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A top ballet dancer shows us how men can be better dancers


David Hallberg is a principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre and author of "A Body of Work." We recruited his expertise to teach one of our video producers how to dance. 

Kevin Reilly:
I'm Kevin Reilly. I’m from Business Insider and I'm here to learn how to dance.

David Hallberg: I'm David Hallberg. I am a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and I'm here to teach Kevin how to dance.

Reilly: When I go out to dance whether I’m going to a wedding or out to the club, I like to stay in my little space right like this and I’m comfortable right here, I don't need to look around at all, and that's all I want to do. But I hear constantly that I have no idea what I'm doing, that I am a terrible dancer. I learned everything from the movie “Hitch” and I need to improve on that.

Hallberg: First, I think you should snap at the same time you're taking steps. I think that's —I’m, so am I off on that?

That’s the first baby step.

When you touch your feet together, you snap at the same time. Good! Now we have a rhythm.

Reilly: Rhythm.

Hallberg: Exactly.

When you’re out on the dance floor, you wanna have some sort of presence. Instinctually I turn on the ballet switch and that includes shoulders and chest. So, it's more shoulders back, not tight, but just a little like, just create a kind of — exactly! You saw what you did with your chin?

Reilly: Wow! That was it? See that, I’m an expert already!

Hallberg: That was you speaking, it wasn't like me telling you what to do. You know?

Everyone knows what a waltz is. Maybe not everyone knows how to waltz. I'll do it first and then kind of teach you how.

Reilly: Okay.

Hallberg: So balancé is like this. So, it can go all the way around the room. It can go with different arms. It can go here. We're going to boil it down first.

Reilly: Okay, that sounds good.

Hallberg: So you go one, two, three, just follow me two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, good.

Reilly: If I’m in there with another person then, would I just be ...

Hallberg: So you would be like waist, arm, and then you take a step back with that leg.

Reilly: Okay.

Hallberg: One, go to the side, two, three. And then you step this back, one, two, three. One, two, three. Good! You’re a fast learner!

I’m going to teach you a changement.

Reilly: A changement?

Hallberg: Yeah.

Reilly: Okay.

Hallberg: Which means to change.

Reilly: To change.

Hallberg: In French.

You start in fifth position like this

Reilly: Yeah that’s …

Hallberg: It’s alright. You’re here and you just go change. Change, change, change, change, change, change.

Here, grab my hand.

Reilly: Okay.

Hallberg: As a partner, first. Training wheels. And you plie and jump and change. Good. And again.

Reilly: Alright.

Hallberg: And again. Good.

Reilly: Teach me how to do a graceful bow.

Hallberg: So you take in the audience and then you bow your head, humbly.

Reilly: Humbly. Alright.

Hallberg: Take in the audience

Reilly: Take in the audience.

Hallberg: And humbly bow your head. Thank you. Yes, good.

Join the conversation about this story »

The New York City offices of PayPal and Venmo have candy drawers, Taco Tuesdays, and a conference room so cushy that employees take off their shoes


Paypal Venmo NYC offices

PayPal recently expanded its Manhattan office.

• The online payments system shares the space with Venmo, which it acquired in 2013.

• Business Insider stopped by the office to check out the space and perks.

PayPal is in a good place, right now.

Markets Insider reported its latest earnings report sent its stock price up by 6.04%. Meanwhile, its total number of active users has surpassed 210 million people around the globe.

At the same time, the San Jose-based company is doubling the size of its New York office, adding two new floors to its West Village location.

Business Insider recently visited PayPal's Manhattan office — which it shares with Venmo. PayPal acquired Venmo when it bought parent company Braintree for $800 million in 2014, according to Fortune.

Here's what we saw:

SEE ALSO: This $3.2 billion tech company you've never heard of has insane perks including massage therapists, a pool, and woodside yoga

We arrived at the company's West Village digs on a balmy afternoon last week. PayPal spokesperson Amanda Coffee showed around as the office prepared to celebrate its expansion.

First, we headed up to the office's private rooftop, which has a prime view of the Hudson River. Employees can gather here to work or mingle during happy hours or office events.

The building initially started out as Venmo's headquarters. When eBay and PayPal split in 2015, the latter relocated from Chelsea and moved in with its recent acquisition.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

GOP candidate who mocked the Women's March was defeated by a woman who ran because of his comments


ashley bennett

  • New Jersey Republican John Carman shared a meme this year mocking the Women's March.
  • Carman was defeated Tuesday by 32-year-old Ashley Bennett, a first-time female candidate who ran in opposition to his comments.

Republican John Carman sat on the nine-member Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in New Jersey when he shared a meme in January mocking the Women's March against newly inaugurated President Donald Trump.

"Will the women's march end in time for them to cook dinner?" the meme read.

On Tuesday, Carman, a veteran public official who has been in office for nearly three decades, was unseated by a woman — 32-year-old Ashley Bennett, a political rookie and the youngest person on the county's ticket.

Bennett went to bed on November 8, 2016 confident that she would wake up to the country's first female president. But her excitement made it impossible to fall asleep, so she got up at 2:30 a.m. to watch the returns.

"I turned on CNN and I just saw the map go red," Bennett told Business Insider. "My stomach dropped. I was devastated. I just couldn't understand what happened."

Tuesday's elections were critical for a Democratic Party that's been marred by division and infighting since Donald Trump upended conventional wisdom and was elected to the presidency a year ago.

And even as Democrats galvanized against the president on social media and in massive protests across the country, a series of special elections earlier this year delivered them a brutal, embarrassing blow.

In Georgia, political neophyte Jon Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel in the most heavily funded congressional race in US history, which the news media framed as a referendum on Trump.

In Montana, Greg Gianforte defeated his Democratic challenger, Rob Quist, even after admitting to physically assaulting a reporter on the campaign trail at a time when Trump was being criticized for his vocal attacks on the press.

'There were so many people ... they were so angry'

But the tide began to turn in Democrats' favor on Tuesday night.

New Jersey and Virginia elected Democratic governors. Danica Roem, the country's first openly-transgender lawmaker, was elected to Virginia's House of Delegates. Charlotte, North Carolina elected its first-ever female, black mayor. The residents of Hoboken, New Jersey elected Ravi Bhalla, a lifelong attorney and New Jerseyan, to be the city's first Sikh mayor.

"It has to start at the local level," Bennett said, reflecting on Tuesday's events and her own unexpected victory.

She didn't get personally involved in politics until the Women's March in January. "I was beyond moved at the amount of people who were there," she said. "There were so many races and nationalities and religions. I was inspired."

womens march

A few days after the march, Bennett, who is pursuing a dual Master's degree in public health and business administration, was writing a paper on community health analysis for Atlantic County when she came across Carman's meme mocking it.

"I was so mad. I was like, 'Really? It's 2017. Why are we doing this?'" she recalled thinking. "The presidential election was already as divisive as it could be. We need our local elected officials to tell us we're going to be OK regardless of who's in the White House."

Bennett wrote Carman a letter after she saw the meme, in which she outlined all the issues she believed the county faced. "How do you have time, with all the issues going on in our community, to be posting this stuff on social media?" she wrote to him. She said she never got a response.

Bennett was also one of scores of women who showed up at the county board freeholders meeting in January to protest Carman. The meeting was "packed," she recalled, with lines going outside the building.

"There were so many people, and I remember these young girls, they were getting up to speak and they were so filled with anxiety," she said. "They were so angry."

Though Carman admitted, when the protesters showed up, that his decision to post the meme was "a bad choice and in bad taste," he did not apologize.

Instead, he said he was "blessed" to be surrounded by female relatives who he said were strong enough not to be offended by the "joke." Several protesters, including Bennett, walked out as he made the remark. He did not apologize until several days later.

Bennett said she decided to run for Carman's seat the minute she left that meeting.

"I just wanted to push back against that hurtful rhetoric, those archaic ideals, and speak for those who feel they don't really have a voice anymore," she said.

'It's definitely been an experience'

Carman had been on the county's board of freeholders for three years before he was unseated on Tuesday. Before that, he served as an Egg Harbor Township committeeman for 19 years and as deputy mayor in 1996.

He has been a public official since at least 1989, according to his biography on the county's website.

Bennett said it was an uphill climb running against an opponent with so much local name recognition and a lengthy record of public service. In addition to being scrutinized for being less experienced than Carman, Bennett also became a target of a white supremacist website when she criticized Carman after a photo emerged of him this summer, in which he was wearing a patch shaped like New Jersey with a Confederate flag covering the state's southern half.

"It's definitely been an experience," she said. "And then to have this outcome, one that I never, ever expected, it's incredible. I am beyond speechless."

Northam supporters celebrate

Several grassroots progressive groups, including "Run For Something," an organization whose goal is to recruit younger, progressive candidates to run for public office, threw their support behind her candidacy.

According to The Inquirer, Carman was confident he would be re-elected on Tuesday and that voters would see past his negative media coverage. He did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Bennett was at the Atlantic County Country Club with her friends, family, colleagues, and campaign volunteers on Tuesday night when the returns came in. She saw that she was up by a certain number of votes, but was unsure of what the final outcome would be.

Bennett ended up winning the seat by 1,000 votes out of over 14,000 that were cast.

While she's excited she won, Bennett said she's happier for her mother.

"Today's her 60th birthday, and she said she wanted this as her gift," she said. "I'm thrilled I was able to give it to her."

Alex Lockie contributed reporting.

SEE ALSO: Transgender Virginia candidate wins historic election against opponent who refused to debate her and referred to her with male pronouns

DON'T MISS: Philadelphia's ultra-progressive newly elected district attorney explains why local elections matter now more than ever

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul

30 photos show the extreme lengths millennials will go to live in cities instead of suburbs


sarah salinity sailboat 1644

Millennials continue to move to cities in droves, as jobs and services tailored to their needs move in right beside them. The generation that prefers Uber to their own cars and Airbnb to hotels is also willing to trade the American dream of owning a home for the thrills of city life.

In New York City, where the median cost to rent an apartment reaches $3,900 per month, millennials — who can roughly be defined as people between ages 20 and 36 — make up nearly one-fifth of the population. Across the country in San Francisco, recent graduates can expect to drop as much as 79% of their salary on a place to live. The median rent tops $4,400 per month.

But urban dwellers are finding ways to make it work.

Take a look at some of the more unusual living situations that young city residents call home.

SEE ALSO: Rich millennials are shunning the golf communities of their parents for these elite new neighborhoods

Like many young people living in the Bay Area, Sarah Patterson found her first city dwelling on Craigslist. Instead of a tiny apartment, however, her new home was located in a marina.

Patterson, 24, bought a sailboat online four days after moving. She declined to name the cost, but most Bay Area boat owners pay between $250 and $1,111 monthly to dock.

Additional fees apply if the person wants to live aboard their vessel. Patterson told Business Insider in December 2016 that the cost of sailboat upkeep can also be prohibitive.

Patterson said the money she saved by not renting an apartment in San Francisco enabled her to launch a startup — a direct-to-consumer, organic skincare company called Salinity.

Read more about Patterson's life at sea »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Billionaires and royals are rushing to teach their kids Mandarin


Jeff Bezos

Learning a second language has been proven to offer a swath of cognitive, health, and educational benefits. It improves brain development, can protect against dementia, and help with attention span.

And Mandarin seems to be the hot language at the moment, with some high-profile wealthy families starting to push the language to their kids at a young age.

Chinese is the language with the most native speakers in the world with about 1.2 billion. There are two main dialects that make up the Chinese language — Mandarin and Cantonese — and 1 billion of the total speak Mandarin. The sheer size alone means the language will continue to be important for business in the future.

Read on below to see some of the wealthy families who have spoken publicly about teaching their kids Mandarin.

SEE ALSO: Why McDonald's fries don't taste as good as when you were a kid

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie have four kids and have experimented with many different subjects to educate their children.

"We tried all sorts of things ... including off-season travel, kitchen-science experiments, chicken incubation, Mandarin lessons, the Singapore math program, and lots of clubs and sports with other neighborhood kids," MacKenzie told Vogue.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg picked up Mandarin a few years ago, and improved so much, he was able to do a 30-minute question and answer session in the language. His wife, Priscilla Chan, is the daughter of Chinese refugees who fled Vietnam. She speaks fluent Cantonese.

The couple have already introduced Mandarin into the house for their daughter Max. Zuckerberg uploaded a video on Facebook that showed his AI personal assistant teaching Max to speak Mandarin.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have three children and hired a Mandarin-speaking nanny to help bring the language to their home.

Their oldest daughter Arabella, 5, displayed her language skills by singing the Chinese "Happy New Year" song in Mandarin earlier in 2017.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Snapchat CEO Evan Speigel & his supermodel wife, Miranda Kerr, are worth $3.4 billion — see their houses, cars, and travels


Evan Spiegel Miranda Kerr

Snapchat cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel, 27, is one of the richest millennial billionaires in America, with a fortune around $3.4 billion.

In May, he married Miranda Kerr, an Australian supermodel and owner of cosmetics line Kora Organics. The 34-year-old is wealthy in her own right, with an estimated net worth of $45 million.

Like any good power couple, Spiegel and Kerr purportedly share interests in each others' endeavors. He's graced the cover of Vogue Italy, and she's active on Snapchat and has come to the defense of the company— and her husband — in interviews.

Here's how the newlyweds spend their billions.

SEE ALSO: How Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, makes and spends his $20 billion fortune

DON'T MISS: Meet 7 of the world's richest power couples, who have a combined fortune of over $260 billion

Spiegel and Kerr began dating during the summer of 2015 after first meeting at a dinner for Louis Vuitton the year before.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

In July 2016, Spiegel proposed to Kerr with a a 1.75 to 2.5 carat diamond that cost an estimated $75,000 to $100,000.

Source: E! News

Instagram Embed:
Width: 800px


A few months before the engagement, the couple purchased a 7,164-square-foot home in Brentwood, a wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood, for $12 million. The home was previously owned by Harrison Ford and has a gym, pool, and guest house.

Source: Business Insider

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

60 banned baby names from around the world


baby american flag

  • In the US, parents can name their children pretty much whatever they like.
  • But other countries around the world are more strict about baby names.
  • Some names are banned because officials believe it will harm the child, and other names are banned to maintain the country's cultural identity.

Parents in the US have a lot of leeway when it comes to naming their children.

Just look at siblings Adolf Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, and Heinrich Hinler Hons as an example. Though you could argue there were other repercussions, their parents were totally within their legal rights according to New Jersey law to give their kids these Nazi-themed names. 

And though some states do have restrictions on what parents can name their children for certain practical reasons, the US Constitution affords parents a great deal of autonomy in raising their kids.

Other countries, however, take a different view, many feeling that if a parent doesn't have their child's best interest at heart when naming them, it's the government's responsibility to step in. And other countries are particularly concerned about maintaining cultural identity.

Here are some of the names banned around the world:

SEE ALSO: 15 ways your child's name sets them up for success — or failure

DON'T MISS: One in five mothers say they regret the name they chose for their child — here are the most common reasons

France won't allow a name if the courts agree it will lead to a lifetime of mockery

In France, local birth certificate registrars must inform their local court if they feel a baby name goes against the child's best interests.

The court can then ban the name if it agrees, and will do so especially if it feels the name could lead to a lifetime of mockery.

Germany has a number of strict baby-naming rules

Germany has a number of baby-naming restrictions, including: no gender-neutral names; no last names, names of objects, or names of products as first names; and no names that could negatively affect the child's well-being or lead to humiliation.

Switzerland has a list of strict rules, too

Like Germany, Switzerland also has a number of baby-naming restrictions, and the Swiss civil registrar must approve all baby names.

In general, if the name is deemed to harm the child's well-being or be offensive to a third party, it will not be approved. Other rules include no giving a boy a girl's name or a girl a boy's name, no biblical villains, no naming your child a brand name, no place names, and no last names as first names.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Panera just acquired one of its biggest competitors — here's why it won the comfort-food battle


Panera vs Au Bon Pain 1

  • Panera announced Wednesday that it would be acquiring Au Bon Pain.
  • The two cafe chains serve similar menus of soups, salads, and sandwiches.
  • Before the acquisition was announced, we pitted the two former rivals against each other and found we preferred Panera. 

Au Bon Pain and Panera, star-crossed cafe chains, are set to be reunited at last.

Panera Bread announced on Wednesday that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Au Bon Pain Holding Co. Inc. Both cafe restaurants were once together under one parent company back in the '80s and '90s, and with this acquisition, the two will be reunited once again. 

The Au Bon Pain transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter, and terms of the deal were not disclosed. JAB Holdings paid roughly $7.5 billion to buy Panera earlier this year. 

These chains serve all the classics: steaming soups, fresh salads, hot paninis, and more.

But a question arises: Whose food is the better lunch choice?

Panera Bread, with over 1,800 locations, and Au Bon Pain, which has roughly 300 cafes worldwide, serve very similar menus.

Before the acquisition was announced, we put Panera Bread and Au Bon Pain in an extensive head-to-head test to find out who serves the better lunch.

SEE ALSO: Major pizza brands are stuck in the middle of a fierce culture war — but here's how Papa John's really stacks up to Pizza Hut and Domino's

The two fast-casual-cafe chains offer very similar menus, so we chose a handful of items we think are classic and hearty cafe fare.

First up: sandwiches. Here are both chains' takes on the hot chicken and mozzarella panini.

Au Bon Pain's Chicken Pomodoro sandwich — with chicken, mozzarella, asiago, tomato spread, and roasted tomatoes — was underwhelming. Despite being made fresh to order, it tastes like prepackaged chicken parm. The ciabatta bread is spongy, and the spreads were lacking flavor.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

SHAQ: How spending $1 million in one day changed my financial strategy forever

In 1992, the legendary NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal (then only 20 years-old) made a financial mistake that forever changed the way he handled his money.

Shaq stopped by Business Insider to talk about his collaboration with home security technology company Ring, to raise awareness about how homeowners can better protect their property this holiday season. Shaq recently kicked off a campaign with Ring's CEO Jamie Siminoff around protecting holiday package deliveries - specifically as National Package Protection Day approaches on Nov. 29. Following is a transcript of the video.

[Shaq once spent $1 million in one day. It was 1992 and he was 20 years old. He'd just signed an endorsement deal with a trading card company.] 

Shaquille O'Neal: It was me being overly happy-slash-irresponsible. My agent called me and said, "Hey, you've got a million dollars."

But I didn't subtract his 15%, right? I didn't subtract the Texas state tax or the FICA. So, in my mind, I was just trying to do the simple math. I always wanted a fancy Mercedes-Benz. I used to go to the 7-Eleven and get the fake Mercedes, the little ones and just drive them, you know, on top of my bed and — I'm gonna get one of these one day.

So, once I knew I got that million dollars, I went to the bank like a big-time guy and set up a little checking account. And I said "Okay, I've got a million dollars. Here you go, sir."

I said, "I'll be back."

So, I went to the Mercedes dealership. The guy says $150,000. I write him a check, give it to him. So now, in my head, a million minus $150,000, I've still got $850,000 left, right? 

So, I get home. My father says "That's nice. Where's mine at?"

Go buy the same car for my father. I'm good. I've got $700,000 left. And then came back home. My mother said, "I want the smaller version," which cost $100,000, so in my mind, I've got $600,000. So now, I've gotta go do what all the homeboys do — gotta buy rings and diamonds and earrings and this and that.

A couple of days later, the bank manager called me in and he sat me down and he said, "I've been following you two or three years. Love your career. You're probably gonna be a fabulous player and make a lot of money. But, you know a lot of you guys, when you're done playing, don't have anything. I don't want you to be like that. I want you to take a look at this."

And I was like 50, $60,000 in the hole. So, I was just writing checks. I was buying TVs. I was just buying stuff I didn't even need. So after that, I said, "You know what? I need to get me a business manager."

Luckily, I had a lot of hard lessons early, but I'm the type of guy that — I don't like to miss two shots in a row, even if it's a free throw. 

Join the conversation about this story »

Marc Benioff relies on these monks for guidance — here are their tips for holding better, more mindful meetings (CRM)



  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a close relationship with the monks and nuns from Plum Village.
  • The monastics, as they're known, visited San Francisco from around the US and France this week for Salesforce's 170,000-person conference, where they have a tent set up to share mindfulness and meditation practices with conference attendees. 
  • One of those monks, Brother Fulfillment, shared his tips on how to bring mindfulness practices into weekly work meetings. 

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a head for meditation and mindfulness. 

Dreamforce17_mindfulnessBenioff's love is so great, in fact, that he has formed a close relationship with a French monastic community called Plum Village, whose members have inspired him to spread peace of mind and add meditation rooms on each floor of the new Salesforce Tower. He's even hosted the monks at one of his homes in San Francisco. 

This week, for the second year in a row, some of these monks and nuns were back in the foggy city to host a mindfulness station at Salesforce's 170,000-person conference, Dreamforce. During his keynote address on Monday, Benioff even had the monastics stand up from their seats in the audience for a round of applause. 

Plum Village, as it turns out, actually uses Salesforce to manages clients for the retreats it holds. They're one of the many non-profits that Salesforce team members train for free. But at Dreamforce, the monks and nuns were there to do more than just learn about customer relationship management software.

Dreamforce_BrotherFulfillmentSituated in a tent just outside of the main conference halls, the monastics offered a get-away amidst the chaotic conference for attendees just looking for a quiet place to chill. They also led meditation sessions and gave life advice to anyone who asked.

One of the monks, Brother Fulfillment, traveled to Dreamforce from a monastery in New York called Blue Cliff, which is part of the greater Plum Village network. 

He shared how the Plum Village philosophy — influenced by Zen Buddhism as well as scientific and other non-religious approaches to mindfulness — can be applied in a work setting to decrease stress and increase communication between coworkers. 

Just like everyone else, the monks and nuns also have to sit through weekly meetings. Here is what Brother Fulfillment said are the key strategies to keeping meetings mindful:

  • Brother Fulfillment said his community holds its meetings in a circle, so that everyone at the table is on equal footing. 
  • The community starts every meeting with meditation, to put people in a calm state of mind.
  • Each meeting has a facilitator, whose role is to ensure that everyone at the meeting has the chance to speak and that the otherwise organically-flowing meeting is productive. Brother Fulfillment said that it's important that these facilitators have mindfulness training, so that they can set the tone for the whole room.
  • It's also important that each person in the room speaks in a way that is respectful of one another. Brother Fulfillment said that these meetings should have no interruptions, and that speakers should only share one idea at a time. He also said that it's important for the speaker to phrase ideas in terms of how something makes them feel, which will open up space for people who disagree.
  • Though Brother Fulfillment's community recognizes seniority of the more experienced monks and nuns, most decisions are made by consensus. Consensus means everyone in the room has come to an agreement. If everyone doesn't agrees, then the proposal is changed until a compromise is met. 

SEE ALSO: An over-the-top gold lamé hoodie will be the most coveted item at Salesforce's conference this year

Join the conversation about this story »

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Walmart's Black Friday will start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving — but the deals begin online hours before (WMT)


walmart black friday

  • Walmart's in-store deals will start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
  • Online, deals start at 12:01 a.m. Thanksgiving.
  • Walmart is introducing new initiatives to make it easier to shop in store.


Walmart's Black Friday deals will begin on Thanksgiving.

The retailer will be open all day as usual, but the Black Friday deals will begin at 6 p.m. Online, however, deals will begin much earlier — at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving. The retailer says that the majority of deals will also be available online, while some deals are exclusively online. 

Walmart is doing away with its rolling door-buster deals, so all in-store deals will be available at 6 p.m. It also won't be passing out wristbands to shoppers like it has before, as it is confident that it will have plenty of stock for shoppers when they come in.

Stores will have "more availability than ever before," Walmart's head of merchandising, Steve Bratspies, told reporters in a conference call.

New this year, Walmart is color-coding its departments in-store and in its circular so that shoppers can easily find what they're looking for in potentially large Black Friday crowds.

Walmart is also starting some pre-Black Friday deals on November 9 and will be running deals throughout the month of November.

SEE ALSO: Walmart says these will be the 25 toys every kid wants this holiday

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We got our hands on Starbucks' limited-time-only 'Zombie Frappuccino' — here's the verdict

This idyllic Italian fishing village popular with tourists has started charging a €1,000 photography fee


ricardo gomez angel 438910

  • Positano is imposing a permit fee of €1,000 (£880, $1,160) to people taking photos for commercial purposes.
  • Tourists and journalists are exempt from the fee.
  • The town's mayor said: “Not everyone can be allowed to link their brand to Positano.”

The idyllic fishing village of Positano, perched on the Amalfi coast, has to be one of the most Instagrammed places in the world, up there with the white-washed rooftops of Santorini, Greece, and the New York skyline.

But it appears that the town has cottoned on to its popularity. Michele De Lucia, Positano's mayor, told The Times that the town has introduced a photography fee of €1,000 (£880, $1,160).

People wishing to take photos of the stunning backdrop for advertising or commercial purposes will be required to apply for the permit, while the cost for filming commercial videos will be €2,000.

Tourists and journalists can rest assured, though, as any photos or films taken for educational, journalistic, or private purposes are exempt from the fee.

Michele De Lucia, the town's Mayor said: “Not everyone can be allowed to link their brand to Positano.”

“We are also doing it to control the territory, because improvised film sets were blocking the passage of pedestrians in the town’s key arteries.”

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The news comes as other Italian towns are doing quite the opposite in order to attract more attention, not less.

In May, the mayor of Bormida, an Italian mountain village, introduced a bonus of €2,000 (£1,700) to anyone willing to move there in an effort to boost its dwindling population of 394.

Daniele Galliano, mayor of the rural village in the mountainous Liguria region, posted an ad on Facebook seeking new inhabitants to the picturesque village.

The population of the village had shrunk in recent years as young people have left to find work in cities.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Topshop just got rid of gender-specific changing rooms


topshop london reuters brendan mcdermid

  • Topshop has ditched gender-specific changing rooms in a move to make transgender shoppers feel more welcome in their stores.
  • Although the change in policy was brought about in October, it was made public after a transgender shopper was denied access to the women's changing rooms last week.
  • In an email, Topshop told one shopper "our fitting rooms are now available for all customers to use."

Changing rooms in Topshop stores across the country will no longer feature separate cubicles for men and women in a move that reflects the increasingly non-gender-specific fashion industry.

The high street fashion retailer's change in policy was made public after a transgender customer took to Twitter to voice their outrage at being denied entrance to the women's changing rooms.

Travis Alabanza, who identifies as feminine, wanted to try on a dress in a Topshop store in Manchester but was denied access to the changing rooms by staff, according to BuzzFeed.

The staff member asked Alabanza, who was wearing a dress and makeup at the time, to take the dress they wanted to try on downstairs to the changing rooms on the Topman floor of the store.

Alabanza told Buzzfeed: "She wasn’t rude, but she wasn’t sympathetic either."

After Albanza took to Twitter to voice their upset, one of their followers posted a screenshot from an email exchange with Topshop in October on the subject of gender-neutral fitting rooms.

The email, which confirmed the fashion chain's updated policy, read: "As part of our commitment to equal opportunities and non-discrimination, we felt our policy needed updating.

"Though typically located in specific product areas such as Topshop or Topman, our fitting rooms are now available for all customers to use. This has been communicated across the chain."

The policy change was also confirmed to MailOnline.

A Topshop spokesperson reportedly told the site: "All TOPSHOP TOPMAN customers are free to use any of the fitting rooms located within our stores."

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There's a biological reason why some people get chills down their spine when they listen to music and others don't


headphones music

  • Music can send chills up some people's spines and give them goosebumps.
  • According to new research, this could mean they experience more intense emotions.
  • Goosebumps are actually part of our fight or flight response.
  • It could be linked to our brains releasing dopamine, a reward hormone.

Some of us react more intensely to music than others. For some, listening to a certain track can send shivers down their spine, and goosebumps appear on their skin.

According to a new study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, there's a deeper reason for this than some people simply appreciating music more than others.

The researchers studied 20 students, half of which reported experiencing chills when listening to music. They used Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) — MRI scans which map out the brain — to examine the differences between the two groups.

Those who reported chills had a denser volume of brain fibres that connect the sections that process auditory information and emotions. More fibres means you have more efficient processing between the two sections, explained Matthew Sachs, a co-author of the study from the University of Southern California.

He also concluded that those with these stronger connections may feel more intense emotions generally, not just when they are listening to music.

"Emotional reactions to aesthetic stimuli are intriguing experiences to humans as they are profoundly pleasurable and rewarding, yet highly individualized," the study says. "Finding the behavioral and neural differences between individuals who do and do not experience such reactions may help gain a better understanding of the reward circuitry and the evolutionary significance of aesthetics for humans."

Goosebumps are a fight or flight response

When you have intense emotions towards something, adrenaline is released and races through your body. According to Professor William Griffith, the head of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, they are basically a product of our fight or flight response.

This response is usually triggered when we are scared or feeling threatened, as adrenaline prepares our body to defend itself or run away. However, strong emotional reactions to other things, such as a passionate scene in a film or listening to your favourite song, can also cause us to have this reaction.

The reasons for this are unclear, but one theory is that adrenaline release could be linked to a surge of dopamine, one hormone involved in the body's reward response.

Another study, conducted by researchers at the University of York, found that music could help us manage our emotions. The team wanted to find out how listening to selected music pieces could elicit emotional responses and also be enjoyed by listeners at the same time.

They found that playing "sad" songs counter-intuitively could make people happier.

"One of the most important motivations to engage in music listening is its emotional effect on us," the team wrote on the York website.

"Listeners often report that they listen to music to calm them down, to stimulate them, to bring them into a positive mood, or to experience emotions like melancholy or nostalgia. Therefore, listening to the sound of music is unique way to experience and engage with different contrasting emotions, helping us to understand and regulate our mood according to many different situations. This makes music an important part of our overall mental wellbeing."

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Google X's Chief Business Officer explains his 'Happiness Equation' and how you can use it


Business Insider spoke with Mo Gawdat, Chief Business Officer of Google X  and author of "Solve for Happy," who talked about how to solve your unhappiness by using his "Happiness Equation". 

Read the full transcript below:

The Happiness Equation is actually a simple survival mechanism that our brains use all the time to compare events to expectations to make sure that we're safe, we're in the safe zone. 

The Happiness Equation is: your happiness is equal to or greater than the difference between the events of your life and your expectations of how life should behave.

So, a simple example of the Happiness Equation. I'm here in London, I expect it to rain. If it rains I wouldn't feel disappointed, if it doesn't I would feel happy because the event beats my expectations.

The opposite is also true. If I so badly wanted the weekend to be sunshine because I can go out and spend time in the outdoors with my friends, and it rains I would be disappointed. The rain on its own is not capable of making me happy or unhappy, it's rain as compared to my expectation of how the day will be that is making me happy or unhappy.

Should we actually look at the mathematics of this equation and say: "one easy way to go through life is to have low expectations?"

Yes, Unfortunately it's true. The mathematics of the happiness equation and our actual experience in life proves that if you have low expectations, you're mostly going to be happy if you don't expect life to give you much. Whatever life will give you it'll make you happy, right?

One of my favourite concepts of "Solve for Happy" comes to the surface. That concept is a concept I call "committed acceptance". "Committed acceptance" is not only to accept the harshness of life, but to commit after you accept. And what that means is, first you say "okay, something happened I cannot do anything about it, but I'm going to try to do my best to make tomorrow a little better than today, and after tomorrow a little better than tomorrow."

That committed acceptance may not fix the real issue quickly, but it will definitely make your life continue to be better and better. And in the process - because you're engaged in action, and in thinking, and in analysis, and in problem-solving, you will not feel the unhappiness as a result.

Filmed and Produced by David Ibekwe. Research by Fraser Moore

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A shocking picture of a baby elephant being set on fire has taken top prize in a wildlife photography contest


Biplab Hazra was named the Sanctuary Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 for his shocking photo entry, titled "Hell is Here," which depicts a calf and its mother running for their lives after being set on fire amidst a brutal mob attack.

Taken in West Bengal, India, it beat out 5,000 entries from across Asia as part of the competition organised by Sanctuary Asia, a conservation and environment-protection initiative.

Sanctuary posted the image to Instagram, shown below:

Biplab Hazra is the Sanctuary Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017for his image captioned Hell is Here - The heat from the fire scorches their sensitive skin as mother and child attempt to flee the mob. Flaming tar balls and crackers fly through the air to a soundtrack of #human laughter and shouts. In the Bankura district of West #Bengal this sort of humiliation of #pachyderms is routine, as it is in the other elephant-range states of #Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and more. India is the world’s stronghold for the Asian elephant and boasts over 70 per cent of the global population of the species. But this achievement rings hollow as vital #elephant habitats and routes continue to be ravaged, and human-elephant conflict escalates to a fatal degree.

A post shared by Sanctuary Asia (@sanctuaryasia) on Nov 5, 2017 at 11:04pm PST on

According to the competition website, "In the lead, the cow’s expansive ears are angled forward as she stoicly ignores the crowd of jeering men. Behind her, her calf screams in confusion and fear as the fire licks at her feet.

"Flaming tar balls and crackers fly through the air to a soundtrack of human laughter and shouts."

This sort of humiliation is routine in the Bankura district of West Bengal, according to Sanctuary, as well as other regions of India, which boasts over 70% of the global population of elephants.

"The ignorance and bloodlust of mobs that attack herds for fun, is compounded by the plight of those that actually suffer damage to land, life and property by wandering elephants and the utter indifference of the central and state government to recognise the crisis that is at hand," the site reads.

"For these smart, gentle, social animals who have roamed the sub-continent for centuries, hell is now and here."

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Starbucks is giving away free drinks — here's how to get one (SBUX)


Starbucks Holiday Cups 2017

  • Starbucks has a buy-one, get-one-free deal on holiday beverages. 
  • The deal kicks off on Thursday, November 9, and will continue until Monday, November 13. 
  • Customers need to order their drink between 2 and 5 p.m. to get another beverage free.


Starbucks is giving away free drinks to kick off the holiday season. 

On Thursday, November 9, Starbucks is launching a buy-one, get-one-free holiday drinks deal. From 2 to 5 p.m., Starbucks customers that buy one holiday beverage can get another drink for free. 

Eligible drinks include: Chestnut Praline Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte, Holiday Spice Flat White and Teavana Joy Brewed Tea.

The buy-one, get-one-free holiday deal will last from Thursday until Monday, November 13. 

Starbucks kicked off its holiday season with the reveal of this year's red cups last week. Unlike years past, this year's cups are heavily-decorated and white with red accents. 

SEE ALSO: Starbucks' holiday cups are here — and they aren't red

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Bartenders reveal what customers' drink orders say about them


Old Fashioned Bartender

  • Bartenders can tell a lot about a person based on their drink order.
  • Some drinks scream boring idiot, while others make you look polished and knowledgeable.
  • Several bartenders shared what specific drink orders indicate to them about a person.

Bartending isn't just about mixing cocktails and serving up beers. 

Perhaps one of the most social jobs out there, bartending requires constant contact with others and a great deal of social perceptiveness.

So, when you're a bartender, you come to understand quite a few things about human nature and behavior, and you have some go-to tools that help.

"You can tell what type of person someone is by their drink order in specific bars," Anjali Sharma, a former bartender with eight years of experience from Atlanta, told Business Insider.

For example, "if you're in a bar with tons of other people and it's loud and you order something complicated, you clearly don't value people's time," she said. "How you react to the bar being out of your 'usual' is also very indicative of your personality," she said.

Rebecka, a bartender with 10 years of experience in New York and Glasgow, told Business Insider that someone's drink order can also indicate that they have no idea where they are and what's possible to be made in a certain bar. 

Other things bartenders said they can pick up on based on their drink order include if the person is underage, has no clue about mixology — "which is fine but disappointing because there are so many great cocktails out there!" an anonymous bartender said — is boring, wants to use money to impress people, know their alcohol, or is looking for a cheap buzz.

Business Insider surveyed more than 30 bartenders on what they think about your drink of choice. Here's what they had to say: 

SEE ALSO: Bartenders reveal why they judge anyone who orders shots of top-shelf liquor

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Shots are often a bad sign to bartenders

"When you go for shots, I think 'trouble,'" a bartender in New York with eight years of experience told Business Insider.

Or, as another bartender in the US Virgin Islands put it, "Shots equal jacka-- juice."


Ordering expensive shots in particular makes you look foolish

"Some people will buy loads of expensive shots when out in groups," a bartender from Ireland with 12 years of experience told Business Insider. "They're trying to look flash."

But for all your attempts to look cool, bartenders say you just wind up looking the fool.

"You look stupid when you order expensive shots," a former bartender from New York with 10 years of experience told Business Insider. "The whole point is to get it down quickly — you're not enjoying the quality."

Read more on what bartenders think about ordering high-end shots »

Overly sweet shots don't make you look great either

"Shots of Chartreuse, Jager, Goldschlager, or Fireball are abhorrently sweet and low on alcohol and tell me that you are a hipster who has no clue what you are doing," Jennifer Sun, a bartender with five years of experience in New Haven, Connecticut, told Business Insider.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Target is selling 'toxic' fidget spinners with potentially dangerous lead levels (TGT)


fidget spinner

  • Target is selling a fidget spinner with 330 times the federal legal lead level limit for toys, according to a new report.
  • The retailer told researchers that the sale was justified because the spinners aren't marketed to kids. 
  • However, the fidget spinners are sold near children's toys in stores. 


Target is selling fidget spinners with potentially dangerous lead levels, according to a new study. 

A lab test by the non-profit PIRG Education Fund found that two fidget spinners sold at the retailer far exceeded the legal limit for lead in children's toys. As of Wednesday, the fidget spinners were still being sold online, and the retailer had not made any indication it would pull the item from stores. 

The federal legal limit for lead in children's products is 100 parts per million (ppm). The center circle of the brass Fidget Wild Premium Spinner, distributed by Bulls-i-Toy, contains 33,000 ppm of lead, researchers found. The center of the metal version of the same spinner tested for 1,300 ppm of lead. 

In an email to the researchers, Target's vice president of corporate responsibility said that the fidget spinners did not need to meet federal lead limits because they were not marketed as children's toys. 

"The two fidget spinners cited in your letter are clearly marked on the package 'appropriate for customers 14 and older,' and are not marketed to children," Target's Jennifer Silberman wrote to the researchers in an email shared with Business Insider. 

online fidget spinner

PIRG Education Fund provided photos of the fidget spinners alongside Star Wars and My Little Pony toys as evidence that while they may be labeled "14-plus," they are sold alongside children's toys in stores. Additionally, online the "Fidget Wild Spinner Premium Brass" is labeled for ages "six and up." 

"The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reviewed and explicitly defined fidget spinners as 'general use products,'" Target said in a statement. "They are not defined by the CPSC as toys." 

"We reviewed the information that PIRG provided with our product safety team. The two fidget spinners cited in their letter are clearly marked on the package as 'appropriate for customers ages 14 and older,' and are not marketed to children," the statement continued. "As a result, the fidget spinners identified are not regulated as toys or children's products and are not required to meet children’s product standards."

Lead exposure can be extremely dangerous for children, potentially impacting mental development among other risks. 

PIRG Education Fund is calling for the toys to be pulled from stores and for a recall to be issued. 

"The buck has to stop with someone. CPSC stands for the Consumer Product Safety Commission," Kara Cook-Schultz, the nonprofit's toxics director, said in a statement. "Now is the time for it to stand up for consumers. We can't sit idly by while children play with these toxic toys — and yes, these are toys." 

SEE ALSO: A fidget spinner was confiscated in the kitchen of one of New York's top restaurants

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This travel expert says he never leaves home without a Rolex — but it's not just to tell time



  • Rolex watches are so valuable, they can be used as currency.
  • Philippe Cousteau told Bloomberg that he never travels without it, as everyone understands the value of a Rolex.
  • Still, the watch has to be something you can afford to lose.

Expensive wristwatches are invaluable traveling tools. They can tell time, don't need batteries to run, and are incredibly reliable.

Another bonus, according to Travel Channel host Philippe Cousteau, is that nearly everyone worldwide understands the value of a Rolex, and it can be traded in the event of an emergency. Cousteau, who is also the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, told Bloomberg that he wears an understated but "tradable" watch no matter where he goes, because of how useful it can be as emergency currency.

Cousteau is vague about the kind of "trouble" he describes, but we can imagine a few scenarios where a valuable watch would help you get to places on time.

Cousteau says an ex-British special force soldier gave him the advice. We're guessing the advice is a little more useful when you have years of military training and expertise — and look like you do, too.

After all, this advice seems a bit old-school. In all but the most remote corners of the world, access to money is only a phone call or click of the mouse away. Though there are usually fees involved, finding an ATM that will give you access to cash through a credit card advance or debit isn't difficult. And it doesn't involve giving away a prized possession.

If you were to find yourself in a serious emergency, it's not hard to imagine a scenario where a fancy watch would just make you a bigger target. A kidnapper wouldn't free you just becuase you have something valuable — they'd likely just take that from you, too.

For many, expensive watches are investment pieces. If you're bringing it with the thought that you might lose it, you have to be very sure that you can afford to lose it and can purchase another one if you need to. 

SEE ALSO: Here are the best restaurants in New York City, according to the Michelin Guide

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