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The Incredible Transforming Apartment In London


yo! home transforming apartment

The founder of Yotel, British entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe, has found a way to make an 860-square-foot apartment feel like an entire home using stage tricks, moving walls, and multi-purpose furniture.

London's Channel 4 News explored the flat with Woodroffe, who showed how the living room could become the master bedroom with a click of a button. And how a desk becomes the guest bedroom.

Woodroffe spent $200,000 creating the Yo! Home prototype, but it's unclear what it would cost for actual residents to buy or rent the apartment.

This "apartment of the future" is just the latest micro-apartment we've seen. New York City recently announced plans for 300-square-foot apartments, and an 8-by-10 foot pad in London is receiving offers for $280,000. Space is very valuable and expensive, as Woodroffe explained in his interview.

He said, "History will judge us of living in an absolutely primitive age compared to what it's going to be compared with the future of these types of home. People are going to say 'remember when they only had one space and it couldn't move around?'"

The apartment spans 860 square feet, which is the normal size of a two-bedroom apartment in London.

But Woodroffe wanted the small apartment to have the amenities of a home. Twelve walls and surfaces move in the apartment. Here's the living room before.

The master bedroom descends from the ceiling, covering the living room area.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Owner Of The Houston Rockets Just Bought The $42 Million Penthouse At 18 Gramercy Park


18 gramercy park bedroom

Leslie Alexander, the owner of the Houston Rockets, has purchased the $42 million penthouse inside of the new 18 Gramercy Park building, the New York Post is reporting.

18 Gramercy Park, which is still under construction, is a new condominium complex that is being converted from a hotel by Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf of 15 Central Park West.

The penthouse is a five-bedroom duplex condo. Alexander's new home has four terraces and a pool. His purchase also gets him a key to the exclusive Gramercy Park.

Alexander used the same broker he used to sell his $31.5 million penthouse at Superior Ink, Melanie Lazenby of Prudential Douglas Elliman. When they sold the pad, it set a record condo price for downtown Manhattan.

DON'T MISS: 16 Things You Never Knew About The Most Exclusive Park In Manhattan

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Make A Political Statement With These Solid Gold Gandhi Cufflinks


gandhi cufflinks

Gandhi once said "it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

But if you're a fan of the leader, you can have your very own gold cufflinks for $8,000. 

The gold baubles are the creation of British jeweler Theo Fennell. If Gandhi isn't your favorite, there are also Churchill and Mao varieties. 

Given the icon's anti-materialistic message, the cufflinks are pretty funny. 

You can find them here. 

DON'T MISS: Uniqlo's Brilliant Strategy Is To Totally Ignore Fashion >

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The Most Popular Halloween Costumes This Year


Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence

Halloween is coming up, and it's time to start shopping for a costume. 

Yahoo sent us search data and revealed the top twenty searched-for costumes for this month. If search is a good indication, these are the costumes we'll be seeing the most. 

Pop culture influences the costume choices greatly, although there are a few classics in there. 

They are: 

1.      Pirate

2.      Monster High (a line of children's toys). 

3.      Ninjago (a set from Lego). 

4.      Zombie (undoubtedly influenced by the Walking Dead). 

5.      Minnie Mouse

6.      Batman/Dark Knight

7.      Bane (“Dark Knight” villain)

8.      Power Ranger

9.      Renaissance

10.   Witch

11.   Ninja

12.   Catwoman

13.   Wonder Woman

14.   Vampire

15.   Katniss Everdeen (the lead character from the Hunger Games franchise). 

16.   Peacock

17.   Fairy

18.   Mermaid

19.   “The Hunger Games”

20.   “Star Wars”

DON'T MISS: 11 Surprising Facts About The Victoria's Secret Angels >

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Your Kids Will Have A Better Life If You Move To Canada


children canada

Worried your kids will have a bleak future if they live in America? Maybe it's time to leave.

HSBC's fifth annual Expat Survey identified Canada as the best place for expats to raise kids.

Canada was the cheapest place to raise a kid, and it ranked in the top four for safety, education, and childcare. 

Kids in Canada play more sports than anywhere else, and rank near the top in time spent with parents, and lack of time in front of the TV.

A full 97 percent of expat parents in Canada said their kids were enjoying living there. 

HSBC said, "Canada proved a popular choice among expat parents with one fifth (20 percent) of expat parents living in the country suggesting that of all of the expat locations, they would choose to relocate elsewhere within the country rather than choose a new location or move back to their home country."

Netherlands and Hong Kong were the next best places for kids.

But if you've got no kids and lots of money, the primo destination is Singapore.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Countries With The Highest Quality Of Life

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The 8 Best Sandwiches In New York City


parm nyc

There's a ton of competition in the world of New York City sandwiches, and the release of our 2013 Restaurants survey saw a lot of movement on the best-of list.

Last year's winner was displaced by two shops in Queens, and a red-sauce Italian joint made its debut on the lineup with its old-school creations.

Click through the slide show to see the city's eight best sandwich spots, and compare the selection to last year's list here.

With all these tasty options, we think we're feeling a sandwich for at least three meals a day.

#8: Meatball Shop

Food: 24
Decor: 17
Service: 19
Cost: $23

An “original concept” that “works," this “rapidly expanding” meatball specialist offers “mouthwatering” orbs “served in a variety of ways” plus “even better” “make-your-own ice cream sandwiches”; “can’t-go-wrong” pricing ensures the “no-frills” setups are “always packed.”

Meatball Shop: Multiple locations

#7: Bouchon Bakery

Food: 24
Decor: 17
Service: 20
Cost: $25

Bringing the “Thomas Keller touch” to the masses, these cafe/patisserie combos purvey “transcendent pastries” and “fancy sandwiches” in “mall”-like settings; the mainly takeout Rock Center branch features “Today Show” convenience, while its sit down–friendly Columbus Circle sibling boasts “scenic” Central Park vistas.

Bouchon Bakery: Multiple locations

#6: Parm

Food: 24
Decor: 17
Service: 19
Cost: $29

They “elevate” chicken, meatball or eggplant parm to “dizzying heights” at this new NoLita adjunct to Torrisi, turning out “signature sandwiches” and other “just-right” “Italian soul food”; it’s already too “popular” for the “tiny” ’50s diner–inspired space, so expect a “lengthy wait” to “squeeze in.”

Parm: 248 Mulberry St.; 212-993-7189

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Why The Heck Do So Many People Want To Move To India?


the best exotic marigold hotel judi dench

Future retirees want to move to India, HSBC's fifth annual Expat Survey showed.

11 percent of expats surveyed said they plan to retire in India, which is strange seeing as the same survey ranked India last in overall expat experience.

Clearly, there's a disconnect somewhere. Respondents did say the economy was low on the list of priorities affecting where they'd like to move, so the desire must be more social that's driving the trend.

Respondents chose India as the ideal place to retire because of the quality of life, being close to family, and social life.

Family, the weather, and cost of living rounded out what made the country great for future-retirees.

But, on HSBC's overall list of the best countries for expats, India ranked last. Only one in four people felt they achieved a better quality of life, according to the report.

Expats currently in India said they found it difficult to organize healthcare, learn the language, and adjust to the local food.

11 percent of expats surveyed also said they'd like to retire in the United Kingdom, tying with India.

DON'T MISS: Rare Aerial Photos Of The Taj Mahal

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: The Versace Family Is Selling Its Modern Mansion In Milan For $63.8 Million


gianni versace milan apartment $63 million

The late Gianni Versace and his family have an impressive real estate portfolio.

In June, Versace's Miami mansion hit the market for $125 million, making it one of the most expensive homes for sale in America. Now, his brother Santo has listed his Milan apartment for $63.8 million, according to Curbed.

The home spans more than 22,000 square feet across four floors, and was built in 1954.

Welcome to Via dei Giardini Milano.

The home was designed by architects Carlo De Carli and Antonio Carminati, representatives of the Modern Movement, in 1953 and 1954.

Santo Versace, Gianni's older brother, has listed the place at $2,787 per square foot.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Elvis Presley's Beverly Hills Estate Hits The Market For $13 Million


elvis beverly hills home

The former Beverly Hills home of Elvis Presley and his wife Priscilla has hit the market for $12.995 million, according to Trulia.

The home has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and spans 5,367 square feet.

The gated house sits on 1.18 acres of land, with stunning views of Los Angeles from the backyard.

Welcome to Hillcrest Road.

The house was built in 1958.

About $1.836 million worth of improvements went into the home in 2010, according to the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor website.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Truffle Hunting Has Become A Thriving Business In Britain


trufflesTruffle-hunters are sniffing out the prized delicacies in woodlands across England.

For many years those in the know have kept quiet about discoveries of a hugely valuable treasure found buried across the country.

But now the secret is out: truffles are thriving in English woodlands and some lucky countryside-dwellers are making a modest fortune by selling the “black diamonds” to top restaurants.

One British farmer has discovered what could be the biggest truffle find in Europe on a 10-acre site on his land in Wiltshire.

The farmer, who did not want to be named for fear of triggering an invasion of truffle-hunters, harvests up to 220lb of the delicacies every year without even needing to use a specially-trained dog to sniff them out. By contrast the typical annual harvest from a single site in truffle-mad Italy is around 45lb.

The Wiltshire farmer has sold his truffles to more than 100 restaurants at a price of about £150 a kilo (2.2lb).

He described how he created the perfect environment for truffles by accident when he started planting new woods in 1990 for firewood and as a windbreak under a Government forestry scheme.

“I had no idea what a truffle was then. But 15 years later we found, strewn across the path, these black things a badger had dug up,” he told Country Life magazine.

Experts said England has always had large numbers of truffles, which grow best in south-facing woodland with a chalky soil and lots of sunlight, but for many decades they have not been harvested.

The lucrative fungi have been found across the country, from Brixham in Devon to as far north as Darlington in County Durham.

Modern farming methods resulted in the destruction of some of the natural habitat where truffles thrived, but recent moves to replant hedgerows and woodland are reversing this trend.

Tom Lywood, who hunts for truffles with Italian Lagotto dogs, said: “Truffles and conservation can, and should, go hand in hand.”

There is also promising evidence that it is possible to impregnate trees with truffle spores, raising the prospect of artificially helping to boost the country’s harvests.

Truffles were found just before Christmas last year in a recently-planted oak and hazel woodland in southern England that had been inoculated with seedlings supplied by Dorset-based Truffle UK.

Nigel Hadden-Paton, of Truffle UK, said: “All we can guarantee is that the seedlings are inoculated – what we can’t guarantee is that they’re going to produce. For that, we have to place our trust in the hands of the good Lord.”

There is even an upside to Britain’s miserable summer for truffle fans. The recent wet weather has raised hopes of a bumper crop this year.

Worldwide production of black truffles has plummeted over the past century from 1,000 to 2,000 tons in 1900 to about 150 tons now.

Pigs were traditionally used to root out truffles, but hunters now tend to prefer dogs, which have the advantage of being less likely to eat a valuable find.

Even more valuable are white truffles, which cannot be grown in England. They are mainly found in Istria in Croatia and Alba in Italy, and can be sold for as much as £3,000 a kilo.

SEE ALSO: The 12 Most Expensive Foods On The Planet

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7 Awesome Paris Hotels That Won't Break The Bank


Hotel Joyce

Ahh, Paris—the art and fashion capital of the world known for its over-the-top luxury properties and bohemian boutiques.

But though some (or, really, most people) can’t afford a stay at the iconic, Hotel Plaza Athenee or the Hotel Mathis Elysees Matignon, it doesn’t mean they have to skimp on their Parisian experience. 

Even the most budget-conscious travelers are sure to find value options without having to turn to crowded, 6-bed hostel rooms or chain hotels near the airport—especially with the help of this guide.

Check out our top picks for budget-friendly hotels in Paris and start packing!

Hotel Palm Opera

The 38-room Hotel Palm Opera is a well-run boutique with a fantastic central location. Rooms are clean and sophisticated with modern Danish-style minimalist decor, flat-screen TVs, and French balconies that offer excellent Parisian views.

The bathrooms are as immaculately clean as are the rooms, which are also surprisingly spacious. There’s little else in the way of amenities other than a small on-site dining room for breakfast, but this allows this contemporary, stylish hotel to be such a good value.

Hotel Joyce

Hotel Joyce is a mid-range hotel, part of the Astotel chain group—yet this particular hotel is very un-chain-like in design. Quirky would be a good word to describe it—oddities such as car seats (with seat belts) and funky light fixtures hang from the ceilings. The unique design elements mix well with the historical aspects of the hotel—like the glass-roofed solarium and stone walls. 

And it all adds up to make this boutique hotel a fun value option in the 9th arrondissement. The street and neighborhood are quiet, but within walking distance are train stations, the Moulin Rouge, and restaurants, and rooms are bright with white walls, murals, and bold accents. Travelers on a budget—and with a bit of a good sense of humor—should check this place out.

Hotel WO—Wilson Opera

The Hotel WO—Wilson Opera is a convenient 30-room boutique with a focus on design. Rooms are small but charming, with flat-screen TVs, modern decor, and black and white photographs of Paris. It’s true that some rooms are downright tiny, and in the bathrooms in Classic Rooms the shower area is practically on top of the toilet—but booking a larger Superior Room solves this problem and doesn’t come at too high of a price.

Rooms on the upper floors are particularly desirable, as some have balconies and views of the Eiffel Tower. With free Wi-Fi and a convenient location for reaching popular museums and attractions, Hotel WO is a good pick.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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McDonald's Top Ad Man Explains Why The McRib Keeps Getting Yanked From The Menu (MCD)


Peter McGuinness

McDonald's has a problem with Christmas, and the holidays generally. It's not that McD's is against the festive season. Rather, it's that McDonald's can't really compete against the giant turkey and ham dinners that bookend the final month of the year.

So McDonald's must engage in some clever counter-programing, and that's one of the reasons the McRib sandwich tends to get rolled out across its franchises in Q4 — and then removed again a few weeks later.

The McRib, as everyone knows, is McDonald's weird, secret weapon. It comes and goes, seemingly at random, taunting the barbecue pork sandwich's famously rabid fans. Last year, the McRib dropped in the latter half of December, for instance.

And then it was yanked again, with no clear date for its return.

This year, the McRib is planned for a four- to six-week period in the latter half of Q4, according to DDB Chicago CEO Peter McGuinness, whose ad agency is creating a campaign to promote it. DDB is McD's lead ad agency, and McGuinness is thus the chain's top outside adman.

We asked him why, if the McRib is so popular, doesn't McDonald's just add it to the menu permanently?

Turns out that not that many people actually like the McRib. Or rather, McDonald's is so huge that it needs all its items to be massively popular in order to keep their place on the menu. Those who do like the McRib, love it. But in the broader scheme, "It's not a mass play year-round," McGuinness says.

Thus McD's deploys the McRib strategically, when the calendar leaves the company without a natural hook for its products — like at Christmas time. "We don't really do polar bears," McGuinness says.

Instead, the McRib functions as "a great piece of buzzy news that surprises and delights, late in the year on the marketing calendar."

Of course, news is only news if it's new, and for the McRib to be "new" it must disappear again for the rest of the year once its Q4 revenue marketing duties are done. (A bit like Santa Claus himself.)

McGuinness adds, "It's my personal favorite."


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Southampton Residents Are Furious At Tory Burch For Selling Her Home At Half Price


tory burch hamptons estate sold for $11 million

Designer Tory Burch's old Meadow Lane neighbors in the Hamptons are absolutely furious with the fashion mogul, according to The New York Post.

Earlier this month, Burch unloaded her Hamptons estate, which she bought from her ex-husband in 2008, for $11 million. She originally bought the place for $22.5 million.

Now, neighbors are afraid the sale is going to severely damage market value on the street.

Meadow Lane's residents are no stranger to the spotlight. They include David Koch, Calvin Klein, Leon Black, Ambassador Clifford Sobel, and Rachael Ray. Their homes range in value from $30 to $50 million, according to The Post.

An anonymous source told The Post, "it has sparked a lot of worry if this will affect the market and their own homes, but also a lot of speculation as to why she sold it off so cheaply.”

The home sits on 4.5 acres, has six bedrooms, and eight bathrooms, but is considered a tear-down after some water damage it suffered.

The home reportedly sold to a mystery buyer who plans on building a 7,100-square-foot home designed by Daniel Romualdez.

DON'T MISS: A Millionaire Investor Has Infuriated His Designer Ex-Wife With This Candy-Colored Boutique In Soho

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Where The Locals Eat In Florence


'ino, paninis, florence, italy

With its trattorias, gelaterias, pizzerias and cafes, Florence is arguably one of the best food cities in the world.

Savvy tourists know this and inundate the city's restaurants and cafes. But where do the locals—who know truly great Florentine food—go?

We traveled to Italy recently to find out. From hole-in-the-wall piadina shops to home-spun family-run trattorias, we discovered that there are phenomenal dining experiences in this jewel of a city—if you follow the locals and know where to go.

Though Florence isn't typically known for its pizza, Pizzeria Spera, located outside the city center, serves incredible pizza that wins approval from even the pickiest pizza lovers.

Via della Cernaia, 9 50129

L'Azdora Piadineria is a small eatery that serves made-to-order piadinas (grilled flatbread sandwiches). Since it's located right next to the Mercato Centrale, a lot of the locals who work in the market stop here for a quick lunch.

Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 14/r 50123

The piadinas at L'Azdora are stuffed with fresh ingredients, like spinach and parmesan cheese, tomato and mozzarella, or ham, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Art Mogul Larry Gagosian Says Having A Gallery In Greece Is A 'Badge Of Honor'


larry gagosian

Art mogul Larry Gagosian granted a lengthy interview to The Wall Street Journal's Kelly Crow, discussing the ups and downs of the global art market and his newest gallery in northern Paris.

Crow asked Gagosian about how the Euro crisis was affecting contemporary art sales in Europe, and he was upbeat, even about his gallery in Athens.

He said:

It's almost become a badge of honor that we have a gallery in Greece. We keep the price points in Athens lower—under $1 million—and we maintain relationships with collectors there who want to sell things. It's our smallest gallery, but I'm going to keep it.

Gagosian was also optimistic about contemporary art sales in emerging markets like Hong Kong, where he's looking for a larger space, and Rio de Janeiro, where his gallery hit a "home run" at a recent art fair.

There's just one emerging market he won't touch: India.


Gagosian explained:

We have some Indian collectors who buy from us in London, but we're not really selling to collectors in India. Maybe we're not approaching it the right way, or maybe we don't have the relationships. Usually when the business is there and the appetite for collecting is there, it trickles up. It's not happening yet. India remains focused on its local art, and its museums aren't showing international art often enough.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Biggest Art Collectors Of 2012

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10 Scientifically-Proven Ways To Make Yourself Happier


happy woman

Few people go through life without wanting to be happier.

You may think happiness is out of your control, but believe it or not, there are a few scientifically-proven ways to make yourself happier, and they're all things you can do proactively.

Spend money on other people.

Spending money on other people instead of yourself makes you feel happier, a study published in "Psychological Bulletin" found. 

The study concluded "the happiest people were the biggest givers, no matter what they earned," and always felt better donating to charities and giving to others than splurging on themselves.

Try something new.

People who go on adventures, try new experiences, and switch up their routines are generally happier, research has shown.

Trying new things also keeps motor function sharp and stimulates brain waves.

Expose yourself to more blue.

A study showed that exposing yourself to the color blue sent "self confidence soaring, cut stress, and boosts happiness."

Researchers from the University of Sussex found that when people saw blue, their brain waves showed increased happiness.

According to The Daily Mail, our love for blue comes from our ancestors "linking the color of the afternoon and evening sky to the feeling of a day well spent, and the prospect of a good night's sleep."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Check Out The Awesome Comic-Inspired Cars On Display At New York Comic Con


Chevy Comicon event

If you happen to be on the west side of Manhattan this weekend, you'll notice there are a lot more people dressed in costumes than normal. 

It's not people prepping for Halloweenit's New York's Comic Con, being held at the Javits Center this weekend. 

For the second year, Chevrolet is sponsoring the fair for all things comic-related, and brought along some pretty sweet customized rides.

The entrance to the main room at the Javits Center was pretty packed.

Chevy's area on the main floor.

We got an up-close look at the Camaro that was in "Transformers."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Rich People Spend Their Money On Some Pretty Ridiculous Things


Lady Gaga, Beautiful Dirty Rich

What's worse than wasting money?

Spending it on things that you think make you look good, but really make you look silly.

A few years ago, I was invited, along with a group of my friends, to a party at a waterfront mansion here in Fort Lauderdale. The house featured two elevators, about 20,000 square feet, and a living room that resembled an upscale hotel lobby.

Check out these senseless purchases >

As we stood in a small group marveling at a side of life we’d never seen, one of my friends said, “Doesn’t this make you wonder what you did wrong? I mean, why don’t we have houses like this?” My response: “Really? I was just thinking about how long it would take to walk from the garage back to the master bedroom when I left my keys on the nightstand.”

Since my first mansion party, I’ve been to many others. I’ve also ridden on mega-yachts, kicked back in vast home theaters, and otherwise enjoyed the spoils of other people’s good fortune. I’ve learned something along the way: It’s fun to know rich people. But I’ve also learned that trying to impress people with ostentatious displays often creates the opposite effect. In other words, things you think are earning envy may be causing people to think you look silly.

1. An Expensive Sports Car

“Want to see how fast it will go?”

That’s the question I’ve been asked all three times I’ve been a passenger in a Ferrari. My answer was consistent, “Please, no. I’m begging you.” It doesn’t work. Instead it’s zero to 100 in 5 seconds on a city street.

I’m sure there are lots of people who enjoy riding in loud, cramped cars that can theoretically go more than 200 miles an hour. I’m not one of them.

While these guys (yes, in my experience they’re always guys) probably imagine themselves envied at every traffic light, are they really getting the status they paid for? They’re getting attention, all right, but maybe not the kind they wanted. When I’m stopped next to a Ferrari, all I’m seeing is someone who’s combined a mid-life crisis with a big checkbook.

Source: Money Talks News 

2. A Boat

If you take a ride down the Intracoastal Waterway here in Fort Lauderdale, within 5 miles you’ll pass more than a hundred million dollars in largely unused boats.

But if boating’s a crime, I’m guilty. As I write this, I have two 30-foot boats docked behind my modest waterfront home. I love boating, and I love working on my boats.

But the only advantage to actually owning one – especially a big, complicated one – is that it makes any other indulgences you have seem practically free. I’ve owned boats for many years, and I can state unequivocally that I’d be better off if I paid $1,000 to rent a boat for the day whenever the mood struck.

When someone asks me, “What’s the best boat?” I say, “Someone else’s.”

Source: Money Talks News 

The only thing you can do to make boat ownership dumber is to borrow the money to buy one, or to buy a new one. Think cars depreciate when you drive them off the lot? Chickenfeed. Boats sink in value so rapidly, it’s truly astounding. They also tend to sit unused for long periods of time, which is the worst way to maintain one. And with gas prices where they are today, the cost of an all-day fishing trip is measured in the hundreds.

Boats are no way to stay afloat, and unless you have money to burn, this pastime may not bring you the status you think it will.

3. Plastic Surgery

You think you look younger.

What you might look like is someone who’s so insecure they had to pretend they weren’t getting older by getting plastic surgery.

And don’t even get me started on breast enhancement, especially the (literally) over-the-top variety.

Source: Money Talks News 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Swiss + Tech 19-In-1 Keychain Multitool


This is the Swiss + Tech Micro-Max Keychain Multitool.

Why We Love It: This little keychain measures just shy of two inches, but has two hex wrenches, six screwdrivers, pliers, a bottle opener, a wire cutter and stripper, a wire crimper, a hand drill, file, and two rulers/ruler extensions.

Oh, and it can also serve as a keychain, too. Talk about versatility.

It's made of stainless steel, and has a quick-release and self-locking mechanism to make sure all 19 of your tools stay in place. See it in action below.

Micro Max Keychain Multitool

Where To Buy: Available through Amazon.

Cost: Originally $14.99, the Micro-Max Keychain Multitool is on sale for $7.37.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

See Also: The Electropolished Steel Foosball Table

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