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A Reporter Tries A Bunch Of Cures For Jetlag


jet lag

It may be that the best way to combat jet lag is preemptively: take a sleeping pill, stretch out in a lie-flat business-class seat, and fall asleep before the plane reaches altitude.

I’ve never managed to do any of those things. Instead, I tend to thoughtlessly consume whatever wine or liquor comes my way, grab one or two hours of fitful, contorted sleep, and then stagger through the next day until I collapse.

It should not be surprising, then, that I am an experienced connoisseur of jet lag. I get it a lot.

Fortunately, there are numerous over-the-counter products that claim, P. T. Barnum–style, to reduce jet lag’s effects, if not cure it entirely—some of them conveniently advertised in the seat-pocket SkyMall catalog. I gathered eight such remedies and devices—ranging from herbal ointments to therapeutic light panels—and flew from New York to Tokyo and back again to put them to the test.

To be clear, this test was not scientific. It was not double-blind, or even halfway rigorous. Nevertheless, I did my best to devise a coherent methodology. I would test homeopathic and relaxation-oriented remedies on one leg of the trip and more technological cures on the other, and make sure to stay as sober and hydrated as possible both ways. In order to gauge whether the products were working, I would keep track of when I woke up each day, when I started to feel tired, how long I slept, the time of day I started feeling particularly loopy, and so on.

Jet lag happens when your internal circadian clock—the part of your brain that regulates your sleep cycles—is disrupted by travel. The feeling can be exacerbated by stress and restlessness. Many products claim to relax you, thus fostering sleep and tranquility, and I tested these while wending my way over the North Pole to Tokyo.

No-Jet-Lag pills, a homeopathic remedy from the same people who brought you No-Shift-Lag (for night-shift workers) and Drink Ease (“for those occasions when a celebration may lead to regrettable after-effects”), are supposed to aid the body in recuperating from the rigors of long-haul travel. Users chew the small, tasteless tablets made of leopard’s bane and other plant extracts upon takeoff and landing, as well as every two hours while in flight. I did this faithfully for the duration of the trip, to no discernible effect.

Halfway through the flight, I slathered my temples and neck in Badger Sleep Balm, an herbal, Vaseline-like product that claims to promote slumber. (“Use it regularly and expect results,” the tin promises.) Smelling like a human cup of lemon verbena tea, I then donned the Glo to Sleep mask, which emits a dim blue light when activated. Theoretically, these blue lights are supposed to have a calming effect. In reality, it felt like I was staring at the inside of an MRI machine.

Though I didn’t find the Glo to Sleep mask particularly restful, I landed in Tokyo mid-afternoon, feeling about as fresh as one can feel after having endured a mostly sleepless 14-hour flight, and was optimistic that the preventives might have had some sort of effect. Yet, four hours later, I found myself wandering around a supermarket for 45 minutes, dazed and incoherent, unaccountably frightened by the unfamiliar chocolates. I awoke the next day at 4:30 a.m. and recorded the onset of jet lag at 1 p.m.

This feeling of asynchronous idiocy persisted throughout most of my four-day stay, despite my best efforts at recovery. I dutifully applied the sleep balm each night and then fell asleep with the Glo to Sleep over my eyes and a Sound Oasis machine on in the background, a portable alarm clock/white-noise device that has a special “jet lag” setting—which is, as far as I could tell, just a mixture of all the other noises in the machine’s memory bank. (It sounded something like an angry, distant mob, but carrying wind chimes instead of torches.)

Yet my sleep/wake cycle took about as long to normalize as it would have otherwise. It was only on my fourth night in Tokyo that I found myself able to stay awake past 9 p.m. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the homeopathic products—which are big on promises but short on science—were ineffective. According to Dr. Jamie Zeitzer, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University and an expert on sleep, while there may be all sorts of treatments for thesymptoms of jet lag, exposure to light is the only thing that affects the actual disorder.

When you travel, your circadian clock resets gradually, over a period of days, after prolonged exposure to natural light. There are several products that claim to speed the circadian-reset process, and I tested these on the return leg of my trip. The Valkee Bright Light Headset, for instance, is a slim, attractive Finnish invention that beams bright light into your brain through tiny bulbs embedded in a pair of earbuds. Though the science behind the Valkee is vague—for one thing, it’s unclear whether mammals can actually sense light through their ears—the company claims success treating seasonal affective disorder in Finland.

So as soon as I knew dawn was breaking in New York, I fired up the Valkee to blast my neurons with nourishing light. The treatment lasts for 12 minutes; while it’s in progress, your ear canals feel plugged, and slightly warmer, but that’s all. I continued to use it upon landing in New York, and I also doubled down on light therapy with the Northern Lights panel, a laptop-size light board that bathes the user’s eyes in a soft, unremitting brightness, and is meant to be used for 30 minutes to an hour at a time. I positioned the board a foot from my head and gazed at it faithfully for three consecutive mornings after my return. This may have been overkill: though it took me four whole days to recover from jet lag in Tokyo, when I returned to New York I was back to normal in 36 hours.

Was this success attributable to the light-panel treatments, or the Valkee? Or was it because jet lag is supposed to be less severe when traveling east to west; or because of a placebo effect? The results of my one-man study were far from definitive, but it did leave me with a new and mostly commonsensical anti-jet-lag protocol: stay hydrated and relaxed in flight; avoid airplane liquor, even if it’s free; get a good night’s sleep before traveling; and spend as much time as possible in the morning sun (or, possibly, with a Northern Lights panel) upon arrival.

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L'Oreal Heiress Liliane Bettencourt Sells Island Paradise For $94 Million


d'arros island

Liliane Bettencourt, the L'Oreal heiress and France's richest woman, has sold her island paradise in the Seychelles for three times more than she paid for it.

Mrs Bettencourt, who is at the centre of a corruption investigation that has involving Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, sold the islands to a Seychelles-registered conservation business linked to the Swiss Save our Seas foundation, which intends to turn it into a nature reserve, for £60 million – a profit of £42 million from when she first bought it.

Mrs Bettencourt is said to have handed over envelopes stuffed with cash to the former President of France.

In turn, the 89-year-old is said to have received massive tax breaks when Mr Sarkozy came to power in 2007.

Mrs Bettencourt has some £80 million worth of money in 12 bank accounts in Switzerland and Singapore.

D’Arros Island, together with a number of neighbouring private islets, was also in her portfolio, with Mrs Bettencourt admitting that no tax had been paid on their £18 million purchase price.

Now she has sold them for £60 million, she has agreed to pay some £8 million of unpaid taxes to the Seychelles government as part of the sale.

As well as the unpaid charges dating back to 1998, she also agreed to pay some £10 million in tax on the latest sale.

Despite the serious allegations levelled against her, Mrs Bettencourt has not faced any criminal charges.

The massive profit she has just made on Arros will lead to greater pressure on Mr Sarkozy, whose Paris home was raided by police a month ago, together with two offices linked to him.

Mr Sarkozy and his third wife, the former supermodel Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, were on holiday in Canada when detectives arrived, and have not been seen since.

Judge Jean-Michel Gentil believes that Mrs Bettencourt may have illegally contributed two payments of 400,000 euros (£335,000) each to Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign.

Both were traced to Swiss accounts, and one was allegedly received by Mr Sarkozy in person in Paris.

Mr Sarkozy is also facing allegations that he profited from illegal arms sales to Pakistan, and that he accepted millions from former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Sarkozy denies all the charges, with his lawyer Thierry Herzog saying the searches of his home and two lawyers offices linked to him would “find nothing”.

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Karl Lagerfeld: I Don't Like Pippa Middleton's Face


Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has courted controversy once again after saying he does not like Pippa Middleton’s face, it has emerged.

pippa middleton red dress

Lagerfeld, 78, said Pippa Middleton should “only show her back”, saying she “struggles” with her looks.

The Chanel creative director, who had to apologise to singer Adele earlier this year after condemning her as “too fat”, has given a harsh critique of the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister saying: "I don't like the sister's [Pippa] face."

In contrast, he praised the Duchess for her “romantic” beauty and “nice silhouette”. He has also given his approval for her marriage to the Duke of Cambridge, conceding she was the “right girl for that boy”.

Lagerfeld's comments, disclosed by The Sun newspaper, appear to have been made during a discussion of the Middleton sisters’ styles.

He appears to be referencing the now-famous photograph of the younger Miss Middleton from behind, as she took the role of bridesmaid at the Duchess’ wedding.

The image was beamed around the globe and led Miss Middleton to being nicknamed “Her Royal Hotness” by some in honour of her posterior.

Lagerfeld reserved praise for former Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria Beckham for her slim figure, saying they had the “same eating habits”.

"She is great. I like her a lot. I have known her for many years,” he said.

"And that body, after four children. There are not so many who have a body like that. She is very disciplined.”

It's not the first time the designer has criticised a fellow famous figure. In February this year, Lagerfeld said of Adele: “She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice.” He later apologised for his comments.

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The Best Quotes Of Gore Vidal, Who Died Last Night


gore vidal

Gore Vidal, the author and playwright, has died aged 86. He was known for his acerbic wit and wisdom - here are some of his best quotes.

Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an IQ of 60.

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.

I don't see us winning the war. We have made enemies of one billion Muslims.

Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself.

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.

Never have children, only grandchildren.

As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days.

A good deed never goes unpunished.

If most men and women were forced to rely upon physical charm to attract lovers, their sexual lives would be not only meager but in a youth-worshiping country like America, painfully brief.

A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.

One is sorry one could not have taken both branches of the road. But we were not allotted multiple selves.

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.

Fifty per cent of people won't vote, and fifty per cent don't read newspapers. I hope it's the same fifty per cent.

All in all, I would not have missed this century for the world.

The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country - and we haven't seen them since.

It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail.

Television is now so desperately hungry for material that they're scraping the top of the barrel.

I don't want anything. I don't want a job. I don't want to be respectable. I don't want prizes. I turned down the National Institute of Arts and Letters when I was elected to it in 1976 on the grounds that I already belonged to the Diners Club.

The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.

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How Syria's 'Desert Rose' Became 'The First Lady From Hell'


asma al-assad

Spot the difference in these two pieces about the wife of the Syrian president, Bashar Hafez al-Assad:

"Asma al-Assad is a glamorous, young, and very chic - the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She's a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement... She's breezy, conspiratorial, and fun."

Asma al-Assad is "a good-looking woman of 35... as brisk as a prefect, as on-message as a banker, as friendly as a new acquaintance at a friend's cocktail party... like the kind of young Englishwoman you'd hear having lunch at the next table at Harvey Nichols... the first lady of hell."

The first quote was from a Vogue article in March 2011 headlined "A rose in the desert." The second from a Newsweek/Daily Beast article on Monday headlined: "Mrs Assad duped me." The writer in both cases was Joan Juliet Buck, an experienced fashion journalist and one-time editor-in-chief of French Vogue.

Her first article, published as Syria's government started to attack citizens, was met with a wave of criticism. Both Buck and Vogue's editor, Anna Wintour, were accused of taking part in a public relations campaign on behalf of the Syrian regime.

Within a month or so, the article was removed from the magazine's website. Almost a year later Wintour broke her silence on the matter to explain that "we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society" but "as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue."

Buck's contract with Vogue was not renewed and that's when she decided to offer an a 5,000-word explanation for her original sin.

It suggests that she was the victim of of manipulation from beginning to end. She initially rejected the assignment; claimed she didn't know she was going to meet a murderer; and was taken in by Asma al-Assad's glossy presentation of herself as a cosy, modern, relaxed person.

But Styleite writer, Hilary George-Parkin, is not impressed with Buck's mea culpa. She writes:

"It is not hard to imagine this kind charade fooling a rookie journalist. But, of course, that is hardly what Buck was at the time. She goes on, however, to reveal further manipulation by those surrounding the Assads, including a hacked computer, carefully-monitored cell phone given to her at the start of her trip, and leaked emails between PR reps discussing the need to conceal any potentially damaging information. None of these points were mentioned in the profile... raving about Asma al-Assad's elegant wardrobe, posh stature, and democratic parenting style."

And Homa Khaleeli, writing in a Guardian blog, was also contemptuous of Buck's attempt at exculpation: "The mea culpa is almost as disastrous as the initial interview", she writes.

"It's hard to tell if Buck asked Asma – or Bashar whom she also met – any real questions at all. Certainly not why anyone would marry a man whose father slaughtered 20,000 people in three weeks... She did not ask why her phone and computer were bugged, or even why she had spotted something that looks like a mobile prison in the souk."

Khaleeli continues: "To be fair to Buck she does explain that she had not wanted to meet the Assads, but Vogue told her they wanted no focus on politics at all... It seems clear that Vogue is equally to blame for the controversy."

Sources: PresidentAssad.net/Daily Beast/Guardian/Homa Khaleeli/Styleite: (1) and (2) /Gawker/Daily Telegraph

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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Meet The Teen Who Invented A Nanoparticle System That Might Cure Cancer


Angela ZhangAngela Zhang is just a teenager who recently graduated from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA, but she's already on her way to curing cancer.

Zhang won the grand prize--a $100,000 scholarship--in the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for her research on a nanoparticle system that she likens to a Swiss army knife because of its many functions: It is capable of targeting tumors, eradicating cancer cells, and monitoring treatment responses all at the same time.

Her project is called Design of Image-guided, Photo-thermal Controlled Drug Releasing Multifunctional Nanosystem for the Treatment of Cancer Stem Cells.

"At the heart of my nanosystem is the drug delivery capabilities," Angela wrote to us in an email. "My nanoparticle was designed to be preloaded with a cancer drug that would be released directly and selectively at the tumor site to eradicate cancer cells. The greatest advantage that a drug delivery system has over many current cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, which tends to attack cancer and healthy cells, is minimization of toxicity to non malignant/healthy cells."

She said that the hope of the project was to "personalize cancer treatment" by improving treatment efficacy while improving the patient's quality of life during cancer treatment.

Zhang said that it took years to come up with the idea. She began researching this project in her spare time as a mere freshman in high school, when she began reading doctorate level papers on bio-engineering and attending numerous scientific talks. By sophomore year she started working in a lab at Stanford, and by junior year was doing her own research.

Zhang tested her nanoparticle system on mice, and was thrilled to find that the cancer tumors almost completely disappeared.

"It was a great feeling to find that my project worked," she wrote. "It was a culmination of hours of hard work, but I also concede that my project is perpetually a work in progress. That aspect of research makes research such an exciting and interesting field to me. I value the failures as much as the success that I have encountered in my project because of the great learning opportunities that the failures have provided."

It could still take years to know if this research might work on humans, but Zhang has certainly paved the way to a possible cancer cure with her nanoparticle system.

When she's not working in the lab, Zhang, who is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, is like any typical teenager. She loves shoes, and in her free time, she kayaks, hikes, and reads as much as she can. She said that one of the items on her bucket list is to read every novel on the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels list.

"I adore Fitzgerald," she said. "In fact, after winning the competition, I begged my mom if I could buy a first edition copy of The Great Gatsby."

Zhang plans to attend Harvard in the fall.

"I definitely would love to pursue research in the future and hopefully this project," Zhang said. "I enjoy research greatly because it provides a great intellectual challenge that also has a societal impact. Cancer research has always been an exciting field to me; however, I am also open to other activities and other fields of research. I am excited to see what the future holds!"

Watch Angela Zhang explain her love of science on a TedX Talk:

Click here to learn more about Zhang's Revolutionary Nanoparticle System >

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Researchers Are Developing The First Vaccine For Cocaine And Other Drugs


Dr. Ronald Crystal.As a part of our Samsung Game Changers Series we explained how researchers are designing vaccines against drugs, including nicotine and cocaine. The man running these research programs, Dr. Ronald Crystal, of Weil Cornell Medical College, sat down to tell us why this approach to drug addiction is so innovative.

Business Insider: Why do we need a new way to intervene with nicotine and cocaine addictions?

These are major problems for society and despite all the various strategies that have been used over many decades there are no very good ways to treat these addictions. And so those interested in addiction are constantly looking for new approaches that might be used on a platform strategy, one could be used for many different addictions, and which could be used to help people stop.

You have the problem of one prevention, that is getting people to not get addicted, and then the problem of how do you get people who are addicted to stop. These vaccines strategies are directed at both of those problems.

So why does vaccination make sense as a treatment for addiction?

The strategy in terms of developing addiction treatments is basically two approaches: One is can you develop drugs that might interfere with the brain pathways so that people will not get high. That has not been very successful.

The other strategy is to take one step back and prevent the addictive molecule from getting to the brain in the first place, so that's the idea of the vaccines.

If you can develop immunity against the addictive drug, in the form of antibodies against the addicted drug, it would prevent the drug from reaching its receptors in the brain. So there would be no high or other effects associated with the addictive drug.

What types of addictions could we vaccinate against?

It could be used basically for any of the small molecule addictive drugs — nicotine, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and oxycodone — all of the various small molecules that are well known.

It’s a broad strategy, and the challenge is being able to show that they in fact will work in humans. That's the challenge.

So, they've been tested in animals; how long until these vaccines are tested in humans?

In the nicotine vaccine it will probably be in humans within a couple of years; and the cocaine vaccine will probably be in humans within the year.

That trial would be for drug addicts.

Yes, the first approach would be for people who are addicted and they want to stop. They stop and you vaccinate them and that hopefully will help them get past the recidivism.

Let's say a vaccinated cocaine addict takes some cocaine, how would that person react?

They would not feel anything. In other words, if they took cocaine, they would just not have any effects of it. The vaccine is strategized to block the cocaine, or any of the other addictive molecules, from reaching the brain, so they wouldn't get any of the addictive effects of the molecule, the high and other things associated with it.

But there are social and psychological aspects of addiction as well as the physical addiction, right?

The answer to that question is difficult and we won't know until these are tested in humans of how much of the drive is addiction, which probably is the major drive, versus the social aspects of it. What often gets addicted people back, who stop, are the social things. People go to a party, someone offers them some cocaine, they take some, and then they are hooked again.

The social, psychological aspects of addiction are not trivial but hopefully if we can take away the physical aspects of the high and the other positive effects that people feel from the addiction, that will outweigh these other aspects of it.

You mentioned using these as a preventative — do you think we should vaccinate everyone against drug addiction?

The real issues with that are: One efficacy, and the second issue is safety. In all vaccines safety is an important concern, specifically if you begin using them in large numbers of people. So you have to be very careful when you move from treatment, people who are addicts, to prevention and using it in a widespread fashion.

Prevention is a very good idea, but that's all in the future because of the issue of safety.

So, if the vaccines are safe and effective, is this something we could use to abolish the desire in people to even try drugs?

That would be wonderful wouldn't it? That would be terrific.

Everything from smoking to cocaine to heroin, they have major impacts in society. They destroy lives, they kill people, there are all the financial and social behaviors associated with it. It would be wonderful if that could be done, but in fact that's a long way in the future.

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The Club That Throws New York's Wildest Brunch Party Is Opening In Las Vegas


New York City's famous Bagatelle supper club reopened in June on West 12th Street.

Naturally, we were pretty excited about this development, especially after attending the location's inaugural party

Now, here's some good news for the West Coast. Bagatelle is opening another location in Las Vegas that will serve as a day and nightclub seven days a week. According to a press release, Bagatelle Las Vegas will include a an indoor/outdoor Mediterranean restaurant, a pool deck, volleyball courts and day beds.

The location was scheduled to open today, but VegasChatter has reported that construction and permit issues have delayed the opening until mid-September.

In the meantime, here are some renderings of the new Bagatelle location, which were sent to us by Langdon + Flynn Communications.

Bagatelle Las Vegas

Bagatelle Las Vegas

The 10 biggest nightclubs in Las Vegas >

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Meet A Person Who Lives At 50 Main Street In Every State


50 main street coverAfter moving from Italy to New York in the 1980s, photographer Piero Ribelli watched as America became more and more politically divided. So he embarked on a journey meant to remind people of what they have in common, and wound up photographing 50 families who actually live at 50 Main Streetone in each state.

Ribelli traveled more than 31,000 on planes and drove another 16,000 miles by car to meet the people he photographed, becoming "a vagabond in the Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac tradition, as the introduction to 50 Main Street: The Face of America says.

The resulting collecting of photographs and stories, while incredibly diverse, truly fulfills its mission, in Ribelli's own words: "to remind the reader how much we share in our human experience as Americans, rather than dwell in the differences."

Ribelli has been kind enough to share some photos from the book with us, but the stories are worth a read. The book is available on Amazon; see his website for more.

Timothy Fisher, Ketchikan, Alaska

Jack Ellwood, Mesa, Arizona

Ron Parnell, Wilson, Arkansas

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[MAP] The Best US Cities To Wine And Dine


Even as the cost of wining and dining creeps ever higher, only the most dedicated of frugal minds are able to resist the luxury of eating out. 

Beyond the price of bottle service, people who live in metros that rank high in the restaurant and bar scene typically see higher housing costs as well. 

As a guide to the country's best metro areas for restaurants and bars, real estate tracker Trulia has come up with this study on dining density in the U.S.

"Homes for sale in seven of the top 10 eating towns have a median price per square foot of $200 or more," Trulia notes. Why?  "Many people are willing to pay more to live near restaurants. But, more importantly, high-income people have more money to spend on eating out, so the high-cost places where high-income people tend to live can support more restaurants."

But that doesn't mean big cities have the final say in fine dining. Take Seattle, Providence, and Portland for example. All three made the top 10 restaurant list, thanks to local chefs who are willing to trade big city paychecks for cheaper rent while they get their start in the business. 

Read on for the lists. 

Top Metros for Eating Out

# U.S. Metro

Restaurants per 10,000 households

Median price per square foot of homes listed for sale

1 San Francisco, CA



2 Fairfield County, CT



3 Long Island, NY



4 New York, NY-NJ



5 Seattle, WA



6 San Jose, CA



7 Orange County, CA



8 Providence, RI-MA



9 Boston, MA



10 Portland, OR-WA



Note: among the 100 largest metros.

Top Metros for Drinking

# U.S. Metro

Bars per 10,000 households

Median price per square foot of homes listed for sale

1 New Orleans, LA



2 Milwaukee, WI



3 Omaha, NE-IA



4 Pittsburgh, PA



5 Toledo, OH



6 Syracuse, NY



7 Buffalo, NY



8 San Francisco, CA



9 Las Vegas, NV



10 Honolulu, HI



Note: among the 100 largest metros.

DON'T MISS: 17 surprising uses for lemons > 

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Son Of Swedish Billionaire Pleads Guilty To Hiding Wife's Corpse For Months


rausings eva hans

Hans Kristian Rausing has received a 10-month suspended jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to hiding his dead wife's body under piles of garbage bags inside a room filled with flies.

Hans Rausing's guilty plea and sentencing comes at the end of a tragic case involving two socialites who were unable to overcome drug addiction, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

But Hans Rausing, whose father made billions when he sold his stake in the Tetra Pak drink-carton conglomerate, was not charged with causing his wife's death.

Police believe Eva Rausing may have died in early May.

Authorities suspect she had signs of cocaine and other drugs in her system at the time, according to the AP.

Hans Rausing claims he secreted away Eva's body because he experienced a breakdown and couldn't deal with her death.

"I did not feel able to confront the reality of her death," Rausing said in a statement, according to the AP. "I do not feel, with the benefit of hindsight, that following her death I acted rationally."

DON'T MISS: Two Convicted Felons Are Accused Of Faking A 9/11 Charity With A Memorial Truck >


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A Swiss Company Is Building A $100 Million, Tax-Free Vault For Wealthy Chinese Art Collectors


Luxury, Cars, Driving, Bikes, Wealthy, Poverty,Shanghai, China, Asia, Yepoka Yeebo

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss logistics group Euroasia Investment SA plans to build a $100 million tax-free storage facility next to Beijing Capital International Airport to tap the booming Chinese art market.

The company is to replicate its Singapore Freeport model, its chairman said. The port has a maximum-security vault for art, gold and valuables, allowing collectors to store valuables without paying taxes or filling customs forms.

The Beijing Freeport of Culture project is a joint venture between Euroasia and state-backed Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group. The project is part of a government initiative to promote the culture industry and clamp down on art smuggling.

“There will be a kind of public service in charge of authentic works getting in and out,” Tony Reynard, chairman of the Singapore Freeport, said by telephone from Singapore.

The Beijing facility, which is still awaiting its license, should be ready by the middle of 2014, said Reynard. The Freeport is planned to be exempt from import duties, value added tax and consumption tax, amounting to a 34 percent saving, he said.

The 83,000 square-meter (893,405 square feet) facility will be almost three times as large as Singapore’s, where all available space is fully let, he said.

Auction Space

The site will also include exhibition space designed to host international auctions, he said. Executives at Sotheby’s and Christie’s International in Hong Kong were not immediately available for comment. Neither currently holds auctions inside China.

While China boasts more than 1,000 auction houses, the business is plagued by problems of fakes, smuggling and non- payment.

Last year, China overtook the U.S. to become the world’s largest art and antiques market, said a report published by the Netherlands-based European Fine Art Foundation. Auctions in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan raised 9.8 billion euros ($12 billion) in 2011, said the report.

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts and Jorg von Uthmann on Paris art.

--Editors: Mark Beech, Jim Ruane.

To contact the writer on the story: Frederik Balfour in Hong Kong at fbalfour@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @frederikbalfour.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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See Which States Are Rolling Out Massive Tax-Free Holidays This Weekend



It's "tax holiday" season again, when a wealth of states let shoppers either avoid sales tax completely or significantly reduce it for items like clothing, shoes, or school supplies.

The holiday's conveniently scheduled during back to school season, but these deals aren't just for kids. 

Check out our list below to see if your state is about to give you an excuse to go shopping:

Alabama: Aug. 3-5. Clothing under $100, computers under $750, and school supplies under $50.

Arkansas: Aug. 4-5. Clothing and footwear under $100, clothing accessories under $50, and school supplies.

Connecticut: Aug. 19-25. Clothing and footwear under $300.

Florida: Aug. 3-5. Clothing under $75 and school supplies.

Georgia: Aug. 10-11 and Oct. 5-7.  During the August tax holiday clothing and footwear under $100, computers under $1,000, and school supplies under $20 qualify. During the October tax holiday energy or water efficient products under $1,500 qualify.

Iowa: Aug. 3-4. Clothing and footwear under $100.

Louisiana: Aug. 3-4. Any tangible personal property, other than a vehicle, under $2,500.

Maryland: Aug. 12-18. Clothing and footwear under $100.

Missouri: Aug. 3-5. Clothing under $100, school supplies under $50, computer software under $350, and personal computers under $3,500.

New Mexico: Aug. 3-5. Clothing and footwear under $100, computers under $1,000, computer hardware under $500, school supplies under $30.

North Carolina: Aug. 5-7. Clothing under $100, sports equipment under $50, computers under $3,500, school supplies under $100, and school instructional material under $300.

Oklahoma: Aug. 3-5. Clothing and footwear under $100.

South Carolina: Aug. 3-5. Clothing, clothing accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, and linens. There weren't any price limits for South Carolina.

Tennessee: Aug. 3-5. Clothing under $100, school supplies under $100, and computers under $1,500.

Texas: Aug. 17-19. Clothing and footwear under $100, backpacks for elementary or secondary students under $100, and school supplies under $100.

Virginia: Aug. 3-5 and Oct. 5-8. During the August tax holiday clothing and footwear under $100 and school supplies under $20 qualify. During the October tax holiday, energy efficient and water efficient products under $2,500 qualify.

DON'T MISS: Proof that bartering can get you anything you want >

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One Of Australia's Richest And Craziest Mining Magnates Is Rumored To Be Planning A Real Life Jurassic Park


clive palmer

Clive Palmer has made billions through his ownership of Mineralogy and other natural resource companies. He was once Australia's fifth richest man (though Forbes reports his wealth has dropped somewhat), and made headlines a few years ago for giving incredibly lavish bonuses to employees.

He's made headlines recently for other reasons, however. For one, he accused the CIA of plotting to undermine the Australian economy. He also has plans to build a 21st century replica of the Titanic.

As such, new reports in a Perth newspaper that suggest that Palmer is attempting to build a real-life Jurassic Park are being met with less skepticism than you might expect.

The Sunshine Coast Daily reports:

The controversial billionaire is rumored to be planning to clone a dinosaur from DNA so he can set it free in a Jurassic Park-style area at his new Palmer Resort in Coolum.

Mr Palmer has, apparently, been in deep discussion with the people who successfully cloned Dolly the sheep to bring his dinosaur vision to life.

Palmer has refused to comment on the rumors so far. The Palmer Resort is also said to have a 20-story sky needle and a giant, London Eye-style ferris wheel, and will not provide jobs for the locals as it will be full of "fly-in, fly-out Muslim hospitality staff".

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HotelTonight Is A 1.5-Year-Old Startup That's Raised $36 Million To Bring You Amazingly Cheap Room Rates


Sam Shank founded HotelTonight a year and a half ago. Since then he's raised $36 million from investors for his mobile app.

Hotel Tonight is available on Android, iPad and iPhone devices. It works with 1,500 hotels across 45 cities to bring heavily discounted room rates to mobile devices.

As the name suggests, the rooms are heavily discounted because they're unsold inventory. For example, if you're out with friends until all hours in New York City, you can pull up Hotel Tonight, find discounted room rates, and spend the night. Hotels would much rather you reserve rooms last minute than not at all.

Shank's app has been downloaded 2 million times. We brought him into Business Insider's office and learned more about his startup.


Produced by Daniel Goodman, Kamelia Angelova, Robert Libetti, and Will Wei

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china wealthy iphone

Hurun Report and GroupM, a Chinese think tank, just released a report analyzing millionaires across China.

The most interesting findings:

  • There are 1.02 millionaires across mainland China, an increase of 6.3 percent over the previous year. The report also estimates that for every "known" millionaire, another two exist under the radar. Beijing is home to the highest number of wealthy individuals, with 179,000 millionaires and 10,500 super-rich (worth $16 million or more).

  • The average Chinese millionaire is 39 years old, and 60 percent of them are male. They have, on average, two private bank accounts, three cars, and 4.2 luxury watches. They spend eight days a month on business trips and go on three international trips per year.

  • 50 percent of Chinese millionaires are business owners, 20 percent are professional investors, and 15 percent each are real estate investors and high-level senior executives.

  • Golf is the most popular sport among Chinese millionaires, followed closely by swimming. Among Chinese billionaires, horseback riding is becoming increasingly popular.

  • More than 85 percent of millionaires plan to send their children abroad for education. Schools in the US, UK, and Canada are most desirable.

  • 63 percent of Chinese millionaires own an iPad, up 4 percent from last year. They are more popular than iPhones among millionaires.

  • Among Chinese millionaires, the most popular collectible is watches. They own an average of 4.2 watches, while the super-rich own, on average, 5.6 watches. The second most popular collectible is Chinese traditional calligraphy and paintings.

And a breakdown of China's rich and super-rich, by region:

china rich breakdown

china rich breakdown

DON'T MISS: 13 Fascinating Facts About China's Millionaires >

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China Now Boasts A Record-Breaking One Million Millionaires



A wealth report performed by the Huran Report and GroupM Knowledge was released yesterday analyzing China's staggering number of millionaires and "super-rich."

There are now 1,020,000 millionaires in China–a national record–and 63,500 "super-rich" Chinese.

To be classified as a millionaire, the report stated the individual must possess more than RMB 10 million, or USD $1.6 million, while a "super-rich" individual required RMB 100 million (USD $16 million) or more.

For more details from the report, click here >

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The World's Coolest Bazaars, Flea Markets, And Souks


Grand Bazaar

The air hangs heavy with a perfume of orchids and mango, curry and teakwood as the sun beats down.

You go deep into the maze till you’re lost amid stalls of carved Buddhas, weavings, and ancient temple bells. Welcome to Bangkok’s Chatuchak, the world’s largest market.

Check out which markets made the list >

Bazaars like Chatuchak turn shopping into a cultural exchange, knitting you into local rhythms, customs, and traditions like few other travel experiences can. The best give you an entrée into day-to-day life, allowing you to interact with sellers and to come away with souvenirs that truly tell a story.

“When you are traveling and shopping the local markets, the ‘edit’ or mix of goods isn’t designed for you—it’s for the locals—so you run a much better chance of finding something you’ve never seen or even thought of before,” says Wendy Wurtzburger, Anthropologie’s chief merchandising officer.

It’s the vibe of bazaars as much as what you buy there that inspires Wurtzburger and the buyers at Anthropologie. “The color, the mix of textures, and the sheer volume of stuff make the experience. You can’t take that home,” she says. But you can find items that evoke that feeling. For Wurtzburger that might mean a 1960s suzani (embroidered textile) found in Istanbul or a vintage oil painting from Paris.

Les Puces’ Le Marché Serpette in Paris is among the most famous, well-established bazaars and has retained its cool over more than 200 years. In Buenos Aires, too, the San Telmo flea market has been a Sunday tradition since 1897. You can review the day’s purchases—perhaps a leather saddlebag or vintage glassware—over a bottle of Malbec at one of the outdoor cafés as dancers tango through the street.

 Even as these bazaars remain favorites, design hounds the world over are increasingly getting inspiration from the next generation of cool bazaars like the Brooklyn Flea and London’s Brixton Village Market. They create a space for artisans to sell their goods and a sense of community for like-minded locals and tourists who can pour over the latest that each city has to offer.

 Start by browsing our picks for the world’s coolest bazaars, from these new-guard markets to the ancient souks of Marrakesh and India and the grande dame fleas.

Hungry for more? Check out the world’s top food markets and night markets.

Check out which markets made the list >

Related posts:

Marrakesh Souk, Morocco

The city of Marrakesh was founded on shopping: it was a desert trading post for caravans on their way to and from Timbuktu. And though certainly more modernized (ATMs aplenty), its souks still throb with the heady exoticism that has long drawn travelers down its alleyways. Serious shoppers should set aside two full days to get lost in the maze of streets, getting past the touristy stalls right at the main Djemaa El Fna Square, past rug-sellers and lantern stands, musical instruments and sweets shops, to where leather is still tanned, silver is worked by hand, and wool is dyed in steaming rainbow-hued vats.

Best Buy: Moroccan wedding blankets. Long a favorite of high-end designers like Jonathan Adler, these white fringed and sequined throws are thought to ward off evil spirits. And here they cost about a quarter of the price that they do in U.S. boutiques. Open daily.

Feria de San Pedro Telmo, Buenos Aires

You go to the Feria de San Pedro Telmo on Sundays as much for what you can buy—vintage frocks, Art Deco jewelry, antiques—as for what you can see. The market was built in 1897 and retains the turn-of-the-century charm of leaded glass and wrought iron. Throughout the streets, tango dancers, classical guitarists, and other performers entertain tourists as well as porteños out for a weekend stroll. After dark, the stalls on the neighboring Plaza Dorrego are cleared away to make room for an outdoor milonga, or tango gathering. Review the day’s purchases while you watch the dancing over a glass of Malbec at one of the outdoor cafés.

Best Buy: Argentina is known for its leather, and there are amazing deals to be had here on vintage saddlebags. Open Sundays.


Panjiayuan Jiuhuo Shichang, Beijing

If people in Beijing tell you to go to the Hong Qiao Shichang for cheap pearls and knock-off bags, do not listen. Unless, of course, you enjoy getting full-body tackled while haggling for a faux Chloe bag (true story!). What you really want out of a Chinese shopping experience can be found in the wee morning hours at Panjiayuan Jiuhuo Shichang, a.k.a. the Dirt Market.  Each weekend, vendors set up row upon row of antique furniture, delicate teapots, vintage Mao memorabilia, old instruments, and more. Come ready to bargain.

Best Buy: Vintage curios. A recent visit turned up a 1940s Chinese globe and a Mao tea set for less than $15 each. Open weekends.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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These Contact Lenses Could Be The Future Of Augmented Reality


Innovega contact lens

The future of augmented reality isn't on a smartphone screen or on a pair of cumbersome glasses. The future is a contact lens.

Innovega is developing a contact lens called the iOptik lens that will provide the crucial step necessary to perceive an augmented, superimposed 3-D virtual reality.

It can also enhance your vision as you're seeing normal reality. Using nanotechnology, the contact lenses allow users to perceive both reality and information provided by the Internet or another source.


With these contact lenses, the user can view the world naturally: Their eyes can move normally and there aren't any cumbersome goggles to hinder movement or perception.

For external hardware, users are also given a pair of glasses which are used to project the extra data.

But the contact lenses are crucial here. Without them, data beamed onto the glasses is fuzzy and messy. The contact lens collates and refines the augmented info.

innovegaThe lenses enable a complete field of view while staying light. This innovation separates them from their competitors, many of whose products require goggles to refine the projected images, according to Innovega representatives. 

Another huge advantage Innovega has is their plan to contend with the regulatory apparatus, which can often bog down an emerging technology. The person heading up Innovega's Clinical and Regulatory function is a "contact lens and FDA expert" according to CEO Stephen Willey.

The military is already exploring the use of these lenses, which could enable the distribution of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle intelligence in real time to soldiers in the field.

For civilian uses, the augmented view could allow for web surfing on the go. Innovega is particularly excited about 3D video gaming and is already laying the groundwork for that avenue. Everyone from tourists exploring a new city to drivers navigating a new route could benefit from augmented-reality lenses.

The feed is connected to a smart phone or laptop, so the possibility of widgets or apps being developed for the augmented system are just waiting on hardware. 

Innovega is rolling out demo kits already, and is developing the technology as it becomes available.

The iOptik lens could very well change the way people perceive and integrate technology in their lives.

Read more about these lenses in our Interview With the CEO of Innovega >

See our list of Game Changers: 30 Innovations That Will Change The World >

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For $60,000 A Month, Live In A Sky-High Penthouse Designed By Frank Gehry


New York by Gehry building

For $60,000 a month you can live in the penthouse of the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere—for now at least.

The New York by Gehry building, designed by Frank Gehry, towers 870 feet above the streets of Manhattan. The skyscraper sits on Spruce Street, over looking the construction site at One World Trade Center.

Depending on which of the three penthouses you pick, rent will range from $45,000 to $60,000 a month, according to the New York Daily News.

The kitchens in the units are equipped with luxuries such as six-burner Miele stoves and Sub-Zero icemakers.

The building offers an indoor pool, baby grand piano, and personal Pilates rooms to its renters.

Welcome to The New York by Gehry building.

"You're higher than the helicopters up here," Cliff Finn, president of New Development Marketing at Citi Habitats, told the Daily News.

The building has become part of the New York skyline.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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