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Inside 2 multimillion-dollar apartments at one of the last buildings starchitect Zaha Hadid designed before she died


zaha hadid 6

Residents will soon be able to move into a new luxury condo complex that overlooks Manhattan's famed elevated park, the High Line.

The building was one of the last projects by Zaha Hadid, the world-renowned architect who died at age 65 in early 2016. She was the first woman and Muslim to win a Pritzker Prize, often considered the Nobel Prize of architecture.

Located on Manhattan's far west side, the new complex at 520 West 28th Street will be stunning, with an intricate metal-and-glass facade sculpted piece by piece. Inside, it will include 39 units, the most expensive of which is currently asking $50 million. Approximately 50% of the units are already in contract, according to StreetEasy.

Developer Related Companies broke ground in 2014. Samantha Zola, a spokesperson for the building, told Business Insider that the building will open in June 2017. 

Here's a first look inside two of its model condos, which cost $15 million and $4.9 million, respectively.

SEE ALSO: 11 billion-dollar mega-projects that will transform New York City by 2035

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Hadid's building is located at 520 West 28th on Manhattan's far west side. The four-bedroom apartment pictured below, which spans 4,500 square feet, is listed for $15 million.

The kitchen features a marble island with edges that swoop down like the building's facade. Hadid worked with the Italian designer Boffi to create it.

Interior designer Jennifer Post chose white and muted furniture with colorful, contemporary artwork for the model apartment.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Trump says this private boarding school gave him more military training than the Army could


new york military academy donald trump

On April 6, the Trump authorized the first direct American assult on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the country's six-year civil war. The night's events marked one of the first known military actions of President Trump's time in office.

During his run for office, however, Trump faced scrutiny for his lack of military service. He received five draft determents ("four for college, one for bad feet") over the course of the Vietnam War.

But before he became a billionaire real estate developer, reality TV star, or commander-in-chief, Trump was a cadet who attended the New York Military Academy.

Founded in 1889, the private school is spread across 120 acres in rural Cornwall, New York, located 60 miles north of Manhattan. The cost of tuition is $41,210 a year at the school, which ranks No. 128 on a list of the best boarding schools in the US by education resource Niche.

The story goes that Trump's parents shipped their 13-year-old son off to NYMA when he began acting up and it became a problem. Some 50 years later, Trump would tell his biographer that his five years' education there gave him more military training than the military could.

Here's what it's like at NYMA.

SEE ALSO: Photos show how the US missile strike on Syria unfolded

The New York Military Academy opened doors in 1889 with the hopes of preparing cadets for "further education and to be effective leaders and responsible citizens."

Source: New York Military Academy

Charles Jefferson Wright, a Civil War veteran and teacher, founded the school under the belief that a military structure provided the best environment for academic achievement.

Source: New York Military Academy

Through the years, the student body has remained small. Two classroom buildings and three dorms accommodate the 28 students who enrolled in the 2016-17 academic year.

Source: New York Military Academy and Wall Street Journal

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Heinz just opened a baked beans cafe in London – this is what it's like

These are the watches worn by the most powerful CEOs in the world

How to know whether you have Lyme disease


Keep this in mind the next time you go for a hike in a wooded or grassy area: Tiny critters called deer ticks often carry Lyme-disease-causing bacteria, which is spread by their bite. Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates suggest Lyme disease, once thought of as fairly rare, is actually 10 times as common as we previously thought and infects roughly 300,000 Americans annually.

So long as it's treated quickly and properly, Lyme disease isn't too serious of a health issue. Untreated, however, Lyme can result in severe problems like meningitis or even partial paralysis, and the symptoms may not show up until a week or even years after a bite.

BI Graphics_Symptoms of Lyme disease

SEE ALSO: Here’s how climate change is already affecting your health, based on the state you live in

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Vegans can't actually drink all wines – here's why


Not all wine is vegan-friendly.

This is because of the added fining agents used by producers which can contain non-vegan elements such as egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, and bone marrow, according to PETA.

The added agents used by producers are necessary for a wine's colour and clarity.

The good news for vegans is there are non-animal based fining agents such as silica gel or bentonite clay.

Supermarkets are trying to keep up by labelling vegan-friendly wines so that they are easy to spot. Vegans can also consult websites like Barnivore.com where they can search for their favourite wine and check if it is safe to drink or not.

Produced by Claudia Romeo

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12 eerie photos of enormous Chinese cities completely empty of people



Throughout China, there are hundreds of cities that have almost everything one needs for a modern, urban lifestyle: high-rise apartment complexes, developed waterfronts, skyscrapers, and even public art. Everything, that is, except one major factor: people. 

These mysterious — and almost completely empty — cities are a part of China's larger plan to move up to 300 million citizens currently living in rural areas into urban locations. Places like the Kangbashi District of Ordos are already prepped and ready to be occupied.

Photographer Kai Caemmerer became fascinated with these urban plans, and in 2015 he traveled to China to explore and document them. His series, "Unborn Cities," depicts a completely new type of urban development. "Unlike in the US, where cities often begin as small developments and grow in accordance to the local industries, these new Chinese cities are built to the point of near completion before introducing people," he told Business Insider.

See 12 eerie images from his series:

SEE ALSO: The best photos from 66 countries, according to the largest competition in the world

When Caemmerer found out about these empty cities, he was immediately fascinated. "As an architectural photographer, I found the notion of a contemporary ghost town to be appealing in a sort of unsettling way," he said.

"These new Chinese cities are built to the point of near completion before introducing people," Caemmerer said. "Because of this, there is an interim period between the final phases of development and when the areas become noticeably populated, during which many of the buildings stand empty."

In 2015, Caemmerer photographed the Kangbashi District of Ordos, the Yujiapu Financial District near Tianjin, and the Meixi Lake development near the city of Changsha.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'The Toughest Footrace on Earth' starts this weekend — here's what it's like


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The Marathon des Sables, a six-day race through the Sahara desert, has a hard-won reputation as "The Toughest Footrace on Earth."

The 32nd edition of the race starts April 9 in Southern Morocco, and runs until April 14. 

I took part in the 31st edition of the race, the longest yet at 159 miles. As one of 973 who crossed the finish line, I can attest that the race is not for the faint-hearted.

The route took in towering sand dunes, airless oueds (dried-up riverbeds), and scrambled jebel (rocky hill) ascents.

The distance typically comes in at almost a marathon a day, with the longest stage a punishing double marathon.

Competitors run or walk through 104-degree plus temperatures, carrying their food for the week. Water is rationed. Salt tablets are essential.

Competitors sleep in bivouac tents, which do little to retain warmth when the temperature drops overnight and offer limited resistance to sandstorms.

It is no surprise then that a lot of competitors don't make it to the finish. There were 18 participants who didn't make it past day one in 2016, according to the provisional results, and nearly 60 more dropped out on day two.

In all, around 130 were forced to drop out, often through no fault of their own. The desert is relentless, and there is a large slice of luck involved in surviving what it has to throw at you.

This is what "The Toughest Footrace on Earth" is like:

The event requires quite a bit of kit. We had to carry at least 2,000 calories a day for seven days, with the bulk of this made up by caloric freeze-dried meals. We also had to pack survival kit with items ranging from a venom pump to a signaling mirror.

We flew in to Ouarzazate in Morocco on Friday, April 8, before boarding coaches for the six-hour drive to the first bivoauc.

The bivouac camp has around 170 tents, each sleeping a maximum of eight competitors. The tents are organized by nationality, with large British and French contingents dominating camp. I stayed with three friends and a British runner named Dave who we met on the bus.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I moved from Los Angeles to London and nothing has helped my mood as much as this light


girl, grass, sleeping, lazy, tired, sun, park, happy

You know that warm, all-over feeling you get on a crisp spring day when a nice wind is blowing and your body is covered in sunshine?

I haven't felt that way in about six months.

As someone who has struggled with depression and grew up in Southern California — land of palm trees, carne asada fries, and sunshine — moving from the US to Britain was a shock to the system. Sure, I expected London to be gray and rainy, but I also figured there would be some bright days when I could go outside and bask in the sun. I was wrong.

Thankfully, I've found a tool called a light box that appears to have helped me sleep and given my mood a bit of a boost, without costing me a fortune. It works by mimicking the natural light outdoors, something that affects all of us — whether we suffer from depression or not.

Sounds weird, works wonders

Doctors may diagnose people whose depression only crops up when it's dark out with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). That condition begins and ends at relatively the same time each year. I, on the other hand, appear to have been blessed with plain old depression that simply gets aggravated by long periods without sunlight.

Everyone experiences depression differently, but for me, weeks of darkness tend to coincide with feeling more down and having a harder time falling (and staying) asleep. When it's been dreary out for awhile, I also tend to feel groggy and fatigued during the day regardless of how much I've slept.

erin brodwin using light boxA few months ago, on a suggestion from my therapist, I looked into something called light therapy. Essentially, it involves sitting or working near a device called a light box, which gives off bright light designed to mimic natural sunlight. The thought of sitting with my face in front of a shining orb for 30 minutes every day sounded ridiculous, but some research about it convinced me to give it a shot.

light box

Light therapy is thought to help reduce symptoms among people with depression, seasonal affective disorder, and even insomnia. One large, recent review of 10 studies involving a total of 458 patients found that for people who took medication for their depression, using a light box in addition to the drugs appeared to help reduce their symptoms and improve their moods.

The universal benefits of sunlight early in the day

Results are typically best when people use light boxes for 30 minutes or more every day, sometime in the morning. That's because of the way our bodies sync up with the sun — and this can have important takeaways for people without depression, too.

Our eyes have special receptors called melanopsin receptors that help us wake up and stay alert. These soak in the sun — and the sun-like light from light therapy bulbs, which are designed to filter out harmful UV light so they don't damage your eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic. The receptors also play a role in triggering the release of serotonin in the brain — the neurotransmitter helps regulate everything from our natural sleep cycles to our mood.

man sunrise silhouette sun alone sunsetEarly exposure to bright light appears to help set your circadian rhythm for the day. That's why studies suggest that taking in some natural rays right after you wake up can help you perform better later into the day and help you sleep at night.

Setting your circadian rhythms straight may have another added benefit, too: weight loss. In addition to helping us wake up and go to bed at the right hour, well-timed circadian clocks seem to help keep our metabolisms running smoothly. One recent study showed that people who basked in bright sunlight within two hours after waking tended to be thinner and better able to manage their weight, regardless of what they ate throughout the day.

Two months after using my bright light box for 30 minutes a day first thing in the morning, my weird-looking habit appears to have helped me sleep. I also tend to feel more energized and peppy during the day. Considering the price I paid for it (roughly $40 on Amazon), I'd say it was definitely a worthwhile investment.

SEE ALSO: Betsy DeVos backs a technique claiming to cure ADHD without medication — but the science is questionable

DON'T MISS: Meditation and the psychedelic drug ayahuasca seem to change the brain in surprisingly similar ways

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The simplest way to get — and stay — happy, according to psychologists

Guys, here's exactly what you should wear to that wedding you have coming up


It's wedding season, and that means that invitation you have hanging on your refrigerator door is likely going to be put to use soon.

Ergo, you're probably panicking about what to wear. Well, don't panic — we're here to help. We'll translate the invitation's instructions for you, with the help of longtime butler Charles MacPherson's etiquette guide "The Pocket Butler".

SEE ALSO: 22 clothing items every man should own before he turns 30

Black tie

Black tie is often considered the pinnacle of modern formality (aside from white tie, which has been completely forgotten about, and is almost never worn aside from royal weddings). Attendees of evening weddings are, however, sometimes requested to wear black tie.

If that's the case, here's what you need to wear:

- A completely black tuxedo with a white formal shirt featuring a wing collar, finished with a black satin bow tie. Sometimes a black satin cummerbund is added, but that is becoming less and less common.

- Black socks and black patent leather shoes are non-negotiable for footwear here.

Black-tie optional (also known as "formal")

If you see "black-tie optional" on a wedding invite, know that wearing a tuxedo is not required, but whoever sent the invitation will most likely be wearing one.

A wedding with a formal dress code means it's just slightly less formal than a black-tie wedding. It's up to you how closely you'd like to fit in.

- An appropriate black-tie optional outfit could include a navy suit with a formal dress shirt and a dark-colored tie (does not have to be a bow tie).

- Yes, you can wear a tuxedo if you'd like, and if the wedding is at night.

Cocktail attire

Cocktail is another step down from formal, which allows an injection of personality into what you're wearing.

We recommend you err on the side of caution and wear a suit here, but you don't have to. You could also get away with wearing a blazer and dress pants. Keeping it dark and seasonally appropriate will go a long way.

This is also what you should wear if there's no stated dress code on the invitation.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I tried classic breakfast sandwiches from Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's — here's who makes them best


McDonald's Egg McMuffin Breakfast Sandwich 6

Egg, cheese, and bacon or sausage: the classic breakfast sandwich.

It's ubiquitous, yet the simple breakfast sandwich enjoys eternal popularity.

And with breakfast habits changing, breakfast sandwiches on-the-go have become all the more popular. 

But of all the national chains, who makes the classic sandwich best?

I tried the egg, cheese, and meat iterations from three major fast-food chains — Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's — to see which one comes out on top.

SEE ALSO: We went to Red Lobster for its 'Endless Shrimp' promo and stayed for 8 hours — here's what happened

ALSO READ: We tested Panera against one of its biggest competitors — here's who emerges victorious

The Big Three all serve some version of the sandwich; at first glance the only difference seems to be the bread.

Let's dive into Burger King's Supreme breakfast sandwich. It's a breakfast limousine wreck of two eggs, two sausages, and two servings of bacon topped with cheese and served in a "toasted hoagie bun" which appears to be crushed in a car compactor before serving.

Source: Burger King

If this is a toasted hoagie bun, I don't know what a hoagie is. It's an elongated hamburger bun with all the sogginess and disappointment that buns are heir to — a bun to be wished away. The sickly yellow egg is gelatinous and tastes of complete nothingness. With fast-food sausage and bacon all in one sandwich, the entire thing comes off as incredibly salty. I didn't finish this one.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A family of 4 racked up enough credit card points to buy $54,000 of round-the-world flights almost for free


Pedro Pla RTW trip

Travel has always been a part of Pedro Pla's life. By the time the Puerto Rican was three years old, he'd visited as many continents.

In 2007, Pla, now 35, and his Singaporean wife Grace Cheng, 36, embarked on a year-long journey around the world, traveling to 15 countries on five continents using two Round-The-World (RTW) economy tickets they'd purchased for around $10,000 through OneWorld, the network that comprises 15 international airlines.

To mark the 10th anniversary of their journey, the couple, now joined by their two sons, 4-year-old Ramses and 2-year-old Ranefer, set out on another trip around the world in January — but this time they got their tickets almost completely for free.

In September 2016, Pla and Cheng, who are the cofounders of credit-card comparison site Get.com, hit 1 million airline miles after a year of racking up credit card rewards points. They redeemed 960,000 miles, worth a total of $54,000 (though they had to cover taxes and fees), through Singapore Airlines' frequent flyer program, KrisFlyer, to purchase four RTW business class tickets.

Singapore Airlines is part of the Star Alliance network, which has more than two dozen regional and international carriers. The RTW ticket allows travel on any airline in the network, up to 35,000 miles in a continuous Eastbound or Westbound direction on 16 separate flights. The cost of a RTW ticket can vary depending on the flight class, country of origin, and total mileage of the trip. Tickets can be purchased in cash or redeemed through points and can only be booked over the phone.

On their six-month trip, the family is traveling to five continents and at least 15 countries, including Kenya, Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia, and South Korea.

"While booking our Round-The-World flights with SIA, its customer service representative told us we had 'hit the jackpot' as they had never encountered anyone redeeming for RTW award tickets on business class before, let alone for four people," Pla told Business Insider in an email.

He said they had to "research and plan meticulously" to reach their points goal.

"As credit card geeks, we live by this maxim: When you use cash, you lose cash. Using cash means you are missing out on getting credit card rewards points, miles or cash back. We used our credit cards to pay for everything if possible, be it a hamburger or an air ticket," Pla said.

Read on to learn more about the RTW program, exactly how the family racked up their rewards points, and their best advice for travel hacking.

Follow the family's Round-The-World journey on their Instagram or Get.com.

SEE ALSO: The values of credit card, airline, and hotel points can vary wildly — and there's a website that keeps track of them all

DON'T MISS: A 30-something travel hacker who spent 11 years exploring 193 countries reveals which travel rewards card he uses every day

The RTW program — which is offered by each of the three big airline networks, Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and OneWorld — allows you to travel up to a certain amount of miles or stops and typically costs less than buying individual flights, Pla explained.

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 The couple and their two sons awaiting take off at Singapore Changi Airport.

They booked through Singapore Airlines, part of the Star Alliance, after transferring all their rewards points to KrisFlyer, the airline's frequent flyer program. One RTW ticket in business class costs 240,000 miles, so the family of four needed 960,000 miles.

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 The family in the Maldives.

"When redeeming for miles it makes a lot more sense to get business or first class tickets," Pla said. "In this case the RTW ticket was 240,000 miles for business and 120,000 miles for economy. However, if purchasing the segments themselves, they can cost 3-5 times as much for business versus economy, so it's a much better deal to redeem miles for business class tickets instead of economy."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

21 life-saving facts that everyone should know


wilderness survival thirst drinking water shutterstock

Just about everyone knows that you should never text and drive, and that you should stop, drop, and roll if you catch on fire.

But life can also throw situations at us that we don't have a quick, handy response for.

Commenters in a recent Quora thread about life-saving facts offered their best tips, which are easy to remember and could have a huge effect if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation.

You might want to save these for later.

SEE ALSO: 6 animals that attacked critical human infrastructure

Your brain can't handle walking and using your phone at the same time — so look up.

Murali Krishnan says walking and using your phone both demand large amounts of cognitive effort.

As a result, you can't fully focus on both at the same time in the same way you can with walking and gum-chewing, for instance. You could suffer "inattention blindness," where you may see an object but not process that it's a car speeding toward you, Krishnan says.

Eliminate your car's blind spots by adjusting your mirrors properly.

Blind spots aren't inevitable in all vehicles, says Kristen Rush.

By adjusting your mirrors so that you barely see the edges of your own car, you can effectively eliminate the blind spots on the sides of the vehicle, she says. The rear-view mirror should be able to locate any car behind yours. It's worth the few seconds it takes to adjust these when you get in the driver's seat.

Heat transfers faster through liquid than gas, so keep warm by staying dry.

There's a connection between being wet and getting cold, says engineer Ian Lavoie.

To ensure your body temperature doesn't fall too quickly in cold environments, invest in clothes made of wool instead of cotton — they'll absorb more moisture so that dampness doesn't linger on your skin. And, of course, do your best to stay dry.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 50 most violent cities in the world


salvador brazil

Latin America holds the ignominious distinction of having the most cities on Mexico's Citizens' Council for Public Security's annual ranking of the world's most violent cities for 2016.

Of the 50 cities on the list, 43 are in Latin America, including 19 in Brazil, eight in Mexico, and seven in Venezuela.

The region's violence is in large part drug related, driven by traffickers and supplemented by gang wars, political instability, and widespread poverty that has been exacerbated by sluggish economic growth or economic reversals.

The council's ranking contains cities with populations of more than 300,000 and does not count deaths in combat zones or cities with unavailable data, so some dangerous cities don't appear on the list

In some cases, the Council has determined homicide rates through estimates based on incomplete data.

In Venezuela, for example, the government has not consistently released homicide data (though it did this year), so to find the rate for Caracas, the Council made an estimate based on entries at the Bello Monte morgue — though, as the Council admits, that morgue receives bodies from an area much larger than Caracas itself.

SEE THE 2015 RANKINGS: The 50 most violent cities in the world

50. Durban, South Africa, had 34.43 homicides per 100,000 residents.

49. Curitiba, Brazil, had 34.92 homicides per 100,000 residents.

48. Cucuta, Colombia, had 37 homicides per 100,000 residents.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A day in the life of a private banker at HSBC

Everything you need to know about beer, in one chart


There are dozens upon dozens of different styles of beer out there, from pale ales to stouts to bocks — and those are just a few.

Being that there are so many styles, and so many exceptions to the rules, it's incredibly difficult (not to mention time-consuming) to get to know them all, but knowing your favorites will make drinking them a lot more enjoyable.

We've created a taxonomy of most major beer styles to help you put your favorite cold ones into context.

BI Graphics_Beer Taxonomy

Melissa Stanger contributed to an earlier version of this story.

DON'T MISS: How to order whiskey like a pro

SEE ALSO: 6 strange things love does to your brain and body

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Belgium has opened the world's first beer pipeline that pumps 1,000 gallons per hour every day

A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly


Cleaning expert and author of "Clean My Space" Melissa Maker breaks down how to clean your home in the fastest way possible. You're going to learn her three-wave method for cleaning that can be applied to any space in your home.  Following is a transcript of the video.

So to clean your home in a really effective way, you can use what I call the three-wave system. And it’s really simple and it applies to any space. Just think about when you walk into a messy room and you feel overwhelmed. Well the three-wave system is going to help manage that overwhelm. You always want to start from your door and work your way around the room in a clockwise manner, so you’ll start at the door and you’ll finish at the door.  And that way, you know that everything is done.

The next thing you want to keep in mind, and this goes for all the waves, is to just work from the top to the bottom because that’s the way that dust and dirt falls and you never want to have to re-clean a surface. That is a Melissa Maker rule.

So the first wave is tidying and organizing. So you start at your 12 o'clock point, your door, and you just work your way around the space from top to bottom, tidying and organizing. Taking out garbage, putting things in their place. I like to have a bin there so that I can get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in the room. And then by the time I’m done, the room is primed and ready to actually be cleaned.

Cleaning is wave number two. So that includes dusting polishing, disinfecting. So you bring your products with you this time as well as any cleaning tools that you might need. And again, you start at your door, your 12 o'clock point, work your way around the room, top to bottom, and do your cleaning. So this’ll involve dusting, cleaning your mirrors, polishing up any wood. And this is super simple. Take anything off a surface, clean it, and put it right back where it belongs. And you know where it belongs ‘cause you already took care of that in the first wave.

And then the third wave is your floors. And you don’t have to clean that in a circular motion, that might look a little insane. But you can just start at one corner of your room, whether you’re vacuuming or mopping, and work your way out the door. That way you never mop or vacuum yourself into a corner.


Join the conversation about this story »

Inside the little-known Monsanto campus where scientists are changing the way you eat


monsanto woodland vegetable business 3142

Monsanto is no one-trick GMO pony. Founded in 1901, the agricultural biotech company has fueled innovations in herbicides, pesticides, and ever-controversial genetically modified crops (GMOs).

But it may come as a surprise, even to people who are familiar with the $49 billion global giant, that Monsanto is also the world's largest supplier of vegetable seeds.

Most corn and soybeans grown in the US contain the company's patented seed traits. These days, Monsanto's bread-and-butter GMO business is supplemented by its work on non-GMO vegetables, which cleared $801 million in net sales in the company's 2016 fiscal year.

On a sprawling campus in Woodland, California, Monsanto chips away at making a juicier melon, a more shelf-stable onion, a tomato that doesn't go limp in shipment, and other foods made using traditional breeding techniques augmented by high-tech tools.

Business Insider recently toured Monsanto's global headquarters of vegetable R&D in Woodland to see how the company is working to create new kinds of produce.

SEE ALSO: Inside the $1 billion marijuana 'unicorn' that operates out of a once-abandoned Hershey's factory

In 2016, Monsanto was named the fifth-most hated company in America.

Source: The Harris Poll

Monsanto's bad rap comes from its work in GMOs, which are made by taking genes from one species and inserting them into the DNA of another. GMOs are the source of a never-ending debate among food-safety activists — with Monsanto at the center.

The National Academy of Sciences, a top scientific group, declared engineered foods safe to eat in 2016, but there are lingering social and environmental concerns.

But in Woodland, on a 212-acre campus surrounded by farms, Monsanto is focused on breeding vegetables the old fashioned way — no genetic modification required.

In 2005, Monsanto paid about $1 billion to acquire Seminis, a leading producer of fruit and vegetable seeds. Together, they formed the world's largest seed company.

"It was a natural evolution," says John Purcell, the global head of R&D for Monsanto's vegetables division. 

Last year, Monsanto's vegetable seed business cleared $801 million in net sales — less than one-tenth of its revenue across GMOs, agrochemical products, and farming software solutions.

Though its vegetable division isn't as profitable as its two key GMO crops (pesticide-resistant corn and soybeans), the company invested $100 million into vegetable research and development in 2016, Purcell says. Monsanto spendsabout $1.5 billion a year on R&D in total.


Globally, Monsanto breeds 18 crops, including tomatoes, melons, onions, carrots, broccoli, and lettuce, and has over 2,000 varieties across its vegetable portfolio.

People who grow food have long manipulated their crops to get better results. In conventional breeding, farmers cross two parent plants with specific traits, in the hopes of those characteristics passing from parent to offspring through later generations.

Today, plant breeders still rely on classic methodologies to develop products that mature on time, last on shelves, look pretty, and taste good. But the process is time-consuming and costly, requiring farmers to plant multiple generations to achieve the desired effects. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Hilarious behind-the-scenes stories show what it's really like to be a photographer on set with celebrities



Portrait photographer Chris Buck has interacted with some pretty big personalities while on set. From Barack Obama to Willie Nelson, Buck has been photographing actors, musicians, and politicians since the mid-1980s.

His images have a sense of humor that he describes as "uneasy," which, as it happens, is also the title of his new book of more than 300 portraits. Placing his subjects in what some might consider "uncomfortable" positions, Buck has collected a mass of interesting photographs, as well as some fantastic stories from being on set.

Here are our favorite behind-the-scenes stories from his latest book. All captions were provided by Buck.

SEE ALSO: The best photos from 66 countries, according to the largest competition in the world

Barack Obama, 2013

"The president came in, shook everyone's hand, then went to where our seamless was set up. As he took his seat I asked, 'Sir, are you chewing gum?' He said, 'Don't worry, I'll take care of it.' I said, 'Well, if I see it again, I'll be talking to you about it.'

The magazine had worked out three setups for us with the White House. The rest was relatively tight, with the president facing straight into the camera. The second was a classic three-quarter portrait, with him looking off, and the third was pulled back, showing the full lighting and seamless set up in the Map Room.

A few frames into the second setup, I said, 'Sir, keep your head position, but look with your eyes to the camera.' He followed my direction but said, 'I don’t do that.' I shot anyway. I felt like I'd spent the first 25 years of my career preparing to defy a sitting president to get the shot that I wanted."

Leonard Cohen, 2001

"He could tell I was nervous, and I told him that I really wanted to do something great and special. He looked at me and said, 'If you are meant to make a really wonderful picture, there is nothing in this world or any other that can stop that from happening.' And I thought, 'Wow, that's cool.'

He paused and then said, 'If you're meant to make a bad picture, there's nothing in this world or any other that can stop that either.'"

Donald Trump, 2006

"I had shot with Donald Trump before, and although he'd seemed distracted, he was cooperative and easy to deal with. This time the story was a conceptual shot that required additional people in the picture, so I recruited friends of my wife's and mine to be our extras.

Now, with an audience, Trump came to life; he was charming and funny. Direct and a little bossy to be sure, but always in a relaxed and friendly way. In fact, it was the perfect dynamic —  he had an audience to play to, but they were my people, so both his and my quips would get laughs.

Once we finished with the required setups, I brought out an 11x14-inch print from our previous shoot as a gift. He said, 'What is this?' I said, 'I'm giving you a print as a gift to buy an extra setup from you.' He shrugged and said, 'Okay,' and this is how I got the portrait that's in this book."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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