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There’s even more evidence that coffee is good for your heart — and 4 cups a day might be the ideal amount

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coffee drinking

  • For years scientists have traced a link between coffee drinking and heart health, but they weren't sure exactly why coffee is associated with so many health benefits.
  • A group of German researchers thinks they've found a possible answer, and it has to do with how the cells in our blood vessels react to caffeine.
  • They think the caffeine level required for optimal heart health is about four shots worth of espresso a day, though everyone's caffeine concentrations are going to be a little different.
  • Don't overdo it.

 

Four cups of strong coffee a day might be the recipe for a healthy heart, especially for older adults.

A team of German researchers, led by molecular biologists Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied, think they've discovered clues about how coffee works its caffeine-fueled magic on our heart health, and how much caffeine we should drink each day to see the best benefits.

By studying caffeinated lab mice and dosing human tissues with caffeine, they've discovered how a jolt of the stimulant could improve the way cells inside our blood vessels work — essentially, by making certain proteins inside older adult cells perform more like young and nimble ones. The study was released Thursday in the journal PLOS Biology.

"When you drink four to five cups of espresso," Altschmied told Business Insider, "that seems to improve the function of the powerhouses of our cells, and therefore, seems to be protective." 

Scientists have noticed for years that people who drink coffee seem to be less likely to die from all sorts of causes,  from heart disease and stroke to diabetes. Perhaps the best evidence for this yet comes from two massive studies: one National Institutes of Health study of more than 400,000 men and women in the US, and another of more than 500,000 Europeans. Both studies found that regular coffee drinkers were less likely to die from any cause than people who don't sip a daily brew.

Coffee is also associated with a whole host of other health benefits, including lower risk of liver disease (cirrhosis), a lower risk of developing certain kinds of cancer, lower rates of dementia and Alzheimer's, and a reduced risk of depression. It's also great for your heart — people who drink three or four cups a day are 19% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

Altschmied says he hopes his new study will debunk the old advice that people with heart problems shouldn't drink coffee, and he argues that drinking the equivalent of about four shots of espresso a day could help reduce the risk of heart attacks, especially in obese and pre-diabetic patients. 

"It will not replace other things. Keep on doing your sports, eat healthy, and add coffee to your diet," he said.

If you don't like the taste, green tea has similar levels of caffeine and could also be an effective way to boost heart health.

It's important not to overdo it with the new recommendation, since too much coffee can quicken your heartbeat and cause other health problems. But drinking up to six cups a day should be OK, cardiologists say, and may even reduce arrhythmias in patients with irregular heartbeats

One caveat: the study wasn't done in humans — only in human tissues and in lab mice. What works in a hyper-controlled mouse environment, dosed with very specific amounts of caffeine, may not be the same as what happens when you drink a cuppa joe at home.

"If I had four cups of espresso and you had four cups of espresso, we cannot guarantee that we reach the same level in the blood," Altschmied said. 

He also offers a note of caution: Because caffeine can make blood vessels grow, providing more oxygen to fuel tumors, the coffee-drinking advice might not hold for people who've been diagnosed with cancer.   

"Where people have a diagnosed tumor, we would say better take your hands off the coffee,"Altschmied warned. "But if you're otherwise healthy, it will not harm you, and it might help your heart and circulatory system stay better functional for a longer time."

SEE ALSO: How to look and feel healthier in one month, according to science

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what caffeine does to your body and brain

How insects are trained for TV and movies

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Movies will often use live bugs on camera instead of CGI to make their story feel more real and to get your skin crawling. But getting these insects to do what you want requires lots an understanding of how they function.  That's where Steven Kutcher comes in. He's an entomologist who has worked with insects on over 100 major projects including "Spider-Man, "Arachnophobia," and "Jurassic Park."  We spoke with Kutcher about how he gets these tiny actors to do what the directors want and how no one gets hurt during the production. Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood are some of the smallest creatures on the planet. Real live insects like spiders, locusts, and butterflies play crucial roles in many memorable blockbuster films. But getting them to perform on camera is no easy task.

Steven Kutcher: Rosie, lift up your leg. This leg. Come on. Oh see, she did this one. Oh, there she goes. And that's just a little trick of putting a little pressure on her back leg that causes her front leg to come up.

Narrator: That's Steven Kutcher. He's an entomologist and the go to guy for all things bugs in Hollywood. He's worked with a variety of insects on over 100 films in his career including "Arachnophobia," "Jurassic Park," and "Spider-Man."

Kutcher: Understanding insect behavior is really the key. It's not training them because you don't have time to train them in the film industry. When you work with insects, you wanna corral the insects. You wanna be able to control them.

Narrator: He's used a number of different techniques to get the bugs to move in the right direction involving lights, air, and temperature.

Kutcher: Let's say you're a bug. How can I make you move? Well, I could blow air at you, like 60 miles an hour air. You're going to move. I could light a little fire under you or set you on something that's really hot. You're gonna get up out of your seat and move. I could chill down the room. 

Narrator: For example, let's take a look at one of the most famous and terrifying spider films of all time, "Arachnophobia."

Kutcher: The great thing about that film was it was before CGI. So we had to do everything real except for one shot.

Narrator: He devised a clever yet simple rig to get all the spiders where they needed to be.

Kutcher: They would say, "We want a spider to crawl into a slipper "from four feet away." So I came up with this idea of invisible vibrating wires. Chance of vibrating wires that you couldn't see, the camera couldn't see. But I could make the spider go directly to the spot I wanted it to go.

Narrator: Kutcher's first big Hollywood gig was on the "Exorcist II" and it involved working with three thousand live locusts.

Kutcher: There's a scene where James Earl Jones has to look at a cage of locusts and the locusts were all on the ground. But how do you move hundreds of locusts up on the screen? I said, "Get a light, a studio light that gives off heat "and shining against the side of the cage." And they did and all the locusts moved up onto the cage to be near the heat. Then they took the light away.

Narrator: In "Jurassic Park," Kutcher was the man responsible for the iconic dead mosquitoes in amber.

Kutcher: So it's supposed to be a mosquito. First, it's really a crane fly. And I put antenna from another insect on the crane fly. I took a bent insect pin and made it for its mouth part. I created the wings.

Narrator: And he worked with a live mosquito in the DNA Explainer video.

Kutcher: So I would chill the mosquito down so that it wouldn't move. And then I would drip honey on it. And then it got tumbled down with the honey.

Narrator: In the 2002 movie "Spider-Man," there's a scene where Peter Parker first gets bitten. Kutcher was actually above Toby McGuire with a paint brush.

Kutcher: And what the spider will do is it will crawl along the edge until it reaches this part and then it will hang on. And I would just tap it like this which would cause the spider to web down.

Narrator: While he says he rarely ever gets bitten or stung, he takes precautions to protect the other human actors. In "Roadhouse 66," Judge Reinhold is driving a car and I had to have a scorpion crawl over his shoulder. So I put a little cap on the scorpion's stinger that looked like the stinger so it wouldn't hurt him.

Narrator: And there's also a rule on set that no bugs are hurt during production. - In making of a movie, you can't harm a cockroach, or a fly, or a maggot. But if the fly flies to craft service, you can swat it. 

Narrator: He can get some of his bugs from pet suppliers, but most he goes out and collects himself. And Kutcher's home is also full of bugs, by choice.

Kutcher: Right now, I have mosquitoes, crane flies, caterpillars in my refrigerator. The world is filled with people who do not like insects which is a great opportunity to teach those people the joys and wonders of all of the arthropods in the world and how you can relate to them. And when you understand how they work, the world is a better place.

Kutcher: To make the spider go, I just tap her back legs. And this gets her to crawl up. To make her stop, I cover her eyes. She has eight eyes. She's just looking for a dark place.

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The guy who runs Trump’s social media is the staffer who's been around the longest — he started as Trump's caddie — but rumors are swirling he could be leaving soon

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dan scavino

There's only one White House staffer who's not family that's been in President Donald Trump's orbit since the early days of the campaign: social media director Dan Scavino.

But the The New York Times reported he could be one of several aides looking to leave the White House later this year.

When former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks' departed the administration in March, Scavino became Trump's longest-serving aide. But he has been by Trump's side since way before his 2016 campaign began.

His relationship with Trump runs all the way back to 1990, when a 16-year-old Scavino was hand-picked to be Trump's caddie. Since that chance selection, Scavino has rocketed high into the ranks of Trump's communications team, and today is part of a small group of people in charge of the White House's messaging.

Here's how Scavino went from cleaning clubs to managing Trump's social media:

SEE ALSO: White House social media director tried to warn people about Hurricane Irma but accidentally tweeted video of wrong storm

DON'T MISS: Hope Hicks reportedly crafted some of Trump's most savage Twitter insults

Scavino's family hails from northern Italy. His great-grandfather entered the US through Ellis Island in the early 1900s and soon settled in New York City.

Source: Politico Magazine



After Trump began criticizing what he called "chain migration," many pointed out that Scavino's family itself had came to the US through this process. After his ancestor Vittorio came to New York in 1904, other members of his family followed over the next few years.

Sources: Politico Magazine, Business Insider



Scavino was born in 1976 and grew up in the New York City metropolitan area.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Chipotle is testing a milkshake and a take on 'avocado toast' as the struggling chain enters a new era (CMG)

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Chipotle Tostada

  • Chipotle is now serving new items including a chocolate milkshake, avocado tostadas, and quesadillas in its New York City test kitchen. 
  • The tests represent a new strategy for the chain, which long resisted adding new menu items.

 

Chipotle is rolling out a new batch of menu items at a New York City test location as the chain enters a new era. 

Chipotle Quesadilla

The burrito chain announced on Thursday that it is adding new items to its test kitchen menu, including quesadillas, avocado tostadas (which an executive called Chipotle's take on avocado toast), and a chocolate milkshake.

Executives also said that the chain is moving closer to making nachos — which were introduced as a test item last November— available nationally. 

The onslaught of test items represents a shift in strategy for Chipotle. The chain has long resisted adding new menu items, in contrast to the larger fast-food industry's reliance on limited-time and new items to drive traffic. Now, as the company tries to recover from an E. coli scandal from more than two years ago, Chipotle seems to be coming around to a strategy used by Taco Bell. 

"There will be a lot more fun stuff coming out," Chipotle's research and development chef, Chad Blauze, told Business Insider. 

"We have a whole repertoire coming out in 2018 and 2019," Blauze continued, saying that the chain has also been exploring new dessert options. 

Chipotle Chocolate MilkshakeChipotle's chief marketing officer, Chris Brandt, said on Thursday that the chain will look for three qualifications when crafting new menu items: if they're in demand (such as nachos), if they were something customers used to like that has been removed from the menu (like chorizo, which is not currently on the test menu), and if they're like nothing else in the industry (such as the avocado tostada). 

With items such as the tostada and the milkshake, Chipotle is entering unfamiliar territory.

The tostada, which will be priced at slightly over $3 at the Manhattan location, is more of a snack than a meal. It's a departure from Chipotle's assembly-line meal preparation that is geared toward burritos, tacos, and bowls. And, the idea of Chipotle serving a milkshake is something that few would expect from a chain that has worked exceedingly hard to elevate itself from fast-food rivals. 

Chipotle Nachos

Still, don't expect Chipotle to go full fast food any time soon. 

"I didn't want it to be McDonald's, I didn't want it to be the Frosty. I wanted it to be ours," Brauze said of the slightly spicy milkshake, which contains hints of cardamon and chipotle chili. 

Chipotle is undergoing a period of intense change, with a number of executives leaving the chain, and Brian Niccol, previously CEO of Taco Bell, stepping into the role of Chipotle's CEO in March. Taco Bell experienced a period of impressive growth under Niccol's leadership, as the CEO pushed for more creative marketing and wild new menu items such as the Naked Chicken Chalupa.

SEE ALSO: Chipotle has started adding drive-thrus — but there is a huge catch

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

Meet Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security chief at the center of the controversy over family separations at the US-Mexico border

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Kirstjen Nielsen

Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen has become the face of the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy, making her a divisive figure in the process.

Nielsen was criticized after claiming the policy was not the catalyst for the separation of migrant families at the US-Mexico border, especially after she then defended the detainment of migrant children who'd been taken from their parents or guardians.

According to Homeland Security numbers, roughly 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their families in a recent six week period.

Nielsen has assured the public these children are being well taken care of, but that hasn't stopped protesters from targeting her over the Trump administration's immigration policies — and calling for her resignation.

Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order he claimed would end the separation of children from their parents or guardians at the border.

But immigration lawyers, among others, have criticized the language of the order and claim it still offers the federal government wiggle room to separate families.

As the immigration crisis and the backlash surrounding it continue, here's a look at Nielsen's history and how she rose to become Homeland security chief and the poster-child of the zero-tolerance policy:

SEE ALSO: A growing number of lawmakers are calling on Kirstjen Nielsen to resign

DON'T MISS: Immigration lawyers warn Trump's executive order still gives the government plenty of wiggle room to keep separating parents from their children

Kirstjen Nielsen was born on May 14, 1972 in Colorado. But she grew up in Florida, where she ran cross-country, played soccer, and was student body president.

Source: UVA Law



Nielsen's parents, Phyllis Michele Nielsen and James McHenry Nielsen, were both Army doctors. Her mother passed away in 2011, but her father is still alive and attended her swearing-in as Department of Homeland Security secretary.

Source: Heavy.com



Nielsen thought she might want to become a diplomat and attended Georgetown University's school of foreign service and studied abroad in Japan. She then worked for Sen. Connie Mack of Florida for two years before heading to law school at the University of Virginia.

Source: UVA Law



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Herpes may play a role in developing Alzheimer's, a new study suggests — reigniting a controversial theory about what causes the disease

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alzheimers brain scan

  • A new study has found that the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease had twice the level of herpes virus than those without.
  • This helps resurrect an old theory that Alzheimer's could be caused by one or many viruses accumulating in the brain.
  • Alzheimer's remains a mystery, but researchers are confident the new study opens up avenues for finding the cause.


Nobody really knows what causes Alzheimer's disease. But with someone in the world developing dementia every three seconds, according to Alzheimer's Disease International, there's a lot of research going on to try and figure it out.

A new study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, published in the journal Neuron, has reignited a controversial theory about what causes the neurodegenerative disease by studying the brains of people from three different brain banks.

The researchers found that the 622 brains from people who had signs of Alzheimer's had twice the level of herpes virus present than the 322 from people who did not.

"The title of the talk that I usually give is, 'I Went Looking for Drug Targets and All I Found Were These Lousy Viruses,'" said geneticist Joel Dudley, one of the authors of the study.

"We didn't set out to find what we found. Not even close. We were trying to find drugs that could be repurposed to treat Alzheimer's patients, but the patterns that emerged from our data-driven analysis all pointed towards these viral biology themes."

The theory that viruses could contribute to the development of dementia arose in the 1950s. It was hypothesised that Alzheimer's was a "slow virus disease," where one or several viruses steadily degraded the neurological processes in the brain after decades of lying dormant.

In more recent years, dementia researchers have leaned towards the amyloid hypothesis — where sticky plaques made from amyloid proteins accumulate outside nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain, potentially killing or blocking them.

But a study in 2014, published in the journal Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, found that this theory might have been wrong all along. The paper examined over a decade of clinical trials of drugs that targeted amyloid plaques, and found them to have a failure rate of 99.6%.

Since then, the old viral hypothesis has had a new lease of life. And the new research did find human herpes virus DNA and RNA were both more abundant in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The two strains they found most strongly associated with the disease were HHV-6A and HHV-7, which were not as prevalent in the brains of people with different neurodegenerative disorders.

Also, the researchers were able to show how viral and human genes interacted, and that genes associated with increased Alzheimer's risk were impacted by the viral DNA.

"I don't think we can answer whether herpes viruses are a primary cause of Alzheimer's disease," said Dudley. "But what's clear is that they're perturbing networks and participating in networks that directly accelerate the brain towards the Alzheimer's topology."

Another possibility is that the two theories are both at work. It might be that viruses may in some way interact with human DNA and stimulate the growth of amyloid plaques. Researchers also found in the new study that the herpes virus was involved in networks that regulate the generation of amyloid proteins.

While the findings help potentially open the door for new therapies, nothing has fundamentally changed about how to treat Alzheimer's for now, said another of the authors Sam Gandy. Also, HHV-6A and HHV-7 are extremely common viruses, often not having any symptoms. In fact, in North America, approximately 90% of children have at least one of the strains in their blood in their early lives.

"Similar to other studies in this area, while this is robust research, it could not prove that the viruses actually were responsible for the disease," said James Pickett, the head of research at Alzheimer's Society. "It therefore doesn't change what we already know about the causes of dementia, doesn't mean that having cold sores put you at increased risk of getting it and people shouldn't be unduly worried."

There's likely to be a lot of different and complicated mechanisms at play in developing Alzheimer's, which is why it has been such a challenging disease for scientists to understand. But the authors of the new study are hopeful that resurrecting the viral hypothesis can help them explore new avenues.

"All these Alzheimer's brains in these separate, major brain banks have previously unsuspected substantial populations of herpesvirus genomes and that deserves an explanation wherever it falls in the pathogenesis," Gandy said. "It doesn't deserve to just be brushed away."

SEE ALSO: Brain injuries can cause some people to become violent criminals and pedophiles — here's what scientists know so far about why that is

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why 'moist' is one of the most hated words in the English language

The 9 mistakes people make when buying, ordering, and drinking coffee — and what to do instead

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Will Corby, Head of Coffee

  • Business Insider spoke to Will Corby, Head of Coffee at Pact, to find out what bad habits we're keeping.
  • He said people should treat coffee like vegetables and bread rather than a long-term product.
  • He also explained why cheap instant coffee should be a red flag.

 

Whether it's choosing the wrong glass for your wine or abiding by old-school whisky rules, we make mistakes every day when it comes to how we eat and drink.

And buying and making coffee is no exception.

To find out what we're doing wrong when we buy, order, and drink it, Business Insider spoke to Will Corby, head of coffee at Pact Coffee, a London startup that delivers freshly roasted and ground coffee by post.

Corby has been working in the coffee industry for 12 years, has won and judged global barista awards, ran his own coffee shops, and also has experience roasting.

"For the past 12 years, I've specialised in the absolute pinnacle of coffee quality and optimising the process of growing it, shipping it, importing it, brewing it," he said. 

He's also been a head judge — appointed by the Colombian government — for the Colombian National Quality Competition for the past two years.

Now at Pact Coffee, he works on relationships with coffee founders to "develop practices, and increase quality and production in a sustainable manner," he said.

"We want to show the coffee in the best light we can, brew the coffee in the best possible way, [and] provide it to [people] in a way that makes it easy."

However, he said there's a lot of steps that go into making sure people have a good cup of coffee every day — and there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you're getting the most out of your java.

1. Not buying it fresh like you would vegetables or bread...

Pact Coffee 1

"If you walk into a supermarket in the UK, coffee is treated like a dried fruit," Cory said. "You find it in an aisle with cereal, dried peas, long-life things."

However, he explained, coffee isn’t really a long-life product.

"One of the key things to explore is to drink your coffee really fresh," he said. "Think about it like fresh bread or vegetables."

One of the ways to do this is through a service like Pact, which sends out the coffee the day after it's been roasted, or from a local coffee shop or roaster.

2. ...Then keeping it for longer than a month

Coffee in the UK tends to be sold in 250g bags, according to Corby, which typically makes 13, 14, or 15 cups of coffee.

"That's about two-week supply if you drink it every day," he said, the ideal timeframe.

"You could be drinking it up to a month after it's been ground, but you’ll notice a drop off in the quality," he said. "After a month, it will begin to taste stale."

He added that every time you open and close the bag, you’re "allowing the aromatics to escape," meaning your coffee is losing its flavour.

3. Not making sure your grind size is consistent

You can usually buy whole beans or ground coffee suited for a cafetiere, drip, or a stove-top.

While this means you can successfully brew coffee in any of these methods, he said getting a consistent grind size is the real way to get a "really good brew" out of any method.

"Relatively small particles are going to over-extract, and make coffee taste more bitter than it should," he said.

Meanwhile, he added that large particles "add a [taste] that feels like acidity, which isn’t very pleasant."

A "mish-mash" of both will provide "an astringent flavour," according to Corby.

"You need to buy coffee that is ground quite specifically for the brew method you’re going to use to do it," he said.  "Once you have particles your own size, brew the coffee."

4. Letting it brew for less than 4 minutes...

Most people in the UK use a cafetiere to brew their coffee — and it's important not to rush the process.

"If the grind size is perfect, ideally you want it to brew for four minutes, very slowly pushing it down through the cafetiere," Corby said.

5. ...And forgetting to decant what you don't drink straight away

coffee in cafetiere

While the idea of making your way through a cafetiere full of coffee might seem like a luxury, Corby said you should always take all liquid out after you've pushed it through, and decant whatever you're not drinking immediately into a different vessel.

"While the coffee’s sat in the cafetiere, it will keep brewing and start to taste bitter," he said.

He said if you want coffee that has "delicious flavours," it's easier to taste them if you use a brew method that has a paper filter rather than metal, like a cafetiere.

He said metal "prevents you from detecting different tastes within the coffee."

6. Using a less-than-clean cafetiere

Often, people make a fresh pot of coffee without fully cleaning out their cafetiere from the last batch.

"You’ve got to keep it clean," Corby said. "You don’t want to have any old coffee in there — it's just going to add bad flavour to the coffee."

He said the V60 drip coffee maker has become popular because "you can brew coffee relatively quickly, and it's faster to clean... you can just chuck the paper in the bin."

7. Adding milk and sugar when you don't need it

"As a company, we’re very open to people using milk and sugar," Corby said. However, he explained that most people only add these to make up for having bad coffee in the first place.

"Sugar balances out bitterness which you get by over-roasting it, and milk helps to [hide] defects still showing up in the coffee," he said.

"Taking milk and sugar is not a bad thing, it covers up bad flavours coming in the coffee.

"However, if you buy coffee from a great roaster or someone roasting a bit lighter, if you taste it before you put milk and sugar in, you might find it doesn't need those two things."

8. Buying instant for a cheap, easy fix

instant coffee

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Corby recommends staying away from instant coffee — and he has a few good reasons.

"Instant coffee is very cheap," he said. "If you were to extrapolate out the cost of a bag of 250g of beans used to produce instant coffee, the price of the beans is extremely low."

However, he added that the process used to produce instant coffee is "extremely technical and costly" involving high-pressure brewing methods and freeze-drying.

"It’s not a cheap product to make, but you find instant coffee cheap on the shelf," he said. "If you can buy coffee that cheap, there’s a lot of things wrong with the supply chain — including what’s being paid to the farmer and the quality of beans."

He added: "I can't even think of a bottle of wine still being sold that's as low-quality as instant coffee."

While he says the UK is one of the few markets in the world still consuming instant coffee, there's a shift in the way people are drinking.

"I do think that we're moving away from it as a nation," he said. "It's a positive move, [both] looking at how it impacts farmers and how it impacts consumers — it just brings a much better cup of coffee by buying beans or ground."

9. Not knowing how much caffeine you're consuming

If you're having a daily cup of joe, you may want to avoid going overboard — but most people view caffeine the wrong way.

"One really common misconception is that espresso has the highest extraction of caffeine you can drink, so people looking for a caffeine hit might run to a coffee shop and buy a double espresso," he said. "In actual fact, it just has a dense hit of caffeine.

"If you plan on drinking 200ml of liquid, and you think 'I’m going to drink a double espresso and a bottle of water,' or 200ml of filter coffee, you get more caffeine from the filter coffee because of the time it takes to brew."

He explained: "Caffeine goes into coffee in relation to the time coffee takes to brew rather than the pressure and density with which it brews."

coffee drinking man

SEE ALSO: The biggest mistake people make when drinking wine is choosing the wrong glass — here's exactly how to drink Bordeaux, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot noir

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What humans will look like on Mars

We share 80 million bacteria when we kiss each other — here's why we enjoy it anyway

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couple kissing

  • Kissing each other is one of the most popular ways we show each other affection.
  • However, we transfer around 80 million bacteria for every 10 seconds of kissing.
  • Happy National Kissing Day.


Kissing is one of our favourite disgusting activities.

Looking at it objectively, sharing saliva with someone else is a pretty gross thing to do. In fact, we transfer approximately 80 million bacteria for every ten seconds we're kissing each other.

The majority of these germs are totally benign, so it's nothing to worry about.

But it's still weird to think about inviting someone to share their spit with you — so why do we do it?

First of all, it makes us feel good. Our lips are packed full of receptor cells, which make them very sensitive. In fact, along with fingertips, they are thought to have the highest concentrations of receptor cells.

When you enjoy kissing someone, these receptors shoot signals to your brain, and you release chemicals like dopamine, which fuels your reward system, and makes you want to carry on kissing.

Endorphins, your body's natural painkillers, are also released, which enhance the feeling of pleasure. If it's a really good kiss, your brain may also release oxytocin, the "love hormone," which makes us feel warm and cuddly, and increases our attachment to the other person.

Male saliva contains measurable amounts of testosterone, which could also increase your libido (if you're kissing a man.)

Dr Sarah Johns, an expert in human reproduction and evolutionary psychology at the University of Kent, told The Independent that as well as being an emotion-driven act, kissing helps us pick our most compatible partner.

"Humans don't have strong olfactory skills and kissing allows you to smell and taste a person and see if you have different immune responses as we tend to feel more attracted to someone with a different immune response," she said.

"The major histocompatibility complex is detectable in body odour, so by kissing and tasting someone it gives the opportunity to assess how similar or different that individual is to you biochemically."

In other words, somehow your body may be able to detect whether reproducing with the person you're kissing would be an evolutionary risk or not.

She added that feeling arousal can inhibit feelings of disgust, meaning we don't necessarily think of all the gross things we're doing while we're doing them, because we're too turned on.

Nobody really knows where kissing came from

There's some debate about whether we started kissing each other for cultural reasons, or if it's something we evolved to do biologically.

About 90% of human populations kiss in some way or another, with the majority of others doing similar things in replacement such as rubbing noses, suggesting it could be something instinctual.

Kissing also isn't unique to humans. Primates such as bonobos often kiss each other, and cats and dogs lick and groom one another.

Some scientists believe that kissing could have evolved from "kiss-feeding" behaviours, which is when mothers pass food from their own mouths to their offspring. Birds still do this with their chicks. One theory is that over time, pressing lips became known as an act of caretaking and love.

According to evolutionary psychologists at the University of Albany, the way men and women feel about kissing can differ quite significantly.

In a study of 1,041 college students, the researchers found that women placed more emphasis on kissing, seeing it more as a deal-breaker. They were more likely than men to insist on kissing before having sex, and emphasising the importance of kissing during and after sexual encounters.

Men were more happy to have sex without kissing, and weren't that bothered about whether their partner was a good kisser or not. They were also more likely than women to initiate french kissing (with tongues.)

So whether it's an evolutionary thing, or just something we've picked up, humans really enjoy kissing. It might be gross on paper, but it looks like the benefits outweigh the costs on this one.

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 31 hotels everyone should stay at in their lifetime, according to the man who tests them out for a living

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Philippe Kjellgren

Every globetrotter has a bucket list of must-travel destinations — but sometimes the hotel is the draw in and of itself.

Philippe Kjellgren, the founder of PK's List, knows this more than most.

Originally the founder of luxury hotel website Kiwi Collection, Swedish-born Kjellgren has written seven travel/hotel books, runs a travel advisory service for high-profile clients, as well as a newly-launched hotel app— and he's currently on an 800 day trip around the world to visit over 1,000 of the world’s best hotels across all seven continents.

He was flying from Tokyo to Sydney when he spoke to Business Insider, and says that he has so far visited "most of Africa, all of Asia" and is "now heading [to] the Pacific, then the Americas after that."

The goal? To visit the best hotels on the planet in person so that users of his app know every one has been personally vetted by him.

"I decided to travel for 800 days non-stop, for two and a half years, and I'm on day 400-and-something," he told Business Insider, adding that he's already been to most of the hotels in the past, but "had to go back and prove I've been there."

"I'm travelling the world visiting the hotels, proving it through social media, then adding them to the app," he said.

The app — which costs $99 per year — allows users to search for anywhere in the world and see which hotels Kjellgren personally recommends within their budget.

"You can press call or email and contact them directly," he said, adding that it's "all my research in your pocket."

Kjellgren said he grew up travelling, and had been to about 100 countries by the age of 25. Now, he says he's personally stayed in about 2,000 hotels in 139 countries.

After constantly being asked for advice, he decided to start a bespoke travel advisory service after leaving Kiwi Collection — where he is still a shareholder — a few years ago, and now caters to three tiers of business. The top tier is invitation-only for "ultra-high net worths" including royals, according to Kjellgren, who says they pay him a retainer to help with travel advice and work his connections and access.

He has a team in London and people "scattered all over the world" — and claims to have personal relationships with "about 3,000 general managers in about 130 countries."

Still, he says he's "not the type of person who only stays in super high-end hotels" — although he says "not every hotel is great."

We asked Kjellgren for his pick of the absolute best hotels on the planet that everyone should visit in their lifetime.

Scroll down to see his bucket list selection, ranked in ascending order by the starting cost per night.

Ice Hôtel, Sweden — from £124 per room, per night.

This is "the original Icehotel, located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden — 200 km north of the Arctic Circle," according to Kjellgren. "This is a world famous hotel and an art exhibition made of ice and snow."



Taj Lake Palace, India — from £214 per room, per night.

"Voted the most romantic in the world, it’s the only hotel that’s on the lake and became world renowned when the James Bond film ‘Octopussy’ was filmed at it."



Dolder Grand, Switzerland — from £313 per room, per night.

"History and design perfectly merged in one, this very classic hotel [took] four years of renovation under the direction of famed British architect Lord Norman Foster," Kjellgren said.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside notoriously ritzy Gangnam, 'the Beverly Hills of South Korea' that's home to the country's biggest celebrities

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Gangnam

  • The Gangnam district is known as "South Korea's Beverly Hills" for its exorbitant real-estate prices and wealthy residents.
  • Property in Gangnam is three and a half times as expensive as South Korea's real-estate average.
  • The Gangnam neighborhoods of Cheongdam and Apgujeong are full of luxury fashion houses, plastic-surgery clinics, high-end real estate, and the homes of many Korean celebrities.
  • PSY's international song "Gangnam Style" famously lampooned the wealthy district, which has an outsized reputation in Korean culture.

Ever since PSY's international mega-hit "Gangnam Style" in 2012, people all over the world have heard the name of Seoul's most affluent district.

But few know what the area called "the Beverly Hills of South Korea" is actually like.

While the district is an economic hub for some of the most powerful companies globally, including Google, IBM, and Toyota, its real heart is its residential areas, where the deposit to rent a home costs 10 years of salary for the average Korean.

Living in Gangnam — and more specifically living in the Gangnam neighborhoods of Cheongdam-dong and Apgujeong-dong — is a status symbol that many Koreans aspire to. Cheongdam-dong and Apgujeong-dong are home to many Korean actors, actresses, and idols, miles of luxury retail, a wild nightlife, and Korea's biggest entertainment companies.

I recently took a walk through Cheongdam-dong and Apgujeong-dong to get a feel for what life is like in Korea's most affluent district. Here's what it was like:

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Gangnam is in Seoul, south of the Han River, which cuts through the center of the city. It is one of many bridges in the city that connects Gangnam with the neighborhoods north of the Han, including downtown.



Cheongdam-dong in southern Seoul is one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods. In 1967, it was full of pear orchards, but, starting in the late 1970s, it began to be developed into a district for the emerging superrich.

Source: Korea Herald



I started my tour of Gangnam on Apgujeong Rodeo Street. The street, named for its similarity to Los Angeles' Rodeo Drive, is a high-end shopping road featuring luxury brands, as well as many secondhand boutiques. Don't expect to find a bargain at the boutiques, though — they are super expensive.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Stephen Colbert mocks Melania Trump's decision to wear the 'I really don't care, do u?' jacket

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  • Stephen Colbert joked on Thursday about First Lady Melania Trump's wearing of a jacket that read, "I really don't care, do u?," to visit immigrant children in Texas whom the Trump administration has separated from their parents.
  • "I’m going to guess this is one message she did not steal from Michelle Obama," Colbert said.

Stephen Colbert took apart the Trump administration's decision to send First Lady Melania Trump, whom Colbert referred to as Trump's "most high-profile detainee," to visit the immigrant children whom the administration has separated from their parents in Texas as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration. 

"When I heard she was doing this, I thought, okay! This is what First Ladies often do. You go to a troubled area. They see the children. They show that we care. You can’t mess that up," Colbert said on Thursday's "Late Show."

"Guess what? I spoke too soon," he added.

After assuring the audience that his show had repeatedly verified the image "because we thought this has to be fake," Colbert showed pictures of Melania, en route to the detention centers, wearing a jacket that read, "I really don't care, do u?" 

Colbert noted that the First Lady's spokeswoman said in a statement that the jacket had "no hidden message." 

"Right, it's definitely not hidden," Colbert joked. "It's right on the back. And, I'm going to guess this is one message she did not steal from Michelle Obama."

The "Late Show" host then wondered how many staffers would have been fired for such an incident in a previous administration.

"Because, in the middle of the worst moral scandal in recent memory – so bad that her husband backed down for the first time in memory – people who were supposedly on her side let her get on a plane with a jacket that said, 'I really don't care, do you?'"

"For the record: We do," Colbert added.

Watch the monologue below:

SEE ALSO: Melania Trump flew to Texas to visit immigrant children wearing a jacket that says 'I really don't care, do u?'

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I got my handwriting analyzed by an expert, and what she could tell about my personality was surprisingly accurate

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  • Handwriting analysts believe that your style of writing can reveal aspects of your personality.
  • I had a professional handwriting analyst look at my handwriting and tell me what she saw.
  • As it turns out, much of her analysis was spot-on, although I'm not completely convinced.


Some people claim that your handwriting is a window into your personality — that every one of your loops, crosses, and dots can reveal something about yourself.

There's an entire science behind handwriting analysis, called graphology, and it's used by everyone from marriage counselors to potential employers. Supposedly, it can even reveal the vulnerable sides of some of the most powerful and successful people in the country.

Whether graphology is legit has been up for debate for years, so I wanted to put it to the test. I enlisted certified graphologist Elaine Charal, who offered to analyze my handwriting and give me a free personality report. Then, I showed the results to three people who know me well — my sister Sara, my roommate Michael, and my longtime friend Christine — and had them judge whether her assessment was accurate.

First, here's the handwriting sample I sent Charal, in all its chicken scratch glory:

handwriting

One day later, Charal wrote back to me with a detailed, 11-paragraph summary of what she saw in my handwriting. Here are some of the highlights, as well as commentary from my three trusty associates:

"All of your script is vertical slanted, indicating poise, objectivity and your ability to remain (outwardly) calm under pressure … if you don't want anyone to see that you're upset, no one will see it."

Sara: I would agree with this. You are calm most of the time and so I know that if you are visibly upset or angry, it's because of something big or something important to you. 

Christine: I would agree that you always try to remain calm and objective, especially if you're riled up on the inside. Unless it's about sports, or something very silly, then you are totally fine showcasing every hyperbolic note of joy and sorrow.

Michael: I have noticed (see: Eagles playoff run) that you tend to pace a bit when you are nervous/excited.

Me: My sister [Sara] would know! I keep a straight face in most situations, and when I do get animated I even surprise myself sometimes. But as Christine and Michael mentioned, when it comes to sports, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

"Your stick-like l's indicate you to be result-oriented." 

Christine: You do love it when things are measurable and numbers-driven (like Scrabble and baseball!) but you don't live and die by results in your own life.

Sara: You've always seemed more concerned with exploration, experience, and living in the moment over the future and what the outcome will be.

Michael: I'd say so.

Mark: While this piece of analysis made me slightly self-conscious about my l's, I'm not sure it's on the mark as far as my personality goes. Christine and Sara said it best, I usually care more about the process of finding an answer than getting it right, and I try not to measure success purely by the outcome.

unnamed copy

"A few of your t-bars are crossed in the lower portion of your t-stems, indicating you are likely capable of much more than you realize! This is a protection stroke: you may tend to unconsciously keep your aspirations modest so that you don't disappoint yourself or others."

Christine: Oh, snap... Dude, she might be right.

Sara: I'm not sure if you realize this, but I agree. 

Me: I never noticed before that I seem to cross my t's halfway down the t, and sometimes even lower. The bit about my personality is fair — I do find it more practical to set low expectations and exceed them rather than come up short of a big goal. I am very curious to know whether those two elements are actually related.

"A good number of your a's resemble o's, indicating you work hard and make it look easy."

Sara: This is absolutely true.

Christine: Not only does this describe you, but it's also the mark of a true hustler.

Me: Dope! Thanks Sara and Christine.

"Your word spacing is quite wide (where you can fit two or more letters between the words), indicating you are a 'free spirit' who needs 'elbow room' and won't appreciate being restricted or told what to do."

unnamed copy 3

Sara: Yes! This one is spot on. You get things done on your time and in your way and don't appreciate being pushed or instructed to do things someone else's way.

Christine: Very true, the expert has nailed that one.

Michael: Well now we're covering pretty much all of the personality types aren't we?

Me: Right again! It's very fair criticism to say that I resist when people tell me what to do — I'd much rather come up with the idea on my own or do things when I feel it's right. Although Michael's comment is valid, too. The analysis does seem to cover many different personality archetypes.

"The very wide loop in your d-stems in your signature and your printed name indicate some sensitivity to criticism. This can act as a desire for perfection."

unnamed copy 2

Michael: I interpret the desire differently. I think you enjoy discussions about finding an absolute truth … and the process of searching is often more fun than the outcome for you. I don't think you care as much about being perfect to avoid criticism, but rather to reach a neat conclusion to a discussion.

Me: I'm trusting my roommate on this one. I am definitely a perfectionist in some ways, and it's interesting to think that it could be in part because of a sensitivity to criticism. But I think a bigger factor is the value I place on precision and clarity, and my desire to see things through as closely as possible to how I imagined them.

Your signature (your public self) is slightly forward slanted, while your text (your private self) is vertical slanted. This suggests that while you project emotional responsiveness, you are actually a more private person.

Sara: I think this is pretty spot on … The amount someone knows about you correlates with how close you are to them.

Michael: This is somewhat true. I think you are a very outwardly emotional person, not afraid to hide excitement or how you are feeling in any moment. You also are pretty private in some aspects of your life, but I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

Christine: I would strongly agree with this. You are very open and gregarious while also keeping parts of yourself very private.

Me: We all seem to be in agreement here — I do tend to be a private person until I know someone better, but in the comfort of a bigger group I show a wider range of emotions.

Overall, I was impressed with Charal's analysis, especially the more specific details about my personality that wouldn't necessarily apply to just anyone. I remain a little skeptical that every single flourish of the pen can telegraph an aspect of someone's character. But if three people close to me agree can corroborate most of Charal's assessment, then there very well may be something real behind graphology, and I'd be willing to try my hand at it one more time.

SEE ALSO: Here's what handwriting analysts say about the signatures of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and 13 more successful people

DON'T MISS: What your handwriting says about you

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NOW WATCH: A writing coach explains how to properly use em dashes, ellipses, and parentheses

5 outrageous desserts in London, from a giant cookie pizza to a $130 ice cream cone

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  • Business Insider has covered a range of places in London where you can find the best desserts in town. 
  • Including places that serve a £99 ($130) ice cream with 24-karat edible gold to a pizza made of cookie dough. 
  • Below are our favourites which you can try out for yourselves.

 

London has a variety of spots for those that love to dine, especially if you're a fan of deserts. Here are some of our favourite places to visit for people with a sweet tooth. 

What-a-Melon ice cream at Dominique Andel Bakery: This watermelon flavoured ice cream comes served in a real slice of watermelon.

Cookie dough pizza at Blondies Kitchen: This 12-inch treat is the sweetest pizza in town. The vanilla base is covered with Nutella, peanut butter, chocolate chips and sprinkles. 

Avocado ice cream at Snowflake: This ice cream looks and resembles the look of avocados. It's called Avalato and is made from avocados, syrup and lemon juice. 

Billionaire's Soft Serve at Snowflake: Snowflake also serves this £99 behemoth, which has raspberry macarons, edible diamonds and 24-karat leaves and is filled with salted caramel gelato. 

Choco Kebab at Flavours Gelato: This restaurant sells a kebab made of white and milk chocolate. The kebab is carved down into thin shavings, which can be served on any dessert of your choice, from ice creams to pancakes.

Produced by David Ibekwe.  

 

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The 25 best rooftop bars in London in 2018, ranked by the price of a cocktail

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It's officially outdoor drinking season, which means one thing — time to hit the rooftop bars and patios.

While there are plenty to choose from in the capital, if you want to beat the crowds — and the steep price tags — it can be hard to know where to go.

Based on the opinions of Business Insider's London locals, we've rounded up the best rooftop bars in the city, ranked by the price of the most affordable cocktail.

Scroll down for the full list, ranked from cheapest to most splurge-worthy — and featuring some stunning views.

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 19 cheapest holiday destinations in Europe

Pergola, Paddington — £5.50.

"Pergola's rooftop isn't that glamourous, but it has a great selection of food and drink, with the likes of Patty and Bun burgers as one of the highlights. Their Peroni Spritz, a mix of Aperol, beer, grapefruit juice and prosecco, sounds like the sort of thing you'd throw together at a house party at 3 a.m., but is utterly delicious and a perfect summer drink." — Will Martin, Finance Reporter.

Find out more here.



Prince of Wales, Brixton — £6.50.

This busy two-level outdoor roof terrace is also a music venue — perfect for a night out with friends.

Find out more here.



Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch — £7.

"Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch changes theme twice a year — currently operating under a shisha-infused 'Morrocan Medina' experience. For when evenings turn into nights, the ground and basement floors also operate as a nightclub." — Tom Murray, Associate Social Media Editor

Find out more here.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I've walked 12,000 miles around the world as part of a 5-year, 7-continent adventure. Here's how I got started.

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travel world walk

  • At 26, Tom Turcich set out to travel the world on foot. 
  • He has planned a five-year, seven-continent journey called "The World Walk."
  • His travel plans have led him through 10,000 miles of territory across the US, Central, and South America over the course of two years.
  • He camps, and keeps his few possessions in a baby carriage.
  • In Texas, he adopted a dog named Savannah who walks with him.
  • After traveling through Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, and others, he is currently in Europe, and looking to head into Africa and then northeast into the plains of Mongolia.  

It took me two years to walk from New Jersey to Uruguay.

During those two years, I bribed my way through a Mexican checkpoint, saw the bodies of a gang execution in El Salvador, had the soles of my shoes melt off in Costa Rica, climbed the Colombian Andes, walked for months in the Peruvian and Chilean deserts, and nearly froze while camping at 15,000 feet.

I've been given food and shelter by complete strangers. I've learned Spanish. I've tried frog legs, guinea pig, alpaca, and the unparalleled Peruvian ceviche.

All this is only part of a much larger dream — a five-year, seven-continent walk around the world.

The madness which now possesses me emerged after a friend's death at seventeen. Like most teenagers, I assumed that all my friends and I would lead long and full lives, but in an instant, Ann Marie's was snuffed out. Her death scared the hell out of me. It left me in a fog, and it wasn't until discovering the film "The Dead Poets Society" that it lifted. "Seize the day" — that was the answer.

I would die, but while I was alive, I'd be damn sure to make the most of it.

I wanted to travel — that much I knew. But at seventeen, I had less than $1,000 in my bank account, so I needed to get creative. I figured walking would be the cheapest mode of travel, so I searched something along the lines of "walk the world" and discovered Steven Newman and Karl Bushby— one man who had already walked around the world, and another in the process of doing so.

Their stories planted the seed in my mind. Walking around the world would be a personal test, and allow me to experience it slowly and fully immersed. It would be a simple life, but one of discovery.

I wanted to leave immediately, but knew $1,000 wouldn't even get me started. So I went to college to study and buy myself time. I worked summers, I saved, and after I graduated, I lived at home to keep my expenses low.

By 25, I realized my window to begin The World Walk was closing. I couldn't live at home indefinitely, but if I moved out I'd be on a path of increasing responsibility: My apartment would become a house; my girlfriend, a wife; my job, a career.

Just a few steps down that path and The World Walk would be out of reach.

travel world walk day 1

So I made a break for it. I didn't have the money to pay for all five years of the walk, but it turned out getting started was all I needed.

The owner of Philadelphia Sign read an article about my plans, and because he knew Ann Marie personally, he agreed to give me a small stipend and donate a dollar a mile to Ann Marie's scholarship fund. 

I rolled the dice and struck double sixes: I had the support to see my dream through while raising money for a cause close to my heart.

So the day before my 26th birthday, I walked out my front door and began my epic 25,000 mile adventure.

At first, I could barely walk 15 miles a day. My legs ached and cramped. My feet blistered. I lost toenails. But over time, my legs grew stronger and my feet more calloused. Soon I was walking 24 miles a day without even feeling it.

Everything I owned I kept in the baby carriage I push.

world walk baby carriage

Initially, I brought too much, so I gave away the things I wasn't using with regularity — including a camp chair, Spanish flashcards, and spare fuel. Over the months I whittled down my possessions to a minimum. I had a tent and clothes and little else.

I slept behind churches or hid in the forest. Each night I'd be startled awake by a snapping twig or rustling leaves. Then I'd sit wide-eyed, waiting to spot someone lurking nearby. I continually thought how I'd sleep better if I had a dog.

After four months of walking, my cousin picked me up in Texas to take a three-week rest at her home in Austin. On my second day there, I adopted a puppy. 

SavInCart

Savannah was only three months old. She was mangy and had a paralyzing fear of cars. When I started walking again, she would only walk a few hundred feet before laying down and refusing to get up, so I had to push her in my cart. 

As the days went on, Savannah grew, and by the time we entered Mexico, she was walking 24-mile days and pawing at me to keep walking while I was passed out from exhaustion.

Campground beside the magdalena river, colombia

Our route from there was only loosely planned. I knew I wanted to get to Panama City, then from Bogotá to Montevideo, but I found there was no use detailing every last road. Locals warned me to avoid certain places, some roads were too narrow, and others stretches too barren. Our path adapted accordingly.

Each country made some aspects of walking easy and other aspects more challenging.

In Costa Rica, the heat prevented Savannah and me from walking past 10 a.m., but I could always find a place to sleep in the palm plantations.

travel world walk carriage

In Panama, road work on the Pan-American Highway meant walking over gravel, but also that I could expect a group of workers and cold water every 10 miles. In southern Perú, the road was so barren I'd be alone for days, but in turn I never worried about being found in the middle of the night.

travel world walk desert

From my front door to Montevideo, The World Walk was as complex and challenging as I could have hoped for.

Now Savannah and I are in Europe, on our way down to Africa, and then headed northeast to the plains of Mongolia. With 10,000 miles behind us, another 15,000 lay ahead.

For more information on Tom, visit theworldwalk.com. Follow along with The World Walk on Instagram.

SEE ALSO: A solo trip to Istanbul made me realize sightseeing isn't why we fall in love with a place

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Andre Agassi's troubled relationship with his coach led to a powerful new sports documentary you shouldn't miss

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love means zero showtime

  • The Showtime documentary "Love Means Zero" (airing Saturday) looks at the career of tennis coach Nick Bollettieri.
  • But the main focus of director Jason Kohn's movie is the relationship Bollettieri had with his star student, Andre Agassi.
  • Kohn talked to Business Insider about why he had to have a confrontational relationship with the coach to get the movie he wanted.


In the 1990s, there was no bigger coach in tennis than Nick Bollettieri. A charismatic motivator with an oversized ego, he also had a gift for molding raw talent into champions.

At his lauded tennis academy, he launched the careers of tennis legends like Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Mary Pierce, Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Anna Kournikova. By his count, 180 grand slam titles would come out of players he coached.

But his crown jewel was Andre Agassi. 

Nick Bollettieri Anna Kournikova Simon Bruty GettyComing to Bollettieri’s school as a teenager, Agassi instantly caught the coach’s eye because he was different. His attitude, his game, it all just shouted superstar. Bollettieri, yearning to be a star himself, put Agassi under his wing and the two became inseparable as his pupil became the hottest thing in the sport. 

However, the good times didn’t last forever. Following two grand slam wins with Agassi, in 1993 Bollettieri shockingly left the player he said he loved like a son. And if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough for Agassi, Bollettieri didn’t give a passionate face-to-face goodbye but instead ended it all via a letter to his star. The two have not been on speaking terms since. 

Now decades later, at the age of 86, Bollettieri agreed to sit down with documentary filmmaker Jason Kohn (“Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)”) to talk about it all. But “Love Means Zero” (airing on Showtime Saturday) is hardly a conventional sports documentary that looks back on the highlights of a legendary career. It’s hard hitting and full of confrontation — just like its subject. 

Kohn admits he didn’t have major aspirations for the project. In many ways he saw it as an opportunity to practice storytelling. Unlike his debut feature film, 2007’s “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet),” a complex telling of corruption and kidnapping in Brazil (it won the documentary grand jury prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival), Kohn could see from the start how to tell the story of Bollettieri: be as real as possible.


“The biggest learning opportunity was figuring out how do I make this into a real story,” Kohn told Business Insider. “How do I make this into a protagonist who has really clear specific goals and desires with very clear moments of conflict?”

And that was the initial challenge for Kohn: getting Bollettieri to come on board with his idea.

Nick Bollettieri Andre Agassi John Russell Getty
“I was extraordinarily concerned that if I wasn't able to get something real with Nick that this was just going to be a conventional sports documentary, and that was a genuine fear,” Kohn said. “Even though I knew what the story was I didn't mention to Nick that I knew exactly what the story was I wanted to tell. Rather than say, ‘I want to exclusively tell the story about his relationship with Andre,’ what I told him is I wanted to tell a family story and that I wanted to tell a story about surrogate fathers and sons and the relationships between his players. At that point Nick said to me, ‘Well, what about French Open 1989 when I chose [to coach] Andre [Agassi] over Jim [Courier]? They were both my boys.’ And I was like, ‘Nick, that's a wonderful idea!’ Meanwhile, that was the treatment that I had written.”

With Bollettieri on board with the story, the other challenge was figuring out if Agassi would participate in the movie. Initially, Kohn had the project set up as a “30 for 30” documentary at ESPN. But it became clear that the network was only interested in the movie if Agassi was involved. After a year of back-and-forth discussions with Agassi's manager, Kohn finally got the "no" — Agassi would not be in the movie (Showtime snatched it soon after). 

What Kohn realized in that moment was he had been free of a major restriction: working with a temperamental superstar. He changed his story treatment from a 60-minute documentary to a 90-minute feature doc and began tracking down Bollettieri’s former students. 


Kohn’s confidence in the project came from knowing how he wanted to structure the storytelling of Bollettieri and Agassi’s relationship — using the battle sequences from the Akira Kurosawa samurai classic “Ran” as a model for how to showcase three key Agassi matches — and capitalizing on the on-camera personality that Bollettieri would bring.


But the latter turned out to be more than what Kohn bargained for. In an attempt to get Bollettieri out of his usual soundbite speak, the result was constant arguments caught on camera between the two that aren't just entertaining to watch, but a refreshing subplot to the movie. As most sports documentaries are helmed by directors too busy gushing over their subjects to get them to be revealing, Kohn can be heard off camera pleading with Bollettieri to give him genuine answers to his questions.

Kohn said the key to the whole movie was that his producer Amanda Branson Gill had Bollettieri agree to sit down for two days of interviews. It was vital, because what Kohn realized was almost the entire first day was the famous coach doing the shtick he’d done for interviews for decades.


“I was getting very frustrated,” Kohn said. “Nick is self-mythologizing and when you're taking to people who are good storytellers and who have told the same story over and over and over again the actual story becomes extraordinarily detached from what actually happened. It was pretty boring.”

With visions of a conventional sports doc flashing before his eyes, Kohn at the end of the first day finally began to get Bollettieri out of his interview speak by confronting his subject on camera. Kohn said at the end of filming the first day Bollettieri got out of his seat and said to the crew, “You see that? Jason and I are fighting, it's great!"

Jason Kohn Vittorio Zunino Getty“I saw how well he responded to that so the second day of the interview I just went in with the idea that we're going to fight now,” Kohn said. "And that was great, I felt really liberated.”


The result is one of the most powerful sports documentaries you’ll see this year. Through the pressing by Kohn, Bollettieri opens up about the controversial decision to sit in Agassi’s box when he played fellow Bollettieri protégé Jim Courier at the 1989 French Open, why he sent Agassi the letter ending his time as his coach, and why his world-renowned academy ended up not making any money. 

But where we find the macho coach’s most revealing moment is when Kohn asks Bollettieri to read a passage from Agassi’s autobiography, “Open,” in which the star writes an emotional letter directly to his old coach. It shows a rare vulnerable side of Bollettieri leading to him finally saying how he feels about his protégé: that he still cares deeply for Agassi. 

Kohn said he offered Agassi a chance to see “Love Means Zero” at a private screening when it was completed, but the tennis legend declined. Though he would have liked to have known what Agassi thought of the movie, it was more important for Kohn to find out what Bollettieri thought. The director admitted showing the movie to his subject for the first time was a strenuous ordeal.

The small screening included some of Bollettieri’s friends, and at the end it seemed the coach liked it, as he then held court and told stories. Kohn snuck out feeling it all worked well. Then around 10:30 that evening, Bollettieri called Kohn.

“I’m thinking, s---, this is when Nick is going to pull his mafia persona," Kohn said. "And then he gave me a world class Coach Bollettieri ‘I’m proud of you’ speech and I was extraordinarily moved. The fact that I was moved was the most surprising thing to me because I wasn't looking for Nick's approval with this picture. I wasn't looking to make him happy. But that was the last thing about Nick's power as a coach and a motivator that I couldn't grasp until it happened to me. To give me the kind of speech I can only imagine he gave some of his players, I loved it.” 

SEE ALSO: MoviePass is going to introduce surge pricing on popular movies by July

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21 signs you're a narcissist

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Narcissistic personality disorder

  • Narcissistic behavior includes self-righteousness, a pattern of cheating in relationships, and taking advantage of other people.
  • We put together a list of 21 typical behaviors of narcissists, based on research and expert opinion.
  • This list isn't intended to be diagnostic, but it can give you a good idea of whether you or someone you know might be a narcissist.


You're more likely to find a narcissist in the C-suite than on the street, research suggests

That's because the traits that make narcissists so difficult to hang out with or date — including a constant need for validation, a willingness to control people, and a ruthlessness in getting their needs met — happen to make them super effective at rising up the ranks.  

To help you figure out if you, or perhaps your boss, are a narcissist, we combed through the psychology literature looking for patterns of narcissistic behavior. We also spoke with Joseph Burgo, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of "The Narcissist You Know."

Here are 21 common signs of narcissism.

This is an update of an article originally written by Vivian Giang, with additional contributions by Drake Baer. 

SEE ALSO: 4 reasons narcissists can be highly effective leaders

You are a bad sport.

Burgo says some narcissists are bullies — and one of their most troublesome traits is their tendency to be a sore loser and a sore winner.

For example, when they lose in a sports match, they might try to humiliate the referee. When they win, they might gloat excessively or act abusive to the losing party.



You constantly feel underappreciated.

The kind of people that Burgo calls "grandiose" narcissists always hold a grievance against the world.

They typically feel entitled to something better and think they're not getting the recognition they deserve from others.



If you're not grandiose, then you're introverted, hypersensitive, defensive, and anxious.

Psychologists talk about the "two faces of narcissism." On one end there's the hyper-aggressive, super-loud type. But there's a softer form of narcissism, too. It's called "covert narcissism," which is denoted by introversion, hypersensitivity, defensiveness, and anxiety.

"Both shades of narcissism shared a common core of conceit, arrogance, and the tendency to give in to one's own needs and disregard others," Scientific American reports.



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15 relationship facts everybody should know before getting married

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couple laughing date

  • Relationships are complicated, and every relationship is different.
  • That said, scientists have identified some predictors of success in relationships that are important to consider before getting married.
  • For example: getting excited for each other's news is a good thing and moving in to "test" the relationship usually isn't.


Thinking about popping the question?

Before you do, consider the large and growing body of scientific research on relationships: what strengthens and weakens them and what predicts long-term success versus dissolution.

Below, we've put together a list of 15 nontrivial facts about relationships to consider before you hire a wedding planner.

This is an update of an article originally posted by Drake Baer.

SEE ALSO: 10 myths about dating too many people believe

If you wait until you're 23 to commit, you're less likely to get divorced.

A 2014 University of North Carolina at Greensboro study found that American women who cohabitate or get married at age 18 have a 60% divorce rate, but women who wait until 23 to make either of those commitments have a divorce rate around 30%.

"The longer couples waited to make that first serious commitment [cohabitation or marriage], the better their chances for marital success," The Atlantic reported.



The 'in love' phase lasts about a year.

The honeymoon phase doesn't go on forever.

According to a 2005 study by the University of Pavia in Italy, it lasts about a year. After that, levels of a chemical called "nerve growth factor," which is associated with intense romantic feelings, start to fall.

Helen Fisher, a psychologist and relationship expert, told Business Insider that it's unclear when exactly the "in love" feeling starts to fade, but it does so "for good evolutionary reasons," she said, because "it's very metabolically expensive to spend an awful lot of time just focusing on just one person in that high-anxiety state."



Two people can be compatible — or incompatible — on multiple levels.

Back in the 1950s and '60s, Canadian psychologist Eric Berne introduced a three-tiered model for understanding a person's identity. He found that each of us have three "ego states" operating at once:

• The parent: What you've been taught

• The child: What you have felt

• The adult: What you have learned

When you're in a relationship, you relate on each of those levels:

• The parent: Do you have similar values and beliefs about the world?

• The child: Do you have fun together? Can you be spontaneous? Do you think your partner's hot? Do you like to travel together?

• The adult: Does each person think the other is bright? Are you good at solving problems together?

While having symmetry across all three is ideal, people often get together to "balance each other." For instance, one may be nurturing and the other playful.



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The cofounder of a startup that's raised $20 million met her partner on her own app by using a few 'cheesy' lines

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coffee meets bagel dawoon kang

  • Coffee Meets Bagel cofounder and co-CEO Dawoon Kang met her current partner on the app several years ago.
  • In her profile, she mentioned that she was "in pursuit of my personal legend" and was looking for someone who "aspires to be a contribution to the world."
  • Kang said too many people are embarrassed about saying what they really want in a relationship because it's not "cool" — but otherwise, they probably won't find what they're looking for.


My since-deleted OKCupid profile began with a poem.

I kid you not: I wrote a few lines of rhyming verse to explain who I was and what I was looking for in a relationship.

In retrospect, this was ridiculous — and not just because who writes a poem on a dating site? — but also because I lied. "Not looking for love," read the penultimate line.

Why did I say this? I was 100% most definitely looking for love, and I imagine there were plenty of other people on the service looking for the same thing. (After all, a Tinder survey found that 80% of its users say they're seeking a meaningful relationship.)

It wasn't until I spoke with Dawoon Kang, cofounder and co-CEO of dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, over the phone in June, that I was able to do the necessary introspection.

Coffee Meets Bagel profile Dawoon kang"I sense we feel a little bit embarrassed about saying what we want in a relationship or a person," Kang told me. "There is, culturally, a trend of 'caring too much is not cool.'"

Kang was not interested in being cool when she put together her Coffee Meets Bagel profile several years ago. And whatever she did clearly worked, because she's still dating the person she met on the app.

Kang couldn't remember verbatim what she wrote, but said she wrote something like this: "I am in pursuit of my personal legend, and in search of wonder, someone who strives to be her best every day."

And she wrote that she appreciated when her date was "curious, aspires to be a contribution to the world, wants to connect and really get to know each other."

Kang told me on the phone, "People feel like this is so cheesy."

Still, she said, "What I really want to encourage people to be is yourself. Cool or not, if that's what you want, say that, because otherwise how is the other person going to know? And you really want to not waste time attracting the wrong people."

This approach is working for Coffee Meets Bagel. In May, the app raised $12 million, meaning it has raised a total of nearly $20 million since launching in 2012.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the people I met on OKCupid fell under the "love" category. You could argue that I effectively sabotaged my own chances.

As Kang said, "Don't be afraid to say what you want, because that will attract the right type of people."

SEE ALSO: The cofounder of Coffee Meets Bagel says there's a big difference between how men and women date online

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I've tried 6 different luggage brands, and this one is by far the best

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woman suitcase

  • Luggage that’s bulky, heavy, or difficult to manage can add to stress when traveling.
  • Your luggage should be large enough to fit your belongings, have compartments for organization, be durable, and feel light enough to lift easily.
  • I take dozens of trips each year, and have tried several different luggage brands over the years.
  • For me, the EBags Fortis 30" Hardside Spinner comes out on top in terms of price, durability, looks, and weight.

 

I take dozens of trips every year, so I need a reliable and durable piece of luggage.

Since many of my trips last close to two weeks, I like to take checked luggage with me so I can prepare for different climates, pack video and camera equipment, and bring back souvenirs on the return leg.

Here are the six luggage brands I have used over the years, and the one piece of luggage that checked all of my boxes: size, comfort, durability, safety, and value.

SEE ALSO: A seasoned traveler shares 6 things she never does at the airport

The EBags Fortis 30" Hardside Spinner wins in size, weight, cost, durability, and safety

Of all the luggage I’ve tried, the eBags Fortis Hardside Spinner is the best in terms of size, weight, cost, durability, and safety. For $150, the Fortis is a fantastic deal for what you get — both style and function. I easily whisked this piece up and down the stairs of the New York City subway, even fully packed.

At 30 inches, the Fortis is ideal for long trips because of its ability to expand as you fill it with your belongings. Even packed at max capacity, this carry on was easy to lift and moved swiftly thanks to its double wheel spinners.

This stylish bag (I have the sleek black with elegant perforated lines) is also extremely durable — the polycarbonate shell held up well to rough handling while moving through the airport. There’s also convenient built-in locking system so that you don’t have to bother with loose locks.



The Delsey AERO held up against bumpy terrain

The Delsey AERO (25”) is a nice fit for week-long trips. This durable carry-on held up well against bumpy terrain during my travels, and the spinning wheels helped me comfortably pull my belongings through LaGuardia Airport. (The airport is under construction, which created an extra-long walk.)

The interior comes with straps that kept my bulky winter clothes organized, though the bag was rather heavy to lift into the overhead bins. The specialized safety lock allows only TSA agents to inspect the interior of your bag. At $130, this piece of luggage is both affordable and stylish.



TravelPro Crew 11 25" Expandable Spinner Suiter is durable and well-organized

At $270, the TravelPro Crew 11 is more costly than some of the other options — especially since you can find less expensive brands with similar sizing and features.

This carry-on is durable and well-structured, with multiple zipper compartments in the front, middle, and main portion of the bag, which sometimes made it difficult to remember where I had packed certain belongings. The interior also includes a suiting compartment that, to my surprise, kept my clothes completely wrinkle-free. The zipper on the main compartment allows for a lock to keep your luggage safe.

Be cautious in lifting this bag, though, as it was slightly heavy to put into the overhead bin when full.



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