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  • Luxury Pocket Knife

    For the outdoorsman who has everything, silversmith Adrian Pallarol has come up with the Leatherman Charge Dorado pocketknife. It sports a wide array of tools and knives inside its golden arms, and is engraved with 18-karat Andes gold on its handles. Only 25 will be produced, for $40,000 each.
  • Mail Call: A Changed China?

    Our June 30 report on how the quake changed China won mixed responses from readers. Two who were present in China then wrote, "Thank you for a well-researched article." But another said, "Your claims are naive, even offensive." A third wondered, "Was it solely the negligence of rogue local officials?" ...
  • Less Beijing Smog May Mean Higher Temperatures

    Dissidents aren't the only ones being forced off Beijing's streets during the Olympics. The Chinese government has also pushed drivers off the roads—about 3.5 million of them—and shuttered hundreds of factories, steel mills and coal plants in an effort to reduce the city's notorious smog. But while better air in Beijing may be good news for athletes, it could for worse for the earth's environment. "When you clean up very polluted air, as China is doing during these Olympics, it has a direct impact on global warming," says Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a leading climate researcher from the University of California, San Diego, who is studying Beijing's atmosphere for the Games' duration.Here's how it works: particles in polluted air cool the planet by shielding it from the sun's radiation (which bounces off the particles back into space). By getting rid of smog, it eliminates the protective barrier—and temperatures rise.Scientists are painfully aware of the irony, but so far, no one's...
  • The Softer Side of Men's Fashion

    Menswear is typically about sober suits, structured tailoring and starched shirts. But this season and next, designers are showing a softer side.Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto, a line distinguished by its high-tech sportswear, features a lush fall coat with a red velvet floral pattern ($2,250; y-3.com), the perfect piece for an urban explorer on a romantic journey. Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver, the designers who mastermind Lanvin's men's line, are showing belted cashmere cardigan coats ($2,330; lanvin.com) that exude sensual elegance. Their spring collection features a provocative nude cotton blouson ($680) and slim pant ($1,288). At YSL, Stefano Pilati builds a spring collection around traditional staples like bomber jackets and trench coats, refashioned in feminine fabrics such as silk gazar and ultrasoft cotton. His unstructured, gold-sequined cardigan (price upon request; ysl.com) would make an unexpected evening option. Tomas Maier's spring collections for Bottega Veneta are the...
  • Relax in Luxury On the Dead Sea

    The Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea Resort is an oasis set against the dry Jordanian landscape, and one of the most luxurious places in the region. ...
  • Personalized Eyewear: Seeing Is Believing

    Just when you thought the personalization trend in fashion couldn't go any further, bespoke eyewear craftsmen are coming up with glasses made to fit clients' distinctive facial features, proportions and skin complexion.Nader Zadi's impressive collection starts with vintage frames crafted in the early to mid-20th century; clients choose from rimless, semi-rimless and full frames, shaped or tinted lenses, bridges and nose rests made entirely of solid yellow, white or rose gold (starting at $750) by appointment only. Zadi then measures, assembles and modifies each component to each client's taste, appearance and prescription needs (212-249-5609; rareframes.com).Having outfitted Jude Law and Kylie Minogue, the Oliver Goldsmith Studio offers a bespoke eyeglass service with custom engraving starting at $700. Fitters measure the distance between clients' temples, the height of their ears and the width of their noses to assure a perfect fit. Vintage acetate or tortoiseshell frames add star...
  • Take a Hanoi City Break

    Houston? No problem. With thriving arts and sports scenes this metropolis is slicker than the average oil town. ...
  • The Legacy of Beijing's Olympic Games

    By now, it's clear that both Chinese and visitors alike reveled in the 2008 Games, even many skeptics. The merry national atmosphere is quite different from the mood before Aug. 8, when officials worried about polluted air, terror attacks, even the performance of high-profile athletes like hurdler Liu Xiang. Some of their fears came to pass: a lone attacker killed an American coach's family member, scattered protests did take place and Liu limped away gold-less after an injury.Still, the Olympics were undeniably a PR success. Beijing's critics warned of crackdowns, but travelers were greeted instead with the sight of citizens reacting to the Games with cheers and tears against a backdrop of stunning architecture. For domestic audiences, officials peddled a relaxed, humane image—President Hu Jintao sat in the audience at sporting events like a regular spectator—that's playing well at home. The Games will have many legacies, from Michael Phelps to Usain Bolt. But for Beijing, its soft...
  • Global Singers Pay Homage To Obama

    Even though they can't cast votes in November, artists around the globe are cranking out tunes in homage to the Democratic presidential candidate. Latin-Grammy-nominated Don Omar transformed Obama's surname into the upbeat Reggaeton song, "Como Se Dice," and collaborated with the Cuban band Yerba Buena and over a dozen other Latin stars on "Podemos Con Obama" ("We Can With Obama"). Jamaican crooners are particularly starry-eyed for the politician, with Tyrical's "The Obama Song," Cocoa Tea's "Barack Obama" and Mavado's "We Need Barack" (which mixes Obama's speeches with reggae beats). Grenada-born Calypso singer Mighty Sparrow is working on an entire album of Obama songs, following his hit "Barack the Magnificent."On the other side of the Atlantic, Boy George released "Yes We Can" (a tune by the same name is sung by American hip-hopper will.i.am) while Irish band Drew Hardy and the Nancy Boys proclaim "There's No One as Irish as Barack Obama." And in Kenya, homeland of Obama's...
  • Dickey: Saakashvili and the Dangers of Defiance

    The Russia-Georgia conflict is yet another example of why a leader caught up in the romance of resistance should not rely on Washington. What Saakashvili should have learned from history--and the American South.
  • Q&A: Georgia's Mikheil Saakashvili on Russia Fight

    In an interview, embattled Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says Russia intends to occupy Georgia and overthrow his government. And he claims Moscow's real target is the United States, Europe and NATO.
  • Analyst: Gitmo Trials 'A Long Way From Nuremberg'

    The author of a new book about the Bush administration's efforts to try terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay says that even the first conviction, against Osama bin Laden's former driver, isn't exactly a major victory.
  • Javea, Spain: History Lesson and Summer Fun

    A home to Roman fishermen in the second century B.C., this port town an hour's drive from Valencia offers a vivid history of the area's ancient occupation as well as a variety of fun summer activities. ...