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The 35 cities in the US with the biggest influx of people, the most work opportunities, and the hottest business growth

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Austin texas

  • MagnifyMoney looked at the 100 largest US metros to determine the "biggest boomtowns" in America.
  • In these up-and-coming cities, population and housing, workforce and employment opportunities, and business are booming. 
  • Texas cities took up one-third of the top 15 metros, with Austin taking the top spot.

If you're looking for an up-and-coming city with a growing business scene, you won't find popular destinations like New York City or Los Angeles on any list.

Rather, Texas and parts of the Mountain region are taking over and considered the "biggest boomtowns" in America.

That's according to MagnifyMoney, which looked at the 100 largest metropolitan areas around the US and their change from 2011-2016 to determine which cities have the biggest influx of people, most work opportunities, and biggest business growth based on US Census data.

To calculate the ranking, every metro was scored on a scale of 100 in three categories:

  • People and housing: How many people are flocking to the area and is the metro keeping up, considering total population and housing units. 
  • Workforce and employment opportunities: Unemployment rates, civilian labor force, and median earnings. 
  • Growing industry: Rate of business and industry growth, including number of establishments and paid employees per paid period.

Each category was scored relative to other metros and looking at positive and negative changes in the area. The biggest positive change scores a 100, except unemployment rate, which was reversed in respect to the scale. 

Below are the top 35 metros that showed the most people, business, and opportunity growth over a five-year period. 

SEE ALSO: The 15 US states where young people are moving in, jobs are plentiful, and business is booming

DON'T MISS: 25 states where retirees hate the weather, lack healthcare, and are spending a fortune to get by

35. Greenville, South Carolina

Population and housing score: 31.7

Workforce and earning score: 43.2

Business growth score: 38.3



34. Columbus, Ohio

Population and housing score: 31.9

Workforce and earning score: 38.9

Business growth score: 44.1



33. Omaha, Nebraska

Population and housing score: 38.2

Workforce and earning score: 44

Business growth score: 35.7



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and Richard Nixon were all middle children — take a look at which US presidents were oldest, youngest, and everywhere in between

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birth order of presidents 4x3

  • The majority of US presidents were middle children.
  • Firstborn kids made up the second largest group among the 44 commanders-in-chief.
  • There's hasn't yet been a president who was an only child.
  • Take a look at the birth order of all of the US presidents throughout history.


A lot of US presidents may have suffered from middle child syndrome.

Throughout history, the majority of out commanders-in-chief have been middle children. Firstborns make a decent showing as well. As for youngest children, only seven of them have ascended to the highest political office in the country. And no only child has ascended to the White House yet.

But does birth order really make someone more or less likely to become president?

From the looks of it, not really. Still, bragging rights go to all the middle children out there. Next time your siblings bug you, picture how embarrassed they'll be once you're the leader of the free world.

Here's a look at the birth order — and family background — of each of the 44 US presidents:

SEE ALSO: The 34 colleges that produced the most US presidents

DON'T MISS: A look at the zodiac signs of all the US presidents

SEE ALSO: 19 US presidents' surprising first jobs

First borns: 14 American presidents have been firstborn children

Firstborn children may often be natural leaders, but only 14 US presidents were the oldest children in their respective families — or, in the case of James Buchanan and Barack Obama, effectively raised as firstborns.

This might come as a surprise, given recent research into how birth order influences personality. Business Insider previously reported that oldest children often gravitate toward positions of power, and are more likely to become CEOs or found companies than their younger counterparts.

That being said, firstborn children also tend to be more risk-averse than their siblings. And running for the highest office in the land is a pretty big risk.



One of John Adams's younger brothers died in the American Revolution

John Adams was the oldest of three boys born to John Adams Sr. and Susannah Boylston Adams. His two younger brothers were Peter and Elihu.

Peter Adams went on to serve as a captain during during the American Revolution, according to the Smithsonian Museum of Art. According to the website Find A Grave, he survived the war and died in 1823, three years before his older brother.

Elihu Adams, the youngest Adams boy, followed Peter's footsteps and became a militia captain when fighting broke out in the colonies. He died of dysentery along the banks of the Charles River during the Siege of Boston in 1775, according to David McCullough's "John Adams."



James Madison was a leader among his siblings

James Madison may have been the smallest president in history, but he was still a big brother to his large gaggle of siblings.

Madison was the first of 12 children born to James Madison Sr. and Nelly Conway Madison. Six of those siblings survived childhood.

By 1779, Madison was still in close contact with his family, despite being busy with his burgeoning political career.

The future president retained his leadership role among his siblings, and even fretted over how the American Revolution would disrupt the education of his youngest surviving brother William.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The pillows at Airbnb can tell you all you need to know about how the company is changing for the worse

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Sleep

  • I've been an avid user of Airbnb, the popular home-rental service, for nearly a decade, using the platform to visit 30+ countries.
  • In recent years, I've noticed a shift on the platform from regular people renting out their own apartments and spare bedrooms to a more professionalized service with hosts who operate multiple locations.
  • From my perspective, the shift has meant that apartment listings are equipped in a more basic and economical manner.
  • My chief complaint is that many professional hosts dress beds with cheap, low-quality pillows, leaving me with a poor night's sleep.
  • If Airbnb or hosts don't acknowledge and work toward fixing the issue, I'll be using Airbnb less and less in the future.

Since I started traveling in my early 20s, I've visited 30+ countries. While traveling that much might have been prohibitively expensive in decades past, Airbnb, the popular home-rental service, has made traveling affordable.

Listings on the platform are generally a fraction of the cost of hotels, while providing a lot more space and something like a local's perspective.

For a long time, it's been a great deal. But over the last couple of years, I've noticed a change that may turn me off the platform forever. It all comes down to pillows.

I know what you may be thinking: pillows? He's complaining about pillows? Let me explain.

When I first began using Airbnb in 2011 — about three years after the company launched — most of the listings on the site were someone's actual apartment. Either you were renting the spare bedroom in the apartment or your host was staying somewhere else for the days you were there.

It was a communal vibe where you felt like a real exchange was taking place: You were helping them offset their rent, and they told you their favorite restaurants and bars in the neighborhood.

But somewhere over the last few years, the dynamic shifted. Now, in my experience, you are almost always renting from a host who manages Airbnb listings for a living or for a lucrative side-hustle.

Usually, they own — or rent, depending on how strict a city's laws are — multiple properties and use all of them for Airbnb. In effect, they are operating a makeshift inn spread out across the city.

While Airbnb hasn't released official statistics, a 2017 report from CBRE Hotels' Americas Research found that the company's growth in the US is being driven by hosts renting out multiple units or entire homes. The report found that revenue from hosts with multiple listings was the fastest growing on the platform, and 64% of hosts in the US were renting out an entire home.

As the report was issued for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, take it with a grain of salt, but I've also seen the shift toward professional hosts in my personal experience.

Just in the last 6 months, I've stayed at 14 Airbnbs, from Athens to Seoul. And what I've seen doesn't bode well.

Airbnbs are losing their charm

Last year, Airbnb began "nudging," in the words of one host, its hosts to standardize the Airbnb experience.

Now the company is encouraging use of its "Instant Book" feature, establishing standards of cleanliness, and recommending that hosts carry "essential amenities" like toilet paper, towels, soap, clean linens, and at least one pillow per guest.

And, earlier this year, the company even announced that it was adding hotels to the platform.

classical apartment airbnb

Those two shifts — Airbnb pushing standardization and hosts becoming more professional — has changed Airbnb from its idealistic home-sharing roots to a booking site for cheaper, ad-hoc hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts.

That change is necessary in a lot of ways. People are using Airbnb for work travel now, myself included, and more casual users expect a level of standardization.

My issue with the professionalization of Airbnb is from a user's perspective. As more and more of the properties listed on Airbnb come from professional hosts (people operating the property solely as an Airbnb location or operating multiple locations at once), the properties begin to resemble each other.

It is a business after all.

You can see the hallmarks of such properties: cheap furniture, spartan decorations, a few wall prints, a kitchen with the barebones necessities. Of course, the professional, light-filled photos on the listing always make the apartment look dreamy.

But in the process, you lose much of Airbnb's charm — from staying in a local's home, getting to browse their bookshelves — and its function — like access to a kitchen stocked with spices or getting to use their fancy Argan Oil shampoo.

About those pillows

And the truth is, for me, all of that would be fine … if wasn't for the pillows.

Let me put it to you this way: Most people don't buy crappy pillows for themselves. They're critical to a decent night of sleep. So if you stay in an Airbnb that is someone's actual home, you can be pretty sure you'll have decent pillows to sleep on.

Not the case with the professional Airbnb properties.

33China HuashanMountain MostDangerousHike

The property being the professional Airbnb hosts' primary business, they try to outfit the property as cheaply and efficiently as possible. That generally means you are getting cheap bedding and cheap pillows, some that might be better described as a few pieces of stuffing shoved into a cloth. It doesn't make for a good night of sleep.

While traveling for Business Insider over the last six months, I used Airbnb a lot in the beginning. In many ways, it's my ideal way to travel.

But as Airbnb property after Airbnb property that I rented had crappy pillows, I was increasingly turned off. Waking up night after night exhausted from a bad night of sleep is no fun.

Recently, I began booking boutique hotels or bed and breakfasts, many of which are around the same price-point as Airbnb nowadays because they know they have to compete.

And at least with a hotel or bed and breakfast, I can be pretty sure they will have good pillows.

In some ways, the pillows are a metaphor for where Airbnb is at right now as a platform: stuck between the professionalization and standardization it needs to grow, while trying to hold onto the home-sharing ideal that made it what it is.

Pushing the platform one way or the other will likely solve the issue. But until they do, I'll be using it less and less.

SEE ALSO: We tried the 'Airbnb for cars,' and it could upend the car-rental industry

DON'T MISS: I stayed at Hong Kong’s first 'capsule hotel' to see what it's like to live in micro — and the experience was a nightmare

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This couple reveals their weaknesses when it comes to spending and how they manage to save

Only a single Blockbuster remains open in all of America. Here's what it's like to visit.

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blockbuster bend

  • Blockbuster has just one store that remains open in the United States, located in Bend, Oregon.
  • The retailer announced in July that the final two Blockbuster locations in Alaska are shutting up shop, leaving the Bend location standing alone across the US. 
  •  To hear the full story of the life and death of Blockbuster in Alaska, subscribe to Business Insider's podcast, "Household Name."
  • Read on to see what it's like to visit the last Blockbuster in America. 

 

Blockbuster's last stand in the United States is in Bend, Oregon.

In July, Blockbuster announced that the last two stores in Alaska would close up shop

"Let's be real, you have Netflix, you have Redbox," Kevin Daymude, a Blockbuster manager in Alaska prior to the stores' closure in the state, told reporter Emily Russell in an interview for Business Insider's podcast, "Household Name." 

"The economy is tough right now," Daymude said. "So, people are still renting — but they aren't renting as much."

The closure leaves just one Blockbuster location left in the entire US.

The holdout is in Bend, a city in central Oregon with an estimated population just shy of 100,000. As the last Blockbuster locations across the US have closed — with two other Blockbusters in Oregon closing in recent months — travelers have begun making their way to Bend in a nostalgic pilgrimage to the video-rental chain.

For Blockbuster lovers desperately missing the store, and for video-rental virgins raised on Netflix, here's what it's like to visit the final remaining Blockbuster in the US:

LISTEN: How Blockbuster managed to survive in Alaska

SEE ALSO: The manager of the last Blockbusters in Alaska speaks out on the death of the chain, nostalgic tourists, and Russell Crowe's jockstrap

Blockbuster was able to keep stores open in Alaska longer than most of the US thanks in part to its long, cold winters and slow WiFi.



The Bend location, however, seems to have found success thanks to a mix of strong finances, loyal customers, and nostalgic tourists.



Bend's Blockbuster sign is instantly recognizable and a guaranteed nostalgia trigger for any child of the '90s.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The airline employee who stole a plane from the Seattle airport and fatally crashed onto a small island was not a licensed pilot

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Richard Russell Seattle Plane Heist Crash

  • Airline ground agent Richard Russell stole an empty Horizon Air plane on Friday night from Sea-Tac International Airport and fatally crashed into a small island in the Puget Sound.
  • Officials have said that the 29-year-old was not a licensed pilot, but had clearance to be among aircraft.
  • Video from the incident shows the Horizon Air Q400 doing large loops and dangerous maneuvers before crashing on to an island 90 minutes after taking off.
  • It remains unclear how Russell attained skills to do loops in the aircraft, or how he knew how to start the engine, which requires a series of switches and levers.

The airline ground agent who stole an empty commercial airplane, took off from Sea-Tac International Airport, and fatally crashed into a small island in the Puget Sound was not a licensed pilot, officials said Saturday.

The man, identified to the Associated Press as 29-year-old Richard Russell, was a 3.5-year Horizon Airlines employee and had clearance to be among aircraft.

Russell, who is presumed dead, took the plane from a maintenance area at Sea-Tac after using a pushback tractor to turn the aircraft 180 degrees toward the runways, The Seattle Times reported.

Video from the incident shows the Horizon Air Q400, a turboprop plane that seats 76 people, doing large loops and dangerous maneuvers before crashing onto an island 90 minutes after taking off.

It remains unclear how Russell attained skills to do loops in the aircraft, or how he knew how to start the engine, which requires a series of switches and levers.

As a ground service agent for Horizon, Russell directed aircraft for takeoff and gate approach, de-iced planes, and handled baggage.

Russell could be heard on air traffic control audio recordings saying he was "just a broken guy" with "a few screws loose."

Air traffic controllers tried to convince him to land the plane before he crashed on to Ketron Island.

The incident delayed traffic from Sea-Tac for more than an hour as fighter jets from Portland tried to stop Russell's rogue flight, according to the Seattle Times.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air said they are working with authorities to investigate exactly how Russell carried out Friday's theft.

"Last night’s event is going to push us to learn what we can from this tragedy so that we can ensure this does not happen again at Alaska Air Group or at any other airline," Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said at a news conference.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the incident and is working with the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies, according to the Seattle Times.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

SEE ALSO: The man who stole a plane from Sea-Tac Airport and crashed it has reportedly been identified as 29-year-old Richard Russell

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Four ways vehicles can be stopped in a police pursuit

The 13 best places to visit in September for every type of traveler

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places to travel september

  •  To find the best places to visit in September 2018, Business Insider looked at climate data, cultural calendars, and peak travel times.
  • September is shoulder season for many top tourism destinations, and savvy travelers are already planning their trips.
  • The best places to visit in September include American natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and New Hampshire's White Mountains, as well as the romantic Indian city of Udaipur and metropolises like London and Melbourne.


The summer is nearly over, but that doesn't mean you have to put your travel dreams on hold.

September is shoulder season in much of the world, and savvy travelers know that's often the best time to visit must-see locations.

We looked at airfare trends, climate data, and cultural calendars to select 13 vacation spots that are some of the best places to visit in September. They range from American natural wonders to a romantic Indian getaway to bustling metropolises waiting to be explored.

Whether you're an adventure-seeker, a beach-lover, or a nature buff, there's something in these destinations for everyone. Take a look at the best places to visit for a September trip, and plan away.

SEE ALSO: 13 places to visit in August for every type of traveler

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

September is the perfect month to visit the Grand Canyon, one of the America's most famous natural wonders. With summer vacationers and road-trippers out of the picture, you'll be competing with far fewer people for the best vantage points.

On top of that, temperatures are much more comfortable this time of year. While summer temperatures at the bottom of the Grand Canyon often reach triple digits, in September they fall to the 80s and 90s, and even as cool as the high-60s at the top of the canyon. Meanwhile, if you visit the national park after autumn, many areas will be shut down until the weather heats up again.



Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is always busy, but the end of summer does see a slight reduction in tourist traffic. The big draw for Vegas in September is the temperature, which drops to around 70 degrees at night. Wait one more month, and you'll need a warm jacket. Wait one more, and you start to compete with holiday visitors.



Outer Banks, North Carolina

North Carolina's famed Outer Banks have a more laid-back and local feel once the annual wave of summer tourists starts to dissipate.

The 200-mile stretch of islands entices visitors from all over with its vast beachfronts, historic lighthouses, and wild horses that roam the landscape. History buffs will also appreciate the Wright Brothers National Memorial near Kitty Hawk and various dedications to Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the modern-day United States.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

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Colin Hunter Alton Lane

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

"I always hated shopping."

Colin Hunter 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 H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

As someone who deals primarily in bespoke men's suits, Hunter is accustomed to the myriad 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 said. "Don't overaccessorise 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.

"If you're going to have one piece that stands out, limit it to one," he said. "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."

right way to complement a suit

2. Don't underinvest in yourself.

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

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

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," he said.

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 said. "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 going to 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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You'll reportedly need a minimum of $10 million in your family's bank account to score an invite to this summer camp for rich millennials

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rich people private plane

  • Big banks have begun courting millennials from wealthy families in an effort to woo them as future clients, Bloomberg reports.
  • At a recent summer camp sponsored by Swiss banking conglomerate UBS Group, a group of wealthy millennials enjoyed entrepreneurial workshops, luxurious food and drink, and niche networking opportunities.

At a three-day event sponsored by Swiss banking conglomerate UBS Group, a number of wealthy millennials reportedly lugged a 40-pound keg of water for a mile-long journey. The trip's goal? To get a better understanding of the grueling excursions many women in impoverished communities regularly make to get water.

Afterwards, Bloomberg reports, the group was rewarded with cocktails at a swanky townhouse, where it was later announced that UBS would donate $12,000 to build a well for a community in the name of its moneyed guests.

These "workshops," reports Bloomberg, have become a trend among big banks, which have begun to offer luxurious, multi-day experiences to affluent young people in an effort to woo them as future clients.

At this particular UBS summer retreat, which was hosted at The Four Seasons in New York, the barrier to entry was high: Invitees all had a reported minimum of $10 million in their families' bank accounts. 

Familiarizing their affluent guests with UBS was, seemingly, just one part of the bank's mission: At UBS's summer camp, guests enjoyed a number of entrepreneurial-themed lessons including demonstrations on "impact philanthropy," like the water-lugging example above. Other camp perks reportedly included niche networking opportunities and wine tastings led by Jon Bon Jovi's son. 

Read the full story over at Bloomberg.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: NYU professor says Facebook should pay taxes for making us less productive

Scientists think they have found the reason some people are left-handed — and it has nothing to do with the brain

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left handed writing

  • Monday, August 13 is International Lefthanders Day.
  • About 10% of the population is left-handed.
  • There have been several theories over the years about why some people favor their left hand.
  • A study published last year found that right- or left-handedness may have nothing to do with the brain — instead, it could be determined by gene activity in the spinal cord while you are in the womb.


Left-handed people haven't always been treated well throughout history. They've been persecuted for their disposition, being been labeled as evil — or even as witches — despite making up about 10% of the population. In fact, the word "sinister" comes from "left" or "left hand."

There have been a few theories over the decades about why some people are left-handed, including an outdated idea that it has something to do with mothers who are stressed while pregnant.

It's down to the spinal cord — not the brain

Research since the 1980s has found that our preference for our left or right hand is most likely determined before we are born — ultrasound screenings suggest as early as the eighth week of pregnancy. From the 13th week in the womb, babies tend to suck either their right or their left thumb.

It was previously thought that the genetic differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain determine whether someone is left- or right-handed. But a study published last year in the journal eLife found that the answer could lie in the spinal cord.

The research — by Sebastian Ocklenburg, Judith Schmitz, and Onur Gunturkun from Ruhr University Bochum, along with other colleagues from the Netherlands and South Africa — found that gene activity in the spinal cord was asymmetrical in the womb and could be what causes a person to be left- or right-handed.

Arm and hand movements start in the brain, in an area called the motor cortex, which sends a signal to the spinal cord that's translated into a motion. The researchers found that while the fetus is growing in the womb, up until about 15 weeks, the motor cortex and the spinal cord are not yet connected, but right- or left-handedness has already been determined.

In other words, the fetus can already start movements and chooses a favorite hand before the brain starts controlling the body.

To study this, the researchers analyzed gene expression in the spinal cord in the eighth through the 12th week of pregnancy. They found significant differences in the left and right segments of the spinal cord that control arm and leg movement.

They concluded that the asymmetrical nature of the spinal cord could be down to something called epigenetics, or how organisms are affected by changes in their gene expression rather than in the genes themselves. These changes are often brought about by environmental influences and can affect how a baby grows.

These gene-expression differences could affect the right and left parts of the spinal cord differently, resulting in lefties and righties.

So why are lefties so rare?

Scientists have long tried to answer this.

In 2012, researchers at Northwestern University developed a mathematical model to show that the percentage of left-handed people was a result of human evolution — specifically, a balance of cooperation and competition.

In other words, they thought that, though the basis for right- or left-handedness may be genetic, there could be a social factor that explains why the ratio is so high.

"The more social the animal — where cooperation is highly valued — the more the general population will trend toward one side," Daniel Abrams, an assistant professor at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science who helped develop the model, told LiveScience.

"The most important factor for an efficient society is a high degree of cooperation," he added. "In humans, this has resulted in a right-handed majority."

In other words, we may have, for some reason, evolved to favor right-handedness, so anyone deviating from this may have been conditioned to use that hand primarily despite their genetic predisposition.

In fact, Judith Schmitz, one of the authors of the new study, told Business Insider that twin studies have shown the contribution of genetics for handedness is about 25%.

The new study couldn't explain the majority of right-handedness, but Schmitz explained how bird research can show how genetics and environment can be the cause.

"In chicken and pigeons, a genetic factor determines the position in the egg before hatch — the embryo is curled such that the right eye is turned to the semi-translucent eggshell, while the left eye is covered by the embryo's own body," she said.

"Thus, the right eye is stimulated by light before hatch, whereas the left one is mostly light deprived. This combination of genetic and environmental factors (light) induces a visual asymmetry — pigeons and chicken are better in visual discrimination, categorization, and memorization of visual patterns with their right eye than with their left eye. If chicken or pigeon eggs are incubated in darkness, the development of this asymmetry is prevented."

Why exactly people are left-handed is still a bit of a mystery — partly because left-handed people are often excluded from scientific research, experts say — and it's hard to predict whether a child will be left or right-handed once they are born.

One thing we do know, though, is that the neurological differences between left- and right-handed people are small, and supposed behavioral or psychological distinctions have largely been debunked.

SEE ALSO: Our brains sometimes create 'false memories' — but science suggests we could be better off this way

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Disgraced Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he didn’t know what a 'golden shower' was when he told Sacha Baron Cohen it 'wouldn’t surprise' him if Trump had one

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Joe Arpaio appears on 'What is America'

  • Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has responded to being duped by Sacha Baron Cohen on his satirical show "Who is America?"
  • Arpaio was tricked into believing he was being interviewed by a famous Finnish YouTube (played by Baron Cohen).
  • During the interview, Arpaio appeared to confirm claims that Donald Trump had ordered a golden shower, and also said that he would accept oral sex from the president.
  • Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Arpaio said he made "a bad mistake security-wise" by allowing himself on the show.
  • The former sheriff said the outrageous comments he made were a result of not being able to understand what Baron Cohen, who adopted a fatuous Finnish accent, was saying.
  • He challenged the "Who is America?" host to another interview — this time, without a disguise.


Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was one of the recent victims of Sacha Baron Cohen's satirical sensation "Who is America?," a show where the host attempts to dupe notable people and politicians.

In episode four, Arpaio, whom President Trump pardoned last year, told Baron Cohen, who was in character as a Finnish YouTuber, that he would accept oral sex from Trump.

Furthermore, the disgraced sheriff appeared to confirm claims made in the explosive Trump dossier that the president had ordered a golden shower while staying in Moscow in 2013, saying: "Wouldn't surprise me."

In an interview with the Washington Examiner last week, Arpaio admitted that he'd made a mistake by allowing himself to be tricked by Baron Cohen. "Quite frankly, I made a bad mistake security-wise," he said.

Arpaio said he was told that he was being profiled for a Showtime feature on the top 20 people in the United States — "It looked pretty nice [that] I made the top people," he said.

sacha baron cohen

The former sheriff said his embarrassing statements about blowjobs and golden showers were made because he couldn't understand the host.

"So he's talking and I couldn't understand him. He's talking about golden showers. I thought he was talking about — the president has gold [in his shower].

"And then handjob," Arpaio continued. "What was that? He was talking about illegals coming over working with their hands on their job."

"Then the other thing — the only thing I got was that he would offer me a job. I didn't hear that little thing before that," Arpaio said. "I don't know where that came from."

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Arpaio challenged Baron Cohen to interview him without a disguise.

"Get the guts, get out of your undercover role, come and interview me in English, of course, so I can understand him so we can go man-to-man. You can ask me anything you want. I'll be glad to deal with it," Arpaio said. "He won't have the guts to do that. Maybe he will, I don't know."

Arpaio is best known for illegally detaining Latinos and keeping inmates in brutal jail conditions during his 24-year tenure as sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County. His aggressive tactics ultimately led to a criminal conviction after he violated a court order in a racial-profiling case. He was let off the hook when Trump issued his first presidential pardon to Arpaio last August.

SEE ALSO: All the notable people and politicians Sacha Baron Cohen has 'duped' for his new TV series, 'Who Is America?'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

Corey Lewandowski avoided getting tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen posing as a white nationalist

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  • Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is the latest target on Sacha Baron Cohen's satirical prank show "Who is America?"
  • Baron Cohen posed as a conspiracy theorist who questioned Lewandowski about race relations and fascism on the anniversary of the Charlottesville white supremacist march.
  • Lewandowski said that you have to respect "everyone."
  • Lewandowski also said that Trump wasn't racist and that he had never heard the president "utter a racist word in his life."
  • Compared to other guests on the show, Lewandowski managed to avoid Baron's traps.

Sacha Baron Cohen's show "Who is America?" is now infamous for getting conservative figures to humiliate themselves with relatively little prodding.

But former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski largely managed to avoid implicating himself in his appearance on the show on Sunday.

Baron Cohen posed as conspiracy theorist Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr as he questioned Lewandowski over whether the president is racist, and whether the president should choose a side between fascism and anti-fascism.

The episode aired on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville white supremacist demonstration, when crowds of far-right and white supremacist protesters marched on the town and violent clashes with counter-protestors left one woman dead.

"With Charlottesville, where people attacked our president, why should the president pick a side between anti-fascists and fascists? He's the president of all people," Baron Cohen said.

In response, Lewandowski expressed qualified support for that approach, saying: "There is a place and a time to disagree with all people, everywhere, OK? You don't have to agree with people. You have to respect them, you can't be attacking them."

Baron Cohen continued: "Exactly, you can't be attacking honest, fascist people who just want to express their right to start a genocide. That is their right."

Lewandowski was more cautious in his reply to that, saying: "Look, I don’t know about that … but what I do know is this: If the law says that people can do a peaceful protest, then they should be allowed to do that." 

Lewandowski defended Trump against accusations of racism and said the president has never looked at race. "It's a non-issue to him."

"Never, ever, ever did I ever hear him utter a racist word in his life. Ever," he said.

Baron Cohen peppered the show with sly digs. When introducing Lewandowski, his name appeared on the screen with a confederate flag background.

Lewandowski wasn't swayed by Baron Cohen's wild conspiracy theory that PBS is owned by the "Rastafarian lobby," which he claimed was behind "a lot of the major military decisions of the last 30 years," including the invasion of Iraq.

"The invasion of Iraq as because the Rastafarian lobby, their leader, Gen. Robert Marley suggested that they had — they developed over 45,000 Buffalo soldiers. These dreadlocked Rastas who were marching through Africa into the heart of America, and then the plan was to take them into Iraq," Baron Cohen said.

But Lewandowski wasn't convinced: "I don’t know if that qualifies as conclusive evidence. I’ve never seen that before."

Previous guests have been more amenable to going along with the antics of Baron Cohen's characters. Georgia state lawmaker Jason Spencer resigned after screaming the N-word and exposing himself on the show, and former Vice President Dick Cheney autographed a "waterboard kit" for Baron Cohen.

Join the conversation about this story »

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We compared Ben & Jerry's new 'light' ice cream with the trendy company that is trying to compete with it — and the winner was clear

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  • Ben & Jerry's released a low-calorie ice cream line in early 2018. 
  • The low-calorie Ben & Jerry's ice cream competes directly with Halo Top, a trendy ice cream company that sells low-calorie flavors and was the top-selling ice cream brand in American grocery stores last year.
  • We tried a pint of low-calorie ice cream from each brand and found that one was clearly better than the other.

Halo Top offering low-calorie ice cream was one of the trendy brand's biggest assets in competing against more established ice cream companies like Ben & Jerry's.

But Ben & Jerry's is responding to the growing popularity of Halo Top, which launched in 2012, with a low-calorie ice cream of its own.  

As Halo Top's "light" ice creams have become more and more popular, Ben & Jerry's released a low-calorie ice cream of its own in February. Ben & Jerry's version comes in three flavors: P.B. Dough, Caramel Cookie Fix, and Chocolate Milk & Cookies. The pints each have under 160 calories per serving and are low in fat, with no artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. 

Though Ben & Jerry's may have more name recognition, Halo Top surpassed it to be America's top-selling ice cream brand in grocery stores last year. Unlike Ben & Jerry's, all of Halo Top's ice cream flavors are low-calorie, with many flavors having under 350 calories per pint — half of what the low-calorie Ben & Jerry's flavors have per pint.

We put both low-calorie ice creams to the test. Here's the verdict: 

SEE ALSO: Costco is surprisingly packed with vegan foods. Here are some of the best options.

Ben & Jerry's only makes three flavors of low-calorie ice cream. We tried the P.B. Dough flavor and compared it to Halo Top's non-dairy Peanut Butter Cup, its most similar flavor.



The premise of both ice creams is similar: all the flavor of ice cream, with half as many calories.



We tried Ben & Jerry's P.B. Dough first.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 41 worst albums of all time, according to critics

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While most are keen to block out bad music from their lives, there exists another group who can approach hot garbage openly, with varying degrees of ironic appreciation.

And then there's that unfortunate, outlying enigma — genuine fans of Limp Bizkit.

With the latter two groups of listeners in mind, we turned to the reviews aggregator Metacritic to compile this list of the most critically panned albums in history. 

From the works of Kevin Federline to Limp Bizkit, to multiple entries from Chris Brown, these LPs drew the ire of critics and provoked the repulsion of many.

Here are the 41 worst albums of all time, according to critics:

Note: This list only includes albums with seven or more reviews.

SEE ALSO: Musicians only got 12% of the $43 billion the music industry generated in 2017, and it mostly came from touring

41. The Vines — "Melodia"

Critic score: 44/100

User score: 5.7/10

What critics said: "For an album called Melodia written by a self-confessed Beatles fanatic who once penned the gorgeous ‘Homesick’ and ‘Winning Days’, actual melodies are rare and most, like ‘Hey’ or the turgid ‘She Is Gone’, sound embryonic at best." — NME

Listen to it here.



40. The Entrance Band — "The Entrance Band"

Critic score: 44/100

User score: 7.0/10

What critics said: "He's only a middling guitar player, but insists on soloing and showboating endlessly, drawing out songs to unnecessary lengths." — Pitchfork

Listen to it here.



39. Sean Paul — "Imperial Blaze"

Critic score: 44/100

User score: 5.4/10

What critics said: "The audacity, the immaturity contained on 'Imperial Blaze' is enough to hang a dark cloud over music, if only for an hour as the album lulls needlessly along." — PopMatters

Listen to it here.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

15 fitness 'tips' that are doing more harm than good

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  • Regular exercise is essential for health, but there's tons of conflicting fitness advice out there.
  • Those misconceptions range from outdated ideas about weight lifting to popular myths about the proper time to dedicate to a workout.
  • Make sure you're not falling into any of these common workout traps.

When even researchers seem conflicted on exercise subjects ranging from the amount of time we're supposed to dedicate to exercise to the proper time for a workout, it can be tough to feel motivated enough to get moving.

Because there's so much conflicting health and fitness advice out there, we've outlined all of the biggest workout myths and misconceptions and countered them (where possible) with truth. Use this as a guide to get fit in the most efficient way possible.

Learn the reality about the best time of day to hit the gym, the quickest ticket to 6-pack abs, and why running a marathon isn't the best way to achieve your fitness goals.

SEE ALSO: Harvard doctors say this neglected move is a better way to get strong abs than sit-ups

DON'T MISS: The best ways to lose weight and keep it off, according to science

Myth: Exercise doesn't help counter the negative effects of aging.

Truth: Regular exercise has key benefits for the brain and body that include helping to counteract some of the negative effects of aging.

Researchers behind a study published this summer in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that older people who spent less time sitting and more time moving had fewer signs of encroaching heart disease — as measured by key markers of damage in the blood.

The scientists had 1,600 British volunteers ages 60 to 64 wear heart-rate sensors for five days. They analyzed the participants' activity levels and compared them to indicators of heart disease such as cholesterol precursors and a substance called interleukin-6. Overall, the participants with more activity had lower levels of all of the negative biomarkers.

"It's important to replace time spent sedentary with any intensity level of activity," said Ahmed Elhakeem, the study's author and a professor of epidemiology at England's University of Bristol.



Myth: A sluggish metabolism is the main reason you gain weight as you age.

Truth: As far as calorie-burning capacity goes, our metabolisms barely budge after age 30, according to the National Institutes of Health. That means this frequently vilified component of our bodies is not the real culprit when it comes to the pounds that seem to creep on with each passing decade. Instead, age-related weight gain has far more to do with activity patterns, which slowly grind down over time. The best way to avoid age-related weight gain is simply moving around more.



Myth: To stay in shape, you only need to work out once or twice a week.

Truth: Once or twice a week won't cut it for sustained health benefits.

For your workouts to produce real results, you should be exercising 3-5 times a week, Chris Jordan, the exercise physiologist who came up with the 7-minute workout, told Business Insider.

His insight is bolstered by a new study published in January in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation that found that the best results for heart health were gleaned when participants worked out 4-5 times a week.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Thousands of counter-protesters drowned out 2 dozen white supremacists marching to the White House on the anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville rally. See what it looked like on the ground.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, a white supremacist rally in Washington D.C. was dwarfed by thousands of counter-protesters who out-shouted and out-marched the 20-odd white supremacists who marched from the Foggy Bottom Metro Station to Lafayette Park under heavy police escort.

It was clear how Washington D.C. felt toward the white supremacists who chose to hold their rally the day after the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally that killed Heather Heyer.

Here's how the events unfolded on the ground:

SEE ALSO: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Charlottesville one year after the deadly Unite the Right rally — here's how the day unfolded

Signs covered in slogans like "No Hood In My Woods" and "Solidarity Trumps Hate" were staged at Freedom Plaza hours ahead of the arrival of the white supremacist groups.



Thousands of counter-protesters began to fill Lafayette Square by noon.



Press and counter-protesters waited outside of the Foggy Bottom Metro Station for the white supremacists to arrive for their planned march to Lafayette Park.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Sheriff David Clarke told Sacha Baron Cohen 'you don't want to take sides' on fascists in 1930s Germany

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  • The former Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke appeared on Sacha Baron Cohen's Showtime series, "Who Is America?," on Sunday.
  • In a conversation about fascists and anti-fascists, which took place while Cohen's Finnish YouTuber character "unboxed" toys, Clarke ended up telling Cohen that "you don't want to take sides" regarding fascists in 1930s Germany. 

The former Milwaukee sheriff and avid Trump supporter David Clarke appeared in a segment with Sacha Baron Cohen's Finnish YouTuber character in Sunday's episode of the Showtime series, "Who Is America?"  

Cohen's character, OMGWhizzBoyOMG, first asked Clarke to describe anti-fascist protestors to him, and the conversation culminated with Clarke saying that "you don't want to take sides" over 1930s Nazism. 

"Let's talk bout the dangerous people who marched in Charlottesville, or as they're called, Antifa," Cohen's character said to Clarke at the start of the segment. "What are they like?"

"Antifa is an anarchist group," Clarke said. "They promote chaos. They come in — again, this is not protest. When you start trashing buildings–"

Cohen's character, who "unboxes" toys in a YouTube show, suddenly interrupted Clarke to show off an unboxed toy called "Mackenzie Maple Donut," to which he made Clarke explain why the toy shouldn't join Antifa.

Later in the segment, the conversation turned to 1930s Germany.

"So if you were the sheriff in the '30s in Germany, and the anti-fascists were marching, the Antifa were marching, what would you have done to stop them?" Cohen asked.

"Well, you have to act aggressively," Clarke said. "When I say that, you have to use force to disperse the crowd. You have to be willing to arrest people and take them to jail."

"It's a shame that there weren't brave sheriffs like you around in Germany in the '30s, because you could have protected the fascists and let them speak their mind a bit clearer, and then things could have been done a bit quicker," Cohen said.

“Well, you don't want to take sides,” Clarke replied, echoing President Trump's statement blaming "both sides" for the violence and death that resulted from last year's Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally. 

“Of course, particularly not in Germany in the '30s,” Cohen said.

Watch the episode on Showtime.

SEE ALSO: All the notable people and politicians Sacha Baron Cohen has 'duped' for his new TV series, 'Who Is America?'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

The best time of day to do everything at work, according to science

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At work, a calendar filled with meetings and deadlines often dictates the cadence of our days. But despite what tightly timed agendas might try to insist, our internal body clocks are secretly running the show. Scientists call this personalized daily pattern of sleep and wakefulness a circadian rhythm.

Whether you know it or not, our bodies have a specifically set programming schedule for the best time of day to concentrate, spark new ideas, and experience peak performance.

Scientists have tracked how cognitive abilities rise and fall, and found that most of our brains follow a neatly predictable pattern of cognition that fluctuates hour by hour, throughout the course of a day. Author Daniel Pink revealed his formula for a perfect science-backed workday in his 2018 New York Times bestseller"When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing."

The strategy for your own perfect day might differ from this, depending on whether you're more of an early riser or a night owl, but in his book Pink reveals a basic formula for a better work schedule, whatever time of day you tend to plug in. We've added in a few other science-backed ways to make your workday better, too.

Take a look.

SEE ALSO: How often to clean everything you own, from your toilet to your phone, according to science

Almost all of us fall into a predictable mood pattern each morning.

Scientists who studied 509 million tweets from 2.4 million people in 84 countries around the world found that just about everyone's mood follows a body-clock-linked daily rhythm.



We tend to rise in relatively good spirits. These first morning hours are a great time for following routines and sticking to a schedule. If you're looking to shape up or trim down, you might want to start the day off with a little exercise.

If you're not a professional athlete, it might be best to get that workout out of the way in the morning, when there are fewer distractions around to kick your plan off course.

Studies show you're likely to build more muscle with a daybreak workout than an evening routine. Plus, if you don't eat beforehand you can burn off more fat than you would working out after a meal.



Our attitudes continue to brighten as the morning wears on. As we wake, we become happier, warmer and enjoy work more. The good feeling typically peaks somewhere around noon.

Source: British Journal of Psychology



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Stephen Miller's uncle calls him an 'immigration hypocrite' in a scathing op-ed

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  • White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was called out in an op-ed by his uncle, who called him an "immigration hypocrite."
  • David S. Glosser traces his and Miller's family origins from Eastern Europe to a series of successful family businesses in the US — a journey he says Miller's policies would make impossible today.
  • Glosser slams both his nephew and President Donald Trump for ignoring their shared immigrant roots and saying their harsh immigration policies may have made them "numb to the resultant human tragedy."

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was called out for his harsh immigration policies that contradict his family's immigrant roots in an op-ed for Politico by his uncle, who called him an "immigration hypocrite."

David S. Glosser, Miller's uncle, outlines their family's origins by following the journey of Miller's great grandfather, Wolf-Leib Glosser, who arrived at Ellis Island on January 7, 1903 from a small village in what is now Belarus, a journey Glosser says his nephew's work would make impossible today.

Miller, a 32-year-old policy specialist, has a history of formulating strict immigration policy. He made headlines earlier this year when he pushed the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" on the momentum of March's rise in illegal immigration numbers.

Miller has been a rising star on the far right for years, often making headlines because of his polarizing demeanor and statements. He was reportedly the driving force behind the policy that separated immigrant children from their families at the US-Mexico border.

Glosser writes that his grandfather knew no English when he came to the US, but built a successful chain of family-owned supermarkets and discount department stores.

"This family emerged from poverty in a hostile country to become a prosperous, educated clan of merchants, scholars, professionals, and, most important, American citizens," Glosser wrote.

He also criticized the administration's travel ban, family separation policy, and expressed interest to cut down on legal immigration. "I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses ... been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom," Glosser wrote.

Miller told The New York Times the zero-tolerance policy, which separated almost 2,000 children from their families in six weeks, was a "simple decision" and "the message is that no one is exempt from immigration law."

Glosser points to a thirst for political power "in the theater of right wing politics," as the driving force behind the policies Miller and Trump support, which he says are drafted without real people in mind and caused them to "become numb to the resultant human tragedy and blind to the hypocrisy of their policy decisions."

Pointing to Miller and the president's shared "immigrant and refugee roots," Glosser spreads the blame of hypocrisy to Trump as well, condemning the president's policies and rhetoric aimed at "refugees to make them seem less than human."

First lady Melania Trump's parents were sworn in as US citizens last week using family-based sponsorship, which Trump calls "chain migration" and has vowed to end — sparking reports pointing out the hypocrisy of Trump's espoused plans for policy.

Trump has sharply cut down on the number of refugee allowed into the US since he took office, and demanded that "extreme vetting" be implemented for refugees coming from majority-Muslim countries, though those close to the process say the current system is already as extreme as it gets.

"President Trump wants to make us believe that these desperate migrants are an existential threat to the United States; the most powerful nation in world history and a nation made strong by immigrants," Glosser wrote.

Glosser warns against the progress of these policies for the future of the US, writing, "No matter what opinion is held about immigration, any government that specifically enacts law or policy on that basis must be recognized as a threat to all of us. Laws bereft of justice are the gateway to tyranny."

Read the full op-ed here »

SEE ALSO: Meet Stephen Miller, the 32-year-old White House adviser who convinced Trump to start separating migrant children from their parents at the border

DON'T MISS: Melania Trump's parents were just sworn in as US citizens — and they relied on the same immigration process Donald Trump wants to end

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NOW WATCH: Meet the woman behind Trump's $20 million merch empire

People are freaking out over a report that millennials are killing mayonnaise. Here's the truth.

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  • An article with the headline "How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise" sparked outcry on social media this weekend. 
  • Some celebrated the death of the condiment, while others questioned whether millennials had actually murdered mayo. 
  • In fact, mayonnaise sales have plummeted in recent years, leaving mayo makers scrambling for a way to boost business. 

 

Are millennials killing mayonnaise? And, if so, should the generation be celebrated or demonized? 

An article in Philadelphia magazine sparked these questions — and more — when it went viral over the weekend. The headline: "How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise." 

As in many cases in which millennials are charged with murder via headline, the piece inspired outcry on social media. 

Many celebrated millennials' triumph over the condiment. 

The piece, written by Sandy Hingston, contains a lot of material to digest. It relies heavily on familial anecdotes, such as no one eating Hingston's mother's potato salad and her women-and-gender-majoring daughter's hatred of mayonnaise. There is even an interlude about 23andme and how certain foods are treated as more exotic than others.

Here at Business Insider, we are concerned with one issue and one issue only: Did millennials actually kill mayonnaise? 

In addition to her own family's shift away from mayo, Hingston mostly relies on headlines as evidence. And, there are some powerful ones: "24 Reasons Mayonnaise Is the Devil’s Condiment," "Mayonnaise is disgusting, and science agrees," "Big Mayo Will Destroy Us All."

But, murder cannot be carried out via headlines alone. For mayonnaise to die, people need to actually stop eating it.

Data reveals that the anti-mayonnaise brigade seems to have actually had somewhat of an impact on sales.

According to Euromonitor, mayonnaise sales fell 6.7% in the US between 2012 and 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Journal reports that brands like Hellmann's and Kraft have had to slash prices to keep shoppers interested, with mayonnaise prices falling 0.6% from the first quarter of 2017 to 2018, as overall packaged-food prices increased by 1.6%, according to Nielsen data. 

Hampton Creek Just Mayo

More health-conscious shoppers are cutting mayonnaise out of their diets. Mayo makers have to compete with vegan brands, such as Just, that offer an egg-free version of the spread. And, there are simply more condiments in the mainstream, as the food industry continues its quest to cash in on the "next sriracha" and win over younger shoppers. 

Mayo makers are being forced to venture outside of the familiar eggy comforts of the off-white condiment in hopes of surviving and growing sales.

Last week, Kraft Heinz (the maker of both Kraft mayonnaise and Miracle Whip), emphasized its "innovation pipeline" in a call with investors, highlighting the recent launches of new Lunchables flavors, Just Crack an Egg, and Heinz Real Mayonnaise. Twitter lost its mind when Heinz debuted mayoketchup — which is exactly what it sounds like — in April. And, Hellmann's has been expanding its ketchup offerings, debuting "real" ketchup sweetened with honey earlier this year. 

"Condiments are more competitive than they've ever been," Jennifer Healy, head of marketing for the Heinz brand, told the Journal. "Ten years ago, it was much more simple."

Have millennials killed mayonnaise? Not quite. It looks like the condiment is still twitching, and new variations and flavors have debuted. 

But, the generation hap deeply wounded mayonnaise. The goopy emulsion doesn't reign supreme over spreads as it once did — and it may never regain its crown again if millennials have their way. 

SEE ALSO: Bearded millennials are causing a crisis in the razor industry as the unshaven look loses its bad reputation

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I'm a burned-out millennial who quit a high-paying 9-to-5 job to travel full time

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  • Millennials are more likely to say they are often or always burned out at work than workers in older generations, according to research by Gallup.
  • Other research found that over 73% of millennials reported working more than 40-hour work weeks, with a stronger desire for flexibility over pay.
  • Olivia Young was a burned out millennial who quit her job at an LA entertainment PR agency and booked a one-way flight to New Zealand in 2016.
  • Here's why she hasn't come back.

 

Looking back on it, I was doing pretty well for a 25-year-old.

After graduating from a good university in my small Ohio hometown, I immediately fled to Los Angeles to pursue my big-city dreams. I loved the energy of LAc — the perpetually sunny weather, the glamour of the entertainment industry, and the carefree nature of West Coast living.

My first full-time job after college was at an entertainment PR firm where I was hired as an assistant to a man who had Kim Kardashian's phone number in his address book. The 10-hour-minimum days, skipped lunch breaks, and entry-level salary (which was just enough to keep me above the poverty line) were well worth it in the beginning, because I came home every night with an exciting new story.

My days were so long and fast-paced that my feet would tingle when I finally tucked myself into bed. And even then, my phone pinged endlessly throughout the night with email after email.

I had plenty of money, but no time to spend it

After three years at the firm, I was managing my own clients. My boss went on maternity leave twice, leaving me with more responsibility. My friends envied that my company often flew me around the country for high-profile events in New York, Seattle, Park City, Lake Tahoe, and more.

What little personal life I had dissipated as my career — and my paycheck — grew. I finally had plenty of money to have fun with, but no time to spend it.

At the age of 25, I began questioning whether success, wealth, and social status were worth it. I realized when I started fantasizing about being one of the landscapers working outside my office building that no, it wasn't.

"I'm too tired to start over," I would cry to my roommate when she tried to convince me to leave my job. I knew that job hunting would feel like an additional job on top of the one I already had. I didn't need any more jobs — I wanted a break.

My friend told me to travel, I thought she was crazy

Up until this point, the prospect of travel hadn't once entered my career-possessed mind. Once  I was complaining about my job to a friend, as I often did, and she told me about a program called the New Zealand Working Holiday, which allows Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 to live and work in New Zealand for a year.

I told her she was crazy. "I have a career!" I said. However, the next day during my daily midday mental breakdown, I typed "New Zealand working holiday visa" into Google on my work computer.

I didn't have much in savings, but I could make money when I got there, surely. I didn't know where I would live, but I could probably work for accommodation somewhere. My career might fall apart if I left for so long, but I would figure it out.

It was going to be a challenge, yes, but I finally felt ready — excited, even — for such an experience. I applied for a visa and two weeks later, it was approved. I booked a one-way flight to Auckland before I could change my mind.

I arrived in New Zealand with $5,000

My mother said I was throwing away my college degree (she later came around).

When I turned in my resignation at work that very week, they said that I was at the peak of my career, but that I had seemed unhappy for a long time. We settled on calling it a sabbatical even though I didn't plan on ever going back. (I've now been gone for two years.)

I terminated my lease and got $1,000 back from the security deposit. I sold my bike, my bed, and all the designer outfits that I obviously wouldn't need while hitchhiking through New Zealand.

I cashed in some vacation time and arrived in Auckland with $5,000. I spent the first few months working on farms in exchange for accommodation and food, until I bought a campervan named Bessie. That's where I lived for the next eight months.

There were times when I worried about running out of money, but a little job would always pop up. I've worked on vineyards, done housekeeping at a hotel, and even painted a house for some extra cash. I've now backpacked through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, and I'm writing this now from a coffee shop in Southwest England.

Traveling isn't easy, but it's invigorating and has unexpectedly done wonders for my career as a writer. It has given me the freedom to live a life I'm passionate about, one that allows me to write, roam, create, and grow. Needless to say, I won't be going back to the nine-to-five life any time soon.

SEE ALSO: I dropped everything and bought a one-way ticket to Switzerland, and it was the best decision of my life

Join the conversation about this story »

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