Channel: Business Insider
Viewing all 51467 articles
Browse latest View live

The Worst Travel Ideas Of 2012


bear grylls

Crap products

Dr Bronner's magic soap has "18 different uses-in-one!" from toothpaste to massage to nappy wash!

• Wearable luggage – Jaktogo is a very ugly coat made out of plasticky pockets so you can smuggle up to 10kg extra hand luggage on to your flight … It also comes in dress form!

• "Round the world pants" – cities instead of days of the week ... £70!

Pretentious and silly travel concepts ...

• Who knows what a concierge normally does, but this year they specialised. There was the "food truck concierge" at New York's Thompson Hotels; the "sleep concierge" at The Benjamin, also in NYC; the "art concierge" at the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto; and, best of all, the "horcierge", to attend to guests' horse-related needs, such as buying jodpurs, at the Stafford London Hotel.

• Giving a fancy name to something we do already and calling it a new trend is hugely popular in the travel industry ... think "wild swimming" (swimming outside), wild camping (camping not on a campsite) and this year's fave, "the inter-generational holiday" – going on holiday with your kids, your mum, and your nan.

• Glamping became "camp-bling" (see cargocollective.com/campbling) and in New York there was "urban glamping" on the roof of the AKA Central Park hotel.

• Have you got what it takes to survive? asked the new Bear Grylls Survival Academy. "What it takes" being £1,899 for a five-day course in the Highlands. Oh, and Bear himself won't be there. And you have to catch your own breakfast. And sleep outside.

• The 2012 award for most pretentious concept goes to BrewDog for their "craft beer cocktail speakeasy in Shoreditch". Sounds like the marketing team just googled "most-used hipster terms" and strung them together to form a new bar. It also has a "Japanese street food menu". Of course it does.
• A Hello Kitty spa for children opened in the summer in Dubai.

• Immersive experiences that let punters experience the sort of terror depicted in slasher movies were the breakthrough event of the year. From a Horror Camp Live weekend break to zombie shopping mall shootouts in Reading.

Dog-related holidays and products ...

• The fashion world may have moved on from dogs, declaring cats and a very well-dressed monkeys the animals of 2012, but in the world of travel dogs still dominated. Pampered pooches and adventurous canines were catered for with a variety of innovative services and products. Our favourite doggy development in 2012 was the dog blog phileasdogg.com, "the only UK travel site written by dogs ... for dogs". That's right, a two-year-old mongrel called Attlee Common heads a team of Rover reporters who sniff out dog-friendly holidays and places to stay. Even if you are not a dog owner we urge you to look at this site.

• Attlee would surely approve of Best Western's response to "a surge in enquiries over the past month from guests requesting something special for their dogs to eat on Christmas Day" – the £105 dog's dinner, a selection of matured Kobe beef, the finest filet mignon and porterhouse steak, all cooked to order and served by a dog butler (we're not sure if this is a dog dressed as a butler or a human being). It's more expensive than the priciest Christmas meal available to guests …

• And what should a pampered pooch wear to dine on such luxury fare? Why, a cashmere coat of course, a snip at £161, from petsinpyjamas.com, which as well as selling outrageously expensive dog-wear also has a travel section.

• More practical – and affordable – canine clothing comes from Equafleece. Its 2012 contribution to dog-wear is the "portable hug" for dogs scared of fireworks. The £13 T-shirt is designed to help dogs feel supported and "therefore more able to breathe and cope with fears".

Stupid stunts ... and stupid surveys

• At the start of this year, Jurys Inn hotels offered a free night to guests with a cheesy name, such as Mr Stilton or Mrs Cheddar to celebrate National Cheese Lovers' Day, while earlier this month The Cavendish in London was choosing one guest who would be allowed to pay for their room with chocolate coins.

• As royal fever swept the travel industry, all hotels felt obliged to provide a jubilee afternoon tea, a "right royal knees up" weekend package or, in the case of Marriott hotels, a free "corgi" cocktail to any guest called Elizabeth.

• A sea of PR swept along in the royal couple's wake as they travelled the world, and any country they visited, from the Seychelles to Canada, expected the "William and Kate effect". Then last month dozens of holiday companies started pushing their "royal babymoons".

• "Boris voted Britain's favourite beach buddy" said social travel network Gogobot, while "Going on holiday more stressful than giving birth" said some "research" by Continental Tyres.

Festival flops

• A terrible summer meant most festivals were a washout but some fared worse than others. London's first Bloc music festival was shut almost immediately due to dangerous levels of overcrowding, Creamfields was called off due to flooding, while the British Biscuit Festival failed to deliver a slam dunk.

• The poshing-up of festivals reached ridiculous levels, with an Anthropologie tent at Port Eliot, and banquets delivered by a Michelin-starred chef at Wilderness. Even Reading had glamping options that included "Podpads" and "Yurtels".

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

Shark Tank Bursts Over Shoppers In China [VIDEO]


Sixteen people are wounded when a shark-filled aquarium bursts at a shopping centre in Shanghai, sending glass and fish flying, state media reports.

Surveillance video shown today on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV captured the moment a 33-tonne aquarium housing sharks, turtles and fish suddenly shattered at Shanghai's Orient shopping centre, injuring 16 people.

The giant tank burst with no warning on December 18, sending glass and fish flying into the crowd.

A man, who was taking pictures of the tank when it broke, was swept away by water, the video showed.

Shoppers, shop assistants and mall security staff suffered cuts and bruises as pieces of six-inch thick acrylic glass flew through the air, CCTV reported.

Three lemon sharks and dozens of turtles and small fish were killed in the incident, according to local media reports.

Police have launched an investigation. Preliminary investigations suggest low temperatures and the age of the materials used were to blame for the incident.

The shopping mall said they had no plans to rebuild the aquarium that had become a popular site since it was installed two years ago.

Source: Reuters

Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

The 10 Most Expensive Domain Names Of 2012


Vegas Strip

Domain names can cost as little as $2. But if they're highly desirable, they can be sold for millions.

DN Journal keeps tabs on all domain name sales and updates its year to date sales list weekly.

In 2010, Sex.com became the most expensive domain name in the world when it sold for $13 million. By comparison, the highest selling domain name this year cost $2.45 million.

NOTE:  Web businesses have other assets and are not domain only sales, so they were not eligible for this list. For example, Insure.com was bought for $16 million as a fully-operating, profitable company. Most buyers and sellers remain anonymous for legal reasons, so names/companies are not included in this article.

10. 60.com sold for $310,000

Date sold: 5/9/12

Sold via: KuwaitNet.com

Source: DN Journal

8. (tie) BJ.com sold for $325,000

Date sold: 6/6/12

Sold via: Toby Clements Newsletter

Source: DN Journal

8. (tie) VI.com sold for $325,000

Date sold: 10/13/12

Sold via: Private sale

Source: DN Journal

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

Here's What You're Entitled To If Your Luggage Is Lost


the sea of baggage at newarkQuestion: What are your rights if your luggage is delayed?

Question submitted by Amanda Ebner, Los Angeles, Calif.

Trip Doctor’s Answer

There’s nothing quite so forlorn as being the last person left at the baggage carousel, craning to spot a suitcase that’s just not coming. It’s like being picked last for dodgeball.

I’ve been there—just last summer, in fact. I flew to Denver for a weeklong trip and left the airport with no clothes for myself or my infant daughter.

But I did learn a few things about lost—and delayed—luggage from the experience. First, a lost bag is rare.

According to the Department of Transportation, domestic airlines recorded an average of just three bags mishandled for every 1,000 passengers in the first half of 2012 (the latest figures available).

And that includes luggage that’s lost, stolen, damaged, or delayed. So even if your bag doesn’t show up, chances are it’s not gone for good.

A delayed bag, though, is still a major inconvenience. On my Colorado trip, my suitcase materialized a day later—after I had replaced hiking gear, a swimsuit, and baby clothes, among other items. (Imagine the shopping list if I had been skiing.)

According to George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog, in the past, most domestic carriers offered fliers whose bags were delayed either travel vouchers or compensation capped at $50 a day, which doesn’t get you very far.

But a 2009 directive from the DOT ordered domestic airlines not to place arbitrary limits on compensation; instead, they were to cover “all reasonable, actual and verifiable expenses related to baggage loss, damage or delay,” up to $3,300.

In other words, if you need more than $50 a day, you can probably get more. You just have to know to ask. And if the airline doesn’t comply, file a complaint with the DOT. Also, be sure to ask your airline about getting your checked-bag fee reimbursed. Some carriers, such as Delta, will compensate you.

Bear in mind that your airline’s definition of “reasonable expenses” may be different from yours. Discuss your situation with the baggage agent before replacing your Paul Smith suit for that business meeting. Below, a few tips for keeping your bags in check.

• Fly direct, and choose an airline with a good track record. The best last year was Virgin America, with 0.9 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers. The worst: ExpressJet Airlines, with 6.2.

• Put an ID both outside and inside your bag. That way, if your luggage tag falls off, there’s still a way to track you down.

• Make your bag distinctive. Prevent someone from taking it home accidentally by tying something bright and colorful—a ribbon, say—around the handle.

• Buy baggage insurance, either through a vendor such as Travel Guard or Allianz or with your credit card provider. Passengers with an American Express Platinum Card (from Travel + Leisure’s parent company) can get up to $500 for a delay as short as three hours.

Send your dilemmas to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @afarles on Twitter.

More from Travel + Leisure: 

World's Best Airlines >

Best Economy-Class Innovations >

America's Best And Worst Airports >

Newest Online Travel Scams >

Ultimate Ski Guide >

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

An In-Depth Look At The Most Impressive People of 2012

12 Ways To Host A New Year's Eve Party For Less


dancing couple romance drunk dress new year's christmas

Three… two… one… The countdown to the New Year is on. How are you going to celebrate? If you want to avoid big crowds, high prices, and dangerous driving, why not host a party at home?

It’s easy to spend a ton on New Year’s celebrations. Dinner alone can cost hundreds, and some places charge an entry fee on top of any food or drink you’ll order. But if you’re on a tight budget, not to worry. There are plenty of ways to ring in the New Year without wringing out your wallet.

1. Use free invitations

Save money and paper by sending a digital invitation. Services such as evite.com andpingg.com have a great assortment and guests can RSVP easily online.

2. Use existing or cheap decor

Chances are, your house is already decorated for the holidays. Add a few candles and you’re set. If you don’t have enough, shop the clearance items for things you can use now and next year.

Better yet, make your own decorations: Step outside, pick up a few pine cones, add some glue and glitter: Instant glam!

3. Co-host the party

Team up with a friend to share the cost and the work! You’ll divide the duties, have more friends to celebrate with, and offer the opportunity to meet new people.

4. Create a killer soundtrack

Music is the lifeblood of any party. Take your time and make a great playlist. Unsure of your abilities? You have a friend who’s great at it. Ask them to contribute to the party by bringing it on their iPod.

5. Personalized potluck

Have everyone bring a dish that’s special to them. Play a game guessing who brought what, or compile the recipes and stories and make a cookbook to email around later.

6. Dessert buffet

Don’t want to host a big dinner? Have people arrive a little later for a dessert buffet. Satisfy that sweet tooth before you start those New Year’s resolutions.

7. Everything on a stick

Serve all the food on a stick – pickles, chicken, shrimp, beef, fruit, brownies, cake. The possibilities are endless and delicious!

8. Fun with fondue

Have everyone bring a different fondue-type dip to share. Choices can range from different cheese recipes to savory broths.

9. Pin memories, old-style

Hang a string and put photos from last year up with clothes pins. Have your guests bring their favorites too. It’s a great conversation starter.

10. Style swap

Start the New Year in style, with a little help from your friends. Have people bring clothes, jewelry, accessories, or handbags they no longer use and start swapping.

11. Make it a night in for two

Have a significant other? Have a romantic dinner, watch the ball drop on TV, and then, well, I’m sure you can think of a nice way to end the evening…

12. Celebrate New Year’s Day instead

Host your gathering the next day. Brunch, sandwiches, pizza, whatever you fancy can make for a great way to start the New Year with friends and family.

No matter how you choose to ring in the New Year, we at Money Talks News wish you health, wealth, and happiness!

Please follow Your Money on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

The 10 Most Read Books In The World [Infographic]


Given all the hype surrounding E.L. James's "Fifty Shades Of Grey," you might think that's the most popular book in the world. But you'd be wrong.

The most read book in the world is the Bible.

Writer James Chapman created a list of the most read books in the world based on the number of copies each book sold over the last 50 years.

He found that the Bible far outsold any other book, with a whopping 3.9 billion copies sold over the last 50 years. "Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse-tung" came in second with 820 million copies sold, and "Harry Potter" came in third with 400 million copies sold.

Designer Jared Fanning created an infographic (below) on the most read books in the world, based on Chapman's research.

Most Read Books Infographic

SEE ALSO: The Best Books Of The Year (So Far), According To Amazon >

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

8 Hangover Remedies From Around The World


hangover 2

There's only a few days until we bid fond adieu to 2012 and ring in a brand new year.

This can really only mean one thing for the day after NYE: a good amount of people will have some killer hangovers and, if staying in your hometown with a dose of 'hair-of-the-dog' isn't your style, we have the list for you irrespective of your location on this planet.

Eight hangover remedies from around the world:

1. Starting with some of the first people to welcome 2013, Australia will be reaching for the beloved Berocca. It's a dissovable tablet that enriches a glass of water with heaps of vitamins and minerals that are known to reduce the effects of overindulgence; think of fizzy Tang with a health kick.

2. South Koreans have a soup that is named perfectly for the occasion. That soup, named haejangguk, literally translates to "soup to chase a hangover." Also known as "sunrise soup," it consists of cow bones or pork spine, cabbage, vegetables and coagulated ox blood. It can be found sold on the streets every weekend morning.

3. A nice cup of joe might hit the spot in the morning after a big night. Well, in Thailand, they offer a different type of coffee, called "Black Ivory." Remember the Kopi Luwak of Bali? This is the same idea, but with elephant poop. Yeah, just the thought of where this comes from might get your mind of your hangover.

4. Planning to be in Mongolia? You may want to keep your drinking in check with this cure; a pickled sheep’s eyeball soaked in tomato juice popped into the mouth is thought to fix a night of heavy drinking. If you can't get any pickled, just boil 'em up and you'll be good as new.

5. If you're lucky enough to be in the Maldives to celebrate the new year and find yourself a little dusty in the morning, make sure you grab some coconut water. Natural coconut water is chock full of electrolytes and potassium to rehydrate and get you going again. With plenty of groves to pick from, you're definitely in the right place.

6. A South African concoction, from One & Only Cape Town chef Reuben Riffel, might make for a delicious non-hangover drink too. A cup of chilled rooibos tea, ½ cup ginger ale, and 1 oz lemongrass syrup and top up with soda water and a dash of angostura bitters. That sounds good anytime!

7. If you need a little magic (or black magic), head to Haiti. Go by the voodoo belief that sticking 13 pins in the cork of the bottle that did you wrong and maybe voila, you'll be cured! We don't recommend playing with sharp objects when you have a killer hangover, however.

8. Canada, our neighbors to the North, have a more traditional method. Instead of heading for a fast-food chain, the Quebecois dig into poutine and wash it down with a Canada Dry ginger ale. The greasy french fry and gravy concoction will work perfectly with the ginger to settle your stomach.

If you have your favorite exotic hangover helper, let us know in the comments below. Whether you are celebrating in some far off place or your own backyard, have fun and be responsible. We love you guys and like you best happy and healthy and ready to jet!

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

The MoMA Sky Umbrella Brightens Any Rainy Day


This is the Sky Umbrella by Tibor Kalman and Emanuela Frattini Magnusson from the MoMA Store.

Why We Love It: In 1992, Tibor Kalman and Emanuela Frattini Magnusson created this brilliantly simple Sky Umbrella. The black canopy top and the bright blue sky underside with fluffy white clouds became an instant museum classic that is still on sale today after 20 years.

The umbrella is also sturdily built, made of black nylon covering the photo-process-printed sky on polyester, and has a durable wood shaft and handle. The open/close mechanism is manual, but the umbrella also comes in a mechanical collapsible version.

MoMA Blue Sky Umbrella

Where To Buy: Available through the online MoMA Store.

Cost: $48 ($43.20 for museum members).

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

SEE ALSO: The Grippy Pad Lets You Stick Your Gadgets Anywhere

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

A Museum's Amazing Collection Of Classic Cars Is Open To The Public For The First Time


Petersen Automotive Museum vault car collection

The Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles has been open since 1994, but it was not until this month that the public had access to its most interesting part: "the vault."

Below the galleries, the vault is a parking lot the size of a football field, where the museum stores its amazing collection of 150 cars with no fanfare.

For the first time, the Petersen is offering tours of the collection to the public, the LA Times reported— but only until January 6.

For those who won't make it to Los Angeles before tours end, here's a small sampling of some of the best vehicles, from Steve McQueen's motorcycle to the Shah of Iran's Bugatti.

There are no velvet ropes or signs describing the cars; the Vault is really for storage.

It is normally closed to the public and only accessible to museum staff and VIP visitors.

This Bugatti once belonged to the Shah of Iran.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow Getting There on Twitter and Facebook.

The Best 'Smart' Products Of 2012


nestThe year 2012 marks a coming-of-age for physical devices that are designed for a connected world.

Created with digital at their core, these products are not “digitally enhanced” or merely gadgets for Dad on Father’s Day (although some could be).

They are truly useful, elegantly designed, and in the case of the consumer products, are things that once you start using, it’s hard to imagine life without them.

This latest crop of digital products truly improves the way we live —from helping you get healthier, to saving energy, and even helping those who help others, like first responders.

Here are a few of my favorites that were released this year, along with a couple that were just announced.

The year 2013 will be an interesting test to see how these products fare in the marketplace, and with New Year’s optimism, I’m very much looking forward to it.

Philips Hue

Phillips Hue solves a problem that we all face at some point: terrible lighting. Hue is a wireless system of connected multi-color LED bulbs that can be controlled by your iPhone or iPad, and programmed to fit your schedule. What’s cool about Hue is that it offers more than just improved ambiance for college stoners.

You can create settings for practical purposes, like leaving a lamp on when you’re away and slowly turning the lights on to wake up in the mornings. And it works with your existing light fixtures.

Nike+ Fuelband

[Full disclosure: I worked on the Fuelband, so believe what you want from the words that follow.] Nike+ Fuelband is part-tracking device, part-watch and part-fashion accessory. It tracks your activity throughout the day, and helps you get healthier by setting daily goals that are visualized on the band itself and through an iPhone or Android app.

What excites me about the Fuelband is that wearable computing—the nerdy academic term for smart, wearable products—has finally become a reality for the everyperson, not just cyborgs and New York University ITP students (and since I’m telling you everything, yes I went there).


Nest, billed as “the learning thermostat,” released the second version of its super smart, sleek product in October. Like other connected thermostats on the market, Nest gives you greater control over heating and cooling to save money and reduce environmental impact. But what differentiates Nest is that it actually learns your behavior, so you don’t have to spend time creating a bunch of customized settings.

Just set the temperature to your liking, and after a few days, Nest creates a schedule that’s easy to manage. It even recognizes when you’re away from the house and switches to a more energy-efficient mode.

Little Printer

It may seem counter-intuitive to print the internet, but with Little Printer it sure seems like fun. Little Printer is a personable, connected product for your desk that prints customized news, puzzles and updates from your friends.

Create a micro-newspaper for yourself with their smartphone app that offers up content from great partners, like lunch recommendations from Foursquare, your Google task list or short fiction about monsters. And minimize your guilt for creating paper waste, since Little Printer uses an inkless printing process and comes with BPA-free paper.

Bounce Imaging

Bounce Imaging is a Boston-based startup that’s developing a low-cost imaging device for first responders. It’s designed to be thrown into dangerous situations like a burning building. The ball-shaped Bounce has multiple cameras and sensors that stitch together a panoramic view of the space, and provide information on temperature, air quality and other dangerous conditions that can be transmitted to computers and mobile phones.


Out of the many health-tracking devices on the market today, Tinké stands out because of its easy-to-use design and focus on cardio-respiratory health and stress. By simply pressing and holding the device while plugged into your smartphone, Tinké visualizes measurements like heart rate and blood oxygen level, and compares them to personalized benchmarks.

Tinké is being marketed as a fitness product but there seems to be a lot of potential for helping those who are managing more serious health conditions.

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

Everything You Want To Know About The New Year's Eve Event In Times Square


New Years' Eve Planning

New Year's Eve is the time for champagne toasts, resolutions, and celebrations with family and friends.

And one of the most epic places to usher in the New Year is in New York City's Times Square.

The six-hour-long bash — which has live music performances, celebrity guests, and free schwag — culminates with the famous ball drop at midnight.

And while the event happens overnight, the planning certainly doesn't.

The New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square is co-produced annually between the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, the firm that represents One Times Square. We spoke to Jeff Straus, President of Countdown Entertainment, and Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, to find out exactly how much planning goes into this spectacular annual event. We learned some surprising facts on the side.

The first New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square New Year's Eve took place in 1904.

In 1904, the city decided to throw a New Year's Eve party at One Times Square to commemorate the opening of both the New York Times office building and the city’s first subway line.

Prior to 1904, the New Year's Eve celebration was held at Trinity Church, where revelers would throw bricks in the air to celebrate the New Year.

Source: Times Square Alliance

The first ball dropped on New Year's Eve in Times Square in 1907.

In 1907, the first New Year's Eve ball was dropped from the flagpole at One Times Square.

The iron-and-wood ball was five feet in diameter, weighed 700 pounds, and was adorned with one hundred 25-watt bulbs — measly compared with today's ball.

Source: Times Square Alliance

The ball today is very different than the one used in 1907.

Today, the ball measures 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds. It's covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles of different sizes and lit with 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED light bulbs.

Source: Times Square Alliance

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

The 10 Best Vacation Spots For Celebrity Run-Ins


You gobble up celebrity blogs and magazines. You can recite all the names and ages of Angelina and Brad’s kids. You knew right away which ex Taylor Swift is so subtlety referencing in her latest revenge anthem.

See the best places for celeb spottings >

You’re a pop culture connoisseur.

A vacation is the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of your favorite stars in the flesh. While trekking to LA or New York City and setting up camp outside of Chateau Marmont or the Bowery Hotel is always one (very sketchy) option, here a 10 amazing vacation spots that will maximize your fun and offer a greater chance of running into an A-lister.

See the best places for celeb spottings >

More from Hopper Travel:

2013 Golden Globes: Awards Season Travel Tips

Kardashian 'Vakation' Hot Spots

Celebrities Who Spend Less Than You'd Expect On Vacation


Hawaii is a top celebrity vacation destination (and the home state of President Obama).

In 2012, the island teemed with stars. Katy Perry relaxed in Kauai, while Kanye West and Kim Kardashian showed off their love in Honolulu. Britney Spears, Charlize Theron, Will Smith and Cameron Diaz have all paid visits to the Aloha state recently.

But with 8 different islands spread out over 6,423 square miles, it’s not easy to guarantee that you’ll be sharing a beach with Beyonce.

We suggest aiming your stays at Kauai. At 533 square miles, Kauai is 33 miles long and 25 miles across at its widest point. Kauai is Hawaii’s 4th largest island and known for heavy celebrity foot traffic. You can maximize your celebrity spotting potential by booking a room (like Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys did) at an impeccable 5 star resort like the St. Regis Princeville overlooking Hanalei Bay (rooms start at $360 a night).

Nestled among verdant sea cliffs, the resort caters to the restful and the restless: boasting everything from an 11,000 square foot spa to a working cattle ranch where you can horseback ride, zip line through the trees, or hike to an 80 foot waterfall. With 19 dining options, there’s little reason to step foot outside of the resort’s grounds—making it the perfect protected celebrity hideaway.


Tokyo, Japan is a must-stop destination for celebrities promoting their films. But with a population of 8,731,000, spotting a celebrity in the city is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Our suggestion for celeb spotting in Japan? Head to the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Jessica Alba (family in tow!) have all visited the Magic Kingdom also known as Tokyo Disneyland Park. At 115 acres, it’s bigger than Florida’s Disney World or Disneyland and offers unique cultural offerings like soy sauce flavored popcorn. Love “It’s a Small World After All”? You’ll love it more in Japanese!

To stay like a celebrity in Tokyo check in at the Park Hyatt or Ritz Carlton and get psyched for major pampering. Japanese hotels are known for their impeccable service, regardless of your rank on IMDB.  A few requests you might consider making: have them book you an English speaking tour guide (essential!), ask them to snag you a table at the hip Code Kurkku in Yoyogi Village (a tranquil urban retreat in the heart of Tokyo) or arrange for a total holistic body massage—2 hours of intensive treatment designed to reset your internal clock and rejuvenate the body.

If the Ritz’s price point is outside your budget, consider stopping by for a bite at one of their 8 restaurants like contemporary Japanese cuisine Hinokizaka, recipient of a 2010 Michelin star. If the food doesn’t tempt you, its prime celeb spotting location (next to the lobby) should be lure enough.

Bedford, New York

If you must pay a visit to NYC to indulge your celebrity sighting needs, consider a side trip on the Metro-North to Westchester, specifically Bedford.

Just 48 minutes from NYC, this tony (and tiny) town, is home to many an A list celeb. Most recently, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds bought a home here and have been seen visiting their local gym. Glenn Close, Martha Stewart, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones have homes in town.  At 39.3 square miles, Bedford is 1/10th the size of New York (468.5 square miles) with only 17,335 people.

Center your visit around the picturesque town green in the heart of the historic district (listed in the National Register of Historic Places). Soak in the colonial glory of the clapboard homes, 17th century cemetery, and old one room schoolhouse. Richard Gere owns the quaint Bedford Post Inn, making it the ideal launching point for a Fall weekend of celeb spotting, leaf peeping, and apple picking in New York State.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Wire on Twitter and Facebook.

The World's Smelliest And Largest Flower Blooms In Brazil


Corpse Flower

Hundreds of visitors are flocking daily to a botanical garden in southeastern Brazil to watch the rare blooming of the Titan arum, the world's smelliest and largest tropical flower.

Also known as the "corpse flower" because of a smell likened to rotting flesh, it began blooming on Christmas Day and is already beginning to close, botanist Patricia Oliveira told AFP.

The flower "has a lifespan of 72 hours, during which its stink and meat-coloration attract pollinators: carrion flies and beetles," added Oliveira, who works at the Inhotim garden, about 445 kilometers (275 miles) from Rio de Janeiro, housing the massive flower.

Titan arum, also known by its scientific name, "Amorphophallus titanum," which means misshapen giant penis, is native to the rainforests of western Sumatra. It rarely flowers, is incredibly difficult to cultivate and takes six years to grow.

Thursday, this Brazilian specimen reached 167 centimeters (5 feet 3 inches) in height, but the species can grow up to over three meters (10 feet) tall.

This "is the second time it bloomed. The first time was in December 2010," Oliveira said.

When it flowers, the bloom has the same temperature as that of the human body, which helps spread its pungent smell.

The species was first described in 1878 by Italian natural scientist Odoardo Beccari. Ten years later, it bloomed in a London botanical garden and its next flowering occurred in 1926.

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

The 10 Best-Selling Books of 2012


fifty shades of grey

There's no doubt that this has been the year of E.L. James and her "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy. The three-part series has been a topic of conversation in book clubs, TV shows, and news stories all year long.

And now, a new report from Amazon.com confirms that James's “Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy” is the best-selling book this year.

Amazon.com recently released its list of the best-selling books of 2012. It looked at the sales of books and eBooks that were published in 2012.

Two of James's books made the list, including "Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy” (#1) and “Fifty Shades Trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed 3-volume Boxed Set” (#3). “Gone Girl: A Novel” by Gillian Flynn came in second.

The top 10 best-selling books overall are:

1.“Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy” by E. L. James

2. “Gone Girl: A Novel” by Gillian Flynn

3. “Fifty Shades Trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed 3-volume Boxed Set” by E. L. James

4. “Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel” by Sylvia Day

5. “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden” by Mark Owen

6. “The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire)” by Jennifer Probst

7. “Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel” by Sylvia Day

8. “The Racketeer” by John Grisham

9. “Defending Jacob: A Novel” by William Landay

10. “The Innocent” by David Baldacci

SEE ALSO: The 10 Most Read Books In The World >

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

The Death Of The Family Dinner Is Making Americans Fat


Americans started eating out a lot more over the past thirty years, a trend that likely caused obesity rates to skyrocket, according to a new USDA report.

The study tracked caloric and nutrient consumption at home versus restaurants, fast food establishments and schools between 1978 and 2008. 

Their results:

Over the past 30 years, food prepared away from home (FAFH) has become a regular part of most Americans’ diets, and those who monitor food trends expect this to continue...Unfortunately, consumption of FAFH has been found to increase caloric intake and reduce diet quality."

Here's their data for percent changes in calorie source:

calorie source USDA

And foods served away from home have a ton more sodium than ones not served at home:

usda calorie sodium


They conclude: "More research on the effects of regular, long-term consumption of FAFH on caloric intake, diet quality, and weight status is needed, but our results suggest that its association with higher caloric intake and lower diet quality deserves public health attention."

SEE ALSO: 10 Foods With An Extremely Long Shelf Life

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

Here's What The World Was Most Curious About In 2012


Jennifer Lawrence

What did people want to learn about the most this year?

Wikipedia has gathered data on its most viewed articles of 2012. It has created different lists for each language, but the most popular articles by far are in English.

The data shows we care a lot about movies, teenage pop stars, and tech companies.

10. The Hunger Games

What it is: The first book of a trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It takes place in future America, where 24 children are chosen to fight to the death in a computer-controlled arena for a reality TV show. It was released as a movie this year starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Number of views: Its Wikipedia page was viewed 18,431,626 times this year.

Excerpt from the page:

The Hunger Games is a 2008 young adult novel by American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.

The book received mostly positive feedback from major reviewers and authors, including author Stephen King. It was praised for its storyline and character development, though some reviewers have noted similarities between Collins' book and the Japanese novel Battle Royale (1999), as well as other works. In writing The Hunger Games, Collins drew upon Greek mythology and contemporary reality television for thematic content. The novel won many awards, including the California Young Reader Medal, and was named one of Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of the Year" in 2008.

9. Google

What it is: The giant search engine company created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Number of views: Its Wikipedia page received 18,508,719 views this year

Excerpt from the page:

Google Inc. (NASDAQGOOG) is an American multinational corporation which provides Internet-related products and services, including internet search, cloud computing, software and advertising technologies.[6] Advertising revenues from AdWords generate almost all of the company's profits.[7][8]

The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while both attended Stanford University. Together, Brin and Page own about 16 percent of the company's stake. Google was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. The company's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful"[9] and the company's unofficial slogan is "Don't be evil".[10][11] In 2006, the company moved to its current headquarters in Mountain View, California.


8. The Dark Knight Rises

What it is: The third batman movie, starring Christian Bale, which was released this year.

Number of views: Its Wikipedia page received 18,882,885 views this year

Excerpt from the page:

The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final installment in Nolan's Batman film trilogy, and it is the sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale reprises the lead role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, with a returning cast of his allies: Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. The film introduces the characters of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar in search of a way to escape her past, and Bane (Tom Hardy), a militant revolutionary out to destroy Gotham City. The film deals with a Batman who has retired, but is drawn back into action by new threats to the city.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

A Simple Formula That Predicts The Success Of Marriages


wedding, sunset, couple

Many have spent long hours wondering if a marriage is going to last, considering things like love, children, taxes, and the opinion of friends and  professionals.

But the best and easiest answer may be this formula:

frequency of lovemaking minus frequency of quarrels

A positive difference predicts marital happiness, a negative one unhappiness.

The formula was derived from a series of studies in the 1970s. One study of married students at University of Missouri-Kansas City found that 28 out of 30 self-described happy couples had sex more than they argued, while all 12 self-described unhappy couples argued more. These results were corroborated by a 1974 study by John Howard and Robyn Dawes, in which all 23 happy couples had a positive score and all 3 unhappy couples had a negative score.

Howard and Dawes describe their findings in "Linear Prediction Of Marital Happiness":

The linear combination discussed above has at least one clear advantage over the commonly used assessment devices: simplicity. Anyone capable of counting and subtracting can use it. Edwards and Edwards (1973, unpublished) consider the difference score predictive; couples with consistently negative scores frequently separate or divorce within relatively short times. If further investigation confirms that the difference score is a reliable predictor, the simplicity of the method might allow couples to use it as-a relatively objective self-monitoring technique. If a previously positive difference shifted to a negative score, the couple would at least be forewarned, and might seek the cause (and cure) of their problems. A limitation of these studies concerns the old saw, "correlation does not imply causation." Not only do we not know direction of causality, we do not know what would happen if the rates of argument or sex were manipulated experimentally or therapeutically. It does not, for example, follow that we can increase marital happiness of people who argue a lot by encouraging them to have intercourse more often--but it would be an interesting technique to try.

We came across this study in psychologist Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast And Slow, in a discussion of the value of simple formulas.

"The important conclusion from this research is that an algorithm that is constructed on the back of an envelope is often good enough to compete with an optimally weighted formula, and certainly good enough to outdo expert judgment," writes Kahneman.

Indeed the best thing about a formula is that it overrides the brain's faulty intuition system. Kahneman also discusses the bad intuition of hiring agents, financial advisors, amateur investors, pundits, and pretty much everyone.

DON'T MISS: 57 Behavioral Biases That Make Us Think Irrationally >

Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

How Apple Determined Tim Cook's $4.2 Million Salary


tim cook

This year, Apple CEO Tim Cook will bring home about $4.2 million. His salary is $1.4 million with a cash bonus of up to 200% ($2.8 million) of that base.

How was that salary determined?

CNNMoney says Apple takes multiple factors into account. It looks at the company's financial results and Cook's performance, as well as the amount of money other "peer" CEOs make.

It looks at CEO salaries of direct competitors, such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP and Dell. It also looks at the Oracles, Ciscos and IBMs.

In addition, it looks at media CEO salaries, like those of Disney, Time Warner and News Corp executives. It looked at more media companies this year than last year before landing on the magic $4.2 million number.

Cook's salary jumped up from $900,000 last year, but Apple still claims Cook is receiving compensation that is "significantly below the median cash compensation" of his peer CEOs. Overtime though, he'll be extremely well paid.

Last year, when Cook was named CEO, he was given 1 million restricted stock units. In four years, he'll own half of those shares. In August 2021, if he's still CEO of Apple, he'll receive the other 500,000. Apple shares are currently at $512. If they stay there and Cook is CEO for the next ten years, then he's in line to $512 million, or ~$51 million a year.

Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

The World's Largest Scrabble Game Is Over Seven Feet Tall


This is the World's Largest Scrabble Game from Hammacher Schlemmer.

Why We Love It: Who doesn't love Scrabble? This version spans nearly five times the size of the original at 88 1/2'' tall by 99 1/4'' wide, and weighs roughly 13 pounds. There are only nine in existence, and they were handmade by John Kahn, a mixed media artist who creates colossal pop art.

Each board was constructed from Russian birch plywood, and comes with magnet plywood pieces and individual game racks. The Hammacher version is outrageously expensive, but you can use it as inspiration to make your own, like these people did.

Largest Scrabble Game

Where To Buy: If you can afford it, through Hammacher Schlemmer.

Cost: $12,000.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

DON'T MISS: Aesop Essentials For Your Masculine Maintenance Routine

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

Viewing all 51467 articles
Browse latest View live