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What happens to your body when you binge-watch too much TV

A new report suggests a fire risk inside San Francisco's leaning, sinking skyscraper


millennium tower san franciscoMillennium Tower, a $350 million skyscraper completed in 2008, has sunk 16 inches and tilted two inches since it opened.

A new report indicates that might not be the worst of it. An outside architecture engineering firm found gaps in the walls of one unit that could present risks in the event of a fire, NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit reported.

Late in 2016, the building's homeowner association hired firm Allana, Buick and Bers to investigate a unit owned by Paula Pretlow. Pretlow and several other residents complained in the past of "unexplained odors permeating their luxury units," NBC Bay Area reported.

The consultants burrowed holes through several apartment walls in Pretlow's unit and set off smoke bombs below. They found that smoke rose through openings surrounding pipes and ducts. Typically, gaps like these are sealed with fire-resistant caulking to make sure fires are contained on the floor where they start. 

If a small fire was to break out in the unit below where Pretlow lives, the flames could more easily spread to her condo or cause smoke damage in the walls, according to NBC Bay Area.

millennium tower residents

 John Darmanin, a retired San Francisco fire captain, told NBC Bay Area that it's the developer's job to ensure all gaps are propertly protected against fire. But city inspectors are also tasked with checking those seals during construction.

The report only pertains to the unit owned by Pretlow, though others may be susceptible.

"Did someone have a bad day that day? Let's hope," Darmanin said. "But if there are other units that are complaining of odors, and no one is investigating because they are afraid of what they might find out? I have a real problem with that if I'm a tenant or if I'm in the fire department."

In January, an investigation by the city's Department of Inspection concluded that the skyscraper is safe to live in. Millennium Tower is likely to continue to sink at a rate of two inches per year — double what engineers earlier estimated, according to an AP report.

SEE ALSO: 12 modest but insanely expensive homes for sale in Silicon Valley

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NOW WATCH: We drove a brand-new Tesla Model X from San Francisco to New York — here's what happened

The life of Donald Trump Jr., who once lived out of a truck, didn't speak to his father for a year, and is now embroiled in a Russia scandal


Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump, Jr., the president's eldest son, has always been the most detail-oriented, business-focused child, leaving the spotlight to his father and his sister, Ivanka.

"I know the entertainment stuff helps us," he told Forbes in 2006. "But somebody's got to stay here to remind everybody that we build buildings."

Today, Jr. is the one in charge of building those buildings, now leading The Trump Organization with his brother, Eric.

But his life hasn't been without drama, and he's always been one of his father's staunchest defenders. Now embroiled in the latest Russia revelation, many are wondering more about Jr. Here's what we know:

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump Jr.'s 'staggering admissions' about meeting with a Russian lawyer are skirting a huge question

DON'T MISS: From rich kid to first daughter: The life of Ivanka Trump

Donald Trump Jr. was born in Manhattan on December 31, 1977 to President Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana. As the first-born, was named after his father.

Jr. (left) was whisked off to boarding school with his brother Eric (right) after his parents' divorce, and went to The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania for high school.

Source: Vanity Fair

When he was 12, he didn't speak to his father for a year, after the elder Trump encouraged gossip magazines to chronicle his divorce from Ivana.

Source: The New York Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A new startup that sells everything from chef's knives to maple syrup for just $3 raised $50 million to be the 'Procter & Gamble for millennials'



A new startup is making a bet that you don't care as much about the brands you consume as you think.

Brandless, pitching itself as the "Procter & Gamble for millennials," offers a host of essential consumer items for a single low price of $3. Instead of a big logo emblazoned on a product, the actual attributes of the product are listed on the package instead. Starting today, customers will find everything from dish soap to olive oil for sale on the site.

Brandless was created in 2016 by Sherpa Capital venture partner Tina Sharkey and entrepreneur Ido Leffler. The brand just closed a $35 million Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates, which brought the startup's total venture funding to $50 million. Investors include Cowboy Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Ventures

The idea, in a nutshell, is "democratizing access to awesome stuff at really fair and affordable pricing," according to Sharkey.

The name of Brandless' game is simplicity. There are only two real choices to make on Brandless' website: What do you want, and how much of it do you want?


Everything in the launch collection, known as the "essentials," costs $3. Some of the food items are gluten-free, organic, and fair-trade, and all of them are all-natural. These were the qualities that founder Sharkey said were becoming "mainstream" in America, but were still hard to find for a fair price on the shelf.

Items like baking tools and chef's knifes are also on offer, and they still cost just $3. Some of the cheaper items are bundled together to reach a fair price. 

The $3 price was chosen because the founders saw it as a middle point between value and quality, and they theorized that fixed pricing makes consumers feel at ease. They also said that Brandless is currently developing other lines at different fixed price points, but with the same value proposition as the "essentials" line. 

All of Brandless' products are unique to the brand and private label, and they're conceived with manufacturing partners. They're cheaper becuase they're free of a "brand tax," the founders said. When consumers buy from Brandless, they aren't paying more just for a name brand, similar to buying generic at the grocery store. 

"It widens the door and the entry point for virtually everyone to be able to start to buy their values, share their values, and live and eat their values in a way that has been inaccessible and prohibitive for most people living on average wages in this country," Sharkey said.Brandless

There's also only one choice for each individual item, which the founders say prevents shoppers from being "paralyzed" by choice.

The idea for the company came as the founders looked at how consumer behavior has changed, and how many name brands are struggling.

"The false narrative of modern consumption, that brands have created and products have created, was actually dying a fast and painful death," Sharkey said.

Brandless' model acts as the opposite of a model employed by ecommerce giants like Amazon and Jet.com, where the price varies considerably based on an algorithm and whether you choose free return shipping, respectively. Instead, everything is a reliable, fixed price regardless of when you're shopping and what experience you're looking for.


Brandless is also offering a subscription service called "B.More." The membership, which runs $36 a year, lowers the free shipping threshold from $72 to $48. For all other orders, a flat shipping rate of $9 is charged. The founders promised more benefits for B.More members, including a donated meal to the nonprofit Feeding America, in addition to the donation that is already made after each Brandless transaction.

Ultimately, Sharkey says that Brandless is about reclaiming one's identity through "the freedom to allow people to define themselves as who they are, and not what a brand or a society is projecting onto them."

SEE ALSO: How a 128-year-old brand that makes clothes for workers made the jump from cornfields to catwalks

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

22 ways to make your life more luxurious without spending a fortune


Gold Toilet Paper

You don't need a pet tiger or private island to live luxuriously.

As thousands of Redditors recently avowed in an AskReddit thread, sometimes high-quality toilet paper and a soothing cup of tea can make you feel sufficiently pampered.

Here are some easy, cheap ways to live the high life for next to nothing.

SEE ALSO: 21 objects that are perfectly designed and can't be improved any further

Sleeping on high-quality bed sheets is important since we spend one-third of our lives sleeping. Many natural-fiber options aren't too pricey.


Taking a bath before bed is an easy way to relax and rid your mind of the day's problems.


Brewing coffee in a French press is simpler and, some say, offers a richer flavor than traditionally brewed coffee.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A Connecticut ghost town that nobody wanted to buy finally sold for $1.85 million


Johnsonville Connecticut ghost town

The small suburban hamlet of Johnsonville, Connecticut, has sat abandoned for nearly 20 years. After going on and off the market since 2015, the town sold in July for $1.85 million.

International religious organization Iglesia Ni Cristo, also known as INC or Church of Christ, scooped up the 62-acre property with plans to turn it into a recreation and sporting center for members. The Philippines-based church has grown its US real estate portfolio over the years, converting idle lots into permanent gathering places for worship.

Sherri Milkie, the real estate agent on the listing, said she received nearly 100 calls from prospective buyers in the days after a Business Insider article about the property went viral.

"We needed deep pockets and [the INC] said, 'We love this place and we're going to do [what it takes]," Milkie told Business Insider. The church paid cash with no contingencies.

Here's what it's like inside Johnsonville.

SEE ALSO: The 15 best small towns to visit in America

Johnsonville, Connecticut, is the shell of a once-booming mill town.

Established in 1802, the little hamlet became an industrial center for twine production.

A community rose up around the mill. Homes, a church, a store, and a post office insulated the town from the outside. It's unknown how many people lived in Johnsonville at its peak.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best bars near Wall Street


the dead rabbitWhen it comes to bars in New York's Financial District, there's no shortage of choices.  

But you only want the best, so we've put together a list of the top 18 bars in the area, based on Yelp reviews, a consensus from FiDi locals, and our own experiences.

From Irish pubs to upscale restaurants where Wall Streeters wine and dine, these are the best spots to head this summer.

Brittany Fowler contributed reporting to an earlier version of this post. 

SEE ALSO: 12 of the best new restaurants near Wall Street

DON'T MISS: Nobody wants to buy this $18 million Brooklyn mansion with connections to mobsters and a Russian heiress

Stone Street Tavern

52 Stone Street

Stone Street is one of the most iconic drinking spots in FiDi, and Stone Street Tavern is right in the center of the hubbub. Since Stone Street is closed to traffic, you can easily enjoy a drink outdoors while people-watching.

Beckett's Bar and Grill

81 Pearl Street

Located in a circa-1603 building that used to house New York City's first printing press, Beckett's combines old-school style and new-school drinking with two floors and plenty of TVs.

Beckett's is one door down from the Stone Street Tavern and has a similar outside-seating setup for summertime drinking.

Fraunces Tavern

54 Pearl Street

Built in 1719, Fraunces Tavern is one of the oldest bars in the country. George Washington even frequented the iconic tavern.

Today, it continues to draw patrons to its Porterhouse Bar with its cool history and large beer selection. If beer isn't your flavor, the tavern's Dingle Whiskey Bar has many fine whiskeys and liquors. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Drinking more coffee is associated with a longer life, according to new research



There's something truly magical about a cup of coffee. A steaming cup in the morning can help you face the day, a sweating glass of iced coffee will perk you up in the afternoon heat, and a warm mug after dinner helps settle your meal.

Yet people frequently try to limit their coffee consumption for health reasons, fearing negative effects.

Two major studies published July 10 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, however, should help assuage those fears.

The studies involved more than 700,000 people and found that the more coffee individuals consumed, the less likely they were to die an early death from a number of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

And for those who don't want to consume more caffeine, don't worry — decaf seems to offer the same health benefits.

More coffee, lower risk of death

For the larger of the two new studies, researchers analyzed data from a nutrition study that tracked more than 520,000 people from 10 European countries for an average of 16.4 years. The more coffee those participants consumed, the lower their risk of death, researchers found.

The top 25% of coffee drinkers in the study had three or more cups a day. Among that group, men were 12% less likely to die early than comparable people who avoided coffee completely. And women who consumed a lot of coffee were 7% less likely to die early.

In addition to lower general risk of early death, researchers found reduced risk of death from diseases of the digestive system and circulatory system. For men, coffee consumption was also associated with a lower risk of suicide.

The second study followed the diet and health habits of 185,855 Americans for just over 16 years and found similar reductions in risk of death — in this case from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. Compared to people who didn't drink coffee at all, people who drank two to three cups per day were 18% less likely to die early. People who drank one cup a day were 12% less likely to die than those who abstained.

This second study was particularly noteworthy because it focused on American populations of different ethnicities, including black, white, Latino, Japanese, and Hawaiian-Americans. Most previous studies on the effects of coffee on longevity have focused on people of European descent.

Causation versus correlation

These studies are observational, meaning they can't establish cause and effect — no one can say based on this data that drinking more coffee will definitely extend your life. The researchers tried to control for factors like diet, obesity, and smoking status, but it's still possible that people who consume coffee are already healthier in some way they didn't control for.

However, this isn't the first research to indicate that coffee may improve your health. In both studies, authors noted that previous research has found coffee consumption to be associated with improvements in liver function, blood sugar levels, and inflammation.

Since decaf coffee was also associated with improved longevity, it's probably not the caffeine that's responsible for these benefits, even if that's the reason most of us drink coffee. In an editorial published alongside the studies, a group of researchers speculated that the benefits of coffee may come from other compounds that are extracted when the beverage is prepared, especially antioxidant polyphenols. (Caffeine may still have some benefits, though.) 

Even if we don't know whether coffee causes this increased longevity, these new findings suggest that people shouldn't feel guilty about their coffee consumption. Drinking unlimited amounts of caffeinated coffee could eventually put you at risk, but up until about five cups per day, the researchers say you don't need to worry.

SEE ALSO: 12 science-backed reasons you should spend more time outside

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The keys to making the best homemade cold brew

I'm a financial planner — and I tell everyone the same thing when they ask what to know before marriage


Kate Middleton wedding Prince William

In love, it's often said that opposites attract.

One of the quickest ways to observe this in action is to ask a couple to talk about money. Especially their money.

As a financial planner, I see this as a good thing. Big spenders benefit from being reined in by their partners. And super-savers benefit from learning that money can be enjoyed, not just stockpiled.

To be compatible, you don't need to have the same financial skill set as your significant other. But you do need to be able to talk about money with each other. And that begins as soon as (or before) you get engaged.

Figuring out how and when to broach the subject isn't easy. Unsurprisingly, the question of money and marriage came up during a Facebook Live I recently hosted for Business Insider.

As I said during the Facebook Live, you need to know everything about your partner's money before you tie the knot.

Once you get married, you're going to merge your finances— whether literally or figuratively — and it helps if both of you enter into your financial relationship with eyes wide open.

It's not that it changes whether or not you're going to get married. It doesn't change how much you love each other. But it's really important to establish a deeper level of financial communication before you officially start your life together.

Talking openly about money builds trust, which is an essential part of any lasting marriage. Trusting each other with finances leads to greater feelings of security, fewer arguments and — added bonus — a more fulfilling sex life, according to a survey from MONEY magazine.

If you can learn to talk about money, which is difficult for many couples, you'll be better at talking about other challenging topics in your relationship. Talking about money helps establish a good foundation for communicating with each other.

Don't be afraid to seek out a neutral third party for help if it proves stressful to manage these discussions on your own. You can meet with a financial planner to help facilitate the conversation, especially if one of you has any kind of embarrassment or shame around a certain financial topic, such as student loan debt.

Regardless of how opposite you might be on the financial front, there is good news: Money is important, but it's not the key to marital bliss.

Watch the full Facebook Live:

SEE ALSO: 8 things successful married couples never do with their money

DON'T MISS: 22 gifts you’re going to see on every couple’s wedding registry this year

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NOW WATCH: This couple quit their jobs and used their wedding budget to sail the world

Here's how much you need to earn to rent a 2-bedroom apartment in 15 of America's biggest cities


Los Angeles

One-third of Americans overpay for housing, and renters have it the worst.

In fact, almost half spend over 30% of their incomes on rent, exceeding the standard measure of affordability, according to the 2017 State of the Nation's Housing report, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

In addition to transportation and food, housing is one of the biggest expenses Americans have. Cutting back on these things could mean more savings in the bank and even a ticket to early retirement.

In its latest report, SmartAsset calculated the income needed to afford rent in 15 major US cities. That is, the salary a household must earn to spend a comfortable 28% of its income on rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Rent prices were pulled from RENTCafé's January 2017 report.

Below, check out how much you need to earn to pay rent in San Francisco, New York, Boston, and 12 more of America's major metro areas.

SEE ALSO: Here's how much you need to earn to comfortably afford a home in the 25 most expensive ZIP codes in America

DON'T MISS: The hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom home in every state

15. Phoenix, Arizona

Average 2-bedroom rent: $958

Income needed: $41,057

14. Detroit, Michigan

Average 2-bedroom rent: $1,087

Income needed: $46,586

13. Houston, Texas

Average 2-bedroom rent: $1,088

Income needed: $46,629

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How smartphone light affects your brain and body


The designers of our smartphones, tablets, and laptop screens have been able to create incredibly powerful lights. These screens glow bright enough to be seen during a sunny day. At night, they're so strong that they've been compared to a "little window" that daylight can peer through.

That's why looking at your phone at night is a terrible idea.

Our bodies naturally follow a cycle that allows us to stay awake and alert during the day and helps us get essential rest at night. But when we look at these screens as we're getting ready to sleep, our brains get confused. Bright light can make the brain think it's time to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives your body "time to sleep" cues.

By disrupting melatonin production, smartphone light can disrupt your sleep cycle, almost like an artificially induced jet lag. That makes it harder to fall and stay asleep — which could lead to serious health problems.

BI Graphics_Bluelight effects

To combat this problem, app designers have created programs like f.lux and Apple's Night Shift mode, which adjust the light tones emitted by screens at certain times of day to remove bright blue light from the display. Many users say the orange tint these apps give feels less harsh on the eyes. But while some research indicates that dimmer light may improve sleep, more study is needed on the topic.

Even if such changes do prove to be helpful, experts say that many other things we do with our phones are also not conducive to sleep. If you're trying to get ready for bed and a late night work email pops up, that might wreck your sleep even more than shutting down your melatonin production.

If you can bring yourself to do it, your best bet is to steer clear of screens before you fall asleep. At the very least, try to keep them out of your bed.

SEE ALSO: Computer glasses that claim to protect your eyes from screens are selling like crazy, but they probably aren't doing you much good

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to fix all of your sleep problems with science

Inside the beautiful mountain lodge where the biggest names in tech and media are staying for Allen & Co.'s annual 'summer camp for billionaires'


Sun Valley

Every year in July, investment bank Allen & Co. holds an exclusive conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. It's a time for the top executives of America's media, technology, and sports industries to hobnob and make deals. 

Past attendees have included the likes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The annual congregation of wealthy businesspeople has earned itself the name "summer camp for billionaires," and it's credited with kindling major mergers like that of Comcast and NBC Universal. 

Let's take an inside look at the massive and beautiful venue that plays host to this star-studded event: the famous Sun Valley Lodge. 

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

SEE ALSO: Goldman Sachs president David Solomon is selling his enormous Aspen estate for $36 million

Sun Valley Lodge's grand entryway is complete with wildlife.

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Imagine how many business secrets have been discussed among these wood-paneled walls.

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The hotel's impeccable decor complements its high-profile guests.

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The top 10 shows on Netflix moms 'sneak-binge' throughout the day


fuller house

What's mom doing when you're not home? A lot. But she's also doing it all while watching Netflix. 

The streaming giant surveyed 1,000 moms in the US to find out how they find time to stream their favorite shows, or "sneak" them, during the day. And their answers revealed some interesting viewing habits.

48% of the moms said they sneak-binge while making dinner, 9% while walking the dog, 40% while taking a bathroom break, and 57% while doing the laundry. 17% watch while in their driveway.

Some of their favorites range from classics like "Friends" to Netflix originals like "Fuller House." 

Here are the 10 shows moms sneak-binge the most, according to Netflix:

SEE ALSO: Christopher Nolan explains biggest challenges in making his latest movie "Dunkirk" into an "intimate epic"

10. "Gilmore Girls"

9. "Fuller House"

8. "Once Upon A Time"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

For $138,000 the Four Seasons will fly you in a private jet around the world


This unique vacation by the Four Seasons will fly you around the world in a private jet, but it'll cost you $138,000. On the "World of Adventures," guests will travel through eight countries in three weeks. Excursions and food are all included as well as the price of hotel and airfare. 


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Skin peeling from sunburn is actually your body’s way of protecting you from cancer


When your skin turns red from too much sun exposure, you know you're in for a painful ride. Sunburn can be prevented by applying sunscreen regularly. However, if you fall asleep before re-applying, you may end up with a dangerous burn. The UV rays from the sun can mutate your DNA, causing skin cancer. To prevent skin cancer, your skin should start to peel. It may take a few days, but once your skin peels, the dead, damaged cells leave your body and your body begins to repair itself. 

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Animated map shows where your bottled water actually comes from


Bottled water comes in two varieties. There's purified water, which is water from local sources (a.k.a. tap water) that has been filtered, and there's natural spring water, which is sourced from springs across the United States. So the bottled water that costs you several dollars may be sourced from the earth in Florida or it's just from the local water supply in New York

Produced by Sam Rega

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How to get people to like you, according to psychologists


Photo groom wedding laughing

Making friends as an adult is hard.

There are so many things to consider — from where to meet new people in the first place to how you spend time together. And what happens if you really like them but aren't sure whether they're keen on you?

Several recent psychological studies suggest there are a few simple ways to make yourself more likable — something that can come in handy for everything from friendships to job interviews. Here are a few of our favorites.

Reveal, don't conceal

It's tempting to shy away from probing questions because you don't want to overshare or reveal too much personal information.

As it turns out, people might actually see you in a more positive light if you share that information than if you withhold it, according to a study from Harvard Business School. The researchers looked at how revealing versus concealing information affected two scenarios: potential dates and potential employers.

Study participants were split into two groups — half were prospects for dates, and the rest could choose whether or not to date these individuals. The dating prospects then got split again — half were "revealers" who admitted to engaging in some unsavory behavior, like fantasizing about doing something terrible. The other half were "hiders" who did not volunteer this information.

friendsWhen the volunteers were given the chance to pick who they'd rather date, 79% of them chose the revealer.

The researchers replicated the experiment in a job interview scenario and came to similar conclusions. For this experiment, the participants had to respond to the question, “Have you ever done drugs?” They could say yes, no, or choose not to answer. Then potential employers got their pick of the candidates. Overall, the employers were more interested in hiring the people who'd answered 'yes' than the people who'd chosen not to answer or said 'no.'

Other research backs up this idea. A large review of multiple studies from the American Psychological Association found that people who engage in what they called "intimate disclosures" tend to be liked more than those who disclose less about themselves. The same study also found that people tend to share more personal information with people whom they initially like. And people tend like others as a result of sharing personal information with them as well.

Share something personal

Along the same lines, disclosing something about yourself that you don't share with most people can increase intimacy.

aziz ansari Eric Wareheim master of none netflixA 1997 study by State University of New York psychologist Arthur Aron — the subject of a viral New York Times article called "Questions that can make you fall in love with a stranger"— is a classic example of this. Aron essentially showed that two people who were willing to feel more connected to each other could do so, even within a short time.

For his study, Aron separated two groups of people, then paired people up within their groups and had them chat with one another for 45 minutes. While the first group of pairs spent the 45 minutes engaging in small talk, the second group got a list of questions that gradually grew more intimate.

Unsurprisingly, the pairs who asked the probing questions felt closer and more connected after the 45 minutes were up. Six months later, two of the participants (a tiny fraction of the original study group) even found themselves in love.

Compliment them — but not too much

The words you use to describe others can mean a lot. Some research suggests that people subconsciously associate the words you use to describe other people with your own personality, a phenomenon known in psychology as spontaneous trait transference. This applies whether the words you use are kind or cruel, so choose wisely.

friendsAlthough compliments are generally good, be careful how you use them. Some studies have found that when it comes to winning people over, lavishing them with positive comments pales in comparison to giving negative feedback first and positive feedback later.

University of Minnesota researchers tried this out in a 1965 experiment. They had 80 female college students work in pairs on a task, and facilitated a situation in which those students would "overhear" their partners talking about them. (In reality, experimenters had told the partners what to say.)

In the first of the study's four scenarios, the comments were uniformly positive; in the second, the comments were all negative; in the third, the comments changed from positive to negative; and in the fourth, the comments shifted from negative to positive. Overall, the students liked their partners best when their comments shifted from negative to positive, suggesting that people like to feel as though they've persuaded you in some way.


Bottom line: If you want people to like you, don't be afraid to share things about yourself. And be complimentary, but don't overdo it.

SEE ALSO: How a 'relationship contract' could save your relationship — or ruin it

DON'T MISS: Psychologists say one behavior is the 'kiss of death' for a relationship

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 ways to change your body language to make people like you

The mysterious life of Vladimir Putin's ex-wife, who hated being Russia's first lady and is rumored to be married to a man 20 years her junior


Lyudmila Putina 2007

Very little is known about the personal life of Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of the most powerful and feared politicians in the world.

Russian journalists who attempt to report on the private lives of Putin's family are, as Newsweek reported in 2014, "dealt with swiftly and summarily." Some have been forced to resign.

Even less has been reported about Putin's ex-wife, now known as Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, who was married to Putin for almost 30 years. They announced their divorce in June 2013.

In 2016, it was reported that Putin's ex-wife had remarried, to Artur Ocheretny, and officially changed her name. Ocheretny is the director of the nonprofit Center for the Development of Interpersonal Communications and almost 20 years Ocheretnaya's junior.

Still, she and the two daughters she had with Putin have remained out of the public eye. Below, see what we know about Ocheretnaya's life. 

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

Before she married Putin in 1983, Ocheretnaya worked as a flight attendant for the Russian airline Aeroflot. She is fluent in French, German, and Spanish.

Source: Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Reuters

The two reportedly met in their hometown of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, in the early 1980s. A mutual friend introduced them.

Source: Reuters

Ocheretnaya and Putin have two daughters, Maria and Katerina, who were born in 1984 and 1985, respectively. Little is known about them, as both parents have kept them out of the public eye. Even as adults, the girls attended a university under false names to conceal their identity.

Source: Newsweek

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 of the dumbest things people do with their money before they buy a home


millennial woman worried

Young Americans are delaying homeownership because they're burdened with student loan debt, waiting longer to get married and have kids, and spending more on renting. Some are still living with their parents — especially in certain parts of the country.

Waiting longer to buy a home means there's plenty of time to prepare financially if homeownership is on your list of life goals.

Below, we've outlined seven of the dumbest money moves to avoid before you buy a home:

SEE ALSO: From house to kids: The smartest things to do with your money in your 30s

DON'T MISS: Online mortgage calculators don't give homeowners the full picture — here's what to use instead

1. Expect to get a big return.

If someone asks why you want to buy a house and your first answer is something along the lines of "Because I'm wasting money on rent," or "Because it's a good investment," you might not be mentally prepared for all the responsibilities that come with home ownership. At the end of the day, buying a home isn't a means of getting rich.

"When you look at the average price increase of a home across the country over the last 100 years, it's only about 3%," Eric Roberge, founder of Beyond Your Hammock and a certified financial planner, told Business Insider. "If you take away extra costs plus inflation, you're not really making any money on average on a single family home."

It's smarter to look for an affordable house that meets non-monetary goals: It's in your dream neighborhood or it's a good place to start a family.

"A home is a utility, not an investment," Roberge said.

2. Combine too many life events at once.

New beginnings are great, but combining too many life events at once can quickly derail your finances.

Think getting married, adopting a puppy, having a kid, and buying a house all in the same year. Each of these comes with unexpected costs that can eat up your savings if you're not prepared. 

Working toward your financial goals takes time and should happen at your personal pace, not at a time when it seems like it should happen or because everyone else is doing it. 


3. Use emergency savings for a down payment.

When it comes to buying a home, the more you have in savings, the better. But the money you're putting away for a down payment — ideally 20% of the price of the home — should remain completely separate from your emergency fund, which is three to nine months of expenses earmarked for when something goes wrong.

"No matter how well you plan or how positively you think, there are always things out of your control that can go wrong," self-made millionaire and bestselling author David Bach writes in "The Automatic Millionaire."

Instead, it's best to keep your home savings somewhere else safe and liquid, Bach told Business Insider, particularly if you're looking to purchase in about three years.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 modest but insanely expensive homes for sale in San Francisco


san francisco painted ladies housing

San Francisco combines a strong economy with high-paying jobs, a rich culture, and year-round sweater weather — making it one of the hottest real estate markets in America.

The environment attracts house-hunters with deep pockets. It's not uncommon for prospective owners to place bids well above listing prices, often for all cash.

We combed Zillow to find the most modest but expensive houses on the market — under 2,000 square feet selling for over $1 million. They could be all yours, if you've got the funds to spare.

SEE ALSO: 12 modest but insanely expensive homes for sale in Silicon Valley

A shrunken Victorian-style home in Laurel Heights is short on space but rich in charm. It squeeze three bedrooms, three baths, a dining room, and an office into 1,010 square feet.

Address:2888 Bush Street

Price: $2.3 million

A roomy backyard makes a great bonus feature.

A remodeled two-bedroom, one-bath home sits sandwiched between the pricey Potrero Hill and Mission District. It's located close to pick-up locations for several tech shuttles.

Address:621 York Street

Price: $1.5 million

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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