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The team behind the best restaurant in the world opened a new fast-casual concept in New York City

LinkedIn took over a 26-story San Francisco skyscraper, and it's unlike anything else we've seen


linkedin sign outdoor

In the ever-competitive tech landscape, a tricked-out office can be key for attracting talent.

LinkedIn has it covered. The professional social network, which Microsoft snapped up for a whopping $26.2 billion in 2016, leases a new 26-story skyscraper in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. It has art installations on every floor, a massage room, a band room, a rooftop patio, and sweeping city views.

Business Insider got the chance to tour the offices at 222 Second Street. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: Salesforce's $1 billion skyscraper will be the most expensive building in San Francisco — take a look

San Franciscans might pass the LinkedIn skyscraper on their commute and not think much of it. Formed from two cubes of gray glass, the tower is a bit boring from the outside.

Walk inside and the lobby will transport you to a modern art museum.

The ground floor has dozens of chairs gathered around long wooden tables, three pieces of Frank Stella artwork, and a trendy Equator Coffee bar. It's a public space, open to anybody.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The largest private-equity firm in the world opened a more casual, amenity-filled office for its tech team — take a look inside


Blackstone offices, innovations team

When it comes to recruiting and retaining top tech talent, Blackstone, the world's largest private-equity firm, is often competing with the likes of Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Blackstone Innovations, the tech team that designs tools for Blackstone's employees and investors and acts as in-house advisors for potential tech investments, recently moved out of the firm's New York headquarters and across the street to their own space. The new digs come complete with a pool table, event space, and a much more casual dress code.

"[We wanted to] put [our team] in a position where they're comfortable, and spur them to think differently," William Murphy, CTO of Blackstone Innovations, told Business Insider during a visit to the new space. Ahead, take a look at the brand-new offices in Midtown Manhattan.    

SEE ALSO: A look inside LinkedIn's New York office, where employees enjoy perks like free gourmet meals and a speakeasy hidden in the Empire State Building

DON'T MISS: A photographer spent 25 years documenting rich people — here's what she learned

"People often expect that everybody who is tech-y wants to have an open plan with Nerf guns," Murphy joked. When Blackstone surveyed its tech employees about their needs in a new office, they found that many simply needed a quiet, comfortable space.

Murphy, who worked directly with the architects to help create the new office, was determined to exceed his employees' expectations.

"If you're trying to make it seem like your team is a family, you want to make sure your space feels like home," he said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 5 worst wedding faux pas you can make, according to a wedding planner


wedding crashers

Weddings are supposed to be fun — for the hosts, the hosts' family, and the guests.

Unfortunately, the celebrations can easily go awry.

Melissa McNeeley, a New York City-based wedding planner who's worked with Steve Martin and Jim Parsons, told us about the worst wedding faux pas she's encountered — and only some of them involve too much champagne.

Below, find five breaches of etiquette that will quickly land you on the wedding-guest blacklist.

SEE ALSO: 8 books to read before you get married

1. Asking to bring a date who wasn't explicitly invited

McNeeley said this happened to her — twice! — while she was planning her own wedding. And she's seen it happen multiple times to her clients.

Sometimes, an invitee will ask one of the hosts if they can bring their kids or a date. Other times, they'll be so bold as to write in someone else's name, along with theirs, on the RSVP card.

"This is a big faux pas, and really bad manners," McNeeley said.

It's not just that your hosts didn't budget for an additional guest, McNeeley added — they may also want a more intimate wedding.

Putting your hosts in that awkward position, she said, "puts a weird damper on it."

2. Deciding at the last minute that you want a different meal

If you indicate on your RSVP card that you'd like the fish, it's really rude to request the filet mignon right as the waiters are passing out dinner.

"It puts a backlog on the food service," McNeeley said, which affects all the other guests, too.

Obviously, if you have a food allergy or another dietary restriction, you'll want to let the hosts know beforehand — and most people do, McNeeley said. But it's not okay to simply decide that one dish looks more appealing.

"If you're a guest and someone is serving something, graciously accept that."

3. Getting ridiculously drunk

McNeeley has seen this happen — and it can be at least "a little troublesome," she said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

24 time-saving hacks that will free up hours in your weekly schedule



Research about productivity teaches us one clear lesson: Multitasking doesn't work.

So what are busybodies of the 21st century to do?

According to users in a recent Quora thread, there are a range of daily behaviors people can tweak — even just slightly — to free up lots of extra time during the week.

Get ready to be your most efficient self.

SEE ALSO: 11 habits the most influential people share

Automate as many of your daily tasks as possible, so you can focus on bigger things.

"Let's see what are the things you could automate:

-Don't love going to the grocery store every week? Use Instacart

-Don't love going to the gas station every week? Use FuelPanda (Disclosure: I am a co-founder)

-Don't love cleaning your house every few weeks? Use Handy

-Don't love cooking every day? Try different Food delivery services

-Don't love washing clothes? Use Washio

-Don't love doing small online errands? Use Fancy Hands

-Don't love paying bills? Use Auto pay on your account

-Don't love thinking about what to wear each day? Wear the same type of dress every day

Once you automate everything that you don't love, then the rest is beautiful!"


Follow the "Two-minute rule": If something takes very little time, just get it done.

"If you can do something (like replying to an email, or a house chore) in 2 minutes, do it now. Planning it for later, remembering it, doing it in the future will take 5 minutes or more."

-Marius Ursache

Think of your ability to make good decisions as a limited resource, because that's what it is.

"Don't think that willpower will help you when you get in trouble. Make important decisions in the morning and automate everything possible (delegate, batch etc.). US presidents don't have to choose their menu or suit color every day — otherwise their willpower will be depleted at that late hour when they should push (or not push) the red button)."

-Marius Ursache

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We're taking you behind the scenes of New York's coolest offices


Etsy 6159

Do you have an awesome office with brag-worthy perks? Does your office yoga studio and juice bar or rooftop pool make all of your other friends jealous?

Take us behind the scenes of your office speakeasy, rooftop garden, or in-house spa and show Business Insiders what it's like to work there.

If you have an office that we should tour, e-mail amckelvey@businessinsider.com and let us know why we should come visit your awesome workplace.

SEE ALSO: Etsy just moved into an office that's nearly twice as big as its old one — and the perks are incredible

SEE ALSO: A look inside L'Oréal's New York office, where employees of the $103 billion company can relax on a roof terrace and test products before they're on the market

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A former Google exec explains the biggest mistakes employers make when promoting someone

Here's what every guy can learn from the best-dressed man at the Met Gala


Rami Malek met gala

At first glance, Rami Malek's Met Gala outfit might sting.

The red tuxedo and red shirt, paired with two shiny black boots, almost makes the 5-foot-9 Malek look like the devil come to earth.

But look at the outfit in context, and you'll see it's more than meets the eye.

Malek has been a red-carpet style fixture for a couple of years now, and he has slowly developed his personal style over time.

He has settled on a regular look entailing a super-slim suit, sans tie, that is a little bit David Byrne and a little bit modern Don Draper. And he pulls it off.

The red tuxedo, a Dior Homme number, is the evolution of that. More importantly, it fits perfectly with the theme of this year's gala, which honored Comme des Garcons founder Rei Kawakubo.

The annual gala — formally called the Costume Institute Gala— was Monday night in New York City.

Kawakubo is well known for her use of bright reds in runway shows, and it's clear Malek took a cue from that in his ensemble. In this way, wore something that fit into his personal style while still sticking to the event's theme.

This isn't easy to do — wearing a red suit is a pros-only move, if we're being honest. But every guy should take note of Malek's insistence on keeping his ensemble true to himself, even when an event requires something specific.

Keep that in mind for the next wedding you go to, and you just might not be the worst dressed in the ballroom.

SEE ALSO: How grown men can actually look good in shorts

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This suit color works for any occasion

32 books that will make you a more well-rounded person


Girl Reading

Do you aspire to be one of those people who knows at least a little bit about everything?

There's any easy way to do it: Read everything!

You can't just stick to the mystery novels, anthologies, or biographies you've grown partial to. If you really want to become a more well-rounded person, you'll need to force yourself out of your comfort zone at the bookstore.

If you're not sure where to start, you've come to the right place. We've selected 32 timeless books on all different topics — politics, science, history, culture, and more — that may help you become the well-rounded person you strive to be.

Jacquelyn Smith and Natalie Walters contributed to a previous version of this article.

SEE ALSO: 10 books everyone is reading right now

Classic: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

First published in 1960 and winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize, "To Kill a Mockingbird" was an overnight successIn its first week, it sold 1.1 million copies, and in its lifetime it's sold more than 40 million copies and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

In this American classic, lawyer Atticus Finch agrees to defend a black man who was accused of raping a white woman. The fictional story takes place in the town of Maycomb, Alabama, and is told through the innocent perspective of Finch's tomboy daughter, Scout.

This classic novel hits on a few important topics, such as parenting and racism in America.


Classic: '1984' by George Orwell

George Orwell wrote this anticommunist novel in 1948 to predict what 1984 would look like in London. His prediction? A totalitarian state where "Big Brother," the government, was always watching you and telling you what to think and believe.

Some of his predictions came true, like cameras being everywhere and our bodies being scanned for weapons.

This book is a must-read because it's a cautionary tale of what happens when the government is given too much control over the people and their lives.


Classic: 'Walden' by Henry David Thoreau

In "Walden," first published as "Walden; or, Life in the Woods" in 1854, transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau details his experiences of living in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, close to Concord, Massachusetts, for about two years.

By retreating into the woods, Thoreau tried to reach a state of complete self-sufficiency and simple living. His experiment was not only a commentary about civilization and society, but also an experiement in enlightenment through personal introspection.

The classic remains a relevant read for anyone interested discovery through minimalism.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

30 gorgeous, winning images from this year's Sony World Photography Awards


1389_8_3123_AmiVitale_UnitedStatesofAmerica_Professional_NaturalWorld_2017The Sony World Photography Awards is the largest photo competition in the world. Now celebrating its 10th year, the awards program has received more than a million submissions since its inception.

For the "Professional Competition," photographers must submit a body of work — at least five images — that explores a single subject. There are ten categories, and first-, second-, and third-place winners are chosen within each.

The highest honor within the competition is the "Photographer of the Year" award, which is chosen regardless of which category photographers submitted their work to. Keep scrolling to see this year's winners. 

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

DON'T MISS: A photographer spent 25 years documenting rich people — here's what she learned

First place, Architecture — Dongni, China

First place, Conceptual — Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland

First place, Contemporary Issues — Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A new documentary gives a fascinating look into how Indian arranged marriages actually work


Dipti camera1

Weddings are often thought of as celebrations of happy new lives and the unison of families. In the United States, weddings are glorified as such fantastic events and signify the choice of two people who found each and fell in love. So we often forget how different weddings — and marriage in general — are thousands of miles away from where we happen to live.

“A Suitable Girl,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last week in New York City, beautifully captures this topic. The documentary — directed, produced, edited, and completely made by women of color, an impressive feat in and of itself — follows three young Indian women in their pursuit of finding a man to marry, and how arranged marriages in the country are negotiated. Through their eyes, we see a close and personal examination of the complex journey Indian women face: They want to do right by their families by finding a good husband, but they don't want to lose themselves (or relatives) in the process.  

The cultures, backgrounds, and personalities of the subjects are completely different. Dipti is 30, and has been looking for a husband going on four years. Amrita sacrifices her social life, job, Western clothes, and family to move 400 miles away from the city for her husband. And Ritu is a career girl looking for a man who respects her intelligence, and will let her work. 

While these women come from different backgrounds, one thing remains the same: the immense pressure to get married. Friends, parents, siblings — everyone you can imagine being in your life puts them under pressure, and feels the pressure themselves. 

Amrita & K1

What separates “A Suitable Girl” from other documentaries is its perspective, which is completely nonjudgmental. It’s respectful of Indian culture, no matter how surprising it might be to viewers. During Amrita's wedding, which we see early on in the film, we get up-close shots of her tearing up as she slowly realizes what she's given up. But she chose to give it up. What "A Suitable Girl" emphasizes more than the sad nature of pressures on young women to get married in India is the process of getting married for the women and their families. 

In the US and other Western countries, marriage means two families coming together. In India, marriage often means giving your daughter away. Dipti's parents feel badly that they haven't been able to help their daughter find someone to marry. And Dipti gets depressed because she feels like she's disappointed her parents because she hasn't found a husband yet. 

Ritu's mother, who is a matchmaker — and provides some comic relief in many of her matchmaking scenes — is trying to find a match for her daughter, but it's harder than any other match she's had to make in her career. 

In Amrita, "A Suitable Girl" highlights the role these women take on when they become wives. They can lose their identities, and suddenly everything they’ve done, everything they’ve achieved, is gone. Because when you’re married, it is your duty to please your husband and his family. Amrita has to give up her Western clothes, which are not welcome in her husband's family. She cannot work, save for domestic work around the house, which is 400 miles away from her family in Delhi.

Dipti's father tells a potential husband that she doesn't have any friends. That she teaches, but she comes straight home and doesn't do anything else. The audience at Tribeca laughed at this part, despite how heartbreaking it is. In Western culture, telling a potential lover that you don't have any friends is a major red flag. But in India, that's a good thing. 

"A Suitable Girl" tells these women's stories so well that you will feel like you're their friends who followed them on this journey, especially Dipti, who's the most enjoyable (and heartbreaking) to watch. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will have a new, more informed perspective on a culture that isn't so familiar 

SEE ALSO: The best movies and TV shows coming to Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, and more in May

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 7 storylines we hope are resolved in season 7 of 'Game of Thrones'

Bottled water is a scam for most Americans — but a new report reveals some surprising places where it's dangerous to drink the tap


water bottle camping outdoors unplash

Bottled water isn't cheap. At an average cost of $1.22 per gallon, we spend 300 times more on packaged H2O than we'd spend to drink it from the tap. In most cases, this expense is far from worth it, since both types of water are equally safe, taste identical, and in some cases even come from the same source.

There are some important exceptions, however. People living near private wells do not enjoy the same rigorous testing as those whose water comes from public sources. Some public sources are not properly screened, as was recently seen in Flint, Michigan.

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests that the problem is much worse than researchers thought. It all comes down to testing — or in some cases, a failure to do so.

Typically, tap water is tested regularly for quality and contamination in accordance with laws from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The main law involved here is the Safe Drinking Water Act, passed in 1974.

That act sets up a system of health-based standards that community water agencies must follow. Regular testing of the water supply tells experts when one of these standards isn't being met. In its new report, the NRDC documents more than 80,000 violations of the law by community water systems in 2015 alone.

"Nearly 77 million people were served by more than 18,000 of these systems with violations in 2015," the agency says in a press release. "These violations included exceeding health-based standards, failing to properly test water for contaminants, and failing to report contamination to state authorities or the public."

As the report reveals, the quality of your tap can vary considerably based on where you live. According to EPA law, you should receive an annual drinking water quality report, or Consumer Confidence Report, by July 1 that details where your water comes from and what's in it.

But in 2015, this law was violated nearly 8,000 times by community water systems serving more than 14 million people, according to the report. That could mean that the reports were not sent out on time, not sent out at all, or not made publicly available. Formal enforcement action, or reporting the problem to the level where the EPA required the community water system to respond to a complaint, was taken in just 10% of cases.

Here's a map from the report showing the number of people served by community water systems with at least one reported violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2015. Populations are shaded at the county level to show the number of residents served by systems with violations that occurred that year.

nrdc map

Furthermore, the report found violations of parts of the law that regulate the amount of metals  like arsenic, lead, and copper, nitrates and nitrites  as well as three different classes of organic and inorganic contaminants in drinking water.

But the problem doesn't end there.

For its report, the NRDC looked exclusively at public community drinking water systems.

If you live in one of the 15 million (mostly rural) US households that gets drinking water from a private well, the EPA isn't keeping an eye on your water quality at all.

In this Sept. 14, 2015 photo, Dora Martinez cooks food at her home in a trailer park near Fresno, Calif. Residents of the trailer park receive notices warning that their well water contains uranium at a level considered unsafe by federal and state standards.

"It is the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain the safety of their water," the agency states on its website.

Research suggests that the water from many of these wells is not safe to drink. In a 2011 report, 13% of the private wells that geologists tested were found to contain at least one element (like arsenic or uranium) at a concentration that exceeded national guidelines.

Ready to find out if your water is clean?

Look up your region's Consumer Confidence Report using this EPA link or check out the NRDC's report, which breaks down the data by state with an interactive map.

SEE ALSO: 16 facts that show why bottled water is one of the biggest scams of the century

DON'T MISS: 20 images that show how much we've reshaped planet Earth in the past 70 years

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Wealthy Americans used to drink one of the world's most radioactive elements on purpose

The 20 best places for new dads to work


dad newborn

The US is one of the worst countries for parental leave— and it's especially bad for new dads.

Simon Isaacs, cofounder of Fatherly, an online parenting resource for men, says very few US employers provide paid paternity leave today.

"This means a lot of new dads are not able to take time to bond with their babies and be at home with their families," he told Business Insider.

The good news is that the conversation around paternity leave is louder than ever, he said. "We are seeing companies realize the importance of offering longer paid leave options to their workforce."

For a third time, Fatherly decided to find the companies leading the race and spotlight those organizations for its annual list of the Best Places To Work For New Dads. 

To compile the list, Fatherly looked at things like paternity leave policies, flexible hours, and telecommuting options. (Read more on the methodology here.

"These employers are showing that offering new dads more paid time off can be a real competitive advantage — particularly as it relates to recruiting and retaining top talent," Isaacs said.

He added that paternity leave — which is not "time off"— is important for a number of reasons. "There is an increasing body of evidence behind the importance of father-child bonding beginning in the first few weeks," Isaacssaid. "With more couples than ever sharing responsibilities at home, paternity leave is also important to support your wife or spouse."

Netflix — which began offering "unlimited" maternity and paternity leave to its employees in 2015 — leads Fatherly's list for 2017. Etsy, which began offering 26 weeks of paid leave regardless of gender last year, follows close behind.

Below are the top 20 companies on Fatherly's list of the best companies for new dads. To see the complete list of all 50 employers, click here.

SEE ALSO: The science behind why paid parental leave is good for everyone

DON'T MISS: Parents at Etsy are raving about the company's progressive parental leave policy

20. Capital One

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia

Number of employees: 47,300

Paid paternity leave: 8 weeks

Industry: Finance

2016 Rank: New entry

19. Airbnb

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Number of employees: 1,917

Paid paternity leave: 10 weeks

Industry: Hospitality

2016 Rank: No. 10

18. Starbucks

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Number of employees: 238,000

Paid paternity leave for corporate employees: 12 weeks

Industry: Food and beverage

2016 Rank: New entry

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

2 startup founders quietly created the new 'Oprah's Book Club' for millennials — and the publishing industry is obsessed


The Skimm founders CEO Carly Zakin Danielle Weisberg

Every morning at 6:00 a.m., more than 5 million subscribers receive an email newsletter from theSkimm.

Launched by former NBC producers Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin in 2012, theSkimm is a daily sum-up of top headlines rewritten for a millennial audience. 

The startup's motto is that it's "making it easier to be smarter." 

TheSkimm has added several different features since launching the newsletter. One of its most popular, however, is its SkimmReads book recommendation engine, which is being called the next iteration of the wildly popular "Oprah's Book Club."

The first book theSkimm's editors chose was "Flash Boys" by Michael Lewis.

"When we started theSkimm, it was right before the long weekends of the summer, and that's always when we're trying to figure out what to read next," Zakin told Business Insider. "Danielle and I have always been lifelong voracious readers, and theSkimm has always been true to who we are as people."

TheSkimm's book recommendations, which now come out in the newsletter every Friday, have proven to be huge drivers of sales. According to the startup, books have moved up an average of 3,000 spots on Amazon's Best Sellers ranking shortly after being highlighted in the newsletter. 

Elan Mastai's "All Our Wrong Todays," for example, moved up from No. 4,110 to No. 198 on Amazon's ranking after it was put in SkimmReads on March 31. "The Thousandth Floor," written by Katherine McGee, moved from No. 4,586 to No. 15 after its appearance in SkimmReads on September 30, 2016.

 TheSkimm, which does get a percentage of sales of the products its editors recommend (though they declined to share exact numbers), has also begun suggesting wines that pair well with certain reads. They'll name a rosé that goes well with a new beach read, for example.

"We drink wine when we read books. It's just what we do," Zakin said. "When we started recommending wines with books, our wine partners told us they were selling more wine between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. than they do in a whole week."

Publishers have taken note. 

"TheSkimm has turned into the holy grail for book publicists right now," said Victoria Comella, director of publicity at HarperCollins. "It taps into the exact right audience — young women who are by all accounts the highest demographic of book readers out there. There used to be Oprah, now we have theSkimm."

Authors who have been featured are also seeing a boost in buzz around their books. 

"TheSkimm has become a force in the world of books. I still remember the day they featured 'The Traitor's Wife' in the SkimmReads section," Allison Pataki, author of "The Traitor's Wife," "The Accidental Empress," and "Sisi," said. "Sales spiked that day, and people came out of the woodwork to say that they had seen it on their daily email."

"TheSkimm has quickly established itself as a tastemaker and a key driver of trends and word-of-mouth buzz."

Christina Baker Kline, author of "Orphan Train" and "A Piece of the World" called theSkimm "a defibrillator for books: a jolt in sales and prestige like nothing else."

It's no accident that SkimmReads has drawn comparisons to "Oprah's Book Club." Oprah herself is a noted reader of theSkimm, in addition to being an inspiration for the startup's book recommendations.

"We were really inspired by Oprah, how she was making reading part of a conversation and part of what you do with your friends. She inspired millions of readers to find their next favorite book," Weisberg said. "We wanted to start SkimmReads to be an engine for our generation's next favorite read."

In the meantime, theSkimm's New York headquarters have completely filled up with books sent over by publicists. 

theSkimm Books

Last week, the team opened theSkimm offices up to the public and posted an Instagram inviting people to stop by and take the books for free. 

"They were all gone within an hour," Zakin said.


SEE ALSO: How 2 roommates got shot down by hundreds of startup investors and racked up credit-card debt — but built a newsletter empire anyway

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Silicon Valley startup is using robots to make pizza

Celine Dion has finally found a buyer for her lavish Florida mansion that has gotten $34 million in price chops since 2013


Celine Dion

Celine Dion can finally relax.

Her extravagant Jupiter Island property, which has been on the market since 2013, has found a buyer. It is under contract and is expected to close this year, the agent handling the sale told Mansion Global.

The price for the lavish house stood at $38.5 million at the time of the sale, though the ultimate price has not been disclosed.

That price was arrived at after a series of price chops over the last four years. It originally asked $72.5 million in 2013.

The singer had previously lowered the price to $45.5 million after her husband, René Angélil, died last year. Dion and her late husband bought the lot the house sits on for $12.5 million in 2005, then the adjacent mansion for $7 million in 2008. They then razed the existing home to build the current spread.

Dion sold the property because she now spends most of her time in Las Vegas, where she lives with her family. Her residency at Caesars Palace will continue until 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Cristina Condon of Sotheby's International Realty had the listing.

Megan Willett contributed reporting to a previous version of this article.

SEE ALSO: This VC's mansion just got a $20 million price chop, but it's still one of the most expensive homes in Silicon Valley

Welcome to Celine Dion's 5.5-acre compound on Jupiter Island in Florida.

The property is currently under contract for $38.5 million and is expected to sell this year.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

Dion and her late husband custom-designed the property themselves after buying two lots and razing one of the existing homes.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside the Las Vegas trailer park that Zappos' multimillionaire CEO calls home


tony hseih airstream trailer

Tony Hsieh has a net worth of about $840 million, but rather than buy a desert mansion outside the Zappos campus in Las Vegas, Nevada, he's planted his roots in a trailer park downtown.

In 2014, as part of his grand efforts to revitalize the city, Hsieh transformed an abandoned parking lot into a micro-living oasis. His downtown development project has faltered, but the trailer park is thriving. About 30 Airstream trailers and tiny homes make up the village called "Llamapolis."

Let's take a peek inside.

SEE ALSO: 27 photos show the extreme lengths millennials will go to live in cities instead of suburbs

The entrance to Llamapolis is a tunnel covered in recycled Christmas lights.

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The smell of livestock washes over you upon entry, and it becomes immediately clear how the village got its nickname, Llamapolis.

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Marley and Triton, who are actually alpacas, live here with their owner and the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Japanese high-school students are sometimes required to prove their hair color is natural — here's why


japanese student

In the US, dress-code violations might include an offensive t-shirt or a mini skirt. In Japan, a dye job can do you in.

According to a new survey published by Tokyo news outlet The Asahi Shimbun, 57% of public high schools in the city require students to prove that their hair color is natural.

The measure is designed to uphold strict Japanese standards regarding physical appearance: In addition to prohibiting students from perming or dyeing their hair, many Japanese schools mandate crisp, respectable dress and don't allow overly long or unkempt hair.

According to Asahi Shimbun, 98 of the 170 schools surveyed by the paper had such a policy in place. The number of children who'd been made to prove their hair color was real ranged from a few to a few dozen during the most recent school year.

"Some students insist that their hair is natural even though it is dyed," one teacher told Asahi Simbun. "We ask their parents to confirm these claims as their responsibility."

Unlike the US, Japan's population is fairly homogeneous. As a result, the culture often places a premium on uniformity — even slight deviations from the norm tend to stand out, and provoke criticism in more conservative circles.

Natsuko Fujimaki, a Tokyo-based entrepreneur, says this is where the Japanese concept of majime comes into play. The term refers to a preference for order, tidiness, and often perfectionism. It tracks closely with a desire to stay reserved and sensible in comportment.

"They try to follow the rules for everything," Fujimkai tells Business Insider.

In order to prove that a student's hair is natural, schools will often ask parents to submit childhood photos depicting the kid's hair color. In less extreme cases, parents only need to verify in writing (with a signature) that their child's hair hasn't been treated in any way.

The practice is not new. Even a decade ago, some schools required students to prove they hadn't dyed or curled their hair. In extreme cases, schools would even require foreign-born students to dye their hair to conform to the rest of the student body as part of a forced assimilation process. 

"Every week teachers would check if Nicola was dyeing her hair brown," a Brazilian-born student named Maria told Japan Times of her sister, Nicola, in 2007. "Even though she said this is her natural color, she was instructed to straighten and dye it black. She did so once a week. But the ordeal traumatized her. She still has a complex about her appearance."

Hair dye and perms aren't the only beauty choices subject to Japanese dress-code standards. Many male students can't wear spiky or messy hairstyles, allow their hair to cover their eyes, or let it grow past their collars. Some schools require female students to pin their hair back "in a way that does not interfere with classroom instruction," as one school's code put it.

According to Asahi Shimbun, Japan's falling birth rate plays a role in these rules. With fewer students to fill the schools, public and private schools have started competing for parents' attention. One strategy they've adopted: Highlight their strict hair policies to show how majime they are about education, in hopes parents will be impressed by the rigor.

Some critics say the requirement that students prove their hair is natural violates their privacy.

Meanwhile, advocates allege it does the students a favor, since one verification process can prevent headmasters from constantly asking whether a child's hair is real. They say asking for initial proof ends up sparing kids even greater psychological harm.

SEE ALSO: How Japan can solve its huge sex problem, according to a political scientist

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This company wants to give you the best night’s sleep of your life


Brentwood Home

The bed-in-a-box trend has been making waves on the Internet over the past couple of years with a new mattress startup launching what seems like every few weeks. Gone are the days of the in-person mattress showroom experience; now you can shop for a new bed from the comfort of your home with just a few clicks (and a good amount of research). Within a couple of days, you’ll be greeted at the door by a brand new mattress, compressed and rolled into a comically small box.

Most of these startups craft their stories around the meticulous engineering of one superior mattress, somehow the perfect match for every sleeper. But is that really possible? Long-time mattress manufacturer Brentwood Home doesn’t think so.

“When it comes to your mattress, the same product isn’t going to work for every age, body type, and lifestyle,” says Brentwood Home CEO Vy Nguyen. “We organize our mattress collections based on material, feel, and price point, so our customers can find something that best fits their specific needs and, most importantly, their sleep health.”

Brentwood Home sells high-quality mattresses and bedding essentials, all handcrafted at its factory in Southern California and focuses largely on sourcing the most natural materials they can find for their products, such as natural latex and New Zealand wool. We asked Vy to explain the difference in the categories that Brentwood Home mattresses fall into.

  • Latex: Those looking for a natural mattress tend to lean toward the latex collection. Latex is a completely natural material, with a bouncy, resilient feeling that provides uplifting support.
  • Memory foam: Memory foam gently hugs and conforms to your body. It evenly distributes weight and reduces motion transfer, making it great for couples who don’t want to disturb each other during sleep.
  • Spring: Individually wrapped spring coils provide support right where you need it, independently responding to your movements. Brentwood Home’s Oceano mattress in the Spring collection is one of its best sellers.

So, which one is right for you? 

“Side sleepers will need extra cushion to avoid pain and pressure in the hips and shoulders, but someone experiencing back issues may need a firmer mattress with more support.” Nguyen explains. If you’re still not sure which option is best for you, the customer service team at Brentwood Home will gladly point you in the right direction.

The Nguyen family has been handcrafting mattresses in Los Angeles for more than 30 years, but took the Brentwood Home brand online in 2014 to establish a direct relationship with mattress consumers. Because the company has its own factory, it’s able to develop a variety of mattresses to suit each individual’s needs, handcrafting each bed to order — all while cutting out pricey middlemen. Mattresses range from $435 to $1,495 for a Queen, so there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find something that matches the comfort level, materials, and price point you desire.

You can check out Brentwood Home and their collection of mattresses and bedding here.

This post is sponsored by Brentwood Home.

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LAX is getting a paparazzi-proof terminal that costs $2,000 for the rich and famous to use — take a look inside


The Private Suite at LAXIf you're traveling to Los Angeles and looking forward to a bit of celebrity spotting, you might need to pay $2,000 to do so.

"The Private Suite" is a separate VIP terminal at LAX for first and business class travelers. After it opens on May 15, it will enable its premium guests to have a discreet and seamless traveling experience.

However, it comes at a price: for a fee that starts at $2,000 a visit, guests can have access to a private check-in, security screening, and customs process. They'll be driven to or collected from their airplane in a private BMW and have all their baggage taken care of while they relax in one of the luxury suites.

There are two options: either take out a $7,500-a-year membership and get reduced rates on the use of the terminal (plus added perks, such as free massages before a flight), or pay a higher one-off fee each time. This fee ranges from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on whether guests choose to lounge in private or in a larger shared room.

Take a look at what to expect:

SEE ALSO: A photographer spent 25 years documenting rich people — here's what she learned

"The Private Suite" is located right next to the main runways at LAX.

Guests can get away from the traffic and congestion of the main airport and head to this private compound.

The terminal is owned and operated by security firm Gavin de Becker & Associates, and it's based on other VIP services offered at airports overseas, including London Heathrow.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

There’s new evidence that Silicon Valley’s favorite diet could help you lose weight, but it comes with a catch


eating wine meal

As anyone who's ever dieted knows, restricting what you eat every day can be monotonous, grueling work. Enter intermittent fasting, a plan that essentially involves carefully monitoring what you consume on certain days and eating whatever you want on others.

While it might sound intimidating (the name itself doesn't exactly scream "user-friendly"), intermittent fasting can be adapted for a variety of eating preferences, from regularly abstaining from food for 12-16 hours at a time to not eating once or twice a week.

A new study looking at one of these types of fasting suggests that the method works roughly as well for weight loss as traditional dieting does. That might sound like a bit of a bummer to some proponents of fasting such as study author and nutrition professor Krista Varady, whose previous research indicated that the plan might be faster, easier, and more effective than regular weight loss diets. (Varady even wrote a book about this particular fasting method, called "The Every-Other-Day Diet," which she discloses in the most recent paper.)

But there are reasons to stay hopeful, too, especially if you're someone who's tried toughing it out on protein shakes and salads and still failed to see results. Plus, a growing body of research on fasting suggests that in addition to helping with weight loss, the method could have other beneficial health outcomes, such as potentially reducing the risk for certain cancers and even possibly prolonging life.

Those potential benefits haven't gone unnoticed amongst engineers and CEOs in Silicon Valley, many of whom are sworn devotees of the diet. These folks include a Bay Area group of biohacking enthusiasts called WeFast, which meets weekly to collectively break their fasts with a hearty morning meal, and Facebook executive Dan Zigmond, who confines his eating to the narrow time slot of 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

For the study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers pitted people assigned to follow a traditional restricted-calorie diet (eating roughly 25% of their normal daily calories) against those who were told to fast every other day (eating 25% of their normal calories on fast days and 125% on the other days) for a year. A control group who didn't follow any type of diet was also included. At the end of the year, people in the standard diet group and the fasting group lost similar amounts of weight compared with those who didn't do any type of diet at all. They also came away with similar results in terms of heart rate and blood pressure.

Still, fasting isn't fool-proof.

Like other diets, it might be tough to stick to. Roughly a third of the people assigned to both dieting groups dropped out before their year was up, compared with about a quarter of the people in the control or non-dieting group. Also, many of the people in the fasting group gradually appeared to slide into old dieting habits, meaning that by the end of the trial they were effectively doing regular calorie-restriction rather than alternate-day fasting.

Nevertheless, as the study is the largest and longest study of its kind, more research is likely needed before we reach any definitive conclusions about how well it works — or doesn't. One important takeaway, though, may be that if you've struggled with conventional dieting, fasting may be a worthwhile alternative to explore.

"It will be of interest to examine what behavioral traits make alternate-day fasting more tolerable for some individuals than others," the researchers write.

SEE ALSO: There's new evidence that shows even more conclusively that a certain diet could slow aging

DON'T MISS: The person behind the viral 7-minute workout shares the trick he uses to avoid overeating

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The company that created the 'greatest hoodie ever made' just released a whole new line of women's clothing


american giant dresses

American Giant is on a mission to bring manufacturing back to the US, one clothing category at a time.

The apparel company that created what New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo once dubbed the "greatest hoodie ever made" now has a full line of women's dresses, all of which are, of course, made in the US.

The line includes a range of dresses in three silhouettes: the Premium Tank Dress ($49), the Premium T-shirt Dress ($59), and the Premium Maxi T-shirt Dress ($69).

The dresses are made with a proprietary fabric that American Giant uses in its premium T-shirts. The fabric took over a year to develop.

It's a cotton slub blend (a fabric with an intentionally uneven thickness) that is substantial enough to avoid becoming transparent or twisting from shrinkage in the wash, which makes it ideal for a jersey dress. These properties make the dresses durable and heavyweight, but it won't weigh you down while you wear it. 

The new collection marks a distinct shift from American Giant's typical releases, which are either men's-focused, unisex, or women's versions of existing styles. Its previous women's-only offering — a pair of $69 leggings released in November 2016 — rose to become one of the company's best-selling items, second only to the famous sweatshirt. 

The company also just released the Kick Flare Pant ($69), a flared version of the leggings that the company calls simply "the pant."

SEE ALSO: Why the CEO of a made-in-America clothing brand says he doesn't need Trump's help

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