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11 James Bond props superfans can drop thousands of dollars on

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james bond spectre auction

We can't all be 007. But at least we can get close by picking up a piece of the smooth-operating spy's kit. 

Christie's is auctioning off a selection of the props and costumes used by actor Daniel Craig and the rest of the cast of 2015's "Spectre", the latest addition to the Bond ouevre. There's both a live auction and an online one; bidding online started on February 17 and closes on February 23.

All proceeds will be going towards Doctors Without Borders and other charitable groups, including the United Nations Mine Action Service, the Danish Refugee Council, and One to One Children's Fund.

It won't come cheap, but you'll know you've made it when you serve your date a perfectly chilled martini — shaken, not stirred — in the very same glasses from which Craig and his costar Léa Seydoux sipped their own cocktails. 

Check out some of the agent-approved items up for grabs, below.

SEE ALSO: Miami is a billionaire homebuyer's paradise — these are some of its most important luxury condos and mansions

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

Live bidding in London will start at $5,700 on this gold ring, a critical piece in the "Spectre" plot, that was worn by the villain Oberhauser (played by actor Christoph Waltz). The ring is 9 carat yellow gold, with a 7 tentacle octopus logo imprinted in it.



It doesn't get much more dapper than this two-piece dinner suit by designer Tom Ford, worn by Daniel Craig with a red carnation in the lapel while wooing his romantic match. It's estimated to go for as much as $42,750.



This is a prototype Omega Seamaster 300 wristwatch worn by Craig as Bond. It has a black dial with luminous hands, and a circular stainless steel case with transparent back. It's estimated to sell for above $21,000.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Meet the three women who married Donald Trump

This custom, $55,000 wine cellar goes right in your kitchen floor

There's a new website enticing Americans to move to a Canadian island if Trump gets elected

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Nova Scotia

If Donald Trump getting elected to the White House is your worst fear, don't worry — just move to Cape Breton, Canada.

A new website, "Cape Breton if Donald Trump wins," was set up by a local radio announcer on Monday to encourage Americans to immigrate to the small island on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. 

"Don't wait until Donald Trump is elected president to find somewhere else to live!" the website reads. "Start now, that way on election day, you just hop on a bus to start your new life in Cape Breton, where women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only 'walls' are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses."

While the website's purpose is ostensibly to make fun of the bombastic real-estate developer running for the Republican nomination, there is an ulterior motive: Cape Breton's population is shrinking

"A slow economy, in combination with out-migration has us on an unsustainable path," the website reads. "The truth is we welcome all, no matter the ideology."

The website also warns that though unemployment is high on the island, with one of the most affordable housing markets in North America, you don't need "a jillion dollars," to afford a home on Cape Breton.

"I'm in disbelief," Rob Calabrese, a local radio announcer who set up the website told The Globe and Mail. He said that he's been receiving "hundreds of emails," with serious inquiries about immigrating to Nova Scotia. 

The website's frequently asked questions section insists this campaign isn't a joke.

"Yes, this is Canada, but Cape Breton isn't frozen all year around!" the website reads. "Our summers are delightful with highs in the 80 degree range."

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NOW WATCH: For the first time in months, Donald Trump is trailing in a new national poll

This man makes insane, edible art out of pancake batter

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Dan Gibson started drawing faces and pictures in pancake batter when he worked in the kitchen of a St. Louis diner, which translated into larger tips. That was the beginning of Dancakes, a pancake art business Gibson runs with his friend Hank Gustafson. 

Dancakes has a growing online presence, and each video of colored pancake batter turning into the spitting image of a famous person or character garners thousands of views on YouTube.

Story and editing by A.C. Fowler

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This woman's powerful yoga photos are inspiring thousands on Instagram

I fed myself on $2 a day for a month — here are my 9 best tips for making it work

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basket

It turns out that eating on $2 a day is more than possible.

I know because I tried it in January. I was inspired by a young Elon Musk, who challenged himself to a minimal food budget as a teenager to see if he had what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

I don't recommend this tedious lifestyle if you can help it (and neither does Musk), but if you decide to take the "Elon Musk challenge" — or if you're looking to lower your monthly grocery bill — here are my nine best tips.

SEE ALSO: I took the 'Elon Musk Challenge' and spent only $2 a day on food for a month — and it was easier than I expected

1. Where you shop matters.

Luxury or organic grocery stores are out of the question — that's obvious. I also learned to stay away from certain, major supermarket chains. During week one, I popped into Gristedes and Food Emporium to do a bit of price comparison. While I didn't look at many products, there seemed to be enough of a price discrepancy between them and my go-to spot: the famously affordable Trader Joe's. Pasta, for example, cost about $1.60 at Gristedes (compared to $.99 at Trader Joe's) — and with a $2-a-day budget, every cent matters.

If you have an accessible Aldi, that chain tends to be even cheaper than Trader Joe's. Also, if I were to do it all over, I would've looked for steals at local markets, which I've heard have unbeatable prices.

2. Use cash.

When you have to stick to a tight budget, ditching your plastic cards for cash can make a world of difference. For one, you get a better idea of exactly how much money you're spending and how much you have remaining in your budget. Plus, there's something about physically handing over bills — watching your money disappear right before your eyes — that causes you to value it more.

At the start of January, I set aside exactly $62 in cash. After every trip to the grocery store, I would count my bills and ensure I was at (or below) my budget. The strategy worked — at the end of the month, I even had $1.07 to spare.



3. Stick to the basics.

Don't expect to whip up complex (or savory) meals. Pasta will quite literally mean plain pasta and oatmeal will quite literally mean plain oats. If you want enough calories to subsist on, flavor enhancers probably won't fit in the budget, so you might as well accept that everything is going to be considerably bland. 

That being said, I did splurge on a $2.99 package of butter. A serving of butter (1 tablespoon) ended up costing just $0.10 and the package lasted the entire month. Plus, it provided a few more calories to my day-to-day diet.

If you're going to make room in the budget for a flavor enhancer, and you'll probably want to, choose something versatile — like butter or salt — that can be used on multiple foods.

4. Don't divide your dollars by days.

I took a big picture approach to the challenge, thinking about how much money I had to spend for the entire month, rather than on a day-by-day basis. It's important to buy for value, which often means buying in bulk, so sometimes I would spend $8 at the grocery store for supplies that would last several days — other days, I spent nothing.

Of course, if you take the big picture approach, you have to be diligent about tracking exactly how much you're spending to ensure you don't run out of money down the road.



5. Accept that you'll be eating the same thing over and over again.

I purchased only nine items during the month-long challenge, which I ate repeatedly. I probably could have switched things up a bit more than I chose to, but the point is, there isn't a huge selection of dirt cheap food products that I wanted to eat.

While I predicted the monotony of eating the same things day after day would wear on me, it never did. One of the reasons I didn't get tired of my staples was because I allowed myself the occasional "luxury item": a sweet potato or egg. Not only did this strategy offer relief from pasta and oats, but it also put luxury into perspective — I've never appreciated something as simple as a baked sweet potato to the degree that I did last month.

6. Buy food you won't get tired of.

If you're going to be eating the same things day in and day out, you have to like what you're eating. I learned this the hard way during the food-stamp challenge. Everyone told me to buy beans — they're cheap and nutritious — but I hate beans, so much that I refused to touch one of the cans I bought, despite dealing with hunger pains and fatigue for most of the week.

I'm don't recommend you buy sirloin steak for the month — you still have to be smart about what you buy — but don't fall into the trap of buying just for the cheap price tag.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Monks in a 1,500-year-old Italian monastery are getting in on the craft beer craze — and people love it

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The monks at the monastery in Norcia, Italy, are combining one of the world's oldest monastic traditions with a very 2016 trend: craft beer.

Birra Nursia is a four-year-old, full-scale craft brewery that's staffed entirely by monks. They produce 40,000 bottles of traditional blonde and dark beer per month, and use the profits to improve their 1,500-year-old monastery.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Stephen Parkhurst

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This smart home hub won't ruin your decor – and it’s raised more than $100,000 in one day

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94aea256c8242bc44160f3c3dcfc4d67_original

Smart home hubs are starting to appear in more and more homes, but users who buy them face one unavoidable problem.

The hubs aren’t too pleasing to the eye.

Consider two of the leading products on the market. The Amazon Echo is just a black cylinder, while the Samsung SmartThings kit is a series of plain white boxes.

But tech startup Silk Labs, led by former Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal, is looking to combine style and function with its new smart home hub called Sense, which the company debuted on Kickstarter on Wednesday.

While most smart home hubs are boxy and uninspired in their aesthetic design, Sense has a sleek, thin, curved design that rests atop a wooden stand.

The hub communicates with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but it is not currently linked to any communication networks such as Zigbee or Thread, which have emerged recently in the smart home connectivity space.

Sense costs $249 on Kickstarter and has garnered 563 backers as of this writing. It has raised $124,872 to surpass its $100,000 goal, and it still has 27 days to go.

The device works with a variety of connected smart home products, including the Philips Hue and LIFX lighting solutions, Sonos sound systems, and the Nest thermostat, according to the product’s Kickstarter page.

It also features a camera that allows it to determine who is in the room at any time. Furthermore, Sense can distinguish between animals and humans and learn the patterns and movements of household pets.

Silk Labs plans to begin shipping the device in December.

Sense will face the challenge of standing out from a still rather young but increasingly crowded market for smart home hubs. The aforementioned Amazon and Samsung products are already on the market, and Google will release its Weave later this year. So Sense will need to find its place among these major players.

Whether they are ultimately successful or not, Sense’s debut is yet another sign of the imminent arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT), which has already started to permeate everyday life...


 

EXCLUSIVE REPORT Reveals:  The ABCs of the IoT

The IoT Revolution is picking up speed and when it does, it will change how we live, work, travel, entertain, and more.

From connected homes and connected cars to smart buildings and transportation, every aspect of our lives will be affected by the increasing ability of consumers, businesses, and governments to connect to and control everything around them.

Imagine “smart mirrors” that allow you to digitally try on clothes. Assembly line sensors that can detect even the smallest decrease in efficiency and determine when crucial equipment needs to be repaired or replaced. GPS-guided agricultural equipment that can plant, fertilize, and harvest crops. Fitness trackers that allow users to transmit data to their doctors.

It’s not science fiction. This “next Industrial Revolution” is happening as we speak. It’s so big that it could mean new revenue streams for your company and new opportunities for you. The only question is: Are you fully up to speed on the IoT?

After months of researching and reporting this exploding trend, Business Insider Intelligence has put together an essential briefing that explains the exciting present and the fascinating future of the Internet of Things.  It covers how the IoT is being implemented today, where the new sources of opportunity will be tomorrow and how 16 separate sectors of the economy will be transformed over the next 20 years.

Internet of Things Report Cover

The report gives a thorough outlook on the future of the Internet of Things, including the following big picture insights:

  • IoT devices connected to the Internet will more than triple by 2020, from 10 billion to 34 billion. IoT devices will account for 24 billion, while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion.

  • Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years.

  • Businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions because they will use IoT to 1) lower operating costs; 2) increase productivity; and 3) expand to new markets or develop new product offerings.

  • Governments will be the second-largest adopters, while consumers will be the group least transformed by the IoT.


And when you dig deep into the report, you’ll get the whole story in a clear, no-nonsense presentation:

  • The complex infrastructure of the Internet of Things distilled into a single ecosystem

  • The most comprehensive breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of mesh (e.g. ZigBee, Z-Wave, etc.), cellular (e.g. 3G/4G, Sigfox, etc.), and internet (e.g. Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.) networks

  • The important role analytics systems, including edge analytics, cloud analytics, will play in making the most of IoT investments

  • The sizable security challenges presented by the IoT and how they can be overcome

  • The four powerful forces driving IoT innovation, plus the four difficult market barriers to IoT adoption

  • Complete analysis of the likely future investment in the critical IoT infrastructure:   connectivity, security, data storage, system integration, device hardware, and application development

  • In-depth analysis of how the IoT ecosystem will change and disrupt 16 different industries


To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT universe, choose one of these options:

  1. Purchase an ALL-ACCESS Membership that entitles you to immediate access to not only this report, but also dozens of other research reports, subscriptions to all 5 of the BI Intelligence daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of the IoT.

Join the conversation about this story »

Forget the plate — the new power lunch is served in a bowl

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If you’re not eating from a bowl, you’re doing it wrong.

At least that’s what various news outlets, like the New York Post, will have us believe, substantiating their theory with quotes from bowl aficionados dropping wisdom like, “Even if I had the option to eat off a plate, I would eat out of a bowl.”

While most of us wouldn’t go quite that far, the fact that food served in bowls is a thing is something we’ve known for months.

We’ve seen #bowl all over our Instagram feeds for what feels like years.

We’ve seen bowl-focused cookbooks and photogenic bowls all over Pinterest.

We watched the rise of Chipotle (until the E.coli snafu), as well as bowl-heavy chains like Sweetgreen, Liquiteria, and Roast, and one-offs like Indikitch and Wisefish.

And, of course, we taste-tested a few of them, like this delicious Hawaiian Poke bowl:

Ultimately, if there’s something New Yorkers love, it’s being the boss, and customizable bowls give them just that kind of satisfaction. Being able to choose a personalized combo of protein, veggies, grains and dressings are what attracts people to food in bowls. Plus, they’re heartier, and have more texture than a plain old salad.

So while fads may come and go, New Yorkers' thirst for control and photogenic foods are here to stay.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I tried rolling Brooklyn's famous rainbow bagel, and it was hard!

A robotic arm helped this man drum again

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Jason Barnes had his hand amputated after an accident, and thought he would never get to play the drums again. But thanks to Georgia Tech professor Gil Weinberg, with whom he created the "smart-arm," he's better than ever.

Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Adam Banicki

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Bill Nye just showed us how to easily tie a bow tie

The 25 safest college campuses in America

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BYU students on Brigham Young campus

Safety is a primary and constant concern for many college students and parents. Campus-security presence, emergency procedures, local and campus crime rates, and drug and alcohol use are factors that determine the level of safety on a college campus.

College-review site Niche used the above factors to compile their 2016 ranking of the safest college campuses in America. Schools with high health and safety scores and low crime, among other factors, were ranked safest by Niche. Read about their full methodology here.

Unsurprisingly, many of the safest campuses are faith-based colleges and universities that prohibit the use of drugs and alcohol, while schools notorious for their party scene didn't fair as well.

Brigham Young University, affiliated with the Mormon faith, came in as the safest campus in the nation, followed by Summit University, formerly known as Baptist Bible College & Seminary, and Regent University. Scroll through to check out the rest of the top 25.

SEE ALSO: The 25 best school districts in America

DON'T MISS: The 50 most underrated colleges in America

25. Milligan College — Milligan College, TN

Health and safety: A

Drug safety: A

Party scene: C

Students at Milligan College report feeling safe on campus: "Almost all of campus is very well lit and the surrounding community doesn't tend to pose any type of security problems involving the campus."

In addition, drugs and alcohol are prohibited on campus, according to one sophomore.



24. The Baptist College of Florida — Graceville, FL

Health and safety: A

Drug safety: N/A

Party scene: C-

The Baptist College of Florida stresses to its students that drugs and alcohol are not allowed on campus.

"Students are understanding of a clean lifestyle. Students are highly active in fitness sports and just hanging out with friends without the assistance of any other influence," said a sophomore.



23. Penn State Abington — Abington, PA

Health and safety: A

Drug safety: A

Party scene: C

A Penn State Abington senior recently commented that the "school is in a safe town, and being on campus is the safest place I feel right now."

Students also added that there is "rarely ever any talk of drugs on campus, and if there is it's usually about Drug Safety."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This guy flew around the world first class for a year without spending money on airfare

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tokyo woman

David Friedeberg is an entrepreneur who figured out how to use the rewards miles he accumulated through traveling and credit-card purchases to book an incredible trip — one that took him almost a year to complete.

Friedeberg traveled first class on airlines like Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas, filling in some route with business-class offerings from Lufthansa, Lan, and others. His trip took him around the world from Bangkok to Tokyo to Sydney to Cape Town to Dubai to Budapest to Paris to — well, you get the idea.

How did he do it? On the booking side, Friedeberg took advantage of a "round the world" ticket through British Airways, which calls it a "multi-carrier award." This allowed him to fly up to 50,000 miles in 16 segments, which he used for his long-haul flights. He filled in the shorter legs with individual flights.

Though re-creating exactly what it would have cost him is difficult, Friedeberg estimates that he would have had to shell out almost $30,000 for the whole trip — if he were paying cash. Here are some anecdotes and photos from Friedeberg's year-long odyssey of monasteries, animals, cars, food, and beautiful beaches.

SEE ALSO: This guy used a frequent-flier loophole to take a $60,000 trip in a first-class suite on Emirates — here's what it was like

After heading to Europe, Friedeberg flew first class on Thai Airways to Bangkok, Thailand, where he played with baby tigers ...



... and big ones, too.



In Siem Reap, Cambodia, he bribed security guards to let him up to the top of Angkor Wat. He saw the sunrise by himself and then got lost in the Ta Prohm temple, where "Tomb Raider" was filmed.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Googler works more than 100 hours a week at her 'dream job' (GOOG)

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Jewel Burks

Jewel Burks has the kind of schedule that will tire you out just thinking about it.

For the last two years she's held the title "entrepreneur in residence for diversity markets" at Google, which means that she technically holds two jobs.

She educates business owners on how to use Google's ads and enterprise products while doubling as a startup founder.

"I work a lot," Burks tells Business Insider. "Nights, weekends. It's tough, but I'm really passionate about helping other entrepreneurs, so it doesn't really feel like work. It's something I love doing."

All told, she spends 40 hours per week on her Google responsibilities and 60 hours — or more — a week running her startup, Partpic, a visual-search app that lets users take pictures of screws, bolts, or any other parts they need to replace and then reorders those parts for them.

Why the crazy schedule is worth it 

Even though Burks has a pretty exhausting routine, she describes the situation as her "dream job" because it gives her the flexibility required to hustle on her company while still working full-time for Google in an area she cares about.

Her team respects that she's also running a business and understands when she completes her work at odd hours. Plus, a big part of her Google role is meeting other entrepreneurs in person — speaking at conferences and hosting events — which she says also keeps her motivated and inspired, especially because she specifically works with black, Hispanic, and female founders.

A lot of people she works with are just getting their businesses online for the first time, and she encourages them to get started with Google products and ads.

"I'll meet people at an event who had never heard of AdWords before," she says. "And then I'll see them attending another program nine months later and they'll be completely set up and have seen their business grow because of one of the events that I held. It's really rewarding."

AdWords is Google's online-advertising service.

Not a typical Google job

"Entrepreneur in residence" isn't a standard Google position. It was created specifically for Burks given her history with the company.

Jewel BurksIn 2009, Burks had a summer-marketing internship at Google after her junior year in college, and she came back to school in the fall with a mission.

Sick of the legacy systems her school used, she wanted to convince the administration to try out Google Apps for its email and collaboration tools — think Gmail, Drive, and Docs.

So she wrote a proposal and presented it to the provost and the president. When Google got wind of her efforts — and ultimate success in getting her school to make the switch — the company offered her a full-time position on its enterprise-sales team.

Burks attended Howard University, one of the historically black schools where Google has started embedding engineers as professors to help fix Silicon Valley's lack of diversity. This program, which started at Howard after Burks graduated, has seen slow success, as detailed in a Bloomberg feature.

After nearly two years at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, Burks decided that she wasn't loving the state and wanted to move home to Atlanta. She got a job at a parts-distribution company.

Her inspiration for founding her own startup came after trying to help her grandfather find a replacement part to fix his tractor. The frustration of being completely unable to figure out what part was needed led her to found Partpic. She has raised $1.5 million and put together a team of nine employees.

Partpic

Throughout that process, she kept in touch with coworkers at Google. In 2013, the company decided that it wanted more targeted outreach for its services to minority business owners, and Burks came on board. She works out of Atlanta, but puts a lot of her educational content online as instructional videos.

The content is easy for her to create because she's basically just demoing techniques she's already using for Partpic: "I get to help other entrepreneurs use Google for their businesses in the same way I use it for mine."

SEE ALSO: We're hearing about troubles at Nest, the smart-home company Google bought for $3.2 billion

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Tim Cook: Apple won’t hack iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter

The 16 most selective boarding schools in America

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groton school

Attending a top-notch boarding school sets students up for lifelong success, but some of the most elite boarding schools are incredibly selective about which students are right for the experience.

Business Insider recently published a list of the most elite boarding schools in America. The ranking was based on three metrics weighted equally: endowment, acceptance rate, and average SAT score. Here we've re-ranked the schools based solely on acceptance rate to determine which boarding schools are the country's most selective.

Despite Phillips Exeter Academy's title as the No. 1 most elite boarding school for the second year in a row, it comes in at No. 8 on this list with a 19% acceptance rate, tied with Milton Academy. The Groton School, the No. 5 most elite boarding school, is tied with The Thacher School as the most selective, each with an acceptance rate of 12%.

Read on to see the 16 most selective boarding schools in America.

Additional reporting by Andy Kiersz.

DON'T MISS: The 50 most elite boarding schools in America

SEE ALSO: The 25 best public high schools in America

14. (TIE) The Governor's Academy

Location: Byfield, Massachusetts

Endowment: $75 million

Acceptance rate: 23%

Enrollment:406

At The Governor's Academy, each class is tailored toward helping students develop one of the school's seven essential skills, which include thinking critically, communicating effectively, and readily adapting to new situations. Students can also take advantage of the school's college counselors, who partner with them to help narrow down their choices and put together competitive applications.



14. (TIE) Georgetown Preparatory School

Location: North Bethesda, Maryland

Endowment: $20 million

Acceptance rate: 23%

Enrollment:492

The oldest Jesuit school in the country, Georgetown Prep focuses on helping each student build a strong mind, body, and spirit. The all-boys school provides ample opportunities for growth — in and out of the classroom — through numerous athletic teams, student publications, and extracurricular clubs, including speech and debate, chess, and student government.



14. (TIE) Choate Rosemary Hall

Location: Wallingford, Connecticut

Endowment: $318 million

Acceptance rate: 23%

Enrollment:865

Choate Rosemary Hall celebrated its 125th anniversary last year by ramping up its commitment to innovation. The school, which requires its students to bring iPads to class, dedicated a new mathematics and computer-science building that's LEED Gold-certified and home to Choate's award-winning Robotics Team and i.d.Lab — a tech-packed facility for creative thinking and innovation. There's also the Kohler Environmental Center, where juniors and seniors can enroll in the yearlong Environmental Immersion Program that combines sustainable living, study, and independent research.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 deadly style sins every guy should avoid making

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white socks

Some men's style mistakes are just unforgivable.

No matter your experience level with clothes, these are the mistakes that you just can't afford to make. Ever. 

If you're doing any one of these, we have a simple, but strongly worded message for you: stop immediately.

SEE ALSO: 18 things every guy should keep in his work bag

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

Cargo shorts will make you look like a carpenter.

We've written a lot about cargo shorts. We shouldn't need to spell it out for you.

But in case we do: they look sloppy, and ruin your leg's silhouette with baggy pockets that flatter no one.



An un-tucked shirt at a formal event will make you look like a slob.

Another obvious one.

When going to a formal — or even semi-formal — event, it's best to play to the dress code. Even if what you're wearing is not up to the code of the event, the least you can do is tuck your shirt in.

Come on, Quentin.



Socks with sandals will make you look like a vacationing dad.

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

You have two options here: wear sandals without socks, or don't wear sandals at all (our personal recommendation).

The same goes for flip flops.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Harper Lee's original version of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was rejected — here's how the classic novel came to be

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to kill a mockingbird gregory peck

Very few Americans, young or old, haven't been affected by "To Kill a Mockingbird" — a literary classic widely read in schools and later in life.

But as the world mourns Harper Lee's death this week, one fact of the 1960 novel's publication remains little-known.

"To Kill a Mockingbird," when it was first submitted to its publisher, wasn't like the "To Kill a Mockingbird" we know at all.

It had a different title, "Go Set a Watchman," a version of which was published just last year by HarperCollins after an apparent discovery of a manuscript.

As the New York Times has reported, Lee and her agents sent a draft of "Watchman" to publishers in 1957, and J. B. Lippincott and Company bought it for $1,000.

But the editor who worked with Lee, Therese von Hohoff Torrey, didn't want the draft Lee submitted. "Watchman" (both the initial draft and the one published recently) followed the same characters as "Mockingbird," in Maycomb, Alabama, but 20 years later, at which point Scout is an adult and, as it turns out, Atticus Finch has become a bigot.

harper leeThe editor saw promise but described this draft as "more a series of anecdotes than a fully conceived novel." So she suggested to Lee that she set the book much earlier, in Scout's childhood. The rewriting process took two years. 

Here's how the Times describes it:

The notecard system Ms. Williams used to track individual works bolsters the view that, at the time, Ms. Williams viewed “Watchman” as a first draft. She did not, for example, create two cards for two books, just one that tracks the evolution of “Watchman” into “Mockingbird.” At the top of the card, the original title is crossed out to make room for the new one.

In 1959, when the rewritten novel passed muster, Ms. Lee expressed her relief in a letter to Ms. Williams. “I was plain afraid for you to read it and go through the bitter disappointment of two years wasted effort a’borning a writer,” she wrote.

The next year, “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published and became an instant best seller.

You can see the notecard from Lee's agent, dated 1957, crossing out "Go Set a Watchman" and replacing it with "To Kill a Mockingbird" below:

harper lee

Reporting also shows that, following the release of "Mockingbird," when anticipation grew for another book from Harper Lee (which never came), she and the publisher did not consider "Watchman" a viable contender — though, of course, now it has reached the public's hands.

Curious circumstances, however, surround "Watchman's" release, with some evidence suggesting Lee may never have wanted the book published at all

If it hadn't been for the editor's coaching, "To Kill a Mockingbird" likely wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't know Lee as the literary superstar she is.

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Sexism almost ended the career of one of the most powerful women in the Valley and her new startup is fighting back

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Joyus CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy

A run-in with an incredibly sexist boss at her first Valley job 18 years ago almost convinced Sukhinder Singh Cassidy to quit the tech industry, and give up her entrepreneurial dreams.

Fortunately she didn't and now she's launched a new startup called theBoardlist that could help the tech industry solve the problem of the lack of woman in the business.

"Diversity is such a hot topic but I’m only interested in talking about solutions at this point," Cassidy told Business Insider.

Cassidy is a Valley power broker. Today she's the CEO of fashion shopping startup Joyus, which has raised $43 million in venture funding.

But she made her name as an early Google employee, working under Omid Kordestani (now executive chairman of Twitter) and rising to become president of business development of Google's Asia Pacific and Latin America operations.

And it almost didn't happen.

She came Silicon Valley at age 26 from New York, after successful stints at Merrill Lynch and British Sky Broadcasting. But at her first job at a tech startup, hired to do business development, her boss relegated her to menial tasks while "coddling" a male sales guy and giving him all the choice business development responsibilities, she recounts. She was told she was "scaring the secretaries" and that she was a "rookie."

She started to question her own abilities and almost packed up and left the tech industry altogether. Then the company offered a mandatory sexism training and a light bulb went on. Maybe the problem wasn't her, it was her boss.

A few months later, she quit that job and landed another at a startup called Jungalee, working for Ram Shriram, who would later become one of Google's first investors. She soared at Jungalee, stayed after it was acquired by Amazon, went on to co-found financial services platform Yodlee and take it public, and then jumped to Google.

Time for action, not just talk

Joyus CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Qualtrics CEO Ryan SmithAbout a year ago, Cassidy got sick of all the talk and media coverage about how awful it was to be a woman in tech.

She shared her own, mostly good experience as well as the results of 100 other female entrepreneurs she surveyed.

This resulted in the #ChoosePossibility Project, a list of successful women entrepreneurs, and it ultimately led to her new startup, theBoardlist.

After talking to the other women founders, and hearing their struggles, she realized that the Valley is only a meritocracy after "you have a body of work, of successes," Cassidy says.

Before you've proven yourself, "people will make judgments on you all day long, on your gender, the color of your skin, your age," she tells us. 

"The Valley is entirely obsessed with itself, and incredibly confident they can solve everyone else’s problems, which is why people make fun of us when we have our own problems, when we lag in areas like diversity," she says. "But diversity doesn't have to be the Valley's defining characteristic."

So, in typical Valley fashion, Cassidy has launched a tech startup to fix the women-in-tech problem.

More women in the board room

theBoardlist, which had been in beta but officially launched this week, helps startups and private companies find women to serve as independent directors on boards, a job hardest to fill and often left unfilled altogether, Cassidy says.

women board roomIt's unique because the list of potential female board members comes entirely from recommendations of hand-selected successful Valley entrepreneurs.

Those entrepreneurs must be invited onto theBoardlist to make a recommendation. People can't nominate themselves, for instance.

theBoardlist has already compiled a list of 1,000 qualified women endorsed by about 200 business professionals and is hosting information on about 60 open board seats.

Folks like Box's Aaron Levie, Arista Networks' Jayshree Ullal, Softbank's Deep Nishar, CloudFlare's Michelle Zatlyn have all recommended women as potential board members for theBoardlist.

Wholly owned by Cassidy, who says she will not take VC money for it, theBoardlist is a Benefit Corp., a for-profit company with a mission to do good.

It is currently funded by sponsors and charges nothing to the people it asks to make recommendations. It will charge a finder's fee to companies and recruiters using the list to fill board seats.

The goal is for theBoardlist to earn enough money to sustain itself as it grows, Cassidy says. "Joyus is my venture capital company, my primary focus, where I plan to create my wealth," she explains.

More women, all around

Joyus employeesCassidy has launched this project because the data shows that when more women are in the board room, companies are more prosperous.

And there's a network effect where women leaders bring more women into companies in other roles. 

She's already seen the effect on theBoardlist.

The men invited to participate nominated on average five women, the women nominated up to 15 women. "The women’s networks of qualified women were three times as big."

She realizes that this project isn't the be-all, end-all when it comes to getting more women into the tech industry. But it's a start.

SEE ALSO: Female programmers on GitHub are more competent than men but their work is more likely to be rejected, a study shows

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