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How BabyCakes Became The Favorite Cupcake Shop Of The Gluten-Free Revolution


Erin McKenna had three vegan cupcake recipes, no business background and hardly any money when she signed a lease for her bakery BabyCakes in the up-and-coming Lower East Side neighborhood in Manhattan.

BabyCakes has been making gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan, and kosher cupcakes, donuts, cookies and other baked goods to accommodate any food allergy, before such dietary persuasions as "gluten-free" were a thing.

Since it opened in 2005, BabyCakes has become a staple among cupcake lovers, vegan foodies, and celebrities. It currently sells about 500 cupcakes daily, among other items, in its New York location.

McKenna is not only the executive chef behind every treat, but also the creative force behind the bakery's vintage-looking uniforms, online video series and "devastatingly hip" app.

She has also opened two more stores – one in Los Angeles, and one in Disney World, but the expansion didn't come without the challenges of controlling the quality of product and the business from afar.

Watch below McKenna tells about what she has learned from opening her business with few resources, and managing its growth. 


Produced by Kamelia Angelova & Robert Libetti

SEE ALSO: The Founder Of Shutterstock Took 100,000 Photos To Get His Company Off The Ground

SEE ALSO: How Stock Photo Company Shutterstock Is Turning An Industry Threat Into An Opportunity

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'Master Tailors' Spent Weeks Preparing Pope Francis' Robe


pope francis

The outfit Jorge Mario Bergoglio wore for his unveiling as Pope took weeks of preparation. 

The new Pope Francis walked out onto the Vatican balcony wearing the "traditional garments of a floor-length white wool cassock, a white sash, and a white skullcap," according to a New York Times article

The outfit was prepared by Gammarelli, the tailoring company that has dressed the Pope since the 1700s. The company got to work after Pope Benedict announced his resignation. 

"The master cutters and tailors have gone about making three sets of papal garments, in sizes small, medium and large....none of the likely current candidates, as it happens, is any heftier than that," writes Guy Trebay at the Times. "Pope John XXIII, who died in 1963, was the last pontiff to wear an XL."

Pope Francis chose not to wear the scarlet mozzetta, which Pope Benedict wore at his anointing. 

The new Pope has already proved himself to be less fashionable than Pope Benedict. Kenzie Bryant at Racked, a fashion blog, commented on his "transition-lensed, rounded glasses." 

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What Anna Wintour's Big Promotion Means For Condé Nast


Anna Wintour

Condé Nast announced today that Vogue editor Anna Wintour will take on the role of Artistic Director for the company.

The job — which was specifically created for the famous editor — could put Wintour in a prime position to take over for Condé's current chairman S.I. Newhouse, Jr.

As part of her new role, she will take over some of his company-wide duties.

Newhouse is 85 years old, and has been playing a less active role and shifting company decision-making to the board since 2009. Many insiders consider him to now have an emeritus role.

"Si Newhouse leaves a void, inevitably," Condé's CEO Charles Townsend told The New York Times. "Anna, without even having to think twice about it, is the most qualified person to pick up that torch and carry it into the future."

The new title may also be a ploy to keep Wintour at Condé, as there have been rumors recently that the magazine world's most famous woman was being considered by the Obama administration for an ambassador position (even though this later turned out to be false).

She also recently signed a three-year contract with the publisher that would have financial penalties should she choose to leave.

Wintour told the Times that the Artistic Director job would be "almost like being a one-person consulting firm" as she would advise editors and publishers about the direction of their magazines.

"Ms. Wintour will curate and cultivate the creative vision for the Company, working with the extraordinary editorial talent at Condé Nast to shape its artistic inspiration and innovation across all platforms," Condé said in a press release.

Wintour is celebrating 25 years with the company this summer, and will remain the editor of Vogue and editorial director of Teen Vogue as she assumes her new responsibilities.

DON'T MISS: The 11 Worst Looks From New York Fashion Week

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A NYC Train Station Elevator Is Used As A Urinal So Often It's Deteriorating


long island railroad woodside station lirr

NEW YORK CITY — Call it the M "Pee" A.

Public urination in the city's transit system isn't just making stations reek — it's actually damaging equipment, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials revealed this week.

One unfortunate elevator at the Long Island Rail Road's Woodside station in Queens has been inundated with so much urine that its floor has rusted and warped, interfering with its door mechanics and frequently forcing it out of commission.

"The mechanics of the elevator are constantly being contaminated," said LIRR President Helena Williams during an LIRR committee meeting Monday, where she described the lift as having a "vertical urinal problem."

As a result, the elevator, which shuttles riders from the station's mezzanine-level to an LIRR platform, was only in commission 58 percent of the time in February — versus 97 percent for elevators across the LIRR system — making it the worst-performing lift in any LIRR station, an MTA spokesman said.

“The deterioration is significant," he said, adding that maintenance crews weren't sure exactly why the elevator was such a target, considering it was just one of five lifts at the station.

Adding to the mystery is that the station also offers rare public toilets on the mezzanine level.

But the elevators also aren't the only parts of the transit system that have needed to be overhauled because of frequent toilet stops.

Years ago, subway cars had vinyl floor tiles that were laid over plywood. But over time, the plywood floors began to rot and smell foul — which subway officials attributed to urine damage.

In response, New York City Transit switched to "an epoxy floor with marine-grade plywood sub floor," helping to seal out liquids and eliminate the smell.

The agency also switched from aluminum alloy to brass door saddles after it found urine was damaging the devices, which sit under doorways.

The "vertical urinal problem" was mentioned as Williams was updating the LIRR committee on the agency's efforts to bring the system's elevators and escalators into good repair, following the death of an 88-year-old woman on an escalator at the Lindenhurst station last year.

Officials were still working to determine whether the elevator-turned-toilet would need to be replaced or repaired.

More from DNAinfo.com:

SEE ALSO: Take A Tour Of The Abandoned Subway Tunnels Beneath Los Angeles

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See How Turkey's Ancient Cave Dwellings Were Transformed Into A 5-Star Hotel


Museum Hotel

The Museum Hotel, in Cappadocia a historic region in Turkey, was created out of thousand-year-old cave dwellings.

It took four years of excavating and renovating before the hotel was operational.

The visually stunning hotel is now filled with antiques and artifacts, many of which are registered with museums.

It has outstanding accommodations, unique rooms, and views fit for a king.

Click through to see how ancient cave dwellings became a five-star hotel.

The Museum Hotel is a luxury hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey that opened in 2002.

However, the hotel isn't exactly new. It is built into ancient cave and stone dwellings, some that date back thousands of years.

Before the hotel was ready for guests, the site had to be excavated and renovated.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Passengers On Another Carnival Cruise Complain Of Power Outages And Overflowing Toilets


Carnival Dream cruise ship

Passengers on the Carnival cruise ship Dream are complaining of power outages and overflowing toilets, CNN has reported.

The ship is docked in port at Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

In an email to CNN on Thursday, passenger Jonath Evans of Reidsville, North Carolina, said "The cruise director is giving passengers very limited information and tons of empty promises. What was supposed to take a hour has turned into 7-plus hours."

Passenger Gregg Stark told CNN, "There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms and they're overflowing -- and in the state rooms."

The Dream has not lost power, Carnival wrote on its Facebook page: The ship has full power but is still at dock while personnel continue to work on the technical issue."

The Dream left Port Canaveral, Florida on Saturday, for a seven-day cruise.

While the ship, with room for more than 3,500 passengers and 1,300 crew, is in port, the limited power and overflowing waste call to mind the Carnival Triumph, which was left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico last month after an engine room fire.

It took five days to tow the enormous vessel back to port, and its passengers were stuck on a ship without power and very few working toilets. Carnival Corporation is now facing a class-action lawsuit filed by Triumph passengers.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Fly On North Korea's 1-Star Airline

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Lego's Toy Empire Just Created Three Brand New Billionaires


lego spaceman

Danish-based Lego just became the most valuable toymaker in the world, according to Bloomberg.

The company is now worth $14.6 billion on an earnings before interest, taxes, deductions and amortization (EBITDA) basis.

The previous top toy producer, California-based Mattel, is valued at $14.4 billion.

Revenue surged 25 percent last year, turning the three children of Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Denmark’s richest man -- Sofie, Thomas and Agnete, who hold a combined 37 percent economic interest in the company valued at more than $5.3 billion — into billionaires.

“Lego is on fire,” Gerrick Johnson, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets in New York, told Bloomberg. “It’s the world’s biggest toymaker in terms of net income, operating income and Ebitda. It had a 71 percent gross margin in its latest results and is posting strong sales growth.”

Click here to read how Lego turned their fortunes around >

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New Yorkers Will Be Significantly Fatter Because Of The Soda Ban Repeal


Big Gulp

A New York state judge struck down Mayor Bloomberg's controversial ban on large sodas on Monday, arguing that the restrictions on sugary sweetened drinks did not make sense, partly because the ban wasn't evenly enforced.

The measure, approved by the New York City board of Health last September, banned the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at New York City restaurants, street vendors, delis, and movie theaters. 

The crackdown controversially did not apply to grocery stores or convenience stores.

The opposition also took issue with other arbitrary components of the legislation. Why, for example were high-sugar, high-caloric drinks like milkshakes and alcoholic beverages allowed while sugary sweetened drinks like soda and lemonade were not?

The judge also questioned the science behind the soda ban, which was crafted to curb obesity and obesity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease in New York City.

Bloomberg is unmoved. He maintains that the "best science" tells us there is relationship between sugary drinks and hefty New Yorkers.

A presentation put together by Bloomberg's office last year attributes 5,800 deaths and $4 billion in medical costs in New York City to obesity.

The leading cause of this obesity epidemic? Sugary drinks, they said.

The city projected that if New Yorkers substituted a 16-ounce sugary drink for a 20-ounce sugary drink once every two weeks then we would "collectively save around 2.3 million pounds in one year."

Diabetes ChartThe link between sugary drinks and getting fat was further supported by data released by the Mayor's office on Monday. The data showed that neighborhoods that consumed more sugary drinks had higher obesity and diabetes rates (see the charts on the right).

Correlation, however, does not necessarily mean causation. For example, it's very likely that the kind of people who drink oversized sodas are also chowing down on greasy cheeseburgers, french fries and other junk foods.

Obesity Chat

That's where New York Health Commissioner Thomas Farley points out that it's not just the calories and sugar in targeted drinks that make us gain weight. Size matters from a psychological standpoint, too.

"People are beginning to recognize that soda is bad for you, that soda makes you gain weight, but it's tough for people to recognize that we are driven largely by the portions that are put in front of us," Farley said Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

Not only do we regulate our appetite based on the amount of food or drink placed in front of us, but we also blindly accept the beverage industry's sizes as a general guideline for how much we should consume.

As studies have shown, the existence of a 40-ounce options makes people think that a 20-ounce size is reasonable. Eliminating that option, however, makes people more likely to view the 20 as extravagant and choose the 12-ounce instead. 

Obesity is certainly a national health crisis, as more than one-third of American adults are obeseWhile Bloomberg's initiative was poorly structured and unpopular, the real tragedy is that the obesity epidemic lives on.

SEE ALSO: The 25 Unhealthiest States In America

SEE ALSO: Man Goes On 60-Day Juice Fast To Save His Life

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Victoria's Secret Has Hired A New Angel


karlie kloss victoria's secret

Karlie Kloss has officially joined the ranks of Victoria's Secret Angels like Miranda Kerr and Adriana Lima. 

While Kloss, 20, was one of about 40 models who walked the runway in Victoria's Secret's annual fashion show, the role of Angel is only reserved for about a dozen women. 

As an Angel, Kloss will be more of a brand ambassador for Victoria's Secret and will be expected to make public appearances and appear in commercials, according to the Telegraph. 

She celebrated her new role with a live Twitter Q&A yesterday alongside seasoned Angels Candice Swanepoel and Alessandra Ambrosio.

In the Q&A, she revealed that she loves Jennifer Lawrence movies, watching football, and chai tea. 

She also said that when she's dating, a sense of humor is a must. She's rumored to be dating tech investor Joshua Kushner

Kloss is one of the hottest models to hit the scene over the past few years.

She walked in dozens of Fashion Week shows and appeared in a Mercedes ad. Her chopped haircut, now known as the Karlie, is expected to be one of the most popular styles this Spring. 

Her commitment to Victoria's Secret is interesting because of her established career as a model. The brand usually goes for more unknown models whom it can mold into Angels. 

But Kloss is one of the hottest models today, so she'll undoubtedly bring good press to Victoria's Secret. 

SEE ALSO: Meet The Victoria's Secret Angel Poised To Take Over The Brand >

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PROFESSOR: Zombies Are Popular Because People Have Given Up Hope


zombie nurse

Zombie popularity is a surefire indicator of national mental health, says Clemson University professor Sarah Lauro.

Lauro, an English teacher who studied zombies while working on her doctorate, told the Associated Press that the rise of the "Zombie Walk," specifically, illustrates citizens' dissatisfaction with governments and life in general.

"We are more interested in the zombie at times when as a culture we feel disempowered," Lauro told the AP. "And the facts are there that, when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered. ... Either playing dead themselves ... or watching a show like 'Walking Dead' provides a great variety of outlets for people."

A zombie walk is almost like a flash mob, except with zombies. Organizers send out flyers and advertisements listing the date and time to meet up, and then a whole group of people dressed as and behaving like zombies will go on a mass "walk"— more often than not in public areas.

The idea started in Toronto in 2002 and, like the dead, is on the rise.

From the AP report:

As of last year, Lauro said, zombie walks had been documented in 20 countries. The largest gathering drew more than 4,000 participants at the New Jersey Zombie Walk in Asbury Park, N.J., in October 2010, according to Guinness World Records.

Along with walks, as Lauro points out, there are several other popular venues which zombies appear. There's movies, and TV shows like The Walking Dead (which, consequently, has broken longstanding television records). There's even a whole string of fitness obstacle courses on the rise that center around zombie themes.

It's no surprise that America has jumped on to the trend — Lauro cites that it really started to spread in 2002, during the advent of America's two wars. Then there was the crash. Years later, despite the stock market ticking past its previous record highs, the vast majority of America can't seem to get ahead.

It's like they've been left behind. So maybe it's escapism, or maybe Lauro's right and the rise of zombie culture is just a symptom of the larger problems in modern society.

SEE ALSO: The military is preparing for the zombocalypse, so should you >

SEE ALSO: The Military and Defense Facebook page for updates >

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Scientists May Never Have Found The God Particle Without The Richest Family In Brazil


Walter Salles

One of the greatest scientific discoveries in the our modern history may not have been possible without Brazil's richest family, the Salles, Bloomberg reports.

Physicists believe they're very close to finding Higgs boson, the so-called "God particle". It's a subatomic particle that would help explain what gives matter all over the universe its size and shape.

The Salles family produce niobium, an element that makes steel more flexible and strong. Niobium is used in a 10th of all the world's steel — in everything from cars to cameras.

The Salles control 85% of the material, and it was also used to make the magnets in the world's largest particle accelerator, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Without the high-energy proton collisions the machine creates, scientists would not have been able to come so close to Higgs boson.

The Salles first got into niobium in 1965, when a U.S. Navy Admiral convinced Brazilian banker and diplomat Walther Moreira Salles to back his venture to produce niobium. Moreira Salles bought a majority stake in the company.

From Bloomberg:

That market dominance has helped make the mogul’s heirs Brazil’s richest family. His four sons, Fernando, Pedro, Joao and Walter, control a combined fortune of $27 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The brothers do not currently appear on any international wealth ranking.

“We created the whole market,” Tadeu Carneiro, chief executive officer of Cia. Brasileira de Metalurgia & Mineracao, the family’s niobium company, said in an interview at his office in Sao Paulo. On his desk lies a chunk of the heavy, lustrous alloy that CBMM sells. “Now you see how fantastic this company is -- its value, these dividends -- but we started from zero, when niobium was just a laboratory dream.”

The company is now worth $13 billion, more than the Salles' $7.1 billion interest in Brazilian bank, Itau.

For the whole run down of the Salles' wealth, head to Bloomberg>

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Chelsea Clinton Buys A $10.5 Million Apartment On Madison Square Park


chelsea clinton

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and her husband have purchased an apartment at The Whitman across from Madison Square Park for $10.5 million, the New York Post reported.

The deal for the 5,000-square-foot apartment, located at 21 East 26th St, closed last month, sources told the Post.

The apartment has four bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, and the living room boasts sweeping views of the park. Elliman’s Melanie Lazenby – who was profiled last year in "The Real Deal" and Dina Lewis had the listing. 

The five-story Whitman has one apartment per floor and a key-locked elevator.

“It’s great for them, because it is in a hot neighborhood and it is very private,” a source told the Post. “There aren’t hundreds of neighbors, and there is great security.”

President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toured the apartment last week, posing for photographs with construction workers at the building.

Lazenby and Dina Lewis declined to comment to the Post. [NYP]

A couple of photos of the condo, in a new luxury development, below (Douglas Elliman via Streeteasy):chelsea clinton apartment


chelsea clinton apartment


chelsea clinton apartment

Now Watch: Real Estate Legend Barbara Corcoran Shows Us Around Her NYC Apartment


SEE ALSO: Meet The Billionaires Who Live In The World's Most Expensive Building

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Hearst Exec Out After Sexting With Stripper


Scott Sassa

Scott Sassa, President of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, was asked to resign after texts surfaced between him and an LA stripper, sources told The New York Post today.

Sassa reportedly met the woman in Los Angeles back in December. The pair began a sexting relationship, and she sent Sassa explicit photographs, the Post reported.

Then it all went wrong. According to The Post:

The LA stripper, helped by a boyfriend, then tried to blackmail Sassa — a single father of two daughters — saying she’d expose their raunchy messages if he didn’t give her money. A second source said, “She made a list of demands."

When Sassa didn’t pay up, the boyfriend e-mailed the sex-text exchanges to horrified Hearst honchos, including CEO Frank Bennack Jr., Hearst Magazines president David Carey and Michael Clinton, president of marketing for the magazines.

He was asked to resign on Tuesday, and will reportedly receive a "large compensation package."

Sassa's LinkedIn still reads that he is the President of Hearst Entertainment, but the Post says he has updated his Facebook page to say “former president of Hearst Entertainment.”

He had previously held jobs as CEO at Friendster, NBC, and Turner Broadcasting.

Now Watch: Behavioral Expert Dan Ariely Explains Why People Lie And Cheat All The Time


SEE ALSO: Tour The Music-Inspired Offices Of Cee Lo Green's Publishing Company And Marketing Team

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Late Investor Martin Zweig's Legendary Penthouse Could Sell For $120 Million



The penthouse apartment that belonged to late investor Martin Zweig could soon hit the market for between $100 million and $120 million, sources told The New York Post.

The penthouse, inside The Pierre on Fifth Avenue and Central Park, is a 12,000-square-foot triplex with a ballroom, four terraces, and views of Central Park, according to Curbed NY.

Zweig, a stock investor, investment advisor, and financial analyst, died in February.

He paid $21.5 million for the penthouse back in 1999, setting a real estate record at the time. He tried  but failed  to sell it for $70 million several years ago, according to Curbed.

The apartment has not yet been officially listed. But if it is listed for more than $100 million, it will become the most expensive apartment for sale in New York City.

Ex-Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill's penthouse at 15 Central Park West sold last year for a record $88 million.

Now Watch: Real Estate Legend Barbara Corcoran Takes Us On A Tour Of Her NYC Apartment


SEE ALSO: Meet The Billionaires Who Live In The World's Most Expensive Building

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The Password Is 'Braveheart' — Here's The Invitation To The Secret Floating Strip Club That Was Made Just For Wall Streeters


saint venus

The latest Wall Street secret to bubble up to the surface is Saint Venus Theater, the secret roving strip club that was created just for bankers.

The New York Post did a big story on the underground, application-based, members-only strip club yesterday. It was started three years ago by a mysterious man named Rob S. for his finance buddies.

The main draw of Saint Venus Theater for its members is that the girls are amateurs. They're seen as good girls because they have day jobs such as internships at fashion startups and assistant positions at galleries, but they strip at night to make some extra cash. 

SVT meets three times a week in secret locations throughout New York City disclosed only to its members via a private email list.

Business Insider obtained a copy of SVT's discreet e-mail list to get a look at how the entire business operates. It's posted below, but before you dig in (the e-mail does say read everything, after all) here are some sections that caught our attention.

The multi-color text is exactly how it appears in the email.

The password this week is "Braveheart".

Item 8 offers free admission to anyone with New York pro sports ticket stub:

    - Free admission for each showing a ticket stub with matching date of The SVT Event.
    - Can not be accepted more then once a month.
    Good only for those in a group of 2 or more.
    - Must be an actual ticket stub. Can NOT be a laser print or digital electronic print.

Item 12 warns revelers not to scare the new girls on Fridays:


    We introduce many NEW GIRLS on FRIDAYS.

    The NEWBIES are coming either excitingly hopeful or very skeptical.

    If positive minded, they will be expecting to meet nice people and to have a great experience
    . Ifskeptical, most will still meet nicepeople and have a good experience, but somemayrunaway.



Item 18 — there will be corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty's:

    Come Friday and have some fun...
    ComplimentaryCORN-BEEF and CABBAGE from 10pm-to-12am
    - We will have GREEN BUDWEISER BOTTLES all night. 

Item 20 — Young men need not apply: 

    Since we started the Friday event, there has been an influx of younger customers. We will soon raise the age limit on Wednesdays to match the Thursday age limit of 30 and above.

Item 21 — Behave yourselves.

    We will be stepping up or concerns to weed out offensive or disrespectful people. Please be sure you refrain from pushing things with your words or actions, we will remove you if you betray this trust. You are also responsible for your guests. Make sure they know we are not a sex party or swingers event or such.

And of course, the code of conduct:








Here's the full e-mail: 


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MEN'S FASHION ALERT: Popping Your Collar Is Back


Popped collar polo

The word from men's high fashion lines this spring is that the popped collar is back, reports the WSJ. The look has been spotted on runways from J Crew to Armani.

But before you rewatch all of your John Hughes movies to get just the right pop, note that the 2013 trend is slightly different from the old 1980s look.

From WSJ:

The modern upturned collar is a nonchalant flourish meant to give an outfit a little flair. It draws on the Italian concept of sprezzatura—an expression of style meant to look spontaneous—that has infiltrated menswear in recent years, showing up in rolled-up pants cuffs a few years ago and pocket squares spilling out of the pocket in an apparently unstudied way.

So yeah, pair it with a pocket square.

For the full story, head to WSJ>

SEE ALSO:  How To Find A Perfectly Fitting Suit Without Spending A Ridiculous Amount Of Money

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I Was Totally Blown Away By Singapore's Skyscraper Infinity Pool


marina bay sands pool singapore

The Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore opened its doors in 2010, to the tune of a whopping $5.7 billion.

That amount paid for the massive 2,561-room hotel, a museum, casino, restaurants, bars, a swanky shopping mall, and the pièce de résistance: the SkyPark, an insane rooftop pleasure dome with a 150-meter (492 ft.) infinity pool.

Click here to see photos >

Located on the 57th floor, this pool offers stunning views of Singapore's financial district, Marina Bay, and beyond. It's the largest and highest infinity pool in the world, according to the hotel, and if you swim up to the pool's edge, it feels like you're about to fall off the top of the world.

The SkyPark is only open to hotel guests, which provides some exclusivity. Rooms at the Marina Bay Sands start at S$399 per night for a double.

We recently had the chance to visit the Marina Bay Sands, and were amazed by the SkyPark and pool. Here's what we saw.

Disclosure: Our trip to Singapore, including travel and lodging expenses, was sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board.

For context, here's what Marina Bay Sands looks like from the outside. The SkyPark, which connects the hotel's three towers, looks a bit like a cruise ship perched in the air.

From the edge of the SkyPark, you can see how the entire pool curves.

The pool is just as stunning as you might think.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Study Finds Ferrari Owners Generally Don't Enjoy Driving


row of ferraris cavallino classic palm beach

Owning a Ferrari is the dream of many car enthusiasts the world over, since the iconic Italian brand is forever linked with performance and handling.

According to a new United Kingdom study conducted by insurer AXA Group, you’d probably be happier behind the wheel of a BMW or an Aston Martin.

The study surveyed 2,000 drivers from the U.K. on a variety of factors relating to happiness behind the wheel, and the results may be a bit surprising. Overall, 69 percent  of motorists claimed to enjoy driving, with only 20 percent viewing it only as a necessary evil.

Among all brands, BMW drivers were happiest, with 82 percent savoring the time spent in their vehicles. Aston Martin drivers were next-happiest (78 percent), followed by Lexus (also 78 percent), Seat (76 percent) and Peugeot (75 percent).

Ferrari drivers, surprisingly enough, scored below the average for driving enjoyment. Only 57 percent of those surveyed found driving to be an entertaining task, likely due to factors such as cost of ownership, ever-tightening regulations and traffic congestion on public roads.

Land Rover owners weren’t particularly happy, either, with just 59 percent enjoying the daily commute. That’s still better than Volvo owners, of which only 46 percent relish time spent at the helm.

MINI drivers are 73 percent happy, putting the brand on par with Seat and Peugeot. That seems to back up our theory that driving a slow car fast is far more entertaining than driving a fast car slow.

In fact, our vision of heaven involves a Mazda MX-5 with a bottomless fuel tank on an endless, winding road. Hell, to us, would be an eternity spent behind the wheel of a Ferrari F40, stuck behind a gaggle of Toyota Camrys circulating the Nürburgring Nordschleife at a maximum speed of 40 mph.

SUPERCAR BATTLE: McLaren's P1 Vs. Ferrari's LaFerrari

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See Lady Gaga's 24-Karat Gold Wheelchair


lady gaga wheelchair

Watch out Kanye, Lady Gaga has her own throne … made of solid gold. 

After surgery for a torn hip joint, Mother Monster commissioned a 24-karat-gold-plated wheelchair from jewelry designer Ken Borochov.  

The Daily Beast reports the glam chair was put together in a week complete with leather upholstery and canopy.

The 1.5 ounces of gold used to make the wheelchair is estimated at $2,600.

Terry Richardson posted the image of the singer at the right while the two were hanging out in New York.

The injury made the singer postpone shows in Chicago, Detroit, and Hamilton.

SEE ALSO: 5 things you didn't know about 'The Big Bang Theory' >

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Millionaire Lectures America About Joys Of Frugality


graham hillIn a recent NY Times Op-Ed piece, Treehugger.com founder Graham Hill waxes philosophical about his life as a minimalist millionaire.

Hill was fortunate enough to sell his tech consultancy start-up, Sitewerks, for millions back in the late 90s. That helped him foot the bill for a 3,600-square-foot Seattle home, a personal shopper, all the gadgets he could ever want, and more.

But he became bored with wealth. He sold everything and moved into a smaller apartment. He traveled with his girlfriend and enjoyed the small pleasures in life.

And he's decided the American people should, too.

"I live in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did," he writes, later finishing with, "My space is small. My life is big." 

As backup, Hill even cites studies that show that American homes have gotten bigger, that we waste more food than ever, and that some families can't park their cars in their garages because of all the stuff they have piled up.

But none of it matters. Here's why: 

1. No poor person wants to be taught lessons in frugality by a millionaire.

"There is a big difference between choosing minimalism and minimalism being a harsh aspect of daily life," one NY Times commenter wrote. "At any moment, Mr. Hill could choose to buy more things. If one of his 6 dress shirts rips, he can simply buy a new one. It's a far cry from a minimum wage worker who has this lifestyle by default, because there isn't money to rent a larger apartment or money to replace a torn shirt." 

And unlike the personal finance gurus who have become millionaires and gained legions of fans by selling their recipes for financial success, Hill isn't offering any real, actionable tips here. His advice is simply, If I can start a tech company, sell it during the Dot Com boom, make a fortune, get rid of everything and travel the world with one suitcase, then anyone can!

2. He's not telling the whole story of wealth inequality. 

Like so many before him, Hill bases his logic on the fact that Americans can live better by simply trimming the excess in their lives –– the shopping, the McMansions, the expensive lattes, etc. 

It's the "myth of overspending" that has been beaten like a dead horse over the last decade to convince Americans they have nothing short of 100% control over their own financial shortcomings. The uncomfortable truth, as the Nation's Richard Kim points out in his response to Hill, is that Americans are actually spending a smaller portion of their income on so-called "stuff."

"For example, in 1949, the average American household spent 11.7 percent of its annual budget on clothes; today it spends just 3.6 percent. By the early 2000s, when Warren and Tyagi wrote their book [The Two Income Trap], American households were spending 44 percent less on major appliances, 30 percent less on furniture and 20 percent less per car than they did just a generation ago in the late 1970s," Kim notes. 

And at the same time, we've watched our wealth shrink. 

According to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, the median income for households run by consumers between the ages of 35 to 44 fell by 14 percent between 2001 and 2010, from $63,000 to $53,900.

The Bottom Line: Hill shouldn't be berated for writing a heartfelt piece about his lifestyle choice, but the fact of the matter is that he had a choice.

Most people don't. 

Now Watch: How To Screw Up Your Tax Refund In 7 Steps


SEE ALSO: How about some advice from a family that lives on $14,000 per year >

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