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What It's Like To Eat At ShopHouse, The Asian Version Of Chipotle That Diners Love


Ever since the first ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen opened in Washington D.C. in late 2011, diners have been lining up to dig in at the Asian-style fast-casual restaurant.

ShopHouse is an offshoot of Chipotle, the wildly successful Mexican chain started by Steve Ells in 1993, which now has more than 1,500 locations and has built a huge following selling burritos and other items made to order on a production line with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

ShopHouse is built on largely the same model. The idea came to Ells after a trip to Singapore and Thailand, and the menu draws on Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Singaporean cuisines for its recipes.

So far, ShopHouse is confined to just a handful of locations in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, and while the company announced several additional restaurants in those markets earlier this year, it warned that it wasn't necessarily looking to further expand the concept.

Since there's no ShopHouse in New York, we asked a fan of the chain (full disclosure: my brother) to document his most recent experience eating dinner at the restaurant's DuPont Circle location.

The first ShopHouse opened in DuPont Circle in late 2011. shophouseIt's located close to one of the city's 300 Capital Bikeshare stations, making it easily accessible to diners, many of whom are regulars. My brother says many of his friends, who are in their mid-twenties and work in government, eat there once a week. 

shophouseShopHouse looks a lot like a Chipotle restaurant inside. Customers line up at a counter and choose from a variety of options.

shophouseAll customers start with a bowl, as there's no burrito or wrap option. Base items include brown rice, jasmine rice, chilled rice noodles, and salad. 

shophousePrices vary depending by the protein customers select. Again, there are four options: grilled chicken satay, grilled steak laab, pork and chicken meatballs, and tofu.

shophouseYou can continue to personalize your meal with the addition of vegetables (broccoli, charred corn, eggplant and Thai basil, or green beans); sauces (Tamarind vinaigrette, green curry, spicy red curry); and toppings and garnishes (green papaya slaw, toasted rice, crispy garlic, and more).

shophouseFood is prepared fresh in an open kitchen, much like at Chipotle.


The decor is simple but has an Asian flair, from the soda machine...

shophouseTo the bottles of Sriracha sauce lining the walls.

shophouseThere's plenty of seating, though customers can also get their meals to go, with a plastic cover that fits over the bowl.


Given the variety of bases, proteins, and toppings, there are thousands of combinations available at ShopHouse (much like at Chipotle). One combo highly recommended by the staff is white rice, pork and chicken meatballs, broccoli, and green-papaya slaw.

Here's a look at some of the restaurant's bowls, via its Facebook page:





For a hungry 23-year-old, it doesn't take long to scarf one down.


"Among my housemates and coworkers, I'd say ShopHouse has all the appeal of a satisfying meal at Chipotle," my brother said. "You can have it multiple times a week when you're too lazy to cook (which is always), and without some the indigestion you get after eating Chipotle."

SEE ALSO: 11 "Better Pizza" Chains Vying To Take Over America

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REPORT: New Skyscrapers Will Cast Dark Shadows Over Much Of Central Park


As more and more luxury construction projects crop up at the southern end of Central Park, the corridor along 57th and 59th Streets has, without a doubt, earned its "Billionaire's Belt" nickname

But a new report from the Municipal Art Society of New York warns about the long shadow these new developments will potentially cast on Central Park, the city's most treasured green space. 

"Based on the shadow studies MAS has produced, it is clear that the existing regulations do not sufficiently protect Central Park, nor do they provide a predictable framework for guiding development," the report reads. "Quite to the contrary, the existing regulations are producing buildings that have caught the public off guard and have surprised regulators. A re-appraisal of the zoning around our key open spaces is needed to ensure that, as New York continues to develop, we are carefully considering the impacts of growth."

Among the offending skyscrapers are current developments at 157 W. 57th Street, 111 W. 57th Street, 217 W. 57th Street, 432 Park Avenue, 53 W. 53rd Street, 220 Central Park South, and 43 E. 60th Street, the report says.

MAS provided side-by-side photos of Central Park that compares today's view to what it will look like when current development projects are completed. new skyline

According to the MAS report, the skyline is changing for a number of reasons. For one, most of these super-tall skyscrapers are being built as-of-right, meaning that they are not required to undergo an environmental assessment or public review.

"Consequently, many people are unaware that the cluster of buildings described in this report will be some of North America’s tallest and that no city agency is examining how these buildings will affect the environment," MAS writes. "The views from across New York City are being remade without the level of discussion which should be required for changes of this scale to take place."

Outdated zoning laws make it easier for developers to work around regulations meant to control the height of these buildings. One technique is building empty floors, which don't count against the floor area limits and allow the structures to rise higher than would be possible otherwise. 

These taller buildings will create much longer shadows, the report warns. The rendering below shows the path of the shadows across some of the park's most popular attractions.

shadow map

Here are some maps that compare today's shadows with what the park will look like once the current development projects are completed. Shadows cast by 217 W. 57th Street, which is slated to become America's tallest residential building, are projected to be about three-fourths of a mile long during the fall months. 

sept 21st shadows

And this is what it could look like during the winter. By the late afternoon, much of the park will be covered in shadows, according to the MAS report. 

Dec 21st shadows

"It’s time to re-examine the underlying zoning, height, and setback rules — rules that govern the shape of buildings — and the amount of density permitted in order to protect any further deterioration of Central Park or other critical open spaces," the report concludes.

SEE ALSO: These Pictures Taken From The Tops Of New York City's Skyscrapers Will Give You Vertigo

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Get To Know The 20 Most Impressive People Of 2013

Woody Guthrie Really Knew How To Do New Year's Resolutions


If you're having trouble nailing down your New Year's resolutions, here's a good place to start. 

Seventy years ago, American folk legend Woody Guthrie scribbled in his journal a list of 33 tasks he would dedicate himself to in the coming year.  According to WoodyGuthrie.org, he called them "Rulin's."

At age 31, he was in the prime of his life, with a wife and three kids, as well as a good deal of life experience, having survived the Dust Bowl to make it out to California. 

As a result, it's a pretty unbeatable list. Here's the transcribed version:

33.  Wake Up And Fight

32.  Make Up Your Mind

31.  Love Everybody

30.  Love pete

29.  Love Papa

28.  Love Mama

27.  Help Win War — Beat Fascism

26.  Dance Better

25.  Play And Sing Good

24.  Send Mary And Kids Money

23.  Have Company But Don't Waste Time

22.  Save Dough

21.  Bank All Extra Money

20.  Dream Good

19.  Keep Hoping Machine Running

18.  Stay Glad

17.  Don't Get Lonesome

16.  Keep Rancho Clean

15.  Learn People Better

14.  Listen To Radio A Lot

13.  Read Lots Good Books

12   Change Bed Clothes Often

11.  Change Socks

10.  Shine Shoes

9.    Wear Clean Clothes 

8.    Write A Song A Day

7.    Drink Very Scant If Any

6.    Eat Good — Fruit — Vegetables — Milk

5.    Take Bath

4.    Shave

3.    Wash Teeth If Any

2.    Work By A Schedule

1.    Work More And Better

And here's the image, complete with Guthrie's doodles:


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A NYC Restaurant Created A Perfectly Wall Street Steak Special For New Years Eve


blt steak kitchen

We've been looking around for New Year's Eve specials that will put a twinkle in a Wall Streeter's eye for a few weeks now, and we think we've found a solid winner for the banker/steak lover.

The deal had to be at once delicious, and slightly over-the-top. Extra, but not (completely) tacky.

And so in that spirit, we feel compelled to highlight BLT Prime's special —  a $320, 72-ounce Sher Farms Wagyu Tomahawk Chop.

Two things about this every banker/steak lover will understand from jump. Wagyu is the must expensive, decadent steak you can buy. And the Tomahawk Chop — it's basically the granddaddy of steak cuts. It's for sharing, for eating and then for taking one home.

The only steakhouse that has something comparable to this all year around is the venerable institution Old Homestead, which will happily serve you a $350 12 oz. Wagyu cut on your private plane, if you so desire. 

Now — an important note to the steak purists: This 'Australian' Wagyu is crossbred with Holstein steers (51% Wagyu, 49% Holstein to be exact). Argue about the merits of that in the comments, send me angry emails if you want to, either way it means you get a massive cut.

It should also be noted that BLT Prime's head chef will happily carve your initials into your steak's bone with a Dremel.

Eat responsibly. 

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'The Future' Is Not Quite As Awesome As People In The 1920s Thought It Would Be


It's almost 2014, and we have some pretty impressive gadgets to show for it: The iPad, electric cars, even a smart watch.

But we're still waiting on some predictions from the 1920s, like an atmosphere scientifically kept to the right temperature and suspension-bridge apartment houses that "will gratify the human desire for novelty and romance."

Those are just some of the predictions made in this old video from the 1920s, which we first found on Gothamist. It does its best to predict what the future in the new millennia would look like. "In recent years, we have seen enormous changes," the video says. "The Great War was the war to end all wars. Thanks to everlasting peace and posterity, the 20th century looks bright!

For instance, according to the video, cities should now look a lot like this:

1920s future city

Modern New York City's architecture isn't quite so Art Deco-heavy.New York City skyline and Statue of LibertyIn the 1920s, people thought transportation would be on multiple levels throughout the city.

1920s future cityToday, we have subways that run underground, and some cities have elevated metros, but there are no fancy sky bridges.

subwayFashion designers forecasted that women would be wearing pants (!!), and an electric body belt that would adapt the body to climactic changes.

1920s future cityNo futuristic body belt (yet), but women today do wear pants.

girls teens friends on grass in a park reading a bookAs for men: "If he matters at all, he'll be fitted with a telephone, radio, and containers for coins, keys, and candy for cuties," the video says. 

1920s future city

At least they got the telephone right.

john mccain cell phone airplane

Let's take a closer look at the super cool headset that was predicted to be part of every man's wardrobe in the future.

1920s future cityMaybe it's not so different from Google Glass?Sergey Brin Wearing Google Glass Portrait Illustration

Cities of the future would have broad avenues and new centers of leisure for the sports, arts, and sciences, the video predicts.

1920s future cityMaybe they were envisioning our shopping malls, with movie theaters, restaurants, and other activities.

mallAnd people in the 1920s thought we'd all ride monster airplanes that could hold 600 passengers, complete with lounges and reading rooms.

1920s future cityInstead, airplanes today continue to disappoint with small seats and almost zero legroom. No libraries here (unless you're flying first class, of course).

southwest airlines airplane plane seatsWatch the video below to see what our future could have held, if folks in the 1920s knew what they were talking about.

SEE ALSO: 10 Science Fiction Novels That Correctly Predicted The Future

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Leonardo DiCaprio Finally Sells His Malibu Beach Pad For $17.35 Million


leonardo dicaprio beach house

More than a year after he listed his Malibu beach pad for $23 million, Leonardo DiCaprio has sold the property for $17.35 million, significantly under the initial asking price, according to Zillow.

He had also attempted to rent out the beachfront home, seeking $150,000 a month for a lease shorter than six months and $75,000 a month for longer leases, real estate website Trulia reported at the time.

This is one of two homes the "Wolf of Wall Street" actor owned in Malibu. He bought it in 2002, paying $6 million.

The house is on prime Malibu real estate.

With amazing beach access.

And an awesome beachfront deck.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Three Of The Best Things Posted On Tumblr In 2013


Tumblr just published its 2013 Year In Review in which it showcased the best new blogs, art, videos, GIFs and other assorted items posted this year.

We've sifted through a lot of posts and found the following three viral items that deserve another look.

Best video courtesy of Brynna-Lynn's blog.

A wonderful love story. 96-year-old Fred was married to his wife for 72 years. She passed away one month before Fred saw a songwriting contest advertised in the newspaper by Green Shoe Studio. He couldn't write music, so he wrote the lyrics to a song about her and mailed it in. The studio read Fred's letter and lyrics, wrote the music and recorded it for Fred. [Skip to 5:54 if you just want to hear the song. Grab tissues.]

Best GIF, courtesy of LOLGIFS.net

Most popular Geek post, courtesy of Star Wars Daily.

Star Wars Daily Pan Solo

SEE ALSO: Inside The Sleazy World Of Reputation Management, Where People Pay To Control What You See On The Internet

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54 Unforgettable Pictures From The Past Year


2013 In Pictures Primary ImageNo 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

We Are Close To Developing A Much Better Way To Make Babies


fake crocs ad

In November I attended F.ounders, a tech conference in Dublin. A lot of prominent people attended including Elon Musk, Bono, and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston.

A partner at Google Ventures, Wesley Chan, also attended. I asked him how Google Ventures decides which technology trends to invest in. Google Ventures has backed startups like Uber and smart hardware company, Nest.

Chan says his team downloads all of the top apps in the App Store and tests them out. That's one of their strategies. Another strategy is asking experts from a variety of fields to come in, speak to the firm about future trends, and aid them in brainstorming sessions.

Chan mentioned a genetics expert who had recently stopped by Google Ventures. He opened with a startling statement:

"In the future people will only have sex for fun, not to procreate," this person said.

Chan explained the reasoning: 

Thanks to medical advancements and DNA sequencing, people will soon be able to hand-pick their children's genes. They'll be able to select physical traits, like hair and eye color, as well as talents and health factors. By selecting the perfect genes, parents and scientists will be able to create the healthiest, happiest, most perfect children who have the longest life-expectancy possible.

When that happens, traditional conception will seem too risky. The baby might get bad genes. Expectant mothers risk unforeseen accidents. Or they might consume something harmful. Their children can be born with birth defects or diseases for no apparent reason.

Why leave something as important as your children to chance, when science can ensure they are perfect?  

Francis Collins is the director of the National Genome Research Institute. He believes there's a lot of good that can come from genetic technology. But he also describes how challenging genetic issues — like the ability to hand-pick children — will become.

"We say knowledge is power, but knowledge also carries with it tough decisions and responsibilities for making those decisions," Collins tells PBS.

"Right now one can test for a small number of things [with genetic technology]. In the future, that list will grow … And the difficulty in making the decisions will also grow. And if we're having trouble now, hold onto your hat. It's going to be much more challenging for couples."

Now Watch: How Investors React When You Tell Them You're Building An App To 'Bang Friends'

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Paul McCartney Toured This $12.9 Million Condo With Central Park Views


paul mccartney nancy shevell

Sir Paul McCartney did some Christmas real estate shopping this week, according to The New York Post, which is reporting that he and his wife Nancy Shevell were spotted checking out a 4-bedroom condo on Fifth Avenue. 

The condo has expansive Central Park views and classic prewar design details, like marble bathrooms and a cozy mahogany library. 

The 3,335-square-foot unit has been on the market since October 2012, but it's seen a $500,000 price cut before reaching its current $12.9 million listing price. 

The floor plan is beautifully open, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse of Central Park and the Reservoir.

The spectacular views of Central Park just can't be beat.

Coffered ceilings give the formal dining room an elegant touch.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These Color-Blind Photographer's Pictures Will Make You Want To Ditch Technology And Move To The Woods


killian schonberger has color blindnessIt's easy to get so caught up in the fast-paced, always-connected whirlwind of daily life that you forget to give yourself time to breathe. 

Technology makes our lives better and easier in a million ways, but we all need to occasionally take time to unplug, unwind, and appreciate the natural beauty around us. 

Kilian Schönberger, a color blind photographer from Germany, told Business Insider that that's what he wants to capture in his pictures: Mental resting places for our overstimulated world. 

Schönberger creates amazing pictures of tranquil environments all over the world and gazing at his photography will make you want to take a hiatus from technology and move to the forest. 

(Hat-tip to DashBurst, where we first discovered Schönberger's work.) 

Schönberger has photographed scenes all over the world, including Iceland, Germany, Norway, Scotland, and Italy.

He will spend weeks in wild, remote areas, taking photos.

"I love to brave the elements and cut my path through the wilderness," he says.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Dr. Oz's 3 Health Tips For A Happier And Longer Life



Dr. Mehmet Oz is not only a media personality with a hit talk show and an amazing mentor, that is Oprah.

He is a heart surgeon who still operates at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

When we interviewed Dr. Oz about making it into show business last year, we had to ask him about his tips for leading a happier and longer life.

Watch above one of the most famous doctors in the world give timeless advice about living life to the fullest.

Produced by Business Insider Video. Follow us on YouTube >

WATCH ALSO: Dr. Oz Reveals Oprah's Talk Show Secrets

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6 Blenders That Pulverize Food Just As Well As The Trendy Vitamix



The Vitamix is dominating the luxury blender market.

The brand has tripled its workforce in the last two years as its popularity among health-conscious consumers has surged, with sales growing 52% last year. The Ohio-based company is now considering an international expansion, Crain's Cleveland Business reports.

The blender's swift rise over the last couple years is due in large part to its fervent following of fans, who openly profess their devotion to the 2-horsepower, commercial-grade machine online and in public settings to just about anyone who will listen.

With its $300-$650 price tag, it has become something of a status symbol for fitness buffs and healthy eaters, but it’s also catching fire among people for whom the kitchen is foreign territory.

"It’s the perfect life hack," Bloomberg Businessweek's Joshua Green wrote earlier this month. "While nobody at Vitamix emphasizes this, a whole universe has sprung up to support the hapless male user."

With its popularity, the Vitamix has attracted a number of competitors, many of which offer a much lower price for similar capabilities. The Ninja, for example, sells for under $250 and does just about everything the Vitamix can.

Here are six blenders other than the Vitamix that customers love:


Price: $454 to $1,035

Warranty: Seven years

Vitamix’s biggest competitor in the high-end blender market is the Blendtec. Blendtec was founded in 1975 by CEO Tom Dickson, who also stars in a YouTube series called “Will It Blend?” where he uses his machines to pulverize cell phones, iPads, golf balls and other items not meant for kitchen appliances. Last year, he threw parts of the Vitamix blender into the Blendtec machine after winning a $24 million lawsuit against the company for copying the design of Blendtec’s “Wild Side” jar.

Both companies’ blenders have an average customer rating of 4.5/5 stars on Amazon.com. On Costco’s website, Blendtec has 4.5/5 stars while Vitamix has 5/5 stars.

Blendtec reportedly has a slight advantage in horsepower over the Vitamix, but the Vitamix offers a lower average price and simpler controls, according to the website blenderreviews.us.

The Ninja

Price: $59 to $250

Warranty: Lifetime

The Ninja is tied for first place with the Vitamix in Consumer Reports’ blender ratings and its a best-seller on Amazon.com. Most of Ninja’s blenders sell for under $100, but promise to do nearly everything that a Blendtec and Vitamix can. Customer reviews on Amazon.com range from 3.5/5 stars to 4.5/5 stars for various versions of the blender.

The Ninja was developed by Euro-Pro Operating LLC, a household appliance maker with offices in Massachusetts, Canada and China. While the blender is generally highly rated, Euro-Pro doesn’t get such high ratings. The company has a "D+" from the Boston Better Business Review for a range of issues including billing, warranty and product problems.

The Tempest

Price: $520

Warranty: Two years

This blender is made by U.S. home goods manufacturer Hamilton Beach Brands Inc.

Like Blendtec and Vitamix, it can turn vegetables and fruits into smooth purees in seconds. But unlike those brands, it targets more commercial users — like bars, restaurants and cafes — over home cooks. Perhaps for that reason, the Tempest doesn’t have the cult following of its better-known competitors.

But it still has some really positive reviews, with an average 4.5/5 stars on Amazon. 

"After wasting hundreds of dollars on GE, Oster and other blenders that were too weak, poorly designed or that died after a few months, we are so happy that we went commercial grade," one reviewer wrote. 

The Omni Blend

Price: $289

Warranty: Seven years

This $289 blender is made by Australian company Radiant Marketing. A customer calls it a “formidable opponent to the Vitamix and Blendtec” in an Amazon review.

“So you have to blend a few extra seconds to get the exact same results as you would with a Vitamix or Blendtec — it's worth the difference in price!” the reviewer continued. “My Omni is pressed into service at least twice a day, and I have had NO problem blending nuts, greens veggies (such as swiss chard and kale), and frozen whole bananas.”

The NutriBulletNutribullet

Price: $119

Warranty: One year

The NutriBullet, like its higher-priced competitors, promises to pulverize all vegetables and nuts without leaving behind any pulp or chunky substances. The only drawback is that the NutriBullet only makes single servings. So cooking for an entire family would be cumbersome.

The blender is listed by its manufacturer, NutriBullet LLC, for $119, but some retailers sell it for as low as $99. Customers give it 4/5 stars on Amazon.

The Versa

Price: $199 to $249

Warranty: Seven years

The Versa, made by Oster, has the same capabilities as its high-priced competitors and a similar warranty and gets high customer ratings. 

One customer who gave the Versa a glowing rating on Amazon called it "the poor man's Vitamix."

Another who tested the machine wrote, "I'd buy this over my Vitamix."

"This blender is the first one that I can say absolutely is comparable to the Vitamix and probably more favorable because it has a better price tag and more features," the reviewer wrote. 

SEE ALSO: Sears Pokes Fun At Its Empty Parking Lots In This Sad TV Ad

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The 21 Best Absolut Vodka Print Ads Of All Time


In 1980, the advertising agency TBWA made an ad for Absolut Vodka featuring a bottle of its product with a halo above it and the words "ABSOLUT PERFECTION" below.


The ad was an instant hit, and spawned one of the most iconic ad campaigns of the 80s and 90s, all including the Absolut bottle in a variety of creative displays.

By the time the campaign petered out during the early part of the new millennium, Absolut had done more than 1,500 of the ads and drastically increased its U.S. sales from a paltry 10,000 cases in 1980 to 4.5 million in 2000. Along the way, the ads were cut out and used as decorations by countless teenagers and young adults across the country.

The website AbsolutAd.com cataloged almost the entirety of the campaign, giving us a chance to take a walk through memory lane and rank our favorites. Here are the ones we liked the best:

21. Absolut 24th

20. Absolut Kick-Off

19. Absolut Reflection

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How New York's Outgoing Chief Of Transportation Made The City Richer And Healthier


nyc dot commissioner janette sadik-khan

Today, Bill de Blasio takes over as mayor of New York City, and Janette Sadik-Khan steps down from her post as commissioner of the Department of Transportation.

She will be replaced by Polly Trottenberg, the current Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In her six-year tenure, Sadik-Khan has made a lot of changes. 

She focused on reducing the number of cars on NYC streets. She built hundreds of miles of bike lanes, introduced a hugely successful bike share program, created pedestrian plazas, and transformed Times Square.

Her grand goal was to make it easier and safer to get around in New York, and to make the city a better place for residents and businesses, she explained in a 2011 essay for Slate.

Sadik-Khan was also responsible for managing a $2 billion annual budget and 4,700 employees. She was in charge of maintaining and improving 6,300 miles of road, nearly 800 bridges, 12,000 intersections with traffic signals, and the Staten Island Ferry.

She caught plenty of flack for things like audible cross walk signals to help the blind and taking away parking spaces to make room for Citi Bike stations. But she stood her ground, and the changes were made.

So what's the net effect of Sadik-Khan's work? 

New York City is healthier and richer.

New York has hundreds of miles of new bike lanes.

Between 2007 and 2011, the number of New Yorkers commuting by bicycle doubled, meeting a DOT goal ahead of schedule.

To triple that number by 2017, Sadik-Khan led the installation of 350 miles of bike lanes on streets throughout New York, providing a relatively safe way for cyclists to get around.

The bike lanes have aroused plenty of criticism, largely from neighborhood groups. At a 2011 event at the Center for Architecture, Sadik-Khan defended the expansion as a public good: 

“Some people have tried to paint bike lanes as elitist, which is really hard to believe because [the bicycle] is the most affordable way to get around town other than walking, and it’s really heavily used by a wide range of social and ethnic groups."

There are guards on duty to keep everyone where they belong.

On the eve of the opening of New York's bike share program, Sadik-Khan announced that Street Safety Managers — who first went to work on the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges in 2011 — would be on duty in areas with heavy pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicular traffic.

Their job was to remind everyone to stay in their designated lanes. They were be on the streets during morning and afternoon rush hours between April and October.

Neighborhood traffic is slower, and safer.

In July 2012, Commissioner Sadik-Khan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced they would expand the Neighborhood Slow Zone program to 13 new residential areas, all at the request of local applicants.

The program adds traffic calming measures and reduces the standard speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph, which Sadik-Khan said would improve safety:

“Our residential streets need to be drawn to this human scale, and by simply reducing the speed of passing cars by 10 miles per hour, we can save lives as we make the streets people walk along more inviting.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Equinox Wants Its Gym Members To Hop Barbed Wire Fences And Run Around Naked After Getting In Shape


January is prime gym advertising time, since millions of Americans have convinced themselves that in this new year, they will finally get in shape. The upscale gym chain Equinox has a tradition of provocative New Year's campaigns to take advantage of fitness fervor, often using hyper-sexual imagery.

This year, hot, scantily-clad models return — but this time they are acting like crazed outlaws instead of porn stars.

The idea behind "Equinox Made Me Do It," according to the campaign's press release, is that "Lowered inhibitions and playful naughtiness are the side effects of living a more provoked life."

So that means that once you gain some confidence from your new, fit body, you might find yourself spying from trees and jumping out of car trunks, like the characters in this teaser video: 

Wieden + Kennedy New York produced "Equinox Made Me Do It" and chose the photographer Robert Wyatt "because he's a storyteller who injects a fashion sensibility into all his work," creative director Stuart Jennings said in a statement. "His ability to capture real, candid moments rather than overly posed situations made him a perfect fit for this campaign."

The campaign marks a split from controversial celebrity photographer Terry Richardson, who has shot three promotions for Equinox. A Jezebel report from 2010 condemning Richardson as an aggressive pervert got a second viral wind this past October, though Equinox did not mention if the backlash had anything to do with its decision, which it announced that same month.

"Equinox Made Me Do It" ads have premiered online with the trending topic #EquinoxMadeMeDoIt and will begin appearing on billboards and buses, as well as in print, throughout January.

Here are two images from the campaign:

BlackEye thumb

Runners censored

SEE ALSO: The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide To New Year's Resolutions

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21 Photos That Show What College Frat Life Was Like 50 Years Ago


TKE Pledge DanceLast month I was sitting in front of a fire on a snowy day in the Catskills when my dad blew my mind with a photo slideshow on his laptop.

He  somewhat casually  revealed a treasure trove of photos that had recently been shared with him that captured dorm and frat life at his alma mater, Lake Forest College in Illinois. The zip drives contained hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos taken by his TKE fraternity brother John McDonough back in 1964.

Click here to go right to the photos >

TKEs (Tau Kappa Epsilon) at Lake Forest College back then were best defined for what they were not, according to my dad. They were not jocks or preppies. He insists they were "all-around guys: campus leaders, good students, good singers."

I reached out to McDonough to find out more about the photos. He told me he used an East German single lens reflex camera called a Practika. He also said he used a cheap strobe flash that he'd recently bought which flashed at 1/1000th of a second (that's why you can see actual drops of water frozen in time in some of these photos). McDonough photographed alot of events around LFC back then, but went on to a long career as a journalist with the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age and DownBeat Magazine.

These photos from 1964 (and a few from 1965) show what college and frat life was like at the time. Looks fun. There's not much studying going on (reminds me of my college days in that respect). Take a look. And by the way, my dad Richard appears in only one of the photos. You'll have to guess which one...

A guy shows off booty from the annual bra and panty raid.

TKE party in the basement of Nollen Hall on campus. Somebody is getting wet.

Same TKE party in the basement of Nollen Hall. Food and refreshments provided.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These Facebook Maps Reveal Migration Trends Around The World



Facebook has a goldmine of user data at its disposal, ranging from people’s biographical details and personal conversations to their interests. While the company is mostly concerned with leverage that to the benefit of advertisers, the Facebook Science team has created fascinating maps of urban migration that show what that data could yield if put to scientific use.

The maps use two simple data points offered up by its 1 billion users — where you live and your hometown — to draw a map of how groups of people migrate from place to place. The Facebook Science team was looking specifically for “coordinated migration,” when a significant proportion of a population from one city moves collectively to another city. This could be the result of economics, wars, natural disasters or even state policies. 

Here’s Facebook’s explanation of what they were tracking: 

For instance, let’s say 1,000,000 people list Boston as their hometown on Facebook. Out of these individuals, 300,000 list Boston as their current city, and no other city has more individuals listing Boston as their hometown. From the definitions above, it follows that Boston is the most likely current city for people who grew up in Boston. People who grew up in Boston still live there with a 30% probability. This is quite a common occurrence – for many cities, people are most likely to stay where they grew up. The study of coordinated migration focuses on cities for which the most likely current city is different from the hometown. For example, 67% of the individuals with Badagri, Nigeria as hometown have Lagos, Nigeria as their current city. Lagos is the most likely current city for people from Badagri.

Some findings:

Istanbul has one of the world's largest coordinated migrations. While large populations come from parts of Turkey, there are also large migrations from Bulgaria (which has a considerable Turkish population) and Bosnia, which is predominantly Muslim.


In Southeast Asia, there are multiple hubs attracting people from all over the region, including fast-growing cities like Bangkok, Bangladesh, and Mumbai. The yellow-shaded areas indicate places with the greatest urban growth since 2000, as provided by the World Bank. 


Sometimes there is one central hub that draws the majority of the people in the region. In West Africa, the majority of people are drawn to Lagos, Nigeria.

AfricaMapIn the United States, it is easiest to see migrations to U.S. cities from other countries. Facebook observed coordinated migrations from Mexico and Cuba. Migrations from Cuba primarily go to Miami, while migrations from Mexico have multiple destinations, including Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles. 


A few notes on the maps:

It’s hard to view these maps as scientifically definitive because (a) the population base is inherently self-selecting, because it only tracks those that have access to computers and the internet, (b) Facebook refuses to allow its study up to peer review (as noted over at Wired), and (c) each hometown will only show the most popular destination. 

SEE ALSO: These maps show where people from different states like to vacation

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Here's Why Some Women Are Eating Their Own Placentas


placenta capsules

Some 40,000 laws went into effect as the ball dropped this year, but the weirdest one might be Oregon's new law allowing mothers to take their placentas home from the hospital.

Ignore your gag reflexes for a moment and know that various cultures assign certain powers to the placenta, the organ that connects the fetus to the wall of the uterus and gives it nourishment.

For example, the Navajo, among other native tribes around the world, bury the placenta ceremonially.

“In fact, many women do want to take home their placenta for various cultural reasons," Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland), the sponsor of the bill, said on the House floor. "And hospitals and birthing centers have tried to respond to these requests and have often done it and didn’t realize that they were out of compliance with the law." 

While some moms might keep these birth organs for tradition, others may want eat them — a practice called maternal placentophagy. 

Yes, you read that correctly. And the mothers who have practiced it might surprise you. In a 2013 interview with Glamour Magazine, "Mad Men" star January Jones advised new moms to eat their placentas to avoid postpartum depression.

Women like Jones may justify eating placentas because they contain prostaglandin (which makes the uterus contract) and the stress-easing hormone oxytocin, as The Guardian has noted. Proponents of placentophagy also point out that other non-human mammals eat the organ after childbirth. Advocates of placenta-eating also frequently point to a 1954 study finding 181 out of 210 women had increased milk production after placenta ingestion.

Women have reported benefits more recently, too. In 2013, the majority of 189 women surveyed in the Ecology of Food and Nutrition perceived positive benefits from eating the organ and more importantly, said they'd eat their placentas again after future births.

However, as that study noted, the placebo effect could have causes those pluses. Other scientists have also expressed skepticism about the "proven" benefits of eating placentas.

Mark Kristal — a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Buffalo and a leading (if not the only) expert in placentophagia — concluded the practice must provide a "fundamental biological advantage" to mammals but says the nature of this advantage remains a mystery, New York Magazine reported.

Every 10 or 20 years, people will decide they need to do it, labeling the behavior "natural" since many animals eat their placentas, Kristal told the magazine. "But it's not based on science. It's a fad," he said.

Still, numerous mothering websites have endorsed the trend, posting recipes like roast placenta, placenta pasta, and placenta smoothies. Moms can even purchase DIY-kits (on Amazon and Etsy) to dry their birthing organs, grind them, and make swallowable capsules. Others prefer to down the meaty sac totally raw.

Regardless of whether some people actually believe the hoopla surrounding placentophagy, everybody deserves the right to practice it. The science might seem shaky, but some women, including many in Hawaii consider placenta-eating a matter of religious freedom.

Many Oregon hospitals have already looked the other way when faced with a determined family who wanted to take the organ with them, according to The Oregonian. So the state just wanted to officially okay the practice. Eat up, moms.

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