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Actor Toby Maguire is selling his beautiful Los Angeles home for $10 million just a year after buying it


House of the day

Actor Toby Maguire has listed his Los Angeles home for $10.25 million — almost $2 million more than what he paid for it just one year ago.

Built in 1949, the 6,320-square-foot "plantation home" was designed by architect John Byers. 

The mansion has belonged to celebrities for years — Maguire and his wife Jennifer Meyer Maguire purchased the home last January from television host Ricki Lake for $8.45 million, who bought it in 2006 for $5.6 million from Courtney Cox, according to Variety

Alec Traub of Redfin real estate has the listing

Welcome to Toby Maguire's beautiful house.

The home is in the wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood.

The layout of the house is very open — and all of the rooms lead into each other.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The snowiest ski resort in (almost) every state


Sure tough terrain and interesting trails matter, but a ski mountain is only as good as the amount of snow it has.

Williams Ski & Patio gathered data on the ski mountains that get the most natural snowfall in each state and created an infographic showing their findings. They omitted some states in the south, which don't get natural snow.

Alaska's Alyeska Resort got the most snowfall, with an average annual snowfall of 735 inches.

Unsurprisingly, states in the west got tremendous amounts of snow: Washington's Mt. Baker saw 647 inches of snow, Utah's Alta saw 560 inches of snow, and Wyoming's Grand Targhee saw 480 inches of snow. 

Ski resorts in the northeast and southeast US saw the least amount of snowfall. Vermont's Smugglers Notch got the most snow of any resort in the northeast, with 324 inches of snow each year. In New York state, Snow Ridge saw an average annual snowfall of 189 inches. 

See the full infographic below.

snowiest ski resorts by state

SEE ALSO: The best US mountain for every type of skier

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Brooklyn is officially the most unaffordable housing market in America



When you hear the word "Brooklyn," you probably think "hipster."

But you should really think "staggeringly unaffordable housing."

As New York Magazine and Bloomberg report, the borough has become the least-affordable housing market, relative to income, in the US.

In Brooklyn "a resident would need to devote 98 percent of the median income to afford the payment on a median-priced home of $615,000," Bloomberg reports.

That's higher than between 2005 and 2008, at the height of the housing bubble.

The data comes from RealtyTrac, the real-estate-information company. San Francisco and Manhattan are the second- and third-least affordable, according to that data.

Brooklyn's wallet-destroying real-estate surge comes thanks to a few factors, but the biggest one is the saturation of Manhattan.

The world's super rich have started to use Manhattan as the new Swiss Bank Account — since 2008, a reported 30% of condo sales in large Manhattan developments have come from overseas. This is pushing the slightly-less-super-rich to Brooklyn.

And they are ready to buy. 

new york city brooklyn brownstoneNinety-eight townhouses in Brooklyn sold for over $3 million in 2014, most of which were in the swanky neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Park Slope, where a historic brownstone went for a record-breaking $10.78 million.

Other trickle-down effects are more socially devastating.

"What's a frustration for ­middle-class buyers amounts to a desperate crisis for poor renters," reports Andrew Rice in a New York Magazine feature on gentrification in East New York.

SEE ALSO: Americans Think Real Estate Is The Best Long-Term Investment

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Forget a dozen red roses — these are the best flowers to buy for Valentine’s Day


When you think of Valentine’s Day flowers, chances are a dozen long-stem red roses come to mind.

But there’s almost nothing more boring than this traditional bouquet.

“Price-wise, roses go through the roof,” Nic Faitos of New York’s Starbright Floral Design told Business Insider. “A dozen roses is something that’s expected. You can think a little more creatively and get a better and bigger arrangement for your dollar if you do things a little bit differently."

Faitos has been in the floral industry for over 20 years and shared with us his five top picks for flowers that beat the classic red rose.

Green Cymbidium Orchid

Green Cymbidium OrchidFor couples who haven’t been dating too long, Faitos said to consider a green orchid known as Cymbidium.

“It’s the color of a Granny Smith apple,” he said. “It’s very cool, very modern, and it pairs well with purple flowers in a bouquet as an accent.” 

These big blooms have traditionally been associated with love and beauty, which makes them even more fitting for Valentine’s Day. They’re also pretty robust, which means that not only will they not damage en route to your significant other, they’ll last up to three weeks in a vase.

French Tulips

tall tulipsFrench tulips are the giants of the tulip world.

These blooms are about the size of your outstretched hand if you put your fingers together, and as wide as a fist, Faitos told us. And with stems over three feet all, they dwarf typical tulips.

In addition to being much larger, these flowers make for memorable arrangements because of the way they grow in water.

“I like to say they dance in water,” Faitos said. “When they’re in the water, the stems continue to grow — literally overnight. They tangle with each other so your arrangement will look completely different than it did the previous day.”

Black Baccara Hybrid Tea Rose

Black Baccara Hybrid Tea RoseFor married or more serious couples, Faitos recommended buying an arrangement that would look gorgeous in the home. For an elegant, lush option, he said to look at the Black Baccara rose.

“It’s so dark burgundy that it’s magical,” Faitos said. “Cut the stems very short, get a short vase, and pack the roses tightly together with no greenery or other flowers.”

“This would be perfect to put in the middle of the dinner table,” he added. “The presentation is so luxurious that nothing could possibly compete with it.”

These will last two weeks in a vase and are a show-stopper compared to boring, red roses.


hydrangeasFaitos recommends these bountiful flowers, which make for a bigger (and cheaper) bouquet than standard roses.

Hydrangeas come in a variety of colors, from white to purple, and resemble big, round pompoms. We’d suggest getting a mix of these flowers to really let the colors pop. 

Just be warned — hydrangeas need a lot of water to stay fresh in the vase.

Red Lion Amaryllis

Red Lion AmaryllisAmaryllis are a lovely alternative if you want to buy your date red flowers. 

“There’s a variety of Amaryllis called Red Lion,” Faitos said. “It’s more like a candy apple red and is a super romantic, gorgeous flower with a stem length that competes with a long-stem rose.”

The Amaryllis will last at least two weeks, and looks especially striking with its green leaves and stems showing through in a clear vase.

If you’re still at a loss for what to get...

mothers day flowers...call your local florist and ask for a recommendation.

“There are so many options in flowers that no matter what your budget or price point, you can have something pretty and meaningful," Faitos said.

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NOW WATCH: How To Make A Bouquet Of Bacon Roses For Valentine's Day

Science says you're probably attracted to people who look like your parents


ashton demiIf your girlfriend looks a touch like your mom — or your husband resembles your dad — you're not alone. 

According to the research of University of St. Andrews psychologist David Perrett, we're attracted to the features that our parents had when we were born. 

He proved it out in a series of studies. In a 2002 paper, Perrett and his colleagues asked experiment participants to rate the attractiveness of faces of different ages. 

"We found that women born to 'old' parents (over 30) were less impressed by youth, and more attracted to age cues in male faces than women with 'young' parents (under 30)," the authors wrote. "For men, preferences for female faces were influenced by their mother's age and not their father's age, but only for long-term relationships."

The parent-partner link goes even further than age.

In a follow-up study, Perrett and his colleagues found that people tend to be attracted to specific features that resemble those of their opposite-sex parent. A sample of 697 participants found that men and women were both likely to have romantic partners and opposite-sex parents who have the same eye color and hair color. 

So if your dad has blond hair and blue eyes, you're likely to have a boyfriend with blond hair and blue eyes.

It's totally uncomfortable to think about, but Perrett argues that it makes psychological sense. 

His two explanations for the reason people are attracted to partners that kind of look like their parents:

• Imprinting: As infants, our parents are the first humans we trust. They have certain hair and facial features, so we unconsciously take people with that same profile to be more trustworthy — and thus mateworthy — than others. 

• Mere exposure effect:The more we're around a person, the more we like them. It's part of the reason that folks develop crushes in their schools, apartment buildings, and offices — you're around those people all the time, so you prefer them to others. "[It's] well established that people generally respond positively to familiar stimuli and parental traits may be very salient familiar features," Perrett writes. "Individuals may choose partners who possess similar color traits to their parents because they initially appear more familiar than prospective mates with different color traits."

 It gives a whole new meaning to "having a type," doesn't it?

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NOW WATCH: Here's How Much Mark Cuban Sleeps To Be On Top Of His Game

The incredible story of how Italian dictator Mussolini's car wound up in New York — and was forgotten about for 21 years


Alfa Romeo

By 1945, things weren't looking good for Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

He was deposed by the Grand Council of Fascism, arrested by the Italian king, and had just escaped imprisonment with the help of German special forces. Mussolini was headed north with his mistress, Clara Petacci, presumably to seek asylum in Switzerland.

But he never got there.

Instead, the 1939 Alfa Romeo 6c Sport Berlinetta they were in — disguised as a Spanish diplomatic vehicle and traveling with a small contingent of Musolini's remaining supporters and a retreating German antiaircraft unit —  was stopped at an Italian-resistance roadblock in the northern Italian region of Dongo.


This is that exact car. Spotted on The Daily Mail, the classic Alfa, which Mussolini had given to his mistress as a gift, just went up for sale on RM Auctions on Wednesday.

But the story of how it reached the auction block doesn't stop there.

After Mussolini and Petacci were recaptured, the Alfa was confiscated and wound up in the hands of American army officer Major Charles Pettit, who was stationed in occupied Italy.

After the war, the car was shipped to his family's farm in rural upstate New York, where he drove it until it broke down. Mussolini's car was then stored in a barn and subsequently forgotten.

Alfa Romeo

In 1970, the Alfa wasn't in the best of shape. A high-school teacher bought it for $300, after he was told of its connection to World War II. He contacted a Mussolini historian, who was miraculously able to put him in touch with the former Nazi driver, Franz Spogler, who used to chauffeur Mussolini and Petacci.

Spogler confirmed through correspondence, as well as coming to see the car in person, that the rusty 6c was indeed the same exact car used to transport Musolini and Petacci. A rusty, German-made tool kit that Spogler had kept in the 6c was also found in the car, confirming the link.

Alfa RomeoFrom the late 1970s to the early 2000s, the car changed hands a few times. It was also partially restored, had its engine rebuilt in Italy, ran the Mille Miglia race in Italy, and finally underwent a 500,000 euro ($570,000) restoration that took two years.

Nearly 85% of the original body was saved by restorationists at Garage Bonfanti, who collaborated with body specialist Dino Cognolato, according to the RM Auctions House. They reached out to the son of the founder of Carrozzeria Touring, who had collaborated on this particular model of 6c and had access to the original design drawings for the car.

Alfa RomeoOn Wednesday it went on the chopping block and the price crept as high as $2 million. Despite its amazing lineage, however, the car fell short of the auction reserve and did not sell.

As for Mussolini and Petacci, that stop in 1945 was end of the road for them.

Mussolini attempted to deceive the Italian resistance by donning a German uniform and climbing aboard one of their vehicles. It didn't work.

He was quickly identified, and he and Petacci were taken to a nearby resistance hideout and executed; their bodies later strung up as revenge in a Milan gas station.

Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoYou can read more on this car's incredible journey on RM Auctions.

SEE ALSO: Over $18 Million Worth Of Classic Cars Were Found In A 100-Year-Old French Barn

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Stunning maps show what major cities would look like under hundreds of feet of water


Sea Level Rise Seattle

Sea-level rise is one of the most concerning consequences associated with global climate change, thanks to melting polar ice and thermal expansion caused by warming ocean waters — and we're already starting to see its effects on coastal communities around the world. 

The US Geological Survey estimates that if all the world's glaciers melted, sea level would rise by about 80 meters, or more than 260 feet. This scenario could be thousands of years in the future, but it would render many of the world's best-loved coastal cities unrecognizable.

Jeffrey Linn, a Seattle man with a background in geography and urban planning, has created a series of maps of major US cities based on this doomsday scenario. He used actual geographic data from the areas to make the maps as realistic as possible. 

Linn says his interest in the subject was sparked by the book "Always Coming Home," by Ursula Le Guin. 

"The novel is sort of a future anthropology of California's Napa Valley, and in it she looks into the future and sees the California Central Valley flooded by sea-level rise," Linn says. "Since then, I would often think about what would the world around us would look like once all the ice caps melted."

While this extreme amount of sea-level rise isn't expected to happen for millennia, Linn's cheeky names for the potential new landforms and bodies of water that emerge in his maps give often humorous insight into life in the cities of the future.

Linn has mapped eight US cities so far, and is currently working on mapping several locations in the UK. His maps, along with more information, can be viewed on his website. We've put together a slideshow of some of his work here.

Seattle was the first sea-level rise map Linn made, completed in December 2013. He was inspired to start the map by a blogger who writes under the name Burrito Justice. "He did a 200-foot sea-level rise map for San Francisco, and I was like, 'I have to do this for Seattle,'" Linn says.

The result is striking — after 240 feet of sea-level rise, Seattle is reduced to a collection of small islands, like these three, which emerged in the area near the place Seattle's iconic space needle stands today. (The needle, in this map, is sadly submerged.)

Linn uses open-source data to create most of the maps. He puts the data together using a mapping program called QGIS, and then assembles everything in Adobe Illustrator. He says the base cartography only takes him a few hours.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Make smooth coffee and espresso without bitterness using the AeroPress


coffee espresso aeropressFrench press coffee is a step above your standard brew  — but sometimes small particles pass through the filter, which can leave coffee bitter and gritty.

That's where the AeroPress comes in. 

The coffee maker, an update on the standard French press, uses a micro-filter, which makes coffee smoother and without that bitter flavor. (Your stomach will thank you here.)

And while French presses can only make coffee, you can spice things up with an AeroPress and make yourself espressos and lattes, too.

Last, although this might not be the first thing you think about when it comes to coffee, the AeroPress is way easier to clean than a standard coffee pot. It's chamber is self-cleaning, so all you need to do is quickly rinse the plunger. 

The AeroPress makes 1 to 4 cups of coffee or espresso (that's enough for 1 or 2 mugs) and takes less than a minute to make.

So check out the AeroPress on Amazon — for $25.99.

And if you're looking for something else, you can check out Amazon's other deals of the day here.

SEE ALSO:  The Drone Gift Guide: Four Drones To Help You Start Flying [Up To 55% Off]

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NOW WATCH: What Happened When A Bunch Of Young Boys Were Told To Hit A Girl

Science has discovered the facial hair that women are most attracted to


ryan gosling omgNot all beards were created equal, at least when it comes to attracting women.

According to a 2013 Australian study, the most attractive beard length is "heavy stubble," which comes after about 10 days of growth. 

Fascinatingly, heavy beards, light stubble, and clean shaven were all equally less attractive than heavy stubble.

The science says that each length of beard sends a different signal. 

"Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression," write authors Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks. 

"An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive, while full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring," they write.

Beyond attractiveness, researchers also found that facial hair affects perceived fertility as well. The more facial hair a man had, the more masculine a woman perceived him to be — especially when she was in the fertile phase of her menstrual cycle.

Dixson and Brooks came to their conclusions by showing pictures of 10 smiling men at different stages of beard growth to 351 women and 177 heterosexual men. 

As the Register UK observed, evolution is at work here. 

"Beardedness is a prehistoric condition," reported science writer Rik Myslewski, who argues that beards have long been a "strong indication of maleness surrounding puberty." 

Therein lies the magnetic power of the beard.

"Thus, beard quality, thickness, and fullness would signal to potential mates that he was sexually mature and prepared for fatherhood," Myslewski writes. "This makes beardedness a sexual characteristic that is potent to women." 

SEE ALSO: 20 weird psychological reasons someone might fall in love with you

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NOW WATCH: The Secret To Grooming The 10-Day Beard That Women Find Sexiest

We pitted an iPhone camera against a point-and-shoot and a DSLR to see if there's really any difference


Iphone vs DSLR graphic

Smartphone cameras have gotten so good that many people don't see the need for traditional cameras — and the truth is that for many people there is no need. But devoted cameras have to have some advantages, right?

We matched an iPhone 6 camera against the DSLR Canon 5D Mark II ($3,000 for the body alone) and the point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot SD1400-IS ($169).

We tested the cameras in various situations, including bright sunny day, moving objects, close up, etc. Don't expect techie jargon or focus charts here. We're just considering what looks best.

Here are the contenders. Starting from the left is the iPhone 6, the Canon 5D Mark II, and the Canon PowerShot SD1400-IS.

We started with a shot inside the office. Fluorescent light can be tricky for cameras to read. On a DSLR, you can change settings depending what kind of light a shot has, and we were able to produce this picture.

The point and shoot camera sees the fluorescent lighting more yellow.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 20 most romantic hotels in San Francisco


the westin st francis union square san francisco

As one of the most romantic cities in the US, San Francisco is a great place to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Our friends at Hotels.com helped us find the most romantic hotels in the Bay Area.

From ritzy downtown hotels to small waterfront boutique properties, here are the 20 most romantic hotels in San Francisco.


20. The Westin St. Francis on Union Square

Rooms from $195 per night.

19. Clift Hotel

Rooms from $329 per night.

18. Petite Auberge Hotel

Rooms from $149 per night.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The most outrageous phobias you've never heard of


If you suffer from Panphobia (the fear of any phobias), then you should probably stop reading right here. 

If you're still with us, then check out the fascinating and complex web of phobias below. In addition to the more common phobias like claustrophobia or arachnophobia, there's a huge variety of more surprising and specific fears. Though katsaridaphobia (the fear of cockroaches) may seem pretty relatable, others such as Papophobia (the fear of the pope) may leave you a bit more dumbfounded.

One final warning — the graphic is very yellow, so I hope you don't suffer from Xanthophobia.

Phobias Infographic

For a lot more engrossing charts like this one, check out the book Around the World: An Atlas for Today, published by Gestalten.

Around the World Gestalten Book


SEE ALSO: Meet The Woman Who Can't Feel Fear

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Why 'Star Trek' icon Wil Wheaton ditched Hollywood at his peak

19 gifts guys secretly want for Valentine's Day


fitbit force

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and men deserve gifts that show how much they're loved just as much as women do.

We asked our coworkers, fathers, and friends what they want most for Valentine's Day.

And though a lot of the suggestions were extremely practical, that doesn't mean they're not romantic. Just knowing what your guy likes or needs will let him know how much you care.

For the early riser, make sure his coffee never goes cold again.

Sure it's practical, but one of our reporters said the Thermos his girlfriend bought him was one of the best gifts he's received in years.

This highly recommended stainless steel Thermos has a double-wall vacuum insulation so it can keep hot or cold beverages at a steady temperature for up to 24 hours. No more tepid coffee.

Buy it: $25 at Target

Give the gift that gives back with a pair of boxers.

A pair of high-quality underwear is both a practical and romantic gift: he gets a new set, and you get to watch him try them on.

One of BI's writers says that Vineyard Vines boxers are "The best boxers in the world." And while we're sure that title is up for debate among many, the high-quality and soft fabric make these a safe bet.

Buy it: $25 at Vineyard Vines

He can track his favorite brews with this beer tasting map.

Enjoy America's amber waves of grain with this beer map, which has a spot for every state where he can log the brewer, the date he tried it, and there's even a flavor wheel to help him gauge and remember the taste.

Beer enthusiasts will love this thoughtful gift.

Buy it: $30 at Uncommon Goods

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why Northern Europe is more egalitarian than Southern Europe


Cultures fall on a spectrum between egalitarian and hierarchical leadership styles. INSEAD professor Erin Meyer explains below why Northern Europe tends to be more egalitarian than Southern Europe.

 culture map leading

Take a good look at the Leading scale and see if you can identify the location of "European culture." As your eye scans from Denmark and Sweden on the extreme left of the scale all the way down to Italy and Spain in the middle-right, you'll realize that what it means to be "culturally European" on this scale is not very evident. Although Europe is a small geographical area, it embraces large differences in opinion about what it means to be a good boss.

These variations within Europe have been examined by a number of different researchers. For example, in the 1980s, 90s, and early 2000s, my colleague Professor André Laurent polled hundreds of European managers about a number of leadership issues. One of the questions he asked was, "Is it important for a manager to have at hand precise answers to most of the questions subordinates may raise about their work?"

Take a look (Figure 4.2) at the percentages of respondents from each country who responded "yes" to this question:

Screen Shot 2015 02 06 at 1.27.39 PM

As you can see, the answers varied dramatically from one nationality to the next. While 55 percent of Italians polled claimed that it is important for the boss to have most of the answers, only 7 percent of Swedes thought the same way. In recent follow-up interviews, Swedish managers explained that a conscious approach to leadership underlies this attitude. One commented, "Even if I know the answer, I probably won't give it to my staff . . . because I want them to figure it out for themselves." An Italian manager would be more likely to say "If I don't provide my people with the answers they need, how can they move ahead?"

Intrigued by these results, Professor Laurent puzzled over the historic factors that might have pushed these various European cultures to have such different identities when it comes to the role of the boss. Here are three clues you might recall from your high school history classes.

The first clue is one I recall from my tenth-grade teacher, Mr. Duncan, who told our class about how the Roman Empire swept across Southern Europe. He recounted in hushed tones how the Romans built hierarchical social and political structures and heavily centralized systems for managing their vast empire. The boundaries between the different classes were strict and legally enforced. Members of different classes even dressed differently. Only the emperor was allowed to wear a purple toga, while senators could wear a white toga with a broad purple stripe along the edge, and equestrians, who ranked just below the senators, wore togas with a narrow purple stripe. The class of the person was therefore noticeable at first glimpse.

So a first historical point is that the countries that fell under the influence of the Roman Empire (including Spain, Italy and, to a lesser degree, France) tend to be more hierarchical than the rest of Western Europe. Although your Italian boss is unlikely to wear a purple toga, invisible and subtle remnants of these attitudes still remain today.

Silvio Berlusconi italy

The second clue relates to a much later European empire, one that dominated the northern part of the continent to almost as great an extent as the Roman Empire dominated the South. When you think of the Vikings, you may think of hulking muscular men with long walrus mustaches and hats with horns, riding big ships and waging bloody wars. What you may not know is that the Vikings were surprisingly egalitarian. When settling in Iceland, they founded one of the world's early democracies. The entire community was invited to the debating hall to thrash out the hot topics of the day, followed by a vote, with each person's opinion carrying equal weight. Legend has it that, when the Prince of Franks sent an envoy from Southern Europe to negotiate with the Vikings, the puzzled envoy returned confused and disheartened, complaining, "I couldn't figure out who to talk with. They said they were all the chiefs."

The countries most influenced by the Vikings consistently rank as some of the most egalitarian and consensus-oriented cultures in the world today. So it is no surprise that, even today, when you walk into a meeting room in Copenhagen or Stockholm, it is often impossible to spot the boss.


Our third historical clue relates to the distance between the people and God in particular religions. Countries with Protestant cultures tend to fall further to the egalitarian side of the scale than those with a more Catholic tradition. One interpretation of this pattern is that the Protestant Reformation largely removed the traditional hierarchy from the church. In many strains of Protestantism, the individual speaks directly to God instead of speaking to God through the priest, the bishop, and pope. Thus, it's natural that societies in which Protestant religions predominate tend to be more egalitarian than those dominated by Catholicism.

Of course, all three of these historical observations are dramatic oversimplifications, as each country has a rich and complex history that helps shape its leadership beliefs. But even in this day of text messaging and video calls, where cross-cultural interactions are commonplace, events that took place thousands of years ago continue to influence the cultures in which individuals are raised and formed—and these historical forces help to explain why European countries appear in such widely different locations on the Leading scale.

This excerpt was posted with permission from "The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business" (2014) from PublicAffairs.

SEE ALSO: More cultural insights from INSEAD professor Erin Meyer

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The 12 most romantic date night spots in New York City



Wondering where to take your special someone for Valentine's Day dinner?

So were we, so we decided to reach out to the food experts at The Infatuation for a list of the best candlelight joints with critic-approved cuisine.

These 12 restaurants are the absolute pinnacle of romance for Valentine's Day.

But you better book fast — reservations won't last long.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie is a late-night New York institution.

The flagship of the Blue Ribbon Restaurants is now about 26 years old, but that hasn't diminished its power to delight dinners.

Its claim to fame — besides the oysters and friend chicken dishes — is that it stays open until 4a.m. nightly. Perfect if your Valentine is a night owl.

Order anything at Casa Mono.

52 Irving Pl., Manhattan

Spanish restaurant Casa Mono is the perfect place for a romantic Valentine's evening with a side of pork.

The food here is said to be so consistently good in this restaurant, that the Infatuation's Andrew Steinthal says, "You can pretty much close your eyes and blindly point at the menu, comfortably knowing there’s no wrong answer."

The wait might be long, but you can always stop at the great wine and tapas bar Bar Jamón while you wait for your table.

L’Artusi has bold, yet sophisticated flavors.

228 W. 10th St., Manhattan

L’Artusi is the quintessential upscale New York Italian restaurant, with big, bold flavors, but enough sophistication that it will seriously impress your date.

This West Village spot also has an amazing wine list and an entertaining atmosphere.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Meet the woman you can hire to be your bridesmaid for $1,000 and up


Jen GlantzOne night last June, Jen Glantz visited Craigslist.com, posted an ad, and went to bed.

She woke up to over 250 emails. By the end of the week, thousands had flooded her inbox.

"I didn't know what to expect," she tells Business Insider. "I figured I'd post it, and just see what happens. I never thought I'd get this kind of response."

Her ad read something like this:

"When all my friends started getting engaged – I decided to make new friends – but then they got engaged also and for what felt like the hundredth time, I was asked to be a bridesmaid. This year alone, I've been a bridesmaid 4 times. That's 4 different chiffon dresses, 4 different bachelorette parties filled with tequila shots and guys in thong underwear twerking way too close to my face. … So let me be there for you this time if you don't have any other girlfriends except your third cousin, twice removed, who is often found sticking her tongue down an empty bottle of red wine..."

Jen Glantz

Glantz is the cofounder of Bridesmaid for Hire, a company that offers "undercover bridesmaid" and personal assistant-type services to brides and their wedding parties. 

She founded her company after seeing how well people responded to the Craigslist ad — which she decided to write when her roommate dubbed her "the professional bridesmaid."

"I was a bridesmaid more times that I could count on two hands; I was even asked twice in the same day!" she recalls. "So, when my roommate said that, I thought, 'Maybe I can actually do that. Maybe I can help brides who aren't my friends,'" says Glantz, author of "All My Friends Are Engaged."

Based in New York City, the 26-year-old Florida native says she noticed a gap in the $51 billion wedding industry somewhere around her sixth stint as a bridesmaid, and decided to fill it.

All My Friends Are Engaged"Friends of mine were handing out my phone number to brides-to-be who had questions for me about how to handle unruly and unresponsive bridesmaids, or just how to make it through their wedding adventure without loosing their cool — or their minds," she says. "I found myself chatting with a new bride almost every week about her own adventure so far, breaking down challenges, giving advice on personal topics, and acting as her impromptu therapist and ultimate bridesmaid consultant. It's a happy time, but also the most stressful time — and a lot of women need some extra support."

In talking to brides, Glantz noticed that many didn't have anyone there for them on their wedding day. "Sure, they have bridesmaids and family and maybe even a wedding planner — but those people are all busy getting ready and taking photos, and the planner is focused on getting things done and working with vendors. If the bride needed someone to run a last-minute errand, nobody was there to do it."

After posting her Craigslist ad, Glantz began responding to emails, getting to know the women who were interested in her service.

"Once I realized there was real demand for this, I knew I needed to come up with packages, pricing, and a website." 

That's when she reached out to her brother, Jason Glantz, who cofounded Bridesmaid for Hire and has helped her with business development, business planning, marketing ideas, website design, and even partnership research. "He's half the brains and the heart behind this business."

The bother-sister team came up with three different packages.

There's the "Virtual Bridesmaid," which includes one-on-one consultation sessions via video chat; the "Ultimate Bridesmaid," which offers maids-of-honor and bridesmaids behind-the-scenes assistance plus in-person ground support at pre-wedding events and day-of events; and the "Bridesmaid By Your Side," which includes everything from the Undercover Bridesmaid package, plus actual participation as a bridesmaid or maid-of-honor in the wedding party.

Jen Glantz

The packages range from $300 to $2,000, however, Glantz says her prices are negotiable ("I can work with any budget," she says). The average bride or bridesmaid pays Glantz $1,000 for her services. 

"Essentially I'm there as the bride's personal assistant and on-call therapist. I help her manage and execute her personal to-do list of tasks, which can often be over 100 tasks long."

But contrary to popular belief, Glantz's service "isn't for 'sad' brides without friends."

There are a few reasons people hire her. Some brides have attendants, but are looking for a professional to step in and help with tasks and make sure their wedding party has everything they need; while others are women who don't have many close people in their lives and "want a bridesmaid by their side to make this adventure special for them."

"They need that energetic and positive person to boost their confidence before and during their wedding day. There's nothing sad about that. Not everyone is lucky to have quality people in their lives who make them shine. And that's not something they should be embarrassed about," she says. "I'm not rent-a-friend for the day. I'm just a professional who will make the wedding experience more pleasant for clients."

Jen Glantz

Her first client was a bride named Ashley.

"She hired me after her maid of honor 'stepped down,'" she says. "This person was not there for Ashley, and couldn't provide her with the kind of support a bride deserves."

Ashley hired Glantz in July and got married in Minnesota in September. They spoke on the phone weekly, and when the big day came, Glantz was by Ashley's side.

"People always ask, 'Do people know you're a hired bridesmaid?'" she says. "And the answer is, most guests don't."

Other bridesmaids, of course, are aware — "and sometimes they get a little jealous at first," she adds. "But once they realize I'm not there to replace them as the bride's friend, and I'm there to help them and make their day more enjoyable, they usually get comfortable with the idea, and we're often friends by the end of the night." 

Craigslist AdIf and when guests do ask Glantz how she knows the bride, her response is simply, "We're friends." "Rarely do they question me beyond that," she says.

And the best part is, she says, it's usually not a lie.

Glantz frequently becomes friends with her clients throughout the process, and they remain friends after the big day. "I'm helping out women during a very emotional and vulnerable time in their lives, so it's natural that we tend form close bonds."

But she says it's also important to remember this is a job and she has to be professional.

"I never, ever drink at weddings. I'm there to work — not party," she says. "It might look like I'm just another bridesmaid having fun, but I am actually doing a lot of behind-the-scenes running around."

Jen Glantz

Since Ashley's wedding in September, Glantz has been in five other weddings as a hired bridesmaid. She'll travel to Las Vegas for a wedding in April, and at least six other cities over the next 12 months. 

And now, with the recent release of the "The Wedding Ringer," a movie starring Kevin Hart who plays the CEO of a company that provides best men for grooms in need, Glantz has seen a significant uptick in interest.

She has recently received 750 applications from brides who are getting married in the next two years — and has taken on 25 new clients.

To choose which ones she wants to work with, Glantz sets up a phone call with almost every interested bride, mother of the bride, or friend of the bride who contacts her.

"I currently have a limited amount of brides I can take on and work with each year, so I like to make sure that not only do I think I can help the bride out in an extraordinary way, but that she's truly looking to hire a professional bridesmaid for support and guidance," she says. "If a bride writes to me and asks that I send them five bridesmaids with specific requests about what each one needs to look like, I typically pass over. We're not a bridesmaid staffing firm."

To keep up with demand, Glantz in the process of hiring five additional "bridesmaids." As of this week, she's had over 1,000 women apply.

"I'm the only person who is doing this currently," she says. "Eventually I'd like to expand and have teams in cities all around the world." 

Jen Glantz

Glantz couldn't share financial data since she and her brother are currently in talks with potential investors and partners, and have agreed to not comment on finances publicly — but of the money they are making, she says "every dollar goes back to investing in the business, whether that's to the website, legal fees, hiring women to assist with larger weddings, product development (for items we plan to sell on the website), and more."

She says she's also looking to partner up with a female-oriented nonprofit to donate a percent of the company's profits to. "Giving back to women and helping them with career and confidence development has always meant a lot to me personally and professionally," she says. "I don't think many women out there, in high school and college, have someone rooting for them. Telling them they can grow up to be what they want to be or guide them in the right direction to do so. I've always wanted to be that person for them."

And men: don't fret. Glantz plans to being offering a similar service to grooms in the future.

SEE ALSO: Meet The Woman Who Cuddles With Strangers For $60 An Hour

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See inside director Michael Bay's gorgeous Los Angeles mansion with a 40-seat theater


michael bay architectural digest

Forget about red velvet seats and old-timey popcorn machines. In terms of picture and sound quality, there are few home theaters in the world that rival the one installed in director Michael Bay’s new Los Angeles retreat.

The state-of-the-art screening room was conceived by theater architect and acoustical engineer Jeff Cooper, a mandarin of modern theater design whose client list includes Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Robert Zemeckis. For the tech-savvy as well as the Luddites among our readership, Architectural Digest asked Cooper to explain what makes Bay’s screening room so extraordinary.

The 40-seat digital theater is designed “with steeply inclined, curved rows of stadium seating to maximize sight lines and assure optimum hearing lines,” Cooper says. The Stewart MicroPerf screen, which measures 12 feet by 24 feet, has thousands of minuscule perforations to allow for what he calls “acoustic transparency” from the five front speakers and two subwoofers mounted directly behind the screen.

A 4K Barco digital video projector, mounted in the projection room, delivers image brightness and clarity that are nothing short of breathtaking.

michael bay architectural digestmichael bay architectural digestmichael bay architectural digest

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And read about Michael Bay's Los Angeles retreat here >

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The story behind the barn-find, 50-year-old Ferrari that just sold at auction for $16.2 million


Ferrari 250 GT California SWB, Collection Baillon © Artcurial

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder found in a rural French barn just hit the action block — and netted an impressive $16.2 million.

That number surpasses the $14.74 million pricetag the auctioneers at Artcurial expected the car to fetch. The 250 GT is considered one of the most expensive classic cars, and occupies 13 spots on the list of most expensive cars ever sold, The Guardian notes.

This example of the Califorian Spyder is one of only 37 ever produced. 

Here's what it might look like once fully restored:

RTX5TVTThe story of how the car was found is nearly as interesting as the amazing Ferrari itself.

It's every car collector's dream to uncover an amazing barn filled with perfectly preserved classic cars. And for two "motorcar specialists" from the auction house Artcurial Motorcars, that dream became a reality.

In the barn, a total of 60 collectors' automobiles were tucked away in makeshift, cast-iron cages and underneath outbuildings. They had been rotting away for at least 50 years.

"This sort of thing doesn’t happen often enough," Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, said in a press release. "In our jargon, we speak about 'barn finds' as cars that are intact, that have remained untouched for years, and are found again. I have to say that when we arrived here, we found ourselves overcome with emotion."

The cars were collected by French transportation mogul Roger Baillon, who fell on hard times in the 1970s and had to sell his car collection.

Abri 1 avec Facel Vega Excellence et Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex Roi Farouk, Collection Baillon ® ArtcurialBut, classic car lover that he was, Baillon couldn't simply sell all of his cars. He tucked away some of his collectibles in the barn in France, and they were subsequently forgotten about.

Needless to say, time, dust, and rust took their toll on these cars, some of which have become barely recognizable. See more gorgeous pictures from the collection below, like the Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon Guiet. 

Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon Guiet, Collection Baillon © ArtcurialHere's what that same car might have looked like in its heyday.

Hispano Suiza 1924 H6B Million Guiet carMany of the cars in this find could be too far gone for authentic restoration, but they may still find a buyer. For instance, chances are this Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé Saoutchik could never return to its former glory.

Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik, Collection Baillon © ArtcurialBut you never know — with a great mechanic and a new paint job, perhaps the car could be restored with new parts:

1950 Talbot_Lago T26Even though they are rusted out, all these old cars have a classic beauty that still shines through, like this Talbot Lago T26 Cabriolet Saoutchik ex Roi Farouk. 

Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex Roi Farouk, Collection Baillon © ArtcurialApart from the Ferrari, another highlight of the collection was a 1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sport Frua, which is one of only three ever made.

Ferrari 250 GT California SWB et Maserati A6G 2000 berlinetta Grand Sport Frua , Collection Baillon © ArtcurialHere's a similar model Maserati to give you an idea of what it will look like after an extensive restoration process. The found Maserati is one of only three to be made, and it is expected to fetch $1.5 million when it goes under the hammer.


Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik, Photo Remi Dargegen © Artcurial

SEE ALSO: Check Out This $25 Million Over-The-Top Megayacht Concept That Looks Like The Batmobile

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Take a look inside Wall Street’s favorite new Caribbean resort


Malliouhana Resort Anguilla

Business Insider recently wrote about Anguilla as the hot new vacation spot for the Wall Street crowd.

The Caribbean island has stunning views, beautiful resorts and a relaxing, laid-back atmosphere. The entire island of Anguilla only has one road running through it, and it's small enough to traverse in about 30 minutes.

For the wealthy visitors lounging around Anguilla, accommodations are just as important as the beautiful beaches.

Although Wall Streeters often rent villas on Anguilla, many of them choose to stay in the luxurious Malliouhana Resort.

The resort recently underwent an $80 million renovation and rebranded as an Auberge resort. After a three-year closure, the Malliouhana reopened in November with an updated design, open views, fine dining, and lounge.

The island of Anguilla is only 16 miles long and 3 miles wide, but it has 33 beautiful public beaches.

The Malliouhana Resort is a favorite with Wall Streeters.

The luxurious resort first opened in 1984, but recently completed an $80 million renovation. It was closed for three years during the renovation, and just reopened as an Auberge Resort.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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