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Silicon Valley's favorite coffee chain is taking over the US with an east coast expansion

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blue bottle coffee

The venture-capital backed coffee chain that Silicon Valley is obsessed with is expanding to three new cities this fall.

James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, tells Business Insider that the company is doubling its US market size with new locations in Boston, Miami, and Washington, DC. It's the first regional expansion since the company set up shop in Tokyo, Japan, in 2015.

Blue Bottle, which operates 26 cafés globally, mostly in California and New York, has become hugely popular with hipsters and tech workers since it was founded in the early 2000s. Baristas craft one cup at a time using vintage brewing machines and artisanal blends.

The going rate for a cup of pour-over coffee is about $3.

The specialty coffee roaster has raised some $120 million in venture capital, from Morgan Stanley Investment Management, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, venture capitalist Chris Sacca, and WordPress cofounder Matt Mullenweg.

blue bottle coffee james freeman

Fans herald Blue Bottle as the "anti-Starbucks," where customers are treated as individuals and the coffee provides a transformative culinary experience. Freeman says he doesn't worry about how expansion will affects its reputation.

"All cafés are somebody's local café," Freeman says. "Our process is just to regard every café like that: It’s somebody's local café. They don't care how many Blue Bottles or Starbucks or Stumptowns there are. They go to their one café, and it better resonate with them."

Blue Bottle will apply the same approach that made it a household name, according to Freeman.

Each café will be designed to match the culture of its host neighborhood. Baristas will receive intense training, and only coffee that's been roasted in the last 48 hours will be served to ensure quality. Customers shouldn't expect to find giant drip-coffee-making machines in stores anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: You should be washing your coffee mug way more than you think

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NOW WATCH: 4 health benefits of coffee, the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world

The way most people breathe is hurting their health — here's the right way to do it

11 things that anyone who's ever wanted to try yoga should know

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yoga

Yoga has so many passionate devotees, and so many different types (Hatha? Bikram? Vinyasa?), that it can seem intimidating to true beginners. But if you've ever walked by a yoga class and decided that dark magic ruled all that happened there, do not fear: Yoga is actually harmless.

Not only that, it can be really good for you. And it's actually quite easy to get started.

I'm not talking about the crazy advanced poses where by some stroke of luck — or a spell — the teacher hovers on one limb while the rest of her body curves lithely into some seemingly impossible shape. No, the yoga I'm advocating is the kind practically anyone can do, provided they know a few basics.

Ready to clear your mind and get your heart pumping? Read on.



UP NEXT: We tried the science-backed 7-minute fitness routine that's going viral, and it actually works

SEE ALSO: What the author of 'Eat Fat, Get Thin' eats — and avoids — every day

I currently practice yoga about six days a week and I do a mix of everything from "open" to "power" classes. When I started, I only practiced about once a week — if that — and I steered clear of anything with the words "advanced" or "power" anywhere near the title.



I love yoga because it quiets my mind, makes me feel strong, and challenges me to do things I'd never thought physically possible. The science backs me up here: Dozens of studies have linked a regular yoga practice to stronger, more flexible muscles, a healthier heart and, in people with depression and anxiety, a decrease in negative symptoms.

Sources: Harvard Medical School; Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 2016; Rhode Island Medical Journal 2013; Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2016



To start, I'd recommend looking for classes with the words "vinyasa" or "flow" in the name — if you want a workout, that is. If you're more interested in learning the standard poses, Hatha or Bikram (a type of yoga which involves heating the studio to the point where you sweat so much, towels are required to participate) will suffice.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We got our hands on the Home — Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo

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Google just announced their new home virtual assistant system called Google Home. The system can play music from a number of services, answer complicated questions, and even control your home automation system. It's available for pre-order now for $129 and goes on sale in November.

Follow TI: On Facebook

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The largest private residence in Los Angeles just became the most expensive home in America

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Hilton & Hyland

A mansion known only as "the Manor" has just become America's most expensive home, boasting a $200 million price tag.

Built in 1991 on five acres of land in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, the house is a staggering 56,500 square feet and has 123 rooms, including seven bedrooms and a service wing. The listing refers to it as the largest residence in Los Angeles.

To get a handle on just how big that square footage number is, a new home completed in America is 2,392 square feet on average, according to the 2010 Census.

The home is also equipped with a swimming pool, formal garden, and 100-car parking lot, according to The Wall Street Journal. The grand entrance has a circular driveway with a fountain in the middle and, inside, 30-foot ceilings.

There's a bowling alley, a wine cellar and tasting room, and a full beauty salon complete with tanning and massage rooms. The kitchen count hovers around five. A 7,000-square-foot master suite comes with its own kitchen and living room and "a two-level closet connected by a pair of staircases," according to The Journal. There's also a gift-wrapping room that the media has often poked fun at.

The mansion has a long pedigree, as it was previously owned by Candy Spelling, the widow of producer Aaron Spelling. Spelling listed the property for $150 million in 2008.

It was eventually sold to Petra Stunt, the daughter of Formula One racing billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, for $85 million in 2011. Stunt tried to offload the property for $150 million in 2014, but a report says she declined a matching figure in 2015.

It's now back to a price that blows all of the previous high numbers out of the water. The $200 million listing price makes it the most expensive home in America, replacing the Playboy Mansion, which ended up selling for $100 million after being listed for double that. Two homes — one in Florida, the other in California — are currently listed for $195 million, falling second to Stunt's Holmby Hills home.

Rick Hilton and David Kramer of Hilton & Hyland have the listing.

The Manor

SEE ALSO: Nobody wants to buy this $12.5 million Brooklyn mansion with connections to mobsters and Russian heiresses

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

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NOW WATCH: Hugh Hefner's son reacts to the sale of the Playboy Mansion

Marcus Aurelius' 10 rules for being an exceptional leader

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BI_Graphics_Rules for being an exceptional leader from Marcus Aurelius_top_03

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius ruled from 161 to 180 A.D. and has maintained the reputation for being the ideal wise leader whom Plato called a "philosopher king."

His book "Meditations" has inspired leaders for centuries because of its timeless wisdom about human behavior.

It's a collection of personal writings from the chaotic last decade of his life. This turmoil inspired him to develop his interpretation of Stoic philosophy, which focused on accepting things out of one's control and maintaining mastery over one's emotions.

We've taken a look at a section from Book 11 in which Marcus reminds himself of leadership lessons he learned.

Using Gregory Hays' accessible translation of the ancient Greek (Marcus used the language of his philosophical heroes), we've broken down his 10 points into further simplified language, contextualized by the rest of Marcus' ideology.

Marcus believed that even though there will always be people who live selfishly and those who want to destroy others, mankind was meant to live in harmony. "That we came into the world for the sake of one another," he writes.

And within society, leaders such as himself emerge. And it is their duty to be the guardian of their followers.



Remember that every one of your followers, every one of your superiors, and every one of your enemies is a human being who eats and sleeps and so forth. It sounds obvious, but it is easy to belittle or to magnify the importance of others when you are making a decision about them.

Remember that every person has dignity and pride.



When a person makes a decision that offends you, Marcus writes, first consider whether they were "right to do this" in the sense that they are acting in a way that is morally acceptable, even if it is against your own self-interest. In that case, do not spend energy complaining about it.

If, however, they are behaving in a reprehensible way, consider their actions to be based in ignorance. It's for this reason that many of these offenders "resent being called unjust, or arrogant, or greedy," Marcus writes. When dealing with your followers, punishment or chastisement should thus be done in an educational way.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here are the 20 UK restaurants that have just been given Michelin stars

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The Wild Rabbit

The 2007 Michelin Guide for Great Britain & Ireland was released this week, revealing 20 new Michelin Stars for restaurants across the UK.

During the first ever live launch of the Guide at IET London Savoy Place on October 3, 18 restaurants were awarded with a Michelin Star, signifying "high quality cooking", while one received two stars, rewarding "excellent cooking" and another an impressive three stars, given out only for "exceptional cuisine."

Rebecca Burr, Editor of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2017, said: “There have been some excellent additions to the guide across both Great Britain and Ireland – restaurants that are producing consistently good food using excellent ingredients.”

From Berkshire to Bloomsbury, see the 20 newcomers to the Michelin map below.

Fat Duck, Berkshire, England – After losing its Michelin status last year when it temporarily moved to Australia, Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck has been awarded Three Michelin Stars thanks to the multi-sensory experience it offers (and for the set menu, which has been known to cost up to £255.)



Raby Hunt, Summerhouse, England – Self-taught Head Chef James Close cooks simple dishes in modern British style at this 30-seat Two Michelin Star restaurant near Darlington, situated in a Grade II listed building.

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The Ninth, London, England – Aptly named as London-based chef Jun Tanaka's ninth restaurant, this newcomer restaurant received a Michelin Star for its French Mediterranean style dishes.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Business Insider is hiring a paid graphic design intern

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BI Graphics_Robots

Business Insider is looking for a Graphic Design Intern to join the newsroom's Graphics team this winter.

Projects would range from basic Photoshop requests to more creative assignments such as maps, charts and infographics — like these. 

As an intern here, you'll gain valuable experience collaborating with journalists and designers in a fast-paced and fun work environment.

Other perks at BI include free snacks, ping pong, and never having to fetch coffee.

Qualifications

The ideal intern will be a super creative team player with amazing attention to detail. Other desired skills include:

  • Expert knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Mac proficiency
  • Experience with illustration, data visualization, typography, GIFs, layout design, photo editing, and infographics.
  • Social media savvy -- you know what our audience wants to see and share.
  • You're a confident designer comfortable pitching and defending your work. 

To see the type of graphics work we do, check out our Twitter account and our Instagram.

Please note: This internship requires that you work in our Manhattan office a minimum of three days a week, preferably full-time at 40 hours a week. 

Apply herewith a résumé and cover letter if this sounds like your dream job, and specify why you're interested in working on our graphics team. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 uber-wealthy Middle Eastern countries won't take any refugees from their war-torn neighbors

After 2 hours of drinking with the team from Barstool Sports, I now understand their plan for media domination

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barstool sports bingo

Perhaps the headline of this article is unfair. I didn't just spend two hours drinking at Barstool Sports' new global headquarters in Manhattan.

I spent two weeks watching videos, listening to podcasts, and reading posts on the website that has captured the imagination of the young-adult sports-loving American male.

You might call them bros.

Of course Dave Portnoy — who founded Barstool in 2004 as a free newspaper that he used to hand out in Boston's financial district — understands that the internet is a place for the unfair.

His site has faced the internet's fury plenty of times; it has been called misogynistic, crude, and plain stupid. Here's a sample of the worst offenses:

But it has also been called hilarious — and that's the point.

"We mean this to be a comedy brand," Portnoy tells me in one of the immaculate conference rooms at the new office.

It's not just any comedy brand. It's a new kind of comedy brand in the age of social media where communication is constant and a comedian has access to an audience at all times. Portnoy sees his site as an online "Saturday Night Live," a cast of characters he's assembled to serve his audience. They are known as "Stoolies."

Stoolies like sports. They like sports betting. They like jokes about buying ghosts on Craigslist and joining pirate gangs. They hate the NFL. They love Chipotle. They do not like political correctness. They like looking at attractive women, whom they feature on "smokeshows."

They like trolling Martin Shkreli, and they like posting emails from a guy named Zonker who totally hates them. They like black lights, and blacking out, and moving the frat party onto the internet where it need never end.

They're either total geniuses or total idiots.

What I present below is something of an argument for both.

'Fail'

Portnoy founded the company 12 years ago because, he says, he hated his job and wanted to tell jokes. Financial success — in the form of a 51% buyout from media investor Peter Chernin at the beginning of this year — was unexpected despite the site's popularity. In the last 5 year the site has grown from 1.4 million unique readers to 8 million as of January.

Already the sale has brought with it some big changes: The boys who all once worked from their respective cities are moving to a shiny new office in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, and the staff has been doubled, to 27 employees, to boost video and podcasting.

The company also has a grown-up at the helm — a female CEO named Erika Nardini. She's a longtime media executive whose résumé includes chief marketing officer of AOL and stints at Microsoft and Yahoo.

dave partnoy erika nardini

Now what's really interesting about what Barstool is doing with this new office is that it actually serves as a set piece. It's a stage, which is why it's so important that Portnoy's hires be natural characters.

"We wired this office and everything is on camera — 24/7 they're rolling. That story is what we're trying to get out," he says.

The boys have their trepidations about this new performance. On his podcast, "The Caleb Pressley Show," former UNC football "Supervisor of Morale" Caleb Pressley (one of the boys) and Handsome Hank, the producer of Barstool's new podcast, "Pardon My Take," both admitted that things could get awkward and "cliquey."

And indeed they already have. When the boys moved to New York City — which it seems most of them don't care for — half the office got invited to see Kanye West perform from a private box; half did not.

"It was like a real source of tension, and it became a storyline for two days, but that was real and uncomfortable," Big Cat, one of the hosts of "Pardon My Take," explained.

But no matter. The cameras are rolling.

Emergency presser

barstool sports namesIn true Barstool fashion, the sale was communicated directly to the Stoolies by El Presidente, Portnoy's pen name, in an "emergency press conference."

In a video in which he is surrounded by three of his most loyal lieutenants — a shirtless Big Cat, Kmarko, and KFC — Portnoy calmly explained to his readers that Chernin understood Barstool's humor.

"Chernin knows about the Size 6 skinny-jean joke. They know about Babygate. They know about Al Jazeera. They get it," he assured his Stoolies, listing a few of the site's various capers. He wanted to convey that the sale is not a form of selling out. Barstool's voice would remain, and Barstool would get bigger.

"But we needed help," he says. "We had a lot of fails. We have very smart people that are going to help us succeed ... When you were a young comedian in the '80s and you graduate, you had to send your resume to 'SNL' ... in five years... there's only going to be one place to send the résumé, and that's Barstool Sports."

One of those smart people is Nardini of course.

"I've worn Barstool T-shirts for 10 years," she tells me. "The writing is very smart and they get very little credit for it, so the discovery and the knowledge of that it's smart is part of the joy of Barstool. Also, they're brutally honest. And then just personally, I'm scrappy, I'm super hungry and I want to win."

The Stoolies were told of her hiring during another Barstool Times Square announcement. The company prides itself on transparency, and in this instance it was also able to relish in telling the kind of joke Barstool specializes in — a joke in which Barstool is at once the comic and the punch line.

"This is a man's city. We needed somebody with big-ass balls,” Portnoy says in the video. “We have found our CEO, our boss, our masculine boy." And then Nardini appears and ultimately leads the boys off the set.

Portnoy tells us that he loves trolling his viewers, and that video was made for his comments section, which he says he hates but won't get rid of.

"People blend our comment section with us," he says. "We hate these people! Tell me what our employees say. It's never anything we say — it's always these idiots in the comments section. They drive me insane."

Glenny Balls, PFTCommenter, Big Cat and Caleb Pressley Barstool

That said, it is Barstool's ethos to welcome people saying whatever absurd thing that comes to mind. That has made it all the more crucial that, in the new office and with new corporate bosses, Nardini has become the Wendy to Portnoy's Peter Pan. Precious few processes were developed within Barstool's Never Never Land over the past decade.

Employees, for example, used their Gmail, not their work email, for communication. Being spread around the country meant the guys hadn't shared space with one another. In one of her first orders of business, Nardini suggested they have an off-site.

"They said, 'What's an off-site?'" Nardini recalled.

'Literally in flames'

Barstool really found its footing in 2010 and 2011. In 2010 it threw a college concert tour called Stoolapalooza that left UMass Amherst "literally in flames" (Portnoy's words). Then 2011 was the year of Barstool's first Blackout Party at Clemson. Yes, it involved loud music, tons of booze, and black lights.

It was also the year Barstool hired a self-described "degenerate gambler"* named Big Cat who ultimately quit his job in Chicago so that he could stand in the middle of Times Square in the freezing cold without a shirt on. He now has a massive following and hosts Barstool's "Pardon My Take" with fellow Barstooler PFT Commenter. It was a natural fit.

"I always enjoyed writing. I always enjoyed f---ing around and doing the things that we do. That's probably the reason we're successful," Big Cat tells me. "We're just doing what we like to do. A lot of the stuff we do is stuff I was doing in college, chasing ghosts and s--- like that. But now we turned it up and it's a living. Who we are is pretty true to who we were before Barstool and the blog world."

Who they are is a bunch of guys who got arrested after handcuffing themselves to one another at the NFL headquarters and demanded to speak with Roger Goodell, the league's commissioner. They killed a goldfish named Larry one day and now use his replacement, Larry 2, to pick bets on game day. (You can watch it here, but be warned: PFT Commenter barfs).

They started a now massive internet meme called "Saturdays are for the boys" where guys just post themselves (or anyone, really) doing ridiculous stuff with their friends — or, in Michael Phelps' case, with their children.


They are guys who used to hate-troll public enemy No. 1, Martin Shkreli, but now think "he's just a very sad person who doesn't have any friends," Big Cat says. Now they regular-troll him.

But of course one cannot know oneself without knowing the other, so mark 2011 as important because it's the year that the guy who owns the email address tips@barstool.com got so tired of the deluge of emails sent incorrectly to his inbox (the correct address is tips@barstoolsports.com) that he started lashing out at the boys.

He goes by "Zonker," and when he gets upset, he sends emails that provide a clear picture of what he thinks a Stoolie is. Zonker has become a character on Barstool. This is fitting, as creating characters is Portnoy's specialty. He sees his website as a live show. And when he hires someone he turns them into legend, listing their various exploits to build their persona.

Here's one piece, which we edited for clarity (the unedited email is embedded at the end of this article).

Dear Stoolie,

I have been monitoring these emails randomly for several years, and I think I finally figured out what a Stoolie is (and presumably you are one). A composite (oh look it up) of a Stoolie:

You're that guy who passes out at the party and his friends do all sorts of humiliating and gross things to you while recording it, then you proudly post the video yourself. You whine a lot. You're one of the dumbest sports fans in existence.

Basically you're that loser who just can't see what a loser they are. Even though everyone else knows. You know the type — there's a reason you're friends with so many.

So you're trying to get to the right place but, unsurprisingly, you're not competent enough to type the right email address. So I'm going to explain where you went wrong. I'll type slowly so you can read slowly enough to understand. The address you want is tips@barstoolSPORTS.com.

The capitalized part (the part in bigger letters) is very important. You left it out in your first email, and now you are subject to ridicule (oh hell, you're probably totally desensitized to it by now), and god only knows what will be done with YOUR EMAIL address.

So yes, in 2011 Barstool got a solid hater. And when you have solid haters, you know you're doing something right.

Here's Zonker's letter in full:

zonker's email

*Some betting advice from Big Cat that he imparted to Hank: "The only way to get out of a hole, Hank, is more overs."

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NOW WATCH: Twitter’s huge deal to live-stream NFL games could be a game changer

I bought Google Home instead of Amazon's Echo — here's why (GOOG, GOOGL, AMZN)

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star trek the next generation

I've been sold on voice-controlled digital assistants since I was a little kid.

How could I not be? I grew up with "Back to the Future 2" on VHS and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in primetime. 

More to the point, how could anyone not be? The concept of handling casual tasks by voice rather than touch is incredibly appealing. It's no surprise that Amazon's Echo device, with its voice controlled assistant named "Alexa," is such a hit. Being able to play music, control lighting, and order an Uber — all through voice, quickly — is a huge deal.

It's the actual promise of home automation: saving you the time, in aggregate, of not doing millions of menial tasks. 

Even with that promise, I hesitated with the Echo.

It's expensive, at $179, and Amazon has a way of funneling all of its products into a means of increasing revenue on Amazon.com. It's a question of intent — as a consumer, I don't trust that Amazon's creating a product to create a great product, and I don't trust that Amazon will continue to support it in the long-run. And that pushes me off of dropping nearly $200 on a total luxury item.

But when Google announced the price and release date for Google Home on Tuesday, I was intrigued once again in digital assistants. $129? And it uses Google's excellent, proven voice recognition software? 

Google Home

Simply put: Google Home is a speaker with two microphones mounted on top, which it uses for hearing your commands. Say, "Okay, Google: Play The Bee Gees." Just like that, you're ha, ha ha, ha, stayin' aliiiiiive.

But here's what really sold me: a simple, obvious feature called "My Day." It's a daily briefing. Bear with me here.

"We designed a feature called 'My Day,' that (with your permission) summarizes important topics and activities for you in a really simple way. It's a great thing to try with the morning coffee," Rishi Chandra, a senior product manager at Google explained on-stage Tuesday.

The demo is short. Chandra says, "Okay, Google: Good morning!" 

Google Home responds accordingly with the following:

"Good Morning, Rishi! It is 7:32 AM. The weather in San Francisco currently is 59 degrees and cloudy, with a high of 65 degrees. Your commute to work is currently 59 minutes with moderate traffic if you take US 101 South. Today at 5PM you have Bollywood hip-hop dance class. By the way, remember to cook dinner tonight for the kids. Have a good one!"

Really simple! Really obvious! So useful!

This is the base level stuff I've wanted from personal AI assistants since I was 10. Alexa doesn't do it. Siri doesn't do it. Cortana doesn't do it.

It's what Google already basically does for me on my phone (I have a Nexus 5X), but in a much, much easier way: by voice, no phone needed!

her

Google Home does all the other personal AI assistant stuff, of course:

  • It sets calendar events, timers, and dinner reservations. 
  • It plays your music (from a variety of services) out of its multi-directional speaker setup.
  • It employs Google/Google Maps to answer questions and give you directions.
  • It works with various connected home devices, like Phillips Hue light bulbs and Nest thermostats.

And all of that is fantastic, but the fact that Google realizes how important it is for its assistant to actually be an assistant — unlike Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Microsoft's Cortana — is really meaningful. And the fact that Google already nails this so, so well with Google Now gives me faith that this ethos will carry over to Google Home.

Google's also talking big game about the "Google Assistant" AI software built into Google Home (as well as Google's new phone, the Pixel). It's a seeming evolution of the Google Now concept, which is the best part of owning an Android phone.

Google Home

Since Google services — Gmail, Maps, Calendar, etc. — are so tightly integrated in Android, Google Now takes pieces from each and turns it into incredibly useful, predictive information. For instance, I take the same train line to work pretty much every time, around the same time in the morning. Google Now automatically tells me about delays and closures. It knows if the gates have changed on my upcoming flight before I do, and it tells me.

With Google Assistant, I expect an extension of that already useful functionality. It takes the amazing, predictive stuff that Google Now already does, and it turns that into a conversation. 

Amazon's Echo, for all its functionality, doesn't take that same approach. It's an assistant in that it can do things for you — play music, set timers, etc. — but it's not predictive, it's reactive. That's a crucial difference, and it's why I pre-ordered a Google Home on Tuesday.

Google Home (receipt of purchase)

SEE ALSO: Google unveils its newest major product: the Google Home speaker

DON'T MISS: There's one big problem with Google Assistant: Saying 'OK Google' is super creepy

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We got our hands on the Home — Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo

13 eerie photos that take you inside America's abandoned mental hospitals

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Asylum

Massive mental hospitals, some of which once housed hundreds of thousands of patients, were the primary mode of treatment for those with mental illnesses for centuries.

But by the 1960s, asylums all over the US were closing down in reaction to reports of abuse and neglect, as well as the passage of new healthcare laws that emphasized a community-based treatment approach.

As a result, many formerly packed mental hospitals have been left standing totally vacant. Over the course of six years, photographer Christopher Payne traveled to 70 of these abandoned mental hospitals all over the US, getting exclusive tours inside each. The resulting photos are chilling, yet beautiful in their own way.

Business Insider talked with Payne about his photographic journey, now collected into a book titled "Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals." Below, see his eerie photos of abandoned mental hospitals all over the US.

Courtney Verrill wrote an earlier version of this story.

SEE ALSO: This haunted house takes photos of people's reactions to getting scared — and it's hilarious

Most of the hospitals Payne photographed housed thousands of people who suffered from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While a majority of the hospitals have been completely abandoned, some have remained partially open, such as Kankakee State Hospital, pictured below.



Payne got access to the hospitals by submitting formal requests to state mental-health departments. "Once a few states granted access, all the others followed suit," Payne told Business Insider. Oregon State Hospital, pictured here, was used as the set of the well-known film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."



Many of the hospitals were eager to share their history. Payne got exclusive tours from people who used to work there. "Many of the [former] employees had worked at the institutions for decades, as had their parents and grandparents before them, and they were proud of their work," Payne said.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Silicon Valley's dream of a floating, isolated city might actually happen

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The Seasteading Institute concept art of floating city

Randolph Hencken spends most of his day on Skype and Slack, talking with business partners around the globe who share his vision of an isolated, "floating city" — a literal island unto itself.

When that idea becomes reality, Hencken, executive director of the Seasteading Institute, says not much will change. He will still be stuck behind a desk.

"The difference would be, I would probably start my day going kite-surfing," Hencken says over the phone, adding that he would eat a lot more fish and breadfruit.

Those kite-surfing dreams could one day come true. The Seasteading Institute tells Business Insider it has found a partner, French Polynesia, to help build a floating city in the South Pacific. A formal agreement, which is likely to be passed according to Hencken, now awaits the signature of President Édouard Fritch.

seasteading founders; patri friedman; peter thielIf things go as planned, the group may break ground on a seastead off the coast of the French-owned island chainas early as 2017. The new city could consist of two or three platforms that each cover half a football field and house 30 people. Should the pilot program prove successful, more platforms will be added.

The Seasteading Institute, cofounded by billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel and Google software engineer Patri Friedman (grandson of economist Milton Friedman) sent waves through Silicon Valley when it was created in 2008. The group set out to develop a floating city that would serve as a permanent, politically autonomous settlement.

Thiel, who invested some $1.7 million in the project, envisioned a sort of libertarian utopia.

"The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn't do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?" Thiel, who resigned from the group's board in 2011 and continued to give financial support through 2014, told Details Magazine in 2011.

The group's ambitions are thought by some Silicon Valley influencers to be too wild, financially burdensome, and elitist to generate real results. But the new relationship with French Polynesia shows there's hope yet.

seasteading institute; french polynesia; floating city

Hencken envisions the floating city as a rig that's small but self-sufficient. Residents shop for food on the seastead and hop on a speedboat to complete more substantial errands on the neighboring French Polynesian islands. Each housing platform will be modular, so if a person grows tired of life on the seastead, they can simple unhook their home and sail away.

The starting cost of construction will be about $30 million, though that's subject to change, Hencken says. Each additional platform sets the group back $15 million. The institute hopes to raise money from a handful of investors (whom Hencken declined to name), future residents, and interested parties in the maritime industry.

Business Insider could not verify how close the Seasteading Institute has come to its fundraising goal. The organization raised over $27,000 via a crowdfunding campaign in 2013, but Hencken says it was used to fund a project implementation report from Norwegian design firm DeltaSync.

Seasteading institute concept art floating city

For years, the Seasteading Institute wanted to set up camp in international waters, without any connection to an existing nation.

Eventually, the group determined the costs were too extravagant. The United Nations grants every state economic and environmental control from its shoreline to 200 nautical miles out, which means the Seasteading Institute would have to build at least that distance away. That kind of isolation raises the cost of operations and transportation to get people on and off the seastead.

The institute crunched the numbers and thought it would take $12 billion to build, which is already four times Thiel's net worth. So the group looked to team up with a host nation.

French Polynesia map; seasteading institute

French Polynesia fit the bill. The island chain is an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles, and it has a fiber cable that runs underwater to Hawaii, providing the same tier of bandwidth that techie islanders might expect. Plus, rising sea levels threaten French Polynesia's very existence — making a proposal to build new land appealing to the government.

While French Polynesia will not impose laws or taxation on their floating neighbors, the islands will provide space and resources for construction. (Hencken insists the Seasteading Institute will not accept any subsidies). This new approach to seasteading potentially allows the Institute to reduce costs and stay connected without sacrificing independence.

Still, the challenges are almost too many to count. Hencken rattles off a few, from developing a foundation that can withstand seawater for 100 years to establishing a special economic zone, where business and trade laws on the seastead differ from those in French Polynesia.

seasteading institute floating city

Hearing Hencken describe the logistical and architectural feats required to build the floating city, which he hopes to complete by 2020, it starts to sound easier just to buy a plot of vacant land.

"All the land is claimed," Hencken says. He believes "The ocean is our last place on Earth," where the seafaring pioneers will be free from the rules and economies of established governments.

But that doesn't mean the seasteaders will be isolated. When Hencken, who previously ran communications for an office supplies company and is a drug policy reform activist, pictures his future life on the island, he imagines buying a speedboat so he can take a yoga class or buy his wife an expensive dinner in nearby French Polynesia.

"If somebody wants isolation, they can go buy a sailboat right now and be out at sea for months at a time. Go be a hermit," Hencken says. "... Seasteading is for people who want to engage in the marketplace of ideas, the marketplace of commerce, and the marketplace of government."

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Mark Cuban explains why buying a ‘brutally expensive’ private plane was one of his smartest moves

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Mark Cuban

With a net worth topping $3 billion, Mark Cuban has money to spend. 

Cuban became a billionaire in 1999 when he sold his second company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for $5.9 billion. Since then, the business magnate has made several pricey purchases, including buying the NBA franchise the Dallas Mavericks a year later.

However, in a new column for Men's FitnessCuban said that the smartest thing he ever spent money on was a private plane.

"It's obviously brutally expensive, but time is the one asset we simply don't own," he wrote. "It saves me hours and hours." 

Cuban purchased his first jet — a Gulfstream V— in 1999 for $40 million. Since then, he's added two more to his fleet: a Boeing 767 that he rents out and a Boeing 757, which he uses for the Mavs. 

The "Shark Tank" star goes on to say that the most important things in life are family, time, being nice, and avoiding stress, while "trying to have more than the next guy" just isn't worth it.

Though a private jet might seem like a demonstration of opulence, to Cuban it's not about showing off his wealth — it's about effectively using his time so he can attend to what matters. 

"It means I have more hours in my day to spend with friends and family," he explained to the Wall Street Journal in 2010. "It means I can get more work done. It means I can travel comfortably with my family. It’s a life- and game-changer." 

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Check out Jackie Chan's $20 million Embraer private jet

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Embraer Legacy 500 Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan has a new toy in his collection.

Earlier this year, the movie icon took delivery of a new Embraer Legacy 500 business jet. This is not Chan's first private jet, nor is it his first Embraer. Chan, a brand ambassador for the Brazilian airplane maker, took delivery of an Embraer Legacy 650 in 2012. His new plane is the first Legacy 500 to be delivered to a Chinese customer.

"The Legacy 500 features our best-to-date technologies and it incorporates designs that maximize passenger comfort and fuel efficiency," Marco Tulio Pellegrini, Embraer Executive Jets' president and CEO, said in a statement.

Chan seems equally enthused about the newest addition to his fleet. "I'm so thrilled to receive this Legacy 500, a state-of-the-art executive jet," he said in a statement.

He continued:

In the past few years, my Legacy 650 has brought me fantastic traveling experiences and great convenience, allowing me to do more acting and philanthropic works around the world. I'm sure that the performance of the new Legacy 500 will again exceed my expectations, and become a comfortable mobile home and office for me.

According to Embraer, Chan is expected to use his Legacy 650 for transoceanic flights while the Legacy 500 will be used for shorter trips. Here's a closer look at Chan's Embraer Legacy 500:

SEE ALSO: The 10 best business class airlines in the world

Jackie Chan took delivery of his first Embraer in 2012. It was a Legacy 650.



JC's 650 is decked out in a personalized, dragon-themed paint job.



With the Legacy 500, Jackie gets a more advanced jet than his current 650.



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The 36 best ways to burn the most calories in an hour

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SoulCycle spinning cycling

What's the best way to burn the most calories?

There's a lot that goes into developing an exercise regimen — meeting your body's needs, finding something you enjoy, and figuring out what will have enough impact to make a difference to your health.

If you're crunched for time, one of the ways to measure that is to figure out how much energy a particular exercise expends in the time you actually do it. In other words, how many calories does it burn?

The big, important caveats here are that exercising on its own actually doesn't do much to make you lose weight. If you want to slim down, we suggest talking to a doctor about what a healthy weight is for you and working on cutting sugar and large portions out of your diet.

Still, calories burned per hour is a good measure of how intense a particular exercise is. The Mayo Clinic, drawing on research published by the National Institutes of Health, lists 36 popular forms of exercise by their caloric impacts. We've ordered them from least to most intense, with approximate calories burned per hour for a 200-pound person listed for each activity. (An average adult American weighs just under 200 pounds.) Of course exact figures will vary across body types, gender, age, and other factors.

Keep in mind that the numbers here are approximate. Also, just because an exercise burns calories faster doesn't mean it's necessarily the best option. The most important exercise is the one you enjoy enough to get up and do regularly.

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36. Hatha yoga | 228 calories/hour

Hatha yoga, a version of the exercise practice centered on holding specific poses, sits at the bottom of this list, burning an average of about 228 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.



35. A slow walk | 255 calories/hour

Next up: going for a stroll. For every hour walked at 2 mph, a 200-pound person burns 255 calories.



32. Bowling | 273 calories/hour

Bowling, along with the next two items on this list, ballroom dancing and Tai Chi, burns 273 calories per active hour.



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19 space-saving gadgets under $60 that every kitchen needs

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JosephJosephMixingBowls

If you have limited kitchen space, it's often easy to give up on cooking — especially if you don’t have room for the tools and gadgets that make cooking easy and enjoyable.

But there are plenty of ways to maximize space in your cabinets and countertops so that you can store all the ingredients and appliances you need to put together delicious, healthy meals.

Take a look at these collapsible, magnetic, and otherwise clever devices — all under $60 — designed to let you use your kitchen space more efficiently.

SEE ALSO: 12 amazing kitchen gadgets under $65 that will transform your breakfast

FreshGadgetz all-in-one kitchen kit

This bottle-shaped stack of cooking tools actually comes apart to become a funnel, a juicer, an egg masher, a lid grip, a spice grater, a cheese grater, an egg separator, and a measuring cup.

Buy it on Amazon for $20.



Better Houseware collapsible tea kettle

Yes, even kettles can collapse. For those who love hot tea in the winter but don't want anything to do with the stove during the summer, this product is easy to store when not in use. It holds five cups and can be used on gas or electric stovetops.

Buy one on Amazon for $30.



Home-X adjustable measuring spoon

This all-in-one measuring spoon can replace a set of nine. Just slide the adjuster to the desired measurement (ranging from 1/8 teaspoon to a tablespoon) and fill accordingly.

Buy it on Amazon for $7.



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The founder of Silicon Valley's favorite coffee chain explains why he's obsessed with Japanese cafés

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blue bottle coffee james freeman

When Silicon Valley's favorite coffee chain set up shop in Tokyo, Japan, Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman didn't quite know what to expect.

Four months after opening, customers waited in four-hour lines just to try the famous pour-over coffee, which costs 450 yen, or $3.75 a cup. Today, four Blue Bottle cafés call Tokyo home.

While launching a new market is always risky business, stakes ran extra high for Freeman, who got into the coffee business in part because of his obsession with Japanese cafés.

"Anybody who's known me more than a few minutes knows I'm very deeply inspired by the old-fashioned coffee shops of Japan, and in Tokyo particularly," Freeman tells Business Insider.

Since it was founded out of a San Francisco garage in 2002, Blue Bottle hasn't stopped growing. Business Insider reported on Tuesday that the company is undertaking a massive expansion this fall that will double its domestic market size. But the decision to launch in Tokyo in February 2015, before opening cafés in most major US cities, was a surprising one.

Freeman chalks up the move to his propensity for "doing things the hard way."

But a visit to Japan's capital city in 2008 also stuck with the former concert musician.

blue bottle coffee tokyo japan

While Japan is best-known for its tea, coffee is an important part of the culture. In the traditional Japanese siphon bars, baristas brew each cup by hand. They use bamboo paddles to stir the cup, creating whirlpools in no more than four turns and never touching the glass. Coffee masters carve paddles to fit their palms. 

"You're vulgar if you pour coffee out of an urn in certain shops in Tokyo," Freeman says. "People train themselves to a very high degree of precision that I've never seen anywhere else."

He continues to make pilgrimages to a café called Chatei Hatou, where individually poured cups sell for $15, the Wall Street Journal reports.

blue bottle coffee tokyo japan

Even the design of these siphon bars — with their minimalism and unfinished look — left a mark on Freeman. In his Tokyo-based shop, like most Blue Bottle cafés, sunlight pours in through massive windows. Vintage roasting machines stand on display and glitter in the light, eliminating the need for excess decorations. Clean lines dominate the space.

Freeman describes the aesthetic as the "removal of things rather than the addition."

He says the goal has never been to make Japanese-style coffee, though the popularity of Blue Bottle in Japan hint that he might be onto something.

SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley's favorite coffee chain is taking over the US with an east coast expansion

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The 10 best-sounding concert halls in the world

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Musikverein, Vienna

There’s no objective way to determine the best acoustics for concert halls, though most people agree on the basics.

Sydney Opera House? Awful. New York’s Avery Fisher Hall? Mediocre. Vienna’s Musikverein and Boston’s Symphony Hall? Divine.

Acoustic consultants now playing a central role in any new concert venue design.

"With the objective criteria of today, one can safely plan for a hall that would be somewhere on the scale from good to excellent," says Magne Skålevik, a senior acoustical consultant at Brekke & Strand Akustikk. "Another way of putting it is, we are able to explain 70-80% of the average listener's preference by the physical and acoustical properties of the hall."

For now, the only effective way to rank concert halls acoustics is subjective. Acoustics legend Leo L. Beranek, 102, has published several rankings of concert halls based on interviews conducted around the world. Earlier this year, he published an updated list that took into account ratings from a survey by Skålevik.

One notable trend is that the highest-rated concert halls were built before 1901. Beranek attributes their high scores in part to rectangular, or shoebox, shapes and lightly upholstered seats. Many newer halls, meanwhile, sacrifice sound quality for visual design, size, and comfort.

"Architects are reluctant to design shoebox shapes because they show no originality," Beranek says. "So the new designs are like the recently opened Philharmonie de Paris. There are some excellent seats, but because the audience is seated everywhere, front, behind, to the sides and above the stage, the acoustics sound different everywhere and in some places are unsatisfactory to me."

Here are the highest-ranking concert halls on Beranek's list.

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#1 Musikverein, Vienna, Austria

Musikverein is a shoebox hall with 1,744 seats. It opened in 1870.

"This certainly is the finest hall in the world," world-famous conductor Bruno Walter said. "It has beauty and power. I had not realized that music could be that beautiful."

Beranek explains in "Concert Halls and Opera Houses" that "the superior acoustics of the hall are due to its rectangular shape, its relatively small size, its high ceiling with resulting long reverberation time, the irregular interior surfaces, and the plaster interior." 



#2 Symphony Hall, Boston, USA

Symphony Hall is a shoebox hall with 2,625 seats. Designed by McKim, Mead and White, it opened in 1900.

Harvard Professor Wallace Clement Sabine helped plan the hall, introducing new techniques to measure and increase reverberation time.

"Even the first time that I conducted there, I was struck by its acoustics," Bruno Walter said about the hall. "It is the most noble of American concert halls."



#3 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Concertgebouw is a shoebox hall with 1,974 seats. It opened in 1888.

Writes Tom Service for the Guardian: "I’ve never heard a performance in which the colors of textures of Debussy's marine onomatopoeia sounded so thrilling, in which the mere sound of a gong or a celesta was transfigured into musical poetry simply by being played in that space by those musicians."



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The best private high school in each state

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Phillips Exeter Academy

America's best private high schools offer a top-notch education and have a reputation as feeders to elite universities. Though many congregate on the East and West coasts, great private schools exist across the country.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools, released its 2016 rankings of the best private high schools in the US earlier this year.

Niche looked at performance on the SAT and ACT, college-matriculation rates, quality of colleges that students consider and attend, school culture and diversity, and student and parent reviews. It combined these metrics to reflect "overall excellence," measured on a 100-point scale.

Business Insider searched the ranking to find the best in each state. Sufficient data wasn't available for Alaska, North Dakota, or Wyoming, so they do not appear on this list.

Read on for the best private high schools in each state:

SEE ALSO: The best public high school in every state

ALABAMA: Indian Springs School

Location: Indian Springs

Overall rating: 88.20

Student-teacher ratio: 9:1

"Because we have a student disciplinary panel, we are self-accountable," reported one Niche user.

Another commented on the status of Indian Springs School alumni: "We've got astronauts, lawyers, and John Green. I'd say graduates are doing well."



ARIZONA: Phoenix Country Day School

Location: Paradise Valley

Overall rating92.19

Student-teacher ratio: 7:1

"The teaching staff is very well liked by the students and parents," commented a Niche user. "They are very welcoming and available for the students when they need them."

A Phoenix Country Day School parent agreed: "The headmaster greets everyone with a handshake and a smile everyday and the teachers are phenomenal, the best of the best."



ARKANSAS: Pulaski Academy

Location: Little Rock

Overall rating84.68

Student-teacher ratio: 10:1

"The teachers, education, school spirit, sports, and friends have made my experience exciting and life changing," shareda Pulaski Academy senior. "I feel more than prepared for college and am excited that the faculty and teachers have guided me to graduation."



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