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Science Says Doing These 3 Simple Things Will Make You More Charismatic


Oprah hug

We tend to think that charisma is something you're born with — that Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Martin Luther King Jr., were able to captivate crowds and connect with individuals since they were kids. 

Not true. 

"Charisma is simply the result of learned behaviors," says Olivia Fox Cobane, author of "The Charisma Myth.

If given the right role models, people can learn those behaviors early. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. grew up with a father who was a preacher and a social activist.

But others need a little more cultivation for charisma to bloom. 

Steve Jobs "came across as bashful and awkward in his earliest presentations," Cobane says. "Jobs painstakingly worked to increase his level of charisma over the years, and you can see the gradual improvement in his public appearances." 

Since being charismatic is an in-road to getting promoted, winning negotiations, and otherwise killing it in business, here are a few science-backed behaviors that will make you more charismatic:

Charismatic people express their feelings. 

"Charismatic individuals express their feelings spontaneously and genuinely," Claremont McKenna College psychologist Ronald E. Riggio says. "This allows them to affect the moods and emotions of others."

It's called emotional contagionor "the tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements with those of another person's, and consequentially, to converge emotionally."

In other words, charisma is largely a matter of strongly expressing your emotions so that they can then "transfer" to the person or people with whom you're speaking. 

Charismatic people use words that people can relate to. 

In his book "Why Presidents Succeed," University of California at Davis psychologist Dean Keith Simonton argues that one thing that separates successful presidents from inconsequential ones is the language they use to connect with people. 

It's about tapping into emotions like hope, hate, love, or greed. 

"People don't have rich [emotional] associations with abstract words like inference, concept, or logic," he tells the APA Monitor. "'I feel your pain' has association, but 'I can relate to your viewpoint' doesn't. The most charismatic presidents reached an emotional connection with people talking not to their brains but to their gut."

Charismatic people mirror the other person. 

Psychologists have found that when two people are getting along, they start to mirror each other's bodies as a sign of trust and safety. Your date crosses their legs, so do you; you take a sip of water, so does your date. 

You can make strategic use of that mimicry. 

In a 2007 study on negotiations, Columbia University psychologist Adam Galinsky and his colleagues asked one group of participants to mimic their partner's behavior and the others to go in cold. The result was shocking: 10 out of 15 negotiations in which people mimicked their opponent ended in deals, while only two out of 16 of the negotiations without mimicking were able to close deals. 

The scholars' explanation: Mimicking helps establish a positive relationship, so both parties will be more likely to share information and look for a more mutually beneficial deal. 

"Our research suggests that mimicking is one way to facilitate building trust and, consequently, information sharing in a negotiation," Galinsky and company write. "By creating trust in and soliciting information from their opponent, mimickers bake bigger pies at the bargaining table, and consequently take a larger share of that pie for themselves." 

NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' Investor Reveals The Worst Mistake People Make When Trying To Get Someone's Attention


SEE ALSO: A Couples Therapist Suggests Asking Yourself This Question Before You Get Married

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Grab The Only Hoodie You'll Need For The Next 10 Years [29% Off]



It’s not every clothing manufacturer that claims its garments will provide a decade of fashionable comfort. But that is precisely what Flint and Tinder is offering with the Kickstarter-backed 10-Year Hoodie — and it is currently also on 29% discount.

It seems like a bold claim, but the US-based company wants to take a different tack from that of many big brands, by making clothes that last — even going so far as to offer a 10-year warranty and free mending.

The Hoodie’s rare 18oz yarn is also designed to get softer over time, as well as provide shelter from the elements, and 3-end yarn has been used for a stronger knit. The whole garment is manufactured in the USA, in Toluca Lake, California. It comes in six tasteful colors and in sizes XS-3XL. Here’s a look at the story behind the Hoodie, and how it is made:

For a limited time, The 10-Year Hoodie  29% off plus free shipping, along with the standard warranty and mending offer. Visit the link below to grab the deal.

Get 29% off the Flint and Tinder 10-Year Hoodie ($69.99 incl. shipping)


SEE ALSO:  New iPhone? Grab This Awesome Battery Case For The 6 Or 6+ [33% And 26% Off]

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Bill Gates Is Drastically Changing How History Is Taught

The Origins Of 10 Everyday Expressions From World Languages


We use idioms to pepper our speech and writing, often without even realising we’re doing it. These odd little phrases are used to express a sentiment other than their literal meaning. It doesn’t really rain cats and dogs, as the world and his wife knows.

I’ve always been fascinated by foreign idioms; they give us a unique insight into the culture that uses them. Did you know that in German you can say “to live like a maggot in bacon” instead of “to live the life of luxury”? Idioms can tell us a lot about what matters to a nation. They’re a window to the soul.

We wanted to explore the world in all its linguistic glory, so we asked artist and illustrator Marcus Oakley to draw some of his favourite idioms from across the globe. We hope they inspire you to learn the local idioms next time you travel.

1. “Into the mouth of a wolf”

Language: Italian
Translation: In bocca al lupo
Meaning: Good luck!

1 italian idiom

“Into the mouth of a wolf” is a very popular Italian phrase that’s similar to our “break a leg,” and perhaps much more understandable. You’d say it to someone facing a tough trial or nerve-wracking performance, such as an exam or a concert. But don’t say “thank you” in response: it’s bad luck. The correct answer is “may the wolf die.”

2. "Not my circus, not my monkey"

Language: Polish
Translation: Nie mój cyrk, nie moje malpy
Meaning: Not my problem

2 polish idiomWhile more cryptic than just saying “not my problem”, the Polish expression “not my circus, not my monkeys” makes perfect sense, and is a lot more fun to say. Poland can offer a traveller some difficulties in terms of cultural customs — holding your thumbs means good luck, not crossing your fingers, for example. You’ll probably need a bit of luck, what with all those monkeys running around.

3. “To have a wide face”

Language: Japanese
Translation: Kao ga hiro i
Meaning: To have many friends 

3 japanese idiom

We all know that Asian countries have the best proverbs. Well, they also have some fantastic idioms, too. “Having a wide face” means you have lots of friends and are well liked. It could be based on reality, as men with wide faces supposedly earn more money and are more attractive to women. Or it could come from the Chinese concept of “face”, which is where we get our own term, “losing face,” from.

4. “To have the midday demon”

Language: French
Translation: Le démon de midi
Meaning: To have a midlife crisis

4 french idiom

For the funniest idioms, look no further than our cross-channel neighbors in France. “To have the midday demon” means “to have a midlife crisis.” And what better way to explain reaching 50 and suddenly swapping the suit and tie for a ponytail and a Harley than demonic possession?

5. “To feed the donkey sponge cake”

Language: Portuguese
Translation: Alimentar um burro a pão-de-ló
Meaning: To give good treatment to someone who doesn’t need it

5 portuguese idiomPortugal’s variation on the Bible’s advice about pearls and swine, “don’t feed the donkey sponge cake,” means don’t give fine treatment to those who don’t deserve it. After all, why should we have to sit around chewing raw oats because some idiot’s given all the cake to the donkey?

6. “A cat’s jump”

Language: German
Translation: Katzensprung
Meaning: A short distance away

6 german idoim

“A cat’s jump” is in the minority of German idioms in that it doesn’t refer to either beer or sausages. Katzensprung simply means a short distance away, or “a stone’s throw” as we’d say in English. Use whichever one you’d prefer, it’s all sausages to us.

7. “To give someone pumpkins”

Language: Spanish
Translation: Dar calabazas a alguien
Meaning: To reject somebody

7 spanish idoim

As we’re sure you’ve guessed, “to give someone pumpkins” means to turn somebody down. It’s just one example of the colourful idioms you’ll find in Spain, and it originates from Ancient Greece, where pumpkins were considered an anti-aphrodisiac. Try eating one seductively, and you’ll probably see why.

8. “To ride as a hare”

Language: Russian
Translation: Exatj zajcem
Meaning: To travel without a ticket

8 russian idiom

As home to the Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia probably has quite a few train-related idioms. “To ride as a hare” means to ride the train without a ticket, as we all know hares are prone to do. Apparently it comes from the fact that fare-dodgers would shake like a hare whenever the ticket inspectors would come round.

9. “To let a frog out of your mouth”

Language: Finnish
Translation: Päästää sammakko suusta
Meaning: To say the wrong thing 9 finnish idiom

Finnish idioms have a lovely tone to them, often referencing Mother Nature and their homeland. Having “rye in your wrists” means to be physically strong, for instance, while “own land strawberry, other land blueberry” reflects Finns’ love for the motherland. “Letting a frog out of your mouth” means to say the wrong thing, which makes sense, as spitting a frog at someone is almost always the wrong thing to do.

10. “To have a stick in your ear”

Language: Danish
Translation: At have en pind i øret
Meaning: To not listen to someone 

10 danish idiom

A lot of Danish idioms will sound familiar to us — “not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” for instance. But Danes would “go absolutely cucumber” at you if you were to “have a stick in your ear.” This means to not listen to someone, which can be a very bad thing to do to somebody with a strong Viking ancestry.

More From HotelClub:

How To Get A Job In The Travel Industry

The Perils Of Speaking A Foreign Language

5 Reasons To Travel To Singapore With Your Kids

SEE ALSO: 7 Everyday Phrases With Sinister Origins

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18 Things That Shocked Me When I Moved From New York To London


In December, I relocated from New York to London to work for Business Insider's newly opened UK bureau.

I had never set foot in Europe before moving here, so it has been an adjustment.

The differences between London and New York might not faze a seasoned traveler. But for an American who hasn't spent much time in other countries, it has been a little tough getting used to daily life in the UK.

I've lived here for only a month, so this isn't a comprehensive list, but these are the things that have surprised me so far:

Some of my favorite apps don't work in the UK.

Expat London

I've been obsessed with the music-playlist app Songza ever since I was introduced to it. I used it every day at work and at home, so I was devastated to see the above message on my first day in the UK when I tried to access the app. You don't realize how attached you've become to the "Tom Haverford, Boo Of Your Dreams" playlist until it's gone.

Netflix doesn't have the same selection.

Expat London

The movies available on British Netflix are much better, but some of the TV shows I loved watching over and over again in the US (like "Parks and Recreation") aren't available for streaming on Netflix in the UK.

Most of the shows I watched on Hulu in the US aren't available in the UK either. The site blocks virtual private networks that make it look as if your computer is located in a different country, so that workaround isn't an option.

You have to bag your own groceries.

Grocery store bags Tesco

The UK's grocery stores don't pay for the extra employees to stand at the end of checkout lines and bag groceries, and I guess that makes sense because customers can do that themselves.

But I was still flustered on my first trip to the store because I didn't realize I was supposed to bag my stuff until the cashier had already rung everything up. I was that annoying foreigner who made everyone else in line behind me wait.

Also, most grocery stores I've been to don't play music. I got a really uneasy feeling the first time I visited a Sainsbury's Local in the UK, and it took me a minute to realize that it was because the store was completely silent.

Custom sandwiches and salads aren't really a thing here.

Expat London

Nearly every lunch spot I've been to so far has the setup pictured here. The sandwiches and salads are all pre-made pretty early in the day, and they sit out in the open until people buy them. This is unlike most places in the US, where food seems to be made to order. This has taken some getting used to, as I'm someone who is known for making substitutions on nearly everything I order.

The bacon is weird.

Expat London

I got a shock at my first English breakfast when I ordered bacon and got this limp ham-type thing in return. The sausage was much better than American breakfast sausage, but I was not a fan of the bacon. Some places do offer what's called "streaky bacon," which is more similar to the American variety.

Movie theaters don't put liquid butter on the popcorn.

Expat London

The first time I went to a movie theater (or "cinema," as the Brits say), I asked where the butter was when the concession guy handed me my popcorn. His response: "You're American, aren't you?"

My British colleague laughed and informed me that people in the UK do not dump liquid butter on their popcorn. This keeps with my general impression that the British are a lot less excessive and much healthier than many Americans.

The downside is that liquid butter is delicious; the upside is that you're less likely to leave the theater with a stomach ache.

The nutrition labels are different.

Expat London

When I picked up this box, I couldn't comprehend the nutrition label. I just want to know how much sugar is in the cereal bar! I recruited the help of my British colleagues in decoding this nutrition label (five grams of sugar seemed too low for a cereal bar with a bunch of chocolate in it), and now I think I've got the hang of it. Most of the same information seems to be here, but it's organized differently, which is jarring to see at first.

McDonald's and other fast-food chains have different menus.

Expat London

This one is obvious. Thanks to our retail vertical, I was aware before I moved here that McDonald's offers different food in each country. But I am a big fan of American McDonald's — so much so that when I told a friend I was moving to London, the first thing he said was, "You know McDonald's is different there, right? Like they don't have the same stuff."

I laughed it off, thinking, "How different could it be?"

Since the whole idea behind chain restaurants is offering a similar or identical menu at each place, I assumed there might be a few UK-specific additions but that everything else would remain mostly the same.

Wrong. The food is actually very different. The burgers don't taste as good, and a lot of what is offered on the American menu is not available in the UK.

The same goes for KFC. I stopped there once to pick up dinner on my way home from work and was surprised to find out it didn't have mashed potatoes. KFC without mashed potatoes is pointless.

The portions are much smaller.

McDonald's fries

More evidence that Europeans are generally healthier comes from the portion sizes. Another thing I noticed when I went to a British McDonald's was that its medium soda was the equivalent of a "small" in the US.

Smaller portion sizes are found elsewhere, too. Plastic soda bottles are taller and thinner, and even shampoo comes in smaller bottles.

Although I do miss being able to stock up on bulk items (like shampoo) to save money, I don't miss the giant food portions that have become standard at American restaurants. These meals are usually too big for one person to eat in one sitting anyway, and the American trend toward larger food portions has been tied to obesity.

The Chinese food is just as bad as everyone says.

Expat London

Countless Americans warned me before I moved here about the terrible food in London. I haven't found that to be true of most places (I've been to a few great restaurants so far), but my one experience with Chinese takeout made me never want to order Chinese here again.

I heard the Chinese food was especially unappealing in Britain, so I decided one night to find out whether that was true. This is what I got. Fried rice (which didn't appear to be actually fried) that had no flavor whatsoever and a giant "egg roll" that was basically just limp bean sprouts inside a greasy wrapping.

New York is very much a takeout culture, but I've been cooking a lot more since I moved here because the "takeaway" food that I've tried in the UK isn't nearly as good. It's probably better for me in the long run.

They sell hard cider in two-liter plastic bottles.

Expat London

This was an exciting discovery. If I wanted to buy cider in the US, the only options available in most stores were a six-pack of glass bottles or a 40-ounce bottle. Some brands offered cider in cans, but those were often more expensive. Hard cider has just started catching on in the US, but it has been big in the UK for a while. Grocery stores here offer inexpensive cider in a variety of different containers.

Many studio apartments don't have proper ovens.

Expat London

I was confused when I saw the kitchen of the first apartment I stayed in. We booked the place on Airbnb, and when I was looking through the photos online, it occurred to me that the "stove" looked as if it had only two burners. There seemed to be a microwave underneath but no oven. I asked the owner about this, and she told me the microwave oven doubled as a convection oven.

A colleague's studio flat has a similar setup, and she told me that when she turns her microwave on "convection" mode, it browns whatever is in there. But there isn't much space, so cooking large dishes is out of the question.

I've found that while tiny kitchens without proper ovens and stoves seem to be common in studio apartments, many larger flats have big kitchens.

Toilet paper comes in different colors and scents.

Expat London

I'm still kind of freaked out by this. I get that it can't be easy to market toilet paper to consumers, but these gimmicks are a bit much. I've seen lemon-scented toilet paper, pink toilet paper, and Shea butter toilet paper. Why?

Eyedrops also come in strange varieties.

Expat London

I always thought of eyedrops as functional rather than cosmetic, but Britain has you covered if you worry that your eyes aren't sparkly enough. I thought about buying these eyedrops out of curiosity, but I was a bit too intimidated by them, especially because the label on some brands says not to use these sparkling drops every day.

The bathrooms don't have outlets.

BI London bathroom

Because every bathroom in the US (in residences, at least) comes equipped with an electrical outlet, I was really confused to find that I had nowhere to plug in my blow dryer in my Airbnb flat. I thought that maybe it was just that bathroom, but every other bathroom I've seen since has also been free of any electrical outlet. Most bathrooms I've seen don't have light switches, either, but rather a rope or chain that you pull down from the ceiling to turn the light on.

The road tells you which way to look.

Expat London

I used to worry that I would get hit by a car while I was over here. Once I got to London, I was happy to see that the city has a system in place to prevent that. These giant, hard-to-ignore letters remind you where to look when you're crossing the street so you don't get blindsided while gazing in the wrong direction.

There are no "exit" signs.

Expat London

I don't think I've seen a single "Exit" sign while I've been over here. Instead of "Exit," the signs typically read "Way out." It makes sense, but it was strange to see at first.

London wins the real-estate game.

west london homes mansions

As a final note, I will say that London definitely wins when it comes to affordable real estate.

I've been through three housing searches in New York City (the last of which ended with me giving up entirely and moving across the Atlantic Ocean), and each was incredibly stressful and took more than two weeks. Maybe I've just had exceptionally bad luck, but I could tell so many horror stories about apartments I've lived in, and I was shelling out a lot of money for those places.

I was bracing myself for a similar experience here because London has one of the most expensive housing markets in the world. But I was able to find an affordable place after just two days of looking. It's a palace compared with any of my New York apartments (it has two floors and a giant kitchen!), it's in a good neighborhood with plenty to do, and it's only 30 minutes away from my office. During my search, I looked at four places total, and only one of them looked like a prison. The three others were all pretty nice. Major points to London there.

NOW WATCH: We Did The Math: Should You Buy Or Rent In These Major Cities?


SEE ALSO: US Expat Describes The Best And Worst Things About England

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Beats Cofounder Jimmy Iovine May Have Bought This Malibu Mansion For $60 Million


iovine house

Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine may be in the process of making a serious real estate upgrade. According to Variety, Iovine has quietly purchased the Malibu home of television producer Marcy Carsey in a secret, off-market deal. 

The rumored purchase price is $60 million.

Carsey bought the home from Richard Gere for $10 million in 1995.

The home is made up of two parcels totalling four acres of land. 

In addition to the main house, which is perched on top of a bluff near Paradise Cove, there's also a small beach hut and a recently renovated lagoon-style pool.

iovine house

There's also a tennis pavilion situated closer to the main road.

iovine house

Iovine currently lives in a 15,000-square-foot mansion in Los Angeles' Holmby Hills neighborhood. He purchased the home for $7 million in 1998, according to Variety.

SEE ALSO: The Founder Of Minecraft Threw An Epic Party To Celebrate His $70 Million Home Purchase

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Google's New Classroom App Lets Kids Turn In Homework With Their Phones (GOOG)


Google has a new app called Classroom, and it allows students to turn in homework assignments using their phones.

Classroom could actually be helpful for teachers because it connects to the teacher-centric Classroom for Desktop app, which allows teachers to archive and see a list of submitted assignments.

The beauty of Classroom is that it allows students to turn in their homework in a variety of ways. Running late to class? Just snap a picture of your assignment and your teacher will get a copy instantly, regardless if you're in the classroom or not.

Google Classroom app

Classroom also connects to Google Drive and other content creating apps, which makes it easy for students to attach PDFs, upload artwork, and submit an essay they wrote in a Google Doc.

Google Classroom app

Teachers are able to instantly copy and distribute Google Docs to students, which will likely be handy during syllabus week or for handing out new assignments, and since Classroom automatically caches each assignment, teachers can grade papers even if they're away from the internet.

Classroom will also help teachers stay organized, with the app creating new folders for each assignment along with folders for each student. If a student hasn't turned in an assignment yet, Classroom makes it easy for a teacher to see that. They can even distribute grades in real-time.

For now, Google is only giving teachers and students that are part of its Google for Education program access to Classroom, but you can read more about the app here.

(via Engadget)

SEE ALSO: The 13 Best New Apps You May Have Missed Recently

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Dramatic Video Of 2 Americans Finishing The Hardest Climb On The Planet


Climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson became the first in the world to use only their hands and feet to scale a sheer granite face called 'El Capitan' in California's Yosemite National. They both reached the top of the wall on January 14th.

Produced by Jason Gaines. Video courtesy of Associated Press.

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The 10 Best Treadmills You Can Buy


treadmill running

When you can't run outside, a treadmill is the next best thing. But the difference between a quality treadmill and a shoddy one can make a huge difference in your performance.

Our friends at FindTheBest scoured around for the best treadmills money can buy, and rated them using their Smart Rating system, which weighs reviews from two experts, taking into account the specifications for each model.

Here are the 10 best treadmills on the market right now:

10. NordicTrack x9i Incline Trainer

This treadmill isn't for the casual runner — with a 40% incline, the NordicTrack x9i Incline Trainer makes it feel like you're running up mountains, not just hills. It also comes with 44 iFit training programs and connects to Google Maps, which recreates the terrain of wherever you choose to "run." 

9. NordicTrack Commercial 2150

With folding capabilities, 40 iFit workout programs, and a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame, the NordicTrack Commercial 2150 proves a great value for a low price. And despite moving in place, the National Geographic video workouts will make it feel like you're running all over the world. 

8. LifeSpan TR1200-DT

Though not a good option for runners, the LifeSpan TR1200-DT treadmill desk is a great way to fit in more exercise while working. It moves up to four miles per hour, and the adjustable desk comes equipped with soft armrests. There aren't many fancy extras, but you can't beat the price. 

Official Boston Marathon Treadmill

7. Life Fitness F1 Smart

With the Life Fitness F1 Smart treadmill, you can connect to Life Fitness's website and create unlimited custom workouts. It also comes with a wireless heart rate monitor, grip sensor system, and iPod compatibility. This treadmill folds to conserve space, but at 55" x 20", it's a little short for serious running. 

6. Smooth Fitness 9.65LC

With a high 98 Smart Rating score, the Smooth Fitness 9.65LC comes complete with a larger-than-average 64" x 21" track, motion control sensors on the handrails, and a heart rate monitoring system. Choose between one of the 28 speed or incline workouts, or save up to five of your own custom routines. 

5. Landice L8

The Landice L8 goes up to 12 miles per hour — a 5 minute mile — and comes with a whopping 25 different programs, including a "landmark" mode which converts how far you run into vertical feet, then measures it against famous monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower. This treadmill also features safety-clip auto-stop, tablet syncing capability, and a digital readout that shows your speed, incline, time, distance, and heart rate. 

4. Life Fitness Club Series

Though expensive, the Life Fitness Club Series comes complete with several luxury amenities, including a wireless heart monitor, iPod integration system, and 22 built-in workout programs. It can go up to 14 miles per hour with a 15% incline, and comes with 10 years of parts protection. 

3. ProForm The Official Boston Marathon 4.0

Whether you're training for the Boston Marathon or not, the ProForm The Official Boston Marathon 4.0 is great for staying fit indoors without getting bored. Try one of the high-definition video workouts that feature the actual course in Boston — it even replicates the hills and dips in terrain. This treadmill also connects to Bluetooth through its SpeedRing technology, which allows you to speed up or slow down without pressing a single button.

LifeSpan TR5000i

2. LifeSpan TR5000i

Earning a 99 Smart Rating, the LifeSpan TR5000i features 19 built-in workouts and a 60" x 20" belt, which allows almost anyone to take full strides. Plug your iPod into its built-in dual speaker system, and forget worrying about your headphones staying in while you run. 

1. Livestrong LS13.0T

The Livestrong LS13.0T allows you to go up to 12 miles per hour and increase the incline 15%, which mimics hills. It's the bonus features that earn it a Smart Rating of 100 though — it has a digital readout showing distance, time, speed, calories, and heart rate; the LiveTrack Fitness Journal lets you track your workouts; and you can save your workout data to a USB and transfer it to your computer to help you customize your training program.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Snowboards On The Market

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This Sex-Drug Inventor Was Murdered — Now His Best Friend Wants The Product In 'Every 7-Eleven'


Ron Gilbert

Since 2010, Jeff Abraham has had a stake in Promescent, an over-the-counter spray intended to help men overcome premature ejaculation. He invested $100,000 and wrote business plans for the company that made it, Absorption Pharmaceuticals.

But after the January 2013 murder of the product's inventor, Ronald Gilbert, a respected urologist and one of Abraham's dearest friends, he ended up taking over the company. Initially, Abraham wanted to sell it.

"I'd wake up in the morning and try to convince myself that [Ron's death] was a dream," he tells Business Insider. "So I decided that I was going to take an offer or have someone else come run the company."

The day that Abraham, 57, decided to let go of the company, he Googled Ron's name. The first several results told the story of his friend's untimely death.

"Ron went from being an inventor, a father, a husband, to the guy shot by a crazy," Abraham says. "He was a statistic. That really bothered me."

Seeing the news coverage nudged Abraham to change his mind about selling, at least until after he built up the company more. It wasn't long before his interest grew into an obsession. He says he now works 16 hours a day, every day of the year.

"I can't change what happened, but I have the power to make Ron's legacy a success and take care of his wife and kids," Abraham says.

Together, Gilbert's family owns about 15% of Absorption Pharmaceuticals, and Abraham owns 36%. The rest, and portions of the eventual profit, is split among three other employees and the two men (aside from Gilbert) on the patent, numerous urologists, and a few key investors.

Over a year ago, Abraham, with approval from Absorption's board, turned down an offer of more than $30 million. The buyer, a top pharmaceutical brand, wanted to turn Promescent into a prescription drug. But that plan didn't mesh with Abraham's vision.

"This product needs to be on the shelf at every Walgreens, CVS, and 7-Eleven right next to the condoms," he says. "This is a lifestyle product."

Right now, Abraham is in talks with multiple companies. He demands that any potential buyer preserve his friend's legacy.

"I will not sell this company unless the new website includes a little memoriam about Ron," Abraham says. "That's nonnegotiable. I don't care if someone offers me a billion dollars."

A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Stanwood Fred ElkusOn the afternoon of Jan. 28, 2013, Ron's wife, Ellie Gilbert, began to feel strange. She was visiting New York for a wedding but could barely walk down the street.

"It was really weird," she says. "Something I've never felt before, like my soul was leaving me."

After dragging herself back to her hotel room, she recieved a call from her husband's partner at their private urology practice. She knew something terrible had happened. 

Stanwood Fred Elkus, a 75-year-old veteran, had allegedly made an appointment earlier that day under a fake name at Ron's practice, Orange Coast Urology, in Newport Beach, California. Elkus let a nurse take his blood pressure, but when Ron entered, he allegedly fired nine shots into the doctor's torso and chest. Ron didn't survive.

"I can't even put it into words," Abraham says. "Ron was the absolute most pure human being I’ve ever met. He was the kind of guy you’d want your sister to marry."

The year before Ron's death, Abraham crashed his bicycle and broke his collarbone in two places. Over the next few months of his recovery, Ron brought him lunch and dinner and took him to hockey games to get him out of the house. "At least once a day Ron would call or text me asking how the pain was and if there was anything I needed," Abraham says.

Elkus, the alleged shooter, apparently blamed Ron for a botched prostate surgery he underwent more than 20 years ago at a Veterans Association hospital. While Ron did work there, no records indicate he performed Elkus' operation, according to the Gilberts' attorney, Ed Susolik. He claims another urologist with a similar name likely treated Elkus.

Elkus, who worked as a barber after his time in the military, struggled for years with prostate problems and other health issues, reportedly telling a neighbor shortly before Ron's death that he "might not be alive much longer." Elkus later pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, with his lawyers submitting a PET scan showing "neurological and psychological disabilities.

Then, 11 days after Ron's murder, Elkus, who is still awaiting trial, allegedly gave away seven properties he owned from behind bars in order to avoid their inclusion in the likely civil case from Ron's family, the Los Angeles Times reported.

And the family did end up filing a civil suit against Elkus, "because evil needs to addressed," Ellie says. "But even if I got all the money in the world, nothing will bring back my husband."

The day after the funeral, she says, her family lost its health insurance, and she wouldn't see any more profit from her husband's business. "I didn’t get one penny out of the medical practice, the only form of livelihood that my husband had," Ellie explains. So far, all profits from Promescent have gone back into the company, according to Abraham. "I have to really, really watch every penny," Ellie says.

Like Abraham, Ellie wants to use Promescent to preserve Ron's legacy. "Throughout his life, the well-being of his patients was a priority for him," she says. "People will benefit from [Promescent] — for pleasure or for need."

Ron Gilbert

The Next Viagra?

Abraham started as Ron's patient, and the two quickly became friends. One day, the doctor gave Abraham a sample of his new creation, Promescent.

"It was insane," Abraham says. "At that point my eyes spun around in my head like cash registers." He half-jokingly talked to Ron about changing the name to "Have Sex Like A Porn Star."

Soon after, Abraham asked for 10 more bottles.

"Ron goes, 'Where are you going this weekend?'" Abraham laughs. But he only wanted to see if others would have the same response as he did.

Abraham gave samples to friends, family, even his son, a "great-looking kid" at UC Santa Barbara. Everyone reacted the same way, according to Abraham: "What is this, and where can I get more of it?"

Since Abraham invested his $100,000, he says the company has sold 221,000 bottles of Promescent in 338 independent pharmacies. A standard bottle sells for $79.95, while the trial size ("convenient pocket-size for men on the go!!") run $19.95.

"I said it had the same potential as Viagra," he recalls. "Three years ago people laughed at me. They're not laughing anymore."

At this point, Abraham says he's invested $1.5 million in the company and that its sales hit $1.2 million this year, which he expects to increase by 25% in next year. That figure is still a far cry from Viagra, which peaked at about $2 billion in annual sales. Still, the market for this kind of drug could be just as large.

While ED, or erectile dysfunction, gets more press, estimates show that PE, or premature ejaculation, affects more men.

PE ranges from a dire sexual issue to a common complaint in the bedroom. A definition is tough to pin down. The A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, hosted by the National Institutes of Health, says that any man who orgasms before he or his partner would like suffers from PE. The International Society for Sexual Medicine imposes time limits: A male has to ejaculate within one minute of penetration for "lifelong PE" and within three minutes for "acquired PE." Regardless, most experts agree that nearly one in three men suffer from some form of PE.

Both Abraham and Absorption's chief medical officer, Laurence Levine, frequently mention a phenomenon called "the arousal gap." While the data varies, Promescent's marketing materials claim men last an average of five to six minutes during intercourse, while women, on average, take 17 minutes to reach orgasm. "That is exactly correct," Peter Stahl, the director of male reproductive and sexual medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center, told Business Insider.

"That's why there are 8 million vibrators in the world," Abraham jokes.

Ron's motivation to create Promescent stemmed from listening to his patients' struggles to maintain erections. He would come home from work, upset that he couldn't help more, Ellie says. "It is truly a problem," she says. "Intimacy does make for a better relationship. Everything connects."

And yet another market for Promescent exists — the recreational one. "I have friends who are in their 50s who eat Viagra and Cialis like they're M&M's," Abraham says. Studies show that these medications can make men last longer in bed. Promescent, Abraham says, fixes a similar issue and doesn't enter the bloodstream.

How It Works

As advertised, about 1,100 urologists in the US recommend FDA-approved Promescent. Of those, "1,080 .... have no financial gain and involvement with the company," Abraham says. The spray, a lidocaine-based topical liquid, works much like Orajel does on the gums. Promescent essentially desensitizes the penis to prolong intercourse.


"People freak out when I rub Promescent on my gums," Abraham says, which is how he demonstrates the product's safety. But a man simply wouldn't rub Orajel on his penis before sex — although he could. The numbing effect would overwhelm him, making sex less enjoyable, and the medication would likely transfer to his partner, ruining the experience for both.

Promescent supposedly avoids that. The formula changes the lidocaine from a crystal into an oil-aqueous form, which can penetrate the outer layer of the penis, much like how good lotion absorbs into the skin. After 10 minutes, according to Abraham, the desensitizing effects won't transfer to the man's partner.

While Promescent's clinical trials won't be complete until 2015, Abraham says rave reviews fill his inbox almost daily. He sent us a few of his favorites.

Nathan, a 42-year-old man married for 19 years, called his experience with Promescent "the best sex" he and his wife have had since college. Another man, Kevin, 53, has suffered from PE his entire life. "My life has changed," he wrote in an email to the Promescent team. "It simply works."

Josh Gondelman, a writer for New York Magazine's The Cut, had less positive "adventures with 'penis-numbing' spray." "Masturbating felt like listening to a Phish song; I was ten minutes in with no end in sight, just a lot of aimless noodling. After twenty fruitless minutes, I gave up, limp from exhaustion and local anesthesia," he wrote.

As Abraham immediately pointed out, though, Gondelman used 10 sprays — the maximum dosage for men who suffer from severe PE. Gondelman wrote that he tried again, using only three squirts, but that felt "like eating the last slice of pizza just because it's there."

Still, Ron and his wife tried Promescent and loved it. "You have to be your first guinea pig," Ellie says. "It was wonderful." Sometimes she didn't even know her husband, who didn't suffer from PE, was even using it. "It’s very natural. There’s nothing weird or uncomfortable about it," she says.

Promescent can even be used with condoms, Abraham adds.

But James Hamblin, a doctor and a senior editor at The Atlantic, is skeptical about the actual application. "The numbing spray idea immediately struck me as one that makes perfect sense to scientifically minded people but sounds absurd to everyone else," he wrote. Getting out a "secret" vial of penis spray to numb up before sex could increase some men's anxieties about intimacy, he suggested.


Part of the problem with creating a solution for PE is identifying the causes. "Male sexual function is a complex neurobiological phenomenon, and sexual dysfunctions tend to coexist," says Stahl, the Columbia University urology professor we spoke with.

For example, a man with erectile dysfunction could experience so much anxiety about developing and maintaining an erection that, when he does, his sexual experience ends prematurely. Conversely: "The man knows if he gets an erection, it’ll lead to an unsatisfactory conclusion, so he develops anxiety and fails to get one at all," Abraham says.

The medical community generally considers premature ejaculation to have psychological components, with some patients even being treated with antidepressants. PE, however, afflicts men in two distinct variations, according to Stahl. "Lifelong premature ejaculation is a true biological early trigger point that usually requires lifelong therapy to prolong intravaginal ejaculatory latency [the amount of time someone lasts when having sex]," he says. "In contrast, acquired premature ejaculation that develops at a particular time is usually related to either anxiety or development of another sexual dysfunction."

As Ron, Promescent's creator, explains in the video below, "To tell a patient that may have sexual relations six to eight times a month, that they have to take an antidepressant, that is not specifically designed for this problem, every single day ... is a tough sell."

Then dapoxetine came onto the scene. As the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) designed specifically for premature ejaculation, studies have shown users can take the oral pill on an as-needed basis, although at least three to five hours before intercourse.

Other topical sprays and creams exist, too, such as Stud100, EMLA, and EjectDelay. The one that's probably gotten the most press is TEMPE, a topical spray, with both licocaine and prilocaine, created by one of the makers of Viagra.

There are some clear differences between TEMPE and Promescent. For one thing, TEMPE is a prescription drug that has gone through clinical trials, while large-scale testing for over-the-counter Promescent is still underway. Another difference is that TEMPE isn't yet FDA-approved for PE, while Promescent conforms to the FDA's existing regulations for lidocaine, according to Levine.

Although clinical trials are expensive and time-consuming, Promescent must undergo them to receive approval from the Sexual Medicine Society of North America and International Society for Sexual Medicine, which would put the spray on the radars of the organization's 12,000 members, according to Abraham. 

Even without those trials, Promescent remains the only FDA-approved, lidocaine-based spray with absorption technology that doesn't require a prescription. And absorption is key: It improves efficacy and reduces transference to partners, according to Stahl.

"My overall impression is that Promescent is an effective treatment for delaying ejaculation, and is particularly useful in men who do not want to take daily oral medication," he says.

The Future Of Promescent

With its unique formula, Promescent has started to attract media attention. In October 2013, CNBC called Promescent the "new sex drug in town," and, in June, Men's Health magazine recommended it to last longer in bed. Of course, there's this article, too.

Abraham hopes this is just the beginning. And he still attributes the company's success to Ron.

"I'm not a religious person — I won’t fake that," he says. "But there’s karma here."

When he does sell the company, Abraham wants to open a scholarship fund at the University of California, Irvine, Ron's alma mater, in his name.

"When one of these companies turns Promescent into a billion-dollar product, everyone who buys it will see Ron's face," Abraham says. "I want people to understand how truly spectacular this man was."

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Rare Photos Of New York's Chinatown In The 1980s Captured A Revolution


Chinese New Year, Bayard St., 1984

Due to the relaxed immigration laws of the early 1980s, New York City's Chinatown underwent a rapid demographic shift.

Bud Glick was a photographer tasked by the the New York Chinatown History Project (now the Museum of Chinese in America) with documenting this transition from an older, primarily male community to one of young, newly immigrated families.

But looking at the photos now, 30 years later and newly digitized, it's clear that he captured much more than just a demographic shift in a small period in time.

With his photo series, Glick captured a revolution.

From 1981 to 1984 photographer Bud Glick worked on the New York Chinatown History Project.

The New York Chinatown History Project eventually came to be known as the Museum of Chinese in America. They currently have a number of Glick's photos in their archive.

Glick was tasked with revealing in his photos a changing Chinatown, one undergoing a rapid demographic shift.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The Tech Boom Turned This Working-Class San Francisco Neighborhood Into A Hipster Haven


mission district, san francisco, hipster

On a recent visit to San Francisco, friends and coworkers urged me to check out the Mission District, a bustling Latino neighborhood famed for its oversize burritos, arts scene, and activism.

The word "hipster" may have originated in Brooklyn, but the Mission District has co-opted it and taken it to a new level. The neighborhood is abundant in beards, denim shirts, artisanal cheese, bicycles, and overpriced lattes. It felt like Williamsburg on steroids.

Just as many of Brooklyn's neighborhoods became havens of urban wealth in the 1990s, the Mission is no stranger to gentrification, having lost much of its working-class community during the dot-com bubble. As the demand for tech workers rises again in San Francisco, rents in the neighborhood are skyrocketing — they rose 20% in 2014, according to Zumper — and trendy retailers are moving in.

I spent a day in the Mission to see how this transformation was playing out.

In the last five years, the tech sector created 34,000 jobs in San Francisco. In search of affordable housing, programmers, developers, and designers rode into the outlying neighborhoods on winged chariots, or tech campus shuttle buses.

Ten thousand of those new jobs popped up in the last year alone, according to Jordan Levine, director of economic research at Beacon Economics. Levine says those numbers could be even higher, as the Employment Development Department is subject to confidentiality rules that blur the full "tech" picture.

The influx of tech workers is changing the fabric of the Mission District, a vibrant Latino neighborhood situated just south of the downtown area. The hipsters have arrived.

I spent a day gallivanting between S. Van Ness Avenue and Dolores Street, talking to local business owners and witnessing the earthy-crunchy yuppie invasion firsthand.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 13 Best Tasting Menus In NYC


The Musket Room

New York City is home to some of the world's most celebrated restaurants, with the most celebrated dishes — and that can get a little overwhelming. That's why we have tasting menus.

The Infatuation helped us compile a list of the best tasting menus in NYC, spread throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Dig in and enjoy.


255 Smith St., Brooklyn

The Infatuation calls Battersby, located in Cobble Hill, an "under-the-radar gem." The food is "minimalist" but full of flavor and chefs pay close attention to detail. The seven-course tasting menu costs $85, but it's worth the price (and the trip out to Brooklyn).

Read The Infatuation's full Battersby review here


41 W. 57th St., Manhattan

Betony takes a relaxed, creative approach to fine dining and the people there don't take themselves too seriously.

"Great restaurants shouldn’t only be designed for rich people who love Bordeaux and struggle with gout," wrote The Infatuation's Christ Stang.

The menu is set up like a traditional tasting menu with three courses, but you order everything individually. It ranges from about $63-$108. Don't forget to try out their top-notch cocktails.

Read The Infatuation's full Betony review here

Brooklyn Fare

200 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn

Brooklyn Fare has just one chef's table — and it has a world-class tasting menu. The entrees, according to The Infatuation, are a "demonstration in not only creativity, but perfect balance." 

This Michelin-starred restaurant is not a particularly cheap spot to dine (the current prix fixe is $255), but remember, you get what you pay for.

Oh, and men, don't forget your jacket.

Read The Infatuation's full Brooklyn Fare review here

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

21 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Cuba

Why You Should Run A Mile Instead Of A Marathon


man running cold weather

So you swore you'd run a marathon this year.

Good news is you can stop feeling guilty about not starting to train for it yet.

As it turns out, you can get some of the same benefits of long distance running and other types of endurance training without ever passing the five-mile mark.

That's right. Running fast and hard for just five to 10 minutes a day can add years to your life, just like running for hours can. In fact, people who run fewer than an hour a week — so long as they get in their few minutes of daily running — get similar benefits in terms of heart health compared with people who run more than three hours a week.

That finding squares with recent research showing that short bursts of intense exercise can provide some of the same health benefits as long, more endurance-style workouts.

Marathoners, Meet Interval Training

One of the most popular forms of the quick workout — and the one that's been studied the most — is interval training. Basically, you work yourself as hard and fast as you can for a few minutes, rest, then do it again. The best part? It typically only lasts between five and 10 minutes total. (There's even a New York Times workout app based on the idea, called the 7-Minute Workout. More on that here.)

Despite being far less time consuming than a marathon training session, an interval workout may actually be healthier in the long run (pun intended), according to some research done in the past decade.

A 2012 study comparing a group of runners who did traditional, continuous runs with a group of runners who did interval training found that both groups achieved nearly the same results. There was one small difference, though. The interval trainers had better peak oxygen uptake, an important measure of endurance.

And a recent study in the journal Diabetologia found that doing walking interval training — an hour of alternating between three minutes of brisk walking and three minutes of stopping — helped people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels far better than simply walking at the same pace continuously.

Still Not Convinced?

Consider this: Distance running could actually be bad for you.

There's some evidence to suggest that prolonged, intense exercise — like the type that's necessary in the weeks and months before a marathon and the time of the race itself — can have some unhealthy side effects, from reduced immune function to digestive issues.

Working the body to its maximum, some research shows, can reduce the body's natural ability to fend off upper respiratory infections including colds and the flu. Short bouts of activity, on the other hand, improve immune function. Quick workouts appear to not only reduce your chances of getting sick but reduce the severity of an illness when you do come down with something.

Up to 71% of long-distance runners also experience abdominal cramping and diarrhea (the latter being so frequent that runners have a term for it: "Runner's Trots," a.k.a. "runner's diarrhea"). Many runners (even those without a history of it), experience acid reflux, a condition that causes everything from heartburn and indigestion to coughing, hoarseness, and asthma during and immediately after a long run.

Here's what it all comes down to: Whether or not you stick to a long-distance routine or opt for a quicker, daily exercise plan, it's important to keep in mind that more is not always better.

READ THIS NEXT: This Is The Best Fitness App Of 2014

SEE MORE: Running Just 5 Minutes A Day Could Add Years To Your Life

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Photographer Makes Incredible Point By Shooting The Same Tree Every Day For A Year With An iPhone


Hirsch Winter Shoot That TreeIn 2012, photographer Mark Hirsch was in a serious automobile accident that left him with severe injuries. His condition forced him to rest his body for three months with very little activity.

"It was a physically and emotionally challenging experience," he says. 

Around the same time, he bought an iPhone, and a friend, raving about the phone's camera, challenged him to use it for serious photography. 

After Hirsch posted two beautiful pictures of a tree in a cornfield near his Wisconsin home, his friend suggested he use the iPhone to take a photo a day of the tree for a year.

Hirsch rose to the technological and creative dare, shooting the tree from hundreds of angles in all conditions, calling it "challenging but also quite liberating."  

His project, "That Tree," has been recently compiled into a book and a calendar. We asked Hirsch to share three weeks of images in chronological order with us, along with his own captions from each day. You can the whole year on his website and his Facebook page.

February 19, Day 333: "It was a howling, blowing snow morning. Air temp, 1 degree. Wind chill, -19. Experiential rating, perfect!"

February 20, Day 334: "Contrasty, cold, and colorful! It was a brisk but sunny -2 when my publishing partner Warren Winter and I headed out to wait for this mornings sunrise. I photographed That Tree and he photographed me."

February 21, Day 335: "Destined to be the heart of a future oak, an acorn and fallen leaf ar exposed by the recent thaw. By the end of the day, they are forecast to be buried under a fresh blanket of six to eight inches of snow."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

5 Ways To Spot A Fake Diamond


One of the most common questions that gemologists are asked is how to tell the difference between a real diamond and a fake stone.

We spoke with Reyne Hirsch, a 20th century decorative arts expert and consultant for the global online marketplace Lofty, about how to tell when a diamond is real, and when and why to take it to an expert.

Test At Home 

“We see a lot of estate jewelry that comes up in our line of business,” Hirsch explained to Business Insider. “People who are selling their parents’ estate assume the money is in the house itself — but sometimes the things inside the home have a lot more value than they think.”

For jewelry you inherit or find at garage sales, it’s best to do a few simple DIY tests before bringing the pieces in for a gemologist to look at. 

1. Look at the diamond and setting through a loupe.

diamonds through a loupeA loupe is a magnifying glass that you can buy at any jewelry store and will let you take a closer look at your gem and setting. 

“When you’re looking at a diamond, there are a few things you’ll notice,” Hirsch told us. “First, the majority of diamonds are made in nature so that means you’re going to see some imperfections in the carbon. A fake stone would be perfect — absolutely perfect.”

Hirsch cautions that certain lab-grown stones will also look perfect through the loupe, and so you should be cautious before discarding perfect gems. It can be a clue, however, to take a closer look or bring the stone to an expert. 

Second, observe the diamond’s edges. “When you’re taking a look at a diamond through a loupe, a real stone is going to have sharp edges, and a fake stone will have rounded edges,” Hirsch explained.

Lastly, look at the mounting and etchings, especially any marks that signify what metal was used. “If the metal is gold plated or silver, chances are it’s not a diamond because why would you put a nice stone mounted in such a cheap metal?” Hirsch said. “Most diamonds are mounted in gold or set in platinum.” 

“Also take a look at the mounting itself and how that diamond is set,” she added. “If the setting looks like it’s of poor quality, that probably means it’s not going to be a real diamond either.”

2. Rub sandpaper against the stone.

uncut diamondThis  is an easy test since diamonds are one of the world’s hardest materials and won’t be scratched by the rough surface. “If it’s a diamond, it will remain perfect, if it’s a cubic zirconium, it will scratch it up,” Hirsch said.

3. Do the fog test.

The right one is a 0.41 carat synthetic lab grown diamond and the left one is a slightly larger natural diamond, both visually indistinguishable from each other. Breathe hot air on your diamond the same way you would if you were fogging up a bathroom mirror. 

“A fake diamond will fog up for a short period of time whereas a real diamond will not because it won’t retain the heat,” Hirsch explained. 

4. Hold it in the light to see how it sparkles.

diamond reflecting in the light sparklyThe way that diamonds reflect light is unique: Inside the stone, the diamond will sparkle gray and white (known as “brilliance”) while outside of the gem, it will reflect rainbow colors onto other surfaces (this dispersed light is known as “fire”). 

A fake diamond will have rainbow colors that you can see inside the diamond.

“People have a misconception that diamonds sparkle like a rainbow, but they don’t,” Hirsch said. “They do sparkle, but it’s more of a gray color. If you see something with rainbow colors [inside the stone], it could be a sign that it’s not a diamond.”

Still confused? This is a good explainer of brilliance versus fire.

5. Look at the stone’s refractivity.

RTR3O4F6Diamonds are so sparkly because of the way they refract and bend light. Glass, quartz, and cubic zirconium may mimic a diamond’s brilliance, but they have much lower refractive indexes.

This means that if your stone isn’t in a setting, you can place it over a newspaper and the light will scatter inside the real diamond and prevent a black reflection. A fake diamond will let the black shine through, and you may even be able to read a word depending on the size of the fake stone.

If your diamond is mounted, make sure you can’t see through it to the mount itself — that’s a very bad sign.

Test With A Gemologist

Once you’ve done all your home tests, it’s time to take your jewels that could be diamonds to a gemologist. 

“You don’t want to take a box full of jewelry because it will cost you money for them to look,” Hirsch explained. “I would be flat out frank and say you’re not interested in selling, but just ask if they’re worth you paying attention to or if it’s fine to let the kid’s play with them.”

diamond through a loupeBut don’t just take your diamonds to any old jeweler. It’s important to do your research and find a qualified gemologist.

“At mall stores, they tend to have sales people — not gemologists,” Hirsch said. “They just know what sells in their stores and what appeals to the masses. Look beyond the average jewelry store and go to a local antique stores or ask your local antique jewelry store who is a reputable gemologist in town who knows about diamonds.”

Even if you know the jewelry you have contains diamonds, it can pay off to take them to a gemologist to know how much they’re actually worth. 

“Say you have five, 1-carat diamonds on the table — the cut, color, and clarity will be a huge factor in why one is worth $800 and one is worth $10,000,” she said.

What it could be instead of a diamond:

White topaz — Topaz is a mineral that is usually tinted yellow, red, brown, or pale gray, but can sometimes be white or appear colorless. Diamonds are much harder than topaz, however, which can wear down and scratch over time making it dull or cloudy.

White sapphire— We usually think of sapphires as being blue, but this gem can also be white. Just like topaz, sapphires are prone to more damage than diamonds and do not have the same fire and brilliance of a true diamond.

Cubic zirconium— Mass-produced since 1976, cubic zirconium scratches easily and does not have the same fire and shine as diamonds. 

Moissanite— Moissanite is harder than cubic zirconium and these stones are visually dazzling. The main difference is that moissanites have a different brilliance than a diamond where you can see rainbow colors within the stone, giving it a disco ball effect.

Lab grown— Lab-grown diamonds are technically “real” diamonds both chemically and physical, but they will not fetch for the same price as a mined diamond. Hirsch says they usually sell for about 20% to 30% less than a traditional diamond.  

So the next time you run across something you think is just cheap costume jewelry, it’s important to test it — just in case. 

SEE ALSO: How To Spot A Fake Luxury Watch

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How To Figure Out How Much Sleep You Really Need


Woman SleepingBI Answers: How much sleep do you really need?

Sleep takes up one-third of our lives, but it puzzles us so much.

Many of us are tired all the time — 40% of Americans sleep less than the recommended seven to nine hours, and according to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 35% of Americans say their sleep quality is "poor" or "only fair."

If you type "why can't I" into Google search, sleep is one of the top three things that comes up, along with getting a job and losing weight — our anxieties are reflected by our internet confidante.

But how much sleep do we really need?

First, let's get the bad news out of the way: there isn't going to be a one size fits all answer — sleep needs really do vary from person to person.

You could be one of those incredibly rare people that can actually get by on a few hours of sleep a night (almost definitely not), or you could be on the opposite end of the spectrum, what doctors refer to as a "long sleeper," who might need 11 hours a night.

But there are some things we do know about sleep, and these can help you figure out how much sleep you actually need — and how to better get a night's rest.

Here are five facts that will help you figure out what your personal sleep patterns are and how they compare to the rest of the population.

internaltime21. There's a reason that doctors usually recommend seven to nine hours of sleep.

The amount of sleep that people need falls into a bell curve type distribution, with the vast majority of the population needing between seven and nine hours of rest each night to be refreshed.

The chart to the right, from the book "Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired" by German chronobiologist Till Roenneberg, shows the general distribution of sleep needs. (Chronobiology is the science of our internal clocks.)

2. You have a natural chronotype, or body clock, that determines when you are most comfortable sleeping and being awake.

The most recent research suggests that there are actually four natural chronotypes.

There are night owls, most comfortable being awake and alert later on in the day and into the night (hello, my people); "larks," otherwise known as morning people; and two groups with schedules in between. Both of those groups like to sleep a little later than the larks and go to bed earlier than the owls, but one of those two groups feels sluggish both morning and evening while the other has high energy levels at both times.

If your schedule isn't aligned with your chronotype, you are more likely to feel tired and out of sync.

Sleep needs

3. The amount of sleep you need changes throughout your life.

The seven to nine hour recommendation is standard for adults, but kids need much more sleep, while some older people need less.

This chart by the National Sleep Foundation shows how these requirements change as kids grow up.

In addition to length of sleep needs changing, chronotypes change throughout life as well.

According to Roenneberg's book, young children naturally tend to be more morning oriented. Around puberty, they're more likely to shift into a night owl chronotype, which tends to shift back to an earlier chronotype after age 20.

4. There are some things you can do to adjust your natural chronotype.

While your sleep needs (both chronotype and length) are mostly genetic and can't really be adjusted, there are certain things you can do to adjust your schedule and at least make it a bit easier to get up earlier.

Our bodies respond to light, especially the powerful natural light of the sun. Being exposed to that light in the morning tells our body that it's time to be alert and moving. At night, sitting in the dark stimulates the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps us relax and fall asleep (we mess with this process by looking at bright light from smartphones).

But we can adjust this to a degree by controlling our exposure to light. This process, called entrainment, is what our bodies have to do when we go to a different time zone — this is why we get jet lagged. But we can also use this to train our bodies to get up and go to sleep earlier by exposing ourselves to natural light in the morning and avoiding bright light at night.

This won't turn you into a morning person, but it can make prying the covers loose just a little less painful.

5. Your sleep needs are personal; try to figure out what works for you.

Sometimes new research will come out, and people will claim something like "studies have found that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleep — not eight."

But as interesting as any sleep research is, we do know that people are different and have different needs. The findings of a study don't translate into recommendations for everyone. In the case of sleep, experts recommend figuring out what personally works best for you.

If you can let yourself sleep naturally for a few days to a week, going to bed when you are tired and waking up whenever is natural, preferably while limiting alcohol and caffeine, you'll have a better idea of your individual needs. Get some sun during the day, along with some exercise.

If you do all that but still have trouble sleeping, it might be time to talk to a doctor. You could be one of the large percentage of the population with undiagnosed sleep apnea, especially if you snore. Or you could have some other disorder that can be addressed.

It's worth taking the time to figure out what you can do to sleep better though. There are some incredible benefits to getting better sleep.

This post is part of a continuing series that answers all of your questions related to science. Have your own question? Email science@businessinsider.com with the subject line "Q&A"; tweet your question to @BI_Science; or post to our Facebook page.

SEE ALSO: 9 Easy Tips For Waking Up Earlier And More Refreshed

SEE ALSO: More BI Answers

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This Devastating Photo Puts Pakistan's Worst-Ever Terrorist Attack Into Perspective


On Dec. 16, the Pakistani Taliban assaulted the Army Public School in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing 145 people, including more than 100 children. It is the worst single terrorist attack in the country's history.

Two teenagers who survived the attack are now driving the reality home with a set of Facebook photos that show their lives before and after. 

The first image shows four teenagers wearing Army Public School uniforms while standing on the cricket pitch at the school. From left to right, the boys are Talha Munir Paracha, Rafiq Raza Bangash, Hassan Javed Khan, and Mohammad Yaseen. Yaseen, who was an avid photographer, took the photo before the attack.peshawar school photo2

The second image was taken after the attack and depicts the two boys who survived: Paracha and Khan, who arranged the photo as a tribute to their slain friends. 

pakistan peshawar school photo 1As with many photos taken by the school's attendees prior to the attack, both photos have been shared widely on social media and picked up by news organizations

The original photo was posted with the caption, "Friends uplift the soul."

The Pakistani Taliban said the attack was retaliation for the military's ongoing operations against the Taliban that have been ramped up in tribal areas since June. 

SEE ALSO: Pakistan Is Paralyzed After The Taliban's Worst Terrorist Attack Ever

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Not All Drones Are Expensive, Grab This Awesome Nano Drone For $35 [40% Off]


Dying to get your hands on a respectable drone without dropping $500? The SKEYE Nano Drone is high-precision, miniature quadcopter, and Business Insider readers can get one at this special price – 41% off plus free shipping – that’s 34.99. For a functional drone, that’s very cheap.

The SKEYE Nano works outdoors as well as indoors, and manages all the normal drone tricks like banking turns, figure 8s, and flips. This drone is so small (under .5 ounces) that it can even maneuver around hallway corners. At work, you can zoom around the office annoying your coworkers.

Here are the specs:

  • 6-Axis Gyro
  • 30 minutes to charge with 8 minutes of flight time
  • Works up to 50 meters away
  • 3 flight modes
  • “Flip” functionality and other tricks (F
  • LED lights for night flights

In addition to normal flight, the SKEYE Nano can perform in air flips. Check it out:

This drone is available inside the US as well as internationally (shipping is included). Interested? Want more details? Click below.

Get 41% Off The SKEYE Nano Drone + Free Shipping


SEE ALSO:  New iPhone? Grab This Awesome Battery Case For The 6 Or 6+ [33% And 26% Off]

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