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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Indonesia tsunami

    • A tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption hit the two most-populous Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra on December 22.
    • The waves killed more than 400 people and injured more than 1,400.
    • This one was thought to have occurred after the Anak Krakatau volcanic island erupted and partially collapsed into the sea, sending waves in the Sunda Strait — up to 10 feet — without warning.
    • Here are nine organizations that are helping assist people affected by the tsunami.

    A tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption hit the two most populous Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra on December 22. The wave left over 400 dead and more than 1,400 injured.

    The tsunami was the second to hit the country this year. This one was thought to have occurred after the Anak Krakatau volcanic island erupted and partially collapsed into the sea sending waves in the Sunda Strait — up to 10 feet — without warning.

    SEE ALSO: Indonesia asks people to avoid coast near erupting volcano


    Oxfam is raising money to support local partners with "critical aid, helping to provide clean water, build toilets, and distribute hygiene kits that include blankets and soap," according to the organization's website. Oxfam was rated 3 out of 4 stars from the website Charity Navigator.

    Source: The New York Times

    Catholic Relief Services

    Catholic Relief Services is working to bring disaster relief to those in West Java and Sumatra. They have a 4 out of 4 rating from Charity Navigator

    Source: Fast Company

    Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières)

    Doctors Without Borders— which has a 4 out of 4 star rating from Charity Navigator — has three teams in the area. Two teams are supporting health centers in the Pandeglang district; a third team is mobile traveling to those who cannot make it to health centers.

    Source: Fast Company


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Wolf wall Street

    • 1MDB is one of the biggest financial scandals of all-time. 
    • A financial fraud involving the Malaysian state-owned investment fund, it involved missing billions, Hollywood celebrities and the downfall of the Malaysian prime minister.
    • We broke down all the major events for you that stretched all the way back to 2009.

    It's one of the greatest scandals in financial history. "1MDB" started out as a government plan to fund infrastructure projects in Malaysia but turned into an alleged swindle to tune of more than $3 billion. It brought down Malaysia's prime minister, the prime suspect is still on the run, and Goldman Sachs might be on the hook for crushing fines. 

    US and Malaysian authorities, as well as those in the UK, Australia and Singapore, among others, are continuing to figure out just what happened, and who is responsible. Malaysia this week filed the first criminal charges for Goldman Sachs and a few ex-bank and fund employees, while lawsuits are still being filed over billions in missing cash. Goldman Sachs says it is cooperating with authorities and will contest the charges.

    Somehow actor Leonardo DiCaprio, model Miranda Kerr, and the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat got dragged into the mess, too.

    This is the history of 1MDB and the characters that made it.

    SEE ALSO: A Middle Eastern investment giant is suing Goldman Sachs over the 'massive international conspiracy' of the 1MDB scandal

    1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, was founded in 2009 just four months after Najib Razak became Prime Minister of Malaysia. Ensnared in the scandal, he later lost reelection and was charged with abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in relation to SRC International, a former 1MDB unit. Najib pleaded not guilty charges and has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB.



    The fund was originally set up to finance infrastructure and other economy-linked deals in Malaysia. But the fund veered into lavish spending, producing films such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and buying casinos, champagne and “Dustheads,” a painting by US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

    Source: Reuters

    An estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014, the US Department of Justice has alleged. Razak has consistently denied wrongdoing. The scandal spreads across a number of companies and financial institutions with eye-watering sums involved.

    Source: DOJ

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Chinese investors traders

    • Cannabis stocks were among the most popular with millennials in 2018, according to data from Robinhood, a no-fee app popular among younger traders.
    • Three cannabis stocks, Cronos, Canopy Growth, and Aurora Cannabis, were the most popular among Robinhood users this year.
    • Tech giants such as Facebook and Apple remained popular despite company earnings indicating slower growth ahead.

    Millennial investors were fascinated with weed and tech stocks in 2018, according to data gathered by Markets Insider from the no-free trading app Robinhood.

    For the 4 million Robinhood traders, a large portion of which are millennials (22 to 37 years old), marijuana companies become their darlings this year. Three pot stocks, Cronos (+141,688, up 609%), Canopy Growth (+128,699, up 374%), and Aurora Cannabis (+88,889, up 1,057%) saw the biggest increases of ownership on the app. Markets Insider tracked data from March 22 through December 20.

    Younger traders' enthusiasm for the cannabis companies came as the industry grew at a fast and furious pace. In the second half of the year, a number of beverage and tobacco companies, such as Constellation Brand and Altria, announced investments in cannabis producers, causing a "green rush" into the industry. Also fueling interest in the space were Canada and Michigan legalizing recreational use of the drug.

    Additionally, tech giants such as Facebook and Apple— continued to attract attention despite company earnings indicating slower growth ahead.

    In July, Facebook's earnings disaster and subsequent stock landslide was interpreted as a good buying opportunity among millennials and attracted a total of 61,307 Robinhood investors (+53.19%) to add the stock in the week following the results.

    In November, when Apple fell out of favor with Wall Street and tumbled into a bear market amid waning iPhone demand, millennials were buying the weakness, allowing Apple reclaim its crown as the most-popular stock on Robinhood, with more than 210,000 owners on the app.

    Here were the nine stocks that millennial investors on Robinhood were buying the most in 2018, in ascending by the number of net additions:


    Ticker: AMZN

    Number of Robinhood shareholders:121,963 (+52,056, up 74%)

    Popularity ranking: 11

    Year-to-date performance: +21%


    Source: Robinhood 



    Number of Robinhood shareholders:164,079 (+54,743, up 50%)

    Popularity ranking: 6

    Year-to-date performance: +14%


    Source: Robinhood 

    Ford Motor


    Number of Robinhood shareholders:193,716 (+67,101, up 53%)

    Popularity ranking: 3

    Year-to-date performance: -40%


    Source: Robinhood 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jade Mountain Saint Lucia 37

    The super-rich are no longer just spending their money on private jets, yachts, and hotels — they're also splashing out on second passports.

    The Second Citizenship Survey 2017 from CS Global Partners found that 89% of people would like to own a second passport, and over 34% said they had looked into investing in a second citizenship.

    Even more striking were the 80% who said they would be willing to invest or donate 5% of their annual salary for a second citizenship — more than they spend on monthly rent.

    Luckily, a number of countries offer Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programs where money — normally invested in real estate — can actually buy a second passport, and the elite status that comes along with owning citizenship in another country.

    Other programs offer "elite residency"— an extended visa with perks — in exchange for similar investments.

    Nuri Katz, President of Apex Capital Partners, an international advisory firm that specialises in CIPs, told Business Insider: "For a lot of wealthy people having a second or third passport is important for the ability to travel. For some it's also a status symbol, like buying a fancy car to show your friends."

    He added that along with the travel benefits and the status that comes along with owning real estate around the world, the programs also allow people to manage their tax burdens.

    "Second citizenship is becoming more than just getting a passport," he said. "There are certain advantages towards using second citizenship to create residence in countries where tax burdens would be lower than where you are at the current time."

    However, Katz explained there's a difference between CIPs and residency programs.

    "Citizenship is forever, and cannot be taken away unless you received it under fraudulent circumstances," he said. "You also get a passport."

    Meanwhile, as laws change, a residency visa can be taken away — but it's a more affordable way to get the perks that come along with living in another country.

    In order to put together a complete list of countries that offer citizenship or residency by investment, along with advice from Katz, Business Insider consulted the latest CBI Index, published by the Financial Times' PWM magazine, and spoke to global investment migration firm Henley & Partners and global citizenship and residence planning company Knightsbridge Capital Partners.

    Whether you choose to splash out for full citizenship or you invest in residency, here are 23 countries where money can buy you a second passport — or at least a chance to live long-term abroad — ranked by cost, from cheapest to most expensive.

    Note: This article originally appeared on September 22, 2018.

    23. Thailand — 'Elite residency' from THB 500,000 ($15,253 or £11,793).

    The Thai government offers "elite" residency visas for wealthy foreign citizens, allowing them to live in the country for around $3,000 a year.

    There are seven different packages, with the most expensive being the "Elite Ultimate Privilege" scheme for $60,000 for 20 years of residency.

    Here are the three most popular options, according to Henley & Partners:

    Elite Easy Access

    • Five-year residence visa for the one-time fee of THB 500,000 ($15,253)

    Elite Family Excursion

    • A five-year visa for two people, for a one-time fee of THB 800,000 ($24,405), plus an additional charge of THB 300,000 ($9,152) per dependent.

    Elite Superiority Extension/Elite Ultimate Privilege

    • 20-year residence visa for a one-time fee of THB 2.14 million ($65,283)
      -Package includes complimentary VIP privileges such as government concierge services and airport services

    22. Latvia — Residency from €64,600 (£58,318 or $74,973).

    For residency in Latvia, here's what's required:

    • A minimum of €286,000 ($333,064 or £257,472) over a period of five years in a credit institution, or;
    • To invest in equity capital, the foreign national must invest a minimum of €36,000 ($41,924 or £32,409) and must pay a minimum of €28,600 ($33,306 or £25,747) in the next year.

    Henley & Partners added that there are also options to apply for the residence permit through the purchase of real estate or interest-free government bonds.

    You can apply for citizenship after five years through process of naturalization (i.e. language test, history test), according to Katz.

    "The true catch here is when they want to get citizenship, they have to take a language test, and Latvian is an impossible language to learn as an adult," Katz said.

    "No one can, and they know it, and as such they know no one will ever become a citizen."

    =19. Saint Lucia — Citizenship from $100,000 (£77,786).

    There are three ways to get citizenship in Saint Lucia, according to Katz:

    • A donation of at least $100,000 (£77,113) to the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund (depending on number of dependents), or;
    • Investment of at least $300,000 (£231,517) in an approved real estate development, or;
    • Investment of $3.5 million (£2.7 million) in an approved enterprise project.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bryony gordon jada sezer

    • Curating your Instagram feed so you only see people whose posts make you feel good can do wonders for your mental health.
    • The self-love movement has gained speed over the past year, with more and more people deciding to reject society's beauty standards.
    • There are now lots of Instagrammers who dedicate their feeds to encouraging people to love their rolls and embrace their acne.
    • Here are 33 of the best to follow in 2019.

    Loving your appearance is hard. It often seems like everywhere we look, we're being told we're not good enough. Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not curvy enough. 

    But the tide is slowly starting to change. 

    A growing number of women (for it is mainly women whose bodies are subjected to these ludicrous standards) are pushing back against society's ideals and sticking two fingers up to the physical pressures engrained in so many of us.

    They've decided that actually, you can get a lot more done when you're not obsessing over your body all the time, and the number on the scale or the size of your jeans does not determine your self-worth.

    Read more: This woman's side-by-side photo makes a powerful point about looking 'perfect' on Instagram

    In order to get on board with this way of thinking, curating your Instagram feed is crucial — you don't need to follow people who make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, follow people who lift you up.

    "Seeing other women in their bikinis and underwear with their rolls, cellulite, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, and bellies on show normalised fat bodies for me and taught me not to feel ashamed in my own skin,"said Stephanie Yeboah (one of the people on our list).

    "I saw these beautiful, gorgeous bodies and saw myself."

    From belly rolls to big noses, none of our perceived "flaws" are flaws at all.

    Follow these 33 Instagram accounts, ranked in ascending order by follower count, to help you feel good about your body — and yourself — in 2019.

    33. @radhikasanghani — 4,088 followers

    Instagram Embed:
    Width: 540px

    Radhika Sanghani is a journalist, author, and creator of the #sideprofileselfie campaign, which encourages people to love their big noses.

    "Let's stop hating our noses for not being tiny, little snubs and embrace them!" she says. 


    32. @libbyshappyproject — 6,806 followers

    Instagram Embed:
    Width: 540px

    Libby Phillips is a body positive illustrator who creates cute images with important messages.

    "Your best is ALWAYS good enough, just sometimes through various factors it isn't quite available for you to use. And that's okay — as long as you accept your limits and give Your Best the time and care it needs to catch up with you," she says. 


    31. @bodypositivepear — 10.1k followers

    Instagram Embed:
    Width: 540px

    Sarah Frances Young is in remission from atypical anorexia — her Instagram account is dedicated to spreading "positive vibes and tips for ED recovery."

    "You deserve to take up space," she says. "You deserve respect. You deserve to love yourself and your body. You are beautiful. You are worthy."


    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.

    best milk frothing pitcher

    Any espresso lover worth their salt knows that foam can make or break the entire coffee-drinking experience. If you’ve been practicing your barista skills at home in hopes of mimicking the quality found at your favorite coffee shop, it’s probably time to invest in a milk frothing pitcher.

    Finding the right pitcher depends on a number of factors. Some pitchers are better for the basics, while others are well-suited to more advanced espresso artists. Do you simply want to create nice foam to top off your homemade drinks, or are you looking to mimic your favorite barista’s handiwork by becoming the Picasso of latte art?

    Before you start shopping, figure out exactly how you’d like to use your milk frothing pitcher and look out for one that caters specifically to those needs. Some pitchers are better for latte art, others save time by helping you measure the milk out precisely, while others are best reserved for the professionals. Here, we’ve collected the best milk frothing pitchers on the market, for all your at-home espresso-making needs.

    Here are the best milk frothing pitchers you can buy:

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

    The best milk frothing pitcher overall

    Why you'll love it: The Star Coffee Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Pitcher helps you create the perfect espresso drink with no fuss — it's just a simple stainless steel pitcher that actually works.

    Not all milk frothing pitchers are created equal. The Star Coffee Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Pitcher has that certain something that makes it stand out from the pack.

    There are several details that make this pitcher special. First of all, it has measurement demarcations on both interior sides that help you get the perfect amount of milk every single time and minimize waste. The stainless steel material is resistant to stains and also rust, and the handle is heat resistant. Oh, and there’s a lifetime guarantee.

    The Star Coffee pitcher also comes with some fun extras: a microfiber towel and an ebook called “Guide To A Wonderful Coffee Experience.” Maybe you’ll finally start listening to the advice of your accountant and strangers on Twitter and stop going to boutique coffee shops so you can save for retirement!

    Gamble Bay Coffee Company calls the Star Coffee pitcher“a model that you simply can’t ignore if you’re talking about the best milk frothing pitchers available on the market.” It’s an Amazon Choice item because more than 90% of its 691 reviews give it 5-stars and it has 15% fewer returns than other milk pitchers.

    We’ve also recommended it here at Insider Picks because of its affordable price tag relative to its ability to help you make awesome latte art.

    Pros: Rust and stain proof material, comes with bonus microfiber cloth and eBook on Amazon, available in 3 sizes, inexpensive

    Cons: Might be too basic for the professionals

    Buy the Star Coffee Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Pitcher on Amazon for $16.99

    The best milk frothing pitcher for newbies

    Why you'll love it: Amateur baristas will love the straightforward, effective design of the Rattleware 20-Ounce Latte Art Milk Frothing Pitcher.

    Just starting to experiment with making lattes and cappuccinos in your own kitchen? You don’t need the fanciest equipment on the market — a simple milk frothing pitcher will do. The Rattleware 20-Ounce Latte Art Milk Frothing Pitcher is perfect for beginners.

    It’s a simple design that makes practicing your milk foam hearts just that much easier, thanks to a tapered spout and 18/10 stainless steel material. The website Budget Barista called it the “Best Pitcher for Amateurs” because of its shape, which makes it easier to use.

    “A wide base means it is easy to recombine milk and foam that have separated a bit, so you can take more time setting up your espresso and angling the mug,” according to the publication.

    The Rattleware is highly rated by shoppers as well. It has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon based on 153 reviews. One reviewer points out that the 20-ounce size feels small if you want to make more than one drink at a time, but recommends it because the “quality is nice and sturdy, the stainless hasn't showed any signs of corrosion and cleans up very easily (just rinse in the sink).”

    Pros: Inexpensive, basic design great for beginners, easy to clean, slim nozzle good for practicing latte art

    Cons: Might be too small if you make more than one cup at a time

    Buy the Rattleware 20-Ounce Latte Art Milk Frothing Pitcher on Amazon for $18.70

    The best milk frothing pitcher for precision

    Why you'll love it: Make life easier with the ultra-durable X-Chef Stainless Steel Creamer Frothing Pitcher, which minimizes mess, thanks to its dripless spout and dishwasher safe material.

    If you want a truly durable milk frothing pitcher, look no further than the X-Chef Stainless Steel Creamer Frothing Pitcher. Made of #202 stainless steel, it boasts professional quality and claims to be “rust-proof, stain-proof and crash-proof, heat-proof, unbreakable by daily use.”

    This is the ideal choice for anyone with slippery fingers.

    My favorite detail? The X-Chef has what the brand calls a “dripless spout.” It comes to a very precise point so that it won’t trail milk all over your kitchen counter after you pour it. It’s also dishwasher safe, which is a major plus if you tend to let dishes pile up in your sink for way too long.

    “If you make your own lattes at home, this is a must,” writes one five-star reviewer on Amazon. The pitcher has an overall 4.7 rating based on more than 500 reviews. One of the major selling points is the size, which is large enough to froth milk for several coffees at once.

    Pros: Affordable, durable, dishwasher safe, nice size for multiple drinks

    Cons: No measurement lines, so not ideal for precision

    Buy the X-Chef Stainless Steel Creamer Frothing Pitcher on Amazon for $11.29 (originally $19.99)

    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.

    best sewing machines

    • High-quality sewing machines are pleasant to use for long periods of time, have stitches for whatever projects you want to work on, and can handle a broad range of fabrics.
    • The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine is our top pick because it’s ideal for beginners, it's inexpensive, and can reach speeds of up to 1,100 stitches per minutes.

    With the easy accessibility of cheap clothing, linens, and other fabric products just a click away, the sewing machine has lost its once prominent place in American homes. However, for people who like completing projects on their own and reducing their consumption, sewing machines are an indispensable part of the household. Plus, these units serve as an excellent way to bond with youngsters and nurture their self-sufficiency.

    For the most part, the sewing machine industry is dominated by Singer, Janome, and Brother, though there are some notable exceptions. Kenmore used to be a major player in the market, but it’s available exclusively at Sears, which just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    Singer is the top brand with 43% of sewing machine sales. The company offers features and styles that are designed for all skill levels. Brother holds 29% of the market share and focuses on balancing easy usability with advanced technology and functions for a variety of experience levels and budgets. Lastly, Janome is known for more expensive and advanced computerized machines.

    The two main factors you should consider when purchasing a new sewing machine is your skill level and your budget. In our guide, we note which experience levels will benefit most from each machine, including which ones will continue to serve you well as you develop your abilities.

    If you have a limited budget, you need to pay closer attention to the features and extras that you really need. For the most part, added functionality comes with a price, but there are deals to be found if you are willing to live without some accessories. For example, some of the more affordable units don’t come with carrying cases and have limited stitch options. This might be fine if you have a dedicated space for your machine and are not interested in monogramming or embroidery.

    While researching the best sewing machines, we read through hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of models. Our guide features machines that have a track record or performance, durability, and versatility.

    Here are the best sewing machines you can buy:

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

    The best sewing machine overall

    Why you'll love it: The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine is designed with the beginner in mind with its intuitive interface, ability to handle all types of fabrics, and one-step buttonholes.

    The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machineonly has 23 stitches — 6 basic, 12 decorative, 4 stretch, and a 1-step buttonhole — but it’s a workhorse with its heavy-duty mechanical design.

    It has the ability to make 1,100 stitches per minute so you can complete your projects faster. The top drop-in bobbin is easy to insert, and the clear cover allows you to monitor how much thread is left. The built-in needle threader is also convenient for effortless threading with minimal frustration.

    The kit comes with a soft-sided dust cover, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt, screwdriver, bobbins, needles, quilting guide, seam ripper/lint brush, and all-purpose, zipper, buttonhole, and button sewing feet.

    The Wirecutter recommends the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machinefor beginners because it’s affordable, can handle an array of fabrics, and is easy to use. The reviewer found that a beginner could sit down and use this machine without spending much time reading the manual. It also makes excellent buttonholes perfectly sized for your button. However, she points out that there only appear to be two speeds, fast and slow. And, the machine gets quite noisy.

    Sew Orbit and Best Sewing Machine for Beginners Today also recommend this machine.

    More than 2,400 Amazon buyers posted positive reviews of the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine. John K has the most helpful review. At first, he initiated a return because he had trouble getting the thread tension right and experienced countless bobbin jams, even though he watched several video tutorials. After some more research, he learned that it works well when he uses the felt bobbin spacer, only uses plastic bobbins, and threads it correctly.

    Other buyers were impressed with how durable this machine feels and how it can handle heavy-duty fabrics, such as leather and vinyl.

    Pros: Achieves up to 1,100 stitches per minutes, handles heavy-duty fabrics, easy to use, makes great buttonholes

    Cons: Only two speeds and 23 stitches

    Buy the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine on Amazon for $111.88

    Buy the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Machine with Accessory Kit on Amazon for $176.23

    The best computerized sewing machine

    Why you'll love it: If you are looking for a sewing machine that will keep pace with your improving abilities, the Janome 7330 Magnolia Computerized Sewing Machine is a smart choice with its computerized stitch selection and durable design.

    The Janome 7330 Magnolia Computerized Sewing Machine features a small backlit LCD screen that lets you choose from 30 stitches, including 6 one-step buttonholes. Using the touch buttons, you can also see what stitch length and width you’ve selected. There are convenient buttons for tying off the end of the thread, reversing direction, and starting/stopping.

    This machine comes as part of six different kits, and the price is currently the same for all of them. So, before buying, take a moment to find the kit that is best for your needs. For instance, I would recommend going with one of the bundles that has a tote case if you plan on moving your 7330 around regularly.

    The Janome 7330 is one of the most highly rated machines on the comprehensive expert site Erin Says Sew. The reviewer appreciates that the bobbin is jam proof and top loading. Also, she was impressed with how one can start and stop sewing with the push of a button, rather than relying exclusively on the foot pedal. However, she would have preferred more decorative stitches, a dust cover, and adjustable presser foot pressure.

    Grandma Likes to Sew found that this is a terrific unit for sewers of all levels. The reviewer liked the superior stitch-work and how durable and reliable the 7330 is.

    About 92% of the people who reviewed the Janome 7330 on Amazon gave it a positive rating. The most helpful reviewer, Debra Wilson, gave the unit five stars because it runs quietly, can handle several layers of heavy fabric, and has automatic button sewing. Yet, after five years of use, she was only able to figure out how to use the buttonholer attachment after stumbling upon a YouTube tutorial.

    Another buyer commented that she uses the machine on a daily basis, and the 7330 was instrumental in her starting a sewing blog and hobby business.

    Pros: Useful for sewers of any skill level, runs quietly, durable, automatic button sewing

    Cons: Only 30 stitches

    Buy the Janome 7330 Magnolia Computerized Sewing Machine on Amazon for $379 (originally $599)

    The best quilting sewing machine

    Why you'll love it: The Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine comes with a variety of extras that make quilting convenient, including an oversized table attachment.

    What makes the Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machinespecial is the extras and the number of stitches it can handle.

    First of all, the oversized table attachment is designed for quilting and other larger projects. There are also eight quilting feet to choose from. You can store your CS6000i in the included hard protective case. There are 60 stitches to choose from on the LCD screen, including 7 buttonholes. Brother backs the quality of this unit with a 25-year limited warranty.

    Good Housekeeping recommends the Brother CS6000i as a good computerized sewing machine for beginners. The reviewer found it to be easy to transport and use. They also liked how the add-on wide table worked well for larger quilting projects.

    Grandma Likes to Sew recommends this unit as one of the best values for your money. The reviewer noted that the auto-threading, pedal-free sewing, and speed control were easy enough for beginners to use. Sewing from Home suggests buying the CS6000i for quilting projects because the foot holder quilt guide, wide table, and the spring-action quilting foot all lent themselves well to quilting projects.

    There are more than 5,500 five-star reviews of the Brother CS6000i on Amazon. Numerous reviewers use this model for making apparel, handbags, accessories, and other projects as part of their sewing business.

    Many buyers are impressed with the number of stitch options they get with such an affordable machine. Another popular feature is the effortless threading of the bobbin and needle. The only common complaint was that the highest speed is not particularly fast.

    Pros: 60 stitches, comes with a wide table attachment, easy threading of the needle and bobbin, 25-year limited warranty

    Cons: Some complaints about the tension

    Buy the Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine on Amazon for $140.09

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Super Mario Odyssey

    • In 2019, Nintendo plans to release the first-ever "core" Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch.
    • Nintendo is also reportedly working on a new version of the Nintendo Switch, which could arrive in the coming year.
    • Before the end of March 2019, Nintendo is expected to launch its first "Mario Kart" game for smartphones.

    Nintendo is a notoriously secretive company, and much of the coming year for the Japanese gaming giant is a mystery. 

    That said, we have a pretty good idea about some of Nintendo's biggest plans for 2019: A new, main series "Pokémon" game on the Switch, the first-ever "Mario Kart" game for smartphones in the not-so-distant future, and maybe even a new version of the wildly popular Switch console itself!

    And that's before we start talking about the big unknowns. Is 2019 the year where we see more of "Metroid Prime 4" than a logo? Perhaps "Bayonetta 3"?

    Here's everything we know — and a few things we're less certain of, but are still entirely possible — about Nintendo's coming year:

    SEE ALSO: The 5 biggest things to expect from PlayStation in 2019

    1. A new "core" Pokémon game.

    Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch — prepare yourself!

    Nintendo says a "core RPG Pokémon title" is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Not a spin-off, like "Pokémon Stadium" and "Pokémon Snap" way back on the Nintendo 64, but a full-on main series entry.

    The beloved Pokémon game series has always been a portable affair. With few exceptions, the only way to engage with the long-running series was on Nintendo's handheld consoles. But with this new entry, that's about to change.

    Nintendo says the next main entry in the long-running Pokémon game franchise — the successor to "Pokémon Ultra Sun" and "Pokémon Ultra Moon"— will arrive in "late 2019." For now, that's all we know.

    2. A new version of the Nintendo Switch?

    Not a new Nintendo console, mind you, but a new version of an existing one: It looks like Nintendo is already deep in development of a new version of the Nintendo Switch.

    Rumors point to logical upgrades like a brighter screen, better battery life, and slimmer profile — Nintendo has yet to say anything officially.

    That said, Nintendo has a long history of iterating on its game consoles.

    There are several different versions of the Nintendo 3DS handheld, for instance, some with more horsepower and bigger screens than others. The same could be said for the Nintendo DS before it, and the Game Boy Advance before that.

    More than just a rumor, it's entirely likely that Nintendo will release new iterations of the Nintendo Switch. And 2019 is said to be the year that we'll see the first of those iterations.

    3. "Metroid Prime 4"

    What is "Metroid Prime 4"? Little more than a logo at this point, at least publicly speaking.

    "Metroid Prime 4" is the fourth game in the longtime first-person "Metroid Prime" series. The franchise began life on the Nintendo GameCube, and drew a legion of loyal fans across several subsequent sequels. It's been over a decade since the last major entry, "Metroid Prime 3," arrived on the Nintendo Wii.

    The next game is said to be in production by Japanese game company Namco Bandai, rather than the studio responsible for the previous three games, though Nintendo has yet to confirm as much.

    After announcing the game through a logo back in June 2017 (pictured above), Nintendo has yet to say another word about the highly-anticipated sequel. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    new york city skyline

    • The list of the most visited cities in the world was released this week by market-research firm Euromonitor International.
    • New York City saw more than 13 million international tourists last year, but it only finished No. 8 on the global list.
    • Asian cities dominated the top 10, with one city attracting nearly 28 million international tourists.

    Euromonitor International released its annual ranking of the most visited cities in the world this week, measuring the appeal of some of the world's most famous destinations to international travelers.

    The UK-based market-research firm looked at 600 cities worldwide and ranked the 100 that attracted the most international tourists in 2017, and projected estimates for 2018 using part-year data.

    Read more: 13 places to visit in December for every type of traveler

    Seven American cities made the cut this year, led by New York City, which attracted more than 13 million tourists in 2017, good for eighth in the global rankings.

    Meanwhile, Asian cities dominated the top of the list, comprising seven out of the top 10 most popular cities. One Asian tourism powerhouse retained its title for the eighth consecutive year, leading the world with nearly 28 million international visitors. 

    Read on to see the biggest urban tourism hotspots in the world:

    SEE ALSO: France has been the most-visited country in the world for more than 20 years in a row — but experts think it's about to lose its crown

    DON'T MISS: The most dangerous intersection in every state

    31. Barcelona, Spain

    2017 arrivals: 6,530,100

    2018 estimate: 6,726,000

    30. Osaka, Japan

    2017 arrivals: 6,605,900

    2018 estimate: 7,456,300

    29. Agra, India

    2017 arrivals: 6,644,000

    2018 estimate: 8,258,200

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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  • 12/27/18--06:00: The worst ads of 2018
  • Dolce & Gabbana Cinese Ad

    Whether because of tone-deaf tweets or ads with racist or sexist undertones, every year, some brands end up with egg on their faces.

    In 2018, it was impossible to let some of these glaring gaffes slide. Here are some of the most cringe-inducing ads that caught our eye this year, in order of bad to worst. Check out the year's best ads here.

    Wendy's, Doritos and Tide (Grade: C-)

    Brands seizing blackouts as their moment to shine is so 2013, but Wendy's, Doritos and Tide didn't seem to have realized that. They were among the thirsty brands that tried to recreate Oreo's real-time "dunk in the dark" moment by tweeting during a short blackout in the second quarter of Super Bowl 2018. Zero points for originality. 

    Bud Light's "Bud Knight" (Grade: C-)

    Once your branding campaign hits cultural meme status, it's time to quit. But Bud Light didn't know when to stop with "Dilly Dilly," which went from endearing cultural phenomenon to an annoyance. Also, nothing screams desperate like hijacking "Game of Thrones" with an icy "Bud Knight" taking on a fiery dragon.

    Youtube Embed:
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    Kleenex's "Mansize" Tissues (Grade: D)

    Kleenex has had its extra-large "Mansize" tissues around since the 1950s. But in 2018, the term sounded too gendered to some. Kleenex scrapped its range of "Mansize" tissues this year, following social media complaints that the branding was sexist. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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  • 12/27/18--06:00: The 10 best ads of 2018
  • Colin Kaepernick Nike ad

    There was no dearth of marketers pushing the envelope to create some brilliant ads in 2018. But not all brands — or rather ads — are created equal. 

    Several of the ads that stood out this year involved brands like Nike and McDonald's taking a stand on a political or social issues. Beyond TV commercials, this year's most memorable ads also took the form of outdoor and experiential stunts.

    As 2018 comes to a close, we look back at some of the most creative, thought-provoking, and amusing ads by marketers, ranked from good to best. Check out the year's worst ads here.

    Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice "Battle" (Grade: B)

    Pepsi came back strong from its disastrous protest ads in 2017 with this ad for Mountain Dew and Doritos that made its debut in the Super Bowl. Peter Dinklage and Busta Rhymes teamed up against Morgan Freeman and Missy Elliot in this epic showdown between Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice.


    OKCupid's "DTF" (Grade: B)

    OKCupid and Wieden+Kennedy New York reclaimed the term "DTF"— a derogatory shorthand used to slut-shame women — for this outdoor campaign, getting people across the country to unabashedly say that they were "DTF." Despite being rejected by Chicago Transit, the campaign won praise and helped grow the dating site's user base by 25%.

    McDonald's "The Flip" (Grade: B)

    McDonald's flipped its Golden Arches from an M to a W at one of its locations to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8. The fast-food chain and its agency We Are Unlimited also rolled out special "W" packaging at 100 women-owned McDonald's locations that day across the country, and changed the logo on its social channels. Some praised the move while others charged that McDonald's was co-opting feminism without making real change, like paying its workers a living wage. 

    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.

    best face wash for sensitive skin

    • When you have sensitive skin, you have to pay close attention to what you’re putting on your face.
    • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is the best face wash for sensitive skin because it lacks harsh, irritating ingredients, but is powerful enough to give you a deep clean.

    I love washing my face. No, seriously. Most days, I look forward to it from the time I apply my makeup until the time I get home at night. I enjoy it as much as I enjoy my other daily pleasures: reading books, applying eyeshadow, having nihilistic existential crises.

    But I have sensitive skin (and eyes, and feelings…) so I need to be picky, lest I end up looking like a sun-dappled tomato after each cleanse. In the morning, I stick to micellar water on a cotton pad just to wipe any dirt and residue from the previous night’s skin care.

    At night, I use an oil or balm to remove makeup before reaching for a sensitive skin-friendly regular cleanser to get the rest of the grime off. The two-pronged cleansing approach ensures my face is as clean as possible before I move on to the rest of my skin care, which is key to keeping my complexion happy and healthy.

    In general, when eyeing potential face washes to add to my collection, I look out for soothing ingredients like rosewater or cucumber extract and gentle formulas with minimal foaming or scrubbing effects, which can be too harsh for my rosacea-prone cheeks.

    The picks in our guide are the best cleansers I’ve ever tried for sensitive skin, formulas that won’t sting, irritate, or cause breakouts. Some remove makeup, others simply whisk away dirt, oil, and impurities, all of them are a delight to use.

    Here are the best face washes you can buy if you have sensitive skin:

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

    The best face wash for sensitive skin overall

    Why you'll love it: Soap-free and suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a staple of medicine cabinets everywhere for good reason.

    As a teenager, my skin care routine consisted of two steps: SPF moisturizer during the day and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser whenever I remembered at night. I still use this stuff regularly. It’s always stocked at my parents' house and is a no-brainer pick in case of an emergency face wash deficit while traveling.

    Cetaphil’s fan-favorite cleanser is an old standby because of the gentle and hydrating formula. The creamy cleanser is non-irritating — I can actually feel it calming any inflamed patches on my cheeks when I use it — and is easy to rinse off when I finish mushing it around my face.

    Don’t just take my word for it: Gentle Skin Cleanser is Cetaphil’s best-selling product and is the subject of thousands of online reviews. It has more than 9,700 reviews on the Walgreens website, 10,000+ on the review platform Influenster, and has won the Allure Best of Beautyseven times.

    If your skin is highly reactive or eczema-prone, this should be gentle enough for you, especially since it’s fragrance-free and doesn’t contain glycerin. One Walgreens reviewer even applies it as moisturizer. You also get a ton of product for the price. A 16-ounce container with a pump costs $12.99 at Walgreens.

    Pros: Super gentle, very affordable, works for rosacea- and eczema-prone skin, no glycerin or added fragrance

    Cons: Doesn’t remove full face of makeup as well as others

    Buy the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser at Walgreens for $12.49

    The best makeup removing face wash for sensitive skin

    Why you'll love it: The Milky Jelly Cleanser by Glossier is an innovative face wash that can be used wet to cleanse or dry to remove makeup without stripping your skin.

    It’s late at night. You’ve painstakingly removed your makeup with the oil, balm, or wipe of your choosing. Then you go in with cleanser, carefully avoiding your eyes so you don’t burn them off in the process. After rinsing, you dry your face on a white towel and pull back … only to find two black semi-circles of mascara residue blinking up at you.

    Sound familiar? Well, that doesn’t happen with Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, which is gentle enough to squirt directly in your eye thanks to the inclusion of poloxamer, which is often found in contact lens solution.

    Milky Jelly can be used dry to remove a full face of makeup or on wet skin to cleanse. In addition to poloxamer, it contains soothing ingredients like rosewater for treating redness and pro-vitamin B5 for moisturization, making it a solid option for those with sensitive, reactive skin. All that for only $18 — plus the free Glossier stickers and TSA-friendly pink pouch you receive with your order.

    At night, I like to use an oil or balm to first melt away the top layer of my makeup, then follow up with Milky Jelly to remove the dregs of my mascara. It dissolves any leftover makeup residue and general face gunk without stinging my eyes or aggravating my rosacea. After rinsing, my face feels plump and hydrated.

    Not only is Milky Jellymy personal favorite out of the dozens of cleansers I’ve tried, it’s also an Allure Best of Beauty 2017 winner and Cosmopolitan 2016Beauty Awards winner. This stuff also smells divine, but it’s not fragrance-free so keep that in mind if your face hates added scents.

    Pros: Non-irritating (even on eyes) and gentle, removes makeup, and leaves skin moisturized

    Cons: Won’t remove waterproof makeup, not entirely fragrance-free

    Buy Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser for $18

    The best soy face wash for sensitive skin

    Why you'll love it: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is a cult classic because of its soothing formula containing amino acids, rosewater, cucumber extract, and borage seed oil.

    So many people swear by the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser that I knew I needed to test it out for this article. Let me tell you — the formula doesn’t disappoint! This is a really nice gentle cleanser suitable for most skin types, provided you aren’t too sensitive to fragrance.

    A lightweight gel cleanser, it contains soy protein, rosewater, cucumber extract, and borage seed oil to hydrate, nourish, and soothe skin after a full day of wearing makeup. I found it a bit too harsh on my eyes to use as a makeup remover, but it makes a nice morning or second cleanse for me.

    Soy Face Cleanser foams up a little bit when wet, so it’s a nice middle ground for people who just don’t feel totally clean unless their face wash kicks up some lather. That said, it’s not going to dry you out. There’s a strong cucumber scent to this, which reminds me of going to the spa, but it may be a turn-off for some.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say this cleanser has a huge fanbase. There are more than 6,000 reviews on both Sephora and Influenster.

    Pros: Gentle, non-drying, contains soothing cucumber and rosewater

    Cons: Heavily scented, may be too harsh for makeup removal, expensive

    Buy the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser at Sephora for $38

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    lululemon pop up library 3996

    • Lululemon helped pioneer athleisure, but as competition heats up, the brand has been getting creative to attract and retain customers.
    • Most recently, Lululemon is jumping on the popular cozy trend by teaming up with Penguin Random House to create a mini-library in its HUB Seventeen community space. 
    • The cozy trend isn't anything new — it became popular a few years ago, when the Danish concept of "hygge" started gaining traction.
    • Even though Lululemon has always been known for athleisure, the new pop-up library space seems geared much more towards relaxation and feeling cozy than anything else. Here's what its like to visit. 


    Lululemon helped pioneer athleisure, but as competition heats up, the brand has been getting creative to attract and retain customers.

    Earlier in December, Lululemon reported comparable sales were up 6% in the most recent fiscal quarter.

    One way it's trying to win over more customers is by testing an Amazon Prime-style membership in certain markets. For a $128 annual fee, members are given a free pair of training pants or shorts, access to classes, and free shipping for online orders.

    Most recently, Lululemon is jumping on the increasingly popular cozy trend by teaming up with Penguin Random House to create a mini-library in its HUB Seventeen community space. HUB Seventeen offers events like live music and free yoga classes. 

    "There is no doubt that the casualization trend has taken over the wardrobes of many Americans," NPD Group analyst Maria Rugolo wrote in a company blog post in November. "But this holiday season we will see this trend in all of its furriness."

    The cozy trend isn't anything new — it became popular a few years ago, when the Danish concept of "hygge" started gaining traction. Pronounced "hoo-ga," the Danish concept is better translated as a feeling than a single word. Embracing the idea of hygge is all about feeling cozy and content by enjoying the simple things in life.

    Lululemon's library space has over 1,000 books from Penguin Random House, mostly focusing on subjects like self-improvement, inner peace, and similar subjects. The space is small, but it certainly felt cozy and like a home when we visited — aside from the fact that it was surrounded by busy shoppers and merchandise. 

    Even though Lululemon has always been known for athleisure, the new pop-up library space seems geared much more towards relaxation and feeling cozy than anything else. 

    Here's what the Lululemon library is like: 

    SEE ALSO: Stores from American Eagle to Kohl's are all bragging about being 'cozy' — and it represents a major shift in fashion

    Lululemon helped pioneer athleisure, but as competition heats up, the brand has been getting creative to attract and retain customers.

    One way it's trying to win over more customers is by testing an Amazon Prime-style membership in certain markets. For a $128 annual fee, members are given a free pair of training pants or shorts, access to classes, and free shipping for online orders.

    Source: Business Insider

    Most recently, Lululemon has teamed up with Penguin Random House to create a mini-library space in its HUB Seventeen community space in its Flatiron store.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    President Trump Melania visit troops Christmas Iraq selfie

    • President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump made a surprise visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday — a first after nearly two years in office.
    • The visit to the al-Asad air base just west of Baghdad, comes a day after Christmas and a week after major military shake-ups within the Trump administration.
    • Trump, despite claiming that he has done more for the military than other presidents, has been criticized for not only his policies, but also for not visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day this year.
    • The Trumps will make two stops in Iraq visiting over 5,000 troops, according to The New York Times.
    • See photos of the Trumps' visit below.

    President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made a surprise visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday — a first after nearly two years in office.

    The visit to the al-Asad air base just west of Baghdad, comes a day after Christmas and a week after major military shake-ups within the Trump administration.

    One week ago, Trump announced he was pulling roughly 2,000 US troops out of Syria. The following day Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired four star Marine Corps general, resigned from his post over the decision with a scathing letter, rebuking much of Trump's "America First" foreign policy.

    It was also reported last week that Trump would withdraw half of the 14,000 US troops from Afghanistan. On Saturday, Brett McGurk, the US envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, who was reportedly scheduled to retire in February, resigned early saying that he could not execute Trump's Syria strategy.

    Trump, despite claiming that he has done more for the military than other presidents, has been criticized for not only his policies (even by lawmakers who are often allies), but also for not visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted about the president's visit.

    "President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas," Sanders said.

    The Trumps will make two stops in Iraq visiting over 5,000 troops, according to The New York Times. See photos of the visit below:

    SEE ALSO: Trump says he has 'no plans at all' to withdraw US troops from Iraq during his first visit to troops in a combat zone

    The president and first lady left, unannounced, on Christmas evening.

    The president and first lady meet with military leaders at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq

    SOURCE: Reuters

    Trump spoke with reporters during a briefing in Iraq.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    black mirror

    • Business Insider has ranked every episode of Netflix's sci-fi anthology series, "Black Mirror."
    • The first "Black Mirror" standalone movie, "Bandersnatch," debuts on Friday.

    Warning: This post contains spoilers for episodes of "Black Mirror."

    Netflix is releasing a "Black Mirror" movie, "Bandersnatch," on Friday. The "Twilight Zone"-inspired sci-fi anthology series has released four TV seasons, but "Bandersnatch" is considered its first standalone movie.

    The series, in which every episode tells a different story about technology run amok, originally aired on British television's Channel 4 before being acquired by Netflix. Since then, the streaming service has completed two seasons of six episodes each.

    In all, there are 19 episodes of "Black Mirror" (all of which are streaming on Netflix) and like with any show, there are disappointments and standouts. Business Insider has ranked all 19 from worst to best.

    Below is every "Black Mirror" episode, ranked:

    SEE ALSO: Netflix's 'Black Mirror' is returning tomorrow with its first standalone movie

    19. "Men Against Fire" (Season 3, Episode 5)

    "Black Mirror" is at its best when it is a cautionary tale without shoving the episode's larger themes down our throats. The best "Black Mirror" episodes are nuanced, or let the viewer draw their own conclusions. "Men Against Fire" is about a solider who uncovers a conspiracy when he discovers that the zombie-like creatures he's been ordered to hunt are actually human, masked by technology that wipes a soldiers' memories and controls what they see. It's a show-and-tell presentation with much more telling than showing, and the climax of the episode is an explosion of exposition. 

    18. "Arkangel" (Season 4, Episode 2)

    "Arkangel," directed by Jodie Foster, is terribly basic. It only scratches the surface of what the episode could have explored in terms of parenting. A mom uses a device that tells her daughter's location and records what she sees, which could naturally have horrific ramifications for a mother-daughter relationship — and it does. The predictable conclusion of the episode could have been satisfying if the stakes were higher, but the episode plays it safe, and only cares to examine the most cliche aspects of a teenager's life.

    17. "Fifteen Million Merits" (Season 1, Episode 2)

    Before "Get Out" and "Black Panther," Daniel Kaluuya starred in a weak "Black Mirror" episode, but he gives a strong performance. The episode follows Kaluuya's character Bing in a society where people ride power-generating stationary bikes in exchange for merits. He falls for a woman who can sing beautifully, and he convinces her to enter a contest in which he uses all of his millions of merits to gift her an entry ticket. Things naturally collapse from there. The episode is a fine commentary on greed and commercialism, but doesn't rise above better episodes.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jared leto joker baseball bat

    • In any comic book, video game, or superhero films, villains are some of the most important characters.
    • The DC universe boasts some of the most revered and corrupt villains.
    • The Riddler, Lex Luthor, and the Joker are just three examples of the many iconic DC villains.

    The DC universe boasts some famed heroes like Wonder Woman and Batman, but the villains that these heroes fight against sometimes steal the spotlight. Whether you venture to the city of Gotham via a movie or to the center of Metropolis via a comic book, seeing your favorite heroes battling their foes is what makes the universe so exciting. And there'd be no battle if these foes weren't so legendary and evil. 

    Among the large catalog of famed DC villains, some are so amazingly notorious and well-written that they deserve some extra recognition.

    Here are some of the most iconic villains from the DC franchise.

    Scarecrow is a psychological terror.

    Scarecrow, whose real name is Jonathan Crane, controls his victims using fear. As a child, Crane's father exposed him to several maniacal and corrupt experiments. Consequently, his mental health suffered as he got older. But everything changed when Crane realized that if he could control fear no one could never torment him again.

    He developed a robust, fear-inducing toxin that would trigger the worst memories out of his enemies and that alone has proved to be a powerful weapon. In "Batman Begins", Batman quickly fell victim to Scarecrow's ability to target the Dark Knight's harrowing childhood trauma. 

    The Riddler uses tricks and dark humor to lead his foes astray.

    Edward Nygma, The Riddler, rose to become one of Batman's most notorious foes due to his ability to use jokes and riddles to his advantage. He leaves behind puzzling clues to confuse the Caped Crusader while feeding his own ego. Sooner or later, the Riddler's theatrics always catch up with him and his egotistical demeanor is typically the primary reason for his downfall.

    Unlike some of Batman's other brainy enemies, the Riddler's wit and lack of empathy could not be contained by even himself. It eventually landed him in the Arkham Asylum.

    Read More: 14 of the most iconic superhero suits of all time

    Bane is just as strong as Batman, but he must rely on Venom.

    Very few villains could rival Batman's strength and intelligence quite like Bane. An orphan ultimately used as the guinea pig for hazardous experiments, Bane began to rely on the power of the super-steroid, Venom, as he got older.

    Bane's ultimate goal was to rule Gotham City, which he eventually succeeded in doing for quite some time. Even though he possesses the same level of vigor and intellect as Batman, Bane's downfall is typically his reliance on Venom, which he has become addicted to

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    colorful wedding photography

    • Every two months, Fearless Awards are given to photographers who have taken exceptional wedding photos.
    • The award recipients are chosen by a panel of experts from Fearless Photographers, an online search platform that helps engaged couples find photographers in their area.
    • Throughout 2018, more than 800 wedding photos were awarded.
    • 61 of the year's best photos showcase everything from couples with their pets to the emotions of loved ones.

    Engagement season is upon us, and upcoming weddings are on the minds of many. But before getting into the festivities of the new year, it's worth taking a look back at ceremonies from the past.

    Every two months, search platform Fearless Photographers pulls together a panel of experts to award those who took remarkable wedding photos. And throughout 2018, Fearless Awards were given to more than 800 pictures.

    The winning photos capture just about every aspect of weddings, from emotional loved ones to partying groomsmen. Out of the hundreds of recipients this year, these 61 photos were some of the best.

    Joy is tangible through many of the photos.

    Surrounded by flowers and a vast countryside, photographer Jorik Algra caught a set of newlyweds driving with no hands on the wheel.

    Many of the winning photos were taken in black and white.

    Photographer Marcin Karpowicz captured two wedding attendees as they embraced in a hug.

    Photographers weren't afraid to have a little fun this year.

    Photographer Hendra Lesmana took this photo of a bride grinning as her groom posed behind a cactus.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Constance Wu Crazy Rich Asians premiere

    • As 2018 comes to a close, INSIDER compiled a list of the best-dressed women in Hollywood.
    • Over the past 12 months, Constance Wu and Cardi B became breakout fashion stars.
    • Other celebrities, like Tracee Ellis Ross and Zendaya, took risks that paid off.
    • Meghan Markle pushed the boundaries of royal fashion.
    • And some stars kept it simple and chic, like Margot Robbie and Zoë Kravitz.

    With 2019 right around the corner, it's time to revisit some of the most memorable fashion moments of the year.

    Over the past 12 months, celebrities wore some truly unforgettable looks, from Constance Wu's Swarovski crystal-covered gown to Thandie Newton's custom "Star Wars"-themed dress.

    Below, see INSIDER's list of the 16 best-dressed women in Hollywood in 2018, shown in no particular order.

    Lady Gaga made a powerful statement in a suit.

    In October, the singer wore an oversized Marc Jacobs pantsuit to Elle's annual Women in Hollywood celebration.

    During the event, Lady Gaga gave a moving speech about power dynamics in Hollywood and opened up about her experiences as a survivor of sexual assault.

    At one point of her speech, the singer said she decided to wear a pantsuit to the ceremony to reclaim the power she felt she had lost.

    Fans also won't soon forget the many intricate looks Lady Gaga wore during the press tour for "A Star is Born," as well as during the movie's numerous premieres.

    Rihanna made major waves in the fashion industry.

    As expected, Rihanna wore some of the boldest streetwear looks of the year.

    The long-time style icon repurposed lingerie into daywear, turned a denim skirt into a top, and rocked the "no pants" trend over and over again.

    But it was perhaps the singer's work with Savage X Fenty — a lingerie collection she launched in May — that left the biggest mark on the fashion world.

    The collection itself, as well as its website and marketing efforts, have been praised for including people with a wide range of body shapes and skin tones.

    Chrissy Metz brought vibrant colors and bold prints to the red carpet.

    During awards season earlier this year, the "This Is Us" star wore one memorable ensemble after another.

    In January, Metz attended the Critics Choice Awards in a multicolored striped dress by Eloquii, which she customized with black sequin detailing.

    Later that month, the actress stunned at the Screen Guild Awards in a custom cobalt blue Kate Spade gown with ruffled tiers and flowers cascading down from her right shoulder. 

    Metz had another major fashion moment at the Emmys in September, where she wore a one-shoulder emerald green dress that was custom-made by John Paul Ataker.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    arike ogunbowale

    • This year was filled with memorable sports moments, from jaw-dropping dunks to goosebumps-inducing buzzer-beaters.
    • Our list includes the best action from the World Cup, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, college sports, and plenty more.
    • Though he doesn't own the top play, it's hard to argue that anybody else produced more highlights this year than LeBron James.
    • Our top play was the buzziest play of 2018.

    With 2018 coming to a close, we compiled the best plays in sports we saw this year and arranged them in a completely subjective order.

    On the list you'll find feats of athleticism from jaw-dropping jumps to clever maneuvers. Of course, the stakes of the play, the athlete, and the situation all got taken into account. A game-winner in the playoffs is cooler than a great pass — it just is.

    Additionally, star power played a part. When LeBron James hits a game-winner or dunks on somebody, it simply means more than if the 8th man on the team does so. And — spoiler alert — James had a highlight-filled year.

    Our top 40 plays of 2018 include action from the World Cup, Super Bowl, World Series, NHL playoffs, NBA season and more.

    Check out the best plays of 2018 below.

    40. Tiger Woods eagles from 95 yards out at the Memorial Tournament

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    One thing to know: Was there anyone more watched or more rooted-for in 2018? Fresh off some encouraging rounds at The Players Championship and Masters, Woods continued to round into shape, sending the crowd into a frenzy with this shot.

    39. LeBron James fools the entire Lakers defense

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    One thing to know: James was on cruise control for half of the 2017-18 season, but in the latter part of the year, he turned it on, seemingly creating jaw-dropping highlights each night. This one was pretty, understated, and another example that he controls all parts of the game.

    38. Ping pong player practices perfect paddle defense

    One thing to know:According to Deadspin, this is 15-year-old Chris Chen at the Trondheim Table Tennis Club going with a last-ditch defense and coming up with the point. We're not sure he could do this again if he tried — then again, maybe he has!

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trader surprised shocked upset

    • The best-performing exchange-traded products in 2018 included funds geared toward shorting stocks, going long volatility, and fighting cyber crime.
    • Investors who were positioned for higher volatility were rewarded. The top performer, the exchange-traded note (ETN) VXX, exposes investors to futures contracts on the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), which reflects implied volatility in the S&P 500.
    • Business Insider compiled the 11 best-performing exchange-traded products (which include ETFs and ETNs, like the VXX) with at least $500 million of assets under management.

    Even as the market plunged this year, some passive investors were rewarded.

    The best-performing US-listed large exchange-traded products included those exposed to going long the US dollar, health care stocks, and volatility, in addition to shorting US stocks. One of the best performers, too, was a fund with exposure to companies focused on providing cybersecurity as a service. 

    The major US averages were all down meaningfully from their respective record highs hit earlier this year, with the S&P 500 (-18%), Dow Jones Industrial Average (-17%), and Nasdaq Composite (-21%) all in, or near, bear-market territory.

    Globally, investors have poured nearly $338 billion into exchange-traded funds in 2018 through the end of last week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch told clients in a report.

    Here are the top-performing vehicles, ranked by their 2018 returns through Thursday morning.

    ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF

    Ticker: HACK

    Assets under management: $1.4 billion

    2018 return: +5.25%

    2018 investments in the fund: +$253 million


    Data provided by Bloomberg.

    ProShares Short S&P 500

    Ticker: SH

    Assets under management: $2.1 billion

    2018 return: +7%

    2018 investments in the fund: +$641 million


    Data provided by Bloomberg.

    ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury

    Ticker: TBT

    Assets under management: $1.2 billion

    2018 return: +7.5%

    2018 investments in the fund: -$946 million


    Data provided by Bloomberg.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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