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Nobody wants to buy the oldest home in the US, a log cabin from the 1600s with a $2.9 million price tag


Nothnagle Log House 9

  • Nothnagle Cabin is said to be the oldest home in America.
  • Built in 1638, the house is currently owned by Harry and Doris Rink, who maintain the home and give free tours of the space.
  • The log cabin was first listed in June 2017, and is still on the market for $2.9 million.


America's oldest home is for sale.

The log cabin, which dates back to 1638, has lasted this long with the help of its current owners, Harry and Doris Rink — who have taken the property under their wing, and have been living in an attached house since 1968.

History doesn't come cheap — with a $2.9 million price tag, the home includes all the artifacts inside, as well as the Rinks themselves, who want to remain on the property and continue to give tours of this historic site.

According to Harry, people lived inside the cabin until 1918, and the attached home that the couple resides in was built in the early 1700s. "We have the deed to the property dating back to 1791," Harry told The New York Times in an interview.

Restoration projects completed by the Rinks include reinforcing the walls with clay, and removing plaster that was on the interior walls. The property is 1,800 square feet, and has been on the market since June of 2017.   

SEE ALSO: 10 private and luxurious vacation rentals for the ultra rich

Built by Finnish settlers, the Nothnagle Log House was completed in 1643.

Today, the land that the cabin was built on is Gibbstown, New Jersey.

Its sellers, Harry and Doris Rink, have owned the property since 1968. Prior to that, Harry's aunt and uncle owned the property.

Source: Atlas Obscura, NJ.com

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Silicon Valley is so expensive that people who make $400,000 a year think they are middle-class


mark zuckerberg house home palo alto 4x3

  • The Palo Alto Weekly recently asked residents of a ritzy Silicon Valley city: "How do you define your social class?"
  • The survey found that more than 80 people living in Palo Alto and earning up to $399,999 a year in income considered themselves part of the middle class.
  • Residents acknowledged that while they may be rich elsewhere in the US, they still cannot afford to buy homes in the Bay Area.

Some wealthy residents of Silicon Valley may be falling out of touch with how the rest of the US thinks about money.

The Palo Alto Weekly, a community newspaper published in Palo Alto, California, surveyed more than 250 residents in December and January. Among the questions: "How do you define your social class?"

Eighty-one respondents with self-reported incomes from $10,000 to $399,999 said they considered themselves "middle-class," according to the Palo Alto Weekly.

TechCrunch's Kim-Mai Cutler first spotted the survey's findings.

There is no broadly accepted definition of the middle class; it varies by state.

In September, the US Census Bureau released the 2016 American Community Survey, which measures various economic, social, and housing data among US residents.

That survey found that the national median household income rose by 3.2% over the previous year, to $59,039, the highest to date.

According to the Pew Research Center, people whose household income falls between 66% and 200% of the national median household income can call themselves middle-class. By that definition, the US middle class had household incomes from about $39,000 to about $118,000 in 2016.

In Palo Alto, which has a median household income of more than $137,000, residents say a different standard of wealth applies.

Many Palo Alto residents say they'd be wealthy elsewhere

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto is home to Stanford University and several high-profile tech companies including Tesla, Palantir Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, and VMware.

Respondents to the Palo Alto Weekly's survey cited the area's chronic housing crisis and high cost of living as reasons for identifying as middle-class instead of upper-class.

palo alto

"In almost any other part of the country we would be wealthy," said one respondent who identified as middle-class. "Here, we are living month to month."

Another said: "Where I'm from, I'd own a house and be in the upper-middle class."

Others said they "never want for healthy food or clean clothing" but struggle to cover basics like child care. One person said both parents worked to support a family of four, while a 73-year-old said, "I don't feel nearly as financially secure as I expected to be at my age."

The median sale price of a home in Palo Alto hit an all-time high of $3 million in December. Homes in the Silicon Valley city typically sell for 110% of the list price, and buyers put down 20% of the sale price for the down payment on average, according to the real-estate site Redfin.

According to the Palo Alto Weekly, 75 survey respondents said they considered themselves "upper-middle-class," with incomes ranging from about $50,000 to $400,000. Only 17 people said they were "lower-middle-class" or "working class," with incomes falling between $35,000 and $349,999. Four people said they were in the "upper class," with more than $400,000 a year, while 89 declined to answer the question or wrote in another reply.

As home prices continue to climb in Silicon Valley and the cost of living rises, some who identify as middle-class residents may be increasingly justified in saying so.

SEE ALSO: 9 of the 10 hottest neighborhoods in America are in this ritzy enclave for the tech elite

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Tim Ferriss explains why he left Silicon Valley

Amazon's 'Mozart in the Jungle' star Lola Kirke explains how her character's life in the show mirrors her own, and how they're different


mozart in the jungle

  • Season four of Amazon's "Mozart in the Jungle" is now available to stream.
  • Lola Kirke, one of the show's stars, talked to Business Insider about the new season and how her character's journey parallels her own.

When Lola Kirke landed the role of aspiring oboist Hailey Rutledge on Amazon's show "Mozart in the Jungle" half a decade ago, she was at a point in her life similar to her character: young, talented, and looking for her big break.

"I’ve always really liked how Hailey's journey has oddly paralleled my own," Kirke told Business Insider in a recent interview.

Amazon, which had just begun making original TV shows at the time, was also looking for its breakout hit. The tech giant ended up getting two from that class, with both "Mozart in the Jungle" and "Transparent" eventually winning Golden Globes.

Now "Mozart in the Jungle" is back with its fourth season, which became available on Amazon Prime Video starting Friday, February 16.

Business Insider caught up with Lola Kirke (and Gael García Bernal) ahead of the season to talk about her and her character's journey, her connection to music, and whether she'd ever like to move behind the camera.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Nathan McAlone: In this season there’s a lot of complexity for your character in terms of going on the journey of what she wants to do in conducting and playing, and balancing that. And being talented, but having failures as well. Is there a particular element of your character's journey that resonated with you personally?

Lola Kirke: What I’ve always really liked about Hailey is that she's an atypical ingénue in that she does fail a lot. And I think that's very fun to play, but also a huge part of the way we all grow as people and artists. And I guess a particular part of Hailey’s journey that I have enjoyed this season was taking herself really seriously. You see her beginning to be more assertive. That was very welcome for me. I’ve always really liked how Hailey's journey has oddly paralleled my own. When I first started working on the show, it was one of my first jobs and I was surrounded by a lot of actors who were way more seasoned, and who I admired greatly, and I think for Hailey she was in a similar position. As she's grown so have I. I don't know if her assertiveness has informed my own, or if that’s just happened naturally.

McAlone: Another big thing this season is [Hailey and Rodrigo] getting together in a relationship. When all this underlying tension you were playing for seasons is now realized, was that nerve wracking?

Kirke: No, because I knew the writers would find some way to break us up and make it happen all over again. For the next four seasons. No, I have no idea.

lola kirke

McAlone: What role does music play in your life, do you have any favorite classical composers, or just generally?

Kirke: I love music. Not generally, there are certain kinds of music I abhor, but there’s a lot of music that I really love. And music has always been extremely close to me. I’m a musician myself.

McAlone: What do you play?

Kirke: I play guitar and sing. And that's always been something deeply personal to me. And it’s something you take with you, I think. Even before there were iPods, I imagine you took your record player, and your record, in those portable little things. And I think that classical music and the kinds of music that I was more drawn to function in the same way. I think that Mozart was the rock star of his own day and wasn't always music that you hear at your grandmother's house. It was radical. And “Quartet for the End of Time,” the piece we played at Rikers [jail complex in New York], was so stunning, and that whole experience of being there was really interesting and fraught and gorgeous. And to sit as the oboist. I’m surrounded by actual musicians. And to be in their midst is something special. That's so much teamwork. That’s beautiful. To see people creating something that incredible together, and so many of them.

McAlone: I’m sure you’ve learned a ton about how symphonies work. Is there anything in particular that stood out to you.

Kirke: When I first read “Mozart in the Jungle,” the book, I was struck by just how rock and roll the experience of being a classical musician could be and just how edgy it was. How there were certain people who hadn’t spoken to the person they were sitting next to for 20 years.

McAlone: That’s wild.

Kirke: I know. Well they’re all freaks and they’re artists.

McAlone: Very passionate.

Kirke: Yes exactly.

McAlone: Has your character’s journey [from oboist to conductor] made you think about branching out, maybe going behind the camera?

Kirke: I’m drawn to acting for many reasons but one of them is because I love telling stories and participating in the human exchange in that way. I think there are other ways to do that too. Directing is something I've always liked doing, though I think it’s very overwhelming as well. And writing. I’m drawn to all of those aspects of it.

McAlone: What element of your character do you think is furthest from your own personality, that was maybe hard to nail?

Kirke: I’d like to think I’m not as awkward as she is. But I could be wrong about that.

SEE ALSO: Gael García Bernal goes deep about romance between artists, robots, and why he'd like to live the life of his character from Amazon's 'Mozart in the Jungle'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This vest could help people cope with anxiety and stress by simulating a hug

The Syrian producer of Oscar-nominated doc 'Last Men in Aleppo' had his visa rejected and can't attend the Academy Awards


last men in aleppo grasshopper films final

  • Kareem Abeed, Syrian producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Last Men in Aleppo," will not be able to attend the Academy Awards because his visa application was rejected.
  • The documentary looks at a volunteer group called The White Helmets that rescues victims buried in rubble following bombings in Aleppo during the Syrian civil war.
  • Mahmoud Al-Hatter, a co-founder of The White Helmets who is featured in the movie, also cannot attend the Oscars because the Syrian government would not allow him to apply for a passport.

Syrian film producer Kareem Abeed will not be allowed to attend the Academy Awards to support his movie, "Last Men in Aleppo," as his visa application was officially denied by the US government.

According to The Wrap, Abeed received word he was "found ineligible for a visa under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.” Abeed's rejection comes in the wake of President Trump's travel ban, which puts restrictions on Syria, as well as North Korea, Iran, Chad, Libya, Venezuela, and Yemen.

“It’s difficult to understand how such a decision can be justified," Ryan Krivoshey, the president of the movie's US distributor Grasshopper Film, told Business Insider in a statement. "The filmmakers have risked their lives to show the world what is happening in their homeland. We should be honoring their bravery and courage, not denying them entry to our country."

"Last Men in Aleppo" is a documentary that looks at volunteers of The White Helmets, the Syrian rescue team that saves victims buried in rubble following bombings in Aleppo during the Syrian civil war.

“Kareem is an artist, he is coming here to show the impact of the war," "Last Men in Aleppo" director Feras Fayyad, who is currently working out of San Francisco, told The Wrap. "Films like this are the only way we can use our voices to speak out against this war. We are doing what Americans have done for so long and that is to use art as a space and a platform for changing. And what the government is doing is building a wall to control art.”

"Last Men in Aleppo" is the first film directed and produced by Syrians to earn an Oscar nomination.

Abeed isn't the only member of the movie's team who will be missing out on Oscar night. The White Helmets co-founder, Mahmoud Al-Hatter, who is featured in the movie, was reportedly unable to apply for a Syrian passport to attend the Oscars as Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his supporters have called The White Helmets a front for Al-Qaeda.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time

To connect with your partner, don't curl up on the couch — go on a double date


double date

  • Studies suggest that spending time with your partner and another couple is an easy way to improve your relationship.
  • Couples tend to enjoy the time they spend together with friends even more than they enjoy spending time alone together.
  • That's possibly because you can see those friends admiring your partner the way you once admired them (or still do).

Earlier this month, historian Stephanie Coontz published an op-ed in The New York Times about improving your marriage by acting like a single person.

One sentence jumped out at me: "Aside from having sex, which most of us prefer to do without outsiders around, people enjoy doing activities with their partner and friends together more than with only their spouse."

This wasn't something I'd heard before. In fact, it was antithetical to everything I'd heard before, about "date nights" and savoring QT with your QT (sorry).

As evidence, Coontz points to a 2014 study published in the journal Personal Relationships.

For that study, researchers recruited about 150 couples and had half interact with another couple they'd never met before. Half the couples in both groups engaged in small talk; the other half asked each other deeper questions.

Results showed that couples who interacted with another couple and asked each other deep questions showed the greatest increase in passionate love for their own partners at the end of the experiment.

The 2014 study extends the findings of a 2010 study, also published in the journal Personal Relationships. That study, which was smaller, found that couples who had meaningful conversations with other couples felt closer to their own partners afterward.

Data from the Sloan Center's Five Hundred Family Study at the National Opinion Research Center tells a similar story. As Pamela B. Paresky explains in a blog post for Psychology Today, "the highest-quality time couples spent together was the kid-free time they spent together with friends."

What gives?

Seeing other people laugh at your partner's old stories can remind you how great your partner really is

Coontz suggests that socializing with others lets each partner show off their strengths. She writes: "My husband tells great stories, but I've heard most of them and am not interested in hearing them again when we're by ourselves. When we're out with others, however, I urge him to tell away. Their positive reaction validates me as well as him."

Indeed, the 2014 study found that it wasn't self-disclosure (as in, revealing personal details to another couple) itself that predicted the increase in passionate love within couples. Instead, it was mostly the way the other couple reacted to those disclosures.

Ultimately, this research doesn't suggest you should never spend time alone with your partner. Especially in the early stages of your relationship — i.e. when you haven't yet heard the same stories 100 times — it makes sense to get to know your partner in a more private setting.

But once your relationship has progressed to a more serious phase, double dating can be a useful way to both stave off boredom and reignite your passion for each other.

Read the full op-ed at The New York Times »

SEE ALSO: 7 telltale signs you're in love, according to a scientist who's spent decades studying human relationships

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A relationship psychologist explains why marriage seems harder now than ever before

New data shows Netflix's number of movies has gone down by thousands of titles since 2010 — but its TV catalog size has soared


netflix bright

  • Netflix has focused significantly more on television than movies in recent years.
  • New data from third-party Netflix search engine Flixable shows that the amount of TV on Netflix has nearly tripled since 2010.
  • The number of movies, meanwhile, has gone down by thousands of titles.


If you thought Netflix's movie selection had been lacking lately, you're right. The streaming service's amount of movies has dipped by over 2,000 titles since 2010, while its number of TV shows has nearly tripled. 

Third-party Netflix search engine Flixable compiled data that shows a dramatic shift in Netflix's priorities in recent years.

In 2010, Netflix had 530 TV shows compared to 6,755 movies. Now, in 2018, the amount of TV shows has nearly tripled to 1,569, and the amount of movies offered has decreased to 4,010.

Below is a chart from Flixable detailing the changes:


It's no secret that Netflix has focused more on TV shows and less on movies in recent years, but now we have a visual representation of just how significant that focus has become. 

In 2016, Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that "no matter [how good the movie catalog was], we end up with a third of our watching being movies." He explained that if viewers were passionate about a movie, they would have already seen it in theaters by the time it ended up on Netflix. It was hard to create an event.

To counter this, Netflix has begun to release is own "original" movies, and will release 80 in 2018. But that's an expensive proposition, and will naturally lead to a smaller catalog size.

But it could work to make Netflix more valuable for its users. 

Sarandos called the Will Smith movie "Bright" a big test for Netflix. Could Netflix have its own blockbuster? It seems so. Even though it got shredded by critics, when the film was finally available to stream in December, 11 million people viewed it in its first three days.

SEE ALSO: The official numbers are in, and 'Black Panther' soared past the latest 'Star Wars' for a historic $242 million opening weekend

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how

People are furious that Anna Wintour didn't take her sunglasses off for the Queen — here's the real reason she always wears them


anna wintour the queen

  • Queen Elizabeth II made her first visit to London Fashion Week on Tuesday afternoon.
  • The 91-year-old monarch sat in the front row, next to Conde Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour. 
  • Wintour has been criticized online for not taking off her sunglasses as a sign of respect to the Queen.


The Queen of England made her first visit to London Fashion Week Tuesday afternoon, where she sat in the front row at designer Richard Quinn's runway show, next to Conde Nast's artistic director, Anna Wintour. 

Wintour famously always wears her sunglasses to runway shows, and Tuesday was no exception.

This has sent the internet into a frenzy as people claim this showed a total lack of respect for the Queen. 

Queen fashion weekQueen fashion week


"Anna Wintour looking ridiculous as usual — sunglasses indoors?! At least the Queen knows how to dress properly for any occasion," one commenter wrote on Twitter.

But according to Wintour, these glasses serve a purpose.

"They are seriously useful. I can sit in a show and if I am bored out of my mind, nobody will notice … At this point, they have become, really, armor," she said in an interview on 60 Minutes in 2009, as was reported by The Cut.

It's a way for Wintour to conceal her emotions at runway shows. 



When Wintour was made a dame by the Queen in 2017, she did not wear sunglasses. 

SEE ALSO: We went to a Goodwill store and saw how it's 'overrun' with stuff millennials and Gen Xers refuse to take from their parents

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What it's really like inside Amazon's new no-line grocery store.

RANKED: The greatest US presidents, according to political scientists


US presidents

Presidential rankings tend to be subjective and divisive, but they also provide valuable insight into how historical views of presidents evolve over time.

In a recent survey, nearly 200 political science scholars ranked US presidents on a scale of 0-100, from failure (zero) to average (50) to great (100). The totals were then averaged for each president and ranked from highest to lowest.

A majority of the 170 respondents — roughly 57% — identified as Democrats. Just 13% were Republicans, while 27% said they were independents, and 3% selected other. The skewed sampling plus the fact that President Donald Trump is in the middle of his second year in office make it difficult to accurately compare him to previous presidents.

But even among Republicans, Trump was ranked quite unfavorably. Respondents who identified as Republicans or conservatives ranked Trump 40th out of 44 presidents. Self-described Democrats and liberals both ranked him last.

Here are the greatest US presidents, ranked according to current and recent members of the American Political Science Association:

SEE ALSO: The top 20 presidents in US history, according to historians

DON'T MISS: Inside the marriage of Donald and Melania Trump, who broke up once before, reportedly sleep in different bedrooms, and are weathering rumors of his affairs

44: Donald Trump

43: James Buchanan

42: William Harrison

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Walmart's Alice Walton is the richest woman in the world — here's how she spends her $47.9 billion fortune


Alice Walton of Wal-Mart

  • Walmart heiress Alice Walton is the richest woman in the US — and the world. 
  • With an estimated net worth of $47.9 billion, she ranks 13th on the Forbes 400.
  • Alice Walton spends her vast fortune collecting art and breeding horses. 

Alice Walton, the only female heiress to the Walmart fortune, is not only the richest woman in the US.

She's also the richest woman in the world. 

The 68-year-old has a fortune worth $47.9 billion, according to Bloomberg. That's nearly $4 billion more than the second richest woman in the world — French heiress of cosmetics giant L'Oreal, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers.

Previously the richest woman in the world, Bettencourt-Meyers inherited the family's fortune following the death of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt. Her net worth currently stands at $44.1 billion

The three Walmart heirs — Rob Walton, Jim Walton, and Alice Walton — have a combined wealth of $145.5 billion. That's about $50 billion more than the second richest family in America, the Kochs, according to Bloomberg data.

Despite the Walton's high status, their personal lives remain largely private. Scroll through to find out what we know about how America's richest woman spends her fortune, from collecting expensive art to breeding horses.

SEE ALSO: MEET THE WALTONS: How America's wealthiest family spends its Walmart fortune

DON'T MISS: 24 mind-blowing facts about Warren Buffett and his $77 billion fortune

Unlike her brothers, Rob and Jim, Alice has never taken an active role running Walmart and has instead become a patron of the arts. She fell in love with the arts at a young age. When she was 10, she bought her first work of art: a reproduction of a Picasso painting for $2.

Source: The New Yorker

She has an immense private art collection, with original works from legendary American artists, Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Georgia O'Keefe.

Source: Business Insider

Alice opened a $50 million museum called Crystal Bridges in 2011 to house her $500 million private art collection. When it opened, it had four times the endowment of the famous Whitney Museum in New York.

Source: The New Yorker

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A BRIT Awards set designer who's worked on Coldplay tours and Glastonbury told us the craziest demands she's had from a band or artist


Misty Buckley and Chris Martin

  • Misty Buckley is one of the most important people behind the scenes at this year's BRIT Awards, and is in charge of designing the awards show set
  • Her job is to make this year's set "bigger and better" than last year's show, which featured a George Michael tribute.
  • She's worked on Glastonbury, the 2012 Paralympics, the BBC Music Awards, and two Coldplay tours.
  • Over the years she's had some pretty bizarre requests.

Today is one of the busiest days of Misty Buckley's career.

As Production Designer for the BRIT Awards, the 38-year-old is making sure everything is in place for Wednesday night's glitzy awards show in London, which honours the best artists in UK pop music.

Buckley and her team are behind the stage where winners will receive this year's awards, which will also host performances from stars like Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Sam Smith, Rita Ora, and Dua Lipa.

She's so busy that she had to postpone our interview initially to get on a call with nominated artist Rag'n'Bone Man.

Despite this, she was never supposed to be a production designer. In fact, she initially started out in fashion, but got a taste for set design while planning her own fashion shows as a student at at Central Saint Martins art school.

She told Business Insider: "It was a time when Alexander McQueen was doing extraordinary and brave fashion shows in run-down buildings around London. I just started doing that with my friends as a sideline to my degree and got really into it."

Breaking out of fashion and moving into public and fine art, Buckley got involved with designing "obscure performance and installation art," and "breaking the boundaries of traditional theatre spaces."

However, while she had lots of ideas, she had no technical skills. So she went to evening college to study drafting — or hand-drawing scenery — to be used in television and film.

Her first job came from her tutor, who was a TV designer. "He used to design alot of televised music shows and performances, [like] Tina Turner and Spice Girls specials," she said. "He was looking for an assistant and rang me up."

Her first major job with him was as an assistant on the BRIT Awards. "That’s how it all started," she said. "It's bizarre to now be at the other end of it as the designer."

However, the BRITs are just the beginning for Buckley.


A post shared by Misty Buckley (@misty.buckley) on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:51am PDT on

Some of her most impressive design feats include working on Glastonbury Festival every year, or the closing ceremony of the Paralympics when London hosted in 2012. 

She's also worked on the 2015 Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony at Twickenham, the BBC Music Awards, and Coldplay’s Head Full of Dreams World Tour and 2016 Super Bowl performance, as well as designing arena tours and TV performances for the likes of Elton John and One Direction.

In 2013 and 2014, Buckley won Set Designer of the Year at the Total Production International (TPi) Awards.

"It's not just just big projects. I like doing smaller projects as well with smaller artists who are breaking through," she said.

Evoking the emotion behind the music

The job involves a lot of research — mainly into the emotion behind a band or artist's music, according to Buckley.

"If it’s an album from a band, it’s really fun and important that you get into the storyline of the album and the narrative of where it’s from and why they wrote it and how they were feeling," she said. "I try to communicate how the band are going to feel, how the band want to express themselves."

This can involve expressing the mood of a "sad and rich album" Like Coldplay's "Ghost Stories," which Buckley called "a love story and a breakup story." Or "Head Full of Dreams," which she calls an "enlightenment album" about "reaching out and connecting people."

Once she has the mood nailed down, she starts sketching.

"I’ll spend hours sketching and pinning things on the wall, working out shapes and thoughts and concepts there," she said. "Then we’ll start to get into some visualisation of those drawings, then some more technical drawings."

The "we" are the team in her studio who have "different strengths that can bring a project to life" — all while drinking a lot of coffee and green tea.

She added that the team always build a 3D model of a set. "That’s quite special because it’s a chance where the artist gets to imagine themselves in that world," she said. "I love seeing their faces when they get presented with their one to 100 version of themselves — it’s priceless."

Rising to the challenge — from Take That to Coldplay

A lot of work goes into making sure that face is a happy one.

With such close ties to superstar bands and artists, Buckley has been asked to do some pretty bizarre and extravagant things over the years — but she's always risen to the challenge.

She's been asked to make a giant caterpillar to fit 10 dancers, pocket watches that open to reveal bubble machines, a flying motorbike and sidecar, a human jack-in-the-box, a hot air balloon made out of a thousand small balloons, and a giant gramophone that spits out flowers — and all of that was just for Take That.

Giants.... is mega.. @takethat @lukehalls @tim_routledge_lighting_design #takethat #takethatwonderlandtour2017 #takethatwonderland

A post shared by Misty Buckley (@misty.buckley) on May 5, 2017 at 1:20pm PDT on

Coldplay, and Chris Martin in particular, have also provided more than one challenge — but it was the first task they set her that solidified her relationship with the band.

While talking through initial ideas for the Mylo Xyoloto album and tour, the band asked Buckley whether she would work on the music video for a song they had just written, called Christmas Lights.

Buckley said Chris Martin turned to her and said: "How do you fancy designing a set for us for the video? It should look like a travelling theatre and will need to be somewhere in London."

And something like a rooftop wasn't good enough — Martin wanted it set "through the streets of London and by the river."

It was mid-November, and Coldplay wanted the video to be done in time for a Christmas release — meaning Buckley had a week to put something together.

"We all jumped in a taxi and drove around London, looking for the perfect site for our travelling show," she said. "We decided on the South Bank, so we could capture London at Christmas by the river."

Here's how it looked:

Coldplay perform for the 002

"Seven days later, the set had been designed, modelled and built."

On the day of the shoot the weather was expected to drop below freezing — but Buckley and her team shot the video through the night, until 5 a.m.

"The band were freezing, and poor Phil Harvey and Simon Pegg were appearing in the video in pape- thin lycra Elvis costumes. We were exhausted and frozen to the bone… But the results were amazing."

You can watch the video below:

Buckley added: "As we packed up and drove home from the set at 7 a.m., I got a message from the band. 'Well done. We loved it.  See you on the tour.'"

"Eight years later we are still dreaming up creations together," she said. "I think they might just have only just forgiven me for letting them freeze that night."

While working on "Ghost Stories," the team made 2,000 paper stars and toured them around the world. 

"When we did the world tour, they came up with the idea of 24,000 flowers, and a huge flower curtain, and we toured that around the world for two years," she added. "It was absolutely unbelievable — we had to have a team of what we call horticultural technicians who would unravel the flowers every night and make sure they looked beautiful."

Here's just one of Buckley's set designs for a Coldplay tour:


Making Glastonbury icons

While the tours provide a challenge, her favourite job is working on Glastonbury Festival, where she is one of many designers that work across the iconic event.

"You get asked to do the most bizarre things: [like get someone to] fly over people's heads or make a giant bike," she said.

One of her more memorable moments is sitting with Emily Eavis — co-organiser of the festival — who said: "Wouldn't it be nice to have a tower with some ribbons on, and what if we could climb up that tower?"

"We went along to the steel company who built the stages, and said we wanted a tower in the middle of the field that people could go up which would will be covered in ribbons," Buckley said.

Despite the fact it sits in the middle of the most windy, exposed area of the festival — and the company couldn't drill into the field — Buckley said: "We did it and built it and it’s now become an icon of the festival, and it was just her and me, with a cup of tea, dreaming that up."

The 'bigger and better" BRITs

Despite all her experience working with artists around the world, the BRITs are where it all began — and it sounds like audiences are in for a treat this year.

"Last year was massive, wall-to-wall in the O2," Buckley said.

That show's highlights included a tribute to George Michael featuring Chris Martin, and duet from Ed Sheeran and Stormzy.

This is what the preliminary graphics looked like.

BRITS2017 GeorgeMichaelTribute_ChrisMartin


...And here's how it actually looked on stage.


"This year, my brief was to build and create a bigger and better set than last year," Buckley said.

"I thought: 'We're going to have to start building outside the O2 because we're really pushing the boundaries.' But we've managed to achieve a bigger set."

Those watching the awards on Wednesday can expect a vibe of metallics, like "warm silver Champagne and light gold," accoring to Buckley.

"It feels to me a bit more elegant — I feel like it's more feminine in a way," she said." There’s a real elegance and lightness to the set even though it’s huge."

Her Instagram account gave a sneak peek at what she called "an enormous piece of sculpture" that looks like it "has grown out of the floor."

Shineeey.... Brits 2018 set build commences... @brits #brits2018 #setdesign

A post shared by Misty Buckley (@misty.buckley) on Feb 16, 2018 at 2:33pm PST on

Buckley said that biggest challenge of all is making sure each artist's performance fits into the set and they "do every band justice."

This involves "getting all of the creative for each artist's performance to make sure they have their own identity, that they work in synergy with the set, that they get the most out of it, that we can fit their stuff on the stage."

"The biggest challenge is to fit every single article of each set backstage and be able to turn it around," she said.

"It's making a lot of things fit into a small space."

Yet somehow, Buckley and her team seem to make it all fit — and the results are something like this:

The 38th BRIT Awards with Mastercard, hosted by Jack Whitehall, will take place at The O2 on February 21. You can watch from 8 p.m. on ITV.

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Angry Brits keep reporting KFC to the police because its stores ran out of chicken (YUM)


kfc uk closed

  • Hundreds of KFC stores in the UK remain shut days after the company experienced a nationwide chicken shortage.
  • New distributors working for KFC have been unable to get enough chicken to 750 of the 900 KFCs in Britain.
  • Outraged customers have been calling police and members of parliament to complain.
  • In response, officers suggested that closed chicken shops are not their problem.

Angry chicken fans in Britain have been reporting KFC to the police because hundreds of their stores ran out of chicken.

As many as 450 branches across the UK are shut for a fourth day after a change of distributors led to a nationwide chicken shortage for the company.

Others are open with severely limited menus, including one restaurant in Bristol which could only offer BBQ beans, lettuce and popcorn chicken.

kfc chicken shortage limited menu

Police forces in Tower Hamlets, London, and Whitefield, Manchester, have tweeted their frustration at being dragged into KFC's crisis, which they explained was not an issue for them.

Tower Hamlets MPS said: "It is not a police matter if your favourite eatery is not serving the menu that you desire."

Some frustrated customers have also been contacting their members of parliament in hope of a political solution.

Neil Coyle, an MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark in south London, wrote on Monday:

The Telegraph and The Times also reported Luke Pollard, an MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport in south England, as tweeting: "Have had my first person get in touch to ask what’s happening with #KFC . . . and the answer is, I don’t know (yet)."

Pollard appears to have deleted the tweet in question.

KFC swapped deliverers from Bidvest Group to DHL last week, causing what the fried-chicken empire described as "teething problems" which have crippled its ability to operate.

DHL has one distribution depot in Rugby, central England, while Bidvest had several around the country, according to the trades union GMB, which represents slighted Bidvest employees.

The map below shows the distance lorries have to travel from DHL's Rugby depot to KFC outposts as far away as northern Scotland and the southwestern tip of England.

KFC and DHL depot

KFC tweeted on Tuesday evening that "over half" of its stores around the country have reopened, and that "our teams are working flat out to open the rest."

It also told BBC that, despite its efforts, some will remain shut for the rest of the week.

The company also has a designated web page where people can find their nearest open outlet.

"Equilibrium will soon be restored," the company said.

On Wednesday, the BBC posted a video of at least seven lorries waiting outside DHL's depot in Rugby.

DHL blamed the chicken shortage on "operational issues," and said that it was working to "rectify the situation as a priority."

London's Metropolitan Police told Business Insider in a statement: "The Met's call centres currently receive more than 14,500 calls every weekday.

"The Met is continuing its drive — including the use of its social media channels - to reduce improper use of the 999 and 101 numbers."

Join the conversation about this story »

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This is the full schedule for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang


Winter Olympics PyeongChang

  • The 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing and end on Sunday, February 25.
  • The Olympic Games are being hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
  • Winter Olympic sports include ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and bobsled.
  • You can see the full schedule of events below.


The 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony kicked off at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in South Korea on Friday February 9 — and audiences have been capitvated ever since.

With ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and bobsled among the Winter Olympic sports, there's something for everyone.

Scroll through each day below to find out when each event takes place.

Wednesday, February 7

Alpine Skiing — Training

Curling — Mixed doubles

Thursday, February 8

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Ski Jumping — Qualification

Friday, February 9

Opening ceremony — 11.00 a.m GMT / 6.00 a.m ET

2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Figure Skating — Men's and pairs

Freestyle Skiing — Qualifying, men's and women's moguls

Saturday, February 10

Biathlon — Women's 7.5km sprint

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 7.5km skiathlon 

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Women's Hockey — Preliminary round

Luge — Men's heat races

Short Track — Qualification: women's 3000m and 500m relay, men's 1500m

Ski Jumping — Normal hill

Snowboarding — Men's slopestyle qualifying

Speed Skating — Women's 3000m

Sunday, February 11

Alpine Skiing — Men's downhill

Biathlon — Men's 10km sprint

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 15km skiathlon

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Figure Skating — Short dance, ladies short program, pairs free skate

Freestyle Skiing — Women's moguls

Women's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Men's heat races

Snowboarding — Men's slopestyle final, women's slopestyle

Speed Skating — Men's 5000m

Monday, February 12

Alpine Skiing — Women's giant slalom

Alpine skiing

Biathlon — Men's and women's pursuit events

Curling — Mixed doubles semifinals

Figure Skating — Men's and ladies free skate, ice dance free dance

Freestyle Skiing — Men's moguls

Women's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Women's heat races

Ski Jumping — Women's competition

Snowboarding — Women's slopestyle final, women's halfpipe qualifying

Speed Skating — Women's 1500m

Tuesday, February 13

Alpine Skiing — Men's alpine combined

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's and women's individual sprint finals

Curling — Mixed doubles bronze and gold medal matches

Women's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Women's heat races

Short Track — Women's 500m final, men's 1000m qualifying, men's 5000m relay qualifying

Snowboarding — Women's halfpipe final, men's halfpipe

Speed Skating — Men's 1500m

Wednesday, February 14

Alpine Skiing — Women's slalom

Biathlon — Women's 15km individual

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Pairs short program

Men's Hockey — Preliminary round

Snowboarding — Men's halfpipe final

Snowboard halfpipe

Speed Skating — Women's 1000m

Thursday, February 15

Alpine Skiing — Men's super-G

Biathlon — Men's 20km individual

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 10km individual

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Pairs free skate

Freestyle skiing — Women's aerials qualifying

Women's hockey — Preliminary matches

Men's hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Team relay competition

Skeleton — Men's competition: heat races

Snowboarding — Men's cross

Speed Skating — Men's 10,000m

Friday, February 16

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 15km individual

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Men's short programs

Freestyle Skiing — Women's aerials final

Men's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Ice hockey

Ski Jumping — Men's large hill qualifying

Snowboarding — Women's cross

Speed Skating — Women's 5000m

Saturday, February 17

Alpine Skiing — Women's super-G

Biathlon — Women's 12.5km mass start

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 4x5km relay

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Men's short program final

Freestyle Skiing — Women's slopestyle qualifying, final; men's aerials qualifying

Men's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Women's Hockey — Two knockout round matches

Short Track — Men's 1500m, women's 1000m

Skeleton — Women's heat races

Ski Jumping — Men's large hill

Sunday, February 18

Alpine Skiing — Men's giant slalom

Biathlon — Men's 15km mass start

Bobsled — Two-man sled heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 4x10km relay

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Freestyle Skiing — Men's slopestyle qualifying, final; men's aerials final

Men's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Women's Hockey — Classification matches

Speed Skating — Women's 500m, men's team pursuit qualifying

Monday, February 19

Bobsled — Two-man heat races

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Ice dancers

Freestyle Skiing — Women's halfpipe qualifying

Women's Hockey — Semifinals

Ski Jumping — Team competition

Snowboarding — Women's big air qualifying

Speed Skating — Women's team pursuit qualifying

Tuesday, February 20

Biathlon — Mixed relay

Bobsled — Women's heat races


Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Ice dance, free dance

Freestyle Skiing — Women's halfpipe final, men's halfpipe qualifying

Men's Hockey — Knockout rounds

Women's Hockey — Classification matches

Nordic Combined — Large hill competition

Short Track — Women's 1000m qualifying, men's 500m qualifying, women's 3000m relay final

Wednesday, February 21

Alpine Skiing — Women's downhill

Bobsled — Women's heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's and women's sprint semifinals

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Ladies short program

Freestyle Skiing — Men's cross

Men's Hockey — Quarterfinals

Snowboarding — Men's big air qualifying

Speed Skating — Men's and women's team pursuit finals

Thursday, February 22

Alpine Skiing — Men's slalom

Biathlon — Women's 4x6km relay

Curling — Men's semifinals

Freestyle Skiing — Men's halfpipe final

Women's Hockey — Bronze and gold medal matches

Nordic Combined — Team competition

Short Track — Men's 500m finals, women's 1000m finals, men's 5000m relay

Snowboarding — Men's and women's parallel giant slalom qualifying

Friday, February 23

Alpine Skiing — Women's alpine combined

Biathlon — Men's 4x7.7km relay

Curling — Men's and women's semifinals

Figure Skating — Ladies free skate

Freestyle Skiing — Women's cross

Men's Hockey — Semifinal matches

Snowboarding — Women's big air final

Speed Skating — Men's 1000m final

Saturday, February 24

Alpine Skiing — Team event

Bobsled — Four-man competition heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 50km mass start

Curling — Men's gold and silver match, women's bronze match

Men's Hockey — Bronze medal match

Snowboarding — Men's big air final, men's and women's giant parallel slalom finals

Speed Skating — Men's and women's mass start

Sunday, February 25

Bobsled — Four-man heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 30km mass start

Curling — Women's gold medal match

Figure Skating — Exhibition gala

Men's Hockey — Gold medal match

Closing ceremonies

SEE ALSO: The Olympic Village will be stocked with 37 condoms per athlete — and it could be because of Tinder

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A 24-year-old woman was kicked off a £400 Emirates flight because the crew thought she was unfit to fly with period pain


emirates a380

  • A 24-year-old woman was kicked off an Emirates flight because crew said she was unfit to fly due to period pain.
  • Beth Evans and her boyfriend, Josh Moran, were asked to leave the A380 jet despite being happy to take the journey with the pain Evans described as a "one out of 10."
  • They were forced to pay £250 ($290) to re-book the flight, having already paid £400.

Beth Evans and her boyfriend Josh Moran were kicked off an Emirates A380 jet because the crew determined that she was unfit to fly due to period pain.

The seven-hour flight from Birmingham to Dubai was just minutes from takeoff when an air hostess, who had overheard Evans complain about stomach pains caused by her period, began to ask her questions, according to The Sun.

The crew decided Evans, 24, needed a medical examination before she could fly — but there was no doctor available, so she had to get off the flight.

The decision was made despite the fact that Evans said the pain was only "one out of ten" when sitting down, and she was more than happy to make the journey.

Having already paid £400 ($558) for the flight, the couple — pictured below — were then forced to pay another £250 each to re-book another flight to Dubai.

While airlines have the right to refuse to carry passengers "with conditions that may worsen, or have serious consequences, during the flight," according to the NHS, although this usually applies to "seriously ill" travellers.

Moran told The Sun: "To be kicked off for period pains, it was madness. Beth was in tears and getting upset when the hostess was asking her questions. It’s embarrassing to have to explain about period pains when it’s being overheard."

He added that nobody looked her over — the crew simply called a medical team in the US who said Evans wasn't fit to fly.

An Emirates spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that Ms. Evans was offloaded from flight EK40 on Saturday 17th February "due to a medical emergency."

"The passenger alerted the crew onboard that she was suffering from discomfort and pain and mentioned that she was feeling unwell," the airline said.

"The captain made the decision to request medical support and offload Ms Evans so she could access medical assistance as needed.

The spokesperson added: "The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and we would not have wanted to endanger Ms Evans by delaying medical help had she worsened during the seven hour flight to Dubai. We hope Ms Evans felt better soon and look forward to welcoming her onboard again soon."

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

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The dirtiest place in your kitchen might be the sink sponge



  • Germs grow back very quickly on kitchen surfaces once they have been wiped down.
  • But most bacteria found in the house are relatively harmless.
  • The most harmful pathogens can be found on kitchen sponges.
  • 75% of sponges are contaminated with coliform bacteria — the family that includes E. coli.


When you've only got a few minutes to tidy up your kitchen, you might think wiping down the countertops is the best thing to do. However, as it turns out, there are other areas of your kitchen more worthy of your attention.

The BBC's Trust Me I'm a Doctor team performed an experiment recently to see how quickly germs grew back on kitchen surfaces when they'd been cleaned with anti-bacterial wipes.

The results showed that microbes began to re-colonise the worktops almost immediately, and after 12 hours there were "lots of different types of fungi" growing.

But it turns out surfaces probably aren't the areas in your home or kitchen you should be concerned about. Most of the microbes that live in our houses are harmless, and the harmful ones aren't necessarily found on surfaces.

A study from 2011 by NSF International had 22 families swab 30 everyday household items to see which objects had the most coliform bacteria — a family of bacteria that includes the food poisoning bug E. coli — lurking on them.

In first place were kitchen sink sponges and wipes, as 75% of them were contaminated with coliform bacteria. Other objects among the most contaminated were:

  • 45% of kitchen sinks
  • 32% of counter tops
  • 18% of cutting boards
  • 27% of toothbrush holders
  • 9% of bathroom handles

There's a common belief that microwaving or boiling your kitchen sponges can sanitise them. However, a study published in Nature found that sponges that were "sanitised" regularly by microwaving or boiling had a higher amount of pathogens on them.

Sanitising in this way does remove bacteria, but not all of them. The authors said in the study that cleaning sponges actually increased the relative abundance of dangerous, resistant bacteria, which then re-colonise faster. So rather than cleaning germs away, you're helping the worst of them thrive.

The average kitchen sponge actually has more than 5x10^10 bacteria in one single cubic centimeter, which is a number only usually found in fecal samples. So to be safe, it's a good idea to throw away your sponges every two weeks.

SEE ALSO: Your smartphone is even more gross than you thought — here's how and when to clean it

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We tried traditional pie and mash with jellied eels at one of London’s oldest fast food restaurants

  • F. Cooke sells handmade pies and mash.
  • It's one of London’s oldest fast food restaurants.
  • They’ve been around since 1862.
  • We ordered the traditional meal, complete with jellied eels.
  • Pies are served with potato mash and a sauce called liquor made from parsley and the juice of cooked eels.


F. Cooke is one of the oldest fast food restaurants in London. They've been serving handmade pies and mash with traditional jellied eels since 1862, and not much has changed since then.

"This is the oldest traditional meal in the East End of London. This is it," owner Joe Cooke told Business Insider. "It hasn’t altered, and as far as I’m concerned it won’t alter."

Their pies are made using a divider machine splits that the dough into 36 perfect pieces. Each piece is then rolled and filled with mincemeat mixed with salt, pepper, and caramel.

On a busy day they can make up to 600 pies.

Pies are served with potato mash and a sauce called liquor made from parsley and the juice of cooked eels.

"It was my great-grandfather who put the eel sauce, the parsley sauce which is predominantly a fish sauce with the meat pie," said Cooke. "Thank God it worked. That was it."

F. Cooke has stayed at traditional as possible. They still sprinkle sawdust on the floor.

As per pie etiquette, knives here are banned, and pies are to be eaten with fork and spoon only. The same can be said for gravy. "You mention the G word and you’re gone. It does not come with gravy. It might do up north or wherever it is, but here the traditional meal is pie and mash and parsley sauce liquor. That’s it."

Produced by Claudia Romeo

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A 23-year-old Brazilian fitness fanatic was left paralysed from the neck down after a sit-up accident at the gym



  • Brazilian law graduate Marcelle Mancuso broke a vertebra while exercising in January 2016.
  • She was doing an inverted sit-up, an exercise which takes place on a sharp incline.
  • Doctors diagnosed her with tetraplegia, which means no movement in the arms or legs.
  • She made a gradual recovery and now leads an active life again.

A 23-year-old Brazilian woman who was left paralysed from the neck down after a freak exercise accident at the gym is working out again.

Marcelle Mancuso, a law graduate from São José do Rio Preto, fell off a piece of equipment in January 2016 and broke one of the vertebra in her back, with life-changing consequences.

Mancuso injured herself during an inverted sit-up, a tougher version of a regular sit-up which is performed at an angle, with your legs elevated and head close to the floor.

Following the accident doctors diagnosed her with tetraplegia, meaning no movement in the arms or legs, she said.

Before the accident Mancuso led a very active life.

Aqui se come e aqui se queima ! #comerrezarecorrer #domingotemtambem 🏃💦

A post shared by Marcelle Mancuso (@marcellemancuso) on Sep 6, 2015 at 1:00pm PDT on

"It was just another normal day of training," Mancuso is quoted in The Independent as saying

"I went to perform the abdominal inverted sit-up, and was upside down. I was attached to the equipment with a strip, which broke and the personal trainer could not hold me."

Mancuso said that she hit the back of her head on the floor and immediately lost all movement in her body.

"The doctors did not know if I would walk again or if I would stay on a bed forever."

She had broken the fifth vertebra in her neck, knocked another, and squashed a third, The Independent reports, which compressed her spinal cord and resulted in paralysis.

Having committed to physical therapy Mancuso made a gradual recovery, and took her first steps after a month.

"After four months I started to improve my leg strength and five months after the accident I stopped having fainting and dizziness while walking," she said. "After six months I managed to walk and my legs did not sway anymore."

"I have a normal life today and thank God all the time for it! I learned to value the simplest things in life, such as getting out of bed and being able to brush my teeth without help."

And if her Instagram is anything to go by she now lives just as active a life as before her accident.

SEE ALSO: How the 'rich kids' and bloggers of Instagram spent Valentine's Day

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Netflix's website in 1999 looked nothing like it does today — here's how it has evolved over the years (NFLX)



Netflix has gone through a whirlwind of changes since it began in 1997 as a DVD-by-mail service.

The company has navigated the change from DVDs to streaming to becoming a global TV network — leaving past, established competitors like Blockbuster in the dust.

But it hasn't been without hiccups along the way — remember the company's disastrous attempt to split into Netflix and Qwikster?

Jacinthe Busson, who runs the site UX Timeline, has compiled a timeline of Netflix's website changes from 1999 to the present.

Here's how its look has evolved:

SEE ALSO: Why Netflix has no interest in live video — and what Facebook could learn from that

In 1999, Netflix hadn't even settled into its red color scheme yet. And there was an emphasis on "Net" and "Flix" as two separate entities. The name was stylized "NetFlix," and there were things like FlixFinder — what it called its search feature.

By 2004, Netflix began to settle into its signature look, but it was still firmly in the pre-streaming era. One of its big draws: no late fees — "EVER!"

In 2008, Netflix introduced streaming — "It's easier than you think!" But streaming still didn't have many new releases.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

2 Russian figure skaters are embroiled in the greatest rivalry since Nancy and Tonya — and they're poised to take gold and silver at the Olympics


Russian Figure Skaters Alina Zagitova Evgenia Medvedeva

• Accomplished Russian figure skaters Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova both train together under the same coach.

• They're also set to face off at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

• Medvedeva has long been a dominant presence in figure skating. However, she was recently hobbled by a broken foot.

• Zagitova is fresh off a victory over Medvedeva at the 2018 European Figure Skating Championships.

An intense showdown is heating up the world of ice skating at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

This year, the battle for gold has seemingly come down to Russian figure skaters and training partners Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova.

Zagitova won the women's short program with a world record-breaking 82.92 points, while Medvedeva took second with 81.61 points. They're now favored to take the gold and silver after Friday's long program.

Before the Olympics, Medvedeva, 18, was long been regarded as the favorite. She's twice swept the world, European, and Russian championships. The Muscovite was also named one of Business Insider's 50 most dominant athletes.

Zagitova, however, spoiled Medvedeva's winning streak at the 2018 European Figure Skating Championships, the Japan Times reported. The 15-year-old also scooped up gold at the last Russian Championships, which Medvedeva missed due to a broken foot.

The two Russians train with the same coach and are competing at the Winter Games as neutral athletes. They're two of the 169 Russian athletes who have been cleared to compete in Pyeongchang in the wake of their home country's massive, government-sponsored doping scandal.

By all accounts, the training partners get along, but they're two monster talents from the same country.

The New York Times reported that Medvedeva has referred to their rivalry as "a little war," while Zagitova added, "It's not bad or negative like a malicious feeling of rivalry, but it is there."

Here's a look at what's shaping up to be one of the rivalries that's come to dominate the 2018 Winter Olympics:

SEE ALSO: 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

Medvedeva first took to the ice at the age of three. She said her parents encouraged her to continue to pursue the sport in order to improve her figure and posture. The 18-year-old loves K-Pop, "Sailor Moon," and actors Grant Gustin, David Tennant, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Source: FS Gossip, FS GossipISU Results, FS Russia

The daughter of an ice hockey coach, Zagitova hails from Izhevsk, but lives with her grandmother in Moscow in order to train. She has a pet cat and two chinchillas, enjoys drawing and rhine-stoning, and has expressed interest in one day opening a Japanese restaurant.

Source: Russia BeyondNBC, R-Sport

Both skaters have long been favorites. Sports Illustrated predicted Zagitova would take home gold, while Medvedeva would snag silver. International Figure Skating Magazine predicted the opposite. And, sure enough, the two are in first and second after the women's short program.

Source: Sports Illustrated, International Figure Skating Magazine, The New York Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

14 of the craziest knockoff fast-food chains from around the world



  • There are many knockoffs of fast-food chains like McDonald's and Burger King around the world.
  • They often have funny names, like "McDoner" and "Burger Friends," and their menus are often similar to the stores they're copying. 
  • Sometimes the stores open because the countries don't allow franchises of the traditional chain. Other times, the reason why they exist is less clear.  

In many countries across the globe, you'll often see copycat fast-food restaurants named things like "Mash Donald's" or "McDoner" with the same font, logo, and colors as McDonald's. They aren't the only impostors: knockoff versions of Burger King, Starbucks, 7-Eleven, KFC, and more exist all over the world.

The names might be funny, but some of them were born out of deeper political issues. Mash Donald's, for example, opened because the Iranian government's anti-American sentiments make it impossible for the chain to open McDonald's franchises in the country, according to The New York Times. This is also the case for Pizza Hat (Pizza Hut), Burger House (Burger King), and other knockoff restaurants in Iran. 

China has imitated everything from individual products to world-famous landmarks, and fast food is certainly no exception. You'll find many knockoffs of McDonald's, KFC, and Starbucks throughout major cities in China.

Here are some of the craziest fast-food knockoffs from around the world:

SEE ALSO: 13 popular fast-food menu items that are surprisingly perfect for vegans

Iran: Mash Donalds

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Width: 658px

Mash Donald's in Iran sells its own version of classic McDonald's meals, like the "Mash Donald's baguette burger," its "big mac" made with meat, cheese, and turkey ham.



China: Michael Alone

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Width: 658px

China has a lot of interesting knockoffs, like Michael Alone, whose logo clearly is just an upside-down McDonald's logo. The restaurant uses the classic red-and-yellow color scheme as well. 

Kazakhstan: McDoner

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Width: 658px

McDoner is another clear spin on the McDonald's brand.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A scientific study links drinking with a longer life — but there's a catch when it comes to your brain


red wine pouring glass

  • Drinking has been linked with several negative health outcomes, including cancer, heart disease, and aggression.
  • Some studies, however, have suggested that moderate drinking could be connected to a longer life.
  • These benefits are unclear at best, as studies focusing on drinking and the brain have found more ties to negative impacts than positive ones.

Drinking isn't an overwhelmingly healthy habit.

Alcohol is a known carcinogen — a problem that led some of the nation's top cancer doctors to release an unprecedented warning last year asking Americans to drink less. Drinking has also been tied to as many as 30,000 deaths each year. And a recent study suggested a strong link between alcohol and aggression.

But some studies have suggested that drinking regularly in moderate amounts — defined as no more than one or two drinks per day — could be beneficial as we age. One study, cited prominently by multiple news outlets over the weekend, appears to be linked to a paper published in 2007 in the British journal Age and Aging which found that people who drank two or more drinks a day were less likely to die of any cause than those who did not.

Instead of focusing only on years lived, however, it's important to also look at the impacts of drinking on the brain. And the bulk of research suggests that when it comes to our aging minds, drinking is likely not very good for us — even in moderate amounts. 

Binging is bad for the brain

Scientists have known for years that binge drinking, or indulging in as many as 4-5 drinks in two hours, is bad for the brain. The practice has been tied with a lower volume of gray matter, the nerve-cell-rich tissue on the brain's surface; a lower density of white matter, the part of the brain that houses the nerve fibers that send signals from one area to another; and severe memory and learning problems.

Unfortunately, binging is also the way most Americans drink, regardless of age. According to the CDC, one in six US adults binge drinks roughly four times a month, consuming about eight drinks per binge.

taking shots drinking partying barThere are some people who classify as "heavy drinkers" and do not binge, nor have they been diagnosed with alcoholism — but it's unclear just how many people actually manage to qualify for this label.

A recent national survey suggested that as many as one in five people may drink "excessively" without binging or developing alcoholism, but experts say many of these folks may be negatively affected by their drinking, despite being largely unaware of it. Clinical psychologist Joseph Nowinski calls some of these people "almost alcoholics."

”There are many people in the almost alcoholic zone who are having alcohol-related problems with their health, their relationships and social lives, and even their work, but who don’t connect the dots between these problems and their drinking,” Nowinski told Harvard Health. “These people dismiss the possibility of being an alcoholic — and they truly don’t qualify under current definitions — but may need to take a step back to look at how drinking is affecting their lives.”

If you're truly a 'moderate' drinker, your habit may be neutral

There may be people who drink moderate-to-heavy amounts of booze without binging or developing other problems. Some studies have suggested that among these people, there could be a slight benefit in keeping the mind sharp into old age. But more recent research, including one large study whose researchers made a big effort to control for"confounding variables" — factors like education and physical activity that could muddle a study's findings — has cast doubt on those conclusions.

drinking beer

Two studies that suggested a benefit to heavy drinking include a paper published last year in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease which looked at more than 1,300 adults over age 65 in California, and a review of 74 studies published in 2011 in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.

The California study found that adults over 65 who drank up to three drinks a day on as many as seven days a week were significantly more likely to reach their 85th birthday without ever showing signs of cognitive decline compared with their peers who never drank. The review concluded that moderate drinkers — those who had no more than one to two drinks per day — had a lower risk of cognitive decline than non-drinkers (although the opposite held true for excessive drinkers, who had a higher risk of cognitive decline).

"These studies overwhelmingly found that moderate drinking either reduced or had no effect on the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment," the authors of the California paper wrote in their study.

But another review — this one published just a month before the California paper in the British Medical Journal— came to the opposite conclusion about moderate drinking and brain health. Instead of benefiting the brain, the authors of that study found, moderate drinking was tied to cognitive decline.

For their study, the authors followed 550 healthy British men and women between 1985 and 2015 with no diagnosis of alcohol use disorder. On average, the participants were in their early 40s when the study began and in their 70s when it ended.

Compared against the non-drinkers in the study, those who drank moderately or heavily were significantly more likely to display an early marker of Alzheimer’s disease. They also displayed a more significant loss of language fluency, a key measure of executive functioning, compared with those who didn't drink.

"How should this paper inform discussions with patients? It certainly strengthens the view that if alcohol does confer beneficial effects on health, the link is probably confined to low intakes of no more than a unit a day," the researchers wrote in their study. "Even this level of consumption carries risk relative to abstinence for conditions such as breast cancer, and the evidence of benefit is certainly not strong enough to justify advising abstainers to drink."

Taken together, these studies seem to suggest that if you're a lifelong heavy drinker whose drinking doesn't get in the way of your daily life, your habit may be safe. But if you tend to drink more than you initially plan to drink, or if the practice has started to affect your relationships or your work, it may be time to reconsider whether drinking is a positive part of your life. 

SEE ALSO: We took a scientific look at whether weed or alcohol is worse for you — and there appears to be a winner

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