The Economist's globe-spanning scope, comprehensive analysis, and crushing, unflinching grasp on world economics make it required reading for people, people persons, and people-shaped cacti looking to stay up-to-date on world news, politics, and business. In addition to the weekly publications—including the magazine's 20+ Special Reports and its Technology Quarterly—subscribers to The Economist also receive special benefits, such as The World in 2012, a special annual volume that predicts trends for the coming year. Subscribers also get unrestricted access to the online site, with a fully searchable archive dating back to the Neolithic Internet era (1997), as well as free access to The Economist in audio, which includes the option to listen to digital recordings of all print articles or to download them as a weekly podcast. For updates on the go or “on the sitting down on a park bench enjoying the scenery,” access The Economist on an iPhone or iPad—every photo, article, and chart is delivered to subscribers' devices by Thursday at 4 p.m. EST.
Unlike summer etiquette lessons or math camp, four days of baseball keep kids active and healthy while teaching them social skills and confidence. Whether or not kids go on to become players, they’ll learn the importance of sportsmanship as the friendly instructors make each day fun. Balls-n-Strikes pairs one certified instructor to every six kids. This ensures that the game will not have to go into the 16th inning before your child gets a chance to bat, and also removes the need to make up additional outfield positions such as "assistant to the regional shortstop" and "human foul pole."
Operating out of the historic Defiance general store built around 1898, Katy Bike Rental's owners Todd and Robin White showcase their pride in local heritage as they equip visitors for voyages down the Katy Trail State Park. Originally the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the line has since been converted into a state park whose calm gravel trail winds through lush forest alongside the Missouri River. Cyclists set out aboard the store's fleet of hybrid mountain bikes, tandem bikes, or comfort cruisers, each with optional attachments such as child carts to tow kids. They then pedal past old railroad signals and between man-made stone walls, and follow cliffs running along the river. Additionally, Todd organizes events along the trail, such as wine and movie nights, at local wineries and breweries or, when it’s a flannel kind of day, log-rolling contests with local lumberjacks.
At The Great American Diving Company, swimmers and scuba enthusiasts plunge into a 10-foot-deep, custom-built training pool heated to a balmy 85 degrees. Under the guidance of PADI-certified instructors, students in Open Water Diver classes learn to breathe and explore beneath the surface, opening the doors to continue underwater education and obtain certification or finally put to rest a fear of really big puddles. Divers can gear up for their next expedition in the shop, and the staff also leads scuba trips to diving locales.
Trek Bicycle Store's team of passionate cyclists outfits customers with the same brand-name clothing, accessories, and bikes they know and use themselves. Firsthand knowledge of road, mountain, and city bikes from top industry brands such as Trek, MirraCo, and Gary Fisher means cycling specialists can fit each client with gear that best suits their needs. They help protect riders with helmets from Bontrager and guard them against inclement weather or hitchhiking bugs with jackets and gear from Pearl Izumi.
Trek Bicycle Store also offers repairs, tune-ups, and free maintenance services during the first few months after the purchase of a new bike. Driven by all things cycling, they also host in-store events such as socials and tech clinics.
Five Star Pool Care makes pool maintenance go swimmingly with round-the-summer care for residential pools. When it’s time to open for the season, technicians travel to homes to uncover resting pools, including removing any stains, assembling equipment, and filling them back up with chilled champagne. During the dog days, maintenance experts keep backyard oases in top shape by vacuuming the pool and performing full inspections. As fall approaches and the temperature drops, closing services prep the water for the winter months by lowering the water level and adding shock and algaecide to keep lagoon monsters from hibernating inside.