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This Portable Gel Fireplace Can Warm Up Any Room


This is the Holly & Martin Hudson Portable Indoor/Outdoor Gel Fireplace.

Why We Love It: Nothing says winter like cuddling with loved ones by a fireplace, but the real deal can be a hassle. This unobtrusive glass fireplace houses three cans of FireGlo gel fuel with an output of 3,000 BTU, and includes a snuffer cover for a no-heat option.

The two tempered glass, cool-touch panels and brushed nickel base add a modern aesthetic to this fireplace that is portable both indoors or out. It measures 32'' wide, 9.25'' deep, and 24'' high.

Portable Fireplace Martin Hudson


Portable Fireplace Holly and Martin

Where To Buy: Available through Amazon.

Cost: $249.99.

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 World's Largest Scrabble Game Is Over Seven Feet Tall

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5 Major Trends We Saw In China's Luxury Market This Year


China's luxury market

2012 was, to say the least, a roller-coaster year in the Chinese luxury and art markets, following several years of sustained double-digit growth and seemingly unlimited demand among the country’s newly wealthy.

Yet despite developments like the government-led crackdown on conspicuous consumption by officials — a development largely led by online scandals— as well as a shakeout in the Chinese e-commerce market, more luxury purchases being made overseas, and more discerning auction buying by new Chinese art and wine collectors, 2012 was less a break from in 2011 and more an intensification of its macro-level trends.

However, this doesn’t mean 2012 was simply a natural continuation of 2011. Despite strong marketing pushes and more brick-and-mortar expansion into China this year, many brands saw more restrained buying among mainland Chinese consumers than in years past, indicating that economic fluctuations and slower economic growth in China could indeed be crimping demand.

At the same time, more scrutiny on government officials’ buying and gift-giving habits hit some brands harder than others, with several watchmakers and winemakers in particular seeing a dip in sales in the second half of the year.

Still, despite a somewhat tougher year, most luxury brands remain optimistic about China, and for good reason. As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, Prada sales in China leapt 33 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, with the brand also attributing a 54 percent year-on-year increase in its Europe sales to Chinese tourists.

Even at the end of this summer, as some brands showed a steep decline in sales, others such as Hermès and L’Oreal, and luxury groups LVMH Moët Hennessy and PPR, boasted double-digit growth that defied observer fears of a sharp China drop-off. Recently, the Boston Consulting Group asserted that China will have surpassed the United States as the second-largest personal luxury market by 2015, accounting for $87 billion, 23 percent of the global market, and become the largest personal luxury market by 2020. Others, such as Bain, hold that China has already become the world’s largest luxury market.

In China’s art market, which overtook the United States to become the world’s largest art and antiques market in terms of auction and dealer sales in 2011, according to The European Fine Art Foundation, 2012 was also a more complex year for major auction houses. However, a hopeful sign for international players like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, and increasingly global Chinese houses like China Guardian and Beijing Poly, is that Chinese collectors have not lost their appetite for high-priced, top-tier art and antiques.

While demand for blue-chip Western art remains highly niche in auction hubs like Hong Kong, mainland Chinese collectors have continued to home in on well-known traditional Chinese ink painters, modernist “brand-names,” and blue-chip contemporary Chinese artists even as bidding and buying has become more selective.

As in 2011, much of the action in the Greater China art world was seen in Hong Kong, where Sotheby’s opened a large new multi-use space this past April and China Guardian raised an impressive HK$354 million (US$45.7 million) in its inaugural sale in the city this fall. Though Beijing announced plans to build a freeport designed to make the Chinese capital a regional arts powerhouse, at the moment Hong Kong remains the auction epicenter of Asia, and we expect this will remain unchanged in 2013.

From our perspective, the complexities of the China luxury and art markets in 2012, and what they mean for 2013, can be partly illustrated by these five trends:

1. Conspicuous Consumption May Be Down Now, But Look For an Uptick In 2013

A much-publicized crackdown by the central government in Beijing, and recent announcements forbidding lavish ceremonies and celebrations may be spooking China’s top baijiu makers and major luxury brands that now rely on China sales, but we don’t expect austerity to become the name of the game among China’s wealthy next year.

While the recent anti-corruption drive could dent luxury segments most often used for gift-giving purposes, one thing to keep in mind is that China is large, diverse, populous, and has a massive rising middle class that wants (often very conspicuous) high-end brands. In the year ahead, look for the inland middle-class, second-tier entrepreneurs, the stereotypical “coal bosses” and other emerging luxury buyers within China to remain conspicuous in their consumption. Also, don’t expect powerful, wealthy demographics in power centers like Beijing to stop buying luxury goods in 2013 after years of doing so. They’ll just change their behavior in other ways.

2. Top-Tier Consumers Going Obscure Amid Greater Scrutiny

Though newly wealthy shoppers in second-, third- and fourth-tier cities may just be buying their first Louis Vuitton wallet in 2013, greater scrutiny among co-workers or superiors will continue to drive China’s top-tier consumers towards boutique or obscure luxury brands. We expect this to be particularly true in the luxury watch and handbag markets. Signs are there, not just in China but around the world, that China’s more savvy shoppers are going niche in rising numbers. Though the vast majority of outbound Chinese tourist-shoppers — whether seen in Tsim Sha Tsui or the Champs-Élysées — continue to line up outside Chanel, Gucci or Louis Vuitton, less obvious (yet still famous) watchmakers like Breguet, heritage American shoemakers like Allen Edmonds, and top suitmakers on Savile Row are all welcoming more Chinese customers.

3. The Promise of Luxury E-Commerce Still Largely Unrealized

If China’s luxury market as a whole became more complicated this year, its nascent luxury e-commerce market became even more so. Following a raft of investment and new entrants to the nebulous market in 2011, competition became far greater over the course of a turbulent 2012, with American and European heavyweights such as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Net-A-Porter hitting the market with full-price, O2O models for China and teaming up with Chinese luxury sites including VIPStore’s Omei, Glamour Sales, and Shouke. At the same time, individual brands like Coach, Zara, and J. Crew (in partnership with Lane Crawford) expanded into the China e-commerce market.

To compete, Chinese e-tailers spent the better part of the year prioritizing exclusive brand partnerships, with Shangpin collaborating with the likes of Sergio Rossi, M Missoni, Diane Von Furstenberg and Stuart Weitzman as well as more niche American labels like Cynthia Rowley, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Charlie Jade, Tracy Reese and label Milly. Chinese consumers themselves are also far more discriminating and demanding of perks — whether that means free shipping, liberal return policies, or hard-to-get exclusives— and they know they can get them.

Despite all this, it remains to be seen how long it will take for China’s luxury e-commerce market to truly hit its stride, and for leaders to consolidate their position. In 2013, we expect to see quite a few casualties, particularly among domestic Chinese e-tailers, and expect full-price O2O models to show the greatest potential, particularly in top-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Inland, discounts will remain a top priority for middle-class consumers, and as such the “Wild West” atmosphere of the Chinese luxury e-tail market will likely stay intact.

4. Japanese Auto Brands Slump, German Brands Dominate, But UK & US Brands Catching Up

The complexity of the Chinese auto market in 2012 is difficult to summarize, with Japanese brands taking a nose-dive following the flare-up of a long-simmering territorial spat with China, German automakers seeing muted rises in sales compared to the last several years, Jaguar Land Rover having one of its best years ever in China, and US brands like Cadillac catching on with a younger luxury consumer class via savvy use of social media. Though we expect German brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz to continue to rule the high-end of the market in 2013, greater competition from their American and British counterparts, and the aforementioned greater scrutiny regarding government luxury purchases, could make the year ahead more difficult for perennial leaders like Audi in particular.

5. Chinese Wine Demand Making Some Burgundy Lovers See Red

China’s wine market also showed signs of continued maturation in 2013, as well as signs of overcapacity due to a glut of (not always professional) importers. This was particularly apparent at the high-end of the market, which is as dominated by French winemakers as China’s auto market is by German carmakers. While cashed-up wine newbies continued to home in on Bordeaux, the more educated buyer diversified his or her portfolio this year by investing even more in Burgundy, a development that hasn’t pleased everybody. In the wake of the Bordeaux boom and (muted) bust of 2010-2011, which saw prices for the likes of Château Lafite hit new highs owing to skyrocketing Chinese demand, some producers in Burgundy worry that too great an emphasis on the China market could ultimately hurt their prospects in traditional markets. (And hurt them as well if Chinese interest wanes and prices drop.) As Burgundy specialist Laurent Gotti recently told Le Parisien, ‘‘After having made the market price of certain Bordeaux explode in an irrational manner, [Chinese buyers are] now logically interested in Burgundy and its niche wines…They want everything that is the most expensive and are prepared to fork out incredible sums.”

Additionally, staking only three percent of total French wine production and experiencing lower harvest volumes in recent years, Burgundy — never a cheap wine — may grow even more pricey, a problem for bargain hunters. Thus, Burgundy wine may be facing opposite symptoms compared to cheese, as overwhelming Chinese investments are giving Burgundy drinkers everywhere a reason to fear a surge of speculative interest in the region and its wines. Burgundy’s notoriously conservative wine-growers have also been alarmed by the growing interest in buying Burgundy real estate among Chinese investors. This summer, outbidding a group of local vintners, Louis Ng, the 60-year-old Hong Kong COO of gambling tycoon Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings, purchased Château de Gevrey-Chambertin from the Miteran family in Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits for a reported US$10 million, stirring a vicious backlash against foreign investments by some residents in Burgundy as well as greater France.

This post originally appeared at Jing Daily.

MORE FROM JING DAILY: China's Largest Private Art Museum Opens In Shanghai

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A Quick Guide To This Year's Best Champagnes


Moët & Chandon champagne bottles

Champagne is one of France’s great bastions of wine tradition—change is no joking matter there—and pretty much everybody likes the final product it offers.

So when there is something new going on in that storied region, attention must be paid.

Jump ahead to see the bubbly beverages >

What is happening lately is that the greatest brands in bubbly are giving ever more attention to “recently disgorged” vintage Champagnes, which are generally among their most sought-after and expensive wines. Trying a couple of these rare bottles on New Year’s Eve is likely to make for a memorable tasting experience.

Veuve Clicquot, a name familiar to all because of its omnipresent non-vintage, yellow-label wine, has recently gotten into the game. Although it has made regular vintage-designated Champagnes for years—as with other brands, this is something not done every year but only in the best vintages—its new Cave Privée line marks the first time it has released a recently disgorged vintage. A 1990 brut and a 1989 brut rosé are available now.

The line is not intended for everyone. “Cave Privée is dedicated to the connoisseur and the sommelier,” says Dominique Demarville, Veuve Clicquot’s cellar master and one of the people who decides how the Champagne is made.

“Disgorged” is a strange-sounding word that describes one of the later stages in the Champagne-making process: The second, in-bottle fermentation that gives Champagne its bubbles is created by the addition of yeast and sugar. The yeast remnants gather at the bottom of the bottle, so once the wine is deemed ready to be bottled and corked, they must be expelled (otherwise you would be drinking chunky bubbly). That removal is called disgorging.

But those yeast remnants, called lees, are one of the contributing factors to a Champagne’s character, so the length of time they are left in a wine affects its taste. If you have two bottles of a 1990, one disgorged and bottled in 1995 and the other in 2010, they will taste very different from each other.

Lily Bollinger, of Champagne Bollinger, invented the category of recently disgorged wines in the 1950s, and the brand’s special cuvée of this type still bears the letters “RD.” Madame Bollinger’s idea, and the thinking behind the more recent examples, is that recently disgorged wines are both old and young at the same time.

“Like all old Champagne, there is a lot of complexity and richness,” says Demarville, referring particularly to a toasty, yeasty, bread-like quality that the lees impart over time. “But the recent disgorging gives a lot of freshness to the wine.”

The wine world is full of surprises, however, and the results of any change to the Champagne-making process are hard to predict. “It’s the last mystery left in Champagne, the whole question of disgorging dates,” says Serena Sutcliffe, author of a book on Champagne and head of Sotheby’s worldwide wine department. “It doesn’t always taste younger. There’s a lot more comparative tasting to be done.”

Sutcliffe believes that very cold storage temperatures (around 40 degrees) are actually the key to keeping Champagne vibrant, regardless of when it was bottled, and her advice is a good reminder for anyone who intends to collect this category.

But she certainly acknowledges the trend. “More people are doing this recent disgorging, looking through their cellars for older vintages,” she says. “Some of it is a marketing element—it gives you another line.”

Some houses have started listing the disgorgement dates on all their bottles, even non-vintage ones, in an effort to be more transparent about the traditionally secretive process of making Champagne. What follows are tasting notes of some of the top wines in this category.

The definition of “recent” is different for each, and not all of them have the disgorgement date listed on the label. But those details are ultimately secondary. Taste matters most, and these bubblies deliver.

See This Year's Best Champagnes >

More from Departures:

A Las Vegas New Year's Eve At Twist >

Malibu Wines Come Into Their Own >

Rosé Wine Renaissance >

Gift Of The Day: Ruinart Rosé Champagne >

Krug Collection 1989

Krug is known for its rich, unmistakably deep, yeasty taste, and this dark golden wine is in line with its robust forebears. Baked, spiced fruit is the dominant flavor, along with fresh cherry.

The bubbles are sedate, but this is by no means a sedate wine. It perfumes the room when you pour it. $549

Bollinger R.D. 1997

Stately and getting mature, this is a winning wine from the house that invented the R.D. (recently disgorged) category.

Apple, stone fruit and a hearty toast character, plus a solid frame of acidity, make it a strong match with foods such as roasted fowl.

Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires 1995

From its first fresh impact on the palate to its length and concentration, this is a wine of symmetrical beauty.

Focused citrus notes persist throughout, and it expertly balances acidity and sweetness. Great yellow-gold color, too. $185

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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15 Ways People Celebrate New Year's Eve Around The World


fireworks, July 4th

Happy New Year's Eve! Many of you will celebrate with champagne, dancing, and kissing your loved ones when the clock strikes midnight, but what about the rest of the world?

January 1st may be the de facto beginning of the New Year in the Western hemisphere thanks to the Gregorian calendar, but some cultures believe the New Year takes place at a different time altogether.

The Chinese New Year is in late January or early February, Rosh Hashanah the Jewish New Year is in autumn, and some cultures follow the Julian lunar calendar and celebrate in mid-January.

How people start off a brand new year varies regionally from country to country — though most do tend to have the standard fireworks display.

In Spain, they eat 12 grapes for luck.

Spaniards eat a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the midnight countdown while making a wish. The tradition dates back to 1895 when some savvy vine farmers realized they had a surplus of grapes and started the tradition to get more customers.

Many then celebrate with a late-night family dinner before heading out to Spanish nightclubs after midnight until 6 AM.

In Belgium, children write New Year's letters to their parents.

In Belgium, New Year's Eve is called Sint Sylvester VooranvondBesides toasting with the customary champagne, Belgian children write New Year's letters to their parents or godparents on New Year's day.

They decorate the cards with fancy paper complete with cherubs, angels, and colored roses and then read them aloud.

In the Czech Republic, fireworks displays last all day long.

In Prague, huge fireworks displays begin before noon on the 31st and steadily increase until midnight in honor of the New Year.

Much like in the US, people congregate to celebrate the New Year in parties, pubs, clubs, and city squares to drink and celebrate across the country.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Deutsche Bank Exec Now Selling His Southampton Mansion For A Discounted $25.8 Million


385 Great Plains Road

After letting it languish on the market for four years, Kevin E. Parker, global head of Deutsche Asset Management (who stepped down from the bank's executive committee in May), has chopped the price on his Southampton estate from $30 million to $25.8 million, according to Curbed Hamptons.

It seems that Parker is really fed up, since he has also switched real estate agencies from Corcoran to Sotheby's International Realty.

The house has 10 bedrooms and sits on over three acres of prime Hamptons property. The 13,000-square-foot mansion also includes eight full bathrooms, a gym, a wine cellar, an all-weather tennis court, and both main and service driveways.

An aerial view of 385 Great Plains Road from above, including the tennis court, salt water pool, and manicured lawn.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

A view of the staggering main entrance and gravel driveway.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

The service entrance has its own separate driveway in the back of the house.

Source: Sotheby's International Realty

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The 10 Most Outrageous Items People Bought In December


mick jagger old photo

2012 wrapped up with several auction records, from a drawing by Raphael that sold for nearly $50 million to a very expensive antique clock.

There were also sky-high prices for movie props and a batch of love letters written by a rock star.

Let's take a look back at the most outrageous purchases people made in the month of December.

A drawing by Raphael sold for $47.9 million

An auction record for the Renaissance-era artist

A rare drawing by Raphael sold for $47.9 million at a Sotheby's auction in early December. The final sale price marked an auction record for the artist and doubled pre-sale expectations, according to Today Entertainment.

The work, called "Head of an Apostle," was from the collection at Chatsworth, the ancestral home of the 12th Duke of Devonshire. It was purchased by an anonymous collector.

James Bond's gun from "From Russia With Love" sold for $196,000

Expensive James Bond memorabilia

The Walther air gun used in promotional photos for the 1963 film "From Russia With Love" sold in December at a Sotheby's auction in London for $196,000, according to Paul Frasier Collectibles.

The air pistol had belonged to photographer David Hurn and was used as a last-minute replacement after the photographer realized that no one remembered to bring Bond's smaller Walther PPK to the shoot, according to PFC.

The buyer remained unnamed.

An ornate Breguet Sympathique clock sold for $6.8 million

The most expensive clock ever sold at auction

The Duc d’Orléans Breguet Sympathique clock sold for a record price at a Sotheby's auction this month, well above its presale estimate of $5 million.

It's not the first time the clock broke an auction record; it also held the previous record with a price of $5.77 million, which it achieved at a 1999 Sotheby's sale, according to Watchalyzer.

The tortoise-shell clock dates from 1835.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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18 Reasons Why Wall Street Loves Bridge


Bridge photoshopped

Poker's rise to prominence in the world of finance has pushed bridge, its more mature predecessor, from the limelight.

There's a reason, however, why the best bridge players in the country are almost all investors. Business Insider deputy editor and bridge enthusiast Gus Lubin notes: "Bridge is a complex card game that fits the analytic side of finance, as poker appeals to instincts."

A bridge devotee, Warren Buffett has famously declared, "I wouldn't mind going to jail if I had three cellmates who played bridge." But passion for the game has gotten some on Wall Street in trouble. As recounted in Michael Lewis' House of Cards, Jimmy Cayne played a tournament of bridge while Bear Sterns imploded, an example of antipathy at the executive level that is often compared to Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned.

Though an intense mental activity, bridge also offers an opportunity to unwind for high-octane individuals. A 1955 issue of Sports Illustratedreferences Eisenhower's love for the game which was his "only effective form of relaxation...The most relaxing thing he could do was to play a game in which the problems were tough, the solutions difficult, but the consequences of error were just a few hundred harmless points written down on a scorepad."

There's no doubt why investors still flock to this challenging test of teamwork, memory, and wits. Bridge can help your intelligence, your health, and your career — and it's fun.

It's a game for 'insiders' that often confounds beginners

Due to the sheer number of rules and complexity involved with bidding, which precedes a hand of bridge, it can be a very difficult game to pick up. The challenge of mastering bridge is a compelling end in and of itself for those with competitive spirits and analytical minds.

Bridge is a workout for your brain

There's no doubt that Wall Streeters enjoy the mental stimulation that accompanies a game of bridge. Warren Buffett once said that bridge has "got to be the best intellectual exercise out there."

Source: Forbes

Opportunities for networking are everywhere

As the following quote shows, you never know who you might meet at a game of bridge:

"One of the reasons I'm here is because of the camaraderie," said a loud and gregarious Philip Krone, a political and urban consultant in Chicago. "What other place are you going to get to play with the chairman of a Fortune 500 company, the counsel general of a major European power, or even a businessman from Shanghai on his way through?"

Source: Chicago Tribune

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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WELCOME TO 2013! These Are The 25 Most Hungover Cities In America


hangover hungover drunk sleeping

Happy 2013! It's a brand new year, but for some of us it might be a bit of a rough start. Between the champagne toasts and parties lasting until the wee hours of the morning, a hangover the day after New Year's Eve is pretty standard.

To see which cities have it the worst, we looked at the Center for Disease Control's most recent statistics on binge drinking and Trulia's list of cities with the most bars per capita. We then gave each city a Business Insider Hangover Score based on those two numbers.

The Midwest represented well on the list, proving that when its dark and cold outside, people love to drink. Also making the cut were major destinations such as Boston, Chicago, and New Orleans.

#25 Denver, CO

Business Insider Hangover Score: 24.7

4 bars per 10,000 households

16.8% admitted to binge drinking

The CDC defines binge drinking as having five or more drinks in one sitting for men, and four or more drinks in one sitting for women. The most recent data available was from 2010.

Trulia's figure is derived from the number of bars as reported in the census' County Business Patterns section, divided by the number of households in that metro area.

Source: CDC and Trulia

#24 Portland, OR

Business Insider Hangover Score: 25

5.2 bars per 10,000 households

14.7% admitted to binge drinking

The CDC defines binge drinking as having five or more drinks in one sitting for men, and four or more drinks in one sitting for women. The most recent data available was from 2010.

Trulia's figure is derived from the number of bars as reported in the census' County Business Patterns section, divided by the number of households in that metro area.

Source: CDC and Trulia

#23 El Paso, TX

Business Insider Hangover Score: 25.5

5.6 bars per 10,000 households

14.3% admitted to binge drinking

The CDC defines binge drinking as having five or more drinks in one sitting for men, and four or more drinks in one sitting for women. The most recent data available was from 2010.

Trulia's figure is derived from the number of bars as reported in the census' County Business Patterns section, divided by the number of households in that metro area.

Source: CDC and Trulia

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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A Deep Fryer That Minimizes Odors As It Cooks


This is the Krups High Performance Deep Fryer from Williams-Sonoma.

Why We Love It: Chances are you woke up today with a hangover. And wouldn't it be nice if instead of needing to leave the house to eat the fried food you're craving, you could simply make it yourself?

The Krups Deep Fryer has a patented technology that flows air through a carbon filter to minimize frying odors, and can cook over two pounds of food at a time, from doughnuts to french fries. The 30-minute dual timer, LED cooking oil light, and cool-touch tempered-glass lid will help you gauge when food is done, and comes apart easily for cleaning, too. 

Krups Deep Fryer

Where To Buy: Available through Williams-Sonoma.

Cost: $299.95.

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: The MoMA Sky Umbrella Brightens Any Rainy Day

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The 24 Worst Celebrity Air Rage Incidents


Alec Baldwin

Celebrities are just like the rest of us, even when they travel, right?

After all, nobody likes the hassles of the airport: taking off your shoes, figuring out the latest baggage rules, or shooing away the paparazzi when you’re just trying to buy a magazine or some M&Ms before your flight.

Okay, so perhaps celebrities have it worse — in some ways — when negotiating their way through air travel.

On the other hand, famous folks also have a colorful track record of freaking out both in airports and while cruising at 30,000 feet.

See the shocking incidents >

Countless news reports detail some celebrity air rage incidents that many of us can relate to: Naomi Campbell went ballistic when her luggage got lost. And Clay Aiken got into a “dispute” with a fellow traveler when his in-flight nap invaded her personal space.

Other incidents get a little more extreme. Actor Alec Baldwin infamously lost his patience — slamming the bathroom door, pounding on the wall, cursing — when asked to quit playing Words With Friends on his phone. Icelandic singer Björk lashed out at a reporter in a Thai airport just for welcoming her to the country. And a near riot took place at London’s Heathrow after Snoop Dogg and some of his entourage were asked to leave a business-class lounge — and almost took down a duty-free shop with them.

The term “air rage” can be applied to anything from smoking onboard a plane to assaulting the flight crew. Andrew Thomas, a professor of international business at University of Akron, founder of Air Rage.org, and author of the book Air Rage: Crisis in the Skies, says that famous people have a higher likelihood of air rage, in large part because they tend to sit closer to the cockpit.

“There is an entitlement factor that goes with folks in the front of the plane, and I would extend that to celebrities as well,” he says. “There is a disproportionate number of air rage incidents that take place in business class — people who are not always used to the answer ‘no.’ ”

The FAA and Department of Homeland Security both monitor air rage incidents on U.S. flights, but they don’t strictly track it on all levels. Security breaches, meanwhile, are reported to the Department of Homeland Security. Technically, the FBI has jurisdiction over airspace, which is why anyone who breaks the rules by “interfering with the flight crew” will often be met by an FBI agent, rather than airport or local police, for questioning upon landing.

An Air Transport Association spokesman says that the airline industry group doesn’t track air rage at all, but that, “anecdotally, the number of unruly incidents, relative to the total number of travelers, is minuscule. Flight attendants do an excellent and commendable job at diffusing the potential for rage onboard.”

Interestingly enough, a striking number of celebrity air rage incidents involve London’s Heathrow Airport. Thomas speculates that the Heathrow problem stems from the fact that it’s the most-traveled international hub — and, perhaps, because of its easy access to the main trigger of in-flight rage: booze. “They really push the duty-free stuff at Heathrow,” he says, “so a lot of people buy their own stuff and carry it on the plane.”

But, for PR reasons, airlines don’t report the vast majority of incidents, unless there’s an extreme case requiring legal action. “The airlines’ unstated policy,” Thomas says, “is to get this passenger the hell out of here — and then let it go.”

Now see the celebrity in-flight incidents >

More From Travel + Leisure:

Susan Boyle

British singing sensation Susan Boyle startled passengers in a VIP lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport with erratic behavior, shouting curse words and singing into a mop.

One witness told the Sun: “She was singing and dancing around, shouting obscenities at full volume.” However, another onlooker told IrishCentral.com that the story was blown out of context. According to that witness, someone asked Boyle to sing and she complied.

But when an irritated flier made a snide comment, she grabbed hold of the mop saying she could sing if she wanted and added, “Oh, excuse me, sir, let me shine your shoes” and used the mop to shine his shoes.

Consequences: A British Airways official stayed with Boyle in a corridor until she boarded the Chicago-bound flight (Boyle was to appear on Oprah in January 2010). British Airways later released a statement: “A customer in the BA lounge on Tuesday was asked to temper their behavior as it was becoming disruptive.”

Billie Joe Armstrong

In September 2011, just before takeoff from San Francisco International Airport, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant asked the Green Day lead singer to pull up his low-sagging pants. According to reports, Armstrong replied: “Don’t you have better things to do than worry about that?” After repeated requests, he became very angry. The flight attendant said, “Pull your pants up or you’re getting off the plane.”

Consequences: Armstrong and his traveling companion were thrown off the Burbank-bound flight. He then Tweeted, “Just got kicked off a southwest flight because my pants sagged too low!” The airline apologized and put him on the next flight out.

Wes Scantlin

“When a grown man cannot purchase a beer on a five-hour flight from Boston to LA, then the airlines are completely losing their minds,” Puddle of Mud lead singer Wes Scantlin told TMZ.

He insisted that he was completely sober and had only wanted to purchase a beer after a two-hour nap on a JetBlue flight he took in September 2012. Officials, however, claim that the rocker was so drunkenly combative and argumentative that his unruly behavior created a public disturbance. When he was denied the drink, Scantlin and a flight attendant got into a verbal altercation and caused the plane to make an emergency landing in Austin, TX.

Consequences: Scantlin was booted off the flight, arrested, and charged with public intoxication. The other passengers each received a letter of apology and a $50 voucher for being grounded for more than an hour in Austin. However, the judge since dropped the charges due to insufficient evidence.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How To Keep The Most Common New Year's Resolutions


new year

Each New Year brings the feeling of a clean slate and the chance to start over. For many, that means setting goals for self-improvement — and then promptly breaking those resolutions halfway through February.

Maintaining a new routine or promise to yourself takes effort — not only do you have to be ready for the change, you also need the willpower to avoid falling back into old habits.

But more than anything, it takes strategy. Which is why we made a list of the 10 most common New Year's resolutions, along with a bunch of helpful tips to help you stay the course.

Lose weight/get in shape

One of the most common New Year's resolutions for Americans is to hit the gym harder. And even though Bloomberg estimated last year that it would cost as much as $7,979 a year to get in shape, it doesn't have to be that expensive.

There are a ton of iPhone apps that keep track of calories plus budget-friendly weight loss tips to help you reach your goal. Just make sure to get lots of sleep — sleep-deprived people lose 60% less weight when they diet.

Get a (new) job

First, ask yourself key questions about what kind of worker you are before getting your resume in order and starting to network with all the people in your industry. Knowing what tasks you're good at and what your major skills are will help you sift through available jobs.

Not tied down? Consider moving to one of the 14 best cities for finding a job, or away from the 10 worst cities for finding a job

Talk to your mom more

Keeping in touch with people — whether its your mom or your business contacts— is about making priorities for yourself. If you put 20 minutes aside for a phone call or to write an email, chances are you're more likely to do it.

There are a ton of reminder apps to help you schedule your day. Or if you have terrible service, consider switching to a new carrier to get the most out of your phone calls.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Chinese Pirates Are Building A Knock-Off Version Of Zaha Hadid's New Beijing Complex


Wanjian SOHO Hadid

Zaha Hadid's wild architecture became extremely popular in China two years ago after she designed the Guangzhou Opera House in the Guangdong Province.

Now her newest building in Beijing, one of 11 being built across the country, is so popular that pirate architects on the Island of Chongqing are copying it — and the counterfeit structure may be completed before Hadid's original, according to a report in Der Spiegel.

Click here to compare the designs >>

Hadid's Beijing project is known as Wangjing Soho, and consists of three asymmetrical round towers made to look like the sails of a ship against the sky.

But now the star architect is reportedly being forced to race against the Chongqing copycats in an effort to complete her original design first. She is at a few disadvantages: first, Hadid's design calls for three towers, whereas the copycat version will only have two, built in a similar round, asymmetrical style. 

Moreover, Hadid has an award-winning reputation to uphold in maintaining the quality and integrity of her sweeping designs, whereas the pirates in Chongqing have no other view than to replicate her architecture. 

So although the London-based architect's original building was set for completion in 2014, it seems both structures will be racing to be the first erected this year, according to Der Spiegel.

Zhang Xin, the billionaire property developer commissioned by Hadid to design the complex, has issued an appeal to stop the counterfeit building, according to Der Spiegel, but to little avail. Even though Wangjing Soho would have a good chance of winning a copyright infringement case, Zhang points out the court would not require the building to be torn down, but merely made to pay a compensation fee — a punishment he believes is not enough.

Zaha Hadid is more sympathetic, saying that if future copycat designs of her work add new architectural elements, "that could be quite exciting."

The concept design of Hadid's Wangjing Soho.

The copycat design, as seen on a Chinese real estate website.

An aerial view of Hadid's design.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How Having A $347,000 Bentley Changes Your Life


2013 bentley mulsanne

I recently spent the better part of a week driving a brand new 2013 Bentley Mulsanne, and was really impressed by the sheer beauty and solid performance of the $347,000 vehicle.

But what really stood out was how my life changed once I got behind the wheel. Over those five days, I met new people, was invited to parties, and was given a lot more respect than usual on the streets of New York.

The afternoon I picked up the Mulsanne, I asked around our staff to see who would like a ride, thinking that it would be good to get others' thoughts on the car. My e-mail got no written responses. Instead, people just shouted and hurried over to my desk. Some of them, I had never met before.

After our staff drive, I took the car to see my parents in Westchester, and got much the same reaction. Word of the Bentley spread quickly among extended family members, and I got an unexpected invitation to brunch. Unsurprisingly, that meal was followed by another group drive.

Most of the people I deal with on a regular basis cannot afford a Bentley, and are not car junkies. But they all understood the allure of the Mulsanne.

I got more attention from total strangers, too, especially in the form of envious looks from pedestrians (matched only by my time my time with the 1966 Mustang).

On several occasions, other drivers let me pass when they clearly had the right of way. When I put the Mulsanne in a parking garage, the attendant gave it the spot nearest the exit (though he was surely as afraid of scratching it as I was, so likely did not want to go too far).

The Mulsanne is, of course, an extremely well made car. It is surprisingly quick and handles very well for its size and weight. It is incredibly comfortable and loaded with great features, including massage seats and leather and wood interior.

But those qualities, which can be found in plenty of cars, do not justify the $300,000 price tag. That's where the quality of life comes in: Owning a Mulsanne is a sign that you are successful (financially, at least). Bentleys cost so much money because they are Bentleys, and everyone knows it.

SEE ALSO: TEST DRIVE: Here's Why The 2013 Bentley Mulsanne Is Worth $347,000

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A Beer Expert Thought He'd Seen It All Until He Witnessed The Rare Beer Black Market In Action


blind tiger nyc bar

There's a black market for craft beer.

Brewers have taken things to the next level, spending the time and effort to increase the complexity and scarcity of their beers, catering to the crowd of rabid consumers that spends hours on beer-rating websites like RateBeer.com.

Christian DeBenedetti, editor-in-chief of The Weekly Pint, has covered the craft beer industry since the '90s and he wrote in a story at Slate that he thought he'd seen it all.

That is, until he saw the beer black market in action.

He explained:

At New York’s Blind Tiger bar one late afternoon last March, a slight, unsmiling young man in a dark windbreaker ordered several pints of beer from the bar, transferred them one by one to a canteen, then slipped away.

“He’s going straight home to resell that on eBay,” muttered a patron standing nearby.

The perishable beer in question was brewed by Shaun Hill at Hill Farmstead brewery in Vermont, which is currently rated the sixth best brewery in the world by the users of RateBeer.

It's illegal to sell alcohol for consumption unless you have a license, but there's plenty of the shady practice happening on eBay. DeBenedetti wrote that the number of successful auctions closed is in the thousands. Sellers ignore U.S. laws and eBay's rules.

And prices for some of these beers are spectacularly high. Here's a single 12-ounce bottle of unopened Midnight Sun M that sold for $1,310 on eBay.

The description of the item reads: "The bottle is a factory-sealed unused bottle and the content of the bottles are incidental." Below, a disclaimer notes that "any incidental contents are not intended for consumption."

SEE ALSO: 11 Craft Beer Companies That Went From Little To Big-Time >

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The Underground Film Trend That's Changing The Way People Watch Movies


movie goers audience secret cinema

Under the menacing eye of guards, the cinema-goers sit in silence as their 1950s bus rumbles through London.

Suddenly, a prison looms out of the darkness.

Welcome to Secret Cinema, where the film is not just on the screen — viewers can wander up to the characters, brought to life by actors in a setting that seems to have been plucked straight out of the movie.

Guests arrive armed with nothing more than a string of cryptic emails detailing where to go and how to dress.

They don't even know what film they are going to see, despite having paid £43.50 ($70, 53 euros) each for a ticket.

"You tell people nothing. They have no idea of what they're going to see, what they're going to experience," said Fabien Riggall, who founded Secret Cinema in 2007.

"And once they get there, they become more open and more adventurous."

This innovative approach to cinema — which spreads to New York and Athens in April — has seen organisers transform a warehouse into the futuristic dystopia of "Blade Runner", a park into "Lawrence of Arabia" and dank tunnels into "The Battle of Algiers".

Movie-goers have found themselves conducting mock scientific experiments before a screening of "Prometheus" in a warehouse-turned-spaceship, and operating a pretend penicillin racket before sitting down to watch "The Third Man".

The latest instalment of the adventure offered the crowds a taste of the harsh prison life suffered by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in the 1994 classic "The Shawshank Redemption".

Told to arrive at an east London library wearing 1950s clothing, they were led into a mock courtroom and sentenced — to much giggling — for crimes ranging from kidnapping to bigamy.

The new convicts were then shuttled by vintage bus to an abandoned school, transformed by the Secret Cinema team into a grim US prison.

Hustled inside by uniformed "prison guards", they were forced to strip off their 1950s attire — much to the dismay of those who had ignored instructions to wear long underwear.

Prisoners swapped their trilby hats and trench coats for grey uniforms and spent the three hours before the screening exploring their jail, periodically harassed by the guards as they munched on burgers bought from the "infirmary".

"If you play along, it's amazing," said Andy, a six-time Secret Cinema-goer who has previously come dressed as a Bedouin for "Lawrence of Arabia" and a psychiatric patient for "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".

"Every time, it gets bigger and better."

Scenes from the film spill off the screen and into reality. For "The Shawshank Redemption", actors — some of them indistinguishable from the crowds in their prisoner uniforms — recreated a brutal rape, scuffles, and an execution.

From a modest first audience of 400 people in 2007, Secret Cinema has become a massive operation, hosting 13,500 excitable prisoners during a month-long run of "The Shawshank Redemption" that ended in December.

The latest show saw the launch of a "Secret Hotel" offering overnight stays in the prison, sleeping in bunks in the cells for an extra £30 per person.

"Every production, we try to create something that goes a little bit beyond what we did before in terms of how the audience become part of that world and how you allow the blur between the performance and the audience," said Riggall.

He added that many fans see this immersive form of cinema as an antidote to the more mundane experience of simply sitting in front of a screen.

"People are looking for adventure. They want to take a step away from everything they already know, and I think that the hotel is another step," the 37-year-old told AFP.

"We had actors sleeping next to the audience — you might wake up and there'd be a prisoner singing a 50-year-old song next to you. The whole building is a stage."

Tickets have already sold out for London's 20th Secret Cinema event next April, which for the first time will run simultaneously with shows at secret locations in Athens and New York.

Jos, a young Dutchman living in London, said film fans in other cities would welcome the project with open arms.

"You get sucked in," he said, as prisoners loitered in a basketball court behind him. "At the start it's funny and then 10 minutes later you're really into it."

"It really makes you think about what it would be like to be in prison — and it's probably not for me," he laughed.

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London Residents Are Freaking Out Over A Growing Group Of Millionaire Arab Playboys And Their Supercars


london race carResidents in one of London’s most exclusive neighborhoods have accused the police of double standards for allegedly failing to clamp down on millionaire Arab playboys who race their supercars around the streets.

Home owners in the Knightsbridge area have become increasingly frustrated by the annual influx of young men who arrive in the capital each summer and recklessly drive their Bugattis, Ferraris and Lamborghinis close to the Harrods department store.

Locals claim the Metropolitan Police are not doing enough to stop the young men from driving dangerously and performing stunts known as drifting, when they deliberately slide their cars around tight corners.

A Cutting Edge documentary to be shown on Channel 4 charts the rising tensions between the locals and the millionaire visitors who arrive in London every summer for three months to escape the intense heat of the Gulf States.

Local Knightsbridge resident Justin Downes accused the police of double standards claiming if the motorists were British they would be arrested and charged with reckless driving.

He told the documentary: “I've seen the area move from being a very quiet, residential area to being cosmopolitan in a way which is rather extreme.

“They come in to the area around Harrods to show off their cars and drive recklessly in a way that if you were a UK citizen you would be prosecuted for dangerous driving.”

But the police insist they have seized dozens of foreign-owned supercars for a variety of alleged offenses including driving without valid insurance and driving without the correct registration plates.

Fellow local resident Panda Morgan-Thomas said it is often impossible to sleep at night because of the sound of high powered vehicles racing around the streets.

She said: "There has been a lot of sports car racing. I'm inundated with local residents complaining, not being able to sleep and I think people's tempers are getting somewhat jaded.”

But those who are accused of taking part in the supercar races claim local residents have never complained to them personally.

Abdul Aziz Rashid, 27, who comes to the UK every year in a supercar, said: “I hear the residents always complain but they don't come to me to complain. If anyone complains about something I will respect it and try to fix it.

“We are foreigners here and we just come to have a good time and we always want to come here and not cause trouble or problems. If anybody speaks to me and asks me not to do something then I will not do it.”

Another, Abdul Aziz Al Rashed, who brought his £250,000 Lamborghini Aventador to London last summer said: “All of my friends were sad about having to go back to Kuwait. We had fun for three months and I'm sad that I have to leave to go back to the desert.”

Millionaire Boy Racers will be broadcast tonight (Jan 3) on Channel 4 at 10pm.

SEE ALSO: Meet A 22-Year-Old Saudi Playboy With A $12 Million Car Collection

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Tourists Forced To Go 'Cash Only' At The Vatican


vatican DO NOT REUSE

VATICAN CITY (AP) — It's "cash only" now for tourists at the Vatican wanting to pay for museum tickets, souvenirs and other services after Italy's central bank decided to block electronic payments, including credit cards, at the tiny city state.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Thursday that Bank of Italy took the action because the Holy See has not yet fully complied with European Union safeguards against money laundering. That means Italian banks are not authorized to operate within the Vatican, which is in the process of improving its mechanisms to combat laundering.

The Vatican says it's scrambling to find a non-Italian bank to provide the electronic payment services "quite soon" but declined to discuss Bank of Italy's concerns.

The central bank had no immediate comment on the situation.

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Hedge Fund Billionaire Ken Griffin May Have Just Bought This Gorgeous House In Palm Beach For $37.95 Million


palm beach griffin house

All together, someone just bought $79.6 million worth of property in Palm Beach, Florida, the Palm Beach Daily News reports, and though the deal was done by an agent of the buyer, signs point to Citadel's Ken Griffin.

The properties are 40 and 50 Blossom Way. Forty is a small, empty ocean front property, 50 is five bedroom, 14,354-square-foot house sitting on 2.21 acres of land and a pool (of course).

Here's how the deal connects to Griffin. The property was bought through PBH LLC, a Delaware company that a Miami condo as the address of its representative. That condo is owned by Citadel.

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Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley And Chelsa Skees Are Getting Married! Here's The Engagement Ring


dennis crowley chelsa skees girlfriend

Two days ago, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley popped the big question to his girlfriend of four years, Chelsa Skees.

She said yes!

As Skees explains on Twitter, "4 years ago, Dennis and I went on a bike ride that ended with me running away from him."

This time, it ended much better. They went on another bike ride on a beach in Costa Rica, Playa Tamarindo, where Crowley proposed.

We couldn't be happier for them both.

Here's a picture of the ring (Nice work, Dennis!):

Chelsa Ring

Here's a picture of the bike ride, from Crowley's Instagram:

chelsa skees


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This Electric Kettle Heats Water For Your Specific Beverage


This is the Breville Variable-Temperature Kettle.

Why We Love It: Electric kettles are definitely the way to go for a fast cup of coffee, tea, or oatmeal, but this Breville Variable-Temperature Kettle takes boiling water to the next level — literally. This stainless-steel brewer has five pre-set brewing temperatures marked on its panel, including "Green Tea," "Black Tea," and "French Press" with corresponding temperatures.

The water heats up in less than two minutes, and even has an option to "Hold Temp" so that the kettle will keep water heated for 20 minutes. There are water-level indicators on both sides of the kettle, and the Breville can hold up to two quarts or about 10 cups of water.

Breville Variable-Temperature Kettle


Breville Variable-Temperature Kettle

Where To Buy: Available on Amazon

Cost: $129.99.

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: This Portable Gel Fireplace Can Warm Up Any Room

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