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Miami Is Finally Doing Something About Its Lack Of Mega-Yacht Parking Spots


Miami Beach

Miami has sun, sand, and sex, but it lacks one critical feature of the modern luxury economy: a place for ultra-wealthy seafarers to dock their shimmering mega-yachts.

This is undoubtedly something that keeps the proud residents of South Florida awake at night — awake in the soft, humid night, after the final mojito has been downed and the last salsa danced in South Beach. So the city is doing something about it. The question is: Will the mega-yacht harbor be done in time for the 2015 Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show?

The show kicks off in mid-February, so the clock is ticking for the developer of the project, the Flagstone Property Group. But according to Miami Today, the firm has assured the City Commission that work has begun, the deadline will be met, and the mega-yachts with not be denied.DREAM Yacht MY_DREAM_lores 4451In fact, the Harbor at Island Gardens — the port is part of a planned $1 billion residential, dining, retail, and entertainment mecca — will address a global dearth of mega-yacht slips not just in Miami, but on the planet.

The current torrid rate of mega-yacht construction outstrips the supply of watery high-end parking spots. And while it's amusing to ply the waves, literally unmoored and addressless for weeks or months, there comes a time when you want to pull into port. Which will cost you. More than $4,000 a day.

As Charterworld reported back in February, the new marina will "accommodate 35 to 75 mega-yachts, superyachts and giga-yachts within a range of 80 to 480 feet." (If mega-yachts don't do it for you, giga-yachts the size of Navy frigates are where you turn). This is critical: when it comes to mega-yachts, you have to cater to the 300-foot-and-above-club.

We reached out to the Yacht & Brokerage Show organizers for a preview of mega-, super-, and giga-yachts to expect next year in Miami and will update when we know more.

SEE ALSO: Charter This Megayacht With An Inflatable Water Slide For $425,000 A Week

SEE ALSO: A Mysterious Middle Eastern Mogul Bought This Insane Megayacht With An Infinity Pool

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How An Environmentalist Architect Made An Incredible House Out Of Garbage


beer can house

Before the birth of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, pollution and litter plagued America. 

Despite the obvious problems, architect Michael Reynolds saw an opportunity — making houses out of what he calls "garbage."

"These materials are indigenous to the entire planet," he tells Business Insider. "Everywhere you go, they're present." 

Click here see how Reynolds built his unique homes »

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, Reynolds became a proponent of "radically sustainable" living. In '72, he built his first house, made almost entirely from beer and pop cans. 

Using a process Reynolds calls "earthship biotecture," a two-bedroom home, requiring about 70,000 cans, would cost $25,000 to $30,000 — 20% less expensive than traditional building at the time.

"The beer can houses kind of started everything," he recalls. Reynolds now runs Earthship Biotecture, a global architecture firm focused on creating self-sustaining homes.

Documerica, a photo project in the 1970s from the newly established EPA, captured Reynolds' humble beginnings in Taos, New Mexico, the location of the first beer can houses.

In 1975, Reynolds stood smiling in the New Mexico sun.

He and his team built the Thumb House in Taos, New Mexico. Shown below, it's the first structure made almost entirely out of beer and pop cans. The curved walls allow the cans to support more weight, resulting in pie-shaped rooms.

"The beer can idea started in the early '70s when they first started doing TV [broadcasts] about old steel cans being thrown all over the streets and highways," Reynolds says.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Tiny Isolated Town In Alaska Is Only Accessible By A 2.6 Mile-Long Tunnel That Closes At Night [PHOTOS]


Truck mountain whittier ak

On the southern coast of Alaska, located on one of the many bays of the Alaskan Gulf, the town of Whittier might be the most remote and hard-to-access towns in the United States. The only way to get to Whittier by land is through a 2.6-mile tunnel that closes at night. 

Photographer Jen Kinney has spent a lot of time in Whitter, living with and photographing the people of the town. It takes a special type of person to live in such an isolated place, and her photographs document the brave citizens of Whittier, through the good times and the bad. We asked Kinney to give us some of the stories behind her favorite photographs.

Whittier, Alaska is home to fewer than 200 people in winter, more than half of whom live in a 14-story condominium: Begich Towers, a relic of Alaska’s Cold War development. The only road in or out of the former military base passes through a 2.6-mile, single-lane tunnel that closes for the night.Whittier AlaskaWith wind that can gust up to 80 miles per hour and annual snowfall up to 55 feet, it is easy not to leave Begich Towers for days or weeks. Some residents have boasted that they have not left in years, a not impossible feat with corner store, post office, and church all in the building.Whittier AlaskaTiNoi and son Demetrius attempt to shoot molting salmon as they swim upstream. TiNoi traveled to Whittier to work at the cannery eight summers ago. He and wife Ata moved into Begich Towers and stayed, he working for the harbor and she at the school and tunnel.Whittier AlaskaIn summer, the town’s population swells with transients. Terry works at the cannery, living in a bunkhouse across from the crumbling Buckner Building, once the largest structure in the Alaskan territory, abandoned and uninhabited since the army left in 1960.Whittier AlaskaTerry’s roommate in the bunkhouse is Dut, an immigrant to Anchorage from the world’s youngest country, South Sudan. He and the other cannery employees will work for the summer and leave Whittier again before winter sets in.Whittier AlaskaThe town lies nestled on a delta between the Chugach Mountains and Prince William Sound. The harbor is the basis of Whittier’s economy, as the water accommodates barges, fishing boats, tour boats, and this vessel, pulled from the water and being scrapped for parts.Whittier AlaskaCharlene and Arnie have lived on their boat in the harbor on and off since the 1960s, and have participated in the town’s evolution nearly since incorporation, playing the roles of harbormaster, school district superintendent, and mayor. But they don’t live in Begich Towers anymore. “I call it the bat cave,” said Arnie, “Because you have to be battier than hell to live there. When one person sneezes, everyone sneezes.”Whittier AlaskaBrenda doesn’t live in Begich Towers either, but her two pet reindeer live in a pen across the street. In the thirty-five years she has lived in Whittier, Brenda has been notary public, weather woman, gift shop owner, resident artist, and sign painter. “Whittier magnifies what people are about,” she said.Whittier AlaskaWhen the military base at Whittier was mothballed just 20 years after the tunnel’s construction, civilians inhabited the abandoned base and incorporated a town despite its blend of isolation and claustrophobia. From the tunnel to the end of an unfinished road, the town is just three miles long, barely longer than the tunnel itself.Whittier AlaskaUntil 2000, the tunnel was railroad-only and residents could enter and exit the town by train only a few times a week. Today, cars stage on both sides, passing into Whittier on the bottom of the hour and out of the top. At night when it closes, one is acutely aware which side of Maynard Mountain one is stranded on.

Whittier Alaska“If you can deal with yourself, you can love Whittier,” said Jim, a stone carver who lived in town for 20 years. In his last years in Whittier, he lived in a hotel room in the Anchor Inn, between the town’s only year-round restaurant on the first floor and its bar on the third.Whittier Alaska This project has been supported by grants from the Alaska Humanities Forum and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University through the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize. Kinney will exhibit these photographs at The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University this October. 

SEE ALSO: Here's What It's Like To Take A Helicopter To The Best Surf Spots In Alaska [PHOTOS]

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Richard Branson Wants To Create A Separate Cabin For Kids On Planes


Kid flying on a plane

Flying with kids is a daunting undertaking that's generally feared by both parents and passengers.

Some people want to ban kids from flights altogether, while others have come up with more creative solutions to this problem. 

Richard Branson, who is the founder of Virgin Group, recently told Conde Nast Traveler that he is considering adding a "kid's class" onboard Virgin planes.

"I would love to introduce kid’s class," Branson said. "It would be a separate cabin for kids with nannies to look after them."

In theory this kid's class could be fun for the kids, who could be as rowdy as they want, and for the adults, who could enjoy the flight in peace. There's only one big problem: safety.

"We’ve had an issue with the Civil Aviation Authority," Branson said. "They worry in an emergency kids would be running in one direction and their parents would be running in the other. So we haven’t got it through yet."

SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Airlines In The World

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See How Inconsistent Sizes Are At 10 Different Retailers


American clothing sizes are notoriously inconsistent

Graphic artist Jenna Josepher illustrated the size discrepancies for size 8 women's pants at major retailers. 

The graphic, first published by Racked, reveals that Uniqlo and Old Navy's sizes tend to run big. 

Meanwhile, Forever 21 and H&M run small. 

"Whatever the reason, many brands have resorted to labeling larger waist/hip measurements as smaller sizes, hence the sizing confusion," Racked writes. 


racked sizing graphic

SEE ALSO: The Michael Kors Brand Could Be Headed For A Big Crash

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San Francisco Office Rents Have Risen Nearly 90% In The Last Four Years Thanks To The Tech Boom


san francisco google eviction protest

Tech workers and their large salaries have largely been blamed for the gentrification and rising rents plaguing San Francisco. When it comes to finding a place to live, demand has far outpaced supply.

It turns out the same thing is happening to commercial real estate in the city.

According to The Information, back in 2010, there were 22 blocks — or office spaces of 100,000 square feet or more — on the market, and the average rent was $34.02 per square foot.

Today, rates have risen nearly 90% to reach an average of $64.45 per square foot for a Class A office space, according to real estate company CBRE. For comparison, at the peak of the dot-com bubble in the third quarter of 2000, rents reached $67.20 per square foot.

There are currently 7 blocks of office space on the market, significantly fewer than four years ago.

In addition, 3.6 million square feet of office space is under construction, with 65% of those developments already under contract.

"Some of those offices haven’t even been built yet. Some that are still under construction already have 'pre-leases,' meaning that a company has put down a deposit and locked down the space. With landlords getting more demanding on lease terms, the financial risk for tenants can be substantial," Eric P. Newcomer writes in The Information.

Salesforce office tour 01Salesforce, Twitter, Dropbox, Adobe, Google, and Square are among the largest tech tenants in the city, each with more than 300,000 square feet of leased space.

Google, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Twitter, Dropbox, and Uber have all signed leases for two million square feet of additional space in the last six months, which will bring in another wave of thousands of new employees. 

As Valleywag notes, this highly competitive environment makes it difficult for nonprofits and small startups to find the space to grow their business.

One nonprofit called the In-Home Supportive Services Consortium recently saw its rent rise from $18 to $45 per square foot. The team was forced to move into a basement office without windows.

"They are turning our old offices into tech space. I get it — everybody wants to be across the street from the Twitter building," Deputy Director Mark Burns said to the San Francisco Chronicle. "As much as we hate to be underground, I feel fortunate to be here for the next 10 years."

SEE ALSO: 13 Recent Home Sales That Show How Crazy San Francisco Real Estate Has Become

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17 Apps Every Modern Gentleman Should Have On His Phone


top hat apple store londonMaybe it was almost socially acceptable to behave like a bro when you were caressing a keg and singing Cornell's fight song ... maybe.

But now it's time to grow up.

Lucky for you, Business Insider is here to help you by turning your smartphone into an even more useful sidekick.

Covering everything from getting organized to buying liquor, we've put together a list of the 17 apps that every gentleman needs in 2014. 

Hotel Tonight

A few years ago, finding a last-minute hotel meant driving up to the nearest Motel 5 with your fingers crossed, hoping they had a room.

Now, you don't need to settle for leftovers. Hotel Tonight helps you select last-minute rooms in hotels sorted by categories such as hip, luxe, solid, basic, or charming. You'll be able to find something last minute that is catered to your style.

You can download Hotel Tonight here.

Sunrise Calendar

Yeah, we're not huge fans of standard phone calendars either. So to make life easier we recommend the Sunrise Calendar, which can sync loads of apps together (such as Google Calendar and Facebook).

Plus, you can add your own interesting features like sports team calendars, holidays, the stock exchange, and even the moon phases.

Download Sunrise Calendar for Apple or Android.


It's 2014 — time for every gentleman to get organized professionally in a digital fashion.

Evernote is here to save the day for even the most disorganized. This app can sync all your notes across multiple devices and computers, plus helps you scan business cards and search for anything. It even comes with little check-able check boxes for to-do lists when you're feeling particularly unmotivated.

Download Evernote here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 Cocktails To Drink Before The End Of Summer


On a warm summer's night, there's nothing better than relaxing outdoors and sipping a delicious cocktail. 

With the help of Food52, we've compiled a list of the best summer cocktail recipes. Now you won't even have to leave your home to enjoy some of the tastiest drinks available. These range from fruity mojitos to a refreshing twist on the classic gin and tonic.

Here are 11 of the best summer cocktails.



Mixologist Erik Lombardo calls the Paloma the "working man's margarita," but says it's just as simple as a gin and tonic. It's a tasty mix of grapefruit, tequila, and soda, and Lombardo says it tastes even better if you make your own grapefruit soda by using fresh fruit syrups and club soda. He also advises against heating up the mixture, as this will give the grapefruit a darker flavor.

Follow this recipe to make a Paloma >>

Dark 'n Stormy

Dark n Stormy

This recipe for a Dark 'n Stormy comes to us from Food52 Co-founder Amanda Hesser, and contains dark rum, ginger beer, and a lime wedge. She says this recipe is easily made for one person, but she encourages people to take liberties with her recipe. Scale up, scale down, add more booze—whatever you'd like.

Follow this recipe to make a Dark 'n Stormy >>



Toque Magazine Founder Erika Kotite says the gimlet is the perfect cocktail for those who are just beginning to drink gin. It's very easy to make: just pour some gin, then add lime juice and simple syrup.

Follow this recipe to make a gimlet >>

The Gin Hound

Gin Hound

The recipe for this tasty cocktail was the result of Food52 user JRDsquared using up the end of a grapefruit and some lemon juice in his drink. The Gin Hound is a combination of grapefruit juice, lemon juice, gin (JRDsquared suggests Hendricks), and sweet vermouth. Unless you're looking for a super strong cocktail, this is best served over rocks.

Follow this recipe to make a Gin Hound >>

 Red Sangria


Sangria can be made easily by just following your instincts, but Kenzi Wilbur, Food52's managing editor, has provided a guide to help you make the best red sangria possible. She suggests adding peaches and strawberries to the mix, but encourages people to switch out those fruits for something seasonal, if they prefer.

Follow this recipe to make red sangria >>



Also known as "bloody beer," a Michelada is one of the most refreshing drinks you could have on a hot day. It tastes like a gentler version of a Bloody Mary, because beer is used instead of vodka. This drink tastes great even if you choose to make it non-alcoholic. Food writer TheFlyingFoodie suggests adding celery salt to to the rim of your glass.

Follow this recipe to make a Michelada >>

Grapefruit Tarragon Gin and Tonic

Gin Tonic

Food52 member mrslarkin had used grapefruit and tarragon while cooking, and decided to see what the two tasted like in a drink. The result was this delicious spin on gin and tonic. Mrslarkin suggests using Comb 9 Gin in the drink.

Follow this recipe to make a grapefruit tarragon gin and tonic >>

Strawberry Champagne Cocktail


This very summery drink is a mix of strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and optional champagne. You can pass the puree through a sieve to get rid of the seeds, but Merrill Stubbs, editor-in-chief of Food52, prefers to leave them in for an extra crunch. She also suggests serving the drink with some salty cheese biscuits.

Follow this recipe to make a strawberry champagne cocktail >>

Gin Spritz

Gin Spritz

This minty fresh cocktail recipe was created by erinmcdowell, Food52 writer and co-test kitchen manager. Lime juice, mint leaves, sugar, gin, and Prosecco make up this drink. The mint and gin complement each other nicely, and the Prosecco makes the drink taste lighter.

Follow this recipe to make a Gin Spritz >>

Pimm's Cup

Pimms Cup

The Pimm's Cup is very difficult to dislike. It's made with a blend of cucumber, strawberries, mint, and gin, and Kenzi Wilbur urges people to put lots of fruit in the glass—as she says, "It wants to be fruit-logged." Wilbur prefers to make the drink low on alcohol, because the point of a Pimm's Cup is the taste, more than anything. Try topping it off with ginger ale instead of lemonade for a bit of a sting.

Follow this recipe for a Pimm's Cup >>

Raspberry Acetosa Mojito


Food writer Emiko Davies made a delicious raspberry acetosa, and at the suggestion of her husband, added the syrup to a mojito. The result was this fruity drink, which mixes the sting of red wine vinegar with the sweetness of raspberries.

Follow this recipe to make a raspberry acetosa mojito >>

SEE ALSO: There's A New Oyster Bar On A Historic Ship Docked In The Hudson, And It's Awesome

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The Dirty Little Secret IMAX Doesn't Want You To Know

These Are The Happiest And Unhappiest Regions In The US


Happiness is not equally distributed across the United States.

A recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper by Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser, University of British Columbia economics professor Joshua Gottlieb, and Harvard graduate student Oren Ziv tracks how people's self-perceived happiness varies among American cities.

The researchers used data from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an extensive survey coordinated by the CDC that tracks health behaviors and risk factors. One of the questions on the survey asks respondents how satisfied they are with their lives, with the four options of "very dissatisfied", "unsatisfied", "satisfied", and "very satisfied". This survey data is frequently viewed as an approximate measure of self-reported well being, or how happy people feel about their lives.

The paper focuses on differences in respondents' self-reported life satisfaction among cities. Using a statistical model controlling for various individual demographic characteristics, like age, gender, race, education, marital status, and parenthood, the authors were able to estimate the impact that location has on respondents' happiness.

The authors found that, after controlling for all the demographic variables, there was still a fairly strong amount of variability between cities.

The map shows the variation in a region's effect on the self-reported well being scores of the residents of that region. Blue and green regions have a positive effect on self-reported happiness, yellow and red regions a negative effect:

NBER msa happiness

The authors note that big cities like New York and the Midwest are much less happy than other regions.

The paper also explores possible reasons for the variation across cities. Interestingly, the authors found strong relationships between happiness and population growth over the second half of the twentieth century: cities with declining populations or slow growth were less happy than cities with higher levels of population growth.

Further, they found that this effect was stronger for cities on the lower end of the population change scale: it's not the case that faster growing cities are exceptionally happy so much as it is the case that declining cities are exceptionally sad.

Business Insider first saw mention of this report in the Daily Mail, and the full paper is available from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

SEE ALSO: The American Dream Is A Myth In These Parts Of America

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9 Animated Maps That Will Change The Way You See The World

HOUSE OF THE DAY: Steel Tycoon Sells Gigantic Miami Beach Estate At $17 Million Discount


flordia $45 million houseA 21,750-square-foot home in Indian Creek has sold for $28 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Leroy Schecter, chairman of steel manufacturing company Marino/Ware Industries, has had the house on the market since 2008, with the price set as high as $45 million in 2012.

Listing agent Nelson Gonzalez of EWM Realty International said that New York-based Schecter is selling because he "just wasn't using the house," and plans donate the $28 million in proceeds to charity. 

The home features seven bedrooms, 12.5 bathrooms, an elevator, a lower level with a 7-car garage, a billiards room, a gym, and a wine cellar.

Meredith Galante contributed to this post.

Welcome to Indian Creek Drive, a street filled with luxury homes.

The home is really open, with plenty of light.

The dining room has a classic elegance to it.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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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The Biggest Rip-Offs And Best Values At The Bar

10 Reasons Why 'Top Gear' Is The Greatest Show On TV


Top Gear BBC

As the dog days of summer drag on, it's the perfect time for anyone who hasn't yet had the pleasure to curl up in an air-conditioned living room and dive into the greatest show currently on TV: "Top Gear." 

Hosted by the charismatic trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, "Top Gear's" unorthodox and irreverent approach to automotive journalism has made it popular with fans and critics worldwide. Since its inception in 1977 as an automotive news magazine and the show's 2002 reboot into the current format, "Top Gear" has become a British television institution. 

In fact, the BBC-produced, Emmy Award winning car show can be seen in over 200 countries around the world. It's easily accessible to a U.S. audience: seasons 2-20 are available on Netflix right now!

Here's why "Top Gear" is can't-miss TV, even if you aren't a car nut or addicted to that veddy British sense of humor:

1. "Top Gear's" storytelling method gives it universal appeal.

New viewers to "Top Gear" shouldn't mistake it for a run-of-the-mill car show. Because it isn't one. 

At its core, the show aims to be informative, but does so with a unique blend of hyperbolic comedy, action, and drama that crosses the boundaries of age, gender, and culture. According to CBS's 60 Minutes, "Top Gear's" unique storytelling method and irreverent attitude helped the show generate 350 million viewers a week worldwide, as well as a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most-watched "factual" TV program.

When asked by 60 Minutes to explain the show's appeal, "Top Gear" executive producer Andy Wilman joked, "It's a journey into the male mind, which I believe, is a really, potentially, very funny place — 'cause, let's face it, nothing happens there." 

He's right — but 40% of "Top Gear's" audience is actually female!

In fact, the show's near-universal appeal has helped turn it into a $1.5 billion brand, with spinoff series in Russia, Australia, South Korea, and the United States.

2. The show's 3 hosts have the greatest on-camera chemistry in TV.

Even though "Top Gear" has spawned an American version on the History Channel, what makes the original the most fun is the inimitable chemistry between the show's trio of hosts. In fact, the program is propelled as much by their sometimes caustic camaraderie as it is by cars. One of the highlights of the show is the constant personality clash between the pedantic James May (nicknamed "Captain Slow" because he favors a non-thrashy driving style) and the bombastic Jeremy Clarkson (who doesn't really have a nickname).

3. Richard Hammond was nearly killed in a jet car crash during filming and didn't miss an episode.

In 2006, Richard Hammond was nearly killed when the right-front tire of the Vampire jet car he was driving burst at nearly 300 mph, leading to a catastrophic crash. The accident, which caused the host to suffer memory loss and brain damage, had safety activists calling for the show's cancelation. Fortunately, Hammond, known on the show as "The Hamster" due to his diminutive stature, returned to show just three months later without missing a single episode.

Richard Hammond Jet Car Crash

4. Due to the "unique" way the BBC is funded, "Top Gear" is able to be brutally honest.

Unlike most American network shows, the BBC and "Top Gear" are funded by British taxpayers, which means the hosts can pretty much say or do whatever they want without fear of retribution from sponsors. In fact, when Jay Leno turned down NBC's American spinoff of Top Gear, the comedian cited the potential influence of sponsors on the opinions expressed in the show as a main reason for his decision. 

5. The "Clarkson Effect" is real, and car companies hate it.

Jeremy Clarkson has long been a popular automotive journalist in the UK, but "Top Gear" has catapulted his influence into the stratosphere. In what has become known as the "Clarkson Effect," a positive or negative review from the host can make or break a product. When MG Rover entered bankruptcy in 2005, many at the automaker's Longbridge factory blamed Clarkson's negative reviews for torpedoing the company's sales.

In 2011, Tesla sued "Top Gear" unsuccessfully for libel after Clarkson's exceedingly negative review of the company's Roadster caused panic among investors and led a few customers to cancelled their preorders. When asked by the BBC News about Clarkson, Tesla CEO Elon Musk replied, "He can be very funny and irreverent, but he does have a bias against electric cars. His two pet peeves are American cars and electric cars, and we're an American electric car." 

6. "Top Gear" has an awesome mascot called "The Stig."

One of "Top Gear's" most popular characters is the show's unofficial mascot and mysterious resident professional test driver. Producers created the mute, helmet-clad character because they needed an adequately skillful driver to navigate the show's test track, located at a former air force base. The BBC has gone to great lengths to keep the true identity of the Stig a secret, even resorting to legal action to prevent the release of the information

Top Gear Stig Tom Cruise7. The hosts drove to the North Pole, through the Bolivian Jungle, and the plains of Central Africa.

"Top Gear" takes its style of automotive journalism to the extreme via over-the-top globetrotting adventures. Instead of simply telling viewers whether a car is good or bad, the show will also subject vehicles to extreme real-world conditions. In 2007, Clarkson and May became the first people to drive to the North Pole, when the pair piloted a modified Toyota Hilux truck through the Arctic. 

Top Gear North Pole Toyota Hilux8. It features some of the most beautiful cinematography ever seen on the small screen.

"Top Gear's" groundbreaking use of camera filters and cinematic wizardry has completely changed the way car shows are presented.

Top Gear Pagani Gif9. Then there are hilarious celebrity appearances. 

Nearly every episode features a segment called "A Star In a Reasonably Priced Car," in which a celebrity is asked to tackle the "Top Gear" test track in an underpowered economy car. The result is a series of very entertaining sequences showing off each celebrity's driving prowess — or in many cases, lack thereof. 

 10. Top Gear even has a live stadium show.

"Top Gear's" hosts have enhanced their rock-star status by going on a live stadium tour, complete with pyrotechnics, car stunts, and comedic gags. So far, "Top Gear" live has made its way through 24 counties. Sadly, it does not seem the live action show will come be coming to America any time soon. 

Top Gear Live Screen Shot

SEE ALSO: Watch A Dreamliner Maneuver Like A Stunt Plane

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This 22-Year-Old Business Student Is Being Called 'The Italian Mark Zuckerberg'

21 Stunning Photos Taken By A 15-Year-Old Instagram Photographer


Ryan Parillo

Ryan Parillo is regarded as a prodigy when it comes to his work behind the camera lens. 

The 15-year-old (yep, born in 1998) first picked up a camera at age 7, taking photos of random things around his house. He didn't have any technical skill, of course, but by trial and error he would figure out what worked and what didn't based on the outcome of his snapping.

A few years later, his parents surprised him with a Canon DSLR, but it was too overwhelming to learn. His parents told him that unless he took the camera seriously and really learned how to use it, he couldn't bring it out of the house. Discouraged, Parillo's interest in photography began to fade.

Until the day his sister got an iPod Touch and with it, an app called Instagram.

He soon made an account for himself (@Novess on Instagram) and fell right back in love with photography again. He learned how to use the Canon, and joined a community of Instagrammers in New York, building his following as he posted his photos, some taken with his Canon and some taken on the app. 

Parillo uses Instagram as a platform to promote his website, where he sells prints of his stunning photos, mostly of urban backdrops. 

You can visit his site and purchase his work here at NovessPhoto and see his awesome Instagram feed here.

Parillo says ultimately, he'd like to study photography in college, and then build a consulting business where he works with brands to promote them on Instagram. 

Ryan Parillo is only 15-years-old.

But he has had an eye for what makes a good photo...

...ever since he picked up a camera when he was 7-years-old.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I Used Google Shopping Express Once And Now I Never Want To Leave My House Again



At 1 p.m. on Thursday, I decided to sign up for Google Shopping Express.

At 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, I finished placing my order and quickly realized that my life from that moment onward would be different. 

And at 7:20 p.m. the same day, when my items showed up at the door, I decided that I'm never shopping at a brick-and-mortar store for sundries ever again.

There are quite a few entries in the same-day delivery field. There's AmazonFresh and Instacart. There's Safeway and Wal-Mart. 

But Google Shopping Express offers you a great deal: If you sign up and become a member, you get six months of free shipping. Plus $10 off your first order. 

Google will warn you once your six-month trial is over and will re-enroll you automatically, if your account is in good standing. 

It's unclear how much you pay for a membership after the trial is up. 

“We intend this to be an affordable service that as many people as possible can adopt,” Tom Fallows, head of Google Shopping Express, told Re/code earlier this month. “We are trying to democratize the world of same-day delivery.”

And once your free trial is over, even if you don't want to pay for a membership, you have options.

Google hasn't announced what the long-term membership pricing will be yet, but right now you can either get the free six-month membership for unlimited deliveries or pay $4.99 per store (per order) if you want to go a la carte, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider.

That's a paltry sum for the amount of time and energy I'm saving. 

The Interface

Google Shopping Express has an iOS app, an Android app, obviously, and it's available on the web. It's pretty straightforward to use, and the interface looks just like any shopping site.

Setup is easy. You link it with your Google account and a credit card that's stored in Google Wallet. And then you get to do the fun part: Shop. 

I live just south of San Francisco, on what's called the Peninsula (and just a little north of Google's campus in Mountain View). Google Shopping Express is available in San Francisco, the Peninsula and San Jose, West Los Angeles, and in Manhattan. 

Stores range from Costco to REI and Whole Foods. Which stores are available to peruse varies by location. 

Google Shopping Express stores

So essentially, I could order paper towels from Costco and a ukulele from Guitar Center, all in the same order. 

You can also order alcohol, but someone with a valid ID needs to be at home when the order is delivered. And you can enter store reward and membership card numbers. 

You then pick when you want the order delivered, choosing among 3- or 4-hour blocks throughout the day. You also can leave delivery instructions, and you can let them know whether you'll accept a substitution if the store is out of your first choice. 

The Competition

google_shopping2.PNGThere are a few things that Google Shopping Express lacks that others have. AmazonFresh offers 1-hour time slots. It also allows you to order fresh groceries, such as meat and eggs and milk. And you can order frozen foods. 

AmazonFresh offers a free 30-day trial, and then you will be charged $299, which includes all the benefits of Prime. You then get free same-day delivery on orders over $35.

Instacart doesn't offer memberships, but it, too, delivers fresh groceries. Your first order is free, and then you pay different prices depending on how quickly you want your items. For example, if you need something in the next hour, you pay $5.99 per order that's $35 or more, but if you can wait a couple hours, it drops to $3.99. And orders less than $35 cost more.

But that six-month free trial period that Google offers is hard to beat. 

It's Not Perfect

justin's peanut butterBecause someone else is shopping for you, there are a couple things that could go wrong. For example, I ordered Justin's Honey Peanut Butter from Whole Foods, and instead they delivered Vanilla Almond Butter.

But getting that remedied was easy enough. There's a "report a problem" link on the order page. 

Within an hour, I got an email back.

"How frustrating, though — so sorry you ordered Justin's Peanut Butter, Honey but received Vanilla Almond Butter instead," the email said.

Frustrating, indeed! 

If a mistake happens, there's no need to return the item. You can keep it or donate it. If the correct item is available, you choose a new delivery time and they will deliver in the time block you specify.

If the correct item isn't available, you get a full refund. And you get to keep the vanilla almond butter! Not bad.

Never Leaving My House

Google has made a $500 million investment in Google Shopping Express. And because its service isn't competing directly with grocery stores — on the contrary, it's sourcing all of its groceries from stores near you — it's only a matter of time before other stores partner up with Google to offer an even larger breadth of products. 

And the service itself is great: Glass jars are wrapped nicely in paper. Things that could potentially leak all over your stuff are sealed in a plastic bag. 

If I coupled Google Shopping Express with one of the other sites that delivers fresh groceries, I could see myself never leaving the house for groceries again. 

I've reached peak laziness. And I'm definitely OK with that. 

SEE ALSO: I tried out a standing desk for all of the benefits — here's why I quit

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This Is What It Is Like To Race $10,000 Lawn Mowers In Texas [PHOTOS]


boomer 9

Head down to a county fair in Texas, and you may find helmeted men racing through dirt tracks at bristling speeds on, of all vehicles, lawn mowers.

The pastime is a strange motorsport that photographer Jennifer Boomer started documenting after moving to the Lone Star State. Indeed, lawn mower racing began as a joke, according to a July 2013 profile of the sport in the Wall Street Journal. It was meant to poke fun of the "slickness" of professional motorsports but eventually became a "mini-NASCAR" with its own trading cards and advertisers.

Found in many parts of the Midwest and South, lawn mower racing has a particularly strong following among old-timers in Texas.

"There was a bit of the 'good ol' boys' in [the racers]," Boomer told Business Insider. "They're very community-minded, but they're having a good time."

Lawn mower racing can be an expensive sport, with racers spending $10,000 on a mower alone, though local companies often sponsor the races or racers. Blades are removed from the mowers for safety.

We call it the poor man’s NASCAR,” Richard Lively, who has won the state championship in Texas multiple times, told the Longview News-Journal in 2011.

Boomer shared some of the photos with us here, but you can check out the rest of her work at her website. boomer 5boomer 16boomer 18boomer 12boomer 2boomer 8boomer 15boomer 14boomer 11boomer 4boomer 17boomer 7

SEE ALSO: Brutal photos of North Carolina's amateur wrestling circuit

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Storm Chaser Mike Hollingshead Reveals His 16 Most Incredible Photos



Storm chasing photographer Mike Hollingshead makes a living following the worst storms in America, from snarling tornadoes chewing up the Kansas farmland to supercell thunderstorms massing over the Dakotas.

A Nebraska-native, Hollingshead used to watch the Midwest's extreme weather from hills that overlooked his town. After seeing some "crazy storm photos" on the internet, Hollingshead knew he had to track down the powerful storms. Armed with only a map and a video camera, Hollingshead drove his sedan out to Iowa, where he lucked into a tornado on his first day.

Fifteen years later, Hollingshead is still chasing storms, often into danger. His style is to get right in the path of the storm. While he says it's less scary than you think — because most of the storm consists of heavy rain — it's still extremely stressful.

"Most storm chasers don't put themselves in the path [of the storm] ... but I like the view there the most," he says.

Hollingshead shared some of the most "beast" storms he's ever chased with us, but you can see more of his work at his blog, where he shares pictures and stories from the chases.

Hollingshead started chasing storms in 1999 as a hobby, before going full time in 2004.

The storm chasing season begins in April, before dropping off quickly in July. He says the best months are May and June. This vivid double rainbow was captured in Kansas.

Hollingshead uses computer models to narrow down where storms, like this supercell in Nebraska, will be. Even with the models, it's often impossible to know if a storm will be worth photographing before you get there.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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