Posts tagged with "Chicago"

We All Shine EP Tracklist

YNW Melly latest project, WE ALL SHINE features Kanye West and Fredo Bang, the project is due out this Friday, January 18, 2019.
Melly is the exciting Florida rapper, who captivated music lovers everywhere with his massive single, “Murder On My Mind” and popular documentary, MELLY. YNW Melly’s critically-acclaimed EP, I Am You, dropped in September of 2018. Less than a year into music, the 19 year-old has accumulated over 165 million views on YouTube. Stands out tracks such as: “Murder On My Mind,” “Virtual,” and “Melly the Menace” has shot Melly to the forefront of Florida rap and caught the attention of The Fader, Forbes, Pitchfork, Complex, Genius, Hypebeast, Hot New Hip-Hop, Elevator, and many more.
WE ALL SHINE will be available on all streaming platforms Friday, January 18th.
TRACKLIST – WE ALL SHINE:
1. City Girls
2. No Heart (Love No More)
3. Rolling Loud
4. Robbery
5. Beat A N*gga Block
6. Hold Up (Wait 1 Min)
7. No More
8. No Holidays
9. Mixed Personalities Ft. Kanye West
10. Why You Gotta Walk Like That???
11. F*ck PNC Bank
12. Ingridientz Ft. Fredo Bang
13. Curtains (Burtains)
14. Control Me
15. Alarm
Bonus Track: Butter Pecan
DOCUMENTARY – MELLYhttps://youtu.be/TGIp4H_JvZg
EP – I Am YouTidal Spotify Apple Music | YouTube Soundcloud
MUSIC VIDEO – Murder On My Mindhttps://youtu.be/hqDinxaPUK4
MUSIC VIDEO – Freddy Krueger: https://youtu.be/FWC9pBfrUwg

JAMES BLAKE ‘ASSUME FORM’ AVAILABLE JANUARY 18th

 Following a series of projections in London, a billboard in Times Square, and a teaser video on his social media, multiple Grammy award-nominee and Mercury Prize winner James Blake reveals his highly anticipated fourth album, Assume Form, will be released January 18th via Republic Records. Constantly reinventing himself and defying genre, Blake captures a range of sonic influences throughout Assume Form, reuniting with Travis Scott and André 3000, and teaming up Metro BoominMoses Sumney and ROSALÍA(see full track listing below). Previously released track “Don’t Miss It,” declared “an absolute beauty of a ballad” by Noisey, is available instantly upon pre-ordering the album. Pre-order Assume Form here: http://jamesblake.lnk.to/AssumeFormPR

Assume Form follows the massive success of Blake’s three critically-acclaimed albums, 2010’s James Blake, 2013’s Overgrown, and 2016’s The Colour in Anything, which cemented Blake as one of the most groundbreaking producers, singers, and songwriters of his generation. Over the past several years, Blake has been in high demand as a collaborator, sought after by the biggest names in the music industry including Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Mount Kimbie, among many others. In 2018 alone, Blake co-wrote “Element” on Kendrick Lamar’s platinum-selling DAMN., collaborated on the revolutionary Black Panther soundtrack, and was featured on Travis Scott’s “Stop Trying To Be God,” performing the track alongside Scott on the MTV Video Music Awards. All while continuing to push boundaries with his own new tracks “If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead” and “Don’t Miss It.”

Blake will debut his new music live on his recently announced headlining North American tour. The 17-date tour will kick off in Atlanta on February 18th, making stops in major cities across the U.S. and Canada including Boston, Chicago, Toronto, and 2 nights in New York City, before wrapping in Los Angeles on March 16 (see full list of dates below). Tickets are available now viahttp://www.jamesblakemusic.com/.

YNW Melly Announces New Project & Tour

YNW Melly is the exciting Florida rapper, who captivated music lovers everywhere with his massive single, “Murder On My Mind.” After releasing his popular documentary, MELLY, the Gifford native is now announcing his newest project, WE ALL SHINE, due out January 18th. Starting the year off strong, Melly hits the road for his first headlining tour,WE ALL SHINE TOUR January 27th, which begins in Atlanta, GA.
YNW Melly’s critically-acclaimed EP, I Am You, which dropped in September of 2018. The juxtaposition of misery stricken lyrics and beautifully exuberant production has YNW Melly delivering a remarkable body of work to both loyal fans and curious music lovers around the world. Less than a year into music, the 19 year-old has accumulated over 165 million views on YouTube. Stands out tracks such as: “Murder On My Mind,” “Virtual,” and “Melly the Menace” has shot Melly to the forefront of Florida rap and caught the attention of The Fader, Forbes, Pitchfork, Complex, Genius, Hypebeast, Hot New Hip-Hop, Elevator, and many more.
The attention on Melly transcends music. He’s uniquely fashion-forward and delivers the most compelling visuals to bring his words to life. When talking to The Fader, Melly said “When you into fashion and dressing, people are gonna judge you and try to test you.” At only 19 years old, and having been in and out of jail – Melly isn’t concerned with people’s assumptions. Given the opportunity to make waves in music, he’s living in the present and laboring beautiful rap ballads.
Tickets for the WE ALL SHINE TOUR are available now. Be sure to keep a look out for Melly’s next project, WE ALL SHINE January 18th.

Mob Museum Debuts Tech at the Museum

The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement located in downtown Las Vegas, this year launched “Organized Crime Today,” a technology-driven exhibition dedicated to present-day topics. Featuring artifacts as well as fully interactive, 17-foot-long touch screen wall, the exhibition enables Museum guests to take a deep dive into the Global Networks of organized crime operating around the world in the 21st century. This elaborate exhibition launched in February of 2018, along with three other brand-new permanent exhibitions the award-winning, American Alliance of Museums-accredited institution debuted this year.

While most of the Museum covers the intriguing history of organized crime and its battle with law enforcement through decades, Organized Crime Today addresses contemporary iterations of this illegal activity. The Global Networks touchscreen wall elaborates on contemporary crime rackets—illegal enterprises that span the globe and profit off everything from drug and human trafficking to product counterfeiting, money laundering and cybercrime. The exhibit addresses the most prominent organized crime groups active in the world today and explores the complexities of organized crime with up-to-the-minute developments pulled from the day’s headlines.

For example, a recent addition to the Global Networks interactive wall spotlights the wildlife smuggling trade in Cambodia, where customs officials recently confiscated 3.5 tons of African elephant ivory—the largest cache of the smuggled contraband ever found in the country. Smugglers have been using Cambodia as a transit hub to feed the demand for ivory in China—which banned ivory sales in 2018—and Vietnam, where it is used in carved artwork, chopsticks and jewelry.

In addition, the screen offers the ability for experts around the world to videoconference into the Museum remotely and offer their analysis and insights into organized crime around the world. These programs are included in the price of general admission and offer Museum visitors the opportunity not only to hear from these experts, but also the chance to ask questions.

Museum visitors encounter other technology-enabled, interactive experiences as well. A Use of Force Training experience uses airsoft versions of police-style handguns and responsive video scenarios to demonstrate the training law enforcement officers receive regarding the use of deadly force. Meanwhile, in the Museum’s Crime Lab, visitors can learn about cause of death investigation with the assistance of life-sized, digitally generated subjects viewed on an interactive, touch-screen “autopsy table.”

Media attending CES 2019 who wish to visit the Museum should send their request tochristina@thevoxagency.com. For more information about the Museum and its Organized Crime Today – Global Networks exhibition, click here.

BEST CITIES TO VISIT IN 2019

From cities that may be closer to home to exciting overseas destinations, these are some of the top places to visit in 2019.

Auckland, New Zealand

The vibrant capital city of New Zealand recently became one of just 31 cities that are part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network for music. This trending travel destination is home to many of the nation’s renowned artists and institutions. No matter when you visit you can expect to find fabulous live tunes and there’s likely to be a music festival or special event to enjoy too. Visitors can also look forward to the famous panoramic vistas from the iconic Sky Tower and exploring countless museums like the Auckland Art Gallery, the largest art institution in the country featuring more than 15,000 works of historic, modern and contemporary art.

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City has been popping up on lists of top travel destinations everywhere in recent years, and for good reason. It’s one of America’s top foodie cities, with high quality dishes served at all price points from deep dish pizza to hot dogs and fine dining at the two Michelin-starred Acadia. Chicago is also home to one of the world’s greatest museums, the Art Institute of Chicago and five pro sports teams: the MLB’s White Sox and Cubs, the NFL’s Bears, the NHL’s Blackhawks and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls making it easy to catch a game just about anytime of the year. There’s so much to do in this midwestern city you might just find yourself browsing through Chicago real estate looking for your next new home.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is a place everyone should visit at least once and 2019 may be one of the best times to check this Argentinian city off your travel bucket list. Airfares are lower than ever thanks to low-cost carriers and emerging airlines, and the dollar is incredible strong against the Argentinian peso too, making that famously tasty Malbec more affordable than ever. Look forward to walking through the delightful pedestrian areas and watching tango dances in the streets as you explore the wealth of wine bars, cafes and steakhouses.

Berlin, Germany

There are two important anniversaries in Berlin that will be marked in 2019, including the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the centenary of the Bauhaus, with its festival held from January 16 to January 24. Stroll through Berlin Mitte, the historical heart of the city. and you’ll be able to check out many of its top sites like the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic symbol of Berlin that symbolizes the reunification of the West and East. If you visit in September, the weather is not only likely to be ideal, but you can attend the Lollapalooza Berlin, hosted on September 8 and 9 in 2019. It’s sure to bring plenty of big-name artists – last year’s lineup included headliners like Imagine Dragons and Liam Gallagher. It also features an open-air art gallery, street theater, wine bars and a festival for kids.

FREDERICKSBURG

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

Fredericksburg, Texas the destination of historical sites and culture welcomes us. With the hidden treasures of food, wine and goods the Texas Hill Country is a must-visit.

Beginning with a stay at the one and only Hanger Hotel. This hotel has a WWII hangar of the romantic 1940’s to it’s design with fine woods and custom carpets. Famous for the Observation Deck on the second floor with views adjacent to the airport to see the planes come and go from one end of the runway to the end.

Later a stop to the Pioneer Museum Complex preserved from the 19th century German Pioneer days. In the mid-1840s Germans faced every obstacle to come to Texas and create a unique German colony in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Museum strives to preserve and tell this story. With a combination museum and historical site, it reaches over 3.5 acres on Main Street in downtown Fredericksburg.

Dinner at Das Peach Haus that houses delicious jams, jellies and sauces made by Fischer and Wieser Speciality Foods. The Historic roadside fruit stand offers gourmet products with unique flavor combinations. The Tasting Room offers tastings from two Texas wineries, which change out every two months. Vintage wines are paired with international assortment of cured meats and cheeses. Fischer and Wieser include more than 70-award-winning products, which each inspire culinary adventures around the world by being able to purchase online.

Clear River Pecan does things differently with hot-from-the-oven baked goods, homemade ice cream and house deli. Homemade ice cream with high-quality ingredients has been voted as the third best ice cream in Texas. For a bite to eat the deli and salad selection is notable with house favorites like the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap. Fresh baked goods can satisfy any sweet tooth with an Apple Strudel, Peach Cobbler and everything in between.

Tour at the George H.W. Bush Gallery at The National Museum of the Pacific War dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific Theater in World War II. The Museum is noted for its historic materials with iconic elements of the Pacific War era. Guided tours debut the newly renovated Pacific Combat Zone, a realistic environment for a deep understanding of the momentous struggle between Allied Forces and Japanese forces.

For lunch we enjoy an Arts District Stroll through the Peach Tree Gift Gallery and Tea Room. With the Cottage style restaurant, you will find a combination of fresh, homemade breads, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. For over 39 years this family owned business has been a destination in Fredericksburg, because of the seasonal fruits and vegetables they use.

After lunch, we took an art tour through the streets of Fredericksburg to meet with the area’s top galleries. Insight Gallery represents the cities artists and sculptors that today work on landscape, figurative, impressionistic, still life, wildlife and western art. The Good ART Company is beautiful with a contemporary fusion in a restored 4,000+ square foot historical building with high ceilings and limestone walls. The gallery features an array of genres with some of the best regional, national, and international artists. Koch Gallery owned and operated by Bert E. Koch a trader/broker for traditional, contemporary and modern Native American Art. For over 30 years it continues its long tradition of providing important works of art from all major cultural regions in North America. Artisans Gallery makes your artistic dreams reality with unique pieces that come in every medium, size and price range. RS Hanna a jewel for fine arts with original works of acclaimed artists. Workings range from oil, watercolor, bronze and wood. Gallery 330 is the newest addition to the art scene representing contemporary established artists whose works include sculpture, painting and prints, serigraphs and watercolors.

The Holiday Wine Trail takes us to Texas’s countryside to travel along Wine Road 290 with visit to award winning wineries.

The trail begins at Stout’s Trattoria at Grape Creek Vineyards a 100-acre vineyard estate. With oaks and vines surrounding the tasting rooms there is a romantic Tuscan setting that is truly unforgettable. The Vineyards have won over 100 medals in the last two years for their wines.

In the heart of the Texas Hill Country, 4.0 Cellars offers a relaxing and elegant setting to discover the infamous Texas Wines. In a private tasting room we enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing. With four award-winning chocolate truffles from local chocolatier with four carefully selected dry red wines.

Dinner at August E’s, known for it’s organic produce and superb local suppliers. August E inspired by his Thai roots and years in various culinary pursuits throughout the world has created a Nouveau Texas Cuisine. Utilizing ingredients like: Niman ranch Natural Premium Aged Angus steaks and local farmers fruits and vegetables year round. Menu specials change seasonally based on the creative mood of Chef Leu like duck from Maple Leaf Farms and Sashimi Grade Fish.

A favorite in the Texas Hill, we enjoy dinner at Otto’s German Bistro. Menu changes weekly with the season so each visit is an exciting adventure. Dedicated to local, organic produce ingredients that are always fresh and the highest quality.

We enjoy breakfast at Java Ranch a locally owned coffee stop. The ranch serves the finest hot or iced coffee drinks anywhere including lattes, cappuccinos, Hill Country roasted brewed coffee, Americanos and mochas. To start the day off we dive in a breakfast taco or kolaches, house favorites.

We take a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park for a “Texas style” morning. During his administration, Johnson signed more education bills into law than any other president. In respect to that we see his first school where he signed the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education act of 1965. Other stops include the family cemetery and the LBJ Ranch Show.

In the afternoon we endow in lunch and a beer tasting at Altstadt Brewery Fredericksburg’s newest brewery an authentic Bavarian brewery. Dedicated to creating the purest drinking beers the 120-acre old world destination features a fine dining restaurant, brewery tours and a beautiful venue. Brewery exclusives include traditional brews like Schwarzbier, a traditional German “Black Beer.”

With over 150 specialty shops, shopping is one of the primary reasons visitors come to Fredericksburg. In store we see everything from clothing, upscale home accessories, to unique collectibles and more perfect items for holiday shopping. Blackchalk Home and Laundry originally an old laundromat had been transformed into an electric home goods store. The hip store features gifts, kitchen goods, and one of a kind rugs. The infamous Christmas Store open year round specializes in collectibles. For collectors, this store is paradise with Department 56 miniature villages and Christopher Radko blown glass ornaments. The Hill Country Outfitters and The Grasshopper offer products to fit the hill country lifestyle in downtown Fredericksburg. Brands like Ugg and The North Face are housed in the Outfitters. The Narrow Path Tasting Room inside is an intimate space with French cafe feelings in the air.

To continue the Holiday Wine Trail, a stop at Signor Vineyard in the rolling hills of Central Texas. Where the Pedernales River meets Grape Creek, established by a friendship spanning three generations of two Texas families. Their focus is growing premium varietal fruit with soulful wines reflective of the unique terroir.

Our stay is perfect timing for the Fredericksburg’s 61st Annual Holiday Home Tour. A self guided tour showcasing unique local homes decorated in their holiday finest. With more than 22 vendors each year selling personal gifts, homemade foods and holiday items.

For dinner we dine at Navajo Grill, which encompasses an unusual blend of Hill Country craftsman design. Enjoying Southern cuisine composed with old and New Mexican flavors with a touch of Creole & Caribbean influences. Specialties like the Sunday Chicken Fried Steak dinner are served with housemade sauces and dressings.

After dinner drinks at Elk Store Winery & Distillery. Since 1895 the business has carried a family tradition that pays homage to the spirit of realizing the American Dream. In the footsteps of their great grandfather Todd Smajstrla along with Scott Hladky, produced moonshine, gin, rum, and whiskey. Since then, the business serves Incredible wines from all over the world. Along with small batches of handmade liquors by the bottle or cocktails.

Dinner at Rathskeller a full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner spot in downtown Fredericksburg. The menu selection is extremely versatile featuring German dishes and daily specials. On Friday and Saturday nights enjoy live music that house the restaurant.

Nothing better than the taste of handmade tortillas for breakfast at Hilda’s Tortillas. Hilda’s is a small family owned and operated business. Specializing in authentic Mexican fare their breakfast tacos and burritos are a must try. Twice a week 300 or more pounds of tortilla chips are produced within the restaurant.

For some fresh air we bike the quiet country backroads with Jack and Adams Bicycles. At Jack and Adams you can rent out Road, Tri-bike, Cruisers and even kid bicycles and accessories from a variety of brands. The Hill Country scenes with its rolling hills and panoramic views, is considered the cycling capital of Texas.

In addition to the speciality shops we visited above there is a collection of shops specializing in different festive treats. Emma + Ollie bakeshop takes classic treats we grew up loving and elevated them. The shop prides themselves on using only fresh ingredients; no processed foods, no artificial sweeteners, just pure dessert. The founders Emma and Ollie wanted the shop to feel as if customers stepped into an upscaled version of their own grandma’s kitchen. Chocolat store creator, Lecia Duke, was the first to introduce European-Style, liquid centered chocolate in the U.S. The truffle chocolates are of course a house favorite as the delicate shell gives way to the pure liquid flavor casades in your mouth. In addition there is also colette’s, creams, silk fudges, nut clusters, barks, and caramels. Fredericksburg Pecan Company provides fine quality of pecan products grown in the Texas Hill Country. Owners are dedicated to providing excellent quality pecans available for online order at reasonable prices with the best customer service. Pecans are flavored and glossed in everything from pecan brittle to pecan coffee.

Rustlin Rob’s Texas Gourmet Food is not your ordinary gourmet food, not limited to people who cook but to “foodies” of all ages. The store is enjoyable because it caters to anyone who loves to eat. With over 350 gourmet foods we can sample from ranging from peanut butters, mustards, bread mixes, and some 5 Alarm hot sauces.

Fredericksburg Pie Company mission is to serve pie that is as good as, or better than your mothers or grandmothers made. In store pies are made from scratch and selections change daily with up to 20 kinds of pie. While here, we enjoy an option of coffee, milk, and more with our slice of pie and even a book selection. Sugar free pies are also available with a call in a day before.

Lunch at the Farm Haus Bistro in the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, with an American menu with French and Italian influences. Owners Dick and Rosemary Estenson take us on a tour of the B&B Cottages based upon the design of the early historic Fredericksburg “Sunday Houses. These houses are inspired by German settlers who built these small “city houses” to use on the weekends to buy provisions and attend Sunday church. We also visit the Nature Spa area dedicated to a truly unique relaxing experience.

Exploring Main Street is incredible when we can enjoy Eisban, an outdoor ice skating on real ice. Alongside Marketplace and the Christmas Pyramid. Afterwards a trip to Luckenbach, Texas made famous by Waylon Jennings’ and Willie Nelson’s 1976 classic country hit.

For our last destination Dinner and wine pairing at local Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant. Chef/Owner Ross Burtwell’s wish is to create a lasting impression of culinary craft where guest feel at home. Known for his speciality in preparing the freshest seafood, Certified Angus Beef, wild game and ranch fare. The wine selection is also superb with over 75 selections from around the State of Texas. Tripadvisor has ranked the restaurant Top 10 in the nation and we know why.

The good art company, gallery, art, Fredericksburg Texas,  360 MAGAZINE

August E's, 360 MAGAZINE,  Fredericksburg Texas

War museum, Fredericksburg Texas, 360 MAGAZINE,  Vaughn Lowery

Altstadt Brewery, Fredericksburg Texas, 360, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Chocolat, lecia Duke, 360 MAGAZINE, Fredericksburg, Vaughn Lowery

TIPS TO BECOME A BETTER DRIVER

With more than 250 million vehicles on the road in the USA alone, there is a ton of traffic. Most people will drive at least once a day. With only arbitrary lines and lights keeping us in the right lanes and letting us know where to go, it is largely up to the skills and knowledge of drivers to keep everything safe and efficient.

Unfortunately, it is common for people to overestimate their driving skills. In reality, a large portion of us are pretty bad drivers. With that in mind, this article is going to look at a few different tips to become a better driver.

Scan Ahead and Be More Aware

When many people drive, they simply look at the car in front of them and drive based on what that person does. However, this means people often don’t have any idea what is taking place further down the road. Instead of starting right in front of you, you should try looking about 10-12 seconds down the road.

This will help give you more time to see and prepare for potential roadblocks or accidents. In addition to looking ahead, you need to be more situationally aware of things that are happening around you. You need to know how much space you have around your car, how other cars are behaving, and what’s taking place in your blind spots.

Brush up on Skills and Knowledge

For many of us, we haven’t really honed our driving skills since we took our introductory drivers tests when we were a teenager. This means most of us have likely forgotten important rules of the road. As a result, we should be sure to frequently brush up on our knowledge and practice important skills from time to time.

This can be done a few different ways. You could potentially take a driver training course or just use a helpful online resource to help you learn and then go driving and apply what you have learned. If you are interested in using an online resource to brush up on your skills, be sure to check out this link: The Ultimate Guide for Drivers! DMV & More | DrivingGuide.com

Keep Your Mirrors Adjusted

Your side and rear-view mirrors are the most important aspects of your vehicle in keeping you safe. While most people will position their side mirrors so they can see the edge of their car, that isn’t really necessary as your rear-view should have that covered. Instead, these side mirrors should be used to illuminate as many of your blind spots as possible.

While completely eliminating blind spots just isn’t possible, you can greatly reduce them by positioning your side and rear-view mirrors correctly. Of course, in addition to positioning them well, you should also be sure to use them and check them frequently.

Remove or Minimize Distractions

With the advancements in technology and the fact that almost everyone has a cell phone in their pocket, distracted driving is on the rise. While these technologies help us in so many ways, they are also one of the leading causes of car accidents. In fact, experts believe that cell phone usage while driving leads to over 1.5 million crashes every year.

These types of accidents are nearly 100% preventable and part of being a good driver is reducing these distractions. You should keep your phone tucked away, keep your eyes on the road, and your hands on the steering wheel at all times.

Hopefully the tips included in this article can help you become a better driver and keep yourself (and the other drivers around you) safe.

MIT: Liver transplant deaths reduced by 20%

Demand for liver transplants is much higher than organ supply, resulting in approximately 2,400 deaths every year. Also problematic is the current model used to identify and prioritize the “sickest” patients, which does not allow for equitable access to all waitlisted candidates, with a particular disadvantage to women. To address these issues, MIT Sloan School of Management Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas and Prof. Nikos Trichakis utilized machine learning to create a model that reduces mortality by 20%, averting nearly 400 deaths each year. Their model, Optimized Prediction of Mortality (OPOM), also provides a fairer and more equitable allocation to candidate groups, including women.

“There are many significant benefits to using this new model over the current system. Unlike the current system, which makes some arbitrary choices and results in bias against certain populations, OPOM’s methodology for prioritization is clear and understandable to surgeons — and it can save hundreds of additional lives every year,” says Bertsimas.

Trichakis noted, “OPOM fixes many of the current system’s problems because it was designed specifically for liver patients using real data. As a result, it can accurately prioritize patients across all populations without bias. This shows the potential of machine learning technology to help guide clinical practice and national policy on transplants.”

The researchers explain that the current model created in 2002 depends on the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score to rank disease severity and priority for receiving a liver transplant. As certain patient populations are at risk of death or of becoming too sick or unsuitable for transplantation based upon disease progressions that are not captured in their MELD score, the system arbitrarily grants them “exception” points. While the overall MELD score has led to a more objective ranking of candidates awaiting liver transplantation, the process of MELD exception point granting has resulted in inequitable and undesirable outcomes.

More specifically, the MELD exception points policy has disadvantaged women. “Data shows that women have historically had less access to liver transplantation and have had higher death rates on the wait list,” notes Trichakis. “This is due to the awarding of exception points to cancer patients, as more than 75% of those patients are men. Women also tend to have lower muscle mass and higher sodium levels, which lowers their MELD scores.”

Using a state-of-the-art machine learning method developed at the MIT Operations Research Center and real historical data from liver patients, the researchers sought a better way to prioritize the allocation of organs. With OPOM, they asked the question: What is the probability that a patient will either die or become unsuitable for liver transplantation within three months, given his or her individual characteristics?

They found that the OPOM allocation outperformed the MELD-based prediction method in terms of accuracy and fairness. In simulations, OPOM averted significantly more waitlist deaths and removed the bias against women. As a result, it allowed for more equitable and efficient allocation of liver transplants.

“Unlike MELD, which relies on an inexact approach of exception point assignment, OPOM allows for accurate prioritization of all candidates and removes bias for or against particular groups,” says Trichakis.

Bertsimas adds, “If we use this model to change how we measure mortality and allocate livers, the death rate will decrease by 20%, which is very significant. We’re hopeful that our findings will affect the national policy.”

Bertsimas and Trichakis are coauthors of “Development and validation of an Optimized Prediction of Mortality (OPOM) for candidates awaiting liver transplantation” with transplant surgeons Dr. Ryutaro Hirose of the University of California and Dr. Parsia A. Vagefi of the University of Southwestern Medical Center. Additional coauthors include MIT Sloan students Yuchen Wang and Jerry Kung. Their paper has appeared online in the American Journal for Transplantation.

Boost Your Metabolism to Speed Up Weight Loss

ILana Muhlstein, MS, RDN

Metabolism is essentially the rate in which we burn food for energy. Therefore, a slow metabolism doesn’t burn the calories from food as quickly and the excess of calories consumed will be quicker to store as fat. On the upside, someone with a slow metabolism will likely feel more full and energized from less calories and should therefor focus on filling and satisfying low calorie foods.

Cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage are a great example. They are very high in fiber, which can help absorb excess fat and calories and promote elimination. These vegetables also contain iron and calcium, which and both minerals are essential for a healthy working metabolism.

Whey protein, found in protein shake powders like shakeology, are also great for boosting metabolism. Protein requires extra energy to breakdown, causing your body to burn excess calories and jolt your fat burning potential. The lean protein can also stimulate our satiety hormones and contribute to feeling full and satisfied which can prevent overeating. Whey protein also contains leucine, an amino acid, that can help build muscle, which can improve our metabolic rate, aka speed in which we burn calories.

Beans and legumes, like lentils, are amazing for boosting metabolism. They are very rich in plant based protein and iron, both essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Additionally, beans and legumes are rich sources of resistant starch. This starch is harder for the body to break down, meaning that it helps keep us fuller longer, can lower our blood sugar response, and encourage our body to burn more calories to break it down. The high fiber content can also help reduce fat storage in the body and improve elimination, which is very helpful for enhancing a positive metabolic system. 

 It has been studied and shown that your metabolism works about 2x stronger in the first half of the day, compared to the second half. You are eating food at the same time that you are engaged in your daily activities which is ideal for burning more calories. Even walking to and from the bathroom, or getting in and out of the car is more calorie-burning than sitting on a couch. In fact, using your brain and reading emails has been shown to burn more calories than watching TV. Therefore, the more you eat in the first half of the day, and the less you eat later at night, the better your metabolism will work.