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10 Foods Taking Over The American Diet


American dietary preferences are changing.

Research firm NPD Group has revealed the top 10 foods that have surged in popularity over the past decade. 

The firm surveyed consumers about their eating habits and compared it with data from a decade ago, according to Nation's Restaurant News, which first published the report.

Foods that fared the best were ones that could be easily prepared and consumed at home, NPD said in a news release. 

"We are still leaving the cooking to others. With restaurant visits down, the manufacturers of our foods are filling more of the need," NPD Vice President Harry Balzer said in the release

Here are the 10 foods taking over the American diet. 

10. Pancakes

The number of Americans who consumed pancakes at least once over 2 weeks increased 5.3%, according to NPD. 


9. Chips

Chip consumption increased by 6.1%. 

lay's potato chips contest

8. Ice Cream Sandwiches

The frozen treats increased by 6.2%. 

ice cream sandwich

7. Bars

Prepackaged bars, which could include granola or cereal, saw consumption grow by 6.7%. 

kashi berry lemonade granola bar

6. Fresh Fruit

The Americans surveyed consumed 7% more fruit. 

Fruit Berries

5. Mexican Food

Fueled by a growing Hispanic population, consumption surged 8.3%. 

Houston tacos

4. Poultry Sandwiches

Consumption of chicken and turkey sandwiches grew by 8.3%. 

chick fil a chicken sandwich

3. Pizza

Pizza's popularity is up by 9.6%. 

pizza cheese

2. Bottled Water

Bottled water consumption grew by 10.7%. 

Sparkling Bottled Water

1. Yogurt

Americans consuming the dairy staple at least once in 2 weeks grew by 12.5%. 


SEE ALSO: 8 Mindblowing Facts About Pizza

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The 25 Best Private High Schools In America


phillips exeter academy

Prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire is the best private high school in America, according to a new ranking from school data site Niche.

Exeter, which has around 1,000 students, scored particularly high marks for its teachers and academics.

Niche combined community reviews and hard data to compile its private school ranking. The site ranks over 100,000 schools based on 27 million reviews from more than 300,000 students and parents, who rated schools in areas like academics, teachers, student culture and diversity, and resources and facilities, among others.

25. Head-Royce School—Oakland, Calif.

Academics: A

Student Culture & Diversity: A+

Former students say"At the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA, many of the students are welcoming and kind. You will rarely see a student not involved in anything on campus. A majority of the student body is involved in either sports, clubs, or the arts, or even all three. Head-Royce encourages their students to be individuals while being a part of a whole.

Peer pressure was not an issue when I went to school here and in my experience, we practiced acceptance of any individuals and their differences. As a private school, we had a small student body and we mostly knew everyone. So when the "ally" campaign to support the coming out of LGBTQ individuals, we were all very supportive of each other and there was a no tolerance rule for rude and insensitive comments."

24. Chadwick School—Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

Academics: A+

Student Culture & Diversity: A

Former students say: "I've had lots of opportunities and have had great experiences at this school. I would definitely do it all over again. This school has shaped me into the person I am today."

"They're [teachers] understanding and very approachable. They help make the Chadwick experience worth it."

23. Menlo School—Atherton, Calif.

Academics: A+

Student Culture & Diversity: A

Former students say: "Academics are top-priority. The pressure to succeed is prevalent, and `being in the top quintile of students is a formidable accomplishment."

"I really enjoyed Menlo. It gave me the opportunity to meet lot of new people and do different things. I liked most of my teachers and classmates. I made lifelong friends. I would definitely recommend this school if you want to be exposed to new and different things in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. People like to participate in sports, drama, dancing shows, go to dance, travel, etc."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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These Screenshots Show Why 'Video Game High School' Is So Popular


vghs video game high school

If you think video games are big now, just think how big they would be if we reached the point of truly immersive virtual reality.

In this future, playing a video game would feel like you were actually questing through mystical lands, racing sports cars, or fighting with guns, all without the possibility of physical harm. Everyone would play video games, and elite gamers would play in school or professional leagues, and star players would be celebrities.

This vision is the premise of "Video Game High School," a Kickstarter-backed show that is being promoted as part of a huge YouTube ad campaignThe first episode currently has around 12 million views on YouTube and a rabid fan base. Now in its third season, the show can also be seen at the home of RocketJump Studios as well as Netflix and other paid streaming sites.

"VGHS" is smart, funny, ambitious, and well-made, so it's no wonder that it's blowing up. For a preview, check out the highlights in our Episode One Spoilers.

Sometime in the future, there's a kid named Brian Doheny who doesn't have a lot of friends. In this picture, bullies are about to steal his digital possessions.

Brian lives with his single mother who is addicted to video games, living her whole life in some alternate reality.

The kid gets his kicks playing first-person shooters, and right now he's hurrying to join a game that started without him.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Deal With 'White Whiskey'


whiskey aging Jack Daniel's distillery

Whiskey is not white, it is brown. That, to me, is part of its appeal. It is very clear that you are not drinking vodka when you drink whiskey, and vodka is for people who can't drink.

At least, that's what I'm told.

I've also recently been told that there's this thing called "white whiskey." It is whiskey, but it is not brown. I had to investigate.

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People Who Think They're Too Busy To Get An MBA Are Wrong — And Here's Why


This video is sponsored by FlexPath by Capella University.


Many of us think about going back to graduate school ... someday. Getting an MBA or other degree could help you get a promotion, switch careers, or just earn respect from family, friends, and colleagues.

But with work and family keeping us busy, who has the time for classes and homework? Plus, every time you take a new course, you're paying additional tuition fees.

Capella University's FlexPath, an innovative online degree program tailored to working professionals, aims to disrupt the traditional university model by addressing precisely those issues. Scott Kinney, Capella's president, explains how FlexPath lets students use the knowledge they’ve learned on the job to move at their own pace through the program and earn their degree.

"What our learners value is the control," says Kinney. We traveled to Capella Tower in Minneapolis to speak with Kinney about how FlexPath can, as he puts it, "change the face and the future of higher education." Watch the video above to learn more.

Find out more about Sponsored Content.


SEE ALSO: INFOGRAPHIC: What's Keeping You From Going Back To School?

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Glenmorangie's Top Distiller Walks Us Through The 'Ridiculous' Process Of Creating Great Whisky


Dr. Bill glass of whisky

This post is sponsored by Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Dr. William "Bill" Lumsden has a mouthful of a job title: director of distilling and whisky creation at Glenmorangie Distillery in Scotland.

"I laugh when I tell that to people," he says. "My business card should be sized A4."

An enthusiastic supporter of single-malt whisky, Lumsden fell in love with Scotch after his first sip of 10-year-old Glenmorangie Original back in 1984. 

"I had a sip of Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky, and it changed everything. I suppose it was my destiny," he says. "Now, I'm responsible for Glenmorangie. I owe that glass a debt of gratitude." 

But what if Lumsden hadn't had that decisive dram? "Perhaps I'd be a fashion designer or involved in fabric. I love the cut and fabric of suits, their interplay," he says.

His penchant for fine clothing has come in handy on the spirits-awards circuit (yes, that exists). He's the only person to have been honored three times with the Malt Advocate Industry Leader of the Year Award.

What's more, he has a tabby named Morangie the Cat. 

Making Scotch is an exacting process, but creating Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky, which is known for its high standards of craftsmanship, well, what does that take? BI Studios spoke to Lumsden recently while he was in New York City.

You broke into the whisky industry as a scientist. Did you really write your Ph.D. thesis on yeast physiology?

Yes. That might be a little unusual. Most people work their way through the various parts of the organization, but I came into this field as a scientist. After working for a few years in the laboratory, I wanted to actually make whisky, rather than research it.

What is your typical day like? 

No two days are the same. It involves looking after the production at Glenmorangie distillery, the selection of barrels for the whisky, and the development of new products. I do a lot of other things, too, such as educating people on single-malt whisky. I'm also making sure we procure the best malted barley, or traveling around the world to examine the wood to be used in the Glenmorangie whisky barrels.

What's so distinctive about how Glenmorangie's single malt is made?

We employ a very high-quality, low-production process. At every stage, we are fanatical about making sure the whisky is as good as it can possibly be. It starts with a rigid specification for malted barley. And we very jealously guard our water supply. We're the only distillery in Scotland to have hard mineral water. There's the distillation process and the selection of the barrel.


You're well known for your strict criteria for selecting barrels. 

You can actually make perfectly good whisky using standard ex-bourbon barrels, but the barrels we use are our own unique specifications. It takes eight to 10 years from the tree first being cut down to the first filling of spirit at Glenmorangie. We are the only distillery to do that. And if you take a step back and think about it, it's frankly verging on the ridiculous. 

We hand-select the wood — tight-grained oak, with a small growth pattern. That type of wood has a more porous structure. Normally, when the tree is cut down, it's sent to the sawmill and then dried. It usually takes eight weeks from the tree being felled to the first filling of American bourbon whiskey. That's a very short time. I prefer to have my wood cut at the sawmill and then have the wood season in the open air for a minimum of two years, often three.

Barrels are then filled with American whiskey for four years to take the final bit of woodiness out. Only then does it finally come to Glenmorangie for eight to nine years. Mind, if I didn't do that, I could make a perfectly acceptable Scotch whisky. But a perfectly acceptable whisky isn't good enough. It has to be way better than that. 

There's the barley, the water, and the barrel. What about the distillation? 

In 1877, the gentleman who rebuilt our distillery erected the tallest stills in Scotland, and it had a profound effect on the character of Glenmorangie whisky. It gave the whisky great delicacy and finesse. A tall still like ours acts like filter, and its pear shape makes the spirit seem almost perfumed. But the fact that the whisky is so delicate means that it will ruthlessly expose any off-flavor. We have to be very careful and precise when we're distilling.

How would you sum up your job? 

I'd say that if anyone ever opens a bottle of Glenmorangie and finds it to be no good, then it's my fault. It's a heavy responsibility. 

Learn more about Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky

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Meet The 18-Year-Old Starting A Hedge Fund In His Dorm Room


julian marchese, dorm room

Julian Marchese was 9 years old when he made his first trade. In high school, he cut school on Fed Days.

When the Canadian finance wunderkind was just a teenager, he developed a quantitative, long-short equity strategy that runs on an automated basis on his computer. Investing his parents' money, he saw returns that would make any amateur day trader jealous.

Now a freshman student at NYU's Stern School of Business, Marchese and a partner at Yale are trying to launch a hedge fund out of their dorm rooms. Somehow, Marchese makes juggling school work with a social life and fledgling career as a hedge fund manager look like anyone could do it.

Julian Marchese, 18, lives in New York University's Founders Hall, home to 700 first-year students. His room on the 24th floor also serves as an interim office for Remora Capital, the nascent hedge fund he's founding with a partner at Yale.

Marchese, a native of Toronto, Canada, has developed a quantitative, long-short equity strategy that runs on an automated basis on a computer program. It serves as the backbone of Remora. While he's in class, it can make trades that satisfy his algorithm, which can be simplified as: "If the time is X and the rate of change is Y, buy the stock."

He invented the strategy when he was 14, so he could continue trading during school hours. In his first serious year trading, he made a 20% return on $30,000 of his parents' money in stocks. He took his model to "Dragon's Den," Canada's equivalent to "Shark Tank."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

KRUGMAN: It's Not Just About Hard Work — Dumb Rich Kids Get All The Breaks


New York Times columnist and Princeton economist Paul Krugman spoke with our own Henry Blodget about a range of topics. And then Henry asked him about the super rich in America. Here are Krugman's thoughts on "extreme" wealth and the role of luck.

Produced by Alex Kuzoian. Additional camera by Graham Flanagan and Devan Joseph.

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10 Great Docking Stations For Your Phone, Tablet, And Laptop


Trying to figure out which docking station you need can be extremely frustrating. Some won't sync with your phone model, while others are too clunky.

So we've done the hard work for you.

Here is Insider Picks' list of 10 great docking stations. Whether you're looking for one that doesn't take up a lot of room, or one that can hold all your tech accessories — we have it here.

Bamboo Multi Device Charging Station
$35.00 (+ $7.99 shipping) | Amazon

  • Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 9.17.19 PMKeep smartphone, laptop, tablet, and other devices organized right on your desk
  • Room for up to 3 smartphones in the front
  • Rear dividers can hold 2 laptops or tablets
  • Magnetically secured base conceals cords
  • Base includes elastic strips to organize wires

Amazon Rating: 4 Stars
You can read reviews here.


EasyAcc Black Leather Multiple Device Charging Station Dock
$59.99$38.99 | Amazon (Prime Eligible)

  • Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 9.27.08 PMClutter-eliminating: lets you conveniently organize your cables and devices
  • Firm, keeps your devices in the position you left them in
  • Room for five or more devices
  • Magnetic base: ensures easy assembly and dis-assembly
  • Elastic straps: keep your cables neat and save space

Amazon Rating: 4.5 Stars
You can read reviews here.


Avantree Powerhouse Universal Multi- device USB Desktop Charging Station 
$49.99 | Amazon (Prime Eligible)

Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 9.29.10 PM

  • This multi-USB charging station enables you to keep 4 devices topped up simultaneously
  • 4.5 Amp output: a fast way to charge your tablets and smartphones
  • Ideal for a desk because it's so compact in design
  • Supports all mobile devices on the market
  • Comes with 2 short micro USB charging cables

Amazon Rating: 4.5 Stars
You can read reviews here.


Cable Matters SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station
$189.99 $89.99 | Amazon (Prime Eligible)

Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 9.35.31 PM

  • Connect up to 6 USB devices, and HDMI/DVI display or HDTV
  • Audio output for headphones, audio input for a microphone
  • Supports the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Data transfer rate up to 5 Gbps
  • Includes Cable Matters Limited One Year Warranty and Product Support 

Amazon Rating: 4 Stars
You can read reviews here.



Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station
$117.95$89.00 | Amazon (Pri
me Eligible)

Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 9.42.08 PM

  • Provides SuperSpeed USB 3.0 link from PC to video, Gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and two USB 3.0 ports
  • Docking station for use with web and productivity software; not recommended for gaming
  • Comes with 20W AC power adapter, USB 3.0, DVI-to-VGA, and DVI-to-HDMI
  • Note: Not a charging station

Amazon Rating: 4.5 Stars
You can read reviews here.

Pyle Home PIDOCK 1

$57.99$21.40 | Amazon (Prime Eligible)

Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 9.45.58 PM

  • Dock station with remote control system
  • Works for all iPods
  • Includes audio and charging cables
  • Synchronize with iTunes on your personal computer or laptop

Amazon Rating: 3.5 Stars
You can read reviews here.


Philips DC390/37 Dual-Docking 30-Pin Speak Dock
$149.99$59.99 | Amazon (Prime Eligible)

Philips DC390/37 Docking station

  • Play and charge your iPhone, iPad or iPhone simultaneously with this dual-docking speaker clock
  • Digital tuning with preset stations
  • Tuner bands: FM with 20 preset stations
  • Auto clock synchronization when docked

Amazon Rating: 4 Stars
You can read reviews here.


Philips AJ7035D/37 Aluminum Docking System 
$99.99$49.95 | Amazon (Prime Eligible)

Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 9.58.29 PM

  • Play and charge your iPhone or iPod simultaneously
  • Free HomeStudio app for enhanced wake-up and radio experiences
  • iPhones and iPods can be docked in their cases
  • Auto clock synchronization with the iPhone/iPod is docked

Amazon Rating: 4 Stars
You can read reviews here.


LuguLake Portable Bluetooth Speaker
$89.99$37.99 | Amazon (Prime Eligible)

Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 10.00.36 PM

  • Wireless Bluetooth speaker with stand function
  • With a 3.5 mm auxiliary input to connect external non-Bluetooth devices
  • Suitable for smartphones, tablets, and iPad

Amazon Rating: 4.5 Stars
You can read reviews here.


Diamond Multimedia Ultra Dock
$200.00$97.50 | Amazon

Screen Shot 2014 11 16 at 10.05.47 PM

  • Compliant to USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports, and 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • Universal docking station with Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and DVI outputs
  • Audio input and output for Laptop, Ultrabook, MacBook, Windows (8, 7, XP, and Mac OS)
  • Headphone jack for private listening

Amazon Rating: 3.5 Stars
You can read reviews here.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

SEE MORE: Check Out Our Past Insider Picks Here

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Airbnb Is Releasing Its Own Print Magazine — Here's What It Looks Like Inside


airbnb pineapple

Airbnb announced today that it will start publishing a print magazine highlighting the people and local flavors you can experience while traveling. 

Called "Pineapple" in reference to the traditional symbol of hospitality, the magazine will be published quarterly and distributed to 18,000 Airbnb hosts for free.

It will be formally unveiled during Airbnb Open, a conference for hosts that kicks off this Friday. 

"Travel on Airbnb is about more than sightseeing and consuming, it’s about connections and community,"  Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall said in a press release announcing the news.

"Our new magazine, Pineapple, will combine the emotional and practical sides of traveling by giving a comprehensive guide to neighborhoods and cities, as well as capturing the sense of belonging that comes from a memorable trip."

Pineapple will focus on a wide range of topics related to travel, including food, art, culture, and fashion. Similar to Airbnb's website and other marketing materials, Pineapple's editorial will place an emphasis on photography and design. 

Each issue will highlight three featured cities. The first issue will feature photo essays, neighborhood reviews, and profiles for London, Seoul, and San Francisco.

"We want this publication to represent a generation of people who learn from one another and build ties and connections to the places where they feel they belong," the introduction to the winter 2014 issue reads. "It should inspire and motivate exploration, not just within the cities featured, but within any space a reader finds themselves." 

airbnb pineappleairbnb pineappleThe magazine will feature stories from hosts and people who have traveled using Airbnb.

airbnb pineappleThe 128-page magazine has no ads, though Andrew Schapiro, Airbnb's head of creative, told the New York Times the company would be looking at "ways of scaling this idea going forward." 

airbnb pineappleairbnb pineapple

SEE ALSO: 10 Amazing Boats You Can Rent On Airbnb

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The Macallan Released A $300 'Rare Cask' Scotch Whisky


the macallan rare cask

The last time The Macallan released a limited edition scotch whisky (sold only at its distillery in Speyside, Scotland) the line outside the door was long enough to disrupt the distillery's day to day activities.

"The workers were both amused and a little annoyed because it made it difficult for them to get to work in the morning," said Craig Bridger, The Macallan's brand ambassador. "It was alarming how quickly the rare cask sold out." 

This latest release, The Macallan Rare Cask, will only be sold in the United States, so Speyside's distillers are free to go about their business in peace. Lucky for them, and lucky for us.

Instead, all the chaos will ensue around liquor stories down by Wall Street and up to Midtown.

Here's why. What makes The Macallan Rare Cask so rare goes back to the casks The Macallan uses to age the whisky, Bridger explained. A team led by The Macallan's master distiller goes to Spain pick the sherry casks — made of oak, of course. Those casks are "seasoned" sherry for 18 months, are then dried and sent to Scotland. It's a five year process.

"This is really an homage to our wood program," said Bridger. "We're one of a small handful of whisky producers, and certainly the biggest one, that doesn't use artificial coloring."

That's right, he said "wood program." They even have a Master of Wood. His name is Scott MacPherson, in case you were wondering.

After the team finds 100 casks that are up to snuff, they take those casks back to the sample room at The Macallan distillery. There they take samples and nose the whisky that comes from those casks after they've been proofed down.

Only the whisky in casks that survive that test get bottled. Inside the bottle is a scotch that manages that starts out with a bold, spicy taste and leaves your tongue with a light citrus taste.

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: The Largest Private House In The UK Is On The Market For $11.1 Million



The largest private house in the United Kingdom with over 250,000 square feet and 365 rooms has gone on sale for a surprisingly paltry $11.1 million, according to The Daily Mail.

In its prime, the Wentworth Woodhouse estate was the height of aristocratic English society. It sat on the richest seams of coal in South Yorkshire just as the Industrial Revolution was taking off — and seemed to be the center of infinite wealth. 

Built by First Marquess of Rockingham, the home took so long to build that the eastern and western wings of the home were built in different architectural styles (the east side is early-18th century Baroque while the west is mid-18th century Palladian). 

It is so staggeringly massive that guests to the Wentworth Woodhouse were actually given baskets of confetti to scatter as a trail so that they wouldn't get lost on their way back to their rooms at the end of the evening, according to The Daily Mail

Click here to tour the home >

The palatial Wentworth Woodhouse is steeped in history, too. The Fitzwilliam family, who inherited the estate after the 2nd Marquess died, were thought to be the inspiration behind Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” They were the 6th wealthiest landowners in the country at the time and the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam is thought to be the real-life counterpart to Austen's dreamy Fitzwilliam Darcy.  

The Fitzwilliams threw Gatsby-esque parties, and guests would sometimes meet on the train back to London to discover that they had both been in the same house party all weekend, according to the Daily Mail.

But after World War II, the property was ripped to shreds by the government. There was a national shortage of coal, and the Minister Of Fuel and Power ordered the grounds of the house to be dug up for opencast mining. 

The house was headed for a ruin, and when the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam died in a plane crash on a scandalous rendezvous with JFK’s sister Kathleen ‘Kick’ Kennedy in 1948, the home was turned over and became a college of physical education. 

In 1999, the Newbold family bought the estate and have spent years trying to restore the home to its original glory. The family is now selling the estate for a reported £7 million or $11.1 million, although it still needs an estimated $42 million in repairs. 

Welcome to the esteemed Wentworth Woodhouse. It is twice the size of the Buckingham Palace and once employed a staff of over 1,000.

The Wentworth Woodhouse is being sold with nearly 90 acres of parkland, several resident statues, and a chandelier that is too big to be removed.

The open-cast mining by the government came right up to the edge of the main lawn on this side of the house. The Newbold family spent 15 years trying to remain damages.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Forget IMAX — The Next Big Thing For Movie Theaters Is 4DX


4DX is the latest technology transforming the movie experience. 4DX cinema rumbles, rocks, sways, vibrates, smokes, strobes, sprays water, tickles your legs and even introduces smells. 

Los Angeles is now the first and only US city to have a 4DX theater, showcasing the latest version that includes three motion effects and eight environmental effects.

Produced by Devan Joseph. Video courtesy of Associated Press.

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15 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Ireland


Ireland is home to incredibly peaceful cemeteries, gorgeous castles, an awesome landscape of bogs, beaches, and cliffs, and of course, Guinness.

As I learned in a nine-day trip around Ireland and its sibling Northern Ireland, this island is one of the most magically friendly places on Earth. 

Here are fifteen reasons to visit. 

1. The Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, are super rugged. Here's the wreck of the Plassy, a steam trawler that got blown off course during a severe storm in 1960.plassy shipreck

2. The beaches in Ireland aren't lazy Californian affairs. They're majestically badass. Here: Rossbeigh Beach in the the southwestern county of Kerry. 

Rossbeigh Beach, Ireland

3. Monasteries like Kylemore Abbey in County Galway are outrageously peaceful. The Irish church was far from the influence of Rome, so it developed its own Celtic style.

kylemore abbey

4. Irish cuisine is completely underestimated. Get beyond the potato with poached salmon, bacon and cabbage, and steak and Guinness pie. 

steak guinness

5. The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, is a strange and beautiful natural wonder. Legend has it that the Finn McCool, a beloved Irish giant, built the causeway to pick a fight with a Scottish giant, but they were actually formed by an ancient volcanic eruption.

giants causeway

6. Bogs — wetlands created by heaps of peat — are beautiful. About 16% of the island is "bogland," as they say over there, and before electricity peat was a primary fuel used to warm homes. Sometimes they turn up 4,000 year old human bodies, perfectly preserved through the odd chemistry of the wetland.   


7. Ring forts, circular forts which were built in the Middle Ages, are totally awesome. They were most often used as enclosed farmsteads. There are over 45,000 ring forts around Ireland.


8. Guinness is one of the finest beverages on Earth. That's why 10 million glasses are sold every day around the world, making for over 850 million litres sold a year — enough to fill 340 Olympic-sized swimming pools with foamy deliciousness.


9. There are ruined medieval castles all over the country. Dunluce Castle, which sits perilously above the Irish Sea in Northern Ireland, is one of the most stunning castles, surrounded by steep drops into the sea. On a stormy night in 1639 most of the cliffside fell into the waters below, including several of the castle walls.

dunluce castle northern ireland

10. The Slieve League cliffs in the far northwest of Ireland feel like the edge of the world.

slieve cliffs

11. Trinity College in Dublin is where many literary greats got their start. Alumni include Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Bram Stoker, just to name a few. The library's Long Room, pictured here, served as a setting in the Harry Potter films.

trinity college library

12. Hills and graveyards are the punctuation marks of the Irish countryside. It's beautiful when they come together, like under the expansive skies of northwestern County Donegal.

irish graveyard

13. Hundreds of "standing stones" — 3,000 to 5,000 year old monuments made of a single rock driven into the ground — can be seen across Ireland. People think they had an agricultural or religious purpose. But they're so common that if you have one in your yard you probably want to make use of it. 

standing stones

14. Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature, home of legends like Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift. James Joyce may be the city's favorite author — The Modern Library voted his day-in-the-life epic 'Ulysses' as the best novel of the 20th century. 

James Joyce

15. The Burren, a limestone-filled landscape in County Clare, looks like Mars on a nice day. Though it appears desolate, the rugged place is remarkably fertile: The area contains 75% of the country's native species. Plus it knows how to treat you to a nice sunset. Burren Sunset

SEE ALSO: 24 Reasons Sweden Is The Most Delightful Country On Earth

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Billionaire Barry Diller Is Funding A $130 Million Floating Park In The Hudson River


Pier 55

Media mogul Barry Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, have committed to funding a floating public park and performance space on a pier in the Hudson River. 

Their pledge of over $113 million will be the single largest private donation to a public park in New York City history, according to Capital New York.

The new addition to the waterfront will be called Pier 55 and is expected to cost more than $130 million. The City of New York will provide $17 million to the project, while New York State will provide a separate $18 million for the construction of a public esplanade that will lead into the pier.  

Pier 55The park will be built on top of a platform 186 feet off the Hudson River shoreline, which will be supported by 300 mushroom-shaped concrete columns, according to The New York Times. The new space will be built above the flood plain required post-Hurricane Sandy. 

Pier 55The addition to New York's waterfront will also have lush gardens, wandering paths, and a 700-seat amphitheater that will host art events and performances. 

"New York has always reminded me of Venice, so I am happy the time has come to properly honor its waterways," Von Furstenberg said in a press release. 

Pier 55Diller and von Furstenberg’s family foundation created a nonprofit called Pier55 Inc. to maintain the park and commission arts programming for it.

To oversee the park’s performance venues, they have recruited Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin, playwright George C. Wolfe, producer Stephen Daldry, and Kate Horton. 

Pier 55The new pier was designed by Heatherwick Studio, the same company that designed the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games, in collaboration with landscape architect Signe Nielsen. 

"Unexpected topography and captivating spaces will create physical, visual and cultural experiences found nowhere else in the city, much less on the waterfront," Nielsen said in the press release. "The drama and delight of the landscape will make this a magnificent destination that will define a new paradigm of public parks." 

Pier 55Construction for the new pier will begin in 2016 and include the demolition of Pier 54, which once served as the departure point for the Lusitana and was the planned arrival site of the Titanic.

pier 54 nyc"Pier55’s imaginative, almost dreamlike design and artistic ambition will touch everyone who visits. This park will be an invaluable public asset for our city for generations to come," Margaret Newman, executive director of the Municipal Art Society, said in the press release.

Pier 55The pier is expected to be open to the public by late 2019.

SEE ALSO: 31 Stunning Pictures Of American National Parks

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