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Italian Prisoners Design Sleek 'Micro-Apartment'


freedom room 1

If we've learned anything from prison movies, we know prisoners can make almost anything out of the few objects they use every day.

Now inmates in a high-security Italian prison have partnered with designers to create Freedom Room, a mini-apartment with the same dimensions as the cells where the prisoners live, Gizmodo reports.  

Designers Aldo Cibic, Tommaso Cora Marco, and Tortoioli Ricci, who run Cibic Workshop, introduced the 9-by-13-foot housing models last week at Milan's weeklong design festival.

These models could be used in actual prisons or other tight spaces, like New York City apartments. Design-savvy prisoners built the 117-square-foot prototype at the Spoleto prison, making multifunctional furniture out of everyday objects to make a space that could become a gym, library, office, kitchen, and bedroom.

In these micro-housing units, a stool can transform into an oven, a bed becomes a closet, a can becomes an antenna, and a table becomes a gym, according to the project's press release.

The tiny housing modules also have creative storage options, including shelves made out of cigarette cartons. 

freedom room 2

These designs could revolutionize prison life if they were actually implemented, according to Luisa Castellano, former director of low-security Bollate Penitentiary in Milan.

"The important thing is to avoid a situation in which prisons are overcrowded containers, crammed full with the poor and the destitute, tending to promote deviant behavior and delinquency instead of curbing it," she writes in the Freedom Room book.

Here are a few more glimpses of what prison life — or just life in a tiny apartment — could look like.

freedom room 3

freed room 3

Freedom Room 4

freedom room 5

Find more photos and information over at the Freedom Room website, which has sections in English and Italian.

SEE ALSO: 10 People Who Received Outrageous Sentences For Drug Convictions

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Meet The Gorgeous Model Who Could Take Miranda Kerr's Place At Victoria's Secret


karlie kloss victorias secret show

Karlie Kloss is Victoria's Secret's latest Angel

The 20-year-old could take the place of Miranda Kerr, the longtime brand ambassador who just confirmed her departure. 

While 40 models walk in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show every year, only about 10 models hold the coveted title of Angel. The gig involves constant appearances on behalf of the brand. 

Kloss is known for her distinctive walk and her distinguished fashion career. She's the first Angel in memory to appear in an ad campaign with short hair. 

She also has a fancy apartment and rich boyfriend to boot. 

Karlie Kloss grew up in St. Louis, and is a trained classical ballerina. She told W Magazine that at over six feet tall, she was a foot taller than her prom date in heels.

Source: W Magazine

She was discovered at a local fashion show at 13 and signed with IMG Management.

Source: Vogue.

Soon, she began walking in fashion shows around the world and became known as the "panther" for her distinctive prowl.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Restaurant Owner Says Yelp Is Killing His Business


ed wells chowderheads owner

A restaurant owner told us that his two-star rating on Yelp is ruining his business. 

Ed Wells opened Chowderheads in November, and says he's built up a legion of regulars since then. But he worries that because of Yelp, some potential customers never make it through the door of his Jupiter, Fla. restaurant

"It's very scary as a restaurant owner because I'm sure people avoid coming here because of the rating," Wells told us. "The customers who do come in ask me about why the rating is so low."

Wells also says that a Yelp representative cursed him out after he declined to buy advertisements from the site. 

He complained and later received an apology. But shortly after the incident, Wells said bad reviews started pouring in, such as this one from a man identified as Bob P.: 

yelp review

Wells also cited the many positive reviews on Yelp, many of which are filtered through the company's screening system. 

Yelp says it filters reviews that are suspicious, such as ones coming from the same IP address that could have been written by the same person. The system favors frequent posters. 

The company won a lawsuit earlier this year demanding that it reveal its filter criteria. For now, the exact reasons reviews are filtered are a secret. 

Yelp made headlines this week after a California restaurant made a sign alleging that Yelp representatives told owners that if they wanted a higher rating on the site, they should buy ads. 

Kristen Whisenand, a Yelp spokeswoman, said the company does not favor advertisers over anyone else. 

"I want to make it clear that there has never been any amount of money a business can pay Yelp to manipulate reviews, nor does our automated review filter 'punish' those who don't advertise," Whisenand said. "The filter works the same for both." 

But Wells, and other small business owners, feel that Yelp unfairly penalizes smaller companies over larger ones. 

Business consultant Adyenn Ashley wrote on her blog that she gets tearful calls from small business owners every week. 

"Feeling helpless, alone, attacked, the emotion coming through the phone line sounds a lot like the rape victims I counseled in college," Ashley writes. "The same questions: How did this happen? Why me? And worse, why won’t anyone help me?"

She started a website, Yelp-Sucks.com, that encourages small business owners burned by Yelp to leave their stories. 

Whisenand pointed out that small businesses with higher reviews could get customers and exposure they normally wouldn't. The company also lets business owners respond to customer reviews. 

But Wells said that the risks of Yelp far outweigh the benefits for businesses like his. 

"I often talk to other business owners who are going through what I am," Wells said. "People aren't going to look up a review for the big chains, they're going to look up reviews for smaller places they haven't heard of." 

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21 Maps Of Highly Segregated Cities In America



Racial segregation remains a problem in America, and it's lasting longer than anyone expected.

Just how bad things are can be determined through analysis of 2010 Census data.

The average black person lives in a neighborhood that is 45 percent black. Without segregation, his neighborhood would be only 13 percent black, according to professors John Logan and Brian Stult at Brown and Florida State.

Logan and Stult evaluated segregation in major cities with a dissimilarity index, which identifies the percentage of one group that would have to move to a different neighborhood to eliminate segregation. A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered extreme.

In the following slides, we have ranked the most segregated cities in ascending order. They are illustrated with maps of cities by race created by Eric Fischer and publicly available on FlickrThe red dots show white people, blue is black, orange is Hispanic, green is Asian, and yellow is other.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Blacks (blue dots) cluster in the inner city.

Columbus's black-white dissimilarity score is 59.9, according to a study of 2010 Census data by professors John Logan and Brian Stult of Brown and Florida State University. A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered very high segregation.

The red dots show white people, blue is black, orange is Hispanic, green is Asian, and yellow is other, according to maps of 2010 Census data by Eric Fischer.

HOUSTON, Texas — Blacks, Hispanics (orange dots), and whites (red dots) fan out in separate communities.

Houston's black-white dissimilarity score is 60.6, according to a study of 2010 Census data by professors John Logan and Brian Stult of Brown and Florida State University. A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered very high segregation.

The red dots show white people, blue is black, orange is Hispanic, green is Asian, and yellow is other, according to maps of 2010 Census data by Eric Fischer.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Black people live in the inner city and other segregated neighborhoods.

Memphis's black-white dissimilarity score is 60.6, according to a study of 2010 Census data by professors John Logan and Brian Stult of Brown and Florida State University. A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered very high segregation.

The red dots show white people, blue is black, orange is Hispanic, green is Asian, and yellow is other, according to maps of 2010 Census data by Eric Fischer.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Sorority Girl Who Wrote That Nasty Email To Her Sisters Has Resigned


homeless pretty girls

The University of Maryland sorority sister who wrote that awful email berating her fellow Delta Gammas for "being so f***ing AWKWARD and so f***ing BORING" during Greek Week activities with a frat appears to have been booted from the sorority.

Delta Gamma posted a note saying it had accepted the student's resignation on its Facebook wall yesterday, noting "the tone and content of the email was highly inappropriate and unacceptable by any standard."

The note said:

No matter who released it to the public or how it reached such a mass audience, the email content should not reflect on any sorority woman in general or any fraternal organization at large.

This is a regrettable action by a college junior – a personal email that is now on view for a global audience. And as all reasonable people can agree, this is an email that should never have been sent by its author. Period.

This email should not be depicted in any way as standard or routine or tied to any official sorority voice. It is not an official voice or message and should not be construed as such.

For the young woman who wrote it, we can only express our regret and concerns for landing notoriety in this manner.

We now consider this matter closed.

The curse-laden email appeared on Gawker last week and quickly went viral. 

One positive outcome of the whole debacle: This delightful dramatic reading of the email by actor Michael Shannon, by FunnyOrDie:

SEE ALSO: 25 Colleges Where The Students Are Hot And Smart

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What $1 Million Buys In Housing Markets Around America


house 7

$1 million is a lot of money to spend on a house.

But what it buys in Wayzata, Minn. is not the same as what it can buy in Miami, Fla.

From small suburban houses to waterfront mansions, our friends at Zillow shared a variety of million-dollar homes currently for sale around the U.S.

Bend, Ore.: $1.1 million buys a 3,698-square-foot home on a .93 acre lot with radiant floor heating and mountain views.

Click here to see the house on Zillow.

Park City, Utah: $1.1 million will get you a 2,000-square-foot residence, plus a second home divided into two rental units that earn about $45,000 each year.

Click here to see the house on Zillow.

Chicago, Ill.: $1.1 million gets a renovated three-bedroom condo on Lake Shore Drive.

Click here to see the house on Zillow.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Hamptons Home Prices Plummet After A Busy Winter


hamptons beachIf the Hamptons real estate market celebrated the end of last year with a boom — as high-end homebuyers rushed to complete deals before capital gains tax rates spiked at the start of 2013 — then the last three months must have felt like a hangover.

Home sales and prices in the tony enclave plummeted in the first quarter of this year, according to reports released today by the area’s largest residential brokerages.

“We had this mad rush at the end of the year and that poached first quarter activity largely in the high-end of the market,” said Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

The average sale price dropped 29.4 percent, to $1.22 million from $1.72 million, compared to the same period in 2012, according to Douglas Elliman’s quarterly report, compiled by Miller. The average price of a Hamptons home in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $2.13 million, or 91 percent less than the previous quarter.

Corcoran Prices

Average prices dropped in all Hamptons markets except for Bridgehampton, according to Brown Harris Stevens’ report. In Bridgehampton, prices increased 29.1 percent year-over-year to $2.13 million from $1.65 million, the report says.

The village of East Hampton posted the biggest year-over-year price decline, according to the Corcoran Group’s report. The average sale price for a home in East Hampton declined 76 percent year-over-year, to $1.41 million from $5.8 million, Corcoran’s report says.

Despite the price drops, the number of transactions increased 20.9 percent year-over-year, to 347 sales from 287 sales, Elliman’s report shows. The growth is the result of an increase in demand coupled with low mortgage rates, Miller said. However, since the previous quarter, the number of transactions fell 34.4 percent, to 347 from 529.

“The biggest characteristic in the market is actually what happened in the fourth quarter versus the first quarter,” he added. “The impact was quite profound on the East End.”

Indeed, the rush to complete transactions before the Jan. 1 deadline absorbed sales that normally would have closed in the first quarter, according to Brown Harris Stevens’ report. Some 239 sales closed during the first quarter of 2013 — 13 percent fewer than the first quarter of 2012, the report says.

In Manhattan and Brooklyn, a similar pre-fiscal cliff rush has meant “chronically low”inventory levels, as well as prices that have stayed steady. However, inventory hasn’t fallen nearly as far year-over-year in the Hamptons, Miller noted, declining only 4.9 percent, to 1,437 listings from 1,511 listings.

That said, the second quarter is “shaping up to be more consistent with seasonal trends,” Miller said, noting the increased activity he is seeing now.

Ernie Cervi, a managing executive director at Corcoran’s Bridgehampton’s office, noted that his agents have been busy in recent months.

“This is our season,” Cervi said. “This is when we’re the busiest.”

More from The Real Deal:

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Cheaters Love Chain Steakhouses, According To Adultery Dating Site Ashley Madison


Morton's Steakhouse

A hot date for cheaters: 6:30pm at Morton's Steakhouse on a Wednesday.

That's according to a new survey from extra-marital dating site AshleyMadison.com, which polled 43,000 of its members in 12 major U.S. cities on their dining habits while having an affair.

It turns out that adulterers are much more concerned with not running into anyone they know than the quality of the food: 29% said distance from home was the most important factor when choosing a restaurant for an affair, while just 18% said the food was most important.

Morton's Steakhouse was the number chain restaurant where cheaters go to dine, but the illustrious P.F. Chang's and The Cheesecake Factory also made the cut.

"Chain restaurants are larger and less conspicuous," the site's Founder and CEO Noel Biderman said in the press release. "Steak houses are always a popular affair destination since they're not only dimly lit, but also commonly found in business districts, close to hotels where these types of dates typically end."

For those with a more refined pallet, Ashley Madison broke out the favored high-end locations in each of the 12 cities, too.

Top chain restaurants for cheaters:

    1. Morton’s Steakhouse
    2. Ruth’s Chris 
    3. Houston’s
    4. P.F. Chang’s
    5. The Cheesecake Factory
    6. Del Frisco’s
    7. Chili”s
    8. Outback Steakhouse
    9. Red Lobster
    10. Fleming’s

Top local restaurants for cheaters:

BOSTON: Mistral Bistro, Oiishi, Temezcal, Prezzo, 

CHICAGO: Gibson’s, Tavern on Rush, Kiki’s Bistro, Ditka’s,

LOS ANGELES: Pace, Craig’s, Dan Tana, South Beverly Grill

MIAMI: Bianca, Prime Italian, Joe’s Stone Crab, Red

NEW YORK: Blue Water Grill, Blue Fin, Momofuku

PHILADELPHIA: Valanni, Amis, MIxto, Walnut St. Supperclub

DALLAS: Celebration, Marquee Grill, Jake’s, Mi Piaci

PHOENIX: Talavera, Durant’s, Panne Bianco, Macjos, Ztejas

SAN FRANCISCO: Royko’s, Cliff House Bistro, Spiedo, Alexander’s

D.C.: Marcel’s, Rasika, Blue Duck Tavern, Oya, The Cure

DON'T MISS: Everything You Wanted To Know About Online Dating But Were Afraid To Ask

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This Farm-To-Table Mecca Is The Best Restaurant In America [PHOTOS]


Dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

We recently crowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns the Best Restaurant In America, based on several notable restaurant rankings. 

Co-owned by Dan and David Barber, Blue Hill is the ultimate farm-to-table restaurant, taking locavorism to new heights. The Stone Barns location (there's also a Blue Hill restaurant in the West Village) sits alongside fields of vegetables and rolling hills spotted with pigs, ducks, and beehives.

All the ingredients on your plate are fresh from the surrounding Hudson Valley. At Blue Hill, there's no set menu — you're in the hands of Dan and his team of experts — but the waiters will be more than happy to tell you where your mushrooms were foraged and what the lamb was fed.

And if you're really curious, you can go walk around outside and see for yourself.

Flickr user Alex Sugerman visited the famous restaurant back in September 2012. He was lucky enough to partake in the 12-course tasting menu ($358 per person, with wine pairing), and shared his pictures with Business Insider.

Welcome to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, The Best Restaurant in America.

The restaurant is located in pastoral Pocantico Hills, New York.

It's 35 minutes on the express train out of NYC, and taxis are standing by at the station to take diners to the restaurant.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Teen Prom Spending Is Getting Even More Out Of Control


Prom in the UK

Prom spending has climbed to more than $1,100 as teens continue to go all out on the big dance.

This year, the average American family will spend $1,139 on prom— an increase of 5% from last year's $1,078 average, according to a new Visa Inc. survey.

But spending on the formal varies drastically across the country. Case in point: Midwestern families spend less than half of what an average family spends in the Northeast.

Here's the breakdown of what the average family will spend on prom in 2013 by region:

  • Northeast: An average of $1,528.
  • South: An average of $1,203.
  • West: An average of $1,079.
  • Midwest: An average of $722.

In comparison, families spent about $556 on the big dance back in 2008.

Where does all the money go? A Seventeen magazine survey from last year found that girls spent an average of $231 on a dress, $50 to get their hair done and $68 on their makeup. In addition, they shell out $45 for shoes and $32 on jewelry.

Other prom costs likely come from limo hires, tuxedo rentals, and dining out. 

The Visa Inc. survey found a few other stats that take out some of the sparkle of the glitzy event. For one, parents pay more of the expenses than teens, typically shelling out 59% of the funds for their child's big night out.

In addition, parents who make less than $50,000 a year are often willing to spend more on the event than the national average and single parents often spend double the amount married parents pay on prom — an average of $1,563 versus $770.

SEE ALSO: Check out these 15 crazy homemade prom dresses >

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21 Clever Uses For Household Items


flight of alesThere are few places where Americans spend more of their discretionary funds than cleaning house and keeping their body care regimen up to date.  

Stop wasting money at the store. Most of what you need to keep your home and skin looking good as new could already be hiding in your pantry.

We've rounded up 21 clever uses for household items.

Use beer to ward off slugs.

If you've got a slug problem, use leftover beer to keep them at bay.

Turns out the little pests will wander right into jars of brewski if you leave them hidden properly in the ground, according to Wisebread.

Be sure the rims of the jars are at ground level and check back on them a day or so later to easily dispose of the unsuspecting critters. It's just as effective as salt without the hassle of finding the slugs yourself. 

Leftover tea can take care of unwanted smells.

Sara Noel, founder of the Frugal Village, found a great use for used tea bags:

Feet deodorizer. Try soaking your smelly soles for about 30 minutes in enough black tea to keep them covered (about three bags boiled in a quart should do the trick––add cold water to cool). 

Fire starter. "Tuck dried tea bags into a cardboard tube from toilet paper or paper towels and light them to start a fire," Noel says. "You can add dryer lint or crumpled newspaper to help fill the tube, too."

Odor remover. "Put some used tea bags in a jar and place in your refrigerator to absorb odors," she adds. 

Use olive oil in lieu of shaving cream.

The price of shaving creams these days is enough to make any girl's leg hairs stand on end. But if you're well-stocked in the olive oil department, you'll be glad to know that Rachel Ray's favorite kitchen staple is also great as a makeshift shaving oil. 

Bonus: According to Woman's Day, olive oil is packed with skin-nourishing nutrients, so go ahead and skip the $10 moisturizer afterward to save even more.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The World's Tiniest Hotel Rooms [PHOTOS]


Hong Kong capsule hotel room

Capsule hotels that offer tiny accommodations for frugal travelers are popping up across Europe and other parts of Asia.

The micro-hotels have been popular in Japan for decades, and now they can be found in Russia, China and some European airports.

In expensive cities like Moscow — where hotel rates for business travelers have been the highest in the world for about nine years straight — the capsule hotels can charge as much as $250 for 24 hours, Bloomberg reports. 

Others are less expensive and charge about $85 per night. Some cost as little as $7 per night in certain parts of Asia.

The rooms may be just big enough to fit one person, but many of them come equipped with amenities you'd find at any other hotel — TVs, WiFi access, and improvised desks and dressers.

Sleepbox, a futuristic capsule hotel in Moscow, can accommodate more than 100 people in its sleeping cells.

The wood cells are very bare-bones.

The bed in Moscow's Sleepbox can fit one person.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Mark Zuckerberg And Priscilla Chan Went On A Low Key, Burger-Filled Vacation in Hawaii


It's a slow news day in the tech world, so here goes ...

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan vacationed on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

For a couple worth $13 billion, the five-day vacation seems pretty low-key. Sure, they stayed in a beach front house, but Zuckerberg was seen in his usual T-shirt and sandals getup, clutching his iPhone, and eating burgers at picnic tables. The two have traveled to Hawaii as recently as December; Zuckerberg is reportedly looking to buy more real-estate there.

This isn't the first low-key trip the couple has taken. On their honeymoon Chan and Zuckerberg were seen chowing down on McDonald's in Italy.

It's certainly more low key than the vacation Jack Dorsey recently took. The Twitter co-founder was spotted in St Barts on a yacht with a model.

Here's one of the photos from the trip, via Twitter. More here on The Daily Mail.

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The Victoria’s Secret Angel Who Gave Up Her Wings For God


kylis bisutti victorias secretKylie Bisutti reveals how she had the modeling world – and perfect body, at her feet, but gave in all up in favour of her faith.

Her name might not ring a bell, but Kylie Bisutti could have become a multi-millionaire and as famous as supermodels Heidi Klum or Gisele Bundchen.

Instead, she’s chosen the quiet life with her husband in Montana over lingerie shoots, revealing her lifestyle choice in a new book which slams the modelling industry.

I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model, is Bisutti’s way of spreading the message that “beauty isn’t about what you look like, it’s about what’s in your heart.”

IN PICTURES: Victoria's Secret Angels through the years

Now 23, Bisutti was 19 and happily married when she won a competition to become the new Victoria’s Secret ‘Angel’. The lingerie giant has over 1,000 stores and despite never advertising, enjoys a healthy amount of public attention thanks to its annual catwalk extravaganza and product campaigns starring its hand-picked Angels, who are regularly cited as some of the most beautiful women in the world.

IN PICTURES: Victoria's Secret Models on and off duty

But Bisutti, a devout Christian, was not comfortable with her new, titillating image. “It wasn’t about modeling clothes anymore; I felt like a piece of meat,” she says in an extract from her book, which as been serialized in the New York Post.

In it she lifts the lid on the pressures to lose weight (when her castings once dried up her agent told her it was because she looked like a “fat cow”) and how she was encouraged to play down her marriage in order to behave like a flirt.

The straw which broke the camel’s back came when a photographer kept urging her to pose too provocatively. “This is what Victoria’s Secret models do,” he told her. “This is why they hired you. If you want to be like Gisele, this is what you have to do.”

READ: Karlie Kloss: the newest Victoria’s Secret Angel

She called time on her career via Twitter with the message: “I quit being a VS model to be a Proverbs 31 wife” (Proverbs says ‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised’).

Bisutti now channels her energy into speaking tours and her blog, imnoangel.org, which has posts from everything about why she deleted her Facebook profile to tips for getting rid of cellulite.

She also has a ‘Christian clothing line’ in the works, aimed at women of all shapes and sizes.

SEE: Victoria's Secret catwalk show 2012

I’m No Angel: From Victoria’s Secret Model to Role Model is out in the U.S from May 14.

SEE ALSO: Meet The Gorgeous Model Who Could Take Miranda Kerr's Place At Victoria's Secret

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10 Things All Men Should Add To Their Wardrobes After College


College Dorm Room

Justin Jeffers is the editor of The Fine Young Gentleman.

For some, graduation is only a few weeks away.

Whether that's a good thing or bad thing is unimportant — it's inevitable.

For some guys that means it's time to dress up and work for the man, and if you do have to dress up you should definitely do it right.

Here are 10 things you should look to have in your wardrobe if you're heading out into the real world.

It may not be feasible to buy them all at once but in short order they can all be had.

Along with each item is a list of 3-5 places to acquire it, or at least a place to start your search. Most of the places are not as well known as the places you would find walking up and down 5th Avenue. However, they all provide a better value for your money.

A custom suit

The day will come for every man where he has to wear a suit. Remember, women view men in suits like guys view women in lingerie. So you may want to do this one right; go custom or made to measure.

Derek Tian of Black Lapel, a New York based made to measure suit brand, says "Nothing says college like hoodies, vintage tees, ripped jeans and flip flops. And similarly, nothing says you're a grown man like a flawlessly fitting custom suit. It tells the world you've got sense and a sense of style. And most importantly, it tells the world (and your boss) that you've got an eye for the details. After all, attention to detail is without a doubt on that job description whether explicitly stated or implied."

Suggestions: Black Lapel, Indochino, MyTailor, Martin Greenfield, Knot
Standard, SuitSupply

A navy blazer

You can dress one up or down and it can be worn just as easily in the summer as in the winter. Best to go custom on this but nearly every single brand out there has their version.

Suggestions: Black Lapel, Indochino, MyTailor, Martin Greenfield, Knot
Standard, SuitSupply

Custom shirts

For all the same reasons as a custom suit. Custom shirts become even more important if you do not wear a jacket because you shirt will be showing all day everyday. Remember, the two most important parts of a shirt are the collar and the shoulder fit. Start with the basics and build out from there.

Suggestions: CottonWork, Luxire, MyTailor, Alexander West, Cego

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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13 Money Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself By Age 40


youth old woman past and future young and oldThough most of today's workers have already accepted the fact that they'll work well past the age of 65, there's just something about that number –– 65 –– that still feels like an unofficial finish line. 

And by 40, the pressure really starts to hit home. 

Half of workers said they aren't prepared for retirement in a 2013 Employee Benefit Research Institute report. Less than 20 years ago, that figure was only 27%.

Who can blame them? We're barely over the recession and many Americans are in more debt and earning less than ever, while fixed costs like health care, housing, and college education only get higher. 

To make matters worse, our own mindsets about growing old could be sabotaging our efforts to live well later in life. With the help of several experts, we've rounded up some of the most damaging money lies people tell themselves on the road to retirement.

Debt collectors will stop chasing me once I'm in retirement, so why worry about it?

Think again. Even student loan debt can chase you into retirement.

The Treasury Department has been withholding as much as 15% of Social Security benefits from a rapidly growing number of retirees who have fallen behind on federal student loans –– five times as many as in 2001.

Even something as simple as credit card debt can hurt you in retirement, says John Ulzheimer, President of SmartCredit.com.

"When it comes to credit card debt you absolutely have to get out of it before you hang up your company badge," Ulzheimer says. "It's very likely the most expensive debt you're carrying at 13-15% interest on average, and twice that in some cases. No retirement next egg can guarantee that kind of growth." 

I can definitely get by in retirement with less income than I'm making now.

Leaving the workforce might help you cut costs in some areas –– for example, your pricey commute to the office –– but you can never underestimate the cost of aging.

"Many studies show that some retirees even spend more in retirement than they did when they were working," says Susan Garland, editor of Kiplinger’s Retirement Report.

"In the early years, you may be embarking on long-delayed travel and hobbies. And as the years go by, your health care costs are sure to rise. House-related maintenance costs, insurance and property taxes are sure to be on the upswing as well."

A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2012 is estimated to need $240,000 to cover medical expenses throughout retirement.

I can always save more by postponing retirement until my late 60s or early 70s.

"More and more Americans say they plan to pay for retirement by working longer but in reality many retirees end up quitting sooner than planned," says Greg Burrows, senior vice president for retirement and investor services at The Principal.

One third of American workers said they plan on working past age 65 in a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, but more than 70% of retirees said they actually quit before that milestone.

Then there's the job market to consider, which doesn't take kindly to workers who are past their prime. In 2011, the median length of unemployment for people 55 and older was 35 weeks, up from 10 weeks before the recession, according to the Government Accountability Office.

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10 Places You Should Go While They're Still Cheap


traveler on a mountain

It's a fact almost every traveler faces: The world is bigger than our wallets are deep.

And while there are plenty of tricks for squeezing the most out of every vacation dollar, one of the simplest options is to find a place that has a lot to offer but hasn't yet been hit by the price inflation that comes with big-time popularity.

Here are 10 destinations great enough to make the journey worthwhile, yet still cheap enough to ensure vacation abundance.

1. Ukraine

Its name translates to "land on the edge," and this year Ukraine may be on the edge of discovery for visitors in search of rich history on a tight budget. Visitors return from the country amazed at its cultural wealth, the warmth of its people, and the fact that travelers can live large for under $50 a day.

As yet unspoiled by the tourist masses, you can explore UNESCO World Heritage sites with locals and then tuck into a traditional meal for just a few dollars. It's the kind of travel we reminisce about once the moment has passed, which means now is the time to build those memories.

2. South Korea

South Korea's got visitor-friendly affordability in the bag. Not only can budget travelers find the basics—from hotel rooms to great meals—at reasonable prices, but the country also has a ton of free perks, discounts, and other affordable and helpful services specifically for visitors.

For instance, between March 1 and August 25, a free shuttle bus transports foreign visitors between capital city Seoul and the popular city of Jeonju. A free phone service gives tourists multilingual assistance 24 hours a day, and there are even free guide services for visitors.

3. Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania. Is it on your travel radar yet? If not, maybe it should be. Hobart, an old-meets-new harbor town on the Australian island, makes a splashy debut on not one but two major travel lists, with prime spots on both TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice 2012 Destinations on the Rise and Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013.

That's the sort of popularity that precedes price spikes for travelers, but a trip this year will yield the best of Hobart at a still-modest cost. Waterfront cafes and shops, a lively arts scene bolstered by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), and a culinary scene that holds its own against much bigger cities give tiny Hobart big chops.

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The Best New Bicycles For Every Kind Of Rider


woman bicycle cycling biking

Are you in the market for a new bicycle this spring?

We spoke with Dave Vollbach, a salesperson and instructor at New York-based Bicycle Habitat, who shared his top picks for a range of cycling types, from city cyclists to mountain bikers.

For city riders looking for style

Vollbach picked the Global Roll 8 ($735), with a durable steel frame and "clean, simple look."
The bike is made from chromoly, a high carbon steel, and is great for commuters or casual city riders.

For city riders looking to get fit

Vollbach recommended Trek's 7.4 FX Disc ($770), a bike with a light aluminum frame that's made for speed.

For convenience-seekers

Check out bikes by Brompton ($1,193 - $2,254), which has been designing and manufacturing its bicycles in London since the 1980s.

Brompton's bikes are known for folding quickly and elegantly, making them easy for office storage. Plus they're comfortable, said Vollbach.

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The 10 Most Famous Professors Teaching College Courses Right Now


Madeline Albright

A great professor can bring a dry academic subject to life while educating and inspiring students.

But if you add a level of fame to that mix, students will really pay attention.

From former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Diaz, we found the most famous professors teaching college courses right now.

Madeleine Albright teaches international relations at Georgetown.

School: Georgetown University

Title: Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy in the Walsh School of Foreign Service

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright teaches international relations at Georgetown University. This semester, she's teaching a course called America's National Security Toolbox once a week to undergraduate students. In the fall, she'll teach the same course to grad students.

She has gotten rave reviews on RateMyProfessors.com. One student wrote that "She expects a lot and the role-play is challenging, but she is an amazing professor teaching an incredible class."

Maya Angelou hosts lectures at Wake Forest University.

School: Wake Forest University

Title: Reynolds Professor of American Studies in the Humanities Program

Dr. Maya Angelou has been teaching at Wake Forest for the past 30 years. The 84-year-old writer has been an Inaugural Poet, civil rights activist, dancer, film producer, playwright, director, and actress, but she is best known for her renowned book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

Dr. Angelou is not teaching a full time course this semester, but she offers occasional lectures and talks on campus.

A reviewer on RateMyProfessors.com said that "She was amazing! She is truly a Renaissance woman. Professor Angelou often began class by speaking in Latin, French, or Arabic. She often shared fascinating stories with the class about her experiences. Her point was simple -- education can come from more than just a college or textbook. I highly recommend this professor."

David Brooks teaches a class on humility at Yale.

School: Yale University

Title: Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale

David Brooks is a columnist for the New York Times and a political and cultural commentator. He has written several books, including the renowned "Bobos in Paradise."

This semester, Brooks is teaching a course called "Humility," which teaches the concept of humility in works by Homer, Montaigne, and Martine Luther King, Jr.

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