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  • 7 Behind-the-Scenes DWTS Finale Secrets from Kym Johnson

    Dead heats. Killer dance moves. Ridiculous costumes. Who needs American Idol when you've got the final showdown of Dancing with the Stars Season 12? On the eve of the results show, caught up with Kym Johnson for the bottom line on what really goes on when then the cameras get turned off...

    Related: More Secrets (and Exclusive Photos) from Kym Johnson

    1. The Instructors Pick the Outfits

    "I am guilty of dressing Hines up in some ridiculous outfits. Yes, yes I am. Tonight we're wearing black-and-gold - Steeler colors. Hines is a pretty classy guy, so he told me from the get-go, 'Don't make me wear frills or anything ridiculous like that. Don't make me take my shirt off.' I don't think we've gone too crazy."

    2. The Prizes Could Be Better

    "I wish there was more of a prize. You get a fantastic mirror-ball trophy, but there's no prize money or anything fantastic like that. It's the bragging rights."

    Related: Fitness Secrets from Oprah's Health Guru


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  • Summer BBQ Secrets from the McDonald's Chef

    Dan Coudreaut knows some things. He knows the $1 billion McDonald's announced this week that it would spend on a fancy makeover of its nearly 15,000 locations won't make people pick his new "Asian" salad over a Big Mac. "I don't think that now that this restaurant's cool and contemporary, that now I'm going to create contemporary food," the chain's executive chef and director of culinary innovation told us on Wednesday. "I'm just going to create the food we've been creating."

    Related: Top Chefs Choose Their Favorite Fast Food

    Except he is creating things - that oatmeal, for one; smoothies, too - and you can't forget that Chef Dan still cooks at home. "I don't know if I know the secret. All I know is a really good burger will keep people coming back." Like we said, he knows things. It's why we invited him to talk about The State of the Hamburger with Daniel Boulud and the Shake Shack guy and the DeBragga Meats guy and Josh Ozersky to kick off our new cookbook. And it's why,

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  • 5 Minutes to a Better Marriage Than Theirs

    Why do we do it?
    Nobody needs to get married, not anymore, and nobody needs to stay married. Yet at some point in our lives, two thirds of all American men will commit ourselves to one woman (or, increasingly, to one man), for better or worse, even though we realize that if a couple nice kids like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver can't make it work, what chance do the rest of us have? And yet we do it anyway, and the question must be asked: Why do we get married?

    Related: The Guide to a Good Marriage: A Timeline

    Because you love her. Because you like her. Because she wants to. Because kids sound nice. Because she doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Because you don't want her to go anywhere. Mostly, though, it's because you love her, and that's as good a reason as any. And because of that - and in case Arnold and Maria still might be able to work this all out - we asked Jim Fannin, who has worked with athletes (A-Rod, Olympic gold medalists) and CEOs on improving mental

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  • How Wolfgang Puck Cooked for the Oscars

    It's true: Famous people need to eat, too. And once again, Wolfgang Puck was there to feed them at Sunday night's Governors Ball following the Oscars (this time with King's Speech-appropriate Dover sole). The superstar chef also took over Esquire's food Twitter for the occasion and managed to check in throughout the night. Below is a roundup of how things went.

    Related: The 20 Best (and Worst) Dressed Men at the 2011 Oscars

    3:41 p.m.
    In the kitchen, checking 1,600 Dover sole filets. Just got them in Friday, and they look pretty great.

    4:23 p.m.
    Prepping some beautiful baby radishes for a trio of salads at tonight's Governors Ball.

    4:28 p.m.

    Making paella pans for each guest. They're vegetarian - so Natalie Portman can enjoy, too.

    5:15 p.m.
    Our servers take in the poolside view before the ceremony begins. Only in Hollywood.

    Related: More Food and Drink Wisdom on Esquire's Eat Like a Man Blog

    6:45 p.m.
    Going down the red carpet with a preview of what the attendees will be eating

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  • 16 Things We Loved in 2010

    It's been a tough year. But many great things happened that you may not remember - big and small and sometimes even inspiring. A few reasons to celebrate.

    Plus: 86 More Reasons to Celebrate This Year

    1. After months of impasse, the United States and Russia agreed to cut their deployed nuclear warheads by 30 percent to levels not seen in fifty years..

    2. As of September 23, young adults under age twenty-six are eligible for health-care benefits under their parents' plan...

    3. Texting HAITI
    to 90999 added ten dollars to donors' cell-phone bills and within seventy-two hours after the earthquake raised more than $8 million for American Red Cross relief efforts, a record amount for mobile, instant giving. By early March, the Red Cross had raised more than $32 million by text...

    Related: The Biggest Trends of the Year

    4. After seven years, Operation Iraqi Freedom ended...

    5. The World Health Organization declared that the global swine-flu pandemic is officially over...

    6. In May, after being

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  • The Secret History of Cyber Monday

    Since at least the (first) Great Depression, it's been a given: you go shopping the day after Thanksgiving, you get a good deal - it's Black Friday. But until recently, the same couldn't necessarily be said of the first weekday afterward. And when, in 2002 and 2003, companies began reporting to the National Retail Federation an upsurge in online sales that last Monday in November, its vice president, Ellen Davis, thought the bump had to be some sort of fluke. "But then it became something we couldn't control," she says.

    Related: The Top-Selling Holiday Gifts of All Time

    And so, in the summer of 2005, in the nondescript offices of a nondescript trade organization: a name. Blue Monday? Not enough cheer. Green Monday? Too hippie. Black Monday? Too confusing. "Cyber Monday," then, would be a simple new holiday, a necessary one, to meet the demands of a WiFi-enabled gifting populace - but also something complex, less marketing myth than evolutionary consumerism, more Wikipedia than

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  • Top Chefs on How to Do Thanksgiving Right

    Unlike other holidays, Thanksgiving is really all about the food. More than that, the food is steeped in tradition - hundreds of years of it, in fact - but whose? The thing about Thanksgiving is: Not everyone does it the same. So we asked some of the some of the best chefs around what they think of Thanksgiving: what they love about it, what they hate about it, the personal practices they've turned into annual traditions. Don't forget to tell us about favorite tradition in the comments.

    Related: What America's Top Chefs Want to Give Their Kitchen

    1. Marshmallows on the sweet-potato casserole?
    Related: Esquire's Best New Restaurants of 2010

    2. Homemade cranberry sauce: Worth it, or never as good as the canned stuff?
    A few words:

    "Hate to say it, but the balance of sweet and tart, as well as the texture that comes from cranberry sauce in the can, is something that can't be replicated. Also, there's something to be said for the way it comes out of the can with the lines on the side. I

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  • Who's the Worst Dressed Celeb Guy of 2010?

    They're famous, yes. And good-looking, mostly. Not to get all fashion-police or anything, but these unfortunately dressed men taught us all a little bit about the occasionally important upgrade. Who makes your list?

    John Mayer

    There was a time when America considered John Mayer a promising, handsome young man. Hell, he even worked for us. This is not that time. As he has devolved into something of a whiny philanderer, so, too, have the shape of his shirts (either too bag or, as at left, too tight), the sag of his pants, and the flop of his hair. Maybe it's a social experiment to see how long he can keep romancing women even as he lets himself go. Our guess is not much longer.

    The Suggestion: No matter how many tattoos you get, preppy basics will continue to look good on you - better, even. Don't fight it. The Takeaway: No break at the hem? That's modern and clean - a good pant fit. Pants above the ankle? Not even appropriate for the flood plains.

    Related: The Best Dressed Men of
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  • The 5 Most Dangerous Drinks

    Absinthe may not be as bad for you as you once thought, but as a new study points out, the biggest threats are sometimes the least exciting ones - like that wine right in front of you. British researchers recently found that alcohol is ultimately more harmful to individuals and society than heroin, crack, crystal meth, and other substances. But while we can accept that booze has caused its share of problems, we thought it was worth investigating a few more toxic ways to imbibe. You know, the kind that will kill you today, not twenty years from now. Like these:

    Related: The Best New Bottles of Booze to Give

    1. Heroin Cough Syrup

    Back in the day, "heroin" was a word coined by Bayer Pharmaceutical and nasal decongestants did much, much more than suppress your coughs. Thought to be a miracle cure when it came on the market at the turn of the twentieth century, opiates were sold as a common treatment for asthma, pneumonia, and dysentery. They worked, as it turned out, but high rates of

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  • 7 Ways to Please Your Boss on Bosses Day

    You can thank Patricia Bays Haroski for this Friday's national "holiday," known as Bosses Day, National Boss Day, or, as we realistic people prefer to call it, Every Day: Forty-two years ago, the personal assistant forgot to get her boss at State Farm a birthday present, and so now we all celebrate her boss's birthday. But why get a present when you could start telling him or her how good he or she looks today, without being a suck-up? After all, compliments are cheaper than gifts and they never run out. Try these tips:

    Related: The Best Bottles of Liquor to Give Now

    1. Pick a detail.

    No compliment smacks of insincerity more than a general one. Saying "great shoes" in the office rarely comes off as genuine. Instead: "I love the color of your shoes - it really compliments what you're wearing." That's what's known as double flattery, with your boss's taste and his coordination both affirmed. Plus, you've demonstrated your own attention to detail, and they still put that

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