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Why Onions Make Us Cry

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Most of us know how annoying chopping a raw onion can be because it usually makes our eyes sting and tear up.

But why does this happen?

A chemist teacher in the United Kingdom created a whole bunch of interesting graphics on his blog Compound Interest that explain the chemistry behind everyday foods.

One of the graphics, posted below, explains why slicing into an onion makes us cry. In short, an enzyme that's released when the onion is chopped breaks down compounds within the onion to form the compound that irritates the eyes and causes them to water. Read more about the specific compound produced in this process below.

The Chemistry of an Onion

Head over to the Compound Interest to see more educational graphics about chemical compounds »

SEE ALSO: What It Would Look Like If Your Banana Came With An Ingredient List

DON'T MISS: The Surprising Truth About How Many Chemicals Are In Everything We Eat

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9 Things You Didn't Know About Dr Pepper

11 Life Hacks For Staying Dry On A Rainy Day

An Incredibly Ambitious Time Capsule Was Sealed 75 Years Ago Today — Here’s What’s Inside

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Westinghouse_Time_Capsule

Seventy-five years ago today, the World's Fair came to New York, and with it came one of the world's first official time capsules. 

Called "Dawn of a New Day," the 1939 Fair adopted a future-focused theme, which would become standard in subsequent World's Fairs.

Electric giant Westinghouse took the theme to heart. The company created one of the most ambitious time capsules ever: a 7 1/2-foot tube, filled with items from the current era, for a part of its display. The capsule will remain sealed until the year 6939 — 5,000 years after its creation — along with its sister capsule made in 1964

Westinghouse Time Capsule

Although not the first to make a time capsule, Westinghouse was one of the first to approach it scientifically, locking items in a non-corrosive and considerably hard metallic alloy called Cupoloy, created especially for the exhibit. The compound was 99.4% copper, 0.5% chromium, and 0.1% silver.

The Westinghouse model might have drawn inspiration from the Crypt of Civilization —  a swimming-pool-sized time capsule sealed until 8113. Its creator, Thornwell Jacobs, started building in 1936, three years before Westinghouse. But he didn't close the room until 1940. 

The contents of the Westinghouse capsule include small, common items, like men's and women's grooming tools and children's toys; various textiles and materials used in manufacturing and technology; miscellaneous items, such as money and seeds; a microfilm essay; and a newsreel. Read the full list here »

The capsule also included a "Book of Record," which outlines its contents and purpose. The book describes the "key to English" to preserve our modern language and also asks that future generations translate it into whatever new tongues the future holds.

Westinghouse chose to bury the capsule in New York City not only because of the fairgrounds but also because the metropolis will likely become a place of interest for future generations, much like Athens, Rome or Troy now. Lowered 50 feet into the ground using a steel tube, the capsule now rests under Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.

Westinghouse Time Capsule

And there it will stay for another 4,925 years — though the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Penn. displays replicas of both the 1939 and 1965 capsules. These pictures from the museum show what the 1939 capsule contains. 

Westinghouse Time Capsule

Westinghouse Time Capsule

Read the full story in this eBook from the Internet Archive.

 

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

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Anthony Bourdain Just Did A Hilarious, Impromptu Q&A On Twitter

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Anthony Bourdain Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Anthony Bourdain was tweeting while waiting for his plane to Shanghai to take off today, and wound up answering some pressing fan questions on Twitter.

It started when the "No Reservations" host complimented the movie "Chef" (coming to theaters May 9), saying that he couldn't think of another Western film that "got the pro-cooking details as right."

His followers began asking what other food documentaries Bourdain loved, and the questions quickly veered away from movies to all-things Bourdain.

He was also asked a few classic foodie questions.

And of course…

You can see the full Q&A session at Bourdain’s Twitter.

SEE ALSO: Anthony Bourdain Ate An Insane 'Foraged' Feast At Noma, The Best Restaurant In The World

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's Life on Facebook!

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A Former Apple Exec Is Selling This Stunning Silicon Valley Compound For $9.5 Million

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ellen hancock house

Longtime tech executive Ellen Hancock is selling her 4,850-square-foot home in Los Altos Hills, Calif., according to Realtor.com.  

Situated on the top of a hill overlooking Silicon Valley, the house has five bedrooms, a custom wine cellar, and sweeping views. 

Hancock spent nearly 30 years at IBM, where she eventually became a senior vice president in charge of network hardware and software. After a brief stint as COO of National Semiconductor, she served as CTO of Apple Computer before a reorganization forced her out of the position in 1997. 

The house sits on one and a half acres of property on a hilltop overlooking Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay.



The house is ultra-private, set behind a gate and lots of leafy trees.



Inside the compound, a large courtyard and two garages provide plenty of space for cars.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






13 Apps That Will Get You In Shape For Summer

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After a long winter that kept many of us inside with Netflix, it's time to get healthy.

Research shows that 40% of a person's actions during the day are habitual: What if you could make your after-work habit running — instead of drinking a beer on the couch?

An app can't change your behavior by itself, but it can make you pay closer attention, helping you develop better habits along the way. Here are the best apps for building healthy habits around fitness, mental wellness, food, and sleep.

Get moving

Zombies, Run!1. Zombies, Run!

Running doesn't just burn calories — it can also help keep you happy. But trying to turn yourself into a runner can be a drag.

Zombies, Run! has a unique approach to getting you through the drudgery: It places you in a zombie apocalypse story as a character.

You have to run to "survive," and you can choose an iTunes playlist to keep you going.

There's even a "chases" mode, which means that every so often your phone will report that a horde of zombies is rapidly approaching and you need to pick up the pace (look out for moving vehicles, strollers, and other obstacles if you do this). The app also tracks your pace and distance covered.

Zombies, Run! for iOS/Android: $3.99 at iTunes and Google Play

Couch-to-5k2. Couch-to-5K

If you aren't a fan of zombie stories and want something a little more straightforward, check out Couch-to-5k.

There are a quite a few different apps out there that are meant to guide you through your first 5k, but this one is the official app for coolrunning.com's program to gradually build up speed and distance for new runners.

In two months, it will take you from no running at all to regular runs of up to 5k (~3 miles). Following a structured program like this is really valuable, as it's easy to injure yourself while getting started if you push yourself too hard.

Couch-to-5k for iOS/Android: $1.99 at iTunes and Google Play

The Walk app

3. The Walk

If walking sounds better than running (some research shows you can get the same benefits), the same developer who created Zombies, Run! recently released a new walking-based story app, called The Walk.

It's another thriller that involves the need to walk the length of the U.K. in order to deliver a package that could save the world. The story begins with a bomb going off in a train station, and then your character needs to start moving.

The app can run in the background and count all the steps you take throughout the day, using a combination of your phone's processor and GPS tracking. (This can drain your battery quickly, so make sure you have a way to keep your phone charged.)

The Walk for iOS/Android: $4.99 at iTunes and Google Play

RunKeeper

Keep moving

4. RunKeeper

After you've started moving regularly, you need something that tracks your workout data consistently — and perhaps lets you share your results with friends.

The popular and free app RunKeeper lets you choose or create different types of workouts, including intervals, warm up, and cool down sessions. You can also set new routes, track your GPS and run statistics, and hook up the device to a heart rate monitor and other fitness sensors.

You can also set goals for yourself within the app, including finishing a race, running a certain distance, or losing weight. And you can compare your results with friends or choose to put your results on private for the day if you aren't feeling competitive.

Runkeeper for iOS/Android: Free at iTunes and Google Play

MapMyRide

5. MapMyRide

MapMyRide is a good choice for anyone getting into a cycling habit — or trying to keep one going.

It tracks your rides and maps your routes so you can measure speed and distance, and allows you to log data online so you can evaluate how you are doing over time. There are even preset route recommendations.

MapMyRide, like RunKeeper, offers ways to share your stats with friends, so you can track your progress and earn bragging rights.

If you want a more complete experience, you can also log what you eat in the app, and track workouts other than biking, including swimming, running, dog walking, and push ups.

MapMyRide for iOS/Android: Free at iTunes and Google Play

Moves App

6. Moves

Maybe you want to push yourself to get moving more, but don't want to begin a specific workout program just yet.

Moves is a perfect solution. It tracks your steps throughout the day, working as a built in pedometer, and also tracks your cycling. That way, you know if you are hitting 10,000 steps or achieving your combined cycling/walking goals.

The best part? You don't have to tell it to do anything, it does these things automatically on its own.

When I tested it out, I didn't even open the app until the end of the day, but it had realized I'd gotten on a bike at one point and accurately calculated the distance I'd traveled.

Moves for iOS/Android for free at iTunes and Google Play

Build muscle

Fitocracy

7. Fitocracy

Fitocracy is a social media network and app that helps you design workouts and then gives you virtual points for completing them, combing elements of social encouragement with game-like rewards (level up!).

Fitocracy is perfect for setting up a gym training program, and it comes with a large selection of possible pre-made workouts, as well as the ability to create your own.

There are also video demonstrations of proper form for a long list of exercises, so you can add new elements to your routine, and see how to do them safely.

The basic version is free, though Fitocracy also recently launched a paid training program.

Sworkit training app

Fitocracy for iOS/Android: Free at iTunes and Google Play

8. Sworkit

Sworkit is another portable guide to workout routines, but with a great benefit for those without a gym membership: all the exercises and routines in the app can be done at home with no equipment.

One of the most appealing aspects of Sworkit is its simplicity. There's no registration required, though you can connect to an online fitness tracker called MyFitnessPal if you like.

Each exercise is illustrated with a simple drawing. You can choose workouts with a different focus — upper body, full body, yoga, cardio, custom, and more, and choose a workout duration between 5 and 60 minutes. Cue up your favorite music before you begin, and then just follow the instructions.

Sworkit for iOS/Android for free at iTunes and Google Play

Train your mind

Stop, Breathe, & Think

9. Stop, Breathe, & Think

Meditation helps calm the mind, and research indicates that it can help with focus, improve memory, and even give a boost to your career.

Stop, Breathe, & Think, by the nonprofit Tools for Peace, is a great free app if you want to give meditation a try. It's got a simple interface and a variety of different guided meditations.

You can also use it to learn some of the basics of meditation, or even have the app select a program for you, based on your mood. To do that, just add up to 5 emotions or physical feelings, and then choose one of the suggested meditations.

Headspace

Stop, Breathe, & Think for iOS: Free at iTunes

10. Headspace

Headspace, created by a former Buddhist monk, is based on the idea that meditating for just 10 minutes a day is something that can make a significant difference in everyone's life. The app's website cites research showing improved impulse control and focus, and reduced susceptibility to anxiety and depression.

Headspace offers 10 free meditation sessions for you to try it out. You can repeat those sessions as frequently as you like, but you'll need the paid version to continue on with new guided sessions.

The 10-minutes-a-day goal is meant to be achievable for anyone, and you can set timers and reminders to make sure you don't miss a session.

Headspace for iOS/Android: Free for 10 sessions but then $7.99 a month if you commit to a year. Download at iTunes and Google Play

Eat right

MyFitnessPal

11. MyFitnessPal

If you are actively trying to lose or gain weight, you'll want to keep track of your caloric intake.

MyFitnessPal is a free app that uses your height and weight to set target goals for your net caloric intake for the day.

You can manually add food and caloric information, scan barcodes for exact calorie counts, or type in a food or beverage to check the database.

It's also easy to add any kind of physical activity, which is then calculated into your net caloric goals for the day.

For example, if you look for running, you can then select a speed and duration, which can be based on how fast and how long you'd been moving before.

MyFitnessPal for iOS/Android: Free at iTunes and Google Play

Stop smoking

Quit It

12. Quit It

Quit It is a free app that has smokers fill in the cost of a pack ($14 in New York), how many cigarettes they smoke a day, and the moment they quit.

Based on when your last cigarette was, it tells you how much money you've saved, how many cigarettes you've skipped, and how much closer you are to health goals like having your lung cancer risk reduced to that of someone who never smoked.

Mashable writer Brian Koerber recently wrote about how this app helped him quit.

Quit It for iOS: Free at iTunes

SleepBot

Rest and recover

13. SleepBot

We've said before that we're big fans of SleepBot, an app that helps you track how much and how well you are sleeping.

It measures the amount of time slept and uses the accelerometer on your phone to check how much you toss and turn during the night.

It features what's called a smart alarm, which uses the accelerometer in your phone to gauge what phase of sleep you are in, and then tries to wake you up at the lightest point of your sleep. Waking up when you are lightly sleeping means a less groggy start to the day, avoiding that disturbing feeling of being jolted awake by an alarm when you are fast asleep.

Tracking sleep doesn't necessarily make you sleep better, but a better understanding of your sleep patterns is a good place to start, and can encourage you to take other steps to sleep better.

Sleepbot for iOS/Android: Free at iTunes and Google Play

Did we leave out your favorite health app? Let us know in the comments.

SEE ALSO: 11 Scientifically Proven Reasons You Should Go Outside

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2 UPenn Cooks Are Starting A Food Truck To Help At-Risk Kids In West Philly

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Troy and Kareem

West Philly natives Troy Harris and Kareem Wallace say they are witnessing a vicious cycle in their neighborhood: Young kids drop out of school and turn to drugs and violence. Those who do finish, often leave and don't return or give back to their community, Harris told Business Insider.

Harris and Wallace, who have each spent more than nine years cooking at the University of Pennsylvania's Hillel dining hall, decided to stop this cycle and create a better solution for the youth in their neighborhood.

The two decided to take the skills they've learned in the kitchen and start a vegetarian food truck in West Philly to employ local, at-risk kids. The truck, called Grassroots, will "let them know they can get a job; [that] other people out there care," Harris explained. He said he wants them to know they "don't have to turn to the guy that's on the corner and look up to him as a role model."

By working for the food truck, West Philly kids will be able to learn useful business skills like cash management, food preparation, and customer service. And they will be able to learn the benefits of hard work.

To get the ball rolling, Harris and Wallace decided to create a Crowdtilt campaign for Grassroots. They're aiming to raise $70,000, which would go toward buying the truck, renting space for a commissary kitchen, getting all the permits and licenses required, and the first few months of operating costs. So far Grassroots has already raised over $29,000, and they have until 1 a.m. May 9 to raise additional funds. Once they hit $41,000, the campaign will "tilt" and they can collect what they raised.

Whether or not they reach their fundraising goal, Harris and Wallace said they would continue to pursue Grassroots. They hope to kick off the food truck this summer, and eventually plan to hire between 10 and 15 kids from the area who will work rotations after school. During school hours, Harris and Wallace will man the truck with the help of some other local adults who are interested in helping out. As of now, the plan is to serve vegetarian and vegan options like paninis and pastas.

Positive that they will be earning a profit in a year or two, Harris and Wallace want to one day form a nonprofit organization called A Few Good Men to give back to the community in other ways, using the profits they make from Grassroots.

"We’re not stopping because this is one thing we want to see be successful," Harris said. "If we don’t get the money from Crowdtilt we’re not going to let it discourage us. We pray it will tilt, but if it doesn’t it’s not going to stop our dreams."

SEE ALSO: 11 Stunning American College Chapels

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The High School Senior Who Got Into All 8 Ivies Is Going To Yale

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Kwasi Enin, the high school student who got into all eight Ivy League schools, is choosing Yale, according to USA Today. 

Enin announced the news today at a press conference in his high school's gym.

The 17-year-old always had Yale in mind because of its strong music program, and he said that after visiting the university last week he said he was "blown away by the music scene." Enin is also interested in studying science, he said in a press conference today.

"I met people who were just like me — diverse in both science and music – and they told me how manageable it is doing both," he said, according to USA Today.

Enin scored a 2250 on his SAT, had taken 11 AP classes, and blew admissions directors away with his sincere essay.

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The Ivy League Schools Ranked From Worst To Best

FOLLOW US! BI Colleges is on Facebook

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7 Ways To Make The Most Of Your 30s

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couple

Your 30s are typically a time of increasing responsibility. Many 30-somethings are busy settling down, raising a family, and building their careers. 

Working to pay a slew of new bills can take over your life and make it harder to be spontaneous. But those who've been there before say that focusing too much on work and money means you'll miss important moments, which you can never get back.

Quora users in their 40s and 50s discussed what they wished they had focused on in their 30s in the thread: "What do you regret not doing in your 30s?"

We've summarized some of the best responses:

1. Prioritize work-life balance.

Is a better job title worth it if you're not actually enjoying your life? Many Quora users write that they felt like they didn't spend enough time with their children in their developmental years, or that they neglected their relationship with their spouse. As Graham Jeffrey writes, "There's no point being driven to the point of being demented if you don't make time to share with others."

Jisun M. offers a quote from renowned author Haruki Murakami: "Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can't buy."

2. Maintain strong personal friendships.

As you get older, you may find that your time is increasingly spent at home or growing your professional network and less and less with your friends. But you shouldn't let those friendships die. "I would gladly give up a big chunk of my net worth to regain a couple of close friends," one anonymous poster says of those he drifted from in his 30s.

3. If you want to start a business, now's the time.

Your 30s are a great time to use your professional experience to pursue an enriching side job, the anonymous poster writes. And when it comes to starting your own business, the earlier you get moving, the better. Maybe that means creating an online business, becoming a landlord, or joining with your spouse or friends to pursue a shared passion.

4. If you want kids, don't wait.

Do not make the mistake of putting off having children because of money, says Barbara Gotsopoulos. No one is ever adequately prepared for the challenge of raising children, and waiting won't help. And if you do wait too long, you may lose the ability to have them. 

5. Focus on your health.

You're not in your 20s anymore, but you're still young! Don't give up working out or yoga just because you have more to do each day than you used to, writes Adam Dehner. The habits you maintain now will pay off in the future. "[A]t 41, I've got a list of physical complaints that might not have come about had I been healthier." 

6. Adjust your budget.

Hopefully you used your 20s to develop a debt-repayment plan for loans and you started saving. It may feel like the money you set aside for retirement won't amount to much as your financial obligations keep increasing, but it will only become harder to save in your 40s, says Brad Porteus, in a related thread on Quora

7. Have fun.

Too many people think maturing means giving up on having a good time. You're not too old to pick up your guitar hobby again or start going to more concerts, says Jeff Miller. Go on dates with your spouse, and play with your kids. Those are the things that matter most of all. 

SEE ALSO: 6 Ways To Boost Your Chances Of Success In Life And Business

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5 Classic Men's Shoes For Work And Play

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Durand Guion, vice president and men's fashion director at Macy's Inc., explains the difference between men's shoe styles and how to get beyond wearing just black or brown.

Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis. Additional camera by Justin Gmoser. Originally published in January 2014.

NOW WATCH: You've Been Rolling Your Shirtsleeves Wrong Your Entire Life

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11 Wonderful Life Lessons From Bob Hoskins

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bob hoskinsWhile British actor Bob Hoskins, who died today after a battle with pneumonia at age 71, is best known to fans for his roles in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa and other films and TV shows, his daughter Rosa remembers him as a loving father with lessons to share.

"I loved him to the ends of the earth, and he loved me back just the same," she just wrote in her blog.

Following his death, Rosa published the following 11 inspiring lessons she learned from her dad, sharing them widely on Twitter. We can all learn from them.

1. Laugh. There’s humor to be found everywhere, even your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about. Laugh long and loud, and make other people laugh. It’s good for you.

(MOREWhat I'll Say About Myself When I Die)

2. Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you, they’re either stupid, blind or they’ve got bad taste. Accept who you are; you’ve got no one else to be. Don’t try to change yourself; there’s no point. Don’t apologize. Don’t make excuses. Be yourself, and if anyone else doesn’t like it, they can f*ck off.

3. Be flamboyant; it’s who you are and always have been. Be eccentric and unique. Don’t try to adapt yourself to someone else’s view of normal. That belongs to them, not you. Like yourself as who you are.

4. Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Everyone’s a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it. Don’t believe your own press. People can just as easily sing your praises as they can tear you down. Don’t waste your time on things you can’t change. Let it slide off you like water off a duck’s back.

5. Get angry; it’s OK to lose your temper now and then. If anger stays in, it turns to poison and makes you bitter and sad. Get angry, say your peace, then let it go.

(MOREHow to Craft Your Memoir)

6. Whatever you do, always give it a good go. Don’t be afraid of failure and disappointment. If you fall flat on your face, then get straight back up. You’ll always regret not trying. Disappointment is temporary, regret is forever.

7. Be generous and kind because you can’t take it with you. When you’ve got something to give, give it without hesitation.

8. Appreciate beauty, take pictures and make memories. Capture it — you never know when it’ll be gone.

9. Don’t take yourself too seriously. People who take themselves too seriously are boring.

10. Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what you're up against. You’re only defeated if you give up, so don’t give up.

11. Love with all your heart. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

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The 6 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Networking

People In Texas Really Don't Want To Leave, While People In Illinois Want To Flee

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Data from a recent Gallup poll shows that people living in Connecticut and Illinois aren't too happy with their environment: Half of residents say that, given the chance, they'd move to a different state.

The states where people want to stay? Texas and Montana come out really well.

Connecticut Illinois Vox map

In Illinois, 50% of respondents want to leave, while only 49% do in Connecticut. Maryland is a close third, with 47% of respondents expressing the same desire. 

But in Montana, Hawaii, and Maine, 23% reported they'd move if the opportunity arose. And only 24% of respondents felt that way in Texas.

state move data

To obtain the data, Gallup conducted at least 600 interviews with people aged 18 and older across the 50 states. The survey asked, "Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?"

And if you consider intention to move, Nevada comes out on top: 20% plan to move in the next 12 months. 

In total, 33% of all people in the U.S. want to move to another state. 

(Via Vox)

SEE ALSO: The Happiest States In America

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Tour The Man-Made Crater That's Been Burning For More Than 40 Years

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Gates of Hell

From the center of the Karakum desert in Asia, a massive crater dubbed the "Door to Hell," has been spewing flames for more than 40 years.  

The ceaseless fire, which can be seen for miles in the distance, is not a natural phenomena. It's the result of a Soviet drilling rig accident in 1971.

Stefan Krasowski, a New York-based business executive who blogs about his worldly travels at Rapid Travel Chai visited the giant underground inferno in 2009.

"Darvaza is a monument to Soviet imperial failure, a roiling wound of failed engineering," Krasowski said. 

The adventurer was kind of enough to share some photos with us.  

The gas crater, dubbed the "Door to Hell" by locals, is located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan. Afghanistan sits to the southeast and Iran to the southwest.



Turkmenistan has the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world, producing about 75 billion cubic meters of gas each year.

Source: Bloomberg 



Soviet geologists accidentally hit the underground pocket of natural gas while drilling in 1971.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






DREAM JOB OPENING: Business Insider Is Hiring Someone To Write About Cars, Planes, And Boats

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pebble beach concours d'elegance 2013 bridge oceanBusiness Insider is the fastest-growing business news site on the Web.

We're looking for a reporter who wants to spend his or her days writing about all things transportation-related. We cover the entire space — from cars and trains to planes, yachts, motorcycles, and even space travel.

Here are the kinds of stories this reporter would cover:

There's no need to have tons of experience writing about transportation to apply for this position. It's more important that this person has a love for cars, planes, trains, and boats, and is a solid writer who's eager to learn.

Interest piqued? Send an email to Lyndsay Hemphill at lhemphill@businessinsider.com with three clips and a resume. Please note: This job requires that you work full-time from our Manhattan headquarters.

Here's some reading on our company and where we're headed and a tour of our new office in the Flatiron district.

SEE MORE: Check Out Business Insider's Transportation Section

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How To Make The Perfect Mint Julep

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mint julep

Mint Juleps are Kentucky Derby tradition — more than 120,000 are served during the two days of races at Churchill Downs.

The sweet cocktails, made with mint and bourbon, date back to the eighteenth century. And they're pretty simple to make.

Rob Samuels, grandson of Maker's Mark founder Bill Samuels Sr., shared his family recipe for a perfect mint julep. Note: for best results, this recipe should be made 24 hours in advance. Serves 4-16.

Ingredients:

1 liter Maker’s Mark bourbon

Lots of fresh spearmint

Distilled water

Granulated sugar

Powdered sugar

Directions: 

  1. To prepare the mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves – wash and place in a small mixing bowl. Cover with 3 ounces of Maker’s Mark.  Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then, gather the leaves in a clean, soap-free piece of cotton cloth and vigorously wring the mint bundle over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.  Then set aside. 

  2. To prepare the simple syrup, mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and one cup of water in a cooking pot.  Heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

  3. To prepare the mint julep mixture, pour 3 ½ cups of Maker’s Mark into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. (Pour the remaining whisky from the liter bottle into another container and save it for another purpose). Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the Maker’s Mark. 

  4. Now, begin adding the mint extract a tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture.  Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You may have to leave the room a time or two to clear your nose. The tendency is to use too much mint.  You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste – generally about 3 tablespoons.

  5. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

  6. To serve the mint julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) half full with shaved ice. Insert a sprig of mint and then pack in more ice to about an inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to one inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep. 

  7. When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice, add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice and serve. 

SEE ALSO: How Maker's Mark Distills Its Beloved Bourbon

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A New Type Of Fast-Food Restaurant Is Emerging

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U.S. Taco - Int1

For years, chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread have dominated the fast-casual restaurant space. 

But now, a new breed of chain restaurant is emerging — one that is a step above traditional fast-casual restaurants but is still more casual than a traditional sit-down. 

Take Taco Bell's new upscale U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Taproom. The concept will open this summer in California with a menu of gourmet tacos and boozy milkshakes. 

KFC just opened a restaurant called Super Chix in Texas. That menu includes chicken sandwiches with upscale toppings and salads with homemade croutons. 

And Sbarro, the pizza chain of mall food courts, is opening a high-end "Pizza Cucinova" restaurant, which will feature made-to-order pizzas and alcohol. 

The restaurants differ from traditional fast-casual concepts like Chipotle because they offer a sit-down experience, but are still speedy since customers order at the counter. Unlike other fast-casual spots like Panera Bread, the new restaurants will focus on sustainable ingredients and simple menus. 

The concepts are meant to appeal to millennials, who are often wary of the ingredients in traditional fast food restaurants. 

Taco Bell brand manager Jeff Jenkins told QSR Magazine there is a new consumer segment that big brands aren't serving. 

"There are a lot of people who eat Mexican food who don’t come to quick-service restaurants and Taco Bell, and there is an opportunity in the fast-casual arena," he told the magazine. "People are looking for that food experience."

The fancier new concepts could also mean bigger profits for companies. 

"As these chains push upscale and make claims about fresher ingredients and higher quality options, customers will come to expect a lot more to justify the higher price points," Time wrote earlier this year

SEE ALSO: The Best Fast Food In America

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The Internet Is Waiting Patiently For This Giant Whale To Explode

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exploding whale

A few weeks ago an 80-foot-long blue whale carcass washed up in the tiny Newfoundland town of Trout River, after dying when heavy ice broke out in the seas.

The whale is massively bloated — it's currently about double its normal size. The bloat seems to have been caused by methane gas released by the decomposing body.

"The whale is blowing up. It looks as if it's a big balloon from a distance," Trout River's town clerk Emily Butler told CBC news.

It's about to start smelling very bad, too. But local and federal authorities are arguing over who needs to foot the bill for its clean up according to BBC News .

What to do with a dead whale is actually a big question. You can't really move it, as they tend to weigh tons. You can't push it out to sea, since it would pose a risk to passing ships. You could cut it up, but that's one dirty job.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is currently in discussions with a Canadian museum to take ownership of the whale, which "will be used to educate museum visitors," according to Don Bradshaw from Canadian new agency NTV, who has been following the story.

Bradshaw has been tweeting some stunning pictures of the whale carcass.

It's not the first whale to explode or be exploded. Last year a sperm whale exploded when a biologist tried to dissect it.

Historically, one of the first viral internet videos was a news story from 1970 of an exploding whale, when a town used too much dynamite. According to the completely fantastic and hilarious news report:

The humor of the entire situation gave way to a run for survival, as huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere. A parked car over a quarter of a mile from the blast site was the target of one large chunk, the passenger compartment literally smashed. Fortunately no human was hit as badly as the car, however, everyone on the scene was covered in small particles of dead whale.

See the video here, with the explosion (and flying whale bits) at the 1:30 mark:

And now, the Internet is patiently waiting for this whale to explode, or at least it seems that way because of how many times we've seen this link to hasthewhaleexplodedyet.com handed around today.

hasthewhaleexplodedyet.com

SEE ALSO: These Photos Of Mysterious Ocean Creatures Are Creepily Beautiful

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14 Awesome Gifts To Buy For A New Baby

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Giraffe teether with baby Amazon

The season of celebrating parents is upon us with Mother's Day coming up in May and Father's Day in June.

For the new parents in your life, a gift for the baby can be just as much a gift for them.

Whether it's something to help the little ones sleep, stay healthy, or develop their young minds, these gifts are sure to make the whole family happy. 

Sophie the Giraffe is the ultimate teething toy.

Sophie the Giraffe is a phenomenon. The rubber teething toy was first developed in France in 1961, but gained serious traction in the U.S. when celebrities' babies began playing with it. By 2010, Sophie's sales paralleled the country's national birth average

Sophie is made of natural rubber and hand-painted with food paint, ensuring that babies can safely chew on it as much as they want.  

Price: $20



The 4Moms MamaRoo swing is designed to mimic the way a parent cradles a child.

Moms rave about this electronic baby chair that rocks at five different speeds for everything from nap time to play time. The seat is designed to mimic the way a parent cradles a child, including swaying and bouncing motions. It also adjust to different angles. 

The chair produces a slew of nature sounds or has a hookup for your mp3 player at its base, so that parents can play whatever music they want for the babies.

Price: $250



Babies won't be able to pull of their socks with these secure footies.

With all the rolling and crawling a developing baby will do, it's a tough job to find a pair of socks that will stay in place.

Stay with Me decided to re-engineer the whole sock with adjustable Velcro strips that prevent babies from yanking the socks off. The Velcro also allows the socks to be linked together before parents throw them in the wash.

Price:$5.95



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






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