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President Obama is making a historic trip to Cuba — here's what every American should know before booking a flight


President Obama left Andrews Air Force Base on Sunday for a historic three-day trip to Cuba — the first visit by an American president since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

Over the summer, Business Insider sent three reporters to Havana, Cuba, to see what it's like to visit the country as tourists. While we had a great time, there are a handful of issues that American tourists should seriously consider before booking a flight.

We'll have lots of stories about our adventures on the island, which you'll be able to find here.

Produced by Graham Flanagan. Camera by Joe Avella, Tyler Greenfield and Amanda Macias.

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SEE ALSO: We sent 3 reporters to Cuba for a week, and it was a wild adventure from the moment they arrived

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How to save your relationship after cheating

At this prison, inmates are tasked with training stray dogs


The documentary "Dogs on the Inside" chronicles the mutually beneficial relationships that form between inmates at a minimum security prison in Massachusetts, and dogs who, in many cases, have been abused or abandoned.

The inmates train the dogs, and the dogs end up helping the inmates change as well.

Story and editing by A.C. Fowler

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The best kind of suit for every body type


Suits are not one-size-fits-all. That much is obvious.

But just how much variation suiting requires to fit different body types isn't so obvious. Let us help you with that.

Here are the best ways to suit up your unique frame, taking every kind of body type into account.

bi_graphics_the best suit for every body type

SEE ALSO: The 15 most stylish guys in the world right now, ranked

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NOW WATCH: 4 essential suits every man needs in his closet

3 warning signs that the diet you want to try is too good to be true


tswift apple

Some diets aren't all they're cracked up to be.

From the cranberry juice ("lose 25 pounds in days!") craze to the lemon "detox cleanse," dozens of weight-loss schemes have boomed and, eventually, busted. 

Other diets have stuck around, from the gluten-free plan to the more recent alkaline diet.

Instead of making yourself a guinea pig for every new eating fad, wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to tell which diets were phony before trying them out?

Registered dietitian and nutritionist Andy Bellatti recently gave us three pointers to spot a faulty fad diet in minutes:

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

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

1. It emphasizes powders, pills, or both.

"Powders and pills are red flag number one," Bellatti told Business Insider.

The problem with these concoctions, he says, is that they've taken part of something that was once a whole food, like a fruit or a vegetable, then separated and processed it for one ingredient. That's OK for things like cocoa powder, which does have nutrients, but it shouldn't make up the bulk of your eating regimen.

"When something is a powder, you're probably using what, a teaspoon or tablespoon at most? And you have to wonder how much that can really do. Versus a cup of broccoli or a quarter cup of cashews. That’s something significant," says Bellatti.

Instead: Go for whole food as much as possible.

Writer Michael Pollan said it best: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Be sure to incorporate fresh vegetables, like broccoli, bell peppers, and brussels sprouts, into any eating plan. These crunchy, colorful foods — which the CDC actually calls "powerhouse foods" — are a great source of key vitamins and nutrients. They're also high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.

2. Its purported "results" are explained in very vague terms.

If the label promises to do things like "Harmonize your aura," chances are it won't do much of anything at all.

One problem with putting slogans like these on health products, says Bellatti, is that they're "completely subjective. They can't be tested." In other words, there's no way of knowing whether a product that claims to "bring you in line with your true self" is really doing so.

And, as Bellatti points out, "The person whose word you're taking is the person who's profiting from this."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

15 healthy eating habits that work according to scientists



With options as varied as the Paleo diet and the 21-day challenge, there's a fad diet for practically everyone.

But as fun as the diets may seem, it's often difficult to stick with them for more than a few weeks, and as a result few people actually see any long-term results.

Rather than trying one of those, here are 15 science-backed habits that can help boost your health and may help with weight loss as well.

RELATED: 11 fitness 'truths' that are doing more harm than good

NEXT: An exercise scientist told us the biggest mistake people make when they decide to eat healthy

Eat food you enjoy.

It may seem as if the easiest way to lose weight is to stop eating the foods you overindulge in. But this can be short-sighted, Lisa Sasson, a New York University nutrition professor, told Business Insider. "If you pick a diet with foods you don't like, you're doomed to fail," Sasson said. Food is a pleasurable experience; if you cut out all the foods you like, you probably won't stick to your plan.

And as studiescontinue to show, coming up with an eating regimen you can stick with is critical.

Portion sizes are key.

There's a psychological component to eating, especially when you have weight loss in mind. Being conscious of losing weight and sticking to the right portion sizes is half the battle, Sasson said. This phenomenon is why most people in studies lose weight, regardless of whether they're in the group assigned a special diet. Simply being studied can lead to people being more conscious of what they're eating.

But overall, keeping an eye on portion sizes is a great way to help avoid overeating— especially with portion sizes rising since the 1970s.

Skip the restaurant and pack your lunch.

Portion sizes in American restaurants have increased by as much as three times in the past 20 years, and it is changing what we think of as a normal meal.

"One way to keep calories in check is to keep food portions no larger than the size of your fist," Elizabeth G. Nabel, director of NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, writes.

If you're trying to control your portion sizes, it is best to pack your own lunch because restaurants will give you more calories than you need.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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



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 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This man was morbidly obese — until he adopted a dog

7 important ways to get your car ready for spring



Winter is shifting toward spring in much of the US, and that means it's time to get your car ready for warmer weather.

Here are five simple things you can do to make sure you have a happy season of motoring — and make your car feel all shiny and new at the same time.

Wash winter off your car and get it detailed.

This is a deep-dish cleaning of the vehicle, inside and out. It depends on the type of car or truck you own, and how old it is, but for newer vehicles, it's worth it.

Spring is the ideal time to do it. For $100 to $200, a detailer will get down and dirty with the interior, bring you car back as close as possible to showroom condition and cleanliness; this means vacuuming, shampooing, treating leather and plastic surfaces, and extracting all the ground in gunk from hard-to-reach places.

Outside, a thorough washing will be accompanied by waxing, buffing, polishing, and a tire treatment. After dealing with snow, ice, slush, and road salt for three or fours months, your newly detailed car will thank you.

Touch up the paint and have dings and dents repaired.

This doesn't always mean a trip to the body shop. You can buy small bottles of automotive paint to fill in small scrapes and scratches. It isn't a professional job, but it will at least prevent the enemy of sheet metal — rust — from gaining a foothold.

More substantial body damage does entail a visit to the body shop, and then things start to get pricey. But if you want to keep your car in good cosmetic condition, you will want to spend the money. Selling your vehicle later in a person-to-person transaction, usually more lucrative than selling to a dealer or trading in, generally means that a buyer will pay top dollar only for a car that looks good.

Check your oil.

Modern vehicles perform so well that they don't need oil changes as frequently as cars did in the past.

But that doesn't mean they never need oil changes. And the shift of seasons is always a fine time to to make sure your engine oil is up to snuff. If you're running low, it could be an indication that there's a more significant problem with your motor. 

You can also use the change of seasons as a guide to automatic oil changes. I change my oil twice a year. That's less often than recommended, given 10-15,000 miles of annual driving, but I've never had a problem (plus, some car makers recommend oil changes less frequently than the traditional 3,000 miles).

So the math goes like this: you change oil when winter slips into spring, and then six months later, as summer morphs into fall. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These 4 words are the secret to blocking criticism

22 things you should definitely do the next time you book a hotel to score the best deals


luxury hotel You don’t have to overpay for a hotel room.

There are tricks and tips you can use to find the best room rates so you can enjoy your trip guilt-free.

We spoke to Jeannette Pavini, a savings expert at Coupons.com, Josh Belkin, the Vice President and general manager of Hotels.com’s North America branch, Cheryl Rosner, who is the CEO of Stayful, and Ivy Chou, the content and marketing director for DealsPlus.comto get their best tips for booking a room.

From when to book to how to find hidden discounts, this list can save you bundles the next time you plan to stay at a hotel. 

SEE ALSO: 20 tricks you can use to score a cheap flight

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Look into business hotels.

According to Pavini, business hotels can provide great deals, especially when traveling within Europe.

The reason is because business can often be slow during summer months and on weekends at hotels that cater to business travelers, which can lead to lower prices. 

Ask for a corner room.

Pavini also recommends opting for a corner room, since you'll typically get more square footage for the same price.

If you're looking to upgrade to a corner room, Pavini suggest that you be discreet and avoid asking at times when there are several guests waiting to be assisted. 

Check in near the end of the day.

If you're hoping to snag an upgrade, checking in towards the day might be your answer.

According to Pavini, since hotels have a better sense of occupancy by that point, they are more likely to offer upgrades that are still available. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The coolest hot chocolate ever has a blooming marshmallow


While Dominique Ansel is known for the invention of the Cronut, Ansel's bakery in Tokyo has put a delightful twist on everyone's favorite winter beverage. The Dominique Ansel Bakery serves its hot chocolate with a blooming marshmallow. Just drop the sugary bud in the drink, and watch it bloom. There's even a surprise once the marshmallow is in full bloom.

Story and editing by Chelsea Pineda

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This futuristic Chinese opera house looks like a spaceship


MAD_Harbin Opera House_High Res_011_nHufton+Crow

China may have recently put out a ban on "weird architecture," but this stunning opera house, recently opened in the northern city of Harbin, has evaded the ban.

Following in the tradition of iconic opera houses around the globe — think of Sydney's well-known waterside structure, or the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles — Harbin now has its own unique cathedral to the classic art.

Designed by MAD Architects, a Beijing-based firm responsible for major projects around the globe, the opera house is intended to look like an organic outgrowth of its environment. It's full of natural materials, undulating shapes, and innovative ways to bring light into a massive space.

Check out the futuristic images below.

SEE ALSO: Take a tour of the stunning Chinese art festival that stretches more than 112 football fields of pure ice

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Located on Harbin's wetlands, the structure takes up about 850,000 square feet of the site's 444 total acres. During the snowy winter, the opera house almost disappears into the frozen expanse.

"We envision Harbin Opera House as a cultural center of the future – a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature," Ma Yansong of MAD Architects said in a press release.

Smooth exterior white aluminum panels create a "poetry of edge and surface, softness and sharpness," according to MAD Architects.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Australian farmers sent a message about fracking using thousands of sheep

This is what it’s like to drive around Havana in a 1955 Chevy Bel-Air

This stroller can collapse in seconds and fit into a backpack


The gb Pockit makes strolling your kids around really convenient. It weighs just nine pounds and can fold into a small shape that's only 14 inches tall, which means that it can easily fit into a backpack.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Kristen Griffin

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12 photos that give a disorienting look at the 'weird' buildings of China



Photographer Andy Yeung wishes everyone would look up from their phones more often and appreciate the beauty of their own cities. With his series "Look Up", he wants to show viewers exactly what they're missing.

This February, the Chinese central government demanded an end to all mainland construction of buildings that are "oversized" or "weird" — a law that will surely change the future skylines of major Chinese cities. Yeung's dizzying and unique images of the varying architecture in Hong Kong — and other cities throughout China — explore the country's skyscrapers and public housing that were built before this new state rule was in place.

With over 300 skyscrapers in the metropolitan area, Hong Kong remains Yeung'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 Chinese buildings that even the locals might be missing.  

SEE ALSO: 12 eerie images of enormous Chinese cities completely empty of people

The Four Seasons hotel in Guangzhou, China is inside the Guangzhou International Finance Center — a 103-story-high skyscraper that is the 15th-tallest building in the world.

There are a number of housing developments like this one in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong.

The apartments in Macau, China are similar.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The new iPad has one major innovation that photographers will absolutely love (AAPL)


When Apple announced the new iPad Pro Monday, company reps spoke briefly of a small but majorly important innovation: the so-called "True Tone" display.

Why is that such a huge deal for some users? Simple: True Tone should let customers do precise color work in unfamiliar light situations. 

Many photographers, graphic designers, and other artistic professionals are travelers and freelancers, meaning they're as likely to work from a coffeeshop, airport terminal, or bus as they are from an office. But they're also responsible for fine-tuned work like color correction and retouching. That's incredibly hard to do on existing portable screens.

True Tone display on iPad proWeird, unpredictable light changes the way a screen looks to your eyes, because your brain adjusts the way it percieves color in different situations. Even moving from a room with LED lights to flourescent lights can completely throw off your fine-tuned color work.

Apple's True Tone display promises to adjust the screen's color tone in real time to compensate for that problem, a feature they call "True Tone display." That could empower photographers, designers, and other artistic professionals to do better, faster, more confident work on the go. And given that Apple outright said the iPad Pro's goal is to pull users away from Windows, that dangles a major lure in front of at least one segment of the market.

As a photographer who sometimes works in weird places, I know I'm tempted to trade in my Windows laptop.

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NOW WATCH: This trick fixes your iPhone if it's acting slow — and it takes less than 30 seconds

This master blacksmith creates incredibly intricate swords

Why Apple employees learn design from Pablo Picasso


When Apple employees go to the tech company's super-secretive course on How Apple Does Things, they're treated to this famous series of drawings by Pablo Picasso:

picasso bull

The first drawing is a hooved, horned, and muscled life-like representation of a bull.

The last is just a few lines, though definitely a bull. 

That's the Apple way.

"You go through more iterations until you can simply deliver your message in a very concise way, and that is true to the Apple brand and everything we do," an employee who took the course told the New York Times.

There's a word for the process: abstraction.

You can see it in Apple's 25-year pursuit of making the most simple — and functional — mouse possible.

apple mice evolution

The thing about abstraction is that it's ridiculously difficult, since it demands that you have a grasp of the underlying principles of what's going on.

In this way, scientific theories — such as those that have made Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking immortal — are abstractions. 

It's helpful to consider abstraction as a tool for understanding, which authors Robert S. Root-Bernstein and Michele M. Root-Bernstein do in their awesome guide to critical thinking, "Sparks of Genius." Here's their rap on abstraction: 

Abstracting, by simplifying, yields the common links, the nexuses, in the fabric of perception and nature...

Picasso began his well-known Bull series with a realistic image of a bull. Then he became interested in the planes defining the bull's form. But as he experimented with these planes, he realized that what defined them were their edges, which he then reduced to simple outlines. Finally, he eliminated most of these lines, leaving a pure outline that still conveys the essence of "bullness."

Picasso said much the same in his own words 

To arrive at abstraction, it is always necessary to begin with concrete reality … You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality. There's no danger then, anyway, because the idea of the object will have left an indelible mark. 

That drive toward simplicity animates Apple. The company's attitude toward simplicity is part of what has allowed it to make technology attractive to people. 

After Steve Jobs died, Guardian tech writer Jonathan Jones wrote that the "exquisite luxury" of the iPad grew "out of a tradition of Apple design that has repeatedly reshaped modern culture" and that "the aesthetic originality of Apple that has reshaped the way we live in the modern world." 

This aesthetic is what made Apple "revolutionary," Jones said, and that stems from simplicity-seeking abstraction. 

Jobs said as much in his own words

That's been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.

And that's no bull.

NOW WATCH: The Most Important Thing I Learned About Business From Hugh Hefner



SEE ALSO: Here's What Apple Teaches Employees In Its Ultra-Secretive Internal Training Program

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