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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    freebird taco

    As a native Texan, suffice it to say that I have opinions about tacos. I suppose it's the case that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs as to what constitutes a "good" taco, but given my upbringing and my general stubbornness, I'm inclined to believe that when it comes to ranking tacos, there is, in fact, one correct answer. And that answer is that gas station tacos in small towns all across the great state of Texas are the best tacos in the continental United States.

    Alas, be that as it may, it probably isn't feasible for you (or me) to frequent said gas stations across the Great State. But luckily, there are a number of alternatives put forth by your friendly neighborhood fast-food chains that will, in fact, get the job done when you're craving nothing more than a soft shell filled with carnitas.

    To determine where to get the best fast-food tacos, INSIDER went to five fast-food restaurants as part of an ongoing taste-test series. To keep things consistent, we sampled the standard chicken taco at all six locations.

    Here's what we sampled:

    Chipotle

    Moe's

    Taco Bell

    Qdoba

    Freebirds

    Keep scrolling to see who won over our taste buds.

    Freebirds gives you the most freedom

    Freebirds brings a DIY approach to your tacos, which makes them all the more delicious because they're made just the way you want them. I love the way Freebirds steams its tortillas — corn or flour — before filling them (either for a burrito or for a soft shell taco), and you can choose from a wide range of proteins and extras to make your ideal taco.

    The chicken is well-seasoned and cubed in such a way that is conducive to filling a taco — that is to say, if you take a bite, you won't find yourself attempting to catch half your taco's stuffing.

    For the vegetarians among us, Freebirds has added a Beyond Meat option in addition to its trusty fajita style veggies (which actually comes with guacamole). You can also select from a range of different bean options, as well as a variety of sauces that really do make (and not break) the resulting taco.



    Chipotle is the most widely available (among the "higher-end" chains)

    Chipotle adopts a similar approach to Freebirds, offering customers the option to create their own tacos. I tend to think that Chipotle's chicken is a bit over-seasoned — it's hard to taste past all the salt you're consuming, but if you're someone who prefers extremely savory offerings, Chipotle may be the one for you.

    The chain also offers very generously-sized portions, giving you plenty of bang for your buck. When it comes to building your own taco, all you have to do is choose your preferred protein, and it's here that Chipotle really differentiates itself from the pack.

    Although Freebirds offers Beyond Meat, Chipotle is the trailblazer in its unique sofritas option, which just may be my favorite among the vegetarian choices in the mix. Chipotle, however, does insist upon a bit more purity when it comes to filling your tacos — you're limited to salsa, sour cream, cheese, and romaine for your traditional toppings, and then have the option of adding on guacamole or queso.



    Taco Bell is the cheapest

    No list of fast food taco joints would be complete without your friendly neighborhood Taco Bell. While it probably won't get points for authenticity, it does get points for being supremely convenient and supremely inexpensive. It's also not entirely unhealthy, despite what you may think about fast food chains. You can now opt for either vegan or vegetarian options, and Taco Bell also has an app that gives you greater insight into exactly what you're putting into your body.

    Taco Bell's Chicken Soft Taco is extremely basic — it just contains shredded chicken, "real cheddar cheese," and crisp lettuce. It tastes ... exactly like you'd expect it to, but when you're just getting through a long day and need a quick snack, it hits the spot.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Melania Trump Ghana

    • First lady Melania Trump arrived in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday for the first day of a nearly week-long African tour.
    • On her first day, Trump visited with a hospital and had tea with Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo. 
    • In the coming days, she will also visit Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. 

    First Lady Melania Trump landed in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday morning for a six-day tour of Africa where she will see how the US foreign aid is being put to use on the continent, improving health, early childhood education and conservation efforts. 

    It marks her first major solo trip as first lady. 

    On the first day of her trip, Trump visited a hospital and had tea with the Ghanaian first lady. Over the next several days, she will also make stops in Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt. 

    The first lady landed at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana Tuesday morning, after flying 12 hours overnight from Washington, DC.

    She nearly had a wardrobe malfunction when the wind started to blow up the hem of her dress as she disembarked.

    Source: CNN



    Trump was met at the airport by Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo Addo.

    Source: AP



    Eight-year-old Lillian Naa Adai Sai gave the American first lady a gift of flowers wrapped in colorful Kente cloth at the airport.

    Source: NPR



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Conor McGregor

    Conor McGregor is one of the most dominant fighters alive.

    A two-division champion in UFC, McGregor now finds himself as the king of combat sports, living a lavish life earning a nine-figure payday with the help of a dubious boxing match against Floyd "Money" Mayweather.

    But while McGregor is a natural to the superstar life, it wasn't something into which he was born. Coming from a working-class family from the suburbs of Dublin, McGregor found his way through childhood gyms, a stint as a plumber's apprentice, and eventual worldwide fame as the most "Notorious" fighter on the planet, and the biggest name in the UFC.

    Below we take a look a McGregor's rise to the top of the world.

    Conor McGregor was born on July 14, 1988, to parents Tony and Mags. They claim he was born with clenched fists.

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    Source: Bleacher Report



    McGregor would spend his youth in Crumlin, a suburb of Dublin. Once his interest in Manchester United gave way to an interest in fighting, he would train in at the Crumlin Boxing Club.

    Source: ESPN



    In Dublin, McGregor would meet his now longtime coach, John Kavanagh. After going into one of Kavanagh’s gyms, McGregor beat up two of the best fighters there in a sparring session that he took a bit too seriously. Kavanagh responded by “pinning him and throwing heavy blows until Conor promised he was there for training and not for a street brawl.”

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    Source: ESPN



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kai-Fu Lee

    Machine learning and neural networks have never been sexier.

    The top experts in artificial intelligence are speaking before thousands, signing book deals and attracting gobs of money. The sector is moving from tech niche to center stage stardom.  

    Take for example Kai-Fu Lee, the noted investor, former president of Google China and AI researcher. On Friday, at two speaking engagements in San Francisco, Lee basked in the kind of attention typically reserved for rock stars, not technologists.

    Young men and women in business attire flocked to him. Investors sought introductions. Even school children asked for autographs. Lee is one of AI's biggest boosters as well as one of its chief critics. Wherever he speaks— from Silicon Valley to Beijing — he draws big crowds and garners much praise.

    Business Insider tagged along with Lee as he shuttled in a town car between speaking events last week, part of the promotion for his new book, "AI Super Powers, China, Silicon Valley, and The New World Order." In an exclusive interview, he revealed details about why he left Google and how Google fared in the country before pulling out in 2010 (Hint: not good), and whether the US or China will win in AI.

    These topics could prove especially relevant in the coming months as lawmakers make inquiries into Google's possible re-entry into China.

    SEE ALSO: Google is building a media and entertainment empire — here are 10 stars leading the effort

    Part of what makes Lee special is that he has unique insight into the most important tech trends shaping the world and the powerful companies leading the charge.

    Lee spent a big part of his childhood in the United States, and the first half of his career at Apple, Microsoft and Google. Fluent in English, Lee speaks slowly and carefully, choosing each word precisely. 

    At Carnegie Mellon, where Lee earned his PhD, he developed the world's first speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system. 

    In 2009, after leaving Google, Lee became a prominent investor in Chinese startups. So, when he talks about whether the US or China will win in AI, people listen. 

     



    Lee's new book, “AI Super-Powers, China, Silicon Valley and The New World Order” went on sale last week.

    Not only is he a successful investor and technologist, Lee is a powerful speaker and writer. He knows the value of a soundbite, turn of phrase and provocative statement. 

    In one passage from his book, Lee described how AI will shake up society and the world's power structure. Some of his assessments may not come as welcome news to many in the United States.

    "This new AI order will be particularly jolting to Americans, who have grown accustomed to a near-total dominance of the technological sphere. For as far back as many of us can remember, it was American technology companies that were pushing their products and their values on users around the globe...American companies, citizens, and politicians have forgotten what it feels like to be on the receiving end of these exchanges, a process that often feels akin to 'technological colonization.'" 

    During the drive that took Lee to his speaking engagements, first at the headquarters of the Asia Society Northern California and then to the San Francisco Yacht Club, Lee said, "I try to be truthful." 



    The reception Lee receives when he makes public appearances is startling.

    It's not everyday that a technologist can draw hundreds of people on a Friday evening, but the crowds that come to see Lee are large and enthusiastic.

    They also come from a wide range of ages, backgrounds and business segments. 

    Sure, the tech sector has salivated for a long time over AI. But the possibility of creating machines with intelligence similar to humans in the not-so-distant future has begun to fire imaginations among the general public.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    bedding startups thumb

    It's difficult to attribute a good night's sleep to a single factor. Certainly, a supportive mattress helps. So does a fluffy pillow. Another important part of the equation — one that can sometimes be overlooked or bought in haste — is your sheets. 

    And it's too bad that many of us can't find a beautiful, durable, and appropriately-priced set of sheets, because they're universally appealing. No one can say they don't love settling in to a soft and cool bed at the end of a long day, or lazily stretching out on top of worn-in sheets on a weekend morning. It's this highly sought-after feeling in a long uninspired and outdated industry that has prompted numerous direct-to-consumer bedding startups to crop up in the last four to five years. 

    The common thread of perfectly rumpled sheet imagery can make these online companies difficult to differentiate, but they do offer distinct value propositions that could make one a better choice over the other. Before you make a sheets upgrade, read up on what these bedding startups offer and what you should buy from each one. 

    Note: All prices are for Queen size offerings. 

    Brooklinen

    Shop bedding at Brooklinen here

    Why you'll like it: 30,000 glowing online reviews and our own senior editor's love for the brand stem from the great value that Brooklinen offers. For a little over $200, you can get four pillowcases, a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and a duvet cover — and this isn't just a convenient bundle that will pill or fray after a few washes. Its signature cotton percale sheets are cool and crisp, giving you a comfortable night's sleep. While its core business is cotton bedding, Brooklinen also sells limited-edition twill and linen collections. 

    What to buy: 

     



    Parachute

    Shop bedding at Parachute here

    Why you'll like it: If you still dream about the hotel linens you slept on during your European vacation, shop at Parachute to bring the comfortable and luxurious experience home. It sells three different fabrics: percale (lightweight, breathable), sateen (smooth, but not shiny), and linen (textured, laid-back). Like other sites, you can shop bundled sets, but you also have the freedom to customize your own and buy for your exact style. 

    What to buy: 



    Coyuchi

    Shop bedding at Coyuchi here

    Why you'll like it: Coyuchi's eco-friendly practices make it the best sustainable bedding startup you can shop at. It's the first North American company to use miDori bioSoft green technology, which softens sheets with a plant-based formula, and it meets a slew of other standards and certifications that mean it tries to do the least damage to the environment as possible. It also has a unique Subscribe and Save subscription program that sends you linen replenishments at a low monthly rate and recycles your old sheets for you. 

    What to buy:

     

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    surface family 2018

    Microsoft unveiled a four-pack of new Surface gadgets at an event in New York City on Tuesday.

    We saw the company show off the new Surface Pro 6 tablet/laptop hybrid; the Surface Laptop 2; the Surface Studio all-in-one desktop; and, to cap it all of, the surprise of the $349 Surface Headphones

    Here's everything Microsoft just announced — and our first impressions of the new gear, after getting to go hands-on with all four devices following the event. 

    SEE ALSO: 'Siri, I'm getting pulled over': A new shortcut for iPhones can automatically record the police

    Surface Pro 6, $899, available on October 16th.

    The Surface Pro 6 was the headliner. 

    This is the latest iteration of Microsoft's flagship line of laptop/tablet hybrids

    In terms of design, it's not much different from the current-generation Surface Pro, currently on store shelves. The Surface Pro 6 does, however, sport a modern quad-core Intel processor, which Microsoft says makes it 1.5 times faster than its predecessor. 

    In terms of aesthetics, you can get the Surface Pro 6 in a new, sleek matte black finish — though that option only comes with certain higher-end models, which will run you more than the $899 starting price. 

    In our hands-on time with the Surface Pro 6, we found that Microsoft didn't mess much with its own winning formula. However, it's worth noting the somewhat puzzling absence of a USB-C port, which the tech-savvy might find disappointing. 

    Oh, and the matte black finish looks extremely good in real life. 



    Surface Laptop 2, $999, available on October 16th.

    The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is an update to last year's original-recipe model. 

    Just like the original, the Surface Laptop 2 is a 13.5-inch touchscreen laptop, running Windows 10. Otherwise, its most notable physical feature is its Alcantara fabric-covered keyboard. 

    Much like with the Surface Pro 6, the biggest changes here are under the hood. A current-generation Intel processor makes the Surface Laptop almost twice as fast as the previous model, Microsoft says. And, again, some models come in that pleasing premium matte black finish.

    When we tried the Surface Laptop 2, we didn't find that it changed much from the original version. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing: The Surface Laptop 2's screen, its high-quality trackpad, and its slick design give it an overall feel that can best be described as Apple-esque. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 



    Surface Studio 2, $3499, available on November 15th.

    Microsoft's all-in-one Surface Studio 2 is both powerful and gorgeous — but at a $3,499 price tag, it comes at a significant premium. 

    The headlining feature of the Surface Studio 2 is its gorgeous screen, which Microsoft says is brighter than the previous model, with better contrast. Just like the older model, the Surface Studio's screen is on a unique swivel hinge that lets you bring it down to a comfortable angle for sketching or editing. 

    Apart from the improvements to the screen, the changes in the Surface Studio 2 aren't super obvious. It has a faster processor, a speedier SSD hard drive, and better graphics hardware from Nvidia – something that's not super-obvious from a quick hands-on session, but that could make a big difference to pros using the Surface Studio 2 in the real world. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    photo frames

    Recovery efforts in Indonesia continue after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi last week.

    At least 1,200 people have been confirmed dead, but that figure will likely rise as relief and rescue teams make their way to remote areas.

    Rescue workers have had to dig through mud, rubble, and debris for dead bodies using their bare hands, while they wait for equipment to be delivered.

    The roads and airport were badly damaged by the events, meaning the arrival of heavy machinery has been slow.

    Dozens of people are still thought to be buried underneath the rubble, and an estimated 59,000 people are displaced with limited access to food, water and shelter.

    Here’s a look at the recovery efforts in Palu, the capital city of central Sulawesi, one of the worst-hit regions on the island.

    The tsunami waves came with such force it tossed a car into the side of a house.



    And a major bridge was decimated.



    One mosque in Palu was completely submerged for a time.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ephesus

    A historic district of the web that's been frozen in time for more than 20 years is slated for extinction.

    On Monday, Yahoo Japan announced that the last remaining sites of the once-popular GeoCities would be shutting down in March 2019.

    GeoCities — which was founded in 1994 and acquired by Yahoo for nearly $4 billion in 1999 — was once the third-most visited site on the internet.  Essentially a web hosting service that made it easy for anyone to build their own websites, GeoCities became a thriving digital metropolis of rudimentary HTML pages devoted to personal hobbies, quirks and pastimes. 

    Its Web 1.0 design lost its luster over the years, however, and in the US, the service was shut down in 2009.

    But GeoCities somehow lived on in Japan. Like a lost kingdom isolated from progress or contact with the modern world, the last remaining realm of Geocities in Japan offers visitors an amazing trip back in time; an online world before Facebook, YouTube or even Wikipedia existed. 

    There's still time to visit this lost digital city before the bulldozers raze it to the ground. Here’s a look at some of our favorite, quirky sites that will soon no longer be with us. For millennials, consider this a history lesson.

    SEE ALSO: We tested the claims that the iPhone XS selfie camera makes faces look too smooth — check out the results for yourself

    The GeoCities sites are organized by neighborhoods, like Motor City for auto buffs and Silicon Valley for techies.

    The centralized directory harkens back to the dial-up online services of yore, such as CompuServe, Prodigy, and America Online.



    Old Stories of Japan is a one-stop-shop for Japanese folklore.

    The site has amassed more than two million views over the years (we'll miss those web counters) and contains stories like "The man who broke wind" and "Child eating cave."



    Japanese travel tips abound on this site. Headed to Hokkaido, Tohoku or Chugoku? Don’t leave without consulting here first.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    american flag bicycle fourth july

    • The US economy is the sum of the economies of the 50 states and Washington, DC.
    • Using six measures of labor-market and general economic health, we ranked all of those component economies from worst to best.

    The US is a massive, complex economy, and so too are the component economies of the 50 states and Washington, DC, that make up the whole.

    Business Insider combined six measures of labor-market and general economic health for all the states and the District of Columbia. They are the unemployment rate, job growth, per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages, and wage growth. By putting all those on a common scale and combining them, we came up with an overall score for each state's economy.

    Click here to see our detailed sources and methods.

    While the top of the list remains similar to our most recent ranking last quarter, with Washington, DC coming in first place, several states saw their fortunes rise or fall. South Dakota moved up from last place to 12th best overall, while Georgia fell from 11th to 35th.

    Here's how the economy of each state and DC is doing right now:

    SEE ALSO: Here are the most common ancestries in every US state

    51. Mississippi

    Mississippi's Q1 2018 per capita GDP of $38,313, August 2018 average weekly earnings of $697, and 2.2% decline in wages between August 2017 and August 2018 were all the lowest among the 50 states and DC.



    50. Alaska

    Alaska's August 2018 unemployment rate of 6.7% was the highest in the country, and its 0.9% decline in the number of non-farm payroll jobs between August 2017 and August 2018 was the worst among the 50 states and DC.



    49. Arkansas

    Arkansas Q1 2018 per capita GDP of $42,282 and GDP growth rate of 0.0% were both the second-lowest among the 50 states and DC, as was the state's August 2018 average weekly earnings of $734.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the devil wears prada"The Devil Wears Prada" gave us commoners a glimpse into the world of high-end fashion. This 2006 comedy practically doubled as an exposé of the fashion industry’s cutthroat energy. Legendary for boss Miranda Priestly’s cutting one-liners ("That’s all."), this film had to be the most fashionable movie to date.

    The iconic Patricia Field, most known for "Sex and The City," styled the film and won an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. We rounded up some of the most fashionable looks from the movie that you're sure to remember. 

    Andy’s reveal outfit has a spot in best-makeover history.

    When Andy finally begins to take her coveted fashion role seriously, she debuts head-to-toe Chanel to showcase her transformation. The chic new haircut, understated palette, and monstrously high boots (Do they stop just above the hem or do they go up to her belly button?) cement her as a woman-to-watch. We’ll forgive the sweater purse.  



    Miranda Priestly went for the gold in this mirrored jacket.

    Delivering one of the most biting monologues of all time, Streep also gets to rock this glittering ensemble that’s still subdued enough to be suitable for behind-the-scenes fittings. She commands the room but lets the other designs stand out.



    Purple is reserved for royalty only.

    You can taste the disapproval from here. The jewel-toned boatneck sweater dress, the emerald on her finger, and the dazzling hoops are trendy, but still luxe. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Cincinnati Ohio

    • As millennials age and prepare to become homeowners, they tend to settle down in suburbs outside big cities.
    • Realtor.com recently complied a list of the hottest zip codes in 2018 — places where residents, especially millennials, are paid well and housing is affordable.
    • Kentwood, Michigan, took the top spot, followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    As millennials age and prepare to become homeowners, they tend to settle down in suburbs outside big cities.

    Realtor.com recently complied a list of the hottest zip codes in 2018 — places where residents, especially millennials, are paid well and housing is affordable.

    Realtor.com analyzes and ranks 32,000 zip codes annually for its list of hottest zip codes. In 2018, the list shows high-earning millennials are driving a 10% real-estate turnover in emerging suburbs. The top spot goes to Kentwood, Michigan. 

    To determine the best markets, Realtor.com looks at homes that sell in an average of 20 days and have four times more views online than the average Realtor.com listing. Additionally, residents in these places are employed at higher rates and earning more money than the national median, and millennials in particular own a sizable share of the homes.

    Take a look at the 30 hottest zip codes for millennials.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best suburbs in America, ranked

    DON'T MISS: 31 cities where you could be considered 'rich' if you earn less than $100,000

    30. Greendale, Wisconsin (53129)

    Median listing price: $229,246

    Millennial home ownership rate: 42%

    2018 millennial median household income: $79,245



    29. Spokane, Washington (99205)

    Median listing price: $172,943

    Millennial home ownership rate: 56.7%

    2018 millennial median household income: $51,616



    28. Valencia, California (91354)

    Median listing price: $581,807

    Millennial home ownership rate: 56.3%

    2018 millennial median household income: $115,694



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    terry crewsAlthough a few celebrities are born into stardom, many of Hollywood's biggest actors and actresses came from less glamorous beginnings.

    Before they were accepting Oscars, these celebrity actors were working at some pretty surprising nine-to-five occupations. From one actor's stint at the National Security Agency to another's starting job as a hairdresser, here are some of your favorite celebrities' pre-fame jobs.

    Christopher Walken was a lion tamer.

    Long before Christopher Walken got his big break on the silver screen, he was just another hard-working 16-year-old looking for a quick buck. Instead of working at a local restaurant or grocery store, he worked with a lion tamer.  

    "When I was a kid, I worked in the circus. It was a touring circus that was owned by a man named Terrell Jacobs. It was just one big tent, and he was a lion tamer," he told Vanity Fair. "When he would finish his act, there would be one lion left, and I used to go in and have this lion do tricks."



    Danny DeVito was a hairdresser.

    The "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" actor was a hairdresser for his sister's beauty parlor, according to an interview he did with BBC. He styled hair for six months before moving on to his next venture.

     



    Steve Buscemi was a firefighter.

    The actor returned to his firefighting roots to help search for survivors during 9/11, according to The Independent. He took the FDNY civil service test when he was just 18-years-old. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Photo 4   Heather Concannon

    If you love Halloween and also love cruises, you may not think the two have much in common. But that's where Disney Cruise Line for Halloween on the High Seas comes in.

    During select cruises in late September and October, Disney Cruise Line commemorates Halloween through a series of themed events and parties.

    I experienced this spook-tacular sailing a couple of days ago and it was a perfect and unique way to celebrate the season.

    I am a huge Halloween fan and was excited to see how the Disney Cruise decorated for the holiday. In typical Disney fashion, they did not disappoint. 



    The atrium is decked out with carved Mickey-shaped pumpkins, foliage and purple banners all around.

    The carved pumpkins were shaped like your favorite Disney characters and their likenesses were truly impressive. 



    The most prominent decoration is the pumpkin tree.

    The tree loomed large over the atrium with a grandiose grin and topped with several glowing pumpkins. The pumpkin tree is also the center of the first Halloween event of the cruise, the Haunted Stories of the Sea.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hudson Yards 0603

    Hudson Yards is a mammoth development in New York City — the likes of which hasn't been seen since the unveiling of Rockefeller Center in the 1930s. 

    The $25 billion complex covers an entire avenue and stretches four city blocks. At the far edge lie the Eastern and Western Railyards, whose train tracks run below a raised platform that supports the budding structures. Each of the buildings revolves around an expansive public square with a lush landscape of trees and woodland plants. 

    The project is currently undergoing phase one — 11.9 million square feet along the Eastern Yard — which will be mostly complete by March 2019. From there, it will move on to the second and final phase — 6.2 million square feet along the Western Yard — which is set to be finished by 2024. This second phase of development includes the construction of a public school, along with additional office, residential, and retail space.

    The project is difficult to keep up with, even for developers. According to the senior project manager at Related Companies, Geoff Butler, the construction site changes every day.

    But for those who have yet to peer inside the complex, the layout and development timeline is mostly theoretical.

    Business Insider got the rundown of how it's progressing. Take a look below.

    The Shed

    The Shed is the only structure in Hudson Yards being built by New York City itself. As part of its negotiations with the complex's two developers, Related and Oxford Properties, the city mandated the construction of a nonprofit cultural center.

    The Shed was born from this vision, and will serve as a forum for art installations, concerts, conventions, and other cultural events. There's even talk of having it replace Bryant Park as the site of New York Fashion Week.

    The structure, which borders the High Line along the Eastern Yard, features a retractable outer shell that can be rolled back for outdoor events. The shell is held up by six track-bound wheels and controlled by a wireless remote. 

    Like many of the phase one structures, The Shed will be finished by spring 2019. 



    15 Hudson Yards

    To the right of The Shed, at the corner of 30th Street and 11th Avenue, is 15 Hudson Yards, a 900-foot-tall tower with views overlooking the Hudson River. The building spans 960,000 square feet and will feature nearly 400 residences, including around 100 affordable units. More than half of the apartments have already been sold, with a standard unit starting at around $3.9 million.

    The design is the result of a collaboration between Rockwell Group and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which contributed to the High Line. Inside, there will be a 75-foot swimming pool, screening room, rooftop lounge, and a private coworking space.

    With an unveiling scheduled for later this year, 15 Hudson Yards will become the first residential building to open at the development site. 



    35 Hudson Yards

    Across the plaza sits 35 Hudson Yards, a 1.1 million-square-foot tower designed by David Childs, the architect behind the Freedom Tower. Though it was intended to be a cylinder, its shape now resembles a rectangular prism.

    At 1,000 feet tall, the building is the site's tallest residential structure. In addition to its 143 condos, the tower will feature the first-ever Equinox hotel with more than 200 rooms. Guests and residents can also enjoy access to a 60,000-square-foot Equinox fitness club and spa. 

    Apartments are expected to go on sale in 2019.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Transplanter

    Iron Ox, a California-based technology startup, is pioneering the future of robotics and indoor agriculture. 

    After years of research and development, the company is launching the world's first autonomous farm featuring a 1,000-pound mobile robot, nicknamed Angus.

    As alumni of robotics company Willow Garage, Iron Ox co-founders Brandon Alexander and Jon Binney realized they wanted to do more with the technology they were developing. They saw an opportunity in the agriculture industry, which had been using the same antiquated system for dozens, if not hundreds, of years. 

    The two friends took a road trip through California, asking farmers about the biggest pain points in their industry. The vast majority had the same answer: Newer generations simply aren't interested in farming, creating a massive labor shortage.

    That's where Angus comes in. While the typical farmer has to check crops multiple times a day, making sure they have the proper amounts of water, nutrients, and nitrogen, Angus speeds up the process by transferring crops from the harvesting area to the production center.

    "A lot of the technology we essentially had to develop from scratch, but now we have a real robot working on real plants that are thriving in our environment," said Alexander.

    Take a look at how the technology works below. 

    Crops are held in an 8,000-square-foot warehouse designed to take advantage of natural light.

    Iron Ox has found that sunlight is the most cost-efficient method for harvesting energy.

    Instead of using soil, the company relies on a hydroponic system, which transfers water, nutrients, and oxygen directly to the root. 

     



    The company grows over two dozen varietals a day, or around 26,000 heads of lettuce a year — the equivalent of a one-acre outdoor farm.

    Each varietal has its own unique behavior. Genovese basil, for instance, takes longer to grow than butterhead lettuce.

    With its new technology, Iron Ox can grow 30 times more produce per acre than traditional farms. 



    A cloud-based system called "The Brain" collects data from hydroponic modules.

    The company currently has more than 25 customized grow modules, which each weigh around 800 pounds.



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    best sweaters women

    • Whether you’re battling the office AC or just looking for a cute and cozy top, it's important to have a good sweater or two (dozen).

    • Everlane makes our favorite sweaters because the direct-to-consumer brand has a great selection of sweaters for your updated wardrobe in a variety of fabrics.

    As tragic as the end of summer may be, there’s not much to complain about when the warmth is replaced by sweater weather. After all, are you ever cozier than when you’re wrapped up in your favorite oversized cashmere garment? I didn’t think so. But if said garment is beginning to look a bit worse for wear, there are a few places where you might look for a fabulous replacement.

    When considering your next sweater purchase, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First off, what kind of material are you most drawn to? Are you more of a jersey knit kind of gal, or do you prefer the warmth of merino wool?

    You’ll also want to consider the fit of your sweater. While some of us prefer everything to be a bit oversized, you may opt for something a bit more form-fitting. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to be shapeless.

    Similarly, you may think about where you plan on wearing your sweater. Are you doing tons of hiking this fall, or are you trekking from one board meeting to the next? That will certainly affect where you decide to make your purchase.

    Finally, you’ll want to keep price points in consideration. Cashmere can get costly, but if you’re looking for a sweater that’ll last you a lifetime, it may be worth the splurge. On the other hand, if you know that you’re one to replace your sweaters just about every year, you may not want to drop hundreds of dollars on a single garment that will only see one season of wear.

    No matter where you choose to buy your next sweater, we’re sure that if you’re picking from among our five favorites, you can’t go wrong.

    Here are the best places to buy sweaters:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    The best sweaters overall

    Why you'll love them: The sweaters you can buy from Everlane are not only cozy and chic, but also incredibly economical, making them surefire staples in your closet.

    There’s not really a season in which Everlane isn’t a great go-to destination for a closet update, but I’m particularly fond of the brand in the fall. Especially ever since the radically transparent company dropped the prices of its cashmere line to a flat $100. That makes it one of the most affordable places to buy your sweaters anywhere on the internet or IRL.

    This major price reduction took place for the first time last fall when Everlane reduced its men and women’s cashmere line pricing from $125 to $100. The company claims that if the same sweater were sold through traditional retail channels, you’d be paying somewhere in the $215 range, which makes sense when considering the prices of this expensive material elsewhere.

    But just because you’re getting a deal doesn’t mean you’re getting jipped in terms of quality when it comes to an Everlane sweater. First of all, the brand uses only Grade-A cashmere (grades go from A to C, with A being the best). Grade-A is stronger and doesn't pill as easily, and while your other sweaters may stretch out quite a bit after a few times on your body (or through the wash), that’s not the case with Everlane’s sweaters. These will stay in the same shape you bought them in for, well, as long as I’ve had them.

    There are currently three $100 cashmere sweater styles, though if you’re partial to cotton, you can also browse a seemingly endless selection of options in that material as well with prices starting at just $55. I love the Soft Cotton Boatneck, with its relaxed fit and fantastic neckline, and from the cashmere side, am particularly fond of the Cashmere Crop Mockneck. It’s great worn on its with a pair of high-waisted pants, or as Everlane styles it, atop a collared shirt.

    Everlane also has wool sweaters and wool blends for those who don't want to splurge on cashmere or stick with cotton.

    Pros: Transparent pricing, wide selection of styles and materials, sweaters don’t stretch out

    Cons: Thanks to Everlane’s popularity, you may not be the only one in your friend circle rocking one of these sweaters

    Shop all Everlane sweaters for $55 to $155



    The best sweaters for work

    Why you'll love it: The Morandi 2.0 sweater from MM. LaFleur will look great hanging off the back of your chair, but it'll look even better on you. 

    I’ve never had the luxury of working in a workspace where the temperature was just right. I’ve developed a newfound empathy for Goldilocks, as I’ve searched high and low for ways to ensure that I’m neither too hot nor too cold. Perhaps the best place to conduct that search when considering your professional wardrobe is MM.LaFleur, a clothing brand that makes everything from dresses to pants to blazers and more with the professional woman's needs in mind.

    While one popular way to shop on MM.LaFleur is the brand’s Bento Box — a predetermined box of workwear staples handpicked by a clever MM stylist based on answers you provide to a short quiz — you can also buy pieces from the company a la carte. I’m particularly fond of this optionality, as most clothing subscription services have you buying en masse or not at all. With MM.LaFleur, however, you have the flexibility of purchasing the specific pieces that you need in your closet.

    One of those pieces is almost assuredly going to be the Morandi 2.0 sweater. As we’ve noted previously about this garment, it’s made of a super-soft and machine-washable Merino wool and comes in a neutral almond color. Thanks to its subtle shawl collar, you’ll get a bit more structure and a kimono-esque silhouette that is eminently flattering, regardless of whether you wrap the tie around your waist, leave it undone, or tie it up in the back.

    Another great option is the Daphne Sweater, a cashmere piece that MM.LaFleur calls “the softest cardigan of all time.” It has a shawl neck for an easy aesthetic, and side vents have a great slimming effect. When tied, you can accentuate your figure, but when left open, the Daphne drapes quite elegantly. In many ways, the Daphne is just a lighter, cashmere version of the Morandi, so it’s a great alternative for different seasons.

    One thing to note — both the Daphne and the Morandi 2.0 are on the expensive end at $265. But their quality is certainly top notch, so if you're investing in this sweater as a piece you'll wear all year round in the office, it's worth it.

    MM. LaFleur also has many other sweater styles, including what it calls a Jardigan (jacket-cardigan), if you're not into the Daphne or Morandi.

    Pros: Beautiful and work appropriate knitwear, flattering on a variety of body shapes, great quality and construction

    Cons: Expensive

    Shop all MM. LaFleur sweaters for $125 to $395



    The best sweaters for wearing in the great outdoors

    Why you'll love it: For sweaters that can stand up to the elements, you’ll want to go back to the basics with the ever-dependable L.L. Bean.

    It’s one thing to have a sweater that can stand up to the chill of your office AC. It’s another thing altogether to have a sweater that can stand up to the chill of the winter air. And if you’re an adventurer looking for the latter, then, to be honest, the chic sweaters from Everlane and MM.LaFleur just won’t cut it. Instead, you should be looking to L.L. Bean.

    L.L. Bean has long hung its hat on the time-tested quality of its products. Things that you buy from L.L. Bean — whether they’re a pair of boots, a fishing rod, or a sweater — are designed to last a long time, if not forever. To that end, the clothes are well made and extremely comfortable, and when it comes to L.L. Bean’s selection of women’s knits, you may be pleasantly surprised to find how extensive and, indeed, varied it really is.

    From fleeces to cardigans to cable knit turtleneck sweaters, no matter what you’re looking for and no matter what purpose you’re trying to serve, you’ll probably find something that fits the bill.

    I love the Mixed Cable Sweater, L.L. Bean’s essential crewneck made of premium combed cotton and a mix of cables and stitchwork. It’s just fitted enough that it’ll keep in your body warmth, but not so fitted that you can’t wear something underneath the sweater for extra insulation. And while other knit sweaters often begin to pill after just a few wears, L.L. Bean’s yarns are carefully spun to prevent pilling, and the tightness of the knit helps the sweater keep its shape.

    Or, there’s the Signature Cotton/Linen Ragg Sweater, a sleek piece you may be surprised bears the L.L. Bean tag. It’s super cozy and combines cotton with linen for an unrivaled softness and truly unique texture. I also appreciate that it falls a bit lower on the hip than other sweaters, making it a great pair with some leggings when it’s the winter and you can’t be bothered to wear pants anymore.

    L.L. Bean’s sweaters are also extremely affordable, with most pieces coming in at well under $70.

    Pros: Great quality clothes that last a long time, inexpensive, wide range of styles and colors

    Cons: May not always be the most fashion-forward choice

    Shop L.L. Bean sweaters for $30 to $189



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    dress code tshirt

    In 1969, the US Supreme Court ruled that when it comes to school dress codes, "Students don't shed their constitutional rights at the school house gates." But the struggle between school administrators' policies and students' individuality continues.

    Students and parents are pushing back against dress codes that disproportionately affect female students, who are often told that their manner of dress is too distracting to boys and miss class time to face disciplinary action.

    Here are eight outfits that schools said violated their dress codes — and how the students wearing them responded.

    Mallory Johnston was suspended when she broke her school's dress code banning visible bra straps in protest.

    Mallory Johnston and Grace Wood, students at Essex High School in Essex, Ontario, protested their school's policy of suspending girls whose bra straps were showing.

    Both students encouraged others to dress the way they wanted. Johnston hung posters up around the school with messages like "Stop objectifying women," which were swiftly taken down by the vice principal. She was then suspended for breaking the dress code in protest.

    Mike Hawkins, the school's principal, told the CBC that "anyone needs approval to post anything around the school."

    Johnston stands by her demonstrations.

    "I spoke out because it was very degrading to keep getting pulled out of my education for something so silly. I knew going forward with this would get backlash, but it was a risk I was willing to take because I believe that something should be changed," she said. "I believe in equality and women's rights. I should be able to speak my opinion without being disciplined."



    A 17-year-old said she was told to put Band-Aids on her breasts while wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt after school officials claimed her nipples were distracting male students.

    Lizzy Martinez, a junior at Braden River High School in Bradenton, Florida, went to school wearing a long-sleeved grey t-shirt without a bra because she didn't want straps to irritate a bad sunburn. She said she was then pulled out of class for distracting male students when a boy laughed and told his friends that she wasn't wearing a bra.

    "I decided not to wear a bra today and got pulled out of class [because] one of my teachers complained that it was a 'distraction to boys in my class,'" she wrote on Twitter. "My school basically told me that boys' education is far more important than mine and I should be ashamed of my body."

    Braden River High School issued a statement in response saying that Martinez violated the district's Code of Student Conduct, which prohibits students from wearing attire that distracts others.

    "It is undisputed that this matter should have been handled differently at the school level," general counsel for the School District of Manatee County Mitchell Teitelbaum previously wrote to INSIDER in a statement. "Corrective measures have been taken to prevent a recurrence in the way these matters will be addressed in the future."



    A high school senior was told to retake her yearbook picture because she wore a sweater that exposed her shoulders — but she started a petition instead.

    Maine South High School senior Grace Goble wore an off-the-shoulder top for her yearbook photo and was told she would have to retake the photo due to violating the dress code.

    She started a petition called "Maine South High School: end the over-sexualization of young women's bodies" on Change.org in response.

    Her school principal then told her that she wouldn't have to retake her photo and asked her to be on a team of students who will revise the dress code.

    "I was pleasantly surprised [by] how willing my principal was to take actions and hear my thoughts. He's new to the school this year, so I had only briefly met him before this," she previously told INSIDER. "I'm proud that I was able to make a change, even if it was just at my school. I hope that others see the power of an individual standing up for what they believe in and do the same."



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    Venom

    There are two big movies coming out this weekend. One of them is Bradley Cooper's "A Star is Born," which is loved by critics and expected to sweep the Oscars in major categories. The other? Not so much. 

    It's "Venom," which does not exist within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is produced by Sony. "Venom" stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Williams said that the main reason she took the role was the chance to work with Tom Hardy, but later mentioned money was a factor too.

    And critics say "Venom" is a mess, and it currently has a 27% score on Rotten Tomatoes. But even the most scathing reviews of the movie indicated that it is still a good time, because it is so awesomely bad that you can't help but enjoy yourself. 

    Hardy, Williams, and Ahmed do what they can with a clunky, boring plot, but the film doesn't seem to know what its own tone is. The movie is, essentially, exactly what you'd expect after seeing the hilarious trailer

    Here's what the critics are saying about "Venom," in theaters Friday:

    SEE ALSO: The 7 TV shows coming to Netflix in October that are worth watching

    "It's a mess, but wow, is it ever a fun, fascinating mess."

    Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service



    "A movie that initially seemed just-plain-bad becomes so-bad-it's-good. Or maybe it's just plain good. It's been a full day since I've seen it, and honestly, I'm still not sure. Either way, I laughed a lot."

    Angie Han, Mashable 



    "It would be true to say that the tongue and Tom Hardy are the making of Sony's venture into the Marvel Universe."

    Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile



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    babadook sundance

    It's just starting to get chilly and decorative gourds are popping up everywhere: That's right, it's already Halloween Month.

    Before October 31 rolls around, get the spooky vibe going by curling up with a bowl of popcorn and a scary movie to watch after dark.

    Below, see 11 classic and hidden gems you can stream right now.

    "The Babadook" (2014) might be one of the best horror films of all time, and it'll chill you to the bone.

    If you're itching for a thrill but want something with more substance than your run-of-the-mill slasher movie, director Jennifer Kent's "The Babadook" is a must-see.

    In the film, a traumatized child's behavior crosses the line from troubling to frightening just as a strange book appears in the house.

    "The Babadook" has all the jump scares and dark imagery you want out of a horror movie, but it's based around a disturbing, psychological plot.

    It's available to stream on Netflix.



    For disturbing gore, watch “Raw” (2016) on Netflix.

    Director Julia Ducournau's film about a vegetarian-turned-cannibal was one of the most talked-about films of 2017 — in part because some audience members reportedly vomited or passed out when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    Those with strong stomachs can find it now on Netflix.



    "The Presence" (2014) might be up your alley if you're a fan of "The Blair Witch Project."

    This German found-footage thriller by director Daniele Grieco follows three young people who camp out in a supposedly haunted, abandoned castle, hoping to catch paranormal activity on camera.

    Much like "Blair Witch"— which is available on Amazon Prime, by the way — there are many long expanses of time where nothing happens (or so it seems), punctuated by alarming moments that keep you on your toes until the very end.

    Catch it on Netflix.



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    woman sad thinking listening

    • A loud coworker can derail your productivity and make the working environment unpleasant.  
    • But telling a noisy colleague to pipe down isn't a pleasant task. Even though they're being rude, it's natural to want to avoid confrontation. 
    • Luckily, there are ways to get your coworker to be a little quieter without ruffling any feathers in the office.

    If you have ever worked in an open office or cube farm, there's a very good chance you've dealt with a noisy neighbor. 

    "Loud and talkative coworkers can be one of the most annoying distractions on earth — and, unfortunately, they're pretty common in today's workplace," said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job." 

    Sometimes, the noise will consume you to a point where it feels like it's all you can hear. You know you have to say something to make it stop, but telling your coworker to put a sock in it seems uncouth. 

    "Dealing with issues like this at work can be very awkward," said Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of "You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work."Most people want to avoid conflict, as it's natural to want to get along and be liked by all your colleagues and to not be seen as high maintenance or a whiner, so the tendency is to grit your teeth and put up with it." 

    But when you're dealing with a protracted situation that affects your livelihood and productivity — for instance, when your neighbor's voice carries into your client phone call, or distracts you from being able to compose an email — you know the line's been crossed and you must take action.

    "It's time to prepare for a diplomatic conversation and choose your words carefully," Taylor said.

    Here's how to have that conversation, or go about it in a more roundabout way:

    Jacquelyn Smith contributed to a previous version of this article.

    SEE ALSO: 17 ways to hack your workspace for optimal productivity

    DON'T MISS: 43 high-paying jobs for people who don't like stress

    Have a conversation in a neutral zone

    Taylor suggested taking your colleague to lunch or finding a neutral, quiet room or office to meet in.

    "Regardless of the venue, first discuss common interests inside and outside of work. Be kind and friendly."

    Then try something like: "Hey, I need your advice on something. I know it can be challenging working in such close quarters. Is there anything I can do to improve your work experience being that we work so close by each other? Do I tap my pen or slam my cabinet? You never know until you ask!" 

    "Then, await a response before bringing up the issue," Taylor said. "And when you do, say something along the lines of: 'I really appreciate your input; thank you. For me, it's sometimes difficult to concentrate, as I'm a bit sensitive to noise levels around me. I was wondering if you might have any suggestions.'"

    She recommended that you offer a compromise if necessary, such as morning or afternoon times being more critical for you to have more quiet time.

    Then, thank your colleague for taking the time to listen to your concerns and end with a positive note. 

    If you don't want to confront your coworker right away, here are some other suggestions.



    Be sure that you're not over-reacting

    Have you done an objective reality check? Are you new to the environment and unaccustomed to the noise factor?

    "Make sure that the issue is not partially your own, such as noise sensitivity on your part or really needing your space," Taylor said.



    Understand that you and your coworkers have different tolerance levels for noise

    Disputes over noise levels can sometimes be an issue that separates out the introverts, who get their energy from quiet spaces, and the extroverts, who need to refuel their batteries with social interactions.

    "Offering dedicated space and even times when the two different personality types can refuel in the manner best suited to them can help immensely," Kerr said.



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