Tomorrow you can celebrate 80 years of being able to drink legally in the United States.
Prohibition, established by the 18th Amendment to stop people from making, moving or selling alcohol, was repealed on December 5th 1933.
But in Prohibition's heyday, speakeasy bars — so called because of the need to speak quietly about them in public to not alert the authorities — popped up to keep the aqua vitae flowing to citizens.
You may not need to exercise so much caution at the bars these days, but you can still enjoy a drink in all the glitz of the 1920s, thanks to these retro speakeasies in New York City. We took recommendations and checked out review websites to round up ten of the best speakeasies in the city.
9 Doyers St., Chinatown
Apotheke bills itself as the healer of all your ailments. All the bartenders wear white lab coats to look like pharmacists mixing your drinks.
Drinks will run you close to $20, but the atmosphere makes it worth while.
The Back Room
102 Norfolk St., Lower East Side
The entrance to The Back Room is down a nondescript alley and up a few steps. A bouncer leads the way. Drinks come in mugs and teacups once you're inside, or in a brown bag if you order a beer.
132 9th Ave., Chelsea
A coffee shop fronts the Bathtub Gin speakeasy. But once you're inside, you might catch one of the establishment's burlesque shows while you sip your cocktails.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
British Prime Minister David Cameron was in China for the past three days for a trip that has seen some controversial moments. However, there's at least one clear success: The United Kingdom has signed a deal to export porcine semen to China that will net British farmers a reported £45 million ($73 million) a year.
Yes, pig sperm.
According to a report in the Guardian, beginning next year British pigs will be taken to one of four artificial insemination centers in the U.K. and their semen will then fly to China (either frozen or fresh) and be used to inseminate the Chinese pig population.
Big trades of sperm may seem unusual, but in the world of pig farming this makes complete sense. The Chinese pork industry is staggeringly huge — more than half of the pigs in the world are believed to live in China and it is a major source of protein for Chinese citizens — but the industry is out of date and inefficient. Incredibly, despite its huge pig population, China became a net importer of pork in 2008.
British pigs could help. Not only is their meat considered high quality (for example, Berkshire pork, one of the most lauded varieties in the world, originates in the U.K.), it's a world leader in breeding economical pigs: Chris Jackson, export manager of the British Pig Association, told the Financial Times that British pigs can grow faster than their Chinese counterparts, and they eat less food and reproduce quicker. Amazingly, the cost of a pig in the U.K. is reported to be half that of one in China.
Crucially, the deal is a big win for British pork farmers, who have struggled domestically for years. The industry is reported to net around £300 million ($490 million) a year, but that's down from double that a decade ago, and pork prices are severely constrained by supermarket shoppers' demands for cheap meat. Sperm is one way to make money off high-quality pigs without affecting the domestic supply, and there are broader hopes within the U.K. agricultural industry that Britain could turn itself into something like the Saudi Arabia of sperm, selling its "liquid gold" not only from pigs, but also from cattle and sheep, to China and other places all around the world.
There's another neat detail to the U.K.-China deal too: Pig trotters (feet) may be next. Stewart Houston, chairman of the British Pig Executive, told the FT that semen was a "big deal" but "nothing compared with the trotters." While pig trotters aren't commonly used in British cuisine, they are considered a delicacy in China — in October a Chinese official was suspended after racking up bills totaling 700,000 yuan ($115,000) at a pig trotter restaurant over three years. The U.K. government believes trotters, essentially waste products in Britain, could net U.K. farmers £7.5 million ($12 million) a year if an agreement is made.
Like training wheels and braces, at a certain age some things just aren't cute anymore.
In fact, at a certain age, cute is over.
In and outside of the work place, young professional women should dress like they have jobs, pay taxes, and have moved out of the double bedroom on the second floor of their parents' house they used to share with their younger sister.
For ladies slugging it out working on Wall Street, this is crucial. You will see your colleagues a lot, and you will need to look sharper and more put together than them 100% of that time. Ask any woman who's ever spent a day at an investment bank.
Luckily, this isn't necessarily a hard thing to do.
However, there are a few all-too-commonly found pieces of clothing in the American woman's wardrobe that can destroy any impression of adulthood or maturity. We've collected a number of them here.
Like, girl, you should never have anything written on your butt.
Unless you have a time machine, there's really no reason to own one of these relics of a (dark) bygone era. Some women say they use them to pull their hair back at the gym, or while washing their faces.
Sorry, no. Those are still not acceptable places or times to be seen with a scrunchie, because there are no acceptable places or times to be seen with a scrunchie.
You are too old for this if you're above the age of 25. Buy a polo shirt, or wear a button up if you don't want to be particularly dressy in public. Otherwise tee shirts should really only be worn to the gym or while you're suffering from a terrible, terrible hangover.
Also, it should be noted that tees are especially horrible when they have words on them. They're even worse if those words are in a language you do not speak.
Jean mini skirts.
Teenagers and little children can pull this off because no one expects them to look like responsible taxpayers anyway.
It's too short, girl.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Click for sound.
We spoke to Brian Driscoll, an instructor at the Gemological Institute of America, who explained the 4C's, the industry standard for the most important factors that contribute to a diamond's value.
Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis. Additional Camera by Justin Gmoser.
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Add Jay-Z to the growing list of successful men who don't eat meat.
The hip-hop mogul announced Tuesday on his blog, that he "will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!!"
Jay-Z may not have made a lifetime commitment to stop eating meat, but there are many other influencers who have, transcending the stereotype that "real men eat meat."
The trend, which says "I can be strong and powerful and still eat kale," parallels mounting public awareness about the damaging effects of meat consumption on health and the environment. For some, the welfare of factory-farmed animals is also a concern.
In the United States, vegetarians are still rare: Only 5% of American adults say they are vegetarian, according to a 2012 Gallup study, and just 2% of people consider themselves vegan — people who don't eat any ingredients that come from an animal, including eggs, milk, and honey.
While the percentage of vegetarians has remained the same over the last decade, this pattern may slowly change as tofu and salads became more fashionable among America's male movers and shakers.
Former President Bill Clinton switched to a meat- and dairy-free diet after a health scare in 2004.
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton revamped his diet after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 to deal with artery blockages.
Known for his love of McDonald's and dessert, Clinton quit his unhealthy eating habits and went vegan after leaving office. The low-fat, plant-based diet helped him shed 24 pounds for his daughter Chelsea's 2010 wedding.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has been a vegan for 10 years.
With a net-worth of around $200 million, Biz Stone ranks in the 1% of richest Americans. And after more than 10 years as a vegan, the entrepreneur in the scant group of Americans who call themselves vegan.
The 38-year-old invested in a vegan meat company, Beyond Meat, last year with Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. In an interview with Fast Company, Stone said the company's meatless chicken strips imitated the flavor and feel of the real fleshy stuff so well that "it was a bit freaky."
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons gave up meat for health and environmental reasons.
The founder of Def Jam Records was raised eating meat, but turned full-on vegan more than 10 years ago with a new-found awareness about the environmental impact of eating meat.
"Every day, more and more people are turning vegan, more children are looking at a rib and making the connection that it came from a suffering animal and more people are loving themselves and the Earth they live on just a little bit more by saying no to meat and dairy," Simmons said told Ellen DeGeneres in 2010.
The entrepreneur, reportedly worth $340 million, is using his fame and fortune to protect animals. He recently launched a "cruelty-free" clothing line called Argyleculture that will not use any animal products — meaning no wool or leather apparel — in its collection.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
More than 11 million American families are now in the lower-middle class.
And a majority of them feature married couples, new Brookings data show.
The group found that while the majority of the 7 million households below the federal poverty level (FPL) comprise unmarried women, 56% of households living between 100% and 250% of the poverty level, which Brookings defines as lower-middle class, are headed by married individuals. The average federal poverty level is about $32,000.
This does not exactly jibe with the strides made by married folks in the past few decades, although Brookings does not provide historical data for a direct comparison. According to Pew, incomes for married women grew 61% to $73,774 during the period, compared with 59% growth to $48,738 for unmarried women. The rate for married men climbed 62% to $74,642, while growing just 26% to $65,849 for unmarried men.
Those gains may have now slowed.
We addressed a likely root cause of this in the 20th "megatrend" of our recent US 20 Megatrends feature: Men are falling behind big. They were long ago surpassed by women in education, and more than a quarter of all married couples now have women earning as much as or more than men, compared with 7% in 2011.
Of course, married couples still comprise a majority of the highest income earners.
It's just that you're now likely to find a similar percentage among the lower class.
The idea of wearing your deceased loved one around your finger or neck might be a little unsettling, but that's exactly what a company called Algordanza does: transform human ashes into a diamond.
We first heard about the service through the film "As Above, So Below" at the Imagine Science Film Festival, and were so intrigued we asked Algordanza for more details on how you can transform a human's cremated remains into a diamond.
How diamonds form naturally
Diamonds are essentially just pressurized carbon atoms. When carbon atoms are exposed to extreme pressure and high temperatures, they stick together in an organized fashion to form crystals. One carbon atom covalently bonds to four others during this process, and the longer the carbon stays under extreme pressure and heat, the more carbon atoms will lock together in this rigid formation, and the bigger the diamond will be.
Since diamonds are made of carbon, and the human body is roughly 18% carbon, it's possible to transform human ashes into diamonds. Skeletal fragments are the only thing that remains after a human is cremated, and they are ground up and presented to the family in an urn.
Its possible to separate out the carbon from the other elements in the ashes and those carbon atoms can be used to mimic the natural diamond-making process in the lab. These "memorial" diamonds produced by Algordanza have the exact same physical and chemical properties as regular diamonds, according to the Algordanza website.
The cremation of a typical adult produces about five pounds of ashes, and according to the Algordanza website, at least 1.1 pounds of those ashes are required for the process to work.
The Algordanza process
Creating a diamond from human ashes is actually pretty simple.
Each sample of ashes is first chemically analyzed. Frank Ripka, Algordanza's CTO, said this is an essential step because every country has its own traditions and laws that determine how a cremation is handled. Before any chemical alterations can be made, the non-carbon elements that get mixed in with human ashes — things like salts — are sorted out, dissolved, and then removed. This kind of cleaning process is necessary because a high-quality diamond can only form if the sample is at least 99% carbon.
But Ripka said the first cleaning is not enough. The ashes are put into a growing cell like the one in the picture below, and a catalyst made of a mixture of elements like iron and cobalt is added, which helps pull out even more contaminants from the ashes.
The cleaned ashes are then put in a chamber like the one below. Intense pressure and heat are gradually applied, and the carbon actually turns into graphite. Graphite is just a different physical state of carbon where the atoms are bonded together in flat sheets. Ripka said the pressure eventually reaches about six gigapascals (60,000 times the pressure of the Earth's atmosphere) and the temperature rises to about 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.
The atoms bind tightly together under this extreme pressure and temperature in the same way natural diamonds form.
According to Ripka it only takes about a week for the diamonds to form since they grow at a rate of about 0.2-0.4 carats per day in the lab.
A diamond that forms in a natural environment expands in all directions. These are called raw diamonds. But if the carbon is put in a growing cell, it allows technicians to grow the diamond in a predetermined shape, and that's why you can order different "cuts" of a diamond. Algordanza grows both kinds. You can see one of their raw diamonds below.
The company can not actually guarantee what the resulting diamond will look like — it will be more white like a naturally formed diamond, or might have a bluish tint to it. The blue color comes from the presence of the element Boron. Humans have different levels of Boron in their bodies, so the amount of bluish tint depends on the person.
How long carbon is subjected to pressure and heat determines the carat size of the diamond that forms, though there is a limit. In the lab diamond size is limited by the growing cell and the chamber that supplies the heat and pressure, so the largest diamond you can order from Algordanza is one carat.
Ripka said the process for growing diamonds in a lab is common knowledge, but there are very few experts in the field. It takes about four to six months for Algordanza to complete an order from the time the consumer places the order to the time their diamond is delivered.
"Its a kind of science, but its also art," Ripka said. Contact the company for orders, but beware, the diamond-making process isn't cheap, though the resulting diamond will be "an everlasting keepsake, remembrance, or heirloom to pass to future generations."
We know it's cold outside and you want to burrow under the covers.
But winter in New York City is actually one of our favorite times of year, thanks to all the twinkly lights, creative holiday displays, and surplus of delicious hot food and beverages.
Plus, those sub-par temperatures keep the majority of tourists at bay after the Christmas season.
So keep reading to see your seasonal to-do list, from tonight's Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center to indulging at the best steakhouse in the city.
Pile into Rockefeller Center with 250,000 other spectators to watch this year's Norway Spruce light up with a flick of the switch. There will also be performances by Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, Mariah Carey, and Kelly Clarkson.
Skip touristy Serendipity 3 and head to Jaques Torres Chocolates in DUMBO for the best hot chocolate in the city. It's so thick and delicious you just might have to share.
Join drunken revelers around the city and dress up for SantaCon on December 14th. Or stay as far away as possible — certain bars and restaurants in Midtown will be banning Santas for the annual "holiday."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
No year ever seems to be a quiet one. Between civil wars, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and countless moments of beauty and joy, 2013 was no exception.
We are featuring some of the most memorable moments captured by photographers around the world.
A father reacts after the death of his two children in Syria.
A father reacts after the death of two of his children, whom activists said were killed by shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, at al-Ansari area in Aleppo on January 3, 2013.
Protesters flee from tear gas by riot police near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
Protesters flee from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes after protesters removed a concrete barrier at Qasr al-Aini Street near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Jan. 24, 2013.
Sixth-grade students watch as Marine One leaves with President Obama.
Sixth-grade students from the Park Maitland School in Maitland, Fla., watch as Marine One carrying U.S. President Barack Obama takes off from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington as he departs for Las Vegas on Jan. 29, 2013.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Raymond James' Jeff Saut loves him some Burgundy wine.
The market strategist is a longtime connoisseur, and his favorite French bottle is La Tâche, a rare French Burgundy.
"I used to buy them in the 80s, for 6...7...800 dollars," Saut told Business Insider. So imagine his surprise when he went into Morrell wine shop in Manhattan (for an interview with Bloomberg Radio), and saw that his old favorite is retailing for $5,000.
Morrell only had one bottle, a 2010 vintage, and Saut says the salesperson told him the price was so high because "the Chinese are buying up a lot of really high-end, First Growth wine."
Saut says he switched to Pinot Noir, the less-tasty American rendition of France's Burgundy, once prices starting going up in the 1990s. But $5,000 was just beyond belief.
The phenomenon has been around for some time. Chinese wine consumption has doubled twice in the last 5 years, according to Morgan Stanley. By 2016, China is set to become the world's largest global wine consumer.
Rising exports to China has Burgundy lovers clamoring to get their hands on bottles — and paying a premium price to do so, as the New York Times reported last year. Plus, it hasn't helped that Burgundy harvests in particular have had a rough few years.
"La Tâche is arguably my favorite in the world, but I'm not paying 5 grand for it," Saut said. "Evidently the Chinese are."
Every December, Art Basel Miami transforms the normally sexy city into an even greater aesthetic haven.
While the international art fair in Miami draws dozens of blue chip and up-and-coming artists to display their work for gallerists and collectors, the event is also a great backdrop for the rich and beautiful to have a beach getaway.
Just in time for the city's must-attend cultural affair, StyleCaster has compiled a list of Miami's most stylish residents. On this year's list, you'll find everyone from fashion bloggers and models to publicists and philanthropists.
Here are the most stylish people in Miami this year (in no particular order):
Rachel Russell is a stylist with an upcoming clothing line of travel inspired accessories, called KEMANA, that she produces in Bali.
Danielle Hamo is an Israeli-born nutritionist for gourmet meal company The Fresh Diet. She's about to launch her own healthy eating and fresh lifestyle company.
Amanda Del Duca is a fashion blogger for her personal style blog Capture Fashion. She also styles for the likes of Terry Richardson and Galore Magazine, and works as the creative director for a swim and resort wear store.
Brett David is a top dealer of exotic cars. He runs a dealership that represents Lamborghini, Audi, Pagani and Lotus, and once sold a $1.8 million car off his Instagram page.
Daniela Ramirez is a fashion blogger with Nancy's Klozet. She's also studying for her master's degree and aspires to work in television.
Marcella Novela is a philanthropist who founded Art Conductor, an organization that stimulates the flow of energy and creativity between artists and the Miami community.
Ariel Burman is a lawyer turned boutique owner. He deals in preppy-surf lifestyle at his store called Cottage Miami.
Jessica Goldman is the CEO of Goldman Properties. She has a foothold on the hottest emerging street art scene in the world: The Wynwood Walls, which currently houses the largest curation of street art in the world.
TYPOE is a street artist. He’s also a partner in Primary Projects, which is focused on public arts like the Primary Flight wall, a revolving mural at Wynwood. His one man show, Game Over, will debut soon.
Elysze Held is a personal stylist, fashion editor, and contributor to almost every Miami based style magazine and television show.
Lauren Gnazzo is a publicist for Miami’s finest.
Anthony Spinello is a gentleman-gallerist. His gallery, Spinello Projects, is only in its second year, but has already been asked to show at Art Basel Miami.
Jessica Motes is a Miami-born model. She has worked two years in Milan plus an Oscar de la Renta campaign. She also runs a new e-commerce store and lifestyle website, Hippie Bling.
Biz Martinez has worked in Miami's nightlife industry for 13 years. He currently works as the Music Director and Talent Buyer for LIV/Story and Miami Marketing Group.
Charlotte Joncquiert comes from Paris and works as the marketing manager for Hermes Parfums.
Franck Izquierdo is a hair stylist who owns Prive Salons in the SLS Hotel in Miami, which is expanding its flagship location and opening in two more cities.
Agustina Woodgate came to Miami from Buenos Aires to work as an artist. She’s doing everything from a solo show to designing commemorative art benches for the entire city of Miami Beach.
John Lin founded Lin Projects to arrange luxury events branded with the Miami experience in South Beach. He’s also heavily involved in the art scene and contributes to several art and fashion magazines.
Dani Parets is a stylist with work on display at Art Basel in the “Patterns of Eternity” exhibition, which showcases a series sculptures, paintings, and photography.
Robert Onuska owns Stella’s Sweet Shoppe, where he creates delectable desserts in Miami. He also plans special events and caters.
Alan Zelcer has lived in Miami for over 30 years. He works as the CEO of Isaco International Corporation, launching brands like Papi, Rico, and Equipo underwear in hundreds of stores nationwide.
Adrienne Bon Haes and Marvin Friedman make a stylish couple. Bon Haes is an artist and a designer who makes clothes out of found objects like lace curtains and table cloths. Friedman is a trial lawyer and private 20th century art and film dealer.
Shauna Slavin and Nikki Galper design jewelry together. Last year, they launched their jewelry collection MasonHarlie, which combines Shauna’s classic, edgy style with Nikki’s boho-chic look.
For all their ubiquity in the workplace, many men don't know all that much about which tie is appropriate for given situations in work and life.
We spoke to style expert Jacqui Stafford to get some tips that would be useful to any professional man.
Here's how to pick out a tie for seven common work occasions.
For a routine work day:
"Men are relatively limited in what they can wear in a corporate environment, so a different-colored shirt might be really outlandish, but a tie can certainly register your personality," Stafford says. "I'm a big fan of a conservative tie with a little twist."
She points to Thomas Pink's line of animal print ties as an example. The various patterns of rabbits and elephants, for instance, aren't immediately obvious but can be seen when you look closely.
You don't have to go full suit to wear a tie, either. They can also work well with a sweater.
"A fabulous brightly colored tie with a nice print or pattern on it with a solid sweater looks very professional," Stafford says. "If you're going to do a solid sweater or solid v-neck, you can incorporate a bit of color or print in your tie."
For an important presentation:
For a big meeting where all eyes are on you, Stafford suggests choosing a tie with a bold print. Rather than the everyday stripe, you could opt for a paisley print, for example.
"If you go for a very conservative suit or shirt and a very vibrant tie, that registers your personality and registers more authority," says Stafford. It also shows great confidence if you're willing to wear a tie that's a bit more novel.
Additionally, she suggests using a wider or European knot, like the Prince Albert, and a spread shirt collar for an important meeting.
For a job interview:
In a job interview, like in a pitch meeting, Stafford suggests choosing a tie with a twist that will help you stand out. That does not mean a joke tie, which should always be avoided, but it can be something subtle like an unusual pattern on the underside of a solid tie.
"A tie really does register your confidence," Stafford says. And in a creative field, you have more freedom to try something different. While you should still wear a conservative suit to the interview, she recommends displaying your creativity with a tie that has a bold color, subtle animal print, or an interesting fabric such as a knit.
These can also be good talking-point accessories, she says.
For a networking event:
A tie that's a great conversation starter may actually help you make connections. "Look for bold colors or an unusual print to garner compliments and break the ice," Stafford says.
While you should avoid slogans and silly patterns, step it up beyond the usual blue or red stripes. And if you're wearing a pocket square, make sure that you coordinate it with at least one color on the tie.
For a formal event:
"Nothing looks better on a man for a formal event than a traditional black tie against a crisp white shirt," Stafford says.
A black and white polka dot print is another classic option.
For an office holiday party:
An off-site event like a holiday party can be a great time to wear something festive. However, Stafford says a holiday-specific design — Santa and reindeer, for example — would be taking it too far.
A rich color or jewel tone like a teal or deep purple would be a good direction to go, she says.
For a television appearance:
"When you're on television you never want to go with anything with a stripe, which has a strobing effect on the eyes," Stafford advises.
Instead go for a nice, brightly colored solid tie, which stands out without distracting the viewer.
"That way the attention is going to be on your face rather than on your neckwear," Stafford adds.
Contrary to a belief widely held by scotch drinkers, scotch whisky did not come from heaven.
It came from a slightly colder, though more accessible, place — Scotland.
According to the U.K.-based Scotch Whisky Association, record of the manufacturing of this liquid treasure dates as far back as 1494. An entry on the Exchequer Rolls (taxes) of that year reads: 'Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae' (water of life).
They definitely understood the importance of the drink at the very least.
Since the time of Christopher Columbus, scotch has spread around the world. It's well-loved from Japan to the Latin America. As always, however, it's important to remember how things are done in the motherland.
It's important to understand how to drink scotch like a Scotsman, and why they drink it that way.
To understand that, Business Insider connected with a Scotswoman and student of scotch history, Ann Miller. She's the international brand ambassador of Aberlour Scotch Whisky.
It was the kind of rough and tumble, grit-your-teeth scotch reporting you would expect from such an assignment. From all the way in the motherland, Miller demonstrated the proper to way to drink scotch (like a Scotsman) over a Google Hangout. It was fraught, sure, but also delicious.
"The main reason why we drink whisky is this wonderful array of flavors in the glass," said Miller. She also pointed out that it gets really, really cold in Scotland, and scotch helps you "drink a jacket" (she didn't say that, we described it that way — just so we're clear).
Now, when you walk into a bar in Scotland and you request a glass of scotch you should probably ask for a double. Why? Because according to Scottish law (and this dates back to the Middle Ages), a "dram" or one serving of liquor, is 0.25 centiliters — or 2.5 grams.
For most people that isn't enough, and thus the popularity fo the "double dram" of scotch order.
Once you've got that taken care of, you may stop because you like your scotch neat.
Neat, however, is not the way of the Scotsman.
Neither, particularly, is adding ice. Miller says that with the addition of ice, "you're losing all the subtle aromas and flavors of the scotch." The ice freezes those flavors, as you might expect.
However, if ice is your thing there is usually an ice bucket on the bar in Scotland from which you can take "one lump or two" (yes, "lump" = ice if you have to ask).
Now that that's out of the way, there's this — the Scotsman drinks his scotch with water. "Never have water without whiskey, but never have whiskey without water," said Miller.
When the water hits the amber liquid, at least with Aberlour A’bunadh (the bottle we tried) it starts to look hazy. That's because A’bunadh is non chill-filtered, other flavors of Aberlour won't get hazy because they are filtered (keep that in mind).
In your mouth, you'll taste flavors of orange and cinnamon spice at first, and then afterward, and with the addition of more water, you'll taste chocolate. (Remember: flavors vary from brand to brand).
Regardless, once you've added water, then you can really start to work on your jacket.
Now, this isn't the way everywhere. In France, says Miller, scotch is mostly drunk neat as an aperitif, for example.
Who knows where they got that idea from.
Have you reached your peak creativity level?
If you're under the age of 42, chances are good your best creative years are still ahead of you.
That's according to a new study out of the Creativity Research Journal by economist Philip Hans Franses of the Erasmus School of Economics in the Netherlands.
Franses examined the lifespans of 221 famous painters between 1800 and 2004, and attempted to determine the year they created their most masterful work based on the artist's most expensive painting ever sold. He gathered the data from both Robert Cumming's "Eyewitness Companions — Art" as well as the Artprice.com database.
"For each of these artists, the most expensive painting was identified and taken as an indicator of peak creativity," Franses said in the study. "Of course, many other measurements are possible, but this seems to be the most objective one."
Objective, yes, but not necessarily the best method. Most of the paintings associated with the more well-known artists in the study are not their most famous work. There was also only a smattering of female painters who made the list, like Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Mary Cassatt.
Nevertheless, Franses found that on average, the painters produced their most highly-valued work of art when they were an average of 41.92 years old.
He also noted that the paintings were created when the artists had lived roughly 62% of their total lives, and noted that the fraction was striking given that the famous "Golden Ratio" found in art, nature, and even financial forecasting is approximately .618. "[My results were] only 0.0018 away from the divine fraction," Franses said.
Below are some of the more famous painters included in the study, as well as the age they painted their most expensive work to date.
Francisco Goya, "Suerte de Varas" (76 years old)
Edouard Manet, "La rue Mosnier aux drapeaux" (46 years old)
Claude Monet, "Bassin aux nymphéas et sentier au bord de l'eau" (60 years old)
Mary Cassatt, "In a loge" (35 years old)
Georges Seurat, "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" (26 years old)
Vincent van Gogh, "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" (37 years old)
Paul Cézanne, "Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier" (55 years old)
Gustav Klimt, "Landhaus am Attersee" (52 years old)
Henri Matisse, "La robe persane" (71 years old)
Salvador Dalí, "Ma femme nue regardant son propre corps devenir marches" (41 years old)
Man Ray, "Impossibilité Dancer-Danger" (30 years old)
Pablo Picasso, "Boy with a pipe" (24 years old)
Frida Kahlo, "Autorretrato con chango y loro" (35 years old)
Georgia O'Keeffe, "From the plains" (47 years old)
Jackson Pollock, "Number 8, 1950" (38 years old)
What do you give the person who has everything? A life changing experience, of course.
To help you think outside the box this holiday season, we've compiled a list of gifts you can't wrap, ranging from the practical — like buying someone a professional apartment cleaning — to the extravagant — like booking a seat on Virgin Galactic's first commercial space flight for a cool $250,000.
We also looked for some of the best adventures you can get around the globe, like swimming with the dolphins in the Bahamas or climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. They're listed here in increasing order of extravagance.
A professional apartment cleaning is great for the less-than-tidy.
Who doesn’t love coming home to a nice, clean space? For the apartment dweller who’s let their housekeeping go for the majority of the year, schedule a professional cleaning for them from somewhere like Urban Maid Green.
The best part of this company is they use all natural cleaning products to limit the amount of toxic residue in your home.
Pamper a fashion-forward friend with a personal shopper.
Also known as a personal stylist, these professionals aren’t just for sartorial old ladies. Since the luxury menswear market is growing faster than women’s, even guys like a professional’s opinion when it comes to dressing as dapper as possible.
Pick up some sessions with a personal trainer for a fitness buff.
Give the gift of fitness by arranging for someone special in your life to get some sessions with a personal trainer. It’s a great gift for health nuts. But it can also feel like a pampering since the service is more personal than a gym membership.
Look for someone whose reputation you trust since they’ll be working so closely with your giftee. A super generous gift giver might look into Gunnar Peterson, who trains the likes of Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie. He’s also had his workouts appear in everything from Elle to Men’s Health.
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The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will be lit tonight with hundreds of thousands of spectators in attendance and performances by Ariana Grande, Leona Lewis, and Toni Braxton.
The first Rockefeller Center tree, however, was not quite as snazzy (via @TIME).
AP has the first photograph of the tree from 1931, and it was pretty dinky compared to more modern versions.
This, however, was not the first "official" Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, which was completed in 1933. The tree pictured above was erected during construction of the building, when workers decorated a 20-foot balsam fir tree with a "string of cranberries, garlands of paper, and even a few tins cans," according to Daniel Okrent in his book, "Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center."
And here was last year's tree. We've definitely upgraded.
The world's wealthiest men had to meet one important guideline to qualify for a new ranking of billionaires: they had to be single.
Wealth intelligence firm Wealth-X analyzed the assets of the wealthiest unmarried men in the world to create this list of the richest bachelors.
Wealth-X Research uses a proprietary valuation model to assess all asset holdings, including privately and publicly held businesses and investible assets.
Included are tech tycoons, music moguls, and even a Russian oligarch. These bachelors may not all be young, and they may not even be looking for love, but they are eligible.
#9 Charles Butt
Net Worth: $2.9 billion
Home Country: USA
Charles Butt is the CEO and Chairman of H.E. Butt Grocery, a Texas supermarket chain founded by his grandmother in 1905. Butt started working in the grocery store as a bagger when he was only eight years old. Now he owns the majority of the company, which operates 311 stores in Texas and 47 in Mexico.
#8 Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila
Net Worth: $3.9 billion
Home Country: Colombia
Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila, head of the Santo Domingo Group, inherited his wealth from his beer-magnate father, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Pumarejo. The group's portfolio includes 15.1% of SABMiller, the second-largest brewing company in the world, and Caracol, Colombia's biggest broadcasting company. The family also happens to own a private island off the coast of Colombia.
#7 Andreas von Bechtolsheim
Net Worth: $4.4 billion
Home Country: Germany
In addition to being a co-founder of Sun Microsystems in the 1980s, "Andy" was one of the first investors in Google, back when it was just a research project at Stanford. That initial $100,000 investment is now worth $2 billion in Google stock. Bechtolsheim currently serves as the chairman and chief development officer at Arista Networks.
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Would you like to breathe the air of the picturesque French town of Montcuq? For just 5.50 euros (plus another five for shipping to the U.S.), a 250ml tin full of that air could be yours.
"Air de Montcuq" is the brainchild of 22-year-old student Antoine Deblay, who first had the idea to sell his hometown's air over the summer. He put his idea up on the French crowdfunding site, where he was surprised to raise more than 800 euros ($1,000) in just a few weeks — enough to set up a website and pay for packaging. Before long the French press picked up the idea, and orders for the tins began rolling in.
Deblay tells Business Insider that he received 1,000 orders in just three weeks, which was a bit of a shock. "Of course I knew it was going to sell, but not so much in so little time!" he says.
It's also been surprisingly lucrative, with a profit margin of around 60%, according to Deblay, who says he has earned thousands of euros from this project.
Why on earth would people be buying the air from a French village? Those of you who speak French may have already guessed the answer.
You see, in France, the name Montcuq is frequently mispronounced as "mon cul," which translates to English as "my ass." So, "Air de Montcuq" roughly translates as "the wind of my ass." You can imagine why that amuses people.
Deblay has a lot of fun with this on the tins, which includes the following blurb:
Fresh air of Montcuq is 100% organic, it immerses you in the depths of the city to refresh your ideas. Ideal when you are in need of creative inspiration. Attention: irreplaceable content, consumable once. Do not leave it open.
Deblay admits the air itself probably isn't the reason people are buying it. "Maybe the 'Air of Montcuq' has particular composition, I dunno," he says. "I just made a good marketing plan around the product and if people like it, this is probably because the word play of 'Air Montcuq' makes them laugh."
Whatever the reason, Deblay's project may not have much longer left. Deblay said that he would only sell 10 liters of air a week in order to not use up all of Montcuq's air, and the website now contains the warning "WE REACHED THE MAXIMUM QUANTITY OF AIR SAMPLING!"
Deblay was kind enough to send one of the tins to the Business Insider offices. We opened it and it smelled like ... nothing.
Three oil paintings by Norman Rockwell, the celebrated 20th century master illustrator of everyday life in America, sold Wednesday for almost $60 million, setting a new record for the artist.
The best known, "Saying Grace" (1951) that shows an elderly woman and boy bowing their heads in prayer at a restaurant, sold for $46.08 million at Sotheby's.
That was more than double the estimated high sale price, and more than three times Rockwell's prior record of $15.4 million for "Breaking Home Ties" in 2006.
Rockwell, who was born in 1894 and died in 1978, captured the life of ordinary Americans and small towns.
He was also known for his long relationship with the "The Saturday Evening Post" for which he did 322 covers between 1916 and 1963. He also illustrated legendary American tales by Mark Twain.
Another Rockwell work -- "The Gossips" -- sold for $8.45 million Wednesday, while "Walking to Church" fetched $3.24 million.