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Here's the new and improved CitiBike


A newly redesigned CitiBikeNew York’s bike-share program, the largest in the country, will be adding 2,400 freshly redesigned bikes to its racks beginning this month, CitiBike announced Monday on its blog.

The redesign is part of a collaboration with prolific American cycle designer Ben Serotta, who has been designing racing bikes for over 40 years.  

“I used to spend months building one perfect custom bike at a time,” said Ben Serotta. “Now, we’ve created a new type of bike share bike, which can be literally customized to fit everyone.” 

The initial CitiBike fleet was made up of 6,000 bikes when it launched in May 2013. Citibike says the new bikes will require less time in routine servicing, freeing up more bikes for commuters. Additionally, version 2.0 includes improved gear shifts, a sturdier kick stand, and a seat that drains water, for those soggy bike rides home. 

The rollout of the more durable and user-friendly bikes will be accompanied by the program’s first expansion to new neighborhoods. Queens will receive its first CitiBike rack, in Long Island City, and the program will push even farther in to Brooklyn, with racks in Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.  

The re-engineered CitiBike is more rugged and user-friendly“We have now replaced the software and hardware at all 330 stations and 12,000 docking points, and have overhauled more than 90 percent of our 6,000 bikes,” said Jay Walder, President and CEO of CitiBike’s parent company, Motivate. “Today we are extremely proud to roll out new and improved bikes as we continue to meet growing demand and prepare for expansion that will begin this summer.”  The new CitiBike design minimizes rain water pooling on the seatDespite ownership changes and funding issues, more and more New Yorkers are choosing CitiBike. The company’s release boasts a 10% increase in ridership for May 2015, compared with the year prior. 

SEE ALSO: Like bikes? Head to Washington State

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There's a life-size Monopoly board in a Dubai mall and it looks awesome


In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the popular Monopoly board game, the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai created a life-size Dubai-themed Monopoly game for shoppers to play.

Produced by Emma Fierberg. Video courtesy of Associated Press.

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When deciding what to wear for their own wedding, many men make a crucial mistake


Tuxedo Wedding

First, a quiz. What's wrong with the picture to the right?

You guessed it: the groom is wearing a tuxedo — during the day.

For reasons that are still beyond all comprehension, the tuxedo has become the pinnacle of formalwear for the American man. Blame prom and pushy tuxedo-rental places.

But the tuxedo, which is commonly referred to as "black tie," was never intended to be worn while the sun was still up.

It didn't used to be this way. There was a time in the not-t0-distant past when men instead wore "morning suits" (the daytime equivalent of white tie) or strollers (the daytime equivalent of black tie) to their nuptials.

Both of these long-coated looks have fallen out of favor, supplanted by the less formal suit and tuxedo. The tides of history have turned, and for as long as we're living in these more casual times, men will be wearing suits and tuxes when they get married.

The most important thing to remember then is when it's appropriate to wear each of these two options. You should wear a charcoal suit when your wedding takes place during the daytime; and a black tuxedo when your wedding is in the evening. According to Articles of Manliness, the general rule of the thumb is that you dress for when the event ends, so any wedding that ends after dark is tuxedo-appropriate.

Though these rules are flexible (and, in some cases, may be bent until they're broken), the one critical guideline is that you must never wear a tuxedo in the daytimeAs menswear blog PutThisOn says it: you'll look like a tool. Though the trend of men wearing tuxedos during the day is unlikely to stop, at least you can be confident that you're getting it right.

But if your bride-to-be insists that you wearing a tuxedo to the ceremony, it doesn't matter what time of day it is: you're wearing a tuxedo. Similarly, the dress code for an event during the day calls for black tie, don't show up in a suit.

If wearing a tuxedo during the day is improper, not following someone else's dress code wishes is just plain rude.

SEE ALSO: 7 outdated men's style 'rules' that you don't always have to follow

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This secluded Maine estate is a steal at $9.5 million



William Russell Grace, the New York City mayor who accepted the Statue of Liberty, built this Renaissance Revival-style mansion for his daughter in 1918.

It's called Grace Estate, and you can purchase it for $9.5 million. 

LandVest's Terry Sortwell has the Islesboro, Maine listing, which counts a putting green, saltwater pool, and historic guest house among its many charms. 

Accessible by ferry, 399 Hermit’s Point Road sits on close to 9 acres of land with views of Penobscot Bay, Camden Hills, and Seal Harbor.

There are 17 rooms in total, including 8 bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, library, billiard room, and two laundry rooms.

The stately dining room features water views and a custom fireplace.


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Apple finally introduces split-screen multitasking on the iPad — here's what it looks like

You've been making hamburger patties wrong your entire life


heston blumenthal burger

You may have the perfect recipe for hamburgers — but chances are, you've been making the patties wrong your whole life.

Most home chefs dump their ground beef into a bowl and knead in all the fixings: chopped onion, ketchup, red pepper flakes. Then they roll the dough into balls and flatten them with their hands before tossing them on the grill.

But this method has some major drawbacks.

In a 2007 episode of the short-lived BBC show "In Search of Perfection," Michelin 3-star chef Heston Blumenthal spent six months using science to create the "perfect hamburger." His biggest revelation was that in order to achieve an "open," juicy texture, the grains of ground meat should all fall in the same direction.Jun 05, 2015 15:10There are two benefits to keeping the grains of meat running straight: The first is to avoid the release of proteins that could act as binding agents, and the second is to keep the strings from becoming intertwined. Either could lead to a denser and drier patty.

This is when the famed chef's method really veers off the path of the traditional burger patty. Instead of forming patties with his hands, he rolls the entire pile of ground beef into a sausage-like tube using plastic wrap.

heston blumenthal burger He refrigerates the roll for at least half an hour, and then slices it like a sushi chef, ensuring that each patty's meat grains stand parallel to one another, and that each is a consistent thickness all the way through, allowing for even cooking.

heston blumenthal burger Blumenthal, whose burger blend is 50% chuck, 25% short rib, and 25% brisket, prefers to grind his own meat and have a sous chef pull the grains out of the grinder, to keep them parallel.

heston blumenthal burger Blumenthal's other big trick is to treat his pan like a rotisserie instead of a grill. He flips the burger every 20 or 30 seconds, a method he says "drives a much more even temperature through the meat," resulting in a burger that's "nicely colored on outside, but evenly cooked through the middle."

heston blumenthal burger

Now that's some pretty revelatory stuff.

SEE ALSO: A famous chef went on a 6-month scientific mission to create the perfect hamburger — here's what he came up with

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23 reasons why you should book your next trip to Taiwan


taiwan temple

Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China, is a delightful island.

Located off the southwestern coast of China, Taiwan is about the same size as Belgium and was named Formosa Island by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century due to its stunning natural beauty.

Chinese mainlanders started settling in Taiwan dating back to the 17th century, and the Japanese colonization of the island ended in 1945. Due to its historical mixture of influences, Taiwan has its own distinct culture. 

Not many people know just how amazing the country is, which makes it one of the most underrated destinations in Asia. 

Here are 23 reasons why you should visit Taiwan immediately. 

SEE ALSO: The 24 strangest things I saw when I visited Korea

1. Let's start with the food. Taiwanese people love to eat. The dishes people miss the most when they leave include beef noodle soup, soup dumplings from Din Tai Fung, and the uniquely Taiwanese oyster omelets.

2. If you've never had Taiwanese breakfast, you're missing out. Fuhang Doujiang in Taipei has a line out the door every morning and the wait for soy milk, egg crepes, and fried dough sticks is worth it.

3. Every major city has at least one night market — and all of them are worth visiting to try local specialty snacks and shop for souvenirs. Taipei alone has several night markets, including Shilin and Raohe. The city of Keelung's night market is arguably the country's largest and most renowned.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I just bought a bed from the 'Warby Parker of mattresses' and I will never buy one in stores again


mattress casper skitchThe biggest pain about buying a new mattress is ... well, just about everything.

You spend an hour in the store, awkwardly flopping on and off beds trying to find the one that meets the Goldilocks standard of "just right." Then you have to lug the winning mattress across the parking lot, onto your car roof, up stairs, and into your home.

I recently transplanted from New York City to San Francisco, and the first major purchase I made — hesitantly — was a new mattress. But I did things a little differently this time.

Casper, called "the Warby Parker of mattresses," sells mattresses on its website and delivers them to your door in a box not much bigger than a nightstand. The Manhattan-based sleep startup raised $13 million in Series A funding last August, and famously generated $1 million in its first 28 days after launch.

My shopping experience began online, and was over and done with in fewer than 10 minutes. Casper sells just one type of mattress, dubbed "The Casper Mattress," because the company prefers to "put all our energy into building the ideal bed ... rather than confuse you with tens (or hundreds) of models that all start to feel the same after a while." It combines latex foam for cooling and bounce, and memory foam for support. A hand-sewn, custom-designed cover seals the layers.

I ordered a full-sized mattress for $750, comforted by the knowledge that I could return my Casper mattress for any reason within 100 days. Plus, it was free to ship!

casper mattress

Less than one week later, it arrived! My roommates wheeled the box on a cart into my room.

casper mattress unbox review 5037

We turned it upright and cut open the box. Inside, a cloth bag held instructions and ...

casper mattress unbox review 5051

... the most adorable little letter opener.

casper mattress unbox review 5055

I held the box at a 45-degree angle as my boyfriend wiggled the mattress out. It weighed about 60 pounds.

casper mattress unbox review 5056

We cut the mattress free from its felt binding using the letter opener.

casper mattress unbox review 5060

Then came time for the "unfurling." The 10-inch-thick mattress expanded and flattened as it filled with air.

mattress casper unfurl

My boyfriend cut through the plastic and the mattress sprung to life. In seconds, it was ready for sleeping.

casper mattress unbox review 5067

Here it is, all done up.

casper mattress unbox review 5069

I've slept in the bed for a few nights now, and here are my takeaways.

The Casper Mattress is surprisingly springy, even for an experienced Tempur-Pedic-sleeper like myself. Its latex-and-memory-foam combination absorbs and contours to my body like a sponge. That said, the sinkage is minimal. Thanks to the surface layer's high foam density, I don't feel like I'm climbing out of a manhole everytime I get out of bed.

Does it meet the Goldilocks standard of "just right"? Not quite. How could it, when every sleeper's needs are different? I would have preferred a slightly firmer mattress, and I hope a variation is available in the future.

Still, the convenience and low costs associated with Casper trump all other mattress-buying experiences. It was infinitely easier to maneuver this cardboard box around my apartment building than it would have been to burden it on our backs and strap it to the car's roof on the way home from the store. Plus, by ordering online, I avoided paying for delivery, shipping, and tip.

In the on-demand era, laziness is king.

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The entire point of this weird site is to submit awkward text messages and get strangers to tell you what to do


Ever received a weird text message and had a tough time coming up with a response? This new website might be able to help you.

Called Textie, it uses crowdsourcing to come up with replies to awkward texts. It's been live for about two weeks, according to Washington Post's Caitlin Dewey, and most of the tricky texts in question have to do with relationships.

To use Textie, you have to create an account. Then, you can either copy and paste or type in the text message that's vexing you. This creates an opportunity for users to edit or completely fabricate their texts, of course, but most of them seem authentic.

Here's a smattering of the problem texts that users enter into Textie.

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 9.47.49 AM

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 9.47.25 AM

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 9.47.12 AM

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 9.48.02 AM

After users enter their problem texts, they wait for possible replies from the crowd.

Here's an example from a user named Lolaa:

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 9.47.49 AM

At the time of this writing, Lolaa's text had received nine suggested replies. The points above each response show how many votes they've gotten from other users.

Some users assumed Lolaa also wanted more from her friendship with the texter:


Others figured Lolaa was looking for a way to reject them.


It's fun to see how other people would respond to certain texts. This, rather than Textie's intended crowdsourcing purpose, is its main appeal. Each awkward text presents the reader with a case study of how differently people can respond to situations.

It's also interesting to see what kind of heavy subject matter people are willing to tackle via text:

textie pregnancy text

The most striking part about the above message is that the texter starts it out by saying "not much" is going on in his life, but then dumps the recipient and tells them he's gotten his ex-girlfriend pregnant.

The most popular response offers a measured and mature reply to the pregnancy text:

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 10.49.12 AM

But other responders weren't so charitable. A simple "good luck with that" seemed to be the most popular response.

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 10.50.42 AM

One poster decided to thicken the plot by adding a new detail.

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 10.52.08 AM

While another decided to use the opportunity to quote "Mean Girls."

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 10.52.46 AM

We found one instance where the original poster responded to say they'd be using one of the crowdsourced responses. Here's the awkward text:

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 9.47.25 AM

And here are a few crowdsourced comebacks, with the user, blokey1, responding to say which one he'd be using.

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 12.23.05 PM

I decided to test Textie with an awkward text of my own. I dug through my past messages and found one that I think was appropriate. It had stopped me in my tracks at the times so I thought it was a good test. 

But the suggested responses from other Textie users weren't that helpful. Plus, it took five hours for a possible answer to even show up. If I was really looking for advice on how to respond, I probably would have given up within 30 minutes.

The verdict: Textie is an entertaining tool and a great way to see how people get out of dealing with awkward situations by using texts to diffuse the weirdness.

Just don't count on this service to always give you a viable response to the awkward texts you receive. It's more entertaining than it is useful.

SEE ALSO: People have been posting text messages from their moms on Twitter and it's hilarious

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I just moved to San Francisco and now I'm convinced it's the 'city of the future'


A little over two weeks ago, I moved from New York City to San Francisco. I expected some level of culture shock: Here, the people wear Birkenstock sandals without risking fashion suicide, housing costs an arm and a leg, and the smell of marijuana hangs like a low cloud over the Bay.

Still, I was unprepared for how futuristic this city is. Complicated tasks that require human-to-human interaction would be accomplished with a few clicks of an app. My commute is green.

Here's how I know the City by the Bay is the City of the Future.

On the drive home from the airport, the most ridiculously nerdy car zoomed past me, fitting comfortably between my lane and the adjacent one.

tango t600 electric car

The Tango T600 luxury electric car is a one-seat-wide commuter vehicle intended to increase freeway lane capacity. It was featured as a sight gag in the pilot episode of HBO's "Silicon Valley."

silicon valley smart car

Once I settled in the new apartment, I needed food. I ordered my weekly groceries through Instacart, an on-demand food delivery service founded and headquartered in San Francisco. Their Whole Foods database allowed me to be choosy with brand, quantity, and prices.

Fewer than two hours later, an Instacart messenger delivered my shopping cart loot to the door.

instacart grocery on-demand service

I substituted human interaction with websites and apps for my most routine activities. Oakland's bougie pizzeria The Star doesn't deliver, but you can place an order for pick-up. I wrangled a bike messenger via courier service Postmates, another San Francisco-founded startup, who acquired and delivered the goods in no time.

postmates online

In subsequent trips to grocery stores, I noticed a charge on my receipt for paper bags. In 2007, the city passed groundbreaking legislation outlawing plastic checkout bags at supermarkets. Paper and compostable bags are available for a small fee, encouraging shoppers to reuse their own bags.

While San Francisco isn't the only city to ban plastic bags, it was the first. The state of California approved a similar bill seven years later.

whole foods california paper bag compostable bag

During my commute to work, I couldn't help but notice rats' nests of wires strung over the city streets.

mission district, san francisco, hipster

Those lines power San Francisco's fleet of electric trolley buses. The low-noise, greenhouse gas-free vehicles snake through the city while tethered to the wires, transporting 32,000 passengers per day. The electric grid is a bit of an eyesore, but a worthwhile effort to go green.

muni electric bus trolley san francisco

Every curb has not two, but three garbage cans for trash, recycling, and compost. Literally. Every. Curb.

san francisco compost garbage cans

In 2002, San Francisco took on an incredibly ambitious project called Zero Waste, which aims to eliminate garbage that is neither recycled nor composted by 2020. Residents toss food, soiled paper, and plants into the green bins, and those products will be composted into nutrient-rich soil used by local farms.

san francisco compost garbage

Even San Francisco's preeminent fast food burger joint, In-n-Out, surprised me with its consideration of the user experience. When an employee took my order, he asked if I wanted to eat my take-out in the car or have it to-go. I chose the former.

in-n-out placemat

When I drove up to the second window, I was handed a paper placemat to keep my pants clean of the signature "spread" sauce. My food was packaged in an open-face cardboard container, rather than a paper bag, so the burgers were easy to grab.

Taking into consideration my user experience, In-n-Out completely obliterated any worries I had that I might make a mess in the car.

in-n-out to-go container

The future!

SEE ALSO: I'm moving out of New York City, and these are the things I'm checking off my bucket list before I go

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16 newlyweds tell us why they chose a City Hall wedding


Nikon Wedding TruckOver the course of two days last week, camera giant Nikon set up a portrait studio in the back of a truck outside City Hall in New York City. 

Its mission: surprise a bunch of newlyweds with free wedding pictures shot by photographer Joe McNally

In addition to the photos, couples were also treated to hair and makeup services (if they so chose) in a nearby tent.

I caught up with 16 of the happy duos to find out more about their love stories, and why they chose a City Hall wedding.

Jacob and Genai: "He actually proposed one week ago today. We wanted to do it right away now that we’re ready."

Samantha and Max: "My parents got married at City Hall, and I’ve been living in the city for a while and I thought it would be extra special to go here. It’s kind of like a monument, a special place in the city."

Hassen and Falaq: "We just decided [this morning] and we thought, 'That’s it,' on the spot."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Manny Pacquiao is selling his smaller LA home after buying a sprawling Beverly Hills mansion



After scooping up a $12.5 million Beverly Hills mansion, boxer Manny Pacquiao is unloading his slightly more modest LA home. 

Once featured on an episode of "MTV Cribs," the Hancock Park abode was listed for $2.7 million in August of 2013. It was taken off the market in late 2014 and is back again for the same asking price. 

Redfin's Alec Traub has the 4,273-square-foot listing

Just off the entryway is the room where Pacquiao displays his trophies and military memorabilia — he was a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves.


Here's where the boxer kicks back and watches some TV after a long day of training.

Sure, the decor is a bit dated, but the floor plan is nice and open, with lots of high ceilings and natural light.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Take a look inside the stunning offices of the company Disney bought for $500 million


Maker (8 of 55)

Last year, Disney purchased the YouTube giant Maker Studios in a lucrative deal that could top out to $950 million if all Maker Studios' goals are reached

It shouldn't be difficult to see why. As of April, Maker Studios was the biggest video provider on YouTube, thanks to its partnerships with some of YouTube's biggest stars, including PewDiePie, KassemG, Bart Baker, and the team behind Epic Rap Battles of History.

Located near the heart of Los Angeles, the offices of Maker Studios are a full-fledged production house, making the latest parody videos, talk shows, and cartoons that their fans love. 

We recently stopped by to check out the space.

Maker Studios' offices are located in a large warehouse in Culver City. Walk in and you are greeted by the Maker logo.

Feel free to hang out in the lobby area, where there is some chic furniture to lounge on.

The lobby is filled with reminders of Maker Studios' achievements, including an RIAA gold certification for Epic Rap Battles of History, one of Maker's most popular channels.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A former Google exec just raised $100 million to transform the way we teach kids


san francisco altschool 4395 skitch

The world is becoming an increasingly personalized place, according to Max Ventilla, founder and CEO of AltSchool, the Bay Area-based school system that just raised $100 million in venture capital.

Ventilla should know: His previous job title was head of personalization at Google, where he helped build Google+ and other products that make the internet feel more personal.

His latest venture aims to transform the outdated, early-1900s model of elementary education for the Digital Age. Teachers share lesson plans across the school's online network, developed by a team of 50 technologists, and students complete tasks that are cherry-picked from this pool based on the learning strategies that work best for them.

We spent the day at AltSchool's Fort Mason location in San Francisco to see its revolutionary teaching style in action.

AltSchool is a network of "micro-schools," each enrolling between 80 and 150 students, that aims to bring education into the 21st century.

Max Ventilla, former head of personalization at Google, left the company to found AltSchool in 2013. Today there are four locations in the Bay Area.

In May, Mark Zuckerberg led a new $100 million round of venture funding, which also included existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Peter Thiel's Founders Fund.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

If you're not a yuppie and you're not a hipster then you might be a 'yuccie'


hipster beard hat

Yuppies are so ten years ago and hipsters are passe, so the millennial generation has given birth to yet another social trope. Meet the "Young Urban Creative," known colloquially as the "yuccie."

Mashable's David Infante introduced the term today in a post called "The hipster is dead, and you might not like who comes next."

In it, Infante explains a yuccie essentially acts as a cross between "the yuppie’s new money thirst for yachts and recognition with the hipster’s anti-ambition, and smoke-laced individualism."


Then "sprinkle on a dose of millennial entitlement," he adds.

Interested to know if you are a yuccie? Infante provides a handy checklist of common characteristics:

If you’re checking any of these boxes, you may be a yuccie. Be honest…

  • Owns multiple copies of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

  • Doesn’t like gentrification in theory; loves artisanal donuts in practice

  • Really wants to go to Austin soon because hears it’s incredible

  • Takes boozy painting classes

  • Used to be “in banking” and occasionally still pronounces finance “fuh-nontz”

  • Avoids visible tattoos (not a prudent career move)

  • Loves Seinfeld even though it went off the air when they were 16

  • Gets the NYT Weekend Edition but doesn’t read the news

  • Has thousands of Instagram followers, but almost no Twitter followers

Yuccies seek jobs where they can both earn a decent living and be fulfilled by their tasks. Read: creative jobs that stimulate their minds and their senses and their passion — but also pay the bills with a little left over for a weekend getaway that will surely be Instagrammed.

hipster photograph car

Infante's post has been circulating the internet all day, amassing 14, 200 shares on Mashable and 2,279 shares on Mashable's Facebook page as of 3pm on June 9.

Here's what people are saying about being a yuccie on Twitter:



You can check out Infante's full diatribe on the yuccie here.


SEE ALSO: What is a dad bod?

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15 Father's Day gifts for stylish dads


BarneysThis Father's Day, spoil the man that always spoils you with a luxurious gift he'll never forget.

We scoured the web in search of gifts that cater to stylish dads, because he deserves more than a basic golf shirt this year.  

Keep him well groomed on the go.

The Art of Shaving's 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave Travel Kit has everything he needs to get a clean shave away from home. Plus, all of the products are TSA-friendly.  

Price: $175



Step up his summer shoe game.

Classier than boat shoes without sacrificing comfort, penny loafers are the modern gentleman's go-to summer shoe. Cole Haan's Britton Penny Loafer will add a relaxed feel to his warm weather wardrobe.  

Price: $198

Expand his culinary horizons.

Mantry delivers a handmade wooden crate filled with six artisan food and beverage products straight to dad's doorstep. Choose a single crate, or keep him in the kitchen with a three- or six-month subscription. 

Price: $225 (three-month subscription)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How to land a plane if the pilot has a heart attack

Laurene Powell Jobs just paid $44 million for a multi-property estate in Malibu


laurene house malibu

Laurene Powell Jobs, widow to Apple genius Steve Jobs, just picked up a two-parcel property in Malibu for $44 million, Variety reports

The three-acre property was purchased under an LLC in March. It previously belonged to investment banker and politician Jack Ryan, who didn't complete the renovations he had planned before listing it for sale on digital marketplace REX.

laurene powell jobs house

According to the listing, the home will have 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms when complete. 

laurene powell jobs hosue

Situated on a bluff in the Paradise Point section of Malibu, the home has amazing ocean views. 

laurene powell jobs house

There are also two guest houses, which bring the living space to a total of more than 13,000 square feet.

laurene powell jobs house 

SEE ALSO: Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak's former home finally sells for $3.9 million after several years on the market

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NOW WATCH: Kids settle the debate and tell us which is better: an Apple or Samsung phone

This controversial parenting theory about health and cleanliness will make you question your childhood


muddy girl

We went overboard with the Purell.

Public health experts call it the hygiene hypothesis: While you might think cleaner is always better, research suggests that a little grit is good for you.

The hypothesis was coined by British epidemiologist David Strachan in 1989. He noticed kids in larger families were more likely to get hay fever, reasoning that the more exposure to allergies the kids had, the greater tolerance they could build. 

Since then, the hypothesis has provided an explanation for the rise in auto-immune disorders in developed countries, like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and, most popularly, asthma and allergies, which have been on the uptick in the U.S. for years.

The researchers who study the hygiene hypothesis propose our over-sanitized, germ-free lives are to blame.  

We’ve replaced overtly nasty ailments like gout and ringworm, found in our poorly stored and undercooked food, with less obvious conditions that we carry for the long-haul.

Purell and hand washing may make hospitals safer, but those oh-so-helpful clinical rituals may backfire in everyday life.

Like with with raising kids, for instance.

Yale University immunologist Dr. Christina Price points to research done on farms to suggest a sort of prenatal protection from bacteria that sticks with kids later in life.

Moms, then, might do well to limit their sanitary practices. 

"Encouraging kids to play outside is wonderful," Price tells Business Insider. "But even that may be too late if you are already 'sensitized.'"

Post-delivery, the benefits seem to compound the initial set of conditions.

A study published recently in the journal "Pediatrics" found families that washed their dishes by hand suffered fewer allergies than their dishwasher-using counterparts. The explanation? Dirt actually boosted immunity.

The practice has also found its way into the place where kids get the sickest: school. 

One example is Gever Tulley’s radical approach to pedagogy, Brightworks.

The San Francisco-based school gets kids learning by doing. They take apart home appliances. They superglue their fingers together. And they also happen to play in the dirt, exposing their immune systems to the very things most of us try to eliminate.

Improving public health isn’t necessarily a goal of Brightworks, but it could easily be an unintended virtue. And for a generation whose idea of playtime comes built-in with screens of all sizes, just getting outside could end up reaping the greatest rewards.

SEE ALSO: 1 in 3 of babies are learning how to use smartphones before they can walk or talk

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This 23-year-old ditched her blog and started writing her memoir on Instagram — now 300,000 people are reading it


Caroline CallowayCaroline Calloway is writing a memoir. Well, actually, she's Instagramming it. 

While she isn't a published author yet, she already has 339,000 captivated readers following along with the story she's telling on Instagram, including a top literary agent who thinks Calloway may have a hit book on her hands. (There's no book deal yet, her agent confirms.)

Mic.com reports 23-year-old Calloway 'grams tales about her life, publishing directly to the screens of her followers on the photo-sharing social network.

The photos are her illustrations while her paragraphs-long captions are the text. 

Here's an example: this is a passage she wrote about calling her boyfriend from a library in Cambridge.

Just as I was about to hang up, Oscar answered. “Miss Calloway.” He said coolly. “You rang?” “Yes,” I whispered, weaving through bookshelves towards the door. “Are you free? Like right now? I have an idea.” “Why are you whispering?” Near the circulation desk, a moon-faced librarian had stopped watering the potted ferns to frown in my direction. “I’m in the library,” I whispered. “Leaving now.” “Rather naughty of you to be placing calls from the library,” he remarked cheerfully. “Yes… Well…” I mumbled struggling with the brass doorknob and a clever retort.


Calloway says she was "wildly unpopular in middle school," and her love of reading was largely driven by her lack of friends. She calls herself "chronically lonely," so much so that when she was young she could only fall asleep to Harry Potter audio books because she found the "illusion of company comforting."

When she moved to New York City in 2010, she was determined to make it as a writer.

She began blogging about her life, but hardly anyone was reading what she wrote.

She had her sights set on being officially represented by Byrd Leavell — a powerhouse literary agent whose portfolio includes Tucker Max (the frat-star turned author) and Justin Halpern (the creator of Sh*t My Dad Says) — and she was absolutely positive that she had an interesting story to tell (though she couldn't get anyone on the internet to read it.)

Feeling ambitious, Calloway called Leavell's office in 2014 and begged his receptionist for an interview. Leavell agreed to meet with her in September of that year, but did not express any interest in representing her.

Calloway knew that in order to be able to do that, she'd have to think outside the box. Practically everyone has a blog, she had reasoned, but no one was using a photo-sharing app to write a memoir about their life. 

She began experimenting with writing very long captions on Instagram, and almost immediately, readers started pouring in, eager to read and look at Calloway's updates (which appeared once every few weeks.)

It wasn't just regular folks who started following Calloway's adventures. Calloway told Business Insider she had offers to be represented by several literary agents (she declined to name them.)

Although she was flattered by the attention, Calloway still had her heart set on Leavell. By April 2015, Calloway's Instagram memoir had caught his attention, and he realized what he had missed at their last meeting.

"I blew that first meeting," Leavell tells Business Insider.


Ending what Calloway calls a "writer/agent love story for the books," the two are now working together to put together a proposal to turn her memoir into the real, live, book of Calloway's dreams.

"There's a great deal of interest from publishers on both sides of the Atlantic," Leavell says, but says there's no offer yet (other sites reported otherwise earlier this week, and Calloway's website says a book is "coming January 2016," an odd statement to make for someone who hasn't landed an official deal.)

One thing's for sure: Calloway's readers are here to stay. Hundreds of thousands of people tune in each time Calloway posts to learn about the most intimate details of her life.


It's almost more engaging than reading a book — on each of her posts, followers offer advice and ask about her life. A lot of them call themselves her friends. When asked if it ever feel invasive, Calloway is quick to answer that it doesn't. 

"I find it profoundly comforting to have all of these strangers who care," Calloway said.



Her parents are fans too — while her Dad doesn't own an iPhone or computer, he regularly visits the local library to scroll through his daughter's Instagram and read about her life.

Sometimes the ability to get reader feedback is a negative. Calloway often documents the love story between her and her boyfriend Oscar. When they broke up, Calloway's followers were devastated.

"People had very detailed and specific opinions about how I should handle the break up," she told Business Insider.

Followers of her story would likely be interested to know that the two are now back together — but due to the delay in Calloway's writing, they'll need to wait a while before reading about the reunion in Calloway's words. 

Calloway's Instagram is often described as a depiction of life inside a fairy tale. In some respects, she understands this comparison, but she tries to be honest about the less than beautiful moments in her life — she cites the time she posted a selfie of herself sobbing that she had sent to an ex-boyfriend.

These days, Calloway is fresh off of exams and is exploding with excitement about beginning the process of writing a book about her life.

As she shops a book deal and meets with editors this month, she may truly be living in a fairy tale. After all, it's her lifelong "dream is to publish this book. And then just keep publishing books that make me feel less lonely writing for my readers and hopefully make my readers feel less lonely reading it." 

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