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The Fabulous Life Of Formula One Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone

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bernie ecclestone

REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, right, and former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo at the presentation of a commemorative book titled "F1, Formula 1" in Sao Paulo on Nov. 22, 2012.

Bernard "Bernie" Ecclestone is credited with bringing Formula One racing the fame and clout that it has today. 

These days, the 83-year-old Formula One president and CEO is as likely to appear in the news for his personal life as his professional one; he's been married three times, has three children (including two daughters whom the tabloids love), and a 198-foot yacht.

On Tuesday, Ecclestone paid $100 million to settle a long-running trial in Germany over allegations that he bribed a banker as part of the sale of a stake in the motor sport business.

It was a small price to pay for the racing tycoon, who is worth $4.2 billion (up $4 million from last year). Ecclestone said the settlement would allow him to "do what I do best, which is running F1," after more than three years of litigation.

Let's take a look at Ecclestone's awesome life.

Bernard "Bernie" Charles Ecclestone was the son of a fisherman, born in a hamlet of Suffolk, England, in 1930. As a kid, he would complete two paper routes before school every day, spend the money on bakery buns, and then sell the buns at a profit to his classmates.

Source: The Guardian and The Telegraph



He left school at the age of 16 to work at a local gas station and pursue his hobby of building motorcycles. He eventually started selling parts and opened his own motorcycle dealership.

Source: ESPN



After a mediocre run at becoming a Formula One race car driver himself, Ecclestone managed drivers and then bought a team in 1972. He began to broker contracts and TV deals for other F1 teams, and by 1997 he had successfully turned F1 into a profitable global franchise.

Source: ESPN



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Here's Why Madeira Was Just Named The Best Island In Europe [PHOTOS]

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shutterstock_126741929

A. Storm Photography/Shutterstock

Madeira Island was just named the best island in Europe for the second year in a row by the World Travel Awards.

Madeira, which is part of Portugal, is an archipelago of small islands located in the Atlantic Ocean about 350 miles from Morocco. It is made up of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas.

With incredible natural pools carved out of lava rocks, gorgeous cliffs overlooking the ocean, and charming towns, it's no wonder that Madeira is considered the top European island.

Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is a series of Portuguese islands that are about 250 miles north of the Canary Islands and about 350 miles from Morocco. You can get there by plane or ferry.



The islands have gorgeous cliffs that jut out into the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery is spectacular.



The average temperature in Madeira ranges from about 72 degrees F in the summer to 61 degrees F in the winter. In other words, it always feels like a balmy spring day.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






The 20 Most Fun Colleges In America

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Most Fun Colleges In America 2014

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Higher education is certainly an opportunity to study and learn, but college can also be the most fun four years in someone's life. There's good reason for this — college is a time of seemingly endless parties, a constant supply of alcohol, and cherished sports teams to cheer on with fellow students.

To find the most fun colleges in the country, we looked at 12 categories from The Princeton Review's 2015 college rankings, combining the rankings to determine the most overall fun schools in the country.

Click here to read our complete methodology.

Many of the schools that made our list share common traits. The typical "fun" school, based on our results, is a large public university with a strong Greek life and competitive athletics.

This is not to say that these colleges are all play and no work. Many of these schools were nationally ranked for their academics as well.

Clemson University was our No. 1 most fun college, but it appeared on just five of the 12 Princeton Review lists we considered. However, while not the No. 1 school in any category, Clemson placed in the top three on every list on which it appeared, including Students Love These Colleges, Happiest Students, and Students Pack The Stadiums.

#20 Miami University

Oxford, Ohio

One of The Princeton Review's top Party Schools, Miami houses the founding chapters of several now-national fraternities and still maintains a large and active Greek life.

Miami students always have somewhere to party, either at a frat house or a local bar.



#19 Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

The home football games for Auburn, the Princeton Review's top Jock School, are packed with students shouting "War Eagle" — the school's battle cry — especially during the annual Iron Bowl against the rival University of Alabama.

The most recent matchup between the two SEC powerhouses was named "Game of the Year" by ESPN following an unbelievable last-minute upset by Auburn.



#18 Bucknell University

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

A small school with a large Greek scene, more than half of Bucknell's students are in a fraternity or sorority.

With not much else to do in the surrounding area, students have social lives that are pretty much restricted to campus — where there is always a lot of alcohol and someone throwing a party.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






HOUSE OF THE DAY: Heidi Klum Sells Her Gorgeous Los Angeles Estate For $24 Million

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heidi klum brentwood mansion

Mark Davis/Getty and Nick Springett

Supermodel Heidi Klum's gorgeous Brentwood estate has sold for $24 million, slightly less than the $25 million it was listed for last month, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Klum reportedly hired a team that spent 6 months restoring the 8-bedroom, 10-bathroom home, which was originally built in 1999 and left empty for some time. The team replaced every window, re-stained the home's woodwork, upgraded all appliances, expanded the garden, and built a master bath.

Now, the home is more luxurious than ever. Set on 8.5 acres, the estate has an infinity-edge pool, a spa, a rose garden, hiking trails, and a koi pond.

Lynn Teschner of The Agency, Beverly Hills, was the listing agent for this property.

The 12,300-square-foot home has 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.



It sits on 8.5 acres of land, which includes flat lawns, gardens, and hiking trails.



The home's foyer is simple yet elegant.



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Meet The Tycoons Who Live At 740 Park Ave., New York's Billionaire Hive

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740 park avenue

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

People in front of the 740 Park Avenue building in New York on April 10.

740 Park Avenue is a legendary address, at one time considered (and still thought to be by some) the most luxurious and powerful residential building in New York City.

The co-op, on the corner of 71st Street and Park Avenue, has an impressive past.

Built in 1929 by the grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — who lived there as a child — 740 Park has just 31 residences that have commanded some of the highest real estate prices in New York history. John D. Rockefeller, financier Saul Steinberg, and Blackstone founder Steve Schwarzman have all called the building (and in fact, the same opulent apartment) home.

While many of New York's rich and powerful people have decamped to 15 Central Park West and the shiny condos rising along the new "Billionaire's Row" on 57th Street, that won't diminish classic co-ops of the Upper East Side, and 740 Park in particular, says Michael Gross. Gross is the author of "House of Outrageous Fortune" about 15 Central Park West and "740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building."

"I think in the current condo era, [740 Park] represents a previous generation of Manhattan wealth," Gross told Business Insider. "But I think that the cyclical nature of real estate makes it a very good bet that co-ops will have a comeback, and the east side will have a comeback."

740 Park opened its doors in October 1930, in the heart of the depression. It remained a 'financial sinkhole' until the 1980s, when apartment prices rose astronomically.

Source: "740 Park: The Story Of The World's Richest Apartment Building" by Michael Gross



These days, only the wealthiest types are even considered for admission to the co-op. Applicants must be able to show a liquid net worth of $100 million.

Source: "740 Park: The Story Of The World's Richest Apartment Building" by Michael Gross



But wealth isn't the only factor. Barbra Streisand, Neil Sedaka, junk bond tycoon Nelson Peltz, and the billionaire Leo Blavatnik have reportedly been rejected by the co-op board.

Source: "740 Park: The Story Of The World's Richest Apartment Building" by Michael Gross



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






This Life Coach Will Solve All Your Problems For $500 An Hour

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Lauren Zander

The Handel Group

Life coach Lauren Zander.

Most of us have heard of a "life coach" but have little idea who they are or what they do.

We talked to Lauren Zander, a top New York-based life coach, who makes an enviable living off of motivating others to achieve success and happiness. She is the cofounder and chairman of The Handel Group, a network of life coaches with top-tier clients. As we chatted over the phone, she was on her way to spend four hours with a client in the Hamptons.

Zander has been a life coach for the past 16 years and makes $400,000 annually, from her role at The Handel Group, teaching gigs at elite schools, and television appearances. Today, she coaches between 10 and 15 clients at a rate of $500 an hour and spends most of her time developing her business.

As a professional life coach, Zander is part therapist, drill sergeant, and spiritual advisor rolled into one. In her private coaching sessions, she might address anything from figuring out how to start a business to how to save a marriage, and in her corporate coaching gigs, she tackles problems at a company from the top down. Her MIT course called "Designing Your Life" focuses on 18 "areas of life," including career, money management, sex and romance, and participation in family life.

In a typical coaching session, Zander spends at least an hour with a client on the phone, over a Skype video chat, or, if it can be specially arranged, in person discussing the fears that are holding them back from becoming the person they wish they were. She gives the client a list of concrete goals at the end of each discussion that serves as homework, which she considers a key difference between her and a therapist.

"I am going to tell you what to do and will expect you to do it," she says.

Zander recalls one of her clients who came to her because she felt like her life was in shambles — she was 100 pounds overweight, her marriage was falling apart, and she lacked ambition. Zander got the client to stop taking a passive aggressive approach to her problems, and eventually she turned her life around, she says.

Zander's company, The Handel Group, currently has 10 life coaches and seven executive coaches available for booking on its website, and last year it brought in just under $6 million in revenue, Zander says. Coaching prices start at $200 an hour (Zander is the most expensive coach), and coaches will work with their clients from anywhere from several weeks to several years.

There are also small group sessions over the phone that go for $200 for four weekly sessions, and large group sessions without a chance for participation that go for $25 an hour.

While she can't reveal the names of most of her clients, Zander did tell us that she's coached Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker for years and has worked with executives and employees at Sony Music Entertainment, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and the New York Times.

When she works for companies, it's her job to address dysfunctional relationships in teams. She first speaks one-on-one with an executive and then has a group session with the exec's employees. For example, at the Times, she needed to find a way to get a valued, high-ranking employee to start working more cooperatively with coworkers.

lauren zander with sean young

The Handel Group

Lauren Zander working with actress Sean Young on "Celebrity Life Coach."

Zander says she first got the idea to spend her life motivating people to overcome their fears when she pursued her first passion, environmentalism, and realized it wasn't for her.

After graduating from George Washington University in 1993 with a degree in environmental studies, Zander began a fellowship with the United Nations' Global Environment Facility.

"The more I wanted to save the trees, the more I hated people," Zander tells us, explaining that this was what started her on the path to a career in personal improvement. "That's when I realized that the trees are fine; it's the people that are the problem."

At the age of 23, Zander started working for Landmark Education, a self-improvement group, managing volunteers and program schedules. In 1998, after six or seven years with the company, she realized that she was unhappy with its impersonal coaching tactics and decided that she would quit her job and start her own practice.

"It finally clicked," she says. She'd always been the type of person who could talk to someone about their problems and aspirations until 4 in the morning, and she realized that becoming a life coach was her ideal job.

Some of Zander's first clients were the volunteers she worked with at Landmark, and she networked heavily to maintain a constant flow of clients. She mentions that some of her first clients included an entrepreneur in the cell phone industry who wanted to grow his business, a jewelry designer who wanted to make more money, and a Wall Street guy who had plenty of money but was terribly unhappy.

Her method was not based on any particular philosophy or rubric, but instead was based on long conversations with each client, getting them to reveal the things they normally suppress, like difficulties with their parents.

Zander initially charged $125 an hour and worked just 10 hours a week. It was a huge improvement from working 80-hour weeks, six days a week, for a $60,000 salary at Landmark, she says.

She spent the rest of her time networking, making it a priority to tell three people about her business every day. Within six months, she had 40 clients, which she says was especially impressive because life coaching hadn't fully caught on yet in the late '90s.

Then, in 2002, her friend Mel Robbins, an attorney, expressed interest in becoming a coach herself. Zander wanted to see if she could train her, and her experiment proved to be a success. Robbins became a popular national television and talk radio host and author.

Motivated by Robbins' success, Zander started her own life coaching network, The Handel Group ("Handel" is her maiden name), in 2004.

"Starting it forced me to codify my teaching method," she says.

All of Zander's courses and coaching sessions are based on the Handel Method, which she designed. "It gets you to determine how you talk, what your brand of excuses are, and what your personal mission is. It gets you to face yourself," she says.

Zander, who was the star of A&E Biography's television special "Celebrity Life Coach" in 2010 and has appeared on "The Dr. Oz Show," is currently developing a television show and is participating in a documentary. The Handel Group is also developing a pilot program for teenagers and younger kids at underprivileged public schools.

Correction: Private sessions start at $200/hr, not $350/hr, and HG president of life coaching Laurie Gerber, not Zander, appeared on "Dr. Phil."

SEE ALSO: Why Microsoft And Google Are Backing The 22-Year-Old 'Italian Zuckerberg'

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Hundreds Of MINI Owners Are Driving From Coast To Coast [PHOTOS]

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7 29 14_Bonneville_Salt_Flats_005

BMW of North America

For the past two weeks, MINI owners have been traversing the United States, from San Francisco to Boston, with plenty of stops along the way.

The rally will conclude on Sunday, August 10.

Skateboarding personality and entrepreneur — and MINI owner — Tony Hawk got the festivities started on July 27. According to MINI USA, 350 owners will make the entire ride from the West Coast to the East.

Each participant paid $45 to join in. MINI estimates that the total group could be as large as 1,000 rallyists, plus 100 pets, all taking part in "MINI Takes the States."

So far, the Rally has pulled stopped in Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Illinois.

Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk got the rally rolling in San Francisco.



A wide variety of MINIs made the run from Nevada to Utah.



Along the way, the MINIs have visited vintage fighter planes.



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The 10 Friendliest Cities In The US

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Charleston south carolina

Tetra Images/Getty

Charleston, South Carolina.

For the second year in a row, Charleston, South Carolina, has taken the top spot on Conde Nast Travelers' list of the friendliest cities in the U.S.

Each year, the magazine ranks hotels, cruises, beaches, and cities as part of its Readers' Choice Survey. The results aren't scientific (it's an online survey that anyone can take), but thousands of people participate in the survey each year.

In the survey, "friendliness" is generally measured by how welcome people feel in different cities.

Almost every city that made the "friendliest" list was in the South.

The survey also asked people to rate the unfriendliest cities in the U.S. (unsurprisingly, most were in the Northeast). Both lists are below.

The 10 friendliest cities in the U.S.

10. Asheville, North Carolina (score: 79)
Survey respondents say that Asheville has a "small-town feel" and is filled with friendly and artistic people.

9. Nashville, Tennessee (score: 79.6)
This musical city was regarded as highly entertaining and full of "colorful characters."

8. Key West, Florida (score: 79.6)
It's "impossible to be stressed out" in this "pleasant" city.

7. Jackson Hole, Wyoming (score: 80)
This casual yet upscale city is commonly referred to as "eclectic" and "funky" with plenty to do outdoors.

6. Fort Worth, Texas (score: 80.2)
The people here are "welcoming," "warm," and have "beautiful manners."

5. New Orleans (score: 80.4)
City pride abounds in New Orleans, and there's a ton of great food to boot.

4. Telluride, Colorado (score: 81.3)
This "laid-back" community isn't crowded or snobby, and the people are "down-to-earth."

3. San Antonio (score: 82.2)
The "friendliness of the folks who live here" makes San Antonio a must-visit city.

2. Savannah, Georgia (score: 82.8)
This charming southern city, the oldest in Georgia, makes people feel like as if "stepped back in time."

1. Charleston, South Carolina (score: 84.3)
This "quaint" city is bursting with "southern hospitality."

The 10 least friendly cities in the U.S.

10. Miami (score: 53.4)
This tourist trap of a city has great culture and nightlife but is "overpriced" and "too trendy."

9. Wilmington, Delaware (score: 52.8)
Not many people travel here for pleasure, according to the survey. The city has "lots of cows."

8. The Hamptons, New York (score: 50.6)
This well-to-do summer vacation spot isn't as bad in the winter, but it can be "challenging" during peak season.

7. Los Angeles (score: 48.9)
Driving in this city is a nightmare, and people have attitudes, but the weather is nice.

6. Detroit (score: 48)
The city is improving, but it has also been called "the armpit of the world" with its crumbling buildings.

5. New Haven, Connecticut (score: 47.2)
This city is worth a visit in the summer, when the snobby Yale students have left.

4. Atlantic City, New Jersey (score: 46.3)
This city isn't what it used to be, and the shopping, dining, and nightlife isn't "spectacular."

3. Hartford, Connecticut (score: 45.5)
It's good for a business trip, but entertainment is lacking.

2. Oakland, California (score: 40.6)
Be careful where you go in this "rough-around-the-edges" city.

1. Newark, New Jersey (score: 33.5)
This "airport city" has been described as "crowded and overpriced."

SEE ALSO: The 20 Most Fun Colleges In America

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Inside The Once-Forbidden Movie Theaters of Afghanistan [PHOTOS]

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As the Taliban rose to power in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s, restrictions on its citizens became increasingly severe. When the Taliban gained control of Kabul at the end of 1996, music, television, and movies were banned altogether.

But when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, those restrictions receded and culture was allowed to re-emerge.

In June 2009, while visiting Kabul to document a separate event, photographer Jonathan Saruk discovered a significant resurgence of Kabul's movie houses, noting them as a "vibrant and remarkable facet" of life in the city.

Saruk wished to document and display a more nuanced version of life in Kabul and in Afghanistan than the visions of war, conflict, poverty, and sadness that we see on television every day, so he began to photograph cinemas and movie theaters.
Kabul movies

Jonathan Saruk

"12 years ago, this scene...would have been unthinkable," Saruk says. Today, he says, there are six cinemas like this one in Kabul.
kabul cinemas

Jonathan Saruk

The scene inside a movie theater that Saruk describes is one of happiness and camaraderie. Audiences laugh, dance, sing, whistle, smoke cigarettes, and talk with each other. Seeing a movie, Saruk says, "is a respite from the harsh reality that lies outside the confines of the theater."
kabul cinemas

Jonathan Saruk

In an essay about Saruk's work, Javed Razayee, an Afghan filmmaker writes, "Inside the theater was safe. There were no interruptions from outside... Dramatic music would kick the movie off, and, having my ‘ham’ burger unwrapped, I would lie back, letting myself be transported to great India."
kabul cinemas

Jonathan Saruk

Before, seeing a movie was nearly impossible. Now, cinemas play at least three movies a day, starting as early as 10am. Men from all over the city come to see action and adventure movies, beautiful women in skirts and pantsuits, passionate love stories, or sometimes all three at once.
kabul cinemas

Jonathan Saruk

Films from Pakistan, India, and the United States are projected in the theaters, like this one from the U.S., "Bride of Chucky."
kabul Cinemas

Jonathan Saruk

Why does it seem that only men go to the movie theater in Afghanistan? “I got various responses,” Saruk told the Daily Beast when asked about the phenomenon. “Some people said it was because of security and some said that they [women] simply preferred to watch films at home.”
kabul cinemas

Jonathan Saruk

Saruk knew he was onto something when, during a screening of a Bollywood film, members of the audience got up on stage and danced along with the actors being projected. "Watching them, I realized that, in all my time in Afghanistan, I had never witnessed such an outpouring of emotion," says Saruk.
kabul cinemas

Jonathan Saruk

These images and more are published in Saruk's new book, "The Forbidden Reel," out now on Daylight Books.

SEE ALSO: Unbelievable Photos Show Kabul's Dramatic Transformation From Battlefield To Modern Metropolis

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The Best Coffee Shop In Every State

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Forget Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. Every state has its beloved local haunt where you can grab a cup of joe or a foamy masterpiece of latte art and unwind.

We found the best coffee shop in every state by looking at expert reviews and local recommendations.

ALABAMA: O'Henry's Coffees is there to keep Birmingham hyper-caffeinated with its signature Gibraltar Quad Shot: four shots of espresso and a hint of milk.



ALASKA: Jitters is so good it can give you just that, if you drink too much. In a hurry? Grab a coffee from its coffee truck, right in the shop's Eagle River parking lot.



ARIZONA: Cartel Coffee Lab is a great, six-location local chain. Its single-origin coffee is roasted in-house and served with fresh pastries daily.

Cartel Coffee Lab



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Alaska Is A Terrifying Place To Be The Victim Of A Crime

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Alaska

Associated Press/John Gaps III

An unidentified woman walks past the Russian Orthodox Church, which is reflected in a puddle, in the village of Tatitlek, Alaska, May 11, 1989.

For many remote Alaskan communities only accessible by plane, the biggest danger isn't nature. Rather, it's the villagers themselves and the unavailability of any law enforcement to protect victims.

There are at least 75 Native American Alaskan villages that don't have any law enforcement, reports The Washington Post. Isolated by long distances and difficult terrain, those residents must report crimes and wait for Alaska State Troopers to arrive in the village after hours of traveling.

Alaska has one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S., at 603.2 violent crimes per 100,o00 compared to a national average of 386.9, according to the FBI's 2012 crime report. That includes nearly 80 rapes per 100,000 residents in 2012 compared to a national average of 26.9, more than any other state

“Unfortunately, there are places in rural Alaska that if a woman is raped or a child is beaten, that victim might not get any help whatsoever,” Associate Attorney General Tony West told The Washington Post. “It can take a day and a half before responders show up to the scene of a crime or to a call for help. Imagine if you were a victim of violence and you can’t get help because weather conditions don’t allow you to get out of your village. Where are you supposed to go? You have nowhere to go.”

Native Alaskans make up 61% of sexual assault victims in the state even though they make up just 15% of the population, The New York Times reported in 2012Nobody knows for sure why Native American women are so vulnerable to rape. Some experts blame alcoholism and the breakdown of the Native American family.

The danger of crime facing Native Americans, especially women, in remote Alaska villages without law enforcement was demonstrated with last year's murder of 13-year-old Native Alaskan Mackenzie Howard in the community of Kake, as reported by The Washington Post.

Like similar communities, Kake struggles with drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Only accessible by boat or plane, Kake suffers 80% unemployment, a declining fishing industry, and a dead logging industry. A one-man police department closed 35 years ago due to lack of funding.

Even in rural areas where there is a tiny police presence, quick and effective help isn't guaranteed. One 19-year-old Native Alaska woman who lived in a village of 800 called the police after a stranger broke into her home and raped her in the middle of the night, The New York Times reported in 2012The police didn't answer, so she left a message. They never returned her call.

SEE ALSO: This Tiny Isolated Town In Alaska Is Only Accessible By A 2.6 Mile-Long Tunnel That Closes At Night

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Tanned Skin Is So Frowned Upon In China That Women Wear These Crazy Face Masks To The Beach [PHOTOS]

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When Americans go to the beach, they seem to bring an entire carload of chairs, umbrellas, coolers, tents, and swim toys. In northeastern China, beach-goers bring one other essential item: a “face-kini.”

The mask, which was first used 9 years ago when it was invented by a local, is now used widely at East China Sea beaches in the northeastern city of Qingdao, a popular tourist destination for many Chinese seeking to escape the summer heat. The city is a short plane ride from Beijing and Shanghai.

Many beach-goers wear the masks to protect their faces from tanning and sun damage, which is looked down upon by Chinese as a sign of being a manual laborer.

Photographer Peng Yangjun, of the photographic duo Peng & Chen, recently traveled to Qingdao to photographer the face-covered beachgoers. He shared some photos with us here, but you can check out the rest at his website.

The mask, which has been dubbed the "face-kini" by Chinese netizens, is made of a stretchy fabric similar to what is used in bathing suits.It has become so popular because Chinese people — middle-class women especially — are notoriously afraid of tanning. Dark skin is equated with being a "peasant" who works in construction or farming. A common Chinese idiom is "Fair skin conceals a thousand flaws."While the masks were originally intended to protect against sun damage, many have found that they are effective at protecting from jellyfish stings and insect bites.Most "face-kini" women are middle-aged retired Qingdaoese who swim in the city's oceans frequently. Many of the women say that they wear the masks because they are uncomfortable donning bathing suits in public. The masks shield their identity so that they can swim without fear of ridicule.While the masks are mass-produced and sold in stores and on beaches for $2-4, many women make the masks by hand using old underwear, clothes, and swimsuits, says Peng. Each handmade one is unique with different textures and colors.Protecting one's skin against the sun is practically an obsession for many in China. There is a massive industry for skin creams that promise fair skin and numerous beachgoers also wear full-body wetsuits and gloves that rise up the elbow, according to the New York Times. 

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The States With The Best And Worst School Systems

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It's nearly back-to-school time, so social finance site WalletHub put together a list of the best and worst school systems in America.

They studied the quality of education in the 50 states (plus D.C.) by analyzing 12 factors — "from student-teacher ratios and dropout rates to test scores and bullying incident rates." 

New Jersey came in first overall, placing top five in many of the key categories including test scores and safety. D.C. came in last place, ranking as the least safe place to go to school, along with low test scores and high drop-out rates.

Their interactive map shows each state's overall rank; with red representing the worst overall school systems, and green the best.

Here is the map:

WalletHub

 

The report also took those numbers and compared them to how much the state is spending on education. The results are mixed as New Jersey comes in at number three for spending, while D.C. actually spends the 14th most, compared to Arizona which spends the least and is placed at 43.

WalletHub

 

WalletHub says that states that invest more in education ultimately strengthen their economies, citing The Economic Policy Institute report that incomes are higher in states where the workforce is well educated.

SEE ALSO: The World's 50 Best Business Schools

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These Magnificent Temples Point To How Rich The Mormon Church Is

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San Diego Mormon temple

Wikimedia Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints San Diego, California temple

Mormon temples are often built near highways to impress passing drivers with their splendor.

These magnificent structures may be one of many recruitment techniques that helped the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gain nearly 2 million new followers in the U.S. in a decade — more than any other religion — for a total of 6.14 million, according to the 2010 U.S. Religion Census.

Globally, Mormon temples and meetinghouses are worth an estimated $35 billion, reported Reuters in 2012. They represent the most outward show of wealth for an organization whose finances are secret but thought to be extensive.

A major source of income for the Church is tithes, donations followers are supposed to give that comprise 10% of their income, with other income from other donations, businesses, and properties. Although the federal government doesn't require public financial disclosure from religions in the U.S., a clearer financial picture is provided thanks to disclosures in other countries.

Sociologist Ryan Cragun and Reuters used data from Canada to estimate the Church receives more than $6 billion annually from tithing in America. Throughout the world, the Church is estimated to make $7 billion annually through tithes and other donations.

The Church's major for-profit enterprise is Deseret Management Corporation (DMC), whose subsidiaries bring in $1.2 billion of annual revenue through businesses in journalism, media, insurance, and hospitality, reported BloombergBusinessweek in 2012, though DMC CEO Keith McMullin claimed that estimate was "vastly overstated." 

The Church's for-profit agricultural holding company, AgReserves, and Church-run affiliates own 1 million acres in the continental U.S., containing farms, hunting preserves, orchards, and ranches, along with significant properties overseas. Notably, the Church recently became the largest private landowner in Florida.

The Church also runs for-profit real estate arms that have a hand in residential buildings, office parks, parking lots, shopping malls, and more, reports BloombergBusinessweek.

Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Church's high-ranking Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained in a speech how money can be used in spiritual ways: "If allowed to become an object of worship or priority, money can make us selfish and prideful ... In contrast, if used for fulfilling our legal obligations and for paying our tithes and offerings, money can demonstrate integrity and develop unselfishness. The spiritually enlightened use of property can help prepare us for the higher law of a celestial glory. "

The building and operation of temples is one of the Church's five key activities supported by tithing.

We've pulled together pictures and information on some of the most magnificent Mormon temples. Yes, other religions have some extremely lavish places of worship, but the Mormon church is closing the gap.

Dedicated in 1964, the Oakland, California temple stretches 170-feet high with a reinforced concrete and California white marble exterior, has a 95,000-square-foot floor area, and sits on 18.3 acres. The north and south side of the exterior feature 35-foot sculpted panels depicting holy scenes of Jesus.

Source: LDSChurchTemples.com



Dedicated in 2002, the 54,000-square-foot Nauvoo, Illinois temple’s exterior consists of limestone block from Russellville, Alabama. It is a reconstruction of an earlier temple destroyed by fire in 1848.

Source: LDSChurchTemples.com



Dedicated in 1974, the exterior of the 160,000-square-foot Washington, D.C. temple consists of reinforced concrete and Alabama white marble. The temple sits on a 52-acre site, and its seven floors represent the six days of God’s creation and the seventh day of rest.

Source: LDSChurchTemples.com



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The 10 Least Friendly Cities In The World

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Johannesburg, South Africa

Flickr/PapJeff

Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa didn't fare well in Conde Nast Travelers' annual survey, earning the title of least friendly city in the world.

Not all the cities on this list earned their designation as "unfriendly" based on the people who occupy them, however. Survey respondents noted Johannesburg's reputation as an unsafe city and the danger of traveling alone there. Language barriers, political perceptions, and location could also factor in.

The results of Conde Nast's Readers' Choice Survey aren't scientific (it's an online survey that anyone can take), but thousands of people participate each year. The survey ranks hotels, cruises, beaches, and cities.

If you're traveling to one of these cities soon, be wary.

The 10 unfriendliest cities in the world

10. Nassau, Bahamas (score: 63.6)
Readers said the city is "unsafe" outside of the tourist areas and big hotels.

9. Monte Carlo, Monaco (score: 63)
This city full of glitz and glam can be "ostentatious and overcrowded."

8. Milan, Italy (score: 62.9)
The "traditional Italian friendliness and hospitality" typically isn't found in Milan.

7. Frankfurt, Germany (score: 61.7)
The locals have been described as "cold" and "very rude."

6. Beijing, China (score: 61.4)
The "terrible pollution" and "dirty streets" detract from the city's beautiful attractions.

5. Marseille, France (score: 60.9)
Pickpockets are a concern here, which makes for a "threatening atmosphere for tourists."

4. Paris, France (score: 60.8)
One survey respondent said that "everyone was downright rude" and unhelpful in this city.

3. Moscow, Russia (score: 59.6)
Many people don't speak any language other than Russian here, and the people are "unfriendly."

2. Cannes, France (score: 58.5)
This "forgettable city" has been called a "European Vegas" with "unfriendly" locals.

1. Johannesburg, South Africa (score: 56.1)
Despite its beauty, Johannesburg has a reputation as an unsafe city filled with crime.

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A Minnesota Restaurant Is Putting The Cost Of A Minimum Wage Increase On Customer Checks

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A Minnesota restaurant has started charging a fee to offset a minimum wage hike. 

The Oasis cafe in Stillwater is charging customers an extra 35 cents, reports CBS Minnesota

Minnesota recently raised the minimum wage for tipped employees. Oasis told CBS that the change would cost the restaurant about $10,000 a year. 

Patrons of the restaurant are complaining on its Facebook page

"If you cannot afford to pay your employees, maybe you cannot afford to run a restaurant," one man who identified himself as a former customer said. 

Numerous people called for a boycott. 

"You're essentially blaming customers for the increase when you charge for it the way you do," one Facebook commenter wrote.

Eater points out that restaurants have also implemented fees to cover increased healthcare costs.

One Florida restaurant started charging an additional 1% this year.  

Here's a receipt with the surcharge, via local news station WCCO. 


SEE ALSO: Urban Outfitters Executive Argues That Companies Shouldn't Have To Tell Customers About Data Breaches

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10 Extremely Wealthy Tech Executives Who Choose To Live Frugally

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Pierre Omidyar

REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

EBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar in Delaware on Dec. 7, 2009.

While some tech executives are quick to splurge on yachts and mega-mansions, others aren't so flashy with their riches.

Mark Zuckerberg, for example, drives a $30,000 Volkswagen GTI, while Sergey Brin likes to buy things in bulk at Costco.

We've rounded up 10 tech executives who have made millions or even billions with their companies yet have chosen lives of frugality and charity.

David Cheriton, Stanford professor

Net worth: $3 billion

Cheriton, a professor at Stanford and cofounder of Arista Networks, became one of the first investors in Google after Larry Page and Sergey Brin did a demo of their project on his front porch in 1998. That initial $100,000 check has obviously paid off, but Cheriton dislikes the thought of being a billionaire.

"I'm actually quite offended by that sort of thing," he told the Edmonton Journal in a 2006 interview. "These people who build houses with 13 bathrooms and so on, there's something wrong with them."

He drives a 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon, has lived in the same Palo Alto home for the past 30 years, cuts his own hair, and even claims to reuse his tea bags. He did, however, splurge on a Honda Odyssey for his kids back in 2012.



Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network

Net worth: $16.3 billion

Ergen is notorious for being a frugal leader and micromanager — up until about 10 years ago, he insisted on signing every check that came out of Dish. 

He packs a lunch of a sandwich and Gatorade before work every day, and until recently, he shared hotel rooms with colleagues during travel.

"My mom grew up in the Depression," he told the Financial Times. "I don’t have a mahogany desk."



Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay

Net worth: $8.1 billion

Omidyar became a billionaire when eBay went public in 1998, but he never thought spending all of his money would be satisfying. 

"We sort of skipped the 'regular rich' and we went straight to 'ridiculous rich,'" he said to Forbes. "I had the notion that, OK, so now we have all of this wealth, we could buy not only one expensive car, we could buy all of them. As soon as you realize that you could buy all of them, then none of them are particularly interesting or satisfying."



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The Korean DMZ Is A Surprisingly Popular Spot For Tourists [PHOTOS]

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Despite its confusing name, the Korean Demilitarized Zone on the border between North Korea and South Korea is, in fact, the most militarized border in the world. Currently, thousands of troops are standing guard around the clock, including 28,500 U.S. Troops .

The buffer zone stands as a physical metaphor for the conflict and aggression the two countries share for each other. Violent altercations in the DMZ, some involving U.S. military members, have resulted in hundreds of deaths since its installment in 1953.

There's no way anyone in their right mind would ever want to go out of their way to visit a place Bill Clinton once called "the scariest place on Earth," right? Wrong.

Tourists from all over the world flock by the busload to both sides of the DMZ to see history being made every day. Here, tourists view the Bridge of Freedom, partially destroyed during the Korean War, at the Imjingak pavilion in Paju, north of Seoul.
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REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Here, Japanese students pose for a photo with a statue of a South Korean military policeman at the Imjingak pavilion. While the governments don't keep statistics on the DMZ, the Korean Tourism Office says that over 1.2 million people visited South Korea in June alone.
DMZ Tourism

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

With Seoul only a half an hour away, the trip is a quick one. While skirmishes may break out sometimes, it doesn't stop the tourists. Korea's tourism website does remind everyone to bring a form of ID for identity check purposes, though.
DMZ Tourism

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Reuters reports that visitors can stop at souvenir shops, like this one in the Imjingak pavilion, and purchase any number of DMZ keepsakes, like "DMZ T-shirts, DMZ-branded chocolates, DMZ baseball caps and pieces of 'authentic' DMZ barbed wire mounted on ceramic tiles."
DMZ Tourism

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

On the South side, in full view of the North, lies Peace Land, a theme park in the full Capitalist sense. It's complete with a viking boat ride, an antique locomotive, and blaring pop music.
DMZ Tourism

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Much of the tourism revolves around history too, though. Here, a tourist poses for photographs in a mock North Korean classroom at the Unification Observation Platform. Hanging on the wall are portraits of the late North Korean founder Kim Il-sung and his son and former leader Kim Jong-il.
DMZ Tourism

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

A visit to the Northern side seems a bit more somber and historical (with the expected propaganda, of course), giving details of the conflict over the years. Tours are $20, a hefty fee for average North Korean citizens, who rarely visit. Recent tourists suggest bringing cigarettes to give to the guides.By creating a buffer zone in a rural area and leaving it untouched for half a century, Korea inadvertently made a pristine wildlife preserve that is home to a number of rare species of cranes, tigers, bears, and leopards. Tourists looking out over the 2.5-mile expanse of the DMZ may catch a glimpse of such animals, if they are lucky.
DMZ Tourism

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

What they're more likely to see, however, is the other side of the zone. There, they can see people looking right back at them, which is strange and exciting in its own right.Tourists can put on hardhats and check out one of the numerous tunnels, like this one in Cheolwon, that were discovered in 1972 and are suspected to have originally been made as part of a plan by North Korea to invade South Korea.
DMZ Tourism

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Even though North Korea recently threatened to turn Seoul into a "Sea of Fire," tourists seem unfazed. "Does it feel dangerous? No way!" one visitor told Reuters. "Am I nervous? No. Just curious."
DMZ Tourism

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEE ALSO: 17 Mindblowing Facts About North Korea

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'Panic Selling' In London Drives Fear That The UK Housing Bubble Is About To Burst

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bubble gum

There is one topic of conversation in Britain right now: The insane price of property, both to own and to rent. People on modest, middle class incomes who bought houses for a few hundred thousand pounds in marginal areas like London's East End during the mid 2000s have suddenly found themselves living inside assets worth more than £1 million ($1.68 million).

uk base rates 79 11 interest bank of englandThe Bank of England has kept interest rates virtually at zero since the crash of 2008, making mortgages incredibly cheap. That has driven a wave of buyers into the market, pumping up property prices.

But Britons' incomes haven't kept pace with those prices, and now it appears we may be reaching some sort of breaking point. Some Londoners have begun "panic-selling" their houses, according to The Telegraph, in fear that this may be their last chance to cash in on the property ladder lottery before the housing boom comes crashing down.

The numbers show that fear may be justified.

Housing prices in the U.K. declined in July, according to Rightmove, as new buyers pulled out of the market. The BofE is not likely to raise interest rates soon, according to The Guardian, so that dip may be seasonal or temporary.

However, it came at the same time as the real estate agent chain Savills reported that the London market was topping out. In its earnings call, Savills reported these stats for the first half of the year, according to the Financial Times:

  • London average property values: flat.
  • London volume of exchanges: up 9%.
  • Outside London average property values:  up 9%.
  • Outside London volume of exchanges: up 20%.

uk house pricesThe Financial Times says Savills group chief executive Jeremy Helsby told analysts that Londoners were getting out while the getting was good:

Good price rises in London have encouraged people to move out ... They’re going into the home counties, and filtering further up and further out. Previously, the country had been quiet.

Another sign of the top came in the form of the house price-to-earnings ratio as tracked by Halifax, the mortgage lender. Prices have again crested over five times the income of buyers. The last time they did that was right before the 2007 crash, The Telegraph notes, although at their peak prices hit 5.83 times earnings.

Hometrack, the housing data company, published this scary chart full of downward-pointing red arrows showing that in London, price growth is declining, fewer people are buying houses, fewer sales are occurring, and asking prices are in decline:

hometrack housing prices london

All the signs are suggesting that prices are now so high no one can afford to actually buy houses in London any more, and that's fueling a stampede for the exits among those sitting in Britain's most expensive real estate.

Want another stat? The Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker reported that 60% of owners now believe they must sell their houses in the next year, "the highest score of this measure since the survey's inception," as The Telegraph put it.

SEE ALSO: Conservatives Want Britain To Leave Europe Even If It Costs London £26 Billion

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15 Everyday Objects That Have Been 'Enchanted' By Technology

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Inventor and M.I.T. Media Lab researcher David Rose coined the term "enchanted objects" to describe ordinary objects with extraordinary functions. 

These objects are not only fun but also may hold the key to a better way for humans to use new technology — as opposed to what Rose considers a bleak future in which every tool will be crammed into a computer screen.

Rose, whose gadget-filled home was recently featured in The New York Times, has a new book called, "Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things."

We've compiled 15 of the coolest enchanted objects currently in existence. Many of these aren't available on the market yet, but they offer a glimpse into what the future has in store. 

The Vitality GlowCap reminds you to take your medications by lighting up, making chirping sounds, and eventually sending you a text message. You can share your medication data with a remote loved one, a professional caregiver, and your pharmacy.

Not widely available.



The Ambient Umbrella has a handle that will glow if snow or rain is in the forecast, reminding you to grab it on your way out the door.

Not widely available.



The Google Latitude Doorbell, created at the MIT Media Lab, chimes a tune when a family member is approaching the house. Each family member has their own tune.

Not widely available.



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