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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    atherton california

    • Real estate blog Property Shark has released its annual ranking of the most expensive zip codes in the United States.
    • For the second consecutive year, Silicon Valley suburb Atherton took the No. 1 spot. 
    • The median sale price in Atherton, California, was $6.7 million in 2018 — up 35% from last year.

    There's a lot of expensive real estate in California. 

    Property Shark released its annual ranking of the most expensive zip codes in America on Monday, and California dominates with 82% of the cities on the list.

    Zip codes in New York, Washington, Florida, and Massachusetts also appeared on the list.

    Property Shark's ranking is based on median sales prices. Atherton, California's 94027 remains the most expensive zip code, with a $6.7 million median home sale price — that's up 35% from last year.

    Located within striking distance of Google, Facebook, Tesla, and other tech giants' headquarters, Atherton is home to many of Silicon Valley's 1%

    Below, take a closer look at the top 25 most expensive zip codes in America.

    SEE ALSO: This $245 million Los Angeles mansion is the most expensive home for sale in the US — and it costs 960 times more than a typical US home

    DON'T MISS: Here's what the most expensive house for sale in every US state looks like

    25. Corona Del Mar, California (92625)

    County: Orange County

    Median sale price (2018): $2,500,000

    23 (TIE). Ross, California (94957)

    County: Marin County

    Median sale price (2018): $2,550,000

    23 (TIE). Newport Coast, California (92657)

    County: Orange County

    Median sale price (2018): $2,550,000

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Advice on how to spend your 20s includes "learn to say no with confidence" and "don't burn your bridges."
    • That's according to people who've posted on Quora and Reddit threads around how to make the most of your youth.
    • If you follow their tips, you'll have a better chance of living without regret once you hit your 40s and beyond.

    They say youth is wasted on the young.

    It doesn't have to be. If you take a look at Quora and Reddit, hundreds of people older and wiser than you have shared their best tips for living life to the fullest before you hit middle age. All you have to do is heed their advice.

    We checked out some of those Quora and Redditthreads and highlighted some of our favorite insights about maximizing your youth. Read on to see what life changes you can make, starting today.

    SEE ALSO: 13 things you'll probably regret doing in your 20s

    'Learn to accept and love yourself first.'

    So says Quora user Ruchi Rashinkar.

    In other words, show some self-compassion. Scientists say it can make you more successful because you're learning from your missteps, instead of just berating yourself for them.

    One self-compassion exercise involves treating yourself as you would treat a friend or a colleague who has failed. You might say to yourself: "This is really hard right now," or, "I'm sorry you are struggling."

    'Learn to say no with confidence.'

    That's another tip from Rashinkar.

    It's best to learn this skill now, while it's still relatively early in your career. That way, you can prioritize the people and experiences that are truly meaningful to you.

    If you're looking for tips on turning down an invitation— without seeming antisocial — etiquette and civility expert Rosalinda Oropeza Randall recommends keeping it simple: "It sounds great, but I think I'll pass this time."

    You can even push back on your boss when they give you an assignment you feel like you can't take on. For example, if you're already overloaded with other projects, national workplace expert Lynn Taylor suggests responding:

    "I would be happy to do that project, but what that could mean is that [whatever other project you're working on] will have to be put off until tomorrow, because I was actually going to spend the next three hours finishing that proposal. Would you like me to put that off?" 

    'Take risks.'

    Quora user Pranav Park writes:

    "This is possibly the best time to take multiple leap of faiths and learn your lessons the hard way. If you succeed, you succeed. If you fail, you have a great story to tell in your 40s. At this age, you will have all the energy, courage and spirit required to rise back. Moreover, you will not be afraid to fail which apparently sets apart successful people from the others."

    Similarly, Redditor Bhruic says:

    "Don't talk yourself out of doing things you want to do. Don't let fear win. If you want to vacation in Europe, do it. If you want to talk to that hot girl/guy at the bar, do it. If you want to start your own business, do it (and do the research first). Getting to your 30s and having a string of regrets is going to haunt you."

    Park is right about successful people not being afraid to fail some, and therefore being more willing to take risks. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for example, is notorious for this quality. Bezos has said: "Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Donald Trump and Scott Walker

    • Republican lawmakers in several states are planning to push through last-minute conservative policies or stifle the power of incoming Democratic governors. 
    • In Michigan, Republicans plan to alter measures that would have raised the minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave during the lame-duck session. 
    • In North Carolina, Republican lawmakers have a veto-proof majority they intend to use to pass stricter photo ID requirements before January, when new Democrats break the state's House supermajority. 

    Democrats are replacing Republicans in seven states' governors mansions, but before power changes hands in January, Republican lawmakers in several states are planning to push through last-minute conservative policies or take power from incoming Democratic governors. 

    In Michigan, Republicans plan to alter measures that would have raised the minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave during the lame-duck session between this month's election and the swearing in of the state's new Democratic governor early next year.  

    Read more: 2,000 women are taking state legislatures by storm, even as men hold on to the vast majority of seats

    Just days after Wisconsin Democrat Tony Evers won a razor-thin victory over Republican incumbent Gov. Scott Walker, GOP leaders in the state are discussing plans to limit Evers' ability to appoint officials to his government, limit Evers' control of the rule-making process, make it harder for the Democrat to stop a work requirement for those on Medicaid, and move the date of the 2020 presidential primary.

    Democrats have already voiced outrage about the plans, which include making it more difficult for Democrats to change or overturn laws championed by Walker. 

    "Let me be clear: the Republicans and Speaker Vos should stop any and all attempts to play politics and weaken the powers of the governor's office in Wisconsin before I take the oath," Evers tweeted two days after the election, calling the GOP effort to reduce his power "desperate antics to cling to power and violate the checks and balances of Wisconsin government."

    The efforts in Wisconsin mirror many of those made in North Carolina two years ago, after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper was elected to replace Republican Pat McCrory. 

    Wisconsin and Michigan are two of four states where Republicans are losing control of their governorships and both state legislative chambers. 

    Here are a few laws Republican legislators hope to repeal or dilute in their states: 

    SEE ALSO: Nancy Pelosi is using gender to win over progressives in her fight to become House speaker

    Voter ID requirements

    Republican state legislators in North Carolina are writing the details of a new voter photo ID law that the state voted on this month.

    This comes after a previous voter ID law passed by Republicans in the state was struck down last year by a federal appeals court judge, who found the law appeared to "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

    The American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the new measure, has argued that "nothing short of the future of voting rights in North Carolina will be on the line" in its negotiation. 

    Republicans in Wisconsin are also planning to make the state's GOP voter ID law harder to change. 

    The minimum wage

    Republican lawmakers in Michigan are planning to amend a minimum wage law before the midterms before Democrat Gretchen Whitmer replaces outgoing GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.

    In September, the state's Republican-controlled legislature passed a proposal to raise the Midwestern state's minimum wage. But by voting on the measure, the state prevented the law from being passed as a ballot referendum, which can only be overturned with three-fourths of the state legislature. So the path is now clear for GOP lawmakers to alter the law they oppose, which only requires a simple majority vote. 

    It's unclear exactly how the legislature wants to change the law — which was designed to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022 and gradually raise the tipped worker minimum wage from $3.50 — but the GOP has acknowledged its plan is to fundamentally change the measure. 

    "I'm angry. I'm really angry," said Tracy Pease, a 47-year-old waitress and minimum wage advocate, told the Washington Post in September. "It's not just that I had a vested interest in this. But the point was to go to the people, and now they have circumvented our vote. They have taken away our vote."

    One Fair Wage, a group that backed the wage hike, pledged to sue the legislature if it attempts to water down or repeal the law. 

    Paid sick leave

    The Republican-controlled legislature in Michigan also passed a law mandating that employees qualify for somewhere between 40 and 72 hours of paid sick leave — a measure Republicans oppose — in order to alter it with a simple majority during the lame-duck session. 

    It's also unclear exactly how Republicans will change the law, but Michigan's Chamber of Commerce has warned that the requirements would put "severe compliance burdens" on employers. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    best buy black friday

    • The day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days in retail.
    • Shoppers clamor for bargains in-store every year to save big on items like TVs and video games.
    • But for retail workers, it can be a hectic affair.
    • Here's what Black Friday was like for a former Best Buy sales associate.

    "Black Friday" is no term of endearment, especially for the people who have to work in retail that day. To call it the most hectic day in retail is an understatement.

    To get a better sense for what it's really like to work retail on Black Friday, we asked a former Best Buy sales associate who handled customer service and worked as a cashier during five Black Fridays until 2013 to weigh in.

    The former Best Buy sales associate we spoke to is not featured in any of the photos below.

    Here's what the former Best Buy sales associate had to say about their experience:

    SEE ALSO: The rise and fall of Black Friday — the American shopping holiday that once beckoned hordes of frenzied shoppers and is now dying

    DON'T MISS: What 'Black Friday' looks like around the world

    "Black Friday was tons of work, and everyone was involved."

    "November 1 is the normal beginning of the holiday season, but the store started hiring seasonal employees in October because it gave them more time to train the newbies."

    "All new recruits got register training, sales associates got register training and department-specific training, and everyone got training on how to sell protection plans, including more senior employees, who got a refresher training on how to sell those plans faster."







    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    As winter sets in and temperatures begin to drop in the Northern Hemisphere, many people will start to dream about escaping from the cold.

    But there are quite a few countries around the world where summer blazes all year round.

    Ranked by their average annual temperatures, these are the 30 hottest countries on Earth.


    FOLLOW US: INSIDER is on Facebook

    Thailand: 80.7 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius)

    Famous for cities like Bangkok, Thailand is a popular travel destination thanks to its food, culture, and landscape.

    Yemen: 80.7 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius)

    Located on the southernmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen has been in conflict with Saudi Arabia since 2015.

    American Samoa: 80.8 degrees Fahrenheit (27.1 degrees Celsius)

    Seven tropical islands make up American Samoa, a US territory in the South Pacific.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Running out of shows to watch? We can help. Every Monday, we put together a list of three great shows on Netflix for you to check out.

    We pick shows you can finish quickly, and others you binge for weeks. And it's not just new releases either: We mix in some old favorites you might have missed in addition to shows that have recently landed on Netflix.

    This week, two shows we highly recommend are available to stream: "Dogs," a documentary about our relationships to our pups and "Narcos: Mexico," which is a companion series to the popular Netflix original that told the story of

    Here are three great TV shows you can binge-watch on Netflix this week:

    "Dogs"— a Netflix Original

    Seasons: 1 

    Episodes: 6

    Netflix description:These six intimate stories explore the abiding emotional bonds that form between dogs and their caregivers, no matter the circumstances.

    This six-episode documentary about sweet, adorable dogs explores and celebrates the bond they share with humans. Some episodes are more gripping than others, but all are worth it, because there are dogs. 

    "Narcos: Mexico"— A Netflix Original

    Seasons: 1 (the first three seasons of "Narcos" tell a completely different story with a different cast)

    Episodes: 10

    Netflix description: Witness the birth of the Mexican drug war in the 1980s as a gritty new "Narcos" saga chronicles the true story of the Guadalajara cartel's ascent.

    If you've never seen the first three seasons of "Narcos," it doesn't matter! You can start this one without having seen the show before. We're happy this show went in a new direction for its fourth season, which tells a new story and serves more as a companion series to the first three seasons of "Narcos." The star-studded cast for this violent but exciting new season includes Michael Peña, Diego Luna, and Jackie Earl Haley. 

    "One Day at a Time"— a Netflix Original

    Netflix description: In a reimagining of the TV classic, a newly single Latina mother raises her teen daughter and tween son with the "help" of her old-school mom.

    Seasons: 2

    Episodes: 26

    This sweet sitcom is one of the best shows right now, and not enough people talk about it. It's warm and hilarious but isn't afraid to take a stance on heavy issues like immigration that are relevant to today's political climate.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Argentina navy submarine ARA San Juan

    A little over a year after losing contact with the submarine ARA San Juan, Argentina's navy said the wreckage of the sub had been found at the bottom of the southern Atlantic Ocean, where it sank with all 44 of its crew members.

    The navy said early Saturday that a "positive identification" had been made by a remote-operated submersible deployed by Ocean Infinity, a US firm commissioned by the Argentine government that began searching on September 7.

    On Sunday, Argentina's navy released the first images of the sub on the seafloor under 2,975 feet of water nearly 400 miles east of the city of Comodoro Rivadavia in Argentina's Patagonia region.

    SEE ALSO: The US Navy is pushing north, closer to Russia and into freezing conditions — and it plans on hanging around up there

    One of the first images posted by the Argentina navy showed the forward section of the sub's hull, made with special 33 mm steel, with torpedo tubes visible. The 82-foot-long and 23-foot-wide section was found in a single piece, though the water pressure appeared to have deformed and compressed it.

    "It is the habitable sector where the batteries and all the systems and equipment that the submarine has are found," the navy said.

    Before the sub's last contact on November 15, 2017, the captain reported that water had entered through a snorkel and caused one of the batteries to short circuit, though he said it had been contained.

    The aft section of the sub, including its propeller, was also spotted by Ocean Infinity's submersible.

    As was the mast, or sail, of the sub.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    augurey fb crimes of grindelwald

    Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald."

    "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" is in theaters and, as the name suggests, there are plenty of magical creatures introduced. 

    Though the sequel isn't focused on the gathering of the beasts like 2016 film, magizoologist Newt Scamander finds time to get acquainted with a number of new critters overseas. 

    If you had a tough time keeping track of all of the new beasts, INSIDER consulted J.K. Rowling's text, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," to navigate the film's creatures and, surprise, some of them aren't canon in the wizarding world. Here's a quick round up of the beasts Newt encounters and a few others we see throughout the sequel.

    Winged horses called Thestrals are seen at the very beginning of the film.

    Introduced on screen in 2007's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the skeletal-like horses can only be seen by those who have witnessed death. 

    At the start of "The Crimes of Grindelwald," several thestrals are carrying Grindelwald to a new prison. That plan gets upended quickly. 

    Grindelwald tosses a loyal Chupacabra out of a flying cart early in the film.

    We don't learn much about the speedy little guy, but he seemed very attached to Grindelwald. This is the first of several new creatures introduced in the sequel which does not appear in the "Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them" text.

    Newt's Bowtruckle, Pickett, returns to help his owner out of at least one pickle.

    The Bowtruckle looks like a cross between some sort of Praying Mantis and a stick bug brought to life. Unlike stick bugs, Bowtruckles are actually made out tree stems, with their own little branches. The tallest they'll ever get is eight inches.

    Pickett usually hangs out in Newt's pocket.

    Read more:There's one frustrating plot hole in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' that makes no sense

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mad men

    It's hard to believe that the beloved TV show "Mad Men" has been gone for more than three years. The AMC drama, which ran for seven seasons between 2007 to 2015, centered on advertising executive Don Draper in 1960s New York.

    We decided to take a trip down memory lane and uncover 12 little-known facts about the critically acclaimed series.

    The cast didn't smoke real cigarettes, preferring herbal ones instead.

    Smoking was very en vogue in the 1960s, and many of the show's characters smoke throughout the series. However, the cast didn't smoke actual cigarettes while filming, opting for Ecstacy herbal cigarettes instead, according to Gothamist.

    Crew members from "The Sopranos" helped produce the "Mad Men" pilot.

    Because Weiner was a writer for "The Sopranos," he used primarily crew members from that show to produce the "Mad Men" pilot (which cost $3.3 million) while the hit HBO show was on hiatus, Christina Wayne, former senior vice president of scripted programming at AMC, told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Only one actor appeared in every single episode of the series.

    Jon Hamm, who played Don, was the only actor to appear in every episode, according to IMDb.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The mushroom cloud from Ivy Mike rises above the Pacific Ocean over Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands, during the world's first test of a full scale thermonuclear device, on November 1, 1952.

    The United Nations has introduced a treaty that it believes will eventually lead to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. A recent watchdog report said the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is a historically significant effort that's gaining traction, which highlights the profound power imbalance between the few nuclear powers and the many countries without the devastating weapons. 

    "The rate of adherence to the TPNW is faster than for any other weapons-of-mass-destruction (WMD) treaty," the report says. 

    But with an estimated 14,485 extant nuclear weapons, total elimination is more of a long-term goal. 

    This is an overview of the nine nuclear-armed states and the 31 nuclear-weapon-endorsing states — countries that do not develop or possess nuclear weapons but rely on another nuclear-armed state for protection. 

    All of these countries would need to make profound changes to reach the UN goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world.

    Russia has the world's largest nuclear arsenal.

    The Russian Federation has an estimated 6,850 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. 

    Armenia and Belarus, who both rely on Russia's arsenal for "umbrella" protections, stand in violation of TPNW.


    Russia is also only one of three nations to possess a nuclear "triad," which includes intercontinental ballistic-missile delivery.

    A nuclear "triad" refers to a nation's ability to deploy its nuclear arsenal through intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers, as defined by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an advisory board that conducts research and provides analysis to encourage diplomacy. 

    The US is the only country to detonate nuclear weapons against an enemy, as it did in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks against Japan in August 1945.

    The US has agreed to potentially use its nuclear weapons to protect NATO member states, as well as Japan, Australia and South Korea.

    Because of these agreements, all 29 NATO member states, and the three who hold bilateral protection agreements with the US, are in violation of TPNW.

    The US, which has a nuclear arsenal that's nearly the size of Russia's, is the only nation in the western hemisphere that possesses nuclear weapons, and one of three countries to possess the nuclear "triad."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Whimsy Weddings, Flora + Fauna_Signage

    Couples today are finding increasingly creative ways to personalize their wedding day.

    Ahead of engagement season, WeddingWire has put together some of the biggest trends you're likely to see when your loved ones tie the knot in 2019.

    Next year, many couples will continue to buck wedding traditions for almost every aspect of their big day, swapping flower arrangements in vases for floral installations, opting for more unique ways to display food, and incorporating fabrics like velvet in their decor.

    From interactive food stations where guests can customize snacks to two-piece bridal gowns, here's what weddings will probably look like next year.

    Starting with bridal fashion, expect to see lots of polka dots.

    This playful pattern, which was all over bridal runways this year, adds a flirty, romantic touch to any wedding look.

    Gowns with asymmetrical design elements will also be everywhere.

    For an unconventional yet fashion-forward dress, look for designs with high-low or slanted hemlines, or one-shoulder silhouettes.

    Crop tops will be a trendy option as well.

    Brides looking for a more modern look may want to consider a two-piece wedding dress.

    Read more:How wedding dresses have changed over the past 100 years

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    gilmore girls

    It's easy to fall right into the, you only live once mentality, especially in college. But, there are plenty of ways to live it up in college without blowing through your paychecks. Here are some tips to follow so you can leave college with experiences and a decent savings account.

    Dumping money into a gym membership.

    Even the cheapest gym memberships can add up to be a couple hundred dollars a year, and that's if you're lucky. Most specialty yoga studios, boxing classes, or spinning centers can be over $100 a month and the average gym membership is about $50 a month, according to CNBC. It's important to stay fit and healthy, so look into what your college offers as far as free and cheap fitness.

    Some colleges will let you use the hockey rink to ice skate for free, gym equipment, or even pools. In the warmer months, scope out nearby parks and soak in that sunshine by working out outside. Either way avoid the added cost because chances are you have other plenty of other options that are cheap or free.

    Spending all your money shopping on new clothes.

    It's fun to go shopping at the mall with your friends, but you don't have to blow your paycheck on expensive clothes. Instead, try to find some unique items at the local thrift store. Cutting back on costs when shopping doesn't need to mean just clothes either. Using your student ID, you can often get discounts on haircuts, tickets, memberships, books, and more.  Don't forget to always ask when you're at a store or out with doing something with friends if they offer a student discount price. It could add up.

    Buying expensive cafe coffees every day.

    It can be hard to save money when you spend $3 a day on coffee.  It's OK to treat yourself to a fancy latte once in a while, but for your day-to-day coffee needs, buy a cheap coffee maker and learn to make your own.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    couple having sex in kitchen

    Going from "single" or "it's complicated" to "in a relationship" is a big change that affects more than a status on social media. It alters all sorts of elements in your life, including what goes down — or doesn't — in the bedroom.

    There isn't one overarching reason why sex changes when you've fully committed to another person, but here are the top nine experts have heard.

    You've given into the assumption that a monogamous relationship translates to a boring sex life.

    Sex, when you're single versus sex when you're in a relationship, is different for a multitude of reasons, none of which have to do with monogamy being boring by default. If you're in a relationship, and the sex is boring, Lisa Concepcion, founder of LoveQuest coaching told INSIDER, it's probably because you let it get that way.

    "A lot of it is bad programming due to messages that say sex gets stale or boring once in a committed monogamous relationship," the relationship and dating expert explained. "Boring people have boring sex. Disconnected people have disconnected sex. When there's open, respectful, loving, communication with clothes on, passion is intense with clothes off."

    Because the honeymoon phase doesn't last forever, and that's OK.

    When you first start dating, and even in the few months to a year after you've become official, partners typically experience a kind of intense, whirlwind romance. This is often referred to as "the honeymoon phase." It's as lovely as it sounds, but as fast as it comes, that fiery emotion fades just as quickly.

    This isn't to say that the connection between you and your partner has gone to static, by the way, Concepcion told INSIDER it's just what happens when you transition from that initial, puppy-love phase and start to really connect on a deeper level emotionally.

    "Intimacy develops and the sex might not be as frequent but it's more soulful, connected and bonded. This is enduring," she explained. "When you have sex once or twice per week with a partner who truly adores you for who you are and doesn't reject or judge you, you'll be more likely to try new things and be open about what feels good."

    You see your partner as less of a fantasy, and more for who they are as a real person with flaws.

    Your person is your person, and that's the really the point David Bennett made when he explained to INSIDER that as you become more familiar with a person, something physiologically shifts in your brain, dulling down the infatuation and normalizing the way in which you see your partner.

    "Your brain chemistry returns closer to normal, so you not only start seeing some of your partner's flaws, but you also become less sexually excited by them," the certified counselor, relationship expert, co-author, and co-owner of Double Trust Dating and Relationships said. "Because of this, the drive for regular, intense sex may turn into something more reasonable and realistic, or in some couples, it results in losing a strong sexual connection and only leaving a more social connection."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    travelers at an airport

    • Airport travel can be stressful, but preparing all your paperwork in advance and properly managing time will make everything much easier.
    • Don't forget to fill out all required immigration forms before you head to the airport.
    • Keep important documents, like ID and passport, in a designated place with your belongings at all times.
    • Make sure to give yourself a few hours between connecting flights, in case the first leg of your flight is delayed.

    Plane delays. Lost luggage. Middle seats. So much can go wrong when you’re flying. You can blame some of those things on the airline, the airport, or inconsiderate travelers. But other snafus come from your own mistakes, which can bring on the biggest headaches. Even the travel pros can get it wrong -- and boy, have we ever. From TSA blunders to missed connections, we’ve done some dumb things when catching a flight. Here are six of the most foolish things we’ve done while flying, so you can avoid doing the same.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Taking Too Long on a Starbucks Run

    “This is very embarrassing, but my sister and I once missed a flight for no better reason than we were getting Starbucks. We walked up to the gate in no particular hurry, lattes in hand, and just sort of watched them close the door. The worst part was that the flight was from Atlanta to Birmingham -- a connecting leg that lasts about a half-hour from wheels up to wheels down -- and we had to wait several hours to get two spots on the next available flight. In the meantime, we missed a bridal luncheon that was part of our cousin’s wedding festivities. The situation was utterly idiotic, but hey, we made it to the church with time to spare.” —Anne Olivia Bauso, Editor

    Ditching the Immigration Form

    “Let me start by saying it was my first time in Mexico. I was flying back to New York from Manzanillo and had a six-hour layover in Mexico City. I spent the first five-and-a-half hours reading Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” and grabbing lunch at Maison Kayser. Then, as boarding was about to begin, the gate agent announced for everyone to have their passport, boarding pass, and immigration form ready. I immediately remembered the bottom part of the form that the officers had given to me when I arrived, and I remembered throwing it away a few days earlier. Cut to me in a panic having to go to the immigration office, rushing to exchange U.S. dollars for pesos (you must pay for a new form in pesos), returning to the immigration office and waiting in line, then going back through security, and finally sprinting through the airport to be the last one on the plane, narrowly avoiding missing my flight. This was completely my error, but fortunately, it only cost about 390 pesos and some adrenaline.” —Lara Grant, Editor

    Missing Out on Bonus Miles

    “The biggest mistake I made while flying was not signing up for every single airline’s frequent flyer program. At best, I didn’t quite understand frequent flyer miles, and at worst, I was being lazy. I squandered so many accumulated miles! Today, I keep a spreadsheet for easy access to all of my frequent flyer numbers, and I have a travel credit card that helps me earn miles faster. Learn from my mistakes and take 30 minutes to get your miles game together -- it’ll pay off in free flights down the road.” —Megan Wood, Editor

    Read more: 9 tips to make your flight more enjoyable

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    luna lovegood patronus

    In J.K. Rowling's growing arsenal of Wizarding World magic (including potions, spells, charms, and plenty of fantastic beasts), the Patronus charm remains a fan favorite.

    It's among the most mysterious, revealing, and difficult types of magic to master — especially in its final, most powerful corporeal form, as opposed to having no shape. As Pottermore notes, "The aim is to produce a silvery-white guardian or protector, which takes the form of an animal."

    22 witches and wizards in the "Harry Potter" universe are known to have mastered it. Here they all are. 

    Harry Potter's Patronus is a stag, like his father.

    Harry's ability to produce a powerful, corporeal Patronus at age 13 — under the guidance of his third year Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Remus Lupin — is noted throughout the series as a mark of his impressive talent.

    "The majority of witches and wizards are unable to produce Patronuses and to do so is generally considered a mark of superior magical ability,"Rowling wrote on Pottermore.

    The Patronus of Harry's mother, Lily Evans, took the form of a doe.

    Lily is never seen casting a Patronus in the "Harry Potter" books or films, but Rowling has noted her ability to produce a corporeal doe Patronus on multiple occasions.

    Severus Snape's Patronus was also a doe, which symbolized his love for Lily.

    Snape's doe Patronus reveals his one true motivation throughout Harry's life: to protect the child of the woman he loved.

    In "Deathly Hallows," Snape also uses his Patronus to help Harry on his quest to find Voldemort's horcruxes; a Patronus charm can be used to send messages, and Harry seems to subconsciously recognize the doe as an extension of his mother, allowing him to trust it.

    According to Rowling, Snape was the only Death Eater who could conjure a Patronus charm at all.

    "A Patronus is used against things that the Death Eaters generally generate, or fight alongside," she wrote in 2007. "They would not need Patronuses."

    "He was careful not to use the talking Patronus means of communication with [either Death Eaters or Order of the Phoenix members]," she added. "This was not difficult, as his particular job within the Order, ie, as spy, meant that sending a Patronus to any of them might have given away his true allegiance."


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    Skitch National Landing 2

    • Amazon has announced that its second headquarters, HQ2, will be split between Queens, New York, and Arlington, Virginia.
    • As part of Amazon's new headquarters, Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs and approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment.
    • National Landing is a newly defined urban neighborhood in Northern Virginia located less than 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The community has a variety of hotels, restaurants, high-rise apartment buildings, retail, and commercial offices.

    Amazon has announced it will bring it's second headquarters to Queens, New York and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia.

    According to the official page for Northern Virginia's HQ2 bid, National Landing was jointly carved out by Arlington and Alexandria for Amazon's second headquarters.

    The newly-defined neighborhood encompasses Crystal City, the eastern portion of Pentagon City, and the northern portion of Potomac Yard.

    Let's take a look at what National Landing looks like today and envision what it could morph into in the next few decades.

    SEE ALSO: We walked around Long Island City, the New York neighborhood where Amazon is planning to bring HQ2, and saw why it'd be appealing to the e-commerce giant

    DON'T MISS: Photos show what a nightmare it already is to get around Long Island City, Amazon's new HQ2 headquarters

    Crystal City and the areas of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard that make up National Landing already have office space, housing, recreational space, three metro stations with commuter-rail access, and the Reagan National Airport all within a mile radius.

    And there are plans to add to the existing environment and infrastructure.

    Local developer JBG Smith plans to kick-start several of its unfinished projects in the area ...

    Source: Business Insider

    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.

    startup deals black friday

    • Don't overlook the smaller online startups as you shop on Black Friday this year. 
    • Since many of these startups pride themselves on already-low prices on premium goods like jewelry, cookware, and shoes, they don't often run promotions. 
    • Black Friday is one of the few times of the year when you can save on products and gifts from these unique, up-and-coming startups. 
    • To potentially save more on Black Friday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    The past 10 years and the next 10 years of retail belong to the direct-to-consumer online startup. By reimagining how products are made and sold, startups challenge the old way of doing business.

    Often times, the environment and worker livelihoods benefit from the innovative ways that startups operate. You, the customer, also benefit as these companies affect the way you get dressed in the morning, cook food at home, sleep, and more. 

    Amidst the chaos of large retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target dominating Black Friday deals news, these startups are quietly offering deals as well. For some, this is the only time of the year when their products are discounted, so you should definitely take advantage of the rare opportunity. 

    If you're searching for a unique gift, you won't find any time better than now to find one and save money. We've also partnered with many of these startups to offer you exclusive reader discounts. Make sure to check back throughout the week as we add more deals. 

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    MVMT: Stylish and affordable premium watches

    Shop Black Friday deals at MVMT

    The deal: Up to 25% off sitewide, now through November 26

    What to buy: 

    Read more about MVMT:


    AUrate: Affordable and sustainably produced fine jewelry

    Shop Black Friday deals at AUrate

    The deal: 25% off sitewide with code "INSIDER25" from November 21 through November 26

    What to buy:

    Read more about AUrate: 

    Leesa: Pressure-relieving foam and hybrid mattresses

    Shop Black Friday deals at Leesa

    The deals [BI EXCLUSIVE]:

    • $160 off a Leesa mattress and a free pillow ($75 value) now through November 26 
    • $235 off a Sapira mattress and a free pillow ($75 value) now through November 26 

    What to buy:

    Read more about Leesa:

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    iPhone XS Max

    Every fall, Apple introduces new iPhones. And every fall, many iPhone users wonder: should I upgrade? 

    This year was, in Apple parlance, an "S year," which means that one of the new iPhones, the iPhone XS, was an iterative upgrade rather than a total overhaul. Which begs the question: if you have an iPhone X, which is only a year old, do you need to upgrade? 

    Or, if you're looking for a new device, should you go for the cheaper option and buy last year's phone over the new iPhone XS?

    This year, the differences between the two phones are minor, but there are still a few things that set the new phone apart. Here's how the iPhone X compares to the iPhone XS. 

    SEE ALSO: There's only one color you should consider if you're thinking about buying the iPhone XS

    The iPhone XS comes in more colors.

    The iPhone X came in just two colors: silver (essentially white) and space gray (essentially black).

    The iPhone XS retained those two shades, but added a third color option: gold.

    The iPhone XS has a brand-new, super-fast chip.

    The iPhone XS has Apple's new A12 Bionic chip, which Apple says includes a "next-generation neural engine." Regardless, it should improve the phone's speed and performance compared with the iPhone X. 

    That being said, the iPhone X is still a high-performance phone, despite having a year-old chip. 

    The iPhone XS is slightly more water-resistant.

    The iPhone XS is water-resistant to a depth of two meters for up to 30 minutes — that's one more meter than the iPhone X, which is only water resistant in about one meter of water. 

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    • Every tax season, there are criminals trying to scam innocent people out of some of their money.
    • Bogus, aggressive phone calls demanding payment and "phishy" emails taking you to scam sites are still the most prevalent scams, but there are some new tactics, and some lesser-known scams to be wary of too.
    • Business Insider spoke with three CPAs to get the inside scoop on scams to watch out for this year.


    Tax season is almost upon us, and if you are one of the organized few, you are already preparing your paperwork and considering your options for tax preparation.

    But there's another group getting revved up for the tax season: Fraudsters.

    These criminals can try to scam you in person, over the phone, or, most popularly, through email.

    Business Insider spoke with three CPAs to help prepare you to look out for — and avoid — tax-season scams.

    SEE ALSO: 10 abbreviations you should know to navigate your tax forms

    1. Phishing emails

    The IRS, other government agencies, and banks have been warning us about these emails for years, but they continue to be a problem. Some of these fraudulent emails will look like they are from the IRS or a bank and will ask you to visit their site and "update your account," according to the IRS. The page will look official, and criminals are hoping you'll enter your private information so they can use it to steal your identity, file a fake tax return in your name, or open new accounts without your knowledge.

    There is a new twist on the theme this year. Fraudsters are sending emails pretending to be a professional association you might belong to, "like the state societies of opticians, or lawyers, or any other profession," Melanie Lauridsen, senior manager for tax policy and advocacy at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) told Business Insider.

    Criminals will often use the official name of a professional association, or a very similar name, according to Lauridsen. The email will say that you need to login to update your information, such as licensure or registration info, and get you to enter other sensitive information. This leaves you vulnerable to identity theft or other fraud.

    2. Phone calls from the "IRS"

    "More and more of my clients have been getting random phone calls from scammers claiming to work for the IRS," Chad Elkins, CPA and author of "Elkins' Tax Guide 2019 Edition," told Business Insider. The IRS will almost never make initial contact with you by phone.

    "They like to target the elderly and recent immigrants, in particular, who may not be aware that the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, nor contact taxpayers about taxes owed without first corresponding by mail or providing the taxpayer an opportunity to appeal a balance due," Elkins said.

    These scammers have gotten sophisticated, according to the IRS. Now, they can spoof the local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) phone number to appear on your caller ID. If you doubt them, the scammers will tell you to look up the number.

    Why do people fall for this? "Aggressive, high-pressure tactics enable schemes like this to work. Victims are threatened with arrest and other severe consequences if they don't make payment immediately. People react in a moment of fear and anxiety and do it," CPA Richard Lindsey, author of "Fairness or Folly: A Real World Guide to the Temporary Tax Reform of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," told Business Insider.

    The IRS does not do anything immediate— they have a process of warning letters, registered mail, and other paper information before they demand money. To collect the money owed, the IRS can file a tax lien on your home,  levy your bank account or wages, or offset any refund you are entitled. Eventually, they can seize your car, boat, or real estate if you don't pay up. They have the force of the law behind them to eventually collect any money that you might legitimately owe them.

    3. Using your Social Security number to file a tax return and steal your refund

    Whether criminals have gotten your information from hacking, data breaches, or by using a phishing email that you fell for, if they have your social security number and other vital data about you, they can file a return in your name, according to Lindsey. "The scammers often get the refund put onto prepaid debit cards instead of being deposited in bank accounts because it's a lot harder to trace once the payment has been made," Lindsey said.

    "We saw it at the height for our clients in 2017," Lindsey said, but the number of incidents has been declining since then. If you can file early, this reduces your chances of having this scam pulled on you.


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    rafael nadal roland garros

    Expensive Swiss mechanical watches don't have much practical use on the field, court, or track, though it's not uncommon to see the world's biggest athletes wearing high-end, luxury timepieces during their events.

    Nevertheless, watch brands are eager to sponsor elite athletes, from fighters like Floyd Mayweather to tennis champions like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, not for their horological expertise but for their aura — which sells.

    We got a helping hand from the experts at Crown & Caliber to determine the make and models of 21 timepieces worn by the world's top athletes.

    Scroll down to see them ranked in ascending order of price.

    SEE ALSO: 10 luxury watches that are actually worth the investment

    Neymar — Gaga Milano, $2,100.

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    Neymar's love of watches is well documented, with his trip to a Gaga Milano store ending in a $180,000 purchase and an endorsement deal.

    Despite his own line of timepieces being on the lower end of the luxury watch bracket, it looks as though he has some special editions worth much more in his collection. 

    Price according to Gaga Milano.

    Tom Brady — TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 01, $3,250.

    Five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady partnered with Tag Heuer in 2015.

    "His jaw is famous. His hair is famous. His right arm is famous. Now his left wrist is, too," Alex Williams wrote for The New York Times that year.

    Last year, Tag Heuer released a special edition Tom Brady chronograph, which retailed at $5,600.

    Price according to Crown & Caliber.

    Andy Murray — Rado Hyperchrome XXL, $3,475.

    When Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon Championship in 2013, he was a Rado brand ambassador, and as soon as he won, he reportedly hurried to slap on his Rado Hyperchrome.

    He put it on so quickly he didn't notice that it was seven hours out. He has since dropped Rado as a sponsor and instead works with brands such as Jaguar and Under Armour.

    Price according to the Daily Mirror.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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