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What Makes Women Attractive Depends On How Healthy Their Country Is


mirror beauty narcissism reflection That health and beauty are linked is not in doubt. But it comes as something of a surprise that who is perceived as beautiful depends not only on the health of the person in question but also on the healthiness of the country she lives in.

This, though, is the conclusion of a study just published in Biology Letters by Urszula Marcinkowska of the University of Turku, in Finland, and her colleagues--for Ms Marcinkowska has found that men in healthy countries think women with the most feminine faces are prettiest whereas those in unhealthy ones prefer a more masculine look.

Ms Marcinkowska came to this conclusion by showing nearly 2,000 men from 28 countries various versions of the same female faces, modified to look less or more feminine, and thus to reflect the effects of different levels of oestrogen and testosterone. Oestrogen promotes features, such as large eyes and full lips, that are characteristically feminine. Testosterone promotes masculine features, such as wide faces and strong chins.

As the chart below shows, the correlation is remarkable--and statistical analysis shows it is unconnected with a country’s wealth or its ratio of men to women and thus the amount of choice available to men. The cause, though, is unclear.

Previous studies have shown that women with feminine features are more fertile. A preference for them is thus likely to enhance a man’s reproductive success. Ms Marcinkowska speculates that testosterone-induced behaviours like dominance, which might be expected to correlate with masculine faces even in women (they certainly do in men), help in the competition for resources needed to sustain children once they are born. But why that should be particularly important in an unhealthy country is unclear.

Click here to subscribe to The Economist.

female attractiveness chart

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Vin Diesel Gave A Dubai Princess A Muscle Car After Filming 'Fast & Furious 7'


Dodge Challenger 2014

Based on the images streaming out of Dubai, the cast and crew of "Fast and Furious 7" seems to have truly enjoyed their time filming in the bustling Arab emirate.

To show their appreciation, star Vin Diesel gifted Dubai princess Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with one of the black Dodge Challengers that have become synonymous with his "Dominic Toretto" character, according to Arabian Business 

The princess posted a photo of the car on Instagram. Diesel also included a signed CD, a postcard, and a handwritten note that read, "To my extended family in Dubai, thank you for the love...your friend always."

The princess expressed her gratitude for the gift by posting, "Thank you @vindiesel for this wonderful gift, it was a great pleasure meeting you and your family."

Based on the photo posted, the seemingly stock Challenger features red interior and exterior accents over a black base. The exact technical specifications of the gifted car have not been revealed, however, stock Challengers come available with a 5.7 litre Hemi V-8 pushing out 375 low-revving horsepower; making it the perfect stop light drag racer. 

Here's a closer look at the Dodge Challenger:

Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challenger

SEE ALSO: This Insane 'Dragon Bike' Was Made For A Chinese Client Using 3D Printing

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The Best Street Food In The World


Dining at a high-end restaurant can leave a long lasting impression, but standing on a street corner in Asia while slurping up a hot plate of noodles can be just as memorable — if not more so. 

The Chowtzer Fast Feasts Awards found the most incredible regional foods served in diners, street stalls, and food carts around the world. To compile these awards, local food experts and bloggers nominated their favorite dishes around the world, which were then tested by a tasting team. The awards were sponsored by Coca-Cola.

They determined that the best "fast feast" item in the world is the ceviche at Chez Wong, a small cevicheria inside Chef Javier Wong's home in Lima, Peru.  

Here are the winning dishes:

The Ceviche from Chez Wong in Lima, Peru, took the overall prize:

Ceviche from Chez Wong in Lima Peru

Alaskan King Crab from Dynasty in Vancouver:

Alaskan King Crab from Dynasty in Vancouver

Square slice at Di Fara pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York, USA:

Di Fara Pizza

Falafel from L'as Du Fallafel in Paris, France:

Falafel from L'as du Fallafel in Paris

Pad Thai from Pad Thai Thip in Samai, Bangkok, Thailand:

Pad Thai from Thailand

Hainanese chicken rice from Tian Tian street stall in Singapore:

chicken rice in Singapore

Caribbean roast sandwich from Paseo in Seattle, Washington, USA:

Caribbean Roast sandwich from Paseo, Seattle

Roast goose from Yat Lok in Hong Kong:

Roast goose from Yat Lok, Hong Kong

Fried jam croissant from Albion in London, England:

Fried jam croissant at Albion, London

 Tastiest Dish in Europe: Pide ustu doner from Karadeniz Pide Doner Salonu, in Istanbul, Turkey:

Pide ustu doner kebab from Karadeniz Pide Doner Salonu, Istanbul, Turkey 

Tastiest Dish in North America: Banh Mi from Franks 'n' Dawgs in Chicago, Illinois, USA:

Banh Mi from Franks 'n' Dawgs, Chicago 

Tastiest Dish in Latin America: Mole Poblano from La Casita Poblana in Puebla, Mexico:

Mole Poblano from La Casita Poblana, Puebla, Mexico

 Tastiest Dish in Asia: Stuffed Lechón from Pepita's Kitchen in Manila, Philippines:

Stuffed Lechón pig from Pepita's Kitchen, Manila, Phillipines

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Eat At Noma, The Best Restaurant In The World

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Hollywood Legend Ron Howard Is Selling His Connecticut Mansion For $27.5 Million


ron howard mansion 4x3

Oscar-winning producer, actor, and director Ron Howard and his wife Cheryl have just listed their gorgeous mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut for $27.5 million.

Representing country living at its finest, the private lakefront estate has more than 32 acres of property, including a lake, nature trails, and even a stargazing observatory with a professional-grade Meade telescope.

The main home is a New England estate with six bedrooms, a two-story library, a 14-seat movie theatre, indoor saltwater pool, gym, and yoga studio. There’s also a 2,500-square foot guest house with two bedrooms, an indoor regulation size tennis court, and basketball half court.

The estate is located in the exclusive enclave of Conyers Farm, which straddles Greenwich and the hamlet of Armonk in Westchester, N.Y.

“We moved 3,000 miles away from the hub of Los Angeles, to raise our family here,” Ron Howard said about the property, according to Sotheby's International Realty. “Whether we’re watching films in our theatre, walking the trails throughout our property, star gazing in our observatory, or just relaxing with friends and loved ones by the lake, Cheryl and I feel we’ve accomplished the goals we set when we began work on this place.”

The Howards have owned the estate for 20 years, but have decided to move to a different home now that their children are adults.

Howard is an acclaimed actor, director, and producer, famous for winning an Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture for "A Beautiful Mind," and playing Opie on "The Andy Griffith Show" and Richie Cunningham in "Happy Days."   

Sotheby’s International Realty and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Connecticut and Westchester are both co-brokering the home.

Welcome to Ron Howard's lakefront Connecticut home, which is located in the enclave of Conyers Farm.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

It sits on over 32 acres of land with a lake, nature trails, and extensive gardens.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

The main home has 17,200 square feet of space with lakefront views.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 Surreal Photos From A Pagan Festival In Rural China


Shanxi No.3

In January or February every year, much of the Asian world celebrates the Chinese New Year. That important holiday comes with regional traditions, including the elaborate pagan She Huo festival, celebrated in rural villages in the northwestern Shanxi region.

Villagers dress in elaborate costumes of gods, spirits, and mythical beasts while singing, dancing, and performing to commemorate the 2,500-year-old festival. Chinese photographer Zhang Xiao recently traveled to Shanxi to capture the festival in several cities. He shared some of the photos with us here, and you can check out the rest in his new book, "Shanxi."

The She Huo Festival is a festival dedicated to the gods of earth and fire. "She" literally means "God of Earth" and huo means "God of Fire."Shanxi No.1During the festival, villagers dress in elaborate costumes to represent She and Huo, as well as other spirits and deities. Shanxi No.2Many villagers then participate in a She Huo procession to show off the craftsmanship of their costumes and makeup. Shanxi No.13A person riding a horse leads the procession, followed by a banner, flag holders, performers, and a drum and gong band.Shanxi No.22Villagers have parades as well as performances of drama and martial arts, in which costumed villagers act out myths and ancient stories.Shanxi No.5During the festival, stages are set up in the streets so that villagers can hear singing and dancing everywhere.Shanxi No.24"When I first witnessed the participants line up and then parade around the village, I repeatedly kept asking myself whether I had literally stepped into some kind of surreal wonderland," Zhang said.Shanxi No.75During the festival, villagers set up cone-shaped piles of firewood outside the door of every house. Folk art troupes then perform beside the fire, while homeowners give them treats.Shanxi No.15Every village has its own performing-art troupe.Shanxi No.77The festival used to be very popular in most cities in northwest China, but Zhang says that many city dwellers have begun to lose their traditions. Shanxi No.33

SEE ALSO: These Hipster Hairdressers Are The Face Of Modern China

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Meet The Horse-Racing Tycoons Competing At The Kentucky Derby


Dance with Fate

From the pink polo shirts to the mint juleps and floppy hats, the Kentucky Derby has always been a sporting event for the upper crust.

And no wonder. According to ESPN, top race horses can cost in the low seven-figure range, and training can cost about $150,000 ... a month.

Who can afford these steep prices?

Lets find out. Click through to meet some of the horse tycoons vying to win $2 million at Churchill Downs in the 140th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3.

Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio

Horse: Samraat


Barnes & Noble chairman Leonard Riggio owns My Meadowview Farm, the stable behind Samraat.

Riggio operates almost 3,000 retail stores in total and has served on nearly two dozen not-for-profit boards. His Barnes & Noble stock is reportedly worth more than $350 million.

Racing royalty Susan Magnier

Horse: Pablo Del Monte


Susan Magnier is racing royalty. Her father is famed trainer Vincent O'Brien, and her husband is John Magnier, managing partner of the prestigious thoroughbred breeder Coolmore Stud and worth an estimated $822 million, according to the Sunday Times.

Derrick Smith joined the partnership in 2003 after working in property and currency trading, and Michael Tabor joined horse racing scene in 1995 when he sold his British betting shops and his Thunder won the Kentucky Derby. 

Their partnership has accounted for wins in nearly every "Classic" race in America, Britain, and Australia.

Public Storage founder B. Wayne Hughes

Horse: Medal Count


Spendthrift Farm was purchased in 2004 by billionaire B. Wayne Hughes, the owner of Public Storage and founder of the Parker Hughes Cancer Research Center. 

Hughes, now retired, is worth $2 billion, according to Forbes.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

28 Gorgeous Photos Of The Brazilian Cities That Will Host The World Cup


Tourists riding camels in Natal Brazil

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to hit Brazil this summer as soccer — er, football — fans from all over the world will descend on the country in droves. 

Twelve cities all over Brazil will host a total of 64 matches: Manaus, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Natal, Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre. Each city is the capital of its own state.

These 12 Brazilian cities have constructed new stadiums for the event, and local hoteliers, restaurateurs, and shop-owners are just waiting to welcome soccer fans with open arms. The event is expected to be a boon for the Brazilian economy, as tourists are expected to bring in about $11 billion over the course of the event.

The World Cup will take place from June 12th to July 13th.

Rio de Janeiro is expected to see the most visitors during the World Cup.

The city, which is famous for its iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, will be overwhelmed with tourists from all over the world.

There are almost no hotel rooms left in Rio during the World Cup event. And the few that are available are going for thousands of dollars per night.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Use Our Excel Spreadsheet To Bet On The Kentucky Derby


Kentucky derby woman girl cigar

The 140th Kentucky Derby will be run on May 3, 2014, and already two horses have scratched, leaving just 19 in the field. Currently, California Chrome is the favorite at 5-2. Pablo del Monte and Hopportunity have both been withdrawn from the race.

The fun of the derby is that it brings out all the rank amateur bettors in the nation. I have a friend who places her bets at the last minute, after she's seen which horses have pooped before getting into the gate, for instance. Another acquaintance never bets on gray horses. "Gray don't pay!" is her motto.

This is no way to bet on horses.

I, however, have a horse-betting system that takes the guesswork out of it. Or at least, adds to the fun for those of who can't be bothered to read The Daily Racing Form.

The caveat here is that I know nothing about horses. But I do know that horse racing is really boring unless you have money riding on it. So I decided to approach the Kentucky Derby as if it were a probability problem that could be solved with Excel.

kentucky derby horse normandy invasionHere's how it works.

There are 19 horses in the running Saturday. So at the outset, you have a 1 in 19 chance of picking the winner.

Those are NOT good odds.

Some horses have better chances than others at winning — some might not like longer races, for instance — and the odds adjust on each horse as more bettors place their bets.

But the bottom line is that the derby is a crowded race, random things happen, and in theory any horse can win.

So a sensible investor approaching the derby as if it were a portfolio with different risk levels in it might want to ask, how many horses can I bet on and still come out ahead if any one horse wins? Put another way, can I spread my bets among as many horses as possible and still come out ahead?

The good thing about the derby is that there are a lot of horses running at very long odds. The formulas in my spreadsheet ask, for a $10 bet on each horse, how many horses can I bet on and still be able to win more than the total amount of money I've wagered?

This year, you can bet on nine of the 19 horses at the current odds, and if any of them win you'll come out ahead. That reduces your overall odds to something slightly akin to a 50/50 coin flip. Much better than 19-1.

Of course, your portfolio will contain NONE of the favorites. In other words, you're betting on all the horses the other bettors think will most likely lose. But you're covering as much of the field as possible. Remember, you only need ONE horse to come in good and Business Insider just paid your mint julep bill for the weekend!

The horses you must bet on are these: Vicar’s in Trouble, Harry’s Holiday, Uncle Sigh, We Miss Artie, General a Rod, Vinceremos, Chitu, Tapiture, and Commanding Curve:

Kentucky Derby

A $10 bet on each one to win will cost you $90. If any of them come first you will win at least $210 and as much as $350. (I've built-in a margin to give the betting a purpose — there's no fun in betting $100 to win $110, for instance.)

The other disclosure here is that I've used the current odds as of 6.54 p.m. on the day before the race. Odds change up to post time, so this is for fun only.

Personally, I use the spreadsheet as an advisor, not a decider. Remember the Edwards Quant Fallacy: There's a difference between good data and applying judgment to good data. So consider picking only three or four horses, some at good odds and some at long odds. That limits your losses but makes your gains interesting. The worst thing that can happen is that you'll add some genuine excitement to a race that is, otherwise, two minutes of chaos.

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Former MIT Blackjack Shark Whose Team Won Millions From Casinos Is Now Investing In Tons Of Startups



When Semyon Dukach was a student at MIT, he ran the best-performing Blackjack team the school has ever had. On a typical weekend, Dukach and his team of 60 students could win up to $150,000 by using a legal, card-counting system they created at MIT. They were so good, the group amassed more than $4 million and were often threatened or banned by casino managers.

"The [casinos] comped us to high heaven at first, then chased us out with occasional threats and faxed our pics around to other places," Dukach said in an early interview with Gambling Planet. "We made a few million over a few years, but it was with a lot of people."

Dukach, who has now invested in and founded a bunch of tech companies, considers that Blackjack team his first startup.

"It was a company, we paid taxes," he tells Business Insider. But in the late 1990s, he became bothered that he wasn't doing anything other than making money.

"Aside from proving I was smarter than a few people across the table from me, and aside from the money I won, I wasn't being productive in society," Dukach says. After a short stint in real estate, Dukach turned his attention to tech companies and took part in the dot-com boom.

His first startup was funded with $50,000 and ended up selling for $35 million in cash and stock in 2000. His second startup failed. He has since founded a few more companies with varying levels of success and failure.

For the past few years, he's enjoyed angel investing. "Startups were more interesting than Blackjack — more fulfilling, and more enjoyable," he recently told BetaBoston's Kyle Alspach. His portfolio includes 75 companies.

Now, he's been named managing director of Techstars in Boston, a prominent startup accelerator program that was founded by David Cohen in Boulder, Colorado. The opportunity came after Dukach found himself investing in a number of Techstars companies.

"As an investor/adviser, you make a small difference,” Dukach told BetaBoston. “But in Techstars, 90 percent of the teams get a big impact.”

"Techstars' primary goal, like it was with my own angel investing, is to help entrepreneurs," Dukach tells Business Insider. "My own personal impact as an angel investor is limited. I don’t spend that much time with any one startup. I’m just one guy. At Techstars, there are over 100 really amazing mentors and high-quality [founders]. The companies are not the same going in to Techstars as they are going out."

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Here's What It Feels Like To Spin The Iconic 'Price Is Right' Wheel




After more than 40 years, "The Price Is Right" remains one of the most consistent institutions of American television.

It’s the longest-running American game show in television history. At this year’s South By Southwest Interactive festival held in Austin, attendees got a chance to spin the iconic wheel, which weighs around 2,000 pounds.

NOW WATCH: 11 Video Games From The 1980s That Are Better Than Games Today

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FLOYD MAYWEATHER: The Outrageous Ways The World's Highest-Paid Athlete Spends His Money


floyd mayweather jr prepares fight

Floyd Mayweather is considered one of the hardest-working, most tactically brilliant boxers of all time.

He's also one of the sport's all-time great characters. He's the highest-paid athlete in the world, and he acts like it.

He'll make $32 million alone for this weekend's fight against Marcos Maidana.

He's one of the only athletes in the world who can afford to travel with stacks of hundred-dollar bills in Ziploc bags, gamble like crazy, and buy more cars than anyone could possibly need.

He has a single bank account with $123 million in it. He's obsessed with cash.

Source: ESPN

He got paid for his last fight against Canelo Alvarez in one $40 million check.

He travels with Ziploc bags of hundreds, and is known for his crazy shopping sprees.

Source: ESPN

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Incredible Panoramas Of The World's Most Beautiful Places


36_242620_ThebestAirPanophotosA small team of Russian photographers have quietly been creating some of the most detailed panoramas in the world

AirPano is made of eight team members, who have wide-ranging backgrounds (civil engineering and medical cybernetics, among others). The amateur photographers are currently traveling around the world, shooting major cities and other sites of interest. 

The group mainly shoots from helicopters, using a specialized rig that holds 3-4 cameras, arranged circularly. They also sometimes shoot from rooftops or use light jets, dirigibles, hot air balloons and radio-controlled helicopters. 

Sergey Semonov, who created a panorama of Manhattan that won first prize at the Epson International Photographic Pano Awards, told The Atlantic why he finds panoramic photography so interesting.

"I like new, progressive and unique things,” Semonov said.

The group has created over 700 panoramas already, which you can check out on their website. We’ve put together a selection of our favorites.

This is the shot of Central Park that won first prize at the Epson International Photographic Pano Awards. It became a mini-sensation earlier this year when it was first published.

All of the Russian photographers are amateurs and run AirPano for fun. For this one, they traveled to Churun-meru (Dragon) fall in Venezuela.

For this panorama of Mount Everest, photographer Ivan Roslyakov traveled to a record height above Everest at 23294 feet.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

13 Apps That Will Get You In Shape For Summer


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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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A New Type Of Fast-Food Restaurant Is Emerging


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 34 Most Beloved Food Joints In College Towns Across America


zingerman's deli university of michigan

Every school has a hole-in-the-wall restaurant where patronage is practically a graduation requirement.

It’s not necessarily pretty to look at, and sometimes the food is subpar, but by senior year you and your buddies have countless memories of reeling out of the bars and heading there for sustenance.

Whether it’s the late-night burrito hut that consistently kept down your PBR, the bagelry with the best hangover cure, or the cookie delivery service that fueled marathon sessions in the library, these restaurants are central to the college experience.

We dug up the best and most beloved food establishments in college towns across America. They're listed alphabetically by city.

AMHERST, MASS.: Wings Over Amherst

181D University Dr.

Popular with: University of Massachusetts – Amherst and Amherst College

There are more than 30 Wings Over franchises scattered on college campuses across America, but none is more near and dear to students' hearts than the flagship location in Amherst. This takeout- and delivery-only chain cooks up wings meaner than ever conjured in Buffalo, N.Y.. Wings come in five degrees of Buffalo-style heat.

One alumna joked that Wings Over is "the reason for my freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior 15. The College 60."

AMES, IOWA: Hickory Park

1404 S. Duff Ave.

Popular with: Iowa State University

Located in the heart of Iowa, where meat and potatoes reign supreme, Hickory Park feeds roughly 14,000 Cyclones and guests each week. Furnished with church pews and antiques collected by the owner through the years, this BBQ joint has a smokehouse out back and an old-fashioned ice cream fountain.

The Saucy Southerner, Hickory Park's rendition of a pulled pork sandwich made with chopped hickory smoked pork, beef, and turkey simmered in BBQ sauce, is practically a graduation requirement.

ANN ARBOR, MICH.: Zingerman's Delicatessen

422 Detroit St.

Popular with: University of Michigan

Co-founded by a UMich alum, Zingerman's opened its doors in 1982 and has since racked up 11,000 followers on Twitter, a visit from President Obama, a feverish cult following, and this praise from celebrity chef Mario Batali: "Ahhhhh, Zingerman's ... my temple of deliciousness."

Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw decided Ann Arbor needed a traditional Jewish deli like the ones they grew up with, and today Zingerman's serves up thousands of made-to-order sandwiches, including its masterpiece, the Reuben.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

BarkBox's NYC Headquarters Are A Dog Lover's Paradise [PHOTOS]


barkbox office

BarkBox's refurbished New York City offices take pet-friendly to a completely new level. 

BarkBox is a startup that delivers monthly packages of dog treats and toys to users. A goodie-stocked kitchen, vertical lounge wall, and multiple breakout areas are just a few of the canine-centric features in the company's new headquarters, located on Canal Street in NYC's Chinatown neighborhood. 

According to Casey Debois, who designed the space for design startup Homepolish, creating a collaborative and natural atmosphere was an important consideration throughout the process. 

"BarkBox's last office was divided into many rooms, so it was important with this one that we shoot for a more open working environment. Not only does this make for a more collaborative space, but it creates a sense of community and made it easy to bring an outdoor feel in," Debois said to Business Insider. "Working at a startup can oftentimes be demanding, so it's important to have spaces for both relaxing and focusing, working and just enjoying yourself." 

The result is a space that's incredibly fun for both Barkbox employees and their canine friends. 

BarkBox's new offices are located on Canal Street in New York City. The office is set up on an open floor plan.

Employees are hard at work.

"Every day there are at the very least 5 dogs in the office. It's such a fun environment," Debois said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The Founder Of Sam Adams Has A Trick For Drinking A Lot Without Getting Drunk


Jim Koch

Jim Koch, the co-founder and chairman of Boston Beer Company, the maker of Samuel Adams, recently did an interview with Esquire magazine.

In it, he revealed his secret to binge drinking without getting totally wasted — which seems like a useful tip for the executive of a beer company who might have to do a lot of taste testing. Or if you want to keep your head on at a work function. 

The secret, Koch told the magazine, is to take active dry yeast (which you can get at the grocery store) before drinking. He suggests taking one teaspoon per drink. Koch mixes it with yogurt to make the powder go down smoother, but you can eat it any way you want. 

How This Is Supposed To Work

The yeasts make an enzyme, called alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs), that works to break down the alcohol before it hits our system. This supplements the natural breakdown of alcohol (about one to two drinks per hour) that our body normally does. The combined effect means that less alcohol reaches your blood and your brain — you don't get as drunk. 

If this works, there could be some downfalls.

Toxic byproducts are created when the ADHs break down the alcohol. This is what causes a hangover the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Since the yeasts add extra ADH into the body, thus creating more toxic byproducts, we are guessing this little trick could make your hangover worse, even if you managed to stay sober.

There's also a risk of getting too much yeast into your system. Since these organisms naturally produce alcohol, overdoing it on the yogurt-yeast concoction could have the opposite effect and make you drunker. In one case, a home brewer turned himself into a alcohol-creating machine whenever he ate too much sugar.

Doubts Are Surfacing

There are already some questions about the effectiveness of Koch's drink-without-getting-drunk method. Our stomachs are a tough place. They secrete all kinds of acidic compounds to break down food. And they naturally push food through our systems, so the yeast wouldn't stay in one place for long. 

Would the yeast even survive in your stomach long enough to keep you sober through an all-night binge?

On a skeptics forum, some people expressed their doubts. "The proposed mechanism of the higher alcohol tolerance is highly implausible," according to commenter Fabian. He cites two papers that have studied how these enzymes act in acidic (low pH) situations.

He explains: 

Inside the stomach the pH is around 1-2, the activity of enzymes is typically strongly dependent on the pH. Outside of their optimal pH range enzymes generally work much slower or not at all.

Yeast ADH has a pH optimum in the neutral to alkaline range, at low pH values it is not active at all. The following two papers looked at the effect of pH on ADH and both observed that ADH was unstable at low pH values

The yogurt may play a role in neutralizing some of the acid in the stomach, enabling the yeast to live on, even in the harsh environment, though even if the pH rises, it's likely a short window during which the alcohol-breakdown enzymes could work. 

Commenter Streblo says: "It takes about 45 minutes for your stomach to drop in pH after eating/drinking. Hence, I would argue there is a short, but plausible window for ADH to be active. Additionally, the ADH may be active in the small intestine rather than the stomach, per se."

Who volunteers to test it out?

SEE ALSO: Asparagus As A Hangover Cure?

THE MORE YOU KNOW: What Alcohol Does To Your Body And Mind

WHY WE LIKE ALCOHOL: An Evolutionary Explanation For Why We're Hard-Wired To Drink

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How 27-Year-Old Tumblr Founder David Karp Spent His Year After The $1.1 Billion Yahoo Acquisition


Tumblr David Karp

On May 20, 2013, Yahoo announced that it'd be buying Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Tumblr's founder, who still owned a large portion of the company, was only 26 years old.

How has David Karp spent his past year?

His Tumblr blog shows a lot of work, a lot of press tours, and a lot of traveling.

Right after the acquisition was announced, Karp celebrated with his investors. Here he is with Spark Capital's Bijan Sabet.

After that, there was a lot of press to tackle.

A lot of key Tumblr executives resigned shortly after the sale. Media Director Mark Coatney left; so did Creative Director Jacob Bijani.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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