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A Quick Primer For The Next Time You Order Oysters

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oysters

Let's face it: Ordering oysters can be hard.

Unless you grew up dining on bivalves, you could stare at a menu all night long and still not know what the heck you're eating. But with a little bit of knowledge, you can begin to understand and appreciate the seriously immense world of oysters (or at least not sound like an idiot in front of your date).

We sat down with James Kim, the Executive Chef of the new Grand Banks Oyster Bar (which is located on a historic ship in the Hudson River), to get a crash course in oyster-ology, complete with a tasting. Kim has been working with oysters for many years, and when speaking with him, you can really tell how much he loves these little grey and white blobs. grand banks oyster bar nycSo what makes oysters so confusing? Why are there so many variations and differences, requiring encyclopedic knowledge to master?

The most important factor in an oyster's flavor, known as its "terroir," is the water it lives in. 

Kim tells us that oysters are filter feeders, meaning they get their food by straining it out of the surrounding water through a filter in their body. 

And because different locations have different types of water, every oyster tastes distinct.Little Shemogue OysterOysters that are eaten raw are generally harvested from colder waters. That's because when oysters spawn, they have more bad-tasting biofluids in them, and oysters in warmer water spawn more.

This, Kim says, is why, when you eat oysters from areas with warmer waters such as New Orleans, the oysters are usually cooked or fried.oystersGenerally, an oyster's texture can run from springy to creamy. Springy oysters taste leaner, cleaner, and somewhat chewy. Creamy oysters are more rich and smooth. 

Chef Kim suggested new omers start as oyster purists, forgoing the condiments in an effort to truly taste and understand the flavors and textures of the various oysters.naked cowboy oysterOysters are divided into two camps: east coast and west coast.

East coast oysters tend to be springy, briny, juicy, and clean, with more savory flavors, while West coast oysters are sweeter and less briny, with a plump and creamy texture and flavors of cucumber or melon. West coast oyster shells are rougher and fluted, while east coast oysters have smoother, ridged shells.Washburn Island oysterYou can tell how creamy an oyster will be by looking for how opaque it is. If you return to the first oyster, the Little Shemogue, you can see it's almost all opaque, and thus not creamy at all. But, if you look at the Washburn Island above or the Kusshi below, you can see how off-white and opaque they are, signaling its creamy, smooth texture.Kusshi oysterGrand Banks gets all its oysters from Blue Island Oyster Company, located in Long Island. They distribute some of the best and most recognized types of sustainably sourced oysters to many of the most respected seafood restaurants in the New York area. Most oysters are raised in an environment that exists in a wild setting (such as an ocean bay), but that is controlled by the harvesters to ensure the highest quality.Grand Banks Oyster Bar Boat NYCOverall, the best way to learn about oysters is to be adventurous, Chef Kim says: "If you go to a great oyster bar with a big selection, order one of everything. If you have never heard of a kind of oyster, try it out."

SEE ALSO: 10 Of The Best Oyster Bars In America

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This Concept Bicycle Could Fit Inside A Backpack

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Kit BikeForget awkwardly squeezing bicycles on the subway or strapping them to the top of your car.

An Indian design firm has come up with a solution for transporting your bike in the easiest and most compact way possible.

Kit Bike is made from an assortment of hollow aluminium tubes that can be wrenched together for an approximately 10 minutes, creating fully functional bike. 

"Conventional bikes are awkward in every way except when you ride them," Amit Mirchandani, managing and creative director for Lucid Design told Dezeen. "The Kit Bike is so small when disassembled it fits in a bag you could carry as a backpack. When you assemble the bike, you get a full-size bike that is comfortable to ride."

So far the "bike in the bag" is only a concept, but earlier this month it won the Red Dot 2014 Design Award, which chooses the best product designs throughout multiple industries.

The package would even come with a custom bag that has designated sections for all 21 parts.

Lucid Design currently has no plans to produce Kit Bike, but would consider it for the future.

Here are GIFs of assembly:Kit Bike

Closer up:

Kit Bike  

SEE ALSO: The Right Way To Iron A Dress Shirt

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The 22 Websites Every Modern Gentleman Should Bookmark

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man in suit relaxing on bench

The internet holds the key to learning anything these days, including tips and tricks for the modern man who wants to stay a cut above the rest.

Unfortunately, just searching "gentleman" isn't going to get you very far. You need to know where to look to get solid information.

So we've compiled a list of websites that every gentleman should bookmark and use, including the web versions of men's magazines, style blogs, and e-commerce sites.

We guarantee these sites will are going to make your life easier and make you look more polished.

InsideHook

InsideHook offers a daily recommendation relating to all the finer things in life – travel, food & drink, style, and more. They run an editorial site filled with men's interest articles on lifestyle news and tips. The goal is to give you what you need to know, without taking up your valuable time.

InsideHook



GQ

GQ Magazine's website is full of culture and style articles specifically made for men. You can find everything from serious political articles (we recommend this fascinating profile on Bob Dole) to "exclusive sketches" of the 2015 Ford Mustang to the best sunglasses under $50

GQ



Men In Cities

Based in NYC, Men In Cities is a site dedicated to bringing the best lifestyle accessories to the modern gentleman.

What makes the site different is that everything — from cashmere hats to notebooks and gloves — is $40. That makes it easy to buy, gift, return and exchange. Every month 9 new items are added to the site and you get an e-mail about it. It's that simple.

Men In Cities



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This 4,000-Step Ladder Offers One Of The Most Beautiful Hikes In America — And It's Illegal

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The Haiku Stairs — also known as "The Stairway To Heaven" — is one of the most extreme and beautiful hikes Hawaii (and America) has to offer.

For the past 26 years, the hike up the 4,000-step ladder has also been illegal, but that hasn't stopped people — dozens a day — from making the trek up and down the steel steps that were once operated by the Coast Guard to catch a glimpse of the view at the top of Puu Keahi a Kahoe on the island of Oahu.Haiku StairsThe stepladder was built in 1943 during World War II to "provide access to buildings at the top of the ridge, used as transmission stations," according to a tourism site called Best Places Hawaii. Haiku Stairs/VimeoThe ladder scales "nearly vertical" heights over 2,500 feet from Haiku Valley to the top of Puu Keahi a Kahoe, so high that there are points in the hike where the peaks rise above clouds.Haiku Stairs/VimeoIt was a popular hiking trail in the 1980s, operated by the coast guard, until 1987 when it was deemed too dangerous for the public.

Though the hike is illegal, tourists (and some locals) attempt to scale the Stairway To Heaven every day. 

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply, The Huffington Post reports, "has jurisdiction over the hike and requires that anyone who goes up it sign waivers and present a $1 million liability insurance policy."Haiku StairsIn October 2013, a man named Samuel Nowack went to the Haiku Stairs with a video camera to film his group's adventure.

The group was dying to see the view and was not discouraged by heights or the illegality of the hike.Haiku StairsThe team left for the stairs at 2:15 a.m. in hopes of catching a sunrise. Finding the stairs in the dark proved to be a challenge, but everyone had a headlight on.Haiku StairsWhen they reached the summit at about 4 a.m., it was foggy. And the fun part of the hike was underway.Haiku Stairs/VimeoParts of the ladder are extremely steep. Just watching the video makes your hands sweat. Those afraid of heights, beware.Haiku Stairs/VimeoSome parts of the hike require you to climb down the ladder backward.Haiku Stairs/VimeoThe views seem to be worth it.Haiku StairsA few platforms along the way allow hikers to take breaks and take in the sights.Haiku Stairs/VimeoAccording to travel site ToHawaii, a guard had been posted at the base of the stairs in December 2013, but "the guard frequently had not been there in the early months of 2014, and a small tent which had been erected for the guard to use had been dismantled in early February 2014."Haiku StairsIn early 2013, a group formed to petition the city to reopen the stairs to the public, but the stairs remain closed.

You can watch the entire 8-minute video cut of Nowack's hike on the Haiku Stairs here.

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100 Children’s Books Everyone Should Read In Their Lifetime

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Michelle Obama, reading, books, children

The books we read as children shape the way we view the world.

From cartoon books to coming-of age-stories, Amazon's editors have put together a list of the 100* children’s books that everyone must read in their lifetime.

“We looked at the books for a reader age 12 and under that we personally loved then and now, and also at children’s books that have come out in recent years that we think are in the new crop of lifetime favorites,” explained Seira Wilson, Amazon’s books editor, in an email to Business Insider.

The books range from standard classics that everyone has read to new children’s books that the team thinks are influencing the next generation. Keep reading to see the complete list below.

  1. A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L'Engle

  2. Aesop's Fables” by Don Daily

  3. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst

  4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll

  5. Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish 

  6. And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson

  7. Anne of Green Gables Series (8-box set)” by L.M. Montgomery

  8. Are You My Mother?” by  P.D. Eastman

  9. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.” by Judy Blume

  10. Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales (Peter Rabbit)” by Beatrix Potter

  11. Betsy-Tacy” by Maud Hart Lovelace

  12. Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell 

  13. Bread and Jam for Frances” by Russell Hoban

  14. Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson

  15. Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business” by Esphyr Slobodkina

  16. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl 

  17. Charlotte's Web” by E. B. White 

  18. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. 

  19. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett 

  20. Coraline” by Neil Gaiman 

  21. Corduroy” by Don Freeman

  22. D’Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths” by Ingri d'Aulaire

  23. Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney

  24. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems 

  25. Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection (Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks)” by Dr. Seuss

  26. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective” by Donald J. Sobol 

  27. Esperanza Rising” by Pam Munoz Ryan

  28. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg

  29. Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

  30. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” by Sherri Duskey Rinker 

  31. Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales” by Jacob Grimm

  32. Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney

  33. Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson

  34. Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh

  35. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” by J.K. Rowling

  36. Holes” by Louis Sachar 

  37. Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O'Dell 

  38. Jumanji” by Chris Van Allsburg

  39. Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  40. Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott 

  41. Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney

  42. Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans 

  43. Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey 

  44. Maniac Magee” by Jerry Spinelli 

  45. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” by Virginia Lee Burton 

  46. Mr. Popper's Penguins” by Richard Atwater 

  47. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O'Brien

  48. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle” by Betty MacDonald

  49. My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George 

  50. Olivia” by Ian Falconer

  51. Owen” by Kevin Henkes 

  52. Paddle-to-the-Sea” by Holling C. Holling

  53. Pat the Bunny” by Dorothy Kunhardt

  54. Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie 

  55. Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren 

  56. Press Here” by Herve Tullet 

  57. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” by William Steig 

  58. The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket 

  59. The Borrowers” by Mary Norton 

  60. The Boxcar Children” by Gertrude Chandler

  61. The Call Of The Wild” by Jack London 

  62. The Complete Adventures of Curious George” by H. A. Rey

  63. The Cricket in Times Square” by George Selden 

  64. The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt 

  65. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by William Joyce

  66. The Giver” by Lois Lowry

  67. The House at Pooh Corner” by A. A. Milne

  68. The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick

  69. The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling 

  70. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)” by Rick Riordan

  71. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C. S. Lewis

  72. The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper 

  73. The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  74. The Mouse and the Motorcycle” by Beverly Cleary 

  75. The New Way Things Work” by David Macaulay

  76. The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch 

  77. The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster

  78. The Real Mother Goose” by Blanche Fisher Wright 

  79. The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

  80. The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, Book 1)” by Carolyn Keene

  81. The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats

  82. The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant” by Jean De Brunhoff 

  83. The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf 

  84. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread” by Kate DiCamillo

  85. The Tower Treasure (The Hardy Boys No. 1)” by Franklin W. Dixon

  86. The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle 

  87. The Watsons Go to Birmingham —1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis 

  88. The Wednesday Wars” by Gary D. Schmidt 

  89. The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin 

  90. The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame 

  91. The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum

  92. Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson

  93. Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbit

  94. Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech 

  95. Watership Down” by Richard Adams 

  96. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin 

  97. Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

  98. Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein” by Shel Silverstein

  99. Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak 

  100. Wonder” by R. J. Palacio 

*Editorial Note: we recognize that the Amazon team stretched the list by including two boxed sets — including the Anne of Green Gables series and a Dr. Seuss beginner book collection — but we’ll excuse them for trying to get as many titles on the list as possible.

SEE ALSO: 25 Books That Changed The Course Of History

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The 20 Most Expensive Buildings In New York City

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people at 15 central park west

CityRealty is out with its quarterly ranking of the most expensive condominium buildings in New York City, and billionaire fortress 15 Central Park West has once again taken the top spot.

The building, home to a long list of bankers, celebrities, and titans of business, including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Sting, has held the top spot for a full year, with the average apartment there selling for $6,288 per-square-foot, and the highest-selling unit this quarter going for $8,556 per-square-foot, according to CityRealty.

A former aide to the world's wealthiest man, Carlos Slim, just sold a pair of apartments there for $29 million, according to The New York Observer. And earlier this year, a penthouse there sold for $48 million, making it the priciest sale of Q2.

Overall, CityRealty found a sharp increase in the price of luxury condos in New York City over the past year. During Q2, 204 apartments were sold in the 100 buildings that make up the company's index, at an average price of $2,333. That's a 22% increase from the same quarter in 2013.

Below, the top 20 condo buildings in New York City, according to CityRealty:

Screen Shot 2014 07 29 at 11.46.55 AM

 

 

 

SEE ALSO: Meet The Big Shots Who Live At 15 Central Park West

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24 Reasons Sweden Is The Most Delightful Country On Earth

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I just got back from eight days in Stockholm. 

More than the high price of beer, depth of the history, and beauty of the buildings (and people), one trait stood out like lingonberries on a stack of pancakes — the Swedes, with their famously high standard of living, really know how to live.

Wonderfully so. 

Here are two dozen reasons why Sweden is the most delightful country on Earth. 

1. Because everybody has 'fika' — the ritual of drinking coffee and eating a pastry — at least twice a day. 

sweden coffee fika

2. Because you can go swimming in the middle of Stockholm, since the water's not all unbearably toxic. 

stockholm city water river

3. Because there are 20 hours of daylight in the summer.

summer sweden stockholm

4. Because the summer solstice is celebrated with Midsommar, a maypole-dancing holiday where the usually reserved Swedes go insane while wearing festive flower crowns, such as this one.

midsommar garland

5. Because there are raves in forests. 

rave sweden forest

6. Because of common Swedish idioms, like "he shat in the blue cupboard." This comes from back in the days before plumbing. People kept their bedpans in one cupboard and their fine china in a blue cupboard. It was a horrendous mistake, then, to put your crap in with your china.

blue cupboard

7. Because any restaurant or bar with outside seating also has blankets. How considerate! 

stockholm cafe blanket

8. Because the government paid for a doge ad on the subway for the Stockholm equivalent of a Metrocard. So travel! 

stockholm sweden doge ad

9. Because every subway station in Stockholm is like an art installation.

stockholm subway art

10. Because Sweden is the world's third-largest exporter of music, after the States and the UK. Artists include the Knife, Robyn, Ace of Base, and, most legendarily, ABBA.

abba dancing queen

11. Because Princess Estelle is ridiculously awesome and also rather cute.

princess estelle Sweden

12. Because Pippi Longstocking was Swedish. 

Pippi Longstocking

13. Because reindeer exist.

reindeer sweden

14. Because almost everybody has a little garden cottage to hang out in during their five weeks of vacation. 

summer house stockholm

15. Because they eat lingonberries with everything, not just pancakes. 

swedish food lingonberries

16. Because Swedes have kicked ass at carpentry for a very, very long time.

swedish carpentry

17. Because downtown Stockholm is absurdly beautiful. 

Downtown Stockholm

18. Because Vikings. This is a rune stone, a particularly endearing form of viking art.

rune stone viking

19. Because the king's former hunting grounds are now a totally chill public park. 

kings garden stockholm

20. Because there are enchanted woods.

sweden

21. Because they paint their construction equipment, like this handsome giraffe-spotted crane. 

crane sweden giraffe

22. Because nightclubs turn into flea markets during the day.

tradgarden stockholm

23. Because everybody heads out to Stockholm's 30,000-island archipelago on the weekend.

sweden boat vacation

24. Because the meatballs are for real. 

swedish meatballs

SEE ALSO: The 24 Strangest Things I Saw When I Visited Korea

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25 Gorgeous Pools Everyone Should Swim In Once

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laucala island resort pool fiji

The only thing that's more relaxing than lounging poolside or soaking in the water on a sunny day is doing it at one of these incredible destinations. 

From luxurious infinity pools with unbeatable views to natural pools teeming with marine life, these pools around the world deserve to be on everyone's bucket list. 

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore has a stunning infinity rooftop pool on the hotel's 57th floor, where guests can swim and admire the Singaporean skyline.

Find out more about the Marina Bay Sands Hotel here >



Berlin's Arena Badeschiff pool floats inside of the River Spree, where visitors can swim in clean water and enjoy views of the surrounding city. Food, drinks, music, and lounge chairs are also available from open to close.

Find out more about Arena Badeschiff here >



Rio de Janeiro's Hotel Fasano has a rooftop pool deck overlooking Sugarloaf mountain and Ipanema beach. It's in the center of Rio's hottest area.

Find out more about Hotel Fasano here >



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Airbnb Has Banned The Condo Squatters For Life

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Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin banned

The two men refusing to leave a Palm Springs, California, condo rented through Airbnb have vowed to squat again. But the squatters, Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin, won't be finding their next victim through Airbnb, the company says.

"These individuals have been permanently banned from using Airbnb. We have a number of technological tools we use that prevent individuals who have been banned from our community from using Airbnb in the future," Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas tells Business Insider.

Papas pointed us to an Airbnb blog post published last month that discussed some of these tech tools.

"Fraudulent actors often exhibit repetitive patterns. As we recognize these patterns, we can apply heuristics to predict when they are about to occur again, and help stop them," the post says.

In other words, Airbnb is using sophisticated algorithms, known these days as "machine learning," to monitor its system. If these squatters attempt to fire up new accounts, they'll be found and kicked out, the company promises.

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Why You Weigh Less In The Morning Than At Night

Here's How North Korean Architects Envision The Future

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north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"

At this year’s Venice Bienniale in Italy, the Korean pavilion has a curious exhibit called “Commissions for Utopia,” which we first saw over at Wired.

It includes renderings from North Korea’s top architects and artists (all anonymous), many of whom studied at the Paekho Institute of Architecture, North Korea’s state-run architectural college, and none of whom have ever left the country. 

They were asked to create a vision of North Korea’s future sustainable architecture for its expanding tourism industry. Their final products are a glimpse into what it would be like to envision the future after being entirely cut off from the present for almost 70 years. 

The plans, which Wired reporter Kyle Vanhemert said would fit right in at Disney World’s Tomorrowland, show futuristic bridges, alternative energy systems including solar power and wind turbines, and housing complexes in the shape of cones.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"Perhaps what’s most jarring is what isn’t in these images. Cell phones and computers, to start — one bedroom interior shows a rotary telephone with bedside lamps that would not look out of place in a retro home catalogue. All of the designs also seem to rely heavily on wood, glass, and steel materials.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"Yet some of these images also show sizable yachts, trains, and helicopters, as well as one mechanical gondola ferrying passengers above the ground in tiny pink pods. All of these modes of transportation look like machines one might see today.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"The series was commissioned in 2011 by Nick Bonner, co-founder of the Beijing-based North Korea tour company Koryo Tours, which has been taking visitors to North Korea for over two decades to show them the attractions, film, architecture, and cultural productions of the Hermit Kingdom.

On Koryo trips — one of which is coming up in October— visitors can see landmarks from the patriotic Kim Il Sung Square and the grand monuments of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il to the interior of a Pyongyang apartment.

Bonner and his team sometimes even bring in architectural books and magazines to North Korean architects to give them an idea of what is going on in the outside world. As Bonner said to Wired, the architects featured in the Venice Biennale exhibit may have seen Frank Gehry’s “Waterfall House" or Dubai’s skyscrapers, but they simply don’t have a fundamental understanding of the materials, tools, technology, and skills needed to build them.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"That’s why “Commissions for Utopia” is so fascinating. It’s a mix of yesteryear’s Jetsons-esque retro design with a present knowledge of sustainable energy and transportation that matches what’s currently on the world stage.

It’s as though North Korean architects have one foot firmly in 1948 while the other is planted in modern times. The problem is — and what these designs illustrate so well — that these architects are stuck between past and present without any real understanding of how to get to the future.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"The Korean Pavilion, which has already won the Golden Lion award for best pavilion, will be at the Venice Biennale until November 23. For more on what’s featured on the Korean Pavilion, click here, and keep scrolling to see more from "Commissions for Utopia."

This passenger train with deluxe skylights roams the North Korean countryside.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"An apartment inside a gigantic helicopter is called the "flying house."north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"This is an aerial hotel with gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape.

north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"These apartments are stacked on top of one another in conifer-shaped buildings. They would be connected by ski runs within the tubes.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"One can see Gehry's influence on this tree house home with its horizontal pillars and connection with the surrounding environment.north korea future architecture Koryo Tour "Commissions for Utopia"

SEE ALSO: 20 Bizarre Things I Learned While I Was In North Korea

DON'T MISS: AP Photographer's Instagram Pictures Show What Life Is Like In North KoreA

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Here's Where You Should Live If You're Looking For A Serious Relationship

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abigail dalton couple 2

Ladies who are looking for a serious relationship may want to consider moving to Boston, according to online dating site AYI.com.

Stereotypically, women are known for being more likely to want a serious relationship, while men are known for being more likely to want a casual relationship. AYI decided to delve into the topic and see how much validity there is to those generalizations.

The global dating site asked its users the following question, "Are you looking for a serious relationship, or something casual?" And from the 1,579,230 responses, AYI was able to glean some interesting conclusions on the intent of its users.

Of AYI's male users living in Boston, 40.8% were looking for a serious relationship. Fort Worth, TX, came in second with 40.6%, Memphis, TN, at 40.5%, Miami, FL, at 38.8%, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at 38.8%.

On the flip side, there were also a bunch of female users looking for casual relationships, although the percentage was definitely still pretty small.

When women in Louisville, KY, were asked what they were looking for, 12.5% said something casual. Milwaukee, WI, came in second with 11.2%, Sacramento, CA, at 11.1%, Los Angeles, CA, at 11.03%, and Detroit, MI, at 11%.

So maybe that half of the stereotype has a little more truth to it.

AYI also put together a final ranking of states based on how many users were looking for a casual versus a serious relationship.

The top five states for looking for a casual relationship were Illinois, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and South Carolina. The states with the fewest residents looking for casual relationships were Mississippi, Nevada, Indiana, Iowa, and Nebraska.

And there you have it. If you're looking for a summer fling, check out Chicago; looking to get married — head on over to Nebraska.

SEE ALSO: How The Endless Quest For Love Is Sparking Massive Growth In Dating Apps

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Inside TMZ's Awesome Office Space And TV Studio

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TMZ OFFICE STUDIO

The TMZ office in Los Angeles is unique in the way that the celebrity gossip website's work space also functions as a TV studio for the show.

TMZ on TV, which airs mainly on Fox-owned stations, features "in-studio" segments that are taped during a morning staff pitch meeting — led by the site's founder and show's executive producer, Harvey Levin — at TMZ's headquarters.

TMZ is an insider term ("thirty-mile zone" or studio zone), referring to the movie studio area of downtown Hollywood.

San Fransisco-based Rapt Studio recently refurbished TMZ's very public workspace  see what it's like to work in the fast lane.

If you've ever watched TMZ on TV, you're already familiar with the show's pitch meeting format.



San Fransisco-based Rapt Studio designed the real life work place/TV studio in Los Angeles. The celebrity-inspired workspace is built around a 9,000-square-foot newsroom, connecting brand and culture to its environment.

Rapt Studio 

 



TMZ's trademark red and black color scheme is apparent upon arrival.



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This Epic Cocktail Contains 71 Ingredients From Around The World

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Commonwealth Cocktail

Bartenders beware — this might be the most complicated drink on earth.

In celebration of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, top Glasgow mixologist Mal Spence of the Kelingrove Café has created the Commonwealth Cocktail, which has a total of 71 ingredients.

That's the greatest number of ingredients ever used in one cocktail, according to People Make Glasgow

The drink contains ingredients sourced from every nation competing in the Commonwealth games, making it truly representative of the event. Ingredients include papaya from Rwanda, dragonfruit from Belize, mangosteen from India, and red apple from England. 

Spence gave out 71 free Commonwealth Cocktails at the Kelvingrove Café beginning on July 23, and all 71 were gone by the end of that day, according to Kelvingrove Cafe's Facebook page. However, People Make Glasgow does provide a very modified recipe for an at-home Commonwealth Cocktail, so you can get a little taste of the drink.

Here is the full list of ingredients used in the Commonwealth Cocktail: 

Africa

Botswana: devils claw (genus clerodendrum)

Cameroon: bitter leaf (piper umbellatum)

Ghana: taro (psidium guajava)

Kenya: chives

Lesotho: rosehip

Malawi: cacao (pycreuscyperaceae)

Mauritius: wild raspberry (rubus rosifolius)

Mozambique: cassava

Namibia: prickly pear

Nigeria: utazi leaves

Rwanda: papaya

Seychelles: citronella

Sierra Leone: cashew nut (piassava)

South Africa: roobus

Swaziland: sycamore fig

Tanzania: cloves

Uganda: nakati eggplant

Zambia: sorrel

Americas

Belize: dragonfruit

Bermuda: arabica coffee beans

Canada: logan berry

Falkland Islands: bitter cress

Guyana: sugar cane

St. Helena: St. Helena tea plant

Asia

Bangladesh: jujubi

Brunei Darussalam: durian fruit

India: mangosteen

Malaysia: galangal

Maldives: pomegranate (annaaru)

Pakistan: saffron

Singapore: rambutan

Sri Lanka: ripe jakfruit

Caribbean

Anguilla: mango

Antigua & Barbuda: tamarind

Bahamas: egg fruit

Barbados: sour cherry

British Virgin Islands: noni

Cayman Islands: sage (salvia caymanensis)

Dominica: guava leaf

Grenada: lemon grass

Jamaica: okra

Montserrat: devil’s horse whip

St. Kitts & Nevis: tamon

St. Lucia: sweet basil

St. Vincent & The Grenadines: arrowroot

Trinidad & Tobago: tonka bean

Turks & Caicos Islands: sapodilla

Europe

Cyprus: basil-thyme (Άκινος)

England: red apple

Gibraltar: maqui berry

Guernsey: blueberries

Isle of Man: new potatoes

Jersey: lavender

Malta: star anise

Northern Ireland: bog rosemary

Scotland: wild Scottish strawberry

Wales: wild cotoneaster

Oceania

Australia: aniseed myrtle (syzygium anisatum) (gundabluie) (bardi bush)

Cook Islands: custard apple seeds (annona reticulata)

Kiribati: dried coconut meat (copra)

Nauru: pumpkin seeds

New Zealand: manuka honey

Niue: paw paw

Norfolk Island: yam

Papua New Guinea: taro (colocasia esculenta)

Samoa: ladies finger (small, sweet banana)

Solomon Islands: taro leaves

Tonga: avocado (avoka)

Tuvalu: breadfruit

Vanuatu: plantain

Fiji: kava root

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

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Here's How To Get A Sommelier To Offer You Wines That Aren't On The Menu

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wine

I'm going to assume that you're comfortable talking to a sommelier, which is both admirable and a tad abnormal.

Most people who ask me questions about wine are terrified of talking to the somm for fear of broaching the "wrong" questions, revealing their inferior tastes, or, in general, sounding like a buffoon.

In the other extreme, of course, are the buffoons who love to talk to somms just to hear themselves pontificate about things that make them feel important (i.e. "I see you have the '82 Blahdeeblah; I have six cases of that in my cellar, but they're coming along rather slowly at present.") I'm hoping this doesn't describe you, of course.

So back to my advice.

First, and foremost, make sure you're actually talking to the sommelier or wine director. In other words, never, ever, ever, ever ask the waiter for wine advice. I'm not being a d--k here, but rather defining roles: Waiters serve food, should be able to discuss ingredients and preparation, and offer impeccable service. Period. Ask for a wine list. Look at the menu, figure out what you're going to eat, and then ask the waiter to send over the somm or wine director.

Next, reveal everything you're thinking: "Hi, I tend to like to drink Cabernets. My friend here prefers red Burgundies. I'm having Skate Wing in buerre blanc; he's having the pork chop smothered in mushrooms. We're thinking of spending $75 for a bottle of something you recommend. What do you think?" The point is to engage the somm, show interest, ask questions, let him do his thing. Trust me, you cannot imagine how many somms are bored to tears because nobody asks for them, or worse, treats them like waiters.

Finally, if the rapport feels good, the banter is genuine, and you think you could close the deal, ask the somm something like this, "If we put ourselves totally in your hands, trusting you to give us a bottle that you yourself love, is there one bottle on this list—or, even off the list—that you'd order without hesitation? We're totally willing to gamble with you."

I've often played the dumb fox with somms just to see how they react. I cannot tell you how many have risen to the occasion and made thoughtful recommendations. Sometimes—it doesn't happen all the time—they'll even go down into the cellar to bring up something they'd forgotten was down there, or was just taken down from the list. Ultimately, it all depends on how well you finesse it. It all begins with a conversation.

—Follow Anthony Giglio on Twitter at @WineWiseGuy.

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Alibaba Is Selling A Knockoff Version Of Jeff Koons' $58 Million 'Balloon Dog' For $500

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Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog

Jeff Koons' orange "Balloon Dog" sold for $58.4 million at auction last year, making it the most expensive work ever sold by a living artist.

But if you don't have that kind of cash lying around, you can always turn to Alibaba.

The Chinese e-commerce site is selling a replica of the famous stainless steel sculpture for as little as $500 — .001% the price of the original, according to artnet.

The replicas, manufactured by Chinese-based VLA Sculpture, come in sizes ranging from "100 centimeters to 30 meters," though it's hard to imagine who would want a steel sculpture that's 98 feet long. (Koons' original, one of which is currently on display at the Whitney Museum, is a comparatively puny 10 feet long).

Prices on the website range from $500 to $5,000 depending on size, and purchases are limited to "10 units per month." alibaba koons

SEE ALSO: Here's What You'll See At The New Jeff Koons Exhibit That Everyone Is Talking About

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22 Quotes By Richard Branson That Take You Inside The Mind Of The Self-Made Billionaire

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richard branson vomit comet zero G

When Richard Branson was 16, he started a magazine called "Student."

Six years later, he opened up a recording studio. The company's first song — a track called "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield — stayed on the U.K. charts for 247 weeks. 

The Virgin empire had begun.

Now at 64, Branson is equal parts man, myth, and legend. His Virgin Group is composed of 400 companies, employs 60,000 people, and operates in more than 30 countries. He has an estimated net worth of $5 billion.

Branson also has a flair for the dramatic. He's crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon and kite-surfed across the English Channel.

To gain an understanding of the adventurous, wildly successful entrepreneur, we combed through his talks, interviews, and profiles. Here's what we found.

On entrepreneurship

"Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it." 

[Virgin, 2014]



On human interaction

"When I was young, every time I criticized someone, my mother would stand me in front of the mirror and say: 'The flaws you see in others are actually a reflection of yourself.' That taught me to pay close attention when I looked at others.

"[My parents] also taught me to listen and value other people's advice and opinions. So I have always applied this in business and tried to be a good leader and bring out the best in people by listening to them, trusting in them, believing in them, respecting them and letting them have a go!"

[The Gentleman's Journal, December 2012]



On purpose

"A business is simply an idea to make other people's lives better."

[Inc., April 2013]



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21 Hidden Bars In New York City (And How To Find Them)

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crif dogs pdt speakeasy entrance new york city

New Yorkers have a history of drinking in speakeasies dating back to the Prohibition.

These days, a new breed of speakeasy has cropped up around the city, featuring old-timey touches like hidden entrances, tin ceilings, and cocktails made with classic ingredients.

Here are some of New York's best speakeasies, from 67 Orange Street in Harlem to the new Featherweight in Bushwick.

Did we forget your favorite speakeasy in NYC? Let us know in the comments.

67 Orange Street serves incredible fried chicken sliders with its cocktails.

2082 Frederick Douglas Blvd., Harlem

This Harlem speakeasy has an extensive menu of cocktails (ranging from classic gin and whiskey to champagne, cognac, and beer), with great food to back it up. We recommend the fried chicken sliders or lobster mac n' cheese.

When you arrive, don't be fooled by the curtains hanging in the windows. The place may look closed, but walk in the door and you'll find yourself inside an intimate bar.



Angel's Share is hidden inside a Japanese restaurant.

8 Stuyvesant St., East Village

This intimate speakeasy has tall windows that look out onto the East Village, and serves creative cocktails with impressive back-stories and high-quality ingredients.

Angel's Share is hidden behind a secret door inside Village Yokocho that looks like a storage closet at the top of some stairs. Warning: do not try to come in with more than four people — you will be turned away at the door.



Apothéke's bartenders prepare drinks wearing lab coats.

9 Doyers St., Chinatown

With an entrance below a neon "Chemist" sign hanging in a Chinatown alleyway, Apothéke may not look like a high-class bar. Yet after 9 p.m., a discerning bouncer only lets in clientele dressed to the nines or with reservations.

But it's well worth it. Once you get inside, "chemists," or bartenders wearing white coats, will mix complicated cocktails in a dark and classy setting.



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The Fabulous Life Of Facebook Billionaire Sheryl Sandberg

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sheryl sandberg facebook

With a reported net worth of $1.1 billion, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is one of the wealthiest women in tech.

Though Sandberg lives in a stunning contemporary home in Silicon Valley with her husband and two children, she isn't known for having a particularly extravagant lifestyle. 

Sandberg comes from a government background and has worked her way up to the top of two major tech companies. Now she's working on a movement to change women's position in the workforce, and she's recruited celebrities and traveled the globe to do it.

Sheryl Sandberg was born Aug. 28, 1969, in Washington, D.C. She has two younger siblings: a brother named David and a sister named Michelle. The family moved to North Miami Beach when Sheryl was only 2 years old.

Source: The New Yorker



Sandberg's father was an ophthalmologist, and her mother taught French at a local college. The couple founded the South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry through their local synagogue, and their home soon became a safe haven for Soviet Jews looking to escape anti-Semitism.

Source: The New Yorker



Sandberg always shone in school. "In public schools, for a girl to be smart was not good for your social life," her mother Adele told The New Yorker.

Source: The New Yorker



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13 Weird Psychological Reasons Someone Might Fall In Love With You

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Endless Love

There's no shortage of advice on where to meet the right person, how to make people like you, and how to build a successful relationship.

Sometimes, though, people are attracted to each other for seemingly arbitrary reasons, such as what color you wear or whether you have a pet.

What might influence someone to fall for you? We pored through research on the psychology of attraction and found some fascinating reasons why people fall in love.

If you do something thrilling together.

In 1974, Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron wanted to test the connection between sexual attraction and anxiety. In their study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, they placed men under two conditions. The first walked across a high, shaky bridge. The other was on a low, sturdy bridge. Afterward, they met a female experimenter who asked them a series of questions and gave the men her phone number "just in case."

The men who met the woman after walking on the high bridge were more likely to call her than the men who met her on the low bridge. Psychologists call this phenomenon the "misattribution of arousal." The high bridge created a sense of arousal from the anxiety, but men mistakenly thought it was from the attraction to the woman.

This is why many people like to do exciting things on first dates, such as visiting amusement parks, skydiving, or riding motorcycles.



If you prime them to feel more attracted to you.

Priming is an implicit memory effect, which means that the stimuli you are exposed to can influence your response to later stimuli. For example, if people take a multiple choice test with words that have to do with "oldness" like "Florida," "gray," and "weak," they tend to walk slower afterward.

Yale psychologist John Bargh performed an experimentin which participants held warm or cold beverages and had to rate whether someone's personality was warm or cold. Participants who held warm beverages judged the person to have a warm personality, because their minds were already primed to think that way.

If you take someone on a coffee date instead of an ice cream date, they may feel more warmly toward you.



If you live close to them.

It's not only important to be close to someone emotionally — you should also strive to be close physically. According to an experiment at MIT, the proximity of students' dorm rooms increased how close they felt to one another.

This is because they had more passive interactions, like brief meetings as they passed one another in the hallway, which made them feel more intimate.

It's known as the mere exposure effect, which states that familiarity plays a huge role in attraction.



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