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The 10 Best Barber Shops In London


Murdock, London barbershopMen who look their best often do so because they had a great barber to help them.

We've put together a list of the top 10 barber shops in London, thanks to our friends at Yelp.

Murdock's Shoreditch location came out on top, but their Covent Gardens location also made the list.

In a city as stylish as London, the barbers at any of these shops are guaranteed to make you look good.

#10 Geo. F. Trumper

9 Curzon Street

Trumper is known for its wide array of high-quality grooming products, which they use during cuts and shaves, and which customers can buy to pamper themselves at home.

Yelp user Tom B. says that "gentlemen come to Trumper for the sheer luxury of being shaved by an expert; to have their face swathed in hot towels, lathered and shaved, then moisturized and massaged is a truly pleasurable experience."

Note: Yelp's search results are based on an algorithm that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. Because several factors are taken into account, this is why you may see a 3.5-star restaurant with 500 reviews showing above a 4-star one with 15 reviews.

#9 Nicholas Barber Shop

38 Goodge Street

Sandwiched between a jewelry store and an Italian restaurant, Nicholas Barber Shop has been on Goodge Street for more than 40 years. And in 40 years they've amassed a following of loyal customers who like the reliable service.

"I've been going to Nicholas for about two years," writes Joseph T. "I get a standard back and sides cut which they do quickly and well for a cheap price. The last time I got my hair cut somewhere proper they told me I had difficult hair to cut, so I imagine the guys here are pretty good."

Note: Yelp's search results are based on an algorithm that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. Because several factors are taken into account, this is why you may see a 3.5-star restaurant with 500 reviews showing above a 4-star one with 15 reviews.

#8 Sharps Barber & Shop

1-1A Camden Walk

Ben Sherman was a British shirtmaker whose brand grew into a means of looking good in every way possible. Sharps is run out of their Camden Walk store, so men can find everything they need to look their best from top to bottom.

"I had my first close shave there, and it was definitely a great experience," says Thibault M. "I also had my hair cut, where great attention to details was given. I'm really happy with the results."

Note: Yelp's search results are based on an algorithm that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. Because several factors are taken into account, this is why you may see a 3.5-star restaurant with 500 reviews showing above a 4-star one with 15 reviews.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

22 Stunning Side-By-Side Images That Demonstrate China's Huge Wealth Gap


china wealth gap

At 122 billionaires, China has the second-largest concentration of billionaires in the world, according to Forbes. Yet 13% of China's population lives on less than $1.25 a day. 

China has a high Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality. In fact, during his outgoing speech at the 2012 National People's Congress, then president Hu Jintao said China should try and double its 2010 per capita income for urban and rural residents by 2020.

The Communist Party is weary of the growing wealth gap because of the risk it poses in the form of social unrest. To show just how disparate the lifestyle of wealthy Chinese is from China's poor, we drew on 22 images from Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon.

(L) Residents of an area for migrant workers watch a traveling circus troupe holding a show in Beijing and (R) celebrities and other guests attend a reception prior to a fashion show held at the Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park in Beijing.

(L) Residents gambling under streetlights in an alley of a residential area for migrant workers and (R) guests drinking Champagne as they wait for the start of a fashion show in Beijing.

"A combination photograph shows (L) a man carrying family members as passengers on his electric tricycle cart in Beijing and (R) visitors look around Rolls-Royce's vintage car during the Rolls-Royce's Concours d'Elegance event for celebrating its ten years business in China."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Norway Has More Money Than It Knows What To Do With



Norway, which goes to the polls on Monday, is an island of prosperity in Europe, with so much money that it literally doesn't know what to do with it.

The Nordic country faces an embarrassment of riches as it tries to figure out how to spend its huge pile of oil money without damaging the economy in the long run.

"All countries around us are forced to reduce their spending," said Oeystein Doerum, chief economist at Norway's largest bank DNB.

"Our biggest challenge is that our oil wealth is so huge we run the risk of wasting it on substandard projects that are not profitable enough."

The dilemma is all the more real because the populist right gathered in the Progress Party, which wants to abandon the cautious policies espoused by other parties, is likely to form a government with the Conservatives after the election.

Since the late 1990s, the Scandinavian country has conscientiously placed its oil revenues in a fund meant to finance the generous welfare state over the long run.

The fund invests mainly in stocks, bonds and real estate, placing the money outside Norway to avoid overheating.

In the process, it has become the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, weighing in at $750 billion (570 billion euros), or an average 1.25 percent of the market capitalisation of each company listed in the world.

To make sure that the fund keeps growing, the government can withdraw no more than four percent a year -- the projected annual return -- in order balance its budget, which otherwise would be in the red.

"The fact that you can have dilapidated schools and broken roads at the same time as you have a huge oil fund belonging to society is testimony to the frugality and long-term perspective of Norway's leaders," said Doerum.

Launching a lone assault on this consensus, the Progress Party wants to remove the fiscal spending rule and spend more money on education, research and infrastructure, to lay the foundation for future growth that would prove profitable for the state in the medium term.

The problem is that the Conservatives, which are likely to lead a post-election coalition with the Progress Party, actually think the current arrangement is too generous, pointing out that as the fund continues to grow, the amount of petro-money available to the government expands proportionally.

"The most important point of negotiation between the Progress Party and us is on the nature of the expenses, not on whether to exceed the four percent," said the Conservative leader Erna Solberg, Norway's likely next prime minister.

"We will not," she added, "be part of a government that carries out an irresponsible economic policy."

Even though the Norwegian economy has slowed down, excessive injection of public money could be destabilising.

In a country where there is almost full employment, the booming oil sector is pulling wages higher than they otherwise would be. This even goes for traditional industries, which are in competition to attract skilled workers.

The result is that Norwegian industrial wages are about 70 percent above those of other European countries, severely undermining the competitiveness of the nation's exporters.

An influx of petrodollars could thus ultimately have catastrophic consequences for employment and public accounts.

"Everything depends on how the money is spent," said Torbjoern Eika, head of research at Statistics Norway. "If we choose to lower taxes, the negative effects on the economy are less pronounced... because it tends to stimulate savings in the short term," he said.

Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who looks set to lose the election, has warned that the draft 2014 budget to be presented in October -- probably his last act in government -- will limit the drain on the oil windfall to a level not much higher than three percent, compared to 3.3 percent this year.

This measure not only meets the economic recommendations of the International Monetary Fund, but will also have the political advantage of complicating the task of the likely future government, which has vowed to cut taxes while increasing spending on health and infrastructure.

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A Local Reveals The Best Places To Eat, Drink, And Play In Amsterdam


AmsterdamBart van Poll, co-founder of Spotted by Locals, the network of apps and blogs by locals in 51 cities, shares his favorite local spots in the city he always loves coming home to, Amsterdam.

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

What you definitely don’t want to miss, is Amsterdam’s canals. Walk, bike or “hitchhike” a boat with locals (do not take a touristy canal boat. It’s not expensive and may sound tempting, but you’ll see almost nothing because they travel much too quickly to really allow the people aboard to soak in and learn about the many beautiful and historic sites. Plus, you are surrounded by tourists – the horror!).

Pick any of the big canals (Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht, Herengracht or Singel) for your walk, bike ride or boat tour, and stop frequently to admire the beautiful houses.

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

With a population consisting of 176 different nationalities, Amsterdam is the most multi-cultural city in the world.

One of The Netherland’s former colonies is Suriname. We are lucky to have a number of Surinamese people in Amsterdam. Suriname cuisine is wonderful, and indulging in its gastronomy is a great way to get a feel for the “local” culture.

For a glimpse of daily life, I recommend this form of transportation:

bikers in AmsterdamThe bicycle is by far the best way to get around. However, you’ll have the most fun on a boat. The canals look drastically different from the water. It’s very easy to “hitchhike” on the canals, especially if you carry a six-pack of beer (or two)!

I had my best night’s sleep at:

As a local, I don’t sleep at hotels. I do go to the new Andaz hotel regularly – it’s a very cool hotel located on one of the canals. It has a very local and pleasant feel, a great (and suprisingly – very affordable) restaurant and a very well stocked bar!

The meal at this local eatery had me salivating for days:

Pata Negra, the tapas restaurant I’ve been visiting since I was a student 15 years ago, continues to surprise me with fantastic plates and wonderful wine. The same Spanish waiters have been working there for at least the last 15 years, but they seemed to have not learned any additional Dutch words. It’s super chaotic in a good way, and oozes atmosphere!

Best place to find artisan handicrafts:

The “9 streets” area is one of the few shopping areas in Amsterdam where not one big international shopping chain is active. It’s a haven for boutiques, galleries and artisan shops. I love visiting the shoemaker “Sir Max“ in the “9 streets” area. I’ve given up hope though that one day I might be able to splurge to buy a pair of their beautiful shoes…

Local celebration not to be missed:

Queens day! About a million people dressed in orange go crazy to celebrate the birthday of our former Queen Juliana. There is music and parties everywhere, and plenty of madness! It’s really Amsterdam’s bash of the year.

Interestingly, in 2012 the late Queen Juliana’s grandson Alexander took over as king. So beginning in 2014, we’ll celebrate King’s day, on 26 April.

For a more bucolic/green setting I escape here:

Vondelpark in AmsterdamMy favorite park in the world is the Vondelpark. I live about a minute walk away, and go there every day. In the summer I play late night frisbee with friends (we have frisbees with LED lights!), have picnics, read a book, or just chill out and look at the Amsterdam locals passing by on their bikes and skateboards.

It can get awfully busy in Vondelpark during summer. If I really want to escape, I take my bike and go to the Oeverlanden – just north of Amsterdam. It’s approximately 45 minutes by bike to virtually the middle of nowhere. It is beautiful with plenty of farms, waterways and lush countryside, with the skyline of Amsterdam as a backdrop.

The art/music scene is alive and well here:

For great underground music follow the squat scene! Many old squats have been transformed into fantastic art & music places.

OT301 is one of the most active. Almost every day, something is going on there. From ping-pong nights, to Korean film festivals, to glam rock parties.

OCCI is oftentimes a bit too alternative for my taste, however I have enjoyed some truly memorable nights there, and the quality of bands is always very good.

The Vondelbunker is another alternative culture hotspot that’s privy only to locals and it’s located right in the Vondelpark. They don’t organize very many events (and when they do, they usually don’t post them on their website), however they’re always special.

Where the locals get tipsy:

One of the most happening nightlife spots in Amsterdam at this moment is Roest in Amsterdam East. They have an event almost every night of the week. You can stay here for a “do it yourself” barbecue and campfire with locals. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find a good party stirring late night.

Most ludicrous stereotype about the people here:

As softdrugs are semi-legal in Amsterdam, many people are under the impression that most Amsterdam locals get high all the time. The truth is, we smoke a lot less weed than in countries around us where softdrugs are illegal. And we certainly smoke less than tourists! Being able to buy weed legally in a shop makes using softdrugs uninteresting for most locals. Most people try it a couple of times, and decide it’s not for them.

Some “coffee shops” (that’s how the shops where you can buy softdrugs are referred to) used to be my favorite places to go, because of their relaxed atmosphere. Coffee shops used to be great places to drink beer with friends, but unfortunately many laws changed in the last few years. It’s no longer possible to buy alcohol in coffee shops, or to smoke. Unfortunately, most coffee shops are now deserted and have lost their lively soul.

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

Amsterdam is a relatively small city, so you can see a lot in one day. On a typical weekend, my wife and I bike from the South (where we live) to North Amsterdam, to West Amsterdam, to East Amsterdam and back South. You’ll get a good glimpse of the city if you do what we do almost every week!

First, head to one of the big canals and bike the entire length, stopping frequently to admire the beautiful houses. If the weather is nice, buy a sandwich and sit as you watch the boats go by.

Then bike towards central station (try to avoid the awful touristy Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein and Rokin) and hop on the free ferry to cross the river IJ to NDSM wharf (you can take your bike along free of charge).

The NDSM wharf area is where the world’s first super large container ships were made. Nowadays, it’s a creative hotspot with lots of artists and galleries. A great place to have coffee is at the “beach” bar Pllek.

Take the ferry across the canal again. Not to Central Station, but to Houthavens. Check out the wonderful warehouses near the river from the ferry and the view of the center of Amsterdam. The former Gas factory “Westergasfabriek” is another beautiful factory turned into a cultural hotspot with lots of galleries and cafés. It’s situated in one of my favorite local parks – Westerpark.

Hit the road again with your rental bike, to the far East of Amsterdam, about a 30-minute bike ride. Amsterdam East is the most international part of Amsterdam. Take advantage of it by having Suriname food at the Dappermarkt.

After that, you deserve a beer at one of the most iconic breweries in Amsterdam – Brouwerij ‘t IJ. It’s located in an old windmill, so you’ll also be able to enjoy some Dutch nuances!

SEE ALSO: Gorgeous Aerial Photos Show Paris Like You've Never Seen It Before

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Elderly Marine Veteran's Home Foreclosed Over $134 Property Tax Bill


washington monument DC

A $134 property tax bill was all it took for an elderly Vietnam veteran to lose his home to foreclosure in Northeast Washington, D.C. two years ago.

An investigation conducted by Michael Sallah, Debbie Cenziper, and Steven Rich of The Washington Post reveals the story of 76-year-old Bennie Coleman, who was forced out of his home after failing to pay the bill.

From The Post:

In 2006, he forgot to pay a $134 tax bill, prompting the city to place a lien on the home and add $183 in interest and penalties. His son paid the $317 bill in 2009, records show, but that wasn’t enough.

The Maryland company that had bought the lien had already gone to court to put a foreclosure in motion. To lift the lien, the company’s lawyer was demanding steep legal fees and expenses— $4,999.

Despite new laws passed in the district to slow down the pace of foreclosures, the inevitable couldn't be stopped. After his son wasn't able to pay the added fees, U.S. marshalls came to force him off the property in 2011.

Coleman, a retired Marine veteran known in the neighborhood by his nickname "Tops," suffered from dementia — and often forgot to pay bills, or even buy food. His mortgage was paid off in 1988 for $57,500, from life insurance money received after his wife died in 1988.

"I have nothing," Coleman told The Post.

The Post investigation shows this is not uncommon: It's part of a D.C. government program that brings in private investors to recover taxes, by selling a tax debt lien which can then be brought to court to pursue foreclosure.

NOW: Read the full investigation at The Washington Post

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Stunning Time-Lapse Photos Show A Day Passing In Singapore


Time is a Dimension Fong Qi Wei

Photographs freeze the world around us — unless they're by Singapore-based photographer Fong Qi Wei.

Intrigued by photographing time, Wei created single, composite pictures from a sequence of images spanning 2-4 hours. He concentrated on capturing sunrises and sunsets as they evolved over different landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes.

He then digitally stitched the images together to get a snapshot of time passing over the scene for his series "Time is a Dimension."

"Most paintings and photographs are an instance of time," Wei explained in his artist's statement. "That’s not the way the world works. We experience a sequence of time, and that’s why a video is somehow more compelling than a freeze frame."

A plane flies over the Changi Beach dock in Singapore in the early morning.

Source: Fong Qi Wei/Thoughtful Photography

People walk along the Changi Beach as the sun sets.

Source: Fong Qi Wei/Thoughtful Photography

The Fullerton Bay Hotel comes alive at night in Wei's compilation photograph.

Source: Fong Qi Wei/Thoughtful Photography

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

35 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lifetime


stacks of books

Books have the profound capacity to stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Whether they're written for children, sci-fi lovers, mathematicians, or fiction aficionados, certain stories transcend their genre and should be read by everyone.

In a recent Reddit thread, users were asked what is a book that everyone needs to read at least once in their life?

Here are the top 35 books based on Reddit responses.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig

The story of a father and son's summer motorcycle trip across America from Minnesota to California, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is at its heart a philosophical journey.

The travel narrative is filled with fundamental questions on how to live your life and conversations between the father and his son: “The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

Buy the book here >

Submitted by Reddit user Exit_Smiling.

"Watership Down" by Richard Adams

First told to his daughters as a bedtime story, Richard Adams weaves the tale of a band of rabbits who abandon their comfy holes in the English downs after one of the rabbits has a vision of it being destroyed by tractors.

"Watership Down" follows them as they encounter evil rabbits, crows, a fox, rivers, and countless other dangers as they journey to find a new home.

Buy the book here >

Submitted by Reddit user joeallenrealty.

"The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow

An American professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pausch became famous after giving an upbeat lecture titled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" after learning he had pancreatic cancer and had three to six months of good health left.

After the success of his lecture, he co-authored the book "The Last Lecture" on the same theme of enjoying every moment in your life. 

Buy the book here >

Submitted by Reddit user kkup.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

WATCH: Flaming Lamborghini Explodes In Beijing

An Indy Filmmaker Created This Awesome Ad To Convince Young People To Buy A Mercedes


Skateboards, American flags, and American flag bikinis aren't standard in Mercedes-Benz commercials, but they're all over a new ad from filmmaker Casey Neistat.

Then again, the CLA-Class isn't a standard Mercedes. What sets it apart is its unusually low price tag of just $29,000, and its young target market: newly wealthy buyers looking for their first luxury car. 

Neistat is known for his creative YouTube videos, including a hugely popular video he made of himself biking into obstacles blocking NYC bike lanes. In the new Mercedes ad, a car drives on the Bonneville Salt Flats and through a city, towing a skateboard-riding Neistat.

The message appears: "Sometimes you just have to say yes."

It's a lot of fun to watch, and a perfect fit for the demographic Mercedes is trying to reach.


Then compare it to a recent ad for the E-Class, a much more expensive Benz:

Neistat also made a series of videos on the making of the commercial, you can watch Part 1 here.

PHOTOS: McLaren Tests Its Gorgeous New Supercar In The Desert

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The Company That Sets Color Trends Thinks Men Will Be Wearing 'Samba,' 'Koi,' And 'Acai' This Fall


The Pantone Color Institute, known for choosing The Color of the Year, has just released its Fall 2013 men's fashion colors.

Men this season can expect to wear a lot more Deep Lichen Green, Mykonos Blue, Carafe, Acai, Samba, Emerald, Linden Green, Beaujolais, Turbulence, and Koi.

Confused? Translated, you'll be wearing a lot more greenish-gray, blue, brown, purple, red, emerald, pea green, maroon, gray, and orange:

men's fall fashion colors pantone

Here's what Pantone had to say about its choices and how to wear them:

Luxurious Emerald, a sophisticated and vivid green, should be paired with Mykonos Blue or Linden Green for a clean and classic look.

Acai adds exotic mystery when paired with bold statement colors like Samba, while Koi remains decorative and dynamic, adding a pop of orange to a neutral wardrobe. Deep Lichen Green acts as the cornerstone color for the men's palette as well; however, pair the shaded mossy green with Beaujolais, a full-bodied red, for an elegantly masculine, quintessential fall look.

Unpredictable Turbulence and warm, rich Carafe, also play vital roles in men's fashion trends, serving as strong staple hues for outerwear throughout the cooler months. Create a well-balanced look by combining either neutral with Beaujolais or Koi.

Pantone chose these colors based on surveys sent to designers at New York Fashion Week and by noticing which hues were the most-used on the runway and in the new fall collections.

To learn more about how Pantone picks the "Color of the Year" and other color trends, click here.

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The Craziest Costumes At Burning Man [PHOTOS]


Burning Man Costumes

When it's nearly 100 degrees in the middle of the Nevada desert, clothing is limited, and sometimes even optional at Burning Man — "an annual art event and temporary community based on radical self expression and self-reliance in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada."

But for those who do choose to wear clothing, it's all about the costumes.

And the ornate outfits have become a huge part of the festival.

Bikinis, body paint, tutus, masks, headdresses, wigs, floral crowns and feathers  it's all there!

Often all worn at once.

Everyone used bikes to get around the Burning Man desert, but that didn't stop people from breaking out their best costumes.

Like this guy, who went all out in green.

Or this creative dog-in-a-cage costume.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

POLL: Here's How Men And Women Think Differently On Matters Of Dating And Sex



A Business Insider-SurveyMonkey Audience poll asked American singles what they thought about sex and dating, finding that men and women oftentimes have distinctly contrasting views when it comes to hooking up. 

The poll — which had 1,660 respondents, all of them singles comprised of 739 men and 921 women — asked people about the people they've dated or would date, the ways people asked others out, and most interestingly what was appropriate and when.

The poll respondents all identified as either never married, widowed, divorced or  separated, so all these responses come from people who are in the market.

Much thanks to our partners at Survey Monkey Audience for collecting the data.

Here's what we found. 

Around 70% of both men and women have gone in for the kiss on the first date. Nearly half of men — 45% — and almost a third of women — 28% — reported that they have slept with someone on the first date.

dating sex poll

When it comes to who people end up dating, there's a more significant disparity between men and women.

  • Women seem slightly more comfortable juggling partners, with 43% reporting they've dated more than one person at the same time compared to 37% of dudes. 

  • On the other hand, men are more likely to date young while women are more likely to date older. 

  • 44% of respondents said they had dated a co-worker.

  • Around half of respondents claimed they had dated a member of another race, while around three quarters of respondents had dated a member of another religion.

dating sex poll

Americans are pretty cool with texting someone to ask them out. Slightly more men use online dating then women. 

dating sex poll

Half of people are willing to go in for the goodnight kiss on the first date. Almost everyone expects a smooch within five dates, so quit dragging your feet people. 

dating sex poll

Sleeping with someone, though, is more complicated. It appears that Daft Punk had a point, and that guys seem to be in it to get lucky, skewing earlier than the ladies. A non-negligible portion of the sample, though, does think that sex should wait until marriage.

dating sex poll

Here's a social more that's changed quite a bit over time. Hardly anyone still thinks it's important to wait until marriage to have sex. Men think it's slightly less important to wait.

dating sex poll

This chart is relatively interesting but essentially confirms what we'd expect to see. Also we have identified that 2% of dudes are kind of creepy. The ages between 19-22 are seen as the appropriate time to have sex for the first time.

dating sex poll

While you should take this with the largest grain of salt you can find at your local grocer, the results line up largely where you'd expect. Both men and women largely say that they were between 15-18 and when they had sex for the first time. A few more men say they had sex for the first time when they were very young.

dating sex poll

Oh, and singles by and large seem to be down with gay marriage. 

dating sex poll

Here's the age breakdown:

  • 18 - 29: 37%
  • 30-44: 23%
  • 45-60: 21%
  • 60+ : 20%

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Miranda Kerr Is Noticeably Absent From The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Line-Up


miranda kerr

Today, Victoria's Secret announced the line-up for its famous annual fashion show. 

Familiar faces like Adriana Lima, Karlie Kloss, and Alessandra Ambrosio will appear on the runway at this year's show, which will air December 10 on CBS. 

Noticeably absent was longtime Angel Miranda Kerr, Vogue reports

In April, Kerr announced she was leaving the brand after six years as an Angel. 

Kerr said she was focusing on being a mother to her young son, and on other contracts with brands ranging from Kora Organics skincare to Reebok.

But reports claimed that Victoria's Secret dropped Kerr because of her "difficult" reputation and because she wasn't selling as much lingerie as other models. 

Victoria's Secret later put up a united front with Kerr, saying that she would be walking in the brand's annual Fashion Show. 

Her absence from the line-up, which an astonishing 9.3 million people watched last year, suggests that her split with the brand was less than amicable. 

SEE ALSO: How Miranda Kerr Became Too Hot For Victoria's Secret

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The Happiest Countries In The World


The United Nations General Assembly has just released its second annual World Happiness Report, measuring happiness and well-being in countries around the world to help guide public policy.

Denmark topped the list of the happiest nations, ousting last year's winner, Iceland. Denmark was followed by Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

The United States ranked 17th, behind Mexico, though that was an improvement from last year's 23rd place finish.

The World Happiness Report ranks countries based on six key factors that contribute to well-being, including GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.

And in case you were wondering why any of this maters, it turns out happiness helps people live longer, have more productive lives, earn higher wages, and be better citizens in general, according to the report.

Here are the 25 happiest countries from the study below. Each color represents one of the six key factors (key at the bottom):

happiness chart 2013 World Happiness Report

And here are the 10 least happy countries, with Togo ranking as the least happy:

  1. Togo

  2. Benin

  3. Central African Republic

  4. Burundi

  5. Rwanda

  6. Tanzania

  7. Guinea

  8. Comoros

  9. Syria

  10. Senegal

SEE ALSO: The 15 Countries With The Highest Quality Of Life

FOLLOW US: Like Business Insider's lifestyle section on Facebook

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12 Fascinating Facts About Sleep From Around The World


The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), an independent nonprofit organization, conducted an international poll to compare the sleeping habits of people in six different countries.

The NSF polled individuals in the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom between the ages of 25 and 55 about their sleep habits. The study wasn't peer reviewed or published in a journal, but here are some interesting facts they found:

1. Less than half of the respondents in each country are sleeping well every night.

2. The United States and Japan are getting the least amount of sleep overall.

Consequently, about one-half from both countries reported at least one nap in the last two weeks.

3. About a quarter of respondents in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada never or rarely sleep well before a workday.

Screen Shot 2013 09 09 at 1.32.04 PMThe United States and Japan led the way for those who get less than six hours of sleep before a workday, and about two-thirds in Japan and half in the United States sleep less than seven hours before work.

4. In the United Kingdom almost one-third sleep naked.

While over half of the respondents in all six countries reported sleeping in pajamas, the United Kingdom seems to be a little more liberal.

5. Pillows are most important to the United States.

The United States reported the highest average number of pillows (2.2), while Japan reported the lowest (1.1).

6. Mexico leads the way in bedroom tidiness.

Mexico reported 82% make the bed every day or almost every day, and almost one-quarter reported they change the sheets more than once a week.

7. Bedroom scents are common.

About 65 to 80% of people in every country said they took steps to make sure their bedroom smelled the way they liked, except Japan, where only 28% cared enough to take any action. Regularly airing out the bedroom is important in Germany, with 96% saying they do it more than once a week.

8. A comfortable sleep surface and cozy sheets and bedding were rated the most important romantic elements in all six countries.

9. The United States' respondents were more likely to sleep with a pet.

Screen Shot 2013 09 09 at 1.38.51 PMOver half of respondents in Japan reported sleeping alone, while three-quarters of respondents in Canada reported sleeping with a significant other.

10. The most common activity before bed is watching TV.

At least two-thirds or more from each country reported they watch TV before bed. In Mexico 62% reported praying or meditating before bed.

11. At least one-quarter from every country thought about work-related stress in the last two weeks while lying in bed.

Almost 20% in Canada reported work-related stress plagued them every night before bed. Over half in Mexico reported thinking about personal finance stress almost every night. At least a quarter in every country reported thinking about personal life stress almost every night.

12. Over 86% in every country agreed quietness created a more relaxing sleep environment.

However, 61% in Mexico agreed that music also created a relaxing sleep environment. Music was also rated highest in Mexico as a bedroom romance element.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Should Know About Sleep

CHECK OUT: The Scary Reality Of What Happens If You Go Weeks Without Sleep

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Olive Garden Is Going To Start Selling Tapas


Olive Garden Small Plate

Olive Garden, the casual dining chain known for its Never Ending Pasta Bowl, is making small plates a permanent fixture on the menu, according to Bloomberg's Leslie Patton.

The new calorie-conscious menu items are an effort to attract millennials and spur sales, Patton reported.

Parmesan asparagus and grilled-chicken tapas are among the $4 plates that will be added in December. 

But the company continues to promote its heartier portions, too.

Olive Bowl has been earnestly promoting the Never Ending Pasta Bowl on Twitter:

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31 Vintage Photos Of Florida's Booming Retirement Communities In The 1970s


florida, retirement, 1970s

In the 1970s, thousands of retirees from the Northeast started migrating to Florida for warmer weather and stress-free living.

Developers quickly realized the opportunity and started building retirement communities like Century Village in West Palm Beach.

The "Gray Wave" of the 1970s resulted in a construction boom in the state, created a new industry of catering to the retired population, and made Florida a key political state.

Photographer Flip Schulke was commissioned by EPA to document the rise of retirement communities in Florida in the mid-1970s as part of the Documerica project. He captured the active lives of retirees in West Palm Beach, Miami and Key West.

From riding bikes to hanging at the pool to playing shuffleboard, retirement in Florida was the epitome of the American dream.

Tricycle Club of the Century Village Retirement Community (West Palm Beach)

Riding Three-Wheelers.

Tourists at the Public Beach Pier (Miami Beach)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

17 Cars We Can't Wait To See At The World's Biggest Auto Show


Kia Niro concept

The Frankfurt Motor Show — the world's biggest car expo — is kicking off this week, and the world's automakers are headed to Germany with 159 world premieres.

With the unusual, possibly lost in translation slogan "the world's most automobile show," the 65th edition of the International Motor Show is playing host to new rides from Europe, the United States, and Asia.

From all the new cars that will be on display, we've picked out the 17 most exciting, including a sexy new Bugatti and a powerful hybrid concept that could save Peugeot.

Perhaps Smart has realized that a two-seat car just isn't very useful: It's created the fourjoy concept for Frankfurt, its first four-seat ride. And it's electric.

The CLA 45 AMG Racing Series concept is made largely from carbon fiber, and Mercedes-Benz will actually put it into production 'if demand is high enough.'

This one's a mouthful: the Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition concept car should go into production in 2014, with a new color scheme, materials, and finish.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This One Chart Predicts What Your Relationship Status Will Look Like For The Rest Of Your Life


Wolfram Alpha, the geekiest site on the net, has maintained a service where you can share your Facebook data with them and they'll spit out a fantastic analysis. 

While Wolfram initially deleted all the data they collected from you within a few hours, the shear potential of the data got the better of them and they made it an option that you can donate your data to the research group so they can study the way we interact on the social network. (People who opt out of data donation still get their stuff deleted).

As a result of those "data donors," the Wolfram team has been able to learn a ton about the way people behave on social networks (and therefore in real life).

One interesting thing they've found is what people's friends' relationship statuses will look like over time. We just saw it presented last week at the Wolfram Data Summit, and the folks behind the Wolfram Blog were kind enough to allow us to reprint it.

Here's what your friends' relationships will look like moving forward. You can see the silly teenagers who put their relationship statuses as "married" and then recant when they go to college. If you're in your twenties, buckle up and start saving up for crock-pots and home appliances.  Later on, the number of "single" and "widowed" users starts to rise.

Wolfram facebook

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Luxury Retailers Neiman Marcus And Bergdorf Goodman Sold To 99¢ Only Stores' Owners For $6 Billion


Luxury retail chain Neiman Marcus was just sold to a group led by Ares Management, the owners of 99¢ Only Stores, and by the Canada Pension Investment Board for $6 billion.

That's a billion dollars more than what current private equity owners TPG Capital, Warburg Pincus and Leonard Green Partners, paid for it in 2005 just before the start of the Great Recession.

The new owners would get 41 Neiman Marcus stores as well as swanky retailer Bergdorf Goodman and some lower-price chains.

Watch the report below for more details.


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SEE ALSO: We Tried 'Sprayable Energy' — Liquid Caffeine You Spray Onto Your Skin

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