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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    brussels.JPG

    • Protesters have clashed with police in Brussels while demonstrating against a UN migration pact.
    • The United Nations signed the first ever international deal on the migration crisis, despite opposition from the US.
    • The "March against Marrakech" pledged to turn a "political crisis into the awakening of our people."

    Police in the Belgium capital were forced to use water cannons and tear gas on activists protesting against a UN migration pact signed on Monday.

    Reuters said the protesters were far-right sympathizers who had descended on the European Commission headquarters in Brussels as part of the "March against Marrakech" demonstration.

    The United Nations signed the first ever international deal on the migration crisis in the Moroccan city earlier this week. It promised a global approach to better managing migration, despite vociferous opposition from the US, which said last year that it interferes with American sovereignty.

    March against Marrakech's Facebook page said 12,000 planned to attend the demonstration. "We can’t just stand by and watch, we need to show the will of the majority," it said. "Let’s turn this political crisis into the awakening of our people."

    But the protests appeared to spill over into violence as demonstrators clashed with police. Scroll on for some of the most dramatic photos from the protest in Brussels:

    SEE ALSO: Photos show Paris streets erupting in protest and 'extreme and unprecedented violence'

    Thousands of protesters gathered in Brussels, including Filip Dewinter (center), a leading figure in Vlaams Belang, a right-wing Flemish nationalist party.



    But the protests soon began to turn ugly. Here demonstrators are trying to topple an EU flag outside the European Commission headquarters.



    Mounted police attempted to control the crowds.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    NASA beautiful earth Apollo 8

    Nearly 50 years have passed since NASA's Apollo 8 mission orbited the moon for the first time in history.

    On December 21, 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, William Anders, and James Lovell left the Kennedy Space Center  to fly around the moon. They spent 20 hours in lunar orbit, then returned home after more than six days in space.

    The Apollo 8 mission was a critical step toward achieving President John F. Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the moon.

    Nine other lunar missions followed Apollo 8, bringing a dozen men to the moon and gathering hundreds of pounds of rock and soil samples for analysis.

    In almost five decades since then, however, no US spacecraft has landed on the lunar surface. 

    That may change in the next few years. In November, NASA announced that it was offering up to $2.6 billion in contracts to nine American companies that could land probes on the moon by 2022. NASA does not want to buy the lunar landers or take responsibility for launching, landing, or controlling them. Instead, the space agency wants the private sector to deal with those challenges and bid on the opportunity to take NASA's experiments to the moon.

    In the meantime, take a look back at all of NASA's Apollo missions, which flew between 1968 and 1972 and succeeded in putting the first human on the moon.

    SEE ALSO: Astronauts explain why nobody has visited the moon in more than 45 years — and the reasons are depressing

    The Apollo 1 mission was designed to launch a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. But it ended in tragedy when a fire killed three astronauts in their spaceship during a routine pre-launch test.

    Thick smoke filled the crew module of the Apollo 1 capsule on January 27, 1967. Three NASA astronauts — Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward White — were inside performing a routine test, but they were unable to open a hatch in time to escape the explosion. 

    Emergency rescue teams rushed to the launchpad (located where the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is today), but they were too late. 

    An investigation revealed several issues with the capsule's design, including an electrical wiring problem and flammable materials inside the crew cabin.

    On the 50th anniversary of Apollo 1's fatal fire, NASA displayed the hatch at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. 



    The deadly fire led NASA to postpone other planned crewed launches, and no flights or missions were labeled Apollo 2 or 3.

    In the spring of 1967, NASA announced it would keep the designation of Apollo 1 for the mission that never occurred.

    The rocket meant for Apollo 1 was later reassembled and used to launch Apollo 5. 



    The Apollo 4, 5, and 6 missions were unmanned. They occurred between November 1967 and April 1968.

    Apollo 4, which launched on November 9, 1967, was the first unmanned test flight of NASA's Saturn V rocket, which was developed to bring astronauts to the moon. 

    The mission was the first-ever launch from the Kennedy Space Center. It was a success for NASA, as it proved that Saturn V worked. At the time, the 363-foot-tall vehicle was the largest spacecraft to ever attempt flight. 

    Apollo 5 launched a few months later, on January 22, 1968. The mission successfully tested the ability of the Apollo Lunar Module — the spacecraft designed to land on the moon's surface — to ascend and descend.

    The Apollo 6 launch followed on April 4, 1968. The mission aimed to show that the Saturn V rocket was capable of trans-lunar injection, which puts a spacecraft on its path to the moon. But the system quickly ran into problems: Two of the five engines shut down unexpectedly, and the spacecraft could not be propelled into orbit.

    Despite the issues with Apollo 6, NASA pushed ahead with plans for its first manned launch.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    most expensive house new jersey

    • The most expensive home for sale in New Jersey is a $29.5 million mansion in Mahwah.
    • The sprawling estate sits on a 46-acre property that includes an outdoor infinity pool, horse paddocks, an indoor riding arena, a soccer field, a basketball court, and a 20-stall barn.
    • The lavish interior includes an English-styled pub, a home movie theater, another pool, and a 1,400-bottle wine cellar. 
    • It's only about 25 miles from Manhattan

     

    The most expensive home in New Jersey is a sprawling, $29.5 million estate that includes an outdoor infinity pool, an English-style pub and private movie theater, an indoor riding arena, a soccer field, and other lavish amenities.

    And it's only about 25 miles from New York City.

    "It's a breathtaking sanctuary within 30 minutes of Manhattan," Vicki Gaily, listing agent and founder of Special Properties Real Estate Services, told Business Insider.

    The property, called the River Oak Farm, sits on 46 acres of land in Mahwah that includes athletic fields, horse paddocks, hiking trails, ponds, and mountain views of the Manhattan skyline. Mahwah was recently ranked as one of the best places to live in New Jersey

    The current homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, describes the property as "46 acres of complete privacy and seclusion" and "the perfect retreat for those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan" in an email.

    Although it's the most expensive home in New Jersey, the Mahwah house is listed for a whopping $215.5 million less than the most expensive home in the country, a $245 million mansion in Los Angeles that costs 960 times more than a typical US home.

    Here's a look at the New Jersey property. 

    SEE ALSO: What it's like living in the most expensive zip code in New York, where the average home price is $5.5 million

    DON'T MISS: 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

    River Oak Farm is a sprawling estate in Mahwah, New Jersey, that includes an outdoor infinity pool, an indoor riding arena, a soccer field, a basketball court, a 20-stall barn, and other lavish amenities.

    Source: Special Properties Real Estate Services



    It's about 25 miles from upper Manhattan in New York City.

    Source: Google Maps



    The 10-bedroom home sits on 46 acres of land. The main living floors open up to three outdoor terraces that offer scenic views of horse paddocks, athletic fields, rolling hillsides ...

    Source: Special Properties Real Estate Services



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    2002 01 11T120000Z_602528422_RP5DRIICGVAA_RTRMADP_3_JV.JPG

    • On Dec. 10, 1903, the United States established its first overseas military base on 45 square miles of Cuban territory.
    • Today, the base at Guantanamo Bay is infamously associated with images of alleged terrorists detained after the September 11 attacks.
    • But there's much more to this naval base than its use as an offshore prison.
    • Approximately 6,000 people live on the Guantanamo Bay naval base today, and dozens of people are still detained there.
    The Conversation

    The naval base at Guantanamo Bay is quietly commemorating its 115th anniversary.

    On Dec. 10, 1903, the United States established its first overseas military base on 45 square miles of Cuban territory.

    Today, the base at Guantanamo Bay is infamously associated with images of Muslim detainees wearing orange jumpsuits — alleged terrorists detained after the September 11 World Trade Center attacks.

    But there's much more to this naval base than its use as an offshore prison, as I documented in my book, "Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution."

    Here are five things you probably don't know about Guantanamo Bay.

    1. The US won it as a spoil of war

    The United States intervened in Cuba's decades-long battle for independence from Spain in 1898, waging a six-week military campaign that Secretary of State John Hay memorably described as a "splendid little war."

    The Spanish quickly surrendered, signing the Treaty of Paris and then handing over Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam to the United States.

    To achieve full independence, the US required the Cuban government to amend its new Constitution to allow the US to "sell or lease" territory for a naval base. The Cubans did so grudgingly.

    Unlike most leases, this one has no end date. The US military may use the site indefinitely.

    The base in Guantanamo Bay has been a reminder of American imperialism in the Caribbean ever since.

    Cuba wants the land returned. In his historic meeting with Barack Obama in 2016, President Raúl Castro cited the base as a key obstacle in improving US-Cuban relations.

    Read more: Guantanamo Bay's prison opened 16 years ago — we need to reckon with what the US has done and continues to do there



    2. The Cuban revolution took place nearby

    When I tell people I study Guantanamo, they immediately imagine the military base. I've never set foot there.

    My research is about the eastern Cuban city of Guantánamo, located some 15 miles inland from Guantanamo Bay.

    Guantánamo, home to about 200,000 people, is an 18-hour bus ride from Havana in an eastern Cuban region called Oriente — a stronghold of the Cuban Revolution.

    Starting in December 1956, brothers Fidel and Raúl Castro and a small group of guerrillas began a military campaign in Oriente that would ultimately overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

    Cuban base workers at Guantanamo Bay aided the Castros' insurgency by raising money on the base and pilfering supplies like gasoline.

    Evidence suggests that some US military personnel secretly funneled arms to the guerrillas. The sons of three American servicemen even ran off to join the uprising in 1957.

    The Cuban base workers generally escaped punishment, but at least one US sailor faced a court martial for supporting the Castros' revolution.



    3. Jamaicans and Filipinos are the main workforce

    Approximately 6,000 people live on the Guantanamo Bay naval base today, including American military personnel, their families, and civilian staff.

    Historically, most of the staff at Guantanamo Bay were Cubans from the city of Guantánamo. The base offered steady jobs at wages far higher than those on local sugar plantations.

    But in 1964 Fidel Castro cut off the base's Cuban water supply in a diplomatic conflict with the United States. President Lyndon Johnson ordered most Cuban workers fired to make the base more self-sufficient.

    Jamaican and later Filipino guest laborers were brought in to take their place.

    Today, these guest workers live in trailers and old barracks on the base and do everything from construction and food services to laundry. Many are paid less than the US minimum wage.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    costco wine 8

    • Wines at Costco have a reputation for being high-quality and high-value.
    • Business Insider spoke to Costco Wine Blog founder Andrew Cullen and reviewer Erin Reyes about the warehouse chain's standout selections.
    • They praised a number of Kirkland offerings and mentioned deals that you should keep an eye out for on your next Costco wine run.

    Picking up a few bottles of wine at Costco? Well, Costco Wine Blog founder and editor Andrew Cullen and contributing reviewer Erin Reyes have some ideas about what you should try next at the warehouse chain.

    Business Insider spoke to the pair about a few standout selections within the store's wine section. Both Cullen and Reyes specifically singled out Kirkland-label wines as a major draw. Kirkland is Costco's in-store brand.

    "The selection of Kirkland Signature wines and having access to those is a huge, huge benefit for any Costco member and wine shopper," Cullen said. "You can only get them at Costco. There's been a few Kirkland duds, and we definitely call those out. But I think the Kirkland wines are a really big benefit."

    Read more: 13 tips for getting the best deals on wine at Costco

    Reyes added that the quality of the Kirkland wines are often stellar, saying, "I like that I can't get them anywhere else. That makes them seem special."

    She added that, in order to create those Kirkland Signature wines, Costco will either "buy the juice and rebottle it" or even purchase and re-label already-bottled wine.

    Cullen and Reyes also spoke about a number of special deals on wine offered at Costco, as well as some of their own personal preferences regarding specific wines and varieties of wine.

    Here are their top picks:

    SEE ALSO: 8 mistakes you should avoid when shopping for wine at Costco

    DON'T MISS: Costco is pumping fewer antibiotics into its meat products as it embarks on a $275 million plan to own its chicken supply chain

    SEE ALSO: What happens when you show up at Costco without a membership card, according to employees

    Kirkland Cotes de Provence Rosé

    Cullen said that you've got to be quick if you want to snag a bottle or two of this rosé.

    "People go gangbusters for that because it's like $11.99," he said. "They put it out in the heat of the summertime, and people are just dying for good rosé."



    Kirkland Signature Old Vine Zinfandel

    "The Kirkland Zinfandel is really good," Reyes said. "It's consistently a good value year after year."



    Simi Chardonnay

    You can buy Simi Chardonnay outside of Costco. But, according to Reyes, you'd be pressed to snag a better deal on the wine beyond the warehouse.

    She said that at certain points in the year, the wine sells for $8.99 at Costco.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Lotte World Tower South Korea

    • The Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest building in the world.
    • The high-rise recently won the Emporis Skyscraper Award, which honors the top 10 skyscrapers that have been completed in the previous calendar year.
    • The tower has a number of record-breaking features, such as an elevator that delivers people from the bottom floor to the 121st floor in one minute.
    • It's also built to withstand major disasters, such as a 9.0 magnitude earthquake or winds as strong as those seen during Hurricane Katrina. 

    The world is witnessing a massive boom in skyscraper construction, led by nations like China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. This year alone, China built more skyscrapers than any country has ever built in a year. 

    Amid growing competition for the tallest and most innovative towers, one high-rise in South Korea managed to surpass all others.

    Read more:Stunning photos of the 10 best skyscrapers in the world

    Earlier this week, the Lotte World Tower in Seoul received the Emporis Skyscraper Award, the world's most renowned prize for high-rise architecture. 

    The tower's sleek design pales in comparison to its record-shattering features, which include the world's highest glass-bottomed observation deck and the world's fastest elevator.

    Take a look at how it was built — and what it looks like now. 

    The tower's construction began in 2011, more than two decades after the land was procured.

    The owner, Lotte Corp., also oversaw the construction of the world's largest indoor theme park.



    The structure is designed to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

    It's also intended to withstand gusts of wind as strong as those seen in Hurricane Katrina (around 180 miles per hour).



    At more than 1,800 feet, it's the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest building in the world.

    The structure, which opened in in April 2017, has 123 floors and 42,000 windows. Construction of the roof alone required 3,000 tons of steel.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Twitch

    • Twitch invited Business Insider for a first look at its new headquarters in San Francisco, California.
    • The nine-floor office is a gamer's paradise, with two six-person competitive gaming rooms, two live-streaming rooms, and a full arcade.
    • "What we really wanted to do was bring Twitch to life,"Twitch's Chief Marketing Officer Kate Jhaveri told Business Insider. 
    • Below is a behind-the-scenes look at Twitch's new headquarters. 

    This week, Amazon-owned live-streaming platform Twitch invited Business Insider for a first-look at its new headquarters in San Francisco, California. 

    The nine-floor floor office is a gamer's paradise, with two six-person competitive gaming rooms, two live-streaming rooms, and a full arcade (We did confirm halfway through our tour that actual work was getting done). 

    Twitch's Chief Marketing Officer, Kate Jhaveri, told Business Insider about the thought process behind many of the design decisions.

    "What we really wanted to do was bring Twitch to life. Both the feeling of entering Twitch — which sometimes feels like entering another land. We wanted our office to have that feeling,"Jhaveri said. "We also wanted to bring to life a lot of the great content that exists on Twitch today — whether that’s games the community plays, shows and movies they watch, or art and music that they make every day." 

    Here's a look at Twitch's new San Francisco headquarters: 

    SEE ALSO: From Elon Musk to Satya Nadella: Here are the 29 top tech CEOs of 2018, according to employees

    Twitch's new office is located on California Street in San Francisco's Financial District.



    Upon entering, Vault Boy — from the popular "Fallout" franchise — salutes all visitors. As you might expect, there are plenty of video game characters throughout the Twitch office.



    Twitch asks visitors to sign a non-disclosure agreement at the front desk when they visit. When we visited, that desk was all decked out with festive stockings and lights for the holidays.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    titans

    • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider the most in-demand TV shows on streaming services.
    • This week includes DC Universe's "Titans" and Netflix's "The Ranch."

    Superheroes are on TV viewers' minds lately, as both DC Universe's "Titans" and Netflix's recently canceled "Daredevil" made this week's list of most in-demand shows.

    Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the seven most "in-demand" TV shows on streaming services. The data is based on "demand expressions," the globally standardized TV demand measurement unit from Parrot Analytics. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance, so a stream or download is a higher expression of demand than a "like" or comment on social media.

    Other streaming shows this week include Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which debuted its second season last week, and "Stranger Things," which got a big boost from last week thanks to a teaser video for its upcoming third season that Netflix recently dropped.

    Below are this week's seven most popular shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

    SEE ALSO: Audience demand for Netflix Originals will soon pass demand for licensed TV shows and movies, and that's great news for the streaming giant as competition heats up

    7. "The Ranch" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 21,774,410 

    Description:"Being a pro athlete didn't pan out for Colt. Now he's helping his dad and brother keep the ranch afloat, and figuring out how he fits into the family."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (overall): 63%

    What critics said (season 2): "The Ranch’s cis-white-male orthodoxy—and its stridency about that—has a nasty tang. The show’s once-affable rudeness, its gentle, blockheaded rebuke of pansy P.C.-ism, is now edged with something darker."— Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

    Season 3 premiered on Netflix December 7.



    6. "Marvel's Daredevil" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 31,213,212 

    Description: "Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen, New York City."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 96%

    What critics said: "There's a linear flow to it all that is focused and efficient. That doesn't mean the show couldn't lose steam like so many other promising yet still flawed Marvel series on Netflix. But so far, so good."— Brandon Katz, Observer

    Season 3 premiered on Netflix October 19. The show was recently canceled.



    5. "Narcos: Mexico" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 32,529,755

    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."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 85%

    What critics said: "Wait a minute, is the narrator the one and only Scoot McNairy?!?! Oh, why yes it is. I was already all in, but now I'm ALL IN."— Derek Lawrence, Entertainment Weekly

    Season 1 premiered on Netflix November 16.



    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.

    cuisina

    The Insider Picks team has tested out a lot of products so far this year. There are plenty of items that stand out for being innovative, practical, comfortable, and adding value to our lives in a plethora of other ways. Then, there are the products that are so useful we cannot imagine what we'd do without them.

    These items, whether we've purchased them ourselves or tested them out for work, have become mainstays in our lives, helping us to solve even the most mundane of life's inconveniences. From big-ticket items like a $500 space heater to a $10 nylon bag, these are the most useful products we have tried or bought this year, and know we will continue using for years to come. 

    Check out our list of the 35 most useful products we've tried this year, below:

    A robovac that vacuums your home even when you really don't to

    Eufy Boost IQ RoboVac 11S, $169, available at Amazon

    I’ve saved probably five hours a week worth of cleaning time because of this vacuum. All I have to do is set it on an automatic timer to run its course every day, and it travels around my apartment, clearing molding between rooms with ease. This one isn’t advanced enough to track its route so sometimes it’ll go over the same spots, but the ones with all those special features tend to cost a lot more than this one (which is pretty reasonable in my opinion). In addition to scheduling cleanings, you can also use the remote control to clean a specific area by directing the vacuum’s route yourself. It’s slim enough to make it under dressers and couches with low clearance, and strong enough to suck up all the cat hair and litter in my apartment. — Sally Kaplan



    A headband that makes falling asleep to music easy

    AcousticSheep SleepPhones Bluetooth Headphones, $99.95, available at Amazon

    I like to fall asleep to music, but it’s a notoriously difficult task to find headphones that are comfortable (ie. slim enough) to sleep on top of at night without waking up with a sore neck. These AcousticSheep headphones look a bit like a science experiment, but they’re the best ones I’ve found yet: comfortable, loud (but not loud enough to disturb others), and a battery life that lasts all night. You can listen to soothing sounds from an app or your favorite Spotify playlist via Bluetooth. — Mara Leighton



    A smartwatch that costs less than $100

    Amazfit Bip Smartwatch, $79.99, available at Amazon

    I use this affordable smartwatch to track my daily activity and sleep as well as for handy features like the timer, alarm clock, and text notifications. It’s an all-in-one accessory, which is why it’s under-$100 price is even more amazing. Since I hate the constant cycle of charging that comes with owning a lot of tech, the month-long battery life is another reason why I recommend it often to friends. The watch doesn’t take a lot of time to set up and get used to, but it will give back in many different ways. — Connie Chen



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Lt. Col. Barry A. King, 374th Operations Group deputy commander, left, and 1st. Lt. Emery Gumapas, 36th Airlift Squadron pilot, right, make adjustments aboard Santa 21 on its way to airdrop supplies to the island of Nama, Federated States of Micronesia during Operation Christmas Drop 2018, Dec. 10, 2018.

    • The US military has been delivering much-needed supplies to islands in the Pacific every year around the Christmas holidays for almost seven decades.
    • Operation Christmas Drop (OCD) is the Department of Defense's longest-running humanitarian airlift operation.
    • Supplies are delivered to 56 islands across the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau.
    • The most recent drop occurred just last week.

    For people living on remote islands across the Pacific, Christmas is the sound of C-130s roaring overhead as boxes of food, clothing, toys, and more parachuted from the holds drop down from the sky.

    Here's what it looked like this year.

    Operation Christmas Drop, which began during the holiday season in 1952 as a spur-of-the-moment decision by a B-29 Superfortress crew, is the Department of Defense's longest-running humanitarian airlift operation.

    Source: Andersen Air Force Base



    Now in its 67th year, the OCD mission is supported by the US Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard, as well as members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force. It serves over 50 remote islands in the Pacific.

    Source: Indo-Pacific Command



    The first drop all those years ago began with a B-29 crew dropping supplies to waving locals on Kapingamarangi island. The program now helps tens of thousands of people living on 56 islands across an area of 1.8 million square nautical miles annually.

    Source: Indo-Pacific Command



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hurtful

    • We use harmful, negative labels to describe ourselves and others.
    • Words like selfish, stupid, spoiled, and lazy are all used casually.
    • But they can be more damaging than we realise.
    • Often, we use these words because they're easier than examining the real issue.
    • Here are the six terms, and what they really mean when we say them.

    It's a curse of humanity that we are often highly critical of ourselves. We don't tend to give ourselves the same sympathy and understanding we are willing to provide others.

    For example, you might feel shame over something that happened way back in your distant past, when you were a child. Nobody else is likely to judge you for decisions you made in your younger years, but for some reason, you hang on to it for years, or even decades.

    Read more: Being 'anti-fragile' in times of pain is just as important as being resilient — here's what that means

    In a blog post for Psychology Today, psychiatrist Grant Hilary Brenner wrote about the corrosive habits people develop in how they relate to themselves, and others. Some labels, for instance, come from toxic places.

    Brenner identified six words we shouldn't use, because they are "accompanied by feelings of moral judgment, hatred and utter rejection."

    "Rather than understanding the nuance and creating bridges for understanding and communication, such labeling reflects underlying either-or thinking, generally fragmenting us apart from ourselves and each other in an act of linguistic violence," he wrote. "These are dividing words, misunderstanding concepts, rather than language which joins and deepens mutuality and self-relationship."

    Here are the six terms, and what they really mean when we say them:

    1. Lazy

    People use the word "lazy" a lot, Brenner said, when they haven't done something they think they should have. It suggests there's something fundamentally wrong with you if you can't work hard, for whatever reason.

    By doing this, you avoid finding out what is really wrong. So if you start calling yourself lazy, ask yourself why you're feeling unmotivated. Procrastinators and do-ers have different brains, so the answer may simply be to give yourself smaller goals.



    2. Bored

    As Betty Draper said in "Mad Men,""Only boring people get bored." In reality, that's probably not true, said Brenner, because feeling bored may mean there are underlying emotions we are ignoring. Rather than facing their anxiety, for example, some people may jump to boredom as an explanation for why they feel stuck in a rut.

    "Using boredom this way is usually associated with having one's mind go blank," Brenner wrote. "We become unable to think about anything other than being bored, effectively preventing us from getting out of the boredom and paralysis."



    3. Hypocrite

    This word assumes we cannot have two points of view, and can't have internal conflicts. People are sometimes genuinely hypocritical, but sometimes we use it because we refer to things this way because it's easier than dealing with the actual issue. 

    Rather than jumping to this conclusion, you should look at multiple sides of the problem, and remember that there is a context, Brenner said. 

    "Moral values and ethical decisions change a lot from situation to situation," he said. "Identify the different sides of the apparent hypocrisy, and consider in what contexts would those different perspectives apply."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    wedding couple

    • Getting married can be expensive, but there are some venues you can get married at for free. 
    • Public parks are typically nearly free.
    • Having a backyard wedding can be intimate and free.

    Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. It can also be one of the most expensive. The Knot's 2017 Real Weddings Study revealed that the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $33,391, before the honeymoon. And that cost gets even higher in cities like New York ($76,944), Chicago ($55,332), and Los Angeles ($44,142). Although the band, photographer, and dress can eat up quite a bit of your budget, the venue is often the most expensive part of your wedding, with a national average of $15,163.

    But you don't have to break the bank when you say, "I Do." In fact, there are less expensive options that can be just as special and romantic places to tie the knot. With a little bit of creativity, there are places out there that will let you have your wedding for free.

    Keep in mind, there is really no way to get away with getting married without spending a dime. You will have to incur the cost of a marriage license and an officiant to make the whole thing legit. But the money you save on the venue can be spent on an awesome honeymoon.

    Get married in nature at your favorite local park.

    Your local park can be a great option for a low-cost wedding. Just be sure to do your homework ahead of time to see if you will need a permit at the park you choose. For example, in most New York City parks, a permit is required for events with more than 20 people and comes with a $25 charge. 



    An all-inclusive resort lets you have your wedding and honeymoon in one.

    If you're planning a destination wedding, check out some of the all-inclusive resorts that offer free weddings for resort guests. For example, Beaches resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos offer free weddings for a minimum three-night stay at one of their properties. Just be sure to read the fine print about what is included in your wedding package so that you know exactly what to expect.



    Bring family and friends together in your own backyard.

    There's no place like home to have a wedding. Not only will you save money on renting the space, but you can also create a beautiful, intimate experience by holding your wedding at a place that has special meaning for you. And you won't have to worry about being late to your own wedding if you're already on site.

    If you don't have a backyard big enough for all of your guests, think about close family members or friends who may want to offer their home for the event in lieu of a gift.



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    Nazis Germany Battle of the Bulge World War 2

    By late 1944, Allied forces had pushed Nazi Germany back in much of Europe, retaking Paris and Rome.

    US Army intelligence determined that the thick evergreen forest of the Ardennes in Belgium would be a good place to rest and reorganize combat units, as enemy forces in the area were largely low-quality troops.

    The Nazis, however, were preparing a great counteroffensive, forming up 30 crack divisions that would cut the Allied army in two and push for the Belgian port of Antwerp.

    On the morning of December 16, 1944, more than 200,000 German troops and almost 1,000 tanks drove into the Ardennes across an 85-mile stretch of the front line, running from southern Belgium to the middle of Luxembourg.

    Stories abound of German paratroopers dropping behind the lines, of English-speaking Nazi troops impersonating Americans, and of massacres of US prisoners of war at Malmedy.

    Bad weather held Allied air power in check, and many US troops were caught off guard. The US 106th Infantry division was encircled in hours, and two out of three soldiers were caught or killed. US forces settled into wholesale retreat, save for pockets of soldiers who fought on but were quickly isolated, though they held crucial road junctions.

    Allied troops from all over the Western Front rushed to the 50-mile bulge the German offensive pushed into the front lines. Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army arrived at the end of December, and weather improved, but it took until January 28, 1945, to return the front line to where it was on December 15.

    Below, you can see photos from the first weeks of the frigid six-week battle that caused 67,000 American and 100,000 German casualities.

    SEE ALSO: Here's how the US pulled off a daring mission to take out the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor

    German soldiers, wearing heavy winter gear, walk past a burning US half-track during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, December 1944. This photo is from a batch of film captured from the Germans by American forces.



    German infantrymen pass burning captured US vehicles during the drive into Allied lines on the Western Front during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. This photo is from a batch of film captured from the Germans by American forces.



    An unidentified young US soldier, captured by Germans during their counterattack in the Belgian Ardennes region, leads a march of prisoners at an unknown location in December 1944.



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    Peloton

    • High tech, at-home fitness companies are gaining ground and putting traditional players under pressure. 
    • Peloton, which is widely considered to be a pioneer of the home fitness industry, was valued at $4 billion in August after raising an additional $550 million in venture funding. 
    • These are some of the most exciting at-home fitness innovations to come out over the past year. 

    America is exercising more than ever, but people are becoming lazier when it comes to where they do it. 

    Home fitness has become one of the biggest trends of 2018, as a series of high-tech fitness companies have swooped in to create more advanced ways to replicate a boutique class-style workout from home. 

    According to insights firm Alpha, the home fitness equipment market is currently worth $14 billion and is gaining more traction among traditional gym-goers. Of the people it surveyed, 54% said they would be interested in buying an at-home fitness system, Fast Company reported earlier this year. 

    By comparison, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) estimated that 60.9 million Americans have a gym membership, which generates $30 billion in revenue annually. 

    Peloton, which is widely considered to be a pioneer of the industry, was valued at $4 billion in August after raising a further $550 million in venture funding.

    Recent data released by analytics firm Second Measure, which tracks the credit and debit purchases from a pool of four million US customers, showed that Peloton is increasingly stealing market share from the traditional market leaders. According to the report, during the third quarter of 2018 Peloton overtook SoulCycle for the first time ever, drawing in 4% more customers, though SoulCycle strongly denied this analysis in a statement to Business Insider this week. 

    These are some of the most exciting at-home fitness innovations to come out over the past year:

    SEE ALSO: Peloton is accusing Flywheel of copying its hugely popular at-home fitness bike

    Peloton Tread

    Peloton is best known for its wildly successful exercise bike, which paved the way for other high-tech at-home fitness options. 

    Its new product — the $3,995 treadmill — launched this fall and works in a similar way to its indoor bike. It has an HD touchscreen that streams thousands of live and on-demand classes, which users can join from home.

    Classes cost $39 a month and include high-intensity boot-camp routines, running drills, and mat work. 

    When Business Insider trialed the treadmill in February, we were impressed by the style and range of classes but were overwhelmed by the size of the machine. 

    Read more:We tried the new $4,000 treadmill from the billion-dollar startup that could be 'the Apple of fitness' — here's the verdict



    Mirror

    New York-based startup Mirror launched its $1,500 interactive mirror in September

    The machine looks just like a standard mirror but has an LCD screen that streams live and on-demand workout classes into your home. These classes cost $39 per month.

    Customers connect to the Mirror using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor or an Apple Watch.

    Read more:We tested the $1,500 mirror that streams exercise classes into your home and saw how it could upend the fitness world



    Flywheel — FLY Anywhere

    Boutique indoor cycling studio Flywheel made the move into home fitness in November 2017 with the launch of its FLY Anywhere bike.

    The bike starts at $1,699 and functions in a similar way to Peloton's version: it allows users to stream on-demand and live classes from their home. The main difference is that customers have the option to stream classes from their own device or pay extra to have a screen included on the bike itself.

    In September, Peloton filed a lawsuit against Flywheel accusing the bike of being a copycat version of its proprietary bike.

    Read more:Peloton is accusing Flywheel of copying its hugely popular at-home fitness bike



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    woman yawning at work tired

    • Fatigue can be a symptom of many vitamin deficiencies including iron, vitamin D and vitamin B. 
    • A vitamin A deficiency can result in poor or worsening night vision. 
    • Pale skin and hair loss can result from an iron deficiency. 

    Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be more common than you think and some of the most common deficiencies concern vitamin D, iron, and calcium.

    In addition, experts suggest that some vitamin deficiencies can be more on the subtle side, meaning there may be little to no symptoms you’ll be able to detect without doing proper blood work. Although a doctor's visit is the best way to determine if you have great levels of all of the vitamins you need, sometimes deficiencies can show themselves through symptoms. 

    Here are some subtle signs you could have a vitamin deficiency. 

    You may experience fatigue if you are deficient in iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

    "While this symptom is very broad and could be caused by a wide variety of factors, a nutrient deficiency could be playing into it as well," said registered dietitian Autumn Ehsaei, MS, RDN. Common nutrient deficiencies associated with fatigue include iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.



    You may experience muscle cramping if you are deficient in magnesium.

    According to WebMD, a long-term magnesium deficiency can cause nausea, muscle spasms, bone weakness, and muscle cramps

    Many people do not consume the recommended amount (4700 milligrams) of potassium in their diets daily, said Ehsaei. Fortunately, there are a variety of tests that can determine if your magnesium levels are too low or too high. 



    You may experience slow wound healing, bleeding, or swollen gums if you are deficient in vitamin C.

    "Vitamin C plays a vital role in the ability of the body to heal from any kind of wound," Ehsaei told INSIDER. A deficiency of vitamin C is fairly rare today, but it is higher in those who smoke, as smoking can greatly decrease your ability to absorb this vitamin.



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    4

    • DJ Khaled's waterfront Miami home has been listed for $7.99 million.
    • The waterfront mansion has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an enormous sneaker closet.
    • The home is flush with luxury amenities, including a boat lift, an elevator, a wine cellar, and an outdoor entertaining area.

    DJ Khaled's home is the stuff of sneaker-lovers' dreams — and it's now on the market.

    The Miami villa is listed at $7.99 million by Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby's International Realty.

    DJ Khaled, 43, is a DJ and producer. He also, as Business Insider's Angela Johnson previously reported, launched a luxury furniture line called We The Best Home in September; the line includes lots of "leather, gold, and high-end features."

    A similar attention to detail — and appreciation for the shinier things in life — can be seen throughout his home.

    Read more:A new report reveals the 17 most popular housing markets for the world's richest people, and a notoriously expensive city is missing from the list

    According to a new report from Knight Frank, Miami is one of the world's most popular housing markets for the world's richest people. It's a growing market in which many of the top real estate sales come from penthouses in residential developments. Khaled's house now joins the likes of a $68 million penthouse, which could shatter the state's record, as some of the Miami area's glitzy real estate offerings.

    Here's a look inside the mansion:

    SEE ALSO: Tour the most expensive zip code in Florida — the mysterious members-only island where millionaires pay $250,000 for access

    READ MORE: Here's what the most expensive house for sale in every US state looks like

    According to The Wall Street Journal, the home sits on a half-acre of property on Dumbfoundling Bay in Aventura, about 20 miles north of Miami.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal, Google Maps



    The home is located in an ultra-exclusive gated community ...

    Source: Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty



    ... and has unobstructed views of the bay and city, according to Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby's International Realty.

    Source: Janet Ben Zvi of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty



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    gap 2666

    • Gap is struggling to keep up with its sister stores Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta.
    • Gap Inc.'s sales were flat in the third quarter, but the Gap brand reported that comparable sales were down 7%.
    • We visited a Gap store to see why it's struggling. 

    Gap is struggling to keep up with its sister stores. 

    Gap Inc., the parent company of Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta, saw flat sales in the most recent quarter, reported in November. Prior to this quarter, the company saw seven consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales growth.

    The Gap brand itself is struggling — comparable sales were down 7% in the third quarter. 

    Gap discounts nearly everything in the store, threatening margins and, ultimately, making shoppers less likely to pay full-price. It also offers a lot of the same styles and quality clothing as its sister store Old Navy, but the prices are much higher at Gap. 

    "We are clearly not satisfied with the performance of Gap brand. We know this iconic brand is important to customers, and we are committed to taking the bold and necessary steps to ensure that it delivers value to shareholders," Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck said in the company's earnings release on Tuesday.

    This is what we found when we visited a Gap store in New York City:

    SEE ALSO: We shopped at TJ Maxx and Kohl's to see which store was better, and the winner was clear for one key reason.

    We went to the Gap store in the Financial District. There was a 40% off sign in the window, and a 70% off sign outside the door.



    Women's clothing was on the first floor.



    Generally speaking, it was pretty expensive.



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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    best electric toothbrush

    • If you want clean teeth and healthy gums without breaking your budget, you can’t go wrong with the highly effective Oral-B Pro 1000 electric toothbrush.

    You’ve probably heard the saying, “You only need to brush and floss the teeth you want to keep.” While the words are undeniably tongue-in-cheek, there’s considerable truth to them. Proper oral care, which includes twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing, is critical if you want to hang onto your choppers well into old age.

    Do you really need an electric toothbrush?

    Most dentists agree that a properly wielded manual toothbrush can do nearly as good a job as an electric toothbrush. The problem, however, comes with the “properly wielded” part. Most people fail to brush the full recommended two minutes, don’t carefully work the brush around the entire set of teeth and the gum line, and don’t brush gently and yet with speed. By contrast, a good electric toothbrush:

    • Oscillates or strokes thousands — even tens of thousands — of times per minute, as compared to the typical 300 strokes per minute when brushing manually
    • Removes more plaque than a manual toothbrush
    • Has a signal or timer of some type to motivate longer brushing
    • Is easier for people with arthritis or other hand weaknesses to use
    • Is likelier to reduce gum disease than a manual toothbrush

    We want you to keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime. That’s why we’ve done the research to bring you five electric toothbrushes that we feel are the best choices for the most people. We visited the top consumer websites, listened to actual product owners, and considered advice from dentists and dental hygienists when making our decisions. So go ahead and break out your favorite toothpaste. Healthy, clean white teeth are on their way.

    Here are our top picks for the best electric toothbrushes:

    Updated on 12/17/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Updated the formatting and prices.

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

    SEE ALSO: The best teeth whitening kits you can buy

    The best electric toothbrush overall

    Why you'll love it: The Oral-B Pro 1000 is the best electric toothbrush because it's budget-friendly, highly effective, and compatible with a wide range of replacement brush heads.

    The Oral-B Pro 1000 is a no-frills electric toothbrush, but it gets the job done, and it gets it done well. It comes with a CrossAction brush head that reaches into every nook and cranny between and within your teeth to scour away up to 300% more plaque than a manual toothbrush would remove.

    If you prefer another type of brush head, however, there are plenty to choose from; the Oral-B Pro 1000 is compatible with nine different Oral-B heads, including whitening, sensitive, extra gum line cleaning, deep clean, orthodontic care, and floss action. Just twist and pull to switch out the brush head.

    The toothbrush handle has an easily accessed on/off button, and the brush vibrates gently every 30 seconds to let you know it’s time to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth. The sections include the inside of upper teeth, outside of upper teeth, inside of lower teeth, and outside of lower teeth. Press too hard, and the toothbrush will stop rotating — overly vigorous tooth brushing is a major cause of gum irritation. When you let up the pressure, the brush will automatically begin to spin once again.

    The Wirecutter chose the Oral-B Pro 1000 as their top-pick electric toothbrush, and Health also selected this electric toothbrush as its number-one choice.

    On Amazon, the Oral-B Pro 1000 is one of the best-selling electric toothbrushes, with nearly 5,500 reviews and an average of 4.4 stars. Buyers like the brush’s simplicity, its effectiveness, and its reasonable price. Many also appreciate being able to swap out the brush head for one that better suits their needs.

    Expect to recharge the Oral-B Pro 1000 about once per week. You’ll see a flashing red light when the battery is getting low. The recharging base is very small, so there's no need to clear much counter space.

    Pros: Great price, effective at removing plaque, many types of compatible brush heads

    Cons: Not as fast or as powerful as some newer electric toothbrushes

    Buy the Oral-B Pro 1000 on Amazon for $39.94 (originally $65.99)



    The best electric toothbrush that does it all

    Why you'll love it: The Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush comes with a great electric toothbrush and a water flosser.

    Regular flossing with string is effective, but water flossing gets the job done even more effectively — blasting between teeth, beneath the gum line, and into all the nooks and crannies of your back molars to remove sticky plaque, food bits, and bacteria. Waterpik has always been the top name in water flossers, but now the company has ingeniously combined a water flosser and an electric toothbrush in one convenient package. Just one cord to plug in and your toothbrush charges right on the water flosser’s stand.

    You’ll get a Waterpik Sensonic Professional Toothbrush, which uses sonic technology to remove plaque from your gums and teeth. The brush has two speeds, a two-minute timer, and soft bristles that clean your teeth very effectively without irritating your gums. The kit includes a standard brush head and a compact brush head for precision cleaning.

    The water flosser’s reservoir holds 90+ seconds-worth of water, and you can add a bit of mouthwash if you’d like for extra breath freshening. The flosser’s tip delivers a thin, powerful stream of water that painlessly and effectively blasts away plaque and debris not just from between your teeth, but also from beneath your gum line where string floss won’t reach. You can set the water pressure to your liking, and choose between five different types of tip.

    Amazon buyers are very enthusiastic about the Waterpik Complete Care. It has more than 5,200 reviews and an average of 4.4 stars. While many users comment that it takes a bit of practice to learn how to use a water flosser without drenching your entire bathroom, most feel the device leaves their teeth and gums very healthy and clean.

    A typical comment, “Best dental hygiene purchase I have ever made. My teeth look and feel better than ever. Cannot recommend this enough.”

    On the downside, quite a few buyers say the water flosser is loud.

    Pros: Doesn’t take up much counter space, superior to string floss, toothbrush is always charged and ready to go, reasonable price

    Cons: Water flosser is loud, potential for getting your bathroom wet

    Buy the Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush on Amazon for $89.24 (originally $99.99)



    The best electric toothbrush for kids

    Why you'll love it: Getting your children to brush properly twice per day can be a struggle, but with the fun Philips Sonicare for Kids, they might actually beg to brush their teeth.

    Kids and good oral hygiene is typically not a natural combo. Most kids are either reluctant to brush or do a poor job at cleaning their teeth. The Philips Sonicare for Kids makes brushing fun, however, turning a routine task almost into a video game, thanks to the free Bluetooth-compatible app that encourages and rewards good brushing techniques.

    Like all Sonicare toothbrushes, the kids’ brush uses patented sonic technology for up to 75% more effective removal of plaque and debris than a manual toothbrush. It has a built-in two-minute timer and alerts the child to switch quadrants every 30 seconds while brushing. There are two speed settings, and the brush comes with eight stickers to customize the handle.

    But where the fun really starts is with the free app that not only teaches kids about the whys and hows of good oral hygiene, it also turns brushing into a game. Your child will get to adopt a “Sparkly,” a cute little creature that gives brushing tips while your child “brushes” the Sparkly’s teeth. The app also tracks performance, making it easy to reward good hygiene. Just set your smartphone or tablet where your child can watch while brushing.

    With nearly 1,000 reviews on Amazon and an average of 4.6 stars, there are definitely a lot of happy parents and kids out there brushing with the Philips Sonicare for Kids. Over and over, buyers comment that their kids went from brushing-resistant to actually wanting to brush their teeth. Many state that their child’s dental appointments are much, much better since switching to the kid’s Sonicare.

    Says one pleased parent, “My 2.5-year-old began brushing happily and thoroughly every night just so he can see his "Sparkly" monster get a present. He is so excited and he used to dread brushing.”

    The Philips Sonicare for Kids is recommended for ages three and up if the child is using the brush on their own. Younger children should have assistance from mom or dad, however.

    Pros: App makes brushing fun, brush head is sized for children’s mouths, very effective at removing plaque and debris from teeth and gum line

    Cons: None to speak of, although your child will eventually outgrow the cutesy app

    Buy the Philips Sonicare for Kids at Bed Bath & Beyond for $49.99



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    IP gift guide banner

    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.

    The Hard Nut

    The holidays are approaching, and you've been busy buying new sweaters for Grandma, new sneakers for your little brother, and a new vacuum for your dad because, for some reason, he insists that's all he wants this year. But you've forgotten to account for how you're going to entertain them all on their holiday visit to the city!

    Don't worry, there's plenty of great family-friendly theater and dance to get us all through the holidays. There are even a few shows that'll let you leave the kids behind and take a nice adult break from all the chaos.

    Check out our list below. See you at the show!

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

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

    Buy tickets to The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starting at $50 on Today Tix

    The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is the ultimate holiday classic. For 85 years, the Rockettes have been spreading Christmas cheer and dazzling audiences with numbers such as the audience favorite Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. Accept no substitutes for their unparalleled precision and iconic choreography, not to mention those show-stopping kicklines. Plus, the whole evening is hosted by the big man himself, Santa Claus. This one's a must-see for all ages.



    Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Show

    Buy tickets to Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Show starting at $50 from Today Tix

    Can you believe it's been 15 years since Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken faced off in the finale of American Idol? To celebrate the anniversary of the most-watched episode in the show's history, they're joining forces once again on Broadway with an old-fashioned Christmas variety show. Taking inspiration from the likes of variety legends Dean Martin, Andy Williams, and Carol Burnett, Ruben and Clay sing holiday classics along with some new carols of their own, plus perform original sketches.



    Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

    Buy tickets to Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical starting at $35 from Today Tix

    Gavin Lee thrilled Broadway audiences earlier this year as the betentacled, tap dancing curmudgeon, Squidward, in SpongeBob Squarepants on Broadway. Now he's back on stage as a different legendary grump, the mean one himself, Mr. Grinch. See the holiday classic complete with Max the dog, Cindy Lou, and a stolen roast beast come to life before your very eyes. Your heart might just grow three sizes that day.



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    Nazi Germany World War II navy battleship warship Graf Spee

    World War II got off to a bad start for the British.

    About two weeks after Poland surrendered to Germany at the end of September 1939 — succumbing to a month of the Nazi blitzkrieg — the British battleship HMS Royal Oak was sunk by a U-boat, claiming more than 800 British sailors.

    That was followed in short order by the first German air raid on the UK, targeting ships at the Firth of Forth in Scotland.

    At the end of November, German mining of British waters intensified after claiming several merchant ships.

    Weeks later, on December 12, the British Royal Navy suffered another setback, as the destroyer HMS Duchess collided with the battleship HMS Barham. The Duchess was cut in half and only 23 of its 160 crew members survived.

    But the Royal Navy recorded a spirit-lifting victory just days later, after British ships cornered the imposing German warship Graf Spee off the coast of South America, defeating it in the first major naval battle of World War II.

    The Graf Spee was much larger than any of the British ships pursuing it. Despite doing considerable damage to them, however, it was unable to fend them off.

    Winston Churchill called the battle a "brilliant sea fight [that] warmed the cockles of British hearts."

    Here's how the British claimed a victory.

    SEE ALSO: 74 years ago, the Nazis launched their last great western offensive of World War II — here are 13 photos of the Battle of the Bulge

    When war broke out in September 1939, the Graf Spee was patrolling in the Atlantic. It played a significant role in the German effort to cut Allied shipping lines, sinking eight merchant ships between September and December. The Allies deployed “hunting groups” to track down the German battleship — 23 major ships in total.

    The Graf Spee, commissioned in 1936, was more than 600 feet long and had 1,150 crew members. It displaced well over 10,000 tons, despite Treaty of Versailles stipulations limiting German warships to that size.

    It carried six 11-inch guns, with three each on two turrets — one fore and one aft. It also had eight 5.9-inch guns with 105 mm, 37 mm, and 20 mm cannons placed throughout.

    The Graf Spee was equipped with eight torpedo tubes and carried two floatplane aircraft that could be launched from a catapult on its bridge superstructure.

    Source: Imperial War Museums



    The Graf Spee, commanded by Capt. Hans Langsdorff, sank three more ships — bringing its total merchant shipping sunk to roughly a half-million tons — before heading toward shipping lanes near the River Plate in early December. Commodore Henry Harwood of Hunting Group G guessed where the German ship was headed, closing in with heavy cruiser HMS Exeter and light cruisers HMS Ajax and HMS Achilles on December 13.

    The crew of the Achilles was 60% New Zealanders, whose country would not form its own navy until 1941.

    The Royal New Zealand Navy still commemorates the battle as an example of its fortitude.

    Source: Imperial War Museums, Rear Adm. Henry Harwood



    The German warship engaged its pursuers just after 6 a.m., landing direct hits on the Exeter, knocking out its guns and much of its communications. The Exeter would eventually retreat to the Falkland Islands. The Graf Spee was also able to disable two of the four gun turrets on the Ajax and did damage to the Achilles.

    Source: Imperial War Museums, Daily Mail, Rear Adm. Henry Harwood



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