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    Bay Area

    • The Bay Area is saturated with tech companies like Twitter and DropBox, but it wasn’t always that way.
    • The inclusive San Francisco was once home to an eclectic group of dreamers, unconventionals, and creatives.
    • But in the last two decades, tech companies have taken over, diminishing the rich culture and causing Bay Area real estate prices to soar.
    • Here’s how tech companies are ruining the Bay Area.


    When I moved to San Francisco in 1987, the inclusive City by the Bay was home to artists, dreamers, queers, and weirdos. I made friends, got a job, and learned never to call the city “Frisco.” In San Francisco, the unconventional fit in. I felt right at home.

    A little more than a decade later, my Bay Area home started to change. Tech companies and their employees began to run roughshod over San Francisco and the East Bay. Real estate prices soared, and the eclectic Bay Area culture that I love started to disappear.

    Poets and revolutionaries have been pushed to the margins while tech companies turn the Bay Area from a magnet for all types of creative thinkers into a mecca for just one thing: tech. Here’s how tech companies are ruining San Francisco.

    SEE ALSO: The income needed to afford a median-priced home in every San Francisco Bay Area county

    1. Tech crashed San Francisco’s party and won’t leave

    I did a very informal survey of friends and neighbors, including people who work in tech, on the industry’s role in the Bay Area. The first thing everyone mentioned was housing prices.

    A myriad of factors have pushed up the price of Bay Area real estate, and a Starbucks salary can’t compete with a tech paycheck in a when it comes to the competitive rental market. And forget about buying a home: the median San Francisco home price is $1.61 million, according to Curbed.

    A friend of mine once commented that San Francisco is a city of rich people with no one to pour their lattes. Many people, including me, have decamped to the cheaper East Bay or places further afield.

    Even lovely, funky, spirited Oakland is not immune to the housing crunch. As San Francisco has grown more crowded and unaffordable, a flood of tech workers has brought high prices to Oakland buyers and renters as well, according to Zillow.

    The Bay Area is no longer a place where a young person can live a bohemian life rich in ideas but short on cash. If this housing trend keeps up, young poets will no longer congregate at City Lights Books or split a tiramisu at Caffe Greco. And that’s a loss for the Bay Area.

    2. Life in a petri dish

    Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook with the motto, “Move fast and break things.” Many tech startups take this as their guiding premise, asking forgiveness rather than permission. But when the thing they break by moving fast is the physical infrastructure — the streets where we all live — it’s not funny anymore.

    With increasing frequency, Bay Area residents find ourselves subjected to yet another startup ready to make our lives better, whether we like it or not. One of the latest uninvited tech innovation to hit Bay Area streets is scooter sharing.

    Startups like Lime and Bird think they’re solving the problem of getting commuters the last mile between their public transit stops and their destinations. But Bay Area residents and governments don’t appreciate the scooters that suddenly are littering their sidewalks.

    On a recent day in San Francisco, protesters blocked tech buses with piles of electric scooters, as Business Insider previously reported. San Francisco has sent cease and desist letters to the scooter companies, but the behemoth of tech seems likely to roll over residents once again. And they wonder why we don’t like them.

    3. The ill-advised building boom

    You may have heard that the Bay Area is prone to earthquakes. Apparently, this news hasn’t reached the geniuses transforming the San Francisco skyline with skyscrapers like the Salesforce Tower, now the tallest building in the city. As the New York Times recently reported, these giants present a big risk in a city with a history of hard shakes.

    Adding to the danger is the fact that much of downtown San Francisco was built on a landfill (mapping the locations of the abandoned Gold Rush ships that were paved over in the process is a favorite SF pastime).

    I have to admit a certain amount of schadenfreude when I heard that the ritzy Millennium Tower, with its condos that sold for millions, started to sink and tip sideways in the 10 years after it was built.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    By now, the name Mary-Claire King and her groundbreaking scientific accomplishment with the BRCA1 gene should resonate with many. Although testing began over 20 years ago, it has only been within the last few years that has expanded its impact and become widespread. But what exactly is the BRCA test (Breast Cancer test)?

    According to the Mayo Clinic, the BRCA test is a blood test that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes in one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2). Those who have inherited those genes have a higher risk than most at getting breast and ovarian cancer.

    Even though the test has two decades worth of information tagged to it, there are still plenty of people who have not heard of it. And, for those that have heard of it, there are many more misinterpretations of what the test does, what it means, and who should get it.

    If you're one of the two people mentioned above, here are a few debunked myths — and a bit of information — about the BRCA test that you'll want to keep handy.

    Myth: The test will tell you if you'll get cancer.

    Although taking the BRCA test may lead you to believe that it will tell you whether or not you'll get cancer, Dr. Talya Miron-Shatz — social psychologist, co-founder and CEO of Cure My Way and Buddy & Soul — told INSIDER that unfortunately, it won't.

    "One main way in which women got it wrong about BRCA were when they didn't realize what the presence of the gene means," she said. "It dramatically raises the chances of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer, but a third of the women we studied told us it's 'very important' for them that the test would tell them with certainty whether or not they would develop the cancer. Obviously, no such certainty exists."

    Myth: The test will tell you what to do if you have the gene.

    Though we'd like to think that the BRCA test is similar to a career aptitude test and will tell us what we should do if it is discovered that we have the gene, that's not really the purpose of the test. And according to Dr. Miron-Shatz, that assumption is more common than you think.

    "Likewise, a third of the women said it was very important for them that the test would tell them what to do if they have the gene," said Miron-Shatz. "Obviously, no test can do that. In fact, no healthcare professional would tell you what to do either — especially in a condition like breast cancer, where the medical outcomes of frequent testing or preventive mastectomy are very similar."

    Read more:How Angelina Jolie's mutant gene can cause cancer

    Myth: There's no need to worry about breast cancer if you test negative.

    Dr. Constance Chen— board-certified plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist — told INSIDER that a misinterpretation that many women have about the BRCA test is that they're completely safe if they test negative. It's completely untrue though.

    "Over 90% of women who develop breast cancer do not have hereditary breast cancer," Chen said. "Instead, over 90% of women who develop breast cancer have no family history and are BRCA-negative but they develop breast cancer due to spontaneous mutations and environmental factors. At the end of the day, the biggest risk factor for breast cancer is having breasts."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Camaro SS

    • The ChevyCamaro SS is a classic V8-powered American muscle car.
    • What it adds to the old-school muscle-car experience is some dandy new automotive technology and connectivity, as well as sportier handling. 
    • My $52,000 test car came with a wild Hot Wheels extra package, along with a few other options, bringing the price up from $42,000 — an insane bargain for this much power and performance.

    The Chevy Camaro has a bad reputation, but it's good bad. In other words, it lives on the belief that it's a powerful, unrefined, old-school muscle car, and that the quality is a badge of honor. 

    But that doesn't mean the Camaro can't evolve. And it has. The 2018 Camaro SS2 that I tested earlier this year can handle going around corners as effectively as many European sports cars. But it can also vaporize the asphalt in a straight line. The best of both worlds.

    Even better, the Camaro SS is a massive bargain the levels of power and performance it delivers. The unadorned version of the car is $42,000. That's spectacular. And even with a bunch of extras, my tester tipped the cost scales at just a few grand north of $50,000. Speed doesn't have to destroy your bank account.

    The current generation of the Camaro has been around since 2016, after the car was fully reimagined in 2010. These days, sports cars aren't as popular as they once were, but muscle cars continue to have their fans. They've always adored the combination of all-American-ness and uncomplicated power. Stomp that gas pedal and express your core values.

    So does that 2018 Camaro SS live up to that reputation? Read on to find out.

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

    Behold! The mighty mullet-mobile, in all it's "Crush" orange, black-racing-striped, Hot Wheels-package glory! That'll be $5,000.

    "The Chevrolet Performance design studio is full of designers who were inspired by Hot Wheels," Tom Peters, director of Exterior Design for Chevrolet Performance Cars, said when this very special Camaro was unveiled.

    "The Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition captures that passion, turning childhood fantasy into reality," Peters added.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    christmas shopping couple

    • If you're considering inviting a new partner home for the holidays, talk to your partner and your family about it.
    • Give your partner the rundown on your family's celebrations and cast of characters and choose which events you want to attend.
    • Make sure your family knows about any dietary restrictions your partner has.
    • Don't talk politics and find opportunities to spend time alone.

    Bringing a new romantic partner home with you for the holidays is an exciting relationship milestone. However, it can also be daunting for you, your significant other, and your family.

    INSIDER spoke to relationship expert and bestselling author Susan Winter about the dos and don'ts of bringing someone special home for the holidays. Here are eight ways to make that initial visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.

    See what your partner thinks first.

    Is there a "right" time in your relationship to invite your partner home for the holidays? Winter said that the amount of time you've been together isn't as important as how you feel about them.

    "If you feel strongly about this partner, even if you just met, why not extend the offer?" she said. "It's a very good way to find out where you stand. I don't think it's too early if you like each other."

    Feel out your family.

    If you're bringing a significant other home, you'll need to run it by your family and make sure they're on board.

    "You need to have a preparatory conversation with your family," said Winter. "Tell them that you're seeing someone special and you'd like to integrate them into the holiday plans."

    Give your partner the rundown on family members and activities.

    Every family has its quirks and kooky relatives that join in on holiday celebrations. Give your partner an idea of who will be there and the protocol for their behavior, and highlight relatives that you think they'd get along with.

    "Give them a 'what's up' as to each person and tell them the conversations to avoid and the conversations they might want to enter," said Winter.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sesame street

    Chances are you watched "Sesame Street" as a child. And if you are now a parent of a young child, chances are you're still watching "Sesame Street" today. Since its premiere on November 10, 1969, the puppets and people of "Sesame Street" have been entertaining young children and teaching them valuable lessons about everything from friendship to the alphabet, making it the longest running children's television show.

    There have been a few changes, including the show's move from PBS to HBO in 2015, but over the years, "Sesame Street" has managed to stay relevant to each new generation of viewers. But even if you think you've seen practically every episode, there are some things about the beloved kids' show that may come as a surprise.

    Believe it or not, there are some things you didn't know about "Sesame Street."

    The first Mr. Snuffleupagus was rather scary looking.

    When Mr. Snuffleupagus made his first appearance in 1971, he only existed in Big Bird's imagination. As large as he was, he would always disappear before Big Bird's neighbors could see him. In season 17, producers decided to make Big Bird's bestie visible to everyone. But when he made his television debut, Snuffy looked less like someone you'd want to have a sleepover with and more like something you might see in your nightmares.

    The original version had creepy yellow eyes and a thinner body.

    Four First Ladies have appeared on the show.

    Since the show's premiere, four First Ladies have made appearances on Sesame Street. Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama have all stopped by to hang out with the "Sesame Street" gang to teach young viewers about issues including healthy eating and the importance of literacy. Hillary Clinton even shared a smooch with Oscar.

    Oscar used to be orange.

    Oscar the Grouch, the crankiest neighbor on "Sesame Street" is known for his grumpy demeanor as well as his green fur. But you may not have known that his fur was once a completely different color. In the show's first season, the beloved grouch had orange fur. When he reappeared as green in season two, Oscar told everyone that the color change was the result of a vacay in a damp swamp.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year and the number is even higher internationally. In celebration of national adoption day, we've rounded up some of the most heartwarming photos of newly adopted kids and their families. 

    Placeda Era sits with her newly adopted daughter Ke'miyah Era during a ceremony in an adoption court on National Adoption Day marked at the Miami Children's Museum on November 20, 2015.

    Judges from Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court officiated the finalizing of more than 50 adoptions in courtrooms set up inside the museum on the day when a national effort is given to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent families.

    Nathalie Ogando sits with her adopted cousin, Lean Martinez, 5, after she was adopted.

    She was also adopted during the same ceremony. 

    Grace Gonzalez sits with her adopted daughter Bella Gonzalez, 2.

    She was also adopted during the same ceremony. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    greenland asteroid impact illustration kjaer5HR

    Greenland is hiding an explosive secret under its thick ice sheet.

    In 2015, researchers created a new map of the continent's bedrock, which is normally obscured by thousands of feet of ice. When an international team of scientists studied that map, they found a 16-mile-wide, bowl-like depression — it looked like a giant asteroid impact crater.

    The scientists wanted to be sure, though, since this would be the one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth. So they shored up evidence for the claim over the next three years.

    In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, the team reports that there is indeed a crater, which was made by a half-mile-wide iron asteroid slamming into Greenland between 12,000 and 3 million years ago.

    Here's how the group made this remarkable discovery — and why it should worry us today.

    SEE ALSO: How large asteroids must be to destroy a city, state, country, or the planet

    DON'T MISS: City-killing asteroids will inevitably strike Earth — but NASA isn't launching this mission to hunt them down

    The bedrock maps show that the depression measures about 16 miles across and is under more than 3,000 feet of ice.

    If you could lift up the entire city of Paris and drop it into the bowl-shaped feature, it'd fit with room to spare.

    The research team, led by Kurt Kjær at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, are calling it the Hiawatha impact crater, since the Hiawatha Glacier covers the depression.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Super Smash Bros Ultimate Mario

    Forget about "Fortnite"— a massive new Nintendo game with dozens of Nintendo's most iconic characters beating each other senseless is just over the horizon. And it's only available on Nintendo's Switch.

    Though there are plenty of games on all three major game consoles this holiday, a few blockbusters are exclusive to each. Starting with "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," we've put together the three heavy-hitter exclusive games for Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft's Xbox One, and Nintendo's Switch console this holiday season.

    SEE ALSO: This is the perfect year to buy a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One — they're both dropping to their lowest prices ever

    1. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" on the Nintendo Switch

    The biggest Nintendo game of the year still hasn't arrived yet. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is expected to launch on December 7 for the Nintendo Switch — the biggest entry yet in the decades-old "Super Smash Bros." fighting game franchise.

    For those unfamiliar, "Smash Bros." is all about beating up some of video game history's most iconic characters. Want Mario to duke it out with Sonic the Hedgehog? Or Solid Snake to take on Mega Man? "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is the game you've been waiting for.

    Of course, it wouldn't be a Nintendo game without a twist: In the case of "Smash Bros.," that twist comes in the form of simultaneous multiplayer brawling. Fights aren't head-to-head unless you specifically choose them to be — up to eight players can battle for supremacy in a single round of the latest "Smash Bros."

    Better still: The latest entry in the series is promising the largest roster of playable characters ever. In reality, that means over 70 playable characters

    Check out "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" in action right here:

    Youtube Embed:
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    2. "Forza Horizon 4" on the Xbox One/Xbox One X

    Somewhere between racing giant trucks through a snowstorm and completing the "Forza Horizon 4" version of the end of the first "Halo" game, I realized how ridiculously versatile the series has become.

    If you're interested in drag racing, "Horizon" has that. If you're interested in rally, or drifting, or street, "Horizon" also has all that. If you just want to smash the gas and the brakes in very pretty cars, "Horizon" is here for you.

    "Forza Horizon 4" is the only racing game I've ever played that so brilliantly straddles the line between accessibility and depth. Whether you've never played a game or you've got a racing wheel setup, "Horizon" has you covered.

    Check out our review of the game right here.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    amazon hq2 lic queens arlington virginia locations graphic

    • After months of speculation about where Amazon would open its second headquarters, or HQ2, it finally announced its selections on Tuesday.
    • The offices will be split between two locations: Long Island City in Queens, New York, and an area of Arlington, Virginia, dubbed National Landing.
    • The newly branded National Landing area is defined by Arlington County as encompassing parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighborhood in Alexandria.
    • Here's what else we know about the area and some likely reasons Amazon chose it. 

    After months of speculation about where Amazon's newest headquarters would land, it finally announced its decision on Tuesday. 

    Two sites were chosen: Long Island City in Queens, New York, and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, which combines parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighborhood in Alexandria.

    Rumors that Amazon would be choosing Northern Virginia for its new home surfaced several months ago. More recently, the reports began centering on this specific area in Arlington

    Here are some likely reasons Amazon chose it: 

    The National Landing site is in Arlington County, Virginia, just 15 minutes from Washington, DC.

    The name was created specifically for HQ2 and has been defined by Arlington County as encompassing parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighborhood in Alexandria. 

    The area is around two miles away from Ronald Reagan National Airport.

    It's also less than an hour's drive from Dulles International Airport.

    Source: Business Insider

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Earth is wonderfully weird. From tiny puddle-dwelling creatures that can survive in outer space to a paint so dark that your eyes can't actually even see it, the Earth is filled with plenty of strange and incredible things.

    Here are a handful of things on this planet that you probably had no idea existed.

    SEE ALSO: China is building a 'Panda Capital' that's 110 times the size of Disneyland

    FOLLOW US: INSIDER is on Facebook

    Vantablack is the darkest known substance in the universe.

    Vantablack is a nanomaterial that isdarker than any other substance on Earth. It was developed in the UK by Surrey NanoSystems in 2015 and is actually a collection of vertical carbon tubes that are "grown" on a substrate.

    Vantablack absorbs 99.98% of the light that hits its surface. This means that the human eye technically sees nothing when it looks at Vantablack, making it the closest thing to staring into a black hole.

    The blue angel sea slug looks like an alien.

    Glaucus Atlanticus isa species of sea slug nicknamed the "blue angel." This otherworldly creature is as rare as it is beautiful and is only found on the coasts of South Africa and Australia.

    The slug's mesmerizing looks belie a dangerous nature.

    The blue angel is carnivorous and feeds on other venomous sea creatures, such as the Portuguese man o' war. It collects the venom from its prey in specialized sacs, concentrates it, then uses the venom on future prey.

    Aerogel looks like a slice of cloud.

    Aerogelis an ultralight material made from gel and gas. It's been nicknamed "frozen smoke" or "solid cloud" because of its ethereal appearance.

    Scientists have created more than a dozen recipes for different types of aerogel, but they all share a similar process: mix chemicals together, let them settle into a wet gel, and then suck all of the liquid out. The result is a substance of extremely low density that is actually 99% air. 

    Because it's made primarily of air and air is such a terrible heat conductor, placing a layer of Aerogel between a flower and a flame will protect the flower from getting destroyed. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Starbucks holiday drinks

    It's no secret that some of the best Starbucks drinks in the world are made internationally (we see you, Mermaid Latte), and this list of its tastiest holiday drinks from around the globe is no exception. We can always make vegan slow cooker hot cocoa at home, of course, but wouldn't it be more fun to fly to the other side of the world to get a grande Salted Caramel Brownie Hot Chocolate? Of course, this year's list of Starbucks holiday drinks in the US isn't too shabby, either. Wherever you live (or travel to), you're bound to enjoy one of these festive brews.

    The Caramel Brûlée Latte (United States, Canada, and Latin America)

    Caramel brûlee sauce and a crunchy caramel brûlée topping make this latte taste like a fancy French dessert.

    The Chestnut Praline Latte (United States, Canada, and Latin America)

    Chestnuts roasting on an open fire have nothing on this chestnut praline latte, topped with spiced praline crumbs.

    The Christmas Brûlée Latte (Europe, Middle East, and Africa)

    This latte is made with creamy eggnog milk steamed with crème brûlée sauce and espresso, then topped with Christmas Brûlée sprinkles.

    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.

    39120519_1151266448373053_8269353345353777152_o (1)

    • Embark is a dog DNA test ($199) that determines your dog's breed and checks for over 175 genetic health conditions and traits among other fun facts.
    • Staff veterinarians and customer service representatives are also available to answer questions from pet parents. 
    • We used the test to learn more about our rescue dog, Nellie. You can find our experience below.
    • Use the code "HOLIDNA" to save $40 on your test now through December 31.

    Even if you picked up your puppy from the pound with no information — and you’ve been guessing or making up breeds to satisfy strangers’ curiosity ever since — there is a way to actually know the precise origins of your furry best friend.

    An up-and-coming startup Embark makes the world's most accurate dog DNA test. The test uses 200,000 genetic markers and 100 times more genetic information than its competitors. It checks for over 250 different breed types and 175 genetic health conditions and traits — and it has partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (the leading veterinary school in the country) and a pioneer in consumer genetics — Spencer Wells — to combine cutting-edge science and pet care. They're the people who are ecstatic to tell you they recently discovered why some dogs have blue eyes.

    Knowing your dog's genetic history is great for the shallow interest of curiosity and dog park small talk, but it can also help you navigate potential health risks, avoid medications they could be sensitive too, and even help you decide how big of a home you're going to need in the future.

    Here's how the dog DNA test works: Order the test online, activate it, swab the cheek of your dog, and mail the sample back to the Embark lab in a pre-paid return envelope. In two to four weeks, you'll receive the results. If you're unsure how to swab your dog's cheek correctly, there are video tutorials on the site

    I tried the Embark dog DNA test on our rescue dog, Nellie, to see how it worked in real life. If you keep scrolling down to the bottom of this article, you can see the exact steps we went through in greater detail. But what I liked best was how digestible the information was for non-scientists, and how many resources were provided if you'd like to do further research. I also loved how obviously passionate about dogs the Embark team seemed to be.

    IMG_90D34F84A0DE 1

    On the site, you can engage as little or as much as you want. It was as succinct as "she's mostly a German Shepherd" and "she's clear of all the health risks we check for" and as granular as links to learn how the process is done and breakdowns of what each genetic condition is as well as which breeds it's commonly found in. There are even linked citations in some sections where research was referred to. 

    The Embark dog DNA test is not cheap at $199, but it's information that could improve or extend the life of your dog — and for most owners, that's not a bad price to pay. Plus, with the holiday discount code "HOLIDNA" you can save yourself $40 now through December 31.

    All in all, it's a great tool — and something most dog owners will probably be excited to learn about. Pets are the slobbery, warm-bodied, loving beings that occasionally care more for you than they do for themselves. Figuring out a bit more about how to responsibly return that love and care is an exciting new opportunity. 

    If you have multiple dogs and get tests for them, you can "add a dog" to your "my dogs" section in your account to keep your family all in one place. If you're going to test multiple, though, you should buy them in a pack to save money. Use the code"MULTIPACK2" for 10% off two; "MULTIPACK3" for 15% off three; and "MULTIPACK4" for 20% off four or more kits. 

    Get the Embark dog DNA test for your pup here ($159 with the code "HOLIDNA") or scroll to see our experience and our dog's results below. 

    Embark's main point of interest is probably the breed breakdown. You'll see breeds and percentages, as well as other fun tools at the top.

    Embark breaks down dog breeds by percentages. If you keep scrolling, Embark highlights the main characteristics of each breed present. 

    Embark tests your pup for over 175 genetic health conditions and traits.

    We took the Embark DNA test probably just as much for the health results as to satisfy our curiosity, if not more so. Embark screens for over 175 genetic conditions looking for the mutations that can cause them, and Nellie showed up negative for everything. Being able to rule out these mutations also makes it easier for your chosen vet to determine what's wrong quickly and accurately if your dog becomes sick in the future, and to avoid prescribing medications your dog may be sensitive to. To easily share with your vet, click "VET REPORT" to input your vet's name and email address. They'll get a copy.

    Embark makes the results easy for non-scientists to understand. It showed that she was cleared for the 135 genetic conditions common for Nellie's breed (which the test already provided for us and the lab) and then broke down what those conditions are exactly. You can also view the full disease test in more detail if you wish. 

    Embark also breaks your dog's DNA down to make a family tree that goes back to great-grandparents.

    Embark's algorithm generates the most likely family tree for your pup, though it's not the only possible one for your dog's mix. 

    You can also check out other dogs who have Embark accounts that have similar breed mixes for comparison via the Mix Matches tool. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mom daughter adoption parenting

    • Aminah Ali, LMSW, works in foster care and adoption and advises parents to embrace rather than ignore diversity within their families.
    • Parents should learn about the heritage of their child's birth parents and find ways to incorporate it into family life.
    • Strangers are not entitled to information about your family's makeup and Ali encourages parents not to feel pressured to answer nosy questions.
    • Addressing your own implicit bias will help you educate yourself about unfamiliar experiences your child might have on the basis of their skin color.

    Being an adoptive parent comes with its own unique set of challenges. If you're adopting a child of a different race or ethnicity than your own, this is even more true.

    Aminah Ali, LMSW, is the clinical supervisor of the Therapeutic Foster Care program at Klingberg Family Centers, a non-profit agency in New Britain, Connecticut, that serves children and families through various programs including foster care and adoption resources and education and guides new parents on this often.

    Ali advises that acknowledging the racial and cultural difference between parents and children — adopted, as well as those in interracial biological families — is a bigger part of good parenting than some might assume.

    "Some [adoptive parents] are really honest and say, 'I thought as long as I give them love …I didn't know it would be that important to keep that cultural connection,' but later on they realize it was."

    While of course love and support are important in raising children no matter how they came to be a part of your family, there are unique things that parents should keep in mind when their child comes from a different racial or ethnic background than themselves. Here is Ali's advice for mistakes to avoid when raising children of a different background.

    Don't ignore differences. Embrace them.

    Some adoptive parents might be inclined to insist that their adopted children are no different from them or any biological children they may have. While this comes from a place of love and protection, it can have damaging consequences.

    "They don't want them to feel different or to stand out," Ali says of these adoptive parents. "They always feel like, I love this child, this child is mine, and most of them would never ever allow the child to be treated differently. But they don't realize that the elimination of where they came from is not really going to help them in the long run."

    As children age, they may feel a sense of alienation from their heritage. Rather than try to totally assimilate a child into your own way of life, Ali advises adoptive parents to educate themselves on their child's birth parents' culture and make it a part of the family life.

    "Maybe you find out about a particular tradition … that's not too far off from one of your own, so you integrate that into how you celebrate holidays. And you explain to the child, the mommy's tummy that you came from, this is her tradition," Ali said.

    "It starts very young on that road to knowing that they have a right to this information and that you're willing to be a partner in that."

    Don't withhold information. Build an honest narrative.

    Ali advises all adoptive parents to establish open and honest communication about how their families came to be, whether or not parents and children look like they could be biologically related.

    "It's not about, 'obviously she's not your biological child,'" Ali told INSIDER. Adoption can be treated as a positive, and no less normal or valid than biological families. "Some parents will come up with these wonderful stories like, 'God blessed me when he let me pick you,' or 'you picked me to be your mom, but at the same time we're grateful for your mom who gave you away.' And then gradually increase the information."

    Ali says she has even seen parents make storybooks for their children explaining how their family came together and expressing gratitude that they get to be a part of one another's lives. Rather than looking at adoption as something that can be hidden and revealed at a certain point, treat it like you would any other family formation story: Be age-appropriate and honest early on, to ensure that trust is always a part of your family dynamic.

    Don't feel pressured to overshare with strangers.

    Even if your children are too young to notice that their skin is a different color than yours, strangers at the grocery store or neighborhood park may take an interest.

    "I always tell parents to tell others it's not their business," Ali says. "No one has the right to any kind of knowledge about your family, and it's up to you to decide what you want to share. Even if your family has a beautiful origin story, you're probably not going to feel like telling it to every nosy person who wants to know if your baby 'is yours' or 'where she's from.'"

    "Parents have to come into their own with how they talk about their family to their network," Ali said. "I'm an advocate for telling all of your support people, but if it's someone whose support you don't need, then it isn't their business. We don't want to get in the habit of answering everybody's questions."

    "I really would say, 'I don't talk to strangers about my kids.'"

    Boundaries are important, even with people in your community like parents of your children's classmates.

    "It's the same format even with teachers," Ali says. "If you don't have a need to know, I don't need to tell you. You can say, 'I appreciate you wanting to network, but it's not to discuss my child's origin.'"

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    • Lactose intolerance is something that a lot of people experience over the course of their lives or, at least, they might think that they do.
    • But there are a lot of symptoms of lactose intolerance that can also be symptoms of other conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, food sensitivities, and more.
    • Knowing what sorts of things might point to you not being lactose intolerant is worth it because it might actually be something else entirely — and once you're armed with that information, you can better address what's really going on.

    Chances are there's someone in your life that doesn't eat dairy products. And though many might make that choice because of ethical considerations and the like, others choose to abstain because they feel that dairy products make them feel bloated and gassy, resulting in painful cramps, diarrhea, or other sorts of digestive upset. It's just not worth it if eating those sorts of foods make you feel sick. But it might not actually be lactose intolerance that's the culprit. Rather, you might be mistaking what you're experiencing for lactose intolerance, but it could actually be something else. Here's what you may need to know.

    You've had diarrhea for an extended period of time, even though you've cut out dairy.

    Diarrhea can be an unfortunate side effect that comes along with some food sensitivities, intolerances, and other conditions, like lactose intolerance. But if you've experienced it for an extended amount of time, even if you haven't been eating dairy, it might not be lactose intolerance that's the problem.

    "If a patient finds that symptoms of diarrhea or loose stools extend long beyond any period where any dairy or lactose containing products is consumed, then this change in bowel habits should also be investigated for any potential sinister cause,"Dr. Donald Tsynman, MD, a New York City-based gastroenterologist, told INSIDER. Having a conversation with your doctor and potentially getting a gastroenterologist or other specialist involved could be a good idea.

    You accidentally ate or drank something that contained dairy, but didn't experience any negative side effects within about two hours.

    Typically, symptoms and complications related to lactose intolerance are going to show up relatively quickly.

    "A person who is lactose intolerant will feel nauseous with 30 minutes to two hours of consuming milk or dairy,"Dr. Niket Sonpal, MD, a New York City-based gastroenterologist and an adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, told INSIDER. Longer than about two hours could indicate another condition.

    You're also dealing with some serious fatigue.

    Even if you have a number of digestive issues that suggest you might be lactose intolerant, if you're experiencing other symptoms as well, that could also be a hint that it's not actually lactose intolerance with which you're dealing. Sonpal said that fatigue is one such symptom that could mean that a doctor may need to further investigate to find out what's really going on.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    marc benioff

    Salesforce brings in billions of dollars in revenue each year from its subscription software subscriptions. But the $98 billion cloud company is also a big investor in other tech companies — and it seems especially fond of pouring money in to other public companies that sell software to businesses. 

    And those investments add up. As of August, Salesforce owned $1.2 billion worth of equity in other companies — both public and private — according to a company filing. That's up from $1.02 billion in April.

    In a separate filing published Tuesday, Salesforce revealed the size and scope of its biggest holdings. All together, the company's five largest public investments account for $505 million — just short of half the value of its entire portfolio. That's up from the $452 million in public investments Salesforce reported in June.

    These are Salesforce's five biggest investments in publicly traded companies:

    This story was updated from an original version published on August 13, 2018.

    SEE ALSO: What you need to know about Keith Block, the ex-Oracle exec who Wall Street says got a 'well-deserved' promotion to co-CEO of Salesforce

    Domo — $1.7 million

    Domo, a data visualization software company, went public in June, under a cloud of cynicism from analysts and pundits over the company and its financial prospects. Now, Domo is valued on the public markets at $413 million — almost one-fifth of the $2 billion private valuation at which it had last raised venture capital funding.

    None of that has seemed to deter Salesforce, which owns 80,647 shares in Domo. Though that investment was worth $2.2 million in August, that had dipped to just $1.7 million in November. It's Salesforce's fifth-largest public investment, according to the filing. 


    SurveyMonkey — $55.5 million

    Salesforce owns 3,464,912 shares in SurveyMonkey, the online survey software company which went public in September. Altogether, that investment was worth $55.5 million, as of November. That makes SurveyMonkey Salesforce's fourth-largest public investment.

    Though Salesforce primarily makes its investments when companies are still private, it did not report on the size of its SurveyMonkey investment until after the smaller company held its IPO.

    Twilio — $76.6 million

    Salesforce is a big investor in Twilio, the cloud communication company that went public in 2016. Twilio stock is on something of a bull run: It's now trading at about $84 a share — up from about $26 this time last year. 

    Salesforce owns 888,517 shares in the company, for a total investment valued at $76.6 million — up from $49.775 million in August. That makes Twilio its third-largest investment. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Adding protein to your diet doesn't have to be a difficult challenge nowadays, especially since there are tons of fortified foods available which ensure you meet your daily recommended amount. And there are tons of foods that naturally and surprisingly boast a big protein content, meaning you won't have to rely on consuming protein bars and shakes all the time if you are looking to up your intake.

    To help you determine which foods pack a heavy protein punch, we spoke to some nutritionists on the subject. Below are some foods they definitely recommend adding to your grocery list.

    Beef jerky is an easy and high-protein snack to eat on the go.

    "Beef jerky contains roughly 30 to 40 grams of protein [per 100 grams] (the recommended amount is 48 grams per day)," said Frida Harju-Westman, an in-house nutritionist at health app Lifesum.

    Harju-Westman explained that beef jerky is also a good addition to your work or gym bag as she suggested it's an easy snack that can provide a quick hit of protein after exercise. She advised, however, reading your labels carefully, as different brands contain different levels of protein, as well as additives such as sugar and salt, which should be avoided.

    Tuna beats out other fish when it comes to protein content.

    "With roughly 25 grams per 100 grams of the fish, tuna is one of the fish foods that contain the most protein," Harju-Westman said. In addition, tuna is also low on unhealthy fats, contains melatonin that can help you sleep better, and omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your heart, she added.

    Quark is a type of cheese that's high in protein.

    "Quark is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs," Harju-Westman said.

    The protein in quark is divided into two varieties, whey and casein, depending on how it is made, she said, and approximately 100 grams of quark will contain approximately 12 grams of protein. In addition to its impressive protein content, quark also contains high levels of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin B, all of which contribute to healthier bones, skin, and even improve eyesight, she added.

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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.


    For some, the countdown to Christmas starts the year before on December 26, while others wait until the fall to get out their wreaths and trees. Whatever your style, we can all agree that we appreciate the holiday cheer that lingers in the air after Thanksgiving. Whether your idea of welcoming the holiday season is something along the lines of listening to Mariah Carey's Christmas album on repeat or baking gingerbread men with your family (or both), there's nothing more festive than adding some holiday decor to your home.

    With Christmas around the corner, it's a great time to pick up some little decorations to get your space in the holiday spirit. You don't need to spend a fortune on expensive Christmas lights and antique figurines to add that much needed merriment to your home — there are plenty of retailers with great, inexpensive options for Christmas decorations. Luckily, we scoured the web and curated a list of cheap, cute Christmas decorations to get your home in the holiday spirit this season — so you can spend your money on the important stuff. Consider it our gift to you. 

    Check out our list of 23 cheap Christmas decorations under $25, below:

    Looking for gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    An adorable snowman you can keep inside

    7-Inch Walter Snowman Plush Figurine, $19.99, available at Wayfair

    Christmas-themed photo booth props for a fun holiday party activity

    PartyGraphix Christmas Photo Booth Props, $12.95 (set of 15), available at Amazon

    Festive, Fair Isle stockings to hang by the fireplace

    Wondershop Knit Fair Isle Stocking, $13, available at Target

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    money cashIn 2008, I lost my job under some of the worst circumstances. Not only was the US in the middle of an economic recession, but I was also three months pregnant with my first child. What I was lacking in income I was forced to make up for in creativity.

    By making a few changes to my spending habits and saying goodbye to a few unnecessary expenses, I was able to pay my bills and even put aside a few dollars for a rainy day.

    Here are some easy ways to save money even when finances are tight.

    Have fun for free.

    Not having a lot of disposable income doesn't have to mean you can't have fun. You can still enjoy museums, galleries, and music in your city.

    Keep track of the free and "pay as you wish" days at your favorite local cultural institutions. A quick online search can give you access to all of the free entertainment options in your area.

    Keep the change.

    Dig deep into your pockets and between the seats of your car to collect those random coins. And, start emptying the coins you find in your wallet at the end of the day into a jar. 

    The money you save can be used for a vacation, holiday gifts, or an emergency fund.


    Invest in a budgeting app.

    If you're having trouble keeping track of your finances, budgeting apps are a great way to keep all of your financial transactions in one convenient place — your phone. 

    Apps like Mint and PocketGuard are free to use and they allow you to link accounts and credit cards in order to keep track of your spending and help you to stick to a budget. They'll even send you alerts when you've spent too much.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Several common types of diseases and illnesses can be genetically passed along when you are born. 

    Genetic disorders occur when a person inherits a flawed piece of DNA. These diseases and illnesses get passed down from parent to child when there is a mutation within one or both copies of a gene.

    Genetic disorders are among the most common types of inherited diseases and illnesses. These ailments vary from person to person and are dependent on your genetic background. Because of that, people of different races can be more susceptible to certain diseases and illnesses than others.

    Here are 10 diseases and illnesses that can be hereditary.

    Cystic fibrosis gets passed down if both parents are carriers.

    Cystic fibrosis happens when both parents each pass on a defective Cystic fibrosis gene. If a person only has one copy of the faulty gene, he or she is considered a carrier of cystic fibrosis. The disease progresses over time, bringing on severe lung infections and impacting a person's ability to breathe, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

    People with Jewish ancestry have a higher chance of getting Crohn's disease.

    If you have Jewish ancestors, you are at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease, according to the National Human Genome Institute. This disease is known for causing your bowel tract to swell and become inflamed. It can cause blockages, sores, ulcers, and general discomfort in the stomach and anus. It is estimated that about 20% of people who have Crohn's disease also have a blood relative with the illness.

    One copy of the altered gene associated with Huntington’s disease is enough to cause the disorder.

    Huntington disease impacts the brain and causes sporadic movements, emotional issues, and a decrease in cognitive function. The fatal disease usually shows up during in your 30s or 40s but is inherited at birth. A person acquires the disease when a copy of the impacted gene is passed along by one parent, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    women reading read book fancy rich wealthy intelligent smart

    Stupid people tend to overestimate their competence, while smart people tend to sell themselves short. As Shakespeare put it in "As You Like It": "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

    That conventional wisdom is backed up by a Cornell University study conducted by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger. The phenomenon is now known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    So, if you're not too sure about your own intellect, it actually might be a indication that you're pretty intelligent — thoughtful enough to realize your limitations, at least.

    Here are some subtle signs that you are considerably smarter than you think.

    Drake Baer and Chelsea Harvey contributed to a previous version of this article.

    SEE ALSO: 11 signs you're a stellar employee — even if it doesn't feel like it

    SEE ALSO: 11 signs your boss is impressed with you, even if it doesn't seem like it

    You took music lessons

    Research suggests that music helps kids' minds develop in a few ways. A 2011 study found that scores on a test of verbal intelligence among 4- to 6-year-olds rose after only a month of music lessonsA 2004 study led by Glenn Schellenberg found that 6-year-olds who took nine months of keyboard or voice lessons had an IQ boost compared with kids who took drama lessons or no classes at all.

    Meanwhile, a 2013 study, also led by Schellenberg, suggested that high-achieving kids were the ones most likely to take music lessons. In other words, in the real world, musical training may only enhance cognitive differences that already exist.

    You're the oldest

    Oldest siblings are usually smarter, but it's not because of genetics, one study found.

    Norwegian epidemiologists used military records to examine the birth order, health status, and IQ scores of nearly 250,000 18- and 19-year-old men born between 1967 and 1976. Results showed that the average firstborn had an IQ of 103, compared to 100 for second children and 99 for third children.

    The New York Times reported: "The new findings, from a landmark study published [in June 2007], showed that eldest children had a slight but significant edge in IQ — an average of three points over the closest sibling. And it found that the difference was not because of biological factors but the psychological interplay of parents and children."

    For this and other reasons, firstborns tend to be more successful (but not that much more successful) than their siblings.

    You're thin

    For a 2006 study, scientists gave roughly 2,200 adults intelligence tests over a five-year period and results suggested that the bigger the waistline, the lower the cognitive ability.

    Another study published that same year found that 11-year-olds who scored lower on verbal and nonverbal tests were more likely to be obese in their 40s. The study authors said that smarter kids might have pursued better educational opportunities, landed higher-status and higher-paying jobs, and therefore ended up in a better position to take care of their health than their less intelligent peers.

    Meanwhile, a more recent study found that, among preschoolers, a lower IQ was linked to a higher BMI. Those researchers also said environmental factors were at play, since the relationship between BMI and smarts was mediated by socioeconomic status.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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