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OpenTable Says These Are The Best US Restaurants For Foodies


The Restaurant at Meadowood bar

Foodies are discerning eaters who do extensive research before sitting down to a meal. So where do foodies like to eat?

OpenTable has just announced its top 100 restaurants that are Fit For Foodies, which is based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The list of winners spans 26 states, with the majority of the restaurants serving contemporary American cuisine—perhaps a result of the increasingly popular farm-to-table movement. There were also several seafood restaurants.

"We’ve become a nation of foodies, and, as a result, restaurants everywhere are really raising the bar in their kitchens," said Caroline Potter, OpenTable's Chief Dining Officer. "Chefs and restaurateurs are more open to opportunities outside of places such as Manhattan. The cost of living – and doing business – is more affordable in smaller cities. It’s easier to get press and cultivate a crowd of regulars when there isn’t, literally, a restaurant (or two) on every corner."

While places like California and New York are filled with great restaurants, this year's list also highlights restaurants in Alabama, Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia. Potter called out Husk in Nashville, for example, as one of the most sought-after reservations on OpenTable.

Still, California was the big winner with 19 restaurants that made the list. Both Chicago and Philadelphia had nine restaurants on the list, while surprisingly New York state only had five restaurants.

Here's the full list of Foodie-friendly restaurants with their locations:

a(MUSE.)– Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Acadia– Chicago, Illinois

All Spice– San Mateo, California

Altura– Seattle, Washington

Art Café 26– Williamsburg, Virginia

Autre Monde– Berwyn, Illinois

Aviary– Portland, Oregon

Bar Lola– Portland, Maine

Barley Swine– Austin, Texas

Beast– Portland, Oregon

Beast and Bottle– Denver, Colorado

Belly and Trumpet– Dallas, Texas

Benu– San Francisco, California

Bibou– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bink’s Midtown– Phoenix, Arizona

Binkley’s Restaurant– Cave Creek, Arizona

Blue Hill at Stone Barns– Pocantico Hills, New York

BOCA– Cincinnati, Ohio

The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America– Hyde Park, New York

Canyon Kitchen– Sapphire, North Carolina

Carpe Vino– Auburn, California

Cascina Spinasse– Seattle, Washington

Castagna– Portland, Oregon

Chalkboard– Healdsburg, California

Commis– Oakland, California

Craigie on Main– Cambridge, Massachusetts

Crossroads– Los Angeles, California

Crudo– Phoenix, Arizona

Cúrate– Asheville, North Carolina

Driftwood– Dallas, Texas

The Farm and Fisherman– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant– Forestville, California

Feast– New York, New York

FIG– Charleston, South Carolina

Fishing With Dynamite– Manhattan Beach, California

Five Bistro– St. Louis, Missouri

Forage– Salt Lake City, Utah

Fore Street– Portland, Maine

Frances– San Francisco, California

Girasol– Studio City, California

Girl & the Goat– Chicago, Illinois

goosefoot– Chicago, Illinois

Gracie’s– Providence, Rhode Island

Grove– Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Grove– Delray Beach, Florida

Gwynnett St.– Brooklyn, New York

Heidi’s– Minneapolis, Minnesota

Highlands Bar & Grill– Birmingham, Alabama

How To Cook A Wolf– Seattle, Washington

Hugo’s Restaurant– Portland, Maine

Husk– Nashville, Tennessee

iNG Restaurant– Chicago, Illinois

ink.– Los Angeles, California

IRON at Marcus Pointe– Pensacola, Florida

Juno– Chicago, Illinois

Kabocha– Chicago, Illinois

Le Pigeon– Portland, Oregon

Lenoir Restaurant– Austin, Texas

Little Fish– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Maison– Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Manresa– Los Gatos, California

Moto Restaurant– Chicago, Illinois

n/naka– Los Angeles, California

Natural Selection– Portland, Oregon

Niche– Clayton, Missouri

The North Fork Table & Inn– Southold, New York

o ya– Boston, Massachusetts

Old Major– Denver, Colorado

Papilles– Los Angeles, California

The Pass– Houston, Texas

Piccolo– Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Pickled Heron– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Playground– Santa Ana, California

Poppy– Seattle, Washington

Posh– Scottsdale, Arizona

Primo– Rockland, Maine

The Pullman– Glenwood Springs, Colorado

The Restaurant at Meadowood– Saint Helena, California

Restaurant Alma– Minneapolis, Minnesota

Roe– Portland, Oregon

Root– New Orleans, Louisiana

Saison– San Francisco, California

Sbraga– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Serpico– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder– Asheville, North Carolina

ShinBay– Scottsdale, Arizona

Shorebreak Lodge– Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Sir and Star at the Olema– Olema, California

The Smoking Goat Restaurant– San Diego, California

Sons & Daughters– San Francisco, California

Spur Gastropub– Seattle, Washington

The Squeaky Bean– Denver, Colorado

Staple & Fancy Mercantile– Seattle, Washington

Takashi– Chicago, Illinois

Tilth– Seattle, Washington

Uptown Billiards Club– Portland, Oregon

Vedge– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Vernick Food & Drink– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Vetri– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Woodfire Grill– Atlanta, Georgia

SEE ALSO: The 45 Best Restaurants In America

Join the conversation about this story »


Could You Answer These 10 Questions From The US Citizenship Test?


In honor of Constitution Day, we've compiled a list of 10 of the most difficult questions you'll find on the U.S. citizenship test.

There are 100 possible questions on the test, but prospective citizens are only asked 10. Test-takers must answer six questions correctly to pass.

Most of the questions are pretty basic, but these are the 10 we think are most likely to trip people up. The correct answers are all listed below.

1. What is the rule of law?


2. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

Washington Capitol building

3. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?

Supreme Court Cherub

4. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?

School Bus

5. Why did colonists fight the British?


6. When was the Constitution written?

U.S. Constitution

7. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.

James Madison

8. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

Louisiana Purchase

9. Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?

General Eisenhower

10. Name one of the two longest rivers in the U.S.

rivers of the United States 

The acceptable answers for each question are copied below:

1. Everyone must follow the law; Leaders must obey the law; Government must obey the law; No one is above the law

2. 435.

3. John Roberts; John G. Roberts, Jr.

4. Provide schooling and education; Provide protection (police); Provide safety (fire departments); Give a driver’s license; Approve zoning and land use.

5. Because of high taxes (taxation without representation); Because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering); Because they didn’t have self-government.

6. 1787.

7. (James) Madison; (Alexander) Hamilton; (John) Jay; Publius.

8. The Louisiana Territory; Louisiana.

9. World War II.

10. Missouri (River); Mississippi (River).

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How An Overweight Couple Lost More Than 520 Pounds Together


Justin and Lauren Shelton were both grossly overweight when they got married in 2008.

Justin weighed over 450 pounds and Lauren tipped the scales at over 300 pounds.

Here's a wedding photo:

Screen Shot 2013 09 17 at 10.18.09 AM

"It snowballed from there," Lauren says in a clip from the TODAY show. "But we just didn't care."

The turning point came in January 2012 when Justin was rushed to the emergency room for a kidney infection and learned that he was too heavy for the machine to scan his kidneys.

The couple decided to lose weight the old-fashioned way — eating healthier and exercising more. They stopped eating high-fat junk foods and started going on hikes.

For example: Justin used to eat a 1,270 calorie breakfast of three eggs overeasy, lots of bacon, and pancakes smothered in syrup, says TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer.

See below:

Screen Shot 2013 09 17 at 10.08.00 AMNow for breakfast the couple eats sweet potato protein pancakes made with egg substitute and two slices of turkey bacon.

This meal is considerably lighter at only 194 calories:

Screen Shot 2013 09 17 at 10.08.24 AM

In a year and half, the husband and wife team has lost more than 520 pounds.

Ready for the before and after?

Here's what Justin and Lauren looked like over a year ago:

Screen Shot 2013 09 17 at 10.08.40 AM

And here's what they look like today, a combined 532 pounds lighter:

Screen Shot 2013 09 17 at 10.09.20 AM

Head over to TODAY to learn more about the couple's weight-loss journey»

SEE ALSO: 25 Things That Make You Happier

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Meet The 28 Most Powerful Women In Mobile Advertising: 2013


Diana LaGattuta

While there are plenty of influential women in the mobile ad business, most of them have CEOs above them who are male. When women are mobile adtech CEOs, it tends to be at smaller companies they founded themselves.

So here is our ranking of the most powerful female executives in the mobile ad business.

Skip straight to the list >

First, we asked our readers to submit nominations. To ensure the nominations weren't self-serving, we also asked you to submit two nominations from other companies, rivals or colleagues. And we asked for revenue numbers in dollars, to gauge the size of the business these executives are in charge of.

This is not a complete list of every influential woman in mobile advertising, obviously. We chose the women with larger client bases, greater revenues (or spending), larger staffs and more innovative ideas than their peers.

You can see more details on our ranking methodology at the end of this list. And here's last year's list for comparison.

28. Kathy Leake, co-founder/CEO of LocalResponse

Leake co-founded LocalResponse with Nihal Mehta, the investor best known for his early funding of AdMob. Her profile rose this year because Mehta stepped aside as CEO to become executive chairman; at the same time it looks as if LocalResponse is looking to be acquired.

LocalResponse now has about 30 employees and has taken $8 million in funding. 

LocalResponse's ingenious but simple offering: It's a mobile retargeting agency that serves location-based ads based on the content of your social media actions. If you tweet that you're hungry, you might next see a local pizza joint ad, for instance.

Twitter's recent big moves have been to open up its advertising API (to allow companies to place ads directly into the system) and to buy MoPub, an ad network and exchange. LocalResponse has not yet been named an Ads API partner. We'd love to see LocalResponse break out of that "interesting startup" phase and get to the next level.

27. Diana LaGattuta, vp/marketing at NativeX

NativeX, an app development/in-app advertising platform, has annual revenue in the "tens of millions," we're told. Its employee headcount is now 170, and it has taken $15 million in venture funding.

LaGuttata has a long history in mobile, having been a former global marketing director at Nokia and, as far back as 1995, a senior marketing manager at Cingular.

26. Polly Lieberman, vp/agency sales at Celtra

Lieberman again was referred to as a "rockstar" by her colleagues in the business.

Celtra offers AdCreator, a rich media ad production, delivery and analytics platform. This year it added mobile video analytics to the platform. The company also signed a deal with DDB Chicago to allow the agency to use AdCreator for its clients.

Celtra's other clients have included Nike, P&G and Paramount Pictures, and agencies/adtech companies Carat, Digitas, Hill Holliday, Isobar Mobile, Joule, MEC, Mindshare and Mobext.

Celtra says it became profitable in Q3 2012 with revenue growth of more than 300 percent. However, the company declines to disclose hard dollar numbers. We believe its net revenues are modest at this stage. The company has ~65 employees, and has plans to grow to 100 people after taking another $4 million in funding at the beginning of 2013.

Celtra has offices in Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London and Ljubljana.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Dwyane Wade Is Designing His Own Line Of Ties


Dwayne Wade

Yes, yes and yes.

The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, well known for his creative style, is designing his own line of ties for online retailer, the Tie Bar. The collection will be comprised of 30 bow ties, 15 neckties, 15 pocket squares and more.  It should all launch online in November.

Until then it's all surprises — though we are excited to know there will be cuff links.

The Tie Bar's CEO Anand Shah said that partnering with Wade was a "no brainer."

Wade said he's "excited to step into the designers seat with them." 

So how could this not be sick?

If you don't know about the Tie Bar, here's the deal: Since 2004 it's been a digital destination for all things men's neck accessory. That doesn't just mean bow ties, but also pocket squares etc. The company's based in Chicago and all the ties cost $15.

We'll be checking back in with this in November.

Join the conversation about this story »


This 'Big Mother Shucker' Can Kill A Lobster In 6 Seconds



Shucks Maine Lobster, a processor near Portland, uses a machine called the "Big Mother Shucker" to kill lobster in six seconds using high water pressure.

Here's how it works: Live lobsters are dumped into a cylindrical-shaped metal basket. The basket is lowered into a water-filled chamber where pumps crank up the pressure to around 40,000 pounds per square inch, more than twice the pressure of the deepest parts of the ocean. The lobsters die almost instantly, while the pressure causes the meat to detach from the shell. Before the lobsters come out of the machine, the pressure is increased to 87,000 pounds per square inch to kill off any bacteria or other pathogens. 

High pressure processing is used similarly in other industries to increase the shelf life of food. Although several Canadian processors use the high-pressure method to shuck lobsters, Shucks is the only place in the United States to use the multimillion dollar machine and sell frozen packaged lobster in its raw form.

The system has revolutionized how lobster meat is sold to consumers around the country, since previously the only way to get lobster out of its shell was by cooking it.

After going through the "Big Mother Shucker," the lobster can be removed from the shell in one solid piece, known as a "Naked Lobster":


SEE ALSO: See the Big Mother Shucker in action

SEE ALSO: See how lobsters are caught in Maine

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The Best New Skyscrapers On Earth


1. Absolute World Towers (1) © Edvard Mahnic

Forget about Singapore and New York City — the world's best new skyscraper is located in Canada.

Emporis, a database of construction projects, has named the Absolute World Towers in Mississauga, Canada, the best new skyscraper of 2012.

The two twisting towers were built by MAD Ltd and Burka Architects, and selected by an international jury of experts from over 300 skyscrapers at least 100 meters tall completed last year.

The Absolute World Towers were chosen for their aesthetic beauty. Nicknamed "Marilyn Monroe" for their curving shape, no two floors in the towers are exactly the same.

Also making the list this year were skyscrapers from Abu Dhabi and Qatar. 11 buildings made the Emporis list in total, with three of the new buildings tied at number nine on the ranking.

#9 (TIE) ZHENGZHOU GREENLAND PLAZA — Located in Zhengzhou, China, the Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza houses office space and a 435-room hotel. The tower includes a mirror at the top that reflects sunlight down into the hotel's atrium.

Source: Emporis

#9 (TIE) DUMANKAYA IKON —Istanbul, Turkey's Dumankaya IKON is an apartment building and shopping center. It's actually three interconnected towers that are joined on the 12th, 22nd, and 32nd floors.

Source: Emporis

#9 (TIE) RENAISSANCE BARCELONA FIRA HOTEL — The Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel has a dazzling white façade except on the North side, which is black. The Barcelona hotel also has a vertical garden inside with over 300 palm trees.

Source: Emporis

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's How Much Money You Could Be Making If You Rent Your New York Apartment Out On Super Bowl Weekend


And whoa! The place looked great. Just like the photos online.

There was once a time that hotel rooms and hostels were the only places to stay when you traveled. Thanks to Airbnb, this is no longer the case. 

The site allows people to put up their apartments, spare rooms, or couches for rent to travelers, usually at a fraction of the price of a hotel room.

But with the 2014 Super Bowl just months away, Airbnb users in the New York City area are thinking ahead on ways to cash in.

The Daily Dot reports Manhattan listings normally in the $85-$100 a night range are skyrocketing over Super Bowl weekend. New Jersey homes close to MetLife stadium have increased drastically.

The prices are vastly more inflated closer to the stadium. One New Jersey home eight miles away is renting at $1,599 a night for the game, up from $320. 

We took a look at some of the listings in Hell's Kitchen, a neighborhood in Manhattan near Times Square that's close to stadium transportation. This listing is for a full apartment and goes for as low as $220 a night on any other random weekend in October. The price has already soared for Super Bowl weekend:


Some have tailored their ads for football fans looking for a home base on game weekend. This listing - 2014 SUPER BOWL RENTAL HOME - is going for $12,000/night.  

Others have yet to boost their prices. There's still time to get a good deal on a place to stay if you act quickly, and the renter has to honor the price. 

This loft in Brooklyn is going for $65/night over the weekend of the Super Bowl:


Airbnb is now becoming somewhat of a business for renters, who plan their calendars and pricing schedules years in advance. One man, a Phoenix resident named Michael, has already set his booking calendar for Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, much like a hotel would. While he usually charges $155 a night for a private room in his suburban home; for the Super Bowl he's bumping it to $850 a night. The game is 16 months away.

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There Is A Massive Line Of People Waiting For A 'Cronut Concrete' At Shake Shack


What happens when you combine the ridiculously long lines for the Cronut with the equally ridiculously long lines for Shake Shack?


Line for Cronut Concrete at Shake Shack

For one day only, the inventor of the Cronut teamed up with Shake Shack to sell a "Cronut Hole Concrete," with proceeds going to the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Widows and Children's Fund and the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

The treats combine Shake Shack's handmade frozen custard ice cream with Ansel's fluffy pastries. With only 1,000 Cronut Hole Concretes available, people lined up as early as 4 am this morning to ensure they would get their hands on this once-in-a-lifetime delicacy.

Here's what the Cronut Holes look like:

And here's the Cronut Hole Concrete, complete with custard:

 And here's a more detailed look at how ridiculously long this line was:


SEE ALSO: We Tried Exo — A Protein Bar Made With 25 Crickets

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Miami's Famous Versace Mansion Just Sold For A Bargain $41.5 Million


Gianni Versace Mansion miami ocean drive

After more than a year on the real estate market, Miami's Versace Mansion finally sold for $41.5 million in a closed-door auction today.

For those keeping score, that's an $83.5 million discount from the home's original $125 million listing price.

Click here to skip to pictures of the mansion >

The infamous property was bought today by the Nakash family, owners of iconic '80s denim brand Jordache, according to The Real Deal. The Nakash's company, VM South Beach, is the chief creditor in the mansion's foreclosure case.

The Versace Mansion had trouble finding a buyer from the get-go. Originally listed for $125 million in June of 2012, the home was the most expensive in America at the time.

A few months later, however, it was price-chopped down to $100 million, then $75 million, and finally slated for bankruptcy auction.

The Nakash family reportedly plans to turn the storied mansion into a boutique hotel bearing Versace's name.

Fashion designer Gianni Versace originally bought the home in 1992 for $10 million, and invested $33 million into the property, adding a 6,100-square-foot wing, 54-foot-long mosaic-tiled pool (lined with 24-karat gold), and frescoes on the home's walls and ceilings.

He was murdered outside the property in 1997 by Andrew Cunanan. Tourists and fans still visit the home to take pictures on the steps where Versace died, which could explain why the estate had so much trouble finding a buyer.

Welcome to 1116 Ocean Drive in Miami, the infamous Versace Mansion. These are the steps where fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered in 1997.

Versace originally bought the home in 1992 and spent $33 million renovating it.

He added mosaics, a pool lined with gold, and 6,100 square feet with a new south wing.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Someone In China Disguised A Hyundai As A Lamborghini, Then Tried To Sell It For $16,000


Someone in China took a Hyundai, made it roughly resemble a Lamborghini Aventador, then tried to sell it for just over $16,000.

According to Reuters, the car had an ad under the windshield reading, "This refitted Lamborghini car on sale, starting price 98,000 yuan." The car was illegally parked on a pedestrian street in Chongqing. Police towed it after they could not contact the owner.

Here's what it looks like:

china hyundai fake lamborghini for sale

china hyundai fake lamborghini for sale

The headlamps are roughly the right shape, as is the hood. Not much else is right. And Lamborghinis don't have sunroofs. They do have Lamborghini hood ornaments. Here's a real Aventador:

Lamborghini Aventador LP700 4 Roadster at Goodwin Festival of Speed 2013

SEE ALSO: The 18 Coolest Cars At The Frankfurt Motor Show

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The 10 Best Pubs In London


The Windsor Castle London pub

Drinking and eating at a pub is a British pastime, and in London many pubs feel like home.

Our friends at Yelp helped us round up the 10 best pubs in the city, as ranked by the Yelp users who've been there.

Yelpers seem to prefer traditional pubs, ranking Covent Garden's The Harp at the top of the list.

But a few more contemporary establishments also made the top 10, including a pub that serves Thai food and another that could double as a church.

#10 Waxy O'Connor's

14-16 Rupert Street
Leicester Square

With multiple levels and multiple bars, walking into Waxy's is like stepping into a Catholic-church-turned-Diagon-Alley-shop straight out of Harry Potter. They have great brews, great food, and a fun, relaxed atmosphere.

"Waxy's has got to be one of the most fun pubs in all of England," writes Yelp reviewer Maria T. "Cheesy music aside... this place delivers the ultimate pub 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 The Victoria

10A Strathearn Place

Built in 1838, The Victoria serves affordable food and drinks and has decades of history. Charles Dickens used to write from the second floor of the bar, and rumor has it that Queen Victoria herself paid a visit to the pub, which is how it got its name.

"This has quickly become my local after moving to the area," says Alex S., "and I love it. It's hard not to. A great giant pub that serves cheap drinks. What's not to like about that?"

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 The Greenwich Union

56 Royal Hill

Meantime Brewing Company's first pub, The Greenwich Union, has ample indoor and outdoor seating and a seemingly endless beer menu. Customers also rave about the food, especially the burgers.

"This has to be one of the best Beer/Burger/Chips parlays in London," John S. writes. "The burger had a good flavor and was perfectly cooked/juicy... The service was bright and competent and I will definitely be back."

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

New Zealand Bros Played The Kindest Prank Ever By Switching All The Taps In Their Friend's House To Beer


A bunch of New Zealand bros played what is arguably the kindest prank ever on their friend by switching all the taps in his house from water to beer.

The video of the scheme, uploaded yesterday by YouTube user LittleJohnnyNZ, already has more than 600,000 views.

It's totally worth watching, but it's a little over 7 minutes long, so we went ahead and captured the key images.

Click here to see water turn into beer >>

If you have the time, you should watch the whole thing:

The crew begins by rolling the kegs under the house.

It's a tight fit, but they make it.

It's also a little dirty.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How To Organize And Clean Your Desk In Five Easy Steps

The 18 Best Moments From The World's Biggest Auto Show


frankfurt motor show crowd

Last week, journalists flocked to Germany for the Frankfurt Motor Show— the biggest car show on the planet.

Trying to catch the eye of the media (and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended), automakers hired performers, used lasers and smoke machines, offered massage seats, brought in the the Pet Shop Boys, had "booth babes" reveal their cars, and more.

Those gimmicks, plus lots of very cool cars, made for some great moments.

So enjoy the photos, then head over to Frankfurt —  the show is open to to the public until September 22.

Audi made the reveal of the Nanuk Quattro concept car exciting with lasers and smoke.

Ford's Vignale made a more demure entrance.

Mercedes-Benz staged quite the performance before introducing the S-Class coupe concept.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Matt Ehrlichman Sold His First Startup At Age 28 For $60 Million, And Now He's Back With Porch.com


There's a hot new competitor to Angie's List that launched today called Porch.com.

Like Angie's List, Porch helps you find home improvement professionals by checking recommendations. But it goes one better: It lets you see pictures of projects done in your own neighborhood including how much people paid for the work.

Here's an example:

Porch View Project Carousel

Matt Ehrlichman likes to call it "LinkedIn for homeowners," he told Business Insider, because it helps neighbors meet and swap notes about their remodeling projects.

So far, Porch.com has info on 90 million remodeling projects and 1.5 million home improvement professionals nationwide.

And the two cofounders and best friends since college have been through hell and high water to get here.

Matt Ehrlichman Porch.comIn March, Castro was diagnosed with brain cancer.

"He discovered he had brain cancer two days after his daughter was born," Ehrlichman told us.

Thankfully surgeons were able to remove 98 percent of the tumor and he's been doing six weeks of radiation to kill the rest. He goes to treatment in the morning, then comes into work.

His prognoses is good, Ehrlichman told us. Still, the illness "really changes my perspective and his. He's so much more fired up about what we're doing," Ehrlichman said. When you face something like this it makes you "want to have a real purpose."

This is the second startup Ehrlichman and Castro launched together. They founded the first, Thriva, in college.

Thriva was software for online summer camp and event registrations that was bought by The Active Network (otherwise known as Active.com) for $60 million in 2007. Ehrlichman was 28. After the sale, he took an executive role with Active.com and stayed through Active's IPO in 2011.

And Thriva wasn't even Ehrlichman's first success. At age 15 he launched a summer sports camp for kids called All Star Camps (the inspiration for Thriva). During high school, he built it into a company that spanned across western Washington.

With a history like that, no wonder angel investors were tripping over themselves to fund the new venture. The company raised $6.25 million from people like super angel Ron Conway, eBay mafia alum Jeff Skoll and some unnamed execs from Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »


Why Being Overworked Can Feel Like Being Poor


brainWhat does a single mom earning minimum wage have in common with a millionaire CEO with a calendar packed with back-to-back meetings?

They both struggle to find a basic element needed to succeed: The mom never has enough money, and the CEO is constantly running out of time.

While they have different needs, the effect of critical scarcity on their mental capacity to handle their problems is similar, according to a new book by Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan and Princeton psychologist Eldar Shafir. 

In "Scarcity: Why Having So Little Means So Much," Mullainathan and Shafir use a number of experiments to explore how the struggle to find things we lack can both help and hinder us in our daily lives. 

“When you have scarcity — it could be money, food, or time — the argument is that scarcity occupies your mind and leaves you with less bandwidth for other things,” Shafir told Business Insider.

Scarcity is the reason that the time-strapped CEO might be so focused on his workload that he misses his son's baseball game or accidentally double-books a meeting with important clients. Scarcity is also the reason that the single mother might be so focused on not having enough cash to pay rent that she ignores the 300% APR on a payday loan and signs up anyway. 

Rich or poor, every human being only has a certain amount of bandwidth to tackle life's daily challenges, Shafir says. Take away part of that bandwidth, and that's where we begin to unravel.

Shafir described a study he performed that shows how distracting scarcity of money can be: 

"We went to a mall in New Jersey and put volunteers in front of a computer screen. We presented them with financial scenarios. For example, your car breaks down. While you're thinking about these problems, we give you a simple test to complete. Then we tell you that your car will cost $150 to fix, which for most people is manageable. The rich and poor did well on these tests.

"Then, we give them the same car but tell them now it's gonna cost $1500 to fix. For low income people $1500 is a serious challenge. We found that the poor did significantly less well than the rich on the tests in this example. These are people who perform equally well on this test when they weren’t thinking about these difficulties." 

But unlike the rich CEO in our earlier example, a poor single mother can't take care of her bandwidth limitations as easily. The CEO can hire an assistant or delegate work to others. She's on her own with limited resources to change her state.

"When you're poor, you can’t say 'Hey, let's be rich for a week! I’ll be poor the week after,'" Shafir says. "That's what makes scarcity [for the poor] so overwhelming and all-consuming. It's persistent." 

What we can learn from scarcity

Shafir and Mullainathan have used their research to call for reforms in policy surrounding public assistance programs in the U.S. For example, they argue that one of the reasons a large number of low-income people still don't sign up for basic public assistance programs is that the process is too lengthy and time-consuming. They simply don't have the bandwidth to deal. 

"When you give [a low-income person] a 30-page application form, you've given them a huge tax on bandwidth," Shafir explains. The focus instead should be giving poor people tools to minimize problems and free up more bandwidth.

"In Europe for example, you've got childcare from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. That gives you a lot of bandwidth. If we give you better childcare, better transportation, better baning, then we'd eliminate your bandwidth. You'd eat better, maybe take your medication on time, all of those things that there's plenty of evidence that the poor don't do." 

The scarcity principle can be applied in the workplace as well. How often are employees distracted by email, phone calls from home or are over-committing themselves to projects they don't have the bandwidth to complete? 

"[If you get] an email that distracts you before you go into the meeting, like an angry email from a spouse or a reminder of a deadline, then you will have damaged your performance in your meeting," he says.  "I think about being distracted in moments when I shouldn't be distracted. We talk about slacking [in a negative way] ... but there is value to introducing slack into the system."

Shafir himself has found himself stretched too thin often enough to realize he has to schedule a block of time in his day to catch up on work and breathe or else it won't happen. By freeing up that time in his schedule, he's making sure has time to increase his bandwidth and can tie up loose ends on lingering projects without having to shove them off for later. 

"It's our responsibility to be the first ones to facilitate [that space] in our lives a little bit," he says. 

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It's National Cheeseburger Day — Here Are The 10 Most Popular Burger Joints In America


Americans love their cheeseburgers, whether they're top-notch gourmet or cheap take-out.

But not all burger joints are created equal.

In honor of National Cheeseburger Day, Foursquare put together a list of the most popular burger-oriented restaurants in the nation based on more than 4.5 billion check-ins over the past year.

Check out the top ten below.

#10 PYT, Philadelphia, PA

PYT Buff Mac 'N Cheese Burger

With the Fried Guacamole Burger, Hawaiian BBQ Burger, and the Donut Burger, PYT is home to some of America's weirdest (and tastiest) burger combos.

PYT also serves up boozy "adult shakes," making it more than just a typical burger joint.

#9 Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Austin, TX (SOCO location)

The Doddy Dip Burger Hopdoddy burger bar

Hopdoddy grinds their meat in-house daily for their tasty burgers, like the Doddy Dip that tops the beef patty with roast beef, sliced provolone, caramelized onions, horseradish mayo, and an egg.

And for those over 21, there are even specialty cocktails and wine.

#8 Burger Joint, New York, NY

Burger Joint NYC burger beer and fries

This old-school burger shack is hidden in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien and serves simple, amazingly-juicy burgers, which some say are the best you can get around Midtown Manhattan.

The brownies are also excellent — if you can save room.

#7 Holsteins at Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV

Gold Standard Burger Holsteins at Cosmopolitan

Considered the best burgers in Vegas, gourmet burger joint Holsteins lives up to all the buzz with a Kobe beef "Billionaire Burger" and the "Gold Standard Burger" made with dry-aged beef sirloin.

But this is more than just a burger joint — Holsteins also serves up tiny sliders, salads, tons of sides, shakes, and cocktails.

#6 Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, Des Moines, IA

Deux-Nut burger Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Open for lunch, dinner, and late-night drunk food, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab is beloved in Des Moines for its zombie theme and huge burgers.

It also has epic 'Burgers of the Week,' like the maple-bacon croissant "Deux-Nut" burger with cheddar cheese, fried egg, and bacon.

#5 Super Duper Burger, San Francisco, CA

Super Duper Burger with garlic fries

Garlic fries and a perfectly-grilled burger with fried egg and jalapenos are the favorite items at Super Duper Burger.

The line here can get a little ridiculous, but customers insist the gigantic portions are worth the wait.

#4 In-N-Out Burger, Los Angeles, CA (Sepulveda Blvd. location near LAX)

in-n-out burger

Since 1948, In-N-Out has been a beloved hamburger chain on the West coast with its perfectly-cooked burgers and Animal Fries.

The location near LAX airport gets the most foot traffic, as customers insist it's imperative to grab a cheeseburger straight off your flight.

#3 Stella's Lounge, Grand Rapids, MI

Government Cheese Stuffed Burger Stella's lounge

With a menu chock full of cheese-stuffed burgers, Stella's Lounge also serves 200 kinds of whiskey, tons of local craft beers, and even has vintage arcade games in the back.

Oh, and pro tip: Stella's is a bar, so minors can't come in after 8 PM.

#2 YEAH! Burger, Atlanta, GA (West Midtown location)

YEAH! Burger with fries and a beer

It's hard to know what to get at YEAH! Burger seeing as everything on the menu — from the Bison Burger to the Cobb Salad — is highly recommended.

This organic, gluten-free, and eco-friendly restaurant also serves fries, beer, and 14 specialty sauces at $.50 each.

#1 Shake Shack, New York, NY (Madison Square Park location)

Shake shack burger with fries

Unsurprisingly, the most popular burger joint on Foursquare is the Shake Shack at New York's Madison Square Park.

A popular destination with locals and tourists alike, it's hard to say no to this chain's classic burgers, fresh-cut fries, and thick, creamy shakes.

They also serve wine, and specialty milkshake flavors like yesterday's limited-edition "Cronut Concrete" with actual cronut holes.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Pizza Joints In The US

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Is There A Humane Way To Kill A Lobster?


Boil Lobster

People are more sensitive about killing lobsters than other animals.  

Few diners cringe at the thought of a fish slowly suffocating to death or being slaughtered on the deck of a boat, but there is considerable more stress associated with dropping Maine's icon into a pot of boiling water.

The Lobster Institute in Maine maintains that the lobster's primitive nervous system is most similar to the nervous system of an insect. Lobsters react to sudden stimulus, like twitching their tails when placed in boiling water, but they don't have complex brains that allow them to process pain like humans and other animals do. 

"Do you have the same concern when you kill a fly or a mosquito?" asks Robert Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute. "Cooking a lobster is like cooking a big bug."

Most consumers still don't see it that way. Lobsters inspire more compassion than chicken, pork, or other fish because it is one of the few foods that urbanites have to kill themselves when cooking.

The research on whether or not these creatures feel pain, however, is still inconclusive. 

Earlier this year, a scientist from Queen's University in Belfast argued that lobsters and other crustaceans probably do feel pain, on the grounds that crabs in a study learned to avoid a hideaway where they were repeatedly given an electric shock. A Norwegian study from 2005 concluded the opposite: lobsters do not have brains, so they do not feel pain

In 2006, Whole Foods banned the sale of live lobsters and crabs in its stores (with the exception of those in Maine) citing that transporting, storing, and cooking live animals was inhumane. A video released by PETA on Tuesday showing live lobsters being ripped apart by hand at a processor in Maine has again struck a chord with animal rights groups. 

We will never know how the lobster feels, which is why the Institute focuses on ways to cook lobster so that "it minimizes our own trauma," says Bayer. 

He suggests putting the lobster in either fresh cold water or chilling it in the freezer (without freezing it) before cooking. Both methods, according to Bayer, will "put the lobster to sleep." 

One Maine processor uses an 80,000-pound machine called the "Big Mother Shucker" to kill lobsters in just six seconds using high water pressure. 

Another option is the CrustaStun, a device that home chefs can purchase for several thousand dollars to "zap lobster's nervous system in one jolt," says Trevor Corson, author of "The Secret Life of Lobsters." 

A large kitchen knife will also make for a quick death when cooks hold the lobster upside down and slice it in half from the tail to the head. Corson provides step-by-step instructions for this method on his blog. 

As for the most humane way to kill a lobster, "there's no absolute answer," says Bayer. It's based on what we perceive as pain or perhaps hear as "screams," even if those sounds are just the steam escaping the lobster's shell

SEE ALSO: Maine Processor Has An Incredible Way Of Getting Lobster Out Of Its Shell

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For National Cheeseburger Day, Find Out What Sets A Big Mac And A Whopper Apart


big mac whopper

There's nothing mysterious about the world's two most famous burgers. But in honor of National Cheeseburger Day, we're taking a closer look at what sets Burger King's Whopper and McDonald's Big Mac apart.

Burger King's Whopper, invented in 1957, is a quarter-pound flame-broiled burger plus fixings.

McDonald's Big Mac, invented in 1967, is two 1.1-ounce patties separated by a third bun, plus cheese, fixings, and a special sauce that tastes like mayonnaise plus ketchup. The Big Mac also uses dehydrated onions instead of fresh.

If McDonald's patrons want that extra meat, they can order a Quarter Pounder, which is basically a Whopper made on a standard grill.

The Big Mac has 550 calories and 29 grams of fat while the Whopper has 630 calories and 35 grams of fat.

Since there's no such thing as a blind taste tests between the two signature burgers, it's hard to say which the people like most. In 2008, Burger King set out to find "Whopper Virgins" in remote locations to compare the two burgers. Burger King claimed victory in this taste test but mainly just generated a ton of controversy for being "insulting and exploitative."

As with Coke and Pepsi, preference between Big Mac and Whopper depends most on branding and exposure.

This is where the Big Mac has an advantage, and Burger King knows it.

'"You're capitalizing on the tastes that have developed in the American palate ... [and] God knows how many Big Macs have sold," said Barry Schwartz, Burger King's former director of brand research, on the mid-nineties launch of a copy cat burger called the Big King (it was discontinued in most regions).

McDonald's has 34,000 locations worldwide compared to 12,000 for Burger King.

Earlier this year McDonald's was ranked the fourth most valuable brand in the world by Millward Brown, while Burger King didn't make the top 100.

Alaina McConnell contributed to this story.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Most Popular Burger Joints In America

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