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Here Are The Most Popular Songs On Spotify In 2013

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macklemore thrift shop

Macklemore first won our hearts with Thrift Shop but Can't Hold Us became the party anthem of 2013.

Spotify just released its Year In Review data and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's debut album, The Heist, was the most streamed album in the world, with Can't Hold Us taking the cake as the top song of 2013.

Spotify's 24 million active users streamed over 4.5 billion hours of music this year. That's almost 50,000 years of listening and a lot of insight into what music people love.

Rihanna held onto the throne as the most-streamed female artist for the second year in the row, Imagine Dragons' track Radioactive hit number one in the U.S., and 16-year-old Lorde got crowned most viral new artist of 2013. 

Here are the top ten songs streamed globally:

1.       Can’t Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

2.       Wake Me Up– Avicii

3.       Thrift Shop  - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

4.       Get Lucky– Daft Punk

5.       Radioactive - Imagine Dragons

6.       Let Her Go– Passenger

7.       Blurred Lines– Robin Thicke

8.       Just Give Me A Reason– P!nk

9.       Ho Hey– The Lumineers

10.   I Need Your Love– Calvin Harris

(Blast from the past: The top three songs in the U.S. last year were Somebody That I Used To KnowWe Are Young, and Call Me Maybe.)

For even more info on who were 2013's chart-toppers, check out Spotify's Year in Review website, then, if you're a Spotify user, create your own year in review.

Now, give the top-streamed tracks a listen:

 

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The 21 Books President Obama Bought On 'Small Business Saturday'

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Obama book buying small business saturday

In what has become a Thanksgiving tradition for the First Family, President Obama took Sasha and Malia book shopping this weekend to promote Small Business Saturday, a day created by American Express in 2010 to help boost mom-and-pop stores that can't compete with big box stores on Black Friday or online retail giants on Cyber Monday.

The Obamas have shown support for the initiative over the years by patronizing local bookstores in and around D.C. and encouraging others to do the same.

This year the Obamas chose Politics & Prose, a tiny independent bookstore in Northwest DC, for their book-buying spree. The Huffington Post reports that Politics & Prose was also where First Lady Michelle Obama signed copies of her book "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America" in May 2013. Other bookstores that have received a presidential visit in the past include Kramer Books in Dupont Circle and One More Page Books in Arlington, VA.

The trip was well-documented on the White House twitter account, which included a tweet written by Obama himself encouraging Americans to join him in supporting their local stores:

According to American Express, Americans spent $5.5 billion at independent businesses in 2012.

The Obamas spent about half an hour at Politics & Prose, browsing bookshelves and chatting with camera-phone wielding customers before eventually buying 21 titles, Reuters reports. "It's a long list," Obama told reporters while paying. He didn't note which books would be given as gifts this season and which the Obamas would keep for themselves, only stating, "I've got books for every age group, from 5 to 52."

Here are the books that made it into the Obamas’ shopping cart.

  1. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri: Never one to disappoint, Lahiri has delivered another extraordinary tale of brotherhood, culture, and revolution in her latest novel, "The Lowland." The story begins in 1960s Calcutta but soon transcends decades and continents as a brotherly bond is tested by a social revolution shaking India and the promises of a better life in America. The San Francisco Chroniclecalls Lahiri "one of our most beautiful chroniclers of the aching disjunctions of emigration and family."

  2. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo: From #1 best-selling New York Times author DiCamillo comes a superhero, laugh-out-loud story about self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, a squirrel, and a vacuum cleaner. The novel is interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, making it a guaranteed hit with readers ages 8-12.

  3. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews: Veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews spins a tale of post-Cold War espionage, seduction, and cyberwarfare in this explosive John le Carré-style spy novel about a beautiful Russian intelligence officer assigned to operate against a young CIA agent.

  4. Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst and Lane Smith: Viorst and Smith deliver a lighthearted chapter book about a spoiled young lady who wants a brontosaurus for her birthday. Rebuffed by her parents, she marches off into the forest to find her pet, but soon discovers the error of her ways when the brontosaurus she meets wants to make a pet out of her.

  5. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow: Written in 1975 and added to TIME's list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century in 1988, "Ragtime" is an American classic that has been adapted into a movie and a highly successful Broadway show. Set at the turn of the 20th century, "Ragtime" employs fictionalized and historical characters to capture the racist, classist, romantic and wildly disruptive spirit of the American 'melting pot.'

  6. Journey by Aaron Becker: Author-illustrator Becker pays homage to the great "Harold and the Purple Crayon" (also on this list) in his wordless story about a lonely girl who uses a red marker to draw her way into a magical adventure. Beckers' finely detailed pen-and-ink line drawings are combined with luminous washes of watercolor that will captivate the attention of even the most fidgety preschooler.

  7. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka: Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award For Fiction, 'The Buddha in the Attic' tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” in the early 1900s. The New York Times Book Review calls Otsuka's "incantatory style" "close to poetry" as she gives voice to the lonely, confusing, and at times terrifying experiences of thousands of Japanese women.

  8. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson: Harold and his magical purple crayon have been delighting preschoolers since 1955 (and inspiring doodling on walls for just as long). The curious 4-year-old protagonist draws his surroundings to fit his whimsy in the ultimate expression of childhood imagination.

  9. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra: In this 400-page novel of love and courage set in wartime Chechnya, two doctors risk everything to save a child being hunted by the same people who murdered her family. Marra's narrative moves fluidly between past and present to contextualize the little girl's ordeal within Chechnya's long history of devastating civil wars.

  10. The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein: Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein wades into the burgeoning science of training regimens and genetic sequencing to determine whether the Serena Williams and Usain Bolts of the world are products of their environments or their DNA. Epstein doesn't shy away from controversy and instead explores the research behind gender and racial stereotypes in sports, producing a fascinating and thought-provoking look at why top athletes excel.

  11. Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football by Nicholas Dawidoff: Dawidoff spends a year with the New York Jets and delivers an intelligent and original inside-look at a sport that has already been covered obsessively from every possible angle. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas Powers ("The Killing of Crazy Horse") writes that "Collision Low Crossers" is "closely and boldly observed, frankly reported, ferociously written with both humor and humanity" and "one of the best books ever written about sports."

  12. Wild by Cheryl Strayed: At age 26, following her mother's death, a divorce, and a string of reckless behavior, Strayed finds herself on the Pacific Crest Trail, alone and determined to rescue herself from her own demons. "Wild" documents Strayed's emotional, grueling, and at times perilous journey through California and Oregon as she grapples with unbelievable loss and attempts to find the strength to keep living.

  13. All That Is by James Salter: Born in 1925, Salter has won literary awards across the decades for his novels, screenplays, and short stories that Edward Hirsch once described as "wholly distinctive, beautiful and implacable." In his latest work, Salter  who served as an Army Air Force pilot between 1945 and 1957  uses a WWII naval officer returning home from war as a canvas on which to explore the conflicting and contradictory archetypes of the 1950s American male. It is a story not to be missed. 

  14. Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel: The only child of two eccentric behavioral scientists, 13-year-old Ben is an unhappy kid who soon finds his solitude disrupted when his mother brings home a baby chimpanzee for research. Printz Honor-winning author Oppel presents his readers with tough ethical questions as Ben's brotherly bond with the chimp gets in the way of his parents' experiments.

  15. Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus: Preus' first novel for young readers hit it out of the park, becoming a 2011 Newbery Honor Book, an ALSC Notable Book and a recipient of the Asian Pacific American Award for Children's Literature. "Heart of a Samurai" tells the true story of a 14-year-old Japanese boy, Manjiro, who is rescued by Americans when his fishing boat sinks in 1841 and taken to America. The captivating and heartwarming story is illustrated with Manjiro’s own pencil drawings in addition to other archival material.

  16. My Ántonia by Willa Cather: Cather achieved a well-deserved place in literary history for her 'prairie trilogy,' of which "My Ántonia" (1918) is the last (and best). The trilogy, which includes "O Pioneers!" and "The Song of the Lark," brought the American West to life and promoted regional American stories as a valid part of mainstream literature.

  17. The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers: This collection of short stories assembles McCullers' best work into a charming and at times haunting novella that includes "Wunderkind," an autobiographical piece published in 1936 when McCullers was just 17.

  18. Jinx by Sage Blackwood: The first in a fantasy series geared toward middle schoolers, "Jinx" tells the familiar tale of an abandoned but highly gifted orphan who must make his way through a magical forest in search of a counterspell for his wizard friend. Booklist calls it a "literary cut above Eoin Colfer’s 'Artemis Fowl'" with the same fast-paced action and comedic hijinks.

  19. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Hosseini's unforgettable literary debut in 2004 introduced Americans to a complicated, beautiful, and entirely human side of Afghanistan at a time when the hunt for Bin Laden was all anyone knew about that distant and mountainous land. Hosseini's tragic and yet wonderfully humorous story of a doomed friendship between two boys of different social classes has become an instant classic and permanent addition to every "must-read" list. 

  20. Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell: Young Ottoline, who lives in an elaborate apartment in Big City with her best friend and guardian Mr. Monroe, is a feisty mix of Eloise and Nancy Drew, solving mysteries by day and wishing her parents would come home from their travels by night. Riddell uses red to accent otherwise black and white illustrations, and the text-to-picture ratio is perfect for especially reluctant readers.

  21. Moonday by Adam Rex: One night the Moon lowers itself into a family's backyard and a little girl must find a way to return the moon to its place in the sky. Rex pens a beautiful, quiet ode to the magic of nighttime in this picture book lullaby.

Join the conversation about this story »


    






2014 Olympic Host City Sochi Is A Strange Place [PHOTOS]

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Before its selection to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which start in February, Sochi was unknown to most people outside of Russia.

That anonymity led photographer Rob Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen to embark on a five-year project to investigate the city on the Black Sea.

Their work is collected in a photo book, “An Atlas Of War and Tourism in the Caucasus,” released recently by Aperture. It begins ominously: 

Winter Olympics in a subtropical resort. Surrounded by conflict zones. The most expensive Games ever. This is the idea being realized in Sochi. In a mere six years, an  entire “world-class” sporting spectacle has been built from scratch.

Katya Primakova, a local journalist and now an Olympics administrator, was Hornstra and van Bruggen's guide. She, like most Russians, was blunt about the coming Games: “Putin looked and looked, and then he found it: the only place in Russia without any snow, to organize the Winter Games.” 

Here are a few of the people and places that Hornstra and van Bruggen uncovered: 

Sochi lies in the Caucasus bordered by Chechnya, Georgia, Abkhazia, and other regions that have had sectarian violence in recent years. Gimry (pictured below) was a center of resistance to Russian hegemony in the North Caucasus in the 19th century and now.SOC_136_RH120301_SP5405_GimrySochi is famous for its sanatoria, a type of health resort. Stalin famously ruled Russia from Sochi because he loved its sanatorium so much. Below, tourists on a beach relax outside the less-famous sanatorium in Adler, in between Sochi and the Olympic stadium cluster.SOC_110_RH110704_SP1302_AdlerA short distance away from Sochi is Abkhazia, an area that has been the center of a bloody, ongoing land dispute since the collapse of the USSR more than 20 years ago. Here, a cultural center displays a tribute to casualties of the conflict.SOC_064_RH090320_SP3606_TributeSince the beginning of the conflict in the '90s, Abkhazia has had a "tourist economy without any tourists," writes van Bruggen. Abkhazians expect the Sochi Olympics to put them on the map. The dilapidated seaside resort of Pitsunda is slowly recovering in time for the Games, but no one seems to be in a rush. This photo of the resort's ballroom was taken earlier this year.SOC_171_RH090322_SP4712_BuildingWhile visiting the region, Hornstra and van Bruggen ate and drank with many families. When war broke out between Abkhazia and Georgia 20 years ago, 200,000 Abkhazian-Georgians fled to Georgia as refugees. Now that Russia recognizes Abkhazia as a state (and patrols its borders), it is unlikely they will ever return home. SOC_067_RH090321_SP4510_MikhailDuring their many visits, Hornstra and van Bruggen often stayed at the popular and enormous Zhemchuzhina Hotel. The hotel has eight restaurants, 14 bars, two nightclubs, a pool, theater, and a strip club. Olga, 29 (shown below), is the manager of the strip club.RH120624_SP0805_OlgaAliona is a dancer at one of the restaurants at the Zhemchuzhina Hotel. The many hotels in the area consider the Games to be their saving grace, funding overdue renovations so that they can be up to international standards. SOC_101_RH110102_SP1908_AlionaHamzad Ivloev was a guard in a village in the surrounding region when a vicious terrorist attack took his hand and eye last year. Local authorities tried to hush journalists from reporting on the attack.SOC_148_RH120703_SP4107_HamzadWar has been a constant throughout the Caucasus region. Roman Eloev lives in a converted barn and has experienced three wars in his lifetime. SOC_125_RH110724_SP92_EloyevThese two brothers live in a dangerous, mountainous area in the Caucasus. Tolstoy, Pushkin, and other great Russian writers romanticized the Caucasus as a hard place where "real men" could be found.SOC_070_RH090324_SP5511_Zashrikwa_Edrese

SEE ALSO: Russian Bobsledder Lit On Fire By Spitting Flames In Latest Olympic Torch Mishap »

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The 22 Coolest Small Businesses In Los Angeles

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The Know Where Bar, Los Angeles

The City of Angels is home to some of the hippest people in the country.

So when it comes to cool businesses, they probably know what they're doing.

We found the 22 coolest small businesses in L.A., from a speakeasy-style bubble tea bar to a specialty hot sauce shop.

Amelia Acosta contributed to this story.

Backwards Beekeepers

Wherever the bees in LA are

What it is: An organic beekeeper and no-kill bee removal service.

Why it's cool: Started by a group of organic, treatment-free beekeepers in Los Angeles, the Backwards Beekeepers say they're "backwards" because they don't rely on pesticides or chemicals to help their bees thrive. Instead, they let them do their own thing and produce honey, which is then sold to the public.

The Backwards Beekeepers also remove unwanted bees from people's properties without killing the bees.



Badmaash

108 West 2nd Street #104

What it is: An "Indian gastropub" in downtown LA.

Why it's cool: Badmaash serves traditional Indian cuisine in a casual environment with a healthy dose of "DTLA (Downtown LA) swag." At any old gastropub you'd find a burger and fries, but at Badmaash there are Indian-inspired dishes like an outrageous lamb burger and chicken tikka poutine.

Badmaash is also home to the ghost chili vindaloo, a curry made with one of the hottest chili peppers on the Scoville scale.



BeachMint

Online, based in LA

What it is: A social commerce site that gives you style recommendations from celebs.

Why it's cool: Located in movie star central, BeachMint is a social commerce site for the next generation. It's composed of six different factions—jewelry, style, beauty, shoes, home, and intimates—which, when subscribed to, provide you with personalized product recommendations from celebrities in the business.

You can also share your style with other users, and get free shipping when you shop your recommendations.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






A Sriracha-Flavored Vodka Is About To Hit The Market

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sriracha bottle

The Sriracha craze is invading a new realm: alcohol. 

Phillips Distilling Company just announced the launch of UV Sriracha Vodka, the first alcohol inspired by the hot sauce to hit the market. 

The vodka is infused with a blend of red and green chilis, garlic, and vegetables. 

According to Phillips' director of research and development, Jim Aune, "UV Sriracha is not too hot, not too spicy and the ideal vodka to punch up a bloody mary or any savory drink...The hot stays mainly on the front of the tongue. It is buffered by the green pepper so the spice comes through, without offensive heat."

The launch of the new flavor comes just days after a judge ordered the closing of the Irwindale, Calif. factory that manufactures the sauce. Neighbors had complained of strong smells that caused headaches and irritated eyes. 

It's still unclear if the factory's closing will affect the price and availability of the popular hot sauce, but at least sriracha fans can enjoy its taste in vodka form now. 

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Spain's Communist Village Is Making The Rest Of The World Look Bad

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marinaleda,

Marinaleda, a small village outside of Seville, has tried for the last thirty-five years to construct what has failed numerous times before — a communist utopia. In "The Village Against The World," author Dan Hancox traveled to the countryside of Andalusia, Spain to find the story of the incredible village. Here are a few excerpts that Hancox shared with Business Insider:

In 2004, I was leafing through a travel guide to Andalusia while on holiday in Seville, and read a fleeting reference to a small, remote village called Marinaleda – a unique place,‘a communist utopia’ of revolutionary farm labourers, it said. I was immediately fascinated, but I could find almost no details to feed my fascination. There was so little information about the village available beyond that short summary, either in the guidebook, on the internet, or on the lips of strangers I met in Seville. ‘Ah yes, the strange little communist village, the utopia’, a few of them said. But none of them had visited, or knew anyone who had –and no one could tell me whether it really was a utopia. The best anyone could do was to add the information that it had a charismatic, eccentric mayor, with a prophet’s beard and an almost demagogic presence, called Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo. 

Hancox_ _Village

Eventually I found out more. The first part of Marinaleda’s miracle is that when their struggle to create utopia began, in the late 1970s, it was from a position of abject poverty. The village was suffering over 60 percent unemployment; it was a farming community with no land, its people frequently forced to go without food for days at a time, in a period of Spanish history mired in uncertainty after the death of the fascist dictator General Franco. The second part of Marinaleda’s miracle is that over three extraordinary decades, they won. Some distance along that remarkable journey of struggle and sacrifice, in 1985, Sánchez Gordillo told the newspaper El País:

We have learned that it is not enough to define utopia, nor is it enough to fight against the reactionary forces. One must build it here and now, brick by brick, patiently but steadily, until we can make the old dreams a reality: that there will be bread for all, freedom among citizens, and culture; and to be able to read with respect the word ‘peace’. We sincerely believe that there is no future that is not built in the present.

It may be a household name in Spain today, but it was not until the late twentieth century that Marinaleda gained any notoriety. The village ’s first victories came during a different systemic crisis, one which exists in the living memory of many: the aftermath of a fascist dictatorship.

In 1975, thirty-six years after his brutal victory in the Spanish Civil War, General Francisco Franco finally passed away. He left Andalusia in a wretched state: aside from the embryonic construction and tourism industries on the Costa del Sol – the profits from which rarely enriched the locals – the region was bereft of industrial development, and of investment generally. As a region historically home to rebellious peasant farmers, scourges of the kind of central authority Franco embodied, and his enemies in the 1936–39 Civil War, he had been happy to let it rot.

In the ensuing chaos of the dictator’s death, while his friends and enemies manoeuvred to address the power vacuum in Madrid, the small community of poor, mostly landless farm labourers in Marinaleda began to pursue their own unique version of la Transición. At the time, 90 percent of landless day labourers, known in Spain as jornaleros, had to feed themselves and their families on only two months of work a year.

As Spain began its slow, careful transition from fascism to liberal democracy, the people of Marinaleda formed a political party and a trade union, and began fighting for land and freedom. There followed over a decade of unceasing struggle, in which they occupied airports, train stations, government buildings, farms and palaces; went on hunger strike, blocked roads, marched, picketed, went on hunger strike again; were beaten, arrested and tried countless times for their pains. Astonishingly, in 1991 they prevailed. The government, exhausted by their defiance, gave them 1,200 hectares of land belonging to the Duke of Infantado, head of one of Spain’s oldest and wealthiest aristocratic families.

From the very beginning, one man was at the forefront of this struggle. In 1979, at the age of thirty, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo became the first elected mayor of Marinaleda, a position he has held ever since –re-elected time after time with an overwhelming majority. However, holding official state-sanctioned positions of power was only a distraction from the serious business of la lucha– the struggle. In the intense heat of the summer of 1980, the village launched ‘a hunger strike against hunger’ which brought them national and even global recognition. Everything they have done since that summer has increased the notoriety of Sánchez Gordillo and his village, and added to their admirers and enemies across Spain.

Sánchez Gordillo’s philosophy, outlined in his 1980 book Andaluces, levantaos, and in countless speeches and interviews since, is one which is unique to him, though grounded firmly in the historic struggles and uprisings of the peasant pueblos of Andalusia, and their remarkably deep-seated tendency towards anarchism. These communities are striking for being not just anti-authoritarian, but against all authority. "I have never belonged to the Communist Party of the hammer and sickle, but I am a communist or communitarian," Sánchez Gordillo clarified in an interview in 2011, adding that his political beliefs were drawn from a mixture of Christ, Gandhi, Marx, Lenin and Che.

In August 2012 he achieved a new level of notoriety for a string of actions that began, in forty-degree heat, with the occupation of military land, the seizure of an aristocrat’s palace, and a three-week march across the south in which he called on his fellow mayors not to repay their debts. Its peak saw Sánchez Gordillo lead a series of supermarket expropriations along with fellow members of the left-communist trade union SOC-SAT. They marched into supermarkets and took bread, rice, olive oil and other basic supplies, and donated them to food banks for Andalusians who could not feed themselves. For this he became a superstar, appearing not only on the cover of the Spanish newspapers, but across the world’s media, as ‘the Robin Hood Mayor’, ‘The Don Quixote of the Spanish Crisis’, or ‘Spain’s William Wallace’, depending on which newspaper you read.Marinaleda's Mayor and Izquierda Unida (IU) Parliamentarian Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo.

Somewhat later in the book, Hancox finally meets “the Robin Hood Mayor,” Sánchez Gordillo, in the wake of the recent Spanish financial crisis. The communist mayor is, as many might guess, fascinating:

When I interviewed Sánchez Gordillo that winter, he was, as usual, entirely confident in his world-view and the stark contrast between what they were creating and the world outside. To his credit, there was not a sliver of triumphalism in his analysis; it was stern, and sober.

‘The myth of capitalism has crumbled,’ he announced, ‘that the market is an omnipotent God that fixes everything with his invisible hand. We’ve seen this is a great lie, a stupid fundamentalism: we’ve seen that in times of crisis, markets have had to resort to the state, and that states are putting money into the banks.’ 

And so they were – hundreds of billions of euros’ worth. In Spain, 75 per cent of debt is private. There was no extravagant public spending that created the crisis there; in 2008 Spain’s finances were well within the Eurozone’s fiscal rules, and its government debt as a share of GDP was much lower than Germany’s, a situation they maintained, to begin with. In Spain, essentially, it is the crash which created the debt, not the other way around.

‘If there were any justice in the world the big bankers, and the governments that allowed them to perpetrate their economic terrorism, would be in jail. And those same people who caused the crisis are the ones who now want to fix it. The pyromaniac wants to play the fireman! Mrs Merkel and Mr Sarkozy want to speak for the banks and fix what they caused. 

‘Everywhere there ’s crisis: an agricultural crisis, an industrial crisis, a financial crisis, a food crisis, a system crisis. Before, people had work, so they didn’t think twice about it. Here in Andalusia there was a boom in construction, and things were getting built everywhere. A construction worker would earn three, four or five thousand euros per month – a lot of money! Then when we lost those jobs, people began losing their homes, because they couldn’t pay the mortgage, so the banks have been repossessing them. And so now people are seeking refuge in agriculture instead, and in other formulas that aren’t those of capitalism.’ And how serious are those formulas? Sánchez Gordillo rejected the idea that 15-M was ‘merely reformist’, as some of its leftist critics have contended: it was developing, he said, ‘an increasingly anti-capitalist vision’. 

In London, I told him, big-state social democracy on the post-war model was increasingly seen as finished. The centre-left approach, of a compromise with capitalism, was kaput: apart from anything else, if someone won’t meet you halfway, it’s not a compromise anymore. Just like 15-M, the people at Occupy London and Occupy Wall Street were looking for alternative models wherever they could find them, however obscure the location. In fact, I explained, that’s kind of what brought me here. He nodded sympathetically.

‘People no longer care if it’s this party or another party, PP or PSOE; they want to change the system to one that isn’t capitalistic, with unions, parties and organisations that promote a different system, with human beings at the core. People are considered merchandise: while they’re profitable, they’re used, and when they’re no longer profitable, they’re discarded. We have to change these cruel and inhuman values. I have dedicated my entire life to this.’

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Man Paid Nearly $35,000 For Trump University, Only To Get Lessons That ‘Seemed To Come From Zillow.com'

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donald trump photoIn August, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump over his eponymous "Trump University."

Schneiderman argued that the "university" was more like a get-rich-quick scheme, and that the school defrauded students looking for the Donald's brand of real estate investing tips out of, in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars.

In a new story in Vanity Fair, William Cohan highlighted one sorry tale from Trump's alleged shakedown. From Vanity Fair:

Bob Guillo, from Manhasset, New York, and his son, Alex, fell hard for the Trump line. After the free seminar and the three-day course costing nearly $1,500—and which he graded as “excellent” in his evaluation—Guillo signed up for the Trump Gold Elite program and paid nearly $35,000. He was told he would be part of a select “in-the-know group” and among “insiders” who would have access to proprietary real-estate deals. “For example,” Guillo wrote in an affidavit, “where Mr. Trump would be involved in building condominiums, we would get first choice at purchasing an apartment and then would be able to immediately sell it at a profit.”

Guillo wrote that at the first day of the Trump Gold Elite program he “began to realize I had been taken” because the information conveyed seemed to be coming from Zillow.com, a real-estate Web site, or from the I.R.S. Web site.

Turns out $35,000 is a lot to spend on free information from Zillow. Guillo complained to the folks at Trump University and tried to get a refund. He told Cohan, "“I got a picture of myself with a Trump cutout and basically very, very little else.”

A Trump representative maintained to Vanity Fair that Guillo "could not articulate one thing that was wrong with the course."

Ever since this saga began, Trump has called out Schneiderman for playing politics. The two have gone back in forth in the media over the past few months. Trump even filed a formal state ethics complaint saying Schneiderman asked Trump's daughter Ivanka and her real estate magnate husband for favors as he "downplayed the ongoing probe into her father's venture," the New York Daily News reported.

Read the full story at Vanity Fair »

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Sitting At Work Is Deadly, So We Tried A Treadmill Desk

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Click for sound:

 

Ever since we found out that sitting at work is killing us, a bunch of my co-workers at Business Insider have gone all-in on standing desks. (Some moreso than others.)

Standing all day gets boring, though, and it makes people restless. So, in our search for a better work desk that won't kill you, we stumbled upon this treadmill desk by LifeSpan.

Some of my co-workers spent an entire day working on the treadmill desk. How hard is it to walk and work at the same time? Watch the video to find out.

Produced by William Wei

SEE ALSO: Forget The Playstation 4 And XBox One, This Device Actually Lets You Run Around Inside Video Games

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17 Incredibly Impressive Students At The University Of Michigan

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Sam Mikulak, Olympic Trials

The University of Michigan is ranked No. 28 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best national universities.

But the fact of the matter is, the home of the Big House admits some exceptional students the likes of Harvard, Yale, and Stanford have never seen.

We rounded up 17 incredibly impressive undergrads at U of M.

Go Blue!

Ashley Shipley conducts biomedical research that improves the lives of patients with cancer and cerebral aneurysms.

Class of 2014

Ashley Shipley contributes life-altering research that aims to preserve reproductive fertility in women undergoing cancer treatment in the University's Biomedical Engineering Department.

Cancer treatment can deplete many or all of a female patient's ovarian follicles, resulting in premature infertility, Shipley explained. Her lab hopes to offer patients the option to remove the ovaries before treatment, and perform in vitro fertilization after the follicles have matured in a culture. The process has been successful in mice so far.

Shipley has also designed and built a device that tests neurovascular coils used to treat cerebral aneurysms for stroke prevention during an internship at Stryker Neurovascular. These coils are implanted into a cerebral aneurysm via minimally invasive surgery to obstruct blood blow in the aneurysm and prevent it from rupturing — one of the major causes of a stroke.

Next semester Shipley will continue her research, and begin a master's program in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan.



Brian Garcia starred in an off-Broadway play in New York City.

Class of 2016

Earlier this year Garcia enrolled in playwright Holly Hughes' production course, the goal of which was staging, costuming, and touring "The Well of Horniness," a 60-minute play that tells the story of Vicki, a closeted lesbian who escapes from an evil lesbian sorority by hooking up with a man. Garcia starred in drag as Vicki and performed on stages in New York City and Chicago.

He furthers his commitment to entertaining and engaging audiences with ideas of social change. He mentors incoming Latino freshmen through an orientation program called ALMA, and fosters dialogue through the Coalition for Queer People of Color.

This past summer, the Los Banos, Calif., transplant returned to his current home in Charlotte, N.C. and became involved with Don't H8, a non-profit organization that operates a national pageantry system for queer performers and supports its communities. Garcia was named The Ultimate Teen of Don't H8 2013, and represents the organization at pageantry events and speaking out against bullying at high schools and youth centers.

Garcia is in the early stages of planning an Ann Arbor drag ball, and hopes to one day establish a venue for queer performers in the area. Eventually he would like to be an academic of the arts.



Cathy Huang was an elite gymnast before an injury turned her into an entrepreneurial curator.

Class of 2015

Cathy Huang started doing gymnastics when she was seven and by 16 she was an elite All-American Gymnast, practicing 20 hours a week, until a torn ACL and meniscus suddenly ended her promising career as a gymnast.

But rather than let herself be beat, Huang joined MPowered, Michigan's umbrella organization for student entrepreneurship, where she is now the CFO. The people and ideas she encountered at MPowered inspired her to create VEX, an on-campus storefront where student entrepreneurs can sell the things they make. Huang runs the enterprise and curates the items sold in the space. Her venture is backed with both moral and financial support directly from the University.

Huang is also a part of the True Ventures TEC Fellowship, a prestigious immersion program for college students from all over the country to learn firsthand what it’s like to work for a startup, and receive advice and mentorship from some of the best minds of Silicon Valley.

Huang hopes to pursue an internship with the Google BOLD program, which provides students who are historically under-represented in the tech industry with exposure to this field.



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The Best New Books Of The Year, According To Goodreads

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Malala Yousafzai

Goodreads is out with its 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards.

Every year, the book recommendation site asks its users to vote for the best new book across 20 genres, from historical fiction to horror.

Goodreads editors first analyze statistics from the 250 million titles that were added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2013 to nominate 15 books in each category. Readers are also encouraged to write-in nominations if their favorite didn't make the cut.

The final winners this year were then based on almost 2 million reader votes. See if your favorite book is on the list below.

FICTION:"And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini. From the author of "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" comes the tale of an Afghanistan family separated by dire circumstances who struggle over half a century to find one another from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to Greece.

MYSTERY/THRILLER:"Inferno" by Dan Brown. Robert Langdon is back again with more riddles, secret passageways, and classic art as he sets out to reveal the mystery behind Dante's epic poem.

HISTORICAL FICTION:"Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson. What if you could die and be reborn again? That's the question in this brilliant, multi-layered novel set in 20th century London that is as funny as it is philosophical.

FANTASY:"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman. An adult fairy tale at its finest, a middle-aged man remembers his magical childhood, proving that sometimes stories are able to shelter us from the harsh realities of life.

PARANORMAL FANTASY:"Cold Days" by Jim Butcher. The 14th in the Dresden Files series, Dresden is back from the dead, but beset by magical enemies both old and new as he is forced to do the impossible: Assassinate an immortal.

SCIENCE FICTION:"MaddAddam" by Margaret Atwood. The third of her MaddAddam series, only a small group of humans survive after a man-made plague sweeps the earth. Now they must work together when the planet is attacked.

ROMANCE:"Lover At Last" by J.R. Ward. Long-time fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series are finally rewarded for their patience when the unrequited love of two of Ward's best characters is finally realized.

HORROR:"Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King. Dan Torrance from "The Shining" is now a middle-aged man who must protect a 12-year-old girl against a quasi-immortal tribe that feed off the children with the "shining" in King's latest thriller.

MEMOIR/AUTOBIOGRAPHY:"I Am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai. The highly acclaimed memoir of the young Pakistani girl who stood up to the Taliban for every girls' right to an education, was shot at point-blank range — and miraculously survived.

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY:"Jim Henson: The Biography" by Brian Jay Jones. Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. Jim Henson was the man behind The Muppets, but Jay Jones proves he was also much more in this comprehensive biography.

NONFICTION:"The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum" by Temple Grandin. From a scientist on the forefront of the "autism revolution," Grandin weaves together her own experiences with new theories on what causes autism and how we can best diagnose and treat it.

FOOD/COOKBOOKS:"Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist" by Tim Federle. A cocktail book for the literary obsessed, Federle combines witty names and classic books with 65 cocktails, such as the Vermouth the Bell Tolls.

HUMOR:"Hyperbole and a Half" by Allie Brosh. Out of her viral blog comes Brosh's first book that make use of her deceptively simple illustrations to tell stories that belie a dark humor and striking wit, with topics ranging from dogs to depression.

GRAPHIC NOVELS/COMICS:"Beautiful Creatures: The Graphic Novel" by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Based on the young adult novel of the name name, the manga version of "Beautiful Creatures" is filled with stark black and white images that will satisfy and intrigue fans.

POETRY: "The Fall of Arthur" by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is the world's first publication of a previously unknown work by Tolkien from the '30s which tells of the final days of King Arthur in verse alongside essays from his son Christopher.

DEBUT AUTHOR:"Tangled" by Emma Chase. This is a romance novel that revolves around New York's elite who strive for both success and love in the hilarious premier book from author Emma Chase.

YOUNG ADULT FICTION:"Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell. This novel about two misfit teenagers who fall in love on a bus is sweet without being saccharine. It’s also a story adults can love, too.

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY/SCI FI:"Allegiant" by Veronica Roth. The third in the dystopian Divergent series comes "Allegiant," the most outward-looking of the books that battles to comprehend the complexities of human nature in the ultimate finale for fans.

CHILDREN'S:"The House of Hades" by Rick Riodan. Filled with Olympian gods and folklore, this book follows Percy Jackson in his latest — and most dangerous — quest in The Heroes of Olympus series.

PICTURE BOOKS:"The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt. This delightful and imaginative story about crayons who have had enough will make children both laugh and color in a whole new way.

See the runners up in each category over at Goodreads.

SEE ALSO: 25 Books That Changed The Course Of History

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The Best New Golf Courses Of The Year

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Summit rock

This post originally appeared on Golf Digest.

It wasn't a boom, but it wasn't a bust either.

The year in golf design started with a Streamsong splash and finishes with a Trump two-step.

Along the way, several courses with, shall we say, long gestation periods finally opened for play.

Quantity is still down, but quality has never been better.

See which great golf courses just opened >

More From Golf Digest:

The Best Golf Courses in all 50 States
Kate Upton Learns How to Golf (from Arnold Palmer!)
Do Women Need to Take Up Golf to Get Ahead in Business?

Hilariously Ridiculous Golf Stock Images

STREAMSONG RESORT (RED COURSE), STREAMSONG, FLA.

Public course, 7,148 yards par 72 | Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw, designers

Streamsong is the golf destination of the year, maybe the decade, and as the site is a reclaimed phosphate strip mine, a great example of how golf can also serve a higher purpose. The Red is practically the Best of Coore/Crenshaw, with the chasm-like bunkers of Sand Hills, the edgy water hazards of Cuscowilla and the diabolic angles of Talking Stick.





STREAMSONG RESORT (BLUE COURSE), STREAMSONG, FLA.

Public course, 7,176 yards par 72 | Tom Doak, designer

Bill Coore and Tom Doak routed 36 holes together, then Coore gave Doak first pick of which 18 to build. He took the land where all mining had been completed, so the Blue was finished first. There's more elevation change on the Blue than Red (the first tee is atop an 80-foot dune) and more water in play, but the architecture of both is so complimentary as to provide a practically seamless 36.  



DISMAL RIVER CLUB (RED COURSE), MULLEN, NEBRASKA

Private course, 6,994 yards par 71 | Tom Doak, designer

Different than all other courses in the sandhills, including its sister Nicklaus-designed White Course, nearby Sand Hills Golf Club and Doak's Ballyneal in Colorado. More like Doak's Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, with fairways on plateaus between gulches. Closing holes, in the valley formed by the narrow, serpentine, artesian-fed Dismal River, are outstanding.



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This Man Wants To Send You Home For The Holidays — For Free

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peter shankman

Peter Shankman — an NYC-based entrepreneur, marketer, investor, blogger, etc. — travels all over the world year round. And in his words, "I get a TON of miles."

This year, he wants to give back from his success. In a post on his personal blog, Shankman offered to fund six round-trip flights for six individual people who might need a little extra help heading home for the holidays.

In 2012, Shankman sent four people home in the same giveaway. This year, he wanted his favorite airline, United, to match his miles. Unfortunately, that didn't get approved in time. But thanks to generous donations from others, Shankman still had extra spots. If you want to donate, contact him at peter@shankman.com.

Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf
Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf
Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf
Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf
Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf
Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf
Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf

Just leave a comment on his website explaining your situation. Easy. No strings attached. And Shankman won't even judge who wins. His "life-saving" assistant will make the call Dec. 6 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

One woman (currently with 32 upvotes) said she has only seen her husband — a solider stationed in Korea — three months out of the last three years.

In another entry, a California mom weak from breast cancer treatments wants to visit her daughter in Arkansas. They haven't seen each other in five years. She could also meet up with a dear friend who just underwent surgery in the same town.

Shankman's team will post the winners Dec. 7 at 10:00 a.m. on Shankman's blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Because it's crunch-time for flights, his team needs to hear back by Dec. 8 at 10 a.m.

Family in LA and you're broke in NYC? Sister in Miami as you live in Montana? Brother and nephew in Chicago while you work in Vegas? - See more at: http://shankman.com/do-you-want-to-go-home-for-the-holidays/#sthash.439LAtnz.dpuf

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Here's How SoulCycle Keeps Customers Paying $34 For A Spinning Class

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SoulCycle riders cycling

SoulCycle just might be the hottest thing in fitness right now.

On a typical day, some 6,000 people will slip on their spinning shoes and climb atop a stationary bike in one of SoulCycle's 25 studios across the U.S. The lights will dim and, for the next 45 minutes or so, riders will surge up and down in sweaty, unified motion as the instructor barks out commands and inspirational sayings over the throb and sway of the music. Most of them will pay upward of $34 for one class.

Part boutique exercise class, part dance rave, part cult, SoulCycle is a carefully marketed and differentiated exercise service. Its challenge? To grow its following while keeping loyal customers coming back for more pricey spin sessions. For that reason, the target SoulCycle customer is not just someone who wants a workout, but someone who yearns to take part in a communal experience that is at once trendy, energized, and healthy. To go to SoulCycle is to be young and hip.

SoulCycle advertises itself as a full-body workout that has "revolutionized indoor cycling and taken the world of fitness by storm." The company currently has 18 locations in and around New York and seven in California, and is planning studios in Massachusetts and Washington D.C. It boasts an 85% retention rate among riders, and revenue has risen 60% each year since 2010.

Its social media metrics are similarly impressive. SoulCycle has nearly 30,000 followers on Facebook, another 25,000 followers on Twitter, and some 23,000 followers on Instagram. Its digital strategy is a simple extension of its feel-good branding. Online, the company posts stories and responds to tweets with a cheerful, upbeat persona and a liberal dose of exclamation points and smiley faces. It also recently launched "Soul Tunes" to compile the hottest hits from the studio and share them through a Spotify profile.

All in all, SoulCycle has come a long way since co-founders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler opened their first studio in a Craigslist sublet on Manhattan's Upper West Side in mid-2006. The building didn't have a front desk and wouldn't allow them to post an outdoor sign, so at first the pair struggled to market their company. They handed out fliers and gave away tons of free classes to bring in riders. But Rice and Cutler also saw SoulCycle as filling a fitness niche in New York and, because of that, trusted that people would come.

SoulCycle Julie and Elizabeth"Elizabeth and I started SoulCycle because we were actually the customers — we were looking for an exercise experience that was going to be fun, exciting, challenging," Rice explains. "There were a lot of workouts, but there was really nothing out there that was efficient, that was joyful, that was about community, that was something that you really looked forward to."

Joy, fitness, and community. That was the central philosophy that Rice and Cutler emphasized again and again to would-be riders. It was also their answer to the most commonly voiced skepticism: "I could do this for free at my gym. Why would I come to you?"

It is, undoubtedly, a fair question. SoulCycle is many things, but cheap is not one of them. The regular single-class price is $34. Add in the $3 shoe rentals (you need special cycling equipment to participate) and a $2 water bottle, and you've hit $39 a session. By comparison, plenty of spinning classes in New York can be found for closer to $25 apiece.

SoulCycle also doesn't offer monthly passes, and its multi-class packages are barely discounted: 5 for $165 (that's $33 a pop), 10 for $320 ($32), 20 for $600 ($30), and 30 for $850 ($28.33). Those packages also come with expiration dates, so it's use it or lose it.

Why are SoulCyclers willing to spend so much? "People value what they pay for," Cutler says. "If someone pays to take that class, they are going to come in and work so hard that the energy in that class is going to be epic."

Rice points out that money spent on one SoulCycle class could as easily be thrown at two or three cocktails in New York. "It is so easy in this city to spend dumb money on things that don't matter," she says.

Customers certainly have bought in. Just six months after it opened in 2006, SoulCycle had long waiting lists, and the first studio became profitable. Its rider base has since expanded from mainly 30-something moms to men, teens, tweens, and even the elderly (one customer is 89). Its merchandise line now features dozens of items, including sweatshirts that retail for $125 and tank tops that go for $54.

"We used to say to people, 'This is really different; this is going to be an experience that you'll remember,'" Rice says. "[SoulCycle] will change your attitude about fitness."

SEE ALSO: Here's How One Startup Aims To Revolutionize The Hiring Process

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14 Holiday Gifts Dad Is Sure To Love

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BaconkitWant to give your dad a gift this season that's sure to make you the favorite child?

We scoured for the best products from booze to gadgets — you know, all the things the Man of the House loves — and compiled options for every budget.

Time to get shopping.

Have a surprise box of grooming products delivered to his doorstep each month.

Buy him a three-month subscription for Birchbox Man, and each month he'll receive a package filled with top-tier grooming and lifestyle product samples. The variety from both well-known brands and emerging gems is the best way to help keep him hip.

Price:$60



Give the gift of DIY bacon.

If your dad is of the Ron Swanson variety, enable him to taste bacon as nature intended. The Original Baconkit contains everything you need to make five pounds of delicious cured bacon (no smoker required). All he needs to do is pick up the pork.

And unlike the commercial stuff, the homemade bacon won’t shrivel, shrink, or release water when he cooks it.

Price: $22.99



Capture those nostalgic, holiday moments.

Here's a blast from the past updated for the digital era. Developed by Polaroid, the 14 MP Digital Polaroid Camera shoots and prints 3" x 4" photos by itself in less than a minute.

Dad can even crop and view the pictures before printing on the LCD screen.

Price:$299.95



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These Dazzling Pictures Will Make You Appreciate The UN Like Never Before

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un2

The United Nations currently has fifteen peacekeeping missions around the world, ranging from providing disaster relief in Haiti to alleviating a civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since it was founded in 1945, the UN has completed 55 other peacekeeping missions.

During many missions, United Nations photographers documented the humanitarian work of the organization, compiling a library of more than 800,000 photos. We've collected the coolest pictures from the UN flickr page of 12 of the current missions.

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) began this past July, when 6,000 UN peacekeeping troops were sent to Mali in the aftermath of the Tuareg Rebellion in 2012. The forces will help stabilize the country and oversee the 2013 presidential elections.



A MINUSMA peacekeeper patrols the grounds of the El Farouk Hotel in Bamako, during a meeting between the Malian government and Tuareg separatist rebels.



The United Nations Operation In Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) is a peacekeeping operation that has maintained a "zone of confidence" separating the Ivorian government in the south and the New Forces (former rebels) in the north. Here, Abdul Hafiz (right), the UNOCI Force Commander general, visits troops providing security in Abidjan.



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West Virginia University Professor Reveals The Only Way To Keep Students Safe At A Party School

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West Virginia University Party Students

West Virginia University sociology professor Karen G. Weiss teaches at Playboy magazine's number one party school, which likely gave her same great insight for her new book — "Party School: Crime, Campus, and Community."

Weiss spoke with Allie Grasgreen at Inside Higher Ed about her book, covering topics from why the party school allure appears to be increasing to potential effects on neighboring communities. The full interview is certainly worth a read — check it out here— but Weiss had a particularly interesting comment about student safety that's worth highlighting. 

When IHE asked Weiss about what administrators should be doing to keep students safe in a party school atmosphere, here's what she had to say:

I think that most schools try to educate students about the problems linked to alcohol and drugs, but the education is usually "white noise" that students readily dismiss. After all, they already know that partying comes at a cost. I argue in the book that most students who party recklessly willingly take these risks; many see occasional injuries or black outs as collateral damage or the price they must pay for the admission to the party. Therefore, the only program that would effectively keep students safer, and that students themselves support, is the implementation of medical amnesty programs, where students can be assured that if they call 911 to get help for themselves or friends in crisis, they will not face legal consequences for underage drinking or illicit drug use. Schools may be hesitant to implement these programs because they don't want to appear to condone drinking and drug use. But if safety is a priority, these programs would be the most effective way to reduce potential tragedies related to partying.

Read the full interview at Inside Higher Ed >>

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The Best Restaurants In 20 Big Cities Around The US

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Cochon new Orleans

Zagat polled more than 224,000 diners in 36 U.S. markets to compile their annual America's Best Restaurants Survey. 

As part of their newly released results, Zagat created a list of the best restaurants in 20 major cities across the country.

Restaurants were rated on a 30-point scale, in the categories of Food, Decor, and Service. Scores between 26 and 30 are typically reserved for restaurants that are "extraordinary to perfection."

Prices are estimates, reflecting what diners should expect to spend on a single dinner with a drink and tip.

From an exclusive eight-seat restaurant in Miami to a classic French bistro in Fort Worth, the list has a little bit of everything, though each restaurant is sure to provide an unparalleled dining experience. 

ATLANTA: Bacchanalia

1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW

Food: 29
Decor: 26
Service: 28
Price: $111

This New American restaurant ranked first in Atlanta for Food and Popularity. For a feast that lives up to the restaurant's name, order the exquisite five-course prix fixe menu.




AUSTIN: Uchi

801 S. Lamar Blvd.

Food: 29
Decor: 25
Service: 27
Price: $56

Chef Tyson Cole combines local ingredients and fish flown in daily from Japan to create heavenly sushi dishes. Uchi ranked first for Food and tied for Most Popular of all Austin-area restaurants. 





BOSTON: Neptune Oyster

63 Salem St.

Food: 28
Decor: 23
Service: 24
Price: $43

This popular North End spot doesn't take reservations, but, according to Zagat readers, its lobster rolls and johnnycakes are well worth the wait. 





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I Just Took A Totally Average $200 Plane Trip To California — But Here's How Cool It USED To Be To Fly

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flying flight attendant tossing salad

Yesterday evening, I boarded a plane from New York to California.

I sat in a totally average $200 seat, scrunched in the very back row — 44 — in coach. I wasn't allowed to pick my seat before the flight.

Flying didn't always used to be such a drag. There were cheery flight attendants, steak dinners, and lounges on board. A lot of it has been documented by EverythingPanAm.com, an online museum for Pan American. Pan American was the largest international airline from 1927 until 1991 when it went out of business.

Here's what flying used to be like, and what we suffer through now.

There used to be no security at airports. You just showed up and boarded the flight. Some parts of the world still do that. But not many anymore. I waited in security for 45 minutes and barely made my gate in time to board.



Airplane seats used to be wide and comfy.



Some planes had lounges in the coach section for flights. This picture is from the 1950s.



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Two Dead, One Injured After Skydivers Collide In Midair

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skydiving accident

Two skydivers were killed Tuesday after a midair collision over Eloy, Ariz., the local ABC news affiliate is reporting. 

The incident reportedly occurred around 4:51 p.m. at Skydive Arizona, with witnesses telling police the collision happened about 200 to 300 feet in the air before both divers' canopies collapsed and they fell to the ground.

One died at the scene, while the second died after being transported to the hospital, AZ Central reports. A third person was injured but the injuries were not believed to be serious, according to AP.

From NY Daily News:

The area is a well-known skydiving destination. Over the weekend, a group of women from around the world shattered the female vertical formation skydiving record when they linked hands from a jump at 18,000 feet above Eloy.

The victims' names were being withheld pending notification of next of kin, according to ABC 15.

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Watch This Insane Selfie Battle Between Kobe Bryant and Leo Messi

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Last year, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and FC Barcelona soccer star Lionel "Leo" Messi competed for the affections of a little boy in a widely popular ad for Turkish Airlines.

The superstar athletes are back at it again this year, only this time, they're holding a fierce competition over who can take the best selfie. The ad begins with Messi texting Kobe a photo of himself in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, causing Kobe to rush to a similarly exotic location to take an impressive selfie of his own. And from there, the race is on:

The back-and-forth takes the superstars to the Great Wall of China, the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, and even to the top of snow-covered Mount Kilimanjaro. They ultimately meet at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, before racing off to continue what the viewer can only assume is an ongoing war to produce the world's finest selfie.

Here's last year's ad, in which Kobe and Leo duked it out to give a boy an autograph on a Turkish Airlines flight, earning Turkish Airlines more than 100 million YouTube views:

SEE ALSO: Lionel Messi Meets A Gang Of Singing Street Urchins In New Ad For Samsung Watch

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