Most travelers to Ecuador pass through the mainland in a dash to the Galápagos Islands, a natural nesting ground for rare species that adapted uniquely due to a series of differing microclimates. The appeal of snorkeling with hammerhead sharks, seeing the blue-footed booby in flight, and coming nose-to-nose with sunbathing Galápagos penguins is quite enticing, but mainland Ecuador is also home to a number of protected lands where extraordinary animals flourish. As one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, Ecuador leads the ranks, home to the most biodiversity per square mile out of any nation in the world. More than 25 percent of the country is protected land, encompassing 40 national parks, reserves, and refuges. While South America is home to half of the world’s bird species, Ecuador—while covering less than 2 percent of the continent—harbors half of this species count, a staggering figure that leads the country to hold the world record of species per area. Here, discover the regions of Ecuador where its nature shines the brightest—from the thick vegetation of the mysterious Amazon to the effervescent mist that shrouds the canopied coastal rainforests of the Chocó biogeographic region.
Photo: Courtesy of Mashpi Lodge
MASHPI RAINFOREST BIODIVERSITY RESERVE
Set in in the heart of the Chocó biogeographic region and regarded as one of the planet’s leading hot spots of biodiversity, Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve is Ecuador’s most revered cloud forest, home to enchanting curtains of flowing waterfalls and a blossoming population of colorful hummingbirds, butterflies, and howler monkeys. Intimately intertwined with the jungle’s natural density, Mashpi Lodge—part of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World—offers an immersive experience above the clouds: At more than 3,000 feet above sea level, the 22-room lodge is perched amidst a profusion of plant and animal species, and recently, the property’s team of biologists and guides found a new species of frog, the Mashpi Torrenteer. The tree frog is native only to the Mashpi Reserve, increasing Ecuador’s amphibian count to more than 550 varieties, adding to the staggering 500 species of birds in the Mashpi forest, of which 36 are native to the area. Masphi offers an extensive program of excursions to see the lush cloud forest up close, including the newly erected Dragonfly tram, which transports guests into the canopy on an aerial gondola ride.
COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK
Just an hour and a half drive from Ecuador’s bustling capital of Quito, all remnants of brash city life are forgotten amidst the wonder of Cotopaxi National Park, an Andean highland home to one of the highest stratovolcanoes in the world. In a land where waterfalls flow in abundance and wild horses, Andean condors, and pumas all roam free, it’s easy to be entranced by the spiritual connectivity Cotopaxi harbors. During a visit to the park, stay at Hacienda el Porvenir, a 23-room, thatched-roof property whose suites are outfitted with relaxing sitting areas and fireplaces. The property is the perfect base to explore the park’s attractions like Limpiopungo Lagoon, the Pucará del Salitre Inca ruins, and Manto Blanco falls, but most travelers to the property are called to Cotopaxi for the endless mountain biking and trekking trails in the park. Most prominent of all experiences is the opportunity to become acquainted with Cotopaxi’s chagra culture, a traditional cowboy lifestyle and identity that’s ruled the highlands for more than 400 years. At Hacienda el Porvenir, opt for a private horseback ride through the Andes, and—if you’re lucky—Cotopaxi’s legendary mist will shroud the rolling hills in an ephemeral fog. It’s reverential.
Photo: Courtesy of Sacha Lodge
Ecuador’s wilderness is at its height in the country’s Amazon basin, one of the world’s most iconic rainforests and rivers. Although Ecuador only accounts for 2 percent of the Amazon’s expanse, the immediate vicinity is home to about 600 species of rare birds and more than 350 species of reptiles. As the Amazon is typically associated with neighboring Peru, travelers to the Ecuadorian Amazon will find a pristine rainforest of exploration where few tourists roam. In a land where indigenous tribes still live in isolation from the outside world and creatures constantly lurk even when you can’t see them, it’s best to travel with a group or private guide, as it’s almost impossible for an outsider to anticipate all of the knowledge one must have to effectively traverse this land. Explore the region with Peregrine Adventures: During a trip, you will stay in a thatched-roof cabin at Sacha Lodge, located near wildlife-rich Yasuní National Park and Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Here, you can spend your days canoeing in the tranquil Amazonian waters of Lagartococha, constantly on the lookout for your next toucan, caiman, and three-toed sloth sighting.
COTACACHI-CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
Stretching over 750,000 acres and spanning a perfectly preserved portion of Ecuador’s biodiverse Chocó coastal rainforest, the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve is home to an array of creatures, ranging from the harmless marsupial frogs to the carnivorous ocelots, jaguars, and pumas. Comprising 10 distinct ecological zones and an altitude spectrum that ranges from 100 to 16,000 feet above sea level, a variety of animals are able to thrive here. But what really lures travelers to this area are the mountain peaks. During a trek with Exodus, you will set out on the Pinan trek through the highlands of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, where you will experience the Cuicocha Crater Lake at the base of the Cotacachi Volcano, a massive, three-domed formation of two intra-caldera islands separated by a water channel dubbed the “channel of dreams.” The journey continues deeper into the Chocó rainforest and neighboring Imbabura and Cayambe, volcanoes, the latter being Ecuador’s third highest mountain. Learn how to ice climb like a true outdoorsman on Ecuador’s Avenue of the Volcanoes as you travel along one of its equator-straddling glaciers.
A room at Hacienda Zuleta
Photo: Courtesy of Zuleta
CAYAMBE-COCA ECOLOGICAL RESERVE Only two hours from Quito, Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve is an area where hawks and Andean condors are often seen gliding through the sky, and the rare Andean spectacled bears, foxes, and mountain tapirs are viewed with frequency. On a bespoke tour with Butterfield Robinson, you can explore the valleys and fields that lead to the Otavalo Market, known for its textiles and tapestries. Just beyond the market and near the Cotacachi-Cayapas and Cayambe-Coca ecological reserves, your journey will culminate at Hacienda Zuleta, a 16th-century colonial working farm on nearly 4,000 acres of land closely bordering the Cayambe-Coca. Owned by the family of Mr. Galo Plaza Lasso, a former president of Ecuador, the property features a communal library and women’s embroidery workshop, just a few of its community tourism initiatives. Stay in one of the property’s 14 rooms for a glimpse of authentic hacienda life—like working the dairy farm, cheese factory, trout farm, horse stables, and organic vegetable garden—while participating in the Andean Condor Huasi Project, the hacienda’s rehabilitation and rescue center that works to reintroduce injured condors back into the wild.
A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Aug 8, 2014 at 1:10pm PDT
This Halloween we’re giving you a trick that will last you a lot longer than the month of October.
While none of us can boast of a Kim Kardashian bank account (or designer BFFs or the world’s chicest baby) we can channel her for Halloween—and then use these handy contouring tricks as part of our everyday makeup routine.
As the patron saint of contouring, Kim Kardashian took the art of face sculpting to the next level, but little did we know that this elegant look could also pass as pretty great costume makeup.
1. The key to this look is all about choosing the right shade of foundation for your skin. You’ll need three types of foundation: a lighter shade, darker shade and one that is your exact colour to really make your contouring pop. After applying your skin tone foundation, use a brush to add your lighter foundation underneath your eyes in a triangle formation, down the centre of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, along your jawline and your cupid’s bow.
2. Next, blend the concealer with a sponge. Remember you want to avoid any severe lines so blend as much as necessary to make it look natural.
3. Using a soft small brush, apply the darker foundation by sweeping both sides of your nose, the temples of your head and the tip of your nose.
4. Apply the darker foundation below your cheekbones in a sweeping downwards motion on both sides of your face and blend.
5. Grab your highlighter and apply to give you that much-needed glow and shimmer to both sides of your face that will put a little oomph in your look.
6. Apply blush to the apple of your cheeks to give you a little colour and add some warmth to your look.
7. Keep your lips neutral with a flesh coloured lip gloss and sweep mascara along your eyelids. If you’re feeling particularly daring add some of Kim K’s famous fake lashes to up the drama.
Now you’re ready to land yourself a rapper husband and, depending on your attitude, a reality TV deal.
Makeup by Justine Veneracion
Products used: Nars cream foundations in “Fiji,” “Macao” and “Tahoe” ($45 each, Sephora.com), Nars Laguna bronzer ($45, Sephora.com), Nars Albatross highlighter ($30, Nars.com), Nars blush in “Orgasm” ($35, Sephora.com), Nars gloss in Odalisque ($31, Sephora.com)
In April, the author’s wife, crime writer Michelle McNamara, died suddenly in her sleep at age 46. In an instant, Oswalt became a widower—and single parent to their 7-year-old daughter. Here, the actor and comedian writes about the only job he’s got that really matters right now: being a dad.
Five months and ten days ago, as I write this, I became a single father.
I was half of an amazing parenting team, except we weren’t equals. Michelle was the point person, researcher, planner, and expediter. I was the grunt, office assistant, instruction follower, and urban Sherpa. I did idiot sweeps before we left hotel rooms and ran checklists before we attended school functions and boarded planes. But Michelle put those lists together. She knew how to use my OCD to our little family’s advantage. And her super-mom skills were one brilliant facet of the dark jewel she was—true-crime journalist, online sleuth, tireless finder of half-remembered facts, and crafter of devastating murder prose. I was looking forward to spending my life with the single most original mind I’d ever encountered. And now? Gone. All gone.
It feels like a walk-on character is being asked to carry an epic film after the star has been wiped from the screen. Imagine Frances McDormand dying in the first act of Fargo and her dim-bulb patrol partner—the one who can’t recognize dealer plates—has to bring William H. Macy to justice.
I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I want to tune out the world and hide under the covers and never leave my house again and send our daughter, Alice, off to live with her cousins in Chicago, because they won’t screw her up the way I know I will. Somebody help me! I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
But then I think back to when I became a father—to when Michelle and I became parents together. I felt the same terror. I longed for the same retreat. And somehow I sort of half breathed in and clumsily took steps forward and I screwed up a lot of stuff—we screwed up a lot of stuff, Michelle and I—but eventually we got the hang of it. We had it. Or our version of “it.”
And I think back even further. Back to when Michelle and I first married. I’d somehow landed a woman far above my pay grade, in looks and intelligence and personality. And yet I felt the same terror and pull of retreat and safety to the old, no-strings life of a single comedian/actor in his 20s and 30s in Los Angeles. Beholden to no one. The days stretching out in a fluffy road of marshmallow leisure leading all the way up to the Big Rock Candy Mountain. But…I got the hang of it.
“If I can persuade a comedy club full of indifferent drunks to like me, I can have my daughter ready for soccer on a Saturday morning.”
You will never be prepared for anything you do, ever. Not the first time. Training and practice are out the window the second they meet experience. But you’ll get better. I have subjective yet ironclad knowledge of this.
This is my first time being a single father. I’ve missed forms for school. I’ve forgotten to stock the fridge with food she likes. I’ve run out of socks for her. I’ve run out of socks for me. It sucked and it was a hassle every time, but the world kept turning. I said, “Whoops, my bad,” and fixed it and kept stumbling forward. Now I know where to buy the socks she likes. I asked two parents at her school to help me with forms and scheduling. I’m getting good at sniffing out weekend activities and scheduling playdates and navigating time and the city to get her and myself where we need to go every day. I work a creative job, but I live a practical life. If I can persuade a comedy club full of indifferent drunks to like me, I can have my daughter ready for soccer on a Saturday morning.
I’m going to keep going forward, looking stupid and clumsy and inexperienced at first, then eventually getting it, until the next jolt comes, and the next floor drops out from under me, until there are no more floors.
I don’t know what kind of single father you are, if you are one or ever will be one. If you’re widowed or divorced, adopter or elder sibling. If you’re feeling any fear or self-doubt, reassure yourself with the fact that I’m doing this. Me. Spend an hour with me sometime. I can’t drive stick. I can’t scramble an egg. I can’t ice-skate. But I’m doing this. Being a father. I’m in charge of another human being. So you can do this. I promise.
And to show you I’m on the up-and-up? I’ve also been lying to you. Because none of this is for you.
It is for Alice.
I’m moving forward—clumsily, stupidly, blindly—because of the kind of person Alice is. She’s got so much of Michelle in her. And Michelle was living her life moving forward. And she took me forward with her. Just like I know Alice will. So I’m going to keep moving forward. So I can be there with you if you need me, Alice.
Because I’ll need you.
I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. Because of you, Alice.
This story originally appeared in the December 2016 issue with the title “The Year of Magical Parenting.”
Ryan Reynolds, Usain Bolt, and Warren Beatty Are GQ’s 2016 Men of the Year Covers
Paris Train Hero Spencer Stone on His Own Biggest Idol
We decided to do things a little differently this year for our gift guide … don’t worry, we’ll still be putting together the most give-able, thoughtful gifts around at every price point!
Our first selection is all about beautiful neutrals – you know, things that kind of go with everything and everywhere. Our favorite products all in one of our favorite new places – the Metrograph theatre!
Hoping to bring you a bit of inspiration to help guide your holiday shopping this season!
The Photographers Cookbook ; Wood Wireless Speaker, Crosley ; Polaroid Camera, Impossible Project X Urban Outfitters ; Sweater, Maison Kitsune ; Leopard Clutch, Aerin ; Perfume, Rag Bone ; Loewe, Cat Necklace ; Blanket, Want Les Essentials ; Basket Bag, Edie Parker ; Boots, Sperry x J.Crew ; Beanie, Maison Kitsune ; Pitcher, Helen Levi ; Essential Oil, Susanne Kaufmann ; Glasses, Warby Parker ; Leather Bag, Little Liffner ; White Sneakers, Kaanas ; Marble Cheese Plate and Spreader, Anna New York ; Suitcase, Raden ; Mini Surfboard, Saturdays NYC
Il disastro dei Galaxy Note 7 incendiari brucia ancora nei conti di Samsung, ma la casa coreana è fortemente intenzionata a lasciarsi il fallimento alle spalle con il rilascio di Galaxy S8, lo smartphone atteso per l’inizio dell’anno prossimo del quale ormai iniziano a trapelare alcune informazioni.
Una delle ultime osservazioni più interessanti fatte sul futuro gadget riguarda la possibile assenza del pulsante home cliccabile, in modo simile a quanto appena avvenuto con iPhone 7 e iPhone 7 Plus.
Tra i tradizionali fornitori che si occupano di questa particolare componente nessuno infatti sembra avere ancora ricevuto l’ordine di produzione dalla casa coreana. Per il suo prossimo smartphone dunque è probabile che la società abbia in mente un’altra soluzione, che potrebbe essere la tecnologia Sense ID sviluppata da Qualcomm, in grado di riconoscere le impronte digitali con un sensore a ultrasuoni posizionabile anche sotto il vetro del display.
D’altra parte un pezzo grosso di Samsung aveva già dichiarato in modo sibillino che il prossimo telefono di punta della società avrebbe un design più elegante e compatto, ed eliminare il tasto home avrebbe senso da più punti di vista: una scelta del genere non solo rende lo smartphone meno soggetto a guasti e più facile da impermeabilizzare, ma fa in modo che i designer della società possano rinnovare almeno in parte il look del telefono.
Galaxy S7 e Galaxy S7 Edge hanno riscosso un successo incredibile anche per via del loro aspetto, ma presso il grande pubblico è ancora fresca l’associazione tra le linee sinuose e gli schermi curvi degli ultimi telefoni della società e la saga esplosiva dei Note 7 di questa fine estate: un restyling aggressivo potrebbe essere considerato dai vertici della società come il minore dei mali per il futuro della serie Galaxy — doloroso ma necessario.
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This opera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Chi bello vuole apparire, un po’ deve soffrire. Oppure, in alternativa, pagare: dipende tutto dall’intensità del ritocco.
Gli sviluppatori israeliani di Lightricks hanno rilasciato la seconda versione del loro FaceTune in modalità freemium. Le opportunità messe a disposizione dall’applicazione mobile vanno dalla post-produzione fotografica al ritocco vero e proprio in fase di scatto delle selfie. Le vette nel suo utilizzo portano dritti dritti nel regno del fasullo.
Procedendo per gradi, le funzioni che l’app adesso offre gratuitamente sono “leviga” (per levare le imperfezioni della pelle), “sbianca” (per un sorriso a prova di nicotina), “Dettagli” (un po’ macchinosa, ma rafforza l’effetto che toglie imperfezioni), “luminosità” (il famoso “smarmella tutto” di borisiana memoria funziona sempre).
Ma c’è di più: FaceTune 2 permette di intervenire prima che lo scatto venga effettuato, grazie a un sistema di riconoscimento visivo che consente di levigare, sbiancare e cambiare le dimensioni di naso e bocca e altezza della bocca ancora prima di immortalare il soggetto.
Il che, a pensarci, è un ottimo allenamento pre-chirurgia plastica che risponde alla fatidica domanda “come starei se…”?
Per tutti gli altri strumenti invece, bisogna pagare. Correzione di rossori e rughe in un tocco? 1,99 euro. Correzione opacità della pelle? 0,99 euro. Il bianco e nero, così come gli effetti di luce, sono gratis, ma vanno scaricati ugualmente in-app. Ingrandire o ridurre parti del viso (l’ovale) costa 2,99 euro.
Chi desidera, può anche comprare gli effetti Prisma.
Poi ci sono i filtri: Royal (“adatto a una regina dei social media”, testuale), Twilight, Route 1, per un tocco californiano (?). Cime di wtf con il filtro “Morocco”, che promette “calore e ritmi da tamburo”. E poi l’effetto “No-filter”, per maestri del parossismo che hanno pagato 0,99 centesimi per un effetto che non deve sembrare un effetto. E per poter scrivere “appena svegli si ha questa faccia qui!”. Se qualcuno suona alla porta, attenzione: potrebbero essere quelli di Catfish.
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It’s hard to stand out in the world of signage. Neon is cliché, LEDs are a dime a dozen, and those arm-waving inflatable things are everywhere. If you really want to make an impression, consider an old-school option.
Like, say, a huge flip-disc display. You know, the kind you still see on transit buses and in cool train stations. If you think these things are old-fashioned, you’ll be glad to know Breakfast NY created a modern version that’s modular, motion-activated, and controlled with an app that lets you add photos, video, and text.
Best of all, it sounds like a bunch of rattlesnakes. As it should.
The Kinetic Flip-Disc Display System uses sourced flip-disc components, with everything else custom-cobbled by the Brooklyn company. But the real breakthrough here is these guys figured out how to make the discs flip fast enough to display video at around 30 frames per second.
From there, they added simple app-based controls, scheduling features, customization options, and a 3-D camera that lets the sign interact with passersby. The whole shebang is controlled with a Linux box, custom circuit boards, and ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers. The sign in Breakfast’s office uses an ASUS Xtion camera, but the team is scoping options for production signs.
Unlike most digital creative agencies, Breakfast NY focuses on hardware and likes putting a futuristic spin on archaic tech. It always results in interesting stuff, like Displays that use spools of thread to show off your Instagram feed, street signs that dynamically direct you to crowdsourced points of interest, and a baseball-centric replica of the George Michael Sports Machine. “People are naturally drawn to physical switches, dials, and displays, so we’ve focused our company on creating unique products that scratch that itch,” says Andrew Zolty, the chief creative officer.
Breakfast NY created the first 30 fps flip-disc display four years ago, but it was a one-off for TNT. Others started asking for their own signs, but because you can’t take a “one size fits all” approach to these things, Breakfast designed a modular system that uses panels. Each panel sports a 17 by 17 inch grid of 784 discs, and you daisy-chain additional modules with CAT5 and power cables. You can mix and match colors, choosing from white, red, yellow, orange, mirrored silver, mirrored gold, glossy, and metallic.
Zolty says his team has received hundreds of inquiries, mostly for applications in stores, building entryways, and airports. Although it’s a modular system, you can’t just buy a panel or two. “Initial orders have a 15-panel minimum, and they’ll land in the low six-figures,” Zolty says. “For those who want to take it to the next level, we’ve created a simple API that give developers full creative control over the screen and camera.”
If you can foot the bill, you can order one immediately. The signs don’t start shipping until spring, but that’s not too long to wait for a sign that truly stands out.
I like a thicker brow and I have super, super thin ones—yes, I over-plucked in the ’90s, but no, I don’t think that had a lasting impact—so let’s just start by saying I’ve tried dozens of powders, pomades, waxes and gels to achieve the Brooke Shields look I long for. I should also mention I have another factor at play, which is my combination skin, meaning most pomades end up running if it’s even the slightest bit humid, let alone a straight-up heat dome. Because of all of the above, I’ve even tried semi-permanent makeup, which I still ended up needing to touch-up. Not great. On a whim, I ordered Too Faced Bulletproof Brows from Sephora about three years ago. (They annoyingly just stopped carrying it, so I buy from the Too Faced site now instead.) It was pretty much love at first swipe.
First up: The color. Bulletproof Brows comes in just three shades, Universal Blonde, Universal Brunette and Universal Redhead and the name does.not.lie. I’m brunette and I’ve tried some brow brands that have two dozen various browns to choose from–but this is pretty much a perfect match. Next up: the texture, which is thick and satiny and provides really great opaque coverage. I do suggest applying with a softer liner brush rather than the angled brow brush it comes with because I find it a little easier to maneuver and cut the shape I’m after.
And finally: The results. I used to worry about touch-ups on long days. Now I don’t even worry about my brows if I swim! The bottom line is that brows are super-personal; they’re smack in the middle of your face so they’re not something you can feel iffy about. It’s definitely key to be confident about them, and with this in my makeup bag, I never worry.