Good morning and happy Monday. We’re about to wrap up the first half of 2016. And what a six months it’s been, from gut-wrenching celebrity deaths to contentious political races and debates, to national tragedies and Brexits. But there’s been a whole lot of objectively great stuff too, and there’s plenty more of the same on tap for the second half of the year. Hopefully you’ve got excellent plans for the 4th — prepare for cookouts, outdoor beers, fireworks, adventure and fun. And don’t forget to brush up on what’s good in gear: a plug-‘n’-play mobile gaming controller, a ceramic meat smoker, shorts that are prepared for anything you can throw at them.

And here are some fresh stories to start the day.

The Henry Sneaker by York Athletics Mfg.

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York Athletics Mfg. makes athletic gear for misfits who don’t want all the fancy, colorful, mass-produced stuff found in big sporting-goods stores. They’re all about the underdog — the artists, boxers, skateboarders and trainers who value simplicity, and who fight harder than everyone else. Their latest design, the Henry, is a shoe designed with those renegades in mind. It features lightweight, ultra-breathable mesh, a slip-resistant rubber outsole, a micro-suede tongue and comes in low and mid versions. Color options include black, gray and white — nothing flashy, but York Athletics Mfg. knows you don’t need to be fluorescent to make a statement.

Medic Card by Readyman

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If you’re on the go and doing potentially dangerous stuff, or are just paranoid, this crafty little card is a smart bit of carry. It should only be used in a pinch, but the 301 stainless steel tools are engineered for simple, effective triage. Included: six safety pins, four needles, three bandage clips, two tweezers, two serrated blades, one tick fork, one nail scraper. Toss it in your glovebox or dopp kit and hope you won’t have to Survivor Man your weekend.

Ceramic Asado Smoker by Coyote Outdoor

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You may not have ventured into this territory with your meats yet, but all it takes is the right tools for the job: You’ll smoke ’em if you got ’em. This smoker allows for measured venting and temp control, and uses a 254-square-inch smoking grate to do the work. It’ll also sear and grill meats, so if the gorgeous looks don’t convince you, consider the the possibilities.

Mobile Gaming Controller for iPhone by Gamevice

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Bringing the expected gaming controller feel to the iPhone, this plug and play two-parter provides every button and joystick you’ll need to race little cars and build little armies and cut fruit in half with katanas.

Granite Camp Shorts 2.0 by Western Rise

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Made of tough hydrophobic four-way stretch material, these are the shorts you’ve been… hiking for. The mesh pockets are made to drain, there’s a chalk bag loop out back, a knife wedge and a slim cut. Prepare ye thine thighs and jump on the pre-order now.

Cargo Hauler Duffel by Eagle Creek

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Super collapsible and built to take on large loads in many configurations, the Cargo Hauler features easy-grab handles of all kinds and shoulder straps for longer hauls. Daisy-chain tie-downs and myriad pockets make packing a breeze, and since the duffel comes in four sizes, you’ll not be wanting for room.


Fresh Stories to Start Your Day

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20 Groomsmen Gifts Your Friends Will Actually Want
Put as much thought into a groomsman gift as you did picking your groomsmen.


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Reader Submission: The Best Wedding Gifts
We asked our readers, and they responded.


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Thrones Is Over — Here’s How to Fill that Westeros-Sized Void
Feel like you lost a friend? Here are some other shows, books and video games to help replace ‘Thrones’ during the off-season.


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The Best Beers (and Bongs) from HBO’s Silicon Valley
Are you a craft beer snob? Ganja aficionado? Trust us — you should be watching Silicon Valley.


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It’s Time You Finally Started Cooking on a Smoker
Two words: moisture preservation.


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Best Home Security Cameras of 2016
Keep an eye on your dog, or make sure nobody’s breaking into your place.


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How to Choose a Better Business Card
And you thought Paul Allen’s business card was cool.

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