Channel: Business Insider
Browsing All 48857 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

The 20 Best Restaurants In Williamsburg, Brooklyn


peter luger, steakhouse, steak, march 2012, bi, dng

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is experiencing a foodie revolution.

The hipster neighborhood has recently seen an influx of fantastic restaurants that serve everything from fresh farm-to-table ingredients to hand-made Japanese udon noodles.

We polled our editors and reporters as well as foodies who live and eat in Williamsburg to find the best restaurants in Brooklyn's hottest neighborhood.

From classic steak houses like Peter Luger to hot new barbecue joints like Fette Sau, here are the 20 best restaurants in Williamsburg.

Best Gastropub: Allswell

124 Bedford Ave.

Allswell puts its own spin on the British gastropub trend, serving creative American cuisine in a casual, old-fashioned setting that hipsters love.

The restaurant uses lots of fresh, local ingredients in its dishes. People rave about the classic American hamburger here, served on a sesame bun.

Best Slice: Best Pizza

33 Havemeyer St.

The aptly-named Best Pizza serves authentic Brooklyn-style pizza in a funky no-frills setting. The pizza is cooked in a brick oven and served on paper plates.

You can order by the pie or by the slice.

Best Brisket: BrisketTown

359 Bedford Ave.

The menu at BrisketTown is fairly limited and focuses on its high-quality smoked meats. The brisket is tender, the ribs are sweet, and the seasonally-driven sides are fresh and hearty.

If you come during the day, you can try the Texas-style breakfast tacos made with smoked beef.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.


You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think


Dove real beauty

In April 15, 2013 Dove launched a 3-minute video entitled “Dove Real Beauty Sketches.” The video achieved instant popularity and has been watched millions of times — a successful viral campaign which has been widely talked about. In the video, a small group of women are asked to describe their faces to a person whom they cannot see. The person is a forensic artist who is there to draw pictures of the women based on their verbal descriptions. A curtain separates the artist and the women, and they never see each other. Before all this, each woman is asked to socialize with a stranger, who later separately describes the woman to the forensic artist. In the end, the women are shown the two drawings, one based on their own description, the other based on the stranger’s description. Much to their amazement and delight, the women realize that the drawings based on strangers’ descriptions depict much more beautiful women. The video ends: “You are more beautiful than you think.”

The idea is quite appealing. Perhaps too many women are unhappy with their looks. It would be a big relief if we all suddenly realized, like Christian Andersen’s ugly duckling, that we are in fact beautiful.

However, what Dove is suggesting is not actually true. The evidence from psychological research suggests instead that we tend to think of our appearance in ways that are more flattering than are warranted. This seems to be part of a broader human tendency to see ourselves through rose colored glasses. Most of us think that we are better than we actually are — not just physically, but in every way.

The most direct evidence that the Dove commercial is misleading comes from the work of Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Erin Whitchurch of the University of Virginia. In a series of studies, Epley and Whitchurch showed that we see ourselves as better looking than we actually are. The researchers took pictures of study participants and, using a computerized procedure, produced more attractive and less attractive versions of those pictures. Participants were told that they would be presented with a series of images including their original picture and images modified from that picture. They were then asked to identify the unmodified picture. They tended to select an attractively enhanced one.

Epley and Whitchurch showed that people display this bias for themselves but not for strangers. The same morphing procedure was applied to a picture of a stranger, whom the study participant met three weeks earlier during an unrelated study. Participants tended to select the unmodified picture of the stranger.

People tend to say that an attractively enhanced picture is their own, but Epley and Whitchurch wanted to be sure that people truly believe what they say. People recognize objects more quickly when those objects match their mental representations. Therefore, if people truly believe that an attractively enhanced picture is their own, they should recognize that picture more quickly, which is exactly what the researchers found.

Inflated perceptions of one’s physical appearance is a manifestation of a general phenomenon psychologists call “self-enhancement.” Researchers have shown that people overestimate the likelihood that they would engage in a desirable behavior, but are remarkably accurate when predicting the behavior of a stranger. For example, people overestimate the amount of money they would donate to charity while accurately predicting others’ donations. Similarly, people overestimate their likelihood to vote in an upcoming presidential election, while accurately predicting others’ likelihood to vote.

Most people believe that they are above average, a statistical impossibility. The above average effects, as they are called, are common. For example, 93 percent of drivers rate themselves as better than the median driver. Of college professors, 94 percent say that they do above-average work. People are unrealistically optimistic about their own health risks compared with those of other people. For example, people think that they are less susceptible to the flu than others. Stock pickers think the stocks they buy are more likely to end up winners than those of the average investor. If you think that self-enhancement biases exist in other people and they do not apply to you, you are not alone. Most people state that they are more likely than others to provide accurate self-assessments.

Why do we have positively enhanced self-views? The adaptive nature of self-enhancement might be the answer. Conveying the information that one has desirable characteristics is beneficial in a social environment. People may try to deceive others about their characteristics, but deception has two main disadvantages. First, it is cognitively taxing because the deceiver has to hold two conflicting representations of reality in mind: the true state of affairs and the deception. The resulting cognitive load reduces performance in other cognitive functions. Second, people are good at detecting deception and they show strong negative emotional reactions toward deceivers. Since in self-enhancement people truly believe that they have desirable characteristics, they can promote themselves without having to lie. Self-enhancement also boosts confidence. Researchers have shown that confidence plays a role in determining whom people choose as leaders and romantic partners. Confident people are believed more and their advice is more likely to be followed.

Dove’s premise is wrong. But thinking we are more beautiful than we really are may not be such a bad thing.

Are you a scientist who specializes in neuroscience, cognitive science, or psychology? And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about? Please send suggestions to Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist at the Boston Globe. He can be reached at garethideas AT gmail.com or Twitter @garethideas.

Follow Scientific American on Twitter @SciAm and @SciamBlogs. Visit ScientificAmerican.com for the latest in science, health and technology news.
© 2013 ScientificAmerican.com. All rights reserved.

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


A 'Women's Viagra' May Finally Be Available By 2016


Women Upset After Sex

A 'women's viagra' that is hoped to boost flagging libido may soon be available.

The new pill, called Lybrido, uses a combination of testosterone and a Viagra-like drug in a bid to increase sexual desire and improve sexual satisfaction.

The drug is hoped to be on sale within three years.

Viagra has proved to be an extremely profitable drug, with worldwide sales at nearly £1.5 billion a year.

Scientists have so far struggled to create a female version of the drug, however, because while Viagra has a physiological action on men, increasing female arousal depends as much upon psychological as physical factors.

Dutch firm Emotional Brain claims to have developed a pill that resolves this dilemma by combining a Viagra-like drug with testosterone.

The physical effect of Viagra magnifies the effect of testosterone on the brain's pleasure centres, and the pill should be taken three and a half hours before sex to have an effect.

The results of a trial involving more than 200 women have not yet been published, although Emotional Brain founder Adriaan Tuiten describes them as "very, very promising".

A larger trial is planned and it is hoped that the drug will be on the market in Europe and the US at the end of 2016.

Dr Tuiten claims that the pills enable women to make love more often and improved their chances of reaching orgasm.

He believes that they will be most popular with long-married women who tend to experience a drastic decline in sexual desire over time.

Dr Andrew Goldstein, a US expert in female sexual health, told the New York Times that drug companies such as Emotional Brain will be under pressure to prove they are not turning women into nymphomaniacs.

There are also fears that Lybrido could put women under pressure to perform, while sceptics of the drug point to the myriad of cultural factors that have a bearing on libido.

Dr Tuiten says that up to 43 per cent of women suffer from a low sex drive at some point in their lives and that, far from turning women into sex maniacs, the drug will simply raise a low libido to normal levels.

Dr Mike Wyllie, one of the team of scientists that discovered and developed the male impotence drug Viagra, described Lybrido as "an interesting concept".

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


The Best Memorial Day Sales In America


slurpeeLike any good federal holiday, Memorial Day attracts plenty of attention from retailers and chain restaurants who want consumers to spend the long weekend shopping and eating out. And as always, that means they'll be making with the freebies, deals and sales throughout the weekend and on the holiday itself. Here are a few of the best deals you should consider snagging this weekend.

CouponChad.com points us to Aeropostale, which is taking 50% off "everything." This is a pretty startling figure -- you rarely see coupon codes or sales taking more than 40% off, and often those discounts apply only to sale items. Details on the sale are scant, but 50% markdowns are live now on Aeropostale.com and will presumably last through Memorial Day itself. The only stated exclusions are gift cards, fragrances, licensed products and unspecified "select styles." 

FatWallet.com flags this blowout sale at Sears, which among other deals offers up to 30% off appliances. We're generally wary of any sale that uses the phrase "up to..." as that means that only some of the merchandise actually gets the full discount, but there look to be some solid discounts on fridges. You're also seeing deals on patio furniture and mattresses, plus "black friday pricing" on some lawn and garden items. The sale takes place in stores and online and ends Tuesday.

7-Eleven has declared this long weekend "Slurpee Days," and will be selling medium Slurpees for just 49 cents. The event lasts from Friday through Monday -- with the usual caveats about "participating stores" and "while supplies last."

Express is touting a five-day sale taking 40% off "every single item." And they seem to mean it -- with the obvious exception of gift cards, everything in stores and online is discounted by 40%. The sale is good through Memorial Day at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Please follow Your Money on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


What I Learned From A Soldier's Last Request In Iraq


Dustin D. Laird

When I first met Army Sgt. Dustin D. Laird, he was already dead.

I had been in the country no more than a few days when the order came down to cover the memorial. I was a combat correspondent, U.S. Marine journalist, on a base in Iraq.

This was back when we covered all the in-country memorials, before Information Operations officers at some higher level decided that Al Qaeda and the Taliban used the photos we produced as motivation, as recruiting tools.

It wasn't the beginning of the war. The invasion was 2003. This was 2006, smack dab in the middle of a colossal mess in Iraq. Insurgents everywhere, blending in with friendlies, blowing up our Marines and soldiers with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

That's how Laird went, I would learn. Rolled over an IED with his armored vehicle.

I had been taught that shooting pictures of and writing the story for memorials was one of the higher honors a correspondent could undertake, and that they were to be handled with the utmost of care.

"You are recording their last living memory" we were told, "don't f*** it up."

The hardest part was remaining objective, but that's always the hardest part. There are literally uniformed soldiers and Marines — often the types of guys who could clear a bar in a fist fight — soaking their shirts with tears during somber prayers and quiet goodbyes ...

... And you are the guy in their faces with a camera.

Dustin D. LairdI had been told all sorts of things by these mourning soldiers and Marines in my time.

A Marine staff sergeant once took me outside — at another memorial, months later — and told me he was going to rip out my spine and mail it home to my mother. Later, he read the story I wrote and shot me an email.

"I apologize. You did a really good job. Thank you." It said.

"It's OK, Staff Sergeant, I understand." I replied.

This happened often, but it was the hardest when the emails came from family.

I received notes from mothers, fathers, sisters, sons, and daughters, all giving thanks. The wives were the hardest to hear from, they always wanted to know things about their lost loved ones — things I usually didn't know, last words, last wishes.

I knew a few things about Laird though. A few things I wish I didn't know.

I knew — because my officer-in-charge made me find out — why Laird received a bronze star and a posthumous promotion to sergeant. These are things not usually given lightly — at least at the time I thought they weren't.

My officer was a little green, and insisted that I find out why in order to complete the story.

So I did some digging. Finally, I found out from his officer the reason why he earned such honors usually reserved for highly meritorious actions of heroism or leadership.

"He hit the ied, and if he hadn't hit it, someone else would have."

I was flabbergasted. I couldn't put that in the story, even if I listed all of his medals and honors. One doesn't usually get rewarded for driving over a bomb one doesn't even know is there.

How could this be? That the Army would take a mother's son to Iraq and replace him with a medal he didn't actually earn, a medal given to him as much by the randomness and hell of war as it was by the brass who signed off on the award orders.

Later I would find out this was common practice for many units. A soldier steps out of a vehicle and onto an IED and he's awarded for merit. Used to be that the Purple Heart was the standard that measured blood spilt in combat.

I guess unit commanders thought it was the least they could do, add another piece of ribbon to a soldier's collection, before collecting his remains and sending them home to their family.

The injustice blazed inside me though, admittedly. Families can't hug a ribbon. Soldiers don't fight for medals or battlefield promotions. Hell, they don't even fight for America or Freedom or any of those other nifty catch phrases we hear so often.

They fight and die for each other, when it comes right down to it.

In my search though I did find something out that I insisted be put in the story. In the Marine Corps, at the time, most of these memorial stories followed a cookie-cutter approach. Like much of the procedure, memorial stories followed an equation, so they all pretty much looked the same.

"Servicemembers of said unit gathered to say goodbye to (insert name here) (insert date here)."


"(Insert name here) died conducting combat operations in Iraq" — was the standard phrase.

Throw in a few quotes from the various sermons, tie a bow on it, publish it online.

Like war itself, there was much about producing these stories that was cold and unforgiving, like a scalpel.

Laird's was different though, at least for me. It was the first story I ever published under a byline. I've now been a journalist, in one form or another, for several years.

Still, to this day, Laird is the anchor and standard by which I write all words.

One thing I know about Laird was that when they pulled him from the wreckage, they knew he wasn't going to make it. They did their best for him, patched him up a bit, loaded him into the back of a vehicle, tried to make him comfortable.

But he wasn't comfortable.

His last request was that they prop him up so he could see his fellow soldiers finish the mission.

That was how he passed.

So, as war tends to be in so many ways, there was some duality with Dustin D. Laird's story. The Army's reflexive, administrative nature had likely awarded him medals without even knowing the whole story, without even caring if he earned them or not, in fact, knowing he probably didn't.

Hearing his last request — made at the young age of 23, dying on the battlefield — I suddenly knew Laird had actually earned that medal.

Dustin D. Laird

Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


'Arrested Development' Fanatics Will Love The New Season


arrested development netflixAn entire fourth series of Arrested Development is out on Netflix. Avoid the temptation to watch them all in one sitting, says Ross Jones.

For the last month or so, a small but vocal section of the internet has been on the horns of a dilemma: to binge or not to binge? After a seven-year wait, the fanatics (‘fans’ doesn’t quite cover it) who have campaigned for the return of their favourite TV sitcom, Arrested Development, were about to get their wish. Fifteen brand new episodes, potentially full of hundreds of new jokes to dissect, all available to watch at exactly the same time on the streaming service Netflix . How to resist watching the whole seven-and-a-half hours at once?

The show’s creator Mitch Hurwitz, perhaps spooked by the mania by now routinely attached to his name, advised against binge-viewing; you’ll get tired and become numb to the jokes, he explained. That Netflix released this fourth series yesterday, Memorial Day weekend in America and the hottest Bank Holiday weekend Britain can remember, no doubt helped his cause. But it probably caused a few domestics, too.

Whether or not it was worth the wait depends largely on how tickled you are by the words ‘Steve Holt!’ or ‘motherboy’. Embracing the impenetrably self-referential joke-within-joke formula that got it taken off the air in the first place, the new series makes no concessions whatsoever to new viewers. Even producer Ron Howard’s opening narration - ‘this is the story of a family whose future was abruptly cancelled’ - is an in-joke.

The Bluth clan are still utterly corrupt, still barely tolerating each other and still trying to out of jail; Rashoman-like, each episode takes place with the same time period from a different Bluth’s perspective. MIchael ( Jason Bateman ), the family straight man and fall guy, is bunking up in a college dorm with son George Michael (Michael Cera) after ploughing all his money into a housing development doomed by its lack of wi-fi. George Snr (Jeffrey Tambor) is mentoring business leaders in his ‘desert sweat lodge’, while trying to build an immigrant-proof wall at the Mexican border. Pickled matriarch Lucille (Jessica Walter) is being tried in maritime court for trying to steal a gay cruise ship. Dozens more plotlines are piled on from there.

Keeping up with them all is near-impossible, and the constant exposition doesn’t help a bit. In a neat visual touch, flashbacks are announced using a ‘swipe’ that apes Netflix’s own rewind function. Kristen Wiig is purse-lipped perfection as a young Lucille, but the endless leaps back and forth in time only confuse matters; it’s often impossible to know where, or when, you are.

What makes Arrested Development perfect for Netflix are the detail-obsessed recurring jokes that have always been this show’s calling card. Now it’s all too easy to pause and appreciate the effort the that went into creating, say, the web page of ‘Haliburton Teen’ (the rendition experts rebranded as a lifestyle brand), or the pages of Altitude in-flight magazine (“the number two most read magazine in coach, three after the safety card”).

Less successful is the new single-character format. Each has great moments (the underrated Bateman chasing a ball of tumbleweed around his living room; Walter’s every racist or homophobic remark or eye-roll), yet one of TV’s greatest comic ensembles has effectively been reunited in order to keep them apart.

And as much as you may want to instantly see more of deluded magican Gob (Will Arnett), hook-handed simpleton Buster (Tony Hale) or closet-case ‘never-nude’ Tobias (David Cross), Hurwitz was right to urge moderation. I managed four episodes in one sitting before fatigue set in; though it gets funnier, I laughed less. Besides, some of us actually like our family.

Follow Telegraph TV & Radio on Twitter

Please follow The Wire on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


The 10 Best Restaurants In The Hamptons



Every new summer brings  fresh stores, clubs, and restaurants to the Hamptons — but some things never change on the Long Island shore.

Zagat has ranked the top restaurants in the Hamptons for this year, and unsurprisingly all of the old faithfuls are still there.

All ten scored over 26 in the food category of the survey's 30-point scale, which according to Zagat means the meal was considered "extraordinary to perfection."

From North Fork Table to the Plaza Café, here are the places you'll need to book a table in advance this summer.

10. The Palm

94 Main St., East Hampton

Food:  26
Decor:  20
Service:  23
Cost: $71

The Palm is located in a 300-year-old building on East Hampton's Main Street with a dark, old-school ambiance.

Part of an upscale steakhouse chain, The Palm is also well-known for its impeccable lobsters and huge cocktails.

9. Harvest on Fort Pond

11 S. Emery St., Montauk

Food:  26
Decor:  22
Service:  22
Cost: $53

Located (where else?) on Fort Pond, this Tuscan restaurant has its own herb, vegetable, and flower garden.

The entrées at Harvest on Ford Pond are so big that two people can share one, and it's ideal for a summer evening while watching the sun set.

8. Noah's

136 Front St., Greenport

Food:  26
Decor:  18
Service:  21
Cost: $50

This small plates-style restaurant features fresh seafood in the dining room and at the raw bar.

Noah's can get a bit noisy, but once everyone digs in, you'll forget everything but the fabulous food.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.


There's A Growing Backlash Against Tiger Moms


asian success tiger baby

When Yale Law Professor and mother of two, Amy Chua, released her parenting memoir "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" last year, she triggered a lively debate about cultural differences in parenting norms. The book suggested that a tough, demanding parenting style — supposedly typical of Asian "tiger moms" — was a sure-fire way to create superstar children. 

But other people are not so sure. In Kim Wong Keltner's memoir, "Tiger Babies Strike Back," the author describes from personal experience the downside of a tiger childhood.

More negative evidence comes from a study released this March by Dr. Su Yeong Kim, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

Following more than 400 Asian American families for eight years, Kim assessed the parenting of mothers and fathers on four positive and four negative aspects, and tracked how these profiles affected the development of children. Her results reveal that children of parents classified as "tiger" show lower academic achievement and greater psychological maladjustment than the children of parents characterized as "supportive" or "easygoing."

Dr. Kim says the finding has the potential to break stereotypes.

"The stereotype is that all Asian American families have tiger parents, which was reinforced by Amy Chua's book," Kim says. "Yet we're finding that the largest group of Asian American families would actually be classified as supportive parents rather than tiger or harsh parents." 

The majority of parents in the study hailed from Hong Kong or southern China, with relatively low educational attainment and median income between $30,000-$45,000. This lies significantly below the national average Asian American household income of $66,000. Some critics say this makes the study's findings less applicable to the general Asian population.  

Jeff Yang, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal who has written about both Chua and Keltner's books, interpreted and critiqued the research.

"The lower median income of the study sample can explain why 'tiger' parenting was ineffective in the study," says Yang. "However, the study can't explain why so many Asian Americans are over-represented in the Ivy Leagues and conservatives." 

His argument is that high-achieving Asian Americans typically hail from higher-income families. As such, working class families in the study aren't able to spend time working with their children after hours to ensure academic achievement. Kim's response is that she statistically controlled for parental educational level and socioeconomic status, with 30 percent of the study's families making more than $60,000 a year. By high school, the children in the study with supportive parents had mean GPAs of 3.4, compared to a GPA of 3.0 for those with tiger parents.

"Our findings demonstrate that regardless of socioeconomic status, 'tiger' parenting is not effective," says Kim.

Other interpretations say the study supports a pro-Western style of parenting, which Kim vehemently denies.

While Kim did find that the "supportive" Chinese immigrant parents employed many of the same parenting techniques as traditional American parents, like parental monitoring, warmth, reasoning, and democratic parenting, there was one characteristic unique to only Chinese parents: shaming. 

Both Chua and Keltner mention shaming in their memoirs; it's the constant feeling that children are letting parents down and not living up to the ideals their parents sacrificed for. 

"Shaming is a very prominent parenting strategy among all Chinese Americans ... even among the supportive parents, we do see some levels of shaming that would probably not be as apparent among European Americans," says Kim.

So should Western parents start making their children feel guilty for not getting into Harvard?

Not quite, says Kim. "One key difference between Western and Asian-style parenting is that children of Asians often internalize the success of the parental sacrifice that their immigrant parents have made," says Kim. "This is why the shaming socialization method works better in enabling Asian children to do better in school. It wouldn't have the same effect on others."

Indeed, the drive for children to succeed, at least academically, seems very much ingrained in the cultural constructs of the Asian heritage. 

A recently updated version of a 2012 Pew Research Study on "The Rise of Asian Americans" highlights the Asian American belief in hard work. In the survey of more than 3,500 Asian adults living in the US, almost 70% said people can get ahead if they are willing to work hard, compared to 58% of the American public as a whole. Ninety-three percent of Asian Americans describe members of their country of origin group as “very hardworking”; just 57% say the same about Americans as a whole.

"In Asian American families, being a good mother is equated with having children who perform well academically," says Kim. "Mothering and having school success with your child is an important parenting strategy among Asian Americans."

Past research from Vivian Louie in her 2006 book "Compelled to Excel" verifies that the premium placed on academic excellence is a product of culture, not socioeconomic status. Louie's book uses low-income parents in New York City's Chinatown as an example; parents are constantly networking with each other to get information on how to get their children into the best schools. 

Yet there remains no easy answer for how to raise a successful child.

"The types of parenting measures and the nuances that help Asian Americans kids do better do not necessarily transport easily to European families because of different cultural constructs," says Kim.

Regardless of cultural difference, Kim's study indicates that certain "tiger" parenting techniques, such as yelling, blaming, and bringing up past mistakes, should be avoided to prevent negative outcomes (ie. lower academic achievement and greater psychological maladjustment). Positive parenting qualities — warmth, monitoring of activities, allowing independence when appropriate, and enjoying a good laugh — meanwhile, should be encouraged. Less growling and more play may, in fact, produce the healthiest cubs.

SEE ALSO: What it was like growing up with a Tiger Mom

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


The 16 Most Terrifying Roller Coasters On The Planet


Alton Towers Oblivion roller coaster

Summer is almost here, which means that millions of American will be flocking to amusement parks around the country.

And the one major requirement for any park worth its salt is a stomach-turning, death-defying roller coaster.

Part of the fun for thrill seekers is that each one is a little different. Will it have a steep drop? Could it hang you upside down? Or maybe it just causes your heart to race because it feels too rickety to handle that next loop?

From the sharpest drops to the fastest rides, these coasters are an adrenaline junkie's dream.

WICKED TWISTER: Riders face epic 450-degree spirals at more than 70 mph on this Cedar Point ride in Ohio.

Source: Cedar Point

COLOSSOS: This gigantic wooden coaster in Germany lives up to its name as the tallest in the world at 197 feet, and is said to be a "smooth as steel" ride.

Source: Heide Park

KINGDA KA: The ultimate for thrill seekers, this coaster stands 456 feet tall at New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure, and is the tallest in the world.

Source: Six Flags

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.


16 Hot Cocktail Destinations Around America


The Hawthorne barThis week we're shouting out all things liquid with the results of our 2013 Mixology Survey.

While we're on the topic, here's a list of 16 of the hottest joints for top-notch tipples around the U.S. - two from each of our blog cities.

Pour yourself a drink while you scope them in the slide show, and let us know your local faves in the comments.

LA: The Varnish

118 E. Sixth St.

Atmosphere: 24
Decor: 22
Service: 23

“Service is incredible” at this “beautiful”, “too-cool-for-school” Downtown speakeasy hidden behind a “secret door” at the back of Cole’s restaurant; the bartenders will “let you sample tons of liquor” then “make a drink depending on your poison”, and though the craft cocktails “aren’t cheap”, they’re “worth every penny”, especially because of the “giant ice cubes” – a sure sign you’re in a temple of mixology.

NYC: Raines Law Room

48 W. 17th St.

Atmosphere: 27
Decor: 26
Service: 26

“Intimate and civilized”, this “lesser-known” Flatiron “speakeasy” is a “class act all the way” with a semi-“secret” entrance, “plush” “Orient-Express” decor, “chains on the wall” to summon the staff and “masterful cocktails” concocted by “true mixologists”; maybe the “prices aren’t for the faint of heart”, but it “doesn’t disappoint” for a “sexy date.”

Chicago: Violet Hour

1520 N. Damen Ave.

Atmosphere: 28
Decor: 27
Service: 24

“Don’t order a vodka cranberry” at this “swanky” Wicker Park sib to Blackbird where “cocktail cognoscenti” and other “adventurous” imbibers savor “exceptional” drinks – “perfectly executed, right down to the style of ice in your glass”; “exaggerated” furnishings and drapery enhance the “seductive” “speakeasy” feel (and “keep the noise level to a hush”), and while a few reviewers are ruffled by “long” weekend waits and “house rules”, most find the “unique” experience “justifies” the trouble; P.S. consider going during “off-hours” to beat the line.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.


ENDING SOON: Enter To Win A Kindle Fire From Business Insider



We're giving you a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD.  Become a newsletter subscriber now to enter.  If you're the lucky winner you will have a host of features at your fingertips.  

Entry deadline is May 31.

As a newsletter subscriber, you'll get daily updates and alerts on topics that matter most to you. You must subscribe to at least one newsletter to be eligible, so if you haven't already, be sure to choose one or more before submitting your entry.


On or after May 31, 2013, we'll announce the lucky winner.

You must be a legal resident of the U.S. and a newsletter subscriber to win.

Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


These Skyscrapers Predicted History's Worst Financial Crises


Burj Khalifa Dubai

In China, construction on Sky City, which is expected to be the world's tallest building, will begin in June.

It is expected to rise to 838 meters.

Barclays' Skyscraper Index suggests that construction booms, especially those highlighted by record-breaking skyscrapers, coincide with the beginning of economic  downturns. The index even suggests that the rate of increase in height could also reflect the extent of that economic crisis. 

Drawing on Barclays' Skyscraper Index, we pulled 11 skyscrapers whose constructions coincided with the financial crises of their times.

Equitable Life Building (1873)

The Long Depression, 1873 - 1878

The pervasive U.S. economic recession with bank failures that came to be known as the Long Depression coincided with the construction of the Equitable Life Building in New York in 1873. At the time the building was the first skyscraper at a height of 142 feet.

Source: Barclays

Auditorium (1889) and New York World (1890)

British Banking Crisis, 1890

Chicago's 269-foot tall Auditorium building completed in 1889, and the 309-foot tall New York World building completed in 1890, coincided with the British banking crisis of 1890, and a world recession.

Source: Barclays

Masonic Temple, Manhattan Life Building and Milwaukee City Hall (1893)

U.S. panic marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding, 1893

Chicago's 302-foot tall Masonic Temple, and the 348-feet tall Manhattan Life Building, and the 353-foot tall Milwaukee City Hall coincided with the US panic of 1893 marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding. It also coincided with a string of bank failures and a run on gold.

Source: Barclays

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow Money Game on Twitter and Facebook.


China Is Getting Embarrassed By Its Tourists' Obnoxious Behavior Abroad


chinese teen graffiti of the luxor

Chinese tourists are making their mark on the global tourism industry — literally. This picture is a relief etched 3,500 years ago in Egypt’s Luxor Temple in Egypt. More recently, someone added the characters “Ding Jinhao was here,” as documented by an ashamed Chinese traveler who posted his photo to Sina Weibo (registration required). “We want to wipe off the marking with a towel,” the traveler wrote. “But we can’t use water since it is a 3,500 year-old relic.”

Ding, who turned out to be a 15-year-old from Nanjing, was quickly found out via Sina Weibo research. His parents have since apologized.

A tour guide surnamed Zhang told QQ (link in Chinese) that he “had never seen this sort of behavior from tourists,” and that “until recently, the Chinese tourists going to Egypt were relatively few, and their character was relatively good.”

“There’s a lot of this kind of uncivilized behavior out there,” said Zhang. “Take for example the sign outside the Louvre Museum only in Chinese characters that forbids people from urinating or defecating wherever they want.”

This is all the more alarming given the rapid rise of Chinese tourism overseas, boosted by new wealth and ever-improving exchange rates. Some 83 million traveled abroad in 2012, up from just 10 million in 2000. Reports of Chinese tourists behaving badly generally include spitting, littering, ignoring traffic laws and speaking loudly. Children are another issue: reports abound of tourists letting their children defecate in public pools (paywall) and urinate in the middle of restaurants.

Uncouth visitors have caused particular strife in Hong Kong, where 70% of the 48 million tourists a year come from the Chinese mainland. But grievances are reported everywhere. Chinese travelers are ignoring dressing customs in Thai Buddhist templesoverrunning the campus of South Korea’s Ewha Women’s University, launching drunken singsongs in Bali and generally being loud in Singapore.

The problem has become big enough that vice premier Wang Yang recently scolded his compatriots’ holiday habits. ”They speak loudly in public, carve characters on tourist attractions, cross the road when the traffic lights are still red, spit anywhere and [carry out] some other uncivilized behavior,” said Wang. “It damages the image of the Chinese people and has a very bad impact.”

In fact, China announced just last month that it is issuing a Tourism Law to take effect in October. That law will give travel agencies the authority to penalize tourists who “violate social ethics,” though it’s also geared toward cleaning up the domestic tourism industry.

In a recent blog on Tea Leaf Nation, Liang Pan, a Chinese national studying in New York, pleaded for “more understanding” for the flocks of Chinese traveling overseas for the first time, chalking much of the bad behavior up to naivety and cultural misunderstanding.

He has a point. After all, vandalism of landmarks was occurring long before the Chinese tourism boom got underway. And in many places the first nationality the world associates with “loud” and “rude” tourists is still the US. Maybe it’s just one of those things that comes with being a superpower.

More From Quartz 

Click here to sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief and start your day with the latest intelligence on the new global economy.

DON'T MISS: China Has Built A Miniature Version Of Italy

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


The 15 Countries With The Highest Quality Of Life


girl hood happyFor a good chance at a happy life, head to Australia, which one again topped the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Better Life Index, which looks at the quality of life in member countries.

The (OECD) — an international economic organization — analyzed 34 countries in 11 categories, including income, housing, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety, and work-life balance. (You can read the full methodology here.)

We looked at the countries with the highest overall scores, and highlighted a few of the criteria on the following slides.

#15 Ireland

Average household disposable income: $24,104

The Irish have a strong sense of community — 96% of people believe they know someone they could rely on in a time of need (higher than the OECD average of 90%).

They also rate highly in work-life balance, where the average employee works 1,543 hours a year, less than the OECD average of 1,776.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scale. Income is net-adjusted and in USD.

#14 Luxembourg

Average household disposable income: $23,047

Luxembourg rates well in both health and environment, with an average life expectancy of 81 years and a low level of atmospheric PM10 — tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs.

Citizens also have a high participation rate in the political process, with 91% of the population turning out for recent elections.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

#13 Austria

Average household disposable income: $28,852

Austria has a high rate for education. 82% of Austrian adults ages 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high school degree.

Austrians also have a strong sense of community, with 94% of the population reporting they know someone they could rely on in a time of need.

Researchers compared data from 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They based the rankings on 11 factors including income, safety, life satisfaction, and health, and then rated each country on a 10-point scaleIncome is net-adjusted and in USD.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.


11 Reasons Why Soda Is Terrible For You



A recent study showed how drinking too much diet soda for a long period of time can end up hurting your teeth as much as chronic abuse of methamphetamines or crack cocaine.

The acids in each substance eat away at tooth enamel, the hard outer surface of the tooth that protects your pearly whites from cavities, cracks, and discoloration.

Soda doesn't just rot your teeth. Either sugar-free or sweetened soft drinks have at one point been linked to obesity, depression, and diabetes

We've gathered the scariest findings from recent soda studies:

  • Soda increases your risk of heart attack. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, published March 2012 in the journal Circulation, found that drinking just one sugary beverage a day was associated with a 20 percent increase in a man's risk of having a heart attack over a 22-year period.
  • Lots of sugar drinks change your metabolism. A researcher at Bangor University in England kept track of 11 healthy men and women as they drank a Super Gulp's worth of sugary drink (about 140 grams of sugar) every day for four weeks. In the study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition in June of 2012, researchers found that their metabolism changed after the four weeks, making it more difficult for them to burn fat and lose weight.
  • Soda has possible carcinogens. An independent study commissioned by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2012 uncovered 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI, in Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. The compound is used in the brown coloring in these sodas, and has been shown to sicken animals. The study found levels of this compound were higher than the maximum limit allowed (without a warning label) in food in California.
  • Even diet soda can be bad. Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found a link between older adults who drank diet soda daily and a 44 percent higher chance of heart attack and stroke.
  • Soda could make you lose your mind. Scientists discovered BVO, a preservative and flame-retardant for plastic, in citrus sodas like Mountain Dew. The substance can cause nerve disorders and memory loss. A case report from 1997 explained a case of poisoning, possibly from drinking 2 to 4 liters of cola containing BVO a day.
  • Soda is linked to asthma. In a study published in Respirology in January 2012, researchers in Australia studied 16,907 people aged 16 and over in South Australia for two years. They found an association between a heightened risk for asthma and other breathing conditions and drinking more than half a liter soda every day.
  • Soda builds fat deposits all over your body. A Danish study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in February of 2012 followed a group of obese and overweight people for six months, as they either drank a liter per day of soda, or instead drank milk containing the same amount of calories, water or diet cola. They found that the group consuming sugary drinks ended up with a higher amount of fat in the liver and muscles than other groups. This kind of fat is bad because it can lead to heart disease later.
  • Soda consumption is associated with teen violence. In a 2011 study of Boston high school kids, published in the journal Injury Prevention, researchers saw that the more soft drinks teens drank, the more likely they were to be involved in violent acts, like pushing, shoving and getting into fights, according to a Harvard study, even when other factors like home and family life were removed.
  • Soda makes you gain a ton of weight. In 2011, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center announced results at the American Diabetes Association meeting, from a study of older adults across 10 years. They saw that any diet soda intake (compared to those with no diet soda intake) was linked to a 70 percent waistline increase over a decade; those who drank two diet sodas a day were linked to even larger weight gain — a 500 percent waist expansion.
  • Soda could shorten your lifespan. The high levels of phosphorus in dark cola have some researchers concerned it could shorten lifespan. In one study, published in the FASEB Journal in 2010, the mice with high phosphorus levels in their blood had shortened lifespans by an about a quarter.
  • Most soda cans contain BPA. The epoxy resin called BPA used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal in cans. The substance is found in tons of plastic and metal containers and researchers are worried that it can interfere with human hormones. In studies, it has been linked to infertility, obesity and some cancers.

SEE ALSO: Inspiring Before And After Weight Loss Pictures

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


Here's How To Use NYC's New Citi Bike Share Program


man riding citi bike nyc

Bike share finally opened for business in New York City on Monday, and so far it's been quite well-received.

Despite a few early glitches (and one stolen bike), Citi Bike members had taken more than 6,000 trips and covered nearly 14,000 miles before the end of the afternoon.

The program will change the look of the city, and it will also change a lot of people's lives. Many people — cyclists and others — will benefit. Others — including drivers — will lose out. 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg notes that Citi Bike is New York's first new public transit option in 75 years, and if it expands enough of the next few years, it could one day make the Big Apple the first American metropolis to count among the world's most bike-friendly cities.

For everyone who wants to give it a shot but has not tried out a similar system in any of the more than 500 cities that already have one in place, here's a rundown of how to sign up, get a bike, and hit the city on two wheels.

For the first week, Citi Bike is only open to members with year-long subscriptions, for $95. You can sign up online, as long as you have a credit or debit card.

Starting June 2, those who do not want to commit for the long-term can sign up for one day ($9.95) or a week ($25).

Annual members get a Citi Bike key fob. Short-term members can unlock bikes by entering a 5-digit number on a keypad.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow Getting There on Twitter and Facebook.


The Hottest Inhabited Place On Earth Will Dazzle You With Its Bright Yellow-Green Colors


Sulphur and mineral salt formations are seen near Dallol in the Danakil Depression, northern Ethiopia April 22, 2013.The Danakil Depression, located in Ethiopia's Danakil Desert, has been called the hottest inhabited place on the planet and dubbed "The Cruelest Place on Earth" by National Geographic.  

The basin is home to the Afar people who withstand year-round averages temperatures of about 95 degrees Fahrenheit, although temperatures can reach as a high as 145 degrees

The depression is about 328 feet below sea level, and features a lot of red rock, sulfur fields, and salt deposits. 

Geologists believe that the salt was deposited gradually over time, as the nearby Red Sea periodically flooded into the region. The extreme heat in the desert vaporized the floodwaters, leaving only the salt behind.

In the Danakil, salt means money. The entire local economy depends on mining and trading the mineral. 

Miners use traditional methods — camel caravans, pickaxes, and rope — to cut, pack, and ferry the salt out of the harsh basin.

It can be dangerous work, though. The heat can kill unprepared workers, and the occasional earthquake can split the ground and swallow camels.  

The Danakil Depression is one of the lowest points on Earth that is not covered in water. Geologists believe that in 10 million years, this searing desert will once again be submerged under water.

The brilliant green and gold colors are the result of sulfur deposits that come from underground hot springs. It looks pretty, but smells like rotten eggs.

It's a four-day trek to the Danakil Basin, during which salt miners camp in the desert with their camels.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.


How To Stay Alive While Biking In New York City


biking bike on brooklyn bridge nyc

[Editor's Note: New York's Citi Bike share opened for business on Monday, and our friends at Greatist shared these tips for staying safe while cycling in the city.]

Biking can be just as safe as driving — in fact, some studies claim it’s the safest transportation for young adults — when everyone follows the law and uses plenty of common sense.

Below is a cheat sheet on how to avoid accidents (and tickets) on the road. Happy cycling!

Rules of the Road

  • Bike on the road in the same direction as traffic (only bikers under age 12 are legally allowed to ride on sidewalks). Even though they lack a motor, bicycles are considered road vehicles just like cars and trucks. 
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs, and obey other traffic signs (i.e. one-way street, yield, etc.), just like you would in a car.
  • Use marked bike paths or lanes when they’re available.
  • When traveling with children, be extra safe. In some areas (New York, for example), babies under one year old cannot be carried on a bike. Kids must sit in a correctly attached child carrier (i.e., no sitting on the handlebars or perching on the back wheel!). All children must wear a helmet at all times — in some states that means all persons under age 18.
  • In many areas, biking on highways, expressways, interstate routes, and thruways is illegal (although this may be changing soon thanks to new highway systems for bikes in Maine, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Alaska).

Safety Gear

While each state has its own rules and regulations, most areas require cyclists to sport the following safety equipment:

Good Habits For Busy Streets

To make every cycling experience positive (and safe), follow safe biking practices. Most of these habits are geared towards keeping the cyclist visible to drivers and pedestrians in order to prevent accidents.

  • Put down the phone. We shouldn’t even need to say this, but talking on the phone, texting, or checking Instagram while biking are major no-nos. Also refrain from listening to headphones because they can make it more difficult to hear approaching cars and pedestrians.
  • Ride in a straight line. This one’s self-explanatory, but riding in a predictable fashion makes it easier for cars to go around (and not into) you.
  • Stay on the right side of the lane, in a single-file line with other cyclists (not two or three abreast). If the street is too narrow for cars to pass, cyclists are allowed to ride in the middle of the lane to increase visibility. Keep an eye out for parked cars (or rather, doors from parked cars opening into the street). Avoid the dreaded door-into-cyclist snafu by staying a little bit closer to the center of the street if there are parked cars. Also, move towards the left side of the lane when turning left.
  • Stay out of drivers’ blind spots, especially at traffic lights or stop signs.  
  • Always keep at least one hand on the handlebars. Save the “look, Ma, no hands!” tricks for the driveway at home.
  • Signal well and make eye contact with drivers before making a turn or slowing down. All biking signals are done with the left arm, so keep the right hand on the handlebars for stability. If you’re not confident about your signaling skills, spend some time practicing turns in a quiet area where there is little traffic before hitting the busier roads (or nab a set of these sweet signal light armbands).
    • To turn left, extend the left arm straight out from your side, parallel to the ground.
    • To turn right, extend the left arm out straight from the shoulder with the elbow bent and the left hand pointing straight up. The arm should form an “L” shape.
    • To slow down, extend the left arm out straight from the shoulder with the elbow bent and the left hand pointing straight down. It’s the opposite of the right-hand turn.
  • Don’t drink and bike (duh).
  • Stay visible. Wear bright colors for daytime riding and reflective materials for night.
  • Consider sporting a mirror to keep track of cars behind you.
  • Travel with a mini tool kit. If your trek is more than 10 minutes or down a lonely stretch of road, you’ll thank us. Take the time to learn how to do a few quick repairs in advance of any big rides so you don’t get stranded!
  • Check local municipal and state traffic laws before hitting the road. Major cities and certain states have different regulations, so study up before rolling out.
  • Have fun! Biking is all about enjoying the great outdoors, so don't forget to smile while you signal.

SEE ALSO: Here's How To Use NYC's New Citi Bike Share Program

Please follow Getting There on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


Why The Death Of Affirmative Action Could Make Colleges MORE Diverse


Richard Kahlenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to decide a huge affirmative action case, and many legal watchers believe the justices will limit race-based preferences in college admissions.

The death of affirmative action might not be such a bad thing for diversity, says Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the liberal-leaning Century Foundation.

While many liberals supported affirmative action when it was first implemented in the 1960s, a lot of people don't like the way it's played out. Colleges have gone to great lengths to make their campuses racially diverse but have largely ignored economic diversity.

The result is that colleges have a lot of rich kids. At America's most competitive schools, 70% of the students come from the richest 25% of U.S. families, Jordan Weissmann reported in an Atlantic piece about colleges' "rich kid problem."

"Universities, what they do today ... is they tend to put together classes that include fairly wealthy students of all colors," Kahlenberg says. "In the extreme, a class-blind, race-based preference system means that Barack Obama's children deserve a preference in admissions."

Colleges have a couple of motivations for ignoring economic diversity. For one thing, racial diversity is more visible than economic diversity.

"If you're a college that lacks diversity and someone walks around campus, it's embarrassing," Kahlenberg told us.

The other motivation for having a lot of rich kids is economic. Simply put, poor kids need more financial aid. But many universities will step up and give poorer students financial aid if the Supreme Court does away with or limits affirmative action, according to Kahlenberg.

Seven states have already banned affirmative action. Colleges there have found ways to stay racially diverse, according to a recent Century Foundation report by Kahlenberg. Many have increased financial aid and started explicitly giving a preference to students from poorer backgrounds.

The University of California system — which was barred from using raced-based affirmative action in 1998 — considers prospective students' economic backgrounds and takes students from the top of their classes around the state.

The proportion of blacks and Hispanics in the system reached 24% in 2008, up from 18% in 1997 before affirmative action was banned in California.

There's still "a broad overlap between race and class in our society," Kahlenberg points out. In light of that fact, he says, making college more economically diverse makes them more racially diverse too. Class-based affirmative action also creates a more talented pool of students.

"If we're trying to identify the most talented students who have the most potential, you should look not only at their raw academic portfolio but also at what obstacles they've had to overcome," Kahlenberg said.

SEE ALSO: PROFESSOR: Affirmative Action Isn't Helping The Right People

Please follow Law & Order on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


13% Of Harvard's Graduating Class Has Had Sex In The Library



Each year, Harvard's school newspaper, The Crimson, surveys its graduating class on topics from post-graduation plans to sex and drugs on campus.

Among the nuggets unearthed by the paper, it turns out that 13% of graduating seniors have had sex in the stacks of Harvard's library, Widener.

Specifically, 14.5% of guys and 11% of girls said they had gotten it on in the 100-year-old building.

That seems like a lot to us.

Having sex in Widener is apparently part of the "Big Three" — a trifecta of illicit tasks some Harvard students try to complete before graduation day.

The other two components are urinating on the statue of John Harvard's shiny foot (23% of seniors did this), and participating in the "Primal Scream," which is streaking across campus on the last night before exams begin (32% have done this). Only 4% of graduating seniors completed all three, according to the Crimson's survey.

On a surprising note, only 38% of students said that they've tried marijuana, while 9% admitted to using drugs like Ritalin and Adderall.

61% of Harvard graduates will be employed next year, while 18% are going to graduate school. The most popular field for this year's graduating class is "consulting," where students expect to be making $70,000 to $90,000 a year.

A shockingly low number are headed to Wall Street.

For the rest of the survey results, click over to The Crimson >

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


Browsing All 48857 Browse Latest View Live