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What it's REALLY like to work at Facebook


Facebook office employee Move Fast

• Job site Glassdoor has declared Facebook to be the most desirable place to work.

Employees cited the tech giant's impact, culture, perks, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as huge draws.

• Business Insider spoke with two Facebook employees to get a better sense of what it's like to work at the tech giant.

It's official — Facebook is the best place to work in the US.

Glassdoor just came out with it's annual ranking, and employees say they love the tech giant's mission, culture, perks, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

To see what the big deal is all about, Business Insider spoke with two Facebook employees, product design engineering director Caitlin Kalinowski and prototyping engineer Spencer Burns.

Kalinowski works for the company's virtual reality division Oculus. Her team is responsible for designing and helping to manufacture the physical parts that go into making Oculus products.

Burns works in Area 404, the company's hardware lab. He helps engineers design and manufacture prototypes using CnC machines, 3D printers, and other advanced technologies.

Here's what they had to say about what it's really like to work at Facebook:

SEE ALSO: The 50 best places to work in 2018, according to employees

DON'T MISS: Facebook was just named the best workplace of 2018 — step inside its New York office

Employees say there is no typical day at Facebook

There's no such thing as a routine day at Facebook, according to Kalinowski and Burns.

Two thirds of Kalinowski's team is based in Seattle, so she typically flies up there at least once a week. Her days often include design reviews, checking up on the progress of products and designs, tons of one-on-ones with direct reports, and meetings focused on improving cross-functional communication.

For Burns, the day starts with a visit to Facebook's on-site gym for a group fitness class like yoga or Spartan SGX.

"After that, I'll usually go and get a little bit of breakfast at one of our cafés and get a coffee," Burns told Business Insider. "I definitely have to have my morning coffee."

Then it's off to the lab, where he checks in with colleagues to see if there are any pressing matters to prioritize. From there, he might be working on programming and running CnC machines, designing components for a project, or going to design review meetings to help engineers.

"My work life balance is normally really great," Burns said. "I'm normally not here very late. I work very reasonable hours."

The hiring process can involve everything from a full day of interviews to a call from Mark Zuckerberg

Like many companies, Facebook's hiring process can vary a bit, depending on your level of experience.

Kalinowski was working at Apple in 2012 when some upper-level Facebook execs began recruiting her. Then she got a surprising call one day.

"Mark Zuckerberg ended up calling me, which was really unexpected," she said. "I think that's one of the things that's really impressive about him in particular. I feel like he reaches down deep into his organizations — in recruiting, but also in getting to know people."

Burns joined Facebook in January of 2016. He went through a day's worth of interviews with about five or six interviewers, which he said is fairly standard for the industry.

From the get go, he had a gut feeling the company was a great fit. His inkling only grew stronger after the interviews.

"I actually felt really good after it because I realized that they take it very seriously," Burns said. "They really want the brightest and the best and they want to make sure they get the right people. I met some really cool people in my interview as well, so I was really excited about it."

Facebook is looking to hire driven people with specific, valuable skills

Unsurprisingly, when it comes to landing a job at Facebook, it's not enough to just want a job at Facebook.

"It's really difficult to set a goal like, 'Oh, I want to be a software engineer at Facebook,'" Burns said.

Instead, he advised focusing on honing your passion and mastering your chosen field.

"If you just focus on that and you become really, really great at it and kind of build a reputation, then I think you're going to have a great chance at landing somewhere like Facebook," he said. "It boils down to being super passionate about what you do, whether it's software engineering or hardware engineering."

Kalinowski adds that it's important for more senior candidates to have specialized skills.

"I don't want to hire an entire team of perfectly well-rounded engineers who can all do the same stuff equally well," she said. "My personal philosophy, which dovetails nicely with the Facebook philosophy, is, I want high points. I'm looking for someone who's shown a particular skill in a certain area."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A retired hedge fund manager has sold his 2-in-1 St. Barts estate that was listed for $67 million — take a look inside



  • Girasol, a Caribbean estate owned by retired hedge funder Bruce Kovner, has sold. 
  • It had previously been listed for $67 million, though the final sale price is uknown. 
  • The buyer is an unnamed European businessman. 

A lavish Caribbean estate with a private beach and coconut grove has sold after listing for $67 million. 

Originally built by banker and businessman Benjamin de Rothschild, the so-called "Girasol" is set on more than seven acres of land on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy, or St. Barts.

Its most recent owner is former hedge fund manager Bruce Kovner, who bought the estate in 2005 and gave it a major makeover, adding in a new pool and deck. The property includes two villas that have a total of six bedrooms and two pools.

Christian Wattiau of Sibarth Real Estate had the listing, while Christie's International Real Estate provided global marketing services. Though the final sale price was not disclosed, a Christie's representative shared that the buyer is a European businessman who intends to use Girasol as a vacation home. 

St. Barts was one of the Caribbean islands most impacted by Hurricane Irma, but Girasol's buildings weathered the storm. 

"While there is still work to be done, the island will recover and is already recovering, as evidenced by this significant sale," Christie's Executive Director Rick Moeser said in a press release.

Let's take a tour of the incredible estate. 

SEE ALSO: Jay Leno reportedly just bought a $13.5 million mansion in Rhode Island — and it looks like it was built for French royalty

Girasol is set on seven acres of land on Marigot Beach in St. Barts and includes 175 yards of private beachfront. According to the listing, these waters are classified as a natural protected area.

The island setting is paradise.

A view from above shows its two mini mansions nestled in the middle of a green oasis that is home to nearly 600 different plant species.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's why some Hong Kong skyscrapers have gaping holes


Have you ever realized that Hong Kong skyscrapers have holes in them? It's part of a belief system called feng shei. Buildings with bad feng shui, such as the Bank of China Tower, have been blamed for surrounding companies going out of business. Following is a transcript of the video.

Why do Hong Kong skyscrapers have holes? These are dragon gates. They allow dragons to fly from the mountains to the water. This is all according to feng shui. Feng Shui is a Chinese system for positioning buildings and objects in a way that agrees with spiritual forces. 

Dragons are believed to be bearers of good fortune. Blocking the dragon's path could bring misfortune. The Bank of China Tower's poor feng shui is blamed for nearby companies going out of business. Today, corporations set aside money for feng shui consultation.  

This video was originally published on March 20, 2017.

Join the conversation about this story »

Facebook was just named the best workplace of 2018 — step inside its New York office, where employees enjoy an in-house pastry chef and tons of celebrity cameos (FB)


Facebook NYC 4958

• Facebook is now the most desirable place to work, according to Glassdoor.

Employees cited the tech giant's impact, culture, perks, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as huge draws.

• Last year, Business Insider visited the company's Facebook office to get a sense of what it's really like to work there.

Employees across the US have spoken, and Facebook just took the top spot in Glassdoor's annual rankings of the most desirable places to work.

The Menlo Park, California-based tech giant has consistently earned top spots on rankings, thanks to its incredible perks, impressive salaries, and great corporate culture

To see what all the fuss is about, Business Insider visited Facebook's Manhattan office last year ... and let's just say, we get it.

Here's what we saw and learned during our tour:

SEE ALSO: A look inside $23 billion LinkedIn's New York office, where employees enjoy perks like free gourmet meals and a speakeasy hidden in the Empire State Building

DON'T MISS: A look inside Uber's Manhattan office, where employees of the $66 billion company have wine on tap and can bring their dogs to work

DON'T FORGET: A look inside the New York office of Yelp, a $3 billion company that offers its 4,000 employees around the world some of the most incredible perks

We arrived at Facebook's Greenwich Village office on a mild Friday afternoon last November. Once we checked in, we were greeted by engineering director Jeff Reynar and corporate communications manager Jamil Walker.

The first thing that jumped out at us on the tour was this physical embodiment of a Facebook "wall." Reynar told us New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker stopped by to sign it. “What’s kind of fun about this is that there’s a wall at most of our offices," Reynar told Business Insider. "It’s kind of temporary. At some point, we’ll probably do some kind of construction and this will go away and we’ll start a fresh one with new signatures."

Facebook — which has a market cap of $501 billion as of December 2017 — employs almost 23,165 people. About 1,000 of them work in the Frank Gehry-designed Manhattan location, which also houses members of the company's Instagram team. Facebook occupies four floors of the building, which was once a Wanamaker's department store.

Source: Markets Insider

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 completely overrated New York City holiday traditions, and what you should do instead


how the grinch stole christmas

There's nothing more magical than holiday time in New York City — that is, until you have to push yourself through hordes of tourists and mouth-breathers.

The Grinchy, TLDR-version of this article is that virtually everything you plan to do in NYC over the holidays that usually draws a crowd is overrated. Sorry.

But take heart! There are some exceptions to this rule — and plenty of alternatives to choose from that won't result in you and yours getting overheated, trampled, mobbed, and then some.

To find them, Business Insider consulted staffers who live and work in and around New York City.

Here some of the most overrated things to do in NYC over the holidays, along with some caveats and alternatives.

SEE ALSO: 31 of the most bizarre holiday gifts employees have ever received from a coworker

DON'T MISS: 15 things you should never do at the office holiday party

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

"The event packs all the blocks around the tree with selfie-stick-wielding tourists, creating a crowd that can induce claustrophobia, especially for those who (like me) don't care about oversized Christmas trees that much," Science and Innovation Editor Dana Varinsky said. 

"And the thing is: The tree will be up for the entire season, all lit and everything, exactly as it looks on that first night, but with less crowds and better photo ops."

Intagramming the perfect picture of the Rockefeller Tree

"It's always super crowded in Midtown during the holidays, and there's no such thing as the perfect shot — unless you want it to include a bunch of random tourists in the background," said Insider Picks Editor Ellen Hoffman, who's been in New York for more than eight years.

An anonymous Business Insider employee who has lived in New York for five years suggested going to see the Washington Square Park tree instead.

Going anywhere in Midtown

In fact, Hoffman said going anywhere in Midtown ever, but especially during holidays, is a nightmare.

"The massive crowds will swallow you whole if you're not used to walking around NYC," she said. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A British tabloid found Meghan Markle's dad in Mexico, who said he would 'love' to walk her down the aisle


meghan makle's dad

  • Thomas Markle spoke to the Daily Mirror newspaper from Rosarito Beach.
  • He said he'd "love" to attend his daughter's upcoming wedding to Prince Harry.
  • Meghan and Prince Harry are marrying in Windsor in May 2018.

A British tabloid newspaper tracked down Meghan Markle's father to a town in Mexico, where he told them he would "love" to be invited to the upcoming royal wedding and walk his daughter down the aisle.

The Daily Mirror traced Thomas Markle, 73, to Rosarito Beach, Mexico, to discuss the upcoming union between his daughter and Prince Harry, due to take place in May.

Reporter Chris Bucktin spoke to Markle, whom he described as "reclusive", in his first public comments since the engagement was officially confirmed.

The newspaper published a video online of Markle appearing to go about his daily business in the town before the conversation.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle engagement

Asked if he would be in attendance at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May to walk his daughter down the aisle, he answered: "Yes. I’d love to."

"I’m very pleased. I’m delighted," he said but added that he could not say anything more. "I’m sorry. You know I can’t talk."

Bucktin then gave Markle a gift of a bottle of champagne "to toast the couple" and some Twinings English Breakfast tea, which comes complete with a royal warrant. 

"Thank you. That’s very kind," he replied.

Markle used to work as a TV lighting director in Hollywood, but, according to the Daily Mail, he moved to Rosarito Beach, near the US-Mexico border, in 2011. He and Meghan's mother have been divorced for years.

On Father's Day last year Markle posted a throwback photo of herself and her dad when she was a newborn to her Instagram account.

She captioned the post: "Happy Father's Day, daddy. I'm still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world. Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films & club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose. I love you xo -Bean."

Markle's mother Doria, a yoga teacher and social worker, is yet to speak publicly about the royal engagement.

SEE ALSO: These are all of the ways Meghan Markle smashes traditional royal stereotypes

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: LL COOL J: The biggest workout mistakes people make at the gym

17 things most millennials have never heard of


friends millennials fun festival concert

You can bet most millennials have heard of Snapchat, emojis, AirPods, and Drake.

But sea monkeys, Brownie cameras, milk chutes, and Ricky Nelson?

Not so much.

The Pew Research Center defines millennials as those who are between 20 and 36 years old in 2017, on the cusp of Generation X (and including the youngest "Xennials") and followed by Generation Z. They're the largest generation so far, and they influence everything from fashion trends to office layouts.

But they don't know everything.

Below, find 17 things that for many people are fond memories — but for millennials, they're almost unheard of.

SEE ALSO: People are happiest during just 15 years of their lives — and it's thanks to what psychologists call the 'reminiscence bump'

Green Stamps

The Sperry and Hutchinson company's wildly popular Green Stamps program was one of the first ever retail loyalty programs.

Shoppers at grocery stores, gas stations, and department stores would earn the small S&H stamps of various denominations with each purchase. They could then collect the stamps in special booklets and redeem them for rewards in S&H stores or catalogs.

The Green Stamps program was especially popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and S&H has since converted its model to digital "Greenpoints." But should you happen to be stashing a physical Green Stamps booklet in your attic, you're in luck — the company is still redeeming those for gift cards.

8-inch floppy disks

Even millennials are old enough to have used floppy disks in their younger days. But few of them likely had exposure to the 8-inch behemoths that predated the 3 1/2-inch floppy disks most are familiar with.

Eight-inch floppy disks were the first variety that were commercially available, introduced by IBM in 1971. In the late 1970s, they were replaced by 5 1/4-inch disks, which were in turn superseded by the 3 1/2-inch format, which ruled until the advent of USB drives in the early 2000s.


Tab was the most popular diet soft drink of the 1970s. Known for its bright pink packaging, enigmatic name, and slight chemical aftertaste, Tab quickly dominated the sparse sugarless-soda industry upon its introduction in 1963.

Health scares contributed to Tab's demise after scientists linked the drink's sweetener, sodium saccharine, to cancer. But the real nail in coffin for Tab was the introduction of another Coca-Cola company product, Diet Coke, in 1982.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here are the things people with OCD want you to know about what it's really like to have the disorder



  • About 1.2% of the population have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD.
  • There are many misconceptions about having the condition.
  • Stephen Smith, founder of nOCD, aims to help spread awareness of what it's really like.
  • The app connects people with specialists and shares information on OCD.
  • nOCD currently has a community of about 80,000 people, and it's growing.

When Stephen Smith was in his sophomore year at college, he was on the football team, and working towards a degree in Economics and Chinese. Then, something took a turn.

"I was a starting quarterback at my school, living the life, everything was going perfectly," he told Business Insider. "Then there was a huge collapse. Basically I wasn't able to leave my house — it was a very bad time."

Smith was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), affects about 1.2% of the population, 

OCD is ranked in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life. But many people still don't really know that much about it as a condition.

Smith wanted to change this, and so he set up nOCD, an app which helps people with OCD seek out experts for advice and treatment, connects them to others with the disorder, and collects their data at the same time.

In less than a year, nOCD has amassed a community of more than 80,000 people who can talk to and help each other. They can also submit information about their own diagnoses and treatments which are used for research into the condition.

"We can help make a better ecosystem for them and a better future for them," said Smith, who is very familiar with how isolating OCD can be. "Short term, we can provide content; long term, we provide knowledge to help create treatment of OCD."

There are many misconceptions about OCD, including exactly what it is and what the symptoms are.

Smith told Business Insider what it is in his own words, and what he wants people to know and understand about what it's really like to live with.

You have endless obsessive thoughts

Smith said having OCD is a bit like having a song stuck in your head, but that song creates anxiety, and never goes away.

"You have these recurring thoughts that you can't get out of your head," Smith said.

"But it's a little bit more personal than [a song]. You have these extreme fears that you can't get out of your head, so to get them out of your head you do specific actions, called compulsions. The problem is, by doing those actions, you essentially make the fear grow stronger and stronger."

The fears people experience are so severe, Smith says, it can make their chest tighten, throat close, produce dizziness. The treatment to combat this is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps people resist acting on these compulsions.

"The whole principal of OCD is you want to learn to accept uncertainty," Smith said.

"So people with OCD are often not willing to accept uncertainty... An example is somebody who fears they are going to hit someone while driving, so they start driving and getting anxious, thinking what if I hit somebody, or did I just hit somebody by accident?

"Then they will go back and check that they didn't go and run over somebody, and basically in that process they're reassuring themselves that they didn't hit someone and they're ok."

The more the person goes back to check, the more they are reassured. But that also means they are reinforcing that fear and it will come back stronger. Smith said it's like picking at a scab — you know you shouldn't, and it gets worse the more you do it, but you can't stop.

The treatment basically aims to get people to the stage that the fear doesn't bother them anymore.

hiding hole

It's nothing to do with cleanliness

A common misconception about OCD is that people with it like things to be clean. You might have heard people say they are "OCD" about things, because they like to have everything in order, no mess on their desks, and their kitchen is spotless.

But that's not really what OCD is about. Someone might have the specific fear that something bad will happen if they don't keep clean, and so they obsessively tidy up — although that's not something everyone with the disorder experiences.

"People with OCD have very specific fears," Smith said. "For example, someone may have the fear 'If I leave my room messy I could get sick and die.'

"So the fear is getting sick and dying, and to prevent that coming true, they are always clean. But the reality is the reason why they are cleaning is they are trying to prevent their fear from coming true."

It can take a long time to find the right treatment

Cognitive behavioural therapy for OCD works very well, with people gaining good control over their fears, and learning to not reinforce their compulsions.

But Smith says that because the condition isn't widely well understood, people aren't always pointed in the right direction.

"The problem is it can take 14 to 17 years to find an effective treatment, which is ridiculous," he said.

"The WHO ranks OCD a top-10 disorder for loss of income, because people are so crippled by it they can't work. So we think this is an incredible opportunity to help a huge section of the population worldwide."

This is why he wants people to be aware of the real symptoms. The longer someone has been suffering with the symptoms of OCD, the longer it will take for the treatment to work.

Smith said that if people can recognise the signs early, then it can be treated pretty quickly and effectively.

"If there's a great deal of awareness of OCD in society, if someone's saying 'I can't get this song out of my head and it's giving me tons of anxiety, I have incredible fear torturing me,' you better know that's OCD," he said.

It's not obvious, and people often think, 'I don't know what's wrong with you, I have no idea.'"

The goal is to get awareness of OCD to a place that is comparable to other mental health conditions which are better understood.

For example, if someone says they are feeling down all the time, or they can't get out of bed, they are fairly quickly diagnosed with depression.

"Once that awareness exists, you'll see a lot of people coming forward for treatment because they'll know where to turn," Smith said.

The wrong treatment can be very harmful

Misdiagnoses do happen, and if a patient is told to give into their compulsions instead of resisting them, that makes the anxiety escalate.

But it's not just the doctors. The families of people with OCD can also make things worse if they don't fully understand the condition.

For example, the logical thing is to find an answer if someone has a fear. If a child is scared of the dark, you can simply turn on the lights and show them there are no monsters there. But with someone with OCD, those answers will never be good enough.

"The brain isn't structured in a way that they can find answers that stick," Smith said. "It's like throwing something against the wall and it sliding down — nothing will ever stick."

Ideally, through the work of nOCD and increased awareness of OCD, the truth about it will be common knowledge.

Until then, the best thing families can do, Smith said, is help that person find an OCD specialist. There are organisations like OCD UK that can help people connect with doctors who thoroughly understand the condition.

SEE ALSO: Dissociative Identity Disorder is nothing like the movie 'Split,' according to people who have it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why Korean parents are having their kids get plastic surgery before college

This startup figured out how to make wine that's naturally blue — here's how they do it

  • The neon blue hue is made by a pigment from red grapes.
  • It's made by Spanish startup Gik Live!
  • The wine has been called "blasphemous" by some winemakers.
  • They have sold around 400,000 bottles so far.


Spanish startup Gik Live! make wine that's naturally neon blue. They extract a pigment from the skin of the red grape (called anthocyanin) which gives the neon blue hue.

Some winemakers have called Gik "blasphemous," but the founders say the wine is safe to drink.

"This is not something that’s done in a lab at all," said founder Taig Mac Carthy. "This is all pigments, they come from nature, and so do the grapes. The making of this is 100% natural."

Grapes are sourced from vineyards in Spain and France. It took two years of testing to get the recipe right.

The founders are all in their twenties. They raised £26,000 between them to start their business with help from The University of the Basque Country.

The wine has a very sweet taste and it’s similar to white wine. It's sold in over 25 countries at a shelf price of £12.

They have sold around 400,000 bottles so far.

Produced by Claudia Romeo 

Join the conversation about this story »

9 things Trump did since becoming president that the internet went nuts for


Donald Trump

Since taking office nearly a year ago, President Donald Trump has attracted no shortage of attention for his social media activity, frequently combative stances against those who displease him, and unconventional approach to pushing policies he favors.

He's also gifted the internet with a slew of gaffes, tweets, and interactions with foreign leaders to freak out about.

Here are the nine most memorable ones:

SEE ALSO: 22 powerful men in politics and media accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of Harvey Weinstein

DON'T MISS: 5 striking examples of politicians around the world starting to sound a lot more like Trump

1. Trump's first time meeting Pope Francis in May

Trump's meeting with the Pope was "stiff" from the start, according to pool reports. The two have frequently been at odds with one another over hot button issues like immigration and climate change, and the internet was quick to jump on the Pope's interactions with Trump, comparing them to his meetings with other world leaders.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

After burning out writing blockbuster rom-coms, this screenwriter reinvented himself by tracking down infamous figure skater Tonya Harding


i tonya 10  Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and Diane Rawlinson (Julianne Nicholson) in I, TONYA, courtesy of NEON

  • Screenwriter Steven Rogers was known in Hollywood as the go-to scribe for romantic movies, both comedies and dramas.
  • He decided to reinvent himself by writing a screenplay on the life of infamous figure skater Tonya Harding.
  • Rogers spent a year tracking down Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly before writing the script.

The life of a screenwriter in Hollywood is a thankless job. It’s days filled with coming up with stories that will satisfy the tastes of a mass audience, which eventually get poked and prodded by everyone from executives to directors to stars. When a movie you wrote finally shows up on the big screen, it looks nothing like what was originally written — if it makes it on screen at all.

Steven Rogers has spent decades working as a scribe in the studio system, and though his name is on recognizable titles like “Hope Floats,” “Stepmom,” and “Kate & Leopold,” he’s also got the scars of a career Hollywood screenwriter.

“Starting out I didn’t know anything,” Rogers told Business Insider recently while sitting in a hotel room at the Crosby Hotel in Lower Manhattan. “I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to protect myself.”

Rogers was in his twenties when his first-ever screenplay was made, “Hope Floats,” the 1998 romance movie starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr. that has since become a staple on cable TV. That same year his second script hit theaters, “Stepmom,” a tearjerker starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon that also became a classic on paid cable.

Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya HardingRogers didn’t know it yet, but he was instantly pigeon-holed as the “romance” guy in Hollywood. If a romantic drama or comedy needed to be written, Rogers was the guy. It led to years of his phone ringing off the hook matched by years of barely getting a call back from his agent. As Rogers put it: “I’ve been flavor of the month and I’ve been told I’m cold and they can’t do anything with me.”

When Rogers hit a cold spell he would just block everything out and come up with a new script. But after the horrific reviews for the 2015 holiday comedy he penned, “Love the Coopers,” he knew he couldn’t go on much longer working like this.

“I had to reinvent myself,” he said. “Even if I had wanted to go back to the studio system, the rom-coms and romantic dramas, they were rapidly not making those anymore. I had to go in a different direction.”

It was around this time when Rogers realized how he could start over after watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “The Price of Gold.” Sitting with his niece, they were glued to the screen watching the story of one of sport’s most infamous people, Tonya Harding. A brilliant figure skater with Olympic hopes, in 1994 she became one of the most known names and faces on the planet when her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, organized (with his dimwitted friends) an attack on Harding’s fellow US figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan. Footage of Kerrigan screaming “Why, why, why?” as she clutched her leg was the main story on the 24-hour news channels and evening news for weeks. And Harding became the target of every news outlet trying to figure out if she was involved in the attack.

“The perception of truth, memory, family, media, and class, I thought that all would be interesting to write about,” Rogers said looking back on watching “Price of Gold.”

Rogers looked up Tonya Harding’s website and called the contact number on it. The phone number went to the front desk of a Motel 6. Rogers was hooked.

Finding Tonya

Rogers broke every screenwriting rule he knew to write “I, Tonya” (opening in theaters on Friday). The movie looks at the life of Harding (played by Margot Robbie) from the perspectives of the disgraced figure skater, ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), and Harding’s mother (among others). It’s hilarious and horrific at the same time. Rogers weaves a tale of Harding’s rise in figure skating, her abusive upbringing by her mother (Alison Janney), and her abusive relationship and eventual marriage to Gillooly. (Gillooly claims most of the physical assaults Harding says happened didn’t.)

And that’s the core of Rogers’ story (brought to life by director Craig Gillespie). He lets all his characters have the floor to set the record straight. It’s up to the audience to decide if any of it is true.

The movie also delves deep into the Kerrigan attack and aftermath. Again, it’s up to you to believe who is telling the truth.

Tonya Harding Jeff Gillooly AP

The reason why Rogers’ script is such a knockout is because of the work he put in before typing a single word — all done on spec. After realizing Harding was not at the Motel 6, Rogers continued to try and track her down. His search led him to Texas where he thought he had found Harding’s manager. It turned out the person wasn’t, but she was a friend of Harding’s and because the woman was familiar with Rogers’ writing credits she connected him with Harding.

After a few months of searching, Rogers was finally face-to-face with Harding. The two hit it off and agreed to have Rogers sit with her over two days and interview her about her life. But first Rogers had to get her life rights. It took some time, mostly because Rogers said Harding didn’t want to pay for a lawyer so she got her ex-manager to do the negotiation pro bono.

Rogers said Harding was open to talk about everything. “She did say to me at one point, ‘Now, do I have any say in this?’” Rogers said. “And I said, ‘No, I’m going to tell everybody’s point of view.’ She was okay with that.”

With the Harding interviews done he went out to find Jeff Gillooly.

After getting out of prison in 1995 on a racketeering charge for masterminding the Kerrigan attack, Gillooly tried to move on with this life. He shaved his trademark mustache and changed his last name to Stone. But it wasn’t a total disappearing act because he moved back to his hometown. So Rogers found Gillooly/Stone easier than Harding.

To Rogers' amazement, he agreed to meet with him.

“I think it was because his wife liked the movies I wrote, that was my in,” Rogers said.

Rogers was even more amazed that Stone said he didn’t want any money for the interview. The two sat down for one day and talked about Harding.

“He didn’t want to profit on it,” Rogers said. “That’s not how he was portrayed in the media. I genuinely liked him.”

Writing a screenplay that Hollywood studios would never make

Rogers was convinced the best way to write the screenplay was to tell it from the point of view of both Harding and Gillooly. (He couldn’t find Harding’s mother so Rogers created the character through research and Harding’s recollections. Shawn Eckardt, Harding’s bodyguard who was also involved in the attack on Kerrigan, died in 2007). He wanted to go beyond how the media had portrayed them but also not tell the story as a standard biopic. For a writer who only knew how to write for Hollywood, it was thrilling. He had characters talk to the screen in mid performance. There’s even one point when Harding’s mother criticizes the filmmakers for keeping her out of the story for a long stretch of time.

“All the characters were very rebellious in their own way, but also very wrong headed, and I wanted the screenplay to mirror that,” Rogers said.

I Tonya 3  LaVona Golden (Allison Janney) and her pet bird in I, TONYA, courtesy of NEONThat included bringing out the domestic abuse that Harding alleges her mother and Gillooly inflicted on her. “Life's not one thing, why can't you be funny and tragic?” Rogers said. “To me, you can. You don't know if you should laugh, that's what we were going for.”

For all these reasons, Rogers knew when he was done with the script at the beginning of 2016 he could not send it to the studios. He couldn’t bear seeing all the work he put in get gutted. For the first time ever in his career he went the independent film route and quickly found Brian Unkeless (the “Hunger Games” franchise) as a producing partner. But there were a few caveats before he took it out on the market: there couldn’t be rewrites without his consent, and Allison Janney had to play the role of Harding’s mother.

“I have always written parts for Allison in all my scripts,” Rogers said. He has known the actress for most of his adult life. “She’s never gotten to play a part that I’ve written for her.”

Rogers didn’t just get all his requests, but also Margot Robbie. The actress was hot off her breakout role in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and searching for movies that could be star vehicles for her when she came across Rogers’ script. She jumped on board to star as Harding and also be a producer.

They chose Craig Gillespie (“The Finest Hours”) as the director and Rogers said over the 31-day shoot very little from the script was changed. The movie was bought for around $5 million following its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

allison janney steven rogers tonya harding margot robbie i tonya vivien killilea gettyBy this time Rogers had become close with both Harding and Gillooly. He invited Harding to see the movie once it was completed. He did not watch it with her.

“I let her see it on her own,” Rogers said, adding that he’s also setting up a time when Gillooly can also see it. “Tonya emailed me twice to thank me. She said she laughed, she cried, there were things she didn’t like, but she was happy.

Harding attended the premiere of the movie.

Rogers can’t tell yet what the success of “I, Tonya” has done for him. He’s never been involved with a movie that’s received award season buzz like “Tonya” is, or ever been asked to do press for a movie. Hollywood has taken notice, though. He says now instead of being offered rom-coms he’s getting scripts about every misunderstood woman from the 1990s.

“It’s like, ‘I, Lorena’ or ‘I, Monica,’ I mean really?” Rogers said with a laugh, referring to women who, like Harding, also grabbed the media spotlight in the 1990s — Lorena Bobbitt and Monica Lewinsky. “Right now, I’m just enjoying the ride.”

SEE ALSO: In a career filled with bad guy roles, Ben Mendelsohn in very thankful to show a different side in Churchill drama 'Darkest Hour'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 10 things you missed in the 'Avengers: Infinity War' trailer

Immigrant tech workers in Silicon Valley share how Trump's travel ban has changed their lives


BANNED   2017.02   Farid   0005

  • This week, the Supreme Court ruled that President Donald Trump's travel ban would be allowed to take effect.
  • The ban imposes varying restrictions on residents of eight nations, six of which are majority-Muslim. 
  • Apple, Facebook, Snap, and Twitter took legal action to oppose the ban when it was first announced in January.
  • San Francisco-based photographer Helena Price photographed and interviewed immigrants working in Silicon Valley, asking how this ban will effect them.


This week the Supreme Court ruled that President Donald Trump's travel ban would be allowed to take effect.

The ban targets roughly 150 million residents of eight nations — six of which are majority-Muslim — and imposes varying restrictions on their entry to the United States. A hearing was scheduled with a federal appeals court for Friday.

When the administration announced the original iteration of its ban in January, tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google took legal action against it. Leaders in the tech industry at large expressed concerns about potential changes to work visa programs, as many employees at these companies rely on them to work in the US. This time around, however, companies are remaining mostly quiet

Soon after the travel ban was announced in January, San Francisco-based photographer Helena Price made a public call for immigrants working in Silicon Valley to tell their story and to take a formal portrait with her. Below are portions of the six interviews she conducted in her studio.

SEE ALSO: Facebook was just named the best workplace of 2018 — step inside its New York office, where employees enjoy an in-house pastry chef and tons of celebrity cameos

Omid Scheybani, formerly Google, currently a graduate student at Stanford

Omid Scheybani is an Iranian citizen who was born and raised in Germany. As a young adult in 2011, Scheybani moved to San Francisco to work in tech. He describes the city as the "place where I grew up."

"I owe the city a lot. I feel very connected to San Francisco and overall to the entire Bay Area," he told Price. 

Though he has lived in the US for nearly seven years, Scheybani didn't fully consider himself an immigrant until President Trump announced the original travel ban in January.

"Until two weeks ago, I never even thought of myself as an immigrant. It was a label that I never used. It wasn't part of my identity," he said. "I know I was not an American because I didn't have the citizenship, but I always saw myself as a fully contributing and highly integrated member of the society, paid my taxes, embraced American values, lived the American dream in many ways, and suddenly you get this stamp on you which says you're an immigrant."

Shahrouz Tavakoli, Product Designer, Pinterest

Tavakoli's family moved from Tehran, Iran, to the Bay Area when he was two years old.

"Immediately after Trump was elected, my first thought was, 'Thank goodness my son looks white,' which is a terrible thought to have. There's something psychologically profound about being labeled an enemy even though I have nothing but love for this country and its potential," Tavakoli told Price.

"In the eyes of so many people who don't know me, who don't know my family, just having a bias against us that we would want to hurt them in some way is troubling at best."

Tarik, UX Researcher, Google

"I was actually born [in the US], but I lived most of my life in Syria. I grew up in Syria, and around middle school, I moved to Egypt. Then, in college, I spent two years in Egypt, then finally made the decision that I want to come here and continue my education here and live my life here as well," Tarik told Price.

 This is Tarik's fifth year in the US, and while he's no longer a practicing Muslim, he's become "disheartened" by the negative rhetoric surrounding Islam.

"It seems like there was sort of hidden hate that's surfacing, and it kind of makes you feel unwanted, undesired, and unwelcome," he said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

LeBron James' teammates call him 'the cheapest guy in the NBA' — but he just bought a $23 million mansion in Los Angeles


Lebron James House

  • Basketball superstar LeBron James purchased a home in Los Angeles for $23 million.
  • The mansion is his second in Los Angeles and his third house overall.
  • LeBron and his family of five can live in great comfort and style in the luxurious, newly-built palace.


The king of basketball is heading to Los Angeles.

No, LeBron James won't be suiting up for the Lakers — not yet, anyway. The star athlete just spent $23 million on a brand new home in the swanky Brentwood neighborhood. The home is actually King James' second in LA, in addition to his house in Akron, Ohio. 

This purchase clashes with the image LeBron tries to create of the frugal basketball star. Perhaps the Cleveland Cavilers' forward is prudent with other purchases in order to afford his three mansions. 

When he played for the Miami Heat, James resided in a south Florida home he sold for over $13 million. His newest purchase is a 2017-built home that cost him slightly more than the $20 million he handed over for his first LA mansion.

For sports fans, the purchase may be an indicator that LeBron will choose to play in California when he is a free agent next year. Everyone — even non-sports fans — can appreciate the splendor of his new digs.

Check out LeBron's sweet buy, photos and information courtesy of Trulia:

SEE ALSO: A home of LeBron James has reportedly been vandalized with N-word graffiti

When LeBron isn't shooting hoops, he can feed house guests thanks to his custom chef's kitchen. With a combination of natural French oak and marble on the floor, LeBron can cook in great comfort. Or he can just hire a chef to make him a meal high in protein.

The hard oak floors are reminiscent of a basketball court. And if LeBron's legs get sore, there's an elevator that will take him to the rooftop terrace.

The James' home has eight bedrooms, so the starting five for the Cavilers can stay over when they're in town. The master suite has a massive walk-in closet and a private patio.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These doomsday shelters for the 1% make up the largest private bunker community on earth


vivos xpoint tour 5

Whether it's nuclear warfare or a zombie apocalypse that triggers the end of the world, Vivos Group wants you to be prepared. The California-based company builds and maintains massive fortified shelters where high-net-worth families can buy space and live out Armageddon.

Its new development, Vivos xPoint, is billed as the largest private shelter community on earth. The bunker community houses up to 5,000 people and can withstand a 500,000-pound blast.

Take a look inside this modern-day Noah's Ark.

SEE ALSO: A tech exec just bought the penthouse in San Francisco's sinking skyscraper for $13 million

"This is the place you will want to be when the SHTF," or s--t hits the fan, according to a statement from Vivos Group.

Robert Vicino, owner of Vivos Group, told Business Insider that the company began hosting tours of the bunkers in May 2017 and has sold over two dozen bunkers for $25,000 each.

Although no one currently lives at xPoint, buyers are starting to build out the interiors.

The property contains 575 bunkers made of hardened concrete and steel.

Located in South Dakota, the structures were originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942 as a military fortress that stored explosives and munitions.

The bunkers were built to withstand a 500,000-pound blast from explosives within.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The world's richest people are flocking to these 17 cities


rich wealthy couple royal ascot top hat

Rich people love spending money on real estate, whether it's a loft in London or a mansion in Beverly Hills — or both.

Wealth-X, a firm that does research on ultra high net worth (UHNW) people, shared data with Business Insider on the residential addresses of people with a net worth of $30 million or more.

The firm found that 14,574 UHNW people own property — whether a primary home or a vacation spot — in New York, the most of any city in the world.

Below are the 17 cities where the world's richest people either live or own a vacation home.

SEE ALSO: Meet the 20 highest-paid celebrities in the world, who made a combined $1.7 billion in one year

DON'T MISS: Beyoncé and Jay-Z bought an $88 million house — here's why their $52 million mortgage might be a smart business decision

17. Munich

Total UHNW population: 1,352

UHNW residents: 1,060

UHNW second homeowners: 292


16. Milan

Total UHNW population: 1,731

UHNW residents: 800

UHNW second homeowners: 931


15. Toronto

Total UHNW population: 2,021

UHNW residents: 1,760

UHNW second homeowners: 261


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How a professional Santa Claus answers 'Can you bring back Grandma?' and more awkward questions kids ask


Santa Jim Boston 9Kids really do say the darndest things, especially when they're excited.

And when you've been playing Santa Claus for more than a decade, you hear it all.

So we asked Jim Manning, a full-time children's entertainer who's played Santa Jim in Boston for the past 14 years, to shed some light on the most awkward things kids say at Christmas and how he responds.

Feel free to take some notes for your own curious Santa fans.

Manning says:

SEE ALSO: What it's really like to be a professional Santa Claus

DON'T MISS: From police-grade cooling vest to $750 beard, here's what it takes to make a living as Santa

'Will you get me that toy?'

I never commit to any presents. You could have a child grab me by the shoulder and ask, "Santa, will you bring me an X-box?" And I will say, "We will see what we can do." Because even if a parent is whispering in my ear "We will definitely get them that toy," I don't know that they're going to find it in the store, and I don't know that they're going to deliver. So I never commit to any single present.

'Can I have a puppy?'

I also get asked about pets a lot — "Can I have a puppy?" "Can I have a kitty?" — and I explain that, because it gets so cold on the sleigh, I don't bring animals with me. And that's a decision to make with Mommy and Daddy.

'You don't look like the other Santa I saw'

Sometimes kids will come up and say, "You're different from the other Santa Claus I saw," and I'll say, "Well, that was one of my helpers," which is something I encourage all Santas to do.

You're the real Santa, and everybody else is your helper, so as to not cause confusion.

It's really a case-by-case basis, but I try to stay on the kids' level as much as I can.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Instead of sipping, here's what you should do when your waiter serves you a sample glass of wine


Wine Riot

  • There's a certain etiquette that diners should follow when ordering a bottle of wine at a restaurant.
  • Rules that commonly get broken include sipping the wine when you should be smelling it, and sending a bottle back simply because you don't like it.
  • We talked to a sommelier to get his tips for ordering wine for the table.


Ordering wine can be intimidating. It's a complex drink with a lot of history, and there are certain rules surrounding it that shouldn't be broken, particularly when it comes to ordering it at a restaurant.

While attending Wine Riot, an event that aims to take the pretentiousness out of wine culture, I chatted with sommelier Jason Tesauro, who's also known as The Modern Gentleman.

I had so many questions: when the waiter pours a sample into your glass, are you supposed to sip it? If you don't like it, can you ask to return it? And, luckily, Tesauro had the answers.

SEE ALSO: Sommeliers share their advice on impressing a date with your wine order, even if you know nothing about wine

1. When the waiter shows you the bottle and announces the name of the wine, they're double-checking it's the one you ordered.

Don't get intimidated or confused by this move — the waiter is simply making sure they didn't make a mistake.

"They are coming over with the contract. [They're asking] 'Is this what you ordered?'" Tesauro said.

2. The first thing you should do is check the temperature of the bottle.

If you want to look like an expert and have a proper glass of wine, check the temperature of the bottle with the palm of your hand.

"The first thing I do is put my hand on the bottle and feel it. Are my red wines too warm? Are my white wines too cold?" Tesauro said.

Light-white wines, rosés, and sparkling wines should be served at around 40° to 60° Fahrenheit. More full-bodied white wines and light reds should be around 50° to 60° Fahrenheit, and darker, full-bodied reds should be 60° to 65° Fahrenheit.

If the temperature feels off, Tesauro suggests asking your waiter to either ice a too-warm red or leave out a too-cold white.

3. Don't sip it — just swirl, look at, and smell it.

When the waiter pours you a sample before serving the whole table, it's not a taste test.

Tesauro explains: "They are not asking you whether or not you like the wine. They're asking you whether the wine has survived. Did the wine make it from the vineyard, to the importer's containership, to the distributor, to our cellar, to your glass correctly?" 

"When they pour the wine, all you need to do is swirl it, look at it, and smell it," he said. 

General rule of thumb: if it smells fruity and fresh — not musty, or like vinegar — the bottle is fine, and you should not return it.

By not sipping the sample, you're also taking your first drink with the rest of the table — after a toast, of course. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

What those mysterious white stripes on chicken are — and what it means for cooking


Ever wonder what those mysterious white stripes on your chicken were? They're turning up now more than ever before. While they don't harm human health, scientific studies indicate they can affect the quality of your meat.

The real mystery is that no one knows what's causing it. The National Chicken Council has funded over $250,000 in research to find the cause of white stripes and another recent abnormality called woody breast. Following is a transcript of the video.

What are those mysterious white stripes on chicken? Some chicken looks and tastes different than it used to. The proof? White stripes of fat and hardened muscle in the breast meat. The consequence? Reduced quality of raw, cooked, and marinated meat.

The culprit? Unclear. But some experts think our insatiable appetite for chicken may be a factor. In 2016, each American consumed, on average, 91 pounds of chicken. That's over 3 times more than in 1960. To meet growing demand, the food industry now raises bigger chickens, faster. In 1960, it took 63 days to grow a 3.35-pound bird. Now, it takes about 47 days to grow a 6.1-pound bird.

White stripes and hardened muscles aren't harmful to human health. Researchers estimate they only turn up in 5-10% of breast meat. But, researchers also found that these two abnormalities affect meat quality. In severe cases, they reduce the amount of marinade the meat absorbs. Also, hardened muscle in cooked meat is tougher to chew. The issue has not gone unnoticed by the food industry. The National Chicken Council has funded over $250,000 in research to find the cause. Whatever the reason, a bigger question is on the horizon, what could chicken look like in the near future?

This video was first published on August 24, 2017.

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This stripped-back hotel in Georgia has been named the best place to stay in 2018 — and prices start at $188 a night


rooms hotel tbilisi loren suite

When you're dreaming up the best places and hotels to visit in the year ahead, a luxurious Parisian suite with gilded ceilings and gigantic bathtub or a sandy beach-side resort in Bali might come to mind.

But it's the stripped back, industrial Rooms Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia that has been voted the one hotel in the world to visit in 2018.

Global affairs and lifestyle magazine Monocle named Rooms Hotel, Tbilisi the top place to stay in 2018.

The accoloade was given as part of Monocle's "Travel Top 50" — a list of best-in-class experiences, food, services, and products in their fields decided by Monocle's international team of editors and writers.

Rooms Hotel's stripped back decor, farm-to-table restaurant, and emphasis on communal spaces helped it win Monocle's prestigious title.

Scroll down to take a glimpse around the ultra-modern, Instagram-ready communal spaces and lavish suites in Tbilisi's Rooms Hotel, where prices start at just $188 (£140) a night.

SEE ALSO: The 25 places you need to visit in 2018, according to the world's top travel experts

Local hospitality meets modern interior design at Rooms Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia, a converted Soviet publishing house set in the charming, artistic district of Vera in Tbilisi.

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The hotel revolves around open, communal spaces — such as the open-air terrace...

...and the New-York-inspired restaurant "The Kitchen."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Meet the world's youngest queen, 27-year-old Jetsun Pema of Bhutan


Queen Jetsun Pema

Jetsun Pema, 27, is the world's youngest living queen.

She took the throne at the age of 21 in 2011, when she married King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, now 37.

The couple — who have a 1-year-old son, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck — have both studied in England, share a love of art, and were once dubbed the "Will and Kate of The Himalayas."

Speaking about his wife, the king once told local reporters: "I have been waiting for quite some time to get married. But it doesn't matter when you get married as long as it is to the right person. I am certain I am married to the right person."

So who is the woman by his side?

Meet Jetsun Pema, the youngest queen on the planet.

SEE ALSO: All the ways Meghan Markle smashes traditional royal stereotypes

This is 27-year-old Queen Jetsun Pema, the youngest living queen.

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Source: Travel & Leisure

Jetsun Pema became queen of the kingdom of Bhutan in October 2011, at just 21, when she married 31-year-old King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, also known as the "Dragon King."

Before taking the throne, the queen attended Regent's College in London, where she studied international relations, psychology, and art history. The couple apparently share a love of art.

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Source: Harper's Bazaar

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