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This $48 million penthouse comes with 2 parking spots and 2 additional apartments 'for staff or guests'


madison square park tower penthouse looking north

A $48 million penthouse in a new Manhattan skyscraper has a rather generous bonus included with purchase.

In addition to the 7,028-square-foot duplex penthouse at the Madison Square Park Tower — located at 45 East 22nd Street — buyers will also get two in-building parking spots and two studio apartments, which the listing notes could be "for staff or guests." The studio apartments are also located within the same tower.

According to the Wall Street Journal, those parking spots usually cost $500,000 each.

Penthouse A itself has five bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms. 

Let's take a look around the duplex and the building. It was developed by Bruce Eichner and is being listed by Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. 

SEE ALSO: We got a peek inside a $20 million apartment in the latest skyscraper to dramatically alter Manhattan's skyline

The unfurnished penthouse has 23-foot ceilings, which are emphasized by dramatic glass walls in parts of the apartment.

Those windows offer some pretty dramatic views, both to the north ...

... and to the south.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An MIT graduate created a new kind of shampoo that's worth $110 million


Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty is a young startup trying to tackle an age-old problem: getting better hair. 

The New York-based startup, which launched last October, lets you create custom shampoos and conditioners based on your hair type and goals. If you want smooth, shiny hair, for instance, you can let the company know and they'll build a concoction that fights frizz. 

Function of Beauty is less than a year old, but it's already seen massive success: The company went through Y Combinator, raised a total of $12 million — including a $9.5 million Series A in March — and is already generating revenue, according to founder and CEO Zahir Dossa (although Dossa declined to disclose monthly revenue).

Plus, Function of Beauty is valued at a whopping $110 million, according to a person familiar with the company. 

12 billion combinations

The idea for creating bespoke hair products was the result of Dossa's studies at MIT. While working on his dissertation, which focused on value chain optimization and ecommerce, Dossa began studying different industries. 

"I saw that was the most bloated [industry] was beauty, and more interestingly, the value chain for beauty hadn't really changed over the last 100 years," Dossa told Business Insider. "There were all these middlemen in the way."

Dossa decided to build a direct-to-consumer company that focused specifically on hair care. Shampoos and conditioners were the most varied because of different hair types and hair goals, he learned, which meant endless customization. 

Well, not quite endless — Function of Beauty can create 12 billion different combinations of ingredients.

Function of Beauty

Here's how it works:

  • You start by taking a quiz on Function of Beauty's website about your hair. By doing this, you're building your Hair Profile, which the company saves so you can easily reorder more products.
  • You'll answer questions about your hair type, hair structure, and scalp moisture.
  • Next, you'll select five "hair goals," like volumize, deep condition, or lengthen.
  • Then, you'll pick which color and scent you'd like the shampoo and conditioner to be, along with the fragrance strength.

After that, Function of Beauty will build your custom formula using its algorithm.

Function of Beauty"If we know what a person's hair profile is and how they’d like their hair to behave or look or feel, then basically we can combine those two data points to be able to come up with a unique base for each person based on their profile, and then various performance blends that we can add that appeal to each hair goal that they fill out," Dossa said. "And then they are other various ways to personalize it, like the fragrance or the color."

Once the set is delivered to a customer, they can test it out. If it doesn't work for their hair, they can send it back and a new formula will be created, free of charge.

Function of Beauty also has a subscription service, so you can have new products delivered without having to manually reorder or shop in a store. 

Still, the company is considering how traditional retail ties into its future plans. 

"The question is, how do we balance our fast online growth, which we’re still struggling to keep up with, with also having a retail presence?" Dossa said. "Originally, [a retail space] was slotted for a summer launch, but we might end up doing an exclusive showroom for our more fervent customers, those who really want to see how their sets are being made."

SEE ALSO: In less than 10 minutes, this powerful $400 hair dryer gave me the best hair of my life

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain in the world

8 bottles of booze that will impress your party guests this summer



Looking to entertain your guests with something new and impressive this summer?

These eight bottles of booze are sleek and sophisticated, and they won't break the bank.

Ranging from whiskey to tequila, they're the perfect addition to parties, barbecues, poolside dinners, and late-night get-togethers.

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

SEE ALSO: These 22 whiskeys just won the highest honor at an international spirits competition

Maker's 46

Maker's 46 is the perfect way to start the evening. It's fully matured Maker's Mark with bigger, bolder flavors of vanilla, oak, and caramel. A true bourbon fan will immediately recognize those signature front-of-the-palate flavors, but with a bit more complexity. Kick back with a glass of Maker's 46 and enjoy a gorgeous summer sunset.

Bache-Gabrielsen Natur & Eleganse VSOP

There's no better way to celebrate being together than with an elegant, rich cognac. Bache-Gabrielsen is one of the world's oldest and best-selling cognac houses, having just entered the US market after being grown by four generations of the Bache-Gabrielsen family. Its up-and-coming status makes it something unique and interesting for your guests to try.

Mullan Road Cellar's Red Wine Blend

This bottle of red brings something new to the table. A new product of Dennis Cakebread's out of Walla Walla, Washington, it's a Bordeaux blend that goes perfectly with a barbecue. And its rich history is a conversation piece: It was named in honor of Lieutenant John Mullan, who helped pave the wagon road into the Pacific Northwest in the late 1850s.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

People are paying $115 to fall asleep in San Francisco and wake up in Los Angeles


Cabin Passengers 03

The Hyperloop promised to send passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco, a route that takes about six hours, in 35 minutes. But its implementation could be years away.

A sleepaway bus called Cabin might be a good option in the meantime.

Founded in 2016, Cabin (formerly known as SleepBus) is launching a chartered bus service between LA and SF that allows passengers to fall asleep in one city and wake up in the next — for $115 one-way. The logistics are a no-brainer: Get in, grab a bunk, and snooze.

Its flat rate makes it more affordable than flying and potentially more convenient than driving, but only if you can handle the tight quarters and 23 other passengers aboard.

cabin sleep bus 5683

Business Insider had the chance to check out the digs in person. From the outside, it looks like four school buses stacked and squished together. A downstairs lounge area, fitted with hardwood laminate floors and caramel-colored leather benches, provides a place for night owls to socialize or get some work done. There's complimentary WiFi aboard the vehicle.

Passengers stay in "sleep pods," which are fitted with foam mattresses, luxury linens, and privacy shades. Each pod comes with personal outlets, a vent, a shelf for lodging your phone, a reading light, a large water bottle, ear plugs, and tea.

The pods may be more luxurious than your average bus seat, but they're not that big. I stand five feet and four inches and could not sit up in the sleeping nook.

cabin sleep bus 5665

Cabin launched a pilot last year that drove people back and forth from LA to SF for just $48 a ride. Tickets sold out in 36 hours and a waiting list racked up 20,000 signatures.

The desire for better budget travel between the two cities was apparent. But after the pilot, cofounders Tom Currier and Gaetano Crupi saw room for improvement in their own model. The old bus model was dark and dated. They bought a new type of bus and started over.

"This is not a bus. This is just square footage that moves," Crupi said.

Cabin Passengers 08

Small touches make the difference, according to Crupi. The bed linens are pressed on the mattress. The bathroom comes equipped with mouthwash. A full-time attendant serves coffee upon arrival (at the Embarcadero in SF and Palisades Park in LA).

The attendant can also asks chatty riders to pipe down. In the future, guests will submit noise complaints via a Cabin app — the company's equivalent of call buttons on an airplane.

Cabin will begin overnight runs between LA and SF on weekends starting July 14. Crupi expects to quickly ramp up to nightly trips by September, and hopes to expand service to other cities.

The company may also add pricing tiers (bunks positioned farther away from the social lounge may cost more, for example) and a subscription model for frequent riders in the future.

SEE ALSO: This shape-shifting furniture system transforms a tiny room into a spacious apartment

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here’s how the Hyperloop will work

These sisters in their 30s used to be a lawyer and an economist — until they pivoted into fashion bloggers who reach millions


Amra and Elma

Back in 2012, Elma Beganovich and her sister Amra were working in two of the most traditional careers imaginable.

A former Capitol Hill intern and US Department of Justice clerk, then-26-year-old Elma had completed a law degree and was pursuing her Master of Laws degree in securities and financial regulation at Georgetown University at the time. Amra, who was 29, worked as an economist for different World Bank projects.

And then, everything changed over the course of one evening.

"It really happened over dinner," Elma tells Business Insider. "We were discussing some do-it-yourself beauty tips, like how to make a face mask out of your kitchen ingredients. One of Amra's friends said, 'Well, why don't you put this online? I'm sure it'd be interesting for people to read.' We thought, 'Why not? Let's do this."

The conversation marked the beginning of the sisters' professional swerve from law and banking to fashion blogging, entrepreneurship, and online marketing.

After that fateful dinner, Amra stayed up all night, scanning articles about HTML code, Javascript, and blogging. The next day, the sisters published their first blog post.

"She pulled me into this. I was still a student and I was working part time," Elma says.

Today, the sisters run two blogging brands — Club Fashionista and Amra and Elma. They have also expanded their business, entering the realm of online marketing and operating a network of 800,000 influencers that serve about 50 clients a month.

Here's how a lawyer and an economist founded their own fashion-blog-turned-marketing-business and gained over 2.3 million followers in the process:

SEE ALSO: There's one really good reason you should quit your job in your 50s

At first, the blog was mostly just for fun. The sisters wrote about everything related to wardrobe, makeup, and traveling on budget, and their friends contributed posts as well.

"It was kind of content that was a prettier version of everyday reality," Elma says. "Like you're walking on your way to work, and you catch a glimpse of a beautiful flower shop. Something that people could relate to."

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Within three months, the sisters had accrued an average of 110,000 unique monthly visitors on the blog. Right around then, brands began taking notice, too, offering to pay for product features. The sisters realized that the blog could be spun into a full-fledged business.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Ford let me try out a 1-day racing school — here's what I learned (F)


Ford Track Attack Racing School

Ford sells seven thrill-inducing vehicles through its Ford Performance division. Anyone who buys one can take advantage of perhaps the greatest perk in the car world: a full-day of driving instruction at Ford's Performance Racing School. 

The program is free to all new owners of Shelby GT350s and 350R Mustangs, Focus RS and STs, Raptor pickups, and Fiesta STs. (And something is under construction for the $400,000 Ford GT supercar, which is just beginning to be delivered to the first of 250 customers in 2017.)

All that's required is that your get yourself to the Salt Lake City, Utah area and make your way to Utah Motorsports, where track-ready versions of your car will be waiting for you, along with a group of experienced instructors with serious racing credentials. 

It's called Track Attack, and while I was in Utah to test drive the new GT at the racing complex, I was put through the course, alongside a group of newly minted Shelby GT350 owners.

I'm under no illusions that I'm a good track driver, but I do have some track experience. Little did I know how much more I had to learn.

The Racing School and the Track Attack program are based at the Utah Motorsports Campus, a complex of two tracks complete with paddocks, pits, race-control towers, and even a karting course. The facility is about a half hour drive from Salt Lake City.

Welcome to the fun! I was preparing to participate in a drive of the Ford GT supercar and welcomed the chance to get some instruction before taking on the $400,000 Le Mans-winning beast and its 647-horsepower engine.

Any Ford customer who buys a Ford Performance vehicle is offered the chance to attend a one-day racing program for free. All they have to do is get to the venue.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 revealing questions to ask on a first date


dinner date

A first date shouldn't be a job interview, with one person grilling the other about their likes and dislikes, their family background, and their ideal relationship. Actually, that sounds like a recipe for disaster.

But if you're nervous about running out of things to say, or worried that you'll bore your date by making them give the same basic spiel they've given 100 times before, we've got you covered.

Business Insider checked out Quora, Redditthreads, and other resources for some creative first-date questions that will tell you something substantive about the person you're with.

Again, it's probably not a great idea to rattle off all these questions in quick succession. Instead, pick a few favorites and keep them handy for times when you want to liven up a first-date conversation. And be prepared to answer them yourself!

SEE ALSO: I went on 100 dates in a single year — here are my 3 best pieces of advice on breaking the ice with a stranger

What does a typical day look like for you?

On her Science of People blog, behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards says this question is a better alternative to "What do you do?" She writes:

"You can find out if they are an early riser, how they spend their free time and typically their job will come up as well. I have found that you don’t really need to ask about their career — it usually comes up naturally."

Have you ever doubted your career choice, and how did you deal with the doubt?

On Quora, Nic Nelson says this question can easily replace the standard, "Why did you choose your current career?" It'll likely yield a longer and more nuanced answer.

How did you and your best-friend meet, and how did they become your best friend?

That's a suggestion from Quora user Juvian Julian Hernandez. This question, he writes, is "intended to get your date thinking in terms of emotion and feeling — hopefully positive ones."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We tried Amazon's new clothing line, and its dress shirts were the biggest surprise


Prime Wardrobe Amazon

When we tested Amazon's new clothing line for men, most of the items were in line with our expectations.

One, however, stood out high and tall above the rest, a shining beacon of affordable menswear calling all weary travelers to port. One of Amazon's new brands, Buttoned Down, sells a dress shirt for $40. Yes, $40 dollars. I know!

So, considering that price point, it's hard to expect much from Buttoned Down's range of shirts. But they definitely deliver, offering a wide range of collar styles and fits so that you can pick the one you're actually looking for.

Let's just say this up front: Buttoned Down's shirts are not amazing. They're probably not even the best deal on dress shirts out there.

What the shirts are is a good quality for $40, with free shipping provided both ways from Amazon. The slim fits aren't the slimmest you'll find, but they'll get you most of the way there.

I always dread putting on dress shirts. I worry that the fabric will feel stiff and uncomfortable, and I won't be able to wait to take it off.

Not so with this shirt — it was comfortable from the moment I put it on. I certainly know a cheap shirt when I feel it, and this didn't feel cheap. The Amazon listing says it's made with Supima cotton, and I don't doubt it.

The fit was slim, but not constricting. It was more traditional, but I also loved the way it looked on me.

The fabric has a subtle weave in it, but don't mistake me. It's as plain a shirt as can be. Sometimes, though, that's really all you want in a shirt, and you can pair it with a nonstandard tie for personality.

Buttoned Down offers three different fits ranging from standard to slim, as well as a ton of different collar styles for whatever need you may have.

But for $40, it's an extremely hard price-to-quality ratio to beat.

SEE ALSO: We tried Amazon's new clothing line with amazing work staples for men

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Amazon just bought Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion — here's what the future of shopping could look like

The chef at the best restaurant in the UK describes it as a 'grotty boozer by the sea' — but the food looks awesome


The Sportsman Pub

It might not look like much from the outside, but the Sportsman Pub in Kent is considered the best place to eat in the UK right now.

Earlier in June, this slightly gritty-looking, low-key pub was named the best restaurant in the UK by the National Restaurant Awards for the second year running.

The pub is run by a former financial advisor turned chef, who describes it as a "grotty boozer by the sea."

Given how highly acclaimed it is, we were intrigued to find out what it's like inside and what you can expect to eat there. Take a look below:

SEE ALSO: The 10 restaurants where the richest people in the world eat

From the outside, it looks like any British seaside pub.

It is on the coast of England in Seasalter, Kent, about 60 miles from central London. It's been open since 1999 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2008.

Source: The Telegraph 

For the past two years, it has been named the best restaurant in the UK, beating the likes of the Ledbury in Notting Hill, which has two Michelin stars.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

What 25 highly successful people were doing at age 25


young donald trump

Everyone's measure of and path to success is different.

For some, it's mostly linear. Others encounter more twists, turns, and bumps along the way.

Before becoming the leader of the free world, Donald Trump, for example, was born into a real estate development family and inherited his father's business at 25.

Focus Brands group president Kat Cole, on the other hand, saw her 20s as more transformative years, working her way up the ladder from a Hooters waitress to the company's vice president by the time she was 26.

To illustrate how no two paths to success are alike, we've highlighted what 25 highly successful people were doing at age 25.

SEE ALSO: Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, and 28 other successful people share their best career advice for people in their 20s

DON'T MISS: 16 things successful 20-somethings do in their spare time

President Donald Trump took over his father's real-estate-development company

President Trump grew up the wealthy son of a real-estate mogul. 

At 25, the young real-estate developer was given control of his father's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, which he later renamed the Trump Organization, according to Bio.

Shortly thereafter he became involved in large, profitable building projects in Manhattan. 

Actress Jennifer Lawrence was an Oscar-winner raking in millions

Twenty-six-year-old Lawrence is Hollywood's highest-paid actress, raking $46 million pretax over 12 months in 2016, and closer to $52 million in 2015, according to Forbes.

By the time she was 25, Lawrence had starred in the box-office-hit "Hunger Games" trilogy and worked alongside a star-studded cast in the X-Men series.

At 22, she became the second-youngest winner of the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in "Silver Linings Playbook," and she has won many more awards for her work.

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs took his company public and became a millionaire

By the end of its first day of trading in December 1980, Apple Computer had a market value of $1.2 billion, making its cofounders very rich men. Jobs, one of the three cofounders, was 25.

He later told biographer Walter Isaacson that he made a pledge at that time to never let money ruin his life.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I went back to my high school in Alabama to find out why it has since resegregated


In 2000, I graduated from Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Central opened in 1979 after a federal court order forced the mostly segregated high schools in the Tuscaloosa City Schools system to integrate. For the next two decades, Central was an academic and athletic powerhouse in Alabama, producing state championships and National Merit Scholars.

In 2000, the court order that created Central High School was lifted, and in August of that year — just months after I graduated — the Tuscaloosa City School Board voted to split Central into three high schools.

To many, the move appeared to be a step backward in a state that had just begun to make progress after the civil-rights movement. Some saw the split as an act of resegregation, dividing the diverse student population that had once walked the halls together at the integrated Central High.

Today, there are three high schools in the Tuscaloosa City Schools system. The most racially diverse is Northridge, which was built in the most affluent part of Tuscaloosa. Paul W. Bryant High School's student body is 86% African-American, according to the Alabama State Department of Education, and Central High School's is 98% African-American. Because of Central's low standardized-test scores, the department has designated it a "failing school" every year since 2013.

I went back to Tuscaloosa to talk to former Central students about their experience, as well as students who experienced the split firsthand. I also spoke with former school board members, the current Tuscaloosa City Schools superintendent, and the current mayor of Tuscaloosa, who graduated from Central in 1991.

SEE ALSO: America is not as divided as you might think — here's the proof

Join the conversation about this story »

Just don't call it 'climate change' — How Texas Republicans are fighting to save the planet


Undividing America thumbnails_2x1

  • Americans overwhelmingly want to protect the environment, and while the political extremes can't agree on "climate change," they can still forge a path for the US to curb it.
  • Bipartisan solutions, like carbon pricing and renewable energy, do exist. And they could become reality in the next five years.
  • While the federal government might need to eventually enact sweeping climate-change policies, businesses and cities are already leading the way because market forces — and public opinion — support climate action.

DALLAS — It was the afternoon before Earth Day in April when an imposing Republican stood up and declared war.

John Walsh III had spent the past half-hour sitting in the front row listening to former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, who happens to be a retired four-star general, try to convince the crowd that climate change is a national-security issue.

Then Walsh took the microphone.

"This is a war, and we need to treat it like one," he said. "I'm on the other side of the aisle from you politically, but I'm right in the trench with you on this issue."

It was already a day of contrasts. A conservative had organized this Earth Day celebration. It attracted 100,000 people to Texas' state fairgrounds, including climate researchers from elite universities as far away as New York City, oil-company executives, and families.

In this polarized political environment, and at a time when many of the people running the government won't acknowledge the reality of climate change, this sounds like a remarkable moment of common ground. But 1,300 miles from Washington, DC, this kind of agreement is commonplace.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that our climate is changing, and most say they worry about it. But Texas shows that it's when we talk about it that things seem to fall apart.

Take away the charged language and start talking about clean water, clean air, and clean soil, and there's a lot of agreement. And a lot of opportunity.

You can find consensus in the war against climate change — as long as you don't call it "climate change."

UA climate change

Tree huggers

Walsh never had one specific moment when he accepted that the climate was changing.

His father taught him to respect the land growing up. And as a Christian, he learned to be a good steward of God's Earth.

He's the CEO and founder of a real-estate firm in headquartered in Frisco, Texas. And he's been a tree hugger for decades.

In 1984, Walsh's company, TIG, was starting to put up some high-end office buildings in Carrollton, Texas. The site had many old-growth trees, but instead of bulldozing them wholesale, as most developers would, he decided they were worth saving.

john's treesOn signs in front of each tree, he wrote a message: "It took God 50 years to put this tree here. Don't even think about moving it."

Walsh personally signed each message so the workers would know who they'd have to answer to if they cut a tree down. By keeping all the trees, TIG actually ended up saving money on energy and new plantings.

Walsh says it's logical arguments like that people need to hear if everyone is going to get onboard to fight climate change. Wear your jeans three days instead of one, he recommended, and you'd be surprised how much energy, resources, and money you can save.

It's a modern day echo of Teddy Roosevelt-style Republicanism.

To Walsh and others in the movement, environmentalism has always been a conservative idea. They say Democrats stole the mantle.

"To conserve is conservative," Earth Day Texas founder and Republican Trammell S. Crow said in March, when he visited Business Insider's offices to try to persuade New York journalists to come to Earth Day Texas.

Yes, I'm a Republican. I'm also a huge environmentalist.

Ryan Sitton, the Texas Railroad Commissioner, agrees. An engineer by training, he was elected to the post overseeing the state's agency regulating the oil and gas industry (much to Sitton's chagrin, the job has nothing to do with railroads).

What Sitton finds most challenging is that because everything is so polarized these days, there's no dialogue.

"Yes, I'm a Republican. I'm also a huge environmentalist," he says.

"Parties are black and white. 'Oh, Republicans are the party of the economy and jobs, and Democrats are the party of the environment.' Yet all of us in this nation want a good economy, we all want good jobs, and we all want to protect our environment for future generations," he told a crowd of two-dozen constituents at a town-hall-style talk. "None of those are partisan issues."

A new message

earth day texas trammell crowIf you want to understand how so many conservatives these days can be pro-environment and still deny climate change, meet Paul Braswell. He's a chemist turned computer consultant who raises Texas longhorns. And he's on the executive committee for the Republican Party of Texas.

He says there's a common misconception that farmers and Republican landowners are all for using resources at the expense of the environment. They're "good stewards," he said.

He wants to protect the land. But ask him about climate change and his tone changes.

"They're fudging their data," he said of climate scientists. "There are flaws in their global-warming theory. And instead of adjusting their hypothesis, they're adjusting their data."

donald trump climate paris

Braswell says that he's more conservative than most Republicans in Texas. But his line of thinking echoes that of EPA Chief Scott Pruitt and President Trump. And it sounds a lot like what the president used as his justification for pulling the US out of the global Paris climate agreement.

Braswell is a scientist himself, of course, and when you talk with him, he's just as likely to start talking about Einstein's theory of relativity, or how farmers can use better chemicals for the earth.

That's partly why, for all he does personally to protect the environment on a small scale — buying a fuel-efficient truck and limiting the use of insecticides on his land — he doesn't believe climate change is happening. He says humans couldn't possibly cause that much warming, and if it is getting hotter, the earth will fix itself.

Scientists leading the fight against climate change see people like Braswell as a missed opportunity.

"Climate scientists failed to relate what we know to the public," Peter de Menocal, a renowned climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told Business Insider.

"There's a big, angry mob out there. Those are very real feelings. I respect that. All I can do is tell people what I know about how the climate is changing."

Food, water, shelter, energy

Until recently, when experts tried to convince Americans to care about climate change, they'd often show them this chart:

keeling curve

Over hundreds of thousands of years, the climate has gone up and down in a fairly consistent cycle, and then at the very end, it's like a hockey stick: the amount of carbon in the atmosphere skyrockets.

It's compelling to look at, but for many, it's too abstract.

Former President Barack Obama can call climate change the greatest threat facing humanity, but if you can't see it in your own life, it's hard to really care.

That's why at a Columbia University event at Earth Day Texas, de Menocal said when he's trying to convince people to take climate action, he's started referencing tangible things everyone can get behind. These are humanity's basic needs: food, water, shelter, and energy.

In a sign of burgeoning common ground, at the town hall the next morning, Sitton was making the case that Texas could help developing nations climb out of poverty by showing them how to regulate their natural resources.

ryan sitton"When you look around the world and you say, what is the No. 1 thing when you talk about the basic elements of society — shelter, food, and water are the first three. When you look at society's needs, energy is a huge component of that."

This line is breaking through the partisanship in a way that talk of warming has not.

"The best way to communicate with those minds-made-up climate deniers is not to talk about climate change but air quality," Crow said. Improving food, water, shelter and energy also help reduce the amount of carbon emitted, and global warming.

"Temperature can take care of itself if you deal with air quality. That's a public-health issue; that's not an argument. Everybody believes in that."

earth day texas numbers

A 2016 Pew survey found that 48% of Americans believed that the Earth was warming because of human activity, a belief that 69% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans share.

But concern is growing. A March 2017 Gallup poll found that 45% of Americans worried "a great deal" about global warming and 68% believed humans were causing it.

And three-quarters of Americans said in an Earth Day Pew survey that they were particularly concerned about protecting the environment, and 83% said they try to live in ways to help protect it all or some of the time in their daily lives.

So there is common ground. Now what can be done about it?

Smokestacks to carbon tax

wind power

Braswell remembers growing up on the Texas panhandle, when his dad worked at a factory that made carbon black, which went into black paint and tires. The smoke stacks spit out so much pollution that the white-faced cattle turned black.

As he got older the plant installed scrubbers and filters to clean up the air. The cows returned to their normal color.

We have made progress since Rachel Carson sparked the environmental movement with "Silent Spring" in 1962, and we can keep capitalizing on that momentum.

If you listen closely, the next logical step in this climate war we're waging is clear to liberal environmentalists — and to a growing number of Republicans.

paul's cattle

Several conservatives, including former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz, have put forth a plan for a carbon tax.

And as a local organizer for the nonpartisan Citizen's Climate Lobby told Business Insider at the group's booth at Earth Day Texas, it looks a lot like plans that it's proposing along with Democrats. A carbon tax, or carbon fee as liberals prefer to call it, would put a price on carbon dioxide.

A similar cap-and-trade system limiting the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide the US could emit per year is what stopped the acid-rain crisis and closed up the holes in the ozone layer surrounding Earth. And that was passed with Democratic majorities in Congress in 1990 and signed into law by Republican President George H.W. Bush, who ran for office as the "environmental president."

Made in America

rick perry earth day texas

While Braswell doesn't think humans burning fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide is changing the global climate, he is willing to plan for the chance that scientists are right.

The answer, to conservative Republicans like Braswell, Pruitt, and Sitton, is never more government regulation like Obama enacted — it's innovation. You want to shut down a dirty power plant? Fine, they say, do it in a way that doesn't kill American businesses.

"If it's not a good idea, let's not build it again," Braswell said. "If there's something better, then we can do things smarter using technology."

His belief that American innovation can lead the way sounds just like what de Menocal of Columbia says convinces him there's momentum to vanquish climate change.

"As long as we make enough progress in the right direction, it's all good," de Menocal said. "Let's repower the planet. Let's get miners back to work installing solar panels. If I can wave the American flag for a minute, this is the kind of challenge we respond best to. They can be the heroes of this story. From a purely conservative standpoint, fighting climate change allows us to create jobs, protect national security, and ensure American resilience.What good American doesn't want those things?"

From a purely conservative standpoint, fighting climate change allows us to create jobs, protect national security, and ensure American resilience.

One example is "carbon capture," which sucks up carbon emissions from power plants and sticks them in the ground so they don't enter the atmosphere.

At Earth Day Texas, Business Insider asked the new US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor of Texas, whether Americans could expect more carbon-capture projects under the Trump administration.

"The short answer is yes," he said, and he's particularly excited that American companies can sell such technologies to our allies so they can reduce their carbon footprints.

"We make it in America. You know, made in America, sold to our friends around the world. It makes a lot of sense. I think that's the president's, that's his mindset, as well, so you're going to see a lot of technologies. Not just on the carbon-capture side, but in a host of different ways," Perry said. "If we're going to really affect the world, it's going to be innovation that does that."

Coming to grips

solar panels usMinutes before Trump announced his decision to exit the Paris accord on June 1, de Menocal called. His voice was soft. He sounded beat.

Rolling back Obama-era regulations that it deems stifling to the economy at a breakneck pace, the Trump administration is slowing the federal government's climate progress at a time when scientists say it's crucial to speed up more than ever.

But on the phone that day, de Menocal was feeling hopeful.

"I'm not that pessimistic. I'm devastated, of course, but I'm not that pessimistic," he said. "If you think about it, if the nation's largest cities maintain their commitments, then we can do it without the government."

Market forces, an appealing motivator to conservatives, can also help lead the way.

energy sources added worldwide 2016

The world added more energy from renewable sources than from fossil fuels in 2015 and 2016, and the plummeting price of clean energy has allowed the US to decrease its carbon emissions over the last three years while the country's GDP has increased.

But eventually, agreeing on clean air, water, and land won't be enough, says Lynn Scarlett, who served as the deputy secretary and acting secretary in President George W. Bush's Department of the Interior. Now she's the managing director for public policy at the Nature Conservancy.

"You can drive forward a lot of solutions under the banners of clean energy, energy reliability, energy efficiency, and not have to grapple with 'climate change' as a word. You can do a whole lot," Scarlett told Business Insider.

"But at some point, to really come to grips and say we really need to address greenhouse-gas emissions, carbon-dioxide emissions. That requires understanding that those emissions are a pollutant. That requires understanding that those emissions are in fact responsible for a changing climate. That requires understanding that there is that linkage between human action and greenhouse-gas emissions and all these bad things we're seeing — melting permafrost, unpredictable storms, rising sea levels. At some point, one has to really actually embrace the problem."

At some point, one has to really actually embrace the problem.

Until then, there are Americans across the political spectrum clamoring for climate action. There are states making their own emissions reductions pledges, and cities making their own plans for sea level rise, and companies making their own clean-energy investments, and farmers installing wind turbines on their own land, and homeowners installing solar panels on their own rooftops.

And somewhere in Texas, there's a Republican real-estate developer doing his part to save one tree at a time. And he's telling us to join the war — before it's too late.

SEE ALSO: Scott Pruitt came to Earth Day Texas, and the whole thing was pretty weird

DON'T MISS: Texas hosts the largest Earth Day event in the world — here's what it was like

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NOW WATCH: French president excoriates Trump in English over US withdrawal from climate deal

Why IPA beers have 'India' in their names — and how they fit into a key part of human history


Craft beer

Most beer fans — hop-heads especially — know the basic lore behind the term IPA.

The India Pale Ale was created so that the British could keep drinking beer while colonizing the world.

When India was a British colony, it was tough to brew beer there because of the hot weather. There wasn't yet widespread access to refrigeration, and intense heat makes fermentation go wild, speeding it up and changing flavors in unpredictable and often unpleasant ways. That made brews turn out inconsistent and largely unsuccessful.

Shipping "regular" English brews (like porters and dark ales) to the Indian subcontinent was also problematic, since the beer would go bad, become stale or get infected before it arrived.

But two ingredients in beer naturally have preservative effects: hops, the drink's key bittering agent, and alcohol, the substance that may have driven humanity to create civilization in the first place.

Allegedly, a brewery owner named George Hodgson decided to harness the power of these ingredients to create a beer that could survive the intense journey. Hodgson tried sending a particularly alcoholic beer (similar to a barleywine) loaded with fresh hops to create a refreshing aroma and taste. It worked.

And in addition to preserving the liquid, these ingredients also created a new flavor. (And eventually yielded a beer that was paler in color than many of the dark ones the Brits had been drinking.)

Patrick McGovern is the scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of the recent book "Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created." He told Business Insider that as the hops and extra alcohol stewed in the hold of a ship, "you have some sort of maturation that's going on." 

"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," he said. "That’s the origin of the very, very hoppy type beers — IPAs." 

Solving a problem ending up creating a delightful new style of beer that was stronger in both flavor and alcohol. 

McGovern — who has been dubbed by some the "Indiana Jones of Ancient Ales, Wines, and Extreme Beverages" — said these efforts should be seen as part of a long history of human ingenuity devoted to one important goal: keeping our booze in drinkable shape.

"In fact, there's one ancient Roman writer, Pliny the Elder [the namesake of one of the most sought-after Imperial IPAs in the world], that says 'Humans have spent more time on trying to figure out how to preserve a fermented beverage than anything else,'" McGovern said. "It's been a preoccupation of our species right from the beginning."

SEE ALSO: Scientists have found evidence of a mysterious 'skull cult' in an ancient temple

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A one-bedroom home that was purchased for $28,000 on 'Fixer Upper' is up for sale for nearly $1 million


Shotgun House

Homeowners who appeared on the TV show "Fixer Upper" are cashing in on the success of the HGTV program.

"Shotgun House," which appeared on a season-three episode of "Fixer Upper" in March 2016, was bought for $28,000 and renovated by cohosts Joanna and Chip Gaines, according to Curbed. The one-bedroom property in Waco, Texas, has now been put on the market for $950,000 by its owners. It's 1,050 square feet and listed with Briggs Freeman.

The Gaines have been fixing up dilapidated homes in Waco since November 2015 and now have a cult following. The show has become such a hit that it has transformed the town of Waco into a full-fledged tourist destination.

This means many of the "Fixer Upper" homeowners are renting their houses out on Airbnb and taking advantage of its popularity.

Take a look around the incredible and miniature Shotgun House:

SEE ALSO: I traveled to Waco, Texas, to see the town that has been transformed by HGTV's hit show 'Fixer Upper' — here's what it's like

This compact, one-bedroom home, known as "Shotgun House," appeared on season three of the TV show.

Cameron and Jessie Bell originally bought the house for $28,000. It's now being listed with Briggs Freeman for $950,000.

The house was abandoned when they found it and on a plot of land that had been sold. It was then moved to another location.

The couple currently lists the house on Airbnb for $325 a night, excluding tax and service fees.

Source: Airbnb

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 10 most affordable places to buy a beach home in the US


atlantic city nj

The sun is shining, the days are longer, and it's finally warm enough that the bold among us are starting to bust out those cargo shorts. That can only mean one thing: Beach season is coming. 

But as fun as excursions to the Hamptons and Nantucket can be, these ritzy summer enclaves can also sap your entire vacation fund in a hot minute if you're not careful. 

And perhaps you're looking for a permanent fix for your ocean-air addiction? If you're not palling around with millionaires and billionaires, you might as well forget about buying property in those exclusive destinations.

But if you look beyond the traditional summer hot spots, your dream of owning a sun-drenched cottage within spitting distance of the ocean spray may not be so far-fetched. 

Realtor.com dug through its database to find some scenic beachfront locales that are far more affordable for the average American and that won't have you ruing the fact that you never amassed a fortune on Wall Street.

They limited their scope to beach cities with populations between 1,000 to 100,000 and that had at least 30 properties on the market. And to ensure some geographic diversity, Realtor.com capped its list to two towns per state separated by at least 30 miles. 

Read on for the 10 most affordable beach towns to buy a home in — each of which has a median home price below $250,000.

SEE ALSO: The salary you need to earn to buy a home right now in 19 of the most expensive housing markets in America

SEE ALSO: 21 of the most affordable zip codes to raise a family in the US

10. North Bend, Oregon

Population: 9,543

Median home price: $239,000

9. Ocean Shores, Washington

Population: 5,628

Median home price: $232,500

8. Daytona Beach, Florida

Population: 63,011

Median home price: $199,900

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

JAY-Z's mother came out as lesbian on his new album '4:44'


jay z gloria carter

JAY-Z's mother, Gloria Carter, came out as lesbian in an appearance on the song "Smile" from her son's new album, "4:44." 

On the song, Jay and his mother both candidly address her sexuality for the first time in public, according to The Huffington Post

"Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian," Jay-Z raps on the track, which samples Stevie Wonder's 1976 song "Love's In Need of Love Today."

"Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take," he continues. "Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don't matter to me if it's a him or her."

Gloria Carter herself appears on a spoken-word outro to the song.

"Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?" Carter asks. 

"The world is changing and they say it's time to be free / But you live with the fear of just being me," she continues. "Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be / No harm for them, no harm for me / But life is short, and it’s time to be free / Love who you love, because life isn't guaranteed."

Jay has previously spoken out in support of the LGBTQ community, including in a 2012 CNN interview.

"I've always thought [not allowing same-sex marriages] was still holding the country back," Jay-Z told CNN. "What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. [It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination plain and simple."

Listen to the song "Smile" below, via Tidal:

SEE ALSO: The strange and ingenious evolution of JAY-Z's approach to selling albums

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40 things Canadians say that Americans don't understand


Toque Canada

Happy Canada Day!

July 1 is essentially the Canadian version of America's Independence Day.

It's a celebration of our confederation as a country within the British Empire in 1867.

Now, it's not always easy to spot a Canadian in the US. For the most part, we sound pretty similar. We share a lot of values with Americans and can identify with the same cultural references.

But we do have our own vernacular, and there's a lot more to it than "eh" and "aboot."

Here's a list of Canadian slang words and expressions that many Americans would not recognize.

Keener: A person who is extremely eager or keen. Used interchangeably with terms like "brownnoser" and "overachiever."

Chirping or beaking: Making fun of someone. (Chirping is used in eastern Canada; beaking is used in parts of western Canada.)

Watch a prime example of chirping here.

Gotch/gitch/gonch: Tight men's underpants known elsewhere as tighty-whities — e.g., "Do you separate your gitch from your socks when you do laundry?"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These incredible photos show one 72-year-old woman's hermit lifestyle in Siberia


You've probably never heard of Agafia Lykov.

Most people haven't, and that's intentional: Agafia is a hermit who lives miles from the nearest town, in the Siberian wilderness.

Agafia Lykova

Agafia's homestead was built across much of the 20th century by her family — its only residents since about 1937. That was the year that Agafia's father, Karp, set off with his wife and two children into the Siberian wilderness.

Agafia is now in her seventies, still living in the Siberian wilderness by herself, and she's tough as nails. This is Agafia in 2013:

Agafia Lykova

What's it like living in remote Siberia, with no access to running water, electricity, or any of the other benefits of modern civilization? Vice put out a documentary about Agafia in 2013 that shows it's even harder than you'd imagine

The Lykovs left Russian society and headed into the wilderness back in 1937.

Karp and Akulina Lykov were part of a sect of Christianity known as "The Old Believers." It rose to prominence with some Christians in the 1660s.

Over 300 years later, Agafia still practices the beliefs her parents brought to the Siberian wilderness.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Everything you need to know about shark encounters



Many people are terrified of sharks, but when you look at the odds, those fears seem pretty silly.

The average number of people killed annually by sharks is estimated to be about six. (Roughly the same number die from heart disease every 12 seconds.)

"More people are killed by things like flower pots, lawn mowers, toaster ovens, deer, cows, and dogs each year," shark researcher David Shiffman told Smithsonian in 2013. "More people are bitten by other people than by sharks."

Of course, fear isn't rational — you don't see people giving toaster ovens the side-eye, and many other things that people are afraid of, including public speaking and spiders, are unlikely to harm you either.

Humans' fear of sharks, however, has done them a lot of harm.

The shark sport-fishing industry grew tremendously after the film "Jaws" was released in 1975. Soon after that, commercial fisheries started focusing on sharks, and a booming economy in Asia caused demand for shark fins to skyrocket. Shark populations around the world started to plummet, with more than a quarter of shark and ray species now at risk of extinction.

mogadishu somalia shark fisherman

Many sharks are keystone ocean creatures — they're essential to the health of marine ecosystems, so you can't have a healthy ocean without them.

In order to reduce human-shark interactions while protecting sharks at the same time, researchers are using a variety of scientific experiments and common-sense strategies. Learning more about sharks may help us better coexist with them.

What to know when swimming

Education may not sound as sexy as a protective wall or suit, but it's the best way to limit interactions between sharks and people.

Shark bites (that's the term researchers prefer to "attacks," since it implies toothy curiosity, rather than aggressive intent) are extremely rare. But there are a few steps swimmers and surfers can take to make them even less frequent:

- Avoid areas that large sharks are known to frequent. You can't avoid sharks if you swim in the ocean — it's open water, after all. But more dangerous sharks are known to frequent certain beaches at specific times of the year. California surfers, for example, are more likely to encounter sharks in Mendocino County in October and November.

Sharks near boat

- Learn the times of day and parts of water where you're more likely to encounter sharks. Sharks are most active at twilight and in the dark, according to the University of Florida's Natural History Museum. They also like steep drop-offs and the areas in between sandbars.

- Steer clear of certain types of water. In very murky water, it's easier for a shark to mistake a person for something else. Researchers also recommend avoiding waters that are being used by fishermen, since the bait can attract sharks. Waters where there's sewage may also attract the animals (that's a gross place to swim anyway).

- Don't panic. Splashing and panicking if you see a shark is more likely to confuse it and make it think there may be a prey animal nearby. And don't try to grab or harass the animals in any way — people provoke bites by doing this.

- Be aware of the presence of other animals. If you see an area of the water with diving seabirds, that probably means there are plenty of fish to eat there. And that means there could be sharks, too. The National Parks Service also says the seal population off the coast of Cape Cod has started to attract white sharks — so don't swim near seals.

- Play in the ocean in groups. Whether you are swimming, kayaking, or diving, sharks are less likely to approach a group of people than a solo individual.

Ways to make beaches safer for swimmers

Oceanic Whitetip SharkThere's no evidence that killing off sharks (known as culling) makes an area safer for swimmers. But there are a few things that have made a difference:

- Changing the way humans dispose of garbage. Reunion Island, a popular resort territory off the coast of Madagascar, has seen a particularly high number of shark attacks. When researchers started to tag and track sharks there, they realized the animals were congregating where boaters and marina-goers dumped trash — right at the entrance to a populated beach.

People on Reunion Island have also experimented with walling off certain beaches with nets (while inspecting those nets to minimize the chances that turtles or other creatures get caught in them). Still, nets have been criticized for being ineffective and hazardous to marine life in other parts of the world.

Dronestagram user Tahitiflyshoot took this image called “Snorkeling with sharks” over the sparkling waters near Mo'orea island in French Polynesia. The sharks just happened to arrive at just the right moment for a beautiful snap. This image won first place in the category, Nature.

- Moving sharks away from popular beaches. A study in Recife, Brazil found that using specialized fishing gear to catch potentially dangerous sharks and release them (still alive) far away from swimmers and surfers led to a 97% decline in shark encounters.

- Using drones to spot sharks. Off the East Coast of the US, researchers are using drones to spot great whites that are looking for seals. While it's not yet clear whether this technology will be effective in the Atlantic's dark waters, it has proved successful in Australia and California.

- Setting sharks up with Twitter accounts. Western Australia has tagged more than 300 sharks with transmitters that sound out their location — and tweet if they get near a beach or surfing area.

- Installing a shark repellent cable that emits an electrical pulse. South Africa has tried putting a cable that emits an electric pulse along a section of seafloor between a beach and open ocean. Sharks can sense electrical fields, so theoretically the pulse would be strong enough to bother them (and drive them away from the area), but not strong enough to harm them. However, no sharks showed up at the beach where this device was being tested, so it's impossible to know how effective it is. There's also not enough evidence to say whether specially painted wet-suits and surfboards can deter sharks either.

Because the chances of a shark bite are so small, however, most of these innovations are not necessary for the average beachgoer. And remember, we kill 100 million sharks a year, 11,000 every hour. They have a lot more to fear from us than the other way around.

SEE ALSO: A single tick bite could put you at risk for at least 6 different diseases

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