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Articles on this Page
- 10/19/18--10:11: _Gretchen Carlson an...
- 10/19/18--10:25: _The new 'Halloween'...
- 10/19/18--10:37: _I asked 21 people f...
- 10/19/18--10:47: _Trump wants to have...
- 10/19/18--11:37: _How to win the lott...
- 10/19/18--11:59: _How musicians reall...
- 10/19/18--12:06: _The DOJ has charged...
- 10/19/18--12:12: _Former Trump lawyer...
- 10/19/18--12:43: _What it’s really li...
- 10/19/18--15:26: _Disappointing photo...
- 10/19/18--20:03: _The $1 billion Mega...
- 10/20/18--04:03: _Disappointing photo...
- 10/20/18--05:47: _Republican Patrick ...
- 10/20/18--06:00: _A Palestinian-Ameri...
- 10/20/18--07:03: _Unlike in court hea...
- 10/20/18--08:00: _This futuristic hot...
- 10/20/18--08:30: _ I toured an exclus...
- 10/20/18--18:03: _I've traveled to mo...
- 10/21/18--02:37: _Meet the 'High Prie...
- 10/21/18--05:48: _Here's why you shou...
- The director of the new "Halloween" movie, David Gordon Green, wanted to reshoot parts of the ending of the original 1978 movie and use it to open his movie.
- It would include a scene where Dr. Loomis is killed by Michael Myers.
- However, John Carpenter, the creator of the "Halloween" franchise who is also an executive producer on the 2018 sequel, told Green he should not do that because the "fans are gonna get pissed off."
- Traffic was the top headache for the 21 Bay Area residents I spoke to.
- Many also expressed dismay about homeless people, saying they were concerned and sad that more wasn't being done to provide housing.
- Some people had a hard time coming up with even one thing they didn't like about the Bay Area. When pressed, they gave very personal answers.
- President Donald Trump wants to hold a ceremonial signing for the new US-Mexico-Canada trade deal before the midterms to give the GOP a political boost.
- Canada and Mexico are not keen to join since Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place.
- The three countries are continuing discussions on a deal to remove the tariffs.
- The US wants the two countries to accept a quota system instead.
- You might want to know how to win the lottery— especially as the Mega Millions jackpot jumps to a record payout of $1 billion.
- Stefan Mandel, a Romanian-Australian economist, developed a formula that's allowed him to win the lottery 14 times.
- It's a six-step process designed to hack the system.
- READ MORE: We did the math to see if you should buy a ticket.
- Calculate the total number of possible combinations. (For a lottery that requires you to pick six numbers from 1 to 40, that means 3,838,380 combinations.)
- Find lotteries where the jackpot is three times or more the number of possible combinations.
- Raise enough cash to pay for each combination. (Mandel rounded up 2,524 investors for his push to win the Virginia lottery.)
- Print out millions of tickets with every combination. (This used to be legal. Now you would have to buy the tickets right from the store.)
- Deliver the tickets to authorized lottery dealers.
- Win the cash. And don't forget to pay your investors. (Mandel pocketed $97,000 after a $1.3 million win in 1987.)
- The majority of an artist's revenue comes from touring, selling merchandise, licensing their music for things like television, movies, or video games, and partnerships or side businesses.
- Streaming is often thought of as the future of music and can provide artists with a nice source of income. But it isn't nearly as lucrative for artists as other revenue streams.
- The future of the industry is unclear, but analysts are optimistic about the ability of artists to thrive in the emerging landscape.
- The Department of Justice announced on Friday that it had charged a Russian woman with conspiring to interfere in the 2018 US midterm elections.
- The woman, Elena Khusyaynova, is accused of playing a central financial role in a social-media influence operation known as "Project Lakhta" that prosecutors say "continues to this day."
- Prosecutors say the project is bankrolled by the Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin and two companies he controls.
- Prigozhin is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he and his companies were charged earlier this year, along with 13 other Russian nationals and entities, with conspiring to meddle in the 2016 race.
- President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen recently changed his voter registration from Republican to Democrat and is encouraging people to turn out to vote in the midterms.
- "Grab your family, grab your friends, grab your neighbors, and get to the poll, because if not, you are going to have another two or another six years of this craziness," Cohen told CNN in a Friday interview.
- Cohen, who pleaded guilty to eight federal charges in August, is also providing assistance to state and federal prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization and the Trump campaign in New York and in DC.
- 10/19/18--12:43: What it’s really like to live with your parents in your 30s
- Living “at home” is more common than you might think.
- In fact, Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 live are more likely to live with a parent than any other housing arrangement.
- Just because staying with Mom and Dad is at a 75-year high doesn’t mean it makes dating, commuting, or even saving money any easier.
- Here's what it’s like to live with your folks if you’re on the wrong side of 30.
- 10/19/18--15:26: Disappointing photos show what owning a yacht is like in real life
- Owning a yacht certainly sounds like a dream come true. And if you have a nice chunk of change burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to make that dream a reality.
- But you should know first that there are several hidden expenses, headaches, and disappointments that come with yacht ownership.
- As Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower writes, "really, yachts are just floating money." Here's what you're really in store for if you buy one.
- 10/20/18--04:03: Disappointing photos show what going to Harvard is like in real life
- Harvard University is one of the most prestigious, and expensive, schools in the country.
- So you'd think life as a student there would be wildly more luxurious and comfortable ... right?
- It turns out that going to Harvard looks a lot like attending any other US college.
- State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is the Republican challenging incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia.
- Morrisey is branding himself as the "polar opposite" of Manchin, who regularly touts his bipartisan work in the Senate.
- President Donald Trump won the state of West Virginia by nearly 50 points in 2016, which Morrisey believes is his ticket to unseat Manchin.
- Rawabi is the first planned city in the West Bank built by and for Palestinians.
- The $1.4 billion project is the brainchild of Bashar al-Masri, a Palestinian-American billionaire. Masri hopes the city can form the economic backbone of the nascent Palestinian state.
- I found the city to be beautifully constructed with the facilities one might expect of a luxury real estate development. And though around 4,000 people are already living in the city, it feels very much like a place waiting to come alive.
- Several former associates of President Donald Trump and the political operative Roger Stone have been served with subpoenas to testify before the Washington, DC, grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
- An unusual feature of grand jury proceedings is unlike typical trials.
- Grand juries are secret, meaning witnesses compelled to testify are not allowed to have attorneys present with them in the room.
- Witnesses testifying before a grand jury can, however, brief and consult with their attorneys outside the jury room.
- Svart Hotel Norway is getting attention for its groundbreaking combination of design and environmentalism.
- The hotel is set to open in 2021 and will be the world's first energy-positive hotel above the Arctic Circle, meaning it will generate more energy than it uses.
- Renderings show that the design is a complete circle, and it's set at the base of a glacier.
- Spring Place is an exclusive members-only club in New York City.
- The hip social-meets-coworking-club, seen as a rival of Soho House, is a popular destination for fashion influencers, celebrities, and creatives.
- Memberships can be as low as $450 a month for limited access — if you're under 30 — and up to $1,250 a month for the "resident" plan.
- I took a tour of Spring Place to see what it was like.
- In March, I left New York to travel around the world as Business Insider's international correspondent. In total, in my life, I've traveled to 30-plus countries.
- While traveling I've made tons of dumb mistakes that I'd like to avoid in the future. Everything from getting pickpocketed in the Mexico City metro to getting tricked by a fake taxi.
- Learn from my mistakes and save yourself some aggravation.
- Business Insider recently sat down with the "High Priest of Hollywood Tattoo Artists" Mark Mahoney.
- The tattooer recently finished a residency at The Mandrake hotel in London's West End.
- He told us stories of the old days when he used to tattoo Boston's bike gangs — when it was illegal at the time.
- He also talked about the celebrity clientele he now surrounds himself with, including David Beckham, Johnny Depp, and Lana Del Rey.
- Mahoney might just be the most interesting tattoo artist in the world.
- Putting your vodka in the freezer is a big mistake, according to the creator of Grey Goose, Francois Thibault.
- Thibault stipulated that keeping cheap vodka in the freezer would hide any "aggressive, burning notes."
- However, with a premium vodka, keeping it at a low temperature will block the more sophisticated aromas and flavours.
- He recommended storing Grey Goose at 0-4 degrees Celsius (32-39 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Thibault added that even good vodkas kept at room temperature might be a little too aggressive, though.
Gretchen Carlson is a journalist, female empowerment advocate and best-selling author of the book “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back,” now available in paperback.
Tony West is Uber’s Chief Legal Officer.
Much has changed since #MeToo broke through one year ago.
Reporting of sexual harassment and assault is on the rise, a support system for survivors has sprung up globally, and difficult topics that were long avoided are now dominating the national conversation.
But one thing hasn't changed enough: policy. And regardless of who is on the Supreme Court or where federal legislation stands, corporations can drive lasting policy change themselves.
We have a suggestion to do just that: end mandatory arbitration, which requires people waive their right to a jury trial, in individual claims of sexual assault and harassment. While Microsoft, Uber, and Lyft each halted this practice, it is still the corporate norm, with few signs of going away. According to the Economic Policy Institute, more than half of American workers remain bound by such policies.
Corporations have the power to lead #MeToo from a cultural shift to a future free of assault and harassment.
Here are three reasons why every business should act now:
1. Confronting these issues head on is the only way to prevent them.
Even talking about sexual assault and harassment can feel risky from a corporate standpoint. No organization wants to be associated with these deeply uncomfortable, heartbreaking issues, which can increase legal costs and harm reputations. That’s why mandatory arbitration agreements for individual claims of sexual assault and harassment have not just survived but thrived across Corporate America.
Yet the biggest risk of all is just how pervasive sexual violence has become. As the last year has exposed, no industry is spared: from entertainment to tech, from politics to the news media, from hospitality to nonprofit. In fact, 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men report experiencing some form of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime.
A problem this big requires everyone to be part of the solution. We already know how mandatory arbitration and non-disclosure requirements have enabled many offenders to quietly continue their abuses. Putting an end to this practice in the name of doing your part to end sexual violence is a risk worth taking.
2. Changing this policy is the mark of a socially responsible company.
Every company has a responsibility to nurture a work environment that promotes the safety and well-being of their employees and customers. But compelling arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault and harassment can do the opposite, instead promoting a culture of secrecy that protects perpetrators over victims.
Through the eyes of a survivor of sexual violence, mandatory arbitration with forced confidentiality is especially unjustifiable. These crimes take control and agency away from victims in a unique, life-altering way. In the context of pursuing justice after such an event, taking yet another choice away can amount to a revictimization and additional loss of power.
Adjusting corporate policy to allow survivors to choose how they wish to pursue and resolve their case shows the world your business stands takes these issues seriously.
3. Prevention efforts must be matched by meaningful response efforts.
There is a clear business case for preventing this behavior in the first place. Not only are there direct financial costs associated with sexual harassment — including legal action — but unsafe environments impact the productivity, well-being, job satisfaction and retention of all employees.
However, ensuring your business supports victims in the aftermath of such an incident is just as critical as prevention. Following the trauma of harassment or assault, a survivor’s experience with the company can last a lifetime. Providing an easy, safe way to report incidents, sharing access to resources, and ensuring survivors have choices in their pursuit of justice are measures that make all the difference.
In fact research has found that companies can significantly mitigate reputational risks when they take strong action. A recent study from the Harvard Business Review found that “when an organization is responsive (that is timely, informative, and considerate toward the victim) rather than minimizing (that is slow, dismissive, and discouraging toward the victim) when it comes to a claim, this can circumvent public backlash, almost to the same level as an organization that has had no sexual harassment claim at all.”
Reforming Corporate America’s approach to mandatory arbitration and confidentiality policies is key to stopping sexual harassment and assault. Every business can do its part. Together, we can make policies that support victims and prevent sexual violence the norm, instead of the exception.
Fans of the "Halloween" franchise are gearing up for a big weekend, as a new sequel to the original 1978 movie is opening on Friday with critics loving its fresh take on the John Carpenter classic.
But they all might have been feeling differently about it if Carpenter had not stepped in and put a stop to director David Gordon Green's early idea of how to open the movie.
In early drafts of the movie, Green's "Halloween" was to open with the 1978 ending. However, Green wanted to reshoot parts of it, in which Dr. Loomis (played by Donald Pleasence) rescues Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) by shooting Michael Myers, who then falls off a balcony to the ground. However, he survives, leading to decades of sequels.
In fact, Green wanted to change it in a major way. According to Bloody Disgusting, in the revision Loomis shoots Myers, then the doctor enters the room Myers goes into and is attacked by the villain, who then kills Loomis by choking him. Strode then shoots Myers off the balcony.
The site claims to have an early draft of the script and posted the portion where Myers (aka, "The Shape") kills Loomis:
“The Shape GRABS LOOMIS’ THROAT and throws him to the wall. Loomis drops the gun on the floor wheezing for breath. The Shape CHOKES Loomis, who struggles against the wall. 2. The Shape’s thumbs crush Loomis’ THROAT. He drops to the ground, DEAD. The Shape looks down at Loomis’ lifeless body.”
Green has said in the past that he planned to use a body double to play Loomis, as Pleasence died in 1995. There was even talk of doing a CGI double.
Thankfully for all of us, the creator of the franchise, John Carpenter, stepped in and stopped the reshoot from happening.
Carpenter is an executive producer on the new "Halloween," and according to Collider, told Green why changing the ending of his "Halloween" would be a bad idea.
"I thought, 'That’s a mistake. The audience won’t like that. That’s a revision I don’t think we should do.’ So that was my one big contribution," Carpenter said. "I thought the fans are gonna get pissed off at that."
We agree with Carpenter.
Instead, Green, who wrote the screenplay with Danny McBride, decided on opening the movie with a pair of podcasters who seek to find where Michael Myers has been since the events of the first movie. This inevitably launches Myers' new killing spree.
The most surprising result from my informal and very unscientific survey about living in the Bay Area was that the cost of housing wasn't on everybody's grudge list.
That may reflect the fact that all the people I spoke with are housed, so that crisis, while concerning, isn't on their doorstep.
Among their top concerns with the area were issues of homelessness and traffic, the latter being their primary headache.
Here are the worst things about living in the Bay Area, according to the 21 residents I asked.
It's the traffic.
When asked to name the worst of the Bay Area, many people responded with a single word, spat out in frustration: "Traffic!"
That's no surprise. A local CBS affiliate reported earlier this year on a study that found that the Bay Area had the fifth-worst traffic congestion in the world.
Too many cars, congestion, and traffic top the list for Kimi Hosoume, who has lived in Berkeley since 1974. Evelyn Herrera doesn't like the Bay Area traffic either, but she said there was "no comparison" to the traffic snarls of her hometown, Los Angeles.
Edi Pfeiffer got to the root of the problem: "I love all the people, but then there's the traffic." She said she had to leave the house ever earlier on the weekends just to get a parking spot near her favorite hiking trails.
"Too many rats in a box" is the way Peter Tjeerdsma described the traffic, adding: "I give myself an extra half hour to get anywhere, and I need it."
Sue Getreuer took a historical perspective. She said that before the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, "there were times of day when you knew it would be OK" to hop on the Bay Area freeways. She blamed the current gridlock on the loss of highway exits that resulted when portions of the freeways collapsed in the quake and were never replaced.
The homelessness crisis is close to home.
Judy Timmel, who has lived in the Bay Area for 34 years, said that "the worst thing is the housing crisis and homelessness."
Barry Harris said it "seems like the worst of the 1930s." He sees it as a graphic example of income disparity "when we have armies of homeless people" next to people making loads of money.
Shagufa Qureshi said that while she said she didn't have much beef with the Bay Area, "I think this country should do something for the homeless people."
Fran Ternus grew up in California and has lived in the Bay Area for 50 years. "It's heartbreaking," she said of the shantytowns that dot Bay Area neighborhoods.
Then there's gentrification, cost of living, and all the rest.
Mannie (who didn't want to give his last name) wondered, "Is this going to be a place people live for a couple years in their 20s?" He said he hoped not, but he's worried that there is too much focus on the needs of "some of the next generation of people who don't have a feel for the history of the place."
"All the new people that have come to the Bay Area make me a little mad," Onynx Johnson said. "There's no common courtesy." He added that the changing culture meant that Berkeley "doesn't feel like my home, even though I live here."
Israel Zion, a recent transplant from Miami, said he was blown away by the cost of living. "Everything is more expensive," he said. "Gas is $2 more a gallon."
Sean Weinstock didn't mince words about the cost of living in the Bay Area. "It's f---ing expensive," he said. "It's expensive to rent a place. It's expensive to buy a place. It's expensive to buy a car." Among his list of things that cost more here: food, gas, public transit, bridge tolls, and parking tickets.
Mahal Bryant's assessment of the Bay Area was that "it's so relaxed it feels stagnant," where things close up early and there aren't enough events for young people. "You have to have friends if you live here," he said, or you won't have anywhere to hang out. Zion and Johnson, his friends, agreed.
"It isn't easy to get around in a city that otherwise has great infrastructure," Jacqueline Ho said. She said she tries to use San Francisco's public transit but is often frustrated by delays, overcrowding, and too few trains.
Linda (who didn't want to give her last name) said she generally liked local transit but saw room for improvement in the East Bay's AC Transit bus system, whose schedule, she said, is just a suggestion.
The building boom has led to constant construction noise pollution that bothers Hilary Goldman. "Sense of serenity — I don't think it exists anymore," she said.
Sachiko Nemoto's Bay Area nightmare is the dirty streets. "I watch where I'm stepping," she said, just to avoid the human effluvia.
Richard (who didn't want to give his last name) put the weather on his list of the best things about the Bay Area and on his list of the worst things. He said he loved the cool ocean air in Berkeley but that there are "times when you want it to be sunny and warmer."
Mina Harris has lived here all her life, so she said it was hard for her to think of anything she didn't like about the Bay Area.
RM (who didn't want to give her full name) said she regretted only one thing: that her adopted home of San Francisco is so far from her family on the East Coast. Nothing to be done about that.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
President Donald Trump's trade policy is getting in the way of his desire to hold a ceremony to claim a major trade victory.
According to a report from Politico, Trump wants to hold a ceremonial signing of the new US-Canada-Mexico trade deal in a Midwestern city before the November midterm elections. But Canada and Mexico are resisting due to Trump's tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.
Despite the new trade agreement, which is an update of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Trump's 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on imported aluminum remain in place — as do Canada and Mexico's retaliatory trade measures against the US.
Canada's ambassador to the US, David MacNaughton, told Politico that as long as those measures are in place the country will not take part in a signing ceremony.
"There won't be any of that as long as the tariffs are in place," MacNaughton said.
Any signing ceremony prior to the November 6 elections would only be for political show. Trump's method for advancing the new trade deal, known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA, through Congress requires a 60-day window from the deal's text being submitted to Congress and a signing ceremony.
That means a formal signing by the three member countries' executives couldn't occur before November 30. The deal then has to clear a series of hurdles in each countries' legislatures before the USMCA would go into effect.
Discussions about the tariffs are ongoing. As it stands ,the US wants Canada and Mexico to accept quotas for steel and aluminum in lieu of tariffs, similar to agreements with Argentina, Brazil, and South Korea.
It's unclear what each countries' appetite would be for a quota, which limits the amount of each metal that can be shipped to the US in a year.
Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs in March, aiming to boost the US metals industries. Originally, key allies including Mexico and Canada were exempt from the tariffs but after failing to reach a deal, Trump slapped the import duties on the countries in June.
The decision prompted retaliatory tariffs from Mexico and Canada and frayed the countries' relationships.
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
You're four times as likely to be struck by lightning than to win the lottery.
Those odds apparently don't apply to Stefan Mandel, a Romanian-Australian economist who's won the lottery 14 times, The Hustle reported in a feature story about the mathematician.
Mandel's first two wins were in his native Romania, where he was trying to earn enough money to get his family out of the then communist country. His salary was just $88 a month.
He moved to Israel before settling down in Australia, where he won the lottery an additional 12 times.
Plenty of lottery winners end up blowing it all— spending it on huge houses and Porsches, gambling it away, or getting slammed with lawsuits. Robert Pagliarini, a certified financial planner, previously told Business Insider that to prevent that, lottery winners should assemble a "financial triad" to help plan for their financial future.
"This includes an attorney, a tax person, and a financial adviser," Pagliarini said. "This financial dream team can help you make smart financial decisions and help you plan for the future. They can also help shield you from the media and from the onslaught of money requests from others."
The key way to navigate a sudden windfall like winning the lottery, Pagliarini said, is to keep calm and focus on the long term with pragmatic financial planning.
As for Mandel, he set his sights on hacking Virginia's lottery, but his stunts eventually landed him in an Israeli prison for 20 months. Now he lives a quiet life in Vanuatu, a South Pacific island country known for its volcanoes and waterfalls.
While his scheme was legal at the time, new laws in the US and Australia render Mandel's scheme impossible nowadays. You can no longer buy lottery tickets in bulk and print your tickets at home — two key parts of Mandel's formula.
Here's the 6-step formula for how Mandel managed to make serious cash from the lottery:
Read the entire feature about Mandel's feat in The Hustle.
SEE ALSO: 20 lottery winners who lost every penny
NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all
There's a common misconception about how major musicians earn their money: In short, it's all about having a hit song that breaks the top 40 music chart.
In reality, it's more complicated than that, and an artist's financial success often comes from revenue streams outside of streaming or downloads.
"Where number of listens comes in handy is in the algorithms and in social proof," Zach Bellas, a professional musician and founder of SMB records, told Business Insider. "If an artist's song gets some attention in its beginning, the algorithms will suggest it to others, and as the view and play counts rise, it will gain more authority and social proof in people's minds, creating a cycle that pushes the song further into the top searches and suggested tracks."
But, as Bellas noted, "artists have always made the bulk of their money from live performances and touring." And for big names in the industry, the numbers back this assertion up.
Consider, for example, U2, which made $54.4 million and was the highest-paid musical act of the year in 2017, according to Billboard's annual Money Makers report. Of their total earnings, about 95%, or $52 million, came from touring, while less than 4% came from streaming and album sales. Garth Brooks (who came in second on the list), owed about 89% of his earnings to touring, while Metallica (ranked third) raked in 71% of their earnings in the same way.
"In the last several years, streaming revenue has increased, but it is still not enough on its own to financially support a career with longevity," said Erin M. Jacobson, a music-industry lawyer based in Beverly Hills, whose work involves negotiating record contracts on behalf of artists ranging from up-and-coming artists to Grammy-winning musicians.
Other common sources of revenue, according to Bellas, include sync licensing (for example, when an artist sells the right to play their song on a T.V. show, or in a movie or video game), and side-businesses, like fashion lines, as well as partnerships with brands. Think, for example, of Rihanna's makeup and lingerie lines, or the soundtrack to your favorite movie, or any ad campaign starring your favorite famous musician.
According to a recent Citigroup report, the music industry generated a record $43 billion in 2017, but recording artists saw just 12% of that revenue, or $5.1 billion, and the "bulk" of their revenues came from touring. Music businesses, including labels and publishers, took home almost $10 million, according to the report, which showed that artists are still grabbing a meager percentage of the increasing revenues in streaming, where music labels and streaming services act as intermediaries.
Artists also have to deal with the issue of copyright, where revenues for their music are further split among publishing companies, music labels, and songwriters.
So, despite common belief, getting signed to a label isn't necessarily more lucrative for artists nowadays.
"Many artists think that they will make more money when signed to a label, and I have to educate them that this is not necessarily the case and explain to them that they have to pay back all the costs the label expends on their behalf," says lawyer Jacobson. "Artists still think fame and fortune is easy to come by, and that they will get high advances, which most companies are not giving now."
With the constant changes in the ways people listen to music, the future of the industry, and what artists stand to gain, is unclear.
Yet, a recent surge in music revenue paints an optimistic picture of where the industry is headed. According to the RIAA, music industry revenue has increased for two consecutive years. That's the first time it's happened since 1999.
The Justice Department announced on Friday that it had charged a Russian national with conspiring to interfere in the US midterm elections in November.
The woman, Elena Khusyaynova, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the US. Prosecutors say Khusyaynova is from St. Petersburg — the Russian city where the Internet Research Agency, a so-called troll farm, is headquartered — and is the chief accountant for an influence operation with the codename "Project Lakhta," which translates roughly to "bay" or "inlet."
The DOJ described the operation as "a Russian umbrella effort funded by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two companies he controls, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering."
Prigozhin and his two companies were charged earlier this year, along with 13 other Russian nationals and entities, with conspiring to interfere in the 2016 US election.
Prigozhin is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who US intelligence agencies say ordered the Russian effort to meddle in the 2016 race.
Prosecutors said Project Lakhta was involved in creating thousands of email and social-media accounts to conduct "information warfare against the United States."
As the woman charge of the operation's finances, Khusyaynova played a critical role in the effort, which had a budget of more than $35 million and "continues to this day," the DOJ said.
Prosecutors said that the financial documents Khusyaynova controlled "include detailed expenses for activities in the United States, such as expenditures for activists, advertisements on social media platforms, registration of domain names, the purchase of proxy servers, and 'promoting news postings on social networks.'"
Social-media influence operations and disinformation campaigns were a key pillar of Russia's multifaceted efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.
Also Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned in a joint statement with the DOJ, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security that Russia and other actors like China and Iran were conducting "ongoing campaigns" that were designed to "undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies" and could include meddling in the midterms and even the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, social networks have said they've taken steps to guard against foreign influence on their platforms ahead of the midterms.
In July, Facebook said it had shut down 32 phony pages and profiles that it believed were part of a coordinated campaign.
And this week, Twitter released a trove of 10 million tweets that it said represented the full scope of foreign influence operations on its platform since 2016.
Most of the accounts in Twitter's trove were linked to Russia and seemed to follow a familiar pattern. The Russia-linked accounts expressed a mix of support for and opposition to several Republican presidential candidates during the party's primaries and before the Republican National Convention, but the tweets took on a tone decidedly in favor of Donald Trump after he became the party's nominee.
On the Democratic side, the Russia-linked accounts consistently pushed anti-Hillary Clinton agitprop from the get-go.
"One of the things that's still a misnomer to people is that Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate," said Jeff Bardin, the CIO of the cybersecurity firm Treadstone 71 and a former member of the US Army and Air Force intelligence community. "And I think that was one of the biggest successes of the Russian influence campaign, to make it seem like that.
"She made mistakes, and she had her share of flaws," Bardin said. "But she was an objectively good candidate who had the experience for the job. But most people look at her and see a bad candidate almost as a reflex. It's all emotion and feeling and thought without evidence, and the Russians love that and tapped into it in 2016 and now."
Friday's indictment shed additional light on the intricacy of Russia's trolling operation.
Prosecutors said the conspirators' activities, just as they did in 2016, "did not exclusively adopt one ideological view; they wrote on topics from varied and sometimes opposing perspectives."
One member of the operation, which prosecutors labeled the "Conspiracy," offered specific guidance on how to manage the time difference between Russia and the US, the charging document says.
The document included a translation of Russian text that this person wrote: "Posting can be problematic due to time difference, but if you make your re-posts in the morning St. Petersburg time, it works well with liberals — LGBT groups are often active at night. Also, the conservative can view your re-post when they wake up in the morning if you post it before you leave in the evening St. Petersburg time."
The same person also outlined how to target specific groups of people.
"Colored LGBT are less sophisticated than white; therefore, complicated phrases and messages do not work," the guidance said, according to the document. "Be careful dealing with racial content. Just like ordinary Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans, colored LGBT people are very sensitive toward #whiteprivilege and they react to posts and pictures that favor white people."
Bardin emphasized that the Russians "played both sides of the coin" with their influence operation in order to "put fuel on the fire, keep it going, get a huge divide, and make it into the news."
"And the news covers it, and they plan on that as well, because they know we have an open press," he added. "It all fits in to leverage our own institutions against us to tear down those very institutions."
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is stepping up his efforts to use his newfound platform to encourage people to vote in the November midterm elections shortly after changing his voter registration from Republican to Democrat.
"Listen, here's my recommendation. Grab your family, grab your friends, grab your neighbors, and get to the poll, because if not, you are going to have another two or another six years of this craziness," Cohen told CNN in a Friday afternoon interview. "So, make sure you vote. All right?"
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges of bank fraud, tax fraud, and federal campaign finance violations in the Southern District of New York in August, stating at the time of his plea that he committed the campaign finance offenses "at the direction" of Trump.
Cohen also recently tweeted, "The #MidtermElections2018 might be the most important vote in our lifetime. #GetOutAndVote #VoteNovember6th," to which his lawyer Lanny Davis responded, "no one knows better than [Cohen] why the midterm stakes are so important to [America's] future as he is the holder of truth about [Trump]."
Cohen told CNN that he actually had been registered to vote as a Democrat for most of his adult life, and he only switched to Republican at the request of the Republican National Committee, on which he briefly served as finance chair from April 2017 to June of this year.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Cohen was also willing to publicly campaign for Democratic candidates, citing a Democratic Party source.
In addition to taking on Trump and the Republicans at the ballot box, Cohen is providing substantial assistance to a number of authorities investigating alleged crimes by the Trump Organization and the Trump campaign, even though his August guilty plea had no formal cooperation agreement.
CNN reported on Wednesday that Cohen and his attorney had met with federal and state prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization for possible tax fraud and campaign finance violations in New York.
Vanity Fair also reported on Monday that Cohen sat for a combined 50 hours of meetings with both prosecutors in New York and with the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether the Trump campaign illegally collaborated with Moscow to tilt the race in Trump's favor.
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
At 32 years old, I had been living in apartments in the Boston area for over a decade. At 33, I was back home with my parents. It was one of the best moves I’ve ever made.
Rent isn’t cheap in Massachusetts, but I’ve always been able to find a job and a room in an apartment. More than that, I’d always had a deep enough social circle that I never had to resort to Craigslist to find a home or a roommate.
That changed in 2016. I was coming to my new (and astonishingly cheap) Somerville apartment. I had just picked up chicken wings around the corner. My new bed was all set up, I had just cleaned all my sheets, and I had Netflix queued up in my new room. I was really excited about these chicken wings.
When I got home, however, there was one of my new roommates, waiting at the door.
“We need to talk,” he said.
After having a back-and-forth with him to explain some interpersonal issues that came as a surprise to me, I decided that I needed to move out.
Moving back home
I had been living in Somerville for less than a month. It was the first time in my adult life that I was living with friends of friends of friends and not just, well, friends.
The real disappointing part, of course, was that finding the place was such a blessing. Because of the college population in Boston, many of the city’s leases are signed by the beginning of September. So when my old lease was expiring, and I found this place on August 30th, I thought I had hit the lottery.
A few weeks later, after the run-in with my roommate, I called my mother and asked if I could stay in my old room for a while.
While living rent-free is a surefire way to eliminate what’s most likely your biggest monthly expense, the arrangement can also create new money pits that you hadn’t considered before you put that Beastie Boys poster back on the wall.
The complications of living with your suburban parents
First of all, if you’re like me and you’ve been living and working in the city, living in the suburbs adds a lot of gas money and commuter rail tickets to your monthly expenses. Sure, you could work from home some days — but don’t expect Baby Boomers to believe for a second that you’re doing any actual work. Especially if Dad needs to move some stuff around the yard.
Dating is trickier, too. Not only do you do have to travel further to meet people (unless you’re looking to rekindle something with someone from high school), but there’s also the problem of justification.
I might not be the most traditional man when it comes to picking up the check — but once a woman knows I live with my parents, I make sure that she also knows I can afford to cover two movie tickets and popcorn.
It’s the classic trap of the broke American: If you feel poor, you might also feel like you have less to lose, so you spend what you don’t have and make yourself even more broke.
Living in the suburbs, you drive everywhere, so you better have your own car. Otherwise, you’ll be negotiating your schedule around doctor’s appointments, choir practice, the Rotary Club, and all those other things suburban retirees love to do.
For my parents, however, it was a decent arrangement. Now that they’re retired and have more time to wonder what I’m doing with my life, they wonder what I’m doing with my life. Sure, home-cooked meals are a nice perk (and cost-effective), but there are only so many recaps of “Dancing With the Stars” you can hear before you need to talk with someone your own age. So you drive 20 miles to spend $30 at a bar.
While I didn’t save as much as I probably could have during my six months in the suburbs, I certainly didn’t spend the amount that I used to pay in rent just by getting out of the house. But by the time I had a friend who needed a roommate in the city, I jumped at the chance. And now I can eat my chicken wings whenever I want — and I don’t have to burn much gas to get them.
NOW WATCH: What happens when you sleep in your contacts
Picture it: It's a beautiful summer day and you're laying out in the sun, a cold drink by your side, your favorite music playing softly in the background, and you're slightly rocking to the motion of the waves.
Someone comes to refill your ice bucket and tells you lunch is almost ready.
That's the dream, isn't it? Spending the weekend on a yacht of your very own. Cruising around the Mediterranean just because you can.
But hold on a minute.
Before you get there — you know, to all the relaxation — there's a lot that needs to happen first, like actually buying the yacht, hiring the staff, making sure everything is being cleaned and fixed when necessary, and being prepared for a lot less isolation than you've been imagining.
So as you contemplate buying yourself a yacht, keep in mind that it's not always the dream it's cracked up to be.
Owning a yacht and living the yachting lifestyle may be a dream of yours.
Whether you want to cruise around the Mediterranean or sail up and down the east coast of the US, you might think the best way to spend any time off would be on your own boat.
If you're not up for creating your own custom yacht, you can go to a boat show and tour a bunch until you find the perfect one.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot was just drawn — here are the winning numbers:
Shortly after the numbers were drawn, the California State Lottery website crashed.
"Due to the high MEGA Millions jackpot, we anticipate increased website traffic that could slow response times," the website said in an alert. "We apologize for any inconvenience."
The odds of winning the record-breaking $1 billion jackpot were one in 302.5 million, or 0.00000033%. Five numbers between 1 to 70 were selected, in addition to one number between 1 to 25.
The lucky winner would have the option to cash out over $513 million, or choose to be paid annually for 29 years (with a better tax rate).
It's no question that Harvard is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Some of the greatest minds have come out of the 400-year-old institution, like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, eight presidents — the list goes on.
As a result, people apply that same level of prestige and luxury to how they perceive life at the college.
Fancy dormitories with spacious rooms and spectacular meals 24/7 are some of the things people think Harvard students are treated to during their college experience.
But in reality, going to Harvard looks a lot like going to any other university in the US.
Check it out:
Harvard University is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 20 minutes west of downtown Boston by car.
Source: Google Maps
It's the hardest college to gain acceptance to in the US.
Source: Business Insider
The school rejects more than 90% of applicants.
Source: Business Insider
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
CHARLESTON, West Virginia — "I’m the polar opposite of flip-flopper Joe Manchin," Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey told an audience of about two dozen factory workers on Thursday.
"Literally, you should go online and see this. If you go online you start to see the memes — of Joe Manchin holding two different placards. Within three weeks, one saying he stands for Planned Parenthood and the other saying he stands for life. On the issue of life, you cannot have it both ways."
Morrisey is running on being the anti-Joe Manchin in West Virginia, railing against the incumbent Democrat senator's record of bipartisanship and often contentious voting choices. But Manchin is using that bipartisan aura to get him across the finish line in one of the hottest Senate races of the 2018 midterm elections.
For Morrisey, who for much of his career as state attorney general made a name for himself by suing and combatting the Obama administration, the race is about unseating a man he wants to paint as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's puppet.
Though Manchin votes in line with President Donald Trump's policies more often than he does with Democrats (60.8% according to tracking by FiveThirtyEight), Morrisey says it is an effort to obstruct and "empower impeachment."
Morrisey made it clear, through campaign stops and in an interview with Business Insider, that he is not like Manchin. Decisions won’t be up in the air until the final minutes of crucial votes, many topics will be non-negotiable, and perhaps most importantly for Morrisey, he has Trump’s stamp of approval.
"I think people are enthusiastic. They're fired up," he told Business Insider. "Because the stakes of this election are very high. West Virginia is at a critical juncture for control of the US Senate. Win in West Virginia, and we can put an end to this talk about having impeachment, obstruction, resistance."
Trump won West Virginia in 2016 by nearly 68 points, compared to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's abysmal 26. Morrisey and his supporters are counting on that to put him over the top. But that challenge has proven more difficult compared to other competitive races where Democrats are up for re-election in conservative-leaning states.
Manchin is banking on the appeal of bipartisanship
However you frame it, Manchin has a well-known reputation in Washington and nationally as one of the least liberal or most conservative Democrats in the Senate. He voted for both of Trump's Supreme Court nominees, but against the tax cuts. Pick an issue and it's hard to pinpoint exactly where he voted without looking it up.
"The people know who I am and I sure know West Virginia because I am West Virginia," Manchin told Business Insider. "I think that's the difference."
On Wednesday, Manchin published four separate op-eds co-bylined with Republican senators across several West Virginia newspapers. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, and Marco Rubio of Florida all touted bipartisan work on key issues like health care and energy.
Having members of the opposite party go to bat for you in the final stretch of a campaign is support you can't buy and praise you can only earn, Manchin said.
"I've never campaigned against a Republican in the center, I've never given money to a Democrat that's running against a Republican in the Senate for incumbents," he said. "I don't think it should be done. I used to hear that's the way it was done before. It's an unwritten rule — you don't do that."
But Morrisey sees that as a problem. He knows he's the right winger in the race and hopes everyone else in West Virginia takes notice.
"Everyone who follows the race knows I'm the conservative fire who's going to advance the Trump jobs agenda and Joe Manchin's a dishonest Washington liberal, who's going to empower the impeach, obstruct, and resist circus in DC," Morrisey told Business Insider. "And the more people see that, through the ads, through the appearances, then we're going to allow us to come out on top."
"Whether we're talking about the Trump tax cuts, the deregulating, and the Trump judges, there's so much good that's being done right now we can't go back," he added.
Manchin said he "could understand that Patrick Morrisey would be envious" of his support from Republicans. "Because that's not who he is."
In agreement with Morrisey on how bipartisanship can be an obstacle to the Republican agenda is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who hit the campaign trail in West Virginia in an attempt to bolster enthusiasm for unseating Manchin.
"Here's the thing, the other senator, the one you've got now, says, 'Oh I'm bipartisan! I'm for both sides!'" Paul said of Manchin. "Well he's for all the bad ideas that come from both sides."
But Manchin laughed off support from Paul, saying, "that helps me."
"I'm glad Rand came here because I don't think Rand's that popular in West Virginia or in that part of Kentucky," he said.
The calvary is coming in for Morrisey in the final two and a half weeks until Election Day. Vice President Mike Pence is stumping for Morrisey on Saturday, with personalities like Donald Trump Jr. to follow on Monday.
"Mike Pence, I know Mike Pence and he's just — I guess — doing his job," Manchin said. "Well he's a junkyard dog right now I guess. He has to go out and do it. And then they send Donald [Trump] Jr. God bless you, come on in."
"I'd rather have Jerry West. I'd rather have Bob Huggins. I'd rather have Nick Saban," Manchin said in reference to a recent ad touting support from the sports legends. "I'll take those three over those three any day."
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
As I sat in a French cafè al fresco, chatting with Palestinian-American billionaire developer Bashar al-Masri, it occurred to me that I could be anywhere.
But I wasn't anywhere. I was in the West Bank, the occupied territory home to 2.6 million Palestinians, 400,000 Jewish settlers, and scores of Israeli soldiers.
More specifically, I was in Rawabi, a $1.4 billion planned city constructed to serve as a model city for the new Palestinian state. At least, that's according to Masri, who came up with the plan over a decade ago.
"I'm a believer that we have a state in the making," Masri told Business Insider. "The question in my mind is not when we will have the state, but rather what shape the statehood will be in."
Masri believes Rawabi, whose master plan calls for housing for 40,000 and everything from a nightclub to a hospital, could form the economic backbone of Palestine.
"A Marshall Plan to pick up the economy," said Masri, noting the West Bank's 18% unemployment rate and moribund economy.
At first, sitting in the mixed-use public square that forms the heart of Rawabi, I couldn't shake the feeling that I might as well be in Maryland, where such shiny new developments abound. But as we sat, Masri pointed out the details: the pedestrian town center and the tiled walkways are based on the old cities of Nablus and Hebron, the city has five gates like the old city of Jerusalem, and the corniches and arches are drawn from Arabic architecture. Above us towered American-style office buildings.
Rawabi has received criticism from Palestinian activists who say it sugarcoats the occupation and Israelis who worry about having a large Palestinian city near Jewish settlements, but ultimately the success of Masri's vision will rest with the Palestinian people. Are they interested in what he's selling?
Masri and his associates gave me a tour of the nascent city. Here's what it was like:
SEE ALSO: I visited the most contested city in the Middle East, where Israelis and Palestinians are separated by a gauntlet of military checkpoints — and the harsh, complicated truth of the conflict was immediately clear
Rawabi is the first planned city in the West Bank built by and for Palestinians. With a price tag of $1.4 billion, it is the largest private sector project in Palestinian history.
The project is the brainchild of Bashar al-Masri, a Palestinian-American billionaire who made his fortune on building projects in Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt. While Masri told Business Insider his goal is to make money, he hopes that Rawabi serves as a model for future Palestinian cities and economic projects.
Source: Washington Post
The master plan calls for building 8,000 apartments across 22 neighborhoods with a population of about 40,000. So far four neighborhoods have been built and approximately 4,000 people live in the city.
Source:The Globe and Mail
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Several former associates of President Donald Trump and the political operative Roger Stone have been served with subpoenas to testify before the Washington, DC, grand jury convened as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference.
As opposed to a normal jury tasked with hearing arguments and handing down a verdict in a criminal or civil trial, a grand jury is usually convened for months at a time to hear testimony and review evidence in criminal cases to determine whether or not to indict one more defendants.
All a grand jury needs is the relatively low standard of probable cause to hand down an indictment, leading former New York Judge Sol Watchler to conclude that a grand jury would "indict a ham sandwich."
In a typical criminal or civil trial, a witness can have a lawyer with them to essentially act as a "buffer" and answer questions on their behalf from the prosecuting and defense attorneys in the case. But a grand jury witness does not have the option to have an attorney in the room with them.
This is because unlike regular trials, grand jury proceedings must maintain secrecy to ensure the integrity of the process. This means that only the jurors themselves, the prosecutors, the witnesses, and court officers and stenographers are the only ones present — not even a judge can be in the room during the proceedings.
In 1979, the US Supreme Court unanimously upheld the necessity of grand jury secrecy. Former Justice Lewis Powell wrote that "witnesses who appeared before the grand jury would be less likely to testify fully and frankly."
"There also would be the risk that those about to be indicted would flee, or would try to influence individual grand jurors," he wrote.
Even though a witness in a grand jury can't have attorneys with them on the stand, criminal defense lawyers still recommend that people subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury hire an experienced attorney to help guide them through the process, since failing to answer a subpoena can result in a witness being held in contempt of court.
If a potential witness is concerned their testimony may incriminate them, a lawyer can help them file a request with the presiding judge to invoke their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. A prosecutor may also request immunity for a witness whose testimony they see to be crucial to the case.
Solomon Wisenberg, a criminal defense attorney in Washington, DC who specializes in white-collar criminal cases, also notes on his website that a witness' attorney is still allowed to stay outside the courtroom to be briefed on the questions and consulted by their client before and after every question, as long as it does not impede the proceedings.
NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory
Luxury will meet adventure in a remote Norwegian hotel set right at the edge of a glacier.
If the eye-catching design is not enough, consider its eco-friendly origins — and its broader location: Svart Hotel is set to be the world's first energy-positive hotel above the Arctic circle.
In fact, according to a press release from the hotel, the hotel, which is a collaboration between Arctic Adventure of Norway, architecture firm Snohøetta, and Powerhouse, will use 85% less energy than a traditional hotel in addition to producing its own energy.
The hotel will be in northern Norway, in the Meløy municipality at the foot of the Svartisen glacier. For frame of reference, that's about 800 miles north of Oslo, the capital of Norway.
The location also served as inspiration for the project in more ways than one.
"Building an energy positive and low-impact hotel is an essential factor to create a sustainable tourist destination respecting the unique features of the plot; the rare plant species, the clean waters and the blue ice of the Svartisen glacier," Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Founding Partner at Snøhetta, said in the hotel's press release.
Though the hotel isn't set to open until 2021, the zoning plan was approved by the municipality ofMeløy in October, and, judging by its sleek design, it's likely to quickly lodge itself onto lists of hotels everyone has to visit in their lifetimes.
Here's a look at the project:
DON'T MISS: I visited a micro-hotel in NYC, where a one-night stay costs more than $300, rooms are half the size of the average hotel, and you have to walk through the bathroom to get to the bed — and it felt way more spacious than I ever expected
The circular frame of the hotel will extend from the shoreline and into the Holandsfjorden fjord in northern Norway.
Source: Svart Hotel
The distinctive shape of the hotel was designed to give guests panoramic views of the fjord.
Source: Svart Hotel
The name of the hotel itself is a nod to its surroundings: "Svart" means "black" in Norwegian, which is a tribute to the dark color of the Svartisen glacier's ice.
Source: Svart Hotel
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
My first thought upon walking into Spring Place was that I didn't feel cool enough to be there.
Tucked away on a secluded side street in New York City's trendy Tribeca neighborhood, the hip members-only club opened in May 2016 and has since become a popular destination for fashion influencers, celebrities, and other creatives. Guests at its opening party included Leonardo DiCaprio and Victoria's Secret models, according to The Daily Beast.
Spring Place doesn't share how many members they have, but they did share with Business Insider that the largest percentage of those members — 18.6% — work in fashion. Another 17.8% work in media and communications, and 10.9% of members work in luxury and consumer goods. Other industries represented include tech, finance, film, art, music, philanthropy, and more.
Spring Place is set to open their second location in Beverly Hills at the end of October 2018.
A spokesperson for the club described it as "a collaborative workspace and membership club connecting work, leisure, and entertainment for the community of global professionals and entrepreneurs in the business of shaping contemporary culture. Members are talented professionals looking for a flexible working environment with a unique service offering a strong network to expand their business."
I took a tour of Spring Place — here's what it's like.
I had trouble finding Spring Place because it's tucked away on St. Johns Lane, a tiny side street in Tribeca between Varick Street and 6th Avenue. Google Maps did not seem to want to direct me to the right spot.
Source: Spring Place
After a few minutes of wandering around, I found the entrance, which struck me as unassuming yet sophisticated.
Source: Spring Place
The entryway was sleek and shiny, all black and gray tones. I was greeted by my tour guides, who showed me how to check in on an iPad, and then whisked me away to the elevator.
Source: Spring Place
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The idea that travel is an adventure is one of the oldest clichès in the book. But, it's a clichè because it's true. And, on adventures, things go wrong. Often.
I've made so many mistakes while on the road that it would be impossible for me to recount them all. I've worn the wrong footwear on hikes and ended up with blisters as big as my heel. I've been pickpocketed not once, but twice. I've taken a metro in the wrong direction a dozen times. The mistakes never end.
But that's also what I love about travel: the constant sense of exploration, of trial and error, of sketching out new terrain on your mental map.
Below, I've collected as many of the mistakes as I can remember that I've made while traveling. There are a lot. Perhaps you'll learn from my mistakes and save yourself some aggravation.
1. I forgot to print out my boarding pass before getting on a budget airline. I had to pay $34 to print out my boarding pass at airport check-in.
2. In Bali, I made the mistake of wearing flip-flops while driving a scooter bike. When my hand slipped on the throttle with my foot on the ground, it dragged and I ended up with a nasty cut.
3. On my last night in Tokyo, I decided it was a good idea to spend the night out drinking at an izakaya and singing karaoke. I woke up in a stupor, barely made my 8 a.m. flight, and was nauseous for the entire 13-hour flight to New York.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Mark Mahoney is a man who has seen it all.
The legendary so-called "High Priest of Hollywood Tattoo Artists" started out tattooing drunk Hell's Angels in his native Boston, Massachusetts, and now counts the likes of Johnny Depp and David Beckham as friends. It's been a hell of a transition for him.
I'm catching up with Mahoney during his residency at The Mandrake hotel in London's West End, where he's hosting a £500-a-ticket charity dinner and tattooed VIP clients in the lobby.
I open Mahoney's hotel room door to find his own piercing blue eyes, which have been immortalized by Lana Del Ray, staring back at me. He's holding a can of Monster energy and wearing his trademark stand-up collar shirt and a pair of outrageous, purple, crocodile-skin monkstrap shoes.
His voice honestly has to be heard to be believed— it's like it's been specifically engineered for an Al Pacino gangster flick.
As he sits down, Mahoney tells me that he recently recovered from throat cancer, which may have something to do with why he sounds like Ray Liotta after a heavy night out.
In the tattoo world, Mahoney is known as the founding father of black-n-grey single needle art, which was born out of jailhouse tattooing as prisoners often only had access to one needle (instead of the traditional five or seven needle cluster) and no colours.
"When I was a kid I'd get a box of crayons," Mark tells me, "and a couple days later the black one would be half an inch long and the colours would be untouched.
"So, the black and grey single needle style was more the way my aesthetic — the way I drew — worked."
He started tattooing in his native Boston when he was just 15, back when doing it was still illegal. His patrons weren't exactly law-abiding types anyway, mostly Hells Angels bikers.
I get a lot of calls from prison, yeah.
He got out of the east coast just in time, he tells me, as the tattooers he left behind were either getting arrested by the police or hit up by the mafia who wanted a slice of their action.
Now that every teen boy band and their mums are covered in ink, I ask Mahoney if tattoos have lost some of the outlaw appeal that once made them so enticing.
"I never thought it would be this big or this socially accepted," he says. "[Back in the day] it kind of symbolised... bikers and gangsters — those were all the people I got in the business to be around."
Mahoney still gets some of his old clientele coming into the shop, though, apparently: "I get a lot of calls from prison, yeah."
You would have thought painfully etching indelible ink into the backs, sides, arms, and faces of America's hardened criminals would be a daunting task, but Mahoney says he always knew it was where he was meant to be.
He tells me about a time he was setting up a tattoo for a rival biker gang's president — "He had just gotten out of jail and the club that I was working for was offering my services to this guy to kind of suck up to him."
It's winter in Boston and Mark's equipment is ice cold, he says. "I go to spray his back to prepare the thing and it's freezing so he rears up; knocks me on my a--; the whole table falls over with all my stuff.
"I'm staring up at the ceiling with the huge swastika flag [on the ceiling] and this six-foot-eight behemoth that I have to tattoo and it occurred to me like an outer body experience that, 'you could be nervous now, you should be nervous now.'
"But somehow I knew I'd always be nervous, you know, and I just wanted to be a tattooer and a good one so bad that it didn't affect me."
Mahoney's come a long way from the swastika-covered clubhouses of Massachusetts' most-feared bikers.
He moved to Long Beach, California in 1980 and lived in the same tattoo parlour that he worked in — an experience that he called "colourful, to say the least."
Since then he's opened his own place on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, the Shamrock Social Club, which attracts clients including David Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Rihanna, Adele, One Direction — the list literally goes on forever and is like a who's who of Hollywood A-listers. He also has a story about every single one.
Mahoney tells me that David Beckham is "the ultimate tattoo customer"— "he picks good stuff, he's got great skin, he feels absolutely no pain."
His relationship with the soccer legend eventually led him to tattoo his eldest son, Brooklyn, an experience which he called "a real honour."
David Beckham comes to mind as the ultimate tattoo customer.
"I know at 18 I was trying to do the opposite of what my dad was up to. So, I was really happy and proud to be a part of that," he said.
His closest celebrity client, though, is Johnny Depp.
Depp told The Hollywood Reporter last year that Mahoney "is amongst the finest tattoo artists to have ever plied the trade."
"I've known him since forever and I've got the ink to prove it. He's my brother," Depp said.
"We talk while he works. He once worked on my back for seven hours straight and that don't feel too good. I couldn't see a thing he was doing, but I trust him with everything I got."
While Depp was playing Irish hoodlum James "Whitey" Bulger in the 2015 film "Black Mass," Mahoney says he came into his shop on an unusually regular basis. "I think he was kind of studying my Boston accent," he says. "He got an inordinate number of tattoos that year."
Mahoney also played a small part in the film himself.
Celebrities don't always come to his shop, though — sometimes he gets flown out to them.
Mahoney recalls tattooing Suge Knight in 1996, the former rap mogul who famously drove the car in which rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in, when he suddenly got invited on an impromptu trip to Chicago.
"He looked like Paul Newman in 'Hud,' but he had a huge bite mark — uppers and lowers — on his face and you could see individual teeth."
"He [Knight] was like, 'Mark go pack your stuff up and come with me to Chicago,' and I was like, 'OK!' So I packed my stuff up and then me and 20 people are on a Learjet eating catfish 20 minutes later, it was great!"
Mahoney doesn't strike me as a man who's ever been afraid to take a risk, which is reinforced by another anecdote he tells me about a handsome Texan.
Apparently, the man was going from shop to shop asking for a tattoo on his face, but no one would do it. "He looked like Paul Newman in 'Hud,'" Mark says, "but he had a huge bite mark — uppers and lowers — on his face and you could see individual teeth.
"He wanted a kiss in between it — some kind of Texas bar room, comedy and tragedy — and everybody had said no.
"I was like, 'S--- that's a great idea! I'd love to do that, what's the matter with you?"
Speaking to Mahoney, it's easy to see why he's captured the imagination of so many fellow artists — he's the spellbinding character that actors try to replicate; the rogue that musicians make their muse. He's just really cool.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the magician David Blaine, who once received a tattoo across his back from Mahoney over the course of 24 hours, said: "When Mark tattoos, you are not actually aware of the needle; instead you are entranced by the piercing of his eyes, which is always complemented by an incredible conversation."
In this sense, Mahoney may be the perfect tattoo artist: Here is a man so intensely interesting, who has lived so many lives and met so many people, that you don't actually realise you're being inked at all.
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It turns out storing your vodka in the freezer might not be such a great idea after all — depending on how good your tipple is.
Business Insider recently spoke to Grey Goose vodka creator, Francois Thibault, who shared some spirits wisdom.
Thibault told us that one of the biggest mistakes people make is putting their vodka in the freezer.
It may seem like an appealing idea to keep your vodka ice cold as, thanks to its ethanol content, it won't freeze to a solid block unless temperatures hit -27 degrees Celsius.
If the vodka you're drinking is cheap and low-quality then keeping it at such low temperatures will hide any "aggressive, burning notes," Thibault says.
However, premium vodkas like Grey Goose should be naturally soft and not aggressive, which means that you'll actually be hiding the more sophisticated aromas and flavours when storing it at a really low temperature.
"The best temperature for Grey Goose is 0-4 degrees Celsius," Thibault says, "which is the temperature of a slight dilution with ice in a mixing glass."
He added that at room temperature, even Grey Goose vodka would be a little aggressive.
Basically, putting your vodka in the freezer will subdue any flavours within the liquid, which is great if your vodka is cheap and unrefined but not so much if you've bought something nice.
For any vodka beginners, Thibault recommends learning to make a dry Martini, as it's "the perfect cocktail to compare different vodkas."
You can check out his recipe, in full, here.
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