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Meet the heroes of the daring rescue mission that brought 13 Thai soccer players to safety


Thailand cave rescuers

Thousands of people from around the world gathered in Thailand over the last several weeks to help rescue the Thai soccer team trapped inside a cave.

The boys were discovered in the cave after surviving for 10-days with little food and no shelter, and required a delicate and methodical plan to get them out of the cave safely.

Local military, police, and the Thai Navy SEALs worked alongside thousands of local and international volunteers, divers, doctors, and experts to aid in the urgent rescue mission.

The boys and their 25-year-old coach were finally extracted after a three-day event, which included pumping out massive amounts of water from the cave's chambers, strategically placing air tanks along a 2.5-mile long passageway, and tightly wrapping the boys so they could be guided out of the cave by tireless divers.

Thai Navy SEALS celebrated the successful mission on their Facebook page, calling the rescue nothing short of miraculous.

Here are the heroes who made the mission possible.

SEE ALSO: This timeline shows exactly how the Thai cave rescue unfolded

DON'T MISS: 'Be a force for good': Thai Navy SEAL chief delivers powerful message to rescued soccer team

Coach Ekkapol Chantawong

While the 25-year-old coach of the soccer team had apologized for allowing the boys to wander into the cave, he is also credited with helping keep them alive during their 17-day ordeal.

The former monk, referred to as "Coach Ake," taught his players how to meditate so they could stay calm and conserve energy while they waited to be rescued. Divers found the team meditating when they arrived at the cave.

The coach also gave his food to the children, and remained inside the cave until the very last child had been removed in a tremendous show of leadership.

British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton

Volanthen, 47, and Stanton, 56, first discovered the boys huddled together on an embankment 2.5 miles inside the cave 10 days after the team had gone missing.

Video emerged showing the powerful moment when rescuers found the boys alive, setting plans to rescue them in motion.

The pair hold the world record for the longest cave penetration dive, and many have called to honor them with the UK's highest awards of bravery.

Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan

Former Sgt. Saman Kunan, 38, died early on Friday from lack of oxygen while trying to replenish the oxygen tanks in the cave for the impending rescue.

The volunteer diver has been praised as a hero, and reportedly received a royal-sponsored funeral with full honors.

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Gunan's widow and his Thai Navy SEAL colleagues remembered him as a man who loved to do charity work, triathlons, and adventurous sports.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Silicon Valley's favorite diet can lead to kidney trouble — here's how to go keto without getting sick



  • The keto diet is a popular strategy for rapid weight loss and can help with certain medical conditions like seizures and Type 2 diabetes.
  • But kidney doctors say that if you're not careful, it can be a recipe for kidney stones and other health concerns.
  • It's not necessarily the diet itself that's bad, but the way some people approach it.
  • Make sure you're staying hydrated, and keep your intake of meats in check. 

The keto diet, at its essence, is rather straightforward: stop eating carbs, munch on more fat.

It is a high-fat, low-sugar weight-loss strategy that forces the body into its natural starvation mode, causing it to rely on fat for fuel instead of on sugars and carbohydrates — typically what our bodies like to burn through first.

Some people say it lifts mental fog while slimming their waistlines. Different versions of the plan have picked up a string of celebrity followers, from Kim Kardashian West to LeBron James. The diet is especially popular among Silicon Valley tech workers, who see it as a path to better performance and reduced appetite, albeit with a side of bad breath.

But while decades of research suggest that a keto regimen can treat epileptic seizures and control blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, there hasn't been much study yet of what the diet can do for a wider population.

If keto dieters aren't careful, they can quickly become dehydrated, ramping up the amount of protein and uric acid in their body to dangerous levels. The diet itself has not been linked to an increase (or decrease) in kidney stone diagnosis rates, but some doctors say they're already seeing a shift as more of their patients go keto.

[Our reporter spent two months on the keto diet. Here's what it was like]

Dr. Koushik Shaw, a urologist at the Austin Urology Institute, told a local Fox affiliate he had started noticing a worrisome trend.

"I've seen a huge spike in the number of kidney stones that we see," Shaw said, adding that he hadn't seen an uptick quite like this before in his 14 years of practice.

"A lot of it I attribute to a lot of these high-protein, low-carb, keto-type diets," he said.

He hypothesized that many of his patients were probably eating more meat and fish than they used to, something that can increase calcium and uric acid levels and acidify their urine.


"All of these things can contribute to a higher rate of kidney stones," he said.

Higher levels of uric acid in the body can also lead to other health problems, like gout, which can happen when uric acid builds up in the body, "forming sharp, needlelike urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling," according to the Mayo Clinic.

Other doctors aren't sure that the keto diet is the true culprit behind the kidney stones.

"Some of the problem might lie in the way that people interpret the keto diet," Dr. Thomas Chi, a urologist at The University of California, San Francisco, told Business Insider.

He said a combination of "tons and tons of meat" and not enough water could lead to kidney stones.

And Chi said that while he hadn't noticed any kind of dramatic uptick in kidney stone patients on keto plans, he had seen a few extreme cases of stones in keto dieters.

"While that's a pretty rare instance," he said, "it may be driven not necessarily by the fact that you're having low carbs and higher fat but that you're subbing in other things," like more meat.

Fatty keto options like butter and meat can increase your blood pressure, while a higher protein intake can put added stress on kidneys, because it adds more acid to them and messes with the body's balance of calcium.

Dietitians recommend anyone going on the keto diet consult with their doctor to discuss whether it's the right choice for their body type and medical history, as well as brainstorm the best things to eat on the plan to stay healthy.

The doctor-recommended way to go keto

Chi said that with so many patients telling him they're having success losing weight and feeling good on the diet, he didn't want to discourage a helpful-eating shift.

"I generally tell people, 'Everything in moderation,'" he said. "We try to take a pragmatic approach."

He recommends his patients stay well hydrated and don't overdo it on the meat.

Lemon water

Shaw said: "The weight loss is great and lower carbohydrates are great. But you have to balance that with a high fluid intake so you can wash some of the metabolic products out."

Something that can help is adding lemon to water, Shaw said, because the citrate in the lemon keeps calcium molecules from sticking together.

Children on the keto diet to help control seizures are sometimes given oral potassium citrate tablets, which can both help decrease the number of stones they develop and prolong the time it takes stones to form.

So while there's no clear evidence that a keto diet directly causes more kidney stones, it's a good idea to check whether you're at an increased risk for developing stones before you go keto.

SEE ALSO: The keto diet could make certain cancer treatments more effective in mice, a study found — and a human trial is moving forward

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The amazing ways intermittent fasting changes your body and brain

Tom Cruise defies age and gravity in 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout,' the best action movie you'll see this year


Mission Impossible Fallout Paramount final

  • "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" does not disappoint in the thrills department.
  • There are about five sequences in which Tom Cruise pulls off incredible stunts.
  • If you're looking for a good action movie, you won't find a better one this year.

"Mission: Impossible - Fallout" marks the sixth time Tom Cruise has played the IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and I know it's hard to believe, but this may be his most action-packed adventure yet.

It almost boggles the mind that Cruise, at 55 (when he shot the movie), is doing things in "Fallout" that actors in their 20s wouldn't dream of. But one of the main draws to the franchise now is seeing which death-defying stunt Cruise can pull off, as he is determined not to disappoint. And in "Fallout" there are as many as five that will leave you in disbelief.

In the movie, Hunt and his team — played by Ving Rhames, who has been in all the movies in the franchise alongside Cruise, and Simon Pegg, who has been on since "M:I III" — are once again up against insurmountable odds. I mean, should I even go on? Do you even remember the plot of the most recent movie? I don't. OK, let's get to the good stuff.

The action director Christopher McQuarrie (who also directed 2015's "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation") has masterfully crafted I promise you will not be topped the rest of the year.

Hunt does an insane skydive, a blitzing motorcycle ride through Paris (including driving the wrong way on the Arc de Triomphe), and a helicopter chase in Kashmir, and then hangs off a cliff when his helicopter crashes … into another helicopter. And it wouldn't be a Tom Cruise movie if there weren't lots and lots of running.

Mission Impossible Fallout 2 Paramount finalNow just imagine how good this movie would have been if they had slipped in a little storytelling.

"Fallout" really has no connective tissue. As much as McQuarrie tries, when there's a break in the action it's more just to catch your breath than to pay attention to what the characters are doing. We've really veered far away from Brian De Palma's first "Mission: Impossible" movie back in 1996 (yes, that’s how long Cruise has been doing these darn movies), when it made a little sense for the story why Hunt would do a crazy stunt. Now the basic reply Hunt gives when he's about to do something insane is simply, "I'll figure it out." That is literally said about three times in "Fallout."

This makes it all the more puzzling why the run time for this movie is 2 1/2 hours. There's not a lot to explore. Still, the lengthy action sequences and buildup are done so well you definitely won't feel as if you got shortchanged.

Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa Faust, who was the scene stealer in "Rogue Nation." She once again gives a great performance, but the standout this time is a newbie to the franchise, Henry Cavill, as a CIA operative who joins Hunt's team. He's big, tough, and sporting that now-infamous mustache.

There are moments between the action in this movie that make you sit back and applaud McQuarrie for doing something a little creative with the story, specifically some flashback scenes and dream sequences (that's right, there are dream sequences in this movie).

But who am I kidding — the stunts, man! We see Tom Cruise jump out of a plane, get struck by lightning, save a man in free fall, and do it all in one single shot.

Go. See. This. Movie.

SEE ALSO: Inside how the director of "Skyscraper" and The Rock teamed up to make a thrilling summer movie

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why the World Cup soccer ball looks so different

A sex therapist's best advice for making a marriage more passionate is decidedly unsexy


couple happy kissing

  • Ashley Madison is a website for married people seeking affairs. Sex therapist Tammy Nelson is its resident relationship expert.
  • Nelson said many people wind up cheating on their partners because they lack passion in their marriage.
  • That's why Nelson recommends having an "affair" with your spouse, meaning you put in the effort to add something forbidden or exciting into your romantic life.
  • However: You have to plan it.

Here's the fantasy.

You come home to your partner, "sweep the dishes off the kitchen table, and say, 'Oh my god, take me now.'"

But Tammy Nelson isn't buying it. "Twenty years later, and with three kids and a dog, that's not going to happen."

Nelson is a sex and relationship therapist; after about 30 years in practice, she recently joined Ashley Madison, a website for married people seeing affairs, as an outside consultant.

The fact that the scenario described above is so unlikely to occur in a long-term relationship is what drives some people to stray,  Nelson said.

"That's the fantasy of an affair, that you'll have that impulsive excitement."

Nelson isn't explicitly "for" or "against" cheating. In fact, she suspects that people will always have affairs.

But she did propose a workaround for anyone who feels like they can't tolerate the lack of passion in their marriage, and need to look elsewhere for it.

Of that "impulsive excitement" she mentioned, Nelson said, "You can have that in your marriage — if you plan it."

This is, admittedly, not a very sexy idea. But according to Nelson, it works.

"What bores people in their sex life is that it's all acceptable. Like, this is great sex, but it's all vanilla sex. It's all fine and good and acceptable and we're not doing anything naughty."

The solution? "You have to have an affair with your spouse. You have to make something about your marital sex feel dangerous."

Passion doesn't just materialize out of thin air

Other relationship experts agree on the benefits of "feigning an affair" with your spouse.

As sex therapist Moushumi Ghose told HuffPost, "Role-playing is a great way for couples to reignite that which may have been lost, by stepping out of their role as dutiful wife, husband and caregiver and getting back to that place where they can throw caution to the wind and embrace that raw, lewd side of themselves."

Even if you don't go so far as to meet like strangers in a bar, the key thing to remember is that you'll need to put in some effort.

Relationship expert and marriage counselor Rachel Sussman previously told Business Insider, "People think, 'Oh, [passion] should just be there,'" Sussman said. "No! It shouldn't just be there. You have to create it."

Bat Sheva Marcus, the sexual dysfunction specialist and clinical director of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality, even recommends scheduling sex on the calendar.

All this means you'll need to have some frank discussions with your partner about intimacy. "If you can have those conversations," Nelson said, "then it can be just as hot as affair sex — without the risk."

SEE ALSO: A sex therapist says many people feel so guilty about cheating that they passive-aggressively try to get caught

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This 24-karat gold bike sold for $327,970 — here's how it was made

Coffee cocktails, bottomless Champagne, and lunch with Andre Agassi: Here's what it's like to attend Wimbledon as a VIP


Rafa Nadal wins at Wimbledon

Watching the Wimbledon Championships live is an experience like no other in sport.

Wimbledon is the oldest of the tennis majors and takes place at the prestigious All England Club every summer — usually for a two week period from late June to early July.

There are multiple matches going on at the same time, so fans who arrive early can enjoy tennis from 11 a.m. onwards.

However, the traditions at the tournament are what really makes it — from white outfits to Pimms to strawberries and cream.

Nowhere is this more apparently than in the VIP area, which adds a whole new element of grandeur to the sporting festivities — free Champagne included.

As Business Insider UK's Sports Reporter, I attended Wimbledon in the VIP area. Keep scrolling to see what it was like.

SEE ALSO: 'Beer everywhere': World Cup fever has gripped the Wimbledon locker room as players watch penalty shootouts in local bars

DON'T MISS: Serena Williams missed her daughter's first steps because she was training for Wimbledon: 'I cried'

UP NEXT: Everything tennis icon Roger Federer eats and drinks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Welcome to the Wimbledon Championships, the oldest tennis tournament in the world and one of the most prestigious sports venues in England. As Business Insider UK's Sports Reporter, I was invited to a VIP day at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, so I decided to detail the experience from beginning to end.

I alighted at Southfields underground train station, which is on the District Line network and is approximately 45 minutes south-west of Business Insider's bureau in London. As soon as you get off the train, you immediately get caught up in the Wimbledon spirit as the station is decorated with themed advertisements.

Just outside the station there is a black cab taxi service that can shuttle fans to the Wimbledon gates, at a cost of £2.50 ($3.31) for a single trip. Not bad, to be fair.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This artist creates incredibly realistic animal cakes — here's how she does it

  • The Cake Illusionist creates realistic cakes that look like animals. 
  • Each cake is custom ordered, prices start from £250.
  • Some of the cakes can take days to make. 

The Cake Illusionist creates hyper-realistic animal cakes, wedding cakes, and other custom orders. These cakes can take days of work.

The cakes are assembled with a buttercream filling, and carved into shape. Each cake is then covered in a crumb coat, this seals the surface ready for icing.

Simple icing shapes are added at first then a full layer is placed on top. This icing is sculpted into shape and feet and ears are added.

The cakes are airbrushed to add details and colour, this process takes hours. The final step is the eyes and fine details and then the cake is ready to eat. Every single part of the cake is edible.

Cakes can be ordered from The Cake Illusionist from £250, and cake making classes are also available to book. 

Produced by Charlie Floyd

SEE ALSO: A London hotel makes cakes that are disguised as everyday objects — and they’re incredibly realistic

Join the conversation about this story »

A photographer visited North Korea 6 times to see what life is really like — here's what he saw



  • Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea six times to take photos of daily life in the isolated totalitarian country. 
  • Lafforgue was banned after his sixth trip to North Korea, in 2012, after he made an off-handed comment about a group of Spanish tourists visiting the country.
  • Much of what he saw in North Korea was the more privileged and affluent areas of North Korea, like Pyongyang, but he always requested to visit far-flung destinations in the country. He found that the further he traveled, the more he saw the real reality of poverty that most North Koreans live in.

After publishing hundreds of photos from six visits to North Korea, it was an offhand comment that got French photographer Eric Lafforgue banned.

Lafforgue had seen Spanish tourists wearing Kim Jung Il shirts and told a friend that they likely wouldn't wear them in Barcelona. The Spaniards heard it and told the guide. One month after returning from the trip, he received a letter with screen captures of his photos, saying they were not good for North Korea and that he could not return.

That was in 2012.

"They know that when I come, I take pictures. They prefer the tourism money, until it causes a problem for one of the people in charge," Lafforgue told Business Insider.

Lafforgue has always been well aware of this, but throughout the years, he's played "their game," as he calls it, to produce some incredible photography. 

“The North Korean regime controls everything that goes out of the country,” he said. “Even me, when they let me take a picture of kids smiling, its because it's good for the country. I take those pictures because there is a real part of the people that are happy and I want to document that ... North Koreans are brainwashed, but they live like everybody in the world.” 

Lafforgue shared a stunning selection of photos from his many trips to North Korea with us. Many of the photos are available in a calender Lafforgue produced with North Korea-watching website NK News.

SEE ALSO: 'Treated like animals': A North Korean defector tells the brutal story of what happened to him after he was caught trying to escape

This is Pyongyang airport, where Lafforgue flew into.

All tourists must go on a guided tour when they visit North Korea. According to Lafforgue, the guides show more to tourists than stated journalists, so he always declared himself a tourist.

Each time Lafforgue visited, the guides tried to take him on the same "classic" tour to the expected sites.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The giant angry orange baby balloon that Trump says made him 'feel unwelcome' has floated over London — here's what it looks like


trump baby balloon

A giant orange balloon depicting Trump as an angry baby in a nappy has been launched in London.

The 6-meter (19.7-feet) tall balloon was tethered to the ground over Parliament Square, beside the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, for two hours on Friday morning.

Trump has complained that the blimp — paid for by anti-Trump protestors — had made him "feel unwelcome."

The president is in Britain from Thursday to Sunday for an informal "working" visit, where he has met Prime Minister Theresa May and is due to meet the Queen. Most of his engagements in Britain will be outside of London to avoid protesters.

Take a look at the balloon:

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

SEE ALSO: Trump says Theresa May's Brexit plan will 'kill' a US-UK trade deal

Here's what the deflated balloon looked like before it was blown up.

It needed five canisters of helium to blow up the entire balloon, HuffPost UK reporter Chris York tweeted from Westminster.


Here's what it looked like while being blown up...


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Vermouth is a wine, not a spirit — here's everything people get wrong about it, and how to drink it


Roberta Mariani

  • Most people think vermouth is a spirit that can be kept on the shelf for years.
  • MARTINI Brand Ambassador Roberta Mariani told Business Insider it's actually a wine — and should be consumed fresh and kept in the freezer.
  • She explained what to look out for on a label when buying a vermouth — and how to drink it.

Whether you're a martini lover or you've recently discovered the joys of the negroni, chances are you've come across vermouth at some point in your life — but do you have any idea what it is?

"What is vermouth" and "Is vermouth a spirit" are often-Googled questions — so we spoke to MARTINI Brand Ambassador Roberta Mariani to get some answers.

Italian-born and London-based Mariani started working behind the bar around 10 years ago while studying languages, and said she "fell in love with [the] mix of science and art while creating cocktails."

"You need to know the math behind them," she told Business Insider. She decided to move to London, which she calls "the best city in the world to make a bartending career" thanks to its incredible bars, people, and community willing to share their knowledge of the business.

She worked at the Sanderson Hotel for a few months before joining Farringdon's Zetter Townhouse, a collaboration with renowned mixologist Tony Conigliaro.

"I had wanted to work for Tony, and his scientific approach to the world of cocktails, for a bit more than a year," Mariani said.

She then spent some time working at Conigliaro's 69 Colebrooke Row before opening Bar Termini with him — named the best bar in London in 2017. She had been there for two years when an opportunity came up to be a MARTINI ambassador in 2014 — and it was a perfect fit.

An aperitivo state of mind

Now, she spends her time teaching masterclasses and educating the world on "aperitivo" — an hour or two spent enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail, or apéritif, with friends.

"Apertivo for an Italian is state of mind, it's the start of evening," she said. "It's not after work drinks, it's just enjoying a drink and some food with friends to just enjoy the moment."

These cocktails typically involve vermouth, gin, or an apéritif spirit like Campari.

"I found out how little European countries know about this topic and category," she said.

Roberta Mariani

The myths of vermouth

According to Mariani, there are a number of myths about apertivo — and vermouth in particular.

Firstly, she said most people think vermouth is a liqueur — but it's actually a wine.

"When you talk about cocktail, you usually think about spirits," she said. "But [vermouth is] actually a wine. There's a massive difference."

She added that people "always think about vermouth as red and sweet" — however, vermouths are all made with white wine, and the colour in a rosso (or red) vermouth comes from things like caramel or other flavourings.

How to buy it, store it, and drink it

MARTINI vermouth

For starters, Mariani recommends looking for a brand you know and trust when buying a vermouth, and checking on the back whether there are artificial or natural ingredients listed.

"If the word 'vermouth' is on the label, you want to be sure [it also says] 'vermouth di Torino,'" she added.

This is a control measure introduced in March 2017 which, like with a parmesan cheese or parma ham, indicates that all of the ingredients are coming from the right place in Italy — in the case of vermouth, Turin.

She added: "Always look at expiry date. It's a product you want to drink fresh, [and the] shelf life of a product is two to three years — if it's already dated three years or more, you shouldn't buy it."

Because people assume it's a spirit, she added that they often leave an opened bottle on a shelf for months or years, then experience a bad taste when they drink it.

Instead, she said it should be kept in the freezer for a maximum of a few months to prevent it from oxidising or "going bad" — something more and more people are starting to realise.

Roberta Mariani

'It works with almost everything'

One classic use for vermouth is, of course, the martini.

"Vermouth in a dry martini can really make the difference. It can give you aromatised notes, depth, texture — ask your bartender for a recommendation for the vermouth [next time you order one]," she said.

However, she said that the gin trend has helped peoples' palettes get used to the bitterness — which has, in turn, made the negroni ever more popular, even ranking as the second best-selling cocktail for 2018.

While Tony Conigliaro's classic recipe calls for ice, vermouth, Campari, gin, and a slice of orange, the MARTINI negroni is "lighter like an Americano" using tonic — or you can swap the gin in a classic negroni for tequila to make things more interesting.

Other popular ways to drink it include a long vermouth and tonic, or on the rocks with a slice or lemon or orange — even adding a few dashes of bitters and gin to add more depth.

It can even be mixed with vodka, bourbon, whiskey, scotch, and tequila in more classic cocktails.

"It's really versatile," she said. "It's really well balanced and works with almost everything."

However, the most important thing?

"Use a lot of ice, always a lot of ice," she said. "Less ice just means dilution — you want your drink kept quite cold."

SEE ALSO: This is the recipe for renowned mixologist Tony Conigliaro's perfect negroni

SEE ALSO: The 30 best-selling cocktails in the world in 2018

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: London's riverside pods have been revamped for summer — and they received 9,000 bookings in a single day

People are donating money to Kylie Jenner to help her become the world's youngest billionaire


Kylie Jenner Style Evolution_21

  • Kylie Jenner, 20, has an estimated net worth of $900 million, according to Forbes.
  • A GoFundMe campaign is raising money to help Jenner become the world's youngest billionaire. 

When Forbes reported this week that Kylie Jenner, the 20-year-old cosmetic mogul from the Kardashian/Jenner family, was just $100 million shy of becoming the world's youngest self-made billionaire, fans of the reality-TV star banded together.

On Twitter, multiple people joked that they intended to help raise the additional $100 million that would make Jenner the world's youngest billionaire.

"Skipping my child support payments to help this fierce female become an iconic billionaire!" one woman wrote.

Now, the joke has been realized. A GoFundMe campaign has been created in Jenner's honor by Josh Ostrovsky, an Instagram celebrity who goes by the nickname "The Fat Jew." So far, $268 has been raised on her behalf.

The campaign description reads: "I don't want to live in a world where Kylie Jenner doesn't have a billion dollars. We must raise 100 million dollars to help her get to a billion, please spread the word, this is extremely important."

While most people are donating about $5, one person gave $100. However, if the campaign goal isn't realized, people won't actually be spending any money on it — for now, it's only an act of internet satire.

This isn't the first time the internet has crowdfunded on the behalf of an extremely wealthy person. A GoFundMe campaign that kicked off in April raised more than $7,000 to purchase a couch for Elon Musk after CBS reported that Musk had been sleeping on the floor of Tesla's factory.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I tried the newest BlackBerry phone for a week

We tried french fries from 5 major fast-food chains to see who does it best, and there was a clear winner


French Fries 10

  • Taco Bell has come out with seasoned french fries in a clear jab at McDonald's and other burger-and-fry chains. 
  • We compared them to fries from other major fast-food chains, including Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Wendy's.
  • In honor of National French Fry Day, we've presented the winner here.

Tex-Mex chain Taco Bell did the unthinkable and added french fries to its menu— albeit only for a limited time. But with Taco Bell's status as a major fast-food chain, one wonders: how do its fries stack up to the rest?

Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Wendy's — the fast-food giants — all offer signature takes on the classic food. McDonald's fries have had the same signature taste for years, while Burger King and Wendy's have changed their recipes in recent times. And Chick-fil-A's distinct waffle variation holds a fierce cult following.

French fries are an art form. The perfect fry is starchy and crispy and a sturdy vehicle for our favorite vegetable: ketchup. Their acceptance in American cuisine is far-reaching: The french fry can be a gas-station grab-and-go item or a gourmet delight.

But which chain has truly mastered the art of the fryolator? We set out to discover who makes the best fries.

Marina Nazario contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.

SEE ALSO: We compared McDonald's new Chick-fil-A killer with the real thing — and the winner is unmistakable

First, we tried McDonald's. Salty, thin, and crispy, these classic fries have stayed consistent over the years.

A large order of McDonald's fries costs $3.15 in Manhattan. They're crispy on the outside but have an unusually hearty center for how thin they are. Loaded with salt, these fries are absolutely addictive.

Right away, we notice that Wendy's are the only fries that have the potato skin still on them. A large order runs for $2.60 in Manhattan.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

Maseratis, cheetahs, and private jets: How the 'Rich Kids of Instagram' are spending their summers


Friends of the Highline 6805

  • The "Rich Kids of Instagram" — now known as "Rich Kids of the Internet" (RKOI) — Instagram and blog are still going strong with addicting photo documentation of wealthy lifestyles.
  • RKOI always know how to live life to its fullest, and summertime is no different.
  • From luxury vacations to private jets, here's how they're enjoying their summer.

With five years under its belt, the "Rich Kids of Instagram" blog and Instagram— now renamed Rich Kids of the Internet — is still at it, curating photos of the lifestyles of the wealthy.

Although it's only July, those featured on the blog are already deep into their summertime celebrations — complete with private jets, luxury cars, and beach vacations.

Take a look at what the "Rich Kids" are up to during the summer so far.

Sarah Jacobs contributed to an earlier version of this post.

SEE ALSO: Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and supermodel Miranda Kerr are honeymooning on a luxurious island in Fiji

Last year, some enjoyed some R&R in Malaysia...

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...while others swung high above the jungle.

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And @balenciaganeoprene posed with a leashed cheetah in Dubai.

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10 phone habits that are ruining your productivity



  • The smartphone has given us instantaneous connection, access to limitless information, and can help keep our lives in order.
  • However, spending too much time on social media, constantly receiving notifications, and sleeping near your smartphone could be hurting your productivity more than you think.
  • Here are 10 smartphone habits that are ruining your productivity, according to experts.


It's hard to imagine a time where our phones weren't permanently attached to our hands. Many of us take these miniature computers pretty much everywhere and rely heavily on them for day-to-day tasks. But with so much opportunity to explore the internet and stay connected to loved ones 24/7, it's easy to get distracted, resulting in a loss of productivity.

"Productivity is often at its apex during a flow state," when a person is fully immersed in an activity, NYC-based psychotherapist Jordana Jacobs told Business Insider.

According to Jacobs, while phones are great for the technology they provide, they also feed into our natural distracted state. Cell phones take us out of the flow state, "which is so fundamental to productivity," she said. "Essentially, we are consistently interrupting our own thought process," she said. To put it simply, our phones "take us away from 'the now,'" she said.

It's probably not plausible for you to get rid of your phone completely, but you can still take steps to keep it from getting in the way of your goals.

The first step to being more productive is identifying all the ways our phones keep us from staying focused. Jacobs andJonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of "Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days," broke down the phone habits are ruining our productivity:

SEE ALSO: 12 ways your smartphone is making your life worse

1. Reading, answering, and deleting emails

According to Jacobs, smartphones take us out of being in the present. When we're constantly checking those work and personal emails, she said it puts us in the mindset of, "I'm doing this rather than just being where I am now."

Mindlessly checking email can easily take us out of the flow state productivity requires.

2. Taking pictures

One of the perks of today's smartphones is that they double as high-quality cameras.

While it's great to want to take a picture here and there to have a keepsake of a particular moment, Jacobs said that playing paparazzi in our own lives is another way of taking us from living in the now.

3. Checking social media

Social media can feed our obsession with other people's lives, but Jacobs said it's also a platform for us to brag to our followers about what we are doing or have done.

She said that by constantly checking social media, we become obsessed with what everyone else is doing and with showing everyone else what we're doing at the expense of the actual task in front of us.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The same day Trump asked Russia to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails, Russians tried to hack Clinton-affiliated emails


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

  • An indictment from the special counsel Robert Mueller's office alleges Russian operatives tried to hack email accounts and domains affiliated with Hillary Clinton on the same day Donald Trump called on Russia to find her "missing" emails.
  • "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said on July 27, 2016, the same day the indictment says hackers targeted a domain used by Clinton's personal office.
  • The special counsel's office on Friday brought criminal charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers suspected of hacking and meddling in the 2016 US election. 

An indictment from the special counsel Robert Mueller's office on Friday alleges that Russian intelligence officers tried to hack email accounts affiliated with Hillary Clinton's campaign on the same day Donald Trump urged Russia to find emails that had been deleted from her personal accounts.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said at a press conference on July 27, 2016, referring to the deleted emails. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Trump has said he was speaking in jest.

The indictment says Russian hackers targeted the Clinton campaign beginning in March 2016 by creating fake email accounts masking as campaign employees and sending "spearphishing" emails to real employees with links containing malware designed to give the hackers access to thousands of internal emails.

But a section of the charging document says the Russian intelligence officers, referred to as "the conspirators," stepped up their attacks to include Clinton-affiliated accounts and domains on the day Trump called on Russia to find her emails.

"For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton's personal office," the indictment says. "At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign."

The officers are accused of using spearphishing for months to target the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Clinton campaign. The indictment says July 27 was the first time they went after email accounts and domains belonging to Clinton's office.

"Yet what Trump was publicly asking the Russians to find for were Clinton's deleted *personal* emails," the Vox political correspondent Andrew Prokop tweeted on Friday. "The way this is written, including the mention of 'after hours,' definitely seems to suggest the 7/27 spearphishing attempt was in response to Trump."

The Friday indictment does not charge any American citizens or members of the Trump campaign.

The indictment's charges include two counts of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, eight counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiracy to launder money using cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

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NOW WATCH: Why the North Korea summit mattered even if it was 'mostly a photo op'

McDonald's employees share the 11 menu items they'd never eat


McDonald's employee

  • The McDonald'smenu has tons of options for customers.
  • And McDonald's crew members themselves have their own frequent picks— as well as orders they tend to avoid.
  • Business Insider spoke with numerous current and former McDonald's employees about the menu items they were not crazy about and why.

The McDonald's menu has plenty of offerings for fast-food fans and casual customers alike.

But, when it comes to consuming McDonald's food, the restaurant's crew members are probably the most insightful of the bunch. They don't just cook the meals; many of them take advantage of their employee discounts and chow down on the food while on break, according to Quora users who previously worked at the chain.

But that doesn't mean they'll just eat anything at McDonald's.

Business Insider spoke with several current and former crew members to find out what orders they tended to pass on and why. Numerous people claiming to be McDonald's employees have also shared on Reddit the menu items they'd never order. Most of the preferences came down to nutrition and personal taste.

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

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

DON'T MISS: McDonald's employees reveal their 20 favorite menu items — and one bonus secret menu item everyone should try

SEE ALSO: McDonald's employees share the 14 strangest orders they've ever gotten

A famous, fishy sandwich

The McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich has a storied history. It was the first new non-hamburger item added to the fast-food giant's nation-wide menu in 1965.

The sandwich has since become iconic, and it's responsible for a whole bunch of piscine imitators. Business Insider's Mary Hanbury reported that the Filet-O-Fish is a massive hit during Lent, when many Catholics fast from meat on Fridays.

It's one of President Donald Trump's favorites, too. He's known to put away two of the fish sandwiches at a time, along with two Big Macs and a large chocolate shake.

But that doesn't matter much to two crew members who spoke with Business Insider.

One former crew member from Virginia described viewing the Filet-O-Fish as a meal popular with older customers "because I assume it's easy for them to chew," but the crew member personally didn't like the taste of the sandwich.

Another crew member told Business Insider that they found the fish sandwich "generally gross" according to their personal taste.

Some of the greener options on the menu

A crew member from Minnesota told Business Insider that they steered clear of a batch of the chain's ostensibly healthier options: the salads.

"I'm not a fan of tons of vegetables, and the caloric count in the items is astronomical," the crew member told Business Insider.

The Southwest buttermilk crispy chicken salad comes in at 520 calories, the bacon ranch salad with buttermilk crispy chicken boasts 490 calories, and the bacon ranch grilled chicken salad has 320 calories.

For comparison, a Big Mac sandwich is 540 calories.

The chain's side salad is only 15 calories, however, for customers looking for a leaner, leafy option.

A particularly sugary beverage

One Reddit commenter said the chain's sweet tea was a bit too sweet for his or her taste.

"Pound. Of. Sugar. Per gallon," the person wrote in a 2013 Reddit thread.

A pound of sugar per gallon of McDonald's sweet tea would translate to a quarter pound — or about 113 grams — of sugar in a large, 32-ounce serving. That is much larger than the still-formidable 38 grams of sugar that McDonald's reports is in a large, 32-ounce McDonald's sweet tea.

A large Coca-Cola contains 77 grams of sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends that men should take in no more than 36 grams of added sugar a day — and that women should consume no more than 25 grams.

The smallest sweet-tea option at McDonald's, the extra-small cup, has 15 grams of sugar.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

You can drive monster machines at this construction equipment playground


At Dig This Las Vegas, located just off the Vegas strip, you can unleash your inner "Bob the Builder" and operate monstrous machines like bulldozers and excavators. When I went, I got to have the "Big Dig" experience, in which I singlehandedly operated a Caterpillar 315C excavator through a series of activities.

A certified instructor guides you every step of the way via headset as you familiarize yourself with the controls before advancing to more complex tasks like digging holes and stacking tires. This is what it's like to experience a construction equipment playground. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Graham Flanagan: I’m here at  Dig This Las Vegas. It’s a construction equipment playground where you can live out your childhood dreams of being able to operate heavy machinery like bulldozers and excavators.
But first, you’ve gotta sign some waivers, you’ve gotta take a breathalyzer test, which is very important, and then you’ve got to put on this vest here for safety reasons. Before I head out to the playground I have to take a 10-15 minute training course to make sure I’m safe out there. That’s it - that’s the safety course. I guess I’m ready!

{You get to operate a 315C excavator. It weighs about 37,000 pounds. The “Big Dig” experience costs $269 and lasts one hour.}

Junior Diaz:
 My name is Junior Diaz. I am an instructor and I teach people how to have fun in heavy equipment that have never been on any equipment in their life. 

{First, you get used to the controls.}

Diaz: Rotate that cab — left joystick to the left as hard as you can. All the way around. Faster! Faster! Come on! Commit! There it is! Are you ready to do that push-up or what?

{Time to dig!}

Diaz: Oh, yeah. Get that first scoop. Good job! Alright, let's boom up. Bring it up out of the hole. 
{Then you get to stack some tires. Here's where things get challenging ... You play a game of "basketball."}

Diaz: Good job!

{Then you get to go wild!}

Diaz: How was that?

Flanagan: That was awesome, man! That is such a blast. It is so cool to be in charge of such a big, powerful machine!

Diaz: Did you get your mind off life for a moment?

Flanagan: I did. You know, when I was moving that dirt and stacking those tires, it was just a way for me to kind of zone out, you know? Just focus on simple tasks.

Diaz: And that's what we want you guys to do when you come out to Vegas. Just tap into your inner child and have fun!

Flanagan: Thank you so much, sir. That was great!

What was the biggest challenge you think I had out there?

Diaz: The biggest challenge for you? I would say, just getting your right from your left down (LAUGHTER).

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7 ways to figure out who the hiring manager is when it's not listed in a job posting


woman resume job applicatino

  • Knowing how to address a cover letter with no name can be confusing and frustrating.
  • But while it may be tempting to use a generic greeting like "To Whom It May Concern," you should always resist the urge.
  • Amanda Augustine, career expert at TopResume, shared her best strategies for figuring out who's in charge of hiring.
  • For example, you can use the email address provided to search for the person's name. Or, you can simply look for information about the person you'd be reporting to.

Just because a job posting omits the name of the person in charge of the hiring process doesn't mean you should address your cover letter "To Whom It May Concern."

According to Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for TopResume, you'll always want to direct your cover letter to a specific individual (unless the posting is anonymous). Otherwise, you might give the impression that you didn't put any effort into your application or you don't pay attention to detail.

So how do you figure out who's doing the hiring? Augustine shares her top strategies:

DON'T MISS: The 5 worst ways to address a cover letter

1. Reread the job description

Before you panic and conclude that there's no name listed, go back and reread the job posting very carefully. There might be a name and email address lurking at the bottom of the posting that you missed the first time.

2. Use the email address provided to search for a name

Sometimes companies will direct candidates to send their applications to a specific email address, without providing a name to go along with it.

That's a big clue.

There's a good chance the email address is the person's first initial and last name (for example, mine is slebowitz@businessinsider.com), or maybe just their first name. Once you have that information, you can run a Google search for "S Lebowitz Business Insider" or "Shana Business Insider" and see what you come up with. 

3. Look for the person who created the posting

If you found the job posting on LinkedIn, sometimes you'll see it was created by a specific recruiter or hiring manager, depending on the size of the company.

In that case, you should address your cover letter to him or her because that person is obviously directly involved in the hiring process.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Trump could be even more vulnerable in a summit with Vladimir Putin than he was with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un


trump putin first meeting

  • Current and former US officials have sounded the alarm about President Donald Trump's upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • US officials expressed concern over how quickly Trump was willing to meet with Putin.
  • Over a dozen officials indicated "that there is no historical precedent for such a meeting.

Current and former US officials sounded the alarm about President Donald Trump's upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I'm afraid," a former State Department told The New Yorker in a story published on Friday. "Our guy here is like an amateur boxer going up against Muhammad Ali."

"There's no stopping him," a senior White House official reportedly told veteran journalist and New Yorker writer Susan Glasser in June. "He wants to have a meeting with Putin, so he's going to have a meeting with Putin."

Citing interviews with more than a dozen former senior officials who worked for Republican and Democratic presidents, Glasser indicated there is "no historical precedent for Trump's meeting with Putin."

This approach to diplomacy with Russia has confounded some foreign-policy experts, as it's happening despite the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, and accusations that Russia carried out a nerve-agent attack in the UK in March.

Trump's Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June was also met with early doubt, given the reclusive nation's pattern of behavior and Kim's mercurial nature. But Tom Graham, the National Security Council's former senior director for Russia, told The New Yorker that the US "had more time for planning," compared to Trump's upcoming meeting with Putin.

In preparation for the US-North Korea summit, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo twice flew to North Korea and US intelligence officials met with their North Korean counterparts on several occasions.

Based on media reports, preparations for the US-Russia summit appear to have been limited — aside from a group of Republican lawmakers visiting Russia during the week of Independence Day. National security adviser John Bolton reportedly flew to Moscow once.

Trump Putin

That summit has also been overshadowed by the Justice Department's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with the hacking of several Democratic Party organizations and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016. Russian intelligence officers tried to hack email accounts affiliated with Clinton's campaign by sending "spearphishing" emails to employees with links that contained malware.

In light of the indictment, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including the Arizona Sen. John McCain, called on Trump to cancel the Putin meeting.

"If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward," McCain said in a statement on Friday.

SEE ALSO: Trump reportedly gave out his personal cell phone number to world leaders and US officials 'had no idea' he was making calls

Join the conversation about this story »

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An empty wooden ship washed up in Japan — and it looks like another mysterious North Korean ‘ghost ship’


japan ghost ship

  • An empty wooden vessel was found drifting off Japan's western coast earlier this week.
  • It was found floating in a rocky area around 164 feet off the island of Hokkaido.
  • Though it's not clear where the boat came from, town authorities think it may be from North Korea.
  • Dozens of "ghost ships" from North Korea have drifted on Japanese shores in the past.

An empty, overturned wooden boat has been found drifting off Japan's western coast, and it could mark the start of another flood of "ghost ships" from North Korea to wash up on Japan's shores.

The vessel, measuring 8-meters (26-feet) long, was found floating in a rocky area off the island of Hokkaido on Wednesday afternoon, Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported.

An unidentified man spotted it while driving around the town of Matsumae-cho around 5:30 p.m. that day.

The Hokkaido Cultural Broadcasting TV station aired a photo of the boat on Thursday:

Although it's not clear where the boat came from, local media has reported town and maritime authorities as saying it could be from North Korea.

Local divers who examined the boat on Thursday morning, which by then had drifted about 50 meters (164 feet) off the Hokkaido coast, reported seeing neither crew members, nor writing, nor symbols indicating where it might come from.

But the shape and color of the boat found on Wednesday resembled other boats from North Korea that had drifted ashore in the past, the Sankei Shimbun reported, citing town authorities.

hokkaido wooden ship sighting

One hundred and four "ghost ships"— vessels discovered with no living crew — were found along Japan's shores last year, the highest since authorities started collecting data in 2013. Many were found with dead bodies in them, whlie others were empty.

While Japanese authorities haven't been able to definitively identify the origins of the boats found last year, multiple factors have suggested that they were from North Korea.

A boat found on the island of Sado last November contained what appeared to be North Korean cigarette packets, and jackets with Korean writing on them.

Two bodies recovered from another boat found in Yamagata prefecture in December also wore pins showing the face of Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un.

Japan Mystery Boats ship ghost

It remains unclear exactly who those people were, or why they showed up in Japan. Experts have posited theories including food insecurity in North Korea, Kim Jong Un's weakening security on his eastern coast, and local fishermen being forced to travel beyond their limits due to annual quotas and a fishing rights deal between North Korea and China.

Japan has been struggling to deal with the remains. Some cities want to send the remains back to North Korea, but that could prove difficult by the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

kim jong un fish farm

Jeffrey Kingston, the director of Asian studies at Temple University Japan, has urged caution on determining whether the ship found this week is from North Korea.

North Korea's fishing season typically runs from October to February, he previously told Business Insider, so seeing a vessel in Japanese waters in the summer appears to be an anomaly. The last report of a ghost ship sighting in Japan was this January.

"Much unknown about this case so hard to draw implications," Kingston told Business Insider on Friday.

SEE ALSO: Boats full of dead people from North Korea keep showing up in Japan — here's why

READ MORE: Japan is struggling to deal with the remains of dead North Korean sailors who keep washing up in 'ghost ships'

SEE ALSO: North Korean 'ghost ships' full of dead people could be a sign of Kim Jong Un losing his grip

Join the conversation about this story »

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