5 Total-Body Workout Machines That Put Your Treadmill to Shame

MIRROR offers a techy new take on home machines.
MIRROR offers a techy new take on home machines.

What looks like a fancy mirror is actually an interactive home gym craftily hidden within an LCD screen and controlled via iOS app (pictured above). For $39 a month it can stream live and on-demand classes with Mirror trainers in boxing, HIIT, yoga and more. A built-in camera allows trainers to see you and shout real time feedback, and in early 2019 you’ll be able to access one-on-one coaching outside of classes. Meanwhile, trainers can help you hit a target-heart-rate zone by analyzing health data you sync from your Apple Watch via Bluetooth. “Target-heart-rate training is great as a motivator and way to gauge progress, whether it’s for fat burning or endurance,” said Steve Uria, trainer of pro athletes and owner of New York’s Switch Playground. “Mirror does that really well.” $1,495, mirror.co

2. TechnoGym SKILLBIKE

Sorry, Peloton—this new stationary bike is the only one with real gear shifting to make you feel like you’re riding trails. Capable of simulating hills from -3% grade up to 15%, the bike forces you to shift as its resistance changes and neatly tracks your power and RPMs on a 7-inch LCD console, along with speed, heart rate and distance pedaled. “Hill climbing can be a great way to build strength,” said Jacque Crockford, exercise physiology content manager at the American Council of Exercise. “When combined with the mental challenge of truly shifting gears, it may also help to build confidence and speed.” Sync SKILLBIKE to your Strava or Garmin accounts, and you can ride routes mapped by cyclists throughout the real world. $4,790, technogym.com

3. Hydrow

Rowing uses roughly 86% of the body’s muscles, compared with 44% for biking or running, making it one of the most efficient cardio workouts. “When using your upper and lower body simultaneously, you burn way more calories,” said Mr. Uria. With fluid lines that would look as good on the water as in a living room, the sleek Hydrow lets you train alongside Olympic champions via its touch screen monitor as they row live on the water. For $38 a month, you can access workouts from 5 to 60 minutes across four intensity levels. And instead of a noisy fan wheel or chain, its computer-controlled resistance tech automatically adjusts 100 times a second to help you glide through a workout, making it well-suited for at-home use. $2,199; hydrow.com

5 Total-Body Workout Machines That Put Your Treadmill to Shame
4. ICAROS Home

Launched in August, ICAROS looks like something you’d find in a NASA lab, not a home gym. The company calls it “active VR”—donning a VR headset, you lay down in plank position, grab its two handles and then fly, ski, swim or drive through virtual worlds by controlling the gyroscopic machine with your body (as it moves, you engage major muscles—with a focus on your core and upper body—and test your reflexes and coordination). “Engaging core muscles and promoting balance is an important aspect of well-rounded fitness, while gamifying a workout keeps you engaged,” said Ms. Crockford. The machine works with VR headsets like the HTC Vive, Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR, as well as Samsung Tablets. $2,800, icaros.com

5 Total-Body Workout Machines That Put Your Treadmill to Shame
5. Bowflex HVT

The HVT stands for “hybrid velocity training”—in other words, combining short bursts of cardio and total-body strength training for an intense workout that burns fat and builds muscle in 20 minutes. The HVT comes with three preprogrammed workout modes as well as Bluetooth technology, to let you sync additional workouts from a smartphone app and track your progress and stats. “With varying resistance, tempo and directional settings, this machine may help to improve your strength, power and endurance when used consistently,” said Ms. Crockford. It isn’t small or particularly sleek, but it allows you to dream up an unusual number of exercise programs. $1,799, bowflex.com

The 10 Most Intriguing Travel Destinations for 2019

Entrance to the ancient town of Iruya, province of Salta, Argentina.
Entrance to the ancient town of Iruya, province of Salta, Argentina. Photo: Getty Images
1. Salta, Argentina

The untrod northwest region of Argentina is the next big magnet for nature lovers: Condors fly above giant cactuses, snow-capped Andes mountains contrast with high desert, and ancient rock formations vie for attention with Indian ruins. It’s also an up-and-coming wine region with old vines and new, critically acclaimed wines that are largely unavailable outside the country. Oenophiles can taste at wineries—some clustered in Cafayete, not far from the well preserved city of Salta (founded in 1582)—and also hike or ride a horse through ancient Indian and Spanish culture.

The Seattle Space Needle, as seen in the city skyline from Amazon.com, Inc. offices.
The Seattle Space Needle, as seen in the city skyline from Amazon.com, Inc. offices. Photo: Daniel Berman/Bloomberg News
2. Seattle

The so-called Emerald City is getting a buff and polish. Part of ongoing renovations of the waterfront, Pike Place Market’s historic “marketfront” is already complete, marked by a modern plaza facing Puget Sound and panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains. After a $45-million reinvention, the Nordic Museum now sits in the Ballard district, the Scandinavian quarter that’s increasingly hip (nordicmuseum.org). And the observation tower of the Space Needle—built for the 1962 World’s Fair—has reopened after an overhaul, complete with a wine bar on a revolving glass floor (spaceneedle.com).

The Chapel inside the Jaffa Hotel.
The Chapel inside the Jaffa Hotel. Photo: Amit Geron
3. Tel Aviv

In the historic port of Jaffa, now a vibrant neighborhood of Tel Aviv, you’ll find a mix of groovy new cafes and galleries amid the old-school Arab shops. A new level of luxury lodging has moved in too; the Setai Tel Aviv occupies a renovated fortress on the sea (from about $500 a night, thesetaihotel.com) and, a few blocks away, the Drisco is an elegant makeover of a hotel first built in 1866 (from about $360 a night, thedrisco.com). But the hotel to beat is the Jaffa, a 19th-century hospital that has been reimagined by British designer John Pawson into a stunning oasis of ancient stone and modern élan (from about $500 a night, thejaffahotel.com).

Kyoto Photo: Getty Images
4. Kyoto

The culinary heart of Japan, Kyoto has been bestowed with a significant new sprinkling of Michelin stars. The 2019 guide recommends 15 new one-star spots, while three of the city’s top restaurants, including Hyotei, have retained three stars for 10 consecutive years. Meanwhile, Park Hyatt will open near Kodaiji Temple next year and architect Kengo Kuma is transforming a 1926 telephone office building into an Ace Hotel.

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli
St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Photo: St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
5. The Maldives

Go before overdevelopment or rising sea levels swallow up the 1,200 islands of this tiny Indian Ocean nation. Not easy to get to, the archipelago is a haven of extravagant privacy. Take the John Jacob Astor Estate at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, about $23,000 per night (marriott.com), or the whole island of Coco Privé (from $45,000 a night, cocoprive.com). For those with more modest budgets, the Baglioni resort is set to open next spring on Mallau—a 40-minute ride by seaplane from the capital of Malé (from $1,500 a night, baglionihotels.com).

The Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
The Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Photo: Alamy
6. Missouri

It’s not all pigs and brick. St. Louis, a fast-growing tech hub, is actively expanding its network of greenways that connect rivers and parks, including the revitalized Gateway Arch National Park. And part of the historic garment district’s renaissance, the 142-room Last Hotel, housed in the circa-1909 International Shoe Company headquarters, will open in the spring. The 21c Museum Hotel brand chose Kansas City for its latest endeavor, piggybacking on the river city’s percolating art scene (from $185 a night, 21cmuseumhotels.com). About midway between the two urban centers, in the college town of Fulton—where Winston Churchill gave his Iron Curtain speech—sits the National Churchill Museum. Starting in January, the museum kicks off its 50th anniversary with a year-long program of cultural events (nationalchurchillmuseum.org).

Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia
Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia Photo: Shipwreck Lodge Namibia
7. Namibia

Here is a very young country (est. 1990) with a very old desert and a growing population of wildlife—rhinoceros to zebra. (Environmental protection is incorporated in the nation’s constitution.) In April, Wilderness Travel will host a four-day conservation symposium, with lectures by leaders in the field and excursions (like cheetah tracking), followed by a safari (wildernesstravel.com). Worth a diversion: the new wistfully imagined Shipwreck Lodge on the Skeleton Coast, designed by a Namibian architect (from about $700 a night, shipwrecklodge.com.na).

A view of the Mediterranean from the Medina quarter, or the old city, in Tunisia.
A view of the Mediterranean from the Medina quarter, or the old city, in Tunisia. Photo: Alamy
8. Tunisia

Recovering from terrorism and western travel advisories, this small North African country offers all the seduction—unspoiled beaches, layers of history, architectural marvels, busy souks—and none of the hordes of its regional rival Morocco. The year-old Four Seasons on the edge of the capital city of Tunis can arrange private tours of the 4th-century Medina (from about $240 a night, fourseasons.com).

Warsaw’s POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Warsaw’s POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Photo: W. Kryƒski/POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
9. Warsaw

The Polish capital is experiencing a renaissance, with high-speed trains, Michelin stars, a “Made in Warsaw” trend in clothes and porcelain, and museums such as POLIN, which looks Nazism right in the eye. Last year, an aging Enrico Marconi palace that dates to 1857 reopened as the 106-room Raffles Europejski Warsaw (from about $250 a night, raffles.com). Design enthusiasts might also consider the strikingly minimalist rental apartment called A-Place in a repurposed 19th-century vodka factory (from about $66 a night, aplace.pl).

Lagoon pool at Rosewood Baha Mar
Lagoon pool at Rosewood Baha Mar Photo: Rosewood
10. Nassau, the Bahamas

The British colonial charm of Nassau was long ago eclipsed by the port city’s traffic jam of cruise ships, but the island has had a rebirth. The enormous fantasy land of Baha Mar, which is 5 miles down Cable Beach from downtown, encompasses three deluxe hotels, a vast casino, 30 bars and restaurants, and eight pools. Guests at the new Rosewood—markedly set apart from the razzle-dazzle—get the serenity that $600 a night can buy (rosewoodhotels.com). Plus, Nassau is only three hours, nonstop, from New York.

For Filmmakers, Watergate Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

President Nixon at his desk in the White House in June 1972, the month that a break-in at the Watergate complex in Washington unleashed a protracted political scandal.
President Nixon at his desk in the White House in June 1972, the month that a break-in at the Watergate complex in Washington unleashed a protracted political scandal. Photo: National Archives and Records Administration

When director Charles Ferguson set out to make a comprehensive documentary on the Watergate political scandal, he decided not to allude to current-day Washington. “Watergate,” his six-episode film that airs on the History Channel Nov. 2-4, depicts Richard M. Nixon, America’s 37th president, under investigation, lashing out at the media, the Justice Department and the FBI.

“I felt that the best way that a treatment of Watergate could help people think about the current situation was simply to show what really happened then,” Mr. Ferguson said. His documentary looks back at events that began with the June 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington. The fallout led to Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.

Mr. Ferguson won an Oscar for his 2010 doc, “Inside Job,” about the 2008 economic crisis. For “Watergate, or: How We Learned To Stop an Out of Control President,” he assembled hours of vintage footage and new interviews with key players.

Mr. Ferguson also had to decide how to present information from more than 3,000 hours of President Nixon’s once-secret office tape-recordings. The audio quality is poor and the President and his men frequently rambled. Mr. Ferguson edited transcripts of the recordings for length and clarity, without adding or changing words. Then he had actors dramatize them. Douglas Hodge, a Tony Award-winning British actor who once played Willy Wonka in a stage musical, portrays President Nixon. The small cast filmed scenes in a replica of the Oval Office built on an abandoned air base in England.

 For his documentary, ‘Watergate’ director Charles Ferguson enlisted actors to dramatize conversations from the once-secret Nixon office tape recordings.
For his documentary, ‘Watergate’ director Charles Ferguson enlisted actors to dramatize conversations from the once-secret Nixon office tape recordings. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

“I could have played the tapes themselves, but that would have inflicted a great deal of pain upon the audience,” Mr. Ferguson says.

Watergate dramatizations are nothing new. Like Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon has become a recurring on-screen character, and the Watergate scandal an American fable. Below, a look at how each decade has cast a new cinematic light on the subject.

1970s: What Just Happened?

“All the President’s Men” (1976)

Long before the book and film about the scandal, Robert Redford thought the principal drama in Watergate was the investigation by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. While the reporters were working on the 1974 book that became the basis of the film, Mr. Redford suggested that they make themselves the main characters. Envisioning “All the President’s Men,” as a detective-story film, Mr. Redford enlisted William Goldman (”Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”) to write the Oscar-winning screenplay. The 1976 film, starring Mr. Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the reporters, inspired a generation of journalists.

What We Learned: How the names in the news, such as White House Counsel John Dean, Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman and political operative Donald Segretti, all fit together. And how the burglary was among a series of misdeeds by CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

Dustin Hoffman, left, and Robert Redford, play reporters pursuing the story in ‘All the President’s Men.’
Dustin Hoffman, left, and Robert Redford, play reporters pursuing the story in ‘All the President’s Men.’ Photo: Everett Collection

1980s: Nixon Under Analysis

“Secret Honor” (1984)

Director Robert Altman’s “fictional meditation” aims to reveal the character of Richard Nixon. In a one-man show as the ex-president, actor Philip Baker Hall performs an 87-minute soliloquy. He dictates his fictional memoir into a tape recorder, working his way through a bottle of Chivas Regal, with a loaded revolver on the desk. He reveals that he cooked up Watergate so he could resign and avoid worse catastrophe. He says he had risen to power starting in 1945 as a puppet of an organization called the “Committee of 100,” which demanded that he continue the war in Vietnam indefinitely. It was all to fund mob-connected business interests, including heroin trade with China. Unwilling to sacrifice more American lives, he chose the “secret honor” of resigning in disgrace.

What We Learned: That demons drove President Nixon. This fictional portrait depicts him as delusional, resentful, and power-mad—and the product of hardscrabble roots. He grew up poor in a Quaker family. He lost two brothers to childhood illnesses. He acted, played piano and worked as a teenage carnival barker.

Philip Baker Hall, playing President Nixon, rails before a portrait of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in ‘Secret Honor.’
Philip Baker Hall, playing President Nixon, rails before a portrait of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in ‘Secret Honor.’ Photo: Everett Collection

1990s: Watergate Becomes Nostalgia

“Dick” (1999)

Here’s Watergate as a 1970s pop-culture meme, along with purple bell bottoms and Jackson Five singles. “Dick” occasionally parodies “All The President’s Men” directly. Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams play ditzy 15-year-olds who witness part of the break-in while sneaking out to send fan mail to teen idol Bobby Sherman. Amid the cover-up, they’re brought into the White House, where Ms. Williams sings Olivia Newton-John into the President’s tape recorder (the 18 minutes famously erased). When they prank-call the Washington Post, they become the secret source known in real-life investigations as “Deep Throat.” The cast includes Dan Hedaya as President Nixon, Harry Shearer as G. Gordon Liddy and Will Ferrell as Bob Woodward.

What We Learned: The comedy is goofy but plays off real events. It provides new explanations for everything from John Dean’s congressional testimony to Nixon’s Soviet arms-control agreement.

Dan Hedaya, center, as Richard Nixon, in “Dick,” a 1999 comedy with a different take on the Watergate scandal.
Dan Hedaya, center, as Richard Nixon, in “Dick,” a 1999 comedy with a different take on the Watergate scandal. Photo: Columbia Pictures/Everett Collec

2000s: Politics as Entertainment

“Frost/Nixon” (2008)

Ron Howard’s film, written by Peter Morgan, takes liberties dramatizing the 1977 interviews of President Nixon by British TV host David Frost. The movie sets up a kind of prizefight between the master manipulator, Frank Langella as Nixon, and the out-of-his-depth entertainer. The ex-president expected puffball questions but Mr. Frost (Michael Sheen) turns the tables, prodding President Nixon to admit he participated in a cover-up and let the country down. In real life, Nixon didn’t confess to a cover-up.

What We Learned: By the 2000s, politics was becoming TV entertainment, and these interviews had helped start that. Mr. Frost made Mr. Nixon a business partner, paying him $600,000 (and, though the film doesn’t mention it, 20% of profits from the interviews).

Michael Sheen, left, as David Frost, proves more than a match for Frank Langella, playing Richard Nixon, during interviews in 2008’s ‘Frost/Nixon.’
Michael Sheen, left, as David Frost, proves more than a match for Frank Langella, playing Richard Nixon, during interviews in 2008’s ‘Frost/Nixon.’ Photo: Universal/Everett Collection

2010s: New Revelations

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” (2017)

Mark Felt, former No. 2 man at the FBI, confessed in 2005 that he was Deep Throat. His story took more than a decade to reach movie screens as a political thriller. Mr. Felt, played by Liam Neeson, is shown as the consummate G-man, in line to become FBI boss. But when Director J. Edgar Hoover dies in 1972, the administration installs loyalist L. Patrick Gray as acting director instead. Mr. Gray and the president’s men pressure Mr. Felt’s team to end its Watergate investigation, leading him to leak information to the press. In a subplot that echoes Mr. Neeson’s role in the 2008 thriller “Taken,” Mr. Felt is searching for his daughter, who has run away to a hippie commune.

What We Learned: The White House had suspected Mr. Felt early on. He leaked information to Time magazine as well as the Washington Post. He also never said “follow the money”—as Deep Throat does in “All the President’s Men.” Whether he brought down the White House by himself is debatable, but the story shows you shouldn’t make enemies of powerful “good guys” who know too much.

Liam Neeson plays the title role of Watergate super source ‘Deep Throat’ in the 2017 movie ‘Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.’
Liam Neeson plays the title role of Watergate super source ‘Deep Throat’ in the 2017 movie ‘Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.’ Photo: Sony Pictures/Everett Collection

5 Reasons to Ditch Your ‘All-Season’ Suit This Fall

5 Reasons to Ditch Your ‘All-Season’ Suit This Fall
Illustration: Victoria Tentler-Krylov
1. Because it means you won’t have to wear a coat over your coat

A dense fabric like corduroy or flannel battles sinking temperatures better than a wispy wool or viscose-blend. “You’re basically wearing a cardigan all the time,” said Pete Anderson, 38, a communications analyst in Silver Spring, Md., of the flannel suits and tweed jackets he wears in fall. Though you’ll need to toss on a topcoat eventually, a formidable fall suit allows you to stretch those coat-free days through Thanksgiving.

2. Because it has lasting power

Discerning vintage stores stuff their racks with 30-year-old tweed and corduroy suits because sturdier textiles don’t fade or wear out as swiftly as thinner ones. “These clothes can stand up to whatever you throw at them,” said Brendon Babenzien, the founder of New York brand Noah. So they endure: “I want my stuff to be substantial and heavy and long-lasting.”

THINK THICK Samples of heavier corduroy and wool fabrics
THINK THICK Samples of heavier corduroy and wool fabrics Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas
3. Because it travels well

When he’s on the road, Kirk Miller, the owner of New York haberdashery Miller’s Oath, finds that a lithe suit “gets that crease from where it was folded in your suitcase.” A robust fabric doesn’t wrinkle as easily and when it does, a quick hang near the shower erases those rumples. Plus, a heavyweight set can be broken up easily for more outfit options: A corduroy suit can do triple-duty as a full suit for a meeting, trousers with a sweater on a casual day, and a jacket on the plane over jeans.

4. Because it’s more forgiving

If (read: when) you gain a few pounds at Thanksgiving, a good flannel or cord suit will not cling as closely to your body as that dinky “all-season” paper-thin wool. Light suits have a tendency to wrap your rolls unbecomingly, while a heavier iteration hides them. Trust us, nothing conceals a food baby like a tweed sportcoat.

5. Because it just looks better

“There is no question that in my humble view there is more luster, more life, richer texture, more longevity in a heavier weight cloth,” said Michael Hill, the creative director of Drake’s, a London brand whose fall collection includes a mustard corduroy suit and a houndstooth Harris Tweed sport coat. Cold-weather clothes, in plaid makeups and fuzzy fabrics, evoke everything from the handsome preppy rigs that Ryan O’Neal wore in the 1970s film “Love Story” to the colorful tweed coats that stylish midcentury rakes adopted in winter. “Something like tweed is such a vehicle for texture and color,” said Mr. Hill.

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What’s the Best Way to Take Notes?

If you’re taking notes for a class or in a meeting, some tips can make them more useful.
If you’re taking notes for a class or in a meeting, some tips can make them more useful. Photo: iStock

Now that so many students and employees have laptops, those leather-bound notebooks are going the way of the rotary dial. But does typing notes capture the concepts of a lecture or meeting as well as writing them longhand? One expert, Kenneth Kiewra, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explains the most effective methods for taking notes.

Preservation Is the Point

The brain is fallible, says Dr. Kiewra, who does research on the teaching-learning process and how people develop talents. “We might experience an event and think it’s easily locked away, but unless it is something of importance, we forget,” he says. Information comes at us very quickly, making it difficult to effectively process what we are hearing and then store it in our long-term memory. Taking notes creates a physical record of what happened, while also making the listener more attentive. “Note-taking is incompatible with boredom,” he says.

Dr. Kiewra believes the first priority of note-taking is capturing all the important information, and that writing or typing is secondary. “Don’t worry about the form, that you can handle later when you have time to review your notes,” he says.

Laptop vs. Paper

On digital devices, incoming messages and other notifications are distracting. True, at an average of 30-to-40 words a minute, a keyboarder will likely take more complete notes, but a longhand writer (averaging 20 or so words a minute) will tend to paraphrase, which is helpful in the learning process. “When you paraphrase you are filtering the information and putting your own stamp on it, understanding it,” Dr. Kiewra says. Laptop note-takers, he adds, may get stuck if the speaker draws a graph, though they could pull out a smart phone and take a photo; a writer can simply sketch it out.

While the psychology professor doesn’t know anyone who uses one of the major systems of shorthand, he says most people ultimately come up with their own ways to accelerate writing, by dropping vowels or creating symbols for commonly-used words. “Longhand writers also do something called ‘signaling’ in their notes,” says the professor. “They might bold words or use all capitals, write in the margins, draw arrows, create a hierarchy. There is a lot more thinking going on than verbatim typing allows.”

The act of writing longhand and organizing helps the writer reach abstract conclusions and store the material in the brain, he says. Studies have shown that students who type notes in class perform worse on conceptual questions than those who use pen and paper. But typing isn’t a deal breaker as long as typists go over their notes and follow certain methods for processing the information, Dr. Kiewra says.

Serious Strategies

Whether typing or writing, people tend to be pretty poor at note-taking, taking down only about a third of relevant information, Dr. Kiewra says. While typing may result in too much information, writing in longhand may lead to missing the big points.

To avoid these pitfalls, Dr. Kiewra created a study method he calls SOAR (Select Organize Associate Regulate). After taking complete notes, the writer “selects” important information: This can mean taking lots of notes on a keyboard then editing them down, or highlighting points in written notes. Either way, “starting with more notes is better, because people tend to be overly selective,” leaving out important learning tools such as examples, he says.

The next step is to organize those notes, in order to easily grab critical details and see bigger themes. “The brain is hungry to categorize information,” he says. These organized notes often look like a matrix, with topics across the top, categories along the side, and details and examples in the cells, he says. Then comes “associating,” in which you look over the notes and try to make connections to your own experience or create a memory trick to sear salient points into your brain. The final step is to “regulate”: Go over the organized notes and see if they make sense and lead to a deeper understanding. This SOAR method, he says, can help whether you’re taking a history class or processing what just happened in a major meeting.

Old-School Transcribers

Even if you record an interview or lecture, transcribing word-for-word isn’t enough to result in deep processing, Dr. Kiewra says. Though studies show that the act of taking notes whether by typing or longhand helps with memory retention, they should be thought of as raw ingredients that can help reach a deeper understanding of the material later on, he says: “If you don’t do anything with the notes you took in the moment, they are basically useless.”

More Burning Questions

‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Is the Latest in Netflix’s Young-Adult Push

Kiernan Shipka stars in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.’
Kiernan Shipka stars in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.’ Photo: Diyah Pera/Netflix

From ages 6 through 15, Kiernan Shipka played Sally, Don Draper’s gimlet-eyed daughter on “Mad Men”—an Emmy-winning television series that was decidedly not intended for viewers her age.

Now 18, she is stepping into a lead role with “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” premiering Friday on Netflix . Its mashup of horror, comedy and high-school drama is aimed primarily at an audience of her peers.

“As someone who grew up on a show with a fan base that was largely 30-plus,” Ms. Shipka says, “there is a part of me, deep down, that’s very excited to make something people my age are super-pumped about.”

“Sabrina” is part of a growing franchise of Archie Comics-based TV shows, starting last year with “Riverdale,” a contemporary take on the escapades of Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead.

Both series were developed and executive produced by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the chief creative officer for Archie Comics. As a writer, he incorporated plotlines from other genres to freshen the characters, including one series that brought a zombie plague to Archie’s hometown.

“Riverdale” airs on the CW, and “Sabrina” was also developed for that broadcast network before Netflix picked it up. The streaming service has made a push into young-adult programming, including licensing past seasons of “Riverdale.” It ordered 20 episodes of “Sabrina,” which are being released in two parts.

From left, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’
From left, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Photo: Diyah Pera/Netflix

As the title character on “Sabrina,” Ms. Shipka is half-mortal, half-witch, wrestling with whether to sign her name in blood during a “dark baptism” and pack off to the Academy of Unseen Arts—a decision that would take her away from her boyfriend and other loved ones.

Despite the just-in-time-for-Halloween supernatural elements, “Sabrina” is a cauldron for relatable issues, Ms. Shipka says, including female empowerment and the pressure adults put on young people.

“There’s so much of this that is analogous to the teenage experience. A lot of times you’re told you have only one option or the other,” she says. “This is about growing up and deciding your own path.”

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” begins streaming Friday on Netflix.

Write to John Jurgensen at john.jurgensen@wsj.com

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Forget the Ferrari—Today Is an El Camino Day

The 1985 Chevrolet El Camino owned by Chuck Grantham, a book publisher from Raleigh, N.C. Mr. Grantham has owned El Caminos for 32 years.
The 1985 Chevrolet El Camino owned by Chuck Grantham, a book publisher from Raleigh, N.C. Mr. Grantham has owned El Caminos for 32 years. Photo: Alex Boerner for The Wall Street Journal

Chuck Grantham, a book publisher from Raleigh, N.C., on his 1985 Chevrolet El Camino, as told to A.J. Baime.

I never had any kids. I worked, I raced cars, I jumped out of airplanes and I guess I ran out of time. Today, my cars are like my kids. I would not call myself a big-time collector, but I have a Ferrari F430, a Mercedes-Benz AMG, a Porsche and a Cadillac Eldorado. Every morning I come into my garage and I say to myself, “What am I going to drive to work today?”

The El Camino is the car with which I have had the longest connection. It started 32 years ago, when I bought my first one. I drove it for 15 years and it died, so I bought a second one and drove that one for 15 years. It was a fire-breather with loud mufflers. I loved the shape of it, and I loved the functionality.

Photos: This 1985 El Camino Is a ‘Fire-Breather’

A North Carolina book publisher shows off his favorite vehicle, a Chevrolet halfway between a car and a pickup truck

Chuck Grantham in his 1985 Chevrolet El Camino. Chevrolet first launched the El Camino in model year 1959 with an original base price tag of $2,352, according to the General Motors Heritage Center website.
Alex Boerner for The Wall Street Journal

Was it a car? A pickup truck? It was both. In fact, when Chevrolet launched this model way back in 1959, the sales line was, “More than a car—more than a truck.”

Chevy built this model for roughly 30 years. Today it is a cult classic. There are not that many of them left, but you can buy good ones for pretty cheap if you look around.

The car you see here I bought two years ago. My second El Camino was on its last legs, and I found a small dealership about 50 miles from where I live that specialized in these cars. I drove down there with my business partner.

When I walked into the dealership, I saw about a dozen El Caminos. The first one I laid eyes on was an exact replica of the beat-up one I was currently driving, only it was in better shape. So I traded my old El Camino for it, plus $5,000.

After three decades of El Camino ownership, I decided to make this one a celebration of all the work I did over the years with my other ones. I replaced the chrome, got new carpet and did some work on the engine.

You know how people have idiosyncrasies—the things they love that do not always make much sense to others? El Caminos are mine.

Mr. Grantham puts descriptive license plates on his cars. His Ferrari’s says ‘FASSST.’ His El Camino’s is self-explanatory.
Mr. Grantham puts descriptive license plates on his cars. His Ferrari’s says ‘FASSST.’ His El Camino’s is self-explanatory. Photo: Alex Boerner for The Wall Street Journal

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‘Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s’ Review: Our Irrationality Laid Bare

Hartford, Conn.

‘Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s,” at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, presents a vivid array of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and prints by artists who harnessed one of the most profound intellectual movements of the century to capture the physical and psychological violence of the war-torn decade that stretched from the Spanish Civil War through World War II. The exhibition of 64 objects includes major works by Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Max Ernst and Isamu Noguchi, as well as less well-known artists including Hans Bellmer, Maria Martins, Wolfgang Paalen and Kay Sage.

Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Through Jan. 13, 2019

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Founded in 1924 by the poet André Breton, Surrealism was a repudiation of the cultural norms and political agendas that had caused World War I. Many of the artists associated with the movement, including André Masson, Ernst and Breton, had seen the devastation of the war firsthand, and they turned to Freudian theories of the unconscious to explore the irrationality they witnessed and the nature of the human psyche.

One of the masterpieces on view, Ernst’s “Europe After the Rain II” (1940-42), encompasses the full span of these experiences—from the artist’s memories of serving in the trenches to the Nazi conquests and his narrow escape to the U.S. in 1941. Coaxing his monumental composition from the chance effects of decalcomania (a commercial process Ernst adapted by pressing a sheet of glass against freshly painted canvas and then separating the two layers to produce unpredictable shapes), Ernst created a panoramic landscape of overwhelming decay and dissolution. Among the few survivors in this melting world is Europa, a woman whose rape by the Greek god Zeus (in the body of a bull) is recorded in myth and here stands for the violation of an entire continent.

Max Ernst’s ‘Europe After the Rain II’ (1940-42)
Max Ernst’s ‘Europe After the Rain II’ (1940-42) Photo: © Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art/ARS, NY/ADAGP, Paris

Only an exceptionally committed museum director could have purchased such a disturbing painting within weeks of its completion during one of the bleakest years of the war. Yet the director of the Wadsworth Atheneum, A. Everett “Chick” Austin Jr., bought it in the spring of 1942. Austin had already presented the first major exhibition of Surrealism in the U.S., in 1931. “Myths & Monsters” explores the fascinating story of the Atheneum’s longstanding dedication to the movement through a display of evocative photographs and other documents.

The exhibition is a partnership between Oliver Tostmann for the Atheneum and Oliver Shell for the Baltimore Museum of Art, which was also a rare early supporter of Surrealism and presented an important retrospective of Masson’s work in 1941. By teaming these two institutions, “Monsters & Myths” reminds us of the remarkable collections of sometimes overlooked museums across this country. After closing in Hartford the exhibition travels to Baltimore, Feb. 24-May 26, and to the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, June 21-Sept. 29.

Pablo Picasso’s ‘Minotauromachy’ (1935)
Pablo Picasso’s ‘Minotauromachy’ (1935) Photo: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ARS,

Unlike Thomas Hart Benton and other artists of the Regionalist movement who dominated American art in the ’30s and ’40s, the Surrealists generally avoided straightforward realism. Instead they sought to challenge the viewer’s imagination and deepen the significance of their commentaries on contemporary events by wrapping them in foundational myths of European culture, to probe, for example, the nature of war rather than a particular battle.

”Monsters & Myths” primarily displays a panorama of the Surrealists’ evocations of contemporary traumas as timeless myths. As Spaniards deeply concerned about their homeland, Miró, Picasso and Dalí responded quickly to the unrest that lead to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936. Depicting a monumental figure literally tearing itself apart, Dalí’s “Soft Construction With Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)” (1936) announces the torment that would extend through the following decade.

 Salvador Dalí’s ‘Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)’ (1936)
Salvador Dalí’s ‘Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)’ (1936) Photo: © Funacío Gala Salvador Dalí

As civil war grew into world war, the Surrealist outcry intensified. Fleeing the Nazis, the Austro-German artist Wolfgang Paalen evoked the horror of that time in “Battle of Saturnian Princes III” (1939), an aerial combat of two pterodactyl-like creatures that echoes from prehistoric times through the dogfights of contemporary aircraft. Amid the violence Miró achieved hard-won moments of peace. His “Acrobatic Dancers” (1940) attains an astonishing balance between intricate linear patterns and brilliant colors that transcends the chaos of that time.

After several of the leading Surrealists escaped Europe for the U.S., they spread the movement to young American artists who would become the Abstract Expressionists. The year after Masson arrived in this country, he completed “There Is No Finished World” (1942), a monumental depiction of constant metamorphosis whose triad of three mythological creatures culminates in the Minotaur, the half-bull and half-man who embodied the Surrealist’s conception of humanity’s dual nature. The Baltimore Museum’s great patron Saidie May snapped it up at its first exhibition. In the final gallery, Mark Rothko’s “The Syrian Bull” (1943) and paintings by Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky demonstrate the transformative impact of the Surrealists on American art. Don’t miss Noguchi’s “Monument to Heroes” (1943)—a funereal black cylinder shot through with bones and sticks.

Painted dark gray and structured in a series of short walls pointing in unexpected directions, the galleries of “Monsters & Myths” thrust us into the Minotaur’s labyrinth of those tragic years.

Sears Has Filed for Bankruptcy, but Its Mortifying ‘Husky’ Jeans Endure

A common scene at department stores nationwide: a poor child gets dragged to the “Husky” section by his mother.
A common scene at department stores nationwide: a poor child gets dragged to the “Husky” section by his mother. Photo: Graham Roumieu

FOR JOHN SPIER, last Monday’s news that Sears was filing for bankruptcy brought back a 7th grade-shopping trip he wished he could forget. His mother steered the young Mr. Spier, in need of jeans, to a section of their suburban Massachusetts Sears he’d never noticed before. The section “was pushed off into the corner, very delineated from the rest of the stuff,” recalled Mr. Spier, 25, who now works in technology and healthcare public relations in Boston. “There was a sign that said ‘Husky.’” Though he hadn’t thought much about his size until that point, he recalled suddenly feeling “crappy” that he had to shop somewhere different from the other boys.

Though Mr. Spier felt like an isolated loser in that moment, he is certainly not the only boy to have frequented the “Husky” section, where jeans and khakis with larger waistlines and fuller pant legs accommodate heavier-set kids. “I think you’re still sort of growing into yourself, and they invent this other category for you to fit in,” said Keith Barry, 28, a law student and musician in New York City who recalled wearing “Huskies” when he was still a baby fat-plagued tween.

Memories of the Husky section, which worked its evil at Sears, Target and J.C. Penney among other stores, are far from fond. More than one man I spoke with said that the mere mention of the word “husky” could trigger painful memories of insecurity and schoolyard teasing. “Having to wear these swingy, MC Hammer jeans—I really hated it,” said Jake Lahut, 23, a political reporter in Keene, N.H., who wore Huskies as a kid.

Husky clothes stretch back to the mid-century, when Sears catalogs showed stockier boys in “Tough Skin Husky” jeans. Dr. Michael Thompson, 71, a child psychologist in Arlington, MA. wore Husky clothes in the 1950s and says that back then the term may have been intended as a compliment. “I think Sears meant it to [describe] a healthy strong boy,” said Dr. Thompson. Yet 18 years ago, a reporter described Dr. Thompson as “husky” in a magazine article, and he didn’t like it at all. In the intervening decades, “husky” had become a word that stings.

As childhood obesity rates in American rose, “husky” no longer connoted ruggedly beefy. The percentage of children under 19 who are obese has tripled since the 1970s. Today, nearly one in five young people are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so it follows that the percentage of children in need of larger clothes has expanded significantly. “Obesity is certainly a serious problem in the U.S. and it is increasing the demand for a plus-size selection,” said Ayako Homma, a senior analyst at Euromonitor International, a market research group. Childrenswear brands like the Children’s Place have subsequently extended their size offerings.

Yet, strangely, a better, less provocative term than “husky” has not been found. Gap, JCPenney, Old Navy, the Children’s Place, Kohl’s, Levi’s, Target, Land’s End—all of these retailers still use the term, a fact that shocked most of the Husky vets that I spoke with. “It’s terrible. It sounds offensive,” said Mr. Spier. Added Mr. Lahut, “It sounds like something from ‘Leave it to Beaver,’” describing the word as a “euphemism for a fat kid.”

That’s exactly what it is, for better or worse, said Dr. Alan Kazdin, 73, a professor emeritus of child psychiatry at Yale University, who likened the use of the term to saying “passed away” instead of “died.” It’s meant to be polite and, as Dr. Thompson explained, at one point it was. Yet, today, when so many view it as a negative, why do brands still use a term that dings the delicate pre-teen psyche and lingers for years? (The aforementioned brands either did not respond to request for comment or declined to comment for the article.)

In adult clothing, companies have updated terms to keep with the times: Plus-sized women’s clothing is often called “curvy,” a term that is generally viewed as less judgmental. Could a similar alternative be found for “Husky”? Each former Husky wearer I spoke with had a different suggestion. Evan Waldenberg, 26, a clothing designer in New York, proposed a color-coded system in which a “green tag meant slim straight and then an orange tag meant wider fit.” Mr. Lahut thought “‘comfortable-cut’ would not offend anybody.” For Mr. Spier, numerical sizing, as used in adult clothes, made the most sense: “Why not just call it size 34 or 36?” In the end, replacing one euphemism for another is challenging. Do you have ideas? Send them to me. Or better yet, send them to Gap.

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Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com

The Illegal Ingredients in Your Dietary Supplements

The Illegal Ingredients in Your Dietary Supplements
Photo: Mark Matcho

Consumers are taking dietary supplements with illegal—and potentially harmful—ingredients, a growing body of evidence shows.

A new study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine this week found experimental stimulants in dietary supplements both before and after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued public warnings about the stimulants.

The stimulants aren’t approved for human use and are believed to increase blood pressure and heart rates potentially, says Pieter Cohen, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance who conducted the study with researchers from the University of California, San Francisco. “They do things we are concerned could lead to serious health effects like heart attacks and strokes,” he says.

One of the stimulants, DMAA, was used in nasal decongestants in the 1940s but withdrawn from the market several decades later. Another, oxilofrine, was approved for use in some European countries for patients with low blood pressure, but never approved in the U.S. Two others, BMPEA and DMBA, have never been approved for use in humans but are believed to function like stimulants based on animal studies.

The researchers looked at nine weight-loss supplements, two sports supplements and one cognitive-function one and tested them for the stimulants in 2014 and 2017. The supplements were bought online but can also be found in stores, Dr. Cohen says. The study doesn’t disclose the brands or companies that manufacture the supplements.

Once the FDA issues a public warning, the expectation is that supplements containing prohibited ingredients will be removed from the market and new products won’t be added, Dr. Cohen says. But he adds that in practice, that doesn’t always happen and there is a lack of clarity over what actions must be taken and what the consequences are.

Growing Body of Evidence

The JAMA Internal Medicine study comes on the heels of another JAMA study published earlier this month by the California Department of Public Health. It analyzed the FDA’s supplement warnings from 2007 to 2016 and found that prescription-drug ingredients were in 776 dietary supplements, many even after the FDA issued public warnings about the products. There were 157 products containing more than one unapproved ingredient.

The majority of products were marketed for sexual enhancement, weight loss or muscle building. Examples included sildenafil, sold as Viagra, in sexual-enhancement supplements, steroids in muscle-building supplements and sibutramine, withdrawn from the market due to potential risks, in weight-loss supplements.

The analysis found that the FDA recalled the products less than half the time.

More than 50% of U.S. adults take dietary supplements such as vitamins, botanicals and enzymes. Supplements are classified as a category of food and aren’t tightly regulated like prescription drugs. Supplement manufacturers don’t have to demonstrate safety or effectiveness to the FDA before their products go on the market.

“The drug ingredients have the potential to cause serious adverse health effects due to misuse, overuse or interaction with other medications, underlying health conditions, or other pharmaceuticals within the supplement,” Madhur Kumar, senior author of the earlier JAMA study and a research scientist at the California Department of Public Health, wrote in an email.

The FDA is in the process of reviewing the findings, says Jeremy Kahn, a spokesman for the agency.

“The FDA is committed to doing everything within its resources and authorities to identify and remove unsafe products from the market, and we continue to work collaboratively with all of our stakeholders to help ensure that products marketed as dietary supplements are safe, well-manufactured and accurately labeled,” he said in an emailed statement.

When the FDA issues a public warning, such as in the case of the stimulants, consumers are notified that the products in question may contain an undeclared ingredient and that they shouldn’t purchase or use the products, Mr. Kahn says.

Even when the FDA issues a recall or takes enforcement action against a distributor, other distributors often continue to sell the recalled product, or distributors relabel products to evade detection, Mr. Kahn says.

Dr. Cohen, who wrote an accompanying editorial to the California Department of Public Health analysis, says the FDA needs to do more.

His previous research looked at what happens after the FDA recalls supplements that contain prescription drugs illegally and found that years after recalls, two-thirds of the supplements available for sale still contain drugs.

Another study found that Boston consumers buying one brand of a weight-loss supplement weren’t aware of a recall and were still able to purchase the supplements.

The New Findings

In 2014, the FDA made an announcement about DMAA not being permitted in supplements. By 2017, it made separate announcements about all four stimulants not being permitted in supplements.

The researchers of the new study published Monday did a chemical analysis of the supplements. It found that in 2014, despite the FDA’s announcement about DMAA, it was present in half of the supplements tested. Two other stimulants, BMPEA and oxilofrine, were found in many of the supplements.

By 2017, researchers found DMAA in two supplements, oxilofrine in nine, BMPEA in one and DMBA, previously found in none, in four.

“Whatever the FDA is doing to try to eliminate these experimental stimulants from supplements is not working and consumers are going to continue to be exposed to this if the FDA doesn’t step up and become much more aggressive in its enforcement,” Dr. Cohen says.

A Washington, D.C.-based trade group of dietary supplements and functional food manufacturers sides with researchers. Duffy MacKay, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, says the examples in the studies are products that are a “menace.”

“We share disdain for this type of behavior,” Mr. MacKay says. “A responsible manufacturer with a big brand name, none of this ever happens.”

Sreek Cherukuri, an ear, nose and throat surgeon in Indiana, says in recent years more patients are asking about dietary supplements. Many aren’t properly informed.

He asks patients before surgery what supplements, vitamins and herbal products they take, because these can interfere with surgery and cause thinning of the blood, he says. To help educate consumers about supplements, he started a website about a year ago.

“The vast majority of supplements don’t have any strong scientific data to validate their use,” Dr. Cherukuri says. “At best, they may not be doing what we think. At worst, they can be fraudulent or tainted and could put you in the hospital or emergency room.”

Expert Advice for Shopping for Supplements

Avoid supplements marketed for sexual health, weight loss and muscle building, which are most frequently tainted with illegal ingredients, Dr. Cherukuri says.

Do your due diligence on researching potential supplements. The majority of products are unproven. Even if they aren’t dangerous, they could be a waste of money, Dr. Cherukuri says. Be wary of bold claims or products that claim to treat a disease.

Talk to your health practitioner before starting any type of supplement.

Check products in the Council for Responsible Nutritions’ online voluntary product registry that includes about 12,000 labels.

Look for products that are certified by third parties and have seals certifying that what is on the label is what is inside the bottle, says Mr. MacKay of the Council for Responsible Nutrition. The United States Pharmacopeia certifies supplements with the USP seal. Other third-party seals include UL from Underwriter Labs and NSF from NSF International.

Write to Sumathi Reddy at sumathi.reddy@wsj.com

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