Monthly Archives: December 2017

12 people, including 10 US citizens, killed in fiery plane crash in Costa Rica

The wreckage from a plane crash in the mountainous area of Punta Islita in the province of Guanacaste, in Costa Rica, on Sunday in a picture obtained from social media.

The wreckage from a plane crash in the mountainous area of Punta Islita in the province of Guanacaste, in Costa Rica, on Sunday in a picture obtained from social media.
Ministerio de Seguridad Publica de Costa Rica/via REUTERS

  • A plane crashed in Costa Rica on Sunday, killing all 12 people on board. According to Costa Rican authorities, 10 of those passengers were US citizens.
  • The crash happened near Punta Islita in the Guanacaste province, according to Costa Rican officials who posted images of the burning wreckage amid a thicket of trees.
  • It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. The identities of all the passengers were not immediately known.

Costa Rican authorities said a plane crash there killed 12 people on Sunday, including 10 US citizens, the Associated Press and Reuters reported, citing Costa Rican government officials. It happened near Punta Islita in the country’s Guanacaste province, about 140 miles west of the capital San José.

The plane went down in a heavily wooded area. Photos released by the country’s security ministry show the burning wreckage among a thicket of trees.

Laura Chinchilla, the former president of Costa Rica, tweeted that a cousin of hers, who was one of the crew members, died in the crash.

“There are no people alive,” Security Minister Gustavo Mata said, adding that autopsies would be needed to confirm the total number and identities of victims because their remains were badly burned.

Browns complete second 0-16 season in NFL history in depressing fashion with heartbreaking final offensive play

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

  • The Cleveland Browns finished the season in depressing fashion on Sunday, becoming just the second team in NFL history to finish the year winless.
  • The Browns had a shot at a potential game-winning touchdown in the game’s final minute, but wide receiver Corey Coleman dropped an easy pass on fourth down.
  • Cleveland fans have taken the tough year in stride, and are even planning a parade to commemorate the awful season.

The Cleveland Browns finished their season how only they could – with yet another heartbreaking loss in the final seconds.

The Browns were down, 28-24, and driving late in the fourth quarter for what could have been a game-winning touchdown. They faced a short fourth down to keep their drive alive for their first win of the season.

DeShone Kizer dropped back and looked to Corey Coleman. As soon as the ball left Kizer’s hand, it looked like a sure first down, but the ball fell right through Coleman’s fingers, hitting him in the shoulders, and falling incomplete. The error secured the Browns’ 0-16 season, just the second in NFL history.

It was a fitting cap to Cleveland’s depressing season. Week after week the Browns found new ways to lose and will now go down in history as just the second team to go winless in a 16-game NFL season.

The team’s Twitter account did its best to make light of the depressing finale.

And across the sporting world, many were quick to make jokes at the Browns’ expense.

The loss drops Hue Jackson to 1-31 at the helm of the Browns – far from the mark he hoped to hit this year. Still, Browns fans have taken the loss in stride, and have been planning a parade for their eventual 0-16 season for some time now.

Cleveland will get the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and will hope to turn their fortunes around with a new franchise player. But with their horrifying history with draft picks, there’s concern that some players might refuse to join the team.

Best of luck to the Browns in the new year – statistically, there is literally no way it could be worse than 2017.

Anthony Davis sent Ron Baker into oblivion with another Dunk of the Year candidate

  • Anthony Davis dunked on Ron Baker so hard that he had to leave the game on Saturday night.
  • After the game, Baker posted a photo of the black eye the dunk gave him to Instagram in a light-hearted post.
  • Even with Davis’ amazing dunk, the Knicks still prevailed, beating the Pelicans 105-103.

Anthony Davis proved once again why he’s one of the most terrifying players in the NBA on Saturday night, dunking all over Ron Baker and the entirety of the Knicks franchise.

In the second quarter of Saturday’s game, Davis escaped the defense of Kristaps Porzingis after an inbound and drove to the hoop. In a valiant effort, Ron Baker came sprinted down into the lane to attempt to stop Davis, but his effort was futile from the start.

You can watch the carnage below.

The dunk is even more vicious in slow motion.

Baker immediately left the game with an injury, but after the game he took to Instagram to address the dunk. He had an appreciative, light-hearted response to getting dunked on, posting a picture of his black eye with the caption, “When you wake up and turn on #ESPN, and see you made @sportscenter Top 10.”

Even with Davis’ monstrous dunk, the Knicks were still able to prevail in the game, winning by a final score of 105-103. Still, despite not getting the win, Davis’ dunk will put him in the conversation for Dunk of the Year come the end of the season.

One officer dead, 6 people injured after gunman opens fire in ‘ambush’ style attack in Colorado

The scene of the incident where deputies and civilians were shot in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on New Year's Eve.

The scene of the incident where deputies and civilians were shot in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on New Year’s Eve.
Thomson Reuters

  • Police responded to reports of a disturbance in Littleton, Colorado on Sunday.
  • One officer died after a suspect fired multiple shots. Four officers and two civilians were also injured.
  • The suspect was shot and killed, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.

One officer was killed and four others were injured Sunday when police responded to a disturbance in Littleton, Colorado and a gunman opened fire.

Two civilians also sustained non-life threatening injuries. The suspect was shot and killed during the encounter.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said during a press conference Sunday afternoon that the officers who were injured are now in stable condition.

The deputy who was killed was 29-year-old Zachary Parish, and he had worked at the department for several months after working for another department for two years. He is survived by his wife and their two young children.

“He was doing his job, he was doing his job well, and his life was taken from us this morning,” Spurlock said.

Authorities have not been able to positively identify the suspect yet, but Spurlock said they were familiar with him.

A map authorities posted of the area under alert during the incident.

A map authorities posted of the area under alert during the incident.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

The four deputies responded around 5:15 a.m. ET when a neighbor called with a noise complaint. They initially thought it was a domestic disturbance, but authorities realized after arriving on the scene that it was just a disturbance.

The officers arrived at the same time, went into the bedroom of the apartment they had received a complaint about and encountered the suspect, Spurlock said. While they were talking to the suspect and investigating the dispute, he barricaded himself inside the bedroom and began shooting, firing over 100 rounds.

“He knew we were coming,” Spurlock added, and described the encounter as an ambush-style attack. All four deputies went down within seconds of one another. The injured officers were able to crawl to safety as the suspect continued shooting, but they had to leave Parish behind because he was unconscious.

They were all wearing bullet-proof vests and body cameras, and Spurlock said investigators will be reviewing the footage.

At least eight ambulances arrived on the scene as the situation unfolded, according to Denver7 News, ABC’s affiliate in the area.

Multiple roads were shut down as officials were neutralizing the suspect. Five agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol, were placed on accident alert, meaning civilians in minor accidents that involved no injuries, drugs, or alcohol were asked to wait a few days to report the information to police.

The sheriff’s office also announced earlier on Sunday that because of the investigation’s size and scope, it had set up an emergency shelter near the area for those who had been displaced from their homes while the investigation continued.

President Donald Trump addressed the shooting on Twitter Sunday afternoon, using the hashtag #LESM, which typically means “law enforcement social media.”

“My deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting in Douglas County @DCSheriff, and their families,” he tweeted. “We love our police and law enforcement – God Bless them all! #LESM”

The 25 worst movies of 2017, according to critics

“The Snowman.”
Universal Pictures

Another year is about to end, and as we all praise the movies that we loved (and made billions), it’s also a time to look back on the ones that didn’t turn out so great.

The list of 2017’s worst-reviewed movies has a little bit of everything in it: the colossal box office duds, the movies that became nothing more than a joke on social media, and the one that cost its director a “Star Wars” movie.

Here are the 25 worst-reviewed movies of 2017, as rated by critics’ scores on Metacritic:

25. “The Book of Henry”

Focus Features

Metacritic score: 31/100

What a critic said: “‘The Book of Henry’ is the most misguided film since the 2003 Gary Oldman abomination ‘Tiptoes.’ [Director Colin] Trevorrow is slated to helm an upcoming ‘Star Wars’ film, so y’all have fun with that.” – The Austin Chronicle (Editor’s Note: Three months after the release of this movie, Lucasfilm announced it had “mutually chosen to part ways” with Trevorrow on “Star Wars: Episode IX.”)

24. “Absolutely Anything”


Metacritic score: 31/100

What a critic said: “[A] depressingly inept comedy.” – Screen Daily

23. “Friend Request”

Warner Bros.

Metacritic score: 31/100

What a critic said: “An utterly idiotic movie that uses social media as a conduit for witchcraft and mayhem.” – The Wrap

22. “The House”

YouTube/Warner Bros.

Metacritic score: 30/100

What a critic said: “The film is a black hole that sucks comedy into its vortex, never to be seen again.” – Paste

21. “Daddy’s Home 2”

Paramount Pictures

Metacritic score: 30/100

What a critic said: “It should not exist, and the fact that it does is a slap in the face of anyone suckered into buying a ticket.” – The Globe and Mail

20. “Bright”

Scott Garfield/Netflix

Metacritic score: 29/100

What a critic said: “From the director of ‘Suicide Squad’ and the writer of ‘Victor Frankenstein’ comes a fresh slice of hell that somehow represents new lows for them both.” – Indiewire

19. “Literally, Right Before Aaron”

Screen Media Films

Metacritic score: 28/100

What a critic said: “A trite little comedy so jumbled, disconnected and bad you can’t believe it doesn’t star James Franco.” – New York Observer

18. “The Crash”

Vertical Entertainment

Metacritic score: 28/100

What a critic said: “These are all cartoon figures out of Frank Capra’s most feverish populist nightmares.” –

17. “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Paramount Pictures

Metacritic score: 28/100

What a critic said: “From the very beginning, this is an incoherent mess.” –

16. “CHiPs”

Warner Bros.

Metacritic score: 28/100

What a critic said: “Given the alternative between the big-screen ‘CHiPs’ and an antiquated, low-stakes episode of the original TV series, we’d pick the latter in a heartbeat.” – The AV Club

15. “Once Upon a Time in Venice”

Voltage Pictures

Metacritic score: 28/100

What a critic said: “A wincingly unfunny comedy caper.” – Los Angeles Times

14. “Flatliners”


Metacritic score: 27/100

What a critic said: “It often feels like Flatliners is trapped between multiple genres without knowing exactly what kind of movie it wants to be, and the result is a confused mess.” – Entertainment Weekly

13. “The Ottoman Lieutenant”


Metacritic score: 26/100

What a critic said: “‘The Ottoman Lieutenant’ is an overwrought nurse romance merged with a history lesson, a combination that is hard to take as seriously as the film wants to be taken.” – The New York Times

12. “Arsenal”


Metacritic score: 25/100

What a critic said: “‘Arsenal’ is garbage.” – Chicago Sun-Times

11. “Rings”


Metacritic score: 25/100

What a critic said: “If crap movies carried penalties for inflicting torture on audiences, then ‘Rings’ would merit a death sentence.” – Rolling Stone

10. “Underworld: Blood Wars”

Screen Gems

Metacritic score: 23/100

What a critic said: “Like the four franchise fillers that preceded it, Underworld: Blood Wars is undoubtedly impervious to bad reviews. What it needs is a stake through the heart.” – Rolling Stone

9. “The Snowman”

Universal Pictures

Metacritic score: 23/100

What a critic said: “‘The Snowman’ is ugly and nasty, but that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that it’s boring and makes no sense.” – San Francisco Chronicle

8. “Father Figures”

Warner Bros.

Metacritic score: 23/100

What a critic said: “Watching ‘Father Figures’ is like finding a piece of food in the back of your fridge that you barely recognize, but know right away it’s not worth eating.” – The Wrap

7. “A Family Man”

Vertical Entertainment

Metacritic score: 21/100

What a critic said: “It’s run-of-the-mill, and crassly manipulative.” – The Guardian

6. “Geostorm”

Warner Bros.

Metacritic score: 21/100

What a critic said: “The only thing more reliable than bad weather is bad movies, and in that respect, ‘Geostorm’ is right on forecast.” – Variety

5. “Just Getting Started”

Broad Green Pictures

Metacritic score: 21/100

What a critic said: ‘There is both too much plot in ‘Just Getting Started’ and too little.” – The Wrap

4. “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween”

Chip Bergmann/Lionsgate

Metacritic score: 17/100

What a critic said: “The scariest thing about Boo 2! is the idea that ‘A Madea Easter’ might be next.” – The Hollywood Reporter

3. “The Last Face”

Saban Film

Metacritic score: 16/100

What a critic said: “[A] stunningly self-important but numbingly empty cocktail of romance and insulting refugee porn.” – The Hollywood Reporter

2. “The Layover”

Vertical Entertainment

Metacritic score: 15/100

What a critic said: “‘The Layover’ is an appalling movie.” – ReelViews

1. “The Emoji Movie”


Metacritic score: 12/100

What a critic said: “There are plenty of words that can describe The Emoji Movie. Here are a few of them: Unfunny. Saccharine. Nonsensical. Painful. And, of course, crappy. (If you prefer the poop emoji, that works too.)” – ScreenCrush

Evan Spiegel reportedly dropped $4 million on a massive New Year’s Eve party for Snapchat — and Drake’s going to be there

Dave Smith/Business Insider

  • Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat parent company Snap Inc., reportedly spent over $4 million on the company’s New Year’s Eve party at L.A. Live, according to TMZ.
  • Spiegel rented out several venues, including the Microsoft Theater, a bowling alley, and Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant.
  • The company is flying in Snapchat employees from around the world, and Drake is said to be performing.

Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat parent company Snap Inc., is reportedly spending north of $4 million on his company’s New Year’s Eve party tonight, according to documents obtained by TMZ.

Snap’s party to close out 2017 will reportedly be held at L.A. Live, the massive entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles that includes various restaurants, theatres and venues. According to TMZ, Spiegel and Snap rented out “Microsoft Theater and virtually every venue facing Microsoft Square – Katsuya, Lucky Strike, Tom’s Urban, Conga Room and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.”

Spiegel, the 27-year-old billionaire co-founder of Snap, is apparently paying for the party himself. Per a Snap spokesperson: “We’re excited to celebrate a transformative year as a team. Evan is personally sponsoring the night’s performance.”

TMZ claims Snap has been planning this party for months, and secured permits to host as many as 5,000 guests. The company is reportedly flying in employees from around the world to be at the event, which will reportedly include a “105-foot DJ tower and pyrotechnics.” Oh yeah, and rapper Drake is also said to be performing.

So… what do you have planned?

The 49ers’ trade for Jimmy Garoppolo is looking more and more like a steal

  • Jimmy Garoppolo is 4-0 as a starter for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Garoppolo not only looks like a franchise quarterback, it only cost the team a second-round pick to acquire him from the New England Patriots.
  • The Patriots reportedly viewed Garoppolo as a future starter, making the trade that much more difficult to swallow.

The San Francisco 49ers are the hottest team in the NFL, and it’s because of the play of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Since taking over as the starting quarterback in Week 13, Garoppolo has been a revelation. In four games, all wins, he’s thrown for 1,250 yards, completing 68% of his passes, with four touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 96.2 passer rating.

The stats are impressive for a player who had just two starts under his belt when the 49ers acquired him in a trade with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots appear to have done right by Garoppolo. Bill Belichick reportedly refused to trade Garoppolo to the Cleveland Browns because he didn’t think Garoppolo could flourish there. Instead, he sent him to the similarly quarterback-needy 49ers to work with Kyle Shanahan, who previously turned Matt Ryan into an MVP with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots are also paying the price for dealing Garoppolo. The Patriots reportedly saw Garoppolo as a future franchise quarterback, but Tom Brady’s insane longevity held up turning the team over to him. With an awkward timeline to juggle – and very little leverage, with Garoppolo hitting free agency in 2018 – the Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick.

The Patriots have had success with second-round picks, but Garoppolo and the 49ers’ winning ways keep diminishing the value of the pick. The 49ers were winless when they acquired Garoppolo, but they’ve now won five of their last six games, turning the second-round pick that goes to the Patriots into the 39th overall pick. Another win in Week 17 could push the pick down further.

There’s also the question of how much sand is left in Brady’s hourglass. Brady hasn’t shown any significant signs of slowing down, but at 40, he only has so many years left. The Patriots will certainly carefully look into future replacements, with the hope that that replacement can learn under Brady for several years, but it undoubtedly hurts to see their first planned replacement quarterback excelling elsewhere.

Of course, four games is a small sample size, and the 49ers aren’t playing for much. Defenses will adjust to Garoppolo, but thus far, he’s shown qualities of being a franchise quarterback. In Week 16, Garoppolo helped the 49ers shred the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL’s best defense, 44-33. The Jaguars had not conceded more than 30 points in a season, yet it was Garoppolo, who threw two touchdowns and dove for one himself, who exposed them.

He’s Brady-esque in the pocket but his mobility gives him more of a playground style than his former mentor.

And as SB Nation’s Geoff Schwartz noted, Garoppolo already excels at looking off the defense and then throwing the other way.

Garoppolo will be expensive for the 49ers this offseason. They’ll have the option to give him the franchise tag, but his strong play over the last four weeks only gives him more leverage in contract negotiations.

However, with an offseason to further learn the offense, plus more help on both sides of the ball, there’s reason to believe Garoppolo can improve. To land a franchise quarterback with a second-round pick has been worth it for the 49ers, and perhaps a tough pill for the Patriots to swallow.

14 things every driver needs to know before driving in the snow


  • It’s possible to drive safely in wintry road conditions.
  • But a higher lever of attention is imperative.
  • And sometimes the safest decision is to not drive at all.

Winter has kicked into high gear across the US. The Northeast is currently ringing in the New Year as the thermometer plunges and the snowstorms start to arrive.

When it comes to driving, few things are more difficult to deal with than snow, much less when a “wintry mix” of precipitation arrives. Ice, it goes without saying, is treacherous.

It is possible, of course, to drive and to drive safely in the white stuff. You just need to prepare yourself properly for the experience.

Here are 14 basic rules and guidelines to follow:

1. Know when NOT to even think about driving.

Flickr / Creative Commons

So you’ve driven in the snow before and you’ve got a vehicle that can handle bad conditions. Does that mean you can deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at you?

It does not.

No one should be driving in a blizzard – for two main reasons. First, the simple fact that your car is on the road makes it more difficult for the authorities to clear the streets. If you get stuck, that’s obviously a problem for the snow plows.

Second, if you do get stuck, you’re an immediate distraction from what the emergency services really need to be doing, which is helping people who weren’t stupid enough to take to the roads.

In a genuinely major-league snow storm, you should stay put and leave your vehicle alone, unless there’s an absolute emergency.

What people in the US Northeast – especially in the New York City area, upstate New York, and New England – are facing is a classic example. It’s a mess. Even the best snow drivers are advised to stay away from their cars.

2. Make sure you have a vehicle that CAN handle the snow.


Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to manage a rear-wheel-drive car in the snow. You don’t need all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. You just need to know what you’re doing.

That said, if you’ve never taken your BMW 3-Series out in snow before, it’s best to not test your non-existent skills. You would be better of with a front-wheel-drive car, with the weight of the engine over the drive wheels.

AWD and 4WD are better – but they’re also no guarantee that you won’t get stuck. Again, how much experience you have is important.

The bottom line is that if you know your car and have dealt with snow before – and you’re not in the middle of a blizzard – you’re OK. If not, it might be best to take your car out for a bit of practice.

3. Two words: SNOW TIRES.

John Weast/Getty Images

Whether you have a rear-wheel-drive, front-wheel-drive, or AWD or 4WD vehicle, your best hedge against trouble in the snow when driving is snow tires.

You can put all-season tires on your car, but when there’s serious snow on the ground, snow tires are your best friend.

They’re made of different compounds than summer tires, enabling them to maintain traction in the cold. The treads are also designed to deliver better grip and prevent snow and slush from building up on the tires.

Winter tires aren’t a fail-safe; you can still slip and slide and get stuck with them. But they’re designed to deal with snow and in the opinion of many experts, are a good call if you live in a region where snows are frequent and heavy.

4. Take it SLOW.

frankieleon on Flickr

If you’re a lead foot or heavy on the brakes during normal driving, you need to make a change in the snow.

The basic problem with snow driving is one of traction: it’s very easy to lose it, and the problem gets worse if ice gets into the picture (snow can actually provide better traction than ice, but ice can hide in plain sight – so-called “black ice” – and be concealed under snow.)

In my experience, the worse is packed snow. In AWD and 4WD vehicles, I’ve experienced slipping in such conditions. Modern traction control and anti-lock brakes won’t always help you out, as once a several-thousand-pound vehicle starts sliding, physics takes over.

So when the sliding begins, you don’t want to be moving fast. Snow means slow. Don’t worry. You’ll get there. If you send your car sliding into a ditch, it’s going to be a long time before you get out.

5. Know when to PULL OVER.

REUTERS/Darren Staples

On a recent drive, I ran into some snow that at times was coming down hard enough to make me think about pulling over until it let up.

It never got that bad, but if a “white out” had happened, I would have stopped.

This is the Golden Rule of snow driving: Pulling over is always better than crashing your car, or contributing to the crash of somebody else’s car.


Your car needs to be ready to deal with snow – and that means having the right gear and equipment in your vehicle.

At the very least, you need an ice-scraper. A scraper with a snow brush is better.

It’s also a good idea to have something to aid with traction in case you get stuck. A small shovel to dig out your wheels is good, plus some sand or cat litter. Those last two are old-time recommendations that can still make a difference.

You should also always set out in the snow with the assumption that you’ll have to get out of the vehicle. That means snow-worthy boots, gloves, a warm hat, and a coat – even if you’re just popping over to the grocery store.

These days, you also want to make sure you have a phone charger, in the event that your vehicle can’t connect with emergency services through its own systems.

7. Monitor your ROUTE.

The Weather Channel Screenshot

Many modern vehicles can tap weather forecasting via their infotainment systems. If your car doesn’t have one, use an app on your phone.

This will help you determine whether the snow on your route will get better or worse if you’re driving in an actual storm.

Failing that, you can also tune into news and weather sources on the radio.

8. Don’t panic in a SKID.

The age-old advice of “steering into a skip” simply means that if the back end of your car starts to go off on its own, steer the car in that direction. This will help you retain control when traction is restored, rather than worsening things if you fight the skid.

But if all you’re doing is slipping or skidding a bit because you hit some slippery snow or lost grip when braking, chances are that the car will re-establish traction on its own.

It’s a bit like dealing with turbulence when flying; it will end. On snow-covered roads, traction isn’t going to be perfect, so you need to be prepared and relaxed when a little bit of slip develops.

9. Keep your windows CLEAR.


You won’t be able to achieve this perfectly, but you must keep your windshield and rear window as clear as possible.

The washers won’t always help you here, nor will the defrosters. In fact, wiper fluid will sometimes freeze. Some cars have heated fluid, which is helpful.

But it’s no substitute for clearing your windows if they get too icy or snowy when driving. You also need to make sure your windows are clean – as clean as possible under the circumstances – so it’s wise to stop periodically if you’re taking a longer drive through snow country to give your windows a thorough manual wipe-down with that brush you brought.

10. Up your game with OTHER drivers.

REUTERS/Chris Keane

Being a good driver means having strong situational awareness.

It needs to be even better when driving in snow.

You must keep track of who’s next to you, who’s behind you, and whether they’re dealing with snow safely – or dangerously. Give everybody a lot more space.

I also don’t recommend using driver-assist features, such as advanced cruise control, in snow. You certainly don’t want to do it if you’re driving through actual snow, but I say turn it off even when the snow is falling but the roads are relatively clear. Snow and ice can mess with sensors and blind them.


Ferrari Four

The advantage of a big snowstorm is that it keeps drivers at home and cars in driveways or garages.

But once the roads are plowed and folks dig out, the temptation is to test your driving skills against the elements.

This is risky because snow and ice can mix together on roads, making for treacherous conditions. It also goes without saying there’s a wide range of skill levels when it comes to handling winter driving. So by heading out in your car, you expose yourself to a fair amount of danger.


Business Insider/Danielle Muoio

Once the roads are plowed and the snowing has stopped, take your car out and get a feel for driving in the difficult conditions.

Treat it like any other kind of practice. You’re learning or honing a skill. Try turning donuts in an empty parking lot to understand what the car feels like when it’s spinning on the ice and snow.

But take it easy. Practice makes perfect, but unfortunately there is no perfect when it comes to winter driving.

13. MINIMIZE distractions.

Flickr/Lord Jim

Between smartphones and advanced in-vehicle infotainment systems, drivers are more distracted behind the wheel than at any time since the invention of the automobile.

Snow driving requires extreme focus. You have to be constantly aware of the conditions, visibility, and how the vehicle is performing.

So this is the time to shut down all infotainment and put away the devices.

14. If you get STUCK, here’s how to get unstuck.

Reuters/Omar Sobhani

Getting stuck is all about your drive wheels losing traction. Getting unstuck is about re-establishing that lost traction.

The simplest way to do this is to recognize that you are stuck – and take it easy on the throttle. Spinning your tires will create a slicker surface and make it more difficult to get out. You also need to recognize when the situation is hopeless so you call for help.

You can take a shot at getting unstuck by using a couple of techniques. First, shovel the snow away from your your wheels. Next, shift into a low gear – first on a manual transmission, “L” on an automatic. Now gradually apply power and ease your way out. If the tires spin, you can throw a little fresh snow under them to try to give the tread something to grab onto.

An all-wheel-drive or four-wheel drive vehicle might assist in applying more traction, but if all the wheels are spinning, that’s no guarantee.

If that doesn’t work, you can put the car in reverse, back up, and then shift into drive for first quickly and try to “lurch” out of being stuck by using momentum.

If that fails, the sand or kitty litter or cardboard you keep in your trunk in winter could be the last resort (besides recruiting passers-by to provide a push). You want something under the tires to give you traction.

Ice is more difficult than snow here because snow can initially provide something for your tires to grip. In the end, if you can get unstuck, you might need to call a towing service to pull you out.

Stay calm – if you remember all these tips, hopefully you won’t get stuck at all!

Why the Browns would be a more attractive coaching job than the Giants

  • The New York Giants are in the market for a new head coach after they fired Ben McAdoo.
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the Giants’ opening is potentially less appealing than the same position with the Cleveland Browns despite the two franchises’ differing histories.
  • The Browns have not yet fired head coach Hue Jackson, but there are reasons to think that would be a good job despite their 0-15 record.

The New York Giants are now in the market for a new head coach and as they look for candidates, they may end up competing with an unlikely team – the winless Cleveland Browns.

On the surface, the Giants feel like they should be a more attractive destination for somebody looking for a head coaching gig in the NFL considering their history and the Browns, well, being the Browns. But ESPN’s NFL insider, Adam Schefter, says that is not the case.

Schefter was a guest on ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo,” when he was asked about the attractiveness of the Giants’ head coaching job and he didn’t mince his words.

“That’s not a job I would want,” Schefter said. “You’re dealing with the New York media. You are in a division with Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott for the next 10-12 years. You don’t have a [long-term solution at] quarterback right now.”

Meanwhile, the Browns still have a head coach in Hue Jackson, but Schefter said if he is fired, that is a better job.

“The Cleveland job is more appealing than the Giants job. Number one, you’ve got the No. 1 overall pick. You’re in a division where Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have much time left. Joe Flacco is on the other side. Cincinnati is Cincinnati. You’ve got all these picks, all this money, all these resources. Yeah, if I were a coach, if I were a GM, I’d rather go work for the Cleveland Browns right now than the New York Giants. It is a more attractive opportunity.”

The Browns have yet to solve their own quarterback problem, but they have three players who were taken in the first round of this year’s draft, including No. 1 pick overall, Myles Garrett. They also have 12 picks in next year’s draft, the most of any team, and are projected to have the most salary cap space in the league next year.

Schefter did concede that, outside of the recently fired Ben McAdoo, the Giants have historically been patient with coaches. So, a new coach would likely be given plenty of chances to fix things.

He also noted that the Giants could be as high as the second pick overall in a draft that is deep with franchise-potential quarterbacks. Schefter also pointed out that the Giants are in a good position where they could bring quarterback Eli Manning back for a year or two to mentor whomever they select in the draft, if they do go in that direction.

But even under that scenario, Schefter still believes a top coaching candidate would prefer Cleveland over New York.

Bitcoin is climbing on the last day of 2017

A chart showing the value of bitcoin on 31 December, 2017.

A chart showing the value of bitcoin on 31 December, 2017.
Markets Insider

  • A bitcoin was worth $14,129 at 6 p.m. (GMT) on New Year’s Eve.
  • It was up 10% on the previous 24 hours.
  • A single Bitcoin has increased in value 13-fold since January 1.

Bitcoin started the final day of 2017 with an increase in value, and looked set to end the year on a high note.

The cryptocurrency was up more than 10% as of 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 2017, according to data from Markets Insider.

Its value was $14,129 per coin, having gained more than $1,300 in value over a 24-hour period.

Bitcoin had a rocky ride over the Christmas period, swinging from below $13,000 to above $16,000 in the final week of the year.

Bitcoin was still down on its all-time high of $19,843 per coin, which it hit around December 17, 2017, before a sharp fall in which it briefly dipped below $11,000.

A chart showing the value of bitcoin over the course of 2017.

A chart showing the value of bitcoin over the course of 2017.
Markets Insider

If the price holds steady for the rest of New Year’s Eve, Bitcoin will finish 2017 be up more than 1,300% from its value at the start of the year, when it was hovering around $1,000.