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This Scientist Is Building A Robot Version Of Himself, And It's The Most Uncanny Thing Ever


robot professorWhile studying at the London College of Communications, photographer Luisa Whitton was commissioned to shoot her dream project: visiting the robotics lab of Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro.

Ishiguro is the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory in Osaka, Japan and one of the world’s leading roboticists.  For nearly a decade, Ishiguro has dedicated his life to creating the most lifelike android possible.  

Once at the lab, Whitton was struck by the casualness of Ishiguro’s mission: create a robot that could replace himself. While working tirelessly to create robotic copies of himself, Ishiguro has been faced with the philosophical question of what it means to be human. He was characteristically blunt with Whitton.

“It’s a question of where the soul is. Japanese people have always been told that a soul can exist in anything and everything. We don’t make much distinction between humans and robots,” Ishiguro told Whitton.

Whitton shared some photos with us here, but you can check out the rest at her website. Whitton is currently raising money on Kickstarter to continue the project.

At the Intelligent Robotics lab, Ishiguro researches the potential for robots to have sonzaikan, which roughly translates to "human presence."

At the Intelligent Robotics lab, Ishiguro researches the potential for robots to have sonzaikan, which roughly translates to “human presence.”

Ishiguro has made numerous android replicas of himself. His goal is to eventually make one that could completely replace him. This is one of his replicas.

The latest version (shown here) is the Geminoid HI-4. It can mimic Ishiguro’s expressions through motion sensors and is capable of displaying a wide range of emotions. In theory, he could send the robot in place of himself to give speeches at conferences or conduct meetings.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's How New York City's Subway System Looked 110 Years Ago


Screen Shot 2014 10 27 at 5.11.09 PM

The New York City subway turned 110 years old on Monday.

To celebrate, Google has created a collection of images and a virtual tour of the old subway trains and station, taken from the New York Transit Museum.

From wood-paneled exteriors with ceiling fans to advertisements from the early 1900s, we've collected our favorite photos that show what riding the subway in 1904 would have been like.

Note: Google Virtual Tour provided by Black Paw Photo.

The journey begins at the subway's turnstiles, which were wooden back then.

The New York Transit Museum was actually created in a decommissioned underground station in Brooklyn.

Vintage signs from the time period are on the walls.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Americans Are Costing Themselves Billions Of Dollars By Working Too Hard


Working Hard

Not taking time off from work isn't just making you more stressed — it's costing you money.

That's because employees who don't use all of their paid time off are essentially working for free during the extra days, a new study says.

The study, paid for by the US Travel Association and conducted by Oxford Economics, finds that American workers lost a staggering $52.4 billion due to unused vacation time in 2013.

That's an average of $504 per worker, all because people are worried what will happen if they take time off.

"Americans are taking the value of their time for granted," Adam Sacks, founder and president of Oxford Economics' Tourism Economics division, says in a statement.

The study says that Americans, known as some of the hardest workers in the western world, are taking even fewer vacation days now than they were in the past.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a survey of 1,303 American workers done by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, Oxford Economics finds that US employees took an average of 16 vacation days in 2013, down from an average of 20.3 days between 1976 and 2000.

Oxford Economics also included this chart, which shows how Americans have started to take fewer vacation days over the past 20 years (note that the bottom of this chart is 14 vacation days and not zero):

US Travel Association chart right size

The study found that if workers were to go back to taking 20 vacation days a year, they would add $284 billion to the US economy, including $118 billion in direct travel spending and another $166 billion spent in other places like restaurants and retail shops.


SEE ALSO: Americans Can't Stop Working, And It's Becoming A Problem

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25 Dogs Whose Halloween Costume Is Better Than Yours



This past Saturday, New York City celebrated the 24th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, and the cuteness was in full effect.

Ewoks, butter sticks, and Beanie Babies roamed the park, striking poses for onlookers incessantly snapping photos with their phones. Owners showed off their pets like proud parents and everyone had a great time.

Business Insider was on the scene to cover the glamour and the madness. We found some time to photograph our favorites, in between constant petting, and we present them to you now.

First, we met the little mariachi singer who serenaded all his guests. No, he did not audition for the Taco Bell commercial many years ago.

"Why so serious?" The joker asked the mariachi singer.

After a long trip at sea, this sailor took time on land to pose for fans.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Harvard Tops US News & World Report's New Global University Ranking


Harvard University

U.S. News & World Report released their inaugural "Best Global Universities Ranking" on Tuesday, naming Harvard University the best school in the world.

U.S. News is known for their national universities and liberal arts college rankings, which this year named Princeton University and Williams College as the top schools in America. Harvard ranked second on the national universities list.

As The Washington Post points out, it's a little odd for U.S. News to have Princeton at the top of their national universities list, but only ranked 13 for global universities. For their new ranking, U.S. News emphasized research prowess and global reputation, while omitting factors such as undergraduate admissions data and graduation rates that play a part in determining their national lists.

"This is about faculty productivity and prestige ... It is meaningful for certain things and not necessarily meaningful for other things. We get that. This is about big muscular research universities doing what research universities claim is their mission," U.S. News Editor Brian Kelly told The Washington Post.

Here are the top 2o universities in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report:

1. Harvard University

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3. University of California, Berkeley

4. Stanford University

5. University of Oxford (United Kingdom)

6. University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

7. California Institute of Technology

8. University of California, Los Angeles

9, University of Chicago

10. Columbia University

11. Johns Hopkins University

12. Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

13. Princeton University

14. University of Michigan

14. University of Toronto (Canada)

14. University of Washington

17. Yale University

18. University of California, San Diego

19. University of Pennsylvania

20. Duke University

SEE ALSO: Princeton, Williams Top New US News & World Report List Of America's Best Colleges

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The Horrible Things That Stress Does To Your Body

Norway's Island Prison For Violent Criminals Looks Like No Prison We've Ever Seen


Bastoey 9 2

About a mile off the coast of Norway, in the Outer Oslofjord, is an island that's home to 115 criminals, including convicted murderers, rapists, and drug dealers.

Yet no barbed-wire-topped walls or electrified fences circle the island, nor do armed guards and attack dogs patrol the grounds. By all accounts, the island prison and its inhabitants live in peace, working together and sharing resources.

Bastøy Prison has been called one of the most liberal prisons in the world. Prisoners and guards work together, tending to farm animals and chopping wood for the winter months. They play cards, ski and play tennis, cook, and take classes. When 3 p.m. rolls around, most of the non-convicts head home, leaving only five guards to keep watch overnight.

The prison is so peaceful that filmmaker Michael Moore filmed on the island for his documentary, "Sicko," but didn't put it in the final cut, thinking no one would believe the place really existed.

Norwegian officials hope that Bastøy, an experiment now in its 32nd year, will rehabilitate prisoners, instilling values of responsibility, trust, leadership, and accountability. And it seems to be working, as recidivism rates for the prison are just 16%. (In the US, the five-year rearrest rate is more than 75%.)

Photographer Espen Eichhöfer visited the island during the winter for a story in Zeit Magazine and brought back these amazing images and stories, which he has shared with us here. 

Bastøy Prison sits on Bastøy Island, a mile off the coast of Norway in a fjord, about 46 miles from the capital city of Oslo. Unlike other island prisons, like Alcatraz or Rikers, which are known for their brutal isolation, Bastøy Prison is known as one of the most liberal prisons in the world.

Here, 115 prisoners mostly live in communal houses, along with 69 prison employees, almost all of whom return to the mainland at day's end. Only five guards remain on the island during the night. The houses include kitchens, living rooms, and private bedrooms.

The basic principles of Bastøy Prison are ones of mutual respect and trust. Prisoners work together in a farm setting, tending to animals and woodworking. Given these responsibilities, officials hope to promote rehabilitation and learning, and lower repeat offenders.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This App Wants To Make Sure You Never Ask For A Check At A Restaurant Again


joe marchese reserve

Last October, Joe Marchese founder of advertising company True [X] was out to dinner with one of his company's earliest employees, Greg Hong. Both agreed that the entire night, from booking a restaurant to paying the bill, could have been more efficient.

That conversation morphed into the idea for Reserve, a mobile concierge service that's backed and advised by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp and a bunch of early Uber investors like Chris Sacca and First Round Capital.

Reserve, which launched on iOS today, is one of Camp's Expa startups. Expa raised about $50 million to be a startup boot camp of sorts. Camp's goal is to churn out 3-4 blockbuster startup hits per year, like a movie studio. He and Marchese knew each other from previous work at Fuse; Marchese pitched him on Reserve and Camp agreed to take it under his wing, although he isn't technically a co-founder. Marchese is co-founder and executive chairman of the board; Hong is co-founder and CEO.

Reserve partners with 20-30 restaurants in three cities: New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Boston is a launch city because Reserve acquired a similar startup there, Soon Spoon, which already had deep restaurant relationships there. The app plans to launch in Washington D.C., London, and San Francisco shortly.

Members in those cities can enter a few details about their party size and what they'd like in a restaurant reservation (Mexican? Thai?), and when they'd like to go. 

reserve app

Restaurants, which are given iPads by Reserve with the app pre-loaded, can see incoming requests and quickly accept or deny them, the same way an Uber driver can quickly decide on a ride request. You can imagine a restaurant having the Reserve app open at the hostess stand, where real-time inventory is managed.

Reserve books a reservation for parties of up to eight people 32 days in advance. It then texts the dinner organizer the details.

Like Uber and OpenTable's new Pay product, credit card information is stored on the application, along with tipping percentage preferences. The app will settle the bill for you without you having to ask for the check, and it takes a $5 flat fee after the reservation is complete.

reserve app

If a reservation time slot is very popular, Reserve has a bidding feature that lets users offer to pay premium pricing to dine there. It's kind of like Uber's surge pricing but for the food industry, and customers can choose how high the surge goes.

Customers will also be charged $10 per head for canceling less than four hours in advance and $25 per head if they no-show.

Currently, Reserve is only available on iOS. It has no feature that will let a booker split a bill with fellow diners, although Hong says that will be built soon. It's also not clear how this solution is different than Open Table's app, which similarly lets bills be seamlessly paid on an app and reservations booked on a phone.

Also, because OpenTable doesn't have an open API to build off of, Reserve is relying on its partnering restaurants to do some leg work when it comes to managing available reservations. They'll have to monitor real-time inventory and updates from Reserve simultaneously on different platforms.

Hong says Reserve's goal is to help restaurants do what they do best: cooking and creating a great customer experience. All the small business aspects of running a restaurant, from booking tables to paying bills, should be handled by light-weight technology like Reserve.

"We want to be a strong partner to our restaurants," says Hong. "For us, it's how do we partner with restaurants and deliver exceptional hospitality...We want to make [the dining concierge service] widely available. Reserve is almost like someone holding your hand for everything that isn't actually going on inside the restaurant."

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An African Restaurant In Minnesota Has Been Forced To Change Its Menu Over Ebola Fears


Mama Ti's African Kitchen

 Since the Ebola panic began in the US, the Liberian themed restaurant MaMa Ti’s African Kitchen in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota has seen a drastic 50% loss in sales, according to KMSP-TV Fox 9 News.

Customers are staying away from the three-year-old business out of fear of contracting the disease that is spreading rapidly throughout West Africa. 

The African name that once brought people in is now causing ridicule and stigmatization, with one customer even flat out asking if MaMa Ti's had Ebola, the restaurant's owner Kellita Whisnant told Fox 9 News.

Whisnant said that it has gotten so bad that people refuse to even shake her hand. 

Fed up with the stigma, she finally gave up and blocked out the word “African” on the restaurant’s sign this past weekend.

“Just putting that tape up there triggered emotions that I keep down, but that really hurt,” Whisnant told KSTP 5 Eyewitness News.

Even though Whisnant is covering her restaurant in fliers with facts about Ebola from the Department of Health, she predicts that her business will not last another three months if things don’t change. 

5 Eyewitness News reports she is even considering changing the entire concept of her restaurant, moving away from her homeland recipes and adding Philly Cheesesteaks to the menu.

Although it has been explicitly stated by the Center for Disease control that you can’t catch the virus through food legally grown or purchased in the US, many still have their worries. 

The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, took his wife and health commissioner out to lunch at the Meatball Shop where Ebola patient Craig Spencer ate last week to dispel such concerns. Blasio wanted to prove that everything was safe and sanitary and tried several items on the menu. 

After the meal, de Blasio told reporters that, "this is a city that does not fall into a pattern of looking at fears. Everyone is going about their business as normal," according to GrubStreet

SEE ALSO: Researchers At Harvard Discovered A New Potential Treatment For Ebola

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Why People Spend Thousands Of Dollars On These Cats

These Are The States That Value Sex Over Love


When it comes to finding mates, priorities vary widely by state.

The new book "Dataclysm," which uses data to examine human trends, shows what each state prioritizes when it comes to sex and love.

Somewhat surprisingly, states that are politically conservative — such as Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming — tend to prioritize sex over love. 

Check out this visualization from the book, which maps answers to the question, "What's more important to you right now, sex or love?":

Dataclysm sex vs love map

Ohio seems to be the outlier in the US. It's the only state that firmly prioritizes love over sex.

Most states are somewhere in the middle, but states in the north-central area of the US seem to be firmly on the side of sex.

Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid and author of "Dataclysm," explains in the book:

In fact, the explanation is rather banal: If you are looking for people to have sex with in a place like Pierre, South Dakota, your local options are limited. So you try a dating site to find what you want. It's simple selection bias in our data ... 

Basically, because people living in certain areas of the country might be more likely to join dating sites than others, this data doesn't come from a representative sample of Americans.

Rudder also notes, however, that he's seen this trend again and again in OkCupid data — the north central and western US identifies as more sexually open, adventurous, and aggressive despite some states' conservative reputation.

Charts reprinted from "Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One's Looking." Copyright © 2014 by Christian Rudder. Published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of Random House LLC.

Dataclysm final cover

SEE ALSO: CHARTS: Guys Like Women In Their Early 20s Regardless Of How Old They Get

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Meet The Lucky Students Who Earn College Scholarships To Play Video Games


robert morris esports

The top professional video gamers in the world can end up making hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to lucrative sponsorship deals and cash prizes.

In June, Chicago-based Robert Morris University turned heads when it announced it would help some students get on track for a career in video gaming, offering scholarships for top gamers to join their varsity eSports team. 

"I was approached by the school to recruit for the team," head coach Ferris Ganzman said to Business Insider. "Basically what we were looking for were people who were competing at a high level, who were trying to get into the professional league." 

The team competes in "League of Legends," a fast-paced game that anyone can download and play for free. Teams of five work together to invade enemy territory and beat challenges, similar to the traditional outdoor game capture the flag.

"League" is the most popular PC game in the world. As of January 2014, it had 27 million active daily players. It's highly competitive, too — players who make it to the World Championships fight for a $1 million prize and a 70-pound trophy. This year's World Championships were held in a Seoul stadium where soccer World Cup games were played in 2002. 

Robert Morris competes in the Collegiate Star League, an organization made up of teams from 103 colleges and universities in the US and Canada. The college is the first to help gamers with their expenses, covering up to 50% of tuition fees and 50% of the cost for room and board for team members.

Of the 35 gamers on the team, 33 are male, and 2 are female. According to athletic director Kurt Melcher, applications and interest in the team skewed heavily male, at a rate of about 80 to 1, he estimated.

Getting a spot on the team was no easy feat, either. 

"To make the top 30, you needed to have a good background in the game. For example, if you're in the top 200 in the world, it was more likely that the coaches would accept you,"  said Zixing Jie, a freshman gamer from Toronto, who plans to major in culinary arts. "Our coach has had competitive coaching experience and has played on pro and amateur teams, so he had a hunch of who would be good."

robert morris esportsMany of the players on Robert Morris' team say a pro gaming career would be a dream come true, and getting practice in collegiate play is a huge advantage. 

"It's definitely the end goal," Adrian Ma, a freshman from Texas, said, adding that he's already received two offers to play professionally. 

"League is a full-time thing. Being able to go to school and have some of your expenses covered is big," Derek Shao, a junior business major from Toronto, said. 

Shao, along with junior Blake Soberanis and others on the 35-person team, transferred from a different school when Robert Morris announced it would be offering eSports scholarships. 

"Our story isn't unique, either. There were a lot of people in the program who also transferred," Shao said.

Shao was one of several players on the team who was able to get a visa from the US government to play video games here. The US started recognizing eSports players as professional athletes in July 2013, according to Forbes 

Though some will question the athlete designation, the eSports team puts in a ton of time perfecting their game. The smaller teams of five play together for four hours, four days of the week, plus individual practice time. All together, they could be spending some 30 to 40 hours a week playing League, in addition to taking a full course load.

robert morris esports

"It can be difficult at times, but we have good support here with the coach and teammates," Shao said. "It’s about managing time correctly."

Plus, they get to practice in amazing facilities that the school opened just for the team this year. Sponsored by a number of gaming companies, including a majority sponsorship by iBUYPOWER, the school's new eSports arena includes 30 computers, projection screens, and all of the latest gaming systems. 

"They each have really nice seats,"Jie said. "All we have to do is play and perform."

They even got gaming uniforms and practice gear as part of a sponsorship deal with eSports company PWNIT WEAR.

robert morris esports

The season is still in its early stages, but the Robert Morris team is currently 2-0 after wins against the University of Kentucky and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"There's a lot on the line," Jie said. "It's very intense, to say the least."

SEE ALSO: Meet The Science Nerd Whose Face Is About To Be Plastered On YouTube Ads Everywhere

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Wall Street Tycoon And Milwaukee Bucks Owner Has Listed His NYC Duplex For $17 Million


271 Central Park West

Wesley Edens, founder of the equity firm Fortress Investment Group and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, has just put his home of 20 years on the market for $17 million, according to the New York Daily News.

With over 6,000 square feet of space, the pre-war classic Upper West Side duplex has six-bedrooms, four-bathrooms, and incredible views of Central Park. 

As you can expect, it's quite the exclusive home.

"This is a very discreet building," Jay Glazer, one of the listing agents with Urban Compass, told the NY Daily News. "It's not your 15 Central Park West. There are only two apartments per floor so it's extremely private."

Glazer and Landis Hosterman of Urban Compass are sharing the listing

Welcome to 271 Central Park West on New York's Upper West Side.

The entryway looks directly into the formal dining room, which has a stunning chandelier and seating for 12.

The spacious living room has high ceilings and large windows that look right out onto Central Park (which is only one block away).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

New Zealand Is Holding A Vote To Dump The Union Jack From Its Flag — Here Are Some Alternative Designs


NZL Flag1

New Zealand announced on Wednesday that it would hold a referendum in 2016 to change its national flag, including getting rid of the British Union Jack design. 

In 2015, the country will choose its favorite design among a handful of alternatives that have been proposed in the past few years. In 2016 another vote will decide between keeping the current flag or switching to the alternative.

The voting process is expected to cost 26 million New Zealand dollars ($21 million), the Associated Press reports. 

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Kay, who supports a change, has guaranteed the country can afford it"Our flag is the most important symbol of our national identity and I believe that this is the right time for New Zealanders to consider changing the design to one that better reflects our status as a modern, independent nation," he said in a statement.

New Zealand's flag currently displays the Southern Cross, a constellation that is also an emblem of Australia, and the Union Jack in the top left corner, a heritage of the British colonial past. It was formally adopted in 1902, when the country was a dominion of the British Empire.

NZL Flag2Young people tend to advocate for a new flag, an emblem that would symbolize the country's national identity, and its Maori heritage, but army veterans are very attached to the current flag and have campaigned for it to stay in place.

The new flag would almost certainly display the silver fern, a symbol of the Maori nation made famous around the world by the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks.

A committee of "respected New Zealanders" will choose the flags for people to vote on. 

There is also a dedicated website, NZFlag.com, where people can propose their designs and argue for or against a change.

Although the official proposals have not been announced, here are some potential designs we have seen floating around the internet. 

This flag is the symbol of the Maori nation, the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand.

NZL Flag3

This proposal tries to bend together the southern cross, which is displayed in the current flag, and the silver fern.

NZL Flag4

This proposal tries to bend together the southern cross, which is displayed in the current flag, and the silver fern.

NZL Flag5

This flag instead displays a simple Maori motif. The green is to represent the flourishing vegetation.

NZL Flag6

This flag chooses to display the southern cross alone. The deep blue symbolizes the ocean of New Zealand, while the Union Jack is taken away.

NZL Flag7

This flag instead uses a white motif to represent the waves of the ocean, while the Union Jack is replaced by a similar emblem with the letters NZ.

NZL Flag8

This flag is the most comprehensive one: there are both Union Jack and the southern cross, while the Silver Fern is represented by the colors in the left side.

NZL Flag9

SEE ALSO: New Zealand Is The 2nd-Best Place In The World To Grow A Business

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20 Photos Of Overcrowded Places That Will Make You Appreciate Your Space


Overcrowded Cities

In seeing a scrambling horde of travelers desperately trying to board a train, or a sea of colorful umbrellas blurring the line where sand meets sea, we are reminded of just how lucky we are to find room to maneuver.  

The current world population of over 7 billion is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the UN. 

These startling images of global landscapes capture the world's vast population already at its most squeezed — from train stations to tower blocks to sunny beaches.

If you're after a sunbed in Qingdao, east China, you'll be queuing for some time.

You might not even get to swim at all at this artificial wave pool in Sichuan province.

And if you find yourself in Liaoning province, close to North Korea, you'd be lucky to find room to do anything at all.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The President Of Beats Electronics Bought This Stunning Hilltop Mansion For $8.5 Million


luke wood house

Luke Wood, president of Beats Electronics, has purchased this gorgeous historic home in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood, Curbed LA reports. It was originally listed for $7.5 million, but sold for $8.55 million after a fierce competition among several potential buyers. 

Built by noted architect John Lautner in the 1960s, the home is nicknamed "Silvertop" for its sloping concrete roof and dramatic appearance. The home has a number of interesting features, including retractable glass walls and a hydraulic dining room table that can be lowered when needed. 

Wood reportedly will complete a historic restoration of the home and hopes to move in with his family by next summer.

The home is located on the top of a hill in Los Angeles' hip Silver Lake neighborhood.

The home is nicknamed "Silvertop" for its domed roof and futuristic look. Movie buffs may recognize it from the 1987 film "Less Than Zero," which starred Robert Downey Jr. and James Spader.

Silvertop was first commissioned for industrialist Kenneth Reiner in 1956, but he went bankrupt before the house was completed. It was then sold to the Burchill family, who have sold it to Wood after nearly 40 years of living on the stunning property.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

9 Fall-Ready Cocktails To Warm You Up This Season


You don't need a heavy wool coat to warm you up as the weather gets colder — just a well-crafted cocktail.

Our friends at Food52 have provided us with the perfect way to shake those autumn chills with the best fall-inspired drink recipes.

From a twist on the classic Hot Toddy to a cider shandy, these cocktails will warm both your hands and your palate.

Dirty Chai Toddy

Dirty Chai ToddyresizedFor a strong drink with "conviction," this dirty chai toddy is sure to satisfy.

Featuring the classic hot toddy combination of espresso and bourbon accented with the spiciness of a good chai, this adventurous drink will take away the cares of the world without putting you to sleep. Served hot.

Follow this recipe to make a Dirty Chai Toddy >>

Apple Rye Punch

appleryepunchresizedFor a taste of fall in a glass, this cold punch is sure to deliver. Containing both regular and hard ciders, the apple flavor is pretty powerful in this drink, so there's no need for top shelf whiskey.

Add your favorite bitters to give the flavor a bit more complexity.

Follow this recipe to make Apple Rye Punch >>

Brown Butter Spiced Ale

brownbutterspicedaleresizedThis unique take on the hot toddy includes 12 ounces of your favorite ale, a splash of brandy, browned butter, and a whole lot of spice.

Garnished with a stick of cinnamon, the Brown Butter Spice Ale will keep you warm as the days grow colder.

Follow this recipe to make Brown Butter Spiced Ale >>

Bumble Brown Punch

bumblebrownpunchresized Another cocktail full of warmth, spice, and ale (are you seeing the pattern?). This time, honey amber lager is called for, as well as rum.

It's served warm with apple slices for garnish and crunch.

Follow this recipe to make Bumble Brown Punch >> 

Maple Pisco Sour

maplepiscosourresizedThis autumn-themed drink is a take on the classic Pisco sour that features real maple syrup. What better way to mix South America with New England?

Follow this recipe to make a Maple Pisco Sour >>


boulevardierresizedA Boulevardier is a before-dinner cocktail, similar to a Negroni. Instead of gin, however, it has a larger proportion (2:1) of bourbon.

Follow this recipe to make a Boulevardier >>

Cider Shandy

cidershandyresizedSummer may be over, but shandy isn't done yet. Switch out the beer for a hard cider and you've got a tasty drink that mixes two season's signature fruits.

It'll stay with you long after all the leaves have fallen from the trees.

Follow this recipe to make Cider Shandy >>

Apple Blow Fizz

appleblowfizzApple brandy gives the apple blow fizz its strong flavor. Top it with cinnamon for an even more fall-like flavor reminiscent of everyone's favorite holiday treat, apple pie.

Follow this recipe to make an Apple Blow Fizz >>

Franklin Stove

mulledciderIf hot mulled cider can warm your bones, what happens when you add a bit of apple brandy? Good things, that's for sure.

Add SNAP, a gingerbread-inspired spirit, and you've got a fall cocktail worthy of its legendary pedigree.

Follow this recipe to make a Franklin Stove >>

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Cocktail Bars In New York City

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The Average American Plans To Spend Over $250 On Halloween This Year


headless horseman halloween

Halloween spending adds up quickly.

A study done by the website CouponCodesPro found that the average American spent $257 on Halloween in 2013.

The site first asked 3,284 respondents which Halloween traditions they participate in every year, then asked how much the participants spent on each of four core holiday activities.

Here are the results:

  • Throwing / attending a Halloween party: $103.50
  • Fancy dress costume: $59.43
  • Decorating the house: $55.12
  • Candy for trick-or-treaters: $39.04

Add those together, and you get $257.09 on mini candy bars and fake vampire fangs — although it pales in comparison to the $2,300 some people spend buying their costumes on ebay.

Yes, these numbers are for last year's holiday, but it doesn't look like things will be much different this October 31.

Nearly 75% of those surveyed said they expect a similar bill this year, and when the site asked if respondents felt that the spending was worth the cost, 63% said it was.

SEE ALSO: I Can't Believe Anyone Pays Full Price For These 7 Things

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Check Out The New Boeing Dreamliner Richard Branson Just Launched With A Gospel Choir


Virgin Atlantic Dreamliner VA_ATLANTA_B072.JPG

Virgin Atlantic Airways chairman Richard Branson introduced the airline's new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to the flying public recently in a ceremony at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 

The adventurous entrepreneur not only showed off the Dreamliner, but also unveiled brand-new daily service between the airline's home base in London and the Georgia state capital. Atlanta is home to Delta Airlines, which purchased 49% of Virgin Atlantic Airways in 2013 for $360 million.

Christened "Birthday Girl" by Virgin Atlantic in honor of the 30th anniversary of the airline's first flight from London Gatwick Airport to Newark Liberty in June of 1984, the 787 entered service this week, flying between London Heathrow and Boston. 

Virgin's Boeing 787-9 fleet will carry up to 264 passengers in 3 separate classes — Upper Class, Premium Economy, and Economy.  The Dreamliner is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Trent turbofan engines and will have a maximum range of 8,500 nautical miles. 

Virgin's debut Dreamliner will be the first stretched 787-9 to fly with a European Airline and will be one of 15 to enter the airline's fleet by 2018. So far, the only other airlines to operate the larger Dreamliner are All Nippon Airways, Air New Zealand, and United Airlines.

As part of increased cooperation with with Delta, Virgin Atlantic will assume one of Delta's daily flights from Atlanta to London this fall. The airline expects to expand service in Atlanta with additional flight to other destinations in the UK.

'I've always loved visiting Atlanta,' Branson said to local news. 'Now I get to visit in style on Virgin Atlantic.'

Virgin's new 787-9 Dreamliner will be able to fly up to an altitude of 40,000 ft. and should be as much as 21% more fuel efficient than the older and larger Airbus A340-300 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft it will replace.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Retailers Got American Kids An Extra Hour To Trick-Or-Treat On Halloween


Daylight saving time 2014

Before 2007, kids had to turn in early on Halloween night because the streets were dark by 5 PM. But after President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act into law, extending Daylight Savings Time (DST) by a week, kids got more time to grab all the candy they could get.

This year, America will roll its clocks an hour back on November 2nd at 2 AM, a couple of days after Halloween.

The law was the end result of intense lobbying. In "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time," author Michael Downing describes how the retail industry makes hundreds of millions of dollars off DST each year and is largely the reason we still change our clocks.

“When we have an hour of sunlight after work, Americans tend to go shopping,” Downing explained to NPR.

The Chamber of Commerce, the golf industry, and the BBQ industry urged Congress to extend DST. As USA Today reported in July 2005, retailers testified during the congressional debate that an extension "would boost business, as people shop more.” 

According to their own testimony, the golf industry told Congress that an additional month of DST was worth $200 million, while the BBQ industry said it was worth $100 million in extra sales of grills and charcoal briquettes.

candy pumpkins

But no one lobbied harder for the extension than the candy industry. According to Downing, it had been trying to extend DST into November since the 1980s just so there would an extra hour of daylight for children to collect even more candy while trick-or-treating, thus forcing people to purchase more sweets to meet demand. 

Candy retailers wanted this so badly that in 1986 they lobbied to extend DST into the beginning of November by putting candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator, according to a press release from the Department of Transportation: 

“Mindful of Halloween trick-or-treating, the National Confectioner’s Association was among those that lobbied Congress unsuccessfully in 1986 to have it extended into November. According to ‘mother time’ Joanne Petrie, an attorney with the Department of Transportation, the confectioners made a valiant attempt and even put little pumpkins with candy on the chairs of the committee members!”

The candy industry, however, disputes this account. The president of the National Confectioners Association Lawrence T. Graham told the New York Times in 2007: “For us to spend time on Capitol Hill and have meetings to get Daylight Saving Time changed — we’re not even sure it would be good for our industry,” he said. “It’s never been a major issue for us, and it’s certainly not now.”

Tiny candy pumpkins or no, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act into law in 2005 and the law went into effect in 2007. This year will be the eighth time DST has fallen after Halloween.

So the next time you’re grumbling about turning back your clocks, remember not to blame farmers (who actually universally oppose DST) but Big Business and the candy industry. 

SEE ALSO: The Most Iconic Halloween Costumes Of The Last 20 Years

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