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And Now, Here's What A 300 Euro Bottle Of Water Looks Like

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There can't possibly be a crisis here in Italy.

That's because at upscale Milan grocery store la Rinascente, we came across a 300 euro bottle of water.

For those unemployed or just poor, there's a cheaper 89 euro option.

Anyway, here's a bottle of XMAS FANTASY GOLD bottle water, which costs 300 euros, and which you're not allowed to touch.

300 euro water

In case you don't believe that that's water, here's a closeup of the inscription: Limited edition springwater.

bottled water

And the aforementioned, cheapo 89 euro kind. It's called Bling, of course.

bottled water

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Someone Just Sent Us 2 Bottles Of Wine Wrapped In Shredded Dollar Bills

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wine

Folks in our newsroom get promotional packages from PR representatives on a daily basis.

Most of it is junk that winds up on our office kitchen table, untouched.

But today we got one from a winery called Cecchetti Wine Company that we actually thought was pretty funny.

Here's why it worked (and no, not because it included two bottles of wine).

The return address and heavy weight of the package tipped us off pretty quickly that we'd been sent wine. But the heavy cardboard box felt nice.



Austerity — what kind of name is that for a wine?



A quote from Buffett, and an addendum from the owner of the wine company. Nice touch.



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10 Resorts Where American Blue Bloods Go To Escape

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Vanderbilt Grace, Newport oyster

Want to live like a Rockefeller on your next vacation?

Or want a voyeuristic peek into the world of the rich and powerful?

These iconic resorts across the country — from a Gilded Age Palm Beach estate to a Newport mansion to a Long Island Gold Coast castle — will make you feel like your blood runs blue.

Click through to see where American royalty stay and play.

The Breakers Palm Beach, Florida

There’s a reason The Breakers’ reputation precedes it.

This 140-acre resort, first built in 1896 (and reconstructed in 1926), resembles a Renaissance palace, and it’s seen more than it’s fair share of American royalty over the years; Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, and various Astors, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts have all walked the halls at this posh spot.

No other hotel in Palm Beach can come close to matching the luxury found at this iconic property.

Get a closer look at The Breakers Palm Beach.



The Plaza, New York City, New York

This New York hotel is synonymous with luxury, and has carved out a prominent place in 20th-century culture.

Truman Capote threw his famous Black and White Ball here; in North by Northwest, Cary Grant was captured by spies in the hotel’s famous Oak Bar; and F. Scott Fitzgerald staged part of The Great Gatsby here.

When The Plaza first opened its residences, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt were the first to sign up.

Get a closer look at The Plaza, New York City.



Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The Cape has long been a cherished spot for the American rich to summer, and the Chatham Bars Inn has been drawing America’s wealthy and powerful since it opened in 1914: Past guests include Henry Ford, Henry Morganthau, and William Rockefeller.

The true Cape-Cod style architecture is complemented by lovely interiors— upholstered wingback chairs, antique-style turned-leg furnishings, and seafaring decor.

Get a closer look at the Chatham Bars Inn.



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People Are Lining Up To Buy Horse Meat In France

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horse meat france

On a frosty morning at Richard Lenoir market near Bastille, Palmira Munio, a retired seamstress and cleaner, was trying to keep warm at the back of a long queue at the horse butcher stand. "A nice horse steak, quickly seared on both sides, and served rare: delicious," she said.

Munio, 76, has bought horsemeat here twice a week for more than 20 years. But suddenly this week the queue seemed inordinately long. The reason? Proving once again the axiom that there is no such thing as bad publicity, the European scandal of rogue horsemeat in frozen lasagne has sparked a boom in sales of the flesh at France's traditional horse butchers.

The French industry body for horse butchers, Interbev Equins, estimates there has been rise of up to 15% in horsemeat sales since the scandal broke. With French customers now wary of ready-meals – frozen food sales are down 5% in France, and trade at organic stores has risen – shoppers have been flocking to traditional artisan butchers, particularly to get horse.

"No one is more trustworthy than a good horse butcher," said a retired secretary in her 60s, who had spent less than €5 on her "excellent value" weekly horsemeat purchase.

Behind his display of horse steaks, dried horse sausage, horse pâté, and mincing machine for preparing fresh mince to be eaten raw – as horse tartare – the butcher, Daniel Adam, said he had had a rise in sales since lasagnegate.

"Everyone's talking about horsemeat," he said. "People are thinking 'ah horsemeat, I'd forgotten about that option, I think I'll come back to it'," He said the scandal over horsemeat used in "beef" ready-meals had not sparked negativity about the meat. "Instead they are questioning the processed food industry," he said.

Adam, from Paris, has been a horse butcher for more than 30 years. His meat, he said, came from horses in the Sarthe and Mayenne regions, in north-west France. Even before the lasagne scandal he had noticed a renewed interest in eating horse among a new, younger, clientele.

He described the craft of horse butchery as precise. "We're described as surgeons of meat," he claimed. As he worked, younger customers craned over from the neighbouring cheese stall for a look. His clients include English people living in Paris and the personal chefs of stars living in Marais nearby.

In France, horsemeat consumption dates to the 1700s. For centuries it was a cheap, working-class, food. The biggest quantities are still eaten in the old coal-mining areas of the north-east, followed by Paris, then south-east France. But since the 1980s consumption had steadily dropped.

Now, about 16% of French households buy horsemeat. In recent years the industry has ramped up marketing campaigns of the low-fat, low-cholesterol meat, aiming particularly at women, despite Brigitte Bardot campaigning against eating horse.

France consumes about 20,000 tons a year, but in Italy, where horse sausage and cured meat is popular, the population eats about twice as much.

The 700 specialised horse butchers in France represent a sharp drop on the number 10 years ago. The steady closure of horse butcher shops is mainly attributed to butchers retiring and a lack of people training and being ready to take over. Almost three-quarters of French consumers eating horsemeat are more than 50 years old. Under 35s accounted for only 7% of customers in 2011.

"This is the first time I've bought horsemeat," said Magalie Hennequin, 32, an assistant chef, buying steaks. She had been angry about the labelling scandal regarding frozen beef dishes. "People have the right to know what's in their food. At first I wasn't sure where to go to buy horse. There was no way I would buy it in a supermarket, I had to find a specialist butcher."

Francis Philippe, a couturier and fashion stylist, who was buying a large cut of cured horse sausage, said: "The lasagne scandal is ridiculous. It's consumers' own fault if they insist on buying prepared meals they know so little about. Going to the market only takes an hour, fresh horsemeat from a specialist costs little, plus you get to chat to the butcher."

There are still more restaurants in Belgium serving horse than in Paris. At Le Taxi Jaune, a renowned bistro in Paris's third arrondissement, which has long served dishes such as cured horse sausage and horse brain, the head chef, Otis Lebert, said there was a surge of interest in horse dishes given all the talk on horsemeat. But he questioned whether it would last. "Call me in three months and let's see if it is still the case."

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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A Perfect Example Of How Walmart Is Taking Over Small Towns

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The Fairfield High School scoreboard in my Ohio hometown used to advertise local businesses. There was a big ad for Bigg's — a local grocery franchise — and smaller ads for Fairfield Pizza, Play-It-Again Sports, and more.

But in the summer of 2011, I visited Fairfield and noticed that the scoreboard was a solid blue and now advertised Walmart as the only sponsor. 

There are four Walmart stores within 15 minutes of the high school stadium. One Supercenter is just a mile away from the old Bigg's store. 

As of 2011, Bigg's had closed that location and all of its other stores around Cincinnati. The shopping mall where Bigg's was located, Cincinnati Mills, is mostly empty now, with many other local businesses shut down.  

Here's a Google Street View image of how it used to look (other local sponsors are listed on the lower half):

fairfield stadium

And here's how it looks today:

 

Wal-Mart Scoreboard

When I asked a local mom how she felt about the scoreboard (which is the team color of rival Hamilton High School), she was supportive of Wal-Mart

"They're great because they give a lot of money to the school and things like Gatorade and bottles," she said. "We're all thrilled with the sponsorship." 

SEE ALSO: A Scary Reality About Wal-Mart Customers: They're Broke.

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12 Pickup Lines That Either Failed Or Worked Spectacularly On Tinder, A Popular Dating App

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flirt schmooze talkIt's always nerve-wracking the first time you talk to an attractive stranger.

Tinder is a new mobile app that's used by millions of people to meet singles nearby. It's the equivalent to Hot or Not, but if both Tinder users find each other attractive, they're allowed to start sending text messages. More than 35 million Tinder profiles have been rated on the app.

Whoever sends the first message to the attractive stranger needs to come up with something pretty creative to get a response.

We polled friends for their best and worst Tinder pick-up lines.

Here are the lines that either failed or succeeded spectacularly.

Some people just want to make sure that little kid in one of your photos isn't actually yours.



Some try to get the ball rolling with a question. Which Disney princess would you be?



And, would you rather fight one horse-size duck or 1,000 duck-size horses?



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This Millionaire Is Reportedly Planning A Trip To Mars Within Five Years

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Dennis Tito

Millionaire Dennis Tito, 72, became the first private citizen to fly into space in 2001. 

Now the entrepreneur, who made is fortune as the founder of California-based investment firm Wilshire Associates, is reportedly planning to send two astronauts to Mars in 2018, according to NBC News' Alan Boyle

According to a press release, The Inspiration Mars Foundation, a non-profit organization led by Tito, will "launch an [sic] historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018." 

There are few details otherwise on the mission right now, but Tito is holding a press conference next week. Presumably, we'll get more information on his plan then.

800px Soyuz_TM 32_crewUntil then, the NewSpace Journal obtained a copy of a paper that Tito plans to present at the IEEE Aerospace Conference on March 3, which offers more specifics. 

Here's what we know based on NewSpace's report:

  • The mission would be manned 
  • A crew would fly by Mars, but not actually land on the surface or orbit around it 
  • It would launch in January 2018, possibly using a modified SpaceX Dragon spacecraft 
  • There are no details about cost

The plan seems pretty flimsy right now. But then again, it's not the first time in the last few years that someone has proposed a mission to Mars. 

Last June, a company called Mars One, founded by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp, announced it was planning a one-way trip to the Red Planet in 2023.  

NASA also has ambitions to send astronauts to Mars by 2035. Their Curiosity rover is currently up there exploring the dusty planet, beaming back tons of information every day — like how much radiation hits the planet's surface— that scientists hope will aid in a future manned trip.  

Now Watch: Meet Romo, The iPhone-Robot That's Bringing 'Toy Story' To Real Life

 

SEE ALSO: Here's The Plan To Mine The Next Asteroid

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Millennials Are Starting To Act Like The Great Depression Generation

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hipstersUnofficial millennial spokesperson Lena Dunham, while incisive and entertaining, is not the voice of my generation.

On Dunham's buzzy dramedy Girls, self-involved twenty-somethings balk at $12 salads by day and guzzle $14 cocktails by night while their parents bankroll their "groovy lifestyles."

It's an enticing narrative. But these stereotypes fail to recognize some rapidly evolving trends among young echo boomers entering adulthood.

Millennials, typically defined as anyone born after 1980, make up an enormous and diverse generation, but many of them share a common experience — entering adulthood during the country's greatest economic downturn since the 1930s.

The financial duress of the Great Depression produced the Greatest Generation, a cohort of Americans known for conservative spending and saving habits, resilience, and a tireless work ethic. And believe it or not, young people who came of age during the Great Recession are beginning to mirror those habits. 

Although graduates now enter an exceptionally difficult job market with an average $25,000 in student loans, they are often hired more quickly than job searchers from preceding generations, in part because they are more willing to accept jobs for which they are overqualified, according to a survey conducted by MillennialBrandingAndBeyond.com.

For instance, while many unemployed members of Gen X continue to hold out for positions that meet their criteria, echo boomers will take retail and part-time jobs in the interim. 

"I hope, and I do believe that I will have a job offer when I graduate, but I think that that speaks to my work ethic and the fact that I've been working every single semester and every summer since I was a sophomore," said NYU senior Maddie Chivi.

"The reason that so many of us do put ourselves out there and are interning and our resumes are built already is because we are worried. There aren't as many jobs out there. People are out of work and to override that our generation has overcompensated to a certain extent."

Many members of Gen X entered the workforce in the 1990s digital bubble, and benefited from plentiful job opportunities, high salaries, and workplace flexibility. Millennials aren't experiencing the same gentle water birth into the working world.

While a young Gen X grad might recoil at the prospect of long hours in an unpaid internship for the elusive potential to perhaps, one day, be gainfully employed, most millennials I know wouldn't dream of not doing so — despite what you see on Girls. Resume-building work for little to no compensation is par for the course for young people entering the workforce today. It's not worth complaining about. It's simply a necessary step to compete when jobs are few and far between.

Economic pressures have also revolutionized our perspective on sharing and ownership. Today's young people aren't showing the same interest in buying cars or homes that previous generations did in their twenties. Miles driven, vehicle sales, and teenagers obtaining drivers' licenses fell between 1998 and 2010, according to The Atlantic.

A Federal Reserve study showed that the number of people taking out their first mortgages in 2000 was two times the number of young people doing so between '09 and '11.

Why? Largely because millennials are breaking from this traditional socio-economic trajectory in favor of temporary group living in more urban centers, and supporting companies that serve a new sharing economy. Transportation may have been about style and comfort for previous cohorts, but like anything popular with the millennials, it's now about speed, efficacy, and access.

Companies like Ride Amigos Corp and Zipcar have reached enormous popularity with young people because they rely on technology to increase efficiency and reduce costs. This model is extending into other industries, like hospitality, with Airbnb, and apparel, withthreadUP. Young people are prioritizing easy, low-cost access to these good and services over the luxury of ownership.

Of course, millennials are still consumers. But what distinguishes us from our predecessors is how and what we consume. Despite the size of my generation, it represents the smallest group of luxury spenders today. While this can be partially explained by our lower incomes, millennials have different spending priorities than their predecessors did in their 20s.

When we do purchase luxury goods, we go about it very differently than consumers in past generations did. Today, young people are more concerned with smartphones and tech gadgets when it comes to expensive purchases, and as smarter consumers, they find a way to afford them.

They rely on daily deal services like Groupon and they are willing to sacrifice other expenses like designer fashion, cars, and meals out at fancy restaurants to acquire the items they find necessary for their daily lives, according to the Department of Labor Consumer Price Index for 2011.

"People say that millennials are very entitled people," says professor Aimee Drolet Rossi, a psychologist specializing in consumer decision-making at the UCLA Anderson School. But "increasingly, that's not going to be the case because there were no jobs for them. The economy was tough and they really needed to step it up. In education, there is less emphasis being placed on people feeling good about mediocre results. You're getting away from this trend of people in their present day 30s, where they got a trophy just for showing up."

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Prince Harry's Girlfriend Is NOT A Burberry Model Or A Serious Actress

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Cara Delevingne French Model for Burberry

Yesterday, the story broke that Prince Harry is dating British socialite/actress/model Cressida Bonas.

cressida bonasThat's an impressive résumé for a 24-year-old college grad.

The only problem is, it doesn't appear to be true.

The Daily Mail, The Christian Post, The Telegraph, and The Mirror UK have all reported that Bonas was a Burberry model and fledgling actress.

 But when we reached out to the luxury brand, a representative for the company told us that "Cressida has never been associated Burberry."

The confusion most likely stems from July 2012 when The Daily Mail reported that Prince Harry was seen leaving London nightclub Salon with actual Burberry model Cara Delevingne.

But The Mail got it wrong: The woman leaving the club (and the picture accompanying the article) was none other than Cressida Bonas.

It's an honest mistake. The British socialite and French model look eerily similar, and it's unsurprising they were confused for one another. Both women are gorgeous 20-somethings with pale skin, dark eyebrows, and long blonde hair.

But just to be clear: Cara Delevingne is a Burberry model. Cressida Bonas is not.

Cressida isn't much of a serious actress either — the only acting experience we could find was when she performed the role of Desdemona in Othello while attending Leeds University.

Her half sister Isabella Gough-Calthorpe, however, is a fairly well-known British actress.

SEE ALSO: Prince Harry Is Dating A Gorgeous Socialite Named Cressida Bonas

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There's No Good Reason Why America Doesn't Eat Horses

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Horse meat

Beef eaters in the UK and Europe have been horrified to learn that some of the beef in their food is in fact horse meat.

Yes, in a variety of cheap, supermarket-sold lasagnas, burgers, and pastas, the beef has been found to contain traces of horse meat and sometimes even 100% horse meat.

Of course, many countries in Europe will eat horse meat happily and see little problem with the mix-up. However, Britain, much like the US, has traditionally shown a strong aversion to eating horse.

Now there's no suggestion that the horse meat scandal has reached American shores, but it does beg the question — why don't we eat horse meat?

Because of Religion

It's believed that humans have eaten horse meat since prehistoric times, but a modern distaste for eating horse dates back to 732 A.D. That's the year that Pope Gregory III sent a letter to his buddy Boniface that said the ritual consumption of horse meat was a pagan practice that had to be abolished.

Tjängvide rock vikings OdinHe may have been referring to the Vikings, who sacrificed and ate their horses for rituals to the god Odin, or Germanic tribes. In fact, most of Eurasia and Asia ate horse meat, and the practice had been common throughout the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages — probably since horses existed and there were humans to eat them.

According to Frederick J. Simoons in Eat Not This Flesh, Christianity was not the first religion to ban the consumption of horse meat. Islamic and Jewish communities had long been in the practice of avoiding horse meat under Mosaic Law, and even the Greeks and Romans had a strict ban on eating horse flesh.

But the reason the 732 A.D. date is so important was that it was more than just an effort to stigmatize and reform a pagan religion — some scholars believe it was also an official state effort to preserve horses for warfare instead of food. Moreover, we know the papal ban was highly effective since there was still evidence centuries later of European confessor handbooks requiring horse eaters to do penance for upwards of three years.

Because of the Wild West

Horses became a sort of mythological creature in America's national consciousness. When they were first brought to North America by the Spanish in the mid-16th century, Native Americans highly valued horses for hunting and warfare. There are even stories of European captives being traded in exchange for horses by certain tribes.

Horses were also integral to frontier exploration, and the image of cowboys traveling across America — which was eagerly spread by magazines and newspapers — was propagated around the world.

Butcher carving horse meat 1943The media message was clear: Horses in America were our companions, beasts of burden, and means of transportation. They were definitely not our food.

But We HAVE Eaten It

That is not to say that Americans have never eaten horse in times of desperation. There's ample evidence that when food ran out during the Civil War and even World War II, eating horse meat became a common (and cheap) solution. In fact, it became so popular that by 1951, Time Magazine was reporting it was an important meat in Oregon cuisine, with recipes included at the end of the article for horse meat fillets.

In 1973, a similar food shortage occurred that sent butcher shops reaching once more for the horse meat. That same year, however, a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania sponsored a bill to ban the sale of horse meat and make it illegal for horse slaughter houses to operate. It was the first time eating horse meat was legally questioned on a federal level in America.

Horse meat was effectively banned in the United States in 2007, when Congress stripped financing for federal inspections of horse slaughter, but this was reversed by Congress under Obama in 2011. (Though many states continue to have their own specific laws regarding horse slaughter and the sale of horse meat.)

Prosciutto di cavallo horse hamWill America Eat It Again?

Nowadays there is no practical reason not to eat horse, and there are a variety of arguments for why we should be eating it. It's cheaper than beef, leaner, and even something of a delicacy in some corners of the world.

However, the idea of horse meat becoming widespread in the US still horrifies many. When we reached out to Marion Nestle an expert in public heath at NYU and writer of the popular Food Politics blog, she balked at the idea. "We are Americans," Nestle wrote. "We don’t eat horses. We consider them pets and inappropriate as food. We don’t eat dogs or cats either.  And we don’t let dogs and cats eat horses. Never mind the inconsistencies or contradictions. This is a cultural issue."

When we asked if it's an option we should be considering, Nestle responded, "I’m not aware that Americans are meat-deprived. We have plenty of other options. You could argue, I suppose, that all those horses are now going to waste but it’s not an argument I care to get into."

DON'T MISS: 7 Real Horse Meat Dishes From Around The World

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Alexa Chung Is The New Face Of L'Oréal

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Alexa Chung madewell ad

Model and 'style icon' Alexa Chung has been announced as the face of L'Oréal Professionnel's in-salon hair colour brand INOA.

The London Fashion Week ambassador and TV presenter has been chosen by L'Oréal Professionnel to the face of its in-care salon range, INOA. The 29-year-old and her head of tousled hair will front the mocha shades of the line.

SEE: Famous L'Oréal models through the years

Chung, a front row regular at the shows, said she was "delighted to be working with such an iconic brand", adding: "L'Oréal Professionnel is behind some of the amazing looks on the catwalks in London and Paris so I'm really excited to join the team.”

New York-based Alexa currently stars in the advertising campaign for Maje and is working on her first book.

IN PICTURES: Alexa Chung's fashion hits

Chung will star in a print campaign from June, but sadly she won't be joining Cheryl Cole and Eva Longoria in muttering the much-loved company slogan "Because I'm worth it" as adverts for the range won't be broadcast.

Don't worry Alexa: L'Oréal obviously think you're worth it anyway.

SEE ALSO: Samsung's Ad Agency Is Going To Start Making Google Chrome Commercials

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100 Trips You Must Take In Your Lifetime

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versailles gardens

With spring break just a few weeks away, our minds are starting to drift towards vacation.

If you're stuck in front of a computer all day, then yours probably is, too.

We've come up with the ultimate bucket list of travel destinations around the world, from a dogsled ride through the Montana wilderness to a hike around Richard Branson's private Caribbean island. For a closer look at some of these hotspots, check out our travel archive.

Marvel at the majestic scenery in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.



See giant tortoises and sea lions in the Galapagos Islands.



Taste some of the best pizza in the world in Naples, Italy.



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Harvard Mints A Lot More Billionaires Than Any Other University

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If you want your child to grow up to be a billionaire, you should do what it takes to get him into Harvard University.

The elite Boston school has minted more billionaire alumni than any other university 52, who are worth a total of $205 billion, according to a new report from research firm Wealth-X.

That's almost twice as many as the University of Pennsylvania, the school with the second most billionaire alumni. Penn has 28 billionaire graduates, worth a total of $112 billion.

Harvard also has far more ultra-high net worth alumni (worth $30 million or more) than any other school, at 2,964. Penn has 1,502 alumni in that category, and Stanford University has 1,174.

Harvard's wealthy grads aren't just a bunch of lucky heirs and heiresses. Nearly three-quarters of Harvard's billionaires are self-made.

"It shows the power of networks," Wealth-X president David Friedman told CNBC's Robert Frank. "Harvard has this entrenched, powerful network that extends across so many sectors and is incredibly pro-active about connecting its alumni. You get a great education, but you also get access."

Of the 20 universities with the most UHNW alumni, only three are located outside the U.S. The University of Virginia was the highest ranking public university, coming in at #11 with 499 UHNW graduates worth a total of $31 billion.

Check out some other data about the wealthiest college grads, courtesy of Wealth-X:

Global Universities with the most UHNW ($30 million+) alumni:

wealth x billionaire alumni

Universities with the most billionaire alumni:

wealth x billionaire alumni

UHNW ($30 million+) alumni by gender and source of wealth:

wealth x billionaire alumni

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best College Towns In America

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Here's Everything That's Inside The $48,000 Oscar Swag Bag

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Anne Hathaway Golden Globes

In case the Oscar nominees don't win one of the coveted awards Sunday, they always have a swag bag to take home.

For the past 11 years, Distinctive Assets has put together a consolation bag full of "goodies" for the Oscar losers called the "Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag."

This year's bag is estimated to be valued between $45-$48,000, a five-year low according to Bloomberg. 

And, it's full of some odd items ranging from condoms to Windex.

Mind you, some of the inclusions are quite pricey — stars receive a three night $3,000 stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita and a $12,000 trip to an Australia location of their choosing.

A six-pack box of Naked brand condoms valued at $20.



$120 worth of maple syrup from Rouge Maple Gourmet Products, which is supposedly the "best you've ever tasted."



A $30 photo-essay book following the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic "I Have A Dream" speech.

The book is "This is the Day: The March on Washington"



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Plug In Everything With Quirky's Innovative Power Adapters

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These are Quirky's Pivot Power and Pivot Power Mini.

Why We Love It: Quirky has developed two simple and elegant solutions to overcrowded outlets. Quirky Pivot Power first came out two years ago, and was even a Red Dot Award Winner in 2012. It's a flexible surge-protected, multi-power outlet station with six places to plug in electronics. But more than that, the shape can be conformed to your room and furniture, and allows large power bricks to plug in without hogging any space.

Meanwhile, the Pivot Power Mini is the perfect surge-protected wall adapter for travelers. With just one plug, you can charge two USB cords, two three-prong plugs, and have room for the upper plug to remain free.

Quirky Pivot Power Flex Extender

Quirky Pivot Power Mini

Where To Buy: Available through Amazonhere and here, as well as through Quirky's website.

Cost: $29.99 for the Flexible Power Strip, and $24.99 for the mini.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

DON'T MISS: The HoverBar Lets You Suspend Your iPad From Just About Anywhere

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Hamptons Summer Rentals Are Already Flying Off The Market

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sandcastle

The Hamptons have always been a hot summer rental market.

But this year, the biggest checks are being written earlier than ever, Jason Sheftell at the New York Daily News reports.

One developer, who rented a home to Jay-Z and Beyonce last August for $400,000, has already turned down a $400,000 offer for a similar home this year. And homes that regularly lease for $85,000 a month or more are moving quickly.

It's not just the lure of the beaches, A-Listers, and parties that are driving the mad dash, according to Sheftell.

One reason for the rush of early offers is that there are fewer homes for sale out east. This means that people who want to summer in the Hamptons have to rent, which pushes rental prices sky-high.

Wealthy renters also want to minimize the hassle and stress of finding the perfect summer home, and the earlier they start their search, the more options that are available to them.

The bottom line: if you want to rent a house in the Hamptons this summer, start looking now and expect to shell out.

SEE ALSO: Tour The Wild Hamptons Mansion That Jay-Z And Beyoncé Are Supposedly Renting For $400,000 A Month

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Brazilian Developer Has Fifth Ave. Residents Steaming Over Proposed Luxury High-Rise

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5th ave

On an historic, stately stretch of Fifth Avenue, a proposal by a Brazilian developer for a luxury high-rise is threatening to disrupt the peace.

Residents of two Central Park-facing buildings, at 812 and 817 Fifth Avenue, are gearing up to fight a structure planned for 815 Fifth Avenue that they described in a letter to fellow residents as “contemporary” and “incompatible” with the character of the neighborhood, The Real Deal has learned.

Paperwork filed with the Department of Buildings calls for a 15-story building with a dozen apartments as well as partial demolition of a six-story building, which records show is the oldest structure on Fifth Avenue between 59th and 110th streets.

JHSF Participacoes S.A., based in Brazil, is named on renderings of the project, although the official documents list the developer as Eight Hundred and Fifteen Fifth Avenue, a limited liability company. JHSF has developed more than 19 million square feet of real estate in Sao Paulo.

Brazilian banking magnate Sergio Millerman, the former CEO of Safra National Bank of New York and a consultant to the Safra Group, the Brazil-based international banking empire, is named in official documents as an adviser to the project.

A spokesperson for Millerman told The Real Deal that the owners of the project are “highly sensitive to the history of the area” and will proceed in a manner that is “consistent with that sensitivity.” While the spokesperson confirmed that Millerman is assisting the developer on the project, he declined to comment on the identity of the developer.

The board of managers for 817 Fifth Avenue sent the Feb. 13 letter opposing the project to both residents of both their building and 812 Fifth Avenue. The letter called for the residents to speak out against the development at a community board hearing last night.

The developer presented the proposal Feb. 11 to Community Board 8′s Landmarks Committee, an advisory panel. The Landmarks Committee unanimously rejected the building, calling it “incompatible with the character of the block,” the letter said. The project can still move ahead, however, if the Landmarks Preservation Commission signs off on it.

The new building would be 200 feet tall, nearly triple the height of the existing 80-foot-tall structure, according to papers filed with the Department of Buildings. The architect, Timothy Greer of Connecticut-based TP Greer Architects, said he has been working closely with the landmarks commission over the last few months to create a building with will be “sensitive to and consistent with the established architectural character and scale of Fifth Avenue.”

While a spokesperson for the Landmarks Preservation Commission could not comment directly on the project, which is in an historic district, she said any new building within such a district should be “consistent with the height and shape of the other buildings in the district” in order to obtain necessary approvals from the LPC.

“Whether it is a contemporary design or a contextual, more traditional design, the façade composition, scale, materials and details should have some relationship to the buildings in this historic district which can be abstract or literal,” she said.

Residents on the upper floors of 812 and 817 Fifth Avenue are concerned the proposed development will block their views, bringing down their property values. At 817 Fifth Avenue, the views are to the south; residents of 812 Fifth Avenue look to the north.

Jewelry designer Janet Yaseen, a resident of 812 Fifth Avenue, said residents of her building stood “shoulder to shoulder” with residents of 817 Fifth Avenue in the dispute.

The building on the site, designed by Samuel A. Warner, went up in 1871. Once a single-family home owned by hotel owner James Stewart Cushman and wife Verna, the brownstone today houses 12 apartments and two offices.

Real estate investor Robert Haskell sold the building to JHSF last year for $32 million, public records show, $7 million over its asking price.

Both 812 and 817 Fifth Avenue have been home to celebrities and the city’s biggest power players. Actor Richard Gere, business magnate Steve Wynn and socialite Courtney Sale Ross have lived at 817 Fifth Avenue; New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and his wife, Mary “Tod” Rockefeller, had a home in 812 Fifth Avenue.

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Green Day Is Buying Ad Space On Japanese Girls' Tattooed Thighs

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Green Day thigh tattoo ad

Green Day is trying to regain a stronghold in cultural relevance with an ... unconventional ...  marketing campaign: tattooing its new album cover on a Japanese fangirls' thighs. Don't worry, they're temporary.

The band paired up with Japanese PR company Absolute Territory to promote the Japanese release of its new CD “!Uno!” The promotion process is simple, the firm has girls above 18 years of age temporarily tattoo certain brand messages on the "absolute territory" between their high knee socks and the hem of their mini skirts. Because what else would they be wearing?

As long as the women wear the tattoos for at least eight hours a day and post pictures to their Facebook pages — they must have at least 20 friends on their social media accounts — they'll get paid. According to Oddity Central, more than 1,300 applied to work with the agency in November, and the number's growing.

Bizarre as this sounds, this marketing tactic actually makes some sense. Green Day is trying to recreate its 1990s and early 2000s hey dey, so it embraced another trend of the early-millennium: human billboards.

During the dot com boom, tattoo japanese thigh advertising adpeople sold "ad space" on their bodies to URLs that were willing to pay up. A satisfactory fee would result in a permanent tattoo. Although most of the websites are now defunct, the skinvertising lives on.

Temporary tattoos were also huge among the boxing world a decade ago. Bernard Hopkins made $100,000 for wearing a temporary tattoo for casino Golden Palace in a big fight. The Nevada State Athletic Commission stopped the practice since it wasn't getting a cut and the tattooed ads had the potential to conflict with pre-existing sponsorships.

But it looks like both permanent and temporary tattoo ads are making a comeback.

Times Square celebrity the Naked Cowboy agreed to become Wow Body Ads' first human billboard by temporarily tattooing the company's logo onto his chest and back in December. This will subsidize his current income of marrying couples off in his underwear for $499 a pop.

Billy "the human billboard" Gibbon currently has 39 brand-related tattoos, and he's still selling off more space on his website. A 6" by 1" tattoo ad on his forehead costs $20,000.

Granted, some people don't need a company to pay them to get a tattoo of its logo. Sean "Diddy" Combs got a tattoo of New York magazine's logo on his own, and there's a slew of techies who love tech brands so much, they got tattoos of them.

SEE ALSO: Heineken Likes To Play Mind Games With Hopeful Interns

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Teavana Has A 'Dirty Little Secret' About Its In-Store Samples

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There's a "pretty extreme" difference between the tea samples given out at Teavana and the tea customers end up with if they follow the store's directions, Mary Beth Quirk at the Consumerist reported.

The in-store tea is much stronger and packed with sugar, according to a former Teavana employee.

It supports a report from Gitte Laasby at the Journal Sentinel that called out Teavana's "dirty little secret."

From Laasby's report:

I went inside to order a chai I had sampled. I figured I could solve the taste mystery in the process. As I waited for my 16-ounce cup, I noticed that the barista put a large amount of tea in it. I asked how much tea he uses. His reply: "About six teaspoons."

Again, I was floored. That's three times as much as the instructions say! (Not to mention the two teaspoons of sugar, which is twice as much as the instructions say.)

"We want to make sure customers can really taste the samples," he explained.

The former Teavana employee provided an example to the Consumerist: the sample recipe for iced blueberry-pineapple tea.

It's a 32-oz. brew, with half a cup of Blueberry Bliss rooibos tea, half a cup of Pineapple Kona Pop! herbal tea, and half a cup of German Rock Sugar. Then, fill the teapot to the top with boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes or longer.

What are the customer directions?

For the same sized brew, they say to use 2-3 teaspoons of each of those teas and only two teaspoons of sugar.

She also said that she'd tell customers how to brew the tea exactly as it appears in the store.

"Even cups of non-sample tea are generally brewed strong and sweet, unless a customer asks otherwise," she said. "It’s a little shady, but oftentimes I saw customers returning, either to clarify as the woman in the February 15th story did, or to just give up and buy a cup, so I suppose it worked well enough for the company."

Teavana defended itself in a statement to the Journal Sentinel.

"As a standard guide, we recommend two teaspoons as the ideal strength for our teas and train our stores to use this amount as well. We also list this as a guide on our packaging for our consumers and stores as they brew a cup of tea," a Teavana spokesperson said. "That said, the strength of our teas are a personal preference and can vary among individuals."

SEE ALSO: Go Inside The Secret Test Kitchen Where McDonald's Invents New Menu Items >

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Buy An Insurance Honcho's Stunning Fifth Avenue Apartment For $32 Million

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fifth ave stanhope apartment

Joe Plumeri, the former CEO of insurance brokerage firm Willis Group Holdings, is unloading his full-floor apartment at The Stanhope for $32 million, according to Curbed NY.

From the listing photos, the Fifth Avenue pad is absolutely gorgeous and impeccably decorated. It has six bedrooms, a bright living room, and is filled with modern art.

But buyer beware: The apartment was the subject of a lawsuit last year, in which Plumeri claimed he discovered "numerous latent defects" while embarking on a gut renovation, according to Curbed.

Looks like the renovation is now complete, but Plumeri isn't sticking around to enjoy the finished product.

The apartment takes the entire fifteenth floor of The Stanhope, a classic NYC hotel that was converted into a co-op in 2005.



It's accessible via a private elevator.



The living room is gigantic, and flanked by the dining room and library.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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