A guide to safety, food, costume ideas and events in the Tampa Bay area

Emilee Geist

Trick-or-treating is up for debate all over the Tampa Bay area, and 2020 has offered up a bounty of costume ideas for people with nowhere to go.

We have learned a lot over the last few weeks covering the planning of events and recommendations for a safe Halloween and wanted to give you a place to review them all. Doctors have recommendations for trick-or-treating, our food editor has some suggestions for food and drinks and our columnists have some opinions on the metaphors all around.

Read on for what will be stalking us this Halloween:

There are a wide variety of Loot Scoop bags available this year at the Spirit Halloween pop-up stores. They are $7.99 so kids can use an extended rod to hold out a candy bag to retrieve treats from a distance. [ SHARON KENNEDY WYNNE | Times ]

Safety first

Trick-or-treat: Doctors gave us guidelines

Read More

Analysis: Racial inequity in who takes career, tech courses

Emilee Geist


ADVANCE FOR RELEASE OCT. 22, 2020 AND THEREAFTER — Alphina Kamara at Wesleyan University, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Middletown, Conn. Kamara, a junior at Wesleyan University studying English and sociology, says she was never encouraged to explore options like an engineering course while in high school.


Alphina Kamara wonders what might have happened if she’d been introduced to science and engineering careers at her high school in Wilmington, Delaware.

Kamara, who is Black, was enrolled in an “audio engineering” course that taught her how to make music tracks and videos instead of a regular engineering course that she recalls was mostly filled with white students.

When she asked an administrator at Mount Pleasant High School about this apparent disparity, she said she was told that the audio engineering course was created for “regular students.”

“They thought we would be more interested in audio engineering than engineering,”

Read More

why now is the time to snap up an urban architectural gem

Emilee Geist

Such a property will only ever attract a select niche of buyers – but such buyers still exist, says Klonaris. “There is almost always a healthy market for great design and many of our buyers see themselves as caretakers of the homes they purchase.”

Jeremy Gee, managing director at Beauchamp Estates, adds that some wealthy buyers actively seek a property that is different to the norm. “Many architect- designed homes are quite extreme in their aesthetics, and you either love it or hate it. For these properties, it is always about finding the right buyer, regardless of the factors affecting the overall market. But there is always a certain cachet for some in having a one-off or limited edition house,” says Gee, who is marketing Wellesley Court, a two-bed duplex penthouse in Maida Vale, priced at £795,000.

Designed by architect Frank Scarlett in 1938, it’s full of idiosyncratic colour and

Read More

The best laptops under $500 for 2020

Emilee Geist

The best laptop under $500 is the . Laptops at this price point often have significant compromises, whether that’s in performance, the screen quality, or battery life. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, though, manages to have almost everything you’d want in a modern laptop at an impressive price discount. That is — as long as you’re okay with a Chromebook.

Beyond that, we’ve also made selections for best Windows laptop under $500, best 2-in-1 under $500, and even the best laptop under $300.

The best laptops under $500 at a glance:

  • The best laptop under $500: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

  • The best Windows laptop under $500: Acer Aspire 5

  • The best 2-in-1 under $500: Microsoft Surface Go 2

  • The best laptop under $300: Lenovo Chromebook Duet

  • The best 15-inch laptop under $500: Samsung Chromebook 4+

The best laptop under $500: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 review

lenovo chromebook flex 5
lenovo chromebook flex 5


Read More

5 Things CEO Elon Musk Said on the Tesla Earnings Call

Emilee Geist

Text size

Alexander Hassenstein


reported third-quarter earnings Wednesday evening. Numbers were better than expected. That’s the fifth consecutive quarterly “beat” for the electric vehicle pioneer. Management hosted a conference call shortly after the earnings release and CEO Elon Musk said several things which should be of interest to investors.

Here are five noteworthy items from the call, along with a little context:

1. Self Driving

Musk believes in self-driving tech and believes Tesla’s technology will be ready sooner than most industry pundits believe is possible. “Regarding the Full Self-Driving beta release,” commented Musk. He was talking about the early full version of its full self-driving software just rolled out. Full self-driving has the potential to enable new businesses, such as fleets of robotaxis. “And in terms of [automotive] margins, all of these [profit] margins are going to look pretty comically small when you factor in autonomy,” added Musk later

Read More

watchOS 7: Exploring the Apple GMT Watch Face

Emilee Geist

Apple’s new watchOS 7 introduces some new watch faces. One of them is called GMT watch face. It’s about time we took a look at that one.

Apple Watch GMT Face

First of all, Apple did not just make this up, in name or design. There is a pre-existing “GMT watch” design that was previously created for specific travel/aviation/astronomy needs. See: “What is a GMT Watch and How Does it Work?”

From the above article:

The GMT watch function is just a second hour hand on the same watch face that’s geared to rotate once every 24 hours — or exactly half as fast as the other hour hand. The second hour hand points to a second time scale that reads to 24 instead of 12, typically located on the innermost portion of the watch dial.

Here’s a look at a physical GMT watch. The red hour hand points to

Read More

Meet Anubha and Emi, winners of the sustainability and sports & denim categories in the first ever online global design graduate show

Emilee Geist

In 2020, sustainability and ethical, considered production within the fashion industry, has become more important than ever. With the judges having made their decisions for the winners of the fashion categories — supported by Gucci — of the i-D x ARTSTHREAD Global Design Graduate Show, both the chosen projects in the sustainability and the sports & denim categories are by designers who are working to make the industry better for the future.

Winning the sustainability award is Anubha Sood, a 28 year old MFA graduate in Textiles from Parsons, New School of Design in New York. For her project, ‘Between Salt & Water’, she collected seagrass from the Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans — foraged from Coney Island, New York; Galway in Ireland and Koh Tao in Thailand — and dyed, softened and wove them into her own fabrics.


Anubha tested various methods of textile creation with the collected seaweed.

Read More

Accessible Custom Furniture And Decor Is The Next Big Interior Design Trend

Emilee Geist

2020 has been a year of collective realization about the importance of our living spaces and interior design. Not only are we all spending more time at home, but most of us are renovating, redesigning, and refreshing our spaces to fit the new normal. Because the pandemic has limited our choices in many ways, the appeal of custom, made-to-order furniture and decor has increased significantly. 

While major players like Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Restoration Hardware have offered made to order furniture for years, buying truly customized and bespoke pieces used to require using an interior designer or knowing the right place to have something commissioned. This also meant visiting a brick and mortar location.  

But now, smaller, direct to consumer and online-only retailers are leading the way in this category for both industry and regular consumers

Read More

The National Esports Association is paving the way for aspiring gamers while fostering inclusivity

Emilee Geist

As gaming becomes an increasingly popular career option among Gen Zers and millennials alike, one nonprofit organization is rolling out a number of initiatives designed to help its students make a transition to esports.

Based in Rochester, N.Y., the National Esports Association (NEA) offers several programs that provide “pathways to success for aspiring esports athletes,” according to its website.

Working in conjunction with several colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, the organization develops on-campus esports programs and arranges tournaments to gauge student interest. One of those tournaments, for example, centers on the popular Nintendo game Super Smash Bros., where students compete in a one-versus-one tournament bracket.

NEA also hosts students at its own facility, where they train with expert gamers. Certified teachers from Twitch, for example, teach Minecraft players how to design their own virtual communities.

“For practice-wise in the studio, what [the students] are doing is playing

Read More

Who Plays Borat’s Daughter in Borat 2? Introducing Maria Bakalova

Emilee Geist

This piece contains spoilers for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

When the trailer for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm made its debut this month, viewers had one seemingly unanswerable question about the follow-up to Sacha Baron Cohen’s transformational 2006 comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan: Who plays Borat’s daughter in the film?

According to press materials, the character—Borat’s sidekick, whose presence allows Cohen to infiltrate events and interview unsuspecting marks despite his fame—is played by an actress named Irina Novak. But it didn’t take long for online sleuths to realize that this name was a red herring. There is an actress named “Irina Novak,” but she bears a scant physical resemblance to the woman playing Borat’s daughter. Before the trailer even made its premiere, a fringe site alleged instead that the character was played by an actress named Maria Bakalova

It turns out

Read More