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Michelle Obama revealed what she'll miss most about being first lady


In a panel at South by Southwest, First Lady Michelle Obama talked about what she'll miss most once she exits the White House.

While her husband had a light-hearted answer when asked the same question (he said the helicopter), Michelle Obama got emotional when talking about all the people she has met over the last seven years.

Story by Tony Manfred, editing by Alana Yzola.

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Here's what's in the $200 'Moon Dust' smoothie Gwyneth Paltrow drinks every day


Gwyneth Paltrow

Would you shell out $200 for a daily smoothie you had to blend at home?

Probably not. What about a $10 equivalent that comes in a bottle?

If the answer is "yes," or even "mayyyybe," please read on.

Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow recently shared the recipe for her daily breakfast smoothie on her blog Goop.com. And Daily News writer Micaela Hood called out its hefty price tag: about $200 a glass.

At first, the recipe sounds fairly typical as far as smoothies go — almond milk, almond butter, a pinch of optional vanilla powder — but then you get to the mushroom powder and the hard-to-pronounce ingredients such as ashwagandha and cordyceps.

Before we get to those odd additions to her morning beverage, let's nip a blossoming but nasty health rumor in the bud.

First things first: Swapping out a regular meal for a liquid blend does not necessarily make it healthier.

Here's what you might be thinking: OK, so Gwyneth's smoothie is bogus and overpriced. No surprise there. But smoothies and juices overall are super-healthy, right?

Smoothie in BlenderAfter all, they pack the vitamins and nutrients in whole fruits and veggies without the added inconvenience of (loudly) chewing your way through them.

While the gist of this is true — liquid fruits and veggies still contain the whole versions' vitamins and nutrients — juicing them doesn't necessarily mean you're getting more of the good stuff and eliminating the bad stuff.

On the contrary, juicing up a fleshy orange or starchy carrot merely removes most of its fiber, the key ingredient that helps keep us feeling full and also aids in digestion. And it leaves us with the full sugar content of the original food; this is why a glass of orange juice can pack nearly the same sugar content as a glass of Coke.

But what about all those mysterious, fancy-sounding ingredients in Gwyneth's breakfast blend?

It turns out they have zero proven health benefits. In fact, most of the research on them has been done in mice. And mice, as we know, are not people.

"There aren’t really any clinical trials to even say what they do," Andy Bellatti, a registered dietician and the co-founder of the group Dietitians for Professional Integrity, told Business Insider. "Could they potentially have benefits? Could they potentially help lower your cholesterol? Maybe. But we just don’t have that information."

The ones Paltrow says she adds are mostly powders called Moon Dust— yes, Moon Dust — or tonics, and they're made by a company called Moon Juice. The blends are available in over a dozen varieties and claim to help improve everything from sex to sleep.

Beauty Dust

AsDomingo J. Pinero, the director of undergraduate studies at New York University's School of Nutrition and Food Studies and a clinical assistant professor of nutrition, put it to Business Insider:

"From the perspective of nutrition, there's nothing special there," he said. "Almond butter is what it is. Vanilla mushroom powder ... the ingredients are 'activated brown rice protein' with a mix of mushroom, so even the name is misleading. And coconut oil. Those are the only things with nutritional value. The rest are dietary supplements that you can buy in Chinatown for a fraction of the cost (and probably with adequate instructions for use). I'm not impressed."

With that in mind, we took a look at some of the most popular ingredients Paltrow includes in her daily smoothie. Here's the lowdown on each:

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Allegedly helpful for soothing anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting virility. According to the research though, there's just not yet enough evidence— aside from some promising studies in animals— to say it does any of that.
  • Ho Shou Wu (Fo-Ti root): Allegedly helps boost "youthfulness," reproductive function, and sex drive. But experts say there's not enough evidence to verify any of these claims.
  • Cordyceps (a special type of mushroom that attaches itself to a caterpillar and uses its carcass as food): Allegedly boosts strength and energy. Evidence of this, though, is limited. A study from Brigham Young University researchers of endurance-trained cyclists found that cordyceps did not increase aerobic capacity or physical performance, while other studies have suggested potential benefits in mice but not people.
  • Vanilla mushroom (brown rice protein plus some of the other ingredients above): Allegedly boosts the immune system, builds muscle, supports the liver, nourishes the heart and spirit, relieves stress, and imparts "feelings of centeredness." The brown rice protein should help build muscle — protein is key for muscle maintenance and growth — but the other ingredients are probably unnecessary.

So there you have it. You don't need a $200 smoothie to get healthier. Or a $10 one, for that matter. Instead, check out these tips:

LIKE: 11 essential tips for anyone who wants to start looking and feeling healthier now

OR: What the author of 'Eat Fat, Get Thin' eats — and avoids — every day

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This device turns bottles into plastic string, and will change the way we recycle

We're about to experience the earliest spring since 1896 because of something unusual that happened in 2000


Spring Flowers Boat Ride Canal

If you Google "First day of of Spring" it will tell you March 20. But don't be fooled!

For many people in the US, the first day of spring will actually take place on March 19.

As it turns out, this year marks the earliest spring we've seen since 1896.

That's thanks to the fact that 2000 was a leap year, which was unusual since most century years, like 1700, 1800, and 1900, were not leap years.

Don't worry, there are no unnatural forces at work. It's simply a consequence of our imperfect Gregorian calendar system that can't quite account for Earth's annual revolution around the sun.

Long ago, our ancient human ancestors decided that spring officially began when the sun shone directly on Earth's equator (illustrated below). As a result, the first day of spring is sometimes referred to as the spring, or vernal, equinox.

Ecliptic_pathHowever, there is one problem with establishing seasons based on Earth's movement through space, which is that the time it takes Earth to complete one revolution around the sun is not exactly 365 days.

In fact, it actually takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds.

The Gregorian calendar tells us, however, that one year is equal to 365 days exactly — no more and no less. That is, unless we have a leap year, in which case it becomes 366 days.

Leap years are a great way to account for this discrepancy and keep our calendar, as well as our seasons, in check. Without leap years, we'd quickly fall out of step. Within 100 years our calendars would be 24 days off schedule.

Special exceptions

calendarHosting a leap year every four years, however, doesn't quite cut it. That's why there are two special exceptions:

  1. There's no leap year at the turn of the century. The years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, even though they fell within the regular 4-year cycle.
  2. Unless the turn of the century is divisible by 400. This is why the year 2000 was a leap year.

"Our calendar system is set up in a 400 year cycle so that it makes up for all the little fractions that are left over since Earth doesn't spin in 365 and a quarter days," astronomer Bob Berman — who runs Overlook Observatory in New York and owns a giant book containing tens of thousands of past and future equinox dates — told Business Insider.

"What this tends to do," Berman continued, "is make leap days reset themselves so that the equinoxes and solstices all happen [on schedule]."

Berman is a regular guest on presentations hosted by Slooh, which is a collection of observatories around the world that stream live cosmic events online. Slooh will be hosting a special presentation on Sat. March 19 at 5 pm ET where Berman and other experts will discuss this year's unusually early spring equinox.

The big difference about the 21st century was that the year 2000 was a leap year. While this didn't affect our daily lives, it did make one difference:

"Instead of everything being reset so that all the dates of the equinoxes and solstices get knocked back to their usual dates ... that did not happen," said Berman.

The result is that the first day of spring will be moving to earlier times throughout this century.

This year, the spring equinox officially starts at 4:30 UT March 20, which means it will take place at 12:30 a.m. March 20 ET and 9:30 p.m. March 19 PT.

Before 2100 rolls around, it won't just be the US — everyone across the globe will experience spring equinoxes on March 19.

By the time we reach the 2300s, however, we'll be back on track and most spring equinoxes will fall on March 21st, again, according to Berman.

"This is all part of the plan to keep the dates from getting too far out of whack," Berman said. "And because of this, it really keeps everything accurate to about one day in 4,000 years. It's very impressive."

If you want to check out the Slooh presentation, tune in here, or below at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 19:


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Inside the pub that claims to be the oldest in Ireland, opened in 900 A.D.


Sean's BarEstablished in 900 A.D., Sean’s Bar claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland. 

The historic bar is located in the town of Athlone, roughly halfway between Dublin and Galway.

In 2000, it was accepted as a record for the oldest pub in Ireland by the "Guinness World Records," according to a letter the organisation sent to the pub.

Today, Sean's Bar has become popular with tourists from all over the world.

"The pub itself hasn't changed at all over the years," Declan Delaney, the manager of Sean's Bar, told Business Insider over email. "The building is a protected structure so any alteration to the main bar is forbidden." 

Sean's has even been frequented by celebrities, including Mia Farrow, John C. Reilly, and Ray Meagher (Alf on the Australian TV soap "Home and Away"), who poured himself a pint on his visit in 2015. 

For St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, Business Insider spoke to Delaney to find out more about the pub’s history.

Take a look inside below.

The pub was originally named Luain's Inn. "Luain was an inn keeper who guided people across the treacherous waters of the River Shannon long before any bridge was built," Delaney explained.

"A settlement was then built up around this area and the town 'Athlone' was named after Luain," Delaney said. "In Irish Athlone translates into 'Atha Luain' - The Ford of Luain."

Renovations in 1970 found that the walls of the pub were made of wattle and wicker dating back to the 10th century as well as old coins minted by landlords for barter. Most of the original walls and coins are displayed at the National Museum of Ireland, though one section remains at the pub.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Ivanka Trump describes her life as the daughter of a potential US president, running the Trump empire, and building her own brand


Ivanka Trump

You saw her introduce Donald Trump when he formally announced his presidential candidacy last year, and since then you've seen her at his side on the campaign trail.

But Ivanka Trump has a lot more going on in her life than politics.

As executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization, she's taken over running Donald's real-estate empire with her brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, while her father focuses on campaigning.

And as head of the Ivanka Trump lifestyle brand, she's aiming to inspire women with articles about #WomenWhoWork while promoting her clothing, jewelry, and accessories line geared toward young professional women.

Business Insider recently spoke with her about her life, what it's like running the Trump empire, and the challenges of building her own brand.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Rachel Gillett:This must be an exciting time in your life. What is it like to be Ivanka Trump at this moment?

Ivanka Trump: It is rather busy, although that seems to always be true, or at least has been for the past several years, having two kids at home. We now have one on the way that's due literally any day now, so we're all very excited about that. And then obviously in a work capacity I've been tremendously busy running The Trump Organization now that my father's on the campaign trail and my own company and the growth of that. So it's been an amazing time, a wild experience, and an incredible one.

Gillett: You've also been campaigning with your dad. What's that been like?

Trump: Well, in the capacity of a very proud daughter. Obviously to be able to see this transpiring, to watch him achieve so much as a politician — and we're certainly not a family of politicians, and politics is certainly not our family business — it's been amazing.

So it's exciting for me to be able to be with him for major moments and stand by his side, and I'm very proud of him as a daughter and as somebody who's worked beside him for the past decade at The Trump Organization.

Gillett: What does a typical day look like for you?

Ivanka Trump

Trump: There is no typical day, and that's especially true these days and part of what is exciting about my life, both personally and professionally.

Having toddlers always means that there's a fair amount of chaos at home, but that's part of the fun. And from a work perspective, we have projects under construction all over the world, including many right here in the US.

We have the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue — the most sought-after hotel and redevelopment opportunity in the country, which we were awarded a couple of years ago — that's under construction and opening in the next six months in September. So that is a project that I am very, very focused on.

For me professionally as well I've built an incredible business that I'm very proud of that is my own brand and that is both creating incredible content to empower and inspire this next generation of working women through a digital platform, mainly through my website, IvankaTrump.com, our email newsletters, and our social-media platforms.

We're generating an enormous amount of content geared at this young professional woman, which has been resonating strongly. We also have been creating solution-oriented products for that same person that will help her transition in life through her many roles, whether they may be mother, girlfriend, professional, and really everything in between.

So there's no typical day, but I transition through the course of my business day by doing everything from construction meetings on the development project under construction to design meetings for an upcoming apparel delivery to acquisition meetings about projects we're looking to acquire. It's very diverse in terms of content, substance, and what I address on a typical day.

Gillett: Do you have any productivity hacks that help you balance everything?

Trump: From a productivity perspective, prioritization is key. And it's very easy to focus on clearing the decks of minutia, especially when one's very busy. It's almost easy to want to sit down at your desk when you have a free five minutes and try to clear out some of the incoming emails rather than address things strategically and foundationally and deal with the most important objectives for you and the company. To the extent I can, I try to maintain a laser focus on what needs to get done from a priority standpoint.

And not just from an urgency standpoint, but from a value-added standpoint. So where can I add the most value? Where is my time best spent?

Ivanka Trump

Part of being able to make great decisions around that and to really grow a business and scale a business comes down to people. I spend a lot of time building teams at both businesses — both The Trump Organization and my own — and thinking about who to hire to supplement the team and allow us to best achieve our goals.

Hiring great people is almost the most important thing you can do as a leader because they enable you to scale, and they create better leverage for you and your time.

Gillett: How do you find great people to hire?

Trump: We want self-starters. We want people who are optimistic, who see challenges as opportunities. People who are dedicated, who really are accountable to one another and toward achieving shared goals, who are ambitious. I like people who aren't shy about the use of that word.

Traditionally women have been more reticent to acknowledge their ambition and to say it with pride. So I like having people who work for us who are ambitious, engaged, respectful.

Ivanka Trump

Mis-hiring is a huge mistake. It's a tremendous opportunity cost throwing the position to the wrong person.

If there's one single thing that I do every single time, it's require references and, ideally, at least one reference from every company they've worked at. It's always a huge red flag for me when somebody's reticent or reluctant or a little slow in providing thoughtful references that are a testament to them as a person and their professional accomplishments.

Gillett: How would you describe your leadership style?

Trump: I set very bold goals. It's how I've always been. I'm definitely somebody who swings for the fences, and I expect very high performance.

Gillett: You've worked with your family most of your life. What do admire about them and what have they taught you along the way?

Trump: Working in a family business, which obviously The Trump Organization is, is an incredible thing, but it's complicated. It's complex.

I've seldom met somebody who is merely satisfied working alongside siblings. You typically have a binary outcome. They either are miserable and everyone starts to hate each other, which is an unfortunate outcome that we see too often, or it is really incredible, and there's tremendous energy and mutual respect, and the parties work really well together. I've found that the middle road typically doesn't happen.

Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump

Working in a family business, you just have to be cognizant of being respectful to one another, treating each other in a professional way when you're in an office environment, because it's very easy, especially with siblings, to let down your guard and say exactly what's on your mind when maybe that doesn't serve the situation well and can create ill feelings. It's important to be honest with and respectful of each other and deal with issues as they arrive, as opposed to letting them simmer.

I have the good fortune of working with two brothers who are very accomplished, incredibly smart, and very capable. So thankfully there is not an issue in that regard where somebody isn't pulling their own weight.

We collaborate all the time. We tend to take different paths, but we tend to reach very similar conclusions. It's actually great because it allows us to be much more creative in the process of getting things done. We all have different perspectives but we tend not to disagree with each other very often in terms of where we want to get or where we want to be. So it's been amazing working with my brothers.

And my father is incredible. He's an amazing leader. He's built an enormous business. He's employed tens of thousands of people over the years. It's incredible to watch how he is able to inspire people. He has a very clear vision for each of his businesses in terms of what he wants to accomplish. He will lay out bold goals, and then he will enable people to work very hard to achieve them. And he'll encourage them and he'll support them in those efforts. So he's taught me a tremendous amount about how to be an inspiring leader and how to try to do that as well.

Gillett: If your father wins the presidency, what will the new Trump Organization look like? Will one of you become CEO?

Trump: We're taking it one day at a time. But right now my adult siblings and I run the business. My father is very focused on the campaign and his goal of making this country great again. So that is his primary focus, and we're running the business.

In terms of the logistics of that from a title perspective, we have not talked about that nor do we typically care very much. We're not large on bureaucracy. My brothers and I said to each other when we started in this business that as a collective we can do far more than any one of us can do individually. And that's really what guides our relationship — this sense of camaraderie. And it is a family business, and we work together collaboratively as a family.

Ivanka Trump

Gillett: How does the Donald Trump brand affect your brand?

Trump: My father has created an enormous business and he's created an enormous brand for himself, and I'm contributing to the business that he's built every day at The Trump Organization.

But I've also built my own business, and obviously it's a brand that I've built and it's wholly owned by me and something that certainly my experience observing him and working with him and for him has informed how I make business decisions around my brand. But it's my company.

Gillett: For all the supporters your father has, he also has detractors. What are your strategies for dealing with the backlash that comes your way?

Trump: I don't have a strategy. I am my own person. So if people disagree with the opinion of my father and want to dislike me because I'm his daughter, then I'm probably not going to be able to discourage them from that.

I haven't seen too much of that, though. And people respect the fact that my father is very honest with his opinions, and they respect the fact that I am my own person and I have my own opinions. So I don't give a lot of thought to what detractors might say. And I'm a human being who stands on my own two feet.

SEE ALSO: Millionaire Ivanka Trump says following these 6 negotiation rules can get you anything you want

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NOW WATCH: Here's how the Republican strategy created for Jeb Bush backfired and catapulted Trump into the lead

People can't figure out how many girls are in this picture


Thousands have commented on an Instagram post that is confusing the internet. People cannot seem to agree on just how many girls are in the picture Swiss photographer Tiziana Vergari posted a week ago as part of the site's Weekend Hashtag Project. After the photo was featured by Instagram, the guessing game really took off.

Story and editing by A.C. Fowler

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This award-winning underwater photographer makes stunning images on a point-and-shoot camera


Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo 8

Anuar Patjane Floriuk won a prestigious World Press Photo award for the stunning image above, and he made it on a point-and-shoot camera.

The annual World Press Photo awards honor the most amazing photojournalists, sports photographers, and nature photographers working anywhere on the globe. Tech Insider will publish several interviews with 2016's winners in the coming weeks. Floriuk won 2nd prize in the Nature Singles category for this image.

We caught up with him to talk about his photography, his gear, and what it's like to shoot underwater.

Undersea photography is incredibly calming

Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo 7

Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo 6At 34, Floriuk has dived for half his life — starting when he was 17 years old.

"My mom was a marine biologist, so she was always like 'Oh, you should dive, you should try,'" he said.

He took his first classes in the fjords on the Norwegian coast, but spent most of his college years on dry land. He trained as a social anthropologist, and took classes on photography for ethnographers.

"But then five years ago I discovered a group in Mexico [where he lives] that liked to do expeditions to special places."

He started diving again, taking every opportunity to follow the group.

"Sometimes you feel when you're diving this amazing feeling. You want to share that feeling. You want to keep that feeling," he said.

"So what I try to show with the photos is that state of total relaxation. Feeling totally at peace."

Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo 91

Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo 92Floriuk's evocative, mostly black-and-white images of underwater realms capture that peacefulness. And making them (along with some landlocked nature shots) is now his full-time job.

Unlike many nature photographers, Floriuk likes to include people in his images.

"I am an anthropoligist. I love humanity. I'm very interested in the human being as an animal," he said.

"And also, to avoid the human side of the image is like lying. You are never alone. You can take a photo of a lonely lion, but there's people around. There's always people."

That camaraderie is a huge part of the experience for Floriuk. Out on an expedition boat there's no WiFi or cell phone signal. Just miles of open water on all sides, unseen creatures below, and the fellow adventurers on the boat.

"It's a bit like Big Brother," he said. "You get to know each other very well."

How he made his award-winning shot

Floriuk wasn't even with his usual expedition group when he made the award-winning image at the top of this story.

In fact, he wasn't supposed to go along at all. His friend called him with just a few day's notice to say there were two spots open on a whale-following mission. He decided to go along, but didn't get his hopes up too high.

"You never know if you'll get to see them or not," he said. "You can know 'That's the area they're gonna be,' and you can hear them. But to see them is very, very, very difficult."

But about 800 kilometers off the coast of Baja California on the western side of Mexico, they spotted three humpbacks — a mother, a calf, and a third along for the trip. He'd never seen whales up close before.

"They were very comfortable," he said. "It was a very cool thing."

The massive underwater mammals ended up spending three days alongside the boat, giving Anuar nine hours of dive time to shoot thousands of images. The calf was learning to breathe from its mother.

Floriuk said the shot was entirely improvised. He was near the whales when they suddenly turned and swam right at some of the other divers. You can see the commotion on the water as they scrambled out of the creatures' way.

Sometimes small is the best technology for the job

Anuar copyUnderwater, Floriuk shoots with a Sony RX-100 digital point-and-shoot camera.

Now, the RX-100 sits at the top tier of shooters that will fit in your pocket with its f/1.8 Carl Zeiss lens and fairly large one-inch sensor. But it's hardly what you might expect one of the world's greatest underwater photographers to use as his primary device.

But the RX-100 is light enough to easily carry on a scuba suit, shoots beautiful RAW images, and at $398 on Amazon it wouldn't be too painful to replace if it got waterlogged.

Floriuk houses his device in a specialized Nauticam case. When he wants to shoot wide he attaches an Inon dome (pictured right).

When shooting nature on dry land, Floriuk's equipment choices get even more idiosyncratic.

For his more rugged adventures he packs a Sony RX-1, the RX-100's bigger, pricier cousin.

At about $2,800, the RX-1's sized just a bit bigger than a point and shoot. But it's got the full-frame sensor of a professional DSLR with a fixed 35mm f/2 lens.

His favorite camera, though, is his Leica M Monochrome.

Pretty much unique among digital devices, the M Monochrome makes black and white RAW files. There's no editing to be done — the sensor itself sees everything in greyscale.

Why would you want to limit yourself like that? Floriuk says the black and white device actually expands his creativity.

Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo

"I think it's a psychological thing," he said. "Like, you are limited by black and white and you don't have to think about color. You are free of color. Color is always a problem. It distracts. Not only to the viewer. It distracts when you are taking the photo. So the moment color's not in my mind anymore, the whole way my mind works about the photographic process changes totally. You're looking differently. By discarding color, not having it in your hands, you totally start to change the way you think about a photo."

The fact that the M Monochrome packs Leica's film-textured digital sensors and ultra-high-end lenses doesn't hurt either. He uses the $7,500 device for street photography, and recently brought it on a penguin expedition to Antarctica.

Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo 95

Floriuk makes color images as well. But even when shooting on a color camera, he said he keeps in mind how he will process the image.

"I mostly shoot black and white. Underwater is black and white. Street photography is black and white. Nature and landscape you need color for many photos. When I take the photo I know 95% of the time: This is going to be color. This is black and white."

For color shooting, his top device is a Nikon D800.

Anuar Patjane Floriuk photo 0

You can find more of Floriuk's work on his website.

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NOW WATCH: What happens to your brain when you check your phone all the time

The 20 charming GIFs that are most likely to get you a response on Tinder


hayIn January, Tinder introduced the ability to send GIFs to impress your potential dates.

Since that time, the company says more than 20 million GIFs have been sent around the world. In general, Tinder says GIF messages are 30% more likely to get a response than non-GIF messages.

But some GIFs are more effective than others.

These are the 20 GIFs Tinder says have the highest response rates:







See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Jim Carrey nails the reason why you should always follow your dreams


In 2014, Jim Carrey delivered a commencement address to Maharishi University of Management in Iowa that people still talk about to this day. He told the room full of new graduates not to let their lives be navigated by fear.

Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Alana Yzola

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This is the world's coolest treehouse


The world's coolest treehouse is nestled between two national parks in Australia, and has a fireplace, shower and an outdoor spa. Producer/director Jamie Andrei talked to its architect, who described a stay there as "like meditating, without actually having to concentrate on meditating." 

Story and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss

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What a classroom looks like in 27 countries around the world

Lingerie company CEO demands Calvin Klein rips down its 'sexist' Fetty Wap and Klara Kristin billboard


calvin klein

Heidi Zak, the CEO and cofounder of lingerie brand ThirdLove, has embarked on a campaign demanding Calvin Klein takes down its "offensive" billboard ad starring rapper Fetty Wap and actor Klara Kristin.

The billboard, situated in New York City, shows Kristin posing provocatively, alongside the tagline "I seduce in #mycalvins." Adjacent to her image is a close-up of Fetty Wap's face, with the slogan "I make money in #mycalvins."

Zak has written a letter (read it in full below) to Calvin Klein CEO Steve Shiffman calling on the company to remove the "offensive" and billboard, which she believes is sexist.

"It’s striking that almost a century after women won the right to vote, companies like yours are still propagating these offensive and outdated gender stereotypes: Men go to work and make money, while women are nothing more than sex objects," she writes.

Zak has also created a YouTube video outlining how she is "personally offended" by the ad.

She adds that ThirdLove and "the women of New York" are "no longer accepting this antiquated stereotype and instead are creating our own gender definitions that a women can be anything she wants to be."

The video then sees ThirdLove asking passers-by what they think of the billboard. All of those interviewed dislike the ad and comment on how they find it inappropriate, with one woman saying: "It's totally pedophilic. It's disgusting."

ThirdLove has also started up a Change.org petition, entitled "Take Down Sexist Billboard In NYC." It had 43 signatories at the time of writing.

Calvin Klein was not immediately available for comment.

The billboard is part of a wider campaign, featuring stars such Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner, FKA Twigs, and Kendrick Lamar apparently sharing what they love do in their Calvins.

calvin klein bieber

As reported by WWD, Calvin Klein CMO Melisa Goldie explained the campaign was "representative of how culture is evolving as we speak."

She added: "We’re bringing together a diverse mix of provocateurs with a unique collective of visual artists to create content that sparks and drives cultural conversation. Millennials reject labels when it comes to their own identities, and they want products that are personalized and individual, which we’re achieving as Calvin Klein moves toward further establishing itself as a lifestyle-centric global brand."

ThirdLove CEO Heidi Zak's letter to Calvin Klein CEO Steve Shiffman in full:

March 18, 2016

Attn. Mr. Steve Shiffman
CEO, Calvin Klein, Inc.

Mr. Shiffman, I’d like to talk about your new Spring 2016 campaign entitled #MyCalvins.

In New York City’s Soho neighborhood, a mere 2.6 miles from your headquarters, your billboard shows a woman in Calvin Klein underwear with the caption “I seduce in #mycalvins” — directly alongside rapper Fetty Wap, who is known for his anti-feminist lyrics and behavior towards his child’s mother in the media, with the text “I make money in #mycalvins.”

Is the message of Calvin Klein today that women are only good for seduction? Are we stuck in the 1950s? Are these the values of the Calvin Klein brand?

It’s striking that almost a century after women won the right to vote, companies like yours are still propagating these offensive and outdated gender stereotypes: Men go to work and make money, while women are nothing more than sex objects.

It is egregious that Calvin Klein is posting this message for millions of impressionable young women to see and internalize as to what they should aspire to.

See, you and I view the world very differently. I believe women can do anything, and that we should take every possible opportunity to teach and remind them of that. Anything less, in this day and age, is irresponsible marketing.

I’m a CEO, and I work hard. I make money just like Fetty – and I do so while wearing underwear, just like all the other amazing women out there working every day.

We should be illustrating that women do more than simply “seduce”. At ThirdLove we believe fit should come first. In fact, we believe the best bra is one you never think about. No matter the different roles a woman takes on during the day, her lingerie should make her feel confident, sexy and ready to be the best at her job, as a friend, wife or partner, mom, or CEO of a company.

And I’m not the only one shocked by your company. Your fellow New Yorkers had a lot to say: More Than My Underwear.

For the sake of the tens of thousands of women a day, young and old, who walk past this billboard, I’m starting a petition Change.org/MoreThanMyUnderwear. We are asking that your company do the right thing and remove this offensive billboard immediately. Women deserve more respect, and they certainly deserve more than what they’re getting from companies like yours.


Heidi Zak
CEO/Co-Founder, ThirdLove

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These dizzying photos of China's gorgeous skyscrapers will make you feel like you're in a video game



Photographer Andy Yeung wishes everyone one would look up from their phones more often and appreciate the beauty and skyline of their own city. His series "Look Up" shows veiwers exactly what they're missing.

Yeung's dizzying and unique images of the varying architecture in Hong Kong, and other cities throughout China, explore the country's public housing, tourist attractions, and shopping centers.

With over 300 skyscrapers in the metropolitan area, Hong Kong remains Young's favorite city to photograph. "When it comes to architecture, Hong Kong is a city where old meets new," he told Business Insider. "It gives the city a unique character."

Ahead, 12 disorienting images of the buildings that make up China's cities.  

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The Four Seasons hotel in Guangzhou, China.

Housing in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, China.

Apartments in Macau, China.

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The most over-the-top Bloody Mary has hit NYC and it's amazing


Why choose between a Bloody Mary and an entire brunch buffet when you can have both?

Bespoke Kitchen, which recently opened in New York City's West Village, is home to Manhattan's most over-the-top cocktail, "Mary's Walk of Shame."

It's a Bloody Mary topped with a grilled cheese sandwich, sausage, maple bacon, pastrami, and a pickle. And it's all house-made.

Story by Aly Weisman, editing by Stephen Parkhurst.

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A woman who's been a professional athlete, banker, filmmaker, restaurateur, and CEO reveals 5 keys to being successful in anything


Miki Agrawal Thinx 1515

For THINX cofounder and CEO Miki Agrawal, success is hard-won. And it's a journey.

The former investment banker, athlete, filmmaker, restaurateur, and current entrepreneur has spent the last 15 years learning from a wide array of jobs and industries.

She's come away from her experiences with a distinct perspective on leadership, the importance of hard work, and making sure you're surrounded by the right people.

Here are five of the best bits of advice we picked up from her on how to set yourself up for success.

SEE ALSO: Go inside the Brooklyn home of entrepreneur Miki Agrawal, the ex-investment banker with a novel idea for women's underwear

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"You are the average of the five closest friends you keep."

In Agrawal's opinion, it's the people you surround yourself with who will exert the most influence over your life, so it's important to create a core group who you can trust.

Agrawal's twin, Radha, is another entrepreneur. She founded the popular alcohol-free morning dance series Daybreaker in 2014. And her partner, Andrew Horn, is a social entrepreneur too, having founded companies dedicated to communications and advocacy.

Miki even lives in a building with a half-dozen close friends, many of them in the entrepreneurial world as well.

"Eliminate the depleters — the people who complain or hold you back."

"Don't let other people dim your flame," says Agrawal. Instead, take a good, hard look at those around you — and make sure they're contributing positively to your sense of self and your ability to achieve.

If someone is holding you back, or their attitude is having a negative impact your own outlook, don't be afraid to move forward without them. 

"Do what you do best, and bring in other people to do what they do best."

For Agrawal, this means recognizing your strengths and weaknesses — and the strengths in others that might complement you best.

When she was running her restaurant business, she fortuitously met a business partner and relinquished day-to-day oversight to him, seeing that he was better suited for the operational role.

Similarly, at THINX she functions as CEO and creative director, but she makes sure to fill her team with operational and technical talent to support the brand's vision. There are now 25 people working for THINX.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

What too little sleep does to your brain and body


Surrounding ourselves with screens comes with an unexpected side effect: We can't sleep.

And our bodies and minds are suffering.

Whether it's because we're staying up to squeeze in a final episode of "Master of None" or scrolling through Facebook, nearly 40% of us get less than seven hours of sleep a night, according to a recent Gallup poll. And the CDC estimates that another 50-70 million Americans likely have a sleep disorder.

Here are eight horrible things that can happen if you don't get enough sleep:

bi_graphics_what little sleep does to your body

Additional reporting by Lauren F. Friedman.

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The hidden meaning behind these well-known numbers in brand names

Spain's most chaotic festival is going on right now and it involves a lot of fire — here's what it's like to attend


Fallas, Valencia, Festival

Spain is a country known for its unique festivities. Las Falls de Valencia, one of their most chaotic festivals, just began on March 15. 

Las Fallas is a week long celebration that always involves fire — Las Fallas literally means "the fire." During this celebration, life-like satirical sculptures — which look more like Pixar movie characters than traditional parade floats — are made and paraded around Valencia before they get burned. 

La Crema, also known as the burning, is done on the last day of the festival at exactly 12 a.m. 

Here are images from those posting live to Instagram from this year's Las Fallas celebrations. 

SEE ALSO: 19 stunning images from the costume festival that thousands of tourists flock to Venice to celebrate

The Las Fallas celebrations started because artisans and carpenters were forced to spend winters working by the flickering lights of oil lamps that hung from wooden structures.

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Once spring came around, the sun was out longer and the flickering lights were no longer needed — so they set them on fire.

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The burning lights were symbols of celebration of the arrival of spring and longer days.

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4 things you can literally learn while you sleep


sleeping woman

When you go to sleep tonight, put a book under your pillow. When you wake up tomorrow morning, you'll have its contents memorized.

OK, so that probably won't work.

But don't lose hope just yet: It turns out there actually are a few things you can learn — or at least improve your grasp of — while you snooze. Most of them depend on one thing: sound.

Here are some of the skills you may be able to sharpen in your sleep:

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

DON'T MISS: What too little sleep does to your brain and body

1. Foreign words.

In a recent experiment, scientists had native German speakers start learning Dutch, beginning with some basic vocab. Then they asked them to go to sleep.

Unbeknownst to the dozing Germans, while they slept, the researchers played the sound of some of those basic words to one group of them. The other group was exposed to no such sounds. Later on when they were tested on the words, the group who'd listened to them overnight was better able to identify and translate them.

To make sure the findings were tied to sleep — and not just the result of people hearing the words — they had another group listen to the words while they did something else while awake, like walking. The walkers didn't recall the words nearly as well as the sleepers.

2. Musical skills.

In another study, researchers taught a group of people to play guitar melodies using a technique borrowed from the video game Guitar Hero. Afterward, all the volunteers got to nap. When they woke up, they all were asked to play the tune again.

Unbeknownst to the sleeping participants, one group was played the same melody they'd just learned as they slept. The other group was not. The volunteers who'd been played the sound while they napped — even though they had no memory of it — played the melody far better than those who didn't hear it as they snoozed.

3. Where you put something.

In a 2013 study, researchers had 60 healthy adults use a computer to place a virtual object in a particular location on the screen. When they picked a location and placed the object there, they heard a specific tune. Then, they did two experiments in which they had the participants nap for 1.5 hours. During the first nap, participants dozed as usual, with no sounds playing. During the second nap, the tune that was played when they were placing the object was played again — though none of them reported hearing it.

Not surprisingly, after either nap, people's memories faded. But their memories faded less when they'd been exposed — even sub- or unconsciously — to the sound that had been played when they'd placed the item. Interestingly, their memories were sharper still when they'd been told the virtual object was of "high value."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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