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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Tony Evers on election eve in Wisconsin

    The 2018 midterm elections will have some big healthcare consequences. 

    Democrats won control of the House of Representatives while Republicans strengthened their hold on the Senate. That means Washington gridlock could prevent any big legislative changes.

    Also likely off the table is repeal of the Affordable Care Act or big cuts to Medicaid, which were narrowly defeated in the Senate last year.

    "We continue to believe a split Congress is the best case scenario for the healthcare sector because it likely means legislative gridlock for the next two years," Cowen analysts Eric Assaraf and Rick Weissenstein wrote in a note Wednesday. "Most notably, it likely puts Obamacare repeal efforts on the shelf until at least 2020, to the relief of hospitals and Medicaid managed care companies."

    Some of the biggest healthcare changes will likely come on the state level. Voters in three states voted to make more low-income people eligible for their state Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. Democratic victories in governor races in states like Wisconsin and Kansas could lead those states to expand Medicaid, too.

    Read more: Midterm key takeaways: Trump's message flops, and Democrats set the stage for 2020

    In other states, voters rejected major changes to the way healthcare is paid for and administered, and passed new anti-abortion measures. Here's a roundup of the results

    Three red states voted to expand Medicaid.

    Residents of Idaho and Nebraska voted to to broaden access to their state Medicaid programs to more low-income people, in line with actions taken by 34 other states and Washington, DC under the Affordable Care Act.

    A similar proposal in Utah is projected to pass, with 54% of the vote, but ballots are still being counted in the state. 

    If voters in all three states choose to expand eligibility for Medicaid, roughly 325,000 more people could gain access to the health program, according to Avalere

    In Montana, voters rejected a proposal to raise taxes on tobacco products and make Medicaid expansion permanent, with 55% opposing it. That means the state's Medicaid expansion is scheduled expire next year.



    Utah and Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana.

    Several states took up the issue of both recreational and medical marijuana

    In the end, Utah and Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana, while North Dakota voted down a measure that would legalize its use recreationally. Michigan, however, became the first Midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana.



    Alabama and West Virginia supported new anti-abortion measures.

    Voters in Alabama and West Virginia supported measures to explicitly ban abortion in their state constitutions. Both already have abortion bans in state law as well, according to Governing.com, though the bans can't be enforced because of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.

    Alabama's Amendment 2 passed with the support of 59% of voters. The tally was closer in West Virginia, where 51.7% voted for Amendment 1.

    Oregon, meanwhile, rejected a proposal to prohibit the use of public funds for abortion, except in cases where a doctor determines that the procedure is necessary, or in cases where federal law requires the state to pay for an abortion. The measure would have stopped the state's Medicaid program from covering abortions for low-income women.

    About 64% of voters opposed the Oregon measure.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    travel blogger early retirement

    • The reality of early retirement doesn't always match up with the perception.
    • While early retirement offers a sense of freedom, there are also some unexpected elements that early retirees need to adjust to.
    • This mostly requires a shift in mindset: Dealing with an identity crisis and new sources of motivation, realizing that you'll feel the same as before early retirement, and getting out of your comfort zone.

    Early retirement is full of surprises.

    While there's a new sense of freedom and liberation, according to many early retirees, there's also a few unexpected elements that may require some adjustment in early retirement

    For example, some early retirees face an identity crisis and need to find a new source of motivation. Others realize an initial increase in happiness doesn't last forever. Some also learned how to get out of their comfort zone — but that, in the long run, is a positive thing.

    Here, early retirees talk about the ways they didn't expect their life to change after retiring early.

    SEE ALSO: How much money you need to retire early depends almost entirely on 2 factors

    DON'T MISS: 7 things no one tells you about early retirement

    Happiness doesn't really increase during early retirement.

    Early retirement isn't the answer to long-term happiness.

    Karsten, who retired early at age 44 and blogs on EarlyRetirementNow.com, said he didn't feel instantly happier the day after he retired early.

    "Of course, early retirement makes you happier! A lot!" he previously wrote. "But the increase in happiness was already 'priced in' gradually instead of jumping from 0 to 100..."

    And even for those who do feel a jolt of happiness, it's decidedly short-lived.

    "The truth of the matter is, your elevated happiness will only last at most three to six months," early retiree Sam Dogen, blogger behind Financial Samurai, wrote. "Eventually, you'll revert to your natural state of being."



    Leaving your job could lead to an identity crisis.

    According to Dogen, a self-named "grizzled veteran" of the early retirement life, one of the downsides of retiring early is suffering from an identity crisis if you've spent several years working in a profession, which plays a large part in shaping your identity.

    "It's only after you leave your job do you truly realize how wound up you were in your profession,"Dogen wrote. The identity crisis may last as little as three months or up to a few years depending on how wrapped up you were in your job, he said.

    He added: "The most common question people ask when they first meet each other is: What do you do for a living? And if you tell them you don't do anything for a living, well then you might just feel like a sheepish loser."

     

     

     



    With more time, you might need to find a new source of motivation.

    That said, many early retirees end up needing to find a new source of motivation.

    Brandon of the Mad Fientist, who retired early at age 34, previously said that his biggest mindset shift after retiring early was realizing that money was no longer motivating.

    "This is quite a shocking and uncomfortable shift for me,"he wrote. "Money has motivated my entire adult life until this point. Now, I have enough money (and even more than I expected) so it's not as important anymore."

    While it's a great position to be in, he said, losing your main source of motivation can be disorienting.

    "Some of the projects I planned to start after leaving my job were business ideas but now that earning more money isn't as appealing, I don't see the point," he wrote. "I've had to reevaluate my entire life and all my plans while simultaneously finding a new source of motivation."

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Nap York

    • A wellness center in New York City that says its aim is "recharging the people who power the world" by giving them a space for an important activity: napping.
    • Nap York is a 24-hour facility in midtown Manhattan that lets people drop in to sleep in pods, from a 30-minute power nap to a multiple-hour slumber session designed for travelers who have layovers at one of the nearby airports.
    • Visitors can pay $15 for a 30-minute nap or up to $250 a month for a membership that includes five naps a week.
    • Studies have found that naps improve immune system health, energy, cognitive function, and emotional control.

    A few blocks from Times Square, in the middle of one of New York City's busiest neighborhoods, is an urban oasis where sleep-deprived New Yorkers can swap their shoes for slippers, drink a cup of tea, and take a nap.

    That's the idea behind Nap York, which opened in February, offering 30-minute naps in sleep pods for $10. Seven months later, prices have risen slightly, to $15 for half an hour, and there are additional options for monthly memberships.

    For $35 a month, you can pop into Nap York for one 30-minute nap a week. The priciest membership is the $250-a-month Gold Premium, which includes five naps — up to 90 minutes each — per week. You can also book a longer nap starting $50 for three hours with each additional hour costing $7.

    The pods are strictly single-occupancy. Visitors can also take a shower, get a massage, or relax in one of the hammocks on the roof.

    Reza Moreno, the community director for Nap York, told Business Insider that a large chunk of its visitors were travelers who need a place to sleep for a few hours during their layover at a nearby airport.

    But she stressed that Nap York is not a hotel. Visitors can't book multiple long sleep sessions in a row.

    "We just give the convenience for those who literally just need a place to bonk out for the night," Moreno said.

    During the day, Nap York sees office workers who pop in for a half-hour power nap on their lunch break. In the summertime, some sweaty New Yorkers even dropped by to take a shower before a business meeting.

    Here's what it's like inside Nap York.

    SEE ALSO: A productivity expert says coffee naps — 'nappuccinos' — changed his life. Here's how.

    DON'T MISS: Forget $40 fitness classes — now a tech startup is asking rich people to spend $1,500 plus monthly fees on a mirror to stream workouts directly into their homes

    Located in Manhattan's bustling Midtown neighborhood, Nap York calls itself "your 24/7 oasis in the middle of the Concrete Jungle." When I got there, I tried to peer in the windows, but they were obscured by dark curtains.

    Source: Nap York



    Nap York has had about 8,000 people come in for naps since it opened in February, according to Moreno.



    When you step inside, you're greeted by screens that display the various nap and membership options available. There are also several large plants, which instantly hooked me, a stereotypically plant-loving millennial.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Google Home Hub

    With its latest smart-home device, Google wants to run your life — or at least your home.

    The Google Home Hub, which debuted last month and costs $150, is the first Google Home device with a screen. It's intended to serve as a hub for all your smart-home devices, a place to watch YouTube videos, and a visual portal into your schedule, the weather, and nearby traffic.

    Oh, and it has Google Assistant built in too.

    I've been using the Home Hub in my home for the past few weeks, living with it and using it like my other Google Assistant products. Here's what I've found.

    SEE ALSO: I really want to buy Google's new Pixel 3 smartphone — but there are 4 things that are keeping me hooked on the iPhone

    The Google Home Hub is smaller than you think it will be.

    The one thing that most surprised me about the Google Home Hub is its size. The device, which has a 7-inch touchscreen display, is less than 5 inches tall and 7 inches wide (or 188 millimeters by 178.5 millimeters).

    At first, its small size seemed like something of a mistake on Google's part — after all, we're in an era where everyone is making their displays as large as possible.

    But once I got the Home Hub into my home, I saw the value in making the device that size: It fits anywhere.

    The Home Hub has a small footprint, so it fits nearly anywhere you want it to, like a nightstand, a kitchen counter, or even on the bathroom vanity, if you're so inclined.

    Plus, it's good-looking. I've been testing the charcoal version, and it fits in perfectly with my kitchen, which has gray cabinets and white countertops.



    Its display isn't super high-end, but I had no issues with it.

    The Home Hub has an LCD display, which is generally considered slightly inferior to the high-end OLED displays of devices like Google's new Pixel 3 phone.

    That said, I've been impressed by the quality of the display so far. It's bright and sharp, and everything from photos to videos looks great on it.

    One nice feature of the Home Hub display is the ambient EQ light sensor that lives directly above the screen. When that sensor detects it's dark in a room, it will dim the display or shut it off. This is a nice feature if the Home Hub is in a spot like your living room and you dim the lights to watch a movie — and especially nice if you keep it on your bedside table.



    I actually found myself wishing the Home Hub had a camera.

    Google purposely didn't include a camera on the Home Hub to make it more versatile. No camera means people will feel more comfortable putting it in their bedroom, or bathroom, or any other room in their home — at least, that's what Google hopes.

    While that's a noble decision, I was surprised that I found myself wishing it did have a camera, if only so I could video chat with my family.

    My family lives across the state from me, and two of my siblings have Pixel phones, meaning I use Google Duo, Google's video-chat app, pretty often. The other night, I was video chatting with them and my niece and nephew while cooking dinner, and I would have loved to be able to take the call on the Home Hub sitting on my kitchen counter instead of on my phone, which was propped at an odd angle and has a pretty small screen.

    That said, most people probably won't feel the same way I do. No camera means zero likelihood of a hacked camera — and more privacy for you and your family.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump macron shake november

    President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron's previously close relationship seemed to fade at a weekend where world leaders gathered to celebrate 100 years since the end of World War I.

    The weekend began as Trump tweeted to bash Macron's plans for European defense hours before landing in Paris.

    When he saw Macron in person, the two presidents delivered the latest bizarre handshake in their history of strategic physical contact. Here's what happened.

    SEE ALSO: President Trump canceled his trip to the World War I memorial because of the rain

    DON'T MISS: CNN and Jim Acosta are suing the White House over revoked press credentials, former White House correspondent says

    Trump and Macron met Saturday morning in the Élysée Palace ahead of bilateral talks.



    The two didn't appear as friendly as they had in the past, though they emphasized the importance of their two countries working together on issues including European defense.

    Source: NBC News



    Macron seemed to try to convey a cooperative image by touching Trump's thigh in a move reminiscent of their previously touch-filled meetings.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Inscriptions by WWI soldier J.G. Gibb, 2nd Highland Light Infantry, are seen on the rock in underground caves accessible by small spiral stairs in the village's church at Bouzincourt, northern France, July 13, 2015.

    Neglected for decades, underground caves in a small village in France's Somme valley contain a treasure trove of hundreds of engravings by World War I Canadian and British soldiers as they sought refuge from German assaults.

    Most of the inscriptions date back to 1916, many from July of that year when the Battle of the Somme started.

    Nearly 20,000 British soldiers were killed on the first day; by the battle's end in mid-November, the two sides had together suffered over a million casualties.

    War researchers say the engravings in the chalky rocks of Bouzincourt offer a powerful insight into the thoughts of those caught up in the Somme Offensive, one of the bloodiest battles in world history.

    Check them out below. 

    SEE ALSO: 

    The caves are only accessible by small spiral stairs in the Bouzincourt church seen below.



    Some 12 yards under the surface, the caves were used by locals as early as the 17th century to store food and shelter their families and livestock.



    "They knew that they may be about to die," Gusky told Reuters in 2015.

    "We all want to be known, we all want to feel like our lives matter," Gusky said. "And so here on these walls we see them writing their last message to all of us, not knowing if anyone would ever see it."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    freeway highway

    Roads in the US need some serious help. 

    Even though states and the federal government spend over $400 million a year maintaining and building new roads, the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2017 report found that 32% of urban streets and 14% of rural roads were in poor condition. Overall, US roads received a D on the study's report card. 

    If roads were a pass/fail class in college, they would be failing. 

    On Tuesday, lvl5 — a company founded by ex-Tesla engineers that's building HD maps for self-driving cars — dug deeper into the problem and published a list of US states ranked by road quality.

    The company analyzed over 15 million photographs captured by its iPhone dashcam app, Payver, which pays users — typically Uber or Lyft drivers — up to $0.05 per mile to record their driving using their cell phone. To rank the states, lvl5 measured four distinct areas: road paint fading, pavement cracking, potholes, and surface flatness.

    Think your state has the most pothole-stricken pavement in the country? 

    If you live in Florida, have no fear. According to lvl5, your state has the best road quality around. Hawaii had the second best roads, followed by Washington state in third place. Lvl5's full findings can be found here

    Below, we've listed the 10 states that have it the worst: 

    SEE ALSO: We compared Google Search with Bing and DuckDuckGo to find the best search engine out there — and the race was closer than we expected

    10. Maine



    9. New York



    8. Wisconsin



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    AP_18313020369225

    Three wildfires raged through California this weekend, destroying thousands of structures and forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their towns.

    In northern California, the Camp Fire, reportedly named by local officials, almost completely destroyed the community of Paradise, fire captain Scott McLean told the Associated Press.

    The fires reportedly started after windy conditions swept through the state, creating high fire danger.

    On Thursday, acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Butte County for the northernmost Camp Fire, which is expected to burn for multiple days. He also requested federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in a letter to President Donald Trump asking for a presidential emergency declaration.

    On Friday, mandatory evacuation orders for the Malibu and Santa Monica areas affected by the Woolsey Fire were issued. Malibu Search and Rescue tweeted, "Do not wait!"

    Here's what you need to know about the devastating fires.

    On Thursday, the Camp Fire traveled 18,000 acres to Paradise, California — growing at the rate of nearly 80 football fields per minute.

    Source: CNN



    Over 2,200 firefighters are reportedly on the ground in Butte County, where thick smoke has slowed evacuation efforts.

    Source: CNN



    40,000 residents in the county were forced to flee, around 1,000 structures have been destroyed, and 70,000 acres have been burned.

    Source: Fox 61, The Washington Post



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jeff Bezos

    It's been 14 months since Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, declared its intention to build a second headquarters.  Founded in Seattle some 23 years earlier, Amazon said it had gotten so big that it needed a second home base in another city.

    The company's year-long selection process had a decidedly sweepstakes-like feel to it. Amazon laid out its expectations for what it wanted in a second hometown and promised a bonanza of 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment to whichever lucky city it picked.

    City governments and officials scrambled to outdo each other and woo the online retailer, dangling tax breaks, exemptions of all types and even promises to change their names.

    Now, Amazon has reportedly zeroed in on New York City and Virginia— and "HQ2" will likely actually be two separate offices.  The move, which has yet to be confirmed by Amazon, has left a sour taste with some people who accuse Amazon of having deviously gamed the system. 

    Here's a look at the sequence of events during Amazon's controversial "HQ2" adventure, and the strange spectacle that Amazon whipped up in the process.

    SEE ALSO: Trump called Foxconn's Wisconsin factory an 'incredible investment,' but evidence is mounting it's a terrible deal

    Amazon's current and first headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington. Around 45,000 workers are employed there.



    In 2017, Amazon announced that it was searching for a location for its second headquarters.

    The retailer said its new headquarters would come with 50,000 new jobs and a $5 billion investment in the new home city. 



    Along with the announcement, Amazon listed out its expectations for cities that were applying. It asked for "incentives" like tax breaks and exemptions, and fee reductions.

    Here are some additional requirements that Amazon laid out:

    • A site within 30 miles of a "population center."
    • Mass transit options located on-site 
    • The ability to travel to/from an airport within 45 minutes
    • Up to 8 million square feet, after the initial requirement of 500,000 
    • Fiber connectivity and acceptable cell phone service 
    • A "business-friendly environment and tax structure" that provides tax breaks and exemptions, fee reductions, workforce grants, and utility incentives, among other incentives. 
    • A "highly-educated labor pool" and a "strong university system."
    • "Elected officials eager and willing to work with the company."
    • A high quality of life for the 50,000 employees to be located there. 


    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.

    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. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Woolsey fire november 2018

    Flames are racing along the southern California coastline as firefighters work to contain the fast-moving Woolsey Fire. The blaze has already scorched 83,275 acres on the outskirts of Los Angeles. There was 15% containment of the Woolsey Fire as of Sunday evening.

    Authorities downgraded the Hill Fire to over 4,500 acres burned in Ventura County. Firefighters had reached 75% containment of that blaze by Sunday evening.

    They're just two of thousands of California wildfires recorded this year. Meanwhile, to the north, the Camp Fire has killed 29 people and leveled the entire town of Paradise.

    Both of the LA-area fires started Thursday afternoon, and two deaths have been reported. Many people had to leave behind their beloved pets and homes and flee. 

    Here's a glimpse at the devastation in southern California so far.

    SEE ALSO: 3 dangerous fires are burning across California, and 5 people died in their cars as they tried to escape

    The beach city of Malibu is home to about 13,000 people. On Friday, as flames from the Woolsey Fire raced towards the coast, the entire town was forced to evacuate.



    Shortly after noon on Friday, the City of Malibu said on its website that the "fire is now burning out of control and heading into populated areas of Malibu. All residents must evacuate immediately."

    Source: Business Insider



    Stars including Alyssa Milano, Melissa Etheridge, director Guillermo del Toro, and the Kardashian sisters all had to leave their homes in the area.

    Milano said she packed up her "kids, dogs, computer," and Doc Marten boots and headed for shelter.

    Sources: @Alyssa_Milano, @RealGDT, Business Insider, @metheridge



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Burning Man 2015 Unicorn Headdress

    While private-market valuations seem to reach new heights every week, the number of new unicorn startups — private companies valued over $1 billion — has actually slowed.

    In Goldman Sachs' quarterly Views from the Valley report, published Monday, analyst Heather Bellini wrote that the pace of unicorn additions "continued to be muted" in the third quarter — particularly in comparison to Q2 2017, when 20 startups joined the so-called unicorn club.

    Just five tech startups joined the unicorn club in the third quarter, according to the report. That brings the total number of unicorns up to 162 in the third quarter, excluding companies which had unicorn valuations but have since exited through an initial public offering or an acquisition. 

    Meet the five newest additions: 

    AppLovin

    What it does: AppLovin is a mobile marketing platform founded in Palo Alto, California, in 2012. Under CEO Adam Foroughi, the startup has gained a foothold in the online gaming space by helping game-app designers track analytics and monetize their apps.
    What it's worth now: $2 billion
    Total funding: $944 million
    Who's invested: AppLovin was originally backed by angel investors, including Maynard Webb, of eBay and Yahoo fame. Its latest valuation comes from a $400 million private equity investment from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, better known as KKR.



    BenevolentAI

    What it does: The London-based BenevolentAI was founded in 2013. The startup uses AI to advance medical research. It's a rising star in the biotech and drug-discovery field.
    What it's worth now: $2 billion
    Total funding: $203 million
    Who's invested: BenevolentAI has been funded by private equity since the beginning. In April, it raised $115 million from investors at Lansdowne Partners, Lundbeck, Nortrust Nominees, Upsher-Smith Laboratories and Woodford Investment Management. 



    Bird

    What it does: Since its founding in 2017, the Santa Monica, California-based Bird has taken over cities with its flocks of app-activated electric scooters, which commuters use to buzz around metropolitan areas. 
    What it's worth now: $2 billion
    Total funding: $415 million
    Who's invested: Bird has rapidly found itself infused with cash, thanks to multiple funding rounds in its short lifetime. Its biggest-named investors include Sequoia Capital and Accel. Its most recent $150 million round in June valued the company at $2 billion. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Lewis Hamilton Mercedes car

    Lewis Hamilton is a young, massively successful athlete who has been crowned Formula 1 world champion five times.

    He earns approximately $51 million a year, according to Forbes, and is known for his relationships with some of the most famous women on the planet — most recently Nicki Minaj, who he went ATV riding with in Dubai, but also singers like Rihanna, Rita Ora, and Nicole Scherzinger in the past.

    If that's not enough, his vehicle collection is also ridiculous — and it's not just cars he likes to buy, drive, or be driven in, either.

    Keep scrolling to see the most expensive, rare, and bizarre vehicles Hamilton drives when he's not racing.

    SEE ALSO: Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton took Usain Bolt for a stunt ride in a $200,000 Mercedes

    DON'T MISS: How to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner like an elite-level Formula One driver

    This is British racer Lewis Hamilton, who was recently crowned Formula 1 world champion for the fifth time.



    The view from Hamilton's office window typically looks like this. He has a cockpit that offers very little space, and he hurtles around a race track at speeds of 200mph. Hamilton, a Mercedes athlete, drove the company's F1 W09 EQ Power+ car in the 2018 season, but it's not the only vehicle he gets his mitts on.

    Instagram Embed:
    //instagram.com/p/BoXLyVzhq9-/embed
    Width: 540px

    Source:Instagram.



    Hamilton passed his driving test in 2002 and bought his first car — a second-hand Mini Cooper not too dissimilar to the model Mr. Bean made famous in the British sitcom featuring Rowan Atkinson. Before long, Hamilton was lent a Mercedes C 200 by a dealership which he said was "very cool" and popular "with the ladies" when he was only 18. The second car he bought was a bit of a step up, as he purchased a Ferrari 599 GTO, a vehicle he only recently sold.

    Source:Sunday Times: Driving.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    california wildfire

    At least 31 people are dead and thousands of homes have been destroyed in three dangerous wildfires which are burning across California.

    The Camp Fire, in northern California, started Thursday morning, killing at least 29 people and burning the entire 27,000-population town of Paradise.

    Meanwhile, two smaller fires — The Woolsey and Hill Fires — also started on Thursday to the south, and are burning through parts of Ventura and the outskirts of Los Angeles, shutting down stretches of the freeway. Another small fire broke out on Friday morning inside the city limits of LA.

    You can see a map of the fires here.

    So far there are two reported deaths from the southern California fires, and at least 150 homes have been burned, according to southern California officials, with that number expected to rise.

    Among those properties threatened are a number of celebrity homes, and A-listers were among the 250,000 people in Ventura and LA countries who had already been evacuated as of Friday night.

    Read more:At least 9 people dead, thousands of homes destroyed in 3 dangerous wildfires burning across California

    Here are all of the celebrities who have evacuated their homes during the fires so far.

    Kim Kardashian-West

    Kim Kardashian-West was forced to flee her Hidden Hills property within one hour on Thursday night, according to People, after coming home to find that the wildfire in her neighborhood was burning out of control.

    She filmed the flames from her private jet and shared the aerial video to her Instagram stories, telling fans she was evacuating and asking them to "pray for Calabasas."

    She then tweeted that she had "heard the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment."

    Kardashian-West also shared a picture on Instagram where she told followers she was trying to take her mind off the fire.

    Instagram Embed:
    //instagram.com/p/Bp-pePcnuDX/embed
    Width: 540px

     



    Caitlyn Jenner

    Jenner was forced to leave her home in the Malibu hills, explaining on Instagram that she'd gone to a safe house.

    A couple of days later, Jenner posted an update explaining that she'd made it back to her house and it hadn't been destroyed, but that it was "devastating here in Malibu" and the hills are "scorched" and "fried."

    Instagram Embed:
    //instagram.com/p/BqD2GC-hj5P/embed
    Width: 540px

     



    Kourtney Kardashian

    Kim's sister Kourtney lives in the area of Calabasas, and also chose to evacuate.

    According to People, she shared a photo of her car trunk packed with bags saying: "I pray that everyone is kept safe and protected from these fires. No Calabasas tonight."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Dog paw

    If you're a dog owner, you know that canines have a language all their own. Whether they're barking, growling, whining or howling, they're trying to tell you something — and it pays to be informed about what those sounds could mean. Because, while they're often harmless, such vocalizations could be a sign of trouble. Here, we take a look at 10 common sounds that dogs make and exactly what they mean.

    Barking is a dog's main way to communicate, and it can mean a lot of things.

    Barking is a dog's primary means of communication, so it should come as no surprise that barks mean different things, according to Whole Dog Journal. Your dog may bark to alert of danger, to demand attention or treats, to voice frustration, to express anxiety or fear, or to greet you when you get home. Sometimes, dogs bark while playing; other times, they're just plain bored.



    Growling doesn't always mean a dog is angry or aggressive.

    You might think that a growling dog is being aggressive, but that's not always the case. Often, dogs growl because they're afraid, according to Pet MD. Either they don't like what's going to happen (e.g., getting their nails trimmed), they don't know what's going to happen (e.g., a stranger comes into the home), they're protecting their resources (e.g., food and toys), or they're in pain. Keep in mind that growling may mean that your dog is having fun, like when playing with other dogs or chewing a bone.



    Whining, crying, and whimpering could indicate emotional distress or pain.

    Dog whining, crying, and whimpering can also mean several different things, according to the American Kennel Club. Your pup could be vocalizing because he needs or wants something, such as food or attention. Dogs that are stressed, scared, or in pain often will whine, too. Here's one possibility you may not have considered: Your dog could be whining to apologize to you after being scolded.



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    glossier 2391

    • Glossier, a cult-favorite beauty and skin-care brand founded in 2014, just opened its first flagship store in New York City.
    • The company has raised $86 million in venture funding since 2014. 
    • The flagship store opened where Glossier 's showroom has been for the past year. The space is designed to be a social space where customers can test makeup and hang out while shopping.
    • When we visited a day after it opened, it was already packed.

    Glossier, a previously online-only beauty and skin-care brand founded in 2014, just opened its first flagship store in New York City. 

    Since the company first started in 2014, Glossier has raised a whopping $86 million in venture funding and gained a cult following among millennials. 

    The flagship store opened in the same spot in SoHo where Glossier's shoppable showroom has been since it opened in November 2017. More than half a million customers have come through that space since it opened, the company told The New York Times.

    The flagship is Glossier's second and largest permanent shop, as it already operates a storefront in Los Angeles. The interior is decorated with flowers and over-the-top displays, and employees wear bubblegum pink jumpsuits. The products in store aren't on shelves, but instead on communal tables with mirrors set up for shoppers to test the products. There's even a room with sinks and cleansers so that shoppers can wash off makeup they tested and try out more. 

    We went to the flagship store the day after it opened. Here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: 'We're living in the age of the remix': Fashion brands are making major changes to appeal to Gen Z in a new era of luxury

    DON'T MISS: These are the brands that blew up in 2018

    Glossier's flagship store is on Lafayette Street in SoHo, where its showroom had been located since November 2017.



    Walking through the doors, I was greeted by a pink staircase with bright lights and high ceilings.



    At the top of the stairs are employees greeting everyone by a big floral display.



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    google miniatur wunderland

    The "Miniatur Wunderland" exhibition, located in Hamburg, Germany, is the world's largest model railway.

    If you've never seen it before, it's one of the cutest, most detailed miniature models you'll ever see in your life.

    To bring new perspective to the massive model railway, Google in 2016 built a miniature version of its Street View car to capture footage within the Miniatur Wunderland with an array of tiny mounted cameras. You can actually see all the various worlds within the Miniatur Wunderland on Google Street View.

    The results are stunning. Take a look:

    SEE ALSO: 13 things everyone is going to love about iOS 11

    Google worked with mapping software company Ubilabs to capture the sprawling model world.



    The tiny Street View car couldn't actually film anything, which is why Google and Ubilabs built a fleet of mini camera-mounted devices to cruise the streets ...



    ... and railways of Miniatur Wunderland. Keep in mind, this model railway features over 8 miles of track.



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    fortnite battle royale

    For the better part of 2018, I've immersed myself in "Fortnite Battle Royale," the most popular game in the world right now. When I'm not playing, I've been watching and studying the best "Fortnite" streamers on Twitch, like Ninja.

    Still, after dozens of hours of playing and watching "Fortnite," I felt like I wasn't actually improving in the game. I was dying early and often. And while I may have been getting the hang of the various controls, building and shooting — the two most essential functions in "Fortnite" for defense and offense, respectively — were still not intuitive to me. I was getting easily overwhelmed in firefights. And this was frustrating to me, since I play a lot of video games.

    Recently, though, I made a breakthrough. I'm nowhere near the level of pro streamers like Ninja, but I'm consistently finishing in the top 10 to 25 players, and usually with at least one or two kills under my belt.

    Here's what I'd suggest to anyone who's struggling to get better at "Fortnite":

    SEE ALSO: 15 tips and tricks to play and win at Fortnite Battle Royale, the most popular game in the world right now

    1. Try playing on a different device.

    Personally, my biggest breakthrough with "Fortnite" was simply playing the game on a different device.

    I had spent probably a few dozen hours playing "Fortnite" on my PlayStation 4, unsuccessfully, until I finally tried downloading the game to my iPhone X. I noticed an instant and immediate improvement.

    For some reference: Prior to playing "Fortnite" on my iPhone, I was never able to successfully hit anyone with a sniper rifle while playing on my PS4. But I got two sniper kills — not just hits, but kills — in one of my first matches when I switched to my iPhone. In general, I've found it's much easier to move, build, aim, and shoot on the iPhone compared to the PlayStation 4. And I bet it's even easier if you play the game on PC.



    If you're interested, here are the controls for "Fortnite" if you're playing on an iPhone. As you can see, it's very simple.

    The game is coming soon to Android, says Epic Games, the creator of "Fortnite." But it's unclear when, and which devices will be supported.



    2. Lower the sensitivity settings for your controls.

    I overheard Tyler "Ninja" Blevins mention this tip on his Twitch stream, so I tried it for myself. And sure enough, lowering the sensitivity settings of your controls — whether you're using a console controller or a keyboard and mouse — can sometimes help you steady your aim.

    To visit your settings, click the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen while you're playing the game or waiting in the lobby. There, you'll see your controller sensitivities. While you're there, though, be sure to revisit your other controls and settings. You may want to tweak some of those, apply the changes, and see how the game plays. You never know: Sometimes, a simple tweak is all you need.



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    Bed bug

    When it comes to getting rid of a troublesome bedbug infestation, it's easy to become frustrated enough that you're willing to try anything.

    Unfortunately, a lot of things simply won't work against this particular pest — and will only serve to prolong the agony. Getting a trained and qualified pest service is your best bet in this situation. Here are some common solutions that don't actually work. 

    Mothballs won't do much to stop your bedbug problem.

    A research team at Rutgers University led by researcher Changlu Wang found that sticking a bunch of completely infested clothes inside a bag with mothballs was mostly ineffective.

     



    Bug bombs won't do the trick, either.

    If you're thinking of DIY-ing your bed bug troubles away with one of these — or a spray that contains something like DEET — the levels of concentration at which these products are sold aren't strong enough to be effective, according to research from Consumer Reports.



    Rubbing alcohol only works about half the time.

    Home remedies can give you some hope if you're facing an infestation — but it's not helpful if they don't work. Unfortunately, rubbing alcohol falls solidly into this category.

    In Rutgers University researcher Changlu Wang's bedbug experiments, his team found that spraying bed bugs directly with rubbing alcohol only killed around 50% of the insects. The more bugs that survive to procreate and perpetuate your problem, the longer your bedbug infestation will remain.



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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 winter boots for men

    • With a great pair of winter boots on your feet, snow, ice, and the frigid temperatures won't stop you from having fun or getting your work done.

    • We considered insulation, tread pattern, lacing systems, and more to find the best winter boots.

    • The Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots are our top pick, thanks to the comfort, support, and amazing insulation properties of these boots.

    My favorite boots are comfortable, supportive, and have great treads for hiking on all sorts of terrain. They're reliable, they look great ... and they tend to spend many months of the year tucked away on a shelf instead of on my feet. Why? Because they're just not winter boots.

    Boots have to provide two qualities to be suitable for use during the winter: insulation and water-resistance. If your boots can't help keep your feet warm and they can't keep your feet dry, then they're just not suitable for wintertime use. And of those two imperative qualities, waterproofing is the most important factor.

    Once your socks grow sodden after snow, slush, or rain inundate your footwear, the insulation properties of the boots are no longer of much importance. In the winter, a wet foot is going to be a cold foot, and one more prone to blisters and infection. So while you can always help keep your feet warm with a pair of socks (or with layered socks), you have to use waterproof boots if you'll be hiking, working, or just walking around in areas liable to see snowfall or rain during those colder months. It's no coincidence that most of the boots on our list have the word "waterproof" right in the product title.

    But what makes a great winter boot, beyond the warmth and dryness? It's largely relative. You need a winter boot that offers sufficient traction for activities in which you partake, but you don't need the same level of aggressive tread pattern for slushy sidewalks as you do for snowbound trails. You want enough support to help prevent a rolled ankle if you slip on ice, but your winter work boots probably don't need a calf-high rise. You want a lacing system that's snug and secure, but you also want it to be as simple as possible, as you might be wearing gloves or dealing with frosty fingers.

    In short, you need to choose a boot that fits the places in which you'll use it and the tasks at hand in said locations. Don't choose a winter boot because it has lots of nifty features that seem clever and keen; choose a winter boot that's going to serve your purposes. We've rounded up the best winter boots you can buy for different use cases and styles. Read on to see which of our picks is for you.

    Here are the best winter boots for men:

    Updated on 11/13/2018 by Owen Burke: Updated prices and added new picks to replace out-of-stock items.

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

    SEE ALSO: The best men's hiking boots you can buy

    Best winter boots overall

    Why you'll love them: With the Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots on your feet, you are going to be toasty warm even when the weather isn't, thanks to the advanced insulation and lightweight design.

    The Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots will keep your feet dry if you stand in a stream or puddle. Seriously, you could just step right into the water, and provided it didn't crest the impressive seven-inch rise of the shaft, your feet would not get wet. And were the stream or puddle into which you stepped freezing cold, your feet would stay nice and warm, too. That's because these exceptionally well-made winter boots come with a 200-gram insulation and an Omni-Heat reflective lining that radiates your own body heat right back at you.

    You know those metallic emergency blankets (also called space blankets) that people wrap themselves in after an accident or after running a marathon? Columbia's Omni-Heat technology uses much the same approach. The lining consists of multiple little dots of a radiant metallic material that reflects your foot's warmth back into the boot instead of absorbing it and drawing the warmth away from your extremities.

    And to top it off (or... bottom it off, to be more precise) these boots have an outsole featuring excellent traction that's lightweight and offers a plenty of energy return. The boots are an ideal choice for winter treks, whether you're hiking across miles of woodland terrain or simply plodding across town on a cold wintry morning.

    People don't like the Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots ... they love them. A fan named Sean called them "worth every penny if you live somewhere where there is heavy snowfall," while an owner named Joey said they were "absolutely amazing" and sharing that he "tested waterproofness by having on no socks and sticking [my] foot in a bathtub filled with water. Even while fully submerged, my foot was dry."

    Most professional gear testers eschewed the bathtub test and instead wore their Columbia boots out into the wilderness. A writer with The Wirecutter said they offer "the best balance of warmth, waterproofing, and walkability," while the Gear Institute review called these boots "comfortable out of the box" and noted the roomy toe box.

    Pros: Amazing insulation quality, reliably waterproof, good traction on snow, ice, and varied terrain

    Cons: Too warm for use except in winter, rather large and bulky

    Buy the Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots on Amazon for $119.95 - $129.95 (prices vary by size)

    Buy the Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni Cold-Weather Boots from Columbia for $145.00



    Best classic winter boots

    Why you'll love them: L.L. Bean's shearling-lined 10-inch boots are the warmest of the bunch, but any of the Bean Boots will serve you well through both fall and winter, and they go with most outfits.

    L.L. Bean's boots were introduced in 1912, and haven't changed much since. That's because they haven't had to.

    Leon Leonwood Bean did generations of anglers and hunters a serious solid by tacking together these remarkably warm and dry boots. The Bean Boots went on to become the genesis of his stardom more than a century ago. Today, you'll find them everywhere from the backwoods of Maine to the boroughs of the Big Apple.

    While many of L.L. Bean's products are being made offshore these days, the company continues to craft a select few of its products stateside, including the beloved Bean Boots.

    Constructed using rubber bottoms and soles, a steel shank, full-grain leather uppers, and 3M Thinsulate, these boots have hardly changed since the start. Of course, there was no 3M nor Thinsulate in the early 20th century, but the design, the leather, and the rubber have all remained the same.

    One thing that has changed L.L. Bean's boot game is variety. There are more than 30 styles of Bean Boots to choose from with an array of linings so there's a pair for each season.

    These boots are part of the history of exploration and expedition themselves, having gone to war for the United States Army and forayed both poles. They are also storied to have found their way onto Ernest Hemingway's feet, who, according to GQ, even went so far as to recommend them himself.

    The endorsements don't stop there. Popular Mechanics recently discussed The Never-Ending Greatness of L.L. Bean's Boots, and GQ has sung L.L. Bean's praise for years. One staff member here at Insider Inc. made a pair of these boots last more than 30 years. Here's proof.

    Reviews on L.L. Bean's site are almost entirely positive across the board, yielding a 4.6/5-star rating, with only a handful of negative reviews coming from customers who seemed to get the odd bad pair.

    Unfortunately, L.L. Bean's lifetime guarantee was discontinued, and purchases only come with a one-year warranty from here on out. We're sad to see this longstanding tradition go, but will still stand by Bean's boots unless the quality itself starts to drop. — Owen Burke

    Pros: Sturdy, high-end leather and rubber, steel shank for support, not outrageously priced, hand-stitched

    Cons: Maybe not the most fashion-forward boots you'll come across this season (or next), but their beauty lies in their utilitarianism

    Buy L.L. Bean's Shearling-Lined 10-inch men's boots for $230

    Shop Bean Boots at L.L. Bean for $100 to $245



    Best affordable winter work boots

    Why you'll love them: When there's work to be done, the Ever Boots Ultra Dry Insulated Waterproof Work Boots ensure the winter weather won't slow you down. 

    A good work boot helps you accomplish your tasks without you even knowing it's there. Work boots need to be supportive and protective yet lightweight enough for the long hours required at the construction site, the farm, or the landscaping job. They need to keep your feet warm and dry in the winter, but not be so heavily insulated as to make feet sweat when your body temperature is raised. And of course, work boots need to be tough enough to endure the abuse that comes with the toughest jobs.

    The Ever Boots Ultra Dry Insulated Waterproof Work Boots score high marks when tested against every one of the aforementioned standards, and they even have one more attribute worth noting: They look great. While aesthetics might have little effect on how well you get your work done, you might as well choose a work boot that looks good, right?

    Made with full grain leather, these boots are a great choice for workers in areas where winter precipitation can be heavy. Beyond that waterproof leather, they have watertight stitches, water-resistant laces, and a seal added along the sole to help make sure no snowmelt, rain, or slush ever soaks through to your feet.

    These boots have a solid 4.5-star rating with hundreds of reviews posted on Amazon. One customer calls them "warm and waterproof" while another says they are "sturdy and at a good price."

    A gear tester with AllThingsWaterproof.com called the Ever Boots Ultra Dry Insulated Waterproof Work Boots "ideal for construction, landscaping, gardening" and more, while a MyWorkWear.org writer noted the affordable price and the "high-quality materials and exceptional workmanship."

    Consider stepping down a half-size because, in our experience, these boots tend to run large.

    Pros: Great price point, reliable waterproofing, classic work boot look

    Cons: Sizes run too large, break-in period required

    Buy the Ever Boots Ultra Dry Insulated Waterproof Work Boots on Amazon for $64.99



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