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- 11/30/18--06:18: _Trump is about to e...
- 11/30/18--06:37: _The US, Canada, and...
- 11/30/18--07:30: _The best weighted b...
- 11/30/18--10:14: _Democrat Claire McC...
- 11/30/18--10:32: _This ultra-warm jac...
- 11/30/18--10:33: _Top Trump official ...
- 11/30/18--10:49: _This $130 shower ca...
- 11/30/18--10:49: _A Frontier flight w...
- 11/30/18--11:42: _I drove a $52,000 A...
- 11/30/18--12:24: _The makers of this ...
- 11/30/18--12:55: _22 great beauty gif...
- 11/30/18--13:01: _25 great gifts for ...
- 11/30/18--13:35: _Claire McCaskill sa...
- 11/30/18--13:45: _Another bottle of M...
- 11/30/18--14:03: _9 places to shop fo...
- 11/30/18--14:13: _10 mainstream cars ...
- 11/30/18--14:30: _6 airline industry ...
- 11/30/18--15:06: _This quirky 'Shark ...
- 11/30/18--15:17: _A hotly contested c...
- 11/30/18--21:56: _Inside the 'storybo...
- President Donald Trump is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday and Saturday at the G20 summit in Argentina.
- At the top of their agenda: the US-China trade war.
- The US and China have implemented tariffs on $360 billion worth of goods flowing between the two countries.
- Prospects for meaningful progress are dim as the two sides remain far apart on major issues.
- Trump's mood could also determine the outcome.
- The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the first major update of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, was officially signed by the three countries' leaders on Friday.
- The new trade deal bears a lot of similarities to NAFTA, but there are major differences as well.
- Some of the key differences: increased dairy-market access for the US, a new sunset clause, and tougher auto rules.
- Review clause: The USMCA includes a 16-year expiration date and a provision that requires a review of the deal every six years, when it can be extended. It's less severe than the US's original demand for a sunset clause, which would have forced each side to recertify the deal every five years to keep it in effect.
- Dispute settlement: NAFTA's dispute-settlement system, which allows member countries to bring grievances against other members over allegations of unfair trading practices, will remain the same, a key win for the Canadians. The investor-state dispute-settlement system, which allows investors to bring grievances against member-country governments, will be phased out for the US and Canada, while certain industries such as energy will be able to bring cases against Mexico.
- Dairy access: The US will be able to export the equivalent of 3.6% of Canada's dairy market, up from the existing level of about 1%. This is slightly above the 3.25% market access Canada would have given the US as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump pulled the US out of last year. In addition, Canada will get rid of the "Class 7" pricing system that was seen as disadvantaging US farmers.
- Access for other agricultural goods: Canada will give the US more access to its chicken, turkey, and egg markets, and British Columbia will allow the sale of US wines at its state-owned liquor stores. Mexico agreed to allow imports of certain US cheeses.
- Auto rules: Members must produce 75% of a car for it to pass through the countries duty-free, up from 62.5%. Additionally, 40% of each car must be produced by workers making $16 an hour or more to avoid duties.
- Tariff side deals: The US came to side agreements with Mexico and Canada that would largely protect the two countries from tariffs on imported autos and auto parts. Canada would be allowed to ship 2.6 million cars to the US without tariffs, well above the 1.8 million it sent last year, and send $32.4 billion worth of parts without getting hit by tariffs. Mexico's deal was similar, except the country can send $108 billion worth of parts.
- Commitment to not mess with currency levels: While the US, Mexico, and Canada do not actively intervene to strengthen or weaken their currencies, the pact to "achieve and maintain a market-determined exchange rate regime" could be a model for future agreements with countries that are more active in currency markets.
- Increased protections for intellectual property: The deal increases the copyright period in Canada to 70 years after the creator's death, up from 50 years, bringing the country in line with the US. Additionally, exclusivity for biologic drugs before generics can be produced will be increased to 10 years in Canada from eight years, a win for the pharma industry.
- Increase in the de minimis levels: The de minimis level is the amount of a good a person can take across the border without being hit with duties. Canada will increase the de minimis level for US goods to 40 Canadian dollars from 20 Canadian dollars; for cross-border shipments like e-commerce, the level will be boosted to 150 Canadian dollars. Mexico will also bump its de minimis level to $50 and duty-free shipments to $117.
- 11/30/18--07:30: The best weighted blankets you can buy
- Weighted blankets provide an evenly distributed amount of pressure and steady sensory input that help ease anxiety and stress, allowing you to sleep better.
- Our top pick is the Gravity Blanket because it is a premium-grade, therapeutic weighted blanket that helps improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
- Best weighted blanket overall: Gravity Blanket
- Best cooling weighted blanket: YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket
- Best hypoallergenic weighted blanket: Good Knight Weighted Blanket
- Best dual-sided weighted blanket: Calmforter Weighted Blanket
- Best weighted blanket for kids: Quility Premium Kids Weighted Blanket
- Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Democrat who lost re-election to a third term this month, says she wants to help a new generation of women learn how to get ahead in politics in part by being "self-effacing."
- But some of the senator's supporters disagreed with her, arguing online that women shouldn't be asked to conform with double standards, but instead be encouraged to break them.
- Before you find yourself chilled to the bone this winter, get a jacket from Patagonia's new Silent Down collection ($229-$349), which is quieter and more responsibly manufactured than most other outerwear options.
- I tried the Silent Down Jacket ($249), a light, soft, and very warm puffy jacket made from 100% recycled down and 70% recycled polyester.
- I've already worn it multiple times in the last few weeks and plan on doing so for many more to come.
- Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke slammed Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva as a drunk after the congressman threatened to probe his department when Democrats take the House majority in January.
- Grijalva is the likely incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and called for Zinke's resignation in an op-ed.
- My apartment's bath tub is strangely configured to lack ledge or corner space for my products, and my shower head is about two feet above where it normally should be, so I can't reach caddies that hang from it.
- This $130 tension shower caddy from simplehuman solved all of these problems, and it's held up perfectly over two and a half years of use.
- I really just think everyone should know it exists, because it was super helpful for me and might be for you, too.
- It's expensive, but it lasts forever and can transition to any type of bath tub or shower configuration.
- A Frontier Airlines flight had to turn around Friday after part of an engine cover fell off the aircraft.
- A Frontier representative told Business Insider that part of an engine cover "separated from the aircraft." The representative said the flight landed safely.
- Frontier Flight 260 was traveling from Las Vegas to Tampa, Florida, but returned to Las Vegas around 30 minutes after takeoff.
- The Alfa Romeo Giulia that I tested is a four-cylinder version of the more powerful V6 Quadrifoglio trim I sampled last year.
- The Giulia is Alfa Romeo's bid to compete in the US luxury sport-sedan market, taking on the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.
- The Giulia offers a distinctive, stylish, and appealing take on the luxury four-door — and it's really quick!
- Insulated water bottle startup Hydro Flask took the proprietary TempShield insulation it developed to create containers that keep beverages hot or cold for hours on end and designed a 12-ounce coffee mug.
- We were impressed with how long the mug kept our drinks warm. We also appreciated its press-in lid cover and spout, which saved us from several accidental spills when we were on the move between meetings.
- At $30, Hydro Flask's Coffee Mug is more expensive than a normal mug, but it makes sipping on coffee and tea much more enjoyable because the mug keeps them at a consistent, hot temperature.
- 11/30/18--12:55: 22 great beauty gift sets that don't feel lazy
- Precision Foundation Brush
- Micro Blending Brush
- Highlighting Fan Brush
- Everyday Eye Brush
- Radiant Pink Strobing Balm
- Pink Flower Balm
- Zippered kitty pouch
- Hydrate Flash Masque Sheet Mask
- Illuminate Flash Masque Sheet Mask
- FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gel (pair)
- FlashPatch Hydrating Lip Gel
- For those who are always on the road, the right gift can help make life easier, more comfortable, or more efficient.
- From luggage and backpacks to plane-friendly workwear and headphones, this gift guide has the perfect travel gifts for any road warrior.
- Recently ousted Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill gave a candid interview about regrets and disappointments in how Democrats handled the 2018 Senate elections.
- McCaskill said Democrats will continue to suffer in Senate elections if moderates are not empowered in an effort to convert many supporters of President Trump.
- McCaskill lost to Republican Josh Hawley, who had previously served as attorney general of Missouri.
- A bottle of Macallan 1926 60-Year-Old just shattered auction records for the most expensive bottle of whiskey ever sold.
- It sold for a mind-blowing $1.5 million.
- The sale comes a mere two months after another bottle of Macallan 60-Year-Old set a briefly-held record when it sold for $1.1 million in early October.
- 11/30/18--14:13: 10 mainstream cars that are likely to become collector's items
- The Hagerty Hot List is released each year and includes vehicles that are likely to gain value over time and become collector's items.
- To qualify for the list, a vehicle must have a suggested retail price from its manufacturer of less than $100,000 and be available for the model year in which the list is released.
- Many of the entries on the 2018 list appeal to niches in the auto market.
- Holiday travel can be hectic and expensive, but there are a few tricks that can help you get the best prices on plane tickets and fly more comfortably.
- For example, flight attendants drink a lot of bottled water to stay hydrated on the airplane because the air is less than 20% humidity — that's drier than the Sahara.
- Watch the video above to learn more ways to fly like a pro, avoid sitting next to babies, and get better service on board.
- If you need an ugly Christmas sweater that will speak volumes at your next holiday party, consider shopping at Tipsy Elves.
- The "Shark Tank" alum responded to the growing demand for ugly sweaters by making it easy to shop funny designs and comfortable fabrics online.
- The celebrity-favorite brand has hit the jackpot in this niche clothing category, selling over two million products and making over $70 million in sales to date.
- Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here
- 23 festive and fun Christmas decorations under $25
- 16 festive outdoor holiday decorations that'll brighten up your yard
- The best Christmas stockings you can buy
- The best places to buy Christmas and holiday cards online
- North Carolina officials are delaying the certification of the results of the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District while they investigate possible election fraud.
- In the November 6 election, Republican Mark Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready by a margin of 905 votes after beating incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger in the primary.
- State election officials are investigating potential absentee-ballot fraud as a possible cause for irregularities in the results from two counties in the district.
The moment of truth for President Donald Trump's trade war with China is fast approaching.
Trump is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday and will attend a formal dinner with the Chinese leader on Saturday.
The meeting with Xi could determine whether the US and China can ultimately resolve their differences and lower tariffs affecting more than half of all trade between the two countries. Or, the outcome could be that the two sides will remain locked in a still-burgeoning trade war with no end in sight.
And you may ask yourself, how did we get here?
The trade fight between the US and China has been brewing for decades, as Beijing’s economic and political ascendance has threatened the US’ dominance on the world stage. Trump, a longtime proponent of tariffs, seized on China's growing strength during the 2016 campaign.
After a year of courting China as an ally in negotiations with North Korea, Trump turned on Beijing in March with the announcement of tariffs on Chinese goods. The administration argued that the tariffs were a necessary measure to punish China for alleged theft of US intellectual property and would force the ruling Communist Party to reform their economic policies.
After a few months of unsuccessful negotiating, Trump imposed the first round of tariffs against China in July. The resulting back-and-forth has led to the current state of affairs: US tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and Chinese tariffs on $110 billion worth of American goods.
Economists have warned that escalation of the trade war or allowing the tariffs to remain in place for an extended period of time would be seriously damaging for the US economy. US companies have warned that the tariffs are harming their businesses, and American farmers are getting whacked by China's retaliatory measures.
If Xi and Trump are unable to reach a deal, the two countries would enter what some experts have called an "economic Cold War."
The US would also likely move forward with tariffs on the remaining $255 billion worth of Chinese goods not subject to tariffs. That round of tariffs would squeeze many popular consumer products, and retailers like Walmart have warned the move would likely result in higher prices for customers.
A dim dealmaking outlook ...
While economic concerns and the summit have brought the two leaders together in Buenos Aires, most experts agree that the Trump-Xi meeting will produce little, if any, results.
Stewart Patrick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the G20 meeting "offers the prospect of a Band-Aid fix at best."
"Given current mistrust, even a truce seems unlikely," Patrick added.
At most, experts say, the two sides could agree to delay the implementation of even more tariffs. Ed Mills, a policy analyst at Raymond James, said there could be some upside in the form of a rough outline of a deal.
"Officials on both sides have been rhetorically setting the stage over the past week without any indication that either side is willing to back down from the dispute," Mills said. "The two nations remain far apart on a negotiated solution, increasing the chances of deterioration and continuing tariff escalation in 2019."
But the sheer size of issues to discuss likely means that any agreement that could come out of the meeting will be preliminary and not take the larger threat — the so-called economic Cold War — off the table.
"We caution that fundamental issues relating to intellectual property and subsidization appear intractable at this stage, which suggests that the broader threat of Chinese trade tensions will persist," said Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at research and trade firm Compass Point.
Trump acknowledged in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week that a deal to prevent the tariff rate from increasing in January is “highly unlikely.” The president also appeared to express misgivings about a possible deal while talking to reporters on Thursday.
"I think we're very close to doing something with China, but I don't know that I want to do it, because what we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes," Trump said.
Most of Trump’s advisers also seem to be urging caution ahead of the meeting, but US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer seemed to be confident ahead of Saturday's sit down.
"I would be very surprised if the dinner was not a success," Lighthizer, a longtime trade negotiator, told reporters Friday.
But the increasing pain from the tariffs could compel Trump to agree to some sort of preliminary deal, said Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
"My personal guess — and I’m sticking my neck out here — is that there will be some kind of ceasefire agreed to largely because I think President Trump and President Xi both have an incentive to put this dispute on hold," he said in a recent press call.
Goodman argued that the recent US-stock-market woes and China's slowing economy have put enough pressure on the two sides to make some progress.
… but Trump is a wild card.
But knowing exactly what will happen when the presidents are face-to-face is impossible because of Trump's infamous unpredictability.
For one thing, Trump’s international trips — the G7 summit, the recent trip to Paris, and more — have been anything but predictable.
These trips were marred by fights with other world leaders, Twitter tirades, and refusals to sign on to ceremonial communiqués with other nations.
"This binary catalyst will be hugely influenced by Trump's mood after a long flight to a foreign country at a multilateral summit that will be filled with world leaders whose voters tend to have an extremely negative view of Trump," Chris Krueger, a strategist at Cowen Washington Research Group, said.
Leaders from the US, Canada, and Mexico officially signed their new trade pact on Friday at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, marking a major step toward overhauling the three countries' economic relationship.
The signing ceremony comes after US and Canada sealed the deal on a new trade agreement in September that, along with an earlier US-Mexico agreement, opened the door to a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
While the new deal, dubbed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is officially signed by the three leaders — US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto — it must also be approved by each country's legislature before it can come into force.
Trump and other US officials have called NAFTA dead, saying the USMCA is a wholesale overhaul of the agreement.
"Just signed one of the most important, and largest, Trade Deals in U.S. and World History," Trump tweeted Friday. "The United States, Mexico and Canada worked so well together in crafting this great document. The terrible NAFTA will soon be gone. The USMCA will be fantastic for all!"
But despite Trump's declaration,the USMCA still maintains large swaths of the original deal and is more of an update to the existing deal than a full on rewrite. But there are some key differences.
For instance, Canada scored wins with the preservation of NAFTA's state-to-state dispute-resolution system and cultural provisions that carve out a certain amount of the Canadian media market for domestically produced programming.
Other notable changes include increased dairy-market access, new auto rules, and a sunset clause.
Here's a rundown of some of the key changes in the deal:
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
If you’ve spent countless sleepless nights tossing and turning, it might be time to try a weighted blanket. These cozy therapeutic blankets may look and feel like a normal comforter, but instead of being filled with lightweight down feathers or cotton, they are stuffed with anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds of glass beads or plastic pellets.
The constant pressure provided by the weights helps produce a hug-like sensation that stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine, the naturally occurring chemicals our bodies use to feel calm, relaxed, and happy. Your body then converts these chemicals into melatonin, which makes you sleepy.
Studies have shown the soothing effect caused by weighted blankets can help both children and adults that suffer from anxiety, depression, insomnia, autism, and ADHD. But they are just as useful for anyone who just wants to fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night.
The benefits of a weighted blanket are not limited to sleeping at nighttime either. You can snuggle up in the blanket any time you are feeling anxious or stressed throughout the day or when you just need to feel the comfort of a hug.
Here at Insider Picks, we take our sleep seriously. That’s why we've done the research and trawled through hundreds of buyer and expert reviews to find with the best weighted blankets you can buy. Whether you are in the market for a hypoallergenic option or one that keeps you cool throughout the night, these weighted blankets will help you sleep soundly.
Here are the best weighted blankets you can buy:
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best weighted blanket overall
Why you’ll love it: The Gravity Blanket uses deep touch pressure stimulation to help you relax and sleep better.
What started out as a Kickstarter campaign has quickly become one of the most popular weighted blankets available. The Gravity Blanket is a high-quality therapeutic blanket that comes in three different weights, ranging from 15-25 pounds. It measures at 72 by 48 inches making it the perfect size to ground one person at a time.
The blanket features gridded stitching that ensures the blanket's internal weighted beads are distributed evenly throughout each use. Each blanket also comes with a super-soft, removable micro-fiber duvet cover that comes in three colors: galaxy blue, moon ivory, and space gray. Both the blanket and duvet cover are machine washable and super cozy.
Business Insider tech reporter Avery Hartmans is a huge fan of the weighted blanket saying it helped her have “some of the best naps of my life.” She said that it helped her fall asleep instantly every time she used it before adding, “the Gravity Blanket helps me feel calm, relaxed — and very, very sleepy.”
Shoppers on Amazon agree, giving it a 3.8-star rating. One reviewer named Lola said, “This is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I place it on top of my comforter when I go to bed. I fall asleep in a quarter or half of the time that it used to take me.”
Pros: Helps you fall asleep fast, super soft, removable duvet, machine-washable, three different weights to choose from
The best cooling weighted blanket
Why you’ll love it: The YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket is a high-quality weighted blanket that will keep you cool throughout the night.
Many weighted blankets are made with fuzzy fleece or microfiber fabrics that are very cozy but can cause you to overheat throughout the night. The YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket is made from a breathable, moisture-wicking 300-thread-count bamboo viscose fabric that will keep you cool all night long, making it the perfect option for people who get hot while they sleep.
The inside of the soft blanket is filled with thinner polyfill and premium glass beads. There are three different weights to choose from: 15, 20, and 25 pounds. The 15-pound option is sold in a 48-by-72-inch size, while the 20 and 25 pound options both measure at 60 by 80 inches. The blanket is machine washable and comes with a three-year warranty for free mending if unexpected damage occurs to your blanket.
While the YnM Cooling Weighted Blanket comes in a more breathable fabric, the rest of the blanket works the same way as the brand’s original option that was tested by Insider Picks reporter, Mara Leighton. Mara had this to say about the blanket, “It has markedly improved the quality of my sleep, and it's something that has made me genuinely excited to climb into bed after a long day.”
Shoppers on Amazon seem to agree with Mara’s assessment, as the blanket has a 4.3-star average rating with more than 1,700 reviews. One reviewer wrote, “I love this blanket. I have a thicker fuzzier weighted blanket that gets way to hot for me with night sweats going on. This one is nicely heavy but also cool. Thinner and less bulky. The fabric is luxurious feeling and well made. The pellets shift a little in their pockets but plenty of division to keep the weight distributed evenly. Best nights sleep ever!!”
A few reviewers mentioned that they wished there was more of a variety of colors. The cooling version only comes in grey or teal, while the brand’s original weighted blanket has 10 different colors to choose from.
Pros: Affordable, keeps you cool at night, moisture-wicking and breathable, good weight distribution
Cons: Only has two color options
The best hypoallergenic weighted blanket
Why you’ll love it: If you have allergies or sensitivities towards certain fabrics and materials, opt for the hypoallergenic Good Knight Weighted Blanket.
The Good Knight Weighted Blanket is a quality-made hypoallergenic weighted blanket. It is made from 100% premium cotton and is weighed down with tiny, non-toxic, poly-pellets. You can also separately buy a duvet cover for the blanket which is also made from 100% premium cotton.
The blanket comes in three different weights — 15, 17, and 20 pounds — and they are all measure 60 by 80 inches. It comes in a sleek dark gray color that complements practically everything. Shoppers also loved how soft and cozy the blanket was.
Peruse the reviews on Amazon, where the blanket has a 4.6-star average rating and you’ll see buyers saying that the blanket made them feel warm and comfortable throughout the night.
One reviewer named Jade wrote, “The blanket is durable and is soft even without a duvet cover. I got this as an alternative to having a million blankets piled on me as the weight helps me sleep. My boyfriend describes it as "the full body hug blanket" which is pretty accurate, the weight is evenly distributed and the stitching feels very strong, as these were my main concerns when looking for for a weighted blanket.”
Pros: Hypoallergenic, made with 100% premium cotton and non-toxic pellets, soft and comfortable, helps you sleep faster
Cons: Duvet cover sold separately
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Democrat who lost re-election to a third term this month, said that after leaving Washington she wants to help a new generation of women learn how to use humor and be "self-effacing" in order to get ahead in the male-dominated world of politics.
"I think I can really help other women understand that really difficult balance you have to have as a woman of being strong and opinionated, but very careful that you don't go too far over the line so that you're in the 'B-word' territory," McCaskill said in a Friday interview with NPR.
She added, "That's a really hard balance, and a lot of that has to do with being willing to be self-effacing and have a sense of humor."
McCaskill acknowledged "it's awful" that women are often held to different standards than their male counterparts, but justified her approach by arguing that she's "just being realistic" about what it takes for women to succeed in politics.
The two-term lawmaker has been open about the sexual harassment she's faced during her decades in politics, and again related the story of when the speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives suggested that, as a state senator in her early 20s, she perform sex acts to help build support for her proposed legislation.
McCaskill said she brushed off the harassment, in part by making fun of it.
"I got through it with a sense of humor and I kept saying to myself, 'I'm going to have better jobs than these guys before this is over' — and, as it turned out, I did," she told NPR.
Some of McCaskill's fans felt her remarks this week were out of sync with her record, and argued that women shouldn't be told to conform to a double standard.
"All it does is erase their hard work if young women are forced to keep playing with one hand tied behind their back, backwards and in high heels," Jess McIntosh, editor of Shareblue Media and a longtime Democratic strategist, tweeted in response to McCaskill's comments. "The point of progress is to make it easier for the next gen, not to tell them to hamstring themselves because you had to."
McIntosh added, "Also not for nothing, one of the things I LIKED about Claire McCaskill was that 'self-effacing' was not an adjective you could apply to her."
Joan Walsh, a writer for the liberal Nation Magazine tweeted that she was "shocked" by McCaskill's comments.
"I really thought differently about @clairecmc and looked forward to her unvarnished honesty in the future!" she wrote.
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
Rapid footsteps approach, accompanied by a menacing swishing noise. You turn around, bracing to face the worst and — oh, it's just your friend in her winter jacket.
If I were to create a soundtrack of fall and winter sounds, it wouldn't contain the crunch of leaves under your feet or the satisfied sigh after the first sip of hot cocoa. It would mainly comprise the cacophony of coats and jackets being put on and taken off and pushed up against each other on public transportation. It's a small price to pay for warmth, but Patagonia has a new line of jackets and parkas, the Silent Down collection, that doesn't pay this price at all.
Increasingly looming over me is the awareness that our time on a habitable Earth is rapidly dwindling. Sure, it's bleak, but it also means I care a lot more now about what brands I'm buying from and what they make their products out of. If I'm going to buy and wear something, I hope it doesn't leave the world a worse place than it was before.
Joining flats made from plastic water bottles and denim manufactured with recycled water (among many other innovative products), the Silent Down collection is one of those responsible creations. The shell and lining are made from 70% recycled polyester, while the insulation is 100% recycled down, made from reclaimed duck and goose down.
The recycled qualities in no way compromise the efficacy of the jacket. It's very soft and comfortable, and many features, in addition to the down insulation, keep me warm and toasty, including the double protection of both a zipper and snap buttons, and a stand-up collar for when I forget to or don't want to wear a scarf. I also love stuffing my hands into the warm and soft micro-brushed jersey-lined pockets, particularly because I'm not a fan of the inconvenience of gloves.
Since it has a water-repellent finish, I wear it without hesitation on days when it might rain or snow, and it bounces back quickly after getting wet. It's also, as one online reviewer describes perfectly, "super smooshy." No formal term can better capture how easily it folds down and compacts despite its puffy full form. When I go on my holiday vacation, I'm definitely packing the Silent Down Jacket in lieu of heavier coats.
I opted for the Kastanos Brown, a mustard yellow color I wish I owned more of because it's both eye-catching and seasonally appropriate. It also comes in black, gray, and blue. The other pieces in the Silent Down collection are the Parka ($349) if you really need to lean into winter weather protection, and the down Shirt ($229) for a more casual look.
And while it's not actually completely silent (I doubt any article of outerwear can ever reach that point), it's certainly more quiet than most. Like any great piece of apparel, it doesn't rely solely on one interesting feature to make it a worthy buy. "Silent" is just one piece of the puzzle.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke slammed a Democratic congressman, labeling him as a problem drinker on Friday in response to an op-ed calling for his resignation.
Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who is slated to serve as the next chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee when the 116th Congress convenes in January, wrote an op-ed for USA Today outlining why he believes Zinke is unfit to helm the Department of the Interior.
"Ryan Zinke needs to resign immediately as Secretary of the Interior," he wrote. "I take no pleasure in calling for this step, and I have resisted it even as questions have grown about Mr. Zinke’s ethical and managerial failings. Unfortunately, his conduct in office and President Donald Trump’s neglect in setting ethical standards for his own cabinet have made it unavoidable."
Grijalva also pledged to vigorously investigate and probe Zinke's department in the new year.
"As ranking member, I have sent dozens of unanswered letters seeking information about Interior Department policies and Mr. Zinke’s conduct," he wrote. "Should I chair the committee in January, as I hope to do, those questions will only intensify as part of my and my colleagues’ legitimate oversight duties. If Mr. Zinke stays, stonewalling in the belief that a cabinet secretary answers only to Trump would be a mistake."
Zinke responded to Grijalva in a statement on Friday.
"It's hard for him to think straight from the bottom of the bottle," Zinke said in the statement. "This is coming from a man who used nearly $50,000 in tax dollars as hush money to cover up his drunken and hostile behavior. He should resign and pay back the taxpayer for the hush money and the tens of thousands of dollars he forced my department to spend investigating unfounded allegations."
The statement referenced a $50,000 settlement reported last year, in which Grijalva paid off a former staffer after allegations that he was routinely drunk and created a hostile work environment.
Zinke also used the hashtag #TuneInnForMore when posting the statement to Twitter. The Tune Inn is small tavern on Pennsylvania Ave. just west of the US Capitol.
During his tenure in Congress before joining the Trump administration, Zinke had served on the Natural Resources Committee with Grijalva.
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
As someone who tests products for a living, and whose focus was once specifically on skin care and beauty, you can imagine how filled my bathroom is with bottles and potions of every size.
When I moved to my apartment in Brooklyn, the task of keeping all of the body products in my shower organized (or, at least, not slipping down into my tub every five seconds) was made especially challenging by the fact that my new bath tub had very little ledge space. My shower head was also so close to the high ceiling that I couldn't hang a caddy from it without having to use a ladder to reach my shampoo.
At one point, I even tried to tie a caddy to the shower head using string so it would hang low enough that I could reach it, a DIY project that... did not end well.
It turned out my downstairs neighbor, whose apartment is laid out exactly like mine, had already figured it out. She told me that she used this Simplehuman shower caddy, which had a tension rod long enough to hold the caddy securely into place between our high ceiling and the tub, and shelving that was extensive enough to support an excessively large collection of products.
So I got one (admittedly, as a Christmas gift from my wish list), and it turned out to be an excellent addition to my bathroom that has held up beautifully after two and a half years of use.
Every time my friends would come over and use the bathroom, they'd ask me about the caddy — where I got it (Amazon), how it's held up (amazingly well), how much it cost ($130), etc. A lot of them were looking for a solution to store three roommates' worth of products in the shower, which it can easily hold without taking up much real estate.
The caddy can be configured in quite a few ways, with up to three shelves and a built-in razor and toothbrush holder. The shelving features strategically placed holes in the wired bottoms that are designed for sticking bottles upside down so it's easier to dispense every last drop of product.
There are also little towel hangers that clip anywhere along the main pole so you not only have a place to put your washcloths, you also have a sanitary way to dry them. And because no detail goes left unattended to by Simplehuman, there's even a designated spot for bar soap.
As for the tension rod, it can fit with as little as six and as many as nine feet between ends, and each end has a no-slip rubber base that won't budge out of place, even when your cat tries to dislodge it. It gets tall enough to use in bathrooms with high ceilings or standing showers, but small enough to install in a bathtub that just has terrible ledge configurations (like mine).
The one downside to this caddy is that it's not cheap at $130. But, as with all Simplehuman products, the goal is that you pay once for a high-quality, well-designed product that always works how it's supposed to.
After nearly three years of using it, I can safely say that's just what you'll get. There's been no rust, no warping, no shape shifting, and no loose screws since I got it in 2015. If you're looking for a smart caddy that will serve multiple roommates, a weirdly shaped tub, or just a large product collection, this is the one I recommend whole heartedly.
A Frontier Airlines flight had to turn around Friday after part of an engine cover fell off the aircraft.
Frontier Flight 260 was traveling from Las Vegas to Tampa, Florida, and departed from McCarran International Airport, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware. The aircraft, an Airbus 320, returned to McCarran about 30 minutes after takeoff.
A Frontier representative told Business Insider that part of an engine cover "separated from the aircraft." The representative said the flight landed safely.
"During takeoff on Frontier flight 260 from Las Vegas to Tampa this morning, a section of an engine cover called a cowling came loose and separated from the aircraft," the representative said. "The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely."
WGN reporter Dan Ponce posted a photo on Twitter that appears to show the torn engine cover. He said on Twitter that the photo was taken by his aunt, and that all of the flight's passengers received a breakfast voucher.
WHOA! My aunt snapped this pic of a shredded engine on Frontier flight 260 from Vegas to Tampa. The plane was able to turn around and land. She says all passengers got a free breakfast voucher. pic.twitter.com/vc4t4uxMmh— Dan Ponce (@DanPonceTV) November 30, 2018
The name "Giulia" means "youth" in Italian, but the legendary vehicles from Alfa Romeo that carry it are anything but: The moniker dates to the early 1960s and was born by some of the loveliest, peppiest little rides this side of Turin.
It, therefore, made perfect sense that when Alfa commenced its return to the US market a few years back, it returned to the Giulia's heritage for a sedan to take on the best from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.
In 2017, the high-performance version of the Giulia, the Quadrifoglio, was a Business Insider Car of the Year finalist. But it was also nearly $80,000 (worth every lira, if you ask me).
It isn't the only Giulia in town, of course. I recently sampled a 2018 Giulia Ti Lusso, stickering at $52,090 (base is about $41,000). It did not come with the Giulia Quad's 2.9-liter, 505-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, effectively a Ferrari V8 with two cylinders lopped off. Instead, it was powered by a 2.0-liter, 280-horsepower inline four, with but a single turbocharger.
In my experience, it can be tricky to move down to reviewing a less ambitious trim level of a car intended to fire the enthusiast's senses after hitting the road in the brawnier spec. In the case of the Giulia, however, I went into the process with a thematic expectation: The Quadrifoglio was power, but I assumed the four-banger would be finesse.
Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! I was correct! So much so that driving the four-cylinder Giulia after the Quadrifoglio amounted to piloting a completely different car. Good different, ultimately. But different, all the same.
Read on learn more:
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Lusso is just a darn-pretty set of wheels. The prettiest of all sport sedans, if you ask me. As with the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stablemate Maserati, the Alfa simply oozes style.
The entire car flows smoothly rearward, as a great car should, without a lot of needless exterior filigree spoiling the lines.
The proportions are ever-so-slightly skewed toward the hood, evocative of a time when larger engines made for longer front ends.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Three reporters on the Insider Picks team, myself included, recently tested out a coffee mug that claims to retain your drink's temperature — be it piping hot or ice cold — for hours on end.
Hydro Flask, the startup behind the mug, has an entire line of insulated bottles it makes with a proprietary double-wall, vacuum-insulated technology called "TempShield" that guards the temperature of your drink. We've reviewed its bottles before, naming them the best water bottles you can buy in our buying guide, so expectations for the new coffee mug were high.
After using the mug for a few weeks, we noticed a few things: First, the mug's TempShield insulation not only keeps what's inside it nice and hot, but it keeps the exterior from getting too hot to handle with your bare hands. We also liked that the mug comes with a press-in lid since it helps with temperature control and prevents splashes and spills when we're on the move in between meetings.
The Hydro Flask 12 oz Coffee Mug, despite its rugged good looks (it comes in four colors), is also very durable since it's made of stainless steel. It's BPA- and phthalate-free, too, so you don't have to worry about potentially hazardous chemicals seeping into your drinks after exposing it to boiling hot water several times a week.
At $30, it costs a lot more than a regular mug, but it also looks, feels, and performs a lot better.
Shop all the 12 oz Coffee Mug at Hydro Flask here, or continue on to read what we thought about it:
Connie Chen, Insider Picks reporter:
I've been drinking a lot more coffee and tea recently. No, not because I'm lacking sleep and I need the extra caffeine boost, but simply thanks to the introduction of this coffee mug into my life. I enjoy sipping on these beverages much more because the mug keeps them at a consistent, hot temperature, plus it feels comfortable in my hand. Meanwhile, the exterior of the mug stays cool and unfazed. As a certified Clumsy Person, I also appreciated the lid cover and spout that reduce the chance of accidental spills.
Sally Kaplan, Insider Picks editor:
I take a really long time to drink pretty much anything — be it coffee, cocktails, or a glass of water — which is why I've loved having this insulated mug at my desk to keep my coffee hot. I don't have to worry about choking down a lukewarm cup throughout the morning anymore. I'm also very into the color — I have the olive green one and it's just very pleasing. Little things, you know?
Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor:
I've been happily using a Hydro Flask container for over a year now, but its shape and size always kept me from making it my go-to mug at home. It was just a little too big, and felt more utilitarian to hold rather than cozy. This 12 oz Coffee Mug solves that problem entirely. I've happily sipped tea from it over the course of four hours without it getting cold. It did cool down, but it was still perfectly drinkable.
Beauty gift sets are the easiest way to go when it comes to value, size, and convenience. Most are already packaged nicely in pretty boxes so you can skip the gift wrap, the total value of products in the kits are usually way more than what you actually paid, and it's just so easy to grab a box of something and be done with shopping.
But that also means that some sets are less thoughtfully curated than others, like makeup palettes that don't have coordinating colors, or brush sets that are missing the essentials.
Well, these sets are not those. Here are 22 great beauty gift sets that are so thoughtful it's almost like you curated them yourself.
And if you're still searching for the perfect gift, check out the rest of our gift guides here.
A makeup brush set that has all the ones they’ll actually use
More doesn’t always mean better in the case of this essential brush kit that has all the ones they’d use on a daily basis and none that’ll just collect dust.
This set contains:
A cat and beauty lovers dream lip kit
Cat moms will love this feline-inspired beauty set. The lip balm applies on quite sheer, but changes color depending on their lips’ pH level, and the blush-highlighter combo adds just a light flush, so you can’t go wrong.
This set contains:
Masks they can use while 34,000 feet in the air
Help keep their skin happy and hydrated with this set of masks and gels. They can use them solo or layered for maximum moisture.
This set contains:
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
People who travel often, whether for business or leisure, tend to be one of two kinds of packers: light, or organized (of course, they can also be both).
If you have friends or family on your shopping list who spend a lot of time on the road or in the air, this guide has the perfect gift for them, no matter what kind of packer or traveler they are.
Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
The most comfortable travel shoes you can buy
Allbirds wool runners come in all colors and sizes and are comfortable enough to wear on the plane, in the city, or even in the hotel gym.
The latest and greatest e-reader
The Kindle Paperwhite is thin, light, waterproof, and has an absurdly crisp screen.
Performance workwear for her
Performance workwear is comfortable, stretchy, and wrinkle-resistant, but looks fashionable and perfect for the office.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Outgoing Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill did not pull any punches in a recent interview, blasting her party for not empowering moderate Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.
Recapping her Senate career with Rachel Martin on NPR's "Morning Edition," McCaskill called her loss a "failure" to bridge the gap between the Democratic Party and Americans in rural areas. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley unseated McCaskill, ousting the Democrat after two terms.
"This demand for purity, this looking down your nose at people who want to compromise, is a recipe for disaster for the Democrats," McCaskill said. "Will we ever get to a majority in the Senate again, much less to 60, if we do not have some moderates in our party?"
McCaskill added that House Democrats would be wise to be "very cautious and careful" when using their newfound power to investigate and probe the Trump administration.
"They've got to be careful with their oversight that it does not dwarf their messaging about how much we want to get done for the people of this country," she said. "If we focus on just going after Trump, then he has his foil."
She added that continuing to hammer Trump has not necessarily moved the needle in terms of converting his supporters, demanding a different approach than Democrats have taken during his first two years in office.
"He clearly will never take any responsibility for any mistakes he's made," she said. "And frankly, a lot of his mistakes have been pointed out, and it hasn't really moved a lot of the voters we need to move."
McCaskill also lamented the deteriorating ability to compromise in Washington, noting the rightward shift from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
"Everyone gets in their own bubble. And when you're in that kind of echo chamber, it feels very scary to step outside of it," she said. "People have black armbands on around the Democratic caucus, because it feels like we've lost Lindsey Graham. He is someone who was willing to step outside that bubble from time to time and really do the hard work on issues like immigration. We're mourning right now because we fear he's gone."
In dealing with her vote against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, McCaskill dismissed the notion made by many pundits that it cost her the election.
I don't think my vote hurt me as much as the spectacle that occurred. There were mistakes made by my party in terms of how that was handled," she said. "I don't think that communication [from Christine Blasey Ford] to the judiciary committee should have been kept private as long as it was. The FBI deals with a lot of confidential information, and that would have absolved [judiciary committee ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein] of the very real perception that this was an 11th-hour attempt to gut a guy."
In October, a bottle of Macallan 60-Year-Old scotch whiskey set a record when it sold at auction for $1.1 million.
As of November 29, that's old news — and small fry: Another bottle of Macallan 60-Year-Old just smashed that record, selling for over $1.5 million on Thursday.
According to a Christie's press release, the bottle sold for $1,528,800 as part of Christie’s Finest & Rarest Wines & Spirits auction in London.
Both noteworthy bottles are part of a 24-bottle collection of the 1926 malt: 12 of those bottles featured artwork designed by Peter Blake and 12 featured artwork by Valerio Adami. The bottle sold in October was part of the Valerio Adami collection.
This bottle, however, was an even rarer exception: It was hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon.
According to the press release, the bottle "depicts the Easter Elchies House of The Macallan against the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands" and "is truly one-of-a-kind."
Here's a look at the record-breaking bottle:
#AuctionUpdate The Macallan 1926 60-Year-Old Malt in a unique bottle painted by Michael Dillon achieves £1,200,000, establishing a #WorldAuctionRecord for a bottle of #whiskyhttps://t.co/cAChwR6HKqpic.twitter.com/8Tb93yjea5— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) November 29, 2018
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
There are many perks of online shopping — it's easy, convenient, and can be a huge time-saver. There are some products, though, where online shopping can become a gamble. These are the things you need to feel in order to truly get a sense of whether you want them or not. Before you spend your hard-earned money on an expensive mattress, you want to be sure you'll find it comfortable. The same goes for sheets — if you're going to buy a nice pair, you want to know that you'll like the way they feel.
While we can't provide you with fabric samples through the screen (although that would be pretty cool), we can provide you with what we think is the next best thing — reviews from a team whose literal job is to test out sheets (and lots of other products, too). If you're going to buy your first "adult" set of sheets online, we have plenty of in-depth reviews to help inform your purchase. To make it a little easier on you, we put that all together in this article.
And, if you're looking for some more resources or in the process of upgrading your whole bedding setup, check out these posts:
Keep scrolling to find out more about nine of our favorite places to buy sheets online:
Queen sheet sets start at $129
With over 30,000 rave reviews, including some from our own team, it's no doubt that people are obsessed with Brooklinen sheets. Thoughtful design and a cozy feel that gets better with time are a big draw to the brand, but it's the high-quality at a reasonable pricepoint that keeps customers coming back. You have many options for how to shop for sheets at Brooklinen — they offer a range of bundles that include different combinations, but you can also buy pieces individually. Their twill, linen, sateen, and percale options all offer superior comfort and value — and their newest launch of baby bedding called Brooklittles might just be the cutest thing you see today.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Queen sheet sets start at $24.99
If you're looking for more options or sheet shopping on a stuffer budget than the startups allow for, check out Bed Bath & Beyond. If the name wasn't enough of an indicator, Bed Bath & Beyond has a serious selection of sheets. The breadth of materials, colors, patterns, brands, and prices, is impressive. You can find sheet sets or buy pieces individually. I'm partial to the silky-soft feel of their Wamsutta PimaCott sheets, but there are plenty of options that accommodate all kinds of tastes. If you're on a budget, Bed Bath & Beyond frequently has sales and offers other ways to save money, like an annual membership.
Right now you can save 20% off your entire purchase and get free shipping with code "ALLYEARLONG".
Queen sheet sets start at $227
If you like to sleep cool, breathable linen sheets will help you get a better nights rest. No, they're not cheap, but these ones are relatively more affordable than the luxury brands charging $400 a set. MagicLinen is a company from Lithuania (a country that has deep traditions of growing and weaving linen) specializing in linen goods — including sheets, aprons, towels, curtains, and more — so you can rest assured that they're focused on quality and craftsmanship. Considering the fact that linen sheets can be harder to find than other materials, MagicLinen is a no-brainer if linen bedding is your preference. We were impressed by MagicLinen's breadth of colors and patterns and their "deep mattress" option, which is made to fit over thicker mattresses and toppers.
Right now you can save 10% off your purchase at MagicLinen with our exclusive code "MAGICINSIDE".
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Each year, the classic car insurance company Hagerty releases the Hagerty Hot List, which includes the 10 mass-production vehicles made by mainstream automakers the company believes are likely to gain value over time and become collector's items.
The list's goal isn't to promote the obvious contenders — like supercars made by the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini — but, rather, to highlight more affordable cars, some of which might not immediately come to mind for classic car enthusiasts.
To qualify for the list, a vehicle must have a suggested retail price from its manufacturer of less than $100,000 and be available for the model year in which the list is released.
The 2018 list includes entries that surprised Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty, like the Kia Stinger GT and Honda Civic Type R.
"I never would have envisioned a Kia Stinger as a collectible car," he said in an interview with Business Insider.
Hagerty said he was also surprised to see two Jeeps, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and Wrangler, on the list. While the auto industry is shifting to meet increasing consumer demand for SUVs, crossovers, and trucks, Hagerty said they tend to be less enjoyable to drive than smaller vehicles.
"SUVs are the hot type of car, but they're not often that fun," he said.
According to Hagerty, SUVs tend to feel like they were conceived by focus groups rather than designers with a sense of aesthetics.
"Focus groups design bad cars," he said. "There's just a fear in corporate America. People are afraid to take risk."
If there's a trend that runs through the cars on the 2018 Hagerty Hot List, it's the tendency to appeal to a niche in the auto market, like the Audi RS 3, which Hagerty said is geared toward a "tech-forward, European buyer," and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, which favors "performance capability over practicality."
While the auto industry may make the bulk of its money from vehicles that appeal to a wide range of consumers, the cars that will age best could be the ones that fit the specific needs of a specialized customer.
Here are the vehicles that made the 2018 Hagerty Hot List and the explanations the company gave for their inclusion.
Audi RS 3
Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP): $54,900
Why it was included: "What do you get when you stuff Audi’s sonorous and brutish turbocharged inline-five into its most petite sedan? A 400-hp wallop in sheep’s clothing. Perhaps one of the best sleepers out there, the RS 3 will do 0–60 in under four seconds, snapping off quick shifts from its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With all-wheel drive and a lively, yet forgiving chassis, the RS 3 is a tasteful tribute to punching above your weight."
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Why it was included: "Combining GM’s 650-hp supercharged V-8 engine with the Camaro’s tried-and-true 1LE track handling package has, predictably, sensational results. It’s the first time Chevy has offered the 1LE as an add-on to the ZL1, and rarely does a car meld muscle car potency with the colossal grip and track durability of a top-flight sports car. The fact that the ZL1 1LE does price that severely undercuts its competitors is a compelling reason to get in on the action, if that earth-shattering exhaust note isn’t enough to give you butterflies."
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Why it was included: "Straight from the factory, Dodge will sell you a street-legal surface-to-surface missile on four wheels that is capable of quarter-miles in the 9s at 140 mph. Boasting 840 horses with the kid-in-a-candy-store $1 Demon Crate and 100-octane gas, the Demon is built for the drag strip, plain and simple. It has massively fat rear radials, and skinny rubber up front. It has a transmission brake, and in stock form no rear bench or passenger seat. With your foot to the floor, all you’ll be able to hear is the shriek of the supercharged V-8 as your brain overloads on acceleration-induced dopamine."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
6 industry secrets to fly like a pro, according to airline workers:
1. The best time to book your ticket: 2:30 p.m. E.T. on Tuesday. Most tickets are bought on the weekend. It takes a day or so to process those tickets, then the airline puts the leftover inventory on sale.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Airplane cabin air is less than 20% humidity. That's even drier than the Sahara, which is 25% humidity. You'll become dehydrated much faster in a dry environment, so try to fill up a water bottle before your flight.
3. Fly at odd hours to avoid sitting next to a baby. Experts say most new parents won't fly at odd hours. So book a late-night flight or a very early-morning flight. Also, try not to sit near the bulkheads. Baby bassinets can be secured on the partitions.
4. Bring cash if you're eyeing a better seat. You might be able to pay the person sitting there to switch!
5. Sit at the back of the plane to get better service. If you sit closer to the flight attendant's area, they'll be quicker to respond. It'll also easier for them to slip you extra drinks, but only if you're polite!
6. Check in early to avoid being bumped from your flight. Some airlines bump those who checked in last, or they'll bump whoever has the cheapest ticket.
Enjoy your trip!
EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published on October 8, 2017.
You can't go a weekend in December without being invited to at least one ugly Christmas sweater-themed function. Once a tacky piece of apparel that you might've been a little embarrassed to wear in public, the ugly Christmas sweater is now fully embraced as an essential part of the holiday season. The uglier and more outrageous, the better.
Surprisingly, one of the most popular places to find a fun sweater for your holiday party wasn't born out of Santa's workshop. Instead, it's the brainchild of a former corporate lawyer, Evan Mendelsohn, and a former dentist, Nick Morton.
With an interest in internet marketing and a good eye for growing trends, Mendelsohn noticed one holiday season that it was difficult to find new Christmas sweaters online. He thought he could fill the void. He was joined by his former college roommate and then-endodontist, Morton, and in 2011 they began selling holiday sweaters online.
They sold just over 5,000 sweaters during their first year and quit their jobs in 2012 to pursue their company Tipsy Elves full time. The last six years have shown that the risk was worth it.
In December 2013, they appeared on an episode of "Shark Tank," during a season that saw fellow memorable pitches like Doorbot (later, Ring), Freshly Picked, Kodiak Cakes, Plated, and The Bouqs Co. While a number of these now-successful companies didn't receive funding, Tipsy Elves did, from judge Robert Herjavec.
The orders, partnerships, and celebrity exposure moments have continued to roll in since. Tipsy Elves has now done over $70 million in sales and sold over two million products.
While its operations and growth plans are streamlined and strategic, its products are far, far from serious. The whimsical and oftentimes downright crude designs strike a chord with younger audiences and cut straight through the formal stuffiness of the holidays.
If you want to be amused, entertained, or faced with the struggle of picking out only one sweater to buy, scroll through its online shop. Rather than sugar-plums, you'll find visions of Santa riding a unicorn and angels with beer bongs dance through the designers' heads. You can show off your knowledge of pop culture with a Kardashian-inspired sweater, or sit yourself under the tree as a wrapped present. Hanukkah celebrants, you're not left out.
Sweaters range from $40 to $60, but you're not simply paying for the novelty, then putting up with the uncomfortable itchiness. They're actually soft and substantial, made from high-quality acrylic that won't shrink.
We can't guarantee that your Tipsy Elves sweater won't offend anyone, so consider your audience as you put one on in the upcoming weeks. We would take the risk, though, in the name of unadulterated holiday fun.
Check out more ways to prepare for the holidays:
The 2018 midterm elections were held almost a month ago, but the results of a closely contested North Carolina congressional race are in doubt after the state elections board delayed the certification of the results to review allegations of ballot tampering and election fraud.
In the November 6 election, Republican Mark Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready by just 950 votes in the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, after beating incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger in the May primary.
But earlier this week, the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Reform voted unanimously to delay the certification of the results due to the number of mail-in ballot irregularities reported in Bladen and Robeson counties, including unusually high rates of absentee ballots being requested by voters but not returned.
"We encourage all allegations of voter fraud to be investigated and prosecuted, and perpetrators should go to prison," the North Carolina Republican Party said in a statement Thursday. "However, Democrats are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at the wall to try and steal an election."
The investigation and move to delay the certification were not, however, spearheaded by Democrats. The Board of Elections is made up of four Democrats, four Republicans, and one unaffiliated member.
"Today's news reports of the serious allegations in Bladen County are troubling," the McCready campaign said Thursday. "I stand with voters all across the 9th district in wanting to make sure any wrongdoing is investigated and prosecuted regardless of the outcome of the election."
In at least six affidavits obtained by WSOC-TV, some witnesses described overhearing Leslie McCrae Dowless, a local political operative working on behalf of Harris, saying he hired 80 people to do "absentee" for the Harris campaign and would receive a $40,000 cash bonus if Harris won.
Voters in Bladen and Robeson counties who submitted other sworn affidavits said they received absentee ballots they did not request and were canvassed at their homes by operatives who told them to fill out only a few races on absentee ballots. The canvassers told voters they would fill out the rest of the ballot and send it in.
Bladen County not only had the highest rate of votes that came from absentee ballots at 22%, compared with up to 1.6% in any of the other counties in the district, but Harris won 96% of the absentee ballots from Bladen, compared with 62% of absentee ballots from other counties.
Under North Carolina law, "ballot harvesting," or filling out and submitting absentee ballots on behalf of others is illegal. On Friday, the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) decided in a 7 to 2 vote to hold an evidentiary hearing into the allegations before December 21 during a session closed to the public and reporters.
While the North Carolina Democratic Party applauded the board's decision to conduct a hearing and delay certification, the North Carolina Republican Party and Harris campaign slammed the lack of transparency in the board's Friday proceedings.
While the Harris campaign said in a Thursday statement that they are preparing for Harris to take office on Jan. 3rd, the fraud investigation and possible litigation over the election results could drag on for weeks, leaving control of the seat in limbo.
As WSOC-TV reporter Joe Bruno said on Thursday, the state elections board doesn't need to determine that voter fraud influenced the outcome to order a new election. They only need to determine that "irregularities occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness."
Gerry Cohen, a North Carolina elections expert who served as chief counsel to the North Carolina General Assembly, told INSIDER on Friday that if the Board ordered a new election, it would be rematch of just the general election contest between Harris and McCready.
The House Committee on Administration — which has the final say in the results of contested House races — could also vacate the results of the election and restart the entire process, which would include ordering new candidate filings, primaries, and a general election, Cohen added. Eventually, the full House of the Representatives could end up seating McCready instead of Harris.
Bladen County has been the subject of voting controversies in previous years, though complaints against absentee-ballot results in 2016 were dismissed. "I’m very familiar with the unfortunate activities that have happened in my part of the state," NCSBE member Joshua Malcolm said Tuesday.
"And I am not going to turn a blind eye to what took place to the best of my understanding, which has been ongoing for a number of years, and which has been repeatedly referred to the United States attorney and the district attorneys to clean up," he added.
They are survived by their five children, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings.
Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital in April after "contracting an infection that spread to his blood," according to a statement from Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath. His health had been declining in recent years.
Barbara Bush had been battling Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and congestive heart failure, and was hospitalized several times over the last year.
Bush, who resided in the White House for four years while her husband, served as Commander in Chief, had been married to the 41st president of the United States for 73 years.
Described as a true love story, here is an inside look at the longest marriage in US presidential history:
Barbara Pierce and George Bush met at a dance over Christmas vacation in 1942. She was 16 and he was 17, and Barbara claimed that George was the first boy she ever kissed.
Source: Associated Press
After dating for a year and a half, the two became engaged and planned to get married before George went off to serve in World War II as a Navy pilot. He famously named three of his Navy planes after her, and the two shared love letters while he was away.
On January 6, 1945, the couple married at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York while George was on leave from war. He was 20 and she was 19.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider