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New York Comic Hilariously Live-Tweets His Neighbors' Rooftop Breakup


Kyle Ayers, a New York City writer and comedian, was enjoying an evening on his Brooklyn rooftop when a couple started having a huge fight in front of him.

Instead of leaving the awkward situation, Ayers decided to live-tweet the break up with the hashtag #roofbreakup. His tweets of what the couple screamed at each other — from "I will not discuss love on a roof in Brooklyn" to "You don't need to see my phone to trust me"  — have since gone viral.

Read his full Storify post and tweets below (WARNING: Explicit language).

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What Fine Art Would Look Like If It Were Sponsored By Nike


nike thumb

Milan fashion director Davide Bedoni was not seeing many exciting advertisements in his field, so he turned to a new source of inspiration: fine art.

Bedoni started his "SwooshArt" project in January, combining his love of Nike with his love of art from the 19th century. He occasionally works with Renaissance works, as well, making Pop art out of masterpieces by embedding the Nike swoosh into some of history's most timeless artwork.

Click here to start the slideshow>>

He has created over 200 works in the series at this point.

"I've never wanted to criticize consumerism," Bedoni told Business Insider in an email, "for me it's just something aesthetic."

"I would like to see things like SwooshArt as real advertising, especially for a fashion brand," Bedoni said, adding that he's seen enough of the same models, poses, hairstyles, and makeup.

Bedoni, who is about to begin an architectural photography project, does not consider himself an artist ("because I'm not really sure what it means"), and started the project from a marketing perspective. He also said he will take SwooshArt to the streets soon, but in a "virtual/digital way."

This ghastly scene from Dante's 'Inferno' makes an inspirational slogan seem sinister when paired with William-Adolphe Bougereau's "Dante and Virgil in Hell" (1850)

The swoosh breaks the action between Mars and his victim, Cupid, in Bartolomeo Manfredi's "Cupid Chastised" (1605/1610)

These guys could be selling Nike products instead of hanging out in Hippolyte Flandrin's 1850 work "Rene-Charles Dassy and His Brother Jean-Baptiste-Claude Amede Dassy."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 18 Best Bottles Of Scotch In The World


scotchThis summer, the world's distilleries battled at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

The event, now in its 44th year, aims to "promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs," according to its website.

Naturally, scotch had its own, competitive category.

The judging process at the competition is rigorous. Wines and liquors are subject to both professional blind tasting and chemical and microbiological analysis.

The best bottles score between 90-100 on the judges' scale, but a few receive special recognition: Gold Outstanding.

And as a result, they received elegantly-written endorsements such as: "A treasure chest of liquid gold!"

From blends to single malts to single barrels, 18 Scotches took home a Gold Outstanding award at the competition.

Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 18 YO

"Incredible nose with amazing rich floral notes followed by smoke, rich barley, liquorice, treacle and then a wave of sea spray. Full powered entry into the mouth with immediate distribution of flavours to every taste bud. Big rich sensation as multi layers of flavour descend and smother the palate. Wonderful and sensational. A comment: 'a conquest of fresh cut flowers ready to drink with delight!'"

Source: IWSC

Ben Nevis Single Cask Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 15 YO

"Nose leads with fragrant rose wood followed by lavender, violets and honey. Hints of caramel and toasty oak. Well edged by vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper. In the mouth dried fruit adds to the complexity along with fig and peach. Good balance and fine texture. Smooth flow leads to fine, well modulated finish."

Source: IWSC

The Glenlivet 21 Year Old Archive

"Fascinating nose that seems to offer just about everything! Rich chocolate, full malt, citrus, sherry and light smoky note. Even a hint of rum? Gracious entry into the mouth with smooth, velvet flow across the palate. Repeat of everything the nose had while extra flavours of ripe fruit, honey and some dark sugar develop. Rich spice where vanilla is dominant. Great balance and super oak support. Elegant, rich and warming. Pure perfection."

Source: IWSC

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Reddit Discovers The Most Beautiful Craigslist Missed Connection Post Yet


nyc grand central crowd after buidling collapse march 2008

Reddit is going crazy over a New York City Craigslist "Missed Connections" post that went up over the weekend.

Called "The most beautiful NYC missed connection I've ever read," the post tells the brief love story of a couple who met at Grand Central Station in November 1973 and spent the evening together.

Now 40 years later, the 58-year-old English professor is trying to find the woman with whom he had a "true connection."

"I have been married twice since then — once divorced, and once widowed," the as-of-yet unidentified man wrote. "Against my better judgement, I haven't forgotten that day — and, at least once a year, while mowing the lawn, or reading a newspaper, the details come back to me."

The missive was posted to Reddit by user SXMGirl, who says she hopes to get the post trending so the man can find his lost love.

Below is the screenshot of the since-deleted Craigslist post via Reddit user LoveOfProfit.

grand central station missed connection post

SEE ALSO: 100 Years In The History Of New York's Iconic Grand Central Terminal

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The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Holiday Gift Guide


trading places

There’s been a growing tide of consumer pushback against retailers for forcing the holiday season upon us earlier and earlier every year, with everything from premature Christmas decorations to Wal-Mart officially moving Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day.

“Black Friday is the Special Olympics of capitalism.”

Currently, the only thing saving October from being invaded by the Gingerbread latte is the Pumpkin Spice latte.

Nonetheless, with Hanukkah so early this year, I thought I’d go ahead and release my Christmas (ahem, Holiday) Wish List a bit early.

“Almost time for children to learn a valuable life lesson. Santa loves rich kids more.”

The Neiman Marcus Fantasy List is for alcoholic Dallas Botox queens and Tallahassee trophy wives, and the FT’s “How To Spend It” has zero credibility after a notoriously dubious British banker’s rental property portfolio found its way front and center under rather questionable circumstances.

Not to mention the fact that this year’s Financial Times Gift Guide includes things like the Magimix vegetable shredder. I have one; it’s great. But still, last time I checked, the insert isn’t called “How To Spend It On Your Maid.”

And my apologies, there are no gift ideas for women in here. If you don’t know what to buy a woman for Christmas, you’re an idiot.

“This Christmas, I went to Jared ... He works at the Graff on Madison.”

And for the avoidance of all doubt, I have received nothing in exchange for compiling this list: No freebies. No kickbacks. No discounts. Nothing.

So here goes …

edison marine classic cruiser1. Something to runabout.

It’s no Aquariva Cento, but the Edison Marine Classic Cruiser is the perfect runabout.

It’s all-electric, so think zero emissions — sort of like a Tesla for the water.

It’s hand-made in America from beautiful solid African mahogany, with exquisite attention to detail, and a dual prop that ensures a smooth, yet powerful ride. It might not have the provenance or sex appeal of many of its Italian predecessors, but it's stunning nonetheless and, at $120,000, slightly more affordable.

“If you want to die rich, abide by The 3 F's: If it flies, floats or f---s, rent it, don't buy it.”

This could very well be an exception to the rule.

saddleback leather iphone case2. Something practical for the stocking.

Most iPhone cases destroy the user experience. So, ditch the case, and enjoy the iPhone the way that Steve Jobs intended you to.

At $30, it’s hardly a big-ticket item, but this rustic leather pouch from Saddleback is the perfect way to protect your naked iPhone when not in use.

“I don't have an iPhone case. I'm not irresponsible or poor.”

While you are at it, pick up one of their awesome weekend travel bags. Not that you’ll need it, but it comes with a 100-year warranty.

pro hunter military rolex submariner3. Something that gets strange men to chat with you.

“Wearing a Rolex is like driving an Audi: It says you've got some money, but nothing to say.”

Every man should own at least a couple decent watches, even if he never wears them.

Try going out on a limb with a unique take on a classic look. I love the retro Pro-Hunter Military Rolex Submariner.

It’s a hefty £12,000, but then again, you don’t want to be just another guy with a Rolex.

If that’s too contrived, then there’s always the limited edition Blancpain Aqua Lung at around $8,000 for some understated masculinity.

After all, it’s Vladimir Putin’s watch of choice. And who’s tougher than that guy?

“Putin's been playing chess, while Obama's been playing golf.”

alec monopoly street artist4. Something to fight over in the divorce.

“Why would I marry? It's betting some chick half my net worth that I will love her forever.”

You didn’t have to see the "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" auction to know that art can be a great investment.

One of my favorite artists right now is Alec Monopoly, an unidentified street artist who speaks through the board game character of the Monopoly Man.

Or there’s the complete Bull Profile Series lithograph screen prints by Roy Lichtenstein, which will set you back a cool £140,000 at the Sims Reed Gallery in London.

If you’re a long-only “hedge” fund guy, and you buy something, drop me a line so I can bid it at a 50% discount this time next year.

asprey london backgammon set5. Something that should pay for itself.

If chess is the game of Kings, backgammon is the game of Pharaohs. Widely regarded as the oldest board game in the world, it is the unique combination of luck and skill that makes it so much fun.

$5,000 for this Asprey Backgammon Set may be pricey for a board game, but you can win back its price tag in a few hours.

srulirecht scarf

6. Something they don’t sell at Hermés.

For the John Gray (9 ½ Weeks) in you … Who knew a scarf could be such a conversation piece?

At €3,600, it had better be.

This one-of-a-kind just so happens to be made using the silk gland of a spider, courtesy of some crazy Icelandic company, Srulirecht.

If that’s too impractical, there’s also a €4,100 belt made from dolphin skin and reindeer leather, which comes with a hook for alternate use as an autoerotic asphyxia device.

Send the belt to Russell Brand and hope he uses it without the appropriate safety precautions.

fly fishing7. Something for fathers and sons.

Most people I know have been on safari at least once.

Carnival Cruise ships now basically dock at the Galapagos Islands.

And Bill Ackmann won’t shut up about Myanmar.

So, why not travel by horseback across the land of Genghis Khan, camping and fishing for the largest freshwater trout in the world. Sweetwater Travel organizes some of the most exotic fly-fishing trips in the world, most notably in Mongolia.

As I said before in “How To Be A Man,” every man should learn how to fly-fish.

perazzi shotgun8. Something to point at Piers Morgan.

“Guns don't kill people. Assh---s kill people.”

Everyone has heard the story … A Texas oilman is at a Las Vegas roulette table, sitting across from Kerry Packer. “Do you know who I am? I’m worth fifty million bucks,” he says. Packer stares back, shrugs, and says, “Fifty million? I’ll flip you for it.”

That Texan is the kind of horse’s ass who buys a Purdey or Holland & Holland shotgun.

So go Italian. Stick with Fabbri, or if you’re on a budget, Perazzi is the gun of choice of Dick Cheney, and will run you about $15,000 and up.

Every man should own one.

Pappy van Winkle bottles9. Something to mark a special occasion.

“If you abstain from smoking, drinking, and using drugs,
you don't actually live longer. It just seems longer.”

It’s far from the most expensive bourbon on the market, but when the Pappy comes out, you know it’s a special occasion.

John Carney said "whiskey will never love you back," but giving the gift of Pappy will ensure someone’s eternal love.

Paying retail should be a point of pride, but good luck finding it.

bonhams triceratops skeleton10. Something that Steve Cohen doesn’t have.

On Nov. 19, Bonham’s is having their Distinguished Fossils auction in New York.

At $200,000, I’d go for the Triceratops skull (pictured). The full skeleton will probably set you back $800,000.

Out of my price range would be the T-Rex skeleton ($2 million) and the famous Montana dueling dinosaurs ($8 million).

Buy that for me, and I'm yours...

“My professor at Wharton always said, ‘you can marry more money in 5 minutes than you can make in a lifetime, even at Goldman Sachs.’”

ronald reagan cuff links12. Something to collect and pass down.

Enamel cuff links … Silver ice bucket … Ship’s decanter …

Any or all make excellent gifts that last a lifetime and then some, and are unlikely to ever lose value.

Besides a watch and wedding ring, cuff links are the only acceptable form of jewelry for a man to wear in the office.

But remember, stay away from the family crest rings.

Asprey is the British standard in luxury goods going back to 1781. And on Madison Avenue, it’s right near the Tom Ford store.

“Every time I see a guy with a pinky ring, I want to stab him in the eye with his fountain pen.”

bad santa 13. Something for the confident intellectual ...

“Bad Santa” is right up there with “Christmas Vacation” and “Trading Places” as a timeless holiday classic.

Yes, I know it’s on basic cable every year, but watching the censored version is like eating a bacon vegan burger with a side of onion rings.

This should be required Christmas viewing for the entire family. And watch it twice for every time you are forced to sit through “Love Actually.”

And since it’s impossible for Business Insider to go a day without mentioning their boss, Jeff Bezos … why not order it today on Amazon.com?

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How It Feels Going From A Chevy Volt To A Tesla Model S


Click for sound:


For the past week, I've been cruising around in a Chevy Volt. But for one day, I got the privilege of driving a Tesla Model S.

(And not just any Tesla Model S either. I got to drive the more powerful, higher end Tesla Model S P 85, which starts at $87,070 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.)

While the Chevy Volt (base price of $26,685 with a tax credit) and Tesla Model S aren't exactly in the same class, I really liked the styling and performance of the Volt. Not to mention Chevy's offering is a plug-in hybrid — meaning it can run on either electricity or gas.

So, what does an extra $60,000 get you in the Tesla Model S that you can't get in the Chevy Volt? Watch the video to find out.

Produced by William Wei

SEE ALSO: The Impossible Choice That Had Elon Musk On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown

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We're About To Try What Could Be The Most Bizarre Steakhouse In NYC


bone-in burger at M Wells steakhouse

Not every restaurant review deserves a preview, but to understand the importance — and strangeness — of M. Wells Steakhouse, you need a little background.

The restaurant opened softly in Long Island City, Queens last week, but there's already been significant buzz about the restaurant in the food community for months. Earlier this fall, Eater included it on a list of 'most anticipated' fall openings.

Since then, we've been watching and waiting...

M. Wells Steakhouse is a project by chef Hugue Dufour and spouse Sarah Obraitis. Their first project M. Wells Dinette, has been a cult classic in NYC since its opening in 2010. After a rent dispute it moved into MOMA PS1 as a lunch spot (to much rejoicing), and its mix of eclectic comfort food has been going strong ever since. Think: Foie Gras Bread Pudding.

Now Dufour and Obraitis are turning that same predilection for the bizarre to a steakhouse, and they know its going to be a gamble. Dufour told New York Magazine earlier this fall — “Opening a steakhouse is worrisome for me,” he says. “People have strong opinions."

We'll let you know what we think after we eat there.

What we know so far, though, is that the restaurant is located in an abandoned garage. There's a tank of live trout, an open kitchen (odd for a steakhouse), and soon there will be be a catamaran sitting in the restaurant soon if Dufour has his way.

On the menu you'll find steakhouse classics like Bone-in Châteaubriand and shell fish platters, but then you'll also see some weird twists. The menu includes fois gras stuffed gnocchi, a bone-in burger, and creamed sea-spinach.

For steakhouse aficionados it will be a love-it-or-hate-it restaurant — it will be a total sin or a completely refreshing twist.

That said, what's the point of opening a restaurant if you're not going to do something different — even if it's with something as perfect as a steakhouse.

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26 Pictures Of Low-Income Entrepreneurs Who Work Extremely Hard


The shoemaker in Turkey, the potato seller in Vietnam, and the weaver in Bolivia are among the billions of low-income entrepreneurs who make the world go round. They are also the type of people who can benefit significantly from microfinance.

Every year, the Consultative Group To Assist The Poor (or CGAP) hosts a photo contest asking entrants to submit photos based around the idea of microfinance. The purpose of the contest is to give amateur and professional photographers a chance to show the different ways that poor households manage their financial lives and make their lives better through financial inclusion. 

“Photos of society and social inequality can help eliminate poverty by creating social awareness,” explained Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo contest winner and a judge on this year’s panel.

Housed at the World Bank, CGAP is an advocacy group that works with development agencies, foundations, and national governments to advance the lives of the poor by improving their access to finance.

In Vietnam, a woman transports potatoes to sell at a local market. This is the Grand Prize winner.

In Bangladesh, selling papers is a common form of self-employment. Because there is so much competition, the sellers must come up with unique ways to market their wares. This is the second place winner.

This photo of men at a rice wholesaling market in Mali won third place.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why Working 6 Days A Week Is A Terrible Idea



For many professionals, working on the weekends has become the norm — a way to catch up from the previous week or get a head start on the next.  

As Business Insider Executive Editor Joe Weisenthal writes, “It seems that totally disconnecting for two days is too excruciating for a lot of people, so that by Sunday morning they're eager to start getting back into the swing of things.” He believes two days of weekend is too much for many people

However, decades of research supports the 40-hour workweek and shows that working longer can lead to serious negative effects on health, family life, and productivity.

Studies show that, over time, working long hours can increase your risk of depression, heart attack, and heart disease 

It seems that working long hours has many insidious effects on health and wellbeing. Low on free time, workers may abandon good habits that counteract the negative effects of a high-stress lifestyle, choosing to skip the workout, opt for takeout vs. a home-cooked meal, or skimp on sleep. And overworking certainly cuts into focused time with family and friends.

But beyond the obvious effects on health, working too much can actually impair cognitive function. In one five-year study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, participants completed a variety of tests to evaluate intelligence, verbal recall, and vocabulary. Compared to those who worked 40 hours per week, those who worked 55 hours per week showed poorer vocabulary and reasoning. 

“We actually get stupider when we work too much,” says executive coach Tasha Eurich, Ph.D., author of the new book “Bankable Leadership.” Eurich saysworking fewer hours and taking more breaks and occasional vacations can help us become much more productive. 

In fact, working more doesn’t have the positive effect on productivity you might expect. Overtime only works in short bursts, and when sustained, does not increase productivity and may actually hamper it. 

According to one study, outlined by social futurist Sara Robinson on AlterNet, after working 60 hours per week for eight weeks, “the fall-off in productivity is so marked that the average team would have gotten just as much done and been better off if they’d just stuck to a 40-hour week all along. And at 70- or 80-hour weeks, the fall-off happens even faster: At 80 hours, the break-even point is reached in just three weeks.” What’s more, when teams who have worked overtime for a sustained period resume a 40-hour workweek, it takes time to recover from the burnout and reach the same productivity level that they started at.

Indeed, many Americans worked six days a week before the five-day, 40-hour workweek was popularized by Henry Ford in the 1920s. He instituted the new working hours for his employees at Ford Motor Company, in part, to give them more time with family, but also to increase their productivity

Of course, Weisenthal argues that some people are so passionate about their jobs that they'd do the work in their free time anyway. I've certainly spoken to several startup CEOs in the tech sector who say disconnecting can actually make them more anxious, since they want to know what's happening.

But even the lucky ones who love their jobs should consider stepping back. In a study that was conducted even before the economy supercharged work, economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett found that 45% of managers in large companies worked “extreme jobs,” marked by 70-plus-hour weeks, grueling travel schedules, and limited vacation time (nearly 60% didn’t take the time allotted them). 

Many of these workers loved their jobs, and called them “exciting,” “an adrenaline rush,” and “addictive.” However, they took a serious toll on their intimate relationships and their health. “Close to 50% of extreme workers are so depleted and drained when they get home at night that they’re speechless — incapable of conversation,” writes Hewlett in an article for the Harvard Business Review. “This can be rough on partners and spouses.” Her research also found links between long hours and chronic insomnia, weight gain, infertility, and heart problems. 

So no matter how much you love what you do, occasionally walking away may be the best thing for you and your long-term success.

SEE ALSO: Two Days Of Weekend Is Too Much

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The Most Irreplaceable Sites On Earth


Canaima National Park

A new study published in Science identified more than 100 irreplaceable environments — regions where many animal and plant species cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

A total of 137 sites were selected from 173,000 "Protected Areas." Protected Areas cover 13% of the Earth's land. These are some of the most biologically rich ecosystems in the world, but face continued threats and are often poorly managed.

The top sites were the result of two combined rankings: irreplaceability for threatened species and irreplaceability for all (threatened and non-threatened) species.

Each protected area was analyzed individually. But sometimes the regions overlap, effectively protecting the same species. For this reason, researchers combined adjacent or overlapping protected areas into 78 clusters around the world.

Here are some of the most irreplaceable areas — from 10 different clusters.

The flat-topped mountains of Canaima National Park in southeastern Venezuela are among the world's most ancient rock formations and were the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's adventure novel "The Lost World." Canaima is also home the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls, which is 15 times taller than Niagra Falls at 3,212 feet.

The Wet Tropics of Queensland cover roughly 3,500 square miles of Australian forest. Thirteen mammals that live in the Wet Tropics are found nowhere else in the world. This includes the green ringtail possum and kangaroo rats.

The Palawan Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary in the Philippines is home to the endangered Palawan horned frog, the vulnerable Palawan peacock-pheasant, and the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo. Unfortunately, the natural forest is being destroy by mining and palm oil production.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Man Has More Than 600 Different Pizza Boxes In His Apartment — Here Are Some Favorites


When The Guinness Book of World Records certified Scott Wiener's pizza box collection last week as the largest in the world, he had 595.

As of this weekend, Wiener has reached more than 600 pizza boxes.

Viva la Pizza p61The new boxes came from Chicago, where Wiener is currently publicizing this month's release of his first book, "Viva La Pizza." It features 112 of the boxes from his collection and an explanation of how each one fits into the history of the pizza box.

He even tracked down and interviewed some of the artists behind the colorful boxes. Turns out, pizza boxes from around the world can look incredibly different: Italians work more in pastels, while Americans work more in computer graphic design. There has also been a shift from single-ply cardboard to corrugated.

"I wanted to make it an academic pursuit," Wiener told Business Insider. "With the book out, my collection looks less like this thing a weirdo spent his time doing." 

Viva la Pizza p91Wiener's journey to becoming the pizza box expert began when he started his New York City pizza tour company in 2008. He knew starting his own business would mean investing every bit of free time into it, so he decided to take one last trip to Israel.

"I saw pizza boxes I'd never seen before," Wiener said to Business Insider. These weren't the typical American design featuring a nondescript Italian village or a jovial chef on a white background — instead, these boxes were bright yellow with blue writing.

Viva la Pizza p50Since then, Weiner hasn't gone out of his way to travel for a pizza box — he lets the boxes find him. But his collection maintains an international feel thanks to the network of fellow pizza experts he has met while giving pizza tours around NYC neighborhoods or through the regular column he writes for Pizza Today magazine.

And while no two boxes are exactly alike, Wiener has found there are similarities around the world. "I love the image of the fat chef," Wiener said. "But I get really excited when I see slightly different variations of it. A Russian fat chef looks completely different than an Australian fat chef." 

Viva la Pizza Hatsune MikuIf Wiener reads about a novelty box online, he'll often ask a friend in that country to bring it to him. Like when he heard Domino's in Japan would feature a hologram of Hatsune Miku on their boxes that would dance when viewed through a special app, Wiener had a friend bring it to a pizza convention they were both attending in Las Vegas.  

Viva la Pizza p70And for those wondering where Wiener stores his 600+ pizza boxes, they all fit in a closet in his New York City apartment. He simply breaks them down to save space and occasionally uses a dehumidifier to keep them in tip-top shape.

"I always thought I'd be a record producer," Wiener said, "But it looks like the only thing I held on to from my days of playing in a rock band was obsessively eating and thinking about pizza."  

SEE ALSO: The Best Pizza In 10 Big Cities Around The US

Join the conversation about this story »


10 Shots In The Running For National Geographic's Photography Contest


Nat Geo contest Japan bridge

National Geographic is currently accepting submissions for its 2013 Photography Contest, which will award prizes to the best entries in three categories: people, places, and nature.

First-place winners in each category will be published in National Geographic magazine, while the owner of the best photo overall will win $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Entries will be accepted until Nov. 30. Submissions must be in digital format, and cannot have been altered or manipulated. More than 22,000 professional and amateur photographers from over 150 countries submitted photos for last year's competition.

National Geographic shared some of the beautiful images currently in the running. 

"While photographing hummingbirds in British Columbia I shot this male Rufous just as he fanned out to show his authority when another male Rufous appeared over my head." — Scott Bechtel

Source: 2013 National Geographic Photography Contest

"In Lenin Park, set against the backdrop of the Hanoi Flag Tower which forms part of the Hanoi Citadel, Vietnamese children sparring in a game of badminton." — Justin Tiew

Source: 2013 National Geographic Photography Contest

"Russia, Baikal Lake, cape Pokoyniki. The cape is one of the most interesting places at the shore of Baikal Lake. 'Pokoyniki' in Russian means 'dead men,' the legend tells about Buryat settlement, suddenly died of unknown disease. Another name of this cape, Pokoyniy, means 'quiet,' because of very quiet bay behind the cape. March, evening twilight, -20C." — Alexey Kharitonov

Source: 2013 National Geographic Photography Contest

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

5 Reasons You Should Fly Business Class Instead Of First


qantas boeing dreamliner 787 at paris air show 2013 business class seats

A restful flight is essential for those traveling long distances for business. The luxurious services offered in first class are perfect for getting that much-needed rest — but is the steep price worth it? 

Here are five reasons why you should opt out of that first-class ticket and fly business class instead:

1. You'll get almost the same amenities at a cheaper price.

The services you receive in business class tend to vary depending on the airline and whether the flight is domestic or international. Still, there's no doubt that business class is nearly as luxurious as first, at a much more reasonable price point. 

These days, both business and first-class sections typically feature lie-flat seats, plenty of food, and free alcohol. Really the only noticeable differences between the two is that some international first-class cabins feature fancier meal choices and enclosed, suite-like spaces for each passenger.

There's not usually a difference in lounge access, either.

"Many airlines use the same lounge for passengers in business and in first, so why pay extra for first?" said business travel journalist Ramsey Qubein. "Premium service for business and first are often prioritized over economy, so [there's] no need to go all the way up to a first class ticket to get better service."

 2. You're more likely to be able to expense a business-class ticket. 

Most companies have policies regarding business-class tickets, especially for international flights. Many corporations will allow those traveling for work to expense business-class flights over a certain number of hours, but they most likely will never spend the thousands of dollars necessary for a first-class ticket over long distances.  

This obviously varies from company to company, so check your employer's policy before booking your flight. 

3. The perks in business class are getting better and better.

Many airlines are focusing their efforts on improving the perks of business class instead of first. According to Jad Mouawad of The New York Times, business travel is where airlines are making the most money. The Global Business Travel Association estimates that business travelers will spend $273 billion on airfares in 2013, a 4.3% increase from last year. 

This means that the main competition between airlines takes place in the business-class seats. Airlines pay billions of dollars to research and develop seats with the most innovative features, employing architects, industrial designers, and even yacht designers to do it. The New York Times says that it can cost up to $80,000 to make a single business-class seat. And when Lufthansa updated the premium class seats on its Boeing 747-8 last year, only 8 of the 100 new seats were in first class. 

All of that means that when you buy a business-class seat, you're paying to have a flying experience that's at the very forefront of airplane technology.  

4. Rumor has it that first class may soon disappear. 

With all this focus on business class, some airlines are getting rid of first class altogether. 

“A lot of airlines have given up on first class entirely since business class has become so opulent you wouldn’t ask more,” says Ed Perkins of Smarter Travel.

Installing the horizontal lie-flat seats business travelers have come to expect from premium seats means that airlines either have to reduce the number of seats or increase cabin size. While Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, Air New Zealand, and Air Canada have already gotten rid of first class completely, others, like American and United, plan to dramatically downsize.

5. You'll earn almost the same amount of miles you would with an expensive first-class ticket.

Another perk of flying in a premium seat is the mileage bonuses you earn. Travelers earn miles at different rates depending on the class of the seat. This varies by airline, but industry standards dictate that an economy ticket will earn flyers 100% of the miles actually flown, while business class earns miles at a rate of 125% and first class at 150%. 

Why pay twice as much for a first-class ticket if you're only going to earn 25% more in mileage bonuses? Qubein says it's just not worth it. 

"Mileage bonuses earned are often the same or only slightly more in first and not worth the huge jump in cost," he said.

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New York Graffiti Mecca 5 Pointz Is Now Just A Blank White Wall



5 Pointz, the 200,000-square-foot Queens warehouse at the center of the New York City street art world, was painted over last night.

5 Pointz has served as an exhibition space for top New York graffiti artists since the 1990s, but plans to replace it with luxury condos have led to a months-long battle to save it.

Artists and fans alike have rallied against demolishing the building, filing a lawsuit under the claim that doing so would be an illegal destruction of art.  

Even the elusive street artist Banksy got involved during his October residency, hiring a supporter to hand out pamphlets at Brooklyn Federal Court, and writing the message "Save 5pointz" on his website on his last day in the city. 

Last week, a federal judge denied an injunction to preserve the property, effectively allowing the demolition process to begin. 

Earlier this morning, the official 5 Pointz Twitter account confirmed last night's changes: 

 WNYC reporter Stephen Nessen shared this photo that shows the newly white wall: 

SEE ALSO: Forget Banksy, These Polish Street Artists Are Looking To Put Legal Street Art On The Map [PHOTOS]

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We Have Never Before Seen Such A Purple House


Purple House 3

A four-bedroom family home in Hillingdon, outside London, may look unassuming on the outside.

But step inside, and it's a different story. The walls are painted lavender, with alcoves done in a deeper shade of purple. Matching plush carpets line the floors, even in the kitchen and bathroom, where purple carpeting climbs the side of the tub.

The home just hit the market through the estate agent R Whitley & Co., which apparently didn't see the all-purple, all-the-time color scheme as a selling point. It instead opted to describe the property as a simple "family inspired design."

This purple haze can be yours for the relatively affordable price of 400,000 pounds ($644,120). 

This semi-detached family home in Hillingdon looks pretty normal from the outside.

But step inside the kitchen, which has purple rugs on top of a purple carpet.

Purple flowers accent the rooms.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Totally Overshadowed This Guy’s Two-Hour Speech At The Same Event


Edward Everett Gettysburg

One hundred and fifty years ago, on Nov. 19, 1863, famed orator and former Secretary of State Edward Everett delivered a two-hour speech at the Gettysburg National Cemetery — but most people only remember the two-minute speech given by President Abraham Lincoln.

Arguably, Everett's words that day deserve just as much attention and praise as Lincoln's. His speech backhanded the Confederacy and directly addressed the horrific and hypocritical nature of slavery in a free country.

The day's organizers had named Everett the main attraction — no one even knew for sure if Lincoln would attend the dedication. Everett, also a former senator and president of Harvard, had every reason to believe he'd steal the show. He wrote a two-hour speech, full of beautiful language and logic, that explained the significance and the tragedy of the Battle of Gettysburg, the standoff during the Civil War with the most causalities, often thought of as a turning point. And he delivered all of it from memory, according to the History Channel.

"It is in reality a war originally levied by ambitious men in the cotton-growing States, for the purpose of drawing the slaveholding Border States into the vortex of the conspiracy, " Everett said about the start of the Civil War.

Indeed, Everett related this battle for freedom to the one the Greeks fought millenia ago:

"And shall I, fellow-citizens, who, after an interval of twenty-three centuries, a youthful pilgrim from the world unknown to ancient Greece, have wandered over that illustrious plain, ready to put off the shoes from off my feet, as one that stands on holy ground,–who have gazed with respectful emotion on the mound which still protects the dust of those who rolled back the tide of Persian invasion, and rescued the land of popular liberty, of letters, and of arts, from the ruthless foe,–stand unmoved over the graves of our dear brethren, who so lately, on three of those all-important days which decide a nation’s history,–days on whose issue it depended whether this august republican Union, founded by some of the wisest statesmen that ever lived, cemented with the blood of some of the purest patriots that ever died, should perish or endure,–rolled back the tide of an invasion, not less unprovoked, not less ruthless, than that which came to plant the dark banner of Asiatic despotism and slavery on the free soil of Greece? Heaven forbid!"

The speech goes on to describe the three-day battle fought at Gettysburg and the immeasurable losses suffered by both victor and vanquished. Everett makes clear, however, that the blame laid with the Confederacy:

"And now, friends, fellow-citizens, as we stand among these honored graves, the momentous question presents itself, Which of the two parties to the war is responsible for all this suffering, for this dreadful sacrifice of life,–the lawful and constituted government of the United States, or the ambitious men who have rebelled against it? I say “rebelled” against it ..."

The two-hour-long speech concludes with another glorification of the Union victory: "... wheresoever throughout the civilized world the accounts of this great warfare are read, and down to the latest period of recorded time, in the glorious annals of our common country there will be no brighter page than that which relates the battles of Gettysburg."

Everett's epic speech was followed by a 273 words speech from Lincoln, lasting less than two minutes. While the president never mentioned slavery and did not directly criticize the South, his words had a far more lasting impression.

Here's Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Even Everett wrote a letter to Lincoln the next day, asserting, "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

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16 Perfect Gifts For Anyone Who Loves Whiskey


Don Draper Bar

The best gift you can give is something thoughtful, something you know gets to the heart of what your special someone loves.

And, if you're into having cool friends (or family), it's very likely you know someone who loves whiskey.

Business Insider collected a bunch of the most original whiskey-lover gifts on the net so you can satisfy the person in your life that swears by the dark nectar, whether it be scotch, bourbon, rye or Irish.

Basically, we're being thoughtful, so you don't have to be.

You're welcome.

The Vaportini Liquor Inhaler

Science, man. Here's the Vaportini Liquor Inhaler, which is exactly what it sounds like. "About 5 minutes after the vessel containing the spirits is placed on the base, it is ready to consume. The recommended amount of spirits is 1 ounce. One inhales through the straw and holds their breathe for a moment and then exhales." Apparently, it hits your bloodstream immediately. Higher-proof bourbons, in particular, vape well.

Price: $40

A special copy of the Godfather by Mario Puzo

"The Godfather by Mario Puzo Secret Safe Flask Book" comes with a stainless steel 6 oz. flask. It has a magnetic closure so your booze won't leak. A great novel for great liquid.

Price: $56

Keychain flask

Here's a good stocking-stuffer. This 1 oz. keychain flask will make sure you never leave home without some whiskey. Don't drink and drive.

Price: $9

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's What New York Graffiti Mecca 5 Pointz Looked Like Before It Was Whitewashed Last Night


5 pointzIt's a dark day for the New York City street art scene.

5 Pointz, the 200,000-square-foot warehouse that was long a centerpiece for New York City street artists, was whitewashed last night.

The building, which has served as an exhibition space for top graffiti artists for more than a decade, is slated to become luxury condominiums.

Artists and fans rallied to save the colorful space, but last week, a federal judge denied an injunction to preserve the property, effectively allowing the demolition process to begin. 

We visited the space last year, when rumors of its demise were just beginning to surface. Click through for a look at 5 Pointz before it was whitewashed.

A look down the long wall and you knew this building was special.

The 200,000-square-foot warehouse in Queens was home to 5 Pointz, a mecca of street art.

The name was supposed to signify the five boroughs of New York City.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

12 Cooking Hacks For A Hassle-Free Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving DinnerThanksgiving cooking comes with its fair share of stressors.

From forgetting to buy the wine to burning the garage down when trying to deep-fry the turkey, lots of things could go wrong on the big day.

Have no fear — we’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to make this Thanksgiving run more smoothly.

Estimate 30 minutes of defrost time per pound of turkey. Let it thaw overnight in your garage to save precious fridge space for prepared side dishes.

Usually you would roast your turkey on a roasting rack, but there's a quick fix if you don't have one of those. Take a bunch of aluminum foil, roll it into a 3-foot snake, and then coil it into a swirl. Roast your turkey on top of the coil for a deliciously browned bird.

Cook white meat and dark meat separately so they're each done to perfection.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

12 Gifts Every Professional Young Guy Would Love


Wagan Red Ceramic Travel Mugs

Whether he's starting out as a small fish in a big corporation or flying by the seat of his pants in Silicon Valley, the young professional guy in your life could use a few gadgets and accessories to help ease his transition into the Real World.

From electric travel mugs that keep his coffee warm during the morning commute to a vintage-chic tie clip that looks like an alpine ski, here are 12 gifts for the budding careerist.

Ship American artisanal foods to his doorstep.

Remake his pantry with a three-month subscription to Mantry. Each crate includes six full-sized artisanal food products and detailed product stories and recipes delivered to his door.

Past offerings have included BBQ sauce crafted in Alabama, award-winning bison jerky from Montana, and birch syrup hand-harvested in Alaska.

Price: $225 for three-month subscription

Keep his dress shirts looking fly.

These made-in-the-USA brass collar stays slip into the pockets on the underside of a men's shirt collar to ensure it lies flat against the collarbone. 

The six-piece set of Custom Brass Collar Stays by Fred & Owen can be engraved with an important date, his name, James Bond 007, or whatever suits him.


Give him a better shave every time.

Razor maintenance is the first step in avoiding shaving nicks and patchy beards. Between shaves, he can glide his razor blade across the silicone and rubber surface of the RazorPit to remove the residue left behind by shaving cream, skin cells, hair, and other build-up that makes a razor feel dull. It makes for a better first impression.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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