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Happiness and lasting relationships rely on one habit

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couple

Think back to the last time your partner did something nice for you.

Now think about how you reacted to that little act of kindness.

Research suggests that people who are grateful — not just by saying a quick "thanks" but also by internally processing that gratitude — get a happiness boost.

More importantly, they also tend to feel more connected to their significant other and better about their relationship overall.

A recent study by Sara Algoe, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that on days when partners reported feeling more grateful for their significant other's acts of kindness, they also reported feeling more connected to that person. 

In other words, what mattered wasn't how often someone in the relationship did a thoughtful thing — it was how grateful the partner reported feeling about it. 

Amie Gordon, a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, has also studied how gratitude can affect couples. In a series of studies, she found that the more grateful couples said they were the time she first questioned them, the more likely they were to still be in that same relationship nine months later.

It's not just about saying thank you

couple autumnPsychologically speaking, processing gratitude may be different than simply expressing it. So rather than simply saying "thank you" to the person who held the door open, try focusing on how you feel about the person who did that kind act.

"My definition of gratitude," writes Gordon in a blog post for Psychology Today, "includes appreciating not just what your partner does, but who they are as a person. You're not just thankful that your partner took out the trash — you're thankful that you have a partner who is thoughtful enough to know you hate taking out the trash."

Researchsuggests that one of the reasons being grateful feels so good is because it helps kick-start a cycle of positive vibes. In other words, when we start beinggrateful, we're more likely to continue to feel positive in the minutes or months ahead. 

And the people around us probably feel it too.

UP NEXT: Scientists say one behavior is the 'kiss of death' for a relationship

DON'T MISS: Surprising science-backed ways to boost your mood

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The one strategy couples should use to survive tough times in a relationship










This small-town sheriff is super sad that the government is taking away his tank

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Alabama Sheriff Larry Amerson isn't happy that the federal government is taking away his tank.

"Today is a sad and frustrating day for us here at the sheriff's office," he told the AP. 

In January, President Obama issued an order to demilitarize local police units. That meant that the government would soon be reclaiming dozens of military tools, such as tanks and grenade launchers.

Calhoun County, where Amerson is sheriff, was the latest to have its somewhat out-of-place tank taken away.

"The federal government, the US military, is withdrawing a piece of equipment that we found extremely valuable for our purposes, and that is a tracked armored vehicle," Amerson said. "Those vehicles are defensive in nature. They have no offensive capability."

He said the idea that local police having tanks is dangerous is completely misguided, adding that his constituents were big fans of the tank.

"Almost every week we had requests to take this vehicle to public events, to lead the Cancer Society cancer walk," he said.

His department only used it twice for actual police work, he said.

Story by Allan Smith and editing by Stephen Parkhurst

INSIDER is on Facebook: Follow us here

SEE ALSO: Here's the gargantuan aircraft carrier France sent to fight ISIS

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See why one of the world's smallest countries is also one of the most beautiful

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Liechtenstein is a German-speaking micro state that's wedged between Austria and Switzerland. 

At less than 62 square miles, Liechtenstein is the world's sixth-smallest independent country by total land area. 

It's also one of only two-doubly landlocked countries in the world, meaning that it's landlocked, and surrounded by countries that are also landlocked. The only other one is Uzbekistan. 

The micro state is a constitutional monarchy and has been ruled by Liechtenstein's Prince Hans-Adam II since 1989. He lives in Vaduz castle, which overlooks the capital city of Vaduz, after which it is named.

Despite its small size, the country boasts a diverse topography, from rugged alpine peaks to arable lowlands that border the Rhine River. 

Story and editing by Ben Nigh

INSIDER is on Facebook: Follow us here

SEE ALSO: Check out this absolutely breathtaking footage of Turkey

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Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel has some great advice for working moms

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Bethenny Frankel says she's found the key to a work-life balance: keeping them separate.  

"As far as professional and motherhood, when I'm working, I'm completely working and I'm focused," Frankel told INSIDER while promoting her new line of Skinnygirl snacks in New York City. "When I'm with my daughter, I'm completely focused on that and I'm not working."  

Frankel stars on "The Real Housewives of New York City," runs the Skinnygirl empire, is a best-selling author, and is mom to 5-year-old daughter, Bryn.  

"I create my entire schedule and life so it's separated," the 45-year-old added. "And it works really well because I am as much a mom as I am a businesswoman. And vice versa. I love having this legacy to leave for her, and I love that she'll see that I work, but I don't miss her drop-offs and pick-ups, and I don't do work instead of being with her, ever."  

Frankel encourages other working moms to "not be so hard on yourself."  

"You have to just know that you're a good person, your child — when they're at school — is where they're supposed to be; when they're playing with their friends, it's what they're supposed to be doing," she explained. "And it's quality time when you're with them. Be present and focused and let them know how much you love them."  

Story by Aly Weisman and editing by Kristen Griffin

INSIDER is on Facebook:  Follow us here

SEE ALSO:  Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel says the word 'no' changed her life

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15 gourmet Thanksgiving meals for New Yorkers who hate to cook

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isabella's

Cooking a Thanksgiving meal is time-consuming, and for some city dwellers, it's just not feasible.

Thankfully, there are plenty of restaurants in New York City that are creating special menus just for the holiday. They all offer diners the chance to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal without the hassle of cooking and cleaning.

Here's what you can expect to find on 15 New York restaurants' Thanksgiving menus, from a butter-basted turkey with mushroom stuffing to a gourmet turkey that's been stuffed with foie gras and truffles. 

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

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

Ocean Grill

384 Columbus Avenue

Diners can indulge in fresh seafood options off the menu or dive right in to the Thanksgiving prix fixe dinner.

Choose from appetizers like pumpkin spice tuna tataki, a main of butter-basted turkey with mushroom stuffing, sides of sweet potatoes, green beans, and orange cranberry compote, and a dessert, all for $52 per person.



Atlantic Grill

1341 Third Avenue

Start off with your choice of a small plate like a butternut squash bisque or pumpkin ravioli.

Next, indulge in a turkey that's been roasted in herbs and stuffed with apple brioche. On the side, enjoy a sweet potato puree, caramelized fall vegetables, and an orange cranberry compote. Finally, have your dessert of choice. The meal totals $52 per person. 

 

 



Blue Fin

W Hotel Times Square, 1567 Broadway

Guests can choose from delectable seafood appetizers like a charred baby octopus before enjoying sage-roasted turkey with apple chestnut stuffing, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and a cherry cranberry compote.

With a choice of dessert, the meal totals $56 per person.

 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








50 incredible hotels you should sleep in during your lifetime

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manta resort

You're planning an unforgettable trip, so why not choose a hotel that's equally memorable? 

From ice palaces in Canada to underwater rooms in Africa, we've come up with 50 of the world's most incredible hotels that will take any vacation to the next level.

Here's our ultimate bucket list of 50 hotels everyone should stay in at least once in their lives. 

Did we miss your dream hotel? Let us know in the comments. 

Jennifer Polland and Alyson Penn contributed to an earlier version of this story.

SEE ALSO: The 30 best hotels in the world

FOLLOW US: BI Travel is on Twitter!

Stare out at Singapore's skyline while taking a dip in the incredible 57-story-high infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands hotel.

Learn more about Marina Bay Sands in Singapore »

Book a room at the hotel »



Eat breakfast while watching zebras at the Little Mombo Camp in Botswana's Okavango Delta, which Travel + Leisure called the best hotel in the world in 2013.

Learn more about Little Mombo Camp »

Book a room at the hotel »



Wake up to incredible views of the Eiffel Tower at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel in Paris.

Book a room at the hotel »



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








This master sushi chef turned a McDonald's Big Mac into a sushi roll

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Master sushi chef Hiroyuki Terada, of NoVe Kitchen and Bar in Miami, decided to see if he could turn a McDonald's Big Mac into a sushi roll.

He succeeded.

In order to transform the burger into a roll, Hiro had to take it apart first.

He separated the bread, meat, cheese, lettuce, and sauce, then sliced the buns in half, cut up the ingredients, and placed them on the sliced buns. He also added fresh avocado, tomato, parsley, and french fries, of course.

Terada then rolled it all up, cut the roll into pieces, and squirted some BBQ sauce and mayonnaise on top.

This just might be the fanciest Big Mac you'll ever see!

Story by Sarah Schmalbruch and editing by Ben Nigh

INSIDER is on Facebook: Follow us here

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Zayn Malik is taking his career on a radically different path after leaving One Direction

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In his first extensive interview since leaving the world's most popular boy band, ex-One Direction singer Zayn Malik talked to The Fader about his solo career.

In the magazine's cover story, he said he left the band because of musical differences, and that the music he's making now is radically different from One Direction's "generic" pop.

"There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band," he told the magazine. "If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as f***, so they could use that version."

In the past few months, Zayn has started working with Malay, the R&B producer behind Frank Ocean's critically acclaimed album "Channel Orange." He says his new album, expected to be released in 2016, will be somewhat experimental, with R&B, reggae, and even rock influences — all of which sounds far from the music that made One Direction so famous.

He also said he doesn't mind if his new album isn't as successful as his past work.

"I've got enough. I don't need you to buy it on a mass scale for me to feel satisfied," he said.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss

INSIDER is on Facebook: Follow us here

SEE ALSO: Justin Bieber is suddently making the best, most popular music of his career

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The 15 most expensive homes for sale in the Silicon Valley town that was named America's priciest zip code

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1 Faxon Rd

For the third year in a row, Atherton, California, has been named America's most expensive zip code by Forbes.

It's no surprise, then, that the small Silicon Valley town surrounded by tech giants like Facebook and Google is filled to the brim with luxury real estate. The most recent analysis found that the median listing price for a home in Atherton was a whopping $10.6 million. Tech billionaires Paul Allen, Eric Schmidt, Meg Whitman, and Sheryl Sandberg have all called the town home at one point.

Our friends at Point2Homeshelped us find the most expensive homes for sale in Atherton right now. Not a single one of the 15 most expensive homes is asking less than $10 million. 

SEE ALSO: Inside One57, the new most expensive building in New York City

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

Like a hidden oasis, this Atherton mansion is nestled snugly between its landscaped greenery.

Address: 393 Atherton Ave

Price: $10 million

The house itself contains five bedrooms and a whopping eight bathrooms, as well as a gym and home theater room.



This turn-of-the-century estate sits on two pristine Atherton acres.

Address:120 Selby Lane

Price: $10.5 million

It's 11,000 square feet in total, including seven bedrooms. Outside, there's a tennis court and room to store eight cars in the detached garage.



This historic home was built in 1885 and has serious character.

Address:151 Laurel Street

Price: $11.4 million

Modern renovations have brought it up to snuff. The real value, however, is the nearly two-acre lot that's only a 9-minute walk or three-minute drive away from downtown Atherton.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








Adele's new album might become the fastest-selling album of the decade

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Adele is poised to put up sales numbers the music industry hasn't seen in more than a decade.

According to Billboard, her new album, "25," is projected to sell 2.5 million copies in its first week. That would be the biggest first week for an album since Nielsen started keeping count in 1991. *NSYNC currently holds the first-week sales record, with 2000's "No Strings"Attached" selling 2.4 million copies.

For some perspective on how impressive Adele's sales are in 2015, Taylor Swift's "1989" album has the best first-week sales of last year, and it only sold 1.2 million copies.

Adele's album will not be immediately available to stream on Spotify or Apple Music, the New York Times reports.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Kristen Griffin

INSIDER is on Facebook: Follow us here

SEE ALSO: Zayn Malik is taking his career on a radically different path after leaving One Direction

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You can buy the real-life villain's lair from 'Spectre' for $4 million

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Marrakesh James Bond Villian House

Fancy yourself a super villain? This may be your chance to live exactly like the main baddie from the new James Bond flick "Spectre."

A contemporary villa in Marrakesh, Morocco, is now on the market for $4 million. It served as part of the lair of the main evil villain, Franz Oberhauser, played by Christoph Waltz.

French real estate agency Emile Garcin has the listing.

 

SEE ALSO: Here's how much you'll have to spend to look like James Bond in 'Spectre'

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

Recognize this? This contemporary African villa played a prominent role as the lair of Franz Oberhauser — played by Christoph Waltz — in the new James Bond film "Spectre."



Though in the movie it was superimposed in the middle of the Moroccan desert, the home is actually closer to the city of Marrakesh.



The listing calls the villa a "cutting-edge contemporary design."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








These 13 Google Chrome hacks will change the way you use the internet

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Google Chrome

Since it debuted in 2008, Google Chrome has quickly risen to be the most popular web browser in the world, beating out Firefox and Internet Explorer

But that doesn't mean you can't make it better.

There are many extensions and programs that innovative developers have built to make using Chrome more productive and more fun. With them, you can save articles to read anywhere, learn a new language, save money while shopping, and even improve your writing. 

And the beauty is that they don't actually require you to put in any extra work.

These 13 extensions and apps can help you both streamline your Chrome browsing and help you do things you didn't even know were possible. Read on to become a Google Chrome pro:

Become a coupon pro with Honey

Honey automatically searches for coupon codes and sales whenever you are checking out online. Just click the Honey button and it will scour the web and apply coupon codes to your shopping cart. It's basically just free money.

Download Honey here.



Make sure you always have something to read with Pocket

Pocket is an easy way to save any article to read later — on your phone, tablet, or computer. If you come across an article (or any website) you don't have time to read right then, simply hit the Pocket extension and that article will end up in your Pocket queue. You can access this from any of your devices.

Download Pocket here.



Practice a new language while you surf the web with Language Immersion

Language Immersion is an ingenious Chrome extension that tries to simulate what it's like to be immersed in a foreign language. It works by switching random words and phrases from English into a language of your choice (you can always click them to put them back into English). This allows you to passively practice your new language while you are doing other things. 

Download Language Immersion here.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








Kick-ass girls are an awesome new trend in entertainment

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Girl power has never rang truer, as kick-ass little girls are taking over entertainment.

The most memorable part of Sia's latest music video isn't Sia: The real star is nine-year-old karate master Mahiro Takano.

But Mahiro Takano isn't the only little girl punching her way into our hearts.

Jesse Jane McParland learned how to handle a sword at age 10. Her online videos have gotten millions of views, leading her to wow audience members at The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Meanwhile, on TV, Arya Stark has become the fiercest warrior on HBO's "Game of Thrones," and arguably the show's best character. She went through a lot of training to perfect her swordsmanship.

Finally, who can forget the OG kick-ass girl: Hit-Girl from the movie "Kick-Ass."

Jesse Jane McParland summed up the reason for this trend best. "Mommy said, 'Why? Why do you not like ballet?' And I said, 'Momma, not every girl dreams of being a little princess,'" McParland told Ellen DeGeneres.

Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Stephen Parkhurst

INSIDER is on Facebook: Follow us here

SEE ALSO: 'Mockingjay — Part 2' gives Jennifer Lawrence a triumphant end to the 'Hunger Games' movies

Join the conversation about this story »










These photos show what Hong Kong's most famous sites looked like more than 100 years ago

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What did Hong Kong look like a century ago?

HotelClub, an online community for travelers, set out to answer this question using Google Street View and the help of historian Mark Footer.

They created an interactive tool that lets you see what some of Hong Kong's most popular sites looked like as far back as 100 years ago, compared to how they appear today. You can explore the Western Market as it was in 1947, ride through the bustling Kennedy Town in 1957, and see what Nathan Road looked like in 1920.

To see the photos, click "Explore" on the graphic below. Click on each site to see how it appeared decades ago. Once you get past the first row of photos, keep scrolling to see the rest. 

 

SEE ALSO: 35 beautiful vintage photos show what Istanbul looked like in the 1960s

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This video of teenagers dangling at the top of a Hong Kong skyscraper is beyond intense










Here's how a Chick-fil-A classic stacks up against NYC's trendiest chicken sandwich

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Fuku vs Chick fil A 6

While the rest of America has known about the wonders of Chick-fil-A for some time now, the famed chicken chain only recently arrived on the shores of Manhattan. 

For the past month or so, NYC has been in the midst of a chicken sandwich craze.

Long lines are still a daily occurrence at the new Chick-fil-A, but even before the store opened in October, the city was abuzz over the newest addition to restaurateur David Chang's Momofuku restaurant group.

Fuku has entered the fried chicken sandwich arena with its signature spicy chicken sandwich, and New Yorkers have been clamoring for it. 

I decided to pitch the two against each other in a taste test to see if New York City's gourmet option has what it takes to keep up with Chick-fil-A's tried-and-true spicy offering. 

SEE ALSO: 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

Fuku delivers via the delivery app Caviar, but only for a limited window of time during the day, so I made sure to get it fast. The sandwich is so popular, lines at the store itself often wind their way onto the sidewalk.



Fuku's sandwich, on the left, comes in a shiny foil pocket, while Chick-fil-A's, right, is nestled within a branded one.



So, how do they compare?



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








Here’s the secret to consistently getting a better night’s sleep

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woman sleeping sleep maskSo you slept terribly this week.

No worries, you think to yourself: You'll make it up this weekend.

But ignoring your alarm clock and waking up at noon on Saturday and Sunday could be a recipe for disaster — especially if you got up at the crack of dawn every day this week. That's at least according to severalrecent studies and one brand new one released Wednesday.

The findings explore a fairly new concept that's been getting more attention recently called "social jetlag." The phenomenon works just like regular old jetlag, only it happens when our body clocks get thrown off by the gap between our weekend and weekday sleep schedules.

Aside from simply cutting back on our shut-eye, social jetlag has been linked with some pretty unwelcome health effects, from poor mood and trouble paying attention to obesity and higher body mass index.

Luckily, there are ways to fix it. And the biggest one is baffling simple:

Wake up at around the same time every day!

The newest study found even more connections between social jetlag and health, including lower levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and higher body mass index in people exposed to more social jetlag. These findings persisted even after the researchers accounted for outside factors like people's exercise and eating and drinking habits.

For their study, researchers studied close to 450 men and women between ages 30 and 54 by having them wear sleep-tracking devices for a week. 

The vast majority of them — roughly 85% — woke up and went to bed later on non-working days than they did on working days.

The findings were pretty striking: The bigger the gap between people's sleep schedules on days when they worked and days when they didn't, the stronger the negative findings on factors related to metabolism like body mass index and cholesterol.

And while the latest study was too short to prove that these particular effects are long-lasting, plenty of other research backs up the idea that the gap between our workweek and weekend schedules isn't doing us any favors. 

So do something for yourself this weekend and set an alarm for a reasonable hour. Your body will thank you.

UP NEXT: There's a fascinating reason why it feels like it gets harder to sleep as you age

SEE ALSO: 12 healthy habits to get a better night's sleep, according to scientists

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Stop skating by on minimal sleep — these are the scary side effects of running on fumes










How a group of Yale students pulled off one of the greatest college pranks of all time

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Harvard Yale University Prank We Suck

Mike Kai and David Aulicino were seniors at Yale in 2004 when they, along with 20 friends, dressed as the fictional Harvard Pep Squad, boldly entered Harvard's football stadium, and convinced close to 2,000 unsuspecting Crimson fans to help spell out two words: "WE SUCK."

The prank — brilliant in its simplicity — actually took more than a year of planning to properly execute.

Last year, for the 10th anniversary of the "WE SUCK" gag, Business Insider spoke with Kai and Aulicino, who explained how they were able to pull off one of the greatest college pranks of all time. Here's the full story, in honor of this weekend's big game between Yale and Harvard.

Yale University Students Harvard Prank We SuckA partnership is born

Kai and Aulicino first met during their freshman year at Yale, when they were randomly placed into the same residential college, Pierson. The two bonded by "concocting random plans together," according to Kai. Their earliest endeavors included building a hot tub using an inflatable pool and garden hoses and a foam machine made with parts from The Home Depot.

By their junior year, the duo had moved on to bigger projects. While throwing around some prank ideas for the annual Harvard Crimson-Yale Bulldogs football game — a massive event for both universities known simply as "The Game" — one of their friends suggested getting Harvard fans to unknowingly spell out an embarrassing message.

"It was one of those things where you're sitting around with some buddies drinking beer and one guy says 'Wouldn't it be cool if ...' I woke up the next day and couldn't shake the idea. It haunted me. At first, it was a matter of getting the ball rolling, building the team, coming up with the strategy. But later, once we invested so much time and money into it, there was no turning back," Kai wrote in a Reddit AMA two years ago.

So, with the help of some friends, then-Yale juniors Kai and Aulicino attempted to pull off a large-scale prank that would truly surprise their Ivy League rivals. As luck would have it, The Game — which switches between New Haven and Cambridge every year — was at the Yale Bowl in 2003, giving them home-field advantage.

The first attempt

The Yale crew's original plan was to enter the stadium before The Game started and leave red and white construction paper underneath the seats of Harvard fans. The paper was to be laid out specifically so that when raised, the completed design would spell out "WE SUCK."

But Kai, Aulicino, and the other Yale students had to call off their prank before it began. Someone had called in a bomb threat before The Game started, and Yale police evacuated the stadium, searching everyone who was inside.

"Once the bomb threat came in, they wanted to search everyone in the stadium, and there were very few people there. They saw us with all of the construction paper," Aulicino said.

Caught in the act, and without a believable explanation for what they were doing, the would-be Yale pranksters had to abandon their plan.

But what seemed like a missed opportunity at the time may have been a blessing in disguise. When setting up the prank at the Yale Bowl, it became clear their plan of taping the paper to the seats before the game wouldn't work.

"If it weren't for the bomb scare, I actually think the other big risk factor was that we put it underneath the chairs, and from the other side you could sort of read it," Kai said.

The Yale students were undeterred, and if anything, now wanted more than ever to pull off an awesome prank. For months after the failed 2003 attempt, Kai drove around with stacks of red and white construction paper in his trunk, unable to give up on their idea. Once senior year started, Kai and Aulicino recommitted to their efforts toward successfully establishing their superiority over Harvard.

Meet the 'Harvard Pep Squad'

The second time around, the pair didn't take any chances. They came up with a new plan to prank their rivals during the annual football game, and even better, they got Harvard fans to unknowingly help set up their prank.

Harvard We Suck Prank Yale Students"Rather than tape the papers to the seats, they created a system to have the Harvard crowd pass out the 1,800 cards themselves. The 'Harvard Pep Squad' went to each row and handed out a pre-ordered stack of the red and white papers," The Yale Daily News reported in 2004.

In order to ensure that their new plan went off smoothly, the Yale students needed to get to know the layout of Harvard Stadium, where The Game was held in 2004.

On October 9, more than a month before The Game, Kai and Aulicino drove up to Cambridge to check out the Harvard-Cornell football game. There, Kai took detailed photographs of the stadium and counted the rows in each section.

Back in New Haven, Kai and Aulicino developed fairly sophisticated schematics of the Harvard Stadium layout, down to the number of bleachers. Because they knew the Harvard-Yale game would be packed, Kai said, they had to "guestimate" how many people would be able to fit in each row and section.

"The challenge was that the 'seats' are laid out as one giant cement bench so there could be more or less than the seat numbers specified ... With the estimation, we created a grid that let us 'draw' in red each pixel and the way 'WE SUCK' would be laid out," Kai wrote on Reddit.

A good map wouldn't be enough, though. Kai and Aulicino also realized that they needed a cover story to explain what they were doing on the Harvard side of the stadium.

"We didn't really have a story sussed out [in 2003], so when we did it again the next year, we really looked at what failed the first time around. And one of those gaps was that we needed a really good story," Kai said.

Harvard Yale University We Suck Prank Student Pep Band ShirtThe solution was the "Harvard Pep Squad," an invented student group that would offer a believable reason for interacting with the Crimson crowd and passing out their red and white paper.

In order to fully sell the group to the Harvard fans, the Yale students went all-out on their disguises — designing their own "Harvard Pep Squad" T-shirts, donning red and white face paint, and even manufacturing fake Harvard student IDs complete with pseudonyms, in case anyone questioned them.

According to Kai, the Yale students made the fake IDs using a Harvard student-ID card that belonged to a friend's ex-girlfriend.

Unfortunately, many of their original collaborators from the year before were discouraged by the original plan's untimely demise. According to Kai, a new group of Yale students was recruited for the prank at Harvard Stadium.

"Most of the people who helped us our junior year didn't want to help senior year, after seeing the failure," Kai told Business Insider. "So it became a mix of close friends and freshmen, who hadn't seen the failed plan."

The new recruits helped fill out a range of positions.

"We needed 20 people just to hand out the heavy construction paper, plus we needed people to rile up the crowd and get them excited," Aulicino said.

Armed with their "Harvard Pep Squad" outfits — and some practiced cheers — 2004's prank was set to be smoother than the year before.

Even with all the prep work, Kai described himself on Reddit as "incredibly nervous" the night before The Game. "Dave and I planned every detail we could imagine and went through every possible scenario. It was like preparing for battle, really. Stacking all those papers the night before, double-checking everything, coordinating meetup points," he wrote.

As seniors, this would be their last chance to pull off a prank of this magnitude on one of the most anticipated days for students at both schools. By the next morning, though, they were ready.

In the stadium

"A friend in the Yale Band got a handful of us access before the game started. We carried about 100 pounds worth of paper in black trash bags to a corner of the Harvard side of the stadium," Kai wrote on Reddit.

Once they had set up, the Harvard Pep Squad made their presence known, pumping up the Crimson fans with cheers and distributing a few extra T-shirts throughout the stands. With the crowd on their side, the Yale students began to hand out their red and white paper during the second quarter.

"It was incredibly terrifying to pass out the cards and hope for the best, since we had to rely on the fans to do it for us," Kai wrote on Reddit.

He explained how the Harvard Pep Squad was able to distribute their paper throughout the crowd and eventually get the Crimson fans to participate in their prank:

Since each row was very long, we made "sub-stacks" to split each row 3x and so that the Pep Squad members could deliver accordingly. That's why we needed so many people, 26 in all I believe. 1800 large pieces of construction paper was about 150-175lbs. It was about a 4ft high stack ...

We created approx 48 stacks of paper and stapled instructions on each piece that said clearly "TAKE THE TOP ONE, PASS REST ON" Then each stack was handed by a Pep Squad member to the person at the beginning of each row. Since we did our recon beforehand and knew (generally) how many people could sit in each row, we hoped for the best as the cards streamed across the stadium. Because the cards were so big and unwieldy, we didn't wait long to give the instructions. One of the coolest things was that just a handful of remaining Pep Squad members "lit the fuse" so to speak — once a few fans held up signs, everyone else did the same.

"We knew we had to get people's attention, because it was our crew who would give the signal," Kai said.

Harvard Yale University Students Prank We SuckThe only potential problem with the plan occurred when a Harvard student began to question one of the Pep Squad members, asking what residential house they were in.

After some hesitation, the Yale student answered "ho-fo" — which is not a Harvard house. She then recovered slightly, volunteering "fo-ho," a nickname for Harvard's Pforzheimer House.

The other Pep Squad members were quick to cover up her mistake, telling the Harvard student that their forgetful friend was "probably drunk."

"There was one person, a student, who got very suspicious. One of the people in our pep squad maybe had a little too much to drink and messed up the name of the house. I had to play it off like, 'I can't believe you're questioning us, we're Harvard students, this is so offensive of you,'" Aulicino said.

The real Harvard student left the Pep Squad alone after Aulicino produced one of the fake Harvard IDs.

'This really worked!'

Aside from the brief round of questioning, the Harvard Pep Squad seemed to be fully accepted into the Crimson fan base.

"It was almost sad. There were all these grandfather and grandmother types — and they all had big smiles, saying, 'Oh you're so cute, I'm so glad you're doing this.' I felt bad for about two minutes. Then I got over it," one Yale student/Harvard Pep Band member told The Yale Daily News.

Even the Harvard Stadium security let the students move around the crowd freely. As Kai wrote on Reddit, "Security and staff surprisingly didn't seem to care. We made sure to scream and yell a ton to be hidden in plain sight."

Harvard Yale University We Suck Prank FansBecause Kai, Aulicino, and the rest of the Harvard Pep Squad were basically in the eye of the storm, they had no way of knowing if their prank was successful.

"It was super anti-climatic! After the first time the signs went up, we all just stared at each other. No one on the Harvard side knew what the signs really said since you were so close to the action," Kai wrote on Reddit.

A "hysterical" friend on the other side of the stadium quickly called him, though, saying, "This actually worked! And you need to do it again because people didn't realize what just happened."

The Harvard Pep Squad had the fans hold up the signs several more times. On the third time, right before the end of the first half, the game stopped on the field as the players on both sides noticed the message in the stands, as well as a chant coming from the Yale section.

"For me, one of the biggest signs that I knew we had actually pulled it off was all of the sudden we heard this loud uniform sound from the other side of the stadium — 'You suck, you suck, you suck,'" Aulicino said.

And that was it. They had pulled it off and, at the time, no one at Harvard knew what had happened.

The big reveal

The Game took place right around Yale's Thanksgiving break, "so we definitely celebrated that day ... we had video footage that we just kept replaying," Kai said.

As part of the preparation for the prank, the Yale students had filmed their entire process — from organizing the construction paper to their eventual success in the Harvard Stadium stands. "I was really into film, so I had access to all the equipment and had plotted it all out in my head," Kai said. "I knew we needed some shots of us putting it together, because of how absurd it was with the shirts and the paper and everything."

Eleven years ago, there was no such thing as YouTube or iPhones. If the Yale students wanted people to know about what they did, they had to publish and distribute the video on their own. Right after The Game, Kai and Aulicino created the website HarvardSucks.org — hosted on Yale's servers — where their video went viral.

Harvard Yale University We Suck Prank Students MaximAccording to Kai, on the first day they hit 100,000 views and by the second day 1.2 million. The immense popularity of their prank forced the Yale servers to crash, shutting down the campus-wide email system for a few hours.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Yale administration reached out to the prank masterminds, wanting to meet. But the dean thought the prank was "hilarious," Kai wrote on Reddit, and was more concerned with what was happening with the school's servers.

In order to cover the cost of the pranks — Kai estimates that he spent about $750 for the construction paper and custom shirts — they began to sell posters of the "WE SUCK" sign for $10. The poster sales covered their expenses within the first hour.

"Within an hour we made the money back, and after that we donated the extra to relief efforts for the big Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami. Something like $10 grand when it was all over with! We also threw a big raging party of course," Kai wrote on Reddit.

Riding high, Kai and Aulicino even upped the stakes of their prank, making up a now-infamous story that Harvard marching-band members got them into the stadium before The Game and had helped plan the prank.

"Man, we were brazen," Kai wrote on Reddit. "After the prank made the news, a Harvard publication wanted to do an interview. So to toss salt in the wound we trolled them with a story about how their own marching band wanted to help out."

One of the strengths of the prank — and likely the reason the fake Harvard Pep Squad members got away with it without punishment — is that it was relatively tame and not particularly malicious. "The prank was on the edge, but it was all good-natured. It didn't result in any property damage or anyone getting hurt," Kai said.

Even Harvard's director of athletic communications said that the prank was "all in good fun."

But the message was almost a little more crude than just "WE SUCK," Kai said: "We had some really vulgar ideas, and I'm so glad we had other people involved, who sat us down and said, that's not going to make people happy."

On Reddit, Kai revealed another slogan the Yale team considered that didn't make the final product: "I <3 C--k."

Where are they now?

More than a decade has passed since Mike Kai and David Aulicino sneaked more than 20 Yale students into Harvard Stadium and successfully pulled off one of the greatest college pranks ever.

After graduating from Yale in 2005, the two friends went their separate ways, ending up on opposite ends of the country in different fields.

Harvard Pep Squad We Suck Prank Yale University StudentsAccording to his Reddit AMA, Kai got his first job after graduation partially from the popularity of the prank, when a Georgetown law professor he met with after the video went viral put him in touch with the founder of Rhapsody, a streaming-music company based in Seattle. He became a project manager there.

He is now an "internet entrepreneur."

"I previously founded a digital product consultancy that did work for clients like AT&T, Pioneer, and early-stage startups," Kai said. "I left a few months ago to focus on relaunching a company that offers a DIY website builder application for freelancers and small businesses."

Aulicino received a math PhD from the University of Maryland and is doing a postdoc at the University of Chicago. According to the UChicago website, he works with "Teichmüller theory and dynamical systems."

He told Business Insider he still can't believe they pulled it off.

"I think for me, the farther we get from it, the less I believe it actually happened," Aulicino said. "It was such a confluence of so many things coming together, the timing, everything being right."

Kai agreed. "I can't believe we had the guts to do it," he said. "I can't believe that with a straight face I convinced people that this would actually happen."

Watch the original video of Mike Kai and David Aulicino's "WE SUCK" prank below:

SEE ALSO: How a group of Harvard students made everyone believe their fake Yale campus tour was real

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These hot-shot brothers sell $50 million penthouses for Manhattan's elite — and their swanky new home is the ultimate bachelor pad

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Tal and Oren Alexander want you to know they're not your average salesmen. Calling themselves "The A Team," these brothers have sold some of the most expensive properties in New York City, the Hamptons, and Miami. 

Their most recent listing is a $50 million penthouse at the top of New York's famed Plaza Hotel — the fifth listing of more than $40 million they're currently selling exclusively. They're also working on a brand-new development in Miami, in addition to all of the homes they're marketing in Manhattan.

"Everyday is different and interesting," Oren told Business Insider. "We do laps around this city. We're meeting with some of the most important people in the world in some of the most important residences in the world."

It makes sense, then, that the brothers themselves would make their home in an equally gorgeous space. They recently moved into a fifth-floor loft in a Soho building where Arianna Huffington and Jon Bon Jovi have at different times owned units. 

Tal and Oren gave Business Insider a tour of their new digs — and we found that it was the ultimate upscale bachelor pad. 

SEE ALSO: Go inside an insane $6 million loft owned by a renowned art collector

The Alexander Brothers live in the New Museum Building, a high-end condo building where Arianna Huffington also owns a unit. In June 2014, after more than a year on the market, Bon Jovi sold his penthouse atop the building for $37.5 million.



Each unit is incredibly spacious and open, with a 4,200-square-foot floor plate and 12-foot ceilings. The Alexander brothers' unit was fully renovated six years ago.



A large glass wall can be slid across the floor by turning this wheel. Doing so effectively divides the space into separate rooms.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








50,000 people are already on the wait list to get this year's hottest snow boots — here's why everyone's obsessed with them

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Bean Boots

It's déjà vu for Bean Boot fans.

The popular heritage boot from outdoor retailer L.L. Bean is already sold out, and more than 50,000 people are on the wait list, according to The Boston Globe.

The waiting list started back in September and has only grown since then.

"It just keeps coming," Diane Lavallee, a bootsticher at the factory, told the Globe. "We feel bad. People are waiting, and we want to please our customers. It’s just crazy, and I’ve never seen it like this before."

Some boot styles won't be delivered until February if ordered now, and almost all of them won't arrive until after the holiday season.

Bean Boot loyalists will remember that this same situation happened last year, when L.L. Bean had a backlog of 100,000 boot orders to get through and didn't deliver the goods until summer. Since last year's shortage was so widespread, many consumers ordered boots in the off-seasons, and the company never had any downtime to stockpile inventory, they said.

Part of the reason for this backlog is the shoe's sudden "it" status, combined with its laborious manufacture process — which, for many of the boot's components, is still done by hand.

"They're all over college campuses and high schools," L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem told Boston.com last year. "Without changing anything, they're back in style."

Why are the 100-year-old boots so popular now? There are a few reasons:

  • Legacy products are hot right now. Consumers — especially millennials — connect to the product's history and bulletproof track record. The Bean Boot dates back to 1911, when brand founder Leon Leonwood Bean sold his Maine Hunting Shoe, which the Bean Boot descended from.
  • A slightly goofy aesthetic is back in style. The all-American boots fall into the still-going-strong "normcore" trend that's popular among young urbanites. It's also a super-distinctive style that everyone can and will recognize on your foot.
  • The boots are an incredible value. The most basic model is only $99, and it comes with L.L. Bean's unconditional satisfaction guarantee, meaning you can return the boots at any time for virtually any reason.
  • Speaking of bulletproof, that's exactly what Bean Boots are. They're known to be completely flawless from a functionality perspective. Many owners see the boots perform for decades without replacement.

Bean Boots

L.L. Bean sold 450,000 pairs of Bean Boots last year. This year, with ramped-up production, they plan to sell more than 500,000. But the boots are still handmade by less than 500 craftsman in L.L. Bean's two factories in Maine. Two hundred additional boot makers have been hired on over the last two years, and the company has invested in a $1.2 million molding injection machine to make its rubber soles faster.

An additional $800,000 in equipment to speed up the process is also on order, and 45 more workers will be hired between now and next September. The factories work around the clock and can pump out 2,200 pairs of Bean Boots a day — and it's still not enough. 

"We realize we could outsource, but that will never happen," L.L. Bean spokesman Mac McKeever told Bloomberg. "The boots have been hand-sewn in Maine by our own skilled boot workers, and they always will be."

After all, the fact that the boots are still hand-sewn in Maine at a reasonable price point is precisely the reason they're so in demand. Though the scarcity may be sending some customers to less in-demand brands, it certainly hasn't hurt the Bean Boot, NPD Group chief retail analyst Marshal Cohen told the Globe.

“It adds to the lore and the beauty of getting the boot,” Cohen said. “It’s the smartest strategy you can possibly employ.”

SEE ALSO: 12 fall clothing and style hacks every guy should know

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The germs found inside the New York City subway are disgustingly beautiful

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If you're a germophobe, you might want to stay away from the New York City subway.

Or if you're a typographer, designer, and photographer with a twisted fascination for germs like Craig Ward, you might want to swab a sample, take it home, put it under a microscope, and snap a picture.

Ward began taking samples of germs from across all 22 New York City subway lines this summer. For each sample, he cultivated the germs into the shape of the train line's name, creating a depiction of the subway system that is both grotesque and captivating. 

While his findings may not be 100% accurate given his less-than-precise process, he told us that his results "are true with a degree of certainty." 

UP NEXT: A geneticist says any new parent should 'roll their child on floor of the New York subway' — here's why

SEE ALSO: Here's what your tears look like under a microscope

To gather samples, Ward used damp sterile sponges that were cut in the shape of the subway line's name. He'd then put the findings into triptych soy agar and seal them in a petri dish, which cultivated growth.



Ward collected his samples during off-peak subway hours, when the trains wouldn't be as crowded. Regardless, no one ever questioned him while he diligently sponged down the poles. "Let's be honest, you can kind of do as you please on the subway," Ward told Business Insider. "People are pretty tolerant."



"Most of what I found was really very common and is no more than you’d expect to find by, say, shaking hands with a group of people before a meeting," he said.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider








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