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Afghanistan has an unbelievably beautiful hidden region untouched by war — here's what it looks like



  • While much of Afghanistan has been roiled by near constant war since the American invasion in 2001, there are parts of the country that are still untouched by war.
  • The Wakhan Corridor is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Afghanistan, bordering China, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. 
  • New York photographer Frédéric Lagrange fufilled a lifelong dream in 2012 by visiting the remote region. He found that it was even more beautiful than he imagined.

In the late 1990s, New York-based photographer Frédéric Lagrange became obsessed with traveling to Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor after reading "A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush," English writer Eric Newby’s travelogue of his adventures in the area.

He made plans to visit, but then 9/11 happened, and the American invasion quashed any plans. The trip was too dangerous.

In 2012, with the war cooling down, Lagrange finally made the trip he had been dreaming about.

The Wakhan Corridor is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Afghanistan, bordering Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Western China. The harsh, beautiful landscape, bounded by the Hindu Kush mountains on the south, was once used as a major trading route for those traveling the Silk Road to China.

For three weeks, Lagrange and a team of locals made their way up the Hindu Kush mountains to the shores of Lake Chaqmaqtin. Along the way, Lagrange photographed the local peoples, who survive on the edge of civilization by raising and herding cattle.

He shared some photos from his journey with us, but you can check out the rest at his website

SEE ALSO: Much of Russia is blanketed in sunlight nearly 24 hours a day this time of year — here's what it looks like at every hour

Lagrange began by flying into Dushanbe, Tajikistan, crossing into the Wakhan Corridor by Afghanistan's northeast border. If he traveled from Kabul, he would have had to pass through numerous Taliban-controlled areas.

After three days of driving with a guide, Lagrange reached the border. The army officer at the border told him that he was the first foreigner to cross that year.

He was greeted by his guide Adab (left, with Lagrange), a 23-year-old Afghani boy. Adab warned him of the dangerous reality of his life, saying that "If the Taliban ever comes to power [in Wakhan], I will probably be one of the first to be executed, having been around Westerners."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

What it takes to be a World Cup referee


We talked to a former FIFA World Cup assistant referee about what it takes to be part of an officiating crew in the international soccer tournament. Sean Hurd worked as an assistant referee in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on a crew led by Mark Geiger.

We talked to Hurd about his path to the World Cup, what it's like communicating with international players, his intense fitness regimen, how much World Cup referees get paid, and what it's like being in the middle of the world's biggest stage for soccer. Following is a transcript of the video. 

{Sean Hurd was an assistant referee at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.}

{Making the cut}

Sean Hurd: 
I was selected to be part of a crew, and then from there, we were evaluated at various tournaments, and FIFA related events, as well as our domestic league and Major League Soccer. We went through a qualification, and ultimately, in January of 2014, were selected for the World Cup.

It's extremely competitive. Myself and Mark Geiger were the only two, from the U.S., that were selected. That should tell you right there, just in our own country, how competitive it is, and then, we've gotta compete with the rest of the world.

{Only four American referees were selected for the 2018 World Cup.}

Quite honestly, the United States is finally starting to make a mark, in terms of refereeing, in the international scene, but previously, just like a lot of our players, the international scene views us as not being able to be very high level, playing or refereeing.

{His first World Cup match was Colombia vs. Greece.}

Four years later now, in talking about it, I still get goosebumps. The emotions of the game just start to take over. You can hear the crowd roaring. Once we walked out onto the field, then all the nerves went away, and we just focused on the game. It was just a game. It became a simple game again.

{Communicating with players}

Most of the players do speak a little bit of English at the international level. The refereeing aspect, and the playing aspect, are universal. Body language, eye contact. There really were, during that match especially, no communication gaps at all, for the Greek side or the Columb ian side.

{Getting in shape}

Essentially, the referees are trained as if they were the athletes participating in the games. Referees, obviously, have to be physically fit enough to go the entire 120 minutes plus penalties, if necessary. You really treat your body like many of the athletes do. It's a combination of strength and physical endurance type workouts.


I'm not privy to the financial conditions of this World Cup, but I can only speak to 2014. We received a flat fee, regardless of the number of games that were officiated. The dollar amount was $50,000. So, fairly substantial, and it didn't matter whether you were the head referee, or the assistant referee, or fourth official.

{Working two jobs}

So, I'm in the financial services industry, and very fortunate to have the opportunity to be in a position where most of my job entails emails, or conference calls, so I can do that remotely. Some people have to part ways with their career, and put their careers on hold to be able to fulfill the requirements of FIFA and the World Cup.

Seeing the world come together, on one stage, and put aside, kind of, all of the different political things and, really, just getting behind what's, quite simply, a game. Just the overall experience of being part of the world's game on such a stage was quite amazing.

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These newlyweds transformed a grain silo into a gorgeous tiny home — and they say it’s done wonders for their relationship



One Phoenix couple put their own spin on "tiny living" when they transformed a 366-square-foot grain silo into their home.

Among the challenges of adapting the metal structure was when the pair, Shauna Thibault, a stylist and boutique owner, and architect Christoph Kaiser, moved into the mini dwelling as newlyweds.

"It makes you confront issues more and it brings you together — there's camaraderie there that I don't think would be otherwise," Kaiser told Zillow, which featured Kaiser and Thibault's unique home in a company blog post.

Here's their story:

SEE ALSO: A boat architect modeled his 250-square-foot tiny home after a lunar lander and it's just as cool as it sounds

Kaiser originally bought the silo, which is designed to hold grain in bulk, off of Craigslist as a means to store his garden tools. He and Thibault eventually changed their minds about its purpose and embarked on an 18-month long project to fashion it into the tiny home of their dreams.

Source: Zillow

And tiny it is: The 366-square-foot home doesn't have any rooms, just an upstairs bed loft and a downstairs, which includes the kitchen and a bathroom. The two moved into the pint-sized abode as newlyweds a couple of years ago.

Kaiser said spending their first year of marriage in such a small space afforded the pair an intimacy that they may not have had had they lived in a bigger home. For them, tiny living simplified life. "We affectionately called it the 'pressure cooker' for a while," he told Zillow.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Google's first executive chef describes wild company parties with 'truckloads of alcohol and a bunch of pot,' where people would tell him 'I’m hallucinating'


young larry page sergey brin

  • In 1999, Google hired its first executive chef, Charlie Ayers.
  • Ayers was previously known as the chef for the Grateful Dead.
  • In a new book about Google's early days, Ayers describes the odd interview he had with Google founder Larry Page.
  • He also discussed the wild parties during Google's annual ski trip, filled with booze, pot, and 'ganja goo balls.'


In 1998, when the year-old Google had grown up out of its digs in Susan Wojcicki 's house and moved into its first proper office in Palo Alto, California, the 50-ish people who worked at the company were hungry, so Larry Page decided to hire a chef.

Google would end hiring Charlie Ayers who was, until that time, best known as the former chef for the Grateful Dead, which put him in the middle of the "counter culture" back in the day.

Ayers described that first interview with Page and the epic parties he threw in a new book by Adam Fisher called the Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (as Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom). An excerpt of the book was published by Vanity Fair.

Ayers landed at Google because founder Larry Page's father was a big Deadhead who ran a radio talk show every Sunday night called the Grateful Dead-hour, Ayers said in the book.

In those early days, Google was a wild, childlike place to work, filled with people in their 20s. During the interview for the chef job, Page sat and bounced on one of those big red bouncy balls with a handle, the sort you'd get from a toy store.

"It was just a very unprofessional, uncorporation attitude," as Ayers tells the story. "I have a pretty good understanding of doing things differently from the Grateful Dead — I’ve worked on and off with them over the years — but from my perspective, looking from the outside, it was an odd interview. I’d never had one like that. I left them thinking that these guys are crazy. They don’t need a chef!"

But he took the job as employee number 53 anyway, staying until 2005. He left to open his own restaurant, rich from his stock after Google's IPO in 2004.

And one of the things he did in his years there was throw epic parties. The Google crew started taking annual ski trips to Squaw Valley where at first Ayers' parties were, as he described them, "unsanctioned." And then the company bowed and allowed him to create what he called "Charlie's Den."

"I had live bands, D.J.s, and we bought truckloads of alcohol and a bunch of pot and made ganja goo balls. I remember people coming up to me and saying, 'I’m hallucinating. What the fuck is in those?'," Ayers said in the book. A spokesperson for Google declined to comment on the parties.

The parties got even wilder from there, Ayers recalled, "Larry and Sergey had like this gaggle of girls who were hot, and all become like their little harem of admins, I call them the L&S Harem, yes. All those girls are now different heads of departments in that company, years later."

Read the full excerpt on Vanity Fair. 

SEE ALSO: 'Oh my God, this is a sexual harassment claim waiting to happen': Early Google insiders describe a young Sergey Brin

SEE ALSO: The number of tech moguls chartering private jets to Sun Valley next week has become 'chaotic'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This hands-free crutch takes the strain off your hands, wrists and arms

I asked 3 relationship experts for the best ways to cut off arguments before they start


relationship expert esther perel

  • In a relationship, some conflict is inevitable. But relationship experts say it's all about how you manage it.
  • Their top strategies include listening and reflecting back, displaying some vulnerability, and working on your communication skills.
  • This post is part of Relationships 101, a series which aims to help us all be happier and healthier in love — and to stop fighting over who should take out the trash.

Once you've been in a relationship for a while, you start to get comfortable. You're comfortable letting your partner see you without makeup, comfortable snort-laughing in front of them — and comfortable snapping at them the way you wouldn't snap at pretty much anyone else in the world.

Unsurprisingly, that can be a problem. Instead of taking a step back and reflecting on the bigger picture as you would during, say, a conflict at work, the two of you shout. You name-call. You storm off in a huff.

The relationship experts I've interviewed have seen this pattern unfold time and time again. They've also devised several strategies for keeping everyday spats from spiraling out of control.

Below are some of their best, and most practical, tactics.

Just listen

Couples therapist Esther Perel told me about the importance of letting your partner talk and then reflecting back what you heard them say.

That can be as simple as the phrase: "So what I'm hearing you say is…"

Perel said this strategy works because "it forces you to step into the shoes of the other person and then maybe you'll have better empathy and more compassion for what the other person is actually asking."

You may also hear something that (gasp!) changes your mind about the issue at hand.

Show some vulnerability

Your partner has the potential to hurt you like no one else can, largely because they know your weak points and hot buttons.

So when your partner says something hurtful, don't pretend you're made of emotional steel.

According to marriage and family therapist Hal Runkel, there's one word that can defuse a conflict with your partner: "Ouch." As in: "Ouch. That one hurt. I don't know if you were meaning to hurt me; I don't know if that's what you were going for; but that's what you did."

Runkel said, "That conversation —which was a very familiar path, that fight — is now a totally different path because one of you chose to actually get vulnerable." Once you acknowledge that you've wounded each other, you can start to make some progress toward repairing the relationship.

Learn good communication skills sooner rather than later

Couples can fight about the big stuff— whether to get married, what constitutes cheating — and the small stuff — whose turn it is to take out the trash, how often it's OK to check your phone.

But as relationship expert and marriage counselor Rachel Sussman told me, all these conflicts come down to communication.

"If you're someone who has really poor communication skills," she told me, "that might mean that the minute your partner brings something up, you get very defensive, or you start with the 'tit for tat.'" Which means that "no matter what you're arguing about, that could escalate into a really big fight."

Common sources of conflict among the couples she sees include sex, parenting, and finances. But working on your communication skills is a big step toward resolving them all.

"If you can communicate well, you can get through these issues in a way that can actually bring you closer together," she said. "And if you can't communicate well, it makes it so much worse and can actually tear you apart."

SEE ALSO: I asked 3 relationship experts about the biggest mistakes people make on dating apps

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried a £250 LED mask beauty treatment that's popular with celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen

Historic photos show every time American presidents met British Kings and Queens


Queen Elizabeth Jimmy Carter

President Donald Trump is embarking on a four-day visit to the United Kingdom this week, during which he's slated to meet with various leaders in England and Scotland, including Queen Elizabeth II.

Trump's trip is the latest installment of the "special relationship" the US and UK share, which has been a decades-long diplomatic and political bond.

Take a look back at every time American presidents met British royals:

SEE ALSO: A balloon of Trump as a 20-foot-tall angry baby has been cleared to fly over London for his diplomatic visit next week

SEE ALSO: We asked 20 people in London how they feel about Trump's visit. Here are their reactions.

Former Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all met King George III, who they had called a tyrant, after the American Revolution while they served as diplomats for the new republic.

Source: BBC

The first visit of a sitting US president to England was Woodrow Wilson in December 1918, when he met with King George V after signing the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I.

Source: US Embassy in the UK

The first time British royalty made an official visit to the US was King George VI in June 1939. He and his wife Queen Elizabeth met President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York.

Sources: US State DepartmentBBC

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 photos show how close Merkel was with Obama, and how different things are with Trump


trump merkel 4x3

The NATO summit in Brussels has put the strained relationship between President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel back in the spotlight.

Over the past year and a half, Trump has consistently attacked Germany over trade and accused them of not contributing their fair share to NATO's budget, leading to several tense interactions between him and Merkel.

Based on Trump's remarks at a Wednesday breakfast meeting with NATO's general secretary, things won't seem to be getting better anytime soon.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline," Trump said. "You tell me if that's appropriate, because I think it's not, and I think it's a very bad thing for NATO, and I don't think it should have happened. And I think we have to talk to Germany about it."

It seems hard to believe that less than two years ago, Germany was one of the US' closest allies, and Merkel was working harmoniously with former President Barack Obama.

Merkel and Obama not only shared perspectives on various issues — they were also close friends. These 11 photos show just how different Merkel's relationship has been with the two American presidents.

SEE ALSO: 16 heartwarming photos of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel's friendship

DON'T MISS: One amazing photo with Trump and NATO leaders says it all

Trump and Merkel's relationship got off to a rocky start. After months of harshly criticizing Merkel for her handling of the refugee crisis on the campaign trial, the two leaders had an awkward first meeting at the White House in March 2017.

While Obama defended Merkel's immigration policies as president, Trump had previously accused Merkel of "ruining Germany" by admitting Syrian refugees. He even suggested his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton would be "America's Merkel."

At their first time meeting face-to-face at the White House in March 2017, awkwardness ensued when Trump appeared to ignore Merkel asking him for a handshake during their photo-op in the Oval Office.

Trump later claimed not to have heard her or the photographers asking them to shake hands.

Sources: Business InsiderABC, The Independent

During the previous 8 years when Obama was president, the US and Germany worked together on important global issues — including responding to Russia's annexation of Crimea, tackling ISIS and the refugee crisis, and recovering from the global financial meltdown.

Obama and Merkel also developed a close diplomatic partnership and friendship. 

"She is giving voice, I think, to the kinds of principles that bring people together rather than divide them, and I'm very proud of her for that, and I'm proud of the German people for that," Obama said in a 2016 speech in Germany while reflecting on his time working with Merkel.

Source: Business Insider

Trump, on the other hand, does not see eye-to-eye with Merkel on many issues. He has consistently decried the US' trade deficit with Germany, which comes out to around $65 billion.

In May 2017, Merkel launched a subtle jab at Trump, saying at a campaign event: "The times in which we could fully rely on others are partly over. I have experienced this in the last few days. We Europeans really have to take our destiny into our own hands."

Trump then hit back on Twitter a few days later, writing, "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change."

But economists say the trade deficit is not necessarily a bad thing, because while Americans spend more on German goods, Germans tend to save at a higher rate, meaning that much of those savings end up being invested in the United States economy.

Source: Washington PostBusiness Insider, Twitter

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

All that spitting during the World Cup could be something called 'carb rinsing' — here's the science behind it


ronaldo spitting

  • You might have noticed a lot of players spitting out their water at the World Cup.
  • They could be rinsing out their dry mouths, but scientists think they might be doing something called "carb rinsing."
  • This is where you swirl a carbohydrate solution around your mouth to trick your body into thinking energy is coming.
  • This way you may give your brain a boost to stay alert.
  • It isn't common practise yet, but sports scientists believe the technique is on the rise.

Football fans were heartbroken all over England on Wednesday night. The team was beaten by Croatia in the World Cup semifinals in Russia, leading everyone across the nation to accept the fact it's not coming homenot until 2022, anyway.

Looking back on the memories of the World Cup that wasn't to be, you might remember seeing a lot of spitting. Not just normal spitting, but players rinsing their mouths out with water and producing a stream of water, rather than drinking it.

England's captain Harry Kane seemed to do this a lot, squirting water from his bottle into his mouth only for it to come back out again — as did midfielder Dele Alli, and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to the New York Times, this could be a fitness technique called "carb rinsing." Drinking a lot of water can lead to bloating, so it makes sense for players to wash their mouths out without swallowing if they are feeling dry. But carb rinsing is where you wash your mouth out deliberately with a carbohydrate solution, which essentially tricks your body into performing better.

Harry Kane, England, World Cup

It works by receptors in the mouth sensing the carbs and sending signals to the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, saying there is more energy on the way. This makes the muscles work harder, without the negative effects of carbohydrate drinks like stomach heaviness and cramps.

The England team didn't discuss its nutritional tactics at the World Cup, the NY Times says, but a source familiar with the team's regimen said carb rinsing was "standard practice."

A study published in 2017 in the European Journal of Sport Science found that carb rinsing boosted performance in a range of activities. The research team from Coventry University tested 12 healthy men in their 20s, and found after carb rinsing they could jump higher, do more bench presses and squats, sprint faster, and were more alert.

Another study from 2015, published in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that 12 competitive male athletes experienced less fatigue after carb rinsing.

But carb rinsing hasn't always been found to be successful. In one study from 2017, published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, 15 female runners raced for 60 minutes, once with carb rinsing and once without. The carb solution apparently had no impact on their times. This may be because carb rinsing has more of an impact on quick, immediate activities such as sprinting, rather than endurance events like long distance running.

David Ferguson, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at Michigan State, told the NY Times that rinsing seems to help players feel less fatigued and enhances their attention — something that is very important after more than 90 minutes of play.

Rather than making them run faster or kick harder, "it's simply going to maximize their focus so that they are not succumbing to fatigue, so they can put themselves in the right position to make the right play," Ferguson said.

When England and Columbia's match went to penalties, for example, players may have benefitted from a brain boost with carb rinsing.


"You're going to do every trick in the book to try to maximize cognitive focus after two hours of a pretty intense match," Trent Stellingwerff, a researcher of carb rinsing, told the NY Times. "Is there science behind it in a soccer model? Not that I'm aware of yet. Is it going to hurt? Absolutely not. If the athletes believe in it and it's part of their mojo, will that work? You betcha it will."

It's not a widespread technique yet, according to Asker Jeukendrup, an exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist at the University of Birmingham, but it definitely seems to be on the rise.

"I hope it's all deliberate," he said. "It's good to see science making its way into real sport."

SEE ALSO: You might be better at sports at certain times of day thanks to your biological clock

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What it takes to be a World Cup referee

The fascinating way helium changes your voice


Inhaling helium and talking like Daffy Duck is a classic party trick. But not many know how helium works. Helium is much lighter than air, so sound waves move much faster through the gas. This amplifies the higher frequencies in your voice. The gas sulfur hexafluoride works in the opposite way. The following is a transcript of the video.

It’s a classic party trick- suck down a balloon and you’ll sound like Daffy Duck every time. But helium isn’t the only gas that’ll change the way you talk. So what’s going on here?

Your voice is as unique as your fingerprint. Janice didn’t inhale a balloon full of helium. That’s just her “normal” voice. So, let's take a look at how that's even possible. The sound of your voice starts in your voice box, or larynx. It’s a two-inch piece of cartilage at the top of your throat. In the box are two stretchy strands of tissue, your vocal cords. Which vibrate against each other at a specific frequency when you talk.

Women generally have thinner, shorter, tighter vocal cords than men. So, their vocal cords vibrate faster which generates a higher pitched voice. That sound is called the fundamental frequency of your voice. On its own it just sounds like a simple buzzing. But when it reaches your vocal tract, the sound waves start bouncing around. Those reflections interfere with each other. Which creates a mix of other frequencies, that you can detect with a spectrogram. So even though your voice starts out as one frequency, it ends up as a mix of multiple ones.

And that's where helium comes into play. Helium is lighter than air. Which means sound moves faster through helium than through air – nearly 3 times faster, in fact. So the sound waves bounce around faster in your vocal tract, which amplifies the higher frequencies in your voice. It's sort of like how speeding up your voice makes it sound higher.

But hold on a sec. These people aren't inhaling helium. They're sucking down sulfur hexafluoride, which is six times heavier than air. So sound waves move slower through it, which amplifies the lower frequencies in your voice. But here's the fascinating thing. The pitch of your voice hasn't changed when you inhale either gas, because your vocal cords move at the same rate no matter what gas you're breathing. So your fundamental frequency stays, well fundamental.

Regardless of whether you want to sound like Daffy Duck or James Earl Jones, keep in mind that inhaling anything but air can be dangerous. Especially when the gas is denser than air, because it will sink to the bottom of your lungs. And you may have to get it out like this. What questions do you have about the human body? Let us know in the comments and thanks for watching.

Join the conversation about this story »

13 popular fast-food menu items that are surprisingly perfect for vegans


red robin veggie burger

  • Even though vegan food and fast food seem like complete opposites, there are a surprising number of vegan meals you can order at popular fast-food chains with little modification. 
  • In other words, the food is vegan without your having to change anything besides requesting no cheese.
  • Burger King, Taco Bell, and White Castle are among the chains that have vegan meals you can order without having to use any menu hacks. 


Vegans in Finland and Sweden rejoiced when McDonald's launched its first-ever vegan burger, called the McVegan. But as it turns out, many popular fast-food chains have been serving vegan meals all along, whether or not they realized it. To clarify, this refers to meals you can get from popular chains like Burger King and Taco Bell that have absolutely no meat, dairy, egg, or other animal products.

While they may be few and far between, there are a surprising number of fast-food meals that are vegan (although you may have to ask for no cheese). 

From french toast sticks to apple pie, here are some unexpectedly vegan meals from popular fast-food chains: 

SEE ALSO: These before-and-after photos show how much McDonald's has changed over the years

Burger King: French toast sticks

Burger King's five-piece french toast sticks with maple syrup are the perfect breakfast for when you're on the go, and are vegan ordered right off the menu. 

McDonalds: Fruit and maple oatmeal (no cream) and apple pie

Instagram Embed:
Width: 658px


Replace cream with water and you've got a simple vegan breakfast from McDonald's. If you're craving something sweet, its mini cinnamon apple pie is vegan, too.

White Castle: Veggie sliders

Most fast-food veggie burgers contain eggs, but White Castle's sliders are safe for vegans, without having to make any changes when you order. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A fertility startup made a free quiz that tells you your chances of getting pregnant this year — and you can try it right now


pregnant couple

Want to know your chances of getting pregnant this year?

There's now an online test for that — and you can take it for free. The tool uses your age and 14 questions about your health to give you a snapshot of your chances of having a baby on your own or with a doctor's help.

Created by a woman-run genetics and reproduction startup called Celmatix, the new tool relies on peer-reviewed scientific research about fertility. It also uses the same predictive models that inform the company's data analytics platform, called Polaris, which has been used by thousands of physicians and more than 90,000 patients to track people's reproduction journeys.

You need a doctor to use Polaris, but all you need to take the new test, called My Fertility Compass, is a computer.

"It's an education tool; a companion," Piraye Yurttas Beim, the founder and CEO of Celmatix, told Business Insider.

How to take the test

To use My Fertility Compass, go to Celmatix's new site, enter your age, height, weight, and information about how long (and how frequently) you've been trying to conceive. You'll also be prompted to answer several questions about lifestyle factors that affect your fertility, such as how often you drink or smoke.

Then you'll get a percentage that shows your chances of getting pregnant by the end of one year of trying.

MyFertility Compass

Based on those numbers, the tool will either tell you to keep doing what you're doing (meaning you're on the right track with your current behavior) or it'll suggest you see a doctor to get some extra help.

Dozens of factors can affect your fertility, from a family history of genetic conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) to lifestyle factors like smoking.

Women under 35 who've been trying to get pregnant for a year or longer and women over 35 who've been trying for at least 6 months will be advised to consult a physician.

That doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong, it just means that it's time to loop in an expert who can make sure everything is running as it should and provide guidance if it isn't.

Making the black box of fertility clearer

Piraye Beim CelmatixFor Beim, Celmatix's new tool is part of a broader goal. She wants to bring the advances we've seen in areas like cancer — such as precision medicine and other tools to better diagnose and treat the disease — to fertility.

"Fertility is still very much a black box," Beim said. "The scientific playbook that's being applied to cancer is not being applied here."

We know, for example, that mutations on two genes play a role in the risk of developing breast cancer, but we're just now learning how genetics and other factors influence the chances of getting pregnant.

As part of the effort to bring the latest cutting-edge science to fertility, Celmatix also offers the only spit-in-a-tube genetics testing kit for fertility.

While that kit is useful for women who are already thinking about family planning, it doesn't help those who haven't yet considered what they might do if they were to have trouble conceiving. Beim pointed out that by the time many women start thinking about ways to raise their chances of getting pregnant, they're already beyond the ideal fertility window.

As Beim knows firsthand after struggling to to get pregnant herself, a big part of family planning is taking action early, when there's plenty of time to get additional support. That support could include diagnostic testing or interventions like IVF. That's why the new tool is free and easily accessible

"This is an area where early interventions really matter," Beim said.

The new test is designed to get more women thinking about fertility earlier, and have more options as a result.

"Having this as a companion — that's the future," Beim said.

SEE ALSO: The founder of a woman-led biotech startup explains how she raised $60 million when 98% of venture capital dollars go to men

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why penalty kicks are so unfair to goalies

This is the one type of suit every guy should have in summer, according to a tailor


Navy suit Alton Lane

  • Feeling the heat this summer?
  • Alton Lane tailors CEO and co-founder Colin Hunter has some advice for you.
  • Always get your suits "half-lined," Hunter says, they'll keep you much cooler.
  • Scroll down to see the difference between full-lined and half-lined blazers.
  • If you can afford it, a navy linen blazer is a versatile addition to any wardrobe.

There's almost nothing worse than putting on a full suit when the sun is blazing and temperatures are soaring.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to maximize your suit-wearing comfort in the summer months.

Colin Hunter, CEO and cofounder of Alton Lane tailors, says there's one thing you should always look out for when searching for a suit that's weather appropriate all year round.

"If you are truly on a budget and you can only get one suit, get it made half-lined," Hunter says.

"A half-lined jacket will still have the normal structure of a traditional suit or blazer... but it will actually keep you so much more comfortable in the summer."

The difference between full and half-lined blazers is, unsurprisingly, in the lining.

A regular, full-lined blazer has an extra layer of fabric, which runs from the neck line all the way to the hemline to cover up all the rough stitching and details on the inside.

A half-lined blazer has all that rough stitching on show and, as a result, allows air to move much more freely between the fabric.

Half-lined blazer (L) versus full-lined blazer (R):

Half line jacket full line jacket comparison

From the outside, no one will be able to tell the difference between a half-lined and a full-lined blazer, but the former will keep you much cooler.

That's not to say that half-lined suits aren't appropriate for winter, though, in the words of Hunter, "that's what overcoats are for."

Once your wardrobe is sufficiently stocked with at least one or two core suits that you can wear year-round, Hunter says guys should go straight for a navy linen suit.

"A navy linen suit gives you all the versatility of a navy suit and it's appropriate to wear in spring, summer and even early fall," he says.

Alton Lane Linen Blazer

"I love being able to throw on a linen blazer in the summer — perfectly acceptable to wear to work. It's also the perfect outfit to wear to a summer wedding or cocktail parties."

Though linen is a relatively expensive material because of the labour incurred in making it, it'll likely last you a while.

Despite having a lower thread count, linen is about 30% stronger than cotton, according to FashionBeans. It will also get better over time — while cotton fabrics will depreciate with each wash, linen gets softer and shinier as time goes on.

So, if you're feeling the heat this summer you have two options:

  1. Make sure your blazer is half-lined, whatever the material.
  2. If you can afford it, a linen blazer — preferably in navy — is a versatile addition to any wardrobe.

SEE ALSO: You can double the lifespan of your suit with this simple tailor's trick

Join the conversation about this story »

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The parents of the Thai boys trapped in a cave wrote a letter to their soccer coach telling him not to blame himself


Thai boys rescue soccer cave screen grab

  • In a letter written to 25-year-old soccer coach Ekapol Chanthawong, parents of the boys trapped in the cave thanked him for keeping their children safe.
  • The coach remained in the northern Thailand cave until all of the boys had been rescued.
  • By the time he was brought out of the cave, he was dehydrated, shivering, and showing signs of hypothermia.

Parents of the Thai boys soccer team who were trapped in a northern Thailand cave for more than two weeks told the coach not to blame himself for the ordeal.

In a letter written to the 25-year-old coach while he and the 12 members of the Wild Boar soccer team were still trapped in the cave, parents thanked him for taking care of their children.

The parents wrote to coach Ekapol Chanthawong: "Please don't blame yourself for this. We want you to rest assured that no parent is upset or angry at you. Everybody supports you.

"Thank you very much for taking care of our children. You went into the cave with our children and you must get out with them. Take our children and yourself out with safety. We are waiting in front of the cave."

Coach Ek, as the players called him, was the final person to be rescued from the cave after all of the children had been taken out by divers.

By the time he was brought out of the cave, he was dehydrated, shivering, and showing signs of hypothermia, and authorities learned he sacrificed his rations of food to keep the boys alive.

Prior to the letter from the parents, Chanthawong had apologized for bringing their boys into such a situation.

He wrote: "I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologize to the parents."

On Tuesday evening, all 12 boys and Chanthawong had been rescued following a three-day operation by the Thai Royal Navy and Thai Navy SEALs.

Chanthawong had taken the boys about 2.5 miles into the cave after a soccer game on June 23 as part of an initiation ritual which would see them write their names on the cave walls. But heavy rains trapped the team inside for 17 days.

While they are believed to be in good health, the boys and their coach face a long road to recovery and are still being evaluated at a hospital in Chiang Rai.

Parents of the boys have been watching their children at the hospital as they recover and are evaluated by doctors.

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9 ways to deal with a terrible coworker when quitting simply isn't an option


Bob Sutton Stanford

  • If you're wondering how to deal with a bad coworker, you're not alone. Almost every workplace has at least one office jerks.
  • Worse, toxic workplace cultures actively foster more bad behavior.
  • Stanford professor Robert Sutton has some tips on how to deal with bad coworkers.

You've got to learn how to deal with workplace jerks if you're going to advance professionally — and preserve your sanity.

Robert Sutton, professor of management at Stanford University and author of "The No Asshole Rule," spoke to a number of individuals who have coped with less than ideal coworkers for his upcoming book "The Asshole Survival Guide."

His sources included people who have worked with back-stabbers, incompetent and abusive bosses, and even one man who dealt with a noisy coworker who, according to a decibel meter, was as loud as cutting metal.

He said that, in many cases, it's best to either avoid working with jerks in the first place or quit and move on.

But that evasive maneuvering isn't always warranted — or possible for everyone.

With that in mind, Sutton broke down seven strategies for surviving the worst people in your office:

SEE ALSO: 11 signs you can't trust your coworkers

DON'T MISS: 24 things you should never say to your coworkers

SEE ALSO: 29 unprofessional habits that make everyone at work hate you

Use cognitive tricks to look on the bright side

Sutton described the experience of a young lawyer who worked for a federal judge as part of a two-year clerkship. Her coworkers and boss were incredibly hard to deal with, but quitting would have been tantamount to career suicide. It'd also leave her drowning in student loan debt.

Sutton said the young lawyer coped by using a simple cognitive behavioral trick. She simply imagined herself at the end of her clerkship.

"When you're in a difficult situation, if you can say to yourself, 'If I can just get through tonight and look back on it over the weekend, six months, a year from now,' stressful situations actually do much less damage on our mental and physical health," Sutton told Business Insider.

Retain your sense of humor

Another example of cognitive distancing that Sutton recommends is trying to find humor in terrible situations.

"That always helps," he said. "It's amazing. You start laughing at people. That's certainly what I do with some of my more difficult colleagues at Stanford."

Physically avoid the worst people at work

Switch desks to get away from your annoying neighbor. Sit as far away from the rudest person in the office during meetings. Try to change up your schedule to avoid running into your workplace enemy in the kitchen.

The less you come into contact with workplace jerks, the better, said Sutton.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Netflix broke HBO's 17-year streak by earning the most 2018 Emmy nominations of any network


stranger things 2 `

  • Netflix earned the most nominations of any network for the 2018 Emmy Awards, breaking HBO's 17-year streak at the top.
  • Netflix brought in 112 nominations this year, while HBO earned 108 nods.
  • Last year, HBO led with 111 nominations, while Netflix came in second with 91.
  • HBO's second-place tally comes as the cable network is in the midst of a strategy shift under its new owner, AT&T, to hew closer to Netflix's production model.

Netflix earned the most nominations of any network for the 2018 Emmy Awards on Thursday, breaking HBO's 17-year streak as the top network in total Emmy nods.

Netflix brought in 112 total nominations this year. In 2017, the streaming service earned 91 nominations, second to HBO's 111 nominations.

This year, HBO earned a second-place tally of 108 nominations. NBC came in third overall among networks, and leads all broadcast networks with 78 nods. 

Among Netflix's nominations, the streaming service earned nods in several top categories, including nominations for "The Crown" and "Stranger Things" for best drama series, and "Glow" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" for best comedy series. 

HBO meanwhile placed several shows in the top categories, with "Barry," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "Silicon Valley" earning nominations for best comedy series, along with "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld" for best drama. "Game of Thrones" also led all shows with 22 nods.

For the first time since 2001, HBO will not lead all networks in the field of Emmy nominations.

HBO's second-place tally comes as the cable network is in the midst of a strategy shift under its new owner, AT&T, to hew closer to Netflix's high-quantity production model, which will see the streaming service reach a mark of over 1,000 original TV shows and movies by the end of this year. 

HBO's new corporate boss, Warner Media CEO John Stankey, said in a recent town hall meeting that HBO would move to produce a higher quantity of TV shows and movies in order to compete in the new landscape, presumably referring to pressure from streaming services like Netflix. 

The shift is a marked contrast for HBO, as HBO CEO Richard Plepler last year distanced his network from Netflix's production model, saying that "more is not better, only better is better."

Netflix's "more, more, more" model seems to have worked this year in snagging Emmy nominations, now we'll see if the awards follow.

SEE ALSO: The 2018 Emmy nominees have been announced, with 'Game of Thrones' and Netflix leading the way

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13 places to visit in August for every type of traveler


13 best places to travel in August

  • The best places to visit in August are already on savvy travelers' lists.
  • Business Insider looked at airfare trends, climate data, and peak travel times to find the best places to visit in August 2018.
  • They include tropical paradises in the Caribbean and Malaysia, a fudge festival in Michigan, and a Buddhist celebration in Sri Lanka featuring elephants and fire-dancing.

August is one of the most popular months to travel for Americans, with millions of people squeezing in one final summer vacation before the weather cools down.

Choosing the perfect destination for an August vacation isn't easy. You may find yourself favoring northerly locations that are simply too cold any other time of year — think Oslo, Norway, where the sun doesn't set until close to 10 p.m., or Mackinac Island, Michigan, which draws thousands of travelers to its famous Fudge Festival each August.

You can also check out some of the greatest scenes in nature in August — it's when the breathtaking rice terraces in Ifugao, Philippines, are at their greenest, and it's also the dramatic culmination of one of nature's grandest events, the Great Migration in Kenya.

We looked at airfare trends, climate data, and cultural calendars to select 13 vacation spots that are some of the best places to visit this August. Take a look at the places we recommend for an August trip, and plan away.

SEE ALSO: 13 places to travel in July for every type of traveler

DON'T MISS: I've been to 25 countries, and there are 16 things you'll almost never find outside the US

Mackinac Island, Michigan

August is the perfect time to visit Mackinac Island, the scenic island between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.

On Mackinac Island — pronounced "mackinaw"— visitors can enjoy the sunny weather while  boating, fishing, and parasailing. On land, you can hop between historic sites like Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes, both key sites in the War of 1812.

And sweet tooths will have something to celebrate too: the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival, which takes place every August and allows the many fudge shops on the island to show off their best work.

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha's Vineyard is heralded as one of the most classic summer getaways in the United States.

The charming island south of Cape Cod is dotted with quaint New England homes, relaxing sandy beaches, and iconic lighthouses. The sunny summer weather in August sets the perfect stage for a boat outing or a shopping trip to the town's eclectic upscale boutiques.

And although Martha's Vineyard has a reputation for being expensive, it's possible to enjoy what the island has to offer on a budget — you just have to do a lot of planning.

Seattle, Washington

The perfect time to visit the Emerald City is in August, when the sun is shining and you'll be able to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Seattle's iconic Pike's Place Market is an excellent way to spend an afternoon — especially if you can find the secret shops that most tourists don't know about. You can also wile away the day island-hopping across Puget Sound, or for the more culinarily inclined, sampling the best of Seattle's food, coffee, and beer scenes.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

TripAdvisor just named this the best burger joint in America. Here's what it's like to eat there.


Als Burger

  • TripAdvisor released its list of the top 10 restaurants for burgers in the United States on Wednesday. The ranking is based on millions of reviews provided by customers on the site. 
  • Al's Burger Shack in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded the top spot. 
  • Al's Burger Shack sells six different kinds of burgers, and ingredients are sourced from local suppliers.

There are perhaps few accolades more impressive than winning the title for best spot for burgers in America, but Al's Burger Shack, a two-restaurant chain in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, just took the trophy. 

The restaurant was awarded the title of top burger destination in the United States by TripAdvisor, which based its rankings on an analysis of millions of reviews by visiting customers.

Scores of Yelp and TripAdvisor reviewers say Al's burgers are the best they have ever eaten, especially considering it is a small, hole-in-the-wall joint.

"Best burger not just in town, but across the nation. Perfect bun to meat ratio. Great ingredients. Fries are classic and crispy. Innovative burger types," one Yelp reviewer wrote. 

For this reason, customers say they are happy to suffer through the massive lines that often form at this restaurant. 

Take a look below to find out what makes these burgers so delicious:

SEE ALSO: This East Coast cult favorite just beat In-N-Out to be named America's favorite burger chain for the second year in a row — here's what it's like

Al's Burger Shack has two restaurants that are both located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Inside, the restaurants are pretty low-key.

Most of the seating is located outside.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Anthony Bourdain got 6 posthumous Emmy nominations for his CNN show 'Parts Unknown'


parts unknown anthony bourdain

  • Anthony Bourdain's CNN series, "Parts Unknown," received six Emmy nominations on Thursday.
  • The nominations come a month after Bourdain died at the age of 61 while filming a new season of the travel show in France.
  • Bourdain has previously won four Emmy Awards for "Parts Unknown."
  • The late celebrity chef and author has now received 23 Emmy nominations in total. 

Anthony Bourdain's CNN travel series, "Parts Unknown," received six Emmy nominations on Thursday, a month after Bourdain died at the age of 61 while filming a new season of the show in France.

Bourdain's series received the following six nominations in nonfiction programming categories: 

  • Outstanding cinematography for a nonfiction program
  • Outstanding picture editing for a nonfiction program
  • Outstanding informational series or special
  • Outstanding sound editing for a nonfiction program
  • Outstanding sound mixing for a nonfiction program
  • Outstanding writing for a nonfiction program

Bourdain had previously won four Emmy Awards for "Parts Unknown," with his most recent win coming in 2016 for outstanding informational series or special.

The late celebrity chef and author has now received 23 Emmy nominations in total. 

Bourdain's cause of death was suicide by hanging, French authorities confirmed in June. 

Following Bourdain's death last month, CNN released the following statement

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain. His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

Last month, Netflix extended a deal to keep "Parts Unknown" on its service for the foreseeable future, after fans petitioned the service to renew its agreement for the CNN series following Bourdain's death.

SEE ALSO: Netflix broke HBO's 17-year streak by earning the most 2018 Emmy nominations of any network

Join the conversation about this story »

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8 ways Trump could offend the Queen when they finally meet


donald trump queen elizabeth II

  • US President Donald Trump is visiting the UK this week.
  • During his four-day stay, the he will finally meet the Queen.
  • Some fear the president will slip up on the myriad of protocols that surround meeting Her Majesty.
  • Speaking to ITV News, former royal butler Grant Harrold broke down what Trump will have to remember.

US President Donald Trump has finally arrived in the UK for a controversial four-day visit.

Plans for the visit include a formal dinner with around 100 business leaders, a military demonstration, and the first meeting between the president and the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Trump's meeting with the Queen is highly anticipated as some fear the unpredictable president could break some of the innumerable protocols that surround meeting Her Majesty.

Speaking to ITV News, former royal butler Grant Harrold broke down exactly what the president will have to remember when he meets the Queen.

SEE ALSO: 750 hotel rooms, a personal chef, and the nuclear football: Here's everything Trump is bringing on his 4-day UK trip

DON'T MISS: Historic photos show every time American presidents met British Kings and Queens

1. You can look, but you can't touch

"I always say to people that with members of the Royal Family, you can look but you can't touch." Harrold told ITV.

Trump is infamous for his over-the-top handshakes, but he will have to let Her Majesty take the lead when they greet each other, as protocol dictates that the Queen must offer her hand first for a handshake to take place.

It is also advisable that the president does not shake the 92-year-old's hand too vigorously.

2. Let the Queen take the lead

The Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms does not follow — she leads — something Trump will have to bear in mind.

"If they're going somewhere or having a walk around," Harrold said, "the Queen will actually walk slightly in front or alongside Mr Trump."

3. Remember how to address her

NATO entered an emergency session on Thursday after Trump broke diplomatic protocol by reportedly calling the German leader Angela Merkel by her first name.

This won't fly with the Queen.

"When you meet the Queen for the first time, the correct term is to say 'Your Majesty', and then after that, it's 'Ma'am', as in ham, and then when you're leaving her presence you might then repeat 'Your Majesty' to finish the conversation," Harrold said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Millennials love their brands, Gen Zs are terrified of college debt, and 6 other ways Gen Zs and millennials are totally different


Gen Z

  • 100 Gen Zs shared with Business Insider what they think makes them different from millennials, and a few trends were clear.
  • Gen Zs believe themselves to be social justice-minded and more dependent on technology than millennials. 
  • Marketers have noticed that this generational cohort isn't as brand-conscious as their peers, and they're much more frugal.


My first memory ever is using dial-up internet (I think I was interested in the weird sounds), my parents are Baby Boomers, and I lived at least half of my life without the conveniences of mobile internet.

In other words, I'm a millennial.

Millennials have been framed as selfish, "psychologically scarred," in constant need of validation, and killing several industries, from casual dining to (perhaps worst of all) bar soap.

But now it's time for a new generation to take the spotlight — and the heat: Generation Z, or all Americans born after 1997, are the newest generation.

As I've reported on this emerginggeneration and talked to Gen Zs nationwide, I've been struck by the differences this cohort has in comparison to myself and my fellow millennials.

And marketers and teens alike have been happy to highlight the differences. Here's what they say sets these two generations apart:

SEE ALSO: 104 Generation Zs reveal what it's like to be a teen in 2018

Millennials spent much of their childhoods without social media or smartphones

Facebook didn't start to become ubiquitous until 2008. The first iPhone was invented in 2007.

As a result, many millennials spent their childhoods without cell phones and depending on the family desktop computer.  

The oldest millennials, who were born in the early 1980s, even made it to college using dial-up internet, using actual floppy disks, and cassette players.

As a younger millennial, I remember the transition from CDs to iPods and being flabbergasted as a teen by my first cell phone that could connect to the internet. 

Gen Zs don't know a world before mobile technology

By 2000, the majority of American homes had at least one computer. Even though many millennials grew up using the internet, it was probably with the sole family desktop computer. 

But, thanks to mobile internet, Gen Zs have computers in their pockets. They're able to be online constantly in a way that millennials never were in their youth.

The majority of teens told Business Insider in a recent survey that technology is what sets them apart from millennials.

  • "For Gen Z, this tech is all we ever knew about and has been in our lives since we were babies." — New York resident Isabel Lagando, 14
  • "Everything in our generation is immediate. Since we have been raised in an age where texts and messages can be sent in the blink of an eye, we are less patient than other generations because we are used to having instant gratification." — North Carolina resident Margaret Bolt, 15
  • "We communicate through social media and texts, which changes the dynamic of communication." — Virginia resident Maddie Martin, 19

Millennials mostly grew up during healthy economic times, but are now poorer than their parents

Less than half of millennials think they're better of than their parents were at their age, compared to 55% of baby boomers, according to the Urban Institute

Millennials who graduated in the late 2000s and early 2010s encountered a depressed job market, and many also owed tens of thousands in student loans during their 20s and 30s. 

Still, they're notorious for being overly-optimistic despite their heady economic circumstances. That might be because they grew up during economic prosperity. 

"Millennials were an optimistic generation that's often seen as being pandered to by parents and adults in their lives," Salesforce reports.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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