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The new oligarchs in New York City are like nothing the city has seen


15 central park west drivewayAuthor Michael Gross has a lot to say about the inner workings of the lives of the rich and famous in New York City.

He's written numerous books about powerful people through the lens of the fancy buildings containing their apartments (and secrets).

One of his books, "House of Outrageous Fortune," which chronicles the construction of New York City's 15 Central Park West, is being released Tuesday in paperback.

Business Insider spoke to Gross about the current state of Manhattan real estate, the biggest rivalry within it, and the new class of ridiculously rich people taking over New York and the world.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Business Insider: Have you always written about members of the New York City elite?

Michael Gross: Early in my career, I was writing about rock stars, and there were two types of people who were doing that. People were writing about rock stars to sell records and make the record companies happy. And then there were people getting the dirt on them. The discomfiting things are often the most interesting, and that's what interests me: the intricate construction of facades and what lies behind them.

BI: How would you describe the facades of most of the people in your books? 

MG: Impenetrable facades. They live in the places where the richest people in the world can live. They own trophy real estate.

BI: What is trophy real estate?

MG: In any community, there's the house on the hill. There is the rich person and there are all the little people at the bottom of the hill. In our interconnected global society there are trophy cities, trophy neighborhoods within trophy cities, and trophy buildings within those trophy neighborhoods. A certain kind of person is attracted to that kind of real estate as a marker of their success — as a trophy of what they have accomplished. See? What I own defines me. What I own proves how important I am. What I own is a reflection of me.

740 Park AvenueBI: An earlier book of yours talks about a different building in New York, 740 Park Avenue. How do its residents compare to 15 Central Park West?

At 740 Park, people who have the self-knowledge understand they've been usurped. Their wealth is paltry comparison to the residents of 15 Central Park West. It's not insignificant, but it's paltry.

The co-op mindset and the condo mindset are diametrically opposite. The kind of people who buy trophy condos are not invested in the kind of place they live. The people who live in co-ops are rooted in the place they live. The people in 740 Park are New Yorkers.

15 Central Park West represented a complete change. The establishment of a new strata of wealth that had never existed before. Unfathomable wealth.

The people who live in 15 Central Park West are oligarchs of the world: They share the same city, but they live in a completely different society. They're helicopter people — fly in, fly out. They don't want to see the street. They can sit in their glass boxes and look out at Central Park and say, "I'm king of the world." They're not kings of New York. The kings of New York live at 740 Park. At 740 Park, there's — dare I say it? More of a sense of perspective.

15 Central Park WestBI: Does anyone ever get tired of it?

MG: [15 Central Park West developer] Will Zeckendorf lived in West Side condos — kind of tacky West Side condos. His brother Arthur lived in kind of a tacky East Side building. They had tacky condos for many years then moved to 15 Central Park West. They continued upping their game. But then Will never moved into his apartment. He sold his 15 Central Park West apartment and moved into 740 Park. 

The guy who built the paradigmatic new condo moved back to the paradigmatic old co-op.

BI: Will the old mindset be conquered by the new mindset?

MG: There are signs in society that people are interested in pushing back. Occupy Goldman Sachs when the occupy movement set up an encampment outside of 15 Central Park West. It was like a rag tag little sideshow, but now there are mainstream politicians singing a different version of a similar song. You see candidates like Hillary Clinton struggling with populism vs the plutocracy and where they want to stand on that spectrum. To some extent what's happened here isn't healthy. The rise of this class of wealth that has no relationship to place.

BI: Is this trend of extremely wealthy buyers and ultra luxury buildings limited to New York?

MG: It's not just New York. In London, there are whole neighborhoods that are dark for most of the year. We're talking about the best housing stock in London. There are people who only go there for a month each year when it's too hot in the Middle East.

BI: Is there going to be a bubble? How many people around the world can afford $8 million apartments?

MG: It's one of the questions people should be asking right now. Is there still going to be a market for Russian oligarchs? How long is the China thing going to continue? People don't put this together, but if there's trouble in China, it will wash up on Manhattan. How long can this go on? All those hedge fund guys at 15 Central Park West... Hedge funds aren't doing as well as they did in 2006 when those guys bought all those apartments.

15 Central Park West Apartment Resident GraphicBI: What do the residents of these buildings think about people knowing they live there?

MG: Will and Arthur Zeckendorf and people from Goldman Sachs, who are co-developers of 15 Central Park West, were all completely cooperative with the research and the writing of my book because they had a remarkable achievement and were proud of it. 

If you're a public person and you're constantly in the newspapers and you make huge amounts of money and you affect society in huge ways and you also want to be invisible.... Well, you know, move to Idaho. The example I always use is Paul Newman and Joann Woodward. They lived a quiet life in Connecticut. Woody Allen lived on 5th Avenue and was hiding in plain sight. To me that's what these buildings represent: hiding in plain sight.

If you want to stay out of the spotlight, don't move into 740 Park. Don't move to the corner of Central Park West. You're not going to hide there. 

SEE ALSO: The 20 best places to live overseas

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Here's what happened when 8 of America's top steak purveyors competed at 1 dinner


great steak deabte

This doesn't happen every day.

It is not every day that 8 of America's top steak purveyors prepare a cut for your review at a single dinner while Chef Marc Forgione — of American Cut steakhouse fame — presides over the proceedings, making sure every cut is cooked to equal perfection.

But it happened, and we went.

"You get to act like a chef tonight," Forgione told the crowd, adding, "I don't want to see any fights by the way. Please."

The event was called the 'Great Steak Debate.' Men's lifestyle site InsideHook put the whole thing on for its readers (and other steak addicts), and it all went down on a snowy Sunday at the NYC American Cut. There were six professional judges too.

So here's who competed:

All of these steaks were prepared the same way — simply. Butter, salt and pepper. That's it.

Because as you probably understand, that the flavor of a steak — it's destiny, if you will — is decided far before it gets to the grill. All of the participating purveyors have their own way of raising cattle and aging the steak. Five of the steaks were dry aged, three were wet aged. This all influences the flavor of the steak.

The dinner worked like this: Each steak was sliced and sent unmarked to tables of hungry (and maybe slightly tipsy post cocktail hour) diners. Mashed potatoes and creamed spinach served as sides. 

Diners were also provided with stampers to mark off their favorite steaks, and a pen and notebook to take notes. This was a serious event.

The steaks were taken out like this:

great steak debate

Now here's the thing. The winner of the people's choice award was kind of apparent early on. From first bite it was clear that steak A (whatever that was) was an unforgettable cut. It became the talk of the party.

That said, ultimately the judges and the people did not agree on which steak reigned supreme. While the people chose Belcampo (yup, that was A), the judges chose Chicago Steak Company.

A little more about these two purveyors: Belcampo raises its free-range cattle on 20,000 acres, then dry ages the meat for 28 days. They have five locations in California where you can dine if you're looking to eat something really fresh.

The Chicago Steak Company ages steaks for 4-6 weeks and boats a number of cuts chosen by former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka himself. 

So with Ditka tangentially involved you imagine the competition was quite fierce.

And yet no one fought.

great steak debate

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These tiny sculptures are mind-blowing


Jonty Hurwitz nanosculpture eye of needle

When we say a sculpture is impressive because of its scale, we're usually alluding to how big or tall it is.

But in the case of artist Jonty Hurwitz' nano-sculptures, the scale is impressive — mind-boggling, really — because of how tiny it is.

Hurwitz claims the sculptures are the smallest depiction of the human form, and that they've been seen "in one way or another, in the web sphere, by 20 or 30 million people so far."

The South African-born artist used more than 200 cameras in a warehouse in Sussex, England, to capture live models. The cameras all go off at the same time to provide data for reconstruction.

Technicians at Nanoscribe, a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, recreated the models in a sterile lab. Light is focused on one point of a polymer to create "a tiny 3D pixel (called a Voxel)," Hurwitz writes on his website. "The sculpture is then moved along fractionally by a computer controlled process and the next pixel is created."

These voxels number in the "tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands" per sculpture, each voxel measuring between three and five hundred nanometers, Hurwitz told Business Insider. This tiny figure is still small enough to fit on a human hair.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Forget the $17,000 gold Apple Watch — this $2.6 million Patek Philippe is the most complicated wristwatch in history


Patek Philippe

It was revealed Monday at the Apple Watch presentation in San Francisco that the most expensive Apple Watch will cost a whopping $17,000.

Of course, that's small potatoes compared to this $2.6 million Swiss watch which is arguably the most complex wristwatch that has ever been made.

For its 175th anniversary, the luxury Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe invented a collection of limited-edition commemorative timepieces called The Grandmaster Chime with 20 complications, two dials, and 214 parts.

The watch measures 47.7 mm in diameter and has 1,366 individual components. It took a whopping eight years and 100,000 man hours to develop, 60,000 of which were spent just on the watch's movement. 

Patek Philippe calls the Grandmaster Chime an “intelligent watch” with features such as a minute repeater, instantaneous perpetual calendar with a four-digit year display, and a second time zone.

It also has two deluxe features that are a world-first for chime watches, including an acoustic alarm that strikes the alarm time and even a function that chimes the date.

Patek Philippe The Grandmaster Chime is the first double-face wristwatch to be presented by Patek Philippe, meaning that it can be worn with either dial facing up — one shows the time, while the other shows the calendar. The “swivel case,” which enables the watches smooth reversal, took an astounding four years to perfect.

Both sides are equally stunning. The 18k rose gold 16.1 mm thick clasp was fully engraved by hand. Even the strap is meticulously designed — hand-stitched and made from alligator.

Patek PhilippeOnly seven of the Grandmaster Chimes will be produced, and Patek Philippe will keep one in the company’s museum in Geneva where it can be admired by the public. 

And for those who want to purchase the remaining six, it's not enough to have $2.5 million in the bank. Lucky customers must also be interviewed by Thierry Stern, the chairman of the watchmaking brand.

"I would like to chat with the client and make sure he's a watch lover and make sure he's going to enjoy the watch for many years," Stern told CNBC.

Patek Philippe

SEE ALSO: This Wrist Watch Has 876 Parts And Costs $2.5 Million

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Photographers reveal how they shot 14 of the most iconic images of all time



In 2006, photographer Tim Mantoani was sensing a major shift in the photographic industry as shooters began to move away from film and towards digital media.

So over Christmas, Mantoani, who had shot with film for most of his career until then, decided to rent a massive 20x24 Polaroid camera, "knowing that the opportunity to shoot on this format would most likely be limited," he told Business Insider.

He knew he wanted to shoot something special with the massive camera, so he invited over two of his photographer friends, Jim Marshall and Michael Zagaris. "I asked each of them to bring in a few of their most iconic or favorite shots and I made my first portraits on this format. The process for both myself and subjects was special," Mantoani said. He knew he was on to something.

Since then, Mantoani has photographed 150 photographers from California to Boston. He says the process was organic and happened somewhat by chance. "One referral and shoot led to the next," he said. The subjects wrote about their experiences on Mantoani's Polaroid prints.

"My hope is that people understand that cameras don’t make photographs, photographers do. Without the incredible dedication and passion of these image makers, these moments would not exist," Mantoani said.

His series, titled "Behind Photographs," has been compiled in a book which you can purchase here

"Customs, 1972. I was traveling with the Stones and we were crossing from Canada back into the U.S.—milling about. I saw the sign and called Keith over and took two frames—then I looked up for Mick (thinking I’d get them both— 'Jagger-Richards aka The Glimmer Twins'). The customs official noticed us and barked, 'Stop right away or we’ll confiscate the film'. I stopped. I knew what I had and didn’t want to lose it." — Ethan Russell

"John Lennon asked me to come to his penthouse apartment on the east side of New York to take pictures for the cover of his ‘Walls + Bridges’ album. After we took a series of portraits for the record cover, we took some informal shots to use for publicity. I asked him if he still had the New York City t-shirt I had given him a year earlier and he went and put it on and we made this photo." — Bob Gruen

"Originally an inside opener for Rolling Stone cover story of Nirvana in conjunction with the release of 'In Utero,' my first Polaroid (with negative) was by far the most emotional and revealing of his spirit. Two months later Kurt died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. This photograph became the memorial RS cover." — Mark Seliger

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Dolce & Gabbana is selling ridiculously ornate $8,000 headphones


Last week, Dolce & Gabbana debuted a new accessory during its Milan Fashion Week runway show  ridiculously ornate $8,000 headphones.

There were headphones that looked like crowns.

Dolce Gabbana headphones queen ornateHeadphones with fur.

Dolce Gabbana headphonesDolce Gabbana headphonesHeadphones with pearls.

dolce gabbana headphonesAnd Jewel-encrusted headphones.

Dolce Gabbana headphonesBut the headphones weren't just a useless accessory on the runway  they really work and you can buy them!

That is, if you're willing to drop $7,095 for the jeweled gear or up to $7,990 for a fur pair.

Made in Italy and custom designed by the Frends brand, the headphones are rendered in nappa leather and embellished with Swarovski crystals, pearls, and fox fur.

But you're going to have to wait a while for the fancy new headgear.

High end online retailer Moda Operandi estimates the headphones won't be delivered until July 2o through October 30.

dolce gabbana headphones modaoperandi

The fur pair will set you back a bit more.

Dolce Gabbana headphones

SEE ALSO: The 5 most ridiculous items featured in 2 Chainz's new 'Most Expensivest' show

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NOW WATCH: 14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

9 beautiful watches that cost $10,000 and won't become obsolete


Rolex Daytona

The problem with the 18k gold Apple Watch Edition isn't that $10,000 is a lot for a watch. It isn't. 

It is, however a lot for a first generation gadget.

Once you get into the $10,000 range in watch buying, you start buying for investment. These are the watches that become family heirlooms: timepieces that are kept forever, worn on special occasions, and eventually passed down to children.

It's virtually guaranteed your children are not going to want a first generation Apple Watch. In fact, in only a few short years the Apple Watch Edition will probably only be as valuable as the metals that can be salvaged after melting it down

Luxury watch brands, on the other hand, have been making mechanical movements and gorgeous watch cases for centuries.

Their intricate movements and insanely strong pedigree helps them maintain their value. And the best part is: the technology never changes.

Here are just a few smart purchases for those in the market for an investment-grade watch.

IWC Portugieser Automatic IW5007

The Portugieser is one of IWC's most popular models. With its legendary Pellaton winding system and select ceramic components, this watch is sure to hold its value.

Suggested Retail: $13,700

Rolex Datejust

Rolex is probably the most recognized watch brand in the world. This means that everyone knows how great the Datejust is — and everyone wants one.

Suggested Retail$12,750

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox

Jaeger-LeCoultre is a watch name that needs no introduction. It's been making spectacular watches with insanely precise movements since 1833 and the elegantly designed Master Memovox continues that tradition.

Suggested Retail: $11,100

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why an iPhone will never replace my DSLR


iphone canon 5d mark III

We recently pitted the iPhone 6 camera against the DSLR Canon 5D Mark II and the point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot SD1400-IS. The iPhone held its own in many areas, and it's unbeatable when it comes to portability.

And as the adage goes, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

But for those of us who make a living taking photos or count photography as a serious hobby, the camera phone will never replace a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex).

Here are my reasons why:

Interchangeable lenses

canonlensesThe biggest difference between a smartphone camera and a dedicated camera is the ability to use different lenses.

The importance of good glass cannot be understated. High-quality lenses produce unparalleled sharpness and image quality. These photos look crisp, detailed, styled, and hyper-real. They look like photographs instead of snapshots.

In addition, a professional or "prosumer" camera allows you to use whatever lens is appropriate for the situation. If you are shooting sports, you can put on a zoom lens to get close to the action. If you are taking a portrait of someone, you can use a short telephoto lens. If you want to capture a crazy party, put on a wide-angle lens to get the entire scene. You get the idea.

The striking photo below, for instance, was taken from more than 50 feet away with a Nikon D90 and a 300-mm telephoto lens. An iPhone attempting the same photo would never have been able to zoom that closely without pixelating the entire image.


In addition, portraits simply look better with a DSLR and a lens designed to flatter people. The iPhone is stuck using its default, slightly wide-angle lens, which isn't flattering on people.


That’s just the utility aspect. If you want to get into the craft and artistry of photography, using different lens is one of the foremost ways to produce different, interesting images.

There are external lens attachments that you can add onto your iPhone, like the Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone Lens System, the iPro Lens Kit, and iZZi Orbit Pro. These are an improvement over the default lens in the iPhone, but the quality cannot compare with a DSLR lens.

In general, the materials in external smartphone lenses are not high quality. It's hard to expect them to be. The most expensive of these external lenses ranges between $200 and $300. The lowest-end DSLR lenses start around there.

In addition, many of the iPhone lenses have issues with vignetting (when a photo darkens or blurs near the edges), sharpness, distortion, or are just plain clunky.


iphone (1 of 1)A smartphone will always beat a professional camera for portability. It’s built to travel in your pocket everywhere, and it's easy whip out at just the right time. It’s sleek. It’s cool. It fits nicely in your hand. One thing it’s not built for? Taking photos.

Think about every time you’ve ever taken a photo on an iPhone. Sure, it's only a couple of clicks to the camera app and snapping the photo, but think about the actual feel of it in your hands and how hard it is to frame an interesting photo.

It’s awkward. You have to hold the phone out in front of you. You have to look on a small screen to see how everything fits. Even on a large phone like the iPhone 6 Plus or a Galaxy S, it’s difficult to see whether all of the elements in your photo are composed exactly the way you want or if you’ve captured the delicate focus you are looking for. It’s hard to take photos in a crowded setting and not have everyone around you know exactly what you are taking photos of.

Compare that to just about any dedicated camera. It’s made for the explicit purpose of shooting photos. It sits in your hands nicely, easily allows you to adjust settings without fumbling with the back of the screen, and the camera responds tactilely to the press of the shutter.

Best of all, there’s a viewfinder. You can look through the viewfinder and see exactly what your photo looks like at the size you are looking at, not through the prism of a smartphone screen. Composing small details and framing is easier, more accurate, and more precise.

Manual settings

The iPhone, like almost all smartphones, is hopelessly lost in this category. The iPhone’s default Camera app, which most people use, offers no way to manually adjust settings.

Here's why that's a big problem.

All cameras, including the iPhone and my Canon DSLR, are pretty dumb when it comes to determining proper exposure in all but ideal situations. Imagine a black-and-white photo. All cameras’ automatic sensors want to turn everything in your photo into a dull, even gray. Shooting snow? Gray. Shooting jet-black asphalt? Gray. All photographers know this, and it's why every good photographer uses manual settings to compensate.

Now the iPhone does have manual settings, so long as you download an app like Manual or Snapseed. These are helpful and bring the smartphone closer to what I'm looking for in a camera, but ultimately they are mere approximations to what a true camera does. The shutter speeds and ISOs that smartphone cameras can handle — two out of three factors when determining proper exposure — are so limited that most of the time you are better off just letting the auto settings on the camera do its thing.

Further, smartphone cameras have lenses with a fixed aperture (the hole in the lens through which light passes). Being able to change your aperture is important because it allows you to do all sorts of stylistic things that make photos look great. Shooting a mountain landscape? Adjust your aperture so that it is very small and everything from the mountains to the field in front will be in focus. Doing a close-up of a flower? Adjust to a wide-open aperture, and you can make sure the camera focuses only on the flower, while the whole background turns into an aesthetically pleasing blur.

Here's what a close-up photo looks like with a Canon 5D Mark II and 35-mm lens:

for close up photography dslr users can switch to a macro lens which gives this nice depth of field effectAnd the iPhone 6:

the point and shoot does a fine job as well Notice anything?

First, the iPhone has predictably turned our white bowl gray in all but the brightest areas. Second, the bright orange of the carrots has lost some of its luster. The photo is exposed and focused well, but overall it's boring.

Take a second look at the DSLR photo. The exposure settings have been adjusted manually to make sure the bowl stays bright white. Doing so also pitched up the colors of the carrots and jalapenos, making a more aesthetically pleasing shot. Finally, by using a sharp 35-mm lens and a large aperture, I created a visually interesting focal plane that draws the eye in. And that's in a shot that took me all of a minute to set up.

Manual settings are also hugely important when shooting motion. Depending on the lighting in the situation, shooting motion (like sports and moving cars) is one of the most difficult photographic situations there is. It requires constantly tweaking your settings in minute ways to trick your camera into giving you the best it can. In all but bright and sunny conditions, smartphone cameras just don’t measure up. Adjusting settings on the fly is clumsy and autofocus is too slow and imprecise. In addition, smartphone cameras simply can’t handle the high shutter speeds necessary for capturing motion. It’s a recipe for bad photos.

Sensor size

One of the biggest determinants in digital image quality is size of the image sensor in your camera. When it comes to that, smartphones simply can't measure up.

Digital camera sensors are full of millions of light-sensitive spots that record information about what is seen through the lens. The bigger the sensor, the more area for the camera to capture and record light. (In the old film days, the equivalent was the size of your film: A large-format camera that took 8-by-10 film always took far more detailed photos than those taken by a 35-mm camera.)

How big is the difference between sensor sizes? Look at this graphic (note that even though Apple introduced a new sensor with the iPhone 6, it’s still the same size as earlier models):


Cameras with larger sensors are capable of capturing more information, producing photos that have more contrast, more accurate colors, and less noise, especially when shooting in low-light situations.

Ever try shooting in a dark room with an iPhone? The photos are barely passable. There’s blur and noise if you're lucky, and ugly flash if you're not.

Here's a photo I took with my iPhone at a Jack White concert earlier this year:

jack white iphone
Here's a photo taken by a DSLR on Getty Images. It was taken last year at Governor's Ball in New York City. White was using roughly the same stage and lighting set-up.

Leaving aside the fact that the DSLR was able to get much closer with a telephoto lens, the most obvious difference is the detail in White's skin tone and clothes. While the DSLR was able to turn a difficult lighting situation into a compelling photo, the iPhone struggled to capture even the largest details. The band members' skin is too bright and everything else is too dark.

The problem is equally pronounced in bright situations. Here are two photos I took of identical street scenes. The first is with the DSLR, the second with the iPhone 6.

IphoneDslr (8 of 13)iphone edit 5While both have some issues with lens glare and contrast — a hallmark of shooting in the middle of the day — the iPhone's issues are more pronounced. The DSLR retains detail in the brightest parts of the image without blacking out all of the shadows. The iPhone 6 image, on the other hand, has extreme lens glare, almost no detail in the shadows, and bright light clouding most of the image.

Leaving aside lighting issues, larger sensors produce higher-resolution photos, which means that when you want to blow up the photo on your 80-inch plasma TV or print them out to hang on your wall, they still look sharp.

Ever tried to print out a photo taken on your iPhone? They generally look awful. I’ve had plenty of friends try to show me prints of iPhone photos, and I’ve had to lie more than a few times that their photos "look great."

Now some of you will probably say, Pssh. Just give Apple/Samsung/HTC some time. They’ll make a bigger sensor. Chances are they won’t. Consider the form factor of a smartphone and just how much other stuff they have to pack into that ever-slimming frame. They may increase the sensor marginally, but it will never match a dedicated camera.

The verdict

All of this isn’t to say that an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S, or other smartphones aren’t fine cameras. They are. Ultimately, the quality of photos comes down to skill level of the person taking them.

Hand an amateur an 8-by-10 large-format camera and they won’t know what to do with it. Alternately, give a skilled photographer an iPhone and they can produce awesome, awe-inspiring work. (If you want to see some amazing iPhone work, check out the book Hashtag Sandy.)

But give me a choice, and I would always pick my DSLR.

SEE ALSO: Visit the utopian summer camp where campers make up their own rules

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NOW WATCH: 10 things you didn't know your iPhone camera could do

This lipstick-sized emergency charger provides nearly a full charge for smartphones [50% off]


lipstick charger iphoneHere's a super small portable charger that'll bring your phone back to life — but won't take up lots of room.

The lipstick-sized Anker 2nd generation portable charger fits into a wallet and provides nearly a full charge for most smartphones.

Specifically, the charger can provide over 7 hours of talk-time to an iPhone 5S and almost a full charge to a Galaxy S5.

The charger comes in black, blue, pink, silver, and gold.

Anker 2nd generation astro mini lipstick-sized portable charger:$39.99$19.99 [50% off]


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NOW WATCH: 14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

The 24 most successful Brown alumni of all time


Emma Watson Brown University Graduation

Brown University is consistently named one of the smartest colleges in the country

The Ivy League school has gained attention over the years for its celebrity students, most of whom enroll in the school's prestigious Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS) department. But the school also counts incredibly successful alumni in business, finance, and tech.

From media mogul Ted Turner to actress Emma Watson, here are the most successful Brown alumni.

CNN and Turner Broadcasting founder Ted Turner says he spent "three very interesting years" at Brown before his expulsion in 1963. He was expelled for living with his girlfriend on campus while he was on suspension. Turner was commodore of the yacht club, vice president of the debating union, and he pursued studies in economics and the classics.

Source: Brown Daily Herald

"Harry Potter" Actress Emma Watson graduated in 2014 with a degree in English literature. Despite the occasional "10 points for Gryffindor" comments, Watson says that the students and university were great about respecting her privacy. Watson is now a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and has delivered compelling speeches at the UN and Davos advocating for gender equality with her HeForShe campaign.

 Source: Huffington Post, Huffington Post, Business Insider

Standard Oil heir and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. sang in the glee club, managed the football team, was the president of his junior class, and graduated Brown with a Phi Beta Kappa key. Since his 1897 graduation, the university has lauded Rockefeller with many awards and named the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library in his honor.

Source: Brown

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

17 men's fashion experts on Instagram that will inspire you to dress better



A man needs more than just tips and advice to reach his style goals. He also needs inspiration.

And one the best places to find that inspiration is the visual paradise of Instagram.

We've chosen a few of our favorite Instagram feeds to inspire you to live your best sartorial life.

The legendary Nick Wooster's Instagram is just as awesome as you would expect it to be. His signature brand of style is in full force in every 'gram.

Instagram Embed:
Width: 658px


Follow him on Instagram here.

StayClassic's Tim Melideo puts together low-budget outfits in new and interesting ways every day. His Instagram curates his best looks, along with some pretty photography. Perfect follow for the cash-strapped.

Instagram Embed:
Width: 658px

Follow him on Instagram here. 

Follow EJ Samson, but be prepared to be jealous. The former GQ fashion director (now leading Hearst's men's group) has an insanely good wardrobe paired with the life you wish you had. He chronicles it all on his Instagram for both life and fashion inspiration.

Instagram Embed:
Width: 658px

Follow him on Instagram here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These cities will soon be havens for the super-rich


yangonWith their emerging markets and rising regional influence, the cities of Belgrade, Panama City, Addis Ababa, and Yangon may soon become global financial capitals and havens for the super-rich, global real estate consultancy Knight Frank predicted in its annual Wealth Report last week.

The report documents the patterns of high-net-worth individuals — those worth over $30 million — to predict how global wealth will evolve in the next decade.

While many of the world's multimillionaires and billionaires live in the financial capitals of London, Tokyo, and New York, many have begun migrating to cities with emerging markets and untapped opportunities to make even more money.

Belgrade, Serbia

belgradeAs the financial and business center of southeastern Europe, Belgrade saw a steady 12% rise in its population of high-net-worth people from 2007 to 2014. The number of super-rich people in Belgrade is expected to grow by 72% over the next decade, especially as tax incentives and grants continue to spur foreign direct investment. 

Panama City, Panama

panama cityPanama has benefited immensely from its strategically located canal that bridges Latin America and North America. Since 2007, its capital, Panama City, has nearly doubled its population of high-net-worth individuals. 

Compared with its Central American neighbors like Honduras, Panama is economically stable. It's also growing all the time. High-quality transport, healthcare, and a competitive tax environment are expected to draw in over 7,000 super-rich residents by 2024.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis AbabaEthiopia is Africa's fastest-growing economy, and the super-rich have taken notice. The population of high-net-worth individuals in the country's capital, Addis Ababa, has nearly doubled since 2007 and is expected to double again by 2024.

Home to the African Union headquarters, the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and a number of other continental and international organizations, Addis Ababa is often referred to as the political capital of Africa.

Yangon, Myanmar

yangon myanmarMyanmar’s former capital and largest city, Yangon, is a "classic example of emerging market wealth creation," according to the report. Now a tourist destination for the super-wealthy, Myanmar and its economy have benefited from democratic reforms and the gradual opening up of its economy. Yangon accounts for more than a fifth of Myanmar's total economic output, and its number of high-net-worth individuals is expected to double over the next 10 years. 

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Your pillows are filled with dust mites and dead skin cells — here's how to wash them


pillows on a bedPillows should be washed about twice a year.

Not just your pillow cases, but the actual pillows themselves.

I didn't know this either.

But after speaking with Emily Hull-Martin, Bloomingdale's fashion director of Home Furnishings, she said we should be washing our pillows regularly and replacing them every two years or so. And despite the fact that every single pillow we buy has care instructions, most people I know tend to only wash their pillow slips and protectors.

So we asked Hull-Martin and gathered tips from some of the top home blogs about how to rid your fluffy pillows of the dust mites, bacteria, and dead skin cells that they're secretly harboring.

Plus, taking care of your pillows will make them last longer.

How To Wash Your Pillows 

First, remove your pillow covers and protectors (yes, you should be using a pillow case protector — it’s especially good for people with allergies). 

Next, you’ll want to combine really mild detergent and hot water. If you want to get your pillow back to its original whiteness, the best luck I've had is with the whitening solution recipe I found on the blog One Good Thing which is a combination of hot water, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, bleach, and borax (a type of laundry booster). 

If you have a top-loading washing machine, add your cleaning solution and hot water and let it all mix together before adding your pillows and letting them soak for an hour or two. Turn your pillows horizontal to soak and flip after a half an hour so the entire pillow gets the cleaning solution.

If you have a front-opening washing machine, add hot water and detergent to a large, deep sink and let your pillows soak for an hour or two before adding back to the washing machine.

After your pillows have properly soaked, let them run on a full cycle so that they get thoroughly cleansed. It’s also a good idea to run your spin cycle more than once just in case your pillow is retaining extra water.

Note: Most home blogs recommend washing two pillows at a time to even out the weight in the washer.

When drying your pillows, check the label to make sure that they can go in the dryer — most down and synthetic pillows are good to go.

Set the dryer to low heat and add two tennis balls that have been stuck in clean socks or dryer balls to fluff up your pillows again. The tennis balls will break up the wet fluff to help it dry faster while the clean socks will prevent your pillows from smelling of tennis balls or having the neon color transfer.

Stop the cycle every half an hour or so to check on pillows. Make sure they dry thoroughly so that you don’t get any mold inside your pillows.

This is for synthetic and down-filled pillows. Foam pillows are a bit more complicated. Hull-Martin recommends vacuuming them if they’re very solid or memory foam, but other types of foam can be soaked and rinsed in a cold cycle in your washing machine or hand washed.

Whichever method you choose, hang foam pillows or leave them out to dry completely — they'll melt in the dryer.

Sure, this is a long process but considering that you only have to do it twice every year, it’s really not so bad. 

SEE ALSO: 14 Things You Can Do With Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

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Ben Stiller crashes Paris Fashion Week to announce 'Zoolander' sequel


Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson crashed the Valentino fashion show at Paris Fashion Week as their characters from 2001 hit "Zoolander."



However, the two weren't just channeling their characters for the runway. 

Paramount confirmed "Zoolander 2" is happening and will be released February 12, 2016.


The two also stopped by for a quick photo op with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.



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This 3-in-1 Ninja cooking system quickly makes healthier and more flavorful meals [55% off]


ninja cooking systemHere's the cooking accessory you've been dreaming of.

The Ninja 3-in-1 cooking system comes with all the benefits of a stovetop, oven and slow-cooker in one contraption.

The system features Triple Fusion Heat technology, which combines heat from the bottom, direct heat from the sides, and super-heated steam for juicier, healthier meals.

The non-stick pan holds up to 6 pounds of chicken or 4 pounds of roast.

Ninja 3-in-1 cooking system (MC701): $199.99 $89.99 [55% off] 

ninja cooker


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A developer in China built a complete 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days


buildinggif1A developer in China built an entire 57-story mixed-use building brick by prefabricated brick at a rate of three full stories a day. The building took only 19 days to complete, according to Gizmodo.

The building has 800 apartments and enough office space for 4,000 people. It was originally planned to be built up to a height of 220 stories, but it was cut down because of concern it was too close to a nearby airport.

The prefab construction is also environmentally friendly, as large sections of the building were built off-site and taken to the building site to be stacked on top of each other. This significantly reduced the number of trips needed to transport the raw materials.

The building was also constructed with China's pollution problem in mind, using quadruple-thick glass and tight "99.9% sealed" construction.


Check out the full promotional video of the building's construction below.

SEE ALSO: This futuristic floating city could become a reality in China

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This windowless concept race car is all–electric and packs more power than a Tesla


The Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland is ground zero for auto companies to unveil some of their newest cars. But few models are quite as unique as Italian car maker ED's Torq. It's fully electric and doesn't have any glass throughout its design. Instead of windows, drivers watch the road through a combination of interior monitors.

The plan is for the car to be able to drive itself and usher in a new form of race car driving.

Produced by Jason Gaines. Video courtesy of Associated Press.

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8 powerful life lessons from 92-year-old TV legend Norman Lear


norman lear

It's hard to overstate Norman Lear's impact on the world of television.

He's the creator of shows like "All in the Family," "Good Times," and "The Jeffersons," programs that not only brought in 120 million viewers a week, but challenged Americans' views on topics like racism, poverty, and abortion.

He worked with comedy icons like Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks and influenced generations of television writers, including "South Park" co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

He's one of the first group of inductees to the Television Hall of Fame and has four Emmys and a Peabody Award, among many other honors.

Lear's outspoken, controversial views earned him a spot on President Richard Nixon's "Enemies List" and decades later the National Medal of the Arts from President Bill Clinton.

Today, Lear is 92 years old and as sharp as ever. He recently published his memoir, "Even This I Get to Experience," a brutally honest yet funny and sentimental look back on his life.

Business Insider spoke with Lear to discuss some of the most important lessons he's learned.

Appreciate the absurdity of it all.

Lear called his maternal grandmother Bubbe, and he considers her the first person in his life to truly express her love to him. A favorite saying of hers was "Go know," which in Yiddish is geh vays, and is akin to the English phrase "Go figure."

But when his Bubbe said it to him, she didn't mean it as a put-down, but rather a means of "expressing her gratitude for the bounty of the universe, for yet another gift she could not have imagined," Lear writes.

Whether she was responding with "go know" to the news that the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series (she didn't follow baseball) or that Lear's career had taken off, she was expressing her belief that she wasn't going to understand it all, but that was perfectly fine.

all in the family norman lear

"As life has teased and surprised me over the years, I have taken my grandmother's 'go know' with me everywhere," Lear writes. "When I've been recognized in restaurants and at airline counters, I have often thought, 'Go know.'"

You can sink or you can swim.

When Lear was 9 years old, he saw his father arrested and brought to jail for selling fake government bonds.

His mother sent him to live with her brother and then her parents in New Haven, Connecticut, while she lived with his sister in Hartford. He remained there for the three years his dad was in prison and says he barely saw his mom and sister.

Lear says that being confronted with this situation forced him to adopt a level of independence well beyond his years.

He's reminded of a pulp action story he read as a boy with a title that, despite being a cliché, really connected with him during this time. It was called "Sink or Swim."

"And that was my option: sink or swim," he says. "I was going to swim. I wasn't going to sink."

Lear says that this difficult period shaped his worldview for the rest of his life.

Recognize that you have influence over people's lives.

Lear's celebrity helped him appreciate the power that everyone has over the people they interact with, and it has nothing to do with fame. Lear shares a story that illustrates the point.

In 1969 in Greenfield, Iowa, he filmed "Cold Turkey," a comedy he considers among his best work. He returned to the town for its 30th anniversary with a few of its stars, including Dick Van Dyke, and he met a woman who had a bit part in the film when she was 6 years old. She told him how important his selection of her for the part was to her, and he found it sweet.

Lear visited Greenfield once again last year in his book tour and again encountered the woman, now 51, who mentioned her bit part. Lear explains:

She's standing with me, and there are tears in her eyes as she starts to say, "You know, I told you years ago what that meant to me, your picking me out of all those other kids to do this. You heard me and you were kind, but you didn't get it. And I read your book, and I'm going to tell you now and you're going to get it." I couldn't get over it. I had no idea what she was going to say.

She said, "Your father was away... you were with your family who paid no attention to you... You had a gray and blue sweatshirt and when you put that on in the late afternoon or early evening, you felt the comfort and the warmth. You felt taller and you felt thinner and you felt better looking... and you felt like you belonged. What that sweatshirt meant to you is what your selecting me to do the film meant to me." And I got it. I got it.

When Lear was making the film, his casting of a little girl for a montage was a relatively minor decision he didn't dwell on. But it changed that girl's life in a profound way. His chat with her 45 years later proved to him that even our smallest actions — what we say to a stranger in an elevator or the cashier at a café — have an effect on people, and that we should therefore be mindful of our influence.

"The Jeffersons" was a spin-off of "All in the Family." Lear was inspired to focus a show around a black family's rise in society after some members of the Black Panthers told him they were angry that shows like Lear's "Good Times" were propagating a stereotype of African-Americans relegated solely to poverty. Here are the opening credits to the first season of "The Jeffersons":

You can't predict how things will turn out.

Lear wasn't the type who envisioned himself as a star. After serving in World War II, he was inspired by his uncle Jack to become a publicist, so that he could work in the entertainment industry he loved without becoming a celebrity himself.

When asked when he realized he wanted to be a television writer, he replies plainly, "I was a young guy with a family, and I wanted to make a living. That's what it was all about at the beginning — just making a living."

"It was the dawn of television," he says. After a single writing credit he and his partners officially became television comedy writers, "and suddenly we were wanted in all directions."

Be true to yourself.

Lear is remembered for making black sitcoms part of American life in the 1970s with "Sanford and Son," "The Jeffersons," and "Good Times," as well as using these and other shows as vehicles for edgy comedy on topics like sexuality and crime. But Lear scoffs at the idea that he was trying to push boundaries. He was just writing what he knew, and people responded to it.

"I saw the comedy in life and the foolishness of the human condition, and I was just dealing with what I saw around me," he says. "I wasn't making up anything to break a barrier. What I saw around this culture were the race problems and economic problems and health problems, and so forth."

He adds that the interpersonal issues he gave his characters came from his own life — Archie Bunker is a cartoon version of his dad, for example. "I dealt with that because it's what I knew."

And when President Richard Nixon publicly criticized what he perceived as culture-damaging vulgarity in Lear's programs, Lear took it as "a badge of honor."norman lear

It's worth putting in effort to balance family with work.

As Lear considers his first two marriages and how he raised his children during the height of his fame, he sees himself as a "dissociated father." Between his sitcoms and his wife and kids, he had "five families on the air and one on Mooncrest Drive" in Los Angeles.

"On Mooncrest Drive they woke up, they got dressed themselves, I helped them with breakfast, and they went off to school," he says. He says that unfortunately, he was concentrated on his work, not his family — and he doesn't see it as a necessary sacrifice.

"Had I known more at the time, and had I been able to stand off and view it — had I not been dissociated, as I put it — I would've given less time to the shows, and they would've been just fine," he says. And he would have been more present with his family, which he considers entirely different from just being there physically.

Live in the present.

This lesson is one Lear learned late in life but one he wishes he had known when he was younger. He considers achieving this state to be the highlight of his career, because it's allowed him to be happy. It's why he chose the book title "Even This I Get to Experience," a phrase he says he had running through his head when he was in a rough patch financially.

He's learned to savor everything he can from life's ups and downs.

norman lear

"Success is a moment by moment thing," he says. "So you wake up in the morning, and before the kids go to school, you connect with them. They leave the house feeling they have connected with the parents, and you feel good about having connected with your kids... What we have to remember in such cases is to pat ourselves on the back figuratively for having had a great moment, and move onto the next moment.

"A successful day is a day in which you're feeling good about yourself and your life."

Never stop learning about who you are.

When asked how he's managed to stay so sharp, Lear replies, "I haven't stopped learning about myself and my life. I think the vertical journey into oneself never ends."

He sees life as a simultaneous horizontal and vertical journey. Horizontal in the sense of learning more about the world, about others, and about a craft; vertical in the sense of learning more about who you really are.

Lear says that the vertical journey "might end at death — and we don't even know that — but it's the deeper and more satisfying journey than the horizontal one." The latter "gets you more information about a lot of things, but the vertical one into oneself is the kicker."

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How to get sweat stains out of your clothes


white t shirt

This post is an excerpt from My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag by Jolie Kerr. Kerr also writes a regular cleaning advice column for Deadspin.

There is a whole boatload of weird and wonderful ways to treat sweat stains that employ everything from baking soda to crushed-up aspirin.

There’s also a host of sweat stain removal products with absurd names like PitStop.

They are all great options, and we’ll talk through them and then finish up with some suggestions as to how you can prevent or at least reduce these sorts of stains from happening in the first place.

But first let’s talk a little bit about the science part of why these kinds of stains happen: even though we usually refer to them as “sweat stains,” more often than not they’re actually being caused by the deodorant/antiperspirant most of us use.

The primary active ingredient in most deodorants is alcohol; in antiperspirant the active ingredient is aluminum.

However, if you’ve switched away from antiperspirants, you should be aware that some straight-up deodorants also contain aluminum.

The aluminum reacts to sweat, which is a protein, and causes yellowing just in the same way that bleach will cause sweat and other protein stains to appear more yellow.

The last science-y thing I want to tell you—and then I promise I’ll stop and get back to soap and such—is that cotton, which is obviously a common material on which one might find a sweat stain, is also a protein.

So the aluminum in deodorant is reacting not only with your sweat (protein) but also with your shirt itself. Thank you for bearing with me through that excruciating science lesson; as a reward, here are a whole bunch of things you can try to get those stains out.

The Vinegar Approach

vinegarMix one tablespoon of white vinegar into a half cup of water and soak the soiled shirt in that solution for thirty minutes before laundering as usual.

If the stains are really bad, you’ll want to agitate the shirt while it’s in the cleaning solution by rubbing the stained area against itself. That latter bit of advice applies across the board, actually.

The Oxi Technique

oxicleanBy now you know that I love OxiClean in a deeply unnatural way. If you promise not to slap a scarlet A on me for being some sort of sexual deviant, I’ll admit that sometimes I whisper sweet nothings to my bucket of Oxi. So it will surprise you not to learn that I consider Oxi to be one of the best products out there when it comes to getting ugly yellow pit stains out from shirts.

But a curious thing happened when I started recommending it to people for this purpose: some would come back to let me know that the Oxi didn’t do a thing to help cure their pit stains, while others were practically rapturous describing the miracle visited unto their white T-shirts.

Because I heard both of these refrains often enough, I put no small amount of thought into this bizarre disparity, and I’m pretty sure I know wherein lies the problem.

My theory is this: the people for whom Oxi didn’t work were just adding a scoop of the stuff to the wash, expecting that everything would come out looking brand-new. That’s just not the way that stain treatment works, so we have to be a bit more aggressive and strategic in our applications of Oxi.

To really get the most out of your Oxi, it’s best to use it as a paste or soaking agent.

The powder form of Oxi dissolves best in warm or hot water and won’t really make a thick, fully dissolved paste but it will make something that works well enough that you shouldn’t worry too much about the sort of weird consistency.

If you can, though, throw the Oxi in some water, let it dissolve, and put the stained garment in for a swim. You’ll also want to get in there and agitate things a bit; I find that with heavily soiled items, spending some time rubbing the fabric against itself to really work the cleaning solution in and the gunky substances out is the way to go.

The Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda Method

baking sodaThis is one that comes from a reader of mine, which are always my favorite kind of tips. I love old folk remedies and such. We should all look into being a little bit more oldfashioned!

The recipe she gave me goes like this:

1. Take one part water, one part hydrogen peroxide, and one part baking soda.
2. Mix into a paste and spoon out onto sweat stains.
3. Use your fingers to work the paste into the shirts.
4. Wash on cold, then tumble dry.

She swears (and I believe her!) that this method will take out the oldest and yellowest of stains.

From My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag by Jolie Kerr. Copyright © 2014 by Jolie Kerr. Reprinted  by permission of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

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Chick-fil-A is coming to New York this summer


chick-fil-a-chicken sandwich

Fast food chain Chick-fil-A will open its first New York City restaurant this summer. 

The three-story restaurant will be located on 6th avenue and West 37th Street in the Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan, Crain's New York Business reports.

Chick-fil-A generates more than $5 billion in annual sales and recently surpassed KFC to become the top chicken fast food chain in the U.S.

The chain has 1,850 US restaurants primarily located in the Southeast.

Like its other locations, the New York restaurant will not open on Sundays.

"We are beyond excited about opening our first freestanding restaurant in New York," Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Carrie Kurlander told Crain's New York. "This location will allow us to serve fans who have been asking us to come to New York and to earn the opportunity to serve new customers." 

There is a Chick-fil-A located in a dining hall on the campus of New York University in Manhattan, but it's not a full service restaurant and carries limited menu items.

The chain is best known for its chicken sandwich, which is typically served with waffle fries. 

According to Chick-fil-A, it's "a boneless breast of chicken seasoned to perfection, hand-breaded, pressure cooked in 100% refined peanut oil and served on a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips."

A breakfast version is served on a buttered biscuit.

While no one knows the secret sauce, copycat recipes call for the chicken breast to be brined in pickle juice. 

SEE ALSO: Why Chick-fil-A Is The Best Fast-Food Chain In America

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