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Travel Channel Star Andrew Zimmern Reveals 13 Of His Favorite Books


Andrew ZimmernAndrew Zimmern is a world traveler, chef, and host of the Travel Channel show "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern." 

We asked Zimmern to share some of his favorite books with us. He sent us his recommendations, but asked us to include this note:

"Asking someone to name their 10 favorite books is simply not fair," Zimmern wrote to us in an email.

"Books, like music or sunsets are too numerous to choose only 10 from. So I chose 13. Plus, it is simply too tempting for quasi-celebs to create artificially erudite lists that make us sound way more worldly than we really are. I chose this list based on what came to mind sitting on a plane, headed nowhere, in the middle of a weather crisis, wishing I had a different life and thinking of some great travel books. And I had to include some others but they all evoke a place to me. I can also tell you I love reading everything by the prolific Daniel Silva, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, Len Deighton, Pat Conroy, Truman Capote, Ken Follet and William Boyd. Their books stack next to my bed like empty wine bottles that you're afraid to move."

Here are Zimmern's recommendations:  

  1. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, H S Thompson: The best book about politics and its intersection with culture that’s been written in the last 50 years.
  2. Naples '44, Norman LewisItalian city, close of the war, a world gone mad. 
  3. The Road to Oxiana, Robert Byron: The greatest Middle East travelogue of all time. Searingly beautiful. 
  4. Winnie the Pooh, A A Milne: I cried every night reading this to my son on the first, second and third readings. A timeless treatise on friendship and need.
  5. South Seas Tales, Somerset MaughamMy favorite writer's best collection, and always brings me right back to the sensual heat of the Pacific.
  6. Food, The History of Taste, Paul FreedmanBest single volume of food history I've ever read. Superb perspective for all lovers of food and travel.
  7. Venice, Jan Morris: One of  the world’s most enigmatic cities explained in such beautiful words. A must for any lover of travel.
  8. Sun Also Rises, Hemingway: Bullfights. Pamplona. Papa at his best.
  9. Ragtime, E.L. DoctrowAn era of NYC history so perfectly wrought and a finely crafted tale blending reality and fantasy.
  10. Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene: The Pre-Castro era in Cuba. All laid out in a gaudy mess that I come back to again and again.
  11. Worlds End, TC BoyleGenerational madness, funny and for me still Boyle's best book.
  12. The Godfather, Mario Puzo: The best family saga of all time. Loyalty and honor. Boom.
  13. The World According to Garp, John IrvingTS Garp, his life and times. A hilarious and sorrowfully important American pastiche about intolerance, growing up, parenting and sex. 

SEE ALSO: Anthony Bourdain Reveals His 10 Favorite Books

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The 10 Most Popular Amusement Parks In The US


Disneyland Park Anaheim, California

If you're searching for a last minute summer vacation the whole family can enjoy, an amusement park is probably the way to go.

TripAdvisor recently came out with a list of the top amusement parks in America, from its Traveler's Choice Awards for Amusement Parks and Water ParksOrlando is a perennial hot-spot for attractions and rides, from SeaWorld to Universal's Islands of Adventure. Other famous parks like Cedar Point and Disneyland also made the top 10.

TripAdvisor looked at millions of traveler reviews and then created an algorithm that considered the quantity and quality of reviews for each attraction over a 12-month period.

10. Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida

9. Universal Studio Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

8. Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky, Ohio

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

22 Lessons From Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer


stephen king

Renowned author Stephen King writes stories that captivate millions of people around the world and earn him an estimated $17 million a year.

In his memoir, "On Writing," King shares valuable insights into how to be a better writer. And he doesn't sugarcoat it. He writes, "I can't lie and say there are no bad writers. Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers."

Don't want to be one of them? Here are 22 great pieces of advice from King's book on how to be an amazing writer:

1. Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible.

If you're just starting out as a writer, your television should be the first thing to go. It's "poisonous to creativity," he says. Writers need to look into themselves and turn toward the life of the imagination.

To do so, they should read as much as they can. King takes a book with him everywhere he goes, and even reads during meals. "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot," he says. Read widely, and constantly work to refine and redefine your own work as you do so.

2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with.

King compares writing fiction to crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub, because in both, "there's plenty of opportunity for self-doubt." Not only will you doubt yourself, but other people will doubt you, too. "If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all," writes King.

Oftentimes, you have to continue writing even when you don't feel like it. "Stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea," he writes. And when you fail, King suggests that you remain positive. "Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure." 

3. Don't waste time trying to please people.

According to King, rudeness should be the least of your concerns. "If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway," he writes. King used to be ashamed of what he wrote, especially after receiving angry letters accusing him of being bigoted, homophobic, murderous, and even psychopathic.

By the age of 40, he realized that every decent writer has been accused of being a waste of talent. King has definitely come to terms with it. He writes, "If you disapprove, I can only shrug my shoulders. It's what I have." You can't please all of your readers all the time, so King advises that you stop worrying. 

4. Write primarily for yourself.

You should write because it brings you happiness and fulfillment. As King says, "I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."

Writer Kurt Vonnegut provides a similar insight: "Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about," he says. "It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style."

5. Tackle the things that are hardest to write.

"The most important things are the hardest things to say," writes King. "They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings." Most great pieces of writing are preceded with hours of thought. In King's mind, "Writing is refined thinking."

When tackling difficult issues, make sure you dig deeply. King says, "Stories are found things, like fossils in the ground ... Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world." Writers should be like archaeologists, excavating for as much of the story as they can find.

6. When writing, disconnect from the rest of the world.

Writing should be a fully intimate activity. Put your desk in the corner of the room, and eliminate all possible distractions, from phones to open windows. King advises, "Write with the door closed; rewrite with the door open."

You should maintain total privacy between you and your work. Writing a first draft is "completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut — it's the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts."

7. Don't be pretentious.

"One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones," says King. He compares this mistake to dressing up a household pet in evening clothes — both the pet and the owner are embarrassed, because it's completely excessive.

As iconic businessman David Ogilvy writes in a memo to his employees, "Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass." Furthermore, don't use symbols unless necessary. "Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity," writes King.

8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs.

As King emphasizes several times in his memoir, "the adverb is not your friend." In fact, he believes that "the road to hell is paved with adverbs" and compares them to dandelions that ruin your lawn. Adverbs are worst after "he said" and "she said" — those phrases are best left unadorned.

You should also pay attention to your paragraphs, so that they flow with the turns and rhythms of your story. "Paragraphs are almost always as important for how they look as for what they say," says King. 

9. Don't get overly caught up in grammar.

According to King, writing is primarily about seduction, not precision. "Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes," writes King. "The object of fiction isn't grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story." You should strive to make the reader forget that he or she is reading a story at all.

10. Master the art of description.

"Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's," writes King. The important part isn't writing enough, but limiting how much you say. Visualize what you want your reader to experience, and then translate what you see in your mind into words on the page. You need to describe things "in a way that will cause your reader to prickle with recognition," he says.

The key to good description is clarity, both in observation and in writing. Use fresh images and simple vocabulary to avoid exhausting your reader. "In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it 'got boring,' the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling," notes King.

11. Don't give too much background information.

"What you need to remember is that there's a difference between lecturing about what you know and using it to enrich the story," writes King. "The latter is good. The former is not." Make sure you only include details that move your story forward and that persuade your reader to continue reading.

If you need to do research, make sure it doesn't overshadow the story. Research belongs "as far in the background and the back story as you can get it," says King. You may be entranced by what you're learning, but your readers are going to care a lot more about your characters and your story.

12. Tell stories about what people actually do.

"Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do — to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street," writes King. The people in your stories are what readers care about the most, so make sure you acknowledge all the dimensions your characters may have.

13. Take risks; don't play it safe.

First and foremost, stop using the passive voice. It's the biggest indicator of fear. "I'm convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing," King says. Writers should throw back their shoulders, stick out their chins, and put their writing in charge. 

"Try any goddamn thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn't, toss it," King says.

14. Realize that you don't need drugs to be a good writer.

"The idea that the creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time," says King. In his eyes, substance-abusing writers are just substance-abusers. "Any claims that the drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit."

15. Don't try to steal someone else's voice.

As King says, "You can't aim a book like a cruise missile." When you try to mimic another writer's style for any reason other than practice, you'll produce nothing but "pale imitations." This is because you can never try to replicate the way someone feels and experiences truth, especially not through a surface-level glance at vocabulary and plot.

16. Understand that writing is a form of telepathy.

"All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing is the purest distillation," says King. An important element of writing is transference. Your job isn't to write words on the page, but rather to transfer the ideas inside your head into the heads of your readers.

"Words are just the medium through which the transfer happens," says King. In his advice on writing, Vonnegut also recommends that writers "use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted."

17. Take your writing seriously.

"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair," says King. "Come to it any way but lightly." If you don't want to take your writing seriously, he suggests that you close the book and do something else. 

As writer Susan Sontag says, "The story must strike a nerve — in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk."

18. Write every single day.

"Once I start work on a project, I don't stop, and I don't slow down unless I absolutely have to," says King. "If I don't write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind ... I begin to lose my hold on the story's plot and pace."

If you fail to write consistently, the excitement for your idea may begin to fade. When the work starts to feel like work, King describes the moment as "the smooch of death." His best advice is to just take it "one word at a time."

19. Finish your first draft in three months. 

King likes to write 10 pages a day. Over a three-month span, that amounts to around 180,000 words. "The first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months, the length of a season," he says. If you spend too long on your piece, King believes the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel.

20. When you're finished writing, take a long step back.

King suggests six weeks of "recuperation time" after you're done writing, so you can have a clear mind to spot any glaring holes in the plot or character development. He asserts that a writer's original perception of a character could be just as faulty as the reader's.

King compares the writing and revision process to nature. "When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees," he writes. "When you're done, you have to step back and look at the forest." When you do find your mistakes, he says that "you are forbidden to feel depressed about them or to beat up on yourself. Screw-ups happen to the best of us."

21. Have the guts to cut.

When revising, writers often have a difficult time letting go of words they spent so much time writing. But, as King advises, "Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings."

Although revision is one of the most difficult parts of writing, you need to leave out the boring parts in order to move the story along. In his advice on writing, Vonnegut suggests, "If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out."

22. Stay married, be healthy, and live a good life.

King attributes his success to two things: his physical health and his marriage. "The combination of a healthy body and a stable relationship with a self-reliant woman who takes zero shit from me or anyone else has made the continuity of my working life possible," he writes.

It's important to have a strong balance in your life, so writing doesn't consume all of it. In writer and painter Henry Miller's 11 commandments of writing, he advises, "Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it."

SEE ALSO: This Stephen King Novel Will Never Be Printed Again After It Was Tied To School Shootings

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20 Roads You Should Drive In Your Lifetime



People love using the popular phrase "It's the journey, not the destination." 

There are millions of miles of roads in the world, and some of these roads provide incredible views of the surrounding landscape. Sometimes, the roads themselves are a work of art.

We've come up with the ultimate list of the world's most beautiful roads to prove that sometimes the journey is much more captivating than the destination. These roads range from oceanside cruises in Hawaii to treacherous hairpin turns in the Swiss Alps.

The Valley of Fire Road in Nevada passes through beautiful red sandstone formations that look like they are on fire when reflecting the sun.

The Atlantic Road in Norway stretches across seven bridges and offers a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. If you drive in calmer weather, you might even see whales and seals.

India's Rohtang Pass offers a spectacular view of glaciers, peaks and rivers. Be warned — it's also known for its massive landslides.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Woman Sets New Record For The Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Order Ever


frapfrapfrapA Florida woman just set a new record for the most expensive Starbucks drink ever ordered, Consumerist reports. 

The mega-drink, ordered by a customer named Sameera cost totaling $60.58. That beats out the previous record of $54.75 set by a man in Dallas earlier this year.

The huge Frappuccino featured a whopping 60 shots of espresso, caramel syrup, white mocha, hazelnut, and soy milk. 

After scanning her loyalty card, the cost dropped to $57.75. Sameera received the drink for free thanks to a coupon from the Starbucks rewards program, according to Consumerist

The customer actually contacted the Pembroke Pines, Fla., Starbucks location in advance and asked permission to order the drink.

She also alerted the media of her plan, brought along a support team, and waited to order until closing time so she wouldn't be holding up the line.

Though the employees at Starbucks were excited about making the drink, it is technically against Starbucks policy to make Frappuccinos in a container larger than 24 ounces.

For additional photos of the drink, check out Consumerist

Here's the huge drink that held the previous world record.

Most Expensive Starbucks Ever

SEE ALSO: Top Restaurants Are Going Crazy For These Secret Ingredients Found In The Wild

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Here's A Map Of The REAL Most Expensive College In Each State


College costs can vary widely across the country, with the price of education going up drastically in certain states.

To chart this range, we found the most expensive college in each state, based on their overall direct costs for the upcoming academic year. California's Harvey Mudd College is the most expensive college in the country, with an overall price tag of $64,527 for the 2014-15 academic year. On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive college in Alaska — the University of Alaska Anchorage — charges only $27,645.

Business Insider recently revealed that at least 50 colleges in the country charge more than $60,000 per year.

We found these numbers by examining the average cost of tuition, fees, room, and board that an incoming student would face over the 2014-15 academic year. Check out a more in-depth breakdown of the 20 most expensive colleges here >>

Here's a great infographic map of the schools, created by BI's Mike Nudelman:Most Expensive College Every State Map

To compile our list, we looked at this map created by Mike Simmons at eCollegeFinder, as well as information from CollegeCalc.

SEE ALSO: There Are Now 50 Colleges That Charge More Than $60,000 Per Year

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Fascinating Map Shows Hundreds Of Songs About New York


New York is a place with a deep musical history, and the city itself has made many appearances in song lyrics. From legendary New York musicians like the Ramones and Lou Reed, to rappers like Jay Z and the Wu-Tang Clan, and everyone in between, dozens of famous songs references to New York City's streets and neighborhoods, as well as the beaches of Long Island.

Music aficionado Constantine Valhouli mapped these references using Google Maps.

Spanning multiple genres and generations, Valhoulis' map shows us various interesting locational connections and stories throughout time, like Billy Joel and rap group Dead Prez hanging out in the same neighborhood (Bedford-Stuyvesant). The best part is that you can contribute your own suggestions (email Constantine at musicmapnyc@gmail.com).

Check out the map below.

SEE ALSO: Check Out This Music Startup's Graffiti-Covered New York City Office

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Nextel Founder's $29 Million Maryland Estate Is Up For Auction


The Penderyn Estate Driveway

The estate of Nextel Communications founder Morgan O’Brien is set to hit the auction block this weekend.

The 22,500-square-foot Penderyn Estate was originally on the market for $29 million, but is now being sold to the highest bidder without a reserve price.

The eight-bedroom, 12-bathroom home sits on an 18-acre peninsula in Queenstown, Maryland, overlooking the Wye River.

Amenities include 11 fireplaces, a personal sauna, a billiards room, a dock with 11 slips, and an "in-law wing."

The auction will take place at the home on July 19, 2014.

Welcome to The Penderyn Estate in Queenstown, Maryland.

The Georgian-style mansion sits on an 18-acre peninsula on the Wye River.

As soon as you step in, you'll see an oversized marble foyer and a 60-foot long hallway.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here Are The States Where The Most People Walk Or Bike To Work


Walking or biking to work may be good for your health, but it's pretty rare in the United States. Only about 3.4% of people get to work on foot or on a bike, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

That number varies a lot from place to place. The District of Columbia — an urban area that can't really be compared to states — had the highest percentage: 14.8% of D.C. residents walk or bike to work.

The state with the largest percentage of walking/biking commuters (8.9%) was Alaska. The state with the smallest percentage was Alabama, where just 1.4% of residents walk or bike to work.

Here's a full picture of the country — darker green means more walkers/bikers. Just hover over a state to see its percentage.

As for Alaska's surprising number one spot, Jeffrey Miller, the president of the Alliance for Biking and Walking offered a guess in an interview with GOOD magazine: the price of gasoline in our frigid state.

Indeed, gas prices in Alaska are some of the highest in the nation. While there are undoubtedly many factors that affect people's commute, perhaps costly gasoline is reason enough to motivate people to drive less and walk and bike more.

SEE ALSO: Here's How Americans' Fast Food And Exercise Habits Vary Around The Country

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The Best Thing To Eat In 35 Countries Around The World


Moules frites

What is the single dish visitors should not miss when visiting a foreign country?

Quora users set out to answer that question in a thread on the question-and-answer-based website, singling out the most iconic thing to eat in their homelands. We added in some of our own selections.

From wiener schnitzel in Austria to feijoada in Brazil to katsudon in Japan, don't miss these 35 dishes.

Australia: Pie floater

Often touted as the perfect hangover cure, a pie floater is an Australian-style meat pie that's sitting in a bowl of thick green pea soup. It's sometimes topped with tomato sauce, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Pie floaters are "so fantastic to eat in winter and as a hangover cure," wrote Quora user Kathryn B.

Pie floater dish from Australia


Austria: Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener schnitzel, suggested by Quora user Felix H., is synonymous with Austria.

It's a very thin veal cutlet that's breaded and deep fried. It's usually served with lemon and parsley, and is accompanied by a side of potatoes or rice.

wiener schnitzel

Wikimedia Commons

Argentina: Asado

Asado is the term to describe Argentina's delectable grilled meats—and grilled Argentinian steak is especially delicious.

"It is true that most of the good meat goes to the so called first world countries via exports, but I can guarantee that if you have a good 'asador' (the guy making the asado) the taste will be priceless, especially if you're in the countryside," wrote Quora user Matias J.

asado parillada bbq meat from argentina


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How To Win An Argument

15 Ways To Beat Jet Lag


Traveling across time zones brings people to faraway destinations, but there's one huge downside: jet lag. 

Thomas Cook studied the phenomenon that leaves travelers exhausted and came up with an infographic that shows the best ways to beat jet lag.

Some useful tips include wearing sunglasses to trick your body into thinking it's night, drinking water to stay hydrated, and keeping active. They also give advice on how to time your activities to conform to the time in your destination. 

Here is the full infographic:

How to Beat Jet Lag infographic

SEE ALSO: The Right Way To Pack A Suitcase

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OpenTable Users Say These Are The 30 Best BBQ Restaurants In America


Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Brooklyn

With summer barbecue season in full swing, everyone is in the mood for some mouthwatering steak and smoky ribs. But where is the best place to get your barbecue fix?

OpenTable just released a list of the 30 best barbecue restaurants in America, which is based on more than 5 million verified reviews submitted for more than 19,000 restaurants across the country.

California takes the lead with six of the list's restaurants located in the state, followed closely by Illinois and New York. This is interesting, considering barbecue originated in the south. There were only seven southern restaurants on the list in total. (As commenters point out, this may be because many BBQ restaurants don't take online reservations through OpenTable.)

New York's success on the list is mainly due to the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant chain, as five of its New York locations were deemed among the best.

Here is the full list of the best barbecue restaurants with their locations.

Annapolis Smokehouse – Annapolis, Maryland

Bluebird Barbecue – Burlington, Vermont

Bobby Q – Phoenix, Arizona

Boneyard Bistro – Sherman Oaks, California

Carson’s Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue – Chicago, Illinois

Carson’s Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Chicago q – Chicago, Illinois

Chuck’s Southern Comforts Café – Burbank, Illinois

Chuck’s Southern Comforts Café – Darien, Illinois

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Brooklyn, New York

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Buffalo, New York

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Harlem, New York

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Rochester, New York

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Troy, New York

Freedmen’s – Austin, Texas

The Granary `Cue & Brew – San Antonio, Texas

Gus’s BBQ – South Pasadena, California

Hill Country Barbecue Market – Washington, D.C.

Iron Starr Urban Barbecue-OKC – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Kenny’s Smoke House – Plano, Texas

Lambert’s Downtown BBQ – Austin, Texas

Montgomery Inn-At the Boathouse – Cincinnati, Ohio

The Montgomery Inn-Original – Cincinnati, Ohio

Naples Rib Company – Long Beach, California

Percy Street Barbecue – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Piggyback Tavern – Forest Park, Illinois

Russell’s Smokehouse – Denver, Colorado

Southpaw BBQ – San Francisco, California

Sweet T’s Restaurant + Bar – Santa Rosa, California

Wexler’s – San Francisco, California

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post noted that Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's Syracuse, NY location did not make the list. That's because that restaurant does not use OpenTable's reservation system. The post has been updated.

SEE ALSO: We Spent A Day In The Vermont Woods To See Why Foraging Is The Next Frontier In Fine Dining

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VOTE NOW: What Are The World's Best Business Schools?


harvard business school graduationIs an MBA costing two years of your life and $150,000 or more really worth it?

The question is more controversial than ever, with cheaper online degree programs growing rapidly as well as free online business courses providing important skills. Given powerful new technology and fundraising techniques, it may also be easier to start a business than ever. But with increasing global competition and a tough job market, business school may hold the key to getting ahead, providing specialized knowledge, valuable contacts, and an impressive resume booster.

Of course, choosing the right business school makes all the difference.

For Business Insider's annual ranking, we are surveying the people who matter most: professionals in diverse fields who have MBAs or who have experience hiring or managing MBAs. If you have these qualifications, then please take our survey below. We will filter the survey based on qualifications of respondents to obtain the optimum sample.

Our survey asks several general questions about business school as well as the big question: which schools will really help your career.

SEE ALSO: Check out last year's full list of the World's Best Business Schools

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The Right Way To Iron A Dress Shirt

Mercedes' New Super Coupe Combines Power And Beauty


2015 S65 AMG Coupe (25)Mercedes-Benz unveiled its top-of-the-range 2015 S65 AMG Coupe this week, and it's a stunning combination of luxury and high performance. 

At 621 horsepower, the all-new coupe's twin-turbocharged V12 engine is effortlessly powerful.With 738 lb./ft. of twisting power on tap from the 6.0 litre engine, the S65 will hit 60 mph in a scant 4.0 seconds and a electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.

The car is also loaded with technical goodies like the company's Magic Body Control system, which will allow it to tackle corners with remarkable ease. This piece of technological trickery senses the road ahead and adjusts the suspension of the car to lean into any oncoming corners, much like a downhill skier going through a bend. 2015 Mercedes S65 AMG Coupe (39)High performance is just one part of the S65 package. The car's plush interior blends hi-tech gizmos with elements of old world luxury. The centerpiece of the S-Class interior is a pair of 12.2-inch high-definition TFT displays that take the place of a traditional gauge cluster and serve as an adjustable infotainment readout.

Surrounding the futuristic displays are classic chrome-accented dials and switch gear. The rest of the cabin is bathed in swathes of Nappa leather that also upholster the car's adjustable AMG sport seats. 2015 Mercedes S65 AMG Coupe (32)Aesthetically, the S65 AMG Coupe is stunning. While we gushed at the gorgeous lines of its sibling, the S63 AMG, earlier this year, the S65 offers a more mature and professional aesthetic. The big brother trades in the S63's sports gear for a chrome-accented tailored suit.

Like the S63, the company's signature gaping mesh grill and large three-pointed star emblem feature prominently in the S65's front fascia. From there, character lines pull the eye back towards the a-pillar and eventually to the car's tapered rear end. 

Mercedes has not officially announced prices for the S65 AMG Coupe, though Motor Trends predicts the car will be priced similarly to the $215,500 2014 CL65 AMG it will replace. Mercedes expect the first cars to arrive in dealerships at the end of the year.

SEE ALSO: 4 Reasons Americans Aren't Buying Volkswagens Anymore

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These Are The Laziest States In The US


lazy man sleeping couch laying down

We all enjoy a lazy day on the couch once in awhile, but most of us get out and about for some physical activity at least a few times a week. Some states, though, have a laziness problem.

The 2008 government-recommended weekly exercise regime for adults is 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobics with at least twice a week muscle-strengthening sessions.

A recent Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) report analyzed how well each state is doing at meeting these physical activity goals.

As a whole, 25.4% of the country gets no leisure-time physical activity. And in certain states, that number skyrockets up to 36%. A couple notes on the data, though: This is "leisure time activity" which means people who have very little leisure times — maybe they are working two jobs — would rank low on the scale. Also, it doesn't include any physically demanding work that people might do during their jobs. 

We've ranked the laziest states below using the new data gathered from the CDC's 2014 State Indicator Report On Physical Activity. The report relied on research gathered from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a 2011 nationwide telephone survey that conducted over 500,000 interviews, and the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which was conducted from 2009 to 2011 online and through the mail.

See how your state stands up:

Laziest States

There is some good news. Many state agencies are taking steps to get their citizens moving, including some of those above. For example, 34 states total (about two-thirds of the above states) have guidance programs to encourage kids to bike or walk to school.

Twenty-seven states (about a third of those above) have created policies to make streets safer for bikers and pedestrians. Interestingly, Alaska has the most biking and walking commuters at 8.9%.

Read the full 2014 State Indicator Report On Physical Activity [PDF]

SEE ALSO: Here Are The States Where The Most People Walk Or Bike To Work

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23 Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter


thought thinking light bulbGetting smarter isn't something that happens overnight. Instead, you have to build your intelligence every day through intentional daily habits.

In a recent Quora thread, "What would you do to be a little smarter every single day?", readers shared their advice on good habits you can establish.

Here are some simple actions that could help you become a smarter person.

1. Come up with 10 ideas every day.Think about how to reduce poverty, how to solve a daily problem you have, interesting movie ideas, or anything. It doesn't matter what subject your ideas fall into, as long as you're working your brain and your idea muscles. Your list might even lead to a new startup idea or writing subject. —Claudia Azula Altucher

2. Read the newspaper.It will help you become more aware of the important things happening around the word. You'll learn to form your own opinions and connect the dots between seemingly unrelated things. You'll also have a lot more to talk about at parties or with friends.Manas J Saloi

3. Play devil's advocate.Take something you recently learned and generate a unique opinion on it that wouldn't immediately come to mind. Try to support it with evidence, and be open to the idea that new evidence will change your opinion. Repeat this every day, and you'll become much better at thinking outside the box.

If you're feeling stuck, try reading and critically evaluating the editorial section of papers. They will help you understand how other people form arguments and express their opinions.Peter DePaulo

4. Read a chapter in a fiction or non-fiction book. Aim to read a book a week. You can always find pockets of time to read, whether on your daily commute or while you're waiting in line. Goodreads is a great way to keep track of everything you read and to also find a community of other readers.

Fiction books are great for understanding characters and getting absorbed into another perspective, while non-fiction books are great for introducing you to new topics, from politics to psychology. —Claudia Azula Altucher

5. Instead of watching TV, watch educational videos.Sometimes, it's more fun to watch things about a subject you love than to read about it, and you can learn a lot from other people's experiences.

You can find fun, educational videos on Khan Academy or watch TED talks. You can also find good ones on Youtube's channel SmarterEveryDay. In videos, the information is often presented in a digestible, memorable way, so you can be assured they'll stick. —Hendrik Sleeckx

6. Subscribe to feeds of interesting information. Follow interesting voices on Facebook and Twitter, so you'll always learn something new when you look at your newsfeed or dashboard. For example, if you want to keep up with the latest news in science and technology, subscribe to the "I Fucking Love Science" page on Facebook. You can also follow email newsletters, such as Cal Newport's Study Hacks and Today I Found Out.Saurabh Shah

7. Check in with your favorite knowledge sources.Every day, scroll through Quora, Stack Overflow, specialty blogs, or any other sources that satiate your hunger for knowledge. This is an extremely easy habit, because other users are curating the content for you, so all you have to do is follow the ones who write about topics interesting to you. Try using Pocket to save articles for later reading, and then try to get through them before going to sleep at night. —Manas J Saloi

8. Share what you learn with other people.If you find someone to debate and analyze ideas with, you can add to each other's knowledge and gain new perspectives. Also, when you can explain ideas to someone else, it means you've definitely mastered the concept. You can even share what you learn without directly talking to someone. Many people like to start blogs so they can engage others in online dialogue.Mike Xie

9. Make two lists: a list of work-related skills you want to learn now and a list for things you want to achieve in the future.Google Docs is a convenient way to keep track of your lists. For both, decide what you want to learn, compile sources that will teach you these skills, and then work on them each day.

For example, if you work in a computer-science related field, your first list might suggest you learn something new in Python one day or that you try using MongoDB another day.

For your second list, you can think about long-term goals, such as whether you want to go into marketing or architecture. Write down the small steps you need to take to reach that goal, whether it's by reading the experts in those fields or taking classes at a local college. —Manas J Saloi

10. Make an "I Did" list.At the end of each day, write down what you completed. This will help you feel better about all the things you accomplished, especially if you're feeling discouraged. It will also help you reflect on how productive you were and how you can re-structure your to-do lists for the next day. —Claudia Azula Altucher

11. Write down what you learn.You can start a blog or use an app like Inkpad to help you keep track of everything you learn. Not only will this be a great way to keep a record of everything you're doing, but it's also a good source of motivation to keep you accountable. You will want to learn more if you know that at the end of the day you'll have to write about it.Manas J Saloi

12. Stimulate your mind. Going on a daily run is a great way to get your brain flowing and to keep your mental health in shape. It's also a great way to think through difficult decisions or process new information.Rick Bruno

13. Take online courses. Check out this list of the most popular online courses for professionals. Make sure you don't overload yourself; commit to one to two and truly focus on them. The syllabi will also keep you on track, so you know you will be doing something every day, whether it's listening to a lecture or working on an assignment. Manas J Saloi

14. Talk to someone you find interesting.Even if they're strangers, don't be afraid to approach them. Ask about their interests and how they discovered them. Oftentimes, you learn the most from people you barely know. Manas J Saloi

15. Hang out with people who are smarter than you. Spend as much time as you can with smart people. Every day, you should strive to have a coffee date or walk with someone who inspires you.

Always be humble and willing to learn. Ask as many questions as possible. If you are always around people who are more knowledgeable than you, you'll have no choice but to learn more.Manas J Saloi

16. Follow your questions. If you see or hear about something cool, don't just let the moment pass. Follow up — pursue your curiosity and find the answer to your question. —Mike Xie

17. Use a word-of-the-day app. You will increase your vocabulary, which can help you in competitive tests like the SAT or GRE, or even just sound more eloquent in daily interactions.

You can also try to learn new vocabulary in a different language. Every day, try to add five to 10 more words to the foreign language you are trying to pursue. You can use LiveMocha, Basuu, or DuoLingo. Manas J Saloi

18. Do something scary."Getting out of our comfort zone always makes us wiser." Every day, push yourself a little further. Try public speaking by joining a ToastMasters class, lead a meeting by volunteering a proposal at work, or reach out to someone you really admire by sending a quick letter or email.Claudia Azula Altucher

19. Explore new areas. If you can't travel every day, at least try to find something new within your hometown. You'll meet different people, learn new facts, and understand something new about the world. It's a lot more productive than staying at home and watching TV. —Manas J Saloi

20. Play "smart" games. Some games, like chess and Scrabble, expand your mind. Challenge yourself when you play them. For example, play Scrabble without a dictionary. You can also solve puzzles via games like Sudoku, 2048, and Doors. —Saurabh Shah

21. Set aside some time to do nothing.Oftentimes, sitting in silence can help you get inspiration and reflect on your day. —Claudia Azula Altucher

22. Adopt a productive hobby. If you have something you can work on every day, from knitting to fly fishing, you can actively learn more just from doing. For instance, you may try to play a new piece of music every day, read a physics textbook, write a few more pages in your novel, or learn a new computer skill. Mayank Rajput

23. Apply what you learn.If you recently learned a new coding skill or how to play an instrument, make sure you are using that skill in your life as often as possible. Learning by doing is one of the most effective ways to become smarter. —Himanshu Pal

NOW WATCH: 7 Psychology Tricks To Influence People And Get Exactly What You Want


SEE ALSO: 19 Websites That Will Make You Smarter

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I Made $15 Million Before I Was 30, And It Wasn't As Awesome As You'd Think


wealthy rich top hot grass ascotEditor's note: An anonymous user on Quora posted this insightful answer to the question "Is getting rich worth it?" While we can't confirm the identity of the user, the answer is definitely worth a read.

I made $15 million in my mid-20s after I sold a tech startup. I talked to a lot of people about this question, and thought a lot about how to stay the same person I was before and after making money.

Here's my answer: being rich is better than not being rich, but it's not nearly as good as you imagine it is.

The answer why is a bit more complicated.

First, one of the only real things being rich gives you is that you don't have to worry about money as much anymore. There will still be some expenses that you cannot afford (and you will wish you could), but most expenses can be made without thinking about what it costs. This is definitely better, without a doubt.

Being rich does come with some downsides, though. The first thing you are thinking reading that, is, "cry me a river". That is one of the downsides. You are not allowed to complain about anything, ever. Since most people imagine being rich as nirvana, you are no longer allowed to have any human needs or frustrations in the public eye. Yet, you are still a human being, but most people don't treat you like one.

There's the second downside. Most people now want something out of you, and it can be harder to figure out whether someone is being nice to you because they like you, or they are being nice to you because of your money. If you aren't married yet, good luck trying to figure out (and/or always having self doubt) about whether a partner is into you or your money.

Then you have friends & family. Hopefully your relationship with them doesn't sour, but it can get harder. Both can get really weird about it and start to treat you differently. They might come and ask for a loan (bad idea: if you give, always give a gift). One common problem is that they don't appreciate Christmas presents the way that they used to, and they can get unrealistic expectations for how large a present should be and be disappointed when you don't meet their unrealistic expectations. You have to start making decisions for your parents on what does and does not cost too much, and frankly, it's awkward.

Add all of these up and you can start to feel a certain sense of isolation.

You sometimes lay awake at night, wondering if you made the right investment decisions, whether it might all go away. You know that feeling standing on a tall building, the feeling you might lose your mind and jump? Sometimes you're worried that you might lose your mind and spend it all.

The next thing you need to understand about money is this: all of the things you picture buying, they are only worthwhile to you because you cannot afford them (or have to work really hard to acquire them). Maybe you have your eye on a new Audi — once you can easily afford it, it just doesn't mean as much to you anymore.

Everything is relative, and you are more or less powerless to that. Yes, the first month you drive the Audi, or eat in a fancy restaurant, you really enjoy it. But then you sort of get used to it. And then you are looking towards the next thing, the next level up. And the problem is that you have reset your expectations, and everything below that level doesn't get you quite as excited anymore.

This happens to everyone. Good people can maintain perspective, actively fight it, and stay grounded. Worse people complain about it and commit general acts of douchebaggery. But remember this: it would happen to you, too, even though you might not think so. You'll just have to trust me on this one.

Most people hold the illusion that if only they had more money, their life would be better and they would be happier. Then they get rich, and that doesn't happen, and it can throw them into a serious life crisis.

If you're part of the middle class, you have just as many opportunities to do with your life what you want of it. If you're not happy now, you won't be happy because of money.

Whether you're rich or not, make your life what you want it to be, and don't use money as an excuse. Go out there, get involved, be active, pursue your passion, and make a difference.

SEE ALSO: 12 Surprising Downsides Of Getting Rich

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What To Do When Someone Catcalls You On The Street


Cat Calling catcaller catcalling street harassment"Hey, sweetie, smile for me."

"I had to stop you. You're so beautiful."

"C'mon, baby, let me pull your hair."

That one got me to whip around and unleash a string of expletives so obscene, it would embarrass an Urban Dictionary comment monitor.

Street harassment is one of the most relatable social interactions for both men and women. It takes many forms: catcalls, vulgar gestures, whistling, making kissing noises, and stalking. Sixty-five percent of women and 25% of men in the U.S. report experiencing at least one type of street harassment in their lifetime, and an overwhelming majority say it has happened more than once.

While it may seem relatively innocent, street harassment does have detrimental effects. Immediately after the incident, targets report feeling annoyed, angry, embarrassed, threatened, or scared the situation will escalate. They contemplate how they "should have" reacted.

Those consequences linger. "It really impacts the way we move through the world," says Debjani Roy, deputy director of the international anti-street harassment movement Hollaback. A woman harassed on her way to the office may be less productive at work because she plays out the scene over and over in her head. A girl who's bothered by the driver of a passing car while walking to school may plan an alternate route — through a worse area.

It's tough to shrug off. So we reached out to the experts for tips on dealing with catcallers.

If You're Being Catcalled

Assess your safety. Because every situation is different, there is no perfect response. If it's nighttime and you're walking in a desolate area, or your harasser is in a group, the best response might be not engaging at all.

Make eye contact. Strong body language, particularly eye contact, will surprise your harasser. "It tends to work well because then they're too shocked to retaliate," says Holly Kearlfounder of Stop Street Harassment and author of "Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming For Women. "It forces them to think about what they've said or done."

Use a firm voice. In an audible, unwavering tone, tell your harasser that his or her behavior is not okay. Try negative statements like, "No, leave me alone." "I don't appreciate it." "What you're saying is disrespectful." "Go away."

If you're feeling bold and the situation allows it, you can turn the tables on your harasser. Ask them to repeat what they said or loudly repeat it, comment on how they look, or take their photo.

Avoid swearing. It's hard to resist, but cursing can backfire. "While it may work in some instances, this type of reaction is the most likely to make the harasser respond with anger and violence," Kearl says.

Walk away. After you've made eye contact and said your negative statement, keep moving, Roy says. "Keep it short so the harasser doesn't think it's an opening to a conversation."

Fake a phone call. If your harasser is still following you, cross the street and pretend to call a friend. Tell her you're just down the block and will be there soon. Or threaten to dial 911. And if you fear the situation is escalating, make the call!

If You're A Bystander

Watching street harassment happen is almost as painful as being a target of it. Hollaback suggests using one of the "four D's" of bystander intervention.

Intervene directly. If you've assessed the situation and decided it's safe for you to become involved, you might approach the harasser and tell him or her to "knock it off," or loudly say "ugh, that is so gross" as you walk by.

Create a distraction. There are a few ways to disrupt the harasser's antics without actually addressing the harasser. Approach the target and ask for directions, offer your seat, or act like you know each other. Say, "I've been looking everywhere for you. We have to meet our friends!"

Find a delegate. If you're by a construction site, seek out the foreman. In the subway station, find a transit authority worker. Rally people standing around you who look like they would be more confident approaching the harasser. "You have the power to de-escalate the situation," Roy says. "When other people get involved, usually the harasser backs off."

Intervene on delay. When the situation has passed, ask the target if he or she is okay. Simply validating their experience by telling them "I'm sorry that happened" or "ugh, that happens to me all the time," creates solidarity and makes a huge difference.

What To Do After The Fact

Remind yourself who's to blame. Being harassed can bring up confusing feelings. "We feel very ashamed about the way we responded," Roy says. Rather than harp on what went wrong or right, remind yourself that it is your harasser's job to feel guilty, not yours.

Tell a friend. Talking about the incident and how it made you feel helps you gain support, give a voice to your experience, and realize you're not alone.

Share your experience on social media. Websites like Hollaback and Stop Street Harassment invite you to tell your story on their blogs. Not only do you take ownership of the experience, but you raise awareness that this is a thing that's happening.

"A lot of people don't identify harassment as a problem. It's just something we tolerate," Roy says.

But a switch flips when they hear of a sister, friend, or daughter's experience. Only then, do our communities, representatives, and harassers move together toward a solution.

SEE ALSO: The Only 16 Cities Where Women Out-Earn Men

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