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Here are the most popular baby names in the US


Noah and Emma continue to be extremely popular names for newborns.

Every year around Mother's Day, the Social Security Administration releases statistics on the popularity of baby names from the previous year. The SSA just released the most popular names from 2015.

As we have in the past, we took a look at how the popularity of the 10 most popular names has shifted over the past decade. Here's the recent share of 2015's most popular boys names:

most popular boys names 2015 no apostrophe

There hasn't been much of a shift from last year's most popular names. The top six boys names — Noah, Liam, Mason, Jacob, William, and Ethan — were in the same order in 2015 as in 2014. Going a little further back though, we can see the rise of Liam over the past 10 years. The share of boys with that name has more than quadrupled over that time.

Here are the most popular girls names:

most popular girls names 2015 no apostrophe

As with the boys, there are a lot of similarities to last year's list. The top three girls names — Emma, Olivia, and Sophia — were in the same order in both years. Isabella topped out in popularity in 2010, coinciding with the peak popularity of the "Twilight" franchise, the young-adult book and movie series about vampires whose protagonist was named Bella Swan.

For more, check out the Social Security Administration's baby names site here.

SEE ALSO: The most disproportionately popular job in every state

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Poland's capital is centered around a 'gift' from Joseph Stalin with a contentious past


Palace of Culture and Science

In the heart of downtown Warsaw stands a "gift" from former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin: the Palace of Culture of Science, the tallest building in the country.

Communism fell in Poland in 1989. But the Palace remains more than 60 years after its construction, despite persistent calls to tear it down

Much of the truly negative sentiment toward the building has dissipated over the last several decades, but it continues to strike a chord with many Poles, especially the older generation that lived under Soviet rule.

One taxi driver I met called the building "Sauron's Tower." And a running joke among Poles calls the "trzydziestka," a large terrace on the building's 30th floor, the best view of the city — because it's the only place where you can't see the Palace itself. 

Aside from complaints about the aesthetic, the building's true irony is that it wasn't a gift at all. And it wasn't wanted

"Stalin wanted to build in Warsaw a monument to himself and a symbol of the USSR's control of Poland," Marta Hankiewicz, a tour guide with the city, told Business Insider. "The PR around the construction said that [the Palace] was a gift of friendship from the USSR and theoretically, all costs were covered. However, if you look at the reality of the Polish economy following World War II, it can be said that Poland paid for it." 

And to make room for the building, Stalin further destroyed a city already in ruins. After World War II, nearly 70% of Warsaw as a whole (on both sides of Vistula River) was destroyed.

The Warsaw Uprising, one of the largest resistance operations in Europe, infuriated the German regime, leading them to institute what's now referred to as the "planned destruction of Warsaw" in 1944. The powerful Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler uttered his infamous quote, "No stone can remain standing," about the city in the wake of the Uprising.

Palace of Culture and Science skitchThe area around the Palace, however, suffered slightly less destruction — about 60%. Nearly 30 apartment buildings survived almost untouched and another 50 could have been repaired, according to Hankiewicz

Stalin, however, confiscated and leveled those buildings to make room for the Palace.

"The area which disappeared was an important, vibrant part of the city, with eclectic and art-nouveau architecture," Hankiewicz said. "Unfortunately, that style was hated by the communists, as it reminded them of capitalism."

Soviet architect Lew Rudniew designed the Palace using an elaborate combination of baroque and Gothic styles modeled after the "Seven Sisters," or seven skyscrapers, in Moscow that honored Stalin. 

Construction finished in 1955 after three years. It put the Palace at 777 feet, the tallest building in Poland and among the top 20 in Europe.

interior Palace of Culture and ScienceIt contains more than 3,000 rooms. It includes two private universities, the Polish Academy of Sciences, one of the largest conference facilities in Poland, a post office, a movie theater, a swimming pool, two concert halls, a bar, and several museums and libraries. 

Originally, the building's title was supposed to include Stalin's name — the Palace of Culture and Science of Joseph Stalin. But Stalin died one year after construction began, and his crimes against the Soviet people came to light soon after. His name was never used and was removed from a book held by one of the statutes decorating the building, according to Hankiewicz.

Poles like to joke about hating the building. But a more serious movement formed to destroy it after the fall of communism — although it has lost its momentum in the last 25 years, Hankiewicz said

"Today, most Warsaw residents, even if they may not think it's pretty, prefer to accept it as a local landmark and a 'souvenir' of times gone by," she said. "Or they don't want to pay for the demolition." 

And the younger generation, one that never lived under Stalin, has grown accustomed its presence and "even think[s] it's cool," Hankiewicz said, referencing a popular T-shirt with the Palace as a heart.

Today, the area surrounding the Palace serves as Warsaw's topographical downtown, with a large mall and the central metro station. 

"But unlike before World War II, there is not much life or soul there," Hankiewicz said. 

Post-World War II, what residents consider Warsaw's center has become scattered to many sections and streets of the city, such as Chmielna, Nowy Świat, Hoża, Poznanska, and Plac Zbawiciela.

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8 powerful stories from the refugees who have found sanctuary in a small American city



When editorial photographer Angie Smith noticed that a large refugee community had settled in Boise, Idaho, she was intrigued.

"How [did] they [end] up in Idaho of all places?" she said to Business Insider. A natural storyteller, Smith was confident that there was a unique narrative to be told about these individuals, one that would be impactful both visually and socially.

After becoming fast friends with her first subject, Rita, a 28-year-old from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Smith was introduced to more Congolese families who were willing to pose for her camera and tell her their stories.

From there, her project expanded, and she was able to gain access to other refugee communities in neighboring areas. Soon after, she was given a grant by the city of Boise for a large-scale, outdoor exhibition of the work, and she's currently raising the rest of the needed funds for the exhibition via her Kickstarter.

Although she's already reached her Kickstarter goal, Smith has bigger plans. "Additional funding will go towards the expansion of this project," she said. "I want to be shooting short films on individual refugees' stories and start traveling to other resettlement cities throughout the US."

Ahead, eight images and the stories she's gathered for her upcoming exhibition, "Stronger Shines the Light Inside".

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Patrick and Derek Seale Bakwa

Before coming to the US at the age of six, brothers Patrick and Derek Seale Bakwa grieved the death of their parents in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As children, they were left to fend for themselves in Kinshasa. When they were granted refugee status, they moved to Boise, but they were neglected and abused by their foster family and were homeless for two years in high school.

In 2012, they were adopted by a couple that ministers the New Heart Baptist Church in Boise. Here, they stand in front of their adoptive parents' home. They now go by their adopted family's last name, Seale.

Rita Thara

Rita Thara is also a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo and has lived in Boise for three years. Her mother, Veronique, is the cousin of Mobutu Sese Seko, the former military dictator of Zaire. When civil war broke out in 1997, they were forced to flee Kinshasa, and Rita's father was shot and killed by militia.

Rita and Veronique lived as refugees in the Central African Republic for over a decade, amidst civil war and ongoing hardship, while they applied for refugee status through the UN. After years of interviews and waiting, they came to Boise, where Rita started a clothing business called Thara Fashion.

Sar Ba Bi

Sar Ba Bi is a refugee from Burma who moved to Idaho five years ago. She met her husband, a refugee from Somalia, when she was a junior in high school. They fell in love despite the fact that they were both just learning English, the only language they could communicate in.

They're now married and together have started a business called Umoja Na Uhuru World Farm, selling their own produce at the Boise Saturday Market. Sar Ba Bi comes from a long line of cooks, and her mother owned a restaurant in the refugee camp they lived in.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

I tried Fitbit for a month, and taking it off was the best decision I've made (FIT)


erin fitbit

It started out innocently enough.

My partner offered me his old Fitbit fitness tracker when he got his replacement, which the company had shipped free after he emailed them saying that his had worn away on the edges.

I said I'd try it on for kicks.

It was great at first. I was taking the stairs more often at work, walking outside to make phone calls, messaging back and forth with other friends who had Fitbits, and even joining in on the occasional "Weekend Warrior" competition, a mini marathon you do with your friends to see who can get the most steps in one weekend.

This type of behavioral change helps a lot of people meet their fitness goals. For some, it's worked for weight loss; for others, it's simply helped them be motivated to move around more.

But I went overboard.

10,000 steps

I got my first warning that Fitbit wouldn't work for me on my second day wearing it, though I didn't realize it at the time. I was walking along when suddenly my wrist began to vibrate violently. I looked down to see the band flashing "10,000" in bright white numbers as diagonal stripes crisscrossed the rectangular screen.

The flashing lights meant that I'd reached the daily 10,000-step goal, a benchmark the American Heart Association has agreed on for improving health and reducing heart-disease risk. The tiny party on my wrist made me feel pretty accomplished.

fitbit ranking 2But as I kept walking, I found myself glancing down at my wrist every few minutes.

I watched as the screen ticked off each step: left, right, left, 10,001, 10,002, 10,003 ...

Next, I pulled my phone out of my pocket to check the Fitbit app's dashboard. There I could see my other friends' statistics lined up against mine.

I had done my 10,054 steps, but I was still behind a bunch of other people on my list!

Tracking my exercise and food

I was feeling defeated, and my mind began to wander to ways I could match my friends.

"What about that yoga class I did yesterday?" I thought to myself. "Shouldn't that count?"

Lucky for me, Fitbit is way ahead of me on this one.

While its most popular wrist tracker — the "Charge" — doesn't tally all of your activity, the company now offers several cardio versions of the device, including the "Charge HR," which can give you an estimate of your physical activity based on heart-rate measurements. You can add your own activities manually by tapping "track exercise" on the app's dashboard.

It also offers a variety of other versions, from the ultra-slim Alta wristband to the Surge, which includes a GPS, heart-rate monitor, and all-day activity tracker.

After I'd typed in my sweaty hour-long yoga class, the app told me that I'd burned 238 calories. Sounded pretty measly to me. Thankfully, it may be an underestimate: Several studies have found that Fitbit tends to underestimate calorie burning for certain activities while overestimating it for others.

My next thought turned toward my meals. If my Fitbit didn't know what I was eating, how could it truly assess how fit I was? Again, Fitbit was way ahead of me — its food tracker, another section on the dashboard, allows you to enter what you've eaten just as the exercise tracker allows you to enter what activities you've done.

Tally, tally, tally

fitbit exercise tracker

Tallying all of my food and workouts from the past 48 hours took me about 30 minutes. Not so bad.

But in the days ahead, I couldn't get it out of my mind. When I'd reach for a granola bar in the office kitchen, I'd think about entering it in the food tracker.

After yoga each night, I'd think about typing it into the app.

All this logging and calculating was, quite frankly, a downer.

Each of my actions came to be less about doing something I enjoyed — from enjoying the crunchy, sweet deliciousness of a midafternoon snack to sweating it out at a candlelit yoga class — and more about how it would weigh into a bigger, calculated view of my overall "fitness."

And constantly measuring myself up against my friends — one of whom runs regular marathons and consistently ranks No. 1 on my Fitbit friend list — made me feel like I could always be doing more.

Plus, I found myself engaging in ridiculous behaviors, like walking back and forth to the bathroom at work, just to get in a few extra steps. Most often when I'd realize that I didn't have enough steps at night, I'd find myself wandering around my tiny apartment in a slapdash effort to reach the 10,000-step milestone.

Lucky for me, I never had to break up with my Fitbit: It broke. And instead of getting a replacement, I took a break from my attempt at quantifying my health. And I'm glad I did.

None of this is to say that I didn't learn some healthy behaviors while I was wearing my Fitbit — and I still do a few of them today without it. I started taking the stairs at work, for example, and going for a walk when I take an afternoon phone call. Some of my friends have their fitness trackers set up so that they vibrate every hour when they're sitting at their desks at work, a useful reminder to get up and move around.

But Fitbit didn't work so well for me, and having a bit of a natural competitive streak didn't help. I learned I'm perfectly fine without an external tracker — I have a natural internal one that's more than sufficient.

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9 scientific ways being a parent influences your success


Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla are seen with their daughter named Max in this image released on December 1, 2015. ZREUTERS/Courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg/Handout      If you're looking for a straight-forward answer to the question of how having a kid will impact your success, you'll be sorry to hear that it doesn't exist.

Sure, your decision to become a parent could make your life utterly miserable and send your career careening into the abyss — then again, it could be the most fulfilling decision you've ever made and set you up to take on the world.

Simply put, it's complicated — and in many ways, too subjective — and I doubt we'll ever have a comprehensive, one-size-fits-all answer.

But hopefully these studies will begin to unpack the question a little and help us better understand the many factors at play.

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Parents, especially mothers, face bias in the workplace.

"Motherhood triggers assumptions that women are less competent and less committed to their careers," reads a recent report out of LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company. "As a result, they are held to higher standards and presented with fewer opportunities."

The report points to a study out of Cornell that found employers tended to discriminate against mothers.

As part of the study, researchers sent employers fake, almost identical résumés with one major difference: some résumés indicated that the job applicant was part of a parent-teacher association.

While male job candidates whose résumés mentioned the parent-teacher association were called back more often than men whose résumés didn't, women who alluded to parenthood in this way were half as likely to get called back than women who didn't.

The study participants also rated mothers as the least desirable job candidates and deemed them less competent and committed than women without children or men. At the same time, applicants who were fathers were rated significantly more committed to their job than non-fathers and were allowed to be late to work significantly more times than non-fathers.

Having a child can help you earn more money — if you're a father.

"For most men the fact of fatherhood results in a wage bonus; for most women motherhood results in a wage penalty," research group Third Way's president Jonathan Cowan and resident scholar Dr. Elaine C. Kamarck write about "The Fatherhood Bonus and The Motherhood Penalty: Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay." 

In the academic paper, author Michelle J. Budig, a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, writes that, "While the gender pay gap has been decreasing, the pay gap related to parenthood is increasing."

In her 15 years of research on the topic, Budig found that, on average, men earn 6% more when they have and live with a child, while women earn 4% less for every child they have.

Sadly, "the women who least can afford it, pay the largest proportionate penalty for motherhood," as high-income men see the biggest pay raise for having children while low-income women see the biggest dip.

"A lot of these effects really are very much due to a cultural bias against mothers," Correll tells The New York Times.

The New York Times notes that in her previous work, Budig found that dad’s taking more parental leave mitigates the motherhood penalty, as evidenced by countries like Sweden that incentivize fathers to take paid leave and have a smaller pay gap.

Parents tend to be more productive.

Contrary to the popular belief that parents, who often have more responsibilities than childless workers, are more likely to be distracted at work, research suggests that parents may in fact be more productive than their childless counterparts.

After analyzing the amount of research published by more than 10,000 academic economists, researchers commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that, over the course of a 30-year career, mothers are generally more productive than childless women, with mothers of at least two children being the most productive, while fathers of at least two children are more productive than fathers of one child and childless men.

This uptick in productivity takes several years to take effect, however, as both moms and dads initially see lower levels of productivity after having children.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This is the only hat a grown man can get away with wearing



Hats used to be as common as shoes in America. You wouldn't dream of leaving the house without one, and you wouldn't dream of keeping it on indoors.

Now things are a little different. The guys who attempt to wear those kinds of hats — trilbies, fedoras, and panama-style hats, but also flatcaps — are aware that they're doing something a little out of the ordinary.

Basically, men should stop trying to wear these kinds of hats. Your fedora is not fun — it is an abomination. It's just not working for you.

There are two exceptions to this strict no-hat rule:

  • You're one of the two people who can get away with wearing a funky hat. They are:
    • A man who could have been alive when men did wear hats everyday.
    • Johnny Depp and quirky people like him (and even he is pushing it).
  • The hat in question is a baseball cap. While a bit sporty of a look, a baseball cap can be worn in more casual styles with a high degree of success.

That's it, and that's all. All other instances of men wearing hats come off strange and try-hard. There are so many easier ways to add interest to your outfit. There's no reason to bring headwear into this. Almost every outfit that was paired with a hat would be better without that needless addition.

Many men, however, ask how they can protect their heads from the sun in the summertime. If you don't want to wear a baseball cap, there isn't really a way to do so. Grow out your hair a little longer, and if you don't have enough to do that, wear sunscreen on your scalp.

If you're going to the beach, you can get away with a straw hat. For every day, however, you're best going uncovered.

If you'd like to get a baseball cap to protect your head this summer, our favorites are the vintage style made by Ebbets Field Flannels.

SEE ALSO: 17 things every modern gentleman should have in his closet

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This is the solution to air conditioners we've all been waiting for


noria air conditioner kickstarter

Window air conditioners haven't received much attention during the "smart" revolution, where everything from coffee makers and refrigerators are controlled with apps over the internet.

There was the Quirky Aros smart air conditioner made in collaboration with General Electric, but it received mixed reviews.

But one startup seems to have come up with an overhaul that's way overdue for window air conditioners.

Check out the Noria:

First of all, Noria looks a lot better than most window air conditioners, which are usually ugly and bulky.

One of the best things about it is it doesn't take up half your window view, like most window air conditioners.

It's also much easier to install into windows than conventional air conditioners. First, you install the frame the Noria slides into.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A grim 'Biggest Loser' study reveals weight loss is an uphill battle — here are 5 ways to beat the odds


Biggest Loser

A recent study that followed a group of winners from the reality TV series "The Biggest Loser" came to some bleak conclusions:

Six years after the show ended, 13 out of 14 contestants in the study had regained a significant amount of weight. Four of them are heavier today than they were before the show began.

The results highlight a disheartening reality: Losing weight is hard work, but keeping it off is harder — especially if you're significantly overweight.

Still, the study's somber findings also draw attention to some key principles that anyone looking to losing weight and stay fit can follow:

READ MORE: Most 'Biggest Loser' winners regain the weight they lost, and it reveals a disturbing truth behind many diets

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

1. Aim to lose only a few pounds each week.

Shedding pounds too rapidly can be a red flag for a diet that might encourage unsafe behaviors, and losing weight too slowly might be so discouraging you give up.

Instead, aim to lose about 1-3 pounds each week, University of Texas professor of exercise science and the executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas Philip Stanforth recently told Business Insider.

"During the losing phase, you need a calorie deficit," said Stanforth. At the maximum, you want to burn 1,000 calories more each day than you eat. "That typically means you're losing a few pounds a week. And that tends to be a lot more sustainable than losing a whole bunch at once."

That jives well with the guidelines from the Mayo Clinic and the UK's National Health Service, both of which suggest losing one to two pounds each week.

2. Be mindful of portion size.

The standard size of many foods, whether they're fast-food, sit-down meals, or even groceries, has grown by as much as 138% since the 1970s, according to data from the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Nutrition, and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

So instead of cutting out a specific food group— whether its carbs or fat — you might be better off simply being more mindful about how much of everything you eat.

Of course, there are always some foods to keep an eye out for, like those with high concentrations of a few specific ingredients. A 20-ounce bottle of soda, for example, has roughly 65 grams (just about 16 teaspoons) of sugar. So go for a smaller size instead, or opt for the refreshing classic: All natural tap.

3. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

If there's any "secret" to eating healthy, chances are it's incredibly basic. Michael Pollan said it well a few years ago: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Vegetables and fruits are high in key vitamins; most have a good amount of fiber to help with digestion and keep you feeling full.

Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, says "about 70 to 80% of your diet should be plant foods," like vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fruits.

"It should basically include whole, fresh food that's unprocessed and high in fiber and phytonutrients," says Hyman, the latter of which are plant-derived compounds associated with positive health effects.

You can start small, for example, by adding a serving of steamed veggies to every dinner. This list should help you get started.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This balloon is actually a dessert at a three Michelin star restaurant in Chicago

There's one ingredient you should add to your marinating process — and you probably already own it


Chinese stir fried pork dish

Here at Business Insider, we love to learn more about the science behind everyday things.

That's why we asked Dan Souza, the executive editor of "Cook's Science" at America's Test Kitchen and one of the authors of "The Science of Good Cooking," for some science hacks he uses to take his cooking to the next level.

One of his favorites? Changing up the acidity of foods using baking soda.

A lot of the foods we eat every day have a pretty high acidity — citrus fruits, for example, are seriously acidic, as is vinegar. But there's not a whole lot you can do to make a food more basic or alkaline.

"Most things we deal with in the kitchen are pretty acidic, so it's easy to go that way, there's not a lot that takes it in the other direction," Souza said. That's why he turns to baking soda, which is very basic. (Its pH level is 9, while lemons have a pH level of 2.) "We actually use baking soda in some really unique ways, not just in cakes and cookies, but we apply it to meat when we're marinating as well."

When you apply baking soda to the meat, Souza said, it helps the meat brown better, a reaction you can see in your cakes and cookies too. "As things become more alkaline they brown better, so if the cake has baking soda in it, you'll see that it has better browning," he said.

And that's not the only thing that happens. Adding baking soda to your marinade also helps the meat hold water better. Souza pointed to a technique called "velveting" that's typically used in Chinese cooking before tossing the meat into a wok to be stir fried. Velveting often uses a combination of cornstarch and egg whites to raise the pH and tenderize the meat.

"We mimic that in the kitchen a lot," Souza said. "If we're doing a stir fry with beef, we'll toss it with baking soda and a little bit of water and let it sit for 15 minutes and then add the rest of the marinating ingredients and cook from there. We get really tender meats that's hard to overcook at that point."

SEE ALSO: A popular way to cook broccoli removes potentially cancer-fighting compounds from it — here's what you should do instead

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Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and model Miranda Kerr just bought a $12 million house together


evan spiegel LA house

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is apparently moving on to bigger things in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles.

After buying a $3.3 million house there in late 2014, the 25-year-old has now purchased a lavish $12 million pad in the same neighborhood, as TMZ first reported.

He purchased the 7,164-square-foot home with girlfriend Miranda Kerr, a 33-year-old former Victoria's Secret model.

It comes with city views, a pool and pool house, a home gym, and a guest house.

Spiegel bought the house for $500,000 less than the $12.5 million listing price.

SEE ALSO: The $120 million penthouse once owned by the 'King of Wall Street' just became New York City's most expensive home

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Large and lavish, renowned California architect Gerard Colcord designed the house.

It's in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles.

There's 7,100 square feet of living space.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This ultra-rare Ferrari speedboat is expected to sell for $200,000 at auction

Jianbing is one of Beijing's tastiest street foods—and it's finally in NYC


Jianbing is a savory pancake that's popular throughout the streets of Beijing, China.

Bings became a favorite of New Yorker Brian Goldberg while he was studying and living in China, and when he moved back home he decided to bring the street food with him.

Written by Sarah Schmalbruch and produced by Ben Nigh

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