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There's A Reason The Most Expensive Mansion In The US Was Listed For Such A Crazy Price

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Cooper beach mansion $190 million

A humongous house known as Copper Beach Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut went on sale in May for $190 million, making it the most expensive home on the U.S. market.

After seeing images of the property, there's no doubt it's incredible. But the $190 price tag is still surprising — that's nearly $60 million more than the current record price for a private home.

Now The New York Times' Elizabeth A. Harris reports that the waterfront estate's high price tag isn't because of its acreage and 15,000-square-foot living space, but because the home carries with it more than $120 million in debt.

According to Harris, the current owners — timber magnate John M. Rudey and his wife Laurie Rudey — have taken out a series of mortgages on the property through companies they own:

By the end of 2010, companies owned by the Rudey family had a $59 million mortgage on one portion of Copper Beech Farm and a $79 million mortgage on the forestland in Washington, both with Bank of America. Those loans were cross-collateralized and personally guaranteed by Mr. and Mrs. Rudey, meaning that if they fell behind in payments, the bank could force the sale of either property and, if they still came up short, the Rudeys would be personally liable. They also had $65 million worth of mortgages, again through a corporation, on another section of Copper Beech with M&T Bank, effectively bringing the total debt associated with the property to as much as $203 million.

In 2011, Bank of America started foreclosure proceedings on its portion of Copper Beech Farm. The Rudeys, meanwhile, had filed a suit against the bank, alleging “predatory lending practices,” among other accusations. The following summer, those two lawsuits were dropped.

The Rudeys have since struck a deal for the 50,000 acres of Washington forestland with Washington State Department of Natural Resource for $97 million, according to the Times, and have sold their Fifth Avenue apartment for $16.5 million.

Now, it's Copper Beech Farm's turn on the market.

Time will tell if the Rudeys get their price. But to put the astronomical $190 million asking price in perspective, the most expensive property ever sold in Greenwich was a $45 million estate that changed hands in 2004, and the most expensive home ever sold in the U.S. is believed to be a $132.5 million Montana Ranch that reportedly sold to real estate mogul Stanley Kroenke in November 2012.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rudey’s real estate broker David Ogilvy told the Times that this is just the way real estate planning works for wealthy families.

SEE ALSO: Tour The Most Expensive Mansion For Sale In America

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See Where New York City's Top Restaurants Get Their Dry-Aged Beef

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Marc and George at DeBragga

If you've been lucky enough to eat at The Mercer Kitchen, Tao, or Tom Colicchio's Craft, you've most likely had meat from DeBragga & Spitler.

Self-described as "New York's Butcher," DeBragga has been providing high-quality aged beef to some of New York and New Jersey's best restaurants for over 90 years.

Their unique dry-aging process was recently chronicled in Bon Appetit and is virtually unrivaled in the United States.

Last week, President Marc Sarrazin and Chief Operating Officer George Faison invited me to their 27,000-square-foot warehouse in Jersey City for a tour. Their warehouse currently holds more than 3,000 enormous pieces of beef, which are each aged anywhere from 30 to 100 days.

Sarrazin and Faison walked me through the "life" of a piece of meat aging at DeBragga and gave me the inside scoop on exactly what it takes to make said piece worth thousands of dollars.

SEE ALSO: The Most Aged Steaks In NYC

DeBragga operates out of a massive warehouse in Jersey City, NJ. Their employees arrive at 2 AM and work until 1 PM every day to ensure that steaks are shipped out on time each morning.



All of the meat comes in and out via the loading dock just outside these doors at the back of the warehouse. It's where raw, uncut pieces of meat comes in, and packaged, processed meat goes out.



The enormous pieces of meat wait under wraps until they can be processed. Each piece that comes into DeBragga has the prestigious "Certified Angus Beef" stamp, indicating high quality.



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Here's How We Calculated The World's Best Business Schools

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Our fourth annual survey of the World's Best Business Schools is out.

And while our list may look a bit different than last year's list, that's because we went about conducting our survey a bit differently.

This year, we enlisted the help of SurveyMonkey, a data-collecting surveying tool, to target a specific audience: managers, HR recruiters, and business owners in all fields who have experience hiring candidates with MBAs. We only targeted American professionals, who are based all over the U.S.

Responses came from more than 300 professionals, who work in a variety of industries, including health care (17%), government (8%), technology (7%), finance (5%), and more. Here's the breakdown of industries:

Best Business Schools methodology demographic breakdown

We then asked these professionals to select what they believe are the top 10 most prestigious business schools in the world. This generated a percentage of responses for each school, which enabled us to rank the schools.

Over 77% of respondents selected Harvard University as a top tier business school, pushing the school to number one on our list. Yale came in at #2 with over 60% of respondents choosing the school, and Stanford (last year's winner) came in at #3 with over 58% of responses.

We also asked respondents to determine the value of an MBA.  Surprisingly, a majority 31% of respondents said that an MBA is only "slightly important" and 30% of respondents said that an MBA is "moderately important." Only 3% of respondents said that an MBA is "extremely important." Here's what they said:

Best Business Schools methodology MBA value

And while many people often tout the biggest benefit of business school as the large network of contacts, our respondents overwhelmingly said that "skills and knowledge" is the most valuable asset an MBA provides:

Best Business Schools methodology MBA skills

Now read the full list of the World's Best Business Schools.

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The World's Best Business Schools

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Harvard Business School graduation

Having an MBA can give you an edge in the cutthroat world of business—but only if you pick the right school.

The wrong school could be a critical waste of time and money.

For our fourth annual survey of the World's Best Business Schools, we asked hundreds of American professionals with experience hiring MBAs to determine the best business school in the world.

They came back with a loud and clear answer: Harvard University.

Harvard pushed last year's winner, Stanford, down to number 3. In addition to the usual top American schools, international institutions like Cambridge University (#8), Oxford University (#9), and the London School of Economics (#19) also placed in the top 20.

The majority of respondents said that skills and knowledge is the most important takeaway from business school (69%), while 22% said that a network of contacts was a valuable B-school bonus.

Note that we only asked American hiring professionals to weigh in, so these 42 business schools are best for getting you a job in the U.S.

#42 INSEAD (Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires)

3.2% of respondents called it a top tier school.

Location: Fontainebleau, France

Tuition and fees: $80,000

INSEAD, the "Business School for the World," has campuses in Europe, Asia, and Abu Dhabi. It was ranked third in the world by Businessweek, and sixth by The Financial Times. Last year, it took the #10 spot on our list of the Best Business Schools.

For this survey, we asked hundreds of professionals with experience hiring MBAs to select the 10 most prestigious business schools. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot. Read the full methodology.



#41 Thunderbird School of Global Management

3.2% of respondents called it a top tier school.

Location: Glendale, Ariz.

Tuition and fees: $78,000

Thunderbird is known for having the best program in the world for international business studies, but it fell from #33 on our list last year. U.S. News ranked the school number 45 in their MBA program rankings.

For this survey, we asked hundreds of professionals with experience hiring MBAs to select the 10 most prestigious business schools. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot. Read the full methodology.



#40 Babson College (Olin)

3.5%of respondents called it a top tier school.

Location: Wellesley, Mass.

Tuition and fees: $103,000

Babson's MBA program has been ranked #1 in entrepreneurship by U.S. News for the last 20 years running. Last year Babson ranked #40 on our list, but this year respondents ranked Babson higher than other news outlets. U.S. News ranked Babson #56, Businessweek ranked them #42, and The Financial Times #80.

For this survey, we asked hundreds of professionals with experience hiring MBAs to select the 10 most prestigious business schools. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot. Read the full methodology.



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Here's The Real Cost Of Buying Into The CSA Craze

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csa

If you’re alive and eat vegetables, chances are that you’ve heard someone buzzing about his or her share in a CSA.

The movement of buying foods direct from local farms has been on the rise for the past few years as America on the whole has become more focused on eating local.

CSAs first gained traction in the early 2000s. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of community-supported agriculture programs grew by an astounding 114 percent!

Want More?

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The Best Diet for Your Budget 

So while there’s no disputing that they’re a bona fide food trend, are CSAs actually good for your wallet or just a popular way to buy more organic vegetables than one human could possibly eat?

LearnVest explores how CSAs work … and whether one is likely to work for you.

What Is a CSA, Anyway?

CSA, which stands for “Community Supported Agriculture,” is a way for a group of people to collectively purchase products from a local farm. Shares can be paid for in cash or labor, but they generally rely on a combination of both. For example, you might pay a flat fee for a 20-week share in a CSA, as well as commit to helping pass out shares one or two weekends during the season.

CSAs typically offer shares twice a year: The summer share lasts from approximately May through August, and the fall share runs from September through November. Some CSAs are even starting to offer year-round programs by adding in winter seasons that run from January to March, depending on each farm’s climate and setup.

When most people think of a CSA, they picture local fruits and veggies, but that’s not always the case. CSAs across the country also serve up meat, dairy, flowers, herbs, bread, cheese, coffee, honey—even seafood and soaps. Want to locate a share in your area? LocalHarvest, a website that spotlights organic and local food, has a listing of CSAs across the nation that are searchable by city and state.

What a Share Costs—and What You’ll Get

While prices will vary depending on where you call home, most CSAs base their fee structure on the size of the share that you select, the amount of produce (or goods) bundled into the share, and whether you offset the cost through work at the cooperative. Groups of friends—and even entire offices—may also split shares (or half shares) to help whittle down their individual bills.

RELATED: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

The Ditmas Park CSA in Brooklyn, N.Y., for example, offers a 20-week summer season with $400 half-shares (feeds 1 to 2) and $600 full shares (feeds 3 to 4). A share includes a combination of fruits and vegetables; additional fruit, eggs, meat and jarred goods can be added for an additional cost.

Split that basic sum and bounty with a friend, and you could receive, say, a small box of broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers and squash for $7 to $10 a week.

Jeffrey Wilson, a 39-year-old former member of the Ditmas Park CSA, initially signed up for a half-share with a friend because he’d heard the food was great. “It worked for me because, simply put, I ate some of the freshest, best-tasting food I’ve ever had,” says Wilson. “In fact, I would readily join a CSA again, rather than shop at Pathmark.” He recently moved, and while there’s a CSA in his new neighborhood, Wilson’s still trying to figure out how to make their pickup times work with his work schedule.

There’s something magical about having farm-grown veggies delivered straight to your doorstep—or desk.

Last summer, Will Larche, 30, bought a full share in a CSA for $600 with grand visions of cooked veggies in mind. “It was my idea, and I brought it to my office,” says the software developer. But despite the fact that the quality of the veggies was amazing, he says, working as much as he does made finding the time to cook—especially for one—”feel stupid,” adding that he didn’t consider the practicality factor until well after the excitement of buying in wore off.

Is a CSA Right for You?

Of course, there’s something magical about having farm-grown veggies delivered straight to your doorstep—or desk. The quandary lies in whether you’d rather shop for what you want, when you want it, or capitalize on the unpredictable weekly dividends you get from a CSA.

RELATED:10 Smart Grocery Tips From a Food Network Star

For example, maybe you’ll be more inspired to cook because a delivery of fresh corn just rolled into your life. Then again, if that week’s haul includes an unfamiliar squash or your family just isn’t that into leeks, a good portion of your investment could go down the drain.

Not sure if the CSA route is right for you? Ask yourself these five key questions to help determine whether it could work with your lifestyle.

1. Are You a Picky Eater … or Are You Cooking for One? Does relinquishing control of a portion of your grocery list inspire fear or excitement? Is anyone in your home less than thrilled with outside-the-box options? If so, mystery fruits and veggies are more likely to drain your budget than whet your family’s appetite.

RELATED: 5 Expert Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy

2. Do You Have Dietary Restrictions to Consider? If you or your kids have food allergies, someone in your household requires a special diet or you’re currently pregnant, a CSA might not be the best fit.

3. Can You Easily Arrange to Get the Food? If you never pick up what you paid for already, a CSA can be the definition of a sunk cost. Then again, if all of your neighbors or coworkers are going in on a share, this might be the easiest way to get more fresh food in your life.

4. Are You Pressed for Time? This question cuts both ways: If you’d really like to be cooking more, but you don’t have the time to always stock fresh fruits and veggies, a CSA could be a food fairy in disguise. However, if you think that you like to cook, but in reality you know your Chinese delivery guy by name, you may be buying for your fantasy self.

RELATED: The Life You Have Vs. The Life You Want: Do You Spend on Your Imaginary Self?

5. Do You Lack Access to Good Produce? There are definite pros to joining a CSA: It’s generally better-quality produce at a cheaper price—and you get to support local agriculture. If a CSA is your fast ticket to better nutrition, it may be worth a try.

SEE ALSO: 5 Credit Cards Most Americans Could Never Own

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A Dad Shot This Amazing Film Of His Son's First Year On Earth

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When photographer Sam Christopher Cornwell's son Indigo was born on July 9th, 2012, he wanted to do something special.

So he decided to film Indigo for a second each day, every day — with family, first steps, crying, laughing, on the beach, in the snow, and hanging out at home.

After Indigo turned one, Cornwell and his wife strung the video together — titled A Second a Day from Birth on Vimeo— so you can literally watch him grow up. It's pretty amazing.

Check it out below.

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These Dishes Will Totally Change The Way You Order Chinese Food

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You are tired of dumplings, done with lo-mein, and you can't look another piece of sweet and sour chicken in the eye. But you still want to make it work with Chinese food. 

Fear not. There is hope. 

While American Chinese food generally tends to revolve around four or five generic dish preparations  — sweet and sour, sesame, stir-fried, etc.  there is, in fact, a robust and delicious variety of foods from the Middle Kingdom.

Watch below to learn about a couple of menu items you've probably overlooked but should be ordering. And remember, this is just the beginning: The real trick is to keep trying new stuff.

Since some of these items are a little off the beaten path and might not be on every menu, we provided the Chinese name and characters as well as the English name, so you can show your favorite local spot that you are in the know.

[And don't forget to share your favorites in the comments]

 

Produced by Daniel Goodman

SEE ALSO: IT'S OFFICIAL: Here Are The Top 10 Kinds Of Chinese Noodles

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The Weird Story Of How The Tom Collins Cocktail Got Its Name

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gin fizz tom collins drink

Most people know that a Tom Collins is a type of gin cocktail made with lemon juice, soda water, and sugar.

But you probably never knew that it's named after a really lame joke from 1874.

Here's how it went: A man would approach his friend and ask, "Have you seen Tom Collins?"

"Why no!" the second man would say. "I have never made his acquaintance."

"Perhaps you had better do so, and as quick as you can, for he is talking about you in a very rough manner — calling you hard names, and convincing people there is nothing you wouldn't steal short of a red-hot stove."

This would upset the second man, who would stomp off to go looking for this rascal Tom Collins, but — twist! — he didn't actually exist.

It's a pretty lame joke, but it went viral and became all the rage in New York and Philadelphia. It was so popular, in fact, that it was dubbed "The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874."

Seriously — some newspapers at the time even printed stories containing false sightings of Tom Collins, and several songs were written that memorialized the joke.

Eventually, one intrepid bartender caught on and named a drink "Tom Collins" so that if anyone came rushing into his bar seeking revenge and asking for Tom Collins, they would unknowingly have ordered a tall gin drink instead.

Oh, and just to remind you what people looked like in 1874, this was the height of fashion:

Late 1870s dumaurier veto height of fashion

They were hilarious.

SEE ALSO: 12 American Bars To Drink At Before You Die

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Mercedes-Benz Launches One Of The Fastest Luxury Cars Ever

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s631

If you’re looking for one of the fastest ways to transport you and four of your friends, in luxury and style, look no further than the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC, the latest weapon in AMG’s expanding arsenal and possibly one of the fastest full-size luxury sedans ever launched.

The car is the high-performance version of the sixth-generation S-Class, and will be joining its brethren in showrooms this fall, following a debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

First, the information you’ve all been waiting for: The 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC packs a direct-injected and twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 tuned to deliver 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.

This is the most potent version of AMG’s M157 engine we’ve seen yet, exceeding even the output of the 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, and promises to accelerate the big sedan from 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds.

That’s half a second quicker than the latest BMW M5 and just 0.1 of a second slower than the Corvette Stingray when equipped with its Z51 Performance Package (it's likely to be on par with the standard 'Vette). Top speed in the 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC is electronically limited to 186 mph.

The key to the car’s performance is its standard all-wheel-drive system, which is becoming a standard feature on most of AMG’s lineup. This system is unique to AMG models and features a 33-67 front-rear torque split, offering the rear-biased feel we all love but with the added traction of all-wheel-drive when roads get slippery.

The system relies on a transfer case integrated with the gearbox. Torque is transferred to the front wheels via a second drive shaft and front differential. The added weight of all-wheel drive is approximately 154 pounds, but despite this the 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC still weighs around 220 pounds less than its predecessor.

This is due primarily to lightweight construction. Measures included adding light-alloy wheels, a lithium-ion battery (this alone saves 44 pounds), using aluminum for the brakes, roof and front panels, and even using some carbon fiber like in the spare wheel recess.

Handling gear changes is AMG’s familiar SPEEDSHIFT MCT seven-speed automatic transmission, which comes with several modes including a full manual option. The transmission also comes with an engine stop-start system that, thankfully, can be disabled.

The suspension, meanwhile, features Mercedes’ AIRMATIC setup and comes with adaptive damping. One new feature is the continuous damping adjustment, which can be controlled independently in the compression stage and rebound stage. It allows better adaptation to the driving and road-surface conditions, Mercedes tells us. Drivers have two settings for the suspension: Comfort and Sport. These settings also adjust the car’s electronic power steering and work in conjunction with the car’s electronic stability system. To aid handling, a torque vectoring system done via braking is utilized.

On the styling front, designers have kept things a bit subdued this time, which sees the car maintain the elegant lines of the regular S-Class. A large, upright and distinctly three-dimensional radiator grille underlines the special status of this particular S-Class variant, and is joined by a front bumper with three large air intakes. The car also dons sporty side sills and a rear diffuser with integrated exhausts. Note, the exhaust features internal flaps which open up when in sports mode. The standard wheels measure 19 inches across while a 20-inch seat is available as an option. Also available are carbon ceramic brakes for extra stopping power and lower weight.

Inside, the subdued design theme is continued, albeit with plenty of AMG-labeled components to remind you that this is no ordinary S-Class. AMG sports seats are fitted up front and lined with Nappa leather. Also present is an IWC clock, embossed AMG logo on the center armrest and an AMG sports steering wheel.

Instead of a separate AMG DRIVE UNIT, all the specific AMG electronic controls are integrated with the standard S-Class user interface, which consists of two high-resolution screens and COMAND control dial. One of these screens serves as the car’s instrument cluster but gets unique AMG lettering and red and silver dials.

As mentioned, the car makes its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September, where it will be joined by several other 2014 S-Class members including a new plug-in hybrid model. You can access our complete coverage of the show via our dedicated hub.

Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes-Benz Reveals Its New Top-Of-The-Line S-Class

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A Sad Story About Childhood Obesity

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Childhood obesityDr. Mitchell Roslin is chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. He holds several patents for the treatment of obesity and designed a method for treating relapse after gastric bypass surgery. Roslin has expertise in laparoscopic obesity surgery, duodenal switch surgery and revisional bariatric surgery. He contributed this article to LiveScience’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Recently, while driving to work, I heard a very sad story: Boy Scouts who were morbidly obese would be excluded from this year’s National Scout Jamboree, an event that occurs every four years and is considered a highlight for young scouts. Additionally, scouts with lower levels of obesity had to provide medical clearance before being allowed to participate.

But this story isn’t just sad because of the discrimination. Of course, I have empathy and compassion and hate to see any child excluded or hurt. But I understand that safety has to come first, and exclusions based on health are a sad reality. For example, the branches of the armed forces will not allow recruits who are overweight. But what I found so sad was that this problem has become so widespread that there had to be a policy to address it. 

American kids are rapidly becoming unhealthy. The impact will be devastating. Soon, there will be fewer eligible recruits to serve in the U.S. military. I’m concerned that more young people who have never worked will go on permanent disability for chronic diseases  such as diabetes.

Several weeks ago, the American Medical Association (AMA) designated obesity as a disease. Some people questioned the decision, calling it financially motivated. For example, in an editorial in the Boston Globe, Alex Beam commented that “heredity, germs and viruses cause disease, not eating too much.” Really? I guess lung cancer is not a disease, as it often comes from smoking. What about heart disease? Aren’t cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and smoking most responsible? Doesn’t what people eat cause or affect the risk of developing these conditions? A person’s behavior  has an impact on every disease process, as do congenital conditions. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are related to heart disease, cancer, sexual dysfunction and early mortality.

Beam wrote, “What is this really about? Money.” He went on to say that the obesity epidemic  was a conspiracy to get coverage for emerging pharmaceuticals and bariatric surgery.

My question to Beam and others is this: What were parents supposed to do if their son were one of the fat scouts excluded? After all, one of the reasons they enrolled their child in the Boy Scouts in the first place was to help make him more active and improve his self esteem. Now, he can’t even participate in the organization’s biggest event. 

Some people think these young children want to be fat, or that they want to be excluded. No idea could be more absurd. What does Beam suggest? Enrolling the child in a weight-loss camp or a contest like “The Biggest Loser”? Unfortunately, that strategy is completely ineffective — virtually all the weight lost as a result of such activities is regained in a short period. 

A better suggestion may be to see a pediatric endocrinologist, such as renowned doctors Dr. Robert Lustig and Dr. David Ludwig. Unfortunately, there are very few specialists with real expertise in pediatric weight loss — in my opinion, because there has been limited reimbursement from health-insurance providers. Because obesity hadn’t been considered a disease until recently, there are few training programs and limited opportunities for those hoping to specialize in pediatric obesity.

Though considered dubious by Beam, bariatric surgery is one of the few effective tools against obesity that doctors currently have. In the past year, I have had to operate on multiple teens who left school after being bullied and taunted. This is not about the money. It is about giving children a chance to be happy, and providing them with an opportunity to do things that I took for granted when I was their age.

Why should new or better tools be developed to address this problem if there is no health-insurance coverage for obesity-related issues? Beam feels everything has been “medicalized,” but shouldn’t we be searching for solutions for these young scouts? Certainly, the solution is not providing commercially marketed diets. Exercise reduces the risk of obesity, but it is not an effective weight-loss modality when children are already obese.

Of course, surgery isn’t the solution for everyone. The United States needs a national strategy to prevent obesity and metabolic syndrome. It will not be popular, but it is becoming necessary. The sadness of this story cannot be underestimated. Too many young children are now too heavy to be Boy Scouts or serve in the U.S. military. This trend must be stopped, and there needs to be treatment available for the children who have already been afflicted. I wonder what Beam’s suggestion is? Furthermore, I wonder what he thinks will happen if we do not help these children. 

Roslin’s most recent Op-Ed was, ‘Yes, Obesity Is a Disease.’ The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This article was originally published on LiveScience.com.

Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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19 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Should Add To Your Travel Wish List

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xinjiang tianshan chinaUNESCO has added 19 new places to its list of World Heritage Sites this year. 

Two of the 19 new sites can be found in China and two in Italy. The rest represent a wide array of countries around the world.

For a site to be included on the World Heritage List, it must be "of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria," which help the committee to both classify potential sites and evaluate them based on their overall global importance. You can read the full list of criteria here.

Ultimately all sites considered must be of either "natural" or "cultural" significance. Fourteen of the sites named this year were cultural while just five were natural, but all of them are beautiful.

Al Zubarah Archaeological Site - Qatar

"The walled coastal town of Al Zubarah in the Gulf flourished as a pearling and trading centre in the late 18th century and early 19th centuries, before it was destroyed in 1811 and abandoned in the early 1900s. Founded by merchants from Kuwait, Al Zubarah had trading links across the Indian Ocean, Arabia and Western Asia. A layer of sand blown from the desert has protected the remains of the site’s palaces, mosques, streets, courtyard houses, and fishermen’s huts; its harbour and double defensive walls, a canal, walls, and cemeteries. Excavation has only taken place over a small part of the site, which offers an outstanding testimony to an urban trading and pearl-diving tradition which sustained the region’s major coastal towns and led to the development of small independent states that flourished outside the control of the Ottoman, European, and Persian empires and eventually led to the emergence of modern day Gulf States." - UNESCO



Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora - Ukraine

"The site features the remains of a city founded by Dorian Greeks in the 5th century BC on the northern shores of the Black Sea. It encompasses six component sites with urban remains and agricultural lands divided into several hundreds of chora, rectangular plots of equal size. The plots supported vineyards whose production was exported by the city which thrived until the 15th century. The site features several public building complexes and residential neighbourhoods, as well as early Christian monuments alongside remains from Stone and Bronze Age settlements; Roman and medieval tower fortifications and water supply systems; and exceptionally well-preserved examples of vineyard planting and dividing walls. In the 3rd century AD, the site was known as the most productive wine centre of the Black Sea and remained a hub of exchange between the Greek, Roman and Byzantine Empires and populations north of the Black Sea. It is an outstanding example of democratic land organization linked to an ancient polis, reflecting the city’s social organization." - UNESCO



Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe - Germany

"Descending a long hill dominated by a giant statue of Hercules, the monumental water displays of Wilhelmshöhe were begun by Landgrave Carl of Hesse-Kassel in 1689 around an east-west axis and were developed further into the 19th century. Reservoirs and channels behind the Hercules Monument supply water to a complex system of hydro-pneumatic devices that supply the site’s large Baroque water theatre, grotto, fountains and 350-metre long Grand Cascade. Beyond this, channels and waterways wind across the axis, feeding a series of dramatic waterfalls and wild rapids, the geyser-like Grand Fountain which leaps 50m high, the lake and secluded ponds that enliven the Romantic garden created in the 18th century by Carl’s great-grandson, Elector Wilhelm I. The great size of the park and its waterworks along with the towering Hercules statue constitute an expression of the ideals of absolutist Monarchy while the ensemble is a remarkable testimony to the aesthetics of the Baroque and Romantic periods." - UNESCO



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Formula One Is In 'Total Chaos' As CEO Bernie Ecclestone Faces Bribery Charges

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bernie ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone was on Wednesday night facing the greatest battle of his career after the Formula One chief executive was formally indicted by German prosecutors on bribery charges.

The announcement, after a 2½-year investigation by the Munich state prosecutor, sent shockwaves through the sport, with senior figures privately questioning how long the 82-year-old Ecclestone could continue in his current role.

Talks between F1’s various stakeholders, including Ecclestone, are expected to take place over the coming days with one source describing the situation as “total chaos”.

Ecclestone is still in negotations with teams and the governing body, the FIA, over the latest Concorde Agreement, the commercial pact which binds Formula One, a delicate state of play which may explain why so few within the sport were prepared to speak publicly yesterday.

Daimler AG, Mercedes’ parent company, was one notable exception, reiterating the position it adopted last summer when it admitted its board’s deep unease over the allegations in Germany.

“Compliance is of central importance for Daimler,” it said in a statement. “We support the clarification of the allegations against the CEO of Formula One. We will now consult with the other partners in the sport of Formula One [Teams, FIA, F1 stakeholders] on the contents of the proceedings and the next steps, before commenting further.”

Daimler chief finance officer Bodo Uebber sits on the F1 board.

Formula One’s largest shareholder, the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, is sure to come under intense pressure from investors and is unlikely to be thrilled by the prospect of a court case in Germany.

For a start, any plans to float the sport on the Singapore stock exchange, as Ecclestone wanted to do last year, will surely be put on the back-burner again.

CVC sold off a large chunk of its equity in the sport last year, which was seen by many as a pre-emptive measure aimed at reducing its exposure should Ecclestone be charged, or eventually convicted of bribery.

Last year it emerged in its flotation prospectus that it already begun the search for a new CEO, appointing headhunters Egon Zehnder to identify possible successors.

CVC declined to comment on Wednesday night although board member Sir Martin Sorrell, the founder of advertising agency WPP, has been deeply critical of Ecclestone in the past, accusing him of being “totally out of touch with reality”.

Ferrari president Luca di Monteze­molo has also been extremely vocal on the subject of Ecclestone’s future. Montezemolo said last December that he fully expected Ecclestone to step down as CEO “in the interests of the sport” should he be charged.

“First of all, I hope for Bernie and F1 that nothing will happen,” the Italian said. “If Bernie is accused under process [formally charged with an offence] I think he will be the first to step back in the interests of Formula One. This could be bad for F1.”

Montezemolo added that Ecclestone’s era was “slowly approaching” its end. Ferrari declined to comment on Wednesday or to clarify whether their president stood by those remarks.

Ecclestone, who is facing a separate case in London’s High Court from Constantin Medien, a former F1 shareholder who claims his stake was undervalued, has always denied paying German banker Gerhard Gribkowksy bribes to facilitate the sale of the sport to CVC seven years ago.

He insists that he was blackmailed by the former chief risk officer of Bayern LB, who threatened to cause problems for him with the British tax authorities. Gribkowksy was sentenced last year to 8½ years in jail after confessing to tax evasion, breach of trust and being in receipt of corrupt payments.

Ecclestone, who leaked the news of his indictment himself on Wednesday, said it was “a pity” that it had come to this. “We are defending it properly,” he told the Financial Times. “It will be an interesting case. It’s a pity it’s happened.”

Ecclestone added it was “inevitable” that the indictment had been served. “If someone wants to sue you, they can do it and you have to defend it.” He told the FT that he had not been offered a way to settle the case financially.

The Munich state prosecutor’s office revealed in its own statement that the indictment was in fact dated May 10 and had since been translated into English and delivered to Ecclestone and his lawyers and that he had until mid-August to respond. It added that a decision will then be taken on whether to proceed to trial.

SEE ALSO: London's Airport Wants To Expand — It Just Has To Demolish These Villages First

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Giant Dragon's Skull Washes Up On Beach In 'Game Of Thrones' Stunt

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game of thrones skull beach

In a UK marketing stunt of epic proportions, a bus-sized dragon skull washed up on Dorset's "Jurassic Coast" — known for its dinosaur fossils — to honor the arrival of "Game of Thrones" season 3 on streaming service Blinkbox.

The 40 foot long, 9 foot tall skull took two months to complete and is the coolest GOT campaign since February when HBO took out a two-page ad in the New York Times in which the shadow of a dragon eclipsed the paper's copy. This was in conjunction with a GOT exhibition in New York in which people actually got to sit on the show's iconic iron throne.

Taylor Herring PR is responsible for the Blinkbox campaign, which aimed to make it appear as if the skull had washed ashore. Last month it created a 12 foot statue of Mr. Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice" emerging from the Serpentine in London to celebrate the launch of a UKTV's new "Drama" channel.

Beachgoers were surprised to find a bus-sized giant skull wash up on Dorset's "Jurassic Coast."



It was 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet tall.



An ichthyosaur, a dolphin like creature which lived 220-65 million years ago, was found in the area in 2004. This is the first dragon.

Ichthyosaur, a dolphin like creature which lived 220-65 million years ago.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    


Neiman Marcus Stores And The Super-Rich Who Live Nearby [MAP]

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Want to know if luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is coming to your city? Chances are if you don't have at least 50 residents with over $30 million in assets, the answer is no.

That's what Wealth-X, a wealth intelligence firm, discovered when it mapped the distribution of ultra high net worth individuals in the U.S. (defined as those with assets of $30 million or more) against locations of Neiman Marcus stores (not including 'Last Call' outlet locations).

The Dallas, Texas-headquartered company currently has stores in 19 states. The densest amount of retail locations are in California, Florida, and New York, which together have more than 75% of Americans with over $30 million in assets.

“The emerging strategy for most retailers trying to capture the growing affluent market will be to use digital to drive retail traffic," said Wealth-X President David S. Friedman. "For this segment, the physical retail experience will be critical for capturing the growth in the affluent market."

The map below shows where you can find Neiman Marcus stores in or near cities with high numbers of ultra wealthy individuals.

neiman map wealth x

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What Not To Do When You Visit New York City

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New York City skyline and Statue of Liberty

Matador’s NYC-based managing editor, Julie Schwietert, lays out the city’s avoidable attractions … and what you should do instead.

1. Don’t… visit MOMA or The Met.

I don’t have anything against either of these museums. I used to be a card-carrying member of MOMA and I’m planning to check out their new exhibit, “Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront.”

It’s just that a visit to MOMA will set you back $20 (unless you join the budget seeking horde on Friday night from 4-8 PM, when admission is free). The “recommended” admission for The Met is the same.

And besides, both of these museums are so huge that it’s hard to feel you’ve “done” them or squeezed the value out of that ticket price in just a single visit.

Do… visit MOCA, MOCADA, El Museo del Barrio, or The Jewish Museum.

Given New York’s immigrant history, it shouldn’t be surprising we have a museum for almost every diaspora, including MOCA (Museum of Chinese in America), MOCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts), El Museo del Barrio (located in Spanish Harlem, a museum for Puerto Rican and Latin American art), and The Jewish Museum.

Admission at all four of these museums is less than that wallet-busting $20 you’ll drop at MOMA or The Met. ($7 at MOCA and free on Thursdays; $4 suggested donation at MOCADA; $6 suggested donation at El Museo del Barrio with free admission every third Saturday; $12 at The Jewish Museum and free on Saturdays).

But the real reason to visit these museums is because they’re smaller in size and let you walk away feeling like you really saw everything and learned something interesting in the process.

Plus, these museums aren’t overrun by crowds and the facilities are excellent. MOCA is brand new and El Museo’s paint has barely dried after a recent renovation.

2. Don’t… do the Statue of Liberty.

There’s something that feels unpatriotic about telling you to skip the Statue of Liberty, but I have my reasons. First of all, a visit to Liberty sucks up your whole day, what with long lines and strict security. Second, if you really just want to see the statue, you’ll get a much better view from the ferry or from Ellis Island than you will on Liberty Island itself.

Ellis IslandDo… visit Ellis Island AND the African Burial Ground.

Ellis Island— the nation’s “premier federal immigration station,” according to the National Parks Service — is far more interesting than the Statue of Liberty if you’re really passionate about American history.

The 30-minute film, “Island of Hope, Island of Tears” is a Ken Burns-esque documentary that tells the history of Ellis Island. If you’d rather walk than sit, guided tours convey the same information. And if you’re interested in genealogy, you can look up your ancestry here.

Another alternative is visiting the recently opened African Burial Ground, which, like Ellis Island is run by the National Parks Service. There’s no admission fee to enter the visitors’ center, explore the exhibits, or to visit the actual burial ground itself. You can read more about the African Burial Ground on my blog.

3. Don't… go to Central Park.

Yes, it’s enormous. Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it even has wildlife.

But New York City has more than 29,000 acres of OTHER parks, and many of them are just as beautiful — if not more so — than Central Park.

My favorites are Ft. Tryon (at the northern tip of Manhattan, with elevated views of the Hudson River, it was built by the son of the architect responsible for Central Park); The Hudson River Park (a long, narrow park that runs almost the entire length of Manhattan’s West Side and offers areas for picnicking, watching movies and live performances, bike riding, skate boarding, rollerblading, and kayaking, among other activities); and The High Line (an elevated urban park built on an old freight line).

Gantry Plaza State ParkOutside Manhattan, my favorites are Gantry Plaza State Park (a waterfront park in Long Island City with multiple piers — has THE best views of Manhattan; great for photos; also has hammocks in the summer, a kayak launch point, and a nearby “beach” bar), DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park (a work in progress, also waterfront), and Governor’s Island (open June through October).

4. Don’t… assume a hotel is beyond your budget.

“But New York hotels are so expensive….”

True, but your doctor bill may be more expensive after you spend a few nights on a bedbug infested hostel mattress or a few mornings in a sketchy hostel shower.

Do… check out hotels beyond Manhattan.

Check out the Ravel in Long Island City (waterfront views — and no, it’s not on Long Island; it’s five minutes from midtown Manhattan), which currently has rates as low as $99/night.

Hotels are popping up all over LIC, with a Holiday Inn being the closest to a subway line (39th Avenue stop on the N and soon to be defunct W train).

5. Don’t… go to Serendipity or Magnolia.

Do you really want to spend an hour in line for a frozen hot chocolate or a cupcake?
Serendipity and Magnolia are popular because they were featured in “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sex and the City,” respectively. Do you think that makes their desserts any better than anywhere else?

wafel & dingesDo… chase down the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck and eat some Wafel and Dinges.

Van Leeuwen serves artisanal ice cream out of a roving truck — red currant, giandujia, hazelnut, and ginger, to name a few flavors. They have a storefront in Brooklyn if you can’t catch up with the truck.

If ice cream’s not your thing, look up the Wafel and Dinges truck, which serves Belgian waffles with all manner of dinges — toppings — or find a truck to suit any craving you might possibly have. Check the City Room Blog’s Twitter list for a full roster of food trucks (many offer special deals to Twitter followers).

6. Don’t… go see a movie.

New York is a great place to see a movie because we have so many specialty theatres, like the ImaginAsian, an arthouse cinema featuring Asian films.

But did you really come to New York to see a movie?

Do… go see a movie being filmed.

The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting lists films and TV shows currently being filmed in the city, and if you follow @olv on Twitter, you can find out where and when filming is scheduled to occur.

7. Don’t… shop for knock-offs on Canal Street.

“Psst. Want a Coach bag? Prada? Prada?”

You don’t believe that $20 Coach bag on Canal Street is real, do you?

Besides being cheap, your purchases on Canal Street support an underground economy, the consequences of which are largely hidden from view (and involve immigrants living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in stairways and closet-sized rooms in the buildings where you’ll be taken to view the merchandise).

Do… support local artists in Union Square.

Keep your conscience clean and get something real by browsing Union Square. Local artists sell paintings, photos, jewelry, homemade t-shirts, indy films, and lots of other wares at tables arrayed around the southern end of the park. You’ll get something that’s really original…and you don’t have to feel bad about it.

8. Don’t… visit Little Italy or Chinatown.

Again — nothing “wrong” with Little Italy or Chinatown (visit the former during the San Gennaro festivities, the latter during Chinese New Year celebrations). Both of these neighborhoods remain cultural enclaves that have somehow managed to resist encroaching gentrification.

Brooklyn Academy of MusicDo… visit lesser-known immigrant districts.

But why not explore one of the lesser known neighborhoods like Koreatown, Little Brazil, Polish Greenpoint, and predominantly Greek Astoria? These immigrant neighborhoods are just as lively — and less touristed — than Little Italy and Chinatown.

And if you’re headed to Astoria, let me know. I’ll meet up with you at Omonia for some Greek coffee and Sokolatina.

9. Don’t… go to a show at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, or Broadway.

Like MOMA and The Met, these are all world-class venues, but there are dozens of other event spaces where incredible concerts, lectures, and performances are given by well-known and totally fresh talent.

Do… get your culture fix at a venue you’ve never heard of.

Some places worth checking out include BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music), Bargemusic, The LAByrinth Theater Company, the Manhattan Theatre Club, and The Chocolate Factory.

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These Simple Lifestyle Changes Will Make You A Happier Person

Pocket Listings Might Be The Hottest Controversy In Real Estate Today

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hands in pocketPocket listings might be the hottest controversy in real estate today. That's because many home sellers are attracted to the perceived benefits of selling a house outside of the brokers' multiple-listing service, or MLS. But the practice has some significant downsides for sellers as well.

Traditionally, the term "pocket listing" referred to a situation in which a property seller and real estate broker signed a listing agreement that allowed the broker to offer the property for sale, but keep the information out of the MLS and, figuratively, keep the information in his or her pocket. Nowadays, the term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to properties that are offered for sale without a listing agreement or use of the MLS.

Privacy or price?

A pocket listing can be attractive to sellers because it potentially offers greater privacy, convenience and flexibility than an MLS listing, according to Alexander Clark, an agent at Zephyr Real Estate in San Francisco, and founder of PocketListings.net, a website that promotes pocket listings.

"Most of the people who go the pocket listing route do so because of privacy. That's why a lot of movie stars, wealthy people and high-profile people sell their property without sharing it on the multiple-listing service," Clark says.

A pocket listing also can allow sellers time to repair and stage their property, resolve personal concerns they may have about selling their home and even price-test the market before they commit to a sale, explains Wendy Furth, a Realtor and assistant manager at Rodeo Realty in Calabasas, Calif.

"One reason a seller might want to stay as a pocket is because they figure (the broker) can just fish for buyers. It's perceived as being no-muss, no-fuss, no for-sale sign, no open houses, just find a buyer," she says.

The main reason for not doing a pocket listing

The downside -- and it's a big one -- is that a pocket listing loses exposure to other real estate brokers, and oftentimes the public. MLS exposure can mean multiple offers, a bidding war, a higher price, more attractive terms or a buyer who's better positioned to close the deal.

"The more people who see the house, the higher the price will go," Furth says. "By having it be a pocket listing, no one will know anything about it. That's a great way to not have a huge audience for the property."

Commission savings

Still, sellers might be tempted by the lower commission brokers typically accept for a pocket listing. Rather than 5 percent or 6 percent of the sale price, the seller might pay something more like 4 percent. However, remember that commissions are always negotiable.

A lower commission for a pocket listing might seem like a considerable saving for the seller, but it's the broker who stands to reap more benefit, says Douglas R. Miller, an attorney and executive director of Consumer Advocates in American Real Estate, a nonprofit group in Navarre, Minn., that seeks to educate consumers about conflicts of interest in real estate.

That's because brokers typically split commissions between the seller's side and the buyer's side of the transaction. A pocket listing means the seller's broker is more likely to retain the full amount, rather than a portion. Sure, 4 percent is less than 5 percent or 6 percent, but it's also more than 2 percent or 3 percent.

Miller takes an especially dim view of pocket listings, which he describes as "self-serving," "self-dealing" and "one of the worst business practices in residential real estate." He says these deals don't work out financially for sellers because what's saved in a lower commission might well be lost -- and then some -- in a lower price.

Is anyone looking?

Miller disagrees with the notion, espoused by some brokers, that other marketing strategies can make up for keeping a listing out of the MLS and even nab a higher price.

"Social media? Exclusive website? Who cares, if no one is looking in those places to buy homes? They aren't," he says. "The first thing sellers should be demanding of their broker is a marketing plan that includes not only the MLS, but also the top buyer-frequented national websites."

Assess the broker's motives

The bottom line is that homeowners should be wary of any hard push to offer their home as a pocket listing, potentially giving one broker control over both sides of the transaction and a good shot at what's known in the real estate business as a "double end" or "double pop" commission.

"If someone is coming up to you to try to get a pocket listing, you have to ask, 'What are your intentions? Are you going to offer compensation, commission, to another agent if they bring a buyer? Are we going to sign a listing agreement?'" Clark says. "If they want to say, 'If I find you a buyer, will you pay me this amount and not sign anything?' Then watch out."

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31 Style Terms Every Man Needs To Know

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men fashion

GQ compiled a list of 31 style terms every man needs to know.

From recognizable clothing to more obscure pieces, check them out and stay in the style loop.

Here's your dressing room dictionary >

More From GQ:

The Belstaff Trialmaster Jacket dates back to when Belstaff hit mud-caked, sweat-laden, road-rashed gold with the debut of the brand's most iconic outerwear piece.

More on the Belstaff >



Modern-day Brogues are abbreviated, decorative dots that give a shoe a nice bit of personality.

More on the Brogues >



The Button-Down Collar Shirt is one of those all-important pieces that remains a cornerstone of American style.

More on the button-down >



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A Billionaire With A Hamptons Mansion Bigger Than The White House Wants More Space For A Pilates Studio

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ira rennert sagaponack houseSometimes 64,389 square feet just doesn't cut it. We've all been there.

For billionaire Ira Rennert, it was time to add a pilates studio, spa bath, sauna, steam shower, and three extra bathrooms to one of the two pool houses on his Hamptons estate, Newsday reports.

But in a bit of poetic justice, Rennert — who amassed his $6.5 billion net worth from junk bonds  needs zoning approval from the Village of Sagaponack.

From Newsday:

The single bathroom at the pool "greatly under-serves a family social gathering," the application states. The closest bathroom in the main house "is over a 200-foot, several-minute, indirect walking distance away."

The 633-square-foot addition to the existing 386-square-foot pool house "would complete the offerings of a modern, fully equipped family swimming facility," the application says.

[Rennert's lawyer] Flanagan, in an interview, said, "Quite frankly, to walk several hundred feet to go to the bathroom is inappropriate."

One of Rennert's neighbors summed the whole thing up pretty well: "Enough already."

Read the full report at Newsday>

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Kashi May Have Unleashed The Worst Granola Bar Of All Time

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kashi berry lemonade granola bar

Kellogg's Kashi just released a new Berry Lemonade granola bar.

At first glance, the flavor choice makes sense. Lemon is a popular flavor for other baked goods like cookies, muffins, and pastries. 

But Kashi's Berry Lemonade chewy granola bar severely misses the mark.

Upon first bite, the taste of artificial lemon is overwhelming. Some Business Insider employees who tried the bar likened it to air freshener or house cleaner.

The sour, powdery lemon flavor completely overshadows the dried cranberries that would have otherwise provided a pleasant contrast. 

Many of our employees who sampled the granola bar threw it away after one bite. 

We asked people in office to critique their experiences. Here are some answers: 

  • "The flavor was sickly sweet and strange for a granola bar — it tasted like powdered lemonade had been poured all over the bar." —Deputy Editor Julie Zeveloff 

  • "There are things I want to be tangy. Granola bars are really not one of them." —Reporter Max Nisen 

  • "It wasn't terrible, but also not something I would take if there were other flavors available. I felt like I was chewing on a Glade air freshener. But the taste itself wasn't so terrible." —Reporter Alex Davies

  • "It was disgusting, worse than I could have imagined. I managed to swallow my first bite, but threw out the rest. Who wants a sweet fake lemon sourness in a granola bar?"—Deputy Editor Gus Lubin 

  • "I was excited by the new flavor. I expected it to have a punch of sour while maintaining the nuttiness of traditional granola bars. Instead, it tasted like artificial Kool-aid. The lemonade flavor overwhelmed the granola flavor. I spit out my bite and threw the rest of the bar away."  —Associate Editor Dina Spector 

  • "I didn't enjoy it, though it's true to the flavor on the packaging. I'd say that Kashi should leave lemonade in its liquid form." —Intern Alex Mondalek 

  • "I thought it tasted like a pink Starburst with a satisfying crunchy bonus." —Senior Editor Steve Kovach

  • "I only had a small piece of it and wouldn't want to eat an entire bar. It tasted fake, like artificial flavor." —Senior Editor Leah Goldman

Kashi's Berry Lemonade granola bar is available at grocery stores nationwide. 

SEE ALSO: The Inventor Of The Cronut Created A New Hybrid Dessert, And It's Even Better Than The Original

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