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Here's why you should start your New Year's fitness resolution today


exercise running fitness

January 1st is a terrible day to start a new fitness regimen, as many a hungover post-New Year's Eve partier knows. There's nothing like a queasy belly, splitting headache, and the hope that bacon, eggs, and a bloody mary will save you to make you decide to skip that run you've been planning on, especially if you know it'll hurt since you haven't had time for physical activity the past few weeks.

No, the best day to start that new workout routine — you know, the one that you're finally going to stick with — is today.

"Woah," you might say. "Take it easy."

But hear me out.

If you start working out now, you have a much better shot of actually keeping it through the rest of the winter and into spring and next summer. That's for three major reasons: It'll be easier to deal with the cold if you start working out now, it'll make it easier to develop the habits that you need if you don't wait until after the holidays, and you'll feel better going into 2017 having already begun your new routine.

1. It'll be easier to deal with the cold if you start working out now.

"It's important [to get used to winter weather] now, because the bad months are January and February," says John Honerkamp, a coach with the New York Road Runners. This advice is most important if you're planning on trying to keep up an outdoor biking or running routine, but it also does apply to anyone who finds the cold a deterrent from even making it out to the gym.

Now is when you can start figuring the gear and the layers that work best for you. That way there's no sudden shock by the cold, as there would be if you stayed cozy and warm indoors for December and then decided to try getting outside to run beginning in January. If you try a few outdoor runs now, you'll find that once you get moving, the cold air isn't actually that bad.

2. It'll make it easier to develop the habits that you need if you don't wait until after the holidays.

December is full of occasions for indulgence. Your co-workers and friends might bake cookies to share, your office might throw a holiday party full of boozy cocktails, plus there's probably a big family meal or two in your near future. If you pack on a few extra pounds during this time period and don't keep up with your health, it's going to be even harder to start in January. If you've let the busy fall season get in the way of your running or gym routine up til this point, get back into it as soon as you can.

"You're not going to lose a ton of fitness in a week or two, but three or four weeks, it gets bad," says Honerkamp (referring to the average person, even a week or two can be enough for a competitive athlete to lose their edge).

3. You'll feel better going into the new year having already begun your new routine.

Just like you'll feel physically better if you don't let your fitness plans fall apart under the weight of egg nog and candy canes, you'll feel mentally better if you make sure you get regular exercise before and during any sort of winter break that you might have. Holidays can be stressful, after all, and there's little that we know that provides as much of a mental health boost as exercise. Plus, getting out there in the winter can be a great way to win a victory against the thing that makes us opt for the lazy option — ourselves. If you do venture out into the cold, you'll feel good about it.

"There is that badge of honor or courage of braving the elements (with proper gear)," says Honerkamp.

So get out there.

SEE ALSO: 17 expert-backed tips for working out through the winter

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The 8 most memorable viral internet challenges of 2016


2016 was a strange year for viral internet challenges. Arguably, the most popular one was called the "mannequin challenge," which had large groups of people — including Hillary Clinton — freezing in place while a camera panned around the room and "Black Beatles" played in the background. While this may be the most memorable, there were plenty of other bizarre trends that kept people busy all year on social media. Here's a look at a few of them.

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Kids around the world reveal their favorite toy


haiti dollar street

If you live in a place where people get X-Box Ones for Christmas, then spare a thought for the other 5 billion people on earth.

Dollar Street, a new project from the Gapminder Foundation, lets you see favorite toys and other personal items in homes around the world. A few observations:

—In a Haitian home living on $39 per month per adult, a boy’s favorite toy is an old tennis ball. About 15% of the world lives at that level or poorer.

—In a Romanian home living on $163 per month per adult, a girl’s favorite toy is a broken plastic doll. Around 40% of the world lives at that level or poorer.

—You won’t see many new game consoles in homes earning less than $1,500 per month per adult—the top 20% of homes.

Dollar Street is at once a visualization of inequality and a reminder of how much we have in common, including how kids everywhere like toys.

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

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

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

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

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Opioid overdose deaths just jumped again


Black tar heroin Mexico US drugs free base

Opioid painkiller death rates just jumped again. The drug, many forms of which remain legal with a doctor's prescription, is killing more Americans than heroin (itself an opioid) and cocaine combined.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released its latest report this week, the most recent tragic increase has been "driven in large part by continued sharp increases in deaths involving heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl."

Death rates from opioids have been on the rise since 1999. After rates dipped slightly in 2012, they picked back up again in 2013 and continued to rise the following year.

Last year, they skyrocketed, claiming the lives of 33,091 people.

The trouble with (prescription) painkillers

Heroin and opioid painkillers — including prescription ones — have a problematic relationship: Research suggests that since they act similarly in the brain (opioid painkillers are often referred to by some doctors as "heroin lite"), taking one (even "as directed") can increase one's susceptibility to becoming hooked on the other.

And while the overdose death rate for illicitly-obtained opioids like fentanyl — the drug involved in the death of musician Prince— is skyrocketing (it jumped 73% from 2014 to 2015, according to the report), the overdose death rate from many other legal prescription opioids is rising far more slowly (4% over the same period, the report found). That could suggest that recent efforts aimed at curbing widespread over-prescribing practices could be starting to have a positive impact.

Fentanyl is a tricky drug, though: It's available legally (with a prescription) and illegally (on the black market). It's also 50 times stronger than pure heroin.


As a result of these factors, tackling the overdose epidemic will likely require not only curbing the manufacture of dangerous illicit drugs but also curbing doctors' overprescribing practices, lessening the stigma surrounding drug use and addiction, and beginning to treat addiction as what it is — a brain disease.

"The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic continues to devastate communities and families across the country," Michael Botticelli, White House Director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement, "in large part because too many people still do not get effective substance use disorder treatment."

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These are the best bottles of Champagne to bring to your holiday parties



The holidays are a time to toast to friends, family, and good fortune in the new year. But first you'll need a great bottle of Champagne — and when it comes to the bubbly, there's a balance to be struck between quality and price.

We talked to Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator's senior editor and tasting director, to get her recommendations for bottles that will impress your peers without breaking the bank. Wine Spectator does blind taste tests of more than 18,000 wines a year, and Napjus personally reviewed about 2,500 wines in 2016, including 500 sparkling wines.

She also gave us some tips on what to look for when selecting a bottle. 

"The really big divide in sparkling wine, in terms of price, would be between vintage versions and non-vintage," she said. "Vintage is more expensive, and it's supposed to be symbolic of that year. Non-vintage is better for price, and it's the majority of what you'll see in the supermarket." 

Non-vintage wines are typically blends of several different vintages that a producer makes as a signature sparkling wine each year. Non-vintage bottles are not usually labeled as such — you can recognize one by the absence of the word "vintage" on its label. 

Other terms that might signify a higher price point: "blanc de blancs," "blanc de noirs," and "rosé."

"Those are more expensive as well because they're using a specific type of grape, and they're often a small production, so there's a supply and demand situation," Napjus said. "Production process also affects the price of the wine." 

Here are Napjus' best-value sparkling wine picks, arranged in ascending order according to Wine Spectator's ratings. While some of the more highly rated sparkling wines are Champagnes (meaning that they come from the Champagne region of France), others are Proseccos from Italy, Cavas from Spain, or sparkling wines from California. 

Each of these wines can be had for $55 or less.

Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry Cava ($12)

Saying hello to the holiday season.

A photo posted by Freixenet Cava (@freixenetusa) on Nov 26, 2016 at 4:41am PST on

Wine Spectator score: 86/100

Region: Cava, Spain

According to Wine Spectator's tasting notes, this Cava boasts flavors of "smoke, plum, tangerine and spice."

Ca' Furlan Cuvée Beatrice Prosecco Extra Dry ($10) 

Wine Spectator score: 87/100

Region: Prosecco, Italy

Wine Spectator describes this Italian Prosecco as "balanced and lightly juicy." 

2012 El CepMarques de Gelida Gran Reserva Brut Cava ($14)

Wine Spectator score: 87/100

Region: Cava, Spain

Prominent flavors in this sparkling wine include apple, almond, and lemon curd.

Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rustico ($18)

Wine Spectator score: 88/100

Region: Prosecco, Italy

Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore RusticoThis Italian Prosecco has hints of white peach, Thai basil, sliced almond, and lemon pith. 

2011 Juvé y Camps Brut Nature Cava Gran Reserva de la Familia ($16) 

Wine Spectator score: 89/100

Region: Cava, Spain

According to Wine Specator, this Spanish Cava is "a firm, focused version, with a smoky streak of mineral underscoring the flavors of fresh-cut pear, mandarin orange peel, vanilla biscuit, and pickled ginger."

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs Carneros ($22)

gloria ferrer blanc de blancsWine Spectator score: 90/100

Region: California

If you'd rather go for a California sparkler, this wine has both crisp and creamy flavors.

Ferrari Brut Trento ($26)

ferrari trento

Wine Spectator score: 90/100

Region: Trentino, Italy

Wine Spectator dubs this sparkling wine "very drinkable," with notes of "Asian pear, ground ginger, hazelnut and lemon zest." 

Ployez-Jacquemart Brut Champagne Extra Quality ($43)

Wine Spectator score: 91/100

Region: Champagne, France

It's a bit pricier than the sparkling wines that come before it on this list, but this Ployez-Jacquemart Champagne is said to have notes of apricot, orchard blossom, and pastry dough.

Lanson Brut Champagne Black Label ($45)

Lanson	Brut Champagne Black LabelWine Spectator score: 91/100

Region: Champagne, France

Also hailing from the Champagne region of France, this sparkling wine is minerally and smoky.

Pol Roger Brut Champagne RéservePol Roger Brut Champagne Réserve ($50)

Wine Spectator score: 92/100

Region: Champagne, France

This Champagne has flavors of poached pear and toast.

2008 Moutard Père & Fils Brut Champagne Cuvée des 6 Cépages ($55)

Wine Spectator score: 92/100

Region: Champagne, France

According to Wine Spectator, this Champagne is best enjoyed with a meal. They describe it as "balanced and juicy, featuring smoke and spice notes on the plush finish."

Bérêche & Fils Brut Champagne Réserve ($46) 

Wine Spectator score: 92/100

Region: Champagne, France

This Champagne is acidic, with notes of blackberry, toast, licorice, and mandarin orange peel.

Alfred Gratien Brut Champagne ($50) 

Wine Spectator score: 93/100

Region: Champagne, France

This Champagne is described as "rich," with a "firm acidity and an airy mousse." 

2009 Domaine Chandon Brut Yountville Vintage ($45)

Wine Spectator score: 93/100

Region: California

Wine Spectator calls this sparkling wine "polished and graceful," with "floral aromas of Asian pear, fresh ginger and brioche."

SEE ALSO: One of Napa Valley's most important entrepreneurs explains why millennials are changing the wine business for good

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The 11 most expensive Champagne bottles money can buy


champagne toast

Nothing says celebration quite like popping bottles of Champagne.

Sparkling wine originated in 17th-century France as an experiment for kings and queens. The process was later perfected and popularized by Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon.

Today, sparkling wine is made from grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Pinot Meunier all over the world.

In particular, three categories of Champagne — Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, and Rosé — tend to be the priciest, according to wine-review magazine Wine Spectator.

These sparklers are made with a special selection of grapes, involve specific production techniques, and come in limited quantities, allowing the producer to charge more for a truly unique product.

Below, Wine Spectator provided us with a list of the 11 most expensive Champagne bottles money can buy. All descriptions are from Wine Spectator, and scores are out of 100.

1. Krug Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne Clos d'Ambonnay, 2000

Price: $2,700

Wine Spectator score: 95

Description: "An elegant, almost ethereal Champagne, showing a subtle richness and power, with vibrant acidity and a beautifully creamy mousse carrying the finely meshed flavors of Chambord liqueur, singed orange peel, biscuit and spun honey, accented by hints of toasted almond, saline and smoke that gain momentum and echo on the finish. Disgorged autumn 2013. Drink now through 2025."

2. Armand de Brignac Blanc de Noirs Champagne Non-Vintage

Price: $850

Wine Spectator score: 92

Description: "A vibrant version in a sleek, finely knit package. The creamy mousse carries flavors of ripe black cherry and cassis fruit, with details of ground ginger and clove, mandarin orange peel and smoky mineral. Savory finish. Drink now through 2021."

3. Krug Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Clos du Mesnil, 2002

Price: $800

Wine Spectator score: 98

Description: "A lovely, lacy Champagne, with ripe apricot, fennel seed and espresso aromas. This caresses the palate with a finely detailed mousse and expansive flavors of pineapple pâte de fruit, toasted brioche, fleur de sel and grated ginger. Long and chalky on the finish, this is a prima ballerina, showing power cloaked in grace. Disgorged winter 2015. Drink now through 2032."

Armand de Brignac Rose

4. Salon Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Le Mesnil, 2004

Price: $520

Wine Spectator score: 94

Description: "This elegant Champagne features ripe, up-front aromas and flavors of dried apricot, crystallized honey and candied kumquat, giving way on the creamy palate to more subtle notes of raw almond, fleur de sel and star anise. Mouthwatering, with a chalky underpinning and a lovely, satiny finish. Drink now through 2026. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 3,500 cases made."

5. (TIE) Piper-Heidsieck Brut Rosé Champagne Rare, 2007

Price: $450

Wine Spectator score: 95

Description: "Toasted brioche and ripe blackberry notes leap from the glass of this lovely rosé Champagne; it glides like raw silk on the palate, with a deftly-woven mix of dried white cherry, spun honey, baking spice and blood orange zest flavor. Long and persistent on the vibrant finish, with more fruit and rich pastry character. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases made."

5. (TIE) Armand de Brignac Brut Rosé Champagne Non-Vintage

Price: $450

Wine Spectator score: 92

Description: "Well-spiced and finely knit, this harmonious rosé is framed by firm acidity wrapped in a creamy mousse and flavors of dried apricot, wild strawberry and almond skin. Smoke, floral and orange peel notes linger on the finish. Drink now through 2020."

7. Perrier-Jouët Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Belle Epoque, 2004

Price: $399

Wine Spectator score: 93

Description: "This is minerally up front, with a briny note of oyster shell transitioning to richer accents of toasted brioche, glazed apricot, and lemon meringue on the fine and creamy palate. Bright and aromatic, with a fresh, zesty finish. Drink now through 2024. 100 cases imported."

8. Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé Champagne Dom Pérignon, 2004

Price: $360

Wine Spectator score: 95

Description: "The smoke-tinged, minerally nose leads to well-spiced and expansive flavors of white raspberry, blood orange zest, toasted brioche and pickled ginger in this well-toned rosé Champagne. A satiny mousse and mouthwatering acidity frame the elegant finish. Drink now through 2029."

Perrier_Jout_ _Belle_Epoque_Blanc_de_Blancs_2004

9. (TIE) Ruinart Brut Rosé Champagne Dom Ruinart, 2002

Price: $350

Wine Spectator score: 95

Description: "This is subtle up front, with delicate aromas and flavors of pink grapefruit granita, pickled ginger, spun honey and biscuit. The smoky underpinning of minerality gains momentum, riding the lacy mousse to a fresh and persistent finish. Drink now through 2027. 92 cases imported."

9. (TIE) Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé Champagne Grande Cuvée Alexandra, 2004

Price: $350

Wine Spectator score: 93

Description: "Aromatic notes of smoke and mineral herald this rich rosé Champagne, leading to a finely meshed mix of dried white cherry, toasted almond, spring forest and orange peel, carried on a soft, pearled bead. Fresh, with lightly mouthwatering acidity firming the fruitcake-laced finish. Drink now through 2029. 25 cases imported."

11. Pol Roger Brut Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, 2004

Price: $305

Wine Spectator score: 94

Description: "There's a subtle richness to this creamy Champagne, folded into a fresh, elegant frame. Shows layers of crème de cassis, toast and pastry cream, with accents of citrus peel, smoky mineral and spice echoing on the long, lasting finish. Drink now through 2027. 600 cases imported."

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A simple but effective mental strategy can keep you from overeating this holiday


Baking Christmas cookies family holidays

So you made the decision to completely overhaul your eating habits — you're cutting your calories, eating fewer carbs, and reducing your fat intake.

Things were going well enough for you during the first few weeks of your new plan to eat better, but then the holiday season arrived, and now you're facing an uphill battle of resisting extra helpings of ham, freshly-baked cookies, and sugary cocktails.

How could you possibly say no to seconds and thirds when it would be a personal affront to Grandma?

Thankfully, Gretchen Rubin, a renowned habit expert and author of "Better Than Before" and "The Happiness Project," offers a simple but effective technique to keep new habits on track: anticipate failure.

This doesn't mean you should accept that you are destined to fail. Instead, it's about anticipating your barriers to success and planning ways to circumvent them.

"Most of the problems that come up with our habits are foreseeable," Rubin told the audience at the Fast Company Innovation Festival. "We know the kinds of things that tend to trip us up and the kinds of interruptions that can happen in our routines, so you can anticipate them."

This method of anticipating failure is often referred to as "if/then planning," and, according to social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson, hundreds of studies have shown it to double or even triple your chances for successfully reaching your goals. 

The technique is simple: Recognize your trigger — "If X happens" — and plan a way to circumvent it — "then I will do Y."

Having a plan in place from the beginning eliminates the need to make a decision when temptation rolls around and our willpower might not be at its optimal level.

Rubin provides a useful example of how it could work during the holiday season: "If I go to a holiday party, then I will stand very far away from the buffet table, then I will have one drink and not more drinks, then I will hold a drink in one hand and a napkin in the other so I can't take anything from the hors d'oeuvres tray — whatever you need to do."

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Yahoo had its holiday party inside its offices, and it was the opposite of last year’s lavish extravaganza (YHOO)


Marissa Ann Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo!, arrives for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala 2015 celebrating the opening of

Yahoo's year-end holiday party was once a big flashy event, with last year's Roaring 20's-themed party costing millions of dollars.

But this year, Yahoo made it decidedly low key, hosting the event at its offices in Sunnyvale and New York instead (last year's was at Pier 48 in San Francisco).

The event, aptly called "Ultimate House Party," turned Yahoo's office space into a giant party venue, featuring an open bar, a dance floor, and lots of good food, based on the photos seen at this Flickr page created by Yahoo.

The toned-down atmosphere seems particularly appropriate given the difficult situation Yahoo's currently in.

Despite agreeing to sell itself to Verizon in July, Yahoo has been awash in bad news over the past few months, including a massive hacking scandal that's considered to be the biggest in history. Now, Verizon is even reported to be reconsidering the $4.8 billion price tag it agreed to pay for Yahoo.

Still, Yahoo employees seem to be dealing with the external turmoil pretty well. We've rounded up some pictures from Yahoo's "Ultimate House Party" so you can see what it was like:

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This year's holiday party was called the "Ultimate House Party."

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The decorations were nothing like last year's party (seen below), which featured aerial flappers pouring drinks and roulette tables.

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This year, guests had to find merriment in the reproduction of brick house facade.

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Here's how to use Houseparty, the live video app that teens are going crazy for



Anyone who spent a lot of time online in the early 2000s will remember whiling away the hours popping in and out of chatrooms and instant messaging their friends. 

But in the years since AIM faded into obscurity, nothing has really replaced instant communication for teens. While Snapchat came close, Generation Z — the cohort born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s — has moved on to another app: Houseparty

Houseparty is a mobile app for live video chatting. Unlike Facetime or Skype, you can have up to eight people in a room and have several "parties" going at once. It's like a video version of a chatroom, and teens are going crazy for it: the app launched last February and now has more than 1 million daily active users. The app is the 18th most popular app in the App Store and the third most popular social networking app. 

Here's how to use it. 


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Houseparty is brought to you by the same team that launched Meerkat, the once-popular live-streaming app that exploded upon launching, but quickly lost steam when Twitter blocked the service and bought Periscope, Meerkat's rival.

But the Houseparty team doesn't shy away from the troubles Meerkat faced. "When we were able to pull away from the hype and look at Meerkat’s numbers, what was clear to us was that we hadn’t succeeded in building something that was a daily habit, that achieved our mission of connecting people in the most human way possible when physically apart," Sima Sistani, cofounder and COO of Houseparty, told Business Insider.

So the team stuck with the idea of live video, launching Houseparty on February 29 under a pseudonym. But Sistani says it wasn't about being stealthy — it was about "launching in a vacuum and really understanding our users," away from the Silicon Valley hype machine.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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12 surprisingly effective ways to master essential life skills in 2017


BI Graphics_12 Surprising ways to master essential life skills

If you haven't mastered some of the most essential life skills already, it may be time to take a different approach.

Whether you're looking to listen better or negotiate for a raise, here are some of the most surprising ways you can master 152 essential life skills.

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It's a surprisingly simple yet underused concept: If you want to listen better, keep your mouth shut.

As Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel once said, "The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent."

Not only does thinking about what you're going to say next take your attention away from the speaker, but hijacking the conversation shows that you think you have something more important to say.

Conserving willpower

As Florida State psychologist Roy Baumeister details in his book "Willpower: The Greatest Human Strength," we all have a finite amount of willpower in a given day. The key to conserving it is to limit the number of decisions you have to make.

Startup founder Julie Sygiel, a very busy entrepreneur, follows in the footsteps of Mark Zuckerberg and President Barack Obama by wearing a uniform every day.

"Almost everything in my closet is black, gray, or blue and every top goes with every bottom," she tells Business Insider. "The only question I ask myself when getting dressed is: 'Do I need fancy shoes today?' All of my sweaters and pants are versatile and can look casual or dressy, so my shoes are the key piece that determines the overall look.

"It's amazing how much quicker I get dressed in the morning, and it allows me to save more creative decision-making energy for important choices at the office."

Time management

Warren Buffett once said, "The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no' to almost everything."

If you don't prioritize your time over others', you'll find your productivity will suffer and resentment will mount.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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