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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    saudi beheading

    The disappearance and death of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi has thrust Saudi Arabia back into a global spotlight that centers directly on the Kingdom's troubled human-rights record.

    And because Khashoggi once enjoyed a level of proximity to the Saudi royal court, he was particularly outspoken about the Saudi leadership's worst impulses and its aversion to dissent.

    Khashoggi was last seen alive on surveillance video captured October 2 outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He had arrived to retrieve documentation for a planned wedding to his Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz. Despite implications that suggest Khashoggi was targeted and killed by his own government, the Saudis have asserted that he died in a physical struggle with Saudi agents, not long after he entered the consulate.

    During the early morning hours of October 20 local time in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom announced its official admission that Khashoggi is dead. The matter did fresh damage to Saudi Arabia's credibility, in part because the Kingdom had floated conflicting explanations about Khashoggi's fate for nearly three weeks.

    The incident has sparked a global outcry. Some US lawmakers have called for sanctions against Saudi Arabia, while government leaders, companies and private investors have pulled away from the Kingdom until more is known about the circumstances of Khashoggi's death.

    But Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for human-rights abuses in the past.

    The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has led to the deaths of thousands of civilians. The Kingdom has been implicated as a sponsor of terrorist organizations, it has been accused of playing a role in some of the worst terror attacks in history, and its practice of jailing and publicly punishing activists has brought it to the brink of diplomatic crisis.

    Here are all the atrocities Saudi Arabia committed long before the outrage over Jamal Khashoggi’s death began.

    SEE ALSO: Individuals and businesses are distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    Funding global terrorism

    Perhaps most notably, the Saudi government is believed to be linked to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

    Fifteen of the 19 hijackers aboard commercial flights that either crashed or flew into the World Trade Center towers in New York were Saudi citizens, and the plot was orchestrated by al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden, who was the son of a prominent Saudi millionaire construction magnate with close ties to the Saudi royal family.

    In 2016, a report on the attacks by the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities found that some of the hijackers received assistance and financial support from individuals connected to the Saudi government, including members of the royal family.

    Leaked diplomatic cables reveal deep connections between Saudi Arabia and global terror groups.

    In 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Saudi Arabia remained "a critical financial support base" for some Islamist terror organizations, including Al-Qaida and the Taliban.

    "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide," Clinton said.

    In this respect, funding for terror groups happens indirectly, partly funneled via donors who set up front companies to receive money from government-sanctioned charities.

    According to another leaked cable, the US intelligence community suggested that one of the largest Islamic terror groups in Asia, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT), may have leaned on a person connected to an alias of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba called Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JUD).

    According to the US State Department cable, the JUD official "forwarded JUD donation receipts to a probable LT front company in Saudi Arabia." An LT official there is believed to have "acted as a front for moving LT funds," the cable said, citing intelligence reporting.

    Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was behind the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai, India, a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai that killed 172 people and injured many more.

    According to one of the cables, Clinton credited the Saudi capital of Riyadh for its "increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qa'ida's access to funding from Saudi sources," but said the country had "taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising" for the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.



    Restricting freedom of speech and independent media

    Saudi Arabia has consistently ranked low on press freedom indexes, and currently ranks 169th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

    Saudi Arabia does not allow any independent media, and it attempts to censor its citizens online and offline.

    Journalists there are subjected to scrutiny, and language deemed critical of the government can lead to detention under the country's counterterrorism laws. Journalists also face the threat of public punishment and even death.

    In 2012, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was charged with "violating Islamic values and propagating liberal thought," and sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and fined 1 million Riyals, which amounts to about $266,000, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said.

    In August, Saudi Arabia contemplated a death sentence for activist Israa al-Ghomgham, who documented political demonstrations in the country's Eastern Province.

    She could face execution by sword, and her final hearing is set for October 28.

    And the Saudi activist Omar Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Canadian political refugee who hosts a satirical news show, told Business Insider in August that Saudi authorities arrested members of his family back home to pressure him into ending his program, which is often critical of the Saudi royal family.

    Saudi agents even bugged his phone and tracked his movements in an effort to intimidate him.



    Jailing human-rights activists

    Saudi Arabia has been known to detain human-rights activists, sometimes without formally charging them with a crime. Some of these detentions are kept secret.

    Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia arrested scores of activists— most of whom had campaigned ahead of an official rule change that allowed women to drive.

    Some of the activists said the arrests were an attempt by Saudi leadership to stifle dissent and silence anyone who may seek to take credit for the Kingdom's decision to lift the ban.

    The award-winning women's rights campaigner Samar Badawi was among those who were arrested. She is best-known for challenging the country's restrictive male guardianship laws, which prevent women from traveling, studying, or making important life choices without a man's permission.

    Badawi is the sister of jailed activist Raif Badawi. She had previously been detained for her advocacy and was banned from traveling. Her arrest prompted a concerned tweet from Canada's foreign ministry, which asked Saudi Arabia to "immediately release" her and the other activists.

    That move led to swift diplomatic retaliation from Saudi Arabia.

    The Kingdom expelled Canada's ambassador. It froze new trade, suspended flights, recalled thousands of students, barred its citizens from receiving medical care in Canada, and began dumping Canada's assets.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trader

    • A third of all S&P 500 companies are set to report third-quarter earnings during the weeks of Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.
    • These two busy weeks are the most important for stock pickers looking for opportunities to beat their benchmarks, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 
    • The firm's analysts compiled a list of buy-rated stocks reporting during these two crucial weeks, which they expect to outperform the market's expectations. 

    We're officially in the most important two weeks of earnings season, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

    They're the two busiest periods during which S&P 500 companies will update investors on their third-quarter performance, and when many will provide guidance for the months ahead. 

     By BofAML's calculation, 33% of earnings are on tap this week and next.

    The firm's analysts went a step further to identify the stocks that are poised to deliver the biggest earnings surprises. For stock pickers, these post-earnings rallies could mean returns bigger than what the broader market is offering. 

    "Alpha opportunity should be high: our work suggests that stock differentiation is heightened during earnings season, particularly the busiest reporting days, which fall this week on Oct. 23-25 and next week on Oct 30-Nov 1," a team led by Savita Subramanian said in a note on Monday.

    The list below showcases stocks that BofAML has handpicked as most likely to beat earnings expectations. They are all buy-rated, and are scheduled to report third-quarter results during the earnings-season peak that Subramanian specified.

    They are ranked in ascending order of the number of standard deviations between BofAML's earnings-per-share estimates and the consensus. A higher Z-score implies that the firm's analysts are more bullish than their peers. 

    SEE ALSO: The world's most accurate economic forecaster pinpoints the biggest risks investors will face in 2019 — and explains how they can prepare

    16. Torchmark

    Ticker: TMK

    Sector: Financials 

    Expected report date: Oct. 24

    BofAML vs. consensus EPS (Z-Score): 0.1

    BofAML vs. consensus sales (Z-Score): 151.6

    Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch



    15. Zimmer Biomet Holdings

    Ticker: ZBH

    Sector: Healthcare 

    Expected report date: Oct. 26

    BofAML vs. consensus EPS (Z-Score): 0.1

    BofAML vs. consensus sales (Z-Score): 1.5

    Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch



    14. Illumina

    Ticker: ILMN

    Sector: Healthcare 

    Expected report date: Oct. 30

    BofAML vs. consensus EPS (Z-Score): 0.1

    BofAML vs. consensus sales (Z-Score): 0.3

    Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    three girls

    • Polyamory is when couples have more than one romantic partner.
    • There are many misconceptions about the lifestyle, including the fact it's all about sleeping around.
    • In fact, sex is just one part of why couples choose to be polyamorous.
    • Many couples report that polyamory has brought them closer together.

    Couples can fall into a polyamorous lifestyle in a few different ways. Some decide they want to search for a third member of their relationship, whereas others simply fall into the polyamorous community and find it works out better for them.

    A common misconception of polyamory — the word for having multiple romantic partners — is that it's all about people wanting to have their cake and eat it too. This may be the case for those who go "unicorn hunting," but others in successful polyamorous relationships don't see it that way.

    As is the case with all sorts of relationships, there are many misconceptions about polyamory. Business Insider spoke to people in polyamorous relationships to find out what it's really like.

    * Names changed for anonymity.

    SEE ALSO: What it means for couples to go 'unicorn hunting' — and why it usually doesn't end well

    1. They don't really get jealous

    Many people get jealous in their relationships, whether they like it or not. It's an ugly, upsetting emotion, but it's also basically inevitable in love. So introducing multiple people into your love life might seem like a recipe for disaster.

    But according to Alex*, who has been polyamorous with his wife for several years, it's not really like that.

    "I do feel jealousy in all my relationships sometimes, but for me I have learned that I feel jealousy mostly when something is wrong in my relationship with my partners," he told Business Insider. "It's not discomfort about them seeing other people. Jealousy for me acts as a warning sign that I am feeling insecure or stressed about my relationship with someone, and when I address whatever is causing that worry (usually with lots of reflective conversation) the jealousy goes away."

    Dr Elisabeth Sheff, the author of "The Polyamorists Next Door," has been studying polyamory for over two decades and is also in a "monogamish" relationship with her wife. She told Business Insider that some people genuinely never experience jealousy. However, she has also seen cases where people believe they are unable to feel it, only to come back years later after learning they actually can — it just took the right situation or person to trigger it.



    2. It's not all about sex

    Sheff said she travels a lot for work, which is why polyamory works out well for her relationship. Sometimes she can be away for two months at a time, so she likes her wife to have someone to keep her company while she's away. But that doesn't mean they act on it all the time.

    "We have a lot of flexibility, but we don’t tend to act on it very much. Me because I don’t have a very high sex drive, and her because she’s been working like a fiend," Sheff said. "She’s very serious about her career, and spends zero time trying to date. It’s only happened the once, where she met someone she really connected with."

    Still, since polyamory is about getting a variety of needs met, sex is still an important factor. Sometimes one person may not be able to give you everything you want — but that doesn't mean you want to break up with them.

    "A lot of people report having different kinds of desire for sex, like one person wants BDSM or kinky sex and the other really doesn’t, and that's hard to manufacture in a satisfying way," Sheff said. "If your partner can find someone who is totally psyched for that, nobody has to have the kind of sex they don’t want to have, and everybody gets to have the kind of sex they find fun and appealing."



    3. Sometimes people just fall into the lifestyle

    Alex and his wife Claire* talked a lot about all the reasons polyamory wouldn't work before they tried it. They then met and became friends with a lot of polyamorous people, and since then, they haven't looked back.

    "We learned a lot about how poly worked for them and soon it was quite a normal thing in our social circle," he said. "It did make us more relaxed about other things, we became more comfortable telling each other when we found someone else attractive or had fun flirting with someone or whatever."

    Sheff said that unless a couple goes out in search of a third member, couples can find themselves falling into polyamory.

    "Polyamory just happens to people," she said. "Like they find themselves falling in love with their best friend, get drunk one night, have an accidental threesome, and say 'Oh wait, all three of us are in love, what is this?'"



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Classic Focals   Black

    • Thalmic Labs has changed its name to North and is launching a pair of smartglasses called Focals.
    • North has raised $130 million to launch its smartglasses, with investors including Amazon, Intel, and top-tier venture capitalists.
    • They cost $1000 and require a custom fitting in Toronto or Brooklyn. 

    There's a vision of the future in Silicon Valley that one day, highly advanced glasses will be able to provide useful information inside their lenses.

    Instead of looking at your phone, these glasses will be able to display useful information like notifications, directions, and reminders inside their lenses.

    Google took a stab at these kind of heads-up glasses back in 2013 with Google Glass but faced a difficult reception among consumers. Now an Amazon-backed startup out of Waterloo, Canada is releasing its attempt at smart glasses using modern technologies.

    The new glasses are made by North, which used to be known as Thalmic Labs. North has raised $135 million in fudning from investors including Amazon Alexa Fund, Fidelity Investments, and First Round Capital, according to PitchBook Data.

    They've used that money to make a pair of smartglasses, called Focals, that focus more on style and user experience than technology. 

    The company wants to make clear that Focals aren't a full augmented reality headset, like Magic Leap One or Microsoft Hololens. Instead, they like to call them glasses that people can wear every day. 

    "We're not focused on unicorns jumping over rainbows or monsters coming out of the wall." Thalmic Labs CEO Stephen Lake told Business Insider. "It's about having a product that's going to be useful for you throughout the day all day."

    "Throughout the day, it's wearable, it's comfortable, and give valuable bits of information that make sense at the time," he continued. 

    Here's what Focals do: 

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk is telling customers to use an unusual loophole if they want to take a Tesla car for a three-day 'test drive'

    Focals have a "transparent, holographic" display built into its lenses that only the wearer can see.



    The display can pair with an iPhone or Android phone over Bluetooth and provide alerts for text messages, turn-by-turn directions, weather, and more.



    The glasses also have Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, built-in.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Anker PowerPoint Qi Wireless Charger

    While they once seemed like a novelty, wireless chargers have emerged in recent years as a new type of mobile accessory, and are becoming more mainstream. Popularized by Samsung phones, the chargers themselves have become more widespread as more companies have adopted the format, like Apple with the iPhone 8 and X models.

    However, it can be a bit confusing trying to choose a wireless charger. There's almost too many to choose from, and it's hard to tell how they differ. Plus, you might not know if there's even really a benefit or reason to switch to wireless charging. 

    Here's how to tell if a wireless charger is right for you, and how to choose one: 

    How wireless charging works:

    The majority of phones capable of wireless charging utilize what's called the Qi format — a standardized method of transferring power that uses a charging base. It's not important to know how this differs from other wireless charging standards, but you'll want to remember the Qi designation.

    Wireless charging technology relies on sets of electromagnetic coils. There's a transmitter coil located in the charger itself, which creates an electromagnetic field with the coil located inside a phone. This method, called inductive charging, allows a battery to be charged without being directly connected to the power source.

    However, the size of the coils is important. Larger coils are capable of more powerful outputs, which means the charger and the charged device can be further away from each other while still maintaining an electromagnetic field. With smaller coils, such as the ones found in a mobile phone wireless charger, the two coils need to be pretty close to each other to power the battery. 



    There are some upsides to adopting a wireless charger.

    First, the obvious draw: They're generally easier to use. While plugging in your phone is by no means a difficult maneuver, a wireless charger lets you simply place your phone on a stand or a mat and immediately begin charging. It's also easy to check notifications or send a text message and then place your phone right back down on the charger, without having to fiddle with any cords.

    Additionally, a wireless charger frees up your phone's cable port. With the death of the headphone jack, many phone users have to choose between charging their phone or using a dongle for their headphones. With a wireless charger, you can keep your dongle or headphones plugged in while still recharging the battery. 

    Some wireless chargers also double as a phone stand, meaning you can take a hands-free approach to watching videos, video chatting with friends, or just keeping track of your notifications. 



    However, there are a few downsides as well.

    One of the more obvious differences between wired and wireless charging is the total charge time. While this depends on the wattage of your outlet adapter, wireless charging is generally going to be slower than wired charging — the wireless technology just isn't quite as efficient yet. Some wireless chargers are capable of "fast" charging with a higher-wattage outlet adapter, but it still won't be as fast as a wired fast-charging system. 

    You'll also lose some mobility with a wireless system, as you're limited to the location of the charging pad itself, rather than only being limited by the charging wire. Most people end up placing their wireless charging pad on a night stand next to their bed, their work desk, or a table.

     

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    South Carolina general.JPG

    • Automation is a technology trend that will impact various sectors of economic life this century.
    • Smart Asset, a financial technology company that provides online advice about personal finance decisions, recently released a study which calculated which states have jobs that are most vulnerable to automation. 
    • They looked at Bureau of Labor Statistics and research studies done at Oxford University. 
    • Smart Asset found that of the top 10 states with jobs most vulnerable to automation, three came from the Great Plains and six came from the South. 

    Because of the rate at which technology is progressing, automation is a trend that will impact various sectors of economic life this century. In fact, automation is already creating anxiety as to how our economy will be structured going forward. 

    According to The Guardian, 38% of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years. The Janesville Gazette reports that a 2017 Pew Poll found that 72% of adults said they were worried about a future where robots and computers can perform human jobs. 

    Smart Asset, a financial technology company that provides online advice about personal finance decisions, recently released a study which calculated which states have jobs that are most vulnerable to automation. 

    Smart Asset's methodology consisted of looking at employment data across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and analyzing them from the two angles. First, they looked at total worker occupation data based on Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2017. Second, they looked at research studies done by Oxford University, namely "The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerization?" by Carl B. Frey and Michael A. Osborne, and analyzed the percent chance a specific occupation will be automated in a decade or two.  

    Smart Asset said they "multiplied the number of jobs in each occupation by the chance they will be automated for each state," and from there determined which states would have the highest percentage of jobs at risk. 

    Smart Asset found that of the top 10 states with jobs most vulnerable to automation, three came from the Great Plains and six came from the South. 

    Take a look below at the complete list of the 10 states where jobs are most vulnerable to the threat of automation. 

    SEE ALSO: Fast-food chains' search for solutions in the 'war for talent' could bring about the restaurant industry's robot takeover

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

    10. Alabama — Smart Asset estimates just under 55% of jobs in Alabama could be automated, including motor vehicle assembly plants. Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Toyota all have plants in the Cotton State.

    Source: Smart Asset



    9. Texas — Texas has the second most workers in the country, according to Smart Asset, and that includes fast-food workers. Some McDonald's franchises have already experimented with self-ordering kiosks.

    Source: Smart Asset



    8. Florida — Smart Asset estimates that 4.6 million of the roughly 8.4 million jobs in Florida face automation threats. These include retail salespeople, who may not be needed if self-checkout machines multiply.

    Source: Smart Asset



    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.

    acne spot treatment main

    Breakouts are a normal part of most people's skin journeys. Whether you generally have clear skin or have struggled with acne for years, they happen to everyone. Still, breakouts are no less annoying, alarming, or painful every time they do. 

    A consistent routine of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy, but when it comes to pimples that erupt on your skin (or at least feel like they're about to), attacking them early on with a direct spot treatment will help dry them out and calm them down. 

    Topical gels, lotions, and stickers are the most common ways to treat these blemishes, and there are tons on the market. However, it's only a small collection of standouts that have proven to be really successful. You can trust that these popular spot treatments have been vetted by us and your fellow shoppers. 

    These are 10 of the most popular acne spot treatments you can buy online right now: 

    Mario Badescu

    Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $17, available at Amazon, Nordstrom, and Ulta

    Amazon rating: 4.1 stars from 2,200+ reviews 

    Insider Picks senior editor Ellen Hoffman has called this lotion "magic" because it makes pimples disappear overnight. It contains salicylic acid, sulfur, and zinc oxide to quickly and effectively target surface blemishes. 



    Mighty Patch

    Mighty Patch Hydrocolloid Acne Absorbing Spot Dot (36 count), $12.34, available at Amazon and Mighty Patch

    Mighty Patch Invisible+ (39 count), $17.99, available at Mighty Patch

    Amazon rating: 4.3 stars from 500+ reviews 

    Insider Picks reporter Mara Leighton and I both swear by this powerful sticker that draws out the fluids from your pimples and protects them from irritation. The new Invisible+ versions are so light and thin that you can get away with wearing them during the day. 

     



    TreeActiv

    TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment, $23.70, available at Amazon

    Amazon rating: 4.4 stars from 1,100+ reviews

    This treatment contains many beneficial ingredients, most notably bentonite clay, which removes excess oil, reduces inflammation, and balances your skin's oil production. 

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    BlackDiamond 09 17

    • Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi has been photographing major mining sites all over the world for the last decade, having visited mines in China, Russia, Kazakhstan and India. 
    • In India, Sardi was introduced to Dhanbad, a city known as the "capital of coal" due to the vast number of coal fields and strip-mines. The mining has turned the landscape into a post-apocalyptic moonscape.
    • Sardi has collected his years of work photographing Dhanbad into "Black Diamond," to be published in December. People can pre-order the book here.

    With a population exceeding 1.3 billion and a quickly developing economy, India has become the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter. 

    Coal is a big reason why. In recent years, India has experienced a "coal rush" as the country attempts to satisfy its ever-expanding energy needs.

    At the center of the rush is Dhanbad, a city known as the "capital of coal," and the nearby Jharia mines. There, mostly state-run coal companies operate massive open coal mines that wreak havoc on the villages that have long populated the area. The smoke-choked landscape is marked by burning cracks in the ground that have been on fire for over 100 years.

    Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi  became fascinated by Dhanbad nearly a decade ago while traveling to mining sites all over the world.

    Sardi told Business Insider that what struck him about the Jharia mines is the way villagers live amongst the mines, depending on them for their livelihood while also suffering terribly from the environment they create.

    "It's a vastly changing environment in nature and, for the inhabitants, it's a disaster," said Sardi.

    A book of Sardi's multi-year exploration of Dhanbad, titled "Black Diamond," will be published by German publisher Kehrer Verlag in December. Sardi is currently taking pre-orders of the book, which you can check out here »

    SEE ALSO: A photographer spent 17 years exploring the barren expanse of Mongolia and returned with unreal photos

    DON'T MISS: A caravan of 7,000 migrants is heading towards the US border — haunting images show the deadly route most take to get there

    Over 65% of India's power comes from locally mined coal. The Jharia fields are the country's biggest reserve, with approximately 11 billion tons of coal.

    Source: Caravan Magazine



    Most of the mining done at Jharia is in open pits or strip mines, because it is faster and more profitable. But doing so exposes coal to oxygen and is highly destructive to the environment.

    Source: Al Jazeera



    Coal fires have been burning in Jharia for over 100 years. Large-scale open pit mining was ramped up in the 1970s when coal companies were nationalized by the government. It has made the fires far worse.

    Source: Al Jazeera



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Martha Stewart

    • Sarah Carey, the editorial food director for Martha Stewart Living, has been making popular recipes with Martha Stewart for nearly two decades.
    • Carey shared with Business Insider the 10 most helpful tips she’s received from the culinary and home icon.

     

    If you’ve had a slab pie recently, you can probably thank Sarah Carey.

    She’s been creating recipes like this popular dessert with Martha Stewart for over 19 years.

    Carey, who is now the editorial food director for Martha Stewart Living, gave Business Insider insight into the nearly two decades’ worth of wisdom she’s received from Stewart.

    In Carey’s own words, here are the 10 most helpful tips and pieces of advice she’s learned from the culinary and home icon.

    SEE ALSO: Martha Stewart will never stop reinventing herself — here's how she went from a stockbroker to hosting a cooking show with Snoop Dogg

    1. Always taste your food while you cook

    This is the first lesson Martha ever taught me. The very first segment I did for her was a white asparagus recipe with an orange sauce. I made the whole thing and followed the recipe as it was written in the magazine. At the end of the segment she bit into the asparagus, and she looked at me. She said, “This is really tough, did you taste this?” I was speechless and realized I hadn’t tasted it, and it’s an extremely, extremely important thing when you’re cooking.



    2. Surround yourself with the best

    One thing I have always said about Martha, she chooses the people she works with very carefully. She finds highly motivated, detail oriented, hard working and most of all, talented people to surround herself with. That is something I strive to do in my kitchen. Find people who want to and are capable of doing the quality of work that we require. It’s very challenging, but finding the best team is so rewarding.



    3. Know why you're doing something

    The biggest lesson I learned when I was working on the show with Martha was to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Even if Martha doesn’t agree with it, she wants you to have a good understanding of why you’re doing something. You shouldn’t do something blindly because a recipe said so or because someone told you to do so. You should do it because it’s the best choice. Everyone should have that in life.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Halloween

    Where you spend Halloween can be just as important how you spend the holiday. 

    To find the best places to spend Halloween, INSIDER consulted WalletHub's 2018 list of best cities for Halloween. The personal finance website collected data on 100 of the most populated cities in the US based on "trick-or-treater friendliness," activities, and weather, while also calculating the city's weight average across the metrics to determine an overall score.

    Read on to find out the top 30 cities to visit this holiday, from New York to Minneapolis.

    30. Seattle, Washington

    Seattle may be known as a city that's constantly raining, but it's Halloween weather forecast ranked it at number two in WalletHub's study. Between that and it's solid lineup of fun and affordable festivities, Seattle is a great choice for spending the holiday.



    29. Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Minnesota is home to the first citywide Halloween celebration, which took place in Anoka in 1921. So it's fitting that another Minnesota city has made the list.

    Minneapolis is up there primarily for it's beautiful fall weather, ranking it 11th in that category in the study.



    28. Riverside, California

    You can't go wrong spending Halloween in Riverside. It ranked 26th in "trick-or-treater friendliness" and 39th in Halloween activities.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump ted cruz iran rally

    The political feud between President Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during the 2016 election was one of the dirtiest in recent memory.

    Trump and Cruz, who dropped out of the GOP primary in May 2016, attacked each other's wives, citizenship, and integrity. They even threatened to sue, accusing each other of lying and cheating for various reasons.

    After Trump won the party's nomination, Cruz refused to endorse him at the Republican National Convention.

    Cruz finally came around to make that endorsement in September 2016, and the two have worked together on Republican legislation since Trump took office.

    By October 22, 2018, Trump even decided that Cruz was no longer "lyin' Ted"— his notorious nickname for the senator during the campaign — and was now "beautiful Ted." The president made the announcement ahead of a campaign rally he hosted in Texas to support Cruz's tough reelection bid.

    Here are 40 of the most memorable attacks the two threw at each other during the 2016 presidential campaign:

    SEE ALSO: Inside the marriage of Washington power couple Ted and Heidi Cruz, who played Aladdin's 'A Whole New World' at their wedding and spend most of their time in separate states

    DON'T MISS: Trump says Cruz is now 'Beautiful Ted,' but doesn't regret implicating his father in JFK assassination

    Trump: "I don't think he's qualified to be president. Look at the way he's dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there — like, you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac. You're never going to get things done that way."

    Source: Business Insider, December 2015



    Cruz: "Listen, anytime someone is attacking your faith, that starts to suggest they're getting really nervous about what's happening in the race. I would be happy to invite Donald to come with me to church anytime he would like."

    Source: Business Insider, January 2016



    Trump: "Rafael! Straight out of the hills of Canada!"

    Source: Business Insider, January 2016



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    Amazon Spheres corpse flower

    Amazon welcomed visitors into its headquarters over the weekend to see a rare corpse flower named Morticia in bloom.

    The 6-foot-tall plant, which is technically called a "titan arum," sits in the rainforest inside of the Spheres on Amazon's Seattle campus. The Spheres opened earlier this year, and they're intended to serve as a relaxing place for employees. But Amazon let visitors into the dome-shaped buildings over the weekend to witness an event that only happens once every seven years (at least) for the corpse flower.

    The corpse flower's name comes from the plant's dank smell, reminiscent of rotting flesh. But that didn't stop thousands of visitors who lined up to get a closer look of the plant's bloom, which lasts only two days.

    Watch the plant over time reach its full bloom inside Amazon's rainforest:

    SEE ALSO: Here's how Google's new $150 Home Hub compares to the Amazon Echo Show

    The plant is housed inside the Amazon Spheres, a series of glass domes that are part of the the company's Seattle headquarters.

    Business Insider's Avery Hartmans visited the Spheres in downtown Seattle last month. The glass dome-shaped Spheres were designed as a relaxing communal place for Amazon employees to work and collaborate. The Spheres officially opened earlier this year right next to Amazon's existing headquarters, whose construction cost a cool $4 billion.

    Besides the indoor rainforest where the corpse flower is located, the area also features lawn games and a dog park.



    Morticia the plant stood only 19 inches tall when she first came to the Spheres in September, Amazon says. At full bloom, she had grown to 6 feet tall.

    Source: Amazon



    The corpse flower is one of the over 400 species of plants from around the world that Amazon collected to include in the Spheres. Amazon has its own team of horticulturalists that work to maintain the conservation of the plants.

    Source: Amazon



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    black mirror 1"Black Mirror" is an anthology series that depicts futuristic technology and how people interact with it. 

    Originally commissioned by the BBC, the series has subsequently been picked up by Netflix where the show can currently be streamed.

    Here are some surprising things you probably didn't know about "Black Mirror." 

    The creator of "Black Mirror" is a satirist and comedian.

    Charlie Brooker is the writer, satirist, and comedian who created "Black Mirror." He has written for and hosted a number of comedy shows including the "Wipe" series and "10 O’clock Live."

    Brooker’s shows have always poked fun at culture, politics, and technology with his trademark acerbic combination of wit and occasionally crass humor.



    Some feel the show's first episode foreshadowed a real-life incident.

    The first ever episode of "Black Mirror" to air was the stomach-churning "The National Anthem" where the Prime Minister of the UK is blackmailed into performing sexual acts with a pig.

    What the team behind "Black Mirror" couldn’t predict was that pig-related allegations would befall Prime Minister David Cameron the following year.

    As the Daily Mail reports, an anonymous claim accused Cameron of allegedly performing certain actions with the head of a dead pig during an initiation ceremony in college.

    Brooker said he was "weirded out" by the coincidence.



    The name "Black Mirror" refers to a blank video screen.

    "Any TV, any LCD, any iPhone, any iPad — something like that — if you just stare at it, it looks like a ‘Black Mirror,’ and there’s something cold and horrifying about that, and it was such a fitting title for the show,"Brooker told The Guardian.

     



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    Costumes

    According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend $9 billion on Halloween in 2018 and an estimated 68% of that will be spent on Halloween costumes.

    For those who aren't looking to shell out a lot of money for a costume you'll wear just once, consider playing dress up with pieces you can wear over again throughout the year.

    So which costumes can pose as everyday attire once Halloween has come and gone? Here are a few to consider.

    All of the "Friends" characters offer inspiration for Halloween.

    In some way or another, the '90s are always trending. So whether you pose as Rachel Green, Ross Geller, Joey Tribbiani, or even Janice Litman-Goralnik, chances are you'll be wearing the pieces you put together for years to come.

    Read more: 11 iconic fall outfits from 'Friends' — and how you can re-create them today



    All you need is a jersey to be a fantasy footballer.

    Just make sure you're repping your favorite team's jersey. But even if you aren't a football fan, the swag will come in handy for Superbowl Sunday.



    Selena's iconic look makes for a great Halloween costume.

    Selena is still remembered for her iconic look. Opt for big hoops and sport a dark lip. Bonus points if you have bangs. 

    As for her clothing, think sparkly. 

     



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    Woman drinking water, water bottle

    According to Harvard Medical School, our bodies need an optimal level of liquids in order for our kidneys to adequately process waste, our temperature to stay regulated, and for our cells to function normally.

    But even though all people need to hydrate, the manner in which some people choose to do so varies. Although some people believe you should drink eight glasses of water a day, others claim swapping traditional H2O for other beverages like sports drinks is a more effective way to maintain the body’s fluid levels.

    Read more: Here's how to find out how much water you need to drink

    It turns out some of these common beliefs about what’s best for keeping the body hydrated aren’t actually true.

    Below is a list of some practices that you might think are helping your body’s hydration levels but actually aren't doing much at all. 

    Drinking beverages that taste refreshing aren't necessarily hydrating you.

    It turns out thirst isn't actually the best way to assess how hydrated you are. Brian Palmer, a science writer for Slate explained that people tend to crave drinks like lemonade and soda when the weather is hot because consuming them has an instantly recognizable physical effect. He cited research from Japan in the 1960's that stated the acidity level in these beverages stimulates saliva production, which gives our mouth the feeling that our thirst is quenched. 

    Further evidence presented by a study in The American Journal of Physiology suggests that drinking soft drinks can actually worsen dehydration. This is because the sugars and caffeine contained in these drinks place additional stress on the bloodstream and kidney function.

    Read more: 3 kinds of drinks that actually dehydrate you — and why

    So next time you're that refreshing, cold soda, try adding some fruit to sparkling water instead. It can provide the same thirst-quenching sensation while hydrating you much more efficiently than a soft drink.



    Chugging large quantities of water isn't hydrating you any more than if you sip it slowly.

    It can seem like you're being proactive by gulping down a large amount of water before beginning some extraneous exercise.

    But Dr. Leonard Smith, a surgeon and medical advisor for the University of Miami's Department of Integrative Medicine, told Mel magazine last year that drinking a lot of water at once is a big mistake when it comes to hydrating. The main problem is when the body takes in too much liquid at once, it causes the blood to dilute and the kidneys to process liquids much faster. When this happens your body ends up urinating much sooner than it needs to, and all that extra water you drank goes to waste.

    In fact, drinking too much water at once can even be dangerous because it can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, which is a severe sodium deficiency caused by excessive amounts of water in the body.

    The solution? Drink water, yes. But drink smaller amounts of it throughout the day — ideally, before you get to the point where you're so thirsty you feel like you need to chug an entire liter of it.



    Swapping your regular water for sports drinks isn't necessary unless you're working out all the time.

    A common belief is that sports drinks hydrate you better than regular water. Many of us have seen advertisements featuring our favorite athletes dousing themselves with sports drinks as if they contain liquid powers that will charge them into some kind of superhumans.

    In some ways, these drinks do have special qualities to them because of their electrolyte content. But to say they are more hydrating than water because of this doesn't make sense. This is because electrolytes in sports drinks themselves do not hydrate you. Instead, they help your body regulate the amount of water it contains. And interestingly enough research from Canada in 2014 found that milk was more effective at hydrating people than sports drinks.

    This is likely because the main purpose of sports drinks is to replenish the body's electrolytes that are lost through sweating. As noted above it can be harmful when your body's sodium levels get too low. But the ingredient in your Gatorade that actually hydrates you is actually just regular water.

    So if you're not sweating as much as Serena Williams or Lebron James on a regular basis, the extra benefits that come with these sports drinks' for hydration purposes aren't really necessary.

    Most people simply aren't losing that many electrolytes on a regular basis, and according to Healthline, the sugars in sports drinks can cause more harm than good for those who don't need them.



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    catelynn tylerAfter being introduced to Tyler Baltierra and Catelynn Lowell on the MTV series "16 & Pregnant," fans have been able to follow their journey as a couple on "Teen Mom OG."And viewers have watched them go through a lot.

    From middle school sweethearts to reality TV stars, here's a timeline of Baltierra and Lowell's relationship.

    In 2005, Baltierra and Lowell started dating.

    According to their book "Conquering Chaos,"Baltierra and Lowell met in seventh grade when they were in the same music class. They were both around 15-years-old.

     



    In 2008, Lowell became pregnant when she was 16 years old.

    When Lowell and Baltierra joined the cast of MTV's "16 & Pregnant," they decided they weren't prepared to raise a child and made the difficult decision to place their baby up for adoption.

    In May 2009, their daughter Carly was born and placed with a couple named Brandon and Teresa Davis, who have chosen for their daughter not to appear on the show.



    "Teen Mom" premiered in 2009.

    MTV brought Baltierra and Lowell back for a new series that also included fellow "16 & Pregnant" stars Farrah Abraham, Amber Portwood, and Maci Bookout.



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    jim and pam the officeIt's been more than five years since the NBC sitcom "The Office" aired its final episode, but it's remained wildly popular, especially as it continues to stream on Netflix.

    Even though the show has ended, these fun tidbits about the beloved series can help you to reminisce. 

    Here are some surprising things you probably didn't know about "The Office."

    Adam Scott auditioned for the role of Jim Halpert.

    It's hard to imagine "Parks and Recreation" without Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt, but he could have been in a different mockumentary series instead.

    Scott actually auditioned for the role of Jim, and his audition is pretty great — but ultimately, John Krasinski scored the gig.

     



    And Seth Rogen auditioned for Dwight.

    Yep, Seth Rogen's audition tape is also out there. As talented as he is, it's pretty much impossible to imagine anyone but Rainn Wilson in that role.



    Michael and Oscar's kiss was totally improvised.

    As Oscar Nuñez told AV Club, when Steve Carell kissed him in "Gay Witch Hunt,"it was all Carell's doing.

    "He wasn't supposed to kiss me, we were just supposed to hug, and he kept hugging me. And that particular take he came in really close, and I'm like, ‘Where is he going with this?'" Nuñez said. "‘Oh, dear, yes here we go.' And then I'm just thinking, ‘Oh God, nobody laugh so we can use it.' And they didn't, and it worked perfectly. It was a lot of fun."



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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.

    fossil smartwatch

    From the first smartphone I owned, I've always been an Android user. Much to the chagrin of nearly all my friends and peers, I really do like the operating system and my Samsung phone. However, I do have to admit the world of tech accessories is made for iPhone users and the number and variety of options are tipped in their favor. 

    If you have an Android phone user in your life who you generally regard with suspicion and is already causing you a lot of stress in the gift-hunting search, fear not — and just be glad they don't have a Windows phone. We're here to help you find some cool Android accessories they'll appreciate. Some are specially optimized for Android devices, while others are just great accessory gifts for all types of phones. 

    These 20 phone accessories and compatible gadgets prove gifting an Android user isn't actually as difficult as you think. 

    A camera lens kit for enthusiastic phone photographers

    Xenvo Camera Lens Kit Pro, $34.99, available at Amazon

    Take breathtaking landscape photos and detailed close-ups with the 140-degree, wide-angle lens and the 10x macro lens in this kit. Simply clip it to your phone and align it with its camera to start snapping high-quality pictures. 



    Comfortable, high-quality wireless earbuds

    Master & Dynamic MW07 True Wireless In-Ear Headphones, $299.98, available at Best Buy

    These true wireless earbuds topped even the Apple Airpods in our guide, a testament to their beautiful design and excellent sound quality. Since it's more expensive than most models, it makes sense to splurge for them during the holidays. 

     

     

     

     



    A flexible car mount

    iOttie Easy One Touch Qi Wireless Fast Charge Car Mount, $49.94, available at Amazon

    This accessory pulls double duty by charging your phone while holding it securely on your dash. The telescopic arm extends up to eight inches and pivots on a wide arc for easy readability and access. 



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    prince philip pub

    It's easy to assume that life as a royal is made up of big, glamorous weddings,famous friends, and expensive outfits.

    However, if you look closely, there's a lot more to it.

    From having your most embarrassing moments caught on camera to being expected to show up to events even when your new baby has kept you up all night, life as a royal has its challenges.

    Scroll down to see some of the most disappointing photos that show what life as a royal is really like.

    Cameras catch you when you're mid-sneeze.



    You even get caught taking out the trash.



    There are basically cameras on you at all times.



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    WonkyCarrots

    • Imperfect, a food startup selling ugly produce, just secured a major investment from NBA all-star Kevin Durant. 
    • The startup was founded in 2015 with the mission of eliminating food waste in America. 
    • While grocery stores tend to turn up their noses at fruit or veggies that are scarred, bruised, or misshapen, Imperfect delivers them directly to customers.
    • With its latest investment, the company plans to expand its operations throughout the East Coast.

    When the food startup Imperfect stepped on to the delivery scene in 2015, it had one message for customers: Don't judge an apple by its skin. 

    After discovering that one in five fruits and veggies were passed over by US grocery stores due to cosmetic defects, CEO Ben Simon decided to test whether consumers were more open to purchasing "ugly" produce like a misshapen carrot or bruised avocado. 

    The concept quickly took off, with Imperfect expanding into 11 cities across the country in just three years. On Wednesday, the company secured a massive financial boost from NBA all-star Kevin Durant, who has become quite the philanthropic investor

    Together, Imperfect and Durant plan to fight food waste in America, making produce more affordable and accessible. With a major investor at its helm, the company said it's beginning to see itself as a national brand for the first time. 

    Imperfect now plans to expand into its 12th city, Washington, DC, by early 2019, before moving on to additional East Coast markets. From there, it'll consider other grocery items like baked goods, pickles, and jams, which can be made using its fruits and veggies. 

    Take a look at some of its produce below. 

    Every year, American farms discard around 20 billion pounds of perfectly good fruits and vegetables.

    Source: National Resource Defense Council



    The produce has the the same quality, taste, and shelf life as any other — the only difference is that it's considered "ugly."



    That scarring on your pear doesn't mean there's something wrong inside, said Simon. It could simply be the result of the fruit rubbing against a tree branch.



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