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How 7 Rolex models got their unique nicknames


Christie's auction

Every Rolex tells a story.

But some of the brand's watches talk louder than others. And those often get a nickname — something used by collectors and fans as shorthand to let others know exactly what they're talking about.

Here are just some of the most notable and amusing Rolex nicknames used to describe the company's rich history of watchmaking.

SEE ALSO: 14 books every modern gentleman should read

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Some Rolex models don't have a great reasoning for their naming. Take the Rolex GMT-Master II, with its blue and black ceramic bezel, is nicknamed Batman, according to Christie's.

Why Batman? It's simply because blue and black are often associated with the Dark Knight. The watch has also been called "The Dark Knight" and "Bruiser."

The piece is sought after, and still has a waitlist of those trying to purchase it new. The watch is available to bid on at Christie's.

Soda flavors

A trend in Rolex nicknames is to name them according to color.

Throughout the history of releases for the Rolex GMT-Master II, there's been a number named after popular sodas beverages. There's the Pepsi, a GMT with a red and blue bezel, the Coke, a GMT with a red and black dial, and the Root Beer, the nickname for two different steel-and-gold watches in Rolex's history.

The Root Beer is pictured above, a vintage GMT-Master 1675 from 1970 available here.

James Cameron

Others, however have a rich history inherently tied to their specific reference and model. The Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue, Ref. 116660, for example, was created to commemorate filmmaker James Cameron upon his return from the first solo expedition to the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, according to Christie's.

The Deep-Sea lettering is the same color as Cameron's submarine, and the face has a symbolic blue to black gradient.

Available to bid on at Christie's.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Simple etiquette rules to remember the next time you fly

What it's like to stay at Donald Trump's Florida resort home, the Mar-a-Lago Club


mar a lago trump

The Mar-a-Lago Club is Donald Trump's Florida resort and home base outside Manhattan.

It's the top-ranked spa in Palm Beach on TripAdvisor, and gets four full stars on Yelp. But what's it really like to stay there?

James Taylor, the famous singer-songwriter, spent a week there with his wife and children to perform at a charity gala on the property. His wife, Caroline, penned an account of their stay at the Mar-a-Lago for Vanity Fair.

Calling herself and her husband "dyed-in-the-wool, yellow dog Democrats," Caroline Taylor still attempts to offer an unbiased review of the hotel.

See what it's like to stay at the ultimate in lavish Trump real estate below.

Raisa Bruner wrote an earlier version of this post.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump's empire is under siege as his glamorous image fades

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Mar-a-Lago is a beach and pool club and spa, with rooms, suites, and cottages spread over 20 acres. The club has been the site of everything from Trump's most recent wedding to Maya Angelou's 80th birthday party, hosted by Oprah Winfrey.

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Source: Mar-a-Lago Club

It's one of the most "exotic, larger-than-life" hotels Taylor says she's ever visited. The 118-room resort was built in the 1920s by Marjorie Merriweather Post, America's richest woman, until she bequeathed it to the US government and it fell into disrepair.

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Source: The New York Times

Trump scooped it up in 1985 for less than $10 million, renovated it, and ultimately turned it into the society destination it is today. Taylor describes the clientele as "lacquered blondes" wearing "five-inch Louboutins."

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Sources: The New York TimesVanity Fair

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Everything we know about Donald Trump’s unhealthy diet


Based on what we know, Donald Trump's diet is very unhealthy. Some of his favorites include fast food, red meat, and candy. In addition to that, he told Dr. Oz that he doesn't get a lot of exercise either. 

For someone who continues to take shots at his opponent's health, Trump might want to reexamine his own nutrition choices.

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The 50 smartest colleges in America


Caltech graduateWe recently ranked the 50 best colleges in America based on how well they prepare students for success, focusing on graduation rate and early-career earnings. Next, we wanted to find out which schools enroll the smartest students.

Jonathan Wai, a Duke University Talent Identification Program research scientist, created a ranking exclusively for Business Insider of the smartest US colleges and universities based on the schools' average standardized test scores.

While these tests are often criticized, research shows that both the SAT and ACT are good measures of general cognitive ability, since they rely on a person's ability to reason. Therefore, these scores give a reasonable snapshot of a school’s overall smarts.

Last year, information was taken directly from the US News & World Report. We updated that ranking by including all the schools that report average SAT and ACT scores to the government. ACT scores were converted to the SAT scale for the purposes of this analysis.

See more detail on methods and limitations here

Once again, the Pasadena-based California Institute of Technology took the top spot on the list, and the University of Chicago, Harvard, Harvey Mudd College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology rounded out the top five schools. 

Keep scrolling to see the 50 smartest colleges in America.

50. Colgate University — Average SAT: 1369

  • Location: Hamilton, New York
  • Student population: 2,872
  • Tuition: $51,635
  • Best known for: Sends its students to top graduate schools like, Columbia University, New York University, Harvard University, and Cornell University.

50. Brandeis University — Average SAT: 1369

  • Location: Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Student population: 3,621
  • Tuition: $49,586
  • Best known for: Strong program offerings in English, history, social policy, and health policy.

49. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — Average SAT: 1372

  • Location: Troy, New York
  • Student population: 5,864
  • Tuition: $49,520
  • Best known for: Highly-ranked engineering program.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best way to keep off holiday weight has nothing to do with exercise


cookies baking in oven christmas

After a summer of exploring, swimming, and otherwise staying fit, our bodies are in a good spot.

But this is it, folks. It's not going to get any better than this. That is, according to The New York Times' Well blog, highlighting a letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Anything that happens in these next 10 weeks, on average, takes about five months to come off," Brian Wansink, one of the letter's authors and a professor at Cornell University, told The Times.

That is, the time leading up to the end of December will be full of opportunities to gain weight — and that isn't an easy thing to fix.

That's why focusing on what you eat rather than how much you workout might be the best way to stave off the problem. Philip Stanforth, a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas and the executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas explained it well to Business Insider in 2015:

"Thinking practically, keep in mind you'd have to walk 35 miles to burn 3,500 calories. That's a lot of walking. But if you look at eating, a Snickers ["2-to-go"] bar might have, say, 500 calories. It's going to be a lot easier to cut the Snickers bar than to do five miles of walking every day."

So perhaps, instead of trying to compensate for that third or fourth gingerbread cookie with an extra workout, it may make more sense to scale back on just how many treats you snack on over the course of the season.

To reach their conclusion about holiday weight gain, Wansink and co-authors looked at owners of Withings wireless scales (a Withings employee was also one of the authors on the study). Using the scales, they were able to monitor the daily weigh-ins of about 3,000 people in the US, Japan, and Germany for a year. About 600 people in that group were considered obese.

They found that most people's weight tended to rise leading up to major holidays, in particular Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, as well as Easter in Germany and the Golden Week in Japan.

The researchers pointed to "an increased intake of favorite foods" as the thing all these holidays have in common. Other factors could also be at play: perhaps the spike leading into colder months could have something to do with people exercising less (it's harder to go out for an evening jog when it starts to get dark around 6 p.m., for instance).

But excessive eating — say, at holiday parties filled with irresistible treats or cookie baking sessions where a fair amount of cookie dough doesn't end up getting baked — does seem to fit the timeline of weight gain leading up to the holiday. In the long term, having a healthy diet and exercising are both integral to weight loss.


And, as Wansink suggests, it may be time to enact an "October 1" proactive resolution, rather than the traditional New Year's resolution. 

SEE ALSO: 15 healthy eating habits that work, according to science

DON'T MISS: We talked to an exercise scientist about whether diet or exercise is more important for weight loss, and his answer surprised us

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There are no actual truffles in truffle oil – and some famous chefs refuse to use it

The most expensive housing market in every state


Boulder Colorado

Coldwell Banker recently released its annual Home Listing Report, which ranks the most expensive places to purchase homes in America.

Though California dominated the overall rankings, expensive homes dot the entire country. Business Insider pulled the top ranking city in each state from the report, which range from average listing prices of over $1 million in California and Connecticut to those coming in under $300,000 in places such as Arkansas and Kentucky.

To determine the most expensive cities, Coldwell Banker analyzed the average listing price of more than 50,000 four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes for the period between January 2016 and June 2016. The ranking covered 2,168 markets across the US, excluding any with fewer than 10 listings. Note that just as prices vary by location, the size of these homes can vary significantly by market as well. 

Read on to see where to find the most expensive housing market in your state.

SEE ALSO: The 25 most expensive housing markets in the US

DON'T MISS: Here's what a one-bedroom apartment looks like in America's 20 most expensive rental markets

ALABAMA: Fairhope

Population: 18,730

Average cost of a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house: $359,633

Median household income: $58,767

ALASKA: Anchorage

Population: 298,695

Average cost of a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house: $378,686

Median household income: $78,121

ARIZONA: Scottsdale

Population: 236,839

Average cost of a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house: $530,372

Median household income: $72,455

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Anthony Bourdain: 'I don't need a 10-minute explanation of my food'


anthony bourdain

Anthony Bourdain spent decades in the restaurant industry, first as an executive chef before becoming a celebrity travel guide 16 years ago.

Over that time, he's seen the American food industry change drastically for the better, but an uptick in snobbery is the other side of the double-edged sword, he said.

"I don't need a 10-minute description of my food," he told Business Insider earlier this year, ahead of Season 7 of his Emmy-winning CNN show "Parts Unknown." It returns for its eighth season on October 16.

As for this emphasis on buzzwords like "artisanal" and "farm to table" and the ensuing descriptions about product sourcing, Bourdain said, "Look, it's annoying but not the worst thing in the world. At least people are interested enough to want to know the details."

He said he's glad chefs want to emphasize fresh ingredients and that customers are savvy enough to embrace them, but he doesn't want snobbery to overtake the restaurant scene to the point where no one is having fun.

"You can't be a great food writer and a snob about food and just want fancy, expensive ingredients," he said. "You have to appreciate the qualities of a properly greasy fast-food burger."

This applies for the grocery store as well. He's also sick of what can seem like people's obsession with overpriced organic food.

"A couple years ago, I'm holding my daughter's hand and I walk into the supermarket in my neighborhood — I live in the Upper East Side," he said of grocery shopping in New York City. "We're there to buy oranges and lemons, right? And there's the organic produce and the nonorganic sections. And I automatically head over to the nonorganic and I look around and there are all these Upper East Side housewives looking at me like I'm a f---ing war criminal and they're about to call child-protective services. It was so bad that I slump over to the organic section just so these ladies wouldn't hate me."

SEE ALSO: Anthony Bourdain discusses the new season of 'Parts Unknown,' his favorite restaurants, and how he went from outsider chef to the top of the food world

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Truffle oil is not made from truffles and world-famous chefs are refusing to use it

5 signs you can't afford to move to New York City — even if you feel wealthy


new york city

Living in New York City is expensive — even if you have a high-paying job.

And while it's possible to balance out costly splurges with affordable activities, it's not for everyone. If you're thinking about packing up and heading to the Big Apple, it's important to make sure you can truly afford it before making the jump and landing in debt.

Read on for five red flags that you might not be financially prepared to move to NYC, even if you're pulling in a solid income.

You don't have a budget

Earning a good salary might make it easier to afford New York's exorbitant rent prices, but if you aren't keeping track of where your money is going, it's easy to blow it all in the blink of an eye. Building out an honest, detailed budget — and sticking to it — will make or break your chances of surviving in an expensive city.

Mary Beth Storjohann, a certified financial planner and CEO and founder of Workable Wealth, suggests building out your "big city budget" first thing if you're considering a move. "You want to figure out what's your rent, what are your expenses, what do you need to get by," she explained to Business Insider. "And then factor in some savings, retirement, and your emergency fund as well. That's where you want to aim your salary."

It's also important to consider how your taxes will change if you're moving from another state, says Alan Moore, a certified financial planner and cofounder of XY Planning Network. An $80,000 a year salary doesn't translate to $80,000 in your pocket. To understand how your taxes will be affected, Moore recommends playing around with the IRS Withholding Calculator.

You aren't willing to compromise

You might be able to afford a huge one-bedroom in Phoenix, but that same amount of rent won't go quite as far in Manhattan. Do you go out to eat every night? Do you use Uber instead of taking the bus? If you're moving to an expensive city, your entire budget probably needs to shift. Things that were once affordable might not be, and your priorities should reflect that. While you don't necessarily need to live off ramen, you probably can't eat out every night.

"What are you willing to give up in order to make this happen?" Storjohann asks. "I think that's the place to start. If you want to move to the big city, what other goals do you have and are you comfortable with putting those on the backburner for however long while you make this transition?"

If you aren't willing to trade a few Uber rides for the subway, you might find it harder to afford New York than you expect.

You don't have a plan

Making a big financial decision on a whim is rarely a good idea.

"It's deciding to move and setting a plan in place to make it happen, instead of deciding to move and just moving," Storjohann says. "You always hear dream stories about that happening, and then people get to the city and have to work three part-time jobs."

Unexpected expenses always come up. Both Moore and Storjohann suggest crunching the numbers, making sure you know exactly how much a move will cost, and creating a plan to transition into your new budget. New York will still be there in six months after you've had time to prepare.

bay ridge brooklyn neighborhood

You only want to live alone

Rent is the ultimate expense in New York. At $3,200 per month, the city's average for a one-bedroom apartment is nearly three times the national average of $1,158 per month, according to Zumper's annual National Rent Report. Not to mention that even for the elevated price, apartments in the big city tend to be much smaller than the rest of the country. 

Even if you can technically afford to funnel 60% of your income toward a one-bedroom apartment in an of-the-moment neighborhood, does it come at the expense of paying down debt or building up your emergency fund? Finding a roommate — or two, or three — could make your ideal location a whole lot more affordable.

Moore suggests getting creative with your housing and not only looking at roommate and subleasing options, but considering things like co-living spaces.

You don't have a good reason

Deciding to start over in a new place comes down to much more than money. Consider why you want to move to New York — is it specific to the city itself, or is it something you can find elsewhere?

"What's the draw? Do you have friends there, family there? Is is the perfect job opportunity?" Moore asks. "There are a lot of folks who give me all the reasons they want to move to a big city and they find that they don't really care that it's New York or San Francisco or San Diego or Chicago. They care about certain opportunities."

Budgeting for life in New York includes sacrifices, so be completely sure you're ready to make some.

SEE ALSO: Here's how I spent a weekend eating and sightseeing in New York City for less than $50

DON'T MISS: I moved to New York City 2 years ago — here's what I tell my friends who say they can’t afford to

Join the conversation about this story »

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Here's everything we know so far about 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'


Carrie Fisher Mark Hamill Ben A Pruchnie Getty

If you were a die-hard "Star Wars" fan and loved "Force Awakens," chances are you're hungry for updates on the next episode in the saga, 'Star Wars: Episode VIII."

Star Wars Celebration Europe, which took place in London in July, revealed some interesting information about the film. Since then, others from the cast (and a few rumors) have given us a further idea of the movie, which is currently in post production.

Below is everything we know so far about the movie (which comes out December 15, 2017), from the mouths of stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, and writer/director Rian Johnson.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

SEE ALSO: Everything you nee to know about the next "Star Wars" movie, "Rogue One"

Not familiar with Rian Johnson? He directed the hit sci-fi movie "Looper."

Get ready to hear the name Rian Johnson a lot throughout the next year. Though he's only made three feature films going into "Episode VIII," those movies include stunning works like the modern-day film noir "Brick" and sci-fi mobster movie "Looper," which have shown he's ready for the largest stage in filmmaking.

Johnson also directed some of the most memorable "Breaking Bad" episodes, including "Fly" and "Ozymandias" (arguably the greatest episode of the series).

Looking to take a deeper dive? Here's more about Johnson you need to know.

Johnson spent six weeks at the Lucasfilm headquarters, Skywalker Ranch, figuring out the "Episode VIII" story.

At Star Wars Celebration, Johnson revealed that while writing the script for "Episode VIII," he spent six weeks at Skywalker Ranch. But he wasn't just taking inspiration from the grounds that "Star Wars" creator George Lucas walks. He also had an eye on "The Force Awakens."

"We would watch dailies come in from 'VII,'" Johnson told the Celebration crowd. "It was probably really healthy creating the story based on our reactions to the footage rather than the cultural reactions. It was a unique experience."

The movie will start right where "The Force Awakens" ended.

Before principal photography began in London on "Episode VIII," Johnson and his crew took actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Daisy Ridley (Rey) to Skellig Michael, the island where the final scene of "The Force Awakens" took place, to shoot an extension of the scene. 

That will be the opening of "Episode VIII," according to Johnson.

"I don't want to skip ahead [after] that last moment of 'Episode VII.' I want to see what happens next," Johnson said.

This has sparked an interesting conversation among fans. Will there be an opening crawl in "Episode VIII"? There are typically months to years between "Star Wars" episodes, so the crawl brings the audience up to speed. Johnson did not say if there will or will not be a crawl in the new movie. 


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

9 signs you can afford to move to New York City — even if it doesn't feel like it


new york city

Moving to New York City will cost you.

Living in the city comes with a notoriously high cost of living, with rent prices sitting well above the national average. The average one bedroom will run you $3,200 per month compared with just $1,158 a month in the US overall. Not to mention that even for the elevated price, apartments in the big city tend to be much smaller than the rest of the country. 

And while it can be affordable, not everyone can make the jump.

So how can you tell if you can actually afford to pack up and head to the big city without going bankrupt?

"It’s mostly your priorities," Mary Beth Storjohann, a certified financial planner and CEO and founder of Workable Wealth, told Business Insider.

Being able to afford living in New York comes down to how you spend your money, not necessarily how much you have. Even if it doesn't feel like it, you may be able to swing it in New York City if that's the city of your dreams.

Read on for nine signs that your finances are up to the challenge. After all, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

You have a budget ...

You've taken a hard, detailed look at your finances and know exactly where your money is going. New York boasts a notoriously high cost of living, and it's critical to understand exactly what you can afford to do and where you need to cut back.

"You need to know what [it's] going to take and if there's a gap, you need to know how you're going to close it," Alan Moore, a certified financial planner and cofounder of XY Planning Network, told Business Insider.

Storjohann suggests building out your "big city budget" first thing if you're considering a move. "You want to figure out what's your rent, what are your expenses, what do you need to get by," she explains. "And then factor in some savings, retirement, and your emergency fund as well. That's where you want to aim your salary."

In addition to laying out a budget, decide if your current job can support the lifestyle you want. Is it time to look for a new job, or move into a new industry? Are there other ways you can supplement your income to reach the number you want?

... and you actually stick to it.

Creating a detailed budget means absolutely nothing if you don't follow it.

"You can do it all, but you don't do it all at once," Storjohann says. "You have to be aware that you're going to have to make some sacrifices and then actually make them, as opposed to getting there and thinking, ‘I have seven weddings to go to this year, let me put all those flights on my credit card.'"

Be honest: Once you figure out where you're willing to sacrifice, will you hold yourself accountable? If the answer is no, you might want to head back to the drawing board.

You've factored in the little things.

The cost of moving is always more than just rent plus living expenses. Are you going to hire movers or do everything yourself? Do you need to ship your car or will you drive it? How will your taxes look different in a new state?

"Be very diligent into how much taxes are going to be," Moore says. "It makes a huge difference. Those numbers tend to add up. We do that math in our head, but when we put it into an Excel doc, it starts to feel real."

Be sure to crunch every little number, from packing tape for your moving boxes to the cost of gas for a cross-country drive, and see how it changes your budget. To understand how your taxes will be affected, Moore recommends the IRS Withholding Calculator.

Park Slope Brooklyn

You're on track to pay back any debt.

Having student loans or credit card debt doesn't mean you can't afford an expensive city — but it's important to remember that those debts won't go away when your cost of living goes up. You should have a plan to tackle those bills within the constraints of a new budget.

"Things like your cell phone bill, your student loans, your credit card bill, those aren't going to go away, " Storjohann warns.

But don't be put off. "As long as you can save and you have something saved up, you're good to go," she says. "It's just knowing your priorities. I'm not going to tell you to get out of debt before you move. If you're still paying off your bills and doing those things, then don't put your life on hold."

You have a solid job.

Moving to New York without a plan or a job might seem romantic in theory, but it can be debilitating in practice. According to Storjohann, your income should be the first and biggest thing to consider when deciding if you can afford to move or not.

"Consider the income that you're bringing in and if you're going to maintain that job when you move," she says. "Or if you're looking for a new job, what that number will be." She continues: "You want to look at what your income's going to be and how your salary will translate in terms of what it will cost you to pay rent, utilities, bills, to live."

If you have a steady source of income and can handle all your bills while still paying down debt and putting money into savings each month, you're in a good place to consider making the leap.

You're okay living with roommates

Rent is the largest factor that makes New York expensive, so the West Village studio of your dreams might need to become a walk-up in Brooklyn with three roommates.

"Get a roommate, put four people in a one-bedroom apartment, I've seen it done," Moore says. "My mom always said, ‘Think of space creatively.' Just because it's called the living room, doesn't mean you have to put a couch in it."

If you're down to get creative and sacrifice some personal space, you'll be much more likely to find an affordable place to live.


You have a side hustle.

Do you sell scarves on Etsy in your free time? Are you an SAT tutor on the side? Finding ways to bring in extra income creates a financial cushion that can help fill in any gaps.

"It's never been easier to earn extra money, but it does take some effort on your part to learn what that's going to be," Moore says. "Whatever it is, you need to know what you're going to be doing and make a plan."

You're realistic about your goals.

Grappling with a higher cost of living means making sacrifices. Both Moore and Storjohann advise anyone considering a move to put in a few hours time marinating on their big life goals and prioritizing what they want to happen now and what can wait. Travel, buying a home, and any other big purchases might have to take a backseat to more pressing financial concerns.

"Be honest with yourself about if it's really worth moving there," Moore says. "Sit down and make an actual goals list. What are you trying to accomplish?"

He suggests digging to the root of why you want to move. Is this a permanent change or just for a couple of years? Do you have your eye on New York for a certain job, and could you do that elsewhere?

It's also important to consider what you want to do in New York and what you're willing to skip. "Do you want to have money leftover to spend on dining out and having experiences? Or are you okay to hack your way through the system and do just the free things?" Storjohann asks. "I think the biggest thing is being realistic about what is important to you."

You're willing to adjust your lifestyle.

If you live alone, are you willing to add a few roommates? Are you prepared to cut down on spending? Are you okay with learning to cook instead of eating out every night?

"You're not going to be able to have the same lifestyle that you had in a small city in a big city with your income," Storjohann says.

At the end of the day, affording New York's high cost of living comes down to choosing your priorities. Decide which aspects of your lifestyle are most important, and build your budget out from there.

SEE ALSO: I moved to New York City 2 years ago — here’s what I tell my friends who say they can’t afford to

DON'T MISS: Here’s how I spent a weekend eating and sightseeing in New York City for less than $50

Join the conversation about this story »

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2 factors affect whether antidepressants will work for you — and scientists have finally put them together



The sadness often descended like a curtain — heavy and dark.

But even when my depression threatened to cut me off completely from the world around me, I struggled with the decision to take antidepressants. It wasn't just that I'd been taught to believe that "going on meds" was giving up. No, what really worried me was how I'd cope if the drugs didn't work.

This is one of the biggest problems with our current methods of treating mental illness — it's virtually impossible to know if drugs will help.

"Right now, [going on antidepressants] is very much trial and error," Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, the chair of the department of psychiatry at Columbia University, told Business Insider.

A group of Stanford researchers wants to change that. They've created a two-part test which they say could one day help predict — with striking accuracy — if someone with depression will respond to antidepressants. Their results were published in October in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

At its essence, the test looks at two factors in someone with depression.

1. Specific patterns of brain function in one area of the brain that's thought to play a key role in depression.

The researchers looked specifically at brain activity in the amygdala, a small structure deep in the center of the brain. The amygdala is part of our limbic system, a group of structures linked with emotions like anger, sadness, pleasure, and fear. People with depression tend to display higher activity in the amygdala, which can continue even after recovery.

To get a snapshot of what was going on in people's amygdalas, the Stanford researchers showed their study participants images of emotional (angry and sad) faces while they sat in an MRI machine.

2. Exposure to stress in early life.

play alone sand girl sad lonelyPeople who are exposed to high levels of stress in childhood, either from experiencing a single traumatic event or as the result of being repeatedly abused or neglected, tend to be at higher risk for depression than people who are not.

As a result, the Stanford researchers included this factor in their diagnostic test by having patients fill out an early life questionnaire designed to assess their exposure to things like abuse, family conflict, illness, and natural disasters before they were 18 years old.

What the test showed

Based on someone's "score" on the two measurements above — i.e. Did they show high patterns of brain activity when exposed to the emotional faces?Were they exposed to lots of early life stress? — the researchers were able to come up with a predictive snapshot of how well that person might respond to an antidepressant drug like Prozac or Zoloft.

The people who were the most likely to respond to antidepressants were those who'd experienced high levels of early life stress and were also highly reactive to specific emotional stimuli.

In other words, people with depression in the study who revealed that they'd been abused as a child and whose brain scans showed that they were highly reactive to the angry and sad faces were more likely to have a positive outcome on the drugs. Scientists believe that a stressful childhood experience like abuse can heighten our sensitivity to emotions, especially negative, potentially threatening ones. Eventually, this could make someone less sensitive to positive cues as well. The role of antidepressants in this scenario, then, would be to help normalize how our brain's amygdala reacts to emotional stimulii, especially positive cues.

The same outcome was predicted for people who'd experienced low levels of early life stress and were also not very reactive to the faces. In these people, the role of the drugs would be to heighten their brain's reactivity to emotional cues.

On the other hand, depressed people who said they'd experienced high levels of early life stress but did not react much to the faces (or people who experienced low levels of early life stress but were very reactive to the faces) tended to respond poorly to the drugs.

This jives with other research which suggests that exposure to early life stress, such as abuse or neglect, can change the structure and function of the amygdala, the structure linked with processing emotions. Scientists believe

'Racing towards the same goal'

The test results are promising, not just because the test appeared to work, but because the researchers' efforts are part of a bigger push towards transforming how we diagnose and treat mental illness.

For the vast majority of medical problems, there's a diagnostic test that can tell you what course of treatment you should embark on. If you think you may have type 1 diabetes, for example, you take a blood test. If it's positive, you'll likely be prescribed insulin. If you think you may have a heart problem, you get an EEG. Depending on the outcome, you might be given several different kinds of drugs or told to start a specific exercise regimen. With mental illness, there are virtually no such diagnostic tests.

hug friend friendship couple love relationshipThe Stanford researchers aren't the only ones who see this as a huge problem. They're part of a growing number of scientists who are trying to create diagnostics for mental illness.

"This is one of many initiatives that are pointing towards how diagnostics will become a kind of standard of care," said Lieberman. "Everybody is racing towards the same goal but they're taking different paths."

"I believe [this] is one very important way to transform how we manage depression," Leanne M. Williams, a psychiatrist at Stanford University and one of the authors of the new paper, told Business Insider. "This could help close the gap between the insights we get from our research and the current devastating impact of depression."

Here's how it might work one day. Picture a scenario where someone with depression walks into a clinic, takes the test, and finds out she probably won't respond well to antidepressants. Then, she has options: First, she could either go on the drugs anyway and see what happens (the test does not predict the future — depression is complicated and there's still a chance that someone who performs one way on the test might have a different real life experience). Second, she might be encouraged to try a different route of treatment, such as talk therapy.

Like any new study, however, the present research has limitations.

For starters, the test has only been given to people with diagnosed depression in preliminary study settings so far. Researchers are still at the stage in their work where they're deciphering how well it works and for whom. In other words, you aren't going to see the test popping up at your doctor's office tomorrow. Still, the scientists who designed the test told Business Insider that they plan to start deploying it in limited real-world settings at Stanford University in the next few months.

"Anything that would help identify such individuals or give doctors an idea of how they'd respond to treatment would be beneficial," said Lieberman. "This is one piece of putting that bigger puzzle together. But it's not the final piece."

SEE ALSO: I've been on antidepressants for a decade — here's what everyone gets wrong about them

DON'T MISS: We're on the cusp of an explosive change in how we treat one of America's most ignored health problems

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The 19 most breathtaking buildings in the world, according to architects


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Like paintings and sculptures, buildings can be beautiful works of art.

We asked architects to tell us the one building that's a game-changer for building design, inspired them to become architects, or that they simply find stunning.

Here are 19 of the most breathtaking buildings in the world, according to people who build them for a living.

SEE ALSO: Amazon just lost a huge seller because of fake products, a problem it denies is happening

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

"It's the quintessential beautiful architectural form," Tara Imani says. "The Corinthian columns, the use of entasis [a slight curve in columns] to make sure the columns didn't look spindly from a distance...the siting on a hilltop — it gave us our initial ABCs of architecture that we keep trying to use and improve upon today."

Imani is the founding architect of Tara Imani Designs.

The National Congress of Brazil in Brasília.

"In 1974, my father, a scientist took our family to see the new city of Brasília. It captured the imagination of the world," Julia Donoho says. "Planned in the shape of an airplane, Corbusian [the modern architectural style of Le Corbusier] housing blocks lined the wings like feathers, the body was filled with embassies, government buildings, cultural institutions, and a house of God." 

Donoho is the principal and project lead at Equinox Design and Development.

The São Paulo Museum of Art in São Paulo, Brazil.

"It is daring," Damaris Hollingsworth says. "Designed in 1968, it is made of concrete and glass. The main body is hung from the two beams and it barely touches the columns on the side. I also love the fact that it was designed by a woman."

Hollingsworth is the project manager for DLR Group.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

16 of history's greatest philosophers reveal the secret to happiness


Alexander and Aristotle

A well-stocked Netflix queue can go a long way toward pure and utter happiness, but sometimes there's still something missing.

For those moments, it can help to fall back on the wisdom of history's greatest thinkers: Kierkegaard, Socrates, Thoreau, and the Buddha.

Here's what philosophers discovered about happiness long before orange became the new black.

SEE ALSO: 11 famous executives who majored in philosophy

"There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path" — Gautama Buddha, alive around 500 BC.

Similar the mantra that the journey is the destination, the Buddha's take on happiness puts the greatest emphasis on people finding fulfillment in the experience of living, rather than arriving.

There is no ultimate end goal. For the Buddha, we make our happiness along the way.

"Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness" — Bertrand Russell, lived in early 1800s.

It's out of character for someone like Bertrand Russell, a lover of mathematics, science, and logic, to dabble in something so negotiable as happiness. 

But his idea that happiness can be found in the surrender to visceral feelings of love rings true — and contemporary science seems to be on his side. 

"Happiness is the feeling that power increases — that resistance is being overcome" — Friedrich Nietzsche, alive in late-19th century.

For Nietzsche, the famous mustachioed nihilist, happiness is a kind of control one has over their surroundings.

The German philosopher wrote frequently on the impacts that power (and a lack of power) can have on people's lived experiences. When people resist, they take back their agency. That sense of self can then turn into happiness.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The term 'superfood' is meaningless — here are the most nutritious foods you should add to your plate


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"Superfoods" fly around in your stomach with tiny capes, delivering key nutrients to every critical system in your body.

At least that's what the term makes it sound like they do. In reality, there is no legal or medical definition for what counts as a "superfood." Nutritionists and public health experts rarely use the term.

But that doesn't mean it's completely bogus. In fact, there is some scientific basis for calling a food "super."

According to the CDC, which published a ranking of what it called "powerhouse" foods in 2014, these types of fruits and veggies pack a lot of key nutrients into each calorie and are linked with a reduced risk of chronic disease. Studies also suggest that people who eat more of them tend to be thinner and live longer than those who rarely or never eat them.

Here's a complete look at the top 25 foods on the CDC's powerhouse list.

Jennifer Di Noia, a sociologist and public health expert at William Patterson University, created the list and ranked her selections based on how much good stuff (vitamins, fiber, protein, etc.) gets packed into each bite of a particular food, a concept known as nutrient density.

When looking at nutrient density, Di Noia focused on 17 nutrients, including:

  • Potassium: a key mineral that helps nerves and muscles communicate and may help offset some of sodium's harmful effects on blood pressure
  • Fiber: important for digestion and to help us feel full
  • Protein: critical for building and maintaining muscle
  • Calcium: key to strong bones
  • Iron: helps our muscles store and use oxygen
  • Zinc: for a healthy immune system
  • Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K

To make the cut, each food had to provide 10% or more of the daily value of these key nutrients. Lower-calorie foods got higher scores, as did foods with more "bioavailable" nutrients, or those that could be readily absorbed by the body.

The number one winner on the CDC's powerhouse list? A green you've probably eaten without even knowing its name: watercress. Swiss chard, spinach, kale, red peppers, and broccoli also made the cut.

SEE ALSO: 25 'superfoods' you should be eating more of right now

READ MORE: 17 'healthy habits' you're better off giving up

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