We may all have plenty of preconceived notions about how much those around us make, but it's just not something that's talked about much.
International moving company, Movehub, recently put together a fantastic infographic that shows us the personal disposable income of folks all over the planet. According to Movehub, in this context, "personal disposable income refers to the income per person after all taxes have been paid."
According to the site, the data was collected by Numbeo.com and adapted by NationMaster using a series of surveys carried out from 2010 to 2014. They say that data for North America was prepared by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Statistics Quebec.
Here's the breakdown:
Courtesy of International Moving Company - Movehub
San Francisco-based performance artist Qinmin Liu wants your gold Apple Watches for her latest project.
"If you own or plan to purchase a 18k gold apple watch, you are rich and evil," Liu writes in a Google Form. "We are offering you one way out: donate to us."
The 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000. The most expensive one, a 38-mm model that comes with a red buckle, costs $17,000.
Liu says she hopes to receive 50 Apple Watches in either rose or yellow gold by June 1.
"As an artist, I think Apple is a phenomenon, and everyone is influenced by it. When I see people lineup and waiting for 8 hours to get a newest Apple product, I consider it a performance from my artistic perspective," Liu said to Business Insider in an email. "To be honest, I don't really care about Apple's product, but I do care [about] the motivations & desires & curiosity that influence human beings' actions."
She said she has already received 27 commitments on her Google Form. There are 16 donors from the U.S., eight from China, and one each from India, South Korea, and North Korea, according to Liu.
"I hope that Bill Gates can donate to us," she added. "He probably hates Apple Watch more than anyone, since he can't make one. But he is very supportive to art. He can certainly fulfill all our needs of 50 Apple Watches."
Liu is remaining mum on what exactly she plans to do with the Apple Watches.
"I will use human bodies and watches, so it will become an installation and performance piece," she said to SFGate.
The European Space Agency may never have had the glamor of the Apollo missions or space shuttle launches, but they've quietly launched some of the most advanced Earth observation satellites around.
The ESA's Envistat satellite was the largest Earth observation satellite ever built.
Since 2002, it has circled the Earth, collecting invaluable information on our environment and the advancing danger of climate change. Contact with Envistat was suddenly lost in April 2012, but the wealth of information it collected remains.
Every week, the European Space Agency releases a new satellite image taken by Envistat and other Earth-observation satellites launched by ESA and other space agencies. They show incredible places on Earth, from the Sahara Desert to volcanoes in the Congo, in ways we've never seen before.
Clouds sweep across the North Sea in this image from Envistat. Denmark is on the lower right corner and Norway is in the upper center.
This is the Amazon River in the heart of northern Brazil's rainforest. Vegetation has been colored with shades of pink — the darker the color, the denser the vegetation.
This photo of Northern China shows the Yellow River flowing into the Yellow Sea. Beijing and Tanjing are shaded circles in the top-center part of the photo.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The modern gentleman is too busy to shop, but he still wants to look his best.
Luckily, the e-commerce boom has reached men's clothing with a wide number of services catered to how men like to shop — not very often.
From subscription services like Trunk Club to a traditional internet retailer that simplifies the online shopping experience, these services can help you step up your style game without spending a lot of time.
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.
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.
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This is a frustrating time of year in the northeastern United States.
One day, it feels like spring.
The next day, the weather gods taunt you with snow and ice again.
But if you live in the country or burbs, there is at least one fun thing you can do with "mud season."
Make maple syrup!
Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees. So you have to collect that sap. You start with some gear — buckets, taps, hooks, a drill, a hammer, and a tank. A pickup truck helps.
Buckets are actually an old-fashioned and inefficient way to collect sap (you'll see why). These days, serious "sugaring" operations use vacuum tubes that whoosh sap straight from the trees to the sugar house. But you can still get tin buckets secondhand from specialty dealers. Ours are from Canada.
Our taps are the old-fashioned kind, too. The ones you use with vacuum tubes are thinner and made of plastic.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
We've all done it. Download an app, choose "login with Facebook," click yes to the questions allowing it to see our friends or post to our timeline and then, later, decide we don't really want the app.
Deleting it doesn't necessarily rescind the permissions you granted to the app to watch your Facebook activity.
So, once in a while, it's a good idea to look at the apps that have access to your Facebook and tell Facebook to stop sharing stuff with the ones you are no longer using.
Finding this stuff on Facebook isn't obvious, but it isn't terribly hard either.
There are two options. The first is a "privacy checkup." Click on the small "settings" button on the top right of your screen. It looks like a lock.
Click on "Next step."
Click on "App Settings."
You can also get to this page by clicking on the App Settings link on your main Settings page. (Settings/More Settings and then "Apps" on the left hand side of the page).
Once you are on the Apps Settings page, click on "Show All."
I saw a bunch of apps I haven't used in ages, and one called Photo Viewer that I couldn't even remember using.
To tell Facebook to stop sharing your info, remove the app by clicking on the "x" next to the app.
You can also check out exactly what info Facebook is sharing with any app (i.e. everything the app knows about you) by clicking the "edit" button. In the picture above, That's the pencil next to the "X."
For instance, an app I had never heard of collected all my information and watched everything. It "required" me to share my newsfeed posts, my relationships, everything. I deleted it.
I checked on other apps, and made I was ok with the things I was sharing.
Best of all, I now knew the full list of apps that I used my Facebook login.
Each year, there are approximately 1.8 million conventions, conferences, and trade shows in the United States. Conventions are a big business and, for many, an even bigger social event.
From clown conventions to BronyCon, conventions provide an outlet for niche communities to gather and celebrate their sometimes unusual interests with like-minded people.
For the last two years, photographer Arthur Drooker has been investigating the sometimes weird, always interesting world of conventions. Through them all, he's found one common theme.
“No matter what they’re about, where they’re held or who attends them, all conventions satisfy a basic human urge: the longing for belonging,” says Drooker.
Drooker shared some photos from the project with us here, but you can check out the rest on his website, Conventional Wisdom.
When choosing what conventions to attend, Drooker wanted to avoid oversaturated events like ComicCon or Star Trek. He was looking for those like the Association of Lincoln Presenters, the first convention he attended, that have a grassroots following.
At the Lincoln convention in Columbus, Ohio, 150 people dressed as Lincoln. The group's goal is to provide real-looking Lincolns to reenactments, parades, and schools.
Each convention was full of people that were "passionate and obsessive" about their interests. Drooker says the energy was infectious. The Vent Haven Convention in Cincinnati bills itself as "the oldest and largest annual gathering of ventriloquists." The convention has open mics, appearances by pros, and workshops on how to ventriloquize.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
"Insurgent," the second movie in the popular "Divergent" series starring Shailene Woodley, debuts in theaters this weekend.
It's one of many highly-anticipated book-to-film adaptations lined up for 2015.
We compiled a list of some of the best books becoming movies this year. This year brings back "Gone Girl's" Gillian Flynn with a new psychological thriller and the culmination of the "Hunger Games" series.
From sci-fi to period pieces, and even some true stories, here are the books you need to read before they become movies this year.
"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth
Release Date: March 20
In the first "Divergent" film we learn members of the dystopian society are tested and assigned one of the five factions at the age of 16. Those who fit into more than one, like protagonist Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) are deemed Divergent and are considered a threat to society.
In the series' second installment, Tris and the other Divergents are on the run from Jeanine Matthews, leader of the Erudite faction. Tris must embrace her divergence to fight for and protect the ones she loves while uncovering the truth about the past and future of her world.
The much-anticipated sequel returns with stars Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller.
"The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks
Release Date: April 10
Two couples separated by generations converge in another one of Nicholas Sparks' tear-jerking romantic tales. Ira is 91-years-old and lost his wife Ruth nine years prior. College student Sophia and bull-rider Luke come from two different worlds but fall deeply in love. While the two stories are different they remind us that the most challenging choices in life can yield extraordinary journeys.
The romantic film stars Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson.
"The Moon and the Sun" by Vonda N. McIntyre
Release Date: April 10
King Louis XIV is determined to find the key to immortality, and he believes he finds this immortality in a rare sea monster, Sherzad. He plans to endanger and ultimately kill the creature, so against the orders of the king and the pope, a young lady-in-waiting fights to free the innocent creature.
The period piece stars Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt, Benjamin Walker, and Kaya Scodelario.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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."
Tony 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."
Nisman'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."
After that, analysts at the US-based think tank Strategy Center note that there was a significant shift in Argentina's policy toward 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.
Through 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.
"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.
In the US, between 40% and 50% of marriages in end divorce.
While people break up for lots of reasons, some behaviors are more destructive than others.
Peter Pearson, the cofounder of the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California, says that he sees four relationship killers in his couples counseling practice.
It's frightening stuff, since these "assassins of marriage," as Pearson calls them, have a way of sneaking up on you.
1. Keeping a "why should I have to change" attitude.
Pearson says that when a couple comes in to get counseling, there's often one person who's experiencing their partner as critical, demanding, insulting, withdrawing, or disengaging. That person tries to do everything to handle the criticism or get the partner to re-engage — with little success.
"By the time I've come in, they say, 'I've done everything, it's time for me to get relief,'" Pearson says. "'Now you, the therapist, change my partner.'"
If that attitude gets entrenched, look out.
"Basically, they're saying, 'My partner needs to change, and if I like the changes they're making, I'll make changes myself," Pearson says.
That attitude handicaps the whole process, since both people are going to have complaints.
Pearson tries to nip it in the bud: When he starts working with a couple, he tells them to start changing in parallel, not sequentially.
2. Withdrawing into a "bubble."
Another toxic behavior: hiding out in a protective bubble.
People withdraw into protective bubbles because they're afraid of showing any vulnerability.
But the bubble has risks of its own.
"The price for leaving your bubble is the risk that you might get rejected, and that it takes effort to manage your emotional reactions," Pearson says. "You pay a price if you stay hunkered down, since the partner then has their rationale for not changing."
So if you're going to start changing in sequence, both people need to emerge from their bubbles. Because as sociology has discovered, vulnerability supplies the bandwidth to a relationship in the same way that a modem gives bandwidth to the internet.
3. "Just getting used to it."
It's a familiar story: Two people meet, fall in love. They get hitched. They have kids. Their careers advance. Kids leave home, and the parents say to themselves, I married a stranger.
It's a sense of "I married my partner for life," Pearson says, "but not for lunch. I don't know what to do with them."
So what happened?
While two people might live together, they don't automatically share one another's lives.
Slowly, the energy animating the relationship ebbs away.
"That sets the stage for a lot of affairs," Pearson says, echoing the research. "Where you're just kind of numb in your marriage, then one partner meets somebody, and they start to feel alive again. It's not just a sexual-driven experience. Most of the time, affairs are an attempt to feel alive again."
The withering comes from a lack of conscientiousness about the relationship itself — and an unhelpful assumption that if you've known your partner for years, then they should automatically know what you want.
"Telepathy is an enormously unreliable form of communication," Pearson says, but "that doesn't stop people from wanting it or thinking that their partner should have that skill."
4. Adapting too much.
Being in a relationship means two individual humans living in the same space and doing all sorts of things together. Naturally, those individuals aren't going to fit together like gears inside a watch — people have different habits, preferences, and value systems.
"It's going to require some adaptation to the other person from the start," Pearson says. "But when you start to resent the amount of adaption you have to do and you don't bring it up, that's when the trouble starts."
That behavior comes from three assumptions:
• "I have to please my partner in order to be accepted."
• "We can't want different things, because if we want different things, the relationship won't last."
• "If I speak up, I'll be criticized. The consequences will be too negative."
If these assumptions take hold, the relationship can get stuck in toxic dynamics, like hostile-dependent, where one person dominates the other, or conflict averse, where no one brings anything up.
While it takes a lot of time and effort to re-calibrate these assumptions, Pearson says that learning the basics of compassionate — or at least non-triggering — communication is a start.
To reverse that trend, Pearson offers the following guideline to his clients:
When you want to bring something up that you think is going to be a problem for your partner to hear, I want you to say it in a way that doesn't make your partner look bad or feel bad.
Pearson says that his clients often struggle with figuring out how to express their feelings without making the other person look bad. But even if it doesn't go smoothly every time, it can be beneficial to the relationship — since it allows either person to bring up issues that would have otherwise been avoided or triggered a fight.
"If you're giving an account of your experience without making the other person look bad, then you've got a bullseye," he says. But "if in recounting my experience, I do a fair amount of finger pointing, then we don't get too far."