederates and quickly bringing their states back to full participation in the Union. His successor, Andrew Johnson, supposedly sought to implement Lincoln’s plan but was eventually thwarted by the Radical Republicans who controlled Congress. Motivated by a thirst for vengeance upon the defeated South or, in some accounts, the object of placing the South under the heel of northern capitalism, the Radicals swept aside Johnson’s plan and turned southern government over to incompetent former slaves and their nefarious allies: unscrupulous carpetbaggers from the North and traitorous scalawags (white southerners who cooperated with the Republican Party). Eventually, “patriotic” groups like the Ku Klux Klan overthrew this misgovernment and restored “home rule” (or what we would call white supremacy) to the South.


American Angler has published it’s May 2009 issue! Featured in this issue are several articles on cutthroats trout. Struggling for survival in a tiny portion of its native range, the fish that fed American explorers is trying to make a comeback.

Mountain Marvels
The state fish of both Montana and Idaho is actually misnamed, for westslope cutthroat occur on both sides of the continental divide. Although it can be difficult to identify the subspecies by sight, anglers can often recognize one of these gorgeous fish by the distinctive pattern of spots. Small, irregularly shaped spots are sparse on the back and head, and they become more numerous as you move toward the tail, with the belly and sides often spot-free. The average size is 6 to 16 inches, and an 18-incher is a trophy.

Return of the Native
The three main causes of its decline are habitat loss, the introduction of non-native species, and hybridization with other subspecies of cutthroats. The widespread stocking in the northern Rockies has been a disaster for the westslope cutthroat: brook trout outcompete the westslopes for food in small headwater streams, and larger species—rainbows, browns, and northern pike, for example—prey on the native cutts.

By the late 1950s, the cutthroats were confined to headwater streams that were protected by downstream barriers such as waterfalls or dams. Recent decades have witnessed a concerted conservation effort to save the westslope cutt and restore it to many waters from which it has disappeared. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is in the process of using rotenone to remove non-native species and reintroducing westslope cutts to 21 high mountain lakes.

Take It to the Bank
When it comes to stillwater success, we have much to  learn from our brothers across the pond.

In nearly 30 years as a fly-fishing instructor and guide, I’ve received many requests from clients for advice on strategies and techniques for fishing still water for trout. Whether you’re wading in the shallows or casting from the bank or a dock, there’s no doubt that fishing lakes can be daunting, if not downright intimidating to stream anglers who are used to reading currents and seams. When, at age 16, I made my first visit to 40,000-acre Lough Mask on the western coast of Ireland, I felt like curling up into the fetal position.

The Scottish, English, Irish, and Welsh have taken stillwater fly fishing to an art form still rarely seen on these shores. The UK is a crowded place, and as huge reservoirs were built to supply towns and cities with fresh water, those reservoirs were also used for recreational activities, such as boating, bird watching, and fly fishing. The reservoirs are close to the cities, and many farmers and landowners saw an opportunity to cater to fly fishermen. Thousands of stillwater fisheries—some developed as clubs and some created for pay-as-you-fish—were opened across the UK and in Ireland. Some fly fishermen I know in the UK have more than 50 years in the sport, and they have never fished in moving water.

For many fly fishermen, these fisheries have given them access to fish that they otherwise would not have because the fishing rights of many rivers are privately held and a day’s angling can be cost-prohibitive. In North America we are spoiled because we still have countless places to fish; all you need is a valid fishing license. One up for the colonies. The downside for us is that we haven’t concentrated nearly so much on developing stillwater tactics and techniques, and it’s high time we started catching up.

Season Opener
Northeast anglers anxiously anticipate the revival of inshore waters and some of the year’s most enjoyable fly fishing.

Outside of taking a destination fishing trip, most northeastern anglers bide the long off-season by reading, tying flies, attending to gear, or otherwise engrossed in productive off-the-water activities. The unique coastal action that suddenly materializes in late April and up to May and runs through June is a welcome starting point to the season, bringing out boyish enthusiasm in even the saltiest anglers after four or five months of daydreaming.

In spring, a multitude of perennial prey spawning activities yields rich feeding opportunities for northbound migratory game fish, including stripers, bluefish, hickory shad, and weakfish, as well as stripers emerging from wintering areas within New England coastal rivers. These breeding phenomena ignite shallow estuarine environments, which are often bordered by fertile salt marshes. Coastal bays, salt ponds, and river mouths warm quickly with intensifying sunlight. They are nutrient-rich and sustain abundant forage, meaning that fly-rodders at all levels enjoy perhaps the easiest fishing the sea has to offer in these pristine waters.

Weather plays an important role in the quality and timing of spring fishing—both seasonally and day-to-day—as water temperatures are a key factor influencing both predator and prey behavior. Lengthening spring days warm the surface and stimulate activity within shallow bottom sediments, producing ideal conditions for spawning prey and their young. But an “early” or “late spring” can accelerate or delay the start by as much as three weeks. Once things get going, fishing is generally consistent through the end of June when spawning events conclude and many game fish depart for deeper, cooler ocean waters.

Working the Line
Use mends to make your flies dart, skip, or rise, adding fish-tempting action to your presentations.

For many anglers, a fellow guide once argued, “mending is a simple concept poorly understood.” Most fly-fishing professionals will agree that even some of those clients who know how to mend don’t necessarily understand why it’s such an important part of a proper presentation. The reason for this, of course, is that mastering the mend requires the angler to conceptualize how the behavior of his line on the surface—which he can see—affects the drift of his fly, which, if it’s a nymph or a streamer, he often can’t see. The day it all makes sense represents a great leap forward in the development of a fly fisherman.
But once you’ve learned to use line mends to render your drifts lifeless, it’s time to think about using these same concepts to give patterns life—to activate the presentation. Rather than counteracting the effects of current on your line, you can instead use this tension to make a streamer dart erratically without pulling it out of a good lie, make a nymph rise in the water column, or work flies into spaces that you could never cast to. Using the current and your line to work the fly means you can keep it in the strike zone longer, fishing slower, or make multiple presentations within the same drift.

Adding Life
Since we’re talking about imparting action to flies, this technique is most useful when you’re fishing streamers. One of the simplest ways to move your fly using mends is to cast quartering downstream and then start making short, sharp downstream mends very quickly. This has the effect of causing your fly to dart up and across the current as the line swings. Especially if you’re using a pattern with a lot of marabou or other soft fibers, this darting motion will cause the pattern to pulse in a lifelike manner rather than simply move across the current stiffly—as in the traditional Atlantic salmon or steelhead swing. And since you’re not stripping line, the fly doesn’t get pulled out of the strike zone as quickly.

Googling the Backcountry
Online mapping technology can help you find new, untapped waters and offers a way to create detailed fishing journals.

This blows,” and other bitter thoughts run through your mind as you’re faced with a familiar scene: There’s not one open parking spot at your favorite put-in. Looking up and down the river, you can see other anglers fanned out like the crowd at a parade, shoulder to shoulder in places. Worm-dunkers with coolers are setting up their lawn chairs at the foot of the ramp, and the canoe hatch is starting just upriver. You’ve got to get out of this place, but how do you find quality water where you can fish unmolested without a boat?

What you need is a way to take advantage of all the public land out there, all those waters flowing unfished on the way-back forty of a remote tract of national forest or BLM property. But the problem is obvious: You don’t have time to search hundreds of acres of public land just to find two or three good fishing spots. What you need is a shortcut. You need Google Earth.

What Does It Get Me?
No matter where you live, within a couple hours’ drive are some big chunks of public land. Chances are, these big areas contain lots of fishable water, but there’s a problem: How do you find the good water without wasting tons of time and wearing out your hiking boots? Sure, you could hike every square foot of a watershed, but there’s a better way to refine your search.

There are lots of reasons you might want to fish on public land, as opposed to, say, a well-known tailwater. First of all, there’s the privacy. Nothing beats a remote forest creek for solitude; you won’t see any canoes or party floats here. Second, the fishing can be great. Obscure species, such as Southern-strain brookies and Apache trout, are obvious targets, but many public properties hold lots of bigger fish, too. Rainbows and browns alike make spawning runs out of lakes into tributary streams all over the country. These lake-run fish can easily cross the five-pound mark, and many of them have never seen a fly. Enthusiastic fisheries managers planted steelhead and even salmon in many out-of-the-way locations back in the anything-goes 1960s. Some of those fish hold on, too. For obvious reasons, nobody’s going to lead you by the hand to such excellent fishing, so if you want in, you need to stake your own claim.


The July 2009 issue of Family Tree Magazine has been released! Featured in this issue are articles on guide to special censuses, reverse genealogy, genealogy programs, tracing slave ancestors, and mining genealogical treasures at reunions.

Guide to Special Censuses
There’s more to the census than those every-10-years counts. These “extra” censuses of select populations may have just the ancestor answers you need.

Switching Gears
Think tracing your tree back in time is the only way to go? Think again. We got some unconventional researchers to share their reverse genealogy secrets.

Meeting Your Match
Longing for the perfect mate to help you record, organize and share your genealogy findings? Don’t make a blind date—our beginner’s guide to genealogy software explains how to find the right program for you.

Tracing Slave Ancestors
Don’t stop your family history search at the Emancipation Proclamation. Use these techniques to discover African-American roots obscured by slavery.

Reunion Riches
Gold-digging at a family get-together is generally frowned upon. But mining for genealogical treasures can build a priceless family legacy.

Columns & Departments

Branching Out
What’s new in discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history:
• the Norway Project
• genealogy news roundup
• the Cologne, Germany, city archive’s collapse

Web Guides
Learn to master family history Web sites: Whether you’re a beginner or a power user, our pullout guides show you how to make the most of popular online destinations, with how-to advice, navigation hints, screen-by-screen search techniques and cheat sheets of quick links and shortcuts.

The Toolkit
Reviews and roundups of the latest, greatest family history resources:
• Web site building tips
• quick guide to online family and local history books
• Irish Family History Foundation Web site
• review of RootsMagic 4 software for Windows
• The Book Report

Out on a Limb
Here today, gone tomorrow?

Preserving Memories
Tips for saving vintage toys.

Everything’s Relative
Tales from the lighter side of family history.

Photo Detective
Pinpointing places in pictures.

Test your genealogy IQ on Walt Disney’s family tree.

Hearst Communications has published the June 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Featured in this months magazine are an interview with Sandra Bullock, a bride’s quest to find the perfect non-white wedding dress, and a look at what’s going to be chic this fall.

Sandra Bullock: Myth & Reality
She spent her 20s worrying and her 30s working nonstop. Now in her 40s, the actress is living life her way.

On a clear afternoon in the desert, Sandra Bullock was having a near-perfect Saturday. She and her husband of almost four years, Jesse James, 40, were riding dirt bikes across a dry lake bed, taking in the view of the mountains and the desolate beauty of the landscape.

“Then on Monday, my publicist says, ‘Oh. My. God. There are pictures of you everywhere.’ And I said, ‘From what? We just went on this little trip!'” says Bullock, who is sitting on the floor in a West Hollywood photo studio where she spent the day shooting promos for her latest film, The Proposal. (Chairs don’t seem capable of containing her. The energy and gestures are so big that she may be safer on the floor.) It seems that an amateur paparazzo snapped her during a pit stop on the way to the middle of nowhere, and the rare candid shot of the star taken outside of her adopted hometown of Austin made its way to the Internet. “I panicked. We were in the desert, no place to pee. So I peed outside. [I thought] on the cover of the tabloids, there’s going to be a picture of me peeing by a cactus. And yes, I did it. I’ll do it again.”

For people who love Bullock, 44, there are a couple reasons why this story proves their affections haven’t been squandered. For one thing, the same woman who wore a Dior gown with grace to the Golden Globes a few months ago and is consistently listed as one of the most powerful females in Hollywood also enjoys riding dirt bikes. And for another, she thinks it’s all fairly hysterical.

“Right now, I’m kind of getting into my childhood,” says Bullock, by way of explanation. “I didn’t have a teenage or early-20s experience that was free and without worry. I missed the screw-everything, have-a-good-time phase. I was worried that if I didn’t stay on track and work, work, work, I was never going to accomplish anything. Now I’m trying to have fun and have the freedom to do nothing.”

The Bride Wore Blue
One woman’s journey to find the perfect wedding dress in any shade other than snowy white.

I have never once imagined myself in a wedding dress. Not when I was little and liked to take my parents’ quilted wedding album off its shelf and admire, on its thick board pages, the photos of my dark-haired father and my mother with a ring of daisies on her head. And not when I grew old enough to see my own friends swathe themselves in yards of lace and satin and taffeta in subtly differing shades of cream and ivory and bone.

And not even once in the months after my boyfriend and I decided we should get married ourselves. “You’ll see,” everyone says. “It all feels different when the time comes.”

Well, the time came and went, and at no moment did I long to wear anything specifically bridal. Which is not to say I didn’t love being a bride, in the sense that getting married makes one a bride. I just never at any moment imagined myself in white.

A Trend-by-Trend Look at Fall
The runways were ablaze with color, pattern, and pop. Here’s a glimpse of some of the most memorable looks, from bold animal prints and unique ethnic motifs to timeless standbys like the classic white shirt and the ever-chic camel coat. Don’t miss out on all of the best trends that will not only make you feel good, but look it, too.


HOW magazine has published a special issue on designer’s guide to creativity. HOW’s June issue is packed full of inspiration and techniques for keeping your most valuable asset—your creativity—in perfect shape. This special Creativity Issue dives deep into the issue that both challenges and enthralls designers, with tips, inspiration and eye candy to fuel your best ideas.

Daily Deadlines
Learn how a commitment to producing a piece of work every day helped five designers dip into their deep wells of creativity. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to join the art-a-day movement.

Java Jolts of Creativity
Your team’s brainstorm sessions suck. Collaboration is a chore. You’re mired in the same-old same-old. Sound familiar? We’ve got a host of idea-generating exercises guaranteed to bring fresh thinking—and even fun—to your group’s creative process.

Write More Good
As project budgets shrink, are you forced to write text to go along with your layout? Do you cringe when you read the sales copy your clients provide? Here are 4 simple strategies for developing your own writing skills so you can draft headlines with flair and edit the marketing mumbo jumbo out of your clients’ copy.

Print It Yourself
Printing by hand is all the rage in design, and you can tap into the trend with our step-by-step instructions for 3 cool projects you can do yourself. It’s the perfect excuse to walk away from your computer and get ink on your fingers.

Go Metro: Design Maps the Route to Cool
Even if you don’t live in Los Angeles, you’ve seen this group’s stellar work in all the major design annuals. Meet the in-house designers at L.A.’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, who are putting a creative spin on government projects.


Be a Smarter Manager
When you opened your design studio, you didn’t realize that employee issues would be so challenging. Get 3 strategies for resolving your staff problems.

Selling Your Services
If you’re an in-house designer, you have to market your group just like a design firm. Here are 6 ways to sell your department to your corporate clients.

Welcome to Moosylvania
See how a design studio in the St. Louis area transformed a vacant church into a drool- worthy workspace.

10 Hot Tips for a Cold Economy
From choosing the right paper to picking the most efficient print format, learn how to maximize a lean production budget.

Project-Management Tools
Our veteran technology columnist evaluated 4 popular project-management applications to help you identify the right tool for your firm.


Condé Nast has released their May 2009 issue of Gourmet. Featured in this magazine are articles on Melbourne, Australia; Turkish chili peppers; Charleston, South Carolina; and Dordogne, France.

The Melbourne Supremacy
Move over, Sydney. Austrailia’s second city is gaining ground as the country’s culinary capital.

On the southern banks of the Yarra—the muddy river that flows slowly through the heart of Melbourne—a modern saga is unfolding. It’s an entertainment complex called Crown. Vegas in microcosm. Along with the hotels, shops, bars, nightclubs, and, of course, Crown Casino—the jewel in the revenue tiara—the landlord is remorselessly driving a swath of restaurants upmarket and kicking out any tenants who can’t live up to the place’s blue-chip image.

In 2006, Neil Perry became the first big-name Australian chef to open a restaurant at Crown with the launch of Rockpool Bar & Grill. It’s been a critical and commercial success, and the food—some of the country’s best seafood sharing equal billing with grass-fed, dry-aged steaks—is terrific. The following year, Crown reveled in the prestige of having its own Nobu, a first on this side of the world. But despite the hype, the multimillion-dollar investment, and the visits by Nobu-san, Robert De Niro, and friends, Nobu has faded from the town’s dining spotlight faster than an aging starlet after a face-lift gone wrong. It will be interesting to see what happens when Crown gets its very own Gordon Ramsay outpost next year, also a first in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Heat of the Matter
In a sun-soaked valley in southern turkey, hospitality still rules and chile peppers are a constant presence in people’s lives.

It’s dusk in Sanliurfa, 30 miles from the Syrian border in south-central Turkey. From our hotel terrace, we watch birds glide through the apricot-gold light that slants onto the building below, a shrine to the birthplace of Abraham. The first notes of the call to prayer float up to us, a single voice becoming a syncopated cacophony as a dozen muezzins from other mosques join in. This moment, I think, is why I love Turkey. Okay, maybe this moment and the food. In fact, I could swear I detect on the breeze the slightly harsh, sweetly vegetal aroma of the peppers that brought me here.

These are not just any peppers. They are, you might say, an obsession. And obsessions are unpredictable. Sometimes one springs full-blown into your consciousness; at other times, it grows slowly, almost unnoticed, until a friend says to you, “Do you have to put those Turkish peppers on everything?”

Lowcountry Rising
Beyond the picture postcards, Charleston is a lovely port city that’s fast on its way to becoming a serious food capital.

In late October, Charleston, South Carolina, was in the throes of a charcuterie revolution. Of course, it was possible—easy, in fact—to find fried green tomatoes, fried oysters, and fried flounder, too, but plates of house-cured meats were featured on a few of the more daring restaurant menus around town, and they were causing some excitement. Not along the lines of, say, girls at The Citadel or that serious commotion at Fort Sumter in 1861, but excitement just the same. Change comes slowly to the South.

In Charleston sitting rooms, you can still hear the Civil War referred to as the War Between the States, and homeowners can be reprimanded by historical fundamentalists for veering a few shades away from the original paint color on the exterior of their antebellum mansions. Yet somehow, in an enduring swell of proud preservation (from the pre-Revolutionary Powder Magazine, one of the oldest fortifications in the 13 colonies, to the scholarly and modern Charleston Renaissance Gallery), the city’s culinary heritage was besmirched, or at least belittled, by popular demand. For fried fish.

In The Night Kitchen
When dusk falls on the Dordogne’s farmers markets, rather than pack up their produce and head home, the area’s artisanal purveyors

The best way to get a parking spot at the night food market in Audrix, in southwest France, is to drive up to the tiny village in a Citroën 2CV. The ancient cars—an aggregation of tin cans and elastic bands first produced in 1949 to carry a farmer, his wife, two children, and a dairy churn over plowed fields without spilling a precious drop of milk—are so beloved, the French treat them like pets.

Although I had the Dersh—as the Deux Chevaux, or two-horsepower Citroën, is fondly nicknamed—the only spot, if it could be called that, was a very small gap between a foreigner’s rented automobile and a pack of motorcycles. I nosed alongside to measure the distance. A passing villager set down his basket and gave a peremptory wave: “Descendez.” I turned off the replacement bathroom light switch that operates my car instead of a key and obeyed. He gave another wave to his son. Together they picked up the Dersh and dropped it into the one space the night market had to offer.

Ruth’s Favorite May Recipes
View the ten dishes from our May issue that our editor in chief can’t stop thinking about. We’re pretty sure they’ll captivate you, too.

  1. Peruvian Rice and Lentils (Tacu Tacu)
  2. Jamaican Beef Dumplings
  3. Tuscan Beans in Summery Tomato Ragù
  4. Strawberry-Vanilla Swirled Frozen Pops
  5. Sake Sea Bass in Parchment
  6. Fresh Pasta with Crabmeat, Peas, and Chile
  7. Périgord Walnut Tart
  8. Lemony Risotto with Asparagus and Shrimp
  9. Tortilla Chicken Drumsticks
  10. Savory Parmesan Pain Perdu with Poached Eggs and Greens

Great Meals: Just Add Water
The most enchanting memories of this laid-back Caribbean sail came out of Sam Malone’s postage-stamp galley.


Saveur has released its May 2009 issue. Featured in this edition are articles on Turkish coffee, Amaro, Irish Whiskey, and home made ice cream.

Bittersweet Symphony: Turkish Coffee
Learn the history behind this famed brew, and how to make the perfect cup.

In 16th-century Turkey, coffee was the elixir of royalty, brewed by a kahvecibasi, or chief coffee maker, who was considered a trusted member of the sultan’s court. As the consumption of coffee entered the public domain, the velvety drink was sipped almost everywhere, both on significant social occasions and at intimate family gatherings. Nowadays, expatriate Turks in America, such as the Boston-based chef Ozcan Ozan, still prepare the caffeinated drink traditionally. For Ozan, the earthy aroma of Turkish coffee, known as kahveh, triggers an image of his mother, working a handheld grinder to brew his father’s after-dinner cup.
Ozan, who owns the Sultan’s Kitchen in Boston, outlined for SAVEUR a series of easy steps that produce a foolproof demitasse. Best made in a cevze, or a petite, long-handled pot (a small saucepan also does the trick), the coffee is first boiled with sugar and water over a low flame. When foam begins to appear, lift the saucepan or cevze from the stove and scoop the foam into a cup. Simmer the rest of the coffee; then bring it to a quick boil, pour it over the foam, and serve it immediately. Properly made, the coffee has a thick accumulation of sugar and a rich trail of finely ground coffee lining the bottom of the cup.

Amaro: Three To Try
The Basilicata region is only one of many in Italy that produce the bitter digestif known as amaro. Here are tasting notes of three of our favorites.

We’ve long known that Basilicata, the region of Italy tucked between the toe and the heel of the boot, is home to many of our favorite foods and wines, but we’ve only recently learned that amaro, the bitter Italian digestif, often hails from the same place. Made for more than five centuries from a process that entails the macerating of herbs (anything from chamomile to wormwood), citrus, flowers, and roots in alcohol, the drink is underappreciated here in the States, where it is often claimed to be too harsh for the American palate.

Similar to grappa (made from grape skins), vin santo (a thick, meadlike wine), and other Italian digestifs, amaro is meant to be sipped slowly after a leisurely meal. It is usually served neat, thinned with tonic water, or over ice, and in the winter it is sometimes heated and garnished with a twist of lemon. While amaro makes no apologies for its boldly herbaceous flavor—it was originally concocted for use as a tonic, not a cocktail mixer, after all—we were pleasantly surprised by these mellow and drinkable liqueurs.

Irish Whiskey, Made By the Irish
John Teeling of Cooley Distillery answers our questions about his liquid gold.

In 1970, John Teeling, an Irish graduate student at Harvard Business School, did a case study on the history of Irish whiskey exports. His findings were bleak: Irish whiskeys, once a major contender in international markets, had experienced a dismal century. Prohibition in the States, two world wars, decades of economic isolation, and shifting tastes, among other factors, had devastated the once vibrant industry. Teeling suspected that he could turn it around.

Twenty-seven years later (after becoming chairman of several mining companies), he founded Cooley Distillery—the first new distillery to open in Ireland in more than a hundred years and the only Irish-owned distiller on the island (Bushmills and Midleton are owned by Diageo of Britain and Pernod-Ricard of France, respectively). Soon, under the direction of master blender Noel Sweeney and master distiller David Hynes (seen at left), Cooley was making Irish whiskey in styles not seen for 50 years and in some cases never at all: peat-smoked malt whiskeys, single-grain whiskeys, and single malts finished in madeira, sherry, and port casks. Since its bottles first hit the market, in the 1990s, Cooley has won more than 150 domestic and international awards. Recently, SAVEUR spoke by phone with Teeling from his offices in County Louth, in northeastern Ireland.

Homemade Ice Cream
11 recipes for this cool and creamy delight.

Vanilla Banana Black and White Milk Shake
This recipe for a layered shake is based on one in Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes by Adam Ried.

Malted Caramel Shake
This recipe is based on one in Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes by Adam Ried.

Classic Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
This version of the classic Vietnamese dipping sauce is based on a recipe from SAVEUR contributing editor Andrea Nguyen, author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.

Chocolate–Almond Cookies
These traditional crumbly cookies from the Basilicata region of Italy are flavored with Strega, an Italian herbal liqueur.

Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese
This hearty wedge salad, which contains the classic elements of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, is a version of one served at Old Homestead Steakhouse in New York City.


PC Today has published the June 2009 issue. We used to assign the “camera phone” label to simple mobile phones with built-in digital cameras. Today, however, cameras are commonplace in ordinary mobile phones and smartphones alike. The cameras are getting better, too; some rival or exceed the average dedicated digital camera in picture quality. This month’s featured articles will help you make better use of your phone’s camera and the photos and videos you take with it. They’ll also help you choose the best mobile phone for photography and explain how to create professional videos on the go.

Say “Cheese” To Your Cell
A History Of The Camera Phone
It’s hard these days to buy a cell phone that doesn’t have a built-in camera. Whether you’re getting a cutting-edge smartphone such as the Apple iPhone or the Android-based T-Mobile G1, or a throwaway prepaid phone, putting a camera in there is so prevalent that it’s inspiring everything from locker room laws to an army of citizen documentarians who use them to share a visual record of the news the instant it happens. Where did these devices come from, what’s available on the market today, and where is all of this headed?

The idea of camera phones is as old as cameras and phones, but it wasn’t until 1993, when Daniel A. Henderson put together a couple of prototypes, that the two started to converge in a meaningful way. Dubbed the “Intellect,” Henderson’s design was for a phone that could display pictures received wirelessly instead of taking pictures and sending them wirelessly. On the other side of the equation, in 1994, Olympus released the Deltis VC-1100 digital camera, which couldn’t receive calls but could transmit pictures over the cell phone network.

When it came to realizing the full potential of combining cell phones with digital cameras, necessity, as with most things in the world of electronics, was the mother of invention. Back in 1997, Phillipe Kahn’s wife was due to have a baby, and Kahn, a billionaire who founded Borland and other companies, wanted a way to quickly send live pictures of his newborn daughter to friends and family. He had the know-how and the technical means necessary to tether a digital camera to his cell phone, so he used a cell phone to transmit the snapshots; thus, the camera phone as a tool for instant sharing was born.

Improve Your Cell Phone Photos
Better Pictures From The World’s Most Maligned Cameras
In the consumer electronics world, few gadgets get less respect than the cameras inside cell phones. Granted, cell phone cameras will likely never match the image quality and features of a high-end compact, let alone a digital SLR. That doesn’t mean you have to grudgingly tolerate their photographs as something less than the real thing.

To elevate your cell phone camera game, it just takes some attention to the input and output stages. Here’s how to get more out of your convergent camera.

Better photos begin with better shooting technique. Keep these pointers in mind the next time you aim and click.

  • Understand your camera’s limitations.
  • Then there’s autofocus.
  • Set the camera to its highest resolution.
  • Keep the lens clean.
  • Ignore the digital zoom.
  • Fill the frame.
  • Let there be light.
  • Brace yourself.
  • Set the white balance.
  • Shoot now, tweak later.

Photos Here, There & Everywhere
Store & Share Images On Your Mobile Phone
When a spontaneous photo opportunity arises, we’re more likely to have a mobile phone with an integrated camera handy than a dedicated digital camera. And because we almost always have our phones at the ready, we seem to find more photo ops than ever before. So what’s the best way to handle all of the images that accumulate on our phones? In this article, we’ll explore several ways in which you can store, back up, and share your mobile phone photos. Let’s start with a look at the basics.

After The Snap
After you snap a photo, the phone’s software sends the picture either to internal memory or to a microSD memory card, if you have one in the phone. If you want to store more than a few photos on your phone, a microSD card is helpful, if not a necessity, depending on the amount of storage space that is built into your phone. You can easily purchase cards that store between 1 and 16GB of data; cards with higher capacities are forthcoming, but even a 2GB card allows for plenty of storage space for the average user. Because mobile phone photos aren’t usually more than a few megapixels in size, individual photos won’t take up much space on your card.

Portable Video Production Made Easy
Create Quality Video That Will Impress
You own business suits. You proofread your marketing before making it available to the public. Quality of presentation matters, and quite often it can mean the difference between impressing clients and being dismissed by them. Given that, why do some companies, even multi-billion-dollar enterprises, seem to think it’s OK to post business-related videos that look like they were shot and produced by an 8-year-old?

Business video is increasingly important, but as a relatively new medium, not everyone yet appreciates the importance of treating digital video with the same quality standards we use for traditional media. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to go from posting low-grade video to producing something viewers would find engaging, pay attention to, and hopefully want to share.

The Future Of Mobile Imaging
More Than Bells & Whistles
Mobile tech changes faster than you can cycle through a two-year cell phone contract. By the time your plan suggests it’s time for a new mobile phone, chances are you’ve grown weary of the virtually obsolete device you thought was so impressive and feature-laden just a year or two before.

One of the ways mobile devices change quickly is in the realm of mobile imaging. The industry has moved from simple phones with monochrome screens to powerful devices that can stream video and capture photos and video at high resolutions.

And the latest and greatest innovations in mobile imaging are just around the corner.
We’ve Got Your Numbers
States with significant rural populations lead the way among U.S. households with mobile phones but no landline phone service, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Oklahoma takes the No. 1 spot with 26.2% of households; runners-up include Utah (25.5%), Nebraska (23.2%), Arkansas (22.6%), Iowa (22.2%), and Idaho (22.1%). The data is from 2007, the last full year for which complete information is available.
Life got easier recently for iPhone owners who are also patrons of Choice Hotels, as the hotel chain made a free GPS-supported Choice Hotels Locator app available to book rooms from the device. Choice Hotels, which operates nearly 6,000 properties globally, claims the app is the first from a major hotel company. In-device features include making changes or canceling reservations, viewing street-level and hotel images, and acquiring door-to-door directions.

Tech To Watch
Wireless Open-Access Research Platform
Look up in the sky: It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s . . . streaming music, videos, documents, emails, and phone conversations! The unprecedented data access we enjoy today is largely thanks to a proliferation of wireless technologies, from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth to cellular to infrared and more. In fact, many of us would have difficulty imagining life without the omnipresent standards that make our remotes and televisions, smartphones, notebooks, PCs, and gadgets communicate like old friends. But for the most part, the wireless protocols and devices we use today were researched, designed, and created using proprietary test systems that were prohibitively expensive to develop and inherently limited to the tasks that the bankrolling companies and standards organizations set out to tackle. Rice University’s WARP (Wireless Open-Access Research Platform) aims to change that, and in so doing, open wireless networking to more creative problem solvers than ever before.

In 2006, a handful of Rice University researchers, led by Ashutosh Sabharwal, set out to create a wireless research platform that was inexpensive, easy to develop on, and freely open to anyone who wanted to use it. The group, part of Rice University’s CMC (Center for Multimedia Communication), created WARP as a platform consisting of customizable hardware and communications blocks that enable researchers to modify electrical connections to suit any high-performance wireless communication application as needed. CMC designed the FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array)-based circuit boards to accommodate multiple analog and digital wideband radios and specialized processors, several I/O (input/output) interfaces for communications with testing hardware and computers, and also included a set of algorithms adept at handling wireless communications. WARP boards are flexible enough that researchers can test multiple radio transmitters, wireless routers, and network access points by writing simple programs that transform the WARP board into whatever device is needed.

Energy-Conscious Tech
On the front side, Samsung’s Blue Earth looks like any other touchscreen mobile phone, but the entire back is covered with a solar panel, so you can use the sun’s rays to charge it and rely less on power outlets. Additionally, the Blue Earth is constructed using PCM, which is a plastic created mostly from recycled bottles. Samsung indicates that the phone—and its charger—contain no environmentally toxic substances, such as brominated flame retardants or beryllium. To save energy while in use, the Blue Earth offers an Eco mode that sets the screen brightness, backlight duration, and Bluetooth power to more energy-efficient levels. It’ll be available in the UK during the second half of 2009; no release date has been set for the U.S.

The electronic devices that make our lives easier also produce some unwanted side effects on the environment. Fortunately, many consumer electronics manufacturers are now making products that keep us productive and lessen our device’s energy demands. In this article, we’ll cover some of the newest environmentally friendly technology available.
BlackBerry Tips
Secure Your Device
The latest reports tell us that President Barack Obama got to keep his Research In Motion BlackBerry when he took office. We may never fully know the extent to which his BlackBerry was altered to meet security requirements, but according to an ABC News report, RIM worked with government officials in making enhancements to make communications even more secure. Still, if the BlackBerry has what it takes to become the First Smartphone, then you can rest assured it will protect your data like it was wearing black sunglasses and an earpiece.

BlackBerry has received more worldwide security accreditations than any other wireless device. An independent Common Criteria evaluation facility awarded the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry software with Common Criteria EAL 2+ (Evaluation Assurance Level 2 augmented) validations, making BlackBerry the first mobile platform to receive the international standard’s certification. Common Criteria Certification verifies that the BlackBerry platform delivers independently assured security features.
Windows Mobile Tips
Windows Mobile Marketplace & My Phone Deliver More Personalized Phones
The introduction of Windows Mobile 6.5 for Windows phones turned a lot of heads, but two other announcements have had a similar impact. The introduction of Windows Mobile Marketplace and the Windows My Phone at Mobile World Congress in February has caught the attention of Windows Mobile users, as the duo has the potential to boost their productivity levels.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appeared at Mobile World Congress and explained that the mission of this new generation of Windows phones (complete with Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Mobile Marketplace, and My Phone) is to create a single device that can serve as a business and personal mobile device and let users live a more organized and seamless lifestyle. We take a closer look at how Windows Mobile Marketplace and My Phone can help you enhance your Windows Mobile phone.

Digital Downtime
Notes On The Latest In Digital Music & Video
Music, photos, videos, movies, TV shows, podcasts, FM radio, audio books, calendars, contacts, file browsers, touchscreens, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and on and on. Yeah, today’s portable audio and video players give you pretty much the whole enchilada and a side of nachos to boot. For the latest software, hardware, accessories, services, content, and tips concerning portable audio and video players, belly up and dig in.

Save Energy (& Money)
Through Green Computing
These days, “green” is king. Whether that green is the color of cash or a sign of eco-friendliness, they’re really two sides of the same leaf. Saving energy means saving money. We all want to wean ourselves away from super-sized watt consumption, but relatively few of us have a good idea of where to start. We’ve got some food for thought.

There are good reasons to turn in your desktops for laptops. You can look at things in terms of either total power draw or total efficiency, meaning performance per watt. According to, “the average desktop computer (without its accompanying monitor) now consumes 200 to 400kWh per year of electricity (nearly as much as a highly efficient refrigerator). Laptops consume about 80 to 140kWh per year.”

But although a laptop consumes one-third to one-quarter of the power of a desktop, it definitely offers more than one-third of the performance. CPU and graphics manufacturers have made tremendous strides in bringing their mobile products to parity or near-parity with desktop components. Chip cores are often made using the exact same architectures. Only customizable details, such as frequency, amount of memory, and bus speeds, tend to vary between desktop and mobile processors.

Google Latitude
What It Is & How To Use It
It’s the eternal cry of every spouse, friend, and manager: “Where are you?” Well, if you and yours run Google Maps with the new Latitude feature, you won’t have to ask. You’ll be able to see it on the Web browser of any PC and many smartphones.

Essentially, Latitude is a tracker designed to let you see the geographic location of certain people on a Google map—and likewise for them to see you—provided both parties approve of being visible via a double opt-in. A lot of people get riled up about Latitude as an invasion of privacy, but this seems far-fetched and ill-considered. First, you have to enable the Latitude service manually. Then you invite people whose locations you want to see, and they have to agree to let you see them. It’s a buddy list, and everyone has to agree to be on it. That doesn’t mean that if you invite Bob, Sue, and Jackson into your Latitude circle of friends, they can all see each other. They’re only giving you permission to see them on their own terms. Bob couldn’t see Sue’s location unless they established their own Latitude relationship.


The Car Collector Magazine has published its May 2009 issue. Featured are articles on a review of the past years Bugatti auctions, 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Town Carriage, Pioneering Hardtop Convertible Coupes of General Motors 1949-1950, McFarlan Carriage Company, and part 3 of “Who put the muscle in the muscle cars?”

The Year of the Bugatti
The last 12 months have been a Bugatti Bonanza.
Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson’s Type 57SC Atalante for $7,920,000, Earl Howe’s Type 57S Atalante for $4,399,743, the ex-Bill Serri Type 55 for $3,240,033, Black Bess for $3,125,201 and even the 2009 Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport for $3,190,000 have led a parade of Bugattis, great and small, across various auction blocks in the past twelve months that made 2008-2009 a Bugatti Year at the auctions.

Even the Baby Bugattis, the two Type 52s, brought surprising prices, $54,990 for Richard C. Paine, Jr.’s aged but nearly completely original example last September and the Williamsons’ similarly original but much better maintained example for $110,000. Prices like these contributed to 27 Bugatti transactions in the past year which added up to $33,688,618, a total much enhanced by the sale of Earl Howe’s Atalante and “Black Bess” at Bonhams Rétromobile auction in early February. That is a lot of money, the kind of totals usually associated with Ferraris [which, it should be noted, accounted for 119 transactions in cars dated 1975 and earlier in the same period, a total of $102,968,000!]

The Bugatti total would have been even more except for the strength of the US dollar which cut deeply into the US$ values of transactions at the recent Bonhams auction at Rétromobile. The dollar’s value rose more than 12% between the 2008 and 2009 Rétromobile dates so although the dollar totals for the sales in the table are nearly the same the Euro total was up 14.2%. The effect of the dollar’s rise (or the Euro’s fall, depending upon your point of view) is so important that the Euro values for the sale total and average transaction are included in the table.

1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Town Carriage

In Great Britain there has only been one word for luxury when it comes to motorcars…well, actually two words, Rolls-Royce, created by the amalgamation of C. S. Rolls & Co. and Royce & Co. Ltd., in March of 1906. The following year Messrs. Frederick Henry Royce and Charles Stewart Rolls introduced the 40/50hp model at the Olympia Motor Show. The 40/50hp was to become known as the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, a name chosen by Claude Johnson, managing director of the newly organized Rolls-Royce Ltd., and a man whose role within the company, some say was so significant, that he is literally the hyphen in Rolls-Royce. The original Silver Ghost was the 13th car produced and featured a distinctive silver-gray color scheme and silver-plated fitments.

In Great Britain there has only been one word for luxury when it comes to motorcars…well, actually two words, Rolls-Royce, created by the amalgamation of C. S. Rolls & Co. and Royce & Co. Ltd., in March of 1906…. more

From the onset, Rolls-Royce automobiles established an international standard for quality, luxury, and meticulous engineering. By 1910 the Silver Ghost was the most desirable luxury automobile in the world, a car for sheiks, monarchs, heads of state, captains of industry, and not too infrequently military officers of note, such as Col. T.E. Lawrence. During WWI the famed “Lawrence of Arabia” made use of several armored Silver Ghosts.

Who Put The Muscle in the Muscle Car? Part III

Knowing that internal combustion engines are basically big air pumps, it only follows that one of these contraption’s chances of functioning in fast fashion is only as good as its ability to vent the bad stuff out with relative rapidity. Once mixed with fuel molecules, the good air can rush towards a combustion chamber all it wants but can’t get all the way in until spent gases—resulting each time a spark plug sets things off—finish evacuating the premises. Stuffing in a lumpier cam, increasing valve sizes, massaging cylinder head passages for better flow characteristics; tweaks like these represent sure-fire ways to speed the process along yet basically don’t mean spit unless all that bad air keeps zooming along after it leaves the heads.

Ah, but then comes the rub. When those sparks fly they make mucho racket, and local constabularies have long mandated that such ear-splitting noise be muffled down to socially acceptable degrees. These degrees have varied over the years and still do depending on the jurisdiction you’re passing through, not to mention the vehicle you’re operating. Trucks continue to rumble away seemingly everywhere today with little fear of inciting citations, and we won’t even mention all those window-rattling two-wheeled hogs and crotch-rockets. Well, maybe we will. Hey Easy Rider, could ya keep it down a little? We’re trying to enjoy a Metallica concert over here.

The Pioneering Hardtop Convertible Coupes of General Motors 1949-1950

Certainly not regarded as a classic mathematical formula, A-B+C=Hardtop was nonetheless a magical formula for success for nearly every automobile manufacturer during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. The simple omission of the “B” pillar would create nothing short of a styling sensation that would become the latest “must have” fad for car hungry consumers following World War II. The idea was really nothing new as manufacturers flirted with the concept from the early days of the automobile. Chrysler is arguably given credit for the first modern hardtop when beginning in 1946 pillar-less coupe roofs were bolted onto Town & Country Convertible bodies. Known as the Custom Club Coupe, just seven were produced through 1950 due to the heavy handwork required on the already complicated metal and wood body construction.

During the early years of the body style, the hardtop convertible designation was commonly used. It was nothing more than a literal interpretation of the car’s construction, essentially a convertible body and frame with a steel top. In addition to the missing central “B” pillar, the notchback roofline used a large, three-section wraparound rear window with more glass area than the sedan model. The windshield was also subtly different with chrome coverings for the corner posts. This created an especially light and bright interior giving the illusion of added space.

McFarlan & Fatty
A larger than life car for a larger than life character
Fatty Arbuckle’s 1923 McFarlan Model 154 Knickerbocker Cabriolet

In 1909, in the quiet Indiana town of Connersville, where the McFarlan Carriage Company had been manufacturing wagons and carriages since 1856, it was rumored and then confirmed in the trade press that the wagon works was going to begin building motorcars. Later in 1909 that became a fact when the first McFarlan automobile rolled out of the Connersville factory.

Getting into the motor trade was the idea of Harry McFarlan, grandson of the company’s founder John B. McFarlan.  Harry chose to present his new cars to the public with some fanfare by testing them on the track at Indianapolis over the Labor Day weekend in 1910!  The McFarlans finished third and fifth, and fourth and fifth, in two races held the year before the first Indianapolis 500.  It was an impressive first outing and cars began to sell in small numbers, about 200 a year, which was all that Harry could build from the wagon works.

In 1913 the company was reorganized as the McFarlan Motor Car Company.  As a manufacturer of exclusively hand-built luxury cars, McFarlans were very pricey from the start, beginning at around $2,000 and rising to a lofty $9,000 in 1923 when the company built this almost larger-than-life Knickerbocker Cabriolet for film star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.


Connecticut magazine has released their April 2009 issue. Featured in the magazine are articles on mom’s who band together, private schools, outdoor living, and Connecticut travel.

Angry Moms

From greener soccer fields to safer toys and cleaner drinking water, Connecticut moms who band together have been able to make big impacts on their communities when necessary.

Private Schools: Are They Worth the Money?

To ensure their children get what they perceive as the best possible education, many parents are willing to pay hefty tuitions for private schooling. Quite often, they get what they desire — more diverse curriculum, smaller classes, greater individual attention.

Connecticut Home: Outdoor Living

We look at the latest trends in outdoor living for your home, from pergolas and canopies to all-weather furniture and grills.

Connecticut Travel: Triple Plays

Oftentimes, a choice of travel destination comes down to a “triple play” of factors: where to stay, where to eat and what to do. We visit six spots in Connecticut that offer all three in spades.

Special Section: Top Docs

This year in our exclusive survey, we list over 600 physicians in 24 different specialties who were recommended by their peers.

Columns And Departments

Lary Bloom’s Notebook

The University of Connecticut’s masters program in Homeland Security Leadership is unique in its focus: getting inside the mind of a terrorist.


The importance of a conviction in the Eddie Perez corruption case, profiles of actress Lauren Ambrose and author Tony Abbott, the rivalry between the state House and Senate, and more.

This Month

The monthly assortment of plays, shows, exhibitions, fairs and events as well as guitarist Leo Kottke, the Litchfield Writer’s Project and the art of Nelson White.

From the Field/Everywhere Bears

The number of bears in Connecticut has been increasing, as have the challenges in ursine relations — they’re not just after picnic baskets, Boo Boo.

The Connecticut Table

The food is as exciting as the nightlife at 116 Crown in New Haven and Shrine in Mashantucket. Plus chef du jour Noel Jones, Table Talk and the state’s most comprehensive dining guide.

Being There

Making a pilgrimage to the shrine at Lourdes in Litchfield.