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The 14 most cliché Halloween costumes of 2015

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san diego comic con, cosplay, poison ivy, harley quinn

Halloween is right around the corner, which means that you're probably desperately searching for last-minute costume ideas. But that's no excuse for being unoriginal. 

Every year, there are those costumes that you can't seem to escape. How many Ice Queen Elsas and Star Lords did you see last year? Exactly. 

Here are 14 pop culture costumes to avoid if you don't want to look like everyone else.

SEE LAST YEAR'S: The 18 Most Cliché Halloween Costumes Of 2014

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"The dress" was easily the biggest viral sensation of 2015 — possibly ever. As a costume, it's pretty low maintenance: get the dress and call it a day.



Pizza rat is an easy costume based on an extremely viral video. New York will be infested with pizza rats this Halloween.



Too soon or not, there will be many Cecil the Lion costumes roaming your streets and parties.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








New York City's Financial District has a gory, haunted past

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Ghosts of NYC 8654

New York's Financial District is the economic center of the entire US — but it's also one of the city's most historically gruesome, gory, and bloody neighborhoods.

Although its cobblestone streets might seem innocent, the next time you're in the area just remind yourself: More than 120,000 bodies have been buried on top of each other in the famous Trinity Church cemetery. City Hall Park is said to still be haunted to this day from all of the public hangings and lynchings that happened there in the 1800s.

Boroughs of the Dead, founded by Andrea Janes in 2013, leads unconventional walking tours that explore New York's dark, strange, and downright chilling nooks and crannies.

Just in time for Halloween, the company is running on double time, with multiple tours happening throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. I chose to take a tour through the Financial District with Janes herself. 

Although Janes made it clear that she doesn't claim to be "clairvoyant by any means" there were several stops on the "Forgotten Dark Histories of Lower Manhattan" tour that she promised were "nauseating, intense, and overwhelming" due to their history. Below, a few highlights from our two-hour tour.

SEE ALSO: This haunted house takes photos of people's reactions to getting scared — and it's hilarious

We began our tour outside the National Museum of the American Indian, where Janes shares the gruesome story of the massacre of the Algonquian Indian tribe. Led by Willem Kieft, the director general of New Amsterdam in the 1640s, the bloody battle began at the very site where the museum can be found today. 

When the tribe refused to pay taxes that Kieft had attempted to enforce, Kieft was more than a little upset. He decided to kill every man, woman, and child of the Algonquin tribe, focusing on the women and children. Fort Amsterdam was decorated with the heads of the slain American Indians.

To this day, there are tales of the ghost of a Native American woman wandering through the Bowling Green area.



If you work near the intersection of Pearl and Broad Streets, you might frequent Fraunces Tavern for happy hour. The tavern is well known for its rich history: George Washington and the Sons of Liberty would come to the Tavern before the start of the Revolutionary War, and Washington held his extremely emotional farewell banquet on the third floor after the War was over. There was also reportedly a murder, and a suicide occurred on the premises in 1712.

Many unverified reports of "paranormal instances" have been said to occur in this tavern. People have reported feeling a slight pressure on their back as though they're being pushed, doors have mysteriously slammed shut, keys have been seen gently swaying as though someone — or something — had brushed their finger along them. Janes also told the group a bartender's tale of both a night porter and a bouncer who once quit mid-shift for undisclosed reasons.

 



As Janes led us to Federal Hall on Wall Street, she told the group, "If you are a tour guide who loves 18th-century history, you will think of Wall Street not as a place where money was traded, but where human flesh was bought and sold."

In 1736, at the foot of Wall Street closer to the water, she explained, you would find a slave market. In fact, after Charleston, North Carolina, New York was the single largest slave-owning port city in the British colonies.

Back in 1741, Federal Hall was known as British City Hall. On the top floor was a jail, and in the basement, a dungeon. During the slave rebellion of that year, more than 100 men were captured and imprisoned in the dungeon and kept for the entire summer. Many of the prisoners were killed without warrant.

 

 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








25 phrases that only people in the military will understand

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drill sergeant

Every region of the country has its own unique phrases, but they have nothing on the complex lexicon that people in the US military share. 

Members of the military serve together in close-knit groups that must fully trust each other. Potentially serving in dangerous areas, service members must be able to communicate as efficiently as possible while still being understood. 

This need for quick communication, coupled with the strict uniformity of the military, has produced an amazing range of slang terms and acronyms that only military members can understand — "I was on the FOB when the IDP hit, so I radioed the TOC" doesn't mean much in the civilian world, after all.

Scroll down to learn 25 of the most interesting military slang terms. 

Geoffrey Ingersoll wrote the original version of this post.

SEE ALSO: 13 signs that you grew up in a military family

1. "15 minutes prior to 15 minutes prior"

Military people are taught that they must show up to everything (especially an official formation) at least 15 minutes early.

The 15 minutes to 15 minutes arises as the order filters down through the ranks. The captain wants everyone to meet at 0600, so the master sergeant wants folks to arrive at 0545 — and when the order finally finally hits the corporal-level people are told to show up at midnight.



2. "A good piece of gear" (in reference to people)

Only in the service is it OK to refer to one of your coworkers or (worse yet and most frequently) a person working for you in a section you manage as "a good piece of gear."



3. "Blue falcon"

A Blue Falcon is someone who blatantly throws another Marine/soldier/sailor/airman under the bus. You don't want to be called a Blue Falcon.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








The oldest person in the world starts every day with bacon

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 On Monday, the internet went nuts after the World Health Organization announced bacon could increase the risk of cancer.

For a long time, researchers have reported a connection between processed meat and colorectal cancer, also called bowel cancer, and red meat and these same cancers. The WHO's latest study categorizes America's favorite breakfast sides among tobacco, asbestos, and plutonium on a list of known human carcinogens.

While the Twittersphere exploded in messages of despair, there's one famous counter-example that should give cheer to bacon-lovers around the world.

The world's oldest person, Susannah Mushatt Jones, has loved bacon for more than a century. The meat is the first thing to disappear from her plate every morning. At 116 years old, she swears by bacon as one of her secrets to longevity.

Susannah Mushatt Jones 33

Earlier this year, I had breakfast with Jones in her home— a sunbathed one-bedroom in the Vandalia Houses, a public-housing facility for seniors in east Brooklyn, New York.

When I arrived five minutes late, she'd already dispensed with the bacon and was tackling the grits. Jones is blind, and partially deaf, but with steady, fervent hands, she searched her plate for morsels and shoveled them into her mouth.

The routine is the same each day for Jones. First the bacon, then grits. Afterwards, she unwraps five sticks of Doublemint gum and tosses the papers on the floor beside her slippers. She likes to chew them all at once because, as her caretaker explained, "they're making them so flimsy now."

Every morning with a glass of water and cranberry juice, Jones takes a multivitamin and a blood-pressure medication. She sees the doctor just four times a year for "maintenance," according to her niece Lois Judge. Along with chewing gum and her breakfasts, Judge said Jones' diet largely consists of fruits. She never complains of pain.

Susannah Mushatt Jones 18

She sleeps most of the day, with the radio or a daytime-TV game show playing in the background, though she probably can't hear it. These days, Jones mainly responds to the voices of her family members and friends.

Still, Jones doesn't look a day over 100. The Lowndes County, Alabama, native has smooth, soft skin, like peach fuzz. Patches of light brown hair cover her head, while whiskers pepper her chin. Her frame is small — maybe 5 foot, 90 pounds — a far cry from the sturdy woman she was in her youth.

Judge attributes her aunt's long life to a few factors: Jones never drank, partied, or did drugs. Her greatest indulgence was lace lingerie from Bloomingdale's, with which she reportedly startled her doctors when she sported it during an EKG appointment years ago.

Most importantly, they believe, she surrounded herself with family who provide love and support and continue to visit every Sunday. And certainly, a "working man's appetite" couldn't hurt.

Susannah Mushatt Jones 36

My visit with Jones was brief. And quiet. She mostly laid slumped over in an armchair as Judge recounted her aunt's journey. Several times we attempted to rile her from her slumber without success, and only when Judge mentioned Jones' favorite breakfast meat did she rouse.

"Are you hungry?" Judge said in a shouting voice, cradling her aunt in an outstretched arm.

"Am I hungry?" Jones repeated. "What do you got to eat?"

"Bacon," Judge said.

Without missing a beat, Jones jerked her head upright and asked, "Where is it?"

Video script by Tony Manfred. Editing by Kristen Griffin.

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There's a hidden message on this family portrait that an Apollo astronaut left on the moon

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On April 20, 1972, Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke took his first steps on the moon. He was 36 at the time and is the youngest human in history to ever walk on the lunar surface.

But that's not the only achievement of Duke's that lives on in American history. Duke_on_the_Craters_Edge_ _GPN 2000 001132While he was on the moon, he snapped this family portrait of him, his two sons, and his wife, which remains on the moon to this day.

DUKEOn the back of the photo Duke wrote:

"This is the family of astronaut Charlie Duke from planet Earth who landed on the moon on April 20, 1972."

Here's a clearer copy of the photo Duke gave us. On the far left is his oldest son Charles Duke III who had just turned seven. In the front in red is his youngest son, Thomas Duke, who was five. Duke and his wife, Dorothy Meade Claiborne, are in the background:

portrait"I'd always planned to leave it on the moon," Duke told Business Insider. "So when I dropped it, it was just to show the kids that I really did leave it on the moon."

The photo has since been featured in numerous popular photo books and is a great example of the "human side of space exploration," Duke said.

When Duke was training to be an Apollo astronaut, he spent most of his time in Florida. But his family was stationed in Houston. As a result, the children didn't get to see much of their father during that time.

"So, just to get the kids excited about what dad was going to do, I said 'Would y'all like to go to the moon with me?'" Duke said. "We can take a picture of the family and so the whole family can go to the moon."

More than 43 years have passed since Duke walked on the moon. And while the footprints that he made in the lunar soil are relatively unchanged, Duke suspects the photo is not in very good shape at this point.

"After 43 years, the temperature of the moon every month goes up to 400 degrees [Fahrenheit] in our landing area and at night it drops almost absolute zero," Duke said. "Shrink wrap doesn't turn out too well in those temperatures. It looked OK when I dropped it, but I never looked at it again and I would imagine it's all faded out by now."

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine just how faded the photo is because it's too small for lunar satellites to spot.

Regardless, the photos "was very meaningful for the family," Duke said. In the end, that's all that matters, right?

CHECK OUT: QUIZ: Are these pictures of Mars or Earth?

SEE ALSO: We spoke with some of the astronomers who discovered the 'alien' megastructure to find out if it's fact or fiction

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NOW WATCH: Pluto and its moon Charon have something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the solar system










Oracle is building a high school for 550 kids on its Silicon Valley corporate campus

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D.tech high school

Oracle is building a 64,000-square-foot high school for 550 kids right on its own huge corporate campus in Redwood City, Calif., and the students themselves helped design the school.

The project is thanks to Oracle CEO Safra Catz. Catz chairs the company's Education Foundation, one of the Oracle's philanthropic organizations. It donates technology and money to schools.

Oracle has a program where Oracle employees volunteer at schools for multi-day science, tech, engineering, and math (STEM) projects. It had been working with Design Tech High School (d.Tech), a new charter public school in the San Mateo Union High School District that launched in 2014.

At the time, d.Tech was using six classrooms within another school and was quickly outgrowing its space.

Hearing about the growing school, Catz stood up and said, "I love it, I love it, I love it," Colleen Cassity, Executive Director, Oracle Education Foundation, who was in that meeting, told Business Insider.

Catz stood up, went to the window and pointed to a vacant piece of land. (They were high up in the executive tower at Oracle which overlooks a good chunk of Oracle's enormous campus.)

Catz said, "We could build them a school there. Go and find out how." 

Catz told CNBC that building a high school had always been a dream of her boss, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

"Larry Ellison asked me when I first joined Oracle if we could have a high school at Oracle," she said. After meeting with the d.Tech people and hearing their educational philosophy she says, "I thought. This is it! It has finally come together. Larry's original vision and this high school."

Oracle CEO Safra CatzWhile Catz graciously gives Ellison credit for the idea all those years ago (she joined Oracle in 1999), those involved say that this project was Catz's baby and a labor of love at that.

Oracle's Redwood City campus has a very lux feel and Oracle is going all-out with this new school, which will feature state of the art tech, huge design studios and workshops, and even a physics lab.

And because this is a school of design, the students helped the architect design the building to fit their special learning needs. Oracle now has all the approvals and plans in place and will break ground in May, it says.

Oracle isn't the only tech company to announce a new school. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan said they are building a private elementary school in East Palo Alto (the disadvantaged city that neighbors the posh town of Palo Alto). Other tech companies are also donating hundreds of millions to schools.

Catz said that tech companies feel an obligation to do something to improve education.

"It is absolutely critical for competitiveness in the United States for us to really raise the bar in education. Especially in math and science and technology. I'm absolutely thrilled about what Mark and Priscilla are doing and what everyone is dong. The more the merrier," she said.

D.tech has no plans to open more schools nationwide, but it is sharing its instructional practices with other schools, the schools executive director and founder Ken Montgomery says. Montgomery believes that d.Tech will also become a model for how other public schools can collaborate with the private sector.

Here's the architect's rendering of the new school.

Oracle high school

Here's a peek at the classroom layout.

Oracle d tech school

Here's the vacant land Catz pointed to from the window.

Oracle campus vacant land Here's more photos and info about Oracle's new high school.

SEE ALSO: College students are using this app to show off their loaded guns and other weapons

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NOW WATCH: An Army veteran was shot multiple times protecting others students from the Oregon gunman










Malibu's rich and famous to pay $31 million to keep their homes from washing away

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Malibu

The millionaire residents of an exclusive enclave in Malibu, California, have a major coast erosion problem on their hands. 

The owners of 121 individual parcels of land in the Broad Beach community have pledged $31 million over the next 10 years to rebuild and fortify their prized beachfront, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some of the community's residents include Dustin Hoffman, Ray Romano, and Pierce Brosnan.

The money will be used to truck gigantic mounds of sand from California quarries to the 1.1 mile beachfront.

That sand will recreate 65 to 75 feet of beachfront and 50 to 60 feet of natural dunes above a new man-made seawall, which will protect the multimillion dollar homes from storm surges.  

The objective is to make the beach look more like it did back in the 1970s, according to the Los Angeles Times.

broad beach

The fact that this plan is being funded entirely by the homeowners is unprecedented. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a long road to get to this point.

The California Coastal Commission only approved the plan by a vote of 7 to 5, with dissenting voices claiming the plan might not work as intended and may end up limiting public beach access.

Some coastal access advocates claim the new seawall will exacerbate the loss of the sea-facing sand in front of the wall. The homeowners originally asked for a 20-year plan, but the commission only approved the current 10-year.

The work is slated to begin after this coming winter. 

SEE ALSO: After 32 years of headaches, David Geffen may sell his massive Malibu beach house

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NOW WATCH: 5 uber-wealthy Middle Eastern countries won't take any refugees from their war-torn neighbors










Snapchat is renting this Venice penthouse that's known for its wild parties

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snapchat penthouse

Snapchat's latest real estate acquisition is a beachfront penthouse in Venice, California, BuzzFeed News reports.

The startup will be paying $22,500 a month — slightly less than the asking rent of $25,000 a month — for a 1,100-square-foot spread, which has a fire pit, jacuzzi, 200-square-foot guest room, 20-seat dining table, sun pavilion, and sweeping ocean views. According to photos on the apartment's web site, there also appears to be a massive geodesic dome on the deck, though the exact purpose for that is unknown. 

snapchat penthouse

The space was previously rented by VC Paige Craig, who has invested in Lyft, Postmates, Plated, and Klout. Craig reportedly used the penthouse to throw notoriously rowdy parties. 

BuzzFeed confirmed with building owner Brad Neal that Snapchat was able to secure a lower rent by promising not to use the penthouse exclusively for parties.

snapchat penthousesnapchat penthouse

Snapchat currently leases a 47,000-square-foot complex in Venice, in addition to several buildings on Market Street and at the Thornton Lofts on Ocean Front Walk. 

Over the past year, some local business owners have expressed concerns that Snapchat's rapid expansion could contribute to a deterioration of Venice's quirky culture. Established in the early 20th century as a planned community, Venice has at different points in its history served as an amusement park, hippie haven, and the birthplace of modern skating culture. 

With lots of hip restaurants and boutiques, it still maintains an edge today; in 2012, GQ named Abbot Kinney "the coolest block in America." 

Snapchat's brand-new penthouse is located just two blocks away from Abbot Kinney. 

A Snapchat spokesperson declined to comment. 

SEE ALSO: Snapchat's stealthy real estate moves are worrying small business owners in Venice

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Snapchat's new selfie filters are super trippy










25 books that will blow your mind

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a clockwork orangeThe best books have the potential to stick with you long after you've finished them. Some can even affect how you look at the world.

We've put together a list of 25 such books — taking inspiration from Amazon's list of 100 books to read in your lifetime, recommendations from Goodreads users, as well as some of our own personal favorites. 

These books' exploration of politics, history, and the human condition are so insightful, they've withstood the test of time.

The next time you're looking for a riveting read, consider picking up one of these 25 mind-blowing books. 

SEE ALSO: The 21 most popular novels of the year so far

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"1984" by George Orwell

First published in 1949, George Orwell’s account of a chilling future is a timeless read.

His book is where the idea of Big Brother originated, and his messages of a restrictive government remain as insightful today as they did when they were originally written more than 60 years ago. 

Orwell presents readers with a vision of a haunting world that remains captivating from the beginning to end. 

Buy the book here »



"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

Huxley's masterpiece is a powerful work of speculative fiction where "World Controllers" create the ideal society.

While most society members are content with a world where genetic engineering, brainwashing, and recreational pleasures meet all their needs, one newcomer longs to break free. 

Huxley's enthralling tale takes readers through a frightening and thought-provoking take on society.

Buy the book here »



"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

"Frankentein" tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a doctor who brings a creature to life, only to recoil at how hideous it is. 

Left tormented and in isolation, the innocent creature turns on his creator in this eloquent Gothic thriller, which touches the hearts of readers with its messages of the dangers of science and human judgment.

Buy the book here »



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








31 photos that show the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, 3 years after it made landfall

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RTR39VNG

Three years ago, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast with a record-setting 14-foot surge.

Winds gusted up to 80 mph, and tides were especially high due to the full moon. It wreaked havoc on the shores of the Northeast, killing at least 100 people.

When Sandy made landfall in Atlantic City on the night of October 29, 2012, the streets were flooded, power lines and trees were knocked down, and the city's iconic boardwalk was destroyed.

Here, on the third anniversary of its landfall, we take a look back at the destruction the dangerous storm caused on the coasts of New York and New Jersey.

(Captions by Reuters, Sarah Jacobs, and Jack Sommer)

  

SEE ALSO: A massive cyclone is about to dump historic levels of rain on the Arabian Peninsula

Thousands of New Jersey residents were asked to evacuate their homes, and casinos were closed in Atlantic City. In this now iconic scene, a roller coaster in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has gone underwater.



By October 28, President Obama had officially declared a state of emergency for New Jersey. Here's the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, which was also severely damaged.



After the storm, the ground was completely ripped up in Ortley Beach, New Jersey.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








Rolls-Royce has some pretty outrageous ways to customize your car

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Rolls-Royce Bespoke design aviator

Beyond engineering excellence, one key strength of Rolls-Royce is customization.

In previous years, a whopping 84% of Phantom customers commissioned their cars with some sort of bespoke design, for example.

Customers' ideas can get pretty wild.

The luxury brand notes that "no request is left unexplored." Its team of designers has matched leather colors to customer lipstick, sourced wood from a tree on a buyer's estate, and found ways to pack elaborate picnic sets and wine glasses into their cars.

From the unexpected demands of wealthy buyers to the special edition cars it makes to mark special occasions, here are some of the most outrageous ways you can have your Rolls made just for you.

[An earlier version of this article was written by Alex Davies.]

One wealthy customer wanted a thermos installed in the door. Rolls-Royce had to build a special door just to crash test the design, then build another for the buyer.



Another customer commissioned this hand-crafted picnic set.



Bespoke designers had to devise a way to store wine glasses in the trunk and make sure they wouldn't break while on the road.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








Here's how to groom the 10-Day beard that women find sexiest

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A study recently conducted by the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre has taken the guessing game out of what beard style women prefer. We visited Astor Place Hairstylists to get some tips on how to keep up the popular yet subtly maintained 10-day beard.

To learn more about the story behind this popular downtown Manhattan barber where celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Stephen Colbert, and Channing Tatum are regulars, check out the feature length documentary by Karen Gehres, "Astor Barber All Stars."

Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis

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Thanks to the man bun, there are now more Google searches for men's hair care than women's

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haircut

Men are growing more curious about their hair, according to a new beauty industry report from Google.

Based on the search engine's data, 2015 was the biggest year ever for searches about men's hairstyles.

In fact, searches for men's hair care now outnumber searches for women's hair care — by a total of 6 percent.

The numbers on the men's hair side were boosted by a strong interest in the "man bun," which exploded in 2015, thanks in part to celebrity adopters such as Jared Leto and Kit Harington. 

The second most popular search was for the "comb over," which can refer to either a heavy side part or a Donald Trump situation.

Guys are also searching for this advice on the go. Google reports that 82% of these searches were done on mobile in August. It makes sense, as more and more men are embracing niche barbershops and are probably searching for hairstyle inspiration while waiting for their $45 cut.  

SEE ALSO: These are the only 3 hair products men should use

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NOW WATCH: Here's how often you should wash your hair










We explored an abandoned insane asylum with urban photographer Will Ellis

5 incredibly creepy ways to get buried that are good for the Earth

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Capsula Mundi

Dying isn't always an Earth-friendly business.

Decomposing bodies in coffins buried in the ground emit large amounts of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

That, along with the formaldehyde that's used to get the body preserved for burial makes for not-so-sustainable burial practices.

And while the vast majority of people opt for either traditional burial or cremation, there are other ways to be memorialized that do less damage to the planet.

1. Turn your body into a tree

Developed by Italian designers, this sustainable burial practice will turn your remains into tree food. Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, the creators of Capsula Mundi (pictured here) want to change the way Italy buries its loved ones with their pod-like design using eco-friendly materials.

You're buried inside a biodegradable egg-shaped pod while in the fetal position. When you're buried, a tree gets planted on top. Then the idea is that as the pod begins to decompose, the body can turn into minerals that feed the tree. Bretzel and Mundi hope to change the traditional cemetery into a "sacred forest."

2. Use dry ice 

dry iceTraditionally, families buring their loved ones will have them embalmed, so that the decomposing process doesn't start right away. Usually, this is done with formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen (which, of course doesn't affect those being embalmed, but rather those doing the embalming).

Instead, some people are turing to dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) as a way to keep bodies preserved until they are interred. This keeps the body from decomposing without needing embalming, though you do have to change out the ice every day. Though carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the amount released from the dry ice used in body preservation is a pretty small percentage of overall CO2 emissions.

3. Furnish your home with a shelf that doubles as a coffin

shelvesInstead of using your wooden coffin only as your final resting place, William Warren had the idea of making a set of shelves that can be converted to a coffin when the time is right. This upcycled version makes the wood useful for longer, and as Warren remarks on his website, "the wood will colour, the surfaces will mark and stain and over the years and the furniture will become a part of you." Warren designed the shelves and debuted them at the 2005 London Design Festival, though you can ask him for directions on how to may your own set of shelves-turned-coffin.

Plus, you get the added fun of telling all your guests about it while giving them a tour of your house and seeing their bewildered expressions.

4. Opt out of the traditional headstone

treeIf you do decide to stick to traditional burial methods, using a more natural way to mark your grave could be a great way to have a more sustainable burial. Headstones and mausoleums made of stone take a lot of energy to make. Choosing a tree or an unprocessed rock as a marker could be a way to go out of this world without leaving even bigger of a carbon footprint.

5. Get yourself dissolved

Having your body cremated may seem like the best way to have a sustainable burial, but in most cases it's not great for the environment. For example, in the UK, cremation contributes to 16% of all mercury pollution. And, as The Atlantic reported, it takes about two SUV tanks worth of gas to cremate a body. 

Instead, people have been turing to "green cremation," done using alkaline hydrolosis. The process dissolves the body into a liquid, but in the end the body can still be returned as ashes, just using much less energy.

Bonus: Turn yourself into jewelryCobalt Perpetual Pendant

Not interested in having a more sustainable burial, but still looking for a way to go out of this world in style? Get your ashes turned into a piece of jewelry. Whether it's a gem stone or a glass pendant from Grateful Glass, your loved ones will hold on to a piece of your cremated ashes in a tasteful, beautiful way.

MORE HALLOWEEN SCIENCE: The ultimate guide to the most and least healthy Halloween candies

SEE ALSO: There’s a fascinating psychological reason behind your belief in ghosts

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NOW WATCH: These are your chances of dying if you participate in these extreme sports










The college with the best location in every state

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new york university, nyu campus

With prime access to some of the country's best bars and restaurants, New York University is America's college with the best location, according to a new list from the academic-review site Niche.com.

The rankings are calculated using a number of factors including median rent; access to bars, restaurants, cafes, and outdoor activities; local weather; and percentage of residents age 18-24.

Business Insider used Niche's state filter to find out which college has the best location in each US state and the District of Columbia. Niche reports that a few states (Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont, and Wyoming) are missing from the ranking because they don't have data for enough colleges.

Scroll through to find out the most selective college in each state.

SEE ALSO: The 50 smartest colleges in America

SEE ALSO: Ivy League school's admissions officers relied on cultural stereotypes, US investigation finds

Alabama: Auburn University — Auburn



Arizona: Arizona State University — Tempe



Arkansas: University of Arkansas — Fayetteville



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








19 jaw-dropping photos of some of the world's toughest military training

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Taiwan military training

Militaries have the challenge of preparing their soldiers for the worst of what they may face on the battlefield.

The world's militaries require their personnel to go through grueling training to equip them for the physical and psychological rigors of combat, and to make sure that soldiers who might not have prior fighting experience are still in a state of readiness.

Here are photos from around the world of some of the toughest military training imaginable.

In mainland China, paramilitary policeman face an intense regimen. Here, the policemen take part in a training session in muddy water.



Later in the training, the paramilitary police also have to crawl under fire obstacles ...



... and hone their hand-to-hand combat skills.



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19 photos from my stay at the hottest new hotel in China's tech capital

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temple house 14

Known for its giant pandas and spicy Sichuan cuisine, China's western city of Chengdu is also a major tech hub. People like to call it the San Francisco of China. 

Earlier this year it was revealed that a whopping 265 of the world's Fortune 500 companies have offices in the city. And in the Milken Institute's 2015 report on China's best-performing cities, Chengdu's economy ranked No. 1 over Shanghai and Beijing.

Ride-hailing juggernaut Uber is one of those companies with a branch in Chengdu; its service in China was launched here. 

Another of the city's tourism and transportation coups is a near-$11 billion airport that will enter construction in late 2015, further connecting the Sichuan province's capital to Europe. 

With all that activity (and the traffic to match), it's hard to believe that the Chengdu is defined by its languid pace and pleasant work-life balance. On the weekends, locals like to sip away entire days at their favorite teahouse. 

Travel writer and tea expert Kathy YL Chan recently checked into Chengdu's newest luxury hotel, The Temple House, which takes root near a 1,000-year-old temple and caters to the traveling business elite with amenities like email checkout and a zen courtyard that dates back to the Quing Dynasty.

Welcome to The Temple House, the hottest new hotel in China's tech capital.



Chengdu is famous for, among many things, producing the majority of the world's iPads, amazing Sichuan cuisine, and of course...



...the world-famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








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