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A tequila company George Clooney started by accident is being sold for $1 billion



George Clooney created a tequila company on a whim, and now it's being sold to Diageo for up to $1 billion, CNBC reported Wednesday.

The idea behind Casamigos, the brainchild of Clooney and his two friends Rande Gerber, who is Cindy Crawford's husband, and Michael Meldman, was born when Clooney and Gerber bought neighboring properties in Mexico and got into drinking tequila —so much so that they decided to create their own, Clooney told CNBC in 2016.

"Casamigos really started by accident as far as a company," Gerber told Business Insider in an interview in March. "As you do in Mexico, we would drink a lot of tequila. We'd go out to bars and restaurants, and bartenders would recommend them. Some were good, some not so good, and some expensive. There came a point where George turned to me and said, 'Why don't we create one that's perfect for us?'"

Gerber and Clooney spent two years meeting with distillers and tried 700 samples of tequila until they found the perfect recipe. They wanted to find one they could drink all day long that didn't have a burning aftertaste or leave them feeling hungover.

Initially, the spirit was made only for their consumption, but when the duo started bringing about 1,000 bottles a year into the UK, the distillery told them that they would need to have the drink licensed.

Meldman then joined the team, and they found a distributor in the US. In 2013, they launched the company and made the drink available to the public. Gerber stressed that they wanted to keep it affordable.

"George doesn't need the money. I didn't need it. Mike didn't need it," he told Business Insider. "It wasn't the reason behind launching a tequila. We wanted everyone to be able to drink it, and not be exclusive."

A 750-milliliter bottle now costs between $45 and $55.


It became one of the fastest-growing tequila brands, doubling its volume between 2014 and 2015, according to Ad Age. It is now sold in 20 countries — including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Spain, Italy, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica — but Gerber says he and Clooney still taste every batch.

Reviews on Distiller.com give the drink a high rating and praise for its smooth texture.

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Emails reveal Johnny Depp's business manager warned him about outrageous spending habits


Johnny Depp Ken Ishii Getty final

Though Johnny Depp filed a $25 million lawsuit in the beginning of the year against his former business managers at The Management Group, citing "gross mismanagement," TMG has presented evidence that shows the company made Depp aware of his financial troubles. Depp, meanwhile, claims he wasn't made aware of his dire financial situation until last year.

First, the company filed a countersuit in which it stated the actor's lavish spending habits averaged to around $2 million a month.  

Now E! has obtained legal documents filed by TMG, including email correspondence going all the way back to 2009, revealing correspondence between Depp, his sister, and personal manager Christi Dembrowski, as well as lawyers, agents, managers, and bankers about the star's finances.

According to the documents, Depp's former business manager Joel Mandel contacted Depp in December of 2009 advising the star to "take it easy on holiday spending" and "discuss some dollar limit" on participating in a John Dillinger Museum auction. The actor played the famous gangster in the 2009 movie "Public Enemies."

Mandel also asked Depp to meet in person "to talk about where we are financially, what we have borrowed in order to sustain ourselves, what we have had to do to obtain those borrowings, what is now necessary to pay those borrowings back, and finally, to look realistically at income and expenses to work together on how to make sure that these are back in balance."   

Johnny Depp Columbia PicturesDepp responded the following day, saying, "I am doing my very best on holiday spending, but there is only so much I can do, as I need to give my kiddies and famille [sic] as good as Christmas as possible, obviously within reason."

The topic of Depp flying on a private jet also came up in emails and someone within his circle suggested that Depp begin flying commercial to cut down on costs. But Depp was completely against the idea. The star replied saying it "would be a f---ing nightmare of monumental proportions," citing a concern about constant paparazzi presence.

Depp didn't seem particularly concerned about the warnings his people gave him in the emails obtained by E!, and referenced some major paydays. According to Depp in the documents, he was set to earn $20 million for 2010's "The Tourist," $35 million for 2011's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," and $20 million for 2012's "Dark Shadows." And with that, TMG alleges, Depp didn't control his spending habits, leading to the actor's continued financial woes.

“For years, TMG repeatedly informed Depp and Dembrowski and personal lawyer, Jake Bloom, that Depp was living beyond his means, and urged him to spend less and to sell certain expensive but unnecessary assets to repay loans and pay his taxes and living expenses,” the company's filing stated.

A representative for Depp did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

SEE ALSO: Everything we knew about the about the Han Solo movie directors being fired — and what happens next to the "Star Wars" spinoff

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The most famous band of all time from every state


Prince in concert

Great music can be found all across these United States. And every state has a famous band that hails from it.

To determine the most famous band from every state, Business Insider looked at reputation, record sales, and awards, considering each band within its own era, so just because a band is popular now doesn't mean it's nudged out the biggest band from another decade.

We stuck to bands only — no solo artists here — but used the term "band" loosely, including any musical act consisting of more than one person. We focused mostly on the state where each band originally formed, but also considered where their music was popularized, as well as artists' hometowns.

Check out which band is making your state proud.

Christi Danner contributed to a previous version of this article. 

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ALABAMA: Alabama

One of the most successful bands of all time, Alabama has sold over 73 million records and has seven multiplatinum albums and two Grammys. The band sold more records during the '80s than any other bandNot only is their success impressive by any measure, but they also did a lot to make country music popular in the mainstream.

ALASKA: Portugal. The Man

Portugal. The Man released their debut album, "Waiter: You Vultures!" in 2006 and booked their first headlining tour the next year. The rock band released three more albums — including breakout record "The Satanic Satanist" — before signing with Atlantic Records in 2009. Danger Mouse, known for working with artists like Beck and The Black Keys, produced Portugal. The Man's 2013 album, "Evil Friends."

ARIZONA: Alice Cooper

The first of the many shock-rock bands of the '70s, Alice Cooper kept fans entranced with their gender-bending outfits and dark onstage theatrics — concert-goers could expect performances to include stunts like Cooper's faux-beheading via guillotine. But it's the music that kept fans coming back for more, and their riff-heavy brand of hard rock produced a string of hits including "School's Out" and "Be My Lover." Alice Cooper was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here are the top 10 states ranked by richest resident


Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO Harvard speech

Forbes has released its third annual list of the richest person in each state and the cumulative wealth amounts to over $745 billion.

The top ten includes the list's youngest member — 33-year-old CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg — along with the owners of Wal-Mart and others.

It's worth noting that some of the country's wealthiest individuals — like Amazon's Jeff Bezos — are not the wealthiest residents of their own state, and therefore are not included on this list.

We've listed the top ten states by their richest resident along with details such as net worth and industry.

Check out Forbes' full list here.

10. Wyoming

Richest Individual: John Mars

Net Worth: $27.6 billion

Industry: Candy

Source: Forbes

9. Virginia

Richest Individual: Jacqueline Mars

Net Worth: $27.6 billion

Industry: Candy

Source: Forbes

8. Nevada

Richest Individual: Sheldon Adelson

Net Worth: $35.6 billion

Industry: Casinos

Source: Forbes

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I bought a bed from the Target-backed 'Warby Parker of mattresses' and I'll never buy one in stores again


casper mattress

Casper, the mattress startup behind the pricey, foldable beds that ship in a box the size of a mini-fridge, just raised $170 million in a round led by Target.

Founded in 2013, the "Warby Parker of mattresses" sells memory-foam mattresses online, delivers them to customers' doors, and offers a 100-night trial with free return pick-up. The company, which started selling at Target earlier this week, is valued at approximately $750 million and is planning an IPO, The New York Times reported.

In 2015, I bought a Casper mattress after moving cross-country. Two years later, I'm convinced I will never buy a mattress in stores again (even if it is available at Target). Here's what the buying experience was like.

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The biggest pain about buying a new mattress is ... well, just about everything.

You spend an hour in the mattress store, awkwardly flopping on and off beds trying to find the one that meets the Goldilocks standard of "just right." Then you lug the winning mattress across the parking lot, onto the roof of your car or rental, up stairs, and into your home.

When I moved from New York City to San Francisco in spring 2015, I decided to do things differently when shopping for a new bed.

My shopping experience began online, and I finished in less than 10 minutes.

Casper sells just one type of mattress, named "The Casper Mattress," because the company prefers to put its energy into building the ideal bed "instead of confusing you with dozens (or hundreds) of choices" that all start to feel the same after a while, according to the website.

It combines four types of foam for support, cooling, and bounce. A hand-sewn, zip-off cover seals the layers. The company refines the mattress based on customer feedback.

I ordered a full-sized mattress for $750 (today it costs $800), comforted by the knowledge that I could return my Casper mattress for any reason within 100 days. Plus, it was free to ship.

It arrived less than one week later. My roommates wheeled the box on a cart into my room.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

5 hand gestures that could get you in serious trouble in other countries


Many hand gestures in the US are pretty universal. The peace sign, thumbs up, and "devil horns" aren't likely to earn you any strange looks in the States, but these same gestures can be downright offensive overseas. 

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11 insane laptop designs you never knew existed


asus gx700 liquid cooling system

"I need a laptop for writing emails and social media."

If that sounds like you, the laptops in this list aren't designed with you in mind. Nay, the laptops in this list are designed for eccentric and/or rich people who have very specific needs, like intense gaming or carrying around an abridged version of the internet.

Take a look at the weirdest laptops we've ever seen:

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveiled the widest computer monitor you can buy — here's how it looks in person

Let's begin with one of the more reserved specimens in this list. The MSI GT83 Titan SLR features a mechanical keyboard and weighs 13 pounds, which is unusual for most laptops.

The MSI GT83VR SLI with two GTX 1080 graphics cards, 64GB of RAM, one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes!) of regular hard drive storage, and one terabyte of fast SSD storage will cost you $5,400 on Amazon.

Keys on mechanical keyboards give a satisfying clicky noise and fingertip feedback that gamers love. Normal laptops don't have mechanical keyboards because they are too bulky, but the GT83VR SLI doesn't care.

And in case you missed it, one of the variants of MSI's GT83VR SLI comes with TWO powerful graphics cards.

The model I'm referring to has two Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics cards, which should power through anything you throw at it.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Nike designed a shoe just for dads — and it's flying off the shelves (NKE)


nike air monarch

The Nike Air Monarch IV isn't a shoe that gets a lot of attention.

But it should — it's arguably one of the most important in the company's lineup and a perennial best-seller.

The shoe is immune to the tides of trend precisely because it's not intended to be purchased by fashion snobs. With its low key design and extra-wide width, it was designed for the quintessential dad.

The shoe in its modern form — the Monarch II — was designed to give Nike an edge in a segment of training-type shoes dominated by New Balance and favorited by predominantly middle-aged men, according to its lead designer Jason Mayde.

"From a business perspective it was significant and very important, but from a design perspective it was undesirable," Mayde told shoe enthusiast blog Nice Kicks, who designed the shoe for Nike in the early 2000s and now works elsewhere.

Though it wasn't a "sexy" project to work on, it had huge import for the company since the segment is an important money maker. The shoe often appears on the "best-selling" lists, and has been sold continuously by Nike since its inception.

A post shared by Josh Weiler (@weiler.josh) on

Mayde's work on the Monarch II still lives on in its current incantation — the modern Monarch IV. It hasn't needed many updates since then because his design "nailed it," Mayde said.

With the Monarch II "we had the Sunday shopper’s most favorite shoe," he said. "We had not just a product that would be here for a season and then go away – we had a shoe that would be here for years and years."

The shoe's design solidified Mayde's reputation, and he went on to design some of Jordan brand's most important sneakers. Still, he'll always have a place in his heart for the Monarch.

"The Monarch is about a shoe that is happy, that is involved, that most likely has a mustache with no beard that loves Miller High Life, relaxed fitting denim, and a BBQ in the backyard," Mayde said.

A post shared by Justin Shal (@certifiedjshal) on

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I spent 8 hours shadowing a wedding planner — from chandeliers to roof leaks to pillows, here's what her job is like


Melissa setting up patio 2

About a year ago, Melissa McNeeley got a call from two women who were getting married and wanted her to help plan their wedding.

The couple (who preferred to remain anonymous) said, "I do" on Saturday, June 17. I spent the eight hours leading up to the ceremony shadowing McNeeley as she orchestrated the setup and dealt with last-minute crises. McNeeley stayed for more than 13 hours, and didn't head home until about 10:45 p.m. — which is typical for her on a wedding day.

The 150-person wedding took place at Dobbin St, a hip event space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Ultimately, the whole affair cost upwards of $100,000.

Though I'd been to a bunch of weddings, I didn't realize just how many moving pieces are involved in the preparation. Throughout the day, McNeeley and her assistants directed florists, catering staff, and a furniture-rental crew until everything looked absolutely perfect.

I couldn't believe how calm McNeeley stayed the whole time — even when the ceiling started leaking. I asked her how she managed it, and she told me: "I've done this a million times."

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

This is Melissa McNeeley. She's been in the wedding-planning business for a decade, and she's worked on some high-profile weddings for people including actors Steve Martin and Jim Parsons.

Find out more about her business here.

On the day of her most recent event, I met McNeeley at Dobbin St just before 9:30 a.m. She greeted me with a big hug.

McNeeley and I walked inside and saw the empty reception room. It was the calm before the storm.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why IPA beers have 'India' in the name — and why it tastes so unique


Patrick McGovern is the scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. In this video, he shares his knowledge on how India Pale Ales were first created and how it got its name. Following is a transcript of the video.

I’m Patrick McGovern. I’m from the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and I’m the scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project.

England was spreading out all over the world. They wanted to export it [beer] to other countries. For IPAs, India Pale Ale, they would use a lot of hops in them, coming from Northern England. And then put them in a ship, and the hops would help to preserve the beers that travel to India.

You want to carry various fermented beverages by sea because that is obviously the most economic, easiest way to transport a liquid. In the process, you still have to be worried about preservation of that liquid.

And you also have some sort of a maturation that’s going on too. So, it’s not just that you’re preserving it, but it’s getting a certain amount of oxygen, and certain reactions are occurring, and you make certain new flavors and aromas in the process of shipping it over an extended distance.

 That’s the origin of the very very hoppy type beers — IPAs. They just put in a lot of extra hops.  

 And in fact, there’s one ancient Roman writer, Pliny the Elder, that says "Humans have spent more time on trying to figure out how to preserve a fermented beverage than anything else."

It’s been the preoccupation of our species right from the beginning, I would argue.

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America's most scenic drive has been devastated— so a luxury resort is helicoptering guests in


post ranch inn photos 1

In May, one of the biggest landslides on record in California buried a small section of Highway 1 — a famous coastal highway — under 40 feet of rubble. The blockage has devastated the ever-popular Big Sur region, where local businesses, resorts, and retreat centers attract tourists from around the world.

But it hasn't stopped visitors with funds to spare from visiting.

Post Ranch Inn, a luxury resort located approximately 40 miles north of the landslide at Mud Creek, is offering complimentary helicopter rides to and from the inn with stays of three or more nights. The "Escape Through the Skies" package ranges from $4,291 to over $13,500, based on room type and duration of stay. It's a steep price to pay for isolation in Big Sur.

It's also a rare opportunity to avoid the crowds that usually clog the roads during the summer.

post ranch inn photos 2

Highway 1 remains closed on both sides of Post Ranch Inn, and the resort is currently only accessible by air. The Inn typically fills its 39 guest rooms (for about 78 guests) this time of year, but has seen visitation rates fall since the landslide. Between 25 and 40 guests at a time were on the property in May; a spokesperson for Post Ranch Inn said those numbers have risen to 50 or 60 guests in June.

The resort partnered with Del Monte Aviation to offer pick-ups from Monterey Regional Airport. The ride begins with a "champagne welcome" and offers breathtaking ocean views. The helicopter lands directly on the property, where guests are greeted and whisked away.

post ranch inn big sur california resort

"Post Ranch Inn believes creating the best possible guest experience begins with the journey and Highway One through Big Sur is arguably one of the most beautiful routes in the world," a spokesperson for the inn told Business Insider.

The resort continues to offer its usual variety of activities and amenities, including guided nature walks, culinary garden tours, and yoga classes.

California Big Sur Highway 1 landslide May 20

The Escape Through the Skies package runs through August, though it's unclear if Highway 1 will be open by then. The mudslide on May 20 spewed 1 million tons of rocks and debris onto the highway and the cliff beneath it. Early estimates say it may take as much as one year and millions of dollars to clear the rubble and rebuild that stretch, The Mercury News reported.

"The goal for this spectacular helicopter experience is to encourage the comeback of Big Sur and welcome guests in true Post Ranch-style," a resort spokesperson said.

SEE ALSO: America's most scenic drive has been devastated — here are the photos

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Nearly 25% of city-dwelling Americans aren’t connected to broadband internet


The digital divide is, unfortunately, alive and well in the US.

It’s already understood that rural Americans have a harder time accessing the internet — and have to deal with slower speeds where it is available — than those living in cities. But, while things are improving, urban-dwelling Americans aren’t totally online either: Nearly a quarter of the city-dwelling population in the US isn’t connected to broadband internet, according to a recent IHS Markit and Wireless Broadband Alliance study charted for us by Statista.

To be clear, the US is doing a better job at making the internet available to its urban population than many other large nations. But the disconnect that does exist is what happens when you mix the relatively high costs of entry for broadband in America with the number of lower-income people living in cities in the first place. As the study notes, this simply makes it difficult for those people to participate in society at the same level. 


SEE ALSO: People trust Amazon with their personal data more than other major tech companies

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Visitors threw $1.5 million into Rome's Trevi Fountain last year — here's where all those coins go


Trevi Fountain

It's no novel idea to toss a coin into a fountain and make a wish, but there's something particularly romantic about doing so at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

The legend comes from the 1950s Academy Award-winning film "Three Coins in the Fountain": Throw a coin into the famed Fontana di Trevi, regarded as the most beautiful Baroque fountain in all of Italy, and you'll one day return to visit Rome.

Toss in two more coins and you'll be met with new romance and, eventually, a beautiful Roman wedding.

It may seem a silly tourist attraction, but millions of visitors flock to the 18th century landmark each year to partake in the tradition. In fact, the fountain fills up so quickly, Roman city workers sweep its floor every night to collect the day's loot.

Throughout 2016 they collected $1.5 million, according to NBC News, which has long been sent to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports causes around the world related to health, disaster relief, ending poverty, and migration.

Keep reading to learn more about the fountain's history, how the coins are collected, and what the money is used for.

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Originally designed by Nicola Salvi and completed in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini, the Trevi Fountain took three decades to build and measures 85 feet high by 165 feet wide. The name comes from the three streets — "tre vie," in Italian — that lead to the fountain: Via Dei Crocicchi, Via Poli, and Via Delle Muratte.

Source:Walks of Italy

The fountain was recently given a $2.2 million makeover, funded by Italian fashion brand Fendi, that took 18 months to complete. LED lighting was added, and the marble facade, which depicts mythological figures Ocean, Health, and Abundance, was restored.

Source:Walks of Italy

Municipal workers scrub the floor of the fountain daily to collect visitors' discarded coins, which averaged thousands of dollars a day in 2016.

Source:NBC News

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best airline in the world has a new weapon to stay ahead of the competition


Qatar Airways Business Class Q Suite

On Tuesday, Qatar Airways was crowned the Best Airline in the World by leading consumer aviation website Skytrax for the fourth time since 2011.

Also taking top honors at the Skytrax World Airline Awards is the airline's stellar business class offering. In fact, this is the second year in a row Qatar's business class has taken home the hardware.

However, the airline isn't resting on its laurels. In March, Qatar Airways unveiled an all new business class product called the QSuite.

"I am proud to unveil the future of premium travel with our new QSuite Business Class," Qatar Airways Group CEO His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said in a statement at the time of the unveiling. "Our unique and patented design is a world first in many ways and challenges industry norms by offering passengers more privacy, more choice, and more personalization."

A few years ago, Qatar Airways made the decision to go to a two-class layout on all of its planes apart from its fleet of seven Airbus A380 superjumbos. As a result, the airline invested heavily on its business class and economy product offerings.

In fact, the 20-year-old airline's investment in its new business-class-on-steroids is indicative of the airline industry's latest trend towards two cabin configurations with first class going the way of the dodo.

Now, Qatar is back with a business class cabin that's said to be even better.

Unlike existing business class offerings, the QSuite is designed not only for individual comfort and convenience but also to thrive in group settings. Even though its individual suites look fairly conventional on the outside, they offer a new level of flexibility and a communal atmosphere unheard of in the era of private premium seating.

Here's a closer look at Qatar Airways' new QSuite Business Class:

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 20 best airlines in the world

Looking around Qatar Airways' business class cabin, my initial impression is that the QSuite looks pretty run-of-the-mill for a premium international airline.

After all, passengers can still enjoy a movie or ...

... Get a good night's sleep in the privacy of their private suites.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We ate at the controversial Trump Grill restaurant — here's what happened


Trump Tower Trump Grille 3

The Trump Grill has been the subject of brutal critique.

In December, Vanity Fair published a harsh takedown of the Trump Tower restaurant, saying the grill "could be the worst restaurant in America."

The next day, the president-elect tweeted: "Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!"

Eager to get to the bottom of the controversy, Business Insider visited Trump Grill  after Trump's election but before his inauguration to see if the restaurant deserves the media's hate or Trump's support.

Trump Grill (or Grille — the naming is inconsistent on signage) is located in the basement of Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue at 57th Street.

Visiting Trump Grill in December 2016 is a very different experience than it was even a year ago. To get into Trump Tower, you need to be searched, and the building is mobbed with press, Trump supporters, and gawkers.

When we arrived at 3 p.m., the hostess told us the wait would be 20 minutes but that she would call us when our table was ready.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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I work in room service at a 5-star hotel — these are the biggest things I wish guests wouldn't do


hotel room service

I've been working in the room-service department of a five-star hotel for six months.

Actually, it's a five-red-star hotel: The red part is a special distinction awarded by AA Hotel Services (an organization specific to the UK, which is where this hotel is located) that means we go above and beyond normal five-star hotel requirements.

Basically, it's the fanciest kind of hotel you can possibly stay at. 

Yes, we cater to well-known celebrities and high-profile guests. But the beauty of our service is that all guests are treated equally as nicely — whether we like you or not. 

Saying that, your hotel experience will be much more enjoyable if we do like you. So here are some important do's and don'ts for your next stay, from the girl who brings you breakfast and restocks your mini bar.

Brittany Kriegstein contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: 27 photos that show why New Yorkers are ditching the Hamptons for a hot destination to the north

DON'T: Order room service when you're not fully (or even mostly) dressed.

Delivering breakfast to people who are half-dressed (or worse) is not really how I like to start my day. Apparently, lots of guests seem to be too hungry in the morning to abide by simple rules of common decency. Please, just put some clothes on before opening your door to room service. 

DO: Make small talk with us when we bring up your meal.

Even though we're required to follow a particular script when we come up to your room, we do still like to engage in a little small talk.

Comment on the weather, ask how our day is going, or tell us about your stay so far. This is a great way for us to assess how happy our guests are. 

DON'T: Use anything from the mini bar if you don't have to.

Although I'm sure my managers feel otherwise, I don't like it when guests take items from their mini bars.

The mini bars in each room of our hotel contain over 20 different kinds of snacks and drinks, and I'm in charge of restocking them — meaning that I have to review a master list in every single one of our 144 rooms every day to figure out if anything's missing.

Then, I have to bring the items to each room via a very badly designed, top-heavy cart, or, if it's not on the cart, I have to run across the entire hotel to get it from the supply closet. This whole process can take over three hours.

Since my idea of fun isn't exactly running (what feels like) a hundred miles to replace that one water bottle you felt like drinking, I would love it if you all just brought your own refreshments. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Vladimir Putin spends his mysterious fortune rumored to be worth $70 billion



No one knows exactly how much Russian President Vladimir Putin is worth.

Some claim Putin is the richest man in the world, yet according to the Kremlin, he earns around $133,000 a year and lives in a small apartment.

One former Russian government adviser estimated his fortune is worth $70 billion. Hedge fund manager Bill Browder, a noted critic of Putin, claimed it was more like $200 billion.

We’ve put together a list of things that Putin is believed to have spent money on. 

As President of Russia, Putin's official residence is the Moscow Kremlin. However, he spends most of his time at a suburban government residence outside of the city called Novo-Ogaryovo.

Source: Business Insider

He reportedly has access to 20 different palaces and villas.

Source: Up North

Official records published in 2016 by the Kremlin would have us believe that Putin has a very modest real estate portfolio. The report said he owned a small plot of land and an apartment with a garage.

Source: Newsweek

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amazon just hammered another 'nail in the coffin' for Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney (AMZN)


Amazon Fashion

With its Prime Wardrobe program, Amazon has rocked yet another industry: Apparel.

Amazon moving in on the space more aggressively is “another nail into the department store coffin,” Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow wrote in a note to clients.

Industry stalwarts like Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney have already struggled to adapt to growing competition from e-commerce and waning mall traffic.

Prime Wardrobe sends customers up to 15 clothing items to try on for free at home. Returns are nearly effortless, meaning Amazon has removed the greatest uncertainty of buying clothes online.

Amazon is also offering enticing promotions: the more you buy, the cheaper it is. If you buy 5 items, you get a full 20% off.  If customers choose to keep none of the items, there's no penalty and everything can be packed back into the resealable box and left on the front porch. 

"Simply put, it’s a negative," for department stores, the Wells Fargo analysts wrote in the note.

Amazon's growing apparel business is yet another blow to traditional players in the industry. The retailer is expected this year to surpass Macy's to become the biggest apparel seller in the US, according to Cowen & Co.

Amazon has a greater selection of apparel than any one department store. As it scoops up more of the brands consumers want — including luxury and designer — customers may find the convenience makes it difficult to shop anywhere else.

Just this week, reports stated that Amazon may begin selling Nike directly through its website through a deal with the sports apparel maker. Nike was one of the notable wholesale holdouts still not selling directly on Amazon, but even the largest sportswear maker in the world can't deny the allure of Amazon's younger, affluent customers.

It's not bad news for everyone in the apparel industry, however. The creation of Prime Wardrobe just creates another channel for companies creating sought-after products, looking to grow faster, like Nike, according to Wells Fargo.

SEE ALSO: Amazon just fixed a major problem that customers hated

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Coconut oil's health benefits are a myth — here's what you should buy instead


coconut oil

Most of us are familiar with a handful of "health" foods that we've either heard about on the news or seen friends eat — almond milk, agave nectar, granola.

But many of these items aren't actually as good for you as you might assume.

One such trendy food item is coconut oil, which is high in saturated fat, a type of fat that most nutritionists agree is unhealthy. Essentially, its ratio of "bad" to "good" fats is the opposite of what experts recommend.

The American Heart Association recently updated its guidelines on fats to include the suggestion that people avoid saturated fats. Although these fats are primarily found in things like butter, beef, and other animal products, they can also be found in some plant products including palm and coconut oil.

If you're looking to curb your intake of saturated fats, plenty of alternatives exist. Olive oil has essentially the opposite ratio of bad to good fats, but is virtually identical to coconut oil in its calorie and overall fat content. While a tablespoon of olive oil has just one gram of saturated fat, the same amount of coconut oil has 12 grams.

The AHA says the high saturated fat content in animal products like butter and coconut oil can raise levels of unhealthy cholesterol. Several studieshave shown that swapping saturated fats with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated ones is linked with a number of positive health outcomes, from a reduced risk of death to decreased incidences of heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease. Aside from the folks at the AHA, other experts have also recommended avoiding saturated fats because they have been linked with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Still, some smaller studies have suggested that some people on strict diets may be able to safely consume more fats — including saturated ones — than people who eat a regular amount of carbs. This includes people on a strict low-carb diet like the Atkins Diet who eat very few foods that contain bread, potatoes, or rice.

If you're like most people, however, and your diet includes carbohydrates, fats, vegetables and fruits, olive oil is likely your best bet for a healthy oil.

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