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New Yorker Gets Out Of Prison After A Decade And Describes The City's Shocking Transformation

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L train hipsters

An NYC native spoke to his friend and New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel and described the sweeping gentrification he found upon being released from prison after 10 years.

Daniel Genis was jailed for robbing people at knife point when he was addicted to heroin. He ended up spending 10 years incarcerated in 12 different prisons.

When he got out, a lot about the city had changed. Genis, who now lives in Brooklyn, notes: "I shaved my beard off to look more presentable for parole, but I’ve got the porkpie hat and my pants are too tight and I wear suspenders. The ugly looks were for looking like a hipster, one of those strange invaders who will soon replace the bodega with something vegan my wife will like."

These gentrifiers have contributed some positive aspects to neighborhoods, but Genis also says they're a "threat ... to the native community."

Genis also noticed that people in New York "really stare at their screens all day."

Many people in prison don't realize how much the culture on the outside has shifted.

"When I said my wife was too hip to own a TV, a fellow muttered 'broke-ass bitch' at me," Genis explained. "The lack of understanding is nearly as destructive as the rising rents."

Brooklyn especially has seen sweeping gentrification over the past couple of decades.

For example, in 1990, median household incomes in Williamsburg ranged from $25,000 to $55,000 in 2012 dollars. By 2012, incomes soared to $87,000 on the waterfront and $53,000 to $80,000 in other parts of north Williamsburg.

Read the whole column at the New York Daily News>

SEE ALSO: The Gentrification Of Williamsburg, Brooklyn In 3 Maps

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Some People Don't Get Bitten By Mosquitoes — Why That's True Will Surprise You

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mosquito

If you can't spend a summer night outside without slapping your ankles — and you still end up with dozens of mosquito bites — then it might be true that the flying pests really do love you.

And those lucky people who say they don't get bitten? They exist too.

But it's not because one person's blood tastes better to the small hovering bloodsuckers — or at least, not just that. In a TED 2014 talk on Wednesday in Vancouver, microbial ecologist Rob Knight explained that the bacteria, or microbes, on skin produce different chemicals, some of which smell more attractive to mosquitoes.

The trillion or so microbes that live on skin are a small percentage of the 100 trillion bacteria that live on and inside the body, but they play a huge role in body odor. Without those bacteria, human sweat wouldn't smell like anything.

However, those different bacteria vary greatly from person to person. Knight explained that while we share 99.9% of DNA with other humans, most people only share about 10% of their microbes.

A siren song for mosquitoes

To demonstrate that mosquitoes are overwhelmingly attracted to certain types of skin microbes, researchers asked 48 adult male volunteers to refrain from alcohol, garlic, spicy food, and showers for two days. The men wore nylon socks for 24 hours to build up a collection of their unique skin microbes.

Researchers then used glass beads that they had rubbed against the underside of the men's feet to pick up their scent as mosquito bait.

Nine men out of the 48 proved to be especially attractive to mosquitoes, while the scents of seven lucky volunteers were largely ignored. The "highly attractive" group had 2.62 times as high a concentration of one common skin microbe, and 3.11 times higher concentration of another common microbe, compared to the "poorly attractive group." That poorly attractive group had a more diverse bacterial colony on their skin as a whole.

Researchers say that it's possible that some people's smell acts a natural deterrent.

But there's an equalizer for those that naturally draw swarms of mosquitoes. The same pests are attracted to beer drinkers.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

SEE ALSO: This Small Patch Could Make You Invisible To Mosquitoes

DON'T MISS: These 40 Science Experts Will Completely Revamp Your Social Media Feed

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Here's How To Make Those Amazing Cookie Shot Glasses At Home

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How to make cookie shot glasses, Karin Lee, Instructables

Cronut creator Dominique Ansel debuted his latest culinary masterpiece— a milk-filled shot glass made out of a chocolate chip cookie — at this year's South by Southwest conference.

The cookie shot had the food world buzzing, as it can not only retain the cold, vanilla-infused milk it holds, but it does so even when served warm.

Because Karin Lee, an actress from Los Angeles, couldn't get them at SXSW or in New York, she hacked Ansel's technique and posted the directions to Instructables.com. With permission, we've reprinted Lee's efforts so you can make Ansel's cookie shot glasses yourself:

1. Make The Dough

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee Instructables

I used Serious Eats' "Best Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe, but bastardized it by adding a half cup of flour and beating the dough longer than recommended, so it would be easier to roll out.

Use whatever dough you want, just make sure it's stiff enough that you can manipulate it a little.

2. Chop The Chocolate

How to make chocolate chip cookie shots, Karin Lee Instructables

Make sure to use mini-chips and/or hand-chopped chocolate. If your chunks are too big, you get weird holes rolling out the dough.

3. Prep The Mold

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

I used a mini popover pan lined with strips of parchment paper for the outside, and wrapped corks in foil for for the center piece.

4. Roll The Dough

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

I used plenty of flour and a pizza cutter to get my lines straight.

My first attempt was wrapping the dough around a shot glass, but I found it more effective to use the centerpiece that would eventually go in during the baking process. And it's much easier to get the parchment paper around before you put it in the pan.

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

Use a real shot glass to make a circle for the bottom of the cookie shot glass, the use the aluminum foil-cork-plug to smash it all together. Straighten out the top edge with your finger if it gets crooked. It won't fix itself while it bakes.

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

I greased some of them and found that (with this pan, at least) it didn't make a difference.

5. Bake The Shot Glasses

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

My preferred temperature setting was basking at 375 F for 10-14 minutes.

I tried the first batch at 350 F and they were meltier and puffier, while the higher temperature made the next batch take their shape more quickly.

The aluminum foil was definitely more effective than the cardboard. On second batches, I filled the cardboard with foil so the cookie wouldn't puff up inside, but the cardboard middles were a lot stickier to pull out.

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

It's best to pull out the centers while they're still warm, before they fully set, just don't burn yourself.

You can see the one that I didn't give a plug to just filled right in. Cookie Shot Glass fail.

6. Glaze The Inside*

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

First, wait until your cookie shotglasses are completely cool before glazing. Here are the two types I tested:

1. A "Confectioners Glaze"— this is what I grew up knowing as "cinnamon roll frosting."

A little powdered sugar, splash of vanilla, and a couple teaspoons of milk. I like to make mine thick — like a thick paint.

2. A variation on Royal Icing— an idea inspired by my days of using Royal Icing to glue together my gingerbread mansion/castle/lighthouse/city, this stuff hardens like glue when it dries.

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

For my little test batch, I used 1 pasteurized egg white, a splash of vanilla, beat it in a mixer until frothy, and added about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar.

I used clean paintbrushes to brush the inside, and also tested the pour-n'-swirl method, which wasn't really as effective since my glazes were fairly thick. I recommend continuing to re-distribute the frostings with the paintbrush as they dry, since they sink to the bottom. You can also let them dry on their sides and roll em around as you see fit.

For each different glaze, I tested one single coat vs. two coats.

I tested one unheated test a couple hours after applying a glaze to see if it was holding at all — and seemed to work pretty well. I painted a few more, and let them sit overnight.

Reheat And Pour

How to make cookie shot glass, Karin Lee, Instructables

In the morning, they were dry. I reheated one of each type in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes, and then added milk. The confectioner's glaze worked great for both the single and double coats, but the royal icing was not a success (which makes sense, now that I think about it).

*Editor's note: Dominique Ansel lines the inside of his cookie shot glasses with chocolate, but a Serious Eats article notes that he also uses a glaze to make the cookie stand up better to the milk.

DON'T MISS: 12 Baking Hacks That Will Seriously Improve Your Cookies

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Here's More Proof That The San Francisco Real Estate Market Has Exploded In The Last Decade [MAP]

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There's been a lot of talk about soaring rents in San Francisco, and, according to a map compiled by real estate listing site PropertyShark, the home sale market is just as hot. 

PropertyShark did an in-depth analysis of home sales in San Francisco over the last 10 years. Using data from the San Francisco City Recorder's office, they looked at every home that was sold in the years 2003 and 2013, then compared the median sale prices, adjusting the 2003 prices for inflation.

What they found from comparing the more than 6,000 transactions completed in San Francisco in 2003, and the 8,000 done in 2013, was that prices are indeed on the rise in most parts of the city.  

"We'd seen other articles written about rent where things were soaring," PropertyShark spokesperson Nancy Jorisch said to Business Insider. "We thought it was interesting that sales were mirroring the same areas that are soaring in rent. When you map it all and color it, you see the center of the city is bright red just like the rents are showing." propertyshark sf A close-up look at the map shows that the neighborhoods we've been hearing a lot about — SoMa, the Mission — were indeed the areas of San Francisco that saw the biggest rise in home prices over the last decade. These neighborhoods are trendy with the tech community and have been the stage for much of the Google bus controversy.propertyshark sfRitzy Noe Valley and the primarily residential Westwood Park neighborhood were other areas showing a huge jump in sale prices. propertyshark sf"It's a very hot, hot market, and this really underscores everything else everyone is talking about in San Francisco," Jorisch said. "Whether it's the rental market or sales market, there's not much available in San Francisco, and if you're intending to live there, it's costly. It's the best example of supply and demand out there." 

Last month we featured a map from Zumper that analyzed rent prices in different San Francisco neighborhoods. As you can see in the map below, the areas with the greatest rise in home sale prices also had the highest rise in rents.zumper sf rent changes

SEE ALSO: Here Are Some Troubling Stats About Homeless People Living Right Outside Twitter's Headquarters In San Francisco

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The 3-Minute Yoga Routine To Fire Up Your Mornings

How To Bake Macaron Cookies Like World-Famous Pastry Chef Francois Payard

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payard-macarons-4x3

Francois Payard is undoubtedly one of the best pastry chefs in the world.

The French chef is particularly renowned for his light-as-air, cream-filled macarons, a traditional French sweet that's taken New York City by storm in the last couple of years.

He's also the force behind Macaron Day NYC, which is holding its fifth annual celebration today, March 20. Bakeries around the city will offer free macaron samples, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit City Harvest.

The Chef invited us to the Francois Payard Bakery in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, where he took us through a step-by-step guide on how he makes his world famous macarons.

1.) Here are all the ingredients you need: heavy cream, sugar, corn starch, white chocolate, pumpkin, Chinese five-spice, cinnamon, butter, water, almond flour, confectioner's sugar, egg white. To start on the ganache, add the Chinese five-spice and cinnamon to the heavy cream.



2.) Mix the spices into the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil.



3.) Mix the corn starch and the sugar together, 4.) Once the cream mixture is boiling, pour a little bit of the mixture into the corn starch/sugar, 5.) Mix well making sure there are no lumps, 6.) Pour the corn starch/sugar/cream back into the heavy cream mixture and mix well while cooking further.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






Get Ready To Drink Wine And Beer At Starbucks

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Starbucks is planning to start selling beer and wine at thousands of its stores to boost sales in the evening, Bloomberg reports

The stores that start selling alcohol will also have an expanded food menus in the evenings, including Bacon-Wrapped Dates With Balsamic Glaze, or Parmesan Crusted Chicken Skewers and Truffle Macaroni and Cheese.

The evening menu is already available at two dozen stores in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Portland. 

"We've tested it long enough in enough markets — this is a program that works," Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead told Bloomberg. "As we bring the evening program to stores, there's a meaningful increase in sales during that time of the day."

Here's a sampling of what you can expect to see at your local Starbucks as the program expands:  

SEE ALSO: People Are Devastated That Starbucks Changed One Of Its Most Popular Breakfast Sandwiches

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Here's Where You Can Get Free Macaron Cookies In New York City Today

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Macarons cafe

Today is NYC Macaron Day! Which means you can celebrate with a delicious, free treat.

To honor these petite pastries, bakeries across New York are handing out free samples to customers who mention the holiday.

And if you like what you taste and want to pay for more, a portion of the day’s macaron sales will be donated to City-Harvest, a food rescue organization. 

Macaron Day was started 4 years ago by François Payard, chef and owner of FP Patisserie and François Payard Bakery, and is celebrated in conjunction with Jour du Macaron in Paris. 

Here's a list of macaron shops in NYC where you can nab a complimentary morsel:

Bisous, Ciao. Macarons

101 Stanton Street, New York, NY   

235 Bleecker Street, New York, NY

Bouchon Bakery

10 Columbus Cir #3, New York, NY 

1 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan, NY 

Butterfield Market

1114 Lexington Ave, New York, NY

Chantilly Patisserie:

135 Parkway Rd, Bronxville, NY 

Eclair Bakery:

305 E 53rd St, New York, NY

Epicerie Boulud:

900 Broadway, New York, NY 

FP Patisserie:

1293 3rd Ave, New York, NY 

1 W 59th St, New York, NY 

François Payard Bakery

116 W Houston St, New York, NY 

210 Murray St, New York, NY 

1775 Broadway, New York, NY 

MacarOn Café

161 W 36th St, New York, NY 

625 Madison Ave, New York, NY 

750 3rd Ave, New York, NY 

Macaron Parlour:

560 Columbus Ave, Manhattan, New York, NY 

111 StMarks Place, New York, NY 

Madmac - Madeleines and Macarons:

499 Park Avenue at 59th Street, New York, NY 

Michael Allen International Confectioner:

275 Park Avenue Brooklyn, NY 

Mille-feuille bakery cafe:

552 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 

SPOT DESSERT BAR

13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 

Sugar and Plumm:

377 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 

257 Bleecker St, New York, NY 

SEE ALSO: How To Bake Macaron Cookies Like World-Famous Pastry Chef Francois Payard

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Gorgeous Renderings Show What A New LaGuardia Airport Could Look Like

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LaGuardia Rendering outside

New York City is one of the major transit hubs in the U.S., and yet its airports are dilapidated, old, and inefficient. In fact, New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is so bad that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently called it a "third world country" and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was "unacceptable." 

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is planning to overhaul the New York airport in a $2.4 billion project that is expected to be done by 2021. It's currently accepting bids for proposals to redesign the airport.

Meanwhile, the Global Gateway Alliance, an airport advocacy group, is also commissioning designs from different firms to show what a new, improved LaGuardia could look like. LaGuardia Rendering insideNew renderings from design firm Neoscape, commissioned by the Global Gateway Alliance, show a spacious, airy, light-filled airport that would be one-third larger than the current space, according to the New York Post. The airport would have an all-glass facade and space for a subway—a much-needed way to access the airport.

“This comprehensive vision integrates a modern, efficient and innovative design, including the striking all-glass façade, into LaGuardia’s outdated main terminal," said Joseph Sitt, Founder and Chairman of the Global Gateway Alliance.

Sadly, these renderings will never come to fruition. That's because Neoscape isn't in the running to win the Port Authority's bid to redesign LaGuardia. 

Still, we can dream of what could be. 

SEE ALSO: I Flew Economy Class To Europe, And I Don’t Understand Why People Blow $5,000 To Fly Business Class

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We Went To The Famous 'Power Breakfast' Where Wall Street's Big Shots Spend A Fortune On Eggs And Coffee

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Power Breakfast at the Regency

In the 1970s, New York City was on the decline. Crime was up, graffiti was everywhere, and the city was broke.

To figure out how to solve these problems, then Loews Corporation CEO Bob Tisch invited business leaders for breakfast at the Tisch family's hotel, the Loews Regency.

That's how New York's most famous Power Breakfast was born.

The tradition lives on today with the biggest names in business, finance, and politics dining there each day.

Last year, Loews Regency's entire dining room and lobby were redone to give it a new feel.

We had breakfast there Thursday morning. The updated place has a more modern and sleeker appearance compared to the old red velvet booths. 

You can still expect to pay a fortune for eggs, toast, and coffee, though. That hasn't changed. 

Loews Regency is on Park Avenue and 61st Street. It's near what we like to refer to as Wall Street North, where banks like JPMorgan and UBS are located along with a number of hedge funds and private equity shops.



When you walk in, the dining room is on your left.



The lobby and restaurant were redone in a recent remodeling.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






HOUSE OF THE DAY: Hard Rock Cafe Founder Flips Elvis Presley's LA Mansion For $4.7 Million Profit

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elvis beverly hills home

Just over a year after he bought Elvis Presley's old Beverly Hills mansion for $9.8 million, Hard Rock Cafe founder Peter Morton has flipped the property for a tidy profit, according to real estate blogger The Real Estalker.

The home reportedly sold off-the-market to a corporate entity for $14.5 million. Morton was rumored to be tearing down the historic home, but it seems that those plans never panned out. 

The home, which has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and spans 5,367 square feet, sold to Morton in December 2012 for significantly less than the initial $12.995 million asking price.

The gated property sits on 1.18 acres of land, with stunning views of Los Angeles from the backyard. Morton is a bit of a real estate buff, with another home in Holmby Hills and a mini-compound on Carbon Beach in Malibu.

Welcome to Hillcrest Road.



The house was built in 1958.



About $1.836 million worth of improvements went into the home in 2010, according to the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor website.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






Inside Google's Quirky New Headquarters In Amsterdam, Where Waffles Hang From The Ceiling

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google amsterdam

Google has officially opened their redesigned headquarters in Amsterdam, and the company has not failed to deliver on the quirky aesthetic they've come to be known for. 

Like the other headquarters Google maintains overseas, this office incorporates plenty of local elements into its design. From communal bikes to stroopwafels that hang from the ceiling, this office has many things that are typical of Dutch culture.  

The interior was designed by the Amsterdam-based firm D/DOCK, who say their concept was inspired by the garage where Larry Page and Sergey Brin first started Google. 

Faux brick walls pave the way to the entrance. An emblem on the reception desk is a play on the Dutch royal family's coat of arms, while the bikes are a nod to Amsterdam's cyclist-centric culture.



There's more royal symbolism on this logo.



Here, sliding doors open to an auditorium with exposed ceilings and a 70-person capacity.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
    






NOAA: Yes, Spring Is Coming But It Will Bring Floods And Drought

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After a long and difficult winter — including at least two polar vortexes and extreme California drought — we have been reassured that warmth will come again. For some of us.  

Today is the first day of spring and the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just released its spring weather outlook. It's not all wildflowers and sunny days, though.

The outlook shows persistent drought for states in the southwest, moderate flood warnings for the Midwest, and continued chill from the Northern Rockies to the Great Lakes.

Flood and drought

Brutal winters in much of the U.S. mean more snow pack and still-frozen streams. This results in more water during spring melt runoff and higher flood risks. While no area is at great flood risk this year, minor to moderate warnings were issued to several parts of the U.S. in the map below.

Elevated flood risks have been predicted for the Northern Plains and Midwest.

"The continuation of winter weather," will delay spring flooding until April in New England and the upper Midwest. The intensity will depend on the rate of snow melt and upcoming rainfall.

U.S. Spring Flood Risk Map for 2014

California, experienced one of its warmest and driest winters in the last 120 years. Much of the state, as well as northeastern Nevada, is in the highest category levels of drought. With the unremarkable rainy season behind, drought is expected to continue.

While not as extreme, drought conditions are also in play in the Southwest, lower Pacific Northwest, and areas of the Great Plains. Drought will continue in most of those areas and is predicted to spread into Texas.

In the upper Pacific Northwest and parts of the Midwest drought is predicted to ease over the spring.

Temperatures

As seen in the map below, a greater chance of warmer than usual temperatures will radiate out of California, into the southwest and the northwest. The Northern Rockies to the Great Lakes are likely to see a prolonging of this winter's chilly temperatures.

Unfortunately for the East coast, we'll just have to wait.  The white means that there are equal chances of the temperature being above, below, or near normal. 

Spring Temp Outlook NOAA 2014

Precipitation

Indicators of precipitation for most of the U.S. were weak, so we don't really know what to expect. However, NOAA was able to say that the western states are likely to see below average precipitation and that Hawaii will experience slightly greater than average.

Check out the NOAA Spring Outlook video for more details:

SEE ALSO: These 40 Science Experts Will Completely Revamp Your Social Media Feed

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Scientists Discovered What Makes Someone A Good Dancer

What's The Most Beautiful Word In The English Language?

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dictionary

What's the most beautiful word in the English language? Different people, using various criteria, will give a slew of answers. 

Surveying more than 7,000 English-speakers in 46 countries, the British Council decided on "mother" — an unglamorous word yet one that conveys comfort and the deepness of human relationships. Others on their list include concepts, like "liberty" and "tranquility," or expressions, as in "smile."

But then we have phonoasthetics to consider. Ignoring public opinion, phonoasthetics combines the study of sound and phonology to determine the most pleasing words apart from their meaning. Author J.R.R. Tolkien famously (although not first) claimed "cellar door" wins that title. The cult classic "Donnie Darko" even gave his theory a shout-out. 

Close your eyes (which might help block semantic function) and say it — slowly. Cellar door. Somehow, kind of lovely, right? “I was astonished when someone first showed that by writing 'cellar door' as Selladore, one produces an enchanting proper name," C. S. Lewis wrote in 1963. 

Robert Beard, a former linguistics professor at Bucknell University, also created his own list of beautiful words. Through careful research, he determined 100 English words that people seem to like most though may not use frequently. Some eccentric yet notable words include ailurophileinglenook, and Susquehanna.

While you might consider these words beautiful without knowing what they mean, linguist David Crystal says it's impossible to separate sounds entirely from their meaning. Words with positive connotations, like birds and flowers, naturally make us happy, while darker words, like "peril," instill less positive feelings. 

But even Crystal can't deny some patterns appear based just on sound; humans simply find some sounds more pleasing than others. By analyzing the consonant and vowel sounds that appear in language the most and least frequently, Crystal created certain criteria that compose the most beautiful words. 

David Crystal linguistics

For example, the word "tremulous" fits every category. The word contains more than three syllables, with the stress on the first. It uses "m" and "l" — letters we seem to enjoy pronouncing. It uses other consonants that appear in English with high frequency but eliminates those with low frequency. It also uses only short vowels, articulated in a mid or low position, in the front of the mouth. 

The chart also gives examples of other nice words.

Despite these trends, personal preferences also play into whether "mother" sounds more beautiful than "cellar door," "inglenook," and "tremulous."

Personally, I like "hullabaloo." 

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The Happiest Countries In The World, According To Instagram

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Jetpac, a startup known for their social travel guide app, has analyzed more than 150 million Instagram posts in 6,000 worldwide cities to come up with a ranking of the happiest countries on the globe. 

Jetpac compiled the rankings by coming up with what they call a "smile score" for each country, a measure determined by analyzing how often residents were smiling in Instagram photos. The bigger the smile, the higher the smile score. 

A country's overall smile score was determined by averaging the scores each photo's smile received. 

Latin American countries dominated the list, with the Philippines as the only top-ten country outside of the Americas. Brazil came in first with a smile score of 60.8 out of a possible 100. Here are some great smiles from Brazilian Instagrammers:

The release of Jetpac's data coincides with the UN's International Day of Happiness, which is being celebrated today. 

Here's the complete ranking. Scores are out of 100 points. 

1. Brazil 60.8
2. Nicaragua 59.4
3. Colombia 49.8
4. Bolivia 48.1
5. Costa Rica 47.4
6. Honduras 47.2
7. Venezuela 45.2
8. Philippines 44.8
9. Guatemala 42.0
10. Mexico 40.1
11. Macedonia 40.1
12. Kazakhstan 39.6
13. Panama 39.4
14. El Salvador 36.2
15. Ecuador 35.3
16. Moldova 34.1
17. Netherlands Antilles 34.1
18. South Africa 33.6
19. Romania 33.4
20. Chile 33.4
21. Puerto Rico 33.2
22. Paraguay 32.9
23. Dominican Republic 32.7
24. Iceland 32.0
25. Lebanon 31.0
26. Peru 31.0
27. Uruguay 31.0
28. Laos 30.9
29. Serbia 30.5
30. Luxembourg 30.4
31. Ireland 30.4
32. Argentina 30.0
33. United States 29.7
34. Egypt 29.6
35. Kyrgyzstan 29.4
36. Ukraine 29.3
37. Albania 29.2
38. Angola 29.0
39. Turkey 28.9
40. Russia 27.5
41. Malta 27.4
42. Thailand 27.2
43. Portugal 27.1
44. Israel 26.9
45. Canada 26.7
46. Myanmar 26.5
47. Ghana 26.4
48. Bangladesh 26.2
49. Australia 26.2
50. Nigeria 26.1
51. Uzbekistan 26.0
52. Aruba 25.7
53. Bosnia and Herzegovina 25.6
54. Indonesia 25.5
55. Cyprus 25.3
56. Bahamas 25.2
57. Armenia 25.1
58. Malaysia 24.9
59. Bulgaria 24.7
60. Belgium 24.5
61. Trinidad and Tobago 24.4
62. United Kingdom 24.3
63. Norway 24.2
64. Brunei 24.2
65. Italy 23.8
66. Belarus 23.7
67. New Zealand 23.2
68. Singapore 22.7
69. Greece 22.3
70. Tunisia 22.2
71. Slovakia 22.1
72. Barbados 21.2
73. Azerbaijan 21.1
74. Hungary 20.9
75. France 20.8
76. Iraq 20.6
77. Vietnam 20.4
78. Jamaica 20.0
79. Morocco 20.0
80. Spain 20.0
81. India 19.9
82. Netherlands 19.6
83. Georgia 19.5
84. Finland 19.3
85. Nepal 19.3
86. Virgin Islands, British 19.2
87. Denmark 19.0
88. Kenya 18.8
89. Monaco 18.5
90. Croatia 18.4
91. Tanzania 18.2
92. Jordan 17.9
93. Sri Lanka 17.5
94. Palestine 17.4
95. Pakistan 17.2
96. Switzerland 17.1
97. Lithuania 17.1
98. Austria 16.8
99. Czech Republic 16.5
100. Sweden 16.1
101. Germany 15.6
102. Montenegro 15.5
103. Slovenia 15.5
104. Latvia 15.4
105. Poland 14.8
106. Mauritius 14.7
107. Andorra 14.6
108. Qatar 14.6
109. Estonia 14.4
110. Cambodia 13.5
111. Taiwan 13.4
112. Macao 13.3
113. Oman 13.3
114. Hong Kong 13.2
115. United Arab Emirates 12.9
116. China 12.4
117. Bahrain 11.7
118. Iran 11.7
119. Saudi Arabia 11.6
120. Maldives 9.8
121. Vatican City 9.8
122. Kuwait 9.7
123. South Korea 9.5
124. Japan 4.1

SEE ALSO: These Are The Most Popular Animals On Instagram

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15 Panoramic Photos That Will Change Your View Of The World

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Photographer Randy Scott Slavin first showed off his alternative perspectives on the world— 360-degree panoramas of cityscapes and landscapes — at a jewelry boutique in New York City two years ago. Since then he's been hard at work scouting locations for his second collection of "Alternate Perspectives" photos, which he released this month.

Slavin considers himself a New Aesthetic photographer based on his digital medium. He often "stitches" together hundreds of photos to create the final image.  

He took photos in some of New York City's most iconic locations, like Times Square.TIMES SQUAREHere's a skyward shot in Tribeca.TRIBECAAnd Dumbo and the Manhattan Bridge.DUMBOHe also captured the North Cove Marina near the World Trade Center.NORTH COVEAnd Central Park in autumn.AUTUMN IN CENTRAL PARK

HERNSHEADSlavin traveled upstate to Ulster County, N.Y., following the Hudson River watershed. KAATERSKILL CREEK

MOHONKHe also photographed Miami.MIAMIAnd captured the beaches of Puerto Rico...RINCON...and beyond. Here are a few more works in the series.THE MALL

SANCTUARY

CAMELBACK

THE LAKE

TSUNAMI

SEE ALSO: Two Friends Quit Their New York Jobs To Spend Seven Months Backpacking Across Asia

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MAP: The Cheapest Places To Rent An Apartment In The US

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If you're currently living in a place where the rent is too damn high, we may have just found your next neighborhood.

According to apartment-finding website Apartment Guide, the Florence – Muscle Shoals area of Alabama, home of the University of North Alabama, has the cheapest rent in the country.

Apartment Guide tracked the average cheapest rent price for every apartment community in the U.S. on February 15 and found the median price for each area, meaning it took the price of each apartment community's least expensive floor plan and averaged them for each Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA).

These 10 cities made the list, with median monthly rents for apartments in the areas:

1. Florence – Muscle Shoals, AL ($395)

2. Decatur, AL ($420)

3. Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers, AL/MO ($438)

4. Fort Smith, AR/OK ($460)

5. Statesboro, GA ($468)

6. Springfield, MO ($475)

7. Huntsville, TX ($480)

8. Greenville, NC ($485)

9. Huntsville, AL ($490)

10. [TIE] Johnson City, TN and Wichita, KS ($495)

Hover over the interactive map to see all the regions included in Apartment Guide's results, or visit Apartment Guide for the full report.

You can see where the most expensive places to rent in the U.S. are by clicking here.

SEE ALSO: The Most Expensive Places To Rent An Apartment In The US

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North Korea's Founder Wrote An Anti-American Children's Story — Here Are The Highlights

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kim il-sung kim jong-il

Brainwashing the next generation is a big deal in North Korea, where two former supreme leaders authored propaganda-filled children's books, as uncovered by Sydney University researcher Christopher Richardson.

Kim Jong-il, father of current supreme leader Jong-un, is credited with writing "Boys Wipe Out Bandits," a story about the "redemptive power of ultra-violence," Richardson wrote in "Still Quite Fun To Read: An Introduction to North Korean Children's Literature."

Kim Il-sung, founder of the dynasty, is acknowledged as the author of the anti-American fable "The Butterfly and the Cock," which depicts an angry rooster outwitted by a virtuous butterfly, in an "unsubtle analogy for North Korea’s existential struggle with the United States of America."

As far as Richardson can tell, Jong-un has not yet written a children's book but anticipates a title soon, The Guardian reports.

It's funny until you remember that North Korea is committing human rights violations on par with Nazi Germany, according to a U.N. report that pressed for international action.

Below are screen shots of a recent state television animated adaptation of "The Butterfly and the Cock."

A bunch of butterflies are working to pollinate the world, when all of a sudden ...

butterfly and cock cartoon nkA bully arrives and begins to harass the butterflies. It is about to hurt one of them but stops ...

butterfly and cock cartoon... because another butterfly starts hurling insults and pollen at him.

butterfly and cock cartoonThe angry cock ruins the butterflies' garden by stomping on all the plants.

butterfly and cock cartoonThe heroic butterfly pesters the cock and leads him on a chase ...

butterfly cock cartoon... that ends when the cock stumbles off a cliff ...

Screen Shot 2014 03 20 at 2.13.57 PM... and falls into a pool of water and drowns.

Screen Shot 2014 03 20 at 2.07.31 PM

Everyone celebrates.

butterfly and cock cartoon

Below is the full video:

SEE ALSO: North Korea is as bad as the Nazis, says UN; 'no excuse' for refusing to act

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13 Surprising Things That Are Partly Made From Animal Products

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Guinness pint

People often think they only need to stop eating and wearing animals to go vegan.

But many surprising foods and items contain byproducts you'd never imagine.

We listed 13 of the most shocking ones below.

1. Beer

Guinness contains Isinglass, a chemical found in fish bladders. Isinglass gathers stray yeast cells during the fermenting process and solidifies them into them a mass, which floats to the bottom of the barrel for removal.

2. Perfume

Some scents, especially those that smell like vanilla, list castoreum as an ingredient. Castoreum comes from beavers' castor sacs — a gland located between the animal's pelvis and the base of its tail.

Also used as a flavor, "Fernelli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients" lists the byproduct as an ingredient in frozen dairy, gelatins, puddings, and nonalcoholic beverages.

3. Plastic bags

Many plastics, like commercial shopping bags, contain chemicals often referred to as "slip agents" derived from the stearic acid in animal fat. They essentially prevent the polymers from sticking to metals during manufacturing and clinging to each other afterward. Some bike tires also contain these elements.

4. Downy

Downy, the detergent endorsed by the snuggly child, contains dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride— or a derivative of rendered cattle, sheep, and horse fat mixed with ammonium. This process creates a quaternary ammonium compound, or a quat, which basically coats your clothes in lipids, making them feel soft.

5. Sugar

The refining processes for both white and brown sugar often use bone char, a granular material from animal ashes. It gives sugar its white color.

6. Condoms

Traditionally, condom production has included the addition of casein, a protein found in animal milk, which acts as a lubricant. Some brands, like GLYDE, however, have gone vegan.

7. Nail polish

Shimmery cosmetics, like nail polish or lipstick, contain guanine (sometimes listed as "pearl essence"), one of the four base components of RNA and DNA. Companies obtain it from fish (notably, herring) scales.

8. Crayons

As part of the rendering industry, which disposes of otherwise unused animal waste, the creation of crayons often includes animal fat, according to a 2004 Congressional report.

Paraffin is the main ingredient in the most popular crayons, but not many would expect mammalian byproducts in children's art supplies.

9. Cake mixes

Cake mixes sometimes contain beef fat, according to Ann Byrn's book, The Cake Mix Doctor. Many call for oil or shortening while others just add dehydrated versions of these to minimize the additional ingredients required. Hostess, a confectionery company which recently went under new management, also puts beef fat in their famous cupcakes.

10. Red candy

Red cochineal beetles, when dried and crushed, produce a powder called carmine, used as an all-encompassing dye in red foods like candy, ice cream, and yogurt. Though it previously slipped under the radar as "artificial coloring," the FDA has required manufacturers to explicitly list carmine on food labels since early 2011.

Edible shellac, also known as confectioner's glaze, coats most hard, shiny candy, with the notable exception of M&Ms. It's made from the excretions of female lac bugs (Kerria lacca).

11. Some orange juice

Many companies now supplement orange juice with Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish. Such ingredients are broadly defined as "neutraceuticals," or food-derived additives that are meant to increase consumer health.

12. Bagels

L-cysteine, a chemical in bread products, is made from mostly bird feathers, with some human and hog hair mixed in. While companies can make synthetic L-cys (for short), it's an expensive process. Most of the industrially used chemical is extracted from animals and used in products like bagels and Lunchables, according to Mother Jones.

13. Cigarettes

Hemoglobin derived from pig's blood is — or at least once was— included in some cigarette filters.

SEE ALSO: 7 Foods We Should Be Eating But Aren't

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