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British Flood Victims Reveal What They Would Save First In A Disaster [PHOTOS]


Violent storms and heavy rain have been setting off floods in in England for the better part of the last month and half, leaving villages like Moorland, in Southwest England, largely deserted. The country’s wettest January in nearly 250 years has damaged homes, businesses, and transportation.

Moorland, on the Somerset Levels (a coastal plain and wetland region), is the epicenter of the incredible flooding. Currently more than 2.3 billion cubic feet of flood water is being pumped out of the village, at a rate of 106 million cubic feet per day. 

Reuters photographer Cathal McNaughton recently went to Moorland to find residents who have yet to leave their homes. He asked them what possession they would save first if they were forced to leave. They had some interesting answers. 

Housewife Jane Clement, 54, and Nuclear Power Station Operations Manager Paul Clement, 57, pose outside their house with one of the photographs they say is the first thing they will save if they must abandon their house to the flood.flood9Sales representative Angela Greenway, 40, poses outside her house with two dogs, which she says are the first things she would take with her if her house floods.flood8Housewife and mother Lesley Haughton, 67, poses outside her house with her daschund dog. flood6Margaret Avery, 71, and her husband, Michael Avery, 76, pose with their grandson, Tom, 21, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and epilepsy, who they say they will rescue first if floods overtake the house. flood4Semi-retired Rickie Haughton, 70, poses with his English Mastiff inside his house.flood7Teaching assistant Claire Stanley poses with important photographs of family and friends, which are the first things she would save in a flood.flood3Housewife Jean Gibbons and her husband, salesman John Gibbons, both 64, pose outside their house, holding a USB stick containing family photos, and passports.flood2Angela Tunstall, a retiree, poses with her husband and company director, Stephen, 62, inside their house, with one of their two dogs. flood5Builder Derek Bristow, 64, poses outside his house with one of the photos he will rescue first if the flood waters in his house rise any further.flood1

SEE ALSO: 9 Crazy Pictures Of Flooding In The UK And Ireland

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We're About To Find Out If Infiniti Is Serious About Being A Top Luxury Car Brand


Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept

After seeing Infiniti's Q50 Eau Rouge concept at the Detroit Auto Show last month, we argued that the luxury brand needs to put the car into production, for its own good.

Infiniti has said it wants to seriously compete with top-tier automakers — BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus.

To make that transition, it needs more products, and one of those products needs to be on the level of the BMW M3, Lexus IS F, or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

We said that it was not about volume of sales, but about proving that Infiniti can make an outstanding car. And we thought the Eau Rouge could be that car for Infiniti.

On March 4, we'll find out if Infiniti listened. That's the date of its press conference at the Geneva Motor Show, where it plans to reveal the engine that's going under the hood of the Eau Rouge.

Finding the right engine is crucial, and not a simple task. Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen has said a production version of the Eau Rouge "would have over 500 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque," likely coming from a turbocharged V6 or naturally aspirated V8."

Unfortunately, he can't grab the engine from the GT-R, the terrific car from Nissan (Infiniti's parent company). But Nissan does have a partnership with Daimler AG, which owns Mercedes-Benz, so perhaps the right choice could come from Germany.

If Infiniti shows us something innovative and impressive, it will be a sign the brand really wants to compete with the big dogs. We're optimistic: Infiniti hasn't confirmed whether the Eau Rouge will see production, it has hinted the that it will.

Until March 4, we'll content ourselves by listening to the sound produced by that mystery engine. Not bad:

SEE ALSO: A Boston Company Wants To Build A Supersonic Private Jet With No Windows

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Why Saying 'I'm Good' Is Correct, And Anyone Who Says Otherwise Is A Fool


buddy christ thumbs up

If anyone has ever scolded you for responding "I'm good" to "how are you?" — they're wrong.

The myth — that you should really say "I'm well" — relies on the idea that modifying a verb requires an adverb. The verb "am," however, involves special circumstances that make "I'm good" a perfectly acceptable answer.

It's true that adverbs, not adjectives, are used to modify most verbs. For example, "We danced well," not "We danced good." Adjectives are only used to describe nouns, as in "We performed a good dance."

But different rules govern the verb "to be," of which "am" is a form. This verb connects the second part of the sentence, called the predicate, back to the first, the subject.

The circumstances then require either an adjective or noun in the predicate, instead of an adverb. For example, we say "I'm sleepy" or "I'm hungry" — not "I'm sleepily" or "I'm hungrily."

Therefore, "I'm good," is a proper response.

"I'm well" is also allowed but not for the reasons many think. That response only works if "well" takes on its adjectival form, meaning "in good health" or "good or satisfactory."

Now, if someone asks "How are you doing?" "I'm doing well" is the correct response. "Doing" — a form of "to do" — becomes the main verb, and action verbs require adverbs. 

Bottom line: You are good (and sometimes well). But you do well. Let the revolution commence.

SEE ALSO: 15 Annoying Grammatical Mistakes That People Always Make

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Prosthetic Legs, Surfboards And Other Strange Things People Leave On The Train




The Long Island Rail Road finds thousands of items on the train every month that are then transferred to its central Lost and Found office in New York City's Penn Station. The office has an impressive 60% return rate and a typical 3-5 day turn-around for most items. It's surprising that some of these things were ever left behind...

Produced by Justin Gmoser

NOW WATCH: Detroit Is Losing Money On Its Bizarre 'People Mover' Train That No One Ever Rides

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A New Lunch Delivery Startup Could Give Seamless A Run For Its Money


city lunch club logo

We're all guilty of eating repetitive lunches at our desks from the same local deli or a couple of restaurants we found on Seamless. 

A brand-new startup is looking to break the cycle. Known as City Lunch Club, the company delivers lunches from 25 restaurants in New York's Gramercy and Union Square neighborhoods to paying subscribers.

They officially launched on Monday. 

"Seamless does an unbelievable job at providing food delivery as a utility service. You can go on there and find a ton of restaurants and options. We found that on average people have 3-5 restaurants that they order from online and they usually have 1-2 dishes that they'd get from each place regularly," Andrew Hersch, City Lunch Club Co-Founder and COO, said to Business Insider. "There are over 20,000 restaurants in New York City alone, and we want people to not only experience something different, but something that we have vetted out for quality." 

City Lunch Club subscribers choose how many lunches they'd like to receive in a week, with prices for each lunch ranging between $10.99 and $12.99, depending on how many they choose. 

Each morning, subscribers receive an email from City Lunch Club with three lunch options from the day's featured restaurant. They have to make a choice by 10:30 to be included in the day's deliveries, scheduled to arrive sometime between 11:30 and 1.

They have partnerships with 25 restaurants so far, including Nicoletta, Taqueria Diana, Devi, and Zampa. 

Some of these restaurants are pretty high-end, but Hersch says their subscription model helps them to keep prices affordable for their subscribers. Plus, they hope to encourage people to sign up in office groups by offering discounts to people getting their food delivered to the same location. 

city lunch club"We are able to effectively predict how many people will be ordering every day and offer consistent order volumes for restaurants... Our specially selected menu of signature top dishes help our partners streamline their purchases and identify how much of the ingredients they'll need ahead of time," Hersch said. "Also, orders are finalized by 10:30 a.m., allowing restaurants to prep and deliver orders before their normal lunch business comes in." 

The exposure restaurants will get by participating in the service is another factor that Hersch thinks will be important to the company's success.

"Our restaurant partners are eager to get its awesome food in front of new customers that work nearby that may then come for happy hour or dinner," he said. 

According to Hersch, City Lunch Club hasn't received funding from investors just yet. 

"We are completely bootstrapped for the time being," he said. "While we are always excited to talk to investors because of what we can learn from them, we wanted to prove that our model is unique for providing food discovery for foodies and a turnkey perk for companies before taking an investment."

Though they're only delivering in zip codes 10010 and 10003 right now, they hope to expand to the rest of Manhattan before the summer and another city by the end of the year. Hersch says they've already received requests from companies in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. 

We're testing City Lunch Club this week and will update with a review of the service and food.

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Inside The Beer Pong Tournament That Pitted NYC Startups Against Each Other

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The 10 Best Islands In The World, According To TripAdvisor Users


02_Providenciales_Turks and Caicos

It's no surprise that islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific dominated the list of best islands in the world, according to a new list from travel site TripAdvisor.

But Indian Ocean islands had their fair share of representatives on the list as well.

The site ranked islands based on the quality and quantity of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each location on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period.

10. Ko Tao in Thailand gets its name from the sea turtles that rest on its shores. It has white sand beaches and an average of 300 days of sunshine per year.

Source: TripAdvisor

9. Easter Island sits more than 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile in the South Pacific. Its isolation has helped preserve the 1,500-year-old mysterious statues made of volcanic rock.

Source: TripAdvisor

8. Nosy Be, at the northern tip of Madagascar, has a name that means "big island." You'll find volcanic lakes, rum distilleries, Ylang Ylang plantations and coral reefs here.

Source: TripAdvisor

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How To Make Your Ikea Furniture Look Like It Doesn't Come From Ikea


Ikea's furniture has become so ubiquitous that it's difficult to make it stand out. 

To deal with this problem, several new businesses are offering add-ons that make furniture look like it doesn't come from the Swedish mega-chain, reports Katarina Gustafsson at Bloomberg News

Here are a few businesses that are dominating the quest to upgrade Ikea furniture. 

1. Bems

Bems sells coverings for Ikea beds, couches, and chairs. The brand is somewhat pricey—a slipcover for an Ikea sofa costs about $800. 

bems IKEA

2. Prettypegs

This brand sells unique furniture legs compatible with Ikea. In most cases, four pegs retail for $75-$100.   


3. Superfront

Superfront makes new interfaces and tops for Ikea cabinets. So far, it looks like the affordable decor is only available to customers in Europe and Great Britain. 


4. Comfort Works

This Melbourne, Australia-based company lets customers design slipcovers for Ikea sofas and chairs. The sofa slipcovers cost around $200. 

comfort works

5. Mykea 

Mykea sells stickers for customizing Ikea furniture. Stickers to cover a Malm dresser cost about $40. 

malm dresser



SEE ALSO: 18 Of The Best Bookstores In The World

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10 Of The Best Oyster Bars In America


grand central oyster bar

Oysters are having a moment, and no wonder. They’re delicious, unpretentious, and, with their seemingly magical ability to filter the waters they grow in, sustainable, too.

When I see oysters on a menu, I have a hard time not ordering them. 

There’s just nothing like sitting at the bar with a frosty beer or a glass of Muscadet and slurping down a dozen.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of great oyster bars to do just that. Here are 10 of my favorites from across the country.

1. Eventide Oyster Co.; Portland, ME
The extensive selection at this bright, spare restaurant in the Old Port is broken down into oysters “From Maine” and “From Away,” all displayed atop the bar in a massive trough of Maine granite. The raw bar menu is the way to go, but if you’re not all oystered out after a dozen, be sure to give the roasted jumbo Winter Points a try.

2. The Walrus & The Carpenter; Seattle, WA
From the very first time you pull a stool up to the bar for a dozen of the freshest oysters on the West Coast, you’ll already feel like a regular (that’s why I named this one the Best New Restaurants in 2012, and why it remains one of my 20 most important). Go for some Hama Hamas, “Samish Sweets,” or any of the other offerings that are pulled from the Puget Sound less than an hour’s drive away.

3. Grand Central Oyster Bar; New York, NY
For all the oysters I’ve slurped from this classic restaurant in Grand Central Terminal, I’ve never once sat at a table. Take a seat at one of the iconic U-shaped counters, and bask in the class and tradition of this New York landmark, and in the sheer number of bivalves shucked and served here over the past 101 years.

4. Casamento’s; New Orleans, LA
As a rule, I only ever eat oysters served on ice. But I’ll make an exception here, an old-school, no-questions-asked family joint that’s been serving super-fresh Louisiana oysters for 90 years. Just $12 gets you a dozen, and don’t miss out on their oysters other ways, too—charbroiled, stewed, and in the legendary oyster loaf, fried and packed between freshly baked and buttered pan bread.

5. The Ordinary; Charleston, SC
Hang out with pearled ladies and khaki-wearing men under the soaring ceilings of this former bank building and slurp down some local Caper’s Blades. Get there early for a seat at the bar, where you can see the shuckers in action and peer through the old vault to the kitchen; if you’re lucky, you’ll catch Clammer Dave himself making his delivery.

6. B&G Oysters; Boston, MA
At Barbara Lynch‘s tiny neighborhood oyster bar, there are always at least 12 different varieties of the freshest oysters on offer, delivered throughout the day. You’re given a checklist and a golf pencil to mark off the ones you want to try. I love this place at three in the afternoon, after the lunch rush and before it picks up again for dinner; there’s no better way to kill an afternoon than chatting with the shucker as he serves them up to you fresh.

7. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, CA
Dare I say, my favorite restaurant in America? There’s always a line at the 18-seat seafood shop, but it’s more than worth it for the cracked Dungeness crab and the simple, sashimi-style scallops served with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. And of course, no meal here is complete without a dozen Drakes Bay oysters.

8. Hog Island Oyster Farm; Marshall, CA
There’s a Hog Oyster Bar in San Francisco, but it’s 49 miles north of the city at the Hog Island oyster farm itself that the best bivalve eating is to be found. The farm is open during the day so you can reserve a picnic table, unload the cooler of beer or wine you brought, and shuck your own oysters overlooking Tomales Bay. The good Hog Island folks will even give first-timers a lesson.

9. GT Fish & Oyster; Chicago, IL
I always end up here when I’m in Chicago, even when I don’t plan on it. The best seat in the house is at the bar, directly in front of the glass case teeming with oysters on ice, watching the shuckers at work. Follow up a dozen on the half-shell with the fish tacos, served with chipotle aioli and chicharrón.

10. Prime Meats; Brooklyn, NY
This Carroll Gardens restaurant makes the list as my local haunt; I’ve probably slurped down more oysters here than at any other place. Find me at the bar with a dozen oysters and a cold pint of Einbecker. (They even have a Mug Club for frequent drinkers—I’m #23.) Look up at the chalkboard to see the day’s offerings—always perfectly presented, perfectly shucked, and ice cold.

More From Bon Appetit:

25 Ways to Use Sriracha

Weird Food Obsessions of Pro Athletes

10 Snacks You Thought Were Healthy But Aren't

7 Ways to Ruin an Omelet—or to Cook It Perfectly

How to Reheat Leftovers, from Pizza to Pasta to Eggs

22 Recipes Everyone Should Know How to Cook

Join the conversation about this story »


HOUSE OF THE DAY: The Biggest Mansion For Sale In America Can Be Yours For A Bargain $13.9 Million


America's largest listing 7 montagel way

A grand mansion in Alabama is the largest home currently on the market in the U.S., according to Curbed.

A virtual Versailles of the South, the Birmingham home is 54,400 square feet. That would be stunning enough, but when added to the square footage of the estate's "equestrian lounge" and two-bedroom guest house, the entire compound becomes a whopping 62,000 square feet.

The incredible home took four years to complete, with artists and architects from Europe handcrafting the stucco, marble, limestone, and decorative features within the home. It is listed with Hurwitz James Company for $13.9 million, a relative bargain.

The 15-bedroom complex also has a 25-seat movie theater, stables, and a 12 car garage.

Welcome to the mini-Versailles in Birmingham, Alabama. It is currently the largest listing in America.

Source: Hurwitz James Company

The entire estate covers 27 acres with stables, an "equestrian lounge," and a two-bedroom guest house. (And yes, the landscaping looks like a guitar.)

Source: Hurwitz James Company

The mansion itself is 54,400 square feet, and combined the entire square footage of the property is 62,000 square feet.

Source: Hurwitz James Company

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's How Much You Have To Make To Buy A House In 25 Major Cities


Online mortgage company HSH.com recently estimated the salaries needed to afford a house in 25 metropolitan areas across the United States. Because, the cost of real estate varies across cities and regions — you need to be making about four times as much money in San Diego as in Cincinnati to afford a house.

The map illustrates these differences. The wider the circle over a city, the more you need to make to afford a house there:

city salary map diameter scale

Here is a table of the 25 cities and the salary you need to earn to afford the median-priced house, from HSH.com's estimates:

 city salary table big

SEE ALSO: This Map Shows How Much A Gram Of Marijuana Costs Around The World Read

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The Sentimental Place Where WhatsApp's CEO Signed The $19 Billion Facebook Deal Shows How Far He's Come In Life


jan koum whatsapp

When Jan Koum was growing up, he wasn't well off. His family was Ukranian and moved to Silicon Valley when he was a teenager, according to Forbes' Parmy Olson. They lived in a tiny, government subsidized apartment; Koum's mother babysat to bring in extra money while Koum worked at a local grocery store.

Additionally, the family lived on food stamps.

So, when it came time to sign a $19 billion acquisition deal, Koum knew where he wanted it to happen.

Olson writes:

Koum, cofounder Brian Acton and venture capitalist Jim Goetz of Sequoia drove a few blocks from WhatsApp’s discreet headquarters in Mountain View to a disused white building across the  railroad tracks, the former North County Social Services office where Koum, 37, once stood in line to collect food stamps. That’s where the three of them inked the agreement to sell their messaging phenom...

Here's a picture of Koum signing the document:

whatsapp signing doc

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18 Incredibly Impressive Students At Penn State


Christian Hackenberg

With its remarkable professors, unlimited extracurriculars, and spirit-rousing game day traditions, Penn State has a 159-year-long history of excellence.

Its alumni have gone on to become astronauts, Hollywood actors, politicians, and major league athletes, and the school continues to shape future generations of impressive and inspiring individuals.

From leading missions to the moon to directing the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, these 18 students are ... Penn State.

Abe DeHart has been running a successful, sustainable landscaping business since he was 14.

Class of 2014

DeHart was 10 years old when he started cutting grass. By the time he was 14, he was paying taxes on a legitimate landscaping business. Growing up earning a livelihood in the outdoors, DeHart understands how vital sustainability is.

Now with more than 60 lawns mowed each week and three employees working under him, DeHart manages Clean Cut Landscaping from school and is focused on going green-er. He's implemented fuel-saving measures into the business, and eliminated the use of fertilizers. 

He channels his love of working outdoors into studying agriculture as well. In the last 18 months DeHart has toured Pamplona, Spain, to research biomass processing systems, and interviewed small-scale farmers in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. His questionnaires, which he conducted in Urdu and Hindi, addressed agricultural strategies, economics, and resources.

DeHart plans to combine his entrepreneurial skills and technical agriculture knowledge into helping farmers in the developing world escape poverty, and wants to broaden his business analytics experience here in the U.S.

Abu Fofanah came to America when his family won the lottery, and started a motivational t-shirt company.

Class of 2015

In his freshman year Fofanah launched Motivational Apparel, or MoAp, a line of athletic t-shirts displaying inspirational messages.

He used $1,500 of his own money to get it up and running and has since sold almost 500 shirts, donating 10% of proceeds to the Special Olympics. Celebs like John Legend have been seen sporting Fofanah's line, and he's met with representatives from Urban Outfitters about selling in stores.

But success hasn't been easy for Fofanah who, when he was three or four years old, fled war-torn Sierra Leone with his mother and some of his siblings. His older siblings had to remain behind, and it was eight years before he saw them again.

Fofanah hasn't wasted an opportunity since coming to the States. Growing up in extreme poverty outside Philadelphia, he worked hard in school while his mother juggled multiple jobs. He received a full academic scholarship to the honors program at Penn State, and recently interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The budding entrepreneur plans to pursue his passion for fashion and retail, and one day run his own business.

Allison Hoover travels the world learning about and teaching agricultural education.

Class of 2014

Allison Hoover got involved with Future Farmers of America (FFA) in high school, and in her sophomore year of college was just one of only two FFA members (out of nearly 580,000 members country-wide) selected to attend the renowned World Food Prize awards conference. The event fosters dialogue of global agriculture and food security, and gave Hoover the opportunity to engage with professionals in her future industry.

After she returned from the conference in 2012, she took it upon herself to facilitate a workshop at the state conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Agricultural Educations, where she led talks of classroom engagement strategies and presented her experiences from World Food Prize.

Hoover travels extensively not just to learn about agricultural education, but to teach it. She is student teaching this semester, and will spend part of the time in Costa Rica teaching, in Spanish, some first-year agricultural courses at a national technical university. Hoover recently returned from Thailand and Cambodia on a two-week class-related trip focused on small farmers and food security in Southeast Asia.

Hoover is still making plans for after graduation, but she knows that another initiative abroad is in her future, possibly through a Fulbright Fellowship or with the agricultural education teaching program AgriCorps, and, eventually, grad school.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inequality Is Rising Faster In San Francisco Than Anywhere In America



The people blockading Google Buses to protest soaring home prices and a general sense of inequality in San Francisco aren't dreaming.

San Francisco had the largest increase in inequality from 2007–2012 of any large city, according to a new report from Brookings. Meanwhile, New York City, home of Occupy Wall Street, did not even make the top ten.

san francisco inequality

When it comes to total inequality, based on the household income ratio of the 95th to the 20th percentile, San Francisco is second only to Atlanta among large cities.

inequality by city

SEE ALSO: Yes, the tech sector is responsible for sky-high rents in San Francisco

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PORSCHE: Stop Driving Your New GT3, It May Catch On Fire


porsche 911 gt3 sports car

Porsche is recalling all the 911 GT3s it has sold this year, telling owners to stop driving the sports car, after two of the cars caught fire due to engine damage.

The company is offering to pick up the vehicles to take them to a Porsche Center immediately for repairs. It says the engine issue has not led to any injuries. 

So far, 785 customers have received the new GT3. In the U.S. the car starts for $130,400.

On Wednesday, Porsche halted deliveries of the GT3. A UK spokesperson told The Telegraph, “For those customers that haven’t yet had their cars, it’s only right and proper that we investigate this situation in a thorough way.”

For the 2014 version of the track performance-oriented GT3, Porsche developed a new 3.8-liter engine that generated 475 horsepower and can send the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.

Here's the full release:

Inspection of all 911 GT3 vehicles of model year 2014

Atlanta. The sports car producer Porsche is inspecting all engines of 911 GT3 vehicles of model year 2014. Porsche is informing the owners of the affected vehicles directly and recommending that they stop using their vehicles. The company is offering to pick up the vehicles and take them to a Porsche Centre immediately.

Safety is a number one priority at Porsche, and the company takes its responsibility seriously. After engine damage occurred in two vehicles in Europe and the vehicles then caught fire. Porsche decided to inspect all 785 delivered vehicles worldwide. There was no traffic accident and no personal injure. Internal studies to determine the cause of the engine damage have not been completed yet.

Porsche will report on any new findings immediately.

SEE ALSO: ELON MUSK: Tesla's SUV Will Be More Popular Than The Model S Sedan

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Wanted: Audience Development Manager for BI Studios


horse race winner

Business Insider is looking for a goals-oriented Audience Development Manager to join BI Studios, our in-house content marketing and production team.

BI Studios works with marketers to develop robust, engaging sponsor content in a variety of formats (text, videos, slideshows, and infographics) as part of their ad campaigns. The person in this role will be responsible for growing traffic and video views to that content, as well as fostering and strengthening audience engagement.

As Audience Development Manager, you will be optimizing organic and social media distribution, facilitating traffic partnerships, building partner relationships, and increasing revenue opportunities overall. You will work closely with marketing, business development, and ad operations to spearhead, coordinate, and drive sponsor content distribution and exposure.

Do you love diving into performance metrics and understanding them inside and out — and then improving upon them? Then this may be the job for you. The ideal candidate is a self-starter with a traffic, digital marketing, and/or brand-building background who thinks strategically and proactively about how to drive traffic and engagement. He or she should demonstrate expertise in Google Analytics, social media platforms, and other analytics tools, and have a strong understanding of current industry best practices and benchmarks. Experience at a major publisher or digital agency is preferred.

If this sounds like the perfect gig for you, please send your resume and three ways you will grow traffic for BI Studios to studiojobs@businessinsider.com. Thanks in advance for your interest.

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Incredible GIFs Show The Gentrification Of New York City


vacated justin binder street view

It's no secret that New York City — and Brooklyn in particular — is gentrifying rapidly.

New York-based artist and programmer Justin Blinder was commissioned, along with other artists, by More Art for Envision NY 2017 to reflect on how the city changed under Bloomberg.

He came up with the idea of showing abandoned lots or rundown buildings transforming into new developments through GIFs. He calls the project "Vacated."

"I started off by exploring the NYC Department of City Planning's PLUTO dataset, which contains a wealth of tax lot data," Blinder told Business Insider about the project in an email. "I then filtered this dataset to only show new developments in the past 12 years, and wrote custom software that would cycle through each address on Google Street View."

Since Google Street Views cars often captured entire streets but not entire neighborhoods, Blinder realized that there were intersections where one street's imagery was taken in or before 2009, whereas the opposite side of the street was photographed in 2013. "When you simply cross the street you get two different historical versions of the intersection," he said.

"Vacated" is an ongoing project. Check out some of Blinder's completed GIFs below from neighborhoods where housing costs have increased since 2004, and then head over the artist's website to see an interactive map of all the intersections where new buildings were constructed between 2009 and 2013.

India Street and McGuinness Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY

justin blinder vacated street view gif

Bedford and Nassau Avenues, Brooklyn, NY

justin blinder vacated street view gif

2nd Avenue and East 1st Street, New York, NY

justin blinder vacated street view gif

Bowery and Hester Streets, New York, NY

justin blinder vacated street view gif

Eckford Street and Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

justin blinder vacated street view gif

SEE ALSO: 40 Gorgeous Pictures Of Brooklyn In 1974

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16 Billionaires Who Started With Nothing — Including WhatsApp's Co-Founder


jan koum whatsapp

The American Dream is alive and well.

Facebook's recent announcement that it would buy messaging app WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion minted new billionaires, including co-founder and CEO Jan Koum who was once dirt poor. Koum's family immigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine two decades ago and lived on food stamps. Today, he's worth an estimated $6.8 billion.

All from humble beginnings, these 16 people not only climbed to the top of their industries but also became some of the richest people in the world.

These rags-to-riches stories remind us that through determination, grit, and a bit of luck anyone can overcome their circumstances and achieve extraordinary success.

Jan Koum, the CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp, once lived on food stamps before Facebook made him a billionaire.

Net worth: $6.8 billion (according to Forbes)

Koum, 37, came to the U.S. from Ukraine when he was 16 years old. His family, struggling to make ends meet, lived on food stamps that they picked up a couple blocks away from Koum's future WhatsApp offices in Mountain View, Calif. In 2009, he and co-founder Brian Acton launched the real-time messaging app with an aim to connect people around the world. It essentially replaces text messaging.  

Now with 450 million global users, WhatsApp recently agreed to a $19 billion buyout from Facebook. Koum is expected to make the most from the deal. Forbes estimates he has a 45% stake in the company, giving him a net worth of $6.8 billion. He's come a long way from his modest beginnings.

Kenny Troutt, the founder of Excel Communications, paid his way through college by selling life insurance.

Net worth:$1.7 billion (as of Sept. 2013)

Troutt grew up with a bartender dad and paid for his own tuition at Southern Illinois University by selling life insurance. He made most of his money from phone company Excel Communications, which he founded in 1988 and took public in 1996. Two years later, Troutt merged his company with Teleglobe in a $3.5 billion deal.

He's now retired and invests heavily in racehorses.

Starbucks' Howard Schultz grew up in a housing complex for the poor.

Net worth:$2 billion (as of Sept. 2013)

In an interview with British tabloid Mirror, Schultz says: "Growing up I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks. I knew the people on the other side had more resources, more money, happier families. And for some reason, I don’t know why or how, I wanted to climb over that fence and achieve something beyond what people were saying was possible. I may have a suit and tie on now but I know where I’m from and I know what it’s like."

Schultz ended up winning a football scholarship to the University of Northern Michigan and went to work for Xerox after graduation. Shortly after, he took over a coffee shop called Starbucks, which at the time had only 60 shops. Schultz became the company's CEO in 1987 and grew the coffee chain to more than 16,000 outlets worldwide.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The Happiest States In America


Gallup is out with its annual ranking of the happiest states in the U.S., and this year North Dakota grabbed the top spot, taking the title from longtime frontrunner Hawaii.happiest statesGallup measures happiness, or wellbeing, on a set of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities.

Here are the 10 states with the highest and lowest levels of wellbeing, according to Gallup:

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How did North Dakota move so far up in the rankings? According to Gallup, it also ranked as the top state in two of the six sub-indexes: work environment and physical health.

North Dakota has experienced a serious boom in job growth: For the fifth year in a row, that state topped all other states in employee perceptions of job creation at their workplaces in 2013, as measured by the Gallup Job Creation Index.

North Dakota has also benefitted from a surge in its oil industry (just look at what's happening in the boomtown of Williston), and topped a recent list of payroll-to-population state rankings.

The chart below shows how state rankings changed between 2012 and 2013:Screen Shot 2014 02 20 at 12.00.47 PM

Gallup compiled its state-level well-being data based on more than 178,000 interviews with American adults across all 50 states, conducted from January-December 2013.

You can find Gallup's full report here.

NOW WATCH: These Maps Show Who Says Coke, Pop Or Soda And Why


SEE ALSO: What Life Is Like In Williston, The North Dakota Oil Boomtown Where Tiny Apartments Top $2,000 A Month

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The Official Goldman Sachs Elevator Review Of 'Young Money,' A New Book On Young Wall Streeters


exasperated young man party

When I heard about Kevin Roose's new book, "Young Money," of course I wanted to read it — after all, "Liar’s Poker" lit the fuse on my own Wall Street aspirations.

Although I do not know Kevin personally, I am fond of his work as a writer for New York magazine (and previously as a reporter for Dealbook), and I also enjoy following him on Twitter.

What interested me most was the timing and uniqueness of Kevin's premise — shadowing a diverse group of young investment bankers (1st year analysts) for two years, as they started their careers on Wall Street in the immediate wake of the financial crisis.

The book does not fail to deliver, and Kevin’s conclusions present a fascinating reality and perspective of young Wall Street life today that I think everyone will find intriguing. It’s also a great case study on entitled Millennials, or Generation Wuss, as Bret Easton Ellis has recently described them.

There’s been a huge amount of fanfare and media attention around a few of Kevin’s observations and conclusions:
 •  Wall Street culture is still somewhat odious (and possibly contagious). 
 •  The lives of young bankers tend to be pretty dreadful — where "glamour meets masochism" as Roose puts it, but the glamour and prestige are gone.
 •  Worse, the prospects for a viable and fulfilling (personally and financially) career on Wall Street are "eroding."
 •  Wall Street is no longer the default destination of our best, brightest, and most ambitious — a fact that is clearly supported by Roose, anecdotally and statistically.

With all of the other glowing reviews, there’s not much for me to add ... So I thought I would take a stand, and make a defense of Wall Street.

Young Wall Street Life is Hell ...

Yes, the life of a young analyst on Wall Street can be miserable. With the help of his eight analyst-subjects, Roose paints a very accurate portrait of the often soul-destroying 100-hour workweeks, tyrannical bosses, and menial Excel and PowerPoint work that the job encompasses.

I spent my first year in absolute misery, sitting in an analyst bullpen in M&A, taking orders from my ass-kissing Associate staffer. I suffered through insanely and needlessly long hours, juggling face time, monkey work, and bogus fire drills initiated by an insecure VP, all while being stifled by an absurdly rigid hierarchy.

But all of that bulls--- aside, the firm invested a significant amount of resources in developing and training me; Wall Street has one of the most prestigious training programs on the planet. They assigned me formal and informal mentors — people who make $3-$5 million dollars a year, at my disposal, to help guide me not only my career, but also in life.

That’s why, when I hated M&A, I stuck it out. I did my best. And then at the end of the year, I was ranked (and paid) at the top of my class. And so with the help of my mentor, rather than risk losing me, the firm happily made room for me in the team of my choice.

Within no time, I was on the trading floor, with four screens, a dealerboard, a Bloomberg terminal, and near infinite resources at my fingertips. There was no hierarchy. Surrounded by so much energy, excitement, and hunger to make money, I was excited to come to work every day and loved every minute of it.

I was ranked at the top of my class every year, was offered the 3rd year and the promotion to associate.

Kevin explains the experiences of some of his analysts quite differently. Maybe it’s because they were placed on bulls--- desks (Municipal bonds or Public Sector Finance), were ranked and paid at the bottom of their classes, denied promotions, and in some cases made redundant. Last time I checked, the guy who never gets a date is usually the one who hates the prom most vocally.

Wall Street is bad for you ...

Not only that, the job can make you ugly and fat. Roose comments on the noticeable impact it’s having on the appearance and health of a few of his subjects.

This is a fair point. No time or energy for the gym. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their desks. And, it’s not only the job that has contributed to the weight gain. For many of these kids, it’s the first time in their lives that they have more money than they have time to spend it. That means whenever they’re not eating at their desk, they’re dining (and drinking) out — lavishly.

Work. Drink. Eat. Drink. Pass Out. Repeat. It’s 18th century sexy — pale skin, bloodshot eyes, a fat ass, but ... a fatter wallet.

Even with all of that face time, I still made plenty of time for the gym. The best part was sneaking in time to go during the early evening, which enabled me to justify working late enough for the free NOBU take-out and the black car service home.

Main Street Still Hates You ...

Although the pendulum is gradually swinging back toward the rational, Wall Street bankers are still viewed by many to be social pariahs — so much so that a few of Roose’s subjects are actually embarrassed to tell their friends and family that they work on Wall Street. It’s amazing to me that "I work at Goldman Sachs" could be a source of shame for a kid coming out of college in 2010.

You Will Destroy Relationships ...

There are some great moments in "Young Money" about these kids watching their relationships fall apart in slow motion, or even having to decide between a relationship and a job. Boo-hoo. I wonder how many times they wrote "#firstworldproblems" in their late-night Facebook therapy sessions with their freshman-year roommate who actually did sign up for Teach For America.

Last time I checked, that’s called life. My college relationship didn’t survive my analyst career. So I just started dating a banker. She knew all about cancelled plans, weekend conference calls, and skipping the post-coital cuddle and going straight to the Blackberry. The best part was that we never got sick of each other because we only had time to see each other a couple nights a week. And our independent schedules aligned so infrequently that I had plenty of "me time" for the nights that I just wanted to sit at home, drink a 12 pack, and play Mario Kart.

You Will Go Directly To Hell ...

Roose writes, "Jeremy came to Goldman a soft-spoken, cerebral kid, but in less than two years, he had developed [a] short temper and was quick to point out others’ mistakes in a way that was often unkind and had little patience for people whose intelligence he couldn’t respect."

I remember this transformation vividly. When I went home for the Christmas holidays during my first year as an analyst, my sister told me that I was "simply an asshole." And on my next trip home, I was instructed to walk around Wal-Mart for fifteen minutes as a way of re-acclimating to the pace of "the real world," or as I saw it at the time, an attempt to regain a more forgiving attitude toward stupidity, inefficiency, and incompetence.

In line with many of Roose’s conclusions, Wall Street can be an amoral, aggressive, and insular culture of elitist assholes that molds its disciples in that image. When it comes to work, I’m happy to be unemotional and pragmatic, and to reserve little patience for people who waste my time. I wish I had the luxury to be something else.

"I leave the Hamptons on Sundays, so that my family doesn't have to."

Over time, I learned to never let a job define me as a human being.
Roose seems genuinely concerned that his subjects will be transformed into one of these vapid money and power-obsessed drones, "slower to smile, quicker to criticize." Toward the end, he even seems to chastise Derrick for possibly falling under Wall Street’s evil spell. I saw it coming — the kid kept tombstones (lucite deal trophies) in his bedroom, and seemingly uses douchey phrases like "models and bottles" to describe his nightlife.

So Why Go to Wall Street ...

Kevin gives some great insights on a point that I think is widely misunderstood: How and why do people (especially today) end up on Wall Street?

Besides the influence of "Liar’s Poker" (and "Den of Thieves," "The Predator’s Ball," "Barbarians At The Gate," and "Highly Confident"), my enamorment with Wall Street was reinforced in prep school when all the parents came down from Greenwich for parents’ weekend. The Wall Street dads were the cool dads with the sports cars, and a propensity for profanity. They’d tell our Dean we were spending the weekend with them in Connecticut, only to let us to disappear into New York City. This, at the age of 14 was my first interaction with Wall Street and it taught me the No. 1 rule of life (from Douglas Bader):

"Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men"

However, from what I have seen subsequently, and as Kevin clearly illustrates, my experience is not the norm. Most people go into investment banking because they obviously do well in school and are smart and ambitious, but they either have no clue what they want to do in life, or they just don't have the balls to go out there, be creative, and take a risk.

But, Wall Street isn’t for everyone ...

Roose picks an eclectic, diverse set of individuals to follow in terms of race, sex, and socioeconomic background. He even recruits a couple of kids from non-target schools who somehow manage to backdoor their way into their Analyst programs — all of which makes for great perspective in the book.

It’s a big ask and I commend him for having been successful in putting it all together. But there is an argument to be made that clearly the type of person that he might gravitate toward would be the left-leaning, cynical, reluctant bankers ... And vice versa - the type of person who would take the considerable risk in collaborating with Roose would be similarly minded.

"There are three sides to every story: Your side, my side, and 
the truth. And no one is lying." — Robert Evans

This does not make it any less true, or his conclusions any less relevant. But in my defense of Wall Street, it allows me to say that there are thousands of kids who have rewarding, fulfilling, and successful analyst experiences on Wall Street.

What about the kids at the top of the analyst classes?

One of his subjects (Chelsea) finds her co-workers boring and tedious. Maybe that’s because she got stuck on the f---ing Municipal bond desk. I’d bet her assessment might be quite different on the Emerging Market hedge fund credit sales.

A few of the others are disenfranchised to the point of depression. If I sucked at my job and got paid at the bottom of my class, I’d be pretty depressed too.

Generation Wuss ...

This leads me to my next point. Perhaps this isn’t just about Wall Street, as it is about entitled Millennials, or "Generation Wuss."

My father probably didn’t walk 8 miles to school, but I know that when I was an analyst, I had to go into the office at 2am, anytime some idiot from Asia called me wanting some US$ corporate comps, or a generic Eurobond market update. BlackBerrys had only arrived on the scene, and Bloomberg Anywhere was still a few years off.

By comparison, these analysts have it easy ... And I don’t have to get into the hazing.

In his book, the notion of "existential" comes up time and time again. The kids get high and think about life. They pound Bud Lights and think about life. They eat shroom sandwiches and think about life. Existential masturbation: a luxury of millennial generation.

I don’t have a problem with that. Kids today don’t want to eat sh-t for two or three years, especially when the long-term guarantee of financial success and prestige on Wall Street has evaporated. That’s fine; there’s the door.

Many kids today would be better off pursuing other career paths, and society would be better off too.

I concede that there are plenty of douchebags on Wall Street ...

Once again, full credit to Roose for making sure he looks at the picture from every possible angle, in what he calls his "douchebag deficit." To compensate for the fact that his subjects seem balanced in their cynicism, he crashes a Fashion Meets Finance mixer, in one of the more hilarious moments in the book. Just imagine listening to a guy talk about "joining The Street after B-school," and when referring to a new watch (probably a Hublot), saying something like, "Yup. You noticed, huh. Just test-driving the new piece." (I’m exaggerating Roose’s story, but it’s still fantastic.)

Roose nails it ... And I wish I had been right there with him taking notes, to the extent that @GSElevator often highlight certain less flattering aspects of Wall Street culture:

"Some chick asked me what I’d do with $10 million bucks.
 I told her I’d wonder where the rest of my money went."

I guarantee every female in Manhattan will laugh out loud when they read this chapter.

Wall Street is losing talent ...

Roose points out some fascinating statistics. His trips to recruiting sessions at Wharton, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard make for some really insightful reading and perspective. And I credit Roose in his attempts to objectively look at all aspects of the story, well beyond the anecdotes and experiences of his eight subjects.

I’m in full agreement with Roose. It’s clear that matriculation is down. Wall Street is still recovering and/or adjusting to the new paradigm — and smaller analyst classes will reflect that. And tech is as hot as I’ve seen since I let the Money Honey, David Faber, and Mark Haines dictate my intraday E*TRADE decisions in college.

Roose is absolutely correct that this is great for society. But I would also say that it’s not so bad for Wall Street either. There’s no point wasting time on the people who can’t hack it, don’t know what they’re getting in to, or don’t want to be there (other than to suck out a six figure paycheck and bitch about it.)

Kappa Beta Ph-uck You ...

Kevin’s story about sneaking into the annual induction ceremony of Wall Street’s (somewhat) secretive and exclusive fraternity, Kappa Beta Phi is incredible:

"What we learn isn't pretty. The event consisted of a stream of sexist and homophobic remarks, along with jokes mocking poor people and belittling Wall Street's critics. And, of course, there was a lot of bragging by the industry leaders about their wealth and status."

This event, in January of 2012, isn’t particularly defensible. I’m broadly in agreement with everything that has been said about it. It’s vulgar, insensitive, and stupid.

But really ... Sexist, bigoted, racist, homophobic, classist remarks from a bunch of rich, white guys getting drunk and celebrating themselves. Why is anyone surprised?

That’s like being flabbergasted that some backwoods, redneck, duck hunting Christian zealot has some extreme and antiquated views on gays. There’s a shock.

Don’t get me wrong. Having a roast and making fun of each other is one thing, but telling jokes about the 99% or having unlimited access to bailout money is just as Roose concludes, "a gargantuan middle finger to Main Street."

But, in my opinion, the most offensive thing we learn from this is that their jokes are terribly stupid and unfunny. And it’s even more worrisome is that these Grand Wizards are so obtuse and self-absorbed that they allowed an unknown face, less than half the average age, to sit with them, unnoticed, for two hours, in a shitty rental tuxedo.

But as I said, I’m not surprised. If anything, it sounds like some of our team dinners, or one of my tweets:

"I never give money to homeless people. I can't reward failure in good conscience."

"My garbage disposal eats better than most people"

"Riding the subway reminds me why I am pro choice"

"He’s definitely gay. His 'EBITDA' sounds more like 'Ibiza’."

Roose says he is scared that the "thoughtful, socially conscious young analysts" he knows will end up like that. But "if it becomes the kind of antiquated, pitiful event that draws grimaces and eye rolls, maybe’s there’s hope for the New Wall Street after all."

Fat chance. He should read the endless stream tweets I get from college-aged kids in response to something particularly offensive or odious on @GSElevator — along the lines of "This makes me want to work at Goldman Sachs."

In Conclusion ...

Roose might just get a Nobel Prize for his contribution to society by convincing many of our best, brightest, and most ambitious minds not to waste their time and talents on Wall Street.

Young Money should be required reading for any college student pursuing a career in finance, and especially for any student who is thinking about a career on Wall Street because they aren’t sure what they really want to do.

I’m with Kevin; go out west and enjoy the cache of Silicon Valley. Forget about your tyrannical psychopathic boss on Wall Street, and then go work for the next Steve Jobs. (Because, he wasn’t like that at all.)

It’s great to be creative. Just make sure you’re on the right side of the casting couch. Go ahead and join Google or Apple. Just make sure you’re not the guy trapped in a Foxconn compound or the slave digging up Europium.

After all, yesterday's headline of "BofA Said to Boost CEO’s Compensation 17% to $14 Million" was quickly eclipsed by "Facebook Is Buying Messaging App WhatsApp For $19 Billion."

Has Wall Street really changed? Yes, and no ... But we’ll be okay.

That reminds me of a story from the early 2000s. We replaced the contents of a junior colleague’s suitcase with a metal spatula (bent into the shape of a gun) and a mountain of gay porn. It turned out to be quite a nice little surprise for some TSA agent and our unsuspecting associate. But today, in the softer, post-crisis Wall Street era, we’d probably think twice about a stunt like that .... This time around, we’d make sure to use gay, straight, and transgender porn.

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