What do you really get for a $7,000 Tesla Powerwall home battery?

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A deeper look at the costs and benefits of Tesla home energy storage unit, the Powerwall.

Continue reading What do you really get for a $7,000 Tesla Powerwall home battery?

What do you really get for a $7,000 Tesla Powerwall home battery? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 May 2015 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Records Special Good Luck Message for Steven Gerrard

Great talent respects great talent. 

Cristiano Ronaldo was a Premier League rival of Liverpool‘s Steven Gerrard, but he clearly still admires the L.A. Galaxy-bound midfielder. 

The former Manchester United man recorded a special message wishing Gerrard all the best ahead of his last Liverpool game this weekend against Stoke City

Classy move from the Real Madrid man. 

[Twitter: @LFC]

Hartnett: Rangers Fall Victim To Same Mistakes In Game 3

By Sean Hartnett
» More Columns

You can’t expect to win very often when you get sucked into a track meet with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

For two straight games, the Rangers have been burned by the athletic, fast-skating Bolts. All-world goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was hung out to dry — again — throughout Wednesday’s 6-5 overtime defeat. Lundqvist has conceded six goals in consecutive losing efforts, as Tampa Bay has gained a 2-1 series advantage.

The Rangers had spoken of their desire to end the sloppy, undisciplined hockey that doomed them to a lopsided 6-2 loss in Game 2. Captain Ryan McDonagh was adamant the Rangers couldn’t afford to fall victim to the same mistakes.

“There’s a lot of areas here that’s very uncharacteristic,” McDonagh said Monday. “At the end of the day, it’s a loss. We can’t afford to do it again. That’s the main thing.”

The Rangers repeated a losing formula in Game 3. Even though the Blueshirts showed fight, a lack of discipline betrayed them again. They played scatterbrained hockey and their defensive zone coverage was woeful.

Sure, Lundqvist surrendered six goals in Game 3 … but how many were truly his fault? He demonstrated a steely focus to stop a number of Lightning breakaway opportunities and Grade-A chances. There were moments during regulation when the score could have turned one-sided if not for a number of crucial Lundqvist saves. King Henrik came up huge when Kevin Klein took a bad angle that allowed J.T. Brown to break in alone a little more than two minutes into overtime.

Nikita Kucherov’s game-winning goal will be described by some as a softie on Lundqvist’s part, but it was a collective fail. The Rangers got caught on a bad line change, allowing Kucherov to roam through a clean patch of ice in the neutral zone. Their top pairing of McDonagh and Dan Girardi were too stationary and allowed Kucherov to skate freely toward the high slot. Neither stepped up to provide resistance against the Russian winger. Lundqvist appeared to react late on the game-winner.

Tampa Bay thrives at stretching the Rangers. The Triplets line of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Kucherov forced the Rangers to chase all night. Particularly, the McDonagh-Girardi pairing was run ragged when matched up against the Triplets. Overall, McDonagh was on ice for four goals against and Girardi was on ice for three. You expect better from a top pair.


Tampa Bay’s top defensive pairing of Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman has outperformed New York’s No. 1 pair of McDonagh-Girardi all series long. Rangers fans can point to a lack of production from Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis all they want, but this is an even bigger problem. Even if the Rangers’ power play continues trending upward, they will have no chance of winning this series if McDonagh and Girardi keep struggling.

The Rangers passed twice on the opportunity to re-sign Stralman. Now, they’re getting burned for it. Stralman was the Rangers’ best defenseman during their run to last year’s Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning are reaping the benefits that come with his steady, possession-strong game.

Following Sunday’s practice at Madison Square Garden, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper spoke of Stralman’s value as a shutdown defenseman during the Rangers’ run in 2014.

“When you come with the package he brought to the table, my glimpse of Anton Stralman was in the playoffs last year, so that’s where you get to know him,” Cooper said. “He didn’t get the fanfare that the Girardis and McDonaghs and Staals were getting – and Stralman always seemed to be the other guy. Yet Stralman, when we go through the tapes, he was always the guy on the ice when the other teams were putting up the best players.”

Cooper went on to gush about Stralman, describing him as “the total package” and a franchise-changing defenseman.

“He is definitely one of those guys you do not appreciate until you have him on your team,” Cooper said. “His preparation, his calm, his hockey sense, everything, it’s phenomenal. He is the total package, and he can play in every situation. I know he didn’t play in the power play here (with New York), but he probably could have. He just had other guys ahead of him. But he plays against the top lines. He can play offensively, defensively, and just the way he prepares himself, I can’t say enough. That was an unreal signing for us, because he’s changed the dynamic of our defense.”

Rick Nash of the New York Rangers and Anton Stralman fight for a loose puck in the third period in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at Madison Square Garden on May 16, 2015. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Rick Nash of the New York Rangers and Anton Stralman fight for a loose puck in the third period in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at Madison Square Garden on May 16, 2015. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Flash back to when the Rangers were weighing whether to lock up Girardi or Stralman. On February 28, 2014, they signed Girardi to a six-year, $33 million extension that kicked in this season. Girardi is hard-working and a tough-as-nails competitor, but he isn’t a true top-pair defenseman like Stralman. He is a quality second-pairing defenseman being paid elite defenseman money and asked to perform on a No. 1 pair.

Remember, when the Rangers were negotiating with Stralman last spring, it was before his breakout playoff performance that captured the attention of NHL general managers – of course, including Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. The Blueshirts had their chance to sign Stralman on a more cap-friendly deal than Girardi. The Rangers committed a $5.5 million average annual value cap hit to Girardi through the 2019-20 season.

They’re going to get hurt on the back end of that contract. Girardi isn’t a particularly swift skater. If he’s getting burned by the opposition at 31, that doesn’t bode well for when he’s 34, 35, 36. Additionally, he does not possess the accurate shooting and puck-moving skills that allowed Stralman to enjoy a nine-goal, 30-assist debut season in Tampa.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the Rangers gave Stralman the Girardi deal and parted ways with No. 5. It would have been a wiser allocation of cap space. At 28, Stralman is three years younger than Girardi. He excels at skating the puck up ice and serves as a shutdown defenseman against the league’s elite forwards. The five-year, $22.5 million ($4.5 million AAV) contract he signed with the Bolts is looking like quite the bargain.

The Rangers passed on Stralman last summer despite his desperation to remain a Ranger. Even while standing in the Tampa dressing room and wearing a Lightning bolt on his chest, Stralman maintained that his desire was to remain with the Rangers.

“Honestly, all I wanted was to come back,” Stralman said on Sunday. “I don’t think a cap issue was an issue. Definitely not. I think they wanted to move in another direction, and that’s fine with me. The only disappointment I had was that they should have told me.”

Heading into the offseason, GM Glen Sather had his eyes fixated on Dan Boyle, hoping that the 38-year-old, point-getting defenseman would remedy the Rangers’ inconsistent power play. New York opted to sign Boyle to a two-year deal worth $9 million ($4.5 million AAV).

Despite becoming a target of scorn by some Rangers fans for a few high-profile turnovers, Boyle has been fairly solid in the defensive end. He remains a fast skater at an advanced age and his offensive production this playoffs is right where you want it to be – eight points (three goals and five assists) through 15 postseason games.

Boyle is a short-term investment that appears to be working out for the Rangers. He’s doing exactly what they brought him here for by producing in the playoffs. Boyle has collected four points (one goal, three assists) in the past two games. All three assists have been on the power play

Looking back at the spring of 2014, it was crucial for the Rangers to make the smart long-term investment when deliberating Stralman versus Girardi. The Rangers would likely be in a rosier situation if Stralman was defending the Triplets in a Rangers sweater.

Follow Sean on Twitter – @HartnettHockey

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Moda Operandi’s Latest Hermès Sale Includes $185,000 Diamond-Encrusted Birkin


If you’ve got enough money to buy a well-kept suburban ranch home in my beloved hometown of Atlanta burning a hole in your pocket, you’re in luck: Moda Operandi and Heritage Auctions have teamed up once again for another jaw-dropping pre-owned Hermès trunkshow, and this time around, a diamond-encrusted crocodile Birkin is the star of the show. It can be yours for $185,000. If you need to move some money around, don’t worry–only half of that is due up front.

That Heritage can even find these bags squirreled away in collectors’ closets never ceases to amaze me, and so does the seemingly endless appetite that consumers have for them. The trunkshow, which runs through May 24, also includes limited edition bags from the brand’s popular Candy Collection, as well as some stalwart everyday options in more conservative colors and leathers.

Below, shop our favorites from the trunkshow or check out the full selection at Moda Operandi.

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Kobo Daily Deal – All That Is Solid Melts into Air

All That Is Solid Melts into Air ($1.99 Kindle, Kobo), by Darragh McKeon [Harper Perennial], is the Kobo Daily Deal, price matched on Kindle. Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

Book Description

All That Is Solid Melts into Air is a gripping end-of-empire novel, charting the collapse of the Soviet Union through the focalpoint of the Chernobyl disaster. Part historical epic, part love story, it recalls The English Patient in its mix of emotional intimacy and sweeping landscape.

In a run-down apartment block in Moscow, a nine-year-old piano prodigy practices silently for fear of disturbing the neighbors.

In a factory on the outskirts of the city, his aunt makes car parts, trying to hide her dissident past.

In the hospital, a leading surgeon buries himself deep in his work to avoid facing his failed marriage.

And in a rural village in the Ukraine, a teenage boy wakes up to a sky of the deepest crimson. In the fields, the ears of the cattle are dripping blood. Ten miles away, at the Chernobyl Power Plant, something unimaginable has happened.

Now their lives will change forever.

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is an astonishing end-of-empire novel by a major new talent.


Epaulet Reinterperts the German Army Trainer

Margiela might’ve been at it for half a decade now, but now NYC-based Epaulet has now decided to release its own luxurious take on the the classic German Army Trainer. Handmade in Portugal, Epaulet’s Sport Trainers stay remarkably true to the shoe’s iconic military roots, updating them for the modern era through a selection of premium materials. The Sport Trainers are available in two colorways: classic white/grey and loden – with the white version being made of calfskin leather from Italy’s famed Gruppo Mastrotto tannery, while the loden uses prime Portuguese steerhide.

To read our full history of the notorious German Army Trainer, and how it became a modern fashion staple, click here.

BUY NOW / $225+

The post Epaulet Reinterperts the German Army Trainer appeared first on Highsnobiety.

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Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes’ quest for fire

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has lost 97 percent of its habitat since becoming an American icon on the Revolutionary-era ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag. New research demonstrates the critical nature of one element of the diamondback’s home range, pine savanna. For conservationists seeking surrogate habitats for the now-rare species’ dwindling population, the results underscore the need for prescribed fire management to maintain the open-canopy forest and its ecosystem.

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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