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12 Simple Ways To Be More Interesting


It's easy to be boring. It's harder to be interesting. Want to learn how? Jessica Hagy offers the following advice, excerpted from her book "How To Be Interesting."

Go exploring.

Explore ideas, places, and opinions.

The inside of the echo chamber is where all the boring people hang out.

HTBI explore


Expose yourself.

To embarrassment. To ridicule. To risk. To strange events and conditions. To wild ideas. To things that make you cringe. To strange vistas and new sounds. Trust me. It'll be fun.

HTBI expose yourself


Become a spy.

People watch. Eavesdrop. Lurk. Loiter. Listen. And you'll learn the secret codes of others. Every day can be an interesting recon mission.

HTBI become a spy 1

HTBI spy 2

Tweak the schedule.

Wake up before the alarm. Steal moments between stoplights to compose poems. Sneak off to a moonlit spot when you'd otherwise be watching something on a glowing screen. Work at night and play in the daytime. Carve out hours for the dreams you've been putting off. There's always time to explore. You get to decide when it is. 

HTBI tweak schedule

Keep asking why.

Parents hate it when kids do it.

Why? Because.

Why? Because.

Why? Because.

And on and on. But try it. You'll be surprised at how quickly a simple Why? can turn into a fascinating Because.

HTBI ignorance

Share what you discover.

And be generous when you do. Not everybody went exploring with you.

Let them live vicariously through your adventures.

HTBI share what you discover


Do not wait until tomorrow. Say, do, or make it now. Go where you need to be. Do not wait to be invited places. Host your own parties. Do not sit by the phone. Pick it up. Spread the word. Press the buttons. Buy the tickets and enjoy the show.

HTBI instigate

State the obvious.

What's known to you is often a mystery to others. Your old fact is someone else's new lesson. Your simple task is someone else's impossible chore. Your mind is full of treasures that no one else has seen. Pass them on. An idea shared is not diminished: It's multiplied. 

HTBI obvious

Do something. Anything.

Dance. Talk. Build. Network. Play. Help. Create. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you're doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of "something," in case you were wondering. 

HTBI do something

Sign up.

Join a club. Take a class. Volunteer. Have a party. Take a meeting. What we do shapes who we are. Be someone who's been there, done that, and wants to do new things tomorrow.

How To Be Interesting Sign Up


Earnestly enjoy yourself.

Irony gets in the way of experience. Drop the pretense, and you'll have room to carry the day.

Sing along to cheesy pop music. Enjoy things that are out of style. Make silly faces. Stop stifling your giggles.

Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. 

HTBI enjoy


Start with a wonder. How does this work? What makes that happen? Then poke. Take things apart and put them back together. Push buttons. Change settings. See how the pieces fit. See what powers the engine. See how interesting it all is. 

HTBI tinker

SEE ALSO: 14 Habits Of Exceptionally Likable People

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Cisco CEO John Chambers: My Dyslexia Is A Weakness AND A Strength (CSCO)


Cisco John Chamber

By anyone's standards (even his own), Cisco CEO John Chambers has a great and enviable life.

He's fabulously wealthy (paid $21 million last year alone), flies around in his own private jet meeting with presidents and kings bringing tech to rich nations and impoverished countries alike.

But sometimes, he remembers being a young child whose teachers thought he wasn't smart and wouldn't go to college.

Chambers has dyslexia, a learning disability, and, years ago, he accidentally became a public spokesperson for it.

And he learned to overcome it and go to college. He has multiple degrees (a juris doctorate, bachelor's, and an MBA).

But talking about dyslexia, even today, is still extremely painful, he told Business Insider.

BI: When you were younger did having dyslexia affect your self esteem?

John Chambers: Oh absolutely. In third and fourth grade, my teachers thought I may not go to college. I had two parents who were doctors and my mom was valedictorian in multiple classes. My parents always told me, "you’re smart" and that’s nice from love, but that’s not what you see.

If I hadn’t had a teacher, Mrs. Anderson, who helped me get through that time period — my parents found her.

This was before dyslexia or learning disabilities were understood. I had no role models.

BI: What made you start talking about it publicly?

JC: I accidentally disclosed it one time, during Taking Our Children to work, and I realized how many people in the room were dyslexic, not just kids, but parents, too. That’s why I became a spokesperson for it.

When one of your counterparts [another journalist] called me up and asked me to write an article about it, I at first said, no. Because even right now, when I talk about dyslexia, my hands sweat.

It makes uncomfortable because if you give me directions or I call the person the wrong name, or get their numbers mixed up — I can memorize numbers really well — but once I file it wrong, I’ll make the same wrong turn every time.

I don’t make fun of people. I call people by what they want to be called. What does your best friend call you? What does your spouse call you? It helps you emotionally connect to people.

BI: I’ve heard people say it can help a leader think outside the box. Is that true?

It would surprise you how many government and business leaders with dyslexia. Some people view it as a weakness and maybe it is. What dyslexia forces you to do, you don’t go A, B, C, D, E … to Z.

I can go A, B … Z with speed.

Because of my weakness I’ve learned other ways to accomplish the same goal with faster speed. So in math, I can do equations faster by eliminating the wrong answers quicker than I can get the right answer.

It’s easy for me to see how a business proposition is going to play out, or who our next-generation competitors are, from taking this data point from this customer and another data point from another customer ... and jump to Z. So it’s definitely an advantage.

It’s one of the reasons I talk to young people with dyslexia pretty regularly. You have to have role models.

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW: CISCO CEO JOHN CHAMBERS OPENS UP — An Interview With One Of The Most Important People In Technology

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7 Everyday Phrases With Sinister Origins


Etymology, the study of the origin of words, can be fascinating.

Since language is constantly evolving, the meaning of many phrases has changed over time, sometimes obfuscating sexist, racist, and violent pasts.

These are seven everyday phrases with surprisingly sinister* origins.

1. Baker's Dozen

medieval baker making breadIn 13th-century Britain, under the reign of Henry III, a statute called the Assize of Bread and Ale stated that bakers could lose their hands for selling their customers "lighter" bread, or loaves of lesser quality.

Because it was hard to make all loaves exactly the same, bakers would throw in a small piece of extra bread when they sold a loaf. If a customer ordered 12 loaves, the baker would add an entire "vantage" loaf to make a "baker's dozen," just to make sure he wasn't accused of “short-weighting” the buyer.

The practice became so common that it was even written into the guild codes of the Worshipful Company of Bakers in London.

2. Blue Blood

Today, anyone from an old or aristocratic family is referred to as a “blue blood.” But the term has a racist past.

Blue blood comes from the Spanish phrase "sangre azul," or "blue blood." Aristocratic Castile families coined the term after Spain conquered Moorish lands in 1834 to refer to the fact that they were “uncontaminated” by Moorish or Jewish blood, because their complexions were fair, which caused their blue veins to stand out.

The racist undertones may be gone, but the classist notion persists.

3. As Pleased As Punch

punch and judy puppetsWhen you tell someone you’re “as pleased as punch,” it usually means you’re satisfied. But this phrase is rather gruesome.

The punch does not refer to a beverage but to the children’s puppets Punch and Judy, whose repertoire included wife beating, baby squashing, and murder.

The puppet shows became a staple in England during the late 1600s. The plot line generally followed the same theme: Something angered Punch and he would go on a killing spree, murdering everyone with his “slapstick.” Usually Punch would kill his child, then his hysterical wife, Judy, then any authority figure — policeman, doctor, concerned citizen — who came to investigate. He would laugh and say "That's the way to do it!" after each killing.

It’s pretty messed up, but the Brits still aren’t tired of Punch and Judy after nearly 400 years.

4. Wreak Havoc

To wreak havoc” means to create chaos and refers to a whole variety of behaviors. But in its original usage, havoc referred to theft, murder, and rape.

Havoc was an Anglo-Norman battlefield cry that meant soldiers could bring unlimited slaughter, destruction, and plunder upon the land. Under the reign of Richard II, in the 14th century, the cry was outlawed, and those who raised or answered it were sentenced to beheading.

5. Meeting A Deadline

andersonville prisonToday, having to “meet a deadline” might evoke dread, but that's nothing compared to the original meaning of the phrase.

The “dead-line” was the term for a literal line at Andersonville Prison, a Confederate prison for Union soldiers during the Civil War. The prison, which existed for only 14 months, was built to accommodate a maximum of 10,000 people in a stockade surrounded by tall pine logs.

Within that compound was another fence surrounding the prisoners that was called the "dead-line." It was built 20 feet away from the surrounding walls to stop anyone from climbing over or tunneling under, and sentries were posted in pigeon roosts to shoot any prisoner who crossed or touched the fence.

To make matters worse, there was massive overcrowding, causing nearly a third of all the prisoners who were sent there to die from poor sanitation, malnutrition, disease, overcrowding, and exposure to the elements.

6. A Blockbuster

Today, a “blockbuster” is a massive commercial hit. But the term used to refer to actual "block busters" — bombs that blew up streets during World War II.

British block-buster bombs, or “cookies,” used by the British Royal Air Force were basically huge cylinders (some 4,000 pounds or larger) filled with explosives that could cause massive damage to buildings.

The term took an entertainment tilt almost 10 years after the brutal war, in 1957.

7. Bulldozer

1876 presidential election poster rutherford hayesTo bulldoze” someone means to bully or coerce them. And while this isn’t the nicest phrase, it pales in comparison to its origins.

An iteration of the phrase first appeared in 1876. “Bull dose” meant to beat someone in an extremely cruel and brutal way, or to give a “dose” of lashing and whipping like one would whip a bull.

The term was quickly appropriated for racists who violently terrorized African-Americans after the Civil War in the South, particularly Southern Democrats who intimidated black voters from voting Republican during the chaotic 1876 U.S. presidential election. By 1880, bulldoze was being used as a verb.

When a machine was finally invented that used brute force to push over or through any obstacle, it was named a bulldozer.

*BONUS: Sinister

The word "sinister" also has an interesting past. It derives from the Latin word "sinister," which meant left or on the left side. In many languages — from Bavarian to Irish— the word for left-handed people also meant "crooked," "deficient," "weakest," and so on. In English, the word "left" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "lyft," which means "weak" or "broken." 

By the 15th century in England, left-handedness had evolved to mean "evil" and was sometimes seen as a mark of the devil. It was said that witches used their left hands to curse their marks.

Because of its dark meaning, left-handed people were forced to switch hands to avoid the stigma. Of course today, most cultures acknowledge that left-handed people are no more sinister than the rest of us, and in fact some of the world's greatest thinkers have been left-handed, like Leonardo da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin.

SEE ALSO: 11 Racist And Offensive Phrases That People Still Use All The Time

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Miami Heat Star Chris Bosh Just Listed His California Mansion For $14.5 Million



Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh listed his 10,700-square-foot villa with Sotheby's for $14.5 million yesterday, The L.A. Times first reported. 

Located at the top of the knoll in the Palisades Highlands of California, the home has unobstructed views of Topanga Canyon and the Pacific Ocean. Outside, there's an infinity pool with a swim up bar, plus a full outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven. Inside, you'll find six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, plus massive walk-in closets, a gym, a home theater, and a sports bar billiards room. 

Bosh bought the property in 2012 for $9.4 million, and he had previously offered it as a rental for $45,000 a month. Donald Glover, known also by his rap moniker Childish Gambino, used the house to record his most recent album, "Because The Internet" (2013). After signing a five-year, $118 million contract with the Miami Heat this offseason, Bosh must be thinking he no longer needs his California digs.

The 10,700-square-foot gated villa sits on 1.5 acres in the Pacific Palisades.

Here's the kitchen.

And one dining room.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here Are The Must-Know Secrets To A Great Business Card


Lots of people don't even carry around business cards anymore.

This is a mistake: Business cards aren't just for giving people your contact info; they also launch conversations and spur relationships. 

We talked with Chicago-based freelance designer Margot Harrington and Teresa Pereira, VP of brand and communication at online design shop Moo.com, about how to make the most of those hardworking rectangles.  

Here's what we found out.

Bi_graphics_businessCards revised

SEE ALSO: Who You Know Is Even More Important Than You Realize

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People In These 11 Countries Feel More Free Than Americans


world values survey freedom map

The above map shows how much freedom and control residents of various countries feel on average from one to 10.

The data comes from the 2010-2014 World Values Survey, the largest "non-commercial, cross-national, time series investigation of human beliefs and values ever executed." It dates back to 1981 and has included nearly 400,000 respondents from 100 countries, which house 90% of the world's population.

The question asked:

"Some people feel they have completely free choice and control over their lives, while other people feel that what they do has no real effect on what happens to them. Please use this scale where 1 means "no choice at all" and 10 means "a great deal of choice" to indicate how much freedom of choice and control you feel you have over the way your life turns out."

Japan rounds out the bottom, with respondents reporting an average of 5.8. Russia comes in at a close second-to-last with six. Mexico takes the top spot. There, respondents rated their freedom and choice in life at an average of 8.2. 

Most notably, 11 countries reported higher responses than that of the United States, with an average of 7.7. They are: Uruguay, New Zealand, Uzbekistan, Ecuador, Qatar, Romania, Slovenia, Kuwait, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico. 

For comparison, the U.S. average stayed about the same from the 2004-2009 wave, while Japan and Russia dropped significantly from 7.6 and 7.0, respectively.

Here's a full ranking from least to greatest, excluding any missing values:

SEE ALSO: This Chart Explains Every Culture In The World

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The 10 Best Home Printers On The Market



Whether you want to print your boarding pass, photographs, or important documents, having a functional at-home printer is a convenient time saver.

The experts over at FindTheBest compiled a list of the best home printers. To rank this list, they looked at expert reviews from various electronics websites.

10. Brother HL-2240 ($56)

If you're looking for a basic, black and white laserjet printer to print out a lot of pages quickly, the Brother HL-2240 is a great (and cheap) option. Its abilities don't extend far beyond basic printing, but it'll print 24 pages per minute to get the job done.

9. HP LaserJet P3015dn ($750)

The HP LaserJet P3015dn is best for a home that needs very large amounts of printing done — think home office amounts. The speed of printing almost doubles that of the Brother HL-2240 at 42 pages per minute, and its trays can hold a total of 600 pages for maximum printing without having to refill often. 

8. HP Photosmart 7510 ($329)

HP Photosmart 7510 All-in-OneThe HP Photosmart 7510 is a laserjet with fast color printing abilities. It accomplishes all of the basics with its scanning, copying, and printing of high quality photos.

7. LEXMARK E462DTN ($690)

For a reliable and lasting printer that will likely more than fulfill any household's needs, the LEXMARK E452DTN is a pricey yet competent device. The model has a maximum monthly duty of 80,000 pages, and accepts all kinds of media types and sizes like envelopes, transparencies, folios, and more.

6. Ricoh Aficio SP C240SF ($499)

The Ricoh Aficio SP C240SF is an all-in-one printer with scanning, copying, faxing, and photo printing capabilities. Its print speed for color and black and white pages is slower than average, at roughly 16 pages per minute, but its large tray can hold 751 pages.

Epson Stylus Photo R3000

5. Epson Stylus NX515 ($380)

For families who like to fill the photo albums, the Epson Stylis NX515 offers impressive image quality. The printer has WiFi, ethernet, card, and USB slots so that you can upload photos with ease. It also comes with built-in editing tools, like red eye correction. 

4. HP Officejet 6500A Plus e-All-in-One ($759)

Print vibrant, borderless color photos and posters with standout text with the HP Officejet 6500A. Its features include smart phone photo printing, color faxing, and above average speed printing for both black and white and color.

3. Canon Pixma MX340 Wireless Office ($300)

With the Canon Pixma Mx340, you can print wirelessly from multiple devices throughout your home, including photos from iPhone and iPod touches. The fax aspect of the printer is also notably quick. 

2. HP Officejet Pro 276dw MFP ($335)

The HP Officejet Pro 276dw Multi Function Printer is ideal if you're looking for an all-in-one, high quality device that can copy, fax, scan, and print. Its sheet capacity and speed are both lower than average, but it offers very low cost per page printing.

Amazon HP Pro X551dw

1. HP Officejet Pro X551dw ($600) 

This wireless color photo printer scored the highest on FindTheBest. The HP Officejet Pro X551dw is energy and cost efficient; speedy, with a rate of 42 pages per minute; and compatible with various types of paper and envelopes.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Blenders You Can Buy

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15 Words And Phrases You're Probably Saying Incorrectly


nip it in the bud

Some people mumble. Others repeat nonsensical sayings they just don't understand.

Whatever the reason, we've bastardized parts of the English language.

The 15 word and phrases below often come out incorrectly. Let's set the record straight. 

1. For all "intents and purposes" — not for all "intensive purposes"

If you say "for all intensive purposes," you mean "for all these very thorough purposes." That doesn't make any sense.

On the other hand, "for all intents and purposes" means "for all the reasons I did this and all the outcomes." It's a much stronger cliche.

2. Nip it in the "bud" — not nip it in the "butt"

This phrase should imply you cut a new bud (off a plant), not bit someone in the backside.

3. One "and" the same — not one "in" the same

"One in the same" refers to one thing in a group of other things that look the same — a meaningless sentiment. "One and the same" is a more emphatic form of "the same."

4. "By" accident — not "on" accident

While both terms have become acceptable, "by accident" is technically correct.

So you do something "on purpose" but "by accident." English is crazy.

5. "Home" in — not "hone in"

Even though most dictionaries now list both as accepted usage, "home in" is the original phrase. It means to approach a target or goal, while "hone" means to sharpen.

You can "hone" your skills, but a detective would "home in" on a suspect.

6. Case "in" point — not case "and" point

"Case in point" means, "Here's an example of this point I'm trying to make." The version with "and" says your point is separate from your case, which isn't helpful to your argument.

And for the record ...

7. "Cases-in-point" — not "case-in-points"

Whenever there's a hyphenated noun phrase, remember to attach the "s" to the word that's actually being pluralized.

In this case, there are multiple "cases" in which you are making a point.

"Brothers-in-law," "attorneys-at-law," "chiefs-of-staff," etc. all fall into this category.

For frequently used single words with suffixes, you would want to pluralize the entire word — like "teaspoonfuls."

8. Should/could/would "have" — not should/could/would "of"

Using "of" here is just wrong. In this case, you need to pair a verb with another verb. Otherwise, people will think "of" what?

9. You've got another "think" coming — not you've got another "thing"coming

So what "thing" do I have coming? Instead, saying "You've got another 'think' coming" means someone should think again. The phrase was originally, "If that's what you think, you've got another think coming." We just dropped the first clause.

If you don't believe us, here's an example from the Washington Post in 2011, as noted by The Grammarist.

The phrase even dates back to The Daily Argus News in 1897. 

10. "Wreak" havoc — not "wreck" havoc

To "wreck" havoc means to destroy havoc, which is the exact opposite of this phrase's meaning. When you "wreak havoc," you're spreading chaos, anarchy, and destruction.

11. I "couldn't" care less — not I "could" care less

If you "could" care less, you're admitting there are other, less important things in world, which takes away the sting of your comment.

By saying you "couldn't" care less, you mean nothing else exists on the planet that matters less you. Major burn.

12. Try "to" — not try "and"

Consider this example: I'm going to try and dance. So what are you going to try while you're dancing? Vietnamese food? A new hat?

Instead, say "I'm going to try to dance," meaning you will attempt to move your body in a rhythmic way. 

13. "Beck and call" — not "beckon call"

Having someone at your "beck and call" means they cater to your every need. "Beckon call" doesn't even grammatically make sense. "Beckon" is a verb, which can't modify an adjective. 

14. "Tongue-in-cheek" — not "tongue-and-cheek"

Back in the 19th century, "to speak with one's tongue in one's cheek" meant "to speak insincerely." Today, it could also mean irony, exaggeration, or mischievousness. 

15. Of "utmost" importance — not of "upmost" importance

While any phrase with the word "up" might automatically make it seem of top priority, "utmost" is actually the word you want to use. 

BONUS: "Bold-faced lie" — or "bald-faced" lie

Dictionaries vary in their identifications and definitions of these phrases, but generally, either is considered appropriate.

Some, however, show slightly different meanings. "Bald-faced lie" could refers to an untruth that's easy to spot or understand, while "bold-faced" means one told without shame or guilt. But the meanings do overlap. 

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Hang With Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine At The Sleek Los Angeles Headquarters Of Beats Electronics


beats office dre iovineBeats Electronics moved into brand-new headquarters in Culver City, California, in May, just days after it was announced the company had been bought by Apple for $3 billion.

Even though it's now part of the Apple empire, the new Beats office has none of the glass-and-steel minimalism we've come to expect from Apple.

Instead, it's bright and fun, with intensely colored seating areas and listening stations where you can try out headphones.

There aren't too many outrageous design features in this office, though. Architect Barbara Bestor said the emphasis was on creating a flexible, comfortable working environment, instead of an "adolescent-like interior that is prevalent in Silicon Valley."

With 105,000 square feet, the Beats office takes up two buildings in Culver City, California.

Custom seating makes for a comfortable waiting area.

If you walk a bit farther down the entry corridor, you'll find yourself in the cafe.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Music Festival On A Tiny, Remote Island Looks Totally Amazing


G! FEST Faroe IslandsThis past week marked the 12th annual G! Festival, and people from all over the world came to see great musical performances.

But for nearly all of them, it wasn't a simple drive or car trip. The G! Festival was held on one of the tiny, remote Faroe Islands, an isolated part of Denmark.

The Islands are located approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland. It takes 3.5 hours to fly there from Oslo, and 13 to 14 hours by ferry from Denmark. skitch faroe islandsGiven the remoteness of the festival, which took place on the southwest Faroese island of Eysturoy, you might think attendance would have been sparse.faroe island g! festivalBut festival promoters say they sell around 6,000 tickets a year, which is 15 times the population of Syðrugøta, the tiny town where the festival is located.

According to Wikipedia, it is believed that a fifth of the population of the Faroe Islands attended the festival in 2005.faroe islands G! festivalThe Faroe Islands are absolutely beautiful, and were a stunning background for the festival. What's even more picturesque was the location of the festival's main stage.G! Festival faroe IslandsThe stage was directly on the beach. Concert-goers had the ocean to their left and soaring, grass-covered mountains to their right. Needless to say, it's one of the most unique places in the world to see a show.

Many people chose to pitch a tent in a field off the beach, surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Faroe islands G! FestivalThe water may have been freezing, but some people ventured in anyway. faroe islands g! festivalWhen they had too much, they could jump into the Finnish hot tubs and sauna.Edith Johannesen Faroe islandsConcert-goers saw headlining acts like Swangah, Orka, or Sister Sledge on the beach, and checked out smaller acts on one of the three other stages, like this one, made out a converted shipping container.faroe islandsThings don't stop when the sun goes down. Attendees just put on a jacket and keep going. At night, electronic acts perform at one of G! Festival's purportedly "legendary" parties.faroe islands g festivalFounded in 2002 by Faroe Island locals Sólarn Solmunde and Jón Tyril, G! Fest is actually one of two large music festivals on the Faroe Islands, which are known for being somewhat of a hotbed of creativity. The people of the town, and of the Islands as a whole, have been quite receptive to the festival, as well.faroe islands

SEE ALSO: 11 Music Festivals You Can't Miss This Summer

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Here's Everything You Need To Know About 'Generation Alpha' — The Age Group Beyond Gen Z


kid with iPhone

Before the Information Age, "tweet" used to mean the sound birds make. And tablets were made of stone.

"A 'cloud' is not a thing of the sky anymore. It's a place where we store data," social researcher Mark McCrindle tells Business Insider. "Words are being totally transformed."

For Generation Alpha, loosely defined as anyone born after 2010, these new definitions probably come to mind before the originals. Notably, Alpha kids will have never lived without smartphones — without the ability to transfer a thought online in just seconds.

These massive technological changes, among others, make Generation Alpha the most transformative generation ever, according to McCrindle.

"In the past, the individual had no power, really," he notes. "Now, the individual has great control of their lives through being able to leverage this world. Technology, in a sense, transformed the expectations of our interactions."

Coining "Generation Alpha"

Most demographers and social scientists stay busy pontificating about Generations Y and Z (also known as Zed). But McCrindle and his team looked to the future, wondering "What comes next?"

In 2005, McCrindle's group ran a national survey in Australia.The questionnaire asked respondents to think up potential names themselves. "Alpha" emerged and seemed like a natural fit, considering science disciplines, such as meteorology, often move to the Greek alphabet after exhausting the Roman alphabet or Arabic numerals.

While speculation still exists, many have unofficially dubbed the group "Generation Alpha." McCrindle, for one, hopes it sticks.

Just about everyone under the age of 5 falls into the Alpha category. And it will encompass anyone born in the next 15 years, what McCrindle considers the usual span of a generation. Unlike previous generations, which have used technology, Alphas will spend the bulk of their formative years completely immersed in it.

"Even new technologies have been transformed," McCrindle says. "It's not just email — it's instant messaging. It's not just sharing a document online — it's a Prezzi or a YouTube video."

A Demographic Shift

Shifts in global population will also affect Generation Alpha's experience. For example, as early as 2028, India could surpass China as the most populous country in the world, according to United Nation's recent data.

"Generational labeling has been a Western phenomenon," McCrindle says. Consider Baby Boomers, named for those born in the U.S. during the post-World War II "baby boom." And "teenager," a term coined in the mid-20th century.

Such labels are a much newer concept in developing countries, which may lag behind in both population and technology, creating less variety between generations. 

In Generation Alpha's time, however, "India and China will become the center of gravity," McCrindle notes. Countries who have experienced less development until recently will naturally experience a more pronounced generation gap with Alpha.

With better technology and more people to fuel its growth, children in these countries will trade some of their traditional, Eastern values for more tech-savvy and global ideas, McCrindle explains. 

The Biggest Leap Ever

This new climate of connectivity makes the leap from Gen Z to Alpha the largest in history, according to McCrindle — even bigger than than from Baby Boomers to Gen X, who experienced the invention of computers. 

For Baby Boomers, the newest computers were still mechanical and manual. They required effort and knowledge of programs to use. "But what we have with social media is a shift from the auditory and visual to the kinesthetic process," McCrindle explains. "The platform may stay the same, but it's gone from a computer with a keyboard to one with a touchscreen."

Alphas will also interact for the first time with these technologies at much younger ages than any other generation. Now, many teenagers don't wear watches because they use their cell phones for telling time, McCrindle notes. Imagine what Alphas will or won't wear or do because of their attachment to tech.

"They don't think about these technologies as tools," McCrindle says. "They integrate them singularly into their lives."

SEE ALSO: 15 Facts About Millennials And The Economy Everyone In Business Should Know

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Cisco CEO: I Don't Need To Sign A Pledge To Give To Charity (CSCO)


Cisco John Chambers

Philanthropy is a big issue in the tech industry these days.

For instance, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has been urging companies to open their wallets.

And Bill Gates is pressuring the 1% to sign a "Giving Pledge" vowing to give away a large portion of their wealth to charity.

Some tech billionaires have even gone so far as to express disapproval of the philanthropic efforts of tech CEOs.

One person who's stayed out of the fray has been Cisco CEO John Chambers. Even so, Cisco is one of the major tech companies in the Valley and it is known for its generosity and donations. (It even flies entire satellite networks and employees at its own expense to disaster sites worldwide).

We know he does give regularly. In 2011, a rare press release was issued that mentioned a family foundation and a $750,000 donation to establish a cancer research center at West Virginia University. (He considers that a "small sum," he told us.) Chambers is an alum there, and so are his parents, both of whom are doctors. He also has ties to Duke University and he has been seen helping out at Second Harvest Food Bank.

West Virginia University

We recently got the chance to ask him what he thinks of things like Bill Gates' Giving Pledge (which he has not signed).

"Do I need to sign a giving pledge to give? No," he told us cheerfully, saying he preferred to keep his charitable contributions private because talking about it makes him "uncomfortable."

But he has started to talk a little more about it. He told us he gives to "several of the universities and schools" and to the Second Harvest Food Bank. ("One of the biggest ones I consistently give to.")

These organizations have convinced him to be more public. "They said, 'John, people need role models. They see you giving, they’re more likely to give. One of the key reasons nobody gives is that no one they know or respect asks them and they don’t think they can make a difference,'" he explains.

That said, he does feel that the 1% has an obligation to open their wallets.

"Both of my parents were doctors and I firmly believe that those who have been successful in life owe an obligation to those who have not," he says.

Two things have motivated him. He personally follows the progress of every extremely sick employee, spouse of an employee, or child of, he tells us. Sometimes he even intervenes to help them find a doctor or get a second opinion.

And he is himself dyslexic, who credits his success to a single teacher.

"Almost all of the giving by Elaine and I is to education or health care that can really make a difference," he says.

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW: CISCO CEO OPENS UP: 'We Want To Change The Standard Of Living For Everyone In This World'

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A Frequent Flier Shares Smart Tips For Acing The Airport


Vegas Vacation Airplane

One of the essential 21st century skills is staying sane at the airport.

Craig Mod, the cofounder of writing platform Hiwrote a killer Medium post on how to do just that.  

And he should know. Mod splits his time between Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York. 

Here are some of his travel hacks: 

1. Get to the airport laughably early.

Show up way before you think you need to. Mod says: 

Authorities recommend arriving two hours before international flights. I say four. Get there four hours before your flight. You are a hundred and fifty years old. Your friends laugh at you. Have patience.

Why is showing up early awesome? Mod says you get a better shot at being sneaked into an exit row or snagging a bulkhead seat. All because nobody else is in line. 

Plus, when you get to security, you've got no worries — you have plenty of time. 

2. Once you've made it through security, build your nest.

Most of the airport is an awful place to be, so find the least awful spot. Here's what Mod suggests:

You are looking for the CNN-free zone. The MSNBC-free zone. The blare-free, drone-free zone. The zone without the talking heads. A zone calm. The listen-to-your-thoughts zone. The get-work-done zone. The read-a-book zone. The just-let-me-sit-there zone. You’re looking for the small corner of rationality in a world of nonstop tickers.

How do you spot such a place? The first step is to walk the entire length of the terminal with your eyes and ears open, looking for the perch with the optimal feng shui. He also recommends that you find the healthiest food you can, which you should eat before settling down.

For finding a chill location, do as detectives do and seek clues. Mod provides a pro tip: Look for where the airport and airline employees hang, for they will assemble at the chillest of places.

Perch procured, crack open that laptop. Get work done. Watch a movie. Read a book. You've got the time. 

3. Then you get on the plane.

You can do the work "that thrives on network disconnection," he says, like writing articles, reading dense books, or designing your new business card

Then, when you're sated, rest.

This is where the frequent flyer's airplane paraphernalia comes in. 

We love two of Mod's recommendations: 

 A face mask: "The white mask, the trick of Japanese travelers for decades, handed out in Economy Plus and Business Class on All Nippon Airlines, the universal symbol for bird flu, the surgeon’s face armor," he writes. "The mask’s role is two-fold: protect you from the horror that is the air aboard airplanes, and create a microclimate for your nose and mouth." 

• Ear gear: Bring earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, and a soothing sounds app called Chill. With those powers combined, you won't sweat the inevitable crying babies that come with air travel.

This gear allows you to transcend your economy class existence. 

While Mod admits that you "look insane" with all this stuff on, you'll also feel deeply well. 

He says:

You are satiated, filled with nourishing food; you have gotten your work done, and now you float in a personal outer space. An outer space that sounds like the summer in Wisconsin and feels just as humid within the nose and mouth thanks to your microclimate. You are on a plane but are not. You could be anywhere. You are untouchable. You are possibly the most insufferable traveler ever. You float and smile because you are the Dalai Lama.

 And that, you have to say, is flying the friendly skies.

SEE ALSO: 11 Simple Tricks That Will Make You Happier And More Productive

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Why You Sometimes Feel Like You're Falling And Jerk Awake When Trying To Fall Asleep

You Can Buy The Original J.P. Morgan's Secluded Adirondacks Compound For $3 Million



The old Adirondacks home of the famous financier J.P. Morgan is now on the market for $3.25 million.

Built in 1895, the camp-style house was in Morgan's family for half a century. Located on Mohegan Lake, there are only two other private properties on the six-mile road to Camp Uncas. There's also a gate to keep unauthorized vehicles out.

The house has five bedroom, 3.5 bathrooms, and a total of about 4,000 square feet. According to the WSJ, there's also a 6-foot-long bathtub specifically to accommodate J.P. Morgan's height. The house also features a children's playhouse, a lean-to, a boat house with dock, and two guest cabins.

The current owner, Howard Kirschenbaum, bought the vacation home in 1976 and has restored it over the years. The property is listed with Michael Franklin of Franklin Ruttan.

The 4.5-acre property was in the Morgan family for half a century.

The house was built from solid spruce logs.

The camp-style house has an old-time, rustic feel to it.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Frozen Yogurt Shops Are Designed To Get You To Spend More Money


Yogen Fruz Bolivia

Self-serve frozen yogurt shops have cropped up coast-to-coast in recent years. And while most are independent, or belong to small chains, they all tend to look alike.  

Many of the shops feature pastels, bright lighting, and cute mascots.

One trick is that cups come in large sizes — and customers are charged by weight. But the design of the stores and logos also play a role in getting people to spend more. 

There's a science behind this design that actually makes stores more profitable, says Ekaterina Kohlwes, owner of Mindful Design Consultinga San-Diego based interior design company that has designed more than 30 fro-yo stores.

Here are some of the psychological tricks frozen yogurt shops use to keep customers coming back.

1. Using the color green to remind customers of health.

Many frozen yogurt shops, such as New York-based 16 Handles, New Jersey's Let's Go, and California chain Yogurtland utilize the color green. 

Kohlwes says that green makes customers think of health, because so many vegetables are green. Fro-yo chains want to market themselves as a healthier dessert option.

Pastel colors, also common in frozen yogurt shops, are supposed to echo "the creaminess and texture of frozen yogurt," Kohlwes tells Business Insider. She claims that the decor makes people hungrier. 16 Handles Marlboro NJ

2. Using rounded fonts in logos.

Kohlwes says the rounded shapes and designs are reminiscent of the softer look of fro-yo, and can subliminally make customers want to eat more. 

The soft fonts also make the shops seem more fun and appealing, according to Kohlwes. 

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, the biggest fro-yo brand in the world, uses this technique. Tutti Frutti

3. Paying attention to lighting.

Kohlwes says bright lights are extremely important. The shops should be well-lit and inviting to highlight the yogurt machines and toppings. 

Many chains use bright, but low-hanging lights. This gives the desired brightness without being harsh or overwhelming. 

Forever Yogurt, an Illinois chain, utilizes this technique. So does national chain Pinkberry. Forever Yogurt

4. Using cute mascots to attract core customers.

Women, often with young children in tow, make up a majority of frozen yogurt customers. As many as 68% of frozen yogurt customers are women, according to a Taylor study

The cuddly mascots make the shops more inviting for customers, Kohlwes said.

Menchie's, a national chain, has Menchie, a smiling figure with a swirl of frozen yogurt for hair. Atlanta-based Yogli Mogli also has a grinning, anthropomorphized cup of yogurt. And Yogurtland has partnered with Sanrio to feature popular characters like Hello Kitty on its merchandise.Yogurtland Miami

SEE ALSO: Burger King's 33-Year-Old CEO Is Completely Reshaping The Company

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Hollywood Legend Ron Howard Sells His Connecticut Estate For A Record $27.5 Million


ron howard mansion 4x3

Oscar-winning producer, actor, and director Ron Howard and his wife Cheryl have officially sold their gorgeous mansion in Westchester County for its $27.5 million asking priceThe Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the real estate agents representing the sale, that makes this the priciest home sale on record in Westchester County. The buyer remains under wraps.

The estate has more than 32 acres of property, including a lake, nature trails, and even a stargazing observatory with a professional-grade Meade telescope.

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

The estate is located in the exclusive enclave of Conyers Farm, which straddles both Greenwich, Conn., and the hamlet of Armonk in Westchester, New York.

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

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

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

The home is located in the enclave of Conyers Farm, straddling Westchester and Connecticut.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

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

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

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

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Talking To Strangers Makes People Happier, Is Less Awkward Than You Think


subway commuters new york

Think you'd feel uncomfortable if you had to talk to a random stranger on the train or in the street?

Think again. New research from the University of Chicago shows that it's a near-painless way to have a happier day. 

In a series of clever experiments, researchers Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder found that people assume that talking to strangers on their commute will make for a terribly clumsy encounter — but they end up having the opposite experience. 

The Science of Us blog has the write-up of the first experiment, which involved train commuters near Chicago:

Some (commuters) were instructed to have a conversation with whoever sat next to them, some were told to keep to themselves and enjoy their solitude, and some were told to do whatever they normally do. Afterwards, they mailed in surveys describing their experience — both how much they enjoyed the ride and how productive they felt during it. Of the three groups, those in the conversation condition reported the most positive train ride, and those in the solitude condition reported the most negative. Among those who talked, the longer the conversation, the better the ride.

Later experiments further pressed the point. 

In the second one, Eply and Schroeder asked commuters to imagine taking part in the first experiment. The commuters said they thought it would be weird to talk to a stranger on the train.

Then, in another experiment, the researchers asked train and bus riders to think about talking with a stranger. 

"In general, they expected it to be pretty pleasant," Science of Us continues. "But when asked about the process of initiating a conversation, they rated the difficulty of breaking the ice at a four on a scale of zero to six, and they guessed that fewer than half of their targets would want to talk back."

That's the thing: We think that talking to a stranger will end in catastrophic embarrassment, but it doesn't in reality. The first experiment is a case in point, since nobody got rejected when they tried to talk to someone they don't know. 

That leaves us with a dilemma.

Why don't we start conversations, especially in places like New York, where everybody keeps their distance from one another even as they're crammed shoulder to shoulder? 

Psychologists call it "pluralistic ignorance." As in, everybody would like to talk, but no one thinks anyone wants to talk. 

The dread associated with starting a convo defuses would-be connections. But as these experiments evidence, there's nothing to fear. Epley tells Science of Us that starting a conversation is "like a speed bump at the top of a hill." All you need to do is compliment their shoes, mention the weather, ask about their day — and then you're off.

Need further motivation? Consider how jobs, dates, and good ideas come with forging new relationships.

"Human beings are social animals," Epley and Schroeder conclude. "Those who misunderstand the consequences of social interactions may not, in at least some contexts, be social enough for their own well-being."

That reminds us of the news about polar bears.

Did you hear about how much they weigh? 

Enough to break the ice.

SEE ALSO: 11 Characteristics Of Authentically Happy People

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