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The 14 shows Netflix has canceled, including recently announced 'Love'

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Netflix has done some house cleaning in 2017, cutting expensive shows like "The Get Down," and old favorites like "House of Cards."

It's also killed flops like "Girlboss" and "Gypsy" after only one season.

Most recently, Netflix announced that the third season of the comedy series "Love" — starring Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust, from co-creator Judd Apatow — will be its last.

Netflix historically has canceled very few shows — only about 14. And eight of those were canceled this year. Some shows have been canceled abruptly without a chance for a final season and conclusion. But others including "Love," "House of Cards," and "Bloodline" got warning and were able to wrap things up. 

If Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gets his way, expect even more shows to get canceled in the future.

"We've canceled very few shows," Hastings said earlier this year. "I'm always pushing the content team. We have to take more risk. You have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall."

Here are the shows Netflix has killed, along with their critic and audience ratings from Metacritic.

Additional reporting by Jethro Nededog.

SEE ALSO: The 14 best new TV shows of 2017, ranked

"Love": canceled after three seasons

Netflix description: "A couple must navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment and other things they were hoping to avoid."

Critic rating: 76/100

Audience rating: 7.5/10

Date canceled: December 2017 (the final season will be released in 2018)



"Haters Back Off!": canceled after two seasons

Netflix description: "The odd ball family life of Miranda Sings, an incredibly confident, totally untalented star on the rise who continues to fail upward by the power of her belief that she was born famous, it's just no one knows it yet."

Critic rating: 54/100

Audience rating: 7.1/10

Date canceled: December 2017



"House of Cards": canceled after six seasons

Netflix description: "A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him."

Critic rating: 73.6/100

Audience rating: 7.8/10

Date canceled: October 2017 (the final season will be released in 2018)



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The New York Times just declared this power-lunching spot the No. 1 New York restaurant of the year

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The Grill

  • The Grill opened in the old Four Seasons restaurant space in May.
  • New York Times food critic Pete Wells announced it was his favorite place to eat in 2017.


The New York Times food critic Pete Wells last week announced his top New York restaurants of 2017 — and The Grill snagged the No. 1 spot.

"Borrowing from American and Continental cuisine of the 1960s, the chef, Mario Carbone, has hit upon a style that's both showy and substantial," wrote Wells in his year-end review.

The Grill opened in May inside the old Four Seasons restaurant space in the Seagram Building. The Four Seasons, famous for its power lunch and influential clientele, had closed in July 2016, and The Grill had big shoes to fill.

The three men behind the reopening — Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, Jeff Zalaznick — together form Major Food Group, which also operates the restaurants Carbone, ZZ's Clam Bar, Parm, Sadelle's, and Santina.

Take a look inside the storied space in midtown Manhattan, and see what the next iteration of power dining looks like.

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

Scores of celebrities stopped by the restaurant when it opened, including Gwyneth Paltrow.

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Nas was there for the soft launch in early May.

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Source: Eater



Even Kellyanne Conway has dropped in.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A photographer who dressed as Hello Kitty in Times Square reveals the underground world of costumed characters

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I am Hellok92

  • Photographer Joana Toro spent a year performing as Hello Kitty in Times Square after moving to New York in 2012 to study English.
  • A roommate introduced her to the world of street performers dressing as iconic characters like Mickey Mouse and Elmo.
  • Many of her fellow performers were immigrants from Latin America who had trouble finding other jobs.

 

In 2012, after working as a photographer in Latin America for the better part of a decade, Joana Toro moved to New York to study English.

Toro soon found herself in need of extra money, which led her roommate Marcela to introduce her to the semi-legal world of Times Square street performers. She was captivated by the mostly immigrant performers, who make a living by dressing as iconic characters, posing for pictures with tourists, and asking for tips.

It was shocking at first to see Mickey Mouse did not speak English and was an immigrant from Mexico,” Toro told The New York Times. “ ... It was surreal. A paradox.”

Soon after her introduction, Toro took up her own costume. For a year and a half, she donned the cumbersome costume of Hello Kitty and saw firsthand a world that most people can't imagine.

Toro shared some photos from her experience, and you can see the rest at her website

SEE ALSO: I visited the top 3 skyscrapers in New York to see which had the best view — and the winner is clear

Toro was first introduced to the world of costumed performers by her roommate Marcela, who dances salsa with a Barack Obama mannequin.



When Toro decided to become a costumed character, she first tried wearing a Minnie Mouse costume. She ended up also trying Mickey Mouse and Dora the Explorer, before settling on Hello Kitty.



She rented the costume from Berta, a Mexican immigrant. She warned Toro that the gig was hard work and not very lucrative.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These photos of 'Star Wars' ships on Earth are mesmerizing

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Vesa Lehtimaki Star Wars Scale Models 7

Forty years after first falling in love with "Star Wars" in theaters, Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimäki is bringing the franchise's most beloved ships and fighters to planet Earth.

Lehtimäki dug up his old scale models from the 1980s and carefully photographed them in the great outdoors, so the ships appear to be parked on Earth. The results will delight any aspiring pilot with the Rebellion.

You can check out more of Lehtimäki's stunning work on Instagram.

SEE ALSO: All the 'Star Wars' movies, ranked from worst to best

"I saw the first movie in its theater run back in 1977," Vesa Lehtimäki told Business Insider. "For my generation, that's like Woodstock."



As a kid, Lehtimäki bought scale models and built them. Later, they made their way into cardboard boxes where they collected dust for four decades.



In 2009, Lehtimäki began photographing his son's "Star Wars" LEGO toys and rediscovered his passion for the franchise. He also dug up his old scale models.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 ways one type of exercise is the closest thing to a miracle drug we have

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Want an all-natural way to lift your mood, improve your memory, and protect your brain against the decline that comes with aging?

Get moving.

Exercises that get your heart pumping and sweat flowing — known as aerobic exercise, or "cardio" — have significant and beneficial effects on the brain and body, according to a wealth of recent research, including a new study published this fall.

"Aerobic exercise is key for your head, just as it is for your heart," according to an article in a Harvard Medical School blog. Here are some of the ways cardio is such a boon for our bodies.

DON'T MISS: 18 'healthy habits' you should give up in 2018

SEE ALSO: What your daily routine should look like, according to science

Cardio tones your muscles.

It was initially believed that when it comes to building muscle, cardio paled in comparison to exercises like resistance training, which are specifically designed to help you gain strength. But a recent review of 14 studies published in the journal Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews found that on average, men who did 45 minutes of moderate to intense cardio 4 days a week saw a 5%-6% increase in leg muscle size.

“Aerobic exercise, if done properly, can lead to as much muscle growth as you’d expect with resistance exercise,” Ball State University exercise scientist Matthew Harber, who authored the study, told Men's Fitness



It also raises your heart rate, improving heart and lung health.

Aerobic workouts, especially swimming, train your body to use oxygen more efficiently, a practice that gradually reduces your resting heart rate and your breathing rate — two important indicators of cardiovascular health.

A 2008 study compared blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other heart health metrics across close to 46,000 walkers, runners, swimmers, and sedentary people. The researchers found that the regular swimmers and runners had the best metrics, followed closely by the walkers. 



Aerobic workouts appear to have a positive impact on your gut.

A small study published in November suggests that cardio exercise changes the makeup of the microbes in our gut.

Those microbes play a role in inflammation levels, which can be an early warning sign of illness.

The researchers had study participants exercise 3-5 times per week for 6 weeks, and observed increases in their concentrations of butyrate, a type of fatty acid that helps keep our guts happy by tamping down on inflammation and producing energy.

"These are the first studies to show that exercise can have an effect on your gut independent of diet or other factors," Jeffrey Woods, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois who led the research, said in a statement.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

China is facing a mysterious happiness crisis despite booming prosperity

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(CHINA OUT) A Rolls-Royce representative leads a customer to the opening ceremony of a new Rolls-Royce showroom on September 25, 2007 in Shanghai, China. China has now overtaken Japan to become the largest market for the luxury British Rolls-Royce brand in Asia, and the third in the world. In 2006 over 40 of the luxury sedan were sold in Chinese mainland.

  • Chinese happiness is probably less than it was in 1990.
  • China's real GDP has increased by 5 over the same timeframe.
  • China's mini-welfare state of the early 1990's gave citizens a safety net that broke shortly after.


In the past 25 years, China's real GDP has exploded. 

By 2012 almost all Chinese urban households owned a color TV, washing machine, and refrigerator, and GDP had increased had increased by a multiple of 5, according to the 2017 World Happiness Reportan annual ranking by the United Nation's Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

But despite an increase in affluence, people in China seem to be less happy today than they were in 1990, according to the report, which looks to data from different surveys of "subjective well-being."

The authors point to a decrease in the social safety net. In 1990, although poor, the Chinese labor market was described as an "iron rice bowl" — a mini welfare state where families felt safe. They didn't worry about their job security or the ability that they would have employment in the future.

Citizens "were essentially guaranteed life-time jobs and had benefits that included subsidized food, housing, health care, child care, and pensions, as well as assurance of jobs for their grown children," the authors of the report wrote.

In the 1990's that bowl was smashed as unemployment rose and citizens worried about their future. Lower income and older Chinese were among those the hardest hit.

By the mid-2000's the decline discontinued, but Chinese happiness is still probably less than it was 25 years ago.

The authors noted that while policy makers sometimes use GDP as a measure of  societal enjoyment, it's only one indicator and often doesn't tell the full story.

"GDP relates to the economic aspect of life, and to just one dimension—the output of goods and services," they wrote.

SEE ALSO: Americans are less happy than they were 10 years ago — and money alone can't fix it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A psychologist explains how birth order affects your chances of success

Japan's 'demographic time bomb' has led to the rise of drive-thru funerals

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drive-thru funeral

  • A Japanese funeral parlor has begun offering drive-thru funerals to accommodate people with disabilities.
  • The move reflects Japan's rapidly aging population.
  • This widespread aging, combined with Japan's low fertility rate, have created what economists call a "demographic time bomb."


Over the last decade, Japan has become what economists refer to as a "demographic time bomb"— a vicious cycle of low spending and low fertility that has resulted in a population decline of 1 million people and trillions in lost GDP.

Signs of the time bomb are everywhere, including prisons turning into de facto nursing homes and friends marrying one another out of desperation.

Now there's a new sign: Japan has opened its first-ever drive-thru funeral parlor, meant to cater to the growing elderly population that is no longer mobile enough to pay their respects in-person.

The idea was hatched by Kankon Sosai Aichi Group at the Aishoden funeral parlor, which is located in the city of Ueda. Company President Masao Ogiwara said the move should help add some convenience to people's daily lives.

"I've been in this business for a while and have seen how burdensome attending funerals can be for old folks in wheelchairs," Ogiwara told the Japan Times. "The new service will allow those who would otherwise stay home go out and bid farewell to friends and family."

When drivers pull up to the window, they can sign their name in a digital logbook, offer condolence money, and make a customary incense offering, the Japan Times reported. The entire visit takes no more than a minute or two, and those mourning inside can watch on video monitors as people pull up and drive away.

Japan isn't the first country to offer drive-thru funerals.

In 2014, a Michigan funeral home tested out the idea, also for mourners with disabilities. When drivers pulled up at the window, sensors underneath the pavement would sense the weight of the car and a set of curtains would open, revealing an open casket. Drivers had three minutes of observance as music played, Fox News reported.

In Japan, both the elderly population and the total life expectancy only continue to grow, which means the need for on-the-go funeral services is unlikely to fade anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: 'This is death to the family': Japan's fertility crisis is creating economic and social woes never seen before

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These Japanese hotels are run almost entirely by robots — and they want to expand to 100 more locations

Matt Damon says we aren't talking enough about all the men in Hollywood who aren't sexual predators

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  • Matt Damon says the men not involved in sexual misconduct in Hollywood aren't being talked about enough.
  • He says most people he knows "don't do that."
  • Damon said that if he found he was on a project with people who had been accused of misconduct, he would handle it on a "case-by-case" basis.


Matt Damon thinks the men in Hollywood who aren't sexual predators should be talked about more.

The flood of sexual-misconduct allegations since The New York Times and The New Yorker published bombshell reports in October detailing those against the producer Harvey Weinstein have included some of the biggest names in entertainment, media, and politics.

But Damon says not all the men in Hollywood are despicable.

"We're in this watershed moment, and it's great, but I think one thing that's not being talked about is there are a whole s---load of guys — the preponderance of men I've worked with — who don't do this kind of thing and whose lives aren't going to be affected," Damon told Business Insider while promoting his new movie, "Downsizing," opening in theaters Friday.

"If I have to sign a sexual-harassment thing, I don't care, I'll sign it," he said. "I would have signed it before. I don't do that, and most of the people I know don't do that."

Damon has recently been under fire for comments he made about sexual misconduct in Hollywood. Late last week, in an interview for ABC News' "Popcorn with Peter Travers," Damon told the Rolling Stone critic that there was a "spectrum of behavior" to consider.

"There's a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?" Damon said. "Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated, without question, but they shouldn't be conflated, right?"

Damon said the allegations against Al Franken, the Minnesota senator who recently announced his resignation after eight women accused him of groping or forcibly kissing them, weren't in the "same category" as those against Weinstein, which range from harassment to rape.

Damon's comments drew criticism, including from Minnie Driver, his "Good Will Hunting" costar and ex-girlfriend, and Alyssa Milano, who launched the recent #MeToo social-media movement encouraging women to come forward with their stories of sexual misconduct.

Business Insider also asked Damon whether the current climate in Hollywood had made him more conscious of the people he'd work with on future projects. Would he back out of a movie if an actor, director, or producer had been accused of sexual misconduct?

"That always went into my thinking," Damon said. "I mean, I wouldn't want to work with somebody who — life's too short for that. But the question of if somebody had allegations against them, you know, it would be a case-by-case basis. You go, 'What's the story here?'"

SEE ALSO: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson reacts to the backlash and addresses the movie's most shocking moments

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Meet Scott Rogowsky — the host of the hot new mobile game show HQ Trivia

'Star Wars' stormtrooper Gwendoline Christie is making a fool of everyone who said she's too tall

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Gwendoline Christie can rock a stormtrooper uniform just as well as a full plate of armor.

The Sussex-born actress, best known as the indomitable Brienne of Tarth on "Game of Thrones," reprises her role as the first female stormtrooper, Captain Phasma, in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." Captain Phasma commands the First Order's legions of stormtroopers.

In honor of Christie's meteoric rise to fame, we're taking a look back at her career.

SEE ALSO: These photos of 'Star Wars' ships on Earth are mesmerizing

Born October 28, 1978, Gwendoline Christie grew up in the countryside of Sussex, England.

Source: Stylist



Her first passion was rhythmic gymnastics, but she suffered a serious back injury at age 11. "I was told that I wouldn't be able to dance again at that level," she told Access Hollywood.

Source: Access Hollywood



"I decided I'd become an actress instead," she said. At age 15, Christie took on the role of Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and felt she found her calling.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 10 cities around the world travelers loved the most in 2017

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Americans did a lot of traveling in 2017.

Travel-booking site Expedia recently released its year-end look at travel trends, which revealed the most-booked destinations of the year, both domestic and international.

From Las Vegas and New York City to Cancun and Paris, here's where Americans traveled the most last year:

SEE ALSO: 26 things we always pack when we travel

DON'T MISS: The top 10 cities travelers want to visit in 2018

Chicago

The windy city has something for everyone.

With an almost endless supply of music festivals, Chicago is a wonderful city for entertainment. Illinois' biggest city is also a haven for sports fans as the historic Wrigley Field was home to the reigning champions of baseball this year, the Chicago Cubs.



Guadalajara

South of the border, the Mexican city of Guadalajara is a treasure for any traveler who wants beautiful weather year round. 

Guadalajara is a hip city renowned for its artistic culture and mystifying architecture. This trip also won't set your finances as far back as many other popular vacation spots. Plus, the city is celebrated as the birthplace of tequila and mariachi music.

 

 



Las Vegas

Gambling is synonymous with Las Vegas and plenty of travelers wanted to press their luck in 2017.

The neon-lit strip takes you from one glitzy hotel to the next. Some resorts have city themes — the Paris Hotel, Venetian Hotel, and New York, New York — while others are renowned for entertainment, like the Bellagio with its fountain show and Mirage with an erupting volcano.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A 'prominent Upper East Side couple' in NYC is offering 2 people a $150,000 salary to cook, clean, and run errands for them

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wealthy woman hat

  • A New York City family is hiring a live-in "domestic couple" to oversee cooking, cleaning, childcare, and construction at their second home.
  • The salary for two people is between $100,000 and $150,000 a year.
  • Typical duties include laundry, meal prep, packing for travel, and personal shopping.

 

You don't have to be rich to live among the wealthy.

One family in New York City is hiring a live-in "domestic couple" to oversee cooking, cleaning, childcare, and construction at their second home, a 30,000 square-foot townhouse.

The "prominent Upper East Side couple" is looking for a team of two workers to act as "gatekeepers to the principals ensuring all aspects of the home are adequately operating at all times," according to the listing.

The listing was provided to Business Insider by David Youdovin, the founder and CEO of Hire Society, a recruitment firm that helps high-net-worth individuals and families in New York City, the Hamptons, and Palm Beach, staff their homes and businesses.

"The vast majority of our clients are the .01% — they have multiple homes, private aircraft, and several members of domestic staff," said Youdovin, who worked as a butler and estate manager for billionaires before founding Hire Society in 2012.

The full-time job pays between $100,000 and $150,000 a year, depending on the applicants' level of experience, and offers perks like private living quarters within the home, and medical, dental, and vision insurance, plus an allowance for food and expenses.

It's not unusual for rich families to shell out millions of dollars a year to employ butlers, chefs, chauffeurs, housekeepers, and nannies. But a domestic couple tends directly to the "Mr." and "Mrs." and typically manages other household staff.

Check out the full job description below:

Prominent Upper East Side couple seeks an experienced, highly organized, and thorough domestic couple to oversee, manage, and maintain their 30,000 square-foot townhouse. This position is live-in, full-time, with a five days on, two days off work schedule. Candidates must be flexible with scheduling. Days worked may change weekly as this is the principal's secondary residence and additional days/hours may be needed.

The couple will act as gatekeepers to the residence ensuring all aspects of the home are operational. The role entails: housekeeping, laundry, cooking, serving, management of vendors/contractors, and overseeing construction.

The ideal candidates must have experience cooking healthy formal meals as well as extensive silver service experience. The candidates must be comfortable attending to Mr. and Mrs., as well as their extended family as needed. The couple will be hands-on in residence, understanding when to be present and when to work behind the scenes. Accommodations will be provided in the form of a separate private room and bath within the residence.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing and providing full-time care of the family's residence
  • Museum-quality cleaning throughout the home with attention to bedrooms, special surfaces and bathrooms, etc.
  • Full laundry duties including washing, ironing, steaming, closet organization, managing a list of garments that have been sent out for professional service, etc.
  • Packing and unpacking clothes for travel
  • Preparing fresh and healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner adhering to all dietary restrictions and requests
  • Formal service and meal preparation upon request for luncheons, dinner parties, etc. including table set-up, floral arrangements, bartending, wine pouring and pairing, and guest greeting & socialization
  • Personal shopping, running errands, stock procurement, and special requests
  • Heavy organization throughout the home including pantries, kitchen, closets, etc.
  • Ability to work in tandem and oversee: vendors, contractors, and additional domestic staff
  • Knowledge and ability to operate smart home systems: Lutron, Crestron, Kaleidescape
  • Driving the principals as requested to and from appointments, errands, meetings, etc.
  • Any and all other duties or requests related to the needs of the principals and household

See all current job openings on Hire Society here »

SEE ALSO: Time is a CEO's most valuable resource — here are all the people the .01% hire to keep their households running smoothly

DON'T MISS: According to one estimate, wealthy couples in NYC need $190 million to keep their heads above water

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How self-made millionaires get rich by working for someone else

Incredible photos show how the White House has celebrated Christmas through the years

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It's the most beautiful time of the year at the White House.

The West Wing, East Wing and every room in between have been decked out in elaborate decorations to celebrate the holidays, and President Trump and First Lady Melania are preparing to celebrate the holiday with their family. 

This year's official theme is "Time-Honored Traditions," and there have been plenty of traditions through the years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Here's a look back at presidential Christmas celebrations, going all the way back to the 1800's. 

 

The White House halls have been decked for the holidays every December since John and Abigail Adams held the first White House Christmas party in 1800.

Source: History.com



Every president has brought their own traditions into the White House. Grover Cleveland, for example, lit up the first Christmas tree inside the White House to the delight of his young daughters.

Source: WhiteHouseHistory.org



Calvin Coolidge was the first president to instate a public Christmas celebration at the White House, with the first National Christmas Tree lighting in 1923.

Source: WhiteHouseHistory.org



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How to make thousands in travel credit — and even get an upgrade — from getting bumped off a flight

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Gilbert Ott

  • If you're not in a major rush, getting bumped off a flight can work to your advantage.
  • There are a few 'best practices' to keep in mind which make you the ideal volunteer for catching the next flight, according to God Save the Points blogger Gilbert Ott.
  • Getting bumped off a flight can earn you thousands in travel credit.


Sometimes, like over the Christmas holidays, your flight taking off and landing on time can be the determining factor in whether you make it to important events.

However, when you're about to embark on a holiday or are on your return journey with little to look forward to, you might have a more easygoing attitude towards arriving a bit late — and accepting money, travel credit, and a flight upgrade can seem like a pretty good deal in return for taking a later flight.

According to Gilbert Ott of God Save the Points, blogger and expert at finding cheap flights and scoring first class trips using air miles, taking advantage of an overbooked flight can be "far more lucrative than any loyalty program on earth" and can earn you thousands a year in travel credit "just for being 'cool' about flexibility."

In a blog post on God Save the Points, Ott said there are a few "best practices" to keep in mind which should "put you first in line to catch the next flight, in the likely event that yours is oversold."

Be smart with your flight date and time

"Step one is focusing on routes and flights where important business travel is a major factor," Ott writes. "Weekends are for leisure travelers, it’s the weekdays where you’ll find the least flexible travelers, when airlines need to accommodate them the most.

He added: "Holidays are good too. Pick early morning flights, or second to last, last flight of the day situations where people have the greatest need."

Make use of apps

The same trick that can get you an entire row to yourself on a flight can also be useful when predicting an overbooked flight.

The ExpertFlyer app allows you to check the inventory (seats left) for "virtually any flight" for $9.99 a month, according to Ott.

"This means you can see precisely how many seats are left on your flight, the next flight and every other flight," he said. "They also show upgrade options too. For someone really looking to cash in, this $9.99 can net $1000s in bump vouchers, helping to find the most prone flights. This is especially true if you study flights for a couple weeks, seeing which ones typically always sell out each week."

Travel with just a carry-on...

suitcase bag travel woman traveler airport luggage

"For optimal probability of being the lucky 'we need a volunteer' person, being without bags is a deal breaker," Ott said. "It’s both time consuming and hard to offload a passenger with luggage, whereas someone with carry on only is an easy breeze. Whenever possible, travel without bags if you want the bump. And get a good carry on to make this feat easier."

...And travel alone when you can

"Now – this isn’t to say groups don’t get bumped. But often only one or two volunteers are needed," Ott said, "Being solo on a reservation instantly prioritizes you over most of the pack of would be 'bumpertunists.' It’s been said that being last to check in can help the chances, but don’t go overboard here."

Ask to get on "the list"

"Many airlines run a list of potential volunteers, should someone need to be bumped. Save the negotiations for game time, but be sure to get on the list – and get in early," Ott said. "Don’t be afraid to ask at check-in if 'any volunteers may be needed' and if the reply is 'yes,' be sure to volunteer your services."

Know your value

If you’ve got places to go, getting bumped has to be worth your while, but if you're not in a rush, you might be willing to accept a little less.

According to Ott, the minimum voucher amount is generally in the $300-$400 range, "but it’s not at all uncommon for vouchers to exceed $1,000, even for shorter flights."

"You still get a ride on the next available flight, but you’ll score significant credit towards future flights," he said. "One family successfully scored $11,000 in credit – and still made it to their destination on time.

"Turning a $150 ticket into $11,000 of travel, easily enough for multiple business class tickets, virtually anywhere in the world is hard to argue with."

And, often you'll be put on the next flight, so you won't even have long to wait.

"Sometimes they’ll even throw in an upgrade, just for being an all around agreeable and easy human being," Ott said. "You don’t know joy until you get a big fat voucher, and still make it to your destination within hours of the original time!"

There are no guarantees — but it does happen

Still, Ott stresses that there are no guarantees when working the overbooked-flight system.

"Even the best practices may fail, so it’s really not worth over paying (at least not any significant amount), just to attempt the bump," he writes.

However, he added: "This really is a thing. Airlines oversell flights for a variety of reasons, entirely in their control.

"If you have flexibility and a desire to earn free travel — there’s nothing wrong with playing the game. Free vacations are the best vacations, especially when the Champagne arrives – and you’re laying flat in a business or first class bed!"

SEE ALSO: This trick can get you an entire row to yourself on an economy flight — for no extra cost

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This one room in Atlanta acts as a mission control for all of Delta's planes

Our brains sometimes create 'false memories' — but science suggests we could be better off this way

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photo memory

  • We all trust our own memories, but we might not be remembering things exactly as they happened.
  • Memories can be distorted, or even completely made up.
  • False memories have been manipulated to make people confess to crimes they didn't commit.
  • 'Fuzzy trace theory' helps explain where false memories come from.
  • In some cases, having adaptable minds could be advantageous to us, rather than looking at things objectively all the time.


Have you ever had an argument because you disagree about the way something happened? You were both there, you saw the same thing, but you remember it differently.

This happens quite a lot, because human memories are imperfect. As much as we all like to think we can trust our own minds, memories can be altered over time.

Elizabeth F. Loftus is a researcher and professor of cognitive psychology and human memory. She is well known in the field for her work on the creation and nature of false memories, and how people can be influenced by information after an event has happened, event consulting or providing expert witness testimony for hundreds of court cases.

Her research has shown how memories can be distorted. For example, in one study, subjects were shown videos of simulated crimes or accidents, then were afterwards made to believe the car in the accident went through a stop sign instead of a yield sign, or the thief running from the scene of the crime had curly hair instead of straight hair.

"It's pretty easy to distort memories for the details of what they actually saw by supplying them with suggestive information," Loftus told Business Insider. "But then later we began to ask just how far could you go with people. Could you implant entire false memories into the minds of people for things that never happened?"

The answer was yes. Loftus and other researchers such as Julia Shaw have successfully planted memories into the minds of otherwise healthy people. For example, in one study, 70% of subjects were made to believe they had committed a crime such as theft, assault, or assault with a weapon, simply by using memory-retrieval techniques in interviews.

False memory research began over a hundred years ago...

Salvador Dali famously said: "The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant."

This could help explain why we are so quick to believe false accounts of something that happened.

The idea of memory distortion dates back over a hundred years to the work of psychologist Hugo Münsterberg, who in 1906 was the chair of the psychology laboratory at Harvard University and president of the American Psychological Association.

Münsterberg wrote in the Times Magazine about a case where a woman had been found dead in Chicago. A farmer's son was stopped and accused of the murder, and after being questioned by the police he confessed to killing the woman — despite having an alibi.

"He was quite willing to repeat his confession again and again," Münsterberg wrote. "Each time it became richer in detail."

He wrote that on every telling of the young man's story, it became more absurd and contradictory — a bit like his imagination was running away with the story, but he couldn't tell he was making it all up.

Münsterberg concluded it was clear that the man was falling victim to "involuntary elaboration of a suggestion" from the policemen interrogating him.

...but it took several decades for it to be studied in detail.

Unfortunatley, Münsterberg's ideas were too radical for the time, and the boy was hanged a week later.

It would be decades until the idea of false memories and memory distortion would be studied properly, and considered to be able to influence confessions.

Nowadays, it is quite well understood that false confessions happen under intense interrogation for crimes, like murder. This is what a lot of people think happen in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer," for instance.

Whether a false confession involves someone really believing they committed a crime, or whether they just want the interrogation to end is determined on a case-by-case basis. But Loftus said that unless you have reason to suspect somebody's memory is distorted, then there's no way you would be able to tell they are recounting a false memory just by listening to them.

However, more hope may lie in our biology.

Neuroscientists have looked at brain scans of people having real memories and false memories to see if there's a difference. In one study from Daegu University in South Korea, 11 people were asked to read lists of words that fall into categories, like "farm animals." Then they were asked whether specific words appeared on the original lists, while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) detected changes in blood flow to different areas of the brain.

When study participants had confidence in their answers and were correct, blood flow increased to the hippocamput — the region of the brain that is important for memory. If they were confident in their answer but were wrong, which happened about 20% of the time, the frontoparietal region lit up — the area associated with "a sense of familiarity."

memory film

'Fuzzy trace theory' helps explain the phenomenon

One theory for why our brains come up with false memories is called "fuzzy trace theory." The term was coined by researchers Charles Brainerd and Valerie F. Reyna, and was the first theory offered to explain the Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) paradigm.

The DRM paradigm is less complicated than it sounds. It involves giving people a list of related words, like bed, sleep, tired, dream, and yawn, and then asking them to recall as many words as possible. Typically, subjects recall words that are related to the words listed, like snooze, or nap, which weren't actually on the list in the first place.

"People will produce words reliably that weren't on the list, and they'll be really confident about that, so that's definitely false memory," Reyna told Business Insider. "It's a really powerful, psychological phenomenon. A reality mismatch. It's not 'I can't remember,' which is forgetting, but 'I remember vividly something that didn't happen.' So fuzzy trace theory was the first theory applied to explain that."

There are two types of memory — and they both have benefits

At first, researchers assumed it was something to do with associations between words. But when this was accounted for in experiments, the same results were shown. Instead, fuzzy trace theory puts forward the idea that there are two types of memory: verbatim and gist.

Verbatim memory is when we can vividly remember something in detail, whereas gist memories are fuzzy representations of a past event — hence why the theory is called "fuzzy trace."

"As we age, we rely more on gist and less on verbatim," Reyna said. "Almost everything important happens in life after a delay. For example, if you're a student you have to apply your knowledge not just on the quiz, but you have to remember it for the next semester, or in a job situation... It's not what you've just memorised that day or that week, it's remembering over a longer period. And gist has a much more powerful influence after a delay, as opposed to verbatim."

Fuzzy trace theory correctly predicts this dramatic effect of age on our memories, called a "developmental reversal effect." It basically means that as you go from childhood to adulthood, you get an improvement in verbatim memory — you can recall events in detail a lot better — but at the same time you also get an increase in gist memory.

This means you become more likely to say that a related word appeared on a list that actually wasn't there, but you'll also be more likely to remember the whole list.

"What that means is the net accuracy of children is higher than the net accuracy of adults, if you consider all of what they got right and what they got wrong," explained Reyna. "So your tendency to connect the dots of meaning and then to report that rather than just the verbatim reality, that tendency to rely on the gist, that goes up with age. [A person becomes] much more of a meaning maker."

So it's not that your memory necessarily gets worse as you age, but our brains get more biased towards finding meaning at a faster rate. Since the theory was presented, it has been replicated over 50 times by other researchers.

Memento

False memories aren't always cause for concern

Many were skeptical of the theory at first, as adults tend to do better than children at almost everything. But that's perhaps because we rely on our minds a lot, and any suggestion they are not to be trusted, or they get less accurate as we age, is a frightening prospect.

In reality, even though all of us will have manufactured false memories at some point, according to Reyna, we get along just fine.

From an evolutionary perspective, it might even be beneficial for us to get better at relying on gist memory.

For example, Reyna's research found that gist memory helps people make healthier decisions in terms of risk taking. If we went through life only looking at things objectively in a black-and-white sense, we might see things mathematically, and go for the highest expected value every time.

The Allais paradox — a choice problem designed by Maurice Allais in 1953— helps explain this. In the problem, people are given the choice of taking Gamble A, which was a 100% chance of $1 million, or Gamble B, which offers a 89% of $1 million, a 10% chance of $5 million, and a 1% chance of nothing.

From an economic perspective, if you do all the maths, the highest expected value is actually Gamble B. But that doesn't mean most people go for it. In fact, most people choose Gamble A and walk away with $1 million for sure — because why wouldn't you?

"Most people say wait a minute, a whole lot of money is better than the possibility of getting nothing — which is gist," said Reyna. "The gist and the tendency to pick things in that way goes up in age to adulthood. It's not about maximising the money, it's about looking at these categorical possibilities.

"That bottom line realisation is what drives your preference there. Just like the gist drives your memory for the words in the word test."

Reyna said that false memories can make people concerned about the way they see the world, but they shouldn't think of it this way. Rather than thinking of imperfect memory being a negative impact of ageing, it's more likely to be something that actually helps us make safer, more informed choices. 

"People can rely on gist very well in the world," she said. "The average college student has a very affluent memory on average, but they have all sorts of inaccuracies too, they just don't realise it. So it's not that memory is this stable accurate record all the time. We just have that illusion because our minds fill in the gaps."

Gist memory is another way our brains have shown how good they are at adapting to our surroundings. That's not to say the idea of losing your memory as a result of dementia is any less scary, but until that point, it isn't something you should necessarily worry about.

"Folks as they age will have good days and bad days, they'll have days where they don't remember the literal details, but they can compensate a lot by relying on their memory for gist," Reyna said. "So I think as we get older we shouldn't be quite as concerned that our memories are somehow broken. They were never really fully intact to begin with."

SEE ALSO: Scientists have created brain implants that could boost our memory by up to 30%

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This Israeli designer was asked to sketch a wedding dress for Meghan Markle — here are the designs

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meghan markle wedding dress sketches

  • Speculations over who will design Meghan Markle's wedding dress began soon after her engagement to Prince Harry was announced.
  • Israeli designer Inbal Dror has sketched three designs, which were leaked on Tuesday.
  • This isn't the first time Dror has designed couture for elite clients.
  • In 2016, Beyonce wore a bespoke dress designed by Dror to the Grammys.


The world has been hit with a serious case of Royal Wedding Fever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement at the end of November.

First, there was the endless speculation over where the couple would marry — which was later announced to be St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle

Then it was the date, which was confirmed on Friday to be Saturday May 19, 2018.

Now, the public has moved on to guessing which label Markle will choose to design her wedding dress.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli fashion designer Inbal Dror — whose dresses are shown in the Instagram post below — was asked by palace officials to provide some sketches of potential wedding dress designs for Markle last week.

A post shared by Inbal Dror (@inbaldrorofficial) on

When approched by Business Insider, a spokesperson for Inbal Dror declined to comment on whether Dror had been approached by the palace.

Nevertheless, the spokesperson did say: "We have been responding to an initiative of the Bridal Council to present the sketches [for Markle]."

As of this morning, the dress designs have been leaked via celebrity news site TMZ— and you can see them in the tweet below.

The three designs from Dror, whose website describes the designer as a "leading designer of Bridal Gowns and evening dresses in Israel," all feature tight bodices, high-neck collars, long sleeves, lace accents, and flowing skirts — which could be insights into the type of dress Markle is looking for.

British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tillman told the Daily Mail that he wouldn't be surprised if Markle and the royal family chose an international designer to craft the bride's gown — especially in light of the fact that Markle isn't British herself.

"We need to be embracing international business," said Tillman. "If we get ourselves into, 'She's marrying a British royal so she has to wear British' then we're isolating ourselves."

Dror's trademark styles tend to feature elegant fabrics, tight bodices, and plunging necklines. Her dresses typically tend to sell for between $8,000 and $10,000 (£6,000 and £7,500), although it's difficult to estimate how much a bespoke bridal gown for the royal wedding would cost.

beyonce in inbal dror at grammys ap matt sayles

This wouldn't be the first time that Dror has provided a bespoke dress for an A-Lister client. In 2016, Beyoncé wore a bespoke Inbal Dror gown — shown above — to the Grammy Awards.

The dress also featured long sleeves, white lace accents, a high collar, and flowing skirt — much like Dror's designs for Markle.

SEE ALSO: The most iconic image from 26 royal weddings throughout modern British history

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Inside London's £15 billion Underground upgrade which opens next year

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Elizabeth lines trains

London's massive upgrade to the existing underground system, which will be known as the Elizabeth line once it opens, is the biggest construction project ever undertaken in Europe.

The £14.8 billion project, which connects 30 existing stations with 26 miles of new tunnels, is now roughly 90% complete after work started in 2009.

The permanent track was finished this September, which means trains are now able to travel the full length of the tunnel.

Services from Liverpool Street to Shenfield will open in December 2018 with the full line being operational by the end of 2019.

Work on Crossrail began in 2009. Giant tunnel boring machines were used to dig a network of big, empty tunnels.



Here is the main tunneling machine, called Elizabeth, breaking through to Farringdon.



A big crane was used to lower the machine into the main shaft of the Elizabeth line.



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15 things a 30-year-old Londoner learned when he moved to San Francisco and started working in Silicon Valley

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nsdcarey

It's not hard to see the draw of life in the Bay Area of San Francisco, California.

Already a vibrant city famed for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, hilly streets, painted ladies, and quirky dive bars, the enigma of the nearby Silicon Valley has lured countless tech-savvy and ambitious millennials.

It's all conveniently located close to the California wine country and some stunning natural scenery, too.

30-year-old Londoner Nicolas Carey relocated to San Francisco with design and development agency Potato a year ago. He spends four days working in San Francisco and one day a week in Mountain View, Silicon Valley, when he visits Potato's client Google. 

Business Insider caught up with Carey while he was in London for the festive period to hear about his first year of life in the Bay as a so-called "transplant."

According to Carey, there are many things about living in the Bay — and working in Silicon Valley — that aren't what you'd expect from a global tech hub.

Here are 15 things he has learned since moving to San Francisco:

SEE ALSO: This 28-year-old got paid £8,000 a month to Instagram her way around the world staying in 5-star luxury villas

30-year-old Londoner Nicolas Carey relocated to San Francisco with design and development agency Potato a year ago. Here are 15 things he has learned since becoming a "transplant."



Temperatures can vary from block to block.

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San Francisco's climate is generally pretty mild, but temperatures in and around the city can vary dramatically from block to block.

"The Golden Gate bridge is often covered in fog, which locals have named 'Karl,'" Carey said.

Karl the Fog even has its own Twitter and Instagram accounts, each with hundreds of thousands of followers.

"If you live in the Inner or Outer Sunset areas you generally have worse weather than the Mission, for example, that's only a few miles apart."

It's worth taking these microclimates into account when picking where to rent, he said, as well as remembering to layer up.



You can easily pay about $1,000 a month in rent for one half of a bunk bed.

As a Londoner, Carey's no stranger to sky-high rents, yet he says accommodation in San Francisco is much more expensive.

"One thing in general that surprised me about San Francisco is that you'd think the city is going to be super high-tech in every way. It's not," he said.

"Here most places are advertised on Craigslist — it's like Gumtree but a significantly worse user experience, where you need to watch out for scams."

He added that you always need to check out the space in person.

"Often it's just a bed in the living room. Others try and sell it as a party 'hacker' house, but it's just about 20 people sharing loads of bunkbeds. And I've heard of people paying about $1,000 for one half of a bunk bed."

Carey said the best tip he ever got was to ask for his work's housing list.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Most people think you get more lonely as you get older — here's why that could be wrong

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older people

  • Old people are more likely to be alone, but that doesn't mean they are the most lonely.
  • Research shows loneliness is greatest among teenagers and young adults.
  • Loneliness at any age can affect our mental and physical health.


Older people are often thought of as being lonely. Maybe their partner has passed away and they live alone, and their age means they can't get around like they used to.

Research has shown how loneliness is bad for our health. For example, one study looked at how being lonely can increase the levels of stress hormones in our bodies, which have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Another showed how lonely people have a 50% increased risk of early death.

Older people are already at a higher risk of health issues, so this is bad news if they are more likely to be lonely too.

But while we think of older people being more solitary, and thus more lonely, this might not actually be true.

According to the work of Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University in Utah, loneliness is actually at its peak among teenagers and young adults.

Holt-Lunstad and her colleagues analysed 70 studies, and found that there were stronger risks of loneliness-related illness for under- 65s than over-65s.

Also, the US National Social Life, Health and Aging Project states that just 30% of older adults feel lonely fairly often.

"Older adults should not be the sole focus of the effects of loneliness and social isolation. We need to address this for all ages," Holt-Lunstad told The New York Times, which summed up the health impacts of loneliness in a recent article.

"If we recognize social connections as a fundamental human need, then we can't discount the risks of being socially isolated even if people don't feel lonely," she added.

Being lonely and being alone are two different things. While older people might be alone much of the time, this doesn't mean they are unhappy about it.

In fact, people can feel lonely when they're surrounded by others. Many lonely people are also married.

"Being unmarried is a significant risk," Dr. Holt-Lunstad told the New York Times, "but not all marriages are happy ones. We have to consider the quality of relationships, not simply their existence or quantity."

It is well known that things like alcohol, diet, smoking, and air pollution can contribute to us living shorter lives.

But it's important not to overlook loneliness as something that can be detrimental to both our psychological and physical well-being too.

SEE ALSO: Single men are more worried about finding a partner for Christmas than women — here's why

Join the conversation about this story »

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This is the difference between scotch, bourbon, and rye

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whiskey tasting glasses

  • The difference between scotch, bourbon, and rye is down to where the whisky — or whiskey — is made.
  • The "mash bill" — list of ingredients — also plays a part.


There's a lot to know when it comes to drinking whisky.

Whether it's deciding whether or not to have ice, what brand to buy, or simply knowing the difference between whisky and whiskey, there's a lot behind enjoying a glass of scotch, bourbon, or rye.

Business Insider spoke to Ewan Gunn, whisky master for the global drinks giant Diageo, which produces mass-market brands like Johnnie Walker and Haig Club.

We asked Gunn — who has 19 years' experience in the industry — to answer a simple question about a complicated nectar: What's the difference between scotch, bourbon, and rye?

Scotch by name, Scottish by nature

"Scotch whisky can only be made in Scotland," Gunn said. "You cannot make it anywhere else in the world."

He added: "One of the most beautiful things about scotch is it is tightly regulated and the most trusted. [There are] rules governing how you can and cannot make and sell scotch whisky — they're really rigorous.

Another whiskey expert, Tommy Tardie, owner and operator of Fine & Rare and The Flatiron Room, who spoke to Business Insider in January, added that it's no different to Champagne.

"If you're a Cognac, you have to be made in the Cognac region. If you're a Champagne, you have to be made in the Champagne region. It's no different for scotch," he said.

Ewan Gunn

Bourbon in the USA

Bourbon and rye, meanwhile, are native American spirits.

Aside from the point of origin, what differentiates variants of whiskey — or whisky — is the "mash bill," or list of ingredients used to make it, according to Tardie.

"To be a bourbon, in America you have to be using 51% or more corn, [and] the rest of the mash bill is traditionally rye and malted barley," he said.

"To be a rye whiskey, you have to use 51% or more rye, and then the rest is usually corn and malted barley. In addition, both have to be aged in brand new American oak barrels."

While there's no set time period they have to spend in the barrel, to "call yourself a straight whiskey, you have to be aged a minimum of two years," Tardie said.

If it still seems confusing, Tardie said you should think of whiskey as a category, or "big umbrella," and underneath this umbrella, stands all of its variants. "In other words, all bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon," he said.

talisker_sour_10 YEARS_RT

While they all have their own unique properties, Gunn believes that "no other spirit or whiskey offers the same range [as scotch.]"

Diageo alone has 28 single-malt scotch whisky distilleries, and there are over 100 within the industry, according to Gunn.

Single-malt scotch whisky is made at a single distillery, exclusively from malted barley, and must be aged for at least three years in oak casks. Some American single-malt whiskeys are produced from malted rye rather than malted barley.

"We make scotch whiskies that are light, delicate, and sweet to robust, powerful, smokey, and intense," he said. "No other whiskey really offers that diversity scotch whisky can offer."

Join the conversation about this story »

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Trump loves his 'original supporters' — here's where the first 10 big-name backers to endorse him are now

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trump during campaign

President Donald Trump values loyalty above most other qualities.

"Loyalty is extremely important to me," Trump wrote in his 2015 book, "Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America." "My family and close friends will say that I am loyal to a fault."

When Trump delivered a speech in Salt Lake City about shrinking national monuments on December 4, he called out Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and state Rep. Greg Hughes for their backing.

"An original supporter of mine. You know, you always remember those original supporters," Trump said of Reyes. "Greg, thank you. He was an original right at the beginning. Thank you, Greg. He had a feeling."

For the earliest big-name supporters, their loyalty often paid off in the form of job offers, media attention, and exposure in the national spotlight.

Here's where 10 of Trump's "original supporters" are now:

SEE ALSO: Omarosa Manigault in wild interview about White House exit: I saw 'a lot of things' that upset me in the Trump administration

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Jeff Sessions

In February 2016, Sessions became first US senator to endorse Trump, who didn't clinch the Republican nomination until months later.

"This election is our last chance to save US sovereignty and to end the domination of the political establishment over the interests of working Americans," Sessions said at the time. "I am pleased to endorse Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States."

Sessions was awarded mightily for his early endorsement. Fewer than two weeks after defeating Hillary Clinton in the general election, Trump picked Sessions to be his attorney general.



Rep. Chris Collins of New York

Sessions was the first senator to officially back Trump, but the first House Republican to endorse him was Collins.

"Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and most importantly, re-establish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream," Collins said in his endorsement in February 2016.

Collins is a two-term congressman representing the Buffalo area. He's running for reelection in 2018.



Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been one of Trump's most ardent supporters.

In April 2016, he threw his support behind Trump, falling just short of an official endorsement because he didn't want to be perceived as an official member of the campaign.

"Donald's a very, very good friend. I believe he'd be the best candidate. I think he'd be the person I would like to see win," Giuliani said.

During the GOP Convention, he gave a fiery speech backing up many of Trump's most controversial campaign positions.

Today, Giuliani remains a fervent Trump supporter. Over the summer, he was even reportedly being considered to replace Sessions as attorney general.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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