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There are 3 things you need to know before traveling to Cuba — and it will make or break your trip


Cuba (3 of 7)

Traveling to Cuba isn't like traveling to other countries.

While every country is unique, Cuba has an idiosyncratic culture influenced by decades of US embargo (known locally as El Bloqueo) and rule by the Communist Party.

Tourists have been visiting the country for years, but it is only recently that Americans have joined the fray thanks to the reopening of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba in 2014

With Trump threatening to undo the Obama-initiated re-opening of Cuba, I visited the island last year.

By the end of my 10-day stay, I found that a few tips that I picked up both before leaving and while in the country were the difference between an excellent vacation and a travel disaster. 

1. Be prepared to wait for everything

If there's one thing that Cuban culture might best be known for — aside from salsa music and cigars — it's long lines.

There are lines for everything: A line for a customs, a line for the bank, a line to buy internet, a line to use the bathroom, a line for the bus. Most things that you want or need to do in Cuba require waiting, particularly if it involves the government.

Cubans are so used to waiting in lines that they've even devised a clever system to make it more bearable.

When you arrive at the bank or bakery or wherever else you need to wait, first ask, "Who's last in line?" (best to ask in Spanish: quien es el último?) Whoever is last will instantly tell you. You go behind them, call out el último and now you are the last in line.

When a new person arrives and becomes el último, you are now free to wander. So long as you are back before it's your turn in line, everyone will let you take your place. Don't try to cut — everyone knows exactly where they are in the queue.

And rather than get frustrated by the inevitability of long wait times, plan for it. 

If you don't, you might end up like I did one afternoon in Viñales, a small town in western Cuba.

Though I had been warned about Cuba's interminable lines — and experienced a few already — I arrived a little too close to closing time at the state-owned telecom company ETSECA, where you purchase scratch-off internet cards.

The line at the office was so long — and the time so close to closing at 4 p.m. — that I was informed by an office attendant that the person in front of me would be the last to be served. No internet for me that day.

2. Bring cash, lots of it, preferably in euros

Unless you want to end up begging on the streets of Havana, bring cash on your vacation. And lots of it. 

Credit cards and debit cards issued by American banks are not accepted anywhere on the island. Let me repeat that: American credit and debit cards are not accepted anywhere.

If you're coming from Europe or elsewhere, there's a good chance that the ATMs at the airport and major tourist destinations will accept your card, but it's best to doublecheck with your bank before traveling. Beware that ATMs in Cuba have massive fees.

Some hotels, car rental agencies, and instutitutions run by the government accept credit cards (again, non-American), but it's best not to count on it. None of the paladares (small family-run restaurants), casa particulares (home-stays), or small tourism businesses accept credit card.

ATMs and credit card machines are notoriously finicky in Cuba and you don't want to be stuck with $100 for a two-week vacation. 

The best plan is to carefully budget how much money you think you will spend on your trip and add 10% — just in case anything goes wrong.

If you can, bring the cash in euros.

While Cuban currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar, the government charges a 10% penalty when converting dollars to pesos. 

3. Traveling to Cuba is not that cheap

Most travelers heading to Cuba might be expecting a dirt-cheap vacation, given the island nation's long-troubled economy. 

Think again.

Cuba has a two-tiered currency systemthe moneda libremente convertible (CUC), and the moneda nacional (MN or CUP).

In general, the CUC, which is pegged to the US dollar, is used to purchase luxury goods. For tourists, that means just about everything, from internet to hotels to meals at restaurants. 

The CUP, which is equivalent to CUC by around 25:1, is used primarily by Cubans for staple goods like rice, beans, and flour. Obtaining a few CUP can be useful for paying for street food and public transportation, which Cubans also pay with CUP.

The system is intended to keep necessities cheap for Cubans, while keeping luxuries expensive.

However, because Cubans working for the government are paid their monthly salary in CUP, the system has pushed a vast percentage of Cubans to shirk their day jobs in favor of working in tourism, where they have the opportunity to be paid in CUC and earn a month's salary in a day.

President Raul Castro has said for years that Cuba will ditch the dual-currency system, but the changeover has yet to take place.

Until then, tourists are stuck paying for everything in essentially US dollars. While some things can still be relatively cheap— a night at a casa particulare runs 25-40 CUC — don't expect to be making it rain. 

And lest you get ripped off by a sleazy taxi driver who tries to give you change in CUP currency when you paid with the more valuable CUC, remember: CUP have faces on the bills, CUC have monuments.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Trump's doctor says he only sleeps 4-5 hours each night — and there could be a scientific reason why



  • President Donald J. Trump's physician said on Tuesday that the president only sleeps about four or five hours a night. 
  • That's a lot less than the average seven or eight hours of shut-eye most of the population gets.
  • While for many, getting too little sleep can have some nasty consequences such as headaches and stomach problems, a tiny percentage of the population is able to thrive off just four to six hours, a phenomenon called "short sleeping." 


Following President Donald Trump's annual physical exam, his physician told reporters on Tuesday that the president only sleeps four to five hours a night. 

"He’s just one of those people, I think, that just does not require a lot of sleep," Dr. Ronny Jackson said. 

It's something Trump has discussed before — while on the campaign trail, Trump said, "You know, I’m not a big sleeper. I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find out what’s going on."

Trump's not the only one who sleeps less than average. Corporate executives like PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and even former President Barack Obama rarely — if ever — get what's considered a full night of sleep.

For many of us, getting too little sleep can have some nasty consequences such as headaches and stomach problems. But others are able to thrive off of just four to six hours of shut-eye, something called "short sleeping." 

Short sleepers, a group The Wall Street Journal once called the "sleepless elite," need only a short amount of sleep every night instead of the average seven to eight hours. Scientists estimate those individuals make up only about 1% of the population.

It is not known whether Trump falls into this group. But there are a few characteristics that most of the short sleepers that have been identified thus far appear to have:

  • They tend to be more optimistic and upbeat than most people. 
  • They tend to wake up early, even on vacation or weekends.
  • They tend to have a family member that is also a short sleeper. Since short-sleeping is linked to genetics, the behavior that accompanies it often runs in the family.
  • They tend to be physically active.
  • If they sleep longer than they need, they tend to feel groggy.
  • They say they tend to avoid caffeine or don't need it to feel energized.

This sleeping behavior is still a relatively new area of study, so a lot is unknown about short sleepers and their genetics. Having some of these traits doesn't necessarily mean you're a short sleeper, nor does not having some of these traits mean you're not.

The short sleep clinic


Even though it has no apparent negative health effects, short sleeping is considered a sleep disorder.

Although many people think they can get by with just four hours of sleep, most of them probably aren't true short sleepers — they're just chronically sleep deprived.

Ying-Hui Fu, a biologist and human genetics professor at the University of California, San Francisco started studying short sleepers in 1996, when a woman came into the lab asking them to investigate why her whole family woke up at extremely early hours every day. Fu investigated traits relating to that family and others who came into the clinic. Soon, she learned that there were three types of people: early risers, night owls, and people who are somewhere in between. Perhaps most importantly, she also learned that there were specific traits linked with all three types.

That work launched more than 20 years of studying these sleep behaviors to learn more about how people rest and how genetics play a role in that behavior.

"We know almost nothing about how sleep is regulated," Fu told Business Insider in 2015.

For now, most sleep research money goes toward treatments for sleeping disorders that deprive patients of sleep, which of course focus on helping people sleep more, not less.

But Fu thinks that belies how critical more research on short sleepers is. "Other than water and air, nothing is more important" than sleep, she said.

Abby Ross: Mother, doctor of psychology, marathoner, 'awaker'

When Abby Ross went to Fu's lab, she learned she was one of the rare short sleepers.

Ross has never needed what's considered a full night of sleep, and for years, she didn't know why she woke up feeling chipper and ready for the day, even after just four hours of sleep. 

Ross decided to contribute to research at Fu's lab, giving blood and answering questions from psychologists and doctors from all over the world. But she doesn't know if she has the genes that have since been linked with being a short sleeper, since she agreed that any information the researchers gathered about her genes wouldn't be shared with her.

The lab's rationale for this, as they described it to Ross, was that if someone who came in with short-sleeping symptoms didn't have any of the already-identified short-sleeper genes, they could have another gene linked with the disorder that Fu's lab has yet to identify.

But Ross said the information she's gotten about herself so far is enough.

"I learned that what I have is truly a gift," she told Business Insider in 2015.

As long as she can remember, Ross said, she's been a short sleeper. When she was young, she'd be up early to get bagels and coffee with her parents. This early development of short sleeping habits is consistent with other short sleepers, who typically develop the habit sometime in childhood or as a young adult.

Ross got her undergraduate degree in three years by taking more classes than the average course load, which happened naturally for her. To her, an "all-nighter" wasn't a dreaded way to cram; it was just a regular night. Plus, Ross says, she's always had an easy time falling asleep, so if her body needed an hour or two, she'd take a nap then pick up right where she left off.

Ross went on to graduate school to study psychology and started a family.

"If I got up to feed the baby," she recalled, "I could stay up studying psychology."

She did it all, she said, by developing a respect for her body clock.

"It gave me permission to accept that if my husband goes to bed at 10:30, then I stay up," she said. "It's just the way it is."

IMG_5682In true short-sleeper form, Ross has led an incredibly active life. Ten years ago, she ran 37 marathons in as many months. In one of those months, she did three marathons. Even since, she has often logged about five miles of walking and other activity on her Fitbit each day.

Ross puts her extra hours to good use, using them to do everything from catalog family photos to catch up with loved ones. Ross' 92-year-old father is also a short sleeper. For years, the two have emailed each other around 5 a.m. every morning to start their days.

For the most part, Ross has embraced her short sleeping gift, in all but name.

"I think the name is really weird" she said, since it sounds like people are referring to her height.

Instead of a short sleeper, Ross would like to be called an "awaker."

Recent developments

Being a short sleeper is, for the most part, genetic.

So far, Fu has pinpointed several genes connected to the disorder. One such gene is DEC2, which is known to affect our circadian rhythm, the biological process influenced by light and temperature that helps determine when we sleep and when we wake up. The other genes have yet to be published.

One of the main reasons Fu's lab hasn't quickly been able to publish much information on short sleepers is because it takes a long time — 10 years, she said — to publish the type of sleep-related paper she is planning. For these studies, researchers have to find and recruit short sleepers, which as only 1% of the population aren't easy to come by. 

There isn't a ton of money going into sleep studies, which Fu said is the wrong approach, since understanding sleep habits could help people avoid diseases that are worsened by sleep deprivation.

"Instead of putting the fire out, let’s try to avoid fire," she said.

No official long-term health effects have been linked to being a short sleeper, though Fu said that is one concern her lab is looking into. For the most part, the people coming into Fu's lab are generally between 40 and 70 years old and in good health. Most stay active into their later years, and Fu said she's even had one volunteer in her lab who was 90 years old, so she hypothesizes that longevity could also be linked with being a short sleeper.

Ideally, Fu hopes to one day crack the code on how to become a short sleeper without being born with it. Then, maybe there will be more research focus to develop a gene therapy that can help people adapt to become short sleepers.

"I feel someday in the long-distance future, we can all sleep efficiently, and be healthy and smart," she said. "It's appealing to me."

SEE ALSO: What too little sleep does to your brain and body

DON'T MISS: Here's how much an IUD costs with Obamacare — and without

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jim Cramer reveals the secret to surviving on less than 4 hours of sleep

A day in the life of 'the happiest man in the world' — a Buddhist monk who wakes at dawn to watch the sunrise, owns only a few pieces of clothing, and spends hours wishing happiness for others


matthieu ricard

  • Matthieu Ricard is a Tibetan Buddhist monk and Dalai Lama associate who became globally renowned for his bestselling books and popular presentations on happiness.
  • He (unwillingly) gained the title of "happiest man in the world" from the Western press due to the level of brain activity registered in a brain scan during his meditation.
  • Ricard is also a skilled photographer, and his photos reveal a glimpse of what his life is like in the Himalayas of Nepal.
  • His day includes meditation, charity, and time with his fellow monks.

The life of a typical Tibetan Buddhist monk involves detachment from chaotic modernity, spent primarily in monasteries in the mountains. Matthieu Ricard is not a typical monk.

Born in France in 1946 to prominent parents, his father a philosopher and his mother a painter, Ricard received his PhD in molecular genetics at the prestigious Pasteur Institute before dedicating his life to monkhood in the Himalayas. He studied under a series of masters before becoming a monk at age 30, and became the Dalai Lama's French translator in 1989.

Ricard cowrote a book with his father in 1997, "The Monk and the Philosopher," primarily as a bonding experience with his aging parent, but it went on to become a surprise bestseller in France. And once the media took notice of Ricard, he reluctantly became a kind of celebrity.

The Western media also proclaimed him "the happiest man alive," a title Ricard has unsuccessfully tried to shed, after his brain's gamma waves were recorded as the strongest among fellow monks in a University of Wisconsin study on meditation in 2000.

Following the lead of the Dalai Lama, Ricard decided to use a media spotlight to promote lessons on honing happiness and altruism, and any of his share of the proceeds from his work goes toward his nonprofit, Karuna-Shechen.

Depending on the year, Ricard may spend most of his time abroad either at other monasteries or speaking to an audience at an organization like TED, Google, or the United Nations, but his true home is at the Shechen Monastery in Nepal.

We spoke to Ricard about his life for an episode of Business Insider's podcast "Success! How I Did It," ahead of the release of his latest book, "Beyond the Self." And a representative of Karuna-Shechen sent us a collection of Ricard's photography (he's a sophisticated photographer) that we combined with some other images to give an idea of what a typical spring day in the life in Nepal is like for him. Additional insights are drawn from his books "Happiness" and "Altruism."

SEE ALSO: 3 lessons I learned from the Tibetan monk who works with the Dalai Lama and went viral as 'the happiest man alive'

DON'T MISS: The Buddhist monk who went viral as 'the happiest man in the world' says you can learn to meditate in 5 minutes at a time

Ricard wakes at dawn, watching the sun rise over the mountains.

He has a simple one-room home that contains only a couple robes, a small kitchen, and a patch of lawn in front. "Through simplicity we arrive at inner peace," he wrote.

He told Michael Paterniti for a GQ profile that he has never allowed his home to be photographed because it remains his truest escape from the world.

Ricard watches the people of the villages below, as well as the monks of Shechen Monastery, spring to life with the new day.

If he has a year packed with presentations or events around the world, he may spend as little as a couple months in his home.

But this year, he said, he will be foregoing intensive traveling to spend time in Nepal.

He will venture out to nearby villages to visit schools that he constructed through his charity, Karuna-Shechen. He'll often bring his camera along.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This artist imagined what it would look like if Google and Facebook died in a retail apocalypse (GOOGL, FB, TWTR)



What if Facebook, Google, and other tech giants were going through the same collapse experienced in recent years by retailers such as Sears, Macy's, and Walgreen's?

That was graphic artist Andrei Lacatusu's starting point for a new project. He imagined what it would be like if today's tech titans were actually subject to the same urban decay as defunct retailers with aging storefronts in abandoned towns. In Lacatusu's series "Social Decay," paint fades from the tech companies' signs, and letters fall off some buildings all together. 

Lacatusu is based in Bucharest, Romania, where he works as a computer-generated imagery artist at Carioca Studio. He created the works in "Social Decay" using a mix of Adobe Photoshop and a pair of 3D rendering programs called Autodesk 3ds Max and V-Ray.

The tech companies' signs may be fabricated but they look all-too-real. As such, they offer a new perspective on companies such as Google and Facebook, which given their current dominance, seem immortal. But as Lacatusu's work suggests, as societies change, so do the companies with the most money and power.

Here's what Lacatusu sees when he imagines the end of the titans of tech:

SEE ALSO: Google has hired 30 employees to try and stop locals from stealing its bikes in droves

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I skied up a mountain on 'skins' and it was the hardest workout and most thrilling skiing I've ever done


Jackson Hole

No lift lines, no expensive lift tickets and miles of un-tracked powder. 

If that sounds like no ski resort you've ever heard of, that's because it's not a ski resort.

It's backcountry "skinning" — a type of skiing that combines the intense physical conditioning of running, the beauty of hiking and the adrenaline of downhill skiing.

As a downhill, or Alpine, skier, I've done almost all of my skiing at resorts and have only visited the backcountry on a few occasions. But I decided to give it a go while I was in Wyoming for the holidays this year. 

It's not an easy activity to do — given the risk of avalanches in the backcountry, going with an experienced guide is highly recommended (you shouldn't even consider going backcountry on your own if you don't know what you're doing). And you need to be in good enough shape to be able to get yourself up the mountain without the benefit of a chairlift. 

I'm not exactly in exemplary shape, so — aside from the fear of an avalanche — my biggest concern was whether I'd be capable of completing the journey.

The climb was even more grueling and exhausting than I expected. But the great thing about backcountry skinning is that the experience is so amazing, you keep pushing yourself. And the payoff is unforgettable.

SEE ALSO: I tried Peloton's new $4,000 treadmill — and now I get why the company has such a cult following

My backcountry journey began in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a gorgeous area located at the base of the Teton mountains.

The Jackson Hole Airport is located inside the Grand Teton National Park. It's the only commercial airport in the U.S. located directly inside a national park, and it's a stunning place to fly into. 

The town of Jackson is a liberal enclave in the heart of heavily Republican Wyoming, and the contrasts are everywhere.

In June 2017, Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon (pictured above) made national news when he removed a portrait of President Donald Trump from town hall, arguing that Trump is a divisive President whose portrait would offend some residents. The city council later reversed his decision. 

Besides its cowboys and politics, Jackson is famous for the nearby Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, considered one of the top ski destinations in the country.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Meghan Markle just proved her dominance over the 'Kate effect' — and it's worth $677 million


Meghan Markle

  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are to be married in May, but Markle's icon status has already been cemented.
  • Markle is following in the footsteps of Kate Middleton, who drives $1 billion to the UK fashion industry annually.  
  • The "Meghan Effect" has already taken hold and Markle may be poised to overtake Middleton.


Like Kate Middleton before her, Meghan Markle became an instant fashion icon the moment she announced her royal engagement.

The 36-year-old American actress has become an object of fascination by royal fans in Britain and the US.

Everything Markle wears and does is idolized — and that's translating to hundreds of millions of dollars for the British economy.

According to an estimation by Brand Finance, reported by Forbes, Markle's entrée into the royal family is expected to rake in about $677 million (£500 million) this year, but that's only the beginning. If Middleton and Prince William's 2011 nuptials are any indication, the public's obsession with Markle will only deepen over time. Especially when she starts having babies

Markle is following in the footsteps of Middleton, whose fashion-icon status is worth about $1 billion annually to the British fashion industry.

But with fan bases in the US, Canada, and now the UK — and a decidedly trendier and less traditional style than Middleton's — it's possible Markle's newly initiated "Meghan Effect" could swiftly dominate the "Kate Effect."

Keep reading to find out how Markle has gained a foothold among the royal family.

SEE ALSO: Meghan Markle had a surprisingly relatable life before becoming the world's most famous royal to-be — see her former house, car, and wardrobe

DON'T MISS: Meghan Markle just proved her dominance over Kate Middleton, to the tune of $677 million

Markle's entrée into the royal family as the wife-to-be of Prince Harry — long considered one of the world's most eligible bachelors — is expected to bring a $677 million boost to the British economy this year, according to an estimation by Brand Finance.

Sources: People, Forbes


Markle and Prince Harry's nuptials will drive up tourism and travel, bringing in profits from restaurants, hotels, parties and celebrations, and sales of T-shirts, hats, banners, and other commemorative merchandise related to the wedding.

Around the time of the last royal wedding, the phenomenon was deemed the "Duchess Effect" or the "Kate Effect": Anything worn by Middleton, and now her children, flies off the shelves. Middleton effectively became a trendsetter overnight.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How to eat and work out like an elite tennis star, according to a trainer who works with the pros


Anastassia Rodionova

  • A top tennis coach has revealed how he gets his clients to the top of their game.
  • Monitoring macronutrients through smart food choices helps players reach peak energy levels during matches.
  • A varied workout regimen including running and pilates conditions the body to be strong and agile.
  • Daily meditation and stretching helps the hard-working athletes avoid burnout and reach peak performance.

Gruelling training regimes, strict diets, and sports psychology sessions — if professional tennis players don't have its together, then no one does.

In an interview with Daily Mail Australia, tennis coach and motivational speaker Marc Sophoulis — who has worked with tennis stars including Anastasia and Arina Rodionova — revealed the life lessons everyone can learn from professional tennis players, including the tried-and-tested workout regimes and diets that keep his players in top shape.

A post shared by Marc Sophoulis (@marcsophoulis) on

Sophoulis believes that it "is crucial to ensure they are ticking all the boxes" when it comes to fitness, strength, and agility. This means a varied fitness regimen consisting of high-impact and low-impact workouts, running, and yoga fuelled by plenty of high-energy snacks and sources of protein.

But it's not all powdered supplements and hours of stretching. Taking into account small things such as keeping a diary and listening to your body can have a range of positive effects on your quality of life and the quality of your play, according to the coach.

Sophoulis believes that a balanced life which prioritises wellbeing is the key to his clients' successes — just as much as gruelling training and hard work.

A balanced diet is key

avocado smoked salmon blueberries healthy food meal bowl tomatoes lunchEating like an athlete involves smart food choices, plenty of nutrient-dense options, and keeping high-energy snacks on hand at all times.

Unsurprisingly, the coach promotes eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and supplements to fill any nutritional gaps.

Macronutrients and monitoring carbohydrate and protein intake, in particular, are important in order to make sure that a tennis star is at their optimum energy levels during a match.

"Because they work so hard, they need to think about the five food groups," Sophoulis said.

"Then, hydration is important, as well as supplementation to fill nutritional gaps, recovery powders, and having a stash of energy bars and fruit, which serve as easy to grab sources of energy during training."

A diet bursting with an array of vegetables will help to keep you alert and energised — with the added benefit of improving your skin health thanks to all of those nutrients.

Mix up your workouts to optimise strength and agility

anastasia rodionova reuters fadi al assaadWhile you might expect a tennis exercise regime to include hours of serving practise, rallying, and drills, Sophoulis believes in mixing things up regularly to promote a well-rounded fitness level.

"Some of the ways that tennis pros keep up with their fitness and ensure their whole bodies are in tip-top shape for matches include long-distance running, short-distance agility movement, weight training, yoga, and pilates," Sophoulis said.

Try your hand at fitness classes such as HIIT, pilates, and yoga using websites such as ClassPass which let you try something different every week.

Alternatively, programmes such as the NHS' "Couch to 5K" are available for free and help you build up your ability to run long distances over a six-week programme.

Allow time to recover — and don't skip sleep

meditation unsplash avrielle suleimanMental wellbeing is at the centre of Sophoulis' training — and rest and recovery are just as important as gruelling training in Sophoulis' workout plans for his clients.

While stealing some time from your sleeping pattern to fit in the gym might seem like a great way to allow for exercise in your busy schedule, you're more likely to burn out, thus leading to a depleted performance.

"Without the required rest and recovery, the ability to back up performances is impossible and therefore hard to sustain," Sophoulis said.

Sophoulis' tennis stars train for six days a week, 48 weeks a year, so allowing time for recovery is vital in order to avoid exhaustion.

"Sleep eight to 10 hours per night, as your body recovers while you're asleep," Sophoulis said.

Similarly, Sophoulis recommends taking some time out to stretch at the end of each day to wind down while improving flexibility and agility.

"Try meditation to help to clear the mind and stretch for 45 minutes each day, either via yoga or at home," he added.

Stay organised

diary planner unsplash STILIn order to be sure that a player's mind is clear in time for the match, Sophoulis encourages his tennis stars to keep their lives balanced, organised, and under control.

Giving your week a clear structure will not only keep you focused in important meetings or engagements when your mind might otherwise wander, but will also stop you from forgetting about other engagements that you forgot to account for.

"Use a diary or planner to find time to fit everything into your schedule and ensure you're not missing it," Sophoulis said. "Having a plan with some structure and a routine helps the brain to process what needs to be done and how you will go about doing it."

SEE ALSO: This simple money saving plan can help you bank £1,500 in 2018 — and it requires no more than £7 a day

Join the conversation about this story »

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Keira Knightley doesn't like playing modern-day characters because they 'nearly always get raped'


keira knightley modern day movies women raped getty frazer harrison

  • Keira Knightley avoids taking roles in modern-day films because of the way that women are presented.
  • Knightley claims that female characters are either "raped in the first five pages" or "simply there to be the loving girlfriend or wife."
  • She also admitted that she is more likely to take on "corset roles" due to her love of the genre.

Sexual violence towards women in films set in the current day is a major reason why Keira Knightley shies away from taking modern-day roles, she revealed in an interview with Variety.

While she praised Netflix and Amazon for producing original dramas with "strong female characters and female stories," Knightley believes that the stories for women on the silver screen tend to portray female characters that are abused and violated.

"I don't really do films set in the modern day because the female characters always get raped," she said. "I always find something distasteful in the way women are portrayed, whereas I've always found very inspiring characters offered to me in historical pieces."

Knightley is best known for playing female leads in blockbuster period dramas, including Anna Karenina in Joe Wright's 2012 portrayal of the eponymous novel by Leo Tolstoy, and Elizabeth Bennet in Wright's 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."

Alongside her frustration with the way modern-day parts for women are written, the actress was happy to divulge that her reputation for popping up in period dramas stems from her own love of the genre.

While she admitted to "feeling quite guilty about" her reputation to take on "corset roles" early on in her career, Knightley has grown to accept that period dramas are the films she's always loved watching.

"I think some people find escapism through science fiction or fantasy, and I suppose my escapism into another world has always been through period drama," she said. "It's nice that in my 30s I can finally admit that."

Although the landscape for female characters on the silver screen may seem bleak, the actress added that she has recently received multiple scripts for "present-day women who aren't raped in the first five pages and aren't simply there to be the loving girlfriend or wife," which makes her hopeful for a shift in the industry.

keira knightley anna karenina

This could only be a positive change in an industry landscape currently overshadowed by the stream of sexual abuse allegations made against countless powerful male figures late last year, sparked by accusations against Harvey Weinstein.

The powerful "Me Too" campaign followed shortly after in an effort to promote awareness of sexual harassment and assault, leading to the creation of the "Time's Up" initiative, which saw Hollywood's biggest stars wear black on the red carpet at the Golden Globes as a way of speaking out against sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace.

While Knightley asserted that she has never personally experienced any form of sexual harassment on set, she said the difference between the way that women are treated by some industry bigwigs is "obvious."

"I was surprised by some of the specifics," she said. "But I was aware of the culture of silencing women and the culture of bullying them, and I knew that men in the industry were allowed to behave in very different ways than women. That was obvious.

"What was fascinating about the #MeToo movement was I was sitting with friends who weren't in the industry, and there wasn't one of us who hadn't been assaulted at some point. We'd never had that conversation before. That was an eye-opener."

SEE ALSO: The 28 best films of all time you've probably never seen

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The 29 coolest small US cities to visit in 2018


Charleston, South Carolina

National Geographic has released its list of the 29 best small cities in the US— and it's giving us some serious travel inspiration.

The travel magazine worked with branding advisers at Resonance Consultancy to produce a "small-cities index" that drew from statistics and mentions on Instagram and Yelp to determine which cities rank highest across 10 categories:

  • Most hipster-friendly (coffee shops, tattoo parlors, record shops, vintage stores)
  • Grooviest (music venues, live music, instrument stores)
  • Most Instagrammed (hashtags)
  • Artsiest (art galleries, art supply stores, art schools)
  • Best groomed (barber shops, hair salons, hair removal services, cosmetic dentists)
  • Meatiest (butchers, delis, steakhouses)
  • Most dog-friendly (pet-sitting, pet stores, pet groomers, dog-friendly restaurants)
  • Sudsiest (breweries)
  • Most caffeinated (coffee shops)
  • Greenest (parks)

The results in each area were then sorted into three categories based on population sizes: 40,000 to 100,000, 100,000 to 200,000, and 200,000 to 600,000. An algorithm then determined which cities ranked highest per capita.

The National Geographic editors also included "trending" cities that didn't make the cut on the list this year but appear to be on the rise.

The 29 cities on the list weren't ranked relative to one another, but Business Insider has noted which categories each won.

From favorites like Charleston, South Carolina, to the beach town of Pensacola, Florida, here are the 29 coolest small cities to visit in the US in 2018.

SEE ALSO: 26 tourist landmarks in Europe that are worth lining up for, according to top travel experts

Albuquerque, New Mexico — Sudsiest

Sun, craft beer, and food trucks galore — what more could you ask for?

Anchorage, Alaska — trending, most caffeinated

There are about six coffee shops for every 10,000 residents in Alaska's largest city and cruise-ship port. Need we say more?

Ann Arbor, Michigan — greenest

With a botanical garden and 159 parks, the city plans to plant more than 1,000 trees every year.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The author of the 5:2 diet tested the popular theory that eating carbs at night is bad for you — and the results suggest we've got it all wrong



  • Many people think that a carb-heavy diet is bad for you and that it's worse to eat carbs at dinner than at breakfast.
  • Michael Mosley, the doctor who developed the so-called 5:2 diet, put the theory to the test in a new episode of the BBC Two program "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor."
  • His small study with a group of "healthy volunteers" found that it may be better to eat carbs at night.

It's a common belief that eating late at night — particularly anything carb-heavy — can ruin an otherwise good diet.

However, Michael Mosley, the doctor behind the so-called 5:2 and blood-sugar diets, put the theory to the test as part of a new BBC show, and the results suggested this may not be true.

The 5:2 diet, based on intermittent fasting, involves eating pretty much whatever you like for five days a week, then for two nonconsecutive days restricting calories to 500 for women and 600 for men.

However, calorie-counting is just one method for weight loss.

Diets high in refined carbs, such as white bread or pasta, have been tied to outcomes like weight gain and obesity, contributing to the rise of the low-carb diet.

"If you eat lots of carbohydrates and sugars, particularly the sort without fibre that get quickly absorbed, they will rapidly push up your blood glucose (sugar) levels," Mosley wrote in a BBC article.

He said that if this glucose isn't burned through some activity, the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the bloodstream to bring the levels down again, storing the excess sugar as fat.

"Too much stored fat, particularly visceral fat (inside the abdomen) can lead to serious health problems such as type-2 diabetes," he wrote.

But Mosley says many people have also come to believe that when you eat carbs also counts.

"It's widely believed, for example, that eating carbs in the evening is worse for you than having them for breakfast," he wrote.

It's thought that if you load up on carbs in the morning, you can burn the glucose during the day's activities, he said.

Putting the theory to the test

michael mosley

In an episode of "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor" airing on BBC Two on Wednesday evening, Mosley works with Adam Collins, a doctor at the University of Surrey, to study how a few "healthy volunteers" adapt and cope with eating most of their carbs in the morning or evening.

In the first five days of the experiment, the participants, who were all given the same daily carb allowance, ate most of their carbs at breakfast. They then ate "normally" for five days before swapping to high-carb meals in the evenings for five days.

Their blood sugar levels were monitored throughout.

"It's always made sense to me that we process carbs better if we have a whole day of activity ahead," Collins said before the experiment. "So I expect having most of their carbs at breakfast will be easier for their bodies to cope with."

He added: "But we don't really know what happens if you regularly follow an evening-carbs diet. There's never been a study like this before, and as a scientist, I'm excited to see what happens."

The 'clear winner'


Mosley said there was a surprising but "clear winner" between morning and evening carbs.

Mosley and Collins found that the average blood glucose response of the participants in the initial stage of the test was 15.9 units, which Mosley said was "roughly as predicted."

But in the final five days of the study, this went down to 10.4 units, which Mosley said "was considerably lower than we were expecting."

"It could be that what matters is not so much when you eat your carbs but the length of the carbs-free 'fasting' period that precedes your meal," Mosley said. "If you've had a big gap since your last carb-rich meal, your body will be more ready to deal with it. That happens naturally in the mornings because you've had the whole of the night, when you were asleep, in which to 'fast.'"

He added: "But our small study suggests that if you go low-carb for most of the day, that seems to have a similar effect. In other words, after a few days of low-carb breakfasts and high-carb dinners your body becomes trained for this — it becomes better at responding to a heavy carb load in the evening."

Mosley says Collins is planning a larger study on the topic in search of a more definitive answer.

For now, Mosley says, Collins is advising people not to focus so much on when they eat carbs — provided they're consistent and "don't overload with them at every meal."

"It's more about achieving peaks and troughs," Mosley wrote. "If you've had a lot of carbs in the evening, try to minimise them in the morning.

"On the other hand, if you've had a pile of toast for breakfast, go easy on the pasta that night."

SEE ALSO: The author of the 5:2 diet explains why eating healthy is more important than exercise

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A couples therapist says 'marriages often die more by ice than by fire' — here's how to know if it's happening to you


sad couple

  • Michael McNulty, PhD, studied why marriages fail and found that when one or both partners have checked out of a relationship, it could mean a breakup is near.
  • That stage is typically preceded by negativity, contempt, and emotional overwhelm.
  • You have the best chance of saving your relationship if you address problems sooner than later.

I recently read a novel that's partly about the dissolution of a marriage.

Years after the split, the ex-husband asks his wife, "What do you tell people when they ask why we got divorced?"

The ex-wife hedges for a bit, and admits she had "a hard time explaining it."

I'd been somewhat confused, too, about why the characters chose to divorce — or maybe I was just disappointed. After all, there was only one screaming-fight scene — mostly the ex-wife lamented that her husband wasn't really emotionally present anymore, at least not in the way she needed him to be.

This is the story arc I kept mentally revisiting after my conversation with Michael McNulty, PhD, a master trainer at the Gottman Institute and the founder of the Chicago Relationship Center. McNulty was telling me about the "distance and isolation cascade," the clinical term for the slow and steady march toward the dissolution of a marriage.

There are four stages in the cascade — a pattern labeled by John Gottman, PhD and Julie Gottman, PhD, the husband-and-wife cofounders of the Gottman Institute. The fourth and final stage (I outline the first three below) is the most deceptive because it's when the relationship is least volatile, when the conversations are least heated.

"Marriages often die more by ice than by fire," McNulty had told me in a previous conversation. In other words, disaster often strikes when one or both people in the couple check out.

Here are the four steps, according to McNulty:

1. More negativity than positivity

Partners express more negativity — in their verbal statements and their body language — than positivity during conflicts. "Even slightly more negativity" is a predictor of divorce, he said.

2. The four horsemen of the apocalypse

Business Insider's Erin Brodwin has covered the four horseman before: contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling (blocking off conversation during conflict).

The worst behavior is contempt, which is when one partner acts superior to or disgusted with the other. Think eye rolls, or curling your upper lip while the person is speaking.

3. Flooding

Here's where anger comes in. The partners in the couple are overcome with emotion and with the physiological response to stress — think sweating and an accelerated heartbeat. Their bodies go into a fight-or-flight state when talking about the conflict, McNulty said.

4. Emotional disengagement

This is the stage where it's "too hard to work things out," McNulty said. Overwhelmed, one or both partners may disconnect from the relationship. McNulty said they may live "more like roommates than lovers or partners."

In their 1999 bestseller "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work," John Gottman and Nan Silver write that "some people leave a marriage literally, by divorcing. Others do so by staying together but leading parallel lives."

The "death knell" for these couples is also characterized by four final stages:

1. The couple see their marital problems as severe.

2. Taking things over seems useless. Partners try to solve problems on their own.

3. The couple lead parallel lives.

4. Loneliness sets in.

Gottman and Silver write: "When a couple get to the last stage, one or both partners may have an affair. But this betrayal is usually a symptom of a dying marriage, not the cause."

Gottman and Silver recommend that couples seek help for their marriage before they hit this final stage. For sure, it's easier for an objective person to say than it is for someone inside the relationship to do. But it's worth taking a step back if and when you can.

I started to get a glimpse into why the couple in the novel, who'd been together for 16 years and had three children together before the divorce, opted out of trying to resuscitate their marriage. In a way, it might have been too late. The ex-wife, and maybe the ex-husband, too, had resigned themselves to a lifetime of loneliness and misery if they stayed together.

There's no saying whether they — or any real-life divorced couple — could have "made it work" if they'd addressed their problems sooner. But if Gottman's research and McNulty's experience are any indication, they would have had a better shot.

SEE ALSO: Couples think they go to counseling because of money, sex, and parenting — but therapists know the real problem is usually lurking underneath

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The opposite of a narcissist is called an 'empath'— here are the signs you could be one



  • People who are very receptive to the emotions of others are known as empaths.
  • They are also very sensitive to noise, smell, and being around people.
  • This means they are overwhelmed in crowds, and get exhausted in social situations.
  • Psychiatrist Judith Orloff, an empath herself, works with others to help them with the challenges.

Empathy is the ability most humans have to understand the way someone else is feeling. Unless you are a psychopath, narcissist, or sociopath, you will have the ability to feel empathy for others on some level.

How much empathy we feel is on a scale, and some people feel it more intensely than others. People very high up on the scale are known as empaths, and they take it to the next level.

"An empath is an emotional sponge," Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and author of "The Empath's Survival Guide," told Business Insider. "[They are] somebody who absorbs the stress and also the positive emotions into their own bodies from other people."

They don't have the filters other people do

Being an empath doesn't just mean having a lot of compassion. In many ways, empaths don't have the normal filters other people do. They take in a lot of what's going on around them, and are very sensitive to noise, smell, and excessive talking. This means they are easily overwhelmed in crowds, and can be exhausted after just short periods of time in social situations.

"They have gifts of intuition, of depth, of really caring for others, and having deep compassion," Orloff explained, who is an empath herself. "They often give too much. They sometimes take on their loved ones' pain in their bodies, so they actually feel it."

They need time alone

To unwind, empaths often need time alone. Sometimes they need to sleep alone, which can be a tricky conversation to have with a partner. Things you expect in a relationship like being close can be draining to an empath, even if their partner's intentions are good.

"I've known empaths who like sleeping alone, but they can't tell their partner that. They just can't go to sleep easily with someone in the bed," Orloff said. "They toss and turn, or get in uncomfortable positions. One of my patients called it the 'snuggle hold,' where their partner liked to snuggle, and she felt she was trapped."

It may be hard for some people to comprehend the idea of needing alone time in a happy relationship. This is one of the reasons empaths are often misdiagnosed as having depression or anxiety. They might be anxious and depressed, but this could be a result of the way they are being forced to live their lives.

After years of being told they are "over-sensitive," many empaths grow up thinking there is something wrong with them, when really they have a gift, Orloff said. If empaths aren't aware of who they are, everyday interactions that others find normal could be causing them damage.

Setting boundaries can be difficult

Boundaries are a real struggle for empaths, one reason being because they always want to please others, and not disappoint anyone.

Unfortunately, this means they can be taken advantage of by manipulative people. Narcissists and empaths attract each other, as narcissists see someone they can use, and the empaths see someone they can help and fix. Orloff helps her clients out with learning to stand up for themselves, and realising what is best for them.

"What I always tell them is 'no' is a complete sentence," Orloff said. "Learn how to say 'no,' but don't get into a big discussion about it. Just say 'no, I'm sorry I can't do this tonight, I'd rather stay home.'"

Orloff has self-assessment test at the beginning of her book where empaths can diagnose themselves. Once they have the answers, she says, they can start trying out some of the techniques, such as meditation.

"Empaths need to know that what they have is beautiful and much needed in our world today," Orloff said. "And so my job as a psychiatrist is to help them with the challenges so that they can embrace and enjoy their gift."

SEE ALSO: The way a narcissist's brain works can help unravel whether they mean to hurt their partners or not

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Inside the most reviewed eatery in the world, a Portuguese bakery where the most popular dish costs less than £1



  • Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon is the most reviewed eatery in the world, garnering 10,000 reviews on TripAdvisor in 2017 alone.
  • It's famous for its Pastéis de Belém cream cakes.
  • The "secret recipe" has not changed since the bakery opened in 1837.

A bakery in Lisbon, Portugal has been named the most reviewed eatery in the world by TripAdvisor — and it will only cost you less than £1 to find out why so many travellers flock to it.

Pastéis de Belém— meaning Cake of Belém, named after the iconic pastry from the Belém district of Lisbon — received over 10,000 reviews from travellers on TripAdvisor in 2017 – more than any other food establishment in the world.

Established in 1837, it's known for its Pastéis de Belém — circular pastries that are similar to Portugal's famous pastéis de nata cream cakes.

It's easy to see why they're so popular — the bakery told Business Insider the pastries only cost €1.10 (£0.97 or $1.34) each.

Here's what they look like:

pasteis_pastel doseador final

The bakery has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, and it's possible that it only falls short of 5 stars because of the queues travellers often have to experience in order to get inside.


However, I visited the bakery back in 2014 and can confirm the pastries (and the coffee) are delicious — and well worth the wait.

#Pasteis #Belem #Portugal

A post shared by Ali Millington (@al_osaurus) on Mar 30, 2014 at 10:30am PDT on

The "secret recipe" has remained unchanged since the very beginning, when, during a time when all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down following the 1820 liberal revolution, someone from Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Heironymite Monastery) began selling sweet pastries in the general store beside it, which was also attached to a sugar cane refinery.

They became known as "Pastéis de Belém," and in 1837 the bakery was officially founded.


Patissiers work in a "secret room" to make the cream and the pastry which form the Pastéis.


The multi-room bakery is always buzzing.


It also sells other specialities including Bolo Inglês (English cake) and Marmelada (Marmalade).


But really it's all about the Pastéis de Belém.


SEE ALSO: How a City trader raised £8 million to open the world's first private members' wine club with 26,000 bottles in a Fort Knox-style cellar

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'The Last Jedi' director says the movie's polarizing final scene was almost taken out: 'We went back and forth in the editing room'


temiri the last jedi lucasfilm final

  • Director Rian Johnson explained in a recent interview why the final scene in "The Last Jedi" is so important.
  • Johnson admits that the scene, which has split "Star Wars" fans, was also heavily discussed in the edit room.

Warning: Spoilers below if you haven't seen "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

If you're kind of mixed about the final scene in "The Last Jedi," you're not alone. It turns out it was heavily discussed during the editing of the movie. 

Director Rian Johnson has had to weather the storm of social media reaction for his "Star Wars" movie, as its dramatic deaths and moments that seemingly contradict what was set up in "The Force Awakens" has split fans of the saga. But one of the most polarizing moments is its final scene.

Following a scene in which the Resistance escape the clutches of Kylo Ren and the First Order (thanks to a major assist by Luke Skywalker) and fly off in the Millennium Falcon all laughing and hugging, a scene follows in which we return to Canto Bight to see the stable kids of the Fathiers (aka, space horses) acting out the heroics of Skywalker. After being chased off by their master, we follow one boy, Temiri, walking outside and using the Force to grab his broom. He then looks up to the stars, we see he's wearing a ring bearing the symbol of the Resistance, and the credits roll.

The scene leaves audiences with more questions than answers. Will we see more of him in "Episode IX? Is Johnson introducing us to the character we will follow in the new, non-Skywalker family trilogy he's creating for "Star Wars"? Was the scene even necessary?

TheLastJediChewbacca LucasfilmJohnson recently spoke to Empire and addressed the final scene:

"That was something I really stuck to, and believe me, we went back and forth in the editing room," Johnson said. "In the script, when I wrote that scene in the Falcon, I wrote the words, 'This seems like the perfect image to end on.'

However, Johnson wanted to show how Skywalker's stand against the First Order inspired the galaxy. And that led to adding a scene.

"To me, it was really important to have that final scene, because it turns what Luke did from an act that saves 20 people into an act that inspires the galaxy," Johnson continued. "The notion that what we're setting up here is something big in the next chapter. And when Leia says, 'we have everything we need,' she's talking about everyone on the Falcon, but also about what we see next, which is we now have a galaxy that has seen this beacon of hope and is getting inspired to fight the good fight."

Johnson now passes the torch back to "The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams to finish the trilogy with "Episode IX" (opening December 2019). We will see how far Abrams goes with that inspired feel Johnson has ended on in "Jedi." 

SEE ALSO: All 9 "Star Wars" movies, ranked by how much money they made at the US box office

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15 Hollywood stars who didn't accept their Oscars


marlon brando godfather

The Oscars are the most celebrated awards show in Hollywood, and they set the conversation about what's great in movies.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to go, or even be in the running to win one. In the 90-year history of the ceremony, some of Hollywood’s finest haven’t been there to accept their awards or nominations, and some have flat-out rejected the envied award itself. 

Weirdly, Leonardo DiCaprio never boycotted the ceremony in protest of his many losses, but it looks like that paid off in the end. He doesn’t have to worry about that anymore — and neither do we. 

Here are some actors and filmmakers who've skipped (or rejected) the Oscars:

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 worst movies to win the best picture Oscar — and what should have won

Marlon Brando

Knowing he was a shoe-in to win best actor for his role as Vito Corleone in "The Godfather," Brando boycotted the Oscars in 1973. In his place, he had Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather attend. She went onstage to accept his award, and when she read Brando’s speech about the mistreatment of Native Americans in film, she got booed.





Roman Polanski

The director didn't attend the 2003 ceremony that awarded him a statue for best director for his work on "The Pianist." But even if he tried, he likely wouldn't have made it, since he is still a fugitive in the US in a conviction for unlawful sex. Harrison Ford accepted the award on his behalf.

Michael Caine

Michael Caine wasn’t around to accept his first Oscar win for best supporting actor in "Hannah and Her Sisters," because he was busy filming "Jaws: The Revenge," a movie with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Caine learned his lesson, and showed up in 2000 to accept his deserved win for a supporting role in "The Cider House Rules."


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'Phantom Thread' star Vicky Krieps opens up about the movie's grueling shoot and working with Daniel Day-Lewis


phantom thread focus

  • Vicky Krieps plays Alma in "Phantom Thread," the muse of Daniel Day-Lewis' character, Reynolds Woodcock.
  • Krieps didn't meet Day-Lewis until their first day of shooting and said he was in character as Woodcock every day of production.
  • Being in the movie was grueling for Krieps, not because of working across from the demanding Day-Lewis, she said, but because her schedule was six days of shooting a week and her off day consisted of constant dress fittings.

Luxembourg actress Vicky Krieps is a veteran of over 30 movies, but many will see her for the first time as the star of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Phantom Thread" (currently playing in select theaters, opening nationwide on Friday).

Krieps plays Alma, the muse of renowned 1950s dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) who figures out an unconventional way to get him away from his work. Exploring obsessions and unconditional love, Anderson cast an incredible actress in Krieps to take on these themes opposite the all-consuming Method acting style of Day-Lewis.

Business Insider talked to Krieps about the experience of working with Day-Lewis and finding the strength to get through one of the most grueling shoots she's ever been a part of.

Jason Guerrasio: So when you got an email about auditioning for this movie you didn't realize it was a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, right? You've said at first you thought you were going out for a student film.

Vicky Krieps: That's right. It was more of me making things up out of not knowing anything. I basically got this email from an American casting agent, who I didn't know, and I certainly wasn't expecting someone from America to write to me. But I'm always interested in projects. Whatever I do, I'm interested in the color of the material, I'm not interested in who's making it. I'm more concentrated on the work. So I opened the email and scrolled to find not a script but just some text, really a monologue. So I did the lines on tape and sent it in. 

Why I thought it might have been a student film was because I didn't get a script, I thought maybe it wasn't finished yet or this is for a short movie. I never thought I wasn't getting it because of secrecy of the project and that it was in fact for a movie by a famous American director. [Laughs.]

Vicky Krieps APGuerrasio: Looking back, are you happy you didn't know who you were auditioning for? Perhaps you would have been more nervous?

Krieps: Perhaps. I think I always try to prepare the same. I don't think I would have been different. But I think what was good was I was only relating and concentrating on the work, and that turned out to work well for me. 

Guerrasio: When you realized what the movie was about and who you would be playing, did you do a lot of research on the era?

Krieps: I prepared mostly on London around World War II and after the war. My character had lost her mother. This isn't in the movie, but Alma's mother is dead. So that was my backstory. And I learned as much as I could about models in the 1950s. I found on YouTube how they walked back then in fashion shows. It's very different in how models walk now. It's more human. I also learned hand sewing. But everything else I couldn't really prepare before shooting because I knew I wouldn't meet Daniel until the first day of shooting.

Guerrasio: Oh, wow. 

Krieps: He requested that we don't rehearse and that we meet for the first time on the first day of shooting. So my big thing was to find a way not to be nervous. Really, for a lot of this I did the opposite of preparing.
Guerrasio: So the first scene of Alma in the movie when you meet Reynolds in the restaurant, is that the first time you met Daniel Day-Lewis?

Krieps: Yes. [Laughs.]

Phantom_Thread_241017Guerrasio: It's funny because Alma stumbles coming from out of the kitchen and she has this embarrassed look, it's really art imitating life.

Krieps: Exactly. I really blushed because I really tripped. 

Guerrasio: Really?

Krieps: Yeah. 

Guerrasio: Was it tough to act across from someone you barely knew?

Krieps: That's the thing, of course I was scared, but there was nothing I could do. I knew we would be working together and I just stayed calm as much as I could. I was really in a meditative state of emptiness and forget everything I was researching for the character and just reacted to him. Working with him was rather wonderful. Because of how he works, I could really fall into this world of Reynolds Woodcock. I just concentrated on the moment. Each scene in the movie I was just in the moment. Just reacting to the person across from me. 

Guerrasio: Can you say you even met Daniel while shooting this movie?

Krieps: No. 

Guerrasio: So you were with Reynolds Woodcock.

Krieps: Exactly. I never met Daniel on set until we finished. 

Guerrasio: So, as you said, you don't overthink how he wants to work. This is the job. You just react. 

Krieps: You go with it. I could only go with it.

phantom thread 2 focus featuresGuerrasio: The way he worked, did that bring you deeper into the Alma character than you would have if you worked across a different actor?

Krieps: I think the way I work is similar to how Daniel works, I just don't call it Method acting. I don't have the time and money to prepare the way he does. I have more projects to work on in a year, so it's impossible for me to do it that way. But I definitely have the same dedication and I'm crazy enough to invent worlds around me. It becomes a reality and you are involved in what you invented. 

Guerrasio: American audiences don't know you as well as other parts of the world, but you've worked a lot in your career. Compare this job to what you've done in the past. Is this the most unusual production you've ever been on because of the way Daniel works?

Krieps: It definitely has been the most intense work I've ever done. It was also the only one where I was really struggling with my strength. In the middle of making this I said to myself, "Oh my god, I can't see the end." I felt that I would never get to it. "How can I find more strength in me to continue?" Because it was 16-hour days sometimes. We worked every day, except for Sundays. But on Sundays I had fittings of all the dresses that were made for me. It was endless fittings. So strength was the biggest challenge for me on this. 

Guerrasio: With all that said, if Paul called tomorrow and said "I just wrote a part for you in my next movie," do you say yes?

Krieps: Yes. [Laughs.]

Guerrasio: It's worth the pain, so to speak.

Krieps: Absolutely. In a second I would do it again.

Guerrasio: A lot of the talk around this movie is that Daniel says it's his final movie. What are your thoughts? Do you think he's really quitting acting?

Krieps: I respect him enough to believe that if he says so then he will. But I also respect him enough to leave the door open if he wants to change his mind. If he's determined to stop I understand. But if this is an emotional reaction and he changes his mind I would love that. I would be happy if he continued to be an actor. I just want him to get what he wants. 

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I had the craziest night out in Tokyo thanks to CouchSurfing — but it had nothing to do with staying with random people


Tokyo (4 of 6)

  • CouchSurfing is an online community that connects travelers with locals for free lodging.
  • I rediscovered the CouchSurfing app on a trip to Tokyo, Japan, last year.
  • Instead of using the app for lodging, I used it to meet locals and had a wild night out.


On a trip to Tokyo last year to help launch Business Insider Japan, I found myself like many business travelers — alone in a foreign city.

My BI Japan colleagues couldn't have been more inviting, taking me out to their favorite noodle shop and izakaya, but, for the most part, I was on my own. I spent my nights wandering the alleys of the bustling and colorful Shibuya neighborhood.

By the time the weekend came, I was getting stir-crazy.

That's when I rediscovered CouchSurfing, the online community that connects travelers with locals for free lodging.

I've used and been around CouchSurfing for years. When I moved to New York, my brother was something of a superhost. His apartment was an endless carousel of interesting, wild, or curious characters passing through while I too crashed in the living room. It was a formative introduction to adult life. 

As Airbnb became ubiquitous, the CouchSurfing app fell into disuse for me, as it did for many others.

But bored and lonely in Tokyo, I opened CouchSurfing and found it had changed considerably. The company found a way to make the community, the best part of CouchSurfing, accessible.

Tapping into that community led me to a wild night with Tokyoites that I never would have had otherwise — here's how it all went down: 

SEE ALSO: I forgot one thing on my trip to Japan — and now I have to apologize to every person I meet

When you open the app, CouchSurfing encourages you to "Travel Like A Local." Instead of opening on potential places to stay, CouchSurfing now opens on "Hangouts."

To use Hangouts, you simply turn on your availability. You can either start your own hangout by typing in what you want to do, or browsing the hangouts other travelers have already started in your area. In Tokyo, there were a lot of options.

Each Hangout has a person's profile and what they are looking to do. Activities range from simple things like grab dinner or beers to "visit Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum" or "attend an underground rave in Bushwick."

Once you join a hangout, you are entered into a chat where you can arrange the plans or just get to know each other. Best of all, multiple people can join hangouts so "grabbing beers" doesn't turn into an awkward date if the person turns out to be a dud. 

On the night I tried it in Tokyo, I noticed a group talking about going to see the ambient rock band Tycho at Stellar Ball, a concert venue in Shinagawa. I decided to join up and headed to the venue after work Friday night.

I found the CouchSurfers gathering near the bar at the back of Stellar Ball. Tycho hadn't started playing yet so we got to know each other.

Some of the CouchSurfers had arrived solo, but many had brought friends with them. It was a mix of a few Tokyoites with varying English fluency, a couple European travelers, and one other American traveler, a chatty Army vet from Texas.

To my surprise, only one had ever used CouchSurfing to stay at someone's apartment while traveling. But all had been using the app to meet up with people regularly. 

Within a few minutes, a few more locals joined the group, meeting up with the woman who had organized the "Hangout." The woman worked at a Japanese e-commerce site with the locals, one of whom was American but had living in Tokyo since graduating college. 

All in all, it was a pretty seamless experience. Tycho was excellent, one of the CouchSurfers had snuck in a bottle of shochu that we passed around, and before long we were all lifelong friends for the night. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Victoria's Secret angel is the queen of Instagram and makes $70,000 a post


Candice swanepoel

  • 29-year-old Candice Swanepoel became a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2010.
  • She is now one of the most famous models in Victoria's Secret lineup.
  • Swanepoel reportedly earns $70,000 on each Instagram post. 

Candice Swanepoel has been crowned the most influential model on Instagram. 

According to a report done by lingerie brand Bluebella, she earns $70,000 for each post, The Sun reported.

Swanepoel shot to fame after being becoming a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2010. Today, she has 11.8 million followers on Instagram and is one of the highest paid Angels, earning $7 million in 2016.

Take a look at how her career unfolded:

SEE ALSO: Victoria's Secret took a big gamble when it abandoned its popular swimwear line — but analysts still say it was a brilliant move

Swanepoel was born in the small farming village of Mooi River, South Africa in 1988.

She says that as a child she was a "tomboy" who did chores on her family's dairy farm, not far from a Zulu village.

A modeling scout discovered Swanepoel when she was 15 and shopping at a local flea market.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The photographer who documented Michelle Obama for 4 years in the White House reveals what the former first lady's life was like, on and off the clock



  • Michelle Obama's personal White House photographer was Amanda Lucidon.
  • Lucidon spent four years documenting the first family.
  • Her book, Chasing Light, is filled with photographs and personal accounts of her time at the White House.


Each administration since President John F. Kennedy has had an official photographer to document life in the White House.

While Pete Souza was busy documenting the life of President Barack Obama, the photographer Amanda Lucidon was following Michelle Obama, capturing her every move from 2013 until 2017.

Lucidon's New York Times Best Seller, "Chasing Light," is more than 200 pages of the former first lady's time in the White House, along with personal accounts from Lucidon.

"It was a remarkable experience," Lucidon told Business Insider of her time documenting the first family.

Here's a look at some of the best photographs from the book.

SEE ALSO: Kate Middleton's best — and most expensive — style moments reveal what Meghan Markle's future could hold

It was the White House photographer Pete Souza who called Lucidon to ask whether she was interested in the job.

"Before working at the White House, I had spent most of my career documenting stories that focused on civil rights and discrimination issues," Lucidon told Business Insider. "As a documentarian, I recognized the importance and responsibility of photographing our first African-American first family. For me, it transcended politics. I had the honor to witness and document history."

In her book, Lucidon describes feeling "shell shock" upon meeting the first lady. "It was quick, I have no idea what I said, and I could hardly see because I was smiling so big," Lucidon wrote.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are the 3 skills that every manager should have, according to a Silicon Valley psychologist


tech workers office meeting happy

  • BetterUp is a startup that provides executive coaching for tech employees in Silicon Valley.
  • We asked them to crunch user data and find the three skills that mid-level managers work on the most with their coaches.
  • Successful managers set goals for their team and communicate them clearly, build a culture of trust, and adopt a "growth mindset."


When a worker bee gets promoted to manager, they may learn that the technical skills they mastered as an employee won't carry them as far in a leadership role.

That's according to a startup called BetterUp, which provides coaching to employees of tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, Salesforce, and LinkedIn. Employees meet virtually with licensed therapists, psychologists, and coaches for on-the-clock counseling.

Founded in 2013, BetterUp works mostly with mid-level managers who show potential, according to their employers — though they could benefit from grooming.

"Unlike the C-suite executives who have been around the block," new managers have a chance to develop their soft skills without having to "unlearn" certain unhelpful behaviors, according to Dr. Jacinta Jiménez, a psychologist who heads up the coaching department at BetterUp.

We asked BetterUp to crunch the data and find the three skills that new managers worked on the most with their coaches. They were: goal-setting and team communications, building a culture of trust, and "growth mindset." Here's what that means.

SEE ALSO: Companies like Facebook and LinkedIn are paying for employees to get on-the-clock 'life coaching'

Set goals for your team and communicate that message clearly.

Most managers start out as high-performing employees. They may have been promoted because of their skill set. And their instinct may be to take on all the work themselves.

"It's a fast way for them to become overworked, and it's not good for anyone," Jiménez, who has worked with many tech workers in her coaching career, told Business Insider.

A manager who sets clear goals for their direct reports may find that the team feels more valued and motivated, because the manager has shown trust in their abilities. Goals that show an understanding of the employee's strengths and what inspires them may excite them even more.

Jiménez added that it's important for a manager to be consistent in their communication. 

"It's hard for the direct report to be motivated if you don't have clear directions," she said.

Build a culture where everyone feels like they can contribute.

The most successful managers create an environment where everyone feels like they can participate and do their best work.

"You're sitting in a meeting with your whole team and you don't feel like your manager is going to shut you down if you say something like, 'Hey, I have a really great idea,'" Jiménez said.

Amy Edmondson, whose research in leadership and management at Harvard Business School helped shape some of BetterUp's methodology, believes that a leader builds a culture of trust when they "find out what others know, what they bring to the table, and what they can add."

She recommends managers ask genuine questions and listen closely, show enthusiasm when a team meets its goals, and be interested in everyone's perspective no matter their place on the corporate ladder. When a leader models these behaviors, creativity and innovation thrive.

Embrace the F-word: failure.

New managers have a tendency to think about personal growth in shades of black and white.

""I'm either made for management or I'm not" is a fixed mindset, and it's going to set someone up for failure in a lot of ways," Jiménez said. "You start to try to prove it to yourself."

Jiménez says the key to success is stepping out of that fixed mindset and developing a "growth mindset" — the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems.

It may sound wishy-washy, but this skill is based in research from psychologist Carol Dweck, whose work in the field of motivation has helped shape BetterUp's methodology.

Jiménez tells managers when the voice in their head jumps to a conclusion — like, "I should have been able to do that," or "I know what this person is thinking" — they should acknowledge the thought, take a mental note of it or log it in a journal, and move onto the next thought.

"We sometimes say, 'Embrace the F-word: failure!'" Jiménez said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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