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The incredible toys of 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump


donald trump playing golf

Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency Tuesday, at the same time claiming that he's worth nearly $9 billion. (Forbes says it's less than half that).

Regardless, the billionaire knows how to spread his wealth.

Aside from running some of the best-known apartment buildings in the country, he also owns a personal portfolio of homes from Manhattan to Palm Beach, all of which are drenched in gold. 

Here, we check out Trump's collection of homes, cars, aircrafts, and more.  

Julie Zeveloff and Meredith Galante contributed to an earlier version of this post.

Donald Trump calls Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue "home" the majority of the time. Trump Tower is a 68-story skyscraper, and Trump sleeps in the penthouse.

Source: Trump

Trump's penthouse has a gold- and diamond-covered door, an indoor fountain, a painted ceiling, and an ornate chandelier.

When Trump gets tired of his cosseted New York abode, he hops on his $100 million Boeing 757 and jets to one of his other mansions.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A bunch of adventurous bikers ditched Chicago for a 21-day motorcycle ride through Vietnam


bikers in vietnam

A group of bikers from Chicago spent three weeks this spring touring Vietnam by motorcycle.

Dubbing their trip the Hilo Project, the five American bikers were provided with vehicles by Ducati Vietnam. They started their trip in Saigon in early April, and made their way north to Hanoi.

The group made friends with bikers and other locals over the course of their trip even though only one of the bikers, Catherine Pham, was able to speak Vietnamese.

We spoke with Chris Force, who spearheaded the trip, about the group's experience and how the biker scenes in Chicago and Vietnam differ.

SEE ALSO: 14 money-saving travel hacks from the 'man who flies for free'

BUSINESS INSIDER: How do the five of you know each other?

CHRIS FORCE: "Laura Heidenreich and I own a small business together. I do some magazine photography and had used Cat (Catherine Pham) as a wardrobe stylist. We met Dave Mucci and Juan Francisco through the Chicago motorcycle community. We all had kinda followed each other on Instagram and all love motorcycles, so it we came together pretty easily."

BI: What's your relationship with motorcycle culture?

CF: "We’re all pretty big bike nerds with multiple bikes. Dave runs a custom bike shop in town and runs a moto blog. Cat’s background is in moto-related fashion and retail and is really active in the Chicago bike club community. Juan is currently a full time motorcycle tourist and connoisseur of high end moto gear and accessories. I work full time in media and write about moto travel and design. I also do a lot of “organizing.” Laura’s a really avid rider, and her identical twin also just got a bike — so they stop a lot of traffic in town, haha."

BI: What's the biking scene like in your hometown, Chicago?

CF: "The bike scene here is great. It’s a hard-working, fun, and supportive group. Like any other scene it has all its little factions and stuff, but everyone is united by a very-Midwestern no-nonsense vibe. It’s a lotta dudes, but that’s changing and really exciting. The community is very friendly and encouraging of new riders and female riders. When the weather permits we try to stay on our bikes as much as possible since winter lasts for six months here!"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Turns out Pizza Hut's new hot dog stuffed crust pizza is a 'horrible tragedy'

Watch Jimmy Fallon and Aziz Ansari read through the world's most awkward first texts


aziz ansari embarrassing text

Everyone's received an awkward first text message from someone who wants to know them better.

"The Tonight Show" recently compiled some of the worst first texts ever, sent in by viewers, and had Jimmy Fallon and Aziz Ansari read them out loud. The results are hilarious.

One texter is sending a message to a woman named Rachel whom he met at his old college roommate's wedding. He makes sure to tell her where he first saw her, which friends they have in common, and how he got her number.

Then, after already having blown it by awkwardly oversharing, he adds the clincher that seals his fate as the world's most embarrassing texter: "I wanted to say hi and sort of 'texty' introduce myself. Haha. :-)"


Then, Fallon reads a two-parter that ends with the disclaimer, "This is Ron btw is was trying to be clever." 

Jun 16, 2015 17:58

Watch these texts and a few more below:


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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here are all the best moments from Donald Trump's presidential announcement

I just smoked my first Cuban cigar in over 10 years, and it was terrific


DeBord Cuban Cigar

Now that the US is normalizing relations with Cuba, Americans can now travel to the country relatively freely again. 

A team from Business Insider recently did just that.

And they brought back cigars!

It hasn't been impossible to get Cuban cigars since the embargo was first enacted decades ago, during the Cold War. But for Americans, it hasn't been all that easy.

As a result, other countries — Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic — have developed their own cigar industries and, in the estimation of a lot of experts, are now making better smokes than the legendary Cubans.

My last Cuban was smoked over ten years ago. It was a Montecristo No. 2, one of the truly great Cuban cigars. It was a memorable smoke, washed down with some California cult Cabernet. (Both were gifts from a professional connection.)

I was understandably skeptical that the cigar the BI staffers brought back and graciously allowed me to sample would be as exciting. Also, it was a Montecristo No. 4, a petit corona to the No. 2's heftier torpedo.

But boy, was it ever a tasty smoke!

The thing I remember about the No. 2 was it delicious woody, spicy flavors and rich, smooth, but not quite creamy smoke. I also remember the "draw" — the ease of getting smoke out of the cigar — which was effortless.

The taste of the No. 2 was similar, maybe a tad more peppery. At first, it smoked "hot" — the smoke came through the cigar with more temperature intensity than I like. But after a few minutes, as the ash developed, it calmed down and hit a sweet spot. It was a wonderful, cool smoke for another 15-20 minutes.

I don't smoke many cigars these days, after being a somewhat regular consumer in the early 2000s. It was great to get back in the game with such a nice little cigar, from that mythical land where the cigar is king.

SEE ALSO: Real Cigar Aficionados Know Cubans Aren't A Big Deal Anymore

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 11 little-known facts about Nike

The 30 most successful Stanford alumni of all time


RTX1BJR5This year, Stanford University topped our lists as the the best and most selective college in the US. As such, it attracts an extremely talented and intelligent study body.

The northern California university has educated household names including Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, golf legend Tiger Woods, and US President Herbert Hoover. 

Surprisingly, many of Stanford's most successful students never actually finished their degrees: 11 of the 30 people to make our list never crossed the podium to receive their diploma, but instead left the university to pursue already promising careers.

Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and CEO of Snapchat, runs his multi-billion dollar company with a former fraternity brother, Bobby Murphy. Spiegel dropped out of school in 2012, just before receiving his degree, in order to dedicate himself fully to Snapchat. He has turned down multiple buy-out offers for the company.

Source: Forbes, Business Insider

Reese Witherspoon began acting at the age of 12 and attended Stanford University for only one year in 1994 before dropping out to pursue her career, which had her flying to Hollywood every weekend while in school.

Source: Huffington Post

Tiger Woods' golf career was already off to an impressive start while he was a student at Stanford University, where he won numerous awards. Woods studied economics for two years, and left the university in 1995 to play golf professionally.

Source: Stanford Men's Golf, Time

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best tour companies for solo travel


Man Sitting Solo Travel

Solo travel is on the rise.

And for good reason— it allows you much more freedom and a greater opportunity to connect with locals.

According to the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions study, which surveyed over 13,000 travelers from 25 different countries, 24% of travelers traveled alone on their most recent leisure trip. That's almost 10% more than in 2013.

But for some, venturing out into the world completely solo can be intimidating.

The good news is there are a number of travel companies that cater to solo travelers and can help you book a guided trip with other travelers who are on their own.

Take a look at our list below and start planning your next trip.

General trips


Solos, Britain's number one "singles holiday company," has been around since 1982, and they've been catering specifically to solo travelers from the start. The company offers all kinds of vacations — from walks and treks to cities, ski or beach vacations. They also just recently launched an American branch, Solos Vacations, which only offers trips to the UK and Italy as of right now.

Classic Journeys


Classic Journeys provides a solution to an issue that solo travelers have long had to deal with: supplements. Most travel companies raise prices up to 50% for those traveling alone. Classic Journeys, on the other hand, keeps its mark up to around 15%, because they only charge customers the extra fee that hotels charge for single travelers.

This isn't a "singles vacation" company; Classic Journeys specializes in walking tours with knowledgeable local guides. They're happy to book you a double room just for yourself, and they've received top ratings from both National Geographic and Travel + Leisure. About a third of their guests book solo trips.

Contiki Vacations

Contiki is geared towards younger travelers, specifically those aged 18-35. The company uses forums and social media to connect vacationers with each other before they embark on their journey. Since most of their pricing is for doubles, Contiki's goal is to match travelers up with someone of the same sex and then book a double room for them. So if you're looking to make friends on your trip, this is the company for you.

Abercrombie and Kent

Best known as a luxury travel company, Abercrombie and Kent accepts solo travelers on all of its trips — to all seven continents. They also offer Solo Savings escorted group tours, where single travelers enjoy their own private accommodations during every stop of the trip, but don't have to pay the usual single supplements. A&K either completely waives the supplement, or reduces it by up to 75%. 

Adventure trips

Galapagos Islands


Exodus is unique in that it designates one or two departure dates per tour as Solo Departures, which the company suggests solo travelers use. Therefore, most of the people who leave on those dates and end up on those trips are people vacationing alone.

Exodus' tour guides are local and have gone through leader training. Guests can choose trips like cycling Croatia's Dalmatian Coast or exploring Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands in South America.

Overseas Adventure Travel

Ideal for budget travelers, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) takes single travelers to exotic destinations such as Botswana and Patagonia. They have both land adventures, which are tours on land with groups of 10-16 other travelers, or small ship adventures, which are boat tours with anywhere from 16 to 25 other travelers. 

OAT does not charge supplements, even if you extend your trip 4-9 nights, and they offer the "Solo Traveler Challenge:" a guarantee that if you find another travel company offering a better price on a comparable trip, OAT will meet that price, plus lower it by $500. 

G Adventures

If you're looking for an authentic experience, G Adventures is your answer. You can sleep in tents in a desert camp in Morocco or sleep under the stars in Antarctica. Active travelers will also like G Adventures; they have multiple trekking and hiking tours, such as a 10-day journey up Mont Blanc in Switzerland.

There are no single supplements, but G Adventures does book shared hotel rooms, so your accommodations won't be private. However, if you choose to extend your trip by using the company's independent extensions option, you will be charged a singles supplement.


Zebras Safari Kenya


Singita has luxury safari lodges in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. One is located in the well known Kruger National Park, and the others are in lesser known parks. They've completely abandoned the single supplement, and they offer reduced pricing if you're looking to travel in the off season.

Wilderness Safaris

Billed as Africa's "foremost ecotourism operator," Wilderness Safaris takes guests to some of the continent's most remote locations while also helping to maintain its biodiversity. The company's 50 luxury camps are located in eight African countries: Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

If you travel through southern Africa during November to April 15th, Wilderness Safaris will waive not only your flight but also your accommodation charges. It's a great deal, considering you still have a good chance of seeing just as much wildlife — but for a fraction of the price.


Norwegian Cruise LineNorwegian Cruise Line

On three of its ships — the Epic, Breakaway, and Pride of America — Norwegian Cruise Line has cabins made exclusively for solo travelers that cost about 30% less than a double stateroom. They offers cruises all over including Alaska, Florida and the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and New England, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, and Panama just to name a few.

 Lindblad Expeditions

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Like Norwegian, Lindblad Expeditions is another cruise company that offers solo cabins for a third less than the price of regular rooms. These single rooms can be found on their National Geographic Explorer, Endeavour, and Orion ships. Their destinations include the Amazon, Peru, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Caribbean.

Grand Circle Cruise Line

Grand Circle Cruise Line is one of the few cruise companies that does not offer a single supplement on their small ship cruises. Its small ship cruises go to the British Isles, Greece, France, Turkey, Bosnia, Spain, Burma, Iberia, and many others.

SEE ALSO: Here's why I think everyone should travel alone at some point in their life

Follow us! BI Travel is on Twitter

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: You'll want to travel to Turkey after watching this incredible video

This year's Art Basel fair features $3.4 billion worth of art — and it's selling out fast


Art Basel 2015As opening day sales at Art Basel soar, the art market bubble is getting fatter.  

This year's fair boasts $3.4 billion worth of art for sale in the Swiss city of Basel. 

Artnet reports that multimillion dollar works sold like gangbusters in the fair's first few hours. "I haven't had such a good day one at Basel in 10 years," New York dealer David Nolan told the website. 

Here's a look at the galleries and artists who are raking in millions, as well as some really cool art you need to see. 

Works by British artist Martin Creed are a hot item at Basel. A four-minute film he created in 2013 sold quickly for $65,000.

"Work No. 2068" by Martin Creed.

According to Artnet, a $5.5 million Christopher Wool piece was sold by New York's Van de Weghe Gallery in the first half hour of Basel's opening day.

"Untitled (SC5)" by Christopher Wool.


Artist Julius von Bismarck is doing performance art on this rotating platform. The work is called “Egocentric System.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best ice cream shop in every state


Churn ice cream, Arizona

It's almost summer, and summer calls for ice cream.

With or without toppings, it's the perfect treat to cool down on a hot afternoon.

Our friends at Foursquare helped us find the best place for ice cream in every state across the US, taking into account Foursquare users' likes, saves, shares, tip sentiment, and more.

To create this list, Foursquare included the top-rated ice cream shop in each US state.

ALABAMA: Bruster's Ice Cream in Prattville makes a mean brownie sundae... but you can celebrate the ultimate occasion with an entire ice cream sundae cake, complete with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Just add candles.

Find Bruster's Ice Cream on Foursquare »

ALASKA: Alaska may not be the first place you think of for ice cream, but Hot Licks, at Chena Pump Plaza in Fairbanks, is the first place Alaskans think of for ice cream. Customers rave about the pumpkin ice cream, and say that you can't tell the difference between regular and sugar-free flavors.

Find Hot Licks on Foursquare »

ARIZONA: If there's one place you want ice cream, it's in the southwestern heat of Phoenix. At Churn, the name says it all: It serves hand-churned batches of creamy scoops, ice cream sandwiches, and sundaes topped with toasted marshmallows.

Find Churn on Foursquare »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Phil Collins just spent $33 million on Jennifer Lopez's former Miami mansion


jennifer lopez former $40 million miami beach home

Eighties singer Phil Collins just dropped $33 million on a Mediterranean-style mansion once owned by Jennifer Lopez. 

The previous owner, healthcare entrepreneur Mark Gainor, bought the home from Lopez in 2005 for $13.9 million. 

Gainor first listed the property in 2010 for $29 million. Two years later, after he'd given it an $11 million facelift, Gainor relisted the home for $40 million. 

Meredith Galante contributed to an earlier version of this post. 

Built in 1929, the house sits on over an acre of land with 200 feet of waterfront on Biscayne Bay.

Go outside and see the Miami skyline from your 60-foot long swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, or boat dock.

The master bedroom has an office, terrace, gym, and 1,000-square-foot closet.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We asked an exercise scientist what you should drink right after a workout


young woman weight training lifting gym execise

There's a lot of conflicting information out there about what makes the perfect recovery drink.

Brands like Gatorade and Powerade claim their products have the formula down, while exercise programs like P90X and others make recovery formulas they say have the perfect mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, and supplements to get you where you need to be after all that hard work.

So what's the truth?

We recently spoke to Shawn Arent, an exercise scientist at Rutgers University, and he gave us the lowdown. For many people doing a light workout, hydration is key, with a focus on replenishing fluids and electrolytes (and feel free to leave those sugary sports drinks behind).

But for high-intensity and muscle-training workouts especially, eating or drinking a sufficient amount of protein after exercise can help build muscle. In the end, Arent said, a lot of people are messing this up.

Here's what he told us when we asked him what people should do for a recovery drink:

"Honestly, for most people, 20 grams of protein. They can mix it with carbs, or not. If they did a real hard workout I would recommend mixing it with carbohydrates. But basically, 20 grams of protein shortly after your workout and then eat a normal meal within the next couple hours. I think that’s a real simple, easy strategy.

"Technically it [protein] could be more than that, but we tend to see it around 20 grams. Things like whey protein actually stimulate protein synthesis [which is important for building muscles]. So it increases recovery from that standpoint because of what it does to protein synthesis.

"There’s other effects even above and beyond that 20 grams, but for most people the 'top out' for the protein synthesis is right around there. So it’s a nice, easy number for most people to remember, because it’s roughly a scoop of protein from most protein powders.

"... But I think one of the things I see that can be a bad trend with that [recovery drinks], you know, people will get on the treadmill; they’ll do that half hour; they’ll burn 250 calories, and then they’ll go downstairs to the shake bar and get a 500-calorie shake. You didn’t work that hard; you don’t need 500 calories. So I think calorie awareness is an important thing."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gatorade's Top Doctor Says You Should Do These 3 Things After Every Workout

THIS was the first digital camera



At Bell Labs in 1969, two scientists were told they had to make progress on a key research project or they would lose their funding. After just an hour of work, they had a breakthrough.

This was a milestone in the invention of digital photography, one of the most exciting inventions of modern times.

It has given mankind access to invaluable information about space and hugely advanced medical science. And it has completely transformed the daily life of millions around the globe. We can — and do — document our lives on a minute-by-minute basis.

Here's how the story unfolded:

In the winter of 1975, Steven Sasson, a young engineer working in the Applied Research Lab at Kodak, tested out a new device for the first time. Now known as the first true digital camera, it was cobbled together using leftover parts he found in the lab. Thirty five years later, President Obama awarded Sasson the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for his invention.

First Digital Camera

The camera was about the size of a breadbox and took 23 seconds to take a single black and white image, which was then stored on a cassette tape (see below). While the invention was far from the digital cameras we now use, it sparked a sea change in the way images are captured. Some argue that Sasson’s invention was where digital photography begins. But to say that would be to neglect the most important part of Sasson’ rudimentary camera, buried deep inside its scrap parts: the Charge Coupled-Device.

first digi cam tape

For centuries, scientists and inventors had tried to reproduce images mechanically, attempting to turn light into digital information. Over the years, great strides were taken to achieve this goal, many coming from research into space exploration, as well as spy satellites. Who would have thought that America’s Cold War with Russia would, in part, give birth to our digital cameras? But no step was more important than the invention of the Charge-Coupled Device, or CCD. 

Boyle and Smith Bell Labs CCD1

As the story goes, George E. Smith and Willard Sterling Boyle, who would later win a Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention, were working in the AT&T Bell Labs during a time where different camps were working on different methods of memory technology. In 1969, they were approached by their VP, Jack Morton, who gave them an ultimatum: make something to compete with the current technology, or funds are going to be allocated elsewhere.

Under the gun, Smith and Boyle went into an office and, in one hour, emerged with the basic plans for the CCD, the sensor still used in digital photography today. A CCD works like this: Light hits a tiny grid of photosensitive silicon cells, each which build a charge proportional to the intensity of the light hitting it. This charge can be measured precisely and we can know exactly how bright that portion should be. Add filters, and color can be discerned too.

CCDThese photo elements, or “pixels” as they came to be, make up the digital image. If one zooms in on a photograph far enough, you can see these tiny squares that make up an image. The more pixels, the more detailed the photo is. Pixels in an image directly relate to the pixels of a CCD. No one quite knows why picture elements began to be called "pixels," though it is assumed to come out of Bell Labs in the 60’s. 

dog pixelsThese CCD’s were the essential element in Sasson’s digital camera at Kodak six years later.  

After news of Sasson's invention spread, technology companies quickly began looking into how they might create their own digital cameras. Still it took six years for the first digital camera to hit the consumer market, and even then, it wasn't very close to what we see today. The Sony Mavica (Magnetic Video Camera) was unveiled in 1981 and, it used a CCD, it was not technically a digital camera, as it recorded television signals as single images to a floppy disc. It didn’t fare very well on the market and was not widely released. 

Sony_Mavica_1981_prototype_CP+_2011The first digital camera made available in the United States was the Dycam Model 1, shipped in late 1990. It was also a failure, due to its lack of color, terrible resolution, and hefty $1,000 pricetag. In 1991, Kodak introduced a modified Nikon F3 which could capture images digitally and store them on a hard drive carried on the photographer's shoulder. This camera was the first digital camera with the ability to change lenses (now known as a DSLR) and it cost a whopping $30,000. It also had the honor of being taken aboard NASA spacecraft and used in space.

nikon f3 dslr adaptionSadly, Kodak did not move quick enough on Sasson's invention, opting to focus on its popular film cameras instead of developing these new digital photographic techniques. By the time they realized the technology's potential, it was too late. In 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

 kodakWhile most people don't think of Apple as a major player in the digital photography game, they are credited by many with having released the first mainstream and successful consumer digital camera, the Quicktake 100, in 1994. Its images, in color, were able to be downloaded to a computer via a USB port. 

Quicktake_100From here, the technology grew at a rapid pace. The Casio QV-10, released in 1995, was the first camera to incorporate an LCD screen on the back that would preview images for the user.

Acorn_PhotoQV_Casio_QV 10A_(back)

The mobile photography craze can be traced back to 1997, when inventor Philippe Kahn, an already successful tech pioneer, created a prototype of the first ever cell phone camera and shared a picture of his newborn daughter to 2,000 friends and family over his wireless network. 

phillipe kahn

"The options the average person has today for imaging is unlimited. You walk around with your cellphone or your digital camera today and the pictures are excellent, they’re reliably produced, you can share them instantly. I like to say to inventors, 'Be aware that your invention is in an environment where the rest of the world is inventing along with you. By the time your idea matures, it will be in a totally different world.’ I think that was the case with the digital camera," Steven Sasson recently told Fast Company.

Steven Sasson and Obama

In 2015, digital cameras and digital imaging are used all over the world for myriad reasons. They have become integral in virtually every industry imaginable, making creating, storing, and disseminating images.

In the medical profession, doctors utilize digital photography by documenting, cataloging, and sharing photographs, allowing for better diagnoses. They also work with technology, such as tiny digital cameras in pill form, to see in real time places in the body they never could see before.

Capsule EndoscopeFrom the very beginnings of digital imaging, space exploration has been a driving force. Today, digital cameras are used aboard spacecraft to view and document findings. On the ground, galaxies and planets light-years away are photographable, thanks to new technology in the digital-imaging field.

china protests

Elsewhere, digital photography is used to capture and analyze data in thousands of other fields as well, from nature photographers documenting never-before-seen flora and fauna to revolutionaries snapping and sending photos that will spark change, proving that digital photography truly is one of the most important advancements in the history of technology.  

SEE ALSO: Why an iPhone will never replace my DSLR

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A popular Tumblr account is making clear that the life of a public librarian is no picnic


high school librarian

The page I work at a public library is drawing tons of Tumblr users to ogle the short and often hilarious anecdotes submitted by exhausted librarians.

Gina Sheridan created "I work at a public library" in 2008 after she began working as a public librarian in California. Her site is seeing some resurgence this week — it was trending on Tumblr earlier in June even though it's 7-years-old.

Sheridan curates the Tumblr page, sorting through about 10 submissions a week, and in 2014, she published "I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks."

Take a look through the 54 curated pages of stories and you'll find everything from photos of ripped library books (many come with apology notes from 4-year-old readers), to some pretty bizarre search requests.

Here are 13 of our favorite stories from "I work at a public library." 

13. This female librarian went head to head with a kindergartner on the subject of gender identity.

GettyImages 457174694

"Questions about my gender come up every time I do outreach with kids. Yesterday, I visited a kindergarten class.

Kid: Are you a girl or a boy?

Me: I’m a girl.

Kid: You look like a boy.

Me: Some girls look like boys.

Kid: You want to see something cool?

Me: Sure.

He then proceeded to take off his prosthetic foot.

Kid: It’s my new foot."

12. Sometimes, librarians are heart throbs of library patrons. 

"One day, a regular library patron approached to tell me he would like to take me on a trip to Vietnam. He raved about how beautiful it is there and how much I would love the trip and then he said he could only afford to pay for half of my expenses and I would have to pay the other half. I thanked him politely but told him I didn’t think my husband would approve."

11. We can't believe this librarian actually tried to resolve the woman's complaint.

GettyImages 183691950
"An elderly woman telephoned the library and it was clear she was very upset.  Her request was 'you need to tell them to stop playing music over the trains.' I wasn’t sure what she was talking about so I asked her several questions. 

I learned that she was upset because the television show she was watching was showing a video of trains, but they were playing music over the sound of the trains. She explained that her father had been an engineer and the sound of the trains comforted her. After assuring her that I would look into it, I disconnected the call. I spent an hour looking at TV guide listings and trying to see who I needed to contact. Turns out our library has a television channel that shows train videos accompanied by classical music."

10. Young or old, it's hard not to love your local librarian. 

"A kid walked out of story time and came right to the front desk.

Kid: Yes, hello, I heard a story today and I’d like to get the book. And could you ask the lady to come over to my house and read it? She did a good job.”

9. Some people just don't understand what the job description of a librarian does and does not include. 

GettyImages 108188993

"A man entered the library with a stack of papers. 

Man: Can you file my taxes for me?

Me: I’m sorry, I can’t. But I can share with you information on how to find help filing your taxes if you’d like.

Man: I just don’t feel like dealing with them, you know? Well, can I just leave these papers here for a minute while I go get something?

Me: Sure.

It’s one week later and he still hasn’t come back."

8. It seems like public libraries are filled with crazy people.

"A patron kept taking library books into the restroom and leaving them there to be found later. 

Me: Sir, please stop taking library materials into the restroom.

Man: Can I take my own books into the bathroom? I get bored in there.”

7. Librarians are way more tech savvy than their patrons.

GettyImages 464028054

"Patron: Can you help me print this YouTube video?" 

6. Maybe he just really wanted to read.

"Patron: There’s a goat trying to come in the library.

Me: I’m sorry, what?

Patron: There’s a goat trying to come in the library.

And there was."

5. It remains unclear whether the librarian approved the commercial

"Me [answering phone]: Thanks for calling the library, may I help you?

Man: I’d like to talk with you about filming an advertisement in the library. It would feature biscuits and a live alpaca.”

 4. Librarians find crazy things in returned books.

 3. Sometimes, the patrons are just playing games with them.

"Me [answering phone]: Hello, this is the library, may I help you?

Woman: Would you like to play a guessing game?

Me: I’m sorry?

Woman: Let’s play a game: I’ll give you a hint and you guess what book I’m looking for.

Me: Sure, okay.

Woman: The book I’m looking for is about a Midwestern woman who enters sweepstakes…

Me: 'The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio?'

Woman: That’s it! Here’s another: the book I’m looking for is a teen book that was just made into a movie and the author has a colorful name.

Me: 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green?

Woman: Well, well! You are really good. One more?

Me [on a roll!]: Sure!

Woman: The last book I’m looking for has a curse word in the title and is based on a popular Twitter account.

Me [excitedly]: 'Shit My Dad Says?'

Woman: I knew you could do it! You win a prize!

And then she hung up.

Me [at the dial tone]: Hello?

(I never got her library card number so I couldn’t order the books for her)."

2. Yikes.

"A patron approached the desk, looking confused.

Me: Can I help you with anything?

Patron: Do you know why I have epilepsy?

Me: No, I don’t.

Patron: Okay.”

1. One librarian found this in an early literacy kit.

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This is how to dress for golf at 3 stages of life


Rory McIlroy

With the 115th US Open golf tournament kicking off this week at Chambers Bay in Washington State, a lot of recreational golfers are going to be inspired by the spectacle and get the urge to hit the links.

Golfers come in a variety of shapes and sizes — and ages! Ability also varies, but regardless of whether you're a scratch player or a 30 handicapper, it never hurts to look good when you swing the clubs.

When choosing golf attire, gents, the problems start when you dress too young or too old. These days, there's a very clear look for each age group. The pros below, ranging in age from 26 to 60, are good examples for how to put your outfits together and project a great image at the next corporate outing, family golf vacation, or weekend round with your buddies.

Young Gun

The hard-charging younger generation of tour pros set the tone here. Loose and baggy isn't their thing. Trim and athletic is. Fitness is far more important to the under-30 set these days than it was in golf's raffish past, when a player could consider a couple of beers hefted after the round as a workout. When you're in your early 20s, you can really get out there, with wild colors, big belt buckles, zany shoes, and bold patterns. Once the late 20s arrive, however, it's best to start toning it down. Rory McIlroy, 26, is a fine role model. He has fun these days with his threads, just not as much fun as he did earlier in his career. That said, Nike isn't worried about putting him in very bright hues. Hot pink, anyone?

Rory McIlroy


Happy Middle Age

Your poster boy here is Fred Couples, 55, one of the most popular pros out there. The one-time Masters winner has an easy, powerful swing and a relaxed on-course demeanor. Pretty much everyone likes him. A bad back prevented him from enjoying a more successful career, but he generally looks like he's having a great time, and he dresses in a way that proves he's comfortable in his skin. Notice that nothing is tight, but nothing is too baggy or sloppy, either. It's all just right. Couples also shows that subdued pattern and colors are best choice once you get to the other side of 35.

Fred Couples


Seniority Rules

Just do whatever Greg Norman does. The 60-year-old Australian was the most powerful, dominant player of his generation, which came between the Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods eras. Norman favors simple, yet never boring, ensembles, with a minimal amount of patterning and few logos beyond his own signature line, Great White Shark (his nickname). He also demonstrates that staying in shape is the best way to look good, and keep your game in top form, as you enter the senior years.

Greg Norman

SEE ALSO: The 15 best-dressed golfers at this week's US Open

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The 10 best beaches in Europe


Voutoumi Beach, GreeceLonely Planet just released its Best in Europe list for 2015.

The list includes the best places in Europe, the best beaches in Europe, and the best places for family holidays in Europe.

These lists were created by a team of European travel experts and aim to highlight European destinations that are lesser known but up and coming versus obvious, already popular destinations.

The 10 beaches that made Lonely Planet's list span the continent, from Montenegro to Iceland. 

10. Curonian Spit, Kaliningrad, Lithuania

9. Voutoumi Beach, Paxos, Greece

8. Sandwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland

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I just tried a free photo-editing app and now I’ll never trust anyone’s selfies again


When I heard about an app that could make me look like a model, I was skeptical.

But that’s what Spring, a body-altering app for your phone, claims to do.


The app is free and available in iOS as well as Android. According to their app-store page, Spring claims to have over 4 million users in 217 countries. A coworker’s friend started using it and loved it, saying it made her “butt look amazing.”

So I had to try it — and now I’ll never trust anyone’s selfies ever again.

The app is very straightforward. First, you upload a picture of yourself and it gives you three options: making yourself taller, thinner, and resizing your face.

three things Spring App

I started with the slimming portion. The app has you drag the circle around your face to make sure it doesn’t become misshapen and slide the white bars to flank your left and right sides.

If your face isn’t in the picture, you can click the face in the right hand corner to get rid of the circle.

megan slimming Spring App

Then I got to decide just how much slimmer I wanted to be. I did 100% for fun by sliding the icon all the way to the right, but you can also make yourself look wider by swiping to the left.

last try Spring

Next, I tried what I was most excited about as a 5’3’’ girl — the “spring” function that makes you look taller.

First, I aligned one white bar with my ankles, another with my hips, and the last one at my shoulder line to keep my picture from looking disproportionate.

The app also allows you to use two bars instead of three in case, for instance, you were shot from the waist up and your feet weren’t visible.

two bars Spring App

I made myself 100% taller. Just like with the slimming function, however, you can bring the arrow all the way down and make yourself look shorter, too.

tall megan 100 Spring App

Now I was left with a thinner, taller version of myself with a huge bobble head. The app recently added a head-resizing feature that also allows you to position it slightly higher or lower.

It’s barely noticeable, but I made my face a little smaller and shifted it up slightly.

resizing face Spring App

Here’s the final result, in GIF form.

two megans Spring App GIF

This entire process took me about five minutes to do once I got the hang of the app. I didn’t think it made that much of a difference until I clicked back and forth between the two Megans.

You can tell that the app compressed and stretched my body when you look at the before and after pictures, but nothing in the background looks distorted. This would probably be a huge plus for celebrities like Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian who use other apps that leave telltale signs in the background that prove they edited their image.

photoshopping app Spring App

Even though it was easy to do, I can’t see myself using this app on a daily basis. It felt very narcissistic and disconnected from reality in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. It also sets unrealistic expectations for my own body since I can’t make myself thinner or taller by swiping my phone.

But I definitely see the appeal of this body-altering app and the others like it that can make your teeth whiter, change your features with digital plastic surgery, and slim you down. With a few swipes, I went from looking like me to looking like a slightly thinner, slightly taller version of myself — both things society says would make me look more attractive.

Either way, I’m never trusting anything I see on Facebook or Instagram ever again.

SEE ALSO: This YouTube beauty star put her reputation on the line to send a message to the world

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11 crazy interactive art pieces you're actually allowed to touch


At over 80 feet above the ground, Tomas Saraceno's steel wire construction in Duesseldorf is not for those wary of heights.

In most museums, the look-don't-touch rule is inflexible - they're none too keen on throwing punches at a Monet.

But for those who just can't resist getting into the action, there are some pieces a tad more accessible.

From clouds of light to lasers, slides to giant bubbles, these installations make a day at the museum the most fun - and in some cases, exhausting - thing you can do. 


A crowd enjoys the light installation "CLOUD" in Marina Bay, Singapore. Canadian artists Wayne Garrett and Caitlind Brown used 6,000 light bulbs for the piece.

The "Mirror Box" creates a never-ending myriad of reflections for the Museum Center in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Many pieces here are interactive, brought in by a young group of art-minded engineers and scientists.

It's pretty tempting to read within Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo's "aMAZEme", a labyrinthine maze constructed of some 250,000 used and new books.

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This $55 million country estate is unbelievably idyllic — even for the Hamptons


EH Front

This unfinished East Hampton compound packs 11 parcels for the price of one.

Minutes away from East Hampton Village, the 18,000-square-foot, English manor-style home sits on approximately 23 acres of land.

Call it a family mansion or an equestrian estate, either way the listing price is $55 million. 

Dana Trotter of Sotheby’s International Realty holds the listing.

The main house has 12 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and four partial baths — try not to get lost.

The ground floor alone has a spa, sauna, steam room, massage room, gym, and home theater.

This outdoor fireplace is one of nine scattered throughout the main house and guest houses.

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9 reasons why you should book your next trip to Switzerland


Swiss Flag on Lake Lucerne

When I was younger, I spent five years living abroad with my family just outside of Zurich, Switzerland.

It was both a great place to be an expat and a good home base for traveling.

And although it can be overlooked because of its small size, Switzerland is a great place to visit.

From breathtaking scenery to an amazing public transportation system, here's why I think everyone should consider traveling to Switzerland.

The country is split up into three different regions: German, French, and Italian.

For being such a small country, Switzerland offers a surprising amount of cultural variety. It's divided into three regions, which are determined by the countries they border, and has four official languages.

The German region of the country — the central and eastern part of Switzerland — is the largest and includes cities such as Zurich, Bern, and Basel. While the Swiss who live in this region are taught high German (proper German) in school, they prefer to speak Swiss German, a dialect of German that is not written and has very few grammar rules.

Lausanne Switzerland

The western part of Switzerland is considered the French region and includes cities such as Lausanne and Geneva. Lugano is probably the best known city in the Italian — southern — region of the country. Besides German, French, and Italian, there's also Romansch, a Latin language with heavy German influence that is spoken by a small group of Swiss who live in the eastern canton of Graubünden. Although there's a definite Swiss influence throughout all of the country's regions, the regions also have strong influences from the countries they border, so traveling from one to another feels like traveling to a different country altogether.

It's incredibly clean.

Public Restroom Zurich Train Station

Switzerland is not the kind of place where tourists fear using public restrooms; in fact it's just the opposite. The bathroom you find in a train station is probably going to be just as clean as the bathroom you find in your hotel room. And it's not just the public restrooms, it's the country's public transit, streets, water fountains — you can drink from most of them — and much more.

You can get pretty much anywhere using Switzerland's public transportation system.

Zurich Hauptbahnhof

There's really no need to rent a car when traveling to Switzerland. The Swiss have their public transportation system down to a science. The trains are on time down to the second — trust me, I've missed enough to know — and you can get across the whole country with just one ticket that works for multiple kinds of transportation.

If you're traveling within a city, such as Zurich, you can take the tram, which is comparable to Boston's T. Otherwise if you're traveling between regions or cities or to different countries around Switzerland, the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) is the way to go. It's clean, quiet, and efficient; economy class is so nice that it feels like first class. If you're looking for a more fun ride with a view, you can also take the ferry.

Switzerland is home to the Swiss Alps — and tons of other incredible natural scenery.


Switzerland has some of the most incredible scenery in Europe, thanks to the majestic Swiss Alps. Even if you're not skiing or hiking in the Alps, just looking at them is life changing enough. Probably the most well-known of the Swiss Alps is the Matterhorn — it's been named the most photographed mountain in the world — which towers over the border between Switzerland and Italy. It's situated in the picturesque and luxurious town of Zermatt. For those who aren't expert climbers, there's the klein Matterhorn or little Matterhorn, which can be reached via a funicular ride.

Almost anywhere you end up in the country, you're likely to have a view of something, whether it be rolling hills, fields filled with grazing cows, or snowcapped mountain peaks. Unlike in many other countries, the Swiss truly value and treasure their country's land, and therefore work hard to preserve it.

The country's castles are right out of a fairytale.

Chillon Castle, Switzerland

There are castles throughout all three of Switzerland's regions, and they're all breathtaking. Visiting them is like being transported to a different time period. Many of them are surrounded by scenic views such as the Chillon Castle in Veytaux, a small town in Switzerland's French region. The castle offers spectacular views of all of Lake Genveva.

Besides Chillon, there are the Castles of Bellinzona in the Italian region, the Munot Fortress in Schaffhausen and the Hohenklingen Castle in Stein am Rhein, both in the German region, to name a few. 

Switzerland has many gorgeous waterfalls.

If castles and mountains weren't enough, Switzerland also has incredible waterfalls. First and foremost, there's the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen, the largest plain waterfall in all of Europe. The crashing falls are not only a pretty sight, but also an impressive one because of their sheer size.

There's also the Staubbach Falls, a high free fall of water that turns into a spray of mist when the breeze blows during the summer months, and the Giessbach Falls, a brook that flows down 14 steps before finding its way into Lake Brienz. There's also an exquisite hotel near the falls that can only be accessed via funicular. 

Swiss food is delicious — and fresh.

Swiss Roesti

Along with being clean and eco-friendly, the Swiss are also very healthy, meaning you're much less likely to find preservatives and unnatural ingredients in their food. Swiss food is fresh, and you can definitely taste the difference. One of the things I miss most about living there are the bakeries, which is where we would buy all of our bread and the more-than-occasional breakfast or afternoon treat.

Eating out is expensive, but it's worth it. Some of my favorite traditional dishes include Rösti (the Swiss version of hash browns) and Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (slices of tender veal smothered in a sauce made with white wine, cream, onions, and mushrooms). Other popular traditional Swiss dishes include fondue and raclette (a local cheese that is grilled and then served hot over potatoes, onions, and pickles).

Switzerland is home to one of the most luxurious chocolate factories in the world.

Lindt Truffles

Lindt & Sprüngli is headquartered in Kilchberg, the small town just outside of Zurich where my family used to live. So maybe I'm biased, but in my opinion Lindt makes the best chocolate there is. It's the rich melt-in-your-mouth kind that makes any other dessert pale in comparison.

The company was officially founded all the way back in 1899, but founders Rodolphe Lindt and David Sprüngli-Schwarz were making chocolate as early as 1845. Lindt was actually the first to invent the conche, a revolutionary manufacturing technique that led to the "melting chocolate" we know and love today. I suggest either taking a trip to the factory or stopping by the Lindt & Sprüngli store at Paradeplatz in the heart of Zurich. Try one of the truffles — you won't regret it.

The country is great for outdoor activities.

Paragliding Interlacken Switzerland

No matter what time of year, Switzerland offers a number of options for outdoorsy travelers. During the winter and early spring, there's skiing and snowboarding. If you're not skilled at either one of those, you can opt for taking a ride down one of the long sledding trails found at most of Switzerland's ski resorts and towns. There's only a little bit of steering involved, otherwise all you have to do is just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Besides winter sports, there's hiking and paragliding, both of which can be done in the spring, summer, and fall. I recommend Interlaken for paragliding, a picturesque town surrounded by the alps, which makes for great views when you're sitting up in the air.

SEE ALSO: 23 reasons why you should book your next trip to Taiwan

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The rental tux is dying — and that's a fantastic thing for menswear


Tuxedo Rentals

Rental tuxedos have a deservedly bad reputation. They're often derided as frumpy, ill-fitting, dated, and sometimes even frayed or stained.

Here's the good news: You're going to start seeing less of them. 

According to BloombergMen's Warehouse tuxedo rentals fell 2.8% last quarter. And changes in wedding culture are affecting the way we procure tuxedos for special events. 

Though I wish the rental tuxedo's slow death was on account of men taking my advice, it's actually due to a variety of factors, as Bloomberg's Kyle Stock reports.

  • People are getting married less and later than ever before. “There are indicators that the overall wedding business is slowly shrinking due to shifting cultural attitudes toward traditional weddings,” said Men’s Wearhouse chief executive Douglas Ewert.
  • Black-tie is no longer the norm. When people do have weddings, the affairs are less formal. Increasingly, destination, beach, and farm weddings have become more popular than traditional black-tie events.
  • There have been disruptors to the market. Online tuxedo rental companies like The Black Tux have completely changed the way men rent tuxes, with offerings that often look much better and are shipped straight to the customer with their exact measurements.
  • You're not really saving that much money. Online purveyors have narrowed the cost gap between renting and buying a tux to such a degree that many men are opting to buy their own. Stock notes that one company, Combatant Gentleman, even sells tuxedos for $200.

All of this is fantastic news for weddings and wedding photographers. The truth is that a traditional rental tuxedo usually looks more like a costume than actual formal wear. Because they're tailored to fit as many people as possible, they in actuality fit no one. 

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

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