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9 facial traits that make someone more attractive, according to science


attractive face

It's sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that attracts us to someone. It might be their confidence, or their sense of humour, or you might just like the way they look.

A lot of research over the years has gone into trying to work out what it is that makes us fancy each other. Results have varied, showing women may like the smell of men who have a particular kind of diet, and men may find women in groups more attractive.

Some research has suggested we often go for people who share some of the same characteristics we do.

We've looked at a number of a studies to try and get to the bottom of what makes us like the look of one person over another.

Here are 9 face traits that can make someone more attractive to us, according to science.

SEE ALSO: Love and obsession are two different things — here's how to tell them apart

1. Symmetry

Studies such as this one published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and this one published in the Journal of Evolution & Human Behaviour, have shown that in experimental conditions, men and women both prefer faces that are more symmetrical.

A study on identical twins found that the twin with a more symmetrical face was considered more attractive. Even macaque monkeys have been observed gazing longer at symmetrical faces than asymmetrical ones.

One conclusion scientists have reached to explain this is that in evolutionary terms, we may consider a symmetrical face a result of good health. Having a face that developed in a symmetrical way could show you have "good genes," because you developed more successfully in the face of environmental pressures when you were in the womb.

However, in 2014, research from Brunel University in London compared facial symmetry of about 5,000 teenagers, and found there was no correlation between symmetry and overall health.

2. Asymmetry

It's not an absolute rule, though. In fact, you can probably think of many celebrities you fancy who don't have symmetrical faces at all. Sometimes, like in the case of Milo Ventimiglia, a crooked smile is what adds to someone's charm.

In fact, absolute symmetry can make people look pretty weird. When attractive celebrities' faces are made to look symmetrical, they don't look quite right.

3. Averageness

People tend to like faces that are distinctly average, or those that resemble others in the general population.

In 1878, a paper in Nature first noted that a bunch of faces blended together was considered more attractive than those on their own.

One study, published in the journal Human Nature, argued it could be because average faces represent a more diverse set of genes, which is often a genetic advantage in fighting off illnesses and parasites.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How often you need to exercise to see results, according to the creator of the viral 7-minute workout


Man working out

  • Working out regularly is key to achieving results, according to Chris Jordan, the exercise physiologist who came up with the 7-minute workout.
  • Jordan gave us a sample week-long fitness routine to start with.
  • His recommendations are supported by recent research that found that regular exercise was key to keeping the heart healthy into older age.

If you've renewed your commitment to getting fit now that summer is around the corner, you may be wondering how much time that goal requires.

For workouts to produce real results, exercise has to be a consistent habit, Chris Jordan, the exercise physiologist who came up with the popular 7-minute workout, told Business Insider.

Jordan's viral routine, officially called the "Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout" is based on a popular form of fitness called interval training. It's designed to give you the benefits of a sweaty bike ride or longer cardio workout in just a few minutes — but you have to commit to doing it regularly.

That means exercising three to five times a week at minimum, Jordan said.

His insight is bolstered by two recentstudies, which found that the best results for heart health were gleaned when participants exercised four to five times per week.

That isn't to say that other, less frequent attempts to squeeze more fitness into your daily life don't count — they do. Everything from taking the stairs at work to getting up from your desk throughout the day has a positive impact on your overall health, according to a study published in March.

But if you want benefits that you can see in the form of toned muscles, you'll need to commit to a regular fitness routine.

Two studies show how regular exercise can keep the heart young

For a study published this month in the Journal of Physiology, researchers worked with 102 people over age 60 who had recorded their daily exercise history for several decades. The participants were split into four categories based on how frequently they worked out for at least 30 minutes at a time. On the lowest end were people who fell into the "sedentary" category — they exercised less than twice a week. On the highest end were people the researchers named "master athletes" who worked out six to seven times per week, or basically every day.

They analyzed how the study participants' hearts were performing in terms of the size of their arteries and blood flow to the body. The researchers found that the folks with healthiest or youngest-looking hearts were those who worked out four to five times per week.

woman running jogging exerciseBenjamin Levine, the author of the study and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern, said in a statement that his findings could help people design "exercise programs to keep the heart youthful and even turn back time on older hearts and blood vessels."

Levine's paper comes on the heels of another study that he published in January in the Journal of the American Heart Association. That research suggested that adults who worked out four to five times per week for roughly two years saw significant improvements in their heart performance compared to people who only did stretching and balancing exercises for those two years.

At the time, Levine said, "We found what we believe to be the optimal dose of the right kind of exercise."

This newer study appears to back him up.

A sample weekly workout schedule for better overall health

While Levine's work has focused on heart health, it's likely that his advice applies to people who are looking for physical results — like leaner limbs and toned muscles — or psychological improvements, such as mood boosts and higher energy levels.

Jordan and Levine both recommend interspersing cardio — activities like running on a treadmill, riding a bike, or doing high-intensity interval training — with resistance training like planks, squats, or leg raises.

Here's an example five-day training plan that Jordan suggests:

  • Monday: Cycling and upper-body resistance training, like arm raises.
  • Tuesday: Yoga and lower-body resistance training, like squats.
  • Wednesday: Running and upper-body resistance training, like bench presses.
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday: Boxing and lower-body resistance training, like leg raises.

Whichever workout you try, the most important thing is to keep doing it. That might mean setting up a regular time every day when you cut out of the office for spin class or simply getting up earlier to hit the track most mornings.

"Plan ahead, schedule, the most important thing is to do it on a consistent basis," Jordan said.

SEE ALSO: 14 ways one type of exercise is the closest thing to a miracle drug we have

DON'T MISS: I tried the science-backed 7-minute fitness routine that's going viral, and it actually works

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 workouts that burn the most calories in an hour

I'm an NYC local — here are 9 things you should see and skip when you visit



  • New York City can be overwhelming, and you want to make sure you hit all the right spots on your next visit.
  • After living in New York City for five years, author Adrienne Jordan discovered which places are worth visiting and which you should definitely skip.
  • From active adventures to culinary hotspots, here are nine attractions you must see in New York City.


Visiting New York City is always a multi-sensory experience: from the hundreds of skyscrapers, the heady smell of street food, and the multitude of neighborhoods begging to be explored. However, narrowing down the best sights and attractions can be overwhelming.

After living in New York City for five years, I have found that some of the best places I’ve experienced have come from locals and insider recommendations. Here are 12 things I recommend people to do in the city, from visiting historic buildings, active adventures, to culinary hotspots:

SEE ALSO: 11 Hidden attractions in New York City that even locals might not know exist

1. Skip the Statue of Liberty — visit the 9/11 Museum at One World Trade Center instead

The view of the statue is just as spectacular from Battery Park (a 10-minute walk from the museum) as going to Ellis Island, and you have a picturesque skyline as a backdrop.

The museum tells the story of 9/11 through interactive technology, archives, narratives, and a collection of artifacts. 

2. Instead of buying a hot dog or sausage from a Manhattan food truck, try an egg cream

The food trucks are great for quick bites on the go, but you can take your time, sit down, and savor an egg cream at a restaurant.

The quintessential New York City soda fountain drink contains neither eggs nor cream and dates back to the early 1900s. You can find it at many iconic establishments in the city, such as Katz's Deli, Russ & Daughters, and Yonah Schimmel's.

3. Skip jam-packed Times Square, and head to Columbus Circle instead

The crowds in Times Square can be overwhelming at times, but Columbus Circle is not as busy, and is adjacent to Central Park, so you can take a nature-filled walk after shopping around.

At Columbus Circle, you can browse The Shops at Columbus Circle, have lunch at the French restaurant Landmarc, and burn calories with a day pass at Equinox.

If you do decide to head to Times Square, instead of taking a photo with one of the costumed characters, visit Gulliver’s Gate, located in the heart of Times Square: the largest miniature world in the U.S. The permanent exhibition is 50,000 square feet of places around the world in miniature. You'll get a key when you enter which allows you to interact with different parts of the display.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why a tomato is a fruit and a vegetable at the same time



  • Tomatoes are both a vegetable and a fruit.
  • The confusion arises because of the two different ways we define "fruit" — one is a scientific term and one is culinary.
  • Even the Supreme Court has weighed in on whether tomatoes are actually fruits.

No food straddles the line between fruit and vegetable more famously than the tomato.

And while your elementary-school teacher or know-it-all friend may have informed you that tomatoes are technically fruits, the answer isn't so clear-cut. In reality, tomatoes are both fruits and vegetables at the same time.

The explanation lies in the two different ways that "fruit" is defined. First, it is true that scientifically speaking, tomatoes are fruits. 

According to Merriam-Webster, a fruit is "the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant." In a blog post, the dictionary explained it in simpler terms: "Any thing that grows on a plant and is the means by which that plant gets its seeds out into the world is a fruit."

That definition includes apples, tomatoes, and anything else that grows from a plant and contains seeds. (Cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins, and avocados are all fruits too, according to science.)

Vegetables, on the other hand, have a slightly murkier definition. It's a word we use to group together a wide range of plants whose parts are edible and herbaceous, like roots, stems, and leaves. The critical distinction is that, according to the dictionary, a vegetable must be part of a plant or the whole plant itself, while fruits are just the means by which certain plants spread their seeds.

"The thing a tomato plant produces isn't a part of the plant itself, any more than the egg a chicken lays is part of the chicken, or the apple is part of the tree on which it grew," Merriam-Webster wrote.

But the confusion arises because "vegetable" isn't a botanical classification so much as it is a culinary one. And "fruit" can be a culinary term, too — described as "having a sweet pulp associated with the seed" and "used chiefly in a dessert or sweet course," according to Merriam-Webster. So scientifically, fruits don't have to be sweet, but in the kitchen, most people would classify the fruits that fall on the savory side, like tomatoes, as vegetables.

Nutritionists recognize the terms as they are commonly used, and tomatoes are listed as a vegetable under USDA guidelines.

Even the Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue. In 1893, the high court was forced to rule on whether imported tomatoes should be taxed under the Tariff Act of 1883, which only applied to vegetables and not fruits. Although both sides cited dictionary definitions of the two words, the court sided unanimously with #TeamVegetable.

Justice Horace Gray summed up the argument succinctly:

"Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas," Gray wrote in the court's opinion.

"But in the common language of the people … all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert."

That idea was channeled more than 100 years later in a quote attributed to journalist Miles Kington, who may have settled the debate once and for all:

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad," he said.

SEE ALSO: 8 common words you probably didn't know came from TV shows

DON'T MISS: A made-up word from a 22-year-old 'Simpsons' episode has finally made it into the dictionary

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 7 words that make you sound smarter without sounding like a jerk

'Deadpool 2' screenwriters explain how time travel will be used in the franchise moving forward


deadpool 2 fox final

Warning: Spoilers below if you haven't seen "Deadpool 2."

  • "Deadpool 2" screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick believe the time-travel aspect will be used sparingly in the franchise.
  • But it could potentially help to further the storylines of fringe characters who were introduced in the movie.


With Cable showing up in "Deadpool 2," it doesn't just mean the franchise is one step closer to having a real X-Force movie (as opposed to the one attempted in the sequel), but also that there are limitless possibilities due to the time-travel device he's brought along with him from the future.

Cable (played by Josh Brolin) is a soldier from the future who, thanks to time travel, returns to the present day to try and kill a young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison) who killed his family. But things change when he comes across the Merc with a Mouth. By the end of the movie, Russell lives, Cable decides to not go back to the future, and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) borrows the device to time travel at the end of the movie and fix a few things — like save his girl Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and kill Ryan Reynolds before he can make "Green Lantern."

deadpoolAnd now with the time-travel option, screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are given endless possibilities for the franchise going forward. Are the mutants that Deadpool brought together to form X-Force in the movie really dead? And what else could Deadpool do with the device? Could he stop Charles Xavier from becoming a paraplegic? That one is probably not likely. However, there are a lot of places the franchise can go now.

Currently, it's a good way to calm down people who got a little overexcited about the X-Force gag in "Deadpool 2," like Deadpool comic creator Rob Liefeld.

"We told Rob, 'There's this time machine that allows us to go back and resurrect anybody,'" Reese said. "We told him just imagine that Shatterstar got resurrected at the end of the movie but we didn't show it."  

The screenwriters told Business Insider that at the moment, time travel isn't planned to be a major part of the "Deadpool" movies going forward, but that doesn't mean it won't work for the other characters we saw, maybe only for a brief time, in the sequel.

"The way they are fooling with time, there's always ways to bring me back," Terry Crews, who plays Bedlam in "Deadpool 2," pointed out to Business Insider.

And hey, we know for sure X-Force member Peter is coming back!

SEE ALSO: Terry Crews explains how the X-Force joke in "Deadpool 2" was pulled off, including shooting a scene they knew would never be in the movie

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why you should never release your pet goldfish into the wild

Netflix is dominating HBO in how much people love its original TV shows and movies, and its lead is growing (NFLX)


stranger things 2

  • Netflix is dominating its competition in consumer perception of original programming, according to new research from Morgan Stanley.
  • Thirty-nine percent of respondents in a Morgan Stanley survey said Netflix had the "best original programming" — more than double HBO's second-place tally of 14%.
  • The subscriber count for HBO's premium streaming service, however, is surging.
  • HBO Now is projected to rapidly expand its lead in domestic subscribers among premium over-the-top services by the end of 2018.

Netflix's original programming is blowing away its competition in the eyes of consumers, but the subscriber count for HBO's streaming service is surging, according to new research from Morgan Stanley and Alphawise.

Netflix will spend an estimated $8 billion on content this year. An increasing percentage of those funds will go toward the production of original shows and movies (with more than 1,000 originals projected this year), as Netflix moves away from licensing content from studios like Disney, which plans to introduce a Netflix competitor in 2019.

And Netflix's massive investment in its "Netflix Originals" appears to be increasingly paying off, as favorability for the service's original programming has grown in each year of Morgan Stanley's annual survey.

In the firm's 2018 survey, 39% of respondents said Netflix had the "best original programming" among all subscription services, a 6-point rise from 33% last year.

Netflix's figure more than doubled that of HBO, which came in second place this year with support from 14% of respondents, roughly the same figure it posted in 2017. Amazon Prime (5%), Hulu (4%), Showtime (3%), and Starz (2%) followed. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents answered "Don't know," while Cinemax, Encore, Epix, and "Other" rounded out the survey with 1% or less each.

Morgan Stanley wrote that the second season of Netflix's "Stranger Things," released in October, was most likely the "largest driver" of Netflix's increase in favorability for this year's survey.

Netflix premium OTT service best original programming

The firm also projects a rapid expansion in the reach of HBO's premium streaming service, HBO Now, which is expected to build on its lead among so-called over-the-top services from traditional media outlets.

By the end of the year, HBO Now is projected to reach 7 million US subscribers — more than double the 3.1 million subscribers that Showtime and CBS All Access are projected to reach in 2018.

Number of paid US subscriber OTT services

Overall, HBO's cable and premium subscriptions reached nearly 38 million US subscribers at the end of 2017, while Netflix reached nearly 53 million domestic subscribers, according to Morgan Stanley.

But it's not an "either/or" situation for the two entertainment giants. Morgan Stanley found that 53% of Netflix subscribers in 2018 were also subscribed to at least one premium network, with many holding an HBO subscription.

HBO Now's rapid growth in 2017 led a massive increase in OTT premium subscribers across all providers. Total OTT premium subscribers hit 10 million last year, which more than doubled 2016's year-end count.

SEE ALSO: All 65 of Netflix's notable original shows, ranked from worst to best

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Nobel Prize-winning economist explains what Milton Friedman got wrong

A marriage therapist asks couples to do a 2-week exercise before their first session, and it's much harder than it seems


couple talking on steps

  • Marriage can be challenging, and couples can fall into destructive cycles.
  • To help break those cycles, couples therapist Peter Pearson often prescribes the "Daily Double" exercise: Each partner must display only positive behaviors toward each other for two weeks straight.
  • Pearson has found that it's much harder — and more revelatory — than it sounds.

Peter Pearson likens improving your marriage to getting in shape, in the sense that "it won't happen without effort."

Pearson is a couples therapist and the cofounder, along with his wife, couples therapist Ellyn Bader, of the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California.

When couples sign up for an appointment with him, he often has them agree to do the "Daily Double" beforehand, which he says is both an intervention and a diagnostic exercise.

The exercise sounds much simpler than it is: Twice a day, each partner has to say or do something to express to their partner that they love, value, respect, or appreciate them. At the same time, they have to avoid displaying any negative behaviors.

Ideally, the exercise would last a month, but Pearson said most couples can't make it that long, so he typically prescribes two weeks. The kicker? If one partner slips, the couple has to start the exercise from scratch.

On the Couples Institute website, Pearson shares examples of positive behaviors, such as "I asked several questions before butting in with my reactions" and "When I had negative thoughts about my partners, I shifted to thinking of what I appreciated."

Examples of negative behaviors include sarcasm, blaming or accusing, and "psychoanalyzing my partner during a difficult discussion."

Couples who haven't signed up for an appointment with Pearson can certainly try the exercise on their own. You can think of it as gamifying your relationship, the same way many app-makers have gamified the process of getting fit.

But beware: "It's harder than it seems," Pearson said. "People start learning some really interesting stuff about themselves."

For example, having to stop yourself every time you're about to berate your partner for being annoying might lead you to realize just how often you're berating the person. And struggling to display politeness in a conversation with your partner might reveal how brusque you are typically.

On the website, Pearson writes: "You are the one in control of whether or to you do The Daily Double for thirty days. You can't blame your partner if you don't do it."

SEE ALSO: A couples therapist says most people don't understand the real reason they've sought help — and it makes things hard to fix

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 1,500 happily married people say the key to lasting relationships isn’t communication — it’s respect

After resorting to Tinder to make friends, this freelance journalist created her own meetup app for women and it's blowing up


Elva Pamela Aine Girlcrew

  • An Irish freelance journalist created GirlCrew after resorting to using Tinder one night to make female friends.
  • The app has over 100,000 and has raised $1 million from prominent figures in tech, including LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

On a Friday night in 2014, Elva Carri found herself alone and frustrated she didn't have anyone to go out dancing with. 

In a last-ditch effort to find a friend in Dublin, Ireland, where she was living and working as a freelance journalist at the time, Carri did something unusual: She changed the gender setting on her Tinder account to male, indicated she was interested in women, and made her profile picture an image that explained that she was a woman just looking for friends to have a night out with.

Within 24 hours she had hundreds of matches.

"I was overwhelmed. I thought you would have to be kind of mental to swipe on this person that probably looked like a catfish," Carri told Business Insider.

The women who swiped right on Carri four years ago were the beginning of a community that led to the creation of Girlcrew, a meetup app for women to make friends. The app, which recently launched in the U.S., has 100,000 members worldwide — and has gotten  support from prominent leaders in tech, including LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Reddit’s director of data science.

The day after matching with hundreds of women on Tinder, Carri added all of her matches to a Facebook group where everyone could talk to each other. Within a week they had already planned an event and soon — after the group's existence was publicized in the Irish press — the group began to grow and eventually expand to other cities.

"It got to the point where if people were on the crappy date, they would post in the group asking for us to come rescue them," Carri said. "We were really a community of women."

Realizing they were limited with what they could do with a Facebook group, Carri thought she could use the community in the Facebook group to create an app.

How the app works

girlGrewGroup2Girlcrew is centered around groups. Women can choose which city they're in and browse from a list of events organized by members, such as "Drinks Tonight" or "Kayaking." Users can also create their own event or post in the app's "news" section, which acts as a discussion board.

Unlike Bumble, the popular dating app that recently launched a feature that lets women swipe for friends individually, the crux of the app is meeting up with groups of women with similar interests.

"We see ourselves as complimentary to Bumble. Going out on a friend date one-on-one can be a really terrifying experience," Carri said. "GirlCrew is really focused on groups. Say you're on GirCrew in Dublin, when you post something, you're really interacting with all the girls in Dublin. It's a little mad."

In Dublin, women can pay 10 euros per month (which amounts to around 12 U.S. dollars) for a subscription service that guarantees invites to at least four events per month organized by the company.

U.S. expansion

Pamela Newenham, one of Carri's co-founders, met LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner when he traveled to Ireland in 2016. Working as a journalist at the Irish Times, she was the only reporter that scored an interview with him during the small window he was in the country.

After the interview, Newenham and Weiner were chatting casually. Newenham mentioned she had recently joined GirlCrew, and after a series of questions, Weiner decided he wanted to invest in the startup on the spot.

"We weren't even looking for money at that stage. We didn't even have a business plan finished," Carri said.

In its first round of funding, GirlCrew raised $1 million from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Wrigley chief marketing officer Orla Mitchell, Reddit’s director of data science Joe Gallagher, Aegis Corporate Strategy managing director Hazel Hutchinson, and PCH International CEO Liam Casey to focus on expanding into the U.S.

"It's been really nice that people are taking us seriously, and not just looking at us as this girly little thing," Carri said.

On International Women's Day in March, Girlcrew launched in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and San Francisco. Now, there are "crews" in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, San Antonio, and Seattle. While only 10% of the app's 100,000 members are located in the U.S., Carri plans to launch in even more cities.

"We're getting requests for new cities everyday, there just has to be a critical mass of people requesting from a particular city and we'll go there," Carri said.

SEE ALSO: 11 reasons you should buy an Apple Watch instead of Fitbit's new $200 smartwatch

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos on breaking up and regulating Amazon

A $35 million tech company is giving employees the freedom to choose their hours, where they work, and the meetings they attend — and it's a millennial's dream perk



  • Tech firm Verve gives employees the freedom to choose their hours, where they work, and the meetings they attend, making it a millennial's dream company.
  • Millennials, who make up the majority of Verve's workforce, in general work more hours and forfeit more vacation days than previous generations.
  • Verve's cofounder Callum Negus-Fancey, a high school dropout, wanted to build a company culture that lets people work they way they work best.


Callum Negus-Fancey, a 28-year-old British entrepreneur, started his company in the basement of his parents' West London flat. Founded in 2013, Verve is a software platform that lets brands recruit fans to sell tickets to their events, in exchange for rewards like free entry and VIP badges.

Today, Verve has raised $35 million in venture funding and grown from about five employees to 160 across offices in London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Austin, as well as some cities in Europe.

Despite its exponential growth, Verve's company culture has remained pretty much the same since its humble beginnings below ground, Negus-Fancey told Business Insider. Since the beginning, Verve employees have had the freedom to choose their hours, where they work, and the meetings they attend.

Whether or not his employees came to the office or stayed nine hours, "that just wasn't what I cared about," Negus-Fancey said. "I cared about the value they created for our customers."

Millennials in general work more hours, forfeit more vacation days, and retire much later than previous generations. They also make less money than their parents did at the same age.

These conditions can result in burnout, a lack of engagement at work, or quitting, which is why millennials have earned a reputation as the "job-hopping" generation. In 2016, a Gallup poll revealed that 21% of millennials said they changed jobs within the past year (more than three times the number of non-millennials who reported the same), and 60% are open to new opportunities.

As a result, companies are hatching creative solutions to keep their millennial-aged workers on the company's payroll longer, from providing paid time off for travel to on-demand career coaching.

Here's what it's really like to work at Verve

At Verve, nearly all 160 employees work out of offices scattered around the world. According to Negus-Fancey, a high percentage of employees — who are mostly in their 30s — work from coffee shops or home at least one day a week. Verve does not have set hours or vacation days.

"Philosophically, I like people to see [the office] as a tool rather than a place to go," he said.

If an employee has to take off early for a dentist appointment, Negus-Fancey said they're free to do so without telling their teammates. He explained that a worker who shares where they are at all times is "clearly projecting anxiety," which may be a symptom of their last job. A manager might sit them down and explain "why they don't need to do that here," Negus-Fancey said.

The company's culture is inspired, in part, by its cofounder's unusual path to startups.

Callum Fergus-Fancey, Verve

Negus-Fancey dropped out of high school at age 17 because he said he didn't fit the mold of a "cookie-cutter" education. He didn't enjoy learning or feel motivated to succeed.

He started a company, Let's Go Crazy, that threw alcohol- and drug-free dance parties for teens ages 16 to 18. He had almost no capital, but instead used ticket sales to cover the cost of renting clubs. (Negus-Fancey joked of ticking off London's club owners for "trying to get so many underaged kids in." But the company also received some negative press around teens using drugs at his events.)

Negus-Fancey set out to build Verve after seeing how well teens sold other teens on attending Let's Go Crazy events. Verge leverages "word of mouth" to sell tickets to events, mostly music festivals; users sell tickets to their friends in order to unlock cool rewards like backstage access.

As an entrepreneur, Negus-Fancy said he learned to love the hustle and felt a new sense of purpose. He imagined a company culture that gave people the freedom to work the way they work best.

The flexibility around the office and hours has been a huge draw for millennial job applicants and gives existing employees more reason to stick around, according to Negus-Fancey.

In a 2017 employee satisfaction survey, 24% of Verve employees said they completely agree that they "don't feel judged" for taking vacation days. One-third of employees said they agree 100% that they "have freedom over where, when, and how [they] deliver work."

Negus-Fancey said the company has had few issues with employees abusing these perks. But when a worker misses their goals, a manager steps in to figure out why that is.

Employees still work a lot, according to Negus-Fancey. He said Verve is growing quickly, and people who join the company should understand that flexible hours doesn't necessarily mean fewer hours. Still, he stresses the importance of quality work over quantity of hours worked. He tries to communicate this message in weekly town hall meetings and company newsletters.

"In a startup environment, you've got a huge amount of uncertainty and high growth," Negus-Fancey said. "The one thing that gives people a sense of certainty is your culture."

SEE ALSO: A tech company is giving each employee $1,500 to spend on experiences — here's why

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Millennials are driving a shift in investing — here's how to meet your financial and social impact goals

This former dishwasher turned 'social entertainment' bar founder changed drinking culture in London and the US — and he's about to launch a new £6 million concept


Adam Breeden[1] (1)

  • 42-year-old Adam Breeden has been the brains behind popular venues like All Star Lanes, Bounce, and Flight Club.
  • The 'social entertainment' venues have changed going out culture in London and across the UK — and they're making their way to the US.
  • Under the umbrella of his company Social Entertainment Ventures, Breeden's next launch will be a £6 million digital mini golf venue created alongside the co-founders of Topgolf, and he also plans to launch a bingo venue.
  • He told Business Insider how he went from a dishwasher to the founder of some of nightlife's most innovative concepts.

Adam Breeden's first job in the hospitality world involved cleaning dirty plates at a restaurant — and he loved it so much it inspired the rest of his career.

Along with his love of meditation, it was his ability to embrace the restaurant industry's crazy, ever changing culture that has led to his current success.

Now the 42-year-old cofounder of holding company Social Entertainment Ventures, Breeden has been the brains behind some of London's most popular going-out spots, such as the bowling venue All Star Lanes, Bounce ping pong, and the Flight Club darts bar — and he's not stopping there.

Born in Hertfordshire, Breeden told Business Insider: "My mum was a cookery writer, and it gave me quite a lot of inspiration in terms of the culinary arts."

In school, he said he excelled at "anything creative" — and he knew he wanted to open a restaurant.

"I couldn't think of anything more creative than an all-sensory experience," he said. "I announced it to my parents at the time, and they said, 'Why would you want to do that? You're only 16.'"

The first step towards his goal was a job as a dishwasher while he was studying at the University of Newcastle. "I absolutely loved it," he said. "Chefs shouting at eachother, customers coming in... I was only allowed to clean the dirt off the plates, but I realised this is what I've got to do."

As part of his International Business degree, he spent a year studying in Paris. He also worked at Publicis on their "largest account" and was offered a job at the end of it — but turned it down.

Launching London's 'Bar of the Year'

Instead, in 2002, and Breeden and his brother Charles launched The Lonsdale cocktail bar in Notting Hill.

"It was an overnight success," he said. "We won Time Out Bar of the Year, which was like winning the Oscars at the time in the industry."

He added: "The degree didn't teach me much at all in terms of what it's like to launch your own business. It's like riding a rollercoaster naked with lightning going off at the same time."

The brothers became well-known in the cocktail industry, and managed to recruit "half of the best mixologists in London."

Making bowling cool again

Things took a turn when, a few years later, Breeden was introduced to Mark von Westenholz, who had an idea to "take bowling and make it cool again."

He said that at the time, all bars and restaurants were "versions of the same thing."

"We had the idea for All Star Lanes— bringing the West London Notting Hill premium cocktail experience and high heels glamour to bowling," he said. "We thought cocktails, a bite to eat, and something fun to do had to be more compelling."

All Star Lanes opened in London's Holborn in 2006, boasting bowling lanes, a cocktail bar, and a restaurant. Luckily, customers loved the idea — and Breeden said they also got a lot of corporate interest.

"Within the first three to four months of trading we almost broke the operation, it was so busy," he said.

Breeden is no longer involved in the business, but says it's still "going from strength to strength." It now has four London locations, as well as one in Manchester.

"I stepped down when I had more inspiration to do other things," he said — the first of which was Bounce, a ping pong venue.

A social ping pong club


Breeden's co-founder Dov Penzik, an entrepreneur and previous table tennis player, came to him with the idea, which seemed a bit crazy to Breeden at first.

However, he said the pair developed the concept to ensure it would be a "fantastic venue" even without the tennis tables.

"The business was really centering in on that question you have as a group — you want to do something, you don't want to hire a private dining room, you want people to have some fun and do something interesting," he said.

"There was such a shortage of places to do that."

They opened Bounce in 2012 in Farringdon — on the site where ping pong was founded by John Jacques III in 1901 — and were quickly surprised by how much people love ping pong. They opened a second venue in Old Street in 2015, which became profitable in its first month.

Calling itself "Europe's largest purpose built 'Social Ping Pong Club,'" aside from table tennis, Bounce also boasts a cocktail bar and pizza restaurant."

Bounce restaurant panoramic

"We went straight to the US and opened in Chicago under the brand AceBounce two years ago," Breedem said, adding that the venue is performing "absolutely fantastically" with plans to roll out across the US.

But Breeden didn't stop there.

"I thought, if you can do it with ping pong, you can do it with other sport," he said.

Making darts digital

He began talking to Steve Moore and Paul Barhan about building a social entertainment venue revolving around darts.

"We needed something else to make it a fun and easy group experience, so the guys went off and nailed what is now trademarked as social darts," he said.

Flight Club opened in 2015 in Shoreditch, with a second location in Bloomsbury in 2017. It offers darts "ochres" or areas with boards that use digital scoring and non-traditional gaming options — as well as instant video replay.

Flight Club is not only rolling out across the UK — where it operates as a separate business to the other brands under the Social Entertainment Ventures holding company umbrella — but also across the US, again starting with Chicago.

While Breeden still sits on the board, his focus is on the concepts that lie under the Social Entertainment Ventures umbrella — Bounce, Flight Club USA, and his two latest ventures, Puttshack and Hijingo.

'The world's finest mini golf experience'

Puttshack, a £6 million investment which opens in London's Westfield Shepherd's Bush shopping centre in June, was inspired the technology created by co-founders Steve and Dave Jolliffe of Topgolf, which, with more than 40 sites, is a US phenomenon according to Breeden.

Puttshack_White City _ Venue & Holes

"It was arguably the first social entertainment concept," he said, explaining that the technology automatically scores the game for you. "It predates All Star Lanes by three years."

The Jolliffe brothers have helped Puttshack bring that same technology to mini golf. Breeden says you'll walk through the door, be greeted by screens where you'll punch yourself in and select a tee-time and restaurant booking, be allocated a course, and receive your ball from a dispenser.

The experience will involve animation reflective the game play and score, sound effects, and cameras around the course which will film you and send you video of your best shots.

Puttshack_White City_ Bar

"I believe it to be the world's finest mini golf experience," he said, adding that the company plans to launch a second venue in the No 1 Poultry Building, another as part of the extension of the intu Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, and four more across the UK a year later.

"That's not including the US," he added, where he expects to roll out Puttshack in 2019

While details are minimal, his next venture will take on bingo, infusing "technology and traditional number play to unlock a ground-breaking twist on bingo like never before," according to the company.

Breeden has partnered with Rebel Bingo creator James Gordon to launch Hijingo in the UK, with plans to launch three venues within its first 12 months in major UK cities, including London.

London is 'way ahead of the rest of the world'

While Bounce, Flight Club, and Putthack are all heading Stateside, Breeden said that London is "way ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to social entertainment."

"Without question the space is exploding," Breeden said. "We've seen a number of other people do different concepts, whether it involves table football, arcades, or other mini gold experiences, or copy cats of Bounce up and down the country."

He added: "You'd ordinarily expect these things to come from the US... London is spearheading the charge."

He believes the same applies to the restaurant scene in general.

"I honestly think London trumps New York now in terms of the restaurant scene," he said.

BF playing

Using meditation to stay creative

With so many concepts in his past, present, and future, Breeden certainly knows he has to keep the momentum going to be successful — but he also knows how important it is to take the time to slow down.

"I meditate every morning," he said. "Without that I don't think I would have the space in my brain to be creative."

He also recently brought a CEO on board to run Social Entertainment Ventures so he can keep that creativity going.

"My role is creating new concepts, continuing to innovate," he said. "If you're not moving, you're going backwards, particularly in the restaurant business."

He added that his role has been a lucky one in many ways, and emerging younger generations have made it a "fascinating time" to be in the business.

"In the past, when you were young, you drank in order to make friends and meet a love interest," he said. "Now, we have the internet for that.

"Younger generations aren't turning to alcohol to fulfill their social needs and desires... You have to work harder to make things more interesting."

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NOW WATCH: A Nobel Prize-winning economist explains what Milton Friedman got wrong

Eating one egg a day could significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, according to a major new study



  • New research shows how eating an egg a day could help prevent heart diseases.
  • A team of scientists compared people who ate eggs daily to those who ate them rarely or not at all. 
  • After 8.9 years, people who ate eggs regularly had a 26% lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke, a 28% lower risk of dying from a haemorrhagic stroke, and an 18% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
  • Eggs contain a lot of crucial vitamins and nutrients for our cells and general health.

Forget apples — it could be an egg a day that keeps the doctor away. That's according to new research from China, published in the journal Heart.

A team of researchers from China and the UK, led by Professor Liming Li and Dr Canqing Yu from the School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, wanted to see if there was a link between eating eggs and developing cardiovascular disease, ischaemic heart disease, major coronary events, hemorrhagic stroke, and ischaemic stroke.

They used data from an ongoing study, which included more than half a million adults aged 30 to 79 from 10 different locations in China.

About 416,000 participants who were free of prior health problems like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes were chosen. They were asked about how often they ate eggs, then the researched followed up with them after 8.9 years. (Data was collected between 2004 and 2008.)

About 13% of participants said they had eggs every day, while 9% said they never or rarely consumed eggs.

Once followed up, 83,977 people had cardiovascular disease, 9,985 of whom died. And there were 5,103 "major coronary events," such as stroke or heart attack.

Results showed the people who had eggs daily had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease overall. Up to one egg a day was associated with a 26% lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke, a 28% lower risk of dying from a haemorrhagic stroke, and an 18% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

There was also a 12% reduced risk of ischaemic heart disease for people eating about five eggs a week, compared to people who are them rarely.

Hemorrhagic stroke is more common China than in higher income countries, whereas ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause of premature death in most Western countries.

Eggs have a complicated history in the media. They are a major source of dietary cholesterol, which meant they were assumed to be bad for us for a while. But more recent research found they actually help raise your "good " cholesterol, also called High-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is an important component of all our cells, and actually helps remove other harmful forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream.

Eggs are also full of protein, vitamins, and bioactive components like phospholipids which are found in all cell membranes. One egg also contains 35% of your daily choline, which is an important nutrient for cognitive function, and might protect against Alzheimer's disease.

"Our findings contribute scientific evidence to the dietary guidelines with regard to egg consumption for the healthy Chinese adult," said the authors of the study.

SEE ALSO: Your diet could affect when you hit the menopause, according to a major new study — and eating oily fish and legumes could delay it by years

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The 8 mistakes people make when buying, ordering, and drinking rum — and what to do instead


Dickie brand ambassador bacardi

  • Bacardi's Global Brand Ambassador Dickie Cullimore told us all of the things people do wrong when buying, ordering, and drinking rum.
  • He said you should always order a drink off a bar menu, as it showcases the skills of the bartenders.
  • When in doubt, a daiquiri is a good way to tell how good the bar staff is.
  • Your drink should also always be packed with ice.
  • Don't assume a spiced rum is stronger — and don't judge a rum by its colour.

Whether it's whisky, gin, or wine, there's plenty to know when it comes to buying or serving booze — especially when summer time rolls around.

In the season of daiquiris and mojitos, Business Insider spoke to Dickie Cullimore, Global Brand Ambassador for Bacardi, to get some answers to everything rum-related.

Cullimore, a Kiwi working in New Zealand, has worked for the brand for over seven years, and has been Brand Ambassador for the past three.

An advocate for the education of rum, spirits, and cocktails, he is also one of the driving forces behind the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition, the biggest branded cocktail competition on the planet. He was headed to Mexico City for this year's competition when we spoke.

This year has also brought about the launch of Bacardi's two new rums — its Añejo Cuatro premium rum, which has flavours of vanilla, oak, clove, and honey and is barrel aged for at least four years under the Caribbean sun, and its Gran Reserva Diez, which is aged for 10 years.

Aside from not realising how rum is made — "it's a bit loose and free with its rules at times, but all rums are aged undisturbed in the tropical sun," according to Cullimore — there are plenty of other things people get wrong about the spirit.

Here are the 8 mistakes people making when buying, ordering, and drinking rum, according to Cullimore.

1. Not thinking about where and when they'll be drinking it

"Rum is so versatile and extremely diverse," Cullimore said. "There's a rum for every occasion."

He added that it's not as "steeped in rules" as some spirits like whisky, which leaves more room for experimentation — but can also make it hard to know what to buy or order.

"Think about where and when you'll be enjoying it," he said. "If it's a hot day, in my mind the most refreshing thing is the mojito. If you want to sip and savour, go for something bold or aged."

2. Going for the cheapest rum over the trusted one

According to Cullimore, the rules around rum are quite loose, to a cheap bottle can look very different from country to country.

To make sure you end up with something decent, he said you should start with something you're familiar with — that you're confident buying, ordering, or serving at home.

"Instead of picking the cheapest rum, pick a rum you trust, that's authentic or established," he said. "You might only be spending a pound or two more to get something that's quite reasonable — spend a fraction more to get something you trust and you know you'll enjoy."


3. Ordering off-menu

"When people walk into a bar, they often look around to see what other people are drinking — the obvious cocktails, beer, wine, or simple mixers," Cullimore said. "People are scared of making a wrong decision."

To make sure you end up with something tasty but a bit more adventurous, he said you should always look at the menu.

"These are the things the bar is confident and comfortable making, so you'll get an idea of their capabilities," he said.

4. Ignoring the bartender

Building a report with the server or bartender can go a long way, according to Cullimore.

"Ask them, 'What rum drinks do you enjoy making or drinking?' or 'Make something refreshing with this rum.' Put the ownership of it into their hands and they can be excited about making it."

rum and coke

5. Assuming spiced rum is stronger

Spiced rum has a rum base — whether it's light or heavy, white or dark — with added flavour and spices, such as peppers, chillis, or aromatics like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, honey, or more added sugar, according to Cullimore. It also often has an ABV below 37.5%.

"It's great as a simple mixer and can be wonderfully refreshing," he said, adding that it's targeted at the younger generation from legal drinking age to the age of 25. "It's an entry point into the category," he said.

6. Judging a rum by its colour

It's hard to define what makes a white, gold, or dark rum, according to Cullimore.

"There's a lot of difference between rums, whether they be white, gold, or dark," he said. "With rum, you've got variants and versatility.

He added that to understand a spirit, you need to know where it's made.

"Even with whites, there are massive variants of use. A white rum can be dry, light, and citrus fruit-forward, but then white rums produced in Jamaica could be super intense and bold.

"The colour is not the best or only clue to unlock what's in the bottle," he added. For example, a white rum with caramel colouring will become a dark rum.

mojito crushed ice

7. Not using enough ice

Like with most boozy beverages, Cullimore's one major tip is to use as much ice as possible — unless it's a hot drink, that is.

"If it's a Mojito, make sure it's packed with crushed ice," he said. "It's the same with a Cube Libre (rum and coke) — the more ice you have, the colder the drink stays.

"The colder the drink stays, the longer it takes to dilute."

8. If in doubt, order a daiquiri

"If you're ever unsure, order a classic daiquiri," he said, adding that a good daiquiri — one of the best selling cocktails in the world in 2018— is a sign of a good bartender, as they need to understand temperature and balance. "It's simple perfection."


SEE ALSO: The 3 mistakes people make when buying, ordering, and drinking whisky — and what to do instead

SEE ALSO: The 9 mistakes people make when buying, ordering, and drinking gin — and what to do instead

SEE ALSO: The 30 best-selling cocktails in the world in 2018

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, Kate, and 11 other royals all live in the same palace — here's a breakdown of their lavish quarters


kensington palace map

  • Kensington Palace, next to London's Hyde Park, is home to 15 high-ranking royals.
  • Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children share a grand 20-room apartment that spans four storeys.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live in a cottage on the palace grounds, which is where Harry proposed. It's now their marital home.
  • Princess Eugenie and her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank, recently moved in as well.
  • Six senior royals of the same generation of Queen Elizabeth II also have rooms there.
  • The queen and Prince Philip live in Buckingham Palace, about 2 miles away.

With a royal birth, a royal wedding, and another royal wedding to come, 2018 is shaping up to be a year of massive change for Britain's royal family.

And the royal property that's ringing in the changes more than any other is undoubtedly the historic Kensington Palace in London, which is now home to 15 members of the royal family, spanning three generations.

The palace, a royal residence since the 1600s, has taken on three new arrivals this spring, making it easily the most bustling of the royal family's many grand homes.

Kensington Palace general view

Within its grounds are a host of separate properties, ranging from relatively humble cottages, to a grand 20-room apartment occupied by Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their young family.

As well as royal living quarters, which tend to be relatively sedately decorated, it is also home to lavish state rooms used for grand occasions, like this one:

Kensington Palace interior

Here's a breakdown of who's who, and where they live in Kensington Palace:

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis:
Apartment 1A

William, Kate, and their children are not only the largest group of royals in Kensington Palace but the closest to the throne.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have the best rooms going. The family of five occupies Apartment 1A, a collection of 20 stately rooms with a commanding view of Hyde Park.

They moved to Kensington Palace full time in October 2013, not long after their first child, Prince George, was born. Princess Charlotte followed in 2015, and Prince Louis in April 2018.

The public rarely get to see inside, but photographers were allowed to take photos of a reception room when William and Kate hosted the Obamas in 2016:

Kensington Palace Apartment 1A Prince William Harry Obama

We also saw another view (or maybe even another room) where Prince George played on a rocking horse before meeting the US president.

GettyImages 523284574

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Nottingham Cottage

Significantly less grand is the two-bed cottage inhabited by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

They lived there before they got married on May 19, and came back two days after the ceremony to make it their marital home.

The cottage, nicknamed "Nott Cott" and often described as "snug," has been Harry's home since 2013.

Meghan moved in just after their engagement was made public in November 2017. Harry proposed to Meghan when they were spending an evening together at Nottingham Cottage, surprising her while they were roasting a chicken.

After announcing their engagement, they gave an interview from the cottage, sitting on its sofa, which is one of the only times the public has seen inside:

Harry Meghan BBC interview Nottingham Cottage

Traditionally, royal couples have been given bigger residences after getting married, but it remains to be seen whether Harry will move.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank: Ivy Cottage

The newest royals at Kensington Palace are Princess Eugenie, who is William's and Harry's cousin, and her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank, a London socialite.

According to The Sun, the couple moved into a cottage right next to Harry and Meghan's about the same time Kate was in hospital delivering Prince Louis.

princess eugenie engagement

The couple announced their engagement in January, a few weeks after getting engaged while vacationing in Nicaragua.

They are getting married at Windsor Castle in the same chapel as Harry and Meghan this October, but the occasion is likely to attract much less publicity.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester: Apartment 1

The Duke of Gloucester, one of Queen Elizabeth II's cousins, lives in Apartment 1 with the Duchess of Gloucester, his wife.

Duke of Gloucester Duchess of Gloucester

Like William and Kate's home at 1A, the dwelling is a large complex of rooms in the main palace building. The two used to be one enormous set of rooms until they were divided in the 1950s.

The complex has 21 rooms, slightly pipping the size of William and Kate's, but few details are available other than its overall size.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent: Apartment 10

Prince Michael of Kent, another of the queen's cousins but from a more junior line, lives in the main palace building with his wife.

She is known as Princess Michael in the old-fashioned tradition by which the wives of princes take their husband's name.

Prince Michael of Kent Princess Michael of Kent

This same rule means that Kate can technically be referred to as Princess William of Cambridge, and Meghan as Princess Henry of Wales, but the name is not widely used.

Their apartment, No. 10, consists of five bedrooms and five receptions rooms. They used to have use of the property rent-free, but since 2008 they have been paying a reported£10,000 ($13,600) per month in rent.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent: Wren House

The Duke of Kent, Prince Michael's older brother, also lives in the Kensington Palace grounds with his wife, the Duchess.

Their home, Wren House, is named after the famous British architect Christopher Wren, who built St Paul's Cathedral and several properties for the royal household.

Duke and Duchess of Kent

Few details about their home have ever been made public. It is physically between Ivy and Nottingham cottages and appears to be of a similar size.

What about the queen?

Queen Elizabeth II lives at Buckingham Palace with her husband, Prince Philip. It's about 2 miles from Kensington Palace, across Hyde Park and Green Park.

Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace.JPG

It's not quite as cosy as living on the same property, but if Her Majesty ever wants to drop in on her cousins, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, they aren't far away.

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A new study suggests that while fasting diets might help with weight loss, they could increase your risk of diabetes — and the creator of the 5:2 diet has responded



  • Intermittent fasting has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years.
  • The jury's still out in the science world about the long-term health effects of the diet regimen.
  • A new study on rats suggests that while fasting may help achieve weight loss, it may also damage the pancreas and affect insulin function, which could lead to diabetes.
  • More investigation is needed into how people may be affected, particularly those with existing metabolic issues, the researchers concluded.
  • Michael Mosley, who created the popular 5:2 intermittent-fasting diet, has written a response to the findings. 

Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil, presented new research on the effects of intermittent fasting at the annual meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology in Barcelona, Spain, over the weekend.

In their study on rats, the researchers found that while fasting might achieve weight loss, it may also damage the pancreas and impair the action of the sugar-regulating hormone insulin, something that could lead to diabetes.

They analyzed the effects of fasting every other day for three months on the adult rats' body weight, insulin function, and levels of free radicals, or highly reactive chemicals that can damage cells in the body.

They found that while the rats lost weight overall and ate less, the amount of fat around their tummies increased. The insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas also showed damage, and the researchers observed increased levels of free radicals and markers of insulin resistance, an "early warning sign of heading towards diabetes," they said.

"This is the first study to show that, despite weight loss, intermittent-fasting diets may actually damage the pancreas and affect insulin function in normal healthy individuals, which could lead to diabetes and serious health issues," said Ana Bonassa, the lead author of the study.

The scientists urged people to take "careful consideration" before opting to follow a fasting diet.

Intermittent fasting has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years thanks to regimens such as the 5:2 diet and the 16:8 plan. Many people who follow such diets say they eat less, lose weight, have more energy, and see many other short-term benefits.

But the jury's still out in the science world on the long-term effects of intermittent fasting amid conflicting studies about the benefits and disadvantages. Some research has suggested that fasting could help reverse diabetes or reduce the risk of developing it.

The scientists say they now plan to investigate how fasting affects pancreas and insulin function, concluding that more research is needed to assess the effects on people, particularly those with existing metabolic issues.

Bonassa said: "We should consider that overweight or obese people who opt for intermittent-fasting diets may already have insulin resistance, so although this diet may lead to early, rapid weight loss, in the long term there could be potentially serious damaging effects to their health, such as the development of Type 2 diabetes."

Here's what the 5:2 diet creator had to say

Michael Mosley, who created the well-known intermittent-fasting regimen known as the 5:2 diet, responded to the findings in the Daily Mail on Sunday.

He said that in this study, the rats were put on an "absolute fast," meaning they ate nothing at all every other day during the three-month period. In contrast, under the 5:2 plan, people eat 500 to 600 calories a day for two days a week and eat regularly for the other five.

Mosley, who published his book "The Fast Diet" in 2013, said he now recommended a "more generous" 800 calories a day, as well as eating a healthy Mediterranean-style diet on both fasting and non-fasting days.

He called the researchers' finding of increased fat tissue around the rats' abdomens surprising.

"It contradicts so many other animal and human studies of intermittent fasting," Mosley said. "I wasn't given detail about what the rats ate on non-fast days, but if they were allowed to gorge, that would undoubtedly skew any result."

He added: "I would not, anyway, recommend an absolute fast every other day as you need adequate levels of protein to maintain muscle mass."

Mosley pointed to other studies in which people who followed the 5:2 principles reported achieving their goal weight faster and witnessing improvements in blood pressure and blood fats.

"I would point to a really important randomised controlled trial of 298 Type 2 diabetics published a few months ago in The Lancet," he said. "Those allocated to an 800-calorie diet every day for 12 weeks not only lost large amounts of abdominal fat but nearly half were able to come off all diabetes medication. Scans of the pancreas and liver showed they were far healthier than at the start of the trial."

SEE ALSO: There's even more evidence to suggest you shouldn't only be counting calories to prevent weight gain and disease

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I'm a Brit who just tried American kids' breakfast cereals for the first time ever — here's the verdict


cereal taste test review 5102

All my life, I've been an avid cereal-eater. From Cornflakes to Cheerios, from Weetabix to Shreddies, I will reliably eat a bowl (or two) each morning to set me up for the day.

So when I moved from London to San Francisco in November last year, an obvious question presented itself: What is American breakfast cereal like?

As a Brit, you hear whispered tales of American cereals. Fluorescent colors. More sugar than a can of Coca-Cola. Literal candy. It's the kind of thing I would've loved as a kid — but what would I think trying them for the first time as a 26-year-old?

I set out on a journey to try and compare some of the most iconic American kids' cereal around. Here's how it went.

Words by Rob Price. Photography by Melia Robinson.

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For this experiment, I decided to try eight American cereals that aren't widely available in the United Kingdom and that I hadn't tried before. That meant no Frosted Flakes or Coco-Pops, for example.

I was to have one a day for breakfast, assessing their flavor, texture, scent, presentation, and overall experience.

Day 1: Classic Trix

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

At a high school in California, parents pay $55,300 a year for their kids to spend 6 weeks without cell phones, live in log cabins, and farm for their food


Midland High School

  • Midland School is a co-ed boarding school in Los Olivos, California, where in addition to completing a rigorous curriculum, students farm, clean, and explore the surrounding wilderness.
  • Students and faculty have no access to cell phones during the six-week term.
  • Annual tuition at Midland costs $55,300, though more than half the student body gets scholarships of around $32,000.
  • Graduates have enrolled at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, and Harvey Mudd.


Tucked in a grassy canyon along the Central Coast is a high school where students chop wood and tend livestock between their history and calculus classes.

Doubling as a working farm, the campus differs from the typical American high school in another crucial respect: No one among the faculty or the roughly 90 students ever looks at a cell phone.

Midland School, a co-ed boarding school in Los Olivos, was established in 1932. The idea, as founder Paul Squibb put it, was that a student who appreciates his material blessings, "will live a more vivid and interesting life and will be a better citizen."

The credo is reflected in the instructions given to incoming freshmen, who are encouraged to bring three important objects: an axe, a knife, and a lighter. Cell phones, meanwhile, are confiscated until the end of the six-week term.

"We know we're different and we know we're a little crazy," said Christopher Barnes, the head of school. "The question for each student and for each family is if we're your kind of crazy."

Midland High School3

The students more or less run Midland, which has no janitorial or maintenance staff. They plant and pick about half of the food they eat on a 10-acre farm. They clean the windows, maintain the landscape, and sweep the old chapel.

Fall out of line and it's a problem, said Barnes. He cited the wood-fired showers. "When it's your job in the afternoon to go up and light a fire and make hot water, if you fail at that task  —  either you don't tend to the fire or whatever else  —  then you suffer the wrath of your peers," he said. "And you earned that wrath."

For the pleasure of all that work and study, Midland charges an eye-popping tuition of $55,300, though only about 40 percent of families pay it. More than half the student body gets scholarships of around $32,000.

Midland High School2

Midland graduates reliably move on to well-regarded universities, including Stanford and Harvard. Many later report being profoundly changed by their rustic high school experiences. Yet even during a time of growing anxiety over the role of technology in young people's lives, Midland has struggled to keep its enrollment numbers up.

That's partly because private school applications have been on the decline generally. There's also the matter of boarding  —  the students stay in spare wooden cabins  —  an idea that doesn't sit well with many California parents. And in some cases, Barnes said, prospective students have recoiled at the no-phone policy. "Thirteen- and 14-year-olds have a veto," he noted. "That didn't use to be true."

Still, a number of Midland students said that while the initial withdrawal was difficult, they ultimately found the phoneless life to be almost liberating.

Jade Feldsher, a 16-year-old from Rancho Cucamonga, said that before joining Midland she worried about how devices had overtaken her social life. "I thought that everybody was becoming a phone zombie, and I knew that I'd become one too, and I did," she said.

"It sounds really cheesy," she added, "but I think I'm happy to not have it."

This article is from the California Sun, a newsletter that delivers California's most compelling news to your inbox each morning  —  for free. Sign up here.

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I ate at Hong Kong's 'cafeteria for the wealthy,' where the city's rich and famous hobnob over flawless Cantonese food


BestCantoneseFoodHongKong FookLamMoon (4 of 4)

  • Fook Lam Moon is one of the most famous restaurants in Hong Kong, known as one of the best places for Cantonese cuisine.
  • Over the years, its clientele of rich businessmen, property magnates, politicians, and celebrities has earned it the nickname, "the cafeteria for the wealthy."
  • I recently visited on a trip to Hong Kong and found the restaurant's take on Cantonese classics like barbecued pork and crispy chicken to be impeccable. But it was the restaurant's service, where a waiter seemed to anticipate your every need, that impressed me the most.


For more than half a century, Hong Kong has been a city where the world’s wealthy come to play, do hundred-million-dollar business deals, and wine and dine.

Perhaps no restaurant in Hong Kong is more synonymous with wealth than Cantonese eatery Fook Lam Moon, which has earned the nickname “the cafeteria for the wealthy” and the “tycoons’ canteen.”

It’s the kind of restaurant where real estate magnates, top politicians, and famous actors and actresses from Hong Kong cinema dine on Chinese delicacies like barbecued suckling pig, dried abalone, fish maw, and, somewhat controversially, shark’s fin.

Like The Ivy in Los Angeles, Fook Lam Moon and its clientele attract reporters and paparazzi looking for morsels of news on the city’s elite. Rolls-Royce Phantoms,  McLarens, Porsches, and Maseratis pull up to the restaurant’s entrance before regular patrons are whisked off to private dining rooms for elaborate dinners of ten courses or more.

The prices are fit for the clientele as well. A set dinner for twelve people can cost nearly $4,000. The most expensive banquet ever thrown at the restaurant cost nearly $130,000 for 120 people. Even more casual dinners between business partners routinely run up a tab of $60,000 or more, according to the South China Morning Post.

But there’s a reason for the hype. The restaurant’s menu of Cantonese delicacies and comfort food is impeccable. British lifestyle magazine The Glass went so far as to call the restaurant “the gastronomic equivalent to a prized family heirloom.”

I visited the temple to Cantonese cuisine on a recent trip to Hong Kong to see what it was actually like. It did not disappoint.

SEE ALSO: 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

In 1972, Fook Lam Moon opened in Wan Chai, Hong Kong's red-light district sandwiched between Central, the city's main business district, and The Peak, a neighborhood that has been synonymous with wealth, luxury, and exclusivity since the colonial era. The brand actually dates back to 1948, when Chui Fook Chuen founded a gourmet catering service for a similarly high-end clientele.



On the night I visited — a Friday during Art Basel Hong Kong — the restaurant was conspicuously quiet. I saw no ultra-luxury cars. But when I arrived, I was greeted downstairs by a hostess who took me into the elevator and guided me to one of the restaurant's dining rooms.

The decor is classic, in a 1960s, golden age of Hong Kong sort of way. The dining room is decorated in browns, gold, and jade green. Glass cabinets show off Cantonese delicacies and top shelf bottles of champagne and cognac. Even with the dining room only half full, there is a rarefied air to the place.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A creator of the original Millennium Falcon describes how the legendary ‘Star Wars’ ship was made with airplane scraps and lots of imagination


Solo Disney Lucasfilm final

The latest “Star Wars” release, “Solo” (opening Friday), looks at not just a young and idealistic Han Solo as he begins his path to becoming one of the most infamous pilots in the galaxy. It also shines a spotlight on the origin story of Han’s true love, the Millennium Falcon.

Before becoming one of the standout ships in the Rebel Alliance fleet against the Empire in the Skywalker “Star Wars” saga, it was the prize possession of card hustler Lando Calrissian. In “Solo,” the ship has a slightly different look (no gap in the front of the ship, and much cleaner), but shows the traits that will make it one of the most beloved aspects of the franchise. The ship’s main highlight in "Solo" happens when Lando teams with Han and Chewbacca and they use the ship to complete what will become one of the Falcon’s most legendary adventures: the Kessel Run.

With Han getting his origin story, we thought this would be the perfect time to recount just how the Millennium Falcon was born through the sweat and tears of a small group of designers who, under the guidance of George Lucas, made the iconic ship for the first movie in the “Star Wars” saga, “A New Hope.”

Business Insider spoke to Roger Christian — who was the set decorator on “A New Hope” (and won an Oscar for his work) — about the movies that inspired the space western style of the Falcon, the truckloads of airplane scraps he collected to create the interior sets of the ship, and how he crafted the famous dice that hung in the cockpit.

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Creating references for a space western.

It was around 1975 that Roger Christian began work with production designer John Barry, and art directors Norman Reynolds and Leslie Dilley, at a small studio outside of London on designs for “Star Wars.” All of them worked for a small wage George Lucas paid them out of his own pocket, as no studio had greenlit the movie yet.

“The difficult thing, especially with science fiction in 1975 and 1976, is there’s nothing to reference,” Christian said. “Flash Gordon, ‘Barbarella,’ Robby the Robot, nothing was real at all. So all we had was a communication and it just happened that my DNA matched George’s.”

Christian said Lucas’ vision of “Star Wars” was a space movie that was also a “dusty western.” So for the Millennium Falcon specifically, Christian said he saw the ship having a worn-out look that was “always dripping oil and being repaired again and again.” Those thoughts would then be matched with references to the movies they would watch at night in the studio.

“We used to watch 16 millimeter prints and project them at the studio, we very much related to ‘Solaris,’” Christian said, referring to the classic Andrei Tarkovsky sci-fi epic.

This would all lead to sketches by Ralph McQuarrie that were the first visuals of what “Star Wars” could become.

“Ralph is the unsung hero of this whole process,” Christian said. “He was in the army and understood all of that and the mechanical reality of things. So when George arrived with six paintings from Ralph that included Tatooine, Darth Vader, and the Millennium Falcon, all of it showed exactly what we were all thinking.”

Building the Falcon out of junk.

By the end of 1976, “Star Wars” had found financing and the team moved to Elstree Studios in the UK to begin making the sets. Immediately they realized they didn’t have the space to build a full-scale set of the Millennium Falcon, so they built half of the exterior along with specific sections of the interior of the ship.

Christian’s idea of the Falcon having this look of, well, as Luke Skywalker famously said in the first movie, “a piece of junk,” led him to the junkyard.

“I had the idea that if I bought scrap junk airplanes I could break it down and build the sets,” Christian said. “That was key to making the Millennium Falcon.”

With an okay from Lucas, Christian set out to get the airplane scraps, which entailed him getting on a prop plane and flying to three different airfields that were basically airplane graveyards.

“I went in and found mountains of junk,” he said. “I could buy it for nothing. I bought 20 jet engines, a ton of cockpit gear, containers that they used to heat up food, anything I could get my hands on."

It was all sold by weight so most if was very cheap to purchase because it was light metal for airplanes.

“It would be 50 pounds for a whole load,” Christian said.

Back at Elstree, the prop room was completely cleared out and a giant 18-wheeler pulled right up and all the airplane scraps Christian bought were unloaded into the room. The prop department was then instructed to break it all down, as Christian would then use certain pieces for the interior Falcon sets.

“I had no clue if any of this would work,” Christian said. “But George loved it.”

Matching the work done in America — sometimes to a fault.

The team at Elstree weren’t the only ones working on making the Falcon. Back in the US, visual effects artist Joe Johnston (he would go on to direct “The Rocketeer,” “Jumanji,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”) and his team were building a model of the ship, which would be be used for the exterior shots as well as a guide for the art team in the UK.

But this was the 1970s, and the process to see each team’s work took days and led to miscommunication at times.

“There weren’t any fax machines back then, we had a pouch that would be mailed every Tuesday to America and Thursday it would come back,” Christian said. “We were sent pictures of the model and John Barry and the draftsman had to match that. They would build it full scale and I would find scrap that I could match and stick to the sides. It was a brand new process. No one had done this before.”

When they were done with a section in the UK, they would then take pictures of the Falcon set and send them back in the pouch to the US so Johnston and his team made sure the model matched.

However, Christian pointed out that their pouch system wasn’t mistake free. There is one error to this day that’s on the Millennium Falcon, though it’s impossible to find.

Christian said one Thursday the pouch came back and Johnston wrote a note to the team, “You built in my mistake.”

Turns out the previous round of photos of the model sent to the UK were taken when Johnston was still working on it.

“Just before they photographed it, Joe didn’t like one piece and pulled it off, expecting to replace it,” Christian said. “They photographed it before he did that. The photo came back in the pouch and we built it. So somewhere on the Millennium Falcon there’s glue marks where a piece is missing that we built full-scale. Neither Joe or I can remember where it is exactly. It’s on there somewhere.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside Meghan Markle's daily routine, which involves yoga and chill movie nights with her new husband Prince Harry


Meghan Markle 9

  • Meghan Markle — now known as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex — is set to experience some major life changes now that she's married into the royal family.
  • Before she wed Prince Harry, Markle's daily schedule included time to run, practice yoga, and cook meals with her royal then-boyfriend.
  • As the Duchess of Sussex, Markle now has many additional royal responsibilities and commitments.
  • But it's quite likely that she won't scrap her old routine entirely.

Meghan Markle's life has completely changed now that she's married into Britain's royal family.

As a royal, she must abide by certain rules— both official and unspoken. She is living with her new husband and 13 other royals in Kensington Palace, which has been a royal residence since the 1600s. And she's already received a number of official new titles, including a particularly odd one: "Princess Henry of Wales."

But it's unclear how much Markle's marriage to Prince Harry will alter her usual daily routine. Previously, as founder and editor-in-chief of the now-defunct lifestyle site The Tig, Markle was very open about her schedule, habits, and strategies for leading a fulfilling life.

Given her commitment to pursuits like healthy eating and yoga, it's likely that some aspects of her old routine will carry into her new life as the Duchess of Sussex.

Here's a look at the new Duchess of Sussex's daily schedule:

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Mornings are a big deal for Markle. She wrote on The Tig that mornings help set "the tone for our day ahead," according to Refinery 29. The Tig even published Markle's wake-up playlist, complete with hits from the Jackson 5 and Ingrid Michaelson.

Source: Refinery 29

Morning exercise is a must for both Markle and her new husband, according to the Daily Mail. She reportedly jogs around the Kensington Palace Green on a weekly basis and is an avid practitioner of yoga.

Source: Daily Mail

It's no secret where she got her love of yoga from. Doria Ragland, Markle's mother, has worked as a yoga instructor and introduced her daughter to the practice. The Duchess of Sussex told Women's Health that yoga "is in my blood."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amazon isn't alone in punishing shoppers for too many returns — these are all the companies that track your returns (BBY, HD, LB)



  • Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Victoria's Secret, and other companies are tracking shoppers' returns dating back several years and, in some cases, punishing people who are suspected of abusing their return policies.
  • Many shoppers are unaware their returns are being tracked.
  • Home Depot engages in the practice to combat return fraud, which "is believed to be feeding the opioid epidemic," a Home Depot spokesman told Business Insider.
  • Sephora says only customers with "excessive returns" are targeted.

At least a dozen major retailers are discreetly tracking shoppers' returns and punishing people who are suspected of abusing their return policies. 

Amazon, Best BuyHome Depot, and Victoria's Secret are among the many retailers engaging in this practice.

Many of these companies have hired a third-party firm, called The Retail Equation, to mine their sales data and keep a database of customers' returns to flag potentially problematic shoppers. Customers who are flagged are often barred from making future returns. 

Retailers say they use the service to combat return fraud. Some critics say its raises privacy concerns, however, and dozens of shoppers have complained online about being unfairly punished by the system.

Business Insider compiled a list of the companies that track returns, based on information from the companies as well as customer complaints on social media. 

Here's the full list: 

SEE ALSO: Kroger is charging at Amazon with a company that uses 'swarms' of robots to get shoppers hooked on a 'powerful new drug'


Amazon is banning customers who make too many returns, The Wall Street Journal reports. In some cases, Amazon failed to alert customers that they had returned too many items before closing their accounts.

"We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time," an Amazon spokesman told The Journal. "We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers."

Home Depot

Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes said the company uses The Retail Equation to combat return fraud, which he said is "believed to be feeding the opioid epidemic."

"And returns fraud is also often the work of organized retail crime rings, thus funding serious crimes," he added. "These efforts not only protect the retailer’s bottom line, but they also help protect the communities where we do business. "

Unlike many other retailers, Home Depot only tracks returns that are not accompanied by a receipt, he said.

"The good news is that it’s pretty easy to avoid a non-receipted return these days because we can look up any card transaction or customers can opt to receive an email receipt rather than try to keep up with paper," he said.

CVS Pharmacy

CVS said it partnered with The Retail Equation (or TRE) last year.

"TRE's return management services are utilized by several major retailers representing more than 34,000 retail locations in the US," CVS said. "Since implementing TRE’s solution last year, approximately .003% (or one-third of 1%) of returns have been declined at our stores."

A customer whose return has been declined can dispute the decision through TRE, which will then initiate a review process with CVS, the company added.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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