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77% of upper class Americans came from low or middle class families — here’s their secret to achieving wealth

How to break up with someone through text, according to an etiquette expert



Breaking up with someone is awkward.

That's why many people resort to text to deliver the bad news, rather than having an uncomfortable, IRL meeting.

While text break-ups don't usually seem polite, etiquette expert Daniel Post Senning tells Tech Insider there are select circumstances when it's okay.

You should only break up with someone via text if you're in the beginning stages, says Post Senning, who works for the Emily Post Institute, a longtime publisher of etiquette guides.

If you decide a text is best, don't give them the brutal truth ("I don't like you"), Post Senning suggests. Instead, when they text to ask you on another date, reply with something kind like, "I'm glad we've had the chance to go out, but I'm not interested. Thanks for asking."

woman in bar textingEtiquette is about honoring a relationship, based on a mutual set of emotional expectations, he says. If the majority of your interactions have happened over text and you've gone on less than five dates with them, a text will suffice. If you've spent a lot of time together, you owe them an in-person break-up. 

The worst thing you can do is ghost someone, Post Senning says. A text is definitely better than nothing.

"Ignoring someone is not appropriate and disrespectful," he says. "Refusing to acknowledge someone can be one of most painful things you can do."

SEE ALSO: The paradox of choice — how dating apps are ruining dating

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NOW WATCH: Bumble founder: Men should stop putting these 4 things in their profiles

One of the rarest watches of all time just sold for a whopping $2.5 million



If you're looking to own a piece of horological history, it's going to cost you. The latest example of this is a stunning Patek Philippe watch, reference 2499, that sold for $2.5 million at an auction in Hong Kong on May 31. 

After 30 minutes of frantic bidding, an unknown bidder walked away with the watch to the sound of applause from the crowd. 

Called "one of the most sought-after vintage wristwatches of all time" by the auction house Phillips, the watch has a stunning design. Only 349 examples of the 2499 were made, starting in 1951 and ending in 1988. 

This watch is one of only six known models to be cased in pink gold, which is completely unpolished and unmarred. This particular example was made in 1968 and is the second-oldest of those six.

The dial is a hard enamel, and it's ivory in color due to the watch's age. Phillips calls it "possibly unique" because of its "flat" dial, which is missing the semi-circle indentation to complete the moon phase complication.

No other watch of this exact model has a dial like this one, and this detail likely had a lot to do with the final auction price.

This particular example hasn't been seen on the auction block in 13 years, when it sold for close to 1 million Swiss Francs.


SEE ALSO: This is the most important rule to follow if you want to avoid buying a fake luxury watch

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

12 heart-pounding photos of people diving off of cliffs around the world


red bull cliff diving azores

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, which is set to begin its eighth season this week, is an adrenaline-pumping high diving competition that takes place among some of the world's most breathtaking vistas. Starting June 3, both elite and up-and-coming athletes will perform gravity-defying dives and impressive tricks atop incredible spaces, including an opera house, a volcanic formation, and soaring cliffs. This year is set to be the largest yet, and will begin at Hell's Gate in Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas. 

We spoke to top-ranked US men's diver David Colturi to learn the story behind what these divers face during these events, which often draw in thousands of spectators. 

Keep scrolling to check out 12 photos that will keep you at the edge of your seat. 

SEE ALSO: We went inside the mysterious NYC hotspot with a secret room for the rich and famous

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The first stop this year will be in Hell's Gate, Texas, where observers will have to take boats, kayaks, or paddle boards to see the event. A large lake sits surrounded by beautiful mansions all around, and two large natural cliff formations are separated by a channel.

Past stops have included Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland. "It is hands down the most terrifying and incredible location I have ever dove at," Colturi said of the blowhole he can be seen diving into here. Colturi told us the blowhole is referred to in Gaelic legend as "The Serpent's Lair" because of the hissing sound its large swells make when they crash against the rocks.



Pictured here is La Rochelle, France. The platform is set at the base of the Saint Nicolas Tower, which sits surrounded by a marina with a stadium-like setup. "You really feel like a rock star for a day when you're looking out over such a big crowd," Colturi said. More than 60,000 people showed up to see it.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A menswear expert reveals the biggest problem with office dress codes today


business dress

In the past, all you needed to do to find out a person's rank in the office was to look around and see what they were wearing. 

That's no longer the case, argues menswear expert G. Bruce Boyer in "True Style: The History & Principles of Classic Menswear."

"There was no question about Louis XIV's status when he walked into the room," Boyer writes. "We still want our leaders to look like leaders ... Yet strangely enough, today the office help is what many professionals look like, no matter their actual position in the pecking order."

In the last century or so, the office dress trend has moved away from the tailored and professional and towards the comfortable. This has led to an emphasis on a casual wardrobe, and the suit and tie have been nearly phased out altogether.

People of every rank are often dressed similarly casually, and rank is now nearly indistinguishable.

This poses an interesting problem for the modern-day worker, says Boyer. Without the standard formal business dress, how should office workers dress to be taken seriously in the office?

"In the corporate setting ... dressing is a career tool, a critically important statement of who we are and where we want to be," Boyer writes.

Clothes talk. Your appearance conveys what groups you belong to to those you meet, in a way similar to language. If you want to be seen as a forward-moving professional, you need to be aware of what your clothing is saying.

What your clothing is saying should be suitable for the audience (your co-workers), the occasion (work), and the purpose (getting work done), and not be confusing or contradictory in any way. To do this, ask yourself which group you wish to be seen as a member of in the office, identify what it would take to dress that way, and do so.

Basically, if you want to be taken seriously in the office, a T-shirt and jeans isn't going to cut it. You need to dress the part, too.

SEE ALSO: The biggest mistake guys make with their business attire

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

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NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' investor explains what your clothes say about you

This photographer turns big cities into psychedelic worlds using Photoshop


White buildings before and after

18-year-old German architecture photographer and student Paul Eis takes photos of large buildings for a living. But one day, as he sat in front of his computer looking at some of the photos he had taken that day, he was suddenly hit with inspiration.

"I started to think how the buildings would look if they were colorful," Eis told Business Insider.

Eis decided to use Photoshop to add bright colors to the buildings and really make them pop. "Architecture should not only be understood as something useful, but also as artwork," Eis said. "But that is very difficult when you just see gray buildings. Highlighting the structure with bright colors and showing them isolated from their environment helps to show the viewer how unique these buildings are."

Below, see what these white buildings would look like if they were decked out in bright colors.

SEE ALSO: Some of the country's most beautiful historic homes are just a couple of hours outside of New York City — take a peek inside 4 of them

Eis currently resides in Berlin, Germany. He traveled through Berlin and Hamburg for this series.

"The architecture of Berlin and Hamburg is not bad at all, but also mostly not very interesting," Eis told Business Insider. "After coloring the first buildings, I got a completely new look."

Using Photoshop, Eis strips each photo of all its color, takes the building out of its environment, and adds in a blue background.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are the dating apps that have the highest percentage of women


millennials texting phones girls single partying

There is an age-old complaint about dating apps that goes something like this: they’re full of dudes; there are only guys on them; they are simply a raging torrent of men.

But not all dating apps are equal when it comes to gender breakdown. SurveyMonkey Intelligence, the company's app analytics arm, looked at the numbers to see which dating apps have the highest proportion of women (with the caveat that some of these women could be bots).

Christian Mingle scored the top spot, with women-friendly apps like Coffee Meets Bagel and Bumble also scoring high. Tinder and Happn ranked lower, while, unsurprisingly, gay app Grindr fell in last place.

Here’s the full chart:


But percentage of users is only part of the picture. SurveyMonkey also looked at what percentage of users engage with an app on a daily basis. The results were, in many cases, completely flipped (Grindr and Happn were on top). Men, it appears, are much more “engaged.”

Here’s the tally:


SEE ALSO: This startup thinks it's fixed the major flaw in dating apps like Tinder — and Apple just featured it as a 'best new app'

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NOW WATCH: Bumble founder: Men should stop putting these 4 things in their profiles

Google has a clever idea to help you get more storage space on your phone (GOOG, GOOGL)


You know that moment when you start scrolling through your phone looking for photos and apps to delete to free up storage on your phone?

Google thinks it can help make the dreaded routine less of a pain. The company is testing a new feature that suggests which apps you should delete first to free up room on your device, Android Police reports.

If a user attempts to install an app from Google Play and their device doesn’t have enough space, this “uninstall manager” will pop up to suggest apps for removal, organizing them by frequency of use and largest file size.

As mobile game and app quality increases, so do their file sizes. This feature could help Android users manage their downloads to keep the apps most pertinent to their life when storage space is precious.

For now, only a select group of users can see and use the feature as it remains under testing. Google has not announced when the feature will be available to all users, TechCrunch reports.

SEE ALSO: Here's everything Google announced at its big Google I/O event

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NOW WATCH: Here’s where Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs started as interns

A hair scientist reveals why being bald is actually a good thing

Here's how you bankrupt a club by 25 and then claw your way back to the top of New York City nightlife


john meadow LD hospitality

You are at a party and it's swelteringly hot.

In fact it's one of those super-sticky hot weekends at the end of the summer when the sun is relentless and breathing makes you thirsty.

Your party is in Montauk, in the Hamptons, and it's really your party — as in, you are throwing it.

That means the 4,000 or so people who've assembled outside need bottle service. The music is loud and they need drinks. The sun is hot and they need them now.

Of course, you've run out of buckets to put all these bottles in, and it's the first summer you've ever thrown parties at what is now your club/restaurant in Montauk.

So what do you do? You go to the kids' playroom inside the resort that your restaurant is in. You steal all of their sand pails — every last one of them. You fill them with water and ice so you can fill them with vodka and champagne, and then you keep your party going.

Because it's your job. That's what it takes to make it to the top of New York nightlife. You've got to be creative.

That's how Ashley Noor did it one summer day last year, after she and the rest of her crew at LDV Hospitality followed founder and President John Meadow on a damn-fool venture to open 10 properties — multiple American Cut Steakhouses, Scarpettas, Rec Rooms, Dolces, and more — across the country in two years.

This, of course, included the property at Gurney's in Montauk — a project they built out in a matter of about four months.

Noor calls herself the "director of chaos." Her official title is director of marketing and events.

'The tough times'

LDV wasn't always like this. Meadow, who started out with a successful New York City bar called Local West, will tell you himself that he was an insufferable 25-year-old industry kid. After his first hit he got cocky, and opened a super glitzy Meatpacking spot called Gin Lane in 2005. His lenders — who gave him $2.5 million — insisted on 18% interest, and it flopped.

"I was so reckless. Ambition and entitlement from premature success," he said. "I had the time of my life, but I was fake."

Now, at 36, Meadow is not fake. He wears what he wants (usually something tailored and maybe suspenders). He still talks like he's in the Rat Pack even though he was raised by hippies, and he still swears by his mentor, a Korean immigrant who went from driving taxis to owning Lenwich, a 19-unit New York sandwich shop.

"I learned more from that guy than my Cornell professors," said Meadow, a graduate of Cornell's hospitality school. "I went to fancy boarding school. Academia is wonderful, but I learned more from that immigrant turned taxi driver, hustler, big shot. That's my teacher, and he's supportive."

But, of course, Meadow and his teacher travel in very different circles. He got out of the "tough times" or "the gutter" of debt (as he calls it) by opening a 2,700-square-foot fine-dining monster hit when everything was going to hell in 2008: Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant in the Meatpacking District.

"Even when I was imploding I thought I was special. I thought I was f-----, but I thought I was special," Meadow said.

Gurney's in Montauk, The Beach Club

The wheel

If you were in New York City during the financial crisis, you'll recall that everyone was crowded into Scarpetta eating pasta until it and they burst. Its success was the springboard for LDV's explosive growth: 30 properties in nine years, according to Director of Hospitality Dean Tsakanikas, who has been with the company since 2008.

In that time he's crisscrossed the continent opening properties from the Las Vegas to Miami and Toronto to Atlantic City. He started out as a general manager, but soon came to realize that Meadow was collecting properties that could benefit from interconnected branding.

"It dawned on me that more and more guests didn't realize that Scarpetta was part of the same company" as, say, New York City club No. 8, the reboot of Amy Sacco's classic Bungalow 8, or Iron Chef champion Mac Forgione's American Cut.

marc forgione

So they decided to put it all together.

Tsakanikas, for his part, knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to be the guy that knows the clients inside and out — knows where to send them, what to serve them, how much they spend and who they spend it with.

That means Tsakanikas is the guy who knows which woman is Wall Street guy No. 5's wife, and which one is his girlfriend.

He tracks his VIPs from sipping cocktails on Miami Beach to skiing in Aspen. Customers likely have soft hands and wear designer threads. They like discretion and velvet ropes. But they, like LDV, are not loud. They are not megaclub or club/restaurant people.

What they do expect is top-notch service and familiarity despite the fact that they've left home. Things should taste the same, cost about the same (expensive). Staff should know them. This experience is not about adventure. It's about lifestyle maintenance.

LDV has a tracking system for repeat customers, and Tsakanikas is militant about it. It uses the SevenRooms app to track what clients eat, drink, their average spend, allergies, what to send out gratis, and when to send it. It spits out monthly reports.

This is what we do

Meadow has a board up in his office where he pins pictures that inspire his classic-meets-slightly-gritty, New York-in-the-late-1970s sensibility. Debbie Harry of Blondie was the inspiration for the look of his latest New York City opening, American Cut in Midtown Manhattan.

In many ways, he says, it was the easiest opening he ever did. He knows American Cut. He knows his customer, and, most importantly, he knows his customer is willing to spend 25% more on a night out in that neighborhood than in American Cut's Tribeca location.

american cut midtown

It also happens to be a perfect example of what LDV does — or what Meadow has managed to crystallize as what LDV does over the last decade. It has a lot to do with the fact that he has a relationship with eight different hotel properties.

"What are we as a company and how are we going forward? Hotels always need proper dining ... it's the bona fide programming of big real estate. Now we are a marketing vehicle for big real estate, and it's in those deals that we get the best economic terms," said Meadow.

Those terms, in part, stand to net LDV $100 million in revenue in 2016, compared to $85 million in 2015, according to the company.

What those terms won't get you is a lot of love from the food world. Die hards will tell you it's inauthentic. They will tell you that hotel food is soulless, and that expensive entrees are an insult to the proletariat. They'll tell you expansion is extinction and that LDV is "the man."

Meadow calls this the "trend of 2016, the eater.com, ride-or-die hipster funky chefs and their 15-seat restaurants." He knows about that. But LDV doesn't do that. Meadow finally knows what it does.

"I've always had a vision for my chaos. Now I'm finding finally for the first time a business strategy, and I'm ready to define a five-year plan, 10 years into this game."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tested an economic theory by trying to buy people's lottery tickets for much more than they paid

5 things everyone training for a race like the Ironman should be sure to do


cyclist in ironman biking

Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and we’ve finally made it to June! It's no surprise then that tons of people are hitting the gym a little extra lately to get their summer body ready for the beach.

But for the more competitive athletes, this gym time isn’t only to cut a few pounds.

Summer is the official start of most training seasons, from football to Ironman triathlons, when most athletes are in the thick of training. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of your upcoming athletic season, it’s important not to get too greedy for miles or repetitions.

While the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that adults get in around 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity, people who are training for races like the Ironman or an ultra-marathon regularly go over that limit. And this can be dangerous.

Of course there are well known benefits of competition, too, like improved cardiovascular health and higher lung capacity. There is a fine line to walk to ensure you are on the healthy side of the sport.

Ironman triathletes (who swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and finish off with a marathon) train for a whopping 15 hours (that's 20 Netflix episodes!) per week. College athletes practice up to 40 hours a week.

With these grueling schedules, it's easy to see how injuries can happen. Several studies have found that ultra-endurance sports like distance running can cause muscle damage and inflammation.

So, to enjoy a safe training season and avoid injury, follow these tips:

1. Don't push yourself too far too soon

tired runnerYou have a human body. That means you have physical limitations. Pushing past your comfort zone is okay in moderation, but going from running a couple miles to attempting marathon distance in a week can be dangerous. This could cause muscle tears and fatigue, setting you even further behind.

A 3-year study across 16 teams at a NCAA Division-1 university in the Big Ten Athletic Conference looked at 1,317 reported injuries and found that acute injuries, which typically happen as the result of a single traumatic event, like completely overdoing one workout, were much more common than overuse injuries, the type of injuries that typically happen when you don't give yourself time to recover. Follow your training plan and listen to your body.

2. Engage in positive self-talk

It may seem weird, but actually telling yourself you are capable of the challenge is more than half of the battle in triathlon training.

Richard M. Ryan, a professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology & Education at the Australian Catholic University and research professor in psychology at the University of Rochester in New York, co-developed and published research on the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to show that athletes who tell themselves they can do something actually end up showing a lot more initiative and success in accomplishing their goals. Stress is a major cause of injury, and not having confidence in yourself and being nervous all the time lead to more tension in your body and the possibility of injury. Try taking three deep breaths and a minute to remind yourself of your ability before jumping into a daunting workout or race.

3. Stretch, stretch, stretch

Stretching pre- and post-workout helps keep muscles and tendons loose to aid in staving off possible tears and ruptures. This will also help improve your flexibility and range of motion, ideally making your workout more efficient and less painful afterwards.

4. Follow proper dietary guidelines

healthy food veggiesFollowing daily guidelines for your body on how much protein, fat, carbs, etc. to eat after a hard workout is important to ensure you're getting the proper nourishment.

Ironman has a carbohydrate and hydration nutrition guide to help keep you on the right track leading up to the big day. Men’s Health shows what to do about protein and how to proportion different items in your diet.

5. Don't wait until it's too late to take care of the problem

If you feel like something may be wrong, you may want to try the athlete handbook, RICE. This calls for rest, ice, compression and elevation (above the heart) to the affected region of your body. Also see your doctor as soon as possible if necessary. A trip to the hospital now is a lot less time consuming than multiple weeks off later due to lack of proper attention.

MORE: 12 ways Ironman training made this guy a better entrepreneur

UP NEXT: Less sports training tied to groin injury

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NOW WATCH: Here’s the surprising reason why pen caps have a small hole at the top

Here are the artists you need to check out from New York's biggest music festival


GovBall (32 of 45)

This weekend is the annual Governors Ball music festival on Randall's Island in New York City.

Throughout the three-day festival, over 60 musicians will perform, with headliners like Kanye West, The Strokes, The Killers, and Beck leading the weekend. 

While those names might be recognizable to any casual music fan, we decided to pick out some lesser-known acts performing that are worth checking out.

Years & Years

For a lot of attendees, festivals are a time to dance your heart out. There's probably no better act on the Governors Ball bill to provide that soundtrack than dance-pop trio Years & Years, whose anthemic music locates the sweet spot that Passion Pit has been riding for nearly a decade.

If you're looking for a reason to skip out on work early on Friday, Years & Years is it.

Friday June 3 - Honda Stage - 3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

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Jamie XX

Jamie XX burst out of the shadow of his popular indie outfit The XX last year with the catchy and emotional dance/electronic album "In Colour."

Between that excellent collection of songs and his frequently updated Spotify playlist of music played during his concerts, it's clear the DJ/producer knows how to put on a killer set. 

Friday June 3 - Bacardi House Stage - 8:00 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.

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Jon Bellion

Jon Bellion is multitalented. The musician writes, produces, and sings all of his own music, which brings a hip-hop swagger to a unique blend of R&B and indie-pop.

He cites influences as disparate as Kanye West, John Mayer, and Andre 3000. Amazingly, the mix works. 

Saturday June 4 - Big Apple Stage - 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

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23 books Mark Zuckerberg thinks everyone should read


mark zuckerberg books

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a single mission: to connect people around the world.

It's one reason why he decided to launch a Facebook-based book club last year, with a reading list that focused on "different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies."

Although the birth of his daughter, Max, kept him from hitting his goal of a book every two weeks, he ended the year with 23 selections in his A Year of Books reading group.

We've put together a list of his picks and why he thinks everyone should read them:

SEE ALSO: Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares 4 business books he thinks everyone should read

'The Muqaddimah' by Ibn Khaldun

"The Muqaddimah," which translates to "The Introduction," was written in 1377 by the Islamic historian Khaldun. It's an attempt to strip away biases of historical records and find universal elements in the progression of humanity.

Khaldun's revolutionary scientific approach to history established him as one of the fathers of modern sociology and historiography.

"While much of what was believed then is now disproven after 700 more years of progress, it's still very interesting to see what was understood at this time and the overall worldview when it's all considered together," Zuckerberg writes.

Find it here »

'The New Jim Crow' by Michelle Alexander

Alexander is a law professor at Ohio State University and a civil-rights advocate who argues in her book that the "war on drugs" has fostered a culture in which nonviolent black males are overrepresented in prison, and then are treated as second-class citizens once they are freed.

"I've been interested in learning about criminal justice reform for a while, and this book was highly recommended by several people I trust," Zuckerberg writes.

Find it here »

'Why Nations Fail' by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

"Why Nations Fail" is an overview of 15 years of research by MIT economist Daren Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James Robinson, and was first published in 2012.

The authors argue that "extractive governments" use controls to enforce the power of a select few, while "inclusive governments" create open markets that allow citizens to spend and invest money freely, and that economic growth does not always indicate the long-term health of a country.

Zuckerberg's interest in philanthropy has grown alongside his wealth in recent years, and he writes that he chose this book to better understand the origins of global poverty.

Find it here »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 50 most elite boarding schools in America


2x1_the 50 most elite boarding schools 2016

Attending an elite boarding school sets students up for lifelong success. It can open doors to prominent colleges, place students in a powerful alumni network, provide a top-notch education, and create lifelong friends.

Prestige is derived from more than just strong academics, though, so to determine the most elite boarding schools in America, we looked at the size of a school's endowment, how selective it is based on its acceptance rate, and the average SAT score its students earn. To rank the schools, each metric was weighted equally.

Because of the scope of the list, we relied primarily on data from BoardingSchoolReview.com, a website that collects information on boarding schools directly from the institutions. Gaps in the data were confirmed with individual schools or taken from Niche, another organization that researches and compiles information on schools.

For the second year in a row, Phillips Exeter Academy earned the No. 1 spot on the list. Best known for pioneering the Harkness teaching method — a seminar-style class setting where the teacher and students sit around a table and freely discuss subjects — the school is highly selective with a 19% acceptance rate and touts an endowment of $1.15 billion, which is more than most colleges.

Read on to see the rest of the 50 most elite boarding schools in America.

Additional reporting by Andy Kiersz.

SEE ALSO: The 25 best public high schools in America

DON'T MISS: The 50 best colleges in America

50. St. Anne's-Belfield School

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Endowment: $32 million

Acceptance rate: 35%


Though only 17% of ninth- to 12th-grade students live at St. Anne's-Belfield School, boarders are essential to the school's diversity and inclusivity commitment. St. Anne's-Belfield is also deeply interested in reducing the gender gap in computer-science-related disciplines by mandating technology education courses for all K-12 students, with an emphasis on college prep for the upper school.

49. Shattuck-St. Mary's School

Location: Faribault, Minnesota

Endowment: $25 million

Acceptance rate: 36%


Shattuck-St. Mary's School takes a unique approach to education with programs that allow students to learn at their own pace. As part of the school's new ScholarShift program, 11th- and 12th-graders take blended classes that officially meet only twice a week, leaving time for students to speak one-on-one with instructors and pursue outside projects. For such projects, students can use the school's weCreate space, which features studios for video editing, music recording, fashion design, and more.

48. Indian Springs School

Location: Indian Springs, Alabama

Endowment: $12 million

Acceptance rate: 52%


Inspired by the motto "learning through living," Indian Springs School takes education outside of the classroom. For instance, the student government is set up like a small town with a mayor and six commissioners and weekly town meetings, placing decision-making power in the hands of the students. The Indian Springs campus is 15 miles from Birmingham, Alabama's biggest city, and its surrounding mountains, spring lake, and state park give students the chance to further explore outside a traditional academic setting.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

8 refreshing insights about money and happiness from people who 'live tiny'


bro'd trip

"Living tiny" — whether in a van, houseboat, or 98-square-foot home on wheels— can save a lot on housing.

But a compact, minimalist lifestyle offers more than just substantial savings.

Here are a handful of refreshing insights about money, happiness, and life from van dwellers, tiny-home owners, and people living off the grid.

SEE ALSO: From living in a van to commuting 700 miles: 12 people who go to extreme measures to save money on housing

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Society's definition of luxury doesn't have to be your definition

Daniel Norris, MLB pitcher who lives in a 1978 Volkswagen camper during the off-season

"I grew up with a simple lifestyle, and I knew going into professional baseball that would be tested," Norris told GrindTV. "In my mind there's no need for luxury, or at least society's sense of the word. I consider my life luxurious — I live on a beach with an ocean-front view, hearty meals, and hot French-pressed coffee at my disposal. That's fancy, right?"

Your material goods don't define your level of wealth

Brandon, lives in a 128-square-foot truck in Google's parking lot in the Bay Area

"I get the most enjoyment from self-improvement, and for me, that comes from books, exercise, and working on personal projects," he writes on his blog. "I wouldn't be any happier with a 50 inch television or a PlayStation 4, because those don't align with my goals for life. Being wealthy isn't a function of material, it's a function of contentedness."

Having money is secondary to living the lifestyle you desire

Dan Timmerman, professional cyclist living off the grid in a cabin in rural New York with his wife, Sam

"The best thing is the direct access to nature, being able to do all the stuff we do,"Timmerman tells Business Insider. "And the financial aspect. We're really comfortable financially. It really gives us a lot freedom. Like, if one of us wanted to start a business or something, and we had to invest in it, we'd have the freedom to do that because we don't have all the overhead where we live. That's secondary to just being able to live the lifestyle. But they are both big advantages."

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Losing weight comes down to overcoming 3 main hurdles



So you want to drop a couple sizes. You know the drill: Eat more veggies; fewer cookies. Drink more water; less soda. Work out a few times a week.

Still, while most of us know the basics of healthy living, getting trim is hard work.

That's why we recently talked to exercise scientist Philip Stanforth, executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas and a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas, to find out more about what to look out for when losing weight.

He told us there are three main obstacles that face most people who are trying to lose weight, and overcoming them can make a huge difference.

1. We spend way too much time sitting

"In the world we live today to think people could not be overweight is ridiculous, because in the normal course of the day we expend so few calories," said Stanforth. "The chances are much higher that we’re going to eat more than that." In other words, a daily regimen of sitting at our desks, driving to and from work, and ordering takeout probably means we're going to end up eating more than we burn off.

sittingThis, plus the fact that much of the food we eat comes stuffed with calorie-rich sugar and fat, makes evening out this ratio of burning to eating even harder.

There are some simple solutions to a sedentary lifestyle, though. While research has shown that simply working out won't cut it, getting up for a few minutes every hour might just do the trick.

2. We're really, really bad at remembering what we've eaten and how much exercise we've done

Even when we're making an effort to be more conscious of what we're putting into our bodies and how active we are, we tend to give ourselves more credit than we deserve.

"People tend to overestimate their physical activity and underestimate how much food they eat," Stanforth said. "They consistently think they've worked out more and consistently think they've eaten less."

healthy eatingSeveral recent studies back up Stanforth's observations. In a recent editorial published in the Mayo Clinic's peer-reviewed journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the researchers wrote: "The assumption that human memory can provide accurate or precise reproductions of past ingestive behavior is indisputably false."

The problem here isn't just that memories aren't reliable historical records— it's also that we often overlook the calories in many of the foods we eat habitually.

Take coffee, for instance. Black coffee has just about 2 calories — less than a stick of sugar-free gum. But cream and sugar can add anywhere from 25-150 calories per serving.

"Most people will think, 'Oh I had a coffee this morning and coffee has few-to-no calories,' so it's not significant," says Stanforth." But when you add cream and sugar, that can end up being far more significant."

3. Our portion sizes are way, way out of proportion

In recent years, the amount of food we consider to be a single serving has ballooned. In some foods, it's increased as much as a whopping 138%. What most people would think of as a serving of ice cream, for example, is probably about a cup. In reality, though, a 230-calorie "serving" of Ben and Jerry's is half a cup, or just about 8 large spoonfuls!

bi graphics portion sizes then and now cheeseburger

"Portion size is a big problem," says Stanforth. "Most people would say, 'Well that looks like a serving,' but in reality it's two or three servings."

Think of this the time you're out to eat. If you get a bowl of pasta, consider taking half to-go. If you're eating family-style, start by covering half your plate in salad greens.

UP NEXT: Here's the easiest way to undo the harms of sitting all day

SEE ALSO: We talked to an exercise scientist about whether diet or exercise is more important for weight loss, and his answer surprised us

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Adele reportedly just dropped $9.5 million on this gorgeous Beverly Hills mansion


Adele House

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins — or as she's better known, Adele — has reportedly purchased a new private oasis in Beverly Hills, California.

The 10-time Grammy-winner spent $9.5 million on the 6,600-square-foot home, as TMZ first reported. It has four bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an exceedingly tasteful design. 

The home was first listed for $10.75 million in September 2015, but its price was reduced to $9.9 million about a month later, according to Zillow.

Juliette Hohnen of Douglas Elliman had the listing.

SEE ALSO: See inside the $5.3 million Washington, DC, home that the Obamas will reportedly move into after they leave the White House

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A wide driveway sits in front of the house, which is situated on a 17,000-square-foot secluded lot.

Once you enter the home, a two-story foyer greets you.

The home is arranged on an open floor plan, offering wide spaces like this living, dining, and breakfast area under a dramatic beamed ceiling. French doors lead outside.

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After 5 years of living in Manhattan, I realized the prices aren't the only reason city life is so hard to afford


hot dog food truck new york city

New York City is expensive.

Trulia quotes the median rent price of a New York City apartment as $4,950; to buy, it's a median price of $1.14 million. SmartAsset says the cost of living in the city is "at least" 68.8% higher than the national average," and, based on experience I'll tell you: A $14 cocktail is not remotely out of the ordinary.

I lived in midtown Manhattan for five years, paying through the nose for rent on a lovely apartment where the windows didn't fully close in the winter and buying $7 tubs of yogurt with a pang of horror.

But after some time, I realized it wasn't just the cost of living that makes life in Manhattan so hard to afford — it's the constant, unyielding pressure to spend.

I'm not talking about keeping up with the Joneses via $45 blowouts and $100 nights toasting life at a rooftop bar. That's an entirely separate phenomenon, and, frankly, one that's easy enough to avoid when all of your Joneses are 20-somethings living in the outer boroughs. I mean the in-your-face opportunities to spend money as you walk down the street — an activity that's nearly unavoidable for most New Yorkers.

With a few exceptions, any given block is peppered with money sinks: on your right, a food truck, a stand selling knock-off sunglasses, and a fruit vendor's sidewalk stall. On your left, two clothing shops (one of which has a huge yellow sale sign in the window), a bodega shilling flowers, that bagel place where you can get the morning coffee deal, a grocery store, a drugstore that reminds you you're out of sunscreen, a shop that seems to sell only irresistible little Japanese bowls for $5, a bar spilling music onto the sidewalk, and three restaurants.

How many times a day can you say no?

Psychologist Roy Baumeister has studied willpower extensively and has found that people may have only a limited amount. That means every time you exercise yours, you have a little less left for later — say, when your coworker brings in donuts, or your friend invites you to skip the gym for karaoke night.

Moving to the suburbs a few months ago makes me think it's less difficult outside of a walkable city. On the way to the train each morning in a town you could never call remotely rural, I pass some apartment buildings and only a handful of unappealing storefronts, including an insurance office, a dry cleaner, a formal wear shop in which I've never seen a soul, and a company that teaches children to play the piano. The only temptation is a coffee shop with pictures in the window of elaborately topped waffles. If I happen to be in the car, it all whizzes by like scenery, rather than opportunity.

Saving money can be hard, and it's only more so when the opportunities to do it overflow. So how do you fight back?

My favorite strategy is simply not to start spending in the first place. For instance, the window waffles are less tempting than they could be because I've never bought one. As far as I'm concerned, they're simply out of the question. My coworker Kathleen Elkins likes to use only cash, which is both more limited and more painful to watch slip through your fingers than the swipe of a credit card. Frankly, I think half the battle is just being aware that you're under bombardment at all times.

And hey, this isn't to say I'm a paragon of willpower by any means — just ask the CVS around the corner from my office.

SEE ALSO: I just bought my first home, and here's the single best piece of advice I can give you

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12 ways to score a free first-class upgrade on flights


woman in first classFlying first class gives you the chance to enjoy a whole slew of perks, but the steep price of tickets can certainly be a setback.

Luckily, there’s a way to enjoy those perks without having to shell out tons of cash: by getting a complimentary upgrade.

If you’re wondering how you can score a free upgrade, MyBankTracker— which assists consumers on making smarter banking and financial choices — recently conducted a nationwide survey on the subject.

The company asked consumers to share the ticket upgrade methods that have been most successful for them, including remaining loyal to one airline and using credit-card sign-up bonuses.

The nationwide survey was conducted through Google Consumer Surveys on behalf of the company in May, and it received over 3,000 responses.

Here are some ways you can snag a free first class upgrade. 

how did you get an upgrade to first class when flying graphic

SEE ALSO: We tested a new app from a cofounder of Kayak, and it was like having a travel agent in our pocket

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The $9.5 million Las Vegas villa where Michael Jackson lived until his death is up for sale



The extravagant Las Vegas villa where Michael Jackson once lived is on sale for $9.5 million.

The 24,276-square-foot enclosed property at 2710 Palomino Lane, which is being sold by Sotheby's International Realty, has seven bedrooms, a two-story chapel, and an ornate fountain in the courtyard.

Jackson, who died at his Los Angeles mansion in 2009, lived in this Vegas home with his three children from 2007, according to the home's listing on the property site Luxury Estate.

Take a tour of the luxury villa below.

2710 Palomino Lane sits behind a large gate within a confined 1.7-acre compound for privacy. When Jackson lived here, he used his personal art gallery in the basement as a private exit to get to his car to avoid paparazzi, according to the listing.

Built in 1952, the home gives away its Spanish Mediterranean style with its colourful walls and dramatic bell tower.

The musician's guests would arrive in the foyer under an intricate wooden ceiling with a view to the courtyard through arched windows. An ornate fireplace and grand piano add a touch of luxury and set the tone for the rest of the house.

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