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Aug 27, 2018

Book Review: Michael Pollan Turns from the Stomach to the Mind

For years now, Michael Pollan has become the authority on the relationship that human beings have to food in the modern mechanized, industrial world. He has written on gardens, the inter-relationship between specific plants and their human users, the food systems that operate in our world, the ethics of our diets and the deeper meanings behind our cooking traditions. In short, he has become one of the most influential authorities on what we put in our stomachs. In the process he has helped foster a whole new approach to food that has manifested in artisenal pickle shops, kombucha in every store, and a renewed focus on locality in our food

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May 15, 2018

ManMade Recommended: If You're Looking to Upgrade Your Headphones, This is a Great Place to Start

Long time ManMade readers may recall my love of these earbuds, which I have claimed (over and over again), are the best value in in-ear audio supply out there. I had three or four sets going at any given time, and use them everywhere from the workshop and exercising to travel and housecleaning marathons. They work great, sound good enough, and are both durable and affordable that you don't mind taking a few risks with them. (Nearly every pair I have are also covered in paint and wood glue.)   

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Mar 15, 2018

ManMade Recommended: I Think I Just Found My New Favorite Spring Jacket


Some days, I wish I just had to wear a suit to work. I probably don’t actually mean that, and I’m sure you true 9-5ers would laugh at the possibility of giving up working in sweatpants for wingtips. A hardhat and steel-toed boots would work just as well. See, I'm interested in the ease of it. "Oh, I'm at work. Here's my work uniform." Instead, on any given day, I could be several different diverse work environments, both indoors and out, wet and dry spaces, with temperature fluctuations of upwards to thirty-five or forty degrees. 30° F when I leave in the morning, and 65° by 3pm.

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Nov 07, 2017

ManMade Recommended: Let's All Check Out the Classic Leather Wallet from Mr. Lentz

I can recount eras of my life in wallets. My first was a black trifold at age nine, a Christmas gift from my grandparents. High school and undergrad entered the era of canvas, which would wear hard at the corners where cards hit. In my twenties, I carried a thick oxblood-colored job I found on clearance at a department store. It was the model that signaled the end of the era; the first that didn't come with that little plastic sleeve for photos, because the smart phone had rendered it unnecessary.    

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Jun 23, 2016

Two of the Biggest Cookbooks of the Year: Should You Buy Them?

Franklin BBQ and The Food Lab

I was talking to my brother yesterday (he's 24), and he said something that struck me: "I don't like cooking." Why cook, he said, when you can go out and buy something better for $10? 

Oh brother. If you are a 24-year-old male without an older brother, let me fill in for a moment, as your older, wiser, sibling, with three supremely important words of advice: learn to cook. 

love cooking. It's the perfect combination of right and left-brainedness (that's a word, right?). When you cook, you have to follow directions carefully, measure things meticulously, and then throw it all out the window and problem-solve creatively when you run out

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Apr 16, 2014

A Fix in Your Pocket: The 5 Best Multi-Tools

Oh, the multi-tool. I keep one stashed in several key places: my everyday bag, my glove compartment, at my desk, and an extra one that floats from my camping gear to my toolbox to a backpack for day trips. They're not all high quality - most were stocking stuffers or holiday presents from well-meaning family who snagged that 3-sizes-in-one-box from the "gifts" section of the department store that pops up in the aisle every December.    

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Jan 03, 2013

Taste Test: The Best Cheap Beers

created at: 01/03/2013

There are lots of kinds of beer drinkers...those who wouldn't be caught dead with an American Pilsner from a major brewery, those who wouldn't consider anything else, and the entire spectrum in between. But in the race to taste every micro, spring-water brewed ale with as many IBUs as possible, the question still deserves discussing: which cheap beer is actually worth drinking. And by cheap, we mean cheap...like, wherein Bud Light - the United State's best selling beer - is too expensive.    

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Oct 08, 2012

Review: Master Mechanic Swift Driver Ratcheting Screwdriver

Master Mechanic Swift Driver Review
As part of our membership in this year's True Value Blog squad, I was asked to try out the Master Mechanic Swift Driver, a dual drive ratcheting screw driver. Now, I've had my share of gadgety, gimmicky screwdrivers, and ratcheting ones almost always fall into the category of 'cheap'. Usually they're shoddy affairs, not fit for a real toolbox.

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Mar 14, 2011

ManMade Giveaway: Win One of Two Craftsman Impact Drivers

created at: 03/13/2011

This week, I'm excited to be giving away two impact drivers from Craftsman! I've been playing with both of these models for the past few weeks, and have been plenty impressed.

created at: 03/13/2011

A powerful cordless drill/driver is an essential tool for basically everyone, and this latest generation of dedicated drivers compliment them perfectly. They're more lightweight than a drill, and are able to focus all their power on the torque needed to drive fasteners, rather than sharing it with another function like drilling holes. Plus, it's great to have two tools so you don't have to keep switching out bits. Your drill bit or counter sink can stay in the

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