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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    GitHub_Keynote_Day_1 2 Chris Wanstrath

    Thousands of programming languages exist, but there are some trusty ones that developers turn to again and again.

    GitHub, the startup at the center of open-source software development, tracks these programming trends. After all, it’s a hub for software projects that developers can browse and contribute to with over 3.1 million developers and 2.1 million organizations. Its annual Octoverse report has top insights on the the inner goings-on in the world of software developers. 

    GitHub is about to be acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion, and it’s quickly growing. There were 8 million new users on the platform this past year — that’s more than in GitHub’s first six years combined. And it’s growing quickly globally, especially in countries like China, India, Singapore, Nigeria, Brazil, and more. Indeed, it's been compared to Facebook, in the sense that it's the home to several of the largest communities of programmers.

    Here are the top languages they're using, according to GitHub:

    #10: Ruby

    Ruby is a dynamic, open source programming language that focuses on simplicity. It’s been used to build some of the apps we use each day. Ruby on Rails, a popular web-application framework, is implemented in Ruby. In fact, apps like Twitch, SoundCloud, Hulu, Zendesk, Square and GitHub were built with Ruby on Rails.

    #9: C

    C is an old one, but a good one. One of the oldest programming languages, it was invented in the 1970s. Even today, it has become one of the most widely used programming languages of all time.

    #8: Shell

    A shell script is a computer program that’s designed to instruct an operating system to run certain commands. Shell scripts can manipulate files, execute programs and more. It's especially popular with systems administrators. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Donald Trump signs bills to promote women in STEM

    You can now add "horseface" to the list of insults President Donald Trump has hurled at women publicly, which also includes "fat pigs,""slobs," and "dogs," to name a few.

    Trump earned some criticism on Tuesday for calling the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels "Horseface," but his history of making brusque remarks about women's appearances goes back decades to his time as owner of the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

    Trump's latest insult directed at Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, comes after a judge threw out the adult-film star's defamation lawsuit against Trump. Daniels says she had a sexual affair with Trump in 2006. Trump denies this.

    When the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape threatened to derail Trump's election campaign in 2016, Trump shrugged off the remarks as "locker room talk."

    The majority of US women disapprove of Trump's job performance as president and say they prefer Democratic candidates in the November midterm elections, The Washington Post reported in July citing an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll.

    Here are the 11 most insulting things Trump has said about women:

    SEE ALSO: The 22 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct

    Trump said of Hillary Clinton: "When she walked in front of me, believe me, I wasn’t impressed."

    It's unclear whether Trump was talking about Hillary Clinton's physical appearance when he made this remark in front of his supporters at a campaign rally in 2016.

    Trump called Clinton a "nasty woman" during one heated presidential debate in 2016.

    When Clinton called Trump a sexist leading up to the November election, Trump responded that he wasn't and called her an "enabler" of her husband's affairs. 

    Clinton has recently came under fire from women's rights groups by saying that her husband Bill Clinton's extra-marital affair with then 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky was not an abuse of power. 


    Trump said of his former Republican primary competitor, Carly Fiorina: "Look at that face, would anyone vote for that?"

    Trump, during a heated election campaign in 2016 frequently launched rhetorical broadsides at opponents, but seemed to hit harder at the women in the field, usually targeting their appearance.

    He demonstrated that with his then-Republican primary competitor, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of the Hewlett-Packard company.

    In the interview with Rolling Stone, Trump took a tone of "disgust" describing Fiorina's appearance during a television interview.

    "Look at that face," he said, according to Rolling Stone. "Would anyone vote for that?"

    Trump his former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, "That dog,” after she was ousted from the administration.

    Trump the former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, a "crazed, crying lowlife" and a "dog" in August in response to her saying Trump had exhibited signs of dementia and that she had proof he previously used the N-word.

    Trump adamantly refused ever using the racial slur, saying that word wasn't in his vocabulary.

    Omarosa said she had plans to release a number of secret recordings from inside the White House that would expose Trump as a racist and a sexist.

    One tape that recorded her being fired by White House chief of staff John Kelly shows that Kelly was worried that Newman would reveal harmful information about the Trump administration after her departure.

    "He has absolutely no respect for women, for African-Americans, as evidenced by him instructing the chief of staff to lock me for two hours in the Situation Room, to harass me, to threaten me and say that things could get very ugly for me and that there would be damage to my reputation," Newman told MSNBC in August.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    PUBG Fortnite Blackout

    Video games have entered the era of the battle royale, a subgenre of shooting games that pits 100 players against each other on a single map in a fight for survival. The genre exploded with popularity last year with a pair of new games, "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" and "Fortnite: Battle Royale," introducing millions of players to the battle royale concept.

    This year both "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield," the two largest multiplayer shooting franchises, announced that their games would feature battle royale modes. While several games have already tried to mimic the success of "Fortnite" and "PUBG," the big budget production teams of "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield" threaten to deliver a more complete product. Blackout, "Call of Duty's" battle royale mode, launched with "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" on October 12th and has already been commended for its polished take on the genre.

    As developers work to create their ideal version of battle royale, let's take a look at why the genre is a hit and what makes the experience of each battle royale game unique.

    SEE ALSO: Basketball season is here: Here are the 10 best NBA players, according to the 'NBA 2K19' video game

    How does the battle royale genre work?

    The genre is loosely inspired by the Japanese novel, manga and film "Battle Royale," which focuses on a class of high school students forced to fight to the death while trapped on a remote island. In the video game version of this concept, up to 100 players deploy onto a single map and must find weapons to defend themselves. As time goes on, a kill field begins to close in around the map, constantly shrinking the amount of safe space for players to survive in. Inevitably, they are forced to kill each other until only one player or team is left standing.

    Battle Royale games usually last 20 minutes at most, though the vast majority of players don't make it that far. As soon as you die in a round, you're free to join the next batch of 99 players in a fresh round. With a massive map, little waiting time and dozens of players to interact with, battle royale games cater to a variety of playstyles. Groups of friends can join together and hunt for other players across the map, while lone wolf gamers can bide their time and hide until there are just a few survivors.

    Comparing the current generation of battle royale games.

    "PlayerUnknown's BattleGrounds," usually called "PUBG" for short, distilled the battle royale style, taking influences from survival shooters like "H1Z1" and "DayZ." The game entered early access for PC in March 2017 and sold one million copies in its first 16 days. "PUBG" has continued to expand with an official release for Xbox One and a mobile version of the game for Android and iOS.

    'Fortnite' wasn't originally a battle royale game.

    "Fortnite" originally launched as a four-player cooperative survival game in July 2017, but after seeing the success of "PUBG,""Fortnite" developer Epic Games decided to release its own free-to-play battle royale mode in September 2017. "Fortnite: Battle Royale" has skyrocketed in the year since, reporting more than 120 million players worldwide and becoming the first game to feature cross platform play between PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android and iOS devices.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Alma Harry Ritter

    Non-invasive, simple, and personal. That's how Alma wants to remake the experience of going to see a therapist. 

    Stepping out of the elevator on the 21st floor at 515 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, you might just think you're headed into a meeting at any other office space housing startups of various sizes.

    Inside, however, the floor is home to Alma, a co-working space geared specifically toward therapists looking for a place to meet with their patients. Alma, which has raised $4.5 million in seed funding, opened its first location on October 10. 

    Therapists who become Alma members can use the space to hold individual therapy meetings and group sessions. 

    Before starting Alma, CEO Harry Ritter was vice president of care delivery at health insurer Oscar Health. There, he helped create 'the doctor's office of the future.' Oscar had worked to bring mental health professionals into the space, but Ritter, a physician by training, noticed that they faced key challenges: the therapists often practiced on their own and space to meet with patients was hard to find and secure for therapists with patchwork schedules.

    So he created Alma to fix that. So far, Alma's signed on about 30 therapists, and it has the capacity to support around 115 providers.

    Take a look inside the practice, where succulents and calming spaces abound. 

    SEE ALSO: Take a look inside Johnson & Johnson's new startup incubator in NYC's SoHo neighborhood, that feels more like a rustic-chic coffee shop with jewel-toned couches

    Alma is a membership-based community for mental health providers, which include therapists as well as nutritionists and acupuncturists. Through a monthly membership fee, Alma provides the physical space they might need, but therapists can set their own rates for patients. Getting off the elevator, there are plants and wood paneling to greet you before entering the practice.

    Patients are given a card from Alma, and they can show that to the doorman to avoid the sometimes intimidating process of having to check in with an ID card. Once they get up to the 21st floor, they can ring the doorbell to be let in.

    Walking in, the first thing you come across is a waiting area for clients. There are mugs for tea, couches, and bookshelves in this space. The couches were designed to face in the same direction to bypass any uncomfortable feelings patients might have encountering other people while waiting for their appointment to begin.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jennifer garner and erwin

    Nobody knows the pressure of nailing perfect makeup like an artist who perfects the faces of Hollywood's elite.

    With over 30 years of experience, Philippines-born, New York and LA-trained, and Washington DC-based makeup artist Erwin Gomez is a go-to for the likes of Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Rachel McAdams, and Paris Hilton.

    Working out of his studio, KARMA by Erwin Gomez, he told INSIDER that he is consistently tasked to make celebrity clients look "on point"— particularly when it comes to eyebrows.

    "I was drawing faces when I was younger and learned about bone structure in the skull," he said. "It's been an incredible gift."

    paris hilton and erwin

    It's not just celebrities who "love to look flawless," though. Of course, Gomez also knows a thing or two about the makeup habits of us mere mortals — and he says there are a few crucial errors he sees his clients make.

    Here are the 6 mistakes women make with their makeup, according to Gomez, and what they should be doing instead.

    They try to follow trends.

    "First, never follow trends," Gomez said. Instead, he said you should be following the bone structure of your face.

    "The biggest mistake people make it trying to follow a trend and looking at magazines," he went on.

    He said he recently had a 65-year-old woman coming in wanting "so much glitter" when a "more mature" woman should look for a matte finish.

    "What I see a lot [is] someone going into department stores, and end up getting so much... having the wrong sales person trying to sell them something they should not be getting."

    They over-contour.

    "Instagram has taken over [with] contouring, everybody wants to contour," Gomez said. However, he stressed that people need to "learn how to blend so it doesn't look to clowny or heavy."

    "It's about having the right cover," he said.

    They don't match their eyebrows to the shape of their face.

    When it comes to your face shape, "you want to match the frame to your eyebrows," Gomez said.

    "It's like having a 4x6 picture, you need a frame that fits that," he went on.

    He also said he often sees people take the tail of the eyebrows off which "doesn't look polished or structured."

    Oh — and avoid dark eyebrow pencil that "looks like tattoos."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Neil Patric Hariss how I Met your mother himy scared dog

    Before you run off to your nearest shelter to pick up the dog of your dreams, you need to make sure your home is prepared for your newly adopted pal.

    Adequately preparing your home for your new arrival allows you to focus on helping your new dog adjust when you first bring them home. Done properly, your new dog will adjust quickly into being a new part of your family.

    Many of our suggestions are common sense, but INSIDER also chatted with an expert to find some often overlooked aspects of preparing your home.

    Before you do anything, it's important to do some research.

    What kind of dog do you want to adopt? What kind of food will they need? What size dog toys are safe for them to chew? How much space does your new dog need to be happy? What dog foods have been recalled lately?

    These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you start prepping your home.

    You'll want to make sure you stock up on supplies and toys.

    Most new dog owners will need a few things. You'll need to invest in some high-quality food for your dog, a crate, treats, a collar, leash, toys, food bowls, and poop bags.

    Ryan Parker from The Humane Society of Ocean City told INSIDER, "Stay away from rawhide bones. The way that they're produced involves bleach and other chemicals. Rawhide bones don't actually digest in the stomach. They can block the digestive tract and cause the need for a few thousand dollar surgery. It can be easily avoided by opting for a chew alternative."

    Get wires out of the way.

    Ryan Parker from The Humane Society of Ocean City told INSIDER, "Wires tend to be ideal for chewing and pulling apart. You'll want to hide them away and invest in some outlet covers."

    In addition to keeping your new dog safe, hiding away wires will prevent you from having to replace that expensive stereo system.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    It takes plenty of good luck to make it in the world of entertainment— maybe because there's a fair amount of bad luck working against you.

    Over the years, people have said that actors, musicians, crew members, and more have fallen victim to strings of bad luck that are believed to be caused by curses or hexes.

    Here are 19 entertainment "curses" that many people believe are actually real.

    People say there's a Playboy centerfold curse.

    Playboy may today be struggling with its identity, but in years past, many women and celebrities have appeared in the magazine or as centerfolds.

    Some people claim, however, that there is a centerfold curse. According to The Richest, 16 Playboy centerfolds have all died under the age of 50, whether by drug overdose, car accident, murder, or suicide. It's a fact the Washington Post also pointed out in 2007 after the untimely death of Anna Nicole Smith.

    This is likely not a curse — hundreds of women have been centerfolds in the past without incident — but more to do with our culture at large.

    "There've been some that do too much booze and too much drugs, just as in the general population," former Playboy editor Gretchen Edgren, author of "The Playmate Book: Six Decades of Centerfolds," told the Washington Post.

    During filming of "The Passion of the Christ," cast and crew were struck by lightning.

    Many came to believe that Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" was cursed because, while filming the scene of the Sermon on the Mount, leading actor Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning and, immediately afterward, so was assistant director Jan Michelini. It was actually the second time that Michelini had been struck by lightning on set.

    The movie was likely not cursed given that the film grossed $622 million worldwide and the movie was nominated for three Academy Awards.


    Over 90 members of the 220 crew that worked on "The Conqueror" got cancer.

    Some thought the 1956 movie "The Conqueror" was cursed because, of 220 cast and crew members from Hollywood, 91 contracted cancer by 1979, according to People.

    It was later ascertained that they were likely infected from fallout from the nearby atomic testing range at Yucca Flat, Nevada. The movie had filmed in 1954 in nearby Saint George, Utah, which was also later found to have a very high rate of cancer among its population.

    It's a problem that still haunts the area today.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mistake fall

    • In March, I left New York to travel around the world as Business Insider's international correspondent. In total, in my life, I've traveled to 30-plus countries.
    • While traveling I've made tons of dumb mistakes that I'd like to avoid in the future. Everything from getting pickpocketed in the Mexico City metro to getting tricked by a fake taxi. 
    • Learn from my mistakes and save yourself some aggravation.

    The idea that travel is an adventure is one of the oldest clichès in the book. But, it's a clichè because it's true. And, on adventures, things go wrong. Often.

    I've made so many mistakes while on the road that it would be impossible for me to recount them all. I've worn the wrong footwear on hikes and ended up with blisters as big as my heel.  I've been pickpocketed not once, but twice. I've taken a metro in the wrong direction a dozen times. The mistakes never end.

    But that's also what I love about travel: the constant sense of exploration, of trial and error, of sketching out new terrain on your mental map.

    Below, I've collected as many of the mistakes as I can remember that I've made while traveling. There are a lot. Perhaps you'll learn from my mistakes and save yourself some aggravation. 

    SEE ALSO: I traveled the world for 6 months, and here's the single best piece of advice I can give you for any trip you take

    DON'T MISS: I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I've found real life doesn't always live up to the hype. These are the most disappointing places I've been.

    1. I forgot to print out my boarding pass before getting on a budget airline. I had to pay $34 to print out my boarding pass at airport check-in.

    I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I still made an expensive budget airline mistake that should serve as a warning to anyone»

    2. In Bali, I made the mistake of wearing flip-flops while driving a scooter bike. When my hand slipped on the throttle with my foot on the ground, it dragged and I ended up with a nasty cut.

    3. On my last night in Tokyo, I decided it was a good idea to spend the night out drinking at an izakaya and singing karaoke. I woke up in a stupor, barely made my 8 a.m. flight, and was nauseous for the entire 13-hour flight to New York.

    A little-known travel app that is Airbnb-meets-Tinder helped me have the wildest night in Tokyo partying until sunrise»


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Google is a dream job for many workers in the tech industry.
    • We spoke to former Google employees to find out why they decided to leave the company.
    • Their answers ranged from frustration with company politics to a desire to take the next step in their career, whether that's learning new skills, building a new company, or becoming a social-media influencer.

    Google is routinely rated one of the best places to work in the US.

    It's no surprise that with a median salary over $160,000, generous benefits packages, and perks like free gourmet food, massages, and music lessons, Google is considered a dream job by so many people in the tech industry.

    So why would anyone ever want to leave?

    We spoke to several former Googlers to find out why they left the company, compiling their responses with those of other former employees who have spoken publicly.

    Their reasons include everything from frustration with company politics to simply wanting to feel more freedom at a smaller company. One former Googler even quit to become a social-media influencer.

    Read on to see the reasons 15 former Googlers gave for leaving the company.

    SEE ALSO: 3 former Google execs explain why they left a company where just about everyone wants to work

    DON'T MISS: A millennial who left her 6-figure job at Google to be a full-time social media influencer explains why she was willing to take the risk

    Liz Wessel, cofounder and CEO of WayUp

    Former position at Google: Product marketing manager

    Why she left: Wessel told Business Insider she knew it was time to leave Google when she couldn't stop thinking about her next career move.

    "If you can't do a good job at your job anymore because you're spending all of your time thinking about another job opportunity, that's probably a good sign," she said.

    Tyler Breisacher, software engineer at Hustle

    Former position at Google: Software developer

    Why he left: Breisacher was one of about a dozen Googlers who left the company in April to protest Google's controversial collaboration in which it provides the US Department of Defense with artificial-intelligence technology.

    After thousands of employees signed a petition, Google announced it would cease work on the project next year.

    "This is obviously a big deal, and it's very encouraging, but this only happened after months and months of people signing petitions and [internal debate] and people quitting," Breisacher told Business Insider.

    Breisacher said his decision to leave was also influenced by Google's sponsorship of a conservative political conference and its failure to act decisively after YouTube videos related to LGBT issues were flagged as inappropriate on the site.

    "When I started, Google had a reputation as a pro-gay, pro-trans company," Breisacher, who is gay, told Business Insider. "I guess I'm disillusioned. I know that Google is a for-profit company and you shouldn't expect it to do things purely for the good of the world. But in the past, we would expect leaders to listen to the employees and to think carefully about issues and not to cross certain lines.

    "Things have changed at Google."

    Krystal Bick, social-media influencer

    Former position at Google: Product marketing manager

    Why she left: Bick left her six-figure job at Google in 2015 to pursue her side hustle: being a social-media influencer.

    She knew it was time to leave after she recognized that influencer marketing was seeing an influx of advertising dollars. Now, she earns as much as four figures for a single sponsored post and five figures for brand ambassadorships.

    More importantly, she said, being an entrepreneur is liberating.

    "There's 90% certainty, and there's 10% of 'this could really fail miserably, and then I don't know what I'm going to do,'"Bick told Business Insider. "But I think I was comfortable enough with the fact that even if I fall flat on my face, at least I tried it, and I tried it at a moment where I feel like it really was an opportunity to try it."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The cooler months bring plenty of festive fun and merriment, but one other common occurrence this season is the dreaded strep throat. It comes quickly, and with a vengeance, greeting you in the morning with a raw, scratchy feeling in the throat that you just can't shake. Worst of all, it makes eating all of the delicious fall and winter treats nearly impossible — every bite feels like swallowing knives.

    As tempting as it might be, it's important not to skip meals when you are stuck with strep throat. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating the appropriate foods will actually help relieve some of the pain associated with this sickness. While crispy, crunchy foods, acidic juices, and spicy recipes are off the table, there are still plenty of foods to enjoy that will actually help you get over strep even faster (along with doctor-prescribed medications and plenty of rest).

    Whip up a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes.

    As long as your bowl of mashed potatoes aren't piping hot (ouch!), this is an ideal meal to eat when you are stuck with strep throat. The starchy potatoes are also a good source of fiber and potassium— just be sure not to overload the dish with butter and milk.

    Soothe inflammation with broth.

    Bone broth is just one of the latest health crazes right now, but it may be able to help. According to this study in the American Journal of Therapeutics, there is some evidence that the carnosine and isopeptide of carnosine in bone broth may help stop inflammation in the throat.

    If nothing else, a warm bowl of any type of broth can temporarily soothe the pain.

    Slurp cream- and broth- based soups.

    Whether you opt for a hot (but not too hot) bowl of chicken noodle or a cold, creamy gazpacho, soups of nearly every kind with help soothe your throat when you have strep. You'll get even more health benefits if you choose a soup that is both low in sodium and high in nutrient-rich vegetables.

    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.

    best halloween costumes

    • Finding the right Halloween costume is supposed to be fun, right? But that's not always the case.

    • You want to look your best for the office party or make sure your kid loves her trick-or-treating getup, but lacking the luxury of time and facing the reality of price can make the whole costume shopping experience a fright.

    • Amazon is our top pick for online Halloween costume shopping because of the vastness of options available and the competitive pricing.

    Back in 2011, my wife and I were invited to an epic Halloween party hosted by a well-known actress. We decided to go with a couples' costume, and soon hit on the perfect choice: Mario and Luigi. Over the course of a week or two, we procured baggy overalls at a thrift shop, fake mustaches from a costume store, and a red M and green L hat online. Bright T-shirts, white gloves, and the controllers from my original 1980s-vintage NES system topped off our ensembles, which, I'm happy to report, went over swimmingly at the event.

    Last year, in quite a different phase of life, we spent many hours across multiple nights creating a school bus costume for our then four-year-old son because, of course, he wanted to be a bus. It featured suspenders, lettering, and even a fold-out stop sign.

    This year we have an infant and less time than ever, so the homemade costumes are out for now. Ironically, it won't be hard to find a Halloween outfit for my son, because guess what he wants to go as? Mario. No need to make that one by hand!

    If you're committed to finding a great Halloween costume for yourself, your kids, your partner, or your crew, there's no need to run around town from store to store, plying the dusty aisles of those pop-up Halloween shops overloaded with yesteryear's costumes and accessories. Just go online and find the perfect ensemble no matter what your taste, timing, or budget may be.

    We've broken things down by category and retailer so you can save even more time looking for the best Halloween costumes and spend even more time tricking and/or treating. Or doing your job or getting groceries or whatever you need to do this October.

    Here are the best places to buy Halloween costumes:

    • Best Halloween costumes overall: Amazon
    • Best Halloween costumes for kids: Nordstrom
    • Best cheap Halloween costumes: Walmart
    • Best Halloween costumes for families: Target
    • Best custom Halloween costumes: Etsy

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

    The best Halloween costumes overall

    Why you'll love it: This is Amazon, people ... if you can't find the Halloween costume you're looking for here, it's either a custom-made one-off or something you dreamed up yourself.

    To demonstrate the primacy of Amazon when it comes to Halloween costume options, I tried punching specific terms into its search bar. First I went with "Halloween costumes for men," which returned more than 70,000 results. Then I tried "Halloween costumes for dogs." That netted more than 4,000 results.

    Next, I took a cue from the website's own auto-fill search terms and tried "Halloween costumes for women plus size," and that came back with more than 9,000 hits. Though I did notice a men's Captain Hook-style getup in there, so don't take these figures as precise or anything.

    You can search by category on Amazon's Halloween Shop page. Categories include women's men's, kid's, superheroes, classic, pop culture, and more.

    You go to Amazon to buy staples, toilet paper, snacks, televisions, calendars, and basically everything else ever produced by humankind, so of course, it's also a great place to shop for Halloween costumes.

    The site's layout is crisp and clean, with each costume easy to review quickly thanks to images and descriptive titles displayed on the search results page, and in more detail when you click on one that catches your eye. Perhaps best of all about the Amazon Halloween costume shopping experience is the plethora of commentary left by previous customers, who rate and review past purchases for the benefit of later shoppers.

    If more than 900 people have given a DC Comics Deluxe Batgirl Adult Costume an overall four-star-plus rating, then you can probably trust it. And potentially even more valuable are the low rated, oft-criticized options that you should strike from consideration.

    On the other hand, shopping for costumes from Amazon can be overwhelming if you don't have a starting point idea, and there are always potential quality issues as the company so often acts as a broker between third parties.

    A writer from Reviewed called Amazon a great place to shop for Halloween costumes thanks to the range of selection, but especially because of "last-minute costume" options available via "free two-day shipping" with Prime.

    Pros: Vast selection, multiple categories, good prices

    Cons: Occasional quality issues

    Shop for all sorts of Halloween costumes on Amazon at all sorts of prices

    The best Halloween costumes for kids

    Why you'll love it: While Nordstrom might not have the largest selection of Halloween costumes for kids, the catalog it does offer includes only well-made products from trusted brands.

    Retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon dwarf Nordstrom’s selection of kids’ Halloween costumes in terms of magnitude, but for the parents who put quality over quantity, this is the place to shop.

    The company only sells Halloween costumes from a few brands, including Melissa & Doug, Baby Aspen, and Lovelane, to name a few, but every kids' costume and accessory you'll find on Nordstrom's site is reliably well-made. Looking through the site, I couldn't find any of the options with less than a four-star rating, and most enjoyed full five-star status.

    You'll spend a bit more on a kid's costume from Nordstrom, but with the price comes an outfit that's actually comfortable for your child and that will last for several trick-or-treating sessions, so a sibling, other relative, or friend of the family could make use of the same ensemble in some later October.

    You will also appreciate the decidedly classy selection on hand. There's not a hint of sexuality in any of the costumes, nor are any of them gratuitously violent in nature. Unless you consider a charming pirate or ninja costume violent.

    And finally, with the exception of a few clearly female-centric costumes, like a princess outfit or a stylist's costume complete with pink vests and headbands, almost every children's Halloween costume sold by Nordstrom is refreshingly gender neutral.

    All that said, the selection is indeed limited, so you might have to look elsewhere for junior's Halloween gear even if you do value quality.

    Pros: High-quality costumes, trusted brand names, great ratings from past customers

    Cons: Limited selection, higher price point

    Shop all high-quality kids' Halloween costumes at Nordstrom

    The best cheap Halloween costumes

    Why you'll love it: At the end of the day, as it were, Halloween is just a single day, so why spend an arm and a leg on your costume? Walmart's prices are so low you can easily justify the disposable nature of a single-use Halloween outfit.

    Most of the many costumes for sale from Walmart cost between $20 and $30, fine pricing considering the large selection that's spread across many categories in terms of age, gender, and theme.

    But of even more note is the large number of costumes for sale from Walmart priced under $20. In fact, the company even sells a number of costumes for less than ten bucks. So if you're on a tight budget or you simply don't want to spend a lot of cash on a costume that you or your kid will wear for all of a single afternoon, Walmart is your go-to place.

    In addition to all the affordable Halloween costumes you'll find available on Walmart's site, there is also a great selection of low-cost costume accessories. From wizard's wands to funny hats to capes to wigs and more, you can find plenty of cheap accessory items that might just be the grace note to your Halloween accouterment.

    And if you're on a budget and running out of time to find a Halloween costume, you'll appreciate the fact that many options from Walmart are available with fast two-day shipping. Or of course you could always haul yourself to the actual store, but I thought we were trying to avoid that here in the modern era.

    A piece from Finder prominently featured Walmart when discussing ways to "make your dollars go the distance" when shopping for Halloween costumes.

    Pros: Great low prices, large selection of accessories, fast shipping on many products

    Cons: With cheap prices comes cheap quality

    Shop for low-cost Halloween costumes at Walmart

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    2018 Buick Regal GS

    • The 2018 Regal GS is a made-mostly-in-Germany sport sedan with the soul of a Buick.
    • That means it combines value, practicality, style, and performance.
    • It's a compelling alternative to the competition from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes— but it shouldn't be completely defined against those brands.

    I am — and always have been — an unapologetic Buick fan. And, in particular, a Buick Regal fan. 

    I got through high school behind the wheel of a lovely Regal two-door, powered by a V6 engine and outfitted in an elegant brown velour interior. Very, very elegant!

    As a car writer, I've richly enjoyed pretty much every single Buick I've sampled — and even pressed a LaCrosse and its heated seats with lumbar support into service to treat an ailing lower back. 

    But I reserve a special place in my heart for the Buick Regal GS, a version of the car that once actually claimed the General Motors top-speed title from Corvette, however briefly (I speak of the legendary turbocharged GNX). My last crack at the Regal found me relishing the Opel-based previous generation, but some notable changes have arrived for the 2018 edition, also a rebadged Opel Insignia manufactured in Germany.

    That's right, the Buick Regal GS is a German car, for the most part — but it offers an intriguing alternative to vehicles from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, at a lower price point and with much, much better infotainment technology than what the Teutons have on offer.

    My tester arrived in a dashing Sport Red paint job and tipped the cost scales at a well-optioned $44,115 (the base is about $40,000). I drove it around for a week. And as is typically the case with Buick sedans, I didn't want to give it back. Yes, I'm showing my hand here, but the Regal is still my kind of car. 

    Here's why:

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Behold! The 2018 Buick Regal GS.

    The weather was rather less favorable on my last go-round with the Regal GS.

    Read the review »

    For what it's worth, the Regal lineup now boasts an actual wagon — and a good one, at that.

    Read the review »

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kmart 1510

    Sears, Kmart's parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.

    The company says it will close 142 stores before the end of the year, and its CEO, Eddie Lampert, will step down.

    Sears has been closing stores and selling off assets following years of crippling sales declines. The company currently operates 687 Sears and Kmart stores, according to its bankruptcy filing. That's down from nearly 2,000 stores in 2013.

    The rise of e-commerce, declining foot traffic to malls, and a higher demand for off-price products are just some of the factors that havecaused department stores as a category to suffer in recent years.

    "The problem in Sears' case is that it is a poor retailer. Put bluntly, it has failed on every facet of retailing from assortment to service to merchandise to basic shop-keeping standards," said Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail.

    Kmart stores seem to be facing the same issues. When we visited the discount store the day after the company filed for bankruptcy, it had rusty shelves, huge empty spaces, and piles of boxes left around.

    Here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: We visited a Sears store on the day the company filed for bankruptcy, and it felt like a ghost town. Here's what it was like shopping there.

    We went to the Kmart store in New York's Penn Station.

    At the front of the store was a small Halloween section ...

    ... greeting cards and gift wrap ...

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    happy smiling woman

    • Like most people, you probably feel your productivity dip in the afternoon.
    • There are ways to get around that besides mindlessly scrolling on Instagram. 
    • One ideal way: get coffee near the office with a coworker. You'll stretch your legs, fuel up on caffeine, and strengthen your bonds with your colleagues. 


    Do you feel like your ability to focus and your supply of discipline and willpower are always dwindling by 2 p.m.?

    You're not alone.

    Lots of people experience a mid-afternoon lull: that dip in energy levels, alertness, and concentration are part of one's natural circadian rhythm, explains Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of "You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work."

    "The timing, extent, and intensity of the afternoon lull varies from person to person, and although our lunch diet can affect it, the No. 1 influencer is how well you slept the night before," Kerr said.

    Other factors, such as sitting for too long or spending too much time on the computer, can also contribute to a decline in energy. 

    And, perhaps one of the most surprising causes of afternoon fatigue is having too little work to do. "If you don't have a clear plan of action and don't set priorities for your day, and especially for the afternoon, it's that much easier to lose steam and feel a dip in energy," Kerr said.

    Here are 11 things successful people do to deal with the dreaded afternoon lull.

    Jacquelyn Smith contributed to the original version of this post. 

    SEE ALSO: 13 things successful people do in the first 3 months at a new job

    DON'T MISS: 14 things people think are fine to say at work — but are actually racist, sexist, or offensive

    They go to their scheduled meetings

    Some people make the mistake of planning meetings in the morning, and then working on projects that require individual focus in the afternoon.

    "This is a mistake, since you'll show up to the meeting regardless, and the stimulus of getting there and talking to people will help you focus," Laura Vanderkam, author of "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" said. "Better to plan meetings and phone calls for the afternoon, and individual work for the morning, when you're more focused." 

    They get out of the office

    "If you don't take an intentional break, your body will take an unintentional one for you," Vanderkam said. "Go for a walk. Get some fresh air."

    Taking a walk will get your muscles moving and the oxygen flowing, and it also allows you to clear your head. 

    "Plus, getting some fresh air will not only help wake you up, but if you've been working on a computer, focusing your eyes on longer distance objects can help minimize eyestrain — and getting some sunlight can help reset your clock," Kerr said.


    They eat

    When the energy boost you get from lunch starts wearing off, you tend to experience a wave of sleepiness, Vanderkam said. To avoid that, successful people eat something healthy to perk themselves up a bit.

    "Snack on something that isn't too high in sugar, like cheese or fruit," she said. "You don't want to crash again 20 minutes later."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    passive aggressive

    The American Psychological Association defines passive-aggressive personality disorder "a personality disorder of long standing in which ambivalence toward the self and others is expressed by such means as procrastination, dawdling, stubbornness, intentional inefficiency, 'forgetting' appointments, or misplacing important materials." 

    This can apply to your friend who wore white to your wedding rather than telling you she didn't want to come or to your coworker who regularly emails you saying, "not sure if you last my last email."

    Preston Ni, author of "How to Successfully Handle Passive-Aggressive People," wrote for Psychology Today that passive-aggressive individuals will be "unreasonable to deal with," be "uncomfortable to experience,""rarely express their hostility directly," and "repeat their subterfuge behavior over time."

    Backhanded compliments, avoiding conflict, guilt-tripping, and feigning ignorance are all signs of passive-aggressive behavior that serve to convey hostility or signal resentment in a veiled and/or roundabout way.

    Here are ways to successfully deal with passive-aggressive people.

    Pay attention to passive-aggressive behavior.

    Preston Ni wrote for Psychology Today that "it's easy to overlook or dismiss signs of passive-aggression in a relatively new relationship…. we may feel inclined to excuse the behavior as the exception rather than the norm, and hope that it will not happen again."

    We may want to give the benefit of the doubt, but if these behaviors are bothersome, start figuring out if they're isolated incidents or a pattern. Are there other incidents you overlooked? Is the behavior targeted towards everyone this person interacts with? Notice the signs early.

    Read more: 10 subtle signs someone is being passive-aggressive toward you

    Call out the specific behavior.

    Vijayraj Kamat, TEDx speaker and author of "Stop Lying, Start Moving," told HuffPost, "There are no passive-aggressive people. There is passive-aggressive behavior. So passive-aggressive people are not bad. Passive-aggressive behavior causes some undesirable consequences." This is a way of looking at the problem that makes it less personal and more manageable.

    Judith Orloff, M.D., who deals with "emotional vampires," or people who drain you, suggested focusing on just one behavior at a time so as not to attack or overwhelm the aggressor.

    She proposes that if a passive-aggressive friend is constantly late (possibly signaling their resentment towards the location, the time, or having to meet with you), tell them you'd appreciate their being on time so that they don't waste your time. Best case scenario, they may apologize and be open to changing their behavior once the implications of their actions are made clear to them.

    Orloff warned, however, "If she is evasive or makes excuses, request clarification about how to solve the problem. If you can't get a straight answer, confront that too. Being specific pins down passive-aggressive people." Keep in mind, however, that even if you confront them with kindness and respect, they still may act defensively.

    Stay present.

    Although the behavior might be part of a larger pattern, don't bring up past incidents.

    "If you're calling someone out on their behavior, chances are this isn't the first time they've acted this way. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea to bring out the laundry list of past offenses or make sweeping generalizations,"Scott Wetzler, Ph.D., author of "Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man," told Greatist. If your aunt tells you that she likes your new haircut because it makes your face look slimmer, rather than accusing her of criticizing you constantly, explain why that remark is hurtful to you.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Many of our favorite holidays were invented by brands to pad sales.
    • There is no official body that approves holidays in the United States (Congress can only set federal holidays), which is why there are so many of them.
    • “Fake” holidays succeed when they offer either fun or strengthen an emotional connection to food or a cause.


    It seems like every day is a holiday now, an ode to some food, cause, or even a facetious accent. Thanks to social media, brands and consumers alike can think up new holidays wholesale and promote them to a wide audience.

    For example, while Halloween wasn’t created by a company, the candy industry at the start of the 20th century tried to turn the second Saturday in October into Candy Day, The Atlantic reported. That is until Halloween proved a more suitable candy-centered holiday. Call it a half-win.

    In that spirit, let’s take a look at some other popular holidays invented by brands.

    SEE ALSO: 9 items you should always buy from Costco's Kirkland Signature brand

    1. National Pancake Day

    Outside of the US — especially in the U.K. and Ireland — there’s an official Pancake Day, which takes place every year on Shrove (or “Fat”) Tuesday, the day before the start of the Lenten season. It’s a day people in the United States may know better by its other name: Mardi Gras.

    The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) seized the branding opportunity and brought IHOP National Pancake Day to the United States in 2006, giving away free short stacks of pancakes and raising money for charity in the process.

    IHOP usually aligns National Pancake Day with Fat Tuesday, but they’ve been known to move it around by a week or so. It’s their holiday, after all.

    2. National Rotisserie Chicken Day

    For lovers of chicken-on-a-spit, June 2 – National Rotisserie Chicken Day – is the time to shine. It will also probably come as no surprise that the king of rotisserie chicken sales, Boston Market, is the company behind it, the Detroit Free Press reported.

    The chicken chain submitted their proposal in April 2015 to National Day Calendar, one of the main unofficial bodies that reviews new “holiday” requests from brands and companies, and received approval in May of the same year.

    3. National/International Coffee Day

    Lots of countries have had National Coffee days, but one of the first documented “International Coffee” holidays was developed by the All Japan Coffee Association back in 1983 and set for October 1st, according to the company.

    It wasn’t until 2015, however, that International Coffee Day went truly international, with 35 countries in the International Coffee Association signing on.

    Much of the U.S., however, celebrates National Coffee Day on September 29, according to the National Day Calendar.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    couple driving car

    Whether you're battling Monday morning traffic on the freeway or stuck in a stuffy subway car underground, it's easy to feel like your commute is a waste of your time. Thankfully, podcasts can take your commute from boring to entertaining and informative. 

    Scroll through for the best podcasts from the politically-charged to the mystical, and everything in between.

    Politics: "Caliphate" by the New York Times is a gripping chronicle of the "War on Terror."

    The New York Times' Rukmini Callimachi helps break down everything you need to know about ISIS in "Caliphate."

    Each episode discusses a different aspect of the terrorist organization, from its recruitment process to her experience covering the topic for the publication.

    Politics: "Pod Save America" by Crooked Media will get you thinking.

    Behind every presidency is a team of aides and advisors, and after President Obama's term ended, his crew took their political talents to the podcast world.

    Former Obama aides Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor make politics conversational on "Pod Save America." The show often features a variety of guests, including Cynthia Nixon and John Legend, to provide unique perspectives on current events.

    Politics: "Constitutional" by The Washington Post gives you history in small doses.

    Washington Post reporter Lillian Cunningham dives deep into this podcast’s namesake document, analyzing everything from the preamble to how the US understands war, taxes, and privacy.

    If the Constitution went over your head during school, Cunningham’s cast helps listeners wrap their heads around one of the US' most important framing documents.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Woman disgusted by laptop

    Facebook revealed last week that hackers got access to the sensitive personal information of as many as 30 million users, causing many to rush to delete their accounts and protect it from any further breaches. 

    But Facebook is definitely not the only website on the Internet that has a chock-full of data stored on you.

    Even if you were one of the lucky Facebook accounts to be spared (you can check if you were affected here), it's possible that any of the other major websites, apps, and services — Amazon, Apple, Google, even Snapchat — could be next.

    The only way to ensure your sensitive data can't be compromised is by removing your information from the Internet entirely. In other words, if you're really worried about protecting your data from any future is the time to delete your account.

    Here's how to delete your accounts for many of the major websites, apps, and services:


    By deleting your account, you will remove everything you've ever put on Facebook— profile information, photos, status updates, timeline posts — but it doesn't include messages sent via Facebook Messenger.

    However, it will take 30 days for your account to actually be deleted. This "grace period" used to be 14 days, but Business Insider reported in early October that Facebook raised it to a month to give users an opportunity to reactivate their account if they get cold feet.

    If you don't want to lose everything you've put on Facebook, there is an option to download a copy of all your information. But you have to request this archive before deleting your account, and you'll have it sent to you via email — if you delete your account before requesting the archive, you're out of luck.


    Twitter maintains a 30-day "grace period" similar to that of Facebook. You have to first deactivate your account, and then wait a month to completely delete your account and all its information. 

    The option to deactivate is found at the bottom of the "account" page in Settings. Like Facebook, you can also download all your data before deleting your account.


    Although Snapchat is a phone app, you'll need to visit Snapchat's website on an Internet browser to completely delete your account. Simply removing the app from your phone will not delete your information.

    On Snapchat's website you can access the accounts portal, where you can then log into your account to delete it. Snapchat will also first deactivate your account for 30 days in case you change your mind, and also offers you the opportunity to download your data before you delete your account.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Screen Shot 2018 09 25 at 10.53.25 AM

    A good TV theme song is catchy, fun to watch, and helps to set the tone for the whole show. A bad theme song feels like massive waste of time that leaves viewers desperately wishing a “skip intro” button was always available.

    Few things conjure up a sense of nostalgia like a theme song that you know word-for-word. And though you can probably rattle off every line to the theme songs that were popular in your childhood, you may not know who’s responsible for bringing that theme song to life — even if they're super famous.

    Keep reading to find out which celebrities sang your favorite TV theme songs:

    Carly Rae Jepsen re-recorded a classic for “Fuller House.”

    Few songs are as instantly recognizable to millennials than “Everywhere You Look,” the theme song on “Full House.” When Netflix rebooted the series in 2016 with “Fuller House,” the streaming giant turned to Carly Rae Jepsen when it came time to re-record the classic tune.

    Jepsen told Rolling Stone that when the opportunity to cover the song came up, she forced her team to find time in her schedule so she could take on the project.

    “‘Full House’ is essentially my childhood. It was my favorite TV show growing up,” she said, adding that when she learned Butch Walker was attached to produce, it sealed the deal.

    “New Girl ” star Zooey Deschanel sang the show’s theme song for four seasons.

    When Zooey Deschanel landed a starring role on “New Girl” in 2011, she was also presented with the opportunity to pen and perform the show’s theme, “Hey Girl.”

    Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2011, Deschanel explained that she was inspired by the theme song from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

    “Musically, I wanted something uplifting — and then we went in to produce it, we sort of thought we wanted to Lovin’ Spoonfuls kind-of-feel production.”

    The song was used for the show’s opening credits until mid-way through the series fourth season when it was replaced by a shorter, instrumental theme.

    Carly Simon was commissioned to write and perform the theme for “Phenom.”

    The 1993 ABC sitcom “Phenom” — a show about a 15-year-old tennis prodigy — is likely long-forgotten, as is the fact that Carly Simon sang its theme song, “The Promise and the Prize.”

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    A Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet lands during the Clear Sky 2018 multinational military drills at Starokostiantyniv

    A Ukrainian Su-27UB Flanker crashed about 185 miles southwest of Kyiv on Tuesday, killing a Ukrainian pilot and American pilot. 

    The crash occurred during the multinational Clear Sky 2018 exercises, which involved military personnel from nine countries and were slated to wrap up this week. 

    The exercises focused on "air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyber defense, and personnel recovery," US Air Forces in Europe said in a statement.

    "This is the largest exercise in the last four years," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko also said last week. "It involves more than 50 aircrafts from eight NATO member-states and our planes of the Ukrainian Air Forces." 

    Among the participating aircraft were US F-15Cs, as well as Ukrainian Mig-29s and Su-27s. 

    Here's what the Su-27 can do, and what we know about the tragic crash. 

    SEE ALSO: Deadly fighter jet crash in Ukraine claims the the life of a US pilot

    The Russian Sukhoi-27, which NATO codenamed "Flanker," first flew in 1977, and later entered Soviet service in 1984.

    In fact, the Flanker was developed a few years after the US introduced the F-15 and F-16, which had suddenly put Soviet pilots at a disadvantage. But the Su-27 subsequently helped level the playing field. 


    Designed as an interceptor and air superiority fighter, the highly maneuverable Su-27 has a top speed of about 1,800 mph and a maximum ceiling of about 59,000 feet.

    The F-15, by comparison, has an edge on the Su-27 with its maximum speed of 1,875 mph and  maximum ceiling of 65,000 feet. 

    Source:, US Air Force

    The Flanker can be armed with up to 10 air-to-air missiles, including AA-10s and AA-11s. It can also be armed with FAB-100 bombs and one 30 mm GSh-301 cannon.

    The F-15, however, can only be armed with eight air-to-air missiles, including four AIM-9 Sidewinders and four AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles or eight AIM-120 AMRAAMs. It's also armed with an M-61A1 20mm, six-barrel cannon.

    Source:, US Air Force

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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