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The Best Dessert From Every State

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Woodside Bakery

A delicious dessert is the ultimate, cherry-on-top ending to any meal. Just as most of us have personal preferences for our go-to cakes and pastries, each state has iconic favorites as well. 

In celebration of National Dessert Day, we put together a list of the best desserts from around the US, from Georgia's peach cobbler to fresh cinnamon rolls in Montana. 

We scoured high and low for the ultimate treats in every state, using reviews, recommendations, and of course, our own sweet tooth. Did we miss your local favorite? Let us know in the comments.

ALABAMA: Alabama is proud of its moon pies, and Felix's Fish Camp in Mobile takes the graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate-dipped dessert a step further, pairing it with ice cream in a Moon Pie Sundae.

Felix's Fish Camp



ALASKA: Alaska is famous for its plentiful, fresh berries. You can sample them with the Triple Berry Pie, filled with local raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, from A Pie Stop in Anchorage.

A Pie Stop



ARIZONA: While Phoenix's Urban Cookies may be best known for its iconic cookies, the bakery also has incredible cupcakes, which were featured on the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars."

Urban Cookies



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The World's 'Worst Airline' In North Korea Actually Isn't Half Bad

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Air KoryoAir Koryo, the state-owned airline run by the North Korean government, has regularly been called the "world's worst airline." The airline is the only one in the world to have a "one star" rating on airline rating website Skytrax, thanks to its aging planes, perfunctory stewardesses, barely edible food, and propaganda handed out onboard.

But as the DPRK ramps up its tourism sector, are things still as bad as people say?

Photographer Aram Pan recently flew aboard one of Air Koryo's Ilyushin Il-18s. Pan, who has flown in and out of Pyongyang many times, had never flown on one of Air Koryo's older propeller planes.

"It was an experience I will remember for a long, long time," he tells Business Insider.

The Il-18, first operated by the Soviet Union's national airline Aeroflot in 1957, served as the workhorse airliner for the superpower for the much of the Cold War. These days, with Aeroflot's fleet dominated by Boeings and Airbuses, only in North Korea can you still fly on the Soviet Unions Cold War relics. 

While the fixtures on the airliner seemed rudimentary compared to today's standards, Pan arrived at his destination in one piece, surviving to share these photos with us. For more photos of North Korea by Aram Pan, visit his Facebook page.

As you'll quickly learn, everything on Air Koryo is a little (or a lot) outdated. Pan's bags were weighed at Samjiyon Airport using an old school method.



Pan was greeted by stewardesses who seemed friendly enough.



On board, Pan could see the aging plane in all its former glory. This aircraft is currently banned from flying in and out of the EU, due to safety concerns. Air Koryo's newer TU-204s have been deemed 'safe' to enter Europe, though.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






$95 A Year For Google Express Is The Best Money I'll Ever Spend (GOOG)

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google_shopping1.JPG

In July, I decided to sign up for Google Shopping Express at 1 p.m. on a Thursday.

By 1:15 p.m., I finished placing my order and quickly realized that my life from that moment onward would be different. 

And later that same day, at 7:20 p.m., when my items showed up at the door, I decided that I'm never shopping at a brick-and-mortar store for sundries ever again.

There are quite a few entries in the same-day delivery field. There's AmazonFresh and Instacart. There's Safeway and Wal-Mart. 

Google announced on Monday a new pricing scheme (and a new name) for its shopping service. It's now called Google Express, and it costs $95 per year or a flat fee of $4.99 per order (or $7.99 per order if it's under $15). And there's no need to tip the person delivering your goods. According to Google, the drivers are "compensated accordingly."

You also get three months free, and orders above $15 can be delivered in the same day for free. (Orders below $15 will cost $3 per order for same-day delivery.) 

That's a paltry sum for the amount of time and energy I'm saving. 

The Interface

Google Express has an iOS app, an Android app, obviously, and it's available on the web. It's pretty straightforward to use, and the interface looks just like any shopping site.

Setup is easy. You link it with your Google account and a credit card that's stored in Google Wallet. And then you get to do the fun part: Shop. And you can share your account for free with one other person who lives in your house.

I live just south of San Francisco, on what's called the Peninsula (and just a little north of Google's campus in Mountain View). Google Express is available in San Francisco, the Peninsula and San Jose, West Los Angeles, Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Stores range from Costco to REI and Whole Foods. Which stores are available to peruse varies by location. 

Shopping Express stores

So essentially, I could order paper towels from Costco and a ukulele from Guitar Center, all in the same order. 

You can also order alcohol if you live in the Bay Area, but someone with a valid ID needs to be at home when the order is delivered. And you can enter store reward and membership card numbers. 

You then pick when you want the order delivered, choosing among 3- or 4-hour blocks throughout the day. You also can leave delivery instructions, and you can let them know whether you'll accept a substitution if the store is out of your first choice. 

The Competition

google_shopping2.PNGThere are a few things that Google Express lacks that others have. AmazonFresh offers 1-hour time slots. It also allows you to order fresh groceries, such as meat and eggs, and milk. And you can order frozen foods. 

AmazonFresh offers a free 30-day trial, and then you will be charged $299, which includes all the benefits of Prime. You then get free same-day delivery on orders over $35.

Instacart also offers a membership, called Instacart Express, as well as fresh groceries. For $99 per year, you get free shipping on orders $35 and over. There's a free 14-day trial so new customers can determine if it's right for them.

You don't have to sign up for a membership if you don't want to and can pay a la carte. Your first order is free, and then you pay different prices depending on how quickly you want your items. For example, if you need something in the next hour, you pay $5.99 per order that's $35 or more, but if you can wait a couple hours, it drops to $3.99. And orders less than $35 cost more.

But that three-month free trial period that Google offers is hard to beat. 

It's Not Perfect

justin's peanut butterBecause someone else is shopping for you, there are a couple things that could go wrong. For example, I ordered Justin's Honey Peanut Butter from Whole Foods, and instead they delivered Vanilla Almond Butter.

But getting that remedied was easy enough. There's a "report a problem" link on the order page. 

Within an hour, I got an email back.

"How frustrating, though — so sorry you ordered Justin's Peanut Butter, Honey but received Vanilla Almond Butter instead," the email said.

Frustrating, indeed! 

If a mistake happens, there's no need to return the item. You can keep it or donate it. If the correct item is available, you choose a new delivery time and they will deliver in the time block you specify.

If the correct item isn't available, you get a full refund. And you get to keep the vanilla almond butter! Not bad.

Never Leaving My House

Google has made a $500 million investment in Google Express, according to Re/code. And Sameer Samat, Google's vice president of shopping, told The Wall Street Journal that adding the new fees and making more deliveries per trip will make Google Express profitable over the long term, despite the costs of hiring a fast-moving delivery fleet.

Because its service isn't competing directly with grocery stores — on the contrary, it's sourcing all of its groceries from stores near you — it's only a matter of time before other stores partner up with Google to offer an even larger breadth of products. With the announcement on Monday, Google says that its added 16 more merchants just within the last few months.  

And the service itself is great: Glass jars are wrapped nicely in paper. Things that could potentially leak all over your stuff are sealed in a plastic bag. 

If I coupled Google Express with one of the other sites that delivers fresh groceries, I could see myself never leaving the house for groceries again. 

I've reached peak laziness. And I'm definitely OK with that. 

SEE ALSO: Google Expands Its Express Delivery Service, Further Challenging Amazon

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Facebook Billionaire Sheryl Sandberg Sold Her Silicon Valley Mansion For $9.25 Million

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Sheryl Sandberg David Goldberg house Atherton

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has offloaded her seven-bedroom home in ritzy Atherton, California, Trulia reports

According to property records, the couple sold the property for $9.25 million in September. They recently upgraded to a sleek contemporary home in nearby Menlo Park, closer to Facebook headquarters. 

She purchased the 11,430-square-foot estate with her husband, SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg, for $7.995 million in 2004, when she was still a top executive at Google. 

The home is located in Atherton, the Silicon Valley town that was recently named the most expensive zip code in the country.

sheryl sandberg houseIt has three stories and is situated at the end of a gated driveway.

sheryl sandberg house

There's a total of seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, plus a home theater, recreation room, wine cellar, and fitness center with a sauna.

sheryl sandberg house

It also has an expansive backyard.

sheryl sandberg house

There's a gorgeous view of the surrounding woods from the back patio.

sheryl sandberg house

There's also a guest house with a full kitchen and bathroom.

sheryl sandberg house

SEE ALSO: Take A Tour Of Mark Zuckerberg's Gigantic New $100 Million Property In Hawaii

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7 Awesome Things To Do Before You're 40

Scientists Recreated A 170-Year-Old Beer Found In A Shipwreck

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Stallhagen1842

Scientists in Belgium have accurately recreated a beer found in an 1842 shipwreck off the coast of Finland. And now you can try it, as Finnish brewery Stallhagen has been tasked with its (re)production and bringing it to market.

The 19th century beer was found in 2010 during an exploration of the ship and was perfectly preserved 50 meters down in the dark, cold environment of the wreck. 

“Based on the micro-organisms in the bottles, we were able to figure out which type of yeast and bacteria were used by the beer’s 19th-century brewers. This information allowed us to trace the beer back to Belgium,” Professor Gert De Rouck told The Guardian.

The government of the autonomous Finnish region of the Åland Islands, where the shipwreck was located, claimed the finding and asked VTT Technical Research Center of Finland to analyze it. They recreated it with help from the University of Leven's Institute for Beer Research. 

"The VTT results gave knowledge of alcohol content, Colour, and bitterness of the beer. The
living cells still present in the bottle helped us to determine the type of yeasts and bacteria
used to produce this beer," De Rouck said.

Stallhagen 1842 Fancy

So how does a 170-year-old beer taste? Surprisingly sweet, it turns out. Because of the way the malt was produced and the smaller amount of hops used, the beer takes on what Stallhagen's CEO  Jan Wennström calls a "champagne taste" that is more akin to a wine taste profile than a beer one.

Two beers are being released: A more expensive version using the exact same yeast and hops as the original brew found in the shipwreck that sells for $143 a bottle, and a more affordable version that uses replica ingredients and only sells for about $7 a bottle.

A portion of the proceeds from the later version, which is expected to see a global market, are expected to fund marine archaeological research as well as research of the history and environment of the Baltic Sea, according to Minister for Culture Johan Ehn of Åland.

SEE ALSO: The Definitive Explanation For Why Beer Gets Skunked

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Go Inside The Creepy Abandoned Mall Featured In 'Gone Girl'

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hawthorne mall

Those of you who have seen David Fincher's new drama, "Gone Girl," will certainly remember the creepy and ominous abandoned mall visited by police in the semi-fictional town of East Carthage, Missouri.

For those of you haven't seen the movie (go see it now!), we won't spoil anything, other than to say that the setting was mysterious and fascinatingly foreboding. The location fits perfectly with the cold, dark, and eerie mood of the movie.

The abandoned mall is actually not in Missouri at all, but instead is a "dead mall" in Hawthorne, California, southwest of Los Angeles.

While initially popular when it opened in 1977, The Hawthorne Plaza Mall saw a steady decline in the 90's and finally closed its doors in 1999.hawthorne mall

Since then, the mall has been a popular spot for Hollywood location scouts. "Gone Girl" is not the only movie to film there. Other productions have included "Evolution," "Minority Report," "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift," and "The Green Hornet."hawthorne mall

The mall originally was anchored by department stores J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward, and The Broadway. Today, only a Quiznos and a few government offices remain open.hawthorne mall

The mall is 900,000 square feet and features a five-acre parking lot, though not many cars park there anymore.hawthorne mall

Hawthorne Plaza was looted in the Los Angeles riots of 1992, and from there, things never got much better for the mall.hawthorne mall

Police Officer (and celebrity food critic) Chris Cognac grabbed these shots when he visited the mall during a security check prior to some demolition inside the building. hawthorne mall

Currently, there are no plans to remodel or renovate the mall. At the very least, it will continue to serve Hollywood as a spooky place to film movies.hawthorne mall

To see more, check out this video inside the mall, made by YouTuber Tom Explores Los Angeles:

SEE ALSO: 21 Hauntingly Beautiful Photos Of Deserted Shopping Malls

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The Right Men's Shoes For Every Type Of Pants

Check Out The Teeny Mercedes-Benz SUV Made For Urban Driving

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Mercedes-Benz GLA compact SUV mountain road

The Mercedes-Benz GLA, a compact SUV designed to compete with cars like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, hit the market last month.

After showing off a flashy concept version of the ride at the Shanghai Motor Show last year, Mercedes officially debuted the GLA at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The GLA starts at just over $33,000 and does 0-62 mph in 7.1 seconds. Fuel economy is a remarkable 54 miles per gallon with the most efficient, diesel-powered version — which, sadly, hasn't made it to the U.S.

The German automaker says the little SUV is capable in moderate off-road conditions, but that it's especially practical for "day-to-day urban lifestyle" driving.

And of course, it's filled with the little luxury features and trims that set Mercedes-Benz cars apart from the rest of the pack.

[An earlier version of this article was written by Alex Davies.]

Here's the GLA concept car Mercedes showed off at the Shanghai Motor Show last year.



Mercedes-Benz bills the GLA as a compact SUV that's both capable off-road and practical for everyday driving.



The GLA is a rather small package as Mercedes go.



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This Is Why Apple Paying For Egg Freezing Is Great News For Women (AAPL, FB)

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An egg

Tuesday morning the news broke that Facebook and Apple would help cover female employees’ elective procedures to freeze their eggs, at a cost of up to $20,000.

Make no mistake: This is great news for women in tech.

At first it seems a little creepy — are these companies encouraging egg freezing?  — but in reality this is a move that removes a major financial barrier to women being able to control their reproductive timelines, at a time in their careers when even the most well-off might not have an extra $20,000 laying around.

As it stands, the age of 35 is an albatross for most women. If you wait much longer, your fertility declines (gradually, but declining all the same). Sure, a natural, biological conception can happen, but it’s much harder. Freezing eggs helps to put off the psychological panic that comes with knowing that you are approaching fertility decline and still seeing years of long hours in the office ahead of you. Men don’t have the same fertility decline. Having a newborn might be just as hard at 40 as it is at 30 for a father. There’s no need for men to panic that if they decide not to have children in their early 30s they can never change their mind.

The major argument against this, made most eloquently by Nitasha Tiku, seems to be that “the perk enforces Silicon Valley's obsessive work mentality.”

America’s culture of overwork is a giant but separate issue. Changing the culture is a lofty goal (which I agree with!). But that’s moving a mountain. This is opening an existing tunnel through the mountain to a group that was previously forced to go around. Given the culture of overwork is one that exists, this is a great policy for women. There’s ampleevidence that one of the major barriers to gender equality at work is women’s ability to participate fully during the first decade of their careers.

It also seems a little far-fetched that “female employees will feel pressured to freeze their eggs rather than take time out to have children, just like everyone feels pressured to always be on call to the office ... ” Those are two hugely different things! Freezing your eggs is not like mindlessly checking a phone during dinner. It’s horrible! It’s painful! Regardless of financial cost, there’s a physical and emotional toll that most women are not going to pay.  

Then there’s the reality that the option to freeze eggs doesn’t stop the biological clock. There are plenty of women (most of them, I’ll bet you) who are going to want to have children before age 35. The time off, the career setbacks, the pay inequity — all trade-offs that high-achieving women knowingly accept when they decide to have a kid. To most women, it’s worth it, and will continue to be worth it.

Practically, this isn’t about changing the system. It’s is about making it easier for ambitious women to exist in the world we have. And we should applaud the companies that give women this choice.

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13 Bizarre College Courses Being Offered Right Now

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robert kirkman new zombies

Mid-terms are coming up for many of America's college students, but not all of them are studying up on their calculus and comparative historical European literature.

These days, universities offer classes on everything from zombies to porn to aliens, and tie traditional courses of study to popular singers, shows and movies. You can now study political theory through "The Hunger Games," philosophy through "Star Trek," and gender politics through Beyoncé.

Learn about global issues by becoming a guerrilla activist.

Guerrilla Altruism: A Mini-Manual of Subversive Activism – Temple University

This Temple University course investigates the strategies of contemporary "guerrilla artists and activists, reformers and humanitarians" to help solve global problems like poverty and educational disparity. The course is influenced by Argentine guerrilla leader Che Guevara

The best part may be the opportunity for students to become guerrilla activists themselves, "culminating in the design and realization of one or more small-scale humanitarian interventions within Temple's surrounding communities."



Study political theory through "The Hunger Games."

"The Hunger Games:" Class, Politics and Marketing — American University

American University in Washington, DC has been quick to attach some serious topics to a pop-culture phenomenon. "The Hunger Games" book trilogy about kids who compete in death matches has spawned a blockbuster movies series making millions worldwide, and now it has its own study unit.

"Using the series as a case study, this course examines the interplay of class, politics, ethics, and marketing. Topics covered include oppression, feminism, food deserts, rebellion, the publishing industry, and social media marketing," the course guide states.



Have a close encounter with aliens.

Aliens: Close Encounters of a Multidisciplinary Kind — Hampshire College

The first sentence of the description for this Hampshire College course says it all: "This course can be summed up as: everything you wanted to know about aliens but were afraid to ask (a scientist)."

The class covers everything from psychological and sociological factors behind alien abduction claims to the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






Here's Where The Richest 10% Control The Bulk Of A Country's Wealth

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Credit Suisse released a huge report on the distribution of global wealth. Among lots of other interesting results, like that the social democracies of Scandinavia are less equal than much of the rest of Europe, the 2014 "Global Wealth Report" includes data on the share of national wealth owned by the top 10% of the populations of a number of countries.

Here's the percentage share of wealth owned by the top 10% in the countries included in Credit Suisse's study:

top ten percent wealth share world map png

Russia's top 10% owns an incredible 84.8% of that country's wealth. On the opposite end of the scale, only two countries' top 10% own less than half of national wealth: Belgium at 47.2% and Japan at 48.5%.

The development of wealth inequality over the last few years is also interesting. Here's the change in the wealth share of the top 10% between 2000 and 2014. Countries in blue saw the top decile's share shrink, while the elites of the countries in red had their shares grow:

top ten percent wealth share change map corrected

The wealth shares of the top 10% grew dramatically since the turn of the century in a number of emerging markets like Egypt and China, while declining in places as diverse as Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Poland. In Peru, the US, and Australia, there was no change in the wealth share over this time period.

Here's the income share of the top ten percent in each country, and the change in that share between 2000 and 2014:

top ten percent wealth share table

For more insights on the state of wealth in the world, check out the report here.

SEE ALSO: Here's How Much You Need To Make To Be In The Top 1% In Your State

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11 Things You Didn't Know You Could Use Pinterest For

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laptops students

Even though Pinterest is the fastest-growing content sharing platform, some people still assume that it's only for cupcake pictures and wedding inspiration. 

Not even close to true.

There are a bunch of ways that people are using Pinterest that you may never have thought of. 

Because it's possible to play videos directly from Pinterest, you can create playlists



A bunch of Pinterest users post workout inspiration, which means you can build a fitness plan through the site.



When you pin food pictures, Pinterest will often list the recipe, making an automatic grocery list if you find something you can't wait to make!



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Gulfstream Just Unveiled Two New Incredibly Spacious Jets For Business Travelers

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Gulfstream G500 G600

Washington (AFP) - Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation on Tuesday unveiled two new business jets and announced orders were lining up from Flexjet and Qatar Airways.

The two all-new aircraft -- dubbed Gulfstream G500 and G600 -- optimize speed, have spacious cabins and are equipped with advanced flight decks, said the Savannah, Georgia-based company, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

According to Gulfstream, the G500 can fly long distances at high speed, including from New York to Geneva at 685 miles (1102 kilometers) per hour.

G500 - Interior

The larger G600 can fly further, the company said, including a potential non-stop flight from Los Angeles to London at 685 miles per hour, or from Los Angeles to Shanghai at 647 miles per hour.

Both will be able to carry up to 19 passengers, with multiple living spaces.

The first flight of the G500 is scheduled for 2015. Gulfstream estimated it will receive type certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency in 2017 and begin deliveries in 2018.

G500

The G600 will follow about 12 to 18 months behind, entering service in 2019, the company said.

Flexjet, a provider of fractional aircraft ownership services, is the launch customer for the two jets. Flexjet signed an order Tuesday for up to 50 Gulfstream aircraft, including the existing G450 as well as the new G500 and G650, Gulfstream said.

A separate agreement with Qatar Airways includes the purchase of up to 20 aircraft, with orders for the G500 and G650ER, an extended-range version whose first delivery is expected in 2015.

Gulfstream did not provide details on the number of specific airplanes or the financial terms involved in the Flexjet and Qatar Airways agreements.

Shares in parent General Dynamics, a US aerospace and defense company based in northern Virginia near Washington, rose 0.5 percent to $118.89 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

NOW WATCH: We Did The Math: Is Uber Really Cheaper Than A Taxi?

 

SEE ALSO: Tour The Gulfstream G650, The Best Private Jet $65 Million Can Buy

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Here's What The 'Dude You're Getting A Dell' Guy Is Doing Today

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Ben Curtis is a 33-year-old actor best known for his role as the "Dell Dude." He appeared in 26 different commercials for the once goliath PC company in the early 2000s and became a national sensation for his "Dude, you're getting a Dell!" catchphrase.

After the cops busted Curtis for attempting to buy drugs, though, Dell immediately severed ties with the young actor. Curtis tells us about his time as the "Dell Dude," how much money he made, where all that money went, and what he's up to now.

Produced by Will Wei. Additional camera by Justin Gmoser.

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Meet The Richest Person In Every State

The 15 Best Dining Halls On College Campuses

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Bowdoin College

While the food usually pales in comparison to other aspects of the college experience, some schools have really stepped up their game in recent years.

And we're talking, locally-grown, vegan-friendly, lobster-on-the-reg type of game. 

We looked college-centric sites like Princeton Review, and lists from food publications like The Daily Meal and Thrillist to get the most comprehensive idea of which schools are truly gourmet.

Bon Appétit.

Bowdoin College hosts a lobster bake for students at the beginning of every school year.

Even though the school has only two dining halls, their options are plenty gourmet. They top nearly every list with meals like, "mussels in butter sauce, haddock with jalapeños, squash fettuccine, and roasted root vegetables with polenta."

Rated #4 on Princeton Review for best campus dining, their salad bar features fruits and veggies from the campus’s organic garden, with other ingredients from local providers. Finally, Bowdoin students are invited to the Down East Lobster Bake to celebrate the start of each school year.

They even post their recipes online and have their own app



Cornell has an awesome brunch with a make-your-own pancake station.

Cornell hosts a ton of delectable events.

They host a "Night at Hogwarts," which features British fare, butterbeer, chocolate frogs, and live owls from the Cornell raptor program.

Their Sunday brunch includes a create your own pancake bar with fillers like M&M's, fruit, and sprinkles and batters like pumpkin and blueberry. They also have a create your own omelet bar.

In their Cornell Dairy shop, they sell ice cream, milk, yogurt, pudding, and Big Red Cheddar produced from Cornell's dairy processing plant. 



Johns Hopkins University offers classy options like a brunch with live jazz, and food and wine pairing events.

Snagging the #2 spot on The Daily Meal rankings this year, Johns Hopkins’ hosts food and wine pairings for seniors and cooking classes in right residence halls that focus on healthy eating. 

They're also another school that takes its brunch seriously. Once a month they host a fancy feast with with a live jazz band, with meals that include baked brie, shrimp cocktail, bananas foster, cinder-brined pork, and butternut squash & leek frittata.

The coffee shop, Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company, on campus offers locally-roasted fair trade coffees and teas as well as a host of refreshing smoothies. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






Here's Why You Shouldn't Trust The Pictures On Hotel Websites

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the resort_445x367

Hotels aren't always completely honest when it comes to the photos they post on their websites.

Professional reviewers from the hotel review website Oyster visited vacation properties from Barbados to Boston, and the photos they took didn't quite match up with the online fantasy.

If you're thinking of booking a warm getaway as the cold weather sets in, let these "photo fakeouts" serve as a cautionary tale against relying solely on hotels' marketing materials. Some are so egregious, you'll think you are looking at pictures of two completely different properties.

FANTASY: A rooftop haven at New York City's Dream Downtown.



REALITY: That's one skinny pool.

Read about the Dream Downtown at Oyster >



FANTASY: The Sugar Cane Club in Barbados looks like the perfect spot for romance.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider






How To Spot A Fake Luxury Watch

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woman holding a Rolex watch

Collecting luxury watches is an expensive hobby.

With some brands costing upward of $1 million, it can be tempting to try to find the best deals out there.

But collectors have to be very careful — counterfeit watches are not only flooding the market, but they keep getting more and more convincing.

“The prices of counterfeit watches seem to be getting more expensive all the time,” Timothy Gordon, a generalist appraiser and a consulting expert for the global online marketplace Lofty, told Business Insider. “As with anything fine, if there’s money involved, the counterfeiters are certainly on the trail.”

Gordon has been in the appraisal business for 25 years and even runs his own company, Timothy Gordon Appraisers. Below are his top tips for spotting and avoiding counterfeit luxury watches.

Do Your Research

A Patek Philippe wristwatch from the collection of musician Eric Clapton is on display at Christie's auction houseBefore you even think about buying a luxury watch, you need to do ample research on the brand and the models you’re interested in buying.

“When you’re looking at potential counterfeit watches, you have to inform yourself as to what a real one is like,” Gordon told Business Insider. “You need to know what it feels like, looks like, how much it weighs, and what it sounds like.”

You can easily search top brands and models online to get a feel for the watch, but another great resource is the records from top auction houses, whose bread and butter is spotting fake watches. 

“When you look at the records of Christie’sSotheby’sHeritage Auctions, or Bonhams, those people have been in the business for decades and decades,” Gordon said. “Go into their auction result databases because you’re going to find past watch models that you can familiarize yourself with alongside photos and pricing. That will give you an accurate idea of what to expect from the real thing.” 

Gordon advises buyers to be ready to match and identify these five factors:

  1. Material. The material, finishing, and color of counterfeit watches will sometimes be slightly off. Gold watches should also be hallmarked (you can always ask to get the watch tested to be safe).
  2. Weight. Counterfeit watches are usually made with cheaper materials and are lighter than the original.
  3. Type faces and engravings. Engravings on fine watches are generally sharper and more distinct. Type faces can differ in size and shape, too, and the really bad counterfeit watches will have spelling errors. 
  4. Movement. The most important thing to look out for is the watch’s movement. No matter how good a counterfeit watch looks, it’s not going to have better movement than the real thing. Consult with a watch expert and have him or her examine the watch and its internal mechanisms. 
  5. Sound. Another factor that can tell you how good the movement is can be the sound of the watch. Most really fine watches have extremely smooth mechanisms, which means there won’t be the ticking sound you expect with cheaper watches. If the watch ticks loudly, don't buy it.

Know The Seller

watch auction seller Gold watches and jewelry confiscated from Peru's former head of Intelligence Vladimiro MontesinosObviously if someone leads you into a dark ally and tries to sell you a Rolex, chances are that watch is a fake.

But it can be harder to spot a shady deal from seemingly trustworthy sellers. Not only do you have to research the watch itself, but it’s imperative that you research your dealer, too. 

“Look for an established dealer with a good reputation,” Gordon said. “Buying a watch from a reputable business that’s more expensive is always better than buying a cheaper version from an untrustworthy merchant.”

At the end of the day, it’s the seller’s guarantee that matters.

Paperwork Is Important 

A rare pink gold perpetual chronograph by Patek Philippe is displayed during an auction preview at Christie's in Geneva watchNot every vintage watch will come with a certificate of authenticity, but you’ll feel a whole lot better if it does.

“When watches don’t have paperwork, that could be because in the past buyers of watches have separated the paperwork from the timepiece,” Gordon said. “But I always like to see watches with certificates, matching serial numbers, and boxes.” 

Not only does the paperwork provide a tangible history of the piece, but it can quantify the value of the watch and make it worth much more in the long run, too.

Learn The History Of The Watch’s Ownership

RolexSpeaking of the watch’s history, if your seller doesn’t know the vintage watch’s provenance (history of ownership), that’s a bad sign. 

“Check into the history of the watch’s ownership,” Gordon said. “If it’s coming from a private dealer or collector, is it an estate piece? Ask who had it before, or where it was located. Some dealers will want to be confidential, but every authentic vintage watch has a past.”

Final Red Flags

Patek Philippe ref. 1527 watch with perpetual calendar and chronograph during an auction preview at Christie's in GenevaLow Prices: "Let’s say that you’re being offered a watch, and the price is way below what those auctioneers are getting,” Gordon told us. “Ask yourself, 'Why is it so low?' If a beautiful Cartier sold at an auction house for $100,000 and you’re being told $50,000, question why you're getting such a good deal."

Quick Deals: Don't ever feel rushed into making a luxury watch purchase. If a seller seems in a hurry, that's a bad sign. "You don't want to go buy a watch from a Saturday night liquidation sale without doing your due diligence," Gordon said. "Slow down and don't just pull the trigger without doing any research."

And as always, when it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"Sure, there's a one and a million chance that you might walk into an antique mall and find a super valuable watch just sitting in there, but buyer beware," Gordon said.

SEE ALSO: The 24 Most Expensive Watches Ever Sold At Auction

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