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The old-school trick every modern gentleman should know

Lego Magazine published a column telling young girls what hairstyle fits their face shape

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Lego

Lego has often been seen as a brand on the front lines of making playtime a gender-neutral place for kids.

But moms are outraged about its latest "column" in Lego Magazine, dubbed "Emma's Beauty Tips," that shows little girls what face shape they have and what haircuts would look best with that face shape.

Sharon Holbrook, a mother, wrote for the New York Times' parenting blog, about what happened when her daughter came across Lego's hairstyle tips in its latest issue.

My 7-year-old wants to know if she has an oval face. Why? Because “oval faces can often have almost any style haircut because almost everything looks great on this face shape!” Her sudden concern with her hairstyle “looking great” comes courtesy of her new Lego Club Magazine, which included “Emma’s Beauty Tips” in the March-April 2015 Lego Club Magazine.

She is 7. My little girl, the shape of her face, and whether her haircut is flattering are none of Lego’s concern. It wasn’t even her concern until a toy magazine told her to start worrying about it.

It's an interesting editorial decision from Lego, which, in the fall of 2014, was heavily praised by media outlets when an instruction sheet from one of its 1974 toy sets appeared on Reddit.

Lego

"A lot of boys like dollhouses," it reads. "A lot of girls like spaceships."

The memo appeared all over the internet, applauding Lego for taking a bold stance nearly 40 years ago, when the idea that "boys wear blue and girls wear pink" was very much alive and accepted.

"Perhaps naïvely, I had placed a certain amount of trust in Lego and its apparently good intentions," Holbrook writes, "but I draw the line when even a construction toy company feeds my daughter that tired, toxic script of "'start fixing your appearance, and now.'"

You can read her full column here.

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Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick finally sell their Greenwich Village townhouse for $20 million

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Sarah Jessica Parker nyc townhouse

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick finally sold their Greenwich Village townhouse, getting $19.95 million for it, according to The Real Deal.

The historic house was originally put on the market in 2012 for $25 million, but the couple later delisted it before putting it back up for sale in September for $22 million. The celebrity couple bought the place in 2011 for $19 million.

The 6,800-square-foot townhouse, which is located on East 10th Street, has five bedrooms, seven fireplaces, a landscaped garden, and a hand-carved stone tub.

Alyson Penn contributed to this story.

Welcome to Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's 25-foot-wide Greenwich Village townhouse.



The bottom floor, or garden floor, includes an eat-in kitchen characterized by walnut and stainless steel.



The dining room contains direct access to the split-level garden.



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A former Google and Square engineer just sold his $14 million Brooklyn mansion

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google engineer house

In what could be a record for Brooklyn, former Google and Square engineer Peter Mattis has sold his six-bedroom home overlooking Prospect Park. 

The home was previously listed for $14 million and is currently in contract. The most expensive home to ever sell in Brooklyn was Truman Capote's former mansion, which sold for $12.5 million in 2012. 

The Mattis family purchased the 6,865-square-foot townhouse from actors Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany in 2008. They paid $8.45 million for the home and spent years completing an extensive renovation of its interiors.  

Mattis was working as a software engineer at Google at the time, but he found that the company's neighborhood in Manhattan wasn't a great place to raise a family. 

"I hear people complain about the strollers in Park Slope," he told the New York Times in 2009. "But try taking a stroller out in SoHo. SoHo is not exactly family-friendly." 

After Google, Mattis went on to a software engineer job at Square. He's currently the VP of engineering at Cockroach Labs.

Mattis also cofounded photo-messaging company Viewfinder and is known for his work on the GNU Image Manipulation Program. 

The 6,865-square-foot home was built in 1899. The exterior, which has been extensively restored, features large arched windows and a direct view onto Prospect Park.



Many of the details inside, like the mahogany Corinthian columns seen here, are originals.



The Mattis family did an extensive renovation of the home's interiors shortly after buying it in 2008.



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The most common answers and categories on ‘Jeopardy!’

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Seasoned fans of the show “Jeopardy!” know that certain categories pop up much more often than others.

And it turns out, there are common correct responses that surface over and over again too.

The data visualization website Tableau Public crowdsourced a compelling visualization of the top “Jeopardy!” answers and categories for the show, as well as for Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! rounds.

You can play around with the embedded infographic above to see the most common response and categories for each "Jeopardy!" round.

Since the show premiered in 1984, the most common response overall was “What is China?” and the most common category was Before & After.

For Double Jeopardy, the most common response was “What is Australia?” while in Final Jeopardy, the most common correct response was “What is Canada?”

To prepare for Final Jeopardy rounds, future contestants will want to brush up on their word origins. Since the show’s premiere over 30 years ago, this category has been used in the Final Jeopardy round 34 times, far surpassing the next most common Final Jeopardy category American History.

So if you ever find yourself on “Jeopardy!” and aren’t quite sure of the answer, remember the most common responses — statistics could be on your side.

SEE ALSO: Jeopardy's Controversial New Champion Is Using Game Theory To Win Big

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The best pizza in every state

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Flying Pie Pizzeria

While it's hard to find a bad slice of pizza, plenty of pies definitely come in at the head of the pack.

From taco pizza in Kansas to white clams in Connecticut to classic deep dish in Chicago, Illinois, we found the best pizza in every state through expert reviews and local recommendations.

Did we get your state right? Let us know in the comments.

ALABAMA: Dubbed Alabama's "Hottest Pizza Place" by GrubStreet, Post Office Pies' appeal starts with the crust. Chef John Hall — who previously cooked at NYC's Per Se and Momofuku Ssam Bar — serves up perfectly charred crust from dough fermented 12 hours at the Avondale joint.

Post Office Pies



ALASKA: Branch out from your typical pie at Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, whose creative toppings include everything from spicy Thai chicken to apricots to cream cheese. At this Anchorage favorite, diners can choose from a selection of handcrafted beer from the restaurant's own brewery.

Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria



ARIZONA: Both USA Today and Food & Wine Magazine listed Phoenix's Pizzeria Bianco among the best pizza spots in the country — and for good reason. James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco uses only the freshest ingredients, including Sicilian oregano and homemade mozzarella, to concoct simple, yet flavorful pies.

Pizzeria Bianco



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We went on a tour of the Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner's son — and it was not what we expected

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While most people associate the Playboy Mansion with scantily clad playmates and sex-fueled debauchery, it served as the childhood home for Hugh Hefner's sons. 

Hefner's youngest son, Cooper, recounts his childhood spent in what many consider to be a sort of adult fantasyland. For Cooper, it was quite the opposite: a child's wonderland fueled by Indiana Jones-inspired adventures in the Grotto, a zoo full of exotic animals, and epic games of hide-and-seek played in the mansion's private forest of redwood trees.

Cooper shared his experiences growing up inside the mansion, and invited Business Insider along on a private tour of the grounds.

Produced by Graham Flanagan. Additional Camera by Ryan Larkin.

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I just spent $45 dollars on a haircut and it was the best grooming experience of my life

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haircut fellow barber

Like most guys, I found the idea of spending more than $20 on a haircut to be a bit ridiculous. What could a fancy barber really offer me that would be worth the upcharge?

So, because of that I toiled for years trying to find a "good value" – somewhere that would give me the specific haircut I wanted for a low price.

It turns out, that's nearly impossible to find in New York City. In light of this, I decided it was time to see what all the hype was about with high-price haircuts.

If i was going to do this, I was going to do it right.

I went all out and visited Fellow Barber in New York City's West Village. I had only heard good things about the shop, and I had even spoken to a few of their barbers for previous articles – all of whom were very knowledgeable.

A weird quirk: Fellow doesn't take appointments. So when I decided to go last Saturday, their handy web app told me there would be an hour and a half wait. This would have been a dealbreaker, but you can also check-in on the web app and, as long as you arrive 30 minutes before your appointment, you save your place in line.

Ever the rule-follower, I arrived exactly 30 minutes prior to the estimate. At 11 a.m. the shop was already packed with plenty of fashionable village dudes popping in to put their name down on the waiting list or inquire about the wait. The amount of guys not turned off by the wait (two hours by this point) or the price ($45) told me I was in the right place.

My name was called 20 minutes later and I sat in Bob's vintage barber chair. He asked me how I liked my cut and I gave my instructions. He then asked some clarifying questions, and he was off.

 on

 

As he started with the clippers, I could already tell the amount of care and detail that he was putting into it was beyond anything I'd ever gotten from a haircut. Though my hair was thick and quite long, the clippers never struggled. He also spent way longer than average, which is always a good sign.

As we moved into the scissor phase of the cut, I would swear the water used in the spray bottle was scented. In a surprise move, Bob asked me before he cut the top if the length he was holding was acceptable. I told him that a little shorter would be good. Watching Bob cut my hair was more like watching a prize-winning hedge trimmer craft the perfect hedge swan.

When the scissors portion was done, he then shaved the back of my neck with a straight edge razor and warm shaving cream. I could barely feel the blade on skin.

A steamed towel was then put over my face without warning, which ended up being the perfect finish, as Bob then used it to wipe away the hair cuttings. He then offered to put product in it, but I declined.

When I left the chair, I felt incredibly content. The haircut I usually dread was elevated to a ritual of self-care. In just 30 minutes I felt completely rejuvenated.

I'm completely ruined for any lesser haircuts. In short: The extra money, if you can afford it, is so worth it.

SEE ALSO: 4 Things To Tell Your Barber When You Get A Haircut

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Gaming guru explains why 'freemium' is actually the best business model for video games

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candy crush new york stock exchange traders

The “Freemium” model dominates mobile games. From Candy Crush Saga to Clash of Clans, “freemium” games and their in-app purchases account for about 70-80% of the $10 billion or more in iOS revenue each year.

But they aren’t limited to mobile. Today, many of the most popular computer games are freemium games as well.

Such games have generated plenty of criticism for seemingly favoring money over skill, since players need to pay for in-game currency and special features. But game designer and former pro StarCraft player Sean Plott thinks it is actually the best business model for popular multiplayer games like League of Legends, Defense of the Ancients 2, and Hearthstone.

To Plott, it's about an alignment of goals.

The freemium model offers users the core product — the game — for free and then optionally charges them for premium content such as in-game currency, extra content, or customizations.

League of Legends victory

In multiplayer games, the goal is to create a game that brings players back for hundreds of hours of gameplay, says Plott. If developers don't have a strong monetary incentive, it's difficult for them to constantly improve the game experience. With freemium games, players are continuously spending money on the game, as opposed to paying once and forgetting about it. Developers are then incentivized to put that stream of revenue directly back into the game to improve it.

"If people are playing your game and there is something they are frustrated with, the developers can fix it and make the players happy, and the players will continue to stay on the product. If they don't, players leave," says Plott.

For example Plott offers up League of Legends. While League of Legends is 100% free to play, it generated more than $1 billion last year in revenue. It did so through its micropayments to buy champions (new characters) and skins (new color schemes or appearances of a champion). Any person can play League of Legends — and play it well — endlessly without spending a dime.

Here's what the League of Legends store looks like. The prices of items are marked in RP (Riot points):

LOL

And here's how much RP equates to real dollars:

LOL3

Spending money just adds customization to the experience. It’s a benefit that many players are more than willing to do. However, some players — as evidenced by this League of Legends subreddit — complain of spending more than $2,000 on the game over the course of several years.

A considerable portion of the profits from League of Legends micropayments go right back into the game. Riot is constantly updating the mechanics of the game to make them more balanced and fluid, redesigning the artwork and character designs so they look sharp, and adding content so the game stays fresh. All of that is given to players free. As Plott notes, that would be an impossible proposition for any gaming company that releases standalone games.

Plott is so convinced of the model that he thinks we could see traditional console games splitting their products between single-player games, which would cost a flat fee, and multiplayer games, which are free-to-play.

Freemium games have generated most of their criticism over the mobile gaming experience. Last year, South Park famously skewered the concept as a money grab that preys on addicts and leads to boring games. The singer of the Sex Pistols, John Lyndon, claimed last year that he spent over $15,000 on iPad apps.

In 2013, Apple settled a class-action lawsuit for parents who alleged that Apple didn’t make it clear that free apps could charge money.

The “freemium” model has proven itself to be incredibly profitable. The question now is how game developers use it to grow without alienating a large share of the gaming community.

SEE ALSO: The ‘freemium’ model is brilliant, but it’s ruining my life

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New York rent is so high that Starbucks has started closing some locations

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Starbucks Union Square

Even huge coffee chains are feeling the pressure of New York retail rents.

Starbucks is looking to close some of its pricy, large locations, according to the Commercial Observer.

The brand has nine stores for every square mile in Manhattan according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last year marked 20 years since Starbucks came to New York, which means the leases on some its original city locations are up for renewal.

And, increasingly, the chain is seeing these coveted corner locations it had as just not worth the extra expense.

Commercial Observer reports that a Starbucks at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 33rd Street was shuttered after they declined to release the space for $1 million a year.

Another shop near Lincoln Center is also on the market, and other locations are rumored to close, like the one at Union Square North (Broadway and 17th Street), after its rent doubled from $325 a square foot they currently pay to the $650 a square foot the landlord is asking now.

This comes as no surprise, as retail rents have been on the rise for a while now. In Manhattan alone rents rose 20%, Commercial Observer reported in 2014.

Of course, Eater notes that, if Starbucks wanted to, they could pay the exorbitantly expensive leases. Revenues grew more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to a record $4.2 billion, according to Commercial Observer.

But they just aren't worth it as the brand is strong enough to to lure customers into Manhattan's less-busy side streets to get their Carmel Frappuccinos and Venti Chai Lattes.

“In today’s world of rising rents, especially on the high-profile corridors, likely Starbucks knows they can still be successful in smaller space and/or just off the main avenues,” retail specialist Robin Abrams of Lansco told Commercial Observer.

SEE ALSO: 5 ways Starbucks entices you to spend more money

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Meet the youngest and most fashionable stars of Instagram

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London Scout Instagram

We all know by now that Instagram is a prime place to put filtered photos of your brunch, your hot dog legs, and your selfies.

But no matter how good you look in your latest upload, these tiny stars of the photo platform have us all beat. 

They're the smallest, and most fashionable, celebrities of Instagram.

We have 5-year-olds rocking better outfits than some 25-year-olds could put together, little girls who look like they've stepped off the runway or off of your coveted Pinterest board, and babies in couture.

Thanks to their social media savvy parents, these kids are becoming household names before they even learn how to spell their own. 

Meet the youngest celebrities of Instagram.

This is London Scout. We're pretty envious of her wardrobe.



Her mom, Sai, started an Instagram account for her 3-year-old to document her life living in Manhattan.



London has gotten lots of press, and even attended Kids Fashion Week as an ambassador.



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18 photos of iconic hip hop stars when they were young

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Busta Rhymes (studio)

The culture of hip-hop began in New York City in the 1970s. Encompassing rap, deejaying, "b-boying" or breakdancing, and graffiti art, hip-hop has become a hugely influential art form.

The Museum of the City of New York is celebrating New York City's central place in that history in its current exhibit "Hip-Hop Revolution," featuring more than 80 photographs of 1970s and '80s hip-hop by photographers Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper.

The Museum has shared a number of the photos with us here, and you can check out more by visiting their website or heading to the museum.

DJ Tony Tone, left, was a founding member of the Cold Crush Brothers, a Bronx hip-hop group that formed in 1979. DJ Kool Herc, right, is often credited as the starting point of hip-hop. Herc pioneered the use of hard funk and Latin percussion records in deejaying, which formed the basis of hip-hop.

Tony Tone_Kool Herc_Conzo

DJ Charlie Chase was a founding member of the Cold Crush Brothers. He is credited with making Latinos a force in the Bronx hip-hop scene. Here he is performing at Norman Thomas High School in Manhattan.

Charlie Chase_Conzo

Almighty Kay Gee began as a break-dancer before joining the Cold Crush Brothers in 1979. This is Kay Gee performing with the group at Harlem World.

Almighty KG_Conzo

Jerry Dee Lewis, or JDL, was also a member of the Cold Crush Brothers.

JDL dancing_Conzo

JDL, right, and Grandmaster Caz, another member of the Cold Crush Brothers, perform at Club Negril. Grandmaster Caz now hosts Hush Hip-Hop Tours in New York City.

JDL and Caz_Conzo

Charlie Ahearn, second from left, is an American film director who rose to prominence documenting hip-hop culture in New York City in the '70s. This is Ahearn shooting Wild Style, a 1983 film about hip-hop at the time.

Wildstyle_Conzo

Chuck D. helped form the politically and socially conscious rap group Public Enemy. He's one of the most influential MCs.

Public Enemy Chuck D NYC 1987

Before his years on VH1 reality shows, Flavor Flav became famous as a member of Public Enemy. He's known for popularizing the role of the hype man, whose job is to excite the crowd with call-and-responses.

Pubic Enemy Flava Flav NYC 1987

Eric B & Rakim have been called "the most influential DJ/MC combo in contemporary pop music, period," by Tom Terrell of NPR. They hail from Queens and Long Island, New York, respectively.

Eric B & Rakim NYC 1987

LL Cool J started out in 1984 recording for Def Jam Records. His deejay at the time was Cut Creator, seen on LLCool J's right. The other two are E-Love and B-Rock.

LL Cool J 2

Queen Latifah made her name as one of hip-hop's premier female emcees, rapping about issues like domestic violence, harassment, and relationships.

Latifah

Salt-N-Pepa is a hip-hop trio from Queens. They were one of the first all-female rap groups.

S&P WHITE BGROUND

EPMD is one of the longest-running groups in hip-hop, staying active for the majority of their 29 years of existence. Made up of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, the group hails from Brentwood, New York.

EPMD Babylon Long Island 1989

Rammellzee, left, was a visual artist, graffiti writer, and hip-hop musician. He was one of the original hip-hop artists in the early 1980s. Fab 5 Freddy was a graffiti artist and musician who became well known as the first host of Yo! MTV Raps. Rammellzee died in 2010.

RAMMELLZEE &FAB 5 FREDDIE, 1982

Afrika Bambaata is a deejay from the South Bronx. He is known as the Godfather of hip-hop and electro-funk. He also formed the hip-hop awareness group the Universal Zulu Nation.

AFRIKA BAMBBATAA, BRONX 1983

Big Daddy Kane began his career as a member of the Juice Crew. Rolling Stone called him "a master wordsmith of rap's late-golden age and a huge influence on a generation of MCs."

Big Daddy Kane NYC 1988

KRS-One, left, and Scott La Rock both began as members of Boogie Down Productions. After the release of their first album, Scott La Rock was killed. KRS-One continued the group.

BDP scott la rock and KRS1.NYC 1987

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North Koreans are going crazy over this Pyongyang restaurant serving subsidized noodles

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The North Korean Okyru Restaurant specializes in a national comfort food, Pyongyang cold noodles. In addition to serving up the beloved dish, the restaurant performs a public service by providing meals to citizens and visitors with subsidized bowls of noodles.

Produced by Jason Gaines. Video courtesy of Associated Press.

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Silicon Valley has discovered a way to love PowerPoint

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office presentation

Admit it: just the thought of watching a PowerPoint makes your eyes glaze over.

We've all endured endlessly boring, unimaginative PowerPoint slides and that's why alternatives like Prezi and Haiku have become so popular – particularly with the under-30 set.

Microsoft even rolled out its own PowerPoint killer called Sway last November.

But now business people have discovered a way to love PowerPoint, thanks to a game called PowerPoint Karaoke, also known as "Battle Decks." And while the game isn't new, it has recently become all the rage in the Valley, reports the Wall Street Journal's Shira Ovide.

It works like this. A person is given a random topic to present on. That person is also given a PowerPoint presentation filled with slides she's never seen, mostly a bunch of odd or awkward pictures and/or inscrutable phrases. She's got to use the slides to talk on the topic. The goal is to pretend it's a legit presentation, make people laugh, and demonstrate quick wit.

Earlier this month Adobe Systems held a PowerPoint Karaoke contest where about 100 employees showed up, Ovide reports.  It's a corporate favorite at Twitter, too, given that this is a game taken straight from comedy improv and CEO Dick Costolo is a former improv comic who studied at Second City.

The game involves drinking and quickly becomes NSFW.

Although the game is experiencing a resurgence, it's almost a decade old. According to a website called PPT-Karaoke, which aims to be your online source for playing the game, it was invented by "somebody in Germany" in 2006.

Ovide's investigative report included a big selection of photos of the game.

We found a couple, too, to give you the idea:

Saul Colt

 And here's one from an entire PowerPoint Karaoke comedy event, the Speechless comedy festival in 2013.

PowerPoint Karoke 2013

SEE ALSO: This high-school dropout built a $1 billion business selling phones nobody wanted

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I just ate at a McDonald’s in Spain, and it was so much better than in America

Dead Argentine prosecutor was zeroing in on a terror threat to the entire Western Hemisphere

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alberto nisman

As days go by, the mystery surrounding the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman — who was found shot in the head in his locked apartment two months ago — becomes murkier.

But we're learning a lot more about the explosive findings of his decade-long investigation.

Testimony from journalists and government officials suggest that in addition to describing Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's hand in protecting the perpetrators of a 1994 Buenos Aires terrorist attack, Nisman was also working to blow the lid off the workings of Iran's terrorist organization in Latin America.

Nisman's decade of work on the subject pointed to Iran.

And according to the testimonies, it appears Nisman was working to blow the lid off the entire workings of Iran's terrorist organization in Latin America.

'Export Iran's Islamic Revolution'

In a written statement on Wednesday, Brazilian investigative journalist Leonardo Coutinho walked members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs through the findings of his years of work looking into Iran's penetration of Brazil.

In a statement titled "Brazil as an operational hub for Iran and Islamic Terrorism," Coutinho discusses not only his findings while working for Brazil's Veja magazine, but also Nisman's tireless work.

"Official investigations carried out by Argentine, American, and Brazilian authorities have revealed how Brazil figures into the intricate network set up to 'export Iran's Islamic Revolution' to the West, by both establishing legitimacy and regional support while simultaneously organizing and planning terrorist attacks," Coutinho said (emphasis ours).

"Despite the fact that Brazil has never been the target of one of these terrorist attacks, the country plays the role of a safe haven for Islamic extremist groups, as explained below."

He went on to note that Nisman's 502-page dictum on the 1994 Buenos Aires terrorist attack "not only describes the operations of the network responsible for this terrorist attack, it also names those who carried it out. Consequently, the document lists twelve people in Brazil with ties to [Iran's Lebanese proxy] Hezbollah, who reside or resided in Brazil. Seven of these operatives had either direct or indirect participation in the AMIA bombing."

To put these astounding assertions into perspective, consider that Iranian military mastermind Qassem Suleimani recently said, "We are witnessing the export of the Islamic Revolution throughout the [Middle East] region. From Bahrain and Iraq to Syria, Yemen and North Africa."

Screen Shot 2015 03 18 at 11.44.39 AMTony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains what Suleimani, head of the foreign arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, meant by this:

"When he talks about exporting the Islamic Revolution, Suleimani is referring to a very specific template.

"It's the template that the Khomeinist revolutionaries first set up in Lebanon 36 years ago by cloning the various instruments that were burgeoning in Iran as the Islamic revolutionary regime consolidated its power."

And now, according to reporting from Veja and Nisman, Iran and Hezbollah have been attempting the same in Latin America.

Nisman dug deep

Nisman had been working on Iran's involvement in Latin America since 2005, when Nestor Kirchner, then Argentina's president, asked him to investigate a 1994 terrorist attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish Center, AMIA. The attack killed 85 people.

Around the same time, according to reports, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, had allegedly ensured that Iranian and Hezbollah agents were furnished with passports and flights that would allow them to move freely around South America and to Iran.

From there, it was a matter of fund-raising for Iran's agents — co-opting drug cartels, and sometimes hiding in remote, lawless parts of Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and other countries that lack the infrastructural, legal, and economic resources to root out Iran's agents of terror.

"Iran and Hezbollah, two forces hostile to US interests, have made significant inroads in Peru, almost without detection, in part because of our weak institutions, prevalent criminal enterprise, and various stateless areas," Peru's former vice interior minister told Wednesday's House hearing, noting that Peru was not hostile to the US. "These elements are particularly weak in the southern mountainous region of my country."

AMIA bombing argentinaNisman's findings alleged that Hezbollah and top government officials in Iran orchestrated the AMIA attack. Nisman's investigation was lauded by international parties — current President (and Nestor's widow) Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has said so herself.

But things changed after Nestor left office in 2007. Argentina's prolonged ostracization from international markets made it a cash-strapped nation, and the popularity of the Kirchners domestically waned below ecstatic.

That meant Fernandez would have to fight to hold on to power, and that fight would take money. According to Coutinho's work, that's when things changed. He interviewed three defected officials of Chavez's regime who said they witnessed a conversation between the Venezuelan president and his then-Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in January 2007.

Ahmadinejad and Chavez reportedly planned to coerce Argentina into sharing nuclear technology with Iran — which Argentina had done in the 1980s and again in the early 1990s after the AMIA bombing — and stopping the hunt for the perpetrators of the AMIA bombing in exchange for cash, some of it to finance Fernandez's political aims. It's unclear whether Fernandez knew where this money was coming from, according to Coutinho.

In any case, The New York Times recently reported that intercepted conversations between Argentine and Iranian officials "point to a long pattern of secret negotiations to reach a deal in which Argentina would receive oil in exchange for shielding Iranian officials" from being formally accused of orchestrating the terror attack.

If genuine, The Times noted, the conversation transcripts show "a concerted effort by representatives of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government to shift suspicions away from Iran in order to gain access to Iranian markets and to ease Argentina's energy troubles."

Hugo Chavez, Nestor Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

After that, analysts at the US-based think tank Strategy Center note that there was a significant shift in Argentina's policy toward Iran:

argentina iran

Later in 2012, Ahmadinejad made a speech at the UN, and for the first time in years the Argentine delegation did not walk out. The Argentine administration eventually cast Nisman's findings on AMIA, Iran, and Hezbollah aside.

AMIA suspectsThrough all of this, Nisman continued digging. He tried to track the network of Mohsen Rabbani, who he believed led Iran's cell in Latin America and was an architect of the AMIA attack.

>Brazilian authorities tried and failed to arrest Rabbani, whose main contact in Brazil at the time of the attacks, according to Nisman, was a cleric named Taleb Hussein al-Khazraji.

And that connection shows how Iran's "intricate network set up to 'export Iran's Islamic Revolution' to the West" touched the United States.

Both al-Khazraji and Rabbani were in contact with Abdul Kadir, a former politician from the South American country of Guyana who is now serving a sentence of life in prison in the US for plotting to attack New York's John F. Kennedy Airport in 2007.

The FBI said Kadir was caught trying to board a plane in Trinidad bound for Venezuela and eventually to Tehran.

Kadir was prosecuted, with some assistance from Nisman, by none other than US attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch

"The sentence imposed on Abdul Kadir sends a powerful and clear message," Lynch said in a statement at the time. "We will bring to justice those who plot to attack the United States of America."

All of this suggests Alberto Nisman was a marked man for years. But for years he managed to do extraordinary work uncovering Iran's terrorist network in Latin America.

It's no wonder that confusion about what happened, who did it, and why has taken over Argentina's news cycle. Reports have little to say or do with Nisman's part in fighting international terrorism in Latin America.

Michael B. Kelley contributed to this report.

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Upgrade your morning routine with Harry's shaving sets and razors

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harry's razors men's shavingIt's finally spring, and that means it's time to upgrade your morning routine.

We recommend getting yourself a Harry's Truman Razor, which is specifically designed to improve the quality of your shaving experience.

This razor won't rip off half your face like those $3 drug-store models.

Plus: if you want to spice things up a bit, the razors come in four colors (ivory, orange, blue and olive.)

The Harry's Truman razor: $26.00


 

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These hands-free headphones wirelessly connect to devices up to 30 feet away [77% off]

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Screen Shot 2015 03 10 at 2.48.29 PMThese hands-free headphones are game changers: they're wireless.

That means if you're using them, you won't need to carry around your phone or speakers everywhere you go.

Running on the treadmill or answering calls while you're cooking will be way easier with these.

Plus: the headphones come with a built-in microphone and remote.

Sounds like a great deal to us.

Wireless Bluetooth cloud buds: $109 $24.99[77% off]


 

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The average cost of a night out in 6 major US cities

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Every night can't be a Netflix night.

But if you live in a major city, venturing beyond the couch will cost you. 

Event company Eventbrite recently analyzed 2014 ticket-price data from over 10,000 events in six major US cities and surveyed more than 4,000 event-goers to find out what they spent on a night out, including ticket, transportation, and food and drink costs.

Here's what it found:

Spend by City 2

In surveying event-goers, Eventbrite unearthed the following insights about a typical night out in various cities. In its own words, the company found:

Austin had the lowest average ticket price of a music event ($10) and 85% of music events were free — making it the ideal locale for nightlife spendthrifts but harder for venues and promoters to market upscale music shows.

Chicago featured the highest total spend on nightlife ($90) and the heaviest drinkers, with 27% of event-goers taking down five or more drinks in a night.

Atlanta sold more tickets (over 220,000) to nightlife events than any other city and spent the highest share of their nightlife dollars on the ticket (51%). Atlantans also love Waffle House and chicken wings for late-night nibbles.

San Francisco favored music and ridesharing more than any other city, with 83% of all nightlife events falling into the music category and ridesharing apps coming in as the top transportation choice.

New York opted for taking the subway and riding in taxis when going out. New Yorkers were the most likely to cite "meeting someone special" as a reason they go out — but it's unclear if that meant for a night or for life.

Los Angeles had the most eclectic late-night palette, favoring bacon-wrapped hot dogs, Korean BBQ, ramen, and carne asada.

More insights from the survey are available at Eventbrite.

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The most and least gay cities in America

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castro san francisco

Among the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas, San Francisco has the highest percentage of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) at 6.2%, according to a new Gallup survey

In Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas, 5.4% and 5.3% of the population identifies as LGBT, respectively, well above the national average of 3.6%. 

Salt Lake City, Utah also made the top 10, at 4.7% — a somewhat surprising find, given Utah's reputation as one of the most conservative states in the union. As the survey notes, however, Utah remains one of the only states to have passed a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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After interviewing 374,325 randomly selected adults in all 50 states, researchers found that the most "gay" metropolitan areas were in the West, while the least gay were in the Midwest and South. In Birmingham, Alabama only 2.6% of adults identify as LGBT — the lowest percentage of any of the 50 largest US cities.

Pittsburgh and Memphis, Tennessee also rank among the lowest, with 3% and 3.1%, respectively.

The survey notes that while explanations for these low percentages vary, the cities ranking in the bottom ten are generally influenced by conservative religious values and are therefore less accepting of LGBT individuals.

Judges in Alabama recently made news for refusing to allow same-sex couples to marry despite a federal court order. 

d6dizaqeyu2o6ifpeqnowg copyRead the full analysis of Gallup's survey data here.

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