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I tried Casper's new $35 pillow that's designed to help you sleep anywhere— here's what it's like

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casper nap pillow

Casper, the company that makes extremely comfortable mattresses and ships them to you in a box, introduced a tiny new pillow on Tuesday, called the Nap Pillow.

The Nap Pillow is the smallest and cheapest of Casper's available pillows, at just $35. The full-sized pillow and king-sized pillow cost $75 and $95, respectively.

Casper sent over the new Nap Pillow for me to try out ahead of its Tuesday debut. Here's what it's like to actually use:

SEE ALSO: Casper's high-tech Wave mattress has given me the best sleep of my life — and I could never go back to a regular mattress

The Casper Nap Pillow arrives in an adorable cylindrical tube.



The text printed on the container has everything you need to know about the Nap Pillow, including where you can use it ...



... to what it's made out of ...



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

5 common habits you didn't realize were embarrassing

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embarrassing

  • Embarrassing habits can be subtle, and you may not even realize you’re embarrassing yourself.
  • Learning to listen to others and to ask questions rather than doing all the talking is crucial to avoiding embarrassing behaviors, according to management consultant and professor Ben Baran.
  • Here are five things you may be doing every day that you didn’t know were embarrassing.

 

You want a friend to tell you if you have spinach stuck in your teeth or your fly is down. Those potentially embarrassing moments are easily fixable and quickly forgotten once they’re taken care of. We might not be so receptive, on the other hand, to hearing that the way we behave every day is something we should be embarrassed about.

Ben Baran, a management consultant and assistant professor of management at Cleveland State University, specializes in spotting these behaviors in the workplace and helping people change and grow.

If you recognize yourself in any of the examples below, embrace the embarrassment. Baran said it will move you to change.

SEE ALSO: The 7 most embarrassing things Americans can do when visiting the UK

1. Taking all the credit

It may seem like a good strategy to take credit for an achievement that should be shared with your team — or isn’t yours at all. “That might get you somewhere in the short run,” Baran said, but it quickly turns into a negative. “The key thing to remember when you’re a manager is that it’s not all about you.”

Outside of work, exaggerating accomplishments might impress a first date or a new friend. Once the person gets to know you, it becomes a turnoff.

To get people on your side, Baran said, it’s important to remember that “everyone loves to have other people care about their well-being and care about their contributions.”



2. Engaging in personal conflict

“Any team that values consensus over candor is going to be underperforming,” Baran said. It’s OK to disagree with coworkers and friends, but how you express your differences matters.

Baran makes a distinction between personal conflict and constructive conflict. When you engage in personal conflict, the unspoken message is that there is something wrong with the other person (“I think you’re lazy and have nothing good to say”). In constructive conflict, you acknowledge the value of the other person’s perspective while expressing your differences (“I think you’re a good person and have things to contribute.”)

The same principle applies in personal relationships. In Baran’s experience, if you can add, “I love and respect you,” to a disagreement with a family member or spouse, you’ll often find the other person more receptive to your views. And you’re less likely to say something you’ll regret.



3. Oversharing

Maybe you think of yourself as an honest person, a real open book. But does the person in the cubicle next to you really want a play-by-play of your gall-bladder surgery? Your yoga buddy probably doesn’t want to hear every detail of last night’s argument with your boyfriend, especially since she’s heard it all before.

We don’t always notice when we’re oversharing, but others do. If you’re prone to oversharing, your friends and coworkers are probably giving you clues (or ducking into an empty office when they see you coming).

“When someone’s talking to us, oftentimes we’re just thinking about what we want to say next, versus truly listening when they talk,” Baran said. He encourages active listening and asking questions, rather than monopolizing the conversation.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 unique parenting styles from around the world

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Parenthood

  • Parenthood looks different in every culture around the world.
  • In some places, kids don’t start school until the age of 7, have minimal homework, and take long breaks during school.
  • Here are seven unique parenting styles from around the world that could leave Americans shocked (or jealous).

 

Parenthood doesn't come with a rulebook. There does, however, seem to be a set of unofficial parenting guidelines, and they vary profoundly among different cultures. Parents in one country might not think twice about spanking for bad behavior, parents in other parts of the world would consider it a crime.

Some Americans would be horrified by the sight of unsupervised babies sleeping in their strollers on the sidewalks of Scandinavia, Japanese elementary students cleaning their own school toilets, or preteens sipping cabernet sauvignon with their pizza in Italy.

Here are seven unique parenting styles from around the world that might come as a surprise:

SEE ALSO: The 4 biggest mistakes I made before my kid turned 5

1. Independence at a young age

In Japan, children as young as six years old walk to school and run errands sans supervision, even in the bustling city of Tokyo, according to The Atlantic. The country's crime rates are exceptionally low, and parents expect others in the community to help look after their children.

Kids don't need a chaperone to help get them to school, nor do they need anyone else cleaning up after them once there. From as early as first grade, Japanese students sweep and mop classrooms and hallways, dust, and even sometimes clean the bathrooms in their schools, according to Mic.



2. Babies nap outside (even during the winter)

Scandinavian children are raised on the foundation of "friluftsliv," or "open-air living." It isn't abnormal to see babies napping outside in their strollers, unattended, even in the wintertime.

Expat parents have even been arrested in the US because of the common practice, The New York Times reports. But, many parents in Nordic countries still believe that al fresco napping keeps their children healthy, according to the BBC.



3. Toilet training from birth

Chinese babies are taught to relieve themselves into the toilet on command of a parent's whistle, sometimes starting when they are only a few months old. Many kids are fully potty trained by age 2, according to The Washington Post.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Trump has granted clemency to Alice Johnson, freeing the 63-year-old grandmother whose case was championed by Kim Kardashian

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Alice Johnson wide

  • President Donald Trump has granted clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence for nonviolent drug offenses.
  • Trump granted the clemency one week after meeting with Kim Kardashian West, who has publicly championed Johnson's case.
  • Johnson told Business Insider on Tuesday that she was still waiting with bated breath for news of Trump's decision: "I'm hanging in here and won't let go until I walk out of these doors!"

Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence in prison for nonviolent drug offenses she committed in the 1990s, will finally be free.

President Donald Trump commuted Johnson's sentence on Wednesday, the White House said in a statement. The move came one week after Trump met with the reality-TV star Kim Kardashian West, who has for months been championing Johnson's release.

"Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates," the White House statement said. "While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance."

Kardashian West and her attorney Shawn Holley won a highly sought-after meeting with Trump after weeks of negotiations with Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, Business Insider previously reported. The talks came shortly after Kardashian West's husband, the rapper Kanye West, made waves in the media for declaring his fervent support for Trump.

Kardashian West delivered the news to Johnson in a phone call on Wednesday, Holley told Business Insider in a statement.

"I just got off the most wonderful, emotional, and amazing phone call with Alice, Kim, and Alice's lawyers," Holley said. "It was a moment I will never forget. Once Alice's family joined the call, the tears never stopped flowing."

Johnson's daughter Catina Scales told Business Insider she was en route to pick up her mother from the Aliceville correctional facility in Alabama, where Johnson is expected to be released on Wednesday.

"I have been literally shaking ever since I heard this news — this is the best present anyone could have gave me in my life," Scales said. "Nothing will ever trump this feeling."

Johnson told Business Insider on Tuesday that she had been waiting with bated breath for news about her case since Trump and Kardashian West's meeting.

"I'm still waiting to exhale!" she said in an email from prison. "I'm hanging in here and won't let go until I walk out of these doors!"

Kardashian West celebrated the news on Wednesday on Twitter.

kim tweet

Johnson, who has corresponded with Business Insider regularly in recent months about the developments in her case, said Kardashian West's involvement was nothing short of miraculous.

"I don't even know myself what emotions I will really feel when this happens," Johnson said in April. "She has embraced my cause and taken to heart my plight. Kim has been my war angel, and I'll never forget what she is doing for me."

In a follow-up tweet on Wednesday, Kardashian West thanked Trump and Kushner for their efforts on Johnson's case.

"So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson," she tweeted. "Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance."

Another of Johnson's daughters, Tretessa Johnson, told Business Insider that her family would never forget Trump's mercy.

"It just hit her: She's finally walking out of that place, and it's not going to be in a casket," Tretessa said. "This is literally saving her life. There was no parole; it was a life sentence. She was slated to die in prison. The mercy Trump has extended toward my mom, and the advocacy of Kim Kardashian, my family will never forget that. Never."

Alice has said she wants to advocate sentencing reform upon her release, Tretessa said, because there are thousands of other people serving similarly lengthy sentences for first-time, nonviolent drug offenses — and they shouldn't be forgotten.

"There are many other Alice Johnsons out there," Tretessa said. "Please keep praying."

'Wholeness for me and my family again'

kim kardashian white houseJohnson's case has long been held up as an overwhelmingly worthy candidate for clemency by legal experts, lawyers, prison staff members, and advocates of criminal-justice reform.

Though Johnson petitioned President Barack Obama for clemency three times, she was always denied.

"My family has been broken beyond what anyone can imagine," Johnson said last month. "A commutation would mean wholeness for me and my family again."

She has been described not only as an extreme example of the type of harsh mandatory-minimum sentencing that emerged in the 1980s and '90s to punish drug crimes, but as the embodiment of a reformed and repentant prisoner with the skills and support to successfully reenter society.

Johnson is an ordained minister, a playwright, a mentor, a counselor, a tutor, and a companion for inmates who are suicidal, and she didn't commit a single disciplinary infraction in two decades in prison, staff members at Aliceville who have supported her clemency said in 2016 in several letters viewed by Business Insider.

Kardashian West first took an interest in Johnson's case last October, when she saw a viral video published by Mic in which Johnson gave an interview via Skype. Kardashian West shared the video with her 60 million Twitter followers and retained Holley to work on Johnson's case.

Kim_Kardashian_West_on_Twitter___Happy_Birthday_Alice_Marie_Johnson__Today_is_for_you_🙏🏼✨_

"Alice's case appeals to Kim (and most people who hear about it) because her sentence was so disproportionate to her crime," Holley told Business Insider last month. "Alice was a first-time offender, convicted of a nonviolent crime and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She had served 21 years at the time we first learned about her case."

Holley added that Kardashian West was intricately involved throughout the efforts to secure Johnson's freedom and would often discuss strategy with Holley several times a day.

The path to win clemency from Trump

Trump Sly Stallone

Johnson's clemency is a striking move for Trump, who had until Wednesday granted just five pardons and one commutation in the first year and a half of his presidency.

All seven of Trump's clemencies so far have been granted to defendants whose cases have drummed up significant support from conservatives or celebrities.

While pardons essentially forgive people who have been convicted of crimes and restore some of their rights, a commutation reduces prisoners' sentences, usually freeing them immediately.

Last week, the president unexpectedly pardoned Dinesh D'Souza, the far-right political pundit and vehement Trump supporter who pleaded guilty in 2014 to campaign-finance violations. Trump also made waves by telling reporters he was considering pardoning Martha Stewart and commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor.

In late May, Trump also granted a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, the American heavyweight boxing champion who was convicted of taking his white girlfriend across state lines in 1913; he died in 1946. His case was recommended to Trump by the actor Sylvester Stallone, who was in the Oval Office when Trump signed the pardon.

Jeffrey Crouch, an assistant professor at American University who studies presidential clemencies, said it was too early to discern a rhyme or reason to the pardons and commutations Trump has granted. But he added he was struck by how few "average Americans" Trump had pardoned before Alice Johnson, especially given the populist groundswell that lifted Trump to his election victory in 2016.

Joe Arpaio Donald Trump

Last August, Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, the bombastic former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, who vocally supported Trump throughout his 2016 presidential campaign and who often parroted Trump's hardline stance on immigration.

In March, Trump pardoned Kristian Saucier, a former Navy sailor who took photos of classified areas inside a nuclear submarine. Saucier's case was widely cited among conservative media to compare it with that of Hillary Clinton, who used a private email server while she was secretary of state but wasn't prosecuted.

Trump also pardoned Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former Bush administration official convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, and commuted the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, a former meatpacking-company executive convicted of bank fraud in an illegal labor scheme. Both cases received support from congressional Republicans, and some Democrats also supported Rubashkin's case.

Crouch said that while there were still too few cases to thoroughly analyze Trump's use of executive clemency, the public may already have deduced a pattern.

"The president can exercise clemency whenever he wants, as little or as much as he wants," Crouch told Business Insider. "He should be aware that using clemency in the manner that he has so far can leave the impression that it's basically his political allies that show up on his radar."

SEE ALSO: 'Kim has been my war angel': The unlikely story of how Kim Kardashian West and Jared Kushner are teaming up to free a 62-year-old grandmother from prison

DON'T MISS: Trump pardons former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

'Sugar daddies' are known for giving dates gifts and cash — but some provide business advice, mentorship, and investments as well

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seekingarrangement wealthy woman

  • SeekingArrangement is a dating website for sugar babies and sugar daddies.
  • Sometimes, sugar babies on the site find that they can receive business or career help from their sugar daddies.
  • Venture capitalists say this is probably a bad idea, but can be understandable in certain circumstances.

I showed up at the Sugar Baby Summit with only a vague idea of what sugar dating really entailed.

The summit took place in New York City on an unusually warm day in April, and was hosted by SeekingArrangement, a website for those interested in sugar dating.

Generally speaking, I knew that the term "sugar dating" typically refers to a relationship in which a younger woman pairs up with an older man who can help support her financially, while she provides romantic companionship. I also knew, based on a story my colleague Tanza Loudenback had published on sugar daddies who help sugar babies with their college tuition, that the lifestyle wasn't all about multi-thousand-dollar Chanel bags and trips to Tahiti.

But I was surprised, to say the least, during one of the panels at the summit, when I heard a former sugar baby casually mention that one of her sugar daddies had become an angel investor in a business she was starting with a friend. Another sugar baby mentioned that he'd received mentorship and career guidance from his sugar daddies.

It simply hadn't occurred to me that the relationships between sugar daddies and babies could turn into business partnerships — or that sugar babies would be willing to speak publicly about how they'd blurred the lines between the personal and the professional.

I knew I had to learn more.

Sugar dating can mean mentorship — without romance or sex

John Aron, 21 years old, is a dancer, a self-proclaimed social media influencer, and an entrepreneur, splitting his time between South Carolina and California. Through SeekingArrangement, he's met both sugar daddies and sugar mamas who have helped him with his career.

Aron said his relationships with sugar daddies always start with a conversation over coffee, in a public space. When the sugar daddies ask what he needs help with, he tells them he wants to change the world.

Aron said he's not just looking for financial support to help him reach that goal, but can also benefit from the sugar daddy's knowledge, mentorship, and network of contacts. Sometimes that means paying for him to attend a conference for entrepreneurs, or to take dance classes. Some sugar daddies have helped him buy equipment for making YouTube videos.

Some, but not all, of Aron's relationships with sugar daddies have turned romantic, he told me. He characterized his interactions with sugar daddies as like a "step ladder," in that they start with a friendship and a mentorship and evolve into a more intimate connection if the chemistry is there ("Oh my gosh, I'm attracted to you").

And while he has received mentorship from some sugar mamas, Aron said he generally seeks out sugar daddies, since he's primarily attracted to men.

As for sugar daddies, some are open to business relationships from the beginning. 

A 47-year-old sugar daddy named Scott (Scott is his profile name on SeekingArrangement; he didn't want his real name published), told me in an email that he is "specifically attracted to motivated women," such as those who are looking to launch their own business.

Scott is an attorney-turned-tech entrepreneur, and he met his current girlfriend, a woman who manages an e-commerce business, through SeekingArrangement. Since then, he's been "helping her learn the ins and outs of running a business."

Another woman he previously met on SeekingArrangement and dated landed an internship through his help. While they no longer have a romantic relationship, Scott said he continues to mentor her.

Scott said he knows a motivated woman "is going to be able to have a conversation and is going to care about something other than what the Kardashians are up to. I need more than a pretty face in order to hold my interest. I need someone who has substance."

Sometimes romantic relationships can evolve into something more professional

john aron seeking arrangementIt's not uncommon for sugar babies to have entrepreneurial ambitions that they seek sugar daddies' help with.

Valentina Casamento is currently in a romantic relationship with a man she met on SeekingArrangement, who is helping her fulfill her dream of opening a gym in New Jersey. Casamento, 26, currently works as a wardrobe stylist, but she's always been passionate about fitness.

Casamento's sugar daddy runs his own business, and has encouraged her to pursue her ambitions: "He will totally help me in all the ways that I need, whether it's financially, emotional support, business advice — all of that." To start, Casamento's sugar daddy is paying for her to get her personal-training certification, which costs just over $500.

The romantic aspect of the relationship came first, Casamento told me, followed by the business aspect. "I feel like if it had been the reverse for me, I don't know if it would have worked out," she said.

Sara-Kate (she didn't want her last name published), 29 and a former sugar baby, has been working on building an app for the past several years.

At one point, she went back to one of her former sugar daddies, a man who has experience in the startup world, to show him what she was working on. (They'd previously been in a romantic relationship.) He subsequently became an investor, though she told me he's no longer involved in the business. She still considers him a mentor.

"This kind of took it to the next level," she said. "We were really talking as adults, two adults taking about business. So it was kind of a whole new realm of respect, I felt. And it was cool to feel like I was really being taken seriously."

Receiving business help from a sugar daddy isn't necessarily right or wrong

I talked with several friends and coworkers about this story, and the typical reaction was horror. Few could believe that people would be willing to merge their personal and professional lives by sleeping with an investor, or to meet a career mentor on a dating site.

So I asked two people who have more experience investing in businesses: Laurel Touby, managing director of the venture-capital firm Supernode Ventures, and Brad Svrluga, a cofounder and general partner at the venture-capital firm Primary Venture Partners.

Although Touby isn't involved in the sugar dating world, she shared a nuanced take.

"One side of me wants to say, ‘Go, girl. Use whatever it takes, whatever tools in your toolbox that you have to get capital raised,'" she said. She added that because of certain gender stereotypes, "women have had to create opportunities for themselves in unorthodox ways for centuries."

Touby went on: "Another part of me is thinking, this is really a recipe for disaster. Because as easily as a rich guy can give you money, he can possibly take it away. And are you really going to be able to afford an expensive, fancy lawyer to negotiate the terms?"

Svrluga had never heard of sugar dating at all. But he said he'd be disinclined to invest in a business where a founder and another investor, or two cofounders, had been in a sugar-dating-type relationship.

"It's not automatically a bad thing, and in many ways it can be a great thing if it leads to that much more of a level of trust," Svrluga said of romantic relationships between business partners in general. "But if the relationship goes south ... will that take down the cofounder relationship as well? And if that's the case, then that's obviously a negative."

Svrluga added that, as a venture capitalist, he's in the business of understanding risk — specifically, how much risk he's taking on when he invests in a company. A sugar-dating relationship might be less durable than a traditional romantic relationship, he said. If "one of the underlying assumptions is that this is a critical relationship to the business, that seems like perhaps excessive risk."

If you are a sugar daddy or sugar baby and would like to share your story, please email yourmoney@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: I went to a 'sugar baby summit' and learned 'sugar daddies' give tuition, gifts, investments, or cash — but they say it's about much more than the money

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A psychologist explains how important sex is in a relationship

Disney cast members share their 11 favorite things to do in the park

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Disney Splash Mountain

  • Disney cast members tend to develop favorites when it comes to park rides.
  • Business Insider reached out to 12 former cast members and asked them to pick out a favorite park attraction.
  • Some went with old classics like the Haunted Mansion, while others praised brand-new offerings like Avatar Flight of Passage.


Disney cast members aren't impartial when it comes to park attractions.

Most of them have a favorite ride or area of either Disney park in the US: Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

Business Insider recently reached out to 12 former cast members who worked at Walt Disney World or Disneyland and asked them to share their favorite park attractions.

Some went with old classics like "It's a Small World After All" and "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror," while others highlighted popular coasters like "Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain."

Here's what the cast members had to say about their favorite park attractions:

SEE ALSO: Many Disney employees say they bring their own lunch to work — but there are 7 park treats they just can't resist

DON'T MISS: 15 insider facts about working at Walt Disney World only cast members know

SEE ALSO: 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

'It's a Small World After All' is a park icon featuring 'cute' dolls

A former Walt Disney World cast member who worked on rides like "Peter Pan's Flight," "Space Mountain," and "The Carousel of Progress" told Business Insider that their favorite ride was "It's a Small World After All."

"I love the dancing dolls," the ex-cast member said. "I love the way all those dolls dance."

The former Disney employee also got to work on "It's a Small World After All" at certain points, and got a glimpse behind-the-scenes at the attraction.

"We could see how it all worked," the former cast member said.

They added that the large elephant seen during the ride conceals an employees-only staircase, and that the ride also featured a closet filled with waders, just in case employees had to get in the water for whatever reason.



The 'Matterhorn Bobsleds' are a snow-capped 'historic' peak

A former Disneyland cast member who worked at the park for six years singled out the "Matterhorn Bobsleds" for praise.

When asked why, the cast member told Business Insider that they were impressed by the attraction's "history."

According to animated film scholar Michael Barrier's blog, Walt Disney himself was inspired to construct the Matterhorn while visiting Switzerland to shoot the 1959 live-action film "Third Man on the Mountain."



'The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror' is 'beautifully done'

A former cast member who worked at the Walt Disney Company for nearly eight years, including a stint at Hollywood Studios, told Business Insider that their favorite ride is "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror."

"The theme is beautifully done, from the moment you get in line," the ex-cast member said.

Chantelle Judd, a former cast member who worked in Frontierland, agreed.

"I'm a big fan of thrill rides, so I would have to say 'Tower of Terror' would be my favorite," Judd told Business Insider. "I like the thrill of it all."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

One of New York City's most famous department stores will close after selling to WeWork. Here's what it looked like during a recent visit.

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lord & taylor 20

  • Lord & Taylor's flagship store in Manhattan was sold to WeWork for $850 million in October.
  • The retailer said it would rent around 25% of the space and operate as a scaled-down version of its former self.
  • But on Tuesday, Lord & Taylor announced that it would be closing this location completely.
  • We visited the store in October. Here's what we found.

Lord & Taylor is saying a final goodbye to its flagship Manhattan store. 

Seven months previously, its parent company, Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay, announced that the company would be scaling back operations and selling its landmark Lord & Taylor store on Fifth Avenue to co-working startup WeWork for $850 million. The plan was for Lord & Taylor to rent about 25% of the space to run a smaller version of the store. 

These plans have now been abandoned.

On Tuesday, it confirmed that the well-known department store would be vacating the building for good after more than 100 years in the location. The building will serve as WeWork's headquarters.

WeWork recently raised $4.4 billion in funding from SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund and is now considered the most valuable startup in New York City

The sale is symbolic for the struggling department store and for retail as a whole, as shoppers continue to move away from brick-and-mortar stores toward online options. 

2017 saw a record-high rate of store closings, which has continued in 2018. More than 3,800 closures are expected this year, according to an analysis by Business Insider. This includes department stores such as Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney.

We visited Lord & Taylor's flagship Fifth Avenue store on a Wednesday in October after it announced that the building would be sold to WeWork. While the store was offering plenty of discounts, it attracted a small fraction of the significant foot traffic outside. 

Here's how Lord & Taylor will end its run at its iconic Fifth Avenue location:

SEE ALSO: This 80-year-old department store is thriving while Macy's, JCPenney, and Sears close locations

We went to the store, which is located at 424 5th Avenue, on a Wednesday afternoon. There was significant foot traffic nearby.



Some of the displays promoted retro styles that seemed to be targeted toward middle-aged shoppers.



Inside, the store wasn't attracting as many customers as you'd expect from the bustle outside.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 things the average American has accomplished by age 35

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Birthday Paty

  • By the time they turn 35, many Americans have gotten married, bought a home, and earned a salary of about $50,000.
  • They've also amassed quite a bit of debt by that age, according to the data.
  • See how you compare to the average 35-year-old American in seven aspects of life. 

The internet was ablaze with indignation after MarketWatch published an article earlier this year saying that the proper amount of savings for a 35-year-old is double their salary.

Those numbers are at odds with reality for many Americans, as plenty of internet commenters made clear.

According to CNBC, the average retirement savings for families between the ages of 32 and 37 was $31,644 in 2013, while the median was just $480 for that age group. (Many families have no retirement savings, bringing down that figure.)

A more attainable benchmark is to have your savings equal your salary by the time you hit 35, according to one expert.

But what about other life goals, like starting a family, buying a home for the first time, or switching careers?

We looked at the data to see what the average American has accomplished by the time they turn 35.

SEE ALSO: 15 things you should accomplish before you turn 35, according to the internet

The average 35-year-old in the US is married — the most common age for women to marry is 27, while it's 29 for men.

Source: US Census Bureau



They also are more likely than not to have a child. The average American woman has her first child by age 28.

Source: Associated Press



A typical 35-year-old is already a homeowner. The median age for first-time homeowners is 32, according to The New York Times.

Source: New York Times



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I let Amazon's new Echo Look choose my clothes for a week — here's how it went

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Echo Look, Shelf

Amazon's Echo Look, a $199 hands-free camera and personal style assistant, went on sale to all customers today. 

If you’re anything like me, deciding what to wear can be a time-consuming task. Sometimes I try on five different outfits, tossing rejected items onto my desk chair and creating a daunting pile of clothes that I’ll have to refold later. And after all that, I still don’t always feel satisfied or comfortable in what I’ve chosen. So I was intrigued when I heard about Amazon’s Echo Look— what the company refers to as a “style assistant.”

The Echo Look connects to Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, which means it has the same capabilities as other Echo products, but the style assistant is what sets the Look apart.

The Echo Look takes full-length photos or 6-second videos of your outfit, so you can create a catalog of “looks” and store those images in collections for future perusal on the accompanying app. Those collections can be separated by season, color, type of event, or any other categories you choose. This feature could be useful if your closet is so full of clothes you need help remembering what’s in it, but for me, it seemed unnecessary.

I was more interested in the style-check feature, which compares photos of two different outfits and tells you which one looks better. To get a sense of how the Echo Look and app works, I let the Echo Look choose my outfits for a week. Here's how it went:

UNBOXING: The Echo Look comes with a screw-in stand, wall mount, and power cord.



DAY 1: On the first day, I decided to keep the outfits simple. White button-up tucked into light blue jeans vs. black turtleneck and dark denim jeans.

The white shirt and lighter jeans won by a narrow margin, because, according to the results, the colors match better. But it also said that the shoes are better in the losing outfit. So, I put the black boots with the winning outfit and ran the style check again. That increased the winning margin by 2 percentage points.

The Echo Look analyzes your outfits by running machine-learning algorithms and consulting a team of “fashion specialists.” You can also ask for style recommendations— and this is where Amazon benefits. If you have pants you love, but only one or two shirts that go with them, you can ask for suggestions of other shirts that would look good and it will direct you toward some options on Amazon.com.



DAY 2: On the second day, I tried outfits with a little more color and style variation. Tan-striped tank and black pants vs. black and blue denim jumpsuit.

These results are close. The tank and pants were deemed a better shape and fit, but the app said the color of the jumpsuit looks better on me. So in this case, it seems like color is more important than fit, since the jumpsuit got a higher rating than the tank and pants. But it’s also possible that it chose the jumpsuit because they are popular right now, and Amazon says the app partially decides based on “current trends.”



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

San Francisco housing is so out-of-control, this gorgeous home sold for $9.6 million — $1.6 million over the asking price

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san francisco housing market over asking price million dollars 1

San Francisco's crazy housing market just reached a new level.

A 6,350-square-foot home listed at $7.99 million sold for $9.6 million after spending a short nine days on the market. At 20 percent over asking price, it's the city's "highest overbid" so far this year, according to a spokesperson for the real estate firm that sold it.

But the transaction will likely be eclipsed by larger ones in the near future. With the amount of affordable housing increasingly dwindling, home listings selling over the asking price, as well as other anomalies like condemned homes selling for $1 million a pop, is the norm around here now.

This particular listing is for a single-family house at 2219 Scott St., 15 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco's ritzy Pacific Heights neighborhood with the area's inviting Alta Plaza Park just yards away from the front steps.  

Take a look inside.

SEE ALSO: San Francisco's housing market is so out of control that this 385-square-foot studio home is selling for $500,000

The beige three-story Grand Victorian home was built in 1910, four years after the cataclysmic San Francisco earthquake.



The abode sports five bedrooms and five and a half baths, as well as a wine cellar, two laundry rooms, two family rooms and space to park three cars.



Its ceilings are carved into coffers and large windows throughout the main level afford views of the greenery that surrounds the property.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A man from Texas nearly died after being bitten by a decapitated snake head

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rattlesnake

  • A man in Texas was bitten by a severed rattlesnake head and received a potentially fatal dose of venom.
  • The man required 26 vials of antivenom to combat the poison, his wife told a local news station. He's now in stable condition.
  • An antivenom doctor told Gizmodo that a snake's head can continue to function hours after being cut off. 

If you thought that cutting the head off a venomous snake would make it safe to handle, think again.

A man from Texas received a potentially fatal dose of venom last month when he was bitten by the head of a rattlesnake — even though he'd just decapitated it.

The man was working in the garden when he spotted the venomous snake and severed its head with a shovel, his wife, Jennifer Sutcliffe, told the local news station KIII-TV.

Sutcliffe said her husband was rushed to a hospital in an emergency helicopter after having seizures and required 26 vials of antivenom to combat the toxin.

KIII-TV reported that the man was in a weak but stable condition, with limited kidney function.

7. Eastern diamondback rattlesnake skull_CC

Leslie Boyer, an antivenom doctor and the founding director of the University of Arizona's Viper Institute, told Gizmodo that people should not assume that severing the head of a snake renders it harmless.

"That's kind of a classic mistake," Boyer said. "People don't realize that reptiles and mammals are wired differently."

Boyer added: "The head end of a cut-up rattlesnake can continue to function, including the venom glands, for a long time afterward and, in fact, the other half continues to work. It'll rise and rattle."

Boyer advised people who come across venomous snakes to back away and call an expert, adding that killing snakes by cutting them is not the way to handle the situation.

"It's cruel to the animal," Boyer said, "and it leaves you with a smaller piece that's venomous to pick up."

SEE ALSO: Liam Hemsworth posted about encountering a rattlesnake on his family hike but all anyone can focus on is how 'ripped' his dad is

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NOW WATCH: Sneaky ways Costco gets you to buy more

Tee-totalers are more likely to call in sick from work than moderate drinkers, according to a new study

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the hangover

  • A new study has shown that moderate drinkers take fewer sick days than tee-totalers.
  • Meanwhile, people who drank over the moderate amount were more likely to be absent because of "injury or poisoning."
  • It could be because people with existing health problems are more likely to avoid alcohol.
  • Or it could be because people who drink are seasoned pros at making it to the office with a hangover.


How many times have you been hungover at work this week? If you have a 9-5 job, and you like a drink, you'll know the feeling well — a concoction of nausea, pain, and regret. Here's a different question: How many times in the past year have you called into work sick because you drank too much?

Unless you're superhuman, the answer is probably at least once. And by that logic, you'd probably assume people who drink take more sick days than those who don't. But according to new research, this might not be true.

The new study, published in the journal Addiction, examined the drinking habits and absence from work of 47,000 people in Europe using various surveys. The researchers, who were from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, then grouped participants into five categories based on their drinking, ranging from those who never touched alcohol to heavy party animals.

Overall, people who reported being tee-total for several years were absent from work due to illness more often than those who drank moderately, defined as 11 units a week for women and 34 for men.

Non-drinkers had a higher risk of absence because of mental disorders, muscle and skeletal disorders, and respiratory and digestive diseases. Less surprisingly, those who drank over the moderate threshold were at an increased risk of absence due to injury or poisoning.

Lead author of the study, Jenni Ervasti from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, said the findings demonstrate the different types of illnesses tee-totalers and heavy drinkers are susceptible to.

"Some diseases, or their treatment, prevent alcohol use, which may explain the excess risks among abstainers," she said. "Moreover, participants to whom at-risk drinking causes health problems may be selected out from the labor market, that is, if they retire early or become unemployed. Then, the adverse effects are not seen in absence from work due to illness."

The study was limited as the surveys were self-reported, and people tend to not be entirely truthful about things like drinking, diet, and their sex lives. But the findings do seem to suggest moderate drinkers take fewer sick days. Whether that's because they drink due to fewer health problems, have a higher alcohol tolerance, or have simply gotten really good at making it to work with a hangover is unclear.

SEE ALSO: I tried 'Dry January' for the first time, and all I got was insomnia

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A geneticist says this simple test could show how many carbs you should be eating

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spaghetti carbonara

  • Geneticist Dr Sharon Moalam has a theory that you can determine a person's ability to digest carbs using 'the cracker test.'
  • Doctor and self-professed carb-lover Xand van Tulleken put it to the test in a new BBC documentary.
  • According to the theory, some people can handle more carbs in their diet than others, and it's all down to the enzymes in your mouth.
  • It's still early days, but the test demonstrates how varied our carb tolerance is.

Carbs are getting a lot of airtime, and new research is constantly turning what we have believed about them for years on its head.

Recently, studies have told us it might be better to eat carbs at night than in the morning, and that eating pasta regularly in a diet could actually aid weight loss.

It's a confusing time to be a pasta or pizza lover.

So, how many carbs should you be eating?

According to geneticist Dr Sharon Moalam's research, "the cracker test" can help you to discover how well your body digests carbs, and therefore give an indication of your carb tolerance.

And in a new BBC documentary titled "The Truth about Carbs," doctor and self-confessed carb-lover Xand van Tulleken said: "The truth is that some of you can eat as many carbs as you like, while others have to watch it," adding that he considers himself to be in the latter category — he once weighed 19 stone (266 pounds).

Van Tulleken put Dr Moalam's cracker test into practice with a group of students.

Each member of the group was instructed to chew an unsalted cracker for 30 seconds. He asked each of them to raise their hand when the flavour of the cracker began to change — if, say, it started to taste sweeter or of some other flavour.

The student who noticed a change in taste in the shortest time raised their hand after 17 seconds, another did not raise their hand until after 35 seconds, and some did not notice any change in flavour at all.

"17 seconds is quite fast," said van Tulleken, adding that according to Dr Moalam's research, "this suggests you have a high concentration of amylase enzymes in your mouth which are chopping up the big starch molecules into smaller molecules of sugar or sugar-like molecules that you can taste.

"That means that you should be able to eat a lot of carbs without having any problems."

But for those who noticed a change much slower, he explained that, according to Dr Moalam's theory, it might mean that they should watch their carb intake. While they can eat carbs, they can't "go to town" in the same way that those who observed a change in the shortest time probably can.

Finally, for those who didn’t notice a change of taste at all, the theory suggests that that is because they have a low concentration of these enzymes in their mouths, which van Tulleken summarises could mean that they "might struggle eating carbs."

Generally speaking, he explained that when trying this test at home, if you don't notice a change after 30 seconds, this could mean that, like him, you have a lower tolerance to carbs, and you might want to ease off the white and beige variety.

He added that while it's still early days with Dr Moalam's research, "the cracker test demonstrates just how varied our carb tolerance is."

Moalam's cracker test was revealed in his 2016 book "The DNA Restart: Unlock Your Personal Genetic Code to Eat for Your Genes, Lose Weight, and Reverse Aging."

SEE ALSO: The author of the 5:2 diet tested the popular theory that eating carbs at night is bad for you — and the results suggest we've got it all wrong

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NOW WATCH: Forget Mars, there could be life on Venus

We stop discovering new music at age 30, a new survey suggests — here are the scientific reasons why this could be

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  • A new survey from Deezer suggests we stop listening to new music at age 30.
  • The results put this down to a busy life.
  • But there could be other reasons, like the fact we don't soak up new music in the same way anymore.
  • For example, between 12 and 22 our brains go through a lot of changes and we're more receptive to the songs we hear.
  • Whatever the reason, our brains like nostalgic music, and there's no shame in indulging them.


It's a simple fact of life that older people reminisce about the glory days. You might believe you'll stay young and free-spirited forever, but one day you'll find yourself grumbling about not understanding the latest slang words and asking a young person what a meme is.

For some it might be happening earlier than they thought. That's according to a new survey from Deezer, which suggests people stop discovering new music at just 30 and a half.

The music streaming service surveyed 1,000 Brits about their music preferences and listening habits. 60% of people reported being in a musical rut, only listening to the same songs over and over, while just over a quarter (25%) said they wouldn't be likely to try new music from outside their preferred genres.

The peak age for discovering new music, the results suggested, was 24. This is when 75% of respondents said they listened to 10 or more new tracks a week, and 64% said they sought out five new artists per month. After this, though, it seems people's ability to keep up with music trends peters off.

Some of the reasons the survey revealed were people being overwhelmed by the amount of choice available (19%), having a demanding job (16%), and caring for young children (11%). Nearly half of respondents said they wished they had more time to dedicate to discovering new music, so at least for that 47% it wasn't due to a lack of interest.

"With so much brilliant music out there, it's easy to feel overwhelmed," said Adam Read, the UK & Ireland music editor at Deezer. "This often results in us getting stuck in 'musical paralysis' by the time we hit our thirties."

In 2015, the Skynet & Ebert blog looked at data from US Spotify users and Echo Nest. On average, teen music taste was dominated by popular music, then this steadily dropped until people's tastes "matured" in their early 30s. By age 33, it was more likely they'd never listen to new music again.

Rather than having less time, some research suggests we listen to the same songs over and over again because of musical nostalgia. For example, one major study, published in the journal Memory & Cognition, found that music had a very powerful effect on the mind to evoke memories, conjuring up old echos of the past at school or university.

Earlier this year, economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz analysed Spotify data in the New York Times. Essentially, he found that if you were in your early teens when a song was first released, it will be the most popular among your age group a decade later. Radiohead's "Creep," for example, is the 164th most popular song among 38-year-old men, but it doesn't even reach the top 300 for those born 10 years earlier or later. It's because men who are 38 now were in that musical sweet spot when the song was released in 1993.

As for why this happens, research has shown how our favourite songs stimulate our pleasure responses in the brain, releasing dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and other happy chemicals. The more we like a song, the more of these chemicals flow through our body.

This happens for everyone, but during our adolescent years our brains are going through a lot of changes. We're also incredibly hormonal and sensitive, so if we hear a song we really love, it's more likely to stay with us forever.

That isn't to say you won't hear a new song you love in later life — it just might not elicit the same strong response because you aren't such a sponge anymore.

Another reason we listen to the same songs over and over could be because of something called the "anticipation phase." If you get goosebumps when you hear your favourite songs, it could be because of the hormonal responses, but it could also be because you know the good part is coming up.

For example, just before the song peaks, or there's a dramatic chord change, our brain perceives it as a reward and releases dopamine. However, over time we start to lose the same feeling of euphoria because we musically gorge ourselves.

If you haven't heard a song for several years, the euphoria may return, particularly if you first heard it when your brain was soaking everything up between the ages or 12 and 22.

So if you have a penchant for music from your youth, it's probably wired deep into your psyche. You can indulge in that throwback Thursday playlist full of Panic! At The Disco and Blink-182 without shame because it'll make your brain happy — it deserves it.

SEE ALSO: There's a biological reason why some people get chills down their spine when they listen to music and others don't

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Watermelon ice cream, served in a fresh slice of watermelon, has launched in London — here's how it's made

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  • What-a-Melon soft serve comes in a real slice of watermelon.
  • It's served at Dominique Ansel Bakery in London.
  • It's made with fresh watermelon juice and even has 'seeds' made of dark chocolate.
  • Watermelons are sourced from Italy and stored cold.

 

Dominique Ansel Bakery in London is serving a watermelon ice cream that comes in a real slice of watermelon.

The soft serve, called What-a-Melon, is made with fresh watermelon juice and even has 'seeds' made of dark chocolate.

"We source our watermelon from Italy," said Executive Pastry Chef James Clarke. "We found it to be the ripest, juiciest watermelon. We store it cold, keep it fresh, and we get daily deliveries."

The soft serve is made with only watermelon, lime juice, and sugar.

It first launched at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Tokyo in 2017. You can get one in London for £6.50 ($8.70).

Produced and filmed by Claudia Romeo

SEE ALSO: Avocado vegan ice cream, served with a nut butter stone, has launched at one of London's most famous stores — here's how it's made

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Queen Elizabeth is hiring a pastry chef — but you'll need a totally unrelated skill if you want the job

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queen elizabeth

  • Buckingham Palace is hiring a pastry chef.
  • The role offers a ton of perks including live-in accommodation and 33 days of annual leave.
  • There's one bizarre detail, though. You need to have "good IT skills," the listing says.


Do you love the royal family? Do you also love baking?

If so, your dream job is ripe for the taking — as long as you can work your way around a computer.

Buckingham Palace is currently looking to hire a pastry chef, according to the official royal household website. There's just one small, strange detail, though — the role requires "good IT skills."

Applicants must be "a highly qualified and skilled Pastry Chef, with experience at a senior level from a fine dining or five-star catering operation," the description states.

"It's essential that you can plan, organise and delegate effectively, as you and your team will be delivering for varied occasions, across several sites.

"It's also important that you can follow all legislative requirements, and have good IT skills."

queen elizabeth cake

It's not entirely clear from the job listing why a pastry chef would need to be computer-savvy, but brushing up on your IT may be worth it for the chance of baking for Her Majesty.

Furthermore, while the salary is simply listed as "competitive," the role offers the option of live-in accommodation and all your meals provided. Employees also receive an enviable 15% employer contribution pension scheme and 33 days of annual holiday.

"It's developing your leadership skills. And it's delivering extraordinary service, in incredible surroundings. This is what makes a career at the Royal Household so different," the website reads.

As well as Her Majesty and her esteemed guests, chefs might find themselves cooking for the Queen's furry companions.

Former chef for the royal family Darren McGrady wrote that the Queen always took scones at afternoon tea but never ate them. "Instead, at the end of her daily tea, the Queen would take a scone and crumble it on the floor for the corgis," he wrote. "It seems the dogs quite liked them."

SEE ALSO: 13 foods that Queen Elizabeth eats every day

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The fabulous life of Chloe Green, the 27-year-old Topshop heiress who parties with Beyoncé and Paris Hilton and had a baby with the model who went viral for his police mugshot

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Jeremy Meeks and Chloe Green are seen in Los Angeles, CA.

  • Topshop heiress Chloe Green and "hot felon" Jeremy Meeks announced the birth of their child, Jayden Meeks-Green, on Thursday. 
  • Green is the daughter of billionaire Sir Phillip Green, a high-roller dubbed the "British Donald Trump" who is known for partying with celebrities like Kate Moss, Beyoncé, and Leonardo DiCaprio. 
  • The heiress has been making headlines for years, appearing on a reality show, launching a fashion line, and socializing with celebrities — including her ex-boyfriend Marc Anthony. 

Topshop heiress Chloe Green and Jeremy Meeks — best known as "the hot felon" — announced the birth of their child on Thursday. 

According to an Instagram post by Green, Jayden Meeks-Green was born on May 29. Jayden is the first child of the 27-year-old heiress and Meeks, the 34-year-old model who became famous after his mug shot went viral, though Meeks has a child from a previous relationship. 

Green is no stranger to fame. As the daughter of billionaire Sir Philip Green — the chairman of Topshop owner Arcadia — the heiress has lived her life in the spotlight. 

Here's a look inside Green's glamorous life:

SEE ALSO: Jared Kushner's brother is breaking his political silence following Trump's election — here's everything we know about the millionaire entrepreneur who's dating model Karlie Kloss

Green is just 27 years old but has been making headlines for years.

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Her parents, Phillip and Tina Green, are worth an estimated $4.9 billion.

The couple purchased the retail company Arcadia Group in 2002.

Source: Forbes



Sir Phillip Green is a controversial figure, dubbed by Vanity Fair the "British Donald Trump" for his "flamboyance and arrogance."

The businessman has been accused of dodging taxes and enriching himself by allowing the iconic retailer British Home Stores to fail. 

"In this era of austerity the British people seem to have had quite enough of the retailing tycoon, with his legal tax dodges, his complicated corporate structure, and his hyperinflated lifestyle, replete with a helicopter, a Gulfstream G550 jet, and three yachts — including one, Lionheart, which is 295 feet long and reportedly has a swimming pool, a helipad, and a beauty salon," Vanity Fair reported in 2016. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A time-management expert has a ridiculously simple strategy to feel less busy

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  • Laura Vanderkam's new book, "Off the Clock," suggests that we can eliminate many of our seemingly obligatory daily tasks without fear of repercussion.
  • For example, you don't necessarily have to work through lunch, or fold your kids' laundry neatly in their drawers.
  • Other experts say it's important to at least identify the tasks you find draining and see if you can simply stop doing them.


Often, Laura Vanderkam will reply to an email after what feels like an "uncomfortably long time." In return, she'll receive a message saying, "Thank you for the swift response!"

Vanderkam describes this recurring experience in her new book, "Off the Clock," to illustrate how most people don't notice all the ways you're supposedly disappointing them. (For the record, I've emailed Vanderkam multiple times, and she typically replies the same day.)

The lesson here is that most of your must-do activities aren't actually must-dos. You can give yourself a lot more leeway with them — sometimes you can even eliminate them — and you and the rest of the world will be fine.

Vanderkam calls this challenging your "stories" about how you should spend your time.

One example: "No one here takes a lunch break, so I can't." This is the kind of story that, as Vanderkam puts it, "falls apart under cross-examination. Unless you are physically chained to your desk, you can probably walk outside for some fresh air."

Will your boss fire you, demote you, or even reprimand you for being gone for 20 minutes? I don't know your boss, but I'm guessing not.

Similarly, Vanderkam purposes that putting away family members' laundered clothes neatly in their drawers isn't something you absolutely need to do. Can your kids put away their own laundry? What would happen if the laundry never got put away neatly? Would your kids be scarred for life? I don't know your kids, but I'm guessing not.

In other words, Vanderkam is holding you at least partly accountable for feeling busy and overwhelmed. If we establish that the world won't explode if you take a lunch break and/or stop folding the laundry, then it's really just the fear of sitting with your own discomfort that's holding you back.

Even at work, you can probably cut some of your less rewarding tasks from your schedule

Vanderkam's observations reminded me of advice shared by the Stanford professors who wrote the book "Designing Your Life." One of those professors, Dave Evans, previously told me about a woman who kept a log of all the work activities that gave her energy and drained it.

When the woman shared the log with a colleague, the colleague asked her why she didn't simply stop doing the draining tasks. So she did. Apparently none of her other coworkers noticed that she'd cut out half her previous responsibilities, and she was much happier.

To be sure, it's not always so easy to eliminate tasks you don't like, particularly at work. But there's a chance that if you simply identify the tasks that aren't working for you, you will in fact be able to limit the time you spend on them.

Vanderkam writes: "Everyone lives in his or her own little world," thinking their deficits occupy more space than they do in everyone else's minds. If you can shake off these delusions, you might find yourself happier and freer to do the stuff that really matters to you.

SEE ALSO: I just read a book that called me out on my excuses for not seeing friends, not finishing my work, and wasting time on social media — and I loved it

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Cases of syphilis in England have risen by 148% over the past 10 years — and the epidemic appears to be global

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  • There's more bad news for people who have unprotected sex.
  • As well as super-gonorrhea, syphilis is on the rise.
  • There were 20% more cases in England in the past year, and 148% more than in 2008.
  • The public health advice for prevention is still the same — just wear a condom.


It's a bad era to be having unprotected sex. Chlamydia testing has fallen 8% in the last year, there's a strain of drug resistant super-gonorrhea going around, and according to new data from Public Health England, syphilis is well and truly back with a vengeance.

According to the report, syphilis cases in England have reached the highest level since 1949. The sexually transmitted infection was responsible for 7,137 of all 422,147 diagnoses in 2017, which is 20% more than 2016, and 148% higher than 2008.

For quite a while, syphilis was considered a disease of the past, like polio or smallpox. But it has been on the rise in recent years. For example, there were 20,000 cases in the US in 2014, reported by the CDC, and in 2016, cases in Indiana skyrocketed by 70% in a single year.

Also, the report shows how certain STIs have spread globally in the past 10 years, such as in Australia, where syphilis cases rose by 107% and gonorrhea by 63% between 2011 and 2016.

According to the new report, cases of gonorrhea also increased by 22% to 46,676 in England. But the total number of STIs diagnosed in the country was about the same as 2016, as there was a reduction in other conditions like genital warts — so at least there's some good news.

The age group who are most likely to be diagnosed with an STI are straight 15 to 24 year olds, black ethnic minorities, and gay or bisexual men, the report added.

"Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health — both your own and that of your current and future sexual partners," said Gwenda Hughes, a consultant scientist and head of the sexually transmitted infection section at PHE. "The impact of STIs can be considerable, with some causing infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and harm to unborn babies.

"Consistent and correct condom use with new and casual partners is the best defence against STIs, and if you are at risk, regular check-ups are essential to enable early diagnosis and treatment."

SEE ALSO: We evolved to find sex disgusting, according to a new study — and women may feel it more than men

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All the details of Quentin Tarantino's new movie, which stars Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie

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Quentin Tarantino announced earlier this year that Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio would be starring in his upcoming ninth film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," which partly involves the Manson Family murders.

Last month, Tarantino and DiCaprio teased a few details about the film at the Las Vegas industry event CinemaCon, and Margot Robbie confirmed to IndieWire that she was playing the role of actor Sharon Tate in the film.

Since then, a strong supporting cast has steadily filled in. A source close to the production told IndieWire this week that Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, and Emile Hirsch will be joining the film. 

Pitt worked with Tarantino on 2009's "Inglorious Basterds," and DiCaprio appeared in 2013's "Django Unchained." Longtime Tarantino collaborators Tim Roth and Michael Madsen are also appearing in the film. 

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is set for release August 9, 2019.

Here's everything we know about Tarantino's upcoming ninth film:

SEE ALSO: Quentin Tarantino's next film will be released by Sony following the Harvey Weinstein scandal

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The film takes place in "Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood."

Tarantino described "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" in a statement last month, calling it, "a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don't recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor ... Sharon Tate."

In July 2017, early reports of the film described its script as focused on the murder of actress Sharon Tate by Charles Manson's followers.

While Tarantino's most recent statement mentions Sharon Tate as a player in the movie, Tarantino previously said that the film would not center on Manson but on the year 1969.

At CinemaCon on Monday, Tarantino did not add much to the description of the plot, calling the project "very hush-hush and top secret."



It has been five years in the making.

Tarantino said last month that he had been working on the script for the film for half a decade.

"I've been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was 7 years old," he said. "I'm very excited to tell this story of an LA and a Hollywood that don't exist anymore. And I couldn't be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick and Cliff."



It's a "'Pulp Fiction'-esque movie."

Deadline reported in January that DiCaprio would play an "aging actor" in a "'Pulp Fiction'-esque movie." "Pulp Fiction," Tarantino's 1994 classic, told a collection of interconnected stories.

On Monday, Tarantino confirmed this sentiment by saying that "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" is "probably the closest to 'Pulp Fiction' that I have done."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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