Swedish House Mafia at Coachella 2012 [Full set]

14 Apr

Headlining the main stage on the first night of Coachella 2012, Swedish House Mafia came on after midnight to a field full of kids ready to rave.

Through the magic of Youtube (and user EverydayEDM’s great camera work), here’s the full 70 min set:

 

Tracklist:

1. Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound (Intro Edit)
2. Michael Calfan – Resurrection (Axwell’s Recut Club Version) with Coldplay – Paradise (Acappella)
3. Deniz Koyu – Hertz with Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso feat. Michael Feiner – Together (Acappella)
4. ID
5. Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl feat. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Mix)
6. Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso feat. Ryan Tedder – Calling (Lose My Mind)
7. Nari & Milani – Atom with SHM & Laidback Luke – Leave The World Behind (Acappella)
8. M-3ox feat. Heidrun – Beating Of My Heart (Matisse & Sadko Remix) with The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition (Acappella)
9. Swedish House Mafia vs. Knife Party – Antidote
10. Dirty South & Those Usual Suspects feat. Erik Hecht – Walking Alone
11. Swedish House Mafia vs. Tinie Tempah – Miami 2 Ibiza with Dirty South & Those Usual Suspects feat. Erik Hecht – Walking Alone (Acappella)
12. Diddy, Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey – Coming Home (Dirty South Remix) with Hard Rock Sofa – Quasar with Daft Punk – Aerodynamic
13. Steve Aoki feat. Wynter Gordon – Ladi Dadi (Tommy Trash Remix)
14. Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall (Swedish House Mafia Remix)
15.  Swedish House Mafia – One with Congorock – Babylon with Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (Acapella))
16. Axwell – Heart Is King with Swedish House Mafia – Save The World with Ferry Corsten – Punk (Arty Remix)

 

(Basically, if you heard SHM at Masquerade Motel 2012 or have seen Ingrosso in the last month. About 90% the same.)

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AA award tickets to South America showing up at 8,5k AAdvantage miles?

13 Apr

Doing my usual round of fantasy travel planning at 1am, I ran across this odd image as I looked for availability for a one-way, MCI-CCS ticket:

 

8.5K is an insane deal considering a domestic flight goes for 12.5 AAdvantage miles.

 

I did some more digging and looks like all of Central America and northern South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela) is showing some availability at 8.5K AAdvantage miles (“Economy MileSAAver Special“) for the rest of April. It’s very limited but it’s there.

You can select the flight(s) but once you try to book them the price goes up to 15K AA miles, or what would be a regular “Economy MileSAAver Off Peak.”

I looked at MCI-SJO as I always wanted to visit “Pura Vida” land and take a look at this:

 

Plenty of availability to Costa Rica.

 

AA veterans, what is happening here? Promotion in the making? Some IT dude trying to get ahead of marketing? Simple website glitch?

“Reaching the Pinnacle of Humanity”

12 Apr

UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem apparently tested positive for “elevated testosterone.” Shocking? Hmm, let’s see, hard to tell.

Props to the fellows at SIBAT for putting this together.

If you click in the picture it will take you to the original post  published a couple days ago. Turns out, Alistair Overeem wasted no time to defend himself and did so by publishing his memoirs (or whatever), awesomely titled: Reaching The Pinnacle of Humanity.”

Here’s an excerpt that just sounds like an awesome Cyborg sequel in the making:

“As I stepped off the plane in Beijing in early 2003, I was greeted by Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Xi Jinping and General Guo Boxiong, who escorted me to our meeting with the newly elected President Hu Jintao. During the thirty-minute limo ride, they began to describe their state-of-the-art facilities and techniques they claimed were far beyond the capabilities of any other nation in the world. After apologising for my subpar command of the Mandarin language, I admitted that I was very intrigued by their facilities. Unbeknownst to me, the glistening facilities and staggering research budgets were just the tip of the iceberg.

When we finally reached our rendezvous with President Jintao, I could sense an aura of excitement emanating from my escorts. They had clearly been hiding something important from me. Taking a seat at the head of a long mahogany conference table, President Jintao began to describe to me a program that was much more than just a new lifting regimen: it was a revolutionary approach to the human body.

In exchange for enrolling into their program, President Jintao promised that his team of scientists and engineers would help me win the Pride Championship Belt. ‘You’re gonna knockout that punk Chuck Liddell in the first round son, word is bond.’ Uncomfortable with making a such an important decision with too much haste, I implied that I needed some time to think about it. Before I could finish my sentence, President Jintao cut me off, saying ‘Look, I know that becoming the-greatest-fighter-that-has-graced-this-planet-since-Bruce-Lee might not be that much of an incentive, but I didn’t get a chance to tell you about the female division of the program that we will be running within the same facility…,’ and that was all that it took.

There were no lengthy contracts to sign, no lawyers present, and no media conferences. We had just made a verbal agreement to partake in the most important advancement of humanity since Gutenberg’s invention of movable type, and the rest of the world was totally unaware.”
 

As he continues to deny his positive test and defend his innocence, other gems include things like:

 “I am, quite simply, a better human being.”
 
And my favorite:
 
“While the average human has 0.00000000003 grams of radium, my body contains nearly 2,000 times that amount. This is a result of several years of experimenting and tweaking my diet, mostly by replacing protein shakes with white wine.”


This is so exciting! Is this how kids feel like after reading Harry Potter?  I urge you to PLEASE head over to SIBAT  for a more in-depth analysis and more excerpts from my new favorite read!

Reaching The Pinnacle of Humanity.” Is there a better title for a non-fiction-fiction involving PEDs in sports?

Don’t think so.

 

 

PS. (The Onion is awesome). 

Hiring a Nutrition Expert

4 Apr

If you think my interests are varied wait until you catch a glimpse of my Twitter timeline.

Following people writing about nutrition, technology, finance, exercise, music, travel, fashion, food, TV and sports is no easy task. When that includes people in 4 continents writing in 3 languages, things get pretty hectic.

But the title of this post is why I write today. A lot of those nutrition follows happen to be Registered Dietitians, probably the highest distinction you can get as a nutritional expert. Admittedly, they may all not be very current on their research and some may have little to no experience with Sports Nutrition but in the end, the R and D initials after your name is as real as it gets.

Nutrition as a whole is something that doesn’t really evolve as often as say, technology. Diets come and go (usually all being mutations of themselves), but the human body and food metabolism? Physiology? Well, that won’t change much in our lifetime.

Naturally, this makes it rather hard for a nutrition expert to deliver fresh content on Twitter every day. Rendering a nutrition-based account to be 80% about recipes, links to older articles and pictures of pretty plates full of vegetables and fruits.
A select few manage to distinguish themselves by posting links to studies and their analysis while others do so by criticizing the latest incredibly misguiding headline in mainstream media.

I can live with those, please keep up the good work.

But I had just delivered a presentation when it occurred to me:

If I were an average Joe or Jane Doe trying to look good naked get in shape, and wanted to hire some professional help, how can I know I’m getting good nutritional advice?

Here are a few questions I would ask:

1. Do I have to eat every 3-4 hours?

2. Are there forbidden foods? Do I have to stop eating anything?

3. Do I have to eat organic to get results?

If those answers result in anything besides NO. You may want to keep looking.

I wouldn’t ask for a meal plan, either. I’d want to be sent off with the knowledge to make good choices and think on the go.

What good will a meal plan do me when half the things on there I don’t like?

We don’t need any more links to articles about the benefits of fiber. But I’d like to know ways to get it without having to eat broccoli all the time.

We know dieting is about modifying long term behavior. But success? That’s directly related to compliance and if you’re told you can only eat X or Y foods and puppies will die if you eat Q or Z foods, chances are you’ll have a hard time sticking to a plan.

Find your expert and when in doubt, question everything.

You’ll be helping each other out.

Part 2: PP lounges at JFK and JFK-CCS in AA

29 Mar

Part two of the Spring Break Trip Report 2012:

Part 1: KC to Minnesota with Delta to NYC with AA (+ the W Minneapolis)

Part 2: PP lounges at JFK and JFK-CCS in AA J (plus, Venezuelans being Venezuelans)

Part 3: Venezuela to San Juan to JFK with AA to London with British Airways (+ Sheraton Heathrow)

Part 4: London to Brussels on BA  (+ Aloft Brussels)

Part 5: The journey to Hasselt and Sensation White Belgium! (+ Marriott Brussels)

Part 6: Brussels-London on BA business class and the NASCAR experience on air

Part 6: London. Greatest City on Earth? (+ Radisson Edwardian Heathrow)

Part 7: London-Houston-Dallas-KC (+ Park Inn DFW)

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

(Editor’s note: This is a juicy one)

JFK is a monster airport and the home to (arguably) the nicest terminal in the AA family (DFW is also cool, considering they own the whole thing). AA is housed in Terminal 8, one of the newest ones in the whole airport.

I arrived with plenty of time to spare and headed straight to the check-in area. Thanks to my J ticket I was directed here:

Fancy Pants Premium check-in area

A relatively more private check-in experience with some leather seats available and little to no wait…ever. On this Sunday afternoon there were 6 agents standing there waiting for people. I’m not even sure they have 6 agents working at the same time on the economy side. Perks of flying from an airline’s hub, I would say.

The AAgent that took care of me was very professional and likable. Even after I freaked out because there are no places to wrap your bag anywhere in  Terminal 8 at JFK Airport. I hate to say it but the sad reality is if you ever fly to Venezuela (or most South American countries) wrapping the bags you check in is an absolutely must.

I thought about it for a second, weighed the risks involved (getting some protein powder stolen) and ended up just settling for my Oneworld Priority tag + that plastic thingy that locks in place. In any case, you should learn by now to always carry your valuables with you.

I always wondered if the agents working in these premium counters are super nice because the passengers checking in here are much more seasoned and premium…or if perhaps they get assigned there because they are better agents across the board? I’m thinking both.

Once I was relieved of my luggage rolling duties I still had about 3 more hours until my flight. Even though I had access to the AA’s Admiral Club in T8, I decided to go try out the two Priority Pass lounges my handy PP Android app had located for me in T4.

Ten minutes of walking and some Airtrain (intra-terminal train service) action and I was in Terminal 4. If the 114 counters for random airlines from all over the world don’t give it away, this is the main international terminal for the smaller players. As you would expect, there were no less than 6 stations where you could get your bags wrapped. For those of you unfamiliar with the process, it usually goes like this:

Prices vary around the world depending where you are but they tend to roam around 5$ and 15$ per bag. Anywhere you go in Latin America and in all US gateway cities to Lt Am, chances are there will be a dude working a machine with the plastic wrap.

My favorite plastic-wrapping entreprise to date? The fellows at El Dorado in Bogota, Colombia. They had fun with the pricing. They were charging 20000 pesos, 10USD, 10 CND OR 10 euros. Whatever you had. Screw conversion rates. Make it easy.

T4  also seems to have A LOT more security than other terminals but you know why…now. I walked aimlessly for forever (the app directions within the terminal were unclear, by the way) trying to find the two PP lounges.

Finally,  I saw the sign for the first one:

The Lounge. (Creative, I know.)

The Lounge at JFK

Drinks selection

All of the above, available for free. Unlimited.

Haven't been to Trinidad and Tobago but I've had their beer.

The Lounge gets even better with this All-Day menu:

The Menu at The Lounge at The Airport

I wasn’t ready to sit down and settle and instead opted for a shower (they have them) and went on my way to the other lounge in T4.

The Oasis

Located a long way from The Lounge or to be precise:

“Landside – the Lounge is located before Security in the East Wing of the terminal (4E), on the 4th Floor.”  Whatever that means.

This one is a little more spacious and among other features, counts with a rather thin but still pretty cool library (not pictured).

I was finally hungry after all that walking and to my surprise ran across this bad boy:

Food bar at The Oasis

Not the most spectacular display of food…but chill out, it’s a snack…and it’s free.

You know how things go. GTT: Gotta Try That

Had a few of those (under 10) and some fruit and called it a day visit. They also had some kind of chicken/curry/lamb/ concoction available for a hot meal but that just did not look good. So not GTT-worthy I didn’t even bother to take a picture.

Not to be forgotten, The Oasis also has a cool the view of the tarmac:

When opportunity meets my camera.

My flight was quickly approaching and it was time to head back to Terminal 8:

Walkway to the T8 gates. Sorry, I was moving. (Now taking donations for legit camera)

On my way to my gate, I did stop running for this guy:

Germany's second largest carrier. Now part of the Oneworld alliance.

Becoming part of the Oneworld alliance allows me to use American Airlines miles to fly airberlin. Plus, some other good news.

Once at my gate, we were about 45mins from boarding JFK-CCS. We Venezuelans must be traumatized (or something) with waits and lines because they hadn’t called for boarding yet and there was already 50 people trying to get close to the gate. We were in between gates with flights to the UK and Belgium and I was genuinely embarrassed.

Poor gate agents were not ready for a wave of Venezuelans ready to get on a plane for 5 hours of continuous seating!

But then it got better (of course), as I stand there unfazed (but deeply embarrassed) in the middle of a mosh pit, they start calling for Business Class to start boarding. FINALLY, I think to myself. (I think) I’m standing in line behind two gentlemen when some lady starts pushing her way in…OOOH NOOOOO SHE DIDN’T.

Now I’m pissed. Not so much because I’m getting cut in line. I’m pissed because we (this flight full of Venezuelans going to Venezuela) are putting up one of the most embarrassing shows in my aviation history. I turn to the lady and this was our exchange :

ME: Lady, what’s the rush?

Lady: Don’t you see I’m trying to board, they are calling for first class.

Me: I know. (And then I shoved my business class boarding pass on her face) You’re not the only one in first class. (As I calmly show her my BP).

Needless to say, she felt bad and headed to the back of the line.

Is that it? Never! Now I was first in line and this mosh pit of inpatient Venezuelans  is heading towards the gate again. That’s when the lady gate agent (now absolutely enraged) came roaring right at me: “WE ARE ONLY BOARDING BUSS…(I show her my boarding pass), go right ahead, have a nice flight.”

You can’t make this up.

Once settled in my seat, I find out there’s an older French couple sitting in front of me. They were flying Paris-JFK-CCS. If you (or anybody in your family) ever reads this, I deeply apologize for our behavior. We are too passionate.

While still on the ground and with the circus behind us, I am greeted by name by a friendly Purser. That’s my sign to get to work on this old but elegant Boeing 757. Even better, half the cabin was empty. That’s always usually good.

The true fun of not flying cattle coach:

Oh, I like where this is going x 4

I’m drinking my champagne, eating some warm mixed nuts getting ready to watch the in-flight movie (old plane, no personal screens. Get over it, I did.) and they announce “The Big Year.”  Whatever, I’m feeling good, I’ll watch it.

Then they start showing “My Week with Marilyn.”

Normally, I wouldn’t care but there are some annoying little monsters kids in this plane and I wouldn’t want some offended parent to cause an uproar in Spanglish. So I let one of the flight attendants know and she thanks me by handing me my appetizer:

Salad on the ground? Boring. Salad a 37,000ft ? GTT.

The famous AA pretzel roll. Deservedly so.
Could have 10.

While in the middle of the food service (hectic), they ignore the movie confusion. People all over are stuffing their faces so they don’t care about a blank monitor.

I get my main course, I got my drink. I’m seating on a huge seat. I’m still feeling good. Not caring either.

Now we're talking. Steak. Magically medium!
Even good for non-airplane standards!

Obviously devoured in 4 minutes. And followed by:

Best ice cream ever.

After desserts were handed out, they apologized for the movie mistake and once again, announced “The Big Year.”

Except this time we got:

Not. Even. Kidding. I confess, I watched about 40 minutes of that tragedy (Sofia!) but then I passed out. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen or the pressurization or the 4 cups of champagne or the 3 hours of sleep over the last 48 hours.

In part 3 coming soon. Venezuela to San Juan to London. It’s a long way.

The Man and the Scarf

28 Mar

As a born and raised Venezuelan I was a total stranger to cold weather until I moved to the Midwest in 2005.

My first snow experience happened December of that year and it was really fun. The short walk to class the next morning? That sucked. My idea of winter apparel at the time consisted of layering….sweaters. After all, why would I ever buy any cold gear or accesories when in Venezuela, temperatures under 70F are as a common as a short trip to the DMV.

Late last year, I ran across the Youtube channel of Real Men Real Style  and instantly, it was like hiring a personal style and fashion counselor…at no cost. The man in the videos is Antonio Centeno, a former US Marine and the founder of RMRS and A Tailored Suit.

RMRS has become one of my favorite websites for men’s style advice. The amount of free material available on there is truly astounding. The Youtube channel alone will keep you busy for days. You will be surprised how much you can learn from a 4-5 min clip. In fact, chances are whatever question you may have he already answered. Definitely give them a watch go.

Now, getting to the scarf business. For those of you that know me (all 4 of you, thanks for reading), it comes as no surprise that I have healthy obsession with scarves. I don’t own 45 like women own pairs of shoes (nobody is judging) but I do have several that I like to rotate over the Fall and Winter seasons. Where did my extreme liking for scarves come from? I’m not quite sure. But the notion of being able to protect yourself from the cold while looking awesome, to this day, is simply too good to pass.

In any case, I leave you with the great job Antonio did explaining the essentials,

History of the scarf:


Why to wear one:


How to choose the right one:


See? Be a man, it’s cool. Wear one.

(Unless it’s 80F outside)

Trip Report Spring Break 2012

27 Mar

This is the first installment on a series of trip reports where I tell you about my tripping. From the airport to the hotel to the destination to the journey itself, if it’s worth sharing, I will let you know.

Spring Break 2012, 15,000 miles over 12 days:

The itinerary? MCI-MSP-NYC-CCS-BRM-CCS-SJU-JFK-LHR-BRU-LHR-IAH-DFW-MCI

Part 1: KC to Minnesota with Delta to NYC with AA (+ the W Minneapolis)

Part 2: PP lounges at JFK and JFK-CCS in AA J (plus, Venezuelans being Venezuelans)

Part 3: Venezuela to San Juan to JFK with AA to London with British Airways (+ Sheraton Heathrow)

Part 4: London to Brussels on BA  (+ Aloft Brussels)

Part 5: The journey to Hasselt and Sensation White Belgium! (+ Marriott Brussels)

Part 6: Brussels-London on BA business class and the NASCAR experience on air

Part 6: London. Greatest City on Earth? (+ Radisson Edwardian Heathrow)

Part 7: London-Houston-Dallas-KC (+ Park Inn DFW)

———————————————————————

Part 1:

MCI – MSP with Don’t Ever Leave The Airport.

Having had two DISASTROUS experiences with Delta Airlines over the last couple of years, I could not wait to use (get rid of) their Skymiles (Skypesos) to get to Minnesota. It’s funny, the first time Delta royally screwed up they compensated me with 9k Skypesos. Then they screwed up again and what did I get? 5k more Skypesos!

It’s the way the airline industry works, “You had a bad experience flying with us? Sorry, here’s free miles so you can fly with us again!”

For some mysterious reason those MCI-MSP tickets were going for 350-400$ RT. (I guess a ton of people like Minnesota for Spring Break?) Luckily, I was able to get a one-way ticket for 12,500 Skypesos. Not only that, the planets must have been totally aligned the right way because I flew the thing and miraculously made it in one piece along with my bag. Unheard of! Thanks for going out of your way, Delta.

In Minny I met up with a former co-worker and future TttB contributor (coming soon) and headed straight for the goods.

As far as I’m aware, Minnesota is known for:

  • Brutal Winters (and somehow it was 70F when I landed in early March)
  • Sounding surprisingly similar to Ve-ne-zue-la, I guess?


(I swear it happens all the time. Incredible)

  • And the Juicy Lucy

Ever heard of a hamburger called a Juicy Lucy? In my experience they are rarely found outside of Minnesota. But believe or not, this comes as a shocker for the locals. I’m aware is just cheese inside a beef patty but in all of my traveling within the USA I can’t honestly say I’ve ever seen one…on a menu. And trust me, I’ve seen a lot of menus.

The extensive menu of Minny burgers in St. Paul

Normally, I’d give you a picture of an actual Juicy Lucy. But I scarfed down that thing so fast (after waiting for the cheese inside to cool down, that is) there is absolutely no photographic evidence. Want to see one? Check out this video from that Yale-educated actor turned eating-dude on the Travel Channel.

After that magical cheesy moment the world stopped for about 40 minutes.

Hockey loving Irish Pub? Yes. In Minnesota.

Seriously, there was some crazy traffic from a high school hockey tournament. Traffic, in Minnesota? Yes, silly Minnesotans and their hockey obsession.

What are they trying to be? Canada?

A few hours went by and after a quick tour around the Uptown area (please explain to me, why is it called Uptown when is in the South of Minneapolis and at the same elevation? I don’t get it! ) it was time for the main event.

NBA time! New Orleans Hornets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves. The great Venezuela (Greivis Vasquez) vs Spain (Ricky Rubio) matchup I had been looking forward to all year! As luck will have it, the Spaniard of the moment, Mr. Ricky Rubio, blew his knee the night before. Let’s thank Kobe Bryant for crushing my dreamed matchup. It’s OK, everybody blames Kobe. Not the first time.

(You don’t need to know Spanish to feel the drama)

Players intro at Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis. See the moon? Timberwolves...get it?

2.5 hours later and with a great performance by Greivis, New Orleans got away with a 95-89 victory over the Rubio-less T-Wolves. (Minnesota is screwed without Ricky)

The W Minneapolis

As a Starwood Platinum member, I crashed at the Downtown W Hotel which was conveniently located a few blocks from both the Target Center and the train station.

A picture from their website. Yes, it's cool. Yes, it's tiny.

The W Hotels are all about being hip, cool and trendy. This one was, indeed, cool and trendy by having popular drinking establishments in the lobby and the rooftop. The building where this W hotel is 100 years old (or whatever) so they are rather limited in terms of functionality. I had to endure a 15min wait in line to take one of the three lifts (really, that’s why the called the elevators) and that is simply unacceptable (#firstworldproblems). They also have a rather strict no-noise policy so…no ravin’ in the room, Charlie Sheen. I should also add they have a deal with Accura and they can drive you anywhere (withing reasonable distance) at no extra charge. Of course, the service was all booked for the night when I asked.

Honestly, if you can score a room here for ~150$ and are able to split with 3+ people, go for it. Otherwise, keep looking.

After a fun night out in downtown Minneapolis and minimum sleep it was time to get going. At 5:30am Sunday morning I took the 40min, $4 train/rail from downtown to the airport, (nice job, Minneapolis!).

MSP-LGA on AA

For this Minnesota to Caracas trip I happily burned 30,000 AAdvantage miles to get there in business class (J). Considering I booked it 2 days before and was essentially, well, free…it doesn’t get better than that.

The first flight took me to LGA on American Eagle. I didn’t think American Eagle had real planes with F/J seats but they do.

Here’s how packed the flight was:

With this many people the service had to be great, right? Wrong.

About 30mins into the 3hr flight I got asked: “Would you be joining us for breakfast?”

Hell, yeah. Is the sky blue? Half the fun of flying in J is the food. Although, anything besides tiny pretzels and old peanuts is a major step up.

Now, keep in mind last month I flew LAX-DFW (also in J) on a newer AA aircraft (763) and we got this awesome breakfast:

Best omelet I have had on a plane.

So my excitement for breakfast on this MSP-LGA flight was not completely unfounded.

Then reality set in:

Really, American Airlines? REALLY? What is this? Continental breakfast at a motel? Victoria’s Secret models eat more than this and they have no idea what they are doing.

Major letdown….and needless to say, I was still hungry. Unfortunately (and unforgettably) the flight attendant for J spent 70% of the flight at the back of the plane sitting in coach chatting with her colleague. A 25% capacity flight with 250% the worst attention and service I ever got on AA. Unforgivable.

The flight was also my first time landing at La Guardia and I got to capture some great views of NYC on the descent. Including Manhattan:

Cool city, innit?

Once in LGA a ~$12 shuttle took me to JFK in less than one hour. Great option if you’re not in a hurry. However, if there’s 3 or 4 of you traveling together, a cab may be a cheaper, faster option.

Part 2 coming up. Airport lounges are nice (free food, booze, showers) and I finally board to Caracas. JFK-CCS in AA J.