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What it's like to play Trump's $269 million golf course in New York City

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Trump Golf Links Ferry Point

  • Eric Trump and Donald TrumpJr., celebrated the opening of a new clubhouse at the Trump Ferry Point golf course in the Bronx on Monday.
  • The hope is that the new clubhouse will help attract more visitors. 
  • The course took 14 years of development. It was built on a landfill that closed in 1963.

BRONX, New York — President Donald Trump's adult sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., celebrated the opening of a new clubhouse at the Trump Ferry Point golf course in the Bronx on Monday.

The course was opened to the public in 2015, and it was designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.

Trump Ferry Point was built on a former garbage dump and took years for the city, which entered into a public-private partnership with Trump to operate and help complete the course, to finish. Bloomberg reported the course cost $269 million to build.

Prior to its opening, Business Insider's Jay Yarow and Tony Manfred tested it out.

Yarow loved the course and said it was better than any other public venue in New York City.

Jay Yarow contributed to this story. 

SEE ALSO: A federal judge ruled against Trump and Michael Cohen in the latest document battle

The new clubhouse at Trump Ferry Point was unveiled on Monday. Eric Trump noted at a ribbon-cutting ceremony that the building was finished well ahead of schedule. It will open to the public in July.



At the front of the clubhouse is the store, which features a variety of golf supplies and clothing.



There's also a large open space in the center of the building, aimed at catering to large events. After the ceremony, guests roamed around checking out the new digs.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

What it's like to use the Gravity Blanket, a $250 weighted blanket that's designed to reduce stress and help you sleep

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Gravity blanket

  • The Gravity Blanket is a weighted blanket that's intended to help you feel less stressed and sleep better.
  • The blanket began as a Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $4.7 million. Now, Gravity says the blanket has netted more than $15 million in sales. 
  • I tested the blanket — along with Gravity's weighted sleep mask — for a few weeks and got some of the best sleep of my life. 
  • The Gravity Blanket helped my mind to stop racing and put me to sleep almost instantly.  

When first I got a Gravity Blanket to test out, I had big plans for turning it into a scientific experiment. 

I would wear an Apple Watch, I reasoned, to test how my heart rate responded to a weighted blanket. I planned to take notes about my mood and stress levels to measure whether the blanket could actually relax my central nervous system and calm me down. 

The problem is, I kept falling asleep. 

For anyone who hasn't heard of Gravity Blanket or weighted blankets in general, think of it like a Thundershirt for humans. The concept behind weighted blankets is that lying underneath constant and evenly distributed pressure will produce a calming and relaxing effect. Studies have shown that weighted vests or blankets can also help those with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, high anxiety, or insomnia

But at the most basic level, weighted blankets mostly just feel like a gentle hug. 

Gravity's version of the weighted blanket began as a Kickstarter project in 2017. Gravity raised more than $4.7 million from nearly 24,000 backers to create a plush, single-person blanket that weighs up to 25 pounds. 

Now, Gravity says it's sold more than 60,000 weighted blankets, resulting in $15 million in sales. Gravity has now expanded its product lineup to include a weighted sleep mask, a cooling blanket for those who "sleep hot," and a melatonin mist to help you fall asleep. 

I had the chance to test out the original $250 Gravity Blanket and the $30 weighted mask for a few weeks. I offered them up to friends, coworkers, and anyone who was willing to sit with a 20-pound blanket on top of them. For some people, the experience felt strange and uncomfortable. Others described it as "womb-like."

Me? I had some of the best naps of my life.

Gravity blanket

Size matters

The first and most important thing you need to know about the Gravity Blanket is that it comes in varying weights. The right blanket for you depends on your size, since it should be equivalent to about 10% of your body weight. 

Not realizing that, I went with the 20-pound blanket and after a few weeks of testing, found it to be slightly too heavy for me. For most adults, 20 pounds doesn't seem like that much, but it can be overwhelming when you're lying underneath it (or trying to schlep it home on the subway). 

The other thing to know about the blanket is that it's not the size of a full comforter or duvet, and it's not really meant to be shared. It won't replace your bedding — unless maybe you sleep in a twin bed — and it won't cover both you and a partner at the same time. 

Plus, at $250, it's one very pricey blanket. 

Gravity blanket

'It felt like I was in the womb'

All that aside, I was curious to see if a seemingly simple — albeit heavy — blanket would have the same effect that is usually found with pharmaceuticals or meditation. Could it really reduce stress and anxiety? Could it help me sleep?

I decoded to offer up the Gravity Blanket to friends, my boyfriend, and coworkers. Let's just say that reactions were ... mixed.

"It feels like an animal is laying on you," one person said. 

"I feel relaxed!" another told me. "But maybe it's just a placebo effect?" 

A friend came over to my house to try it and informed me that the Gravity Blanket made him feel like he "was in the womb." 

"I ... am .... so ... content," he drowsily told me.

But for me, testing a Gravity Blanket was like taking a sleeping pill. 

I'm not someone who typically has a hard time falling or staying asleep — actually, sleeping is one of my favorite pastimes. But I'm not much of a napper, and I have a hard time taking "power naps" or falling asleep when it's still light out. 

The Gravity Blanket changed all that. 

Every time I went to go test the blanket, hoping to track how my heart rate changed or at least document how I was feeling, I passed right out. One night, I laid down with the blanket in the early evening and ended up sleeping under it all night. Another night, I used the blanket and sleep mask while in the throes of a migraine, hoping it might alleviate some of my symptoms — I slept for three hours and woke up with a much milder headache. 

Here's proof, kindly snapped by my boyfriend:

Gravity blanket

I haven't been able to try the blanket yet without passing out within moments, but it seems as though I've been reaping the benefits of a weighted blanket, even while asleep. My mind usually races when I'm lying in bed, and I tend to stress about everything from what I'm going to wear the next day, to trips I have planned months from now. The Gravity Blanket seemed to calm my mind enough that I fell asleep instantly, time and again. 

So while my tests certainly haven't been scientific, I can definitely say the Gravity Blanket helps me feel calm, relaxed — and very, very sleepy. 

SEE ALSO: The $120 Fire TV Cube might be the smartest Echo device Amazon has ever made — here's what it can do

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried gaming on the Samsung CHG90 ultrawide gaming monitor

We tried a caffeine-free charcoal latte made with ground coconut shells

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  • London cafe Bean & Wheat makes a detox charcoal latte.
  • It's called Black Heart Latte.
  • It's made with coconut shells charcoal, milk, and vanilla.
  • The cafe also makes other caffeine-free lattes, like the Matcha Latte and the Coconut Golden Turmeric Latte. 

 

London cafe Bean & Wheat makes a charcoal latte made from grounded coconut shells.

The caffeine-free drink, called Black Heart Latte, is made with only charcoal, milk, and vanilla.

"The reason why we ended up going for the charcoal is simply due to detoxifying and purification," Assistant Manager and Head Barista Darren Cronin told Business Insider.

"Black Heart Latte is designed using organic coconut shells which have been ground and burnt, and then made into a charcoal. We utilize that with some vanilla essence and a good quality milk."

The cafe also makes other caffeine-free lattes, like the Matcha Latte and the Coconut Golden Turmeric Latte. 

 

SEE ALSO: We went to London's Selfieccino cafe and drank coffees with our faces printed on them

Join the conversation about this story »

Forget early retirement — people who saved enough money to travel for weeks or years say a 'mini-retirement' is just as rewarding

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dinah chutz mini retirement

  • Early retirement isn't always feasible for some people.
  • Instead of an early retirement or end-of-career retirement, they opt for a mini-retirement, a series of meaningful respites away from their job.
  • Five people who have taken mini-retirements share why they did it, how they did it, and how they're spending their time.
  • Ultimately, they were able to save money by sticking to a budget, living a minimalist lifestyle, and picking up side hustles.

For some people, early retirement just isn't feasible. But neither is the rat race.

That's where a mini-retirement comes in.

Coined by Tim Ferris in his book, "The 4-Hour Workweek," a mini-retirement is a series of meaningful respites throughout your life in which you take a break from your career, rather than taking one final retirement at the end. It's a time to step away from your typical routine and create a blank slate.

Most mini-retirements involve travel — not a holiday, but a relocation for at least one to six months before heading back to home base. But really, a mini-retirement can be whatever you need it to be.

The only challenge can be saving enough money to get there.

Take a cue from these mini-retirees below, who share why they took hiatus from work, how they saved money for it, and how they're spending their time.

SEE ALSO: If you want to retire early, follow these 6 savings life hacks from people who actually did

DON'T MISS: What a dream retirement plan looks like for 12 of the richest CEOs in America

Mark and Amanda Tew spent six years paying off debt, living frugally, and saving $30,000 to live in Nicaragua for a year — and they didn't miss out on anything at home while they were away.

Over the course of six years, Mark Tew of Tew & Fro and his wife Amanda lived fairly frugal lives, worked a few small side hustles, made detailed financial goals, and reviewed their budget frequently. This helped them pay off graduate school debt, build an emergency fund, and save $30,000 for their first mini-retirement, which they spent in Latin America.

"Waiting until I'm 65 when I'm likely less able or healthy enough to do the things I've always wanted to do doesn't make a lot of sense to me," Tew told Business Insider. "Since I'm not retiring early any time soon, a mini-retirement seemed like a great way to spend quality time and have a great new experience as a family."

They did everything from renting a house in Nicaragua, buying a car, and sending the kids to school to traveling around the country, visiting lakes, volcanoes, beaches, and historical sites.

"We wanted to immerse ourselves in a new culture and just live our lives," he said. "We also wanted our kids to learn Spanish."

After a year of living abroad, they returned home to America where they realized they didn't miss out on anything. After acquiring the travel bug and learning how to be a bit more flexible, Mark is considering building a virtual full-time business to give the family flexibility to live wherever they want.

"One thing I knew was that if I didn't just take the plunge and go have this experience with my family, I would regret it for the rest of my life," he said. "Given that I could be hit by a car tomorrow or die of cancer when I'm 42, a mini-retirement is an absolute no brainer. You just have to have a plan and be smart about it."



Dinah Chutz spent seven months hustling hard at work, saving $14,000 to travel around New Zealand and Asia. She feels even more productive than if she were working a full-time corporate job.

"As we grow up, we are always thinking about what's next and we end up rushing through life without stopping to really enjoy it," Dinah Chutz, who is taking a mini-retirement at age 24, told Business Insider.

"My mini-retirement is about slowing down, experiencing the world, getting to know myself and finding what I love while I'm still young," she said.

Chutz moved from San Diego to New Zealand, where she worked overtime at her full-time job, picked up a few freelance gigs, and saved every penny she could for seven months. Once she had $14,000 saved, she felt comfortable enough to buy a small van that doubles as a home, so she could travel without an income for 12 to 18 months. 

"My days are spent discovering hidden beaches, browsing local farmers markets, diving for abalone, making jewelry, playing way too much chess and photographing the sunset," she said. "I plan on taking my retirement back through Asia and onto India towards the end of the year."

Since she's been traveling, Chutz has taken on a remote freelance role with the same company she worked for back in the US and runs a blog, The Mini Retirement. She said there are many opportunities to work while abroad, from hostels looking to exchange work for accommodation to local families in need of nannies, which she did for several weeks.

Once her mini-retirement comes to an end, Chutz plans on returning to San Diego and putting all of her creative energy back into her work. Overall, she said taking the time to relax and clear her mind after rushing through college while working several jobs has been extremely rewarding and even more productive. 

"Taking this time off now has only better situated me for my future," said Chutz, who is already envisioning another mini-retirement. "I had a taste of the corporate lifestyle, enjoyed those challenges and then found a way to pursue another dream of mine before feeling ready to set down roots. I'm not sure when my next mini-retirement will be, but I am itching to see South America."



Jillian Johnsrud is on her fifth mini-retirement, traveling through national parks with her family. She's been able to afford so many in part due to passive income from buying and renovating homes with her husband.

So far, Jillian Johnsrud has five mini-retirements under her belt, ranging from a month to two-and-a-half years away from work. She and her husband, Adam, opted for mini-retirements because they didn't want to miss out on things if they waited until their sixties.

"Mini-retirements are perfect for capturing those experiences that might otherwise pass you by," Johnsrud told Business Insider. "They are also a great solution for people who want to investigate what to do as a second career or scale up a business they have started on the side but need more time and attention to grow into a full income."

She took her first mini-retirement, a month-long $2,000 road trip with her best friend when she was 24, after she and Adam paid off $55,000 in debt and saved their first $100,000.

The couple left their jobs two-and-a-half years ago and are currently traveling for 10 weeks to 10 national parks with their five children.

Previously, they've used mini-retirements to travel or buy and renovate homes, the latter of which has helped them generate a passive income that enables them to take mini-retirements more often. Johnsrud also runs her blog, Montana Money Adventures, for about three hours a day, eight months out of the year.

And after this latest mini-retirement, she plans to do full-time work while the kids are in school, but doubts that she and Adam will go back to a normal 9 to 5 job.

"After this one, the goal is to design a life we would never want to retire from because it's such a great fit for our lifestyle," she said. "Having a few months off a year and a modest work schedule seems about perfect for us in this season of life."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tiger Woods just confirmed he's avoiding US Open traffic by staying on his $20 million, 155-foot yacht — and he called it a 'dinghy'

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tiger woods yacht wide thumb

  • Tiger Woods confirmed to the media on Tuesday that he is indeed staying on his huge yacht during the US Open, one of golf's biggest competitions.
  • Woods even called his $20 million, 155-foot yacht a "dinghy."
  • You can check out the yacht — as well as a photo of Woods in its actual dinghy — below.
  • The US Open begins Thursday. 

Tiger Woods just confirmed to the media that he is indeed staying aboard his $20 million, 155-foot yacht during the US Open — and he even called it his "dinghy."

Page Six was first to report on the rumor that Woods had berthed his yacht, called Privacy, in the Hamptons last week.

The yacht is now in Sag Harbor, a 30-minute drive from Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, the site of this year's US Open, one of the biggest competitions in golf. It begins on Thursday.

Woods said that staying aboard the yacht is a huge plus because it provides the perfect respite from the "tournament scene" and reduces traffic chaos en route to the competition.

"Sag Harbor is a cute little town," he told journalists at a pre-tournament USGA event on Tuesday. "I've only been there for a few days now. I haven't really got a chance to walk about a little bit, but I certainly will this week. So far it's been nice to kind of get away from the tournament scene and go there to my dinghy there and just really enjoy it."

Check out the yacht:

tiger woods yacht privacy

tiger woods yacht privacy

Here's Woods in the yacht's actual dinghy:

tiger woods privacy yacht dinghy

One journalist jokingly asked Woods whether he felt weird that Privacy was not even the "biggest yacht in the yard." Woods laughed and said, "I'm not opposed to that."

Woods bought Privacy in 2004. It has a top speed of 17 knots, is big enough to sleep 17 people, and has a theater, a gym, and a Jacuzzi.

SEE ALSO: Tiger Woods has reportedly docked his $20 million, 155-foot yacht in the Hamptons — and he apparently plans to stay there during the US Open

DON'T MISS: Here's where Tiger Woods' boat ranks among the biggest celebrity yachts

UP NEXT: A former PGA Tour golfer says Tiger Woods could challenge for the majors this year

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: NFL cheerleaders reveal the best and worst parts of their job

The 12 worst TV series finales of all time, from 'Seinfeld' to 'Girls'

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girls hbo finale2

It's difficult to wrap up a television series, especially shows that have been on for so long that a planned ending isn't really possible anymore.

A good final episode should bring back the themes of the entire show and its season, while tying things up (but not too tight). Often it goes terribly, and even some of the most iconic, well-written shows in television history have terrible finales.

Here, we collected the absolute worst series finales that still make our blood boil. 

Here are 12 of the worst series finales in television history, from "Seinfeld" to "Dexter":

SEE ALSO: The 17 best TV series finales of all time, from 'The Americans' to '30 Rock'

"Gossip Girl" — season 6 episode 11, "New York, I Love You XOXO"

When it aired: December 17, 2012

Bart Bass, who is the Loki of the "Gossip Girl" universe considering how many times he dies, is truly dead at the beginning of this episode. Chuck Bass (Bart's son) and Blair Waldorf spend the majority of this final episode on the run from the law for pushing him off of a building. The big, stupid, desperate reveal that Dan is Gossip Girl leaves more plot holes than it closes, and the series ends with unbelievable endings for these awful characters. For example, the finale implies that Nate Archibald will become the mayor of New York City, but he has never taken the subway. 



"Roseanne" — season 9 episodes 23-24, "Into that Good Night"

When it aired:  May 20, 1997

The ninth season of "Roseanne" was such a mess that everything that happened in it got completely ignored for its brief tenth season and revival in March. In season nine, the Conners win the lottery, which completely changed the tone of a show that was praised for its depiction of blue collar Americans. The awful final episode reveals that Roseanne's husband, Dan, is dead, and that the majority of the events in the season were made up for Roseanne's memoir. It was a finale that focused more on wrapping up a bad season, rather than the show itself. 



"How I Met Your Mother" — season 9 episodes 23-24, "Last Forever"

When it aired: May 31, 2014

Unfortunately, "How I Met Your Mother" ended the show in a way everyone knew was coming, but convinced themselves wouldn't happen because it was so obvious: Ted and Robin end up together because the titular "Mother" dies of cancer. To make it even worse, Ted's kids are the ones who suggest that Ted hooks up with Robin, who they refer to as "aunt." The series finale caps a nearly decade-long tease that is a major deception to this show's characters. It instantly made the show difficult for many fans to revisit or recommend to friends. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amazon saved 'The Expanse' after George R.R. Martin contacted Jeff Bezos about it and fans flew planes over the company's HQ

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The Expanse

  • Amazon picked up the acclaimed space-drama series "The Expanse" last month after fans petitioned the company to save it, following the Syfy network's cancellation of the show. 
  • The scene behind Amazon's decision to save "The Expanse" involved fans flying bannered planes over the Amazon headquarters, and "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin sending an email in support of the show to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, according to Deadline.

Amazon's decision to save the acclaimed series "The Expanse" from its cancellation by the Syfy network last month resulted from the input of some truly fervent fans and several big industry names, according to a report from Deadline.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the show's renewal last month at a panel with the cast of the series at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles.

This week, Deadline spoke to Jennifer Salke, the new head of Amazon Studios, who detailed how fans of the series, in an attempt to get Amazon to renew the show, sent her cakes and flew rented airplanes over the company's headquarters with banners that read "#SaveTheExpanse."

"There were airplanes circling us, I was having cakes delivered, there was a whole thing happening," Salke told Deadline of the fan campaign for the show. "And then really smart people, whose opinions I really value creatively, started reaching out to me, saying, 'Have you seen this show, "The Expanse," it’s actually great.'"

Salke said Bezos received emails from notable people like "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin "to every captain of industry, like the founder of Craigslist," all of whom told Bezos that Amazon should save the show. 

After Syfy cancelled "The Expanse" in May, citing declining ratings, over 130,000 fans of the series signed a Change.org petition asking either Netflix or Amazon to renew the show.

Amazon already owned the international streaming rights for "The Expanse," which made it a likely home for the show's renewal. The show's fourth season will air on Amazon Prime. 

SEE ALSO: Amazon has saved the acclaimed Syfy show 'The Expanse,' and fans are thrilled

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Four MIT graduates created a restaurant with a robotic kitchen that cooks your food in three minutes or less

A 28-year-old entrepreneur reveals how she snagged $66 million and 10 term sheets in 5 days

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cofounders of front mathilde collin laurent perrin

  • Raising venture capital for a startup is no cakewalk. There are high stakes, probing questions from investors, and pressure from employees to return to the office with a term sheet.
  • So it's noteworthy that Mathilde Collin, the 28-year-old cofounder and CEO of the shared-inbox app Front, snagged $66 million and 10 investment offers in five days.
  • Collin shared with us her best advice for raising venture capital. 

When Mathilde Collin, a 28-year-old entrepreneur, was ready to start raising venture capital for her company's series B round, she made a ground rule for herself.

Collin scheduled all meetings with investors for one week.

Having a short window creates a little competition among the venture capitalists, who might offer more attractive deals if the company is hot and time is wasting. For Collin, setting a deadline for herself was simply about speeding up the process.

"I don't necessarily like raising funding," Collin told Business Insider.

She might not like it, but she's arguably very good at it. In January, her company, the shared-inbox platform Front, raised $66 million in a series B round led by Sequoia Capital. During her five-day fundraising binge, Collin snagged 10 term sheets, or investment offers, from 11 of the investors she pitched — an impressive achievement for a first-time founder.

Front has raised a total of $79 million to change the way teams get work done. The startup makes an app that lets teams handle messages from email, texts, Slack, and social media, all in one place. More than 3,000 businesses around the world use Front.

Here's how she did it

Raising venture capital for a startup is no cakewalk. There are high stakes, probing questions from investors, and pressure from employees to return to the office with a term sheet.

Collin said that before an entrepreneur takes the plunge, they should think critically about whether they're ready to raise funding.

Front wasn't strapped for cash. The company managed to burn only $3 million from a $10 million series A round in 2016, and Front is already making money as a paid service for enterprises.

front app screenshots

Still, Collin said she wanted to grow Front more quickly and hire a significant number of engineers. She decided she was ready to raise when Front ended three consecutive quarters during which revenue, app usage, and employee headcount all increased and sustained their growth — though Collin admits that part of the decision came down to a feeling.

She worked with employees on the data and business operations team to put together a pitch deck, a presentation that entrepreneurs give to investors when seeking a round of funding. In about 24 slides, the pitch deck told the complete story of Front. It addressed the pain points that Front aims to solve, the achievements of the company so far, and the long-term vision of how Front wants to reinvent email.

The pitch deck was also chock-full of data and insights, such as annual recurring revenue, the number of employees who have left Front so far (zero), and its marketing spend.

According to Collin, the investors she pitched seemed to be most impressed with three key metrics: efficiency, consistency, and net retention rate.

  • Front is building a successful business without blowing through all its cash. Collin's pitch deck demonstrated a track record of capital efficiency by sharing how much money the company had raised to date (about $13 million between seed financing and series A), how much cash it had left ($7 million before the series B), and how long it could survive with 0% growth, also known as runway (18 months).
  • The company is growing and sustaining that growth. Front is seeing explosive growth across revenue, app usage (messages sent and comments written), and the number of large teams using the app. Collin pointed out that there were no major dips across these metrics from one quarter to the next.
  • People like using Front. The pitch deck showed that while revenue is increasing, churn keeps trending down, meaning the rate at which existing customers cancel their Front subscriptions is falling. They also use the app more over time.

With these facts and figures in mind, Collin wowed several Silicon Valley investors. Participating in the company's series B round was actually so competitive that partners of Sequoia Capital built a custom Lego set to persuade Collin, a known Lego enthusiast, to accept their offer. The top-tier venture firm wound up leading the $66 million round.

Collin said that ultimately she was successful in fundraising because Front is a good idea.

"Investors are driven by the fear of missing out — and if Front is successful, then Front will be very successful, because everyone uses email," Collin said. "Everyone needs a tool like this."

SEE ALSO: 10 new tech trends that VC investors say will completely change life and business in the next 4 years

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: There's a simple way to see if your business idea is any good

Ray Liotta loved working with Jennifer Lopez on the TV series 'Shades of Blue,' but had one complaint

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Jennifer Lopez Ray Liotta AP

  • Ray Liotta said the favorite scenes he did on the NBC show "Shades of Blue" were opposite his costar Jennifer Lopez.
  • However, he said J. Lo's "discipline got a little looser" at times and she would show up late to set, which would affect production on those days.


Ray Liotta gave a very honest answer when asked what he thought about working with superstar Jennifer Lopez.

The two have starred together on the NBC cop drama, "Shades of Blue," and with the third and final season premiering on Sunday, it's a good time look back and reflect on the work. 

Business Insider sat down with Liotta on Monday to talk about the show and his career. And, or course, asked what stood out working with J. Lo.

"She had so many things on her plate so I was always impressed that she always knew her lines, and mine," said Liotta, who admitted that when he was approached to do the series the big question mark for him was Lopez and if she would play a convincing police detective who is part of the crew of dirty cops headed by Liotta's character. 

However, Liotta said he couldn't have been happier with her work on the show. Though toward the end there was a bump in the road. 

"As it wore on, I think she knew she was leaving, and I don't want to bash her, but her discipline got a little looser," Liotta said.

"She definitely was there with her lines and dedicated in terms of the work," Liotta continued. "Just every now and then she would come late, and if you come late it's a domino effect. NBC was really strict about a 14-hour workday. They cut if off at 14. So if you're at the end of the day you may only get one or two takes of a scene, so that wasn't exactly the teamwork that was needed."

Despite that, Liotta said his favorite scenes on the show were when he was working opposite Lopez.

With "Shades of Blue" coming to an end, Liotta said he's open to doing more TV work. But next you'll see him on the big screen, as he's starring in Noah Baumbach's ("The Meyerowitz Stories") next movie alongside Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. He will be playing the divorce lawyer of Driver's character. 

SEE ALSO: Ray Liotta on working with Jennifer Lopez, why he's been in only one Scorsese movie, and not believing the Woody Allen sexual-misconduct allegations

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Sneaky ways Costco gets you to buy more

McDonald's employees reveal their 20 favorite menu items — and one bonus secret menu item everyone should try

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McDonald's employee food

  • McDonald's' menu has tons of options for fast-food fans.
  • And McDonald's crew members themselves have their own favorites.
  • Business Insider spoke with a number of current and former McDonald's employees about their go-to menu orders.

The McDonald's menu offers a pretty extensive overview of what the fast-food giant has to offer.

But, if you really want to know what's good and what's worth skipping, you can turn to McDonald's crew members for their insight. They make the food, after all.

And, according to Quora users who previously worked at the chain, many crew members choose to use their employee discounts — which vary from restaurant to restaurant — to buy McDonald's food during their meal breaks.

So what orders do crew members gravitate toward, whether they're on their lunch break or off-duty?

Business Insider spoke with several current and former crew members to find out. A number of McDonald's employees have also shared their favorite orders on Reddit and Quora.

Some crew members favored classic menu items, while others got more avant garde with signature-crafted selections.

Here's a look at some of McDonald's employees' favorite orders:

SEE ALSO: McDonald's employees share 11 annoying things they wish customers would stop doing

DON'T MISS: McDonald's employees share the 14 strangest orders they've ever gotten

SEE ALSO: 11 insider facts about McDonald's that employees know and most customers don't

The chicken nuggets and tenders are quite popular ...

When asked about their favorite order, a former McDonald's crew member told Business Insider that they went for the chicken McNuggets and fries. Chicken McNuggets were first introduced in a limited capacity in 1981.

"They're the best," the ex-crew member added.

A Minnesota-based McDonald's crew member told Business Insider that they frequently eat at the restaurant, as they can order meals at a "discounted price."

"The best thing to get is by far the tenders, but we do run out every now and again, so the next best thing is either nuggets or a cheeseburger," the crew member said.

Another crew member from Georgia told Business Insider they enjoyed the chicken tenders, as well.



... As are the chicken sandwiches.

In a 2018 Reddit thread, a current McDonald's crew member said they favored the chain's buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich.

"A chicken sandwich meal is my go to," a former crew member from Virginia told Business Insider.

Meanwhile, a crew member who participated in a 2018 Reddit thread wrote that the McChicken was "the best fast food sandwich."



A number of crew members love the breakfast options ...

Breakfast is popular wth some crew members.

One crew member wrote in a 2018 Reddit AMA that they craved the sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle.

Another employee in the same thread said they favored the egg McMuffin. And a third crew member wrote that they most enjoyed the steak, egg, and cheese bagel.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside the eerily quiet streets of Kazakhstan's 20-year-old capital city, where futuristic skyscrapers tower over the grasslands of a former prison camp

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astana

  • Astana was named the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997, and has undergone a massive transformation since then.
  • The city is filled with futuristic skyscrapers that resemble a science-fiction movie.
  • But Astana's streets are suspiciously clean and quiet, leading some to comment on its eerie atmosphere.


Twenty years ago, Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev made a radical move by moving his country's capital to a little-known town in the middle of barren grassland.

He renamed the town "Astana," meaning "capital," and hired a world-famous Japanese architect to plan every aspect of the city, from its eye-popping skyline to its grandiose government buildings. Today, the city is compared to other planned capitals like Canberra, Brasilia, and Washington, DC.

Yet between Astana's architectural marvels are streets that are perfectly manicured and eerily quiet, contributing to a surreal atmosphere that permeates the city. CNN called Astana "the world's weirdest capital city," while the Guardian called it "the space station in the steppes."

Israeli photographer Tomer Ifrah recently documented life in Astana, from its nearly empty and suspiciously clean streets to its futuristic skyscrapers that look like something out of a science fiction movie.

Read on to see what life is like in Astana, a planned city like no other.

SEE ALSO: A photographer spent 3 months following commuters on the Moscow Metro to see what life is really like in the capital of Russia

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Astana was declared Kazakhstan's capital city in 1997. Before that, it was a small provincial town named Aqmola, best known for being a former gulag prison camp for wives and children of enemies of the Soviet government.

Source: CNN,Dark Tourism



"Astana" simply means "capital" in the Kazakh language. President Nursultan Nazarbayev moved the capital there from Almaty to breathe life into northern Kazakhstan and move the heart of the country farther away from China.

Source: Science Direct



Astana's master plan was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, who detailed the construction of skyscrapers, roads, housing units, government buildings, and man-made forests.

Source: Kisho



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We tried IHOP's new burgers, and they were shockingly good

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IHOb 4

  • IHOP's decision to rename itself IHOb, or the International House of Burgers, infuriated many customers. 
  • We were skeptical of IHOP's ability to craft burgers that matched its pancakes in quality. 
  • But after trying the new burgers (with a side of pancakes), we were IHOb converts. 

 

IHOP's rebrand as IHOb — International House of Burgers — left many customers skeptical. 

Last week, IHOP, the International House of Pancakes, announced it would change its name to IHOb, flipping the "P" to a "b." On Monday, IHOP announced that the "b" stood for burgers,

"Burgers are really kind of unexpected for us, so we had to do something creative to get everyone's attention," IHOP president Darren Rebelez told Business Insider. "But the pancakes aren't going anywhere."

The renaming, while temporary, sparked backlash from customers. Many remained unconvinced that IHOP's burgers could ever compare to its pancakes. 

So, we at Business Insider decided to try out the new burgers for ourselves. Here's the verdict on IHOP — or IHOb's — controversial new menu item: 

SEE ALSO: We compared Target's new $5 wines against Trader Joe's cheapest options — and the winner is obvious

IHOP changed its name to IHOb to promote the launch of the chain's Ultimate Steakburgers menu, a seven-burger lineup that includes options like the Big Brunch Burger, the Cowboy BBQ Burger, and the double-decker Mega Monster Burger.



We didn't have room in our stomachs to down all seven burgers, so we settled for two: the Cowboy BBQ and Big Brunch Burger.



The Cowboy BBQ Burger was a mighty beast, stacked high with onion rings. This was no quiet entrance into the burger business for IHOb. The Cowboy BBQ enters the menu with its deep-fried onion guns blazing.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The incredible history of the Boeing 737, the best-selling airliner of all time (BA)

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Boeing 737 MAX 7

  • The Boeing 737 is the best-selling airliner of all time.
  • Through May, Boeing has taken 14,725 orders for the plane.
  • Since 2011, the new 737 MAX has won more than 4,500 orders, making it the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history.
  • Since its debut in 1967, the 737 has become a mainstay for airlines around the world in a number of roles, ranging from short-haul flights to transatlantic airliner.
  • The 737 is also deployed as a freighter and in military applications.

The Boeing 737 is ubiquitous. If you've taken a commercial flight in the past 50 years, there's a good chance it was on a Boeing 737.

That's because Boeing has sold a whole lot of them. Since 1965, the American aviation giant has taken orders for a whopping 14,725 737s. In April, Boeing delivered the 10,000th 737, a new MAX 8 model, to Southwest Airlines.

To put that into perspective, Boeing's second-best-selling plane, the wide-body 777, has received a little fewer than 2,000 orders. But it should be noted that the long-haul Boeing 777 costs several times more than the 737 and is used in different segments of the airline market.

Over the years, the Boeing 737 has proved itself to be a faithful workhorse for airlines around the world. Its versatility is nothing short of astounding. What debuted in 1967 as a 50-seat regional jet has now spawned 220-plus-seat variants capable of transatlantic travel.

With the introduction of the MAX, Boeing's long-serving 737 is set to fly on well past its 70th birthday.

Yet the Boeing sales team will have to work hard for the 737 to maintain its crown. The rival Airbus A320 is nipping at its heels. Through May, Airbus has orders for 14,228 A320 family jets.

Here's a closer look at the incredible history of the Boeing 737.

SEE ALSO: How Airbus became Boeing's greatest rival

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In 1964, Boeing began work on a 50-to-60 seat narrow-body airliner designed for trips between 50 and 1,000 miles. It would also be roughly half the size Boeing's smallest jet at the time, the 727.

Source: New York Times



At the time, Boeing was best known for its larger jets like the 707 and ...



The eight-engine B-52 bomber.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tiger Woods is staying on his $20 million yacht in the Hamptons during the US Open — here's where his boat ranks among the biggest celebrity yachts

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Privacy yacht

  • Tiger Woods' $20 million luxury yacht, Privacy, was seen docked in the Hamptons, where it's staying during the US Open golf tournament.
  • At 155 feet, Privacy is slightly longer than the 151-foot tall Statue of Liberty.
  • While Privacy is bigger than the luxury yachts owned by other celebrities, it has nothing on Steve Jobs' or Paul Allen's yachts.

Spotted: Tiger Woods' $20 million, 155-foot yacht, Privacy, docked in the Hamptons. And it plans to stay there during the US Open, one of the biggest golf tournaments, Woods told press at a pre-tournament USGA event. 

According to Woods, staying on board during the competition provides a respite from the "tournament scene" and reduces traffic chaos en route to the competition.

This luxury yacht may be impressive in both its price tag and its size, but when it's stacked up against other things, it doesn't even begin to compare — especially when it comes to other luxury yachts owned by celebrities.

Privacy — which is roughly the same size of the 151-foot tall Statue of Liberty — is around a hundred feet smaller than the yacht Apple cofounder Steve Jobs commissioned, the 256-foot Venus. If you think that's a disparity, dock Privacy next to Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's 416-foot yacht, Octopus.

Take a look below to see how Privacy stacks up compared to other things around the world and luxury yachts owned by celebrities.

how big famous yachts tiger woods really are graphic

Privacy is 200 feet smaller than the Hollywood sign. At 352 feet, the Hollywood sign is bigger than the luxury yacht Venus but not as big as the luxury yacht Octopus.

And if you lay the Leaning Tower of Pisa on its side, it has 20 feet on Privacy.

But that's not to say the size of Privacy isn't a force to be reckoned with. After all, it's bigger than comedian Jerry Seinfeld's yacht Moka, which is 138 feet and actress Nicole Kidman's yacht, a 74-foot Sunseeker Manhattan.

Privacy is also bigger than another frequenter of the ocean, the blue whale, which can get as big as 105 feet, as well as another means of transportation — a 116-foot Boeing 737.

SEE ALSO: Tiger Woods has reportedly docked his $20 million, 155-foot yacht in the Hamptons — and he apparently plans to stay there during the US Open

DON'T MISS: The world's most expensive superyachts come with helipads, movie theaters, and swimming pools — take a look

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This $3,416 arcade cabinet is a nod to the original 'Pong' machine

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OriginX


  • The OriginX is a wall-mounted arcade cabinet with a design based off the original 'Pong' machine.
  • It can store up to 10,000 arcade games of your choice.
  • The catch: only 50 are being made, and each costs $3,416.

Those with an extra $3,416 laying around and a yearning to experience the nostalgic feeling of playing on an original Pong table are in luck — the OriginX, made by Swedish designer Love Hultén, is being hand-made for a limited edition of 50 units. 

The OriginX is wall-mounted, and based off the original Pong cabinet, complete with a walnut housing, a yellow facade (additional colors are available upon request), and aluminum housing. The interior computer serves as an emulator that allows users to play some classic arcade games with up to two players — but by installing additional hardware or using a USB port, virtually any arcade games can be played on the machine. The cabinet can store up to 10,000 games, Hultén says. 

OriginX/Pong comparison

The 19-inch, 4:3 LCD screen has a "barrel distortion" filter that mimics the effect of playing on an old, classic CRT arcade screen. 

The unit can be shipped worldwide, and all 50 OriginX machines are personally made in Sweden by Hultén. 

And if you're wondering what the significance is behind the $3,416 price tag, it's simply the conversion of the price in Euros. 

SEE ALSO: The PlayStation 4 is getting 4 incredible-looking exclusive games starting this September — take a look

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8 morning routine hacks that will get you up and out the door faster

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morning routine

  • The right morning routine can help you save time while still completing necessary tasks.
  • Preparing 'batch' breakfasts in advance, meditating, and turning off the news are small habits that can make a big impact on your efficiency in the morning.
  • Scheduling an early-morning meeting can motivate you to waste less time and to get ready quicker. 

 

Even the most die-hard morning people among us may sometimes find that the struggle is real.

Need a wake-up call? We asked some of the nation's leading time-management experts to share their most eye-opening ways to make mornings a little less brutal and a lot more doable.

SEE ALSO: I've broken up with people and been dumped — this is the right way to end a relationship

1. Don't lay out your clothes the night before

This might seem counterintuitive, but some experts suggest trying to keep things simple the night before. The idea is to decompress as much as possible before bed — not wind yourself up.

"It seems smart to lay out clothes, pack lunches, pack bags, and so on the night before," says Laura Vanderkam, author of "Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done." But the real problem arises when when you also want to squeeze in some "fun" time before bed.

"If you spend a lot of time on chores, the fun time only comes at the expense of sleep," notes Vanderkam. "And one of the easiest ways to tank your morning is to wake up exhausted."



2. Do a brain dump before bed

Even if you have perfect sleep hygiene — no smartphones at night, a comfy mattress, an early bedtime — you still might be plagued with thoughts that keep you up at night and leave you drained in the morning.

So try this simple hack: "Keep a pad of paper and a pencil next to your bed. Right before you go to sleep, write down anything you're worrying about that might keep you awake," suggests Stever Robbins, productivity expert and host of the podcast The Get It Done Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More. "Your brain will be able to let it go because it knows [those thoughts are] safely written down."

Robbins also suggests scribbling the top two things you want to get done the next day, so your brain will noodle on that instead.



3. Be selfish first thing in the morning

As tempting as it might be to jump out of bed and dive into your day, many experts agree that taking time to connect with yourself as soon as you wake up is as nourishing as eating a good breakfast.

"Wake up 15 minutes earlier, and for the first 5 minutes, just meditate or pray. Breathe and find yourself awake in the world," says Peter Bregman, author of "18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done." "It reduces the freneticism and allows you to start your morning without already being behind."

Even just sitting up and stretching "will literally change the mood of your whole morning," Bregman says.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Netflix has extended its deal for Anthony Bourdain's show 'Parts Unknown' after fans petitioned to keep it on the service

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parts unknown anthony bourdain

  • Netflix announced Tuesday that it extended a deal to keep Anthony Bourdain's CNN series "Parts Unknown" on its service for "months to come."
  • Anthony Bourdain died last Friday in an apparent suicide at the age of 61, during the filming of the show's 11th season.
  • Fans petitioned Netflix this week, following Bourdain's death, asking the service to renew its licensing agreement for the series past June 16, when the show was expected to leave the service under Netflix's agreement. 
  • The first eight seasons of "Parts Unknown" are currently streaming on Netflix for the forseeable future.

Netflix announced on Tuesday that it had extended an agreement to keep the late Anthony Bourdain's CNN travel docuseries, "Parts Unknown," on its service past June 16, when it was expected to leave the service under Netflix's licensing agreement. 

Anthony Bourdain died last Friday in an apparent suicide at the age of 61. He died in France during the filming of the show's 11th season.

Netflix's announcement follows a social-media movement from fans of "Parts Unknown" who asked the streaming service to renew its agreement for the series following Bourdain's death. More than 6,000 fans had also signed a Change.org petition for Netflix to keep the show on its service, as of Tuesday afternoon.

"Netflix, this show isn't just entertaining. It is heartwarming, it is honest and it benefits human kind. Please keep it on the air," the online petition reads.

"Some fans have noticed that Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was scheduled to come off Netflix US on June 16," Netflix wrote on its US Twitter account on Tuesday. "As of today, we’ve extended our agreement that will keep Parts Unknown on the service for months to come."

The first eight seasons of "Parts Unknown" are currently streaming on Netflix for the forseeable future.

Watch "Parts Unknown" on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: Anthony Bourdain has died in an apparent suicide at 61

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There's an easy way to tell if you're actually overweight — without a scale — and you can do it right now

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weight loss body scale

  • Measuring belly fat is emerging as a superior way to assess overall health.
  • Waist measurements of more than 34.5 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men have been linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attack.
  • Other measurements like BMI and weight are losing their utility, according to several large, peer-reviewed studies.


Sometime during your last doctor's visit, your physician probably had you hop on a scale. After weighing and measuring you, she might have shown you a colorful body mass index (BMI) chart with rows of boxes in shades of green, yellow, orange, and red. If your BMI is in the green, you may have been told, you're considered to be at a healthy weight.

But the rough calculations used to place you in one of these boxes are just that — rough. They're not a great measure of your health.

A growing body of evidence suggests that a superior metric to determine a healthy weight is the perimeter of your belly, also known as your waist circumference.

Not only is measuring your tummy incredibly simple, that figure is also strongly linked to your risk of developing diseases like diabetes, your chances of suffering a heart attack, and your overall risk of death from any cause.

Why BMI is not a good measure 

The body mass index was invented in the 1830s by a Belgian researcher looking to create a simple and easy way to size up the health of a large group of people based on two easy-to-attain measurements. It was never meant to be used on individuals. When it is, problems arise.

BMI doesn't take take into account your body fat or muscle composition, which means that it'll give wildly incorrect feedback based solely on things like gender or lifestyle habits. If you're an athlete, for example, you're more likely to get slotted into an orange or red BMI box simply because you're carrying around more muscle than the average person.

Public-health experts have known about these issues for some time, and many suggest that belly measurements could be the solution.

"For health, the issue is not how much you weigh, but how much abdominal fat you have," wrote the authors of a 2005 blog post for the Harvard Medical School.

Measure your belly instead to get a better picture of your health

scale weight loss weigh-in obesity wrestler

Instead of estimating your BMI, pick up a tape measure. Breathing normally, wrap it around the part of your belly that's roughly two inches above your hips. That's your waist circumference.

In general if you're a woman, you want a measurement that's less than 34.5 inches. If you're a man, a number below 40 inches is ideal.

A measurement that's higher than those isn't a death sentence, but it has been strongly linked with a higher risk of several serious diseases including type 2 diabetes. A study published in March in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggested that a high waist circumference may also be linked to your risk of heart attack.

As part of a large 2012 study, researchers looked at data from more than 340,000 people from eight European countries. They found that overweight people with large waists — more than 34.5 inches for women or 40 inches for men — were at a similar risk of developing diabetes as people who were clinically obese. The link was the strongest in female participants.

For the study published in March on waist measurements and heart health, researchers used a large, ongoing health study to recruit nearly 500,000 adults with no risk of heart disease. The researchers analyzed participants' waist circumferences, BMI, and the ratio of their waist and hip measurements to determine if there was a connection between any of those metrics and a person's chances of having a heart attack.

The results suggested that participants with high waist measurements were significantly more likely to have a heart attack during the study period, which lasted six to 10 years depending on the participant. Similar to the research on diabetes and waist circumference, the link was stronger in women than it was in men.

Scientists still aren't sure why these ties between large waists and negative health outcomes are so strong. Some believe it has to do with how fat inside the body, known as visceral fat, may interfere with the normal functioning of our internal organs.

If you're wondering how to get rid of belly fat, strategies include curbing your sugar and carbohydrate intake, eating more vegetables and fiber-rich foods, and incorporating regular cardio and strength-training exercise into your life.

SEE ALSO: There's new evidence that Silicon Valley's favorite diet has benefits that go beyond weight loss

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NOW WATCH: Doctors have finally found a more accurate way than BMI to determine whether your weight is healthy

Ray Liotta says he doesn't believe the Woody Allen sexual-assault allegations

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Ray Liotta Frederick M Brown Getty final

  • Ray Liotta said if he could work with any filmmaker right now that he hasn't yet in his career, it would be Woody Allen.
  • The actor best known for starring in "Goodfellas" said he doesn't believe the sexual-assault accusations against the legendary director.


If Ray Liotta could drop everything and work with a director he hasn't had the chance to yet in his almost 40-year career, it would be Woody Allen. 

That's what the legendary "Goodfellas" actor told Business Insider on Monday while promoting the last season of his NBC series, "Shades of Blue" (the season 3 premiere is on Sunday). 

"I don't think he did what they accuse him of," Liotta said, referencing the recent spotlight on past sexual-assault allegations against Allen. "For his particular case, I don't buy it."

Liotta's comments are a rare show of support for the director. Since the #MeToo Movement began, Allen has lost many allies in the industry as numerous actors have publicly apologized for being in movies made by the director. Some have even donated the salaries they earned working on his movies to charity.

woody allenAll of this stems from Allen's adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, publicly accusing Allen of molesting her when she was 7-years-old, an accusation she has stood by. One of her brothers, Ronan Farrow, has written that he believes her. Allen has denied all allegations.

The perception of Allen could also be impacting him at the box office. His latest movie, "Wonder Wheel," only earned $15.3 million in theaters, and a  majority of that came from overseas (it made only $1.4 million domestically). Amazon Studios, which released the movie, is reportedly in "serious conversations" to cut its multi-film contract with Allen. It's supposed to release his next movie, "A Rainy Day in New York."

Liotta did not elaborate on why he doesn't buy Farrow's allegation, however he's not alone. In May, Moses Farrow, Dylan's other brother, wrote a blog post defending their father, stating he was present when everything allegedly happened. In his lengthy post, Moses claims Dylan's accusations on what happened are inaccurate.

In response to Moses' blog post, Ronan responded with a note that concluded with "I believe my sister."

SEE ALSO: Ray Liotta on working with Jennifer Lopez, why he's been in only one Scorsese movie, and not believing the Woody Allen sexual-misconduct allegations

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A new type of counseling gives struggling couples 8 hours to decide whether to stay married

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couples retreat

  • A marriage on the brink of divorce can potentially benefit from discernment counseling.
  • In one to five sessions, a discernment counselor helps the couple decide whether to stay married as they are, start the divorce process, or seek couples therapy.
  • The process is focused on understanding how the marriage got to this point, and the part that each person played in it — not on fixing anything.


There's only one way to botch discernment counseling.

Ask Bill Doherty, cofounder of the Doherty Relationship Institute, and he'll tell you: "We always say the only failure is if nobody's learned anything."

Doherty is a trailblazer in the field of discernment counseling, a relatively new type of treatment for couples on the brink of divorce. 

It's geared toward what therapists call "mixed-agenda" couples, in which one partner wants to stay married and work on the relationship and the other partner is ambivalent about whether there's anything left to save. Experts estimate that just under a third of couples who seek therapy fall into this category.

Couples meet with the discernment counselor between one and five times in order to decide which of three paths to pursue: stay married as they are; begin the separation or divorce process; or take divorce off the table while they commit to six months of couples therapy. Unlike traditional couples therapy, the discernment counselor meets separately with each partner, with the exception of the very first session.

And as for how to succeed in discernment counseling? According to Doherty, it's about gaining more clarity and confidence around the relationship's direction, and about understanding how the relationship got to this point. That is to say: There's no fixing anything, just looking at it as objectively as possible.

Discernment counseling can be an early component of traditional couples therapy

Of couples who go through discernment counseling, most ultimately part ways.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Marital and Family therapy looked at 100 mixed-agenda couples who'd gone through discernment counseling. Results showed that 47% opted for reconciliation, 41% moved to separate or divorce, and the rest stayed married as they were. When the researchers followed up two years later, just under half the couples who had tried to reconcile had gotten divorced, and most of the others had reconciled.

This study is one of the only pieces of research on discernment counseling — as a standalone treatment for couples on the brink of divorce, it hasn't been around that long.

But Kathryn Smerling, A New York City-based psychotherapist who helps couples going through divorce, told me that it's something she typically incorporates into traditional couples therapy. Before diving into therapy, she said, she sees each partner separately — and if one seems ambivalent, she'll offer a version of discernment counseling herself, rather than sending them to another specialist.

Couples who go through discernment counseling learn much about themselves, in addition to the marriage

Rachel Zamore, a marriage and family therapist and the founder of InnerWell Integrative Counseling and Couples Therapy in Vermont, told me her clients tend to be business leaders and "high-profile" people who want something "discreet and efficient." For one thing, she said, they don't want to run into a neighbor in the waiting room; for another, their busy schedules may not permit them to attend weekly couples therapy for an open-ended time period.

sad couple having coffeeIn addition to discernment counseling in her office, Zamore also guides couples on private retreats, often in a location of their choosing.

Zamore characterized the discernment-counseling process as both practical and logical, and I could see what she meant: There's a limited time frame and a clear structure geared toward making a decision.

Yet discernment counseling also struck me as somewhat existentially freeing: There's no value judgment placed on staying together or going your separate ways, as long as you're making an informed decision.

After I spoke with Doherty, I picked up an article he'd published in 2015, in the magazine Psychotherapy Networker, about the journey that led him to discernment counseling. I read it with a highlighter and there were some pages that wound up almost entirely neon — passages that struck me as a reimagining of what modern marriage can and maybe should be.

One such passage: "Working at their marriage, even if it fails in the end, helps the spouses grow up, and maybe discover something invaluable about their relationship and about themselves that they might otherwise have missed."

It would seem then, as though discernment counseling is about more than just evaluating the viability of the marriage. It's also about using the marriage as a lens through which to view yourself — your strengths and your shortcomings that you may bring to other areas of your life, now and in the future.

This might sound hippy-dippy — no one ascends to the altar thinking they're about to embark on an introspective journey and a relationship that may or may not last. But for couples seriously considering splitting up, this idea has important practical implications as well.

In the Psychotherapy Networker article, Doherty recalls telling one woman who was considering divorcing her husband: "You have a lot of work ahead, whether you stay married or you divorce."

Successful discernment counseling is partly about learning not to make the same mistakes again

The way Zamore sees it, "working" on the marriage is immensely valuable, even if the relationship ultimately dissolves.

She told me, "Sometimes people say, ‘I can really see this in a different light now. I can see how I contributed to this. I can see how I've been saying it's because my spouse has been so critical of me; but I can see how my pulling away and shutting down has actually been so critical to this.'"

Even if they decide they don't have the emotional energy to restore this relationship to health, Zamore said, the person might think: "I can see how [my behavior] impacts my relationships with other people, like my kids. And this is something that I would probably carry with me into future relationships."

Through her work with couples in both discernment counseling and traditional couples therapy, Zamore has learned that people who accept the inevitability of change tend to do the best in relationships.

"Being able to embrace circumstances and experiences of our lives as an opportunity for growth and development as opposed to something that's either making us unhappy or making us happy," she said, is a key to relationship satisfaction. "We can have more agency than maybe we realize."

SEE ALSO: Couples fighting about how to raise kids aren't battling over parenting — they're having the same fight they always did

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