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The 25 Most American Foods Of All Time


krispy kreme donut burger america

When it comes to cuisine, America lives up to the adage "bigger is better."

In honor of July 4, we chose the 25 most American foods. 

Some are fast food concoctions that combine a variety of USA favorites, while others are variations on ethnic dishes that Americans have made their own. 

Chances are, you love one of these delicious treats. 

Wendy's Baconator proves that bigger is better, with two beef patties and six strips of bacon.

Corn dogs are a food only Americans could have invented and are a staple at fairs.

America's version of "Chinese" food looks nothing like what you'd find in China.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

People Are Now Exchanging Cronuts For Sex On Craigslist


The $5 cronut — croissant and donut hybrid — is in such high demand in New York City that people are now creating Craigslist ads offering sex for the pastry.

A particularly gross ad is titled ""Seeking cronut slut." 

cronut craigslist sex

And you thought that the hour long line at Dominique Ansel Bakery an hour before opening was bad.

The craze for cronuts is getting a little out of hand. One man told a bakery employee that he had delayed proposing to his girlfriend since he was unable to get her the pastry that morning.

Thus, many have resorted to Craigslist to secure the snack. While the above ad is the only cronut-for-sex ad we've seen, others are ridiculous in their own right.

Here's a cronut Craigslist ad that offers five cronuts for 4th of July weekend for a whopping $195. That's almost eight times as much as they'd cost at their normal price.cronut craigslist expensive

SEE ALSO:  Here's What A Barbie Doll Would Look Like If She Had A Real Woman's Measurements

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Forget Hawaii –– These Cheap Vacation Destinations Will Have You Saving Money


hamoa beach hawaii

With the start of summer upon us, many travelers are in the midst vacation planning. Others, however, have decided to put traveling on the back burner due to limited savings. In an ideal financial situation, you’d be able to set foot in every popular tourist destination on the map without having to worry about paying the mortgage back at home — but of course, that’s not reality for most.

What some travelers don’t know is there are cheap summer vacation destinations that exist which can give vacationers a similar atmosphere to that of pricier locations.

The best summer vacations are the ones that produce great memories, not necessarily the ones that cost the most. GoBankingRates spoke to travel experts around the world to get their recommendations on frugal summer locales that won’t disappoint.

#1. Substitute Brussels for Paris

Paris, often referred to as The City of Love, is a landmark destination that first-time travelers yearn to see. Whether on a relaxing cruise through Siene River, brushing up on historic masterpieces at the Louvre or admiring the Eiffel Tower at night, Paris is a sight to see on most travelers’ bucket lists — but such a renowned location does come at a steep price.

“There’s only one Paris,” says Michael McColl of TravelInsider.com. “That said, a trip to a lesser-known European city can be both more affordable and more authentic.”

I’ve personally toured a few cities throughout Europe, including Paris. While it’s true that Paris can be a one-of-a-kind experience, McColl’s point regarding authenticity spoke volumes when I recall my trip.

At times, the romance of the city was muddled with rows of bustling tour buses, over-eager (and loud) tourists and long lines. On the other hand, when my tour of Europe brought me to Brussels, Belgium, the charming and intimate city is what I’d always envisioned Paris to be.

Personally, Brussels made a greater impression on me than Paris, and would be one of the best summer vacations when it comes to saving money that I would want to relive.

#2. Croatia’s Adriatic Coast Instead of The French Riviera

When it comes to sunbathing along the Mediterranean coastline, the French Riviera is one of the leading summer destinations on the map with 11 million tourists in 2011 alone.

Expect to visit this summer hot spot is at a premium, however. Those looking for cheap places to vacation are recommended to seek other alternatives. In fact, McColl advises, “Croatia’s Adriatic coast is as stunning as the French Riviera, and much more affordable.”

#3. Dominican Republic in Lieu of Hawaii

Hawaii is touted as one of the best summer vacation destinations the U.S. offers. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, incoming visitors via air and cruise ship totaled 7,299,047 in 2011. But with the cost of a Honolulu vacation at about $2,000 per person, it can be out of reach for some frugal travelers.

Cheap summer vacation destinations that rival the Hawaiian islands do exist according to McColl.

“For those on a budget, the Dominican Republic is the first place to look. And lately, Puerto Rico is showing up on the radar of many travel writers.”

McColl also notes added financial benefits of a getaway trip to Puerto Rico, explaining, “JetBlue has cheap flights to both destinations, [and] Southwest flies to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico also counts as a domestic destination for Americans, thus qualifying for the lowest points tier in many U.S. frequent flyer awards programs.”

In addition to the three cheap summer vacation destinations shown above, GoBankingRates surveyed Americans as to their favorite budget locations. Among the results, three cheap places to vacation that came up the most often are:

#4. Nepal

The country of Nepal sits Northeast of India, and is known as an affordable and exotic destination.

Jesse Katz, blogger of travel site Pad Thai for Breakfast recalls, ”I recently traveled around Asia for 10 months for under $5,000. My cheapest month was under $50 ($12 for my hotel for the month and $35 for a family to cook me 3 meals a day). This was in Nepal in the foothills of Mount Everest. I was the first Westerner to live in this village, and taught a bit of English.”

#5. Malta

The small island of Malta is situated in the Mediterranean Sea with an estimated population of just over 450,000 citizens.

“Malta is absolutely gorgeous,” declares George Marshall, a student at Northwestern University. “[It] is also the Europeans’ only real tropical getaway, and they guard the secret pretty well. Among Europeans, a weekend stay in Malta to party for 48 hours straight is quite common, but for American tourists the island is almost always overlooked.”

Marshall also notes, “A weak economy with essentially no exports keeps the prices way down, too.”

Overall, a four day and three night trip for two amounted to travel costs of just $350.

#6. Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma)

One of the many affordable Southeast Asian travel destinations for vacationers on a budget is Myanmar, commonly referred to as Burma. The country has a population of about 61 million as of 2012, and is a great destination for sure-footed travelers.

“I tracked my expenses in Burma in February of 2012 for 21 days and spent $925 for two people (myself and my 11-year-old niece) to travel, eat, sleep, and enjoy the people and sights,” shares Shannon O’Donnell.

With approximately 196 countries in the world to visit the possibility of uncovering cheap vacation destinations for this summer and beyond are more than possible. And McColl adds a couple more tips for travelers interested in saving money:”Warsaw is getting good reviews these days … and more adventurous travelers are now heading to Albania.”

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10 Gourmet Hot Dogs To Try This Summer


The Original Breakfast DogThe weather is hot, the grills are hotter, and coast-to-coast, haute dogs are popping up.

We aren’t talking about the run-of-the-mill frankfurters from your childhood barbecues, nor the piles of limp sausages competitive eaters stuff into their mouths this time of year.

No, this is about the new hot dog, a model that takes inspiration from all over the world, from Asian-style dogs with seaweed and spicy Indian options to cheese-stuffed sausages wrapped in bacon and gently placed on a fluffy roll.

While some of these creations might sound a bit outrageous, they work, though now we beg the question, what makes a hot dog truly special? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Sonoran Dog from Kachina Southwestern Grill in Denver

10600 Westminster Blvd Westminster, CO

One thing Colorado is known for is being part of the Four Corners, an area where the state meets Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. At Kachina Southwestern Grill, chef Jeff Bolton pays homage to this famous spot with the 100% Kobe beef Sonoran Dog.

“We wanted to create our version of a traditional Sonora hot dog using all housemade ingredients,” said Bolton. “We took the traditional ingredients that originated in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora, and made our own fresh twist on it.”

This means each order comes with sweet applewood bacon, pico de gallo, cowboy beans, smoked tomato aïoli and cotija cheese. All of that gets nestled into homemade bolillo bread, which is basically a Mexican-style French bread.

Phaal Dog from Brick Lane Curry House in New York

306-308 E 6th St New York, NY

Skip the curry ketchup synonymous with German sausages, and instead get down Indian-style with this restaurant’s intensely spicy Phaal Dog, touted as the hottest hot dog in town.

How does it get such a superb heat? Well, it starts with Brick Lane’s famous phaal curry, which incorporates eight of the world’s hottest chiles including the Bhut Naga Jolokia, which the Indian military uses to make tear gas. In fact, this curry proves so spicy, the chef has to wear a gas mask while cooking it. From there, the chef pumps this sauce into a snappy chicken frank, plops it into a whole-wheat hot dog bun and serves it up with a sprinkling of onions and crisp peppers.

The Sizzler from Red Apron Butchery in Washington, DC

1309 5th St NE Washington, DC

If you like salad and you like hot dogs, The Sizzler at this sleek butcher shop is the perfect option for you.

This beauty consists of a snappy pork sausage coddled by a fluffy, buttery brioche bun, topped with olive-oil-and-parsley-marinated cherry tomatoes, crisp strips of iceberg lettuce and a savory bacon ranch dressing. In other words, it’s chef Nate Anda’s version of a BLT in hot dog form, and we are totally fine with that.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We Flew On The Notorious Spanish Discount Airline That Has So Little Legroom Some Passengers Can't Sit Down


Frequent flyers joke that legroom on airlines only seems to get smaller and smaller. But there's always been an assumption that some minimal amount of legroom must be required for humans to fit into the seats they're selling.

Not anymore.

I flew from Split, in Croatia, to Barcelona on a new Spanish airline called Vueling recently, and learned to my cost that an airline can indeed make a seat's "pitch" — the distance between each row of seats that gives passengers their legroom — shorter than the thigh bones of the humans sitting in them.

Here's the proof:


What this photo does not adequately convey is that my knees are solidly jammed against the seat back in front of me. There was, literally, no legroom. I could barely sit down. For part of the flight I sat with my knees diagonally invading the spaces of the passengers on either side of me.

I wasn't the only one. There was a lot of laughing and eye rolling among all the passengers when we boarded and discovered how difficult it was going to be to slide into the space allotted.

At the end of the 2 hour flight, my knees looked like this:


Vueling's short haul seat pitch is just 30 inches according to Business Traveller. That's on the short side, but it's still  more (allegedly) than the notorious Ryanair, whose seats offer only 29 inches between each one.

The bruises came not simply because of the lack of space, however. They also came from this array of jagged nuts, bolts and screws in the seat back in front of me:


That turned out to be my bad luck — the seat was missing a part; all the other seats had a plastic cover on those fastenings.

I should point out that I'm 6'3", (1.950 meters to the Spanish) and therefore I tend to suffer when there is a lack of legroom. But 6'3" isn't unusual in the human race. The average American male is 5'9" or more (1.763 m).

Spanish males are even taller: 5'10" (1.78 m) on average — so Vueling is even worse for them than it is for us.

Which made the next leg of my journey on Vueling — from to Barcelona to Menorca — even more puzzling. On that flight, I had plenty of room:


Perhaps I just had an unfortunate seat assignment, like when you sit down on a bus and realize that your seat is above the wheel well and there's nowhere to put your feet. But a little research shows that Vueling is newly infamous for squashing its passengers into improbably small spaces.

On Yelp, "Elite '13" writes:

If you have the overwhelming longing to experience life as a sardine then Vueling Airlines is for you!  I saw a 130 pound guy who was 5 foot 6 have to contort his body and literally fall into a seat because they are so compact.  I mean they really squeeze you in there.  We were shoulder to shoulder and even folks with short legs had theirs pressed against the seat in front of them. 

On Flyertalk, Flying Finn says:

 Yes, the seat pitch on Vueling is quite abysmal. The same can be said for many other carriers as well. But unless you are very obese or tall you should survive the less than two hour flight, just get an aisle seat if you can't get an exit row and stretch your legs down the aisle.

And on AirlineInequality, Tony Quinn says:

Plane was old, legroom was poor compared to easyjet.

"Poor compared to EasyJet." Wow. EasyJet is the airline that led the no-frills flying craze in Europe; it's well known for skimping and charging for everything it can.

We left a message with Vueling; we'll update this post if we hear back.

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Amazing Color Photos Of America Preparing For World War II



Seventy years ago the U.S. was transitioning from an epic financial crisis — one that brought high unemployment, plunging farm profits and lost opportunities — to one of the world's deadliest and most destructive wars. 

We've written about the Library of Congress' incredible collection of color photos from the early 1940s before. We decided to take another look, this time highlighting how the country mobilized for World War II.  

Industry was humming with the help of this carbon black plant worker in Sunray, Texas

Men and women prepared for jobs in the Army by learning things like how to create camouflage maps based on aerial photographs

Trains needed to run then more than ever and the "hump master" at the Chicago railroad yard controlled movements of locomotives from his post at the hump office

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

13 Ways To Look And Act Like A Millionaire, Even If You're Not


attached image

This summer as you go to beach houses and parties, there's a chance you'll find yourself networking with people with big bank accounts.

In order to fit in, you'll need to look and act like you're loaded too.

In the book “The Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act like a Millionaire, Even if You're Not,” Vicky Oliver shares the secrets of looking and acting like you're a millionaire — even if you're not.

Find and hit your "millionaire weight."

“When you look like a million bucks, you are at your ‘millionaire weight,’ regardless of the number showing on the scale,” but “before you worry about going on a diet, figure out where you'll be spending the majority of your time.”

“Remember that a few pounds either way can make a big difference, depending on whether you wish to define yourself as East Coast Elite, West Coast Wealth, or Midwest Money.”

SourceThe Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act like a Millionaire, Even if You're Not

Follow the one-third rule.

"You can't look the part without a generous clothing allowance," but you can't just buy everything you can get your hands on.

Instead, Oliver says to "buy one-third as many clothes as you do now, but spend three times as much on each item." That means instead of buying multiple pairs of pants at middle-of-the-road prices, buy one pair of luxe pants and wear them everywhere.

SourceThe Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act like a Millionaire, Even if You're Not

Never wear flat shoes.

"Flats, while comfortable, may convey that you're flat-footed, plodding, and frumpy. One study found that men, on just seeing flats detached from the woman wearing them, automatically assumed that she must be a fifty-plus, divorced accountant."

Source: The Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act like a Millionaire, Even if You're Not 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

5 Guys Weigh In On The Male Engagement Ring Trend


male ring

On a sunny afternoon in June five years ago, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson proposed to his girlfriend, Natalie, at the top of a bell tower at Yale Divinity School, in the way that men have been doing for generations: He got down on one knee and presented a brilliant-cut diamond ring.

After she accepted, they descended the steps and drove to her apartment to call friends and family. That's when things got weird: Natalie disappeared into the other room and returned with a small box.

Before Wigg-Stevenson knew it, she'd performed an act that's becoming as common among the engaged as announcing a gift registry: She extracted a lightweight gold band with a Celtic knot pattern and gave it to her intended.

"It definitely caught me off guard," says Wigg-Stevenson, who works for a nonprofit. But at no point did his inner alpha chime in with thoughts such as What the hell is she doing? "I actually liked it," he says. "It makes more sense for both parties to have an engagement ring—it's just not the way we generally do it."

Clearly "the way we generally do it" is changing. Two years ago, Britain's largest jeweler, H. Samuel, introduced the Tioro—a titanium ring embedded with a tiny diamond—billed specifically as a men's engagement band. And recently American jewelers have been following suit.

"We get maybe 20 to 25 inquiries a week from women who want to propose," says John Cordova, an expert at California-based Robbins Brothers, which calls itself the "world's biggest engagement ring store." "We've got literally hundreds of possible engagement bands for guys."

While some of the uptick in sales may be due to gay marriages, it seems that the phenomenon has been gathering steam for some time: The term mangagement ring has surfaced on the Internet—and joined mandal and man-cation on an ever-expanding list of linguistic masculinizations that are not so much signs of a blurring of the boundaries between the sexes as they are ways of getting people to part with their cash.

"Let's be honest," says Chris Easter, who runs an online wedding registry for grooms called TheManRegistry.com. "We're in a rough economy. The groom's engagement band is just a sales tactic invented by jewelers to trick young couples into spending money. I don't think we've reached the point where we'll be seeing a man showing off his shiny new engagement ring to his buddies."

Tell that to 28-year-old Army reservist Luis Delgadillo. In December 2007, when Delgadillo was on leave from Iraq, his girlfriend, Jasmine (also a reservist on leave), took him on a stroll through the palm-dotted campus of Chapman University, in Orange County, California. For some reason, she lingered outside the all-faith chapel. Then he noticed it: a big white pickup truck with a billboard that read, LUIS, WILL YOU MARRY ME? 

"My jaw dropped," he says, as she slid a white- and yellow-gold band on his finger. "I was playing with the idea of proposing to her, but she just kind of took the initiative." The delicious irony of Delgadillo's being rewarded with a stereotypically feminine object for exhibiting the stereotypically male behavior of dragging his feet isn't lost on him. But the ring hasn't earned the kind of scorn you might expect, either. "I've been deployed twice to combat zones—so I don't get too much crap about this from my friends," Delgadillo says.

And then there are the guys who actually plan to slip something on their finger. Dan Utt, 25, who runs an after-school program in Cary, North Carolina, remembers when the feeling hit him. He was at the jewelry store with his girlfriend, Amanda, shopping for her engagement ring, he says, when "I kind of under my breath was like, 'I want one too.'"

His decision to act on that impulse didn't go over too well in Morrisville, where he lives. "Some of the guys and girls I know have given me some grief," he says. "My boss was getting a lot of questions too. I told him that if anyone asks to jokingly tell them that we didn't think it was fair for her to have the only pre-wedding bling."

But if anything can lend this phenomenon more staying power than the ill-fated mandal, it's that women are beginning to protest at being the only ones identified as off the market. And strictly speaking, they have a point. "Otherwise, you're the only one marked," says Natalie Wigg-Stevenson (now happily married to Tyler). "I mean, if I can't be sneaky, neither can he."

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The Sharing Economy Just Might Save Summer Vacation


Overcrowded pool in china

Once summer hits, the vacation countdown begins. Time for soft ice cream at the beach or sunbathing by the lake. That is, if you can afford it.

With prices soaring on gas, hotels and summer rentals, a summer vacation is no longer within reach for much of the middle class. Paychecks are declining as the nature of work keeps changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to contract employment and gig work. It's leading more middle class professionals into the ranks of freelancers, where episodic income is the norm and paid vacation is rare.

They're not looking to own a second home. They just want to be able to take a week or two off and go someplace to relax and recharge.

It's time to reclaim summer, and the answer lies in an unlikely place: co-working. Most independent workers can't afford to lease an office on their own. So as more people enter the freelance workforce, they've started coming together to solve this problem by creating co-working spaces -- big, shared workspaces where professionals of all types work next to each other, spreading the cost.

Summer vacation shouldn't be just for the 1%.

Co-vacationing is the next step.

Co-working spaces usually offer support services freelancers want, like conference rooms, a kitchen and broadband access, giving them access to more amenities than they could have afforded solo. Plus, members get a built-in community of potential friends and business partners. Co-vacationing builds on the same idea. By pooling their resources, families can afford more of a vacation together than they could on their own.

In fact, it's the way the middle class used to do summer.

There's a long history of groups of families getting together to buy a piece of land upstate or a string of bungalows on the beach. They'd basically set up their own camps, arranging outdoor activities like fishing, swimming and tennis, and social events like campfires and dances. Kids spent their summers playing with other kids. 

Labor organizations built permanent summer camps for their members, like Unity House, owned by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. In 1919, the union bought a lodge on a lake in the Poconos, built cabins and facilities, and created an affordable summer resort where workers and their families could rent rooms or bungalows. Unity House ran outdoor activities and educational programs, theaters and guest lectures until its closure in 1989.

Workmen's Circle, a fraternal organization that was part of the Jewish Labor Committee, also built a family camp in the early 1900s, called Circle Lodge, in Hopewell Junction, NY. It's still running. Members can still rent bungalows, and the camp runs outdoor activities and Jewish cultural programs.

These were not time-shares. These were complete summer communities. The difference is subtle, but important. A time-share is about an individual family getting a condo unit for a week or two of vacation -- they just take turns with hundreds of other part-owners of a resort complex. "Ownership" typically means buying a license or an investment share in a property run by a larger company.

The group vacation retreats, on the other hand, were about a collective vacation experience. People knew they'd be coming back with the same families, year after year, so they had to build a sense of community. And the property was held by the families, or the labor union, as a group asset.

By coming together, families who weren't wealthy could own a slice of summer. It's not so different from freelancers joining forces so they can all work in a nice office. They, too, gain a new community and can enjoy some of the perks that bigger (or wealthier) companies can afford. Sure, not having your own private office takes getting used to, but the success of co-working spaces shows there's an appetite for this kind of sharing.

Collective vacations aren't just a quaint experiment from the past. Some of these original summer retreats are still going strong, like the cooperatively-owned Bay Terrace Country Club, in Bayside, Queens. It was started in 1960 when 400 families got together to build a pool. Now, members enjoy summer in the middle of Queens with a pool and water slides, a swim program, sun decks and social events. Unlike a typical country club, Bay Terrace is a cooperative, so members own the club and run it together. They are not the 1%. They offer coupons for discounted summer membership and special rates for single-parent families. They host a flea market. Some members say the term country club is misleading, because it makes it sound "fancy, like a golf club." There's no golf here.

Another is the Three Arrows Cooperative Society in Putnam Valley, NY. It was started in 1936, when a group of socialists got together and bought 125 wooded acres and built a camp. It has about 75 bungalows where generations of families have spent their summers. Without a full-time staff, Three Arrows is literally run by members, which means work-duty for all. Cabins occasionally come up for sale, and newcomers must dive right in and serve on the committees that keep the place running.

These models are basically the original share economy. If the middle class wants to reclaim summer and make it affordable again, we need to bring back that tradition of collective ownership. Co-working has shown that we can rethink the way we work; it's time to rethink the way we relax and recharge. This about more than just summer vacation. It's about pooling our resources in ways that help us live better.

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'You're Not Worth 15 Cents!': Baptist Preacher Isn't Sorry For Yelling At Congregation During Viral Sermon


Baptist Pastor Jim Standridge has made a name for himself after a video of one of his sermons, showing him yelling criticisms at some of his members, went viral.

The preacher from Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Oklahoma, for 24 years, stepped down from his pulpit into the seated congregation on May 19 to call out one member for dozing off. He then went on to say to another who had missed several services, “You are one of the sorriest church members I have. You’re not worth 15 cents.”

The video posted on YouTube in late June has since gone viral. Watch this clip from the sermon:

What does Standridge now have to say for himself?

Speaking with the Barnsdall Times, Standridge showed little regret of his words.

“I know I’m right, and I know I haven’t done anything wrong,” Standridge told the Times. “I don’t want to offend. That’s not my intention.”

To the Huffington Post earlier this week, Standridge said “What concern is it of me what a carnal world thinks of this?”

Tulsa World reported Standridge saying he was “on a mission of cleaning the house. I’m a purifier. That’s my job.”

The man sitting with his fiancee who had been called “not worth 15 cents” – Ryan Underwood — had missed a few weeks of church and endured the criticism of his absence “out of respect for my family,” Tulsa World reported.

Standridge after rebuking Underwood said he “loved these kids,” hugged the man and shook his hand.

Underwood said he “felt pretty out of place after that” and noted he had not attended the church again since that service.

“The Bible says if you have a problem with your brother, go to him in private first,” Underwood said, according to Tulsa World.

In the sermon, Standridge went on to say that his congregation “can’t get this in any other church in town” and that if they didn’t want him, he would leave to find another church. He then calls out other church members, telling one that her children will “turn on you” if she didn’t hold up God’s standards.

Even the man who films the sermons and admittedly spends hours helping out wasn’t free from Standridge who called him out for having “a little attitude problem that we’re going to fix.”

“That video room ain’t going to be a youth hangout,” Standridge said, pointing to the room from which he was being filmed.

“If you loved me and you submitted to me, you’d know what my heart is, and what my message is, and you wouldn’t go about establishing your own kingdom in the video room,” he continued.

Standridge soon paused, took a sip of water and said, “I really feel good now.”

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The Fabulous Life Of Mavs Owner Mark Cuban


mark cuban mavericks title

Mark Cuban lives a life most people envy. 

After selling his dot com company in the late nineties for $5.9 billion, Cuban has been able to live large. And live large, he has.

One of his biggest purchases was a majority stake of the Dallas Mavericks, and ever since, he's become a huge voice in the sports world.

But how did he get to where he is today?

Just like everyone else, Cuban had humble beginnings. After graduating from the University of Indiana, he took a job as a bartender in Dallas

He also had a job as a salesperson at a PC retailer in Dallas, but he was fired in less than a year when instead of opening the store, he met with a client about new business

So this is when Cuban decided to take matters in his own hands

Cuban's first business was called MicroSolutions. But a few years later, in 1990, Cuban sold this company to CompuServ for $6 million.

But what really got Cuban his money was his next endeavor...

Broadcast.com was Cuban's big moneymaker

Cuban started Audionet.com with his college friend, which eventually turned into Broadcast.com. The idea for Broadcast.com was to put live sporting events online for anyone to listen to. 

By 1999, Cuban grew the company to $13.5 million revenue in the second quarter during the dot com boom. 

And then, Yahoo! picked it up for $5.9 BILLION in '99 just before the dot com crash.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Kremlin Has No Idea If Former Spy Anna Chapman's Marriage Proposal To Edward Snowden Is Serious


Anna Chapman Russia

In a strange twist to the case of Edward Snowden this week, Anna Chapman, a former Russian spy who went on to model in lingerie for men's magazines, tweeted a marriage proposal to the NSA-whistleblower.

The tweet from 31-year-old Chapman, who was expelled from the U.S. in 2010, was retweeted over 1,900 times.

Was Chapman serious? It does seem possible that a marriage to a Russian citizen could help Snowden, who recently lost his U.S. citizenship and is stuck in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, gain access to Russia or a third-party country.

According to RFE/RL, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was forced to admit to reporters that he had no idea if the offer was serious or not. When asked via email if she was serious in her proposal by the Wall Street Journal, Chapman replied simply “you are welcome to use your imagination.”

In Russia the marriage proposal has added further fuel to the media circus surrounding Snowden's arrival. At least one major Russian media outlet is today reporting that Snowden has accepted Chapman's offer — though, unfortunately, they appear to be basing their report on a fake Twitter account.

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YACHT OF THE WEEK: Charter A Megayacht With An Infinity Pool For $1.3 Million A Week


Moran Yachts Quatroelle

A 228-foot superyacht built just this year is now available for charter in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. 

The Quatroelle, built by Lurssen, is a "family-oriented" megayacht with five spacious decks and a number of outdoor social areas perfect for soaking up the sun. 

The streamlined exterior and lavish interior were both designed by Nuvolari Lenard and can accommodate up to 12 guests in six spacious suites, with additional space for four personal staff in two more cabins. The boat also fits a crew of 29.

This stunning ship, which has an art gallery and a hair salon onboard, is available for charter via Moran Yacht & Ship for €1 million, or about $1.29 million, per week. 

Designers at Nuvolari Lenard didn't want the Quatroelle to look like a small cruise ship — instead they wanted it to look "sporty" and designed the exterior as such.

All photos were taken by Klaus Jordan (www.klausjordan.de)

The owner's deck, seen here, has ample space for entertaining. It's the largest and most luxurious of the five decks with three cabins, four full bathrooms, a day head (small bathroom), an office, a pantry, and two outdoor terraces.

All photos were taken by Klaus Jordan (www.klausjordan.de)

13 different types of stones were used when designing the interior of the ship. A sparkling white double vanity can be seen here in one of the yacht's many bathrooms.

All photos were taken by Klaus Jordan (www.klausjordan.de)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Is It Safe To Travel To Egypt Right Now?


Sharm el sheikh beach resort in Egypt

As Egypt braces itself for more possible clashes in the wake of this week's military coup, it's business as usual in the country's most popular holiday resorts.

While some tour operators have cancelled flights to Luxor and Cairo and rerouted cruises following Foreign Office (FCO) advice against all but essential travel to most of the country, travel to resorts on the Red Sea, including Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba, Dahab and Marsa Alam remains unaffected.

Approximately 20,000 British holidaymakers are currently in the country, around 90% of whom will be staying in Red Sea resorts, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta).

Britain's two biggest tour operators, Thomson and First Choice, currently have 9,000 clients in Egypt, 8,500 of whom are in Sharm el-Sheikh and "continuing to enjoy their holidays as normal".

In a statement released today the companies said: "The atmosphere is quiet and calm, with Sharm el-Sheikh's main resort of Naama Bay bustling. People should also take considerable reassurance from the fact that the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh operates like a country in itself. It is run separately from the rest of the Egypt, benefits from having just one secure road into the resort, and enjoys an exceptionally low crime rate."

Although the FCO is not advising British nationals to leave immediately, it said they should "consider whether they have a pressing need to remain." Thomson and First Choice cancelled all outbound flights to Luxor on 3 July, and repatriated all customers holidaying in Luxor back to the UK yesterday. There were no flights scheduled for 4 or 5 July.

A spokesman for Abta said holidaymakers who have had their holiday cut short - and who booked their holiday through a tour operator - could expect a refund on any unused hotel rooms or apartments, but independent travelers who are not on a package holiday are highly unlikely to receive any refund on unused accommodation, and will have to approach their airline directly if they want to fly back early, without paying a fee. British Airways is waiving its usual charge, allowing passengers to change the date of their flight or rebook to a different destination up to and including 10 July.

British travellers who are in the affected areas are being advised by the FCO to stay in or close to their hotel.

The latest unrest is a further blow to the Egypt's tourism industry which was only just starting to recover from the first Arab spring on visitor numbers, and was thrown into further disarray by the resignation of the tourism minister Hisham Zazou earlier this week.

But Abta said the effect on travel to the country would be relatively minor as it is not peak season, and is expected to be short-lived. "We are hoping that the situation will return to normal fairly quickly. The main concern for travel industry is that you have a stable situation."

In the meantime, tour operators are monitoring the situation. Peter Hilton, Middle East product manager at Cox & Kings which sells cultural and beach holidays, said it has no clients in the country at the moment. "The next clients due to travel there go at the end of next month. We've had a few calls, but these have been from people who are travel ling much later in the year. If the advice stays as it is, then they won't be able to travel and we would refund them."

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

SEE ALSO: Cairo Is On The Brink Of Chaos [Photos]

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Here's What Not To Do On A Trip To Los Angeles


los angeles, highway, cars

Los Angeles is a big city, and in this big city there are plenty of things to keep you occupied.

From gorgeous beaches, to trendy bars, to first-rate museums, to theme parks and everything in-between, Los Angeles is a world-class city and will keep you properly entertained and occupied.

And out there in that great expanse you’re likely to find any number of things to do in Los Angeles, any number of activities with which to entertain yourself, but, as a newcomer, are there any things that you should not do?

Certainly. Quite a few. Check them out.

Don’t Walk Down Hollywood Blvd at Night

Hollywood, though it gets all the fame, is actually a sketch part of town, particularly come nightfall. Hollywood and Vine is reminiscent of the golden days of the silver screen, but you know where bygone days belong? In a museum – and that’s where you should see them. Bygone days that refuse to move along turn into questionable establishments and goofy characters with dingy costumes trying to pose with you for a buck. Skip this option. See the Hollywood Wax Museum instead – it’s all your favorite characters of yesteryear and even some history of the film industry. Routinely 4-star reviewed.

​Don’t Drive If You Can Help It

This should come as a no-brainer. Los Angeles has one of the worst reputations in the world for traffic, and trying to navigate the 405 at 9am on Monday morning is an experience you’d be wise to avoid if you like your sanity. Instead, consider taking a hop-on hop-off tour to get to most of your preferred destinations. It’s cheaper than taxis, you get to relax, let someone else do the driving, and you get a history lesson along with it. Done.

Don’t Stay Downtown

This Don’t is right in line with Don’t #2 – though you might be tempted to book a room downtown, there isn’t much happening in that part of the city, and thus your commute to fun things to do will involve driving in Los Angeles traffic – not a pretty proposition at the best of times. Instead, either stay in Santa Monica or Huntington Beach. Both of these places claim that they’re not really LA, but we know different. Both have appeal of their own, and both are close enough to LA area attractions that you’ll be closer to the action than downtown LA.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How To Save On The 10 Most Expensive Wedding Costs



The season of "I do" is upon us, and couples everywhere are gearing up to seal the deal -- romantically and financially.

According to online wedding planning resource TheKnot.com, the average amount spent on weddings, excluding honeymoons, in 2012 was $28,427. But is that realistic?

"You have some couples that will book celebrity-status bands for their wedding ... then you'll have couples who will want to do nothing more than just cover a space in flowers," says Anja Winikka, site editor for TheKnot.com.

Using TheKnot's data from 2009 to 2012, Bankrate crunched the numbers and found that although wedding budgets were hit by the U.S. economic downturn, couples managed to hand over hefty change for their big day. Here, in order from most to least expensive, are the top 10 categories in which couples spared no expense for jumping the broom.

Reception hall

  • Average cost in 2012:$12,095
  • Average cost in 2009:$12,838
  • Percentage change:-5.79 percent

With the average reception hall cost topping $12,000, frugal brides can find many places to trim costs.

Rather than outfitting the tables at your reception with expensive linens, use your tabletops to illustrate memories with large photo prints, says Richard O'Malley, a New York-based wedding and event planner.

"You get to actually see the couple through their lives on each table where everyone is sitting. Instead of spending $100 or more a tablecloth, you can actually get a personal thing that if you wanted, you could take home and do something with at some point."

Engagement ring

  • Average cost in 2012:$5,431
  • Average cost in 2009:$5,847
  • Percentage change:-7.11 percent

O'Malley suggests that couples think through engagement rings rather than going the traditional route. This can help with the overall budget.

"We fit ourselves within a box instead of saying, 'If it wasn't the wedding ring or engagement ring, what kind of ring would she wear?'" he says. "To me, that's always where we get lost in the wedding process. We wind up not doing the stuff that we would normally do, that we love everyday, and will love forever and is part of our lives."

Reception band

  • Average cost in 2012:$3,084
  • Average cost in 2009:$3,288
  • Percentage change:-6.2 percent

Winikka advises couples to pick their priorities when planning their wedding.

"Maybe it is that you want to have impeccable food or a band that keeps everyone on the dance floor all night long. Well then, in that case, find it, book it, but then note that you need to sacrifice in some other places," she says. "And there are sneaky ways to save in every category."

Wedding photographer

  • Average cost in 2012:$2,379
  • Average cost in 2009:$2,444
  • Percentage change:-2.66 percent

For weekend weddings, O'Malley often re-dresses the bride and groom -- to take wedding photos at places that are meaningful to the couple -- the following Monday before they head off on their honeymoon.

"People say, 'Wow, that has to be expensive.' No, because what I do is make the deal going in with my hair and makeup people and my photographer," says O'Malley.

To get the most bang for your buck, shop for photography package deals. Or, instead of paying the regular rates for two days of photos, negotiate arrangements with your photographer to take bride-and-groom photos between the ceremony and reception, or at a later date.


  • Average cost in 2012:$1,997
  • Average cost in 2009:$2,093
  • Percentage change:-4.59 percent

One way to save on decor and flowers is to choose your venue wisely.

"If you're looking to save on flowers, choose a space with built-in decor, so you don't have to add a ton of flowers to it," Winikka says. "Have flower arrangements made that can do double duty. Something that can be moved from the ceremony to the reception is going to take you a long way and obviously also save you money."

Wedding/event planner

  • Average cost in 2012:$1,847
  • Average cost in 2009:$1,728
  • Percentage change:+6.89 percent

"I think if couples have no idea how much a wedding would cost, it's usually best to actually hire a wedding planner and consult with them," says Wendy Lee, lead wedding designer and planner for Asian Fusion Weddings in Toronto. "Even if they don't think they can afford to hire a wedding planner for full planning, (couples can) hire them on specifically to help with defining a budget."

If a wedding planner is completely out of your budget, ask a close friend or trusted family member to help you plan your big day.

Ceremony site

  • Average cost in 2012:$1,711
  • Average cost in 2009:$1,437
  • Percentage change:+19.07 percent

Look for inexpensive -- but picturesque -- sites in your area, such as a state park with a lake or, for those near the coast, a beach.

"Bring your personalities to your wedding," O'Malley says, citing an example where he dressed bridesmaids in tuxedos. "There are tons of different ways you can do things that don't just have to be what's expected."


  • Average cost in 2012:$1,619
  • Average cost in 2009:$1,481
  • Percentage change:+9.32 percent

"I have a couple right now that is going to be spending almost $16,000 for a cinematographer this year," Lee says.

But you don't have to go the expensive route. Have a younger cousin dying to show off his filming and editing skills? Assign him cameraman duties to cut costs.

Wedding dress

  • Average cost in 2012:$1,211
  • Average cost in 2009:$1,134
  • Percentage change:+6.79 percent

"I did a photo shoot about a year and a half ago, and what we wound up doing was, I had an artist create all of the dresses -- both the bride's dress and the bridesmaids' dresses -- out of balloons. There was no fabric whatsoever," O'Malley says, adding that the minimum price for a custom-made balloon dress is about $10,000.

For brides-to-be who are not looking for dresses in the thousand-dollar-and-up range, consider shopping for discounted wedding gowns or renting a dress.

Rehearsal dinner

  • Average cost in 2012:$1,135
  • Average cost in 2009:$1,163
  • Percentage change:-2.41 percent

Bring out the frugalista in you, and host your rehearsal dinner at home. For added fun, make it a potluck affair to shave your grocery bill.

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35 Beaches You Should Visit In Your Lifetime


Praia do Forte Beach in Brazil

From the party beaches of Ibiza to the remote sand stretches of Thailand, the world is covered with miles of spectacular shoreline.

We've scoured world to find the best beaches you should put on your bucket list.

There's something for everyone: we found beaches where you can swim with penguins, relax under ancient Mayan ruins, bask on volcanic black sand, and more.

The remote Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island National Park, Australia, has nearly 5 glorious miles of uninhabited coastline and has more than once been named Queensland's Most Beautiful Beach.

Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is known for its sexy bodies tanning on the sands, its great restaurants, and its awesome views.

Hike, swim, or relax on pristine Coast Guard Beach in Massachusetts, which is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How To Eat Like A CEO On A Shoestring Budget


Nan Thai Fine DiningEveryone likes to get dressed up for a night out on the town with friends to visit the next hottest restaurant in the area. Traveling to major cities for business meetings is something I do all the time, and I find myself in very five-star, upscale restaurants frequently.

Unfortunately, these places can put a lot of stress on your savings. Here are some of my favorite tips for dining out at a five-star restaurant on a serious budget!

#1: Use Coupons

When you want to save money eating out, look for coupons in your local paper. Many restaurants will place an ad in the newspaper with coupon hoping to attract new customers.

I’m also a huge Groupon and Social Living fan, and have gotten some great discounts on amazing restaurants for almost half the price. I recommend this first option to everyone, especially when traveling. Stock up on Groupons for the city you’re planning on visiting, so by the time you arrive you’ll only be spending half the cost of food. You really can’t beat that.

#2: Choose Vegan/Vegetarian Dishes

Dishes prepared without meat are going to be more budget-friendly. I know this for a fact, since I am vegan and my boyfriend is a full-blown carnivore!

When the bill comes, there is a very significant cost different between my meal and his. Fresh cuts of the best meats are not cheap by any means, so skip it and nourish yourself with some healthy vegetables instead.

Related: I’m Not Poor, I’m On a Budget

#3: Stick to the Appetizers

Sometimes people blow $40 on appetizers alone, then by the time their entree comes, they end up having to take it home because they didn’t plan their dinner well. Splitting three appetizers between a small group people is more than enough food to fill your entire party’s appetite. This lets you try a few different dishes while still sticking to your budget.

#4: Visit 5-Star Restaurants for Lunch

If you decide to dine at a five-star restaurant during their lunch hour, you get the same portions of food for almost half the price. Some places even have lunch specials with a few courses for a cheaper deal, compared to the dinner entree that comes with just one course.

5#: Snack Before Dining

If your budget is really a pressing issue, but you don’t want to miss out on hanging out with friends, you can try snacking before your get-together. It may sound silly, but eating before “going out to eat” or even just drinking a bottle of water beforehand fills you up fast!

When you get to the restaurant, just order a couple sides, a salad or an appetizer. This is a tricky, yet effective way to stay on budget.

Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, so this dining tip keeps this in check! The same grocery shopping principle goes with eating at restaurants — when you go out on an empty stomach, the bill will be much bigger.

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Most Of The 195K Jobs Added Last Month Were Waiters And Bartenders



The New Abnormal is turning out to be quite an embarrassment for Obama's "manufacturing renaissance" agenda not to mention high paying, manufacturing jobs but at least it explains why Bernanke doesn't mind sending the USD surging when all other central banks are now talking their currencies down (especially if it means fresh S&P records benefiting the 0.1%): after all, if you have nothing to export, who cares what the relative value of your currency is.

There is good news however. Even as the manufacturing jobs continue to collapse,  posting their fourth consecutive monthly drop in June to 11.964 million jobs, minimum wage waiters and bartenders have never been happier. In June Restaurant and Bar employees just hit a new all time high of 10,339,800 workers, increasing by a whopping 51,700 in one month. 

restaurant vs mfg jobs_0

Summarizing the "economy" of Bernanke and Obama: in 2013 239,000 minimum wage restaurant and bar jobs have been created. As for manufacturing jobs:13,000.

New Abnormal indeed.

Behold an economy dominated by waiters and bartenders.


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Epic Photos From This Year's Glastonbury Music Festival


peace sign glastonbury 2013With 180,000 people turning out on a sprawling English farm to see countless musical and theatre acts on 50 stages, last week's Glastonbury Festival is the U.K.'s biggest music festival of the year.

The Rolling Stones played for the first time in the festival's 43-year history, while bands like Mumford and Sons, The Arctic Monkeys and Public Enemy also headlined.

But the main attraction wasn't necessarily the musical acts paid to perform  it was the festively dressed people who braved rain, heat, mud, camping and even flying tomatoes to see them. 

The festival, which started in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid 1 GBP to watch Marc Bolan, was founded by this man: Michael Eavis.

Today, people travel from near and far to Worthy Farm for the largest UK music festival known as Glastonbury. This year's tickets sold out in minutes, even before headliners had been announced.

Most people camp throughout the entire five-day festival.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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