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Portugal's mysterious 'Initiation Well' is 88 feet deep, and an epic destination for brave tourists

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There are two mysterious wells that are said to have been built for Masonic rituals on the Quinta da Regaleira estate in Sintra, Portugal. The Initiation Well is 88 feet deep, and offers brave tourists spellbinding views of the world above.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Chelsea Pineda

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The incredible life of Melinda Gates — one of the world's richest and most powerful women

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Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is best known as Bill's other half. Some may even say she's his better half.

Melinda — who shares an estimated fortune of $89.4 billion with her husband — has become one of the most powerful female philanthropists in the world as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she helmed virtually on her own for the first six years of operation.

In addition to the pair's education and healthcare initiatives, Melinda takes a personal interest in women's issues around the world. At the forefront of her agenda is expanding the availability of contraception and, most recently,bringing awareness to the concept of time poverty — the notion that hours of daily unpaid work like household chores end up "robbing women of their potential."

"When you invest in women, you invest in the people who invest in everybody else," she wrote in a Fortune article last year outlining the benefits of hiring women in business. "And if you gradually start to take action, it won’t be long before you realize that investing in women is good for your mind, good for your soul, and good for your business."

On International Women's Day, a celebration of women's progress and achievements, here's a look at the incredible force that is Melinda Gates.

SEE ALSO: Melinda Gates reveals the best way for cash-strapped 20-somethings to make a big impact in philanthropy

DON'T MISS: The Bill Gates Interview

Melinda Gates (neè French) grew up in Dallas, Texas, with her parents — a stay-at-home mother and an aerospace-engineer father — and her three siblings. The family belonged to the local Roman Catholic parish.

Source: Telegraph



The Frenches were intent on sending all four of their children to college, so Melinda's father started a side business for rental properties. "We would help him run the business and keep the books," she said. "We saw money coming in and money going out."

Source: Fortune



Melinda was valedictorian and head of the drill team at her high school, Ursuline Academy of Dallas. In 2007, the Gates Foundation donated $7 million to Ursuline for the construction of The French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center — a 70,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold certified laboratory and classroom building.

Source: Ursuline Dallas, Marie Claire



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A Japanese company hand-crafts traditional dolls the same way they did 200 years ago

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The Sendai Kiji Workshop in Japan makes Kokeshi dolls, a type of wooden doll carved from a single block of wood that originated in mountainside villages 200 years ago. The process hasn't changed one bit.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Alana Yzola

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This tweed-wearing horse is the most stylish stallion you'll ever see

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Morestead is a veteran racehorse who is sporting the first-ever suit for a horse. It was created by fashion designer Emma Sandham-King to celebrate the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, which begins on Tuesday.

Story and editing by Ben Nigh

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12 weird psychological reasons someone might fall in love with you

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jay beyonceLove is mysterious, but it's probably not destiny.

According to the research, your hormones, interests, and upbringing all help determine who you fall for — and who falls for you.

Since your partner plays a significant role in your long-term health, happiness, and even your career prospects, we've scoured the studies and collected some of the psychological reasons two people click.

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Maggie Zhang.

SEE ALSO: Science says people decide these 9 things within seconds of meeting you

DON'T MISS: The 27 jobs that are most damaging to your health

If you're really, really alike

Decades of studies have shown that the cliché that "opposites attract" is totally off.

"Partners who are similar in broad dispositions, like personality, are more likely to feel the same way in their day-to-day lives," said Gian Gonzaga, lead author of a study of couples who met on eHarmony. "This may make it easier for partners to understand each other."



If you look like their opposite-sex parent

University of St. Andrews psychologist David Perrett and his colleagues found that some people are attracted to folks with the same hair and eye color of their opposite-sex parents, as well as the age range they saw at birth.

"We found that women born to 'old' parents (over 30) were less impressed by youth, and more attracted to age cues in male faces than women with 'young' parents (under 30)," the authors wrote. "For men, preferences for female faces were influenced by their mother's age and not their father's age, but only for long-term relationships."



If you smell right

A University of Southern California study of women who were ovulating suggested that some prefer the smell of T-shirts worn by men with high levels of testosterone.

This matched with other hormone-based instincts: Some women also preferred men with a strong jaw line when they were ovulating



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This man was morbidly obese, then adopted a dog and lost 140 pounds

These intricate glass pieces require laser focus to make

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Filigree glass uses a centuries-old process to create colorful, bright patterns embedded into a glass shape. It takes incredible expertise and precision to get it to look perfect.

Thanks to our friends at Science Channel for sharing this footage. "How It's Made" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Carl Mueller

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The Internet is going nuts over these pictures comparing animals to baked goods

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There's this weird meme that keeps popping up on Twitter where a bunch of pictures of bread products are placed next to pictures of animals that look like them.

NPR reports that the meme was created by Karen Zack, who tweets under the name @teenybiscuit.

The first one we saw, "muffin or chihuahua?" seems to have been created by Zack:

She's also behind "puppy or bagel?" 

 And "shiba or marshmallow?"

 But now the meme has apparently taken on its own life. Here's the latest we've seen, sloth or pain au chocolat?

(Note from our resident Francophile: most pain au chocolat has only two tubes of filling, so finding pastries with three is impressive.)

There are more, too. Somebody's compiled them all together on Imgur as "Deep Learning Training Set," suggesting that these kinds of pictures could be used to train computers how to see objects.

SEE ALSO: Here's where this 'success kid' pic and other Internet memes originally came from

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How luxury shoppers are changing the face of retail

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bii luxury

Luxury shoppers are highly coveted customers for brands and retailers. The top 10% of US household earners (those taking home $120,000 or more annually) account for approximately half of all consumer expenditures.

This demographic’s growing preference for online shopping is changing the face of luxury retail, and it has significant implications for how brands target luxury consumers.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we profile the luxury shopper and take a close look at the spending habits and preferences of high-income earners — including how and where they shop.

 

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Discretionary spending among the wealthy is growing faster than for the average US consumer. Discretionary spending among those earning $120,000 a year or more is expected to increase 6.6% in 2016, reaching $406 billion, according to YouGov. Among the top 1%, it's expected to rise 10%. By contrast, discretionary spending for the average US consumer dropped 1% between 2014 and 2015.
  • Wealthy consumers are expected to spend the most next year on fashion, travel, and dining. Among these categories, spending on fashion (specifically, apparel, accessories, and handbags) will grow the most, increasing 6.9% to $37.4 billion (roughly 9% of total discretionary spending). 
  • Luxury brands are over-allocating ad spend to print media. The seven largest US luxury brands collectively spent $133 million last year on holiday ad spending, 57% of which was allocated to magazine ads, according to the Shullman Research Center. But among luxury shoppers, recall rates are higher for digital ads.
  • There are signs that luxury shopping is less brand- and status-oriented than it once was. Luxury shoppers, like the average consumer, enjoy the convenience and low prices of online retailers like Amazon vs. shopping via official brand sites. Luxury shopping may become even more price-sensitive as millennials age. 

 

In full, the report:

  • Sizes the market for personal luxury goods, by country.
  • Measures the effectiveness of luxury marketing channels.
  • Breaks down ad spend among luxury brands.
  • Identifies where luxury consumers shop online and in-store.

 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >>Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

 


 

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Our subscribers consider the INSIDER Newsletters a "daily must-read industry snapshot" and "the edge needed to succeed personally and professionally" — just to pick a few highlights from our recent customer survey.

With our full money-back guarantee, we make it easy to find out for yourself how valuable the daily insights are for your business and career.  Click this link to learn all about the INSIDER Newsletters today.

 

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The 10 wealthiest tech billionaires in the world

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Of the world's 10 richest tech billionaires, four are college dropouts. All are men, all are from two countries (the United States and China), and all currently are or were heads of companies. 

These are some seriously wealthy folks — the entry level to this list is $18.2 billion net worth (that includes cash, stock, and various other holdings). Some now spend their time trying to change the world, others spend their time owning sports teams, and some are still running the company that made them rich.

Heck, one of them is launching stuff into space:

blue origin capsule

This list of the 10 richest tech billionaires in the world comes from a collaboration between Business Insider and wealth analytics firm Wealth-X, which recently created a list of the top 50 richest people on Earth.

Emmie Martin and Tanza Loudenback contributed research to this report.

Let's jump in, starting with number 10:

10. Pony Ma

Net worth: $18.2 billion

Age: 44

Country: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Tencent Holdings

Having made money early on in the stock market, Ma Huateng (Pony Ma) started Tencent with college friends. The company's first major product was a messaging service in China named QQ, which cost nothing and became a standard in early online messaging services. Tencent has since expanded dramatically, investing in a variety of different business types, from music distribution to major video game studios like Riot Games (makers of the world's most popular game, "League of Legends").



9. Michael Dell

Net worth: $18.9 billion

Age: 51

Country: US

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dell

While a premed student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984, Michael Dell started a company called PC Ltd. — the predecessor to Dell. He soon dropped out of college to build computers full-time, which became one of the fastest-growing companies in the country.

By the time he was 23, the company went public and raised $30 million — $18 million of it going to Dell personally. Outside of a brief period, Dell has run his namesake company since its inception. The company employs over 100,000 people in several countries, and remains based in Texas where it's the second largest non-oil company behind AT&T.



8. Steve Ballmer

Net worth: $25.9 billion

Age: 59

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

Steve Ballmer dropped out of business school at Stanford in 1980 to join Harvard friend Bill Gates at Microsoft as the company's first business manager, earning a $50,000 salary and a stake in the company. He went from business manager to CEO during his time at Microsoft, and that early stake in the company paid off handsomely: He's only the second person, not including founders and their family, to ever become a billionaire from employee stock options.

Nowadays, he's no longer with Microsoft. He paid $2 billion in a deal to buy the Los Angeles Clippers back in 2014. He's also fond of slamming basketballs, as seen to the right.



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The 11 best US cities for young people to buy a home

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first_time_homebuyers_2_map

According to personal finance site SmartAsset, fewer than 35% of adults under age 35 own a home. But owning a home doesn't have to be a far-off dream, even if you're still in your 20s or early 30s.

In a recent report, SmartAsset determined the best cities in the US for first-time homebuyers by looking at data on the affordability, mortgage availability, and stability of the housing market in every city with a population over 300,000.

For millennials in search of their first home, Oklahoma and Texas are going to be the best buys — five of the top ten cities are located in these two states. Read on to see which other cities made the cut, the average price per square foot of home in each city (from Zillow), and the percentage of loans that get approved in each city (from the Mortgage Bankers Association). For reference, the average loan funding ratio for major US cities is 69%.

We also included the median home prices for each city's metropolitan area, from the National Association of Realtors.

SEE ALSO: The 11 most expensive cities in America

10. Fort Worth, Texas (TIE)

Loan funding rate: 73%

Average price per square foot: $76

Median home price: $206,200



10. Dallas, Texas (TIE)

Loan funding rate: 70%

Average price per square foot: $91

Median home price: $206,200



9. Louisville, Kentucky

Loan funding rate: 74%

Average price per square foot: $88

Median home price: $153,400 



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New Jersey's most expensive home just got a makeover and is back on the market for $48.8 million

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new jersey stone mansion bedroomThe Stone Mansion, a 30,000-square-foot property located on the former Frick Estate of New Jersey’s historic Alpine community, is back on the market for $48.8 million.

As New Jersey’s most expensive home, it features 12 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, and features like an indoor basketball court and a 4,000-bottle wine cellar.

Compass is marketing the home in conjunction with listing agent Sotheby's Prominent Properties, with celebrity home stager Meredith Baer being brought in to style several rooms in the property. 

Baer, whose A-list clients include the likes of Julia Roberts and Christina Aguilera, is known for her ability to beautifully transform spaces.

Below, you'll find the staging photos of the stunning home, which is currently owned by chief executive of Kamson Corporation, Richard Kurtz. 

SEE ALSO: The 25 most expensive ZIP codes in America

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The 30,000-square-foot mansion spans six acres of land in Alpine, New Jersey. Located eight miles from New York City, the property includes a main house complex and an attached carriage house.



Each of the stones in the home’s exterior was placed there by hand, while its interior includes more than $2 million worth of light fixtures and sconces.



Many of the vaulted ceilings are lined with pure gold trimmings, and the master suite comes complete with his and her spa bathrooms and his and her closets.



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A 150-year-old English shoemaker just opened its first overseas shop in New York City

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Grenson, Shoes

Most Americans might not be immediately familiar with shoe brand Grenson, but might be soon.

The 150-year-old English shoe brand just made the trip overseas, opening the first non-U.K. based shop in the middle of Manhattan.

We took a look around the new shop to see what the quirky heritage brand has in store for New Yorkers.

SEE ALSO: The vital reason why you should get your shoes professionally fitted

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Grenson's first overseas shop has landed at 250 Elizabeth Street in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood — the heart of New York's downtown shopping scene.



The 150-year-old brand is known for their heavily brogued style of shoes, often with trendy soles or accents. The shoes run anywhere from $300 all the way up to $1000.



It was started in 1866 by William Green, whose name was later shortened to Grenson. A picture of him hangs in the Soho store.



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This spike-covered box is actually an $80,000 storage chest with secret drawers

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Designer and artist Sebastian Errazuriz is a master of transformative furniture design. He has invented cabinets that explode outward and storage devices that open like waves. One of his signature creations is the "Magistral Chest"— a box that's covered in 10,000 wooden skewers and expands to reveal hidden drawers.

Check out more of his work on Instagram and Facebook.

Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Kristen Griffin

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How to schedule your day for maximum productivity after a bad night's sleep

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woman and papers stressed

We've all been there — tossing and turning all night, counting down the hours until we have to get up for work in the morning. Sleepless nights are no fun.

And the unfortunate reality is that even though you feel like crap the next day, you still have to show up at the office, ready to give 110%.

But even though the thought of working an eight-hour day may seem impossible, it turns out that there are things you can do to get through it.

Here's how sleep researchers who talked to New York magazine's Melissa Dahl say you can structure your workday to power through the crankiness and exhaustion:

SEE ALSO: 9 signs you're not sleeping well, and how it's affecting your work success

DON'T MISS: The 10 best lunch options to keep you from passing out at your desk

7 a.m.: Wake up

Whatever you do, don't hit snooze. It may feel awesome in the moment, but those seven extra minutes won't make you more alert — and they could make you late.



7:05 a.m.: Have a little coffee

One small cup or mini espresso will do. It's natural to feel groggy in the first 20 to 30 minutes of waking, so a little jolt in that window can help clear the fog.

Any more than that, NYU School of Medicine sleep-disorders expert Joyce Walsleben tells WebMD, won't make you more alert but will likely give you the jitters.



7:30 a.m.: Eat breakfast

Stick to whole grains, protein, and a little fruit— sugary junk will give you an energy spike, but it will last only about 20 minutes. And don't wait too long — research suggests that eating within an hour of waking boosts your mood and mind.



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This window transforms into a balcony

This is the world's coolest crayon

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ADA is a like a living thing, according to artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski, who attaches 300 charcoal sticks to a giant balloon to create an interactive exhibit.

Named after 19th century mathematician and and computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, ADA is a "post-digital" drawing machine that interacts with people, yet has a life of its own. 

Story and editing by A.C. Fowler

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Apple is sponsoring this art exhibit that's full of high-tech fashion (AAPL)

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New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is putting on a display to show how technological advancements have altered fashion.

Manus x Machina

Opening May 5 and running through August 14, the exhibit will explore how things like 3D printing and laser cutting have changed high-end clothing from the days where a sewing machine was as technologically advanced as it got.

Here's a look at 8 high-tech dresses from the exhibit, "Manus X Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology."

As the "Manus X Machina" name suggests, the exhibit is meant to illustrate the tension between man-made and machine-made clothing and how designers are grappling with that distinction.

To show this distinction the exhibit will show clothes made in the traditional sense, like the above outfit: Suit, by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, that was made for the 1963-68 haute couture line.

This item is one of many meant to represent how haute couture was made possible in the 19th century with the invention of the sewing machine.



The dress seen here, dubbed Wedding Ensemble and designed by Karl Lagerfeld, was actually handmade for Chanel's 2014-15 haute couture line. But the design was manipulated by a computer to give it a pixilated baroque pattern.

So we can begin to see how designers are leaning on traditional methods while also using computer-influenced design techniques to bring fashion into the future.



More than 120 ensembles will be shown at the Apple-sponsored exhibit, gradually working to more modern outfits made possible by advancements like 3D printing.

Here we see Ensemble by Lagerfeld. The designer used a technique called selective laser sintering to give the iconic suit a modern twist. Lagerfield first made a 3D model of a design and then used a laser to bind powered material to create the look.

"The idea is to take the most iconic jacket of the 20th century and make a 21st century version, which technically was unimaginable in the period when it was born," Lagerfeld told French news agency AFP of the 3D-printed line.



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These creepy photos of American cities without people make them almost unrecognizable

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William Fuller, Houston, Texas, 1985

For almost 40 years, photographer William W. Fuller has traveled back and forth across America, documenting his journeys.

However, instead of creating the typical postcard image, Fuller decided he wanted to make photographs of major cities in a way that makes them almost completely unrecognizable.

Fuller turned his series into a recently published book, entitledThe City: A Formal View of American Urban Architecture.

Below, familiar US cities that when captured with Fuller's lens, look more like apocalyptic, empty, and ghostly down towns.

 

 

SEE ALSO: 15 vintage photos that show what Hong Kong looked like in the 1950s and 1960s

Fuller first started taking pictures of the cities he traveled to in 1981. He became interested in photography after taking a course in college under well-known photographer, Henry Wessel.



Growing up just north of Chicago, Illinois, and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fuller was always close to, and intrigued by big cities.



Originally, he hadn't planned on making a full series of work — but his curiosity and fascination with skyscrapers and urban architecture kept him shooting. "In the beginning, I would just photograph cities that were interesting to me," Fuller told Business Insider.



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Donald Trump likes to tip with $100 bills

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donald trump mar a lago

Donald Trump, notorious for his self-proclaimed business acumen, does not skimp on his handouts to the help. In fact, he sometimes passes out $100 bills.

The Republican presidential frontrunner and real estate mogul has been known to give Franklins to the "appreciative" groundskeepers on his property in Palm Beach, reports the New York Times.

"You’re a Hispanic and you’re in here trimming the trees and everything, and a guy walks up and hands you a hundred dollars,” Trump's long-time butler Anthony Senecal told the Times. “And they love him, not for that, they just love him.”

Trump's various quirks are recounted in the Times story by Senecal, who has worked for Trump for nearly 30 years at the historic property, called Mar-a-Lago. Now 74, Senecal once tried to retire from his role in 1999, only for his attempt to be rebuffed by his boss.

“Tony, to retire is to expire,” Trump responded to him. “I’ll see you next season.”

Senecal shares that Trump hates to swim, love a well-done steak, and does his own hair while staying at the Palm Beach mansion and resort.

Trump bought the Mar-a-Lago property in 1985 for less than $10 million, after which he converted the 1924 estate into a private club. It has been the site of celebrity events — Trump's own wedding included — aside from being Trump's personal escape and family home.

Recently, he's mentioned it as an example of his pro-equality stance, saying on ABC's "Good Morning America" that the club is "Totally open to everybody. A club that frankly set a new standard — a new standard in clubs and a new standard in Palm Beach. And I've gotten great credit for it. That is totally open to everybody."

SEE ALSO: 15 expensive steakhouses that are actually worth the price

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