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Here's what happens to the giant Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons during the other 364 days a year


Macys Day Parade 8872

Inside a warehouse in Moonachie, New Jersey, where gingerbread men and nutcrackers line the walls, live two massive turkeys, a larger-than-life robot, a dragon, Pikachu, and Spongebob Squarepants.

While this isn't Santa's North Pole workshop, it might be the closest thing in the world to it. The Macy's Parade Studio, where a group of workers build the floats, balloons, and costumes that are on display during the Thanksgiving Day Parade, devotes itself to the holiday season 365 days a year.

A majority of the team's workload is spent on the famed parade, which happens in New York City every year on Thanksgiving morning. Started in 1924 by Macy's store employees, many of whom were immigrants, the parade was meant to be something for their friends and family members to enjoy in their new home. That was more than 90 years ago, and the tradition is still alive and well. 

We took a tour of the studio at the height of their Thanksgiving parade prep. John Piper, VP of the Macy's Parade Studio, showed us how one incredible team puts all of the magic together. 

SEE ALSO: The 88-Year Evolution Of The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Each parade float starts out as an idea, a sketch on a piece of paper.

Models are then made scaled to size; you can see them sitting on the table here. Hanging above are balloon models from past parades.

The studio has a library of books, mostly for children, that the artists use as a reference to help turn two-dimensional characters into real-life, 3D figures.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How 18 daredevils across the world get their adrenaline fix


Thrill Seekers Heights

For some people, the regular activities of everyday life are just not enough to keep the blood flowing. Sitting at an office desk, taking the train, drinking your coffee — they can only provide you with so much of a rush.

Extreme thrill-seekers will do everything from leaping off bridges to diving with sharks to get the adrenaline fix they need.

Certain activities are done in groups, like drift racing or waterfall jumping, but some are solo efforts for those who are just brave — or crazy — enough.

SEE ALSO: 27 of the strangest world records ever set

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In Scotland, a cyclist rides off the Garry Bridge while attached to a bungee rope.

"Sidewalk skiing," where a car goes up on two wheels, is popular with young adults in Saudi Arabia. This stunt gained worldwide attention when M.I.A included it in her popular "Bad Girls" music video in 2012.

In Hawaii, a tourist takes a dive of faith, swimming with a shark without the protection of a cage.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This heart-wrenching conversation between a father and his son about Paris is going viral


Le Petit Journal was conducting an interview about the Paris terrorist attacks with a young boy when a fantastic conversation broke out between him and his father.

After the boy suggested he'd have to leave Paris because of "bad guys," his dad corrected him.

"It's okay. They might have guns but we have flowers," his dad said, explaining that France was home, and that honoring the victims of the attacks with flowers and candles was an act of strength against those "bad guys."

The video was viewed more than 11 million times in the first 24 hours after it was posted on the show's Facebook page. The father in the video, Angel Le, came forward in the comments and thanked everyone for their kind words.

"When I saw all this support I said one thing: I'm proud to be French and proud of my fellow countrymen!!!" he wrote.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Kristen Griffin

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SEE ALSO: Muslim man who lost two sisters in the Paris attacks: 'We are all in the same boat'

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Watch parents read a storybook that teaches kindergarteners about school shooters


School shootings are an epidemic in America, and an organization called ALICE teaches students and teachers how to prepare for one.

ALICE — which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate — offers adults and older children training for handling active shooter situations. During training sessions, one participant is chosen to act as the shooter, while the other participants are taught how to handle the situation.

But kindergarteners can't do that.

For the younger set, ALICE publishes a book titled "I'm Not Scared... I'm Prepared," which is meant to introduce younger kids and their parents to ALICE concepts.

We had a few parents read the book and tell us what they think.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Adam Banicki

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SEE ALSO: These teachers are learning to fight school shooters — but not with guns

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Business owners: What stresses you out the most?


UPS SurveyIf you're a business owner, you're used to wearing a lot of hats. One minute you're figuring out your social media plan, the next you're focused on business banking. 

On top of that, you're constantly thinking about the big picture: How do you grow, and where? What technologies will help you in the long run? What hurdles do you need to overcome to realize your long-term goals? 

We're trying to find out which issues cause business owners the most pain. Got a few minutes? Take our 2015 State Of Small Business Survey, delivered by UPS CONNECT, and let us know what's keeping you up at night.

And if you'd like to know how your fellow business owners feel about those same issues, we'll send you a copy of the results when they're ready.

Take the 2015 State Of Small Business Survey now.

Learn how UPS CONNECT helps small businesses.

This post is sponsored by UPS.

Find out more about Sponsored Content.

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27 marathons that are worth traveling around the world for


Any avid runner knows how easy it is to get bored with the trails in the neighborhood.

Luckily, there's no shortage of marathons around the world, each of which feature beautiful terrain with unique sites along the way.

Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan created an infographic that rounds up some of the best marathons taking place year-round in amazing places around the world.

From running in the Swiss Alps to traversing the Great Wall of China, here are 27 marathons worth traveling for.

Marathons Around the World Infographic

SEE ALSO: Meet the adventurer who's gone to nearly 100 countries and can take you on the adventure of a lifetime

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NOW WATCH: After 133 years of construction, the Sagrada Familia is finally almost done

Here's why every guy should own a navy blazer


navy blazer

No matter his occupation, marital status, or age, there are a few items that every guy should always have in his closet.

There are many of them, but for right now we're going to focus on just one: the staid, stoic, and true navy blazer.

The prep school staple-turned men's wardrobe classic, this relatively simple garment deserves a spot in your closet. It's precisely in the simplicity where its strength lies.

The navy blazer is an extremely versatile garment. It can be dressed up with your favorite dressy pants or coupled with a pair of your favorite light-washed jeans for a casual look that's appropriate for a night on the town or dinner with clients.

To be clear: We're not talking about the gold-buttoned blazers babies wear for religious services. The blazer we're talking about here resembles a suit jacket, but it's cut more casually. (Note: You cannot wear a suit jacket as a blazer. Many have tried, few have succeeded.)

There are different kinds of blazers: structured and unstructured. Structured blazers will usually be made of wool and look more akin to a suit jacket. 

An unstructured blazer will be thinner, more casual, and can also be made of cotton. "Unstructured" means that it's made without the canvassing or padding that allows suits and structured blazers to keep their shape.

Make sure you get the kind that is tailored for your lifestyle so that you can make the most of your investment.j. crew navy blazers

Oh, and why navy? Navy is the most versatile color there is, and for a garment you're only going to be wearing a couple times a month, versatility is what you want.

If you're going to be wearing blazers more regularly than that, however, you may want to invest in additional colors and styles. My advice is to always start with a dark blue.

SEE ALSO: 15 things the modern gentleman should buy for fall

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NOW WATCH: You've been tucking in your shirt all wrong

This new Barbie commercial stars a boy and people are loving it


Mattel just aired an ad for a new Barbie, and it's the first time a boy has starred in a commercial for the doll.

The ad is for Mattel's limited-edition Moschino Barbie, and opens with a young boy with a mohawk stating, "Moschino Barbie is so fierce!"

The boy co-stars alongside a diverse line-up of little girls.

Since the ad hit airwaves, comments on Moschino's YouTube page have been positive, with one user writing, "This almost made me cry! I used to play with my sister's Barbies and felt such shame afterward. I'm so glad we can just let kids be kids. Thank you for this! Boys like dolls too!"

Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott said the $150 dolls sold out in less than an hour. Moschino Barbies are now selling on sites like eBay for more than double that price.

Story by Aly Weisman and editing by Stephen Parkhurst

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This tattoo artist inks all the hottest celebrities — for $350 an hour


Bang Bang Tattoos in New York City is where the hottest celebrities go to get their body ink.

The parlor is named after its owner, Keith "Bang Bang" McCurdy. McCurdy tattooed Rihanna when she was still a teenager, and is now the most sought after tattoo artist among celebs.

He's inked Lebron James, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, and Kylie Jenner, and even tattooed Justin Bieber in the singer's private jet. 

McCurdy is now releasing a book about his life, which follows him from Delaware public housing projects to the top of the tattoo world.

The book hit shelves on November 17th.

Story and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss

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Animated map shows the history of immigration to the US

David and Victoria Beckham are reportedly buying the most expensive country home in the UK for $41 million


The Abbotswood Estate

The Beckhams may have watched too much "Downton Abbey" for their own good.

According to the Mirror, People's "sexiest man alive" David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham are set to plunk down $41 million on a country estate in The Cotswolds, in south-central England. The historic and grand 10-bedroom estate in question, known as The Abbotswood Estate, is set on 774 acres of pristine English countryside.

It's also reportedly the most expensive country home in the UK.

Knight Frank has the listing.

SEE ALSO: Michael Jordan is trying hard to sell his Chicago mansion

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The Beckhams may be moving to the country.

Rumor has it that the pair have purchased The Abbotswood Estate, a 774-acre property in the English countryside.

On the estate is a historic 10-bedroom manor house built in 1865. It's plenty of room for their four children, plus any new additions.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Disturbing numbers reveal just how deadly air pollution is for humans


China Pollution

Air pollution poses a serious threat to human health, especially in developing countries like China where the quality of air is particularly bad.

A recent study from UC Berkeley estimated that air pollution contributes to 1.6 million deaths in China per year.

Moreover, experts calculate that air pollution kills more people worldwide than AIDS, malaria, breast cancer, or tuberculosis.

For a broader perspective on the dangers of air pollution, the producers at Column Five— an agency that specializes in informative graphics — made this awesome graphic on the major causes of air pollution in China and globally, how to measure air quality, and what it would take to clean up air in some of the dirtiest places on Earth:


CHECK OUT: Before-and-after photos of China's air show just how terrible its air pollution is

SEE ALSO: These 10 cities have the worst air pollution in the world, and it is up to 15 times dirtier than what is considered healthy

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NOW WATCH: China’s air pollution is so bad it caused a 48-car pile-up

The 14 most powerful world leaders


Vladimir Putin

Business Insider recently published its ranking of the 50 most powerful people in the world— a select group whose decisions affect millions, shake industries, and change nations. Global heads of state featured prominently, with 14 presidents, prime ministers, and even royalty cracking the list. 

To determine the ranking, we evaluated more than 100 of the most influential players in business, politics, entertainment, and tech, judging their influence by economic power, command, newsworthiness, and impact — a subjective measure that captures how important they are in their respective spheres (see our full methodology here).

US President Barack Obama headlines the list, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Here are the rest of the world's most powerful world leaders. 

Editing by Alex Morrell with additional research by Andy Kiersz.

NOW CHECK OUT THE FULL LIST: The 50 most powerful people in the world

SEE ALSO: The 50 most powerful companies in America

14. Benjamin Netanyahu

Title: Israeli prime minister

Country: Israel

Age: 66

Reelected this year as the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu recently compared the Middle East to "Game of Thrones." It isn't a game he's always played well — disputes over the Iran deal and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have left US-Israeli relations at a crisis point. But Israel has remained relatively stable during a time of turmoil throughout the Middle East, and Netanyahu has dominated his country's politics like few Israeli leaders.

Overall, many say that Netanyahu has done a good job of boosting Israel's economy and putting the country at the forefront of technological and medical advances. Even so, the fallout over the Iran nuclear deal, and his strained relations with Washington, don't bode well for his legacy.

13. Park Geun-hye

Title: President of South Korea

Country: South Korea

Age: 63

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is the first female leader of her country — an especially impressive accomplishment considering South Korea has the highest level of gender inequality in the developed world. Her election generated the nation’s highest turnout rate in 15 years.

Park has the difficult but critical responsibility of diffusing threats from the ever combative North Korea. Last year, she tried to get her mercurial neighbors to the north to abandon their nuclear-weapons program by promising humanitarian aid and an investment in its weak industries, but to no avail. Park has flexed her muscles by testing missiles that can reach all of North Korea, but Kim Jong Un hasn't blinked, and hasn't quashed any nuclear ambitions.

12. Ali Khamenei

Title: Supreme Leader of Iran

Country: Iran

Age: 76

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been the ultimate authority in Iran since 1989, is openly opposed to Western influence in both his country and the broader Middle East. A hardliner even within Iran's clerical regime, Khamenei has long championed the slogan "Death to America," and he has sought to position Tehran as both a geopolitical and ideological enemy of the US and Israel.

After more than 18 months of negotiations, Khamenei conditionally agreed to a landmark nuclear deal reached with six world powers this past July. The deal outlines Iran's promise to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the US and its partners lifting economic sanctions. The agreement is set to open Iran's economy to outside investment and has generally raised the prestige of Khamenei's government, which is quickly shaking its status as one of the world's pariah states.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This one habit could help keep you thin and happy this holiday season


About 76% of Americans say that Thanksgiving is an important day to spend with family, which is also a great time to practice everything you're thankful for.

Whether you're grateful that Thanksgiving only comes around once a year or you're thankful for the people you're spending time with, studies suggest that practicing gratitude is important for your health, happiness, relationships, and self-control.

Check out the graphic below to learn about some of the possible benefits of gratitude and how to become more grateful. The graphic was created by the producers at Happify— a website and app that uses games and tasks based on scientific studies in positive psychology to make you feel happier.happify gratitude

UP NEXT: 15 healthy eating habits that work according to scientists

LEARN MORE: Psychologists say one habit can make or break a relationship

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NOW WATCH: These are the healthiest fast-food menu items in America

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson opens up about his personal experience with depression

We tested french fries from McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King, and Chick-fil-A to see who does it best — and the winner surprised us


French Fries 9

French fries are one of the most important fast-food menu items.

Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Wendy's are fast food giants who offer signature takes on the classic food. 

McDonald's fries have had the same signature taste for years, while Burger King and Wendy's have changed their recipes in recent times.

We set out to find out who makes the best fries. 


SEE ALSO: We tried breakfast from McDonald's, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wendy's — here's who does it best

Hot, salty, and steaming fresh: McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Chick-fil-A are ready to compete.

First, we tried McDonald's. Salty, thin, and crispy, these classic fries have stayed consistent over the years.

A large order of McDonald's fries costs $2.79 in Manhattan. They're crispy on the outside — yet have an unusually hearty center for how thin they are. Loaded with salt, these fries are absolutely addictive.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This photographer is helping save babies in the most adorable way possible


Seth Casteel is saving babies — one photo at a time.

Formerly photographing puppies underwater, he has moved on to humans, photographing babies for his new photography project, "Underwater Babies," from which he's also made a book.

His work is meant to bring awareness to infant water safety, as drowning is the number one cause of death for children under the age of five, according to the National Institute of Health. However, infant swimming lessons can decrease that risk by up to 88%.

As it turns out, raising awareness for the cause can be an adorable experience: he's worked with 750 babies and 18 different swimming schools for the project.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Adam Banicki

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SEE ALSO: This disturbing book teaches kindergarteners how to defend themselves against school shooters

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This is why Tina Fey and Amy Poehler never want to star in a TV show together


Despite having been BFFs since their Chicago improv days in the early 90s, and having proven their undeniable chemistry on SNL, in movies, and hosting the Golden Globes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will probably never produce a TV show together.

Fey recently revealed to The Advocate that, "She and I haven't really talked about this, but I don't know if we could ever do a series together. We're both alphas who like to do our own thing and then meet up occasionally." 

Fey and Poehler previously co-anchored "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live," co-starred in movies like "Mean Girls" and "Baby Mama," and co-hosted the Golden Globes for three years.

Their new movie, "Sisters," hits theaters December 18th.

"What makes it great now is that the only time we see each other is when we work on things, hosting the Golden Globes, doing 'Sisters,'" Fey added. "So those experiences are exciting and fun." 

But Fey and Poehler will work together again soon, as the two are co-hosting "SNL" on December 19th.

Story by Aly Weisman and editing by Chelsea Pineda

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SEE ALSO: Amy Schumer is doing something awesome for veterans and other women who are re-entering the workforce

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14 luxurious travel experiences you can have this winter


XOJET Costa Rica pool

An all-inclusive vacation is one of the best ways to travel stress-free. 

Many luxury hotels and travel companies are pulling out all of the stops with their vacation offerings this winter. 

From touring by private jet to learning how to mix beats with professional DJs, there are plenty of incredible packages that travelers can take advantage of.

We've put together a collection of 14 incredible packages available to travelers throughout winter and into the coming year. 

While some are special experiences that are only available seasonally, others are once-in-a-lifetime trips to undiscovered sites. 

SEE ALSO: 15 cities you have to visit at least once, according to travelers

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

The W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island, which is located eight miles off of the coast of Puerto Rico, has launched a program where guests can learn how to mix beats with international DJs, concluding with their own live solo set. Packages for the three-night DJ Dispensary Retreat are available for $20,000 and include activities for 10.

Click here to learn more about W Retreat & Spa — Vieques Island »

The New York Hilton Midtown, located directly on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route, is creating a special chocolate suite featuring everything from truffles to beignets. They're being created by the hotel's pastry chef in conjunction with master chocolatier Jacques Torres.

Click here to learn more about New York Hilton Midtown »

The high-floor-corner view room rates will start at $999. Hotel packages include ideal parade views, classic holiday movie screenings in the ballroom, and a photo booth complete with holiday props.

Click here to learn more about New York Hilton Midtown »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A billionaire hedge fund manager explains what is freaking him out about the art market


Ken Griffin

Ken Griffin, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Citadel, was collecting art before it was cool on Wall Street.

Now he's concerned that his peers who have jumped into the art market are doing it for the wrong reasons — they consider it an investment.

"The art market is now viewed as a market," he said Thursday in an interview with CNBC's Kate Kelly. "When I started collecting art 20 years ago, it was really a market dominated by collectors. Today we're seeing far more people pursuing art as an investment. I would have some cause for concern around that."

The problem with seeing art as an investment is that it is an opaque market. There's not enough information out in the public to really understand the future value of an asset.

Two professors at New York University's Stern School of Business, Jianping Mei and Michael Moses, developed their own valuation method — the Mei Moses Art Indexes — after writing a paper called "Art as an Investment and the Underperformance of Masterpieces" in 2002.

The idea behind the indexes was to bring more clarity to price discovery by putting sales data in one place.

"Two major obstacles in analyzing the art market are heterogeneity of artworks and infrequency of trading," the paper said. "The present paper overcomes these problems by constructing a new repeated-sales data set based on auction art price records at the New York Public Library as well as the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art."

Sounds great, but it's not enough.

modigliani nude paintingMei and Moses will tell you that even with the information they have the art market is still super secretive. Their data sets are not close to complete, and they never will be.

What's more, in the past few years sales have been moving away from big auction houses — where there's some transparency —and toward smaller art dealers. That will only make the market more difficult to track.

So what the newbies are doing, according to Griffin, is buying art based on the value of an artist's name, not based on what the buyer loves. That's adding even more price dislocation to the market.

"We're seeing the tier-one artists with their best works setting all-time record highs," Griffin said. "The Modigliani sold last week for $170 million. But we're seeing second-tier artists and second-tier works by the best artists starting to slide down in price.

"I think people should be very hesitant in thinking about art as an investment."

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NOW WATCH: Here are some incredible toys hedge fund boss Steve Cohen has bought with his billions

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