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The 25 best cities for millennials in America


jersey city new jerseyMoving to a new city for the first time can be nerve-wracking. This is especially the case for millennials, who are living at home longer than any other generation. Whether for a new job or simply a change of pace, there's a lot of factors Generation Y might want to consider before leaving their parents' house. 

Nichea company that researches and compiles information on cities, recently released its ranking of the best cities for millennials in America

Niche assessed more than 220 cities with a population of more than 100,000, focusing on 11 factors to determine which cities in the US were best-suited for young professionals. Some of those factors include access to bars and restaurants, percentage of residents age 25-34, cost of living, and unemployment rate. You can read a more about the methodology here.

A city in Massachusetts takes the top spot, while California is the state with the most cities on the list.

Keep reading to find out the 25 best cities for millennials in America. 

SEE ALSO: 25 best places to live if you love outdoors

DON'T MISS: The best suburb in every state

25. Tempe, Arizona


Residents 25-34 years old:19.3%

Access to bars: A

Access to restaurants: A-

Cost of living grade: C-

Unemployment rate: 6.1%

24. Plano, Texas


Residents 25-34 years old:13.4%

Access to bars: B+

Access to restaurants: A-

Cost of living grade: C+

Unemployment rate: 4.2%

23. Round Rock, Texas


Residents 25-34 years old:15.5%

Access to bars: A-

Access to restaurants: B+

Cost of living grade: C+

Unemployment rate: 5.3%

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

10 places every entrepreneur should visit at least once


dallas texas

Gaining perspective through travel can be really valuable for entrepreneurs.

Kunal Desai, CEO of online investing and trading education site Bulls on Wall Street, spends roughly half of the year traveling, and has found that some destinations can be a great source of inspiration for one's own business. 

We spoke to Desai, who recommended 10 destinations that boast innovation, networking opportunities, lower costs of living, or lower taxes — all of which are factors that can help entrepreneurs boost their own businesses. 

SEE ALSO: This startup wants to help you speed through airport security lines

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

COSTA RICA: According to Desai, who lived in Costa Rica for four months in the winter of 2013, one of the country's main draws is the fact that the dollar can go a long way here. It also has a large population of expats and remote workers, and is home to an incredible scenery of beaches, jungles, and mountains.

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Austin has a growing startup community, boasting access to capital, incubators, and plenty of co-working spaces. Thousands of entrepreneurs descend on Austin for the SXSW festival every March.

Click here to learn more about Capital Factory »

Source: Duke University of Medicine

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: "It's the tech capital of the country," Desai said of San Francisco. He attributes this to factors like a motivated labor pool, capital, and the support startups can get through accelerators.

Click here to learn more about Y Combinator »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Skip waiting for a table, your food, or the check at restaurants with this new tool



Trying to actually sit down at a restaurant during lunch hours at work can be stressful.

There are so many steps you have to get to in a short period of time, from walking there to waiting for the check. Many people just grab a quick slice of pizza instead.

But there's an app that is trying to make it a lot easier to get lunch at work. I heard about the app, Allset, through a friend living out in San Francisco. 

The company’s entire premise is to strip the dining experience of all worries. Its tagline is, “No more waiting for a table, food and check.” 

Through the app, you can make reservations and place your lunch orders ahead of time to ensure that you have a table, and that the meal is on said table within minutes of your arrival. The service also completely removes time spent waiting for the check by allowing you to pay for your meal in-app beforehand. 

The company launched its app to streamline the dining out experience in San Francisco last fall, but just rolled out an option to make restaurant reservations via a chatbot through Facebook Messenger earlier this week. For now, the service is available at over 150 restaurants in San Francisco, Palo Alto and New York City. I decided to give the newer platform a test run for lunch near my workplace in Manhattan.

SEE ALSO: Facebook said it might have to pay the feds between $3 billion and $5 billion

When I opened up the platform in Messenger, I hit "Order Now" and was subsequently prompted to enter either an address or zip code.

From there, nine restaurants, all within a mile from our office address popped up. I scrolled to the right to survey the options.

All of the restaurants appear to be in the middle to higher-end price range. I really appreciated that the address and distance from my location of each restaurant was readily available.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Gwyneth Paltrow says her image is holding back the brand she created


Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, Goop, is often the butt of jokes.

Paltrow was once mocked for exalting the wonders of a $200 smoothie with magical dust. The expensive and impractical nature of her recommendations for diet, décor, and clothing are routinely made fun of.

Now, Paltrow acknowledges that her involvement is holding back the brand.

The Guardian reports that she plans to eventually distance her famous face and name from the brand. Paltrow believes that Goop will prosper more when she's not there.

"In order to build the brand I want to build, its scalability is limited if I connect to it," she said at the 2016 Sage Summit in Chicago, according to The Guardian.

"So I always think: 'How can I grow the brand? How can I separate myself from the brand?' and I think it's going to be more its own brand," she said.

Further, she said that "my dream is that one day no one will remember that I had anything to do with it."

Which leads to two questions: If Goop wasn't so inherently linked to Paltrow, then would we be so inclined to mock it, or would it just be another lifestyle brand hawking expensive products for the very wealthy? Would it fare better?

After all, young consumers are willing to spend a large component of their respective incomes on fitness-related experiences — they're into health and wellness, too, but not dieting!

And, arguably, removing a celebrity from a brand should make it more relatable. But the question is if Goop's entire branding is so out of touch with consumers' demands, Paltrow aside.

Consumers today crave authenticity. It's why we've seen Instagram stars have become the new faces of marketing campaigns, why the Photoshop-free lingerie brand Aerie has thrived, and why the body-positivity movement — one that doesn't appear to endorse expensive juice cleanses — has come to dominance.

SEE ALSO: Gwyneth Paltrow reveals the hardest part of starting her own company

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How Tracy Anderson became the most successful woman in fitness and the favorite trainer of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez

Lululemon customer points out a small detail that's killing its chances with men


Lululemon ABC Pants

It used to be that Lululemon was synonymous with women's apparel — specifically its acclaimed yoga pants.

But in 2015, all that changed during a call when CEO Laurent Potdevin told investors the men's ABC (anti-ball-crushing) pants were one of the company's best-selling items.

Business Insider reviewed the pants favorably, calling them comfortable and versatile. Others, like Wall Street analyst Paul Lejuez of Citi, also praised the $128 pants.

"I'll just admit it, [Lululemon's] Commission and ABC pants are the most comfortable pants I own," Lejuez told Yahoo Finance.

Lejuez said he would wear them to work if it weren't for one thing: "There is a black logo on the side of the knee," he said.

When we reviewed the pants, we didn't really think much of the logo, but our casual office we wore them in probably had something to do with that. A man dressing for a traditional banking setting like Lejuez would have more of an issue. And since this is the type of customer Lululemon is attempting to reach for its men's brand, this is a major problem.

Other reviewers at Business Insider noticed the logo, taking issue with how visible it is. They criticized the pants' logo for making obvious the wearer did not have "normal" khaki pants on.

"I wouldn't like it if Levi's had a big Levi's logo on the pant leg, let alone if a company that's mostly known for women's clothes," said Christian Storm, Business Insider's former visual features editor. "If Lululemon people out there are listening, take that off. It looks stupid."

For Lejuez, it was less about the logo specifically and more about having a logo at all.

"I can't risk getting called out wearing yoga pants to work," he said. "I couldn't have a Nike or [Under Armour] logo on the side of my knee either. It just isn't an acceptable place for a logo on 'work pants.' So I don't wear them to work."

The solution, to Lejuez, is easy.

"Take away the logo, open up a new market," he said.

SEE ALSO: Lululemon's 'anti-ball-crushing pants' aren't perfect, but they're pretty close

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 3 Wall Street legends share one investment they find attractive right now

13 facts about flirting that single — and married — people should know


Wink driving

What could be more terrifying than talking to someone you're attracted to? 

Luckily, social science has figured out what makes flirting work — or not.

Below, we've rounded up some of the most intriguing findings on the art of flirtation, so you can saunter over to the object of your affection with confidence.

This is an update of an article originally posted by Drake Baer.

SEE ALSO: 15 relationship facts everybody should know before getting married

People flirt for six different reasons

In a 2004 review of the literature on flirting, Northern Illinois University professor David Dryden Henningsen identified six different motivations for the behavior: 

• Sex: trying to get in bed
• Fun: treating it like a sport
• Exploring: trying to see what it would be like to be in a relationship
• Relational: trying to increase the intimacy of a relationship
• Esteem: increasing one's own self esteem
• Instrumental: trying to get something from the other person

In that study, Henningsen asked 101 female and 99 male students to write out a hypothetical flirty conversation between a man and a woman, then identify the motivations for the things they said. 

The behaviors broke down along gender norms: Men were significantly more likely to have a sexual motivation, while women tended to have a relational one.

Couples need to flirt, too

Like Tinder, cats, and dying alone, flirting is usually associated with single people. 

But couples need to know how to flirt, too.

After studying 164 married people for a 2012 study, University of Kentucky researcher Brandi Frisby noted that most of them flirted — by playing "footsies" or whispering in their partner's ear, for example — as a means of maintaining and emphasizing intimacy. Oftentimes, she wrote in her paper, married couples flirted to "create a private world with the spouse." 

Some conversation starters are better than others

For a study in the journal Sex Roles, University of Alaska psychologist Chris L. Kleinke asked 600 respondents to rate the effectiveness of three varieties of opening lines in a flirtatious situation: 

• "Pick-up" lines like "You must be a librarian, because I saw you checking me out" 
• Open-ended, innocuous questions like "What do you think of this band?" or "What team are you rooting for?"
• Direct approaches like "You're cute — can I buy you a drink?" 

The responses were pretty evenly split along gender lines: While the men in the study tended to prefer the more direct approach, the women tended to prefer the open-ended, innocuous questions. Not surprisingly, very few people said they preferred the pick-up lines.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An ex-con turned his daily prison workout into a trendy business


Upon beginning his seven-year prison sentence, Coss Marte learned that he had such severe health issues that he could die of a heart attack before his release date. Determined to get in shape but confined to his small cell, Marte developed a workout regimen that uses mainly a person's body weight, soon attracting attention and requests for group workouts from his fellow inmates.

After completing his sentence and frustrated by a discouraging job search as an applicant with a criminal record, Marte brought his prison-style fitness class, ConBody, to Manhattan's Lower East Side – just down the block from where he started selling drugs when he was younger.

We sent one of our producers to try the boot camp and see if he could handle it.

Produced by Arielle Berger. Additional camera by Emmanuel Ocbazghi. Special thanks to Graham Flanagan.

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How much sex happy couples have every month


The first two years of a relationship are usually considered the most exciting. After that, according to psychotherapist and author M. Gary Neuman, couples have to work to maintain that initial level of intimacy and excitement.

Neuman conducted a research experiment with 400 women who were either happily or unhappily married to find out how much sex happy couples should have every month.

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Rupert Murdoch has finally sold his West Village townhouse for $27.5 million


west village murdoch

Rupert Murdoch has finally shed his West Village townhouse for a sale price of $27.5 million, according to The New York Observer.

Murdoch was originally asking for $28.9 million for the six-floor, 25-foot-wide townhouse. Murdoch bought the home for $25 million in March 2015, but listed it for sale just five months later.

He also owns the penthouse at One Madison, which he still has listed at $72 million.

The townhouse was bought through a shell company called West 11th Street LLC, according to The Observer.

Dolly Lenz had the listing.

SEE ALSO: Lululemon customer points out a detail that's killing its chances with men

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

Located at 278 W. 11th St., the 25-foot-wide townhouse was originally a bed-and-breakfast.

Murdoch converted it into a six-story mansion — counting the basement and roof deck — that is now "triple mint," "turn-key," and "ready to move in tomorrow," Lenz told Page Six.

Source: Page Six

If residents prefer not to take the winding sculptural staircase, then a four-person elevator can take them between the various levels.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here are the differences between attendees of the DNC and RNC, according to their Yelp searches


convention goer

With all of the hype and media coverage surrounding both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, many Americans who could not attend may be wondering about the chanting, flag-waving, and occasionally booing crowds they saw on TV.

Who are those people? What makes the population at the DNC so different from that of the RNC?

Yelp compiled some interesting data about what the people at each convention were looking up on its search engine.

Yelp's data scientist analyzed the relative increase in number of searches for each Yelp business category in Cleveland during the RNC and in Philadelphia during the DNC, as compared with searches in each city from a week before. They then compared the results with one another to paint a picture of the people at both conventions.

Some of the results are surprising, some of them reinforce classic stereotypes — and some are just plain weird.

RNC attendee searches

repub convention goers best

  • Hawaiian food saw a tremendous increase in searches in Cleveland when the RNC came to town — up a whopping 623% — while the same search category at the DNC saw a 65% decline.
  • RNC-goers were also looking for gay bars. That search category went up 45% in Cleveland during the RNC, while it only went up 18% in Philly during the DNC.
  • Dive bar searches increased 40% at the RNC, compared with only a 7% increase at the DNC. It seems like RNC attendees were seeking out some laid-back nightlife options to cope with the stress of the convention.
  • Unsurprisingly, the RNC population was also after some good old comfort food. That category saw a 28% upswing in searches in Cleveland, while no change was detected while the DNC was in Philly. Specifically, hot dogs, pizza, and burgers experienced significant increases to satisfy RNC appetites.
  • In the retail and service sectors, RNC attendees were desperate for some massage therapy. That category saw a 178% increase on Yelp in Cleveland, while it saw a 1% decrease in Philadelphia.
  • True to the Second-Amendment-loving RNC crowd, searches for guns and ammo went up 79% with the Republican presence in Cleveland, while they fell 12% at the DNC.
  • RNC folks also searched for men's clothing (up 72%), women's clothing (up 50%), and golf (up 34%).

DNC attendee searches

DNC people

  • As far as food and nightlife categories were concerned, the DNC population wanted to check out Philadelphia's distilleries— increasing searches by 74%, compared with no change in that category at the RNC.
  • DNC attendees were also on the hunt for some diverse food options. They browsed Yelp for Mongolian food (up 48% at the DNC, down 24% at the RNC), Kosher food (up 35% at the DNC, down 13% at the RNC), and vegan food (up 33% at the DNC, down 2% at the RNC).
  • Nonfood categories showed interesting trends among DNC attendees. Up 68% with the Democrats in Philly were searches for cosmetic surgeons, while the same category dropped 47% at the RNC in Cleveland. Looks like the Democrats wanted to change more than just America's leader.
  • Like the RNC crowd, DNC-goers also wanted to have a little fun outside of the convention. But instead of dive bars and gun activities, the Democrats sought out go-karts (up 69%) and arcades (up 20%).
  • Tattoos were another big DNC search — up 42% in Philadelphia and down 2% in Cleveland. With all of the passionate people in the DNC crowd, maybe they were looking to get permanently inked with a likeness of their favorite candidate.

So what can we conclude about this information? "It's humanizing," a Yelp data analyst told Business Insider.

While some of the search categories support existing stereotypes about both parties, they can tell us more about the people at each convention. Overall, it's important to remember that we are all human beings with our own wants, needs, and pastimes that transcend the candidate we may be voting for in November. At the end of the day, we're not that different — we all like to eat, relax, and go to some funky bars.

repub convention goers 2

SEE ALSO: 17 photos show the craziest things spotted at the Republican National Convention

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Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: INSTANT POLL: Americans viewed Clinton's convention speech more favorably than Trump's

I took the first step to living like a minimalist and it felt surprisingly unsatisfying


Marie Kondo Spark Joy

There's a difference between being organized and living tidy.

The former is a good quality to have, the latter is a lifestyle choice called minimalism, a practice that extols living with less possessions. I'm an organizer and always have been — but I'm also a pack rat, which is a minimalist's foil.

Minimalism is a visually-appealing — albeit mentally-perplexing — trend. While it feels good to have possessions and own things, minimalists say it feels even better to own very few things, all of which you need, not just want.

An extreme form of minimalism is sweeping Japan, where people following the guidance of figures like Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant and the author of two best-selling manifestos on minimalism, jettison the majority of their belongings and keep only the necessities.

Earlier this month, I tried my hand at a mild form of minimalism. I say mild because I didn't follow Kondo's precise rules of only keeping items that "spark joy," because frankly, my hair dryer doesn't spark joy, but it's practical. I figure I can work up to Kondo's high-level minimalism.

Still, I was more ruthless than I've ever been in going through my possessions and deciding what's truly worth keeping. I wanted to get a taste of this proverbial trend. And while Kondo and her books, in part, inspired me to consider minimalism, I in no way followed every step of her practice.

But what started as an enchantment with minimalism and an eagerness to hop on the bandwagon turned into a lesson in decluttering and minor shot to my ego. Here's the breakdown of my week-long experiment:

SEE ALSO: I tried giving up my phone for a week and barely made it 2 full days

The experiment

The five-day challenge I created for myself was an amalgam of a few others I had seen, including a 21-day challenge by The Minimalists, a pair of guys who write and speak about the practice for a living, and a 30-day challenge by the blogger Into Mind that's ultimately focused on achieving a minimalist mental state.

I began by dividing my possessions into five categories (for the five days of the work week): books, bathroom and beauty products, miscellaneous (also known as junk), clothing and shoes, and digital (computer). I started with what I presumed to be the easiest category of stuff to pare down and worked my way to the hardest. 

It's important to note that minimalism experts say paring down your possessions is a good place to start on the road to minimalism, but by no means the only facet of the lifestyle.

So, my week of shedding my pack-rat tendencies is just step one.

Day 1: Books

Despite my self-proclaimed bibliophile status, I knew the books piling up in the corners of my room weren't all keepers.

One thing Kondo suggests when going through books is refraining from opening them so as not to trigger nostalgia or emotion. I mostly heeded her advice. I opened one book ("Sick in the Head: Conversations about Life and Comedy" by Judd Apatow) that I was going to donate since I'd already read it, but I got sucked into a story and couldn't give it up.

I started with 40 total books (all of which I've acquired in just one year living in New York City) and ended up donating exactly half. The 20 books I kept are ones I haven't read yet, books I loved and know I'll revisit or reference, and a couple that I need to return to their rightful owners (my kid sister would like her copies of "Harry Potter" back in mint condition, please).

From a numbers perspective, I think I did well with this task. But since I read so much and tend to buy books rather than borrow from friends or the library, I'll likely have to do this every few months. Ultimately this day gave me the motivation to clear out the huge collection of books I keep at my parents' house next time I visit. 

Day 2: Beauty

I live in a three-person apartment with one tiny bathroom and no storage space, so all of my bathroom and beauty products (save for shampoo and conditioner and my toothbrush) sit on an open shelf in my bedroom, exacerbating the visible clutter.

To make sure I only kept what I need, I took an idea from the aforementioned Into Mind challenge. I wrote a list of items I use on a regular basis off the top of my head. Any item not on the list ended up in the trash.

On my list: makeup, makeup remover, face wash, dry shampoo, deodorant, moisturizer, hair product, hair brush, nail polish and remover, curling and flattening irons, hair dryer, and eye drops. After going through the pile, a lot of the clutter started to feel like half-used junk and I was happy to trash it.

By the end of my purge, I’d kept everything on my list, plus cold medicine and a couple small travel pouches.

This day really felt like minimalism to me. I was able to determine what I really needed versus what I thought I needed or may possibly use in the future. For example, that tanning spray I used once? Or the dozens of headbands and flower crowns (embarrassing but true) that I haven't worn in over a year? I'll be just fine without them.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An up-and-coming Miami neighborhood appears to be the first place in the US with mosquito-transmitted Zika


An aedes aegypti mosquitoes is seen in The Gorgas Memorial institute for Health Studies laboratory as they conduct a research on preventing the spread of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Panama City February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Florida Governor Rick Scott said Friday that the state is looking at what's likely the first four cases of mosquito-transmitted Zika.

The two cases of Zika in Miami-Dade County and two in Broward County were not related to travel, which is unlike what most cases in the US have been up until this point.

"We learned today that four people in our state likely have the Zika virus as a result of a mosquito bite," Scott said in a statement. "All four of these people live in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and the Florida Department of Health believes that active transmissions of this virus could be occurring in one small area in Miami. While no mosquitoes have tested positive for the Zika virus, DOH is aggressively testing people in this area to ensure there are no other cases."

"This pattern is consistent with other mosquito-borne virus investigations, such as the 2013 dengue response," the department said in a release. "The investigations into the new cases will begin today and door-to-door outreach and sample collection are ongoing in all cases. The department will share more details as they become available."

The infections appear to have happened all in one neighborhood, called Wynwood, in Miami. In Scott's statement he specified that the location was bound by "NW 5th Avenue to the west, US 1 to the east, NW/NE 38th Street to the north and NW/NE 20th Street to the south."

Screen Shot 2016 07 29 at 4.20.18 PM

Zika, which is transmitted mainly by mosquitoes, has been spreading around the Americas over the past year. This would be the first time local transmission by mosquitoes has been reported in the US. Only about 20% of people who are infected with Zika ever show symptoms, which most commonly include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

Here's a map of all the places Zika has spread locally so far:

BI Graphic_Zika Virus Map And List (4)

SEE ALSO: The first case of female-to-male sexually transmitted Zika has been reported in NYC

DON'T MISS: Zika reached 2 more Caribbean islands in July — here's a map of all the places it has spread so far

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what popular dog breeds looked like before and after 100 years of breeding

Google finally fixed the most frustrating problem with its Maps app (GOOG, GOOGL)


Rejoice! Google has finally added multi-stop trip support for its Maps app on iPhone.

The feature has long been available on the desktop version, which made its absence on the app even more annoying for those of us — like me — who like to plan road trips on a computer but rely on a phone for navigation. Not being able to add multiple stops on the app was incredibly frustrating.

The capability rolled out at the end of June on Android, but just got the iPhone boost on Friday.

Just open the app, tap the corner menu, and click "Add stop." You can rearrange the order of stops by clicking on the three lines next to one and then dragging it:


Here's the GIF explanation that Google made for Android:


SEE ALSO: Wall Street finally let Google out of the doghouse

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This country doesn’t have Google Street View, so they created Google Sheep View

Here's how J.K. Rowling, author of the highly anticipated 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' turned rejection into unprecedented success


JK Rowling

On a delayed train journey from Manchester to King's Cross station in London, the characters Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger came "fully formed" to the mind of a young temp named Joanne Rowling.

In the six tumultuous years following, she would imagine an entire magical world of witches and wizards, assume the pen name J.K. Rowling, and publish "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," the first novel in the now beloved "Harry Potter" series.

Rowling has since become the UK's best-selling living author, her books have brought in more than $25 billion and sold more copies than any other book series, and the newest installment in the story, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," is already a best-selling book— but not before Rowling had to overcome the hardships of rejection and being a single mother living on welfare.

Here's an inside look at how Rowling went from living on welfare to becoming one of the world's top-earning authors:

SEE ALSO: Why parents should encourage their kids to read 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' according to a top psychologist

DON'T MISS 10 real rejection letters successful people have received

Born in the southwest of England, Rowling grew up along the border of England and Wales with her mother, father, and sister. She's said that she had always known she would be a book author. "As soon as I knew what writers were, I wanted to be one. I've got the perfect temperament for a writer; perfectly happy alone in a room, making things up." She wrote her first book (about a rabbit named Rabbit) at age six, and when her mother praised her work, she says she "stood there and thought, 'Well, get it published then.'"

Source: JKRowling.com

Rowling's teenage years weren't particularly happy, she told The New Yorker, claiming she came from a difficult family and saying her mother's 10-year battle with multiple sclerosis took a toll on her and the family. "You couldn't give me anything to make me go back to being a teenager. Never. No, I hated it," she told The Guardian.

Source: The New YorkerThe Guardian

Rowling said she "couldn't wait to get out" of her house. After studying French and classics at Exeter University, she went to work for Amnesty International in London as a researcher, among other jobs. It was during this time on a train journey from Manchester to her job in London that she began writing her "Harry Potter" series.

Source: The Guardian


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How a mystery employee made Amazon give chopsticks to the whole company (AMZN)


jeff bezos

Unlike most tech companies, Amazon doesn't serve free lunches — employees must pay to eat at its cafeterias.

But a recent change inside Amazon's cafeterias shows that the internet retail giant is starting to focus more on the culinary side of its culture: The company has finally introduced chopsticks across all its cafeterias.

Amazon's decision to deploy chopsticks in every dining hall and kitchen was instigated by an anonymous employee at the company's all-hands meeting in March, according to several employees we spoke to.

Amazon runs its all-hands meetings twice a year at Key Arena in downtown Seattle. 

During the meeting, Bezos and his executive team go over some of the key milestones and give out rewards to its top performers.

They also do a live Q&A session. Employees can ask anything directly from the mic in the arena or through anonymously submitted questions. The types of questions vary: from inquiries about Bezos’ presidential ambition to why cats aren’t allowed at work when dogs are.

Bezos tries to answer all of them, but he knows he can't. To avoid having to answer tough questions, he often likes to start by saying, “I'll leave the difficult questions for my directs to answer.”

One of those difficult questions came during the March all-hands meeting, when one anonymous employee submitted a question asking about Amazon’s chopsticks policy:

“While we appreciate the Western utensils in the kitchen, are there plans to provide chopsticks? I think there is a sizable minority that would appreciate the chopsticks.”

passing food with chopsticksBezos seemed to get a kick out of it, but he didn’t take the question lightly, according to people who saw the meeting. Although he deferred the question to one of the execs on stage, chopsticks were put in all dining halls and kitchens at Amazon within a week (Amazon already had chopsticks available in some dining halls but not company-wide).

“I think it was sort of an aha-moment for the management team,” one person told us. “It was nice to see chopsticks put in place so quickly.”

According to Amazon's latest diversity report, Asian employees comprise about 20% of all US managers and 10% of its total US workforce.

Amazon's chopsticks deployment may be a move long overdue, given how even smaller companies like Yahoo and Dropbox have chopsticks available. But it could also be a sign of more things to come at Amazon, a company known for its notoriously frugal culture. With the company's soaring stock price and profitability, Amazon's management may be leaning towards upgrading its employee benefits and live up to what many other tech companies in Silicon Valley offer.

And we may already be seeing change start to take place. Amazon recently put ice machines in "several of its buildings" after another anonymous employee made the request at the March all-hands meeting.

Amazon declined to comment on this story.

SEE ALSO: The inside story of how Amazon created Echo, the next billion-dollar business no one saw coming

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The best bagels in New York City, ranked

Meet the four models who want to revolutionize the way you eat


Ripe founders 4

When I first arrived at the Brooklyn headquarters of Ripe, a healthy food delivery startup, two smiling models greeted me at the door.

When I entered the kitchen, another model offered me water with fresh-squeezed lemon. While there, another beautiful person — likely a fourth model — came into the kitchen to make himself a locally sourced, organic lunch. 

This is the world of Ripe, a three-year-old startup that delivers healthy meals to offices. Founded by four twenty-somethings who met in the modeling industry, the company is gaining its footing in New York City and has more than 40 regular clients ranging from Vice to Oscar to Facebook.

The company says it's growing its client list organically — and with few roadblocks.

"I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a no, because people are starting to care more and more about their employees’ well-being," CEO Ben Huffman, who "retired" from modeling when he founded Ripe, told Business Insider. "They’re starting to find out that when people do eat healthier, instead of like a pizza or something, they’ll actually work harder."

Ripe prefers to serve its meals family-style and encourages offices to gather their employees in one place to eat, share ideas, and bond — although businesses can choose individualized boxes as well. Ripe costs about $8 to $15 per person for breakfast, $12 to $18 per person for lunch, and $15 to $35 per person for dinner. If you compare it to the cost of lunch to a similar healthy meal you can buy on your own — like a Sweetgreen salad — it costs about the same.

So how does Ripe keep its costs down, especially when healthy food can get so expensive? 

"We offer a limited selection per day, so we’re able to make the same items in bulk, which helps us order the produce in bulk, which brings the prices pretty low," Huffman said. "We’re not the lowest price, but I think our clients are more concerned with the benefits. You can pay a little bit more for better food and save money in health care costs in the long run."

'The models are coming!'

Ripe began when Huffman and Ripe COO CJ Richards — who is still a working model — bonded over food and fitness. Richards is a nutritionist and Huffman used to be a personal trainer, so a healthy food service was a natural fit. The company is bootstrapped — although Ripe soon plans to raise a $2.2 million convertible debt round — and every spare cent from the founders has gone into the company. 

Ripe website

Ripe has also been lucky in finding the right people to join the company, the founders say, because working in modeling helped them tap into a pool of nutrition-focused talent.

Huffman, Richards, and their other two cofounders — Vice President Maria Bradley, who is no longer an active model, and Creative Director Anmari Botha, who still works in the industry — have recruited their friends and colleagues to act as brand ambassadors and deliver the meals. 

Richards is the first to admit there's a stereotype surrounding the modeling industry and models themselves (of his cofounders and employees, he says "We kind of picked the ones with the brains who were here for bigger reasons"). But both he and Huffman say they haven't gotten any negative feedback for being a bit different from the standard startup founder stereotype — except for the occasional gentle teasing.

Sometimes, when they arrive at a company to deliver lunch, they've heard employees say, "The models are coming!" Other times, Huffman said, they'll get some unusual feedback after the meal:

"One of our clients gave us feedback that was like, ‘Can we pay extra to have one of the models feed us?’"

'The organic, vegan icing on the top'

Eventually, Ripe hopes to cut out the middleman. The company wants to work directly with farmers, plans to grow its own produce in urban vertical farm,s and just hired an executive chef to cook out of a Ripe-owned kitchen in Manhattan. 

Expansion plans are in the works, too (they're considering Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Denver, Austin and Charlotte) and Ripe currently offers free workouts on Saturdays, which it hopes to eventually expand to every public park in New York City — Huffman calls those workouts the "organic, vegan icing on the top," since they're designed to be a low-stress and low-cost way to introduce people to wellness.

It's an ambitious plan and the meals are pricey when you compare them to a dollar slice of pizza.

And if you're wondering, having a group of tall, fit, beautiful models tell you to work out more and eat healthier is a bit hard to swallow. On the one hand, I imagine having models deliver lunch to my office each day would be aspirational and encourage me to eat healthier. On the other hand, Ripe staffers have some distinct genetic advantages most of us don't have, and I'm not eager to have a crew of male models watch me sweat it out at one of their free workouts.

But Ripe's founders are sincere and passionate and told me they spend every minute of free time and every extra cent working to grow the company. As I finished my lemon water and left their shaded back patio, Huffman said earnestly: "We just really, really love wellness."

SEE ALSO: The story of how Travis Kalanick built Uber into the most feared and valuable startup in the world

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25 books that will make you a more well-rounded person


Girl Reading

Do you aspire to be one of those people who knows at least a little bit about a lot of things?

There's any easy way to do it: Read everything!

You can't just stick to the thrillers, anthologies, or biographies you've grown partial to. If you really want to become a more well-rounded person, you'll need to force yourself out of your comfort zone at the bookstore.

If you're not sure where to start, you've come to the right place. We've selected 25 timeless books on all different topics — politics, science, history, culture, and more — that may help you become the well-rounded person you strive to be.

Natalie Walters contributed to a previous version of this article.

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Classic: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

First published in 1960 and winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize, "To Kill a Mockingbird" was an overnight successIn its first week, it sold 1.1 million copies, and in its lifetime it's sold more than 40 million copies and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

In this American classic, lawyer Atticus Finch agrees to defend a black man who was accused of raping a white woman. The fictional story takes place in the town of Maycomb, Alabama, and is told through the innocent perspective of Finch's tomboy daughter, Scout.

This classic novel hits on a few important topics, such as parenting and racism in America.


Classic: '1984' by George Orwell

George Orwell wrote this anticommunist novel in 1948 to predict what 1984 would look like in London. His prediction? A totalitarian state where "Big Brother," the government, was always watching you and telling you what to think and believe.

Some of his predictions came true, like cameras being everywhere and our bodies being scanned for weapons.

This book is a must-read because it's a cautionary tale of what happens when the government is given too much control over the people and their lives.


Pop culture: 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' by J.K. Rowling

If you haven't read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," or the following six books in the series, you should run to the bookstore immediately.

This beloved tale follows a young boy who finds out that he's a wizard on his 11th birthday and is whisked off to a wizarding school called Hogwarts to begin his training.

These books were so universally loved and praised that they spawned a multibillion-dollar film franchise, a theme park in Orlando, Florida, and a spin-off series based on a Rowling book, "Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them," which will be released later this year.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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5 tiki cocktails you can make at home


Tiki mugs are a cool thing to collect and tiki drinks are out-of-this-world-delicious. So why aren't you making more tiki drinks at home? 

Because they have a reputation for being incredibly complicated, that's why. But New York City bartender and tiki enthusiast Brian Miller — who's studied the repertoire of tiki godfather Donn Beach closely — is here to help. 

Below, he recommends five rum-based tiki recipes that strike a balance between being authentic and doable without having to revamp your entire liquor collection. Master them and you'll earn major home bartender cred. 

BI_Graphics_Tiki_Mai Tai_02


BI_Graphics_Tiki_Blue Hawaii_02


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BI_Graphics_Tiki_Jet Pilot_03

Brittany Fowler contributed to this story.

SEE ALSO: Here's the perfect twist on the original Piña Colada recipe from 60 years ago

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