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Psychologists conducted a survey to find out exactly what makes 'creepy' people creepy — and they had a few things in common


Lonely Island

Ever gotten creeped out by someone who just seemed, well, creepy?

A recent study currently under review for publication by Knox College social psychologist Francis McAndrew takes a stab at unpacking exactly what creepiness is.

Feeling creeped out is a "universal human response," McAndrew writes, that developed in response to an ambiguous detection of a threat, usually one that's violent or sexual — "anything that would make you unsure of what the person would do next," McAndrew told Business Insider.

Being creeped out is "a signal that something might be dangerous," writes Lisa Wade, a sociology professor at Occidental College and founder of the sociology blog Sociological Images.

"Things we know are dangerous scare us — no creepiness there — but if we’re unsure if we’re under threat, that’s when things get creepy," Wade writes.

For his study, McAndrew surveyed more than 1,300 people between the ages of 18 and 77 about behaviors and characteristics associated with creepiness. The study first suggested a situation in which a trustworthy friend met someone who they thought was creepy. Then, survey participants rated the likelihood, on a scale from 1 ("very unlikely") to 5 ("very likely"), of the creepy person to possess certain physical attributes (like "greasy hair") or exhibit certain behaviors (like "touched friend frequently").

Survey participants said a person watching their friend before interacting with them was the behavior most likely to be held by a creepy person, followed by a person touching their friend frequently. The third behavior most likely to be held by a creepy person was steering the conversation toward sex (click chart to enlarge):

Creepy behaviors and characteristics chart

McAndrew also learned that 95% of survey participants thought creeps were more likely to be male than female — a perception that was equally held by both male and female survey respondents. Women were also more likely to perceive a sexual threat from people they deemed creepy.

The topic of creepiness is one that hasn't been explored too much in depth, but Wade thinks there's a lot more that McAndrew could do in his research.

For one thing, she wonders if people of different races or ethnicities could be perceived as potentially more dangerous or creepy than other races or ethnicities, or if people who are objectively more attractive are perceived as less threatening than unattractive people.

"There's research on attractiveness, and that people who are more attractive are better in every way," she told Business Insider. "There's a bias toward attractive people that's reinforced by mass media, and even when a movie casts a bad guy they cast someone who's objectively unattractive, unless the intention is to have the audience be surprised that the bad guy is bad." The same could be said "of anyone who has some sort of physical feature that goes against the norm," she notes, "like a physical disability or disfigurement."

McAndrew also asked participants in another part of the survey about occupations most likely to be held by creeps.

Clowns came in first, followed by taxidermists, sex shop owners, and funeral directors, following McAndrew's hypothesis that occupations involving "threatening stimuli" like death or sex would be perceived as creepy. McAndrew's paper is currently in review for publication with the journal New Ideas in Psychology.

So if you've been taking notes at home: Don't watch people before interacting with them, keep your hair clean and, if you're a clown, maybe consider a new career.

SEE ALSO: Scientists found a creepy fanged fish in Australia that's far more common than everyone thinks

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DICTATORS' WIVES: Meet 15 women married to the world's biggest despots


Kim Jong-un and Ri Sol-ju, North KoreaBehind every great man is a great woman, as they say. But who stands behind the world's dictators?

In good times and in bad, the ladies of the Dictators' Wives Club sure put up with a lot: corruption, political uprisings, and often other wives.

Some, like Rwandan first lady Jeannette Kagame, use their position to advocate for important charitable causes in their nations.

Others, like the president of Syria's wife, Asma al-Assad, are pros at looking the other way and smiling for official Instagram photos.

For this list, we defined a dictator as a near-absolute ruler known for human-rights abuses, restrictions on freedom of the press, and oppression of opposition.

SEE ALSO: 9 billionaires who plan to give away the majority of their fortunes

Ana Paula dos Santos, wife of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos

The first lady: A former fashion model, Ana Paula dos Santos knew her husband from her time as a flight attendant on the Angolan version of Air Force One. She now has a degree in teaching and law and is a member of the International Steering Committee.

A diplomat once described the president and first lady as "a handsome couple, elegantly and expensively dressed, looking for all the world as though they're living in southern California." The first lady received a lot of flack from the public when she announced that her son would be attending the Portuguese school in Luanda because of the "bad quality" of state education — something for which many people hold her husband responsible.

Her husband: During President dos Santos' 36 years in office, he has consolidated all political power under his control. Countless atrocities, including torture and mass murders, occurred under his watch during a 27-year-long civil war. There are still reports of torture and repression of ethnic minorities going on in Angola today.

Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

The Queen Consort: Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa is the first wife of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Aside from being a devoted mother to their four children — one of whom is the crown prince — Ibrahim Al Khalifa is an outspoken activist for women's and children's rights, both in Bahrain and around the world, having addressed the UN General Assembly about these issues.

She serves as the head of the Supreme Council for Women in Bahrain, encouraging women to vote in the country, and is also the chief patron of the Society for Women and Children in Bahrain.

Her husband: The country has been run by the Al Khalifa dynasty since 1783. Hamad declared himself king in 2002, previously holding the title of Emir, meaning "commander." After an uprising against him in 2011, Amnesty International condemned the failure of the Bahraini government amid "spiraling repression," including banning all public gatherings and rallies, revoking citizenship of those who speak out, and torturing both adults and children. Bahrain remains backed by the US, though the State Department hasencouraged political dialogue.

Chantal Biya, wife of Cameroonian President Paul Biya

The first lady:Known as a trendsetter (there's even a Tumblr devoted to her famously tall hair-do), the first lady of Cameroon is very social and has met Michelle Obama, Paris Hilton, and Pope Francis. Biyahas been quoted as saying that her favorite European designers are Dior and Chanel, and many of the pieces in her wardrobe are custom-made.

Thirty-eight years her husband's junior, Biya is also a member of African Synergy, a club that addresses solutions to HIV and AIDS in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso.

Her husband: President Biya has been in office for more than 30 years, and in 2008 he removed restrictions on term limits so that he could run for office indefinitely. His state security forces have been accused of executing protestors and using other means of violence and oppression to prevent political opposition. A recent report from Africa Review found that Biya has a salary that is nearly 229 times more than the average for his country.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Take a tour of the luxurious bunker where billionaires can escape the apocalypse


vivos europa one

When it comes to the end of the world, underground shelter company Vivos is betting that it's better to be safe than sorry.

The Vivos Europa One shelter in Rothenstein, Germany, claims to be the world's largest and safest underground survival bunker. It's also one of the fanciest. Available by invitation only, a spot in the bunker will set future residents back about $5 million each. Buyers can then have their chambers decorated and customized to fit their preferences.

Once it's complete, the massive bunker will be set to protect against everything from natural disasters to war.

Originally built by Soviets during the Cold War and used as a fortress for military equipment and munitions, the incredible 76-acre property was recently revealed by Vivos founder and CEO Robert Vicino. 

He told Business Insider that the opportunity to buy a space in the massive Europa One bunker is being marketed exclusively to "global industrialists" and billionaires, though his company also constructs underground shelters for those on a slightly tighter budget. 

"We don't know when 'the accident' is going to happen. For those who haven't secured a solution yet, it's already too late," Vicino said to Business Insider. "It's expensive, but it's an investment in your life and in real estate."

Keep scrolling down to see where billionaires could live out the end of the world. 

SEE ALSO: Forget mega yachts — this mobile private island just upped the ante on billionaire toys

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

The massive underground bunker is located in Rothenstein, Germany, deep below a limestone mountain.

The property is a whopping 76 acres in size and claims to be the world’s largest underground shelter for long-term protection. Guests will only be allowed to enter via helicopter, which will be provided by Vivos.

Complete with blast doors and protective corridors, the shelter is said to be able to withstand nuclear blasts, direct plane crashes, biological and chemical agents, earthquakes, and any armed attacks.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Aspiring entrepreneurs — here's how you can get free office space for a year


Hennessy Troy Carter

Sooner or later, entrepreneurs have to move out of that spare bedroom, basement, or garage — and rent a professional working space. But they also need something that's not easy to come by: Regular access to world-class advice from established executives and veteran entrepreneurs.

Now it's possible for startups to get both of those things — space and mentorship — for free. All they have to do is enter Hennessy’s V.S.O.P Privilège Lab Competition. Designed to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs in a way that goes above and beyond the usual, the V.S.O.P Privilège Lab Competition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

One winner will receive free access to the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lab for one year, a place to chase their passions without worrying about the expense of rent. The Privilège Lab is the result of Hennessy's collaboration with Troy Carter — entrepreneur, investor, and manager — and WeWork, a leading provider of shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and small businesses.

Hennessy is, of course, no stranger to innovation or entrepreneurial spirit. This is the company that introduced the first Very Superior Old Pale (V.S.O.P) Cognac, establishing the category that has since changed the industry.

Carter, who recently introduced startup accelerator SMASHD Labs, will join Hennessy and WeWork to provide mentorship and counsel to the winner of the Privilège Lab over the course of a year. An early investor in Uber, Spotify, Dropbox, Warby Parker, and Lyft through his Cross Culture fund, Carter currently serves as founder and CEO of Atom Factory. There, he manages the careers of artists including Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth. He was also a recent guest judge on ABC’s "Shark Tank."

Carter is also the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilège Award. For 12 years, the program has recognized individuals who have, through determination and talent, achieved unparalleled levels of accomplishment and used this success to give back to their communities. Past recipients include Daymond John, George Lopez, Carmelo Anthony, and more. On the occasion of Hennessy’s 250th anniversary this year, the brand has chosen to introduce a new era of the award – one that re-imagines community support through active investment in creative entrepreneurs.

The competition runs from October 15- November 19. Take advantage of this opportunity, now. Because, as Hennessy says, "It’s a Privilege to Empower."

Click here to find out more about how to enter.

Watch the video below to find out more about Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lab 




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Forget everything you've heard — this is the only jacket a man needs for fall


Denim Jacket

Fall is a glorious time for men's fashion. The outerwear options are endless!

But for the minimalist, there's really only one jacket you need for the crisp autumn air. Yes, we're talking about the denim jacket.

Far from a '90s throwback, the denim jacket has stood the test of time. It's the most versatile fall clothing item a man can own. Plus, it looks good on pretty much everyone.

The slightly short, somewhat loose, casual silhouette flatters most bodies and can be worn myriad ways.

Guys who got it right

A photo posted by brucepask (@brucepask) on

Above, Bergdorf Goodman's men's style director, Bruce Pask, wears a vintage Helmut Lang denim jacket underneath a supremely stylish wool coat. You could also wear it over a sweater on colder days or over a shirt and tie to mess with conventional formality.

Meanwhile, The Weeknd adds a black jacket to his all-black performance outfit.

The Weeknd

From clean, dark denim to black denim to completely bleached white denim, there's a color and style for everyone. You can add a patch for more personalization. The possibilities for this American staple are truly endless.

The one to buy and some sage styling advice

For our money, the best option is the Levi's Trucker Jacket, a classic that retails for $68. On the higher end, Gap sells a decent model that's only slightly more expensive. APC and the denim-focused Naked and Famous also do a good job with the denim jacket.

But heed this sage advice: Never go denim-on-denim. If for some reason you need to, never wear two pieces of denim with the same wash. Down that path lies a dark road.

SEE ALSO: The only 3 boots men need for fall

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People are going nuts for this bagel that looks like a rainbow and tastes like cereal


the bagel store

I discovered The Bagel Store's Rainbow Bagels a couple of days ago on Snapchat. 

In the 10-second video, reality TV star Jonathan Cheban (Kim Kardashian's best friend) emptied a bag of the colorful creations onto a table and stared at them like they were the bagel equivalent of a unicorn. And they kind of are. 

They taste like cereal, they're slathered with Funfetti-style cream cheese, and you'll get an inordinate amount of likes if you post a photo of one on social media. 

Keep scrolling to learn all about the trippy-looking Brooklyn bagels that are burning up Instagram.

The Bagel Store owner and head baker Scot Rossillo says the Rainbow Bagel is the most popular of his 30 varieties of bagels.

Instagram Embed:
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His Bedford Avenue shop has a line outside the door on weekends and the Rainbow Bagels sell out the quickest.

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Not only that, Rossillo says the process of making Rainbow Bagels is so precise that he can only make 100 bagels every five hours. For comparison, he tells me that 5,000 ordinary bagels can be cranked out in the same amount of time.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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What it's like to eat at Martin Berasategui, the best restaurant in the world


Martin Berasategui Dish 2

TripAdvisor just named Martin Berasategui the best restaurant in the world.

The list was based on millions of traveler reviews from Tripadvisor.​

Nestled in Spain's stunning Basque Country, Martin Berasategui offers exquisite a la carte and tasting menus, both of which feature unique and innovative dishes that diners are unlikely to find elsewhere.

Keep scrolling to see what it's like to enjoy a meal at the sophisticated restaurant.

SEE ALSO: The 25 best restaurants in the world, according to travelers

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According to travelers' reviews and ratings on TripAdvisor, Martin Berasategui is the best restaurant in the world.

The restaurant is located in a small town called Lasarte-Oria, which sits in northern Spain's picturesque Basque Country.

The restaurant is named after its owner and head chef, Martin Berasategui.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here's what your tears look like under a microscope


Tears Details

We all cry — some, admittedly, more than others. And while many of us think about why we cry, or what we happen to be crying about, we might not question what our actual tears contain. 

Curious and creative photographer Maurice Mikkers did wonder about this, so he began "bottling up the emotion" – that is to say, his own tears, and those of his friends — and placed them under a microscope. The result was a series he called Imaginarium of Tears

"Science says that every tear has a different viscosity and composition," Mikkers told Business Insider. "All tears contain a variety of biological substances, including oils, antibodies and enzymes suspended in salt water."

Scientifically, tears are divided into three different categories based on their origin: emotional, basal, and reflex. Mikkers sought to examine tears from a number of subjects to see if they looked different depending on what caused them. 

Tears DetailsTo gather tears caused by an emotional reaction, Mikkers would give the subject space, requesting they collect the tear samples on their own.

For basal tears, subjects were instructed to keep their eyes open while looking into a large ventilator. This dried their eyes out and naturally produced tears.

And finally, for the reflex tears, participants performed tear-inducing activities, like chopping onions or eating hot peppers.

Without being able to control the humidity, temperature, and pressure for all of the tears photographed, Mikkers concluded that the origin of the tears didn't really matter too much at all. Each tear had a different appearance, but there wasn't much similarity between those in the same category. 

"It’s hard to say if the physiology described in science is actually seen when a tear is crystallizing under a microscope, or if the emotional waves and state of the person is influencing the way the tear is shaping when crystallizing," Mikkers said.

Tears DetailsJust like a scientist, he keeps track of his findings with immense care and detailed notes. Mikkers documented his findings through the third lens of his trinocular microscope, where he was able to place his Canon 5D Mark II camera to document the phenomena with incredible detail.

The whole project stemmed from a desire to investigate the parts of our lives we don't usually question.

"It's like magic waiting to happen," Mikkers said of photographing tears, adding that he was surprised to see what his own tear looked like. "I never know what new kinds of structures will be forming when crystallizing a tear, whether it's from a new person or not. There will always be a new unique shape presented."

Below are a selection of photos that display how his friends' tears were affected based on what caused the reaction.

Reflex tears: After cutting white onions.

Tears Details

Tears Details

Psychic tears: After an emotional response.

Tears Details

Tears Details

Tears Details

Reflex tear: After crying from high-dosed menthol oil on eyelid.

Tears Details

Basal tear: After looking into a ventilator.

Tears Details

Basal tear: After looking into a ventilator and smiling.

Tears Details


SEE ALSO: The world's largest digital camera is about to be built on top of a mountain in Chile — here's what it will look like

Join the conversation about this story »

How billionaires will survive the end of the world


robert vicino vivos

The world is a scary place, and there are lots of things that could go wrong at any minute. 

Luckily, Robert Vicino has a plan for the impending end of the world. 

As founder and CEO of Vivos, he plans to build a network of high-end, underground bunkers for those who can afford to pay for their assured safety. 

And just how much is he asking?

For a spot in a standard bunker, Vicino says, you'll be set back about $35,000.

But if you want a spot in Vivos' ultra-luxury bunker, Europa One, it will cost you much more – and you'll have to score an invite from Vivos first.

"Individual chambers are being bought for $5 million," Vicino said to Business Insider. "You get a shell with utilities, and then you can build out the living quarters however you want." 

Each family who buys in will get two stories of space to outfit to their liking. That could include swanky furnishings like plush leather couches and high-end bars, or it could mean additional amenities like swimming pools, movie theaters, and private gyms. 

"Some may want their quarters to be like a high-end yacht, or others might want a more basic job," Vicino said. "We expect the average cost for outfitting a space to be $5 million. Taken in perspective of who these people are, that's a fraction of the cost of one of their yachts." 

vivos europa onevivos europa one

Europa One is being built in a massive Soviet bunker in Germany, originally constructed during the Cold War for the storage of missiles. The complex was purchased by a mysterious philanthropist, with whom Vivos is partnering to construct the bunker. 

The space will be outfitted with enough supplies and amenities that residents could stay a year without leaving. 

vivos europa onevivos europa one

As for the client list, Vicino has been very discreet. He won't say anything other than that buyers are "global industrialists," many of whom are billionaires. 

They're the kind of demographic who will appreciate the high-end amenities — and the privacy.

"The only way in or out is by our helicopters, which they can take from wherever their private jet lands," Vicino said. "Whether they're coming from the Middle East, Moscow, the UK, Hong Kong — everyone should be able to get there in short notice." 

vivos europa one

Vicino says they've gotten about 50,000 applications from people of all different skill sets. Most people they accept have a broad range of skills, whether they're a doctor who can also hunt or a pilot who also knows basic mechanic tasks. Anyone who makes a joke of it is immediately rejected.

"It's like an airplane," Vicino said. "We're going to make sure you're a good passenger before we take off." 

Vivos can help people protect themselves from any number of global disasters, from nuclear winter to famine to a tsunami that wipes out everyone who couldn't get underground. 

"Vivos is life assurance for those who can afford it," Vicino said. "We don't know when 'the accident' is going to happen. For those who haven't secured a solution yet, it's already too late." 

"It's expensive, but it's an investment in your life and in real estate. Think about it as an investment that they can pass down to their heirs." 

But you don't have to be a billionaire to be safe from the apocalypse. Vivos offers two other private bunker services — Quantum, made for families or small groups, and Trine, for groups between 150 and 500 people. 

vivos bunker

Vicino says they can build these shelters to the group's exact specifications, and they're able to withstand any disaster for a year or longer. He says they're ramping up construction of the shelters all over the place, but especially in Argentina and Canada. In the event of a global catastrophe, discretion will be key to protecting survivors, so Vivos doesn't disclose where they're building.

They don't even hire outside contractors out of fear the secret will get out. 

He added: "We're everywhere, but where we're not is where you expect us to be." 

SEE ALSO: Take a tour of the luxurious bunker where billionaires can escape the apocalypse

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7 surprising things about living in Singapore


Graham Family Singapore

Sharon and Gregg Graham moved their family from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to Singapore in 1998.

The family spent three years living in a two-floor penthouse apartment two blocks from Singapore's Central Business District with their three boys who were 8, 10, and 12 years old at the time.

They moved because Gregg was a project engineer for the new pharmaceutical processing plant that Merck Sharp & Dohme Pharmaceuticals was building in Singapore at the time.

Both Sharon and Gregg agree that the three years they spent with their family in Singapore were overwhelmingly positive, but there were some things that surprised them.

Here are seven things that surprised them about living in Singapore.

Everyone speaks English.

Even though Singapore seems like a world apart from Pennsylvania, both Sharon and Gregg agreed that adjusting to life in Singapore was far easier than they expected. They said that part of this comes from the fact that most people in the country speak English, and all the street signs are also in English, which made it easy to get around.

"They call Singapore 'Asia light' or 'Asia 101' because almost everyone speaks English and if they don't, they can find somebody super quick who will be able to speak English," Sharon explained.

"There was a lot of culture — but I would say very little of it was what they call culture shock. It was more of a cultural experience, and it was 98% good."

They felt extremely safe at all times — but almost never saw the police.

Gregg and Sharon were both surprised by how safe Singapore is. They said they were comfortable letting their children stay out late at night or take a taxi to school if they missed the bus. According to Sharon, this safeness comes from the fact that the country has severe penalties for any crimes committed.

Despite the intense safety, Gregg said the police are only present when they're most needed.

"You don't see the police typically until there's trouble," he said. "I witnessed that a couple times in the early mornings when I was biking to work or going for a run. It seemed like the police just came out of the woodwork. And they weren't always in police garb, very often they were unmarked and wearing civilian clothing."

Singapore is very diverse.

Thaipusam Festival

According to Singapore's Department of Statistics, 74% of the population is Chinese, 13% are Malay, 9% are Indian, and 3% are labeled as other. Sharon referred to the country as an intensified melting pot due to its small size, something she said was great since it allowed the family to meet people from all over.

Sharon and Gregg said it felt like there was a festival almost every day in the country, and the festivals often celebrated foreign cultures. One in particular that they remember is Thaipusam, a Hindu festival that involves participants piercing their bodies.

They noticed that Singapore's government makes a concentrated effort to make sure that all nationalities in the country are accepted and given a voice.

"For the most part everyone just gets along, and they do it because they feel like they're cared for and supported," Gregg said.

The heat and humidity was oppressive.

Although Gregg enjoyed Singapore's heat, Sharon referred to it as oppressive. The country experiences almost no change of seasons, and there's a lot of rain and humidity. Sharon said most days the temperature hits the 90s Fahrenheit; temperatures in the low 80s are considered "chilly days."

The country is extremely expensive.

Orchard Road, Singapore

Mercer's annual cost of living survey ranked Singapore the fourth-most expensive country for expats to live in in the world. It's also one of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP, which contributes to the exorbitant cost of living there.

When Gregg and Sharon lived there, they paid around S$9,600 per month for their two floor penthouse apartment near the Central Business District. Gregg said at the time, that was about US$6,000 per month. Besides higher housing costs, Gregg and Sharon said that gas, food, education, and alcohol were all much more expensive there than they were in the US.

However, Gregg's company provided him with a COLA — a cost of living adjustment — that was essentially a salary increase, which helped the family to be able to afford life in Singapore. They company looked at what the family was paying to live in Pennsylvania and basically paid the difference between that amount and the amount it cost to live in Singapore.

It's easy to travel to other destinations in Asia from Singapore.

Singapore is extremely small. The country measures 31 miles from east to west and 16 miles from north to south. Because of this, Gregg said it only takes about three to six months to fully get to know the country. However, since Singapore is strategically located near so many other Asian countries, traveling is easy and convenient.

"It is a fantastic jumping off point to get to Indonesia, to get to Malaysia, to Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, all those places," Gregg said.

The food is incredible.

Singapore Street Food Night Market

Sharon said that when their three sons are asked what they miss most about Singapore, food ranks high on the list.

She said that street food — commonly noodle dishes prepared with flavorful sauces and vegetables — was both delicious and cheap, and that there was an incredible variety in dining options.

"Every night can be an adventure," Sharon said. "Every night you can have something new and different and affordable, and it's tremendous."

Some of their favorite spots included the restaurants and shops along Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, both of which are riverwalks that sit along the Singapore River.

SEE ALSO: 5 years living in Switzerland convinced me that it's a great place to be an American expat

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The days of restaurant tipping are dying


The practice of leaving gratuities at restaurants is reaching a tipping point. On Tuesday, restaurateur Danny Meyer announced he would eliminate tipping at all 13 of his New York restaurants, starting with the Modern, his high-end dining room at the Museum of Modern Art.

Instead, diners will pay slightly higher prices for their meals. The policy change will allow Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group to pay back-of-house staff better wages, and create more opportunities for career growth, he said in an email to diners.

Meyer is not the first New York restaurateur to announce a change to tipping policy in recent months. Tom Colicchio will also drop the practice at Craft during lunch service.

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The owner of America's most famous brothel explains how he promotes a business that's illegal to advertise


moonlite bunny ranch dennis hof

Prostitution is legal in Nevada, but advertising the brothels that purvey prostitution is trickier.

It's a catch-22 that Dennis Hof, the outspoken owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, has had to negotiate since he bought the business in 1992.

"I didn't realize I was buying a business that couldn't advertise … It's part of the laws in Nevada. I had a business that I couldn't tell anyone about," Hof told Business Insider in a recent interview.

In Nevada, the legality of prostitution is determined on a county-by-county basis. Prostitution is illegal in Clark and Washoe counties, which include Reno and Las Vegas.

The ban on advertising stems from two 1979 laws that prohibit advertising brothels except in the counties in which they are legal, as the Associated Press reported. The ban effectively rules out ads on statewide newspapers, radio stations, and television.

In addition, brothels are not allowed to advertise in theaters, on public streets, or on highways.

Despite the ban, Hof hasn’t had any trouble attracting customers.

In the 30-plus years since Hof bought the Ranch, he has expanded from a small house with six rooms to seven facilities with 170 rooms, 540 prostitutes, and 150 additional employees, including bar and restaurant staff, as well as those who work on the hospitality and transportation side of things.

Most brothels in Nevada still run as small, single facilities, but the BunnyRanch has managed to grow despite the ban by using "crazy antics," according to Hof.

After buying the BunnyRanch in 1992, Hof decided to employ some of the unorthodox tactics of his friend, performance-artist Andy Kaufman, who was notorious for elaborate publicity stunts.

"We did just about any crazy stunt that we could do to get in the news," Hof said.

Among Hof's varied stunts:

  • Hiring John Bobbitt, who wasmomentarily famous in 1993 because his wife cut off his penis. Bobbitt worked as a bartender and handyman for Hof, until his celebrity became too much of a liability.
  • After former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura admitted to frequenting the ranch, Hof put a billboard in front advertising his patronage.
  • In 2003, Hof offered the first 50 veterans returning from Iraq a free sex session and a 50% discount on services for the following 50 days.
  • Announcing his support of Ron Paul's presidential campaign in 2008 and offering Paul supporters a "two-for-one special."
  • In 2008, the federal government gave out tax rebates as part of an economic stimulus plan to jump-start the economy. Hof announced that the first 100 customers to bring those checks to the ranch would receive double their value in services.

The stunts frequently resulted in interviews on radio and television and helped establish Hof as a go-to media figure for the brothel industry in Nevada.

moonlite bunny ranch dennis hof

"We're always looking for something to get us on 'Saturday Night Live' or on the late-night shows. I'm good at that," Hof said.

Hof has made a habit of co-opting current events for publicity. When Secret Service agents were caught soliciting prostitutes in Colombia in 2012, Hof publicly denounced the scandal on the grounds the agents didn't "buy American." Earlier this year, after Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for US president, Hof announced a "Hookers for Hillary" campaign. Each of the prostitutes at the BunnyRanch filmed YouTube spots explaining why they supported Hillary.

Hof relentlessly plugs the Moonlite BunnyRanch, its sister facilities, and the prostitution industry at large. According to Hof, he now does upward of 150 segments on radio shows every month, appears on five or six television shows, and is quoted and featured in tons of articles in print and on the web.

"Anytime a politician gets in trouble with sex … I'm the go-to guy. I'm always looking for an angle," Hof said.


In addition, Hof and the prostitutes at the Ranch work social media constantly, posting videos to YouTube, tweeting photos, and publishing salacious content on the brothel's website, BunnyRanch.com.

Perhaps Hof's biggest publicity coup was the development of "Cathouse," an HBO documentary centered around the workings of the Moonlite BunnyRanch. "Cathouse" was later expanded into a documentary series.

"The show has been good for business," Hof said. "When the recession happened in 2008, the brothel industry was off 50% to 75%. Our business didn't suffer a dime."

And Hof isn't done yet. Earlier this year, he released his memoir, "The Art of the Pimp," which goes into detail about his personal life, and includes a scathing evaluation from a psychiatrist and an essay on Hof from an ex-girlfriend.

He doesn't call himself the "P.T. Barnum" of the brothel industry for nothing.

SEE ALSO: 19 striking photos show what Nevada brothels are really like

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Why iPhone owners only sometimes see accept/decline buttons when receiving calls


iPhone owners: Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you receive a call you have an option to swipe to answer, while other times you're given "accept" and "decline" buttons?

We had seen both variations before but didn't know what would cause us to see one and not the other. We set out to find the answer.

First, I had my colleague Jillian, who has an iPhone, call me.

iphone screenshot


We wanted to see if it would make a difference if the person calling you was in your contacts, so I had another colleague, Steven, who also has an iPhone but isn't in my contacts, give me a ring.

iphone screenshot

Negative. Did it make a difference if someone with a non-iPhone was the caller? Our editor Matt checked.

iphone screenshot

Nope! We got the slider again.

At this point, we gave up and did what we should have just done from the beginning: turned to Google.

It turns out this is a pretty common question, and the answer is pretty simple: If your iPhone is locked when you receive a call, as mine was, you'll be shown a slider to answer the call, with no option to ignore it. If your phone is unlocked, you'll get the option to dismiss or accept the call.

iphone screenshot

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The 10 funniest Dilbert comic strips about idiot bosses



It should be comforting that no matter how much you hate your boss, they can't possibly be as bad as the Pointy-Haired Boss.

The idiot middle manager is central to the popular Dilbert comic series, which was the first syndicated comic that focused primarily on the workplace when it launched in 1989. The character embodies the time-wasting, circular-reasoning, and ignorant mentality of bad bosses that many workers are all too familiar with.

"If you've ever had a boss, this probably hits home for you," Dilbert creator Scott Adams tells Business Insider.

To celebrate National Boss Day on Oct. 16, Adams shared his 10 favorite Pointy-Haired Boss strips from the archives of Dilbert.com

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August 2001

July 2009

August 2009

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The best dessert in every state


Sugar Factory

A delicious dessert is the ultimate, cherry-on-top ending to any meal. And just as we pick our own go-to sweets, each state has iconic favorites as well. 

We decided to take a look at the best desserts from around the US, from rainbow-brite shave ice in Hawaii to maple-bacon donuts in Oregon to classic apple pie in Utah.

We scoured high and low for the ultimate treats in every state, using reviews, recommendations, and of course, our own sweet tooth. Did we miss your local favorite? Let us know in the comments.

This is an update of an article previously written by Alyson Penn and Sara Bower.

SEE ALSO: The best bakery in every state

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ALABAMA: Alabama is proud of its moon pies, and Felix's Fish Camp in Mobile takes the graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate-dipped dessert a step further, pairing it with ice cream in a Moon Pie Sundae.

Felix's Fish Camp

ALASKA: Alaska is famous for its plentiful, fresh berries. You can sample them with the Triple Berry Pie, filled with local raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, from A Pie Stop in Anchorage.

A Pie Stop

ARIZONA: Phoenix's Urban Cookies may have spectacular cookies, but the bakery gained fame for its award-winning cupcakes, which took home the crown on the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars."

Urban Cookies

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10 things every modern gentleman needs in his medicine cabinet


man in bathroom

The medicine cabinet is an often-overlooked aspect of a man's life.

But having everything you need (and a few luxuries) neatly organized in one place will help you develop a routine and keep your appearance on point.

Toothpaste and deodorant are givens. What we're recommending are the essentials you never knew you needed, upgrades to current staples, and those little extras for special occasions.

Keep scrolling to check them all out.

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Every man needs a good face wash in his cabinet.

The harsh surfactants in most bar soaps are not your friend.

Avoid tight, dried-out skin by reaching for a mild cleanser like Baxter's Daily Face Wash, which is fragrance-free, gentle, and effective. 

Pictured: Baxter of California Daily Face Wash ($17)

The pre-shave scrub is an important step.

True, you shouldn't scrub your face every day.

But a scrub before you take the razor to your whiskers can loosen up dirt and dead skin hiding in your beard and get your hairs ready for their cutting.

Pictured: Every Man Jack Face Scrub ($9.95)

Shaving cream is out. Shaving foam is in.

Barbasol works fine for plain old lubrication, but we've advanced beyond that.

A shaving foam is richer, denser, and overall a more pleasant product to put on your face. 

Pictured: Nivea Men Shaving Foam ($7 for a three-pack)

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The 25 best restaurants in the US, according to travelers


Per SeTripAdvisor recently released its list of the best restaurants in the US based on millions of reviews and ratings from travelers.

Of the top 25 restaurants, seven are in New York City, four are in California, and three are in Chicago.

From a steakhouse in Texas to upscale palaces of gastronomy in New York City, these 25 restaurants will turn dining into a meal you never forget.

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25. Rasika, Washington DC, District of Columbia

"I have been to Rasika several times, and I have never been disappointed. The service is fantastic, and just adds to the dining experience. The palak chaat is a must have. We had three for our table of seven! The Toffee and Date pudding was a perfect ending!"-TripAdvisor reviewer Ellie M

24. Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas, Nevada

"Robuchon was awarded the title of "Chef of the Century" and with dishes like truffled langoustine ravioli, caramelized black cod, king crab with caviar and Chateaubriand with foie gras will give you an idea why. The pampering service and the jewel-like mansion setting smother you in elegance and luxury." -TripAdvisor reviewer Rebekah H

23. The River Café, Brooklyn, New York

"Besides the beautiful garden and skyline, the staff at The River Cafe, really go out of their way to treat you special. If you want to celebrate a special event, this is the place to go. The portions are small but delicious and the chef treated us to an amuse-bouche and then we got chocolates in addition to our desserts!" -TripAdvisor  reviewer montymamma

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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FANTASY GIFTS: Neiman Marcus' annual holiday gift guide for the super rich has arrived


neiman marcus mustang

Neiman Marcus has released its 2015 Christmas Book, an annual collection of unique gifts from the storied department store. 

Included in its list is a "Fantasy Gifts" category reserved for the ultra-wealthy. These are one-of-a-kind products, travel packages, and experiences that will set you back thousands — and in some cases, even hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

A portion of the proceeds from purchases of Fantasy Gifts will go to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which funds art programs in communities across the US. 

We've rounded up some of the most insane gifts Neiman Marcus is suggesting this year, from a 12-day trip to India to a California motorcycle trip with Keanu Reeves.

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The KRGT-1 is the first bike made by Arch Motorcycle, the company founded by Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger in 2014. The limited-edition performance bike comes with a 124-cubic-inch twin engine, special racing-inspired trim, and performance suspension.

The Neiman Marcus package comes with a two-day ride down the California coast, hotel and airfare included. Joining you will be Reeves and Hollinger themselves. 

Price: $150,000


The buyers of this gift will get a trip for six people to the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky. The goal of the Orphan Barrel Project is to unearth previously undiscovered bottles of bourbon and release them to the public. 

The package includes a tour of the distillery, a bourbon barrel hunt and tasting, plus 24 bottles of eight different kinds of Orphan Barrel bourbons. You'll also get a hand-crafted whiskey cabinet and a leather-bound book that describes your collection.

Price: $125,000


Space enthusiasts will love this twofold gift. In 2016, the buyer will get to go behind the scenes of a test flight with World Views, a company that is planning balloon rides to nearspace, more than 100,000 feet above the Earth's surface. You'll get a three-night stay at the Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona, and a tour of World View's facilities with CEO Jane Poyter.

In 2017, you'll get to take a ride in the luxury pressurized balloon, hundreds of thousands of feet off the ground. 

Price: $90,000

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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