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RANKED: The 11 Best Dog Breeds

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Editor's note: Due to some technical difficulties yesterday, we were unable to post this list on August 26, National Dog Day. But we couldn't resist posting it today. Enjoy!

Dogs are the best.

Incredibly loyal, they comfort, protect, and love their humans unconditionally, making dogs superior to any other pet out there.

But not all dogs are created equal. These are the 11 best dog breeds, based on factors including health, personality, and overall popularity.

11. Portuguese Water Dog

Bo Sunny ObamaPortuguese water dogs were originally bred to herd fish, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and act as couriers from ship to shore.

They’re good for people with allergies and make excellent companions since they are loving, independent, intelligent, and easy to train.

Portuguese water dogs also enjoy being petted and are friendly with strangers. Just be warned that like many larger dogs, boredom can cause them to become destructive.

10. Newfoundland Dog

newfoundland dogKnown as “nature’s babysitter,” Newfoundland Dogs are the absolute sweetest. Perhaps the best-known Newfoundland is the fictional Nana from “Peter Pan,” who was so wonderful with children.

These gentle giants are highly loyal and easy to train, and are legendary for their docile temper.

Newfoundland dogs are also strong swimmers, and the breed was trained to rescue people from drowning — one dog even famously saved Napoleon Bonaparte.

9. Maltese

maltese puppyOne of the most ancient of the toy breeds, Maltese dogs were bred to be sweet and adoring of their owners. The Greeks even erected tombs for their Maltese dogs, and in Elizabethan times, they were called “The Comforter” because it was believed they could relieve pain and cure illness.

Maltese dogs are also extremely hypoallergenic, with silky coats that don’t shed.

And because of their size, these dogs are good for apartment living, too.

8. Golden Retrievers

golden retrieverGoldens are sweet, loyal, and incredible companion dogs. They’d rather be sleeping at your feet then running around outside without you.

They’re also very even-tempered, especially with small children. Goldens make great service and comfort dogs because of their friendly and tolerant attitudes.

Plus they were bred to retrieve ducks and other fowl for hunters, so if you like playing fetch, this is the dog for you.

7. Huskies

husky dogsSiberian huskies are stunning animals, with their thick fur coat and piercing eyes. Most people who choose a Husky do so for their extraordinary beauty.

Huskies are good natured dogs who are affectionate with children. They shed minimally, except for twice a year when they blow out their coat, and don’t have the typical “dog odor” that bigger breeds tend to have.

Huskies are not considered a great breed for first-time dog owners, since they need a lot of attention, exercise, and are very good as escaping and running away.

6. Poodles

black poodles at sunsetPoodles get a bad rap. But they’re easy to train since they’re so intelligent, and are lively, fun-loving, and loyal family dogs. 

Poodles can be attention seekers, so don’t be surprised if this people-oriented breed is constantly with you.

They’re also protective of their families and homes, and can become aggressive with people outside the family or with other dogs.

5. Beagles

beagle dogBecause of their intelligence, Beagles are used by law enforcement at airports to sniff baggage for items that are not permitted. Due to their friendly nature and appearance, Beagles don’t worry passengers.

This breed also has a lack of inherited health problems, and an even temper which is good for families and small children.

The most common reason Beagles are abandoned or turned over to the pound is because their owners couldn’t stand their howling. This can be controlled by training your dog early to avoid excessive barking.

4. German Shepherds

german shepherd dogA relatively new breed (they date back to 1899), German Shepherds are exceptional animals: Courageous, obedient, incredibly loyal, and eager to learn.

German Shepherds are very intelligent too, and excel at most anything they’re trained to do. They’re usually used as service dogs and police dogs to protect officers and locate drugs or human remains.

German Shepherds love their humans so much that they will suffer from separation anxiety, and can become destructive when bored alone at home.

3. Pembroke Welsh Corgis

corgi family portrait bestCorgis have a cult-like following mainly due to their playful and sweet personalities. According to Welsh mythology, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was even the transportation mode of choice for fairies.

Though they can be shy with strangers, Corgis are good with children and have a strong desire to please their owners.

They’re also one of the silliest-looking dogs, with huge ears, a long torso, and a big butt. Just monitor their food intake closely since this breed is prone to overeating.

2. Labrador Retrievers

Labradors in the back of a car black and yellow labsThere’s a reason why Labs are the most popular breed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, as well as here in the U.S. They are devoted and obedient and have even temperaments that make them good with both children and other animals. 

Bred to be eager to please and playful companions, Labs are smart and commonly chosen as guide dogs and service dogs for blind or autistic individuals.

They also make understanding therapy dogs, and can be trained to aid law enforcement and other official agencies by screening and detection work.

1. Mixed Breeds

Mutts dogs for adoptionNo matter what mix of breeds, mutts are awesome. Mixed-breeds are believed to have less genetically inherited health problems than purebreds, according to veterinarian Dr. Sarah Ward Fatula.

Plus, if you adopt your mixed-breed from the shelter, not only will they already be spayed/neutered, microchipped, and up to date with vaccines, but you’ll also be helping with the pet overpopulation problem.

To find a shelter near you, visit the ASPCA’s website.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Most Heroic Dogs Of All Time

DON'T FORGET: Follow us on Facebook!

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Australian Personal Trainer Debunks Those Infuriating 'Before And After' Weight Loss Pictures

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Mel, an Australian personal trainer and owner of MelVFitness, was fed up with misleading "Before and After" pictures used to sell fitness programs and diet pills.

Inspired by a similar project by personal trainer Andrew Dixon, Mel decided to make her own transformation in under 15 minutes (via Gawker).

All it took was better posture, some tanning lotion, and black bathing suit bottoms:

melvfitness trainer before and after

"Check out my transformation! It took me 15 minutes," Mel wrote to her followers on Instagram.

"Wanna know my secret? Well firstly I ditched the phonewallet (fwallet) cause that *** is lame, swapped my bather bottoms to black (cause they're a size bigger and black is slimming), smothered on some fake tan, clipped in my hair extensions, stood up a bit taller, sucked in my guts, popped my hip, threw in a skinny arm, stood a bit wider #boxgap, pulled my shoulders back and added a bit of a cheeky/I'm so proud of my results smile. Zoomed in on the before pic, zoomed out on the after and added a filter. Cause filters make everything awesome."

She also followed up with a blog post on how misleading transformation pictures can be, and the dangers of having unrealistic expectations for quick results.

"What a before and after shot doesn’t tell you how the person achieved it," she writes. "It doesn’t tell you if they did it a healthy way or if they starved themselves for weeks on end to get there."

"It also doesn’t show you the persons mental state, their self worth, how the hours of exercise they did, the lifestyle change, the early mornings, the skipped lunches, how they handled social situations or how many skinny mini teas they chugged," Mel adds.

Check out her full blog post here.

SEE ALSO: 11 Great Accessories For Running Outdoors In The Summer

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Help Business Insider Find The World's Best Baristas

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baristaBusiness Insider has decided to show baristas some love for helping us start our days off right.

And we'd like you to help us find the world's best baristas. 

Whether they work in a big chain like Starbucks or a favorite local spot, we're looking to highlight true professionals who have your drink order memorized, deliver your mocha with a smile, and know your name by heart.

It's easy to nominate your favorite barista. 

Just email retail@businessinsider.com and include the following:

  • A photo of your barista.

  • Where he or she works.

  • A brief explanation of why you’re nominating him or her.

  • A way for us to contact him or her.

We appreciate your help.

SEE ALSO: The Best Fast Food In America

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Step Inside The Skinniest House In The World [PHOTOS]

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The world's skinniest home is now open for tours, according to digital architecture and design magazine Design Boom.

Designed by architect Jakub Szczesny the Keret House in Warsaw, Poland is the thinnest dwelling in the world, at a mere five feet wide. It has only 46-square-feet of living space.

The house was built in an alley between two other buildings and has no windows, a shockingly-small kitchen, and a ladder that leads to the main bedroom. Because of its size, it technically cannot be considered a building and is instead an "art installation," according to Szczesny.

Visitors who have made a donation of at least 20 Polish zloty (roughly USD $6) to the Polish Modern Art Foundation can now tour the home. You can check out which days the building will be open on the Keret House website.

Money raised by the Foundation will be allotted to the maintenance of the installation and to artistic activities within the Keret House project.

Szczesny sent us pictures of the interior if you can't make it all the way out to Warsaw. 

Here's what Keret House looks like from the street.

Keret House exterior street side

A pull-down staircase leads guests inside.

Keret House opening

Designer Jakub Szczesny demonstrates how small the home really is.

keret house climbing

Here's the tiny kitchen, plus one of the bathrooms with a sliding glass door.

Keret house kitchen

Counter space for cooking is practically nonexistent.

keret house kitchen

You have to climb a ladder to reach the bedroom.

keret house bedroom

It has space enough for a desk and a bed.

keret house bedroom

The bed looks comfortable, if small.

keret house bed

One last look at the plans for the house:

keret house structural plans

SEE ALSO: The Narrowest Home In New York City Just Sold For $3.25 Million

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26 Things That China Ripped Off

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OFC

China accounted for 70% of all counterfeit goods between 2008 and 2010, according to a report released by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime earlier this year.

But China doesn't just have a thriving counterfeit industry with fake luxury goods. The country has gone on to make life-size replicas of European towns.

In fact, Shanghai rolled out a "One city, Nine Towns" scheme with small towns built in a different international style.

We compiled 26 things that China ripped off, some of which landed the companies involved in hot water.

WAL-MART: A spokesman for Wumart said, "We dream about being the Walmart of China."

Source: The Economist



GROUPON: Groupon.cn is a rip-off, Groupon's China business is called Gaopeng.

Source: Technode



HARRY POTTER: China even ripped off Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings in one book: Harry Potter and the Leopard Walk-Up-To Dragon.

Source: BeijingTaiwan/11Points



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






What Crisis? Europeans Still Flock To The Pricey Greek Island Of Santorini In August

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Sunbathers at the Red Beach

Traveling to any European city in mid-August is like visiting a ghost town.

Paris streets are empty, rainy London is depressing, and even the protesters from Syntagma Square in Athens take a break from the heat.

Coastline cities and the Greek islands, on the other hand, are slammed with tourists.

Santorini, part of the Cyclades cluster of islands in Greece, is one of the most popular destinations in the world. In Travel + Leisure's 2013 World's Best Islands survey, it ranked #4.  The island's livelihood depends almost entirely on the tourism industry, and prices have remained high despite the crisis. 

Hotels in Santorini are abundant and range from affordable to ultra chic. In 2012, the Financial Times showcased the exclusive property "The Hideaway," which has a rate of $8,000 per day.

Visitors to Santorini won't spend much time in their rooms, though. Swimming at the Red Beach is transformational, taverna style fish meze beckon, and the cliffside views and sunset demand your attention.

Santorini is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea reached by plane from most major European cities or ferry from Athens.



A massive volcanic explosion in 3600 BC contributed to its unique terrain and arid landscape.



More than 1.5 million tourists visit the island each year, primarily during the summer months.



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Zimbabwe Announces Plans For A $300 Million 'Disneyland In Africa'

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victoria falls

There's no Disneyland in Africa, but if comments from Zimbabwe's tourism and hospitality minister are any indication, a big-time theme park along those lines may be in the works for an area near the iconic Victoria Falls.

Zambia and Zimbabwe are co-hosting this year's UN World Tourism Organizationsummit at a venue near the falls — an event prompting a big announcement from Zimbabwe's tourism top brass.

Read more from GlobalPost: South America rises as top world tourism destination 

Walter Mzembi disclosed plans for a $300 million theme park near Victoria Falls, which he described as a "Disneyland in Africa," complete with entertainment facilities, banks, casinos, and other amenities, the Guardian wrote. 

"We have reserved 1,200 hectares of land closer to Victoria Falls international airport to do hotels and convention centers," Mzembi told state-run New Ziana, according to the Telegraph. 

"We want to create a free zone with a banking center where even people who do not necessarily live in Zimbabwe can open bank accounts," he added.

Others were less gung-ho about the ambitious idea to bring Western-style theme park entertainment to the politically unstable region. 

“Zimbabwe is a country that often struggles to do the basic things it needs to do and this cannot be a sensible suggestion,” Chris McIntyre, managing director of specialist tour operator Expert Africa, told the Telegraph about the scheme, adding that tourists prefer authenticity to a canned theme park experience. 

The six-day UNWTO summit is being attended by 155 nations — mostly developing countries attempting to beef up their tourism sectors. 

During opening dinner celebrations, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe extolled his nation as "a safe and secure destination for world tourists," according to the Associated Press, while at the same time bemoaning Western nations  "demonic tendencies" towards him and his oft-controversial leadership. 

SEE ALSO: 14 Totally Bizarre Amusement Parks Around The World

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Russian Police Seize Painting Of Vladimir Putin In A Nightgown Combing Dmitry Medvedev's Hair

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Russian police seized a painting that portrayed Vladimir Putin and Dimitry Medvedev in woman's underwear during raids last night, according to Reuters.

The painting, named "Travesty," was made by artist Konstantin Altunin and was showing at an exhibition at the Muzei Vlasti (Museum of Authorities) in St. Petersburg. Several other paintings were also taken to be checked by police from Muzei Vlasti for extremist propaganda.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the gallery has shown solidarity with Russia’s gay-rights movement. One painting also confiscated depicted St. Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov – who supported a “gay propaganda” law that eventually lead to a national law — against a rainbow.

Putin Medvedev Painting

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JAMIE OLIVER: Poor Families Choose The Worst 'Cheap' Meals To Eat

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jamie oliver

As a celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver has garnered both praise and criticism for his reality TV-backed mission to put healthy foods on tables around the world.

The British import most recently went back home to the UK to launch a new series, "Jamie's Money Saving Meals" to give consumers tips on trimming their grocery bill.

But it's not an easy job to do, Oliver told the Huffington Post UK.

"The fascinating thing for me is that seven times out of 10, the poorest families in this country choose the most expensive way to hydrate and feed their families. The ready meals, the convenience foods," he said.

He went on to compare poor families in developed nations to those he's met on his travels to countries with excruciatingly high levels of poverty. You won't find Big Macs on a lot of their tables, he argues. 

"I meet people who say, 'You don't understand what it's like [to be poor].' I just want to hug them and teleport them to the Sicilian street cleaner who has 25 mussels, 10 cherry tomatoes, and a packet of spaghetti for 60 pence, and knocks out the most amazing pasta," he said. "You go to Italy or Spain and they eat well on not much money." 

We don't find much at issue with Oliver's overall mission here, but he seems to have missed a crucial point: Poor people in developed countries often find themselves literally surrounded by convenience foods. That's what makes them convenient. Hopping on a train or using precious gas money to get to their nearest green grocer 5 miles outside of their neighborhood isn't exactly worth saving a few bucks

Just visit any street in the South Bronx, one of the poorest New York City's neighborhoods where the unemployment rate has been the double digits for years. Count the number of fast food restaurants and convenience stores per block versus the number of fresh produce markets and that might explain how Easy Mac and Hamburger Helper wind up on the menu more often than Sicilian seafood pasta. 

In any case, hopefully shows like Oliver's (and plenty of other like-minded initiatives around the world) will help attack the issue from both sides: not only teaching people that they should eat healthy foods, but also dispelling the myth that they must always be the pricier option.

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LAWYER: Federal Agents In Wild Costumes Are Swarming The Nevada Desert This Week

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Burning Man

The freedom-loving hippie "burners" attending the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nev. this week may believe they're communing in a happy cocoon with no laws.

In reality, undercover federal agents from all over the West are swarming the "temporary community" as they do every year and busting people for doing or selling drugs, local attorney and former cop Arnold Brock tells Business Insider. These agents do whatever they can to fit in at the 50,000-person festival, which Brock called a "unique event" that's kind of like Woodstock.

"Last year we had an undercover agent dressed up as catwoman," Brock says. "They will do whatever they do to ... ferret out what they are considering criminal activity."

Brock has an entire page on his website devoted to the "Burning-Man Related Arrests" that can happen to out-of-towners attending the festival. The festival goers might have their guard down and could be easy targets.

"It is a tremendous opportunity for undercover agents to go have a little fun and work a limited geographic area," Brock says. "And that is exactly what they do."

In some cases, Brock says, federal agents will even follow vehicles involved in larger drug deals from out of state and bust them once they arrive at Burning Man. Last year, 350 people were arrested there, according to the Reno Gazette.

Some burners have accused the cops of being overzealous in recent years. Festival attendees have complained about undercover female agents explicitly asking male burners for drugs as well as drug dogs brazenly roaming the camps, the Associated Press reported back in 2010.

Federal officials, however, said Burning Man needs to be policed.

“I don’t want my guys to be party poopers, but we have a job to do,” Mark Pirtle, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Land Management, told the AP. “[Festival goers] are not bad people, but they like to use drugs."

SEE ALSO: The Heartbreaking Story Of A Harmless Deadhead Sentenced To Die In Prison

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The Link Between Narcissism And Wealth Is Becoming Clearer Than Ever

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two women starting at an iphone and taking a selfie

The fact that rich people often think they're better than poor people is one of those unspoken truths of society. We all know it happens, even if no one likes to admit it.

Luckily, we've got the research to prove it. In a series of studies, University of California at Berkley Psychologist Paul K. Piff tested the links between social class, entitlement, and narcissism.

"Americans may be more narcissistic now than ever, but narcissism is not evenly distributed across social strata," Piff wrote. "Higher social class is associated with increased entitlement and narcissism."

Here's how he proved it: 

Study 1: Piff selected two groups of 100 or so adults to take a questionnaire that measured the extent to which they felt they deserve more than others. Next, he had them look at a picture of a ladder with 10 rungs representing people with different levels of income, education, and occupational prestige. Participants had to select a rung to represent where they felt they stood relative to others.

Findings: Wealthier people, particularly those whose parents were highly educated, were significantly more likely to think they deserved more than others. Combined with the second test, Piff found that the higher people put themselves on the ladder, the higher their sense of entitlement.

Study 2: Study groups completed something called a "Me Versus Other" scale to show how they see themselves versus others. Subjects choose between seven sets of four circles, in which the circle containing the word "me" is larger or smaller compared to the three circles containing the word "other." The larger the "me" circle you pick, the more likely you're a narcissist. Then they chose from 40 two-statement pairs (eg: “I like to look at myself in the mirror” or “I am not particularly interested in looking at myself in the mirror”), with one answer indicating narcissism. Afterward, they listed their income level.

Findings:  Upper-class individuals were significantly more prone to increased narcissism, which is in part due to their greater sense of entitlement. 

Study 3: Piff first had participants answer a series of questions about their financial upbringing. As they left the study room, they were asked to pose for a photograph for another study and told that there was a mirror down the hall where they could check themselves out before the photo was taken.

Findings:  More than 60% of the participants used the mirror, and Piff found upper class people were significantly more likely to want to see themselves first. 

Study 4: Piff wanted to see whether simply reminding people of egalitarian values could change their levels of narcissism. He asked one group of people to list three benefits of regarding others as equals. He asked another group to list three activities they did during an average day. Afterward, both groups took a questionnaire meant to show their sense of entitlement.

Findings: People who thought about egalitarian things showed much lower entitlement than those in the control condition.

"Bringing emerging social class theory to bear on the issue of historical trends in narcissistic personality, my research reveals that recent rises in narcissism may be most pronounced among upper-class individuals and less accelerated, if increasing at all, among lower-class individuals," Piff concluded.

SEE ALSO: 21 ways rich people think differently

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How To Make Glorious Carb-Free Breakfast Muffins That Your Co-Workers Will Drool Over

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bacon breakfast muffins

I recently started doing a low-carb diet, and it's going remarkably well. 

One of the best parts is that the food itself is fantastic. Since I bring in homemade low-carb breakfast muffins every day, people are interested in how to make them. 

I learned this fantastic recipe from Caveman Keto, one of the best sites online for low-carb recipes that are still delicious. 

Here's how to make the bacon muffins that will make your coworkers envious.

First, start with a standard nonstick muffin pan.



Fry 12 pieces of bacon and insert them like this into the muffin pan.



Take a head of broccoli and fry that until it is soft.



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See The Ad For The Standard Hotel Accused Of Trivializing Violence Against Women

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standard hotel violence womenThe image of a woman's body, prostrated on the ground, her head crushed under a large suitcase, isn't exactly what one would expect to advertise a hotel chain.

But actress and blogger Daisy noticed that The Standard Hotel did just that in a recent issue of DuJour magazine —placing its logo subtly in the bottom left hand corner of the page.

Not only is the content morally questionable, but the edgy branding message seems off as well. Unless the takeaway is: Be careful of walking close to the hotel windows for fear of projectile luggage.

In an attempt to quiet complaints that the ad makes light of violence against women, the hotel told Change.org:

"The Standard advertisement utilized an image series created by the contemporary artist, Erwin Wurm. We apologize to anyone who views this image as insensitive or promoting violence. No offense or harm was intended. The Standard has discontinued usage of this image."

According to Fast Company, this isn't the first time The Standard has been in trouble for questionable advertising.

A 2012 "politically incorrect" ad campaign also featured Wurm's work (from a series literally called "How to be Politically Incorrect"), showed many questionable images, including a man diving his head into a woman's top and a woman urinating on a hotel room floor.

At the time, Claire Darrow, the creative director for Andre Balazs Properties justified the ad selection because the company was “surrendering our ads to art, so to speak…We want to contribute to the magazines…We don’t just want to advertise.”

Here's a full image of the recent ad:standard hotel violence women

SEE ALSO:  Mercedes 'Not Amused' With Spec Ad Showing A C-Class Running Over Young Adolf Hitler

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Etihad Airways Has Very Strict Rules For How Many Falcons Passengers Can Bring On A Plane

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falcon Abu Dhabi Falconry 400m competitions

If you're traveling with your pet falcon and don't want to put it in the cargo hold, Etihad Airways can accommodate you.

But if you want to bring two falcons into the cabin, you'll need to buy a first class ticket.

The airline does not specify why it allows the birds of prey on board, but given that falconry (training the birds to hunt) is popular in the United Arab Emirates, it makes sense that the nation's flag carrier would accommodate its practitioners.

Here's the detailed policy, courtesy of SeatGuru, and confirmed as accurate by an Etihad rep:

Diamond First Class

  • Up to 2 falcons per guest (per seat) are permitted. Charge for each falcon (which is considered 6.6 lb/ 3 kg) is 3 times the normal excess baggage rate of the journey.
  • Up to 2 additional falcons can be carried when an extra seat is purchased within same class. No excess baggage charges for the additional falcons will apply.

Pearl Business Class

  • Up to 2 falcons per guest (per seat) are permitted. Charge for each falcon (which is considered 6.6 lb/ 3 kg) is 3 times the normal excess baggage rate of the journey.
  • Up to 2 additional falcons can be carried when an extra seat is purchased within same class. No excess baggage charges for the additional falcons will apply.

Coral Economy Class

  • 1 falcon per guest (per seat) is permitted. Charge for one falcon (which is considered 6.6 lb/ 3 kg) is 3 times the normal excess baggage rate of the journey.
  • 1 additional falcon can be carried when an extra seat is purchased within same class. No excess baggage charges for the additional falcon will apply.

Note: The charge for each additional seat purchased will be the fare applicable for an adult guest occupying the seat. This applies to all travel classes and charges will depend on the number of seats, the travel class and sector of travel. Guests are not entitled to any additional free baggage allowance for the additional seat(s) purchased for falcons. Per UAE Civil Aviation norms, no piece of baggage may exceed 70 lb/ 32 kg in weight or 80 in/ 200 cm in dimension.

On its website, Etihad notes that in addition to falcons, seeing eye dogs are permitted in the cabin for flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States, if proper documentation is provided.

PHOTOS: Check Out The Crazily Luxurious WW2-Era Boeing Clipper Plane

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CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta Has Two Breakfasts And Exercises Before Doing 6AM Hospital Rounds

Head To One Of The 10 Best Beaches In America This Labor Day

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kahanamoku beach oahu

Labor Day is almost here, and with it, the official end of beach season.

If you haven't made it to the shore this summer, you still have one last shot. 

Here are the 10 best beaches in America for 2013, according to "Dr. Beach." Better known as Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Dr. Beach is a coastal expert and professor at Florida International University.

He ranks the beaches on 50 criteria including the local scene, sand quality, water quality, smell, and environmental management. Last year's #1 beach, Coronado Beach in San Diego, was retired after earning the top spot.

Fortunately, most of the beaches on his list are in places that are warm year-round, so even if you can't make it to one this Labor Day, they're worth remembering for a winter vacation.

#10 Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, SC



#9 Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, MA



#8 Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, NC



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A New Image Recognition App Lets You Shop Straight From Print Ads

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Pounce appAs archaic as they may seem, store catalogs and print ads are still a go-to source of information for millions of shoppers every day. 

Pounce, a new digital shopping app, is turning print ads digital by letting users buy products straight from their pages using their phone. 

Here's how it works: 

You home in on the merch you want and snap a photo using the app's framing tool. If you've loaded your credit card information already into the app, buying the product is just a matter of taping one or two keys.

The app uses the same checkout systems as the retailer's online store, making a seamless connection between print and online shopping.

There's just one catch: for now, the app only works with print catalogs from Staples, Ace Hardware, Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us and Target. Pounce says more retailers will join soon, but chances are that'll only happen if the app takes off with consumers first. 

"Print media is a great shopping tool for consumers, but it comes with a time-delay between the initial intent and the actual transaction. Pounce removes that interruption, empowering consumers with the option to purchase a product right then and there, instead of going online or driving to a store," Avital Yachin, Founder & CEO of Pounce said in a statement.

We're all ears – what do you think about Pounce? 

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Photographer Captures The Gritty Beauty Of New York City On His iPhone

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01_madonnaIn his latest project, photographer Leland Bobbé captures New York's neglected wall art  ripped and tattered posters plastered on buildings around the city — using only his smartphone.

"I find that the random rips and tears on posters on top of other posters and walls reveals an unintended collage quality that creates it’s own aesthetic balance," he writes of the project. "This yields an abstract expression based on gritty realism."

Bobbé, who has photographed the society ladies of Fifth Avenue and drag queens in half-done makeup, took all the photos in his "wall art series" on his iPhone using the regular camera app (he cleaned them up in Photoshop).

Geisha



Smokin'



Shades



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These People Work In Paradise (And You Can Too!)

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man wearing sunglasses in american flag innertube

Who wants to work in an office until they die?

With the Internet keeping everything super-connected it's possible for many people to carry our their entire job descriptions online, and they're taking this as their cue to find a dream office of their own.

Consider this star Amazon engineer who lives and works on his boat in Hawaii – James Hamilton has made exactly this his reality for the past four years, living aboard his boat, keeping large portions of the Internet functioning as he oversees Amazon Web Services, and writing the occasional blog entry about what it's like (he recently shared these cool diving pictures).

But Hamilton's a bit of a rock star at his company, so it's clearly beyond the means of the everyman to do something like that, right? Not so – consider Maptia, a scrappy startup that set up shop in Morocco instead of its initially-planned location, the much-more-expensive London. The five employees now live in a picturesque surfing town called Taghazout, ten feet from the Atlantic Ocean.

This might sound a little nuts for a fledgling company still getting off the ground, but consider this: the employees can feed themselves for $10 a week per person. Imagine how far their $100,000 of seed money will go. By living a bit off the beaten path they can also set themselves up for success by removing all kinds of distractions, and like Y Combinator founder Paul Graham said, "The most successful startups are the ones that completely remove distractions. They just sleep, eat, exercise, and program."

Maybe you don't want to deal with moving internationally. Matt Bauer, president of BetterWorld Telecom in Reston, Virginia, moved to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. "It's part of the United States, so you don't even need a passport to go there – you just need a driver's license," he said. "It's like moving to another state ... And at 5 PM you walk out the front door and run off the pier and jump into the Caribbean ocean."

St. Croix also boasts another feature that will make it appealing to anyone looking for a picturesque place to set up a new office. It wants to become a hub for remote workers. Three of the Internet's biggest cables connect there, so it's sitting on a huge portion of the Internet.

Local authorities are currently putting in about $300 million worth of new infrastructure to expand local connectivity to these pipelines, thanks to U.S. stimulus grants and private business investment. WiFi speeds from St. Croix will soon be very fast.

If you'd rather "commute" barefoot on the beach, you'll want to make a plan to ask your boss to let you work from home. At that point, you can get busy recasting your workspace to be a boat deck, a beach chair, or some other private version of your own paradise.

SEE ALSO: DREAM LIFE: How The Tropical Island Of St. Croix Is Paradise For Remote Tech Workers

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The 19 Biggest Thefts Of The Year

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Police at Cannes Hotel after diamond heist

When a single thief made off with $136 million in jewelry last month in Cannes, France, it may have been the biggest jewelry heist ever.

Meanwhile art thieves are making more money than ever.

All in all, it's been a good year for stealing stuff.

We've rounded up the biggest and boldest thefts of the past 12 months. Thankfully, many of these crimes have been solved or brought to trial.

A $2.6 million diamond necklace vanished from a star-studded party during the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Despite 80 bodyguards, the diamond necklace went missing at the end of the night, The Daily Telegraph reported. At least 20 different models wore the $2.6 million piece, which belonged to a collection from Swiss jeweler De Grisogono.

The theft follows the disappearance of another million-dollar diamond necklace by designer Chopard during the same festival. French police are still investigating both occurrences, although they admit the festival is a favorite for jewel heists.




Postal workers and some of their family members were arrested for allegedly stealing $2.7 million from the Macedonian postal service.

The money had been taken in a series of six thefts at a Macedonian postal service branch in a suburb of Skopje.

The most recent one earlier this month led to the arrest of eight people including the head of postal security, two mailmen, and directors of the Postal Officethe Macedonia International News Agency (MINA) reported. The thieves made out with a combined almost 2 million, which they reportedly used to pay terrorists' "pensions" for fighting against Macedonian police.



An employee at a wine storage company allegedly swiped $2.7 million in vintage blends from his clients' lockers.

The employee in question was George Osumi, from Newport Beach, Calif. He had been working at Irvine's Legend Cellars when he was accused of replacing more than 1,000 bottles of first-growth Bordeaux from clients' private lockers with Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck, The Huffington Post reported.

Osumi allegedly swapped out the fine wine for a $2 Trader Joe's blend some time between January 2008 and June 2012, prosecutors alleged, and had a friend auction off the expensive ones. Osumi would then split the proceeds with his friend who, had no idea the wine was stolen, the Orange County District Attorney said. Osumi could face 16 years in prison.



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