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12 popular 'life hacks' that are actually bogus


ketchup pancake batter

Life hacks give us cheap, elegant ways to stay organized and productive.

For instance, who knew a bowl could double as a makeshift iPhone speaker? Or that binder clips could preserve the life of our toothpaste?

But some life hacks are more trouble than they're worth and won't actually save you time or energy.

Here are the hacks you should probably avoid.

SEE ALSO: 15 unethical, illegal ways people get ahead in life

1. Toasters don't make good grilled cheese.

The life hack: Making a grilled cheese sandwich by turning a toaster on its side and putting two slices of bread inside with a slice of cheese atop each.

Why it's bogus: Aside from the fire hazard you're creating, the method is just ineffective. Buttered bread will grease the inside of your toaster, and the final product won't have the same texture. Plus, the bread might pop out and get melty cheese all over the place.

2. Toilet-paper rolls don't work as phone speakers.

The life hack: Fitting your phone inside a set of connected toilet-paper tubes serves as a kind of makeshift amp.

Why it's bogus: The sound isn't made any louder by the tubes; if anything, it gets muffled by all that excess cardboard. Go with a bowl instead — it shoots the sound waves up and out instead of trapping them inside an overly complicated rig.

3. Wooden spoons don't stop pots of water from boiling over.

The life hack: Placing a wooden spoon across a boiling pot of water to prevent the water from spilling over.

Why it's bogus: You may have some success with a simmering pot, but the real enemy here is the rapid, rolling boil. Expect the water to engulf your feeble spoon.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

One of America's hottest new chefs had his office transformed to be more productive — take a look inside


Kris Yenbamroong

Kris Yenbamroong is the chef and owner of Night + Market, a restaurant with two locations in the West Hollywood and Silver Lake neighborhoods of Los Angeles. He was named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs in 2016. 

His restaurants are bright, colorful nods to the authentic Thai cuisine he mastered at his parents' restaurant, Talésai. But at home, Yenbmaroong was attempting to work in a space that was altogether uninspiring. 

Laurel & Wolf is a Los Angeles-based interior design startup that pairs clients with designers to refresh specific rooms for $149 each. For $249 a room, you can pick from three different designers whose concepts you can preview before selecting. 

Laurel & Wolf designer Jessica Ruiz Lee helped Yenbamroong revamp his office space — let's take a look at how it turned out. 

SEE ALSO: This New York apartment was transformed into a modern bachelor pad for a financier

SEE ALSO: 9 trendy interior design features that could make your home more valuable

The Night + Market restaurants are located in an exceptionally colorful space. Regular customers include celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Aziz Ansari, Lena Dunham, and Ryan Gosling (though Gosling apparently only gets take-out here).

But at home, Yenbamroong was dealing with a rather uninspiring space. Over the last few months, he has been working on a cookbook with his wife, Sarah St. Lifer, that's due to come out this year. "It was so cluttered that I'd open the door, look at it and think, 'I can't work here,'" Yenbamroong said to Laurel & Wolf. "Then I'd close the door and go sit on the couch, which has its own distractions."

Yenbamroong enlisted the help of Laurel & Wolf to maximize the productivity of the space.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Trump's longtime doctor offers an explanation for what's going on with his hair



Trump's longtime doctor, Harold N. Bornstein, revealed some surprising facts about the president's health in a series of interviews with The New York Times.

He even shed some light on the president's hair. According to Bornstein, Trump takes a drug for the prevention of hair loss, called finasteride (marketed as Propecia).

"He has all his hair," Bornstein told the Times.

Finasteride was originally prescribed to treat enlarged prostates in men, before it was discovered that a side effect of the drug was an observed reduction of male pattern baldness.

It is now prescribed by dermatologists to treat male pattern baldness, and is one of only four treatments that can be used to combat the condition. 

This is only one piece of the puzzle when trying to understand the structure of Trump's hair, however. Hair surgeon Dr. William Yates has said that it's likely Trump's look can be attributed to an early version of hair transplant surgery, or an expensive weave.

According to Bornstein, Trump also takes a medication for rosacea, as well as one for elevated cholesterol and lipids. 

The White House did not comment on the information or confirm with The New York Times that Bornstein is still Trump's doctor.

SEE ALSO: Obama's vacation style shows why there's only one hat a grown man can get away with wearing

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Trump's doctor and a hair surgeon explain what's going on with his hair

How one 24-year-old runs a $70,000-a-month business while traveling the world


Aileen Adalid Norway

Aileen Adalid entered the corporate world at age 19 after graduating from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, with a degree in business management.

But the trilingual Philippines native quickly grew envious of the flexible lifestyles of "digital nomads" she met while freelancing on the side in Manila.

At 21, Adalid quit her entry-level job at Deutsche Bank — which paid just $300 per month — to transition to a life of perpetual travel.

For the next year, Adalid freelanced in graphic design, web design, SEO management, and online marketing, sustained largely by one stable client contract that earned her more than double her previous salary. The best part: The flexibility enabled her to travel frequently to places like France and Thailand.

In May 2014, Adalid partnered with a friend to start an online Amazon retail business called Adalid Gear, a health and outdoor accessories company, and relocated to Belgium.

She also revived her one-time teenage diary blog, I Am Aileen, fashioning it into a lifestyle and travel blog that has gained traction among online travel communities.

Adalid now earns about $5,000 a month from her online ventures, and she travels from her home base (now back in the Philippines) at least once a month to destinations throughout Europe and Asia.

You can follow her adventures on her blog, I Am Aileen, or through her Facebook or Instagram.

Adalid told Business Insider about cutting ties with the corporate world to chase after the "digital nomad" lifestyle, and finding a balance between traveling the world and running two successful ventures. Read on to find out how she did it. 

DON'T MISS: A 31-year-old who's been traveling the world for 5 years explains how she affords it

SEE ALSO: 14 things I learned when I quit my job to travel the world

Back in college, Adalid studied business management and had a combined year of training experience under her belt at huge multinational companies like Nestlé, Unilever, and Siemens.

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 In Belgium.

But after graduating college at 19 and spending two years working as a product controller at Deutsche Bank, she realized the corporate life wasn't for her. She was increasingly intrigued by both entrepreneurship and travel, so she left her job with about $600 in savings in April 2013.

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In Dubrovnik, Croatia.

"I started working as a remote freelance graphic designer, web developer, and marketing assistant taking on different projects but with a main stable client who employed me. My pay at this point was more than double of what I earned at my office job and I was able to control my time more for working as I started to travel around more."

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The marijuana industry's first $1 billion 'unicorn' is a Canadian company you've probably never heard of


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In a once-abandoned Hershey chocolate factory in the small town of Smiths Falls, Ontario, the largest legal marijuana producer in the world grows, trims, processes, packages, and ships weed across the Great White North.

Canopy Growth is a cannabis holding company that supplies the drug to nearly half of Canada's current medical marijuana patient base, following its acquisition of rival producer Mettrum in January. Unless you're one of those 40,000 users who lights up with Canopy's bud, you've probably never heard of the company.

In the fall of 2016, Canopy, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker "WEED," became the first company in the marijuana industry to achieve elusive "unicorn" status. The manufacturing giant blew past a $2 billion valuation on November 16, one week after eight US states passed ballot initiatives legalizing marijuana in some form. 

(Its valuation, along with other publicly traded marijuana companies that saw their market cap grow after the US election, has since settled to $943 million, as of February 1.)

The manufacturer's colossal growth stems from a belief that as more countries legalize marijuana on a federal level, companies like Canopy will be able to branch out into international markets. Canopy already exports marijuana products to Germany and Brazil.

Canopy wants to become the Proctor & Gamble of pot. Several brands fall under its umbrella and cater to different user preferences. There's Tweed, a medical marijuana producer with slick and youthful branding that could be mistaken for a designer jean company. The Quebec-based Vert Medical allows Canopy to tap into the French-speaking market, while Bedrocan Canada has a distinct clinical feel that is likely to gain favor among strictly medicinal users.

canopy growth marijuana 1

Every day, Bruce Linton, founder and CEO of Canopy, passes a police station as he pulls into the parking lot of the 472,000-square-foot former chocolate factory where his company grows pot. It's a stark reminder that his success couldn't happen were he based in the US.

Since 2000, Canadians have enjoyed the ability to possess and grow small amounts of weed for medical use. In 2014, the government began licensing companies like Canopy to produce mass amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious diseases.

The industry raked in $869 million in legal sales in 2016, and is expected to reach $22.6 billion when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opens up the recreational market this spring.

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The legal framework around marijuana in Canada makes Canopy's growth possible, Linton tells Business Insider.

"It's really about the public policy. That doesn't sound sexy or exciting. But if you don't have the right public policy, you don't have the right business opportunity," Linton says.

Linton is a renaissance man, with over 10 years executive experience working in software, telecommunications, water sanitation, and concrete manufacturing. When I asked why he made the leap into the volatile cannabis industry, I half-expected him to wax poetic on the magical healing powers of the plant.

He had a more pragmatic answer.

Linton wanted to create a vertically integrated company — one that grows marijuana in addition to processing it for oils, gel capsules, and other products, and packaging it for shipment — because it would give him better control over quality and bring down costs.

canopy growth marijuana 3

Plus, the industry has no organized competition yet, Linton said. With marijuana regulation in the US trailing Canada's more mature program, he saw an opportunity to get a head start in the increasingly global industry. He eyes the recreational market with optimism.

The company's fiscal year ends in March, and Linton expects it to post $12 million in revenue, up from $2 million between 2015 and 2016. Canopy's recent acquisition of Mettrum for $430 million brings its production capacity up to six licensed facilities and 665,000 square feet.

Patients shouldn't expect to find stoner iconography on Canopy's website and in its facilities. The company aims to elevate the drug to higher standards.

"We didn't try to pursue the lowest common denominator concept of, ''Let's assume everybody's stoned and not paying attention.' We took the approach of, 'Let's assume everybody's paying attention and maybe marijuana is something they're interested in,'" Linton says.

SEE ALSO: Trump has two paths he can take on marijuana legalization — here's how they could affect you

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NOW WATCH: How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen

This tiny house vacation startup walked away from $500,000 on 'Shark Tank' — and doesn't regret it


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A Harvard Business School graduate took a risky dig at billionaire venture capitalist Chris Sacca on a recent episode of "Shark Tank" — and it almost paid off.

College friends Jon Staff and Pete Davis recently appeared on the show to pitch their startup, Getaway, which rents out tiny houses in the woods for city-dwellers looking to unplug.

Staff and Davis, who have already raised $1.2 million in seed funding, walked on the show seeking a $500,000 investment for 5% equity at a valuation of $10 million.

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They set their sights on Sacca, a legendary angel investor who made early bets on Uber, Twitter, and Instagram and shares the cofounders' love of the outdoors. The Upstate New York native owns two wood cabins on Lake Tahoe, in addition to an estate in Great Falls, Montana.

Davis took a shot at Sacca in what looked like an attempt to guilt him into an investment.

"You have brought and shepherded much technology into this world, and you know technology needs a counter-balance. We can provide a counter-balance," Davis said. "You can pay amends for helping bring Twitter into this world. And this is the anti-Twitter."

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It seemed to work. Sacca offered up $500,000 for 7.14% stake at a valuation of $7 million.

This would have been a better deal for Sacca than Gateway's prior investors had been offered. Staff and Davis worried taking Sacca's offer would irritate their most loyal backers, and ultimately turned it down.

Still, Staff, who is CEO, admits it was a tempting offer.

"You get caught up in it, for sure. ... Chris Sacca is a big deal. I didn't really know that fully. But all my Silicon Valley bro-friends are like, 'Chris Sacca, dude, like what!" Staff says, putting on a Southern California accent.

"But ultimately … it doesn't matter how famous you are, even if you can add more value because you're Chris Sacca. It's like, I have people who backed me from day one, when this was totally a crazy idea, and I can't give you a better deal than they're getting and go face them."

They walked away empty-handed.

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Sacca later tweeted that he was into the idea, but couldn't find evidence to support a $10 million valuation.

Within 24 hours of the episode's airing, 100,000 visitors came to Getaway's website, compared with its typical 1,000 to 3,300 visitors a day. The company also experienced an uptick in reservations. Davis said the company's half a dozen tiny houses are booked through the end of summer.

Getaway's houses, which range from 160 to 200 square feet, are located within two hour's drive of Boston and New York City. Each home comes with s'mores supplies, board games, heating and electricity, and the creature comforts of home. They rent for as little as $99 a night.

Staff and Davis hope to bring the cabins to 30 US cities by 2022. 

SEE ALSO: A pair of Harvard students have designed tiny houses that could be the future of weekend getaways

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran shares 3 things she's learned from working alongside Mark Cuban on 'Shark Tank'

How to know if you got a good night's sleep



When someone asks how you slept, it's a question that can be surprisingly difficult to answer.

Sure, you might say "not enough;" or perhaps, "I tossed and turned;" or if you're lucky, "I was out;" but how good or bad was that night's rest really?

And people want to know. That's why there's a big market for apps and devices that help evaluate sleep quality. But it seems like something we should be able to give a scientifically valid answer to without additional equipment.

Now, thanks to some recently published guidance from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), that should be easier to do. A new report recently published in Sleep Health, the journal of the NSF, helps clarify exactly what "a good night's sleep" means — for all ages.

The NSF recommends that adults sleep seven to nine hours a night and unsurprisingly, falling asleep quickly and sleeping through the night are pretty basic indicators that you slept well. But the report gets far more specific than that.

In order to come up with measures of quality sleep, the NSF assembled a group of experts from their own organization and from other medical societies. After initially looking at 3,928 studies about sleep, they selected 277 that would provide useful guidance on what "a good night's sleep" actually meant.

They came up with measures related to both "sleep continuity" — how much someone slept in a night — and "sleep architecture" — the way the night was divided into the different phases of sleep.

There was less agreement among experts about how what quality sleep looked like in terms of sleep architecture, which is harder to assess on your own without recording brain waves. But it is easy to measure how much you slept and to see if it was enough to qualify as a good rest.

The team behind the study provides four easy ways to tell if you slept well:

  • For most adults and kids of all ages, falling asleep in 30 minutes or less qualifies as good. For adults 65 or older, falling asleep in 60 minutes or less is good.
  • Good quality means that most adults and kids wake up for more than five minutes no more than once per night. (Older adults may do this twice.)
  • If you do wake up, it's for 20 minutes or less. (For the over-65 crowd, 30 minutes or less.)
  • You sleep for at least 85% of the time that you're in bed.

Now, if you do happen to have access to measures of your brain waves throughout the night, the authors also say that there there was a consensus that getting REM sleep for more than 40% of the night is not a good thing for anyone but newborns. That would run against the popular assumption that more REM sleep is always better. But, the researchers add, we still need more data before making any firm conclusions in that area.

So for now, sleep well.

[H/T New York Magazine]

SEE ALSO: 13 scientifically proven ways to sleep better

Join the conversation about this story »

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Marriott's CEO travels 200 days a year — these are his favorite travel hacks

A Texas kid spotted a rattlesnake in the toilet — and then the snake removal crew found 23 more


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When young Isac Mcfadden of Abilene, Texas, got up to use the bathroom recently, he found an unexpected surprise in the toilet.

But he knew the "clump" wasn't the sort to handle on his own, so he called for his mom.

"I found this big clump and I knew it was (a) snake," he told local CBS affiliate WTSP.

Not just any snake. A Western diamondback rattlesnake, one of the most dangerous species in the US.

The boy's mother took a shovel and killed the unwelcome toilet explorer. But they also called Big Country Snake Removal, just to make sure the issue was taken care of.

It wasn't.

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As Nathan Hawkins, the owner of the snake removal business, found out shortly after he arrived, there were 23 more of the rattlesnakes around. Thirteen were hiding out in a cellar and 10 were under the house, including five babies.

On the Big Country Snake Removal Facebook page, the team explained how so many of the creatures could be there and escape notice. "It's actually quite simple; rattlesnakes are secretive and can be very cryptic — They rely heavily on their camouflage. This is simply how they survive. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there..."

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As the Big Country team told Business Insider via Facebook, they're able to remove the snakes without killing any of them using the right tools, which is what they did for the remaining snakes at the Mcfadden abode.

In general, Hawkins told CBS News, snakes can be relocated to safer locations or donated to schools where they can be studied.

Western diamondbacks tend to gather in dens during the winter to keep warm, which is why he knew to keep looking even after the Mcfaddens had disposed of the first one.

In these cases, calling an expert is always a good idea. People who aren't sure what they're doing and try to kill a snake are the ones more likely to be bitten, said Hawkins.

"They're actually very, very amazing creatures that are really misunderstood," Hawkins told CBS.

SEE ALSO: A type of vampire bat has started feeding on humans in Brazil for the first known time

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NOW WATCH: Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'

The 10 best hotels in America, according to US News & World Report


montage kapalua bay

Selecting the right hotel can make all of the difference to a successful vacation. And if you're taking the time to travel to a new place, you'll likely want only the best out of your accommodations. 

US News & World Report recently compiled a ranking of the best hotels in America, combining guest ratings from TripAdvisor with the accolades a property has earned from experts in the travel industry. They also considered a hotel's class rating, prioritizing five-star hotels.

Here's where you're likely to have a luxurious experience stateside.

SEE ALSO: Hilton just revealed a game-changing update to its rewards program

DON'T MISS: The best 5-star hotels in Europe

10. Primland (Meadows of Dan, Virginia)

Guests here can stay in suites, cottages, houses, or standard rooms. Primland is a bit remote — located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southern Virginia, it's 67 miles away from the nearest airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

9. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa (Rancho Santa Fe, California)

Rooms at Rancho Valencia — a calm retreat 30 minutes north of San Diego — are spacious, starting at 900 square feet. Travelers rave about the hotel's Veladora restaurant, which serves an eclectic menu with Mediterranean roots.

8. Montage Deer Valley (Park City, Utah)

With its ski-in, ski-out access, the Montage Deer Valley is ideal for those wanting to hit the slopes in style. If skiing isn't your activity of choice, you can also make use of the hotel's large outdoor pool, kayak and canoe routes, and its hundreds of miles of accessible hiking trails. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's where every US president since FDR has gone on vacation


AP Photo William J. Smith

Nothing truly comes to a halt when the president of the United States goes on vacation. Heavy security, White House aides, military advisers, and various experts (totaling around 200 people) travel with them in case anything happens, and the work doesn't come to a stop. It's hardly a real break.

While he greatly favored his home state of Hawaii for his getaways while in office, former President Barack Obama went a bit further afield for his first true vacation in eight years. This past week, Obama was spotted vacationing on Richard Branson's private island in the Caribbean, and he looked more relaxed than ever. He was even photographed wearing a baseball cap backwards on the beach. 

Ahead, take a look at where US presidents since Franklin Roosevelt have gone to get a change of scenery.

SEE ALSO: A former J.Crew exec just opened a menswear paradise for the modern guy who 'wants to look American'

DON'T MISS: 17 photos of the stunning inaugural ball gowns worn by first ladies over the last 50 years

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent holidays and birthdays in Warm Springs, Georgia, taking advantage of the natural spring waters as a healing method for his polio. His home there, known as the "Little White House," was a humble six-room cottage. FDR left a mark on the town by creating Roosevelt Warm Springs, a foundation that aims to empower those with disabilities.

President Harry Truman often vacationed at what was also called the "Little White House," however this home was located in Key West, Florida. As president, you sometimes have to hold a news conference even while on vacation.

President Dwight Eisenhower enjoyed playing golf and vacationing in Colorado. Before Eisenhower took off for his late-summer vacation in 1953, The New York Times reported that he'd be taking some work, as well as several members of his staff, along with him.

Source: The New York Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A man who took magic mushrooms for a scientific study said it helped him see a basic truth about relationships


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1990 was a year of life and death for Clark Martin. His daughter was born, and he was diagnosed with cancer.

Over the next 20 years, as his daughter took her first steps, experienced her first day of school, and eventually grew into a smart, fiercely independent teenager, doctors waged a blitzkrieg on Martin's body. Six surgeries. Two experimental treatments. Thousands of doctor visits. The cancer never went into remission, but Martin and his doctors managed to keep it in check by staying vigilant, always catching the disease just as it was on the brink of spreading.

Still, the cancer took its toll. Martin was riddled with the effects of anxiety and depression. He had become so focused on saving his body from the cancer that he hadn't made time for the people and things in his life that really mattered. His relationships were in shambles; he and his daughter barely spoke.

So in 2010, after reading an article in a magazine about a medical trial that involved giving people with cancer and anxiety the drug psilocybin— the active ingredient in the psychedelic drug magic mushrooms — he contacted the people running the experiment and asked to be enrolled.

After weeks of lengthy questionnaires and interviews, he was selected. On a chilly December morning, Martin walked into the facility at Johns Hopkins, where he was greeted by two researchers, including Bill Richards, a psychologist. The three of them sat and talked in the room for half an hour, going over the details of the study and what might happen. Martin was just one participant in a large, five-year study done at Johns Hopkins and New York University which aimed to look at the effect of psilocybin on cancer patients with anxiety and depression. That study's promising results have prompted some researchers to liken the treatment to a "surgical intervention."

The trip

In the homey facility at Johns Hopkins, Martin received a pill, which he swallowed with a glass of water. For study purposes, he couldn't know whether it was a placebo or psilocybin, the drug the researchers aimed to study.

Patient on couch with chairs 4 psychedelic trial shrooms johns hopkinsNext, he lay back on the couch, covered his eyes with the soft shades he'd been given, and waited.

Within a few minutes, Martin began to feel a sense of intense panic.

"It was quite anxiety-provoking," he said. "I tried to relax and meditate, but that seemed to make it worse, and I just wanted everything to snap back into place. There was no sense of time, and I realized the drug was in me and there was no stopping it."

Martin, an avid sailor, told me it reminded him of a frightening experience he'd had when, after a wave knocked him off his boat, he suddenly became disoriented and lost track of the boat, which was floating behind him.

"It was like falling off the boat in the open ocean, looking back, and the boat is gone," he said. "And then the water disappears. Then you disappear."

Martin was terrified and felt on the verge of a "full-blown panic attack." Thanks to the comfort and guidance of his doctors, however, he was eventually able to calm down. Over the next few hours, the terror vanished. It was replaced with a sense of tranquility that Martin still has trouble putting into words.

"With the psilocybin, you get an appreciation — it's out of time — of well-being, of simply being alive and a witness to life and to everything and to the mystery itself," said Martin.

'Relationships are pretty much spontaneous if you're just present'

couple sailboat sunset sailing sail boatLots of things happened to Martin during his four-hour trip. For a few hours, he remembers feeling at ease; he was simultaneously comfortable, curious, and alert. He recalls a vision of being in a sort of cathedral, where he asked God to speak to him. More than anything else, though, he no longer felt alone.

"The whole 'you' thing just kinda drops out into a more timeless, more formless presence," Martin said.

As his trip slowly began to draw to a close and he began to return to reality, Martin recalls a moment when the two worlds — the one in which he was hallucinating and the reality he could call up from memory — seemed to merge. He turned his attention to his relationships. He thought of his daughter, his friends, his coworkers.

"In my relationships, I had always approached it from a 'How do I manage this?' How do I present myself?' 'Am I a good listener?' type of standpoint," Martin said. "But it dawned on me as I was coming out of [the trip] that relationships are pretty much spontaneous if you're just present and connecting."

That shift, which Martin said has deepened since he took the psilocybin in 2010, has had enduring implications for his relationships.

"Now if I'm meeting people, the default is to be just present — not just physically, but mentally present to the conversation," he said. "That switch has been profound."

While he felt himself undergo a shift during his trip on psilocybin, Martin says the most enduring changes in his personality and his approach to interacting with those around him unfolded long after he took the drug. For him, the drug was merely a catalyst — a "kick-start," he likes to call it. By redirecting his perspective for a few hours, the psilocybin unleashed a chain reaction in the way he sees and approaches the world.

The trip "kind of opened up a more intuitive brain processing that I wasn’t fully aware was there," said Martin.

SEE ALSO: A psychedelics expert says magic mushrooms will be approved for depression by 2027 — here's why

DON'T MISS: Why psychedelics like magic mushrooms kill the ego and fundamentally transform the brain

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NOW WATCH: What magic mushrooms do to your brain and state of mind

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The CEO of the 'Uber for weed' says these mints are the next big thing in marijuana


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A fresh way to consume cannabis is gaining fans in California.

Pot-laced mints that contain as little as 2.5 milligrams of THC, the chemical compound in marijuana that makes users high, began cropping up on dispensary shelves last fall and are gaining favor among users who want to avoid smoking or over-dosing on edibles.

"People who quote-unquote 'don't smoke weed' will definitely eat a cannabis-infused mint," Jim Patterson, CEO of marijuana delivery service Eaze (also known as the "Uber for weed"), tells Business Insider.

Eaze introduced mints by Breez, which are made with oil derived from the marijuana plant, sugar, and peppermint oil, two months ago and have seen positive user feedback. Each mint has five milligrams of THC, the rough equivalent of smoking one-fifth of a joint or less.

It's a conservative dose for adults who don't know their tolerance or are consuming for recreational (rather than medical) purposes. Plus, the five-milligram increments make it easy to scale bit by bit and customize your dose depending on the occasion, Patterson explains.

Mints are a natural form-factor for microdosed products because of their size.

guaranteed to make colors appear brighter

A photo posted by BREEZ (@breezmints) on Aug 4, 2016 at 11:32am PDT on

Kiva Confections, an edibles maker based in Oakland, branched out from chocolates into mints last November. Kristi Knoblich, cofounder and COO of Kiva, tells Business Insider the Petra mints were specifically created with the cannabis-sensitive consumer in mind. Each mint contains 2.5 milligrams of THC, and a box of 42 pieces retails for about $15.

Nailing the minty flavor wasn't easy, according to Knoblich. "The Kiva team put their heart and soul into creating an invigorating taste without a 'hashy' aftertaste," she said. "More than a year after we started, we ended up with an entirely new extraction method and a mint expert on staff, proving the point that sometimes in order to get it right you have to go to great lengths."

Patients can find Petra in about 300 dispensaries across California.

Another reason for the popularity of weed-laced mints might be their ingestion method.

When eaten, THC undergoes a transformation in the liver that turns it into a different substance that's twice as strong and lasts twice as long as when it's inhaled. A user's high might not peak until one to three hours after eating. Because it takes so long to process, people often overdo it by going in for a second helping too soon.

When you suck on a marijuana-infused mint, however, most of the THC gets absorbed sublingually, or through the cheeks and under the tongue. The effects take hold in minutes, not hours, which means medical marijuana patients might find relief from their ailments sooner.

As an added bonus, mints don't melt in your pocket like chocolate. They're also not quite as addicting as the other sugary products on dispensary shelves.

"Mints work so well, because, you don't want to like chow down on mint. It actually makes sense to have one mint an hour. Chocolate-covered stuff? You just want more," Patterson said. "So for all those reasons, in my opinion, mints are the perfect product."

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Here's what 'Made in USA' actually means


made in america

There has been no time in recent memory when so much importance was placed on American manufacturing as it is in this moment. 

President Donald Trump has pushed the issue to the forefront, proclaiming that his government will have two major economic goals: to buy American and hire American. He has promised to revive and re-shore American manufacturing through creating "fairer" trade deals.

But what does it actually mean to have a manufactured item be designated as "Made in America?"

The standards are stricter than you might think. "Made in USA" is a label protected by the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC. In order for an item to be called such, the item must be made within the United States' borders from "all or virtually all" American parts — that is, with parts also made in the US.

According to the FTC's website, "all or virtually all" means that "all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of US origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content."

The protection also applies to anything that implies such a claim. A gray area is anything that purports to be "assembled" or "built" in America, which is technically not the same claim. The FTC has recently forced some companies, like the Detroit-based company Shinola, to clarify their "built in America" claim. Shinola was forced in 2016 to clarify its claim by adding "from imported parts" to descriptions of some of its products, like watches.

It's important to note that this FTC designation is not considered when the US government is the purchaser. The US government is required to purchase only American-made goods if possible, according to the Buy American Act that was signed by President Herbert Hoover in 1933. However, any item assembled in the US with more than 50% American-made parts is considered American-made for this purpose, regardless of the FTC definition.

Made in America

For automobiles and textiles, as well as items made from fur and wool, additional requirements apply, according to the FTC. Clothing and other textiles are permitted to have a "Made in USA" label as long as the item was cut and sewn in the US and the fabric was created in the US, regardless of where the fiber was originated or where the yarn was spun.

Cars are complicated by additional factors outlined in the 1994 American Automobile Labeling Act. Per the law, in addition to where the car was assembled, automakers are required to list the percentage of equipment in the car that originated in the US or Canada, as well as the country of origin for the transmission. US and Canadian parts are listed together, and anything containing 70% US/Canadian parts or more can be rounded up and called 100% US/Canadian.

This is confusing, so third parties like American University's Kogod School of Business have created indexes to give a clearer picture of the cars that are actually made in America. They measure automakers' contributions to the American economy by taking into account the location of each company's global headquarters, as well as the site of its research and development center.

SEE ALSO: A former J.Crew exec just opened a menswear paradise for the modern guy who 'wants to look American'

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8 things you should always buy with a credit card


When to use credit 2016_lead

Credit cards often get a bad rap.

"There isnopositive side to credit card use," personal finance guru Dave Ramsey wrote on his website. He has a good point, as our consumer-driven society makes it incredibly easy to spiral into credit card debt.

However, advantages to credit cards include the purchase and fraud protection they offer, and the fact that using them allows you to build the credit required for major purchases in the future, like a home or car. There are some situations when it's smarter to choose credit over debit — as long as you pay your bills on time, that is.

Now that that's out of the way, use your credit card responsibly for these eight types of purchases:

Kathleen Elkins contributed to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: 12 sneaky ways online retailers get you to spend more

1. Online purchases

It's better to be overly cautious and use credit over debit — particularly if you're buying from a smaller and less established company.

2. Flights

It's smart to use a credit card with built-in travel protection when buying flights, as you never know when something might come up.

3. Items from small vendors

If you're at a flea market, food festival, or buying from a vendor on the street who accepts cards, err on the side of caution and use credit.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The fabulous life of Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, one of the world's youngest billionaires


Evan Spiegel - Sun Valley

Life is good for Evan Spiegel.

His company, Snap Inc., is preparing for one of the most hotly anticipated initial public offerings of 2017 at a potential valuation of $25 billion.

And with an estimated net worth of $5 billion, Spiegel, 26, is one of the youngest billionaires in the world.

He lives a charmed life and he knows it.

"I am a young, white, educated male," the Snapchat creator once said at a Stanford business conference. "I got really, really lucky. And life isn't fair."

We've pulled the highlights of Spiegel's spectacular life and career from profiles by LA Weekly, Forbes, Business Insider, court documents, and more.

 Here's who is going to get rich from the Snap IPO

Spiegel grew up in the Pacific Palisades, a ritzy Los Angeles enclave just east of Malibu. He is the older son of two Ivy League-educated lawyers. His parents divorced when he was in high school.

When Spiegel turned 16 and got his driver's license, he was given a Cadillac Escalade, which he parked in the gated Southern California Edison parking lot next to his school. Spiegel's father represented Edison during the energy crisis.

Source: LA Weekly

Spiegel spent his early years at an ultra-exclusive school called Crossroads in Santa Monica, which costs tens of thousands per academic year. Other notable alumni include Tinder cofounder Sean Rad, Kate Hudson, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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These superstar bulls are worth up to $500,000


The Professional Bull Riders organization, also known as PBR, recently visited Madison Square Garden in New York. Part of PBR's Built Ford Tough Series, the event saw 35 of the best bull riders in the world competing for a championship prize of more than $100,000. 

While much of the spotlight shines on the riders themselves, we wanted to showcase the bulls, or "animal athletes" as they're referred to by PBR. Each bull rides only once per night. During each ride, the cowboy riding atop the bull aims to stay on for a period of eight seconds. The judges' score combines the rider's ability to stay up for eight seconds, along with the performance of the bull during the ride.

This was the highest-scoring ride of the weekend:

PBR recruits stock contractors that breed and raise bulls that buck the hardest, resulting in challenging rides for the professional cowboys.

Of course, any sport that involves animals is destined to receive criticism from animal rights groups. Although PBR has been outspoken about the fact that it is not a "rodeo" event,  it receives the same scrutiny that rodeos have gotten for decades.

PBR dedicates a section of its official website to "Animal Welfare," where it shares specific information about how the bulls are treated regarding nutrition, exercise and travel conditions.

We reached out to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a statement, and shared this information with them. PETA has criticized PBR in the past, and they sent this statement in response to our inquiry:

Like all rodeos, Professional Bull Riders spectacles are violent events in which prey animals are terrorized and goaded into behaving frantically for crowds. Painful spurs and bucking straps are used to irritate normally docile cows and horses and provoke them into displaying "wild" behavior in order to make the "cowboys" look brave. Oversight of these events is minimal at best, as the federal Animal Welfare Act offers no protection to animals used in rodeos, and while some states prohibit rodeos, others exclude them from anti-cruelty statutes. That's why every animal-protection organization, including PETA, opposes rodeos outright because of their inherent cruelty."

We sent this response to PBR, and a spokesperson responded with this:

“PBR is fully committed to ensuring the health, safety, welfare and respect of the animal athletes in our sport. The care and treatment of PBR bulls is a top priority for our organization, and we operate under a zero tolerance policy for any mistreatment of an animal associated with the PBR.  PBR bulls are carefully bred to compete.  Bucking is in their DNA.  Contrary to popular myths, the bulls are not agitated in any way, particularly in the area of their genitals.”

One common assertion is that the bulls' testicles are tied in order to anger them and make them buck, a claim that PBR has flatly denied. They even made a video refuting the claim, which you can see here

Here's some of our own footage showing a bull in action:

From what we could tell after observing three straight nights of PBR competition, the bulls' testicles did not appear to be constrained in any way. 

Regarding the spurs — which most, if not all of the riders wear — PBR said that the spurs "are dull and not harmful to the bull." PBR made a video about the spurs used in its events. 

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