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12 Amazing Airbnb Rentals In Brazil

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brazil airbnb

The World Cup is fast approaching, and anyone planning to head down to Brazil should look into a place to stay, if they haven't already found one.

Renting from sites like Airbnb can be a great alternative to traditional hotels. They allow you to search by location and price point, in addition to offering a taste of local life. 

We've created a list of some of the coolest Brazilian homes you can rent on Airbnb. They each have something amazing to offer, from beach access to gorgeous art. 

As an added bonus, many of these rentals include free, home-cooked breakfasts. 

The World Cup begins in São Paulo on June 12 and ends in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, with matches taking place in 12 cities across the country. Hosts often increase their rates during special events, so prices listed here have been adjusted to reflect the change. 

Lounge by the pool at this resort-like rental in Rio.

This one-bedroom apartment is new, fully furnished, and located near Rio de Janeiro's historical and cultural center. 

Cost: $172/night

Accommodates: 3

Neighborhood: Barra de Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro



Nap in a hammock overlooking Copacabana.

Located in one of Rio's notorious favelas, this rental is a little bit off the beaten track, but it promises an authentic Brazilian experience with breathtaking views. 

Cost: $279/night

Accommodates: 2

Neighborhood: Leme, Rio de Janeiro



Sleep close to the action at this eclectic Rio apartment.

Cosme Velho is at the foot of Corcovado, the mountain where Rio's famous "Cristo Redentor" statue stands. This fun flat will give you easy access to that and other important landmarks. 

Cost: $316/night

Accommodates: 2

Neighborhood: Cosme Velho, Rio de Janeiro



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50 Pictures That Will Make You Fall In Love With Earth All Over Again

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waves

Earth is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind place.

This is something we may forget, except when we're reminded on April 22, Earth Day.

To celebrate the natural world, we've rounded up some of the most beautiful and mesmerizing pictures of our home planet from Reuters.

Hopefully these images make you appreciate Earth and how important it is to continue to protect and preserve our environment. 

Swans swim past changing autumn leaves in Sheffield Park Gardens in southern England.

 



Migrating common cranes fly to their night roost at sunset north of Berlin.

 



The colors of fall can be seen reflected in a waterfall along the Blackberry River in Connecticut.

 



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'Humor Algorithm' Determines America's Funniest Cities

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Jerry Seinfeld Louis CKWhich cities get the most yuks per square mile? 

Dr. Peter McGraw and journalist Joel Warner teamed up with the Humor Research Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder to find out.

Together, they came up with a "humor algorithm" and collected data from America's 50 largest cities about their quality and quantity of "funniness," according to The New York Times.

The researchers factored in statistics like the quality of traveling comedians, number of comedy clubs, visits to funny websites, and number of funny Twitter users.

They also surveyed more than 900 residents and quizzed them on their favorite jokes, movies, and TV shows, how often they saw live comedy shows, their preference for funny friends and lovers, and if they got their news from Comedy Central. They were also asked to describe their city’s sense of humor and tell their favorite joke.

McGraw and Warner just released the book “The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny.”

Here are the 10 funniest big cities in the U.S., according to the researchers.

1. Chicago, IL "The Home of Improv"

Chicago's The Second City is the most popular improv school and theater in the world. Comedic legends like Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Joan Rivers, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, and Stephen Colbert all got their starts there. 

2. Boston, MA "Balancing Brains & Booze"

Bostonians were most likely to attend live comedy shows, and they have plenty of venues to choose from, including Improv Asylum, ImprovBoston, and Nick's Comedy Stop. It's no wonder stand-up greats like Jay Leno, Louis C.K., and Conan O'Brien all hail from the Boston area.

3. Atlanta, GA "Where (Racial) Worlds Collide"

This southern city has the top preference for funny movies. Tyler Perry Studios and comedies like "Smokey and the Bandit" and the recent "Ride Along" are all based in Atlanta. 

4. Washington, D.C. "Politicians & Cynics"

The nation's capital has the top preference for funny television shows. While there are a lot of dramatic shows set at the White House ("House of Cards," anyone?), there's also the popular "Veep" to lighten politics up. 

5. Portland, OR "Quirky, Absurd, & Just Plain Weird"

There's a whole TV show dedicated to the weirdness in the City of Roses. SNL alum Fred Armisen stars in the sketch comedy show, "Portlandia," based in the funky northwestern city. 

6. New York, NY "High Speed & High Stress"

New York is the perfect setting for comedy, especially when it comes to TV. "Seinfeld," "Louie," "Sex and the City," and Funny or Die's "Billy on the Street" all take advantage of the restless city.

7. Los Angeles, CA "Show-Biz Satire"

L.A. is home to The Groundlings, a comedy sketch school that names famous funny people like Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Will Ferrell as alumni.

8. Denver, CO "Laid-back and High ... on Life?"

Their renowned Comedy Works has featured high-profile comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres. 

9. San Fransisco, CA "Liberal Zany Meets Smart Techy"

More of a "prankster" city, San Francisco hosts the St. Stupid's Day Parade by the First Church of the Last Laugh every year on April Fool's Day.

10. Seattle, WA "Young Intellectuals"

Seattle is where romantic comedies seem to flourish. "Say Anything...," "10 Things I Hate About You," "Singles," and of course "Sleepless in Seattle" are all set in the Emerald City. Bonus if you consider "Twilight" a comedy. 

Here are some more of the researchers' findings:50 funniest cities humor code infographic

SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Neighborhoods For Young People

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Bentley Reveals Its First Electric Concept Car

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Bentley electric Hybrid Concept

Come 2017, Bentley will put its first electric car on the market. At the Beijing International Automotive Show this weekend, the ultra-luxury brand revealed a concept car that showcases its "vision of a more powerful and even more efficient future."

While the 2017 plug-in hybrid Bentley will be an SUV, the concept in Beijing is based on the flagship sedan, the Mulsanne. Apart from the copper styling elements ("to highlight the car's electrical veins"), the concept looks just like the Mulsanne, and the photos don't tell us much.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) combine the ability to run on electricity stored in a battery with an internal combustion engine. They usually offer an EV mode range of less than 40 miles, with the capability to drive more than 200 more miles on traditional gas power.

Research shows that customers would be interested, Bentley Sales and Marketing Director Kevin Rose told Business Insider at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The key is making it easy to use, "which is what we're working on," he said at the time.

The automaker say its plug-in hybrid system will generate 25% more power and cut emissions by 70% compared to a conventional Bentley. The concept will be able to drive 31 miles on electric power alone. By 2020, Bentley says, 90% of its models will be available as a plug-in hybrid.


Bentley electric Hybrid Concept

Bentley Hybrid Concept Cabin

SEE ALSO: The 15 Coolest Cars At The New York Auto Show

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9 Wonderful French Expressions That Have No Good English Equivalent

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renoir

English is pretty much the most dynamic language on Earth, having adopted tons of words from practically every other tongue on the globe.

But on there are still a few untucked conceptual or expressive corners it could use some help with.

And while every day English continues to batter its walls, French, which loaned so many words to English 800 years ago, could help plug some of these gaps if we let it. 

So are nine words or concepts that only exist in French.

Saloperie

The act of a jack-ass.

Mise en abyme

This is the word for when you're standing between two mirrors and you see an infinite regression of yourself. It's also commonly used to describe self-referential works in a novel or play.

Trouvaille

Something awesome that was discovered by chance or stumbled upon. 

Décomplexé

Pure, sure of oneself, lacking neurotic hangups or socio-cultural pressures.

Droit a l'oubli

"Right to oblivion." There are now guidelines, signed in 2010, applying to search engines that automatically cache pages on social media — basically, they're not really allowed to. "We don't hate what the Internet stands for — there's a lot of material online that should be kept. But in certain cases, we'd prefer to have the ability to erase them," Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who put together the guidelines (and who just lost hte race for mayor in Paris), said upon signing the guidelines.

Diaboliser

To impugn with bad intentions — to suggest that someone or something is inherently bad. Often used in discussing politics. 

Dépayser

To feel displaced from one's native land or familiar routine.

Déontologie

An informal but widely set of rules for a profession. Also a philosophical concept denoting a set of actions taken out of duty, rather than consequence. 

Laïcité

France's aggressive form of separation between church and state. The country would never allow a voting booth to be placed in a church, for instance, even if it would be the most expedient means of holding an election in a small town. 

SEE ALSO: 9 Extremely Useful Words In Russian

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These Are The Oldest Living Things On Earth

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01_Sussman_Baobab_pafuri_0707_1335_1068px

There are living things on the Earth, both plants and animals, that have survived tens of thousands of years of slow and often violent change in the world. Yet, despite their seeming permanence and immortality, these ancient living things could soon disappear, if humans don't intervene to protect them.

That is the contention of Brooklyn photographer and conceptual artist Rachel Sussman, who has spent a decade finding and documenting the oldest living things in the world.

Beginning with "Year Zero" or the beginning of the current era/AD, Sussman looked backward to find continuously living plants and organisms that are older than 2000 years old. In the process, she has worked with more than 30 scientists to identify a master list of living things that need to be documented before they disappear. The project has seen her travel from the far reaches of Antarctica for a barely documented species of moss to Siberia to document a half-million year-old colony of bacteria — Actinobacteria— that live in the permafrost.

When asked how many of the plants and organisms she documented were in danger, Sussman didn't hesitate.

"All of them," she told Business Insider. "We're past the 11th hour."

In just the last five years, two of the 30 subjects that Sussman documented with her photographs have disappeared, both because of direct human interference. The first was a 13,000-year-old underground baobab forest in Pretoria, South Africa that was bulldozed to make way for a road.

A 3,500 year-old Cypress tree in Orlando, Florida nicknamed "The Senator" was burned down by a woman smoking meth in the hollow of the tree.

Most of the plants are difficult to find. Many are located in harsh environments that are difficult to travel to, while the locations of others are kept secret to protect them from an onslaught of tourists who might not respect the fragility of the aging plants.

Sussman shared some photos from the project with us here, but you can check out the rest in her new book, The Oldest Living Things In The World.

This 9,950-year-old Spruce tree is the oldest single tree in the world. Located on a mountain in Sweden, the tree's root system has stayed alive for so long because it can sprout a new trunk when an old one dies. Sussman calls the tree "a portrait of climate change" because of how it has changed in recent years. For the majority of its lifespan, the tree has appeared in a "shrub formation," but over the last century it has begun to grow directly up like a traditional tree. The new growth seems to have been caused by higher temperatures in the area.

02_Sussman_Spruce_Sweden_1068pxThis 5,500-year-old Antarctic Moss was incredibly hard to find. Researchers had last seen it 25 years prior, but due to the imprecision of navigating the area before GPS, it was ultimately lost. Sussman worked with the Polar Geospatial Center to get satellite maps of the area that helped identify potential locations of the moss. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Expedition, Sussman worked with explorer Peter Hilary to find and identify the illusive moss.04_Sussman_EI_Moss_water_1068px Sussman heard about this 2,000+ year-old llareta in the Atacama Desert, Chile from an internet commenter who had spotted her work on Flickr. The llareta is a dense flowering shrub related to parsley, which lives in extremely high elevations. There are many llaretas over 2,000 years old. They live so long because they grow slowly — only 1.5 centimeters per year — and are adapted to nutritionally-poor environments. 07_Sussman_Llareta_Chile_0308_2B31_1068pxThis 100,000-year-old sea grass meadow is located in a UNESCO-protected waterway between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, near Spain. The Posidonia oceanica meadow is a clonal colony, meaning that plants reproduce asexually from a single ancestor and contain the same genetic material. To view the meadow, Sussman traveled with scientists doing field work in the area.08_Sussman_seagrass_0910_0753_1068pxTo find this 13,000-year-old Eucalyptus tree, Sussman had to find her own way after meeting an Australian researcher in Perth who handed her a branch cutting of a cloned version of the tree. The researcher gave her general directions and told her to find the right specimen by matching leaves on the cutting to those of the tree. Sussman declined to reveal the species name because it might hint too heavily at its location. There are fewer than five left of its kind on Earth.10_Sussman_Eucalyptus_NSW_1211_2233_1068px

SEE ALSO: 50 Pictures That Will Make You Fall In Love With Earth All Over Again

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There's A 'Warby Parker Of Mattresses' That's Shipping Fluffy, King-Size Beds In Boxes As Small As Golf Bags

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casper

Casper is a mattress startup that's made something interesting.

Instead of strapping a new, pricey bed on to the top of your car or in a large moving van, its latex-memory foam beds fold up into a box the size of golf clubs and fit in the back of an average car's trunk. The beds can also be shipped directly to your door nationally and for orders in New York City, Casper says it will deliver a mattress in under two hours.

The mattresses come in six sizes, from Twin all the way up to California King and cost between $500 and $950 with a 10 year warranty. Those prices are about in-line with mainstream mattress makers.

They're 10 inches high with three inches of foam on top, and they don't appear to not have kinks or sagging when unfolded. There is no option for firmness, or softness. You get what you get from Casper. 

Casper has no retail stores. But it's giving customers 40 nights to sleep on a bed. If they don't like it, Casper will come and get it free of charge. 

Another thing to note: Casper doesn't sell box springs, so you have to get that on your own. 

Casper has raised a $1.85 million seed round led by Lerer Ventures with Norwest Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital, Vaizra Investments, Correlation Ventures, Queensbridge Ventures, Cap-Meridia Ventures, Wilson Sonsini and angel investors. The founding team, Philip Krim, Jeff Chapin, Luke Sherwin, Neil Parikh and Gabe Flateman, is comprised of former IDEO designers. IDEO is a prestigious design and consulting firm.

Casper could be a high-demand product for college students or recent graduates who need to fill their apartments affordably for the first time.

How does a California King bed fit into a box and the trunk of a NYC taxi?

Here's the process.

First, the mattress is stuffed into this contraption, which pushes down on it to condense the foam.

casperThen it presses the mattress in on the sides to tighten it up into a rectangle.casper

Here's how it looks when it comes out of the machine:casper

Here it is, being stuffed in the box.casperThe box fits in the trunk of a car or a taxi.casoer

The mattress can even be delivered by a bike boy.Casper_Bike Messenger

The bed arrives at a buyer's door. In NYC, it's delivered in one to two hours.casper bedCasper, being unboxed.Casper

It comes out looking pretty fluffy at 10 inches high .Casper Lifestyle_1

Here's a Casper mattress all done up.casper

And here's a guy laying on his new Casper bed. It appears to be adequately firm.casperYou can also watch the video of Casper's mattresses being stuffed into boxes and shipped, here: 

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19 New Works Of Art That Have The World Buzzing

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Yayoi Kusama, I Who Have Arrived In HeavenA great piece of art can get the world talking, and create a lasting impression that people continue to buzz about for years to come.

We asked art experts, like the folks from Artsy, to select the most talked-about works of art from galleries, auction houses, or art shows within the last year or so.

From paintings to sculptures to bizarre and possibly illegal installations, these 19 works of art had the world buzzing this year.

Actress Tilda Swinton partook in a piece of performance art called "The Maybe," when she slept in a glass box at New York's Museum of Modern Art last March. Swinton would appear at various times and places throughout the museum.

Source: Business Insider, Vulture

Tilda Swinton Slept In A Glass Box At The Museum Of Modern Art »

 



Jay-Z's "Picasso Baby" is a 10-minute music video that should be considered a piece of performance art. Inspired by Marina Abramović's 2010 installation "The Artist Is Present," director Mark Romanek shot over 30 hours of footage showing Jay-Z rapping his song over and over again at Chelsea's Pace Gallery in July. The film premiered on HBO in August, and is now permanently viewable on YouTube.

Source: Vulture, YouTube

 



For 81 days in 2011 controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained by security forces for alleged "tax evasion." His imprisonment became the subject of his latest work, "S.A.C.R.E.D.," which showed how he lived during those 81 days, and was on display at the Venice Biennale in May. It is on display again in Brooklyn, N.Y., until August 10.

Source: Business Insider, NY Daily News

Ai Weiwei spent a grueling 81 days with around-the-clock surveillance »



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






The Most Important Cities In The World

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Big ben and double decker bus in London

London is the most important city in the world for the rich, according to the latest Wealth Report from real estate consulting firm Knight Frank. But it won't hold onto its title for long.

According to the report, New York is set to overtake London as the top city for the wealthy in the next decade. And Asian cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai will also become more important over the next 10 years.

Knight Frank determined its eighth-annual "global cities" ranking based on four factors: economic activity, political power, quality of life, and influence and power. It also took into account each city's population of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (those with $30 million or more in net assets, excluding their primary residence), and responses from an attitude survey of wealth advisors around the world.

"Our results suggest that by 2024 New York should surpass London as its share of the world’s UHNWIs rises and the city becomes increasingly important to Chinese, Russian and even European UHNWIs," the Knight Frank report concludes.

The chart below shows which cities were most important last year and this year, and the forecasted ranking for 2024.

Screen Shot 2014 04 22 at 11.59.35 AM

The report also notes an impending "power struggle" among Asia's top cities. "One of the key differences, however, between Asia and Europe and North America is Asia’s lack of a single dominant city," the report says. "This is why we are now seeing the power struggle ... with Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and even Beijing all contenders for the title of future leading Asian city."

Hong Kong will eventually overtake Singapore because "the dominance of China is unavoidable and Hong Kong’s unofficial role as the portal between its big brother and the rest of the world will ensure the growing dominance of the city over the next decade," Knight Frank concludes.

Knight Frank also identified the five most important cities in each region of the globe, as well as five future "hotspots." Sao Paulo leads the "hotspot" ranking, as its population of ultra-wealthy individuals is set to rise in the next decade.Screen Shot 2014 04 22 at 12.00.59 PM

SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Neighborhoods For Young People

FOLLOW US: Business Insider Is On Instagram

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A Lawyer Has Made Incredible Statues Out Of Legos

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Nathan Sawaya used to be a lawyer, and now he spends all his time with Legos.

Sawaya travels the world showing off his incredible art delicately pieced together in the medium of a child's toy. His latest exhibit has come to New York City.

It's called Art of The Brick at Discovery Times Square.

NOW WATCH: A Chinese Artist Has Done Something Incredible With Paper

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The 20 Best Public High Schools In America

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high school girls on computers

The best public high school in the country is Dallas-area School for the Talented and Gifted, according to a new ranking from U.S. News and World Report.

According to U.S. News, TAG students often conduct research with local universities and are required to complete "a minimum of 11 AP courses" for graduation. TAG was one of two Dallas Independent School District high schools that made the list's top 20.

With just 14 teachers and 240 students — about 80 in each grade — TAG is a comparatively small high school. It is also a diverse student body, with minority students making up 58% of the school and 30% of the students coming from economically disadvantaged households.

To compile their ranking, U.S. News evaluated schools on average student performance relative to others in their state, disadvantaged student performance, and college-readiness performance. Read the full methodology here.

Here are the top 20 public high schools in the country below:

  1. School for the Talented and Gifted — Dallas, Texas
  2. BASIS Scottsdale — Scottsdale, Arizona
  3. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology — Lawrenceville, Georgia
  4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology — Alexandria, Virginia
  5. BASIS Tuscon North — Tucson, Arizona
  6. Pine View School — Osprey, Florida
  7. University High School — Tucson, Arizona
  8. School of Science and Engineering Magnet — Dallas, Texas
  9. International Academy — Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  10. Oxford Academy — Cypress, California
  11. Biotechnology High School — Freehold, New Jersey
  12. Stanton College Preparatory School — Jacksonville, Florida
  13. International Community School — Kirkland, Washington
  14. Maine School of Science & Mathematics — Limestone, Maine
  15. Academy of Aerospace and Engineering — Hartford, Connecticut
  16. Academic Magnet High School — North Charleston, South Carolina
  17. International School — Bellevue, Washington
  18. Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School — Montgomery, Alabama
  19. Design & Architecture Senior High — Miami, Florida
  20. High Technology High School — Lincroft, New Jersey

See the full list at U.S. News and World Report >>

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Public High Schools In New York City

FOLLOW US! Check Out BI Colleges On Facebook

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At $2,000 A Head, The World's New Most Expensive Restaurant Is A Sensory Overload

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sublimotion ibizia interior

The new most expensive restaurant on the planet will soon be opening in Ibiza, Spain.

Debuting this May at the Hard Rock Hotel in Playa d’en Bossa, SubliMotion will seat 12 guests at a time for a 20-course gastro-sensory meal that will cost £1,235 per person, or more than $2,000 a head, according to The Daily Mail.

“What is SubliMotion? It’s hard to explain,” chef Paco Roncero explains in the restaurant’s promotional video. “[It’s] Ibiza, passion, gastronomy. A radically different show you can only experience for yourself.”

It’s certainly radical. The restaurant's walls are a virtual light show, and and moving pictures are projected on the tabletops, including a garden scene with fluttering butterflies and Versailles-style paintings.

sublimotion gif hard rock hotel ibiza

sublimotion gif hard rock hotel ibizaThe decor is controlled by an operator who watches diners and changes the lighting or scene accordingly, to coordinate with a customer’s first bite or the flourishing of a new plate.sublimotion gif hard rock hotel ibiza“The micro environments depend on the cook, who is the ‘emitter,’” explains one of Roncero’s sous chefs in the video. “The ‘receiver’ is the diner, the dish is the ‘message,’ and the setting is the ‘channel.’ All of this is inside the ‘micro environment,’ which is the place where you eat. For example, eating on the beach is not the same as eating in a field.”sublimotion gif hard rock hotel ibizaHow very meta.

Roncero is one of Spain’s most famous chefs, having trained at the now-closed elBulli and earning two Michelin stars for his restaurant La Terraza del Casino in Madrid. The chef and restaurateur currently has five restaurants around the world, not including the upcoming SubliMotion.

You can see the restaurant’s full promotional video below.

Sublimotion Eng from Sublimotion on Vimeo.

SEE ALSO: The 25 Most Expensive Tasting Menus On Earth

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The Best Fast Food In America

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Best Fast Food in America wide graphicAmericans consume fast food in huge quantities. 

From burgers and fries to burritos and pizza, the options are nearly limitless. With all the choices out there, it can be difficult to determine how to spend your hard-earned cash. 

We asked our readers to tell us their preferred chains for different types of foods, and more than 2,200 responded. 

The results show that while chains like Chipotle and Chick-fil-A are thriving, McDonald's is still holding its own. 

Best Fast Food Burger: Wendy's (34%)

Wendy's classic burger—now known as Dave's Hot 'N' Juicy—scored high with Business Insider readers. The chain prides itself on never freezing meat and making each item to order. The burger is topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and condiments. 

Other contenders included Burger King's Whopper (26%), McDonald's Big Mac (24%), White Castle Sliders (6%), and Carl's Jr.'s Famous Star (10%).



Best Pizza: Papa Johns (34%)

It seems that better ingredients do equal better pizza. Despite other chains' attempts to revitalize business with new menu items, Papa John's stuck to basics and won for best pizza. 

Competition, however, was stiff. Pizza Hut came in second place with 31% of votes, while Domino's received 29% of the vote. Little Caesar's only managed to get 6% of votes. 



Best Fries: McDonald's (57%)

No one in the fast food industry has been able to compete with McDonald's french fries. While Wendy's and Burger King have adjusted their recipes for years, McDonald's fries remain a classic. 

Arby's Curly Fries came in a distant second with 17% of the vote. Wendy's received 14%, while Burger King came in at 11%.  



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






I'm No Chef, But Here's How I Made The Perfect Steak At Home

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Doubtfire

I've yet to master the ability to flawlessly cook pasta, so I was skeptical of a product that existed to help me cook steak (and lots of other things) perfectly.

But the product, a sous-vide machine called the "Nomiku," tempted me to try.

Sous-vide is the modernist cooking method of placing vacuum-sealed food into a temperature-controlled water bath. It's a slower process than other ways of cooking, but the end result is perfectly cooked meat, eggs, and fish ... every single time. 

No stove, no boiler, no grill.

But cooking sous-vide has long been the realm of only high-end restaurants or those who could afford the pricey and space-consuming equipment. So, after hacking together their own sous-vide machine in their Lower East Side apartment a few years ago, Lisa Fetterman and her husband Abe wanted to bring this art to the masses.

A week after their wedding, the couple launched a Kickstarter for the Nomiku, a "stunningly designed immersion circulator the size of a hand- blender that clips to the side of any large stock pot to harness the powers of sous vide."

In 2012, it attracted nearly 2,000 backers and raised more than $586,000.  Right now, the device is on the market for $299.95.

I tried out the Nomiku with the intent to cook steak. I'm not a chef, and steak seemed like a daunting dish to prepare in my apartment kitchen. But the Nomiku made it incredibly easy, and I felt like a professional chef as I sat down to eat my perfectly cooked steak.

Here's how I did it.

This is the Nomiku. It weighs a few pounds and needs to be plugged in to work:NomikuPlug it in and clip it onto any large pot you have in your kitchen. This happens to be the only pot I own, which shows how little I cook:Nomiku 2The Nomiku user manual comes with tons of recipes and tips. The important part is to get the temperature set to reflect how you want your food to turn out. Most temperatures are found in the manual, but you can quickly Google search and come up with an answer as well.

For a medium-rare steak, I turned the knob on my Nomiku until the bottom number read 134.6 degrees. The bigger number, on top, changed as the pot of water began to heat.Nomiku 3This is steak I bought at Whole Foods. I used just a third of the cut, because what if I needed three tries to get this right?Nomiku4I don't own a vacuum packer for food (who does?) so I took the advice off the Nomiku website and used these tips to make sure I sealed the steak correctly.

I tossed the piece of steak, a little olive oil, and a smattering of spices into a Ziploc bag and closed it as tightly as possible.

I put it in the pot, which was already whirring. I set the timer on my microwave for two hours. (Yes, you have to make sure you have a little time on your hands. I considered ordering back-up pizza in case I was out of a meal by 9 p.m.)Nomiku 1

Two hours went by. During that time I would go into my kitchen to make sure things looked like they were supposed to look.

Was I really cooking steak in a bag, in a pot of water?

We would soon find out.

This is the steak I ended up with! It looked and tasted great, though my phone's camera didn't do it any justice:

Nomiku 5For the sake of presentation, here's a look at the Nomiku promo, which shows exactly how the steak will look when you take it out of the bag:Nomiku 2

Then you put it on a pan and sear it for 20-25 seconds.

Nomiku SearI was surprised by how good the steak was, considering my expectations were low. Using a Nomiku doesn't take practice or skill, just time; which is why it's so appealing to people, and why I'll be less afraid to use it again. 

If you can turn on a faucet, you can cook the perfect steak with this awesome contraption. 

Click here to learn more about the Nomiku and all of the food it will help you cook to perfection.

SEE ALSO: How To Pick The Perfect Cut Of Beef

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This Ultra-Luxurious Concept Car Could Be The First $200,000 BMW

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BMW Gran Lusso Concept

If there are any BMW drivers out there who feel their $141,000 760LI just isn't big, luxurious or sleek enough, they should take note of the automaker's latest concept car.

At this week's Beijing Auto Show, BMW presented its Vision Future Luxury Concept to the public, rumored to be the basis for the upcoming ultra-premium 9-Series model.

What the production incarnation of the Vision Future Luxury Concept looks like is unknown, but BMW board member Ian Robertson told Reuters this week that there may be a niche for $200,000-to-$400,000 sedans. That's Bentley and Rolls-Royce territory, and a bold move upmarket for BMW.

The Vision Future Luxury Concept, with the aggressive forward-raked shark nose along with BMW's signature kidney grille, is the company's newest derivation of the design theme first presented last year with the Pininfarina V-12 Gran Lusso Coupe. The front fascia is flanked by four of the company's state-of-the-art laser headlights.

The BMW's super-sleek side profile hides its flush-mounted suicide doors that open to reveal the concept's airy interior. According to the automaker, the Vision Future Luxury's carbon-fiber construction allows the car to maintain a high level of structural rigidity while affording the passengers an open and spacious cockpit. 

The Vision Future Luxury Concept comes packed with just about every technological feature in BMW's arsenal. In addition to the laser headlights, the concept's interior will feature the company's "three-dimensional display" technology that will blend the car's multiple-display screen into the car's interior accents, allowing the passengers to feel a greater sense of continuity in dash. 

As interesting as the rest of the off the concept may be, the most fascinating piece of technology may be in its back seats. BMW's Touch Command Tablet allows back-seat passengers to access the Internet and a host of multimedia, as well as the car's navigation and communication features. The tablet will allow passengers to bark out directions to the driver by text message, taking the backseat driver into the digital age. 

Here's a closer look at the new BMW concept:

BMW Gran Lusso

BMW Gran Lusso

BMW Gran Lusso Concept

BMW Gran Lusso

SEE ALSO: This Super-Luxurious Chinese Sedan Just Sold For $800,000

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Surreal Photos Show How Modern Agriculture Looks Nothing Like Traditional Farms

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The Third Day Buchcover

Cutting-edge agriculture combines ancient techniques with innovations and extraordinary scale. The result can look like science fiction.

German photographer Henrik Spohler recently documented agricultural methods including the genetic engineering of plants by scientists in Germany, "gigantic outdoor monocultures in the United States," and farming "under glass and plastic in the Netherlands and Spain" to show "places where man has assumed the role of Creator."

He shared some photos below, and you can see more at his website and in his book "The Third Day."

Scientists grow and measure corn plants at a research facility in Germany.The Third Day 35 Henrik SpohlerShiitake mushrooms grow on compressed sawdust blocks in Germany; they're designed to mimic dead logs.The Third Day 28 Henrik SpohlerAt facilities like this tomato greenhouse in Middenmeer, the Netherlands, scientists have tamed Mother Nature to grow fresh produce any time of year. The Third Day 39 Henrik SpohlerInside the greenhouse, farmers grow rows upon rows of perfectly shaped tomatoes. Whether mass-produced fruit tastes good is another story.The Third Day 7 Henrik SpohlerUp close, you can see several tomato trusses (the fruit-bearing part of the plant) growing from a single plant.The Third Day 6 Henrik SpohlerThe dry, dusty climate in Andalusia, Spain, used to make it a poor place to farm. Then farmers began covering the landscape with greenhouses — and built a $2.8 billion agriculture industry.The Third Day 10 Henrik SpohlerFields in Paso Robles, Calif., may look like the surface of a desolate planet, but they're just fallow. Fields are left ploughed but unseeded to let them regain fertility for a later season.The Third Day 1 Henrik SpohlerIrrigation channels in California transformed an area that used to be covered with dry steppe into one of the most important fruit and vegetable farming regions in North America.The Third Day 46 Henrik SpohlerGrape vines grow in semiarid King City, Calif.The Third Day 2 Henrik SpohlerBefore planting, soil must be chemically treated to rid it of weeds in the seedbed that would compete with the crop for water and nutrients.The Third Day 55 Henrik SpohlerThe soil is covered with plastic mulch to suppress weeds and conserve water. Plants grow through small slits in the sheeting. Plastic mulch has been praised for preventing rotting fruit, but disposal of the sheeting has become an environmental problem.The Third Day 3 Henrik SpohlerHere, soil in California has been tilled and irrigated. Seedlings are beginning to grow.The Third Day 41 Henrik SpohlerAt a vineyard in California, grapes are near the beginning of their growth cycle.The Third Day 4 Henrik SpohlerCactuses grow in perfect uniformity in Borrego Springs, Calif.The Third Day 19 Henrik Spohler

SEE ALSO: Chicago Company Corners The Secret To Growing Vegetables In Dirt

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15 Gorgeous Retro-Future Photos From The 1964 World's Fair

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fair13

Fifty years ago yesterday, the World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, N.Y. The event was a watershed moment for 1960s America, which was still putting the assassination of President Kennedy in the past. Though the Vietnam War and resulting social upheaval were only just getting underway, the fair exhibited the nation's postwar optimism of a bright, technological future. 

Spanning two six-month seasons from April 1964 to October 1965, the fair was full of space-age futurism, newfangled technologies, and more than its share of controversy. 

In honor of the anniversary, we’ve collected these photos from the fair: 

The 1964-1965 fair was the third major World’s Fair to be held in New York City. The theme of the '64 fair was Peace Through Understanding and was symbolized by a 12-story stainless-steel model of the Earth called the Unisphere. It was built by U.S. Steel. fair1Admission to the fair was $2 for adults (those 13 and older), equivalent to about $15 in today’s dollars. Les Poupées de Paris was a wildly popular puppet show at the fair. After a review complained about the risqué nature of the show, tickets sold out for weeks.fair15By the time the fair closed in 1965, 51 million people had attended the exposition. It was well below the projected attendance of 71 million. The New York State Pavilion, designed by Philip Johnson, was a key attraction. Pictured here are the flying-saucer-like observation towers, designed to evoke the Space Age.fair5The fair was the only World’s Fair not to be sanctioned by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE). Despite the fact that New York had hosted the World’s Fair 25 years earlier, a group of New York businessmen led by master urban planner Robert Moses spearheaded the effort for a new fair in the hopes that it would create an economic boom in the city.fair2Moses attempted to gain the approval of the BIE in Paris but was rebuffed because of a number of unorthodox requests that he determined were necessary to make the fair profitable. Moses wanted to charge nations rent for exhibiting at the fair, and wanted the fair to run for two six-month seasons, despite BIE stipulations that only one season was allowed.

After Moses blasted the BIE in the French press, the agency asked that member nations not participate in the New York fair. As a result, many major countries, such as England and France, opted out. Smaller countries took advantage with large exhibits.

This recreation of a Belgian village became one of the highlights after fairgoers went crazy over a couple selling Belgian waffles.fair16The Swiss Sky Ride gave riders panoramic views of the fairgrounds and Manhattan. In the foreground, from left, are the pavilions of the United Arab Republic (a short-lived union between Egypt and Syria), Lebanon, and China. In the background are the anthill-shaped pavilion of Jordan and the multi-arched Moroccan pavilion on the right.fair3Corporations ended up hosting some of the largest and most elaborate exhibits. At the Futurama II exhibit by General Motors, visitors took a ride into the future on individual seats on a track, accompanied by narration. The GM ride included numerous scenes of the near future including a weather station underneath the Antarctic ice shelf where technicians live and predict the weather.Fair9Other scenes included a laser-assisted demolition of a jungle to create a superhighway, and a trip to the moon with lunar crawlers and commuter space ships, shown here.fair11The city-of-the-future scene shows airports in Midtown, high-speed "bus trains," moving sidewalks, and "super-skyscrapers."fair6The General Motors pavilion was massive. In addition to the Futurama ride, the pavilion included exhibitions that showed the variety of research conducted by GM, including home appliances and this experimental car.fair10Chrysler attempted to compete by unveiling what at the time was groundbreaking technology — a turbine-powered car. The Chrysler Turbine Car was called the "jet car" because the engine was similar to one used in a jet. Other parts of the Chrysler exhibition included a massive turbine engine that fairgoers could walk through and a simulated assembly line. Fair14Forty years before the advent of Skype, AT&T's Bell Labs premiered the Picturephone at the fair. Attendees were invited to video-chat with a caller in a special exhibit at Disneyland in California. The product never ended up catching on because of the high price tag and small size of the picture. fair8Nuclear energy was still a crowning achievement of the U.S. at the time. The Atomic Energy Commission's Atomsville, U.S.A., exhibit touted the benefits of nuclear-produced electricity. As the children pedal the bicycles, lights on the panel in front are activated by a generator. The exhibit indicated how long they would have to pedal to equal the energy in 1 pound of uranium fuel: 30 years of nonstop pedaling. fair7The U.S. pavilion was designed with the theme Challenge to Greatness to show what a "free people can compete in a free society." Exhibits included "The Voyage to America," a film tribute to immigrants' journeys to America, "The Great Society," showing U.S. advances in science, the arts, and world peace, and "American Journey," a moving grandstand showing 472 years of American history. fair4The fair closed on Oct. 21, 1965. It was considered a failure, after it failed to meet attendance projections or repay its financial backers their investment. Most of the fair was completely demolished within six months, and the remaining pavilions have slowly succumbed to neglect. Here, the fair is lighted at night.fair12


NOW WATCH: This Former Corporate Lawyer Now Makes Lego Art

 

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This Year Capped The Deadliest 3-Year Period For Sherpas In Everest History

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Sherpa Nepal

A Mount Everest avalanche last week that killed 16 Sherpas — professional Nepalese mountaineers paid to assist recreational climbers — caps off the worst three-year period for Sherpas in Everest history, Outside Magazine reported.

The loss last week was so big that Sherpas have abandoned this year's climbing season. The tragedy has also shed light on the dangers of being a Sherpa even as the climb becomes safer for Westerners.

Outside notes that 4 Sherpas died last year and 3 died the year before. That's in addition to another Sherpa who died earlier this year before last week's avalanche, making the total loss far higher than any other 3-year period.

A Sherpa's job on Mount Everest is statistically more dangerous than America's most treacherous professions by far, according to a chart posted by Outside.

The chart measures annual fatality rates per 100,000 full-time workers in four of America's most dangerous professions: miners in 2000-2010, commercial fishermen in 2000-2010, Alaskan bush pilots in 1990-2009, and U.S. soldiers in the height of the Iraq War during 2003-2007.

Those rates are compared to the mortality rate for Everest Sherpas between 2004 and 2014 and between 2000 and 2010. These are the fatality rates:

  • Miners— 25 deaths
  • Commercial Fishermen — 124 deaths
  • Alaskan bush pilots — 287 deaths
  • U.S. soldiers in Iraq — 335 deaths
  • Everest Sherpas in 2000-2010 — 1,332 deaths
  • Everest Sherpas in 2004-2014 — 4,053 deaths

Of course, there are far fewer Sherpas than, say, miners, so the mortality rate looks much bigger. Still, there have been plenty of reports describing the treacherous nature of the job.

"The world's tallest mountain has become much safer for the average Joe than ever before," Svati Kirsten Narula wrote in The Atlantic. "For the people who live in its shadow, though, and must return to it again and again to earn a living, the risks haven't declined in the same way."

There is significant variation in the causes of deaths among Sherpas and the climbers who hire them, according to The Atlantic. Avalanches cause 46.4% of Sherpa deaths in the Himalayan Mountains, more than any type of mountain accident. In comparison, avalanches account for only 28.8% of deaths among the climbers who hire Sherpas in those mountains. For those climbers, falls are the leading danger, accounting for 39% of their deaths, compared with just 13.8% in the case of Sherpas. Sherpas and climbers also die from exposure, crevasses, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), falling rock and ice, and other dangers.

SEE ALSO: Here's The Sherpas' Side Of The Epic Mount Everest Brawl

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Bagatelle Just Added A $1,000 Sundae To The Menu

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Bagatelle sundae

New York hotspot Bagatelle best known for its over-the-top brunch parties — will start serving a sundae that costs a whopping $1,000 next month. 

The Mauboussin Mega Sundae by Chef Sebastien Chamaret contains homemade vanilla ice cream with macaroonschocolate trufflesDom Perignon Rose sorbet with gold leaveschocolate vodka saucegilded brownies and fresh whipped cream served in an over-sized martini glass.

It also comes with a memento: a black steel and white gold ring from jeweler Mauboussin.

Sounds like the perfect complement to Bagatelle's $22 cheeseburger and $1,000 magnums of rosé.

 

SEE ALSO: At $2,000 A Head, The World's New Most Expensive Restaurant Is A Sensory Overload

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There's A Restaurant In China Where All The Food Is Prepared And Served By Robots

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The Robot Restaurant in China's Heilongjiang Province is a conventional restaurant in every sense, save the glaring exception that the food is prepared and served entirely by an army of 20 robots with just a modicum of human oversight.

The BBC just took a tour to see what it's like. Cabinets are pre-loaded with the necessary raw ingredients, then a human presses the button that corresponds to the dish being prepared, and one of the four chef robots handle the rest. When the preparation is complete, one of the server-bots will take the food to the table. While the patrons eat their robo-fare, a singing robot provides entertainment.

Restaurant owner Liu Hasheng came up with the idea to use robots as a means of cutting down on cost, but don't be fooled into thinking these are cheap devices. While they are certainly more affordable than human labor in the longer term, we learn via Amusing Planet that each of these robots costs between $31,500 and $47,000 up front.

Check out the BBC report below to see them in action.

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