HomeFront: The year’s best TV, fashion history, remembering John Lennon

TV: The setup of “Your Honor” is promising — Bryan Cranston plays a New Orleans judge whose teenage son is the driver in a fatal hit-and-run — but “much of what comes after the forceful opening is a disappointment,” says Gilbert. Four episodes in, Cranston’s character “just keeps screwing up,” and “[t]he thought of six more episodes watching more things run amok isn’t an especially happy one.”

A less suspenseful story than “The Crown” is hard to imagine, but with season 4, the series has turned a corner. Princess Diana (and Margaret Thatcher) are on the scene, and “[v]iewers who previously might have dismissed creator Peter Morgan’s drama as a stuffy spectacle . . . are suddenly enthralled,” Gilbert writes. “During this season’s 1979-1990 timeline, the family turns into a pack of wolves preying on a defenseless lamb.”

TV TALK: Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert hosts a subscriber-only event, “The Crown and More,” Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. He’ll discuss the best of television available for streaming, including his just-released top 10 picks for 2020. You’ll hear what his job is like and have the opportunity to ask questions about your favorite shows, what to watch next, and all things TV. RSVP here.

FILM: “Another Round” is a “stinging, gorgeously filmed tragicomedy about male insecurity and the power of positive drinking,” Globe film critic Ty Burr writes in a 3½-star review. Director and co-writer Thomas Vinterberg’s tale of middle-aged men experimenting with “a program of steady, judicious daily drinking” offers a look at Danish life before it “widens its scope to the international stage and the totality of the human condition.”

Before you roll your eyes at the news that Francis Ford Coppola has re-edited “The Godfather: Part III” into “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone,” check with Burr. The 30-year-overdue reimagining “is largely and surprisingly successful, a judiciously trimmed and re-sorted rethinking of how Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone tries to get out of the crime business and how it ‘pulls him back in’ again.”

The “darkly magnetic” Aubrey Plaza tackles “an ambiguous but emotionally sprawling dramatic role” in “Black Bear,” which earns 2½ stars from Burr. The film “turns in on itself, prompting audiences to wonder whose story is being told and in what order.” Short answer: Plaza as a screenwriter (or is she?) in need of a break, and Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon as a maybe-couple in “a high-tension examination of artistic and domestic betrayal.”

With Elliot Page in the headlines, the timing of two documentaries that explore the trans life experience is serendipitous. Matt Kliegman’s “Markie in Milwaukee” is biographical, “and it impresses with its artfulness and insight as it captures the tormented soul of its subject,” writes Globe correspondent Peter Keough. Tania Cypriano’s “Born to Be” follows plastic surgeon Dr. Jess Ting and five patients, creating an “intimately observational and moving” story.

Titling a movie “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters” is asking for trouble, and sure enough, Burr gives the “dreary, low-rent

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Selena Gomez on Why Rare Beauty Would Not Have Been Possible 3 Years Ago

2020 has been a victory tour for Selena Gomez. She released an album chronicling her journey, collaborated with BLACKPINK on one of the most popular songs of the year, and of course, launched her own beauty line, Rare Beauty. And it all came down to the perfect timing, especially the latter.

In a new interview with People Magazine, Selena revealed she doesn’t believe her beauty brand would have never happened if she had tried to launch it a few years ago. “We worked on it for two years so I was very excited and nervous. Beauty is a tough world. I did not expect what happened after [the launch]. It did really well and I guess it did seem really timely although we had planned this for a few years,” she said before adding, “I don’t feel like Rare Beauty would have been [possible] three or four years ago. I understand now how it feels to be on the other side, comparing myself or thinking I need to look more like this or more like that to fit in.”

“It can take a toll on you, for sure. We’re not all a certain way, and we’re not meant to be. It’s fair to say that I am 1000 percent on the journey with the consumers,” she added. “It’s not easy for everybody, and I want people to know they’re not alone.”

Selena has been on quite an emotional journey these last few years. She has been open about her struggles with mental illness and bipolar disorder, inspiring her fans to open up too. She also shared to Instagram the scar on her thigh from her kidney transplant, confessing that she once found it difficult to show anyone. Via Rare Beauty, she even started a mental health fund earlier aiming to make it easier for those seeking therapy, medication, or other forms of mental health treatment. Both her highs and her lows, according to Selena, are what made Rare Beauty take shape the way that it did.

At the beginning of the year, Selena presented an early glimpse at Rare Beauty with this same ethos alongside a photo showing the words, “You are rare.” “Our mission is to shape conversations around beauty, self-acceptance, and mental health. We want to help people get more access to support and services, and help people feel more authentically connected to one another and less alone in the world,” the caption read. And it’s safe to say she’s achieving it. 

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Selena Gomez Dropped a Makeup Tutorial of Her Everyday Look

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Texans fired up for first U.S. Women’s Open in Lone Star State in nearly 30 years

Angela Stanford’s first experience at a U.S. Women’s Open came in 1991, when Meg Mallon won at Colonial Country Club not far from Stanford’s Fort Worth home. Seventh-grade Stanford bought a visor that week at Colonial and, years later, when she was competing alongside Mallon as a rookie on the LPGA, asked the World Golf Hall of Famer to sign it. It remains one of her prized pieces of sports memorabilia.

a man and a woman wearing a hat

© Provided by Golfweek

“I just never dreamed that I’d get to play one in Texas,” said a giddy and grateful 43-year-old Stanford.

The 75th U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club, which gets underway Dec. 10, marks only the second time the championship will be held in the Lone Star State. It’s a startling stat given how many of LPGA legends have hailed from Texas, including Babe Zaharias, Kathy Whitworth, Betsy Rawls, Marilynn Smith, Judy Rankin, Sandra Palmer and Carol Mann. Stanford got teary-eyed just thinking about the opportunity on the 4 ½-hour drive down to media day last month.

“I know it’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” she said. “I can’t even put it into words.”

Karin Sjödin holding a pot

© Provided by Golfweek

Meg Mallon holds the U.S. Women’s Open trophy at the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Colonial CC in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 14, 1991. (USGA)

There are seven Texans in the 156-player field, including three major winners and two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Kristen Gillman. Brittany Lang is the only Texan competing who has won a U.S. Women’s Open.

Champions owner Jack Burke Jr., the oldest living Masters champion, still shows up to work every day at age 97. (He’ll turn 98 on Jan. 29.) The club’s rich history of tournaments includes the 1969 U.S. Open, 1967 Ryder Cup (captained by Ben Hogan), five PGA Tour Championships (won by the likes of Tiger Woods and David Duval) and the Houston Champions International (now the Vivant Houston Open), won by Arnold Palmer, Roberto De Vicenzo and Hubert Green.

No club in Texas has hosted more USGA championships than Champions.

Stacy Lewis grew up down the road in The Woodlands, Texas, and actually joined Champions when she and husband Gerrod Chadwell first moved to Houston.

“If you want to play with the best players,” she said, “that’s where you go.”

The couple now live at Golf Club of Houston, where Chadwell’s University of Houston team practices. Lewis, however, was recently extended a membership to Burkes’ historic club in the run-up to the Women’s Open.

“I’ve actually played Jackrabbit more than I’ve played Cypress,” said the former No. 1, referring to the second course that will be utilized championship week due to limited daylight.

While the Cypress course is open with massive greens, Jackrabbit presents a tighter test with a number of doglegs and smaller green complexes. A player could hit 16 or 17 greens on Cypress, Lewis said, and still shoot over par.

Given that the PGA’s Tour’s Houston Open welcomed fans in November, Lewis held out hope

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Ex-Arizona Official Paul Petersen Gets Six Years for Smuggling Pregnant Women Into U.S. to Sell Their Babies

An Arizona man was sentenced to six years behind bars Tuesday for smuggling pregnant women into America as part of an illegal adoption scheme that operated in three states and helped to bankroll his luxurious lifestyle.

Paul Petersen, a Republican former Maricopa County assessor and adoption lawyer, pleaded guilty in June to paying expectant mothers from the Republic of the Marshall Islands—a chain of islands between Hawaii and the Philippines—to have babies in the U.S. and give them up to adoptive families in exchange for thousands of dollars.

During his sentencing hearing, however, Petersen denied knowing that his employees in the adoption fraud operation had coerced these women by threatening to take away their passports if they tried to back out of the deal.

“I did treat everyone in their situation, on all sides of the adoption, with respect,” Petersen told the court. “I did try to promote respect for Marshallese culture. I got into adoptions because quite simply I loved the Marshall Islands and the Marshallese people.”

“If even one of these beautiful ladies felt wronged, it’s one too many,” added Petersen, a father of four and a licensed attorney in Arkansas, Arizona, and Utah. He reportedly got involved in Marshallese adoptions in 1998 while working on the islands as a missionary through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks sentenced Petersen, 45, to 74 months in federal prison and $105,100 in fines for one count of “conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens for private financial gain.” Petersen’s sentence includes three years of supervised release after he leaves a federal prison in Arizona.

Prosecutors accused Petersen of falsifying records, lying to state court judges, and instructing the pregnant women to lie during court proceedings as part of the scheme. David Clay Fowlkes, first assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, said Petersen also “manipulated birth mothers into consenting to adoptions they did not fully understand.”

In a sentencing memorandum filed this month, prosecutors said Petersen’s operation exploited poor women who didn’t speak English and threatened them if they tried to get out of the adoptions. They said the scheme helped to fund a lavish lifestyle for Petersen and his family which included multiple residences, trips to New York and California, luxury cars, and “a large residence in an exclusive gated community in Arizona.”

“The people who brought them to the United States threatened to call the police and prosecute them if they attempted to back out of the adoption proceedings,” the government added in the memorandum. “These circumstances prevented their escape as securely as if they were chained to a wall.”

The memorandum alleged the $10,000 Petersen offered the women was “an amount of money that they simply could not refuse for people that lived in poverty on a remote island.”

“Notably, however, the birth mothers actually received far less than they were promised and had ‘living expenses’ deducted from their promised payment, living expenses which consisted of them being housed in

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Amazon says this year’s holiday shopping period has been the biggest in its history

  • Amazon has announced that this year’s holiday shopping season has been the biggest in its history.
  • More consumers are doing their holiday shopping from their couch this year, due to the pandemic.
  • Amazon is widely expected to be one of the biggest winners this holiday season, with one Wall Street firm estimating it could capture 42 cents of every dollar spent during the busy shopping period.

a person standing in front of a laptop: An Amazon fulfillment center in Frankenthal, Germany.

© Provided by CNBC
An Amazon fulfillment center in Frankenthal, Germany.

Amazon said Tuesday that this year’s holiday shopping season has been the biggest in its history, as the coronavirus pandemic forced more people than ever to do their shopping online.


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The e-commerce giant said in a blog post that customers have been shopping early for gifts and seasonal items for their loved ones. It comes as many retailers reliant on physical stores have been struggling to survive.

Popular purchases so far include the new Echo Dot, Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” book, and the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Brush, Amazon said. Self-care, “nesting at home”, and “cozy comfort” were among the most popular trends during the period.

“In a holiday season unlike any other, it’s clear that customers still want great deals on gifts for their loved ones or a little something extra for themselves, and we’re glad to help deliver smiles throughout the season,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, in a statement.

“Thank you to our customers, employees, and selling partners around the world for making this our biggest holiday season to date, and for everything you’re doing to support our communities and each other now and throughout the year.”

Video: How to save money when shopping online this holiday season (CNBC)

How to save money when shopping online this holiday season



The company didn’t disclose actual sales figures for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, which are typically the company’s two busiest days in the holiday shopping period.

Amazon has been criticized for promoting its own products above those from independent retailers, but the company said the latter had seen “record demand” on its platform this year.

Independent businesses selling on Amazon surpassed $4.8 billion in worldwide sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Amazon said, noting that the figure was up 60% on last year. It added that 71,000 small and medium-sized businesses had seen sales above $100,000 in this holiday season so far.

Like many other retailers, Amazon began offering holiday deals earlier than ever this year. Prime Day, which was pushed back from mid-July to October, became the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

Consumers still opened up their wallets on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, despite the earlier start, and did more of their shopping online. Spending online on Black Friday this year climbed 22% year over year to a record $9 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year, is also expected to notch record sales.


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See a sneak peek at this year’s Fashion Awards

The British Fashion Council has released a trailer for the 2020 Fashion Awards, which will be taking place this week in a new format as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions placed on large gatherings in the UK. The annual event – which tends to take place in London in December and always draws in a big A-list crowd – will this year be a digital-only event.

Lady Gaga, Donatella Versace, Kate Moss, Amber Valletta standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: The annual event is going digital for the first time

© Oliver Holms
The annual event is going digital for the first time

The 2020 Fashion Awards will be held this Thursday 3 December and will “honour and celebrate the designers, brands, creatives and individuals who have created positive change within the fashion industry this year”, the BFC announced in a statement last month.

This year, there will be a focus on those who bravely and pro-actively dealt with the pandemic, who showed leadership and creative resilience and who stood up to prejudice within the fashion industry. The awards will likely celebrate and respond to efforts to encourage diversity within the fashion industry after a summer of Black Lives Matter protests which took place across the UK and around the world.

“The Fashion Awards recognises and celebrates innovation in fashion,” Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the new BFC Ambassador for positive change, says as she introduces the awards in the trailer, which you can watch below.

“What the past couple of months have shown us, is that the fashion industry is in need of a reset,” BFC CEO Caroline Rush said. “This is why this year, under unique circumstances, we felt that it was important to recognise the people and businesses who played a role in some of the most important and challenging issues of our generation and champion those who raised the bar in areas such as diversity, sustainability, and community.”

The award show, which is being sponsored by Swarovski again, will honour 20 individuals and brands, who will all receive a ‘2020 Fashion Award’ for a specific contribution. These will be announced as part of a short film that will document the fashion industry in this extraordinary year. The BFC will also, for the third year running, compile the ‘New Wave: Creatives’ list which highlights up-and-coming fashion talent.

Although 2020’s award show will be digital only, the BFC announced hopeful plans to host a physical award show the following year, taking place at the Royal Albert Hall on 29 November 2021.

“The ceremony will be reimagined to reflect the BFC’s new mission and with the ambition to have technology and engagement at its heart, looking at innovations for amplification and new experiences,” the BFC explained.

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This Year’s Black Friday Designer Fashion Sales May Not Be What You Think.

Fashion designers and luxury retailers have always had a complicated relationship with Black Friday.

The super sale extravaganza doesn’t always fit right (no pun intended) with companies that make $890 shoes and $3,700 dresses. The pandemic only focused the issue: It wreaked havoc on supply chains and delayed the delivery of many items, potentially telescoping the amount of time products would remain on shelves at full price before the holiday sales begin.

So back in May, designer Dries Van Noten and retailer Andrew Keith, now at Selfridge’s in London, convened a discussion over Zoom with other designers and chief executives to seize the moment to address long-needed change regarding when and how high-end clothes are delivered and discounted.

Yet here we are on Black Friday, and many of those signatories are conducting what look very much like sales as usual.

“Cyber Deals Up to 50% Off” blares a red banner on the Nordstrom site (Pete Nordstrom, co-president, signed the letter). There are also sales at Tory Burch, Bergdorf Goodman and the Webster, to name a few other brands whose executives were among the signatories.

So were the pledges of change a lot of style sound and fashion fury, signifying nothing? Is this corporate hypocrisy in a Santa costume?

Both Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman declined to comment on the question. However, independent boutiques and designers suggest it’s not quite discounts as usual this year. No brand or store wants to be the odd one out in a sea of slashed prices. But that does not mean these designer sales are exactly like the old designer sales.

Karen Murray, owner of New York boutique Fivestory, acknowledged that one of her colleagues did sign the Open Letter, because “the whole industry was hoping that things would slow down.” But, she said, she has to compete. And “as much as I wanted to hold off, in a world where others are extremely promotional, it is hard to stick to a nonpromotional schedule.”

However, she also pointed out that this year’s markdowns would be more limited in both depth and length than those in the more recent past. This time last year, for example, Black Friday was more like Black November, or Black November-Starting-in-October.

Now, “We try to follow the markdown cadence recommended by the brands and designers, but we watch the online sites like a hawk,” said Ms. Murray.

Mr. Van Noten, the designer, said he received no pushback when he asked his retail partners not to put his products on sale until after Christmas or New Year’s — though in all their bells and whistles around Black Friday, the stores didn’t exactly advertise it (or the other designers who would be exceptions to the

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FIFA gone in 10 years with MLS-style system to replace it

Super-agent Mino Raiola doesn’t see a long-term future for FIFA and would like a new system to govern football, citing how Major League Soccer brought new ideas to the table when it was founded in the 1990s.

Speaking at the World Football Summit, Raiola slammed the way FIFA currently runs the global game and believes that the organization is expendable.

“FIFA is 50 years behind,” said Raiola. “FIFA in 10 years, you can write it down, won’t exist anymore.”

“The golf association doesn’t have a FIFA and golf is being played in the whole world. Tennis is changing. Formula 1 is changing. There is a problem with FIFA: they divide jobs, they divide money and that’s how they keep everyone happy.”

– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

Raiola, who represents global stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, went as far as saying that the organization “is not something that should dictate the law” and wants a new system in place to regulate the game.

“MLS did it,” he said. “MLS created 20 years ago a new system. MLS 20 years ago said we have nothing to do with FIFA. Nothing. FIFA said that MLS was something ridiculous. You know what they did? FBI arrested half of FIFA and they gave them the World [Cup].”

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While Raiola appeared to praise the way MLS introduced new ideas, with the salary restrictions designed to promote parity and the Designated Player rule, and operates on a different model to many of the world’s leagues, but the Italian is firmly against salary caps, indicating that implementing them would be “going back 75 years ago to the Russian communist times.”

“How can you cap a talent? How can you cap a talent if tomorrow [Diego] Maradona walks in and you say ‘I need you, I want you to play for my audience,’ that should be a salary cap?” questioned the agent. “We are living in a capitalist world, where we do everything in a capitalist way, but Gianni Infantino wants to go back to North Korea. I have no problem with North Korea, but go live in North Korea and not in Switzerland.”

The Italian doesn’t see much hope for negotiating with FIFA to change the way the game is currently run and doesn’t believe the organization is open to ideas.

“FIFA wants us to come to the table and say, ‘we spoke with you, we asked you,'” said Raiola. “But we say, ‘if you want to talk to us, we make a blank paper and we start writing what we want.’ Not that we come there and you tell me what you’ve decided and then tell me, but

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Sex crime ringleader who blackmailed dozens of women is jailed for 40 years in South Korea

SEOUL —Over nine months starting in spring 2019, Cho Ju-bin lured his victims — whom he called “slaves” — with calculated precision.

Sex crime ringleader sentenced to 40 years in South Korea



From his home in Seoul’s suburbs, the 25-year-old orchestrated one of South Korea’s most infamous sex crimes. Under an online alias as the “Doctor,” he blackmailed at least 74 young women, including minors, into sharing sexually explicit videos of themselves, then sold the footage online through a chat group on the encrypted app Telegram.

On Thursday, a court convicted Cho of organizing a crime ring and violating child protection laws, and jailed him for 40 years.

The case fueled a national outcry in South Korea over what has emerged as a major societal problem: men secretly recording sexually explicit footage of women, or blackmailing their victims into doing so, and then selling the material online.

It’s a crisis fueled by a lack of respect for women in Korean society and a culture of impunity, exemplified by weak laws against digital sex crimes and often low penalties for sex offenders.

[South Korea identifies suspected leader of sexual blackmail ring after uproar]

In sentencing Cho, the Seoul Central District Court said he needed to be “isolated from society for an extended period” given the number of victims, the damage he inflicted on them and the social repercussions of the crimes.

“The defendant lured and threatened a large number of victims into producing sexually degrading videos and raised a lot of money through distributing them to many people over an extended period,” the court said. “In particular, he inflicted irreparable damage by releasing the identities of many victims.”

Cho had lured women through social media, sometimes by posting fake modeling or employment advertisements, and then conspired with workers at local government offices to obtain their personal information so he could blackmail them. He then sold access to chatrooms for up to $1,300, paid in cryptocurrency.

The scale of the operation stunned the nation. Local media said that up to 260,000 people potentially viewed the content, though police say that number includes double-counting and nonpaying members. More than 2 million people signed a petition demanding the names of everyone who viewed the content to be made public.

“At the time, I was hardly concerned about human dignity and I just used people and sex as tool for crimes,” Cho told prosecutors, according to local media reports. “Now I declare an end to my life as a devil.”

Prosecutors had sought a life sentence for Cho. Both they and Cho have a week to appeal the verdict. Cho’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

The police have detained 124 suspects in relation to the crime ring.

[Sex scandals stain the clean-cut image of South Korea’s K-pop]

In Thursday’s ruling, sentences of 15 years or less were handed down to some of Cho’s accomplices. A 24-year-old man, under the alias “Donald Putin,” was convicted of stealing victims’

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This Year’s Best Cannabis Books For Every Consumer On Your List

Cannabis may still be federally illegal in the United States, but reading about it certainly is not. Each year, the literature available on this revered plant becomes more and more informed, and with a number of additional states legalizing adult-use and medical cannabis in 2020, education around it is more important than ever.

Weed books published in 2020 cover such a broad range of subjects that this list has been broken down by consumers you might be shopping for this holiday season. Because just like strains of pot and the books being written about it, no two cannabis consumers are the same.

For Your Romantic Partner: Merry Jane’s The CBD Solution: Sex: How Cannabis, CBD, and Other Plant Allies Can Improve Your Everyday Life

By Ashley Manta

This beautifully designed book, one of three in a series by cannabis magazine Merry Jane, dives into the multitude of ways in which cannabis and specifically CBD can be used to rev up your experience in the bedroom. Author of the book Ashley Manta says CBD can help address the things that get in the way of enjoying sex, like pain and anxiety.

“This book is for people who are curious about how to incorporate CBD and other cannabinoids into their solo and partnered pleasure explorations. It meets readers who are approaching with a beginner’s mind, but quickly moves into advanced insights, techniques, and reframes for maximizing your erotic potential,” says Manta. Two of the author’s favourite ways to incorporate CBD and sex are by using CBD topicals and tinctures, the former to be applied for intimate stimulation and the latter ingested to easy anxiety. “If you can quiet down whatever is swirling in your head, it makes it much easier to feel present in your body,” she says.

For the Green Thumb: How to Grow Marijuana: The Easiest Guide to Growing Weed

By Murph Wolfson

There are many books on the market that explain the process of growing cannabis, but with so many different approaches to growing, this one stood out for being the most up-to-date. Written by Murph Wolfson, a master grower who has grown cannabis since he was 13, it’s a great choice for beginners that may already be familiar with gardening but are interested in learning the finer points of growing cannabis, such as picking seeds and seedlings, germinating, the differences between hydroponics, outdoor growing and indoor growing, as well as options around pest control.


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