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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: Facebook should be regulated like the cigarette industry (CRM)


CNBC Davos

  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says some technology has addictive qualities and should be regulated.
  • Benioff is the latest high profile tech executive to raise questions about the way some tech products have become intertwined in people's daily lives. 

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff may have made his billions selling software, but that doesn't mean he's giving the tech industry a free pass. 

Speaking with CNBC correspondent Andrew Ross Sorkin from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, Benioff said that it's about time for Washington to start regulating Silicon Valley.

With discussions about Russian interference in US elections and the addictiveness of consumer tech currently at the forefront of the national conversation, Benioff said, Facebook should be regulated "exactly the same way you regulated the cigarette industry," with the safety of consumers coming before the financial health of the companies.

It's a sharp criticism from within an industry that has historically evaded government regulation. But Benioff isn't the first CEO to suggest that all is not well in paradise.

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke up last week to say that he didn't want his nephew to use social networking sites. Even Sean Parker, former president of Facebook, recently suggested that social networks are a net-negative, saying, "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains."

Here's a transcript of the conversation:

Sorkin: How would you regulate a company like Facebook?

Benioff: You'd do it exactly the same way you regulated the cigarette industry. Here's a product, cigarettes. They're addictive. You know, they're not good for you. Maybe there is all kinds of different forces trying to get you to do certain things. There's a lot of parallels.

Sorkins: Is that how you feel about social media?

Benioff: For the most part, yeah.

Sorkin: Meaning, thinking about it as like a cigarette, in that kind of addictive way?

Benioff: I think that for sure technology has addictive qualities that we have to address and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive. We need to reign that back as much as possible.

SEE ALSO: We don't need tech to become less addictive — we just need it to be better

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The 'Tiger Mother' didn't let her daughter watch TV or Netflix until college — but you probably don't need to do the same


amy chua tiger mother family

  • Amy Chua published "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" in 2011, in which she argued for a very strict parenting style.
  • Her younger daughter, Lulu Chua-Rubenfeld, said in an interview that her mother didn't let her watch TV or Netflix until she got to college.
  • Experts say watching TV in moderation probably isn't detrimental to kids' health. But every parent has to set their own limits.

When Lulu Chua-Rubenfeld came home for Thanksgiving during her first semester at Harvard, she noticed her parents "binging some trashy show on Netflix."

This struck Chua-Rubenfeld as strange. "I don't even think they had a TV in their bedroom until I left for college," she told Slate. Presumably, that was a way for Chua-Rubenfeld's parents to set an example for their kids.

"I wasn't allowed to watch TV until college," Chua-Rubenfeld said. "I didn't discover Netflix until freshman year and my mind was just absolutely blown."

Chua-Rubenfeld shared these tidbits in an interview with Slate, for a new column in which successful people's children reflect on their parents' work/life balance. Chua-Rubenfeld's mom is Amy Chua, a.k.a. the "Tiger Mother."

Chua made waves in 2011 when she published "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," in which she makes an argument for the Chinese parenting style — the strict style in which she raised her two daughters, Lulu (Louisa) and Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld.

Despite widespread criticism of Chua's parenting philosophy, Chua's daughters have since praised their mother and said they would raise their children the same way.

Still, it's not clear that Chua's approach to television is right for everyone.

A moderate amount of TV-watching is probably fine for most kids

A recent study published in The Psychiatric Quarterly looked at screen time in more than 6,000 adolescents in Florida. The author, Christopher Ferguson, writes that "negative outcomes" — depression and delinquency — "were elevated only among youth who consumed over six hours of media a day, effectively outliers even among their peers." Even these associations were small.

In fact, the study found that spending a lot of time in front of a screen only predicted 1.2% of variance in adolescents' grades.

Over on FiveThirtyEight, Emily Oster, an associate professor of economics at Brown University, says kids who watch a lot of TV tend to be poorer, to be members of minority groups, and to have less educated parents — so it's not the TV-watching per se that's causing problems like poor test scores and obesity.

All that said, it's worth noting that some of the most powerful tech moguls in the world have placed limits on their kids' screen time — though they seem to be mostly concerned with smartphones.

As Business Insider's Chris Weller reported, in 2007, Bill Gates put a limit on screen use when his daughter was spending a lot of time on a video game. And in 2011, Steve Jobs told The New York Times that he didn't let his kids use the newly-released iPad.

Ultimately, every parent has to decide on their own what to do about screens in their household. Chua's rule is one way to do it — but certainly not the only, or even the advisable, way.

Oster, the Brown economics professor, recommends that parents think about watching TV in terms of tradeoffs: What would your kid be doing instead? She writes:

"An hour of TV may be replaced by an hour of sitting around doing nothing, whining about being bored. Or, worse, being yelled at by an overtired parent who is trying to get dinner ready on a tight time frame. If letting your kids watch an hour of TV means you are better able to have a relaxed conversation at the dinner table, this could mean TV isn't that bad for cognitive development."

SEE ALSO: 2 kids of the 'Tiger Mom' speak out 5 years after their mom's book caused a stir

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NOW WATCH: The 'Tiger Mom' was blasted for her parenting techniques, but her daughter says they made her a better person

A look at the career of Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, who competed just hours after an 'excruciating' crash in 2006 and recently said she doesn't represent Trump


Lindsey Vonn ski skier skiing

• In the Winter Olympics and beyond, Lindsey Vonn is the face of alpine skiing for Americans.

• She began skiing at the age of three and competing at the age of six.

• Vonn won a gold medal in downhill skiing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but missed the subsequent Olympic Games in Sochi due to a major injury. She also placed eighth during the 2006 Turin Olympics, just 48 hours after a horrific crash.

• She'll be tackling the downhill, Super G, and combined events in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

For years, Lindsey Vonn has reigned as the queen of alpine skiing for many Americans. As one of the most visible skiers out there, she's become the face of the sport in the US.

And now, with Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang approaching, she may be preparing to close one chapter of her athletic career.

Reuters reported the upcoming games "are likely to be her last Winter Olympics."

And the 33-year-old competitor is looking to make this last one count. 

"I want to win more than everyone else expects me to win," she told CBC. "The biggest competitor will be just myself, trying to stay relaxed and stay focused, because I have been waiting for these Olympics for so long and I want to win so badly that I need to be able to keep it together."

Here's a look at the career that's gotten her to this point:

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Vonn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 18, 1984. Her father, Alan Kildow, is a lawyer and a former competitive skier. Her mother, Linda Krohn, is a lawyer who suffered a stroke while giving birth to Vonn. She grew up with two brothers and two sisters.

Source: The Washington Post, Team USA, Red Bull, The New York Times

Vonn first put on skis when she was only three years old, and was competing by the age of six. Instructor Erich Sailer, who also trained her father, said she skied like a slow "turtle" in her first event, according to The Washington Post.

Source: Team USA, The Washington Post

But her "turtle" phase didn't last long. Vonn told The Washington Post that over the years, Sailer was able to motivate her to go faster. "He just knew what button to push in order to make me ski faster. I think that's rare in coaches."

Source: The Washington Post

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Researchers analyzed more than a dozen studies on how marijuana affects your heart — here's what they found


marijuana smoking

  • Researchers have looked at more than a dozen studies on marijuana's effect on the heart, and their takeaway is far from conclusive.
  • That finding contradicts a study published in August that claimed marijuana users faced a threefold higher risk of dying from hypertension than nonusers.
  • The August study had some major limitations, including that it defined users as anyone who'd ever tried the drug.

study published in August claimed that marijuana users faced a threefold higher risk of dying from hypertension than those who had never used the drug.

The findings sounded alarming. But like any study, this one had key limitations, including the fact that it defined cannabis "users" as anyone who'd ever tried the drug. More importantly, however, it highlighted an important gap in our current understanding of the science of cannabis: How does the drug affect the heart?

A new paper highlights how clouded this picture currently is. Scientists simply don't know the overall impact of cannabis on cardiovascular health.

For the new study, researchers in California, Pennsylvania, and New York looked at dozens of studies on marijuana and the heart. Those studies examined links between cannabis and health problems that put people at a higher risk of developing a heart condition — like high cholesterol or high blood pressure — as well as links between cannabis and actual heart conditions, such as heart disease. 

But they found that all of the past studies were plagued by problems. Some were too small, others were too short-term, and others failed to study the right groups of people, such as those who would be the most at-risk for these conditions.

So the researchers came to a depressing conclusion: "Evidence examining the effect of marijuana on cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes ... is insufficient," they wrote.

That jibes with previous research on marijuana and the heart.

What we know about marijuana and heart health

marijuana tweed canopy growth

There's plenty of reason to be concerned about how marijuana impacts our health. Yet in many areas, we simply lack enough comprehensive research to draw any conclusions.

Scientists know that using marijuana increases your heart rate by between 20 and 50 beats a minute for anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours. That sounds like it could be enough to impact heart function, but again, we need more research.

A large, recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found "insufficient evidence" to support or refute the idea that cannabis might increase the overall risk of a heart attack, though it also found some limited evidence that using the drug could be a trigger for the phenomenon.

Another study, albeit a very small one, found an increase in blood pressure — but only when regular pot users stopped using the drug, not before. That aligns with research from the Mayo Clinic, which suggests that using cannabis could result in decreased, not increased blood pressure.

With this in mind, Francesca Filbey, director of cognitive neuroscience research of addictive disorders at the Center for Brain Health, told Business Insider in August that future studies should assess a wider range of factors linked with cannabis use and heart health. That could include weight, BMI, and the use of other substances.

How one study came to such a stark conclusion

Given the limits of our knowledge about marijuana and heart health, how did one study come to such stark conclusions about the drug and our hearts? As it turns out, multiple factors muddled the picture, including the authors' decision to define "regular" marijuana users as anyone who'd ever tried weed.

marijuana weed pot cannabis smoke smokerFor their study, the researchers looked at more than 1,200 people age 20 or older who had been recruited previously as part of a large and ongoing national health survey. One question on that survey was whether an individual had ever used marijuana. People who answered "yes" were classified as marijuana users; those who answered "no" were classified as nonusers. Researchers took that data and merged it with statistics on death from all causes pulled from the US National Center for Health Statistics.

A statistical analysis suggested that the people deemed marijuana users were 3.42 times as likely to die from hypertension, or high blood pressure, than those who said they had never used. That risk also appeared to rise by a factor of 1.04 with what the researchers labeled "each year of use."

That's a pretty stark finding. But in reality, more than half of Americans have tried cannabis, which would classify all of them as users in this study. Just a fraction of those people use it regularly, according to recent surveys.

In addition, the study was observational, meaning it followed a group of people over time as opposed to assigning specific groups to try specific interventions. That type of study cannot be used to conclude that there's a cause-and-effect relationship between two things, which the authors acknowledged in their paper.

SEE ALSO: What marijuana really does to your body and brain

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A £34,500-a-year British boarding school threatened to expel students who have girlfriends or boyfriends — and they can forget about a good university reference


ruthin school main building wikicomm arwel parry

  • A prestigious British boarding school has threatened students with expulsion if they enter into relationships.
  • The headmaster has declared that students with boyfriends and girlfriends will also receive damning references in their university applications.
  • Two students have already been expelled for engaging in sexual activity.

One of the UK's leading boarding schools is threatening students with expulsion and bad university references if they engage in romantic relationships with one another, the Times reported.

The headmaster of Ruthin School, a £34,500 ($48,600)-a-year boarding school in north Wales, reportedly wrote in an email to staff that: "I strongly disapprove of any boyfriend/girlfriend relationships — and it will always affect any university reference I write."

The email continued: "I will put together a list of any student with a boyfriend or girlfriend. These students — if in lower sixth form or year 11 — can expect to find new schools in September."

The Times reported that headmaster Toby Belfield has already expelled two students for sexual contact on school grounds.

Ruthin School, which traces its origins as far back at 1284, has a prestigious reputation and is ranked twelfth in the Times' 2017 A-Level league tables.

Headmaster Belfield has previously been accused of actively seeking out pupils to expel because the school was oversubscribed, according to the Times' informant.

The headmaster has also reportedly banned pupils from ordering takeaways to their dorms and has criticised "pathetic" children for taking sick days.

In a statement issued to the Times, headmaster Toby Belfield said: "In my experience, students who are in a relationship, while at school are in danger of academically underachieving.

"If a student was achieving top grades, then I would not hamper their chances of a university place by writing a less favourable reference, due to them having a boyfriend/girlfriend. But, this is very rare."

Upon being quizzed over whether a romantic relationship is a big enough reason to be expelled, Belfield told the Times: "Pupils will not be summarily expelled... they will be given the opportunity to review their current romantic situation, and my belief is that they (and their parents) will put their education first."

Join the conversation about this story »

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This is how you can legally bring — and drink — your own booze on a flight


Flight attendant drink service

  • There are ways of legally bringing — and drinking — your own booze on a flight, according to frequent flier Gilbert Ott.
  • On his blog God Save the Points, Ott provides the do's and don'ts of making it happen.
  • Whatever you do, never try and serve yourself.

Unless you're flying first class, chances are you're used to only getting one or two complimentary drinks on a flight — or at least having to pay for alcohol, even if it is just those mini bottles of wine available.

But, according to frequent traveller and air miles guru Gilbert Ott of God Save the Points, it's actually possible to legally bring – and drink — your own booze on board. Here's what you need to know:

You can make good use of the 100ml bottle rule...

While an entire bottle of whiskey won't make it through security, there's an easy way to get a smaller amount of your favourite tipple through.

"You’re probably aware that liquid containers may not exceed 100ml," Ott writes. "Same goes for perfume, cosmetics, etc.

"Fortunately, mini alcohol bottles fit into the sizing requirements, and you can bring multiple mini bottles through security. It’s absolutely fine. Just put them in a clear plastic bag, just as you would any other liquid items."

...or go shopping at duty-free.

Your second option is shopping for booze once you get into the airport lounge — as long as you're flying direct.

"If you’re travelling internationally, you could absolutely buy a bottle of wine or Champagne (anything you’ll consume entirely on the plane) on your next flight," Ott writes, warning: "Don’t buy from duty-free if you have a connection where you’ll need to re-clear security before consuming. You’ll lose it!"

Whatever you do, don't try to serve yourself

"You CANNOT serve yourself on the plane. Any plane. No. You can’t," Ott stresses. "You CAN however politely ask a member of the cabin crew if they would not mind serving you the liquor you brought on board.

"JetBlue famously made light of this policy last year — and we know many have successfully done this on other airlines around the world. There are no guarantees a crew will say YES — but this is real — and this happens."

Be prepared to drink the whole bottle

While you might get a nice flight attendant willing to open your own bottle for you, you better be ready to drink the whole thing.

"Don’t ask the crew to open anything which will not be finished on board. And please, be discrete," Ott writes. "The crew must dispose of anything open and unconsumed at the end of the flight. For that reason, it’s best to keep things simple."

Don't overdo it

According to Ott, the crew have final say on your ability to consume alcohol — so be wise in your consumption.

"If they decide you look far too ready for midnight karaoke — they have full right to cut you off," he writes. "In each and every circumstance — arguing with them is going to go poorly for you, so just don’t. Just sit back relax, enjoy the flight and politely persuade someone to pour you a lovely drink. You’ll be on the ground before you know it."

SEE ALSO: Everything flight attendants notice about you when you board a plane — and how their tips could help you get a free upgrade

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There's a biological reason why we eat more when we're stressed — and it has a lot to do with sleep



  • Many of us are familiar with "stress eating."
  • Our brains are wired to seek out foods that will indulge our reward systems.
  • Unfortunately, this means sugary, fatty foods which are bad for our health in a number of ways.

When the pressure is on, many of us may find our hands reaching for the biscuit tin. Eating is a common reaction to stress, and a lot of people find comfort in junk food in taxing situations.

There is actually a fair bit of biological truth in the term "stress eating." In the short term, stress suppresses our hunger. The hypothalamus — part of the brain that links the nervous system to the hormone system — produces a hormone that stifles appetite.

Our adrenal glands also pump out adrenaline, which triggers the fight-or-flight response, putting us in an agitated state. If you think about it, it's unlikely your brain would be focused on nourishment when you're highly anxious or alert about something.

In the long term, however, the effects are somewhat reversed. If you're stressed for a prolonged period of time, the adrenal glands start releasing cortisol, another hormone which can increase appetite. It can also increase our motivation, including the impulse to eat.

Lack of sleep can also be a factor

If stress is causing a lack of sleep, which it often does, this has been shown to increase appetites too. One study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that sleep-deprived people on average consume an extra 385 calories per day.

When the stressful period is over — the exam season has finished, or you've completed that big project at work — your cortisol levels should fall, and you should be able to sleep again. But if you can't shake the anxious feeling, your cortisol levels will probably stay high, leading to a cycle of more and more binge eating.

Unfortunately, we rarely crave healthy snacks like carrot sticks. Instead, we want the kind of foods that indulge our brain's reward system. Sugary snacks like cookies, cakes, and chocolate cause a dopamine response — the happy, reward hormone.

Then, next time you're feeling stressed, you'll seek out these foods because you'll remember they made you feel better.

Sugar can also reduce the cortisol response, according to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Over time, your brain might become dependent on these foods to ease your nerves.

It's also bad for our general health. If we consume a lot of sugar, but we don't actually need that energy to run away from any dangers, we need to get rid of it. The pancreas has to pump out insulin to bring down our blood sugar levels, and if this happens too much over our lifetime we can develop type 2 diabetes.

Stress eating can also make us put on weight. A study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry found that women who reported feeling stressed burned about 100 fewer calories per day, which can add up to 11 pounds of weight in a year.

Channel anxiety into something positive

Instead of turning to food to calm your nerves, there are other ways to channel anxiety into something positive. You could try meditation, exercise to clear your head, or a relaxing hobby like yoga.

At the very least you can increase your chance of getting a good night's sleep by writing down anything that's in your mind before you put your head down, avoiding screens for at least an hour before bed, and making sure you're in a dark room.

SEE ALSO: The 'neck rule' could tell you if you're ill enough to skip your workout — here's how it works

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A hotel booking site has revealed the things you should always ask for at hotel check-in to get 5-star treatment without paying for it


hotel check in

  • Travel experts shared their tips and tricks for scoring lesser-known freebies, upgrades, and general special treatment while staying at a hotel.
  • Always check in late, let them know you'll be reviewing your stay, and look for the "secret pillow menu," they say. 

Staying in a nice hotel is a rare luxury for most of us, meaning that you'll want to make the most of it when you do.

With this in mind, travel experts at Hotels.com have shared some tips and tricks for scoring lesser-known freebies or upgrades that'll make your stay that little bit more luxurious.

So the next time you're at a hotel, as well as being polite and friendly to the front desk staff of course, you might want to try a couple of the following tactics. 

1. Check in as late as possible.

"If you check in late, then there is a chance that the hotel might have run out of standard rooms, which is generally the room category the everyday traveler books, so an upgrade to a higher room category could be on the cards," according to the Hotels.com experts.

2. Let them know you'll be reviewing your stay.

woman review

"Guest reviews and social media exposure are so important to hotels these days," the site added. "At check-in tell them you’ll be writing a review and that you follow them on Instagram and will be tagging and snapping the hotel at every opportunity."

3. Ask about breakfast deals.

hotel room

"If your room package doesn’t include breakfast, always ask at check in if there are any special deals for the on-site restaurant, especially for breakfast. You could land yourself large discounts on food, an invite to guests-only happy hours, or special 2-for-1 deals."

4. Request fancy freebies.

face mask

"Hotel freebies have had a serious upgrade over the past few years. Forget soap in the shower; you can often enjoy designer toiletries, including body lotion, face masks, and beauty utensils.

"Other items to watch out for are exotic teas and snacks, slippers, high-end magazines, stationery, and some hotels even have items for day usage such as portable WiFi units, umbrellas, and bikes."

5. Find the "secret pillow menus."

pillow hotel

"A menu in your room might not just be for room service or laundry. Many hotels these days want to offer travelers the luxuries of home, so pillow menus are the new norm," Hotels.com said.

"If you are prone to neck and back pains, ask about pillow options. The front desk usually has a huge selection from super firm to melty marshmallow."

SEE ALSO: 11 of the most incredible places in the world that are best reached by private jet

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Inside an Italian factory that makes €200 wine-soaked cheese wheels

  • Factory La Casearia Carpenedo in northern Italy's Treviso dunks and soaks its cheese wheels in wine.
  • Their cheese is called "Ubriaco," which means "drunken."
  • They make 15 types of drunken cheese soaked in different wines: red, white, and even Prosecco.
  • Some cheeses can soak in wine for up to 150 days.
  • The cheese factory launched the "Ubriaco" cheese in 1976, but its origins date to World War I.
  • An entire cheese wheel costs from €100 to €200 (£87-175).


Factory La Casearia Carpenedo in northern Italy's Treviso dunks and soaks its cheese wheels in wine as part of the cheese's refinement process.

Their cheese is called "Ubriaco," which literally translates into "drunken" cheese.

We visited the factory to find out more about how it's made.

It all starts with a pasteurised cow’s milk cheese wheel which is used as a base. This kind of cheese is made specifically for the factory to "get drunk" in wine.

Entire cheese wheels are dipped and washed in wine pressings and then left to age in the wine. Some cheese wheels can soak for up 150 days. The entire process can take up to 2.5 years, depending on how long the cheese wheels are left to age before and after they are soaked in wine. 

The factory makes 15 types of drunken cheese soaked in different wines: red, white, and even Prosecco, which is typical of Veneto (Treviso's region). The most popular is "Ubriaco di Raboso" made with a local wine.

The "Ubriaco" was born in 1976, but the process dates to the years of World War I, when local farmers used to hide cheese from hungry soldiers in barrels of wine. 

The Carpenedo family perfected the technique and opened the factory, making over 20,000 wheels per year. They export all over the world and also have a stall at Borough Market in London.

An entire cheese wheel costs from €100 to €200 (£87-175.)

Produced and filmed by Claudia Romeo.

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An abusive boss is bad news for your work life — unless you're a psychopath


button up

  • Having an abusive boss isn't the ideal situation for most of us.
  • For psychopaths, though, it could help them thrive.
  • People with psychopathic traits are cool-headed and ruthless, and don't respond to stress in the same way as other people.
  • Management researcher Charlice Hurst warns that this could perpetuate a cycle of abuse and psychopaths reaching the top of companies.

A common saying is that people leave managers, not jobs. If you work for a narcissist or a psychopath, you might reach your limit faster than you thought.

But sometimes it can be a good thing to work for someone who doesn't have any empathy, because they can have strong leadership skills. They are cool-headed and charismatic, and can make ruthless business decisions. You just have to hope they won't cause you stress for their own amusement.

Many CEOs have psychopathic traits, but to get to that point they have to work under people too. According to a new study, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, psychopaths thrive under a certain kind of leadership, and it's the kind that most of us despise.

Charlice Hurst, an assistant professor of management in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, and lead author of the study, explained there are two distinct dimensions of psychopathy: primary and secondary.

"Both consist of high levels of antisocial behavior," she said in a statement. "However, people who score high in primary psychopathy lack empathy and are cool-headed and fearless. They don't react to things that cause other people to feel stressed, fearful, or angry. Secondary psychopaths are more hot-headed and impulsive."

Some psychopaths are cool, calm, and collected

Primary psychopaths, the study found, work well with abusive supervisors, because they are calm and collected when facing conflict.

Hurst and her team recruited 419 working adults and asked them to take part in two experiments. In the first, they were asked to react to profiles of managers described as constructive or abusive. Results showed there were no differences in anger between people who were high or low on the psychopathy scale. However, participants high in primary psychopathy said they were happier afterwards, and could imagine themselves working for an abusive manager.

In the second experiment, they were asked to rate their own supervisors in terms of things like rudeness, gossiping, not giving proper credit for work, invading privacy, and breaking promises. Primary psychopaths reported feeling less anger, and were more positive and engaged.

The overall results showed that psychopaths can benefit and flourish under abusive bosses. In other words, where some people will be embarrassed and hurt if their boss is unnecessarily harsh with them, with primary psychopaths it's water off a duck's back.

Hurst added this could be harmful in the long run, because it could enable people who are likely to "perpetuate abusive cultures."

"Psychopaths thriving under abusive supervisors would be better positioned to get ahead of their peers," she said.

"If they have a problem of endemic abuse... and upper-level managers are either unaware of it or are not taking action, they might notice increasing levels of engagement due to turnover among employees low in primary psychopathy and retention of those high in primary psychopathy. At the extreme, they could end up with a highly engaged workforce of psychopaths."

SEE ALSO: Power can literally go to your head by damaging your brain, according to psychological research

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An upcoming Netflix documentary shows a side of Gloria Allred the public has never seen — and it took the filmmakers years for her to agree to do it


seeing allred sundance institute

  • The Netflix documentary "Seeing Allred" gives viewers a look inside the life and career of attorney Gloria Allred.
  • Filmmakers Roberta Grossman, Sophie Sartain, and executive producer Marta Kauffman told Business Insider how they worked in the #MeToo movement just before they had to hand the movie in.

Women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred has spent a good chunk of her four-decade career getting in front of the camera. Her fight for women’s equality has often seen her in the spotlight, holding press conferences with her female clients who, over the years, have alleged sexual assault by some of the biggest names in entertainment, politics, sports, and business.

But when filmmakers Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain approached Allred about making a documentary about her life and career, the media-savvy attorney wasn’t very interested.

“We were persistent,” Sartain told Business Insider at the Sundance Film Festival, where the movie is having its world premiere, on how they pulled it off. “After about three years she agreed.”

During that time, Grossman and Sartain began to build a friendship with Allred’s law partners, who relayed to her that the filmmakers were sincere about doing a legacy piece on her. Grossman and Sartain had also brought on veteran TV producer Marta Kauffman (co-creator of “Friends”) to executive produce.

Kauffman’s involvement helped land Netflix (the streaming service will release the movie on February 9). The streaming giant agreed to take on the movie after seeing some of the footage the filmmakers had shot in 2014, the most striking of which shows Allred holding press conferences with women alleging Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them after spiking their drinks. This news would become a huge media story around the world.

Seeing Allred Roberta Grossman Sophie Sartain Gloria Allred Marta Kaufman Michael Loccisano GettyAlong with looking at Allred’s life, “Seeing Allred” also highlights the landmark moments leading up to the current #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Before the bombshell stories emerged about Harvey Weinstein, Allred was representing women willing to go on the record and allege they had been sexually abused by Cosby — and soon after, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The movie also looks back on Allred's history as a dogged advocate. In the 1970s, Allred, who had begun practicing law, was suddenly on talk shows and rallies being a vocal leader on women's issues like sexual harassment in the workplace and the wage gap. Women had someone they could turn to at a time when few lawyers would take on these issues.

The emergence of #MeToo

The challenge for the filmmakers came when the Weinstein allegations surfaced and the #MeToo movement went viral. Or when, as Kauffman put it, “The world changed.”

“We thought the film was done,” Grossman said.

“I had a day of panic,” Sartain said, in response to a question of how the filmmakers approached the idea of including the #MeToo movement in the movie.

“We knew we had to get this moment in as we felt [Allred] in part is responsible for it,” Grossman said. “It just reframed everything.”

But with a deadline looming and knowing that Allred's constant work meant the film would have to end while she was still in the middle of cases — Allred represents numerous women who have come forward saying Weinstein assaulted them — they couldn’t delve too heavily into #MeToo.

Then there’s the fact that Allred’s daughter, attorney Lisa Bloom, was an advisor to Weinstein when the story in The New York Times came out (Bloom resigned soon after the story ran), something that is touched on very briefly in the movie.

“That was all happening right as we were finishing, we didn’t want it to hijack the film,” Grossman said of Bloom's involvement with Weinstein.

The filmmakers ended up using the post-Weinstein allegations as a way to close out the movie, with Allred simply saying in a voiceover, "The fight has just begun."

What the movie does drive home is the shift in how Allred is portrayed now in the media. The lawyer, once the butt of jokes by late-night hosts and even portrayed on an episode of “South Park,” is now being championed for her work.

“Gloria Allred is a metaphor for the entire movement,” Kauffman said of #MeToo and Time’s Up. “People look at her as strident, a loud mouth, you can list the adjectives, but people said the same thing about feminists. I think in the film, by deepening her it deepens the movement, and it lets you see beyond what most people think is a brashness. Also, if she was a man fighting for something she'd be portrayed as an incredible leader.”

SEE ALSO: "The Tale" is an explosive look at its director's experience with sexual abuse that has Sundance audiences buzzing

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist reveals exactly how long you need to work out to get in great shape

Inside the presidential guest house — the 'world's most exclusive hotel' that's bigger than the White House


blair house

The White House may be the most famous building along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, but there's a lesser-known government residence next door that has for decades played a role in US history and American diplomacy.

The Blair House, just steps from the north lawn of the White House, is the official presidential guest house.

Since World War II, it has acted as the "world's most exclusive hotel," hosting heads of state, royalty, and presidents-elect.

While the White House remains the main meeting location for US presidents and their foreign visitors, the guest house carries significance.

Take a look inside Blair House.

SEE ALSO: Inside Number One Observatory Circle, the often overlooked but stunning vice president's residence where the Pences live

DON'T MISS: From playing in trucks to putting 'America First': The 40 most memorable photos from Trump's wild first year in office

Blair House is the official presidential guesthouse.

It's just across the street from the White House, at 1651 Pennsylvania Ave.

Blair House was built in the 1820s as a home for Joseph Lovell, the eighth surgeon general of the US Army.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An Atlanta entrepreneur searching for the perfect home base finally found it in a Tuscan ruin — see the before and after photos of her 12th century Italian fortress


La Fortezza

  • American stylist, photo producer, and author Annette Joseph found a 12th century fortress in northern Tuscany and renovated it from the inside out.
  • She turned the property into a space to teach workshops, and to rent out for weddings, events, and company retreats.
  • After two years of renovations, she's turned the fortress into a home base for her business. 


Stylist, photo producer, and author Annette Joseph wanted a space to expand her workshop and teaching business. What she found, or — as the Italian saying goes — the house that found her, is an 8,500 square-foot 12th century fortress in Lunigiana, Italy. 

"I knew it would be the perfect location to conduct creative workshops and retreats, and, everyone could stay on the grounds," Atlanta-based Joseph told Business Insider of the 27-acre property in northern Tuscany. The main building was once a fortress housing soldiers who protected the land. Joseph has aptly given it the name of La Fortezza, "The Fortress."   

Reimagining and renovating the space was a process — the previous owners had plans of making the space a bed and breakfast, but construction halted in 2011 and it was put on the market. She had to redo the front stone facades, as well as the roof and floors — all the while skirting hiccups like bats living inside the master suite. "Let's just say that renovating in the Italian countryside is not for the faint of heart," said Joseph.

Ahead, a look at La Fortezza, which has gone from "a dark and damp mess" to "collected, bohemian, and very comfortable." 

SEE ALSO: 11 restaurants worth trying during Restaurant Week in New York City

Joseph purchased the 27 acre property after more than four years of searching. Coincidentally, La Fortezza was the first house she and her husband, Frank, viewed during their search — but at the time, Joseph was hesitant about the amount of work that needed to be done.

"I was a little worried about the amount of land and the scope of the renovation," said Joseph. Soot covered the walls in the upstairs walls due to a chestnut-drying technique, and she described the second floor as a "dark and damp mess."

However, after four years of searching, the house was still on the market, and they decided to take the plunge and make the purchase in July of 2016.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Meet 7 people who make bank from a creative side hustle


Carla Brauer_side hustle

  • America is obsessed with the side hustle economy.
  • Chris Guillebeau, a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and podcast host teaches people exactly how to launch a side hustle.
  • He says a successful side hustle can remain a part-time gig that provides some extra cash or grow into a full-time job.


Chris Guillebeau, a multihyphenate entrepreneur and the author of "Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days," is an authority on side hustles.

In addition to his book, Guillebeau's popular online workshop, Side Hustle School, teaches people how to launch a side hustle — from idea generation to monetization — to bring home some extra cash and exercise their creative muscles.

On his podcast, Guillebeau tells the stories of people around the world who have done just that, and even some who have grown their side hustle into a full-time gig.

"[A side hustle] is not just about avoiding or overcoming economic uncertainty, it's about creating something for yourself and having ownership over that, and that's a wonderful thing," Guillebeau previously told Business Insider.

It's crucial to "look away from the gig economy" and part-time jobs, he said, and put your energy toward creating something unique and valuable that people will pay for.

On over 300 episodes of Side Hustle School — which have a run-time of less than 10 minutes each — Guillebeau has shared stories of hundreds of hard-working side hustlers around the world.

He shared some of his favorite success stories with Business Insider below:

SEE ALSO: A day in the life of one of Etsy's most prolific sellers — a 31-year-old who turned her side hustle into a full-time business

DON'T MISS: 8 things you can do today to be richer next year

Nicole Buergers left her corporate marketing job in 2015 to found Bee2Bee Honey Collective, a commercial and backyard beekeeping service in Houston, Texas. Buergers now installs and maintains beehives around the city and harvests the honey to sell. Her niche services bring in an average of $4,000 a month.

Listen to the Side Hustle School episode about Bee2Bee Honey Collectivehere.

Carla Brauer preps, cleans, repairs, and restores animal skulls. The Oregon native started her company, Dermestidarium, about four years ago, selling artifacts on her website and even working directly with museums. Brauer is usually busiest during the fall and winter thanks to hunting season, earning an average of $1,600 a month.

Listen to the Side Hustle School episode about Dermestidariumhere.

David Gaylord and two of his friends each invested just $250 of their own cash in 2015 to launch Bushbalm, a skincare company that creates essential oil blends to soothe skin, prevent ingrown hairs, and reduce redness on sensitive areas of the body. The business now brings in around $2,500 a month.

Listen to the Side Hustle School episode about Bushbalmhere.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The screenplay Oscar snub for 'I, Tonya' is especially harsh considering the screenwriter's journey to bring the story to life


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

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

The surprising snub of the unconventional Tonya Harding biopic, "I, Tonya," from the best original screenplay category for this year's Oscar nominations was disappointing for many. But it must have been especially painful for its scribe, Steven Rogers.   

Having spent decades working as a screenwriter in the studio system — credited on recognizable titles like “Hope Floats,” “Stepmom,” and “Kate & Leopold" — in the era where studios are through making romance movies, Rogers has reinvented himself thanks to the "I, Tonya" script. Getting that Oscar nomination would have been the icing on the cake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Tonya

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

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

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

Tonya Harding Jeff Gillooly AP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writing a screenplay that Hollywood studios would never make

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harding attended the premiere of the movie and also attended the Golden Globes.

The life of a Hollywood screenwriter is a thankless job. Rogers knows that better than anyone, so, despite the Oscar snub, he's taking in the fun of being on a movie with awards love. But Hollywood has taken notice of Rogers' shift. He says now instead of being offered rom-coms he’s getting scripts about every misunderstood woman from the 1990s.

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

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist explains what everyone gets wrong about stretching

We compared 7 popular granola bars based on dietitians' health advice — here's how they stack up


granola bars

Granola bars are by no means the ideal food — most nutritionists agree that it's best to snack on less processed food like a piece of fruit or handful of nuts instead. 

But for those times when you really want to grab a bar on the go, we asked two registered dietitians for some advice about how to pick a relatively healthy option.

Torey Armul, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Sharon Palmer, the author of Plant-Powered for Life, suggested a few simple rules to follow.

Here's what they recommend, and how seven popular bars stack up.

SEE ALSO: Doctors say they've figured out how often you need to work out to offset the effects of sitting all day

Healthier bars generally have whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruit at the top of the ingredient list. They also should have about 4-5 grams of protein and plenty of fiber.

"Granola and nutrition bars are much better than they used to be, when they were often just glorified candy bars." Palmer said. "Look for real food ingredients, such as dried berries, apples, almonds, pistachios, oats, quinoa, chia, hemp."

Whole grains and nuts help keep you full and aid digestion. The naturally-occurring protein from those ingredients also helps satiate hunger and keep your appetite in control.

"Snacks shouldn't necessarily fill you up, but rather keep you feeling comfortable until your next meal," Armul said.

Too much protein listed on a bar, however, likely means it has added ingredients like powders and supplements

For fiber content, dietitians say 3 grams is a good benchmark for a granola bar. High-fiber diets are associated with a host of benefits, including weight loss and reduced instances of diabetes, arthritis, and even death. 

Three things to avoid: added sugars, high calorie counts, and too much saturated fat.

If sugars, syrups, or refined grains are among the first ingredients listed on a bar, that's a red flag.

Nutrition labels aren't currently required to differentiate between naturally occurring and added sugars in products. But by 2021, all food labels in the US will be redesigned to note added sugars, so you'll eventually be able to see how much white sugar, honey, caramel, corn syrup, and other sweeteners are mixed in. 

Palmer said that anyone who's trying to watch their weight should also keep their total calorie count in the neighborhood of 150 per bar.

Nobody needs much more than 210 calories in a bar, anyway, since it's just a snack, Armul said. 

When picking a bar, also glance at the saturated fat content. Ingredients like nuts contain a lot of good saturated fat, but nutritionists generally agree the total should stay below 3 grams per serving.

We put some of our favorite bars to the nutritionists' test. First up, a crunchy household classic: the Nature Valley Oats n' Honey bar.

The first ingredient is whole grain oats — a promising start.

But the second ingredient is sugar. These golden, crunchy nuggets pack 11 grams per package, more than a fifth of your daily recommended intake.

What's more, the bar duo only delivers 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, amounts below the ideal benchmarks.

Still, there's only 1 gram of saturated fat and 190 calories. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Elon Musk could become the richest man in the world — here's how he spends his $21 billion fortune


Elon Musk

  • Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has a net worth around $21.5 billion.
  • Musk has never received a paycheck from Tesla, refusing his $56,000 minimum salary every year.
  • He now says he will not receive any form of payment or compensation until Tesla reaches $100 billion in market cap.


Elon Musk may be the world's richest rocket scientist.

The 46-year-old CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and cofounder of OpenAI has said he won't be happy until we've escaped Earth and colonized Mars. Luckily, he has the mind and the money to make it happen.

Despite a massive net worth hovering around $21.5 billion, Musk has never taken a paycheck from Tesla, refusing his $56,000 minimum salary every year.

On Tuesday, Tesla announced it would pay Musk nothing for the next 10 years — no salary, bonus, or stock — until the company reaches a $100 billion market cap. If and when that happens, Musk could potentially overtake Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world.

A notorious workaholic, Musk doesn't spend cash on lavish vacations or expensive hobbies. Instead, the entrepreneur spends most of his time at the office or in factories, retreating to one of his four Los Angeles mansions at the end of the day.

Scroll through to find out what we know about how Musk, a father of five, amassed his fortune and how he spends it.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg and his college-sweetheart wife, Priscilla Chan, are worth $74 billion — see their houses, cars, and travels

DON'T MISS: A look at the demanding schedule of Elon Musk, who works in 5-minute slots, skips breakfast, and largely avoids emails

As a child growing up in South Africa, Musk taught himself to code. By the time he was 12, he sold the source code for his first video game for $500.

Source: MONEY

Just before his 18th birthday, Musk moved to Canada and worked a series of hard labor jobs, including shoveling grain, cutting logs, and eventually cleaning out the boiler room in a lumber mill for $18 an hour — an impressive wage in 1989.

Sources: MONEY, Esquire Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Musk got a pay cut to $14 an hour when he started a summer internship alongside his brother, Kimbal, at the Bank of Nova Scotia after cold-calling — and impressing — a top executive there.

Sources: MONEY, Esquire Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Elton John just announced he is officially retiring from touring — but not before a 300-show extravaganza that will take him to every continent


MDB_0901 CREDIT Matt Baron Shutterstock.JPG

  • Elton John is retiring from touring.
  • But not before he embarks on a global tour in September, which will see him play 300 shows around the world.
  • He said the decision is not due to ill health, but that his "priorities have changed" and he is now focused on his children, husband, and family.

Elton John just announced he is officially retiring from touring — but not before he embarks on a global 300-show tour starting in September.

The 70-year-old singer, known for countless hit songs like "Tiny Dancer" and "Candle in the Wind," announced his decision at a highly anticipated press conference at Gotham Hall in New York on Wednesday, which was streamed live online.

Hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, Elton said: "My priorities have changed in my life."

Speaking of husband David Furnish, he added: "We had children and it changed our lives. In 2015, David and I sat down with a school schedule and I said, 'I don't want to miss any of this.' My priorities now are my children, my husband, and my family."

The singer — who is a lifelong supporter of Premier League football team Watford — plans to continue making music, but said "mostly I will be taking my kid to soccer academy."

The global "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour will cover "every continent you can possibly think of" over the course of three years, according to the singer, who performed "Tiny Dancer" and "I'm Still Standing" live from New York City on the broadcast.

It will start in the US in September 2018, finally arriving in the UK in 2020.

It promises to be a big production with the outfits all being made by Gucci. 

Here's the promo photo for the tour:

elton john tour

Rumours began to circulate on Wednesday morning that Elton John was retiring when The Mirror reported that the star was calling quits on touring after being "dogged by ill health."

In April last year, the singer spent 12 days in hospital, including two nights in intensive care, after becoming "violently" ill over a are bacterial infection.

However, speaking on Wednesday the singer said: "If you're going to do 300 shows, you're not in ill health. I'm in great health."

On Tuesday, a pop-up event at King's Cross station also saw a self-playing piano with an augmented reality Elton sitting at it, performing "Your Song."

The event was part of the build-up to the announcement, which was teased with this video:

"If you let things happen for you, then that's the magic of life, and I will be creative hopefully up to the day I die," Elton said.

Tickets for the initial leg of the tour will go on sale on February 2.

SEE ALSO: Elton John spent two nights in intensive care with a 'potentially deadly' infection

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist reveals exactly how long you need to work out to get in great shape

The actor who played Barney is now a tantric sex specialist who charges $350 a session and advises against condoms — and he only accepts female clients


david joyner

  • David Joyner is an actor who played Barney on the hit TV series from 1991 to 2001.
  • He is also, according to VICE, a tantra massage specialist and spiritual healer. He only accepts female clients.
  • Joyner said he used nonsexual tantric practices while playing Barney as well.

Barney is now a tantric sex specialist.

Or at least, the actor who played Barney is.

Rebekah Sager at VICE reported that David Joyner is a tantra massage specialist and spiritual healer who charges $350 for a four-hour session and only accepts female clients. He currently has 30 clients, or "goddesses," as he calls them. And he prefers not to use condoms because they "block the energy."

Joyner, now 54, wore Barney's costume from 1991 to 2001; another actor, Bob West, did his voice.

Since then, Joyner has been cast in television series including "Shameless," "That 70s Show," and "ER."

Joyner told VICE that his current gig isn't so dissimilar from playing Barney. "The energy I brought up [while] in the costume is based on the foundation of tantra, which is love," he said. "Everything stems, grows, and evolves from love. Even when you have emotionally blocked energy, the best way to remove it is to remove it with love, and then replace it with God's divine love. Love heals and allows you to continue to grow."

Tantra experts say sex isn't a necessary part of the practice

In a previous interview with Business Insider, Joyner said he started studying tantra at age 19. "A lot of times when people think about tantra they think it's all about sex. Well tantra's much more than that. Because tantra deals with loving energy, life force energy, and energy that rises through your system."

Tantric practices, as Joyner suggested, aren't limited to sex. Refinery29 spoke to a healer and tantric shaman who said that tantra is fundamentally about connecting with others, with nature, and with yourself.

VICE spoke to several clients of Joyner's, none of whom said they felt pressured into having sex with him. But other tantra experts told VICE that sexual intercourse isn't a necessary part of the practice.

The "about me" section on Joyner's Tantra Harmony website reads, in part:

"It is time for women to understand their true worth and the true essence they have to offer to the world. The true spirit of a woman that lies within, must now take its true and rightful place, and shine its light for all to see. This is my goal!!! This is my calling!!! This is my mission!!!"

After the VICE article was published (and several other media outlets picked up the story), Joyner posted on Facebook:

"When I was approached to do the interview, I was told the article would capture the spiritual side of Tantra & my Spiritual Healing Practices. To shed a more positive light on the benefits of it's accent practice and teachings to those who don't know much about it. But of course, it didn't come out that way.

"I truly wish more people would try to see the spiritual size of Tantra & not think it's all about sex. Sometimes people here in the west can be so sad."

Read the full VICE article »

SEE ALSO: Dr. Ruth has interviewed thousands of people about their sex lives — and she gets the same 2 complaints over and over again

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NOW WATCH: This man played Barney the dinosaur for 10 years — here's what it was like

A body double, CGI skull, and secret filming sessions all helped 'Blade Runner 2049' earn a VFX Oscar nomination


BF 2049 lead final

  • John Nelson, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on "Blade Runner 2049," walks through how he made a CGI version of the franchise's memorable Rachael character for the movie.
  • The process took a year of trial and error, which was all done under secret shooting sessions and a code name.
  • Sean Young, who played the character in the original movie, was also brought on to supervise.

With a total of 1,200 visual effects shots in “Blade Runner 2049” — that comes out to 1:45 of the movie’s total running time of 2:43 — Oscar-winning VFX supervisor John Nelson and his team logged in major hours to go a step beyond the 1982 original movie’s legendary sci-fi look.

But there was a particular scene in the movie that Nelson and director Denis Villeneuve paid special attention to — and it has led to Oscar nominations for the movie.

Toward the end of the movie when Deckard (Harrison Ford) meets Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), he is offered something very near and dear to him in exchange for information on where Wallace can find the only known child replicant. From the shadows appears Rachael, played by actress Sean Young, the beautiful replicant who is also Deckard’s love interest in the original movie. For the “2049” scene, Rachael looks like she hasn’t aged a day from when we saw her in the original movie, and that’s because Nelson and his team pulled off a flawless CGI version of Young to bring back the character for the sequel.

This is just the latest example of recent major blockbuster movies using computer graphics to de-age an actor. We’ve seen it with Kurt Russell in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” Robert Downey Jr. in “Captain America: Civil War,” and Michael Douglas in “Ant-Man.” That's not even counting “Rogue One,” in which a younger version of deceased actress Carrie Fisher appears in her Princess Leia role and Peter Cushing, who had been dead for 22 years at the time of the movie’s release, shows up in CGI form reprising his Governor Tarkin role from “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

Nelson and Villeneuve were aware of most of these past VFX landmarks, but felt they could go a step beyond those. Nelson was tasked to make the best CGI human ever put on screen yet.

“I looked at all the digital human work and for the most part I could see where it all falls down,” Nelson told Business Insider. “We tried to build on the shoulders of everything that had been done before us.”

What Nelson found was that it’s not enough to use motion capture to create the face you want to portray. There are small details to include that can’t be ignored to pull off the task. But it took him a year of trial and error to realize that.

Here’s how CGI Rachael was achieved:

Creating the digital skull

Rachael was given the code name “Rita” during filming, and the scene was done often with a very small crew to ensure that what was being done would not get out to the public.

Nelson and his team started by creating a digital skull of the Rachael character. They scanned Young’s head and then were able to find a life cast of her that was done a few years after the original “Blade Runner." By combining both they created a CGI skull of her. Nelson and his team than began de-aging the CGI head using footage from the original “Blade Runner” as a guide.

Shooting the scene with a body double and Sean Young’s guidance

While all of that was going on, back on set Villeneuve shot the “Rita” scene with Ford and Leto. Actress Loren Peta was brought on as the Rachael body double. With Nelson and Young also on hand, the scene was done with dots all over Peta’s face, which would be needed when the footage went through the motion-capture phase. Peta’s face would be erased, and CGI Sean Young would be inserted.

“Sean would be sitting with Denis and they’d be talking about Loren’s performance as Rachael,” Nelson said. “She would advise him on the movements and the looks of Rachael. ‘I would have done it this way or that way,’ she would tell Denis.”

Back to the drawing board

At this point Nelson took the footage shot and inserted what they had done with CGI Rachael, and showed what they had to Villeneuve and the producers. But no one was that impressed.

“They were like, ‘Well, it really looks like a woman that looks a lot like Sean Young, but it doesn’t look like Sean Young,’” Nelson recalled. “So I went back to the drawing board.”

Nelson went even deeper, and that’s where he found pay dirt.

“What I found is it's her imperfections that make her beautiful,” he said. “Her eyes are not symmetrical, her eyes actually stick out of her head a little more than most people. We studied how makeup was done when 'Blade Runner' was made. In fact, we went to every woman on the crew and asked about how makeup was done in the 1980s. We learned about the right shade of lip stick. Just subtle things from the first movie that we could put into our Rachael.”

Nelson went back to Denis and the producers with four scenes from the original “Blade Runner” and inserted CGI Rachael into a single shot in each scene. But he didn’t tell them what he did.

“The producers and Denis were like, ‘John, this is great but why are we looking at the first movie?’ and I told them what I did and they couldn’t tell, they actually got upset,” Nelson said. “They were like, ‘Why didn’t you tell us?’ And I was like, ‘Isn’t that the point? It’s supposed to be like the real thing.’”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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