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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    St Gustaf Airport St Barths

    • Even in the winter months, there are destinations around the world to enjoy lounging on a beach chair.
    • According to Priceline’s Work-Life Balance Report, 29% of Americans have regrets about how they used their paid time off in 2018. Squeezing in even a short trip during cold, gloomy winter months is a way to use paid time off wisely.
    • Some places, like Mexico and the Caribbean islands, are a short flight away from the US. Others are even closer than you might think — it’s actually faster to fly from Los Angeles to Tahiti than it is to mainland Europe, for instance.
    • Aside from escaping the winter chill, visiting these destinations during winter can give you the benefit of experiencing exciting cultural events that only happen this time of year or off-season discounts.

    As we get deeper into the winter months, it is hard to stop dreaming about a warm getaway.

    Taking vacations matter for your health, according to CNN Travel, and it’s an easy way to help reduce stress. Escaping to somewhere warm and sunny may be just what you need during the cold winter months.

    An added bonus of traveling to these destinations in the winter? Some may have special events which only occur during certain times of the year, or they may be less busy than other times of the year.

    Whether you’re ready to pack up and travel halfway around the world or you only have a weekend, here are some places around the world to put your feet in the sand this winter.

    Experience a quintessential California winter in Laguna Beach.

    Southern Californians are spoiled when it comes to winter weather — temperatures often hover in the low 60s and it's not unusual to walk around and see people in sweaters and flip-flops.  

    In 2017, US News recommended it as a top California beach city to visit, and it's easy to understand why. Laguna Beach has a plethora of cozy eateries, art galleries, and quirky boutiques, not to mention endless views of the Pacific and breathtaking sunsets.

    Especially for those on the west coast of the US, Tahiti is closer than you think.

    It only takes eight hours on a nonstop flight from California to end up in paradise. Tahiti is a phenomenal beach destination of French Polynesia, made up of a string of 118 islands in the middle of crystalline waters.

    It was voted one of the best places to go in 2019 according to Conde Nast Traveler, so now is the perfect time to check it out for yourself.


    The ultimate way to beat the winter blues? Head to Aruba, whose nickname is “One Happy Island.”

    With year-round nearly perfect weather (think 80s and sunny pretty much any month), this Caribbean island is a natural choice for a winter vacation. 

    In winter, you'll also get to experience Aruba Carnival. From massive parades to insane partying, it's a cultural event worth experiencing.


    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.

    fridge organizers

    There's nothing more frustrating than uprooting the contents of your entire kitchen in order to find the one ingredient, supply, or cooking tool that you need.

    Pots, pans, utensils, accessories, dry ingredients, liquids — the list goes on. It's amazing how much stuff we keep in our kitchens, and how just one cooking stint pushes our pantries, cabinets, and fridges into states of entropy that can't be tamed. That is, unless you use the following organization methods to keep everything nice and neat. 

    The difference in organization, free space, and your own mental state in the kitchen will be noticeable once you try storing all your kitchen foods and tools with these products. You can find all of them on Amazon, and most cost under $30, proving that the most effective fixes can also be affordable. 

    Organize your kitchen with these top-rated and best-selling products from Amazon

    Air-tight food storage containers

    Royal Air-Tight Food Storage Container Set (5-Piece Set), $29.97, available at Amazon

    See the before-and-after photos when we tried these containers here.

    Transferring your packets and boxes of food into these containers of various sizes will immediately declutter your pantry. They have a lip lock mechanism to guarantee maximum freshness and are also safe for storing liquids. 

    Magnetic spice tins

    Talented Kitchen Magnetic Spice Tins (Set of 12), $18.75, available at Amazon

    Stick these tins on any metal surface (like the side of your fridge) to save space. The clear lid and name labels make it easy to find the right spice quickly. 

    A heavy duty pan organizer

    Extreme Matters Heavy Duty Pan Organizer, $26.97, available at Amazon

    Arrange this organizer horizontally or vertically on your countertop or in your cabinets. The no-assembly-required rack prevents your pans from scratching against each other and lets you remove your desired pan without disturbing all the others. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump huawei

    • Throughout 2018, President Donald Trump and top officials in his administration stoked fears of impending military or nuclear action. 
    • By Twitter, interviews, or statements, the Trump administration threatened North Korea, Syria, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia with military action. 
    • The administration was even held in violation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a result of some of the president's threats, delivered via tweet.

    In his first two years in office, President Donald Trump has become known as a mercurial head of state. 

    The president frequently takes to Twitter to lash out against perceived enemies and defend his own decisions. He's also taken to using this platform and many others to threaten violence.

    Although he has followed up on only some of these threats, in October a nuclear watchdog released a report that held some of his nuclear-based threats as violations of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    We've assembled nine instances where Trump or members of his administration have threatened to use military force against other countries this year.  

    1. Trump rang in the new year with a nuclear button-measuring contest with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — which was widely viewed as an actual nuclear threat.

    To be fair, Kim Jong Un started it when he said a nuclear button is "always on my desk."

    Trump tweeted in response: "Will someone from [Jong Un's] depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

    These types of threats have been evaluated as violations of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. A nuclear watchdog reported in October that North Korea, Russia, and the United States are the only three countries in the world who have repeatedly threatened to use nuclear force, and have cited Trump's tweeted statements as examples.

    2. In another tweet, Trump warned "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price ... to pay"

    Trump made the threat on April 8, after a suspected chemical attack against civilians in Douma, Syria. 

    Days later, the US launched more than 118 missiles in response to the attack.

    3. Of plans to denuclearize North Korea, National Security Advisor John Bolton said, "I think we're looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004."

    North Korea did not take Bolton's statement in late April lightly, and Trump ultimately backed out of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

    Many took the reference as a direct threat, as the Libyan revolution toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi, whose violent death at the hands of rebel fighters was captured on video. 

    Trump and the North Korean regime would ultimately sit-down for peace talks in June that thawed the tensions between the historic enemies.

    Read more:A bizarre, threatening statement from Trump's hawkish security advisor may have derailed the North Korea talks

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Happy man covered by snow enjoying winter

    • Winter is upon us — and that's bad news for your skin.
    • Cold weather and artificial heating can drain the moisture from your skin, leaving you red and flakey.
    • INSIDER spoke to grooming expert and writer for Sweden's Café magazine Jonas Öhman to find out the biggest mistakes guys make with their skin in winter.
    • Öhman also told us some best practices for keeping your skin clear and hydrated in the cold weather.

    Winter is a terrible time for your skin.

    Snow, rain and sleet are the least of your worries as your skin strains to acclimatize to centrally-heated buildings, which drain the moisture from the air and leave your skin feeling dry and flakey.

    The festive period also means plenty of festive drinking. "'Not only is alcohol a diuretic forcing the water out of our bodies, but it also makes it more difficult to rehydrate afterwards so you will be left with dry, flaky skin and your fine lines and wrinkles will be more visible thanks to the lack of fluid in your skin," skin expert Michaella Bolder told Elle.

    Read more:Here's why you should never put vodka in the freezer, according to the creator of Grey Goose

    Unfortunately, a lot of guys still don't know what they can do to combat this period of skin Armageddon, and continue to make the same mistakes time and time again. INSIDER spoke to grooming expert and writer for Sweden's Café magazine Jonas Öhman to find out what we're doing wrong, and how to remedy it.

    You use the wrong type of moisturizer

    "Guys are obsessed with being as matte as humanly possible,"Öhman says. By this, he means they hate sticky or greasy lotions and instead opt for moisturizers that are thin and lightweight.

    While this is all well and good in the heat of summer, or if you have particularly oily skin, it won't do the job on a cold winter's day

    "People continue using their gels and light lotions, which results in them becoming dry, or flakey, or red,"Öhman says.

    "It's one of the biggest misconceptions: that you can use the same product all year round."

    Instead, opt for a heavier moisturizer in cold weather. While it might feel a little greasy at first, it will stop your skin from drying out over the course of the day.

    You don't use serum

    Öhman says guys should incorporate a serum into their skincare routine during winter. It's basically a lightweight moisturiser with smaller molecules that delve deeper into the skin. 

    While using a serum is not essential, it will provide an extra layer of hydration for your skin.

    You can use these serums on their own, or in conjunction with your moisturizer — first, cleanse, apply serum, then your moisturizer as normal.

    Öhman recommends Bulldog's offering in the serum bracket, which he says "is full of anti-oxidants, which are very beneficial to your skin and it doesn't leave that kind of sticky, greasy feeling on your skin afterwards."

    You overdry your skin

    "When people think clean, they think that is actually like dry skin,"Öhman explains.

    "That feeling like when you wash your face with soap and your face goes all shiny and tight. That's what people think of when they think 'clean.'"

    While your skin may be clean, it is also very dry, and there are plenty of other products you can use that will do the same job without that taught skin feeling.

    Lots of people opt for foaming cleansers because it makes them feel cleaner, but that's not actually the case, Bulldog Skincare For Men CEO Simon Duffy previously told INSIDER.

    "Naturally-formulated shower gels are dodging an ingredient called SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) — that is a really cheap foaming agent," he says.

    "[the foaming agent] is actually more for the experience than the efficacy of cleaning."

    Read more:The 6 biggest mistakes guys make with their skin, according to the cofounder of a leading skincare brand

    Instead, Öhman recommends seeking out a milk or balm-type cleanser, which may feel different at first, "because you're not going to feel clean in the way that you felt clean in the past using foaming cleansers."

    "But will actually provide you with moisture instead of ripping moisture away from your skin."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    aretha franklin

    • Merriam-Webster announced its Words of the Year, and the list included the words that people couldn't stop looking up in 2018.
    • The words included "nationalism,""pansexual," and "laurel" of the notorious "laurel or yanny" debate.
    • All those words were looked up at significantly higher rates than they were a year ago, the dictionary said.

    Merriam-Webster announced its Words of the Year on Monday, and the winners reflect some of the biggest stories of 2018.

    "Justice" was named the overall Word of the Year, the dictionary announced, while it selected 10 other notable words that people couldn't stop looking up in 2018.

    The words include "lodestar," an obscure word that took center stage in one of the biggest political mysteries of the year, and "laurel," which may have been the word you heard in a viral social-media recording from May.

    Others on the list were words associated with American icons who died in 2018: "respect" for Aretha Franklin and "maverick" for John McCain.

    Those four words, along with the others on the list, were looked up at significantly higher rates than in years past, according to the dictionary.

    Read on to see Merriam-Webster's top 10 Words of the Year:

    SEE ALSO: Merriam-Webster's 2018 word of the year has appeared in political headlines nonstop for months

    DON'T MISS: 27 fascinating maps that show how Americans speak English differently across the US


    People flocked to the dictionary to find the meaning of the word "nationalism" in late October after President Donald Trump described himself as a nationalist during a Texas rally.

    "You know, they have a word — it’s sort of became old-fashioned — it’s called a 'nationalist.' And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word," Trump said. "You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, OK? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Nothing wrong. Use that word. Use that word."

    Merriam-Webster said look-ups for the word spiked 8,000% after Trump used it. The dictionary defines nationalism as "loyalty and devotion to a nation," especially "exalting one nation above all others."


    Another popular word for dictionaries this year was "pansexual," which relates to "sexual desire or attraction that is not limited to people of a particular gender identity or sexual orientation,"according to Merriam-Webster.

    The increase in attention can be attributed in part to Janelle Monae, the singer and actress who said she identified as pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone.


    One of the biggest political mysteries of the year centered on the use of the word "lodestar."

    In September, The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a senior White House official describing a secret resistance against the president within the Trump administration.

    As political pundits debated the identity of the author, they zeroed in on one word used in the op-ed: lodestar. The fairly obscure word means "a star that leads or guides" or "one that serves as an inspiration, model, or guide"— and Vice President Mike Pence happens to have a history of using it.

    Although some suggested Pence may be the mystery author, others noted the use of "lodestar" could have been clever misdirection from another official hoping to cover their tracks. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kohls 3151

    • Kohl's shoppers love the low prices they can find at the store. 
    • The department-store chain is thriving right now for a number of reasons, including its store locations outside of malls, its partnerships with Amazon, and shoppers' growing demand for budget options. 
    • Here's how to save even more when shopping at Kohl's.

    Kohl's shoppers love the low prices they can find at the store. 

    The department-store chain is thriving right now. One major advantage that Kohl's has over other department stores is that nine out of 10 Kohl's stores are in suburban strip malls rather than enclosed shopping centers, so it hasn't been as strongly affected by declining foot traffic to malls. Kohl's has about 1,100 stores.

    The department-store chain has also expanded its partnership with Amazon and is now accepting returns from the e-commerce giant at about 100 stores. Kohl's has tripled the amount of Amazon pop-up shops inside Kohl's from 10 to 30 stores, and it will continue selling Amazon-branded products in all stores to help drive traffic.

    The low-price department store has also been benefiting from a disappearing middle class and a higher demand for budget options — two factors that have been hurting more high-end department stores.

    Shoppers continue coming back to Kohl's because of its low prices. But in addition to the already low prices, Kohl's offers plenty of opportunities for savings, like joining its rewards program, signing up for a store credit card, and matching certain competitor prices. 

    Here's how to save even more money at the department-store chain:  

    SEE ALSO: We shopped at American Eagle and saw why it's so popular with teens right now

    Get a Kohl's Charge card. On Kohl's' website, the company explains that Kohl's Charge customers get 25% off their first order with the card, and "at least 12 special offers every year."

    Source: Kohl's

    Join the Yes2You Rewards program. The program allows shoppers to "pay any way you want and when and where you want," according to the website.

    Source: Kohl's

    The Yes2You program offers shoppers one point for every dollar spent, a $5 reward for every 100 points, eight savings offers a year, a birthday gift, and opportunities to earn bonus points.

    Source: Kohl's

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    1TopRatedHotel NewYorkCity Beekman (38 of 45)

    • Condé Nast Traveler recently released its 2019 Gold List ranking of the best hotels in the world.
    • The editors selected the 78 best hotels around the world, which included the top 13 hotels in the US.
    • Only three American cities had more than one hotel on the list: New York City, LA, and Chicago

    From waterfront resorts in Miami and Hawaii to an oasis in the middle of the Utah desert, the best 13 hotels in America represent a wide range of luxury experiences.

    Condé Nast recently released its 2019 Gold List, in which the editors select the top hotels around the world. The list features 78 hotels, 13 of which are in the US.

    The hotels cover a wide range of prices, starting in the mid-$100s for a night at The Robey in Chicago and all the way past $1,000 for a night at Amangiri in Utah.

    Read more: 31 incredible hotels everyone should stay at in their lifetime, ranked by price

    Notably, several of these top-ranked hotels are repeatedly mentioned on lists of top hotels across the world; The Peninsula in Chicago and Four Seasons in Hualalai, for example, both also appeared on the US News & World Report's 2018 hotel ranking, as Business Insider previously reported.

    If you're more interested in personalized experiences at smaller hotels, consider taking a look at the top 14 boutique hotels in the world, from a romantic retreat in South Africa to a private villa in Thailand.

    Keep reading for a look at the best hotels in America. We also took a look at prices for rooms booked out one month in advance, and noted the starting rates.

    SEE ALSO: A 7-bedroom Swiss cabin has been named the world's best ski chalet for 2 years in a row — and an inside tour quickly proves why

    READ MORE: The 50 best restaurants in the world in 2018

    The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel, New York

    Rates starting at: $299/night

    The St. Regis New York

    Rates starting at: $779/night

    The Carlyle, New York

    Rates starting at: $1,000/night

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Russia hacker

    • Russia influence on the 2016 presidential election spanned beyond Facebook and Twitter, according to new reports provided to the Senate intelligence committee.
    • The research concluded that the disinformation campaign reached several social media platforms previously unnamed, including Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.
    • Business Insider has compiled all the social media platforms named in the reports, and the roles that each platform played in the Russian-linked influence operation.

    The use of social media to spread political disinformation has been widely acknowledged, but two new reports show that the Russian-linked influence campaign spread way beyond Facebook and Twitter.

    The twonew reports, conducted for the Senate's intelligence committee, detailed the widespread impact of online propaganda leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Researchers found that the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm behind the disinformation campaign, left few social media platforms untouched.

    IRA-linked content was found heavily on popular platforms Instagram and YouTube, and also on smaller platforms like Pinterest, SoundCloud, Vine, and even Pokémon Go.

    "The breadth of the attack included games, browser extensions, and music apps created by the IRA and pushed to targeted groups," New Knowledge researchers wrote in their report. "It was designed to exploit societal fractures, blur the lines between reality and fiction, erode our trust in media entities and the information environment, in government, in each other, and in democracy itself."

    Here are all the social media platforms identified in the most recent reports on the Russia-linked disinformation campaign:

    SEE ALSO: New reports show Russia's political influence campaign on social media targeted black voters — and the NAACP is now calling for a boycott of Facebook and Instagram


    The breadth of Instagram's role in Russian propaganda was relatively unknown until now. Monday's reports showed just how central Instagram, a Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform, was to the operation: an estimated 116,000 posts from 133 accounts, 20 milion users reached, and 187 million engagements.

    "Instagram was a significant front in the IRA’s influence operation, something that Facebook executives appear to have avoided mentioning in Congressional testimony," New Knowledge said in its report.

    Researchers found that Instagram engagement actually outperformed Facebook, which it attributed to the photo-sharing service "being more ideal for memetic warfare."

    Memes were used often by the accounts, and were recycled and repurposed often. They were used to post conspiracy theories, voter fraud allegations, recruit human assets, and organized public events.

    The reports saw an uptick in Instagram activity from the IRA after the 2016 presidential election, which researchers credit as a response to "increased scrutiny" put on Facebook and Twitter.

    The New Knowledge report concluded that Instagram would be "a key battleground" platform for propaganda and political influence in the future. 

    A Facebook spokesperson issued the following statement to Business Insider:

    “As we've said all along, Congress and the intelligence community are best placed to use the information we and others provide to determine the political motivations of actors like the Internet Research Agency. We continue to fully cooperate with officials investigating the IRA's activity on Facebook and Instagram around the 2016 election. We've provided thousands of ads and pieces of content to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for review and shared information with the public about what we found. Since then, we've made progress in helping prevent interference on our platforms during elections, strengthened our policies against voter suppression ahead of the 2018 midterms, and funded independent research on the impact of social media on democracy.”


    The two reports analyzed more than 1,100 YouTube videos, across almost 20 channels, connected to the disinformation campaign. YouTube was one of the platforms that researchers looked into the most and found to be among the most impactful — along with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

    The report from Oxford and Graphika found that YouTube videos "were predominantly used to target African Americans." New Knowledge identified 59% of the channels and 96% of the content on YouTube from the IRA was "related to Black Lives Matter & police brutality." 

    The New Knowledge report also criticized Google for its comments in 2017 that "these ​channels’ ​videos ​were ​not ​targeted ​to ​the ​U.S. ​or ​to ​any ​particular ​sector ​of ​the ​U.S. population." Researchers say that with the findings, the statement "appears disingenuous now."

    Google declined to comment to Business Insider.


    From the New Knowledge report: "Tumblr was used to disseminate memes and reblog existing content – particularly those found on Instagram ... There were extensive efforts to target Black communities on Tumblr, particularly youth and urban communities."

    Operations that took place on Tumblr were referenced in proceedings during the federal investigation — and indictment — into Russians associated with the disinformation campaign, the report notes.

    Tumblr has confirmed its platform was used for "state-sponsored disinformation campaigns," and that Tumblr accounts were used for "cross-pollination" with related Facebook pages and Twitter users. In March 2018, Tumblr started in to post usernames it determined were engaging in propaganda activities. With the latest additions in November, the list is up to 197 names.

    Tumblr did not provide additional comment to Business Insider, but did point to a post written in March detailing steps the platform had taken.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Canadian currency money bills

    • Many countries around the world have currencies that boast unique features. 
    • Australian money is waterproof, while South African rands and New Zealand dollars are known for their detailed portraiture.
    • The Vietnamese đồng and Israeli shekel feature ground-breaking security measures to avoid counterfeits, and to aid the visually impaired.

    Currencies around the globe are upping their game — aesthetically, but also in terms of security measures.

    Raised ink, detailed illustrations, and security codes are featured on the currency of Israel, Canada, South Africa, and many other countries. Australia, a forerunner of high-tech currency, has even made their banknotes waterproof.

    Keep scrolling to see some of the most beautiful and cutting-edge currencies around the world.

    Australian money is waterproof, and notoriously difficult to counterfeit.

    Australian money is some of the most advanced currency in the world: not only is it completely waterproof, but it's notoriously hard to counterfeit due to its complex design.

    Australian bills are made of a material called polymer, which feels like wax, whereas US dollar bills and most other currencies feel more like paper. Australia was the first country to introduce polymer banknotes back in 1988, and since then countries like China and Vietnam have followed suit.

    One of the coolest features of Australia's $5 banknote is a visual rolling effect, in which an image of an eastern spinebill (a native bird) on the banknote appears to move its wings as you move the banknote itself. The see-through little windows are nifty, too.

    China invented a 100-dollar bill so intricate it stumped its own ATM machines.

    China's yuan was at the height of its anti-counterfeit game when it released new notes in 2015.

    The 100-yuan bills released that year were accented with gold 100s — hence, the nickname "high-roller gold"— and other intricate details that made them hard to fake.

    The massive banknotes were so high-tech, in fact, that China's ATM machines couldn't read them at first, and the government had to release a statement saying it would take several days for the machines to be "updated" to recognize the new currency.

    Aruba's Florin banknotes feature various animal motifs that correspond to each monetary denomination.

    When designing its currency, Aruba aimed to represent the country's essence. Each of Aruba's banknotes (10, 25, 50, 100, 500) are a different color, and have a bit of native wildlife to match. Everything from a conch shell, rattle snake, owl, frog, and grouper are depicted on the bills.

    They also include historical designs and motifs. According to the Centrale Bank van Aruba website, "images of the Aruban animal wild life were combined with decorative motives found on pre-Columbian pottery, thus emphasizing the relation between past and present."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Griffith Observatory

    • Florida's Space Coast is home to various rocket launches and the Kennedy Space Center.
    • You can dine with an astronaut at the Space Center Houston.
    • Check out a zero-gravity flight in Las Vegas to find out what it's really like to float around in space.

    Although space travel isn't attainable for most people, you can still explore many space-related destinations right here on planet Earth.

    Whether you're into star gazing or getting up close and personal with a NASA space shuttle, there are plenty of places to add to your space travel bucket list.

    If you're looking for an out-of-this-world vacation, here are some of the top destinations for space lovers.

    Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida has lots of exhibits.

    The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers many different exhibits and memorabilia for anyone who's fascinated with space. During your trip, you get an up-close look at the space shuttle Atlantis, learn about famous astronauts, and take a tour of NASA's shuttle launch sites.

    Very Large Array in Socorro, New Mexico gives you a chance to see what is out there.

    If you want to try and communicate with other galaxies then a trip to the Very Large Array Telescope Facility in New Mexico is a must. While visiting, you can watch an educational movie, take a self-guided tour, and learn more about how the facility uses the large dish antenna to learn about astronomy and space.

    You must shut off your phone before entering, as well as any other devices that connect to WiFi or Bluetooth. These signals can interfere with an astronomers capabilities to pick up various signals from space.

    Space View Park in Titusville, Florida lets you watch launches up close.

    Florida's Space Coast, as it is affectionately known, is home to rocket launches. Space View Park is located directly across from the NASA launch pad and can give you a spectacular view of an upcoming rocket launch. You'll also hear live audio feed direct from NASA control room.

    Just be aware that the weather can postpone or cancel a launch, even with just minutes to go.

    Rockets are launched by SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and other private space agencies working with NASA, according to

    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.

    dainty cuff, $540

    Fine jewelry — pieces made with high-quality materials like solid 14-karat gold or precious stones (or both) and a high-level of craftsmanship — costs a lot of money, understandably so when you consider the process. The high price tag on these products makes them reserved for special occasions, like the holidays. So, if there's someone in your life who you want to splurge on this season — be it your wife, mother, sister, or friend — a piece of jewelry is a thoughtful gift she'll be sure to appreciate. 

    Whether you're looking to dazzle her with diamonds, go for more minimal metals, or pick a statement piece covered in stones, we've got you covered. There are plenty of fine jewelry pieces you can get for $1,000 or less this season, and she'll love to add any of them to her collection. 

    Most of these items are available with two-day or expedited shipping, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    Keep scrolling for 23 pieces of fine jewelry you can get her for $1,000 or less. 

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

    SEE ALSO: 25 beautiful and affordable fine jewelry gifts she'll love — all under $500

    DON'T MISS: 64 cool, unique gifts for her — for every budget

    A delicate circle bracelet

    Circle Bracelet, available at Vrai & Oro, $200

    A delicate circle bracelet has a timeless appeal. Whether worn on its own or layered with others on her wrist, this will become an everyday essential. 

    A unique black diamond ring

    Maleficent Ring, available at Catbird, $364

    Available in 14k yellow and rose gold

    A direct contrast to Catbird's brighter Sleeping Beauty Ring, this ring has a darker, more mysterious look, but the black diamond set between two white ones is particularly striking. 

    Note: May not arrive by Christmas

    Earrings with a unique shape and stones

    WWAKE Opal Circle Stud Earrings, available at Nordstrom, $358

    The sleek design of these 14k gold earrings is accentuated by the opal stones, which cast a beautiful glimmer in the light. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    8 florence

    • It's important to get a map and to check the opening and closing times of all of the attractions you want to see. 
    • Fortunately, a lot of destinations were within walking distance of each other. 
    • In under 24 hours, I saw the Duomo, Palazzo Pitti, Accademia Gallery, and more. 

    Florence has been a must-see destination for me since I learned about the Renaissance and the cultural influence this Italian city had on the world. From Dante and the Medici Family to Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, there has been no shortage of historical figures living in Firenze.

    With so much history and beautiful sights to see, 24 hours is not nearly enough time to fully appreciate all this city has to offer.

    But, with a tight schedule and a determination, here's how my boyfriend and I managed to see as much of Florence and its popular attractions as we could in just 24 hours. 

    Buying tickets to the Duomo in advance can save you a lot of time.

    Before exploring, be sure to get a map. The old town in Florence (also known as Firenze), is divided into four quarters: Santa Maria Novella, San Giovanni, Santa Croce, and Santo Spirito. And before you arrive in Firenze, make sure you check the schedule for the sites you want to visit. Opening and closing times can vary depending on the day and attraction. 

    First things first, we headed to Museo del Duomo to buy our tickets for the cathedral and museum. The ticket is good for 72 hours after its first use, which means you can take your time viewing the museum, bell tower, crypt, and baptistery. 

    We purchased these tickets the day of and had to make a next-day reservation to climb the Duomo for 8:30 am. The earliest reservation is typically 8 a.m., but I recommend waiting in line prior to your designated time slot as people with other time reservations will show up and try to get in before you. If you’re on a tight schedule like we were, don’t wait until 8 a.m. on the dot to arrive at the Duomo

    Total time: 15 minutes

    The Accademia Gallery is in the quarter of San Giovanni.

    After our tickets for the Duomo were secured, we headed over to Accademia Gallery in the quarter of San Giovanni. As a tip, buying your tickets prior to your visit will save you a lot of time because you get to enter through a special entrance that minimizes how long you must wait in security lines.

    Accademia Gallery is where you'll find Michaelangelo's famed David statue among many other famous sculptures and paintings from greats like Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo Da Vinci. The museum is relatively small and we saw most of it in an hour because it wasn't too crowded on the inside.

    Total time: 1.5 hours, including the time we spent waiting on the security line

    The Basilica S.S. Annunziata and the Basilica San Marco are both within five minutes of Accademia.

    Since we were already in the vicinity, we took 15 minutes to tour the Basilica S.S. Annunziata, which was lavishly decorated by High Renaissance painters.

    With stunning frescos, intricate gold work and a breathtaking dome, this ancient church is stunning. There are also several famed Renaissance artists buried here, including Andrea del Sarto and Giambologna.

    If we had more time, we also would've visited the nearby Basilica San Marco.

    Total time: 15 minutes

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump oval office

    • President Donald Trump is set to depart the White House for two weeks of Christmas vacation later this week.
    • Trump often mixes business with pleasure on his vacations, but overall cuts down on official meetings and appearances.
    • Here's the daily rhythm that he'll be breaking.

    President Donald Trump is expected to spend 16 days away from the White House for this year's Christmas holiday.

    Most likely headed for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump will be escaping the daily pressures of life in Washington, which include daily briefings with top aides, meetings with world leaders, and running into the press.

    Take a look at the daily schedule that includes Fox News, "executive time," and built-in breaks from his presidential duties.

    SEE ALSO: A new mobile app lets you take a virtual tour of the White House — and you can even see this year's Christmas decorations

    DON'T MISS: 21 scandals that rocked the Trump administration in 2018

    Trump reportedly wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and sometimes begins making calls around 6 a.m.

    According to CNN, Trump doesn't drink coffee to wake up.

    Source: Business Insider

    Trump reportedly sleeps only three to four hours a night, which he described as a success tactic. "How does somebody that's sleeping 12 and 14 hours a day compete with someone that's sleeping three or four?" he asked.

    It's not clear whether or not Trump is part of the 1% of the population that appears to actually need less sleep, scientifically speaking. If he is not, Trump is severely sleep deprived, according to health professionals that generally recommend seven to eight hours of sleep.

    Source: The Daily News

    Breakfast isn't often a part of the president's routine, but when he does eat, he said his "favorite would be bacon and eggs — bacon medium and the eggs over-well."

    Trump told Jesse Watters in 2016, "I will have a lunch, but my big thing is dinner."

    Source: People

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    angela bassett justin theroux shatter dropkick

    • "Bumblebee" features a few familiar Transformers for fans of the franchise.
    • Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett voices the first female Transformer in the movie series. 
    • Justin Theroux and Dylan O'Brien are also among the voice cast for the prequel premiering Friday.

    "Transformers" spin-off "Bumblebee" is in theaters Friday and you may recognize a few familiar voices. 

    Unlike previous "Transformers" movies, you don't need a guide to keep up with the amount of Autobots and Decepticons seen on screen. But there are a few famous, unexpected voices behind the ones in the prequel.

    From the first-ever female-voiced Transformer to voice actors who have played some of your favorite cartoon characters, see the faces behind the bots in "Bumblebee."

    Bumblebee's origin story follows the fan favorite as he gets sent to Earth in 1987.

    Throughout the movie franchise, Bumblebee has been known for not having a voice. Instead, he speaks using a radio dial. But here, there's a familiar actor who briefly lends Bee his vocals at the movie's start.

    The "Maze Runner" star, Dylan O'Brien, provides Bee with his voice before he transforms into the lovable yellow Volkswagen Beetle.

    O'Brien was seriously injured in 2016 while shooting for the final "Maze Runner" film was taking place. The actor questioned whether or not he wanted to be in a movie again or end his career. 

    Optimus Prime returns briefly in this prequel to send his pal Bumblebee to Earth.

    He tells Bumblebee he needs to scout out Earth and protect it until the rest of the Autobots can arrive to meet him.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    friends with benefits

    • Casual relationships don't always stay casual. 
    • If someone begins wanting to hang out outside of your hookups, they could be falling for you. 
    • If you've developed pet names, that could be another sign. 

    Casual relationships are pretty commonplace nowadays, but even if you're both trying to keep it simple, there are certain and unsuspecting times where it can actually become just the opposite, Helen Fisher, anthropologist, a senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and co-director of's annual Singles in America survey, told INSIDER.

    According to's Singles in America site, out of the 55% of singles who have had a friends-with-benefits relationship, 45% of them have had it evolved into a full-fledged relationship. Likewise, out of the 40% of singles who have had a "hanging out" relationship with someone, 29% have gotten into a relationship from it. 

    Whether you call them flings, situationships, or friends with benefits, here are 13 subtle signs that it could be turning into something a bit more serious.

    You've begun exchanging thoughtful text messages with them.

    Casual flings usually have limited communication through text messages unless it involves setting up an encounter. According to a forensic sexologist, chief of sexology, and director of clinical research programs at Felnett Health Research Foundation Damian J. Sendler, Ph.D. though, if the text messages with your fling have started to increase, you may be moving toward a real relationship.

    "Typical flings are not meant to last long. Therefore, even the quality of messages that you are exchanging with your fling is poor," he said. "When you notice that the person you're talking to invests considerable time to ask meaningful questions, it means that they want to know more about you. It's the chance for both of you to get to know each other in a non-obligatory way. Plus, things like asking how your day is going is another sign that you're heading into more serious direction."

    Either or both of you have started seeking opportunities to hang more often.

    Casual flings aren't usually the type of situations that require you to spend time with one another outside of having sex. If it's beginning to turn into something more than that, however, you may find yourself looking for more reasons to hang out with your fling.

    "It's obvious that when we like someone, we want to spend as much time with them as possible," Sendler said. "There's also a general principle that when someone is not that receptive to our offers to hang out, that's the sign to move on, and never bother this person again. The same applies to relationships. It's an especially strong sign of affection and romantic interest when the person you're seeing cancels other plans to spend time with you. This is especially relevant when you just met this individual, who's made some plans in the past, and they want to risk their time and energy to get to know you."

    You're touching each other when there's no sex involved.

    Engaging in a casual fling usually finds you and the other party having sex and nothing more. When it's starting to become more than just a fling though, being touchy-feely during times when you're not having sex could become a normal part of your interaction.

    "This is not about sex. It's more about going back to the basics of dating," he said. "Nowadays most people start with sex, and then they figure out what's romantic about each other. When someone essentially begins to gently explore your physical body without strong sexual innuendo, it means that they want to make a good impression."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    archie jughead riverdale

    • New episodes of "Riverdale" won't air until January 16, 2019.
    • If you're caught up and are looking for something to watch over the holidays, there are plenty of shows to choose from.
    • INSIDER worked with TV Time to come up with some shows "Riverdale" fans may also enjoy based on the percentage of "Riverdale" viewers who also mark these shows on their app. 
    • Here are 15 shows "Riverdale" fans also watch, 

    "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" (Netflix)

    Stream it: Netflix

    The "Riverdale" spin-off or companion show is based in the neighboring town of Greendale and follows Sabrina Spellman, also a character from Archie Comics, as she tries to juggle her human life and her witch life. A "Riverdale" character even makes a surprising crossover appearance during one episode of the first season. Oh, and Satan plays a pretty big role on the show. 

    "Dynasty" (The CW)

    Stream it: The CW, Netflix 

    This reboot of the popular 1980s soap opera centers on the Carrington family, company owners and billionaires. Between the infidelity, kidnappings, and death, "Dynasty" is never boring. Fashion fans can also appreciate the stunning styles featured on the show. 

    "The End of the F***ing World" (Netflix)

    Stream it: Netflix 

    Dark British comedy "The End of the F***ing World" is seriously bleak but in the best way possible. The premise of two teens deciding to run away together is a simple and basic concept, but the series quickly takes a twist because one of them plans on murdering the other. Watch the series to find out what happens. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Joaslin transforms photographs of real people into Disney-like characters.
    • She achieves her glossy, computerized style with the assistance of a digital tablet and Photoshop.
    • Through her transformations, Joaslin aims for "unique colors" and uses a style that she has been developing for years.

    Joaslin is a Madagascar-born, French artist who specializes in Disney-like, computerized transformations of real people. 

    She shares her artwork on Instagram, where she has amassed almost 40,000 followers, and often shares snippets of the technique she uses to achieve her style.

    Keep scrolling to see some of Joaslin's most amazing works, including a custom-made transformation of me. 

    Joaslin is a Madagascar-born, France-based artist who specializes in turning people into cartoon characters.

    This Instagram post's captions said, "This painting was made on a single layer! It was challenging to do and thanks to it I found out that there are some tricks to make you paint much faster!" 

    Her style is distinctly glossy, and she uses a digital tablet and Photoshop to achieve this look.

    To see just how Joaslin does it, check out her how-to videos on Linktree.

    Joaslin has been developing her style for years.

    This portrait is actually animated

    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.

    Ring Video Doorbell

    It's only the first week of December and some of the hottest tech gifts of the year are already backordered or sold out until early 2019. Other top devices will see their prices marked up by resellers.

    To save time and get you the best bang for your buck, we put together a list of stores where you can still buy devices like Apple AirPods and the Nintendo NES Classic at their original retail prices. But don't sit on this information for long before buying since we fully expect the majority of the devices in this slideshow to sell out by Christmas.

    Most of these items are available with two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    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

    Miniature Nintendo and PlayStation consoles

    Nintendo NES Classic Edition, $60, available at Best Buy and Walmart

    Super NES Classic, $80, available at Best Buy and Walmart

    PlayStation Classic, from $74.99, available at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart

    Nintendo's retro game consoles, the $60 NES Classic and $80 Super NES Classic, are awesome gifts for gamers and nostalgists alike, and they have both sold out the last two holiday seasons. Right now, the NES Classic is still in stock at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. The Super NES Classic still up for grabs at Best Buy and Walmart.

    Sony followed Nintendo's lead and debuted the PlayStation Classic on December 3. The Classic costs $100 and is currently available to buy at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart.

    The Amazon Echo

    Echo (2nd Generation), $69.99, available at Amazon

    Last year, the Echo was a big hit. The smart speaker comes with Amazon's perennially popular smart assistant, Alexa, built right into the hardware. That means you can call on Alexa to play music, make calls, set alarms, ask questions, control connected devices, and just about anything else. 

    It features a speaker powered by Dolby and is currently available in six styles, including fabrics and wood veneers — for the holidays, Amazon partnered with (RED) on a limited-edition red Echo to support the fight against AIDS. 

    The Wyze Cam

    Wyze Cam, $25.98, available at Amazon

    The Wyze Cam is one of those rare devices that costs much less than any of its competition. It records video in 1080P and sends your phone a notification each time its motion sensor is triggered. These video clips are stored in the cloud for two weeks for free; most other home security camera options only keep clips for a day if you don't pay a monthly subscription fee.

    Wyze has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews for this camera. Given its low price and great performance, we don't expect it to stay in stock this holiday season.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mac and cheese

    • Macaroni and cheese is a comforting dish that can also be healthy.
    • Make simple swaps for the butter, milk, and pasta to lighten the dish.
    • Add items like lean protein and nutrient-rich veggies for a healthier, more flavorful mac 'n' cheese.

    There's nothing quite as comforting as diving into a rich, creamy bowl of macaroni and cheese after a long day. Truthfully, we'd probably all love to enjoy this dish several times a week, but as it is laden with butter, milk, cream, and cheese, macaroni and cheese isn't the healthiest meal out there.

    By playing with flavor combinations and ingredient swaps, you can add important vitamins and minerals while removing some of the heavier elements for more nutritious macaroni and cheese recipes that will nourish your body and soul.

    Here are some tips for making your mac and cheese healthier.

    First thing is first — choose homemade over boxed.

    The packets of processed, powdered cheese in varieties of boxed mac 'n' cheese, have been found to contain phthalates. Many believe the chemicals can disrupt hormones, but more research is needed, according to the CDC

    Either way, making your own mac and cheese is usually healthier and more delicious anyway. 

    Reap the nutritional benefits of leafy greens.

    Leafy greens offer a variety of nutrients. Greens like kale and spinach offer vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. 

    Swap pasta for whole wheat options.

    Whole wheat or whole grain pasta offers many more vitamins and minerals compared to white pasta. Alicia Romano, RD explained in Time that one cup of whole wheat pasta contains 23% of our daily fiber, while white pasta contains only 9%. Whole wheat pasta also provides 16% of your daily protein.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mary poppins returns emily blunt

    • This reboot comes 25 years after the original.
    • There are some familiar characters in "Mary Poppins Returns."
    • Almost all will take on new roles and cameos.

    The 1964 movie-musical "Mary Poppins" has captivated viewers for multiple generations. On December 19, a new chapter in the Mary Poppins world will unfold in "Mary Poppins Returns."

    The sequel is set 25 years later and has a few familiar faces as well as new actors reprising old roles. We rounded up all the original characters and actors who will appear in the new movie. 

    Emily Blunt will play Mary Poppins in the long-awaited sequel.

    Famed singer and actress Julie Andrews played the original Mary Poppins in the 1964 classic. Her performance was beloved by many and even won her the Oscar for Best Actress in 1965.

    For the sequel Emily Blunt, known for a range of films from "A Quiet Place" to "Into the Woods," will be replacing her in the iconic role.

    In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Mary Poppins Returns" director Rob Marshall recounts how excited Andrews was when he informed her Emily Blunt would be filling her shoes.

    "Julie will always be, for me and for everybody, the most astonishing performance as Mary Poppins, winning the Oscar and bursting onto the scene so brilliantly," said Marshall. "But Emily is the perfect person to carry the torch, and I know Julie feels the exact same way. She loves her."

    Ben Winshaw will portray Michael Banks as an adult.

    In the original, young Michael Banks was played by Michael Garber. The sequel finds Michael as a full-fledged adult, reeling from the loss of his wife as he raises two children of his own: Anabel (Pixie Davies) and Georgie (Joel Dawson).

    Ben Winshaw has been a household name in England for years for his roles in films including "Spectre,""The Danish Girl," and "The Lobster."

    In an interview with Vulture, Winshaw expressed his excitement for the role. "I have seen ['Mary Poppins Returns'] and I'm really delighted by it. I'm really excited for other people to see it."


    Emily Mortimer will play Jane Banks, Michael's sister.

    Karen Dotrice played little Jane Banks in the first film, tagging along for adventures with Mary Poppins with her brother Michael. In the sequel Emily Mortimer will play Jane as an adult, helping her brother raise her niece and nephew.

    Emily Mortimer is best known for her roles in movies like "Lars and the Real Girl" and "Match Point" as well as the HBO series "The Newsroom."

    Mortimer told Hollywood Life that she had a fantastic time filming "Mary Poppins Returns" and has already seen an early version of the movie.

    "I saw a little of it and it just lives up to every expectation you could have had," said Mortimer. "It was in the best hands with [director] Rob Marshall who was the perfect puppet master for the revival of Mary Poppins."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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