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Refrigerators Are Changing The World


refrigerator, fridge, full, food, beer, fanbridge, office tour, bi, dngHow chilled food is changing lives

Before pooling savings from her extended family to buy a refrigerator, Sheela Naik, who earns $80 a month as a housemaid on the outskirts of Goa, had to shop daily at market stalls and try to cook just the right amount for her household of ten each night.

After serving meat or fish at family get-togethers, she would ask neighbours with fridges to store the leftovers.

"They would help but still make a face," she says. Now she shops weekly at a bigger market and cooks several meals at a time. Her fridge holds leftover carrots, beans and tomatoes, as well as her invalid mother-in-law's medicine. The freezer has half a kilo of mackerel bought at a discount.

Fridges are transforming women's lives in India and other emerging markets, just as they did in developed countries decades ago. They are next on families' wishlists after mobile phones and televisions, usually becoming affordable when household incomes pass around $3,000 a year. Take-up is swifter in places that are urbanising fast.

According to Euromonitor, a research firm, ownership in China has leapt from 24% in 1994 to 88% today, whereas in Peru, which has similar GDP per head but is more rural, it is still only 45%. In India 27% of households own a fridge, a share that Tassos Stassopoulos of AllianceBernstein, a fund manager, thinks could double in less than a decade.

Fridges can be a source of income: SELFINA, a microlender, leases them to women in Tanzania, who can then sell milk and yogurt locally and store produce from nearby farms for wider distribution. They improve health by cutting food contamination and allowing families to add high-protein foods to a diet of grains and vegetables.

In places where fortified cereals are unavailable, the World Health Organisation recommends that toddlers eat food from animal sources daily. Many poor mothers could afford to buy meat relatively often, but cannot find cuts small enough; with fridges they can store larger portions and use only a bit at a time.

White-goods manufacturers are working out how to sell fridges where electricity supply is unreliable. "Power Cut EverCool" models from LG, a Korean firm, have a built-in battery and can stay cool for seven hours without power. Food retailers are gearing up to profit from refrigeration, too.

The poorest owners use fridges to store essentials such as fruit, vegetables and cooking sauces, says Mr Stassopoulos, who has poked around kitchens in a dozen countries. Middle-class people stock sweet, fatty and alcoholic indulgences; the rich add health foods.

That suggests what will sell well in future: beer, chocolate and ice-cream in China; low-fat yogurt and fruit juice in Brazil. Demand for dairy products in India could rise tenfold in a decade, creating a modern dairy industry in the process.

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Steak And Ice Cream Could Be Healthier Than You Think


steak Why everything you heard about fat is wrong.

"Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood," according to the American Heart Association (AHA). "High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke."

So goes the warning from the AHA, the supposed authority on the subject. Governments and doctors wag their fingers to this tune the world over. Gobble too much bacon and butter and you may well die young. But what if that were wrong?

Nina Teicholz, an American journalist, makes just that argument in her compelling new book, "The Big Fat Surprise". The debate is not confined to nutritionists. Warnings about fat have changed how food companies do business, what people eat, and how and how long they live.

Heart disease is the top cause of death not just in America, but around the world. The question is whether saturated fat is truly to blame. Ms Teicholz's book is a gripping read for anyone who has ever tried to eat healthily.

The case against fat would seem simple. Fat contains more calories, per gram, than do carbohydrates. Eating saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, which in turn is thought to bring on cardiovascular problems.

Ms Teicholz dissects this argument slowly. Her book, which includes well over 100 pages of notes and citations, covers decades of nutrition research, including careful explorations of academics' methodology. This is not an obvious page-turner. But it is.

Ms Teicholz describes the early academics who demonised fat and those who have kept up the crusade. Top among them was Ancel Keys, a professor at the University of Minnesota, whose work landed him on the cover of Time magazine in 1961. He provided an answer to why middle-aged men were dropping dead from heart attacks, as well as a solution: eat less fat.

Work by Keys and others propelled the American government's first set of dietary guidelines, in 1980. Cut back on red meat, whole milk and other sources of saturated fat. The few sceptics of this theory were, for decades, marginalised.

But the vilification of fat, argues Ms Teicholz, does not stand up to closer examination. She pokes holes in famous pieces of research--the Framingham heart study, the Seven Countries study, the Los Angeles Veterans Trial, to name a few--describing methodological problems or overlooked results, until the foundations of this nutritional advice look increasingly shaky.

The opinions of academics and governments, as presented, led to real change. Food companies were happy to replace animal fats with less expensive vegetable oils. They have now begun abolishing trans fats from their food products and replacing them with polyunsaturated vegetable oils that, when heated, may be as harmful.

Advice for keeping to a low-fat diet also played directly into food companies' sweet spot of biscuits, cereals and confectionery; when people eat less fat, they are hungry for something else. Indeed, as recently as 1995 the AHA itself recommended snacks of "low-fat cookies, low-fat crackers...hard candy, gum drops, sugar, syrup, honey" and other carbohydrate-laden foods. Americans consumed nearly 25% more carbohydrates in 2000 than they had in 1971.

In the past decade a growing number of studies have questioned the anti-fat orthodoxy. Ms Teicholz's book follows the work of Gary Taubes, a science journalist who has cast doubts on the link between saturated fat and health for well over a decade--and been much disparaged for his pains.

There is increasing evidence that a bigger culprit is most likely insulin, a hormone; insulin levels rise when one eats carbohydrates. Yet even now, with more attention devoted to the dangers posed by sugar, saturated fat remains maligned. "It seems now that what sustains it," argues Ms Teicholz, "is not so much science as generations of bias and habit."

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This Might Be The Reason Women Live Longer Than Men


women smiling

WHY past generations regarded women as the weaker sex is a mystery to anyone who has examined the question objectively, for they are far stronger than men--outliving them in pretty well every society in the world. Partly that is because men are more violent, and their violence is largely directed at other men. But partly it is physiological. Men seem to wear out faster than women do. Yet no one knows why.

Madeleine Beekman of the University of Sydney, Australia, and her colleagues, however, have a hypothesis. As they outline in a paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, they think at least some of the blame lies with subcellular structures called mitochondria (pictured below), which provide the body with its power by burning glucose and using the energy thus released to make ATP, a molecule that is biology's universal fuel.

Mitochondria are intriguing. They are descendants of bacteria that teamed up with the ancestors of animal and plant cells about a billion years ago. As such, they retain their own genes. And this is where the problems start. To avoid fights between genetically different mitochondria in the same cell, most species have arranged for their mitochondria to come from only one parent--usually the mother. This means, as Dr Beekman notes, that a male's mitochondria are stuck in an evolutionary dead end. They cannot evolve in male-specific ways, because no matter how much good they do a male body they inhabit, they will not be passed on to the next generation.

Male and female physiologies are sufficiently similar for this not to be a central problem, but Dr Beekman thinks it may matter at the margins. She observes that one disease, called Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, which is caused by a faulty mitochondrial gene, occurs in only 10% of women whose cellular power-packs include the damaged gene, but in 50% of men whose mitochondria are so encumbered. The gene in question, in other words, is less likely to harm a woman than a man. She then lists a lot of other diseases, including ones far commoner than Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (such as cardiomyopathy, diabetes and several forms of deafness) that sometimes or always have a mitochondrial component, and speculates that some of these, too, may prove to be either more common or more serious in men than in women. As far as her searches of the literature can show, this is not something that has yet been looked into.

Part of the reason for this absence of information may be that few doctors think like evolutionary biologists, so they fail to ask the appropriate questions. Dr Beekman's hypothesis may turn out to be wrong. But it sounds eminently plausible, and certainly worth investigating.

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Marijuana Is More Addictive These Days — Here's Why

How These Women Became Top Brewmasters At One Of The World’s Biggest Beer Companies


Jill Vaughn You may think of the world of beer brewing as an "all-boys club," but it turns out some of America's favorite beers were developed by women.

Jill Vaughn and Rebecca Reid are two of the top brewmasters at Anheuser-Busch, the leading global brewer that manages a portfolio of well over 200 beer brands and employs 150,000 people in 25 countries worldwide.

Thanks to them we have Bud Light Platinum, one of the company's most popular beers — and some of Anheuser-Busch's more recent innovations, including Shock Top and the Straw-Ber-Rita.

Here's an inside look at how Vaughn and Reid found themselves at the top of their field in this traditionally male-dominated industry, and what their daily lives are like brewing some of America's favorite beverages:

Business Insider: Can you tell me about your career paths? What led you to where you are now, as two of the top brewmasters at Anheuser-Busch?

Jill Vaughn: I think most people would be surprised that we both have highly technical degrees. I studied Food Science with an emphasis on microbiology at Ohio State, and Rebecca has a degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University. I don't think either one of us planned to make a living brewing some of the world's best beers. I thought I'd end up working for a large food company developing new products.

Rebecca Reid: I was following a similar path. As a chemical engineering student I found myself at internships with large chemical companies and was really unhappy. It got to the point that I was really questioning what I'd done and if I'd made a mistake with my major.

And then Pete Kraemer, a fifth-generation brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch, came in as a guest lecturer in my class. It never occurred to me that everything I was learning was applicable to making beer — that there was a true science behind the art of brewing. I didn't corner him after class and ask for a job (I'm actually pretty shy), but I knew that I wanted to work at A-B.

JV: For me, everything changed when I saw a notice on our school bulletin board saying there were job opportunities working at one of Anheuser-Busch's breweries. Before my interview I actually went to the library and took out a textbook on the science of brewing to read on the plane. I brought it to my interview, and they were so impressed that I was taking the opportunity so seriously that I got hired. Now I'm the head brewmaster for one of our growing brands, Shock Top.

RR: And my recent roles include leading our Research Pilot Brewery where we develop new, exciting beers for adult consumers. 

BI: Walk us through a typical day at work.

JV: No two days are really the same. We take a very consumer-centric approach to everything we do. Every day really begins and ends with putting the beer drinker first. In our role that means being involved in everything from market research — to see how tastes are changing — to keeping an eye on how chefs around the country are changing their menus, to exploring innovative new ways to make the best beer. We have a highly collaborative culture, and we make a real effort to bring people together to ensure we meet consumer expectations for quality. 

RR: And then we need to taste the beer, too!

At Anheuser-Busch there is a tasting that happens every day at 3 p.m. Brewmasters and highly trained sensory experts in each of our 12 breweries stop at that time to taste beers coming off the line to ensure quality and consistency from our beers, no matter where they were brewed. To some it may seem ceremonial, and to the uninitiated it may sound like we're taking a break. But it's the most meaningful way to test the quality of the beer before it goes out to consumers.

JV: Think of it like we're chefs. The best ones take real pride in what they serve to customers and taste what they are preparing to make sure it's up to their standards. That's what we do each day.  

BI: What are the three things about your job that might surprise people?

JV: There are probably more than three! I guess the number one surprise may be that some of our most senior brewmasters are women. There's a belief that this is a male-dominated industry, and at Anheuser-Busch it's not. I think people may also be interested in the level of commitment we give to ensure a high-level of quality and consistency in every beer we make.

RR: A third thing that surprises many of my friends when we talk about what I do is the amount of science that's involved. Brewing a truly consistent, high-quality beer that is enjoyed all over the country requires real science and engineering. (This is why we have those degrees!)

BI: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about being a brewmaster?

JV: Most folks would be surprised to know how complicated it can be to make a great beer consistently. It is very exciting to see so many people take up home brewing because it is only through brewing that you begin to understand the blend of artistry and science required to make a really good beer.

You need to balance the two and combine a passion for flavor with a command of the science that drives consistency and quality. And at the same time you need to have strong understanding of consumer trends and preferences so you're making beer that people really will enjoy. It's more complicated than you might expect, but really rewarding, too.

BI: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your job?

RR: Being a female brewmaster has had more advantages than challenges for me. As a consumer-centric company being able to bring the female perspective to what we are brewing has been a key advantage. We do represent a little more than half the consumers in the world, after all.

BI: Anything else you find particularly exciting about your job?

JV: People might think we make the same beer every day, but that's not true. We are constantly innovating and experimenting. Basically, if there's an ingredient out there that can be brewed, we likely already have. And when it's really good we do our best to share the experience with our customers. To me there's nothing cooler than making some of best-loved beers in the world, unless of course it's getting the chance to brew one that will become the next beer people will love. That's pretty cool, too. 

Rebecca Reid

SEE ALSO: Sam Adams Billionaire Jim Koch On Leadership, Business Growth, And Beer

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: This Old-Fashioned Tudor In The Hamptons Is Filled With Cool Technology


high tech tudor

Smart homes don't have to look futuristic to be high tech. 

This custom-built Tudor home in the Hamptons just hit the market for $3.25 million. It has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, and more tech features than you would expect just by looking at it. 

Inside, there's a host of smart-home technology, including smart thermostats, a remote security system, and lighting control by HAI. There's also a wireless SONOS sound system that divides the home into three different zones.

The home sits on an acre of land in Southampton.

There are several sitting areas inside. Here's one of the home's four fireplaces.

There's another fireplace in the formal dining room.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How Paying $30,000 Of Consumer Debt Taught This Family To Master Credit Cards


kim parr telluride.JPG

Kim Parr pinpoints the beginning of her debt to when she and her husband Jim built their house in Southwestern Colorado in 2004.

While the house itself was within their budget, the spending opportunities it presented were limitless.

"We had a brand new house and nothing to fill it up with," remembers Parr, an optometrist. Her husband, now a school principal, was a teacher at the time. "We bought a bit of furniture, which was a huge expense, and then things like mountain bikes and skis — we're big outdoor enthusiasts."

And then the spending became second-nature. "We live a rural area, and we like to take trips," Parr continues. "We'd take off for the weekend to Phoenix or Denver or Las Vegas and just put it all on the credit card. When you have a high income and a good credit score, people are throwing credit at you right and left."

Looking back, Parr recalls that piling costs on the cards just seemed normal. "At the time, we had about $70,000 in student loans, a mortgage, car payments, a loan on my optometry practice. We were already so in debt that we had this terrible attitude: 'Eh, what's a little bit more?' We thought as long as we could make the payments, we could buy anything we wanted."

But their acceptance of a life with debt started to change when their daughter was born in 2007. "Having a kid changes the way you think about things," says Parr. "What would happen if I couldn't work? How would I ever pay for college? The wheels started to turn." And when Jim's parents lost their house to foreclosure a few years later, she was spurred into action.

In the spring of 2011, they sat down and added up their total credit card debt: $30,000. "It was a huge shock," Parr recounts. "People ask how we could not have known, but some of the cards were on auto-pay, and we didn't even get statements in the mail. There was some yelling and some tears, but at the end of a few hours we both promised that this was it: This debt was the highest it would ever be, and we're never going there again."

kim parr headshotHow they got out of debt

"The first thing we did was go back and track our expenses over the past few months," Parr says. "We made a budget for the first time ever and cut back our expenses. That saved us a few hundred dollars a month, but we realized that to pay off that much debt, we needed to bring in more income."

Parr, who at the time owned her own optometry practice, was able to add a sixth day of work in her field. "I'm lucky to have a job where I can pick up another day a week and bring in extra income," she says. "Knowing that it didn't have to be forever made it more palatable. And when the balances started going down, it was hard not to want to do more."

Jim continued working full-time as a teacher and studied for his master's degree through an online program at night. While taking on more school costs while chipping away at consumer debt may seem counterintuitive, Parr explains that Jim was not only able to get about $10,000 of financial aid, but also that he finished after their credit card debt was gone, so they were able to pay off his loan before the grace period even ended — therefore paying nothing in interest. His degree helped him secure a job as a school principal, doubling his income.

At the same time, Parr was reading everything she could get her hands on about paying off debt. "I just got online and Googled 'How to pay off huge credit card debt," she remembers. "I took elements from all the financial gurus, like saving an emergency fund first, and paying off debts with smaller balances or higher interest rates and snowballing them into more payments."

About a year into her efforts, Parr started her own blog to document her journey: Eyes On The Dollar. "I thought, I don't know much about blogging or anything about running a website, but I've certainly got a story I can share. Once you put it out there in the world, it's in writing, and there's no going back. It's a huge motivator."

After paying half the balance, Parr made a 0% balance transfer, which allowed her to pay the remaining $15,000 without incurring any interest. While she doesn't recommend balance transfers for everyone — 0% interest is usually an introductory rate, and if you don't have that balance paid off by the time the rate expires, you could get hit with massive interest — they had 12 months to pay off the balance before the interest kicked in, she explains, "and I knew that unless there was a catastrophe, we'd be able to pay it off."

In November 2012, less than two years after resolving to pay off $30,000 of credit card debt, she made her last payment.

kim parr canyon.JPGThe way they live now

Looking back, Parr can pick out one particular feeling: relief. "Sometimes it feels like you're standing in quicksand and won't make any progress," she says, "but just taking action is a relief."

Parr, who also finished paying off their student loans with the sale of her practice, didn't let her experience with consumer debt scare her away from credit cards.

In fact, she and her husband have taken the opposite tack, and have become extremely strategic about how they use their credit. "I've gotten into travel hacking, where you sign up for a card and get miles as a bonus," she explains. "I don't spend extra money to get rewards, but we have to buy groceries, pay the electric bill, pay car insurance — so we put it on the cards and then pay off the balance right away." 

Now that the only debt the family holds is the mortgage on their home and those on the two rental properties they own, Parr is focusing on becoming financially independent, so she and husband can decide when and how they want to work. "The plan was to put all of our money into paying off the mortgages after paying the credit card debt," Parr explains, "but tax-wise, it's smarter to invest that money. We're aggressively putting money in our 401(k)s, and in six or seven years, we should have no debt at all."

"I feel like paying off this debt has shown me that anything is possible," Parr says. "You just have to be mindful of every choice you make. We used to live for the day, but now every financial move we make is geared towards not just today, but, how is this going to affect our future?"

SEE ALSO: How One Woman Paid Off $23,000 Of Debt In 15 Months

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'Dress Pant Sweatpants' Are The Latest Trend In Startup Fashion

14 Habits Of Exceptionally Likable People


the great gatsby

Personal branding through social media may help you build your professional network, but there will never be a replacement for a charismatic personality. 

Napoleon Hill, author of "Think and Grow Rich" — one of the top-selling books of all time — wrote about the habits of the most likable people in his essay "Develop A Pleasing Personality," published in the forthcoming collection "The Science of Success."

He introduced his steps to having a "million-dollar personality" by explaining it was steel magnate Charles M. Schwab's charming demeanor that in the late 19th century elevated him from day laborer to an executive with a $75,000 salary and a frequent million-dollar bonus (astronomical numbers for the time).

Schwab's boss, the legendary industrialist Andrew Carnegie said "the yearly salary was for the work Schwab performed, but the bonus was for what Schwab, with his pleasing personality, could get others to do," Hill writes.

Here are Hill's 14 habits of people who are so likable that others go out of their way to help them:

1. They develop a positive mental attitude and let it be seen and felt by others.

It's often easier to give into cynicism, but those who choose to be positive set themselves up for success and have better reputations.

2. They always speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone.

The best communicators speak deliberately and confidently, which gives their voice a pleasing sound.

3. They pay close attention to someone speaking to them.

Using a conversation as an opportunity to lecture someone "may feed the ego, but it never attracts people or makes friends," Hill says.

4. They are able to maintain their composure in all circumstances.

An overreaction to something either positive or negative can give people a poor impression. In the latter case, says Hill, "Remember that silence may be much more effective than your angry words."

5. They are patient.

"Remember that proper timing of your words and acts may give you a big advantage over impatient people," Hill writes.

6. They keep an open mind.

Those who close themselves off from certain ideas and associate only with like-minded people are missing out on not only personal growth but also opportunities for advancing their careers.

7. They smile when speaking with others.

Hill says that president Franklin D. Roosevelt's greatest asset was his "million-dollar smile," which allowed people to lower their guards during conversation.

8. They know that not all their thoughts need to be expressed.

The most likable people know that it's not worth offending people by expressing all their thoughts, even if they happen to be true.

9. They don't procrastinate.

Procrastination communicates to people that you're afraid of taking action, Hill says, and are therefore ineffective.

10. They engage in at least one good deed a day.

The best networkers help other people out without expecting anything in return.

11. They find a lesson in failure rather than brood over it.

People admire those who grow from failure rather than wallow in it. "Express your gratitude for having gained a measure of wisdom, which would not have come without defeat," Hill says.

12. They act as if the person they are speaking to is the most important person in the world.

The most likable people use conversations as an opportunity to learn about another person and give them time to talk.

13. They praise others in a genuine way without being excessive.

"Praise the good traits of others, but don't rub it on where it is not deserved or spread it too thickly," Hill says.

14. They have someone they trust point out their flaws.

Successful people don't pretend to be likable; they are likable because they care about their conduct and reputation. Having a confidant who can be completely honest with them allows them to continue growing.

NOW WATCH: Psychologists Discovered How To Make People Like You

SEE ALSO: 11 Productivity Hacks From Successful Entrepreneurs

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This Man Used His Epic Beard To Build A Social Media Empire



One photo uploaded to Instagram was all it took for Isaiah Webb to realize he was on to something big.

Sporting a bushy beard and t-shirt on Sep. 10, 2012, Webb posted a snapshot of himself with the caption of "The 'Lorax' beard" along with a number of hashtags.

Just like that, "Incredibeard" was born.

Nearly two years later, most of Webb's 250,000+ social media followers know him only as Incredibeard — a self-proclaimed nickname that describes the wild facial hair designs to be expected from the 30-year-old San Francisco Bay Area native.

He started out slow, building a following organically and not really promoting himself. But it wasn't long before people started noticing and following along for what he and his wife would think of next.

"We got more and more people [following]," Webb told me, adding that he started coming up with a consistent schedule of new designs and photos to accompany them. His small following became huge just a few months later, thanks to Reddit.

"It exploded on Reddit," he said of the images posted to the popular social-sharing website. "And people just found me."

incredibeardWhile Reddit grew his social media following on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, it was a contest put on by Marc Jacobs that did even more. Called "#MJinLA," entrants had to shoot a video showing why they deserve to be a star; and if picked, then contest winners would receive clothes, a trip to Los Angeles, and a photo shoot with renowned celebrity photographer Brian Bowen Smith.

He thought he had no chance, especially when facing beautiful women, popular bloggers, and others. "Who am I?" he thought.

"I was blown away because the president of the company actually hand-picked mine," Webb said.

Flying down to L.A., he said, was the tipping point for turning his beard into an actual business. While there, he spoke with a number of higher-ups with Marc Jacobs and in the fashion industry, giving him the extra push he needed.

It would be the spark for Incredibeard Co., a storefront for t-shirts, tank-tops, and all things beard grooming. 

The Ramen Beard

Shortly after his return home, Webb — who up to this point had thought up all the crazy beard designs himself or with the help of his wife — asked his fans what to do next.

A fan's suggestion on Facebook was a bowl with chopsticks in it. "I was like, 'I'll do you one better, I'll put something in that bowl,'" he said.

Webb shot a now infamous — and pretty hilarious — video of a "beard bowl" with Ramen noodles. It didn't make much of an initial splash, but that changed a couple weeks later.

"All it has to do is hit one person," Webb said. "And that happened — and it just went boom and it exploded. It went from 2,000 views to 650,000 views on YouTube." (The video now has more than 700,000).

Besides going viral, the video landed him coverage with Mashable, CNN, and many others. He was even featured in a television ad for the 2014 Honda Civic.

And a Facebook algorithm change, he said, grew his following over 100,000 a few months later.

While his Ramen beard is pretty hard to top, Webb does have some friendly competition. His growing Facebook page has become a sounding board for the bearded among us to show off their own designs.

Now, Webb still uses his social media base to share interesting beard designs, as well as t-shirts and beard grooming products in his own store — with a portion of sales also helping provide access to clean water for children.

"If you can affect even just one person's life and save them," Webb said of why he chose to give away some profits to charity. "That's pretty amazing."

So far, he's affected 198.

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Here Are The Priciest Places In America


New York and San Francisco are more expensive than the rest of the U.S., and the Bureau of Economic Analysis has made it much easier to see just how much more expensive they are.

The Consumer Price Index, the most commonly used measure of price inflation, measures changes in prices over time. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has created a spatial analog of the index, comparing prices between different places at a given point in time. These are called Regional Price Parities (RPPs), and they make it possible to compare the cost of living in different places.

RPPs are an index based on comparing local prices to national price levels. For example, the New York metropolitan area has an RPP of about 122. This means that prices in New York are about 22% higher than national average prices. Meanwhile, the part of Minnesota that falls outside of a metropolitan area has an RPP of 86, indicating that prices are 14% lower than the national average there.

Here's a map showing the 2012 RPPs for the country's major metropolitan areas, and the nonmetropolitan parts of each state. Blue areas have prices lower than the national average and red areas are more expensive:

2012 regional price parity map bigger legend

The most expensive place was Honolulu, with an RPP of 122.9. The big coastal cities also had prices much higher than the national average. The least expensive metro area in the country was Danville, IL, with an RPP of 79.4. Nonmetropolitan areas of states, that is, rural areas and smaller towns, tended to have lower prices than the U.S. as a whole, especially in the South and Midwest.

Here are the ten most expensive metro areas:

2012 ten highest RPP cities

And the ten least expensive:

2012 ten lowest RPP cities

SEE ALSO: The 13 Best Cities For Brand-New College Grads

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An Entire Island Nation Is Vanishing Because Of Global Warming



The island nation of Kiribati, located in the South Pacific, sits just 6 feet above sea level on average. Kiribati's President Anote Tong predicts that his island will be uninhabitable in 60 years due to climate change.

Kiribati is at risk of disappearing because of sea level rise caused by melting sea ice and and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. These changes in climate are blamed on carbon emissions from power plants, cars, and other human activities.

Unfortunately, like many islands, Kiribati is in the unlucky position of being the most likely to suffer from the effects of climate change even though it has done little to cause it. In 2005, Kiribati's emissions per capita were only 7% of the global average and less than 2% of U.S. per capita emissions, according to officials.

Kiribati is a chain of 33 atolls and islands in the South Pacific.

It is currently home to more than 100,000 people.

Source: Kiribati government

Kiribati's residents are at risk of losing their homes due to climate change.

Source: Kiribati government

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here's What It's Really Like Cooking With Blue Apron — The NYC Food Startup That's Worth Half-A-Billion Dollars


Blue Apron

Blue Apron — the New York City-based startup that's a godsend for wannabe cooks that hate schlepping out to the grocery store — raised $50 million at a $500 million valuation in April. 

Here's the basic idea: People who are strapped for time but want to make their own home-cooked food can sign up to receive three meals a week that will come in either two, four, or six-person portions.

Big boxes of pre-measured ingredients will arrive once a week, with simple recipe cards that will instruct customers how to cook three fresh, out-of-the-ordinary meals that supposedly only take around 35 minutes to prepare. Each week, the company lists six recipes to choose from that suit a wide range of different tastes, catering to vegetarians as well as meat lovers. The most basic plan costs $60 a week, or roughly $10 per person per meal. 

Matt Salzberg, cofounder and CEO, told Business Insider that the goal is to get people cooking things they wouldn't ordinarily. He describes a recent menu item that customers loved: A spare-rib burger on a pretzel roll with a cheddar and hops sauce.

"You likely wouldn't even know where to get those ingredients on your own, or it would be way too expensive to buy for them for just one meal," he said. "Executing a dish like that would be nearly impossible, but doing it with us is a 30-minute endeavor."

Because Blue Apron is a subscription service, the team knows exactly how much food to order each week, which minimizes waste and lets it negotiate with suppliers to keep costs down. It currently ships about 600,000 meals a month, and although Salzberg declined to reveal any specific financials, he said that the company makes a "healthy margin" on each subscription because of the efficiencies in Blue Apron's supply chain. 

"People literally write us love letters on a daily basis that say we've changed their lives, that we've saved their marriages, that they're so thankful that we exist because of the fun that they're having," he said. "They're eating healthier and they're learning to cook." 

As a twenty-something with very little cooking experience and a strong aversion to crowded New York City supermarkets, I decided to give the service a try. 

My Blue Apron box was waiting in front of my apartment door when I got home.

I got home kind of late, but because Blue Apron packs its food in refrigerated bags, everything was still cold.

The bag was teeming with fresh-looking veggies and exciting ingredients.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's How Long A Person Can Survive Without Water


Bottled waterBI Answers: How many days can a human survive without water?

We can't live on air and sunshine alone. The human body needs food and water to survive. 

A human can go for more than three weeks without food (Mahatma Gandhi survived 21 days of complete starvation), but water is a different story. 

At least 60% of the adult body is made of it and every living cell in the body needs it to keep functioning. Water acts as a lubricant for our joints, regulates our body temperature through sweating and respiration, and helps to flush waste.

The maximum time an individual can go without water seems to be a week — an estimate that would certainly be shorter in difficult conditions, like broiling heat.

The week limit is based on observations of people at the end of their lives, when food and water intake has been stopped, Randall K. Packer, a professor of biology at George Washington University told Maggie Fox of NBC News last year

However, one week is a generous estimate. Three to four days would be more typical. 

"You can go 100 hours without drinking at an average temperature outdoors," Claude Piantadosi of Duke University told Fox. "If it’s cooler, you can go a little longer. If you are exposed to direct sunlight, it’s less." 

water in the body

The Danger Of Dehydration 

Our bodies are constantly losing water, which is why drinking a glass of H20 once a day is not enough to keep the body replenished. We lose water when we sweat, go to the bathroom — even when we exhale.

“Under extreme conditions an adult can lose 1 to 1.5 liters of sweat per hour," Packer wrote in 2002 article for Scientific American. "If that lost water is not replaced, the total volume of body fluid can fall quickly and, most dangerously, blood volume may drop."

When you have too little blood circulating in your body, blood pressure falls to levels that can be fatal. Body temperatures also rise when we stop sweating. 

Dehydration that causes "a loss of more than 10% of your body weight is a medical emergency," according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, "and if not reversed can lead to death."

Water Sources

We get some water from food, "but drinking water is your main, and best source, of water," according to a website maintained by the National Institutes of Health

Other beverages like juice or milk also help keep the body hydrated. The only fluid you would want to stay away from is alcohol because it actually causes the body to lose more water than normal through excessive urination

This post is part of a continuing series that answers all of your "why" questions related to science. Have your own question? Email dspector@businessinsider.com with the subject line "Q&A"; tweet your question to @BI_Science; or post to our Facebook page.

SEE ALSO: Why Humans Evolved To Like Alcohol

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