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The latest news from Life

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    Southwest Airlines Flight 278

    • A Southwest Airlines jet overran the runway Thursday morning at Burbank Airport near Los Angeles.
    • Southwest Airlines Flight 278 landed in Burbank at 9:05 am. 
    • The Boeing 737 rolled off the end of the runway and came to a stop in the Engineered Material Arresting System or EMAS.
    • EMAS is a collapsable runway used to stop runaway planes. 
    • There were no injuries reported among the 112 passengers and five crew members.
    • Burbank Airport remains open and in operation. 

    A Southwest Airlines jet overran the runway Thursday morning at Burbank Airport near Los Angeles. Southwest Airlines Flight 278 from Oakland, California to Burbank landed at 9:05 am. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Boeing 737 "rolled off the end of the runway" and came to a stop in the Engineered Material Arresting System or EMAS at the end of the runway. 

    According to Southwest Airlines, there were no injuries reported among the 112 passengers and five crew members on board.

    "Initial reports indicate that Southwest Airlines Flight 278 from Oakland to Burbank came to a stop at the end of the runway upon arrival into Burbank," the Dallas, Texas-based airline said in a statement. "There are no reports of injuries among our 112 Customers and five Crewmembers. We are working to get additional details."

    Read more: Southwest Airlines is selling one-way tickets for as low as $49.

    A Burbank Airport spokeswoman confirmed that its runways are open and in operation. Burbank Airport is located northeast of downtown Los Angeles and is a popular secondary airport of travelers. 

    EMAS is effectively collapsable surface located at the end of runways. EMAS can bring runaway aircraft to a stop by bogging them down in the material. 

    During the 2016 election, a plane carrying Vice-President Mike Pence skidded off the runway and came to a stop in the EMAS at LaGuardia Airport in New York. 

    This story is developing. 


    SEE ALSO: The amazing history of the Boeing 737, the best-selling airliner of all time

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    the best bundt cake pan

    • High-quality Bundt pans are easy to maneuver, bake evenly, produce attractive cakes, release your baked goods effortlessly, and are a snap to clean up.
    • The Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan is our top pick because it’s inexpensive, lightweight, and has easy-to-grip handles.

    There is no single recipe used to make a Bundt cake. Rather, the term refers to the shape of the cake, which generally has ridges or grooves and a cylindrical hole in the middle. Though the cake has been around for centuries, it didn’t get its “Bundt” moniker until Nordic Ware trademarked it in 1950 to describe its new line of pans.

    Today, there are dozens of companies selling their own Bundt pans, only you will often see these pans referred to as “fluted tube pans” to avoid potentially infringing on the trademark. Nordic Ware continues to be the most popular brand thanks to its selection of countless designs.

    Bundt pans are used for a variety of purposes, including molding frozen desserts and gelatins and baking festive breads. For this guide, though, we are going to focus on which pans are best for crafting cakes.

    Using a Bundt pan to bake cakes is quite simple. First, you use a baking spray or shortening to grease the pan — use pastry a brush to get into all of the crevices. Slowly add the batter — any cake batter will do — to the pan. Once it’s all in, tap the pan a few times to get the air bubbles out. For even baking, spread the batter so it’s higher on the sides than the center.

    Once the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Tap the pan a few times and invert it over a cooling rack to let the cake slide out and cool completely.

    A good Bundt pan must produce cakes that are attractive to look at. There are two factors that play into this. First, the shape of the actual pan will give you a good idea of what your baked goods will look like. The designs range from your classic symmetrical round pan with ridges to incredibly intricate grooves for catching glazes. The other factor to consider is the product’s tint. Typically, the darker the pan, the darker your cake will be. So, you will likely want a pan that is lighter in color.

    Several different materials are used to make Bundt pans: silicone, ceramic, glass, and an array of metals. We only included aluminum and steel pans in our guide because silicone is floppy and fails to brown correctly and glass and ceramic do not conduct heat well. A heavy-duty aluminum or steel pan with a nonstick surface will cook your cake evenly and give it a nice even browning.

    While researching the best Bundt pans, we read through hundreds of expert and buyer reviews and ratings of dozens of models. Our guide features pans that have a track record of ease of use, performance, and durability.

    Here are the best Bundt pans you can buy:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    The best Bundt pan overall

    Why you’ll love it: Thanks to its nonstick surface and easy-grip handles, the Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan makes baking Bundt cakes a pleasant experience.

    The Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Panfeatures a nonstick surface and is made of steel so it bakes evenly, releases your food effortlessly, and is easy to clean. This container is dishwasher safe, though Wilton recommends washing by hand.

    It produces cakes that are approximately 9.25 inches in diameter and 3.37 inches high so they are slightly smaller than your usually Bundt cake. Wilton backs the quality of this pan with a 10-year limited warranty.

    Cook’s Illustrated gave the Wilton Perfect Results Fluted Tube Pan high marks because the handles are easy to grab thanks to built-in ridges. The reviewer also gave this pan the highest rating for ease of use and release. However, the writer did note that the shallowness of the cake fluting led to a less impressive-looking finished product.

    Kitchen Byte recommends this Wilton pan because of its low price and 10-year guarantee, but the reviewer found the metal to be somewhat thin and didn’t trust it in the dishwasher.

    About 89% of the people who reviewed the Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan on Amazon gave it five stars. Buyers had an easy time maneuvering this lightweight pan, and since there are no deep grooves, it’s easy to clean. There are also several comments about how easily the pan releases cake after baking.

    One buyer tested out the pan and found it held 10 cups of water. She didn’t recommend putting that much batter in, though, because it would overflow as it expanded during cooking. She suggests putting a catch pan underneath if you’re concerned about overflow.

    Pros: Lightweight, easy to maneuver, excellent nonstick surface for quick release and effortless cleanup

    Cons: Small, concerns about durability

    Buy the Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan on Amazon for $11.99

    The best affordable Bundt pan

    Why you’ll love it: If you are interested in trying to make Bundt cakes, the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan is a durable and affordable option that is ideal for beginners.

    The Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan is made of a heavy-gauge aluminized steel that is designed to bake evenly. Food releases easily thanks to the nonstick Whitford Xylan coating. To prevent warping, the edges are extra-thick rolled.

    You can even pop this pan into the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Cuisinart offers a quality promise of great performance for a lifetime.

    Food & Wine recommends the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan because the cake it produced was browned uniformly, cooked all the way through, and there was no crumbling or cracking as the reviewer slid the cake neatly from the pan. However, she was not impressed with the appearance of the cake’s “under-defined” ridges and curves. 

    Approximately 87% of the Amazon reviews of the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan are positive. The most common comment from buyers is that they are surprised by how heavy duty the pan is. Durability is one of the biggest pros.

    One reviewer purchased this pan to make pineapple upside-down cake. He has made several now, and each has turned out terrific.

    Pros: Affordable, durable construction, cooks cake evenly, lifetime warranty

    Cons: Produces cakes with an unimpressive appearance

    Buy the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware Fluted Cake Pan on Amazon for $12.95

    The best high-end Bundt pan

    Why you’ll love it: The Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan is an excellent tool for creating breathtakingly beautiful cakes that also taste great.

    It only makes sense that the company that invented Bundt cake pans would have the most attractive collection to choose from. Nordic Ware has developed dozens of different pans featuring intricate designs, including pine forest, Star of David, fleur-de-lis, and more. Check out the entire selection here.

    The Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan is one of the best. It’s made of cast aluminum, which is ideal for even baking. The pockets in the resulting cake are great for catching glazes, and the diamond pattern has hidden hearts in its design. As with all of its Bundt pans, Nordic Ware makes this pan in the United States and backs it with a lifetime warranty.

    Good Housekeeping recommends the Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan because it bakes cakes evenly and quickly, the resulting cake is easy to remove from the pan, and the texture is excellent. The reviewer tested the pan by baking a store-bought cake mix. The testers were impressed with the crisp, thin crust and the moist crumb. They didn’t like that it isn’t dishwasher safe, but it was easy enough to wash by hand thanks to the nonstick finish.

    Baking Bites, Club 10 Reviews, and Epicurious also recommend this pan, and buyers seem to love it, too. There are currently more than 300 reviews of the Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan on Amazon, and all but 11 of them give it four or five stars.

    The most helpful commenter, stilljojo, was apprehensive to try such an intricate pan at first but found that the process was effortless. She used an oil spray on the pan. Afterward, she ran a silicone spatula around the cake to loosen it from the pan. This worked out well.

    Other buyers have had similar experiences. One home baker recommended using a clean brush to make sure the oil spray gets into all of the crevices.

    Pros: Produces beautiful cakes that are evenly-browned and have a moist crumb, lifetime warranty

    Cons: Expensive, not dishwasher safe

    Buy the Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan on Amazon for $24.17 (originally $34.95)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Shopper's Special NYC subway

    The New York City subway system is one of the most fascinating curiosities in a city full of mysteries. Miles of underground track shrouded in darkness, littered with abandoned stations and secret passageways — it's a common object of desire for the urban explorers among us.

    And, occasionally, New York City acknowledges the delightful mystery surrounding its 24-hour transportation system. The annual "Holiday Nostalgia" train line, seen above, is a perfect example of this.

    The train line, consisting of eight vintage New York subway cars from several different eras, runs for a few weekends each year — from the Sunday after Thanksgiving to the end of the year, only on Sundays. It costs the same $2.75 as any subway ride.

    So what'd we do? We got on the train and took a ride, of course! This is what it's like.

    SEE ALSO: New York City subway cars are cleaned by hand — and it takes one person 3 and a half hours to do it

    I got on at the Second Avenue stop in Manhattan — when I snapped these photos in 2016, the train ran between the Second Avenue stop in Manhattan and the Queens Plaza stop in Queens.

    In 2018, the holiday train is running on the F line starting at the 2nd Av station, and via the A/C/D line from the 125th St station. It makes a handful of stops at major stations along the way — like Columbus Circle and Herald Square — "as an ode to the holiday shopping season,"

    As you can see from 2016's schedule, the train ran throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. and concluding at about 5 p.m. It's similar in 2018, but there are a few changes.

    The schedule is slightly different for 2018. According to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the train "will depart from 2nd Avenue on the F line in Lower Manhattan and run along 6th Avenue in Manhattan to 47th-50th/Rockefeller Center before heading up the Central Park West line, where the train will stop at 59th St – Columbus Circle before making its way up to 125th St on the A/C/D lines in Harlem."

    Even though we arrived at 12:30, there were already a bunch of people waiting — some were clearly tourists; others were clearly New Yorkers.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    best wrapping paper

    Gift giving takes place throughout the entire year to mark holidays and special occasions alike. To many people, one of the best parts of buying gifts is wrapping them up in gorgeous wrapping paper with ribbons, bows, and fancy tags.

    Gift wrap adds a layer of beauty and anticipation to every gift, and let's face it, tearing through the paper to find the treasure inside is simply delightful.

    We love wrapping gifts as much as we love giving them, so we've rounded up the best wrapping paper and wrapping supplies you can buy.

    Whether you want wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes, or the accessories that go on top of wrapping paper, we have a pick for you. We've also included the tape and scissors you'll need to wrap all those presents.

    Also, if you're doing holiday gift shopping, you can check out all of our 2018 gift guides on Insider Picks.

    Here is the best wrapping paper and wrapping supplies:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks. Also, if you're doing holiday gift shopping, you can check out all of our 2018 gift guides on Insider Picks.

    The best wrapping paper overall

    Why you'll love it: Target has tons of wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes, tags, and other wrapping supplies in fun patterns for a great price.

    If you want a huge selection of wrapping paper and wrapping supplies to choose from, check out Target. No matter what time of year you need to wrap a gift, Target has a wrapping paper for your needs. Its holiday wrapping shop is incredible, too. You can find just about any pattern you want from fun, silly patterns to classic designs and gift wrap for kids.

    You can refine results on Target's website by holiday and occasion, as well as brand to quickly find the best options for your needs. You can even get personalized wrapping paper from Wondershop.

    Well-known brands like Papyrus, Minted, American Greetings, Hallmark, and so on sell wrapping paper and supplies at Target, too. 

    In addition to wrapping paper, you'll find tons of gift bags, gift boxes, tags, bows, ribbons, and other wrapping supplies. 

    Pros: Huge selection, fun patterns, classic designs, wrapping supplies of all kinds, options for other holidays and events

    Cons: Not all are eco-friendly 

    Buy holiday wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes, and supplies at Target

    Buy wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes, tags, and more at Target

    The best high-end wrapping paper

    Why you'll love it: Paper Source has everything you need to wrap a gift, including gorgeous wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes, tissue paper, and cards galore.

    If you care about the presentation of your gifts, you'll love the Paper Source's wide selection of artful wrapping paper and wrapping supplies. You can find everything from classic holiday prints and fun playful designs, to gift wrap that will work for any season.

    The company also makes gift boxes and gift bags, so if you hate wrapping presents, you don't actually have to wrap them at all. You'll also find lovely tissue paper, cards, and other decorating supplies like tags, bows, and ribbons.

    You don't have to worry about the paper ripping mid-wrap or the tissue paper disintegrating as you remove it from the package — Everything from Paper Source is of the highest quality.

    If you're worried about the environment and you care where your gift wrap comes from, you can feel pretty good about shopping at Paper Source. The company uses 30% recycled paper in its solid color papers, partners with sustainable forestry mills, uses recycled materials to make many of its cards, avoids chlorine, recycles ink and all paper scraps, and other eco-friendly practices.

    The prices are expensive, though. Wrapping paper ranges in price from $2 to $25, and the most expensive paper is hand painted in the US, so it's well worth the price. The gift wrap costs about $10, but you only get two sheets.

    Gift boxes cost anywhere from $2 to $15 and they come in tons of fun colors and patterns. Gift bags start at $2 and go up to $16. The tissue paper, ribbons, bows, and tags all cost reasonable prices, though.

    Pros: Great selection of designs; gift wrap, bags, boxes, tags, ribbons, etc. are all sold here; well made; eco-friendly practices

    Cons: Expensive

    Buy gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, cards, and more at Paper Source

    The best affordable wrapping paper bundles

    Why you'll love it: Hallmark is a famous card company that makes affordable wrapping paper bundles that come with everything you need to wrap a gift, including the paper, tags, ribbons, gift bags, and more.

    If you have a lot of gifts to wrap, you may not want to spend a lot of money on expensive wrapping paper. Hallmark has very affordable gift wrap bundles that come with everything you need to wrap presents, including the wrapping paper, gift bags, and tags. You can also get the piece separately for good prices.

    Hallmark's gift wrap comes in tons of colors, patterns, and styles. You can find fun, festive snowmen beside classic, stately stripes and solid colors. Snoopy and other characters also pop up on certain gift bags in Hallmark's collection.

    Single rolls of wrapping paper cost $4 to $10, and a bundle with 3 rolls of wrapping paper, 10 gift bags, and 32 gift tag stickers costs just $20 to $30. The bundle is a fantastic deal for people on a budget with a great deal of wrapping ahead of them.

    If you're worried that affordable prices also means bad environmental practices, don't be — Hallmark says its "gifting supplies are made with paper from well-managed forests," and "wrapping paper is made in the USA with European paper." It may not be recycled paper, but at least it comes from a relatively responsible source.

    Pros: Affordable, bundles are a great deal, fun prints, classic designs, good variety, well made, accessories available

    Cons: Not as eco-friendly as some options

    Buy Hallmark wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes, tags, and other bundles on Amazon

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Luxury senior living communities are rising in popularity around the United States.
    • These communities charge retirees entrance fees of up to $1 million, plus monthly fees in the thousands, and offer a variety of lifestyle options, from independent living to nursing care.
    • The hallmarks of these luxury communities are their hotel-like amenities and concierge-level services.

    Retirement is looking a little more glamorous these days.

    According to a recent New York Times story, senior living communities with an emphasis on luxury are rising in popularity around the United States.

    "These upscale communities offer a continuum of care from independent living to failing health, allowing people to age in one place for a relatively fixed price, but with amenities common in exclusive hotels and high-end cruise ships," writes the Times' Scott James.

    But these aren't retirement communities for the average American. Known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities, about 2,000 around the US house some 700,000 people, James wrote. According to AARP, they're "the most expensive of all long-term care options" — entrance fees can range from $100,000 to $1 million and monthly charges can run in the thousands.

    These communities typically offer a tiered care system, which ranges from independent, single-family homes up to full-time nursing care facilities, according to AARP. The entrance fees are often refunded to the resident's estate upon death.

    Read more: It's about to get easier for millions of California workers to save for retirement

    At Fountaingrove Lodge, an LGBT retirement community in Sonoma, California, the largest units — two-bedroom bungalows — command an entrance fee of $1 million, plus monthly installments of more than $6,000.

    Included in the cost is continental breakfast as well as 21 flexible meals, plus weekly housekeeping and wellness and fitness programs, according to the website. In addition, residents get access to a fitness center, wine cellar, art studio, swimming pool, salon, movie theater, and even a restaurant helmed by a classically trained chef who's worked with Wolfgang Puck. James reports that Fountaingrove Lodge has 100 residents and a 70-person wait list.

    fountaingrove lodge retirement community

    Business Insider's Katie Warren previously reported a similar preference for hotel-like living taking hold among wealthy Americans: "More and more people are staying in luxury extended-stay hotels for months at a time, choosing the convenience and amenities over apartments and Airbnbs."

    Upscale "apartment hotels" offer wealthy families and individuals the comfort and coziness of a private home, without the commitment of a lease or the hassle of a hotel check-in process. Concierge-like services are a huge draw, even if they come with a steep price tag.

    Private real-estate firm Related Companies is looking to bring luxury senior living to the masses. The company recently announced a $3 billion joint venture with Atria Senior Living to build and operate "modern, urban communities catering to seniors" with an emphasis on luxury in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC, the Times reported.

    Read more: 22 American cities where $1 million goes the furthest during retirement

    Brad Breeding, a retirement blogger from North Carolina, told the Times most of the Continuing Care Retirement Communities are offering more than just extended medical care for aging Americans. Many are pouring their life savings into these communities, looking for a full-spectrum, all-inclusive lifestyle.

    "You're selling somebody's complete lifestyle in a retirement housing plan, and they're putting a lot of money into this," Breeding said.

    In Dallas, construction is underway on a $140 million luxury complex with 186 apartments, fine dining options, and high-end amenities and services, the Times reported. The community, called Ventana by Buckner, is set to open next year, charging entrance fees from $400,000 to $1.8 million and monthly fees up to nearly $11,000. Already, 81% of the units are claimed.

    The executive director, Rick Pruett, told the Times that their goal is to "completely treat everyone like a VIP ... like you'd see at some of the finer operating hotel chains and resort centers."

    Read the full New York Times story here »

    SEE ALSO: Forget Portland and Seattle — people priced out of expensive California cities are buying homes in Idaho for 'Monopoly money'

    DON'T MISS: 5 people explain how their life unexpectedly changed after retiring early

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    most notable brands

    It's an exciting time to be in retail — as a brand, as a consumer, and for us as product writers. The Insider Picks team tested countless new products, learned the stories of many new startups, and followed the growth of dozens of our now-favorite companies. 

    A select few retail companies really impressed us in 2018, and for a variety of reasons — from superior product launches to admirable social initiatives with quantifiable impact.

    They're a standout representation of what it takes to succeed in retail today: the puzzle pieces of mission, product, branding, customer service, and other key business components fitting together to create a cohesive solution to the needs and wants of consumers. 

    Learn more about the all-stars of 2018 retail below. 


    Shop Everlane here

    Everlane has much to celebrate this year, including the opening of its first brick-and-mortar stores, which were welcomed with open arms in San Francisco and New York; stellar product drops like basic but comfortable underwear, the soft leather flats we can't stop talking about, and an outerwear collection made from recycled plastic water bottles; and another successful anti-Black Friday initiative that sent $260,000 to help fund beach cleanups across the country.

    The brand impressed us throughout the year for its continued commitment to ethical, transparent manufacturing practices and almost-eerie grasp of the styles customers crave — and how to fill the gaps with its own minimalist, carefully curated take. 



    Dagne Dover

    Shop Dagne Dover here

    It's not just you — we've been seeing a lot more Dagne Dover bags in the streets of urban jungles, too. This might be because of its increased but carefully managed offline presence in select Nordstrom stores, Equinox boutiques, and BANDIER shops, or confident push into styles and textures you wouldn't expect from a women's work bag company.

    Whether it's a work tote, gym and travel bag, or laptop bag, the women of Insider Picks have agreed that Dagne Dover hits it out of the park every single time with a consistent track record that's not always easy for experimental startups to achieve. 


    Shop Patagonia here

    More so it seems than other clothing industries, outdoor brands share a special connection with the environments they design for. With the push into recycled materials like down and cashmere, and the no-hesitation decision to send its $10 million 2018 tax cut to grassroots environmental activist groups, Patagonia ramped up its efforts to protect the outdoors. 

    The ubiquity of its vests and sweaters might inspire joke Instagram accounts, but at least they're the products of a highly-rated B Corp with a conscience. In February, it launched Patagonia Action Works to connect individuals to events, petitions, and organizations they might be interested in, and on Election Day, stores across the country closed as a reminder for citizens to vote.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woman iPad checking

    • You're never too young to begin investing, and you don't have to be rich to open your first investment account.
    • Don't let your emotions rule your investment decisions. When the market turns down, smart investors wait it out.
    • Understand your investment goals. That will help you decide where to put your money.
    • Angela Moore, a certified financial planner (CFP), has some advice to get you started.


    Angela Moore's first job after college was as a finance director for a car dealership. She spent all day looking at other people's credit and, she said, "I quickly realized that there was a huge financial literacy problem in the community."

    Moore decided to go back to school so she could help people close this gap. She is now a CFP and a certified financial education instructor with her own firm.

    Whether you have a little money saved up or you just got a windfall, Moore thinks "everybody should look at opening some type of investment account." She noted that most bank accounts pay interest rates that don't keep up with inflation, so your savings lose value over time.

    Your investment account can be an IRA, 401k, or any brokerage account that hold funds made up of stocks, bonds, and other investments. Here are six things to think about before you open your first investment account.

    SEE ALSO: How to easily find a savings account that will earn you more money

    Create a rainy day fund first.

    "You don't want to take all your cash and put it in investments and then not have any cash in case of an emergency," Moore said. That could force you to withdraw money from your investment account when the market is down.

    Instead, set aside between three and 12 months of living expenses in an emergency fund, Moore suggested, noting that "the amount that you need depends on the stability of your income." Freelancers need a bigger cushion than someone with secure employment. Plan on having at least a couple months of emergency savings before you begin investing.

    Understand the costs associated with investing.

    There are two primary types of costs associated with investment accounts, according to Moore: management fees, charged by your investment manager, and fees charged by the funds you invest in.  

    Total fees are usually in the range of 1% to 2%. If you start investing at a young age, Moore said, those fees will "add up over time."

    Don't let this discourage you from investing – just understand the costs associated with your accounts and look for low-cost alternatives.

    Get investment help from a robot.

    Moore has a suggestion that can save you some management fees: "There's a lot of robo-advisors where there's a very little fee or no fee at all." A robo-advisor is AI that asks you a set of questions about your goals and your tolerance for risk then uses an algorithm to recommend investments.

    "For the average investor who's just getting started, a robo-advisor is great," Moore said. "I'm a financial advisor with a master's degree, and I use robo-advisors for myself."

    She noted that accounts associated with robo-advisors often have lower minimums than accounts managed by humans. Some have no minimums, so you can start building your portfolio with a small monthly investment.

    Nerdwallet has a list of the top robo-advisors for 2018.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Beards have long been a cultural sign of masculinity, but for men who can't grow thick facial hair, does that make them "less manly"? 
    • We asked a dermatologist to explain the scientific reasons that some men aren't able to grow thick, dense facial hair. 
    • Dr. Jennifer Chwalek explained that an inability to grow thick facial hair is not directly related to low levels of testosterone.
    • Facial hair growth is largely determined by genetics— watch the video above to learn more.

    Narrator: Look at that beard. The density. The thickness. It's what a beard is supposed to be! Not this. This is my beard, if you even want to call it a beard. This footage was taken after I let it grow for two weeks. Two weeks! It's thin, patchy, and in some spots there's no hair at all. Sad. But let's look at this one again. This is Kevin. We're around the same age, both Caucasian males of Irish descent. You could say we have a lot in common, except in the facial hair department. So, I asked a dermatologist about why he's able to grow a beard and I'm not.

    Dr. Jennifer Chwalek: It's based on genetics as well as hormones. Some men, you know, have more hair follicles, so they can grow denser, coarser beards than others. Testosterone gets converted in the hair follicle to a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone. Some hair follicles have receptors on them that are very sensitive to this higher form of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and that will stimulate hair growth.

    Graham Flanagan: How would you characterize my facial hair?

    Dr. Chwalek: I'd say it's like, sparse, and you have light-colored hair, so it doesn't show up quite as much.

    Flanagan: I can't really grow a great beard. It's been a problem. I want one. I wanna look like my colleague, Kevin. I mean, look at that beard. It is just glorious. Why can't I grow a beard like Kevin?

    Dr. Chwalek: Well, Kevin has some good hair genes, so because of that, the hair follicles on his face are more sensitive to the effects of a form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone which can help to stimulate thicker, coarser, longer hair growth in some areas of the body like the beard area.

    Narrator: Beards and facial hair have long been associated with masculinity and virility. I began to wonder if my inability to grow thick facial hair like Kevin makes me less of a man.

    Flanagan: Does the fact that I can't grow a beard, does it make mean that I have low testosterone?

    Dr. Chwalek: No. Men who can't grow a beard or have patchy beards usually have normal testosterone levels. It isn't a reflection of having low testosterone or being deficient in testosterone.

    Flanagan: So, you can still be virile —

    Dr. Chwalek: Right.

    Flanagan: And grow a crappy beard like this?

    Dr. Chwalek: Yes.

    Flanagan: Okay, good.

    Narrator: And in fact, there are some ways to increase the chances of growing facial hair, but shaving more often isn't one of them.

    Dr. Chwalek: So, the idea that shaving can impact hair growth is actually a myth. When you're shaving, you're just cutting the hair off at the surface of the skin, and what's controlling the hair growth is really occurring deeper in the skin. So, it shouldn't have any impact on how quickly the hair grows, or how dense the hair grows. People have tried topical Rogaine or Minoxidil. These things may stimulate a little hair growth, but assuming it's due to genetics, then you're kind of stuck with what you have.

    Flanagan: It's all about the sensitivity of the hair follicles and how they interact with this —

    Dr. Chwalek: Dihydrotestosterone or androgens in the blood.

    Flanagan: So, you're saying that, that his hair follicles are "sensitive."

    Dr. Chwalek: Yes.

    Flanagan: See, mine aren't.

    Dr. Chwalek: Right.

    Flanagan: They aren't sensitive. They're like rocks. They have no sensitivity at all. Okay, so I win that!

    Dr. Chwalek: Right.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    donald trump

    • The US trade deficit hit $55.5 billion in October, the highest since October 2008.
    • The increase in the deficit came due to continued growth in imports, while exports actually fell.
    • The trade deficit with China also hit a record level.
    • One of President Donald Trump's goals for the trade war was to reduce the trade deficit, but the president's own policies are likely prompting some of the widening gap.

    Shrinking the US trade deficit has been a key goal of President Donald Trump's trade war.

    But the Census Bureau announced Thursday that the US trade deficit grew to $55.5 billion in the month of October, the highest in exactly 10 years. That was a 1.7% jump from September, as imports rose by 0.2% and exports fell by 0.1%.

    Trump has long been focused on the trade deficit as a signal that his administration's tariffs on Chinese good and metals are working, despite the fact that most economists discount the measure as a sign of effective trade policy.

    Looking at the main target of the trade war, China, the trade deficit was similarly dismal. The unadjusted goods trade deficit hit $43.1 billion in October, the highest level ever.

    While Trump may not like the results, there are good reasons the trade deficit is expanding. And part of the blame, for better and for worse, lies on the president's own policies.

    On the import side of the ledger:

    • The US economy is stronger, and US consumers' appetite is outpacing the country's ability to produce the goods they want.
    • This means the US needs goods from other countries to satisfy consumer demand, leading to import growth.
    • The increase in demand is in part due to the significant amount of fiscal stimulus injected into the economy by Trump's tax cuts and the massive bipartisan budget deal.
    • Goosing the economy, while helping Trump claim victories on things like stronger GDP, also means the president's trade report card looks worse.

    At the same time, exports are cooling due to retaliatory tariffs on US products:

    The trade policy exacerbates the existing issues that were already causing weak export growth, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote Thursday.

    "The stronger dollar and slower growth in China and Europe are hurting exports, and the tariffs are a real problem too; exports of soybeans fell by $0.8 billion to a four-year low, down 43% year-over-year," Shepherson said.

    Read more:The US-China trade war might still rage on despite a breakthrough deal between Trump and Xi»

    Those existing drags on exports — the strong US dollar and slowing economic growth in foreign countries — in conjunction with the tariffs, combine to make the perfect recipe for weakness on that side of the deficit ledger.

    "Moderating global momentum, the stronger dollar, and protectionist trade policies will keep weighing on exports in the near-term, while sturdy domestic demand and limited spare capacity keep import growth healthy – further widening the deficit," said Jack McRobie and Gregory Daco, economists at Oxford Economics.

    A few things could turn around the deficit situation. If the US economy were to cool off, as many economists expect, it could slow the pace of import growth. At the same time, if Trump is able to strike a trade deal with China, a prospect of which economists and experts are more skeptical, export growth could rebound and close the gap.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Slightly north of Hong Kong Island there once stood one of the most densely populated places on earth.

    From the 1950s until 1994, over 33,000 people lived and worked in Kowloon Walled City, a massive complex of 300 interconnected buildings that took up a city block.

    Caught between China and the British-run Hong Kong government, the city was essentially lawless, equally known for its opium dens and organized crime as its dentists' offices. 

    Photographer Greg Girard spent years investigating and documenting the strange place before it was demolished. Girard collaborated with Ian Lambot, another photographer, on a book about Kowloon, titled "City of Darkness Revisited," available here.

    Girard shared a number of photos from the project with us in 2015, and you can check out the rest at the book's website.

    SEE ALSO: This is the last generation of Chinese women to endure the painful tradition of foot binding

    Kowloon Walled City was a densely populated, ungoverned settlement in Kowloon, an area north of Hong Kong Island. What began as a Chinese military fort evolved into a squatters' village comprising a mass of 300 interconnected high-rise buildings.

    The city began as a low-rise squatter village during the early 20th century. After World War II, Hong Kong experienced a massive influx of Chinese immigrants. This led to a lack of housing in the city. In response, entrepreneurs and those with "squatter's rights" in Kowloon built high rise buildings on the space to capitalize on the housing demand.

    At its peak, more than 33,000 people lived in the 6.4-acre city. It was considered by many to be the most densely populated place on earth.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The best gifts we ever give are typically the ones that cater to someone else's passion. These gifts show that we a) listen to them, and b) cared enough to do a little research into what could make their lives and hobby even better.

    If you're shopping for a runner, you can feel confident in the gifts curated below. At one point, I averaged about 40 miles per week, and these are the thoughtful, useful, and life-hack-like gifts that I can say from experience will go the distance.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Truly wireless earbuds that have an amazing battery life, never fall out, and don't get tangled while they move.

    Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones, available at Best Buy, Target, and Amazon, from $132.99

    Jaybird is a company built by and for runners. I swear by their Jaybird RUN Truly Wireless headphones. They’re designed to charge quickly (don’t worry if you got dressed for a run and they’re dead, 5 minutes in their charging case equals one hour of listening time), and don’t have obnoxious cords that tangle in your arms while you run. They’re sweat- and water-resistant, and they’re so small you’ll never feel claustrophobic or overheated in them, even on long runs. Perhaps best, though, is that they never fall out or feel like they’re going to. I recommend them to everyone.

    A running armband that keeps their phone out of the way but accessible and protected.

    TRIBE Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband, available at Amazon, $9.98

    There are some runners who like to head out on the trail without a phone, but I’d wager most favor the security and access to entertainment like music and podcasts too much. An armband like this gives them access to their phone, a place to stow their key, and an adjustable elastic band that moves with their body. It’s water-resistant so they won’t have to head back in the rain, and it’ll fit iPhone X, Xs, 8, 7, 6, 6S and Samsung Galaxy S9, S8, S7, S6, A8.

    A personalized map to commemorate their achievements.

    Marathon Map, available on Etsy, from $26.37

    Gift a custom-made print of their latest — or most important — running achievement. The print will display their name, the race date and finish time (and can be customized with other fields on request), and depict the route taken. You can choose size and color, too. 

    For less of a minimalist style, check out this option.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    homepage gift_7fca2e98 f49f 47dd a678 627557aaad5f

    There's no one who can make you feel better after a bad day or whip up a gooey grilled cheese and tomato sandwich quite like your mom (or grandma, or aunt). She's always there for you, and without ever expecting a reward in return.

    So when the holidays come around, there's no better way to return the favor and make her feel special than with a thoughtfully picked gift.

    If you aren't sure what to get her this Christmas, you've found the right guide. I've put together a list of 50 gifts all moms will love — even yours — from delicate pearl hoop earrings and beautiful marble-face watches to retro-inspired kitchen gadgets and gorgeous monogrammed clothes and accessories. As a professional product reviewer and as someone who's given her own mom many of the gifts included in this list over the years, I can safely say that your mom will adore them all.

    If you're looking for more gift ideas for her, we have you covered: 

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    DON'T MISS: This candle startup has created a beautiful gifting and unboxing experience — here's why we're buying them up

    A fancy candle set

    Otherland Candles The Threesome, $89, available at Otherland

    Candles make any home smell great, and this fancy candle set from Otherland will look gorgeous in any room in her house. The set includes three coconut and soy wax blend candles in beautiful glass vessels. Each candle burns for 55 hours — that's a lot of time that your mom can spend enjoying this gift.

    The Amazon Echo Spot

    Amazon Echo Spot, $129.99, available at Amazon

    There's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, order a pizza, tell jokes, or any number of things moms should find charming. As a bonus, the Echo Spot has a screen for displaying information. 

    Soft, crisp sheets and bedding

    Brooklinen Queen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, $187.50, available at Brooklinen

    Brooklinen Queen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, $213, available at Brooklinen

    Brooklinen's luxe sheets are the ones I always recommend to friends, family, and Insider Picks readers who email me for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and unbelievable comfort.

    The company's Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything she needs to completely makeover her bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. It includes a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforterspillows, candles, and blankets

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    atlas coffee club $60, 3 months

    Depending on what you celebrate, the holidays are just around the corner — or are already here. If you've been pushing holiday gifting to the last minute, we've got your back. While last-minute holiday shopping has long had the reputation of a stressful pursuit, we're trying to change that at least a little.

    We've compiled plenty of gift guides to help you find the perfect present for everyone on your list, but today we're talking about sisters — the ladies that have been your built-in-best-friends since birth. They've seen you through your highest of highs and lowest of lows, and they still love you — that deserves something special.

    Keep reading for 29 gifts your sister will love.

    Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    A fun way for her to spice things up

    Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit, $34.95, available at Uncommon Goods

    If she loves her food extra spicy, there's no better way to get her perfect flavor than trying to create it herself. This DIY hot sauce kit comes with lots of spices and dried peppers, as well as bottles, labels, and other tools to help her concoct her very own blend. The process is pretty straightforward and makes for a fun activity. 

    A motivating planner just in time for the new year

    2019 12-Month Planner, $32, available at Ban.do

    Set your sis up for success with an annual planner just in time for 2019. It has more than enough space to help her stay super organized, plus plenty of colorful stickers so she can add her own flair to the pages. 

    A necklace with a meaning just for you two

    Sister Morse Code Necklace, from $24.99, available at Etsy

    You may have outgrown the secret language you spoke as children, but you can maintain some sort of sibling code with this necklace. Others might just see a pretty piece, but you both will know that the beads on this necklace actually spell out "sister" in Morse Code.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    limited edition gifts 22

    Finding a unique gift isn't easy. That's why we dig through the internet's vast offerings to suggest cool gift ideas you haven't already thought of, like thoughtful personalized gifts and gifts from a site with "uncommon" right in its name

    Another way to guarantee the special feel of a gift is to find limited-edition products. Since only a certain number is made and they're often done in collaboration with other brands, they possess a cool factor that regular gifts can't replicate. Given their exclusivity, it's less likely that everyone is going to emerge in 2019 wearing the same pair of shoes or backpack. 

    These 21 gifts aren't going to stick around long, and once they're gone, they're gone forever, so if you really want to impress your recipient this year, don't hesitate to pick up one of these limited-edition products. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Made In x Banza cookware and pasta

    Made In x Banza Kit, $79-$289, available at Made In

    Brighten up their stove with a red frying pan from one of our favorite kitchen startups, then fill their stomachs with healthy but delicious pasta from Banza. The full kit also throws in a five-quart stockpot and two-quart saucepan. 

    Mejuri Holiday Kit jewelry

    The Minimalist Kit, $100, available at Mejuri

    Mejuri's holiday kits pair some of its best sellers into curated sets that take the headache out of gifting. The pretty gold pieces are wrapped up in special packaging for the holidays. 

    Sugarfina x Tipsy Elves candy

    Sugarfina x Tipsy Elves Candy Bento Box, $30, available at Sugarfina

    This playful collection of gummy candy and tiny cookies lets adults become kids again this Christmas. To continue the theme, wrap the box with a funny Tipsy Elves sweater


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    donald trump

    • Despite better political signals on the trade front, US businesses are reporting pain from President Donald Trump's tariffs.
    • According to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, more US industries are starting to notice the effects of tariffs.
    • There are two big reasons the tariff pain is spreading: an increasing number of goods subject to tariffs and the length of time the tariffs have been in place.

    The US-China trade war may be showing signs of easing up on the political front, but more US businesses than ever say they are feeling the pain from it.

    Just days after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached a deal to delay further escalation of the trade war, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a collection of perspectives from the Fed's 12 regional banks, laid out why many US companies want a quick solution to lower tariffs on steel, aluminum, and $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

    The number of mentions of the word "tariff" in the Beige Book actually declined for the first time since May, to 39 references in Wednesday's report from 51 in October's edition. But the Fed said reports of tariff-induced cost increases had "spread more broadly from manufacturers and contractors to retailers and restaurants."

    This is in contrast to previous editions, which reported price increases and disruptions concentrated mainly among heavy industries such as homebuilding and equipment manufacturing.

    There are two explanations why more industries are starting to feel the squeeze from the tariffs:

    1. The first wave of Trump's tariffs applied to a limited set of industrial and technical goods, limiting the impact to manufacturing and industrial companies. But as the number of goods subject to tariffs continues to grow, different companies are seeing key goods subject to duties. For instance, the latest round of tariffs, on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, included some that Walmart warned would be disruptive to its business.
    2. The effects of the tariffs are starting to trickle down. The tariffs remain mostly concentrated on intermediate or industrial goods, but it's been five months since the first round of China tariffs went into effect and even longer since metals tariffs were put in place. This has given manufacturers enough time to digest the price bumps and pass them on to customers.

    According to the Fed, some of the retailers also warned that if the tariffs' cost pressures continued, average Americans would start noticing higher prices at the register.

    "Looking ahead to 2019, retailers expressed significant uncertainty about the impact that tariff increases will have on prices — beyond some point, they will pass the increases on to consumers," the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston said in its section of the report.

    Tariffs weren't the only concern among businesses — rising interest rates and labor-market constraints were two other major issues cited by firms.

    SEE ALSO: The US-China trade war may still rage on despite a breakthrough deal between Trump and Xi

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions

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    Shopping for grandparents can be daunting. They probably have most of the basics down pat, and if you ask for ideas you'll likely get a genuine "nothing, sweetheart."

    But these are the people who sat through your band recitals even though they were unbearably boring. They weathered your tantrums and sticky fingers on their furniture, and they probably slipped you candy even when someone else said no. So, what can you do for them?

    Below are 21 gifts that you can feel good about gifting. They’re thoughtful, useful, sweet, and bound to be extremely appreciated by grandmas and grandpas.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Fresh coffee beans from all over the world delivered to their door

    Atlas Coffee Subscription or Gift Set, available at Atlas Coffee Club, from $60

    Atlas Coffee sends them fresh beans from across the globe to their door. They’ll learn about its flavor profile, tasting notes, suggested brewing methods, a little history lesson in its origins — and each comes in a bag with festive packaging. If they've been coffee buffs for a while — or just love having a morning cup — they'll appreciate both the thought and opportunity to learn something new. 

    A Jo Malone diffuser that smells amazing and looks good in a home

    Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Scent Diffuser, available at Nordstrom, $98

    A diffuser is like the modern take on potpourri, and Jo Malone makes some incredibly good scents. They’ll recognize the brand, like the smell, and the clean, minimalist glass container means they won’t only bring this out when they know you’re coming over.

    A thoughtful and unique blueprint of their favorite stadium

    Baseball Stadium Blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, $185

    This gift combines history, architecture, and fervent team spirit. It’s especially sweet if you grew up watching games together, or hearing stories about how Grandpa would spend his Saturdays there with his own dad. 

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    galaxy a8 star

    • Samsung used a stock photo taken with a DSLR camera to promote the camera on its Galaxy A8 Star smartphone. 
    • The photographer who took the original photo discovered it on Samsung's website.
    • Samsung includes fine print under the photo saying it's simulated for demonstration purposes only, but it can still be considered misleading. 
    • This isn't the first time a smartphone maker has been caught using professionally shot photos taken with DSLR cameras and pretending they've been taken with its smartphones. 

    Samsung is using a widely-available stock photo taken with a DSLR camera to promote the portrait mode on its Galaxy A8 Star phone, which was released in June this year and aimed at Asian markets. 

    The photo in question is specifically being used to promote the Galaxy A8 Star's background-blurring feature, also known as live focus or portrait mode. Samsung even added to the photo the yellow "Live Focus Reader" notification that pops up when its phones are ready to take a portrait mode shot. 

    galaxy a8 fake photo samsung

    Here's the original photo from stock-photography marketplace, EyeEm:

    samsung stock photo galaxy a8 star

    To be clear, Samsung includes fine print below the photo that says "Screen images are simulated for demonstration only." So, technically, Samsung isn't deceiving potential buyers interested in the Galaxy A8 Star.

    samsung fine print galaxy a8 star

    With that said, using a stock photo taken with DSLR camera does not accurately represent the abilities of a smartphone's camera. The Galaxy A8 Star has been out for several months now, and a real portrait-mode photo taken with the Galaxy A8 Star itself would better represent the phone's ability. Despite the technicality of the fine print, it's not a good look for Samsung.

    The photo's original photographer, Dunja Djudjic, eventually discovered her photo seemingly being passed off as one taken by the Galaxy A8 Star on a Samsung website. The photographer wrote about her experience with the discovery in a story for DIY Photography.

    According to Djudjic, she was excited when she saw that her photo had been purchased from EyeEm, a stock-photo marketplace. To find out where her photo would be used, she used a reverse image search to see where on the web it had been published. She was surprised to see that the only real result was with Samsung, she says. 

    "My first reaction was to burst out into laughter," Djudjic said of when she first discovered how her photo was being used. The original photo was edited to include a different background, as well as a few other changes. "Just look at the Photoshop job they did on my face and hair!" Djudjic said regarding the edits. 

    Despite negative press around the marketing photo, Samsung is still using the "simulated" image to promote the Galaxy A8 Star's camera features four days after Djudjic's article was posted on Monday. Business Insider has reached out to Samsung for comment and to inquire if the company plans to continue using the image.

    Smartphone makers have previously used stock photos, or photos taken with professional cameras, to promote the cameras on their smartphones. Earlier this year, Samsung was discovered to be using stock photos in marketing materials for the very same Galaxy A8 Star phone.

    Huawei was also caught using professional photos and pretending they were taken with its smartphones twice before, once in 2016 and more recently in 2018

    SEE ALSO: We just got our best look yet at the killer feature for next year's Android phones

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: After using Samsung Galaxy phones for 5 years, I made the switch to the iPhone XS

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    Uncommon Goods, $40

    Shopping for coworkers can become a never-ending parade of mild pine-scented candles, Hallmark cards, and candy that is destined for retirement in a desk drawer for most of January. It's easier to buy thoughtful, impactful gifts for your closest loved ones, and it gets harder once you add in the subtleties and professionalism of the workplace.

    However, there are hordes of fantastic gifts out there for coworkers. And they don't have to be expensive — in fact, they probably shouldn't be. The ideal colleague present is thoughtful, unique, and lands somewhere in the casual middle ground between re-gifting paperclips from the supply closet and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean. 

    Below, you'll find 30 of the best coworker gifts for under $50. You'll also find 22 work-appropriate yet thoughtful gifts for your boss for under $50 here.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    DON'T MISS: 22 work-appropriate yet thoughtful gifts for your boss — all under $50

    A three-month subscription of freshly roasted whole bean, single-origin coffees from a cool startup

    Driftaway Coffee Subscription, Three Months, available on Driftaway Coffee, from $39

    If they're practically tethered to the coffee pot, they'll probably love the fun and thoughtful gift of a three-month subscription to this cool Brooklyn startup's beans. Driftaway sends freshly roasted, whole bean, single-origin coffees from around the world to their doorstep.

    An Atlas Obscura calendar full of daily photos and tidbits about the world's strangest and coolest places or festivals

    Atlas Obscura Color Page-A-Day Desk 2019 Calendar, available on Amazon, $19.99

    Add some fun to their day-to-day routine with the Atlas Obscura calendar. There are hundreds of photos that celebrate the world's strangest and coolest places, festivals, and foods. Travelers and life-long learners are particularly good candidates for this one. 

    A funny mug that acknowledges the bond forged by people who have to fix the same defunct printer every week together

    The This is Fine Mug, available on Etsy, from $9.99

    A "This is Fine" mug is the perfect gift for the only other people on earth who can truly relate to the particularities of your job: a defunct printer, last night's too-fun team happy hour, and the occasional avalanche of meetings and high-priority emails. Here's a $13 nod to the fond shared stressors. 

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    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.


    1. Save 30% sitewide at Adidas

    While certain high-performance and classic sneakers typically never hit the clearance section, "the Brand with the Three Stripes" is offering sitewide savings for a limited time during its exclusive friends and family sale. Now through December 10, you can save 30% on your entire purchase at Adidas by using the promo code "ADIFAM" at checkout.

    Shop the Adidas Friends and Family sale now


    2. Save an extra 25% on your order at L.L.Bean

    To help you save on holiday gifts, L.L.Bean is having a huge sale on full-price items and those that have previously been marked down. Today only, you can save an extra 25% on your order by using the promo code "SAVEBIG" at checkout. You won't see the sale promoted anywhere on the site, but it includes clothing and footwear for men, women, kids, outdoor equipment, home goods, and travel gear. 

    Shop the L.L.Bean sale now.


    3. Save at least 20% on IHG Hotel stays

    Until January 7, you can save at least 20% on IHG Hotels booked for now through March 31, 2019. Whether you're traveling by yourself or giving the gift of adventure, this sale is perfect for anybody looking to get away this winter.

    Shop the IHG Annual sale now.


    4.Take 10% off almost everything on eBay

    Today only, online retailer eBay is having an impressive one-day sale. You can save 15% on almost anything listed on eBay by using the coupon code "PHLDAYTEN" at checkout. The coupon can be used once within a single transaction or cart, and expires on December 8 at 3 a.m. PST. You can get everything from the latest tech to home gadgets, sporting goods, watches and more. If you're not an avid shopper on the site, check out 7 easy tips to shopping with confidence on eBay.

    Shop the eBay sale now.

    Brooks Brothers

    5. Save 40% on women's and kids' apparel and accessories at Brooks Brothers

    This week, Brooks Brothers is having a "7 Days of Savings" sale with new deals every day. For day five, you can save 40% on accessories and apparel for women and kids. Whether you're looking for dress slacks or casual pants, you'll find them here.

    Shop the Brooks Brothers sale now.


    6. Save 20% on all orders of $100 or more at AHAlife

    Unlike traditional department stores, AHAlife is home to products from some of the most unique designers and artisans. The site features a wide array of beautiful items that make for truly special gifts, from kitchen accessories to jewelry. Use the promo code "GIFT20" at checkout to save 20% when you spend $100 or more and receive free shipping.

    Shop all items at AHALife now.


    7. Save 30% on thousands of items at Macy's

    Macy's is home to thousands of items — clothes for the entire family, shoes, jewelry, and products for the kitchen and bathroom — all at great discounts. Now the company is increasing the savings with a huge sitewide sale. You can save up to an extra 30% by using the promo code "FRIEND" at checkout.

    Shop the Macy's Friends and Family sale now.


    8. Save an extra 20% on select Timex watches

    Timex is undoubtedly one of the most well-known watch companies, and for good reason. With a rich brand heritage, handsome details, and great prices, Timex appeals to all types of people — from casual watch-wearers to die-hard collectors. Now through December 9, the brand's timepieces are even more appealing with an extra 20% off select styles for men and women. Use the promo code "CANDYCANE20" at checkout to take advantage of the offer.

    Shop Timex watches for men here.

    Shop Timex watches for women here.

    Bear Mattress Facebook

    9. Save up to $200 on a Bear Hybrid Mattress

    Bear revolutionized the way we sleep by creating a mattress that supports every body type and sleeping style. Today, you can save $100 on orders over $500 with promo code "HOL100" or save $200 on orders over $1,200 with promo code "HOL200" at checkout. Plus, you can save 20% on select accessories, like sheets, pillows, and mattress protectors.

    Shop the Bear Hybrid Mattress in Queen, King, and California King sizes now.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Xanadu 2.0 Bill Gates house

    • Welcome to Xanadu 2.0, Bill Gates' massive mansion in Medina, Washington. 
    • Last valued at $127 million, the mansion has 7 bedrooms and 18.75 bathrooms.
    • As you might expect, it's loaded up with lots of little details, from tech gadgetry to eco-friendly design. 
    • Take a look at the craziest things about Bill Gates' mansion. 

    With a net worth of $95.3 billion, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is the second-richest man in America, behind fellow Washington resident Jeff Bezos.

    It shouldn't be too surprising that one of the wealthiest people in the world also has an insanely extravagant home.

    It took Gates seven years and $63 million to build his Medina, Washington estate, named "Xanadu 2.0" after the fictional home of Charles Foster Kane, the title character of "Citizen Kane." Medina, a suburb of Seattle, is also home to Bezos, making it home to some of the wealthiest people on the planet. 

    At 66,000 square feet, the home is absolutely massive, and it's loaded to the brim with high-tech details.

    We've rounded up some of Xanadu 2.0's most over-the-top features here.

    SEE ALSO: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? What happened to the people in Microsoft's iconic 1978 company photo

    It's worth at least $127 million today.

    According to the King County public assessor's office, the property is worth $127.48 million as of this year. Gates purchased the lot for $2 million in 1988.

    It has 7 bedrooms and a whopping 18.75 bathrooms, according to public records.

    Half a million board-feet of lumber was needed to complete the project.

    The house was built with 500-year-old Douglas fir trees, and 300 construction workers labored on the home — 100 of whom were electricians.

    A high-tech sensor system helps guests monitor a room's climate and lighting.

    When guests arrive, they're given a pin that interacts with sensors located all over the house. Guests enter their temperature and lighting preferences so that the settings change as they move throughout the home. Speakers hidden behind wallpaper allow music to follow you from room to room.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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