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Michael Jordan cuts the price of his massive Chicago estate to $14.8 million


michael jordan chicago house

Michael Jordan has lowered the price of his Highland Park, Illinois estate to $14.885 million, according to Zillow.

The house was put back on the market at $16 million in January 2014 after failing to sell at auction. Back in 2012, he had it priced at $29 million

The 56,000-square foot compound has nine bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. There's also a tennis court, basketball court, cigar room, gym, and circular infinity pool with a grass island. It's being co-listed by agents from The Agency and Baird & Warner, Zillow reports.

The gate is fitting (the numbers in the new price of $14.855 million also add up to 23).

At 56,000 square feet, it's massive.

The infinity pool has a bridge to get to the lawn in the middle.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Pro gamer describes the difference between playing in the US and Korea — the mecca of video games


league of legends sk telecom 1 championships

Despite its popularity online, professional gaming has yet to break through to mainstream American culture. Compared to sports like football or basketball, it has a tiny fanbase. In Korea, the mecca of pro gaming, it’s a totally different story.

Korea has had a thriving gaming culture since a government initiative to introduce nationwide broadband internet and the release of real-time strategy game StarCraft in the late ‘90s. 

Pro gaming is a national pastime in Korea, with pro matches broadcasted on television, teams sponsored by major tech companies like Samsung and HTC, and players with a level of celebrity rivaling soccer stars. "PC bangs" or gaming cafes pervade Korean youth culture.

In recent years, Riot Games’ League of Legends has become the game of choice, overtaking the pro scene and dominating the casual players in the "PC bangs.”

The difference between pro gaming culture in the US and Korea can be startling, even though players in both countries earn similar incomes (estimated around $80,000 to $100,000). Koreans treat their pro gamers like superstars, while US pro gamers have dedicated but niche followings.

This difference in status became apparent to 24-year-old professional League of Legends player Christian “IWDominate” Rivera, when he traveled to compete in South Korea back in 2012. At the time, Rivera had primarily competed in the US, which was still forming a cohesive League of Legends pro league.

“At that point, I was more famous in Korea than the US,” Rivera said. “My doctor [in Korea] recognized me. People in the airport recognized me. At restaurants, people recognized me. In the US, no one ever recognized me.”

dominate rebirth team liquid

Even three years later, Rivera says, he's still more famous in Korea than in the US.

If you walk arund with him in his Santa Monica neighborhood, it's highly unlikely anyone will recognize him even though the League of Legends headquarters is only a few miles away.

When Rivera strolls around Seoul, on the other hand, many people recognize him — and not just those in the expected 16- to 30-year-old male gaming demographic.

One explanation for this difference in status is that pro gaming has had a longer time to make its mark on Korea than it has in the US. Since the early 2000s, Koreans have had an established network of "gaming houses" — dedicated training facilities where players live and practice. Their games are broadcast onto the TVs of everyday Koreans, many of whom have favorite players. The sport is so popular that many Korean companies view pro gaming matches as a big opportunity to advertise.

Americans, on the other hand, are just getting used to the idea of watching pro gaming through features in publications like ESPN and Vice and broadcasts on the popular gaming website Twitch.

While players in the US do live in Korea-style gaming houses, they are a relatively new phenomenon. The idea of playing video games for a living in the US is also relatively new. Even just a few years ago, most American pro players only competed part-time, as there was not enough salary or sponsorship money to fully support players.

LOL (29 of 138)

To be sure, pro gaming has come a long way in the US now that there's a centralized league (for League of Legends anyway) and big-name sponsors like Red Bull and Nissan. Even so, Korea is still ahead.

“Everything in the US feels a couple of years behind Korea,” Rivera said.

The difference bears out in the game. Korean teams have won two out of the first four League of Legends World Championships, with the other two going to a Taiwanese and a European team. Korea has long dominated StarCraft II, among other games.

The two Korean players on Rivera's team, Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin and Kim "FeniX" Jae-hoon, are both known for their intense training regimen, with one player going so far as to say that they practice "25 hours a day." Chae explained the reasoning behind his regimen, which speaks volumes to the Korean approach to pro gaming.

“If someone [in the US] plays 30 games a week — that's just a random number — a Korean would play 70-80 games. Take that difference over a week, over a month, over years, and that's going to be a huge difference,” Chae told Business Insider, through a translator.

SEE ALSO: Here's what it's like to live in the cramped 'gaming house' where 5 guys earn amazing money by playing video games

Join the conversation about this story »

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New York is losing one of its best sushi chefs in July — let the reservation race begin


masa shimizu

The reservation to score in New York City right now is at 15 East, which is losing its acclaimed sushi chef, Masato "Masa" Shimizu, on July 1.

He's leaving his post to move to Bangkok. 

"No one handles uni the way Masa does ... I just made a reservation for one of his final nights in the last week of June," a food writer friend of mine, Kathy YL Chan, told me over email.

The restaurant's publicist confirmed that the sushi bar is fully reserved until Masa's departure, but tables are available for lunch and dinner in the dining room on a limited basis. 

Though I haven't eaten at 15 East's sushi bar, where chef Masa is omnipresent, I have eaten sushi in the dining room and can attest to Ms. Chan's claim: Masa's sea urchin flight — from the sweet Hokkaido to the buttery Santa Barbara — is unforgettable. He has earned the restaurant a reputation as one of New York's great temples of uni. 

Eater reports that Masa's second- and third-in-command, who've worked with him for over 12 years, will stay put. No word yet on who will take the helm. 

During Masa's tenure, 15 East has been awarded one Michelin star and two stars from The New York Times. He opened the restaurant with owners Marco Moreira and Joann Makovitzky in 2006 and will remain a partner after he leaves. 

Prior to 15 East, Masa worked for four years at Jewel Bako. He's originally from Japan and apprenticed for seven years under sushi master Rikio Kugo at Tokyo's renowned Sukeroku. Masa is a famously affable sushi chef; if you express curiosity, he's likely to grab a sushi textbook off the shelf behind the bar and drop some knowledge. 

With his sushi and sashimi he employs tricks like shocking snapper in an ice bath and massaging his octopus no fewer than 500 times, all to coax better texture and flavor.  

If you haven't had the opportunity to sample that famous uni or kingly octopus, make haste. Otherwise, you'll have to trip it to Bangkok, where Masa says he plans to open a restaurant.  

SEE ALSO: The 11 best restaurants in New York City

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A famous surfer is trying to revolutionize the sport of golf with a new gadget


GolfBoard is a futuristic device that is a cross between a skateboard and a golf cart. It's the brainchild of surfer Laird Hamilton and Bally Total Fitness founder Don Wildman. 

The GolfBoard is designed to carry golfers and their gear at speeds up to 12mph. It costs $6,500 per unit. 

Produced by Jason Gaines. Video courtesy of Associated Press and Caters News.

Follow BI Video: On Facebook

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Why Picassos are going to keep selling for record-breaking prices

The ‘Man Who Flies For Free’ says these are the three cheapest days to fly


people at airport flying plane trip travel chicago airport

Contrary to popular belief, there is no right day to buy a plane ticket.

A flight to New York is not going to be much cheaper on Tuesday than it will be on Wednesday.

But according to Scott Keyes, a reporter for Think Progress and author of the e-books “How To Fly For Free” and “How To Find Cheap Flights,” there might not be cheaper days to buy, but there are cheaper days to fly.

The cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday,” Keyes told Business Insider. “If you have any flexibility in being able to fly on those days, that’s usually when you’re going to find the best fares.”

To find cheaper flights, check websites like ITA Matrix and Kayak, which have interfaces that allow users to search for the best fares during an entire month.

With these tools, travelers can see not only that flying in certain weeks will be cheaper, but also the price difference between flying on Friday versus Thursday. 

Keyes added that people would be shocked to see how much money they can save by simply pushing their flight back by a few hours.

“My friend George flew out to Vegas and was looking at prices that were around $500 for a round trip from DC to Vegas,” Keyes told Business Insider. “I looked at what would happen if he came back on Monday morning instead of Sunday out of curiosity and it turns out there was a flight leaving at 12:50 a.m. on Monday. George was planning to fly back late on Sunday night, but by essentially leaving a few hours later, he cut the price in half.” 

Just by switching dates from Friday to Thursday, or Sunday to Saturday, fliers can save hundreds if they’re simply willing to be flexible — a key, Keyes insisted, to finding affordable airfare.

Toy with the dates a little bit and just see what comes up,” he said. “Even just shifting it by a day or two can really, really help.”

For more of Scot Keyes’s travel tips and advice, check out his ebooks e-books “How To Fly For Free” and “How To Find Cheap Flights.”

SEE ALSO: This guy has gamed the airline industry so he never has to pay for a flight again

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A high-end call girl answers questions about her job, her clients, and her business model


WHEN TO ROB A BANKIn SuperFreakonomics, we profiled a high-end escort whose entrepreneurial skills and understanding of economics made her a financial success.

We call her Allie, which is neither her real nor professional name.

There was so much interest in Allie after the book came out that she agreed to field reader questions on the blog.

They are paraphrased below, along with Allie's answers.

Q. Can you tell us how you became an escort, and what your family thinks — or knows — about your occupation? 

A. My parents don't know about my work, or anything else about my sex life. I was a programmer when I decided to quit my job and become an escort.

I was single and meeting people through a popular dating website.

Finding someone "special" proved to be difficult, but I did meet many nice men.

I had grown up in a repressive small town and I was, at that time, looking to understand my own sexuality.

I have never attached my self-worth to some idea of virginity or monogamy, but I still had not really explored many of my desires. I was meeting people living alternative lifestyles, and, as I got to know them, the stereotypes that I had built up started to come apart. During this time I was in my mid-twenties, and I had an active sex life.

One day I decided to enter the occupation of "escort" on an online instant messaging profile. Within seconds I had many responses, and after about a week of talking to a few people, I decided to meet a dentist at a hotel. The experience wasn't glamorous or nearly as sexy as I thought it might be.

However, I came away from the experience thinking, "It wasn't bad." I began to think that if I just had one appointment a month, I could pay my car loan with it, and have a little extra money. Eventually, I chose to work as an escort exclusively.

At that time, the reason I gave up my programming job was the free time. I was caring for a family member with a serious illness—the free time and money was a huge benefit. 

Q. Do you have any moral problem with what you do?

A. I do not have a moral problem with having sex for money, as long as it's safe, and between consenting adults. However, I have always been concerned about how the social and legal issues may affect my future and the people that I love.

shoes lipstickQ. What kind of clients do you have?

A. My clients are generally white, married, and professional males, between forty and fifty years old, with incomes over $100,000 a year. They tend to be doctors, lawyers, and businessmen looking to get away for a few hours in the middle of the day.

Q. How many of your clients are married men?

A. Almost all of my clients are married. I would say easily over 90%. I'm not trying to justify this business, but these are men looking for companionship. They are generally not men that couldn't have an affair [if they wanted to], but men who want this tryst with no strings attached. They're men who want to keep their lives at home intact.

Q. What do your clients' wives know or think about them coming to you? 

A. I rarely got the opportunity to find out if the wives were okay with it, but I did see several couples, so I assume they were okay with it.

Q. Do you know the real names of your clients?

A. Yes. Always. I insist that they give me their full names and their place of work so that I can contact them there before we meet. I also check their identification when we meet. I also use verification companies, which assist escorts in verification of clients.

These companies do the verification of the client and put them in a database so that when the client wants to meet with a girl for the first time, he doesn't have to go through the verification process again. For a fee, I can call in and they will tell me if the client has a history of giving the girls problems, where he works, and his full name.

Q.What are your out-of-pocket costs?

A. $300 to $500 a month for my online basic ads 

$100 a year for the website

$100 a month for a phone

$1,500 a year for photography

If I was touring then there were extra expenses such as travel costs, hotels, and more advertising costs.

Q. Do you have any regrets about your chosen profession? 

A. Being an escort provided me with many opportunities that I'm not sure I would have gotten if I had not been an escort. That said, my choice to become an escort had a definite cost associated with it beyond the advertising, photos, and websites.

I believe it is close to impossible to have a healthy relationship while working. So it can be a lonely life. In addition, hiding my job from my friends and family proved to be difficult for many reasons.

Q. How do you think prostitution would change if it were legalized? Would you want your own child to become a prostitute?

A. If the social and legal ramifications were gone, I think that being an escort might be like being a therapist (I have never been a therapist, so my knowledge is obviously limited). Like most escorts, a therapist sells his or her skills by the hour.

A therapist also has to meet people for the first time not knowing who is walking in the door. Many have their own offices and work alone. In addition, the session is generally private and requires discretion. I imagine that many times therapists have patients that they like and some they don't. A therapist's revenue, like almost all other occupations, probably increases if the client feels that the therapist likes them.

I don't mean to imply that I have the skills of a trained therapist, or to in any way demean what they do; I'm just observing some obvious similarities. If I had a child, I would hope that they would feel empowered, and have the opportunity to do whatever they desire to do, and that they would be in charge of their own sexuality.

This job has its downsides, though, and can take a high toll on a person. I know that it's made many aspects of my life and my relationships more difficult. So, like any parent, I would always want more for my child than I had for myself.

Q. So are you in favor of legalization?

A. I feel that prostitution should be legal. If a couple meets for dinner and a bottle of wine, and have sex, that's a date. If they meet for dinner and a bottle of wine, and have sex, with money in an envelope left on the dresser, that's illegal.

I realize that there are women in prostitution who are there because they feel like they have to be. These women work in a different part of the industry than I did. Many have drug or abuse issues, among other problems. I think, instead of spending time and finite resources on arresting and criminalizing these women, we should spend our resources on making sure that these women have other opportunities and a place to go for help.

The women who don't want to be prostitutes shouldn't have to be, and they should be able to get the help they need. Women who want to be should be able to.

I feel that no one should have to take a job to make a living that is against his or her own moral judgment.

Q. How would legalization affect your business model?

A. I'm sure it would cause me to lower my rates. I'm sure more people would take up prostitution as a profession, and I am sure more men would partake in the activity. That said, legalization does not remove all the barriers to entry.

The job still would have a huge negative stigma associated with it, both for the escorts and the clients. In countries like Canada, enforcement of prostitution laws is extremely lax, and while rates are lower, they aren't wildly different. So there would still be men out there afraid of their wives finding out, and I still wouldn't want to share my job title with my family.

Q. Dubner and Levitt wrote that you have some economics training. Has that informed the way you think about your occupation?

A. Sure, here are some examples:

Dinner with friends = opportunity cost

Perfect information = review sites

Transaction cost = setting up an appointment

Repeated game = reputation

Product differentiation = not a blonde

Seriously, I wish I had known then what I know now.

Excerpted from "When To Rob A Bank...And 131 More Warped Suggestions And Well-Intended Rants" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Reprinted with permission from William Morrow, Copyright © 2015 by Steven D. Levitt & Dubner Productions, LLC.

SEE ALSO: 10 lessons from 'Freakonomics' that will blow your mind

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Meet the funniest guy in every state, according to scores of women who rated them anonymously


lulu office alexandra chong

With the slogan "do your research," the controversialapp Lulu lets millions of women anonymously rate men on their looks, personality, and sense of humor. 

Men are rated overall on a scale of 1 to 10, but women can also pick hashtags to describe them, like #DoesHisOwnLaundry or #JustFriends (free form answers could put Lulu's users in libelous territory).

The app recently started letting women send anonymous messages to guys — the men can't initiate conversation themselves. The company says it has generated billions of profile views, and registrations have grown 3X in the last month. 

Business Insider worked with Lulu to find the funniest guy in every state based on the"humor score" they had been given by women who know them. 

Click here to see who will make you laugh the hardest>>

Lulu Map

Alabama: John Lex Kenerly

Humor score: 9.8

College/Occupation: University of Alabama

Women say: #MakesMeLaugh #CaptainFun #WillActSilly


Alaska: Josh Smith

Humor score: 9.4

College/Occupation: University of Alaska

Top humor-related hashtags#CaptainFun #LifeOfTheParty #AlwaysHappy



Arizona: JT Boulanger

Humor score: 9.8

College/Occupation: Arizona State University 

Top humor-related hashtags: #AlwaysHappy #MakesMeLaugh #LocalCeleb


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These 19 photos of people's most valuable possessions will make you think about what really matters

Inside the beautiful apartment of an executive at one of New York City's hottest startups


rebekah rombom apartment

Rebekah Rombom, VP of business development at coding education startup The Flatiron School, never saw the need to fully decorate her tiny apartment on New York City's Upper West Side.

"I thought it was out of reach and not really worth it in a rental in New York City," she told Business Insider. "But I was running into the problem of not having a well-defined work space in my home." 

The Flatiron School is a highly selective, full-time program that teaches people how to code and eventually get jobs as engineers.

Rombom met Will Nathan, cofounder of interior design startup Homepolish, when he turned to the Flatiron School to recruit developers. She decided to purchase 10 hours of design time with Homepolish designer Michele Bitter

The result is a colorful, efficiently organized apartment that has made it easier for Rombom to work on her latest Flatiron School projects from home.

One of the main goals Rombom and Bitter had was to define the tiny studio apartment into separate sleeping, working, and living spaces.

Installing a tall bookshelf was one way to accomplish this without blocking too much sunlight.

Growing a startup means working crazy hours, so having an efficient desk space was extremely important. "When all is said and done, having a place that’s cohesive and feels like it’s your own really makes a difference in your productivity," Rombom said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Business Insider is hiring a cars reporter


Ferrari FF Review

Business Insider is hiring a full-time reporter to help expand its car coverage.

The ideal candidate is obsessed with automobiles, from the latest supercar to an obscure barn find that will sell for millions at auction. He or she was crushed by the cancellation of "Top Gear," and could rattle off the names of every major car designer of the past 50 years.

Coverage areas will include new car models, auto shows, and reviews. The beat also includes some coverage of yachts, motorcycles, trains, and other forms of transportation.

We're looking for the following: 

  • Excellent writing skills
  • An obsession with all things auto-related
  • Ability to be creative and package auto news in a exciting ways
  • Journalism background
  • Photography skills are a plus

Apply here with a résumé and cover letter if this sounds like your dream job.

Business Insider offers competitive compensation packages complete with benefits. 

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The 25 best skylines in the world (ranked!)


beijing skyline

Every city in the world has a unique skyline. But is it possible to say which is the best?

The international building database Emporis attempts to quantify skylines by looking at the number and height of buildings in the world's major cities. The result is an ever-changing ranking of the world's most impressive cityscapes.

To rank skylines, Emporis looks at completed skyscrapers (40 floors or more) and high-rises (12 to 39 floors), and assigns each building a point value based on its floor count. Taller buildings receive significantly higher values (see Emporis' complete methodology here). TV towers, masts, bridges, and other structures are excluded.

Moscow jumped from 11th place to fourth place year-over-year, and Shanghai (No. 8) overtook São Paulo (No. 9).

No. 25: Rio de Janeiro has 2,595 tall buildings in 1,182 square kilometers.

Methodology: Each building over 11 floors was assigned a point value based on number of floors. Measurements exclude TV towers, masts, bridges, or other structures.

Source: Emporis

No. 24: Osaka, Japan, has 1,490 tall buildings in 220 square kilometers.

Methodology: Each building over 11 floors was assigned a point value based on number of floors. Measurements exclude TV towers, masts, bridges, or other structures.

Source: Emporis

No. 23: Jakarta, Indonesia, has 443 tall buildings in 661 square kilometers.

Methodology: Each building over 11 floors was assigned a point value based on number of floors. Measurements exclude TV towers, masts, bridges, or other structures.

Source: Emporis

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This is the best route to take for an epic road trip across the US

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