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How The Rock conquered the China box office and proved he's the biggest movie star on the planet (TWX)


Rampage 3 Warner Bros

  • With its $55 million opening-weekend take in China, Dwayne Johnson's latest movie, "Rampage," is further evidence he's one of the few actors who can bring in major coin across the world.
  • But his dominance in China, the world's second-largest movie market, has been years in the making.

For many studio heads these days, glancing at how their latest movie did in China is in some ways more important than seeing how it did in North America. That is because things are changing drastically for an industry in which the domestic box office had been considered the true indicator of a movie's worth for over a century.

Since the early 2000s, the movie market in China has gone from almost nonexistent to second behind only the US. And it could become No. 1 by 2020, as movie theaters continue to be built at a hurried pace to feed the interest of not just the Hollywood titles but those made by the country's burgeoning homegrown production industry.

Everyone in Hollywood is trying to figure out how to navigate this sea change. Which stories work best? Which are duds? And which movie stars can rake in the cash?

That last one has become an easy answer: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

His latest CGI (and testosterone) heavy blockbuster, "Rampage," won the US box office over the weekend with a $35.8 million take for its studio Warner Bros. But what the movie did in China has the studio ecstatic, as it took in $55.2 million there as part of a $115.7 million international gross.

But this is far from an overnight success. The Rock has been big in China for a while.

Dominance years in the making

Johnson's elevation to a global box-office draw came when he joined the "Fast and the Furious" franchise with 2011's "Fast Five." But his potential worth in China expanded dramatically over the next few years.

In 2013, "Fast & Furious 6" became the first movie in the Universal franchise to play in China (though years' worth of bootlegs of the previous movies were undoubtedly floating around the country). It took in a respectable $66.5 million there. But when "Furious 7" played there in 2015, it went gangbusters, taking in $391 million in China. A few months later, Johnson showed he didn't need the "Fast" fam to make it in China, where "San Andreas" went on to earn $103.2 million.

fate of the furious the rockThe next movie starring Johnson that went to China was the 2016 animated film "Moana" ($32.7 million), and then in 2017 "The Fate of the Furious" found incredible success there with $392.8 million, helping the movie earn $1.2 billion worldwide.

With audiences in China already getting a glimpse of Johnson this year when "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" opened there in January ($78 million), the $55 million "Rampage" opening suggests it doesn't matter whether he's with an ensemble or solo: They want to see Johnson.

"Johnson continues to prove that he is the most bankable star in the world with his growing global appeal," the comScore box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Business Insider. "It's hard to imagine any other star who could have catapulted 'Rampage' to a nearly $150 million worldwide debut."

But in an indication of just how important China is, The Rock made sure to spend some time there before "Rampage" opened.

Mr. Johnson goes to Shanghai

It's pretty standard to tour the globe for publicity on a major Hollywood release, but when you're a huge star like Dwayne Johnson, the hustle can be narrowed down to some key regions. And Warner Bros. made sure one of Johnson's stops was in China.

Johnson went on a promotional tour in Shanghai for "Rampage," his first time visiting the country's largest city, a studio source told Business Insider.

And the way he was treated, he's certain to return.

The movie's press conference in the city was live-streamed through multiple partners across the country, there was a fan screening in Shanghai's biggest theater, and Johnson extended his likability across all ages after he befriended three kids who were dressed as the three monsters from the movie during the press conference (the movie is based on a popular video game in which giant monsters destroy cities).

"Dwayne, or 'Johnson' as they call him in China, was in great spirits and charmed all of the audiences with his signature enthusiasm and humor," the source said.

Along with the $55 million opening weekend, "Rampage" took in $15.7 million on its opening day in China, the third-highest opening day ever for a Warner Bros. movie in the country.

"Dwayne Johnson and giant monsters — that's the perfect recipe for a hit in China these days," Jeff Bock, a senior analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider. "In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the tipping point for 'Rampage' getting green-lit in the first place."

In an era when the mega movie stars are considered less of a draw than a good superhero movie with "regular" stars, Johnson is showing he's an exception to the trend. He is already a household name in the US, and he's ahead of most stars in conquering China.

SEE ALSO: All the Marvel Cinematic Universe details you need to remember before seeing "Avengers: Infinity War"

Join the conversation about this story »

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Disneyland is home to a squad of feral cats who have free rein in the park — and you can adopt one if you work there


Disney Cat 7

  • Disneyland has a not-so-secret squad of feral cats wandering the park.
  • The company doesn't encourage people to feed or go near the cats, as they're feral.
  • Still, the cats have earned plenty of fans on Facebook and Instagram — and even captured the attention of Hollywood star Ryan Gosling.

Disneyland is home to some unexpected residents that might give Mickey Mouse pause.

The famous park is home to dozens of feral cats.

Mike Fox, author of "The Hidden Secrets & Stories of Walt Disney World," "Disneyland Details: The Magical Hidden Secrets & Story Elements of Disneyland," and "Disneyland In-Depth" and founder of the site Disney-Secrets.com told Business Insider that the park houses "cats members" who "roam the park day and night keeping any rodents in check."

"Guests love them, and they even have their own fan pages," he told Business Insider. "The fact their title is a play on the title of 'cast members' makes it that much more interesting."

Here's a look at how the wild cats earned free rein of Disneyland:

SEE ALSO: Disney World employees share the 7 things they wish park-goers would stop doing

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According to the cats' fan site, the feline invasion of Disneyland began in 1955, when the Walt Disney Company had to evict them from Sleeping Beauty Castle. Those cats were adopted by cast members.

Source: DisneylandCats.com

The cats that live in the resort today are not part of a concerted park effort to manage pests.

Source: DisneylandCats.com

DisneylandCats.com said that a team of Disney cast members is assigned to ensure the park-wide clowder is healthy.

Source: DisneylandCats.com

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

8 things you probably never knew about Queen Elizabeth II


Queen Elizabeth Prince Charles

  • Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch in history.
  • She's ruled over the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarch since her 1953 coronation.
  • The queen and her family are frequently in the news — but there are some facts about Queen Elizabeth II that might fly under the radar.

Queen Elizabeth II has had quite a career.

Not only is she the longest-reigning British monarch in history — she's also the longest-reigning current monarch in the world, and the longest-serving current head of state. On Saturday, April 21, she turns 92 years old.

She's the first UK monarch to ever celebrate a sapphire jubilee, which marked her 65-year reign in 2017. CNN reported that, should the queen still be reigning on February 6, 2022, she will be the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee.

Her career was recently fictionalized in the Netflix historical drama series "The Crown," and the royal family is often in the news. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few facts out there about the queen that you might not have heard before.

Here's a look at some surprising facts about Queen Elizabeth II:

SEE ALSO: Queen Elizabeth has a fortune worth over $500 million — here's where the royal family got their riches

Elizabeth was a favorite of her grandfather, King George V.

In"Queen and Country: The Fifty-year Reign of Elizabeth II," biographer William Shawcross wrote that the monarch made for "a surprisingly playful figure" who loved to play games with his first female grandchild. British politician Winston Churchill also reportedly described her as "a character."

The queen has at least two family nicknames — "Lilibet" and "cabbage."

Shawcross wrote in "Queen and Country: The Fifty-year Reign of Elizabeth II" that her grandfather coined "Lilibet." The family nickname also may have arisen from the way Queen Elizabeth II pronounced her own name as a small child.

Town and Country reported that the queen's husband Prince Philip also may affectionately refer to her as "cabbage" — possibly a twist on the popular French pet name "mon petit chou," which means both "my little cabbage" and "my little pastry puff."

Elizabeth II reportedly made the first ever royal transatlantic telephone call in 1939.

The 13-year-old called her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who were touring Canada at the time, according to"I Never Knew That About Royal Britain"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside the 'storybook' marriage of Barbara and George HW Bush — who were married longer than any first couple, and still said 'I love you' every night


barbara george hw bush

Former first lady Barbara Bush died on Tuesday at age 92.

She had been battling Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and congestive heart failure, and was hospitalized several times over the last year.

Bush, who resided in the White House for four years while her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, served as Commander in Chief, had been married to the 41st president of the United States for 73 years.

Described as a true love story, here is an inside look at the longest marriage in US presidential history:

SEE ALSO: 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

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Barbara Pierce and George Bush met at a dance over Christmas vacation in 1942. She was 16 and he was 17, and Barbara claimed that George was the first boy she ever kissed.

Source: Associated Press

After dating for a year and a half, the two became engaged and planned to get married before George went off to serve in World War II as a Navy pilot. He famously named three of his Navy planes after her, and the two shared love letters while he was away.

On January 6, 1945, the couple married at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York while George was on leave from war. He was 20 and she was 19.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Owning a supercar isn't as cool as you think — here's why


McLaren P1 GTR

  • Supercars are the dream of many people.
  • Sure, they're incredibly cool and fun.
  • But owning one can actually be a huge pain.

Ah, supercars! They are the thoroughbreds of the automotive world. They can cost millions, go very fast, and attract plenty of attention in traffic — and when pulling up to valet lines.

People dream about owning a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a McLaren, a Pagani, or a Bugatti all their lives, from a tender young age right up until they experience that third or fourth midlife crisis. And though these storied brands make more domesticated, "practical" machines, it's the super-sexy supercars that capture the imagination.

But are they really all that? Well, they are. Yet they can also be total nightmares. Here's why.

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1. They're lower to the ground than some reptiles

Ground clearance isn't a supercar forte. It can't be — these high-performance machines are supposed to slip though the air, cheating the wind, and their aerodynamics are designed to keep them glued to the road.

This, of course, means that a modest blemish in the roadway can result in thousands of dollars in damage to the car. America's crumbling infrastructure is an ever-present, high-stress foe.

It kind of sucks the pleasure out of driving your Lamborghini if you have to keep a constant watchful eye out for potholes and speed bumps and if you can't even really navigate your own driveway.

2. They have way too much power.

What do you do with horsepower in excess of 600 ponies? Who knows, because in 99.99% of driving circumstances, you're not going use it.

But you will still incinerate gasoline at an alarming rate. 

If you do try to tap into the power, you run a gamut of risks. You could lose control of the car and have a very costly accident. You could pay no attention to your actual speed and endure a very costly speeding ticket. 

You could also just get depressed. Nothing is sadder than a supercar stuck in traffic, looking gorgeous but with no hope of unleashing its potential. You paid for that power! But you'll rarely get to experience it.

3. It costs a fortune to buy one — and another fortune to fix one.

The cheapest supercars are still quite expensive, and you always face the question of whether your sub-$100,000 "supercar" is a true supercar. So you feel the pressure to man up for the pricier shiny metal. 

And then you will invariably:

1. Bang into something and need to get your investment repaired.

2. Have to get something fixed that goes wrong with your ride.

In either case, you'll be parting with huge sums of money — eye-watering, staggering sums, in fact, if you're used to dropping your Lexus off at the dealership for a brake job.

You may also have to wait months to get the car back.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This is everything boxing champion Floyd Mayweather eats and drinks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner


Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather may have announced his retirement from boxing last year, but he could be tempted to transition to mixed martial arts and fight in UFC.

For Mayweather, "It's all about presenting the right numbers." And that means he wants to get paid big bucks for his blood, sweat, and tears.

If he does compete in a UFC octagon, he could go on to fight multiple times — perhaps, even, on a billion dollar deal.

Mayweather may be 41 years old and attempting another sport late on in life, but the American took hardly any damage throughout his 50 professional boxing bouts and is a disciplined athlete.

To maintain his sporting dominance, Mayweather has to eat right. So what sort of food does a former five-weight world champion fighter eat?

Here's everything Mayweather likes to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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This is Floyd Mayweather, a retired boxer renowned for his victories against Oscar de la Hoya, Saúl Álvarez, and Manny Pacquiao (below). Mayweather concluded his boxing career with a win over UFC fighter Conor McGregor last year, and will be remembered for his defensive prowess, extraordinary technique, and dedication to his craft.

To get ring ready, Mayweather employed personal chefs to provide meal plans throughout the day. A typical breakfast includes eggs, grits, and home fries. He also chows down on turkey sausage and turkey kielbasa. For Mayweather, a view might be just as important as the breakfast itself — so here he is enjoying a morning meal in Hawaii.

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Source: Esquire.

Mayweather hardly needs any help staying alert in the ring as he was always one of the best 12-round fighters in the game. Regardless, he is not averse to coffee.

Source: Twitter.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Being an extrovert probably isn't what you think — here's what people often get wrong


woman smiling beach

  • A stereotypical extrovert is loud, sociable, and the life of the party.
  • In reality, extroversion is nothing to do with confidence.
  • Rather, it's about seeking out pressure because you need it to function.
  • Both introverts and extroverts can be highly confident people — it just manifests in different ways.

Many people associate with being more introverted or extroverted. It's not usually a case of being one or the other, as two thirds of people could be ambiverts which are somewhere in the middle. But it's certainly true that you're likely to lean one way more than the other.

According to Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, the definition of extroverts and introverts is often misunderstood. Extroverts aren't always the life of the party and full of confidence. They simply don't have enough of a chemical that makes them feel stimulated to do things. So they have to seek out added pressure, like social occasions and deadlines.

"It's nothing at all to do with confidence," Blair told Business Insider. "You have lots of extroverts that have to go out but they don't want to because they think nobody wants to be with them, and they go anyway. But then there are others who go out because they just assume people are going to want to be with them."

At the same time, there are introverts who are very confident and comfortable with themselves. Then there are those who are low in confidence, who avoid going out, which exaggerates the problem. So being an introvert or an extrovert doesn't really have any impact on how self-assured you are.

Some people believe extroverts have an advantage in social situations, but in reality they need to seek out these high pressure situations to function.

"They've got to find that pressure outside of themselves in order to get things done, which must be harder," Blair said. "I'm an introvert, but I think it must be difficult to go out and look for that push and not have it built within you... How self confident you are is completely learnable, so if you don't have self confidence you can build it up. Then you know what to work on and what to leave alone."

Confidence can come in many forms. It isn't just about walking into a room full of people and being able to socialise with everyone. For some, confidence can be choosing to be alone.

"Psychology is all about not what you do, but why," Blair said. "Two people can go to a party and stay at the party for two completely different motivations. Inside they will be two very different people. One of them is there to have fun, loves people, and knows people love being with them, and the other one is doing it because he knows it's the only way to get him to go out, but he hates it."

Blair added that this distinction is important because the actions of extroverts and introverts can sometimes be misunderstood. Also, your extroversion or introversion is heavily influenced by your genes, so it's not fair to make assumptions about why someone does what they do.

"You feel terrible later because you think you really judged that person and they didn't deserve it," she said.

SEE ALSO: Your DNA determines whether you're an introvert or an extrovert — here's how to tell which one you are

Join the conversation about this story »

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One of the most formal traditions for wedding invitations dates back to a time when mail was delivered by horse and buggy


San Diego, wedding, couple

  • Wedding invitations sometimes come in two envelopes instead of one.
  • The reason why is that invitations used to be delivered by horse and carriage, and the outer envelope would get dirty.
  • Another reason is that sometimes only the names of the heads of the household are listed on the outer envelope.

I recently spoke with some event planners about the design of wedding invitations, and heard a fascinating story about the reason why some invitations have both an inner and an outer envelope.

It goes back centuries, to the days when mail was delivered by horse and buggy.

Here's how Melissa McNeeley, an event and wedding planner who has worked on the weddings of actors Steve Martin and Jim Parsons, explained it:

"In the old days, when mail was brought by horse and carriage and traveled very far, the mail carrier would arrive and the butler would take the mail. They'd get rid of the outside envelope because it would be filthy dirty from traveling far and wide. All they would hand you was the clean inner envelope."

Amy Shey Jacobs of Chandelier Events, a New York City-based event-planning service, said that when couples today opt for two envelopes instead of one, it suggests that they're hosting a more formal wedding. If there's only one envelope, the wedding is likely more casual or modern.

McNeeley cited another, more practical reason for having two envelopes. Sometimes couples will address the outer envelope to just the heads of the household; they'll list the names of all the family members invited on the inner envelope.

Pro tip for wedding-invitation recipients: If your partner or your kids aren't listed on the inner envelope, they're definitely not invited. Don't bring them.

SEE ALSO: I spent 8 hours shadowing a wedding planner — from chandeliers to roof leaks to pillows, here's what her job is like

Join the conversation about this story »

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This venture capitalist throws the most exclusive and outrageous parties in Silicon Valley — take a look inside


jillian manus silicon valley parties 2

When venture capitalist and philanthropist Jillian Manus throws a party, the who's who of Silicon Valley shows up. That's because her parties are legendary. The budget? Exorbitant.

The prolific hostess is known around the Bay for her over-the-top dinner parties and Valentine's Day galas, which have over the years included a live elephant greeting guests at the door, a recreation of Woodstock, and a San Francisco Symphony concert on the lawn of her Atherton estate.

Business Insider recently spoke to Manus to get the inside scoop on how her talk-of-the-Valley parties come together. She shared photos of her last Valentine's Day bash with us. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: The tech elite are abandoning Silicon Valley in droves because of 'groupthink' and out-of-control living costs— here's where they're headed

"I never just throw a party. I am knee-deep. I roll up my sleeves," Manus said.

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It's no wonder that the venture capitalist's parties are "the toast of Silicon Valley."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

In 2006, Manus and her then-husband Alan Salzman, an early investor in Tesla, started hosting annual gala benefits on Valentine's Day to raise money for a local cancer clinic.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We tried the iconic New York chicken-and-rice chain that's expanding across the country — here's what it's like


Halal Guys

  • The Halal Guys is a New York City-based chicken, gyro, and rice chain that's quickly expanding nationally. 
  • Mediterranean food is becoming increasingly popular in the US, with chains like Cava and Noon finding success in cities all over. 
  • We visited one of its locations and found its good, cheap meals to be a tremendous deal. 

New York City is home to so many iconic cultural institutions, it's difficult to count them all: Central Park, Seinfeld, the Statue of Liberty, the charmingly disintegrating subway system — the list goes on. 

But one revered New York icon is something a little unexpected: The Halal Guys. What started as a hot dog cart on the streets of Midtown Manhattan in 1990 has exploded into a hugely popular nationwide chicken-and-rice chain.

And The Halal Guys is striking while the iron is hot, setting its eyes on further franchising and expansion as America's taste buds become more interested in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Despite having started as a business to feed late-night Muslim cab drivers at the end of their shifts in NYC, Halal Guys executives now say that roughly 95% of the chain's customers don't even follow halal diets, according to the Wall Street Journal

The chain has 61 US locations — plus a handful more internationally — scattered fairly liberally from coast to coast. But as it aims to further saturate America, one wonders: does it have what it takes to make it in Milwaukee as well as in Miami, in Sioux City as well as in San Francisco? We visited the chain to find out. 

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There are a handful of locations in New York City. We swung by the brick-and-mortar spot on 14th Street.

The inside is a no-frills, cafeteria-style atmosphere. Frankly, having seen a thousand iterations of "fast-casual chic" — raw wood, Edison bulbs, and industrial metal — it's a refreshingly simple vibe. One often forgets what authenticity feels like.

The walls have line drawings of New Yorkers at work and play, and the tables and chairs are unfussy red metal affairs.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'A Quiet Place' continues to amaze by winning the weekend box office again, while the new Amy Schumer movie and 'Super Troopers 2' perform better than expected


a quiet place

  • Paramount's "A Quiet Place" is back on top of the domestic box office with $22 million this weekend.
  • It's now made $132 million domestically (with only a $17 million budget).
  • "I Feel Pretty" ($16.2 million) and "Super Troopers 2" ($14.7 million) had solid opening weekends.

This weekend marks the last before Disney/Marvel Studio's "Avengers: Infinity War" opens and pretty much sucks up the majority of the box office for the next few weeks, so the rest of Hollywood tried to get its dollars in now before the faucet is turned off.

For the most part, they were successful.

After the worldwide success of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's latest movie "Rampage" last weekend, Paramount's surprise hit "A Quiet Place" continues to amaze as it's back on top of the domestic box office in its third weekend in theaters. The movie earned an estimated $22 million this weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations.

That now puts its domestic total at $132 million (it was made for just $17 million).

"Rampage" came in second with $21 million. The Warner Bros.' hit dropped under 50% domestically this weekend to land in third place, a respectable drop and even more impressive seeing the movie is based on a video game, a genre that historically isn't a big draw past the first weekend. The movie has made over $192 million worldwide.

In third place is the Amy Schumer comedy, "I Feel Pretty," which despite a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and how fickle audiences are about comedies these days, took in $16.2 million.

super troopers 2 fox searchlightBut the big surprise of the weekend was the performance of "Super Troopers 2."

The sequel to the now cult classic 2002 release from comedy troupe Broken Lizard that follows the antics of five Vermont state troopers took in $14.7 million this weekend. That's far above its $5 million to $7 million projection for the weekend.

The movie, released by Fox Searchlight, won Friday with a $7.9 million take (pretty much making up its $5 million production budget in one day). It also didn't hurt that the date on Friday was 4/20, a marketing godsend for a marijuana-focused franchise.

"I Feel Pretty," released by STX Films/Voltage/Wonderland Sound, also exceeded its industry projections ($11 million to $14 million), which is a major rebound for Schumer, who lost a lot of points with audiences and critics with the disappointing comedy "Snatched" last year.

Warner Bros. is also happy to see its Steven Spielberg hit, "Ready Player One," cross the $500 million milestone at the worldwide box office. That includes over $200 million in China, making it the 10th-highest grossing US-made release in the Middle Kingdom all-time.

SEE ALSO: Inside the surprise success of "A Quiet Place" — from a worriesome test screening to a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score

Join the conversation about this story »

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We spent 3 nights in the NYC underbelly with a crime reporter to see how safe the 'safest big city' in the US really is



In 1990, after a record high 2,262 homicides, some called New York City the "murder capital" of the country. But since then, the murder rate has steadily declined.

The Big Apple is on pace this year to record fewer homicides than the record low of 333 set in 2014, the New York Daily News reported in early September.

Some have even dubbed today's NYC "the safest big city" in the US.

To get a better sense of what NYC's streets are like these days, we spent three nights with NY Daily News crime reporter Kerry Burke, considered by many to be the best in the city.

Burke, 55, reported from ground zero on 9/11, helped break the Eric Garner story, and was even on a few episodes of Bravo's "Tabloid Wars" in 2006. He said he had been to roughly four shootings a week since he started the job 16 years ago.

The first night we spent with Kerry passed with few incidents — perhaps a sign of the safer times. But the last two nights told a different story.

Here's what we saw.

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Night 1: I met Burke in the Bronx while he was trying to find a man who had just been acquitted on murder charges.

"How are ya, Mr. Brown?" he said in a Boston accent.

Burke, who grew up in Boston's Dorchester housing projects, was rather formal at first, but switched right away to "bro" or "brotha," like he called almost every other guy I met with him.

He filled me in on the details about the man he was looking for before we walked to the guy's last known address.

Residents in the building told him the man no longer lived there, so Burke asked people in other buildings and nearby stores whether they knew him.

"Bodegas are the best," he said. "They know everything that goes on in the neighborhood, and they know everybody."

He walked into one unlocked neighboring apartment building and knocked on doors.

Burke was adept at talking to and gaining the trust of all different sorts of people, and he stressed the importance of being polite.

"Maybe it's because I'm a troubled Catholic that I always say thank you," Burke said, adding that he "might have to come back" to get more information too.

After about an hour or so, Burke was able to get the man's phone number but was unable to reach him.

He later heard that a murder suspect was being questioned at the 32nd precinct and decided to go wait outside in the hopes of getting a statement when the suspect walked out.

Around 11 p.m., the suspect's cousin walked out of the precinct. Burke asked him a few questions but didn't get much.

Throughout the eight hours I spent with Burke that first night, there were no homicides and only one shooting — a man hit in the buttocks.

The victim was immediately stabilized, and since the incident was not serious and happened more than an hour away from us, we didn't go.

I took the lack of homicides or serious shootings during Burke's shift — especially given it was a Friday night — as a good sign. But it was only the first night.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This couple wants tourists to pay $6 a day to store their luggage with a total stranger



Husband and wife Neha and Sid Khattri were on the final leg of a four-week vacation when they found themselves in an inconvenient predicament: The Khattris had plans to visit LA's beaches before their flight home to New York, but had nowhere to leave their bags for the day. 

Saddled with a month's worth of luggage, they decided to find a place to ditch their three oversized suitcases before heading to the beach. However, this quickly turned into what Neha Khattri described as a "mad scramble." Their Airbnb host declined to watch the bags for a few extra hours. The airline wouldn't take the bags early, either.

"It ruined our day," Neha told Business Insider.

In a moment of desperation, they decided to ask a local shopkeeper if they wouldn't mind watching the bags for a few hours in exchange for quick cash. They agreed — for the price of $20 per bag. $60 later, the Khattris had solved their problem, but were somehow more upset than ever.

The couple decided to vent their frustrations into an entrepreneurial endeavor. Two years later, they launched Vertoe, the short-term luggage solution that the Khattris wish would have existed when they took their getaway.

Vertoe has a booking process similar to that of Airbnb: The company connects shopkeepers with extra space to travelers in need of a short term storage spot. You can book your bags on Vertoe from anything between one hour to one month. (The company offers discounts for anyone storing their belongings for longer than a week.)

Vertoe's daily rate is $6 per bag, whether you leave your luggage for two hours or for the entire 24. "We didn't want to make bookings in hourly segments because we thought people would find it too stressful," said Neha. 

The only catch is that you're leaving your belongings with people you don't know. Most of the businesses that use Vertoe are mom and pop shops located in high-traffic neighborhoods, or stores in areas close to bus stations and airports with a little extra space to spare. However, Neha said that Vertoe has a strict vetting process that includes interviewing each shopkeeper, an inspection of the store, and a two week probation period.  Since Vertoe's launch in 2016, Neha said that they've only had to remove one shopkeeper. "He wasn't very nice to people," she said. 

As another precautionary measure, Vertoe requires security cameras to be installed at each business's location and covers up to $3000 per bag in insurance costs. So far, Vertoe is only available in New York, but the company has plans to expand to more cities throughout the US. 

Here's how Vertoe works: 

To book your bags on Vertoe, go to the company's website and select a time and location when you'd like to drop off your bags. As a trial run, I made a booking for the earliest time available, which turned out to be 30 minutes out. I set my location for JFK Airport and said that I needed storage for only one hour.

While most of the last minute options near JFK were about 10 miles away, there was one option that was less than a mile and a half away from the airport.

Vertoe keeps the name of the business private until you book and enter you credit card information. But as you can see here, the site does tell you how close that business is to your destination.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's what every president's signature looks like


presidents signatures trump 2x1 thumbnail

Each US president's signature appears on thousands of documents from their terms in office, including letters, executive orders, and laws.

Public signing ceremonies are a tradition in American politics where the president signs an act of Congress into law. It has many storied traditions, such as how many pens are used during the signing.

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson famously used more than 75 pens to sign the Civil Rights Act in 1964. He gifted them to supporters of the bill, including Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

From George Washington's cursive to Donald Trump's infamous script, take a look at every American  president's signature:

SEE ALSO: 12 quotes that show why Barbara Bush was such a beloved first lady

DON'T MISS: Trump's staff turnover is the highest of any US administration in modern history

George Washington

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Disturbing before-and-after images show what major US cities could look like in the year 2100


trump plaza jersey city new jersey climate change

The world's sea levels are rising at faster and faster rates as waters warm and ice sheets melt.

Researchers led by Steve Nerem, a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, looked at satellite data dating back to 1993 to track sea-level rise.

Their findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that sea levels aren't just rising, but that the rate has been accelerating over the past 25 years.

Even small increases can have huge consequences, experts on climate say. If the worst climate-change predictions come true, coastal US cities from New York to New Orleans will be devastated by flooding and greater exposure to storm surges by 2100.

The research group Climate Central has created a plug-in for Google Earth to illustrate how catastrophic an "extreme" sea-level-rise scenario would be if the flooding happened today, based on projections in a 2017 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

You can install the plug-in and see what might become of major US cities.

SEE ALSO: 37 incredible drone photos from across the globe that would be illegal today

In a worst-case scenario, flooding caused by polar melting and ice-sheet collapses could cause a sea-level rise of 10 to 12 feet by 2100, NOAA reported in January 2017.

Here's Washington, DC, today, with the Potomac River running through it.

And here's what Washington, DC, might look like in 2100, as seen on Climate Central's plug-in for Google Earth. Rising sea levels could cause the river to overflow.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See inside the world's largest Starbucks, where 'coffee is theater' and the line is always down the block


StarbucksWorldsLargestShanghaiChina (1 of 41)

  • The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai is the largest Starbucks in the world with a total square-footage of 30,000 square feet.
  • The Roastery features in-house roasting, three coffee bars, an augmented reality experience designed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, and a special Teavana tea bar.
  • It feels like an amusement park or coffee. Since opening in December, the cafe is usually packed with customers and, at peak times, has a line out the door.

Is the thing missing from your daily cup of coffee a wild amusement park-like experience complete with bustling crowds, whizzing pipes, and a gift shop?

Starbucks is hoping so. 

It's proving true in Shanghai at least, where the company opened the largest Starbucks in the world in December. The Reserve Roastery, the second of its kind, is a 30,000 square-foot two-story tribute to coffee and tea — it's in China, after all.

The Reserve Roastery Shanghai, located on the city's biggest shopping thoroughfare and surrounded by luxury shops, is the company's attempt to restore the company's reputation as a premium brand.

From the two-story bronze cask at the center of the store to the nitrogen-infused tea drinks to an augmented reality experience created by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, it's clear that Starbucks has pulled out all the stops. 

The effort — one small facet of the company's extensive investment in China— seems to have paid off. At least at the Reserve location. Since opening, the location has remained packed from opening to closing.

I recently visited the Starbucks while in Shanghai to see what all the hubbub was about.

SEE ALSO: We partied at the exclusive, sexy Hong Kong party with the art world’s elite on a 62,000-square-foot floating restaurant — here’s what it was like

The Starbucks is located on Nanjing Road, Shanghai's version of New York City's Fifth Avenue or Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The area is dominated by high-end luxury stores and shopping malls.

I arrived at the Starbucks early in the morning. Any time past mid-morning and I risked waiting in a line that stretches for blocks. Since opening in December, the Starbucks — the largest in the world and the company's second Reserve Roastery — has become a major tourist attraction for Shanghainese locals and visiting Chinese.

I had seen the lines on my previous two days in Shanghai. Even when I arrived in the morning, the cafe was bustling. There were few seats available and a sense of chaos as I struggled to figure out where to order. It felt like being at the hottest bar in town on a Friday night.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Ivana Trump thinks Donald Trump should 'just go and play golf' instead of running for reelection, wants Ivanka to get out of DC, and feels sorry for Melania Trump



  • Ivana Trump gave Page Six a candid interview on the Trump family circle in and out of Washington.
  • President Donald Trump's first wife said she thinks a second term for her ex-husband would be "unnecessary".
  • She also said the Stormy Daniels scandal over Trump's lawyer making a hush payment for an alleged affair felt familiar, talked about her son Donald Trump Jr.'s impending divorce, and said her daughter Ivanka Trump should leave D.C.

"Maybe he should just go and play golf and enjoy his fortune," Ivana Trump said in a candid interview with Page Six about the prospect of her ex-husband running for re-election in 2020.

President Donald Trump's first wife discussed Trump family life in and out of the White House ahead of the May paperback release for her book, "Raising Trump", with The New York Post's gossip section on Saturday.

Ivana said she thinks Trump might miss his freedom and may have underestimated how much is involved in being president, making another term "unnecessary" for the soon-to-be 72-year-old.

Though he lacks political experience, she said "The Donald" (as she calls him) can hold his own through brokering friendships with tough leaders like Russian president Vladimir Putin, who she thinks "is the toughest guy in the world. Really."

"It's always better to be politically correct and be friendly," she continued. "But Donald's not going to take his crap, that's for sure."

The couple made tabloid headlines with her dramatic 1992 divorce after he cheated on her with then-26-year-old model Marla Maples.

Ivana said she sympathizes with first lady Melania Trump after lawyer Michael Cohen admitted he paid porn starStormy Daniels $130,000 to silence her about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump.

"I feel bad for [Melania] because I know how bad I did feel. It hurts a lot," Ivana said.

Ivana wants her children to stay out of Washington politics

ivana trump kids ivanka eric donald

Her eldest son Donald Trump Jr. is currently going through a messy divorce of his own from his wife of five years, and cheating rumors with a former "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant surfaced in March. Ivana said she found the situation "distressing, because I've been there."

"I honestly don't know that many men who can keep their zippers up," she added.

Ivana also said her son's soon-t0-be-ex-wife Vanessa Trump will have trouble finding a new man.

"Donald Jr. is a good-looking guy. He is successful. He is not going to have a problem to find a girl," she said. "Maybe Vanessa might have a little problem because she has five kids ... who is going to date and marry the woman who has five children?"

Overall, Ivana said she prefers her role in the family to stay outside of Washington. She told The Post in September that she had turned down Trump's offer of an ambassadorship to the Czech Republic, but she apparently also wouldn't care for the role of first lady either.

"Honestly, I prefer that she's in [the White House rather than me]," she said of Melania. "I like to do what I want to do and like to go wherever I want to go with whomever I want to go."

Ivana said she hopes her daughter Ivanka Trump gets out of D.C. soon, too.

"I would prefer if she would [move back to] New York. Politics is a very dirty business," she said, adding that if her daughter would go back to running her fashion brand, "she would be her own boss."

Read the full Page Six story here »

SEE ALSO: Tabloid covers from the '90s show the insanity of Trump's divorce from ex-wife Ivana

SEE ALSO: Ivana Trump said Donald once abandoned Donald Jr. on a tarmac because he was 5 minutes late for a flight

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Meet the three women who married Donald Trump

Surreal photos from Coachella take you inside the most famous music festival on Earth


coachella 2018 beyonce

Coachella may be having its greatest year on record.

Fans are losing their minds over one jaw-dropping show after the next at the annual music-and-arts festival hosted in Indio, California.

Many on Twitter are even calling it "Beychella" after Beyoncé delivered not one but two headliner performances of a lifetime on consecutive Saturday nights.

Here's what you're missing at Coachella 2018:

SEE ALSO: Beyoncé gave what fans are calling the greatest show in history at Coachella — here's what happened

DON'T MISS: Beyoncé and Solange fell onstage at Coachella and recovered like pros

Let's just jump right in: Beyoncé slayed Coachella better than any artist in history.

Read more: Beyoncé's Coachella set was the most-viewed live performance on YouTube in the festival's history

Queen Bey brought out Destiny's Child, Solange, and Jay-Z for a truly inspired set.

Read more: Beyoncé and Solange fell onstage at Coachella and recovered like pros

It took no few than 100 backup performers, three months of rehearsals, and five costume changes. Critics and entertainers are calling it the GOAT Coachella show.

Read more: Beyoncé gave what fans are calling the greatest show in history at Coachella — here's what happened

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Netflix's 'Amateur' director had to navigate real-life NCAA regulations in casting a 15 year old as a basketball star


Amateur_William Gray Netflix final

Director Ryan Koo got himself the golden ticket when his directorial debut “Amateur” was bought by Netflix in the script stage to be one of its original movies. But the journey the movie took to get to the streaming giant’s millions of viewers was a challenging one.

It’s a struggle to make every movie, but Koo can make the argument that he took on obstacles that most first-time filmmakers don’t.

In “Amateur” (currently available on Netflix) we get a look inside what young basketball phenoms go through to get the attention of a big-time Division I NCAA school. Main character 14-year-old Terron Forte is a star on his school basketball team, but to get to the next level his family enrolls him in a shady prep-school. In doing so, we see firsthand the corruption behind youth athletics where the kids no longer play for the coach, or to get into college, or even the NBA — they play for the brands.

To capture that authentic feel, Koo cast 15-year-old actor Michael Rainey Jr. in the role of Terron. And as he explained to Business Insider, what came with that decision were a lot of restrictions that, if navigated incorrectly, could have crippled the entire movie.

SEE ALSO: The director of HBO's Andre the Giant documentary explains how he debunked some major myths and got Vince McMahon to cry

The frustrations behind finding a lead actor

Koo said a big reason why it took years for “Amateur” to get made was because of his insistence on having a real teen for the lead role.

Not only would that mean that there would be production restrictions laid on him because he was working with a minor (more on that below), but he would have to find a kid who wasn’t just skilled at basketball, but had top acting skills to carry a feature film.

“In basketball films you are working with an actor who probably had to learn how to play the sport for the role rather than come from a starting point of being a great basketball player themselves,” Koo said. “So I always assumed I was going to need to cast a basketball player who had never acted before.”

The problem Koo found in his research is a skilled high school basketball player could potentially play in college. If he were to pay that person for being in the movie that person would lose his eligibility to play basketball in college, according to the rules by the NCAA which does not allow its student athletes to be paid.

“You're talking about a weeks-long movie shoot as a full time job, which you can't pay your lead actor,” Koo said. “So we were on the phone with the NCAA a few times about this to try to figure out what we could and couldn't do and who we could cast.”

Eventually Koo got extremely lucky and found an actor who had been a talented basketball player for years.

Michael Rainey Jr. had been a working actor since 8 years old, starring along side Common in the 2012 movie “Luv” and the son of Sophia Burset in “Orange is the New Black.” But Koo learned that he had also played basketball as well, even running point on an AAU team.

Rainey got the part and Koo teamed him with a basketball trainer to hone the moves he would show off in the movie.

But things didn’t get easier for Koo going into production.

The crew’s worst nightmare: Shooting a movie in “splits”

It’s a term that gives movie crews the chills — splits. That’s when a production’s shooting day is split up between a daytime block and a night block. The “Amateur” production had to do this because it was shooting a movie with a minor, so he could only work 8-and-a-half hours per day with production required to stop at 12:30 am. And because high-school basketball games are played in the evening, there would be a lot of evening scenes.

“That gives you very little flexibility to swap things,” Koo said. “You have to make the first half of your day because you're racing daylight, and we had a hard out every night at 12:30.”

So most days would start with the production getting set up at noon on its Denver set, Rainey would show up on set at 3 p.m. and they would immediately begin shooting. They would break for lunch at 8 p.m., wait until it got dark, and then shoot the evening scenes until Rainey had to wrap at 12:30.

And because Koo and his production were racing the clock daily, the “Amateur” production never had a company move (meaning packing everything up and moving to another location). That's a rarity for any movie.

“We had no time,” Koo said. “So what we ended up doing was finding locations that we could use for many locations. In the movie it looks like Terron goes from this less well-off public school to a much nicer, posh private school. There's one school I used for at least four schools. In the gym we did painting and made it into different colors to make it look like they played in different gyms.”

A 15 year old’s remarkable poise during the drama to get the movie’s final shot

“Amateur” ends with a powerful scene where Terron breaks down and cries after thinking back on the experience he’s just gone through and what the future may bring.

For the scene, Koo wanted Rainey to show real emotion and not have him do it with fake tears. Rainey was up for it, and everyone was set up to start the scene once he gave the sign to Koo that he was ready. Koo said all was going according to plan and he thought the scene was perfect when he said “cut.” However, there was one problem.

“Our cameras didn’t work,” he said.

They tried another take, and again, the cameras didn’t work. Though Koo said both he and Rainey were upset about what was happening, the director commends his young lead actor’s composure.

“We got it on the third take,” Koo said.

Looking back Koo can’t believe they pulled it off with all the restrictions against them. But he admits he would absolutely work with a teen as the lead in his movie again.

“There is no substitute for the very real, very unique, emotions of youth,” he said. “I think that's why audiences respond to coming-of-age stories — we are aware, especially later in life, of how fleeting those moments were. We'll never be the same age again and we'll never get those feelings back. When I look at Michael in the film I feel privileged to have captured, and preserved, those emotions on-screen.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Alarming photos of the uninhabited island that's home to 37 million pieces of trash


Jennifer Lavers Henderson Island East Beach

A small island smack in the middle of the South Pacific has never been inhabited by people — and yet, its white sand beaches are home to more than 37 million pieces of junk.

Every day on Henderson Island — one of the most remote places on Earth — trash from every continent except Antarctica washes up its shores. Fishing nets and floats, water bottles, and plastics break into small particles against the rocks and sand.

In 2015, Jennifer Lavers, a researcher at the University of Tasmania, traveled to Henderson in an effort to document the extent of plastics pollution. Her research paper has since gone viral.

Lavers shared images from her trip with us. 

SEE ALSO: Disturbing before-and-after images show what major US cities could look like in the year 2100

Jennifer Lavers first saw Henderson Island in Google Street View. She's been documenting islands-turned-junkyards for years. Henderson was the epitome of the phenomenon.

Few humans have set foot on the island, which lies halfway between New Zealand and South America, 71 miles away from the nearest settlement. To get there, Lavers joined a freight ship traveling from New Zealand and asked it to change course for Henderson.

When she arrived, it felt "a bit like being the first to land on the moon," Lavers told Business Insider. It became immediately clear that something on Henderson was awry.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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