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Morgan Spurlock's #MeToo confession crippled 'Super Size Me 2,' and a main subject of the movie feels abandoned


Morgan Spurlock AP

  • Following Morgan Spurlock's confession of sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo movement, his latest movie "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!" is in limbo.
  • The movie's distributor, YouTube Red, has pulled the movie and it's unknown if it will ever be released.
  • The sequel to Spurlock's landmark debut that looked at the dangers of fast food focuses this time on the poultry industry, which has manipulated customers and left farmers in debt.
  • One farmer in the movie spoke out to Business Insider about his frustration that the movie may never be seen by the public.

With the end credits rolling on the big screen behind him, Morgan Spurlock took the stage after the world premiere of “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” during the Toronto International Film Festival last September, and flashed his patented wide smile as he took in the loud applause from the audience. 

It was the launch of another project from Spurlock that would attract audiences beyond die-hard documentary lovers. A big reason was the title recognition he had. 14 years after making “Super Size Me,” the movie that launched his career and redefined the fast-food industry, Spurlock had unveiled the rare documentary sequel. 

This time taking on the poultry industry, or as he called it “Big Chicken” (Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrim’s, Koch Foods), “Super Size Me 2” follows Spurlock as he shows audiences the dirty side of the multibillion-dollar industry by starting his own chicken sandwich franchise, called Holy Chicken!, and revealing all the tricks used to make us think that the chicken we get — from the super market to a fast food chain — is “natural.” 

From showing what really defines a "free range" chicken, to how some chains actually paint marks on cooked chicken breasts to make them look "grilled," to showing how chicken farmers are being short-changed by Big Chicken, the movie is as eye-opening about the food we eat as the first “Super Size Me.”

Always the showman, Spurlock came to TIFF with two of the farmers highlighted in the movie, one of whom was Jonathan Buttram. Buttram provided Spurlock with the chickens for his Holy Chicken! chicken sandwich “chain.” He also brought a Holy Chicken! food truck for TIFF audiences, filled with chicken sandwiches for everyone (Spurlock promised that the truck would also tour the country with the movie, once it was in theaters). It all paid off. Before the festival ended, Spurlock scored a deal with YouTube Red, reported to be around $3.5 million, that included not just a streaming deal but also a theatrical release.

But the dream of releasing a documentary that was as impactful as the 2004 original faded away when three months after that successful “Super Size Me 2” world premiere, and at the height of the #MeToo Movement, Spurlock sent out a tweet that read “I am Part of the Problem,” along with a link to a letter via TwitLonger, in which he confessed to numerous acts of sexual misconduct in his past. According to his letter, a woman once accused him of rape in college, he detailed a workplace sexual harassment claim he settled, and admitted he’d been unfaithful to past wives and girlfriends.

“If I’m going [to] truly represent myself as someone who has built a career on finding the truth, then it’s time for me to be truthful as well,” Spurlock wrote.

Days later, YouTube announced it would not release “Super Size Me 2” and Spurlock stepped down as head of his production company, Warrior Poets. 

Since Spurlock left the public eye, Warrior Poets has come under fire as seven former employees told Jezebel that the company had a “fratty, boys’ club” culture. It’s unclear if the numerous upcoming projects Spurlock and Warrior Poets was involved in — ranging from a docuseries with LeBron James to a biopic on legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers— will come to fruition.

And what about “Super Size Me 2?” The documentary is in many ways collateral damage following Spurlock’s confession, collecting dust on a shelf somewhere and no longer a tool for the people who needed it to be seen by audiences the most: the dozens of farmers who have brought lawsuits against Big Chicken. 

Farmers are playing a rigged game

The chicken sandwich has become the most popular item on the menu anywhere you go today. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll find a grilled or crispy (you never see the word “fried”) chicken sandwich on any menu (sometimes both) — especially in the food chain industry. In “Super Size Me 2,” Spurlock shows its popularity with incredible clarity as he navigates not just the growing process of the chickens, but also the marketing muscle behind making the chicken sandwich so popular.

This popularity has led to huge profits for the poultry industry, but the farmers who are growing the chickens aren’t getting much of the rewards. As “Super Size Me 2” highlights, in one instance Tyson used a tournament system in which the company gave farmers a certain amount of chickens per year, and then paid by the performance of those chickens (i.e., size of the bird, and the amount produced). 

Super Size me 2 toronto international film festival“Because [Tyson] controls all of the factors that go into influencing how much chicken gets produced and the health of the chickens and the ability of the chickens, Tyson manipulates it and influences how much the growers get paid in a way that is anti-competitive and against the law,” claims David Muraskin, a lawyer for the public interest law firm Public Justice, which is one of the firms representing farmer Charles Morris. Morris is in “Super Size Me 2,” and is also part of a lawsuit in Kentucky against Tyson.

"We won’t comment on pending litigation," Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman told Business Insider. "We will note that Tyson Foods has a poultry farmer advisory council as well as a Contract Poultry Farmers’ Bill of Rights, which includes the right to information detailing how much farmers are paid. Both are part of our commitment to promote transparency and communications with the independent farmers who grow chickens for us. Additional information about how farmers are paid is readily available on our website." 

Morris, along with Jonathan Buttram, are both big parts in “Super Size Me 2.” Buttram, who declined to comment for this story, was the only farmer Spurlock could find who agreed to grow chickens for Holy Chicken! In the movie, Morris paints a grim picture of the farmers who are millions of dollars in debt due to the tournament system. Both men were with Spurlock at TIFF, were introduced on stage at the world premiere, and did press with Spurlock the days that followed. 

"I set out ten years ago with a cause to help the consumer because all of them have been deceived," Buttram told Business Insider the day after the TIFF premiere, sitting beside Spurlock and Morris. "The chickens are being mistreated and the growers are definitely being mistreated."

“We need Morgan, we really do,” Morris added. “What he’s done is instrumental in helping us.”

But then came Spurlock’s shocking announcement, which caught almost everyone involved in the movie off guard — Morris and his attorneys, especially.

Why 'Super Size Me 2' would have mattered

Currently, the lawsuit Morris and 19 other farmers filed in Kentucky against Tyson has been in the discovery phase since 2016, which is uncharacteristically long, according to Morris’ attorneys. Though “Super Size Me 2” wouldn’t have been able to speed up the wheels of justice, many involved in the suit believe at the very least “Super Size Me 2” would have put a huge spotlight on the issue. 

“The understanding of how food is produced, especially in these factory farms that the movie shows, I wanted the public to know about that because when the public knows about something and they see a wrong they try to right it,” said J. Dudley Butler of Butler Farm & Ranch Law Group, lead attorney in the Morris case. 

You have to look no further than the impact of the first “Super Size Me” movie to confirm Butler’s theory.

In 2004, when Spurlock, then an unknown filmmaker, released “Super Size Me” — in which he went on a McDonald’s only diet for one month — he had no idea the ramifications it would cause in the fast-food industry. The movie didn’t just show the director’s health begin to deteriorate before our eyes thanks to his new diet, but also the crafty ways the fast-food industry makes some patrons eat its food to a level that causes obesity. The movie became a must-see, grossing over $20 million at the box office worldwide (on a $65,000 budget). But the national outcry following the release became a major factor in the chains ditching super-size options on the menu and implementing healthier items like salads and, you guessed it, “healthier” chicken. 

super size me samuel goldwyn filmsThe biggest reason “Super Size Me” was so effective was because it simplified what was wrong with fast food in America. Morris and his lawyers hoped “Super Size Me 2” would do the same.

“It’s complex so there's no bite size way to describe it,” Muraskin said of the plight of the chicken farmers. “You need something like a movie to get people to engage and take a step back and get the full story.”

But when Spurlock sent out his confession, that hope to educate the public was lost. Morris learned about what Spurlock did and the eventual backing out by YouTube through his attorneys. Butler said he learned about it from another farmer he’s representing. Muraskin learned about it through the news. All three men told Business Insider that Spurlock never contacted them before or after his tweet.

“I’m going to be honest, I feel like I’ve been let down,” Morris said when asked how he felt about not being contacted by Spurlock directly. “I had 10 farmers come up to my house and we had a link to the movie and I showed it to them and everyone just loved it. They were so excited it was coming out. If it were me, I would call you up and say, ‘Hey, I screwed up.’ I would tell you what’s going to happen.”

“I applaud anyone who tells the truth, especially in the world today,” Butler said of Spurlock’s confession. “But the problem is when the people backed out who were to release the movie it hurt the consumers but it hurt the poultry growers a lot worse. I hate to see that. Now that the waters have calmed I hope they would go ahead and move forward with showing the movie to the public.”

Business Insider contacted YouTube about the release status of “Super Size Me 2” and a spokeswoman sent the same statement it made in December following Spurlock’s tweet: “We feel for all the women impacted by the statements made by Morgan Spurlock. In light of this situation, we have decided not to distribute ‘Super Size Me 2’ on YouTube Red.”

But that hasn’t stopped Morris from single-handedly trying to get the movie out to the public. The farmer told Business Insider he has tried numerous times to contact YouTube since the company announced it was pulling the movie. He wants to see if the site would be interested in selling the movie to him. 

“We can mortgage everything we got and buy the rights,” Morris said. “I want it to come out, and not for me but for every chicken farmer in America. It needs to be seen. This is not about Morgan Spurlock, this is about the industry and us farmers and how we’re being treated.”

Morris said he has never received a response from YouTube.

What happens now?

According to numerous sources, Spurlock has reclaimed the rights to “Super Size Me 2” from YouTube but people close to the movie say there are no current plans on how (or if) it will ever be released. Spurlock declined to comment for this story.

Like the farmers in the movie, practically everyone involved was not told that Spurlock was going to release his confession and since have been left wondering if the movie will ever see the light of day. There's also frustration from some who feel that the people who risked everything to go on camera for Spurlock have now been abandoned.

Charles and Tori Morris William DeShazer“Learning about the cruelty and hardship inflicted not only on the chickens, but the chicken farming community, as well as the deceptive marketing tactics used on consumers was a huge motivator for us in producing this film,” Jess Calder, a partner at Snoot Entertainment, which was one of the financiers and producers on “Super Size Me 2,” said in a statement to Business Insider. “The chicken farmers who worked with us risked their livelihood to give us a glimpse into the vicious cycle of the chicken industry, hoping that their courage might help lead to change once the public had the opportunity to see the way chicken farmers are manipulated and forced into a cycle of debt. We hope that for the sake of the brave farmers and their families, this film can still find a distributor.”

Business Insider reached out to numerous independent film insiders and asked if they thought “Super Size Me 2” would ever be seen by general audiences. They all believed it would, including Thom Powers, the head documentary programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival, who was responsible for the movie’s world premiere at TIFF.

“I felt that ‘Super Size Me 2’ was his best film,” Powers said of Spurlock. “It was poised to start a really important conversation around what we eat and expanded the conversation from ‘Super Size Me’ 1." 

“A strong possibility for the future of the film is on a digital platform,” Powers said. “People can watch it and weigh the merits of the film on their own terms, it deserves that.”

But for now, the way Morris sees it, “Big Chicken” dodged a major bullet.

“I’m sure Tyson threw a big party when they heard what happened,” Morris said.

SEE ALSO: All the details we know about the Black Widow standalone movie starring Scarlett Johansson, whose director search is heating up

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54 of the most hilariously terrible Tinder lines people have gotten


tinder 2x1 mad

Tinder can be a fun way to get a date, but chatting with strangers on the app can also show you who you would never want to date — ever.

"Tinder Nightmares" is a popular Instagram account that collects the most hilariously awful attempts at flirting on the dating app. From corny pickup lines to tantrums people throw when they get ignored, this account — which has 1.9 million followers — is a good reminder of how ridiculous people can be when looking for "love."

The account was started by Elan Gale, the "Bachelor" producer who also runs the "Texts from your ex" Instagram. While we don't know for sure that all of these are real, they definitely capture something about the silly and depressing landscape of modern dating.

We compiled a selection of some of the worst Tinder chats of all time. Here they are:

SEE ALSO: The 17 most successful Kickstarter projects of all time and where they are today

Probably a factor, true.

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A relevant question.

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I wonder if she followed through.

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Chinese men are using apps to hire fake girlfriends, and the story of a woman who got 700 offers illustrates the country's growing marriage problem


china fake girlfriend

  • Young women are massively outnumbered by young men in China thanks to the country's former one-child policy.
  • To avoid pressure from their families, many young men are using apps to hire women to pose as their girlfriends.
  • Reuters followed one of these girlfriends-for-hire over a holiday weekend to see what the experience was like.

Any single person who's gone home for the holidays probably knows what it's like to face questions from family members about their love life and their prospects for marriage.

That's especially true for men in China, where thanks to a one-child policy that was in place for 36 years, there are about 30 million more men than women between the ages of 24 and 40.

That imbalance has given way to a surprising new side-hustle for young Chinese women: posing as single men's girlfriends to assuage the fears of prying relatives — for a fee, of course.

Date-finding apps are becoming an increasingly popular choice in China, with one app, Hire Me Plz, boasting a reported user base of 700,000 people.

Last year, Beijing blogger Zhao Yuqing sifted through more than 700 applications from men desperate for a fake girlfriend to show off to their relatives. She shared her experience with Reuters, and her story illustrates the depth of China's marriage problem.

SEE ALSO: Some tech startups in China are hiring women who are taller than 5'2'' and wear makeup to socialize with male programmers and give them massages

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Zhao Yuqing is a 24-year-old blogger from Beijing, China. Last year, she joined a girlfriend-for-hire service to get the experience of being someone's holiday companion.

Source: Reuters

Lunar New Year is the busiest time of year for these "instant girlfriends," who can command as much as $1,450 a day during the holiday week. Yuqing, on the other hand, stated in her online ad that she would only charge for transportation.

Source: Reuters

She sifted through 700 applications before selecting Wang Quanming, a website operator in his early thirties from a rural town in southern China. "He is being pressured to find a wife and his need to rent a girlfriend is real," Yuqing told Reuters.

Source: Reuters

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I'm on my 3rd year of a 25,000 mile walk around the world — here's what my life looks like


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.

travel world walk atitlan.JPG

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. 


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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Rapper XXXTentacion gets first posthumous No. 1 song since Notorious B.I.G. in 1997



  • A week after his death, XXXTentacion has notched his first Billboard No. 1 song with "Sad!" 
  • He's the first artist to achieve a posthumous No. 1 song since Notorious B.I.G. topped the chart with two tracks following his death in 1997.
  • XXXTentacion's two studio albums, "17" and "?," also returned to the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart this week.

A week after he was shot and killed in South Florida, rapper XXXTentacion has achieved the first Billboard No. 1 song of his career.

The rapper's track "Sad!" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, after it previously peaked at No. 7 on the chart in March. The song jumped from No. 52 to No. 1 this week, Billboard reports.

XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, is the first artist to achieve a posthumous No. 1 song since Notorious B.I.G.'s "Mo Money, Mo Problems" and "Hypnotize" both topped the chart in 1997, following the rapper's death.

XXXTentacion's two studio albums, "17" and "?," returned to the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart, charting at No. 7 and No. 3, respectively. "?" previously topped the chart upon its release in March. 

At the time of his death, Onfroy was awaiting trial for a 2016 domestic-abuse case. He faced charges of aggravated battery of his pregnant girlfriend, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering.

Last week, police arrested 22-year-old Dedrick D. Williams on suspicion of the first-degree murder of Onfroy. According to TMZ, a judge signed arrest warrants for two other suspects in the case last week, but those suspects have not yet been apprehended.

Listen to "Sad!" below:

SEE ALSO: Murder suspect arrested in investigation into death of rapper XXXTentacion

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Walmart employees share 5 annoying things they wish shoppers would stop doing


walmart shopper employee

  • Walmart jobs can be rough when customers are rude.
  • Some employees have spoken to Business Insider about particularly gob-smacking behaviors from shoppers.
  • They highlighted people eating produce and leaving items throughout the store as particularly annoying.

Walmart jobs, for the most part, require associates to interact with the public. Occasionally, that can lead to some friction.

We spoke with a number of Walmart associates about rude or irritating things they wished customers would stop doing. We learned about a number of particularly aggravating behaviors that you should probably skip on your next Walmart run.

Here are the most annoying behaviors Walmart associates wish shoppers would drop:

SEE ALSO: Walmart employees share the 8 worst things they've seen while working at the retail giant

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Hiding products around the store.

We've all picked up a product on impulse, only to decide against purchasing it before heading to the registers. But that doesn't mean we should just leave those items wherever.

One Walmart associate of nine years told Business Insider that they often encounter customers "hiding" items around the store. "Put it back where you got it from," an associate who's worked at the chain for three years told Business Insider.

Another Walmart associate of 12 years told us that customers should "stop stashing items in other areas of the store."

"Finding melted ice cream or rancid meat under bath towels isn't pleasant," the associate said. "We're not your maid. The store isn't so huge that you can't find where to return the item," they added.

Complaining excessively about things that aren't a big deal.

One Walmart employee of 12 years said they were sick of customers "getting upset" over being carded for certain items like alcohol.

The associate added that they also were annoyed when people complained about not receiving assistance from an associate "when you've only been waiting two minutes."

Making the same old joke.

Like their counterparts at Costco, Walmart cashiers are sure to get annoyed when customers make one particular joke.

"Stop asking if the item is free when it won't scan," one associate with 12 years of experience at the chain told Business Insider.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Narcissists are irritating, attention-seeking, yet successful, according to a psychologist


man with mask

  • Narcissists are not always pleasant to be around because they have an inflated ego and can be overly critical of others.
  • But their traits such as charisma and dedication mean they can also be extremely successful.
  • Certain career paths attract people with dark triad personality traits — narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

Dark triad personality traits are those associated with narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. These are usually seen as negative characteristics, but people have the ability to capitalise on traits like confidence, grandiosity, and entitlement — you just have to know how to do it in the right way.

Narcissists, in particular, have a heightened sense of self-worth and tend to look down on everyone else around them. Their sense of superiority doesn't make them particularly nice to hang out with, but it does make them pretty successful.

That's according to psychologist Kostas Papageorgiou, from Queen's University Belfast, who told the BBC how research has found that narcissists are often socially successful, undeterred by rejection, charming, and highly motivated.

While they are also self-centered, vain, and callous, Papageorgiou said narcissists can be seen as very successful as their traits give them a "mental toughness," meaning they don't give up easily.

"If you are a narcissist, you believe strongly that you are better than anyone else and that you deserve reward," he said.

Papageorgiou and a team from Goldsmiths, the University of London, King's College London, University of Texas at Austin and Manchester Metropolitan University, studied a group of narcissists to see if they could overtake people who seemingly had more ability than them in exams.


They recruited 300 young narcissists in a secondary school in Italy and found they tended to score higher in exams than would be expected from their previous work and measures of intelligence.

As well as their massive ego, narcissists were also resilient and determined. They weren't smarter, but their confidence meant they managed to outperform other students.

Papageorgiou told the BBC that narcissists are "absolutely destructive for those around them," but their charisma also makes them magnetic to other people, which can make them seem more attractive. The infatuation isn't likely to last long term though, as narcissists tend to idealise people, then devalue them, and eventually discard them.

In terms of career success, though, dark triad personalities do thrive in certain environments. For example, there are certain jobs that attract psychopaths, such as surgery and sales.

There are high numbers of dark triad personality types in CEO positions too, mostly because they have a cool head under pressure, and have something called a "resilience to chaos."

Dark triad people may purposefully create chaos in the environment because they find it easier to cope than other people. Or they might simply be better able to deal with stressful situations when they arise.

Either way, Papageorgiou said personality traits shouldn't be seen as categorically good or bad. Rather, they are a result of evolution, and mere "expressions of human nature," he said.

SEE ALSO: The 10 professions with the most psychopaths

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A little-known airline has a genius solution to the biggest annoyance with sleeping on planes


sleep on planes airplanes sleep

  • Falling asleep on airplanes is hard. It's even harder when you're worried about missing your one meal of the flight.
  • Air Astana, a little-known airline based out of Kazakhstan, has a genius solution to the problem.
  • The sleep mask they give passengers says "Wake me up for meal" on one side.

Chances are, unless you're an airline junkie, you've probably never heard of Air Astana.

Only around for the last 16 years, Air Astana has built a stellar reputation around friendly staff, new, well-kept planes, and a few special touches that show an eye toward pleasing all their customers — not just the ones sitting in first class.

On a recent long-haul flight from from Seoul to Almaty, Kazakhstan and then to Moscow, Russia, I witnessed one of these special touches first-hand.

It's not always easy for me to fall asleep in stiff and cramped airplane seats. It's even harder when I'm worrying that I might miss the one meal I'll get to eat for the next 8 hours. Thankfully, Air Astana came up with a clever solution.

Take a look at this sleeping mask provided by Air Astana:

13A AirAstana (5 of 23)

One side of the sleeping mask is in green and says "Wake me up for meal," in a number of different languages. If you flip the sleeping mask, the other side is red and says "Do not disturb."

Rather than spending my napping time with one eye or ear open, waiting for the flight attendant to come by with meal or drink service, I was able to fall asleep worry-free. I even put in ear plugs.

Take notice airlines of the world: Sleeping masks like this should be standard on all flights from here on out.

SEE ALSO: One of the best airlines in the world is one you've probably never heard of — here's what it's like to fly Air Astana

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The 5 most anticipated new TV shows premiering in July


Sharp ObjectsWith the summer TV season underway, a few highly anticipated new shows are premiering next month.

To find out which shows audiences are anticipating the most, the TV tracking app TV Time analyzed data from its 12 million global users to see which upcoming TV shows viewers had followed the most frequently on its app.

The list includes series like the Amy Adams-led HBO drama "Sharp Objects," from "Gone Girl" author Gillian Flynn, and "Castle Rock," a new Stephen King series from Hulu. 

Here are the 5 new TV shows that viewers are anticipating the most in July, according to TV Time:

SEE ALSO: The 17 most rewatchable TV shows of all time

5. "Sacred Games" — Premieres July 6 on Netflix

Summary: "A link in their pasts leads an honest cop to a fugitive gang boss, whose cryptic warning spurs the officer on a quest to save Mumbai from cataclysm."

4. "Angels of Death" — Premieres July 6 on AT-X

Summary: "Most girls waking up without any memory and meeting a serial killer would panic, but not Ray. In fact, far from being her biggest problem, killer Zack might just prove a convenient resource when it comes to finding a way out of the building in which they're both trapped."

3. "The Outpost" — Premieres July 10 on The CW

Summary: "Follows Talon (Jessica Green, 'Ash vs Evil Dead'), the lone survivor of a race called 'Blackbloods.' Years after her entire village is destroyed by a gang of brutal mercenaries, Talon travels to a lawless fortress on the edge of the civilized world, as she tracks the killers of her family."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Owning a supercar isn't as awesome as it sounds — here's why


McLaren P1 GTR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. They have way too much power.

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

But you will still incinerate gasoline at an alarming rate. 

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

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

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

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

And then you will invariably:

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

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

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

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

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Stephen Colbert blasts Trump for still holding 'stolen kids' in 'humanitarian crisis' at the border


colbert trump

  • Stephen Colbert on Monday lambasted Trump for the ongoing "humanitarian crisis" in his administration's practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the southern US border.
  • "There's still no announcement of what they're going to do to put these stolen kids back with their parents, and no indication that they could successfully do so," Colbert said.

Stephen Colbert on Monday criticized the Trump administration's approach to ending the controversial practice of separating immigrant children from their parents in holding facilities. 

"I get up every day, and I live in hope that will be the day that I will be surprised by the news," Colbert began his monologue. "But mostly I'm just shocked by how unsurprising everything is."

The "Late Show" host said the latest "wholly predictable" news came from the Trump administration's inaction in the "humanitarian crisis" at the southern US border. 

"First of all, there's still no announcement of what they're going to do to put these stolen kids back with their parents, and no indication that they could successfully do so," Colbert said.

Colbert then cut to a Mercury News report describing how the DNA testing company 23andme is donating DNA kits to help reunite migrant families separated at the border. 

"Good for them, but while they're at it, can they test Donald Trump's DNA too?" Colbert asked. "I want to find out what species can survive that long without a heart. Because the President is not freeing the children."

"I want to repeat that: The President is not freeing the children," he added. "For those of you who just emerged from a coma, you're going to want to slip back in."

Watch the clip below:

SEE ALSO: The 5 most anticipated new TV shows premiering in July

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The Supreme Court just upheld Trump's travel ban


supreme court trump travel ban

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump's travel ban.
  • In a 5-4 decision split along partisan lines, the justices ruled that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration.
  • The plaintiffs had argued in their lawsuit that Trump's travel ban was discriminatory against Muslims.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, in a 5-4 decision that split the justices along partisan lines.

The travel ban was Trump's third attempt at restricting travel from certain majority-Muslim countries after federal courts blocked the previous two.

The third ban imposed restrictions on travelers coming to the US from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, North Korea, and Venezuela. Chad was also originally listed in the ban, but the Trump administration later removed it.

"SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!" Trump tweeted shortly after the ruling came out.

At issue in the case, Trump v. Hawaii, were two main questions: whether Trump has the authority under federal immigration law to implement such travel restrictions and whether the travel ban violates the Constitution's establishment clause, which prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another.

The Trump administration had argued that the president has "broad authority" to restrict travel to the US over terrorism and national-security concerns. The plaintiffs had argued that the ban discriminated against Muslims and essentially fulfilled Trump's 2016 campaign promises to impose a "Muslim ban."

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his majority opinion, agreed with the Trump administration and declared that the travel ban fell "squarely within the scope of Presidential authority."

Roberts said that Trump's previous comments calling for a "Muslim ban" weren't relevant to the travel ban, especially since the ban "says nothing about religion."

"The issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements," Roberts wrote. "It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility."

He also argued that Trump's national-security justifications were convincing, and it was unlikely that the ban was motivated by religious animus. Despite that five of the seven countries included in the ban have majority-Muslim populations, that fact in and of itself doesn't prove religious hostility, Roberts said.

"The policy covers just 8% of the world's Muslim population and is limited to countries that were previously designated by Congress or prior administrations as posing national security risks," he wrote.

Nevertheless, in a seeming acknowledgment of the controversial nature of the travel ban, Roberts said that the court's opinion expressed "no view on the soundness of the policy."

In an unexpected twist, the ruling overturned the infamous 1944 Korematsu v. United States decision, which deemed it constitutional for the government to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II. Trump critics have compared the travel ban to the Korematsu ruling, arguing that it similarly targeted people based on their ethnicity.

"Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and—to be clear— 'has no place in law under the Constitution,'" Roberts wrote.

'The final chapter has not yet been written'

neal katyal travel ban

The court's conservative-aligned justices voted to uphold the ban, with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch concurring with Roberts' opinion.

The more liberal justices, including Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, opposed the ban.

In her dissenting opinion, Sotomayor wrote that any "reasonable observer" would conclude that the travel ban was "motivated by anti-Muslim animus."

She said her colleagues on the bench decided otherwise by "ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens."

Neal Katyal, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs, said in a statement he was "disappointed by the outcome" but "heartened that our system of government worked as the founders intended." He called upon Congress to reverse the ban.

"We continue to believe, as do four dissenting justices, that the travel ban is unconstitutional, unprecedented, unnecessary and un-American," Katyal said. "We decided long ago that America doesn’t exclude people based on nationality or religion alone. Today, that principle has been challenged. But the final chapter has not yet been written."

Read the full decision below:

SEE ALSO: Trump's campaign statements about Muslims came under fire during the Supreme Court's travel ban arguments

DON'T MISS: The Supreme Court broke 2 of its strictest rules for the travel-ban arguments — and it shows how seriously the court is taking the case

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The 15 biggest ways your iPhone will change in iOS 12 (AAPL)


new iphones 2x1

iOS 12 is the most recent operating system for Apple's iPhones and iPads. It's not a radical change from iOS 11, but it introduces a bunch of new features that could change the way you use your iPhone.

iOS 12 will be released to most people in September, but if you're willing to take a risk on pre-release software, you can download it now

Here are 15 of the biggest changes in iOS 12: 


1. Older iPhones are getting a speed boost.

iOS 12 makes older phones like the iPhone 6+ much faster: 40% faster app launches, 50% faster keyboard opening, and a 70% improvement in opening the camera, according to Apple. 

2. You can turn your face into an animated cartoon called Memoji.

With iOS 12, Apple is bringing another exclusive feature to iPhone X owners: personalized animated emojis that Apple calls Memoji. Like Apple's Animoji, which were also exclusive to the iPhone X, the new Memoji allow you to design your own animated emoji, which can also be controlled by your facial expressions thanks to the iPhone X's extra sensors.

3. Now notifications from the same apps will be stacked on your lock screen.

Notifications are now grouped together by app and topic. Swiping will dismiss multiple notifications at the same time, and you can easily change your notification settings from the tray.

More info available here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Lindsay Lohan plans to star in a reality series on MTV in the style of 'Vanderpump Rules'


Lindsay Lohan

  • In a New York Times profile published Tuesday, actress Lindsay Lohan said she plans to star in a reality series for MTV.
  • Lohan, who just opened a beach club in Mykonos, Greece, said the show will be in the style of "Vanderpump Rules."
  • In the profile, Lohan also discussed how her life has improved since she moved overseas, where she has a more private life than in the United States.  

Actress Lindsay Lohan said she plans to star in a reality series for MTV, according to a New York Times profile published Tuesday. The show, Lohan said, will be in the style of Bravo's "Vanderpump Rules," and will follow her life overseas as she runs her new business.

"Vanderpump Rules" follows Lisa Vanderpump, who first gained fame on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," as she runs her West Hollywood restaurant, SUR (short for Sexy Unique Restaurant). The show has gained prominence due to Vanderpump's management style over a wild group of employees. 

Lohan recently opened a beach club in Mykonos, Greece, which includes a restaurant and bar. 

“There’s a business side to my life now," Lohan told the Times."But I’m not in America, so no one knows about it, which is nice for me. Because I get to actually focus on the result of things.” In addition to her club, Lohan also has a lawyers.com sponsorship. In an ad for the site, Lohan made cheeky remarks about her history of needing a lawyer after multiple arrests. 

Lohan's presence overseas has helped her stay away from tabloids. Lohan told the Times that she moved to Dubai partly because of the privacy it gave her, because photography intruding on privacy is illegal. Lohan told the Times she feels so safe in Dubai that, sometimes, she doesn't lock her apartment doors. 

"It’s the safest place. It’s less demanding," Lohan said. "America is always like, ‘Go go go go go! I don’t have to turn on the news and see about the Kardashians. I don’t have to see anything anymore. I choose what I want to see and how I want to live.”

While Lohan's primary focus right now, and potential reality series, would revolve around her business, she's still acting. She recently filmed a British comedy series called "Sick Note" opposite Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" films. 

SEE ALSO: The 5 most anticipated new TV shows premiering in July

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37 words and phrases you should never include on your résumé


typing at computer woman laptop working

  • Hiring managers are sick of seeing buzzwords on résumés
  • "Hard worker," "ambitious," and other clichés shouldn't be included on your résumé.
  • Instead, show how you'll be a good contributor to the workplace. 

While many large companies use automated résumé screener software to cut down the initial pool of job applicants, loading your résumé with meaningless buzzwords is not the smartest way to get noticed

"Nearly everyone is guilty of using buzzwords from time to time, but professionals are evaluated increasingly on their ability to communicate," Paul McDonald, senior executive director for professional placement firm Robert Half, told Business Insider.

One of the major problems with using buzzwords and terms is they have become so overused that they've lost all meaning, Mary Lorenz, a corporate communications manager at CareerBuilder, told Business Insider.

Another issue is that many of these words don't differentiate the job seeker from other candidates because they're so generic. Instead, Lorenz said job seekers should speak in terms of accomplishments and show rather than tell.

"Avoiding overused terms can help job seekers convey their message and stand out from the crowd," McDonald said.

Here's what you should avoid:

SEE ALSO: 13 hobbies that look great on your résumé — and one that doesn't

DON'T MISS: 38 things you should never include on your résumé

'Best of breed'

When CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,200 hiring managers, it found "best of breed" to be the most irritating term to be seen on a résumé.

"Anyone can say they are 'best of breed,' a 'go-getter,' a 'hard worker,' or a 'strategic thinker,'" Lorenz said. "Employers want to know what makes the job seekers unique, and how they will add value to the specific organization for which they're applying."


It might be difficult to get a job if you keep describing your tasks like this.

Job search firm ZipRecruiter hosts a database of more than 3 million résumés, which small businesses, individual employers, and recruiters looking for candidates can rate on a scale of one to five stars (one being the lowest, five the highest).

ZipRecruiter analyzed these résumés and their ratings, and found a that certain keywords were major turn-offs for employers.

The word "hard" was found to have a strong correlation with one-star reviews, with up to a 79% greater likelihood of receiving the lowest rating. It's likely the word gives employers the impression that you're put off by hard work.

'Phone number'

Just say "number," career coach Eli Amdur told Business Insider.

And opt for "email" rather than "email address."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This is why every type of traveler loves Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit



Mexico welcomed a staggering 40 million visitors last year, and it’s easy to see why. The beloved travel destination has bragging rights to some of the world’s most spectacular outdoor destinations, including Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit on the country's Pacific Coast. Whether you live to lounge on the beach or zoom through the treetops on a zipline, there’s something for everyone in one of Mexico’s fastest growing regions.

Thanks to its exclusive nonstop flights and expert in-resort representatives, Apple Vacations makes it easy to plan your dream Vallarta-Nayarit itinerary. Go whale watching near the Marietas Islands, golf on a championship golf course, or tour a tequila distillery. All packages include round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and even round-trip airport transfers — all of which will help you unplug and savor the best of what Vallarta-Nayarit has to offer.

Watch the video above to see why travelers can’t get enough of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.

Find out more about how to plan the perfect vacation to Vallarta-Nayarit.

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This post is sponsored by Apple Vacations. | Video provided by Apple Vacations. 


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Jessica Chastain explains why she chose a man to direct her upcoming female-led spy movie


355 2 Anthony Jones Getty

  • Jessica Chastain is the producer and one of the stars behind the female-led spy thriller, "355."
  • Though there are numerous women involved in front of and behind the camera for the project, a man (Simon Kinberg) will direct the movie.
  • Business Insider asked Chastain why he was the best person to direct.

There is no louder and more impassioned voice about the current movement in Hollywood to get more female-focused stories told than Jessica Chastain. But she says some guys are allowed to come along for the ride.

Chastain made headlines at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, along with fellow stars Lupita Nyong’o, Marion Cotillard, Bingbing Fan, and Penélope Cruz, when they converged on the French Riviera to announce the movie, “355,” in which they all star as international spies.

And the female talent isn’t just on the screen.

Behind-the-scenes, Chastain is producing the movie with her producing partner Kelly Carmichael. The film is also written by a woman, Theresa Rebeck. However, the director will be a man: Simon Kinberg, who is known best in the industry as the keeper of the Marvel franchise at 20th Century Fox (he’s been a writer or producer on everything from “X-Men” to “Deadpool” franchises and will be directing the upcoming “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”).

Simon Kinberg Jessic Chastain Nicholas Hunt Getty“355” not having a female director is a question mark for a project that is going against the grain of Hollywood’s male-heavy dominance in the spy/action genre. But Chastain said there’s a reason for Kinberg’s inclusion.

“I’m not interested in being exclusive,” Chastain told Business Insider Monday while doing press for her upcoming release, “Woman Walks Ahead,” (opening in theaters Friday). “I feel like if I made a point of only working with women then I don't know if I'm changing things so much. I'm interested in working with men who are interested in inclusivity, and Simon is. He's a great ally and someone who sees the problems in our industry and in society and wants to work to change them. So he can join the eight of us gals.” 

At Cannes, “355” was one of the hottest projects on the market and after a bidding war Universal eventually won out the domestic rights for a reported cost of $20 million. The project is currently in preproduction.

SEE ALSO: Morgan Spurlock's #MeToo confession crippled "Super Size Me," and a main subject of the movie feels abandoned

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Costco employees share their 9 best tips for getting an even better deal on your next shopping trip


Costco employee chicken

  • Costco deals are a great way to save money — but they're not always obvious.
  • Business Insider asked 49 Costco employees to share their top tips for saving money and making the most of your experience at the store.
  • From learning how to navigate the store to figuring out how to identify clearance items, here's some advice from Costco employees.

Costco's deals are a huge draw for many members.

The retail chain is known for hawking just about everything — and selling it in bulk.

Business Insider reached out to Costco employees to learn more about their top shopping tips, because it pays to shop armed with insider information. Thirty-five ended up sharing their best strategies.

One employee of four years suggested shopping for everything at the chain, which isn't that far-fetched of an idea, considering Costco sells cars, vacations, food kits for the apocalypse, yummy fast food, and even caskets.

"The deals are amazing," a Costco employee of four years told Business Insider. "Always think Costco first. From auto insurance, travel, mortgages, return policy, warranties — if you can get it through Costco, you absolutely should."

Here's what Costco workers had to say about how you can instantly improve your shopping experience.

SEE ALSO: Costco employees reveal the worst, grossest, and most bizarre things they've seen on the job

DON'T MISS: Why Costco food courts have charged $1.50 for hot dogs since 1985, according to employees

READ MORE: Costco employees share the 20 things they wish shoppers would stop doing

Buy Kirkland

Kirkland products are the way to go, according to Costco employees.

Kirkland Signature — named for the chain's former headquarters in Kirkland, Washington — is Costco's private label.

"Buy Kirkland — it's cheaper and the same product as the name brand," a Costco employee who has worked for the store for five years told Business Insider.

An employee who's been with the store for 25 years agreed.

Don't hesitate

See something you like at Costco? Buy it. Don't hesitate.

That's what eight Costco employees told Business Insider. Seasonal items often disappear forever.

"Buy seasonal items when you can," one employee told Business Insider. "When they're gone, they're gone."

If you decide to sit on your hands, you might end up regretting it.

"Too many people come back looking for something we phased out," an employee of 10 years told Business Insider. "Buy it when you see it."

You can always return it later if you decide you don't want it.

Spring for the executive membership

A standard membership at Costco is $60 a year. An executive membership will cost you $120 a year and net you an annual 2% reward of up to $1,000 on your purchases.

Five Costco employees told Business Insider that they advised that customers spring for the executive membership.

"Come on," said one employee who has worked at the chain for six years. "You get 2% back on travel. Go to Hawaii. Make money."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I'm a news junkie who ignored everything going on in the world for a week — here's what happened



  • I'm a news junkie who decided to pay no attention to current events for a week.
  • The logistics of unplugging from the news cycle are more complex than you might think.
  • I thought it would feel like a vacation, but it turned out to be much more difficult to complete my assignment than I anticipated.
  • In the short-term, this experiment may prove useful in reducing stress. But long-term, it can be dangerous to remain ignorant to what’s going on in the world.


As a journalist, I’m a bit of a news junkie. While I don’t cover news on a daily basis, I’ve always prided myself on keeping myself informed, and I’ve thought of my obsession as a healthy, responsible habit.

But after the 2016 presidential election, it started to feel like more of a chore to keep up with everything that was going on in the world. The news cycle began to weigh heavier on my mind, and that feeling only compounded over time.

So I decided to give myself a temporary break from the news to see how it would affect me. It seemed like a simple task, but to accomplish this, I almost had to unplug from the internet completely. Here’s how I avoided the news:

  • I stopped logging into my Feedly account, which I use to keep up with about 40 different sources of news. During this time, it racked up thousands of articles.
  • I disabled all push notifications on my phone to avoid accidental exposure.
  • Many of my non-urgent emails, like newsletters and Google alerts, went unread.
  • I still used social media, but only as much as was necessary to do my job and share my work.

The results of this experiment were mixed, but mostly negative:

SEE ALSO: 4 reasons I gave up Facebook — and why I'm not going back

1. When I took the news out of my digital diet, what I was left with seemed hollow: retail, guilty pleasures, and entertainment

None of those are bad in themselves — they’re just not something I deem as important as staying informed on current events.

2. When you operate outside of the news cycle, you can get a clearer picture of everything else that’s going on — if you seek it out

I finally had time to read up on the work that organizations like the Marshall Project and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are doing. This was, by far, the best side-effect of going news-free for a week.

3. I experienced significantly lower stress levels from day to day

The weight of the news cycle disappeared on day one, and I was determined to enjoy that throughout my week.

Even so, I wouldn’t consider that to be worth the cost of being uninformed in the long run — especially in a time when it seems so important to be knowledgeable about what’s going on the world.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The San Francisco housing market is so absurd that restaurants are putting diners to work because they can't afford to pay workers


mission district, san francisco, hipster, tacolicious

  • Housing in San Francisco is so costly, restaurant workers are leaving the city for more affordable regions, according to a report in The New York Times.
  • Some of the city's restaurants can't find — or can't afford — front-of-house workers. They're finding solutions for operating without helping hands.
  • Some restaurant that look like full-service spots have diners seat themselves, fetch their own water, bus their table, and more.


There's something different about San Francisco's restaurant scene these days.

Its workers are vanishing.

A new report in The New York Times posits that in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in America, rising rents and labor costs have forced some restaurants to go without servers. In their absence, diners at popular restaurants such as Souvla and RT Rotisserie seat themselves, fetch their own water, bus their table, and more. 

Restauranteurs call it the "fast-fine" or "fine-casual" model of dining.

Part of the problem is that restaurant owners can no longer afford staffing their front-of-house. Commercial rent prices have soared alongside housing costs.

But the Bay Area also faces a dire shortage of restaurant workers, as those who can't afford to live near their place of work move away to more affordable regions.

Restaurant workers in San Francisco earned a median income of just over $30,000 in 2017. That makes them some of the highest-paid restaurant workers in America, according to a study by real-estate site Trulia. But their income still isn't enough to buy a home.

Approximately 0.1% of homes on the market are affordable for the city's restaurant workers, Trulia found. The median list price in San Francisco was $1.477 million at the time the study was conducted. By comparison, restaurant workers in Detroit can afford 50% of homes on the market, while only 2% of homes are affordable in New York.

"We can sit around here, and we can complain and whine and moan," said Charles Bililies, owner of Greek restaurant Souvla. "We can be very negative about this."

"Or we can sort of turn this on its head and see an opportunity," he told the Times.

san francisco restaurant souvla 2

At Souvla, the counter-service restaurant has the look of a full-service spot. Diners sit at copper tables and wood counters under the windows, which flood the airy, high-ceilinged dining room with natural light. Copper pans and fresh herb sprigs hang on the walls.

A simple menu offers just two entrées — a sandwich and a salad — made with diner's choice of meat or vegetables. Prices range between $12 and $15 a plate.

There are no servers at Souvla, though runners do bring food to your table.

"Souvla was the beginning of this whole new onslaught of things that in every single way look like a full-service restaurant — nice décor; good wine list; tasty, healthy foods. It's much more chef- and ingredient-driven," Gwyneth Borden, the executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, told the Times. "But it's 'take a number and go to a table.'"

One restaurant in San Francisco has hatched a more surprising way to operate without restaurant workers. The buzzy new burger joint, Creator, which soft-opens for lunch on Wednesday, uses a robot to prep, cook, and assemble hamburgers with no human help.

Founded in 2009, the startup formerly known as Momentum Machines has been quietly tinkering with its mechanical line cook out of a vacant retail space in SoMa for almost two years. Its robot uses an array of sensors and computers and makes up to 130 burgers an hour.

It eliminates the need for line cooks, though as many as nine "robot attendants" will be on the floor to take orders, deliver burgers and drinks, and restock ingredients.

Creator isn't the only restaurant putting robots to work. Cafe X relies on a robotic coffee bar to take your order and make your drink — no human interaction required.

SEE ALSO: This robot-powered burger restaurant says it's paying employees $16 an hour to read educational books while the bot does the work

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