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The latest news from Life
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    britney spears

    Britney Spears seems to have left the lows of her highly publicized 2008 meltdown far behind her.

    On Friday, she released her first album in three years, "Glory."

    The pop star, who has sold more than 33 million albums in the US, is also riding high at her extended residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Like Kim Kardashian before her, Spears recently released a game with Glu Mobile, and she unveiled her 20th fragrance with Elizabeth Arden.

    Despite her post-2008 success, Spears hasn't been in control of it, or her personal life, for those eight years. Her family decided to enact her father, Jamie, and lawyer Andrew Wallet as her conservators, or guardians. They oversee her finances and daily life.

    Even so, Spears is still raking in cash and seemingly not left wanting for things to spend it on — she apparently loves Target just as much as the average person.

    Here's how Britney Spears makes and spends her money:

    SEE ALSO: How Britney Spears lost control of her life 8 years ago and then made an incredible career comeback


    Britney Spears ranked No. 99 on Forbes' list of the highest-earning celebrities in 2016, tying with Gisele Bündchen. Both earned $30.5 million.

    This is a slight decrease for Spears, who made $31 million in 2015 and landed at No. 82 on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list.

    Source: Forbes

    Her total assets were valued at $45,982,505.75 in a 2014 legal filing.

    Source: People

    And it seems her sights for her career and brand are clear.

    She told Variety in a 2014 cover story:

    "I've been very hands-on with everything I've done since I had my children ... And it's just really important for me to understand the big picture, where everybody's coming from, what's the real purpose of this shoot and this song, or whatever it is in that moment that I'm doing. 

    "It's important to learn to say no. With tours and all of that stuff, there are so many aspects that go into it, it's easy to have so many people around you saying, 'Oh yes, yes, you can afford this, you can afford this,' and then all of the sudden you've spent $20 million on your stage and you're like, 'Where's my money?'

    "You have to make sure that you're on top of things and know where the money's going."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Silicon Valley and music industry elite gathered on Saturday at gorgeous Lake Como in the Lombardy region of Italy to celebrate the wedding of Spotify CEO Daniel Ek to Sofia Levander.

    Ek posted this photo on Facebook of the bride and groom.

    Billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg were in attendance.  

    "Many people know Daniel as one of the great European entrepreneurs -- the founder of Spotify. I know him as a great friend and dedicated father," Zuck said in a tribute posted to Facebook.

    The woman who knows everyone, Brooke Hammerling, founder of BrewPR, was also there, calling Ek her "#brotherfromanothermother. "

    Never been more proud. He's married!!! #brotherfromanothermother #comochic

    A photo posted by Brooke Hammerling (@brooke) on Aug 27, 2016 at 3:55pm PDT on

    Hammerling also posted a photo of Bruno Mars performing at the reception with the caption "When the wedding singer is Bruno Mars."

    When the wedding singer is Bruno Mars. #comochic #what

    A photo posted by Brooke Hammerling (@brooke) on Aug 27, 2016 at 2:24pm PDT on

    As part of the celebration, donations were being collected for the charity Pencils of Promise, too. That's a project close to the heart of Shakil Khan, head of special projects at Spotify, but perhaps better known for his heavy angel investing (including in Spotify) and his advisor role at many startups.

    Pencils of Promise, which builds school in under privileged countries like Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos, raised $7,350 in donations in honor of the Ek's wedding.

    SEE ALSO: Google Cloud shut down this guy's business — but now he's a fan for life

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The best way to use incense in 'Pokémon GO'

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    haiti dollar street

    If you want to understand the world, look at how people live. Toys are a good place to start.

    Dollar Street, a soon-to-launch project from the Gapminder Foundation, went into hundreds of homes at different income levels around the world to photograph people’s possessions. It makes clear a few things:

    —Some people have very, very little.

    —People at similar income levels lead similar lives, a sign that economics matter more than culture.

    —People at all income levels have a lot number of similarities too. Among them: toys.

    "It's striking to see how similar our lives are," Gapminder co-founder Anna Rosling Rönnlund told Business Insider. "It makes the world less scary to see that most people struggle with everyday business most of the time and they are not so exotic and it's not so scary."

    With Dollar Street's official launch coming soon, check out some favorite toys around the world.

    In an Indian home living on $29/month per adult, the favorite toy is a plastic bottle.

    In a Burundian home living on $29/month per adult, the favorite toy is dried maize.

    In a Zimbabwean home living on $34/month per adult, the favorite toy is a home-made ball.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Life is funny.

    No one gets a handbook upon turning 18, complete with all the rules they'll need to memorize and competencies they'll need to acquire.

    You're just supposed to know that you should have more money coming in than going out, and you shouldn't wear a fuzzy orange sweater to a job interview. And while those may seem more obvious, others such as "managing up" — the strategy of gaining your boss' trust by helping them achieve their goals — are even more subtle, valuable behaviors.

    We've put together our own handbook of sorts, which lists many skills you'll need to survive as an adult in the modern world. 

    It's based on the Quora thread "What are some of the most useful skills to know?" as well as scientific research and expert opinion.

    We can't promise we've outlined every skill you might need, but if you've mastered these, you're off to a good start:

     30 life skills

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: TONY ROBBINS: This simple trick will make you more assertive in 2 minutes

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    Billionaire Warren Buffett is committed to giving away his fortune. He relies on help from his sister to manage the hundreds of letters he receives asking for money. If you want to help or submit a request, all you have to do is write a letter.

     Follow BI Video: On Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    bjorn ihler

    As Anders Breivik conducted his act of terror on the usually-picturesque Norwegian island of Utøya, methodically slaughtering 69 people and injuring dozens more at the hands of his shotgun, 20-year-old Bjørn Ihler lay low on the far southern tip of the island and somehow struck up a conversation about Christmas.

    On the morning of July 22, 2011, Ihler had slept in. He only arrived to the island the night before and stayed up all night catching up with old friends.

    The island played host to Norwegian Labour Party-affiliated Worker's Youth League summer camp and Ihler had travelled over from England, where he was studying theatre at Liverpool University, to "learn something about how politics was going in Norway," he told Business Insider.

    That grey and rainy afternoon, he crawled out of his tent, ate some waffles for late breakfast, and trundled over to a meeting about education policy in the island's main venue.

    Right after the meeting, the entire island was instructed to gather in the main venue, where they were informed there had been an explosion in Oslo, the Norwegian capital.

    Only later would they discover that the van blast had been carried out by far-right terrorist Breivik, who, dressed in a homemade police uniform and carrying fake ID, would later calmly board a ferry to Utøya to carry out the shooting spree that saw so many of those attending the meeting that day lose their lives.

    Ihler and his friends quickly brought up images of what was taking place in Oslo on their smartphones.

    "It looked like downtown Manhattan during 9/11," Ihler said. "It was surreal to see my home town and the area I had grown up and spent my teenage years in that state."

    In a bleak twist of irony, the islanders were instructed to stay on Utøya, rather than attempt to travel to Oslo that day, as that was considered the safest thing to do.

    As they awaited further news about the explosion, the islanders began passing around mobile phones so the group could check if their loved ones had been caught up in the blast.

    Ihler, who throughout our conversation has an almost superhuman ability to look on the positive side, said: "Luckily, all the family members of the people on the island were safe. It was the middle of the summer and nobody was working anyway. It was quite late Friday afternoon and the summer vacation so timing-wise were were very lucky: instead of eight people dying it would have been thousands."

    The center of Utøya resembles the crater of a volcano. The camping area sits at the lowest point, surrounded by hills. After the meeting, Ihler headed there with his friends.

    It was then that they heard "loud popping sounds."

    "It sounded like somebody playing with fire crackers or something like that," Ihler said. "We were a little anxious but we just thought that someone was trying to mess with us."

    A man dressed in dark clothes appeared at the top of the hill. Relieved, some of the people in the camping area ran towards him. Breivik picked them off with his shotgun.

    Ihler performed a 180-degree turn and ran towards the woods with a friend, eventually emerging on the track that surrounds the perimeter of the island.

    They snuck across the island and stumbled into an 8-year-old boy. Many people ran past him, but Ihler and his friend picked him up and took him to their next place of shelter, low on the ground.

    The boy wanted to run off to look for his father, who was a security guard on the island, but Ihler stayed on top of him to protect him and prevent the boy from walking into clear danger. The boy would find out later his father was one of the first to be shot in Breivik's attack.

    After an hour, the sound of gun shots drew closer. The trio took to the woods again and stumbled across another young boy, a 9-year-old who also the son of a security guard. The trio became a four and they emerged from woods back to the island's track.

    Ihler was stunned by what he saw. A pile of corpses lay on the ground, among them were faces of some of the friends he had been chatting with hours before.

    A sound blared from the heap of dead bodies. It was the ring tone of a mobile phone.

    "That's when I knew how serious it was," Ihler said. "That hit me hard. That was a a loved one who wouldn't be able to speak to someone again."

    Ihler wasn't given any more time to stop and ponder. The gun shots were getting closer. They had to run again.

    The two men and two boys ended up on the southern tip of the island, climbing over the rocks that sloped out in the freezing sea water. From there Ihler describes seeing boats, helicopters, and looking out to the mainland to see the longest line of emergency vehicles he had ever seen.

    "At this point, we thought we might have been saved," Ihler said.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Fitbit Flex 2_yoga_CMYK

    The long-awaited successors to two popular Fitbit wristbands have finally arrived, and it looks like the company is remaking its best-selling device to be more like a smartwatch.

    On August 29, the health and fitness wearables company announced the Charge 2 and its kid-sister device, the Flex 2. Both devices bring exciting new features that may help recapture customers who have switched to the trending Pebble and Jawbone products.

    The Fitbit Charge 2 harmonizes form and function like few fitness trackers before it. Fitbit made the display four times larger, making it easier to read and allowing for more in-depth notifications, like text messages and calendar reminders. A thinner, stylish band is now interchangeable, so users can accessorize for work, workouts, and nights out.

    Fitbit Charge 2_businessstreet_0271_CMYK

    The company is most definitely doubling down on its play for the smartwatch market with the Charge 2. While that's good news for its rivalry with Pebble — whose Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 not only display notifications, but have a built-in microphone so users can respond — it makes some products in the Fitbit line-up more redundant.

    The Fitbit Surge tracks steps, activity, GPS, sleep, and heart rate throughout the day, plus lets a user play music from their phone. The Fitbit Blaze does most of those things, but in color.

    Fortunately, two new fitness features help set the Charge 2 apart. A meditation app called Relax guides users through a two- to five-minute guided breathing exercise. Animations on the display and vibrations cue the user when to inhale and exhale.

    The other new feature answers a question that almost everyone wants to know but is too scared to ask: "Am I in shape?" The Cardio Fitness Level app calculates a personalized score based on user profile, resting heart rate, and exercise data, and offers guidance on how to improve.

    Fitbit Flex 2 Family_Bangle_Pendant

    Fitbit also hit the reset button on the Flex, its ultra-slim, minimalist design tracker. The Fitbit Flex 2 is 30% smaller and features a removable tracker that users can pop into other bands, available in sweat-resistant plastics, stainless steel, and 22 karat-plated gold or rose gold.

    Swimmers can now wear the Flex 2 into the pool, and land-dwellers don't have to remove the device before showering. It will track swims, including laps, duration, and calories burned.

    Not much else has changed. The Flex 2 blinks color-coded lights that mean different things. Blue means you have a text message. Green shows progress toward your fitness goal, and so on.

    Fitbit_Flex 2 Family 3_CMYK_300dpi

    I've been alternately wearing the Charge 2 and Flex 2 for the past couple of days, and one of my favorite new features is the Reminders to Move. In settings, I programmed the device to buzz if it's 10 minutes before the hour and I haven't walked 250 steps yet. The little nudges give me an excuse to get up and fill my water cup or take a lap around the office every hour.

    The Charge 2 and Flex 2 are stunning devices. Anyone waffling between a Fitbit and Pebble device will likely enjoy taking home the former.

    But they show that Fitbit is only catching up to what's out there, rather than edging innovation in wearables forward.

    The Charge 2 will cost $149, while the Flex 2 will set consumers back $99. Both are available for preorder on Monday and will hit stores this fall.

    SEE ALSO: I gave up breakfast for a week and drank this caffeinated meal-replacement shake instead

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Researchers studied the health of one million people and discovered something surprising about exercise

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    Northwestern University graduation

    Business Insider recently released its annual list of the best colleges in America, emphasizing schools with high graduation rates and early-career earnings, rather than focusing solely on glamour statistics, like reputation and selectivity.

    But that's not to say that the caliber of the students doesn't play an important role in what makes a school great. So we expanded our ranking to the top-100 schools in the country and filtered our data, the most recent available from the Department of Education, to find which colleges boast students with the highest average SAT scores. For schools that traditionally accept the ACT, those scores have been translated to the equivalent SAT score. 

    With an average score of 1534, CalTech topped the list, jumping 40 spots from its ranking on the main list. University of Chicago and MIT followed, moving up 21 and 3 spots, respectively, from their positions on the original ranking. Read on to see the full list of the schools with the highest SAT scores in the US. 

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best colleges in America

    DON'T MISS: The 24 smartest law schools in the US

    22. Brown University

    Location: Providence, Rhode Island

    Average SAT score: 1425

    Brown students have the freedom to personalize their liberal-arts course study, a practice the school calls "open curriculum." Brown was founded in 1764 on the then-unprecedented idea of accepting students regardless of religion. It was also the first Ivy League school to establish an undergraduate engineering program in 1847.


    21. Tufts University

    Location: Medford, Massachusetts

    Average SAT score: 1428

    Tufts University is made up of three undergraduate schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. Students have the option to choose from about 150 majors and minors and participate in one or more of Tuft's 341 student organizations. In the Experimental College, students go beyond the typical classroom environment, taking courses such as "Circus and Society" or "American Witches."

    20. Carnegie Mellon University

    Location: Pittsburgh 

    Average SAT score: 1432

    Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University carries on the traditions of Scottish founder and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Besides academic excellence, that also includes Pipes and Drums, a bagpipe-only band, and Kiltie Band, a quirky marching band that dons kilts for every performance. The school is also known for its top-notch engineering program, and offers majors in everything from chemical engineering to engineering and public policy.  


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    yale students

    One of the biggest decisions someone can make is where they go to college. That's why Business Insider recently released its annual list of 50 best colleges in America.

    But there's also another factor that's important when it comes to choosing a school: location. So we narrowed the list down to shine a light on the best colleges the Northeast has to offer.

    For the ranking, we decided to shy away from a school's reputation and selectivity and focused on the overall college experience for students and how well-prepared they are for the future. We looked at data made available by the government for post-graduate earnings as well as graduation rate. We then looked to Niche, a company that compiles research on schools, to find information about the student-life experience at each school. You can read more about the methodology here.

    Scroll down to find out the 23 best schools in the Northeast.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best colleges in America

    DON'T MISS: The 50 best law schools in America

    23. Villanova University

    Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania

    Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $73,700

    Average SAT score: 1316

    Student life score: B+

    Villanova University is a Catholic Augustinian university located west of Philadelphia. Inspired by the tagline, “Ignite change. Go Nova,” students are encouraged to take part in helping the community outside the classroom — students provide nearly 250,000 hours of community service annually. The school also offers 45 majors among its four colleges and the student-faculty ratio is 12:1, which allows undergraduates to really get to know their professors.

    22. Babson College

    Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts

    Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $85,500

    Average SAT score: 1258

    Student life score: B+

    A leader in entrepreneurial education, Babson College equips students with the skills to innovate, experiment, and lead in the business world and beyond. The private college has produced numerous successful entrepreneurs in its nearly 100-year history, including Arthur Blank, the cofounder and former president of Home Depot who is the eponym of the college's on-campus entrepreneurship hub.

    21. Hamilton College

    Location: Clinton, New York

    Median salary 10 years after enrolling: $57,300

    Average SAT score: 1384

    Student life score: A

    Hamilton College takes its name from founding father Alexander Hamilton, who served as one of the school's original trustees in 1793 when he was the US secretary of the Treasury. More than 200 years later, Hamilton is still going strong: One year after graduation, at least 91% of the class of 2014 had secured a full-time job or internship or were enrolled in graduate school. For those who entered the workforce, employers included companies such as General Electric, Amazon, and The New York Times.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Beekman Hotel opened last week in Manhattan's Financial District after more than two years of renovation. And it looks gorgeous.

    The nine-floor building, originally constructed in 1883, was one of the first skyscrapers built in Manhattan and features an open atrium in the center, with a pyramidal skylight at the top. It's connected to a 10-story annex that was built in 1890.

    According to The New York Times, the building housed law offices in the Victorian era and was called Temple Court. Many renovation plans for the property were considered, but a developer was finally confirmed in 2014.

    Now the space is an elegant hotel fitted with a bar, restaurant, and updated rooms that complement the hotel's classic-looking lobby and atrium.

    Take a look inside:

    SEE ALSO: The huge amount of Manhattan hotel rooms is terrible news for some investors

    Before the renovation, the top floors of the building were empty, decaying, and decrepit.

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    The building became a landmark in 1998, but sat empty from 2001 until construction on the hotel project began, according to New York magazine.

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    Source: New York magazine

    The atrium now has a spacious seating area. It gives every floor a great view of the property.

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    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sean parker

    In what appears to be another move towards a megamansion, Sean Parker has bought a third townhouse on West 10th Street in New York City, The New York Post reported.

    The new addition is directly adjacent to two other townhouses Parker already owns — one, a $20 million carriage house commonly called "Bacchus House," and the other a $16.5 million home next door.

    According to The Post, the most recently purchased home was being renovated in preparation for being listed for sale. It was reportedly set to be listed with Compass for $22 million, but Parker purchased it before the listing was public.

    If Parker is indeed planning to combine the three homes into one mansion, he'll have to get the plans approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. If the recent experience of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Stryker Corporation heir Jon Stryker is any indication, that won't necessarily be an easy task. 

    Parker was Facebook's first president and founded Napster, Plaxo, and Brigade Media. He also previously served as a partner at Peter Thiel's Founders Fund. Parker's net worth has been estimated to be about $2.4 billion. 

    Parker did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.

    SEE ALSO: Netscape's billionaire cofounder Jim Clark is selling his Florida mansion for a whopping $137 million

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Sean Parker’s plan to stream movies still in theaters for $50 could work

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  • 08/29/16--09:09: September is the best month
  • maple leaves color turning autum

    It's time to put this argument to rest once and for all: September is the best month of the year. 

    First, let's run down the definitive ranking of months from best to worst:

    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December
    • May
    • June
    • January
    • July 
    • August
    • April
    • February
    • March

    As is clear in the ranking, autumn is the best season. 

    Not only does the weather in autumn provide a sampling of each of the year's best offerings — a little heat in September, morning frost in October, a pleasantly warm day in November, a satisfyingly cold afternoon in December — but the year's best holidays also highlight the season. 

    Thanksgiving is the best holiday.

    Christmas is the second-best holiday, though mostly because it is broadly acceptable to take most of the time between December 24 and January 2 off from work. 

    Autumn also represents the best working conditions of the year. People come back to school and work from summer breaks refreshed and ready to be productive. Many companies begin eyeing their year-end results and kick into gear for a "fall sprint" into the fourth quarter. 

    And while some may argue this enhanced productivity is a result of having taken the summer to recharge — thus potentially bolstering a case for summer being the best season — most of this boost comes from pent-up energy that lies dormant during the dull summer months. Boredom is the motivating factor during the autumn push to be more productive.

    On to the rest of the list: May and June provide the bit of summer you're actually looking for. By the time February and March have crushed your spirit, May and June provide more daylight, slightly warmer temperatures, new clothes and sneakers. 

    May, unfortunately, means wicked allergies for many in the Northeast, however.

    But a redeeming quality for May is Memorial Day, providing a much-needed three-day weekend and marking the unofficial beginning of summer. For many US states, May also marks the end of the school year.

    June often provides just enough heat to get you leaving the house without a light jacket or the need for contingent clothing options, which is among the most tiring features of the February-through-April push. 

    By the end of June, however, the tyranny of summer is plain to see. The worst is yet to come.

    January's ranking as the seventh-best month is likely to upset some observers who parrot the standard, "There's nothing to see after Christmas routine."

    But January gives us two holidays — New Year's Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Every four years we get a presidential inauguration. In many years, January is the first time meaningful snowfall makes its way to the DC-Boston corridor, an event much-anticipated by residents and much-derided by non-resident Twitter users.

    There's something for everyone. Winter lasting three-plus months is a cruel joke. January, however, provides the right sampling of the season's offerings. 

    Which brings us to summer. 

    For all of the hand-wringing you're apt to see about the end of summer being sad, the reality is that summer does not live up to the hype.

    Summer is too hot. Major summer activities — taking vacation, watching baseball, eating ice cream, watching fireworks, going to air-conditioned movie theaters — are all overrated. 

    Summer is fun for about two weeks after the school year ends — in June — and when the corporate world moves into a lower gear. Almost right after this period (read: your first outdoor happy hour), however, it's obvious why we work hard and go to school: There's just not much else to do with our time. 

    July and August, as the prime summer months, represent the brunt of this grind. They are oppressively hot months. They are boring months. They are long months (back-to-back 31-day months). They are bad months. Plain and simple.

    April, if only for the slightly-better-than-March weather and the longer days, ranks above February and March. But the latter two, the true grind-it-out days of winter, are terrible months. March features no holidays. February features just one. (Though President's Day sometimes does not represent a day off work). 

    As for fake holidays, February and March have the year's two worst: Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day, respectively.

    Valentine's Day provides the illusion of a chance for bad partners to make up for their shortcomings and think it's OK. St. Patrick's Day is a mess. 

    Email me your thoughts. 

    SEE ALSO: The best month of the year to buy everything

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This animated map shows the most probable path to a Trump victory

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    Business Insider's 2016 list of the best colleges in America named Princeton University the top school in the country, followed by Harvard University. The Ivy League schools, founded in the 18th and 17th centuries, respectively, are two of the most highly regarded universities in the world, but they offer much more than just prestige.

    They each provide a quality education and graduate students on time at high rates, they set graduates up to earn well-paying jobs early in their career, and they provide a memorable and enjoyable campus experience that instills pride and loyalty for decades to come.

    So is it really possible to determine which is better? Check out the graphic below to see how the schools stack up.

    bi_graphics_princeton vs. harvard

    DON'T MISS: The 50 best colleges in America

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A psychologist reveals a trick to stop being lazy

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    If you want to mix things up at Chipotle, you could always try the "burritodilla:" a burrito-quesadilla hybrid.

    The burritodilla is one of many offbeat items you can order from Chipotle's secret menu. The foods don't technically exist in Chipotle's training manual, but enough customers have asked for them that most employees now know how to prepare them.

    Don't be shy when ordering these options — the chain has trained its employees to make whatever the customer wants (within reason), Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold tells Business Insider.

    Here are the six best items on Chipotle's secret menu.


    SEE ALSO: Starbucks is trying a new initiative to stop wasting so much food

    Double-wrapped burrito: A burrito with two tortillas.

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    Two warm tortillas are stacked on top of each other, and burrito filling is added. Then it's rolled up with both tortillas, making the exterior extra thick.

    Nachos: Chips with cheese and meat.

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    A bag of chips are dumped into a bowl and topped with cheese, your choice of meat, sour cream, and whatever else you'd like to add. (It's like a burrito bowl, but with a layer of chips on the bottom).

    Burritodilla: A quesadilla with burrito fillings.

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    A tortilla is sprinkled with a handful of cheese and topped with half the amount of beans, meat, rice, and sour cream as a normal burrito would have — plus a little more cheese. Then it's put it in the warmer for a few minutes.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Herschel Supply Tote

    It seems that the days of men bringing in stiff leather briefcases to their offices are gone — and they might never come back.

    At first replaced by messenger bags and backpacks, the briefcase now has a new challenger that's rising to be the ultimate carry-all for men who can't fit everything in their pockets.

    Enter the humble tote. Once thought of as merely a beach bag or something to use for Sunday shopping, the tote has grown into an acceptable fashion accessory. In fact, many female consumers have gravitated towards the easy and cheap tote, and away from pricey designer handbags.

    Now, for similar reasons, men are taking note of the tote's broad appeal.

    Sales for men's tote bags have risen 11% in the last year, and sales for men's bags in general have also gone up by double digits, as NPD Group told The New York Times.

    The men's bag market is now estimated to be worth about $2.3 billion.

    "Male or female, consumers are carrying a lot of things around with them," Marshal Cohen, NPD Group's chief industry analyst, told The Times.

    Keys, wallet, gum, subway pass, phone, headphones, book — it's all too much, and guys are looking for a big enough place to stash them. The practicality, utilitarian design, and unisex appeal of the tote is making it look more and more like an attractive option. Brands like the sturdy Filson and the hip Herschel seem to be leading this trend, with designs that might appeal to masculine sensibilities.

    Just don't call it a "murse."

    SEE ALSO: What wearing a $6,000 Rolex for a month taught a 24-year-old about wealth and status

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why you should never throw away these bags again

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    People love burritos. I love burritos. Who doesn't love burritos? In the US, that love mostly means Chipotle.


    But here in New York City, there are dozens of burrito spots that are as good as — and often far better than — Chipotle. I'm not talking about fancy restaurants with Michelin stars.

    I'm talking about places that do exactly the same thing that Chipotle does — fast meals at slightly-higher-than-fast-food prices — but much better than Chipotle. So-called fast-casual restaurants.

    Eating at these burrito spots, you realize pretty quickly that Chipotle consistently makes the same mistake: treating the tortilla as a dump for food instead of a canvas for carefully laid out ingredients.

    Put simply, Chipotle treats its bowls and its burritos identically, dumping ingredients into a pile in the center.

    Chipotle portions

    This results in an inconsistent, sloppy burrito-eating experience where one bite is all rice, another all beans, and a third results in something else entirely. Every bite is a surprise, and that's not a good thing. But what makes burritos so good is their combination of several delicious ingredients, all in one bite.

    It's a disservice to customers and ingredients alike to put such little effort into the burrito-crafting process.

    Thankfully, a local burrito shop named Dos Toros— 10 are scattered across Manhattan and Brooklyn — does things right. Having eaten there a few hundred times across the past several years, I can attest: Dos Toros makes a mean burrito. It's the closest I've come to a California-style burrito in NYC.

    Most importantly, it's a well prepared burrito instead of a slop of ingredients forced into a burrito-shaped object.

    Here, look at this:

    Dos Toros

    It may sound like quibbling, but this one small change makes all the difference in the world in crafting a delicious, perfectly balanced burrito. 

    Places like Dos Toros share a lot of similarities with Chipotle. A bunch of prepared ingredients are in a hot/cold prep area, waiting to be assembled.

    Even the order of ingredient application is near identical. Like Chipotle, Dos Toros starts with rice and beans. But the similarities end there — look at how these beans and rice are laid out:

    The rest of the ingredients are laid out in a similarly linear fashion. In this case, a generous portion of succulent, luscious carnitas is laid gingerly over the carefully placed foundation of rice and beans.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Caring about what other people think of you is part of being a normal human being.

    In fact, scientists in one study found that the reward center in people's brains was active when they were told that someone approved of their taste in music.

    It's only a problem when you're consumed by worries about your reputation — when every decision about what to wear, who to hang out with, and even what career to pursue are based on the fear of looking stupid.

    Unfortunately, this habit is hard to shake. To help you out, we consulted the Quora thread "How can I stop worrying about what other people think?" and highlighted the most compelling responses.

    Read on to embrace the full experience of being yourself:

    7 mental tricks stop worrying

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 5 things mentally strong people don't do

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    There's a big difference between a steak made at a restaurant versus at home. The latter usually never tastes as stellar as the former.

    But The Paragon Induction Cooktop, released in 2015, promises to help you prepare high-quality steaks in your kitchen. First Build, a subsidiary of GE, developed the appliance, which is available online for $299.

    It employs induction cooking, meaning it uses copper and an electric current to sauté, sear, or fry food. But it also lets you do sous vide (which cooks food in a a temperature-controlled water bath), thanks to a water temperature sensor that hooks to the pot's side.

    To switch between sous vide and normal induction, you just need to change the setting on the device. 

    I'd never used a sous vide or induction cooktop before this week — I've always made steaks using my oven's broiler or stovetop. Sous vide takes much longer. To sous vide a steak with the Paragon, for example, the meat must sit in a water bath for at least two hours. 

    After a few friends raved about the magic of sous vide machines, I decided to try making a steak sous vide-style using the GE cooktop. Here's what happened.

    SEE ALSO: The world's largest vertical farm will produce 2 million pounds of lettuce every year

    The Paragon Induction Cooktop comes in a huge, heavy box. Though I made a steak first, it can also cook chicken, pork, eggs, and vegetables (though you should only prepare veggies with the sauté feature). Normal induction cooks your food rapidly, while sous vide cooks it in a water bath for a few hours.

    Because sous vide and induction lets you control the temperature down to the degree, they ensure your food cooks evenly all the way through. Here's a steak sous vide-broiler comparison by First Build (although the second steak could just be overcooked):

    The cooktop comes with a digital thermometer and a cord for charging. I supplied a gallon-sized plastic bag, an induction-compatible* pan and pot, oil, water, seasonings, and the steak.

    *To check if your cookware is induction-compatible, try putting a magnet against the bottom. If it sticks, you're good to go.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    evan williams

    Let's face it: There never seems to be a right time to go to the gym.

    If I go in the morning, I sacrifice an hour of sleep, but when I try to go at night, I can never muster up the energy after a long day at work.

    So when I heard that the uber-productive Twitter, Blogger, and Medium cofounder Evan Williams takes a break in the middle of his day to go to the gym, I felt compelled to try it for myself.

    According to, Williams says he's most productive in the morning, so he chooses to get to work immediately before his energy dips. Midday, he heads to the gym and comes back feeling energized for the other half of the workday.

    "It feels weird (at first) to leave the office in the middle of the day, but total time spent is nearly the same with higher energy and focus across the board," Williams told the site.

    I felt like this was the best solution for me in so many ways: I would get to the office earlier, I'd immediately use my energy on work, my workout would also count as a break, and I'd be reenergized for the rest of my day and not have to take frequent coffee breaks.

    So I decided to try it for an entire work week to see if it increased my productivity and energy levels.

    SEE ALSO: 8 ways I trick myself into waking up early to go to the gym

    The experiment

    I usually go to the gym in the morning.

    I have both a gym membership and a ClassPass membership. I usually wake up at 5 a.m. about three or four days a week to go for a run and do some light strength training at the gym. The rest of the days, I'll take a class immediately after work.

    I get to work around 9 a.m. and work until noon, which is when I usually take a lunch break. If I bring food, I typically sit at my desk and continue to work. If not, I'll run out and grab something but head straight back to work.

    Then I work until about 5:30 p.m., but I take a few coffee breaks between lunch and the end of the day to get out of what I call my "post-lunch slump."

    For this experiment, I'd only go midday.

    I planned to take a class or go to the gym every day around noon. I didn't sign up for classes that were more than 45 minutes, and I made sure the classes were all within a block or two from my office.

    Leaving work for 45 minutes didn't seem like a big deal, but knowing that there was a possibility I would be drenched in sweat, I took the extra time I need to shower into account. I figured my breaks would be an hour and a half, so I planned to arrive at work an hour earlier and leave a half hour later to make up the time.

    I made sure all the studios I signed up for had showers. I also decided to bring lunch from home for the entire week to maximize time.

    Though I expected to feel good physically by following this new routine, I also anticipated that I would feel anxious about being away from the office for too long. Though I got the OK from my editor to follow this experiment, I couldn't help but wonder if my coworkers would think I was slacking by being gone for almost two hours or if some random work emergency would come up and I wouldn't be able to fix it in time.

    Monday: Off to a strong start

    I woke up an hour later than usual (6 a.m.). I don't know if I jumped out of bed because I was excited to do this experiment or I actually had more energy from the extra hour of sleep.

    I packed my gym bag to prepare myself for what I might need for the middle of the day. Then I showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, and was out the door in a half hour.

    I was also really conscious of what I was going to wear this week. I made sure to wear outfits that were easy to put on, seeing as I would be changing in locker rooms. On Monday, I decided to wear a simple dress and sandals.

    I arrived at work at 8 a.m., and because not many people were in the office yet I was able to focus and immediately started working away. By 10 a.m., I noticed I was starting to yawn, but my energy wasn't completely low.

    I was also surprised by the amount of work I was able to get done. By getting so much work done in two hours, I felt as if my day had flown by, but it was still just starting.

    The workout: cycling

    By 11 a.m., I was getting excited to head out the door. I didn't feel too sluggish, which was good because I still had some energy left over for my workout.

    At 12:30 p.m., I arrived to my first class at cycling studio Swerve. It was high-energy, and the interval training made me sweat a ton. I decided to duck out mid-stretch so I could be the first to grab a shower.

    I showered quickly. As I got out of the shower, I noticed a lot of women coming in and getting ready to head back to work as well. I realized that maybe the lunchtime workout wasn't as taboo as I thought.

    It was a little tough navigating around the small locker room, but I still managed to shower, get dressed, blow-dry my hair, and make it back to work by 1:45.

    Back at my desk, I felt like I was bursting with energy. My face was still flushed, and my heart rate was up, but I immediately got back to work.

    Since I ate right after my workout, I didn't take my typical snack break, but I did go for a coffee around 3:30 p.m. — which I fully admit was only for the craving, not the energy.

    I finished all my work before 5 p.m., but since I had intended to stay an extra half hour, I felt focused and energized to go back and check everything over.

    Tuesday: Still going strong

    When I used to wake up at 5 a.m., I would constantly wake up and fall back asleep because I was anticipating my alarm clock to go off. On Monday, I slept through the night and woke up at 6:15 a.m. with no problem.

    Since I washed my hair at the gym the day before, I took a quick body shower and threw on another dress.

    The one thing that bugged me was my gym bag being a lot heavier than usual because I packed a towel and extra toiletries like shampoo and conditioner. It made my commute a little difficult because I kept hitting people with my big, bulky gym bag.

    I arrived at work at 8 a.m. and noticed my energy wasn't as high as it was the day before. I'm surprised how much my energy dipped even though I was getting extra sleep.

    I wasn't as productive as yesterday, but luckily by 10:30 a.m. my energy improved. I was also getting anxious for my workout because I knew it would perk me up.

    The workout: boxing

    I arrived at my next workout at 12:30 p.m. I decided to try a class at Shadowbox, around the corner from my office. It was another high-energy workout and super intense.

    By the time the class started stretching, I was soaked with sweat and ran to the locker room yet again to beat the lines.

    By the time I got out of the shower, the locker room was so packed, I didn't have time to dry my hair. I slicked it back in a high bun so I wouldn't go back to work looking like I had a wet mop on top of my head.

    I got back to the office at 1:45 p.m. and felt really good and sore. I immediately had to go to a training, so I didn't get to have my lunch right after my workout, and my energy felt a little low during the meeting.

    After I had my lunch, at 3 p.m., my energy spiked, and I worked until 5:30 p.m. without stopping. Even though I was a little more tired than yesterday, I felt I was still more productive than this time last week.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider