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8 Cosmetics Ingredients Banned In Europe, But Not In America


When it comes to making sure cosmetics companies aren't poisoning us, Europe is apparently doing a much better job than the U.S.

While there are just 10 cosmetics ingredients banned in the U.S., there are 1,372 in Europe. As if those numbers alone aren't terrifying, the actual ingredients that are banned in the EU but not here are what nightmares are made of.

Here are some examples of ingredients that Europe wants to protect us from, while the FDA looks the other way.

Asbestos: Well, this was fun to learn about. Asbestos, a carcinogen, occurs naturally in close proximity to talc. So, anything with talc in it could theoretically contain asbestos. While the FDA has looked into it, neither substance is actually banned from cosmetics. Here's a direct quote about the FDA's stance on asbestos: "Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that may be found in close proximity in the earth. Unlike talc, however, asbestos is a known carcinogen. For this reason, FDA considers it unacceptable for cosmetic talc to be contaminated with asbestos." So, basically, the FDA thinks it's unacceptable to have a known carcinogen in beauty products, but not so unacceptable that they would go so far as to legally restrict it. 

Benzidine: While benzidine is no longer produced in the U.S., it can be imported. It's a dye, as in hair dyes, and guess what? It's a carcinogen.

Coal Tar: This carcinogen, while regulated by the FDA, is used to add color to cosmetics.

Lead: It's probably in your lipstick, and can harm your brain. 

Progesterone: Used in skin conditioning products, progesterone is a hormone that prepares your body for pregnancy. Yes, because that's exactly what we want our bodies gearing up for every time we slather on lotion.

Petroleum: Used in lip products and other cosmetics, petroleum has been linked to cancer.

Animal-tested ingredients: Proof that Europe loves our furry friends more than the U.S.? The EU banned ingredients that have been tested on animals, while those ingredients continue to be used in cosmetics this side of the pond. 

Nickel: Though nickel was named the Allergen of the Year in 2008 by The American Contact Dermatitis Society, there's nothing stopping it from appearing in makeup. 

So, anybody else totally freaked out right now, or is that just us?

Join the conversation about this story »


A Local's Guide To Shanghai



We caught up with Monica Suma to get the scoop on Shanghai’s best kept secrets: Where to eat, stay and soak in the rich history of this Paris of the East.

On your first day here, seeing this is a must:

Shanghai has transformed so much in the past two decades, that some of its prior visitors might not recognize it anymore. To clearly appreciate Shanghai’s unbelievable boom, start no further than The Bund.  Considered to be the face of Shanghai, it’s where the city gets divided by the Huangpu River in two districts: Puxi (West of the Huangpu) and Pudong (East of the Huangpu). The Bund is where people from all over the world come to see the impressive skyline overlooking Pudong, with striking skyscrapers rising faster than you can say Ni Hao.

On the complete opposite spectrum, most buildings on the Bund’s extensive promenade in Puxi look just like they did during Shanghai’s 1920s and 1930s. Displaying a distinct European architectural style, with Art Deco and Neoclassical facades, it’s where the Old Citystarts. The Bund is also a must to visit at night, for its spectacle of hallucinating neon lights, preferably while enjoying a scenic boat tour on the Huangpu River.

Most people don’t know this, but to get a true taste of the local culture…

You have to spend an afternoon walking around The French Concession.  A former French quarter from 1847 up until 1946, it developed during the 1920s into the premier residential area of Shanghai. It is now a splendid district with well-preserved European architecture and tree-lined streets reminiscent of Paris. The quaint alleyways and charismatic boutiques make the stroll delightfully charming, as if walking through Shanghai’s glory days of the 1930s.

View from the Shanghai World Financial CenterFor a glimpse of daily life, I recommend this form of transportation:

Nothing shrieks Shanghai more than the meeker bikes the locals are incessantly riding around town. In a metropolis of 23 million people, a large percentage of the population relies on them; the sheer concentration of bikes on the streets is staggering to the point that even a New Yorker might initially be reluctant to navigate through them. If you want to preserve your sanity, perhaps the subway is a better option. Apart from being overly crowded, the subway is by far the fastest and safest way to get somewhere. Given its novelty, it’s still one of the few public systems in the world that is clean. It’s intuitive and it’s equipped with English instructions.

Taxis are also incredibly convenient, that’s if you don’t mind the rush of adrenaline you’ll get from their almost unlawful speed. In terms of communicating with your driver, who will most likely not understand a word of English, the Magic Number is your salvation. In each cab, you will find a sticker on the back of the driver’s seat that contains a very important number, which connects you to a free hotline. It’s one of the best travel innovations I’ve seen in a while; you simply dial, choose your desired language, mention the address to the phone representative and then hand the phone over to the taxi driver. They can also instruct you on how much the fare might cost, as well as how long it could take; it’s a lifesaver at the very least.

I had my best night’s sleep at:

Having stayed for a few weeks in Xuhui’s District Rayfont Hotel was one of the best decisions I made. Located in the lively Dapuqiao area, it is easily accessible to any of Shanghai’s main attractions. It’s a five-minute walk from the art district of Tian Zi Fang, and across the street from Tesco, a major supermarket. The hotel acts as a serviced apartments type of business, and for a great value, you get a spacious room with lots of amenities including, Wi-Fi access, your own bathroom, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen, a cozy living-room and balcony. It’s extremely convenient and significantly cheaper than you would expect for what you’re getting. It’s fun to learn to cook in a wok (sorry, no stoves in China), use a rice cooker and switch to tea instead of coffee. The views from the top floors of the hotel are also a huge bonus.

Joe's Shanghai Restaurant, Chinese restaurant, soup dumplingThe meal at this local eatery had me salivating for days:

Without a doubt, Shanghai is best known for its soup dumplings (steamed pork dumplings) and for mastering the art of slurping. Street stalls selling delicious xiaolongbao, also known as baozi, can be found on every other corner. These steamed buns of Chinese goodness – essentially pork dumplings with a gulp of soup, wrapped up in a wonton wrapper – are cheap, melt in your mouth and are Shanghai’s foodies favorite subject of debate. It’s hard to pick a single eatery where the buns reign supreme, as it depends on what you like best: the thickness of the skin or the quality of the soup inside. However, as a rule of thumb, the humbler the restaurant, the better the buns; if the steamer baskets are worn out and you’re “kindly” pushed aside for the flow of waiting customers (locals), then expect some divine boazi.

Best place to find artisan handicrafts…

is undoubtedly in Tian Zi Fang. Known as “the warehouse of arts and crafts,” Tian Zi Fang feels intimate and friendly due to its narrow walkways. Not long ago destined for demolition and home to a grimy street bazaar, the once crumbling Shikumen houses and former factories were renovated, giving life to a thriving neighborhood with over 20 workshops. Since then, many new contemporary artists have settled in. Strolling through the quaint alleys, the fashion boutiques (rather pricey) will grab your attention, while art studios will leave you wondering how many pieces could possibly fit in your luggage on your way home. Miles away from the overly commercial Xintiandi area, Tian Zi Fang is certainly where the Shanghainese concept of “hipster” begins.

Shanghai Museum

Favorite pastimes:

One of the most surprising things when arriving in Shanghai is discovering the locals’ adoration for the phenomenon called KTV – karaoke – the most popular form of entertainment. One of the main reasons behind KTV’s popularity is the self-restrained Chinese culture and the need for its people to vent out their emotions. People go as far as renting private rooms, in which they can watch music videos, sing, dance, or simply enjoy each other’s conversation. KTV bars, therefore, have become an organized way to socialize and relax, excluding the prying eyes of strangers. Far from being a diversion for friends alone to enjoy, many locals entertain clientsin the privacy of their own rented spaces for the night. Customers can also enjoy a nice buffet and play games.

The Chinese are certainly no strangers to serious drinking; they love drinking for hours on end, and have fun proving who can drink most.  A few hours can cost around 200 Yuan, or about USD 30, which is quite costly for the average person.

Local celebration not to be missed:

Given tea’s importance in the Chinese culture, it’s no surprise that there is a Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival held annually in April. However, the best way to experience the local process of making tea is visiting tea farmlands, such as the Meijiawu Village in Hangzhou. Only an hour away from Shanghai, it’s where you can cruise the peaceful West Lake, stroll through idyllic tea plantations and buy fresh tea right from the source.

Shanghai Houtan Park For a more bucolic/green setting I escape here:

Unfortunately, Shanghai is not the best place to enjoy a green environment. As thrilling as it can be, it’s quite challenging to find a peaceful natural escape; most days, it’s foggy and heavily polluted. That being said, People’s Park is the most centrally located park in Shanghai. Given its modest size, it’s not what one would normally expect from a park. However, one of the most fascinating aspects is the Sunday Single Market, where you’ll find parents trading stats of their unwed sons and daughters.

Yuyuan Garden, located in the center of the Old City, is another feasible refuge from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai’s streets. Initially built as a private garden during the Ming Dynasty, it is considered one of the most lavish Chinese gardens in the region. It features rock formations, bridges and alcoves with dragon walls and is generally designed in the Suzhou style, a city known as “the Venice of the East.” It’s without a doubt a photographer’s paradise, especially when confronted with the magnificent blend of old pagodas and new architecture, as seen from the Bund.

The art/music scene is alive and well here:

For the past few years, the grand organizer of the legendary Midi Festival, Beijing’s largest music festival, came to Shanghai to entertain the thousands eager for fine rock, hardcore, alternative and punk bands. Taking over Pudong’s Century Park over a three-day extravaganza at the beginning of May, dozens of local and international bands entertain the roaring crowds. Despite the brutal heat and the constant rubbing of elbows, the bands rock Shanghai, always delivering an epic show.

Where the locals get tipsy:

Back in the 1930s, Shanghai was considered the most notorious city in Asia, dubbed as “Paris of the East.” Old Shanghai presented countless opportunities for decadence in its rowdy nightclubs and glamorous venues. That came to an end once the Communist Party came to power in 1949. However, in the last few years, Shanghai has gradually come back onto the party map. With staple clubs such as Bar Rouge and M1NT, there are countless opportunities to toastGambei (cheers).

m1nt mint bar shanghaiMultiple winner of Bar of the Year, Bar Rouge sets the standard for The Bund nightlife. This is the place to be for Shanghai’s hippest crowd. Bar Rouge consists of two parts: the interior modern bar with striking red lights and an outside rooftop terrace overlooking the stunning views of Pudong, the epicenter of modern Shanghai.

An exclusive membership nightclub hovering on the 24th floor high above the city, M1NT also offers spectacular 360° views of The Bund and Pudong. The first thing you notice upon arriving is the jaw-dropping 17-metre long shark tank. M1NT also hosts fashion shows, at which point the bar is quickly turned into a catwalk for the night.

Most ludicrous stereotype about the people here:

Chinese people are short and rude. I found that to be quite the contrary. Firstly, there are an impressive number of incredibly tall people, taller perhaps than some of the tallest Dutch. In terms of manners, the common man will not be incredibly polite, as we know it in the United States; they will brush you off and push you aside. However, when dealing on a more personal level with the Chinese, you will find they care more about etiquette than any other culture you may have witnessed. They fight over who should pay the bill and who should enter the door first. They are also incredibly generous and hospitable. If invited to one’s home, you will be warmly treated as one of the members of the family, and showed around the city. It is part of the Chinese culture to give and show “face” which essentially means to show respect and honor towards your fellow man.

If I had only 24 hours to explore Shanghai I would:

First and foremost, I would start with a few xiaolongbaos for breakfast. They can be found on every corner and are not only delicious, but cheap. I would then head towards The Bund for an encompassing view of Pudong and modern Shanghai. After enjoying The Bund’s extensive promenade, I would head into the Old City to visit Yuyuan Gardens, and perhaps even haggle my way for a few souvenirs.

For lunch, I would walk around the French Concession showcasing Shanghai’s old-romantic world of the 1930s, and stop at one of neighborhood’s quaint restaurants. In close proximity is the artsy district of Tian Zi Fang, which would be a great next stop to relax in a coffee shop and take in some local art. Depending on how much time I have left, I would grab a bite for dinner at Bali Bali, an exquisite Indonesian restaurant.

To end the night, I would have to go back to The Bund, this time for a cruise on Hungpu River; 9pm is the best time to see the electrifying neon lights scattered across Pudong’s skyscrapers.

SEE ALSO: The Best Restaurants, Bars & Clubs In Shanghai >

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The 18 Most Interesting Homes On The Planet


Heliodome solar home weird houses FrancePeople can live virtually anywhere — but some do it better than others.

These beautiful, wacky, and unique living structures are a testament to human creativity and ingenuity.

From a home with an airplane on top to an innovative sundial home that heats itself, these are 18 of the most interesting houses on the planet.

70 dome houses were built for villagers who lost their houses to an earthquake in Indonesia's ancient city of Yogyakarta. The monolithic domes can withstand earthquakes and winds up to 190 mph.


These homes in Rockland Ranch, Utah are built inside the blasted cavern of the cliff. There are approximately 100 people living in this tiny town, which was originally founded 35 years ago as a safe-haven for fundamentalist Mormons.


Architect Gary Chang has made his 105-square-foot apartment in Hong Kong into an innovative "domestic transformer." The walls move and storage spaces unfold to create 24 individualized rooms.

Watch a video of the apartment in action here.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

17 Expensive Items That Are Totally Worth The Money


man and woman at laptops computers couple

Everyone likes to save a buck.  But sometimes in life, being cheap will cost you.

Why put up with an inferior product when you could invest in something high quality that is much less likely to disappoint? 

We culled the responses in a Reddit thread asking consumers to list pricey items that they never regret buying. Here are the best of the bunch. 

A Tempurpedic mattress: "My girlfriend at the time had chronic back pain. Spent $3,000 on a mattress. I can never go back."

Via Pabca

Shoes: "Rule of thumb: don't skimp on anything that separates you from the ground."

Via gothicaasshole

High speed internet: "Once you have it you can NEVER go back."

Via WillBennit47

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places


Gay Head Lighthouse

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has just released its 2013 list of the most endangered historic places in the U.S.

The sites on the list range from Houston's Astrodome to a New England lighthouse to a tiny church in Maine that was once a stop on the Underground Railroad—and all of these places are in danger of somehow being compromised or destroyed.

Many of the buildings are of great cultural value, but without changes to public policy and adequate funding, these national treasures could quickly disappear.

SEE ALSO: 8 Of The World's Best Historic Hotel Bars

THE JAMES RIVER, JAMES COUNTY, VA: Jamestown, America's first permanent European settlement, sprung up along the James River in 1607 and historians want to preserve the scenic integrity of the area. An electric company is proposing to erect an 8-mile-long transmission line which could potentially include 17 towers and would ruin the historic area's landscape.

THE ASTRODOME, HOUSTON, TEXAS: Opened in 1965 and touted as the "eighth wonder of the world," the Houston Astrodome was the world's first domed multi-purpose stadium. Closed since 2008, the stadium faces demolition if it cannot be suitably repurposed.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA CHINATOWN HOUSE, RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIF.: A city landmark since 1985, this two-story California lodge was part boarding house and part general store, and once housed nearly 50 Chinese-American laborers. Historians and Chinese heritage groups alike are fighting to save the building from demolition.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Famous Chefs And Foodies Partied At The Food + Wine Classic In Aspen [PHOTOS]


aspen food wine

The annual Aspen Food & Wine Classic is one of the most highly anticipated food festivals of the year.

After stuffing our faces for three straight days last weekend, we showed you everything we tasted during the twice-daily grand testings.

And now we take you inside the glamorous, gluttonous parties where celebrity chefs and "Top Chef" stars such as Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Gail Simmons, Danny Meyer, Mario Batali, Marcus Samuelson, David Chang and Thomas Keller partied literally until the sun came up.

A highlight of the weekend was Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chef's party at the top of Aspen mountain. Can you recognize all of the famous TV chefs?

You had to take a 25-minute gondola ride just to get there.

All of the Top Chef personalities, from "The Chew" star Carla Hall to Marcus Samuelsson and Susan Feniger, made sure to attend.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Every Student And Parent Should See These Charts On Earnings By Major


Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (aka STEM) majors still have the best overall job prospects, according to a recent report from Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce

Engineering majors in particular have the highest median earnings out of college, while arts, humanities and liberal arts, psychology and social work, and life/physical science majors tie for the lowest earnings.

Graduate degrees and experience can lead to significant gains for all majors.

Check it out:

pay by major


Now let's look at unemployment rate.

Education majors may not get paid much, but they also have the lowest unemployment rate. Health majors look even smarter with low unemployment and high earnings.

Meanwhile, architecture majors have the highest unemployment.

Check it out:

major unemployment

See more in this presentation (click here if it doesn't load):

Thumbnail image from NazarethCollege.

SEE ALSO: The 25 Most Underrated Colleges In America

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10 Awesome Tiki Bars From Around The World


tiki bar, tropical, drinkingThese world-renowned tiki bars are sure to please those who enjoy the luxury of a tropical paradise yet happen to be sojourning in a large city.

While some are known for their large punch bowls or particularly convincing theme, others are notorious for their own unique flair.

One thing is certain; each venue is guaranteed to have a vibrant upbeat atmosphere, fruity cocktails galore, and serve as a much-needed escape from the daily hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.

This story was originally published by Party Earth.

Trad’r Sam: San Francisco

6150 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94121

With its fun-loving yet versatile crowd and heavily decorated bar area, San Francisco’s Trad’r Sam’s easily nabs the first spot on the list. Aptly named frozen drinks here include the Scorpion Bowl and the Zombie.

Palm Beach: Berlin

Grünberger Strasse 55
10245 Berlin

The considerably more laid back Palm Beach boasts not one but four locations in Berlin, so visitors will certainly find this beach-like tiki tavern hard to miss.

The Shoreditch: London

145 Shoreditch High Street
London E1 6JE

While tiki bars in London may not seem hard to come by (in fact, there is one other London-based hotspot on this list), The Shoreditch is a trendy paradise of its own and easily steals 3rd place.  This venue is unlike any other in that it consists of two very distinct levels and has chosen a decidedly kitschy theme; newcomers will be surprised, in the best possible way of course, to see pink flamingos paired with vintage paintings and saloon style mirrors.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Weekend's New York Times' Weddings Section Featured An Epic Love Story


fire jugglers performing

This week's Vows column in The New York Times' Weddings/ Celebrations section is one of the best love stories we've read in a long time.

The plot, in which a professional juggler and an artist who sets things on fire fall in love, could be right out of a romantic comedy.

Lindsay Benner is a juggler who makes her living performing in films, commercials, and even on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

Dan Das Mann is a sculptor from San Francisco who sets fire to his huge sculptures.

Both fell for one another at first sight at a party, but — twist! — Benner was already  in a relationship. The whole piece is worth a read, but here are some of our favorite quotes from the column by Louise Rafkin:

  • "In matters of love, she abhorred juggling."

  • "He was a year out of a long-term relationship and looking for love, but he didn’t anticipate finding it on another man’s lap."

  • "For six weeks, she juggled the weight of the two relationships — a precarious feat. She and Mr. Das Mann exchanged more than a thousand texts, and then, overwhelmed, she asked for a complete break. Mr. Das Mann, impressed by her kindness and integrity, respected her wish, but then he broke the silence with a single text of one comma. 'The comma was to signify that in my opinion, we were just on pause,' he said."

  • "The ceremony began with a juggler, then the entrance of eight hirsute groomsmen in gold-and-purple faux fur coveralls cut like tuxedos."

  • "The couple vowed to 'be insane, just the way you like it' and to always juggle and dance.

  • "Each guest received a river rock, laser-engraved with an address on the outside and sent through the United States Postal Service...Only one recipient called the police, fearing it was a grenade."

Read the entire, epic love story here.

SEE ALSO: 10 Dogs Who Had A Blast At Their Owners' Weddings [PICTURES]

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The Unleashing Of This Epic Race Car Marks SRT's Return To Le Mans


As SRT readies its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the all-new Viper, a new GT3 customer car is on the loose: the SRT Viper GT3-R. And it's priced from $459,000.

That might sound like a lot of money, and it is, but in the world of fully-prepped GT-class race cars, it's about par for the course. You could spend more if you wanted to.

So what does the GT3-R pack that the normal Viper doesn't? A lot, actually: a similar V-10 engine powers it (but power figures aren't disclosed for the race car); a Riley-built fully-caged chassis forms the structure; the same aerodynamics, suspension, electronics, and engine tune from the American Le Mans Series/24 Hours of Le Mans Viper GTS-R are inside it; and an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission with paddle shifters handles shifts.


You'll also get six-piston front and four-piston rear race brakes, a multi-disc race clutch, and, of course, very handy factory parts support.

"The SRT Viper GT3-R is the next logical progression of our successful Viper GTS-R, a championship-proven formula that has captured some of the world's most prestigious races," said SRT chief Ralph Gilles. "Like every Viper race car, the GT3-R is a direct descendant of the SRT Viper street car. There is no mistaking the similarities between the two which is a key component of this class of sports car racing. The GT3-R stays true to the visceral appeal of the Viper and has been carefully evolved for the demands of racing at a world class level."

Orders for the Viper GT3-R are open now, with deliveries to start in late 2013--just in time to get some practice and tuning in for the 2014 season. If you're interested in buying your own, contact SRT Motorsports.

Follow Motor Authority on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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Singapore Is The Safest Country In Asia For Female Travelers


women tourists in Singapore

The safety of female travelers became a mainstream issue earlier this year amidst rape concerns in India,  the disappearance of a solo female tourist in Istanbul, and the rescue of two kidnapped women travelers in Ecuador.

The well-being of women abroad isn’t a new topic, but  the reputation of destinations and their female-friendly activities are more important than ever as more women start traveling, especially alone.

Statistics suggest the women’s travel market is worth more than $19 trillion a year and forty percent of corporate travelers are women.

Hotels started catering to the needs of female travelers in 2010 and the trend has since increased. This year, Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh joined a number of major hotels in New York, London, and Berlin in instituting a women-only floor.

Safety is especially a concern in Asia where the world’s fastest growing tourism market and a number of male-dominated cultures are mixing for the first time. The following infographic ranks the top ten safest countries based on crime rate, personal safety, night safety, rape crime per 100,000 population, and global safety rank.

Singapore tops the list with a very low crime rate, 0.1 percent rate of assault, and 1.1 percent rate of reported theft.  India does not make the top ten and served as the primary flashpoint for concerns surrounding female safety earlier this year.

The full list of top ten of safest Asian countries is outlined below:

Safest Places To Travel Alone For Women In Asia


SEE ALSO: India Tourism Could Take A Hit In The Wake Of Sex Attacks On Women

Join the conversation about this story »


Get Ready To Pay More For Your Morning Coffee



"That and a nickel will get you a cup of coffee" now only makes sense if the "that" is a two-dollar bill. Starting later next week, Starbucks customers are going to need to add in yet another dime to that proverbial equation. The company announced that, on the same day it updates its menus with new calorie counts, it's going to update the prices of a few drinks, too.

While many headlines are focusing on the fact that coffee bean prices are down, that overlooks the fact that coffee costs make up a relatively small amount of what Starbucks puts into a cup. A spokesperson said beans account for just 10% of your overall coffee cost. So why the increase, and can consumers expect more of these increases from other companies?

What's in that cup?

If you buy a regular coffee, you cover three costs -- beans, water, and time. Most customers buying regular coffee shouldn't see increases, and those who do will see a small $0.10 increase in the cost of a cup. In other drinks, the contents get much more complex, and the costs get higher.

Milk is one of the main ingredients in a functioning coffee shop. As McDonald's and others get in on the act, more and more customers are exposed to non-standard coffee -- milk-based drinks, for the most part. With milk running at a healthy $3.40 per gallon, coffee companies are spending a huge amount on dairy. On top of that, milk prices may see increases over the coming years, as legislation comes to the table that would help farmers charge more for milk in the future.

The rising cost of milk, more so than coffee, would severely affect the margins of coffee retailers. McDonald's has already suffered from declining margins for the past three quarters, and a hit to the higher-margin coffee business would cause serious pain.

Prices on the rise

That's why it's likely we'll be seeing price increases all over the place in the coming years. As milk prices increase, and coffee continues to climb, everyone is going to feel the pinch. Although coffee itself doesn't make up much of Starbucks' cost, it does play a role.

Right now, major coffee-growing regions are experiencing new bouts of disease, such as leaf rust. The disease covers plants in an orange powder and kills off plants at an alarming rate -- and it's now spreading in Central America.

And if disease doesn't kill off your supplier, a shifting climate might. Increasing temperatures are pushing coffee growers higher up into the mountains to escape the heat, which can have a detrimental effect on coffee production. The problem is that there's a limited amount of space up in those hills, and at some point, we run out.

With all the forces pushing coffee prices up -- roasting and shipping are the other major coffee production costs, and they both rely on fossil fuels -- you can bet your bottom dollar that your morning cup is going to go up in price, too.

While many brands, including Starbucks and Dunkin Brands' Dunkin' Donuts line, dropped their bagged coffee prices earlier this year, I wouldn't be surprised to see those climb back in a year's time. Dunkin' may have the longest to hold out, as its adjusted operating margin has crept up, hitting 43% last quarter. That may buy it some time, but in the end, we're going to be paying more no matter where we get that cup.

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Here's How People Reacted When They Learned They Were Eating Breast Milk Lollipops


When we got wind of "Breast Milk" lollipops, we immediately knew what we had to do.

First, we ordered an entire box of Breast Milk lollipops. Next, we got over 20 of our co-workers to try out these suckers, which don't actually contain breast milk but imitate the flavor with natural ingredients.

Without knowing what they were eating, our co-workers didn't mind the taste of "breast milk," and some even really liked it. 

That all changed, though, when they found out what they were putting in their mouths.


Produced by William Wei

Additional camera by Justin Gmoser

SEE ALSO: Watch What Happened When The Writers At Business Insider Tried On Google Glass For The First Time

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KFC Japan President Spends $21,500 On Colonel Sanders' Original White Suit, Promptly Tries It On


colonel sanders suit japan

DALLAS (AP) — The president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan purchased the trademark white suit worn by company founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders at auction Saturday for $21,510 — then promptly tried it on.

Masao "Charlie" Watanabe grinned while putting on the suit jacket and black string tie at the Heritage Auctions event, standing beneath a photograph of Sanders. He had already planned to attend a company marketing meeting in Dallas, but arrived early after he found out about the auction, he said.

Watanabe was one of hundreds of in-person, telephone and online bidders vying for various items, including a gun belt owned by legendary outlaw Jesse James and leg irons that restrained abolitionist John Brown.

Watanabe also bought a mini-collection of Sanders' memorabilia — including his 1973 Kentucky driver's license — for $1,912.

Sanders is a popular figure in Japan, and most KFC restaurants there have statues of him in front, Watanabe said. He plans to display the suit at a restaurant in Tokyo.

"Every child in Japan knows Colonel Sanders' face and his uniform," Watanabe told The Associated Press through a translator.

Sanders was named a "Kentucky colonel" by the state's governor in 1935, five years after he began cooking meals for travelers who stopped at his gas station, according to his biography on the KFC website.

Earlier Saturday, the leg irons used on Brown after his failed 1859 raid on a federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, in what is now West Virginia, sold for $13,145. The winning bidder declined to be identified.

Many scholars believe Brown's raid hastened the start of the Civil War as he escalated tensions between North and South by trying to incite an armed insurrection. The Connecticut native and some followers seized the arsenal, hoping to provide 100,000 weapons to slaves who never joined them. Brown later was hanged after going on trial in Virginia for treason, murder and inciting a rebellion.

James' gun belt, one of two that he owned at the time of his death, sold for $16,730. The buyer was not immediately known.

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27 Brilliant Paintings My Mother Made On Her iPad


ipad painting 11

I recently went down to Washington DC to visit my mother, Debra, who lives in the nearby suburbs.

Professionally, she's in linguistics, and involved with training people to go overseas.

But as long as I've known her (my entire life), she's been an avid artist and painter, and lately she's become obsessed with creating paintings on her iPad.

I've been aware that people are doing art on their iPhones and iPads, but mostly I'm used to just seeing people's photographs, and not much else.

So I asked her if I could share some of the artwork (as an example of what the iPad is capable of) and also if she'd describe her process.

She explained:

Last fall, I started commuting from my new home in Maryland to my office in Washington, DC. Driving in rush-hour DC is dreadful, and it turned out that taking the Metro in was far less so, despite some headaches. My partner bought me an iPad for my daily trips and I immediately started using it for drawing, first with Paper 53, with my finger, and then with Art Studio and a stylus. Both programs are incredibly satisfying and close enough to the sensation I have when I do my normal pencil drawings or pastel paintings.

With Paper 53, I ended up with a series of portraits of fellow Metro riders, everybody exhausted in the mornings and even more so headed home in the evenings. Later, when I started using Art Studio I was able to get more detailed; it’s a far more sophisticated program using layering and infinite color shades. There was enough online instruction about PhotoShop (very similar) and from other Art Studio users that I was able to get the basics very quickly. The amazing thing to me is how many people stopped me on the Metro, saying they’d never seen anyone use it for drawing before; funny, because when I first started seeing iPad TV ads, all I really noticed was the possibility for doing art. I’m pretty obsessed with the whole thing; I can’t imagine living – or commuting -- without it now.

Her website is here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Starbucks Is Going To Start Charging More For Drinks



Starbucks is going to start charging more for its coffee this week, according to The Associated Press

Starting Tuesday, Starbucks will raise prices an average of 1% nationally.

While news of the increase might annoy consumers, it actually only amounts to 3 or 4 cents per drink. 

Starbucks spokeswoman said that less that one third of the drinks will be affected by the price hike, and affected drinks will be determined by region.

The price of Starbucks' popular brewed coffees and Frappuccinos won't change, the company said.

Coffee price have actually fallen in recent months, boosting Starbucks' profit margin. But according to the AP, coffee accounts for just 10% of overall expenses at Starbucks stores.

SEE ALSO: The 9 Highest-Calorie Menu Items At Starbucks >

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SCANDAL IN STUDENT GOV: Stuyvesant HS President-Elect Was Disqualified For Dissing Former President


Stuyvesant High School

A student government scandal has overtaken the last days of school at Stuyvesant High School as the winning candidate for student body president is fighting his "unprecedented" disqualification from the election.

"Democracy should prevail ... Students call me every night, asking me to keep fighting. They've compared this to China, Russia, Venezuela," Jack Cahn, the disqualified candidate, told The New York Times.

The Times describes Cahn as an A average student who speaks four languages and is a ranked debater. Cahn also told The Times that "three girls [asked] him to prom this year."

Cahn was found guilty of three election violations by the school's student-run Board of Elections — using school resources for campaign materials, posting more than three posters on a bulletin board, and "belittling the opposing mate" — according to a change.org petition asking Stuyvesant's principal to reverse the disqualification.

New York City education blog GothamSchools writes that Cahn was charged with "slander" after he sent a private Facebook message to potential supporters alleging his opponent "accomplished very little" as a representative in student government. This third strike eventually led to Cahn's removal from the race.

However, one Board of Elections member said the body was never consulted about the disqualification and the decision was made solely by the Board's chairmen. According to the petition, this "whistle-blower" has since been fired from the Board.

Cahn's appeals have proved fruitless so far. In a statement reaffirming their decision, the Board of Elections called Cahn's campaign "an unprecedented event in which a candidate so willingly chose to bend and twist the rules and regulations to gain an unfair advantage." Stuyvesant's principal has also upheld the Board's ruling. 

Cahn's disqualification was announced on the night of the election as the school learned he had won by a vote of 447 to 329, which the petition calls "one of the largest margins in recent school history."

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Calm Down, Interns — You're Lucky To Have A Job


BI newsroom

These days, it seems like interns everywhere are suing their old bosses.

Hey interns — cut it out. You are extremely lucky to have an internship, even if it's unpaid.

Look, I feel you. I had six internships before I was officially hired as a reporter. Out of those six jobs, two of them were unpaid.

So I can relate to interns like Alex Footman and Eric Glatt, two former Fox Searchlight interns who told The New York Times they had to make coffee, take out the trash, and clean up the production room on the "Black Swan" film set.

Or Diana Wang, who unsuccessfully sued Hearst in 2012 for back wages from Harper's Bazaar, alleging to magazine internship website Ed2010 that "the type of work that interns were doing at Bazaar put them at risk safety-wise" by returning bags of clothes and accessories around New York City.

I even had virtually the same experience as the two Condé Nast interns Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib who recently launched yet another lawsuit. Both were barely paid during their time at the media conglomerate, and were doing the jobs of full-time employees.

A few of my "paid" internships were barely paid, too. I once received a stipend of $400 a month to live in New York City while working 45 hours a week. Another internship was a sponsored position through my college's art history program, where I received $1,000 a month while living in an MIT frat house over the summer to save money.

For a year before I was officially hired full-time at Business Insider (where all interns are paid), I also served and hosted at various restaurants on weekends and the odd weeknight to supplement my income, if I had one. It was normal for me to work seven days a week, and I was exhausted.

But I also recognized how fortunate I was. Not only did my parents help me financially when I was in dire straights, but they also let their grown daughter live with them for six months while she interned and saved money to move to New York City.

I could afford to take unpaid internships (or virtually unpaid), learn from my coworkers, and network. So that's exactly what I did.

Many internships suck. You're the lowest on the totem pole, and your responsibilities aren't always the exciting start in the industry you thought they'd be. You won't always feel appreciated. Sometimes, you might actually feel invisible.*

But not every young adult has the luxury of working an internship, paid or not. In the real world, people take jobs that they don't love all the time because they need to make ends meet. And those who dream of going into creative careers are often held back because they can't afford to take an unpaid job, even if they work a second one.

I strongly believe that all internships should be paid. It makes interns feel valued and gives them a financial boost, even if it's a small one.

But this is not always the reality we live in. And I'm not convinced that suing huge companies (with more money and more lawyers than you) helps, apart from making a whole lot more "unpaid" internships for school credit only (which opens up a whole other can of worms, because you're paying for school while working — you are essentially paying to work).

Plus, suing is a long, drawn out process that could hurt your career as well as the company you were originally so excited to join.

If you have the privilege and the opportunity to take an unpaid internship — even if it means taking a second job to support yourself — do it. Learn from it. Work your hardest and impress your boss. You are investing in your future career, networking with people in your chosen field, and getting hands-on experience.

And after work, grab a drink with your fellow beleaguered interns. Complain about your boss, your apartment, and your financial situation. Wish that you were paid, and loudly complain that you aren't.

But leave the bitching at the bar.

*If you're being sexually harassed, working inhumane hours, or are in any way being abused, you absolutely need to stand up for yourself. Ignore everything I just said and sue, sue, sue!

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best College Towns In America

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The Pros And Cons Of Starving Yourself For Two Days A Week


Super noodles

The FastDiet has lured in many weight-conscious men and women with the promise of shedding pounds quickly by fasting for two days a week and eating normally for the other five. 

Those who have tried the extreme eating plan give mixed reviews: some swear by the starve-fest, while others are more skeptical about about its benefits.

Katy Latta, an executive in the U.K, has been on the fast diet for two weeks. She's lost 4 pounds, but it's hardly been smooth sailing. 

"When I’m fasting all I can think of is food and when I’m feasting all I can think of is fasting!" Latta said via email. 

Birthday cake always seems to be calling her name at the office, and going out to eat with co-workers, friends, or family is no longer enjoyable. 

"Food is at the heart of most social occasions, and counting calories sucks the joy out of it for you and the people your with," she said. 

There are also some unpleasant side-effects of limiting food intake to less than 500 calories a day during fasting periods. Latta says she's been extremely irritable, has experienced nausea, and has difficulty sleeping while on the diet. 

On the hand, many people embrace the diet because they can eat the foods that they typically enjoy for most of the week. 

There's also a sense of achievement once you lose the weight. "It does feel good to prove to yourself you have that kind of self-control," Latta adds.  

The infographic below created by supplement retailer Holland and Barret lays out the pros and cons of the 5:2 diet. Is it worth it? You decide after reading the good and the bad: 

FastDiet Infographic

SEE ALSO: THE FAST DIET: Get Thin Quick By Starving Yourself Two Days A Week

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Paula Deen Fans Are Going Absolutely Nuclear On The Food Network's Facebook Page


After the Food Network dropped Paula Deen from its lineup amid a controversy that she used racial slurs in the past, the Southern cooking star's fans have turned the TV channel's Facebook page into a total war zone. 

You could spend hours going through the thousands of angry comments directed at the Food Network for not renewing Deen's contract.  The Facebook page also shows that more than 112,000 people are talking about them on the social network. 

Here's a small sampling of what Deen's fans had to say to the Food Network's lemon pasta salad "recipe of the day."

foodnetwork facebook

For the zucchini casserole "recipe of the day" post there are more than 16,000 comments and virtually none of them are about the recipe. 

Foodnetwork facebook

Here's what fans had to say on a post about the best summer salad from the "Food Network Star vs. Chopped Summer Showdown."  Again, they weren't talking about the salad or those respective shows.  The comments were about Deen. 

food network facebook

Fans are even going ballistic on posts from a couple days before Deen was dropped. Here's the one for the show "Chopped." 


And another from an ice cream sandwich recipe from June 19: 

food network

The outpouring of support for Deen continues to come in ... 

Paula Deen

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