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How a 32-year-old far right darling became the man who writes Trump's biggest speeches — including the State of the Union


Stephen Miller

Now that Steve Bannon has left, perhaps one of the most polarizing figures in President Donald Trump's White House is senior policy adviser Stephen Miller.

At 32-years-old, he's been a rising star on the far right for years, making headlines precisely because of his controversial demeanor and statements.

Miller's importance in Washington, DC politics has grown even further as he emerged as a key player in talks to end the government shutdown, effectively serving as Trump's surrogate for crafting the White House position on immigration policy. He also writes the president's biggest speeches, including the first State of the Union Trump gave Tuesday night.

His hardline positions and knack for policy have made him a force to be reckoned with. But before Miller became a major figure in the Trump administration, he was an outspoken, conservative activist in high school and college, and worked on Congressional campaigns.

Here's how Miller became Trump's right-hand policy man:

SEE ALSO: Stephen Miller had to be escorted off CNN's set after his interview with Jake Tapper went off the rails

DON'T MISS: People keep blaming Stephen Miller for killing deals to end the shutdown

Stephen Miller was born in Santa Monica, California on August 23, 1985 to a Jewish family whose ancestors fled persecution in what is now Belarus. His family was liberal-leaning, but Miller says he became a stalwart conservative at an early age.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

In 2002 at age 16, Miller wrote in a letter to the editor that "Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School" because of the student body's anti-war attitude after 9/11. Soon enough, Miller began appearing on conservative talk radio in the LA area.

Sources: The LookOutUnivision, Politico Magazine

A video emerged in 2017 of him giving a student government campaign speech at Santa Monica High in which he argued that students shouldn't have to pick up their own trash because there are "plenty of janitors who are paid to do it" for them. The audience quickly booed him off the stage.

Sources: The Washington Post, Politico Magazine

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside the British Monarchy's £13 billion property empire


The Queen

LONDON — It pays to be a monarch.

The British Monarchy holds a huge amount of historic property in the UK, which is managed by the Crown Estate.

The Crown Estate announced in June last year that it returned a record £328.8 million ($464 million) to the Treasury in 2016 as the value of the overall estate rose to an astonishing £13.1 billion ($18.5 billion).

Under current arrangements, the Queen receives 25% of the Crown Estate's revenues in the form of a Sovereign Grant, which is used to fund her official work and the upkeep of her residences.

Alongside property historically owned by the monarchy, the Queen also personally owns property assets — rather those attached to the office of the monarch — and her holdings include some of the grandest properties in Britain.

Business Insider took a look at the most spectacular royal assets. The list includes some of the country's best-known buildings: Iconic race courses, grand hotels, historic castles, and an offshore energy portfolio worth over £1 billion ($1.4 billion).

The Savoy, London: The Queen privately owns an 18,433-hectare estate called the Duchy of Lancaster. It is administered separately from the Crown Estate. Part of that is the Savoy Estate, a stretch of prime real estate in central London which houses the iconic Savoy Hotel, long seen as the height of sophistication.

Historic Castles: The Duchy of Lancaster also holds around a dozen historic properties, including Lancaster Castle in Lancashire (pictured), and Pickering Castle in Yorkshire. The Duchy delivers an annual income of around £18 million ($25.5 million), which is paid directly to the ruling monarch.

Sandringham House, Norfolk: The 8,000-hectare estate in Norfolk, England, is privately owned by the Queen. It was originally purchased by Queen Victoria in 1862. Prince Philip and the Queen choose to spend much of their time at the private country residence.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Some people consistently push away the people they love — here's why


a couple

  • Some people can't help but push their partners away because of a fear of intimacy.
  • Sometimes this is because they had a tough upbringing, and find it difficult to connect with people.
  • Others may have been through trauma later on, such as an abusive relationship.
  • The best way to become comfortable with intimacy is to work out your vulnerabilities and learn to use them as a power.
  • Valentine's Day can bring extra pressure to the relationship, so look out for the signs over the next few weeks.

We've all been there — you start dating someone and they act a bit too keen. They're messaging you at all hours, and cannot wait to meet up again.

It can be a bit off-putting if someone is clearly over-stepping your boundaries, so it's understandable if you want to cut things off with them. After all, it could be a warning sign.

However, some people push others away more often than seems obviously justified. Sometimes it can feel like somebody loses interest even though things were going perfectly.

If you feel someone pulling away once your relationship has started to get a little more serious, it could be because they have a fear of intimacy.

Anxiety can sabotage a relationship.

According to psychologist Hal Shoreyin in a blog post on Psychology Today, about 17% of adults in Western cultures fear intimacy and avoid closeness in relationships.

Perpetua Neo, a psychotherapist and coach, told Business Insider that when people have anxiety in a relationship, it's about how they are going to perform in that relationship, and this extra layer of tension stops them from really being present.

"You're out on a date with your partner and you're supposed to be having a good time, holding hands, cuddling, and kissing them, but in your head you're thinking, maybe I'm doing this wrong, and checking yourself all the time," she said. "This anxiety is going to stop you from actually being intimate, because you've got all these standards you're raising for yourself, and that's going to sabotage it."

In one way, this can be explained by perfectionism, of which there are two main types: productive and unproductive. The productive group get things done to a high level every time, whereas the unproductive types put things off and procrastinate. Perfectionist anxiety can sometimes be the root of intimacy fears, Neo said.

However, at a deeper level, this fear is usually a result of what Neo calls our "stories."

"We are run by stories, and we don't know what kinds of assumptions rule us until we pause and reflect," she said.

"In therapy we call these stories 'core beliefs' ... but I say we are run by stories. It could be upbringing, it could be a difficult experience, or attachment, that can lead to stories about us, such as 'I'm not good enough,' 'I'm not worthy,' 'I'm unlovable.'"

When you are run by these stories, Neo said, it is very hard to be intimate, because intimacy requires vulnerability. If you always fear being unlovable or unworthy, you are always on your best behaviour, which translates to great standards, perfectionism, and anxiety. This means you cannot be vulnerable, and you cannot show who you really are.

It starts with the relationships we have with our caregivers.

So where do these stories begin?

Neo said that a lot of research on attachment has involved children, as it is a pattern that develops as an infant that we are wired to have in order to survive.

The term "attachment theory" was first coined by British Psychologist John Bowlby in the 60s. His work established the idea that how a child develops depends heavily on their ability to form a strong relationship with at least one caregiver — usually a parent.

Neo said that as a species, humans are very slow to develop. Compared to something like a gazelle, which is walking within a few minutes, it takes us over a year to get to that stage. We can barely do anything on our own as an infant, which is why we have evolved attachment behaviours in order to survive.

This attachment to the person who cared for us influences our attachment behaviours once we have grown up. Neo said these behaviours can either be secure or insecure, depending on how your relationship was with your caregiver.

"A person in a secure attachment pattern or relationship will tend to feel ok if their partner is not in the room with them, or if their partner goes away for extended periods of time," she said. "They are able to speak about what makes them unhappy, and stick to their boundaries, and their partner understands what they want. So if you have a secure pattern of attachment, it's easy for relationships because you can be intimate."

However, if you had a tough upbringing during these early attachment stages, you're more likely to develop an insecure pattern of relationships.

For example, if a parent is dismissive or angry when their child is upset, this leads to them to believe their feelings are negative and will be punished. The child eventually learns that the easiest way to deal with emotions is to not feel them — so they are effectively acting to regulate their parent's feelings, rather than the other way around.

If the parent is neglectful, a lot of the child's effort growing up may be poured into trying to gain their affection and approval. Those who have strong bonds with their parents are more likely to be adventurous, because they know they have a back-up of support waiting for them. Those who don't are less willing to try new things, and perhaps throw themselves into relationships.

"This can mean a fear of being intimate, or to mesh with another person on a deeper level," Neo said. "It can be easy to talk to a person, but it's not easy to tell them the truth. It can be easy to sleep with a person, but it doesn't mean that person really knows you."

Other relationships can play a part, too.

couple kissing

Sometimes people have a good, stable childhood and still end up damaged somewhere along the way. This can happen if you become attracted to an abusive person and end up in a relationship with them.

Neo said if you end up in an abusive relationship, your whole world can feel thwarted and destabilised, especially in the aftermath.

"Most women who have been in abusive relationships, they don't understand life anymore, because everything doesn't feel real anymore," she said. "People go about life thinking that good things happen to good people, the future will be bright or at least okay, but when something bad happens — not just abusive relationships, it could be a job loss or a death of a partner — this will shatter our world of assumptions."

Some people fail to rebuild themselves and their lives after a trauma, and this means their outlook on life shifts to one that is uncertain and scary, where bad things happen.

Whenever they meet someone new, they expect the worst of them, and this begins a vicious cycle of never getting close to anyone. They are always looking out for something to go wrong.

"If I meet someone and act suspicious, I'm not going to interact well with this person," Neo said. "And what's going to happen is they're not going to like me because they're going to pick up on the fact I'm suspicious and hostile. So it's a vicious cycle. If we don't manage to build our sense of coherence and meanings about the world, we will have this fear of intimacy."

Neo says identifying the red flags of an abusive partner is important, but you shouldn't actively search for them. Rather than thinking "please don't end up being a narcissist," you should think "please be wonderful, kind, and funny."

There are things you can look out for.

Shannon Thomas, a clinical social worker, told Business Insider that there are several methods people use to sabotage intimacy in their relationships.

"One is that we become critical of another person who is trying to bond with us," she said. "We question their motives of trying to be close. We may tell ourselves that they don't really care but are pretending. What we think is what we feel and will influence our behaviours."

Someone can push their partner away by saying they are busy with work or other activities, so they don't have the time needed to invest in getting close to others. They can also create unnecessary tension by starting arguments or not putting in any effort, meaning the other person will eventually give up the pursuit.

"Survivors of abuse have learned in real life that some people are not safe," Thomas added. "This can create a fear response when a new relationship starts to feel 'too close.' Survivors of abuse will subconsciously keep people at an emotional distance. They set up barriers for the exact purpose of limiting connections so not to be hurt again."

Save your energy for people that matter.

Abusive people don't prey on the weak— they like a challenge, so they often go for those who are smart, confident, and strong, largely because it makes them feel superior.

Neo said this is important to remember, because it helps identify where you were vulnerable. If can be painful working out why you were a target, because it can come with a lot of self-blame. However, once you identify it, you can then use it as a superpower.

"People with high levels of empathy are often not aware of boundaries, because we give and give," Neo said.

"But when you don't have good boundaries, it leaves you open to abusers. Imagine if you're in a war zone and you don't have a fort, then all these bad people are going to come in. The really important thing is to emphasise that if you can keep your energy for the people that matter, the real genuine people, it means you can help yourself and help them. How can I heal from that horrible experience and use it to create something beautiful and better in life?"

Thomas added that it's really important to choose emotionally healthy people to connect with, because unhealthy people will only reinforce beliefs that getting close to people is damaging.

"Once we have established that someone has the emotional intelligence and maturity to bond, we need to be honest that we struggle with fears of being close," she said. "[We] will need their help to create a safe environment so we can learn to trust other people again."

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A fitness coach shows us how to perfect the squat and explains why you should do it every day

  • Business Insider spoke with Roger Frampton, movement coach and author of "The Flexible Body", about the importance of the squat.
  • Frampton said most Westerners don't squat naturally and shares his tips how to "regain" this position. 
  • He adds that practising just 10 minutes a day can produce results.


Read the full transcript below:

Roger Frampton: So this position is the squat. Most people, when I talk about the squat, think about a bobbing up-and-down exercise that works your legs and butt.

Well, the squat is actually a position that we’re designed to defecate in. So every kid sits and rests in this position. And if we look at western people, you’ll see most people end up sitting up on their toes in this position.

What I’m advising is that you get this position back - not for an exercise necessarily, not because of fitness or to be fitter, but just because you’re designed to do it. This here is just the human resting position.

When I run classes, people always talk about the squat and how they can’t quite get their heel down on the floor. Now the reason for that is because, since the age of about four years old, you’ve been wearing shoes.

We are an animal, we’re designed to walk around on bare feet. And the reason that we lose our squat ability is simply because we become tight in our ankles. And therefore, you can’t get all the way down to the bottom.

Now all you need to do is - if you put your heels on a yoga block or a book, so you’re in that position rather than that position, that will take away your ankle mobility and allow you to get all the way down.

You can use a yoga block or a book, or two or three of them - if you’re a girl, squatting in heels is so much easier than squatting flat on the floor.

What you do is you start in whatever angle you’re comfortable in, and you work your way down to becoming flat on the floor.

So really a squat is just a test of your ankles. If you’ve got good ankles, you’re great at squatting, and if your ankles have become tight then the squat is really difficult and hard, but like every other muscle and joint in the body it’s trainable and you’ve got time to get it back.

If you do something for 10 minutes every day - kind of like brushing your teeth - it gets into a habit and you go, you get up you brush your teeth, you go to bed, you brush your teeth. By doing 10 minutes every day, you’ll get into a habit, by using that short amount of time you can really focus on how your body’s moving.

Now some of the exercises that I recommend you do within those 10 minutes - first one is the squat - sitting in a squat, not bobbing up and down. Just being able to function to sit down in a squat. Something, again, that is innate to us as human beings, something that you are able to do as a child.

So spend 10 minutes every day getting your squat back.

Produced by Fraser Moore. Camera by Leon Siciliano.

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TOM BRADY: How the greatest quarterback of all time makes and spends his millions


Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. 

Brady already has five Super Bowl rings and on Sunday he will go for No. 6. He is also as good as ever at 40 years old, an age when most football players are already retired.

Off the field, Brady's life is pretty fabulous also. He's married to the world's most successful supermodel, has an Aston Martin named for him, and once owned a $20 million house with a moat.

Tony Manfred contributed to this report.

Brady was the fifth-highest-paid player in the NFL last season, making $28.8 million.

Source: Spotrac

Brady recently signed a 2-year, $41 million extension with the Patriots. A big chunk of his earnings last season came in the form of a $28 million signing bonus. This season he made a relatively modest $1 million salary and no bonuses.

Source: Spotrac

Brady is also the third-highest-paid player in NFL history, having already earned $197.2 million in his career.

Read more: The 25 highest-paid players in NFL history

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Scientists say they can predict who you're friends with based on brain patterns alone


friends laughing

  • Psychologists who scanned the brains of graduate students said they accurately predicted who people were friends with based on how their brains lit up while watching a video.
  • Did the students pick out friends with similar brains, or could they be shaping the way their friends see the world? The study authors say it could be a little of both.

Maybe your friends really do "just get you" after all. 

At least, that's what a new study of graduate students at an Ivy League school suggests.

For that study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, a group of brain researchers and social psychologists at Dartmouth College looked at the brains of 42 students, and monitored their reactions as they watched some retro video clips.

The students watched America's Funniest Home Videos, saw an astronaut at the International Space Station, peeked in on a wedding ceremony, and glanced at footage of the discontinued CNN show "Crossfire."

MRI scans showed that friends watching the same clips reacted in strikingly similar ways: some of the same brain areas lit up, notably those associated with motivation, learning, affective processing, and memory.

The researchers said the similarities in brain reaction patterns were so striking, they could actually use them to predict who the participants' friends were. (The scientists based their assessment of students' friendships on the results of an online survey taken by the participants, as well as the other 279 students in their graduate program, about who their friends were.)

Conversely, people who weren't friends had different reactions to the same clips. The activity patterns were less similar in friends of friends, and even more divergent in people who were in separate social groups. 

"Our results suggest that friends process the world around them in exceptionally similar ways," lead author Carolyn Parkinson said in a release

The authors think that's because spending time with people who think like us feels pretty good. In their paper, they wrote that having close friends whose brains respond like ours "may be rewarding because it reinforces one’s own values, opinions, and interests."

Dartmouth business professor Adam Kleinbaum, who co-authored the study, told Business Insider that it's not clear whether people are seeking out friends whose brains are already like theirs, or if friends change the ways each other's brains react to stimuli.

"We think both are happening," he said.

An important caveat to note about this study, however, is that it only looked at how the brains of graduate students at one university react. The ways people choose and interact with friends at school are not necessarily representative of how everyone picks their pals. 

College and graduate students are often the subjects in psychological studies, since there are so many students near research labs. But social scientists have argued for years that college students aren't necessarily like the rest of us. In 1986, psychologist David Sears wrote in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that using college students as research subjects might skew the ways we perceive human nature.

"Compared with older adults, college students are likely to have less-crystallized attitudes, less-formulated senses of self, stronger cognitive skills, stronger tendencies to comply with authority, and more unstable peer group relationships," Sears wrote.

A 2010 paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences argued that college students are "WEIRD" research subjects: they're generally Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. 

Still, there's a growing body of research that suggests the way we pick out friends has a lot to do with the shape of our brain and our body.

A 2014 study of 1,932 adults (of all ages) showed that people tend to pick out friends with similar genotypes to their own.  The researchers found that the genetic similarities of friend "pairs" were, on average, as close as those of fourth cousins.

A new study by Korean researchers, which was released this month, also notes differences in the brains of people who have more friends. When lots of people reported being friends with a given individual, that person was found to have a bigger neocortex, an area sometimes referred to as the "social brain" since it's believed to play a role in social interaction. Those study participants weren't college students at all: they were Koreans over the age of 60.

SEE ALSO: The deadly flu epidemic sweeping the US is still spreading — here's everything you need to know

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NOW WATCH: A happiness expert explains why having a best friend at work is the number one thing you can do to make you more productive and satisfied

Amazon is reportedly on the hook for 4 more Woody Allen movies, and considering a 'hefty payout' to kill the deal


woody allen

  • Amazon is reportedly considering a "hefty payout" to end a five-movie deal it signed with Woody Allen in 2016, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 
  • The studio is currently on the hook for four movies from Allen, including his upcoming film, "A Rainy Day in New York."
  • Allen has recently come under renewed scrutiny over allegations that he sexually abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was seven years old.


Amazon Studios is reportedly considering a "hefty payout" to end a five-movie deal with Woody Allen, according to The Hollywood Reporter

Allen signed the deal with former Amazon Studios boss Roy Price in 2016. The studio is reportedly on the hook for four more releases from Allen, including his upcoming 2018 film, "A Rainy Day in New York," which does not yet have a release date. 

At this point, Amazon is contractually obligated to release "Rainy Day," which has recently seen its stars Timotheé Chalamet and Rebecca Hall publicly disavowing the director over allegations that Allen sexually abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was seven years old.

But the renewed wave of protest against Allen reportedly has Amazon Studios strongly considering cutting ties with the director:

"Internally, the consensus is that Amazon will have no choice but to sever ties with the director, even if that means a hefty payout," writes THR's Tatiana Siegel. 

THR notes that Amazon likely won't make a decision on the matter until it finds a replacement for former studio head Roy Price, who resigned in October after being accused of sexual harassment. 

Despite the prospective loss of a payout to Allen, the move could likely be a cost-effective one for the studio in the long run. Allen's last four films have taken in a cumulative $26.9 million domestically while carrying a collective $85 million in production budgets, according to a recent report from The New York Times.

Amazon Studios did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEE ALSO: 10 actors who have publicly denounced Woody Allen or donated their salaries to charity after working on his movies

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Uber is now letting people in San Francisco rent ebikes on its app


jump bike uber

  • Uber is letting users rent bicycles through its app for the first time.
  • The bikes are being provided by Jump, an ebike-rental company that's running a pilot in San Francisco.

Uber is about to offer San Francisco residents an alternative way to get around the city: by bike.

Starting next week, the ride-hailing giant is going to let users rent electric-assist bicycles, or ebikes, through its app— the first time it has offered bikes as an option.

The bikes don't belong to Uber. They're from Jump, a bike-rental service that can also be accessed through its own app. Jump is rolling out 250 ebikes in the Californian city for an 18-month trial — with the potential for another 250 to be added nine months in.

Unlike the Ford GoBike bike-share program already in place in San Francisco, Jump's bikes are electric and dockless. Using the app — either Uber's or Jump's — a person can find a nearby bicycle, unlock it, ride it wherever they need to go, then lock it up to a bike rack with a built-in lock. Truly dockless bike programs have at times been seen by some in other cities as a nuisance, with discarded bicycles littering the streets.

jump bike lock

"Our mission at JUMP Bikes is to build the bike you want," Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki wrote in a blog post. "A bike that can take you farther, get you there faster, and be the most fun to ride. A bike that you don’t even need to own, doesn’t cost a penny to maintain, and is always nearby when you want it. If we achieve this mission then we’ll see more people on bikes — meaning greener, more accessible, and healthier cities."

There's a wait list for Uber users to get access to Jump bikes, and the full pilot scheme is fairly small scale. In comparison, there will be 7,000 Ford GoBikes on the streets of the Bay Area by the end of 2018.

SEE ALSO: The 20 best smartphones in the world

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How not to mess up a wedding speech, according to etiquette coach William Hanson


wedding speech

  • Bad speeches tend to be more prevalent at weddings than well-executed ones.
  • Etiquette coach William Hanson offered Business Insider some pointers on making a good wedding speech.
  • He says you want humour, relevant anecdotes, and a confident delivery, but not cringeworthy innuendo.
  • It's harder than it sounds.

Wedding season is around the corner, which means there will soon be countless best men, maids of honour, and fathers or mothers of the bride trying to figure out how to deliver the perfect speech.

Many couples are also moving away from tradition, and different members of the wedding party now make speeches at the reception. Just last week Meghan Markle apparently said she will defy tradition and make a speech at her May wedding to Prince Harry.

But it's a lot harder than it sounds to strike the balance of hilarious yet respectful, and memorable but not risqué. We've all sat through a terrible wedding speech, and they're not that enjoyable.

Australian etiquette expert Anna Musson told the Daily Mail: "While [it] can seem hilariously funny to make jokes about old girlfriends or questionable past behaviour, it's important to keep it clean."

William hanson

To find out how to achieve this, Business Insider asked etiquette coach William Hanson for some pointers on delivering an exemplary speech.

"It is now very rare to sit through a good wedding speech — the bad ones are far more prevalent than good, mainly because a lot of people don't like making them," Hanson said.

"Or, on the other end of the spectrum the orator is so cocky that the speech they make doesn’t mirror the sophisticated tone of the wedding day.

"You want something in between confident but not arrogant."

Here are Hanson's top tips for not messing up on the big day:

1. Remember your audience


This is particularly important for the best man's speech, according to Hanson.

"Remember all of the guests in the room, there might be children or Great Aunt Edna," he said.

"Things that happened on the stag night or when the groom came up short should all be left out. I often see a best man's speech being given by one of the lads to the lads — this can happen on the stag if needs be, but the wedding speech should make everyone feel comfortable, with an amusing vignette, and not be laden with innuendo."

2. Swap excessive sentiment for self-deprecating humour...

...At least if you're British. "British people don't like schmaltz or overly sentimental speeches. They much prefer a bit of self-deprecating humour, as long as it is not vile," Hanson said.

3. Remember, the humour is in the delivery

Your speech doesn't have to be packed with one-liners, according to Hanson. In fact, if you don't consider yourself a naturally "funny person," you should leave the jokes out, he warned.

"A good speech doesn't have to be hysterical, but heartfelt. You need to know your limits — humour is in the delivery so even if a joke is written for you you can completely mess it up."

4. Throw in a few relevant anecdotes...

"Anecdotes are fine if they serve a purpose, and demonstrate the character of the bride or groom, not granny or godmother — they aren’t relevant here. Something along the lines of 'I remember when Bob came home having met Jane..."

5. ...But brevity is key

According to Hanson, the longest speech — about 10 minutes, not 30 minutes — is usually left until last, and is normally the best man's, if you're following tradition. For every other speech, five minutes should be enough. "In terms of anecdotes that means two each for the shorter speeches and three or max four for the longer."

6. Use flash cards

"It depends how good an orator you are, but if you can, try not to read the speech and instead use bullets on queue cards. Rehearse it, even record yourself on your phone, and then do it in front of others before the big day," he advises.

7. Ease up on the booze before

jason briscoe 156643

Hanson's advice is normally not to drink at all before giving your speech. "If you're nervous you'll be inclined to drink too much and it ruins it for everyone if you're sloshed and can't speak," he said.

But if this is wildly unrealistic, then at least ease up on the glasses of fizz before taking the mic.

If you can abide by these rules, the newlyweds should (in theory) go off to live happily ever after.

WEDDING COUPLE laura santana 385961

SEE ALSO: A step-by-step guide to attending a royal or upper-class dinner party, according to a manners and etiquette coach

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People who sext their partners a lot are more sexually satisfied — but their relationship could be suffering in other ways


matheus ferrero 207820

  • An estimated 80% of people sext each other.
  • While some people feel it makes them close to their partner, for others it can be damaging to their relationship.
  • It's all about doing what you're comfortable with, and balancing sex with other ways of getting to know each other.

I challenge you to find someone who hasn't sexted a partner at least once.

Sexting — sending nude or suggestive photos and explicit messages to a romantic partner — is often used as a way of keeping each other interested, especially in long distance relationships.

However, some people are "hyper-sexters," sending and receiving an abundance of sexts — and according to a new study from the University of Alberta, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, while these people tend to report the highest levels of sexual satisfaction, their romantic relationships can suffer in other ways.

Researchers surveyed a sample of 615 Canadian and American adults, all in relationships, about their sexting habits. People were then separated into four groups: non-sexters, word-only sexters, frequent, and hyper sexters.

While sexting does suggest a close, trusting relationship with a partner, hyper-secters were also more ambivalent about their relationship, less secure, and were less committed than non-sexters. They were also more likely to watch porn, and flirt with other people on social media.

"Sexting doesn't seem to be a feature of a healthy relationship," said Adam Galovan, professor of human ecology and lead author of the study. "My interpretation is that the sexters are focusing more on the sexual part of their relationship and may be neglecting other areas."

He said it could be a result of technology taking precedence over real life interaction with their partners. Rather than talking and getting to know someone in person, they want to take shortcuts. Unfortunately, that isn't the best way to nurture a connection with someone.

"These folks want to get to the end goal — a good relationship — without doing the hard work of talking, listening, and spending quality time together," Galovan said. "It's the instant gratification culture — we want it now. But it's what you do to get to that goal that actually defines a good relationship."

Previous research has found sexting is quite prolific in society, with 58% of college students admitting they've sent at least one sext, and 62% saying they've received one. Men were more likely to sext with a casual partner, while women preferred to do it with someone they were exclusive with.

About half of the respondents said the sexting had led to positive sexual or emotional experiences, but the other half said the consequences had been negative.

For example, many people feel regret or worry about the pictures they have sent to past partners, and are anxious the photos will resurface. Others even said they felt discomfort at the time of actually sending the picture, but did it anyway.

Out of the sample of 352 undergraduate students, women and people in casual sexual relationships reported fewer benefits of sending sexts than men or people in committed relationships.

So if you want to know whether sexting is good or bad for a relationship — it depends. If you and your partner trust each other and you both feel it is beneficial, there's no reason it should be damaging to your relationship.

However, while sex is important, if you're looking for a more meaningful connection, it's important not to ignore the other stuff.

SEE ALSO: Sex addiction might not be a real condition — here's why

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NOW WATCH: I quit social media for a month — and it was the best choice I've ever made

'Knocked Up' and 'Grey's Anatomy' star Katherine Heigl has confirmed she's joining the cast of 'Suits' as Meghan Markle departs


katherine heigl meghan markle

  • Hollywood actress Katherine Heigl is joining the cast of 'Suits' as Meghan Markle and co-star Patrick J. Adams depart.
  • Heigl will join the cast in season 8 playing a new partner at the legal drama's Pearson Specter Litt law firm.
  • Markle and Adams will leave the show at the end of season 7.


"Grey's Anatomy" and "Knocked Up" star Katherine Heigl is officially set to join the cast of legal drama "Suits" as royal-to-be Meghan Markle departs.

The USA Network announced on Wednesday that Heigl will become a series regular in the show's eighth season, which is due to begin filming in Toronto in April.

She'll be playing the character of Samantha Wheeler, "a talented new partner at the show’s Pearson Specter Litt law firm."

According to Fox News: "Her role will challenge the status quo of the office as she becomes either its greatest asset or most powerful enemy."

It was revealed last year that Markle would be leaving the show as Markle prepared for life as a royal — she's set to marry Prince Harry in May, after all.

Her co-star Patrick J. Adams — her on-screen fiancé — announced he was also leaving the show earlier this week.

In a statement from USA Network, long-time "Suits" fan Heigl said: "Joining 'Suits' was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an EP I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am an immense fan of. I have watched 'Suits' from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family."

SEE ALSO: The royal family has a squad WhatsApp group chat — and they use it to talk about weddings and babies

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NOW WATCH: The surprising reason some countries drive on the left side of the road

The 100 best movies on Amazon Prime right now


BI Graphics_The 100 best movies on Amazon Prime_4x3 Samantha Lee

If you aren’t using your Amazon Prime account to sit back and binge some of the best movies ever made, you are really not using it to its full potential.

The library of movie titles that are available for Prime members is vast and has an impressive mix of old classics and current releases.

We get it. You’re busy with your life, it’s kind of tough to scroll through all the titles. So we did it for you.

Here are the 100 best movies available right now on Amazon Prime:

Note: Numerous Amazon Prime titles drop off the streaming service monthly so the availability of titles below may change.

SEE ALSO: The 17 biggest Oscar snubs of 2018

“10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016)

This sneaky sequel to 2008’s “Cloverfield” looks at a whole new set of characters (and isn’t shot as a faux documentary — thankfully!) who have a lot more to worry about than an alien invasion.

“20th Century Women” (2016)

Partly based on director Mike Mills’ childhood, Annette Bening plays a single mom who tries to raise her son into a good man along with the help of two women (Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning).

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” (2016)

A small financial institution in Chinatown is the only company to be indicted in the wake of the 2008 mortgage crisis. But this Oscar-nominated documentary, directed by Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”), shows that the company wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These nomads spend nearly their entire lives at sea — but they could be the last generation to do so


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  • The Bajau Laut are a Southeast Asian people that have lived for centuries in the seas around Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
  • The Bajau make their living spearfishing and selling to Hong Kong fishing companies.
  • But the Bajau are slowly losing their culture and may no longer be able to make a living as their habitat has been overfished.


UK native James Morgan was studying photography in London when he read about a group of seafaring Southeast Asian nomads who had survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami with almost no casualties.

"They understood the ocean so well that they headed for protection before the tsunami hit," Morgan told Business Insider. 

An anthropologist by training, Morgan decided to document the Bajau Laut, who have begun to lose their culture in recent years because of government programs that force them ashore and the difficult reality of fishing for a living in overfished seas.

Morgan found a nomadic people struggling to sustain themselves by continuing to overfish the waters and, ultimately, hurting the very habitat they call home.

In 2014, Morgan shared a selection of his photos of the Bajau Laut with us. You can see the rest at his website.

The Bajau are a nomadic Malay people who have lived at sea for centuries, primarily in a tract of ocean by the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Bajau traditionally live on handmade "lepa-lepa" boats, bringing everything they need to sea, including cooking utensils, kerosene lamps, food, water, and even plants. They come to shore only to trade or fix their boats.

Traditionally hunter-gatherers, the Bajau have provided for themselves primarily by spearfishing. They are highly skilled free divers, swimming to depths up to 100 feet to hunt for grouper, pearls, and sea cucumbers.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 50 best TV show seasons of all time, according to critics


Breaking Bad

The most critically acclaimed TV shows in history have earned their praise by repeatedly producing innovative and memorable seasons.

Shows like "The Wire," "Breaking Bad," and "The Larry Sanders Show" consistently won over critics, and their best seasons have set a standard for what great television should look like.

To find out which series have been the most influential, we turned to the review aggregator Metacritic for its list of the all-time best TV seasons, which ranks shows by their composite critical reception. We used audience scores to break any ties.

Check out the 50 best TV-show seasons of all time, according to critics:

SEE ALSO: The 20 most-watched TV episodes ever, ranked

50. "The Hollow Crown" (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 91/100

User score: 6.5/10

Notable episodes: "Richard II," "Henry IV,"Henry V"

49. "Louie" (Season 5)

Metacritic score: 91/100

User score: 8.4/10

Notable episodes: "Pot Luck," "A La Carte,"Bobby's House"

48. "Transparent" (Season 1)

Metacritic score: 92/100

User score: 7.5/10

Notable episodes: "The Letting Go," "Best New Girl,"Why Do We Cover the Mirrors?"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'The Pioneer Woman' is taking another major step to transform Pawhuska, Oklahoma from a 'ghost town' to a thriving tourist hub — here's what it's like to visit


Pioneer Woman

  • Ree Drummond is the star of "The Pioneer Woman," a show on the Food Network.
  • The popularity of the show has transformed her hometown, Pawhuska, Oklahoma. 
  • Drummond and her husband, Ladd, are now working on an eight-room inn in town.

A Food Network show is transforming a small town in Oklahoma. 

In 2011, the Food Network aired the first episode of "The Pioneer Woman," starring Ree Drummond. The show, which was based on Drummond's popular cooking blog, quickly turned Drummond into one of the most beloved personalities on the network.  

Now, a small town near Drummond's family's ranch is reaping the benefits of the star's success. 

Pawhuska, Oklahoma — a small town with just 3,600 residents — attracts up to 15,000 visitors a day thanks to the success of "The Pioneer Woman," Thrillist's Khushbu Shah reported. Tourists flood the town to eat at Drummond's restaurant, shop at her general store, and revel in the "Pioneer Woman" lifestyle. 

Shah's piece paints a fascinating picture of an evolving town. And, it got us wondering what it'd be like to visit Pawhuska ourselves. 

Here's a peek into how one television show transformed the Oklahoma town. 

SEE ALSO: 9 American companies with extremely religious roots

Pawhuska isn't easy to get to. The closest airport, Tulsa, is more than an hour away.

Prior to the rise of "The Pioneer Woman," the town's biggest claim to fame was being the site of the first Boy Scout troop.

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More than one person told Shah that Pawhuska was a "ghost town" until recently.

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Stephen Colbert interviews a fake 'Melania Trump' about those infidelity rumors


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President Trump's first State of the Union on Tuesday didn't help calm down the rumors that the president and first lady, Melania Trump, are at a rocky moment in their marriage. 

First there was the story that came out alleging Trump's lawyer paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 presidential race so she would stay quiet about their alleged sexual encounter in 2006. 

The news reportedly "blindsided" the first lady, and she did not accompany her husband on his trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. Melania's communications director stated that she did not go to Davos due to "scheduling and logistical issues."

And then on the night of the State of the Union, Melania arrived without her husband, and wore an all-white pant suit, leading to a theory that she was supporting the #MeToo movement.

So on Wednesday, Stephen Colbert had Melania Trump on "The Late Show" to get to the bottom of all this. Well, he had the show's regular Melania Trump impersonator, Laura Benanti, on the show. And once again, she just killed it as Melania.

Melania Trump

Coming on the show, "via satellite" from The White House, sporting a all-white pant suit, "Melania" addressed if she purposely wore the outfit in support of women's rights and suffrage.

"Yes, everyday I'm suffraging," she told Colbert, who pointed out that suffrage means the right to vote. 

"I know," she replied. "I cannot wait to vote in the next presidential election."

Colbert asked if she would vote for her husband. 

"Of course," Benanti as Melania replied. "Unless I have a scheduling and logistical issues."

Colbert then asked what she thought of her husband's State of the Union address. 

"I was glued to my seat," she said, then added, "No, no, Stephen, I was literally glued to my seat. That General Kelly is quite the prankster," referring to White House chief of staff John Kelly. 

Then Colbert brought up the rumors of Trump's infidelity. 

"It's fake news, Stephen," said "Melania." "I do not believe my husband slept with this woman, Spank Banjos," referring to Stormy Daniels. "I mean what kind of disgusting pig monster would cheat on his wife with a porn star right after she gave birth, and then would pay hush money to this Cranky Ponchos. Everyone here thinks it’s a lie and I agree. Hashtag me too.”

Colbert then asked if she was angry at all, and she said she wasn't.

“If my husband is watching, I have a message," she said. "Donald, time’s up — on your cheeseburger it’s ready, happy anniversary sweetheart.”

Colbert asked if the president got her anything. She said a hat. “He paid for it, but I picked it out.”

Benanti as Melania then put on a pink winter cap, which many women wore during the Women's March the last two years.

Watch the entire bit below:

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Taco Bell is taking aim at its fast-food competition with $1 fries — here's how they stack up against the other major chains


French Fries 10

  • Taco Bell has come out with seasoned french fries in a clear jab at McDonald's and other burger and fry chains. 
  • We compared them to fries from other major fast-food chains, including Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Wendy's.

Tex-Mex chain Taco Bell has done the unthinkable and added french fries to its menu— albeit only for a limited time. But with Taco Bell's status as a major fast-food chain, one wonders: how do its fries stack up to the rest?

Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Wendy's — the fast-food giants — all offer signature takes on the classic food. McDonald's fries have had the same signature taste for years, while Burger King and Wendy's have changed their recipes in recent times. And Chick-fil-A's distinct waffle variation holds a fierce cult following.

French fries are an art form. The perfect fry is starchy and crispy and a sturdy vehicle for our favorite vegetable: ketchup. Their acceptance in American cuisine is far-reaching: The french fry can be a gas-station grab-and-go item or a gourmet delight.

But which chain has truly mastered the art of the fryolator? We set out to discover who makes the best fries.

Marina Nazario contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.

SEE ALSO: We compared McDonald's new Chick-fil-A killer with the real thing — and the winner is unmistakable

First, we tried McDonald's. Salty, thin, and crispy, these classic fries have stayed consistent over the years.

A large order of McDonald's fries costs $3.15 in Manhattan. They're crispy on the outside but have an unusually hearty center for how thin they are. Loaded with salt, these fries are absolutely addictive.

Right away, we notice that Wendy's are the only fries that have the potato skin still on them. A large order runs for $2.60 in Manhattan.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I used one of the worst airports in the US — here's what it was like


laguardia terminal b

  • LaGuardia has a reputation for being one of the worst airports in the US.
  • When I used the airport in December 2017, I noticed it was dirty, cramped, and poorly lit.
  • The airport is undergoing significant renovations over the next few years.

While innovators like Elon Musk want to reinvent American transportation with self-driving cars, supersonic jets, and flying Ubers, our current transportation infrastructure needs some work.

Airports, in particular, have struggled to keep up with an increasing demand for air travel. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the American aviation industry a "D" grade in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card

"Progress at the nation’s airports and in the air traffic control system is slow, as investment has been consistently lagging in the past 18 years, unable to keep up with demands of increased traffic and new technologies," the report said.

New York's LaGuardia Airport has a reputation for being one of the worst airports in the US. A 2017 study of more than 34,000 travelers by J.D. Power found that respondents were less satisfied with their experiences at LaGuardia than at any other large or medium airport in North America. While renovations to the airport's terminals, parking system, and drop-off and pick-up areas are underway, the airport is cramped, poorly-lit, and dirty in its current state.

I used LaGuardia when I flew to Chicago in December 2017 and realized why its reputation is so horrible.

Here's what I saw.

SEE ALSO: The 100-year evolution of the airport Trump called 'third world'

Construction for the renovations began in 2016, and for the moment, it made the airport look like even more of an eyesore.

The pick-up and drop-off areas were narrow, and anyone who wanted to take an Uber or Lyft home from the airport had to take a shuttle to a designated pickup area.

The ticketing area wasn't a complete mess, but the lighting wasn't great and the ceilings were low.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amazon is shockingly more expensive than Walmart — here's how their prices compare for 50 popular products (AMZN, WMT)


Walmart employee

  • Amazon is on average 10.4% more expensive than Walmart, a pricing study of 50 identical items found.
  • The survey found the largest pricing disparities in home goods — including items like Bounty paper towels and Glad trash bags — where Amazon's prices were on average 34% higher than Walmart's.

Walmart is beating Amazon on prices, according to a recent study.

Amazon's prices were on average 10.4% higher than Walmart's, based on a shopping cart of 50 popular products, the survey by LendEDU found.

The survey found the largest pricing disparities in home-goods items — including Bounty paper towels, Glad trash bags, and Dixie paper plates — where Walmart's prices were on average 34% lower than Amazon's.

The retailers' prices were most competitive for technology and entertainment products, such as Nest thermostats and Beats headphones; Amazon was about 4% more expensive than Walmart in this category. 

Amazon disputed the findings.

"The study issued by LendEDU is flawed and misleading, and based on incomplete data," a company spokeswoman said. "Amazon's prices are as low or lower than any other retailer and we work hard for customers to ensure that's true every day. In addition to low prices, we offer a vast selection of more than 100 million items that are eligible for free shipping to all customers, every day."

SEE ALSO: Walmart is teaming up with one of the world's biggest e-commerce companies to take direct aim at Amazon

Home goods: Amazon was 34% more expensive than Walmart for items like paper towels and toothpaste.

Kitchen items and appliances: Walmart was 20% cheaper than Amazon for products like toasters and vacuum cleaners.

Miscellaneous items: Amazon was 16% more expensive than Walmart in this category of common products under $100, like batteries and tape.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These four women want to help plan your dream funeral


Going Out In Style

  • Professional stylists and former wedding planners, the women of Going Out In Style, have now turned to the funeral business.
  • Their services cover all aspects of the event, and they encourage clients to think outside of the box.
  • They work both with consulting clients who are looking to pre-plan their funerals, and the families of the deceased.  


The four women of Going Out In Style want you to think differently about death.

That is, what happens after your death — including what you'd like your funeral service to look like, smell like, taste like, and feel like for the guests.

Of course, you won't be there to enjoy it, but GOIS wants to style, organize, and throw you the ultimate after-party anyway. The women consult with clients prior to death, as well as family or friends of the deceased.

Their last client — who held a memorial service at New York City's renowned power-lunch spot, The Grill — was celebrated and remembered with napkins depicting custom illustrations of his two dogs, his favorite sayings printed on coasters, and a cart serving whiskey — his preferred drink. They approached the client's family with a simple request: "Tell us a story about him." From there, they begin their planning.

They stand firmly behind the idea that their funeral-styling services help those you've left behind. "In the time of need, wouldn't it be nice if you knew exactly what that person wanted instead of trying to guess?" co-founder Cassidy Iwersen told Business Insider.

With an attention to detail similar to wedding planning, Naomi DeManana, Colleen Banks, Erin Furey, and Iwersen plan every aspect of the event — and no request is too absurd.

We followed the ladies of Going Out In Style for a day to get an idea of how they operate — and what they can offer clients.      

Our first stop was Manhattan's flower district — where DeManana was picking up a bouquet of red roses as a thank you gift for a former client.

Their services span floral arrangements, location and venue booking, invitations, musical arrangements, the food, organizing readings, how you'd like to be buried or cremated, what you'll be wearing inside your casket, what your casket will be made of, and the parting gifts — anything and everything you, or your family might request on your behalf. 

As professional stylists and former wedding planners, the team has years of experience creating and executing large-scale events.

Iwersen noted the difference in their new line of work: "People are grieving, and they really need you to help come in...and tease out these details quickly while they're a little clouded or sad. It feels good to use our skills that way."

When consulting with clients, the questions they ask branch out well beyond the major event musts, down to the nitty gritty details.

No request is too over the top. They have a list of questions they ask, starting with the main event. "Is it a funeral? Memorial? A party or an ocean send off? What's the location? Is it a destination funeral? Time of day? The guest list? Invitation — is there one? Is it printed? An email? Delivered by carrier pigeons?" said Iwersen.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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