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There's a region near the top of the world's tallest mountains called the 'death zone' — here's a first-hand account of what it's like


Vanessa O'Brien is an expert mountaineer. She is the fastest woman to climb the highest peak on every continent and the first American and British woman to climb K2, the second-highest mountain in the world.

She stopped by Business Insider to talk to about what it felt to be in the "Death Zone", a region near the top of world's tallest mountains and why it earns its name. You can learn more about O'Brien's adventures by following her on Facebook and Twitter. Following is a transcript of the video.

26,000 feet or 8,000 meters, they do call the "death zone." The death zone is, you know, a part of what happens at height in the mountain.

You have to remember that a mountain at 8,000 meters, 26,000 feet is the very, very top of the troposphere. So you're hitting the troposphere and the stratosphere, this is where planes fly.

You're that high. Humans aren't meant to survive there. So when you are climbing there, even if you are on oxygen, oxygen is not like oxygen in a hospital.

You're at a two liter flow rate mixed with ambient air, this is not pure oxygen. The small amount of oxygen we take just to offsets the exertion level and prevents any frostbite getting to the extremities, or what we like to call "digits." But it is by no means, something that would protect us from something like the death zone. 

In the "death zone," really, digestion starts to shut down, you'll have adrenal failure, there's not enough oxygen really to prevent cognitive failure.

You'll have adrenal failure, there's not enough oxygen really to prevent cognitive failure. You know, the brain and the lungs are getting just basically the minimum that they need.

I like to think of it as really a ticking time bomb of what you really need, maybe 24 hours, up and out. Anything over that, you really risk heading to a memorial at the bottom of the mountain. 

That's why on K2, I was worried about our team. Our team's summit was 16 hours. You know, when I'm looking at that 24-hour window, knowing that we're coming down at night, you know, that was 23-hours. I think that threaded a needle very, very closely.

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San Franciscans awoke in panic as one of the worst firestorms in California history burns wine country


tubbs fire santa rosa sonoma wildfire 2017

  • A firestorm has ravaged parts of Northern California's wine country.
  • People in San Francisco awoke to red, hazy skies and a thick stench of smoke on Monday morning. Some residents feared the fire reached the city.
  • Strong winds caused the smell to push south across the Bay Area.

Many people living in San Francisco awoke in a panic on Monday, smelling smoke from a series of fires that have been burning through Northern California's wine country since late Sunday.

Fourteen fires ignited overnight and grew as strong, dry winds spread the flames over fields and freeways. The eight-county blaze is shaping up to be one the worst firestorms in state history. It has destroyed at least 1,500 homes, businesses, and other structures.

In San Francisco, the sky turned red and hazy as fires scorched land more than a hundred miles away. Thick smoke filled the air, causing some residents to believe the flames reached closer.

Residents took to social media to express their fears.

Some people were stirred from their sleep by the smell of smoke.

At 4:42 a.m., the San Francisco Fire Department posted from its official Twitter account, "If your [sic] smelling smoke in SF it is more likely due to the Napa Fire and the Strong winds."

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service told The Mercury News that strong winds caused the widespread smell of smoke to fan from the northeast to the Bay Area.

In the lower Bay Area counties, a police dispatcher told the San Francisco Chronicle they received several calls to 911 in San Mateo County due to "drift smoke from Sonoma County."

The social media frenzy may have subsided, but San Franciscans are still feeling the effects of the firestorm raging in the north. It left a coating of ash on homes and cars in the city.

SEE ALSO: Photos show how wildfires are ravaging parts of California's wine country

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NOW WATCH: Meet the badass fire fighters who parachute directly into the flames

Ivanka Trump's real name isn't actually Ivanka


Ivana and Ivanka trump

First daughter Ivanka Trump's real name isn't actually Ivanka. 

In fact, the daughter of President Trump's first name is "Ivana," just like her mother. 

"Ivanka" is a nickname for Ivana, similar to how a child named Robert would be called Bobby or Daniel would be called Danny. Or, you could think of it like the television show "Gilmore Girls," in which Lorelai Gilmore names her daughter Lorelai, but calls her Rory.

With Donald Jr. named after his father, it makes sense that Ivanka's mother would also want to pass her name on to the next generation. 

In 2010, Ivanka explained her name's backstory on Twitter: 


SEE ALSO: People are furious about Melania Trump's outfit for her Puerto Rico visit — here's why it's a brilliant political move

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NOW WATCH: From rich kid to first daughter: The life of Ivanka Trump

This map shows the devastating impact of fires ravaging parts of California's wine country


tubbs fire santa rosa northern california wildfire 2017

A series of fires whipped by powerful winds burned through Northern California's wine country on Monday. The eight-county blaze is being called one of the worst firestorms in state history.

Fourteen fires erupted overnight in the wine-making region north of San Francisco. Thousands of people have fled, and at least 1,500 homes, businesses, and other structures have burned.

A blaze called the Tubbs Fire has burned more than 35,000 acres in and around the city of Santa Rosa, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Atlas Fire in Napa Valley has devastated between 8,000 and 12,000 acres. The extent of the damage is unknown.

This map shows the counties affected by the firestorm and where some of the fires are burning, as of 5 PM ET (2 PM PT) on Monday. Scroll over the map to see county names.

SEE ALSO: Photos show how wildfires are ravaging parts of California's wine country

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NOW WATCH: These firefighting mules go where trucks and helicopters cannot

The 'Diablo winds' explain why the fires burning California's wine country became so destructive


santa rosa tubbs fire wildfire 2017

A series of fires in Northern California's wine country is shaping up to be one of the worst firestorms in state history. An estimated 20,000 people have fled the Sonoma and Napa valleys, as well as surrounding counties, as the fire races across fields and freeways.

More than 1,500 homes, businesses, and other structures have been destroyed. Schools and hospitals have been closed, and power outages are widespread. Ten people have died.

The cause of the fires remained under investigation on Monday afternoon. But a weather phenomenon known as the "Diablo winds" is partly responsible for the widespread devastation.

It's peak wildfire season in California, and October is a notoriously challenging month for firefighters. Typically, sea breezes come off the Pacific Ocean and make landfall. In the fall, high pressure builds in the Great Basin — a huge swath of land that spans much of the western US — and causes wind to blow in an opposite direction, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Air descends from high elevations in Nevada and Utah down to sea level in Northern California, compressing and warming in the process. Winds — known as "Diablo winds" form.

In California's wine country, these especially dry winds arrived overnight, Jan Null, an adjunct professor of meteorology at San Jose State University, told the Los Angeles Times. They reached speeds of over 50 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 70 miles per hour.

tubbs fire wildfire santa rosa northern california 2017

Diablo winds probably didn't create the fires, but they did worsen the issue. Dry conditions, low humidity, and flame-fanning winds turned buildings and trees to tinder at a rapid rate.

"It's just about the worst case weather conditions to spread a wildfire quickly, given the fuel," UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain told the Los Angeles Times.

Fires spread from ridge top to ridge top overnight, stretching over eight California counties.

You can see gusts of wind blowing through the vineyard at this Napa Valley winery.

California Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties on Monday morning — a declaration that mobilizes the California National Guard.

"This is really serious. It's moving fast. The heat, the lack of humidity, and the winds are all driving a very dangerous situation and making it worse," the governor said at a morning news conference. "It's not under control by any means. But we're on it in the best way we know how."

SEE ALSO: This map shows the devastating impact of fires ravaging parts of California's wine country

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NOW WATCH: This technological breakthrough may change everything about how we fight wildfires

Before-and-after photo shows the devastation of fires raging through California's wine country


Parts of the idyllic suburb of Santa Rosa, California, were engulfed in flames on Monday as a series of wildfires ravaged pieces of Northern California's wine country.

More than a dozen fires whipped by powerful winds blew through Napa and Sonoma valleys, known for their vineyards and wineries. The blaze torched at least 1,500 homes, businesses, and other structures. The situation is being called one of the worst firestorms in state history.

Santa Rosa was among the cities hit the hardest. A neighborhood known as Coffey Park — a cluster of single-family homes located two miles outside the downtown area — has largely turned to smoke and ash. These before-and-after photos show the scale of the devastation.

Here's what Coffey Park looks like on Google Earth.

santa rosa fire tubbs wildfire northern california 2017

By late Monday, Coffeey Park was unrecognizable.

santa rosa tubbs fire wildfire 2017

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday that nearly the entire subdivision of single-family homes — built in the 1980s — is gone. The neighborhood has about 8,000 residents.

The extent of the damage in the greater Santa Rosa area is unknown.

An estimated 20,000 people have evacuated the California counties affected by wildfires. There are more than two dozen emergency shelters in Sonoma County alone, and they are filling up.

SEE ALSO: The 'Diablo winds' explain why the fires burning California's wine country became so destructive

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NOW WATCH: Meet the badass fire fighters who parachute directly into the flames

Morgan Freeman talks Pussy Riot, the keys to longevity, and his new National Geographic show


The Story of Us With Morgan Freeman

In Morgan Freeman's new National Geographic show, "The Story of Us," he travels the globe interviewing a multitude of people, including a few famous public figures, to shed light on the common bonds of the human experience. 

Business Insider spoke to Freeman and the show's producers, James Younger and Lori McCreary, at a hotel suite in New York City.

We discussed Freeman's interviews with Bill Clinton and Nadya Tolokno of Pussy Riot for the series, his personal keys to longevity, and the show's mission to, as Freeman put it, "reduce the amount of tension between people who don't know each other."

("The Story of Us" premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST on National Geographic.) 

John Lynch: Mr. Freeman, your interviewing in the series is incredible and really the driving force of the show, as opposed to a voiceover narration. What made that face-to-face element the best way to tell these stories?

Morgan Freeman: Eye contact. Eye contact is part of any storytelling interview. Interviewing someone and having eye contact, you get much more information because the eyes talk, too. And going and sitting down with these people also gives it more legitimacy. 

James Younger: I've done lots of work with documentaries where there isn't an on-camera interviewer. As a producer, you sort of sit behind the camera lens and ask a bunch of questions, and that is an eye-to-eye conversation. But there's something different about having Morgan on camera. Because he is Morgan, people tend to look at him and don't think about the cameras, so it ends up becoming a very human conversation, a much stronger emotional connection. And Morgan's so great at, you know, I guess, being an actor. He's quite good at figuring out how to get people into these emotions.

Lori McCreary: Drawing people out too. He draws people out in a way that sometimes we don't even know where it's going to go, and we get more information than we expected.

Freeman: Well, actually, the secret to all of it is listening.

Lynch: Your passion to enlist in the US Air Force is a touchstone throughout the series. At one point in the show, you speak to an American drone strike officer who told you he regretted his service. Did that conversation change your perspective of the modern military at all?

Freeman: No, not at all. The military. It's a necessary evil. I put it in those terms because we just launched our eleventh aircraft carrier. No other country in the world has more than one, and we have eleven. My feeling about the military is, as I said, it's a necessary evil. We don't need what we got. Personally, I think we'd do a lot better dealing with home, infrastructure, education. Look at Puerto Rico. We claim not to be able to deal with that? Horse-pucky.

Lynch: What can you tell me about the filming of your interview with Nadya from Pussy Riot? How did that come about?

Younger: I'm not quite sure how we got in touch with her. It was through a contact who knew her. What's really interesting about her is how she's so adaptable. She's kind of a self-professed troublemaker. Whatever's going wrong, she's going to say something about it. She's in the US now, and she's found a whole bunch of other stuff to get engaged with. She's a motivator of people. She's one of these people who is a magnet, attracts other people who feel the same way.

Freeman: Yeah. It's a certain kind of extant courage. There are people who think things are wrong. And then there are people who have an absolute need to say it, to stand up and say, "That's wrong!" She's one of those. And I love the name. It makes a point.

Lynch: At another point in the show, a homeless man in London says he recognizes you by your voice. As a viewer, it sort of felt like a "voice of God" moment, as people have described your voice. How does it feel to know that your voice spans the globe in that way?

Freeman: I don't think about it.

Younger: You know, what I think was interesting about that conversation was not really that it was Morgan's voice, but that Morgan addressed him by his name. I'm sure he knew Morgan was a famous Hollywood actor, but to be spoken to made him feel human. Someone who goes around with this mess of outgrown hair and doesn't have a name to the millions of people that have walked past him in his life, he's just an object, an animate object. To feel human like that...

McCreary: Yeah, when Morgan called him Stuart, you saw this...


Lynch: Definitely, it was a moving moment. On another note, what can you tell me about your extended conversation with Bill Clinton for the series? What did you all take away from it?

McCreary: Well, it's always great to talk and listen to Bill. Some days are better than others in America these days, depending on what's going on in the news, and I think all of us just came in thinking, "Okay, we're going to have an interview." And then two hours later, all of us felt buoyed up. He has a historical perspective, a world perspective about what's going on, not only here but around the world, that is so hopeful. That Martin Luther King quote...

Younger: "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice." We started making this series before all the events of the last year, and we were making a film about tribalism, about how we all lock ourselves into different beliefs. And it was sitting down with President Clinton when he really crystallized that being about "The Story of Us," and the story of them. And that we are always stronger when us can expand and include them. So that was a powerful thing.

Lynch: Mr. Freeman, at 80, doing this show and going across the world in such a rapid production, you're still spry, and you're killing it...

McCreary and Younger: [laughs]

Lynch: ... what's your secret to longevity in your life and career?

Freeman: Discipline. Exercise, part of your discipline. How you eat, part of your discipline. I try not to overeat. One of the things that I discovered somewhere back down the line was that eating, for us particularly here, has become a habit, not necessarily a need. So if you try to keep it down to need, it's going to be much better for you. You know there are more obese people in the US than probably anywhere else? Because we can feed them. And in the time in history when everybody had a job, an actually physical job to do — you get up in the morning, and you get your hoe or your axe or your saw, or whatever the tool it is that you're using, and you use it. And then at noon, you stop using it and refuel, and then you use it some more, and then you go home, and you refuel. Aha! Now, let's say you get up in the morning, and you brush your teeth, you comb your hair and put on a suit. And you go and sit down at a desk. You haven't used up anything, comparatively. 

McCreary: And you're refueling, even though you don't need it. 

Younger: I once sat down at a bus stop in Oakland when I was about 20, and there was a guy sitting there, waiting for the bus, older man, probably 75 years old. And he just turned and looked at me and said, "You want to know what the secret to happiness in life is? ... Comfortable shoes." 

All: [laughs]

Lynch: I'm 23, but I can attest to that. Well, I really found the show...

Freeman: Oh, wait a minute. There's one more secret to longevity: Genes. 

McCreary: Jeans? Oh, genes. Not Levis. 

Freeman: No, not blue jeans.

Lynch: Fantastic. Well, I found the show really moving and captivating. What do each of you hope to communicate through the show, for the viewers who experience it?

Freeman: The point of the show, the point of telling people about people, is so that we can, on some level, reduce the amount of tension between people who don't know each other. 

Younger: We live in a time of increasing tribalism. We, humanity, got to where we are now because of tribalism, because we knew how to group together and do things together as communities. And now, we're in this phase where the all tribes are bumping up against each other, and we've got all this tension. And so we've got to get over that, this phase of tribalism, without losing our local culture. So the series is really about that. How do we get to know each other so we don't have that animosity between cultures. 

McCreary: I think there's some kind of human instinct to be with people that look like us, that like the same things as us, which is what James is talking about in terms of tribalism. And I think our show really highlights, instead of that instinct, the human spirit that is an outgrowth of these clashes we have because of our instincts. And the human spirit is what can take us out of that and into reconciliation in Rwanda, or in Bosnia. When I look at what happened in Rwanda or Bosnia, and then I think about how amazing their reconciliations are, then I look at America, and I think, okay, there's hope, there's definitely hope for us. If those countries can go through what they did and come out the way they did, then maybe we can also do the same. 

SEE ALSO: Hollywood's 'brandfather' talks his new role on 'Shark Tank,' working with 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake

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Donald Trump is not America's richest real estate tycoon — it's another Donald who's worth almost $17 billion


Donald Bren and Trump

When it comes to real estate wealth, one Donald is the clear winner.

California native Donald Bren is the wealthiest real estate baron in America, with an estimated net worth of nearly $17 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, nearly six times President Trump's fortune.

Unlike Trump, whose wealth is inherited according to Bloomberg, Bren is a self-made mogul who turned a $10,000 bank loan into a multi-billion dollar empire.

Bren's privately-held real estate investment company, Irvine Company, is the largest landowner in California.

Irvine Co.'s portfolio of properties exceeds 110 million square feet and includes office buildings, apartments, marinas, and hotels, most of which is located in picturesque Orange County. Bren also has a footprint in Trump's native New York City as the majority owner of the New York Met Life building.

In total, Bren owns one-fifth of Orange County, an area five times the size of Manhattan, according to Bloomberg.

At 85 years old, Bren, a former US Marine, is still running the show as chairman of Irvine Company — here's the story behind his success.

SEE ALSO: Meet Alice Walton: How America's wealthiest woman spends her Walmart fortune

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Donald Bren was born in Los Angeles in 1932. His father, a movie producer, and his mother, a patron of the performing arts, divorced when he was 10. His father remarried to an actress and his mother to a well-off industrialist.

Sources: Wealth-XFortune

Bren and his brother attended Beverly Hills High School and spent their summers working as carpenters for their dad's real estate development business. A key lesson he learned from his father: "When you hold property over the long term, you’re able to create better values and you have something tangible to show for it," Bren told the Los Angeles Times in 2011.

Sources: Fortune, Los Angeles Times


Bren earned a partial athletic scholarship to the University of Washington for skiing. He was reportedly a stylish skier and an avid competitor who was set to go to the 1956 Olympics but couldn't participate because of a broken ankle.

Source: Fortune

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An enormous ranch that's bigger than New York City just hit the market for $100 million


Cross Mountain Ranch, one of the largest and most ecologically diverse recreational and operating ranches in the nation is on the market for the first time in nearly three decades

For the first time in three decades, Cross Mountain Ranch has hit the market. With an asking price of $100 million, the ranch is a whopping 224,050 acres — larger than New York City.

Located in northwest Colorado, Cross Mountain is one of the biggest ranches in the US. Its previous owner was the late real estate tycoon Ronald Boeddeker, who developed luxury properties like Lake Las Vegas. 

Ahead, take a look at the massive property, which includes multiple homes, recreational activities, and livestock operations. It's currently on the market with Mirr Ranch Group.

SEE ALSO: A hedge funder once paid nearly $800,000 in rent to stay at this fashion mogul's home in the Hamptons — and now you can buy it for $45 million

The Cross Mountain Ranch property is so large, it contains two different ecosystems. The land consists of green forest in the Williams Fork River valley, and high desert country that runs along the Yampa River.

There are numerous homes on the property, including this 11,000-square-foot log lodge. Inside are nine bedrooms and nine-and-a-half baths.

There are also barns, shops, and livestock-handling facilities, as well as manager and employee housing on the property.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Chip and Joanna Gaines of 'Fixer Upper' explain how a stint in county jail highlighted their deepest money disagreement


Chip and Joanna Gaines

After five seasons as the stars of HGTV's hit home-renovation show "Fixer Upper," Chip and Joanna Gaines are stepping away from the camera to focus on their thriving businesses and spending more time with family.

In the four years since their show premiered, the couple has built a mini-empire and amassed a cult-like following — but the road to success wasn't always smooth.

In fact, shortly after the birth of their first child over a decade ago, the Gainses experienced a financial wake-up call when Chip was thrown in the county jail for about $2,500 in unpaid tickets.

The tickets were issued after neighbors complained that the couple's dogs were illegally roaming the street in front of their house, they wrote in their 2016 book "The Magnolia Story."

To pay Chip's $800 bail, Joanna had to empty the cash register and safe in her small retail shop. It was then that she realized they "were right on the edge of a real financial struggle." She promised to never let it happen again.

"I have a naturally conservative nature, and Chip and I were supposed to balance each other out, not concede to each other's strengths and weaknesses," Joanna wrote of the ordeal. "My strength is saving and being tight with the money, and I had not exercised that strength recently."

Now, Joanna fully recognizes the importance of an emergency fund — something she credits her parents for teaching her to value.

"I think for me, the best lesson is always having a nest egg on the side," she told Business Insider.

Chip disagrees, however.

"He laughs because I had a nest egg going into our marriage," Joanna said. "And then that nest egg ended up [going] into an investment, and then within six months I was like, 'Well, it would've been nice to have that nest egg right about now.'"

Still, Joanna said she's "always liked the idea of putting money aside." And she advises her clients to do the same when it comes to renovating a home.

"If you have a $20,000 budget, plan on spending $15,000 — $5,000 will be money that just magically appears that you're going to need," Joanna said. "Something’s going to happen, something’s going to go wrong. So I'm always thinking 'Hey if I have this much, I'm always going to want this over here, just in case.' But not Chip."

Chip says his parents taught him the exact opposite.

"They taught me to take that nest egg and throw that thing out the window, and go for it. You only live once — there will be plenty of time to sleep when you're dead," Chip told Business Insider. He then asked Joanna, "Do we have a nest egg?"

"I learned early on that if you have a nest egg, you can’t tell him about it, because it will be gone," Joanna said.

DON'T MISS: HGTV's 'Fixer Upper' makes house flipping seem like a good investment — but there's a catch

SEE ALSO: The stars of 'Fixer Upper' realized it was time to leave the reality TV juggernaut after a single tweet from a customer

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How to make sure you're wearing the right shoes for your suit

How to help people affected by the massive fires burning California's wine country


northern california fire wildfire 2017

An estimated 20,000 people in Northern California fled their homes by car and on foot early Monday as a series of wildfires swept through the state's prized wine country.

Some will return to the counties of Sonoma and Napa to find their homes, vehicles, and possessions turned to rubble.

More than a dozen fires ignited on Sunday and grew as strong, dry winds spread the flames over fields and freeways. At least 100,000 acres have been torched, the Washington Post reported.

There are ways you can help.

The city of Santa Rosa — which saw entire neighborhoods burn to the ground— has reached its immediate needs for volunteers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday morning. The city is asking people interested in volunteering to sign up with the Red Cross here.

You can also make a donation to the Red Cross, which helps distribute disaster relief aid.

If you're looking to diversify your contributions, the Salvation Army and The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership are accepting only monetary donations at this time.

Winery owner Jack Kloberdanz, who lives in Napa, created this donation page to raise $30,000 for fire relief efforts. The funds will be spread out evenly among local organizations, including the Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority, the Napa County Fire Department, and the Lake County Fire and Rescue. The page — which was verified by GoFundMe, according to NBC Bay Area— has raised over $20,000 from 235 people as of Tuesday morning.

Kloberdanz told NBC Bay Area he woke up on Monday to an "orange and yellow sky" and wanted to help the victims after struggling to find reputable donation pages online.

napa sonoma santa rosa fire wildfire northern california 2017

Rescue workers in Napa and Sonoma counties are also seeking donations of supplies.

The Petaluma Police Department put out a call on social media for medical supplies, including aspirin, Motrin, Band-Aids, cough syrup, and cold packs, which can be delivered to the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds & Event Center in Petaluma. They are also accepting blankets and water at the Petaluma Community Center and Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building.

San Franciscans can donate supplies at local drop-off centers, including boutique Love on Haight, custom branding business Social Imprints, and tattoo shop Eye of the Tiger Tattoo. A Facebook page for Love on Haight says it will "find your donation a good home."

On behalf of local shelters, Love on Haight is accepting tents, air mattresses and cots, blankets, pillows, phone chargers, pet supplies, baby supplies, feminine and personal hygiene products, new underwear, face masks, latex gloves, boxes, duct tape, suitcases, water, non-perishable food items, and more. To see a full list, check here.

Airbnb has activated its Disaster Response and Relief program, which allows hosts in San Francisco and parts of Marin and Alameda counties to open up their homes to people displaced by the fires, or to relief workers responding to the blazes. Guests stay for free.

Twenty-five people have offered their homes to evacuees as of Tuesday morning. Seasoned hosts and first-timers alike can sign up on Airbnb's website here.

We will continue to update this post throughout the day.

SEE ALSO: Photos show how wildfires are ravaging parts of California's wine country

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NOW WATCH: Watch a man's dramatic escape from a raging wildfire in Tennessee

Moms are joining together and collectively deciding their kids should only get 4 gifts at a time — here's their logic


kid opening present

Jordan Harrell and her husband, Clark, no longer get that "yucky" feeling on Christmas morning.

It's the feeling they used to get when their three kids — ages five, four, and two — would tear into their presents and, giddy with the thrill of seeing their shiny-new toys, would inevitably shout, "Do we have any more presents?! Is that all?!"

Today, Harrell's kids know they're getting exactly four gifts from Santa. One is a gift they want; one they need; one they can wear; and one they can read.

Now, Harrell told Business Insider, instead of acting entitled on Christmas morning, her kids are grateful.

Harrell is one of a growing number of parents embracing the want/need/wear/read gifting strategy. The idea has made the rounds on "mom blogs" over the past few years; Harrell posted about it on her blog during the 2016 holiday season.

Harrell's kids were young enough that they didn't push back too much when she explained the new gift-giving strategy. But Lauren Greutman had a slightly harder time— her eldest son was eight when they instituted the want/need/wear/read rule four years ago.

"He was very upset," Greutman told Business Insider, "because he was raised on the quantity of gifts." Still, he adjusted pretty quickly. Now, she said, all her kids "think more about the family experiences over what [gifts] they're getting."

Since starting to use the want/need/wear/read rule, Greutman said she and her husband, Mark, have spent $100 on the "want" gift for each kid. (They just increased their budget to $150.) Last year, those "want" gifts included a dollhouse and a Lego set.

One unexpected outcome has been that her kids are learning to make some financial decisions on their own — if they see an item they want, but it's more than $100 or so, they know Mom won't buy it for them and have to look for something else.

The want/need/wear/read strategy is in line with recommendations from some parenting experts. Sean Grover, a psychotherapist, wrote on Psychology Today that it's important to "set gift limits": "Meaningful gifts have more emotional value than a mountain of generic presents."

Some parents see the want/need/wear/read rule as an extension of the "three-gift tradition." In other words, Jesus received three gifts (and only three gifts) from the Three Wise Men — so should you.

As Kathy Radigan wrote in a blog post that was republished by the Huffington Post, "I really liked how it made the children think and decide about the things they truly wanted. I also liked that there was a religious significance to the tradition since the three wise men each gave one gift to the infant Jesus on the occasion of his birth."

Some parents are taking the idea of limiting gifts to an extreme. Entertainment Tonight reported that Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have decided not to give their kids any Christmas gifts. Kunis said: "The kid no longer appreciates the one gift. They don't even know what they're expecting; they're just expecting stuff."

SEE ALSO: Rich parents are fine with their kids being entitled — as long as they don't act like it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 7 ways parents set their kids up for success

Tabloid covers from the '90s show the insanity of Trump's divorce from ex-wife Ivana


trump atd 080515

Ivana Trump — President Donald Trump's first wife and the mother of Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Trump Jr. — is making headlines once again as she promotes her new book, "Raising Trump."

During a Sunday interview with ABC News, Ivana said she still talks with President Trump regularly but doesn't call the White House directly in order to avoid making first lady Melania Trump jealous. Ivana even referred to herself as the real "first lady." 

"I don't want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I'm basically first Trump wife. OK? I'm first lady," she said.

In a statement on Monday, Melania's spokeswoman characterized Ivana's comments as "attention-seeking and self-serving noise." Still, it's clear that Ivana is no stranger to stirring up controversy with President Trump and his wives

After Trump's affair with then-26-year-old Marla Maples was revealed in 1989, Ivana and Trump's hugely public divorce became fodder for the tabloids. Trump's rocky relationship with and 1993 marriage to Marla Maples also inspired its fair share of screaming headlines. Below, we've rounded up of some of the most outrageous tabloid covers from that period.

SEE ALSO: First lady feud: Here's the history of Trump's battling wives

"'Ivana better deal': Mrs. T brands Donald's $25M pre-nuptial pact a fraud"

"The Trumps speak out"

"Ivana to Donald at secret sitdown: Gimme the Plaza! ... the jet and $150 million, too"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Before-and-after photos show how California's wineries have been devastated by fires


santa rosa napa sonoma fire northern california wildfire 2017

Northern California wine country is threatened as a series of massive wildfires continue to rage in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and elsewhere.

More than a dozen fires ignited on Sunday and grew as strong, dry winds spread the flames over fields and freeways. The eight-county blaze destroyed at least 2,000 homes, businesses, and other structures, and sent residents fleeing for their lives. Thirteen people are dead.

A majority of the area's thousands of wineries have been spared. But winemakers won't know the extent of the damage until evacuation orders are lifted and they can return to their estates.

Here's what we know about the state of damaged wineries.

SEE ALSO: Photos show how wildfires are ravaging parts of California's wine country

DON'T MISS: How to help people affected by the massive fires burning California's wine country

A series of wildfires ravaging pieces of Northern California's wine country is being called one of the worst firestorms in state history. The largest blazes hit Napa and Sonoma.

The region is an economic powerhouse and a favorite destination for wine-lovers. It's home to hundreds of elite wineries and vineyards, trendy restaurants, and five-star hotels.

We went to Napa and the wine destination people are ditching it for — and the winner is clear »

Two of the largest fires — Tubbs and Atlas fires — are believed to have begun near Highway 128 in Napa. Strong, dry winds fanned the flames from ridge top to ridge top on Monday.

The 'Diablo winds' explain why the fires burning California's wine country became so destructive »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The most popular shopping chain in each state


Americans are passionate about where they shop.   

While more and more people turn to online shopping for their food and clothing needs, plenty of shoppers still prefer to visit brick-and-mortar stores.

The location intelligence company Foursquare put together a list of the most popular department stores, clothing stores, and big box store chains in each state across the US, based on its own visit data.  

Foursquare looked at the average number of visits per store in each state to determine its ranking. That allowed for some smaller chains like Uniqlo and Fred Meyer to beat out Walmart and Target in some states.

Check out the full list below. 

 clothing stores map


ALASKA: Walmart


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I've been on antidepressants for a decade — here's the biggest misconception about them



It started with a math test.

I was in the eighth grade, sitting at my assigned seat with a pencil and a green sheet of paper in front of me — it was the class final.

Suddenly, my mind went blank. The words and numbers on the page all blurred together and became meaningless. I froze with fear. My heart raced. What was happening to me?

With all the effort I could muster, I raised a shaky hand to ask for the bathroom pass. As soon as I got there, I started crying uncontrollably. Somewhere between the sobs, I managed to vomit into the toilet.

Although I didn't know it then, what happened that day would be the beginning of a painful and confusing series of severe bouts — "episodes," in psychiatric parlance — of anxiety and depression that would land me in a handful of hospitals and treatment centers.

Eventually, I'd be prescribed antidepressants, the drugs that I'm now convinced saved my life. But the road to medication was rocky. If it weren't for a series of somewhat random events, a handful of truly caring doctors — and, of course, the health insurance that made the drugs affordable — I probably would never have found them.

The arena of mental health is full of misunderstanding. Even with awareness programs like World Mental Health Day, which happens every year on October 10, we still know very little about either condition.

Pill bottle with pills and medicine spilling out of itPartially because of this, the odds of me finding these medications were largely against me, as they are for many people who may need them. There's a wide public perception — which I've encountered directly and which Peter D. Kramer, a psychiatrist and Brown University professor, details in his new book, "Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants"— that antidepressants are inherently bad. They're seen either as an easy way out of the "hard work" of dealing with feelings, or as something that can get you high. Some even think they can be manipulated to make you smarter or give you superpowers. This certainly isn't what happened to me. (If it did, I'd be flying around South America in a cape instead of writing this post.)

On the other hand, some people claim that antidepressants work no better than placebos, or sugar pills. And several studies — including one that Kramer directly addresses, which was first published in 1998 and then redone with more information in 2008— seem to back this up. But, as Kramer shows, other studies continue to find the opposite result, that antidepressants work and that they can be life-changing, especially for people whose depression is severe or long-lasting.

For me, what antidepressants did was remarkably simple: They made me feel OK. In the words of Kramer, they made me feel "ordinarily well."


When my anxiety first started cropping up, my parents wanted me to go a "natural" route — in other words, they wanted me to stick to talk therapy with counselors. They wanted me to avoid medication.


At the time, their choice made sense. Everything from antidepressants to ADHD medications were being prescribed at alarming rates. In 2013, one in 10 Americans took an antidepressant. And many of them likely didn't need it.

A study published that year in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that roughly two-thirds of a sample of about 5,000 people with a depression diagnosis in the previous year didn't meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, as defined in the psychiatry handbook known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM.

It seemed as though the vast majority of doctors were merely writing a prescription and raking in money rather than sitting with patients and taking time to talk out their issues using evidence-based methods like cognitive behavioral therapy.

But eventually, despite weekly sessions of therapy, my panic attacks got so bad that I couldn't sleep or go to school. I had nightmares. I thought of every single worst-case scenario that could happen and I lived as if they were imminent. I started obsessing about everything, from the tests I might fail, to the friends who might abandon me, to the food that might make me fat. I contemplated suicide. My weight dropped to 90 pounds.

Concerned, my parents took me to dozens of doctors, who tested me for everything. When no results turned up, my mom took me to see a psychiatrist. The drive was four hours round trip, but somehow one of my working parents managed to squeeze it into their schedule every few weeks.

After two or three 45-minute sessions with the psychiatrist, I was diagnosed as anorexic "with panic" and given a prescription for a tiny orange tablet called Klonopin.

Klonopin is not an antidepressant. It's a tranquilizer. It's typically used to treat seizures, but it's prescribed for panic disorder as well. I was supposed to take it whenever I felt panicky, which sounded like a bit of a slippery slope to me. Didn't I always feel a little bit panicky? How would I know when I really needed it and when I was just trying to avoid my feelings? So I reserved it only for when I was in the throes of a full-blown attack.

It "worked," if you'd call feeling like your mind has been wiped blank working. Klonopin made me numb.


Starting over

One day, I refused to go to my appointment. I cried and told my mom that there was no point in trying anymore, that I was broken and there was nothing that could be done for me. For some reason, she didn't believe me.

So we started over. I stopped seeing the psychiatrist who gave me Klonopin and began seeing other doctors. I saw an endocrinologist, who specialized in hormones, along with several different therapists.

After weeks of consultation with all of them, the endocrinologist decided to put me on my first antidepressant — a drug called Lexapro. Lexapro belongs to a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which are thought to work by amplifying the activity of the chemical serotonin in the brain.

The way we'd know whether the medication was working, my doctor told me, was if I didn't really notice any big changes in my feelings or my behavior.

That sounded strange to me. Didn't I need a big change? After all, I'd wanted to die. Still, I was ready to try just about anything, and I trusted her. So, I took the medication as directed, and continued to see her and my therapist.

At some point (I can't say exactly when), I started to feel like the world seemed a little less dark. It was as if I'd been seeing everything in front of me with a dark-tinged, heavily vignetted filter for years, and someone had gently peeled it off. I didn't feel like I wanted to die, and I didn't feel numb. Everything was sort of OK, and when my doctor asked how I was doing, that's all I could tell her. "I feel OK," I said. She smiled.

Studies suggest that this can happen for many people with depression and anxiety who are prescribed the right medication and corresponding treatment, as Kramer details. In one chapter, Kramer writes about one of his first patients, a woman named Adele, whom he saw while he was still a medical student at Harvard.

She was a 26-year-old elementary school teacher who suffered from depression and who'd considered suicide. After Adele had been treated for an overactive thyroid, Kramer's supervising doctor placed her on the antidepressant drug imipramine. "Imipramine acted in a fashion I later came to call courteous," Kramer wrote. "It afforded modest but invaluable relief."

That modest but invaluable relief was exactly what I'd experienced on Lexapro.

After the panic attacks had stopped and I gained back some weight, my therapist started suggesting I get back into some types of gentle exercise, like yoga. Slowly but surely, I started to get better.

erin doing crow in croatia

I made friends. I started eating real food. I excelled in school. I moved to a different city. I went to college. I developed a support network of people I could trust and talk to about anything. I moved across the country. I went to graduate school. I started a career.

I did absolutely none of it on my own.

I kept working with a therapist who was trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of psychotherapy that involves recognizing negative thought patterns and coming up with solutions to overcome them. I saw a psychiatrist who managed my medication, went to group yoga classes at least a few times a week, and stayed close to the friends and family that had helped me through the bad times.

Research suggests that each of these parts of my recovery can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Exercise has been linked with a reduction in many depressive symptoms. So have antidepressants, therapy, and steady social support.

At some point though, despite all of it, I hit a bit of a lull. Some of my problematic behaviors started to creep back in. My psychiatrist recommended trying a new medication. I was hesitant, but again, I trusted her. She wrote me a prescription for Prozac, and I stopped the Lexapro.

The transition was a little rocky, but eventually I felt OK again. I continued doing yoga several times a week, connecting with my friends and family, and going to therapy.

For me, antidepressants were a tool. They enabled me to start feeling OK, to start reaching out to others for help, and to start doing things that I enjoyed doing and that made me feel good. They lifted a heavy blanket of depression that had previously made all of these things sound like impossible chores.

I don't think they're a panacea, and they're certainly not for everyone. But they worked for me. They helped me find normal. And without them, I don't think I'd ever know what that feels like.

DON'T MISS: Betsy DeVos backs a technique claiming to cure ADHD without medication — but the science is questionable

SEE ALSO: There's a medical problem that marijuana might be able to help that no one is talking about

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NOW WATCH: Animated map of how Earth will look in 250 million years

Apocalyptic before-and-after photos show how wildfires are destroying parts of California's wine country


AP_17282783963024 journey's end mobile home after

Since late Sunday, a series of wildfires has torched more than 115,000 acres in Northern California. The situation is being called one of the worst firestorms in state history.

On Tuesday, a clearer picture of the devastation began to come together.

The blaze began on Sunday evening and strengthened as strong, dry winds pulled many separate fires across large swaths of fields and freeways. Officials estimate that more than 2,000 homes, businesses, and other structures in eight counties have now been devastated by the fires.

At least 15 people are dead, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers clear through the rubble. More than 200 people have been reported missing as of Tuesday afternoon.

These before-and-after photos give us a glimpse of the destruction.

SEE ALSO: How to help people affected by the massive fires burning California's wine country

Signorello Estate winery, located on Silverado Trail, has been destroyed. Flames climbed the ivy-covered walls of the winery headquarters on Monday, and it eventually collapsed.

Source: Wine Spectator

Here's the entrance to the fire-ravaged Signorello Estate winery as seen on Monday.

A photo taken inside a tasting room at Signorello Estate winery shows a circular window.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Eminem torches Trump in an expletive-filled freestyle rap


eminem trump freestyle rap

Eminem went on a 4-1/2-minute freestyle targeting President Donald Trump on Tuesday night.

The Detroit rapper, like his many contemporaries, has built a career on his ability to articulate searing — and sometimes controversial — broadsides against his opponents. This time, he focused squarely on Trump. The artist conjured "the calm before the storm" in his opening line, a not-so-subtle reference to a phrase Trump recently used during a meeting with military personnel.

Eminem uses that line as a launching point for the first part of his salvo: "But we better give Obama props, 'cause what we got in office now's a kamikaze that'll probably cause a nuclear holocaust — and while the drama pops, and he waits for s--- to quiet down, he'll just gas his plane up and fly around 'til the bombing stops.

"Intensity's heightened; tensions are rising. Trump, when it comes to giving a s---, you're stingy as I am."

The multiplatinum-selling, Grammy-winning rapper hit on several grievances about Trump in his rhymes. The video was set at his Detroit home with a crew and a collection of classic cars as his backdrop.

Watch the full video below, and scroll down for a sample of the lyrics:

"That's why he wants us to disband, 'cause he cannot withstand the fact we're not afraid of Trump. F--- walking on eggshells, I came to stomp. That's why he keeps screaming 'drain the swamp' 'cause he's in quicksand.

"It's like we take a step forwards then backwards, but this is his form of distraction. Plus he gets an enormous reaction when he attacks the NFL, so we focus on that instead of talking Puerto Rico and gun reform for Nevada. All these horrible tragedies and he's bored or would rather cause a Twitter storm with the Packers.

"Then says he wants to lower our taxes. Then who's gonna pay for his extravagant trips, back and forth with his fam to his golf resorts and his mansions? Same s--- that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered, then does it more. From his endorsement of Bannon, support for the Klansmen, tiki torches in hand for the soldier that's black and comes home from Iraq and is still told to go back to Africa.

"Fork and a dagger in this racist, 94-year-old grandpa, who keeps ignoring our past — historical, deplorable factors.

"Now if you're a black athlete, you're a spoiled little brat for trying to use your platform or your stature to try to give those a voice who don't have one. He says you're spittin' in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards.

"Unless you're a POW who's tortured and battered, 'cause to him you're zeroes, 'cause he don't like his war heroes captured. That's not disrespecting the military ...

"And any fan of mine who's a supporter of his, I'm drawing in the sand a line, you're either for or against. And if you can't decide who you like more, and you're split on who you should stand beside, I'll do it for you with this: F--- you. The rest of America, stand up. We love our military, and we love our country — but we f---ing hate Trump."

Eminem in February called Trump a "b----" in another song titled "No Favors." The rapper has previously been criticized for lyrics that some have called misogynist, violent, and homophobic.

However, he is not the first music artist to oppose the 45th president. A handful of music-industry luminaries reportedly declined invitations to perform at Trump's inauguration in January.

The music world, much like sports and entertainment, has become increasingly political in the era of Trump. Audience reactions, though, have been mixed, and in the case of NFL protests during the national anthem, brands and advertisers have been caught in the middle.

SEE ALSO: Rose McGowan says Ben Affleck knew all about Harvey Weinstein's behavior: 'You lie'

DON'T MISS: Netflix's 24 original drama series, ranked from worst to best

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch LeBron James defend calling Trump a bum on Twitter

Inside the lavish private club for New York City's creative elite


Alan Linn Norwood Club

There are few things more exclusive than a private club. 

After years of working within the members-only club scene in London, Alan Linn saw a space in the market for a club that catered specifically to New York City's abundant creative community.

In 2007 he came to the US and opened Norwood, a now-bustling five-story club with more than 1,000 members ranging from 21 to 80 years old. Its ranks include architects, fashion designers, musicians, media moguls, and art collectors.

Linn's number-one tip for making it through the selection process is simple: "Be curious."

We talked to Linn about the history of Norwood, and what it's like to be a part of one of New York's top creative communities.  

SEE ALSO: We went to New York City's most expensive neighborhood — home to Wall Streeters and celebrities like Taylor Swift — and saw why it's so popular

The club is located in an unassuming brownstone near the corner of West 14th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. Built in 1874 by Andrew S. Norwood, the building was, at the time, an extravagant mansion with a total 13 fireplaces, mahogany doors, and intricate plaster crown molding.

To be accepted to the club, you must prove your involvement with the creative arts, and go through an extensive hour-long interview, which gets reported to the board of directors. "It's as much as what are we going to get out of them as members, as what are they going to get out of us," Linn said. There's a $800 membership joining fee, and an annual fee of $2,200 a year — or $1,250 if you're under 30.

"When we take on new members, it’s not always about everyone knowing everyone," Linn said. "It's about creating an alchemy, so to speak. It's nice to combine various professions and backgrounds at one dinner table."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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