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SNAKES, TANKS, AND PRANKS: This 27-year-old college drop-out travels the world turning other people into YouTube and Instagram stars

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Greg Baroth

Ever dream of quitting your job and making your living as a famous YouTube or Instagram star?

If so, meet Greg Baroth.

It's his full-time job to make people famous on social media.

He's the one you call if you think up an insane prank — say you want to swim with snakes in your Beverly Hills pool  and you need someone to find the snakes and bring them to your house. 

Or maybe your stunt needs a drone, pronto. Or maybe you want to do your stunt with Denver Broncos football star Von Miller. Or with Vine/YouTube star Logan Paul. Or rap star Wiz Khalifa.

Baroth's your man.

It all started with a love of reptiles

Baroth grew up in Los Angeles, but as a kid he seemed about as far from the celeb set as possible. He loved snakes and turtles and spent his teens working at a reptile store dreaming of becoming a marine biologist. He was, in a word, a geek. "There was a reason why I was a virgin until college," he jokes today.

Greg Baroth lizardBut while in college he took a fancy to marketing and opted to explore it by doing an internship at famous music talent agency Bill Silva Management, which led to a paid job for a social media startup backed by CAA, another big talent agency.

That's where he met his first client Randy Jackson from American Idol. Jackson hired him for a moonlighting gig to do things like man Jackson's Twitter account (back before Twitter was a part of the show). Baroth helped Jackson get into live tweetstorms during the show with Ryan Seacrest.

Jackson introduced Baroth to other clients, like Carlos Santana's son Salvador Santana, and the comic Louie Anderson. Soon, he was making more money moonlighting than at his day job.

So Baroth quit his job, and dropped out of college, too, and started doing social media full-time. He was 21.

"My first year, I made $75,000. After that, it's always been six figures," he says, and a healthy enough six figures to let him to buy a house in L.A., where the median home price is over $700,000.

But his life really changed when a PR friend introduced him to womanizing party animal Dan Bilzerian, who was looking to hire a social media person. Baroth realized that this dude was "the guy's guy" and came up with ideas that got noticed by bro media sites like BroBible and turned Bilzerian into a bigger Instagram sensation. "He really does live that lifestyle," Baroth says of Bilzerian.

Baroth no longer works with Bilzerian (although he says they remain friendly). Today he's probably best known as the guy helping "Mini-Me" Verne Troyer's become a social media hit.

But with or without Bilzerian, Baroth's life is still certifiably insane. Take a look.

Greg Baroth became known as the guy that helped make party-animal socialite Dan Bilzerian Insta-famous. Baroth no longer works with Bilzerian but he helped capture (and sometimes thought up) some of Bilzerian's most popular stunts.

Here's a funny pic of Bilzerian and a group of women at Battlefield Las Vegas, a place in Las Vegas where you can drive tanks over cars.  What you can't see: they are standing on top of a crushed BMW. That's Baroth in the far left, looking at his cell phone.



Turns out, Baroth's love and experience with reptiles is a great asset for his chosen career. Here he is with Finnish prank star Jukka Hildén. They are hanging with a 16-foot 150-pound reticulated python. Baroth is perfectly happy having a massive snake draped around his neck.



The python is one of several huge snakes visiting Hildén's house. "Jukka wanted to swim with snakes. He has a nice house in Beverly Hills with a pool," Baroth says. So Baroth contacted famous reptile man Brian Barczyk who brought the snakes.

Here's the video of Hildén and Jake Paul (Logan Paul's brother) swimming with multiple giant snakes.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

There's a medical problem that marijuana might be able to help that no one is talking about

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Man Rolling a Marijuana joint

In a sun-filled room overlooking a smattering of palm trees, power lines, and cement-and-terracotta bungalows, a 73-year-old recovering alcoholic rolls a joint.

Frank, whose name has been changed for this story, doesn't particularly like the feeling he gets from smoking cannabis, but he doesn't hate it either. And he admits it helps him sleep.

High Sobriety, the southern California rehab center where Frank is staying, incorporates cannabis into its treatment regimen for people with drug and alcohol addiction. Frank hasn't touched scotch, his former drink of choice — or any other alcoholic beverage, for that matter — in 30 days.

A month ago, he was living alone and drinking around the clock, despite repeated warnings from his physicians about negative interactions between alcohol and the medications he takes for high blood pressure and other age-related health issues. During a bender over the holidays, Frank knocked over the carriage holding his daughter's 10-month-old baby. Concerned, his family took him to Alcoholics Anonymous. Nothing stuck, and Frank's health continued to decline.

One day last year, his daughter called Joe Schrank, High Sobriety's founder, and asked if he could help.

High Sobriety common area

The idea behind High Sobriety is simple: Help addicts stop abusing the substances that are causing them the most harm, using cannabis as a tool to do so.

"Our retention rates are so much better with being able to give them something," Schrank, a trained social worker who has spent the last 15 years working with addicts, told Business Insider. "The truth is a lot of these people are deep, deep, deep into the weeds with drug and alcohol use, and to think there's a light switch and they can just turn it off ... I mean, you're dealing with a different person when you talk about cessation of drug use."

Schrank's unconventional approach has put him at odds with many people in the recovery community. But his strategy is part of a new and growing movement that aims to treat addiction like any other mental illness — with science. The approaches coming out of this movement share the belief that we should stop treating addiction as a moral issue and start treating it as a medical one.

Reducing harm

Schrank disapproves of AA and other similar programs that portray drinking and using drugs as moral problems. That approach is out of touch with science, he says.

"I never think of drug use as any kind of moral thing," Schrank said. "Actually, I like drug use, although it didn't really work out for me."

Maia Szalavitz, a neuroscience journalist and the author of "Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction," agrees.

"This stuff that emphasizes this morality, we don't have anything else like that in medicine," said Szalavitz, a former heroin addict and AA member. "And the 12-step thing talking about 'defects of character,' that's not exactly helpful for someone who already has a lot of self-hatred."

High Sobriety room 8401

Like Schrank, Szalavitz believes that for many addicts, giving up their drug of choice is necessary for recovery, but giving up all drugs may not be.

"This whole idea that total abstinence is the only route to recovery has been incredibly damaging to the addiction field," she said.

Instead, a better approach might be to identify addicts' problem drug — which Szalavitz describes as "that one partner that you long for but if you get them you'll go crazy" — and remove that substance.

This idea is in line with decades of research in a field called harm reduction, which accepts that drug use is a part of daily life. Instead of trying to get people to give drugs up altogether, it aims to improve people's safety by reducing the negative consequences that can be linked with using drugs. This, Szalavitz believes, could save the lives of the many people who have struggled with AA's hardline approach.

"Addiction is compulsive behavior despite negative consequences," she said. "If you're using a substance responsibly and not having negative consequences, why should anyone care?"

Research seems to suggest that partial abstinence may help some people who've struggled with substances like alcohol. Keith Humphreys, the section director for mental-health policy at Stanford's department of psychiatry, published a paper in 2003 that reviewed an approach called "moderation management." He concluded that making the method an option for people with drinking problems "seems on balance a benefit to public health."

'To say there's only one option ... is wrong'

Six years ago, Schrank's friend Gregory Giraldo was found unconscious in a New Jersey hotel room after overdosing on cocaine and Valium. He died shortly after.

Schrank, 48, says that if he could see Giraldo today and offer him cannabis instead of the drugs he died taking, there'd be no question about it.

"I'd say, 'Smoke up there, Gregory, go ahead,'" Schrank said.

Giraldo, a comedian, had been to rehab and tried the abstinence-only route several times. But the 12 steps didn't save him. Schrank thinks his new program might have.

High Sobriety Joe Schrank"He was a brilliant dude," Schrank said. "Maybe he wouldn't have been as functional as an abstinent-only person. I don't know. But when I hear people tell others that [abstinence-only] is 100% of the pie — they're wrong."

Schrank has also gone through AA. He got sober that way 20 years ago and hasn't touched a drink or a drug — even cannabis — since. (He doesn't even like the smell of pot.)

While he says AA helped him "immensely in a lot of ways," Schrank takes issue with the idea that addicts are given only two choices: complete abstinence or nothing.

"To say there's only one option and to present people with only one option is wrong," Schrank said. "It's like saying, 'I have a moral objection to insulin, so I'm just not going to take it.' It's malpractice if you ask me."

Schrank and other critics of AA's methodology cite its dismal success rates as one of many reasons new approaches are necessary.

"About one of every 15 people who enter these programs is able to become and stay sober," Lance Dodes, a retired professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, wrote in his well-known 2014 book, "The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry."

A large 2006 review of eight trials involving more than 3,400 people in total also concluded that "no experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA ... for reducing alcohol dependence or problems."

Abstinence-only approaches are untenable for people like Frank, Schrank says.

"The truth is he's 73 years old, he's alone, and the idea that we're gonna make him go to AA and stop drinking, it's fantasy — that's not compassion," he said.

Still, there is some evidence that AA can help some people. A study of more than 400 people found that "some of the association between treatment and long-term alcohol-related outcomes appears to be due to participation in AA."

A 29-year-old recovering alcoholic who has been sober for eight years put it to me this way: "If it wasn't for the rooms [of AA], I'd be lying in a gutter somewhere. That's my reality."

Does cannabis help curb addiction?

There aren't many studies on whether cannabis works for those struggling with addictions.

The research that exists suggests that cannabis may be a helpful tool in reducing the use of opioids by people who use them for long-term pain relief. It also could help reduce the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. And it might help some addicts stop using other substances like nicotine, although a large report published in January by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said that "only one randomized trial assessing the role of cannabis in reducing the use of addictive substances" exists.

marijuana weed pot 2In addition to these studies being few and far between, each suffered from at least one research error. In some cases, the sample was too small to extrapolate; in other cases, the data was based only on surveys, which can't provide scientific answers. In others, people in the study knew which drug they were taking, which might have contaminated the findings.

Clearly, more research is needed.

"I think ideally you'd study it before you just go and do it," Szalavitz said. "I think it's an intriguing idea that we need more research on."

But many researchers say the idea of using cannabis to treat addiction is absurd.

"Marijuana has exactly no role in the treatment of any mental illness, especially substance-use disorders," Thomas McLellan, who founded the Treatment Research Institute and served briefly as the deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Obama administration, told The Guardian.

These issues put Schrank in a tough spot.

"It's not the easiest place. AA people hate me. Rehab people hate me," he said. "I'm OK with that."

SEE ALSO: The answer to treating drug and alcohol addiction may be far simpler than you think

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is how long drugs actually stay in your system

11 surprising things that your physical appearance says about you

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kendall

Everybody judges.

Within a few seconds of seeing someone — whether on a date or at the grocery store — we decide on numerous things about them, from how smart they are to how likely they are to commit a crime.

Surprisingly, our first impressions can be remarkably accurate in some instances. In others, they can be wildly off base.

Here are a few of the things we determine about people based on how they look.

SEE ALSO: Most of the salt in your diet comes from these 25 foods

DON'T MISS: There's a medical problem that marijuana might be able to help that no one is talking about

If you're attractive, people assume you have other positive traits as well.

Thanks to a phenomenon that social psychologists call "the halo effect," we tend to assume that good-looking people possess other positive qualities aside from their looks, such as intelligence and commitment.

Daniel Hamermesh, a University of Texas at Austin psychologist who studies beauty in the workplace, found that, among other things, this cognitive bias means good-looking people tend to get paid more. 

Similarly, in a study of male undergrads who were asked to evaluate an essay written by an unnamed female peer, the participants judged the writer and her work more favorably when they were shown a photo of an attractive woman whom they believed to be the writer, as opposed to when they were shown a photo of an unattractive woman or no photo at all.



People can also get a surprisingly accurate read of your personality from a photo.

People can tell a surprising amount about your personality from your portrait. 

In a 2009 study, researchers showed participants the photos of 123 undergrads from the University of Texas at Austin in which the undergrads either were told to have a neutral expression or were allowed to pose however they wanted.

No matter which position the people took, the viewers were better than chance at judging the following: how extroverted they were, how high their self-esteem was, how religious they were, how agreeable they were, and how conscientious they were.



People use facial clues about your height to judge your leadership abilities.

In 2013, a group of psychologists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists from Europe and the US had a small group of participants look at portraits of 47 white men and 83 white women and evaluate them first on their height and next on their ability to lead. 

The researchers found that people used factors in the photos like gender and face length to make guesses about people's height and then used these same factors when they judged their leadership qualities. Faces that appeared to belong to taller people were rated as belonging to better leaders.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The retail apocalypse is killing fashion as we know it as a new dress code takes hold in America

Hating Putin and loving Trump — why that makes sense to some Russian Americans

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Putin and Trump

Gary Kindler is a frequent guest on Davidzon Radio in Brooklyn, New York. He's a political commentator on a station likened to a Russian-language version of Rush Limbaugh.

And so it was on a spring day in 2014 that Gindler, in his deep Russian voice, started talking about Vladimir Putin and called the leader a "nano-Führer." His distrust and distaste for Russia's president is shared by many in the community.

Gindler immigrated to New York from Ukraine in 1995, a few years after the fall of the Soviet Union. His family didn't have much money and faced persecution as Jews.

Today, Gindler abhors policies that to him look like socialism in the US while also hating post-Soviet Putin, who he says suppresses political opposition.

Despite all that, Gindler is now a big supporter of a man who often praises Putin and whose campaign has been accused of colluding with the Russian leader: President Donald Trump.

"One of them is a democratically elected president with all checks and balances upon him," Gindler said of Trump. "Another one is a dictator with unrestricted power over his not citizens — subjects."

In this way Gindler is not unique. During the last election, many of the 800,000 Russian speakers in the US embraced Trump out of disgust for the socialist values that made them flee the Soviet republics. Particularly among the generation of immigrants who came to the US in the 1980s and '90s, the tendency to decry Putin's policies as undemocratic while heralding Trump for his "revolutionary" promises persists. In the April primary, Trump earned 84% of the Republican vote in Brighton Beach, an enclave of Russian-Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn nicknamed "Little Odessa."

Gindler dismisses allegations that Putin's Russia helped Trump win. He believes Russia was rooting for Trump but didn't do anything nefarious. It was Trump's promise to crack down on immigration from Muslim countries, decrease taxes, and repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act that motivated Gindler to support the Republican.

"You shouldn't talk to any Russian-speaking person here in the West and expect any positive words about Putin," said Gindler, a registered independent voter who cast his ballot for Trump in November.

Trump's approval ratings have been sinking in the rest of the population, but among Russian-Americans, support for Trump is still largely going strong even as his administration faces ongoing intense scrutiny over allegations of collaboration with members of the Putin administration.

Gary Gindler (Russian Americans)

Samuel Kliger, director of Russian Jewish Community Affairs at the American Jewish Community, said "many are quite satisfied" with Trump's performance and feel it is the Democrats in office who are preventing him from moving the country forward.

Even though both Putin and Trump are conservatives who have waged attacks against the media and have been compared for their "thirst for power" by prominent Russian-American journalists, many of the Russian-speaking Americans who voted for Trump think that the two have nothing in common.

Evgeny Finkel, a political-science professor at the Columbia College of Arts and Sciences, said many of the immigrants who came to the US in the 1980s and '90s embrace Republican values of personal and economic freedom because they wanted to escape "anything that smacks of socialism." Putin, he said, still reminds many of the Soviet ideologies, partly because of the government's culture of cronyism and repression of dissenters.

Conflicting views

Support for Trump and a hatred of Putin "can go together because support of Trump in this population is not driven by love of Russia and not even driven so much by Trump’s foreign policy," said Finkel, adding that certain Russian-speaking communities voted Republican for years before Trump came along as a presidential candidate.

But as prominent Russian-American journalist Julia Ioffe wrote on her Facebook page, many of the same people who fled anti-Semitism in the former Soviet republics supported a candidate who built his platform on rhetoric and plans many see as discriminatory, such as promises to create Muslim registry.

Whether such views from Russian immigrants are contradictory or not, Jonas Kaplan, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, said it is not uncommon for people to hold conflicting political beliefs, sometimes unconsciously. Even when confronted with contradictory evidence about a candidate, most people will choose to ignore or reconcile views that challenge their worldview rather than grapple with the possibility that they may be wrong.

“When people feel very identified with their political party, it’s very difficult to change your mind because that means changing your relationships with people," said Kaplan, adding that many people build a strong sense of community around politically like-minded people. When you have small groups of people with similar beliefs, fitting in often matters more than being right.

Loyalty to freedom

As such, a continuing loyalty to Trump can continue to move in tandem with a deep dislike for Putin among certain members of the Russian-American community. In fact, many now feel unfairly discriminated against as some assume they're pro-Putin.

“It’s an incorrect assumption that because they are Russian and because they voted for Trump, they also support Putin," said Kliger, who believes that many older people voted for Trump because they "wanted some changes for themselves and for the country" rather than out of support for Russia.

Zoya Conover (Russian Americans)

Of course not all Russian immigrants are anti-Putin. Zoya Conover, an art consultant who moved to Atlanta from Moscow in 1999, called both presidents "hardworking" and said that Trump might now have the chance to do for the US what Putin has done for Russia since taking power in 1999.

“He wants Russia for Russians," she said. Putin helped quell middle-class discontent, she said, and created a stronger sense of Russian identity since taking power. She wants to see a stronger alliance between the two countries.

But even as bills aimed to curb protesting are introduced across the US, the more common view among Russian-Americans is that Putin and Trump are opposites.

“People who got freedom here will never tolerate what is going on over there,” said Gindler.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump mistook an Ivanka from Brighton for his daughter on Twitter

DON'T MISS: Russia's youth doesn't watch TV — and that's creating a big problem for Putin

Join the conversation about this story »

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Anne-Marie Slaughter: Feminism today is too focused on the number of women at the top

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We interviewed Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, on March 23. Here Slaughter explains the issues that arise when feminism is too focused on the number of women at the top. Following is a transcript of the video.

Sara Silverstein: Well, one of the interesting things you've brought up is that feminism today is very focused on the women who make it to the top. How many CEOs are female and - that's our measuring stick. But that the big problem is at the bottom, and - can you talk a little bit about that?

Anne Marie Slaughter: Yeah, that there are too few women at the top but way too many at the bottom and look right now, we are in the midst of this enormous health care debate. Who are the people who are going to really be left on the streets, right? If you are, you know, a single mother with children, and you are in a state that expanded Medicaid and now retracts it? You have nothing. You know, and you child gets sick, well, you'll go to the emergency room and that will bump up our health cost but those are the women, if we're really thinking about equality between men and women across the board, we need to be paying every bit as much and really in many ways, more attention to women - low-income women, middle-class women, who are essentially trying to do a full breadwinner job and a full caregiver job.

Join the conversation about this story »

The best beer from every state

11 surprising things that your physical appearance says about you

0
0

kendall

Everybody judges.

Within a few seconds of seeing someone — whether on a date or at the grocery store — we decide on numerous things about them, from how smart they are to how likely they are to commit a crime.

Surprisingly, our first impressions can be remarkably accurate in some instances. In others, they can be wildly off base.

Here are a few of the things we determine about people based on how they look.

SEE ALSO: Most of the salt in your diet comes from these 25 foods

DON'T MISS: There's a medical problem that marijuana might be able to help that no one is talking about

If you're attractive, people assume you have other positive traits as well.

Thanks to a phenomenon that social psychologists call "the halo effect," we tend to assume that good-looking people possess other positive qualities aside from their looks, such as intelligence and commitment.

Daniel Hamermesh, a University of Texas at Austin psychologist who studies beauty in the workplace, found that, among other things, this cognitive bias means good-looking people tend to get paid more

Similarly, in a study of male undergrads who were asked to evaluate an essay written by an unnamed female peer, the participants judged the writer and her work more favorably when they were shown a photo of an attractive woman whom they believed to be the writer, as opposed to when they were shown a photo of an unattractive woman or no photo at all.



People can also get a surprisingly accurate read of your personality from a photo.

People can tell a surprising amount about your personality from your portrait. 

In a 2009 study, researchers showed participants the photos of 123 undergrads from the University of Texas at Austin in which the undergrads either were told to have a neutral expression or were allowed to pose however they wanted.

No matter which position the people took, the viewers were better than chance at judging how extroverted the photographed people were, how high their self-esteem was, how religious they were, how agreeable they were, and how conscientious they were.



People use facial clues about your height to judge your leadership abilities.

In 2013, a group of psychologists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists from Europe and the US had a small group of participants look at portraits of 47 white men and 83 white women and evaluate them first on their height and next on their ability to lead. 

The researchers found that people used factors in the photos like gender and face length to make guesses about people's height and then used these same factors when they judged their leadership qualities. Faces that appeared to belong to taller people were rated as belonging to better leaders.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The New York townhouse where Taylor Swift once lived for $40,000 a month is now up for grabs for $24.5 million

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tswift cornelia street

Back in June 2016, Taylor Swift rented out a charming New York townhouse while her Tribeca loft was undergoing renovations. The West Village carriage house came with a high price tag: $39,500 in rent a month.

But now that Swift has apparently vacated the home, the owner, investor David Aldea, has listed it for sale for $24.5 million, according to Curbed.

It has five bedrooms, two living rooms, a private garage, and a swimming pool.

Corcoran now has the listing.

Matthew Nitch Smith contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: San Francisco's new most expensive home is this $40 million spec house on Billionaire's Row

The property has many bedrooms. This one has floor-to-ceiling windows that give a glorious view of Manhattan's West Village.

Source: Corcoran



This bedroom is a bit more baroque, with lounge lighting and a fancy chandelier.

Source: Corcoran



This guest bedroom would count as a decent-sized master bedroom by most New York standards.

Source: Corcoran



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Go inside the most expensive home in San Francisco, a $40 million mansion on Billionaire's Row

A look inside the New York office of Yelp, a billion-dollar company that offers its 4,000 employees around the world some incredible perks

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Yelp Offices NYC 24

A space that features foosball tables, karaoke machines, beer kegs, and free snacks sounds more like a rec room for adults than a workplace.

But those are just a few of the enviable perks Yelp offers its 900 New York-based employees.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in San Francisco, Yelp is a nearly $3 billion company that allows consumers to locate and review businesses on its mobile app and website now. It now has seven offices around the US and Europe, including one in the heart of Manhattan that Business Insider visited.

We went inside the Madison Avenue office to get a clearer picture of what the Yelp culture is really like. Here's what we saw and learned:

SEE ALSO: This is the best restaurant in the US, according to Yelp

Upon arriving at Yelp's New York office on a Wednesday afternoon in August, we were greeted by Paul Reich, vice president of local sales, who would be our tour guide. Our first stop: the Yelp Café.



Reich said this is where Yelp's New York employees — most of whom work in sales — can enjoy a caffeine break Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.



The entire time we were there, loud, upbeat music was playing throughout the office. Reich told us that the playlists tend to be pretty eclectic: "We don't know whether we'll be hearing Brazilian or samba or even some heavy metal." When we arrived at the office, "Rock Lobster" by the B-52s was playing.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

APPLY NOW: Business Insider is hiring a paid video intern who can animate

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Cable 8

Business Insider is hiring a video intern specializing in animation.

The ideal candidate has superb post-production video editing skills and a passion for the types of topics we cover for science, tech, and design videos at Business Insider. 

This intern should know how to use Adobe After Effects and Photoshop, Illustrator and various types of audio and digital video equipment. Must also be comfortable working under tight deadlines.

There's an opportunity for this intern to research and write scripts for their animated videos, but this is not a requirement. Explain any experience and interest you have in researching and writing in your cover letter.

The candidate also must be experienced with motion graphics and working creatively in both 2D and 3D space. And should look forward to days filled with gaining extensive experience making videos just like these:

This 3-minute animation will change the way you see the universe

5 survival myths that could get you killed

This incredible animation shows how deep the ocean really is

APPLY HEREwith your resume and cover letter if interested. Please include links in your cover letter to any relevant videos you've worked on. 

Please note that this internship requires that you work in our Manhattan office. The internship term runs for approximately six months, with some flexibility on start and end dates.


 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

Scientists have discovered 5 traits linked with a longer, happier life

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london scout unsplash

We tend to think of successful people — even the ones who inherit their status — as being born with grit.

Traits like that, we're told, will drive us to early prosperity and set us up for happiness later on.

A new study of more than 8,000 men and women over 50 suggests that's probably not true. Instead, traits like grit and optimism can be learned, and they keep playing an important role in our health and happiness long after we land our first job, the study found.

The findings of the new paper are bolstered by decades of previous research linking well-being and longevity to characteristics like optimism. Read on to see which ones you possess.

SEE ALSO: Scientists have found an exciting new clue about how 'super-agers' stay sharp as they age

DON'T MISS: Betsy DeVos backs a technique claiming to cure ADHD without medication — but the science is questionable

Conscientiousness

In the most recent study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers linked conscientiousness, or being thorough and efficient but less likely to take risks, with increased well-being and happiness, along with 4 other traits. Of the more than 8,000 participants in the study, only 23% were defined as conscientious.

Other research ties conscientiousness with well-being. A 75-year analysis of 300 couples who enrolled in the study in their mid-20s while engaged found that men whom their friends identified as conscientious tended to live longer than those who were not seen as possessing the trait. Another long-term study came to similar conclusions, but this time about men and women. Members of both gender who were seen as conscientious lived longer, on average, than their non-conscientious peers.



Optimism

To measure optimism in the most recent study, researchers asked participants to rank how much they agreed with the following two statements: 1) "I feel that life is full of opportunities," and 2) "I feel that the future looks good for me." Using those measures, roughly a quarter of participants were identified as optimistic.

In the past, researchers have noted links between optimism and good health, even when accounting for differences in people's socioeconomic status. A recent German study of roughly 2,500 people found that psychological resources like optimistic personal beliefs positively affected participants' health across incomes and education levels.



Grit

Under 21% of the people in the most recent study were identified as having grit or being determined, making it the rarest out of the 5 life skills outlined in the study.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 25 US colleges with the best location

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University of San Francisco

With prime access to bars and restaurants, and enjoyable weather, the University of San Francisco is America's college with the best location, according to academic-review site Niche.com.

Niche's ranking assessed 1,376 four-year colleges and universities on a number of factors including student response on surveys, access to bars, restaurants, cafes, and outdoor activities; local weather; and percentage of residents aged 18-24.

Scroll through to find out the 25 colleges with the best location.

SEE ALSO: The hardest college to get into in every state

24. University of Colorado-Denver — Denver, Colorado



24. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences — Boston, Massachusetts



23. University of Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



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The Obamas have been on a tropical tour since leaving the White House — here's where they've been so far

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Barack Obama on a boat

The Obamas are making the most of their vacation time. Since leaving the White House in January, they have been hitting some of the most exotic destinations imaginable.

After spending a few days in Palm Springs, Barack and Michelle Obama kicked off their tropical tour with a visit to entrepreneur Richard Branson's private Necker Island.

The next stop was The Brando, a luxury island resort on the atoll of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia. The resort is so exclusive, it can only be reached by boat or by two-engined Air Tetiaroa planes, according to People magazine. The former president has been there since March 15, while Michelle only joined her husband last week. 

Take a look at the incredible places they have visited so far. 

SEE ALSO: 20 photos that show where world leaders live

After eight years in office, the Obamas headed off for a well-deserved break in January.



The first stop (after a very brief stint in Palm Springs) was Necker Island.



This 72-acre island, located in the British Virgin Islands, is owned by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.



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How much money you need to make to live comfortably in the 25 biggest cities in America

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los angeles beach young couple

What it means to live "comfortably" is, of course, subjective. One couple can happily travel the world on less than $30,000 a year, while another may struggle to maintain their preferred lifestyle making $500,000 a year in New York City.

Nonetheless, a good rule of thumb is to live by the 50-30-20 plan. That is, spending 50% of your income on necessities (like housing and food) and 30% on discretionary items (like travel and entertainment), and saving the remaining 20%.

However, cost of living and wages vary from city to city, so while you may be able to achieve this budget with ease in some places, in others it's a much more challenging task. Indeed, in many locations, the median income is well below what would be necessary to live comfortably under the 50-30-20 guideline.

For its latest report on the income needed to afford living in the 50 biggest cities in America, GOBankingRates examined the following monthly expenses for a single person living in the largest US cities by population:

  • Housing: the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in each city, sourced from Zillow's January 2017 rental index
  • Groceries:the recommended amount reported by cost-of-living database Numbeo.com for each city
  • Utilities: the average cost for a 915-square-foot apartment in each city, according to cost estimates from Numbeo.com
  • Transportation: costs according to the Economic Policy Institute's Family Budget Calculator for each city or its nearest metropolitan area
  • Health insurance: premiums as estimated at the state level for 2016 by the Department of Health and Human Services

GoBankingRates multiplied the total monthly cost of necessities for each city by 12 to get the annual cost. To live by the 50-30-20 rule, a person would need to earn twice as much as their expenses, so GoBankingRates doubled the total cost of necessities to arrive at the total recommended income for each city.

Below, check out how much you need to earn to live by the 50-30-20 rule in the 25 largest cities in America — ranging from $40,000 in El Paso, Texas, to $110,000 in San Francisco. We've also included how much the median household actually earns in each location. 

SEE ALSO: The top 15 cities in America to buy your first home

DON'T MISS: 7 things people think are terrible for their finances that actually aren't

Nashville

Population: 644,014

Income needed: $70,150

Median income: $47,621

 



Boston

Population: 655,884

Income needed: $79,277

Median income: $55,777



Memphis

Population: 656,861

Income needed: $48,467

Median income: $36,445



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Making the same 2 decisions before any trip I take has helped me pack lighter for years

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packing light

I pack light.

I've traveled through Croatia, Greece, Spain, and beyond for upwards of 10 days at a time with one bag I can lift easily.

I know many people swear by rolling suitcases, but I like a carry-on I can stick under the seat in front of me that's never out of my sight — and the first time I tried to roll a suitcase uphill across cobblestones was the last.

If you ask me, packing light isn't about how tightly you roll your tee-shirts or sticking socks inside your shoes. Those tricks will only get you so far. To truly pack light, you have to make two decisions well before you head to the airport.

1. Know what you're wearing beforehand.

Sorry, but you can't bring "options." I never understand when people lugging a massive checked bag tell me they didn't "know what I'd feel like wearing!" You'll feel like wearing what you brought. Because those are your only clothes.

Chances are, you know most things about your trip before you go. If you know the approximate weather (it gets cold at night but you can go the beach during the day), the activities you'll undertake (hiking requires much sturdier footwear than drinking at a beachside cafe), and the level of formality of the places you'll visit (better cover your shoulders and knees in a historic cathedral) you'll know what types of clothing to bring.

There are a few nuances to this — having each individual item suit multiple outfits is invaluable — but you can plan every outfit you'll wear for the next week or so well before it's time to wear it, and avoid lugging unworn shoes across international waters.

In fact, by now, I have a few "travel uniforms" that I wear on trips to similar climates. Behold, from left to right: Mallorca 2015, Corsica 2016, Athens 2014.

travel light uniform

I wore almost the exact same thing not only every trip pictured, but every day. Which leads me to the next decision to make ...

2. Accept that you'll wear everything more than once.

You can't have a different sweater for every night and a different pair of pants for every day if you want to keep things tight. I generally bring one sweater, one pair of pants, one scarf ... one of everything except shirts, socks, and underwear. For those, I bring half the number I'd need if I were going to wear a new one every day, and a little bottle of laundry detergent to get at least two days from each.

Again: Sorry.

If the idea of re-wearing socks you've hand-washed and air-dried in your hotel sink gives you hives (but come on), you can draw your own line. Maybe that line is staying in hotels with laundry service. You do you. But nothing saves space like jettisoning your backup jacket and "Tuesday" shoes.

I'll admit that a few things make this easier: I pack for one person. I don't have children and their space-hogging accoutrements. I'm not traveling for business, where you have to look freshly pressed at all times. And, although I've done otherwise, I prefer to travel during the summer to warm destinations — I'm not going to pretend I could cram skis into my carry-on.

But I've largely found that whether I'm headed to sunny Florida or rainy London, for three days or ten, these two decisions have made all the difference in packing light.

SEE ALSO: I took advantage of the strong US dollar to spend 11 days touring Spain — and it was completely worth it

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The 25 most expensive ZIP codes in America

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Tribeca apartment

The 25 most expensive ZIP codes in the US are unsurprisingly concentrated on the coasts.

Real estate listings site Property Shark recently used data from all residential transactions closed in 2016 to determine which ZIP codes across the US were most expensive for buyers.

California dominated the list with 17 cities represented, including well-known places like Beverly Hills and its famous 90210 ZIP code.

New York also claimed six spots, with pricey Hamptons favorite Sagaponack coming in at No. 1.

Only ZIP codes containing more than five sold properties were considered for the list. Property Shark helped us find listings that were close to each of the ZIP codes' median sales price. Check out the full list below:

SEE ALSO: Here's how much you need to earn to be in the top 1% for the 15 largest cities in the US

DON'T MISS: 9 hidden costs that come with buying a home

25. 95030: Los Gatos, California

Median sale price: $2,180,000

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom Los Gatos home will run you around $2.3 million, but it comes complete with hardwood floors, a detached guest house, and four private acres of wooded land. 



24. 94123: San Francisco

Median sale price: $2,210,000

In San Francisco, $2.27 million will get you a home like this one, which packs three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a wood burning fireplace, stainless steel appliances, and a formal dining room into 1,900 square feet. 



23. 94306: Palo Alto, California

Median sale price: $2,227,500

This three-level home in Palo Alto, on the market for $2.25 million, features quartz countertops, abundant natural light, and a fenced-in patio. 



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