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The latest news from Life

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    HubSpot

    • How can you boost your chances of being happy in the office?
    • The career site Comparably recently analyzed its data to find out what large US companies have the happiest workers.
    • Most of the companies were California-based tech outfits.


    Want to be happy at work?

    Move out to California and get a job in tech.

    Comparably, a compensation and careers site, recently ranked what it found to be the happiest large companies in the US.

    It based the results on anonymous employee reviews of companies with over 500 employees posted on its site between September 2017 and September 2018. At least 50 employees had to leave reviews for a company to be considered.

    Of the top 25 companies, 12 were based in California. Red Bull GmbH is technically headquartered in Austria, but its North American branch is based in Santa Monica, California.

    The Golden State's splendid showing shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The vast majority of the happiest companies belong to the tech sector, which is, of course, largely situated in California.

    Red Bull, International Flavors & Fragrances, Golden Hippo Media, Starbucks, and Delta Airlines were the only companies in the rankings that weren't strictly tech-oriented, but even these firms boast a significant tech aspect to their businesses. Eight of the companies that made the rankings create and sell software products. Five — Netflix, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and eBay — are well-known consumer-facing tech giants.

    So if the domination of tech companies explains why California fared so well, then what explains the fact that tech workers are so happy? The answer is pretty simple, at least in part: tech jobs pay well.

    In Glassdoor's roundup of the 25 highest-paid occupations of 2018, 13 of the top jobs could be considered straight-up tech roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average systems software developer earns $127,230 a year in California. And the average wage for a systems software developer in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area was even higher, coming in at $141,890 a year.

    For perspective, the median annual wage for all US workers in 2017 was $44,564.

    What's more, research indicates that it's not all about the money. Forbes reported on a 2016 survey in which 71% of tech workers said they felt they had a good work-life balance, while 72% of respondents working in tech said they felt appreciated on the job.

    So if you've got the blues at work, consider brushing up on your tech skills and looking west.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 25 companies with the happiest employees in 2018

    DON'T MISS: Inside Verizon's newly renovated New Jersey campus, which features an indoor taco truck, an exclusive hotel, and a mile-long track

    SEE ALSO: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who just bought Time Magazine for $190 million, says he lives with a 'beginner's mind' — here's what that means

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How you should design your home to maximize happiness


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    Hope Hicks

    • Hope Hicks was the youngest-ever White House communications director.
    • Next, she'll be taking on the role of chief communications officer at Fox, Business Insider reported.
    • She got her start promoting Ivanka Trump's fashion brand, before earning Donald Trump's trust and becoming a part of his inner circle.


    Hope Hicks was the youngest person to ever hold the position of White House communications director.

    After she resigned from the White House in February of 2018, it was initially unclear how she'd follow up her run as one of US President Donald Trump's top confidants.

    On October 8, however, it was announced that Hicks will be joining the team at Fox as the chief communications officer. She'll run public relations for Fox News, Fox Sports, and Fox Business, Business Insider reported.

    During her tenure in the White House, Hicks was embroiled in a number of controversies. She previously admitted to telling "white lies" on behalf of the president, during an eight-hour testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

    Hicks was also romantically linked to former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. When Porter's two ex-wives went on the record alleging that Porter had a history of domestic abuse, Hicks reportedly helped Chief of Staff John Kelly craft a statement defending him.

    She was also interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team regarding Russian interference in the US election.

    Hicks had zero experience in politics before joining the Trump campaign in 2015. The New York Times reported the Greenwich, Connecticut native was "the third generation of her family to represent a powerful but highly controversial client." Her father ran PR for a tobacco company and the NFL, while her grandfather represented Texaco during the energy crisis in the 1970s.

    "My father has been a huge influence on me, starting with introducing me to lacrosse, then a career in public relations and now politics," Hicks told Lacrosse Magazine.

    Here's a look back at her career:

    SEE ALSO: The incredible life of rumored Tillerson replacement and CIA director Mike Pompeo, a West Point valedictorian and Trump's go-to source on North Korea

    DON'T MISS: A look inside the daily life of Kellyanne Conway, the loyal Trump adviser favored to become the White House's next communications director

    Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, Hicks swam, and played golf and lacrosse.

    Source: New York Times, NPR



    At Greenwich High School, she became captain of the varsity lacrosse team, which ultimately won a state championship.

    Source: New York Times, NPR



    She also landed modeling jobs for television commercials, Ralph Lauren, and Vogue. Ford Modeling Agency represented Hicks and her sister Marcy Grace.

    Source: New York Times, NPR



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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  • 10/09/18--14:48: What is LARPing?
  • You've probably heard of Dungeons and Dragons, but a similar activity called LARPing is another popular fantasy game played all around the world. It stands for Live Action Role Playing, and it involves people creating characters and acting out various fictional scenarios in real life. We spent the weekend at a steampunk themed LARP in New Jersey to see what it's all about and why people love it so much. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Die!

    Dodge!

    Magic! Magic!

    Narrator: This is LARPing. You may have heard about it from movies like "Knights of Badassdom" or "Role Models." But what exactly is LARPing and why are people so obsessed with it?

    Chelsea Russell: LARP is an acronym L-A-R-P. It stands for Live Action Role Playing. Some people will say Live Action Role Playing game or they'll turn it into a verb called LARPing.

    Narrator: Chelsea Russell has been LARPing for the past seven years. Going about once a month. She's part of a group of LARPers based in New Jersey called Aurum.

    Russell: What LARP is, is generally a interactive role playing experience kind of like a Dungeons and Dragons or a video game come to real life.

    Narrator: LARPing basically involves coming up with a character, giving it a background, making costumes and props for it, and then acting out a story.

    Russell: We are currently in Stagepoint Delta of the continent of Antioch. You determine their name, their personality, you know, do they have any family members? What's their goals in life?

    Since my character likes math I have a book of Sudoku puzzles.

    Narrator: The basic plot has been written in advance and players use that as a launch pad to improvise the rest.

    Russell: They've created a world, and they've created rules for that world.

    Narrator: Aurum is a steampunk fantasy themed LARP. Some other LARPs can be post-apocalyptic, zombie, and vampire themed. In addition to participating as a player, Chelsea also writes some of the stories and works part time on the staff.

    We spent the weekend at one of Aurum's monthly events to see what it's like.

    This LARP took place at a Boy Scout camp in New Jersey which was closed for the season, so all the cabins and buildings were free for use.

    One of the organizers, Robyn, arrived early to set up food and decorations. Soon the players who registered in advance started to show up in their cars.

    Russell: When players arrive, they'll arrive out of game, out of character. You know, setting up their things and if it's a weekend thing they'll be setting up their sleeping area.

    Narrator: Weekend LARPs typically run from Friday night through Saturday at midnight. They cost around 40 to 50 dollars to register per person, which doesn't include travel or any meal besides breakfast.

    About 10 people were in attendance for this event. When they register, they get their character sheet with their current stats along with some cards that represent weapons and ingredients used to make items.

    One of the things that people can make in the game is called a clockwork messenger. It's supposed to be a small animal, often in the shape of a dog, that can carry messages for people.

    Narrator: A few people will take turns playing what's called an NPC. Think of them as temporary staff, working for the writers and organizers.

    Russell: The term is call NPC, Non-Player Character. They'll send an NPC out as, "I'm a nasty orc and I'm going to burn down your farm." And the players will react as they determine that their characters will react.

    Narrator: As they got into costume, the players ate dinner together.

    I am Silas Arloc a dark elf explorer.

    Edmund Sterling. He's a gnome entrepreneur.

    Leanna-Rose. She's an Imperial scientist.

    My character's name is The Mole. He has an actual name but he doesn't remember it anymore. He's a hedge mage. So he's one of the people who try to cling onto the dying magic of this world.

    Narrator: Meanwhile Aurum's head of plot, Kelvin, started setting up his props.

    I've been LARPing since 1995.

    Narrator: Kelvin brought various items, including light up wreaths, fake plants, stuffed creatures, and lots of fake weapons. Aurum is a type of LARP called a Combat Boffer LARP.

    Russell: Combat Boffer LARPs have an element of physicality to them.

    Stand tall!

    Narrator: They incorporate specially made weapons that you can actually fight with.

    Russell: Just PVC pipe covered with insulation foam and duct tape and made in such a way to represent a sword, or an axe, or a hammer, or what have you.

    Narrator: Since it's steampunk themed, there are also guns.

    We use Nerf guns at this game but I painted this one specifically so it would fit the theme a little better. Like with coppers and silvers.

    Narrator: If you get hit by one of the bullets it takes away real hit points off your character.

    So it's literally like if you were just shooting someone for fun with a Nerf gun except now in game, that has a little bit more implication then just getting hit with a Nerf dart. He was just shot. I was just shot.

    Narrator: It's a continuous storyline from month to month, so there's a lot to catch up on.

    Everyone evacuated this area after the orc attack. Cool, and let's get ready to rock. Starting in 15. Thanks Kelvin.

    Narrator: On Friday night Chelsea would be playing as an NPC and marshal. Marshals wear white headbands or hats to distinguish themselves from the players.

    Russell: I'm out of game. I'm not in character. I'm not something to interact with. They're asking you maybe game mechanic questions. Like can I use this skill or how does this thing work?

    The marshals will have the notes for the different encounters of what they are doing on these tablets.

    Russell: Tonight I will be playing a... one of the departed spirits that has remained in the abandoned town. My main goal will just to be as spooky and creepy as possible.

    A couple of days after Halloween when all the costume goes on sale we jokingly refer to as LARPer Christmas. So you can go to the stores and get all of your costume needs for cheap.

    I actually was the one who mainly wrote the events of tonight.

    Narrator: The story started at a basketball court on camp.

    He's a ghost that is in a bird.

    I really don't know where everyone else went.

    Bernard, find them!

    No, he did not find them.

    Narrator: The main plot of the weekend is that the characters are trying to reclaim a town called Stagepoint Delta, which had been overrun with orcs several months ago and it's now inhabited by a number of creatures, including ghosts.

    You have your ether goggles? Yes. I recommend, there's a lot of strange ghosts out there.

    Yeah that's creepy. How you doin'? This is Bernard.

    Narrator: One of which could be put to rest only after burying his bones.

    Get back from the green menace!

    What the hell is that?

    Why don't we bury his bones?

    Stand your ground.

    Narrator: Fortunately one of the players brought a shovel.

    Russell: Raccoons. Raccoons are also a creature you can encounter and they have specific skills that have been written down.

    Narrator: They also were faced with other challenges. Like a puzzle they had to solve to clear the way to enter a building.

    The first line is saw twa corbies query make. Second line is downy visage upon thine tree.

    Narrator: Once inside, a demon was waiting to do battle.

    Hit it!

    Someone disarm him.

    Just hit my arm damn it.

    Someone throw etheric disrupter at it!

    Agh! Dodge!

    Magic, magic, magic, magic, magic, magic, magic! Magic!

    Russell: In Aurum characters can die. They can be permanently killed.

    Narrator: But that doesn't mean you have to go home. You can jump in as a new character. Or if you're only wounded, you can also be healed.

    Russell: Someone can come along and say, "I'm applying first aid," and then you would be able to stand back up and you would may role play... "Oh, I've been stabbed through the chest. It hurts, but I'm alive."

    Narrator: The game went on until about three AM. After patrolling the perimeter to make sure the land was secure.

    In the morning Robyn made pancakes and bacon for the players who arrived at the table in costume and in character.

    On Saturday, Chelsea became one of the players, and someone else took on role of marshal and NPC.

    Russell: So my usual character is a sea elf mathematician. She follows the sun god called Hep'a'nen.

    My name is Madriloren Avstynerhav, I'm a Vand Nisse mathematician with Stoneforge & Company.

    Narrator: In the daylight, the group battled some more creatures, like a tiger.

    Russell: Ow! I got clawed up real good.

    Narrator: And a troll.

    And things got a bit scary when real gun shots could be heard in the woods from nearby hunters.

    Narrator: But they managed to tie this into the game's story.

    In the background, Stoneforge is prepping the canons and getting everything ready.

    Narrator: While I was filming, no one was on their phones taking selfies or posting to Facebook while in character.

    Russell: It tends to break people out of their mindset of playing their character, and once you start playing in character you generally try not to talk about things that are real-world related. You wouldn't talk about, "Oh my car broke down."

    Narrator: There was also no drinking at this LARP.

    Everyone played for the rest of the day and then departed on Sunday back to the real world.

    Russell: My real life job? I am a supervisor at a coffee shop, and then I come here, and I play math nerds and ghosts.

    Narrator: Many of them will be back next month to continue the story.

    Russell: It's fun to play pretend, and a lot of people I think, think that dressing up and playing pretend is childish when it doesn't have to be. The enjoyment you get is creating a story together with people. And I think that's something that a lot of people don't really realize.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    David Brat and Donald Trump

    • Rep. Dave Brat, a Virginia Republican running for reelection, accused his Democratic opponent Abigail Spanberger of "shouting him down" with a "liberal mob" at a town hall.
    • But a video that Brat is promoting of Spanberger shows her simply nodding her head and calling out responses to questions he asked of the audience at the gathering. 
    • This comes as Republicans — led by the president — are characterizing Democratic protesters as a dangerous, "angry mob." 

    In a new attack ad, Rep. Dave Brat, a Virginia Republican running for reelection, accused his Democratic opponent Abigail Spanberger of joining a "mob" in "shouting him down" at a town hall, even though Spanberger is shown simply nodding, shaking her head, and calling out responses to his questions in the video.  

    On Tuesday, Brat tweeted out his new campaign ad, which includes footage of Spanberger, a former CIA officer, attending one of his town halls in which he invited the audience to answer a series of questions about taxation and government regulation. 

    "How many people want to see individual income tax rate reductions for you in this room? How many people want to see tax increases to fund more programs? How many people want to see corporate tax rate reductions?" Brat asks his audience at the gathering, to which they respond with claps and shouts of "yes" and "no." 

    The ad singles out Spanberger, who is sitting in the front row nodding, shaking her head, clapping, and calling out answers along with the audience

    Brat ends the town hall by asserting that he is trying to promote a discourse with his constituents. 

    "Everybody asks for town halls so we can have a civil discourse, and so that's what we're trying to do," he says. 

    He tweeted alongside the video, "What are we supposed to believe? Abigail Spanberger or our lying eyes? Here's Spanberger caught on tape at a Dave Brat town hall shouting him down and calling for tax increases."

    Democrats pushed back on the ad, accusing Republicans of characterizing peaceful dissent as some kind of uncivil intimidation tactic.  

    "This is what Republicans call a 'mob' and 'shouting him down.' Do not let them win this ridiculous reframing of citizens holding their elected officials accountable," tweeted Christina Reynolds, a communications official at the Democratic PAC Emily's List. 

    Spanberger also responded to the ad, quote tweeting an op-ed in The Week calling Brat's attack "silly." 

    This comes as the president and the GOP have accused Democratic protesters of being paid to demonstrate, and are characterizing them as an out-of-control "angry left-wing mob."

    Republicans were particularly critical of people — many of them women and sexual assault survivors — who demonstrated against Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct. 

    "I'm glad those who tried to overturn the rule of law and replace it with mob rule lost," Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on Fox News Sunday following Kavanaugh's confirmation vote.

    SEE ALSO: KAVANAUGH IS CONFIRMED: Embattled Supreme Court nominee secures 50 votes in the Senate, is sworn in as justice

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    marco rubio richard blumenthal

    • Sens. Marco Rubio and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Supermicro, the motherboard supplier named in a recent bombshell Bloomberg report on Chinese infiltration.
    • Rubio and Blumenthal requested the company send information regarding microchips allegedly placed onto equipment by Chinese government officials that was then sold to tech giants like Apple and Amazon as well as government contractors.
    • While Apple and Amazon have both strongly denied the report, Rubio and Blumenthal felt the importance of the issue demanded further investigation by Capitol Hill.
    • Read the full letter below.

    A bipartisan pair of senators requested more answers from Supermicro, the motherboard producer that an explosive report said sold equipment to major US tech companies that had been infiltrated by the Chinese government.

    Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal sent a letter Tuesday to Supermicro's CEO, Charles Liang, asking for more information following a Bloomberg story that reported the company sold motherboards to Apple, Amazon, and the US government that contained microchips implanted by Chinese spies.

    In turn, Bloomberg reported, these microchips could have given the Chinese government backdoor access to data on servers where the motherboards were installed.

    "If this news report is accurate, the potential infiltration of Chinese backdoors could provide a foothold for adversaries and competitors to engage in commercial espionage and launch destructive cyber attacks," Rubio and Blumenthal wrote.

    The pair added: "As Members of Congress, we are alarmed by any potential threats to national security and have a responsibility to ensure our nation’s sensitive networks are kept safe. We write to request information from Supermicro on these reported attempts to subvert its computer products to spy on the United States."

    Both Apple and Amazon strongly denied the report, which Rubio and Blumenthal acknowledged. But they said the issues raised in the report were too important to simply accept the companies' statements.

    "In The Information’s February 2017 article, Mr. Leng disclosed that 'thousands of customers' were using the same hardware. These customers deserve answers immediately," the letter said. "While large tech firms may have the financial resources and expertise to mitigate sophisticated cyber security threats or completely remove affected hardware, most companies do not. Nor do they have the information to act."

    Bloomberg also reported Tuesday that a "major US telecom" also discovered compromised Supermicro equipment in August.

    The letter from the senators follows concern from both sides of the aisle about the Bloomberg report. Rep. Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told Business Insider on Thursday that the Bloomberg report was another example of China's long-standing attempts to infiltrate the information structures of the US.

    "The report that China sought to infiltrate the computer chip supply chain, if true, is deeply disturbing and the latest example of the lengths that Beijing will go to in order to steal America's official and commercial secrets," Schiff said in a statement.

    Here's the full letter from Rubio and Blumenthal:

    Dear Mr. Liang,

    On October 4, 2018, Bloomberg Businessweek published stunning allegations of sophisticated cyber espionage operations by the Chinese government purported to involve the tampering of computer hardware manufactured and distributed by Supermicro. If this news report is accurate, the potential infiltration of Chinese backdoors could provide a foothold for adversaries and competitors to engage in commercial espionage and launch destructive cyber attacks. As Members of Congress, we are alarmed by any potential threats to national security and have a responsibility to ensure our nation’s sensitive networks are kept safe. We write to request information from Supermicro on these reported attempts to subvert its computer products to spy on the United States.

    Bloomberg reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army engaged in a sophisticated operation to insert malicious surveillance and data manipulation components onto server motherboards. Chinese intelligence agents reportedly deceived, bribed, and coerced Supermicro’s third-party manufacturers and subcontractors to alter motherboard designs. These added components—while appearing to be innocuous, common chips to an observer—would have been complex backdoors, and could quietly provide the Chinese government the ability to exfiltrate confidential data and bypass security controls on the nation’s most sensitive systems.

    According to Bloomberg’s report, the infected servers were found in almost 30 companies, including important financial institutions, government contractors, and technology companies. Moreover, the operation was reportedly not found until Apple and Amazon detected abnormal network traffic and undocumented hardware components in audits of their networks and systems. WhenThe Information reported in February 2017 on Apple’s decision to end its contract with your company, Supermicro’s senior vice-president of technology, Tau Leng, told the publication that malicious firmware from an outside manufacturer was found and committed to an independent investigation.

    We note that Supermicro, Apple, and Amazon have issued strong denials regarding the Bloomberg report. However, the nature of the claims raised alarms that must be comprehensively addressed. In The Information’s February 2017 article, Mr. Leng disclosed that “thousands of customers” were using the same hardware. These customers deserve answers immediately. While large tech firms may have the financial resources and expertise to mitigate sophisticated cyber security threats or completely remove affected hardware, most companies do not. Nor do they have the information to act.

    We are alarmed about the dangers posed by backdoors, and take any claimed threat to the nation’s networks and supply chain seriously. These new allegations require thorough answers and urgent investigation for customers, law enforcement, and Congress. We ask that you provide responses to following questions by October 17, 2018:

    1.)    When did Supermicro first become aware of reports regarding malicious hardware components and firmware in its computers and hardware? Has Supermicro ever found tampering of components or firmware that targeted its products?

    2.)    Has Supermicro conducted an investigation of its chain of suppliers to identify any possible modifications or security issues with its products? If it has found tampering, has it severed ties with those suppliers?

    3.)    If Supermicro has found or otherwise become aware of unaccounted-for modification on hardware or firmware, has it taken steps to remove the tampered product from the supply chain? 

    4.)    When The Information reported in February 2017 that Apple had found compromised firmware, did Supermicro conduct any investigation into the potential infiltration of its supply chain as Mr. Leng had committed to do so? If so, what were the results of this investigation?

    5.)    Has Supermicro cooperated with law enforcement in the United States to address such reports? If tampering is found, will you provide a list of potentially affected customers to U.S. authorities and provide information to customers?

    6.)    Has Supermicro enacted screening measures or audits to assess its supply chain and detect and mitigate any such attempts to tamper with products?

    7.)    If tampering is found, does Supermicro assess that such tampering could be mitigated based on firmware updates, software patches, configuration changes, or operating system defenses?

    8.)    Has the Chinese government ever requested access to Supermicro’s confidential security information or sought to restrict information regarding the security of Supermicro’s products? 

    Thank you for your attention to these important issues. We look forward to your response.

    SEE ALSO: Lawmakers say that China's reported use of a microchip to target tech giants like Amazon and Apple shows the 'lengths that Beijing will go to in order to steal' America's secrets

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    Sears

    • Sears has hired advisors to help the company prepare for bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
    • The struggling retailer is bringing in M-III Partners to put together a bankruptcy filing that could land as early as this week, The Journal reported citing people familiar with the plans.
    • Sears has been losing money and closing stores for years, in part because of an e-commerce boom that has seen companies like Amazon dominate the retail market.
    • The company has a $134 million debt payment due on Monday. M-III Partners is said to have been working on the potential bankruptcy filing for a few weeks, according to The Journal.

    Sears has hired advisors to help the company prepare for a possible bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

    The struggling retailer is bringing in M-III Partners to put together a bankruptcy filing that could land as early as this week, The Journal reported citing people familiar with the plans.

    Sears has been losing money and closing stores for years, in part because of an e-commerce boom that has seen companies like Amazon dominate the retail market. The company in May got a small boost in its share price on news that it was partnering with Amazon to provide automotive services to Amazon customers at Sears locations.

    Despite this, the outlook for Sears has been dismal. The company is staring down a $134 million debt payment due on Monday.

    M-III Partners is said to have been working on the potential bankruptcy filing for a few weeks, according to The Journal's sources who say the company is considering other options as well.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why horseshoe crab blood is so expensive


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    First lady Melania Trump opened up about her stance on the #MeToo movement with an interview to Good Morning America set to air on Friday, and she echoed her husband on a key point.

    "I support the women and they need to be heard. We need to support them and also men, not just women," said Trump.

    Asked if she thought the movement had mistreated accused men, as women increasingly come forward to allege sexual misconduct against powerful figures, she said that they needed hard evidence.

    "You need to have really hard evidence. If you're accused of something, then show the evidence.

    "You cannot just say to somebody, 'I was sexually assaulted'... because sometimes the media goes too far and the way they portray some stories, it's not correct, it's not right," she said.

    President Donald Trump has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct or assault, but categorically denies all charges.

    The movement of reckoning for sexual assault survivors again came to national attention during Brett Kavanaugh's rocky Supreme Court nomination hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Following the hearing, which saw Kavanaugh accused of a high school sexual assault against a Palo Alto University professor, the president prematurely declared Kavanaugh "proven innocent,"despite FBI investigations drawing no conclusions. Trump concluded, without seeing hard evidence, that Kavanaugh's accuser had wrongfully accused him. He later mocked his accuser's emotional testimony.

    Speaking at a press conference during the Kavanaugh hearings, the president appeared to empathize with the nominee as a fellow man falsely accused. At a rally in Mississippi prior to that he said, "Think of your son. Think of your husband. I've had so many false accusations."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything we know about Samsung’s foldable phone


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    flu shot in space

    • Flu season is approaching in the US and clinics are opening up to provide shots or a nasal mist for protection.
    • The flu vaccine has been updated this year to combat new strains of the virus, and experts think it may perform better than last year's against some nasty versions. 
    • Even if a flu vaccine doesn't prevent you from getting the flu, it can make the illness less severe if you do get it.

     

    Flu season is fast approaching in the US, and with it, a new flu vaccine is here. 

    After last year's shot performed so poorly, proving itself only 25% effective against some of the nastiest strains of the flu, infectious disease experts and drugmakers have reformulated the 2018-2019 vaccine. Although it's still early in the season, flu experts are hopeful about the new formula.

    "What we hope is that it's going to be a better match to what's circulating," doctor Richard Webby, an infectious disease expert at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, told Business Insider. 

    Webby is part of the World Health Organization team that decides how the vaccine gets made each year, and which flu strains drug manufacturers will target for protection.

    He says it's still too early to tell exactly how well this year's vaccine — which comes in both a shot and a mist — will pair up with the deluge of flu bugs that will better circulate in cooler, drier winter air. But there are already a few promising signs that this year's season might not be as bad as the last, and that this year's shot will better protect us from some of the worst cases of flu out there.

    The new flu shot has two key differences from last year's vaccine

    flu shot

    The formulation has been changed in two key ways: the nasty H3N2 strain that sickened many people last year has been updated, and the influenza B virus targeted for protection in the vaccine has been changed, too. So far, the revamped vaccines look promising.

    "It appears that the virus is doing a little better job, if we look at what's gone on in the southern hemisphere season," Webby said.

    Down south in Australia, for example, it's been a fairly mild flu season, with flu activity circulating at "low" levels, according to the Australian Department of Health. That may not perfectly translate to an equally mild flu season up north, but what Webby's seen so far suggests that the shot is also combatting the flu better than it did last year. 

    Drugmakers have been working since February to develop the new vaccine for this season's flu. 

    "Designing the vaccine takes a lot of effort and a lot of experimentation," Eva Lee, a mathematician and computational scientist who studies how flu viruses change and mutate at Georgia Tech, told Business Insider. "It takes about six months to really get the vaccine in good shape," she said.

    During that time, most flu shots are grown in chicken eggs, the same way they've been manufactured for more than 70 years. Studies show it's perfectly safe for kids with egg allergies to receive these flu shots. The flu mist, a nasal spray, is also made in eggs.

    One of the difficulties of designing a good flu shot this way is that manufacturers are dealing with a tough-to-control virus. As it is grown in the egg, it changes a bit. Meanwhile, the flu bug that's circulating in the population and sickening people is mutating and changing, too. 

    "That is really the chicken and egg catch," Lee said.

    Webby agrees, adding that, "the flu shot is a great public health tool, but it's certainly not the best vaccine we have."

    Even if the shot doesn't prevent the flu, it can make the illness milder

    Despite its imperfections, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the flu vaccine can prevent many illnesses. During the 2015-2016 season, the CDC estimated that the vaccine prevented about 5 million flu cases in the US, and another 71,000 hospitalizations. It doesn't matter much whether you mist or you poke, Webby said, both methods provide a similar dose of protection.

    There are some more potent versions of the flu vaccine available for elderly adults, who are some of the most at-risk of catching a deadlier flu. 

    In addition to lowering your chances of contracting a flu bug, the shot can also make the illness milder, if you do catch it. Finally, getting your flu shot can contribute to what's called "herd immunity" — fewer cases of the flu circulating in the population. That helps protect vulnerable people from getting sick, including the elderly, children, and individuals with certain allergies who can't get the vaccine. It takes about two weeks from vaccination for flu antibodies to fully build up in the body.

    A flu shot can come with mild side effects, including soreness, low-grade fever, and muscle aches. But that's clearly better than coming down with a full-blown flu, which can knock you out for over a week. 

    If you're wondering where flu shots are available near you, the CDC has the following flu vaccine finder, searchable by zip code. 

    SEE ALSO: How to avoid the flu when your partner or roommate gets sick: 9 simple tips

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How to tell if you have a cold, flu, or just allergies


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    • Just because your spouse has the flu doesn't mean you'll inevitably get sick.
    • It's hard to contain germs if you're sharing an enclosed space, but wearing a mask or staying at least six feet away from your sick loved one for a few days can help.
    • To keep yourself healthy, manage your stress, keep everything clean, and get lots of rest.


    When the flu hits home and your partner or roommate becomes a flu-shedding germ-bag, many people resign themselves to getting sick. 

    Although flu viruses are extremely contagious and tough to contain, there are a few simple ways you can reduce your risk of getting hit — even while caring for an ill friend or loved one. We've rounded up some of the easiest things you can do to prevent yourself from catching a case of the flu at home.

    Here are nine ways to minimize your risk.

    SEE ALSO: The deadly flu epidemic sweeping the US is still spreading — here's everything you need to know

    If you've gotten your shot, you'll be in better flu-fighting shape.

    The flu vaccine has been reformulated this year, and is available in both a shot and a mist. Vaccine makers are hopeful that this year's formulation will provide better protection against some of the nastiest strains of the flu than last year's shot.

    In addition to preventing more than one in three cases of the flu, a flu vaccine can also boost your immunity and make your case of the flu a milder one if you do get it.

    Flu season typically ramps up in October, so if you haven't gotten your vaccine yet, and you don't feel sick right now, it's a great time to get a dose.



    Be especially cautious for the first two to three days, and stay six feet away from the germy person during that time.

    People are much more likely to get infected with the flu from being around other sick people than they are from touching virus-laden surfaces.

    Person-to-person transmission of the flu can happen when an infected person is talking, coughing, sneezing, or even just breathing near someone else. The virus can be transmitted through the air to anyone within six feet, so the easiest way to avoid getting sick is to keep your distance.

    2008 study in Hong Kong found that most “viral shedding” – when you’re really passing the germs around – happens in the first two or three days after a person gets sick with the flu. Day 2 tends to be the worst, but that can vary.

    Once a person has been fever-free without the help of drugs for a full 24 hours, that's an indicator that they're ready to re-enter the world, and won't share their flu with you, either. 

     

     



    Consider wearing some protection.

    If you live in a crowded household, it's best to assign a single person to care for the sicko and keep everyone else far away.

    The care-giver may want to wear a mask and disposable gloves when they visit their "patient" to avoid breathing in or picking up any flu particles. 

    The virus lasts for about 15 minutes inside of a tissue, and on hard surfaces for a full day.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • You may be looking to escape New York City for a weekend without compromising your wallet or limited vacation days.
    • There are quick weekend getaways, like Bermuda or Tulum, that you can visit from New York City in five hours or less.
    • Here are the best destinations within five hours of New York City.

    Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean you can't book a vacation before the winter doldrums hit.

    It doesn't have to mean taking a two-week trip to the Greek islands — if your direct flight in short enough, a four-day weekend can feel like a complete getaway. In four days, you can enter full vacation mode without spending a fortune on lodging while using only two vacation days.

    Plus, a short flight won't take too much time away from beaching, lounging, sightseeing, and eating your way through your chosen destination.

    One of the biggest hurdles for those with time constraints is deciding where to go. While I'm grateful for the abundance of travel resources out there on the internet, sometimes the options are just too overwhelming. I could spend a full week on the Kayak Explore function and never actually book a ticket thanks to overstimulation and indecision.

    Based on your time frame, you've got to just pick a part of the world that makes sense from an itinerary perspective and narrow down your options from there. For those in the Northeast, we've pulled together 10 of the best destinations within a five-hour direct flight from New York City.

    SEE ALSO: 100 trips everyone should take in their lifetime, according to the world's top travel experts

    DON'T MISS: 5 easy tips that could save you hundreds when booking vacation rentals

    1. Bermuda

    For New Yorkers, Bermuda is arguably the closest tropical destination. It's a 2-1/2-hour direct flight from New York, with round-trip tickets starting at about $280. Consisting of more than 150 islands, Bermuda is only about 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina. (Just keep hurricane season, June to November, in mind when you book.)



    2. Iceland

    You can sometimes book a nonstop flight to Reykjavik for under $300. OK, the flight actually lasts closer to 5 1/2 hours, but the bit of extra flight time can get you all the way to the home of the Blue Lagoon and quite a few "Game of Thrones" filming locations. Five hours seems minor when you consider that it gets you all the way to the land of aurora borealis.



    3. Miami

    You don't need to leave the country for a tropical getaway. With incredible food options and culture galore, Miami is so much more than just beaches and nightlife. Plus, three-hour direct flights start at $250.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Dwayne Johnson

    • Dwayne Johnson and his production company are on board with the Netflix movie, "John Henry and The Statesmen."
    • Johnson will be playing the title role as the steel-driver folk hero.
    • Jake Kasdan, who directed Johnson in Sony's hit "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," will be at the helm.

     

    The Rock has found his way to Netflix. 

    On Tuesday, the streaming giant announced that it will be making a movie with Dwayne Johnson titled "John Henry and The Statesmen," adding to the dozen projects he already has on his calendar. 

    The movie is being touted as a "family action adventure," and will star Johnson as John Henry, the steel-driver folk hero, who will lead an ensemble of popular legends from around the world. 

    The movie will be directed by Johnson's "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" director Jake Kasdan.

    Netflix bought the original pitch from "The Lego Ninjago Movie" screenwriter Tom Wheeler, and Johnson will also be a producer on the movie with his Seven Bucks Productions, along with his company's longtime collaborator Beau Flynn at FlynnPictureCo., according to the release. 

    "Netflix is the perfect partner and platform for us to continue entertaining our global audience in a disruptive way," Johnson said in the release. "These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race or geography."

    Johnson adds to the growing list of movie stars — Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Adam Sandler, Emma Stone, and Jonah Hill — who are running to Netflix because of the company's deep pockets, collaborative nature with stars, and global reach. 

    The release did not state when "John Henry" will go into production, and that's probably because Johnson is so busy making other things. It will be interesting to see where he can fit this in.

    Johnson has just wrapped on the Disney "Jungle Cruise" movie and he's now going into production on the "Fast and Furious" spin-off for Universal, "Hobbs and Shaw."  

    SEE ALSO: All of the "A Star Is Born" movies ranked from worst to best

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    single parents

    This fall TV season already has a few standout shows that are good now, and have the potential to get into a great groove. So they're worth investing in now before you have dozens of episodes to catch up on.  

    While the networks certainly have some stinkers this season, some also have new shows with a lot of potential, like ABC's "Single Parents" and CBS' "God Friended Me."

    If you've run out of good TV to watch, or just want to be up on new shows people are talking about, we took to ratings aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to rank the best shows of fall 2018. Along with the critic ranking, we included the Rotten Tomatoes audience ranking, a sample of what critics have said so far, and show descriptions courtesy of IMDB

    Here are the best TV shows of fall 2018 (so far), ranked according to critics:

    SEE ALSO: The 8 worst new network TV shows this fall, from 'FBI' to 'New Amsterdam'

    No 7. — "Happy Together" (CBS)

    Description: Claire and Jake's married life is mired in routine, but when megastar Cooper shows up at their door, they get dragged into his life of fame.

    Critic Score: 60%

    Audience Score: 57%

    "Given the opportunity to sing, dance and flail around ridiculously in the pilot, Wayans and West try hard and I smiled frequently at their effort." -The Hollywood Reporter 



    No. 6 — "God Friended Me" (CBS)

    Description: An atheist's life is turned upside down when God adds him as a friend on Facebook.

    Critic Score: 63%

    Audience Score: 81%

    "It's definitely not the worst drama you could find on network TV, and Hall is a likable, charismatic actor. Give it a one-episode trial and see how you feel." -The Ringer



    No. 5 — "The Cool Kids" (Fox)

    Description: Three friends at a retirement center have their comfortable existence rattled by a newcomer to the community.

    Critic Score: 69%

    Audience Score: 86%

    "It's not particularly ambitious, in form or content, but it hits the marks it assigns itself." -Los Angeles Times



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • The Chinese electric-car startup Nio, which has been touted as the "Tesla of China," went public in the US last month.
    • The company is competing with Tesla in China, where the American automaker generated $2 billion in sales last year.
    • Nio is trying to win over customers with perks like exclusive clubhouses for customers known as Nio Houses, which are a cross between a coworking space, a cafe, a daycare center, and an event space.
    • I recently got a look inside the Nio House in the heart of Beijing. It was a calm, inviting space that would be a great place to stop by for a breather before or after a long day at work.

    The Chinese electric-car startup Nio, which has been touted as the "Tesla of China," went public in the US last month. The company raised $1 billion from the offering, falling short of its $1.8 billion target.

    While Nio held its initial public offering in the US, its target market is in China, where it is attempting to beat out Tesla to become the country's top electric-vehicle manufacturer. Last year, Tesla generated $2 billion in sales in China, double what it made there in 2016.

    Nio launched its $65,000 ES8 electric SUV in December and began shipping it to customers in June. It's officially game on.

    Tesla has a nearly five-year head start in China, but Nio is hoping it can steal a page out of Apple's playbook to win over wealthy Chinese consumers by centering on the tech industry idea of user experience.

    "If we believe the car itself is a user touchpoint — one of many touchpoints a company can provide with its users — I think the mobile internet would be the applicable business model in the auto industry," CEO William Li told Business Insider this past spring.

    A major part of that strategy is offering its customers numerous perks to get them hooked on the company. The biggest yet is a network of swanky clubhouses called Nio Houses, designed to be Nio drivers' home away from home, wherever they take their cars.

    I recently got a look inside the company's Nio House in the heart of Beijing. Here's what it was like.

    SEE ALSO: The Elon Musk of China explains why its 'Tesla killer' won’t fall into the same trap as troubled electric car startup Faraday Future

    READ MORE: Chinese consumers don't idealize American products the way they used to — and that's bad news for Apple and Tesla

    In December, Nio launched its first production car, the ES8, a seven-seat electric SUV with 220 miles of range. In June, it started shipping the cars to customers who preordered. It costs about $65,000 before subsidies provided by the Chinese government.



    While the company said it planned to launch a car in the US in 2020, its goal is beating Tesla in China, where the American company generated $2 billion in sales last year. Nio is working on several other cars, including the more affordable ES6 and this Eve autonomous concept car.



    But a huge part of the company's strategy is focusing on "user experience," Izzy Zhu, Nio's vice president of user development, told Business Insider. Like Tesla, Nio sells directly to customers at its locations, rather than through third-party dealerships.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most people will make.
    • There are many things millennials must consider when buying a home, like speaking with a mortgage broker rather than relying on real estate websites, finding an inspector, and sticking to a budget.
    • After a year and a half of searching, my partner and I finally bought a house, though there are a number of things I wish we had known before starting the process.

    I've always thought buying a house was a milestone I would reach by 30. I'd own that perfect, stately colonial on a beautiful tree-lined street in a nice suburban town.

    I'm turning 30 this year, and the search for my perfect home has been complicated beyond measure, with the foremost obstacle being affordability. It turns out I'm not alone among people of my generation — according to CNBC, a growing number of millennials are struggling to save any money at all, nevermind enough for a down payment.

    And it doesn't help that, as of 2018, US home prices are the least affordable since 2008, according to Attom Data Solutions.

    I live in New Jersey, and looking for a home in a town with a good school district that's within a reasonable commuting distance to New York City is a tall order at any budget. According to the 2019 Best School Districts in New Jersey list from Niche, only a handful of towns within a 30-40 mile radius of NYC rank in the top 25 school districts. When you cross reference that list with the average sales price of homes in the area, affordability plummets.

    After a year and a half of searching through half a dozen New Jersey towns, my husband and I are finally ready to close on our first home.

    As a millennial, here's what I learned about buying a house that I wish I knew when I started the process.

    SEE ALSO: 10 things people deal with in the city that people in the suburbs don't understand

    1. Review your finances and talk with a mortgage broker before you start hunting

    With websites like Zillow just a click away, it's easy to start shopping for a house immediately. But it can be helpful to get realistic by reviewing your finances and your credit score and talking with a mortgage broker first to see what you can actually afford with your income and lifestyle.

    I became self-employed about a year before my husband and I started looking for a house, but our lender required that I have two years of self-employment before we could use my income for our mortgage. This meant we would be reliant on a single income to look for a home, which didn’t allow us to afford the towns we were looking to purchase in.

    Our broker's advice at this point was invaluable, and while we could have purchased something, we decided to wait until we had a better story to tell through our finances. The numbers are the numbers, and we appreciated the candid conversations and wouldn't have known to wait had we not had a reputable mortgage broker to talk with.



    2. Check your credit score

    When you want to buy a home, your credit score is more important than ever. Sites like Credit Karma offer lets you see where you stand for free.

    This way, you'll know if there's anything wild on your credit report, like a fraudulent credit card or outstanding utility bills from an old apartment, that you weren't aware of. These are things you should address before moving forward in your search.



    3. Go to as many open houses as possible

    We saw nearly a hundred homes, both with and without our agent. Every weekend, we would drive out of the city and hop from one open house to another.

    Zillow is a great resource for finding potential homes, but until you see a house in person, you may not know if it's the right fit. For instance, a number of homes we viewed were seemingly perfect online but completely disappointing in person.

    Lastly, you never know what you'll fall in love with — our new home was one of those open houses that we ended up visiting but perhaps wouldn’t have gone to see with our agent because it was priced outside of our budget.

    It was only after visiting and talking with the agent that we were compelled to make an offer we were comfortable with. We wouldn’t have wanted to waste our agent's time, but were totally fine doing the legwork on our own.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    formetrump book

    • Political book sales have jumped 57% this year, according to data from bookseller Barnes & Noble.
    • State-specific data show that customers are divided along party lines on whether they prefer critical or favorable books on President Donald Trump.
    • With only five exceptions, customers' tastes aligned with their states' votes in the 2016 presidential election.
    • "Fear: Trump in the White House" was Barnes & Noble's fastest-selling title in over three years, selling more than one copy per second on its release day. 

    Political book sales reached record highs in 2018, but customers are sharply divided on their preferences.

    According to data released by bookseller Barnes & Noble, 2018 has seen a 57% jump in political book sales from the previous year.

    The bookseller listed high-profile tell-alls including author Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury," and former FBI Director James Comey's "A Higher Loyalty" as its second- and third-best selling books, both of which are bombshell accounts of a chaotic administration.

    Barnes & Noble said in the release that its top title, journalist Bob Woodward's "Fear: Trump in the White House," sold more than one copy per second on its release day, making it the company's fastest-selling book in over three years.

    Though sales surged overall, state-specific data showed customer preference varies along party lines, with some exceptions. Generally, Trump-won states preferred books that were favorable to Trump, while states that went blue in 2016 preferred books that were critical of the president.

    However, a map from Barnes & Noble shows that customers in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin flipped their book tastes away from their votes in the 2016 election.

    b&n

    The map of customer preferences is overwhelmingly similar to a map showing the 2016 Electoral College results, with the exceptions of Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire (all states that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won) leaning toward flattering books and Trump-won Wisconsin and Pennsylvania now favoring books that are critical of Trump.

    week after electoral college map

    The data also found that customers in Florida, North Carolina, and Texas were the most likely to buy books supporting Trump, while critical books dominated in California, New York, and Massachusetts.

    Throughout the year, the White House hit back at the most explosive allegations leveled in books that topped nonfiction bestseller lists. However, there is still a steady stream of upcoming titles landing before the end of the year from former campaign aides, administration members, and porn star Stormy Daniels

    SEE ALSO: 15 books that have been written about the Trump White House

    DON'T MISS: Stormy Daniels says she regrets 'body shaming' Trump by comparing his anatomy to 'the mushroom character in Mario Kart'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    First Man Universal

    • "First Man" screenwriter Josh Singer is known for making "based on true story" movies — "Spotlight," "The Post" — that really do recount what happened, without too many Hollywood embellishments.
    • Singer told Business Insider what the challenges were of giving Neil Armstrong's story the same treatment.

    When Hollywood needs a true story to be told on the big screen, it often turns to one guy to write the script: Josh Singer.

    And we don't mean a movie "based on a true story." We mean a real true story. And there is a difference.


    For as long as there have been movies, the term "true story" has been used very loosely in Hollywood. To help move forward a plot or build more drama in a story, directors and screenwriters often embellish real events, or include moments that never happened. 


    Jim Garrison's memorable closing remarks in the trial scene in Oliver Stone's "JFK"? Never happened.
 Iranians chasing a plane down the runway at the end of "Argo"? Never happened.


    It's extremely hard to not heighten true-life stories a tad because, let's face it, we want movies to be more exciting than real life. But Singer has found a way to tell gripping true stories for the screen without adding in tons of untrue elements. 


    What's his secret? It all comes down to the story, and lots of research.

    Starting with "Spotlight" in 2015 — which earned a best-picture Oscar, and got Singer an original screenplay Oscar with director-cowriter Tom McCarthy — Singer has given audiences a glimpse of some of the most historic events and fascinating people in American history, with an accuracy to the account that even dazzles the people who were actually there.

    "Spotlight" set the stage, as the movie's look inside the investigative-journalist unit at The Boston Globe that uncovered child sex abuse by Boston's Roman Catholic priests has been viewed as a modern-day "All the President's Men." And that might have been why Singer was asked to write last year's "The Post" (along with Liz Hannah), which looked inside The Washington Post as it published The Pentagon Papers. Now, Singer takes us to the moon with "First Man" (opening in theaters on Friday).

    The movie, which is director Damien Chazelle's follow-up to six-Oscar-winner "La La Land," gives an intimate look at the events that led to astronaut Neil Armstrong's becoming the first man to ever set foot on the moon thanks to the successful Apollo 11 flight.

    Starring Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, Chazelle doesn't go the route of "The Right Stuff" or "Apollo 13" in making the thrills of space travel the main focus (though there definitely is that). Instead, the focus is Armstrong himself, and how the deaths of some close to him leading up to Apollo 11 — particularly his daughter Karen, who died at age 2 — was a major burden he carried throughout the historic flight.

    First Man Universal

    "I was just knocked out by how much we don't know about Neil Armstrong," Singer told Business Insider. "The story of his daughter — I never knew that."

    As Singer read through James R. Hansen's official biography of Armstrong, "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong," which the movie is based on, he couldn't get over how much loss Armstrong suffered in the years leading up to the Apollo 11 launch. Following Armstrong's daughter's death in 1962 (from pneumonia, which was caused by her weakened state from a malignant tumor in her brain stem), Armstrong lost two close friends in the span of a year. Astronaut Elliot See died in a plane crash in 1966, and Armstrong's neighbor Ed White died in the Apollo 1 fire. Then Armstrong almost died manning Gemini 8.

    With that, Singer and Chazelle had found their story for "First Man." It would be the emotional journey of a man who set out to do extraordinary things, and how much he was already dealing with. Then the challenge came of telling that personal story from the point of view of someone who gives little emotion.

    "With a guy like Neil, who is so internal, how do you get under that?" Singer said. "How do you get inside what that feels like? It was a real challenge."

    Singer would not have to shoulder the entire challenge alone. Chazelle planned to give the movie powerful imagery of space travel to coincide with Armstrong's internal struggle, including incredible visuals of the moon landing shot on IMAX cameras. Then there's Gosling as Armstrong, who had already built a style of acting where he could give an emotional performance without saying much at all.

    First Man Universal final

    But Singer was still tasked with building a script that would be the road map for everyone to follow. And he admitted that at a few points during writing he fell into the trap of embellishing real-life moments, and paid the price for doing so.

    He recalled the scene when Armstrong gets a phone call about the Apollo 1 fire, which killed all the astronauts on board, including his good friend Ed White.

    "Literally Damien and I talked about mimicking what was done in 'Goodfellas' where De Niro slams the phone handle on the receiver after getting word that Joe Pesci's character was killed," Singer said.

    He wrote the scene with Armstrong showing De Niro-like emotion over the news of his friend's death. He then gave it to the author of the Armstrong biography, James Hansen, to read.

    "He said, 'Neil would never have done that!'" Singer recalled. "So we wound up having this moment where you see Neil go dead in the eyes and you look down and he's literally broken the glass he was holding and he's bleeding. It's like you see how hard he's trying to contain himself in that moment. And with that Jim said, 'OK, maybe I could buy that.'"

    Throughout the four years of researching and writing the script, Singer had to do a balancing act of making "First Man" a thrilling story but also true to those who knew Armstrong. He spent months with people involved at NASA at the time of the space race, former astronauts, and spoke with the Armstrong family.

    Josh Singer Eugene Gologursky Getty

    "I just felt a huge responsibility to get it right," he said.

    But he and Chazelle also wanted to show just how hard it was to get to the moon.

    "The myth is that these were superheroes that got there easily," Singer said. "The truth is this is actually very hard and they were ordinary men and women who sacrificed a ton to get there."

    Singer said that was one of the big things that upset him most about the controversy around the movie about not having a scene wherein the American flag is planted on the Moon. That specific shot is not needed, Singer said, because the entire movie is a look at patriotic sacrifice.

    "To be perfectly honest, I can understand why people who haven't seen the film are questioning why that isn't there, but if you see the film you understand why," he said. "The film is so deeply patriotic to begin with it's not necessary. We also don't have the call to Nixon. We're trying to get under the myth."

    And those who know the history of American space travel and Armstrong's story believe "First Man" has done just that.

    Singer recalled the reaction of one well-known space expert, Robert Pearlman, after seeing the movie.

    "When he saw Neil crying after his daughter's death he said he realized he was going to have to totally rethink everything he knew about Neil Armstrong," Singer said.

    Singer said the best feeling about doing these "based on a true story" scripts is that the attention to detail is so refined that even those close to the material get something out of it.

    "To get to that level of detail and get it right, that to me is the ultimate," Singer said. "It can function as more than a movie, it becomes a contribution to how we think about something. Whether it's the Catholic Church or journalism or how we think about space."

    SEE ALSO: 3 great TV shows to watch on Netflix this week, including a new season of "Big Mouth"

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 4: (L-R) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) hold a press conference to discuss the FBI report on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill, October 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh's confirmation process was halted for less than a week so that FBI investigators could look into allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

    • Republicans have floated the idea that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer orchestrated the monthlong scandal surrounding sexual misconduct allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
    • Republicans have also called for an investigation into how Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's initial letter detailing the allegations was leaked.
    • Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has not made up his mind on whether to probe the leak of the letter.

    WASHINGTON — Republicans in recent days have begun suggesting that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer orchestrated the entire scandal that played out over September during the controversial confirmation of newly minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, during interviews with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, Republicans floated the idea that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, had been handled by Schumer in an attempt to derail the nomination during its final stretch.

    Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton told Hewitt on Tuesday he believes "the Schumer political operation was behind this from the very beginning."

    "We learned last week that a woman named Monica McLean was Ms. Ford’s roommate, and she was one of the so-called beach friends who encouraged Ms. Ford to go to Dianne Feinstein and the partisan Democrats on the Judiciary Committee," he said. "Well, it just turns out, it just so happens that Monica McLean worked for a Preet Bharara, the former US Attorney in Manhattan, now a virulent anti-Trump critic on television and former counsel to Chuck Schumer."

    "So I strongly suspect that Chuck Schumer’s political operation knew about Ms. Ford’s allegations as far back as July and manipulated the process all along to include taking advantage of Ms. Ford’s confidences and directing her towards left-wing lawyers," Cotton added.

    Cotton's claim earned the dreaded "four Pinocchio's" from the Washington Post fact-checker. The Post cited the fact that McLean never worked for Bharara, despite Cotton's insistence.

    Matt House, a spokesman for Schumer, called the theory a "fairy tale" and likened it to Cotton's recollection of President Donald Trump referring to certain African nations as "shithole" countries.

    After correcting Cotton's claim, Hewitt continued to press Republicans on whether Schumer was 'driving this bus'

    But on Wednesday, after the Post fact checkers debunked Cotton's claim, Hewitt continued to run with it anyway, asking about it to Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    "He incorrectly stated that a friend of Dr. Ford had worked for Preet Bharara," Hewitt said. "In fact, she had worked for the FBI at the same time that Preet Bharara was the Southern District of New York US Attorney, and we’ve corrected that. But what do you think? Was Chuck Schumer driving this bus?"

    Lee responded by noting he is not sure if it was Schumer orchestrating everything, but that "there was something going on here" and "they were doing stuff."

    "They were hiring legal counsel referred by Sen. Feinstein. They were taking polygraphs on the same day as Dr. Ford’s grandmother’s funeral," he said. "They were doing all this stuff at a time when allegedly she didn’t want to talk to anyone, and yet she wasn’t being informed by her own legal team that she had the opportunity to be interviewed in the privacy and comfort of her own home. She was never told that."

    "So apparently somebody along the way decided that this was going to be a media circus, and they wanted to launch it at exactly the right time," Lee added. "That’s disgusting. That makes Dr. Ford a victim, at a minimum, of negligence by her lawyers, at a maximum of a deliberate campaign to misuse her. And I think that’s tragic. I think that needs to be looked into."

    A handful of Republicans, including Cotton, have called for investigations into the handling of Ford's initial letter and how it leaked to the press after Kavanaugh's first confirmation hearing.

    On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley told reporters he had not yet made up his mind as to whether he would probe the handling of Ford's letter.

    SEE ALSO: Senators are at each other's throats over Kavanaugh's confirmation, and some fear there could be lasting damage

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    halloween candy

    • Halloween is almost here. 
    • CandyStore.com, an online candy retailer, recently used 11 years of sales data to determine the favorite candy of every state. 
    • It found that New Yorkers love Sour Patch Kids, Californians love Skittles, and Texans love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 
    • See which candy is most popular in your state. 

    New Yorkers love Sour Patch Kids, Californians love Skittles, and Texans love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 

    That is, at least, according to a recent study by CandyStore.com, an online retailer that sells candy in bulk across the United States and Canada. 

    CandyStore.com's study looked at sales data from 2007 to 2017 to find each state's favorite candy in the months leading up to Halloween. Sales were broken down by state and then verified by CandyStore.com's distributors. 

    This year, the National Retail Federation is estimating that shoppers will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy, which is slightly lower than last year's estimate of $2.7 billion. That's equal to about $27 spent on candy per person.

    According to CandyStore.com, the top sellers nationwide were Skittles, M&M's, and Snickers. 

    Take a look at which candy is most popular in your state. 

    most popular halloween candy every state map

    SEE ALSO: Take a look inside the massive, 1,000-store chain that only operates in the run-up to Halloween

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    Porsche Macan GTS

    • The Porsche Macan GTS is one of the six versions of the Macan compact SUVs available in the US.
    • The GTS sits in the middle of the Macan line up. It slots in above the Macan, Macan S, and Macan Sport Edition but below the Macan Turbo and Turbo with Performance Package models.
    • The base 2018 Porsche Macan starts at $47,800 while the top-spec Macan Turbo with Performance Package starts at $87,700. 
    • The Macan GTS starts at $68,900. With options and fees, the as-tested price came to $81,310.
    • The Macan GTS impressed with us with its traditional Porsche sporty demeanor and solid feature content.

    The Porsche Macan is one of the great automotive success stories in recent memory. The Macan is Porsche's best selling model and accounted for 39% of the German brand's US sales last year. In fact, the only thing keeping the Macan's sales growth in check is the pace at which Porsche can churn the SUVs out at its factory in Leipzig, Germany.

    At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Porsche launched an updated version of its hot-selling SUV. However, that car won't appear in US showrooms until the middle of next year. In addition, the only variant of the "new" Macan we've seen is the base model with a turbocharged inline four-cylinder.

    As a result, higher performance versions of the current Macan will remain on sale even after the new Macan debuts.

    This brings us to the Macan GTS. It sits in the middle of the Macan line up in terms of price and performance. 

    The Porsche Macan can be had in six different flavors. They range from the relatively tame four-cylinder base Macan to the top of the line Macan Turbo with Performance Package, which boasts a stout 440 horsepower.

    In between, there's the Macan S, Macan Sport Edition, Macan GTS, and Macan Turbo.

    Recently, Business Insider had the chance to experience the 2018 Macan GTS first-hand road trip from Jacksonville, Florida to Savannah, Georgia. 

    The base Porsche Macan starts at $47,800 while the Macan Turbo with Performance Package starts at $87,700. Our Carrera White Metallic 2018 Porsche Macan GTS starts at $68,900. With options and fees, the as-tested price came to $81,310. 

    Here's a closer look: 

    SEE ALSO: We drove a $152,000 Porsche 911 GT3 to see if it's still the greatest sports car of all time — here's the verdict

    SEE ALSO: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    The Macan is one of the most successful compact luxury crossovers on the market. Since its debut for the 2015 model year, the Macan has become Porsche's most popular model.



    Recently we took a 2018 Porsche Macan GTS on a road trip from Jacksonville, Florida to Savannah, Georgia.



    The road from Jacksonville to Savannah consisted mostly of highway driving. Although there were a few winding country roads to keep things interesting.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Trump

    • USA Today faced harsh criticism on Wednesday for publishing an op-ed article by President Donald Trump that was riddled with inaccuracies.
    • In his rare piece one month before the midterm elections, Trump attacked Democrats as "radical socialists" and made numerous false claims about the party's "Medicare for All" proposal and his own record on healthcare.
    • USA Today's opinion section said the op-ed article "was treated like other column submissions; we check factual assertions while allowing authors wide leeway to express their opinions."

    USA Today on Wednesday faced harsh criticism for publishing an op-ed article by President Donald Trump that was riddled with inaccuracies and in which he attacked Democrats as "radical socialists" and pilloried the party's "Medicare for All" proposal.

    In his rare piece one month before the midterm elections, Trump falsely claimed that Democrats' single-payer healthcare plan would strip benefits from seniors and promised he would protect insurance for Americans with preexisting conditions.

    "The truth is that the centrist Democratic Party is dead," Trump wrote. "The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America's economy after Venezuela."

    Glenn Kessler, a Washington Post fact-checker, found that "almost every sentence" of the op-ed article "contained a misleading statement or a falsehood." In a thorough analysis of the piece, Kessler noted that the president repeated several debunked claims and even cited some of The Post's fact-checks and other sources that contradicted him.

    In a statement on Twitter, USA Today's opinion section said it "provides a forum for a diversity of views on issues of national relevance" and saw itself "as America's conversation center, presenting our readers with voices from the right, left and middle."

    "President Trump's op-ed was treated like other column submissions; we check factual assertions while allowing authors wide leeway to express their opinions," the publication said, adding that it invited readers to submit opposing viewpoints for consideration.

    But reporters and media critics, among others, slammed USA Today, saying the paper shouldn't have uncritically published a piece of political spin.

    "Publishing this op-ed is journalistic malpractice," said Dan Gillmor, a professor of journalism at Arizona State University. "It is full of outright lies, easily demonstrated lies. Disgraceful."

    Others argued that the newspaper's massive platform had been successfully hijacked by the president's communications operation.

    "This column may break the record for the number of falsehoods from a President ever published in a newspaper op-Ed. Just this tweet alone is false — 'outlaw private health care plans' and 'letting anyone cross our border.' Huh? Fact check: false and false. Come on USA Today," tweeted Jim Acosta, a CNN White House correspondent. 

    SEE ALSO: How Goldman Sachs' Dina Powell became a top contender to replace Nikki Haley at the UN

    Join the conversation about this story »

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