A 12-year-old singer-songwriter as the next Taylor Swift? Simon Cowell think so.

Grace VanderWaal is just trying to find her way in life and she writes songs about it. 

“Most of my friends don’t really know I sing,” Grace VanderWaal told the audience of America’s Got Talent. 

The 12-year-old will have a hard time hiding her talents now after wowing judges and audience members Tuesday night. The singer/songwriter from New York showed off her chops in front of a stunned audience when she performed an original song “I Don’t Know My Name” on ukulele. 

VanderWaal had the honor of receiving Howie Mendel’s only golden buzzer, which means she’ll head straight to the live performances this season. 

“I think the world is going to know your name,” Mendel said. We sure won’t forget it. 

Chevrolet Launches New Small Car Initiatives

DETROIT – Chevrolet is launching ChevySmallCars.com, an all-new lifestyle-oriented website focused on its small car offerings, the Spark minicar, Sonic and Trax small SUV.

“The Spark, Sonic and Trax all target a younger, more socially savvy buyer,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of cars and crossovers. “When we looked at reasons for purchase, cross consideration and demographics, we found a number of similarities. By aligning these products we can be more strategic and create more engaging, sharable content that speaks directly to this audience.”

ChevySmallCars.com will host content designed with a younger customer in mind and do it in a way that allows visitors to engage and discover Chevy on their own terms. At the heart of it is “Small Talk,” three short episodes featuring the Sonic, Spark or Trax, produced by Funny Or Die and hosted by comedian Al Madrigal. The videos will also be hosted on Funny Or Die.

In “Sonic Sessions,” up-and-coming artists Kickstand Band perform one of their songs in a Sonic. It’s filmed in a raw style, with the band’s music merging with environmental sounds to create a unique listening experience. The band gets creative with the small space in the Sonic, playing their song on smaller instruments.

“Find Your Smallmate” gives visitors the opportunity to take a small quiz and, based on their answers, matches a small car to their personality. A way for consumers to find the best small Chevy for their lifestyle.

“Sonic, Spark and Trax customers are likely to be first-time new car buyers and traditionally are more likely to stay with the brand as their needs and lifestyle changes and they need to move up to a bigger sedan or SUV,” said Majoros. “We’ve introduced a lot of new vehicles in the last few years and the new website is a great way to expose a portion of our portfolio that not everyone knows about.”

As part of the new small car initiatives Chevy will also partner with media outlets such as .Mic, Complex and Thrillist in concentrated key markets.

Additional content coming for ChevySmallCars.com includes:

  • Customizer -visitors get to choose from a variety of whimsical features to customize their small car such as rabbit ears, cool designs and backgrounds and then share it socially
  • Custom Podcast with John Hodgman
  • Mini Mix Tape -includes three up-and-coming artists
  • Upgrade Me -influencers “hack” small living spaces
  • Small Victories -celebrating the everyday greatness of small.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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Nothing Says ‘Hip’ Like Ancient Wheat

An illustration shows spikes of different types of wheat: (1) Polish wheat (2) Club wheat (3) Common bread wheat (4) Poulard wheat (5) Durum wheat (6) Spelt (7) Emmer (8) Einkorn. The Library of Congress/Flickr The Commons hide caption

Forget bold stripes and mule flats — could the next big fad be super-old wheat?

Consumer interest in healthy grains could sow the seeds for some long-forgotten bread wheats to make a comeback, according to an opinion article released Monday in Trends in Plant Science — presumably the Vogue of botany.

“People are interested in healthy things that are not modified, that are non-GMO,” says Friedrich Longin, a plant breeder at the University of Hohenheim, Germany, who wrote the opinion article with his colleague Tobias Würschum. Increased wheat diversity could bolster food security, the authors argue, while satisfying consumer demand. This is particularly true, Longin says, in the U.S. and Europe, where most diners have enough food and enjoy the luxury of seeking novelty in their dishes.

Some ancient grains, like quinoa and millet, have already gone mainstream, but the authors argue that the time is ripe for more diversity when we reach for bread loaves at the grocery store.

Today, most farmers grow only one subspecies of bread wheat — Triticum aestivum — the ancestor of which emerged more than 10,000 years ago in the area that now contains Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, according to Dipak Santra, an agronomist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who was not involved in writing the opinion article. But humans likely ate other species of wheat much earlier. A species called “einkorn” arose well before humans, 5 million to 7 million years ago, and another species related to pasta wheat, called “emmer,” originated around 400,000 years ago, also in the Fertile Crescent, Santra says. While some foodies have embraced these grains in their diet, and emmer cultivation is relatively common in India, the ancient wheats are hardly kitchen staples in the U.S. and Europe, and they’re uncommon sources of bread.

A test plot of spelt on a farmer’s field near Chappell, Neb. Courtesy of Dipak Santra

So how did today’s bread wheat come to dominate the world of grain? Unlike ancient wheats, modern bread wheat has no hull casing around its grains, making it easier to process into flour. What’s more, the “Green Revolution” of the mid-20th century made this wheat variety shorter and stiffer, the better to prevent falling over and fungal infection. As a result, modern bread wheat yields three times more wheat per acre than older species, Santra says.

Ancient varieties probably won’t replace mainstream bread wheat in feeding the almost 10 billion people on Earth by 2050. But old grains have some advantages as supplementary wheats — like distinct flavor, according to the opinion authors. Longin tells The Salt that einkorn has a nutty sweetness gourmets are sure to love. And einkhorn and emmer are particularly high in eyesight-friendly carotenoids.

Some species could also have advantages for people with gluten sensitivities, according to Mark Sorrells, a plant geneticist at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Emmer has less of the protein gluten than mainstream bread wheat, and einkorn has even less gluten than emmer, he says.

“I think there is a growing interest in eating nutritious and healthy food, even if it costs a little more,” Sorrells says.

The authors say that wheat diversity could increase the chances of wheat resilience in the face of future climate changes and pest challenges. And Santra adds that wheat diversity could help humans cultivate new areas. “If we need to feed 9 billion, we need to produce some grain in marginal land,” he says, noting some types of “ancient grain can grow in hostile environments.”

Hain Celestial introduced spelt tortillas in 2007 to differentiate its products from other organic tortillas.

Hain Celestial introduced spelt tortillas in 2007 to differentiate its products from other organic tortillas. Courtesy of Hain Celestial

But cost is one of the greatest challenges to reintroducing ancient wheat varieties. All the agronomists contacted for this piece said old wheats, with their inconvenient hulls and relatively low research funding, are unlikely to match mainstream breads’ appealingly low price, even in future years. To get consumers to pay a premium, growers must educate them about why ancient wheat costs more, says Longin. And farmers must identify the right strains that will thrive on their land, while millers and bakers learn how best to process and bake the new grains. This means altering baking recipes; Longin, who bakes with einkorn, advises skipping intensive kneading.

Longin points to spelt, a relative of wheat, as a promising example of crop reintroduction. Spelt was popular in Germany until the turn of the 20th century, when it literally lost ground to modern bread wheat. But it re-emerged in the 1970s with the organic movement, when a few bakers and millers refamiliarized themselves with spelt. Today, there’s a 1 billion-euro annual spelt market in Germany and the surrounding area, growing by 5 percent each year.

Spelt products have also gained ground in the U.S. Hain Celestial, the parent company of brands like Rudi’s and Arrowhead Mills, introduced spelt flour in the 1990s and a spelt tortilla in 2007. “In the ’90s, it was certainly more niche,” says senior director of marketing Jared Simon. “It was really limited to Whole Foods and natural food stores.” But now, he says, spelt products can be found in nonspecialty grocery stores, and Hain Celestial is planning to expand into other old grains.

“I think there’s a definite shift,” says Beth George, the founder of Spelt Right, which sells spelt bread products in the New York City area for $6 to $6.50 per loaf. George says even companies like Panera are championing old grains.

A thumbs-up from organic foodies and national chains? Vintage bread must be on the rise.

Autistic children can “see” emotions with Google Glass app

Stanford University researchers are testing software that is meant to help autistic children with social cues. The Google Glass software reads the emotions on people’s faces, then tells the user what those emotions are. Early research is yielding positive results. 

This article originally appeared at: http://mashable.com/2016/06/23/google-glass-autistic-research/#VlGlPLDkI5q5

So Let’s Watch Cats Getting Brain Freeze

When diving into delectable frozen treats, it’s easy to get carried away, eat too quickly, and then feel the inevitable sharp pain in your head. This sensation is called “sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia,” more commonly known as “brain freeze.”

Humans are not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. Our feline companions can also get the dreaded “ice cream headache,” as evidenced by this compilation of overeager cats above. It’s hilarious, and a little bit painful to watch, but don’t feel too bad for the furry little gluttons. The original videos uploaded to YouTube by their owners show that the brief moment of discomfort didn’t quell these cats’ love of ice cold consumables one bit.

Lamborghini hits 240.64 mph in half mile to set new world record

If you ever wanted to know what 2,300 horsepower packed into a modern car can do, then take a gander at this video filmed at the Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack in Colorado Springs, Colorado over the weekend.

It features madman Gidi Chamdi setting a new world record for a standing half mile behind the wheel of a highly modified Lamborghini Gallardo prepared by the folks at Underground Racing.

Chamdi reached a speed of 240.64 mph, which is a new world record for a street-legal car. It’s also the first time anyone has cracked 240 mph in the event.

To put in perspective how crazy this is, a 1,341-hp Koenigsegg One:1 needed 1.4 miles to reach the same speed. There’s so much power being put down in Chamdi’s car that you see him suffering wheelspin even after he’s pulled away from the line.

Chamdi’s previous top speed for the standing half mile was 234.86 mph, which he set in August 2015. However, this was eclipsed by a 238.6 mph run managed by KC Howeth in an Underground Racing-prepped Lamborghini Huracán just a couple of months later. Both cars feature Underground Racing’s X package which uses twin-turbocharging to extract the massive power numbers.

Formula E to hold Las Vegas virtual race

LONDON: Formula E, the world’s first fully electric car racing series, is planning a virtual race in Las Vegas next January with a likely US$1 million jackpot for the winner.

Series chief executive Alejandro Agag told Reuters on Tuesday that the event, pitting regular race drivers against a handful of fans on simulators, could even become a round of the regular championship in future.

“We think e-sports (electronic sports) is a huge opportunity and we want to be the first ones fully immersed in that,” he said in an interview ahead of next week’s London finale to Formula E’s second season.

“This will be the first virtual race with 20 professional drivers of a racing championship on a big stage and with a very large prize fund.”

The Spanish entrepreneur said the race would be part of the Jan 5-8 global Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

While insiders indicated US$1 million as the likely prize, Agag said only that the amount would be “significantly plus of six figures”.

“It will be a good jackpot for Vegas,” added Agag, agreeing that “people want to win a million in Vegas.”

To qualify, ‘Race to Vegas’ competitions will be launched three months in advance for gamers to sign up and compete online. Five are likely to secure slots.

“The fun thing would be for a gamer to win it against the professional drivers. I think it’s going to be very tough,” said Agag of the race.

“We are only going to disclose and show the virtual track to all the players that morning. It’s going to be like the real Formula E. You come for the first time to a city and race in a city, you never practise before.

“Gamers…are normally better at games than drivers. On the other hand, drivers are better than gamers at quickly getting the feel of a racetrack. It’s going to be an interesting competition.”


Many sports, including Formula One which raced in the past in Las Vegas and has been linked to a return to the famed strip, are experimenting with virtual reality (VR) technology to engage fans and attract new audiences.

Tech giants like Google, Facebook and Samsung are investing heavily in VR with some predicting the immersive technology will have the same effect on television as the internet on newspapers.

The concept of a virtual race, with gamers challenging drivers in an ePrix for points and prize money, was mooted by Agag even before the first Formula E season in 2014.

“I think this is probably an experiment,” he said of the Vegas race. “Depending on how it goes I could envisage that some of these virtual races could give points for a championship in the future, but not now.”

The Spaniard has talked also about fans one day being able to use VR to race against drivers competing on the physical racetrack but that day is still some way off.

“The problem of that, and we’ve been really looking into that a lot, is the lag between the real race and the virtual experience you can provide the gamers,” he said.

“It’s very difficult, because of the technology and the speed of the broadband, to have drivers racing at the same time in the race which is what we would have dreamt of when we started Formula E.

“On the other hand, there are many other things that are now becoming possible – like this e-race.”

Formula E cars make little noise, are far slower than Formula One and cannot yet complete a race without drivers changing cars due to the limitations of battery technology.

However, major manufacturers such as Audi, Renault and Citroen are involved.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson predicted a year ago that electric racing would overtake Formula One in popularity within five years.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

– Reuters

How much money can you make on YouTube? | 6.09.2016

Thestradman is crushing it with his Youtube videos. He is totally transparent and lets his users in on info about the revenue he is generating. He also goes into great depth on what it costs to own a Lambo. He was a simple accountant who was laid off just after he had purchased his first supercar but he turned that into an opportunity and is now making bank off his passion.

This article originally appeared at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipnSt8cmEC4

Astronaut Scott Kelly On His Year In Space

As one might imagine, the human body atrophies without exercise in space. One also gets lonely isolated in a large metal container 200 miles above Earth moving at 17,500 mph.

Scott Kelly recently spent 340 continuous days in space -from March 2015 to this past March. The idea was to compare his physiology with his astronaut twin brother Mark’s, who remained on Earth as a control.

We sat down with Kelly, 52, at the opening of a New York flagship Breitling store to discuss keeping fit and maintaining relationships during such long isolation.

Jim Clash: You have a steady girlfriend and two daughters. How did you keep those relationships going being in space so long?

Scott Kelly: It’s somewhat challenging. I think it takes both parties to maintain that when you’re far away for a long period of time. We have a telephone and e-mail, and videoconference facilities on the weekends, which I did with Amiko [Kauderer] and my kids. But it takes work. In some ways, it’s harder for the people on the ground -I think it was a harder experience for Amiko than me because I was deprived of just about everything, she just had me not there. The fact that I missed everything else masked me missing her.

JC: How do you work out up there? Is there a “gym”?

SK: On the U.S. side of the International Space Station, we have three different ways to do physical exercise. We have a treadmill. You bungee down to it, and it’s very similar to  one here on Earth but it’s got vibration-isolation systems so your pounding on the tread doesn’t affect the microgravity research or the space station structurally. We have a stationary bicycle, similar as well but you don’t have to bungee to it -you just get on the pedals. Bike shoes keep you connected. It’s also isolated from the structure of the space station for the same reasons. Then there’s an advanced resistive exercise devise called ARED which uses vacuum cylinders that you evacuate to create the feeling of weightlifting. It works very well, and has the vibration-isolation system as well.

JC: How about the Russians?

SK: On the Russian side, they also have a treadmill and a stationary bike thing you can either pedal or use your arms on. So we have five different exercise devices at ISS and they do a pretty good job of keeping us conditioned. One thing I noticed after being up there for so long -what the devices don’t help with -is the part of your vascular system that keeps blood in the top part of your body. When I first got back and stood up after sitting for awhile, I could actually see my legs get fatter from the blood just pooling and not having the capability to push it up against gravity.

SK: I would run or bike for 30 minutes every day, switching off, and then take one day off a week. I would also do weight training six days a week. So the quickest I could do my workout would be 45 minutes, the longest an hour and a half, depending on how motivated I was to get through it [laughs].