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22 Brilliant Thinkers Everyone Should Follow On Twitter


paul krugman

If you've been following the same people on Twitter for the last five years, you're probably missing out. An engaging Twitter feed should provide an intersection of interests from thought leaders across fields. 

For that reason, we've gathered 22 intellectual heavyweights in areas like design, neuroscience, management, and economics. Start following them and get your ideas flowing. 

If we missed anybody, tell us in the comments.

Aimee Groth, Kim Bhasin, and Danielle Schlanger contributed research to this story. 

Scott Barry Kaufman, scientific director, The Imagination Institute, University of Pennsylvania

Handle: @sbkaufman 

The "Ungifted" author always has the latest on the science of imagination and creativity. 

If you want to learn more about learning, follow Kaufman. His research has helped us redefine our understanding of intelligence.

Tina Roth Eisenberg, design blogger and founder of CreativeMornings, StudioMates, and Tattly

Handle: @swissmiss

Eisenberg takes the sometimes stuffy world of design and makes it delightfully accessible. 

Of special note is the Friday Link Pack, her weekly digest of the finest detail-oriented content around. Her feed is also one of the best places to track down tickets to CreativeMornings, her creativity-oriented monthly conference series. 

Jad Abumrad, host and creator, Radiolab

Handle: @Jadabumrad

Abumrad stands at the intersection of curiosity, science communication, and public radio.

He has 2 million follows on air and 245,000 on Twitter, and he's worth listening to. He'll give you quirky musings on science, technology, and the world around us.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Michelin's 2015 New York City Restaurant Ratings Are Out!


per se kitchen thomas kellerMichelin has revealed its 2015 New York City restaurant rankings a day before the tenth edition of its New York guide hits shelves October 1. 

So far, there don't appear to be any huge surprises. Six of the seven restaurants that earned three stars  the guide's highest designation  in 2014 retained those rankings. They are Le Bernardin, Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park , Jean Georges, Masa, and Per Se.

Chef Daniel Boulud's Daniel was downgraded to two stars. 

Three restaurants were elevated from one stars to two; they are Brooklyn's Blanca, Nordic-insired Aquavit, and Ichimura, known for its sushi and sashimi. There are 17 new restaurants on the one-star list, including two in Queens.

Michelin's ratings are determined by anonymous food inspectors.

In anticipation of the New York guide, Michelin released its "bib gourmand" list for the city last week. That list includes the city's best affordable restaurants.

The complete 2015 Michelin rankings: 

Three-Star Restaurants:

  • The Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
  • Le Bernardin
  • Eleven Madison Park
  • Jean-Georges 
  • Masa 
  • Per Se

Two-Star Restaurants

  • Aquavit (new)
  • Atera
  • Blanca (new)
  • Daniel (new)
  • Ichimura (new)
  • Jungsik
  • Marea
  • Momofuku Ko
  • Soto
One Star Restaurants
  • Ai Fiori
  • Aldea
  • Andanada (new)
  • Aureole
  • Babbo
  • Betony (new)
  • Blue Hill
  • Bouley
  • The Breslin
  • Brushstroke
  • Cafe Boulud
  • Cafe China
  • Carbone
  • Cafe Enrique (new)
  • Case Mono
  • Caviar Russe
  • Danny Bar Wine Bar & Kitchen
  • Delaware & Hudson (new)
  • Del Posto
  • Dovetail
  • 15 East
  • Gotham Bar and Grill
  • Gramercy Tavern
  • Hakkasan
  • Jewel Bako
  • Juni
  • Junoon
  • Kajitsu
  • Kyo Ya
  • La Vara (new)
  • Lincoln
  • Luksus at Torst (new)
  • Meadowsweet (new)
  • Minetta Tavern
  • The Modern
  • The Musket Room
  • M. Wells Steakhouse (new)
  • The NoMad
  • Peter Luger
  • Picholine
  • Piora (new)
  • Pok Pok Ny (new)
  • Public
  • The River Cafe 
  • Rosanjin
  • Seasonal
  • Spotted Pig
  • Sushi Azabu
  • Sushi of Gari
  • Take Root (new)
  • Telepan
  • Tori Shin
  • Torrisi
  • Tulsi
  • Wallse
  • Zabb Elee (new)
  • ZZ's Clam Bar (new)

SEE ALSO: The Best Restaurants In New York City

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This Van Is Going To Be Parked In NYC Giving Guys Free Wardrobe Upgrades This Week


the tie bar van

Consider this short a public service announcement.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week online men's accessory shop, The Tie Bar, is teaming up with Michael Carl of Vanity Fair to give men a 15 minute wardrobe boost.

We're not talking a full-on suit change. Carl will just be upgrading the little things — socks, neckwear, suspenders, pocket squares... subtle stuff.

The event was created with Wall Street — and any other guy who has to show up to work in a suit, we suppose — in mind.

"When The Tie Bar offered me the opportunity to talk to finance guys about updating their looks I instantly said yes," Carl told Business Insider. "Guys that work in finance have been experimenting with tie and shirt combos for a while and I think are ready for the next step…how to pair the shirt and tie with a pocket square or a tie bar. Just because you work on Wall Street doesn't mean you cant be creative with the way you dress."

Show up in at least a dress shirt and slacks, walk away with some goodies. It's that simple.

On Wednesday Oct. 1st, the van will be parked in the Financial District by Stone Street and Hanover Square from 11am – 7pm. On Thursday, Oct. 2nd, it will be parked in Bryant Park from 11am – 7pm. Check out The Tie Bar on Twitter for more details on location.

You're welcome.

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Apple Just Crashed A Paris Fashion Show To Promote Its Smartwatch

A Brooklyn Couple Has Perfectly Fused Jewish And Japanese Cuisines


Shalom Japan

For Aaron Israel and Sawako Okochi, owners and head chefs at Shalom Japan in South Williamsburg, it all started in the Brooklyn Library. The married couple, who both have impressive backgrounds in the restaurant industry, were researching recipes and ideas for other projects when they came across a listing for a SoHo restaurant in guide book from the 1980s. The restaurant was called Shalom Japan.

Israel, who's Jewish, and Okochi, who's Japanese, joked that if they ever opened a restaurant together, that’s what they would call it, Israel told Business Insider. At the time, however, they had no plans to open a joint venture.

But a year or so later, when the two decided to open a restaurant, they remembered the name. "Even though we have nothing to do with the old restaurant, we kept coming back to it, thinking that it was representative of us and what we wanted to do: a little bit of her culture and a little bit of my culture. It ended up sticking," Israel says.

Chefs Israel and Okochi serve up delicious and inventive food, showcasing both their backgrounds and their creativity, in this small and airy spot in Brooklyn.Shalom Japan

One of their most popular dishes is a Sake Kasu Challah, served with Golden Raisin Butter ($3). The challah, a classic Jewish bread, is baked with yeast from fermented sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine. Other favorites include Matzoh Ball Ramen ($17) and a Lox Bowl served with rice, cucumbers, and Japanese pickles ($23).

Shalom Japan

Despite the name, not all the dishes at Shalom Japan are direct combinations of Jewish and Japanese food. The chefs tend to trust their gut and each other when creating something new, instead of forcing a fusion. Take, for example, this Sea Bass, one of their daily specials.

Shalom Japan

The sea bass is stuffed with sticky rice, squid, shrimp, scallops, and clams, and is served with sautéed Japanese greens and a sake verblanc. "We try to just do honest food and food that we’re passionate about. We bounce ideas off each other. I might do something and [Chef Okochi] comes at it from a different angle and adds her take on it," says Chef Israel. 

Shalom Japan

Some dishes are more rooted in Japanese cuisine, like their delicious-looking Teriyaki Duck Wings ($15), seen here.

Shalom Japan

Chef Israel has a history of working in Italian kitchens as well, and many times these Italian traditions can find their way on to Shalom Japan's plates. Here we see his Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, fried in Japanese tempura batter, with spicy tomato, mozzarella, and peppers ($15).

Shalom Japan

"We try to come at things from our own perspectives, and incorporate ourselves into everything we do. It’s about exploring each other’s cultures," says Chef Israel.

Shalom Japan

The casual and intimate space seats about 44 people, including spots at the bar, which offers up some great cocktails and other beverages.

Shalom Japan

Shalom Japan is especially popular for brunch, were diners can sample more novel cultural combinations, like a Wagyu Brisket Burger ($15) on a Challah Roll or Pastrami Fried Rice ($13).

Shalom Japan

SEE ALSO:  The Best Coffee Shop In Every State

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A Walk Around The Small German Village Outside Of The US Air Force's European Headquarters


Ramstein party

With its massive scale and diverse range of responsibilities and functions, Ramstein Air Base, home to the US Air Force's Europe headquarters, is one of America's most important overseas military facilities. 

But just outside of the air base's gates lies the small German collective municipality of Ramstein-Miesenbach, which was formed from the junction of the two eponymous towns. The town's population of 20,000 roughly equals the number of people who work on Ramstein Air Base daily.

Its proximity to such a large concentration of American and NATO military personnel means the town has a uniquely international feel to it — even though it manages to keep its own unique character. 

Wandering through the residential districts of Ramstein, the town seems like a thoroughly German country village.

The houses are charming and well maintained, and the nearby air base is completely hidden from view.

Within the center of the town is a quaint shopping street with a variety of restaurants and a few pubs.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why People Pay $34 A Class For The Most Popular Cycling Work Out In America


soul cycle studio class

I’m surrounded by men and women all biking to the beat of a fast-paced song, trying to keep up with the ripped female instructor cycling on stage in front of us. 

“What makes you beautiful?” she shouts into her microphone at all 40 of us as we stand up and sit down in unison on our bikes, pedaling with the beat of the music. “Are you beautiful because of your strength? Is your perseverance your beauty?”

Welcome to SoulCycle, the exercise class with a cult-following that is taking over America. Founded in 2006 by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, the brand is known for attracting celebrities like Charlize Theron and David Beckham, and has 37 studios across the US in New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester, Massachusetts, California, and Washington DC.

They even plan to go worldwide with a studio in London by 2015.

soulcycle lobby

“It’s way more than an exercise class,” Jaime Gleicher, who’s been going to SoulCycle since 2011 at a rate of roughly 10 times a week, told Business Insider. “It’s equal parts dance party, killer workout, meditation, therapy, and social setting where I know, without fail, I can see my friends and gain a piece of mind.”

For lovers of the high-intensity cycling class, SoulCycle is a lifestyle — and the studios reflect that. Aspirational words like “WARRIOR,” “ROCKSTAR,” and “ATHLETE” are plastered on the walls. Lululemon SoulCycle-branded clothing hangs in the lobby ($42 for a tank top), and you can even buy the grapefruit-scented Jonathan Adler candles they have burning in the studio.

In a typical 45-minute class, students can expect to do choreographed, high-resistance sprints and “climbs” with an arm workout section and a yoga-esque cool down. The lighting in the studio itself is dim with candles at the front of the room and music blaring. 

For riders, it’s not about calories or how many reps they can do, but about letting go — it’s not uncommon to be asked to close your eyes or to cycle through a song completely in the dark.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when a helpful woman strapped me and my cycling shoe loaners into the bike at SoulCycle’s Union Square location. The class excitedly chattered and started peddling at minimal resistance while waiting for our instructor to finish helping newcomers like me adjust our bikes. Some people who knew one another were talking about the Tribeca studio’s recent renovation, while others compared favorite ‘Soul’ instructors.

spinning indoor cycling class

Then our instructor hit the music and we were riding, increasing our resistance and biking faster and faster to the beat. Sometimes we were standing up and trying to keep as still as possible as our legs cycled beneath us. Other times we were seated and learning forward and doing push ups to the rhythm of the music. After a five minute arm section and cool down, we were stretching and finally unhooking our shoes from the bikes.

I left the class sweaty and with a new understanding of why people pay $34 a pop in New York City for this experience (their best class package deal brings the cost down to $28). The class flew by and I felt motivated to keep going the entire time.

And though the instructor was filled with exultations to keep us pumped, I was especially inspired by the front row of fit men and women who, judging by how hard they pedaled, were obviously SoulCycle adherents. 

For them, $34 is the small price to pay for a community that makes them want to work out and push themselves harder. The expensive classes, gear, and candles are just a way of distinguishing themselves (and each other) as a part of a very cool club. 

“I believe it’s worth every cent,” Gleicher insists. “The price of the class is also a motivating factor: It encourages me to work my absolute hardest and get every cent out of my investment.”

“Whatever mood I am in, whatever kind of day I am having, SoulCycle has never not given me what I needed,” she added. “And that is why I keep going back. 

soul cycle studio

Interested in trying SoulCycle? Here’s our advice for trying the spinning phenomenon.

1.  For curious first-timers, SoulCycle has a $20 introductory class. Reserve a bike in the second row — the first row is usually filled with the more intense SoulCycle clientele and it can be helpful to watch both them and the instructor when you start out.

2. Wear sweat-wicking clothes that won’t ride up, like leggings and a tank top. Most SoulCycle locations charge $3 to rent shoes.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You sweat a lot in this class, and will want to be as hydrated as possible before entering the room. Bring a water bottle, too. 

4. Have the staff adjust your bike, but make sure it works for you. Having the seat pushed too far or not far enough forward can make all the difference in your comfort level. Start out with their advice and adjust accordingly.

5. Don’t be intimidated by the sense of community.“It can seem as if everyone knows each other and the instructor, and that is true,” Gleicher told us. “The sense of community at SoulCycle is a huge part of the experience. Make yourself open to becoming a part of it. We want you there!”

6. Go at your own pace and stay in the saddle. Observe the form and pace of the instructor and others around you. Listen to the music, and do the best you can.

SEE ALSO: 6 Truths About Exercising That No One Wants To Hear

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's Life on Facebook!

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An Oxford Professor Has Unlocked The Mysterious Science Of The Guitar

Now There Are Only Nine US Restaurants With Three Michelin Stars


le bernardin dining room

Michelin released its 2015 ratings for New York City today, and only six restaurants received a highly coveted three-star rating. Daniel Boulud's Daniel, which had received three stars for each of the past five years, lost a star in the new guidebook.

That means there are just nine restaurants in the U.S. with top ratings from the prestigious guide, which uses anonymous inspectors to judge restaurants around the world.

It's important to note that Michelin only publishes guides for three U.S. cities: New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, so the company's ratings are not all-encompassing.

The remaining three-star restaurants in the U.S. are:

  • Le Bernardin (New York): Eric Ripert's seafood palace consistently receives top marks from reviewers and restaurant guides. The chef's tasting menu starts at $198 a person.
  • Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare (New York): Chef César Ramírez's downtown Brooklyn restaurant has only 18 seats, making it one of the toughest reservations in town. The menu is centered around seafood and courses are served omakase-style.
  • Eleven Madison Park (New York): Chef Daniel Humm's restaurant also has four stars from The New York Times and the Five Diamond Award by AAA. It recently ditched its à la carte concept in favor of an elaborate prix fixe menu. The multicourse meal, which focuses on the agricultural offerings of New York, costs $225.
  • Jean Georges (New York): Located in The Trump Hotel on Central Park West, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten blends French, American, and Asian influences to craft a seasonal, ever-changing menu. The restaurant offers a three-course prix-fixe menu ($118) and two six-course tasting menus ($198).
  • Masa (New York): With a tasting menu that costs more than $1,000 for two, Masa is often called America's most expensive restaurant. Chef Masa Takayama's restaurant in the Time Warner Center is known for serving some of the finest Japanese fare in the U.S.
  • Per Se (New York): For years, Per Se has ruled over the New York City restaurant scene as one of the most coveted dining experiences in town. The "urban interpretation" of chef Thomas Keller's The French Laundry, the prix fixe menu costs $310 a person.
  • Alinea (Chicago): The only Chicago restaurant with a three-star rating, Chef Grant Achatz's first restaurant is known for its creative modern cuisine and artistic presentations. Alinea tosses aside the traditional reservation system and sells tickets for its tasting menu instead. Prices vary between $210 and$265.
  • The French Laundry (Yountville, Calif.): Chef Keller's landmark Napa Valley restaurant is considered a mecca for foodies. It serves two nine-course tasting menus — a chef's tasting and a tasting of vegetables — that vary every day. For this indulgence, prepare to shell out $295.
  • Meadowood (St. Helena, Calif.): Chef Christopher Kostow is known to tailor the menu to his guests' tastes within his restaurant's American modern theme. For those looking for an exceptional overview of his culinary talent, a 10-course tasting menu is available for $225 a person.

Ripert's Le Bernardin also recently topped Business Insider's list of the 45 best restaurants in America. Eleven Madison Park came in second on that list, followed by The French Laundry, Per Se, and Daniel.

There are also only six New York City restaurants with four-star rankings from The New York Times, the paper's highest honor. They are Del Posto, Eleven Madison Park, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Per Se, and Sushi Nakazawa, a highly acclaimed sushi bar in the West Village that some are saying was snubbed by Michelin after it was not recognized in its 2015 guide (and which The Times named the best restaurant of 2013).

Melissa Stanger and Melia Robinson contributed to this story.

SEE ALSO: The 13 Best Restaurants In New York City

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2 Million Fast Food Workers In The US Aren't Making A Living Wage — Here's Where They Live

12 Reasons To Move To Norway Right Now



Norway has been named the world's best country to grow old by the Global AgeWatch Index in a ranking of 198 nations.

The Scandinavian country of roughly 5 million scored high marks in four categories: income security, health status, enabling environments, and capability. 

Here are 12 reasons why you might consider moving to Norway — and going gray there.

1. Everyone over 67 years old receives a monthly state pension of $1,012.

2. In fact, Norway spends nearly 5% of its GDP on cash transfers to older people.

3. Norway has a life expectancy of 84, and people normally hit age 77 without major health complications, according to the report. 

4. Norwegians are committed to work: seven out of 10 people between ages 55 and 64 still have a full-time job, the second highest behind Sweden.

5. 99.4% of Norwegians over 60 have a secondary or higher education. Also, university in Norway is completely FREE.

6. A university education is not the only thing that is free. You don't have to pay for museum entry, either. That means you can see Edvard Munch's famous painting, "The Scream," at the Munch Museum in Oslo as many times as you like.

The Scream, munch

7. A well-managed childcare system means that parents can quickly go back to work and grandpas and grandmas are not expected to look after the youngsters, according to Norway's Research Council.

8. Since around 20% of the population is over 60, Norway has tons of programs and promotions for older citizens.

old people

9. For example, people over 67 pay half price on public transportation, including the national railway and ferry service.

10. In Norway, you don't have worry about sitting in traffic — fewer than 50% of Norwegians own a car, according to the The World Bank.

11. In a 2013 World Health Organization survey, researchers reported that less than 30% of Norwegians over 70 "felt alone, sad, or depressed in the last thirty days."

12. Maybe that's because older people have a strong support network. According to the Index, 89% of people over age 50 have "relatives or friends they can count on when in trouble."

SEE ALSO: What It Feels Like To Be Old

Join the conversation about this story »

This Algorithm Tests The Strength Of Your Relationship


Screen Shot 2014 09 24 at 3.57.56 PM

Mathematician and OKCupid founder Christian Rudder and his team have written an online application that analyzes your Facebook network to predict the strength of your relationships. 

In his new book "Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One's Looking," Rudder writes about a tool that visualizes your social network and evaluates relationships using a special algorithm created by Rudder's team. 

"The graph assigns weight to relationships, so 'cliques' of friends will cluster together. You can mouse over to see people's names," the app says.

young couple heart happy music festivalIn his book, Rudder writes that a relationship involves the merger of two lives, and that by analyzing the "embeddedness" of the couple's social networks you can measure the depth of their integration and the strength of their relationship.

"Research from a variety of sources (emails, IM, telephone) has shown that the more mutual friends two people share, the stronger their relationship. More connections imply more time together, more common interest, and more stability," Rudder writes.

However, the algorithm Rudder and his team developed measures more than just the number of common connections; it measures the number of clusters of friends you have in common.

Screen Shot 2014 09 24 at 4.02.53 PMAccording to the team, the more separate friend groups a couple has in common — from work to high school to family and college friends — the more embedded the relationship is.

Data networks that show clusters of connected friend groups, like Facebook, are vital to performing this type of analysis.

"For relationships, and romantic relationships specifically, this data has enabled a new, powerful measure of how strong a bond between two people is," Rudder writes. "It turns out your lives should not just be intertwined, but intertwined in a specific way."

You can see your own friend clusters and the measure of your relationship online here.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Likes Can Predict Intimate Personal Details With A Scary Degree Of Accuracy

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An American Is Documenting His 4-Year Tour Of Africa With Incredible Photos


francis tapon africa

Francis Tapon has been traveling through Africa for a year and has already visited 20 countries, but he's just at the start of his journey.

The American adventurer is planning to spend four years traveling through all 54 countries in Africa—and he is documenting his journey with incredible photos and stories on his blog, The Unseen AfricaTapon is on a mission to "reveal the unseen sides of Africa."

"Our image of Africa is wrong," Tapon wrote to us. "It's either heaven (safaris, primitive tribes, pyramids) or hell (Ebola, wars, famine). 99% of Africans live neither in heaven or hell. I want to capture their everyday lives. I want to encourage people to go beyond Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania, and South Africa; I want them to discover and learn the difference between Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea."

Tapon is traveling through every country, by driving in a beat-up old SUV, hitchhiking rides, or trekking on foot. He doesn't have firm travel plans, but he is following a general route that "would have no backtracking and would take me to the tallest peak of every African country."

After his journey concludes, he plans to create a documentary and write a book about his experience. You can follow his journey on his website. 

We've included pictures and captions from his journey.

Have an amazing travel story and photos to share? Send an email to travel@businessinsider.com and we could feature your adventure next.

I drive in difficult conditions (in this photo I'm crossing a creek near the Guinea/Guinea Bissau border). ANY car would struggle with the endless mud, pot holes, sand, and water that I drive in all the time.

I'm glad my car didn't break down in the middle of Sahara (this is in Morocco).

Morocco's Grand Canyon: the Dades Valley.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The Hottest New Ski Homes In The World


The upside of dropping temps is undoubtedly the anticipation of tearing through fresh powder. The sexiest spaces to call home base while you're at it? Right this way.

A Modern mountain hideaway in Telluride, Colorado:

telluride ext

telluride int

telluride 3

Price: $10,495,000
Size: 9,406 square feet
Key selling points: This Telluride mansion may be just steps from the ski slopes, but with perks like a steam shower, elevator, wine cellar, and hot tub, tearing yourself away from the comforts of home will be no easy task.

A mountain contemporary home in Promontory, Utah:promontory ext

promontory int

promontory 3

chalet cocon3
Price: $4,995,994
Size: 9,491 square feet
Key selling points: Why buy one ski home when you can have two? The main house boasts one of Park City's largest all-stone decks, multiple wet bars, and a gourmet kitchen, and a guest house with its own, yeah, you guessed it—wet bar.
Listing: Christie's

A Woodlands log home in Whistler, British Columbia:

kadenwood ext

kadenwood int


Price: $6,987,898
Size: 5,000 square feet
Key selling points: This ski-in, ski-out woodlands home only looks rustic. A geothermal radiant heating system, climate-controlled wine cellar, and zoned cooling make it perfect for the most sophisticated of skiers.
Listing: The Whistler

A modern ski chalet in Rhone-Alps, France:

chalet cocon ext

chalet cocon int

Price: Upon request
Size: 10,763 square feet
Key selling points: This French ski chalet strikes the perfect balance between a sleek modern aesthetic and a cozy cabin vibe, with smooth marble flooring and flawless woodwork. Bonus points for the indoor pool, gym, and well-kept gardens.
Listing: Propriétiés de Megève

A sleek Patagonian compound in Rio Negro, Argentina:

Arelauquen extArelauquen 3Arelauquen int

Price: Upon request
Size: 16,000 square feet
Key selling points: Don't be fooled by the green lawns—this Patagonian country club home is minutes from an international ski resort, and will satisfy the most accomplished outdoorsman with offerings like extensive polo grounds, fly fishing sites, and golf courses just minutes away.
Listing: Christie's


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Here’s How ‘Aladdin’ Star Adam Jacobs Made It On Broadway


Had you told Adam Jacobs as a kid that he'd someday star in Disney's "Aladdin" on Broadway, his response would've been: "You're insane."

"'Aladdin' was one of my favorite movies growing up," Jacobs says. "But I never thought I'd be playing this part."

Many kids grow up dreaming of making it on Broadway. Jacobs shared with Business Insider how he did it.

Adam Jacobs

Jacobs grew up in Half Moon Bay, California, with his parents, a nurse and a businessman, and his younger sister, Arielle, who is also an actress. 

"My parents were always so supportive of us, but neither of them are in the industry," he says. "My mom is very artistic — but my dad, on the other hand, isn't at all, which is kind of funny. He's basically tone-deaf. But his mom, my grandmother, was a cabaret singer in Vegas, so I guess it skipped a generation."

Jacobs began performing when he was just five years old.

In middle school he got into musical theater — and as a high school student at St. Ignatius College Preparatory, he landed the leading roles of Billy Bigelow in "Carousel," and Che in "Evita," among many others, with the support of his mentor, Peter Devine.

"He was my English teacher and drama teacher, and he sort of took me under his wing," Jacobs says. "He also helped me come to the decision that I wanted to pursue this career."

Adam Jacobs and Arielle JacobsJacobs' first professional gig came in 1998 after a representative from the San Francisco Opera noticed him during his "Evita" performance and invited Jacobs to audition for a part in the opera based on the life of Harvey Milk. He landed the part of "Young Harvey."

Then, after earning a BFA in theater from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Jacobs continued working in regional theaters, theme parks, and cruise ships. "I had to work my way up," he explains.

But his big break did come.

In 2004 Jacobs was cast as Marius in the national tour of "Les Misérables."

He eventually left to marry his wife, Kelly, whom he met while doing a Christmas show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

"When I left, I wrote a letter to the producer and to the casting director, and basically said, 'I'm leaving, but please keep me in mind for the Broadway production.'"

In 2006, Jacobs was cast in the Broadway revival of "Les Mis."

"When it came time for auditions, I actually got to skip the initial rounds and go to the callbacks, where all the creatives were already there making the decisions," he explains. "It was me and the girl who played Cosette — and since we already knew the material, we went in there and we really nailed that audition. I got the part, and that was my Broadway debut," he says, proudly. "Performing on Broadway was always the goal. It's the cream of the crop; it's where you want to be in this business." 

He played the part of Marius in New York City for 14 months. Then, things got tough for a bit.

"It was 2007, and it was a difficult year because I was looking for work," he says. "I thought once I hit Broadway it was going to be so easy, but it wasn't. I still had to audition and I wasn't booking anything, and I was getting a little worried."

But things turned around when Jacobs got the opportunity to go on the road with "Mamma Mia!" which he did for 12 months before landing a role he had been auditioning for since he had graduated from college eight years prior: Simba in Disney's "The Lion King."

"I had been wanting that role forever, but each time I auditioned I was just not right or the timing wasn't right," Jacobs says. "The casting director would give me notes and I would work on my audition and come back again and again. And then it finally just clicked, and the role was available, so they put me out on the road with 'The Lion King' for a year then on Broadway for another 12 months." 

He says this is a common pattern in theater — going out on the road with a show, then coming to the Broadway production. "They sort of see that as you paying your dues. It's like a year-long audition."

Adam JacobsIt was in October of 2010 — when Jacobs was still on the road with "The Lion King" — that he got the first call about "Aladdin."

"I was in Chicago and the producers of Disney Theatrical saw me and said, 'You'd be perfect to work on 'Aladdin,'' and so they actually flew me out from Chicago — they took me off the road for a week — and I had to come to New York to work on the first developmental lab reading of the show."

He says he didn't know "Aladdin" was in the works, but was thrilled the get the call. "To be hand-picked by the producers really made me feel like I had reached a milestone in my career. It was just so cool."

Once that week was over, Jacobs went back on the road with "The Lion King," and when he came back to New York to play Simba on Broadway, he continued doing "Aladdin" readings and presentations for Disney executives.

"We actually got to read for Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, himself — and had to have a lot of people sign off on the show. Then, I eventually did have to audition for the director in late 2011 or early 2012, because they decided to hire Tony award-winning director Casey Nicholaw from 'Book of Mormon.'"

Once he impressed Nicholaw, it was a done deal.

The show opened in Seattle in July 2011, then headed to Toronto. It wasn't until early 2014 that "Aladdin" finally debuted on Broadway.

"The process took a total of three years, but it was worth the wait," Jacobs explains. "The book writer would go to each place and work on it and try and fine-tune it before bringing it to New York. Disney was really smart in that way."

Adam Jacobs and FamilyOn Jan. 27, 2014, the first day of rehearsal in New York, Jacobs' twins, Jack and Alex, were born.

"My life is just a little different now," he jokes. "But being their dad is the most amazing thing in the world."

The "second coolest thing" to happen to Jacobs this year: He was invited to perform at the 2014 Tony's at Radio City Music Hall.

"It was my first time doing that, and knowing it was in front of millions of people watching on television, and all of these famous people sitting there, gave me a huge rush. The Genie, James Monroe Iglehart, won the Tony award later that night for his performance, so that was really exciting and we all cheered for him. The whole experience was just amazing."

Adam JacobsThe best part of the job, aside from meeting his fans, is the work-life balance it offers, Jacobs says.

"I'm really like everyone else. I've got my wife and kids at home and they are my priority. I love spending time with them, and what's cool about this job is that I do actually get a fair amount of time at home. I only have to be at the theater for, really, a total of four hours every day. So the rest of that time I'm free. (Except on two-show days, obviously, when I have to be there for longer.)"

The toughest part about his job: maintaining his health.

"People don't realize that doing eight shows a week is like running a marathon, and we are like athletes. We have to be disciplined. I don't drink alcohol except on a Sunday because my days off are on Mondays. I make sure I eat well and try to get as much sleep as I can, and I take my vitamins and all that good stuff. We have to pace ourselves, and be smart about not going out after shows."

Jacobs wouldn't comment on how long he plans to stay on Broadway, but says he "wouldn't mind eventually getting into teaching."

"I like working with kids and young performers. Maybe down the line my wife and I will open a performing arts studio, or do some voice lessons. But that's a ways away."

And finally, he says, his biggest piece of advice for aspiring Broadway stars is: don't let anyone take the passion you have for performing away from you. "It can be a tough business — and competitive. But if you work and train hard, and believe in yourself, and persevere, you will be successful."

SEE ALSO: 'Aladdin' Actor Reveals A Typical Day In The Life Of A Broadway Star

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The 50 Most Expensive Private High Schools In America


Cate School, Private Schools, Most Expensive

There are some things you get from a private school that you just can't get from a public school: free iPads, farm-to-table catered lunches, and international study opportunities. It's a world class education, for top dollar.

This is our fourth annual list of the 50 most expensive private high schools in the U.S. — and the schools are getting more and more pricey every year. Many of them appear in New York City, where the cost of living (and learning) is one of the highest in the country.

To create this list, we looked at tuition and mandatory fees (including one-time fees where applicable) to calculate the total cost for the 2014-2015 school year. In instances where the school listed a range of expected expenditures for books and other required materials, we used the average. Special needs schools and boarding-only schools were not taken into consideration for this list.

50. Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Location: Natick, Massachusetts

Tuition and fees: $41,000

Enrollment: 300

Day students can request to "affiliate" with one of the dorms on campus in order to have access to common rooms and resources, and bond with their residential classmates.

Methodology: Rankings are based on tuition and fees for daytime-only students in grades 9 through 12 for the 2014-2015 school year. Boarding-only schools and special-needs high schools were not included.

49. The Taft School

Location: Watertown, Connecticut

Tuition and fees: $41,045

Enrollment: 576

The school's mascot, the rhino, was chosen in honor of a popular student in the late '80s who apparently ran like a rhino when he was playing soccer.

Methodology: Rankings are based on tuition and fees for daytime-only students in grades 9 through 12 for the 2014-2015 school year. Boarding-only schools and special-needs high schools were not included.

48. Brooks School

Location: North Andover, Massachusetts

Tuition and fees: $41,311

Enrollment: 380

Students participate in afternoon programs in the arts, sports, and community service; if they're passionate about another subject or issue, they also have the option of designing their own afternoon programs.

Methodology: Rankings are based on tuition and fees for daytime-only students in grades 9 through 12 for the 2014-2015 school year. Boarding-only schools and special-needs high schools were not included.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

10 Amazing Photos From National Geographic's 2014 Photo Contest


National Geographic opened up its annual photo contest for submissions last month, and the photos have been pouring in. With only a month left until the call for entries closes, this year's batch of entries looks to be as strong as the previous year's, with tons of breathtaking moments and stunning scenes captured on film.

Photos are divided into three different categories: People, Places, and Nature. The winning photos in the contest, chosen by a panel of National Geographic photographers, will be published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic and each photographer will receive $2,500, with the grand prize winner receiving $7,500 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC.

National Geographic shared a selection of this year's entries with Business Insider. You can enter your own photos here up until October 31st. The winners will be announced in early December.

Photographer Carey Nash visited Ethiopia for a three-week adventure. He camped near this woman's village in the Omo Valley. The Omo Valley is home to some of the most unique and ancient tribes in the world, and they are currently in danger of being pushed off their land.06_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 03_279398_people.JPG

This stunning sunset was seen over Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in South Iceland. Francesco Riccardo Iacomino photographed the sky using a long exposure to capture incredible detail.01_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 02_279269_places

In the Strezlecki Desert in Australia, a flock of Galahs drink from the only water available at the base of this tree.11_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 09_279822_nature

Photographer Colin MacKenzie caught this Polar Bear cub playing on iceflows in Svalbard near Norway. This is the male cub.09_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 08_279767_nature

This photo shows an authentic industrial diver system. It is part of a collection of a retired diver who worked during the 1950s with this equipment in Lake Geneva. The equipment weighs 140 pounds and air is supplied by a manual pump operated by two people.31_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 22_281326_people.JPG

This photo was taken on Baronda Trail in Big Sur. It's hard to see because of the fog, but the sea is in the distance.12_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 10_279928_places

This beautiful jellyfish was seen floating horizontally in Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, California.28_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 22_281230_nature.JPG

There are many curious green turtles off the coast of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Photographer Montse Grillo spends much of his time photographing the affectionate creatures.20_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 17_280621_nature.JPG

Young women dress up and have their faces painted to celebrate the Mexican holiday La Dia De Los Muertos in Oaxaca, Mexico.16_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 15_280421_people.JPG

At Burning Man, nothing is more intense than the Thunderdome, run by a group called The Death Guild. In the Thunderdome, combatants use foam bats to assault each other for five minutes while the crowd cheers on from on top the dome. 33_NG_Photo_Contest_2014 09 23_281442_places.JPG

SEE ALSO: An American Is Documenting His 4-Year Tour Of Africa With Incredible Photos

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New Map Shows The Best Places In The World To Grow Old


Global AgeWatch Index 2014

The Global AgeWatch Index has released a ranking of the best countries in which to grow old.

The map shows how 96 countries ranked. Countries in green have a lower number on the Index ranking, meaning there is a better quality of life for older people. Countries in red have a higher number on the Index ranking, meaning the quality of life for older people is not as good. 

You can view the full list of rankings here. Below is a list of the top 10 countries.

1. Norway knocked Sweden out of the top spot in 2014. Here's why it made No. 1.

2. Sweden ranked No. 1 in 2013. 

3. Switzerland has the best public transport for older people: 83% people over 50 are satisfied with the local public transportation system.

4.Canada has the most self-confident population of older people: 100% of residents over 50 feel their life has meaning. 

5.Germany makes up the largest share of the older population out of the ranked European countries, with 27% of all Germans over age 60. 

6.The Netherlands spends the largest share of GDP on public pension plans — every Dutchman over 65 receives a monthly pension of $1,405.

7. Iceland has the lowest poverty/age rate: Only 1.6% of Icelanders over 60 earn less than half of the median income.

8. The United States has the largest aging population of the top 10: 65 million. 

9. Japan has the highest life expectancy out of the top 10: 86 years.

10. New Zealand has the lowest GDP per capita at $25,270.  

SEE ALSO: Why I Want To Die By 75

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A New Law Could Force Billionaire Vinod Khosla To Sell His Land If He Doesn't Open Access To The Beach


vinod khosla court

The losses keep piling up for Vinod Khosla, prominent Silicon Valley VC and cofounder of Sun Microsystems.

Last week, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach ruled that Khosla must seek a permit from the California Coastal Commission before locking the gates that lead down to Martin's Beach, a small surfer's haven in the Bay Area. 

Khosla blocked public access to the beach after purchasing a 53-acre parcel there in 2008. He reportedly paid $37.5 million for the property. 

Surfrider Foundation, an environmental organization with strong ties to Martin's Beach, filed suit against Khosla in March 2013. 

martin's beach

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Khosla's lawyers have been considering an appeal to the case that would preserve the billionaire's property rights.

But now, a new bill signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown Tuesday requires the State Lands Commission to negotiate the purchase of a public right-of-way access through his private property and down onto the beach.

If the commission cannot reach an agreement with Khosla by January 1, 2016, it can use eminent domain to force a sale of Khosla's property. 

The bill, SB 968, was introduced by State Senator Jerry Hill in February. It was approved by the State Senate in August and had been awaiting approval by Brown. 

Hill told the Mercury News that the signing of the law is an "affirmation of the public's right to their beaches and the idea that no one is above the law and no one can buy a beach."

martin's beachBeach access is a hot topic in California, and Martin's Beach is a particularly beloved spot. 

"It really shows the popularity of the issue, that the local Senator thought it was important enough to his constituents to push this bill through the Senate," Chad Nelsen, Environmental Director for the Surfrider Foundation, said to Business Insider in September. 

SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley Billionaire Vinod Khosla Forced To Allow Access To The Beach He Had Blocked

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Apple's Design Guru Jony Ive Really Likes This $1,100 Lamp From A Famous Italian Designer (AAPL)


Sir Jony Ive Knighted

Vogue magazine profiled Apple's design leader, Jony Ive

In the profile, we get a sense of what things he likes. As one of the most influential designers in the world, it's always interesting to learn about what influences him. 

According to the story, he likes suits from British tailor Thomas Mahon. He drives a Bently, an Aston Martin, or a Land Rover. He hates the design of American cars.

The thing that stood out the most to use was that he likes Castiglionis' Snoopy lamp. He also likes, "another Castiglioni that’s a parabolic glass that sits quite low."

This is the Snoopy lamp on display at Sotheby's last year. This lamp shade is red since it was part of Ive's charity auction for Product Red. He made a custom version of the lamp. Normally, the lamp shade is black.

Snoopy lamp

You can buy the Snoopy lamp for $1,094 at Stardust

The lamp was designed by Italian brothers Achille and Pier Castiglioni in 1967. The lamp shade was inspired by the Snoopy cartoon character. The base of the lamp is Italian marble. Stardust calls it,  "one of the undisputed mid century modern lighting classics."

Here it is in black:

snoopy lamp

The other lamp Ive mentions is probably this one:

taccia lamp

This lamp is the Taccia Lamp, designed by Achille in 1958. It sells for $2,995. The lamp is quite large, 21.25-inches tall.  Stardust Modern, which sells the lamp says, "As far as classics go; the Flos Taccia lamp is the most beautiful lamp ever created."

It also quotes Castiglioni as saying, "We consider it the Mercedes of lamps, a symbol of success: perhaps because it looks like the shaft of a classical column."

NOW WATCH: A Chinese Artist Has Done Something Incredible With Paper


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