It's hard to pick a title for Andrew WK.
He's a rock star, as his chart-topping first album "I Get Wet" suggests, and he's a small-business owner, with his beloved club Santos Party House. Then there's his regular column for the Village Voice, making him one part advice columnist, and his new educational web series "Meet Me At The Reck," making him another part educator.
Maybe it's just this: Andrew WK is a professional partier.
Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier has made his rock star dreams come true, twice cracking the Billboard Top 200 charts, winning a dedicated (and white-denimed) fan base, and turning his love of partying into a successful career.
The Michigan native hit the big time with "Party Hard," a simple anthem with a chorus of "When it's time to party we will always party hard." His mission: to help people feel good about feeling good. So far, it's worked. As the music publication Pitchfork said in its review of "I Get Wet," he "treats euphoria as an actual musical genre."
We talked with WK about how he's gotten this far, what keeps him going, and his upcoming book for Simon & Schuster — "The Party Bible," a treatise about how the "philosophy of partying" is a pursuit of personal joy.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Business Insider: When did it become clear to you that this — making music, running rock clubs, helping people with the riddles of life in your column — was what you wanted to do?
Andrew WK: When I moved to New York, that was a turning point.
I wanted to do something big. More than anything, I wanted to have a thing that I could put all of my energy into, something that was big enough that all the interests I could ever have could be included in it. It just wasn't clear what that was going to be at first.
I do feel like I have a real clear purpose, and if someone would have told me that I was going to be doing this, I probably would have passed out or puked or something. It would have been too much to take in.
BI: You're known for your dedication to a positive lifestyle. How is that reflected in the work you do?
AWK: The core of all of it is the same thing — that good feeling, whether you call it joy or positive energy or just being cheered up. To me it's a real physical sensation that confirms that you're meant to be alive. Not even that it's just good to be alive, but that you're meant to be alive. I want to feel that myself and feel it with as many people as possible.
BI: You've talked about how your dreams have come true. What's the secret?
AWK: When I look back and see how things were realized, it seems like my actions had very little to do with it.
Of course I had to record an album or play a show, there was physical effort involved in that. But I could have played a show or recorded an album, and that doesn't mean that all these things would necessarily happen.
It seemed to me more that what I thought were dreams that had come true, now I think were predictions that came true, or a preview that I was being shown. Like: "OK, get ready, because you're going to end up doing this."
It seems like your dreams are your own spirit, your own soul, telling you what you're meant to do and getting you psyched up with the idea of thinking that it was your idea all along.
There's been some events that were just so unlikely, there was no logical reason that they happened — the synchronicities and good fortune.
BI: What's an example?
Being able to move to New York, that was a dream come true.
Visiting with my dad, when my sister lived here, seeing it on TV and the movies — there was never a doubt in my mind from age 7 or 8 that New York isn't just where I wanted to go, but that's where you go. That's the story of so many people, that's almost the defining characteristic of this city. Now, it doesn't feel so much like "I want to go to New York," but "I was meant to go to New York."
Another example: In junior high school, a young man brought these CDs to class. He brought a Cannibal Corpse CD, an Autopsy CD, and he brought a CD by a band called Obituary. He lent them to me, and I was really into all of them, especially this Obituary CD. I ended up getting more of their albums over the coming years, and ended up listening to that music and a few others all day, every day, for hours and hours.
Steps are taken, experiences are had, roads are gone down. That experience led to me meeting someone who happened to work in the office with someone who grew up with the drummer and singer of Obituary in Florida. I said, "Oh well, I'm a huge fan. Do you have their address?"
I said, "I'm going to write them a letter and ask them to be in my band." Why would I ever have the nerve to think that my favorite drummer would ever join my band? Yet I wrote him a letter and sent it to his address, which as far as his friend knew was an old address.
And then one day I come home and there's a voicemail on my answering machine saying, "Yeah, this is Donald Tardy, the drummer of Obituary. I got your CD. This is cool; let's do it." A few weeks later we're in Hollywood and he joins my band. Not only joins my band, forms my band. Finds our sound man, brings his whole crew together to make this thing happen.
That doesn't make any sense. It's a totally different kind of music. There's no connections beyond this one random friend.
BI: Was this for "I Get Wet"?
AWK: Yeah. That was the first time when I could really say that a dream came true. If someone said, what was anything you could wish for, it would have been to have Donald Tardy in my band as my drummer.
It seemed so unlikely I didn't even think that it would happen. Everything since then has been a variation on that same feeling.
BI: What's this book you're working on?
AWK: It's "The Party Bible." It's about life, but it's not autobiographical; I don't feel like it's time for that. I'm trying to make it as non-anecdotal as possible. Writing the Village Voice column every week has really helped me practice how to do that.
It's about the philosophy of partying, everything we're talking about now. It's really the culmination of everything I've done. I figure it might be my only chance to write any book, and even if that is a dramatic way to approach it, I want that to be this book. If I only get to write one book, I want it to be the best it can.
BI: Also, I need to thank you for "I Get Wet," an album that I've been headbanging to since I was 14 years old.
AWK: I'm happy to hear that it worked for you.
The music is forceful, and it's easy when that hand of feeling is coming toward you, it can be tricky to tell if it's balled up into a fist or whether it's open as a high five. A high five is a very open kind of hand, but it can still smack you.
I really hope that people got not only the concepts or the songs or even what I was singing about, but just the feeling of the music.
Shake Shack is the hottest burger chain in America right now.
The fast-expanding company is preparing an initial public offering that could be worth up to $1 billion.
Shake Shack is known for long lines at its 34 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and Massachusetts. The brand has also been expanding internationally.
Here's why people are so obsessed with the burger chain.
1. Gourmet Burgers
Shake Shack's burgers are more elevated than the offerings at the typical fast food burger chain, thanks to the 100% antibiotic-free Angus beef and buttered buns. Toppings include Applewood-smoked bacon and cherry peppers. This experience aligns with the values of modern consumers, who are demanding better food quality.
Many of Shake Shack's burgers are topped with the signature sauce, which USA Today describes as "a slightly spicy, sweet and sour blend of mayo, ketchup, mustard and spices." Some copycat recipes online also call for blended dill pickles. Regardless of the ingredients, the sauce adds to the unique Shake Shack experience.
3. Crinkle Fries
Shake Shack controversially changed its fries from crinkle cut to traditional hand-cut last year, leading to many customer complaints. Last month, CEO Randy Garutti announced that the brand was going to stick to crinkle fries, which are more popular and easier to prepare.
Many Yelp reviewers recommend adding Shake Shack's homemade cheese sauce to your fries.
4. "Anti-Chain Chain" Image
The New York Times calls Shake Shack the "anti-chain chain," saying that their dedication to quality and customer service bucked stereotypes of traditional fast food.
Shake Shack spends barely any money on marketing, instead focusing on the quality of food. This message has helped Shake Shack stay popular in an era where diners prefer Chipotle to McDonald's.
Shake Shack "disposed of the notion that fast food had to be precooked or even prepared quickly in favor of quality ingredients and customer experience," writes QSR Magazine.
5. Delicious Milkshakes
Shake Shack's signature custard is the base for these frozen treats. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, strawberry, and some creative specials like Nutella.
Gothamist ranks the black-and-white shake, a combination of chocolate and vanilla, among the best in New York City.
6. Flat-Top Hot Dogs
Shake Shack began as a hot dog stand in New York's Madison Square Park. Many food writers say the hot dogs, which are made of 100% hormone and antibiotic-free beef, are an underrated treat.
"I was never let down by the hot dogs, bought from Chicago’s irreplaceable Vienna Beef, which were split down the middle, griddled and laid in a toasted potato bun with or without the classic Chicago garnishes," writes Pete Wells at The New York Times. "Better yet is the Bird Dog, a smoked chicken and apple bratwurst from Usinger’s of Milwaukee."
7. Regional Specialties
In addition to its classic menu, Shake Shack also offers special frozen dessert items at different locations.
The chain serves a "Liberty Shell" custard at its Philadelphia location featuring a cannoli shell, strawberry puree, and lemon ricotta. The New Haven location serves a "Skull and Cones Concrete," which is a similar consistency to a Dairy Queen Blizzard with peanut butter, ice cream cone, and chocolate truffle cookie dough blended in.
8. Secret Menu
Shake Shack has a secret menu, which Thrillist successfully tested. Items include a burger topped with bacon and peanut butter, and a grilled cheese made from buns.
9. Vegetarian Options
Founder Danny Meyer said the chain was discriminating about its meat-free options.
"It’s only going to go on the menu if you would crave it even if you were not a vegetarian," he told Bon Appetit.
Shake Shack is renowned for it's 'Shroom burger, a portobello mushroom stuffed with cheese.
10. Beer and Wine
Shake Shack sells beer and wine, meaning that it can double as a Happy Hour destination.
Selling alcohol is becoming popular among fast-casual chains who want to find another way to draw in consumers.
The beer is aimed toward craft enthusiasts, and includes a special collaboration with the Brooklyn Brewery.
11. Customer Service
" Unlike the workers at most fast-food outlets, Shake Shack employees give the impression that they truly like their customers," writes Wells at The New York Times.
Shake Shack pays workers a average hourly wage of $10.70, and offers health benefits and paid time off.
Company executives say these policies help them attract better talent, and turnover is lower than industry averages.
SEE ALSO: How McDonald's Cheeseburgers Are Made
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Perhaps surprisingly, Russia is not the drunkest country in the world. That title goes to Belarus, whose residents enjoy just over 2 liters of alcohol more a year than Russians.
Wasted Worldwide, a website that compares drinking habits around the world, created a series of maps that reveal which countries drink the most, what types of alcohol are most popular, and which countries have the most alcohol-related deaths. To create these maps, they used data from the 2014 Global Status Report On Alcohol and Health.
They've allowed us to publish some of their maps below.
Belarus drinks the most alcohol in the world, with an average consumption of 17.5 liters. Russia comes in second with an average consumption of 15.1 liters. The United States consumes a a relatively reasonable average of 9.2 liters, which is also less than the UK (11..6 liters) and Ireland (11.9 liters).
Unsurprisingly, countries in the Middle East and northern Africa drink the least: People in Libya and Mauritania drink an average 0.1 liters, Saudi Arabia drinks 0.2 liters, and Egypt drinks 0.4 liters.
Men drink the most alcohol in Belarus, consuming an incredibly high average 27.5 liters. Russian men also like their alcohol, drinking an average of 23.9 liters, as do Romanian men, who drink 22.6 liters. American men drink 13.6 liters on average.
Women generally drink less than men, but in some countries they drink a lot. Women in Belarus still drink the most of any country, consuming an average 9.1 liters of alcohol. Moldova comes in right behind at 8.9 liters. Russian and Czech women drink an average 7.8 liters, Portuguese women drink 7.6 liters, and Australian and Ukrainian women drink 7.2 liters.
Surprisingly, beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Yemen and Bhutan, where it's the only type of alcohol consumed. It's also the most popular drink in Vietnam (97.3%), Namibia (96.7%), Indonesia (84.5%), Myanmar (82.6%), and Mexico (75.7%).
Wine is the most popular beverage of choice in Europe by far. In Italy, 65.6% of the alcohol consumed is wine, in France it's 56.4%, and in Portugal it's 55.5%. It's also a popular drink in Uruguay (59.9%) and Argentina (48%).
Haitians love their hard liquor: 99.6% of the alcohol consumed there is spirits. It's also the most popular form of alcohol in Saudi Arabia (97.9%), North Korea (94.9%), India (93.9%), and Liberia (88.1%).
Hungary has the most alcohol-related disorders, with 19.3% of the population suffering from one. In Russia, 18.2% of the population has an alcohol disorder and in Belarus, the drunkest country, 17.5% of the population has a disorder.
Belarus has the highest number of alcohol-related deaths, with 34.7% of people dying from alcohol each year. Ukraine is right behind with 34.4% of deaths related to alcohol. Lithuania (30.9%) and Russia (30.5%) also have a high number of alcohol-related deaths.
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There's nothing more entertaining than watching a group of "four drunk bros" barrel into your basement sweets shop on a Saturday afternoon and ask, "Do you guys have Vodka Red Bull cupcakes?" says Prohibition Bakery co-owner Leslie Feinberg.
Her business partner and chef, Brooke Siem, corrects her: "Four drunk girls." Post-brunch.
The Lower East Side's Prohibition Bakery began making its original alcohol-infused cupcakes in 2011, and flavors like Old Fashioned, Sangria, and Pretzels and Beer have been flying off the shelves ever since. Made using a novel technique of inserting liquor post-baking, so the alcohol doesn't burn off, the cupcakes have been a hit with big-league clients like Google and HBO.
And yes, you need to show an I.D. to purchase a cupcake. Virgin flavors are available for the under-21 crowd.
We included Prohibition Bakery on a recent list of the 28 Coolest Small Businesses In New York City, and we couldn't stop daydreaming about their sweet and boozy concoctions. Our journalistic integrity compelled us to investigate the matter further.
Welcome to Prohibition Bakery, the boozy cupcakery located on New York's Lower East Side. It could easily pass for a speakeasy from ground level on Clinton Street, with its nondescript storefront and low lighting.
Inside, you're greeted by the founders of New York's original alcohol cupcake company. Leslie Feinberg, a bartender, and Brooke Siem, a chef, met on a Birthright trip years ago and became close friends when Siem would end her shifts at the restaurant with a couple beers at Feinberg's bar.
Their first boozy cupcake was born from a request by one of Siem's friends, who wanted a Cosmo-tasting cake for her bachelorette party. "I didn't know the first thing about making a Cosmo," Siem admits. The pair put their heads together and whipped up something magical.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Got $7? Then you, too, can own the "ultimate iRonic gift": iCups.
iCups is "the apex of high fashion and high technology. No screen, no buttons, no apps. Just simple, pure communication," its maker says.
This iCups is not to be confused with the "iCups Technician," which is what Apple calls its in-house baristas who make coffee concoctions for Apple staffers.
This iCups is the brainchild of comic Mike Mukhametshin, creator of ADA Sports, a competition for animators on YouTube in which people vote for the funniest cartoon.
It's not a joke that Mukhametshin is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for iCups, trying to raise $10,000 to send it into mass production. Things aren't going so well. It has raised only about $2,300 with 16 days left to go. But even if the Kickstarter campaign flops, the iCups Kickstarter page is hilarious.
"We engineered iCups using high quality paper and some green arts and crafts string for superior sound quality."
"Addressing battery-life issues, we not only made a technological breakthrough, we basically performed a miracle by designing the iCups to run without any battery whatsoever."
More of our favorite jokes come from the list of iCups benefits:
- No more confusing iOS updates. With iCups, it's like nothing changes ... ever.
- Can you drink a soda out of your smartphone? Didn't think so!
- Lightweight. Weighs less than three paper cups.
- Call anyone anywhere in the world anytime! *As long as that person is standing within six feet of you.
- Cut ties with your service provider with one snip of the scissors.
And if all this weren't silly enough, he even drew stick figure cartoons to demonstrate all of iCups features:
Watches don’t have to be dripping in diamonds or date back to the 17th century to be worth millions of dollars.
Though it hasn’t even been around for 20 years, the Roger Dubuis watch brand has become well-known for its craftsmanship as well as prices that soar into the seven-digit range.
The latest star watch from Roger Dubuis is the 2013 Excalibur Quatuor— the silicon watch has four sprung balances, requires 2,400 hours to build, and is the result of 7 years of research.
The cost? $1.1 million, making it one of the most expensive watches in the world.
One of the reasons the Excalibur Quatuor is so expensive is that it moves away from a traditional watch “complication” known as the tourbillon that has been lauded by watch manufacturers for its aesthetic beauty. The tourbillon mechanism improves the time-telling accuracy of a watch and is typically found on the face of expensive brands who want to show off the craftsmanship of the piece.
Instead, Roger Dubuis and movement development designer Gregory Bruttin created four sprung balances for the Excalibur Quatuor. A balance spring or balance wheel is not new in watch manufacturing, but what Dubuis and Bruttin did differently was to have not one, but four balances that work in tandem for unprecedented accuracy.
The balances are each set at 45 degree angles and work in pairs to continuously factor in gravity. The watch’s balances are so precise, in fact, that they can even account for the wearer’s movement.
The sound of the watch is also unique. Each balance pulses four times per second, and no two balances oscillate simultaneously. That means instead of the classic ticking of the watch, it sounds more akin to the whirring of a machine.
The watch itself is made of 590 distinct parts and has a 40-hour power reserve function that is so high-tech, the company has applied for a patent.
Silicon was used for the entire watch case because of it’s low weight and durability. It is four times harder than steel, yet uniquely weighs much less. Despite the rather large watch face of the Excalibur Quatuor (48 milimeter), it would still weigh less that your standard gold watch.
And like anything worth having, the silicon version of the Excalibur Quatuor is extremely limited edition. Only three silicon Excalibur Quatuor watches exist in the world, complete with a hand-stitched alligator strap and silicon buckle.
That $1.1 million price tag now makes a whole lot more sense.
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Thanks in part to its proximity to nearly every major tech company you could think of, Stanford University has become a sort of incubator for Silicon Valley itself.
Some of tech's most important figures have attended classes here, from Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to Marissa Mayer and Peter Thiel.
But Stanford's campus is also known for being a great place to launch a new company, with top-notch engineering and business programs, an extensive alumni network, and even university-affiliated accelerator programs. Most of the Valley's most successful companies have some roots here, including Google, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, and Yahoo.
It makes sense that the California school was named the Best College In America.
We've highlighted some of the most successful startups to be born on Stanford's campus in the last two decades.
Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger met through the Stanford alumni network.
After graduating in 2006 with a degree in management science and engineering, Kevin Systrom started developing a location-based photo-sharing app. When he realized he needed a cofounder, he turned to the Stanford network and found Mike Krieger, a Brazilian native who graduated with a degree in symbolic systems two years after Systrom.
"When people say that college isn’t worthwhile and paying all this money isn’t worthwhile, I really disagree," Systrom said to Forbes. "I think those experiences and those classes that may not necessarily seem applicable in the moment end up coming back to you time and time again."
Systrom and Krieger sold Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion in April of 2012.
Trulia cofounders Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen met during class at the Graduate School of Business.
Flint and Inkinen were inspired to create Trulia when they saw how difficult it was to find a place to live in Palo Alto. They developed their real estate aggregation site during two semesters in Stanford's competitive "Startup Garage" class.
The Monday after graduation, they had lined up meetings with several VCs interested in funding their company.
The idea for StubHub came out of a business plan competition at Stanford.
Eric Baker and Jeff Fluhr met in a class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. After sharing stories of the problems they had had selling event tickets online, they entered a competition with the business plan for a company they called needaticket.com. After the plan made the final round, they pulled out of the competition, and in 2000, Fluhr dropped out of school to work on the company full-time.
Baker and Fluhr used Stanford computer labs and classrooms to build their site, now a major player in secondary ticket sales for sports and entertainment events.
The company was bought by eBay for $300 million in 2007.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Higher education information website Noodle has put together this great list showing the most influential college in each state.
The list covers a range of schools — from Ivy League universities to large state schools to small liberal arts colleges. Perennial top-ranked universities such as Harvard and Stanford represent their states, joined by lesser known schools like Berea and Wheeling Jesuit.
According to Noodle, this list was based on an aggregation of data from over 4,000 colleges. Noodle combined four distinct criteria to determine the most influential college in each state — search engine popularity, Twitter authority, number of affiliated Nobel Prize winners, and U.S. News rank.
Here is the most influential college in each state, via Noodle:
Alabama — University of Alabama
Alaska — University of Alaska-Anchorage
Arizona — Arizona State University
Arkansas — John Brown University
California — Stanford University
Colorado — University of Colorado-Boulder
Connecticut — Yale University
Delaware — University of Delaware
Florida — University of Florida
Georgia — Emory University
Hawaii — University of Hawaii at Manoa
Idaho — Brigham Young University-Idaho
Illinois — Northwestern University
Indiana — University of Notre Dame
Iowa — Iowa State University
Kansas — University of Kansas
Kentucky — Berea College
Louisiana — Tulane University
Maine — Bates College
Maryland — Johns Hopkins University
Massachusetts — Harvard University
Michigan — University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Minnesota — University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Mississippi — University of Mississippi
Missouri — Washington University in St. Louis
Montana — University of Montana
Nebraska — Creighton University
Nevada — University of Nevada-Reno
New Hampshire — Dartmouth College
New Jersey — Princeton University
New Mexico — University of New Mexico
New York — Cornell University
North Carolina — Duke University
North Dakota — University of Jamestown
Ohio — Ohio State University
Oklahoma — University of Tulsa
Oregon — University of Oregon
Pennsylvania — University of Pennsylvania
Rhode Island — Brown University
South Carolina — University of South Carolina-Columbia
South Dakota — Augustana College
Tennessee — Vanderbilt University
Texas — University of Texas at Austin
Utah — University of Utah
Vermont — University of Vermont
Virginia — University of Virginia
Washington — University of Washington
Washington, DC — Georgetown University
West Virginia — Wheeling Jesuit University
Wisconsin — University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wyoming — University of Wyoming
SEE ALSO: The 50 Best Colleges In America
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Sheryl Sandberg worked her way up the ranks in Google and Facebook to become one of the most successful women in tech.
A new comic book called "Female Force: Sheryl Sandberg" tells her whole life story in drawing form, from working for former treasury secretary Larry Summers to joining Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook.
The "Female Force" series has highlighted a number of successful women in the past, including Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton, and Arianna Huffington. The imprint was created by Bluewater Productions, who has also written about Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs, among many others.
"Our goal is to show the behind-the scenes machinations — many of them ignored by the mainstream media — that resulted in Sheryl Sandberg becoming a leading voice in empowering successful businesswomen," publisher Darren Davis said. "A visual medium provides perspective that is not only accessible but more relatable to the average person without losing any of the information involved."
The comic book starts in her early working days, first in the federal government and then at Google.
Readers then get the story of how she got poached by Facebook.
It also addresses quite a bit of her personal life, including her relationship with her husband, Survey Monkey CEO David Goldberg.
There are lots of "Lean In" references as well.
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TV host Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos have finally sold their gorgeous New York loft for $20 million, according to The New York Daily News.
The couple put their 76 Crosby Street penthouse on the market with The Modlin Group for $24.5 million back in January 2013. They had previously spent two years renovating the home after originally paying $9.5 million for it in 2005.
The buyer of the 6,800-square-foot loft is real estate tycoon Alex Adjmi. Brokers for Adjmi told the Daily News that he bought the place as an investment, which Curbed NY believes implies that Adjmi wants to reconfigure and re-list the home himself.
The pad has five bedrooms and tall 12-foot ceilings. It was outfitted with a fully vented six-burner Wolf stove in the kitchen, a Jacuzzi in the master suite, and a private roof deck with outdoor fireplace and hot tub.
This is 76 Crosby Street. It has a full-time doorman and easy access to SoHo's main shops on Broadway.
The grand living room has tall 12-foot ceilings and seven large windows that let in ample natural light.
Source: The Modlin Group
A dramatic staircase leads from the foyer to the upper bedrooms.
Source: The Modlin Group
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Up to 400,000 people descended on upper Manhattan on Sept. 21 to march in solidarity for climate change.
It was a lively gathering packed with people from all over the US and the globe, and one that outspoken activist and author Bill McKibben called "the largest political gathering about anything in America in at least a decade."
The People's Climate March was a gathering to raise awareness about climate change ahead of the United Nations' Climate Summit, where Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has invited world leaders to take action on curbing global warming.
High-profile marchers included Moon, McKibben, Leonardo DiCaprio, former Vice President Al Gore, Jane Goodall, and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).
The protest was massive by any measure, even as it maintained the air of controlled chaos one might expect of a St. Patty's Day parade or another NYPD-sanctioned and monitored event.
We headed down to the march to get a feel for the scene on the ground.
March attendees gathered on the Upper West Side to form up before it began. Subways headed towards Central Park West were overflowing with people.
By the time we got to the march, the crowd was in full swing. About half the attendees were grouped into a column by a police barricades, but there didn't seem to be much of a point to them. As many people were gathered outside the barricades as in them.
It took a little while for the crowd to start moving.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The largest stock offer in history has made Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, China's richest person with a fortune of $25 billion, an annual wealth ranking in the world's second-largest economy showed Tuesday.
"It has been an amazing year for China's best tycoons despite the jitters about the Chinese economy," said China-based luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report in its annual rich list.
Ma reaped more than $800 million selling shares in the company he set up 15 years ago as Alibaba listed on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, based on company filings, with the value of his remaining stake of 7.8 percent surging to more than $17 billion by Monday.
Last year, the estimated wealth of the former English teacher turned internet entrepreneur was just over $4 billion, which did not even place him in the top 20.
Alibaba's listing raised a total of $25 billion.
But only one other Alibaba cofounder, now vice president of its China investment team Simon Xie, made the rich list, Hurun Report said.
Property tycoon Wang Jianlin, whose Wanda company bought US cinema chain AMC Entertainment, dropped to second place from first last year with a fortune of $24.2 billion as the deflating of China's real estate bubble chased most developers out of the top 10.
A new face, Li Hejun of renewable energy firm Hanergy, tied for third place with $20.8 billion, alongside beverage magnate Zong Qinghou of Wahaha.
Completing the top five was Pony Ma of Tencent, operator of China's most popular instant messaging application WeChat, with $18.1 billion.
Technology commanded half of the top 10. Robin Li of China's dominant search engine Baidu was sixth; Richard Liu of Alibaba competitor JD.com took ninth, and Lei Jun of upstart mobile phone producer Xiaomi was 10th.
Rounding out the top 10 were father and son team Yan Jiehe and Yan Hao of road-builder China Pacific Construction in seventh position and another real estate mogul, Yan Bin of Reignwood in eighth.
China's real estate and infrastructure industries have been hit by the slowing economy.
The economy grew an annual 7.7 percent in 2013, the same as in 2012 — which was the slowest rate of expansion since 1999. Gross domestic product growth was 7.5 in the second quarter this year.
Still, Hurun Report said the number of US dollar billionaires in China hit 354 this year, up 39 from last year.
Even among billionaire megayacht owners, there's competition to be the biggest and best.
In celebration of the Monaco Yacht Show, which kicks off Wednesday, our friends at Wealth-X shared the estimated values of the 10 most expensive yachts on the planet.
From a movie mogul's secondhand yacht to a futuristic design by Philippe Starck, these boats are like small cities on water.
10. Al Mirqab is worth $250 million.
Al Mirqab is owned by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar. The 133-meter boat was completed in 2008. It can accomodate 24 guests in 12 suites, each with its own bathroom and bedroom.
Amenities include a movie theater, swimming pool, helicopter pad, and room for a crew of 55.
9. Pelorus is worth $300 million (tie).
Initially built for a Saudi businessman, the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the megayacht Pelorus in 2004. His ex-wife received the ship in their divorce settlement, and Hollywood movie mogul David Geffen bought Pelorus for $300 million in 2011.
The 115-meter yacht has two helipads and a garage full of toys, including jet skis.
9. Al Said is worth $300 million (tie).
Al Said was built for Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the billionaire Sultan of Oman. The massive, 155-meter yacht has space for 70 guests and 154 crew.
It has a helicopter landing pad, elevator, and concert space that can accomodate a 50-piece orchestra.
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We recently published our annual list of the Best Colleges in America, based on a survey of more than 1,500 professionals with hiring experience in a variety of fields.
Our readers voted Stanford as the best college in America, pushing MIT to second place after a four-year reign at the top.
In addition to asking respondents to rank the business schools, we also asked them more general questions about college, including the question: "What is the most valuable asset college provides?"
Somewhat surprisingly, everyone agreed that academics, not brand value or network, is the most important reason to attend college. Respondents ranked "network" second, "brand value" third, "workplace skills" fourth, and "social experience" fifth.
When we filtered the results to include responses only from people working in the finance industry, we found that they had the same opinion as all survey respondents.
Then we filtered the results to include only people who work in tech. These respondents also ranked academics over the other choices, though they ranked both network and brand value/reputation as second.
SEE ALSO: The 50 Best Colleges In America
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This post is sponsored by UPS CONNECT.
If you're a business owner, you wear a lot of hats. One minute you're figuring out your social media plan, the next you're focused on business banking.
On top of that, you're constantly thinking big picture: How do you grow, and where? What technologies will help you in the long run? What hurdles do you need to overcome to realize your long-term goals?
We're trying to find out which issues cause business owners the most pain. Got a few minutes? Take our 2014 State Of Small Business Survey, delivered by UPS CONNECT, and let us know what's keeping you up at night.
And if you'd like to know how your fellow business owners feel about those same issues, we'll send you a copy of the results when they're ready.
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As the new school semester starts, many young people will find themselves mourning the days of college — endlessly combing their social media networks, with envy, for photos of their undergrad-friends at the campus bar or statuses about tailgating before a big football game.
There's good news! Life goes on. It's time to embark on the next adventure: starting a career.
For those wishing to branch out in a new city, deciding where to settle is tough. To help them make a decision, Livability curated a list of the towns with the most potential for new college grads.
To determine the best cities, Livability analyzed factors such as "the number of 25- to 34-year-olds living in each city, the availability of rental properties, unemployment rates, educational attainment levels, use of public transportation, and the types of jobs these places offer." Bonus points were awarded to cities that provide tons of recreational opportunities, nightlife, and a cool vibe.
Here are the top 10 cities for recent college grads:
10. Mountain View, CA
Even if you're not a Googler, the techie dream town of Mountain View contains endless amenities for its amenities, including shoreline pathways, a network of bike trails, and coworking spaces and coffee shops offering Bitcoin ATMS and free WiFi, according to Livability
9. Naperville, IL
Located 30 miles west of Chicago, Naperville combines small-town charm and big-city amenities, according to Livability. It's a hotbed of jobs in the technology, energy, and distribution sector — with a low unemployment rate of 5.5% among 25- to 34-year-olds.
8. Fargo, ND
While you may know it as the wintry town that gave the dark comedy thriller "Fargo" its title, the real-life city is considered one of the safest places to live in the U.S., according to Livability. Nearly 80% of jobs in Fargo are considered non-service and come with high salaries, spanning health care, technology, manufacturing, and financial services.
7. Ann Arbor, MI
So much more than just a college town — and one of the best, at that — Ann Arbor boasts above-averages wages to college-educated workers and a solid track record of successful entrepreneurs, according to Livability. Residents can find ample opportunities in automotive research, software development, and research in life sciences.
6. Hoboken, NJ
Before cracking a Jersey joke, bear with us. There are nearly 122,000 job openings in and around the city, Livability reports, and the unemployment rate for 25- to 34-year-olds is 1.6% — a pretty solid indication that qualified applicants can land a job here.
5. Minneapolis, MN
According to Livability, the average citizen spends less than 30% of their annual income on housing. This frees up funds for entertainment (Minneapolis has one of the best music scenes outside Nashville, NYC, and LA), eating out at one of the city's four James Beard Award-nominated restaurants, and, of course, retirement.
4. Bethesda, MD
Considered a Washington, D.C. suburb, Bethesda is home to some of the leading research facilities in the country, including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, Lcokheed Martin, and IBM. Plus, 98.7% of its residents are employed, according to Livability.
3. Austin, TX
While rapid population growth has sucked some of the weirdness out of Austin, the overgrown college town holds on to creative culture through small businesses, South by Southwest, and a ripe culinary scene. According to Livability, major industries include computer technology, research and development, engineering, and the arts.
2. Bellevue, WA
Home to Lake Washington and Mount Rainier, Bellevue also plays host to a slew of earthy-crunchy companies, including REI, Eddie Bauer, and Outdoor Research. Outdoor enthusiasts can find employment opportunities in industries spanning software, internet, environmental management, and engineering, according to Livability.
1. Cambridge, MA
With more than 600 companies and two internationally renowned universities based here, Cambridge is well stocked in jobs, most of which are high-paying compared to the average American salary. The Boston suburb's compact layout, vibrant arts scene, and ample food trucks draws tens of thousands of 25- to 34-year-olds to the area, Livability reports. The top employers are Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures, and Biogen Idec, which Business Insider named the second best employer in America in 2014.
SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Places To Live In America
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This post is sponsored by IBM.
At the beginning of her career, Aparna Prabhakar asked herself a question familiar to many women: Should she plan her career around having a child, or have a child first and then plan her career?
Prabhakar, the technology innovation program manager at IBM, realized she could handle a fast-paced career at IBM while raising her son because of the support she received. And so she did — beginning as a process engineer, managing programs for clients in Japan and China, and now managing corporate technical strategy.
Raising a child and rising to constant challenges are all in a day's work for Prabhakar, a self-described army brat whose father was in the Indian army, moving the family every two years. Not only is Prabhakar used to change, but she has also learned that embracing risk and going outside your comfort zone is essential to rising in her industry. "You just have to believe in yourself," Prabhakar says. "You have to believe you can do it."
Prabhakar is just one of the women featured in IBM's "A Day in the Life" video series. In light of the tech industry's disheartening statistics about women — they're outnumbered by men by a factor of 7 to 3 and make up only 11% of engineers — IBM is campaigning to attract more women to technology. Their videos show how each woman has grown her career at IBM while achieving a better work-life integration.
Watch the video below to see a day in the life of Aparna Prabhakar.
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We could all be dinosaurs. The Economist predicts that robots are going to replace telemarketers, accountants, and retail workers, and Bill Gates says software bots will take even more jobs.
This isn't the first time that whole swaths of the labor market have gone extinct: The Industrial Revolution did away with gigs that your great-great-grandparents might have had that sound preposterous to us today.
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic's occupational classification list from 1850, an awesome video from Mental Floss, and some research of our own, we found several bizarre-sounding occupations that are now totally extinct.
This is an update of an article that previously ran. Additional reporting by Vivian Giang.
Before mechanical pin setters came out in 1936, boys were hired to set the pins — you called them Pin Setters.
Before it was dismissed as a racist, awful pseudoscience, lots of people went to Phrenologists, who could "read" your intelligence by the shape of your head.
Before you could get ice from your fridge, you had to cut it from a lake. You'd hire an Ice Cutter to do so.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
It's 2 p.m. on a Saturday. It's pitch black. All I hear is the sound of my breath, and I'm floating. I'm floating in one foot of saltwater in an oversize bathtub in a stranger's Manhattan apartment.
Let me go back a day.
It was Friday afternoon, and I was less than 48 hours away from the Queens Half Marathon. I wanted to prepare my body and mind for the 13.1-mile run. Several months earlier, a friend mentioned the relaxation method of "sensory deprivation," or "floating" as it's now commonly called. With a quick Google search of "sensory deprivation tank nyc," I debated between Blue Light Floatation and Aspire Center for Health. According to Yelp, these were my top options in the limited market for floating.
After reading reviews and browsing both company sites, the services seemed comparable. My big decision was the environment: a physical therapy center (Aspire) or a stranger's Manhattan apartment (Blue Light Floatation). I wanted a last-minute Saturday appointment, but this was New York City, where "last minute" does not exist.
I emailed Blue Light Floatation and received a response 13 minutes later instructing me to call Sam Zeiger, the owner of Blue Light. Zeiger informed me that he had a cancellation and that I could take this opening. Zeiger was extremely knowledgeable and calming, and he walked me through the whole process over the phone. I don't know whether it was his personal attention or the tea he promised at the end of the session, but after 15 minutes the choice was obvious. For the first time in my life, I went out of my comfort zone and picked the stranger.
Sensory deprivation is the idea of removing stimuli from one or more of a person's senses and is often used in alternative medicine for meditative purposes or to induce psychological distress as an interrogation tactic. In 1954, the medical practitioner and neuro-psychiatrist John C. Lilly pioneered the isolation tanks to better understand consciousness and how it relates to the brain.
An hour in an isolation tank was seen to increase relaxation, enhance creativity, strengthen the immune system, rejuvenate muscles, and help maintain positive behavior changes like quitting smoking.
In 1984, Lawrence University explored "the effects of restricted environmental stimulation using a floatation tank to the effects of a normal sensory environment on relaxation." The results of the study found individuals who practiced relaxation methods in a flotation tank reached greater levels of relaxation than those in a normal environment.
That was during the heyday of sensory deprivation floatation tanks — during the 1980s they were being produced for commercial use as more individuals sought relief from stress, pain, and anxiety. A hotspot for this surge in floating? New York City.
This growing trend and a viewing of the movie "Altered States" brought Sam Zeiger to the business he has operated for nearly 30 years. "I had been reading John Lilly and was like I have to try that. As a child, I used to spend summers in the Catskills and felt like everything was perfect; the world was perfect and nothing could bother me. I had a sense of complete well being. I felt that after my first float. Something spoke to me during that float that said, 'This is for me,'" Zeiger recounts.
Falling in love with floating, he purchased his own tank, a Samadhi Tank. He found himself between jobs floating every day in his living room, and he wanted to share this special practice with people. This was 1985. "At first it was a hobby, and as the places started closing down around the city and word started spreading about me and people were coming here to float, I had a business going. It was never something like, 'I'm going to do this as a business.’ It was an outgrowth of something I loved."
On Saturday at 1:30 p.m., I entered Zeiger's fourth-floor Manhattan apartment. He was finishing with a previous client, so that further eased the tensions of entering a stranger's apartment. After the client left, Zeiger introduced me to the floating tank, which looks like an oversize bathtub. He explained how to enter, where to position my head and how to turn off the lights. There are 1,000 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts in the 8-foot long by 4-foot wide tub. It is maintained at 94 degrees Fahrenheit, and it takes about two hours to produce one gallon of the filtered salt water.
Zeiger is meticulous when it comes to the cleanliness of his tank. After each guest, the water is filtered and cleaned for 30 minutes. He uses a 500 watt halogen work light to scan every square inch of the interior for impurities to ensure the room is pristine for the next person. When he is not with clients, Zeiger says, he's constantly preparing the water and maintaining the tank.
Next, we were sitting in his living room further discussing the floating process. I was comforted by his large collection of spiritual and meditation books, the Tibetan flags hanging from a light and the Himalayan Salt Lamp— all things my father had in our house growing up, so I knew I was in good company.
Ten minutes later, Zeiger showed me to the bathroom, where I showered to remove any dirt from my body. Once finished, I was ready to float.
I walked into the floating room and closed the door behind me. I hung my towel on the wall leaving me completely naked. I enter the tank through a small sliding door. The air is warm but without steam. I had heard some tanks can smell like a locker room (not a good sign), but this tank had a mellow, salty smell. I lower myself into the 12 inches of water. As soon as I sit back, my legs come out from under me, and I'm floating. I center myself in the tub so I'm not touching any of the sides and find stillness.
Every noise was louder than ever before: breathing, water movement, fingers and toes cracking. For someone who meditates regularly, as I do, it still took a few minutes to adjust to absolute quiet and darkness. Very quickly, I lost all sense of my surroundings. It has to be the closest anyone can get to floating in outer space. I had no perception of how deep the water was or how close the edges of the tub were. My mind knew I was in a small tub, but my body's senses completely shut down.
I yelled "hello" to get a sense of how noise interacted with the space. My eyes remained slightly open, and I focused on my breath. Deep inhale and long exhale. I was awake and aware for what I think was about 15 minutes. The next thing I know, a quiet, soothing music begins to play, indicating my hour is over. I never fell into a deep sleep but was in a relaxed, meditative trance.
It took me a second to remember where I was before I began to sit up straight. Some water rolled down from my head into my eyes. It burned with the heat of a thousand suns. If you have ever floated in the Dead Sea, you will know how bad this feels.
I wanted to stay in the tank, but I also did not want Sam Zeiger pounding on the door. I exited the tank and rinsed off in the shower, just enough to remove the excess salt. I was in my own world. I have never felt more relaxed and calm in my life. My mind felt still. Thoughts did not race around; I was very much in the moment. My concentration was fierce. I was very aware of every little thing I did. All of my senses were enhanced having been deprived for an hour. It was the closest I will ever feel to having super powers.
I exited the bathroom, and Zeiger greeted me in his living room with a glass of iced tea as promised. We spoke for a few minutes about my first experience. He mentioned I could benefit from a longer float seeing how I was very comfortable for the hour. A few minutes later, I was back on the bustling streets of New York, but I remained unfazed.
The whole enlightening experience cost $80. Though you are floating for an hour, the whole process from start to finish took nearly two hours. More experienced floaters float for two, sometimes three hours. The rate at which people go becomes very personal based on time and money. If I had more disposable income, I would easily go once a week. I'm strongly considering this as a monthly routine.
Zeiger says he gets first-time floaters like me every day. He hasn't seen this popularity since the 1980s. "In the '90s it was completely dead. Early 2000s, completely dead. For the past seven years there's been a resurgence," he told me.
Zeiger attributes this resurgence to a change in consciousness in our world and the internet. People are looking more inside, and there's a greater sense of well-being. It's no longer word of mouth; it's YouTube videos and blogs. The floating trend is not limited to New York, but sensory deprivation tanks are easier to find in major cities including San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, and Seattle.
It's an experience you should treat yourself to at least once in your life. We all look to tune out the world, but there are not many places where you can turn off the light and the noise. I would also recommend wearing earplugs, because I had water in my ear for several days after. The next time you want to get away, think about a float.
SEE ALSO: 10 Proven Ways To Relax