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Fashion is undergoing a massive change — and H&M's struggles are proof

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Nyden

  • H&M's new millennial-focused brand, Nyden, launched online this week. 
  • CEOKarl-Johan Persson wants to create the brand of the future — one that he believes does not follow trends or churn out endless different styles but sells a limited selection of "affordable luxury" clothing.
  • This new label is the antithesis of H&M, and it speaks to the direction in which fashion is headed, casting doubt on whether H&M in its original form is still viable in the current apparel market.

After much anticipation, the H&M group launched its new, millennial-focused brand online on Tuesday. The new collection is currently in pre-launch and consists of eight different styles of men's and women's T-shirts costing $60 each. Several of the styles appear to have already sold out in the presale. 

Nyden — a portmanteau of the Swedish words "ny" and "den," meaning "new" and "it" — is the brainchild of Oscar Olsson, a 35-year-old, tattooed Swede who previously hailed from H&M's innovation lab and has worked for the group since 2013. 

Rather than looking over his shoulder at competitors, Olsson's strategy is to look ahead and predict how people will shop in the future, using market research and partnering with sociologists and philosophers. In an interview with The Cut, Olsson said he believes that in the future, brands won't exist in the same way that they do today — they might not have one main designer but instead could be influenced by many different people.

Because of this, his collections will be co-created with a series of different influencers, or what he calls "tribal leaders," including Instagram-famous tattoo artist Doctor Woo and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace. The clothing will then be sold online and via pop-up stores. 

Nyden is everything H&M is not. It sells minimalist clothing that doesn't follow trends, and given it claims to be the brand of the future, it's telling of the direction fashion is headed and why H&M's flagship brand is lagging behind. 

H&M was once the king of fast-fashion but is increasingly finding itself in a tricky position. Analysts claim that it has a brand issue: it's not the cheapest, it's not the best quality, nor is it the most fashionable store, and it's being left behind because of this. 

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, H&M reported its biggest sales drop on record. This was followed by a 62% decrease in operating profit in the first quarter of 2018 and news that it has accumulated a $4 billion mountain of unsold inventory. 

"The offering is the core problem," Erik Sjostrom, a fund manager at H&M shareholder Skandia, which has sold off considerable amounts of its stake in the company, toldBloomberg in February.

He said: "The fashion, the price, the distribution. I believe they are off both in terms of fashion and price."

Consumers are also becoming less inclined to jump on cheap clothing that goes out of style quickly, which is a problem for H&M. 

"Millennials are becoming more conscious about sustainable living and preserving the environment," Erin Hendrickson, a minimalist expert who runs the blog Minimalist RD, told Business Insider.

The success of its higher-priced but better-quality sister brand, Cos, is a shining example of this. H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson said that Cos' profitability is in now in line with H&M despite having 95% fewer stores, and it was expected to reach a turnover of around $1.2 billion by the end of 2017.

"There is a market for a customer that wants design and quality for an affordable price," Cos' managing director, Marie Honda, said during the company's Capital Markets Day in February. "These are timeless products that last longer — beyond that season."

With Nyden, a site that sells minimalist designs in limited quantities, H&M seems to be pivoting away from its mistakes and leaning into a style that has worked for them in Cos.

SEE ALSO: H&M is caught in a 'vicious cycle' of discounting, and now it's found itself with a mountain of unsold clothes

Join the conversation about this story »

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The most fascinating details and secrets from inside Singapore Airline's food facility

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Singapore Airlines How airplane food is made 11

  • How airplane food is made can depend on the airline.
  • For Singapore Airlines, they contract an airline catering firm called Gate Gourmet in Switzerland to produce more than 50,000 meals a day.
  • Some of the most fascinating details and secrets from inside Singapore Airline's food facility include that the kitchen has only five hours to prepare 1,500 meals for a full flight, and one mistake could waste 33 pounds of food at a time.

 

Airplane food has a reputation for not being particularly great. But when you fly Singapore Airlines, there's a really slim chance you'll get stuck with a bad meal.

Singapore Airlines rakes in tons of awards for being one of the best airlines in the world, and one of the chief considerations for such awards is the food — even in economy class. The airline's food and wine variety and quality stand out among its competitors'.

According to the Netflix documentary series"Mega Food," Singapore Airlines, which was the first airline to introduce in-flight entertainment and food options, serves about 50,000 meals a day. On its A380 flight, passengers have more than 50 meal choices. And food served on board is never frozen and almost always made from scratch. 

So how does Singapore Airlines do it?

The airline contracts with Gate Gourmet, the world's largest independent airline catering company, which is headquartered on the grounds of Zürich Airport in Switzerland and has 122 kitchens serving five continents and making 250 million meals a year.

Gate Gourmet's staff, including regional executive chef Oliver Fischer, took "Mega Food" through their facility to show how airplane food is made for Singapore Airlines.

Here are some of the most fascinating details and secrets from inside the food facility where Singapore Airline's meals are made.

SEE ALSO: Flight attendants share 15 of their favorite travel hacks

DON'T MISS: Flight attendants share 5 things you'd have to do to get kicked off your next flight

Gate Gourmet staffs 30 people a day to work one Singapore Airlines flight. The kitchen has just five hours to cook 1,500 meals for a full flight, and offerings include Western, Asian, and special meals, each with their own team of chefs and recipe books.

Source: "Mega Food"



To ensure cultural authenticity, recipes include precise measurements for spices and ingredients. One mistake or deviation from the recipe could result in 33 pounds of food wasted at a time.

Source: "Mega Food"



The most complex foods for the kitchen to make, Fisher said, are ethnic foods where there is also a religious component restricting certain ingredients. "You need a lot of understanding of culture," he said.

Source: "Mega Food"



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Barry Levinson got Al Pacino to perform at his peak for the HBO movie about Joe Paterno's fall

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Paterno 2 Atsushi Nishijima HBO final

  • Barry Levinson explains the key to getting a great performance from a legend like Al Pacino is casting great actors around him.
  • Out of all the amazing actors he's worked with, he reveals why he's grateful most for how Robert Redford treated him on the set of "The Natural."
  • And Levinson opens up about being on stage when John Oliver brought up Dustin Hoffman's sexual misconduct allegations at an anniversary screening of his movie "Wag the Dog" last December.


Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson has been around the movie business for so long he hasn’t just worked with both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, he’s worked with them multiple times — not to mention a whole bunch of other Hollywood legends.

From “Diner” — where Levinson basically launched not only his directing career, but the careers of Micky Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, Ellen Barkin, and Daniel Stern — to “Rain Man” (which earned him his Oscar win), to “Wag the Dog,” Levinson’s work has created some of the best dramas of the last 30-plus years. And recently, in an era when major studios only want franchises that can bring in billions, Levinson has moved his storytelling to HBO and found success with the Bernie Madoff movie “The Wizard of Lies” (his latest collaboration with Robert De Niro), and now a look into the fall of legendary Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, with Pacino in the lead role.

In “Paterno,” Levinson explores the scandal that tarnished the football god’s legacy when it was revealed, days after he became the winningest football coach in NCAA football history, that his one-time defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, sexually abused children for at least 15 years — with some of the incidents happening on the Penn State campus. Taking place mainly from inside the Paterno home with his family, Pacino gives an incredible performance of a man who must cope with being part of an institutional failure.

Business Insider sat down with Levinson in Lower Manhattan to talk about bringing a story about Paterno to the screen, how he’s come to terms with the fact that many of the people who watch his work are doing it through their phones, and the “peculiar and awkward” experience last December of sitting on stage while “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver questioned Dustin Hoffman about the sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Jason Guerrasio: Brian De Palma originally was doing this with Pacino. Did you take anything from their collaboration or did you start fresh?

Barry Levinson: Al told me he had been dying to do Paterno but that all didn't work out. And I said let me look at the stuff and basically we came back with a different take on it.

Guerrasio: I talked to De Palma back in 2013 and he said he was imagining Paterno as a King Lear character, it feels that wasn't the way you went.

Levinson: I mean you take a character like that I guess you could make that. But [De Palma] had a different take on it, completely. What we did takes place over a two-week period. You go from the highest high to the lowest low in two weeks. Because otherwise you would be back in the 1980s and '90s, you would be all over the place to hold the story together. Which you could do in some form, probably in a mini series. But in a two hour format, I thought we could get a lot out of it this way.

Guerrasio: It's a great jumping off point to tell the story. He becomes the winningest coach in college football history and then, what a week later —

Levinson: He won on a Saturday, winningest coach in the history of college football, the following Friday the Sandusky scandal begins. And literally, five days after that he's fired.

Guerrasio: Was the thinking also that with so much that has been written about Paterno over the years, on top of the documentary on the scandal itself, "Happy Valley," that there's a lot out there already. You can get away with just doing this pinnacle moment and not lose people.

Levinson: Yeah. The documentary covers a whole lot. We don't need to compete with all of that, but we can tell a separate story that almost nobody will know about. When you think about, one day there's an army of press outside his home and Paterno and his wife and the boys and daughter, everyone is like, "What happened?"

Guerrasio: It's fascinating to compare “Wizard of Lies” and “Paterno” in the aspect of family. The fallen patriarch. Both families are in the dark. Did you model some of “Paterno” off of what you did on “Wizard of Lies?"

Levinson: I didn't model it because we tell it in a different fashion. But I thought it was interesting. The fact that the family is under siege and they don't know. This blindsides them. I thought that would be good to explore, because they don't know so they are asking questions. They aren't accusing, but the daughter is asking, "Who spoke to the boy?" Paterno is like, "I don't know, it was an oversight." So we're learning as they are learning. That seemed to be a good way to do it. Because you're not just providing information, you're providing information in the midst of a drama.

Guerrasio: And to do that, in both films, you cast actors who aren't scared to work alongside legends. Hank Azaria in "Wizard of Lies" or Greg Grunberg in "Paterno" — they up De Niro and Pacino's game. How hard is it to cast actors who won't be scared of working with iconic actors?

Levinson: You have to find strong characters, in this case, for Pacino to work against. How do I make the son, daughter, wife of Paterno interesting? Then you just have to start seeing people. For the [Paterno] boys, I don't even know how many people we looked at.

Guerrasio: At some point do you bring in Al to make sure you'll get out of these actors what you need?

Levinson: No.

Guerrasio: But on the day of shooting, when the lights are brightest, they could fold working opposite Pacino.

Levinson: It's scary. [Laughs]

Guerrasio: Has that ever happened to you?

Levinson: No. You just have to go with your instinct. You meet people and you can tell they can do it. They can step up. At the end of the day you can't have one person, your star, doing whatever. You're putting the instruments into the orchestra, they all have to work.

Guerrasio: In your career you've worked with huge stars, going all the way back writing for Carol Burnett and Mel Brooks. Was there a point where you realized you can work with the cream of the crop?

Levinson: I don't think it ever did. If I think back now and say, I did “Diner” with a bunch of unknown guys and —

Guerrasio: But you were working with much bigger stars before that.

Levinson: Well, I was "working” on their stuff.

Guerrasio: Ah, not the guy at the helm.

The Natural TriStar PicturesLevinson: Yeah. And then I do "The Natural" and I'm working with Robert Redford who is not just a big star but he had just won the Academy Away as best director. So when I think back now I go, "Oh, boy, that was a daunting task." But at some point I went, "Okay, that worked, now I go to the next one." And Redford was great in that he did not impose — [Redford did not say] "Well, this is how I do it." I'll be forever grateful to him that he allowed me to do this crazy fable and didn't go, "No, I don't see that. I don't like that." He went with it. Light stands blowing up, he's rounding the bases night after night after night. He could have gone, "What the hell are we doing?" He was great.

I've been lucky in that regard that I've been able to work with a lot of big names and had solid relationships. De Niro, Al, Redford. Others along the way. It's been very satisfying as opposed to, here it is, that star's coming into the scene, make way. I've seen them as a great collaboration.

Guerrasio: You mentioned before we started this interview that you got to see "Paterno" on the big screen last night and it will probably be the only time that happens. You are making great work in your career currently that will only be seen by most on the small screen, or tablet or even iPhone, are you okay with that?

Levinson: The business has changed and some people can keep talking about theatrical in these wondrous terms — it will survive but it becomes narrower what you can make. So the films I'm most interested in, studios or even the independents, aren't making them. I'm mostly interested in people. I'm interested in the relationships of people. I'm interested in the darker moments within us. All those aspects of human behavior I'm fascinated by. But in the times we're in, those are hard movies to make. So if I can do it at HBO, fine. More people will see it. At the end of the day, when it's all said and done, everything is on television.

Guerrasio: It's where it all is.

Levinson: And it's where it was. Think about it, where did I see "Casablanca?" "Maltese Falcon?" "Citizen Kane?" It was all on television. Those films that were before my time they showed it on the late show. Did I appreciate them less because I didn't see them in a theater? No. I loved them. The kids today, they want to watch it on their iPhone, to me that's crazy, but that's the way. I can't say no.

Guerrasio: “Paterno” looks at an institutional failure of sexual abuse. The movie business is going through the same thing with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. You were front and center for one instance of that. Can you talk a little about what the experience was like being on that stage when John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman with the sexual misconduct allegations against him. This was during an anniversary screening of your movie, "Wag the Dog," do you wonder if that movie and another movie you did with Hoffman, "Rain Man," are now tainted because of the allegations against Hoffman?

Levinson: I don't know if I can answer that because it's too soon to know what the repercussions are of all of that. I would just be making a theoretical. How do we view something because of something? In the end, even applying it to "Paterno," if the voices of things that happened would have been heard it would have ended as it would have been made public and opening it up. There wouldn’t have been more victims. You can never squash something and assume it's not going to come back in some fashion. It's going to bubble up until it explodes. Society evolves to find a better way. It always has these hills and valleys. We're looking in the early stages of this. We understand the justification of it, but we don't understand how it will settle in and define itself.

Guerrasio: But it must have been strange for you sitting there with Oliver and Hoffman going at it.

Levinson: It was in a sense because I didn't know about anything. So it was literally, when he mentioned it to Dustin I didn't know about anything. I'm listening to a conversation that I can't even participate in because I don't know exactly what they were talking about. It was peculiar and awkward. And then we thought we got past it and then the conversation came back.

Guerrasio: To really understand it you would have had to have been up on the news.

Levinson: Yeah. I knew nothing beforehand. We were all taking back in the green room before going out and I hadn't seen Dustin in years. So we were talking and I was talking to John Oliver and we went out and then this thing took place.

Guerrasio: When it all ended. What was it like backstage?

Levinson: I think at the end of the night it was literally, "What happened?" Dustin and his wife and I think he had one of his sons with him and he was shell shocked. Oliver seemed, in a sense, disturbed by it. None of us knew what to say about what took place because it went in a different direction. Me and Bob [De Niro], we just didn't know where to jump in. You couldn't offer any insight or an opinion because you didn't understand what happened.

Guerrasio: I’ve been thinking often, how is a director or a film's work perceived post #MeToo? Because you worked with Hoffman on "Wag the Dog" and "Rain Man.” Are those movies looked at differently now?

Levinson: As I say, I don't know. But, I was in Switzerland last week, there's a festival there, and they showed "Rain Man." It was the first time I watched it since I made it. So it's like 30 years. But Hoffman never came up. They watched the movie and we talked.

Guerrasio: That's good to hear.

Levinson: Yeah. Your question is valid, but I don't know what things are going to be like, say, next year. I can't surmise what is next.

SEE ALSO: Believe the hype: John Krasinski's is the next hit horror movie and will scare the heck out of you

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Cherophobia is the fear of being happy — here are the signs you might have it

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unhappy man outside

  • Some people are scared of happiness and joy.
  • This doesn't mean they are sad all the time, but they avoid activities and social events they think will be fun.
  • It's usually a defence mechanism that stems from trauma or conflict.
  • Therapy can help people work through their past and look to the future without fear.


You know that feeling when something seems too good to be true — when it looks like a lot has happened in your favour recently, so it's suspicious?

Some people can't get over this feeling, and their good fortune takes a sinister turn in their mind.

People who have an irrational aversion to being happy suffer from something called "cherophobia." It comes from the Greek word "chairo," which means "I rejoice." It basically means that they are afraid to participate in anything fun.

It's not the activities that are scary, it's the fear that if you let go, and are happy and carefree, then something terrible will happen.

Cherophobia isn't widely-used or well-defined, and isn't in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is the main resource for diagnosing mental health conditions. But according to Healthline, some medical experts classify cherophobia as a form of anxiety.

Someone who has cherophobia probably isn't sad all the time, they simply avoid events and activities that could bring them happiness. Some symptoms of the disorder, according to Healthline, are:

  • Anxiety when you're invited to a social gathering.
  • Passing on opportunities that could lead to positive life changes due to the fear something bad will happen.
  • Refusing to participate in "fun" activities.
  • Thinking being happy will mean something bad will happen.
  • Thinking happiness makes you a bad or worse person.
  • Believing that showing happiness is bad for you or your friends or family.
  • Thinking that trying to be happy is a waste of time and effort.

In a blog post on Psychology Today, psychiatrist Carrie Barron discusses some possible reasons for people developing cherophobia, or "hedonophobia," which is defined as the fear of pleasure.

"There is so much talk about the pursuit of happiness these days," she wrote. "It might seem unusual for someone to fear this positive emotion. If it is due to a happiness/punishment link in childhood, it could be more common than we think."

For example, it could stem from the fear of conflict with a loved one, or a bad experience you associate with a certain event. If you're used to something bad happening straight after a happy event, you might resist going again.

"If you are pleasure averse, it may be because somewhere along the way, wrath, punishment, humiliation or theft – you earned it and they had to have it — killed your joy," Barron added. "Now you are afraid to feel it because the bubble burst/brutality is coming."

In an interview with The Metro news site, blogger Stephanie Yeboah described what it's like to live with cherophobia.

"Ultimately, it's a feeling of complete hopelessness, which leads to feeling anxious or wary of taking part in, or actively doing things, that promote happiness as you feel that it will not last," she said.

"A fear of happiness doesn't necessarily mean that one is constantly living in sadness. In my case, my cherophobia was exacerbated/triggered by traumatic events. Even things such as celebrating a campaign win, completing a difficult task or winning a client make me feel uneasy."

Treating cherophobia can sometimes be mistaken for treating feelings of depression, which Yeboah said isn't particularly helpful.

"There's not really much I can do as there aren't many resources that are specific for cherophobia, so I just kind of get on with it and try not to think about it where possible."

Barron said a good place to start is digging into your past, so you can try and learn to have tolerance for wasting time, having fun, and happiness without fearing negative consequences.

In particular, she said treatments like insight-oriented psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are useful for understanding the causes and undoing the negative associations people have between pleasure and pain.

Ultimately, tackling cherophobia is changing the way you think. If you think you may have it, it's likely a defence mechanism that you've put up, that was built because of a past conflict or trauma.

It will take time to work through your problems, but with treatment, you may be able to get past it, enjoy happiness, and start living in the moment.

SEE ALSO: Constantly imagining the worst case scenario is called 'catastrophising' — here's how to stop your mind from doing it

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You’ve been stirring your tea all wrong, according to a royal butler — here's how to do it right

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Miss Holland Butler Episode   Butler drinking tea

  • Drinking tea like a member of the royal family is a fraught affair, according to a former butler to Prince Charles.
  • Grant Harrold laid out a set of rules to follow to demonstrate upper-crust credentials.
  • He told Business Insider that a particular no-no is stirring tea with a circular motion: the correct way is back and forth, 'to avoid a storm in a tea cup.'
  • He also shared a host of other points of etiquette for royal-style refreshment.


The debate on how to make a perfect cup of tea will never be over — but, according to former royal butler Grant Harrold, there's a particular method to make a brew worthy of royalty.

Harrold was a member of the household of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and still lives on their Highgrove estate, so knows something about the royal way of life.

He revealed the four steps to the perfect royal cup in BBC Three comedy series Miss Holland— and there was one step in particular that caught our eye: the stirring instructions.

calum lewis 390146 unsplashHere's Harrold's method:

  1. Pour the tea into the cup from a teapot
  2. Add milk to the cup after the tea, never before
  3. Stir back and forth — never use a circular motion and never touch the sides
  4. Sip from the cup, do not slurp!

The tea-in-first tradition dates back to the 18th century, according to Harrold, when English potter Josiah Spode decided that china tea cups ought to be made from animal bone to prevent them cracking when hot tea was added.

From then on pouring the tea first became a status symbol among royals and the upper classes — as well as an opportunity to show off their fine china.

Meanwhile, the servants downstairs would have to add milk first to stop their clay crockery from cracking under the heat.

But why shouldn't you stir the tea in a circle like most people do?

Harrold told Business Insider: "If we stir in a circular motion we can create a storm in a tea cup and see the tea coming over the sides which we should never allow.

"If the spoon touches the sides it makes a clinging sound and we don't want that at the afternoon tea table."

"I am sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or her Earl Grey the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup. She will also use a strainer," he continued.

He added that it's also a "myth" that members of the royal family stick out their pinky finger while drinking. "I have never seen that happen once," he said.

And if you happen to be enjoying cakes and sandwiches with your tea, it's worth knowing a few other etiquette rules.

Scone

"The royal way to eat a scone is to either cut it with a knife or break it with your hands and put the cream on first and then the jam.

"If her majesty was visiting Cornwall she would spread the jam on first then the cream, or in Devon, it would be cream first then jam, because that is the way they do it and she is a very diplomatic lady."

SEE ALSO: Using these words can give away your social status, according to an anthropologist — and you’ll never hear a royal say them

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A look at the work desks of 7 successful people

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Chris O'Neill's Desk

Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff, Trivago CEO Rolf Schrömgens, and Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington are successful business leaders with very different workspaces.

• A person's desk can hint at their personality and work style.

• Business Insider reached out to seven successful people to get a glimpse of their workspaces.



Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff, Trivago CEO Rolf Schrömgens, and Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington all have something in common. They're successful business leaders currently helming big-name companies.

But, when it comes to their workspaces, they couldn't be more different.

Rascoff favors a treadmill desk, Schrömgens likes to move around the office, and Huffington has an affinity for round tables and keeps a phone bed on her desk.

Your work desk can say a lot about your personality, Business Insider previously reported. That's why we reached out to seven successful business leaders to get a glimpse of their desks.

Here's what seven top CEOs shared with us:

SEE ALSO: Trump's being slammed for this photo of his desk — here are past presidents' desks for comparison

Ontario native and Evernote CEO Chris O'Neill's desk reflects his dual citizenship. His workspace boasts both a Canadian flag and an American flag. "It's a reminder to think about how our company expands across languages and borders," he told Business Insider.



O'Neill's desk is also stocked with a plan on a page, tons of devices and products to test, and books. Currently, he's holding onto Kim Scott's "Radical Candor," which he said "inspired me to view things differently and my role as leader differently."



O'Neill keeps photos of his kids at his workspace, too. That's especially fitting, given that the CEO credits his children with introducing him to Evernote. "Being a parent is one of biggest joys of my life — in fact, it is how I started to use Evernote," he told Business Insider. "I am constantly keeping track of my kids’ schedules, meetings and other activities, and Evernote has been a calm in the chaos."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The San Francisco housing market is so dire that people are leaving in droves — here's where they're headed

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san francisco moving 4

The San Francisco Bay Area is on the brink of an exodus as a low supply of homes and high demand drive housing prices to new insanities, and the cost of living with it. A recent report from real-estate site Redfin said that San Francisco lost more residents than any other US city in the last quarter of 2017.

But where are they going?

Over 146 million American workers have LinkedIn profiles, and over 20,000 companies in the US use LinkedIn to recruit, which gives the social network an inside look at workforce trends.

One of the trends the company is watching: Where people leaving San Francisco are headed.

LinkedIn crunched its data to identify the US cities where the most LinkedIn members moved to from the San Francisco Bay Area in the past 12 months. These are the top 10 destinations.

SEE ALSO: All the crazy things happening in San Francisco because of its out-of-control housing prices

10. Stockton, California

Located in California's Central Valley, Stockton became the most populous city in the US to declare bankruptcy in 2013. Now, the city's 27-year-old mayor is leading a basic income trial that will give some residents $500 cash each month with no strings attached. That program was initially funded with a $1 million grant from a group co-chaired by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes

The tech-fueled riches of Silicon Valley could help turn around this California city's fortune.



9. Salt Lake City, Utah

Dubbed the "Silicon Slopes," the area reaching from Salt Lake City to Provo, Utah, is filled with top tech companies, including Adobe, EA Sports, Overstock.com, and cloud software startup Domo. Tech workers who flock to Salt Lake City for its lower taxes, more flexible regulatory environment, and natural amenities may find they can actually afford a home near the office.

The National Association of Realtors reported that the salary needed to buy a home in Salt Lake City was $59,521 in the last quarter of 2017. In San Francisco, it's at least $173,783.



8. Hawaii

Tech workers are finding paradise on the Hawaiian Islands (LinkedIn was not more specific as to which islands). The ready availability of wireless internet and smartphones has made it easy for people to work remotely, even where they're surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on all sides.

The tech sector in Hawaii remains small. The state ranks 44th in net tech employment. Hawaii employed about 31,000 tech workers in 2017, which makes up just 4% of the state's total workforce.

Dr. Guy Berger, an economist who works at LinkedIn, said retirees and people working outside of the tech industry likely account for some of the migration from the San Francisco Bay Area.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 20 best honeymoon destinations in the world, according to newlyweds and travel experts

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BI Graphics_Top 20 Best Honeymoon Destinations

  • Honeymoon destinations can range from the tropics to the city.
  • U.S. News recently ranked the best honeymoon destinations based on expert opinion and travelers' votes.
  • Warm weather beach locations and Mediterranean locales dominated the list.

 

For newlywed couples, honeymoon planning can be just as important as the wedding plans.

U.S. News & World Report recently rounded up the top 20 honeymoon destinations based on expert advice, along with thousands of traveler votes. While some of the destinations have been honeymoon staples for years, such as the island Bora Bora, there's a reason for that.

Warm weather locales and destinations in Italy topped the list. Below, take a look at where couples are booking their honeymoons.

SEE ALSO: The average wedding cost in America is over $30,000 — but here's where couples spend way more than that

20. Nice, France

For couples that want to honeymoon in France, but still experience the Mediterranean coast, Nice is the location to visit. While there, watch a tennis match on the Nice Lawn Tennis Club, which opened in 1890, take a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, and check out the photography museum Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image



19. US Virgin Islands

Couples seeking a beach honeymoon with white sands and clear blue waters might consider the US Virgin Islands. Stay at the 17th century hotel the Buccaneer, or The Westin St. John Villas.



18. Corfu, Greece

Corfu, Greece, is a paradise for honeymooners looking for a more affordable Greece vacation. The best times to visit are spring and fall. U.S. News has called Corfu one of the safest tourist destinations in Europe. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 44 worst movies made by iconic directors — from Spielberg to Scorsese

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Most of the greatest film directors in history have swung and missed on occasion. 

Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and many other critically acclaimed directors have directed at least one movie that critics tore apart. 

For this list, we chose 45 directors who have largely been praised by critics as masters of their craft, and we turned to the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to find out which of the films they've directed was the most critically panned.

We excluded a number of great directors who did not have a film in their catalog with a critic score under 70%. (Stanley Kubrick, for instance, is not on this list, as his "worst" film, "Eyes Wide Shut," has a 74% "Fresh" rating on the site.)

Here are the 44 worst movies made by iconic directors, ordered from the (relative) best to worst, according to their critic scores:

SEE ALSO: The 50 best movies of all time, according to critics

Alejandro G. Iñárritu — "Biutiful" (2010)

Critic score: 65%

What critics said: "It's the kind of film that congratulates the viewer on her tolerance for the spectacle of unrelieved misery." — Slate



Guillermo del Toro — "Blade II" (2002)

Critic score: 57%

What critics said: "The only dread it inspires is in the possibility that its director prefers turning human flesh into CGI-enhanced mush over exploring genuinely frightening material." — The Village Voice



Sergio Leone — "The Colossus of Rhodes" (1961)

Critic score: 57%

What critics said: "This ludicrous costume epic complete with hambone acting is interesting to film buffs because it is an early work by the king of the spaghetti Westerns, director Sergio Leone." — TV Guide



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We tried spicy-chicken sandwiches from every major fast-food chain — and the winner is obvious

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Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich

  • The chicken sandwich has made a resurgence in the fast-food industry in the last few years — and now it's time for spicy chicken sandwiches. 
  • We tried versions from several major chains: Burger King, Chick-fil-A, and Wendy's
  • While the entire group had decent chicken, the quality of the sandwiches varied greatly. 

The fast-food chicken sandwich is enjoying a golden age — and now the heat is rising. 

Burger King recently launched a spicy version of its revamped chicken sandwich, hoping to compete with the titans of spicy chicken sandwiches: Chick-fil-A and Wendy's. 

Spicy-chicken sandwiches are unique beasts. They need enough heat to make things interesting, without burning out the taste buds of customers at large. Plus, the chicken still has to be held to the same standard as its non-spicy brethren — it doesn't matter how spicy the chicken is if it's bone dry and stringy. 

With this in mind, we compared the spicy sandwiches of the three major chains to see who makes the best:

SEE ALSO: Taco Bell's newest menu item beat out Doritos Locos Tacos to become the most successful launch in the chain's history — here's the secret to its success

Let's start with Burger King's new sandwich. It certainly looks good, and the smell is peppery and golden fried.



The chicken looks heavily breaded, and it's a rather discomforting orange hue. The sandwich necessities are lackluster at best — the tomato slice is mealy and pale, and the iceberg lettuce is wilted and sparse.



It's definitely not crispy, but there is a solid spiciness to it. The heat is surprisingly strong and sharp, with a lingering needling that’s similar to the vinegary heat of buffalo sauce. The tomato and lettuce add a cooling balance, but let the sandwich down in terms of quality.

Heat level: 6/10



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is still the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — yes, even better than 'Black Panther'

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guardians of the galaxy

It seems like we've barely had time to get over the thrill of watching "Black Panther" before "Avengers: Infinity War" tumbles into theaters on April 27 as the "most ambitious crossover in history."

Indeed, "Infinity War" is what the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe — 10 years and 18 movies — has been building toward.

And for many, "Black Panther" has been the best of the bunch up until now. It is now the highest-domestic grossing superhero movie of all time.

But to me, "Black Panther" still isn't the MCU's best movie. That honor goes to 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy," an insanely fun, surprisingly touching, and all-around great movie that never should have worked.

I understand why some people consider "Black Panther" the best of the best, and even see the arguments for other standout movies in the MCU, such as "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" or "The Avengers."

But which of those 18 movies is the best to me? Which one sticks with me personally? The answer is most certainly "Guardians of the Galaxy." 

Below are 7 reasons why:

SEE ALSO: New MoviePass data reveals the 27 movies that sold the most tickets to its subscribers since August

A strong ensemble cast that perfectly embodies the characters — who were largely unknown before the movie.

As mentioned, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a superhero movie that never should have worked. It features characters largely unknown to general audiences — two of which are a walking, humanoid tree that can only say three words and a talking, genetically modified raccoon. Even more so than "Thor" — about an alien god — "Guardians" was the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first real test. Just what would audiences go along with?

Well, a lot. Thanks to a strong ensemble cast, these bizarre characters are now just as well-known and admired in the MCU as Tony Stark. What's more impressive is that these characters didn't have the benefit of being introduced in an earlier movie like Black Panther or Spider-Man.

It's the movie that introduced the world to the now mega-popular Chris Pratt as an unlikely, quirky action hero. And even more unlikely but proven to be possible, Dave Bautista steals the show as the awkwardly delightful Drax.

It's not just that the actors bring to life their characters so well, it's that they have such good chemistry. The Guardians are a family — a highly dysfunctional one, but a family nonetheless, and that makes them different than many other super-teams. 

 



James Gunn.

No other MCU movie has James Gunn at the helm, and his passion both behind the camera and away from it helps make "Guardians" the best of them.

The actors help make their respective characters so likable, but it's Gunn's direction, attention to detail, and engagement with fans that make the "Guardians" movies — yes, even the sequel — so fun even after the credits have rolled.

Gunn's social media presence is notable for engaging with fans and answering questions. He's not shy about revealing new tidbits about the movies. For instance, he recently revealed that the Baby Groot seen in "Vol. 2" is actually the original Groot's son, who sacrifices himself at the end of the first film.

There's also a bevy of Easter eggs hidden in "Guardians of the Galaxy," and Gunn has claimed that there is one Easter egg that fans have not discovered yet. It's this kind of engagement that heightens the experience of watching "Guardians."



It was the first movie in the MCU that didn't feel like it was part of the MCU.

Being a movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a trustworthy trait, so it's not a bad thing by any means. But in regards to "Guardians of the Galaxy," the movie works so well because it doesn't feel stuck in that universe, or pressured to tie into the larger events of it.

Sure, it sets up Thanos as a future bad guy and much of the story revolves around an Infinity Stone that Thanos will be after in "Avengers: Infinity War," but that feels natural and secondary to the characters' relationships. "Guardians" brings the action to planets we hadn't seen before; there's no S.H.I.E.L.D. or Nick Fury or Tony Stark. Again, none of those things are bad, but for this particular movie, it was refreshing and only made it better.



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A century before apps and spreadsheets, there was a Japanese budgeting system that still works today

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Woman notebook writing meeting

  • A budget can help you manage your finances and increase your savings. But it's not always easy to maintain.
  • "Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money" is a new Japanese budgeting journal created by Fumiko Chiba, though the concept dates back over a century.
  • By eliminating digital technology and recording your goals and daily spending by hand, you'll be better positioned to make solid financial decisions.

Kakeibo is the Japanese word for a budgeting journal. (You pronounce the word "kah-keh-boh.")

The idea is to keep track of how much you're earning and how much you're spending; the ultimate goal is to save more.

If that sounds ridiculously simple, it is! No apps, no digital technology, no fancy mathematical calculations. But that's the point — by eliminating all the bells and whistles and getting up close and personal with your daily money habits, you'll be better positioned to make solid financial decisions.

So says Fumiko Chiba, author of "Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money." The book is actually a year-long journal with a few pages of explanation around how and why to use it. (The book is currently available in the United Kingdom and will be published in the United States fall 2018.)

Chiba writes that the kakeibo dates back to 1904, when it was popularized by Japan's first female journalist, Hani Motoko, as a way for housewives to manage budgets. Chiba writes: "Although Japan is a traditional culture in many ways, the kakeibo was a liberating tool for women, giving them control over all financial decisions."

According to Chiba, the kakeibo— which comes in different forms — is still popular across Japan. (Indeed, if you search the Japanese word for kakeibo on Amazon, dozens of different style paper journals turn up.)

When you use the kakeibo, Chiba says, you'll learn that "saving money is about spending money well." Instead of emphasizing all the things you can't spend money on, shift the focus to all the things you really value that you can spend money on.

The system is partly about tracking and partly about reflection

The "kakeibo cycle" depends on four questions:

  1. How much money do you have available?
  2. How much would you like to save?
  3. How much are you spending?
  4. How can you improve?

Ultimately, it's not so different from any other budgeting method out there. Whether you're tracking your spending automatically with an app like Mint, inputting numbers on a spreadsheet, or writing in a notebook, it always boils down to spending less than you've got coming in.

Yet the fourth question in the kakeibo cycle, "How can you improve?" turns out to be key. At the end of each month, you'll answer a series of reflection questions:

  1. Did you hit your savings target this month?
  2. What ways did you find to save money?
  3. What areas did you spend too much on?
  4. What will you change next month?

It's hard to say whether writing things down by hand is more helpful than using a digital tool.

Chiba mentions that the kakeibo will help you "think mindfully" about your savings goals and plan. And research does suggest that we remember information better when we write by hand as opposed to typing, likely because we're forced to engage more with the text.

But the best budgeting system, as The New York Times recently pointed out, is one the you'll stick with — and that can vary from person to person. There's certainly no harm in using a kakeibo for a trial period; you might find you love it.

That said, if you keep forgetting to record your spending and hate the thought of lugging around a notebook everywhere you go, then a digital tool might just be more your speed.

SEE ALSO: Many people struggle to build wealth for the same reason — and there's an easy fix

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A father and son are growing fruit and vegetables 8 metres below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea — here's why

Pharmaceutical giants are sidestepping US marijuana restrictions to research cannabis-based drugs

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cannabis

  • Federal policies restricting marijuana research have made it difficult to study marijuana and produce cannabis-based drugs — but that isn't stopping pharmaceutical companies from doing it.
  • Some are researching and developing drugs made with marijuana compounds in labs just north of the border. Others are growing the raw materials for their products in South America.
  • Although only a single cannabis-based drug is currently approved for use in the US, others are likely on their way.
  • Some will appear first in marijuana dispensaries in states where marijuana has been legalized; others will await approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Getting marijuana-based drugs approved in America is no easy task.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, cannabis has no medical use. Until two years ago, all domestic research on the drug had to rely on rotting samples from a single, well-secured weed facility at the University of Mississippi. Today, researchers who want to grow marijuana have to apply for a license in a convoluted process that can take years. Only a single cannabis-based drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to date — and it contains CBD, a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that is not responsible for its characteristic high.

But as researchers are only beginning to uncover, marijuana — with its roughly 400 compounds, each of which is potentially responsible for a distinct effect — has a wide variety of potential medical applications, from relieving pain and nausea to reducing the symptoms of rare diseases like childhood epilepsy. And these benefits are emerging just as scientists are uncovering huge downsides to traditional medications like opioids.

Some are lending their support to Canadian marijuana startups growing their products in countries like Colombia; others are applying for permits to import marijuana extracts like CBD and THC; still others are obtaining approval in Europe first and hoping that validation gives them an edge during the difficult FDA approval process.

Cannabis startups are among a handful of 'resident' startups at the Johnson & Johnson incubator in Canada

jjlabs_torontoAt Johnson & Johnson's JLabs in Toronto, scientists and entrepreneurs follow a gleaming steel road towards shared workspaces separated only by clear glass walls. Pops of bright blue honeycomb print and creative lighting imbue the center with a sense that change is right around the corner.

It was here, roughly a year ago, that the pharmaceutical giant welcomed the first marijuana startup into its JLabs Innovation network, an ecosystem designed to give budding companies access to the resources and leadership they need to get off the ground. JLabs accepted a second cannabis company, Vapium Medical, as a resident about three months later.

The first was Avicanna, a Toronto-based biotech company focused on medical cannabis.

As part of the JLabs ecosystem, Avicanna gets access to lab space, a Johnson & Johnson mentor, and the recognition they need to recruit top-notch scientists and researchers. In exchange, Johnson & Johnson get a chance to work with an innovative company and invest if and when they see fit.

"Partnering with JLabs allowed us to obtain a lot of credibility," Aras Azadian, Avicanna's CEO, told Business Insider. "It's also a great atmosphere to work in and to bring others in."

avicanna product lineupBefore getting accepted as a JLabs resident (after applying for the third time), Avicanna was a fledgling startup, Azadian said. But that changed when the company joined JLabs.

In just over a year, the company went from a staff of five to 17 in Canada and 30 in Colombia, where the company grows and harvests the marijuana that goes into its products — which thus far include a series of patches, creams, and sprays that will be sold under the Pura Elements brand. Azadian said he expects a selection of those products to be available in dispensaries in California, where marijuana is legal, by the end of this year.

Azadian says that while Johnson & Johnson isn't yet invested financially in Avicanna, just being in the space significantly raises the chances that the pharmaceutical giant might eventually take that leap.

"Since we’re part of their ecosystem it’s much more convenient to cooperate and collaborate — a lot more so than to start working with new company," Azadian said. "I think we’ve positioned ourselves well to be a good fit for them."

Avicanna’s initial product lineup will go to US dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal, like California.

But Azadian is hopeful that the company's research with scientists at the University of Toronto, including tests in cells and mice and eventual clinical trials in humans, will bolster their next line of products, which are geared towards treating medical conditions like eczema. Avicanna also hopes to eventually launch sustained-release capsule formulations aimed at pain relief.

"I think with our approach — strictly looking at this from a medical perspective with a team of some of the best scientists on board — I'm excited to see where this goes," Azadian said.

Other pharma companies are looking to study cannabis by importing extracts

marijuana plant lab research

Instead of going the incubator route, several small pharmaceutical companies are applying for federal permits to import cannabis extracts like CBD and THC.

Those companies include Virginia-based research group Sanyal Biotechnology, a contract-based drugmaker that focuses on liver diseases and was spun out of Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015; and Noramco, a Delaware-based drugmaker that focuses on medications used to treat illnesses including ADHD and addiction as well as pain.

Both companies filed reports in March with the DEA's federal register to import cannabis extracts; Noramco also applied for a permit to import whole plant material.

Sanyal's decision to import cannabis extracts comes from a recent partnership with Ontario-based cannabis drug company Revive Therapeutics. Last year, Revive reached out to Sanyal to inquire about testing CBD for its potential effects on autoimmune hepatitis, a chronic disease in which the body's immune system attacks the liver.

Around that time, Sanyal applied for a permit with the DEA to study CBD; but the company has yet to be cleared to import the extracts.

Rebecca Caffrey, Sanyal's CEO, told Business Insider that while she understands the need for approval, the application and permitting process has seemed excessive at times. If they don't recieve the required permits by this summer, Sanyal may need to refer Revive back to Canada where another lab will take over the research.

"We've just been going through all these hoops," Caffrey said. "I understand why they have to have these restrictions, but it does make it hard to do business."

Only one cannabis-based drug has the FDA's stamp of approval

marinol dronabinol abbvie

So far, only one cannabis-based drug has been approved via the traditional drug-approval route, which involves working closely with multiple regulatory agencies including the DEA and FDA.

That drug, known by its generic name dronabinol, is designed to treat some of the negative side-effects of chemotherapy and AIDS, such as nausea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. It is made using lab-produced versions of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Chicago-based Abbott Pharmaceuticals spinoff AbbVie got approval for its dronabinol formulation, which is in pill form and called Marinol, by making the case that it offered advances where no other adequate therapies existed. Arizona-based drug company Insys Therapeutics also recently received approval for a liquid version of dronabinol that treats the same conditions.

The next company to secure FDA approval for a cannabis-derived drug could be the UK-based pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals, which recently secured approval for clinical trials in just four US states via its American subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences. In December, the company secured "priority review" for its epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, which could fast-track the typically multi-year approval process.

Still, the road ahead for GW is long — the company expects approval only as early as the summer of 2018. Notably, the drug contains only CBD, so there is no chance of getting users high.

"There's certainly demand for these products," Avicanna's Azadian said, "but we're still dealing with a strictly stigmatized industry."

SEE ALSO: Ketamine could be the new drug for depression that researchers have been looking for

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This incredible animation shows how humans evolved from early life

'A Quiet Place' scares up $50 million to win the weekend box office (VIA)

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a quiet place

  • Paramount's "A Quiet Place" wins the weekend box office with an estimated $50 million.
  • That's a huge profit for a movie made for only $17 million.
  • "Black Panther" now is the third highest-grossing movie all-time at the domestic box office (not counting inflation).

Paramount's frightening "silent" horror movie "A Quiet Place" proved audiences still love to go to the movies to get scared, as it won the weekend box office with an estimated $50 million, according to boxofficepro.com.

That's a huge success for a movie that has around 15 lines of dialogue and was made for just $17 million.

Directed by John Krasinski, who also stars with his wife Emily Blunt, the movie follows a family trying to survive a group of monsters who are wiping out the human race by attacking anything that makes a sound.

Playing on over 3,500 screens, the horror took in an impressive $19 million on Friday. Sunday's $50 million weekend estimate blows away the industry projects for the movie which ranged from mid-$20 million to low $30 million estimates for the weekend.

Thanks to the hype around the movie, which at one point had a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, it was able to fend off strong competition.

After a strong $41.7 million opening weekend, Warner Bros.'s "Ready Player One" dipped only 40% to earn $25 million this weekend to come in second place. And Universal's R-rated comedy "Blockers," starring John Cena, took in an impressive $21.4 million for third place.

And while all that was going on, Disney's "Black Panther" is still chugging along. The movie's domestic total is now at $665.3 million, putting it in third place all-time at the domestic box office (not counting inflation), passing "Titanic" ($659.3 million).

More on "A Quiet Place":

SEE ALSO: If you miss "Game of Thones," you should watch AMC's "The Terror" — a historical horror series critics are calling a "10-episode nightmare"

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: In 50 years we'll have 'robot angels' and will be able to merge our brains with AI, according to technology experts

There's a big difference between good and bad fat — here's how to pick the best heart-healthy fats

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fish healthy fat

Getting enough fat in your diet can be a great way to stay full, trim, and sharp. Fats are inherently energy- and calorie-rich foods, but that doesn't mean they're bad or that they will make you fat

Eating the right kinds of fats feeds both the body and brain, all while keeping us full longer, so we’re not as tempted to overeat or binge on sugary, crash-inducing snacks.

In fact, studies have shown no evidence of a link between how many daily calories a person gets from fat, and how likely they are to gain weight or develop heart disease. Besides, when food manufacturers lower the amount of fat in a food, they typically up the sugar and carbohydrates instead, so it’s better to embrace the role of fat in your diet instead of swapping it out for more sugary, cakey sweets.

But don't assume that just because fats serve an important role in fueling the body and protecting cells that you have a free pass to slather a layer of lard on everything you eat, or consume large portions of red meat every day.

Not all fats are created equal. Some can help your heart stay healthy, while others can do real damage to the body, increasing the risk of heart disease and early death.

Here’s how to choose the right fats.

SEE ALSO: There's now even more evidence that one type of protein is best for your body

We know some fats do damage to the body. One of the worst offenders is trans fat.

 

 



Trans fats come from both artificial and natural sources.

Artificial sources of trans fat include vegetable oils that are laboratory-heated to prevent spoilage, as well as deep-fryer oils, margarines, and packaged foods like frozen pizzas and cookies. 

Researchers estimate that during the heyday of trans fats in the 1990s, they led to roughly 50,000 preventable deaths every year in the US.

The FDA is now in the process of rolling out a ban. Companies have until June 18, 2018 to stop using trans fats, though many food makers are simply replacing those trans fats with interesterified fat, which may not be any better for us. 



"There's clear evidence that trans fats are bad," said professor Gary Fraser of the Loma Linda School of Public Health, who's studied fats for decades.

Some small amounts of trans fats are naturally found in some meat and dairy products like butterfat and beef, but it’s not clear whether they are as harmful as artificial trans fats.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

12 bad decisions you make every day without realizing

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  • From email to social media to online dating, we make decisions every day without thinking about it.
  • But many of the choices you arrive at this way aren't so wise, like staring at a computer all day or refusing to let your partner's slightly annoying comment go.
  • Just a little thought can help you make better decisions, and have better days.


Even smart people can make terrible decisions.

Generally, it's not because they spent time deliberating and somehow arrived at the wrong answer. It's because they didn't spend any time thinking at all.

For example: You might automatically keep your phone on your desk at work, or grab a smoothie as a go-to "healthy" snack. But these aren't the wisest choices you could make.

Below, we've listed some of the easiest traps to fall into, at the office and at home.

SEE ALSO: The behaviors that affect weight can be explained by economic theories — according to formerly obese economists who lost 120 pounds in 18 months

Tackling your easiest tasks first

Do the hard stuff first.

Some people call this strategy "eating the frog," based on a quotation attributed to Mark Twain: "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."

Some researchers say willpower decreases as the day goes on, so it makes sense to work on tasks that require lots of focus and concentration in the morning. Others disagree that willpower is a finite resource.

If nothing else, it makes practical sense to start with the hardest tasks, since you never know what scheduling conflicts will pop up later on.



Constantly checking your email

The siren call of your inbox can be hard to resist.

Yet research suggests that switching between tasks — say, doing research and checking for new email — takes up to 40% longer than doing one at a time. Even when you think you're being more productive by multitasking, you're probably not.

One simple solution, from psychologist Ron Friedman, is to silence your phone so you don't receive email alerts or to close your email tab while you're working on something important. Designate specific times to check and respond to email in batches.

 



Keeping your phone on your desk at work

Turning your phone on "vibrate" isn't enough. Actually, turning your phone off isn't even enough.

Research published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research suggests that the mere presence of your cell phone nearby can hurt your cognitive performance — even if you're unaware of its influence. The best solution appears to be keeping your phone in another room entirely.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside the most expensive part of the world's most expensive city, the Hong Kong billionaire enclave where Alibaba founder Jack Ma may have bought a $191 million mansion

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HongKongBillionairesNeighborhood JackMa (26 of 32)

  • Hong Kong's most expensive neighborhood is The Peak.
  • The Peak is a gorgeous, secluded neighborhood that overlooks Hong Kong and is home to bankers, expatriates, business magnates, celebrities, and millionaires and billionaires.
  • Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire who founded Alibaba, is said to have purchased a $191 million mansion in the neighborhood in 2015, but it has never been confirmed.

Every city has that neighborhood — an address that signifies wealth. New York City has Fifth Avenue, London has Kensington, and Miami has South Beach.

Hong Kong has The Peak — short for Victoria Peak — a neighborhood that has been synonymous with wealth, luxury, and exclusivity since the colonial era.

As the least affordable city in the world for eight years running, Hong Kong takes the cake when it comes to luxury real estate.

At various times over the past decade, Pollock's Path, Barker Road, and Severn Road — all streets on The Peak — have claimed the title of the world's most expensive street.

The neighborhood is home to a mix of bankers, expatriates, business magnates, celebrities, and, more recently, Chinese millionaires and billionaires looking for a place to invest or vacation away from pollution in cities on the mainland.

It's the kind of neighborhood that consistently breaks records for the most expensive real estate in the world. In 2015, it was rumored that Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire who founded Alibaba, purchased a $191 million mansion there, but it has never been confirmed.

Last month, an unidentified buyer broke the record for the most expensive real estate in Asia, purchasing a 9,217-square-foot villa on The Peak for about $180 million, making it about $19,400 per square foot.

I recently visited the ritzy neighborhood to see why it continues to house some of the most coveted addresses in the world. It did not disappoint.

SEE ALSO: Jeff Bezos has passed Bill Gates to become the richest person in history — here's the secretive waterfront town where both billionaires live

The Peak is the neighborhood surrounding Victoria Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island, with an elevation of 1,811 feet. I took a taxi to get to Victoria Peak Lookout, a major tourist destination.



Most tourists ride the Peak Tram up. The Peak Galleria, a mega mall (read: tourist trap) at the top of the tramway is complete with souvenirs and a Madame Tussauds.



The Peak has been the city's most exclusive neighborhood for more than 100 years. Until 1947, only the British and Europeans were allowed to live there — a policy that infuriated Hong Kong's Chinese citizens. Before the tramway, residents were carried up the mountain on sedan chairs carried by migrant laborers.

Source: Frommer's, CNN Travel



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Leslie Odom, Jr.'s $500,000 gamble that led to 'Hamilton'

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Leslie Odom, Jr., Tony Award winner and author of "Failing Up", risked $500,000 for his role in "Hamilton." Here's how his willingness to fail led to one of his greatest successes. Following is a transcript of the video.

Leslie Odom, Jr: The willingness to fail led me to some of my greatest successes.

I was really tired of the rollercoaster. I wanted off and I was looking to transition into another career and Stewart said you can do that but I'd love to see you try first. I'd love to see you try before you quit. And this is after 12 years in the business already. And I looked at him like he was crazy. He said, I think you're
sitting at home on your couch waiting for the phone to ring. The phone didn't ring. So what did you do today? You have no control over the incoming call. You have no control over the opportunities that will come to you but you have all the control over how you spend your day and what you put your energy toward.

More often than not, what I've found in my particular path is it really was just the willingness to fail. Willingness to fail didn't actually lead to failure. In some way, it led to these
moments of real change when, oh that's, I thought the limit of my ability was right here but it's actually, it's a lot farther. I didn't realize that the ceiling was so high. You don't find that out until you're willing to fall on your face trying to tap it.

What I saw on that last row at Vassar was something daring and fresh, you know, the first eight bars of that show is like some of the best writing for the theater ever. And that was just the first song. The fact that it kept topping itself, that it sustained that level of excellence was astonishing. Three, four months later I got an email from Lin. And he's getting a group of people together to read through it and because I'd seen it, you know I thought I had
such a leg up, only in that I knew what a wonderful opportunity he was offering me. What seems obvious now,
the show's so ubiquitous and it's having such a wonderful life, it can seem like, oh that it was a given that it was gonna be successful but all of us, we were turning down work and making ourselves available for this off-Broadway hip-hop musical about the Founding Fathers, people were lookin' at us like we were crazy. People were lookin' at us
like we were out of our minds. We happily did it because we believed in it.

The biggest highlight was the White House, for sure. With that President and that First Lady, it meant so much to me and to my castmates. To have 40 minutes of his, their undivided attention is a chance to change the
world because we might do something today that lodges somewhere in his heart, her heart, the back of their mind. They might see something today, we might touch them in a way today that affects how they
make a decision tomorrow. In this business that is like the highest honor and the greatest platform, I've ever felt that we've had to make a difference.

The thing that I learned the most from that was from that whole Hamilton experience was the importance of the willingness to risk. I walked away from a television show and guaranteed contract for half a million dollars and people thought I was nuts and maybe I was, maybe I was a little crazy but the bigger the risk, sometimes, a lot of times, the bigger the reward.

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The absolute best cosplay photos from Silicon Valley Comic Con 2018 — where tech and pop culture superfans collide

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Fans in cosplay, or role-playing costumes, invaded San Jose, California, for the third annual Silicon Valley Comic Con.

The event, which Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak co-created, combines the Silicon Valley icon's love of technology and pop culture. This year, we saw screen accurate supervillains, "Game of Thrones" queens, and video game heroes descend on the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

Here are some of our favorites.

See any great cosplay? Email me your best photos at mrobinson@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: These are the real faces behind every Disney princess

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A "life-sized" Totoro greeted attendees of Silicon Valley Comic Con at the doors.



The man inside the costume, Zach Dender, said he made Totoro by wrapping fabric around a skeleton he made from drainage pipe. A camera situated by his ears let Dender see outside.



Ciri from video game "The Witcher" is a princess who doesn't need saving.



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I stayed at Hong Kong’s first 'capsule hotel' to see what it's like to live in micro — and the experience was a nightmare

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  • SLEEEP is Hong Kong's first capsule hotel, a concept invented in Japan in the late 1970s that aims to provide cheap, convenient "sleeping pods" for travelers who do not require the services of a full hotel.
  • I stayed at SLEEEP on a recent business trip to Hong Kong.
  • SLEEEP is ideally located and well-designed aesthetically, but its capsules get hot quickly and do not block out sound, making for a poor night of sleep.

It sounds great on paper — a budget hotel completely designed around getting you the best night of sleep. That's the idea behind SLEEEP, Hong Kong's first capsule hotel.

The reality, however, isn't quite so relaxing.

Located in Sheung Wan, a neighborhood on Hong Kong island near the main business district, SLEEEP caters to solo tourists, overworked Hong Kongers, and harried business travelers by offering them "a breathing space within a suffocating environment," in the words of Jun Rivers, who co-founded the hotel with childhood friend Alex Klot.

"We truly believe that high-quality, sufficient sleep can take us further in both our personal and professional lives," Rivers told Lifestyle Asia last year, shortly after it opened.

While it is ideally located and designed with an Apple-esque eye for minimalist design — it won silver for Design for Asia Awards 2017 — the hotel fails at its most basic purpose.

I stayed at SLEEEP on a recent business trip to Hong Kong. After a long couple of days reporting in Macau, I arrived at the hotel excited for an excellent night of sleep. Instead I found myself overheated, woken multiple times, and altogether turned off by the entire concept.

SEE ALSO: One picture shows how absurdly tiny apartments are in Hong Kong — and people are paying a premium for them

DON'T MISS: Inside the most expensive part of the world's most expensive city, the Hong Kong billionaire enclave where Alibaba founder Jack Ma may have bought a $191 million mansion

SLEEEP is located between Queen's Road Central and Gough Street, two winding roads in the Sheung Wan neighborhood of Hong Kong. There's a staircase halfway down the street. Walk up it to find SLEEEP.



It feels a little like looking for a secret passageway. When you start to see the cheeky messages related to sleep, you'll know you found it.



One of the best things about the hotel is how streamlined the experience is. There are no receptionists or keycards. You just walk up to the touchpad outside the door.



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