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Why 'Authentic' Smilers Are Happier, Have Better Relationships, And Live Longer


smile girls black white

Authentic smiles predict well-being, happy marriages, and long lives.

But the thing is, they're un-fakeable.

The Association for Psychological Science sketches out the physiological reasons why

A smile begins in our sensory corridors. The ear collects a whispered word. The eyes spot an old friend on the station platform. The hand feels the pressure of another hand.

This emotional data funnels to the brain, exciting the left anterior temporal region in particular, then smolders to the surface of the face, where two muscles, standing at attention, are roused into action: The zygomatic major, which resides in the cheek, tugs the lips upward, and the orbicularis oculi, which encircles the eye socket, squeezes the outside corners into the shape of a crow’s foot.

It's these two muscles in your face — the zygomatic major and the orbicularis oculi— that work together to create real-deal grins. The key is in that skin around your eyeballs: when you're really smiling, the crow's feet form. When you're faking it, they don't

A comparison:

slugger fake smile

mom smile 2In the psych racket we call the real-deal grin a Duchenne smile, named for 19th-century French anatomist Guillaume Duchenne. He's proof that medicine used to be even weirder: Dude liked to investigate the way people express emotions by zapping muscles with electrodes. Legend has it he tested his theories out on the severed heads of criminals. (Talk about going head first into your research.)

duchenneDuchenne wrote of the difference between real and fake smiles in his 1862 book "Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine." As the APS reports, Duchenne wrote that while you can will the zygomatic major to work — what we're talking about when we force a smile— only the "sweet emotions of the soul" make the orbicularis oculi activate, causing those crow's feet.

Duchenne's research would inspire Darwin's investigations into emotions, but then lay neglected until smile research started up again in the last few decades.

The results will make you grin, or maybe wince. 

In a 2001 study, University of California at Berkeley psychologists LeeAnne Harker and Dacher Keltner analyzed the yearbook photos of women at the age of 21 and compared that info with personality data in a 30-year longitudinal study. The result: women who expressed greater levels of positive emotion — had those toothy, crow's-footy grins — reported higher general well-being and more satisfaction in their marriages than those who smiled weakly at age 52.

"People photograph each other with casual ease and remarkable frequency," the authors write, "usually unaware that each snapshot may capture as much about the future as it does the passing emotions of the moment." 

smile babyThe research suggests that your smiles also predict your lifespan. In a 2010 study, Wayne State University psychologists Ernest Abel and Michael Kruger compared the smiliness of baseball players in photos from 1952, then paired that with the player's age of death. The smile intensity of the player correlated with their likelihood of still being alive. "In any given year," the APS reports, "players with Duchenne smiles in their yearbook photo were only half as likely to die as those who had not."

Even more intriguingly, we learn the false-real smile difference when we're super tiny: at just 10 months old, an infant will give a false smile to a stranger, but offer up a sincere, eye-crinkly to mom.

The takeaway, then, is to treasure those magical crow's feet — since they signal a long life, quality relationships, and heartfelt happiness.

gandalf smile

SEE ALSO: 14 Tactics For Reading People's Body Language

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Step Inside A $22 Million Napa Valley Mansion With A 100-Car Garage And Vineyards


Villa De Madre

A unique Napa Valley home is set to be auctioned off on September 10th.

The 22,882-square-foot Villa De Madre was originally listed at $22 million in 2011. Now the seller, Willis Johnson, founder of Copart, Inc., a publicly traded, global online vehicle auction company, is holding an auction instead.

The gated property in Suisun Valley includes nearly 80 acres, a caretaker's house, three auto barns, and 63 acres of Cabernet vineyards.

The home itself has six bedrooms, eight baths, a game room, and indoor pool.

Johnson is auctioning the estate off because he wanted to expedite to sale, according to the company auctioning off the home, Premiere Estates Auction

The driveway to the gated Villa de Madre in Suisun Valley is lined with olive trees.

The property is surrounded by 63 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The front of the home is marked by a large fountain.

California chic.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why Swedes Take At Least 5 Weeks Of Vacation

johan thar desert

Annual vacation, a firmly established institution in my native Sweden, it is an often both envied and questioned phenomena among my non-European friends.

This time of year in particular, there's a steady stream of tanned and refreshed co-workers returning from their vacations. They've spent time in their summer houses, gone sailing and maybe taken a trip down southern Europe. Slightly wild-eyed, they start chipping away at overflowing inboxes, getting back into the rhythm of routines. The most common question around the fika (or coffee, as Americans say) table in times like these is the ubiquitous "So, how was your vacation?" All the while the question coming from non-Europeans is what's it all good for — does anyone really need five weeks paid vacation?   

Our friends across the Atlantic seem to have an especially hard time understanding this particular form of perceived European decadence.

The American sentiment seems to be that vacation is a benefit, whereas in Europe it's seen as a workers right. I've heard it so often I'd be hard pressed to count the number of times American friends have expressed hesitation about using what few vacation days they're allotted. Some of the common fears appear to be fear of seeming less loyal, falling behind career-wise or lowering the productivity of the company. johan tank

Even with this corporate-centric outlook (which is a sad outlook to have on life), however, it turns out skimping on vacation is actually bad for productivity.

Putting in fewer hours tends to increase your output and efficiency during those hours, since your brain is able to stay focused and undistracted the entire time.

This is a fact that many of my co-workers on part-time paternal or maternal leave continuously prove to be true. Even between arriving later than the rest of us in order to drop their kids off at kindergarten and leaving earlier to pick them up again or attend recitals or football (soccer) practice they always get the work done. Sometimes more of it than the rest of us at that.

On a personal level, I know of few greater freedoms than being released from the fetters of habit and the weight of routines, if only for slightly longer than one-twelfth of the year. For a country that is keen on the concept of freedom, I get the impression there is some disparity between idea and action on this subject. Although squandering (or saving) a few days of your yearly vacation quota is not unheard of in Europe either, we are starting from higher levels of vacation time.

Moreover, as Americans may be shocked to hear, a recent study suggested that Europeans actually feel the most vacation-deprived. Once you've tasted it, it would seem you'll be coming back for more. And more is never enough. bungee jump This is exactly why we all need some time off, or as one friend expressed it "no matter how much you love your job no one hates vacation." For us Swedes, one part of this is undoubtedly due the brevity of the season we call summer, which I've heard foreign friends maliciously refer to as the green winter (in contrast to the white one experienced the rest of the year). It'd be outright inhumane to deprive us of what little warmth and sunshine there is at this latitude by making us work throughout the summer.

The other, larger part is the obvious fact that being paid to do whatever the hell you want to do for about a month and a half is nothing short of — to use an American expression — awesome. I know people who spend their time off traveling to Antarctica or traversing Africa and yet others who spend their time babysitting grandchildren or binge-watching all five seasons of Breaking Bad.  

In the end, an inescapable part of being human is to have needs, both biological and psychological. If we stay awake for long enough we'll eventually end up involuntarily falling asleep, even while standing up. Not eating for long enough you'll think that anything that could be food is food — and shortly o chow down your own shoelaces. There are no automatic mechanisms, however, that come to our rescue in order to replenish our psychological needs. In order to pursue whatever fix it is that replenishes you mentally, you need vacation.  

Lots of it — say, at least five weeks.  

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The 13 Worst Mistakes People Make In Their 20s


man suit buildings

Most people use their 20s to figure out what it means to be an adult, and the process is certainly not easy for everyone.

Whether you're finishing up school, just starting out on your own, or preparing to transition into your 30s, you can benefit from the wisdom of those who've already made their way through all of it.

We looked through three Quora threads, "When people in their 30s, 40s, and older look back on their life, what are some common regrets they have?", "What myths do we commonly realize are false in our 20s?" and "How should a 22-year-old invest his/her money?" to find the biggest mistakes 20-somethings make. Here are 13:

1. They think education and talent are enough to become successful.

High intelligence, natural talent, and degrees from elite universities are all good things to have, but they in no way guarantee that you will land a great job — and mean nothing when not paired with hard work.

How you work with others and carry yourself can also turn out to be much more important in advancing your career. "Having social skills, navigating politics, knowing who to ask for what, and being able to see the big picture are invaluable no matter what you do," says copywriter Joe Choi.

2. They don't start saving money.

A new survey of 1,003 people from Bankrate found that 69% of those ages 18-29 had no retirement savings at all. Your retirement may seem far off, but you're doing yourself a massive disservice if you don't recognize the importance of saving as soon as possible.

Entrepreneur Aditya Rathnam says there's no need to start investing too much as you're just starting out, but that it's essential to take advantage of your company's 401k matching program if it's available, and/or open a Roth IRA account.

3. They equate happiness with money.

Prestige and a fat paycheck can certainly make you happier, but there's plenty more to success than that, says Choi.

You're setting yourself up for years of regret if you pursue a paycheck rather than your passion.

4. They neglect their health.

As you get older, you'll learn pretty quickly you can't party like you did in college. "Your hangovers will be so bad at 28 that the idea of staying out drinking all night will be a hilarious idea to you," says Meggie Sutherland Cutter. And the more years out of school you get, the more excessive drinking, smoking, and even an unhealthy diet go from acceptable behavior to dangerous habits.

Communications professor Michael Weston also says that 20-somethings also need to pay attention to their mental health, since any potential issues usually arise in your 20s.

5. They give up when things get tough.

Ending a serious relationship, getting fired from a job, and having your startup crash and burn can all seem life-destroying when they happen to you for the first time. But rather than giving up or aiming for a lower target the next time, you should use failures as opportunities to learn and improve yourself.

"Getting fired and waking up the next day as usual made me realize that failure isn't the end of the world. Getting dumped taught me the difference between a good and a bad relationship, something I already knew inside but refused to accept until the bad relationship was over," says Carolyn Cho.

6. They put things off.

"Myth[:] You will be incredibly successful and have it all figured out by 30 years old," says Sutherland Cutter.

It can be tempting to set aside your longest-held aspirations, continually thinking that you'll have time for them later. But then you'll find yourself at an age where it may be too late to change careers, or go to graduate school, or start a family.

7. They try to please everyone.

When you're starting out in your career, it can seem natural to want to be on friendly terms with your boss, clients, and all of your coworkers. Rather than feeling crushed when you realize some of them simply don't like you, accept it and don't stress out.

"Inevitably, someone will always dislike you. I wish I had figured this out a lot earlier and stopped trying so hard and worrying so much about it," says Cho.

8. They think all friendships can last forever.

"Your college pals that you think will be your best pals for life? Some will still be there at 40, most will be living their lives doing their thing," says Sutherland Cutter.

When your friends aren't all living in the same town or campus, you'll realize which ones mean the most to you, and which ones are worth the effort of maintaining a relationship with.

9. They look for their "soul mate."

Some people decide to spend most of their 20s single, unattached to anyone. Others search for the right person to marry. The latter group can get caught up in the fantasy of finding someone where everything just clicks and the relationship is effortless. But in real life, the most meaningful long-term relationships require work and dedication.

"You have to continuously make sacrifices, adjustments, accept shortcomings explain yourself, but know what — that's what makes it fun!" says Mitesh Jain.

10. They think moving somewhere new will solve their problems.

Traveling and living somewhere new can be culturally enriching experiences, and your 20s are a perfect time to do both. But, says Choi, do not think that moving to the opposite coast means you'll suddenly find meaning and direction.

11. They see things in black and white.

Author and investor James Altucher thinks that many people in their 20s get caught up in absolutes. For example, some feel like they have to choose between a career path that benefits them or one that benefits others, without realizing that self-interest does not have to mean the opposite of doing good for the world.

12. They try planning years in advance.

"It's hard to predict where you'll end up and what you'll be doing," says Choi. So avoid driving yourself crazy with five-year plans and focus on immediate goals.

13. They think they're the only one of their friends struggling.

As you're finding your way in the world, determining who you are as an adult and building a career, it can seem like your friends or colleagues are more successful and confident, says Sarthak Pranit. But regardless of income, job, or living situation, every 20-something is still figuring things out as they go along.

SEE ALSO: 3 Things I Wish I'd Known During My First Year Of Business School

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Watch Japanese Artists Paint Dragons With A Single Brushstroke


dragon single stroke sumie gif

At Studio Kousyuuya in Nikko, Japan, there are men known as sumie (wash drawing) painters who can paint the body of a dragon in a single brush stroke. We first read about them at This Is Colossal.

The delicate movement is called hitofude ryuu, which roughly translates to "dragon with one stroke." The men in this shop have been drawing hitofude ryuuu for four generations, according to Japanese culture blog Iromegane.

To create these impressive works of art, the artist first paints an intricate dragon head with a smaller brush. Then he artfully applies paint to a giant sumie brush and draws the body.

The scales and movement you see are from the small, almost undetectable hand movements of the Sumie, which creates a staggered design. This makes the dynamic body appear to writhe across the canvas.hand motion drawing dragons sumie gifSo why dragons? An English-language flier at the shop explains:

Dragons are considered to be similar to guardian angels. They are talismans against evil and bring good luck. For ages they have adorn Shinto shrines and temples.

Pictures of dragons are also believed to bring good luck, good fortune and family security.

The artists at Kousyuuya only create dragon art, but as you can see, they do it very, very well. Every work is personalized and painted right in front of the customer, who chooses the design, color, and kanji of the characters.

Check out more of their videos below.

SEE ALSO: Being An Outsider In Japan Is Bizarre

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Sweatpants Are The Hottest New Trend In Menswear


Jogger pantsTapered sweatpants called "jogger pants" are one of the hottest new trends in menswear, according to industry experts. 

The legs of the sweatpants, which feature elastic at the feet, are designed to fall just above the ankle.

Unlike sweatpants of the past, their primary utility isn't in jogging, but in showing off expensive basketball shoes, writes Shelly Banjo for the Wall Street Journal

"They’re the hottest trend in bottoms in men’s," SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell told the Journal. 

According to men's site Complex.com, "The pants have not only become synonymous with sneaker culture, but it's also found its way into its boutiques."

Now retailers including Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Zumiez and Pacific Sunwear of California are pushing the trend.

Urban Outfitters has dozens of styles in a variety of fabrics including denim, cotton and leather. The prices range from $39 to $365

Here's a selection of the styles Urban is selling:

Jogger pantsNordstrom is selling more than two dozen styles of joggers for up to $299 a pair. 

Nordstrom jogger pantLike Nordstrom, Pacific Sunwear of California has an entire category on its website devoted to jogger pants. Their styles range from $49 to $99.

Pac Sun Jogger Pants

SEE ALSO: This Hoodie Is So Insanely Popular You Have To Wait Months To Get It

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12 Stunning Images Of Intricate Art Pieces In The Middle Of The Desert At Burning Man


Burning Man Art

The 27th annual Burning Man  a crazy, week-long festival in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada  starts this Monday and everyone is already buzzing about it.

In preparation of the Labor Day weekend festival, a new book "Burning Man: Art of Fire" details the elaborate art structures displayed throughout the past years of the event.

The book, by author Jennifer Raiser with photography by Scott London and Sidney Erthal, is the only authorized collection of the best of Burning Man art with incredible photography.

The book contains more than 200 striking photos and interviews with the artists about their inspiration and how they transport such large structures to the middle of the desert.

With permission from Race Point Publishing, we have 12 of the stunning images here.

Every August, over 50,0000 people gather to celebrate artistic expression and social freedom in Nevada's barren Black Rock Desert. Braving extreme elements, over 200 works of art are created and intended to delight, provoke, involve, or amaze.

New book "Burning Man: Art of Fire" details the many art pieces in the desert, like this piece titled "Evolution Man," which was made entirely of irregularly shaped wooden triangles intended to represent the chaos at the heart of life.

There is ritual surrounding every aspect of the Man’s creation and destruction. He is traditionally 40 feet tall, standing on a tall wooden base that participants can enter and climb. The blueprints for his construction are a closely guarded secret, provided only to the carefully selected crew, largely volunteers, who gather at Burning Man’s Nevada work ranch in June for the process of carefully cutting, assembling, joining, and sanding of the Man with a level of craftsmanship befitting an antique piece of fine furniture.

Burning Man Art(Photo: Courtesy Race Point Publishing/Sidney Erthal and Scott London Photography)

Artist Marco Cochrane's "Truth is Beauty" 2013 structure of the female body was held up with steel and mesh.

Cochrane credits the open-minded culture of Burning Man for inspiring the sculptures. He says: “I’m trying to demystify nudity. I see how free women are on the playa, how they can possess a playful energy here that they cannot do in real life.”

Burning Man Art(Photo: Courtesy Race Point Publishing/Sidney Erthal and Scott London Photography)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Is The Heartbreaking ALS Ice Bucket Challenge That May Finally Quiet All The Haters


There's been a lot of debate since the ALS ice bucket challenge started a few weeks ago. Many are debating its worth if so many people are simply dumping water over their heads and not making meaningful donations.

But many, also, can't put a face to ALS and what it means to people dealing with it.

Until now.

Anthony Carbajal may be changing everything with his video on YouTube.

The video starts off silly as he wears a bikini and seductively washes a car for no apparent reason.

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 4.15.12 PM

Then finally dumping the bucket of water over his head.

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 4.15.40 PM

But that's where things take a turn.

After breaking down in front of the camera, he confesses that ALS runs in his family, and he himself was just diagnosed with the disease. Saying plainly and seriously, "ALS is so F****** scary you have no idea."

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 4.15.51 PM

He then shows footage of him taking care of his mother with the disease. She can't even move on her own, and he describes the sadness and terror.

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 4.16.45 PM

Finally telling us that he's glad people are talking about the worth of the challenge because for the first time, people are talking about it, and ALS is finally in the public eye.

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 4.16.06 PM


You can watch the whole video here:


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Don't Miss Out On These Disney Destinations Just For Adults

This Map Shows The States Where Adults Binge Drink The Most


Binge drinking is typically thought of as a college activity, but in some states, it's popular with older adults as well.

A map created by Ramiro Gomez and posted on Reddit shows the states where binge drinking among people age 26 and above is most common (the data comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Bloomberg):

Drunks in the US: % of adults age 26+ who binge drank the previous month

As the map shows, more than 30% of adults in North Dakota and South Dakota admitted to binge drinking during the previous month. Those in surrounding states had high rates of binge drinking, as well.

Utah — which has a high population of Mormons compared to the rest of the U.S. — ranked low, as did North Caroline and Tennessee.

North Dakota is also one of the biggest consumers of beer in the U.S., and Utah usually ranks low when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Binge drinking is commonly defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion.

SEE ALSO: Here Are The Drunkest Countries In The World [MAP]

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Is Draft Beer Better Than Bottled Beer?

Hilarious Instagram Account Calls Out The Gingham Shirt That Everybody Is Wearing


J. Crew gingham shirt

If you live in a major metropolitan area, chances are you know this shirt.

The J. Crew gingham shirt has taken over cities across America, and a hilarious new Instagram account has set out to document every 20-something male who's spotted wearing it.

The account was started by New York City resident Jonathan San a few weeks ago. San told The Huffington Post that he was inspired to start the account after frequently seeing the shirt around the city. 

J. Crew describes the button-down as the "the shirt every guy needs in his arsenal." They weren't kidding.

To complete the urban male 20-something uniform, pair with chinos or dark wash jeans, Warby Parker glasses or Ray-Bans, a Herschel backpack or messenger bag, and chukka boots.

Check out the photos:

NOW WATCH: What Not To Wear At The Office In The Summer


SEE ALSO: Sweatpants Are The Hottest New Trend In Menswear

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How To Make Strong Cold Brew Coffee In Minutes

Chick-fil-A Is Testing A Chicken-And-Waffles Breakfast


Chick-fil-A chicken and waffles

Chick-fil-A is launching a new breakfast menu item in its homestate of Georgia: Chicken and waffles. 

The dish features Chick-fil-A's famous boneless breaded chicken cutlet alongside a maple-syrup flavored waffle and a side of honey, Businessweek's Vanessa Wong reports.

The new menu addition is being tested in Georgia. A company spokesman told Wong that it's "too early to tell" whether the item will become available nationally. 

The test is part of a renewed breakfast focus by the fried chicken chain.

Chick-fil-A recently launched a premium coffee line through a partnership with Thrive Farmers Coffee, which gives some of the revenues from coffee sales to a network of family farmers in Central America, according to the company. 

The new coffee offerings included an iced version with 2% milk and cane sugar, which is selling for $2.29 for 16 ounces. 

Chick-fil-A coffee

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Chick-fil-A Is The Best Fast-Food Chain In America

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The Amazing Hamptons Estate Of A Late Telecom Entrepreneur Is On The Market For $35 Million


Treibick hamptons house

The estate of late cable and telecommunications entrepreneur Richard Treibick has listed his Hamptons home for $34.99 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The home is located on 31 acres of beachfront property in Sagaponack, in the Hamptons. 

Treibick, the former chairman of Cable Holdings and Cellular Information Systems, died earlier this year. The Sagaponack property was his summer home, with his primary residence in Greenwich, Conn.

The estate is made up of two parcels: a 6,000-square foot house and 23 acres of adjacent farmland. Treibick leased part of the land to local farmers, using the rest to grow vegetables and berries. A barn, greenhouse, and shed sit on the property.treibick hamptons houseWith seven bedrooms and multiple decks, the house itself is gorgeous.

treibick hamptons housetreibick hamptons houseThe pool deck is a great place to relax with family and friends.

treibick hamptons houseAnd there are plenty of options for dining outside when the weather permits.

treibick hamptons housetreibick hamptons houseYou're never too far from the beach on this property. A private boardwalk leads down to the sand.

treibick hamptons housetreibick hamptons houseAnd there are plenty of ways to enjoy the view.

treibeck hamptons house

SEE ALSO: The 10 Biggest Tech Billionaire Yachts On The High Seas

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The Airbnb Squatter Has Been Officially Kicked Out Of That Palm Springs Condo


Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin

Cory Tschogl's months-long ordeal with a man and his brother who rented her Palm Springs condo via Airbnb and then refused to leave is officially over.

As of Thursday, Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin have been legally evicted from the apartment, Tschogl told Business Insider. We have been covering her ordeal since it first began in mid-July. In an email to us, she wrote:

I just legally reclaimed my condo down in Palm Springs, and I'm happy to report that the press's involvement helped smoke out those Airbnb squatters much sooner than expected!! A great Success!! Thanks a bunch.

Airbnb is a wildly popular way for thrifty travelers to find accommodations worldwide. It lets people rent spare rooms or homes to strangers over the internet. Beside the many great experiences among Airbnb's 15 million guests, there are times when things go wrong.

In this case, the Pashanin brothers rented a condo from Tschogl for 44 days, paying for only 30 and then refusing to leave or pay the rest of what they owed when the time came for them to vacate.

Thanks to a quirk in California law, when a someone rents a place for 30 days or longer, they can be sometimes be considered a tenant, and a homeowner must go through the full eviction process to get them out. That can sometimes take months and cost thousands of dollars.

When Tschogl first tried to get Pashanin to leave by telling him she was shutting off the utilities, he threatened to sue her. (Read the threatening texts here.)

Palm Springs AirbnbMaksym Pashanin publicly acknowledged he was squatting and that he would squat again in a message on Kickstarter. He and his brother ran a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $40,000 in 2013 — a video game — but so far have yet to deliver on the product.

When angry Kickstarter backers starting writing in about the lack of progress on the video game and the squatting, Maksym Pashanin glibly replied: "Ok guys, what's the latest deets on the drama? 10/10, would squat again."

He also reportedly avoided a speedier eviction by wearing a disguise when entering and exiting the condo.

He won't be using the service to find another victim, Airbnb tells Business Insider, and neither will his brother. Using several tools, the company has "permanently banned [Pashanin] from using Airbnb."

Pashanin was found, however, to have run-ins with other California landlords with apartments rented through methods other than Airbnb. In 2009, the San Francisco courts evicted he and his brother from a San Francisco apartment after they stopped paying rent, court documents show. And in 2012, Maksym Pashanin sued his landlord for $10,000 over noise from "ongoing construction" in the backyard. The judge dismissed the case, and Pashanin moved out.

Business Insider covered the whole story as it unfolded:

Airbnb Host: A Guest Is Squatting In My Condo And I Can't Get Him To Leave

Airbnb Squatter Says He Would Totally Squat Again, And He Also Hasn't Delivered On A $40,000 Kickstarter

The Airbnb Condo Squatters Allegedly Evaded Eviction By Wearing Disguises

Airbnb Has Banned The Condo Squatters For Life

SEE ALSO: The 25 Most Enjoyable Companies To Work For

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These Are The Faces Of The New Gold Rush In California


finkelstein cover_web

When photographer Sarina Finkelstein saw a blurb in a newspaper mentioning a new gold rush in Southern California, she had to check it out.

What she found was an odd assortment of characters, including a former farmer from Missouri, an out-of-work Hollywood lighting technician, and a retired construction worker.

While all were united by the belief that they could change their fortunes with an ounce of gold (approximately the size of a half-dollar coin and currently worth around $1,245), Finkelstein found that the lifestyle was as much about self-reliance as anything else.

Finkelstein has collected the photos from four years following the miners in a book, "The New Forty-Niners." She's shared some of the photos with us here, but check out the rest in the book.

The majority of the miners that Finkelstein met mined in the Angeles National Forest and lived in tents and campers along the San Gabriel River canyon, also known as "Nugget Alley." After the Forest Service outlawed mining in the area in 2012, many moved to private claims. Some stayed.

Source: Forest Mining Policy

The prospectors work primarily near streams and rivers, since that’s the most productive area for panning and sluicing. Sluicing is a method of sifting soil or deposits using water through a box filter, capturing gold and heavy metals that are denser than other material. Panning works the same way, only using a pan instead.

The first prospectors that Finkelstein met were a “desperate bunch,” she says. Many had lost jobs or were freelancers, veterans, or ex-convicts that couldn’t find work.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

After Selling My Clothes Through The Mail, I Think Online Consignment Is Brilliant


twice homepage

Here's yet another thing no one tells you about living in New York City: It's a pain to de-clutter your home.

The lack of a car is key, here: When you can't bundle your surplus into the backseat and zip it off to the nearest consignment store or donation bin, jettisoning unwanted items becomes more difficult ... and less likely to happen.

I've been wanting to pare down the contents of my closet for a while now — seriously, I still have clothes from high school — so when a friend raved to me about Twice, the online startup that lets you sell clothes through the mail, I figured, "why not?" A little extra cash is always welcome.

Twice both buys and sells women's clothing and handbags. For that reason, they only accept brands that they can resell, i.e. they won't buy even unworn H&M tees.

They're very upfront about the fact that they only accept recognizable brands like Theory, Banana Republic, J Crew, 7 for All Mankind, and North Face. Everything must be clean and no more than five years old. No shoes.

Technically, this isn't a consignment service, which would sell clothes on my behalf and give me a portion of the profit. Twice simply buys the clothing upfront, and donates that which it doesn't want. ("Clothes-buyer-and-reseller" just doesn't roll off the tongue like "consignment store.")

I particularly like that they donate the extras, because that's where my clothes would be headed anyway if I hadn't heard about the site.

In about two minutes, I had signed up for a free account and requested a prepaid shipping bag through the site. You can also print a label and stick it to an existing box, but as a New Yorker with a laptop and no printer, I went with the easier option.

Here's what arrived in the mail:

twice mailing

Next, I assembled my clothes to be sold, which was hard. (Again, high school clothing-keeper, here!) I eliminated a garbage bag of clothing destined for Goodwill that was in good condition but simply not high-end enough to sell, and whittled it down to these brand-name items:

twice clothes

I tossed them in the bag, tossed the bag in the mailbox that's handily in my building, and headed to work. A few days later, I received the following email from Twice, who had evaluated the clothing I sent and determined what they would keep:

twice offer

I'm pretty embarrassed that I didn't realize the dress was "stained," and kind of sorry they don't want my Lauren Jeans Co. shirt (that doesn't fit and I haven't worn in 2-3 years, for goodness sake) and my practically unworn C. Wonder horse head sweater (my fault, I should have looked more closely at the accepted brands). 

I could have paid $5 to get all of my clothes back, but that would defeat the purpose of this whole exercise.

They also made me an offer:

twice payment options

Note that the offer is framed to make me think I'm losing out if I don't accept store credit — why wouldn't I want more value for my clothes? But I'm trying to clean out my closet and maybe make some money, not go on a shopping spree. No thanks, Twice. I'll take a check.

Before this, I had never sold used clothes before, so I didn't really know what to expect. When I voiced my hope for $50, a more-experienced thrifting friend shot that down immediately, so I was pretty happy to get $28.50. Yes, I probably paid more than $28 each for most of the things in that pile, but it was going to be $4.75 per item or nothing at all.

If I had a Theory suit, for example, perhaps I could have earned more. Let's be honest, though: If I had a Theory suit, I would be buried in it, whether it still fit or not.

Admittedly, clutter-averse men won't be able to use Twice. A little Googling for similar concept services showed that they overwhelmingly skew towards women, although sites like Dresm offer alternative sales models that anyone can use.  

Sure, selling clothing through the mail isn't going to make me rich. But it's so little effort that it doesn't matter. Compared to lugging stacks of clothing down the street to be potentially rejected at a thrift store or to miss the hours of operation at Goodwill, throwing a prepaid bag in the mail is a breeze.

Remember that garbage bag of unqualified clothes destined for donation? It's still sitting in my closet.

SEE ALSO: How Mystery Shopping Earned Me $14,000

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The Words That Are Most Known To Only Brits And Americans


british flagThe U.K. contrasts with the U.S. in quite a few ways.

Even though the two countries technically share a language, British English and American English have major differences. For one thing, the British place punctuation marks outside quotation marks (gasp). The Brits also have their own vocabulary.

In fact, people in the U.S. don't even recognize some words in the U.K.'s lexicon, and vice versa, according to the Center for Reading Research.

To get a better sense of these unfamiliar words, Center director Marc Brysbaert looked at the first 600,000 results of the Ghent University's online vocabulary test, focusing on differences in location. In the test, 100 letter sequences — which may or may not be real English words — flash across the takers' screens. Pressing the "j" (instead of "f") key indicates the participants know the word exists in English, even if they don't understand it. The test strongly penalizes participants for marking they know a word that doesn't exist. 

With the 40 words below, a margin of 50% or more existed between the U.K. and U.S. respondents who reported knowing the terms. 

The U.K. knows these 20 words better than the U.S. (with U.K. percentages shown second in parentheses):

And the U.S. recognizes these 20 more often (with the U.S. percentages shown first in parentheses):

I recognized only two U.K. words: "dodgem" and "tombola." I knew all the American ones. In all fairness, many of the words on both lists are either informal slang, which originated within the country, or various types of foreign food that popular in that country.

Take the online test here for yourself.

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Istanbul Will Demolish New Skyscrapers That Ruin Its Historic Skyline


istanbul skylineThe Turkish government has officially ordered the demolition of new skyscrapers in Istanbul because they marred the city's historic skyline, according to Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman (via Dezeen).

Istanbul's Council of State recently rejected a pair of appeals and approved the cancellation of permits and the demolition of new skyscrapers in the Zeytinburnu neighborhood in order to protect views of historic buildings like the Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, and Blue Mosque.

The new residential towers, designed by Alpar Architecture, were part of a larger development to the west of the city. Their heights varied from 27 to 36 stories tall. 

The drastic decision this wasn't completely out of the blue. Campaigners had criticized buildings even  even during their construction. 

One of the critics was UNESCO, which threatened to strip the city of its World Heritage Site status and "add it to its list of endangered sites after repeated warnings," according to DeZeen.

SEE ALSO: 21 Buildings You Need To See In Your Lifetime

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