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The internet just gave a Japanese island where cats outnumber humans more cat food than it knows what to do with


Aoshima is a tiny island in Japan's Ehime prefecture where cats outnumber people eight-to-one. The so-called cat island is a tourist destination in the summer, but in the dead of winter the number of visitors dwindles.

On February 20th, a Twitter account associated with the island sent a tweet saying the island's 16 residents were having trouble keeping all the cats fed, and that they needed food donations. The message was retweeted 17,000 times, and only four days later another tweet asked the world to kindly stop sending them cat food because they were out of places to put it all.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Kristen Griffin. Video courtesy of fipizzaona on YouTube.

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New York City has the dirtiest public transportation system of all major US cities — here’s what the germs look like up close



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

A recent study by Travelmath found that the New York City subway has the most germs of five major US public transit lines, beating out Washington, DC, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Researchers found that underground trains in New York had an average of two million colony-forming units per square inch, according to Conde Nast Traveler. That's roughly 900 times the number of germs found on a typical airplane tray table.

But 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 in the summer of 2015. 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.

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An NYC doughnut shop makes one of the most beautiful doughnuts — and it's beet flavored


The Doughnut Project is a bakery in New York City's West Village known for odd taste pairings. One doughnut they make, which nearly always sells out, is filled with ricotta cheese and topped with icing made from fresh beet juice. 

Story and editing by A.C. Fowler

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8 astounding facts about a great scientific mystery that affects only 10% of the population


olsen twins sunglasses

There's a minority that not many people think about that has stumped scientists for decades: lefties.

About 10% of the human population is left-handed, yet no one knows for sure why lefties are so rare.

It's probably the result of a mix of factors, including things related to genetics, evolution, and even prenatal hormones. Or it could be the result of something else.

Here are some of the most interesting facts researchers have reported as they attempt to unlock the keys to left-handedness:

SEE ALSO: The 12 most compelling scientific findings that suggest aliens are real

DON'T MISS: World-famous chef Anthony Bourdain won't eat restaurant fish on Mondays, and there's a good reason why

Twins are more likely to be left-handed, but no one knows why.

Source: Behavior Genetics, 1996

Two left-handed parents have a 26.1% chance of having a left-handed child, whereas two right-handed parents only have a 9.5% chance.

Source: Handbook of Neuropsychology, 1992

Most animals show no preference for handedness, or when one hand is more dominant than the other. Humans and our closest relatives, chimps, are an exception. About 90% of humans and 70% of chimps are right-handed.

Source: Monitor on Psychology, 2009

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The new healthy food trend is meal prepping, and it's blowing up on Instagram


Meal prepping is exactly what it sounds like: meal preppers prepare healthy, colorful meals for several days at once. And while it takes a lot of planning, it saves time during the rest of the week, and helps people stick to their diets. Here's how Nikki Sharp, Instagram star and cookbook author, prepares her meals.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss. Additional meal prep photos from Amy Lynn and Sophie Benbow.

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20 books you should keep on your shelf to look smart


book shelfWhether they're stories that capture a historic moment or tomes noted for their important messages, some books instantly increase your literary credibility.

Amazon'seditorial team has helped us put together a list of 20 books that will help you impress anyone in your life.

From biographies of inspiring innovators to stories that have been must-reads for centuries, these are the top 20 books you should display on your bookshelf.

SEE ALSO: 25 books that will blow your mind

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"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

Adams' interstellar story begins with Arthur Dent, who travels to space with his friend Ford Prefect, aided with quotes from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Along the way they meet numerous travelers, ranging from a brilliant and depressed robot to a two-headed ex-hippie. This book's message was an inspiration for Elon Musk.

Click here to buy »

"The Best and the Brightest" by David Halberstam

"The Best and the Brightest" analyzes why America got involved in Vietnam, as well as the various policies, people, and accounts that drove the war.

Through insider anecdotes and vignettes, Halberstam shows readers the ways in which bureaucratic considerations worked in the depths of one of the country's most difficult times.

Click here to buy »

"The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen

While a mother and wife tends to a husband losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, their children face obstacles that range from clinical depression to a dangerous relationship with a married man.

As the mother of the family, Enid, looks to find one last glimpse of hope, she decides to have her family together for a final Christmas at home.

Click here to buy »

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Here’s why your next pair of sneakers may be made out of wool


Wool shoes

The hottest new trend in sneakers? Wool. 

Yes, that wool. The same kind of fabric that lines your favorite suits and overcoats is now being used in running apparel, according to Bloomberg.

Everyone seems to be giving it a try, from startups like Allbirds, who make simple shoes with uppers made entirely out of wool, to Nike, who has collaborated with Pendleton Woolen Mills to make a line of sneakers using the brand's signature fabric and patterns. 

It turns out wool has some surprising benefits.

Wool is a light, all-natural material that's able to regulate internal temperatures and still insulate even when wet. It also has natural moisture-wicking properties and antimicrobial tendencies.

Now for the bad news: wool is pretty expensive. The wool version of Nike sneakers cost $20 more than the regular versions, and Allbirds' sneakers cost a relatively high (for the category) $95.


Still, startups and big corporations alike are betting on the new material to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market. The number of new models of sneakers introduced in the past year has increased by 39% according to WGSN, a fashion consultancy, as told to Bloomberg.

Will wool take off? Only time will tell, but early signs point to a promising start. A sports industry analyst told Bloomberg that natural materials like wool are especially popular among millennial consumers.

Allbirds has already raised $2.7 million in venture capital funds after shopping its Kickstarter shoe around in Silicon Valley and New York.

SEE ALSO: 11 deadly style sins every guy should avoid making

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NOW WATCH: This is America’s most hated retail brand

There's a counterintuitive way to relieve stress — and it's way easier than meditating


couple romantic hug

If sitting in a room full of people chanting the syllable "om" sounds a little too New Agey for your taste, here's some good news: There's a simple, practical alternative that can give you some of the same health benefits as yoga or meditation.

It's forgiveness.

We get it: The idea of forgiving someone else to prevent a heart attack sounds just about as beneficial as licking a steering wheel to prevent a car crash.

But decades of research have linked the regular practice of forgiving those who've wronged us with a handful of health benefits, from a boost in overall heart health, to less psychological stress, improved physical ability, and even a longer life.

Since the concept was first studied in the 1980s, medical organizations including the American Psychology Association and the Mayo Clinic have embraced the idea of forgiveness as a legitimate health-improvement tool.

From what we know so far, the research suggests that forgiveness works in two key ways:

1. It helps us let go emotionally


Forgiving someone else gives us the chance to let go.

It also lets us recover from the physical and emotional hangover that is long-term stress.

A University of Denver study of college and middle school students 3-6 weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks found that students who said they'd forgiven (or were at least trying to forgive) the perpetrators of the attacks experienced significantly less psychological stress than those who had not.

The forgivers reported struggling less with their own emotions, and ruminating and dwelling less frequently. They also said they were able to employ more coping tactics, like positive thinking, to help them process the event.

In comparison, the non-forgivers reported more intrusive thoughts about 9/11 and said they continued to feel more stressed out about it than the forgivers. 

Still, one remaining group of students fared worse psychologically than either the forgivers or the non-forgivers: Those who said they felt ambivalent about forgiveness.

The researchers think this finding suggests that being "undecided" in matters of forgiveness could actually be worse for us than resolving to address an issue because it leads us to spend more time thinking about (and dwelling on) an issue.

Of course, there's no indication in the study that being more forgiving caused less stress; it merely found a relationship between forgiveness and stress. In other words, it could be that people who tend to be more forgiving overall also tend to be less stressed.

2. It helps us let go physically

Jumping for joy

In one study, researchers asked two groups of people to remember and write about different moments in their lives. The first group recalled a time when they recently forgave someone, while the second group remembered a situation where they didn't forgive someone.

Then, people in both groups were asked to walk separately to the same point at the bottom of a hill and estimate how steep it was. 

The people who'd recalled forgiving someone tended to say the hill was less steep than the volunteers who'd remembered a time they didn't forgive someone.

In another similar experiment published in the same study, the researchers had three groups of people recall the following three scenarios: 1) a time when they forgave someone who'd offended them, 2) a time when they did not forgive someone who offended them, and 3) a neutral experience, like catching up with a friend over coffee.

Then they had the volunteers jump as high as they could without bending their knees. On average, those who'd written about the forgiveness or neutral scenarios jumped physically higher than those who'd written about not forgiving.

The takeaway

Forgiving other people appears to offer us a chance at letting go of burdens — whether they're physical or emotional. So try it out yourself. Your mind and body (not to mention the person you're forgiving) will probably thank you.

READ NEXT: Scientists say these 25 habits can help you feel happier and healthier

SEE ALSO: Psychologists say one behavior is the 'kiss of death' for a relationship

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The simplest way to get — and stay — happy, according to psychologists

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey says these 7 books changed his life


jack dorsey

Jack Dorsey, the CEO and cofounder of Twitter and Square, is stretched to the limit this year running two publicly traded companies.

As he's matured as a leader, Dorsey has focused on pushing himself, and his favorite books offer insight into his thought process.

From a Product Hunt Q&A last year and his personal Twitter account, we've collected the books he's said have influenced him most.

SEE ALSO: 23 books Mark Zuckerberg thinks everyone should read

'Tao Te Ching' by Lao Tzu

In the Product Hunt Q&A, Dorsey said his most prized possession is a copy of "Tao Te Ching" a friend gave him.

This ancient Chinese text (pronounced "Dow Dé Jing") is attributed to Lao Tzu. It became the foundation for Taoism in the sixth century BC and was first translated into English in the late 19th century.

It is composed of 81 poems that reflect on the Tao, which is the force behind everything in the universe.

Among themes explored are self-mastery through humility.

Find it here »

'The Score Takes Care of Itself' by Bill Walsh with Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh

Dorsey regularly recommends "The Score Takes Care of Itself" to entrepreneurs around Silicon Valley.

It's a guide to leadership by the late Bill Walsh, one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Football League. It was published posthumously in 2010.

When Walsh became head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1978, they were the laughing stock of the league; over the next 10 years, the 49ers became a dynasty with four Super Bowl titles.

What makes his career even more remarkable is that he had a knack for finding and growing leaders, and his staff included eight future head coaches.

In his book, he explains the importance of creating a culture of high performance through personal encouragement and praise for exceptional work.

Find it here »

'Between the World and Me' by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates' writing on American civil liberties exploded into the mainstream last year when "Between the World and Me" became a No. 1 bestseller and National Book Award winner.

In this book, Coates explores what it means to be an African-American man at this time in history, written as part memoir and part journalistic report, all framed as a letter to his young son.

The book is striking for both its commentary on American life as well as its meditation on what it takes to grow from a boy into a man.

Find it here »

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Subway is making a major change to its menu today

These boxing Pakistani girls are fighting to be treated the same as the boys


The Pakistani government supported a female boxing event for the first time, according to local media reports. It took place at a Karachi camp that trains girls between the ages of 8 and 17, in the hopes of training the first-ever female boxer to win an international medal for Pakistan. The coaches say they see this as a step on the path to giving girls in Pakistan equal opportunity to boys.

Story by Adam Banicki and A.C. Fowler, and editing by A.C. Fowler

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This guy makes giant, elaborate towers out of playing cards — and then he destroys them


Scott Dreyer's hobby is "cardstacking," building incredibly elaborate card towers without any glue. When his creations fall apart, it's like watching a civilization collapse.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Stephen Parkhurst

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The best watch for under $50 just got a huge upgrade


Timex Weekender

For a guy just starting to wear watches, there's no reason to break the bank.

I recommend the Timex Weekender: a reliable, classically styled watch that's super easy to wear every day and the perfect size for every wrist. Best of all, it can be had reliably for under $40 (even though retail is $45).

Now, new for this year the Weekender just got a super-minimal older brother called the Weekender Fairfield.

There aren't even any numerals, in a true nod to the minimal Bauhaus style of watchmaking.

In a word, it's handsome.

Like the Weekender, they come in a variety of different color cases. The Fairfield comes in silver, gold, copper, and a slate gray, with a variety of strap colors. Also like the Weekender, none of the designs below will go out of style.

The Fairfield's case diamante is 41 mm wide, which is about 3 mm larger than the Weekender, so it may not fit the smallest of wrists.

Timex Weekender

Depending on your choice, the Fairfield retails from $48-$60, with the leather straps on the higher end of the price spectrum.

A watch is an easy upgrade to your spring wardrobe, and one of the few accessories a modern gentleman can get away with. As far as jewelry goes, for men, simple is better. 

SEE ALSO: 13 essentials every guy should have in his wardrobe for spring

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NOW WATCH: These are the watches worn by the smartest and most powerful men in the world

This military tradition calls for swimming where no human has ever swum before


"Swim call" is a military tradition in which sailors and Marines blow off steam by turning the middle of the ocean into their swimming pool.

In 2012, Kyle Cawein took a video of one of these swim calls in the Persian Gulf while aboard the supercarrier USS John C. Stennis. It shows the contrast between swimming millions of miles from land while right next to a building-sized machine.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Kristen Griffin

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This is what an espresso drip looks like in slow motion

The world's billionaires are flocking to Miami's luxurious Porsche Design Tower, where they can use an elevator for their cars


porsche design tower penthouse

For the billionaire who doesn't want to sleep too far from his sports car, the perfect home is almost ready for move in to: Miami's Porsche Design Tower.

The 60-story building on Sunny Isles Beach is the first one in the US by the famed Porsche brand, which chose this Florida real-estate playground to make its mark. More importantly, it's also the first building to contain a patented "Dezervator," essentially a drive-in car elevator.

Slated for completion in June 2016, only eight of the 132 units are still on the market — but that includes the four-level, 17,000-square-foot penthouse, up for grabs for $32.5 million. That penthouse comes with two private pools and a four-car "sky garage."

The buyer will be in good company, as at least 22 billionaires have already bought in. Meanwhile, regular units can display up to nine cars, with extra space available for an added purchase price. Other building amenities include a spa, a ballroom, a movie theater, and a game room with race-car simulators.

Check out the latest pictures of the tower and its unique car elevator below:

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

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

The tower is 60 stories tall, rising 650 feet on the shorefront of Sunny Isles Beach.

It's scheduled for completion in June. Ninety-four percent of the units have already sold — 22 of them to billionaires.

There's a large pool on the ground floor, just steps away from the beach.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

No one seems to want to buy Lloyd Blankfein’s stunning Hamptons home

Tinder CEO Sean Rad just put his $1.8 million LA bachelor pad up for sale — here's what it looks like inside (MTCH)


sean rad plus apt

Tinder CEO Sean Rad has put his swanky $1.8 million Los Angeles condo up for sale, according to Variety. The Wilshire Corridor pad is 2,298 square feet, with 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.

Rad has been in and out of the news for his tendency to put his foot in his mouth, including (allegedly) mixing up the word sapiosexual (someone attracted to intelligence) for a much more controversial word.

Rad, for his part, claims he is misunderstood. "I'm dealing with all of these stereotypes," he told Fast Company. "Because I'm a successful guy in tech I must be a douche bag. Because I run a dating app I must be a womanizer."

But he still admits that he is addicted to Tinder and falls in love with another girl every other week.

If you want to follow in Rad's completely not-womanizing footsteps, you can't go wrong with this bachelor (or bachelorette) pad. Rad says that a famous supermodel propositioned him, nay was "begging" him, and he turned her down — possibly in this very condo! This could be you.

Rad himself has upgraded to a $7.5 million penthouse three quarters of a mile away from this one, according to Variety.

Check out the pictures below and see the listing:

SEE ALSO: The hottest jobs in America for men and women, according to Tinder swipes

A giant candelabra light fixture and access to a nearby balcony make for a nice living room. The acoustic guitars are probably part of the staging, and not included.

A fireplace in the bedroom is nice and cozy.

The corner tub is perfect for place to soak after a tough day at work. There's even a TV in the bathroom.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The incredible rise of billionaire Donald Bren, the richest real estate developer in America


Donald Bren

California native Donald Bren is the wealthiest real estate developer in America, according to our list of the 50 richest people on earth, produced in collaboration with Wealth-X.

The mogul has an estimated net worth of $17 billion that comes primarily from his development and property investments in Southern California.

Bren's privately-held real estate investment company, Irvine Company, has aportfolio of properties that exceeds 110 million square feet and includes office buildings, apartments, marinas, and hotels, most of which is located in picturesque Orange County.

At 83 years old, the former US Marine is still running the show as chairman of Irvine Company — here's the story behind his success.

SEE ALSO: The 29 richest people in America

AND: How IKEA creator Ingvar Kamprad built the world's largest furniture retailer — and a $39 billion fortune

Donald Bren was born in Los Angeles in 1932. His father, a movie producer, and his mother, a patron of the performing arts, divorced when he was 10. His father remarried to an actress and his mother to a well-off industrialist.

Sources: Wealth-XFortune

Bren and his brother attended Beverly Hills High School and spent their summers working as carpenters for their dad's real estate development business. A key lesson he learned from his father: "When you hold property over the long term, you’re able to create better values and you have something tangible to show for it," Bren told the Los Angeles Times in 2011.

Sources: Fortune, Los Angeles Times


Bren earned a partial athletic scholarship to the University of Washington for skiing. He was reportedly a stylish skier and an avid competitor who was set to go to the 1956 Olympics but couldn't participate because of a broken ankle.

Source: Fortune

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A 23-year-old Google employee lives in a truck in the company's parking lot and saves 90% of his income


google headquarters

When 23-year-old Brandon headed from Massachusetts to the Bay Area in mid-May to start work as a software engineer at Google, he opted out of settling into an overpriced San Francisco apartment. Instead, he moved into a 128-square-foot truck.

The idea started to formulate while Brandon — who asked to withhold his last name and photo to maintain his privacy on campus — was interning at Google last summer and living in the cheapest corporate housing offered: two bedrooms and four people for about $65 a night (roughly $2,000 a month), he told Business Insider.

"I realized I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in — and I was almost never home," he says. "It's really hard to justify throwing that kind of money away. You're essentially burning it — you're not putting equity in anything and you're not building it up for a future — and that was really hard for me to reconcile."

SEE ALSO: To avoid outlandish rent prices, one San Francisco woman moved onto a 136-square-foot sailboat

SEE ALSO: A Google employee lives in a truck in the company's parking lot — here's what his family and friends think

SEE ALSO: Here's how much a family needs to earn to live comfortably in San Francisco while still saving money

He started laying the groundwork for living out of a truck immediately, as he knew he'd be returning to work full time in San Francisco. A school year later, he was purchasing a 16-foot 2006 Ford with 157,000 miles on it.

It cost him an even $10,000, which he paid up front with his signing bonus. His projected "break-even point" is October 21, according to the live-updating "savings clock" he created on his blog, "Thoughts from Inside the Box."

His one fixed cost is truck insurance — $121 a month — as he doesn't use electricity, and his phone bill is handled by Google.

"I don't actually own anything that needs to be plugged in," he explains on his blog. "The truck has a few built-in overhead lights, and I have a motion-sensitive battery-powered lamp I use at night. I have a small battery pack that I charge up at work every few days, and I use that to charge my headphones and cellphone at night. My work laptop will last the night on a charge, and then I charge it at work."

The space is sparse and minimal, he says: "The main things that I have are a bed, a dresser, and I built a coat rack to hang up my clothes. Besides that, and a few stuffed animals, there's pretty much nothing in there."

As for food and showers, that's all on Google's campus. He eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work and showers every morning in the corporate gym post-workout.

Few expenses mean significant savings: "I'm going for a target of saving about 90% of my after-tax income, and throwing that in student loans and investments," he says.

He graduated with $22,434 worth of student loans, and has paid it down to $16,449 over the course of four months. "As a conservative estimate (and taking bonuses into consideration), I expect to have them paid off within the next six months, saving thousands of dollars over the standard 10-year, or even 20-year plans," he says.

Additionally, saving on rent has allowed him to dine at nice restaurants and enjoy San Francisco more than if he opted for living in an apartment.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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