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This London restaurant only sells mac ‘n’ cheese — here are the six different types it makes

  • The Mac Factory serves only mac 'n' cheese.
  • The shop makes six different flavors with different toppings.
  • It uses a béchamel base mixed with cheddar, salt, parsley, and pepper.
  • It's located at Camden Market in London.


The Mac Factory in Camden Market in London serves only mac 'n' cheese. The shop makes six different flavors with different toppings including mushrooms, chorizo, chilli con carne, jalapeños, and pesto.

"We came up with this idea in about 2014. We had a vision to change people's perception of mac 'n' cheese from the old diner classic, the old canteen staple the ready-made mac 'n' cheese that people thought it was a bit naff," founder Graham Bradbury told Business Insider.

"We wanted to reinvent it and bring something fresh to the UK with the flavors of the mac 'n' cheese bringing it out there."

The shop uses a béchamel base mixed with cheddar, salt, parsley, and pepper. Mozzarella is added at the end to give extra stretch.

All flavors are topped with a signature parmesan and thyme crumble.

Produced and filmed by Claudia Romeo

SEE ALSO: A London dessert shop makes ice cream nachos served with blue corn waffle chips and avocado mousse

Join the conversation about this story »

This $32.5 million Silicon Valley mansion is the most expensive on-market listing in the country's priciest zip code — take a look inside


silicon valley housing 61 faxon road atherton california 32 million 1

There's a reason why Forbes listed Atherton, Calif., as the ritziest, highest-dollar zip code in the country in 2017.

The town is nestled in the state's Silicon Valley, a region famed for its magnitude of tech behemoths like Google and Facebook, meaning that tech workers in the area make some of the highest salaries in the country.

And there's a decent chance that one such techie could become the owner of a newly-constructed, 13,014-square-foot residence at 61 Faxon Road, shelling out the asking price of $32.5 million. Even by Atherton's standards, the price tag is a hefty one: According to Redfin, the median home value for the neighborhood is $6.72 million, five times less than that of the mansion's listed price.

Take a look around.

SEE ALSO: A tech billionaire just listed his Palo Alto home for $100 million, the most expensive Bay Area listing in a decade — take a look inside

The estate at 61 Faxon Road spans 1.07 acres and went on the market one month ago. It sits in the vicinity of the area's Menlo Circus Club, an exclusive social club for wealthy clientele.

The contemporary home is outfitted with black stainless steel, cedar, clear glass, and natural stone.

Source: Keller Williams

It also has a casual five fireplaces...

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A matchmaker says one of the worst things you can do in a new relationship is text


couple dating

  • Dating couples often make the mistake of texting everything, instead of talking on the phone or simply meeting in person.
  • That's according to Claudia Duran, a Miami-based matchmaker with Elite Connections.
  • Duran said the meaning of text messages can easily be misconstrued, and it can be hurtful when someone doesn't text back right away.

Claudia Duran calls it "death by text."

"Two people like each other and they're a little scared and they're a little hesitant," she said. "And so they text everything."

Duran is a Miami-based matchmaker with Elite Connections. She works with Miami's affluent singles, and people who are clearly invested in finding a relationship: A basic six-month membership costs $15,000 and a global membership (meaning you can meet people all over the world) costs at least $75,000.

Death by text is something Duran has observed over and over again. "Text is wonderful for logistics," she told me when we spoke by phone in July. But the meaning of a text message can also be easily "misconstrued."

What's more, Duran said, some people take offense if their partner takes a (seemingly) long time to text back.

Some research backs up Duran's argument.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy found that men who frequently sent or received texts from their partner were less satisfied with the relationship— and their partners were, too. (On the other hand, women who texted their partner a lot said their relationship was more stable.)

The lead study author, marriage and family therapist Lori Schade, told NPR: "Maybe it was a way for them [men] to check out or not have to show up, by using their cellphone instead."

Duran encourages all her clients to either speak on the phone or   meet up in person whenever possible. "Particularly when they start having feelings for each other," she added. "It's really important."

SEE ALSO: The very traits that make you good at your job can also make you terrible in relationships

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MICHAEL JORDAN: How the richest NBA player ever spends his $1.65 billion


Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan made less than $100 million as the NBA's greatest player of all time, but is now a member of Forbes' list of billionaires with an estimated net worth of $1.65 billion.

Since Jordan retired 15 years ago, he has built the most successful and lucrative career we've ever seen from a former athlete.

From sprawling houses to custom planes to his own golf course, he's clearly enjoying life after hoops.

Jordan still makes more money than LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, or any other active player.

He reportedly makes $100 million a year from Nike royalties alone. LeBron is estimated to make less than $90 million a year, including salary and endorsements.

Read more: Michael Jordan still makes $100 million a year off his sneaker deal

Source: Forbes

That's way more than he made in salary while he played. He earned $93.8 million TOTAL in NBA salary, and $63.3 million of that came in his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Source: Spotrac and Basketball-Reference

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These were the biggest menu flops in fast food (MCD, QSR, YUM)


BK shake em up fries

  • Fast-food chains often experiment with their menus to try to appeal to new customers or offer healthier options.
  • Even though some of these items take off, many of them end up huge failures.
  • Other items that have been long discontinued include Taco Bell's Seafood Salad, McDonald's Hula Burger, and Wendy's Frescata.

Not every fast-food option can be a best seller.

Some experimental menu items actually end up costing chains millions, like McDonald's Arch Burger, a "gourmet" burger that aimed to appeal to a more adult crowd but failed miserably. McDonald's spent an estimated $150 million to $200 million advertising the Arch Deluxe's rollout, which, at the time, was the most expensive promotional campaign in fast-food history, The New York Times reported.

Other menu items failed because they were just unappetizing, like Taco Bell's Seafood Salad or Domino's Oreo Pizza. 

Here are some fast-food items that didn't make it:  

SEE ALSO: 21 of the craziest McDonald's menu items you still can't get in America

McDonald's: Hula Burger

The Hula Burger, introduced in the 1960s, was intended to be a meat-free option for Catholic customers who couldn't eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Positioned to compete against the Filet-o-Fish, the pineapple-and-cheese burger ultimately failed and was pulled from the menu because the Filet-o-Fish was much more popular.

McDonald's: Fish McBites

Fish McBites were also added to the menu as another fish option, but they failed to do anything to help McDonald's sales and were eventually taken off the menu in 2013. 

McDonald's: McAfrika

The McAfrika was one of McDonald's worst PR disasters because it was launched in Norway, one of the world's wealthiest countries, when millions in South Africa were starving. The sandwich was made with beef, cheese, and vegetables on a pita, and was quickly pulled from the menu in 2002.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

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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

This $1,000 camera is hiding a massive zoom lens and makes the moon appear within arm's reach


p1000 side

A few years ago, Nikon released the Coolpix P900 that had an 83x zoom that could make the moon appear close

On Tuesday, Nikon announced the P900's successor, which can zoom even further. 

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 has a built-in lens with an astounding 125x zoom.

Nikon's executive vice president Jay Vannater calls it a "compact" camera, and he's not that far off. The P1000 is the size of an entry-level DSLR camera, but it weighs 50 ounces, or 1.4kg, which is pretty hefty. Still, nothing a tripod couldn't handle. 

Check out the absurb zooming capabilities of the new P1000:

SEE ALSO: This gorgeous keyboard will give your desk a retro feel with all the modern comforts

The Nikon P1000 looks like a small enough camera from this angle.

But it's hiding a massive zoom lens.

Here's a side-by-side look at the Nikon P1000 with the zoom extended.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The relationship expert at one of the most popular affair websites says there are 2 distinct types of cheating among modern couples


couple kissing bedroom

  • Ashley Madison is a website for married people seeking affairs. Their resident relationship expert is sex therapist Tammy Nelson.
  • Nelson said there are, generally speaking, two types of affairs: those in which people want to leave their primary relationship and those in which they don't.
  • Other experts say people in the second category are sometimes more dissatisfied with themselves than they are with their primary relationship.

There are tons of reasons why people cheat on their partners, and tons of ways to do it.

But generally speaking, you can boil down all these affairs into two discrete categories.

That's according to Tammy Nelson, a sex and relationship therapist and the resident relationship expert at Ashley Madison, one of the most popular websites for people seeking affairs. Nelson has been in practice for about three decades, and she joined Ashley Madison recently as an outside consultant.

When I spoke with Nelson by phone, she told me that people who stray typically either want to leave their primary relationship or don't.

People in the first category wind up in what Nelson calls a "can-opener" affair. "That's when you have an affair because you want out," she said, "and you don't know how to end it."

In Nelson's experience, women are more likely than men to have can-opener affairs. "It's kind of a passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘I want out,' even before I know I want out."

Other people having affairs don't necessarily want to leave their primary relationship. Instead, Nelson said, "it's a way of filling that one part of their life that their marriage doesn't. And then they feel like they have everything."

She shared a hypothetical example: "Maybe their marriage gives them physical and emotional validation, but they're not getting the sexual risk-taking that they would want. So they get that from the affair."

Interestingly, Nelson said some people may only see their affair partner a couple times a year — "but when they do, it's like a full blowout, and then they come back to their marriage and they're perfectly happy."

Relationship experts say an affair doesn't always suggest that the person is dissatisfied with their marriage

A (non-scientific) study supports Nelson's observations. HuffPost reported that Victoria Milan, another site for married people seeking affairs, surveyed 4,658 members and found that 69% said they don't think about leaving their significant others.

Meanwhile, couples therapist Esther Perel previously told Business Insider that, oftentimes, an affair has little to do with a person's satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their relationship. Instead, the person may be unhappy with themselves. (Nelson also suggested that some people who have affairs are simply bored with themselves.)

When Nelson sees clients who are having an affair but don't want to leave their marriage, she often hears them say things like, "My husband would never do that" — "that" being some kind of sexual behavior.

"That may or may not be true," Nelson said of the client's rationale. "It might just be a story that they make up to justify it." On the other hand, she mused, maybe the client is right. "Maybe we can't get everything we need from one person."

SEE ALSO: The very traits that make you good at your job can also make you terrible in relationships

Join the conversation about this story »

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Inside the surreal capital city of Brunei, a tiny nation of unimaginable wealth where oil money pays for everything and half the population lives in a floating 'water village'


brunei mosque

  • Brunei is tiny, but it's one of the richest countries in the world.
  • Its wealth is on full display in its capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, where oil money pays for glittering mosques and extravagant architecture.
  • Much of the city's population lives in a floating village, where the houses, schools, and restaurants are all on stilts.

Brunei is one of the smallest countries in the world — at 2,200 square miles, it's smaller than Delaware, and its population is lower than that of Omaha, Nebraska.

Yet the Southeast Asian nation is also one of the richest in the world, with a higher GDP per capita than countries like the United States, Germany, and Japan.

Brunei's wealth is on full display in its capital city Bandar Seri Begawan, where grandiose mosques and extravagant buildings dominate the townscape and tributes to the country's mega-rich sultan lie around every corner.

But Brunei's capital is also a city of contrasts. Despite its flashy architecture, the streets of Bandar Seri Begawan are eerily quiet, and after dark, the lack of nightlife and bustle turns the mood downright surreal.

Even stranger, nearly half of the city's population lives in a floating village where houses, schools, restaurants, and police stations all rest on stilts in the middle of the Brunei River.

Here's what it's like inside the capital of city of one of the most enigmatic countries in the world:

SEE ALSO: Inside the lives of Mongolia's 'millennial monks,' who play basketball, pray for 12 hours a day, and visit the outside world only twice a year

DON'T MISS: Inside the eerily quiet streets of Kazakhstan's 20-year-old capital city, where futuristic skyscrapers tower over the grasslands of a former prison camp

Bandar Seri Begawan is the small but flashy capital of Brunei, a tiny country on the island of Borneo. Bandar means "city" in the Malay language, while Seri Begawan is a royal title held by the sultan of Brunei's father.

Source: Oxford Business Group

Brunei's economy is almost entirely dependent on crude oil, which has paid for some of the most glamorous buildings in Southeast Asia.

Source: Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

The Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is a particularly stunning example.

Source: Royal Brunei

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside billionaire Warren Buffett's unconventional marriage, which included an open arrangement and 3-way Christmas cards


Warren Buffet wife Astrid

  • Warren Buffett married Susan Thompson in 1952.
  • She ultimately left Warren to pursue a singing career, but they remained amicably married until her death in 2004.
  • Susan also introduced her husband to Astrid Menks, who became his companion. Buffett and Menks married in 2006.

Warren Buffett has had a less-than-conventional marriage for much of his life.

While the investment guru remained married to his first wife, Susan, from 1952 till her death in 2004, he lived with Astrid Menks. Menks and Buffett didn't tie the knot until 2006, two years after Susan died.

But family members said the unusual arrangement worked for all those involved. According to the Daily Mail, the trio would even send out Christmas cards together — signed Warren, Susan, and Astrid.

"Unconventional is not a bad thing," Buffett's daughter, Susie Buffett, told The New York Times. "More people should have unconventional marriages."

Here's a look inside Warren Buffett's married life.

SEE ALSO: Inside the Trump-endorsed marriage of Mike Pence, who calls his wife 'mother' and refuses to dine with other women

Buffett's connection to his first wife, Susan, goes back to long before they were even born.

Source: Business Insider

Susan's grandfather once ran a campaign for Republican United States Representative Howard Buffett, Warren's grandfather. It apparently didn't go well.

Source: Business Insider

Their daughter, Susie Buffett, told Business Insider that it was "the only time my grandpa Buffett lost."

Source: Business Insider

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

The 6-year-old immigrant girl heard on a secret recording from a detention facility has finally been reunited with her mother


migrant girl reunited

  • A little girl whose voice was heard in a recording from a detention facility has been reunited with her mother after they were separated under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy.
  • Six-year-old Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid could be heard on the recording persistently asking officers to call her aunt, rattling off the phone number she'd memorized.
  • Her mother, Cindy Madrid, was released from a south Texas detention facility on Wednesday and reunited with her daughter in Houston early Friday morning.
  • Madrid says she won't dwell on their monthlong separation — but in an interview, she wondered aloud whether anything had been accomplished by it.

A 6-year-old girl from El Salvador who became a face of the Trump administration's practice of separating immigrant families at the border has finally been reunited with her mother.

Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid and her mother, Cindy Madrid, were separated after US authorities detained them June 13 for illegally entering the United States near Harlingen, Texas.

Audio of the agonized child crying when she was separated — first published by ProPublica and later by The Associated Press — galvanized opposition to the separation of families. Alison pleaded with Border Patrol agents to call her aunt, whose phone number she had memorized.

President Donald Trump reversed course on the splitting up of families on June 20 after a "zero tolerance" policy on illegal entry took effect in the spring.

The joyful reunion occurred early Friday in Houston. It was initially going to happen in Phoenix, where Alison was staying in a government-backed shelter, said family attorney Thelma Garcia. Madrid, 29, was released on bond from an immigration detention center in Port Isabel, Texas, not far from where she was arrested.

migrant family reunited texasAlison told reporters that she felt desperate after being separated and that it felt good to reunite. Her mother echoed that sentiment.

"We are beginning to recover the time we lost," Madrid said. "We are very happy to be together as family again."

The mother and daughter plan to live with family in Houston and the mother will seek asylum, Garcia said. She may seek to move the case from immigration court in Harlingen to Houston.

Madrid said she brought her daughter to the United States in search of a better life.

"I believe she has the capacity to get by here," she said.

Madrid told ProPublica on Friday that for her daughter's sake she didn't want to dwell on their separation, but she also speculated whether anything had been accomplished by it.

"It's unfair what they are doing to the adults," Madrid said. "But what they're doing to children is worse. They're harming them, possibly for life. What's the point of that?"

The Trump administration has said that up to nearly 3,000 children have been separated at the border. Earlier this week, 58 children under 5 years old were reunited under an order from a federal judge, though the government fell more than one day short of meeting its July 10 deadline.

The government now faces a bigger deadline of July 26 to reunite more than 2,500 children 5 and older. A Justice Department attorney said in a court hearing on Friday that the government will be reuniting the children on a "rolling, regular basis," and that most of the reunifications will take place in ICE facilities.

Watch the moments after Alison and her mother were reunited:


SEE ALSO: The Trump administration says it reunited roughly half of the youngest 103 immigrant children it separated — but that the rest were 'ineligible'

DON'T MISS: The Trump administration might have separated a child and parent who are both US citizens

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 2 biggest style mistakes men make with their suits, according to a menswear CEO


Colin Hunter Alton Lane

  • Wearing a suit is an absolute minefield.
  • Colin Hunter, CEO and cofounder of bespoke menswear brand Alton Lane, says overcomplicating things is one of the biggest mistakes he sees guys make with their suits.
  • He also says men tend to underinvest in themselves.
  • Scroll down to read his advice.

"I always hated shopping."

Colin Hunter is a man who understands the struggles men face when shopping for clothes. That's why he quit his job as a management consultant to open his own menswear company "from the perspective of a customer who hates to shop."

Alton Lane is now in its ninth year of business and has dressed high-profile clients including former presidents George Bush Sr and George Bush Jr.

As someone who deals primarily in bespoke men's suits, Hunter is well-accustomed to the myriad of mistakes guys make when wearing them.

Speaking to Business Insider, Hunter narrowed down the two biggest faux pas he sees on a regular basis.

1. Don't overcomplicate things

"We remind our clients a lot to keep it simple," Hunter says. "Don't over-accessorise or combine too many patterns — I think that's a mistake people make a lot."

According to Hunter, men often pair patterned suits with bold accessories in a way that's overpowering to behold.

"If you're going to have one piece that stands out, limit it to one. If you have a fun tie or a fun pocket square, team it with a solid shirt and a solid suit. It's good to have style that's understated and makes you come across as more confident than cartoonish."

Check out the graphic below for a visual representation of Hunter's advice:

suits advice graphic

2. Don't underinvest in yourself

Lots of guys simply don't spend enough money on themselves, which seems odd if you have to wear a suit most days of the year or even if it's for a special occasion.

"Investing in self-presentation — outside of health and education — is critical for your career; for social circumstances."

Hunter advises maximising whatever budget you have to invest in a good suit that will last: "I would rather have one nicer suit than four suits that will fall apart."

Navy suit Alton Lane

You can make that suit go a long way — if it's the right style.

Hunter says guys should build their sartorial wardrobe around a navy suit because of its sheer versatility.

"A blue suit is something you can wear for everything from the office to a cocktail party," he says. "When you wear it as a blazer with a pair of jeans or chinos it will look less like you're wearing a suit jacket. It's gonna stand out a little bit more."

So, if you can, maximise your budget and invest in a beautiful blue suit — and don't go and ruin it with crazy accessories.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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A flight attendant says you should be wary of eatings eggs and fruit on a plane — and it explains why cabin crew pack their own meals


plane meal vietnam airlines

  • A flight attendant has revealed the truth behind "unhealthy" plane food in a Quora post.
  • The food is apparently prepared 12 hours — or even days — before departure.
  • Eggs are often made of a mix of actual egg and "other substitutes."
  • Spices, salts, and fats are added to make the food taste less bland.
  • Even fruit isn't a safe option, according to the post.

Unless you're lucky enough to travel in first class, most of us don't expect fine dining on a flight — but it turns out we might be better off not eating anything on-board at all.

Writing on a Quora thread, user Shreyas P, who claims to have been a flight attendant for five major airlines, warned that airline meals are "very unhealthy," even if you've opted for the raw or vegan option.

"The food on your tray is prepared not in the galley but in the aircraft catering which is often done 12 hours before and even days before the aircraft departure," Shreyas wrote. "Now, how many such industries do you know where the hot or cold meal was made days before you consume it?"

If you're flying in the morning or overnight, she said you should be particularly wary of your breakfast.

"The scrambled egg or the omelet[te] that you just had was not only egg but can be a mix of egg and other substitute," Shreyas wrote. "That cut fruit which is on your tray still looks fresh and how is that possible when it was cut hours before the departure, have you ever wondered?"

airplane food qantas airways

Shreyas added that most people aren't aware that when a plane is cruising, "the air pressure in an airliner is equal to about 8,000 feet above sea level (6,000 ft in a Dreamliner).

"In addition to making your ears pop, it causes our taste buds and sense of smell to go partially numb, compared to on ground. This has major impact on how food tastes and smells. This makes it super bland. So airline catering in recent years has really pumped up the spices, salts, and fats — all to make your mouth happy."

Shreyas said this is one of the reasons why the cabin crew prefer to bring their own food on board.

The flight attendant added: "A passenger bringing his own food shows a lot of awareness."

According to a flight attendant who spoke anonymously to Vice, you should watch out for the drinks, too. 

"Don't drink the coffee on airplanes," she said. "It's the same potable water that goes through the bathroom system.

"We recently had a test for E. coli in our water, and it didn't pass, and then maintenance came on and hit a couple buttons and it passed. So avoid any hot water or tea. Bottled and ice is fine, of course."

SEE ALSO: A flight attendant says 'nobody cares' if you actually turn off your phone on a plane — and reveals the disgusting reason you should never drink coffee in the air

Join the conversation about this story »

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China's 'Big Brother' surveillance technology isn't nearly as all-seeing as the government wants you to think



  • The Chinese government is working to combine its 170+ million security cameras with artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to create a vast surveillance state.
  • The government isn't quiet about its efforts, often playing up technological successes in state media to convince the populace of its impressive capabilities.
  • But recent reports suggest that the technology is not as ubiquitous or useful as the government wants its citizens to believe.
  • For example, an exec at one of the main Chinese artificial intelligence startups powering the surveillance technology told Business Insider that its platform cannot handle searching for more than 1,000 people at a time due to technological limitations.

The Chinese government is working to create a techno-authoritarian state powered by artificial intelligence and facial recognition to track and monitor its 1.4 billion citizens.

The government has big plans to have a ubiquitous surveillance network, leading the country to becoming the biggest market in the world for video surveillance — $6.4 billion in 2016, according to estimates from IHS Markit Ltd. China already has 170 million security cameras in use for its so-called Skynet surveillance system, with 400 million more on the way in the coming years.

Far from hiding its wide-reaching abilities from the public, the government has frequently touted its high-tech surveillance successes in recent months.

GettyImages 915205044

Last September, English-language state newspaper China Daily touted how police in Qingdao used facial recognition technology to catch 25 would-be criminals. In March, Beijing police began using facial recognition and AI-powered glasses to catch criminals — just a couple months after police in Henan and Zhengzhou began testing the glasses at train stations.

In Xiangyang, a giant screen was set up over a crosswalk to display the names and faces of jaywalkers and other lawbreakers that cameras caught at the intersection. And in December, China demonstrated its sophisticated "Skynet" system by having it track down a BBC reporter in just 7 minutes.

But all of these successes belie a simple reality: the surveillance tech is not nearly as pervasive or effective as the government or the media purports it to be.

Face++ isn't all-powerful yet

China FacialRecognition Megvii FacePlusPlus (20 of 27)

On a recent visit to the offices of Megvii, a leading artificial intelligence startup and one of the main providers behind the facial recognition tech used by Chinese police, I met with Xie Yinan, the company's vice president.

Despite notions that Chinese police's facial recognition capabilities can track down anyone, anywhere, that's simply not what the technology is capable of, according to Xie.

He said Megvii's Face++ platform, which numerous police departments in China have used to help them arrest 4,000 people since 2016, has serious technological limitations.

For example, even if China had facial scans of every one of its citizens uploaded to its system, it would be impossible to identify everyone passing in front of a Face++-linked camera. While the Face++ algorithm is more than 97% accurate, it can only search a limited number of faces at a time.

In order to work, police would have to upload the faces they want to track to a local server at the train station or command center where they intend to look. Face++ would then use its algorithm to match those faces to the ones it encounters in the real world.

China FacialRecognition Megvii FacePlusPlus (17 of 27)

Xie said it wouldn't be feasible to have the system search for more than 1,000 faces at a time — the data and processing power required for an operation larger than that would require a supercomputer. Plus, Xie said they can't run the system 24/7 today. It's the kind of thing police will have to activate proactively when a situation is underway.

While it is possible that the system could be connected to a supercomputer over the cloud to amplify computing power, it would be too dangerous from a security perspective. The system has to stay offline and local.

When I asked whether Xie or the company have any concerns over how police could misuse the Face++ platform, he essentially said it's up to the government to write the legal framework on when and how law enforcement can use it.

"We don't have access to the data," he said. "What we do is sell them a server [loaded with Face++]. That's all."

Exaggerating technological advancements

Facial recognition isn't the only area where China's techno-authoritarian capabilities have been exaggerated, by both the media and the government.

At the crosswalk in Xiangyang, there is a 5- to 6-day delay between when someone commits crime and when their face appears on the billboard. Local officials told The New York Times that humans, not an algorithm, look through the photos the crosswalk camera captures to match them with people's identities.

Meanwhile, the smart glasses police are using in Beijing and Zhengzhou only work if a target stands still for several seconds. It's less being used to spot criminals than to verify travelers' identifications.

GettyImages 102576641

But, in some ways, it hardly matters. Those nuances are often lost on the public, particularly when state media has gone to such lengths to convince its populace of its technological prowess.

In Zhengzhou, a heroin smuggler confessed after police showed the suspect their smart glasses and said it could incriminate him, The Times recently reported.

"The whole point is that people don't know if they're being monitored, and that uncertainty makes people more obedient," Martin Chorzempa, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told The Times.

Of course, it's likely only a matter of time before the technology gets better. The Chinese government and the country's tech investors are pouring money into facial recognition startups like Megvii.

Megvii raised $460 million last November, much of which came from a state-owned venture fund. While the valuation hasn't been disclosed, it's likely that it is close to or tops $2 billion. Two smaller Chinese companies include DeepGlint, and Yitu Technology, which raised $380 million last year.

SenseTime, a competitor, became the world's highest valued AI startup after raising $600 million in April and $620 million in June. It now has a valuation of $4.5 billion.

SEE ALSO: Inside the creepy and impressive startup funded by the Chinese government that is developing AI that can recognize anyone, anywhere

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Fitness experts agree that sit-ups are worthless — here are 9 moves they recommend instead


Sit ups

From celebrity trainers working in the trendiest Manhattan gyms to the National Institute for Fitness and Sport in Indianapolis and US Army training exams, sit-ups are getting a bad reputation. 

Scientists have discovered that the moves, once a staple of basic workout routines, don't reduce waistline circumference or trim middle belly fat. Sit-ups are also not the best way to strengthen your core, and keep it flexible and strong for the long run. 

Earlier this week, the US Army announced that after decades of two-minute sit-up requirements, they're phasing out that portion of their fitness test by the end of 2020. Instead, the Army says it'll make room for some fitness tasks that are more useful for soldiers' combat readiness, like deadlifts, power throws, and drag-and-carry moves, the Washington Times reported. 

It's a change that Tony Maloney, a trainer and exercise physiologist at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport in Indianapolis, can get behind. 

"I'm not a huge fan of sit-ups," Maloney told Business Insider earlier this year. "Reason being, it can cause some spinal problems, especially if they're not done properly." 

Here are some other expert tips for getting a stronger, more flexible core:

SEE ALSO: A celebrity fitness trainer reveals 3 dynamic ab, arm, and glute moves you can do at home for a summer beach bod

Celebrity fitness trainer Anna Kaiser says many people are doing their crunches wrong, and it's making their bellies bulge.

"When they do a crunch, they push their abs out," Kaiser told Business Insider recently. "Which actually will assist in that rounded lower belly shape." 

The key to a strong core, Kaiser says, is a fit transverse abdominus — that's a deep-layered muscle that sits between your ribcage and your hips.


If you want your abs to appear flatter and be stronger, you have to strengthen those deep core stabilizers, Kaiser says. Try this move:


Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat. Take hold of the area behind your knees with your hands and pull in your abs while tilting your pelvis forward. This will create a c-shaped curve in your spine. 

Now, raise your arms and press them towards the back of the room in little pulses.

Push-ups are also a great multi-purpose exercise that gets at your core, and other parts of your body, too.

Maloney said the benefits of push-ups are unbeatable. From your arms and shoulders down into your core, they strengthen the entire spine:

"You're getting that upper body toning effect, but you're still working the trunk," he said. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside Gusto's brand-new San Francisco headquarters, where employees work on living room furniture and take off their shoes at the door


gusto software hr startup shoeless office hq san francisco 10

Gusto's founding is a classic Silicon Valley tale.

In 2011, Joshua Reeves and a few techie friends launched the company out of a house in Palo Alto, where the founders had access to top coding talent and proximity to the most powerful VC firms in America.

That's where the startup stereotype ends for Gusto, a billion-dollar enterprise that makes human resources software for small businesses.

Reeves takes pride in helping small businesses do great work, but he also wanted Gusto to be a great place to work. It's avoided the reckoning on fratty company culture by providing a homey environment, transparency in the way they work, and "ridiculously generous" benefits. Fortune magazine named Gusto one of the 100 best workplaces for millennials, and employees write glowing reviews on Glassdoor.

The company opened a new headquarters in the once industrial, now ultra hipster Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco earlier this year. We took a look inside.

SEE ALSO: A Silicon Valley startup founder drove 4,000 miles across America in an RV — here's what he learned

Welcome to Gusto. It's inside a former Union Iron Works machine shop, a high-ceilinged building that survived the 1906 earthquake.

When you walk inside, the receptionist invites you to remove your shoes and store them in a cubby. Gusto socks may be provided.

Gusto has had a no-shoes policy since the company was founded in a home. Reeves was raised to take his shoes off at the door.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The World Cup trophy has its own customised and exclusive Louis Vuitton case, and it's being protected by 2 guards


Louis Vuitton World Cup trophy

  • Either France or Croatia will hold the official FIFA World Cup trophy aloft later today, but before they do so, it will be kept safe in a customised and exclusive Louis Vuitton box.
  • It will also be guarded by two members of security before it is handed over to the World Cup final winner.
  • Read all of Business Insider's World Cup coverage here.


The national soccer teams of France or Croatia will hold the official FIFA World Cup trophy aloft at the end of the tournament's final later today, Sunday.

But before it is handed over to the winning captain, it will be kept under lock-and-key in a customised and exclusive Louis Vuitton case.

the "travel case" was handmade at the company's famous Asnières workshop in France, according to Highsnobiety. It is "lightweight but hardwearing," has a "laser-engraved monogram titanium composition," and is completed with Louis Vutton's signature "LV" design.

The World Cup trophy, and its Louis Vuitton case, were inspected when it arrived at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.

It even has a security detail who guard the trophy before it will be escorted to the pitch in just one hour's time, when France and Croatia battle it out to hold it aloft.

Gloves were needed to inspect the trophy when it arrived, but it is unlikely the soccer players will be that precautious when they get their hands on it later today.

Watch a video of the World Cup in its case below.

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11 seemingly bizarre sports most Americans haven't even heard of


sepak takraw

  • Americans love their sports, but there are many popular sports that aren't known in the United States.
  • They include variations on soccer and basketball, and unusual hybrid sports like sepak takraw.
  • Some of these sports are gaining popularity in America, but they have a ways to go.

America has a passion for sports. They entertain us, they teach us lessons, and they form a huge part of our national identity.

Between our five most popular sports— football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, and soccer — we have one for every season and every taste.

But there are plenty of other fascinating sports that we're missing out on in the United States. In many cases, some of the most compelling sports are ones that many Americans haven't even heard of.

Take sepak takraw, for example. It's the volleyball/soccer hybrid that is extremely popular in Southeast Asia, but unlikely to come up on American airwaves.

Read on to learn about 11 popular international sports that most Americans don't know the first thing about.

SEE ALSO: 11 things you'll hardly ever see in the United States

Kabaddi is like high-stakes red rover — you don't want to get caught on the other side of the court.

Where it's popular: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Iran

How it's played: Kabaddi is sort of like a combination of red rover, tag, and wrestling. Teams take turns sending one raider across the court. That player scores one point for each member of the other team he tags, so long as he returns safely to his side of the court. But if the defending team manages to tackle the raider before he cross back to his side, the defense gets a point.

As for the length of each round, Kabaddi players have a unique way of keeping time: The raider must continually chant "kabaddi" without taking a breath — if the referee sees them inhale, their turn is automatically over.

How big is it? Pretty big. There are several professional kabaddi leagues in Asia, and it's been a regular at the Asian Games since 1990.

Sepak takraw is a high-flying sport combining volleyball and soccer.

Where it's popular: Southeast Asia, especially Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Myanmar

How it's played: Sepak takraw is like a combination of soccer and volleyball. Like volleyball, players serve a ball over a net and try to ground it on the other team's side of the court. However, there are no hands allowed: You can only use your feet, head, knees, and other body parts. The ball is made out of a hard fiber called rattan.

How big is it? It's been a staple of the Asian Games since 1990.

Futsal is an indoor variation of soccer popular all over the world.

Where it's popular: Every continent

How it's played: Futsal is a variation of soccer played on a small, indoor court with a hard surface and a smaller, heavier ball. Unlike in soccer, futsal teams have five players each and can make unlimited substitutions. 

How big is it? Futsal has a strong international presence, with world championships taking place every four years and continental championships roughly every two. It's becoming increasingly popular in American cities, as futsal courts are often easier to install than soccer fields.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The Rock's new movie bombs while 'Hotel Transylvania 3' wins the weekend box office


skyscraper light universal final

  • "Skyscraper," starring big box office draw, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, had a very poor opening weekend at the box office.
  • The movie only took in $25 million, coming in third place.
  • A sequel is king once again this summer as Adam Sandler's "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" took in $44.1 million.

Dwayne Johnson's latest solo effort was no match for the summer movie sequels.

Universal always knew putting The Rock's movie, "Skyscraper," a homage to thrilling disaster movies like "Die Hard" and "The Towering Inferno," up against a slew of sequels would be a challenge, but the studio didn't know it would turn out this bad.

The movie, on just over 3,700 screens, only took in an estimated $25.5 million, putting Johnson's latest in a disappointing third place at the box office this weekend.

That's the worst opening in the last three years for a movie where The Rock is the sole draw.

Beating out "Skyscraper" to win the weekend was Adam Sandler's "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" (playing on over 4,200 screens), with an estimated $44.1 million, the latest from Sony's successful animated franchise.

And coming in second place was Disney/Marvel's "Ant-Man and the Wasp," with around $30 million in its second weekend in theaters.

This weekend proved that even the star appeal of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has its limitations. You can chalk up the weak opening for "Skyscraper" to the success of sequels. Along with the new release of "Hotel Transylvania 3," holdovers like "Ant-Man and the Wasp," "Incredibles 2," "Jurassic World 2," "The First Purge," and "Sicario: Day of the Soldado" are still finding audiences.

That's a lot of options for moviegoers, and most are going to go spend their money on movies they have a familiarity with rather than an untested original, even if it stars The Rock.

"Hotel Transylvania 3," the remaining Sandler franchise in the studio system (everything else of his is pretty much being released through Netflix), earned the second-best opening ever for the franchise. Its $44.1 million take bests the 2012 original ($42.5 million) but not the $48.4 million opening the sequel did.

"Skyscraper" had a weak 51% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but Johnson's scores have been lousy historically, so that's not the issue here.

Could we be entering a stage of The Rock fatigue?

hotel transylvania 3 sonyWhat it came down to is that Universal took the gamble that Johnson's name could carry an "original" movie in the sequel-heavy summer movie season and lost. It just so happened that every sequel released this summer is working like gangbusters.

Things were different back in 2015 when Johnson was the face of the summer original release "San Andreas."

There were fewer sequels to worry about then, and it didn't have as many box office hits (movies like "Tomorrowland," "Aloha," and "Entourage: The Movie," surrounded the opening weekend for "San Andreas"). Warner Bros. won the opening weekend with "San Andreas" with $54.5 million.

Warner Bros. also had a strong result earlier this year with a Johnson movie with "Rampage." The April release won its weekend with $35.7 million.

"Skyscraper" bombing (it was made for around $125 million) this weekend is likely less due to two movies starring The Rock coming out in the span of three months and more just a bad release date.

But if we are in a stage of "The Rock fatigue", we'll know after the movie opens wider internationally.

Johnson really promoted the movie in China, the second-largest movie market in the world and a region where he's found success. It opens there this Friday, and if it plays soft there (the movie is set in Hong Kong), then team Johnson will be in panic mode. And Warner Bros. will be looking at a major loss.

SEE ALSO: Critics love "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" as much as Tom Cruise loves outrageous stunts

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